Mario Goes Hollywood: A Collaborative Timeline

The Legend of Zelda III: Link's Awakening
  • Legend of Zelda III: Link's Awakening

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

    Cast
    Leonardo DiCaprio as Link/Shadow Link
    Drew Barrymore as Princess Zelda
    Christopher Lambert as Ganon
    Tobey Maguire as Prince Richard
    Kevin Michael Richardson as the voice of Mamu
    Kane Kosugi as Sheik
    John DiMaggio as the voice of Darunia
    Salma Hayek as Ruto
    Dame Maggie Smith as Impa
    BRIAN BLESSED as Uncle Alphonse
    Robin Williams as Tarin

    Release Date: June 20, 1997
    Budget: $250 million
    Box Office: $1,032,213,084​

    The final chapter of the Zelda trilogy and a landmark film as the first film to reach the billion dollar mark in the box office. Our story begins with Link, believed to be dead after the last film's climax, falling into a massive swamp, nearly drowning in the murky water before he is fished out by a young man in regal garb. He introduces himself to Link as Richard, Prince of Hyrule, who was there to train so that he could fight and retake the Kingdom from Ganon. Richard is played by Leo's real-life friend, Tobey Maguire, who had sadly built a reputation ITTL as being box office poison. His appearance only leads to more jokes about how "Maguire can't make a buck unless his buddy Leo bails him out." which continues to do a disservice to Maguire, who puts on a fine performance as the Prince, who carries a lot of doubt over how he could never be the leader of Hyrule the way his sister Zelda is and his shame over abandoning his people when they needed him most.

    Richard takes Link to Mamu, the Great Spirit of the Swamp, who offers to mentor Link so that he can properly face Ganon. This results in some good montages between DiCaprio and Maguire, all building up to one of the most iconic scenes of the movie: The Shadow Link fight. The fight, beyond some amazing choreography and a great double performance by DiCaprio, also tells a great story of Link having to overcome his anger at Dragomir's deception, and to face his own Shadow with a clear heart. Richard, despite being warned against doing so by Mamu, aids in the fight and is nearly killed, but gives an opening for Link's second wind, which allows him to defeat Shadow Link and begin his awakening as the bearer of the Triforce of Courage, the missing Triforce that Ganon seeks throughout the film. As Link completes his training, Mamu reveals that he was entrusted by the Hylian Royal Family with guarding the Master Sword, a sword only able to be wielded by one who bears a Triforce. He passes the Master Sword on to Link and tells him to go forth and defeat Ganon.

    Meanwhile, Zelda's prayers seem to be answered as she is broken out of the dungeon by Sheik, a ninja of the Sheikah tribe who was called upon by Impa. Zelda's plan is to gather forces from the lands surrounding Hyrule to fight back, acting as the subplot as she seeks audience with Goron Chieftan Darunia and Princess Ruto of the Zoras, gaining their armies. The two plots would soon meet as Link and Prince Richard return to Hyrule at the same time as Princess Zelda, leading into the climax of the film: The Battle of Hyrule. It's a massive action climax, with the forces of the Hylian, Goron and Zora armies battling against Ganon's forces while Link races to Death Mountain, the sacred Goron landscape that Ganon had taken over and placed his own castle on. There we get the fight everyone has been waiting for, Link vs. Ganon, on the big screen.

    The fight is wonderful, not just on the action, but the emotion as Link faces the man who taught him everything, who acted almost as a father to the young Hylian before revealing himself to be truly Ganon. The duel is intercut with scenes of the Battle, where things aren't going well for the Hylian army until a crucial point in the Link/Ganon fight sees Link sever Ganon's connection to the Triforce of Wisdom, which returns to Zelda. Zelda, imbued once again with the Triforce's power, turns the tide of battle and begins pushing back the Moblin forces. Finally, Link overcomes Ganon and the Triforce of Power, slashing him diagonally as Ganon had done to him, followed by another diagonal slash to form an X on Ganon's chest. Ganon's chestplate shatters, giving Link the opening to thrust the Master Sword into Ganon's chest, the glowing blade piercing through Ganon as he falls to the castle floor. The Moblins are soon forced back as Hyrule is victorious.

