Whos that guy?
If you spent years of your life working on a single thing, wouldnt you want to put your face all over it? Thats why, from time to time, some plain-looking folks appear in media as in-jokes by the producers, as they slip in a cameo for one of the behind-the-scenes people in stuff like Pulp Fiction or Seinfeld. Games engage in the 'creator cameos' trope just as much as anyone, though often only the weirdest moments are memorable.
If you dont know the names of the people making your favorite games, creator cameos can be jarring, especially so when theyre as unexpected as these. Why just have your picture in the background when you can star in an escort mission? Or have game breaking powers? Or simply yell Toasty! at the player? These are the times when game makers took full advantage of their limited screentime.
Hideo Kojima gets kidnapped in Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes
Series mastermind Hideo Kojima stuck his face in the background of several previous games, and even supplied the voice of a deity in a later game, but he took his cameos to a new level in 2014. Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes main mission is a little on the short side, so the game attempts to stretch things out with a handful of side missions, including one that makes Kojima a central figure.
Kojima made numerous cameos in previous Metal Gear games, but his most recent might also be the oddest, mainly for how much in your face Kojima is this time around. The mission has Snake flying in via helicopter and blasting his way through the base until he finds Hideo. Once he frees the boss and gets him to the chopper, the two fly off to safety, though Kojimas consciousness isnt fully restored until he puts back on his famous glasses. He then says, What took you so long? Is this a reference to the fans still patiently waiting for the next installment?
Peter Moores fists fly in FaceBreaker
Peter Moore has a long history in gaming, probably more storied than most realize. Years before he was showing off his Halo and GTA tattoos at E3, he ran Sega of America during the Dreamcast years. After gaining fame with Xbox, he moved on to Electronic Arts Iwhere he made his oddest appearance to date: as a virtual boxer in FaceBreaker.
Made as a throwback to arcadey punch-fests of old, FaceBreaker has over-the-top moves and finishers, along with a cartoonish collection of characters. A hyper-exaggerated version of Moore is among them, with the COO mainly included for promotional purposes at events like E3. And the devs included some truly famous folks in the virtual boxing ring via the character creator. So, if youre wondering why youll find a video called 'Peter Moore vs. Kim Kardashian,' FaceBreaker is why.
Peter Moores guitar skills in Dishwasher
Speaking of Peter Moore, his E3 appearances at Microsoft led to another reference that many gamers either didnt notice or didnt get. In the underrated XBLA hit The Dishwasher, theres an Achievement titled The Peter Moore, and the official description says "Pay homage to one of our generation's greatest rock performances ever." Considering it pops up while the protagonist plays a guitar, what could this possibly refer to? An E3 moment Moore likely wishes never happened.
Back at E3 2007, Peter Moore took part in an early live demo of the then-new Rock Band, and he didnt yet have mastery of his instrument. As tens of thousands watched worldwide, Moore twice hit the Xbox guide button while playing, sending the rocking demo to a laughable halt. Dishwasher has some rhythm-based minigames where the character picks up an axe and wails away, and if you hit the guide button during the segment, youll net the Achievement. Hopefully, in the time between E3 and the games release, Moore looked back on the gaffe with humor instead of embarrassment.
Keiji Inafunes head is summoned in Hyerdimension Neptunia nk2
Keiji Inafune made a name for himself as an outspoken game maker at Capcom, and then later as an independent developer. Also known as the man behind Mega Man, Inafune built his team at Comcept to create a number of new series - but he also found time to take part in the very niche crossover Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2.
Neptunia is a weird JRPG series that doubles as meta-commentary about the games industry, with anime girl deities that work as thinly veiled counterparts to PlayStation, Xbox, and Wii consoles. Mk2s industry commentary goes even deeper with cameos from characters like Disgaeas Prinnies, and Keijis giant, disembodied head. Dubbed the Creator Sword, Inafunes head is called down from on high, he shoots a massive energy beam out of his mouth, then his smiling visage returns to the heavens. For those unfamiliar with the history of Japanese gaming, that moment has to feel pretty damn random.
Matt Groening fights his creations in The Simpsons Game
I dont think Im being hyperbolic when I say The Simpsons is the most important piece of satire in the last century, and that it transformed society (OK, maybe that last bit is a little overboard). But Ive been a super-fan of Springfield since I first saw it over 25 years ago, and its tongue-in-cheek humor was a huge draw. The series even had some scathing, self-referential attacks on the series creators, including Matt Groening. That same irreverence stretched to 2007s The Simpsons Game, which had a joke where Homer, Marge, Bart, and Lisa battled Groening in his mansion.
Groenings yellow-skinned creations have no doubt made him a rich man, but the game comically represents Groening as wealthier than Scrooge McDuck. The Simpsons battle their way through their creators mansion among piles of cash and gold, ultimately finding Groening in his cavernous office. Matt calls in some Futurama character cameos for assistance, but is still defeated by Springfields Finest. As he flees the battlefield, Groening writes his name on the screen as a final, egotistical move thats fitting for his in-game persona.
David Cages intro to Indigo Prophecy
David Cage is either famous or infamous to most that know his name. Hes the outspoken developer behind Quantic Dream, a studio that attempts to blur the lines between gaming and film storytelling (they dont always succeed). After games like Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, we know what to expect, but the multiple-choice gameplay needed some explanation in Quantics first game: Indigo Prophecy/Fahrenheit. Good thing David Cage is there to have it all make sense.
Before Indigos intriguing mystery can unfold, David Cage appears onscreen to describe the gameplay to you. And hes giving this explanation on a sort of film set for the game youre about to play. This tutorial may have been necessary for some, but with Cages heavily accented English, he might not be the best guide. Plus, having the creator speak directly to the audience before the game begins is a bit jarring - though I doubt anyone would ever accuse Cage of being subtle.
Stan Lee swings through The Amazing Spider-Man tie-in games
Stan Lee has been a fixture of pop culture for over five decades, and thanks to numerous cameos in Marvel films, the comic writer may be more famous than ever. Like your lovable, nerdy grandpa, Stan Lee has even made a few appearances in Marvel games, fitting for the co-creator of most of the companys most iconic heroes, Spider-Man included. However, the game tie-in for 2012s The Amazing Spider-Man did far more than give Lee a brief walk-on - the game makes him the hero.
The Stan Lee DLC reskins Spidey as the besuited comic mogul, giving Stan The Man all the same moves and abilities as the wallcrawler. Its a cute set of missions, with Lees uniquely nasal voice throwing out one liners all over Manhattan as he catches crooks just like flies. Its also a groundbreaking move at diversifying games - how many other titles star a 92-year-old man?
Mortal Kombat developer declares players Toasty!
Gamers of the 90s have this creator cameo burned into their brains, even if they never really knew who the man in the corner of their screen is. First seen in Mortal Kombat 2, when you pull off an uppercut at just the right time, a seemingly random dude will pop out of the corner of the screen and say 'Toasty!' in a high-pitched voice. Thats MK sound designer Dan Forden, and this little in-joke became an unforgettable part of the series.
The phrase and Folden returned in Mortal Kombat 3, this time with a new purple shirt and extra catchphrases like 'Frosty' and 'Crispy,' and no one really questioned it. MK players just got used to seeing some unnamed dude interrupt their bloody fight with a strange falsetto. For a time, Holden vanished from the series, but made an HD return in the Mortal Kombat reboot, this time wearing a shirt with toast on it. Just how much sillier can Dans look get in Mortal Kombat X?