Sega Game Gear Tips Volume 1

From Sega Retro

SegaGameGearTips US VHS thumbnail.png
Sega Game Gear Tips Volume 1
Format: VHS
Studio: St. Michel Productions
Publisher: Howard Johnson's
Running time: 14:53
Release Date RRP Code
VHS Video
US
$3.993.99[1]

Sega Game Gear Tips Volume 1 is a promotional VHS produced by St. Michel Productions and published by Howard Johnson's for the Sega of America-sponsored American hotel promotion Kids Go HoJo with Sega. Containing both general gameplay tips for the campaign's available Sega Game Gear games, and an infamously-high energy and shockingly-adult advertisement where a hotel spokesperson repeatedly harasses a guest until he tries Sega's portable game system, the video has since become a small viral sensation and strongly-associated with the name Howard Johnson's.

Sega Game Gear Tips Volume 1 was followed by Sega Game Gear Tips Volume 2, containing the same main advertisement but with an updated selection of game tips.

Content

Tips

The tips sections of each tape provide gameplay tips for a selection of games available for rent, and have been noted as being exceedingly obvious, to the point of becoming more instruction than hint.

List of tips

XMGL GG US Box Front.jpg X-Men: GamesMaster's Legacy
"The Blue Pentagons against the wall are Transporters. Use them or you'll never find your way out of the Danger Room."


Coverage of the 1994 action platform game X-Men: GamesMaster's Legacy.

Ecco2 GG US Box Front.jpg Ecco: The Tides of Time
"Use your Sonar Map to locate the 3 floating stars. Only these stars will open the wall for passage."


Coverage of the 1994 action adventure game Ecco: The Tides of Time.

MMPR GG US Box Front.jpg Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
"Use Pink Rangers gymnastic skills to back flip-kick the enemy back to their universe. Stand beside the enemy and press buttons 1 and 2 simultaneously. It's a guaranteed offensive move that will flatten the Putty Patrol."


Coverage of the 1994 fighting game Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

SonicTripleTrouble keyart.jpg Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble
"In the Robotnik Winter Zone, jump on the 1st icon you see to get the new jetboard. It's the fastest way to jump over enemies, zip through walls and collect rings. Go underground and follow the path Sonic takes to get the Chaos Emerald."


Coverage of the 1994 action platform game Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble.

WSB GG US Box Front.jpg World Series Baseball
"Change the speed and location of your pitches in order to strikeout the batter."


Coverage of the 1993 baseball game World Series Baseball.

NFL95 GG US Box Front.jpg NFL '95
"When throwing to a receiver, throw the ball as the receiver makes his cut."


Coverage of the 1994 American football game NFL '95.

XMGL GG US Box Front.jpg X-Men: GamesMaster's Legacy
"Genosha is a city ravaged by war and is teeming with the Unforgiven. Jump on top of the open columns to find hidden power ups or use Rogue's flying powers to avoid assassination."


Coverage of the 1994 action platform game X-Men: GamesMaster's Legacy.

Ecco2 GG US Box Front.jpg Ecco: The Tides of Time
"ALL NEW 3-D travel scenes transport you to the next dimension. Find the 4 transporters or swim forever."


Coverage of the 1994 action adventure game Ecco: The Tides of Time.

MMPR GG US Box Front.jpg Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
"Power up with Blue Ranger's special weapon to defeat King Sphinx. When he is in a posed position he can not be hurt. For the special attack: press D-pad Down, then Right or Left and button 1 or 2 simultaneously."


Coverage of the 1994 fighting game Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

SonicTripleTrouble keyart.jpg Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble
"In the Tidal Planet Zone, play as Tails to use the "Sea Fox" underwater. Go all the way down underwater, at your first chance... Jump on the purple plunger and an air bubble will lift you up to a ring icon. Use your Sea Fox to break through the wall at the bottom of the sea and grab more rings."


Coverage of the 1994 action platform game Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble.

WSB GG US Box Front.jpg World Series Baseball
"The hit and run is a good way to push runs across the plate."


Coverage of the 1993 baseball game World Series Baseball.

XMGL GG US Box Front.jpg X-Men: GamesMaster's Legacy
"Wolverine's adamantium gives him special powers. Energize your mutant powers to prepare for Shinobi Shaw."


Coverage of the 1994 action platform game X-Men: GamesMaster's Legacy.

Ecco2 GG US Box Front.jpg Ecco: The Tides of Time
"These Floating Water Tubes are suspended in air. Swim carefully through them or risk falling through the gravitational pull. Locate the flashing stars to "morph" into a seagull and fly to new heights."


Coverage of the 1994 action adventure game Ecco: The Tides of Time.

