AYBABTU: The History
Date: Saturday, January 01 @ 12:00:00 EST
Topic: All Your Base are Belong to Us!
The page that probably brought you here. All stores, music, and links have been moved to the links section
The Official Shirt of the AYB History Page
Attention everybody: This page is retiring. There are a couple of reasons - the most important one is that it's now so common, it's virtually impossible to keep a complete listing.
I'll be updating the page in the near future with whatever's currently in my inbox, and I'll be accepting corrections. I'll also accept new store/MP3/site links (for now, anyway).
You can still contact me, but any history items for AFTER April 28 (the official cut-off date) will be ignored.
As you may know, the phrase came from a badly translated video game intro. The game
was Zero Wing, released on the Sega Genesis/Megadrive. The English version was a Europe-only release.
As to WHY it's so popular... That's a bit of a mystery. My personal opinion is that it's a perfect summary for the badly translated games of our youth. Not only that, but "ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US" and "FOR GREAT JUSTICE" are just plain random fun. Most of the early spread can be attributed to gamers. In many team games, the object is to capture, steal a flag from, or otherwise infiltrate the enemy's base. It's a natural fit with the phrase.
Here's the sequence of events - Major events are highlighted.
- 1989: Zero Wing's english version is released in Europe. - The origin of AYBABTU
- Mid 1998: A different version of the Zero Wing .gif is posted on the now-defunct quote page at Rage Games. When the site morphs into Whazzat!, the .gif is replaced by text.
- Late 1998/Early 1999:
The current Zero Wing animated .GIF is posted on Zany Video Game Quotes, submitted by Seymont. It begins slowly circulating the internet. - The current AYB image, and source of all this
- Fall 1998: Zero Wing (the arcade version) is first emulated. The arcade version is missing the intro, but the ending has a similar translation.
- March 13, 2000: Toaplan.com opens. The site contains info about Zero Wing and other Toaplan games.
- June 5, 2000: The Zero Wing Dub Project is posted at OverClocked - The first original AYB humor
- July 31, 2000: The Mistranslated Ship Captain becomes a guru at the True Meaning of Life. His first post is here.
- Summer 2000: The forums at Something Awful start to get infected. The .gif is in at least one person's signature. It gets posted with some regularity in various threads. A few people link back to the dub.
- Fall 2000: According to one visitor, AYBABTU was appearing on Stile Project as the title & in images. This may have been the result of Jeff K.'s hack of the site - Stile liked it and kept it a while.
- September 6, 2000: On the SA forums, a gimmick poster called Alf posts a picture of Alf on the phone. Starscream adds a speech bubble saying "All your base are belong to us." It's a hit, and gets posted a few more times. Here's a copy of the picture. - First AYB photo edit
- October 12, 2000: AYBABTU begins appearing on the relic.com forums.
- November 6 - 21, 2000: The Something Awful era - The Photoshop explosion, and source of a LOT of images
- A thread is posted - The title is "ALL YUOR BASE ARE BELONG TO US!!" (yes, it was spelled "YUOR"), and the only message is "ON THE TABLE!!" By the end of the first page, the photoshopping had begun.
- The first image, a skeleton from Army of Darkness, was done by Starscream (again!). A copy of the first page of the thread may be found here. Thanks to clockworkjoe of the SA forums, who saved the first (and most important) page!
- As further evidence, this thread linked back to the SA one.
- Around page 10, word begins to spread. HardOCP is one of the first to link back to it.
- Some of the pictures are incredible works of Photoshopping (like the Times Square pic done by The Yellow Yell).
- Some sites, like Planet Namek, temporarily add AYBABTU to their pages. PN had it in their title tag for a couple of weeks.
- The first(?) two stores open, here and here. - First AYB merchandise
- The forums collapse in on themselves. Suddenly, the last couple of pages of the thread disappear.
- A short time after, somebody using a hacked moderator account deletes the first page of the thread. This basicially kills the thread, since it no longer appears in the listings.
- Finagler's archive of the early parts of the thread remains.
