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  • The Weighted Companion Cube from Portal is one of the game's most famous icons and is prominent in the game's merchandise, as well as a popular subject in fan art. The companion cube does not speak or move or threaten to stab you and only appears in a single level of the game, but is much more well-known than the protagonist, Chell. Hell, it even got a trope named after it!
    • The defective personality cores in the last act of Portal 2.
      • "Spacespacespacespace! Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace!"
      • "Y'know what I hope is in space? Fire. I hope you go to space, and you catch on fire."
      • "The probability of you dying violently in the next 5 minutes is 87.61%."
  • Patrick Stewart in The The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Apart from his opening cutscene voiceover, he had maybe 10 minutes of screen time as the Emperor before being killed. Sean Bean gets about 30. The only reason there are so few other voice actors in the game is because they blew an inordinate amount of their budget to get him for that one role.
  • Fallout 3:
    • Liam Neeson lends his voice talent to the main character's father although most of the main quest centers around your father, he only appears in the very beginning of the game and for a brief period in the third act. Tragic, really.
    • Also, Malcolm McDowell's performance as President Eden is brief but brilliant, and it wouldn't be Fallout without Ron Perlman's intro: "War. War never changes."
    • Harold, the mutant from the previous two games who had a plant sprouting out of his head by the second, makes an appearance for a sidequest in the third, the plant on his head turning into a full-blown tree with Harold stuck inside.
  • Sergeant Dornan in Fallout 2, one of the most memorable NPC's despite being little more than an extra. Despite his relative insignificance to the plot (you can rather easily bypass him at camp Navarro), the Sarge's got a "talking head" and voice acting which must be heard to be believed.
  • The Goomba's Shoe from Super Mario Bros. 3 is one of, if not the most beloved power-up in the Super Mario Bros. series, despite the fact that it only appears in ONE level from ONE game of the entire Mario franchise! That is, unless you buy certain e-Reader cards for Super Mario Advance 4. Too bad the U.S. and Europe never got them, although all the e-Reader levels are included in the Virtual Console version. It did get a reference in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story with the Sockops, a green pitcher-plant monster that Luigi gets to hop around in at one point, and it was reintroduced in Super Mario Maker with an altered form that resembles a stilleto.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Peter Jessup voices Sovereign for two scenes, yet manages to freak out the entire fan community with a single, all-encompassing Badass Boast on behalf of the Reapers;
    Sovereign: You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.
    " I am Sovereign. And this station is mine!"
    • Matriarch Benezia, Liara's mother and Saren's right-hand woman, only actually shows up for two scenes and one audio recording before she's killed whilst performing Suicide by Cop, as it's the only way to free her from indoctrination.
    • Matriarch Aethyta, Liara's father. She affects one small sidequest, and has only one set of conversation options, which show that she's Seen It All in her thousand-year life and has no qualms about sharing it. The cool old ladies don't get much cooler, or older.
      "I saw a krogan drink a liquified turian on a dare six or seven centuries back. Nobody came out of that one looking pretty."
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    • A slightly more traditional example from Mass Effect 2 is Adam Baldwin's brief appearance as Kal'Reegar, a quarian commando with a rocket launcher. Despite only appearing in two places, he's gained a huge fan following.
      Kal'Reegar: The geth might get me, but I'm not dying of an infection in the middle of a battle! That's just insulting!
    • Okeer. Literally a one-scene wonder - a highly intelligent and borderline philosophical character who serves as a traditionalist counterpart to Wrex's reformist idealism, Okeer eloquently explains traditional krogan morality to Shepard while sounding utterly badass. And he provides Shepard with Grunt, sacrificing himself in the process.
    • Private Jenkins, the doomed squadmember from the first game who dies two minutes into your first mission. Even in-universe, he's occasionally mentioned fondly by various Normandy crewmembers.
    • Niftu Cal, the drugged up volus who think's he's a biotic god.
    • Rila, Samara's middle daughter. She only appears at the end of the monastery mission, but her Heroic Willpower and Last Stand really left a mark.
