Commander Video is an alternate reality game and viral marketing campaign created by Gaijin Games and Aksys Games in order to promote their recently released WiiWare game Bit.Trip Beat. It is also the name of the protagonist of the Bit.Trip series of games.
Commander Video began when an anonymous e-mail was sent to gaming network IGN on December 19, 2008 containing a link to a video that depicted two Germans uncovering a mysterious object with a likeness similar to that of a television set. When the object is activated in response to one of the Germans dusting it off, it began to flash strange images. The Germans flee, and someone in the background, most likely the object, says "I am only a man", before the video goes white, and ends. On December 30, a commenter known only as "Commander Video" began leaving cryptic messages on several websites containing a link to the Commander Video website.
Currently, players are in close contact with the cryptic Commander Video, via email and Twitter. It is through these communications that Commander Video has released his requests, his clues, and his information. He apparently is watching his players' movements as well, for a few hours after the ten recruits solved a puzzle by placing lines of colors they separately received via email in the correct order, the completed image was placed on the Commander Video website.
The Commander's way of relaying information is coded. A single intention or query is put in all capital letters, and spaces between words are removed. The numeral one replaces periods, and two ones are used to signify the end of a command. For example, if The Commander were to ask Frank to get him a soda, he would phrase it as such:
Though confusing, at first, players were able to quickly decode his messages. The messages themselves were usually mission updates, although he was known to answer information requests, even from those who were not recruits. The missions themselves are internet based, such as talking about the game, finding information and even creating a Wikipedia entry about his game.
On January 9, 2009, Nintendo Power spoiled the game early, revealing the title and publisher. Later, the codename of this game was confirmed, in an email between a player of the alternate reality game and the person running the alias of Commander Video, to be "BTB".
Commander Video is the Bit.Trip series' mascot, and the protagonist in the Bit.Trip saga. He is a black pixelated character with a visor like eye, who leaves a rainbow like trail as he runs. His abilities vary depending on the game; in Beat the player controls the Commander in the form of a paddle, a throwback to the Pong series, Core features Commander Video stopping oncoming beats from the center of the screen by shooting in four different directions, Void portrays the character as a pixelated black circle collecting small black beats to grow larger whilst avoiding the white ones, in Runner he can jump, slide and kick his way past obstacles, whilst he can shoot in Fate, and Flux represents the series coming full circle, with a return to Beats gameplay style. He appears as a playable character in Super Meat Boy, where he has the ability to hover in mid-air, and in Retro City Rampage as a character in a mini-game reminiscent of Runners gameplay, as well as in 1001 Spikes. Commander Video will also appear in the upcoming game UFHO2 as a playable character. In addition, Commander Video is also included as a trophy in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
- CommanderVideo website
- Gaijin Games website
- Official Bit.Trip Beat website
- IGN article "Who is the Commander?"