    The final scene is a grand ceremony in front of the rebuilt Hyrule Castle, where Zelda makes a speech commending the gathered forces in defeating Ganon's army and Link is knighted, becoming a Knight of the Hylian Royal Guard and given the title of Hero of Hyrule for defeating Ganon. The movie ends with Link and Zelda sealing away the full Triforce in case anyone should try to seek their power as Ganon had done so before. The film was lauded by critics for being a deserving finale for the trilogy and knowing how to end a story, something that many noted the Mario movies never really figured out. Many of the cast were given high praise, especially DiCaprio, Barrymore and Lambert, with special mention give to Tobey Maguire's Prince Richard and DiMaggio voicing Darunia (who served mainly a comedic role but many loved the bombastic Goron chieftain)

    The film became the #1 film of 1997, knocking off the likes of The Lost World: Jurassic Park (which keeps its OTL box office) and Men in Black (which actually got halved, putting it at #9) though this is all currently without calculating Contra, so we'll see how true that holds up.
     
    Contra New
  • Contra

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    Directed By: John McTiernan
    Written By: Shane Black/Fred Dekker
    Produced By: Orion Pictures
    Distributed By: Columbia-TriStar
    Based On: Contra by Konami

    Cast
    Arnold Schwarzenegger as Bill Rizer
    Sylvester Stallone as Lance Bean
    Reb Brown as Ray Poward
    Uma Thurman as Sheena Etranzi
    Jesse "The Body" Ventura as Commander Doyle
    Sean Connery as Colonel Bahamut
    Vernon Wells as Deadeye Joe
    Christopher Lee as Dr. Mandrake
    Wayne Knight as Noiman Cascade

    Release Date: November 21, 1997
    Budget: $100 million
    Box Office: $1,022,791,757​

    Ladies and gentlemen, the #2 movie of the 1997 worldwide box office. Contra's story is built around the EMC (Elite Marine Commando) squad known only by their codename: Contra. The team is comprised mainly of the stoic Bill Rizer (Schwarzenegger), the hot-headed Lance Bean (Stallone), the energetic and manic Ray Poward (Brown) and their newest member, Sheena Etranzi (Thurman) as they are tasked with taking down a growing terrorist faction, Red Falcon. Contra is sent to Galuga Island, just off of New Zealand, where Red Falcon is stationed.

    The first act is mostly built around showing the camaraderie between the old guard of Contra and Sheena's struggles as the new blood, in between shootouts between Contra and Red Falcon troopers, ending in a big shoot-out against a massive, heavily armored tank, forcing the use of specialized Probotector Armor to punch through it (hell yeah, we're bringing in the Probotectors. We're pulling all the stops here, boys.) They force out the controller of the tank, Noiman Cascade and begin interrogating him as to the plans of Red Falcon and who their leader is. Noiman, played by Wayne Knight, wails how he doesn't know anything, that he was just getting paid to make their weapons and that he never even met the leader. They eventually get a name out of him, Colonel Bahamut, before he is suddenly shot dead.

    Contra goes further into the dense tropical jungle in search of Noiman's assassin, bringing us to the second act as it becomes very Predator, with the target having set up several traps that the team narrowly avoid and almost being able to go invisible and attack unseen. They soon manage to wreck the assassin's cloaking device, revealing it to be Deadeye Joe (Wells), an ex-member of Contra and former partner to Rizer. The two fight, drawing on past sots from Commando for fun before Bill finally kills Deadeye Joe by destroying his cybernetics with an EMP grenade and then filling with him with lead. "He was a deadeye... now he's dead." - Bill Rizer.

    The final act sees Contra infiltrate the Red Falcon base in search of Colonel Bahamut. As the team makes their way through, they soon find that Red Falcon is not all as it seems and are soon attacked by aliens. This becomes the big twist as what seemed like a macho action movie with some sci-fi tech thrown in, goes full sci-fi with the introduction of aliens. The team are soon captured and brought to a wheelchair-bound Colonel Bahamut (Connery) who is aided by Dr. Mandrake (Lee) as he explains that Red Falcon was simply going to be weakening strike against the major countries of Earth, leaving them defenseless against the oncoming invasion. After having made contact with the aliens, the colonel struck a deal with them. For access to their technology and a few test subjects, he would aid the aliens.

