Bottom Line: Playing off of the beauty of poor translation, All Your Base Are Belong To Us is one of the oldest memes still in common use. It has appeared in countless image macros, parodies and more recently videos.
The granddaddy of Internet Memes, this one is based on a poor localization of the Japanese game Zero Wing.
For those who are interested, here is the real text translated from Japanese.
War had begun.
Captain: What on earth are you saying happened!?
Engineer: It seems that someone has set explosives.
Communication operator: Captain! We’ve received a signal!
Communication operator: Main screen, incoming visual.
CATS: You gentlemen seem preoccupied.
CATS: Thanks to the co-operation of the Federation Government forces, all of your bases belong to us.
CATS: It seems your ship will eventually meet its end as well.
Captain: It-It can’t be…!
CATS: I thank you for your cooperation.
CATS: Cherish these few remaining moments of your lives.
CATS: Ha ha ha ha…
Communication operator: Captain….
Captain: All ZIG units, take off!!
Captain: There’s nothing but to put our trust in them…
Captain: Our future, in hope…
Captain: (We’re) Depending on you. ZIG!!
A declaration of victory or superiority. The phrase stems from a 1991 adaptation of Toaplan’s “Zero Wing” shoot-’em-up arcade game for the Sega Genesis game console. A brief introduction was added to the opening screen, and it has what many consider to be the worst Japanese-to-English translation in video game history. The introduction shows the bridge of a starship in chaos as a Borg-like figure named CATS materializes and says, “How are you gentlemen!! All your base are belong to us.” sic In 2001, this amusing mistranslation spread virally through the internet, bringing with it a slew of JPEGs and a movie of hacked photographs, each showing a street sign, store front, package label, etc. hacked to read “All your base are belong to us” or one of the other many supremely dopey lines from the game (such as “Somebody set us up the bomb!!!” or “What happen?”). When these phrases are used properly, the overall effect is both screamingly funny and somewhat chilling, reminiscent of the B movie “They Live”.
The original has been generalized to “All your X are belong to us”, where X is filled in to connote a sinister takeover of some sort. Thus, “When Joe signed up for his new job at Yoyodyne, he had to sign a draconian NDA. It basically said, `All your code are belong to us.’” Has many of the connotations of “Resistance is futile; you will be assimilated” [link]
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