That One Time… Looking Back on Weird Nintendo Moments

That One Time… Looking Back on Weird Nintendo Moments

That one time Link had pink hair

If you’ve ever played the SNES classic A Link to the Past, you’re aware that the sprite for Link looks a little… unusual. This is the only version of the game where instead of his standard blonde or brown hair, link is sporting a pink ‘doo. Many people argue that the pink is part of his hat, but a sideways view of the sprite quickly reveals sideburns. The jury is still out on this odd design choice, with some people arguing that it’s due to sprite limitations of the console. However, given that Link has both brown and yellow as pallet colors on other parts of his body, this explanation seems lacking at best.

Another argument is that this was a conscious choice, either to help the character stand out among the backgrounds of the game, or to give him a literal “link” to his alternate bunny form, which uses the same color. Stranger yet, official artwork shows link with a more auburn colored hair, yet in an interview with Miyamoto, he showed off a model the team used to help them sprite for the game, which featured pink haired Link. Whatever the case may be, the infamous pink hair has been a dividing line for Zelda fans long before the timeline debate ever crept into conversation.

That one time a man was buried alive forever in Pokémon

Pokémon has no shortage of villains, and some of them are truly nefarious, at least in theory. Giovanni is described as a straight-up mob boss, and Team Galactic’s Cyrus seeks out to create a new world devoid of emotion or souls. However, a rather unlikely candidate takes the cake for most bizarre moment in Pokémon history: Lysandre, from Pokémon X and Y. This Team Flare leader goes out of his way to create a more beautiful world, and after his final defeat things get weird. Unable to build his perfect world, he launches his secret weapon which, depending on the version of the game you’re playing, will either force the player and their friends into immortality, or kill them. After escaping the building, Lysandre alone is left inside, where he is hit with the beam. In Pokémon Y, this is bad enough, as it means he is dead under the rubble of his building. In Pokémon X, however, the end result is a little more horrifying. After blasting himself with a beam that will make him live forever, Lysandre is crushed under a mountain of debris. And there he sits, not quite dead, for all eternity.

That one time Fire Emblem forced you to kill your friend

If you live in the western world and wanted to experience the original Fire Emblem adventure starring Marth, you’ll most likely end up playing Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon for the DS. This title recreates the original NES game with many of the comforts of (relatively) modern gaming thrown in for good measure. If you choose to play at the normal difficulty, as many people will, you’re treated to a tutorial segment that presents you with the basics of the series: How to move, the battle system, etc. After rescuing one of your units who is trapped, you’re quickly surrounded by the enemy. It’s at this time that the game throws one of the most difficult (and admittedly amazing) choices you’ll ever have to make in gaming: Which one of your loyal knights will you sacrifice as bait?

That’s right, the game literally forces you to send an ally to their death, so that the rest of the party can live. Whoever you choose will go admirably, with a smile on their face, knowing they’re sacrificing themselves for the greater good. Still, the decision is heart wrenching. If you think there’s some way out of this situation, believe us, there isn’t. You are given the option to select yourself, but you’re quickly scolded for your rash judgement and forced back to the selection process. Good luck sleeping at night after that decision.


That one time Peach was forced into voyeurism

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door was a game that took a lot of chances, and more often than not these decisions resulted in a truly unique and amazing game. From a group of Pianta mobsters to a scene where Mario’s body is stolen, this game did a lot from a narrative perspective to improve upon the already amazing formula of the first Paper Mario, and arguably helped shape the rest of the series as a result. Certain things, like Vivian’s actually being a boy, were censored for US audiences because they were deemed problematic. However, one bizarre scene made the cut, and to this day it remains an awkward moment in gaming.

During one of the first segments where you play as Princess Peach, you find yourself locked in a room, held captive by whatever malevolent force has kidnapped you this time. Eventually, you’ll stumble across a bathtub, which upon interacting with you’ll take a shower. After this, the door to the base opens, and you can access the room where TEC, a supercomputer owned by the main villain resides. The prompt to allow you to visit him is the shower scene, during which we see the shower from his point of view, and static flies across the screen. After observing Peach in the shower, TEC begins to fall in love with her, and a series of romantic inquiries are made.

As if this wasn’t odd enough, the game forces peach to disrobe two additional times over the course of the story, one to change into an enemy costume, and again to use an invisibility serum, since it doesn’t turn her clothes invisible. So yes, there’s a scene where Peach walks around the enemy base naked and invisible.


Those two times Pokémon abducted children

In Fire Red and Leaf Green, there’s a scene towards the later-half of the game where you arrive at Three Island. It’s there that you discover a little girl, Lostelle, has gone missing. After a trek through the forest, you find her, crying. She tells you that a Pokémon has taken her, and that it keeps scaring her. It turns out the Pokémon is a Hypno, a Pokémon that lulls people to sleep and feasts of their dreams. This encounter is even refferenced in the Pokédex, as Hypno’s entry reads “It carries a pendulum-like device. There once was an incident in which it took away a child it hypnotized. ”

As if that wasn’t enough, we present Drifloon, the balloon Pokémon (No, not Jigglypuff. The other one.) This Pokémon was introduced in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. Seemingly just a cute, albeit strange little creature, the creepiness really gets going when you pop into the Pokédex to read more about it. Here are a few choice entires on the balloon pokemon: “It is whispered that any child who mistakes Drifloon for a balloon and holds on to it could wind up missing.” “Stories go that it grabs the hands of small children and drags them away to the afterlife. It dislikes heavy children. “Its round body is stuffed with souls and expands each time it leads someone away.” There you have it. Drifloon attempts to abduct small children, where he can absorb their souls to grow stronger. Seriously folks, Pokémon is the king of fridge-horror.


That one time Nintendo created a flower

This last one is probably the most bizarre thing you’ll hear all month. Back in 2001, Pikmin was the up-and-coming new franchise by Nintendo. As a way to promote the new game, Nintendo of America partnered with a group to engineer and name a new subspecies of flower that looked very similar to the little flowers of the back of Pikmin’s heads. To quote a press release from the 2001: “A promotion between Nintendo of America and Syngenta Seed’s flower brand, S&G Flowers/USA, the five-petaled “Pikmin Flower,” a member of plant genus Sutera, will be available to gardeners, video game enthusiasts and consumers alike in April 2002.” The flower’s offical name is the Bacopa Cabana, part of the genus Sutera.

Gamer by day, game designer by night - Lukas studied Digital Arts in school, and grew up in the age of the N64 and Gamecube. He's the youngster of the bunch, but that doesn't keep him from shouting out at every available opportunity on Infendo Radio. He often finds himself at the edge of counter-culture (hates Metroid Prime, loves Other M), but isn't afraid to dive into the next big budget AAA title with the best of 'em. Favorite game: Sonic Adventure 2 Battle/Skyward Sword/Ocarina of Time/Zero Escape 2/You get the idea