The VC Advantage: Embarrassing Ads of Thunder


By the time the Turbografx-16/CD combo system, the Turbo Duo launched, NEC's American branch had bailed on the Turbo platform and the new Turbo Technologies Inc. was desperate. Their advertising got increasingly ridiculous and antagonistic, as evidenced by the "Johnny Turbo" series of comic book-style ads in which a pudgy superhero saved kids from the horror of having to purchase a CD add-on for their "Feka" systems (another column for another time!)

The best of TTI's amateurish, juvenile ads, however, was this promotional video for Lords of Thunder, which was mailed out through a coupon program. It consists alternately of overenthusiastic teens swearing their allegiance to Lords of Thunder and confused strangers wondering why they're being bothered. Ironically, this kind of advertising may have served to turn people away from the Duo platform. Lords of Thunder certainly can't take any of the blame for low sales. It's amazing.

The hardcore Lords of Thunder (promo tape) audience must not have been what TTI anticipated, because I purchased a copy of this video from a Hastings Video Store in 2000 for .99. It was one of many copies in a clearance video bin. How did they even get there?


The VC Advantage is a weekly look at the secrets inside games -- not just cheat codes, but assorted trivia and oddities. We aim to bring back the feeling of the hint columns from game magazines, except when we do something else.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.