Guest Fighter

A Guest Fighter is a character that doesn't belong in the setting who just shows up in a Video Game, especially a Fighting Game, much like a Special Guest on a TV show. It seems like if a fighting game hasn't had a full-blown Crossover, it has at least had a Guest Fighter or two.

Guest Fighters are quite the Base Breakers; depending on who you ask, they are either awesome and hilarious because they're fishes out of water bringing all their superpowers and continuity nods to the conflict or detracting from the premise of the established fictional universe and/or a cheap cash grab because they're... fishes out of water. That being said, the Guest Fighters least likely to inflict base breaking are the fishes whose styles and settings are more in water, such as Link in Soulcalibur II or Freddy Krueger in Mortal Kombat 9, or guests in Massive Multiplayer Crossover games in which case there is no such thing as a fish out of water. And even then, it's still not a sure bet.

The trope name comes from the Super Smash Bros. Brawl website, in which the name is used to refer to Solid Snake and Sonic the Hedgehog, the two characters outside Nintendo's ownership.

In nearly all cases, those characters are Unexpected Characters, so Guest Fighter can be considered a subtrope of that.


Fighting Games

  • As stated above, Solid Snake and Sonic the Hedgehog in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The latter was highly demanded by fans who wanted to see him in a fighting game with Mario (which was why he was added in the game). Solid Snake is a unique case. Hideo Kojima originally asked for Snake to be added to Super Smash Bros. Melee. However, since that game was too far in development, Snake was added in Brawl.
  • Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion had Captain Planet who was an Unexpected Character to everyone. In the story mode, he made a Big Damn Heroes moment where he saved the other 14 heroes from The Narrator's Evil Remote Control. And he can use all the elements for attacks.
  • The earliest known fighting game with a guest fighter would have to be the first Fighter's History game by Data East, which its final boss is Karnov from the arcade game of the same name, who also appeared in later titles in the series (and also appeared as an enemy in Bad Dudes and Trio the Punch). However, he wasn't playable until the arcade game was ported to the SNES with a cheat code to play as him.
    • In Fighter's History Dynamite (known in Europe as Karnov's Revenge), another guest fighter appears as a Bonus Boss, which was the Ox from Data East's 1984 Karate Champ.
    • In the Japan-exclusive Super Famicom title in the series, Fighter's History: Mizoguchi Kiki Ippatsu!!, the final boss this time is another guest fighter, Chelnov, from the run 'n' gun arcade game Atomic Runner.
    • Makoto Mizoguchi from this series made two appearances as a guest fighter: the first was in Suiko Enbu: Fuuun Saiki (with Liu Yungmie), while the second was in KOF: Maximum Impact Regulation A.
  • Although both the Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting franchises take place in the same universe, Ryo Sakazaki from the Art of Fighting series appearing in Fatal Fury Special (an update of Fatal Fury 2) as the secret final boss counts.
    • Geese Howard from Fatal Fury appears as a secret final boss in Art of Fighting 2, though with a different appearance, due to Art of Fighting being placed chronogically before Fatal Fury, thus making the Geese in AOF younger.
    • Truly a remarkable example because from one simple guest appearance, the entire The King of Fighters franchise was given birth (which is like "Guest Fighter: The Game", at least in its original design, as not only did characters from Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting appear on the roster but so too did non-fighting game characters from games such as Psycho Soldier and Ikari Warriors). KoF in itself has had a few guest fighters (particularly in XI where characters from fighting games like Savage Reign and Buriki One got to join the cast). And while it features characters from multiple universes, KOF '94 can be considered the earliest cross-over fighting game.
