A video game character is only as good as its player. Whoever is behind the controls dictates how well that character performs in-game. In the hands of a pro player, a character is essentially a superhero.
Mario is a plumber, Sonic a blue hedgehog, and Pikachu, a yellow rodent—these characters aren't superheroes by trade, but they have superpowers. One has incredible jumping skills, the next can dash at insane speeds and the last summons lightning.
Artists have finally given these video game characters their proper form. The following photos reveal the most iconic video game characters in history dressed up as superheroes.
20 The Witcher Superman
The Witcher is coming to Netflix. In a new show, Henry Cavill is playing Geralt of Rivia. He already played Superman in several DC films, so someone wondered what it would look like to see Geralt as Superman. The only parts of Geralt that transferred over was his signature white hair and scar, while the rest is undoubtedly Superman.
19 Iron Aran
Iron Man is a clear choice to base Samus Aran’s superhero image off of. Coinbox Tees is behind the design, rendering Samus without her helmet while wearing Iron Man's armor. They still ensured she had her arm cannon though. Adding a Metroid into the “Iron Aran” text was a nice touch as well (NeatoShop).
18 Mushroom Kingdom Justice League
Mario and friends are teaming up and taking on superhero personas. Mario is Superman, Peach is Wonder Woman, Toad is Flash, Yoshi is Green Lantern, Luigi is Batman and Donkey Kong took on Martian Manhunter. Even Luigi still bears a plunger on his handy utility belt though he’s technically Batman.
17 "The Crash"
Crash Bandicoot became the mascot for PlayStation early on. He’s a wily and humorous character players can make spin for an attack move. Modeled after DC’s popular hero The Flash, he instead goes by the apt name of The Crash here. It’s an appropriate character comparison considering the two have a sense of humor.
16 Deadpool Pikachu
Here’s one tough Pikachu. Cracking his small knuckles—which by the way, does Pikachu even have knuckles?—is this mean Pokémon dressed up in a Deadpool outfit. It’s appropriate that of all the superheroes the Pokémon took on, it's Deadpool, considering Ryan Reynolds played and voiced both characters.
15 Sonic Superman
Sonic has long been the face of Sega, even long after they bowed out of the console race. While The Flash would have served as the perfect hero for Sonic to embody, this artist rendered him as Superman. Considering Superman can also run fast though, it’s a fitting superhero, nonetheless.
14 “Wonder Peach”
Often depicted as a damsel in distress, Princess Peach evolved into a character that can hold her own. Not only did she become a selectable player in Super Mario Bros. 2, but also in the fighting series Super Smash Bros. This artist envisioned Peach as Wonder Woman charging with a sword and shield in hand.
13 Link Robin
This illustration imagines what Link, the protagonist of Nintendo’s popular Zelda franchise, would look like if he wore a superhero costume. The costume draws inspiration from Robin’s, Batman's loyal companion. The only real changes are the long hood and green accents, which are a carryover from Link's original in-game garbs.
12 Samus Hulkbuster
Many video game characters have a close resemblance to Marvel or DC superheroes. The hero that most closely resembles Samus Aran, the hero of the Metroid series, is Iron Man. This artist imagined the bounty hunter heroine in her own version of the Hulkbuster armor, which Shirtoid cleverly labels as "Ridley Buster," in reference to one of the series' recurring antagonists.
11 Wolverine Mario
Mario often sports a smile, even when he’s trying to rescue Princess Peach from the clutches of Bowser. Yet what if Mario was instead a grizzled, embittered mutant from the X-Men? This drawing imagines Mario as none other than Wolverine, the popular superhero with healing abilities and adamantium claws. Peach can’t help but love the new look.
The antihero of the Sonic series, Knuckles, is a red echidna. That makes The Flash the ideal hero for him to emulate, considering they share a similar color scheme. Just add some yellow in Knuckles’ hair, shoes and of course, a lightning bolt logo, and he’s got all of the makings of this iconic DC hero.
9 Luigi Cyclops And Yoshi Rogue
Luigi and Yoshi teamed up in this rendering by basicnoir on DeviantArt. Instead of Luigi wearing his usual green plumber outfit and Yoshi going bare as usual, they copied X-Men characters' costumes. Luigi embodies Cyclops, even activating the head visor; Yoshi is Rogue, a mutant who can absorb others' powers.
8 Donkey Colossus And Diddy Nightcrawler
Donkey Kong and his sidekick, Diddy, had to get in on the X-Men crossover. The artist basicnoir on DeviantArt drew Donkey Kong as Colossus and Diddy as Nightcrawler sitting on his immense shoulder. Despite turning into the X-Men heavyweight, he still bears his familiar “DK” red tie, which goes perfectly with Colossus's red shoulder pads.
The Flash is a popular go-to for artists when it comes to envisioning video game characters as superheroes. Pikachu is the perfect Pokémon to don The Flash’s garbs. For one, his yellow fur perfectly incorporates into the costume’s color scheme. Secondly, The Flash’s logo is applicable to Pikachu’s powers.
6 Mushroom Kingdom Avengers
The setting for most of Mario’s games is in Mushroom Kingdom. The usual formula is Bowser captures Princess Peach and Mario has to rescue her. What if Bowser joined forces with Mario and the rest of the gang though? While he technically did in Super Mario RPG for Super Nintendo, this artist envisions the whole team as Marvel's The Avengers.
5 Zero Suit Donkey Kong
So it’s not exactly a superhero, but how could we not include this hilarious rendition of Donkey Kong? While it’s common for superheroes to don skin-tight suits, even Samus Aran from Metroid wears one underneath her armor. Some artist decided to put Donkey Kong in the suit instead and threw in what appears to be high-heels.
4 Mario Superheroes vs Wario Supervillains
This artist went above and beyond in showing what Mario and Wario would look like in popular superheroes' and supervillain's costumes. While not all of them are visible here, artist Rob Lafratta showed Mario and Wario as famous comic book characters such as Wolverine, Joker and even Wonder Woman (Walyou).
3 Luigi Green Arrow And Mario The Flash
Red is the dominant color of Mario’s clothing, while green is Luigi’s. This artist took two DC superheroes associated with these colors and applied their costumes to Mario and Luigi. With serious faces on, Luigi embodies Green Arrow, while Mario is The Flash. Goombas and Koopas are no match for this duo.
2 Toadstool Angel And Jubilee
Even Toad and a friend got in on the X-Men cosplay. They may be small, but these characters look fierce when they embody popular superheroes. One of them took on Angel and the other Jubilee. They have the capes, the wings and even their toadstool heads to fight crime in the Mushroom Kingdom.
1 Mega Man And Superman
While characters like Zero and Bass have worn capes, Mega Man never does in the series. User Gamemusicfreak on DeviantArt illustrated what Mega Man would like as a superhero. Not only does he have a yellow cape but is also flying next to Superman—the most iconic and recognizable superhero of all time.
Sources: Shirtoid, NeatoShop, Walyou, DeviantArt