Nintendo has two juggernaut franchises, and they manage to squeeze out a new title every year or so. Mario got his 2009 Wii shine mere weeks ago with The New Super Mario Bros., but Hyrule fans were forced to wait until next year to see a Princess of Zelda joint for the Wii. Instead, Link makes his annualish appearance in a new DS title dropping today, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks.

Not surprisingly, it's garnering the same critical affection most other Zelda titles have (currently at 88 on Metaritic and 89 on Gamerankings), but we're not going to add our voices to the fray by reviewing it for you or telling you why you should cop it. Instead, we've rounded up some of our favorite non-Zelda appearances that Link has made over the years. Sure, you know about Super Smash Bros., but what about the first Final Fantasy? What about Mario and Link shacking up? What about—ah, screw it, just read on...

Final Fantasy (1987)
• The original Japanese NES game doesn't exactly show us Link, but does show us where his Linky remains are resting. *Weep*

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F1 RACE (1990)
• In the old Famicom game's Gameboy version, look who's waiting to congratulate the winner on Course 5!

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SUPER MARIO RPG: LEGEND OF THE SEVEN STARS (1996)
• The final Mario game for the SNES features a keen skewering of our puritanical morals by surprising Mario with a new roommate: Link! That's what happens when you book a room in the only Inn in the Mushroom Kingdom's Castro district.

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SUPER SMASH BROS. MELEE (2001)
• Nothing like being able to fight the very woman you're always trying to save. Just work it out, will you?

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SOUL CALIBUR II (2003)
• The game's GameCube port featured an exclusive playable character who we all know and are frankly a little tired of by now love.

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GOLDEN SUN: THE LOST AGE (2003)
• Wow, did we never play this game.

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WORLD OF WARCRAFT (2004)
• In the Un'goro Crater region of the hugely popular MMORPG, Nintendo references abound, including mustachioed twins Lario and Muigin and a suspicious green-clad gnome named Linken. Yes, Linken. And he has a boomerang and sword. And dreams of boning someone named Smelda. Well, maybe not that last part.

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SUPER SMASH BROS. BRAWL (2008)
• In the Wii installment of the SSB franchise, Link iis still around (along with Zelda and Ganondorf), but among a few secret unlockable characters is Toon Link, styled a la Wind Waker and Majora's Mask. Not only that, but the game's Pirate Ship stage takes place on King of Red Lions, Link's ship from Wind Waker.

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