Astro Bot Set to Pay Homage to One of PlayStation’s Longstanding Memes

Astro Bot and its PlayStation character cameos, featuring Aloy and Nathan Drake on the right.

The Astro Bot series is renowned for its portrayal of PlayStation’s rich history, incorporating remarkable hidden gems and guest appearances. In the upcoming Astro Bot installment, recently unveiled during Sony’s latest State of Play event, a nearly two-decade-old internet sensation takes center stage.

During an interview with EW, Nicolas Doucet, the head of Team Asobi, revealed some of the characters players will encounter across the game’s 80 planets. While familiar faces like Nathan Drake from Uncharted and Aloy from Horizon are expected, a surprising mention was made of an island shaped like a colossal crab.

For those unfamiliar with gaming memes, the “Giant Enemy Crab” holds a special place. Sony’s E3 2006 showcase featured gameplay from Genji: Days of the Blade, an action title loosely inspired by the Japanese epic The Tale of the Heike. As producer Bill Ritch demonstrated the game on stage, he described battles “based on historical conflicts from ancient Japan.” Suddenly, a massive crab appeared on screen, leading Ritch to utter the now-famous line: “So here’s this giant enemy crab.”

Furthermore, this demo gave rise to another memorable quote: “And you attack its weak point for massive damage.”

The unexpected nature of the moment propelled the Giant Enemy Crab to fame. It became a subject of online jest, inspired a Newgrounds game, and even became a recurring topic in subsequent E3 presentations. During the presentation of Octodad: Dadliest Catch, Adam Boyes, then Sony’s vice president of third-party relations, humorously remarked: “While historically accurate, this game does not feature giant enemy crabs.”

E3 2006 marked a challenging period for Sony. The event not only had underwhelming reveals and comical incidents but also unveiled the steep price tag of the PlayStation 3 — $599. Last year, the archive and documentary channel NoClip remastered the entire press conference in HD, offering a chance to revisit the amusement on YouTube.

The subtle inclusion aligns with Team Asobi’s approach in the Astro Bot series. For instance, Astro’s Playroom, which debuted with the PlayStation 5 as a technical showcase, also delved into PlayStation’s gaming legacy. Among the array of obscure cameos were Fat Princess from the 2009 title Fat Princess, Ape Escape requiring dual analog sticks, and Ridge Racer, another highlight from E3 2006.

“I’d describe it as a reflection of popular culture in a broad sense,” Doucet expressed in the EW interview regarding the upcoming Astro Bot release. “It’s something we’ve consistently done in our games — drawing inspiration from iconic real-world elements, often from Hollywood movies or renowned animations — exploring themes that resonate across generations.”

Bella Anderson

Bella is a tech enthusiast turned journalist, passionate about decoding complex innovations into understandable insights.

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