What is it?
“All your base are belong to us" is a broken English phrase taken from the opening cut scene of a 1989 video game called Zero Wing. It sparked an Internet phenomenon in 2001 and 2002 that was incredibly popular amongst gamers.
The year is 2101, and a war has started. The scene is the interior of the command deck of some form of battle cruiser, in which a captain is stood watching an explosion rip around the ship. The captain enquires 'What happen?', to which the ship's mechanic replies 'Someone set up us the bomb.' Next, the ship's operator states 'We get signal' and 'Main screen turn on', revealing to the captain that the perpetrator is none other than the dastardly, borg-like CATS! CATS asks 'How are you gentlemen!!' and then tells the captain of his impending downfall - 'All your base are belong to us. You are on the way to destruction.' Finding it hard to take this news, the captain replies 'What you say!!', but CATS simply replies 'You have no chance to survive make your time', following which he laughs rather maniacally and then disappears. Resolving to win despite the odds, the captain orders the operator to 'Take off every Zig.' The captain instructs the Zig pilots, 'You know what you doing', then repeats to them to 'Move Zig' and states that he fights 'For great justice'.
The intense popularity of this clip derived from it’s poor – and therefore humorous – translation from Japanese into English. After an animated GIF of the opening sequence was posted on a gaming site, the craze started to catch on. Altered images of road signs, cereal packets and other photographs containing the words 'All Your Base Are Belong To Us' had started to appear. Techno remixes of T-shirts featuring the line were sold by enterprising online stores. The story was picked up by newspapers and TV-stations around the world.
But as more and more TV channels, newspapers, websites and 'celebrities' began to jump on the bandwagon, it became important for those who wanted to remain credible to reject the craze as old news.
Soon it died out, although new parodies pop up every now and then. These include 'All your Iraq belong to U.S.' and the techno remix of the video clip.