Hoppin’ Down The Bunny Trail: Rabbits in Games

Hippity-hoppity, Easter’s on its way! After you find your basket and eat way too many chocolate covered rabbits, hop on down the bunny trail with me as we take a look at the Top Ten instances of hares in video games! It’s lagomorphin’ time!

10. Robbit
Jumping Flash! (Playstation, 1995)

The “first platform video game in true 3D,” according to the Guinness World Records, Jumping Flash! is a first-person adventure where the player controls a robotic rabbit named Robbit who is on a quest to help the citizens of Crater Planet from the evil Baron Aloha. The Baron’s plan? To rip giant chunks of land away from the world and turn them into profitable private resorts!

Naturally, Robbit’s primary mechanic is his jumping ability. Now, we all know that Mario can single jump. Arthur from Super Ghouls n’ Ghosts can double jump. But Robbit… Robbit can TRIPLE jump!! Can anyone beat that?? To aid with the required precision platforming, a dynamic camera was built into the game that automatically tilts downward when Robbit jumps so that the player can more easily hit their target.

While the game spawned a couple of sequels, it didn’t have quite the same staying power as some of its contemporaries. However, I’d be totally willing to give it a go if I ever found a copy. It scored well on the charts and has even been listed on a few Top 100 Games of All Time lists from various outlets.

9. Reader Rabbit
(Apple II, 1983)

Am I supposed to be a man? Am I supposed to say, “It’s okay, I don’t mind, I don’t mind?” Well, I mind! I mind big time! And you know what the worst part is? I NEVER LEARNED TO READ!

Of course, we learn seconds later that Wayne was just being overly dramatic. He probably used Reader Rabbit!!

Back when Number Munchers and The Oregon Trail were all the rage in edutainment, Reader Rabbit was there to help children learn the ins and outs of reading and spelling. The original 1983 game included four activities from which to choose: Sorter, Labeler, Word Train, and Matchup Games – all taking place in the game’s fictional Word Factory. I vaguely recall playing the Matchup Games where I’d have to try to pair up pictures with the correct word. The game must have worked, because to this day, I am a pro at matching up pictures with words. Pure resumé material.

8. Jazz Jackrabbit
(MS-DOS, 1994)

Despite the game’s title, there is no jazz in Jazz Jackrabbit. If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if the grudge that originated in Aesop’s The Tortoise and the Hare continued three thousand years into the future, now you can find out!

In this futuristic fantasy setting, a tortoise tyrant named Devan Shell messes with the wrong rabbits when he captures Princess Eva Earlong from the planet Carrotus. It’s up to Jazz to save the day (aren’t we the ones usually trying to save jazz???)!

The game’s opening sequence, set to a funky soundtrack, parodies classic comic superheroes by showing Jazz entering and exiting a phone booth, each time wearing iconic outfits akin to Batman, Superman, and even Wonder Woman.

It’s clear that the developers were trying to bank off of the success of Sonic the Hedgehog, but as the signs say in the first stage: “RABBITS STINK.” Hare today, gone tomorrow.

7. Mr. Rabbit
The Manhole (iOS, 1988)

When we first meet Mr. Rabbit, he’s sitting comfortably in his chair watching a scrambled TV channel (I hear the reception is terrible if you live inside a fire hydrant). His wallpaper is covered in carrots, and he has a giant carrot plant in the corner of the room. If you click on him, he offers you some tea. Selecting the nodding head, your character exclaims “Yes, please!” and the screen displays a full cup of tea for you to drink. If you choose no, he’ll offer you some cold milk with a big straw in the glass instead.

Of all the colorful characters that appear in The Manhole, it’s Mr. Rabbit who was selected to represent the box art. Oddly enough, he’s probably the least interactive of the entire cast. However, one of the coolest *Easter* eggs about this location is that you can watch the entire “Making of Myst” video (made by the same creators) on Mr. Rabbit’s tiny TV screen simply by clicking on it. There’s no way to make it full screen. You just have to sit there and accept the smallness. I guess that’s the way Mr. Rabbit likes it!

6. Bucky O’Hare
(NES, 1992)

Giving off some subtle Contra combined with Battletoads vibes, Bucky O’ Hare lets you control the comic book character with your very own hands. The plot involves saving Bucky’s comrades Deadeye, Jenny, Blinky, and Willy from an army of toads. As each crewmate is rescued, the player can swap between characters, taking advantage of their unique abilities.

Bucky, of course, can reach new heights with his super jump power that was ripped directly from Super Mario Bros 2 (USA). Holding down on the controller charges his power meter, and releasing it sends him flying upward.

Made by Konami, the game is solid and it even made it onto Retro Gamer’s best all-time NES games list (as #24). I’m just waiting for Bucky to make his cinematic debut since comic book movies are cool, right??

