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Pizza Tower
2
The Noise was designed to be an obvious parody of the 1980s Domino's Pizza claymation anti-mascot "The Noid". The game's developer McPig has claimed that if The Noise wasn't based on The Noid, the boss would've had a parody of Vocaloid Hatsune Miku instead, in reference to Domino's App feat. Hatsune Miku, an app that became a niche YouTube Poop meme in the early 2010s.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
subdirectory_arrow_right Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (Game)
2
As an early April Fools' joke, the fan-run Facebook/Blogspot group Operation: Power Up made a fake Super Smash Bros. website character page based on the ones used in the official website to "reveal" Nester, the mascot of Nintendo Power magazine, as a playable character. While the page itself is notably accurate to the source material, the screenshots shown at the bottom are of very low quality: not only is Nester's model poorly made, he's only ever shown alone in the pics and is clearly pasted on in some of them.
person chocolatejr9 calendar_month December 1, 2023
Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind
1
Prior to the creation of Bubsy, Accolade tried to encourage Michael Berlyn to use Cheetos mascot Chester Cheetah instead of creating a new character for the game, but Berlyn convinced them by pointing out how creating a new character would be cheaper than licensing out an established mascot.
Yakuza 5
1
The Tsukimono area in Yakuza 5 features an ice sculpture of Hatsune Miku, a virtual idol likeness owned by Crypton Future Media and licensed out to Sega for video game appearences. Although this might be coincidental rather than an intentional reference, Crypton is located in Sapporo, the same city as Tsukimono.
Captain Commando
subdirectory_arrow_right Mega Man (Franchise), Capcom (Company)
1
Attachment It is often said that Mega Man was once used as Capcom's mascot in the 1980s, in a similar way to how Nintendo and Sega use Mario and Sonic respectively. Like many other statements of platforming characters being used as corporate mascots, this is untrue, as Mega Man has never been used to promote the wider Capcom brand of software outside of his own games or crossovers in which he appears. However, Capcom did have a mascot in the 1980s: the titular hero of Captain Commando - many earlier NES Capcom games were branded as part of the "Captain Commando Challenge Series", including licensed titles such as DuckTales, with game manuals having signed messages "written" by Captain Commando. Despite this, Captain Commando was never released on the NES.

Capcom's former community manager Seth Killian addressed Capcom's current lack of a mascot and Mega Man's use as an unofficial mascot on the Capcom-Unity forums in 2009:

"...we don't have an "official" mascot. We have a logo, that’s it.

As far as unofficial mascots go, however, yes, MM would definitely be that. I have actually heard someone discuss this, and I think the reasoning was something akin to Mega Man best embodying the spirit of the company.

So apparently in addition to making great games, Capcom is also here to save the planet from overthrow by evil robot masters (and according to recorded history so far, I'd say we're doing pretty well–2009 and still no overthrows)."
person Rocko & Heffer calendar_month November 15, 2023
Example of a Challenge Series manual:
https://www.thegameisafootarcade.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Duck-Tales-Game-Manual.pdf

Example of a Challenge Series box:
https://imgur.com/AktT0EB

Seth Killian on Capcom's mascot:
https://nintendoeverything.com/?p=22493
Bad News Baseball
subdirectory_arrow_right Solomon's Key (Game), Mighty Bomb Jack (Game), Tecmo (Company)
1
Attachment In the 1980s, Tecmo had a short-lived bunny rabbit mascot who would appear standing next to the Tecmo logo in credits sequences and title screens, as well as a rare power-up in Solomon's Key and Mighty Bomb Jack. Bad News Baseball is the only known game where he makes a physical appearance, as the umpire.
person Rocko & Heffer calendar_month November 15, 2023
Pokémon Snap
subdirectory_arrow_right Pokémon (Franchise)
3
Attachment Early in the Pokémon franchise's life, the Poliwhirl line recieved a major push in marketing, comparable to that of series mascot Pikachu.

