Mario Goes Hollywood: A Collaborative Timeline

Super Mario Bros.
  • Super Mario Bros.

    Directed By:
    Harold Ramis
    Produced By: Jake Eberts/Roland Joffé
    Written By: Tom S. Parker/Jim Jennewein
    Based On: Super Mario Bros. by Nintendo
    Release Date: May 28, 1992

    Bob Hoskins as Mario
    John Leguizamo as Luigi
    Dennis Hopper as King Koopa
    Kenny Baker as Toad
    Samantha Mathis as Daisy
    Lance Henriksen as Woltan the Wizard/King Woltan
    Fiona Shaw as The Hag/Pauline
    Brad Dourif as Beedleman
    Gianni Russo as Big Eddie
    Kevin Nash as Mugger
    Frank Welker as the voice of Yoshi/Junior and the Goombas

    Budget: $50 million
    Box Office: $250 million​

    Okay, so first off an apology to @woweed who was the guy who made the "Nintendo/Disney Team Up" thread that inspired the timeline, not Nivek. Sorry, dude. Credit where credit is due.

    Next up, the plot. Basically, as explained before, the film follows the plot of the Parker/Jennewein script (synopsis here: but with small additions such as making the Hag that Mario kisses be given the name Pauline as a nod to Donkey Kong. I did give it a slightly bigger budget in the hopes of really nailing the special effects, but the risk paid off as you can see. Now, woweed's original thread argued for a $500 million take at the box office, but I didn't want to oversell the movie. five times the budget is nothing to sneeze at though, but if you think the worldwide gross would be a lot higher (consider that the OTL film's gross of $20 million was all domestic, and I imagine the movie made $100 million domestic ITTL) then I can raise the numbers a little both domestic and abroad.

    As for the butterflies, the movie's success put a hard dent in the box office for Sister Act which had the misfortune of being released the day after this movie, reaching either only half its OTL or even a quarter if you guys wanna argue a higher turnout (OTL Box Office: $231.6 Million, which could reach either $115.8 million or $57.9 million ITTL depending on how successful TTL's Mario movie is.) Meanwhile, Batman Returns either manages to stand its ground and becomes a strong competitor for the box office or gets its gross halved from OTL (again, up to you guys based on the success of the Mario movie. OTL's $266.8 million vs. TTL's $133.4 million.)

    Of course, no matter how you look at it, Iron Eagle III is getting demolished ITTL, though Patriot Games and Alien 3 make it out just fine. Encino Man should also be alright as it doesn't have the same demographic that Mario is shooting for.
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    RoboCop 3
  • RoboCop 3

    Directed By:
    Fred Dekker
    Produced By: Patrick Crowley
    Written By: Frank Miller
    Release Date: June 24, 1992

    Robert John Burke as Marcus Peters/RoboCop
    Nancy Allen as Anne Lewis
    Rip Torn as The CEO
    Mako as Kanemitsu
    Bruce Locke as Otomo
    John Castle as Paul McDaggett
    Jill Hennessy as Dr. Marie Lazarus
    CCH Pounder as Bertha Washington

    Budget: $25 million
    Box Office: $50 million​

    So, the plot of the film is mostly the same but the absence of Nikko is the more notable change as this film is not being made for kids. Miller and Dekker, knowing there was no way they were gonna beat out Super Mario Bros (hearing about the movie going into production during the sale to Sony) they argue instead to focus on the adult market, with Columbia agreeing to keep to the R-rated nature of RoboCop. The plot still focuses on RoboCop and the human resistance taking a last stand against OCP, but with a change due to the forced recasting. Rather than Peter Weller's Alex Murphy, Robert John Burke is introduced as Marcus Peters, an officer who accompanies Murphy on a routine patrol when the building they're raiding blows up, managing to kill Murphy as he takes the brunt of the damage.

    Marcus ends up severely injured and OCP decides to make him the new RoboCop, launched as "RoboCop III" with a lot of comments made on him being the "new RoboCop" and the CEO especially dismissive of the "replacement RoboCop" throughout the film. The events for OmniConsumer are about the same, becoming partners with Japanese conglomerate Kanemitsu Corporation, with their specialized Otomo androids. Together, the companies seek to create a new Delta City by forcibly relocating and wiping out as many residents as possible, using the Otomo robots and OCP's Urban Rehabilitators. At first, Marcus is one of the leaders of the Rehabs, but after the death of Anne Lewis (Nancy Allen wanted out of the movie) by McDaggett, the new RoboCop is captured by the resistance, who manage to have the Fourth Directive deleting from his database. This allowed him to fight back against OCP's forces. The film was mainly criticized for its more shallow plot and reliance of explosive action setpieces to carry it to the running time, though many did give credit for Burke putting in the effort to portray Marcus as a man who had his humanity taken just to replace another weapon that OCP had lost. And for as shallow as the setpieces were, these included the battle between RoboCop and Otomo and an amazing fight between two ED-209s, one who had been reprogrammed by Dr. Lazarus to side with the resistance.

    The other talking point of the film is the subtext weaved into the script. Many noted OCP's financial struggle and purchase by the Japanese Kanemitsu Corporation draws parallels to Orion's 1991 sale to Sony. Along with that, Marcus' story of being doubted by the OCP, Kanemitsu, the Rehabs and even the Resistance because he isn't the original RoboCop seemed to draw on both the production company's doubts over Burke in the role and a preemptive feeling of audience rejection. However, the audience took well enough to Burke's RoboCop, but the presence of Batman Returns meant that the film was only able to draw $50 million at the box office. However, this $50 million would mean a loss to Returns, putting it at $241 million worldwide, losing out its second-place spot to Super Mario Bros. and meaning it would also go third place in the domestic market, having only lost $15 million there, putting it at $147 million dollars, just below Home Alone

    Along with that, Alien 3 also lost $25 million in the box office, putting it at $134 million. A step down from Aliens but enough to still allow another shot.

