This is a transcript of the episode of JonTron, Hercules Games.
[Text in brackets = text not spoken but shown on screen.]
Jon: And they said Kratos was the best hero...shish...they got it wrong sister. Hercules is clearly better. He even has a coconut weapon...
Jacques: Jon, I am finally back from Vietnam. LOL.
[JACQUES IS BACK FROM WAR GUYS!]
Jon: Jacques! Come here! I want to show you, I'm playing a game based on my favorite Greek legend, Heracles.
[DISNEY'S TARZAN (For the N64)]
Jacques: I'm glad to see nothing has changed around here.
Jon (singing): Two worlds...one family!
Jacques: Fuck this shit.
Jon (singing, heavily slurred): Son of man, look to the sky!
Jon: Wait a second, Jacques. I've got it! Hercules went through his 12 trials to become immortal right? Well, I mean, I don't want to stop playing games or doing the things I love to do with you or even making this show!
Jacques: Hasn't stopped you before.
Jon: I want to become immortal, too, Jacques. Just like Hercules! By playing the 12 games of Herc-- ...wait what did you fuckin' just say to me?
(The shot freezes)
[LET'S START THE PARTY!]
Jon: Greek myths have always been a fascinating subject to me. Tales of treacherous journeys and epic voyages across the sea! Mythological beasts of old and the very fabric of nature itself. They tell of humans...creating larger than life heroes and gods...in their own flawed image. No one is safe from his or her own...hubris.
Jon: So to make an example of my point Imma play a Hercules game on the Commodore 64, it's called Hercules. What a name... I--I guess they didn't have to try back then, it was the 80s, all they had to worry about was Ronald Reagan talking about Gorbachev!
Jon (narrating): More like the Commodore Sixty-Bore! Heh heh, just kidding, it was actually pretty revolutionary.
[The game begins and Jon clicks his fingers to the intro music]
Jon: That's what I call music...
Jon (narrating): Now you know me and everybody's favorite part of Hercules myth was horse, sheep, lion, barn, ... uh... not sure what this is but it fits in, it fits in good.
(The game's story appears)
Jon: Alright, good thing, we got some back story here. Let's begin!
(Jon dies in the game before he even gets a chance to move around, and it goes back to the game's story screen)
(Shows Jon staring blankly with the joystick in his hands)
Jon: ... Oooooooooooh!
Jon (narrating): So yeah, apparently you die instantly if you don't start to move, I'm not fuckin' around, I'm talking like instantly! I mean, what kind of legendary reflexes do they expect people to have? I--I mean at this point they b--barely mastered Galaga! As soon as you die it skips you ahead randomly to the next level or something, so you don't even have a chance to learn what you did wrong in the first place. And before you know it, it's over. What the hell is this shit?
Jon (narrating): This was so jarring to me that I actually had to go online and check if that's the way the game is supposed to be, and it's not just broken. And yeah...that's the way the game is supposed to be. ...Who would do this? Who...would DO THIS?!
Jon (narrating): It's absolutely random, it's like the 1980s version of I Wanna Be the Guy! You jump here, platform turns invisible! Fire! DEAD! You jump there, fire, DEAD!
(Shows multiple shots of Jon dying in the game ending with a scene showing a car exploding from the 1995 film Casino)
Jon (narrating): DEAD! DEAD! DEAD! DEAD! DEAD! DEAD! DEAD! DEAD! DEAD!
Jon (narrating): Hey, at least I can get the big sleep, so I don't have to play this game. And I'm not talking about the Salvador Dali painting.
Jon (narrating) Oh yeah, Herc. Climb those ropes. Climb those ropes, baby, so close.
Jon (narrating): Almost at the exit--so close, come on!
Jon (narrating): Oh, come on!! I'm done with this.
Jon: Believe it or not, there's actually another Hercules related game on the Commodore 64, It's called Hercules: Slayer of the Damned. I guess they just...(snaps his fingers)...couldn't get enough of that...generic 80s mythos back in the day! What, with the hot pink?!
(Shows Jon holding a cassette tape)
Jon: Whoever heard of a game being on a cassette tape? (flicks the tape) Let's "boot it up", ladies and gentlemen!
(Jon puts the tape in and plays it, and a loud static noise is heard)
[(ACTUAL NOISE IT MADE)]
(Cuts to the gameplay)
Jon (narrating): ...Well, hi there! What are you up to today?
