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
In nearly all cases, those characters are Unexpected Characters
, so Guest Fighter can be considered a subtrope of that.
- 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. 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 will feature 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 PlayStation 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.
- A rare Massive Multiplayer Crossover version: Super Robot Wars Alpha 3 (by Banpresto) featured Temjin, Fei-Yen the Knight, and Apharmd the Hatter, three mechs from Sega's Virtual-ON series.
- Rondo of Swords features Izuna and Shino from Izuna Legend Of The Unemployed Ninja and Cotton from Fantastic Night Dreams Cotton as hidden characters. They are ridiculously broken.
- While not unique characters, Haseo and Ovan have costumes in .hack Link belonging to characters from Tales of Graces. They are the only charcters in the game to do so.
- A stylistic reimagining of Team Fortress 2's Pyro was added to the retail version of Killing Floor for those who had both the game and Team Fortress 2 during the Twisted Christmas event. What a 1960s mercenary is doing in a second millennium Zombie-clone outbreak in London is anyone's guess.
- Armed Police Batrider has guest appearances from what the Attract Mode calls "Raizing All-Stars"—five Mahou Daisakusen charactes and two Battle Garegga characters (each with two ships to their name).
- Mega Man Universe would had have Ryu as one of the playable characters. Arthur also shows up in the cinematic teaser trailer.
- What Could Have Been example: the developers of the Wii port of Marvel Ultimate Alliance considered putting Link and Samus as characters.
- One mission in Warcraft III is infamous for having a Hydralisk you can add to your forces. The character models for Terran Marines and Zerglings are also available.
- Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing with Banjo-Kazooie for the Xbox 360. The other versions of the game are merely Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing; Mario was considered for the Wii version, but alas existed the Olympic Games, uhhh, games...
- New International Track & Field is a sports game for the Nintendo DS. The characters are big-headed and Super-Deformed, and overall it has a kiddie aesthetic. It was also published by Konami, who thought it a good idea to put a bunch of their characters in it. These vary from the fitting, such as the mascot of a Pro Baseball series with similar styling, to the somewhat out there but not terrible weird, like Simon Belmont and Sparkster, to completely family-unfriendly characters like Pyramid Head and Evil Rose.
- Due to being released by LucasArts, Han Solo and Indiana Jones skins are available to any character (even the girl) in the first Mercenaries game.
- Gunbird 2 featured Aine and Morrigan as hidden characters (the latter being only in the Dreamcast version, which was published by Capcom).
- The classic PS1 racing game Test Drive 5 had the Fear Factory (one of the bands who supplied the music) wagon.
- Rumble Roses's Reiko wasnote a multiplayer skin on Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence.
- Klonoa in Moto GP.
- Warriors Orochi 3 has five guest fighters: Joan of Arc, Achilles, Nemea, Ryu Hayabusa, and Ayane. The Ultimate version introduces Rachel, Momiji, Kasumi, Sophitia and Sterkenburg Cranach.
- The Gamecube version of NBA Street 3 has Mario, Luigi and Peach as playable characters to make up for the console's lack of online play. Plus, all versions of the game have the Beastie Boys as a secret team.
- SSX On Tour also had the trio (Cube only, obviously.)
- SSX 3 also had Stretch, one of the characters from NBA Street, as a secret character, as well as all the characters from the previous games.
- And in that same game, the secret character Churchill debuted as a Quake III: Arena custom skin. Yes, it's true!
- Stretch's inclusion in SSX 3 mirrors SSX riders Zoe and Moby's status as unlockable characters in the original NBA Street, along with Tracey from Sled Storm. Also in that game? R&B group 3LW.
- Also notorious for this: the Tony Hawk's series had some weird guest skaters. Some are from Activision's game catalog (the Doom guy, Guitar Hero characters), others licensed by the company (Spider-Man, Wolverine, Shrek), and musicians as well (Billie Joe Armstrong, Travis Barker, MCA). The rest are there just for fun, fictional (Darth Maul and Jango Fett; Eddie; Bigfoot) or not (Benjamin Franklin?!).
- In Bad Dudes, the first boss was Karnov, who was the protagonist of his own - much more obscure - game.
- Similarly, Mario Hoops 3-on-3 featured a White Mage, Black Mage, Ninja, Moogle, and Cactuar from Final Fantasy, due to Square Enix being the developer. Mario Sports Mix featured the same guest characters, plus Slime from Dragon Quest, and added Behemoth as a boss.
- Similarly (again), the arcade Mario Kart games (by Namco) have Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Blinky, Mametchi (a Tamagotchi), and Don (from Taiko Drum Master); this is notable for being the first crossover between the Namco and Bandai halves of the merged Namco Bandai.