    • Leaving aside the games that explicitly fold into it, The King of Fighters: Maximum Impact 2 has fun with this trope. Hanzo Hattori and Fio both show up... and are quite confused (Hanzo wonders what happened to ninjitsu when he meets Mai, and Fio mistakes Ralf and Clark for Marco and Tarma, respectively). Its update, Regulation A, also has Mizoguchi as mentioned above, though he's notably the first and only non-SNK character to join the KOF cast.
      • Coincidentally, Clark and Ralf make appearances in Metal Slug 6 and 7, as well as one or two of their signature moves. Leona is an add-on character in Metal Slug XX, the PSP re-release of Metal Slug 7.
  • Gon in Tekken 3.
  • The Soul series is downright notorious for this:
    • Link, Heihachi and Spawn in Soulcalibur II. The catch is that each of these three are exclusive to a single console (GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox, respectively).
    • Lloyd Irving in Soulcalibur Legends.
    • Darth Vader, Yoda and "The Apprentice" in Soulcalibur IV; the latter is effectively an Early-Bird Cameo. The catch for the first two is each of them are playable from the start exclusively on one console (Vader on PlayStation 3 and Yoda on Xbox 360) and are paid Downloadable Content on the other, making the pair from a technical point of view the first fighting game DLC characters, predating Makoto Nanaya by almost two years.
    • Kratos in Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny. The eponymous God of War, not the Tales of Symphonia character despite Lloyd's earlier presence.
    • Ezio Auditore da Firenze in Soulcalibur V.
    • While not Guest Fighters in the same sense as the others listed above, there are also a number of characters who were created for the series by well known artists. In this sense, they count as well.
      • Necrid was designed by Spawn creator Todd McFarlane for Soulcalibur II, the game which McFarlane also made a toy line for (the making of which was conditional on Necrid's inclusion). He was available on all three console versions.
      • Angol Fear was created by Keroro Gunsou creator Mine Yoshizaki. She is a cousin to Angol Mois from that series and made a one-off appearance in chapter 148 of the manga after her debut, making her a genuine retroactive guest.
      • Ashlotte Maedel was created by Oh! Great.
      • Kamikirimusi was created by Mai-HiME character designer Hirokazu Hisayuki.
      • Scheherazade was created by RahXephon creator Yutaka Izubuchi.
      • Shura was created by Gantz creator Hiroya Oku.
    • All these guest fighters have background stories and plots that sufficiently explain why they are in the series. However, they are never actually referenced again or even hinted about having existed at any point, and have zero impact within the story. The 5 created characters for IV, including Angol Fear, are an exception as they are actually mentioned as part of the story, with Ashlotte having the strongest connection due to her part in the story for V's new Astaroth.
      • On another note, Ubisoft's Word of God on Ezio's presence is that it is easily explained through the Animus, the decidedly time-spanning but not universe-spanning Framing Device of the Assassin's Creed universe. Though at one point the Soulcalibur community manager noted the fuzziness of Ezio's timeline during the events of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (the incarnation used in V), suggested that it was actually time/dimensional travel instead of Soul Calibur V itself being a video game inside the Animus. The latter seems to be backed up by Ezio's official profile, which has him retrieving an item from the Templars that seems to briefly transport him to 1607, this leaving erratic readings in the Animus.
    • And Yoshimitsu could be considered one, atleast in spirit, given a similar character exists since the first Soulcalibur. While vaguely hinted at first, it was confirmed for V that this Yoshimitsu is the founder of the group the Tekken Yoshimitsu forms part of, and the first in a long line of successors carrying the same name.
  • Nicole, the female Spartan based on the Halo games who appears in Dead or Alive 4.
  • The Japanese version of Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter had Norimaro, an original character created by Japanese comedian Noritake Kinashi. He carried around a little satchel full of props as he fought. His super move was to fling every prop in the bag in a giant shotgun-blast of random objects. When he won, he'd pull out a little camera, hold it at arm's length, turn it around, and snap a picture of himself. He was removed from the US version, although data for him still exists in the game.
