10 Weirdest Unlockables In Nintendo Games

VOICE OVER: Johnny Reynolds WRITTEN BY: Johnny Reynolds
Nintendo sure has included some weird unlockables over the years. For this list, we'll be looking at strange hidden features or characters found in Nintendo releases. Our list includes playing on foot in "Star Fox 64" (1997), the Great Fairies from "Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity" (2020), the Bug-Catching Net in "Soulcalibur II" (2003), the Arwing in "Bayonetta 2" (2014), and more!
Script written by Johnny Reynolds

Nintendo sure has included some weird unlockables over the years. For this list, we’ll be looking at strange hidden features or characters found in Nintendo releases. Our list includes playing on foot in "Star Fox 64" (1997), the Great Fairies from "Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity" (2020), the Bug-Catching Net in "Soulcalibur II" (2003), the Arwing in "Bayonetta 2" (2014), and more! Which of these weird unlockables is your favorite? Did we miss any oddities? Let us know in the comments!


“Mario Kart DS” (2005) and “Super Smash Bros. Brawl” (2008)

By now, we’re all used to seeing R.O.B. in the “Super Smash Bros.” series. But for his first outing, it was a little strange. R.O.B., standing for Robotic Operating Buddy, began as a peripheral for the NES. R.O.B. was initially a way to enhance the gaming experience, though it only ever worked with two titles. Nintendo paid legacy to the interactive robot first as an unlockable racer in “Mario Kart DS,” making him playable for the first time 20 years after his debut. After being brought into “Smash” via “Brawl,” we’ve all grown accustomed to seeing R.O.B. throw down with the likes of Mario and Link. And though Mr. Game & Watch was also a strange addition, he had at least been in games before.

Riding Dolphinback

“Wave Race 64” (1996)

The Nintendo 64 had some great racing games, even those that didn’t have Mario or Diddy Kong. One of the console’s earliest was “Wave Race 64,” which had players dashing across water on jet skis and moving around buoys on colorful tracks. In the Dolphin Park course, players could unlock an odd way of traversing the waves. By completing tricks in a certain order on Dolphin Park in Stunt Mode, and then going to the track in Championship Race, your racer would then be riding on a dolphin. Pulling off tricks on a dolphin at full speed is a sight to behold. It’s a clever Easter Egg and one we wish was a permanent unlockable.


“GoldenEye 007” (1997)

Anyone who grew up with a Nintendo 64 in the 90s knows the reputation of Oddjob in “GoldenEye 007.” Shorter than every other character in the game, Oddjob became banned in friendly shootouts due to him being excessively hard to hit. It was cheating without entering a cheat. While the game’s unlockable characters included other classic villains like Jaws and Baron Samedi, what was weird about Oddjob, and what led to his legacy, was his stature. The actor who played him in 1964’s “Goldfinger” was 5’ 10”, a perfectly normal height. So the video game version being so short actually doesn’t make sense.

The Great Fairies

“Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity” (2020)

The Great Fairies are some of the strangest NPCs in the “Zelda” series. Their more memorable appearances depict them as scantily clad, acting somewhat sensually towards our hero. So when “Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity” gave us the opportunity to play as them, we were a bit baffled. By finding, summoning, and defeating all four of them, the fairy sisters become playable as one fighter. Performing different combos switches between each sister. Just how their appearances resemble those in “Breath of the Wild,” their attacks resemble animations from upgrading Link’s armor. Which means you can fight monsters with heart-shaped blasts and kisses. Lovely.

Suitless Samus

“Metroid” (1987)

Finding out that you were playing as a badass heroine at the end of the original “Metroid” was one of the biggest gaming twists at the time. With protagonists typically being male, Samus Aran became an icon when she took off her armor. It was her armor that kept her alive, but Nintendo gave players the option to forego it without any safety concerns. By getting one of the two best endings, players could restart and play as a suitless Samus. Or you could enter the now famous JUSTIN BAILEY password. Though it makes no impact on gameplay, it’s still odd seeing Samus run through the hostile Zebes in just her skivvies.

Bug-Catching Net

“Soulcalibur II” (2003)

GameCube owners of this awesome fighter had the pleasure of playing as Link. Bombs, a bow, and a boomerang gave him excellent range. Like every other fighter, players could unlock other weapons with various perks. But Link’s were naturally from his series. It was cool seeing weapons like the Great Fairy Sword and the Megaton Hammer, and then there was the bug-catching net. Every fighter gets a joke weapon that deals low damage. And a loud *thunk* humorously rings out with every hit of the net. It’s a neat reference to how the net could be used in “A Link to the Past” to deflect Agahnim’s attacks. But it’s still strange using it in an actual fighting game.

Playing on Foot

“Star Fox 64” (1997)

Many of us know “Star Fox 64” as the groundbreaking rail shooter that it is. But it’s actually possible to get out of the Arwing and battle on foot. If you earn a medal in every mission of the single player campaign, and then earn a medal on Venom in Expert Mode, you’ll unlock the ability to play as Star Fox members on foot in the Versus Mode. You and three friends can then run around shooting and bombing each other on a much smaller scale. It’s fairly hard to unlock this feature, so it’s likely a lot of us have never heard of it before.

Dragon Kazooie

“Banjo-Tooie” (2000)

“Banjo-Tooie” introduced new transformations to get through certain challenges of levels. Humba Wumba will change Banjo and Kazooie into various things. However, you can’t exit the level until you change back…at least for most of them. Although the game is already a bit weird, obtaining a special Mega Glumbo hidden in an ice safe will give Wumba the power to transform Kazooie into a dragon. You can keep this transformation as long as you want, which you should since it lets Kazooie spit fire and hold an unlimited amount of Fire Eggs. Odd but undeniably awesome.

The Arwing

“Bayonetta 2” (2014)

When “Bayonetta 2” launched on the Wii U, it came with a ton of content that could be unlocked through various Amiibo. If you wanted to dress as Link or Peach, you could. And each costume came with cool aesthetic touches for fans to enjoy. One of the coolest costumes you could get was for Fox McCloud, which turned Bayonetta’s guns into miniature Arwings. But that wasn’t the only nod to the team's ships as this costume came with an extra unlockable. During Chapter 16, where the player normally controls a jet, you instead control an Arwing. It’s pretty cool the developers went the extra mile for “Star Fox” fans.

The Flying Buick

“Star Wars: Rogue Squadron” Series (1998-2003)

Stranger than riding a dolphin like a jet ski is flying a buick through the universe of “Star Wars.” Beginning with the first “Rogue Squadron” on the Nintendo 64, developer Factor 5 began including a flying Buick as a vehicle unlocked with a cheat code. It was specifically modeled after Factor 5 employee Rudolf Stembler’s 1969 Buick Electra. The car could be unlocked in each game of the series, as well as the spiritual spin-off “Star Wars Episode I: Battle for Naboo.” We’ve ridden in some bizarre video game vehicles in our time. But planting a normal car in such a fantastical world will always make it one of the weirdest.