- Meanwhile, Mario Kart DS offered R.O.B., and beginning in Wii you can play as your Mii. DLC for 8 adds more crossover characters; Link of The Legend of Zelda fame and the Villager and Isabelle from Animal Crossing.
- NBA Jam featured anyone and everyone from the designers to President Bill Clinton as hidden characters.
- Of particular note is that the NBA asked Midway to remove Raiden, Scorpion, Sub-Zero and Reptile of Mortal Kombat fame from later revisions of NBA Jam Tournament Edition because they were not at ease with MK being Rated M for Money. You read that right.
- For a similiar yet unrelated factoid, the NFL almost killed the NFL Blitz series for being quite violent for a football game. Midway ran with it and dropped the NFL license to produce Blitz: The League which is, yes, rated M. (And bringing things full circle is that the sequel to Blitz has what can be considered the predecessors to Mortal Kombat 9's X-Ray moves.)
- Then again, a notable guest in Electronic Arts' installment is Isaac Clarke from Dead Space. Apparently, either NBA has issues with characters from fighting games and yet has no problem featuring a character who gets graphically chopped up by necromorphs or the times have changed on the subject of video game violence since the Mortal Kombat controversy.
- Indiana Jones can be unlocked in LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga. Likewise, Han Solo is unlockable in LEGO Indiana Jones (both cases doubling as an Actor Allusion).
- Midway was prone to do this with Mortal Kombat characters in non-fighters:
- Virtua Striker 3 and 2002 has a Sonic team consisting of the hedgehog and his friends.
- And Yuji Naka as an announcer.
- Dante of Devil May Cry fame appears as a boss in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne. And with a little effort, he can be added to your party's ranks.
- Dante also pops up as an unlockable player character in the PS2 version of Viewtiful Joe.
- In the Excite series, Boulder from Excite Truck was a guest racer in Excitebots.
- The fan-favorite Hornet car re-appears in Daytona USA 2, alongside USA 2's new cars. It's identical to the way it preformed in the first game: same build, same speed, same camera angles, and it can pull off 4-1-4 shifting!
- Cloud is a secret character in Final Fantasy Tactics. Aerith makes a cameo appearance, but isn't playable. The PSP version adds Balthier and Luso, who are technically from the same universe as Tactics, but from a different time period.
- The Virtua Formula in the Sega Genesis port of OutRunners, only accessible through a code but is the fastest and grippiest of all the selectable cars in the game.
- NHL 12 features an All-Legend Team, made up of NHL greats like Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Gordie Howe, Ray Bourque, among others. You can even put them on your favourite teams, presenting interesting situations all around.
- In an ironic twist, Ryu is a guest fighter for Asura's Wrath, but he also comes with a complete change in gameplay from the main game to be like Street Fighter IV, Gauges and Life bars included.
- Akuma and Evil Ryu are also Guest Fighters.
- In Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip, you can play as one of the Helghast from Killzone (and recruit another as an umpire), but you have to beat them first.
- Bayonetta is a Guest fighter in Anarchy Reigns if you preordered the game or bought the DLC.
- In Blue Wish Resurrection Plus, Eden's Edge/Eve is available for play. In the creator, X.X's next game, Eden's Aegis, Eve and Ridmie from Eden's Edge and Green Wind respectively are available for play if certain conditions are met.
- Jak, Daxter, Ratchet, Clank, Kratos, Sackboy, Kat, and the aforementioned Toro have all made appearances in some of the later Hot Shots Golf games.
- A few Resident Evil titles have a habit of including playable characters in their minigames that are not involved in the main story.
- Kurisu Makise of Steins;Gate is playable as a DLC character in 5pb/Mages.' beat-em-up Phantom Breaker: Battleground.
- While they're not technically fighters due to the game being a Dating Sim, Namco High includes three characters from Homestuck (Jane Crocker, Terezi Pyrope and Davesprite) due to the author being a major part of the development. All three are referred to as "weird exchange students" in the character info.
- Rob Zombie shows up as a driver in Twisted Metal 4.
- Example from a Rhythm Game: when fully installed with all two additional content disks, My Little Karaoke contains two songs from Littlest Pet Shop (2012) and one song from Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt. It also contains a song from G1 My Little Pony.
- The Baz from Two Best Friends Play appears as a fighter in Divekick and an optional boss in Shovel Knight.
- Vocaloid GUMI appears in pop'n music as an opponent character in the songs that she sings, but unlike 99% of other characters, she is not playable.
- Interestingly, Plague Inc, a game about killing humanity with diseases, got it's first official Guest Fighter in the form of the Simian Flu from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which was a result of a partnership with 20th Century Fox.