    As for the RoboCop franchise, while RoboCop 3 broke even, Sony saw the franchise as having run its course in the world of film but is not ruling out the possibility of continuing on television in the near future. What has been made clear is that this is, for better or worse, the last RoboCop film.
    Max Headroom: The Movie
  • Max Headroom: The Movie

    Directed By:
    Rocky Morton/Annabel Jenkel
    Written By: Steve Roberts
    Produced By: Touchstone Pictures
    Based On: Max Headroom by Rocky Morton and Annabel Jenkel

    Matt Frewer as Edison Carter/Max Headroom/Hi-Jak
    Amanda Pays as Theora Jones
    Chris Young as Bryce Lynch
    W, Morgan Shepphard as Reg
    Charles Rocket as Ned Grossberg

    Release Date: May 28, 1993
    Budget: $50 million
    Box Office: $5 million​

    So, how about that Max Headroom? Y'all notice that little release date? Yeah, that's a big red flag for what went wrong here. So, basically, Jenkel and Morton got together with Steve Roberts and they said "Hey, let's make a Max Headroom movie!" and pitched it to Disney (whose child network, ABC, had aired the tv show) and given they had made a good chunk of money last year from Mario and also were riding high on Aladdin, gave the green light. The production went a bit smoother than Jenkel and Morton's run on Mario, thanks to having worked with Roberts and the main cast before, so everyone was good with each other. And having movie CG to portray Max rather than the TV budget did make for a better visual effect so it's the best possible Max you can get.

    As for the plot, it's built around a series of attacks on major networks, supposedly by Max, which puts him in a lot of hot water. So, it's up to Edison, Max, Theora, Bryce, and Reg to figure out who's behind the dastardly plot. The whole thing feels like a made-for-tv movie that got a higher budget and somehow, a theatrical release. It's soon revealed that the fake Max Headroom is Hi-Jak, an AI program created to sabotage Networks competing against Network 23 and his antics throughout the film are heavily inspired by the infamous Max Headroom hijackings from 1987, something that only hardcore fans would recognize. The only other positive given by critics was Frewer working triple duty as Edison, Max, and Hi-Jak, giving all of them unique performances and essentially carrying the film. The visual effects, sets, and costume design were also given high marks as Jenkel and Morton gave their all to make sure that Max's cinematic debut looked incredible.

    However, that five million gross? Yeah, there's a reason for that. See, there was this little movie that came out around that time. Some stupid movie with Jeff Goldblum and a bunch of dinosaurs...

    Yeah, I don't need to say anything else, do I?
    The Crow
  • The Crow

    Directed By: Alex Proyas
    Written By: David J. Schow/John Shirley
    Produced By: Jeff Most/Edward R. Pressman/Grant Hill
    Based On: The Crow by James O'Barr

    Brandon Lee as Eric Draven
    Rochelle Davis as Sarah
    Ernie Hudson as Sgt. Albrecht
    Michael Wincott as Top Dollar
    Bai Ling as Myca
    Sofia Shinas as Shelly Webster
    Anna Levine as Darla
    David Patrick Kelly as T-Bird
    Angel David as Skank
    Michael Massee as Funboy
    Tony Todd as Grange
    Jon Polito as Gideon

    Release Date: October 13, 1993
    Budget: $25 million
    Box Office: $100 million​

    So, a second weapon's test and filming this in California instead of North Carolina, thus not getting production wrecked by a hurricane, helps a lot. So, Brandon doesn't get shot and the movie goes off without a hitch. The plot's the same as OTL, but what about that box office? Well, besides no longer having the cloud of Lee's death behind it, the release month was ideal for the movie. One, it's a supernatural superhero film in October and more importantly, another movie would come out in the same month. The Nightmare Before Christmas. If you were a goth kid in 1993, October was your movie month. Rather than being in competition with each other, the two films basically helped each other grow, some theaters even holding double features of both movies, boosting their box office numbers so that both raked in $100 million each. With that, not only is Brandon Lee alive, he's basically got an iconic role and a little more star power in Hollywood beyond his famous father.
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    Nintendo R&D2/Philips
    Manufacturer: Nintendo/Philips
    Release Date: December 4, 1993
    Starting Price: $199 (Standalone Unit) $349 (Combo Unit)​

    Ladies and gentlemen, we have the SNES-CD! Now, this is gonna be an interesting variant of the usual timeline as while we got the SNES-CD, Sony's still likely to release the Playstation next year. The pack-in game is Super Mario All-Stars, a compilation of older Super Mario titles: Super Mario Bros. 1-3 and the previously unreleased Japanese version of Super Mario Bros 2. (dubbed The Lost Levels) (Note: If this thing has enough memory for it, we can add Super Mario World to the disc to really up the appeal.)

    To alleviate the anger of early adopters for the SNES, Nintendo added a special $50 voucher for any SNES game if they buy the standalone peripheral, which can also be used for SNES-CD games. Along with All-Stars, the following launch titles were announced: Super Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting (the major fighting game rep), Final Fantasy III (known in Japan as V), Secret of Mana (Square's other major RPG release for the SNES-CD), Disney Aladdin (Because of course) and Mega Man X (The mainline Mega Man franchise will continue on the vanilla SNES)

    The early sales weren't great, but the Christmas season would see sales explode as kids had two big things on their wishlist that year, the SNES-CD and a ticket to the biggest movie of the Christmas season...
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    The Legend of Zelda
  • The Legend of Zelda

    Directed By:
    Terry Gilliam
    Written By: Pen Densham/John Watson
    Produced By: Disney/Nintendo
    Based On: The Legend of Zelda by Nintendo

    Leonardo DiCaprio as Link
    Drew Barrymore as Princess Zelda
    Tony Todd as the voice of Ganon
    Christopher Lambert as Dragomir
    Dame Maggie Smith as Impa
    BRIAN BLESSED as Uncle Alphonse
    Robin Williams as Tarin

    Release Date: December 11, 1993
    Budget: $72.5 million
    Box Office: $457 million​

    Nintendo's offering for 1993 was a bit more ambitious and the risk paid off with the second highest-grossing film of the 1993 box office. (Only being stopped by the monster megahit of Jurassic Park) The film tells the story of Link (DiCaprio) living out his life as a farmhand for his uncle Alphonse (Blessed) a former Knight of the Hylian Guard of the Kingdom of Hyrule. The film, as opposed to the fast-paced action-adventure of Super Mario, takes its time to build its story and world for the audience, allowing newcomers to the franchise to get engrossed in it. Link aspires to be a knight just like his father and uncle, though Alphonse is reticent to train him. When Link puts himself at risk to help stop an attack by Moblins, he is rescued by Dragomir (Lambert) another Knight who admires Link's courage and takes the boy on as his apprentice.

