These characters may have been created by a company as massive as Nintendo, but have still been mostly forgotten by fans.
By Hannah Reed
Published Jun 06, 2021
Quick – how many Nintendo games are there? The answer is too many to count. Each?Nintendo?game comes with its own cast of heroes and baddies. We all know the big ones?— Mario, Link, Pikachu, and so on?— but most characters are bit players.
RELATED: 10 Obscure Street Fighter Characters That Most Players Forgot Existed
Sometimes a more obscure character will make a comeback in a new game or as a Super Smash Bros. fighter. Many of them just end up washed away. They may have been too specific to the plot of a certain game, or maybe they just weren’t interesting enough. Regardless, there are many interesting Nintendo characters that deserve a second look. Here are a few.
Kirby’s animal friends – an owl, a hamster, and a sunfish, respectively. These NPC allies were the main selling point of Kirby’s Dream Land 2 on the Game Boy. Coo lets Kirby fly, Rick gives him a ride across the stage, and Kine helps him swim.
Many later Kirby games had cameos of these three. It would take a very long time for them to reappear in any gameplay capacity. Coo, Rick, and Kine appeared as a three-in-one Dream Friend in Kirby Star Allies, twenty-three years after their debut game.
Serena is a chihuahua goddess appearing in Animal Crossing: City Folk. The only way to talk to her was by shelling out the Bells to add a fountain to your town. Once it’s built, the player had to throw an axe into the fountain. She would ask a series of questions that the player could respond to truthfully or lie. Depending on the answer, she would give them a gold or silver axe.
It’s harder than it sounds. Serena is quite the tempestuous goddess. It’s random whether the player will receive a special axe or not, and the same answers won’t always provide the same results. Acquiring the golden tools changed in future releases. So, Serena, excuse the pun, got axed.
You’d never guess that this was a first-party Nintendo title, but it was. Captain Rainbow followed the titular character, a superhero TV star, on his quest to restore his popularity. He travels to an island that allegedly has the power to grant wishes. The main selling point was the supporting cast of minor Nintendo characters, like Birdo, Little Mac, and, uh, the guy from NES Golf?
RELATED: 7 Best Mario Games On The Nintendo Wii (& 7 Worst)
Captain Rainbow was certainly an original title, and it got pretty good reviews. Sadly, it was a complete bomb financially. Only 22,000 copies sold over the course of an entire year. There were plans for a European release, but they never came through.
Appearing in Donkey Kong Country 2 and 3, Swanky Kong is perhaps the least remembered of the Kongs. This snappily-dressed ape hosted a quiz show for Diddy, where he would reward the player with extra lives. In the sequel, he hangs out in a circus tent and hosts a ball-throwing minigame.
Official art for 2 featured Swanky as a member of Donkey Kong’s family, but the character didn’t last. He’s had a few cameos since his debut. In Mario Superstar Baseball, he’s on a billboard advertising something called “DK Cannon”.
Panel de Pon was a SNES puzzle game with a fantasy setting. Players must match blocks into horizontal or vertical rows to prevent them from piling up. The characters were a gaggle of fairies – Lip the Flower Fairy, Sherbet the Ice Fairy, and so forth.
RELATED: 15 Puzzle Games You Have To Be A Genius To Complete
Part of the reason these characters went forgotten is that they weren’t in international releases. Panel de Pon was changed into Tetris Attack outside of Japan. Characters from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island replaced the fairies. The Lip’s Stick item in Super Smash Bros. is the only notable reference to them.
A first-party Nintendo franchise with five games that no one knows about? It’s more likely than you think. The Legendary Starfy series followed the titular starfish as he swam his way around the ocean helping sea creatures.
Why hasn’t the Starfy franchise endured? The games are colorful 2D platformers that are mostly very easy – which is a niche already filled by Kirby. They probably didn’t do so hot financially, either. Only the fifth and latest game was deemed good enough to sell outside Japan, and even then, it got glossed over.
Eely-Mouth was a boss in Super Mario Sunshine. It’s the source of all the pollution in Noki Bay, thanks to its horrific oral hygiene. Mario has to swim into Eely-Mouth’s lair and blast the plaque off of its teeth to get the Shine Sprite.
Thanks to Super Mario 3D All-Stars, there may have been a resurgence in Eely-Mouth awareness. Not for the best of reasons, though. This is the only Sunshine boss that takes place entirely underwater. As such, general movement and FLUDD use control very differently. At worst, this fight is a frustrating struggle against awkward controls. At best, it’s simply forgettable. Also, judging by FLUDD’s “Remember to take proper care of your teeth” message after the boss, this whole thing could have been a dental health PSA.
Everyone knows Tingle, whether they like it or not. He’s appeared in at least five Zelda games and even has a few of his own spinoffs. The Wind Waker introduces three of Tingle’s brothers – Ankle, Knuckle, and David Jr. The four siblings live on Tingle Island and help Link decipher Triforce Charts.
RELATED: Zelda: 10 Things You Didn’t Know Were Cut From The Wind Waker
Technically, there are only three Tingle Siblings. David Jr. was once a sailor who shipwrecked on Tingle Island. When he awoke, he was in the Tingle uniform and dragged into doing the green fairy fellow’s work. Tingle’s brothers haven’t appeared since The Minish Cap, but there are some islands in Breath of the Wild named after them.
Most fans know the Mario universe’s princesses. Peach, Daisy, and Rosalina are the big three, but there’s one more that slipped through the cracks. Princess Shokora is an ancient ruler who was buried in the Golden Pyramid. In Wario Land 4, Wario decides to do a bit of grave-robbing but accidentally frees her spirit from the villainous Golden Diva.
Interestingly, Princess Shokora’s appearance changes depending on how many treasure chests Wario collected. Collecting at least half makes her look like the above picture. Find every chest, and she’ll be an older-looking woman with short hair. Do poorly, and she’ll end up as a bratty toddler – or worse, a gender-flipped version of Wario.
One of the oddest games in Nintendo’s catalog. Doshin the Giant is a god simulation game produced by Miyamoto himself. The titular giant lives on an island and receives prayers from its inhabitants. He can choose to help or hinder the locals, producing Love or Hate that makes him stronger.
Doshin the Giant was notable for its simple interface that used little to no text. Critics liked it well enough, and it sold decently in both Japan and Europe. Despite its success, the game faded into obscurity. The last time anyone saw Doshin was as a trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee.
NEXT: Pokemon: 10 Forgotten Characters That Need To Come Back
10 Longest Mario Games (According To HowLongToBeat)
Animal Crossing: City Folk
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD
About The Author
(39 Articles Published)
Hannah Reed is a recent college grad and List Writer for GameRant. She likes Genshin Impact, Splatoon, and Pokemon.
More From Hannah Reed