Animals have always made for interesting characters in video games that you can see it here. They are endowed with personality, feelings, and occasionally superpowers. I’m going to look at the 10 most famous animals in video gamedom, excluding animal-like creatures such as Bowser, who is sort of like a dinosaur but, according to the many games he has appeared in, is actually a Koopa.
Pengo was a 1982 videogame that featured Pengo the Penguin(1). Pengo would battle enemy Sno-bees by hitting them with big ice cubes while trying to align three diamond cubes to grab a bonus score. Pengo was very cute in the game’s intermission sequences where he would dance with other penguins, play piano, and salute the player.
9) The Frog from Frogger:
Why did the frog cross the road? To get a high score, of course! The 1981 arcade game Frogger had a desperate frog cross a busy road and dangerous river to get to his home(2). This popular game had players dropping quarters and gaining a new appreciation for helpless amphibians.
Link’s horse in several of the Zelda games, Epona is a beautiful and fast way to get around the huge worlds of Hyrule. Named after the Celtic goddess of horses(3), she is one of the most well-known horses in video games. Learning to ride her well is integral to success in the games she appears in.
This rude squirrel earned an “M” rating in Conker’s Bad Fur Day on the normally family-friendly Nintendo 64 in 2001(4). He drinks, he swears, and he relishes in juvenile humor. He is the perfect anti-hero for adults sick of conformity and for kids(who undoubtedly played it despite its rating) who wanted to imagine being a funny but crude adult animal.
6) Ostrich from Joust:
A 1982 arcade game, Joust allowed players to ride atop an ostrich and joust against other knights flying on buzzards(5). The ostrich could walk or run with on-screen platforms as well as fly when you pressed the “flap” button. Your trusty ostrich kept you alive only if the lance your player carried was above the lance of the enemy knight when you collided with him.
Samba de Amigo is a video game that came out in the arcade in 1999 and has since made its way to home systems(6). It features the monkey, Amigo, who cavorts onscreen in a variety of ways depending on how well the player matches the rhythm of various songs with the maracas. Amigo has also appeared in the racing game Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing and is a popular character among kids.
4) Fox McCloud:
A fighter pilot flying an Arwing space ship, this red fox first appeared in 1993 on the SNES in Star Fox(7). He is joined by Falco Lombardi, Peppy Hare, and Slippy Toad in adventures fighting Andross or other intergalactic villains. He also appears in the Smash Brothers games. A top pilot and fighter, he has proved a popular character in the Nintendo universe.
3) Ecco the Dolphin:
This popular sea creature first appeared in the eponymous 1992 title on the Sega Mega Drive, but was ported to many other systems(8). The Ecco games are known for being quite hard and not as happy as a game about dolphins might first appear. Nonetheless, Ecco games were huge sellers and have made their way to the current generation Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii via their download services.
2) Donkey Kong:
This gorilla first appeared as Mario’s nemesis in the arcade game Donkey Kong back in 1981 (9). He has since appeared in many games for Nintendo, both in the arcades and on consoles. You can choose to fight with him in the Smash Brothers games or race with him in the Mario Kart games. While not as popular as he was back in the ‘80s, Donkey Kong is still a favorite among many Nintendo fans.
1) Sonic the Hedgehog:
Sega’s most famous character has appeared in over 22 games beginning in 1991(10). If you have ever seen a hedgehog, you will quickly realize that the Sega hedgehog is a parody of epic proportions. Real hedgehogs are very slow and sort of waddle around. Sonic has the ability to run at blazing speeds and wears red gym shoes.
The demise of Sega as a console-maker has not diminished Sonic’s appeal. He is a popular character in games on the three major game consoles(Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii) and has even been in cartoons.
These ten creatures make the respective games they star in great fun. Check them out if you get the chance.