Did you know that the number of games Mario has made brief cameo appearances in vastly outnumber those in which he is a playable character? Pictures of him adorn the castle walls in Ocarina of Time for example, and there’s a colossal ice statue of him on one of the 1080: Avalanche slopes. From tiny Pikmin upwards, our favourite Nintendo characters can’t stop elbowing their way onto our TV sets on someone else’s shift. In celebration of the Smash Bros. A-Z, here’s 20 of the more bizarre cameos from Nintendo games past and present…
1) Last night a DJ took my life
DJs, eh? All Night Nippon Mario Bros., a 1986 Super Mario Bros. remix for the Famicom Disk System, allowed the Japanese public their chance of revenge by replacing Bowser’s minions with DJs from a popular Japanese radio show, All Night Nippon. Faster, fanboys, Kill! Kill!
2) Boom! Chika WaWaWaWaWa
Like Bomberman? Like Wario? You’ll (possibly) love the Game Boy’s Wario Blast, which is, as you’d suspect, a Bomberman game starring Wario as a playable character. When he dies, Wario explodes gut-first.
3) Give that bot a hand
The NES’s Robotic Operating Buddy might have been incapable of holding anything smaller than a medium-sized chimney stack, but that didn’t stop him resurfacing in the early 2000s to put a chimneystack-sized pen to paper for a number of lucrative cameo deals. Between the time he spends towering over F-Zero GX’s Port Town circuit, ROB demonstrates his uncanny grasp of mass-shifting by shrinky-dinking down to squat plumber-size for the Mario Kart DS tournament.
4) Trash talk
Donkey Kong Country 2’s levels were populated with collectable Hero Coins. Collect enough of them, and you’d take a Nintendo legend’s place on the podium. Beside the podium lay a trash can containing Sonic’s sneakers and Earthworm Jim’s gun, with a sign that read ‘no-hopers’. Meow!
5) Samus sleeping - SMBRPG
There are numerous nods to other Nintendo characters in 1996’s seminal Super Mario RPG (you even wake up next to Link at one point), but Samus’ appearance is the strangest. Go to the Mushroom Kingdom’s guest house after defeating the second Belome, and you’ll find her in the guest room bed. “I’m resting for Mother Brain,” she sleepily explains.