The Fourth Wall refers to the imaginary wall between characters in a work of fiction (such as a video game or a film) and the audience (or in this case, the players or the viewers), preventing the former from knowing they're fictional. When a video game character suggests that he or she knows that he/she's fictional and acknowledge that this is just a game, this is called "breaking the fourth wall". They're found within many video games, usually for comedic relief. The following are notable examples of characters "breaking through the fourth wall".

Nintendo Entertainment System

  • Metroid - Samus will wave directly to the player in all of the endings.

Super Nintendo Entertainment System

  • Donkey Kong Country - Cranky Kong frequently references the fact that he was in the Donkey Kong arcade game and how games have changed since then.
  • Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! - If you're able to find Krematoa, Blunder will ask if you've used the player guide to do so.
  • Final Fantasy V - A character in the game, when explaining something, will tell the player to listen up.
  • Super Mario World - In the stage titled "Funky", there are a row of coins near the end that spell out "YOU ARE A SUPER PLAYER!".
  • The Lost Vikings - The three viking characters know they are in a video game and make reference to the player who is always watching them.

Nintendo 64

  • Paper Mario - The Koopa Bros. suggest that the sequel to Paper Mario should be Paper Bowser.
  • Super Mario 64 - Mario will on multiple occasions say "hello" to the player.
  • Yoshi's Story - Each level has a hidden letter made of coins, together spelling out a message to the player: "YOU ARE YOSHI'S BEST PARTNER!".

Game Boy Advance

  • Metroid Fusion - In Sector 4, performing a difficult series of Shinesparks will allow the play to access a secret conversation, ending with the line "I wonder how many players will see this...?"

Nintendo GameCube

  • Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem - Many of the events that take place in this game break through the fourth wall once the main character goes crazy. Oftentimes the game will mess with your TV.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door - This classic unarguably breaks the fourth wall more than almost any other game out there. They include the following:
    • Gus will, after being defeated, shout "CRUD! You dumb video game characters always do this!"
    • Goombella will say that Cheep Cheeps have been a part of the Mario series for a long time in Stewart's Glitzville tattle, and will then say "I just broke through the fourth wall there, didn't I? Sorry. Just forget it."
    • After tattling one of the gatekeepers, Goombella will explain that games would just be easier without them.
    • On one occasion, one of the character's reference how Mario is a silent protagonist.
    • Frankly will at one time ask if the people watching through the TV are listening, despite the fact that there is no TV in sight, obviously referring to the player.
    • Once you find out Four Eyes' real identity (Lord Crump), he tells the player not to tell Mario. Mario's partner is confused by Four Eyes' reference to "you in front of the TV".
  • Super Mario Sunshine - After you beat the final boss, a Pianta will ask if the game is over.

Nintendo DS

  • Contact - The whole game pretty much breaks through the fourth wall, as they are well aware of your presence.
  • Drawn to Life - The villagers constantly refer to the player as the Creator and ask you to draw various items & elements.

Nintendo Wii

  • No More Heroes - Oftentimes the game's protagonist Travis Touchdown will reference the fact that it's a video game and will also mention other video games as well such as the yet-to-be released Duke Nukem Forever.
  • Super Paper Mario - Many characters in the game regularly call dying getting a 'game over': In the wedding scene, Count Bleck asks Bowser if he will take Princess Peach "Until your games be over." Also Merlon sometimes refers to the controller buttons and when doing so sometimes references the player.
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl - During the Subspace Emissary, Solid Snake will say "Kept you waiting, huh?" directly to the player, an obvious reference to the cutscene earlier, where his cardboard box appears slightly moving in one of the cargo rooms on the Halberd, hinting that snake has infiltrated the Halberd.
  • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption - In the 100% ending of the game, Samus will give a thumbs-up in the direction of the screen from inside her ship. Since her ship's window can only be seen through one way, it is unlikely she was directing it at anyone other than the player.

Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo Wii U