In the immortal words of Kermit the Frog: “It’s not easy being green!” But, when it comes to video game characters it turns out some of my favorites, and some of the most iconic video game characters of all time, make it look really easy!
I wrote up a piece recently talking about some of my favorite video game sidekicks of all time, and it really got me thinking about video games a bit more deeply than I have been recently. In a world caught up in crazy new video game launches and IPs, it’s important sometimes to sit back and take stock of the incredible games, and characters, that propelled this billion dollar industry into the stratosphere. And in honor of that sentiment, and since I’m feeling a bit green for St. Paddy’s Day, I decided to talk about my favorite green video game characters!
Link from The Legend of Zelda – Who better to start things off than the Hero of Time himself? The main protagonist in the world-renowned Legend of Zelda series, Link has become one of the few faces of Nintendo, and honestly of gaming in general. He’s taken on several different shapes and sizes, but he is most frequently identified in his iconic green tunic and has been since LOZ’s first moment on the scene in 1986. I get that I might be cheating here a LITTLE bit, seeing as he’s not exactly green and just often wears green, I couldn’t make a list of green characters without saying “HEY, LISTEN” with one of the most famous green-ish video game characters ever.
Blanka from Street Fighter – Smashing his way into the video game fighting scene in 1991 as one of the eight playable characters in Street Fight II, Blanka (aka Jimmy) is easily one of the greenest characters ever, and when it comes to fighting games stands out greener than the rest, outside of maybe Reptile from the Mortal Kombat series. Blanka’s story is an interesting one, as a young boy a plane he was on crashed in the Amazon rainforest and he ate plants in the forest to survive, and the increased chlorophyll attributed to his green color. Additionally, he’s basically the only character I play in Street Fighter, as I just spam his electric ability and win. Pro tips!
Luigi from Super Mario Bros. – Again, how can we talk about a list of iconic green characters and not include one of the absolute most well-known faces in gaming, Luigi Mario! Originally designed as a simple palette swap for Mario, Luigi has since evolved into a younger, taller, and greener of the fraternal twin Mario brothers with his very own games, including the Luigi’s Mansion series. Luigi deserves his time in the limelight and shouldn’t always be in his brother’s shadow (which, ya know, is pretty tough to do since Luigi is so much taller…), and this is actually the second list in two weeks that I’ve included him on – so you do you, you beautiful green-clad man!
Yoshi from Super Mario Bros. – Nintendo is killing it on this green list right now, as we’re including yet another major member of the Super Mario crew: everyone’s favorite anthropomorphic dino friend, Yoshi! Yoshi might not have been a major factor in Super Mario Bros. from the beginning, but he made is triumphant debut in arguably the best Mario game to date, 1990’s Super Mario World on the SNES. Yoshi is from the Yoshi species (not joking, Yoshi is a Yoshi), and they are known for their variety of vibrant colors – that said, Yoshi’s OG color is, and always will be, green. Since his debut, Yoshi has been featured prominently in several Mario games, including the spin-offs like Mario Party and Mario Kart, and also has his very own series of games that started with Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island. He’s my favorite gaming dinosaur, and always a must-pick for me whenever I play Mario Kart!
Bulbasaur from Pokemon – The most OG of the OG Generation One Pokemon is also the greenest of them all, and that’s Pokemon #1 in your Pokedex, Bulbasaur. It’s funny that the grass starter pokemon from the original games was green since the original Pokemon titles were Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue. But Bulbasaur quickly became a fan favorite due to being an adorable little plant dinosaur hybrid, but also because he was easily the strongest choice for your starting Pokemon, thanks to the easy matchups he has at both of the first starter gyms, as plant type damage is super effective against both Rock and Water-type Pokemon.
Frog from Chrono Trigger – Now, while this list isn’t really in any particular order, I did end up saving my favorite, for last… I will never forget the Spring of 1995, as a bright-eyed six-year-old putting my Chrono Trigger cartridge into my SNES for the first time. This game is incredible, and has easily held my top spot of my “Favorite Game of All Time” list since I was old enough to fully appreciate the gaming art form. The story, the gameplay, the entire cast of characters is top notch, and while many fans of the game lean towards Chrono, the game’s main protagonist, or Magus, the game’s anti-hero, as their favorite characters, my choice is easy: Glenn, aka Frog, the valiant swordsman and squire to a Knight of the Square Table and protector and friend to Queen Leene. I could legit write an entire article about Glenn, but will simply say that his character, his dialogue, his Masamune sword and his theme music (which has been my ring tone for a decade) are just a handful of reasons why Frog from Chrono Trigger is not only my favorite green character, but he’s just flat out one of my favorite characters ever.