Those playing the Smoke and Mirrors minigame on impossible difficulty will find it's quite true to its name. This is because, shortly into the first level, Lou Reed (of Velvet Underground fame) will use magical powers to zap and explode the magician duo. An FMV of the rocker then states: "This is the impossible difficulty, boys. Impossible does not mean very difficult; very difficult is winning the Nobel Prize. Impossible is eating the sun."
During the Smoke and Mirrors segment, most of the shopkeepers are played by Debbie Harry of Blondie fame, just in different roles (hardware store owner, travel agent, etc.)
The game's most enduring segment is Desert Bus, a 360-mile, 8-hour, real-time bus ride from Tucson to Las Vegas at 45 MPH. Players act as the driver; the bus leans slightly to the right, preventing players from rubber-banding the controller to get through it. (If the bus crashes, it's towed back to Tucson in real time, then it starts all over again.) Should Las Vegas be reached, the player gets a single point and the option to drive back, also a real-time journey. The game cannot be paused, leading to a humorous instruction book comment: "No, it's not an oversight. Does your life have a pause button? "
The game was designed to be as dreadfully boring and realistically inoffensive as possible, in response to then-Attorney General Janet Reno's outspoken comments on video game violence. In recent years, Desert Bus has gotten attention as part of "Desert Bus for Hope," a Child's Play (charity that donates video games to hospitals) fundraiser where entrants try playing the game as long as possible. DBFH has raised over a million dollars total so far.
Connection to Other Media
In the game's intro, Penn will explain how this isn't meant to be the typical video game experience, and list examples of what this means. While he does, the ever-silent Teller will gesticulate references to Italian plumbers (Mario series), hyperactive nocturnal insectivorous mammals (Sonic series), and one guy using a "death move" on another (Mortal Kombat) using props.
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