Annals Of Miscellany

Two Gameological staffers appeared side by side in an issue of Nintendo Power—10 years ago

By Matt Kodner • May 30, 2013

We haven’t run a contest in a while, and we’re still not. (But we will be running a pretty cool one next week. Look out!) That photo below is a convoluted reader-submitted quiz from a 2004 issue of Nintendo Power, the cover of which is featured above, complete with Shrek’s gut overhanging the magazine’s logo. The prompt for this contest was to take a game’s name and twist it around into a synonymous yet hard-to-guess title. (Their example turned Animal Crossing into Fauna Intersection.) It’s a surprisingly difficult quiz, but we’re featuring it here because, amazingly, both I and assistant editor Matt Gerardi had submissions that made it into the magazine. Almost 10 years later, we would cross paths again as part of the first batch of Gameological interns. As far as coincidences go, it doesn’t get much weirder than this. 

Nintendo Power Contest

I’m on the left as Matt K., and Gerardi is right next to me as Matt G. When I rediscovered this, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out which game I synonymized, probably because I picked out the longest, most confusing-sounding synonyms for each word in the title. Gerardi’s game is one of four that I was able to figure out. He says, “I knew which game I wanted to work with going into the endeavor. I came up with the ‘Fourth Dimension’ part right away and, in my mind, it was a winner. I was stumped when it came to other half, though. I hit the thesaurus for that one. And ‘The Sequel,’ well, that’s pretty self-explanatory.”

So there you have it. While we’ve got you here, why not try taking the quiz and tell us how many you figured out? You can click the image to bring up a larger image where you can better make out the fake game titles and answers. Also, do let us know, if by some further twist of fate, you are also one of the people featured in the quiz.

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53 Responses to “Two Gameological staffers appeared side by side in an issue of Nintendo Power—10 years ago”

  1. Aurora Boreanaz says:

    *facepalm* I was totally bewildered for a minute, until I realized you were using SYNONYMS, not, as I first thought, anagrams.  *sigh*

    Once I got that, Timesplitters 2 was fairly easy.  #1 is far too wordy for its answer, and I love #8.

  2. Drew Toal says:

    A friendship that spans time.

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      Oh yeah, I briefly forgot about that part of the story.

      How did you guys even figure out that you were both on that page?  Did one of you bring it up by chance, and the other say “Hey, I was on there too!”?

      • Matt Gerardi says:

        Yeah, that’s pretty much what happened. I think Kodner mentioned it one day, and I was like, “Wait…I did that too.” I kind of assumed it was in different issues but nope.

    • Captain Internet says:

      Transcending history, and the world.

  3. Chalkdust says:

    Oh great, a new word game that will occupy me for the rest of the day when I should be doing other stuff.  Okay, here’s a few:

    Penumbra of the Titan
    Exceptional Pavement Brawler Again Quickly
    Quiet Mound: Debarkation
    Celestial Body Conflict: The Antiquated Commonwealth
    Occupant Malignance: Undertaking Procyon Iotor Metropolis

    • Chalkdust says:

      Round 2!

      Hitman’s Catechism
      Assassin: Sanguine Dosh
      The Sixth Adventure of the Monarch: Presently a Successor, Absent Come Morning
      Burglar: Darkness Which Will Kill You
      The Demise and Reintroduction of Spectacularperson

      • Girard says:

        Assassin’s Creed
        Hitman: Blood Money (nice inversion, there)
        King’s Quest 6: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow
        Thief: Deadly Shadows
        The Death and Return of Superman

        • Chalkdust says:

          There’s only five in that batch, but it looks like six cuz KQ6 line-wrapped.

        • Girard says:

          @Chalkdust_TMAI:disqus : Oh, phew. I thought there was some obscure game called “Gone By Dawn” or something.

          Disqus fouled up the formatting of one of mine down below, too!

      • boardgameguy says:

        assassin’s creed
        hitman: blood money
        king’s quest 6: heir today, gone tomorrow
        thief: deadly shadows

        don’t think i know the last game

    • duwease says:

      Let’s see:

      Shadow of the Colossus
      Super Street Fighter II: Turbo
      Silent Hill: Homecoming
      Star Wars: The Old Republic
      Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

      It appears I should put “synonym power” on my resume..

    • Bakken Hood says:

      Pertaining to Salt: Skirmish Differential Fecundity
      The Ancient Parchments II: Gravitational Descent of Combat Knife

      • boardgameguy says:

        elder scrolls 2: daggerfall

      • Bakken Hood says:

        In the unlikely event that anyone’s still trying, it’s Halo: Combat Evolved.  I don’t know whether this means I won or lost this game.

    • Citric says:

      I’m in the words business, I should be good at doing this. Alright maybe not.

      Triptych of Masks: Funny Red Hat
      God’s Former Lover: People Turning
      Exquisite Purloined Transportation
      Phantom Skullduggery
      Delorean: Potentially Upset Demons
      Shrubbery demanding knights refuse Iowa radio station: Colorless sorceress experiences anger.