    Intercut with Link's training are scenes of Princess Zelda (Barrymore) and her nursemaid/advisor Impa (Smith) discussing the recent Moblin attacks. Fearing the possibility of invasion, Zelda splits the Triforce of Wisdom into three parts, scattering them just before Hyrule Castle is attacked by the dark wizard, Ganon, covered in black full-body armor and speaking with the booming voice of Tony Todd. Zelda manages to help Impa escape the castle to seek Dragomir while she attempts to hold Ganon off. Impa finds Dragomir and tells him of Zelda's capture and pleads with him to reforge the Triforce of Wisdom and find the Triforce of Courage as their combined powers can force Ganon back.

    The story mainly focuses on Link and Dragomir's journey to gather the first fragment of the Triforce, allowing for worldbuilding such as what the Triforces are and learning more about Dragomir. The second act also has a fun scene of Robin Williams as Tarin, a kindly merchant who giddily shows off his wares to Link. Along with Robin, his daughter Zelda (named after the character) appears in the background (officially not given a name, but dubbed Marin by fans) The film ends Link and Dragomir defeating the first of three Triforce Guardians, Dodongo, and claiming the first fragment of the Triforce while Ganon watches Hyrule Castle from upon Death Mountain, giving orders to his Moblin army to destroy it as a warning to those who would try to stop him.

    The film was the biggest movie of December, with kids and adults lining up to see it in theaters. While this didn't have much effect on the likes of Philadelphia or Schindler's List, it absolutely decimated Beethoven's 2nd, which only took away a quarter of it's OTL box office take (going from $118 million to $29 million) meaning the movie underperformed and completely shuttering future Beethoven films. It also prevented Batman: Mask of the Phantasm from seeing a theatrical release (which suit Paul Dini just fine as he wanted it to go straight to video anyway.) and since Leo was in this film and not What's Eating Gilbert Grape the role of Arnie went to Tobey Maguire instead. That movie did the same as OTL, and while Tobey is no Leonardo, he brought his own spin to the role and does a good job.

    But yeah, another ballpark success for the Nintendo/Disney partnership. Should make up for the disappointing early sales on the SNES-CD before that takes off.
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    Super Mario Bros. 2
  • Super Mario Bros. 2

    Directed By:
    Harold Ramis
    Produced By: Jake Eberts/Roland Joffé
    Written By: Tom S. Parker/Jim Jennewein
    Based On: Super Mario Bros. by Nintendo

    Bob Hoskins as Mario
    Danny DeVito as Wario
    John Leguizamo as Luigi
    Kenny Baker as Toad
    Samantha Mathis as Princess Daisy
    Fiona Shaw as Pauline
    Keith David as the voice of Tatanga
    Frank Welker as the voice of Junior

    Release Date: July 15, 1994
    Budget: $100 million
    Box Office: $500 million​

    And another knockout success for Mario. The plot begins with Mario and Pauline living together, Mario still working as a plumber with Toad acting as his assistant as Luigi moved out after the events of the first movie to live with Princess Daisy. We get some mild sitcom antics with Mario, Pauline, and Toad before a portal opens up, through which Luigi and Junior come spilling out. Luigi has come to get Mario's help as Sarasaland is under attack from aliens. Despite Luigi's fears of Mario's skepticism, Mario believes him and asks when they can leave. And so, they head through the portal and a fun adventure ensues. For the most part, the plot is seen as a weak rehash of the first film, Daisy being kidnapped by a villain and the Mario Brothers have to save her. However, Parker and Jennewein are able to make the story work thanks to drawing from the Star Wars in terms of keeping the audience thrilled and supplying solid comedy.

    The four major players praised were Hoskins' Mario, Leguizamo's Luigi, DeVito's Wario and Tatanga. Hoskins, while seemingly not having a lot to work with since Mario's heart warmed up, is clearly having a blast and playing well off of Fiona Shaw and against Danny DeVito. In the film, Wario is a clone of Mario created by Tatanga but given a twisted, cruel personality, a dark mirror of Mario. DeVito plays him mostly for the comedy but can occasionally interject menace into the role, though he and Hoskins mainly just tried to one-up each other overall.

    Leguizamo, meanwhile, had to carry the dramatic weight of the story, building his friendship with Toad and wondering if he can prove himself as good as his brother (playing a bit off Leguizamo's own doubts on being second to Hoskins) but he does the job well. Finally, there's Tatanga, who gained a good chunk of budget to make sure the animatronics were there to give the costume the right articulation for his mouth. Keith David's voice provides Tatanga a great presence as an interstellar warlord and allows some levity during Wario's hijinks throughout. The movie ends with Luigi rescuing Daisy, Mario besting Wario (who bails when he realizes that Tatanga's gonna stiff him on his pay) and Luigi topples the tyrant of the stars, living happily ever after.