Mascot costumes were made of Poliwhirl for promotional events, the Pokémon Adventures manga featured Poliwhirl as one of Red's Pokémon, Poliwag was placed closely to Pikachu on the box art of Pokémon Snap, food and toy lines would near-consistently feature a member of the Poliwhirl line alongside Pikachu even when the pool of Pokémon was as limited as 3 or 4 (with exceptions primarily being ones that also lacked Pikachu), and, most famously, Poliwhirl appeared on the center of the cover of TIME Magazine's issue adressing the popularity of Pokémon.

This could be related to Poliwag being Pokémon creator Satoshi Tajiri's favourite of the original 151 Kanto species.
person Rocko & Heffer calendar_month October 19, 2023
Comedic video about bizarre Pokémon merchandise showing off many instances of Poliwhirl and Poliwrath merchandise - the nature of Poliwhirl's "mascot" status is discussed at the 13:06 mark:
https://youtu.be/Gri7-XW3no8

ResetEra thread about Poliwhirl that opens with multiple images of Poliwhirl memorabilia:
https://www.resetera.com/threads/pokemons-bygone-mascot.763622/

Video from a Kellogg's fan channel featuring box scans and commercials for Pokémon cereal with Poliwhirl:
https://youtu.be/4kEnxp0ihPI

Pop Tarts commercial featuring Poliwrath toys:
https://youtu.be/oKw6l1Skglc

Kraft Mac & Cheese advert featuring Poliwhirl:
https://youtu.be/Sj5lfgEz_bU

Video featuring a photo of a Poliwhirl mascot:
https://youtu.be/KR5oKvYi_PQ

KFC and Heinz commercials for promotions featuring neither, Poliwhirl nor Pikachu:
https://youtu.be/9HCDPTQGmrI
https://youtu.be/nNc1xl8uoMA

Tajiri talks Poliwag:
https://youtu.be/gplIo-J9Ttc?si=vXRHECazu6kGu4IQ&t=433
Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time
2
In the Flashback Tape "The Gauntlet", Cortex will say "Maybe next time I'll try a hedgehog…or a bobcat…or a gecko". These are references to Sonic the Hedgehog, Bubsy the Bobcat, and Gex the Gecko, all of which were wisecracking anthropomorphic characters from 1990s platformers, much like Crash.
Franchise: Pokémon
3
Attachment According to Tsunekazu Ishihara, the president of The Pokémon Company, Nintendo of America didn’t like the original Japanese designs for Pokémon as they thought they looked “too cute”, so they made their own redesigns.

In particular, Pikachu was apparently redesigned to resemble a tiger with big breasts. When Ishihara asked how it was meant to be Pikachu, the American designers responded that because it has Pikachu’s tail, then that makes it Pikachu.
Franchise: Pokémon
1
Although referred to as an electric mouse, Pikachu's design is actually based on a squirrel. According to former Game Freak designer Atsuko Nishida, she was fond of squirrels at the time of Red & Green's development, so she based Pikachu on squirrels. From its red cheeks used to store electricity based on squirrels storing food in its cheeks, to its lightning bolt-shaped tail more closely resembling a bushy squirrel tail rather than the tail of a mouse.
Smart Alex and Smart Alice: Curious Kids
subdirectory_arrow_right Sega Pico (Platform)
2
Attachment The Sega Pico has a variety of different mascots depending on territory:

• In Japan, the Sega Pico had a set of two mascots, who were originally hand-drawn, but changed to a CGI style upon the hardware's rebranding to the "Kids Communication Pico". These characters would appear in the opening titles for every Japanese Pico release and are not known to have appeared in any commercials.

• In Western territories, the Sega Pico used a mascot known as "Smart Alex", originating from the game Smart Alex & Smart Alice: Curious Kids. Box arts for Pico games in regions such as the UK and France would feature Smart Alex regardless of if he actually appeared in the game, he appeared in animated commercials for the hardware, and he had a mascot costume made for the 1995 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Smart Alex is the only Pico mascot to have appeared in his own game.

• In Korea, where the hardware was distributed by Samsung, it used a star-shaped animal character. The character would continue to be used for the Samsung Thinko, a Pico successor made without Sega's involvement, independent of its Japanese follow-up, the Advanced Pico Beena.
person Rocko & Heffer calendar_month October 6, 2023