    • Girard says:

      The Restriction of the Son of Abraham
      Great Flesh Lad
      Involuntary Forgetfulness: The Dim Plunge
      Diurnal Course of the Boneless Prehensile AppendageTotal Regulation of the Flow of Fluid into the Engine
      Ultra Dude: Instruction Undertaking
      Sound-Related and Finger-Joints

      • boardgameguy says:

        binding of isaac
        super meat boy
        amnesia: the dark descent
        sonic and knuckles
        kentucky dark zero

      • Bakken Hood says:

        The Binding of Isaac
        Super Meat Boy
        Amnesia: The Dark Descent
        Day of the Tentacle
        [sitting this one out]
        Mega Man, presumably? [this one too]
        Sonic and Knuckles
        Kentucky Route Zero

        • Girard says:

          NOICE. You can get full marks if you’re a little more specific with the MegaMan game (it’s not too hard, while there are a jillion of the games, only a very small handful have a subtitle).

        • Chalkdust says:

           @paraclete_pizza:disqus Mega Man X: Command Mission (though you did not represent the ‘X’)

    • Citric says:

      Since all mine were guessed (and I don’t feel like phoning a dude even though that is literally my job), here are more.

      Summoning Obligation: Spirits
      Enhanced by the liberal application of colorful stones
      American restaurant chain is a spiny mammal
      A child named Alexander lives in your computer
      Lisa Nowaks

      • Girard says:

        Call of Duty: Ghosts
        Sonic the Hedgehog
        Alex Kidd in High Tech World
        Space Invaders? [probably not…I suspect this one wil be hilarious once someone gets it, though]

        • Citric says:

          As a fun fact, I now have “diaper astronaut” in my search history at work. Not sure that’s a hint. It’s not Space Invaders though.

        • Girard says:

          @Citric:disqus : There are just so many possibilities for interesting terminology to pull from that lady’s story! I think it might be easier just to whip up a flash game called “Diaper Astronaut” and make that a post-hoc solution.

          Also, there’s a apparently no game called “Space Madness.”

        • Chalkdust says:

           @paraclete_pizza:disqus Maybe not “Space Madness”, but this game which I had on the ColecoVision is pretty damn close.

    • Girard says:

      MORE MORE!

      Ass Dog Toy
      Son of Ass Dog Toy
      Rural Ass Dog toy
      Son of Ass Dog Toy Arithmetic

      Star Child: Terminal Letter Aspect
      Annelid Workout Club
      Discretion of Godcakes
      Temporal Chelonians
      Stellar Vulpes

      • duwease says:

         I see Star Fox and Earthworm Jim (Gym?) in there, and of course:

        Donkey Kong
        Donkey Kong Junior
        Donkey Kong Country
        Donkey Kong Jr Math

        I’m pretty much an ass dog toy expert.

    • Chalkdust says:

      Round 3!

      The Second Installment of Everystory: Weiter als Vorteilhaft und Bösartigen
      We’re the Only Ones Left
      CombustiblCerulean: Problem Catalyst
      Lifeless Area
      Upset in a Fundamental Kind of Way

      • KingGunblader says:

         Xenosaga Episode II (not even going to try and spell the sub title right now)
        The Last Of Us
        Sadness (cancelled Wii game :P)?

    • Citric says:

      Now some real challenge.

      Storage for SweetsBallad of the Hirsute Homosexual (This one is, admittedly, very obscure, but once you find out it exists you’ll agree it’s the best thing.)
      Pistols at Dawn: Second Automotive Evaluation
      An Educational Trip Around Europe: An Accurate Approximation of Transportation

  4. indy2003 says:

    “Two men united by a common love… united by friendship… united by destiny. A tale of fate and passion, of synonyms and equivalents. Featuring a special guest appearance by John Leguizamo as Luigi Mario. M&M: GAMEOLOGICALLY CONJOINED – coming soon to a theatre near you!”

  5. ChicaneryTheYounger says:

    Matt, yours is Mega Man: Battle Chip Challenge.

  6. duwease says:

    Oh no.. it appears the Guardian Forces erased the memory that the Gameological staff all grew up at the same orphanage..

  7. ChicaneryTheYounger says:

    Oh wait, is this a retcon?

  8. PaganPoet says:

    Wonderful Boulevard Pugilist Quaternary: Version Intended for Bazaars

  9. Xyvir says:

    Super Fellow Conflict Interface Quint: Bi-fold Company Delta Sierra 

  10. Andy Tuttle says:

    Group Base 2
    The Tying-up of Abraham’s Son
    Fantastic Flesh Kid
    The Singer’s Story
    Green Nation
    Roads of Anger
    Conflict Pounder over 30,000: Morning of Conflict
    Non-living Void
    Crypt Robber: Annually

  11. Matt Koester says:

    2003-era Nintendo Power was weird. They hadn’t yet “redesigned” and I think they still were owned directly by Nintendo, which meant Mario Kart double dash got five star reviews across the board, and the mere mention of other consoles was basically prohibited. Still, for a Nintendo-loving kid whose friends all played violent PS2 games, it was just the propaganda you needed.