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Google Channels Nintendo 64, And Other Hidden Jokes

Submitted by on November 7, 2011 – 11:14 amNo Comment

Losing hours playing the video game Starfox 64 for Nintendo was a rite of passage for many of us growing up. But hey, the Lylat system wasn’t going to save itself from the evil  Andross.

“Do a barrel roll!”, trusted sidekick Peppy Hare would yell in his southern twang. And I’d hit the Z or R buttons twice, sending Fox McCloud into a spin that would deflect enemy fire.

In it’s long standing effort to pay tribute to all things nerdy, search engine (and geek haven) Google embedded a recently discovered tribute to this video game classic into their homepage. If you search for the phrase “Do a barrel roll,” or even “Z or R twice,” your results page will tumble around like Fox’s Arwing.

(Note: this will only work in newer browsers that support HTML5. And make sure Instant Search is off.)

Google offered a more mundane explanation for the feature, telling ABC News that it had been created by an engineer to “entertain users” while also “showcasing… a presentation feature of modern browsers.”

Other Google search jokes include:

  • “Tilt” or “Askew”: Search for either of these words, and you’ll be craning your neck to read the results.
  • “Google gravity”: Search for this phrase, and watch you screen come crashing down.
  • “Recursion”: It’s a fancy word for repetition in mathematics. Search for it and Google will ask, “Did you mean: recursion?”
  • Google got a little political back in the early 2000s. Searching for the phrase “Weapons of mass destruction” by pressing the I’m Feeling Lucky button produced a snarky take on the 404 error message.

Also, many of the sites famous April Fool’s Day jokes and popular doodles have become regular features preserved on the site, including: Flight Simulator, Pac-Man, and MentalPlex.

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