Finding New Games in the 20th Century
The gaming landscape has transformed significantly in the last couple decades, granting modern gamers a host of advantages. One noteworthy aspect is the widespread acceptance and recognition of video games as a revered art form and popular source of entertainment. Gone are the days when gaming was confined to the domain of geeks and misfits during its adolescent stage, as the medium has blossomed into a mainstream phenomenon accessible to a diverse audience.
Another key element that enhances the gaming experience for today’s enthusiasts is the unparalleled convenience and remarkable diversity at their disposal. The advent of cross-platform play, emulation and the rise of PC gaming as a viable option have shattered the limitations of the past, where gamers were restricted to a single console’s restraints. Modern technology has paved the way for gamers to effortlessly access a vast array of video games, whether they are widely popular or obscure, at their fingertips with just a simple click, sometimes even at no cost at all.
In contrast, let’s travel backwards to 1989, where the gaming landscape was vastly different. During this era, gamers were faced with limited options when it came to purchasing games. Their choices typically involved visiting independent, small game stores or browsing through modest selections at retailers like Toys R Us or WalMart. Discovering new and upcoming video games was far from effortless, unlike the present-day convenience of exploring the Steam featured page. In that bygone era, catching occasional advertisements on television or in magazines provided some insights, but one of the prevailing methods of learning about video games was through mail-order services exclusively dedicated to gaming.
What’s That Game Down There?
VideoGames & Computer Entertainment magazine played a significant role in catering to gamers’ needs during that era, featuring dedicated sections for mail-order services. One such service, known as Play It Again, occupied its own page within the magazine. The page showcased an extensive list of NES game listings, many of which have achieved legendary status as classics that endure to this day. Prominent titles like Bomberman, QBert and Super Mario Bros graced the listings, captivating the attention of eager gamers. However, an intriguing anomaly surfaced towards the end of the compilation. Nestled inconspicuously between Wrestlemania and Xenophobe, an alphabetically misplaced title, intriguingly named Yeah Yeah Beebiss I, piqued the curiosity of readers.
Its unusual name and peculiar misplacement on the page initially raised a few eyebrows, but was largely dismissed as a minor oddity. However, as time passed, its recurring presence became increasingly intriguing. Month after month, spanning four consecutive issues, Play It Again’s mail-order list prominently featured Yeah Yeah Beebiss I.
Adding to the intrigue, a peculiar turn of events saw Yeah Yeah Beebiss I vanish from the pages of Play It Again’s October issue, only to resurface in the mail-order service of Funco, featured in the very same month’s edition. Curiously, the title underwent a transformation, adopting a shortened version of its name to “Yeah Beebiss I.” This revised name persisted within Funco’s video game listings for an additional three months, maintaining its enigmatic presence until January 1990.
Yet perplexingly, despite the passage of over thirty years, no trace of gameplay footage or tangible information about the game has ever come to light. Surely, if it were a mere error, it would have been rectified at some point in that extensive timeframe. The mystery surrounding this elusive title continues to captivate and perplex gaming enthusiasts to this day.
The Search Begins
Fortunately, a community of passionate internet sleuths refuses to let the enigma surrounding Yeah Yeah Beebiss I fade into obscurity. Their dedication ensures that this mysterious game remains in the spotlight. One platform that actively supports the preservation of lost media is the Lost Media Wiki—a forum and archive that meticulously documents various forms of media that have been lost to time, even when the evidence supporting their existence may be scarce. This comprehensive website covers a wide spectrum of articles, ranging from well-known lost media, like the infamous lost horror film London After Midnight, to more somber subjects, such as the tragic on-air incident involving professional wrestler Owen Hart’s fatal fall from the ceiling during WWE’s 1999 Over The Edge pay-per-view event. Given the inherent allure of Yeah Yeah Beebiss I, it comes as no surprise that this captivating topic has earned its rightful place on the wiki, with a dedicated page that invites both enthusiasts and curious individuals to delve deeper into its intriguing story.