- People who had been exposed to the phenomeon (mostly 3D game fans) take it back to their own boards, and similar threads (often using the same pictures) are started.
- November (?) 14, 2000: JRR, one of the SA forum regulars, releases Invasion of the Gabber Robots, the Zero Wing remix. NOTE: I'm not 100% sure of the month - the thread is still archived, but the forum doesn't show months. It was most likely either November or December. - First AYB Music
- November 28, 2000: A report/poll on the US elections appears on Ars Techinca: All Your Votes Are Belong to Us!! Check the archive page here.
- December 16, 2000: Tribal War's thread begins. As this is one of the oldest remaining threads, they are often mistakenly given credit for starting the phenomeon. - Source of more pics, and the Flash
- January 12, 2001: Part 4 of "A Winner Is You," Hubert's game quote-based storyline is posted. It passes completely beneath the pop culture radar. - First AYB in a web comic
- January 14, 2001: Solidsharkey.com puts up a history. It's not as complete as this one, and may have some inaccuracies (WAS the Genesis version of ZW ever a US release? I can only find the info/ROM for a European version), but it is the first attempt at documenting ZW history. Note that I didn't find out about this until 10 minutes ago.
- February 11, 2001: Eskimo Bob posts Episode 12: AD 2101 - First AYB Flash
- February 12, 2001:the worlds first 'AYBABTU' inspired CD/Album was released on mp3.com by Paradise Decay. It features the Original "Invasion of the gabber robots" by kind permission of The Laziest Men on Mars
- February 13, 2001: memepool.com posts about AYBABTU. They link to the Tribal War thread.
- February 15, 2001: Bad_CRC of Tribal War releases the now-infamous music video. There are some copyright issues (permission wasn't asked to use JRR's song), but it continues to spread like wildfire. - Birth of the Flash, and most people's introduction to AYB
- February 16, 2001:
- Plastic reports the Flash video. Read the story and see comments here.
- Online comic EverCrest has an AYBABTU in this strip.
- February 18, 2001:
- February 19, 2001:
- GameFaqs posts a FAQ for Zero Wing (authored by Frank Provo), which includes a better translation taken from the Japanese version.
- id Software releases an
add-on level pack for Quake 3: Team Arena. Here's a shot of a hidden message. - First AYB in a game other than Zero Wing
- February 20, 2001:
- The San Francisco Chronicle (both print & web versions) runs a story about AYBABTU. - First AYB in print
- OverClocked returns with a Zero Wing based comic.
- Around this time, "All Your Base Are Belong to Us" was accepted into Eijiro's database (I'm told it's the world's biggest online English-Japanese dictionary - the FAQ is here, but I can't read a word of it). It'll be added next update, which should be April or May sometime.
- February 21, 2001:
- Salon.com runs this story (scroll down a bit), about the US Army's use of the phrase, as well as a
- Online comic Real Life has a (subtle) AYBABTU in this strip.
- Somebody chalks All Your Base Are Belong to Us on the roof of Wean Hall at Carnegie Mellon University. Photo 1 - Photo 2 - Photo 3 - First major real-life AYB
- February 22, 2001:
- February 23, 2001:
- February 24, 2001: Online comic Doctor Fun changes their logo to a CATS/AYBABTU one. The pic is mirrored here, just in case it gets changed.
- February 26, 2001:
Magazine had a small article about it (Issue dated March 5). Scanned version here (scan by GODHED). Online version here. JRR finally
gets credit! - First national media AYB
- As several people have informed me, the cancelled Fox TV show Freaky Links has
had it's page replaced with AYBABTU.
- Sluggy Freelance features Somebody Set
Up Us the Bomb and AYBABTU in the background of this strip.
- MyDivX.com posts an interesting image in
one of their updates.
- MP3.com pulls Invasion of the Gabber Robots from TLMOM's site. They claim copyright violations, as the song uses
Zero Wing samples. They don't seem to realize that Toaplan has been bankrupt and gone for 6 years. The SA
thread where this is brought up is located here.
- AYBABTU-related posters were put up at Harvard - more information & photos can be found here and here.
