10 Iconic Video Game Characters Who Were Introduced In Surprising Places (And Which Game They First Appeared In)

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Video games have become so mainstream that the industry is moving to many movie studios. Twenty years ago it was hard for some parents to recognize the characters, but thanks to their massive juggernaut franchises, individuals like Mario and Master Chief have become well known.

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But not every character has a dynamic entry into the game space. Some characters didn’t get huge franchises with their name on them right away. On the contrary, their entry into the playing space was humble. Granted, some of them are big now, but their early days were anything but glamorous.

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Sonic the Hedgehog – Rad Mobile (1990)


sound colors

Like most developers in the late 80s, Sega’s main revenue came from arcades in 1990. Sega had plenty of non-Sonic racers and franchises at that time. The Master System and the recent Genesis had limited success, but Sega was working on something that was sure to create some buzz. So before sonic the hedgehog was to debut, they put it in one of their arcade runners as an ornament hanging from the ceiling.

mobile-radio was a driving game much like other Sega hits of the time. Compared to out run Where Super gripcorn, mobile-radiois Sega’s first 32-bit game. This is also Sonic’s first appearance. It might be more accurate to say that this is actually the only appearance of Mr. Needlemouse, Sonic’s working title. But Sonic’s first appearance was still iconic.


Luigi – Mario Bros game and watch. (1983)


Super Mario Galaxy Luigi

Mario’s beginnings date back to 1981 donkey kong. Nintendo realized the character’s potential and would continue to use him everywhere. Most believe his brother Luigi first appeared in the sequel, Mario Brothers. But technically, Luigi’s debut took place in another Mario Brothers. There was a different game with this title in Nintendo’s Game & Watch series of handhelds.

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Luigi is no stranger to bizarre beginnings. Luigi’s mansion was teased in paper mario before its release, and the Gooigi lookalike first appeared in its remake. Befitting Luigi’s weird and cowardly nature, the beginnings surrounding him are hard to pin down.


Ada Wong – Resident Evil (1996)


Ada Wong Resident Evil 2 Remake Capcom

Agent Ada Wong is one of Capcom’s best female characters. His relationship with resident Evil Star Leon Kennedy is similar to Batman and Catwoman. She’s an independent character whose motivations are often mysterious, and she first appeared as an enigma in the first game.

While people generally think of the big resident Evil character Ada Wong debuting in 2it is mentioned in 1. A scientist’s note mentions that a necessary password is his girlfriend’s name. It could have been any three-letter female name. But when developing 2someone came up with the idea to reintroduce the character and the rest is history.


Chen Stormstout and Pandaria – April Fool’s Day (2002)


Chen Stormstout as seen in WoW

World of Warcraftthe fourth expansion of, Mists of Pandaria, added a lot. It was actually the fulfillment of April Fool’s promises when Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos.

No character was postulated by this April Fool’s origin, but the most notable Pandaran character was Chen Stormstout. It is introduced in Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne as a companion. Originally nodding in jest, the character grew and developed until Pandaria was added to World of Warcraft. Warcraft has an incredible amount of things to do and Pandaria is a big part of that.

Roy – Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001)


Roy Smash Bros.

fire emblem is known for two things. It is known for being a series of strategy RPGs with engaging storylines and permadeath. He is also known for having many characters in the Super Smash Bros. fight series. Super Smash Bros. Melee It was the first time a Western player had seen the franchise as it had not been localized.


Unlike Marth, who was from the series opener, every player had their first look at Roy. As an apology for Marth being cut from the previous game, the developer included Roy as a promotion for the next one. fire emblem. Ironically, Roy’s characterization in Melee’is different from his game, which makes it bad publicity. After Meleeinterest was piqued enough for the series to air internationally. fire emblem still gets games released on Switch today.

Pikachu – Game Boy Camera (1998)


Ash's Pikachu

The American release of Pokemon was after Game Boy Camera. red and green had been out for years in Japan, allowing the Pokemon developer to work on the camera. In sticker mode, Pikachu, Meowth and many more could be found.

Pokemonis no stranger to production-based cameos. Pokémon Munchlax appeared in several titles before debuting in Generation 4, remade in Pokémon: Shining Diamond and Shining Pearl. He appeared in Pokemon XD: Dark Wind, Pokemon Mystery Dungeonand Pokemon Dash. The anime also showed Togepi before his in-game debut.

Vincent Brooks – Persona 3 Portable (2009)


Vicent Brooks looks confused in Catherine video game

Katherine was a PS3 game with a fusion of climbing puzzles and a social simulator. It got a reissue called Katherine: whole body on modern platforms. In it, Vincent Brooks has relationship issues and has nightmares where he climbs towers (representing his problems). It is also part of the largest Shin Megami Tensei game universe.

the Character the series is also in the Shin Megami Tensei universe and shares the developers with Katherine. In Persona 3 Portable, players can find a character that looks like Vincent. He talks about having the same problems as Katherine. There are minor differences, but the shared universe and developers mean that guy is Vincent.

The Ikari Warriors – TNK III (1985)


Ralf Jones and Clark Steel in King of Fighters

In the king of fighters series of fighters, there is a team consisting of a military unit. The most recurring members are Ralf Jones and Clark Steel. Some people believe that their team’s name, Ikari Warriors, refers to their origins in the game of that name. However, that’s not entirely true as SNK has made arcade games with them before. Ikari Warriors.


Related: 10 Best Fighting Games From The 1990s

While Clark also appeared in the metal slug series, Ralf had a longer history. Ralf has appeared in other games; TNK-III and iron tank. In the mid-1980s, war-themed games were popular. After two misses, Ralf finally appeared in a hit with Ikari Warriors before settling in one of street fighterrival franchises.

Star killer – Soul Caliber IV (2008)


In the perspective of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, LucasArts was marketing it big. the Soul caliber The series was also releasing a new episode and loved including guest characters. The world of swords was soon joined by star wars. Yoda and Darth Vader appear as version-specific bonuses, with Galen “Starkiller” Malek alongside them.

Starkiller, Vader’s apprentice, was more nervous than star wars fans were used to, so in a way it made sense to appear in the Berserk-inspired series. But that also meant that Starkiller’s introduction was in a medieval game. At the time, Galen was built as a big addition to the star wars canon, and his playing is always looked upon fondly. So it’s weird that his debut was in a game with Yoshimitsu in it.

Banjo and Conker – Diddy Kong Racing (1997)


Banjo, Conker and Diddy Kong races

UK-based RareWare often has cross-pollinated creations. As a result, characters would transfer between projects. Diddy Kong race had tons of new characters to be a Donkey Kong game. The reason was that it included characters that Rare used in other projects. As such, characters from its most famous Nintendo 64 offerings were on the list.

Banjo and Tiptup will appear later in Banjo-Kazooie. Banjo-Kazooie was a platformer with a legacy and a fanbase that still clamors for it today. Conker starred in Conker’s Bad Fur Dayan M-rated parody of Banjo-Kazooie. Legacy crescendos from Rare on the N64, and Diddy Kong Race was the prelude. These characters alongside Diddy are retroactively silly, as both could sell games better than Diddy. Really, it was a weird first appearance for these two icons.

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