"There's a new fridge in town."


Gaming doesn't have nearly enough urban myths. The few there used to be (millions of E.T. carts for the Atari VCS buried in the desert, Battle Zone rewritten as a military trainer etc) have all been so comprehensively and authoritatively documented now that all the mystery around them has vanished. So in a technical sense your reporter should probably actually be a little sad about what he's about to tell you, but that would require a harder, colder heart than even this correspondent possesses.

One of the loveliest examples of game music ever is the theme music from Ocean's version of RoboCop, published on the 128K Spectrum and the original mono Game Boy (other versions didn't have the same music). Written by Jonathan Dunn, it's a slow, incredibly mournful-sounding passage of synthesiser bleeping and humming that wouldn't be out of place in one of the more reflective bits of Blade Runner, but is mystifying in a run-of-the-mill brainless platform shooter like RoboCop. (Your reporter used to take the GB RoboCop cart with him on train journeys, not to play the game but just to load it, listen to the theme music for a while and then plug in another game entirely to actually play.)

The only thing more improbable than such a piece of music being used for a shoot-'em-up videogame, in fact, would probably be for it to crop up in a surreal TV ad for washing machines. And yet, in the early 1990s, that's exactly what happened. For a very short period, Ariston advertised their various electrical appliances with a TV spot running the Game Boy music (not just the same tune but the actual GB sound) over a background of attractive young people in their underwear and rabbit costumes, running around enjoying the many benefits of Ariston's wide range of white goods while a voice intoned a variant on the company's "Our products are built to last" slogan ("Ariston... and on... and on"), which also scrolled across the bottom of the screen in case viewers wanted to sing along.

The ad ran for an extremely short time before being pulled (presumably for being too weird for prime-time ITV viewers), and your reporter was certain that he was the only person alive who'd ever (a) seen it, and (b) recognised the source of the music, and so the story would exist only in his fragile and decaying memory, soon to be rendered an unsubstantiated and implausible myth. However, a shot-in-the-dark Google search not only revealed that there was at least one other person out there fitting that description, but that that person had also, staggeringly, managed to fortuitously capture the entire ad on tape and gone to the trouble of transferring it to a RealAudio file for the sake of posterity, from where World Of Stuart now brings it to you, the videogame lovers of the planet.

Click on the picture, guy.


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