With Mario Galaxy keeping many a Wii fans happy, and Mario Kart racing along the top, Hero Showdown taps our favorite mushroom-eating plumber for his deserved shot at the Hero title. But before Mario warp whistles to the winner's circle, he'll have to go through Sega's mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog!

That's right, readers. It's Nintendo's hero versus a spiky, blue rodent that winks – a Showdown to end all Showdowns. And to spice things up, these HS gladiators are allowed to bring back-up: Mario's brother-in-arms, Luigi, versus Sonic's only friend, Tails. Stars supplies the fighters, you choose the winners: Read the contenders' profiles and vote for your Hero in the comments below.


Mario hasn't unclogged a drain in years, for he's been too busy saving Princess Peach from Bowser's clutches. Which means his skills are sharp and constantly being tested in new and challenging ways (see Galaxy's gravity-defying levels).

Unlike Sonic, Mario doesn't hemorrhage gold rings when hit, an advantage for any combatant, really. But he does get knocked back down to size – literally – which could be to Sonic's benefit, as there is only one mushroom allowed in this fight. You read that right, folks: Hero Showdown's setting some limits: Mario can only use one mushroom to get the upper hand on Sonic and that's it! No fireballs, no raccoon tails – just his wits and the mustache's intimidation factor.

For Mario's sake, let's hope the 'stache works differently on Sonic than it does on da ladies.


Second only to koopas, Sonic is the primary cause of death for Italian plumbers.

Since his 1991 debut, Sonic has been gearing up for this fight. Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games gave us a very PG take on our console icons duking it out. HS will have to bring on the no-holds-barred action a fight of this magnitude deserves.

Sonic's been chomping at the bit to test his mettle, and with that said, Mario can't afford to become complacent. Sonic's best asset will be his speed, as the fastest rodent alive may have a serious case of whiplash in store for Mario. Also, while Mario's saving princesses named Peach, Sonic's doing the heavy-lifting – saving the Earth from Dr. Eggman's evil plans.

But should it get tough, Sonic's gonna have to hold his ground, as HS forbids the use of ring portals as a means of "time out".

Undercard: Luigi vs. Tails

If the main attraction isn't enough, we'll throw in a little Luigi-Tails undercard, as these two second bananas are just as eager to fight as we are!


Luigi is "spaghetti" to Mario's "Meat balls", Luigi really "can do things".

Living in Mario's shadow has made The Man in Green Overalls less bitter than one would expect, but that doesn't mean he doesn't hold a grudge or two. Taking down Tails is the perfect venue for him to vent, and what better way to get some spotlight than joining Mario in the winner's circle? Pride and a series of well-placed blows can make all the difference…


Unlike Luigi, Miles "Tails" Prower had no choice but to (literally) stand, walk, and zoom run in Sonic's shadow. For Tails, when he was first introduced in the second game of the Sonic franchise, all he could be was a follower.

But time catches up with men, even foxes. And as sly as Tails might be, wits don't hold a candle to the simmering rage Miles hides. Both Luigi and Tails have issues relating to their back-up status, and whomever is the most ready to blow could turn this HS's tide. Tails' simmering rage could be Luigi's undoing.

It's like Plato said: "Hell hath no fury like a Sega sidekick scorned."

The main event and the undercard are ready to rumble at the sound of the bell. The fate of their respective champions is in your hands, cast your vote. Vegas Odds are split evenly on this one, so choose wisely.

Hero Showdown: Mario vs. Sonic – the best fight ever made? You decide.

Hero Showdown: Sam Fisher vs. Solid Snake Both are silent and deadly... but they're about to start a ruckus!

Battles rage on here on HS… After the conclusion of a hard-fought Hero Showdown between Mario and Sonic, Mario emerged victorious.

Where do you go from an epic battle such as this? Well, staying in the world of games, I decided to get my hands considerably dirtier and visit a pair of gritty fellows who kill with precision and move in the shadows—namely Solid Snake and Sam Fisher, the heroes of Metal Gear Solid and Splinter Cell, respectively.

It's time for these two to step out of the shadows and square off, so let's see what happens. You determine the winner, so be sure to vote in the comments at the bottom of the page.

Solid Snake This elite agent of Foxhound certainly looks the part: gruff, chiseled and brooding, he is just the sort of fellow you expect to be lurking in the darkness doing the dirty work of faceless organizations.

A veteran of the videogame scene, Snake first sneered his way into hearts of action fans on the NES, in the original Metal Gear. In Metal Gear Solid for the PlayStation, however, Snake established himself as one of the premier bad-asses in videogame history.

In the fighting arena, Snake has squared off against thermonuclear devices and dudes named Revolver, so shutting down opponents is not an issue. He is stealthy but strong and never confused about what situation warrants "sneaking around" and what calls for "a stand-up fight."

Sam Fisher Those three green lights on Sam Fisher's visor seem to look into one's very soul… From his hiding place, Sam Fisher observes, waits, and picks the best spot to descend on his prey. But how would he fare in a stand-up fight?

…Likely very well. A former Navy SEAL and an operative of the NSA Third Echelon division, Fisher is trained to do bad things to bad people. Boasting more "skills" than Napolean Dynamite wish he'd had, Fisher is trained in various weapons and is well-versed in Krav Maga (the Israeli Forces fighting style).

But like Snake, Fisher is also great with firearms and practically every other weapon he encounters. It will be a fight to the death, and it will be bloody…

So who will emerge from the shadows and triumph? Will it be Tom Clancy's poster boy with the tri-glow visor or the silent but deadly Solid Snake? Make your vote count now!

Now, for the third in the series, we present: Link vs. Cloud. It's Nintendo's most beloved vs. Square Enix's finest. I'm sensing another hard-fought war along party lines… so let's introduce the competitors and get this thing started!

Link The Legend of Zelda's green-clad warrior has squared off against many-a-daunting foe in his tenure as Hyrule's protector. With keen instincts, battle-honed reflexes and a distracting pointy cap upon his dome, he is a formidable foe, indeed.

Add to the mix Link's ability to puzzle-solve, his mastery of items and weapons, and the uncanny ability to make money appear from grass (don't know how it will help in the fight… but damn, is it strange) and you have one tough customer. Outfit him with the Master Sword and Cloud will have his work cut out for him.

Cloud Strife Cloud Strife, the handsome-as-sin protagonist of Final Fantasy VII and all its spin-off properties, is a worthy challenger. With a haircut that rivals the finest male models the world round, Cloud can stop enemies in their tracks with his potent man-beauty… But that's not how he does it. He prefers to use his large-ass sword to whoop up on the baddies from Shinra.

But the legendary sword is not all he has at his disposal… He also possesses the sickest ride this side of the Millenium Falcon—A motorcycle so righteous it needs its own name: Fenrir. Coupled with his incredible power and impressive hardware (and wardrobe), the cycle gives him speed, surprising agility, and as noted, style points up the wazoo.

Who grabs the title of ultimate hero?

So here we are. Link vs. Cloud. Nintendo vs. Square Enix. Legend of Zelda vs. Final Fantasy…. However you want to cut it, this is an epic battle. Does the crafty Hyrulean puzzle-solver take the cake or will Final Fantasy's brooding man-hottie run away with the title? Console die-hards, FIGHT!

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