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E3 2019's Top 5 Unexpected Stars

E3 2019’s press conferences are over. The Electronic Entertainment Expo delivered some huge news, including a Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel, a new Xbox console named Project Scarlett, and plenty more.

However, it also contained some wacky moments none of us expected, and it gave rise to some stars we never thought would shine at a gaming expo. Let’s take a look at some of the people–and animals–that have brightened up our E3.

Doug Bowser Picking A Fight With, Uh, Bowser

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Meet Doug Bowser | Nintendo Direct E3 2019

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After Reggie Fils-Aime’s recent retirement, Nintendo needed a new star to present its E3 Directs. Thankfully, Bowser was there to take over–in style. Doug Bowser, that is.

The Koopa King thought he was the one to tell us about Nintendo’s new games at E3 2019, but it turns out there was a mistake, and D Bowser promptly put Mario’s longtime enemy in his place. Sorry, Bowser.

Keanu Reeves Is In Cyberpunk 2077

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Cyberpunk 2077 Features Keanu Reeves | Microsoft Press Conference E3 2019

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Keanu Reeves had already captured the internet’s hearts for being an all-round Good Egg. So when he emerged on-stage at Microsoft’s E3 2019 press conference, everyone understandably went wild. The actor, perhaps best known for his roles in the Matrix and John Wick franchises, is in Cyberpunk 2077. He plays a character named Johnny Silverhand, who is described by developer CD Projekt Red as a “legendary rocker boy” who gets his name from the fact that he has a robotic, silver arm. Silverhand is a “key” character in Cyberpunk 2077, so we may see a lot of him.

Reeves not only provided the voice and likeness of Silverhand, but he also performed full-body motion capture. This means Silverhand will look and act like Reeves. That’s good news, because as behind-the-scenes John Wick training videos have shown, Reeves is a talented actor who commits to his craft to ensure the best possible result.

Ubisoft Brought An Adorable Dog On Stage

Ubisoft’s E3 2019 press conference was as varied as ever, bringing us news on Watch Dogs: Legion, Rainbow Six Quarantine, and more. But by far the most adorable moment was when actor John Bernthal (The Wolf of Wall Street, Daredevil, The Punisher) arrived on stage accompanied by his dog, Bam Bam. Bernthal was there to discuss his role in Ghost Recon Breakpoint, while Bam Bam was merely there to be A Good Boy. Watch the wholesome moment above.

Ikumi Nakamura Is The Internet’s New Favorite Game Developer

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Ghost Wire Tokyo Full Presentation | Bethesda Press Conference E3 2019

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The grey clouds of Activision’s reduced E3 presence and Sony’s no-show seemed ready to unleash a shower of disappointment on E3 2019. And then the Bethesda press conference happened. Tango Gameworks creative director Ikumi Nakamura took to the stage, and like a beam of light from the sun, she cut through the miasma to energize and uplift us all. Nakamura arrived on stage to announce Ghostwire: Tokyo, a new game from the studio behind The Evil Within and The Evil Within 2.

Nakamura casually strolled onto the stage with an enthusiastic, “Yayyyyyyy!” This was followed by, “Wow, wow, wow, so many people.” Obviously, Nakamura was feeling overwhelmed by the size of the audience, but at the same time, she stayed cool, calm, and collected.

Nakamura’s minor case of stage fright belies her experience in game design and development. Though she may not be a familiar name or face to the greater video game fanbase as a whole, she has been involved in the creation of some of the most beloved games of all time, including Okami and Bayonetta, and of course The Evil Within.

Over the course of a few minutes, Nakamura’s earnestness and excitement won hearts and minds. She admitted her nervousness, said she’d give speaking English–which she is doing for our benefit–a solid shot, and then delivered a charismatic pitch for her new “spooooooky” game. People are vanishing in Tokyo, and we the player must find out why, unraveling conspiracies and delving into the occult along the way. She promised we’d meet spirits that were [ominous voice] “dangerous” and [playful voice] “peaceful.”

Helen, Watch Dogs: Legion’s Killer Grandmother

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Watch Dogs: Legion Full Gameplay Demo | Ubisoft Press Conference E3 2019

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Ubisoft’s E3 2019 press conference had quite a few unexpected surprises–one of which we’ve of course been over already–but none seems to have hit as hard as an octogenarian with a mean streak. Helen, one of the showcased playable characters from Watch Dogs: Legion, has captured the hearts of the internet.

That’s no small feat, because the pitch behind Legion is that anyone is a playable character. All of London’s residents you find wandering around have their own stories, backgrounds, and habits, and you can hack into their lives and learn more about them to recruit them. Many of them have specialized skills like brawling or robotics expertise. Helen, according to the trailer, is a former assassin, and the wrinkles have made her no less deadly.

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