Nose-vember: Noses in Games

10) Dr. Eggman (first appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog; Sega 1991)

Growing up, I always knew him as Dr. Robotnik, but in Japan, apparently, he was always Dr. Eggman.  I was today year’s old when I learned that Eggman’s name actually is a reference to “I Am The Walrus” by The Beatles.  Why did the name get changed to Robotnik?  Because America!  I assume they thought that American’s wouldn’t think that Eggman is a cool enough boss name so they’d be less likely to get excited about Sonic the Hedgehog.  He was not formally known as Dr. Eggman in the US until the 1998 release of Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast.  Honestly, I doubt young me would have cared.  If I can be cool with a turtle dragon named Bowser, then I’m certainly fine with an evil scientist named Eggman who is also shaped kind of like an Egg.  It’s interesting that even in the 2020 film with Jim Carrey, they still chose to call him Dr. Robotnik.  Clearly, the film industry was trying to bank off of our nostalgia.  Anyway, look at this guy’s nose!  I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot of misshapen red noses on this list…

9) Tingle (first appeared in The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask; N64 2000)

“Tingle, Tingle! Kooloo-Limpah!”

The fairy-loving green man of the Zelda games has had five main appearances throughout the series: Majora’s Mask, Oracle of Ages, The Wind Waker, Four Swords Adventures, and The Minish Cap.  There’s even a brief nod to the character in Breath of the Wild where Link can visit Tingle Island (sadly, though, there’s no sign of the man-fairy himself).  I think the first time I ever interacted with a Tingle was when I played The Wind Waker, and boy, do you see a lot of him.  When you first meet him in the game, he’s in jail on Windfall Island for stealing a Picto Box.  What was he going to do with that Picto Box?  I surely hope he was planning on starting an Instagram.  It’s a good thing you’re able to release him, too, because apparently Tingle is the ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD who can translate maps of the ocean that show the location of Triforce shards.  According to his figurine description in the game, it has “been several years since Tingle first became enchanted with deciphering maps in the hopes it would help him find fairies, and he’s lost many things during that time.  He’s raising funds to begin his search for fairies, hoping to embark sometime in his thirties, while the lust of life is still upon him. At the age of 35, the pressure’s on!”  The pressure is on, indeed!  

8) Big Nose the Caveman (NES 1991)

Do you remember the Game Genie?  It was a device you could attach to your NES cartridges that would allow you to enter cheat codes that changed various aspects of the game.  For example, you could increase your number of lives, change how your character jumped, or even add invincibility.  Well, the same company that made the legendary Game Genie, Codemasters, also developed Big Nose the Caveman!  I seriously had no idea they created games, too, but apparently they’re still making games even today.  I watched a long play of the game on YouTube to figure out what its all about and it looks…..okay.  It’s a 2D platformer where Big Nose uses his caveman club to hurl rocks at his enemies as he pursues the capture of a pterodactyl.  As the game’s title promises, our main character has…a big nose!  So big, in fact, that his entire body lurches forward from the massive muzzle.  Did you know that Big Nose the Caveman is a holiday game?  That’s right!  Break it out during your turkey dinner because apparently Big Nose takes place during Thanksgiving.  Here’s proof:  

7) Tap-Tap the Red Nose from Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario World 2 (SNES 1995)

Tap-Tap the red nosed spiky guy
had a very rounded nose.
And if you ever saw it
you would even say it shows.
All of the other tap-taps
used to get in Yoshi’s way.
They’d never let Mario 
live to cry another day.

Then one moment in world 6 Kamek came to say…
“Eeeeek!! How did you …? You!  I never expected you to get so far!
EEEEEE! Now it’s over!  Your game ends HERE!!”

Magic made Tap-Tap larger.
He tried to jump on Yoshi’s head.
By breaking the blocks beneath him,
he fell down and now he’s dead! 

6) Clayfighters – Bad Mr. Frosty (SNES 1993)

Sporting the traditional carrot nose of Snowman lore, Bad Mr. Frosty, according to the manual, was “[o]nce a mild mannered snowman” who now “lives to see an eternal winter where the snow never melts.”  Also, he apparently works as a snowplow and uses “chill out” as his own personal motto.  So, what happened to Bad Mr. Frosty?  The manual seems to imply that he was Good Mr. Frosty at one point? Or maybe he was just Mr. Frosty?  What’s his first name?  John?  John Frosty?  Does he have any relation to Frosty the Snowman?  What matter of class ranking does one must hold to earn a “the Snowman” title at the end of their name versus being simply called “Mr.?”  I have so many questions.  

5) Rock n Roll Racing – Tarquinn (SNES 1993)

My go-to character for one of my favorite games on the Super Nintendo, Tarquinn specializes in top speed and cornering.  Upon doing a little research, Tarquinn actually has an interesting backstory found in the instruction manual for the Sega Genesis version of the game.  It reads, “Tarquinn is everyone’s hero. He was raised from poverty in Aurora and became a Starship Captain, the highest military rank ever to come from his planet. He appears in cosmic talkshows and gets paid well for doing it. Now, with Rock N’ Roll Racing™ the biggest sport in the universe, he wants to prove himself as the best race car driver, and the only driver worthy of the Indianapolis Cup.”  Huh!  Let’s be real, though.  The only reason anyone ever played this game was for the boppin’ rock n’ roll soundtrack and the absurd ramblings of the game’s announcer, Larry.  Ouch!  Woah!  Tarquinn…LIGHTS him up!  Tarquinn is DOMINATING the race!  

