One of the most amusing items in this issue is Brian "an outraged EGM reader" Pacuna's letter to the editors of TURBOFORCE concerning TTi's recent "Johnny Turbo" ad campaign:
"I would tend to expect some rivalry between major game companies, but the Turbo Technologies ad in the January 1993 issue of EGM (see page 221) was more mean-spirited propaganda than I can take quietly."
"In the four page ad was a cartoon in which 'FEKA, Inc.' (real subtle) deployed evil robots to convince kids to buy their CD system. Then the 'hero', Johnny Turbo, appeared on the scene to tell the crowd that 'the TurboDuo is the first CD system on the market.'"
Mr. Pacuna continues his letter by pointing out that Sega never claimed to be the first CD-ROM system in any of their advertising campaigns for video game consoles.
Table of Contents for TurboForce #04▲
- 01 Cover: Exile: Wicked Phenomenon (1993, SUPER CD•ROM2). Artist: Uncredited.
- Sadler, Rumi and the rest of the gang return in Exile: Wicked Phenomenon. This gorgeous artwork from the Japanese version (XZR 2 / Exile 2) deserved to be on the front cover of the Working Designs release.
- 02 Advertisement: Bomberman '93 (1993, HuCARD). 02 03
- "I never thought maiming four of friends could be so much fun. Coupon: Free 5-player tap!"
- 04 Table of Contents for issue #4.
- 05 TurboLetters: Questions & Answers.
- "Johnny Turbo and Dr. Butcher MD controversies in the reader mail."
- 06 Preview: Exile: Wicked Phenomenon (SUPER CD•ROM2). 06 07
- 08 Preview: Bonk III: Bonk's Big Adventure (HuCARD). 08 09
- 10 Preview: Riot Zone (SUPER CD•ROM2).
- 11 Preview: Vasteel (SUPER CD•ROM2).
- 12 Preview: Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, Volume II (SUPER CD•ROM2).
- 13 Preview: Syd Mead's TerraForming (SUPER CD•ROM2).
- 14 Preview: Magical Chase (HuCARD).
- 15 Preview: Bomberman '93 (HuCARD).
- 16 Preview: Sim Earth: The Living Planet (SUPER CD•ROM2).
- 17 Preview: Dungeon Explorer II (SUPER CD•ROM2).
- 18 Strategy Guide: Shape Shifter. 18 19 20 21
- "Sir Lykos must battle huge alien creatures in order to save his land!"
- 22 TurboStyles: Urusei Yatsura Anime Review.
- "Shinobu shows her displeasure as Lum lovingly drapes herself over Ataru."
- 23 Advertisement: Gate of Thunder (1992, SUPER CD•ROM2).
- "The winner of EGM Editors' Choice: Gold Award. Exclusive experience only on the new TurboDuo Multimedia Video Entertainment System and the TG-CD with the SUPER CD•ROM2 System Card."
- 24 TurboStyles: Famicom Tsushin Weekly Magazine ( "Famitsu" ).
- "Pushing 200+ pages per weekly issue, Fami Tsu has the largest reader base (700,000+) for any video game magazine in Japan."
- 25 TurboStyles: Syd Mead - From Blade Runner to TerraForming.
- "Syd Mead lent his creative genius to the new shooting game TerraForming."
- 26 TurboStyles: Army of Darkness Movie Review.
- "Syd Mead lent his creative genius to the new shooting game TerraForming."
- 27 TurboNews: TTi at WCES '93 (Winter Consumer Electronics Show).
- "TTi unveils roster of 41 upcoming games; First Bomberman Battle-of-the-Magazines held; TTi will market console as simply "Duo" (sans "Turbo") and software as "DuoSoft"; etc."
- 28 Coming Attractions: Games seen at WCES '93. 28 29
- "A sneak preview of 22 new games for TurboDuo that were featured at WCES '93. Titles include: Battle Lode Runner, Dangerous Journeys, Beyond Shadowgate, Dragon Slayer 2, Bonk 3, Dungeon Explorer 2, CD Zonk, Dungeon Master, Cotton: Fantastic Night Dreams, Gain Ground SX, Gradius 2, Spriggan, Image Fight 2, Cosmic Fantasy 3, Macross Simulation, Exile: Wicked Phenomenon, Power Golf 2, King of the Monsters 2, Ranma 1 / 2, Vasteel, Record of Lodoss War and World Heroes."
- 30 Advertisement: Lords of Thunder (1993, SUPER CD•ROM2). 30 31
- "Welcome home, Landis. Read the reviews. Find out why Lord of Thunder was given the Editors' Choice Gold Award by EGM. And why GamePro gave it a perfect rating."
- 32 Advertisement: Salvation for those who praise the Lord.
- "Send away for a FREE Lords of Thunder Promotional VHS tape!"
BACKLASH! ACT II…▲
To view the TTi advertisements that prompted Mr. Pacuna's letter to the editors of TURBOFORCE, you should read the sardonic (though somewhat juvenile) "The Johnny Turbo Story". Noting that Sega never claimed to have the first CD-ROM for home consoles, Mr. Pacuna argues that Johnny Turbo's crusade against FEKA (Sega) is misplaced and downright deceptive:
"Excuse me, but I'd like to know where TTi gets off saying that Sega said they were releasing the first CD system. I watch and read many Sega ads and magazines, and I have never read anything to that effect."
