Sunday, December 18, 2011

Clash at Demonhead and Other Video Game-Inspired Band Names

A short list of Nintendo Entertainment System video games whose titles — whole or in part — could be Scott Pilgrim vs. the World-style alt rock band names in the style of Sex Bob-omb, Clash at Demonhead, Sonic & Knuckles, Crash and the Boys and Kid Chameleon.
  • Abadox
  • The Adventures of Rad Gravity
  • Air Fortress
  • Arkista’s Ring
  • Bandit Kings of Ancient China
  • Boulder Dash
  • Casino Kid
  • Color a Dinosaur
  • Conquest of the Crystal Palace
  • Dash Galaxy in the Alien System
  • Destination Earthstar
  • Elevator Action
  • Faxandu
  • Flight of the Intruder
  • Gotcha! The Sport!
  • Gyromite
  • Ikari Warriors
  • Image Fight
  • Isolated Warrior
  • Kabuki Quantum Fighter
  • Kid Niki
  • King’s Knight
  • The Krion Conquest
  • Laser Invasion
  • Little Samson
  • Lee Trevino’s Fighting Golf
  • Legend of the Ghost Lion
  • Lunar Pool
  • The Magic of Scheherazade
  • Magmax
  • Marble Madness
  • Mechanized Attack
  • Mighty Bomb Jack
  • Nobunaga’s Ambition
  • Parasol Stars
  • Qix
  • Rainbow Islands
  • Rolling Thunder
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms
  • Rygar
  • Shingen the Ruler
  • Smash TV
  • Stanley and the Search for Dr. Livingston
  • StarTropics
  • Swords and Serpents
  • Touchdown Fever
  • Twin Cobra
  • Twin Eagle
  • Ufouria
  • Wizards & Warriors
  • Wrath of the Black Manta
  • Xevious
I have only linked the one title because I wanted to draw attention to the title that served as the inspiration for Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge from that one Christmas episode of The Simpsons. (Hey! Holiday tie-in!) But of all these, I have to say that Clash at Demonhead is easily the best. I’ve never played the game myself, but I decided long ago that it had to be the most awesome thing ever after I laid eyes on the box art.

It is, of course, an assemblage of images chosen deliberately by scientists to draw the eyes of boys aged five to twelve, and I am completely aware of this, but also how could anything associated with this not be the absolute coolest?


  1. Clash At Demonhead is more of a cult classic that only came to prominence (well, somewhat) after Scott Pilgrim. Still, I love it, despite the dedication it requires to get through it.

    This video shows its pros and cons pretty well:

  2. Yeah, I'd heard that it wasn't the best game in the world. But like the video explains, that only makes it more appealing to me.

  3. "Smash TV" is such a perfect name for a band that I can't imagine no-one's using it.

  4. Oh man, Clash at Demonhead occupied a lot of hours somewhere around my 11th birthday, one of those "hey look parents, an NES game that doesn't cost full price!" kind of birthday requests (the box art drew my eye, anyhow, and I'm sure the plot synopsis made some kind of sense at the time). I actually really enjoyed it, at least in a gonzo Metroid-meets-Bionic Commando-meets-Battle-of-Olympus kind of way. The opening scene where you meet a skeleton inexplicably named Tom Guycot who explains that he's the "chief of governors" cemented the deal.

    I never read the Scott Pilgrim books (but I 100%-ed the excellent movie tie-in game, does that count?), yet my brain synapses fired in all sorts of good nostalgic ways when I first saw O'Malley's references to Demonhead and to "Lynette Guycott".

    If there's hope for real-life bands like Crystal Castles, Final Fantasy, and um, Pong, the games on your list should be good matches! If we could extend the list beyond NES games, I'd also suggest:

    * Bank Panic
    * Go! Go! Mr. Yamauchi
    * Two Crude Dudes (and maybe tour overseas as Crude Buster...)
    * Appoooh (a name so funny I can barely look at the name...SEGA!)
    * Satan of Saturn
    * Hotdog Storm
    * Zombies Ate My Neighbors
    * Avoid the Noid
    * Money Idol Exchanger

  5. Also, I had to go listen to the Pixies' cover of "Theme from NARC" after writing up that list.