The iconic flash animation that popularized the garbled phrase All Your Base Are Belong To Us as a proto-meme is now 20 years old. Flash portal Newgrounds posted a tweet to celebrate two decades of All Your Base, and you can even watch it through the help of the Flash emulator Ruffle.
While today Adobe Flash is a dead relic of the old internet, back in 2001 it was a sort of early YouTube analog, and the All Your Base animation caught on in a very real way. Based on the botched English translation of the opening cutscene of the obscure Sega Genesis game Zero Wing, the bizarre animation made the phrase “All Your Base Are Belong To Us”–and to a lesser extent “Someone Set Up Us The Bomb”–into primitive internet memes. The animation combines audio from the internet group Laziest Men on Mars with images created by fans of the first-person shooter Starsiege: Tribes.
Many notable video games reference the All Your Base phrase, including Civilization 3, Max Payne, and Mega Man Battle Network. It’s even an outright cheat code in Age of Empires 2. Politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez quoted the phrase in the above 2019 tweet, which is a testament to its continuing popularity.