"All your base are belong to us" (often shortened to "All Your Base", "AYBABTU", or simply "AYB") is a broken English phrase that sparked an internet phenomenon in 2001 and 2002, with the spread of a Flash animation that depicted the slogan. The text is taken from the opening cut scene of the European Sega Mega Drive version of Zero Wing, a Japanese video game by Toaplan which was rushed and so was rather poorly translated into English, and is often regarded as butchering the English language. It was popularized by the Something Awful message forums.
Transcript and translations
The phrase or some variation of lines from the game has appeared in articles, books, comics, clothing, movies, radio shows, songs, television shows, video games, webcomics, and websites.
- In late 2000, Kansas City computer programmer and part-time deejay Jeffrey Ray Roberts, then aged 23, from the Gabber band The Laziest Men on Mars made a techno dance track, "Invasion of the Gabber Robots", which remixed some of the Zero Wing video game music by Tatsuya Uemura with a voiceover phrase "All your base are belong to us.
- On February 23, 2001, Wired provided an early report on the phenomenon, covering it from the Flash animation to its spread through e-mail and Internet forums to T-shirts bearing the phrase.
- On April 1, 2003, in Sturgis, Michigan, seven people aged 17 to 20 placed signs all over town that read, "All your base are belong to us. You have no chance to survive make your time." They claimed to be playing an April Fool's joke, but not many people who saw the signs were familiar with the joke. Many residents were upset that the signs appeared while the U.S. was at war with Iraq, and police chief Eugene Alli said the signs could be "a borderline terrorist threat depending on what someone interprets it to mean.
- In February 2004, North Carolina State University students and members of The Wolf Web in Raleigh, North Carolina exploited a web-based service provided for local schools and businesses to report a weather-related closing to display the phrase within a news ticker on a live news broadcast on News 14 Carolina.
- On June 1, 2006, the video hosting website YouTube was taken down temporarily for maintenance. The phrase "ALL YOUR VIDEO ARE BELONG TO US" appeared below the YouTube logo as a placeholder while the site was down. Some users believed the site had been hacked, leading the host to add the message "No, we haven't been hacked. Get a sense of humor.
- On September 22, 2008, on the MSNBC show Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Princeton Professor and economist Paul Krugman commented that the proposal presented to the United States Congress concerning the federal bailout of failed financial institutions was the equivalent of United States Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson saying, "All your decisions are belong to me."
- In the Game: Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 (published by Electronic Arts) there is a cutscene where Emperor Yoshiro (George Takei) says: "All your base are belong to us."