"It was really a low blow to Sega. I have nothing against TTi, but they should realize that lies don't sway an informed reader. I own both Sega and Nintendo systems, and I have considered purchasing a TG-16 in the past."
"Not so!", counters TURBOFORCE, drawing attention to the (little-known) fact that:
"Sega claimed in their recent press kit, which was widely circulated among the media, that they were the ones who produced the first CD system."
Then, in a decidely self-righteous manner, the editors continue:
"Since we caught their (Sega's) claim, many newspapers and magazines have had to set their record straight."
Ha! The editor's claim that many newpapers and magazines had to "set their record straight" is priceless. Who knows what Sega might have gotten away with if it weren't for the heroic effort to combat their misinformation? Clearly, the editors at TURBOFORCE closely identifed with Johnny Turbo's raison d'etre: to neutralize FEKA's misleading propaganda with the sheer power and veracity of TurboFacts™. The editors close their dialogue with Mr. Pacuna by bluntly telling him that he should educate himself and "read more" before accusing TTi of making a "low blow" against Sega. Wow. Overall, I think this was a rather harsh response to Mr Pacuna's letter. Perhaps the editors of TURBOFORCE believed Mr. Pacuna was an actual agent of FEKA, a crime far worse than merely being a Sega-sympathizer. Regardless, far from offering an apology, the editor's abrasive reply was clearly designed to frustrate and annoy our beloved Pacuna.
But wait, the saga continues! To add insult to Mr. Pacuna's injury, the fiendish editors of TURBOFORCE follow Mr. Pacuna's correspondence with a letter from truthsayer / TG-16 fanboy Tim Hall (hailing from Columbus, Ohio) who modestly writes:
"I'd like to say that everything Johnny Turbo's comics say about FEKA are true. Johnny Turbo has made me glad to own a TurboGrafx. I soon will purchase an awesome DUO, which in my opinion blows FEKA's away! Your Johnny Turbo comics are awesome, and I enjoy reading every one. Turbo Rules! Good job!"
Was Tim Hall's letter genuine, or was it fabricated by the editors of TURBOFORCE? It doesn't matter, really, since it is conceivable that there were a handful of TG-16 fanboys who shared Tim's sentiments (I don't know if they would have expressed themselves as eloquently as Mr. Hall, though).
Surely, Mr. Pacuna would have found Tim's letter irritating (or even offensive—a fact relished by the editors of TURBOFORCE, no doubt). Remember, Mr. Pacuna is not a fan of "low blows" and "mean-spirited propaganda." The tragedy, of course, is that Mr. Pacuna's repartee with the editors of TURBOFORCE was a needlessly (though amusingly) sordid affair. I fear that Pacuna never fully recovered from his encounter with Johnny Turbo—permanently scarring his video gaming soul—and thus causing him to cringe violently whenever he is reminded of the fact that he had actually "considered purchasing a TG-16 in the past."
Did I mention that TTi had editorial control over TURBOFORCE (unlike TurboPlay and DuoWorld, which had some autonomy from NEC, and later, TTi)? This may help explain the editors' defensive response to Brian Pacuna's criticism and their adulation of Tim Hall's fanboy letter. It really should come as no surprise to you to that Mr. Hall received the following response from the editors: "Thanks for your support! We will continue to work hard for you!"
The short-lived Johnny Turbo ad campaign (a series of comic book-like ads appearing in three successive issues of EGM, VG&CE and possibly other gaming magazines) has become the stuff of legend and spawned a small cult following over the past decade; we at the Archives are pleased to provide yet another facet of Johnny Turbo to his adoring fans.
More importantly, the Archives have made a significant contribution to the ongoing body of scholarship dedicated to explaining the cultural phenomenon and lore of Johnny Turbo: Many folks have claimed that Johnny Turbo's crusade was misplaced from its inception, but if Sega indeed distributed a press kit claiming to have introduced the first CD-ROM game console, then Johnny Turbo's raison d'être is vindicated.
Be forewarned, FEKA's goons continue to spread misinformation about our beloved Johnny Turbo! Hopefully, this article will pierce through their lies and deceptions.
Long live Johnny Turbo!
We, who have doubted the righteousness of your crusade,
We, who have sullied your good name,
We, who have forsaken you in your hour of need,
We beg your forgiveness!
Long live Johnny Turbo!
FURTHER RESEARCH: To settle this matter, once and for all, we really need to unearth the original press kit in which Sega allegedly made their dubious claim. These documents will (hopefully) corroborate the statements made by the editors of TURBOFORCE.
ASIDE: Ahhhhh, the console wars of yesteryear…how quaint those times were. While writing this article, I started thinking about video game magazines and their attitudes toward the various platforms they covered. VG&CE, for example, were quite friendly towards TG-16 and PC-Engine during the early days. GameFan embraced nearly all platforms (and featured many PC-Engine games within its covers, yay!), but it cannot be denied that they loved all things Sega. I always felt that Electronic Games was quick to dismiss TG-16 / DUO and thus never gave the console a fair shake. Any other examples?
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