If there was ever an award for most awkward topic for a gaming article, it would have to go to this one. Game characters are created every day and once in a blue moon they come out a little…different. Sometimes we really question the gender of the character and why the guys behind the character made them the way they did. There’s not really too much more to be said so let’s look past the bows and beards.

Birdo – Super Mario Bros. 2:

Starting this list out right we have arguably the most talked about gender confused character in gaming. Birdo was created as one of the first bosses of Super Mario Bros. 2. The fact that Birdo was pink, had long eyelashes, wore a diamond ring, and had a pretty bow on her head were just some of the main reasons everyone assumed she was a female and that was that…except for the fact that SHE actually turned out to be a HE. The original manual for Super Smash Bros. 2 claimed that Birdo was a male who wanted to be a female and preferred to be called Birdetta. After years of debate between gamers, the guys behind the Mario games have decided her gender as “undetermined”.

Slippy Toad – Star Fox:

Slippy Toad is mostly talked about as “that annoy chick from the Star Fox games” but many gamers never knew that they were actually flying around the galaxy with an all male cast. It was most likely Slippy’s annoying, high pitched voice that gave people the idea of him being a woman but regardless, Slippy has and always will be a man. Sure he’s not the toughest thing in the galaxy and sure he can’t even really take care of himself out in the battlefield, maybe he’s the only person on your team that has never come to your rescue, and let’s not forget that time he tried to help out on a boss and ended up getting stuck on a different planet and required a rescue but…wait, what was I going to say?

Vivian – Paper Mario 2:

This one may really surprise some of you. While Vivian gives off all the signs of being a woman, she’s actually considered a female in the original Japanese version. While Vivian was translated over to North America as a woman, certain versions still have her portrayed as a man. She does kiss Mario on the cheek but Goombella will read Vivian as “That’s Vivian. One of the shadow group, she’s the youngest sister…er, brother.” Her gender seems different everywhere you go but the fact is that she was made a man and is, therefore, what she is. Starting to see any consistencies with these Mario characters?

Samas Aran – Metroid:

It’s now known worldwide that the guy in the robotic suit is actually a woman but back in the day, gamers played Metroid and naturally assumed a man was the one kicking all that alien ass. Maybe the creators of the Metroid games finally realized sex sells or maybe they just finally gave the character a gender after so many years for the hell of it but you can’t find a Metroid game without Zero Suit Samus as a playable character for a portion of the game. (The Zero Suit is the pants-tightening blue spandex suit they gave Samus to wear outside of the suit). The world is definitely fine with the choice and doesn’t seem to find the alien ass kicking to be any less satisfying but maybe it’s a good thing they waited to reveal the gender. Maybe the ‘90s weren’t ready for that sort of change.

Kamek – Super Mario World 2:

Kamek may seem like an odd choice for this list. She’s a woman right? Think again. This Bowser loving witch (er…wizard?) is actually a guy. It’s probably the thick bottle cap glasses and way he always has that stereotypical witch cackle that made most assume she was a woman. (I swear this is the last Mario character on this list)

Kirby – Kirby’s Dream Land:

Any gamers who thought Kirby was a female probably got the idea from the fact that he’s the only male character in gaming that looks like a piece of pink bubble gum. I’m sure that Kirby’s bubbly personality and games centered on a land of rainbows and kittens where everything is happy all the time didn’t exactly work in his favor either. It’s like the guy lives next to the Care Bears up there in “Dream Land”. As much of a pansy Kirby seems to be, he always has been made as a male and if he’s not seeming tough enough for you, check him out in the Super Smash Bros. series…he’s pretty bad ass sometimes.

Kazooie – Banjo and Kazooie:

In Banjo and Kazooie, Kazooie sort of seems like the real aggressive character while Banjo plays more of a dopey background guy. Kazooie is the one who can be used as a faster mode of transportation, a means flight, and both a melee and long range weapon. The aggressiveness and deep “scrawk” Kazooie shouts out really makes him the man…right? Not so much actually. Kazooie is a female…just a really aggressive female but she is a bird after all. Have you ever seen someone reach into a bird’s nest? That momma bird will tear your face off if you get to close…