(A skeleton NPC shuffles in)
Jon (narrating): Well, I gotta say, there is not much to this one... You just--you just sorta beat the shit outta this guy and there's all these things going on in the corners of the screen that I just--I just have no idea what the hell... There's actually other versions of this game on consoles like the ZX Spectrum and the MSX.
(Jon defeats the skeleton NPC)
Jon (narrating): Yeah!
(Another skeleton NPC exactly like the first one shuffles in)
Jon (narrating): Ho ho ho, is that the way you're gonna pla-- No thank you! I'm not dancing this dance today! Or should I say, shuffling this shuffle. NEXT!
Jon: As for some of the early video game industry's more interesting takes on Hercules fable, we have (points to the cartridge)...DFC-HE...It's a--It's a lady...(points to the title in Japanese) I dunno what this is...
Jon (narrating): It's a Famicom RPG, and quite honestly, I could not tell you what the hell's going on in it.
[Called Glory of Heracles!]
This rather unknown series is still going on today on the Nintendo DS, under the same name. Who'd have thought?
Jon: So here's a little known classic for the PS1, Herc's Adventures, and it's all thanks to--
(the audio track cuts out and is replaced with Jon narrating)
Jon (narrating): the military industrial complex.
Truth be told, I don't even know where I'm getting all these games from.
Now if we're being strict on mythological canon here, this is actually Hercules. As you can see here, he is the Hercules of legend... they just call him Herc...it counts.
You can also pick from mythological characters Atlanta and Jason. ...IF YOU'RE STUPID! I don't know who'd wanna play these two! One's a...city in Georgia, THE OTHER ONE'S A REGULAR NAME! Nah, I wanna play as Hercules!
(The gameplay starts)
Jon (narrating): That sounds just a bit too much like Dan Castelleneta.
Herc: Don't worry. I'm Hercules!
Jon: So it's basically just a Diablo style beat-em-up. It's pretty cool, honestly. One of the better lesser-known games out there for the PS1. The art style's sweet, and the music sounds a near-lawsuit level similar to Star Wars...
(The game's music, suspiciously similar to Star Wars plays)
At one point in time the creators of Herc's Adventures decided that they did not give a shit. They were like, whatever, I like Star Wars, and so do most people, so why don't we just use the music from that and just change a few notes.
"That's genius, Arthur!" said Milton from the back of the room. The funny thing about this is that Milton has been dead for about 13 years. In fact, it is still a mystery how he knew Arthur's name given that Arthur was a recent tranfer from Montreal.]
(Shows Luke Skywalker on Tatooine gazing at the sunset as Jon narrates over him)
Jon (narrating): ...How'd dat happen?
(Cuts back to the gameplay, where Zeus appears out of a bolt of lightning)
Jon: Ah, not yet, I'm too young!!
Zeus: Ah, good work so far! But you still have a long way to go. Seek out the help of my fellow gods, Hera, Poseidon, Athena, and Dionysus. But be careful!
Jon: Oh yeah? Yeah. Yes. Yep. Gotcha. Fantastic. Unbelievable.
Zeus: Hades has many allies. In fact, there's a couple of hundred of them just up ahead.
Jon: Couple of what of them?
Zeus: Couple of hundred of them.
Jon: Couple of hundred of them?
Zeus: (distorted) COUPLE OF HUNDRED OF THEM just up ahead. So, good luck.
Jon: Thank you.
Zeus: I mean, good luck!
Jon: Thank you...?
Hades: Heheheheheh...I shall defeat you, and then you shall serve me in the land--
Jon: 'Scuse me, Hades, do you think you could speak up a bit?
Hades: You shall serve me in the land of the dead.
Jon (quietly): "You shall serve me in the land of the dead..." That's how he talks.
Jon: Everything here really shines--wait, whas that?
[EAT GYROS TO RESTORE HEALTH!]
(A version of JonTron's theme song plays as Jon gets up)
Jon: The day has come...the news that was sent to change my life...has fallen upon me.
(music abruptly stops)
Jon: Imma be right back.
(Jon sings over a synthpop based ballad)
Jon (singing): 🎶He's goin' to get a gyro...although it's technically pronounced yee-ro...Although I still wanna call it a gyro 'cause it sounds cooler!~ 🎶
(Cuts to half of the gyro eaten back at Jon's house)
Cameraman: Dude, are you gonna be all right?
Jon: You shut up--!
Disney's Hercules! Finally, a familiar face. And, hey, this movie has always been one of my favorites. So, let's see what this one has to offer. These games just keep showing up at my house while I'm sleeping, man!
