E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a video game adaptation of Steven Spielberg's 1982 film of the same name. The game was one of Atari's biggest commercial flops. According to the James Rolfe, he gets more requests to review it than any other game. It is widely considered as the worst game of all time. It has not been reviewed by the Nerd until Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie's release. The cartridge was seen in the episode Halloween and clips of the gameplay can be seen in the opening credits of many episodes. In episode 101 the Nerd is shown in fear of playing the game. The episode ends with "To be continued, in the Angry Video Game Nerd Movie". At MAGFEST 2012, James Rolfe confirmed the game would be a central element in the film and would be reviewed.
The game is infamous for contributing to Atari's downfall in the event that would become known as the great video game crash of 1983. Atari obtained the rights to E.T. and hired the experienced game designer Howard Scott Warshaw to produce a game based on the movie, however Warshaw was only given 5 weeks in order to meet the deadline for the Christmas shopping season. This resulted in a rushed game that was incoherent and filled with bugs. The game also used mechanics invented by Warshaw that was completely new at the time, and so many gamers were alienated. The game was one of Atari's biggest commercial flops, and the following year the company went bankrupt. As a result nearly every unsold copy of the game were recalled and burried in Alamorgodo, New Mexico, along with other unsold Atari merchandise, in an event that would become known as the video game burial of 1983.
Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a central element in the plot of Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie. In the movie it is revealed that the Nerd was traumatised by the game when he was a child. When a sequel to the game, made by a company called Cockburn Inc., is released to try and cash in on the original game, the Nerd is frustrated to find his fans requesting that he review the games. As in real life, the movie shows that the game is infamous for contributing to Atari's downfall, and because of this millions of game cartridges are said to have been burried in the New Mexico desert. The Nerd decides to set out on a mission with his friend Cooper, and try to prove that the story of the game's burial is not real. Due to legal reasons, the game's title was changed to "EeeTee: The Extra-Special Alien" in the movie. The title of the fictional sequel was likewise "EeeTee 2".
At the end of the movie as the credits roll, The Nerd finally reviews the game in front of the crowd who had gathered. However, the Nerd subverted all expectations, citing that the game, while still pretty bad, was far from the worst game ever made. He even praised it for how sophisticated the randomization of item placement was for the time period it was made in, as well as having been made by only a single person in less than six weeks. The review showed gameplay which had been recreated based on actual recorded footage, to avoid legal ramifications, however in the episode version which was later posted on YouTube, the real footage was used instead.
- Main article: Transcript of AVGN episode E.T. Atari 2600
- In the episode Bugs Bunny's Crazy Castle an E.T. decoration can be seen.
- In the episode Halloween, the Nerd contemplates on what game to play. His hand reaches an E.T. cartridge, he shakes his head and picks out another game.
- A cardboard cut-out of E.T. and Elliot appears during the Nerd's raging at Predator for the Nintendo Entertainment System as seen in Schwarzenegger Games (Episode)
- Coincidentally enough, on April 26, 2014 (during the filming of the movie), it was confirmed that E.T. along with several other Atari titles were buried in the landfill after it was excavated.