Nintendo has been around for decades creating games and consoles that everyone has either decided to love or hate at this point. From the very first Donkey Kong game on the arcade, the company has been attempting to innovate the industry many times over.
As many of us know, they have experienced their fair share of rises and falls. Some strange business decisions and baffling design choices taint an otherwise positive history. However, many people still get a lot of the facts wrong. Whether it be because of a post they read on Facebook or the general consensus being altered as time progresses, there are a lot of details about Nintendo that are reported incorrectly nowadays.
We're here to put a lot of these misconceptions to rest. Whether you like Nintendo or not is fine, but there's a certain importance to at least have all of the facts before you make a decision.
Their history is long and their games have changed for countless years. Despite how iconic they are, people still get many of the details wrong. Here are 25 of the biggest misconceptions of Nintendo and their games as a whole.
25 Ancestors Or Not?
Each Legend of Zelda game brings us the story of a boy clothed in green making his way across the land of Hyrule to inevitably duke it out with the Demon King, Ganon. Due to the similar appearance and nearly identical clothing across each game, some have been led to believe that each game in the franchise has us playing as the same character, which isn't true.
The Zelda series takes place over thousands of years. Each game is a different period in history where a reincarnated version of Link is born to fight the evil that plagues Hyrule. They all look similar because the Hero of Legend is a constant entity in that universe. However, each Link is an entirely different character in each game.
Remember the days when Rare made quality games for Nintendo? Titles like Donkey Kong Country and GoldenEye 007 sat on store shelves, practically begging to be bought. However, it all changed when Microsoft decided to create the Xbox and bought out Rare from Nintendo. That said, there's a little more detail than that.
As a matter of fact, Nintendo never completely owned Rare, only a large portion of it. Because they were the biggest holders, Rare made games for them. When Microsoft wanted to add them to their roster, they bought an even larger portion of the company and took them right from under the rug of Nintendo. Since then, Rare has created the Gears of War and Kameo franchises.
23 Miyamoto's Metroid
Metroid was a landmark in video game design. Where Nintendo had a standard level-based platformer in the form of Super Mario Bros, Metroid shook up the formula for good. It was a sidescroller based on a full world that could be revisited with new abilities at any time. By featuring one of the first female protagonists in the industry, Nintendo was almost guaranteed a massive success.
Despite being one of the bigger franchises on hand for the company, Miyamoto never worked on it. The development was handled by other members of the company who were less-known at the time. Miyamoto saw the development of Metroid as it progressed, but he didn't change anything about the game. He let the creators do their job.
22 Power Struggle
As Nintendo releases new consoles, it's clear that they aren't as powerful as the Xbox One or PS4. Many people have criticized the company for this while others state that Nintendo has never been about power and it's ridiculous to think they would change that anytime soon.
To those people, we're here to say that you're wrong. Back in the days of the SNES and N64, Nintendo promoted power as one of their marketing strategies. As a matter of fact, the SNES had a lot more oomph in it when compared to other consoles released around the same time. Then there's the fact that the N64 was solely named after the new type of processing power it had. Nintendo used to be about the graphics and framerate.
21 The Same Old Thing
One of the biggest criticisms of Nintendo is that they release the same game every year, at least in the context of their respective franchises. After all, if you play Mario Kart 7 and Mario Kart 8 a year later, you know what you're in for with the games.
What many people are forgetting is that similarities don't mean that these games are the same. Nintendo uses iconic characters to build up a brand so that gamers and audiences can have some familiarity. One aspect of these brands or characters is that it elicits a certain expectation. The Legend of Zelda has to be an adventure game. Super Mario has to be a platformer. That said, Nintendo makes big differences within those formulas that have managed to keep those franchises feeling different and fresh for decades to come.
20 This Rumor Sucks
Arguably the cutest Nintendo character is none other than Kirby of the Stars. This little pink puff's trademark ability is being able to inhale foes and take their powers. Both his name and his ability to suck things up at will has garnered some people to point out the similarity between him and the Kirby Vacuums. Many speculate that he was named after the product.