4) Super Mario Bros 2 – Tweeter (NES 1988)

First appearing in the USA version of Super Mario Bros 2, Tweeters are bird-like creatures with stubby little wings and a mask with….another mask?  It’s unknown whether or not they have a beak or a nose underneath their mask.  Despite having wings, they never fly and only hop around in a semi-erratic pattern.  In place of feathers, their body appears to be more like a lizard and their tail juts out like the one seen on Yoshi.  Why would this creature need a mask?  Are masks trendy in the Subcon universe?  Shy Guy wears one.  Sniffit wears one.  Mouser wears one.  Are they suffering from some sort of global pandemic?  The name “Tweeter” tells us that the animal possibly makes noises like a bird, but we don’t ever really hear its voice.  In the Super Mario Bros Super Show, Tweeter appears as a bird wearing a cowboy hat and settling on top of a cactus.  It also seems like there is a slit in the mask for them to open their beak.  In other depictions though, Tweeters don’t have a slit for opener their mouths at all.  In Japense, they are called “riton” which is a play on the word “tori” meaning bird.  Several other translations also point to birds.  So…I guess it’s a bird!  In any case, tweeter’s giant beak covering helps him to stand out from the other characters out there which has earned him a spot on the list!

3) Waluigi (first appeared in Mario Tennis; N64 2000)

Waaaaa!  It seems that Waluigi (and his brother) may suffer from a skin disorder known as “rhinophyma.”  This condition, according to healthline.com, is “characterized by a large, red, bumpy, or bulbous nose.”  The article I found goes on to state that it’s common in men between the ages of 50 and 70 years old.  Does this mean that Wario and Waluigi are in their 50’s?  Perhaps that could explain their personalities.  Wario is jealous of young Mario’s success so he steals his castle and then has a midlife crisis where he buys a motorcycle.  Waluigi, unable to yet find true love, revels in his self pity and harkens back to a time when he was a true romantic as shown by his various poses with roses.  Maybe this is why Waluigi has yet to get his own game.  He is simply too old to be the hero.  So….come on, Nintendo.  Give us the Waluigi prequel story we’ve all wanted that explores his life before he suffered from his problematic skin condition.  

2) Spy vs Spy (Commodore 64 1984)

I would argue that Spy vs Spy is one of the most unique multiplayer experiences that you can find on the original Nintendo Entertainment System.  Based on the long-running comic strip in Mad magazine, Spy vs Spy pits two agents against each other as they navigate a series of rooms collecting items in a briefcase before escaping the building to an airport.  All the while, each spy can place booby traps on doors and furniture to thwart the efforts of their opponent.  Every once in awhile, players may find themselves in the same room where they can engage in an epic fist fight to the death.  What I liked about this game is that feeling of both people being in the same environment with that ever-increasing feeling of possibly running into the other player.  It reminded me of playing local multiplayer games for the first time when you’d be able to see a physical representation of your friend on your own screen.  

Anyway, what are these guys?  Are they supposed to be birds with some sort of long beak?  Do they just have really long faces?  I never really understood what they were supposed to be.  Looking back now, they kind of remind me of that scene from Beetlejuice where Adam and Barbara are asked to come up with their own scary looks to attempt the haunting of their new residents.  I’d love to believe Tim Burton was inspired directly by Spy vs Spy for this look! 

Honorable Mentions:

Final Fantasy 9 – Queen Brahne (Playstation 2000)

Rayman (Atari Jaguar 1995)

Doctor Baby Wario from Dr. Mario World (Mobile 2019)

Nosepass (Pokemon)

1) Title screen from Super Mario 64 (N64 1996)

How many of you spent way too long just sitting on the title screen of Super Mario 64 and stretching Mario’s face around to make funny shapes?  I’m going to go ahead and guess 100% of you.  My first experience with the N64 (besides a brief jaunt over at Toys R Us) was when I finally convinced my parents to rent the system from the local video store.  I could not wait.  I had been reading about this thing in Nintendo Power for months now, and my young mind was blown away by all these pictures of my favorite characters now in 3d modeled environments.  When we finally got the system hooked up in our basement, I spent the next two days totally engorged in the game.  What did I do?  First, I had no idea how to hold the controller so I grabbed the joystick awkwardly from above as if I was sitting at an arcade cabinet.  Then… I explored!  I ran around the castle grounds.  I climbed trees.  I did backflips.  I discovered the secret slide.  And when I finally got bored with that, I’d reset the game so I could morph Mario’s face into a pseudo version of Sloth from the Goonies.  And, naturally, I would test the limits of Mario’s nose elasticity.  We all did it!

Thanks for reading! Can you think of any other weird noses in games? Leave me a comment. Also, subscribe to my blog to have articles delivered straight to your e-mail!

Published by erichagmann

Arranger / Pianist / Vocalist / Educator / Gamer

2 thoughts on “Nose-vember: Noses in Games

  1. Hmm… So, spoilers for Psychonauts (it’s been out for like 20 years! Play it already!)
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    . I’d say a very important nose is Lily’s nose in Psychonauts! The bad guy makes a bunch of children sneeze out their own brains with some kind of evil scientific pepper, but it doesn’t work on Lily because she’s got a cold and her nose is all stuffed up!

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