  • Lancer in Fate/stay night. He is the first enemy encountered in the game's introduction and does little but fight with Archer and all but kill Shirou, after which he spends most of the time in the background . He only gets a bit of spotlight in Unlimited Blade Works when he helps Rin and Shirou by keeping Archer occupied, and later rescues Rin by killing Kotomine and scaring off Shinji while missing his heart. Oh, and inadvertently saving Shirou post-humously by making Gilgamesh sooty. Outside of that he's basically the poster boy for The Worf Effect, being killed off by the The Dragon in the other two routes. Yet he's almost as GAR as Archer for the fandom.
    • On the other hand, in Fate route...he DOES fight Gilgamesh in a duel to the death Heroic Sacrifice...against orders. And without complaints.
  • In World of Warcraft there are a very few high-ranking NPCs that get an occasional memorable scripted scene.
    • Saurfang was a minor NPC until he was made Supreme Commander of the Might of Kalimdor. His epic speech that rallied Horde and Alliance alike catapulted him into Memetic Badass territory, from which he has never returned.
    • Just about any time Millhouse Manastorm shows up.
    • "You face Jaraxus, EREDAR LORD OF THE BURNING LEGION!" Jaraxus was a Bait-and-Switch Boss in the Trial of the Crusader raid, but his hammy introduction line has long stuck with fans. He also has a fairly memorable card in Hearthstone.
    • In Wrath of the Lich King, when Tirion Fordring appears for any significant speaking role, it's usually worth waiting and watching.
    • Large Ham or not, the ex-Death Knight, Thassarian, easily steals the spotlight of any questline in which he is involved.
    • Grand Apothecary Putress. He sends low-level players out on some really shady quests and then you don't hear from him for 40 levels. At level 75, though, he re-emerges at Wrathgate - crashing a war between Horde/Alliance and the Scourge - with a fucking vengeance.
      "Did you think we had forgotten? Did you think we had forgiven? Behold, now the terrible vengeance of the Forsaken! Death to the Scourge, and DEATH TO THE LIVING!
    • And then did that sterling dead man own seventy shades of bejeezus out of the Horde, the Alliance and the Scourge - Including Bolvar 'Dragon Puncher' Fordragon, Saurfang Jr. and the eponymous Lich King, fucking Arthas himself. Many players - particularly Undead players - would have sworn allegiance to that man on the spot.
    • Interrogator Khan was just a minor background character in Burning Crusade whose only real role was a background event in the Alliance allied settlement of Telaar. However, he quickly became widely memorable in the fandom due to how uncharacteristically sadistic and brutal he was compared to the normally peaceful and friendly Draenei.
  • Although technically a One Level Wonder, Father Grigori in Half-Life 2, who like most examples achieves this with his first line. "You have already met my, hehe, 'congregation'."
  • John Cleese appears as an NPC in a single quest in Jade Empire. With a name like Sir Roderick Ponce Von Fontlebottom the Magnificent Bastard, and being voiced by John freaking Cleese, it's not surprising that he's easily one of the most memorable characters in the game. In his first appearance he blasts an enemy fighter when it was preparing to fight him. And if you beat him you can claim his musket as a reward. And run around through fantasy Imperial China blasting people with a musket.
  • Captain MacMillan from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is extremely popular within the fandom and has achieved a Memetic Badass status despite only appearing in two levels. He returns in Modern Warfare 3.
  • Mike the helicopter pilot in Resident Evil 4. Notable for blowing shit up as the only backup you'll ever recieve in the game, and promptly getting shot down as soon as the one level is finished. Players also remember him because Leon shows far more pathos over Mike's death than even the two police officers he traveled with at the beginning of the game.
  • The bug-like sentry bots in Doom 3 show up only a handful of times, but their presence gives the player an immense relief. They sport a bright headlight and a machine gun, and will quickly locate and kill any hidden enemies while spouting a series of agitated beeps and clicks. Arguably, they could be the only characters in the game the player may feel an emotional connection to, especially because they look and sound surprisingly adorable.