- February 27, 2001:
- "All Your Base Are Belong to Us" makes its debut at #46 on the Lycos 50.
- Angelfire posts this page, which is where the Lycos 50 entry links.
- Invasion of the Gabber Robots is put back on MP3.com after they recieve numerous
complaints about it's removal, and realize that Toaplan no longer exists.
- Finagler's archive is
updated. The pics are now at full size, and the animated .gifs are included. There do still seem to be some
- Neopets introduces a new shopkeeper -
a cat-like CATS. Currently
on the New Features page is a
picture, captioned "All your Neopet are belong to us!"
- AYBABTU in real
life - some guys put up a banner on a bridge in Australia.
- Another one - "All Your Base Are Belong to Us" was written in chalk all around the Georgia
- Another AYBABTU comic - check out this guest strip at PDI.
- February 28, 2001:
- The Lycos 50's article is
- Another User Friendly cartoon includes
- The Guardian runs a story. Hmm...
Mention of the Alf picture, DrEldarion's store, and credit to SomethingAwful - wonder if they've been
- March 1, 2001:
- The Detroit Free Press ran a story. It seems they forgot
to give credit to JRR/TLMOM for the song (seemingly giving it to PlanetStarsiege) - anybody want to set them
- NetSlaves posts a story.
- AYBABTU in this Soap on a Rope comic.
- Another AYBABTU in real life. At the University of Pennsylvania, pictures of their president
Judy Rodin begin appearing. They have a speech bubble that says "All your base are belong to us."
- March 2, 2001:
- March 3, 2001:
- The Daily Mirror runs a full-page story about AYBABTU, including
a link to this web site!
- The Disco Scottie Show played Invasion of the Gabber Robots during the show - coming back
from every break, as a matter of fact. - First Invasion of the Gabber Robots on radio
- The website for upcoming game Doom 3
launches - check the hidden text (Select all, try dragging underneath the logo, or view the source). I'm not
sure of the date - IE properties said March 3, so that's what I'm using. If anybody knows otherwise, let me
- March 4, 2001:
- CATS-Mania infects HP: Check out the monitor on this page. - First AYB on a major corporation's page
- TechTV airs part of the flash. - First AYB on TV
- The Osdorp Posse's home page is
hacked to include "What You Say?" in the main image map.
- The Dutch postcode lookup website was
altered - ALL YOUR POSTCODE ARE BELONG TO US!! It's back to normal now.
- All Your Base with lasers at the Harshman dorm at Bowling Green State Univ in Ohio - Check
it out here.
- AYBABTU is painted on Coolidge Bridge in Northampton, Mass. Photo 1 - Photo 2
- On national television, someone in the crowd of the MU vs KU men's basketball game held up a
sign that read "All your base are belong to us." Anybody have a screen capture?
- March 5, 2001:
- March 6, 2001:
- March 7, 2001:
- USA Today runs an article.
- "All Your Base Are Belong to Us" moves up 10 places to #36 on the Lycos 50.
- The Internet TOURBUS runs a story about
the AYB "conspiracy." Not to mention changing their front page a bit...
- TheTripleHelix.com posts a
short blurb - it also makes it into their poll (check the previous poll archive).
- The author of Schlock
Mercenary declared he won't have AYBABTU in his strip. Ah, well - somebody had to.
- The Parking Lot is Full's author posts this... novelization? of the Zero
Wing Intro. Kids - don't click those links. Rated M for Mature.
- Fourth and Inches, a comic in the Notre Dame newspaper the Observer, features an AYBABTU. I'll add a link once
the page is working - it's down at the moment.
- Newgrounds sets up a page
dedicated to AYB. One mistake I can see - they say that Eskimo Bob is parodying the original flash - Eskimo Bob was released a few days
- March 8, 2001:
- From a reader: "In a limited run of 200 from Steve Jackson Games, the now famous line appears prominently in bold at the
bottom of the instruction sheet of a new game
- Jiminy Critic, a movie review
site, reviews the Flash.