    The film came in with double the original's budget and walked out with five times that in the box office, putting it at #3 on the worldwide box office, below Forrest Gump at #2 and The Lion King at #1. The movie did put a small dent in The Mask, costing it $50 million of its take, but since that means it only made $300 million, I doubt think Jim Carrey or Cameron Diaz are gonna be crying into their pillows about how the movie did. The movies that suffered were The Next Karate Kid and Milk Money, neither of which could handle the onslaught of Lion King and SMB 2, both raking four million each and bombing hard. The movie was also the third success in movies for Nintendo, but maybe some other video game companies will be able to rake in that coin soon. We'll see in November.
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    Double Dragon
  • Double Dragon

    Directed By:
    James Nickson
    Produced By: Alan Schechter/Jane Hamsher/Don Murphy
    Written By: Paul Dini/Peter Gould

    Jason Scott Lee as Billy Lee
    Brandon Lee as Jimmy Lee
    Alyssa Milano as Marian Delario
    Dolph Lundgren as Willy "Machine Gun" Mackey
    Bolo Yeung as Abobo
    Corinna Everson as Linda Lash
    Mark Dacascos as Chin Taimei

    Release Date: November 4, 1994
    Budget: $4 million
    Box Office: $24 million​

    The plot of the movie is rather simple; Marian gets taken by the Shadow Warriors and the Lees have to save her. The one hurdle for video game movies is their shallow plots. This movie is helped by the stellar fight choreography and Jason's performance as Billy, wrapped in self-doubt and jealousy towards his older brother.

    That said, the movie's paint by numbers. Linda fight, Abobo fight, Taimei fight, the brothers fight each other and then final fight against Mackey. Dolph does bring cuts of thicky, juicy ham to the role, making every scene he's in an utter delight, so that's a positive for the film.

    While not a blockbuster, the film was successful enough to give Technos a much-needed injection of cash, which they used to bolster the movie's tie-in game. That will be talked about in a future write-up.
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    Street Fighter
  • Street Fighter

    Written/Directed By:
    Steven E. de Souza
    Produced By: Edward R. Pressman/Kenzo Tsujimoto
    Based On: Street Fighter by Capcom

    Jean-Claude Van Damme as William Guile
    Raúl Juliá as M. Bison
    Kenya Sawada as Ryu Hoshi
    Carlos Gallardo as Ricardo Vega
    William Zabka as Ken Masters
    Evander Holyfield as Gerard Balrog
    Paul Tocha as Victor Sagat
    Jeri Ryan as Cammy White
    Tony Jaa as Tony Adon
    Benny "The Jet" Urquidez as the voice of Tony Adon

    Release Date: December 23, 1994
    Budget: $35 million
    Box Office: $350 million​

    And we have the highlight of the 1994 holiday season, managing to only just lose the #5 spot on worldwide box office to The Flintstones (ironically, another movie de Souza wrote, alongside Mario writers Tom S. Parker and Jim Jennewein. Small world, huh?) Yes, Street Fighter does pretty well ITTL, proving that non-Nintendo properties can make blockbusters. The movie centers around the Shadaloo organization, led by the mysterious M. Bison, launching a tournament to crown the greatest Street Fighter, drawing forth the World Warriors.

    He gets the Americans William Guile, Ken Masters, and Gerard Balrog, Japanese Ryu Hoshi, Spaniard Ricardo Vega, Thais Victor Sagat, and Tony Adon, and finally Englishwoman Cammy White. All enter for different reasons; the challenge, the glory, the money, revenge, bragging rights and to investigate the shady acts of Bison. The movie mainly builds around these fights, telling a story for most of them.

    The first round sees Sagat utterly destroy his cocky student Adon (dubbed over by Benny Urquidez) in a battle fo Muay Thai fighters. The next round sees karate champions and friends, Ryu and Ken, fighting in a spar that starts friendly but gets intense toward the end, ending with an attempted leg sweep by Ken (You know why he tried this...) being met by Ryu landing a Hurricane Kick to his friend, advancing to the semi-finals. Following that was a fight between Vega and Cammy. Cammy, a soldier for the Allied Nations' special forces team Delta Red (and Ryan's somewhat dodgy English accent) comes close to winning, but ultimately get beaten thanks to Vega a hidden pair of claws, slashing her face. In the last quarterfinals match, Guile took on Balrog, meeting him punch for punch and managing to overcome the brute force of Balrog's blows and the blatant cheating, advancing to the quarterfinals.

    In the semifinals, Sagat promises to pay Ryu back for the scar Ryu had given him in a previous fight, but Ryu beats Sagat again, advancing to the finals. The story also begins building up Bison as a threat by showing members of an Allied Nations troop brought in with Guile investigating the stadium the Street Fighter tournament and finding scientists studying the fighters, gathering data before they're taken out off-screen by Bison himself. In the next fight, Guile overcomes Vega, managing to stop his claws and even break them before smashing his mask, sending the vain Spaniard into a fury before knocking him out to advance to the finals.

    The finals between Ryu and Guile end with Guile winning, but Bison steps up to congratulate him, picking up the fallen Ryu by the neck. He channels his Psycho Power on-screen for the first time, blasting Ryu in front of the crowd and the remaining fighters. Bison taunts Guile, reminding him of his friend Charlie and what happened in Cambodia. The riles Guile (heh) and the two have a showdown where Bison uses his Psycho Power to give himself an edge but Guile has the Hulk Hogan style comeback and landing a rare Triple Flash Kick to send him into his own giant monitor. The movie ends with Guile, Ken, and Cammy doing their individual victory poses for the freeze-frame.

