Last Thursday, I opened my email inbox to find a code changelist I didn't recognize. It was a modification to our unittesting tool.
Perplexed at why I was Cc'ed, I scanned the changelist description. "Make startup message 1% funnier."
Then I saw the author is my dear friend Dan. I opened the code change. It turns out that Dan changed the initialization message from its normal note. During 1% of the time, it will instead output "Zug zug".
"Zug zug" is what the orc peons say in Warcraft II.
Ah, Warcraft II, the game which altered the course of my life and career, because it led me to choose the field of games programming for five years.
The afternoon after I saw the changelist, PR asked me to do a written interview for a Korean newspaper. One of the questions asked for a recent Googley event. Since the "zug zug" incident was on the top of my mind, I used it as my answer.
I told Dan later that I utilized his story.
Dan: "That's very appropriate."
Dan: "Don't Koreans love Blizzard?" [Blizzard is the company that makes Warcraft II.]
Me: "Oh yeah! I probably didn't even need that sentence explaining where 'Zug zug' comes from."
As I picked up my brother for dinner that night, I told him the story too.
Tom: Hehe, 'zug zug'. [looking out the car window] [in orc voice] 'Ready to work!' Well, you'd have to say it in Korean.
Tom: Oh! It's good he picked 'Zug zug' as the startup message. That's the only phrase that didn't need to be localized to Korean.