- Audiogalaxy runs a story on Japanese Pop called
"All Your Base Are Belong to Us"
- AYB sighted on the official Tomb
Raider Movie web site - click on the "Image of the Week" link.
- As a result of the Ethermoon forum posting on March 2, a fan creates this Java game - watch the intro. The
first AYB in a game (besides Zero Wing, of course)? Possibly.
- March 9, 2001:
- March 10, 2001:
- ESPN.com mentions AYB in a humor story.
- Reports indicate that somebody is posting AYBABTU stickers in Toronto.
- March 11, 2001:
- March 12, 2001:
- March 13, 2001:
- March 14, 2001:
- ABC's "World News Now" ran a story.
- A Vectrex version of the Zero Wing intro is made. It can be found here.
- March 15, 2001: An article
appears in the LA Times.
- March 21, 2001: AYBABTU on the front page of the Onion. Archived here. I got this story from a TON of people, but the first was Gabe Jones. Thanks!
- April 11, 2001: AYBABTU appears on Microsoft's Office
XP age. Do a rollover on the left column, or just click here to see the picture. The
irony here is that in November, I made this picture. Coincidence?
NOTE: I'm not 100% sure of
some of the dates - not every site dates their pages, and some of
the real life events have come in undated. If there's no date
given, I list it under the date it was sent to me. If you see a
bad listing, let me know. I'm
especially interested in anything coming before the "first" events.
Special thanks to:
Lord_BEEF, Andrew, Paul M., Matthew S.,
clockworkjoe, Alain M., Ant, Diane, Bri,
Jeremy S., Krysty Y., Aaron Schatz, MrRoboto, GODHED,
DrEldarion, Matthew G.,
Zach B., JRR, DJ Phear, Lee M., Ed K., Mmmkay,
Finagler, Frank Provo, Mark P,
draven, Glenn, Tom D., Rich J., Nathan S., CATS aybabtu, Amir,
Dan C., Dr. Strange, Sean B., Darren Stuart Embry,
Matt S., petmar, akent, S.
Zoogz Jamison, John Kovalic, Lynn H.,
Heavy_T, GBrooksasCGaines, Richard C., ManBeast,
Neil M., Carl, Barbara J., Nathan M., Ren H., J.D. F., Steph P.,
Douglas Cook, Jonathan L.,
Joey, Dave M., Chris W., Zachary Houle, Chad C.,
Ze`elle, Sheldon S.,
Disco Scottie, Gidon R., Inzomnia,
McGoo, Scott K., Steve C.,
toma, Norm L., Zachary
H., Mark / ECC, Laurie N., Paul G., Danger, Scott, Matt H., Neil M.,
Stephan L., Carl, Brett S., Kirsten, Jashim A.,
nyeates, Lord Xarph, Michael,
winjer, Bernard, David S.,
Tim E., Aaron Z.,
Bryan L., Teri, Mangraa, Roland H., Alan J.,
Shawn H., Scrubbo, Transport,
CATS, Janet Kornblum, Psi, Skan,
Fear Bush, Josh G., Andrew G., Dan H., Kyle G.,
Kerm, Michael P., Mark
S., Michael J., Koganuts, Glenn F., Jonathan H., RavenBlack, Scott E.,
Robert W., Sean B., Finite, Bad_CRC, Rod J., Ben F., Brian S., Egor, Afterburner,
John C., metsallica, Colin, Rodrigo S., Lee C., Warner W., Christopher
C., Tom "Zileas" Cadwell, Mike, The Rushes, Mark R.,
W., Brian L.,
Scott H., Waletski S.,
Scott M., Bannon,
AllInTheMind, Nial M.,
Allen, Caleb C., David V., Phantom DJ,
Brian S., Gabe Jones, Afterburner, Tavis, Kany0n, Howard Dawber,
Daan R, ebin, Marcus
Aanerud, Gavin R., Nivek58311, Bill C., Mark
S., Peter N.,
Steve, Troy D., Numair,
Manu, Ryan R., Ed, Tim
C., and YOU for
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