    The movie was well-received by audiences, though fans were mixed due to not having all the characters and didn't like Ryu being believed dead at the end. Critics, while not understanding the use of ki attacks, praised the story and choreography and even gave some nods to the well-done cinematography. While the movie did make Capcom a lot of money, they were highly displeased by Ryu's death, one of the few moves that had been slipped by them by de Souza (he had promised them that Bison would merely drop him.) Incensed, they refused to give sequel rights to Universal and went ahead with their own sequel, working in conjunction with Toho. The film, Street Fighter: The Legend of Ryu, retconned Ryu as having survived his the attack from Bison (who also survived the movie but wore new armor that concealed his face and voice provided by Takeshi Kusaka) and challenging Shadaloo forces to get to him, beating him at the end of the movie. The film was released in 1996 and would be followed by 1998's Street Fighter: The Rage of Akuma. Neither film would be released stateside for several years until Fox got the rights to the Street Fighter license, releasing both straight to DVD (Legend of Ryu in 2009 and Rage of Akuma in 2011)
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    Gaming in 1994
  • Gaming in 1994

    1994 was the year the Nintendo/Sega Console War heated up. While the Genesis had struck hard in its early goings, the success of the Super Mario Bros. film brought the sales of the SNES up to compete. Then came the SNES-CD, which saw Nintendo jump back to the top spot. The SNES-CD, a collaborative project by Nintendo and Dutch electronics company Philips, was a peripheral that allowed the SNES to play CD-based games, a response to the Sega CD. The success of the SNES-CD saw Sega partner up with former rival NEC to create the Sega Turbo Charger (named after NEC's TurboGrafx.) A special add-on for the Genesis, the Turbo Charger boasts a 21.1 Mhz processor chip, 8 MB of rewriteable memory, 128KB of RAM, 96KB of video RAM and an advanced sound chip. The Turbo Charger could be locked on to the Genesis and gave it the boost needed to compete with the SNES.

    As for games, you had huge releases such as Super Metroid (Note: Can be released on either vanilla SNES or SNES-CD), Super Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat II, Donkey Kong Country, The Lion King, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Sonic & Knuckles, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and many more. In the arcades, games such as Ridge Racer and Virtua Fighter were making waves. Finally, rumblings came of the next wave of consoles, Nintendo was launching the Ultra NES, Sega had the launched the Saturn, but strangely enough, came a new contender to the Console Wars. One that had some involvement in games, but never made their own...

    Sony. The console?

    The PlayStation.
    Double Dragon '95
  • Double Dragon '95

    Technōs Japan
    Publisher: SNK/Technōs Japan
    Platforms: Arcade/Neo Geo AES/SNES-CD/Neo Geo CD/Sega Saturn/PlayStation
    Release Date: March 31 1995 (Arcade/AES/SNES-CD), June 2 1995/October 1996 (Neo Geo CD) April 26 1996/October 1996 (Saturn/PlayStation)​

    Developed during the production of the film, Double Dragon '95 was the tie-in game and released on the arcade and multiple platforms. The game features a total of fourteen fighters, nine of whom are from the Double Dragon franchise (Billy Lee, Jimmy Lee, Marian Delario, Willy Mackey, Abobo, Duke, Burnov, Linda Lash and Chin Taimei) with five original characters (Patrick Dalton, Amon Yagyu, Cheng-Fu, Eddie and Rebecca Brielle)

    The gameplay draws heavily from SNK's Fatal Fury franchise and sold well enough to not only stop Technos' bankruptcy but also lined SNK's pockets as well. The game would see a sequel in 1997, Double Dragon '97: Rage of the Dragons (a game released in 2002 OTL and meant to be a sequel, but got repurposed when the developers couldn't get the license. I'll talk about that one later.)
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    Street Fighter: The Movie
  • Street Fighter: The Movie

    Incredible Technologies (Arcade)/Capcom (Console)
    Publisher: Capcom
    Platforms: Arcarde/SNES-CD/Saturn/PlayStation
    Release Date: June 1995 (Arcade), August 10, 1995 (SNES-CD/Saturn), September 9, 1995 (PlayStation)​

    Yep, we got this game too. This actually did get produced much more smoothly than its OTL counterpart thanks to fewer characters and more experienced actors doing the green-screen (though Van Damme was still an utter pain in the ass.) The game comes with all the characters featured in the movie, but also six new characters; Bison Troopers Blade, Arkane, Khyber, F7 (all performed by developer Alan Noon and regarded as complete padding), Akuma and Sheng Long (who they actually managed to get done in time as opposed to OTL.) The game managed to become a hot seller thanks to the inclusion of Sheng Long and while the arcade version was trashed by reviewers, the home console releases got better reception thanks to Capcom making them feel more like a Street Fighter game.
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    Legend of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
  • Legend of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

    Directed By: Terry Gilliam
    Written By: Pen Densham/John Watson
    Produced By: Disney/Nintendo
    Based On: The Legend of Zelda by Nintendo

    Leonardo DiCaprio as Link
    Drew Barrymore as Princess Zelda
    Tony Todd as the voice of Ganon
    Christopher Lambert as Dragomir
    Dame Maggie Smith as Impa
    BRIAN BLESSED as Uncle Alphonse
    Robin Williams as Tarin

    Release Date: May 11, 1995
    Budget: $150 million
    Box Office: $900 million​

    And three years after they first proved video games could make for a profitable market for film studios, Nintendo smashes the box office with the sequel to the first Legend of Zelda film, the first video game movie to be #1 at the box office (though some account a weak summer for part of why people kept coming back.) The story is mainly focused on Link and Dragomir's journey throughout Hyrule to face off against Triforce Guardians Gohma and Gleeok (both of which are a blend of practical and CG since Jurassic Park did so good two years ago) while getting aid from Princess Zelda, who works around Ganon even within captivity. The movie was criticized to some degree for being more spectacle-driven, focusing on huge action setpieces and not having as much to offer in terms of fleshing out the world, but did receive marks for showing Link's growth as a warrior and delving deeper into Dragomir's past, his motivations and why he ultimately chose Link as his apprentice. The movie would be given some vindication by later critics who noted that the movie was more a bridge between the first and the third and that the set pieces were still exciting to watch.

    After defeating Gleeok (Who is spelled "Glyoch" in the credits due to an executive finding the original spelling silly), the Triforce of Wisdom is reforged, only for Ganon to suddenly attack. During the fight, Dragomir is killed and Link takes up his sword to defeat Ganon and keep him from the Triforce. However, during the battle, Ganon's helmet is knocked off and underneath it... is Dragomir! While Link is stunned, Dragomir/Ganon takes the moment to slash Link diagonally across the chest, dropping him before taking the Triforce. Link tries to stand and fight, but Ganon simply waves a hand and Link is surrounded by glowing purple energy that then explodes, leaving only a trail of ash as Ganon teleports away.

