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Cameo Appearance FAQ

Q: What is a cameo appearance?
A: A cameo appearance occurs when a character makes a brief appearance in a game they have no relation to. Most often, the character appears in something like a portrait on the wall, in the background of a game, or in some other strange form.

Q: Why do the programmers make cameos?
A: Usually, programmers make cameo appearances as homages to other games, such as Samus in Kirby's Dream Land 3 or Mario in Zelda 64. In other cases, they are added because the characters are popular at the time and when a player sees them they say, "oooh, look!," like Mario in Pinball or Yoshi in Zelda: Link's Awakening. And sometimes, programmers just do it because they have strange senses of humor.

Q: Why did you start a cameos section?
A: I was inspired by SMBHQ's cameo section. They covered all the cameo appearances of Mario. However, with a few exceptions (namely Metroid and Kirby), there are very few sites on the net which covered cameos of the other NASHW characters. So I started looking for info on these cameos, and NASHW now has one of the most complete databases on the net.

Q: How did you find out about all these cameos?
A: Some came from websites. Others I found out about through people who had seen them. And a few I found myself. The Special Thanks section at the bottom of the cameos page names most of them.

Q: I know about a cameo you haven't listed. Do you want me to send you the information?
A: Yes.

Q: Does your cameos section only cover the NASHW character-related cameos?
A: Yeah, pretty much. There are other cameos out there, but the only ones I report on the site are those of NASHW characters. The Nintendo Database goes beyond the NASHW realm, however, so go there if you want to learn about cameos of other characters.

Q: What about games where you can play characters, but they aren't the main focus of the game, such as Smash Bros?
A: It depends. Although you could play Mario in Pinball, it is still a cameo appearance because he is not the main focus of the game. Pinball would have gotten along just fine without Mario. However, in Smash Bros., each character played an equal role in the game, and the game wasn't focused around any particular character. Therefore, those characters didn't cameo.

Q: Is it a cameo if a character from a series makes a brief appearance in a game based on the series they're from, like Luigi in Paper Mario?
A: Not exactly. Since Luigi is a Mario character, he isn't out of place in a Mario game. The same is true for other series.

Q: What about DK and Yoshi? How can they cameo in Mario games?
A: The reason I've seperated DK and Yoshi from Mario in the cameos section (and on the site in general), is for two reasons. The first is simple. In Super Smash Bros. (the game that NASHW is pretty much based around), they are treated seperately from the Mario characters. The second reason is a bit more complex. Although DK and Yoshi originally starred alongside Mario, their games have taken a very different turn from those of Mario.
DK originally co-starred with Mario, every DK game since Donkey Kong Country has been completely different from the original formula, and pretty much established DK as seperate from Mario.
The same is true of Yoshi. Although he originally had a supporting role to Mario, in Yoshi's Island the tables were turned so that Mario actually played the supporting role. And in Yoshi's Story, Mario was nowhere to be found. And since the Yoshi games have also been significantly different from the Mario games, he has pretty much become a self-sustaining character.
However, since both characters have their roots in the Mario universe, they can still appear in all-encompassing games like Mario Golf, Tennis, Party, and Kart, in which case they are not cameos.