AYBABTU / all your base are belong to us

Okay, it is hard to believe that some of you have managed to somehow avoid the pop-culture onslaught of the AYBABTU phenomenon, but suffice to say that I've gotten enough questions on it to include it in the Glossary.

Basically, this is a line from the intro to a badly translated video game called Zero Wing, originally an arcade game from Toaplan and released in 1989 for Sega Genesis. About a decade later, the quote begins to make the rounds of the Internet, complete with the zany graphics. It becomes a touchstone for geeks and gamers alike and sets off a firestorm of parodies and embellishments, most notably a techno-soundtrack-fuelled Flash animation. The cult phenomenon seems to have just about run its course now, but for a while it was the Latest Big Thing.

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