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We’re formerly from the video game industry. Currently in the TV industry. Published authors. Producers. Geeks. Gamers. Collectors. Malcontents. Layabouts. Sassypants.

By Jason, Jenni & Steve
Made in Los Angeles

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©2014 Hands in the Air
Hands in the Air

Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo 2013 - Memorabilia and playable classics at the Video Game History Museum. Atari’s infamous “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” for the Atari 2600 was available to play!

Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo 2013 - Hello Kitty: Street Fighter x Sanrio.

Video game cosplay at San Diego Comic-Con 2013:

Tetris, Pac-Man & Blinky, Wreck-It Ralph’s Sugar Rush racers and Fix-It Felix, Princess Peach, Animal Crossing’s Villager and a Piranha Plant.

Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag party aboard a pirate ship at San Diego Comic-Con 2013.

Video game toys & cosplay at San Diego Comic-Con 2013:

New Pac-Man toys, Resident Evil 6 figures, Atari Asteroids car from Hot Wheels, Tomb Raider Lara Croft Minimates and a really, really big cow plush from Harvest Moon.

Nintendo cosplay (Hipster Luigi & Daisy!) & photo opps at San Diego Comic-Con 2013.

Hipster Luigi insists on using Fire Flowers as soon as possible because he likes things before they get cool.

Cartoon Network’s Regular Show hosts the “Regular Zone” at The New Children’s Museum for San Diego Comic-Con 2013.

Inside, fans can play free video games and skee-ball. When the arcade’s power suddenly goes out, Mordecai and Rigby will show up to face off with the Destroyer of Worlds and the only way to defeat him is by manning the controls and button-mashing your way to a fatality.

With your victory, you’ll be led to the prize zone where you’ll score a gigantic Regular Show poster featuring pretty much every character who’s appeared on the show.

One-thousand two-hundred coins later, we’ve earned our free reproduction of Nintendo’s Game & Watch: Ball LED game from Club Nintendo.

hands-in-the-air:

Valentine’s Day cards

Because we love you, here are more of our ecards. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Draw Something was one of the biggest games of 2012, so before the year ends here’s a bunch of my favorite somethings I drew for a bunch of somebodies.
- Jason

Jason & Jenni Uncensored: Their Exclusive & Complete Contributions to the Final Issue of Nintendo Power

Nintendo Power December 2012 coverJenni and I (Jason) are currently featured in the December 2012 issue of Nintendo Power, which is the last-ever issue of the 24-year-old magazine, but they didn’t include everything we wrote for the final edition. As former staff writers, we were asked to write about our favorite NP memories for the “Power Players” article, and Jenni says I should be offended that they cut out 50% of my contribution (Including my Majora’s Mask story! I’ll never let anyone forget that I localized that!). They edited out a lot less of Jenni, but her frosted pee story somehow made the cut.


Here’s the complete, unedited article we submitted:

Jason Leung:
I’ll always be grateful that writing for Nintendo Power led to me writing the English text for The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. My former editor became Nintendo of America's Localization Director, and she recruited me to punch up and localize the follow-up to Ocarina of Time. I spent months playing a rough version of the game before flying out to Kyoto to work at Nintendo headquarters with Mr. Miyamoto and his team on what is probably the darkest, most tragic plot line underscoring any of Link's adventures. The story was all about loss, regret and helping people move on, and my experience closely paralleled Link's (emotionally, at least) as I put in countless hours working on the script in an exotic, unfamiliar land far away from friends and family. I got to introduce Tingle (“Koolah-Limpah!”), come up with names I thought were clever (it took me a while to sell the team on naming the Zora band “The Indigo-Go's”) and write some sad, happy and sometimes silly dialogue. Majora's Mask credits The bickering skeletons in The Ancient Castle of Ikana (“Feeble!”) was particularly fun to write, and the “Behind the Mask” diary I wrote for the magazine of my experience is still the best and most heartfelt thing I’ve written professionally. Contributing to the Zelda canon was an amazing honor and opportunity, and it all happened because of Nintendo Power.

Jennifer Villarreal:
There are so many things I’m proud of from my time at Nintendo Power. 

One of the most challenging things I did at NP was writing The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons guide with Jason. We didn’t have an English build of the games until it was time to fact check. So we played both games in Japanese, and I learned a tiny amount of Kanji (long since forgotten) to read the menu items.Then we had to play through the games again super fast in English to check our work against the book we’d written. I was the first person at Nintendo of America to get all 120 stars in Mario Sunshine, which was way easier than playing a Zelda game in Japanese on a deadline. I also wrote one of the Pokemon player’s guides in a week, though honestly, I forget which one.

Jason:
Shortly after I started writing for the magazine, I somehow became the spokesperson for all of Nintendo’s publications and I starred in some videos where I was hawking Nintendo Power and the official Player’s Guides. One infomercial played on a loop on the floor-to-ceiling video wall across from one of the conference rooms at Nintendo of America, so I’d cringe whenever we had a meeting there and my giant head would be  through the meeting room’s window. The video also played at every Nintendo kiosk in every Target in America, so that’s probably the most exposure I could ever get away with in that store without getting arrested for exhibitionism. People still claim they remember seeing me in those ads.

