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Instant Expert
Five Games That Are Secretly Connected
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on August 28, 2013   |   Episode 8 (Show Archive)  

Instant Expert is back with all new episodes designed to quickly turn you into a video game historian. With its humorous bent, Instant Expert makes learning easy and fun. Make sure and subscribe to the Defunct Games YouTube Channel for even more history lessons!

The year is 1990 and Lieutenant Mike Harrigan is about to make an important discovery. Here he is, looking for revenge deep in the Predator's lair. What he doesn't realize is that he's about to blow our minds by connecting two of the greatest science fiction films of all time. See that? It's an Alien skull, which means that at some point the Predators went head-to-head with a xenomorph.

You have to understand, this was nearly two dozen years ago; long before Hollywood muddied the lore with two mediocre Alien vs. Predator movies. The very idea that these two franchises could secretly be connected was more than my twelve year old brain could handle. But even as aliens and predators danced in my head, deep down I knew what Mike Harrigan was going to say.

So in honor of the Lieutenant's hard work, today we're going to look at five video games that are secretly connected. By most accounts these games have nothing to do with each other, but a closer examination reveals secret ties that suggest they exist in the same universe. Don't worry, it's not as complicated as it sounds.

Speed Rumbler and Bionic Commando
This is Bionic Commando, a game in which Nathan "Rad" Spencer fights his way through countless enemy bases with little more than a gun and a bionic arm. His goal is to kill Hitler and rescue Super Joe.

What you may not know is that by the time Bionic Commando rolled around, Super Joe had already been the star of not one, but two classic arcade games. Everybody remembers Commando, but between his military service and P.O.W. status, Super Joe made plenty of noise in Speed Rumbler. With an intoxicating mix of vehicular combat and overhead shooting, Speed Rumbler was one of Capcom's early hits. But few realize that this comes only a few years before the events of Bionic Commando.

And if you want to one step further, Bionic Commando can be tied to yet another Capcom action game -- U.N. Squadron. As you can tell from the side-by-side shots, both games buy their supply trucks from the same company.

Adventures of Lolo and Kirby's Avalanche
Poor Lolo, his adventures always start with his girlfriend getting kidnapped. Well, not the third game, but Lala's constant nagging led to future installments being nixed in

North America. The Adventures of Lolo trilogy proved to be an engaging series of puzzle games that captured the hearts of NES owners and the praise of critics. But despite strong reviews, Lolo and Lala have been missing in action for more than two decades. Or have they?

As it turns out, both Lolo and Lala did not take the cancelation kindly. After spending years out of the limelight, the two rotund mascots challenge another Hal creation -- Kirby. In Kirby's Avalanche, Lolo and Lala show up as the ninth boss. They've added another syllable to their name, making for the even more redundant Lololo and Lalala. But make no mistake, these are the same two characters that took on King Egger and regained order in Eden Land.

Kirby even acknowledges this connection, noting that the two have a-MAZE-ing skills to make it this far. Now that we've had a Kirby racing game, golf game, Puyo Puyo clone and pinball simulator, perhaps it's time for Hal to go back to their roots and return to the Adventures of Lolo.

Breath of Fire and Street Fighter II
Let's face it, the Street Fighter universe runs deep over at Capcom. Somehow the company has been able to link Ryu, Ken and the rest of the World

Warriors to everything from Final Fight to Strider to The King of Fighters to the X-Men to Tekken, the list goes on and on. But while Guile fighting Wolverine seems improbable, it's not outside of the realm of plausible. It wouldn't take much to figure out a fun conceit for why M. Bison is going head to head with Gambit or why Iron Man absolutely must shoot a missile at Blanka's face.

The Street Fighter timeline becomes a little blurry when you find Chun Li hanging around in Breath of Fire. How could this twentysomething pugilist be alive hundreds ... nay, thousands of years ago when valiant swordsmen were still battling dragons? Is Chun Li a vampire? Was she summoned by this magician? I'm sure this is all explained in some semi-pornographic fan fiction, but I'm too afraid to check.

Killer Instinct and Saber Wulf (C64)
Apparently enough people took time out of their joyless lives to ask Rare for a new Killer Instinct game. I'm not sure who these people are, but apparently Microsoft

believes there's enough of them to warrant a reboot on the Xbox One. Then again, Microsoft thought they could get away with onerous DRM that would cripple the used game market, so maybe we shouldn't put too much stock in their judgment.

Either way, a few people are reportedly excited that Killer Instinct is making a comeback. But did you know that one of the KI characters is from a Commodore 64 game that dates back to 1985? Want to guess which one? No? All right, I'll tell you, it's Sabre Wulf.

Developed by Ultimate Software, the company that would later become Rare, Sabre Wulf was a top-down action game involving a brave hero on a quest to kill the dreaded Sabre Wulf. Okay, so it's not exactly Inception, but it does suggest a universe that is much, much more exciting than Killer Instinct.

Snatcher and Every Konami Series
Contra. Rocket Knight Adventures. Metal Gear Solid. Castlevania. The Mystical Ninja. These are some of Konami's most beloved franchises. Now what would you say if I told

you that all of these disparate games and characters live in the same universe? You'd think I was mad! There's no way that Simon Belmont is battling Dracula at the same time that Sparkster is fighting back against Axel Gear. But it's true, all of these characters co-exist.

Not only do they live in the same world, but they also hang out at the same bar. Here's one of the more memorable moments from Snatcher, involving Bill, Lance, Sparkster, Simon, Dracula and Goemon all taking a time out at the Outer Heaven strip club. It's a touching reminder that despite their different backgrounds and tendencies towards wanton violence, these Konami characters can get along. Even if it's only long enough to objectify the woman on stage.



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