When you’ve been around as long as Nintendo has, you’ll no doubt have a few unfamiliar faces in your lineup. For every Mario, there’s like fifty Doshin the Giants. When they approach you at the party, you try desperately to figure out what their name is, where you know them from, and how you can worm your way out of the conversation. Best bet is to just be vague, ask them how work is going. Surely Doshin appreciates idle chit-chat. Bail out before he spikes your drink.
Sometimes, characters fall to the wayside through no fault of their own, simply lost in the folds of time for one reason or another. Over the last few years, Nintendo seems to have become increasingly fond of throwing us retro fanciers a bone, adding more little nods to these fine folks of old and sometimes even reintroducing them into the franchise. That’s how Pauline became mayor of New Donk City, a town with an economy so booming, her face is literally on the currency. Maybe, then, there’s still hope for these five wandering souls to be plucked from the ether, spruced up and returned to their former glory.
Of course Geno’s on this list. He may be the single most influential one-shot Mario character of all time. A wooden puppet possessed by a star warrior from the heavens, Geno is as no-nonsense as they come, with an impressive arsenal of attacks and techniques. He can fire bullets from his fingers, pull out a magic wand to bathe enemies in a beam of light, and even turn into a cannon to dish out maximum damage. He kind of sounds like an overpowered OC from the vivid imagination of a very lonely ten-year-old (DO NOT STEAL).
His only other appearances are as a completely unexpected cameo in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga on the GBA where he hosted a minigame in Little Fungitown, and as a downloadable costume in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, aka the Smash Bros. games with the horrible subheadings. And though these were greatly encouraging for the character’s future, we’ve also had a few setbacks along the way – chiefly, the fact that last October’s remake of Superstar Saga on the 3DS removed Geno entirely. The motive for this is unclear, whether it was due to licensing issues with Square Enix, or purely an aesthetic choice, as no character is inserted to take his place. Whatever the reason, it was a slap in the face for fans of the obscure hero, and seems to put us back at square one (pun?) for the time being. At least he’s in a better position than Mallow – we haven’t heard a peep from that sucker in over twenty years.