Game protagonists who pass the silhouette test

Silhouette testing is a design philosophy that revolves around the idea that people should be able to recognize a character by their silhouette alone, as this makes them memorable and easily recognizable to audiences. A popular example is The simpsonsa show with many characters that people who are only vaguely familiar with the show might recognize just by their silhouette.

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The gaming industry has provided countless protagonists who are prime examples of this design philosophy, many of whom have been instrumental in the game’s rapid push into mainstream media over the years.

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seven donkey kong

Donkey Kong makes this list for the simple fact that he’s a tie-wearing gorilla, which, it’s safe to say, isn’t something people see every day.

The great ape started life as a villain in the arcade game donkey kong, where he tried to stop the protagonist Mario from saving Pauline. However, Nintendo clearly changed their minds, as they then made Donkey Kong a platform hero. The character is best known for the SNES game donkey kong country and for his appearances in many mario kart racing and franchise sports games.


Link’s human appearance doesn’t make him stand out as much as some of the other characters on this list, though his elf ears, signature pointy hat, Master Sword, and six-sided Hylian shield help him stand out. in a crowd, even in silhouette.

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Link is the protagonist of the The Legend of Zelda franchise, a long-running series that has often been at the forefront of gaming innovation. The series is home to some of the best action-adventure games of all time, such as A link to the past, Ocarina of time, and Breath of nature.


5 Rayman

It’s not hard to see why Ubisoft hero Rayman makes this list, as the platform hero has a distinct lack of members. The character’s limbless body can make him look like the last person to fight enemies and save the day, though his fists can be thrown huge distances to stun enemies.

Ubisoft’s hero burst onto the scene in 1995 with the side-scrolling platformer Rayman before moving on to 3D open levels with Rayman 2: The Great Escape. After a long hiatus from platforming, the limbless protagonist has returned to his side-scrolling habits with Origins of Rayman and Legends of Raymanalthough he has not appeared in a main series title since.


4 mario

With his signature bushy mustache, cap, and overalls, most players can immediately pick out a Mario figure in a crowd, especially if he’s doing one of his signature poses like the one pictured above. Admittedly, Mario doesn’t have as many distinct characteristics as some of the other characters on this list, but his stature as the most popular character in gaming has helped anchor his design in the minds of many.

Mario is best known for the Super Mario series of platforms, although it also plays in the paper mario series, the Mario Kart series and many sports games.

3 Sonic

When Sega decided to enter the home console market and compete with Nintendo, they knew they needed a mascot character to take on the aforementioned Mario. Sonic was their mascot creation, distinguished by his hair reminiscent of a hedgehog’s spikes.

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Say that sonic the hedgehogThe playing career of has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs would be an understatement, as with every sonic the hedgehog 2there is a sonic the hedgehog (2006). To the surprise of many, Sonic became a box office star following the huge commercial success of the sonic the hedgehog films with Jim Carrey and James Marsden.

2 Crash Bandicoot

Crash Bandicoot is another mascot character created with the intention of competing with Mario. Crash stands out with his fingerless gloves, blue jorts and mohawk, as well as his pointed nose reminiscent of a real bandicoot.

The Crash Bandicoot The series differentiated itself from other platforms in the late 90s with its unique hallway-style levels. The franchise ditched its signature hallway style for years after Crash Bandicoot: Wrath of Cortexalthough they were recently brought back in the critically acclaimed film Crash Bandicoot 4: About time.

1 Pac man

In his 2D form, it’s safe to say that ’80s hero Pac-Man has the most recognizable video game silhouette of all time. Although the 3D form of Pac-Man is much less known around the world, it is still very easy to find your way around the crowd thanks to the character’s perfectly round body.

The first one Pac man was released in 1980, an arcade maze game for which the circular hero is best known a country mile. Namco has tried to recapture the magic of the classic arcade game many times with kart racers, 3D platformers and reworked versions of the original gameplay, although none of the games in the series have been able to catch lightning in a bottle like the iconic maze. Game.

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(Left) Pac-Man gameplay (Right) Geometry Wars gameplay

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