In each video game, the characters are a pivotal part of the whole experience. Whether it’s a quirky plumber, an incredibly fast hedgehog, or a femme fatale, these icons shaped a generation of fanatics. They’re the stars of every arcade from the 80s to the 90s and remain legends until now.
Get to know these iconic arcade characters who are the faces of the 80s gaming world.
Mario (Super Mario Series)
If there’s a character everyone knows, it’s definitely this Italian plumber. He was created by Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo’s gaming genius who also gave life to other superstars. Mario first debuted in Donkey Kong under the name “Jump man.” He was only given his current title when the landlord of “Nintendo of America,” Mario Segale, started demanding rent.
This mustached man has proven his versatility in several games and has been given multiple sequels and spinoffs. Whether it’s saving a kidnapped princess or go-kart racing, Mario is the one for the job.
Pac-Man (Pac-Man Series)
According to legends, Pac-Man was inspired by a pizza with a missing slice. Others say it was just a modification of the Japanese character for “mouth.” Whatever his origin is, there’s no denying the influence of this dot munching hero. This addictive game has made such an impact, inspiring thousands of fanatics all over the world to hold championship meets in New York.
Yes, he’s not the most complex character, seeing as he’s just a yellow ball that eats dots and ghosts. But, credit should be given to this icon who opened up several possibilities for the gaming world with his various spinoffs and series.
Link (The Legend of Zelda)
The Legend of Zelda was inspired by Miyamoto’s childhood memories of wandering through Kyoto, Japan’s beautiful forests and caves. This led to the creation of Link, a character who evolved into one of the most well-loved console heroes and helped establish RPG as an international gaming standard. By stepping into his boots, people get to live out their wildest fantasies of rescuing a princess, exploring a magical place, and retrieving a mystical weapon.
Despite his lack of dialog, he speaks to everyone that has ever dreamed of being an adventurer. No matter what generation you’re from, Link can take you on a transformative journey.
Lara Croft (The Tomb Raider)
Lara Croft is one of the most dynamic, strongest, and exciting female characters to ever come into the world of RPG. With sharp skills and a rich background story usually reserved for male protagonists, the iconic tomb raider has encouraged many young women to get more involved in gaming.
She’s become quite the powerhouse and propelled the success of spinoff games, movies, and comics.
These characters are more than just instruments for playing a video game. They’re icons that inspired so many people in different ways. So, take a trip down memory lane and visit some arcades in Sandy Springs GA, where you can go back and reacquaint yourself with these legends.