5. Robbie the Rabbit
Silent Hill 3 (Playstation 2, 2003)

First appearing in Silent Hill 3, Robbie the Rabbit is one of four mascots for the Lakeside Amusement Park. His figure is the only full-sized costumed character that can be seen around the park, and there is a ton of Robbie merch sprinkled throughout the shops. Clearly, they must have been trying to stir up some Donnie Darko emotions with this one.

Since then, he has become kind of a pseudo-icon for the series and has also popped up in several other games. In Silent Hill 4, there’s a Robbie plush doll in a room, a Robbie tattoo on an alternate costume, and a Robbie hot air balloon in the sky. The Book of Memories game lets you use a Robbie doll as a weapon if you input the Konami code. His most animated appearance shows up in Silent Hill: The Arcade where he is a main enemy in the amusement park level.

If you want your own Robbie plush doll, you can buy one from Gaya Entertainment. Though, I’d get the feeling that it’s always watching me. No, thank you!

4. Bunny Link
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES, 1991)

It’s said that entering the Dark World without the Moon Pearl will turn you into a shape that reflects your “true nature.” So, what happens to Link? He turns into a cuddly, pink bunny rabbit!

As a rabbit, Link is completely defenseless, and he can’t use his sword or shield. Only the power of the Moon Pearl found in the Tower of Hera can repel Ganon’s Magic so he’ll retain his shape. There are some dungeons, however, that override this mystic relic if Link touches a “rabbit beam” that bounces around the room. But, this effect wears off after a few seconds. Perhaps Ganon should have upped his bunny magic in order to more easily defeat his foe.

If you were to enter the dark world without the Moon Pearl, what would YOU turn into? Tell me in the comments!

Super Mario 64 (N64, 1996)

MIPS (named after the MIPS microprocessor) was actually the first character that was created for this groundbreaking N64 game. “MIPS” stands for “Microprocessor without Interlocked Pipeline Stages,” and I have no idea what that means or how it functions in the game. Apparently, the developers liked the character so much that they decided to call him Peach’s pet rabbit and throw him in the basement so we could suffer the fate of never being able to grab him.

One fun fact that I learned from mariowiki.com is that a MIPS-like rabbit was originally slated to be Mario’s racing opponent for the Koopa the Quick star. However, the rabbit was scrapped because it was too difficult. Maybe it’ll show up in a collection someday called “MIPS: The Lost Levels” since Japan has a habit of withholding difficult games from American audiences.

2. Peppy Hare
Star Fox (SNES, 1993)

Without Peppy, we may have never done “a barrel roll.” Thankfully, Peppy was the lone survivor at the Battle of Venom where James McCloud (Fox’s Dad) disappeared.

While his first appearance was in Star Fox for the Super Nintendo, all of his most memorable quotes came from Star Fox 64 (N64, 1997) when they added voice acting to all of the characters. I was surprised to learn that the voice of Peppy, Rick May, also did the voice for the game’s main threat, Andross! Plot twist: Peppy IS Andross???????? This changes everything.

Honorable mentions:

Mega Man 2 (NES, 1988)

Mysidian Rabbit
Final Fantasy 6 (SNES, 1994)

Mugu mugu?

Kirby and The Forgotten Land (Switch, 2022)

Fran/The Viera Race
Final Fantasy XII (Playstation 2, 2006)

Yo! Noid (NES, 1990)

1. Bunny Wario
Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
(Game Boy, 1992)

The carrot powerup in Super Mario Land 2 is probably one of my favorite abilities in any Mario game. Grabbing it turns Mario into “Bunny Mario” where he can use his ears to glide through the air while slowly descending. I actually learned today that if the player holds down the A button, Mario will automatically jump upon hitting the ground. I’m not sure why I’d ever need to use this ability, but hey, that’s what a bunny would do!

In one of the most clever final boss battles of all time, the game’s antagonist, Wario, takes Mario’s powers and uses them against the plucky plumber. The result? Bunny Wario!

Bunny Wario appears in the second phase of their epic showdown. After consuming a carrot and donning his bunny ears, Wario flies around the room attempting to crush Mario when he’s directly below him. Each time he crashes down, the room shakes and Mario is frozen in place from the shock. Chandeliers also fall from the ceiling. After three hits to the head, Wario retreats to the next room to try out another item: the fire flower…

I thought this entire battle was brilliant because, after all, why wouldn’t the enemies in a game take advantage of all the mushrooms, flowers, and carrots that are scattered about the world to take down the guy who has been murdering everyone with the same items?

Thanks for stopping by to read my list! Do you agree with my choices? Can you think of any other rabbits in games? Leave me a reply to tell me about it! Also, be sure to FOLLOW me or SUBSCRIBE to my blog via e-mail to have content delivered directly to your inbox.

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Published by erichagmann

Arranger / Pianist / Vocalist / Educator / Gamer

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