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Do a barrel roll with Google (just don't get vertigo)

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(Read caption) Do a barrel roll! The new Google easter egg is a tribute to Starfox. So do a barrel roll, in honor of one of the best SNES games ever made. Here, a screenshot from Starfox 64.

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Back in 1993, when this Horizons blogger was still young and impressionable, Nintendo released an on-rails shooter called Starfox, which pitted a wise-cracking fox against the nefarious scientist Andross (in retrospect, not such a nefarious name). Starfox was fun! Playing as Fox McCloud, the gamer fought through endless waves of enemy marauders, enlisting along the way the help of sidekicks like Peppy Hare and Falco Lombardi. 

This week, Google – home, apparently, to a few Star Fox fans of its own – has released an Easter egg, which honors Starfox at least indirectly. Here's how it works: Head to Google.com. In the search field, enter the words "do a barrel roll." Hit enter, and for one, stomach-churning instant, your entire screen will flip upside-down, before smoothly rolling back into place. Already, the Easter egg has been dubbed "the best four seconds you'll waste online." 

We're not going to disagree, especially considering the flood of nostalgia this barrel roll Easter egg managed to induce. It's enough to make us wish we hadn't traded in our SNES so many years ago. (As Brett Molina of USA Today points out today, you can get the same vertiginous effect by searching for "Z or R twice" – a reference to the command which triggered the barrel roll in Star Fox 64.)

A quick note: The barrel roll easter egg should work on most new browsers. If it doesn't, download an HTML 5-compatible update. In the meantime, check out this clip of vintage Starfox action. Happy rolling! 

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