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The 20 Most Forgotten Gaming Characters

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Brittany Vincent/ONE37pm

Mario. Sonic. Crash Bandicoot. These are all hallowed names in the gaming universe. They're iconic characters that most gamers know, and for good reason: their games are great, they're designed well, and they're likable! They're mascots that, like Pac-Man, have long had their likenesses engraved in the history books. No one would even dare consider them to be among the huge crop of forgotten gaming characters.

But just like there are mascots that everyone knows and loves, there are plenty of lesser characters that just didn't jibe well with audiences, or their games weren't that memorable. Maybe players just didn't like these mascots, or they grated on the nerves, like the infamous Bubsy. Or maybe they were decent characters, but their games didn't sell well enough to establish a franchise.

Whatever the case may be, these gaming mascots have mostly been lost to the sands of time. While some of them enjoyed multiple sequels and chances for gamers to get to know them, others vanished into thin air after a single title. We've collected some of the most overlooked mascots for your reading pleasure. Enjoy this trip down memory lane -- or your first brush with some of the weirder mascots out there. There are definitely plenty of them.

Forgotten Gaming Characters

ristar sega
Sega

1. 'Glover'

Glover is exactly what you'd think: an anthropomorphic glove. He can maneuver a ball around, which is his main method of interacting with the environment. He can roll, bounce, throw, slap, balance on, and dribble the ball he's rolling at the time, though it will depend on which level he's in. He might use a bouncy ball, bowling ball, crystal ball, or one of several others. Glover only appeared in one game on Nintendo 64 and PC, as the planned sequel, Glover 2, was canceled. Since then, Glover continues to languish in obscurity.

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2. 'Blinx the Time Sweeper'

The ill-fated Blinx was originally slated to be the Xbox's mascot. This cat with a vacuum is called a Time Sweeper, and as such can manipulate time. Using his TS-1000 Vacuum Cleaner, he can slow time down, speed it up, record a moment in time, reverse it, and stop time entirely. Blinx actually got two games, despite low sales and mixed reviews for the first title. Unfortunately, his 2004 sequel is the last anyone's heard of Blinx, and he certainly hasn't established himself as the Xbox's mascot. That honor would go to Master Chief if we had to choose. So it should come as no surprise that Microsoft's feline representative is counted among this long list of forgotten gaming characters.

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3. 'Gex: Enter the Gecko'

Gex is a wise-cracking gecko who can, well, run and jump. He's also an expert on a wide range of pop culture topics. But that's about all he's known for, and that doesn't put him very far above the Geico lizard if we're being honest. Though the Gex games received mostly positive reviews, Gex has largely disappeared out of the collective gaming consciousness. He just wasn't that memorable, and his games weren't worth banking on a future with, especially given that they mostly lacked originality.

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4. 'Chuck Rock'

Chuck Rock was actually the early mascot for developer Core Design, ahead of Lara Croft's 1996 debut. This neanderthal loves to say "Unga Bunga" while sporting a punk mohawk and throwing rocks at things. He's also a rock star. Overall, a pretty unique spin on the typical mascot character, but not enough to stand the test of time. He did enjoy several sequels, however, and Core Design has promised a modern one is on the way.

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5. 'James Pond: Underwater Agent'

Get it? Pond? Because he's a frog? This amphibian, dressed like James Bond, is exactly what you'd expect: an underwater hero. He can do everything the typical mascot hero can do, but he can also fire off bubbles at enemies to trap them a la Bubble Bobble, then pop the trapped enemies' bubbles to finish them off. Surprisingly, there were a few James Pond games, but ultimately the mudskipper has never become the household name his creators thought him destined for.

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6. 'Dizzy: The Ultimate Cartoon Adventure'

Dizzy is an anthropomorphic egg, but don't call him Humpty Dumpty. He's named Dizzy for the way he can roll around the games he stars in, peppering in somersaults and other fun ways to interact with the environment. He's always on the way to save his friends and family, the Yolkfolk, from the wizard Zaks who want to destroy them. Dizzy enjoyed several games, most of them platformers, but the series eventually fizzled out and this egg became cracked.

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7. 'Punky Skunk'

Ever heard of a punk skunk? You have now. Punky Skunk follows an anthropomorphic skunk named Punky who uses a special set of gear to accomplish his mission: saving the world. That includes a snowboard, skunk spray, a pogo stick, and all manner of wacky items strewn through each level. And that's about all you can say about Punky. He only ever got one game, but it's still pretty fun if you're looking for something weird to play.

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8. 'Jersey Devil'

Ever heard of a Jersey Devil? These mythical creatures are rooted in folklore, but the star of this PS1 game is one, too. This bat-like protagonist can jump, punch, and glide his way through expansive levels when it comes to defeating his enemies. Unfortunately, there wasn't much about the Jersey Devil that set him apart from the rest of the mascots in the world, so there weren't any sequels and we haven't heard from him again. Even though its overall design is pretty cool, this edgy creature wasn't popular enough to rise above its placing here among so many other forgotten gaming characters.

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9. 'Skunny'

Skunny is an adorable squirrel who collects rings and travels around in mine carts whenever he can. He can also dash very quickly, much like Sonic the Hedgehog. Unfortunately, when it comes to describing Skunny, that's about all there is to say. This budget game hero appeared in only a couple of titles before fading away. But if you're curious, they're fun enough for an afternoon or two, if only to see what could have been.

