Fighting games have always been pretty loose with their universes; players from totally different games are free to drop in, trade blows with the regular cast, then never be mentioned again. With Akuma recently revealed as a playable character in the upcoming Tekken 7, we’re taking a look back at some of the more memorable fighting game cameos.
Link – SoulCalibur II
The earliest SoulCalibur game to feature a cameo, it was a big one, featuring the pointy eared legend himself. Each console version of SoulCalibur II featured a console exclusive character, PS2 players got Heihachi Mishima, Xbox got Spawn, and Gamecube players got Link. Unless you’re a huge Tekken fan or literally Todd McFarlane, it’s hard to think Gamecube player’s didn’t get the better deal.
Gon – Tekken 3
While he wasn’t the first dinosaur to be in Tekken, Gon is notable for having his own manga and anime series in Japan, which qualifies him for a cameo spot. He’s also one of the few characters in the series with a projectile attack, and shares the honor of having a fart attack with Kuma.
Bad Box Art Mega Man – Street Fighter X Tekken
While Mega Man’s more recent cameo in Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS was certainly more dignified, we’ve got a soft spot for this ridiculous version based on the notoriously terrible North American box art for the original Mega Man game on NES. While the inclusion of a joke version of the character may have further inflamed already cantankerous Mega Man fans eager for a new game, kudos to Capcom for trying something different.
Snake – Super Smash Bros. Brawl
One of the biggest surprises in the Super Smash Bros. Brawl roster, Snake was the first non-Nintendo character to cameo in Smash Bros. Featuring a wide selection of attacks that utilize a bunch of his weapons and gizmos, Snake managed to stay loyal to his universe while managing to blend into a world filled with colorful dinosaurs and pink puffballs. His codec calls to Otacon, The Colonel, and Mei Ling were a particularly nice touch:
Yoda & Darth Vader – SoulCalibur IV
While Disney would never greenlight something like this today, this was back during the carefree prequel days where Star Wars characters could swing by a fighting game or fly over lava and it was NBD. Hey, at least Yoda and Vader managed to land in a better fighting game than Star Wars: Masters of Teräs Käsi.
Ezio Auditore da Firenze – SoulCalibur V
SoulCalibur pops up again, this time with Assassin’s Creed II hero Ezio Auditore making an appearance. He fits in surprisingly well with the rest of the SoulCalibur cast, and even speaks Italian in the game. Nicely done!
Spartan-458 / Nicole-458 – Dead or Alive 4
Here’s one for your video game trivia night: Which Halo universe character debuted in Dead or Alive? The answer is Spartan-458 aka Nicole-458. Making her first appearance in DOA4, she went on to become a canon character in the Halo universe, getting mentions in Halo game audio logs and such, though her actual time traveling appearance in DOA is not considered canon.
Freddy Kreuger/Jason Voorhees – Mortal Kombat (2011) / Mortal Kombat X
Kratos – Mortal Kombat (2011)
Presumably Kratos only made one appearance in the Mortal Kombat games because Shinnok was mad he was stealing his ashen skinned, bald headed limelight. As you might imagine, Kratos was a console-exclusive character only available on the PS3/Vita versions of the game.
Akuma – Tekken 7
The inspiration for this list, Akuma’s reveal trailer is notable because it appears he’s now a canon character in the main Tekken storyline. Definitely an unusual choice, since the vast majority of cameo characters in fighting games are either alternate universe additions, only appear in spin-off games, or are quickly retconned out afterwards.
Hornet (Daytona USA) – Fighter’s Megamix
Fighter’s Megamix was an early crossover fighting game that grabbed characters from various Sega games at the time, and threw em all together. The most interesting choice? Hornet from the classic arcade racing game Daytona USA. As you might imagine, a car isn’t the most flexible character model to work with, and seeing it in action is pretty hilarious:
Final Fantasy VII cast – Ehrgeiz
While Dissidia would eventually make the dream of a Final Fantasy fighting game a reality, when several of the FFVII cast members appeared in Ehrgeiz in 1999, fans were hyped to play as their favorite characters outside of a traditional RPG. Cloud, Tifa, Sephiroth, Vincent Valentine, Yuffie, and Zack all made appearances in the PlayStation version.
Mike Haggar – Saturday Night Slam Masters
While Mike Haggar, aka the Mayor of Earth, made a splash with his appearance in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, his first cameo was in Capcom’s wrestling game Saturday Night Slam Masters. Given that Haggar was a wrestler before his lucrative career in politics, it’s a natural fit.
Donkey Kong – Punch-Out!
While Punch-Out!! may not be a traditional fighting game, Donkey Kong’s cameo is too good not to include. Tucked away in the Mac’s Last Stand mode, DK hits like a truck and uses his animal agility to run circles around Little Mac. Good luck!
Mario/Luigi/Peach/Yoshi – NBA Street V3
It’s not a fighting game, but the Gamecube-exclusive inclusion of Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Yoshi in NBA Street V3 is too bizarre not to include. Enjoy this video of the crew dunking on LeBron James: