One of the things that makes Nintendo such a great, strong company has got to be its characters. No other gaming company has as many characters that are so universally known. In fact, most game companies pour countless amounts of work into even getting a single protagonist to become an icon, and yet for Nintendo, it's like they have down to simple science. the moment a new Nintendo series is created, the main character is already becoming a legend set in stone. That doesn't mean that every Nintendo character ends up going that route, though. Here are a few that have fallen through the cracks.
Let's kick things off with a character that never actually made an in-game appearance. I an referring to The Prince of Hyrule
. Yes, there was a canon prince of Hyrule! although he never appears in a game, he can be found within the manual for Zelda II on the NES. Zelda and The Prince's father was the man who was responsible for the breaking of the triforce into 3 pieces. He told Zelda the location of a single piece, and when the king passed away, his son became King of Hyrule. A wizard within his very own court threatened Zelda to divulge the location to him, and when she refused, the wizard cast a spell on her, putting her into the slumber that leads to the games beginning. Enrages and saddened at his sisters predicament, he issues a decree that ALL daughters of the royal blood shall henceforth be called Zelda, and that is why every princess of Hyrule since has bore that name.The only existing official art is of him, under the influence of some evil,whipping a servant while Zelda pleads him to stop. Many speculate that this is the wizard possessing him and using him as an interrogation tool.
Mario stumbled into the wrong pipe and found himself rescuing princesses from some pretty weird creatures, but before he was a plumber he was in the construction business. His sweetheart at that time was Pauline
, a brown haired girl from New York. That's right, the girl in Donkey Kong is NOT Princess Peach! Pauline appeared in game to have blond hair, but this was not how she was depicted in official art once the game hit the NES and Gameboy. More recently, she has appeared in the Mario vs Donkey Kong series. Many wonder why she was replaced by Peach, but face it - if your boyfriend told you that he took a wrong turn during a sewer job and saved the Princess Toadstool from a tyrannical dinosaur turtle, you'd probably start to question his mental health.
Another character from the arcade era that most don't talk about is Stanley the Bug Man
, and exterminator and main character of Donkey Kong 3 as well as the Game & Watch title Greenhouse. Stanley uses a pump-dispense can of bug spray to kill insects that are have invaded a greenhouse and become enraged by Donkey Kong, who is hanging from the rafters and disturbing their nests. Once Stanley kills all the bugs in a level, DK will hang down as if he is taunting Stanley. This don't last long, and a few sprays of bug poison up the butt sends Donkey Kong on his way. That must really hurt...
Sticking with Mario characters, there are a couple of Mario enemies that are often forgotten. One of these hails from Super Mario Bros. 2 and is known as the Snifit
. Snifits are a breed of shyguy that wear a gas mask and shoot pellets at Mario and company. They have made several appearances, mostly in the Yoshi games, and as an enemy in Super Mario RPG. Despite these appearances, and their awesome gas masks no one ever seems to really care about the Snifits. I'm shocked they didn't make in appearance in Luigi's Mansion - they had potential to be quite spooky. They certainly looked creepy in their cameo for the Super Mario Bros. live action film!
Animal Crossing is one of Nintendo's younger franchises, but it has a cult like following of fans, myself included, who are extremely into the game.In the Japanese Nintendo 64 game"Animal Forest" and it's remakes, including the North American Gamecube release, Animal Crossing, there are over 300 characters. That leaves a LOT of room for forgotten characters, doesn't it? But I'm going with the single most forgotten Animal Crossing character - Farley
. Farley is a nature spirit that resides within the town's wishing well, or possible the tree attached. Ever notice how the wishing well seems to converse with your character? It's actually Farley who is requesting that you make improvements to the town's ecosystem. For a long time, fans were more or less unaware of Farley, despite his image being engraved on the back of the ball. even Prima's official strategy guide doesn't list him, but it strangely uses his image as incorrectly as "Snowman". By getting the town to perfect status, and keeping it that way for 7 days, you can trigger an event in which Farley reveals himself in physical form and bestows upon you the golden axe, which will never break like the other axes in the game. Unfortunately, and for an unknown reason, Farley has been replaced by a chihuahua named Serena. Yep, they replaced a nature spirit with a chihuahua. Makes perfect sense. Before you even ask, yes, bro, I am mad.
