5 of the Wildest Fighting Game Guest Characters

It’s funny how some iconic characters can wind up in the strangest places.

Ever since the 90s, fighting games have always been a home to some of the craziest guest characters. While they’re normally used to cross-promote two different franchises to their respective fans, you can’t deny that there’s something hype and intriguing about seeing a foreign character dropped into a different universe.

On that note, some fighting games really have some bizarre pulls when it comes to guests. Barring crossover games like the Versus series or Smash Brothers, we’ve got five fighting game guest characters that really stand out from the pack.

Rambo – Mortal Kombat 11

The modern Mortal Kombat series is unique in that it consistently has big movie or TV icons as guests. Perks of being owned by Warner Brothers to be sure and the developers have always taken great care of how they represent these icons. 

5 of the Wildest Fighting Game Guest Characters
Rambo letting out his battle howl. Makes you wonder how he’s able to hold that gun straight with just one hand. (Image from Reddit)

Mortal Kombat 9 and 10 had horror icons while 11 focused on 80’s action movie stars for their guests. We got the Terminator, RoboCop, and John Rambo himself in all their 80s action movie glory. Rambo is a funny stand-out when you take in consideration the ultra brutal fantasy setting of Mortal Kombat. In a game where ripping people’s heads off their shoulders is commonplace, a former soldier with PTSD would probably not measure too well against its cast.

Negan – Tekken 7

Speaking of TV icons, who in a thousand years would have guessed that Negan from The Walking Dead TV series would appear in Tekken? The story goes that Tekken’s lead producer, Katsuhiro Harada, was a big fan of the show and the character. One day he decided to ask AMC if they were fine with having Negan be a guest character in their game, expecting to get a polite refusal. Instead, they were completely on board with the idea and so we have one of the strangest crossovers in fighting games.

5 of the Wildest Fighting Game Guest Characters
Negan with his trusty barbed companion, Lucile. (Image from the Tekken Wiki)
Darth Vader and Yoda – Soul Calibur 4

To be fair, developers Bandai Namco are no strangers to odd guest characters in their fighting games. Years before Tekken 7, Soul Calbur, their medieval 3D sword-swinging sister game, partnered with a galaxy far, far away. 

5 of the Wildest Fighting Game Guest Characters
Darth Vader versus mainstay Soul Calibur villain, Nightmare. Don’t think too hard on how a sword is able to block a lightsaber. (Image from the Soul Calibur Wiki)

Darth Vader and Yoda were exclusive to the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of Soul Calibur 4, respectively. They were eventually able to be purchased by the other console but they still remain in infamy among fans. While both captured what it felt like to play as a powerful Force user, that meant they were playing a different kind of game than the rest of the cast. Still, they were certainly memorable inclusions and were the closest thing we had to an actual Star Wars fighting game.

Rash – Killer Instinct (2013)

Does anyone still remember Battletoads, that ancient side-scrolling beat ‘em up that no one could complete? Well, Killer Instinct still remembers them and decided to bring one of the titular toads into the fight against Ultratech. 

5 of the Wildest Fighting Game Guest Characters
Rash gives Cinder, the flaming human-alien hybrid, the big boot. (Image from the Killer Instinct Wiki)

Boisterous and loud, Rash should feel out of place in the dark techno setting of Killer Instinct but instead feel right at home. Perhaps his ridiculousness provides much-needed levity in such an ultra edgy world. This stark contrast makes his cartoony brand of violence fit right into Killer Instinct that he almost doesn’t feel like a guest character.

Akuma – Tekken 7

A fighting game character becoming a guest in a different fighting game is not the wildest thing in the world. However, Akuma appearing in Tekken 7 is an exception given his treatment and story leading to his inclusion. 

5 of the Wildest Fighting Game Guest Characters
Akuma has showdown with Tekken protagonist Jin. (Image from the Tekken Wiki)

After the failure of Capcom’s Street Fighter X Tekken fighting game, Bandai Namco were hesitant to follow up with their own version of that crossover. Many had lost hope in ever seeing how a Street Fighter character translates into Tekken but Akuma flipped that around. He became one of the most anticipated guest characters in all of the fighting games despite the numerous balancing issues he brought with him since his release.

The bigger thing though was how Akuma wasn’t treated like a guest character. Instead of being handwaved into existence like most guest characters, Akuma actually had a part in Tekken’s story. He’s a canon character who influenced the events of Tekken 7’s main story, which was a first for any game. Will he ever appear again in the Tekken universe? We’ll have to wait and see.

Banner image from the Soul Calibur Wiki.

Why the Street Fighter 6 Crossover Characters are a Big Deal

5 Silly Fighting Game Terms Anyone Can Understand

The History of Tekken: The King of 3D Fighters