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Gaming movie magic with 'Wreck-It Ralph'

November 05, 2012|By Ryan Smith | For RedEye

"Wreck-It Ralph," Disney's arcade-centric animated movie that earned $49.1 million over the weekend, wins a lot of laughs with countless jokes referencing classic video games. Some of the characters and titles that make cameos in "Ralph" are real quarter-munchers from the past, while others are fictional nods to existing games. "Mario" and "Sonic" are gimmes, so here's a short guide to some of the other games that appear in "Wreck-It Ralph."

'Street Fighter II'
Some of the film's best lines come from the hilarious appearance of brawlers from Capcom's button-mashing fighting game. After exchanging dragon punches, Ryu and Ken trade quips about going to a bar after the arcade closes. Russian strongman Zangief waxes poetic about smashing the skulls of opponents with his thighs "like sparrow eggs."

The, um, Q rating of the once popular Q*Bert character has sharply declined over the years, leading to the odd, long-nosed creature's sad state in "Wreck-It Ralph" as a destitute panhandler along with his former enemies.

Repeat after me: Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A. This cheat code allows you obtain 30 lives in the game "Contra" on the original Nintendo console. In "Wreck-It Ralph," the Konami code is used for nefarious purposes by the movie's villain.

'Root Beer Tapper'
Originally an arcade game called "Tapper" sponsored by Budweiser, this kid-friendly, non-alcoholic version let gamers play as a root-beer bartender filling mugs and sliding them down countertops to thirsty patrons. The Tapper bar is the virtual Cheers of "Wreck-It Ralph," where video game characters go to wind down after the arcade officially closes.

Gaming's first huge crossover star appears as a partygoer at Fix-It Felix's anniversary shindig, but it's ghostly bad guy Clyde who steals the show as the leader of a support group for video game villains convincing them to accept their evil lot in life.

'Fix-It Felix Jr.'
The 30-year-old arcade game that earns top billing in the movie features a carpenter who uses a magic hammer to repair the damage of oafish villain Ralph. It's a fictional game that appears based on two classic games: "Donkey Kong" and the monster-mashing game "Rampage."

'Hero's Duty'
Jane Lynch's tough-talking super-soldier comes from a first-person shooter called "Hero's Duty," which evokes both the military shoot-'em-up "Call of Duty" and Xbox's "Gears of War" series.

'Sugar Rush'
The obvious inspiration for this candy-coated kart-racing game that plays a big role in the movie is "Super Mario Kart," but the "Candy Land"-style aesthetic evokes a Katy Perry video gone wild.

'Turbo Time'
The pixelated denizens of the arcade in "Wreck-It Ralph" tell legends of the character from a classic-looking racer who tries to invade other games to stay relevant. "Turbo Time" looks a bit like Atari's 1982 arcade driving game "Pole Position."
Ryan Smith is a RedEye special contributor.

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