NFL95 GG US Box Front.jpg NFL '95
"If your offense is moving the ball, then go for two. Otherwise, kick the extra point."


Coverage of the 1994 American football game NFL '95.

MMPR GG US Box Front.jpg Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
"Megazord's Power Sword may not be enough to defeat King Sphinx. Supertranspose into Titanus to help knock the king off his feet."


Coverage of the 1994 fighting game Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

SonicTripleTrouble keyart.jpg Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble
"In the last round, you must out-run and out-wit Metal Sonic and Nack the Weasel and then hit the "warm up" Dr. Robotnik 10 times to move on to the final fight with the big Doctor himself ! Try to hit him twice every time he appears, then get out of the middle of the screen to avoid his attacks !"


Coverage of the 1994 action platform game Sonic the Hedgehog Triple Trouble.

MMPR GG US Box Front.jpg Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
"Use Red Ranger's special fighting techniques and power sword to defeat the evil Green Ranger. Once he has been defeated the Green Ranger will then join in your efforts to destroy Rita Repulsa."


Coverage of the 1994 fighting game Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

List of previews

LegendofIllusion GG US Box Front.jpg Legend of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
Coverage of the 1995 action platform game Legend of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse.
FredCouplesGolf GG US Box Front.jpg Fred Couples Golf
Coverage of the 1994 golf game Fred Couples Golf.
Ristar gg us box.jpg Ristar
Coverage of the 1995 action platform game Ristar. Exclusively uses footage from the Mega Drive version instead.

Produced in 1995 and released later that year as the second wave of the Kids Go HoJo with Sega advertising campaign, the live-action segments mark a noted departure from the chain's previous advertising. Earlier commercials featured standard videography and editing, and were produced in a fairly normal style for the time. However, as Sega of America began to move towards more edge and attention-getting attitudes, many of its collaborations were influenced in a similar manner, and soon Howard Johnson's began to promote Kids Go HoJo with Sega in the same style of fast and flashy marketing.

While the gameplay tips are delivered in a fairly benign manner, more infamous is the video's main advertisement, becoming a minor viral sensation for its over-the-top filmmaking style. Produced with a great deal of influence from Sega of America's attitude-filled marketing (particularly as the American marketing industry began migrating towards more high-energy youth advertising), the advertisement was created to be fast, flashy, and attention-getting, with quick cuts and a literal strobe light blinking intermittently in most scenes. Additionally, the premise was intentionally produced to feature the Howard Johnson's spokesperson repeatedly harassing and stalking a visibly-disturbed guest for the entirety of the advertisement, and at one point even gestures at beginning a sex scene between said guest and a hotel maid; concerningly adult for a product intended for young children.

Between its extended scenes of shakycam filmography, extreme close-ups, and manic editing style, the tone of Sega Game Gear Tips is notably demeaning to its target audience, then so misunderstood that marketers assumed the best way of advertising to the perceived short attention spans of young people was to fill their promotions with as many blinking lights and hyper-delivered marketing blurbs as possible.)

History

Produced by St. Michel Productions sometime in 1995, the advertisement stars an unknown actor as the Howard Johnson's spokesperson and Canadian actor Robert Brewster[2][3] as the frustrated guest.

Available as a free rental to Howard Johnson's guests and their children, the tape was also available to purchase separately at a price of $3.99[1] (despite the front of the tape indicating a suggested $9.99 retail price.[4])

Reception

While contemporary reception to Sega Game Gear Tips Volume 1 is difficult to locate, the video's modern reception has been much clearer, unanimously gaining a reputation as one of the single-worst pieces of corporate advertising the 1990s had to offer. Being described as "obnoxious" and "grating", its flashy tone and disregard for its audience's intelligence has seen the advertisement gain a small amount of viral notoriety in recent years.


Watching this video feels like dying. This is something that your brain does to inform your body that something has gone horribly wrong. The premise of the video is a lie in every way. The only “tips” it’s able to choke out are that video games exist, and you can play them while staying at a Howard Johnson hotel. It delivers this information to you through a close up of a man’s face screaming at you while strobe lights flicker.

Lydia Bugg[5]


Legacy

As Howard Johnson's faded in popularity, so did its name. With the maturing of the internet and the establishment of websites like YouTube, the promotional advertisement soon became associated with the now lesser-known company, and frequently to such a degree that some are only familiar with the hotel chain through this single unflattering video.

Video

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Sega Game Gear Tips Volume 1

Promotional material

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Print advert in Sega Visions (US) #24: "May 1995" (1995-xx-xx)

Physical scans

VHS, US
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Cover
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Cassette

External links

References