It’s time for another instalment of ‘God bless the internets’ where someone, somewhere, out there uses their precious lifetime to fulfill random running jokes and making them a reality.
Casing point: The world’s longest running animated show The Simpsons, especially Season 8 Episode 10 entitled “The Springfield Files”. While the main storyline is centralised on Homer Simpson witnessing in what appears to be an extraterrestrial and getting FBI Agents Mulder and Scully involved (David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson) in an X-Files / Simpsons crossover, there is a side joke in a scene where Bart’s best friend Milhouse Van Houten is at the Arcade about to play a game.
That game? Kevin Costner’s Waterworld – a fake game based on the 1995 post-apocalyptic flop. A flop meaning that it went over budget and didn’t set the world on fire box-office wise (Personally, it was a decent film).
Fast forward to 1997, and once you get lampooned by The Simpsons, you’re on record for good.
For years fans have wanted to play the fake game, and finally, someone has made it. Twitcher Macaw45 has created a working PC based version where you can experience putting in forty quarters, and constantly coughing up money to manoevure Costner’s character The Mariner around.
The highly frustrating and entertaining game makes you feel like you’re Milhouse himself, as you spend your hard-earned pocket money and get as far as you can into the game as possible.
As Macaw45 explains:
I’ve always been fascinated by the fake videogames that were occasionally seen in The Simpsons, and the Waterworld one always stuck out to me as a kid. Of course it’s just a short joke poking fun at how expensive the production of the movie was at the time, but this fake game itself with its gigantic Kevin Costner character on the screen who takes a single step before the machine asks for more quarters always made me so eager to know ‘what would be beyond that one screen you see in the show…’
I ended up spending about $70 before I called it a day. You can download the freeware game here (and throw a few quarters their way as well for the effort). All the seasons of The Simpsons (including this episode) are available to stream through a paid subscription on Disney Plus.