You know that game you had when you were a kid, and you sucked at it so you didn't really play it much? and then you put in in a yard sale or gave it to that kid Jimmy across the street who moved to New Mexico, or Bangkok or God knows where? Only to look it up on eBay later to discover it has a mass cult fanbase paying $80 a cartridge?Shantae for the Gameboy color was one of those games, and the character of the same name is just as forgotten. Shantae
is a half genie girl created by CAPCOM. Yes, she was created by CAPCOM, so I guess if you want to get technical she has no place on this list, but she has appeared exclusively on Nintendo systems, and I felt she deserved the recognition. If you disagree, scroll to the next paragraph. the game from which she hails is a Metroid-esque side scroller in which she attempts to foil the plans of Risky, a pirate girl who wreaks havoc on Shantae's hometown. Her game is really solid and fairly challenging. A sequel was released on the DSi and 3DS shop called Shantae: Risky's Revenge, but it was disappointed short and lacked the originals infamous difficulty. Maybe one day she will make it into Super Smash Bros. or a CAPCOM VS game. She certainly would deserve the spot.
It really sucks when a highly anticipated game gets cancelled, especially when it is pretty much ready for launch. This is the unfortunate tale of Starfox 2 for the SNES. The game was so closed to finalization that the beta ROM file is fully playable from beginning to end. I have played and beaten this game, and it so awesome that I cannot believe Nintendo cancelled it. It puts the first game to shame! Along with the story elements, something else was lost with this game's cancellation - three characters, 1 of which was removed in the final beta and 2 of which remained fully playable. Ironically, all 3 of these characters were female. Let's start of with Miyu Lynx
. She was, as her name would imply, an anthropomorphic lynx, and she piloted a newly developed Arwing model called the Interceptor. Many features from Starfox 2 were recycled into Starfox 64, and while Miyu unfortunately never made a comeback she is the possible predecessor of Falco's love interest Katt Monroe.
Another character who also piloted the new interceptor model was Fay
, a white border collie. There is not much information on her, and she and Miyu's lines are shared in the ROM. In spite of the game's cancellation, and these characters bland copied personalities (in the game at least), they have remained decently popular with the hardcore Starfox crowd who use them in fanfiction, though not nearly as often as the main cast. Still, it's cool how much their fans have fleshed them out on their own.
The final character I shall discuss is the 3rd character from Starfox 2 who was removed in the final beta. Unlike Miyu and Fay, however, she is VERY fleshed out by Nintendo themselves. Her name is Fara Phoenix
, and she had Fox's heart skipping beats before Krystal was ever thought of! Fara is a fox of the fennec variety. She made her debut is the Starfox comic series in 1992. Now, I've read this comic series myself and it is certainly a very interesting take on the Starfox universe, but I must say - I don't think I've read cornier lines before or since. "Hi General Pepper! Want me to stop for some salt?" comes to mind...quite unfortunately. Fara is the chief test pilot for Corneria's airforce, and a competent pilot who can hold her own with veterans like the StarFox team. Fox himself stated that she is a spitting image of his own mother, Vixy McCloud, who was murdered by Andross via a car rigged with explosives. Perhaps Nintendo intended to pull a Luke and Leya on us. But we'll never know, because they pretty much threw her in the trash.
Games like Super Smash Bros. have reduced the amount of forgotten characters. By including in the roster characters such as Pit in Brawl and Marth/Roy in Melee, players from various regions and generations are able to educate themselves more about games they didn't even know existed. Hopefully, we will one day see the characters in this article again. Many forgotten franchises are already making their comebacks...