Animal Crossing (franchise)
Animal Crossing is a video game franchise created by Nintendo. It began with the release of a Japan-exclusive Nintendo 64 title, Doubutsu no Mori in 2001. The game was later ported to the Nintendo GameCube, for which it was released internationally as Animal Crossing.
Animal Crossing features gameplay comparable to The Sims as the player controls a young male or female villager who has just moved into a new town and bought a new house. The beginning storyline revolves around the player paying off a large debt for their house to Tom Nook, the town shop owner. The villager can do several other activities, such as fishing, catching bugs, decorating their home, befriending other villagers, doing errands on behalf of the other villagers.
The Animal Crossing franchise has references to the Mario franchise, such as Mario's Cap and Luigi's Cap being obtainable clothing items. The games also have references to The Legend of Zelda, such as the Master Sword being an obtainable furniture item in a few of the games.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee, there is a trophy of Tom Nook, Totakeke, and Mr. Resetti. Outside of Japan, Super Smash Bros. Melee is the first game to feature Animal Crossing content in any capacity, so the three trophies are unique in that they serve as a teaser for Animal Crossing, which they list as "Future Release." In Japan, Doubutsu no Mori is instead listed as the game appearance as it had been released for the Nintendo 64 there beforehand.
The first time that Mario and Animal Crossing have crossed over directly is in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which features an Animal Crossing-themed stage titled Smashville, Mr. Resetti as an Assist Trophy, and a Pitfall as an item.
Since the release of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, which is the debut of the popular character Isabelle, crossover appearances between Mario and Animal Crossing have become more frequent. In Mario Kart 8 and its Nintendo Switch enhanced port Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, both the Villager (male and female) and Isabelle make a guest appearance as playable racers and have their own race course titled Animal Crossing. In the original Mario Kart 8, the Animal Crossing content is only available through the Animal Crossing × Mario Kart 8 downloadable pack, similar to how the same version only includes Link as a playable racer and the Hyrule Circuit course through the The Legend of Zelda × Mario Kart 8 downloadable pack.
In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, Villager debuts as a playable fighter.
In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Villager returns as a playable fighter, and Isabelle makes her debut as a playable fighter.
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