This game is actually freaking awesome! Awesome music, awesome and punchy sound effects, responsive controls, and DANNY DEVITO THAT TALKS TO YOU! KICK IT DANNY!
Danny: Knock 'em, woo woo woo! All right! Rule number 95, kid, concentrate! (Unintelligible) What are you doing? Get your sword!
[ENCOURAGEMENT EXCITEMENT WISDOM ???????????]
Jon (narrating): I'LL GET MY SWOOOOOORD FOR YOU DANNY!!!
(Shows Jon beating up a ragdoll with his sword)
Well, that's...well, that's...well, that's just not right at all I wouldn't think...
The game functions on a 2D plane that usually consists of sprites. It's all very interesting and exciting, and just dang fun to play. I'd have to say it can easily be considered a hidden gem on the PS1. I mean, come on! Just listen to Danny DeVito's conviction.
Jon: It's a thing of beauty, okay? You hear that guy? You hear the truth in that dialogue? We're all living in the human condition, but he's speaking it.
I mean, after something like this it couldn't get any better, right? It's tops! We had fun! We're at ecstasy. Wrong! Game Boy version's a piece of shit! Have a look for yourself. I'm sure it'll be an enriching experience.
(The game loads up, and the story flashes on the screen)
[HERCULES! LOOK FOR BONUSES IN THE TREES!]
Jon: Now listen to me, if everyone was critical of everything all the time the world would be a dull place. So let's start with the positives: at least it gave me a milliseconds preview of the game before shovin' a hint in my fuckin' face! "Hercules, look for bonuses in the trees." What does that mean, dude? Hm, if there was ever anything to give me the goose pimples, it's probably that. Now, that's just weird! That's like starting a game off being like, "Hercules, remember the scent of mother!" Like, what the fuck, dude?? I'm receptive, don't start me off like that, ease me into this shit! Ohkay? Don't just start off gunhoe, don't play your royal flush right away! I always save a royal flush when playing poker, the...the...the thing is don't play poker with me.
Oh my god, that music. That sounds nothing like Disney's Hercules! That doesn't even sound like it could go in the special features on the DVD. It's just one of those songs that drones on and on and on! Perfectly complementing the gameplay I might add. And these hints just keep popping up! Hercules, beware of fireballs. Hercules, beware of spite and jealousy! This game is pure action. I'm not--this game is so much action that if there was a war to protest, this game will be there in Time Square picketing before the feminists got there.
That looks more like Luke Skywalker than Disney's fuckin' Hercules. He does some weird run if you mess around with the buttons. I don't know what it does though.
This game is an ungodly amount of hard. One fuck-up and you're dead. And back to the beginning. Love it. I mean, come on! How do I get on this vine? I am inching...so slowly, and I CAN'T...I CAN'T GET IT! Oh, I see, you gotta do this bullshit to get it. Of course... Good luck landing that. This game is clearly meant to be an acrobatic platformer, as you can see. Well, while we're here we might as well rave about it!
(Footage of the gameplay plays with rave music in the background)
Jon: I gotta to say though, It's kinda cool when he swings his sword...feels like there's some real weight to it.
Now that would be all there is to say about the Disney Hercules games, but there's one last strange addition to this collection. Hercules 2 for the Sega Genesis? Okay, that's right. There's a pirated version of the PS1 edition for the Sega Genesis. Called...Hercules 2. That sure makes a lot of sense.
(Cuts to a kid playing Call of Duty)
Jon: Where was Hercules 1 exactly? Someone fill me in on this?
[Snapping sound plays]
Jon: Also, what's with the snapping? Did you mean to use this sound effect, guys?
[Ringing sound plays]
Jon: This game is really odd. It uses a lot of the same sound bites only incredibly bit crushed.
Jon: Yeah, no. I'm not gonna... I'm not gonna do this. Hercules does what Nintendercules.
Alright, last on our list! Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. You know, like the TV show. With Arnold Schwarzenegger. Or whoever the fuck that was. Fabio? Albert Pacino? Fonzie? The fact that there's a game of this verifies that someone out there hates me. Hercules TV edition! God, this menu music makes me feel like I'm about to embark on an educational adventure or something. I'm not knocking that. Cause I wanna do that. So I hope that's what's going to happen.
Jon imitating Carl Sagan: The brain is made up of billions and billions of neurons.
