There Are 100s of Nintendo Characters — We'll Be Impressed If You Can Name 40!


By: Beth Hendricks

6 Min Quiz

Image: NDcube / Nintendo

About This Quiz

Did you know that Nintendo has been around for 130 years? No, they haven't been producing video games that long, but when the company was founded in 1889, it started as a producer of Japanese playing cards called "hanafuda." It would be almost a hundred years later before the first video game console was created, and even a few years after that before Nintendo would start to achieve the commercial and financial success we associate with them today.

In 1985 with the introduction of the wildly-popular Nintendo Entertainment System, consumers also got their first real taste of the company's favorite Italian plumber — Mario. Though he was first seen in the "Donkey Kong" franchise, Mario came into his own in the mid-1980s, both on TV and on the Nintendo game console. Since then, Nintendo has managed to build a story around Mario which has helped carry its most famous character through more than 200 games and into the homes — and hearts — of gamers everywhere.

But it's not just Mario (though he's a big part). Nintendo has given birth to some other popular characters — hundreds of them, in fact, from grumpy gorillas to adventurers to damsels in distress. Check your character comprehension in this quiz highlighting just 40 of Nintendo's famous faces. "Lets-a go!"

He's not green with envy, he's green like Shellcreepers. Who is he?

Luigi's color scheme was not arrived at by accident. Memory restrictions in the early games meant that Mario and Luigi had to look alike. Game designers opted to give Luigi the Shellcreepers' color scheme (green) since Mario had the Sidesteppers' color (red).


This villain started out looking like an ox, but more resembles a turtle. Oops. What is his name?

When he was first created, designers wanted to model Bowser after a big, bruising ox. Further down the production line, designers determined Bowser looked more like a turtle than a bovine. Oh well.


Fighting evil robots deployed by a mad scientist? All in a day's work for which of these characters?

The title character from the "Mega Man" series, Mega Man himself is actually a young boy-robot hybrid. He's tasked with fighting the mad scientist Dr. Wily and his robot army. It's robot-on-robot violence!


He means well, but as a "bodyguard" for Princess Peach, he fails miserably. Who is he?

You'd probably fail at fending off bad guys, too, if you were a "Toad" who was roughly three feet tall. Nevertheless, Toad makes a serious effort to help both Princess Peach and the Mario Bros. along the way.


"Splatoon's" resident DJ is this eight-legged mollusk with a musical name. Who is he?

Drop the beat, DJ Octavio! This octopus-turned-DJ is featured in the video game "Splatoon." Other than his recognizable DJ table, Octavio boasts a gold helmet and a glowing green scar.


We're ... getting ... very ... sleepy. Which of these characters is likely to blame?

Jigglypuff, from the "Pokémon" series, has a way with others — a sleepy way. Her song causes anyone who hears it to fall asleep, a fact that irritates Jigglypuff because she thinks she has bored everyone.


In the U.S. we have Mickey Mouse. In Japan, they have this guy. What's his name?

Pikachu may enjoy a good degree of success in the United States (hello, Pokémon!), but nothing like what he experiences in Japan. There, Pikachu has Mickey-Mouse-level celebrity status.


From the "Splatoon" franchise, this character has no bones and can come back to life after being "splatted." Which character is it?

Inkling Girls and Boys, understandably, live in Inkopolis. These characters can be controlled by human players and repeatedly come back to life after being "splatted." That "no bones" thing probably helps.


This royal video game figure's name was inspired by the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of "The Great Gatsby." Who is she?

Princess Zelda earned her name in honor of F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife, Zelda. But, that's not the end of the inspiration. It's said that late funnyman Robin Williams named his daughter after the video game character.


Which of these ladies has appeared in the more video games than any other female in history?

Formerly known as Princess Toadstool, we think "Princess Peach" has a much nicer ring to it. She rules the Mushroom Kingdom and, apparently, video games, with the most appearances by a female in gaming history.


Gamers who played "Metroid" were probably surprised to find out that this character was a woman, not a man. What was her name?