  • MegaMan.EXE and Zero are unlockable fighters in Onimusha Blade Warriors.
  • Paul Phoenix and Marshall Law from Tekken appear in Urban Reign. Paul also appears alongside Heihachi in Xevious 3D/G, a shmup of all things.
  • K-1 fighter-turned-comedian Bobby Ologun appears as the final boss in the PlayStation 2 port of Power Instinct Matrimelee. He uses much Gratuitous English and has a Beam Spam super called "Bobby Beam".
  • In Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3, Arale Norimaki from Dr. Slump is an unlockable character. Justified in that Arale did appear in episodes 55, 56, and 57 of the first Dragon Ball anime series, so when they said they would put everyone in Budokai Tenkaichi 3, they really meant everyone.
    • And in an example of Guest Stage, Penguin Village is an unlockable stage.
  • The Japanese version of Dragon Ball Z Budokai 2 had an alternate costume for Frieza, as his son Kuriza from Akira Toriyama's self-parody manga Neko Majin Z. Neko Majin himself appears as a guest assistant character in the Japanese version of Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors 2 for the Nintendo DS.
  • Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 allows you to use Lars Alexandersson from Tekken 6. Namco Bandai has the rights to both series and Naruto author Masashi Kishimoto designed Lars's alternate outfit, so he reappears here with said outfit and redesigned to fit with the art style of the game.
  • Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst is a playable character in WWF Smackdown: Just Bring It! Rumor has it, this was one of the conditions for allowing the developers to use the song "Rollin'", which was Undertaker's entrance theme at the time, in the game.
    • Durst was also featured as an unlockable character in the ill-advised fighting game adaptation of Fight Club.
    • The more recent WWE games feature hidden "legends"; in other words, popular wrestlers from WWE's past.
    • WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011 also features Rob Van Dam, who hadn't been in WWE for a couple of years prior to the game beginning development and, indeed, signed with TNA shortly after its release. He's listed as a "Free Agent", not as a Legend (the only other characters so designated are the Red and Green demonstration models, Paul Bearer, and the Undertaker's druid). Apparently, the dev team were just really big RVD fans and wanted to use him in the game very badly.
    • WWE '12 featured the returns of Brock Lesnar and Eddie Guerrero.
    • WWE '13 featured Mike Tyson.
    • WWE 2K15 features Sting, the first wrestler to be featured in the game despite never actually having wrestled for WWE.
  • Similarly, rocker Henry Rollins has a sizably role in Def Jam: Fight for NY, featuring the eponymous rap label's performers. Actors Omar Epps and Danny Trejo also make appearances and are playable characters.
  • While not a playable character, Donkey Kong is a not-so-secret challenger in the Wii Punch-Out!! title. He would only appear during the last phase of Career Mode: Mac's Last Stand. Win or lose, once you met him, you could fight him any time in Exhibition Mode. But because all opponents at this point are random, you ran the risk of him being Lost Forever if you lost the Last Stand before fighting him.
    • For the GameCube port of EA's Fight Night Round 2, you can play as Little Mac in his SNES appearance.
  • The hidden boxers in Ready2Rumble 2, including basketball star Shaquille O'Neal, Bill & Hillary Clinton, and Michael Jackson.
    • Could possibly count Rumbleman, who's basically boxing announcer Michael Buffer hopped up on Venom.
  • Three Raving Rabbids with different movesets in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash Up (One normal, one in Splinter Cell gear, and one in TMNT getup). This caused an eruption of "ruined" cries among the TMNT fanbase.
  • Ryougi Shiki of Kara no Kyoukai in Melty Blood.
  • Fate/Unlimited Codes had a guest appearance by the Lancer from the 4th Grail War, who is from the same fictional universe but from a different time period than the one covered by the game.
  • Earthworm Jim has appeared as a guest fighter in Clay Fighter 63⅓ and the PC edition of Battle Arena Toshinden. In the former, he has his own moveset and even his own story and stage, but in the latter, he is just a bonus skin for Rungo Iron.
