The three emblematic mascots of the video game industry
Mascots were huge in the early days of video games. A mascot was required for each video game studio. Some of them are pretty well known, like Nintendo’s Mario, but there are a hundred Bubsy the Bobcats and Aero the Acrobats for every Mario.
While the success rate of this media creep is random, the most adored and well-known characters never seem to suffer from his appearances in other media. We’ll be looking at the best video game mascots on this list.
King of animals
In 1981, the first Donkey Kong appeared in its own video game. The Donkey Kong that everyone knows today, the one who wears a tie, is not the first Donkey Kong. It’s actually Donkey Kong Jr., who debuted in the arcade game of the same name in 1982. Donkey Kong Country on SNES served as the precursor to the current version of the game. The Donkey Kong we know today has appeared in 22 other games since that legendary title. Optimus Prime provided the voice of Mario in the Saturday morning cartoon version of the original Donkey Kong (Peter Cullen).
Unknown to many, Vault Boy has been around longer. Since the debut of the first Fallout game in 1997, he’s been the franchise mascot for Bethesda. It’s easy to recognize and love Vault Boy. His cartoonish antics are somewhat reminiscent of Sergio Aragonés’ Mad magazine graphics. The character has an air of simplicity and awkwardness a la Homer Simpson, perhaps due to his constant smile. Leonard Boyarsky’s original design for Vault Boy was somewhat influenced by the Rich Uncle Pennybags figurine from the Monopoly board game.
Besides being an immediate classic, the first Legend of Zelda also introduced Link to players. Link is more than just a mascot for Nintendo or the Legend of Zelda franchise. Link is almost a mascot for high quality video games. Even the “poor” Legend of Zelda games are superior to the majority of games, similar to Beatles tunes. Few people have had a negative gaming experience with a Zelda game. Link serves as something of a symbol of freedom in video games. Whether portrayed as a small child or a young adult, Link is another instantly recognizable video game symbol.
Blinx the Cat was originally meant to be Microsoft’s answer to Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog. Blinx didn’t become a successful franchise despite starting out as a fun game, and he’s since been left behind on the Isle of Forgotten Mascots. With the introduction of Halo: Combat Evolved for the Xbox in 2001, Microsoft discovered its mascot. Master Chief has now become the instantly recognizable mascot of Microsoft’s Xbox gaming platforms and the Halo series. Master Chief has appeared in numerous animated films and books since his debut. Master Chief is just as recognizable even though he hasn’t been around as long as most of the mascots on this list.