Jon:" Stay a while, friend, and I will tell you an epic tale." Yes, mm, I'm buying it. Clearly, that is the gait of a man who has an epic tale to tell. Okay. Blah blah. Blah blah! Okay, probably something about Dracula or werewolves. Let's do this hoopderscotch! "Good morning, Hercules. It is time to train! Follow me outside so that we may begin." I don't feel... I don't feel like I'm being treated appropriately here. Hm, there's something about this game that seems eerily familiar, isn't it? But I can't put my finger on it. Hmm. What is it? The blue action button? The chicken cooing? That forest like and cozy opening? That- holy shit! Teleportin' centaur! Shoulda called it the Legend of Hercules: Ocarina of time if you catch my cold! Achoo!
Seriously, this game's introduction is merely identical to Ocarina of Time. It's like they just want to get my pavlovian goin'. My pavlov. Hey, I'm sold. "I need you to clear these rocks out of this field for me, Hercules." Riveting. I mean, honestly. You get the deadliest and strongest demigod on the planet and this is what you use him for. This is his best application? Well, I mean, yeah... Who else could pick up rocks that big? Your sister? Sister can't do it. You know as far as a licensed game with an I.P. this mundane, it's really not that bad. Kind of impressive in scale. Although, ultimately, it's nothing I'd write home about.
[Except for this part...]
Jon: But let's be honest. Bring down the mic! The best thing about this game is the over powered-ass pause sound!
Jon: Also there's actually a Game Boy version of this one. Let's have a look at it. That's the box art? I don't think that's Kevin Sorbo at all.
[Loud, ear splitting "music"]
Jacques: Owowowow wowowow. *Jacques explodes*
Jon: So the first thing you'll notice about this magnificent work of art is the score. Or should I say the knives running up and down rusty garbage bins. That's probably closer. This hurts my ears so bad! It needs to stop!
Jon: It's like a mix between a fever dream and the Insane Clown Posse. Oh, man, looks like Hercules has been eating one too many ambrosias. Heheheh you know what I'm sayin'? His walk cycle is amazing. I can't get enough of it. He looks like Eric Cartman trying to cut a jig.
[Jon dances around trying to impersonate Hercules' walking]
Jon: Unlike the N64 version, this version is more like an RPG. It makes this annoying sound every time you talk to someone.
[boop and bop noises that sound like a 1980's computer]
Jon: Like world is coming to an end or something. "I only speak to sailors." Well, if that's the case, you'll probably pretty much limiting yourself to port towns, honestly, and even then they're out to sea most of the time. Why aren't you on a boat? A boat would really be a better fit for you. Also, what the fu... who says that? The fisherman also only talks to sailors. Okay, well, at least that one makes some sense. The stroller also only talks to sailors. Okay, first of all, what kind of an occupation is stroller? What kind of town is this? How did anyone even learn speech if everyone talks to sailors and there ain't no sailors 'round town?! Well, I guess if being a sailor is what it takes to be validated around here I might as well take to the streets and give it my all.
[Hercules falls into the water and drowns instantly]
Jon: Ohohoh my god! He didn't stand a chance! Poor hunk of a bastard sunk like a brick. Huh. Well, this sweet old lady seems kind enough. Maybe, I'll finally get a hint about what to do around here. "Don't stay here, I might hurt you." Lady, you gotta work on that anger. I'm sorry to have imposed on you, madam. Good thing we're not in Florida or this may have really turned ugly. "Leave me alone, Can't you see that I am busy." Oh, don't you worry, Eury. It's plain for all to see. Also, I think it's prudent to point out that it's actually Mr. Eurydice who's the busy one. Busy, busy, busy. He can't even be bothered to clean up the dead cat, he's so preoccupied! The cat's dead, dude, you can't just leave something like this laying around. You gotta step up. You gotta be a man. Get rid of this. Put it in the trash. You can't be jerkin' responsibility.
Now I've played a lot of RPGs in my day, and I gotta say hand down this one has to have the most stand off-ish NPCs ever! I don't think even one of these people is happy to see you. They might as well not be there at all. Hey guys! I don't think you should be so rude to Hercules! He's the son of Zues! Also, he can kill you real easily. I think that's the main thing. All right, well, if I can't find any help outside maybe I'll find some help inside.
"Get out of our home."
[Jon laughs and facepalms]
Jon: Well, yeah. I mean, I suppose that's right. I think anything from that would be deviating from the norm.
[Jon throws his arms up into the air, gets a bottle of pills and swallows them all]
Jon (internal voice): I didn't really want to become immortal that much anyways. Too much hard work.
[He then drinks a bottle of vodka] [Dear Kids: Please don't kill yourselves then sue me.]
Jon (internal voice): We gotta watch people going in and out of the White House for the rest of the time. No thanks, Samuel.