Saturday, April 7, 2012

Johnny Turbo

"Throw caution to the wind and go all-out on one of your rivals with a series of comic book-styled propaganda and recycle the same two games within them as "proof" of your machine's superiority while introducing a laughable spokesman who, the marketing department not caring, decides to model after a co-worker so as to mock him." - TvTropes describing the Johnny Turbo
Some of you might know about Captain N: The Game Master, a quasi-superhero cartoon that was basically an ad for Nintendo products. Johnny Turbo is the Captain N for Hudson Soft and NEC. Johnny was not only an ad for their system the TurboDuo (a TurboGrafx-16 and TurboGrafx CD hybrid capable of playing CD games), but also propaganda against Sega, a rival of Hudson Soft and NEC who released a similar product called the Sega CD. According to TvTropes, the comic also made fun of the real-life people John Brandstetter and (possibly) Tony Ancona. The comics' issues was published in issues of Electronic Gaming Monthly.

In issue 43 (the first issue), FEKA's (Sega parody) CEO, FEKA Czar / Mr. FEKA (he's called both), explained his evil plan to sell their CD console: claim it is the first and only CD console despite the TurboDuo being first. John Brandstetter learned of this and switched into his alter ego of Johnny Turbo (we don't get an origin story) and confronted agents of FEKA. After exposing their lies and attacked them, he discovered they're "not even human".

In issue 44 (issue 2), Mr. FEKA came up with plan B: tell kids CD console is a stand alone system even though it isn't. After bashing on Sol-Feace (having said it "doesn't even compare" to the similar TurboDuo game Gate of Thunder), John Turbo interrupted the sales of FEKA system and outright threatened Mr. FEKA.

In issue 45 (issue 3), Tony (Johnny's roommate) had a surrealistic dream in which Johnny told him about Gate of Thunders, Lords of Thunder and a code for the 3-in-1 disc that unlocks a Bomberman game.

Reception of the comic was poor. Jonathan J. Burtenshaw called the comic "overly confrontational" and "petty". Linkara (from Atop The Fourth Wall) mocked the comic on one of his live shows pointing out the plan in issue 44 isn't something Sega did and how the comic's argument boils down to "we did first" and nothing else.

My sources were the Atop the Fourth Wall episode "Revenge of the AT4W Live" and the Wikipedia page and TvTropes "Johnny Turbo".

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