    Zelda, feeling her connection to the Triforce fo Wisdom fading, watches the Siege of Hyrule from the barred window of the tower she's being helped captive in. She prays for a Hero to save Hyrule as the film ends.

    As you can see, this movie steamrolled through the competition, taking out Gordy, Casper, Judge Dredd, Pocahontas, Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home, Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie and the biggest victim of all, Batman Forever. Most of these movies saw their box offices' halved from OTL with Gordy getting utterly stomped. The only reason Waterworld didn't get wrecked was that it had the fortune of coming up just as Zelda II was leaving theaters.
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    Batman Forever
  • Batman Forever

    Directed By:
    Joel Schumacher
    Produced By: Tim Burton/Peter McGregor-Scott
    Written By: Lee Batchler/Janet Scott Batchler/Akiva Goldsman
    Based On: Batman characters by Bob Kane and DC Comics

    Ralph Fiennes as Bruce Wayne/Batman
    Billy Dee Williams as Harvey Dent/Two-Face
    Jim Carrey as Edward Nygma/The Riddler
    Nicole Kidman as Dr. Chase Meridian
    Tobey Maguire as Dick Grayson/Robin
    Michael Gough as Alfred Pennyworth
    Pat Hingle as James Gordon
    Robin Wright and Debi Mazar as Sugar and Spice

    Release Date: June 16, 1995
    Budget: $100 million
    Box Office: $168 million​

    The plot remains mostly the same, though Riddler acts as a rival to Batman instead of the brainwave machine plot. He wants to catch Two-Face before Bruce can. Williams and Carrey are notably hammy while Fiennes does well enough, but doesn't hold a candle to Keaton. The one that got the highest praise was Tobey Maguire as Dick Grayson, who was able to both play the role from every angle impressively. However, the destructive force of Zelda II meant this movie couldn't even break even and did even worse than Batman Returns, leading Warner Bros to put all future plans for Batman films on hold.
    Mortal Kombat
  • Mortal Kombat

    Directed By:
    Paul W.S. Anderson
    Produced By: Lawrence Kasanoff
    Written By: Kevin Droney
    Based On: Mortal Kombat by Midway Games

    Robin Shou as Liu Kang
    Bridgette Wilson as Sonya Blade
    Linden Ashby as Johnny Cage
    George Takei as Raiden
    Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Shang Tsung
    Ming-Na Wen as Kitana
    Trevor Goddard as Kano
    Chris Casamassa as Sub-Zero
    J.J. Perry as Scorpion
    Ray Park as Reptile
    Kane Hodder as Goro (voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson)
    Kenneth Edwards as Art Lean
    Steven Ho as Chan Kang
    Michael Jai White as Jax Briggs
    Peter Jason as Master Boyd
    Frank Welker as the voice of Shao Khan

    Budget: $25 million
    Box Office: $250 million​

    So, given how the past three years of TTL have seen box office success for at this point four video game movies (now five with Zelda) there's a lot more money put into the Mortal Kombat movie. This will help mainly with some of the visual effects, especially with the addition of blood as this is an R-rated picture. It's a risky move, no doubt, as video games haven't gone farther than PG-13 in theaters. But Mortal Kombat has always been known for being the edgier alternative to games like Street Fighter so the R rating becomes a badge of honor for this movie. The story remains the same from OTL, though with Reptile not possessing a statue and instead is a ninja in Shang Tsung's employ with an animatronic lizard head underneath his mask, a la Scorpion. The movie is somewhat mixed among professional critics, who feel the gorier aspects, while visually catching, act as little more than a thick layer of flavoring over an otherwise anemic story. The movie relights the flame of controversy, having come out just after Zelda II left theaters. But among fans and the teenagers willing to sneak their way to see the movie, it was an awesome experience overall and helped keep up the franchise momentum, plus it actually managed to make big money as an R-rated film, just after Judge Dredd notoriously cut down to a PG-13 rating and was one of the many victims of Zelda II.
    The Crow: City of Angels
  • The Crow: City of Angels

    Directed By:
    Alex Proyas
    Produced By: Jeff Most/Edward Pressman
    Written By: David S. Goyer
    Based On: The Crow by James O'Barr

    Vincent Pérez as Michael Corven/The Crow
    Brandon Lee as Eric Draven
    Jon Bon Jovi as Danny Corven
    Rochelle Davis as Sarah
    Richard Brooks as Judah Earl
    Thuy Trang as Kali
    Iggy Pop as Curve
    Thomas Jane as Nemo
    Vincent Castellanos as Spider Monkey
    Tracey Ellis as Sybil
    The Deftones as themselves

    Release Date: October 13. 1995
    Budget: $50 million
    Box Office: $100 million​

    The sequel to the 1993 original, The Crow: City of Angels follows Michael Corven, a man who gets killed along with his brother Danny are killed by the drug dealer Judah Earl, with Michael becoming the second Crow. The subplot also focuses on Sarah, the girl from the first film, being haunted by visions of the Corven brothers' deaths and trying to solve the mystery of a ring left to her by Eric Draven. When Michael resurrects, he is met by the ghost of Draven, who acts as a mentor to Michael in his quest for supernatural vengeance against Judah. The movie was successful thanks to an empty box office and a huge goth fanbase after the first, but the rehashed plot and weaker lead star meant the movie didn't do more than break even, leading to Paramount deciding that after this, all subsequent Crow movies would be direct-to-video. The Crow franchises would go on as follows

    • The Crow: Stairway to Heaven. A 1997 television series starring Mark Dacascos as Eric Draven (Hah! Got you back on that one, Brandon!) Only lasted a season.
    • The Crow: Lazarus Heart. 1999 film based on the Poppy Z. Brite book starring Eric Mabius as Alex Corvis (with Vincent Pérez returning as a spirit guide)
    • The Crow: Wicked Prayer. 2004 film based on the Norman Partridge book of the same name, starring Edward Furlong as Jimmy Cuervo (and Eric Mabius acting as a spirit guide) also, did you know Tito Ortiz was in this movie? And Dennis "King Koopa" Hopper?
    Sarah would remain a constant through the series, played by Rochelle Davis in all but the tv show (where she was played by Katie Stuart) and after Wicked Prayer, Davis would not work on another movie until 2009 (a much shorter gap in comparison to her OTL 15 years.)
    Gaming in 1995
  • Gaming in 1995

    The year 1995 marked the point where the Console Wars exploded from a heated rivalry between two companies in an all-out war thanks to the introduction of a new competitor to the ring, Sony Corporation. Taking the original plans for the SNES-CD, they released the console on September 9, a week after Sega's Saturn console. Specs on the PS1 are the same as OTL and the Saturn specs are more comparable to @Nivek's technical specs.

