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1. Upa Upa
Before there was Sonic the Hedgehog, there was Alex Kidd. And before Alex, Sega had an even stranger mascot: the weird alien spaceship Upa Upa!
This ship was the protagonist of the Fantasy Zone games, but never came across as memorable enough to fans. But decades later, all of us are surrounded by talking tech, and the idea of a living alien spaceship may not be too crazy for modern gamers to understand. Let’s bring him back and just see how it goes!
2. Rocky Rodent
The best mascots have that extra “something something.” Maybe it’s a funky design and maybe it’s a bizarre personality. And with Rocky Rodent, you get the complete package.
Rocky’s design looks like a fusion of Tom from Tom and Jerry and the Tasmanian Devil. And he fought bad guys with hairspray, using the downtime to adjust his hair. Oh, and did we mention his main goal is to stuff his face at an all-you-can-eat buffet? It’s a weird world, and this weird character is made for a modern comeback.
3. Aero The Acrobat
Aero The Acrobat was a character that had a lot going for him. This Sunsoft mascot featured a cool design, some killer games, and very nearly landed his own animated series.
The cartoon never panned out, but it’s not hard to see why the creators thought this character had such potential. And a modern game with some fun animated cutscenes (like the new Battletoads) would be perfect for Aero.
4. Ecco The Dolphin
Unlike some other mascots on this list, we don’t exactly love Ecco the Dolphin for his cool design. He’s a dolphin: if you’ve seen one of them, you’ve seen all of them.
But the games were just bonkers in the best way. This unassuming dolphin traveled through time and fights aliens. And the quiet parts of the game allowed you to explore the ocean to some very chill music. We’re ready for some next-gen Ecco, and we’re ready now!
5. Titus the Fox
Who these mascots represented is a little more obvious for some characters than others. For example, Titus the Fox is the appropriately-named mascot for Titus Interactive.
At the time, his debut game really underwhelmed critics and players alike. But the design of the mascot and his supporting cast are very innovative, and there is potential here to achieve more with the IP than Titus Interactive ever could.
Plenty of games are gross in some way or another. This ranges from endless levels of exploring sewers to games featuring brutal dismemberment. But nothing was gross in the same way as Boogerman.
This Interplay mascot has every crude attack you can think of. He has turned every burp, fart, and booger into a weapon to fight his enemies. We never got another game with this character, but if we could pair his crazy design and moves with a better game, you’d have something amazing.
Many tried to imitate the success of Sonic the Hedgehog. Out of all the competitors, though, Ristar may be the best. Why? Because he was created by Sonic Team!
The character is more than just a cute design. In fact, his ability to stretch and swing makes every level memorable and fun. If Ristar had come out earlier in the lifecycle of the Genesis, it would be a mainstay franchise. And it’s never too late to let this star shine once more.
Sadly, not enough players experienced the joy of the TurboGrafx-16. But everyone who played that system knows about the mascot: the wild caveman Bonk.
Bonk looks like Charlie Brown after he misses kicking the football one too many times. Memorably, this character solves problems by smashing everything with his head. Sure, the gameplay was simplistic, but the characters are iconic. And given how much Japan loved Bonk, he would fit right in on a console like the PS5.
9. James Pond
Way before EA was associated with endless microtransactions, James Pond was their mascot. And the gag is right there in the name: these games are what you get if you mash up James Bond with a fish.
Unlike Gex, these games really go all the way with the James Bond parodies and jokes. And these colorful games really showed what the Genesis could pull off. With meme culture being stronger than ever, this iconic character is due for a serious comeback.
Argonaut mascot Croc has something of an infamous history. His game (Croc: The Legend of the Gabbos) was originally made to star the Nintendo mascot Yoshi. When Nintendo rejected their ideas, however, they created Croc as their own unique character.
That might make Croc sound like a rip-off, but it’s the best kind of rip-off: the 3D platforming was just as smooth as SuperMario 64, and the game is fun to this day. We’d love to see this character introduced to a new generation of players.
Conker has always been a weird character. This mascot for Rare went from being an adorable fuzzy buddy to being a foul-mouthed, drunken pervert in Conker’s Bad Fur Day.
Why does Conker need to come back? Thanks to the Rare Replay compilation, newer players have been introduced to his aesthetics and his antics. And while Rare made the character too kid-friendly in Conker’s Pocket Tales and too adult in Bad Fur Day, we’re confident that they could get things “just right” for a comeback.
12. Alex Kidd
As we said before, Sonic the Hedgehog is the undisputable mascot for Sega. But he’s not the first mascot. Before Sonic, we had Alex Kidd.
From arcades to the Master System, Alex Kidd gave us some very solid platformers. These are honestly good games--they just couldn’t compete with Mario back in the day. But all these years later, we’re pretty sure a return to Alex Kidd and his Miracle World might just give us a revival in quality platforming. And with the announcement of Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX, this mascot is going to get a second chance to impress us!
Gex, the cold-blooded representative for Crystal Dynamics, seemed to have lots of potential. He had several games on the PSX, Saturn, Windows, and even the 3DO before fading into obscurity.
Why bring Gex back? Honestly, the games were quite fun in their own simplistic way. And we’re due for another good James Bond parody, although Gex may have to fight James Pond for this particular honor.
Bubsy was the face of Accolade. He popped up on a number of systems and nearly got his own cartoon before almost everything about him went down the memory hole until many years later.
The truth is that Bubsy’s games weren’t that fun. But the character design and attitude has a lot of potential for a modern revival. And in an age of ascendant furry culture, there has never been a better time for Bubsy to shine.
At the very least, he needs a chance to make up for that awful game Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back.
15. Captain Commando
Capcom has produced so many characters that are downright iconic. But move over Mega Man: there was only ever one true mascot, and his name is Captain Commando!
Sure, his old adventures on the SNES, PSX, and arcade seem pretty basic. But the iconic design, cool powerups, and Final Fight-esque gameplay would all go over better than ever now that we’re in the middle of a sidescrolling revival.