Other Ocean's Mike Mika thought up the "contest winner" angle to make the game seem more authentic, but decided that having someone well-known win the prize would make it even more identifiable. Speaking to GameSetWatch, Mika said "So, in this case, we worked on a game a while ago with Jimmy Fallon back with a company I was working for before Other Ocean. He's an incredibly smart guy who knows a lot about games. He knows a lot about computer engineering. And he had this game that he wanted to get made that was actually fantastic."
The plans for Fallon's game with the other company never panned out, but Mika and Fallon kept in touch. "And I know he was a big NES fan, so when this opportunity came up, I was trying to find a way to legitimize the game a bit. I just emailed him and just said, "Hey. Do you want to be in an NES game?" I told him kind of what I wanted to do with it, and he totally went with it."
Elsewhere in the interview, MIka discusses the challenges of propagating an alternate-reality history, as well as the real origins of Dark Void Zero.