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10. 'Titus the Fox'

Titus the Fox is actually developer Titus Interactive's mascot, so he did serve his initial purpose, but he didn't get much of anywhere after starring in his first game. Titus must go on a quest to save his girlfriend Suzy as he makes his way throughout the Sahara desert. He can pick up and throw objects, stand on thrown objects, and even throw enemies. In fact, stacking items on top of each other is required if you want to make your way through to the end of the game. Ultimately, however, there was nothing exciting enough about Titus to help him appear in another game, and he's largely disappeared from the zeitgeist.

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11. 'Croc: Legend of the Gobbos'

Croc is a friendly crocodile that players can control a lot like Mario in Super Mario 64. He can use a deadly tail swipe to defeat enemies and bosses, and a hip drop, also like Mario, to break open crates. He's also absolutely adorable, which is definitely something important he's got going for him, but unfortunately, that wasn't enough to keep potential players interested. The game was released to mixed reviews and even went on to have a sequel -- and several mobile games later on in the mascot's life. Sadly, despite all this, there just wasn't room for much else. Even though he's considered to be one of those forgotten gaming characters from the age of 32-bit consoles, his cutesy stature has aforded him a small fanbase that still adores him.

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12. 'Aero the Acrobat'

Aero the Acrobat is an interesting mascot case, as he looks a bit like a villain character, but he's actually there to save the day. As a circus star and the best hope for rescuing the performers at The World of Amusement Circus and Funpark from the evil Edgar Ektor, Aero has to pass through hoops, step on platforms, throw stars, and aim aerial drill attacks at enemies while in the air. All in all, an interesting take on the typical mascot platformer, but not memorable enough to cement Aero in the annals of history. As far as forgotten gaming characters go, this platforming daredevil sticks out as a fan favorite for retro heads that gave his games a try.

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13. 'Ristar'

Ristar is, well, an anthropomorphic star, as strange as that is. He can reach in eight different directions, and that's his main mode of attack. He can extend his arms, grab the enemy, and headbutt them to kill them off. He can also open up treasure chests in this way and grab and throw enemies if they mess with him. Other than that, Ristar doesn't have a ton going for him. He only ever appeared in one game, but it did well enough, acting as a decent alternative to Sonic, even though Ristar didn't get established as a mascot.

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14. 'Bonk's Adventure'

Bonk is a cute (totally bald) little caveboy whose mission in life is to rescue Princess Za, a small dinosaur who the evil King Drool has kidnapped for his own. Just like his name implies, he "bonks" enemies on the head, and collects pieces of meat as a power-up. In his second stage power-up level, he can stun enemies. In the third stage, he can become invincible for a short time. The games Bonk stars in are actually pretty fun, but unfortunately, he's no longer in the public eye.

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15. 'Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel'

Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel is an interesting case. He's actually a rival from Aero the Acrobat, marking an occasion where mascots appear in mutual characters' games. Zero has a few innovative moves that feel great in practice, like special dives and swoops, and bright, colorful graphics. He brings some real personality to the game, but ultimately, he didn't get another game -- Aero the Acrobat did, funnily enough.

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16. 'Zool Redimensioned'

It isn't immediately obvious what Zool actually is, but there's an easy answer: a gremlin. Zool is the "Ninja of the Nth Dimension", a creature who was forced to land on Earth and earn a ninja ranking. Zool is ultimately memorable because of his bizarre design and even snagged a sequel game in 1993. But, like the other mascots on this list, Zool didn't manage to stick around very long.

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17. 'Wild Woody'

Yes, if you're curious, Wild Woody is a pencil. That's about it. But he can actually do a series of pretty interesting things when compared to other similar platforming games. Woody can jump on characters and literally erase them as an attack, and can also bring sketches to life to destroy enemies in his stead. He can draw three times in a row, selecting sketches from his personal sketchbook. You've got to hand it to the developers: it's unique, but we never did hear from Wild Woody again after a single game.

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18. 'Rocky Rodent'

Rocky Rodent is exactly what he sounds like: a rodent named Rocky. He uses four different hairstyles as weapons to rescue the daughter of the owner of his favorite restaurant. He's serving '90s vibes, down to his hair and attire, from top to bottom. There's nothing much to say here, Rocky just didn't make the cut. But it's still fun to go back and check out his game to think back on the '90s, a truly weird time for all of us.

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19. 'Cool Spot'

Technically, Cool Spot wasn't meant for video games. It's the 7Up mascot. And to be fair, that little red dot has been in the 7Up logo since time immemorial. But Cool Spot as a game character? Just like Yo! Noid, Cool Spot's powers are based on his status as a soda pop character. He can jump and attack by throwing soda bubbles in any direction as well as cling to and climb various things. In the end, all you really remember about him, though, is that he's a 7Up-centric character. Not really conducive for a game mascot.

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20. 'Jazz Jackrabbit'

Jazz Jackrabbit is actually a fairly successful mascot, an anthropomorphic green rabbit, whose sworn enemy is a tortoise named Devan Shell. Jazz is armed with a gun to take down his enemies, but he can also run, jump, and eat carrots to earn health again. There were several Jazz Jackrabbit installments, but ultimately Jazz has been retired. This is one mascot that would be awesome to see return at some point, though. But for now, he's just going to have to live with his niche status among this collection of forgotten gaming characters.

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