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Not What I Nintended

Apr 13, 2018

Blockbuster movies always get video game tie-ins, but sensitive art house films deserve cash-grab spinoffs too. We imagine what would happen if some unlikely movies were adapted into video games. See if you can identify the original movie, and, for a bonus point, program a fully-playable version for our office.

Heard on Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine: Muse Clues

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JONATHAN COULTON: From NPR and WNYC, coming to you from The Bell House in beautiful Brooklyn, N.Y., it's NPR's hour of puzzles, word games and trivia, ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm Jonathan Coulton. Now here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.



Thank you, Jonathan. We have a great show for you. Four brilliant contestants are here to play our nerdy games. They're backstage breaching data, and only one of them will be our big winner. Our guest is Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine. You might know him from his role in "Treme," based in New Orleans, or as Ronnie on "The Chi," based in the South Side of Chicago. So my strongest memory of Chicago was going to the mirror maze on Navy Pier and having a total panic attack because I could not find my way out. Have you ever seen your own failure reflected back to you in a hundred different directions? I have.


EISENBERG: In our first game, we'll imagine bad video games based on movies, like Steven Spielberg's "Super Mario Bridge Of Spies" or my favorite, "World Of War Horse." But first, let's meet our contestants. First up, Lauren Girouard on buzzer number one.


EISENBERG: You're studying drama therapy at NYU. Welcome.

LAUREN GIROUARD: Thank you. Excited to be here.

EISENBERG: Your opponent is Julienne Bilker on buzzer number two.


EISENBERG: You're a production manager for experiential marketing. Welcome.

JULIENNE BILKER: Thanks. Happy to be here.

EISENBERG: OK. Lauren and Julienne, the first of you who wins two of our games will go on to our final round. So let's start with a trivia game called Not What I Nintended. In this game, we're going to imagine what would happen if some unlikely movies were adapted into video games. We'll describe a made-up video game. You tell us which movie it's based on. Ring in to answer. Here we go. If you like "Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney," you'll love this game. As a member of the jury, max out on your charisma score by convincing 11 other jurors not to convict.



GIROUARD: "12 Angry Men?"

EISENBERG: Yes (laughter). That is correct.


COULTON: A life simulator in the style of "Animal Crossing" - guide your main character from age 6 to 18, but you have to play it in real time over the course of 12 years.


COULTON: Julienne?

BILKER: "Boyhood?"

COULTON: "Boyhood" is correct.


EISENBERG: Isn't that just every video game? Just play it continually for 12 years of your life...

COULTON: (Laughter) That's how I do it.

EISENBERG: ...While you go through adolescence...


EISENBERG: ...And turn into a man? In this business simulator akin to "Roller Coaster Tycoon," you'll work to buy back your South Side Chicago cosmetology business while enjoying the voice work of Ice Cube and Cedric the Entertainer. Both of them...


EISENBERG: ...Are shaking their head. Oh, Julienne?

BILKER: "Barbershop?"

EISENBERG: Yeah, that's correct.


COULTON: It's a mystery game in the style of "Detective Pikachu," but instead of a sleuthing Pokemon, you play a single mom. Follow the clues to uncover a history of corporate corruption and environmental exploitation.


COULTON: Lauren?

GIROUARD: "Erin Brockovich?"

COULTON: Yeah, you got it.


EISENBERG: If you try to start this game, your video game console will tell you, I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that. Art Chung, puzzle guru, would you like to give our contestants a hint?

ART CHUNG: There is a year in the name - a year we've already lived through.


EISENBERG: Julienne?

BILKER: "2001: A Space Odyssey?"



EISENBERG: That's right.

GIROUARD: Very nice.

EISENBERG: Lauren, I take it you haven't seen that movie? No. Don't worry about it.


COULTON: Highly skippable.

EISENBERG: I think so. The year has passed.


COULTON: It's about the past.

EISENBERG: It's about the past.

COULTON: It's a historical film. And they got a lot of things wrong, so - this is your last clue. In the adaptation of this 2011 tribute to silent film that won the Oscar for Best Picture, enter the cheat code up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A to unlock full-color graphics.


COULTON: Lauren?

GIROUARD: "The Artist?"

COULTON: Yeah, that's right.


COULTON: Puzzle guru Art Chung, how did our contestants do?

CHUNG: We have a tie, so hands on your buzzers.


COULTON: Oh, boy.

CHUNG: Here's your tiebreaker question. In the vein of "Nintendogs," train and care for a Bengal tiger while drifting on a lifeboat.


CHUNG: Lauren?

GIROUARD: "The Life of Pi."

CHUNG: That's right. Congratulations. You're one step closer to the final round.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.