Nintendo monkeys (Nintendonkeys?)
Nintendo’s first superstar Donkey Kong (who is an ape, not a monkey, nor a donkey) is always a great hang for video game animators. There is an online beta running for Mario Strikers Battle League this very weekend – an amazing opportunity for Next Level Games’ awesome animation team to go to town.
In fact, Next Level Games has a long history with DK, remember!
He is also well used in Donkey Kong Adventure, the excellent “should have been its own standalone game” DLC campaign for Mario+Rabbids.
There was of course the infamous Donkey Kong remake for the Game Boy in 1994, which both heavily influenced Super Mario 64 and also indirectly spearheaded the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series.
The Mario vs. Donkey Kong series which in turn gave us the awesome Mini-Donkey Kong, a spring-powered mechanical toy version of Donkey Kong. I love this little buddy.
Speaking of Super Mario 64, we get this lil’ chap.
1994 was also the year of Donkey Kong Country. I have never been a big fan of Rare’s DKC games but they did give us Diddy Kong (which in turn made Diddy Kong Racing possible) and the unflappable Funky Kong, whom I appreciate better now that he appears in games I enjoy. It’s truly hard to hate on anyone involved with Tropical Freeze.
DKC kinda rebooted the casting of the Donkey Kong IP but recently, Mario Kart Tour brought back the original Donkey Kong Jr., an extremely uncommon case of meta-reference from a Nintendo game. By the way, he’s possibly been in more games than you’d think!
Outside of the extended Mario/DK connection, I assume the most famous Nintendo simian gotta be Dr. Andross? Why are we fighting a doctor, anyway? May Star Fox secretly be some sort of subliminal anti-vaxx space fantasy? (It is not.)
Andross also has his
son nephew Oikonny and his grandson Dash Bowman, whom I only remember because he was a Spirit in Smash Ultimate. Great name, Dash Bowman!
Although, I guess there are way more Animal Crossing fans than Star Fox fans. I personally have never got a gorilla neighbor in my village. I kinda recognize Al so I assume he is pretty famous. That mandrill is dope.
I do have Tammi in my ACNH village. She was there from day one. Nice personality, good hang. I grew fond enough of her that I never kicked her out to get “cooler” neighbors.
There are also a few simians in Zelda. Most notably(?) Kiki from A Link to the Past and Link’s Awakening…
… And these morons from Twilight Princess.
We also have this big guy from the recent Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Gorimondo. Possibly a breakout character? I have not played this one yet but he seems popular. I would not be surprised if Gorimondo came back frequently in future games, Chef Kawasaki-style.
As noted earlier in this thread, Rhythm Heaven / Paradise / Tengoku also has an astonishing number of simian cameos.
Finally, never forget we finally got Goku in Smash, exactly as requested by the Internet.