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Feature: A Round-Up of the Best Nintendo-Related April Fools' Pranks

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

We pity the fools

So, it's 1st April. That makes manoeuvring the internet an act of danger at every click as we try to figure out what's real and what isn't. This year, to be frank, few pranks have genuinely fooled anyone, but will have hopefully raised a smile — or a scowl, in some cases.


Nintendo Developing "Virtual U" — A Look Into the Future

Yep, that's ours, which seemed like an obvious choice with most of the internet banging on about Virtual Reality in recent times. It's not actually beyond the realm of possibility that such an idea is being considered by Nintendo, though the images we used are undoubtedly ambitious, with Sony's Morpheus and Oculus Rift showing the reality of bulkier designs. VR has been 'the future' a lot, in the '90s and beyond, but it now has stronger technology and billions of dollars behind it. We'll see how it goes, but this gave us an excuse to make jokes about hardware endorsed by the very real World Dental Federation, so we're happy.

Google Maps Launches a Pokémon Challenge

When Google does an April Fools', it has plenty of cash to make it something truly brilliant. While the video for this is too ridiculous to consider real, including crazy but fun-looking augmented reality play to "catch" 'mon all around the world, Google Maps does have — until 2nd April — a very real mini-game. This one has been a bit of a viral hit as a result, with some members of the Nintendo Life community actually searching Google Maps, collaborating and sharing locations, and catching them all. Kudos to Google and those of you that have completed the task at hand.

Sega's MEGAne Drive

We're back to Virtual Reality with this effort from Sega. This "wearable entertainment" is in the form of Mega Drive / Genesis inspired lenses that change the way you see the world, and look rather rad while worn in trendy wine bars, apparently.

Mighty No. 9 Has a Peculiar New Demo Build

In a humorous parody of its own videos showing Keiji Inafune playing a fresh build, Comcept has posted the video above showing Capcom's TOM-PON, aka Naoya Tomita — who worked on the original Mega Man among others — playing a frankly bizarre new version of the game.

Game Informer Reveals Zelda: Other Z

This has been doing the rounds for a little while as it was in Game Informer magazine; restrictions of print forced the publication's hand. You can see in the image above — the clearest we could find via mbla 78 on Twitter — the overall idea of this fake project. It's Team Ninja giving Zelda the same treatment as Metroid: Other M, with disastrous consequences.

Nester Added to Super Smash Bros. Roster

Rather like the 1DS spoof of last year, this one went to the trouble of setting up a website and URL similar to the official efforts from Nintendo, before producing a Nintendo Power-themed reveal of Nester as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Bonus points are earned for the fake screenshots, too.

The FrostbiteEngine Team Taunts Wii U

(Update: The Frostbite team has now deleted these tweets, highlighting how contentious they arguably were. Above, in place of the original embedded tweet, is a screengrab of what was posted). We include this one as it's high profile, though it's up to personal opinion whether this strays from being humorous to just plain insulting, as the team behind one of the most powerful graphical engines in the industry teases the Wii U. The first tweet is above (update, now a screengrab), with follow-ups confirming Half Life 3 as a Wii U exclusive and "quantum entanglement for Zero Latency connections" coming only to Wii U.

Nintendo to Re-Issue Special Edition Cartridges

One for retro fans, as a mock interview on the-gamers-lounge.com with Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime confirms the return of special edition cartridges for NES classics. Citing high pre-order numbers for the RetroN5 system, this one refers to left-over Wii accessories being melted down for the cartridge production.


So those are some, and certainly not all, of the April Fools' articles we've come across. Let us know which you like the most in the poll and comments below — we've left ours out as it'd be too heartbreaking if it failed to win.

Which of these April Fools' is your favourite? (426 votes)

Google's half-real Pokémon Challenge

35%

Sega's MEGAne Drive glasses

  4%

Mighty No. 9's peculiar new demo build

7%

Game Informer's Zelda: Other Z reveal

12%

Nester added to the Super Smash Bros. roster

12%

The FrostbiteEngine team taunting Wii U

8%

Nintendo to re-issue Special Edition cartridges

8%

I don't like any of them

15%

Please login to vote in this poll.

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User Comments (73)

efaulk84

#1

efaulk84 said:

I was quite fooled when IGN had that believable trailer for a Legend of Zelda Movie a few years ago.

Pichuka97

#3

Pichuka97 said:

I should have known about the Virtual Reality glasses but I was fooled for a moment.

jcags

#5

jcags said:

The frostbyte joke wasn't even funny let alone one of the best. You guys didn't mention Bayonetta 2 also coming to PS4 and xbone.

ThomasBW84Admin

#7

ThomasBW84 said:

@jcags I'd agree on the Frostbite one, but it's there as one that's been high profile / getting a lot of attention. It's definitely a divisive one, certainly.

Yosher

#11

Yosher said:

April Fools days can die in a pit of fire for all I care, I just find it annoying.

That said, I think the Google & Pokémon one is still fun in its own way.

bizcuthammer

#12

bizcuthammer said:

Glad the guys behind froztbyte think WiiU is a joke... Not that i care that much about their opinion. WiiU has better games on it than any game that runs through their engine. Its just annoying how the industry views Nintendo.

Dark-Link73

#15

Dark-Link73 said:

I'm glad I hadn't seen the Frosbyte engine prank out there until now. That is just cruel! :-(

Rezal_Knight

#16

Rezal_Knight said:

Anybody else notice that Game Freak and Nintendo was not credit in the "Google Maps Pokemon Challenge"

NFreak007

#17

NFreak007 said:

Looks like Frostbite have deleted their Wii U tweets. It's a sad state of affairs when even proper companies in the gaming industry resort to fanboy-level bashing.