This isn't true, though. Kirby was named after a lawyer who defended Nintendo in a case, John Kirby. Furthermore, the name was chosen because the developers knew that cute characters had soft-sounding names in Japan. The harder sound of the "K" in Kirby was contrasting and they thought it would fit the vision better.
19 No Place Like Home
Nintendo loves to keep their properties close to the chest. After all, in a market where they're competing with machines that are more powerful than theirs, they have to have some sort of angle that gives them a competitive edge. This leads to all of their properties being mostly exclusive to their consoles and their consoles alone. That said, it wasn't always the case.
Traveling back in time to when every company tried to create a game console, along came Philips who put together the CDi. However, they needed interesting games to get audiences interested in the system. It led them to reach out to Nintendo, who loaned them both Mario and Zelda. Unfortunately, the resulting Hotel Mario and Link: The Faces of Evil were so awful that Nintendo hasn't lent their characters out since.
18 Identity Crisis
Mario is Nintendo's biggest character. He's their mascot. One way you can identify a fan of the company is if they're wearing a red hat with an "M" on it. Many people have taken this to believe that Mario was always their mascot and public face. Like everything else on this list, that isn't true.
When Mario first appeared, it was when he was trying to outsmart Donkey Kong before he became a protagonist. At the time, Miyamoto couldn't settle on a name for the plumber and decided to call him Jumpman. This name stuck until they eventually gave the character his own sidescrolling platformer game, where his name was adequately changed to Mario. From that point on, it stuck.
17 No One Wants To Claim Responsibility For This
Nintendo is fairly well-known for the interesting peripherals they've created for the systems. The motion controls on the Wii, touchscreen controls on the DS, and the entire premise of the Wii U are all great examples. If you want an even better picture of this, then look no further than the Power Glove. One problem with this example, though, is that the Power Glove wasn't developed by Nintendo.
As a matter of fact, Abrams/Gentile Entertainment designed the Power Glove, which was then distributed by Mattel. Nintendo licensed it as an official product, but they had no "hand" in creating a device that was so clunky and unwieldy. However, they would get their shot in a few years with the Virtual Boy.
16 Heroic Origins
F-Zero was Nintendo's racing franchise for those who wanted a more difficult experience than Mario Kart. Due to its popularity back in the day, the franchise was given a representative when Super Smash Bros debuted on the N64. Named Captain Falcon, this character was a hotheaded and speedy fighter who looked exactly like someone who would star in F-Zero. The only problem here is that he wasn't created until Super Smash Bros.
The original F-Zero never showed Captain Falcon. When Sakurai was developing the new brawler, he wanted to include the franchise and decided to work on an original character to have some diversity. Captain Falcon got a lot of love in the end and was incorporated in the F-Zero franchise from that point on.
15 The Foot Of The Issue
If you look at early box art for the Star Fox games, you might notice that Fox McCloud has robotic legs instead of animal ones. While many people ignored it at first, it led some to come up with an interesting theory. It's supposed that Fox and his animal comrades replaced their biological legs with robotic ones to better cope physically with the g-force of traveling in space.
While it's an interesting idea, it's not true. The creators of Star Fox have come out and blatantly denied it's hand in the franchise. The only reason that Fox, Falco, and the rest of the gang had robotic legs was just because the developers thought that it looked cooler than regular legs.
14 Gender Bender
We all know Yoshi as the lovable dinosaur who first appeared in some weird spin-off games before having a more prominent role in Super Mario World. Being able to eat enemies and lay eggs on a whim, Yoshi's design and character made him a mainstay of the Mushroom Kingdom. He eventually got a girlfriend in the form of Birdo. Or did he?
It has been confirmed that Yoshi is actually genderless. It might behave male, but they all lay eggs. Furthermore, it can be speculated at this point that Birdo is also genderless, unless Nintendo was using some forward thinking in gender diversity before it even became a cultural movement. Bet you won't look at Yoshi the same way again.
