Do you remember when the first trailer for The Phantom Menace came out, and we all got really excited about that srapline, and then Darth Vader turned out to be a annoying little kid with a bowl haircut who couldn't act, and said stuff like "Mom, you said that the biggest problem in the universe is no one helps each other"?
Yeah, that was disappointing wasn't it? Not least given that in the very next film he murdered some indigenous children, and then some more kids in the film after that, and then choked his wife.
That's literally like doing a sequel to, I dunno, Pinocchio where a grown-up Pinocchio deliberately tells a lie so that his nose shoots through the eye socket of a Somalian orphan, and then another sequel where he bites his wife's thumb off and sends cuttings of his pubic hair to celebrities.
But anyway. It's not just intergalactic, child-murdering, super villains who had a less-than-venerable origin story. Here are ten huge games companies, and the games they started with.
After a failed attempt to thrust their product into schools - turns out there are regulations, and that sort of boring, grown-up, thing - the wet-behind-the-knees Rubin and Gavin began to focus on more entertainment-led products, including a skiing simulator (oddly, created using a commercially available pinball game construction kit), and their first semi-hit, a surreal point-and-click adventure called Dream Zone.
The company signed a publishing deal with Electronic Arts, and renamed itself Naughty Dog to coincide with the release of a bawdy comedy adventure, Keef The Thief. At which point it also adopted a horrible "Poochy"-esque mascot; "Nawty Dog", who apparently had a large, distended, pair of buttocks protruding from his face.
A derivative platformer, it ran into some controversy because its main antagonist was a representative of OSHA - the Occupational Safety and Health Administration - who ran around the screen with a clipboard, attempting to batter your blue collar hero to death.
Following criticism by a Californian legislator, some stores demonstrated a brave solidarity with the bureaucracy by removing the game from their shelves.
Way to stand up for the little man, idiots!
The two games had one thing in common (beyond the zombies, natch): should the player's character be turned into one of the undead, the player would be reincarnated into the body of a fresh protagonist, with the former character left to roam the area in which they died.
Here's a thing: why is it so easy to stick a knife in a zombie's head? Aside from becoming a reanimated corpse, do their bones go all spongey too? A skull should provide a degree of resistance, yet in The Walking Dead et al they stick knives in like the zombie heads have all the density of lard.
Furthermore, do zombies do poos and wees? They're always eating people, so that has to go somewhere.
Even earlier, prior to its spectacularly failed partnership with Nintendo, which was meant to have led to a Super NES CD-ROM add-on called the PlayStation, Sony Imagesoft's first published game was the unremarkable Super Dodgeball for the NES.
However, the first game it both developed as well as published was the Mega/Sega CD version of the long-running American gameshow, Jeopardy! All-new footage of host Alex Trebek (sounds like somebody got hiccups in the middle of saying "I like Star Trek") was featured, who - as you can see from the cover above - had a lovely, kindly face.
I'd also just like to add, apropos nothing, that Jeopardy would be a good name for a horse.
In fact, shorn of any memorable attributes, the game's most notable claim to fame revolves around a high score controversy. One Todd "Todgers" Rodgers had held a 5.51 second achievement on Dragster for almost three decades - the longest-running video game world record of all time.
At least, until an investigation last year by Twin Galaxies - the games industry's sort-of-official record-keeping body - revealed that such a time was impossible. Todgers had his score stricken from the record, and was banned from competitive gaming.
Though by anyone's standards a fairly rote R-Type rip-off - and a far cry from the world-conquering Grand Theft Auto series - Menace was a modest enough hit, and gave DMA a foundation upon which to construct its empire.
The first ginger step it took in the direction of gaming was a large-scale laser clay pigeon shooting installation, but its first arcade game was this: 1975's EVR Race. Horse or car races would play out on a TV screen, and up to six players could bet upon the outcome. Alas, the system was extremely complicated, leading to frequent breakdowns.
It was created by Genyo Takeda, who remained with Nintendo for many more years, being closely involved with the likes of Popeye, Punch-Out!, and Pilotwings 64, as well as helping to develop the Wiimote.
Unlike most of the companies on this list, Valve's first game was also the start of the franchise for which it remains best known. Half-Life was put together from a heavily modified version of Id's Quake engine, and aimed to scare players "like Doom did".
Surprisingly, Valve struggled initially to find a publisher, because - apparently - most companies felt that the planned game was too ambitious for a first-time developer to pull off. Fortunately, Sierra - better known for its whimsical point-and-click adventures - took a punt.
Though a huge success, Half-Life ran foul of Germany's strict censorship laws, and all human antagonists had to be replaced with robots. Valve later released a patch which would restore the German version to its full, bloody, glory.
Or should that be... gory!!!!?!?????!!!???!!!
They were able to pull together enough money from the profits of the medical work to found Bioware along with brothers Trent and Brent Oster (not a joke) and Zeschuk's cousin Marcel - ensuring that Bioware's greatest achievement was in gathering together a group of people whose names appeared to have been randomly generated.
Shattered Steel biggest selling point was deformable terrain - something of a novelty in 1996 - and though there had been plans to release a sequel, the company's founders realised they had more interest in developing role-playing games.
Which worked out great for them! For a while.
Interestingly, the word "vulgus" is Latin for "Common People". Which rather casts Pulp's 1995 hit in a new light.
I want to live like vulgus,
I want to do whatever vulgus do,
I want to sleep with vulgus,
I want to sleep with vulgus,