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Washed Up Video Game Mascots

From the 70s to the 90s there's usually been a mascot created from a game developer whose purpose is to not only have a franchise of their own, but to help give that developer an identity. A few of those mascots are still around, most notably Sonic, Mario and Pac-Man, but what about the game mascots who had a lasting impression on the industry only to fade into obscurity? Let's take a look at a handful that I remember.

 
Commander Keen - 1990-2001
 
 
Computer game developer Ideas from the Deep created this short lived series about a boy named Billy with a secret identity coming from the game's title as he defends Earth from an invasion of alien beings. The series started out on the MS-DOS lasting a year, then made an unexpected return on the Game Boy Color for one last game by Activision. One of the Doom games has Keen making an easter egg of an appearance, but I'll leave that up to you to find it!
 
 
Boogerman - 1994
 
 
A rather gross and disgusting mascot of the 90s, Boogerman seemed to be Interplay's attempt to try and steal Earthworm Jim's thunder with its foul humor and booger picking hero, Boogerman. Exclusive to both the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo, the franchise only lasted for one game but Boogerman had made an appearance as a fighter of the N64 Clayfighter game from 1997. Years later a Kickstarter was planned to start a reboot of the original game, but unfortunately due to a lack of funds and interest in support it never met its funding goal. The creators said they were planning to make a sequel, but no news of its status has been made since.
 
Aero the Acro-Bat - 1993-1994
 
 
Iguana Entertainment had teamed up with Sunsoft to create this wacky platforming character, a circus performer rising to fame and stopping the antagonist Edgar Ektor and his evil cronies. Both games did fairly well with game critics such as GamePro that it even spawned a spin-off featuring one of the characters, Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel. As the Game Boy Advance surfaced in the early 2000s, a handheld port of the first game got released for the system.
 
 
Alex Kidd - 1986-1990
 
 
The Alex Kidd series did have quite a handful of games to attempt to be Sega's mascot, but throughout the span of those few years it wasn't enough for him to be the face of the company once a familiar blue speedy rodent rode onto the scene of the Genesis/Mega Drive in 1990. But even with the lack of popularity Alex Kidd has still popped in to make appearances here and there in a couple of Sonic's 3D games.
 
 
Awesome Possum - 1993
 
 
Awesome Possum is anything but, as a mascot whose sole purpose was to send the message to save the environment created by the minds at Tengen, you guided Awesome through blandly designed levels as you collect garbage and hear him spout quite a handful of actual voiced lines, all of them sounding corny and could grate on your nerves quickly.
 
 
Banjo-Kazooie - 1998-2008
 
 
Probably one of the best platformers available for the N64 if not THE best, Banjo-Kazooie set Rare on the map when they made the jump to 3D game hardware. Its 2000 sequel, Banjo-Tooie wasn't quite as memorable as the first but was a decent follow up. But what confused gamers was the third game we never got, Banjo-Threeie, which ended up becoming an entirely different game, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. While the critics have given the game positive scores, there's been a divide in fans who have mixed opinions about it regarding the vehicle creation, as the worlds felt a little TOO big compared to the previous console games. We haven't seen the bear and bird since, but hopefully the future is set on a new game in the horizon.
 
 
And so, it's sad to see some of these once known mascots no longer making their mark in the gaming industry. They all vary in gameplay and design, but I suppose it's for the best that the developers had to move on to other projects. What video game mascots do you miss the most? Leave a comment and as always, see you next article!
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Benjanime Posted on Sep 18, 2023 at 07:19 PM

@RetroOtaku

That only counts as a cameo though, not as a new installment. Rare said that they have no intention of making a new game because there's not enough fan demand for it.

RetroOtaku620 Posted on Sep 18, 2023 at 03:45 PM

You didn't even mention that Banjo and Kazooie became a playable character in Super Smash Brothers Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch in 2019.

Other than that, that was a good article.

echidna64 Posted on Sep 06, 2023 at 07:20 PM

I remember Sparkster the opposum from Rocket Knight Adventures was Konami's mascot for a time.

Mr Magic Posted on Sep 02, 2023 at 07:11 PM

Oh, yeah. Can't forget Boogerman.

Benjanime Posted on Sep 02, 2023 at 03:49 PM

@Vaporman

I mainly didn't include Gex because of a supposed Gex collection coming soon on modern platforms thanks to Limited Run games ;)

@Game Joy

You never cease to amaze me with your knowledge of other mascots, big brother :D thanks for reading!

Game Joy Posted on Sep 02, 2023 at 03:37 PM

That’s a good list to start with, little brother, but we know, there are many other forgotten mascots out there, mainly from Sega. It’s really a pity because I miss them all, except Boogerman

Vaporman87 Posted on Sep 02, 2023 at 02:48 AM

Another great list Ben.

You can tell that Aero The Acro-Bat was trying SO hard to catch on and ride that mascot wave alongside the greats. But there was just something missing.

Glad you didn't include Gex in this list. I still think if that character had been a part of a better game, he could have been far more popular.

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