In early 2021, a group of dedicated users on the Lost Media Wiki conducted an amateur investigation to unravel the mysteries surrounding Yeah Yeah Beebiss I. Their journey began by reaching out to a former employee of Funco, seeking valuable insights into the game’s elusive existence. Andy McNamara, an individual with firsthand knowledge of the industry and at that time employed by GameInformer, offered illuminating information that helped to further the investigation. McNamara shed light on the process behind the creation of the game lists, revealing that they were compiled based on existing titles available on the market. This revelation, backed by McNamara’s credibility as a notable source, heightened the curiosity and fascination of the users even further. The plausibility of Yeah Yeah Beebiss I’s actual existence began to solidify, fueling their determination to uncover any potential traces of the game that may have once graced the gaming world.
Following this revelation, an alternate theory emerged, supported by a former employee of Play It Again, the company responsible for the initial list featuring Yeah Yeah Beebiss I. Neil Levin, one of the founders of Play It Again, was contacted by a diligent member of the Lost Media Wiki seeking further clarification. In their conversation, Levin disclosed a practice employed by the company. It was revealed that the individual overseeing the compilation of these lists would occasionally insert fictitious game titles as a form of copyright trap. The purpose behind this strategy was to detect any mail-order services that copied Play It Again’s list verbatim. Thus, if other mail-order companies included these fabricated games in their listings, it would serve as undeniable proof of plagiarism. Neil Levin’s firsthand account shed light on this intriguing aspect of the industry and furthered intrigue into the existence, or lack thereof, of Yeah Yeah Beebiss I.
Some More Theories
Among the speculative theories surrounding Yeah Yeah Beebiss I, two prominent hypotheses have garnered considerable attention, despite the absence of tangible evidence. One theory proposes that the game could potentially be a localized adaptation of the Japanese exclusive title Rai Rai Kyonshis: Baby Kyonshi no Amida Daibouken, inspired by the popular Taiwanese Hello Dracula film series.
Supporters of this theory suggest that “Rai Rai” may have been misheard or loosely interpreted as “Yeah Yeah,” while the term “Baby” in the Japanese title could have been mistranslated and written as “Beebiss.” This linguistic speculation gains further weight from the presence of other localized titles on the same list, implying a pattern of adaptation and translation. Although this theory rests on conjecture, its intriguing parallels and contextual evidence offer a plausible explanation for Yeah Yeah Beebiss I’s placement on the list.
Another theory that has surfaced connects Yeah Yeah Beebiss I to the cancelled sequel of Activision’s acclaimed NES platformer, Pitfall. The unreleased Super Pitfall II was posed as a contender to the mystery when a user on the NintendoAge forums proposed a hypothesis in early 2012. According to user Luigi_Master, they had intended to create a deliberately subpar Famicom game titled “Yeah Yeah Beebiss I” as a joke. Their search for a corresponding Romaji term led them to “Bi Be Su,” which Google Translate translated as “The Bibe.” This prompted further research, revealing that “Beebe” was the surname of an American explorer and naturalist. Based on these coincidences, Luigi_Master speculated that Yeah Yeah Beebiss I might actually be Super Pitfall 2, with the “I” representing a typo derived from the Roman numeral II.
While both of these theories offer captivating possibilities, it is crucial to note that no concrete evidence exists to substantiate them. They remain intriguing speculations within the realm of mystery surrounding Yeah Yeah Beebiss I. As the quest for its true identity continues, only further investigation and potential discoveries can shed light on the elusive nature of the game.
In 2022, indie developers Rigg’d Games released a game on the Nintendo Switch titled Yeah Yeah Beebiss II. The game presented itself as a direct sequel to the mysterious, seemingly nonexistent Yeah Yeah Beebiss I. Its NES-style graphics and aesthetic influence from Rai Rai Kyonshi’s – Baby Kyonshi no Aminda Daibouken posed as a love-letter to both the game’s mystery and its widespread search efforts.
Yeah Yeah Beebiss I continues to captivate and perplex gaming enthusiasts. With theories supported by speculation rather than concrete evidence, the true identity of the game remains elusive. The Lost Media Wiki and its dedicated community have played a crucial role in preserving the mystery surrounding Yeah Yeah Beebiss I, keeping it in the spotlight and encouraging further investigation.
As the gaming landscape continues to evolve, with advancements in technology and accessibility, the mystery of Yeah Yeah Beebiss I serves as a reminder of the unique history and allure of lost and elusive video games. It remains a captivating enigma that may one day be unraveled, providing closure to the dedicated enthusiasts who have tirelessly searched for answers.