13 Kirby Or Kirbae?
One of the biggest questions in all of Nintendo history is: what is Kirby's gender? Many people assume, because of his cute appearance and pink color, that Kirby is a female. Others have stated that his otherworldly appearance and ambiguous set of powers communicate that he doesn't have a gender.
Both of these theories are wrong because it's already been confirmed that Kirby is a young boy. In the Kirby: Right Back at Ya! TV show, he is referred to as a male and happens to be the youngest Star Warrior in existence. In some of the games, he's also been seen having some romantic interactions with female characters, like in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards.
12 The Theory Of Evolution
Anyone who grew up with Pokémon knows that there was a lot of controversy surrounding it. Some parents didn't care if their kids played it, but others (particularly in the religious community) found that it was immoral and promoted the idea of evolution. After all, Pokémon themselves undergo a process of evolution, so it must be true. Wrong.
The Pokémon franchise does throw the word "evolution" around a lot, but it doesn't apply the same way it does in the real world. The Pokémon that evolve only do so within their unique species. You don't see Pidgey evolving into Charizard. If it were promoting evolution in the real-world, any Pokémon could theoretically turn into any Pokémon. There wouldn't be defined evolutionary lines.
11 Kiddie Games
Nintendo has some vibrant and colorful games for just about every genre. Shooter fans will have a great time with the Splatoon series. Life-sim fans will be interested to pick up Animal Crossing. Platforming fans can't go wrong with the Super Mario Bros series. However, their colorful and family-friendly image has led some people to state that Nintendo only makes kiddie games, which couldn't be further from the truth.
Look at Disney, for example. They create movies that kids can latch onto but have the emotional depth and polish that allows older people to enjoy them too. The same can be said for most Nintendo games. While the cartoonish style lends itself great to younger players, older gamers can appreciate the level of detail and work that went into creating experiences like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey.
10 Supply And Demand
It's no secret that Nintendo consoles have been hard to find. The Wii was a monster to try and obtain when it was released, the NES Classic is practically a unicorn at this point, and the Switch was challenging to find after it came out. These events have led to some to believe that Nintendo is only manufacturing high demand by creating scarcity of their products.
However, at least when you look at the Switch, this isn't the case. Due to sales of the Wii U, Nintendo was projecting modest sales for their new console. Little did they know that consumers were eating up the Switch like candy. Demand was much greater than they expected, so they changed their mode of transportation to allow more consoles to be shipped worldwide. Nowadays, it's not too difficult to find one of those bad boys.
9 Amiibo, Amiibos, Amiibi?
When Nintendo announced their new NFC figures back in 2014, no one expected them to be as popular as they were when they released. The Amiibo craze took the world by storm once the first wave came out and gradually expanded from there. It's amazing that the scalpers have since gone away after all of that.
However, one pet peeve of ours that still remains is when people talk about how many "Amiibos" they have. This is incorrect grammar. Nintendo has gone on record to say that the plural of "Amiibo" is "Amiibo," similar to how the plural of "deer" is "deer," and so on. We'd wager that even if people were told what the actual plural was, most of them wouldn't care and keep adding the "s" at the end.
8 Corporate Fear
Older console days were interesting. When Nintendo had the SNES on store shelves, they reached a partnership with fellow company Sony. The two were working together to create a system that could take both cartridges and discs as an acceptable format. However, something happened as the product was being developed and Sony defected to create the PlayStation.
Many people assume that it was because Nintendo was adamant about using cartridges and Sony would've rather used discs. This wasn't the case. The president of Nintendo at the time decided to form another partnership with Philips behind Sony's back, further complicating the details of their agreement. Not being able to find a reasonable solution, Sony backed out to create their own device.
7 The Damsel In Distress
We all know the age-old story of Princess Peach being kidnapped by Bowser and Mario was to travel across several worlds to save her. It's such an iconic story (for better or worse) that many people believe that Mario hasn't done anything else. As it stands, though, Peach was not always the beloved girlfriend of our favorite Italian plumber.