    Nintendo, meanwhile, stuck with the SNES-CD, not wanting to rush out the Ultra NES just to compete. The SNES was still making sales, the CD add-on brought it to its full potential and they were raking in millions from their theme park deal with Disney and the box office success of Zelda II. Big releases of that year include Chrono Trigger, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, Killer Instinct, Mortal Kombat 3, and Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy Kong's Quest.

    Along with that, a series of SNES and SNES-CD remakes were launched. These included Final Fantasy Origins: I-III (remakes of the first three Final Fantasy games for the SNES-CD), Sword of Mana (a vanilla SNES remake of the Gameboy Final Fantasy Adventure, sold as a prequel to Secret of Mana), Earthbound (a remake of NES' Mother RPG) and Legend of Zelda I-II (released for the vanilla SNES) all hinting towards next year's releases (Origins IV-VI, Trials of Mana, Earthbound 2 and The Legend of Zelda: War of Gamelon)

    For the Saturn, they launched with Virtua Fighter, Myst, Daytona USA, Panzer Dragoon, Street Fighter: The Movie, Castlevania: Rondo of Blood X, Clockwork Knight, Knuckles Chaotix, Virtua Cop, Sega Worldwide Soccer, and Megaman X and X2.

    PS1, meanwhile, launched with a port of Castlevania: Rondo of Blood X, ports of Megaman X and X2, a port of Street Fighter: The Movie, Rayman, NBA Jam Tournament Edition, Ridge Racer, Wipeout, Battle Arena Toshiden, and Twisted Metal.

    1995 became one of the biggest holiday seasons for gaming, with parents scrambling to get their kids either a Saturn, PS1 or one of the new SNES-CD games released that year as the three companies began to fight for the top spot. Meanwhile, Atari got utterly decimated, losing out even with the release of the Jaguar CD.
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    Super Mario Bros. 3
  • Super Mario Bros. 3

    Directed By: Harold Ramis
    Produced By: Jake Eberts/Roland Joffé
    Written By: Tom S. Parker/Jim Jennewein
    Based On: Super Mario Bros. by Nintendo

    Bob Hoskins as Mario
    Danny DeVito as Wario
    John Leguizamo as Luigi
    Kenny Baker as Toad
    Samantha Mathis as Princess Daisy
    Brigitte Nielsen as Captain Syrup
    Fiona Shaw as Pauline
    Frank Welker as the voice of Junior

    Release Date: June 7, 1996
    Budget: $200 million
    Box Office: $400 million​

    So, this isn't a major winner for Nintendo. It's not a bomb (we'll get that in '98) but is the first movie to simply break even for Nintendo and Disney rather than be a box office smash hit.

    For the plot, Mario once again is whisked back to adventure by his brother Luigi and Princess Daisy, bringing along Toad but leaving Pauline behind in what amounts to a cameo role for Fiona Shaw. This would be due to the producers wanting to give more focus on Mathis' Daisy as an action girl, resulting in Shaw leaving the franchise after this film. The new baddies facing off against the Mario Brothers are the Brown Sugar Pirates, led by Captain Syrup (played by a dyed red Brigitte Nielsen) who is on the hunt for the Six Golden Coins, six rare coins which would open the gate to an infinite treasure. Along with her sees the return of Wario, who has joined her crew looking for a few things; a big payday, revenge on Mario, and maybe a tour of the Captain's... private quarters.

    Nielsen and DeVito have a lot of fun scenes together, such as one where Wario claims that Syrup is only taller than her because of her high-heeled boots, only for Syrup to take them off and still tower over Wario. Along with that, Hoskins and DeVito have their share of great comedy together, making the movie a very fun pirate romp. Meanwhile, Leguizamo and Mathis again carry the legwork of being the action stars of the film, which includes Luigi's attempts at being a swashbuckler and Daisy's fight with Captain Syrup. The fight is mostly a lot of slapstick, but it's good fun. The story is mainly focused on the hunt for the Six Golden Coins, traveling around various lands to find them (the set design was the most often praised part, though it mostly feels like set pieces) ending with Wario and Syrup unlocking the gate, only to end up locked into the realm of infinite treasure at the end while the brothers, Toad and Daisy ride off into the skies on Syrup's own airship.

    This movie was not good by any stretch, but it had the Mario name and there's a lot to enjoy about it. However, it was not the big video game movie of 1996. For that, we have to turn from Nintendo...

    To Sega.

    EDIT: Been so far gone from this I forgot Pyro had pegged the Sonic movie for a June release. Slight tweak to put Mario in the crosshairs.
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    Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Sonic the Hedgehog


    Directed By: Hajime Kamegaki
    Written By: Ted Elliot and Terry Rossion
    Produced By: SEGA/DreamWorks/Tokyo Movie Shinsha
    Based On: Sonic the Hedgehog by SEGA

    Jaleel White as Sonic the Hedgehog/Metal Sonic
    Bradley Pierce as Miles "Tails" Prower
    Christina Ricci as Amy Rose
    Tim Curry as Dr. Ivo Robotnik
    David Spade as Buzzbomber
    Chris Farley as Motobug
    Christopher Lee as Nyxus
    Terrence C. Carson as Knuckles the Echidna

    Release Date: June 14, 1996
    Budget: $40 million
    Box Office: $400 million​

    The Console Wars between Nintendo and Sega spilled out into the cinemas with Sonic the Hedgehog's silver screen debut. Early drafts of the script revolved a plot where Sonic and his friends entered the real world that combined animation and live-action similar to Disney's Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Said scripts included a boy between 10-14 as a focus character for audiences to "relate to." However, Sega of Japan immediately vetoed the idea and insisted that the Sonic characters be the sole focus. As DreamWorks did not have its awn animation department until the acquisition of Amblimation in 1997, the company commissioned noted Japanese studio: Tokyo Movie Shinsha to animate the film.

