Pappy Van Poodle, considered one of Nintendo’s most obscure characters, appeared in “Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball,” a 2014 3DS eShop free game. The game was originally released in Japan in 2013.
The game saw users faced with storekeeper Rusty Slugger who sells games to gamers. The originally quoted price is $4.00. As Nintendo Life notes, “Rusty was a pushover, and if you ever bought a game off him, you probably got it at a much cheaper price than the $4.00 he was asking for.”
YouTube star Nick Robinson discovered a theory regarding Rusty Slugger and put it into practice in a May 15 video titled, “The Nintendo character with zero Google results.” The theory involves paying Rusty the full quoted price. This sees the user brought into a more elaborate story involving the storekeeper. That story involves Pappy Van Poodle.
Van Poodle is described as a “neighbor, businessman and mentor” to the title character. Robinson’s video shows six scenes involving Van Poodle. In one scene, Van Poodle locates one of Rusty Slugger’s puppies asleep in a hallway and hands it to the protagonist.
In the version that most users played, a haggled version, included a reference to Van Poodle, something more than likely confused players. The $4.00 version reveals the mystery behind that reference.
In their write-up on Van Poodle’s appearance, Boing Boing referred to the mentor as being so “obscure no-one ever uttered its name on the Internet.”
As news of the discovery spread to Reddit, one user pointed out that the Japanese version of “Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball” is colored slightly different to its American counterpart.
While another Reddit user pointed out that Van Poodle was spotted by gaming social media site Archiverse user Charizard300 in February 2017. Charizard300 wrote at the time, “If you buy a game that advances the story in Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball without using a special item like nose hair clippers, pompadour wig, or cooking class coupon Pappy Van Poodle gives the item to him instead.”