  • The Green Biker Dude from the Mega Man X2 intro. On screen for barely 5 seconds, and he's still one of the most memorable X series characters. (The five seconds do involve him popping a sweet wheelie and then exploding.)
  • Fire Emblem has so, so many; minor bosses who are only in one stage tend to be among the most beloved in the fanbase. This includes the likes of Batta the Beast, Glass, and Denning from Blazing Blade; Gheb from Sacred Stones; and Oliver from Path of Radiance, the last of which was popular enough that he returned in the next game as a recruitable unit. There's also the 3-13 Archer, a nameless allied NPC from Radiant Dawn, who is often considered one of the greatest units in the game. However, one of the most major examples is Dheginsea, the Black Dragon King, who is one of the world's most powerful beings and plays an essential role in the backstory of the Tellius games... he appears three times between the two games.
  • Battle Garegga has the bonus flamingoes that you can trigger on Stage 2 and attack for masses of extra points. Because points give you extra lives, and extra lives (or rather, the suicide of) are necessary to keep the game's Dynamic Difficulty under control, the flamingoes are very popular amongst fans.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Riordan from Dragon Age: Origins is something of one. His debut? He snaps the neck of the man keeping watch over him, whom you have distracted for about two seconds, and then introduces himself with a bow, seeming quite pleased to meet you, with a warm-yet-badass voice. He also reveals he knew Duncan, your mentor. Later, he gives you information and allows you to get some powerful items for free. After that, he shows he's not just another BadAss in a game full of badasses, but also knows how to keep his eye on the ball. The next time he appears, he makes The Reveal of why the Grey Wardens aren't just useful, but necessary. And then he gets possibly the most amazing send-off of any character, minor or major, in any video game ever.
    • A minor Carta thug in Orzammar has a performance so over the top when you beat him, you'll want to bring him along for the rest of the game.
    • The pirate queen Isabela's only major scene happens when you visit Denerim's brothel for the first time. She'll teach the Duelist specialization for Rogues if you beat her at a rigged game of cards...or if you have sex with her regardless of your gender, which can become a three- or foursome depending on your companions. Her character was so popular (mostly due to players asking how to get the foursome or all-girl threesome), that she was brought back for Dragon Age II as a full party member and possible love interest, as promiscuous, morally suspect, and far more pirate-y than ever, and a bottomless well of Double Entendres and horrible puns. She also returns in Dragon Age: Inquisition for the multiplayer mode, though she doesn't interact with the main story in any way.
    • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, Movran the Under, the Avvar chief whose response to the death of his son is to throw live goats at Skyhold (as in the building itself). He appears only while the player decides his punishment, hamming it up the whole time.
    • Also in Inquisition, you get a Mauve Shirt treatment of several people in the Iron Bull's mercenary company, Bull's Chargers. They're seen again, but mostly as scene dressing in Bull's personal quest. The writers only got one scene to characterize the motley crew, and by The Maker they succeeded wildly. Among them are an explosive happy dwarf, a city elf who is quite pleased that she is now paid to kill humans, a medic who never puts down his sword and explains to everyone how a poultice is supposed to be used, and a mute that everyone suspects is an exiled prince. The standout is the exiled Dalish elf who is quite insistent that she is an "archer", and totally not a mage. The glowing crystal on top of her "bow" is just an old elven aiming trick.
  • David Hasselhoff as the American Vice President in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3
  • The opening cinematic of StarCraft Brood Wars, we get to see what would be a terran defense against the zerg, as well as some of the units not being affected by Gameplay and Story Segregation and fighting as good as they should in theory (this means that a single marine will lose against a lone zergling, and that the firebats attack can kill both enemy and friend), afterwards we get to see a random marine who easily takes down two zergling, which a previous one couldn't even after depleting his entire ammo with his rocket launchernote , earning mentions of being the first marauder.
    • Note that this marine is black, wearing sunglasses, and is more concerned with rocking out to guitar solos than his impending death.
  • Poseidon in God of War III. All of the other gods have at least one other appearance in the game, but Poseidon only shows up during Kratos and the Titans' siege of Mount Olympus due to being killed during it. But boy, is his role in that part memorable.