  • Kratos again in the PlayStation 3 version of Mortal Kombat 9. Given that Mortal Kombat is set in a multiverse and and has a penchant for gore-tastic fighting, Kratos fits right in.
  • The Japanese Sega Saturn version of Fighting Vipers had PEPSIMAN! as a secret playable character. Only in the original Japanese Sega Saturn release, sadly..
    • Interestingly, the Arcade version has some unused Guest Fighters that were Dummied Out in the final release, that were likely added as a joke and not meant to be in the full game: Sonic, Tails and Takashi Iizuka (director of Sonic Team). However, they are still playable thanks to emulation hacking. Source links. Sonic being there was the result of a bored programmer, and Yuji Naka saw it and loved the idea, thus Sonic the Fighters was born.
    • Sonic the Fighters originally had Honey the Cat, an original character based on the same character from Fighting Vipers (likely intended as a Mythology Gag, as seen above). She was Dummied Out in the original Arcade version of the game and the Sonic Gems Collection re-release, but she's now avaliable for play in the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 digital re-release.
  • Fighters Megamix, aside from being Virtua Fighter 2 vs. Fighting Vipers, also features many weird and out-of-place characters from other Sega AM 2 works, who were added clearly Just for Fun. Including Bean the Dynamite, Bark the Polar Bear, Akira and Sarah (from Virtua Fighter Kids), Siba (a scrapped character from the first Virtua Fighter) Janet, Rent-A-Hero, Hornet, Deku, Mr. Meat and Palm Tree. Needless to say, as crazy as this game and it's roster was, it was great because it was 100% grade A Guilty Pleasure.
  • Cloud, Tifa, Yuffie, Vincent, Zack, and Sephiroth (the latter two making their first playable appearances) in Ehrgeiz, plus the final boss's first form looks suspiciously similar to Red XIII. Incidentally, this was the only reason most fans bought the game.
  • Street Fighter X Tekken on PlayStation 3 and Play Station Vita had FIVE Guest Fighters.
    • Firstly, there's Cole MacGrath of inFAMOUS. He's then joined on the same platforms by two cats (Toro and Kuro) that are Sony's mascots in Japan. Plus Bad Box Art Mega Man, and Pac-Man riding a Mokujin robot. The former three are avaliable from the start of the game, while the later two were released as free Downloadable Content. Needless to say, the five of them are major Base Breakers.
  • PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale has several characters that are from third-party games: Big Daddy, Heihachi Mishima, Dante, and Raiden are in the launch roster, and Isaac Clarke is in as Downloadable Content.
  • Zone of the Enders: the 2nd Runner features a guest appearance of Gradius's Vic Viper as a Transforming Mecha.
  • Vattroller X for the Game Boy Advance features Zoro, Kogenta and Beet as secret characters who are unlocked by passwords available in Japanese cards of the Vattroller X manga.
  • Spider-Man was a guest fighter in the Activision title X-Men: Mutant Academy II.
  • Arm Wrestling (a Punch-Out!! spinoff) involves this; the third round is against Mask X. But, during the round, pull off the mask and looky here, it's Bald Bull from Punch-Out!! The text also says, "Wow!!! Bald Bull!!!"
  • Terry Bogard and Benimaru Nikaido in Xuan Dou Zhi Wang. The fact that XD clearly takes inspiration from The King of Fighters has not been lost on fans, which is probably the reason SNK struck a deal with Tencent to put the two in the game in the first place.
  • Scorpion is part of the cast of Injustice: Gods Among Us as DLC. A little unusual, sure, but doubles as a Mythology Gag towards Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe.
  • Baoh's Ikuro Hashizawa in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle, but only technically as Baoh is another manga by JoJo's Bizarre Adventure creator Hirohiko Araki.
  • Akira Yuki again in Sega and Dengeki Bunko's 2D Massively Multiplayer Crossover fighting game Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax, acting as a boss character. Pai Chan serves as his Assist Character.
    • The console versions get two more with Selvaria Bles and her assist character, Alicia Melchiott.
  • Divekick has Johnny Gat of the Saints Row series as one of the new characters in the Addition Edition.

Other Games