    It's here we get the last fight as Dr. Mandrake injects the Colonel with a vial of strangely-colored liquid and Bahamut mutates into a humanoid monster who attacks the four, throwing them around easily.

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    The tide soon turns, though Ray sacrifices himself to allow the rest of the team to land the killing blow. During the fight with the mutant Bahamut, Dr. Mandrake managed to escape, taking with him several vials of alien DNA and weapons schematics. The final set piece of the movie is the escape from Galuga Island, where the three remaining Contra troopers have to rush to escape the base before the self-destruct sequence blows the whole thing sky high. They escape and report back to Commander Doyle (Ventura) to let him know that the Red Falcon base has been destroyed, Colonel Bahamut is dead, but that Dr. Mandrake has escaped and that Ray was KIA. Doyle tells the remaining members that they'll need time to gather intel on Mandrake's location but that the mission is far from over yet.

    The movie was the fall/winter blockbuster to Zelda III's summer, devouring half of Alien: Resurrection's OTL box office and completely decimating The Postman (which now got below a million in the box office.) Along with that, there's that movie about this big boat. You know, the Titanic? How'd it do?

    Well, it starred Brad Pitt and Nicole Kidman, and it's still did pretty good, raking in $900 million at the box office, but that only got it the #3 spot worldwide for 1997, beat out by this and Zelda III. Five years after the first video game movie and the market was now dominated by them.

    As for Contra, the movie was absolutely built on spectacle and star power. Just having Arnold and Sly sharing the silver screen together was enough to get people coming in droves. Add to that the action, helped by the R-rating allowing plenty of blood and swearing meant this was the movie for all the cool teens to see. The use of practical effects for many of the machines and the blend of practical and CG for the aliens was well regarded, though the plot itself was considered weak and some said that Connery's limited presence as Colonel Bahamut was a waste. However, it's still praised for being a great throwback to 80s testosterone-driven action films and a fun popcorn flick. Plus, Reb Brown got to get the biggest paycheck of his career and work alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. That's a win in my book.

    Also, Scream 2 got set for October, and had a $25 million budget (an extra mil from OTL's numbers) and managed to make $261 million, taking from both American Werewolf in Paris (also utterly destroyed by competition) and I Know What You Did Last Summer (only made half its OTL take.)
     
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    Rage of the Dragons: Double Dragon '97 New
  • Rage of the Dragons: Double Dragon '97

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    Developer: SNK-Technōs Japan
    Publisher: SNK-Technōs/Playmore
    Platforms: Arcade/Neo Geo AES/Sega Saturn/PlayStation
    Release Date: June 6 1997 (Arcade), September 26 1997 (AES/Sega Saturn/Playstation)​

    The sequel to Double Dragon '95, featuring all of the characters from the previous games, plus new ones. In OTL, it was a repurposed game with two brothers named Billy and Jimmy Lewis due to a weird rights issue. Here, it's released five years earlier and continues the proud SNK tradition of being a great game.

    Full Game Roster

    1. Billy Lee​
    2. Jimmy Lee​
    3. Marian Delario​
    4. Willy "Machine Gun" Mackey​
    5. Abobo​
    6. Burnov
    7. Duke
    8. Linda Lash​
    9. Chin Taimei​
    10. Patrick Dalton​
    11. Amon Yagyu​
    12. Cheng-Fu​
    13. Eddie Jenkins​
    14. Rebecca Brielle​
    15. Lynn Baker​
    16. Sonia Romanenko​
    17. Radel​
    18. Annie Murakami​
    19. Cassandra Murata​
    20. Oni Inomura​
    21. Pepe Rodriguez​
    22. Pupa Salgueiro​
    23. Alice Carrol​
    24. Elias Patrick​
    25. Mr. Jones​
    26. Kang Jae-Mo​
    27. Abubo Rao​
    28. Johann​
     
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