In the early days of the Nintendo 64, game design guru Shigeru Miyamoto had a dream: for his polygonal penguin to appear in each and every Nintendo 64 game. Early in the design of Super Mario 64 Miyamoto and his team devised a penguin model that would be used in the level "Cold Cold Mountain". For some reason Miyamoto became obsessed with this penguin and requested that it appear in every subsequent Nintendo 64 game in some role, either major or cameo.

After its premiere in Super Mario 64 the penguin went on to appear in Mario Kart 64 in the ice level "Sherbet Land" as an obstacle on the track. It returned for Wave Race 64 and 1080 Snowboarding in hidden cameos as well as a bit part in the Nintendo GameCube releases Mario Party 5 and Mario Party 6 plus the 2004 handheld titles Mario Pinball Land and Super Mario 64 DS. But why no other apperances? "We wanted to put it in every game," Miyamoto said in 1997, "But some of the other development teams didn't want to use our penguin."

The penguin may be in semi-retirement right now, but someday he will return. Oh yes. Respect the penguin.

Nintendo Power