Robot Unicorn Attack / Harmony Harmony

Robot Unicorn Attack / Harmony Harmony

Part of a series on 4chan. [View Related Entries]

Updated Feb 18, 2014 at 10:14PM EST by Brad.

Added Feb 27, 2010 at 06:52AM EST by SplitPin.

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About

Robot Unicorn Attack is a flash-based side-scrolling game in which the player controls the movement of a robotic unicorn to maneuver across a series of obstacles and platforms.

Origin

The game was produced by Spiritonin Media Games and released online by Adult Swim on February 4th, 2010. In the game, the player takes control of a robotic unicorn galloping across a land made of purple grass, rainbows and sparkling dolphins. The objective of the game is to continue gameplay without falling off the stage, crash into the edges of platforms or colliding with crystal stars. Points can be earned by leaping over obstacles and chasms, or bursting through stars using a “dash” move. The game also featured the 1994 synth pop song titled “Always” by English duo band Erasure.



Open your eyes I see
Your eyes are open
Wear no disguise for me
Come into the open

When it’s cold outside
Am I here in vain?
Hold on to the night
There will be no shame

Always, I wanna be with you
And make believe with you
And live in harmony,
harmony oh love

Melting the ice for me
Jump into the ocean
Hold back the tide I see
Your love in motion

When it’s cold outside
Am I here in vain?
Hold on to the night
There will be no shame


Upon its release, the game was met by positive feedback from various gaming communities and forums, most notably on 4chan’s /v/ (video game) board where discussions about the appeal of the game continued for several days. Within the first week of launch, Robot Unicorn Attack broke through one million plays and became one of the most popular games featured on Adult Swim. As a result of its popularity, the official music video of “Always” by Erasure on YouTube saw a significant increase in viewership throughout early 2010.



Spread

On February 26th, /v/ board’s page layout was revamped in the color scheme of Robot Unicorn Attack by moot at the request of the users. In addition, the /v/ board’s background was decorated with a tiled rainbow image featuring the Yaranaika face and the audio track of Always by Erasure.



Throughout the last week of February, hundreds of fan-made drawings and cartoons dedicated to the game surfaced on 4chan, the majority of which praised its inexplicable appeals and addictive gameplay. In addition, lyrics from “Always” were also turned into catchphrases and captions for image macros, including “Harmony Harmony” and “Always I Want to Be with You and Make Believe with You.” Some began posting screenshots and videos of their high scores and Adult Swim’s online scoreboard became flooded with names referencing various memes and in-jokes from 4chan.



The game’s positive reception on Adult Swim and 4chan was picked up by online news sites like Urlesque[3], The Independent[5] and CNN[6], as well as gaming review sites like 1UP[7], Eurogamer[8] and Kotaku.[9] Many articles written about the game praised its highly addicting gameplay despite its limited range of variables and repetitive elements. As of May 2012, the official Facebook page[16] for Robot Unicorn Attack has accrued more than 158,289 likes.

Spin-off Releases

In response to the sensation surrounding the game, Adult Swim released two spin-off mobile app editions in November 2010. The first release, titled Robot Unicorn Attack Heavy Metal[10], featured a metallic unicorn character and stage design influenced by glam metal and depictions of Hell set to the power metal song “Battlefield” by German band Blind Guardian. The second release, a Christmas-themed edition[11], featured a reindeer-like unicorn character in a snow-covered winterland set to “Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)” by The Darkness. In addition to the spin-off editions, Adult Swim also launched its first line of official merchandise[14] based on the game, ranging from mobile app versions and a Facebook app to t-shirts and hoodie sweatshirts bearing the image of the character.



Robot Unicorn Attack: Evolution

In February 2012, a sequel to the original game titled “Robot Unicorn Attack: Evolution” was released. This version introduced a number of new features, most prominently a series of level-up transformations for the character of Robot Unicorn. Upon successfully dashing through four consecutive stars, the unicorn will transform into a panda, after another combo, the panda will turn into a wolf, then a gorilla, a saber-toothed tiger and finally a dragon.



Notable Examples

Fan Comics


    

         

Parodies

Aside from the official spin-off games, fan-made parodies were created in the style of Robot Unicorn Attack, most notably Nyanicorn[12], which features the character of Nyan Cat, and Rainbow Dash Attack,[13] which features Rainbow Dash from the animated TV series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.



Search Interest

Search queries for “robot unicorn attack” began picking up in volume in the same month the game was released in February 2010. The search interest reached its peak in December that year, following the release of spin-off editions in mobile apps.



External References

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