SavoirFaire

#18

SavoirFaire said:

A good joke would be Nintendo announcing they are getting out of console business and would go exclusive software to the highest bidder. Would love to see the Nintnedo hatedom beg for them to go to their fav "big two" console!

AlexSora89

#19

AlexSora89 said:

As far as I've seen so far today, SmashWiki "announced" Wreck-It Ralph as a SSB newcomer (with Vanellope as an assist) and Bulbapedia got a Canadian background.

sketchturner

#20

sketchturner said:

I don't think it was April Fool's, but the Nintendo ON video was amazing!!
Virtual U was also quite great.

MEGAMAN_D

#22

MEGAMAN_D said:

Ok guys, who remembers the snes mortal kombat april fools joke in ONM years ago ?

The one where they told you to sellotape a penny to the top of the cartridge in order to trick the snes into thinking the cartridge was heavier lol and play to the end without taking a single hit then input a code, and when you hear raiden go "ALLIBABBALEEEH" it had worked, then you would have blood in the snes version.

They even had screen shots and everything.

UnknownNico

#27

UnknownNico said:

Eh, I don't like any of them. Not because they suck, but just because I loathe April Fools. And that's no joke.

Ony

#29

Ony said:

The frostbite one is not an april fool, it's just an excuse for a free taunt.

ricklongo

#30

ricklongo said:

None of them. This is a stupid tradition. The end.

(And yes, I'm quite fun at parties, thank you very much.)

NintyMan

#32

NintyMan said:

My favorites aren't in this list: the fake Legend of Zelda movie trailer and Mushroom Kingdom Hearts.

dkxcalibur

#33

dkxcalibur said:

I voted for the Google Pokemon prank. I saw it on Youtube and instantly knew it was an April Fools Joke but reading some of the comments also saddened me because there were people that were very excited for this. So I believe Google went all out on their prank to make it as believable as possible. Maybe Nintendo should partner with Google to do this for real????

SecondServing

#42

SecondServing said:

I thought the Frostbite one was hiralious! It's now optimized for Mario and Zelda! LOL That would guarantee success for them, given that the majority of Nintendo gamers only buy Mario and Zelda! LOL XD

OdnetninAges

#44

OdnetninAges said:

The Pokemon Challenge is my favorite because of how cool it is, but Zelda: Other Z is easily my 2nd favorite. That was just plain hilarious.

Great_Gonzalez

#45

Great_Gonzalez said:

Don't like that frostbite one this is NOT gen 4!!! That's the most disrespectful comment to our gaming history

tanookisuit

#46

tanookisuit said:

Is the Frostbite one over into being insulting. Yes. Sure the date is a give away, but the overall context of it all along with their belittling and ratty public statements about the system puts it clearly in the trolling category using April 1 as a loophole to get away with it like a sad sick joke. It's rude and disrespectful to any Wii owner or potential owner given their past.

The rest on the whole are funny stuff.

kensredemption

#47

kensredemption said:

I found the Frostbite tease was more to enrage the dude-bros and fanboys who fangasm over the PS4 and XBO. Frankly, I was giddy to think EA reconsidered their stance on Nintendo. Oh well.

Moshugan

#48

Moshugan said:

That GPS based augmented reality Pokémon mobile game would be the best thing.

Bizzyb

#49

Bizzyb said:

@SecondServing You do realize they were attempting to insult the Nintendo brand, Wii U and its entire fanbase, right? I see nothing humorous in that.

edhe

#52

edhe said:

I'm glad Frostbite deleted those tweets. They were in danger of jeopardising the unprecedented relationship.

XFsWorld

#53

XFsWorld said:

Lol i fell for the Gameinformer Zelda: Other Z ................[ok i must admit!! I fell for the Vitual U too -.-]

SakuraHaruka

#55

SakuraHaruka said:

I almost always let me fool by the jokes, upsi..., but this year, I was ready (well, the Google one was my warning, XD), and, Ok, about the jokes for Nintendo, the Google-Pokemon one is very interesting and very funny (and as Some people said out there, it can be good idea for a future game), but, the EA-Frostbite one, well, is a Joke, Good Joke, but it was a joke, very, very "heavy" (I still believe that this was a little hit of revenge of EA with Nintendo, jiji, well, upsi...)

Suicune

#59

Suicune said:

The people behind frostbyte engine are dicks. I mean seriously? Show some respect for a company making millions before you were old enough to wipe your ass.

jdarrell

#62

jdarrell said:

Mario Kart 8 delayed to add Captain Toad as a character. Nintendo Direct tomorrow about the Year of Captain Toad.

Tops

#64

Tops said:

I liked the Mighty Apple the way it moved and jumped/attacked was hilarious! Seems like an underrated choice

1upsuper

#66

1upsuper said:

Man, Nester for Smash would be legitimately awesome.

And I loved the Frostbite Tweets, just because I love seeing companies and (relatively) high profile people dig themselves into a hole with polarizing messages, and then watching them try to save face. You keep an eye on the industry long enough and you can begin to make a nice list. Reminds me of Phil Fish, particularly. Except he didn't really try to save face, I suppose.

Henmii

#71

Henmii said:

Lol!

Apple man should be included in the final game! He looks pretty cool!

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