Gamers who played the role of Samus in "Metroid" were led to believe, throughout the game, that the character was a man. After all, aren't most video game characters male? At the end, gamers find out that Samus is actually a woman. Gotcha!


You'd never guess this bubblegum-pink character is named after an attorney. What is his name?

If you thought "Kirby" just fit this plump little ball of bubblegum-pink fun, guess again. His name is derived from John Kirby, an attorney who represented Nintendo in a large, potentially damaging case.


When this character was first created she was known as "Secretary." By the time "Animal Crossing" came out, she's graduated to which of these names?

Isabelle is a yellow Shih Tzu dog breed in the Nintendo series "Animal Crossing." When designers first created her, they dubbed her "Secretary," later giving her an actual name, Isabelle.


His laugh would haunt you in your dreams. Who is this iconic Nintendo pup?

Known simply as "Duck Hunt Dog," there was nothing worse than being laughed at by a pooch for failing to make some achievement in the addictive "Duck Hunt" game. The first "Duck Hunt" was released in 1984.


Are you still royalty if you stole the title? You might ask which of these "kings" of Dreamland?

King Dedede has announced himself as king, but it's a title he actually stole from Dreamland's rightful rulers, the Cappy Clan. Dedede is a bit childish, playing pranks on his subjects and even stealing their food. Rude.


Five feet tall and 100 pounds? Yep, this video game character's name definitely fits. Who is he?

Little Mac is a character — a boxer, in fact — from the "Punch-Out!!" game, which first debuted in 1987. Despite his small stature, Little Mac had a goal to become a heavyweight champion. It never hurts to dream.


This character's name is a combo of another popular gorilla "celebrity" and a word that means, well, "dumb." Who are we talking about?

He's a "Kong" — that's from the "King Kong" family line, don't you know — but he's not very bright. Designers of the "Donkey Kong" video game hunted for a first name for the gorilla that spoke to him being not very smart.


Which of these guys boasts the titles of plumber, archeologist, doctor and carpenter on his resume?

In the years since Mario was first introduced, he has played a number of roles in a variety of video game titles including plumber, carpenter, doctor and archaeologist. To date, everyone's favorite Italian video game character has shown up in more than 200 games.


The main protagonist in "The Legend of Zelda" was fashioned after a popular Disney character. Who is this video game hero?

Video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto has said in prior interviews that the main character in "The Legend of Zelda," Link, was inspired by none other than Peter Pan. Just check out that green outfit!


He's no Sonic the Hedgehog, but he's pretty fast. Who starred as the racer in the game "F-Zero?"

There's been much debate about who's faster in the video game world, Sonic or Captain Falcon. Alas, since they come from different companies (Nintendo vs. Sega), we'll likely never know.


He bears the distinction of being the oldest Nintendo character. Who is he?

Mr. Game & Watch is a pretty bland, two-dimensional character who was the main character of the "Game & Watch" series. Mr. Game & Watch was never even named until "Super Smash Bros. Melee."


This member of the "Mario" franchise has the last name "Munchakoopas." What do gamers know him as?

He answers to "Yoshi," but his full name is T. Yoshisaur Munchakoopas. (That's too much to put on a business card, huh?) Yoshi is Mario's dinosaur pal in the beloved "Mario" franchise.


NBD: This character is just asked to defeat Medusa in "Kid Icarus." Who was it?

One good turn deserves another, we suppose. After Lady Palutena helps free Pit from the Underworld, he's tasked with the job of defeating a game villain, Medusa. Pit is given a bow and arrow to assist with the job.


In "Xenoblade Chronicles," this character was the holder of the Monado, a special sword. What was his name?

Shulk ... sounds sort of like Hulk, doesn't it? A main character in "Xenoblade Chronicles," Shulk is orphaned as a child and later comes to possess the sword only a few can wield. Now that sounds like Thor!


This character spits goop and attacks with his vines. What is his name?

Petey Piranha makes good use of his, ahem, natural abilities, using his vines to wrap up his enemies. Petey debuted in the Nintendo game "Super Mario Sunshine," but don't get it twisted: He's a bad dude.


