The Nintendo Entertainment System holds a special place in a lot of gamer’s hearts, as it was the first console a lot of gamers owned, as well as introducing us to some of Nintendo’s most popular characters. To celebrate the launch of the NES mini, here is a list of some of the top Nintendo characters that featured in NES games:
- Simon Belmont:
Simon Belmont was the first protagonist to appear in the popular Castlevania series. First released in 1986 in Japan and 1988 worldwide by Konami, Simon was sent on the quest of defeating the Vampire Dracula. Whilst the franchise is more known nowadays for appearing on Microsoft and Sony consoles, it was the original Castlevania game on the NES that started it all.
- The Ninja Turtles:
There have been many Ninja Turtle games over the years, but few have the legendary memories of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game that was released on the NES in 1989. Notoriously hard, it was a rare feat to find someone that had completed the game. You could play as any of the four turtles, and it sold over 4 million copies, becoming one of the NES’s most popular games.
- The Dog from Duck Hunt:
Never has there been a dog that we loved to hate more than the dog in Duck Hunt. Constantly mocking us whenever we missed a duck, you’d often be left wishing you could shoot the dog too. As one of the release games on the NES, and one that came with the NES Zapper, this game has fond memories for many. The unnamed dog comes as one of the characters available in Super Smash Bros for the 3DS and Wii U as part of the Duck Hunt group.
- Donkey Kong:
Donkey Kong is one of Nintendo’s first ever characters created by Shigeru Miyamoto. The character was introduced as a character in an arcade game, but has since featured in many console games. The original Donkey Kong game was one of the three launch titles available on the NES, and in 1994, the character was relaunched in an entire new series of games known as the Donkey Kong Country series.
This pink, round and adorable character is a fan favourite that has been around since 1992, and was one of characters created by the late Satoru Iwata. Kirby debuted on the Game Boy, but the character also featured in one of the NES’s last games produced known as Kirby’s Adventures. Inhaling his characters and absorbing their abilities, Kirby has featured in over 20 different games.
- Princess Zelda:
Princess Zelda is one of the main characters in The Legend of Zelda series of games and another Shigeru Miyamoto creation. Often the damsel in distress that is rescued by the series protagonist Link, she has been in most of the Zelda games since the first one on the NES in 1986.
Bowser, or King Koopa as he was originally known, is Mario’s main enemy in the Mario Bros series of games. Leader of the Koopa race, his main aim in life is to kidnap Princess Peach and rule the Mushroom Kingdom. He first appeared on the NES in Super Mario Bros in 1995, and has featured in many Mario games as the main antagonist since.
Samus is the main character in the Metroid series of games. An ex-soldier of the Galactic Federation, this well-liked character is one of the earliest female protagonists in the history of video games. Created for the NES game Metroid in 1986, Samus has since been the main character in a further 11 games in the Metroid series.
Link is another Shigeru Miyamoto creation, and the main protagonist in one of the most successful video games series of all time. The Legend of Zelda series has 18 games in total and has sold over 62 million copies. Link appears in various incarnations over the series, and first appeared in the NES game The Legend of Zelda in 1986. Link is also a popular character in the Smash Bros series of games, and has proved to be a common character for people to cosplay at conventions.
When people think Nintendo, the number one character that comes to mind is the Italian plumber Mario. First introduced in the arcade game Donkey Kong as ‘Jump Man’ by Shigeru Miyamoto, he was later renamed Mario. Mario is Nintendo’s mascot and has appeared in over 200 different video games. On the NES alone he appeared in the popular Mario Bro and Super Mario Bros series alongside his brother Luigi, and has since featured in solo games. Mario is part of the best-selling video game franchise of all time, and a character that Nintendo fans have loved since he was created many years ago.