    While the film remains largely faithful to the source material by roughly adapting the plots of the first two games on the Sega Genesis along with elements Sonic the Hedgehog CD, screenwriters Ted Elliot and Terry Rossion slipped in some subtle adult humor. Particularly in the Blue Blur's banter with his arch-nemesis Dr. Ivo Robotnik as well as the bumbling duo of Buzzbomber and Motobug (voiced by Saturday Night Live alums David Spade and Chris Farley.) However, it largely remains an adventure film with Sonic and his friends racing to grab the last Chaos Emerald before Dr. Robotnik, who want to use all seven emeralds to power his ultimate weapon: the Death Egg.

    Sonic the Hedgehog garnered praise from critics and audiences alike for the high quality of the animation. Particularly the sequence where Nyxus, the guardian of the seventh emerald, sends Sonic to the Special Zone riddled with traps to test his worthiness. Observant fans would recognize the sequence as similar to the half-pipe special stage from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Some critics even favorably compared Sonic the Hedgehog's quality to Disney's animated offering, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, despite having only a fraction of the budget. Indeed, some parents who found themselves concerned with Hunchback's bleaker and darker tone instead took their children to the much lighter Sonic instead.

    Helping Sonic the Hedgehog's fortunes was the aggressive marketing campaign where Sega boldly declared 1996 to be "The Year of the Hedgehog" in anticipation of the film's summer release, and Sonic X-Treme's Holiday '96 release. Knowing of Disney and Nintendo's release of Super Mario Bros. 3 that year, both Sega and DreamWorks dared the plumber to top them in a campaign eerily similar to the former's "Genesis does what Nintendon't" from earlier that decade.

    Write-Up courtesy of @Pyro
    Gaming in 1996
  • Gaming in 1996

    Referring to the SNES as "on its last legs" in 1996 would be an error, though many agree this would begin the late cycle of the 16-bit console. With steep competition from Sega and Sony as the 90s draw closer to the 2000s, the SNES' time on top is looking to end. However, it still manage to release some heavy hitters, mainly in the RPG genre. Among the releases were Earthbound 2, Trials of Mana, Final Fantasy Origins: IV-VI and the major hit. The Legend of Zelda: War of Hyrule. A collaborative effort between Nintendo and Squaresoft, the story sees Link, a Hylian knight-in-training and the titular Princess Zelda traveling through the land and gathering forces to help them fight the invading forces of Ganon. The game was praised in part for creating a great cast of well-developed, fun to play characters (most notably allowing players to play as Dragomir from the Zelda films, getting to play as Zelda, the new warrior maiden version of Impa and the badass ninja Sheik) and expanding the world of Hyrule with new areas (such as the Zora Domain, Kokiri Forest, Gerudo Valley and most notably a revamped Death Mountain)

    Plus, the boss fights against Millitron, Volvagia and Ganon are considered some of the best RPG boss fights.

    Along with the RPGs, the Megaman franchise saw a lot of presence on the SNES-CD, with a port of Megaman 8 (considered better than the PS1 version) and Megaman X3. This marks the first and only time the Megaman Classic and X franchise would be on the SNES-CD together, with plans to move the X franchise on to the Ultra NES within the next year and keeping future classic games (Author's Note: Not sure if the classics will continue after 8, just setting aside in case you guys feel up to it.)

    Other major releases included Kirby Super Star, Donkey Kong Country 3, Clock Tower and Street Fighter Alpha 2.

    Meanwhile, October 26, 1996 saw the release of the Ultra NES, Nintendo's new 64-bit console, which launched with Ultra Pilotwings and their big release Ultra Mario Bros. Along with that came Killer Instinct Ultra, Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire and Ultra Mario Kart. On the fighting game scene, Street Fighter is slowly settling into the Nintendo camp for the 2D side, with Nintendo's hope to court a 3D fighter in the form of Tecmo's Dead or Alive, which was making waves in the arcades.

    SEGA, meanwhile, was riding well on the Saturn and their first successful foray into film and wrapping up the fourth season of Sonic & The Freedom Fighters on Fox, with plans for a fifth and final season coming in 1997. Strangely, the only place where Sonic hasn't been big in 1996 is in gaming with the only notable release that year being Sonic 3D Blast. As a result, other games such as NiGHTS into Dreams, King of Fighters '96, Star Ocean, Terranigma, Fighting Vipers, Streets of Rage 4, Dragon Quest VI and Tomb Raider carrying the load for the Saturn. Apart from River City Renegades, SNK-Technos have secured a spot as SEGA's go-to for 2D fighters with the King of FIghters franchise and Virtua Fighter remains their 3D fighter.

    Sony, meanwhile, began with a search for a mascot and while Bubsy 3D failed to light the world on fire, Crash Bandicoot gave them a platforming mascot to match Mario and Sonic. Mortal Kombat Trilogy secured them a 2D fighting franchise and Tekken 2 made them good money. Along with those, Sony courted the "mature" market with releases such as Twisted Metal 2 and Resident Evil. But with Square becoming more loyal to Nintendo (though that moneyhat is there... just sitting there...) and Enix jumping over to SEGA, Sony looked for a company to give them a hit RPG and found Atlus, bringing over a spin-off of the Shin Megami Tensei franchise, Persona.

    Finally, Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue were released for the Gameboy, becoming the killer app for the handheld.
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