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Astro Bot will reference one of PlayStation’s oldest memes

Astro Bot and its PlayStation character cameos, which include Aloy and Nathan Drake on the right.
Team Asobi

The Astro Bot series is known for showcasing PlayStation history, with some incredible deep cuts and cameos. For the upcoming Astro Bot, which was officially announced during Sony’s latest State of Play this week, that apparently comes in the form of a nearly 20-year-old meme.

In an interview with EW, Team Asobi head Nicolas Doucet mentioned some of the characters that players will encounter spread throughout the game’s 80 planets. This includes some obvious inclusions, like Nathan Drake from the Uncharted franchise and Aloy from the Horizon games, but snuck into one of the paragraphs is mention of an island in the shape of a giant crab.

For those not up on their video game meme history, the “Giant Enemy Crab” is a classic. Sony’s E3 2006 presentation featured gameplay from Genji: Days of the Blade, an action game that’s loosely based on the classic Japanese epic The Tale of the Heike. As producer Bill Ritch played the game on stage, he spoke about what players could expect, which included fights “based on famous battles, which actually took place in ancient Japan.” However, just as he said that, a giant crab jumps into view on screen. Ritch then spoke the now-famous line: “So here’s this giant enemy crab.”

so here's this giant enemy crab

Relatedly, this is also the demo that spawned a line that I quote constantly: “And you attack its weak point for massive damage.”

The absurdity of the moment propelled the Giant Enemy Crab into infamy. People made fun of it online, there was a Newgrounds game based off it, and it was even brought up in future E3 press conferences. While presenting Octodad: Dadliest Catch, Adam Boyes, then Sony’s vice president of third party relations, said: “Although historically accurate, this game does not contain giant enemy crabs.”

E3 2006 was overall a weak point for Sony. Not only did it have some lackluster reveals and laughable moments, but this was also when it announced the ridiculously high pricing for the PlayStation 3 — $599. Archive and documentary channel NoClip remastered the entire press conference in HD last year, and if you want to relive the hilarity, you can watch it on YouTube.

Its inclusion, however small, is in line with Team Asobi’s history with the Astro Bot franchise. Take Astro’s Playroom, for example, which launched with the PlayStation 5 as a tech demo that also went through PlayStation console history. Some of the many deep-cut cameos include Fat Princess from the 2009 game Fat Princess; Ape Escape, which was the first game to require two analog sticks; and Ridge Racer, also from E3 2006.

“I would say it’s pop culture in general in a very broad sense,” Doucet said in the EW interview about the upcoming Astro Bot. “That’s something we’ve always done as part of our games — look at iconic real-world inspirations, a lot of them from Hollywood movies or famous animation — and looking at themes that really cross generations.”

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Carli Velocci
Carli is a technology, culture, and games editor and journalist. They were the Gaming Lead and Copy Chief at Windows Central…
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