All Your Base Are Belong To Us

"All your base are belong to us" (often referred to as "All Your Base" or abbreviated AYBABTU, AYBAB2U, or simply AYB) is an Engrish phrase that sparked an Internet phenomenon in 2001 and 2002. The text is taken from the opening cut scene of the English version of the 1989 Japanese video game Zero Wing by Toaplan. While the translation was generally poor, this phrase stood out as particularly humorous. From mid-to-late 2000 many images were digitally altered so that the phrase was added in, either obviously or discreetly, led by the Something Awful Forums. Some of these images were compiled with those created and posted to a forum thread on by their members; one of whom, known only as "Bad_CRC", created the AYBABTU Flash animation that was widely downloaded and later featured on various online and televised news outlets.

The well-known quotations were taken from the European localization of the Sega Mega Drive port released in 1992. The arcade version of Zero Wing does not include the quote, though it does include an equally butchered ending; the intro for the PC Engine version has CD-quality spoken dialogue but has a completely different introduction. Zero Wing was never released in North America and therefore never came to the Sega Genesis, the North American version of the Mega Drive.

AYB demonstrated the Internet's power to spread idiosyncratic messages rapidly that would never have been covered by the traditional mass media. Although the fad has died down, the phrase continues to be one of the most commonly quoted examples of "Engrish." The phrase is also often used as a battle cry on many competitive video games, particularly ones played over the Internet. Guild Wars has even made it a skill for the warrior class, where the character shouts "For Great Justice!" (a reference to another quote from Zero Wing, "Move 'zig.' For great justice.") and thereby causes the character to gain 50% more adrenaline on attacks.

AYB is often cited as an example of a meme, a self-propagating thought, idea, or message, because of its broad, rapid spread across the Internet and around the world. It has also been recognized as a snowclone, wherein a familiar phrase is modified by substituting new words into the phrase (for example, "All your bug are belong to me" as used on Wikipedia's MediaZilla main page).

Newgrounds' Flash portal spawned many variants of the Flash animation with a wide range of content, creativity, and quality.

The phrase is a line from the game's introductory cut scene, which is subtitled and poorly translated. It made its first appearance on the Internet in 1998. During mid- to late 1998, the phrase began to appear on many Internet forums. In 2000, Jared and Canadian Gabber group The Laziest Men on Mars created the song “Invasion of the Gabber Robots” using samples from the game theme by Tatsuya Uemura (including a robotic voice synthesis rendition of the complete cut-scene dialogue, which by some accounts caused to temporarily remove the track from their servers for perceived copyright violation).

By the second half of February 2001 a huge number of altered pictures, GIF animations, and Macromedia Flash animations (in addition to photos of actual sightings) swept over the Internet, the first being the twelfth episode of “Eskimo Bob,” in what creators Tomas and Alan Guinan later declared their worst episode to date, going so far as to post warnings advising people not to watch it. It has been used as a caption for almost any photograph since the heavily overloaded word “base” (along with homonyms such as bass and compounds like base pair) seemed to make the phrase mean almost anything. Numerous persons and groups also replaced the word base with other topics (e.g. “all your data are belong to us,” “all your vote are belong to us,” “all your oil are belong to U.S.”), generally suggesting someone's aggressive dominance—either real or imagined—in a particular field.

Due to its immense popularity, the phrase or some variation of the lines from the game has been seen in innumerable articles, books, comics, clothing, movies, radio shows, songs, television shows, video games, webcomics, and websites. However, few have actually drawn any legitimate media attention. A selection of those that have garnered such coverage follows; a Google search will turn up thousands more hits on individual websites.

* On 2001-02-23, Wired provided an early report on the phenomenon in an article entitled "When Gamer Humor Attacks," which covered everything from the Flash animation to its spread through e-mail and Internet forums to T-shirts bearing the phrase.

* In the March 12, 2001 edition of FoxTrot, Jason Fox (the nerdy youngest child) began to shout, "All your base are belong to us!" confusing his parents. Bill Amend has been known to incorporate "geek culture" into his comic strips, such as the MMORPG World of Warquest.

* On March 21, 2001, online parody news source The Onion jumped in to the fray with an article titled "Congress Adds 'All Your Base Are Belong To Us' Amendment To Bankruptcy Bill", written in a style that conformed to the original gaffe-fueled fad. Stating that the U.S. House of Representatives had voted to do so "Seeking to increase fiscal accountability among citizens who have no chance to survive make their time," in a measure disputed by opponents as "potentially set up U.S. the bomb."

* On January 6, 2002, an episode of the television show Futurama ("Anthology of Interest II," episode #403) featured a segment in which a robot from the arcade game Berzerk said, "All your base are belong to us."

* On April 1, 2003, in Sturgis, Michigan, seven men aged 17 to 20 placed signs all over town that read, "All your base are belong to us. You have no chance to survive make your time." They said they were playing an April Fool's joke by mimicking the famous Flash animation that ubiquitously depicted the slogan. Not many people who saw the signs were familiar with the joke, however. Many residents were upset that the signs appeared while the U.S. was at war with Iraq, and police chief Eugene Alli said the signs could be “a borderline terrorist threat depending on what someone interprets it to mean.”

* In the RTS "Empire Earth" "All your base are belong to us" is a cheat code that gives you 10000 of each resource(iron, gold, food, wood, stone,) except population.

* In the RTS Warcraft III, while playing on the campaign or any single player mode, typing "allyourbasearebelongtous" on the chat system results in sudden victory.Typing "somebodysetusupthebomb" results in automatic defeat.

* In February 2004, an automated news ticker on News 14 Carolina, a North Carolina cable channel, was hacked to display the message on television.

* When Google launched Google Base in October 2005, the phrase was twisted into “All Your Base Are Belong To Google” by search industry watchers such as John Battelle. Furthermore, in Google's Hacker Translation, the "Personalized Home” link has been translated into "4LL `/0|_||2 B453,” which is Leet for "All Your Base."

* Mega Man Battle Network for Gameboy Advance has a robot hidden in the game designed to mimick Cats. It states, "All your base are belong to us".

* On 2006-06-01, the video hosting website YouTube was taken down temporarily for maintenance. The phrase "ALL YOUR VIDEO ARE BELONG TO US" appeared below the YouTube logo as a placeholder while the site was down. Some users believed the site had been hacked, leading the host to add the message "No, we haven't been hacked. Get a sense of humor."

* In July of 2006, changed its 404 error page to an AYB reference

Narrator: In A.D. 2006, Web was beginning.
Captain: What happen?
Mechanic: Somebody set up us the journal.
Operator: We get signal.
Captain: What!
Operator: Main browser turn on.
Captain: It's you!!
CATS: How are you users!!
CATS: All your base are belong to Frank.
CATS: You are on the way to 404.
Captain: What you say!!
CATS: You have no chance to reach your page. Make your spelling correct.
CATS: Ha Ha Ha Ha ....

* Recently during the hype over the movie snakes on a plane a video parodying the famous animation appeared on YouTube using the term All Your Snakes Are Belong To Us.

The final phrase "for great justice" has been adopted by various groups as their slogan, including being the name of a skill in the MMORPG Guild Wars, and there is also some adoption of "move 'zig'" (which resembles "let's roll" — a universal command to action; "Zig" was the name of the small fighter craft piloted by the player in Zero Wing) and "Somebody set up us the bomb" or its derivative, "Someone set up us the bomb" (basically "uh-oh!" or "We're under fire!").Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home