FEATURE: Fanart Friday - Face of the Game Edition

Fan-made masterpieces of video games' greatest (and not-quite-great-at-all) mascots take center stage this week!

Fanart Friday returns, absolutely blown away by how popular last week's installment was. For real, I think it's safe to say that Classic Cartoon Cacophony Edition is one of, if not the most popular Fanart Friday yet! Thanks, everybody, for all the Facebook likes, all the views, and all the comments you left! This week, we're still focusing on famous faces, only now we're plugging in our consoles and checking out our favorite video game mascot characters!



From longtime heroes like Mario and Link to newer faces like the Master Chief and Nathan Drake, mascot characters--and the games they star in--help give some life and familiarity to even brand-new game consoles. Let's get started!


DISCLAIMER:  None of the art presented is the property of myself or Crunchyroll.  All characters and series are tm and © their respective creators and corporate owners.  All art is the creative property of their respective artists.  Any artists who wish to have their work removed from this article may contact me, and appropriate action will be immediately taken.



by Jaehthebird

When Sly Cooper was first introduced on the PS2, I remember a lot of grumbling from people who didn't want a "kiddy" mascot for the system. To them I say what the hell are you talking about? I had to brave the Sly Cooper deviantArt tag and all the horrors that fans put together (mainly focused on Carmelita Fox) and I can tell you that it's far from "kiddy," even if the games are like a really fun Saturday morning cartoon.



by theoriginalmistajon

I give this artist all the credit in the world for making a solid picture of Accolade's platformer mascot, Bubsy the Bobcat. This does not change the fact that Bubsy is the Devil incarnate, and will not shut the hell up even though he's in 16-bit games.



by 小豆長光@京都八雲・祭-04

I'd like to think that part of why the Saturn failed in the US was the lack of Segata Sanshiro in the American market. Unlike other mascot characters, Segata Sanshiro could throw a man so hard that he exploded upon impact! LONG LIVE SEGATA SANSHIRO!



by birdofyore

Valve's original mascot is Gordon Freeman, a science nerd who's unusually good at fighting off entire armies. Recently, they've added Team Fortress 2's lively Heavy Weapons Guy to the lineup, and I'm much happier for it--everybody loves the Heavy!



by 流星

Before the Blue Bomber or the Wandering Warrior, Capcom's first mascot was the appropriately-named Captain Commando, a cyborg who fought evil in a futuristic city. While I wouldn't mind future appearances in the Marvel vs. Capcom series, I'd much rather have a side-scrolling brawler like his original game!



by Captain-Regenold

It's hard for me to think of Namco (now Namco Bandai) mascot Pac-Man and not immediately remember Scott's awkward opening lines to Ramona from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Another reason why they didn't call him "Puck-Man" in the US is because they were worried about vandalism on arcade cabinets. [citation needed]



by keimon

Street Fighter's wandering martial artist Ryu is one of Capcom's two current mascots, and is also a good representative of the entire fighting game genre! His simple "must grow stronger" motto is something that many fighting game players feel about the games they practically live off of.



by samuraiblack

Here's Sega's Alex Kidd, channelling some of that "modern, stylized" feel--and it works for him! For those of you who don't know, Alex Kidd was Sega's original mascot during the Master System days, until Sonic came around and stole his thunder.



by lujji

The '90s were not a time for pure, plucky heroes--you needed attitude! That's where Sonic the Hedgehog came in, giving the Sega Genesis some real character. I'm honestly kind of amazed that he's still really popular today!



by B255

Capcom has Ryu, and SNK (now SNK Playmore) has Terry Bogard! I'm a little surprised that Capcom vs. SNK paired Ryu off against King of Fighters' Kyo instead of fellow "wandering warrior" Terry... I've always felt that would've made for a more interesting battle!



by m!

Did you know that Nintendo has six main mascots? In addition to the obvious ones like Mario and Link, Nintendo also has Fox McCloud, fearless space bounty hunter Samus Aran, here...



by 黒汐

...and the big lug who started the whole thing for them, Donkey Kong! While Donkey Kong is often thought of as the first Mario game, he's the real star of the show.


by 暗猫

Capcom's most consistent mascot has been away for a while, but I honestly believe that they've got something good in the works for him. Mega Man 9 was an excellent return to form, and even though Inafune is no longer with Capcom, I'm sure at least somebody was paying attention over there.



by ultimatesol

Mario pretty much defines "video game mascot," and is such a big deal that he even got his own Fanart Friday a while back! With the launch of the Wii U, I was more than happy to dig into a new Mario title, and I'm still looking forward to more!



by ユキヤ

As Japan's absolute biggest RPG series, Dragon Quest isn't represented by any of its characters, but rather, the ubiquitous Slime! They're in every game in various shapes and forms and ability sets, and it's always nostalgic and comforting to massacre the little bastards by the truckload.



by 50円

At first, you'd probably think Contra's Bill Rizer or one of Castlevania's many Belmonts would represent Konami, but it's actually Metal Gear's Solid Snake who takes the role of company frontman! What's wrong, Snake--don't wanna try what your dad's made for dinner? MREs taste like ass, you'd think he would be willing to try something new...



by Fuju

We don't get to see much of Sony's Toro and Kuro Inoue here in the States, and that's kind of a shame. Toro is a perpetual klutz, and Kuro is, well... I don't know anything about him. They're fun to use in Street Fighter X Tekken, though!



by UK

Maybe it's better that Microsoft doesn't go for yearly installments of its bajillion-selling Halo series--I was pretty excited for Halo 4, and it ended up being a pretty good game in the process. The Master Chief (otherwise known as John-117) isn't as memorable as some of the mascots I've mentioned above, but he's certainly distinct enough.



by Hayaken

Final Fantasy's unmistakable Chocobos are always available to ride in games, but I like them most when they're being used for cavalry--we've seen it in several main-series FF games, but it's most prevalent in the Ivalice Alliance titles, like Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy XII.



by のば

Bomberman looks pretty simple with its cartoony 8- or 16-bit graphics, but make no bones about it--the mascot of the now-defunct Hudson Soft company goes through hell every time you start up a game. Bomberman has always been good, brutal fun.



by わさび

Oh, so that's where Link's been this whole time--aggravating every cucco in Hyrule! This is without a doubt one of my all-time favorite pieces of fanart, and I had to look back through every time Link's appeared in Fanart Friday to make sure I haven't used it before.



by Haychel

Pikachu is sort of a Nintendo mascot, but mainly he's the face of Game Freak, creators of Pokémon! With however many hundreds of Pokémon to choose from, of course they'd go with the most popular one!




Y'know what my problem is with Uncharted's Nathan Drake, the de facto mascot of the PS3? At the ending of every game, he refuses to kill the main bad guy, to stoop to his (or her) level. This is after he's murdered hundreds of faceless mooks. This is why I punch and kick and counter my way through the games--it's a hell of a lot more challenging and fun, and then the endings make more sense!


Well, that about wraps it up--oh, wait, there's one more Sony mascot? Oh, right...



by タンク

EEYYAAAAAGH. So what's the QTE for "putting somebody's eye out because you refuse to wear a shirt?"


And on that horrifying note, we're done for the week! Who are your favorite video game mascots? Sound off in the comments--I know there were a few I couldn't include!


Like I say every week, your work is always welcome on Fanart Friday regardless of your skill level or experience. Just PM me a link to your work, and I'll be sure to include it in a future installment! For those of you wanting to get a head start for next week, we'll be celebrating the return of Capcom's Night Warriors with a DARKSTALKERS-themed Fanart Friday!


Thanks again for checking out Fanart Friday--have a great weekend, and we hope to see you next time!

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