In the original Donkey Kong, Mario's girlfriend was a beautiful woman named Pauline. However, the developers weren't sure what to do with her going forward and she was all but forgotten after that. Thankfully, she made a return in Super Mario Odyssey as the mayor of New Donk City in the Metro Kingdom. She's still as "breathtaking" as ever all these years later. We question why it never worked out between the two.
6 The Iconic D-Pad
Video game controllers were a difficult thing to get right, and many people praise Nintendo for the innovations they've made in this regard. One aspect of controllers that is often credited to them is the D-Pad that was first seen on the NES controller. One problem with this is that Nintendo didn't invent it, they're just the reason that every game company used it from that day on.
A couple of companies played around with joystick alternatives back in the day, and it led to a prototype version of the D-Pad. Once Nintendo saw this design, they decided to update and polish it for use on their own game consoles. It was a smash hit and every game company needed a D-Pad after that.
Because Nintendo has the rights to all of their characters, it's led many to believe that the various Nintendo worlds are all connected. In the same universe that you find the planet of Brinstar, you could also expect to see Planet Popstar just one galaxy hop over. Then, in some twist of the cosmos, you'd eventually pop into the land of Hyrule. Then there's the argument of Super Smash Bros alone!
That being said, the official connection of Nintendo games depends on what the creators dictate. As of right now, they haven't referenced any sort of connection. There are subtle easter eggs that promote their many games, as well as a few crossovers, but that is far from definitively saying that all Nintendo games are connected. Unless Nintendo says it outright, it's all speculation.
4 Xenoblade The First (Party)
Xenoblade Chronicles is in a fairly niche genre, taking a lot of notes from classic JRPG games and trying to put modern twists on them. The games are quite good when compared to most JRPGs and have been Nintendo's answer to newer Final Fantasy games. Couple that with Shulk's inclusion in Super Smash Bros, and some have been led to believe that the series came directly from Nintendo.
That being said, Xenoblade Chronicles is a second-party title through and through. Similar to Banjo-Kazooie on the N64, Xenoblade Chronicles was developed by a company that worked solely for Nintendo (MonolithSoft). They have creative freedom over their games, but the titles have to remain on Nintendo systems. Monolith previously helped the Big N with Breath of the Wild.
3 A Smashing Success
When Sakurai decided to make a new game for the Nintendo 64, he was interested in fighting games but felt that they didn't have a large enough market. Because of this, he deconstructed the formula to create a title called Dragon King. Yet, there was still something missing. He replaced the characters with Nintendo mascots and the result was Super Smash Bros.
The game was an instant success, and many people were anxiously awaiting a sequel years after. However, there was never an initial plan to turn the game into a massive franchise. Demand said otherwise, and Sakurai continued working on one of Nintendo's largest properties in history.
2 Humble Beginnings
The NES was a landmark in the video game industry. It's ingenious design and fantastic games led it to nearly single-handedly save the whole market from crashing and burning. It put Nintendo on the map and started an industry so massive that it's still growing decades later. However, it's caused many people to believe that the NES was Nintendo's first console.
Nintendo's actual first console dates back to 1977. This little device was called the ColorTV and was a way of bringing arcade games to the comfort of people's living rooms. However, Nintendo sold the machine at a loss and couldn't make enough money on it to keep producing it. As a result, the ColorTV faded into the realm of obscurity and was never talked about again.
1 This Rumor Blows
We all remember the glory days of having massive cartridges to play video games. Sometimes, when we would put them in, they wouldn't work properly. Of course, the only logical solution was to take them out, blow on them, then put them back in. Nine times out of ten, the game would work after that. But what if we were to tell you that blowing on the cartridge did nothing?
Several studies into how cartridges work have essentially confirmed that blowing into it doesn't do anything. The reason that cartridges mostly work once you place them in again is that it just needs a hard reset. We believed that blowing on them worked only as some sort of placebo and nothing more.