10 Hidden Meanings Behind Iconic Video Game Characters

Video game characters with HUGE secrets! Crash Bandicoot, Cortana, Pac-Man...

Crash Bandicoot looney tunes
Activision

It's easy to love iconic video game characters. Developers can make them adorable and simplistic, or overarching and emotionally complex, but no matter what, they're always memorable.

Every gaming franchise wants to leave their mark, and in order to do so they need to get the leading figures right. Players have seen a tonne of video game creations achieve this goal, going from niche to mainstream in impressive style.

So how exactly does a video game character become an icon? Many things go into making this happen, a great set of games, a strong connection to the fans, the right sounds and music, but possibly the most important is their design. The look and feel of a gaming lead are often what audiences tend to remember best, and thus it's vital for the developers to execute this well, so their creations can succeed.

For the most part, the following icons are simply well-designed companions who made enough of a splash to catch the players' collective appreciation. However, there are some secret motives behind that ever so important design factor, that give these legendary figures a hidden meaning.

10. Mario Is Actually A Landlord

Crash Bandicoot looney tunes
Nintendo

This utterly beloved Italian plumber is a titan of the gaming industry. As the leading mascot for Nintendo, he is the face of a vast section of the video-game landscape, and in his first iteration, he wasn't even named. But Nintendo knew that would have to change, as being called "Jumpman" wasn't going to cut it forever, and Shigeru Miyamoto was certain he wanted more of the character.

Nowadays, merely saying the word Mario conjures up images of this bright red plumber. Still, if he were to be more accurately based upon his inspiration, he might be trading up those overalls for something else entirely, as the character is actually named after Mario Segale, the landlord of Nintendo of America's warehouse.

After a heated dispute about rent, the designers opted to name the character after him. Therefore, Mario is almost a peace offering between Nintendo and Mario Segale, and this new identity would go on to shape the character, as his design was infused to be more Italian, and the name would become synonymous with the gaming industry.

Not too bad for a humble landlord.

Contributor

Michael is my name, overanalysing comedy is my game! I’m a Bristol-boy who moved out to Surrey to get his BA and then moved on to get an MA from the Guildford School of Acting. I am your bog-standard freaky geeky lad.