It always seems darker where the spotlight used to shine.
Video game stars are a lot like child actors. One day they wake up a little older, a little less cute. And before you know it, they've disappeared into irrelevance. Not gone but forgotten. Unless of course there's trouble with the law. Or a sex tape.
We're always looking for what's next, all too ready to bury the now. So to honor the video game legends of our youth, Aquaman and I have done tireless research to find out what happened after the proverbial Game Over screen.
Always in the shadow of his more famous brother, the former plumber/Princess-rescuer has never successfully made a name for himself. Numerous attempts to start up his own adventures always fell flat and usually ended with everyone (Bosses and Princesses included) asking when Mario was going to show up. Before long, Luigi ended up in the video game porn business where he starred in a handful of moderately successful games such as “Moustache Rides 2” and the 2-player tranny-quest “Super Mario Sisters".
Former adventurer-for-hire, Pitfall Harry died tragically in Iraq in December of 2005. He had been attempting to swing across a large oil pit but his rope apparently could not reach far enough to the other side. Harry’s commanding officer Sgt. Ted Simpson is quoted as saying “We’re not sure what Harry was even trying to do by swinging across that oil pit. I ordered him not to do it. There wasn’t even anything on the other side but another oil pit exactly like it. Such a pointless death.”
When Ms. Pac-man finally became Mrs. Pac-man in 1986 everyone thought the happy couple would live happy ever after. However, four months later she filed for divorce after finding her husband in an embarrassing situation with a blue ghost.
In 1988, Ms. Pac-man famously remarried, this time to L.A. Law star Harry Hamlin only to once again find herself filing for divorce the following year.
Since then, Ms. Pac-man has developed an empire based on her self-help books and has helped millions of women conquer over eating problems. Some controversy surrounds her to this day though as many feel her current hourglass shape is the result of gastric-bypass surgery.
"Video Bo" Jackson shows us what the real Bo could have been. Video Bo was never plagued by a degenerative hip disease, never had to retire early, never had to start selling protein bars or shill for his temp agency on Monday Night Football. He still does Nike commercials and – like at Auburn – sleeps with a different girl before every game.
As far back as the early 1980s, Q-bert battled extreme bouts of depression. Always ashamed of his large nose and portly figure, he went into seclusion during the height of his popularity, refusing public appearances and losing millions in promotions because of it.
In 2002, Q-bert returned to the public spotlight to participate in an episode of ABC’s Extreme Makeover. Receiving every lift, nip and tuck known to man, Q-bert came out of the experience a changed person and is even now back in the gaming business, starring in a popular title by Rockstar Games.
Always the opportunistic daredevil, Frogger became the David Blaine of crossing the street. Always one-upping himself and attracting more and more exposure with each event. Frogger hopped his way across Times Square, the Indianapolis 500, and the Autobahn only to finally get hit on an average street in London because he looked left instead of right before crossing.
George, Lizzie and Ralph - the Rampage monsters - hit a bit of bad luck when their big comeback game got pulled before ever hitting the shelves. Scheduled to be released in September of 2001, the much anticipated “Rampage: Twin Towers” was suddenly deemed to be in poor taste and to this day has never seen the light of day.
In December of 2005, the monsters tried another comeback with a less specific city-destroying game. But once again the game was pulled from the shelves after reports of customers in a Manhattan Best Buy shouting “Too soon!” at the displays.
THE CONTRA GUYS
After retiring from their commando regiment in 1993, the two Contra guys had a modest techno hit with the song “Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start."
The most feared hitter in video baseball history, Paste was a fan favorite in the late 1980s. His unprecedented 1988 season – .467, 60 home runs – was followed by a series of disappointing campaigns as his body began to break down. Paste denied using performance-enhancing drugs, and attributed his disappearing testicles to power lines near his New Jersey home. He died of brain cancer in 1998.
In 1992, Zelda left behind her kingdom and moved to Beverly Hills where she became a fixture of the LA nightlife and is often looked back on as the Paris Hilton of the 90s. She even had a sex tape before it was popular for those sort of things to get out. With her partying days behind her now and an acting career that never really took off, Zelda has recently converted to scientology.
A laughingstock in the ring, Glass Joe became a political heavyweight in retirement. A devout pacifist, the pride of Paris was Europe's most vocal opponent to the War in Iraq. His liberal views were met head on by Fox News Commentator Bill O'Reilly, who famously knocked Joe out in a 2003 interview.
Back in the late 1980s, Kong began buying up cheap warehouse spaces in Jersey and flipping them for profit. Before long he had built up a substantial real estate empire that he ran with his son, Donkey Kong junior, until Trump eventually drove him out of town. The long-running feud between “The Donald and The Donkey” was the stuff of many NY Post headlines until Donkey Kong eventually tired of it and headed across the country. Rarely out of the spotlight for long, Donkey Kong most recently re-surfaced when he ran and lost in the 2003 California Recall Election.