Popular video game franchises can sell just about anything — and once every blue moon, a publisher decides to take a risk and do something very, very weird with popular characters. That’s why you’ll see Mario doing everything from teaching typing to competing against Sonic in the Olympic games. Every once in awhile, game sequels escape the confines of their traditional comfort zones and release something really weird. Usually with not-so-great results.
Here, I’m exploring the weirdest games ever released as sequels to popular video game franchises — we’ve got Mario, Sonic, Castlevania, Bomberman and more accounted for here. It’s hard to even narrow it down to just one weird game for each major franchise — Sonic has so many weird games, it’s difficult to even count them all!
But I’m going to try anyway. Here are the weirdest, most off-the-wall strange sequels in video game history.
Stuck at home? Revisit some lists on Gameranx:
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Tingle’s Balloon Trip Of Love [Legend of Zelda Series]
The Legend of Zelda already has a few well-known flops. The CDi exclusives Faces of Evil and Wand of Gamelon deserve an entire article detailing their weirdness, and were showcased in a few very memorable episodes of the Angry Nerd. Remember that guy?
Those are weird games, but today we’re talking about something even more obscure outside of Japan. Tingle’s Balloon Trip Of Love — just let that title sink in. It’s a game about Tingle, the annoying green little guy that appears in several Legend of Zelda games, going to a Wizard of Oz-like land, and attempting to woo a series of stranger and stranger women with his 35-yeard old bachelor charms. The situation is insane, the descriptions are absurd, and it’s a point-and-click adventure game! You can’t get further away from the original Legend of Zelda than this.
Mario Teaches Typing 2 [Mario Series]
The first Mario Teaches Typing is a beloved classic for a reason. It looks exactly like a Mario game, but instead of directly controlling Mario’s movements, you have to type to overcome obstacles. That alone isn’t too weird — I remember playing the original Mario Teaches Typing, but I had no idea about this extremely weird sequel.
And there’s a reason the sequel is weirder than the original. Sure, it might appear to be a completely normal instructional typing game — until you encounter the cutscenes. These are infamous, with a terrifying 3D model of Mario’s disembodied head floating around an empty void, spouting off Italian-American stereotypes. Just watch the embedded video above. That’s all you need to know about Mario Teaches Typing 2.
Explore more weird games hidden away in popular franchises on the next page!