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The pitch video for the first Harmonix game will make your head explode

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

The year was 1995. Bill Clinton was president, O.J. Simpson was on trial, and a stamp still cost 32 cents. Pope John Paul II (or PJP2, as I liked to call him) made a whirlwind tour of the U.S. — as did Celine Dion. Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradis" sat atop the Billboard charts, followed closely by TLC's "Waterfalls."

Meanwhile, a little company in Cambridge, Mass. released its first game, called The Axe. Later, the technology behind that game would inspire the Guitar Hero and Rock Band series, which helped to fill living rooms around the world with plastic instruments and good times.

The video above, made by Harmonix for marketing purposes around the same time as the game was released, is a beautiful artifact of the times. From the soundtrack, to the haircuts, it simply reeks of the 90s.

Here, for your edification, is our favorite moment in GIF form.


And here's a version of the game in action on YouTube.

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