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link: "I AM ERROR." A short appearance and name that seemed the result of a glitch or poor translation endeared Error to the fans forever.
    • In the CD-i games, several minor characters are immensely popular like Morshu, who only has two scenes.
      Morshu: "Mmmmmm... richer."
      • And of course, King Harkinian. He only appears in the intro to Faces of Evil and is only important to the plot of Wand of Gamelon, and even then only appears in the intro and ending. Come the advent of YouTube Poop, he's one of the most popular characters EVER.
      • Link in The Wand Of Gamelon. He only appears in the opening and closing cutscenes.
  • Golden Sun fandom is largely convinced that Rief's sister Nowell from Dark Dawn will return as a player character in the next game. All we know about her presently is that she doesn't like her little brother getting into danger, and that she does like Captain Piers enough to go for an unplanned joyride with him.
  • Father Balder in Bayonetta is heard in voice, but doesn't appear on screen till the end of the game, but easily steals the show when he does due to his badassery and crossing the Moral Event Horizon.
  • Many of the psychopaths from Dead Rising and especially Dead Rising 2 are these due to only having two cutscenes each to get their characterization from. The big ones though are probably the STOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORE manager and Adam from the 1st game and Brandon and Slappy from the second.
  • Kingdom Hearts 3D has one that seemed to exist solely for the trailers, and lasted for all but two seconds. Oh, hi there, Vanitas. Oh, bye, Vanitas!
  • Monsoon from Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance appears in only one scene but he leaves a huge impact on the protagonist, Raiden. His infamous speech on memes and his incredible boss fight afterwards helped leave an impact on players as well.
  • Nightmare only appeared very briefly as the Final Boss at the very end of one game in the Kirby franchise, yet he remains one of its most iconic villains. Probably helps that he's the one who started the Vile Villain, Saccharine Show trend the series is famous for.
    • Speaking of which, Zero from Kirby's Dream Land 3 is equally famous, appearing right out of nowhere with absolutely no foreshadowing and immediately becoming the most memorable part of the game, largely for the shocking scene where it rips its own bleeding eye out.
    • Drawcia from "Kirby Canvas Curse." She only has one appearance, yet she starts the trend of the True Final Boss soul forms of Big Bad main villains.
  • The Great Mighty Poo from Conker's Bad Fur Day. The living definition of the ultimate Toilet Humor. And the Ear Worm aria about poo will stick in your mind long after you've finished the game.
  • The fisherman from Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy only appears briefly, but is memorable to fans of the game for his insanely creepy laugh, provided by none other than Batman himself, Kevin Conroy.
  • The Puffstool from the first Pikmin game. Only appears once, yet turns your troops into the Brainwashed and Crazy Puffmin, giving them mushrooms for heads and having them beat the living shit out of you. Don't do shrooms, kids.
  • Wael from Pillars of Eternity, the extremely strange god of secrets. In the endgame, they may come out of nowhere try to convince the Watcher to cast the souls Woedica stole into parts unknown. And what reason do they give for doing this? They explicitly state it's for no logical or rational reason whatsoever, just because. Despite all this, however, the way they offer it and the context alike make it a strangely convincing idea many consider, and a fair number go through with.
  • Final Fantasy XV's Troubled Production means many characters in the game were designed for prominent roles in earlier drafts and then relegated over many rewrites to minor parts. A good, early example is Loqi, who has a striking design and shows up in a fabulous Incoming Ham scene, but is only fought while hidden in a generic mech enemy that unceremoniously explodes.
  • Copy Kitty gives us Isotope, a creepy, destructive Evil Counterpart to Boki. Being a Cyber, she lives up to the hype the story makes them out to be, and has a simple but fun moveset to copy. She only appears in the last two missions of Hard Mode as Boki's True Final Boss, but she makes the most of her brief screentime.
  • Borderlands 2 gifts us with Face McShooty. He is a simple man with one simple desire: getting shot in the face. He gives the player a quest to do just that and he is just so excited about it, shouting at the top of his lungs the entire time until you finally give him what he wants.


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