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"Frogger, Australian for Games"
Frogger thumbnail
Upload Date June 6, 2011
Length 7:12
Intro Buckner Garcia - "Froggy's Lament"
Outro Kermit the Frog - "Bein' Green"
Link Frogger, Australian for Games
Episode Guide
Episode 6
Series Game Theory
Host(s) MatPat
Game Frogger
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Frogger, Australian for Games is the 6th episode of Game Theory on The Game Theorists.

Description

Fry it, stuff it, put it on your wall--I'm on a cross-country trip thinking about roadkill and Frogger. But what secrets could this Atari and arcade classic hold? Find out on Game Theory!

Transcript

Pull onto interstate 40, and hide your flies, because we're checking out the world of Frogger. Hello internet, and welcome to game theory. Accept no substitutes, but if you do, make sure that you come back to my show every week as well, okay? Thanks. Anyway, we're keeping it short and sweet this week because I'm in the middle of a cross-country road trip to make a permanent relocation to the Los Angeles area. At journey's outset, Brian, my resident hotness consultant for the Illusion of Gaia episode, this one, in case you forgot, hit a pigeon. So, as I spend 14 hours each day staring at the road, I can't help but think of two things: roadkill, and the game dedicated to it, Frogger. But, what secrets could this old arcade classic possibly hide? Would you believe me if I told you that I could prove, without a reasonable doubt, the exact species of frog featured in the game? Accept the challenge? Then let's hop right in and find out. For you youngsters out there, unfamiliar with old Atari and arcade staples, this game stars, surprise, surprise, a frog. No minds blown yet, right? But it's not just some generic type of frog. You wouldn't expect much from old-school graphics, but look close enough, and you'll see that Konami- the developers- made their title character out to be more than just a green sprite. He's a yellow-green critter with purple eyes. And there lies the first key. Sure, lots of frog bodies look like that but, how many actually have eyes that are such a bizarre color? One. The Australian green tree frog. Notice the family resemblance? Still, I may have overlooked some and even if I didn't, it's only one piece of evidence. How can we be sure? Well, let's look at the gameplay. Notice anything odd? Frogger. Can't. Swim. Frogs are amphibious, able to handle both land and water so drowning shouldn't be a problem, right? But tree frogs, and Australian green tree frogs in particular, are known to be some of the weakest swimmers in frog-dom, and anyone considering them as a potential pet is warned against keeping them alongside deep water. So, our case just got a little bit stronger. But we're not finished. Let's keep going by unearthing some of the finer details of the game’s setting, and then finding out if our frog would live in that sort of environment. First, the water at the top of the screen. It looks like our intrepid hero is making his way to safety in some sort of marshy area, known to have lily pads and crocodiles. Next, the road of death. Of course, there are your normal cars and semi trucks but, what about these odd vehicles? According to the game, they're dune buggies. Wide wheeled vehicles used for crossing large sandy areas. There's also a strangely high number of bulldozers on this road, all traveling in the same direction. This means, that we're looking for a location that is marshy, popular for dune buggy riding, and central to a great deal of construction in the 1980s. To find it, we have to travel to the land down under: Australia. Specifically to its capital of Canberra. Did you think the capital was Sydney or Melbourne? Yeah, well so did I until writing this paragraph. Apparently, Canberra was a compromise when these two largest cities in Australia, couldn't agree on which should be the capital. Anyway, construction began on the Parliament House in Canberra in 1981, the year of Frogger’s release. At that time, the Parliament House was the largest building in the southern hemisphere, valued at around 1.1 billion Australian dollars. Billion! Definitely a project requiring a few bulldozers. On top of that, just look at the huge amount of desert fit for dune buggy riding in the center of the continent. And last, but certainly not least, northern Australia is home to both fresh and saltwater crocodiles, with the latter being the largest species of all living reptiles. It seems like the Australian landscape fits all of our requirements, so, with the buggies and dozers headed east and the Crocs to the north, I'd say that the true location of the video game Frogger is somewhere, right around, here. Does that fall into the domain of the Australian green tree frog? Absolutely. The whole northern and eastern parts of the continent are home to the frog, so, if we were to shake a magic 8-ball, it would say that all signs were pointing to yes. With that, all I have to say is, Frogger: Australian, for video games. And now it's time for my final thought. People tend to write off Frogger as a game about a helpless little frog trying to cross the road. What they neglect to realize is that it is in fact a game about a giant mutant frog trying to beat the powers of natural selection. Look at it, your frog is half the size of a tractor-trailer. We're talking about a direct descendant of the Chrono Trigger frog squash frog, and a lot can be said if you track the lineage of giant frogs in gaming. Imagine, if you will, the following: a washed-up amphibious video game star, bitter from being laughed at one too many times for not being able to swim. Jealous of the successes of his replacement, he becomes Wart- despiser of veggies and murderous threat to Mario Jumpman. Beaten down again by the portly plumber, he turns to drugs, pawning the last of his former glory and becoming the stoned out Flo Rida Master Prince FleaSwallow in PaRappa the Rapper, and perhaps, worst of all, to permanently strike his revenge against the gamers who abandoned him so many years ago, he father's one of gaming's most hated characters, another giant amphibian like himself, the voice that would haunt countless gamers dreams. “This is really starting to tick me off.” Slippy Toad, who is technically a frog because he is not brown, has smooth skin, and bulgy eyes, look it up. In retrospect, maybe the early generation of arcade gamers should have just let this reject of nature get hit by a car, rather than help it to breed it's freakish offspring by helping him to cross the road. Or maybe he was just another frog. But hey, it's a theory. A game theory. Thanks for watching, see you in California!

Trivia

  • MatPat and Stephanie made the episode while moving to Los Angeles, and also stated in the episode that he would love to meet with fans as, at the time, he knew no one there.
  • Not long after its release, the video was made "User Video of the Month" on ScrewAttack's website.