A "Metroid" villain, this guy is responsible for the K-2L massacre. What is his name?

Like all good video game villains, Ridley has done some pretty despicable things. He regularly clashes with "Metroid's" protagonist, Samus, typically coming up on the short end of the stick.


Revealed! She is the princess of the Twilight Realm in "The Legend of Zelda." What is she called?

It isn't revealed until well into the "Zelda" series, but Midna is the true princess of the Twilight Realm. She and Link join forces during the game to battle villains that neither can handle alone.


The protagonist in "Pikmin" used animals that sprouted like plants to help him navigate a new planet. What is the protagonist known as?

Olimar, or Captain Olimar since he was guiding a vessel that crashed on a mysterious planet, found Pikmin (also the title of the game) growing out of the ground. The Pikmin were animals who came to Olimar's aid.


A Japanese religion and its shrine statues are to thank for this character's appearance. Who is he?

Fox McCloud of "Star Fox 64" fame became a fox when designers were reminded of a nearby Shinto shrine and its fox statues on display. Elements of the game were said to be reminiscent of the shrine's arches.


Were there two women fighting over Mario? Which of these ladies was his first on-screen love interest?

Mario's leading lady was none other than a female named Pauline (not Princess Peach, as many people believe) in the "Donkey Kong" franchise. Pauline is kidnapped by the gorilla, and Mario must win her back.


She is known as the "Goddess of Light" in the video game franchise "Kid Icarus." What is her name?

Palutena in "Kid Icarus" is goodness and light, perched on the opposite side of the villain, Medusa. Also known as "Lady Palutena," this ruler of Angel Land first appeared on-screen in December 1986.


Just like Peter Pan had Tinkerbell, Link had this fairy to help in "The Legend of Zelda." What was her name?

"Navi" seems appropriate given what we know about navigational systems in today's modern vehicles. Navi helped Link as he navigated the world in the "Zelda" series of video games.


This character in "The Legend of Zelda" is the heir apparent to a ruthless gang of pirates. Who is she?

Tetra, a pirate girl from "The Legend of Zelda," is a mystery. She is, at once, both seemingly ruthless and surprisingly kind. Tetra appears in several "Zelda" titles in addition to several "Super Smash Bros." games.


This "Scribblenauts" character has the ultimate poker face. What is his name?

Since Maxwell is a drawing, his expression never changes, so don't go challenging him to a game of poker. "Scribblenauts" was a puzzle-type game released for the Nintendo DS in 2009.


This character manages the town shop in "Animal Crossing." What is this raccoon's name?

Tom Nook plays a vital role in "Animal Crossing," operating the town's shop where players can find their first jobs upon starting the game. Don't get mad when Tom lays you off later on, though!


If having three belly buttons is wrong, this character from "Metroid" doesn't want to be right. Who is he?

Hey, don't judge him for his three belly buttons! Kraid, a monster from the "Metroid" franchise, not only has three belly buttons, but also three red eyes, both of which accompany his green body.


She plays Fox McCloud's love interest in "Star Fox 64." Who is she?

Krystal joined the Star Fox crew after McCloud saved the planet, Sauria. (Isn't that how we all fall in love?) She has telepathic abilities and is the main character McCloud's love interest.


Characterized as a weakling and a coward, this video game opponent drew criticism for advancing stereotypes. Who was he?

Glass Joe was a French boxer in "Punch-Out!!", an opponent for characters like Little Mac. Some people voiced criticism over stereotypes of the French people portrayed in Glass Joe's character.


Slingshots, boomerangs and baseball bats: Which of these characters from "EarthBound Beginnings" found weapons in everyday objects?

Ninten from "EarthBound Beginnings" used everyday objects as weapons, which makes sense since he's just a boy from a small town called Podunk. "EarthBound Beginnings" was first released in 1989.


A blue robot sheriff, this guy abides by "The Code of Good Guy Rules." What is his name?

The title character from the video game "Tin Star," Tin Star is the robot sheriff of Ol' West. Tin Star was published for the Super NES system in late 1994. Tin Star has a horse named Aluminum because of course, he does.


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