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All Your Base Are Belong To Us

"All your base are belong to us" (sometimes abbreviated AYBABTU or simply AYB) is a phrase that sparked an Internet phenomenon that occurred in 2001 and 2002. The phenomenon initially took the form of the sentence appearing on the Something Awful Forums. Many images were digitally altered so that the phrase was added in, either obviously or discreetly. Eventually these were collected together onto one site and a Flash animation produced from them, which was widely downloaded.

The phrase arose from a poor translation used in the English version of the Japanese video game Zero Wing, originally produced by Toaplan in 1989. The infamous quotations were taken from the European localization of the Sega Mega Drive port released in 1992. The arcade version of Zero Wing does not include the quote, nor any other dialogue; the intro for the PC Engine version has CD quality spoken dialogue, but has a completely different introduction. Zero Wing was never released in North America, and therefore never came to the Sega Genesis, the North American Mega Drive.

"All Your Base" was interesting in that it demonstrated the power of the Internet to quickly spread idiosyncratic messages that would never have been covered by the traditional mass media. Although the fad has since died down, the phrase continues to be one of the most commonly quoted examples of "Engrish". The phrase is also often used as a battle cry on many competitive video games, particularly ones played over the Internet.

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