Super Mario is perhaps the most recognizable video game character of all time. With his signature mustache, suspenders, and red hat, Mario has captured the hearts of gamers and non-gamers alike, with the Super Mario games truly transcending the genre.
Everyone's heard of the big ones: Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario 64, Super Mario Odyssey, the list goes on and on. But what you may not know is that Mario has also made appearances in a variety of other titles, some of which may have even been missed by the sharpest of eyes.
So duck down a pipe, stomp on a Koopa, and enjoy these 10 classic games you didn't know Mario made a cameo in.
10 The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
The Legend of Zelda franchise is similar to the Super Mario franchise, in that both are known for putting out classic game after classic game. A Link to the Past definitely falls in this category, and brought Zelda from the NES to the SNES, adding a plot, more quests and direction, and even better combat.
Mario appears in the game in framed pictures hanging on the wall. You think they just come that way at the store or are the people of Hyrule actually putting pictures of Mario up in their homes? We may never know.
9 Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
Listen, Metal Gear Solid is a serious franchise. They make serious games. About serious things. Like stealth. And killing. And spies. And also in The Twin Snakes for GameCube, while searching Dr.Emmerich's lab, you can find not only a GameCube console, but also two statues of Mario and Yoshi perched atop some sort of computer console. Because hey, even scientists gotta take a break sometimes.
Shoot at Mario with the pistol and a "one up" sound will play as your health receives a small boost. Shoot at Yoshi and he'll just say his name. Both of these are weird responses to being shot at, but hey, to each their own.
8 Mike Tyson's 'Punch-Out!!'
A boxing ring is a dangerous place. You've got two people in there tasked with the job of beating the snot out of each other until one submits. And the fact is, you need someone in the center of the squared circle who can maintain order and make sure the bout is fair, clear, and by the book.
Enter: Super Mario, a boxing referee. Yes, in Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! on the NES, that's Super Mario himself calling it down the middle and keeping the fighters in check. Let's a-go, KO!
7 Kirby Super Star
In the Nintendo DS version of the SNES classic, Mario and Luigi can be found in the crowd watching the Megaton Punch Championship. What's particularly interesting about this cameo is that Mario's happy here not to be a part of the action, but rather, to support from the sidelines. This is a role we rarely see him in.
Not only that, but look at Luigi getting into it! Actually, he might be a little too into it. Jeez buddy, haven't you ever been to a Megaton Punch Championship before? Yeesh.
Tetris, the most beloved puzzle game of all time, could get by without Mario if it wanted to. But hey, who's going to turn down a cameo from a character who could literally be called the mascot of video games? If you're able to beat the game in B-type mode on the hardest difficulty, you'll be rewarded for your efforts by getting to see Mario, Luigi, and multiple other classic Nintendo characters dancing in your honor. It's worth it just to see Samus playing that...cello?
5 Pilotwings 64
Ah, the four great United States presidents carved eternally into the rock at Mt. Rushmore: Lincoln, Roosevelt, Jefferson, and, of course, Mario. At least, according to Pilotwings 64, which, apparently, takes place in a universe where the American presidents do exist, but somehow, Mario was able to petition to have himself chiseled in stone next to them instead of...you know, another president. What was that decision making process like?
"Hey guys, I want to make a monument to some of our greatest presidents. But also, let's throw one guy up there to keep them on their toes. Either Guy Fieri or Super Mario. Super Mario? Cool. I'm on it."
Can't argue with the results.
4 Yoshi's Cookie
The more successful and certainly more fun follow up to Yoshi on the NES was Yoshi's Cookie, a game where the object is to line up the same kind of cookie to clear them off the board. While it's hardly a cameo, Mario is the one running the levers that allow you to line up and clear cookies. Even though Mario is prominently displayed in the game, his name isn't in the title and he isn't anywhere on the cover of the game, so this one still counts. It's just nice to see Mario doing something with Yoshi other than punching him in the head.
3 Donkey Kong: Game and Watch
While it may not necessarily look like Mario due to the Game and Watch's limited graphical abilities, that's him alright. From the story included with the game:
According to its Wikipedia page, "Donkey Kong captured a beautiful girl and carries her into a building under construction. The brave carpenter, Mario comes to rescue her following them over the girders."
The lesson here? Wherever there's Donkey Kong, Mario isn't far behind. Unless you're talking about any of the Donkey Kong games Mario isn't in. Okay. Anyway...
We've already learned from his appearance as a ref in Punch-Out!! that Mario is a fair, unbiased official, so it only makes sense he'd be called upon to referee round after round of tennis in the NES game, Tennis (they really knew how to name a game back then). Mario sits atop a chair and calls the action, letting you know where the ball's landed every time and keeping the game moving.
Fun fact: this is Mario's first appearance in a sports title.
1 The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time
What is it with people in Hyrule putting pictures of Mario on their walls? It's flattering, to be sure, but isn't not like the guy's a saint or anything. Although, in the video game world, there's probably an argument to be made that he is.
Super Mario: the patron saint of high jumps. This time, Mario is joined by other characters like Peach and Yoshi, all of whom are in framed pictures behind a window in the Hyrule Castle courtyard.