Jenni:
One summer, there were only three writers (me, Jason Leung and Drew Williams) on staff, and a whole lot of player’s guides to write, plus the magazine. We would get there at 9 AM and stay ‘til sometimes as late as 3 AM, then start the process over the next day and even some weekends. It was grueling, but we got it done. Sure, I don’t remember anything about that summer, but I know people got their player’s guides and the magazine shipped on time. 

When we were working late, Jason and I liked to play stupid pranks. We would write ridiculous fake emails to the website team, to see if they’d pass them back as potential Player’s Pulse letters. We bought silly toys and sent them through interoffice mail to weird combinations of people, so they wouldn’t see the common thread and realize it was us who’d sent them. We’d rearrange people’s desks and the art on the walls. We posted fake ads for fake bands on the office bulletin board. I guess what I’m saying is sleep deprivation makes a lot of stupid things seem extremely funny.

Jason's Pokecenter Art
This is fake Pokemon fan art that Jason created for Jenni’s Pokecenter column. It was featured in an issue of Nintendo Power and attributed to a made-up reader. It was to commemorate Brock leaving the TV series. Nobody ever submitted Brock art.


Jason:

Toward the tail end of my tenure I started covering toys for the magazine, so when we partnered with toy company Joyride Studios, I got to work with them to create Nintendo Power-branded action figures such as Luigi and Link. I wrote their packaging copy and helped them design the look for Metroid’s Samus. imageThey wanted to know what she should look like without her helmet, and I suggested Grace Kelly or Laura Prepon. It still makes me laugh that if you find the toy, you’ll see that she looks an awful lot like that tall girl from “That ’70s Show.”

Jenni:

I named the Poltergust 3000 in Luigi’s Mansion, however, my first suggestion was much better: Boover. Shout out to NOA’s lawyers for saying no to so many awesome names, subtitles and whatever else I suggested to the localization team! I am also a voice in a GBA (heh AGB) game that came out only in Japan.

I was the person who suggested to Alan Averill that he use the blue slime from Dragon Warrior as his avatar in the magazine, then later did a little feature about him in Player’s Pulse. Frankly, I created a monster. He sort of owes me everything? Basically everything. If it were up to him, he would have been this weird, gnarled wooden figurine someone brought back from a trip somewhere, or a stained glass hippo lamp. You’re welcome, Alan. You’re welcome, fans.


Jason:
I wrote the box copy for Banjo-Kazooie’s N64 packaging. In Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble, you can hear me saying the game name on the title screen.

Jenni:

When we got an early build of Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem, Alan Averill would hole up in an empty office and play it, since it was top secret for NP eyes only. Jason and I would sometimes come in and watch, and then do dumb stuff like snatch the remote to raise and lower the volume, turn off the TV, or change the channel to make him think it was an insanity effect from the game. We even flickered the lights in the room because he played in the dark and frankly was asking for it. 

I tried my best in the Classified Information code section to explain the complicated series of button pushes that unlocked all the stuff in GoldenEye 007, but to this day, some people think we published bum codes. We didn’t! It was just super, super hard to enter the codes correctly and I guess my explanation was lacking. Whoops.

The NP Staff with Mario and Sonic
One day, we’ll all get back together and recreate this Nintendo Power staff photo like all those legendary jazz musicians are always doing.

Jason:
Jenni and I were the pranksters of the Nintendo Power staff, and we’d often do things to mess with the other geeks in the company. Once, we created a poster for a fake band called Orc Factor 5. It was a “Rock ‘n’ Role-Playing” ORChestra playing at the local renaissance fayre’s “Yeti Expedition Benefit Concert.” They were playing the stage between the leathersmith’s tent and Ye Olde Cinnabon Shoppe. We posted it on the bulletin board by the cafeteria, and let’s just say several geeks expressed interest in the band’s singles, “Pewter Figurine” and “Hobbit (Ye Can’t Stop It).” I’m looking at you, Alan.
 
Jenni:
This is probably too much for the mag, but: The top prank we ever played was on Mr. Drew Williams. He said he’d drink frosted pee and eat poop if the entire staff got WideBoys (N64-shaped carts that allowed you to play Game Boy/GBA games on your N64) for their desks. Well, we did. So for a week, we served Drew lemonade and poop-shaped foods (a slightly melted Baby Ruth, black beans piped from a tube into shape, a hot-dog-shaped hamburger sans bun, etc.) because I guess we can’t let things go. Don’t you wish you’d gotten to work with us?

So there you have it, the uncut director’s version. Be sure to check out our original Nintendo Power retrospective article, which is totally different from both this and what’s in the December 2012 issue. It includes more exclusive memories from us, Drew and Nate along with other writers who weren’t in the final issue, including Andy and Paul, plus designers Sonja, Tony, Matt, Emily and Sarah.
 
For more, stalk us 140 characters at a time on Twitter! @Hands_inthe_Air | Jenni @chickytown | Jason @pantsarama
Two “vintage,” working Fix-It Felix Jr. arcade games starring Wreck-It Ralph at Walt Disney Animation Studios.

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Two “vintage,” working Fix-It Felix Jr. arcade games starring Wreck-It Ralph at Walt Disney Animation Studios.

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