The Balloon Fighter is the protagonist of the game Balloon Fight.
If you play as player 1, you have red Balloons, red overalls, red eyes, blue shirt, and a blue helmet. If you play as player 2, you have blue Balloons, blue overalls, blue eyes, red shirt, and a red helmet. There has never been any more than two Balloon Fighters in any official game. The manual refers to them as Player I and Player II.
The Balloon Fighter has no real name, and has only been referred to as the "Balloon Fighter". No game has ever truly explained anything about him. It is unlikely that Nintendo will ever state his real name.
The Balloon Fighter has been a playable character in only two games, Vs. Balloon Fight and Balloon Fight for the NES. However, the Balloon Fighter has also made a number of other games, notably in WarioWare games and in Super Mario Maker, as well as in Tingle's Balloon Fight during the intro cutscene. Of course, the Balloon Fighter also appears in any ports of Balloon Fight, including Balloon Fight-e, Famicom Mini: Balloon Fight, and the Virtual Console releases, as well as NES Remix and Ultimate NES Remix.
Many games have made cameos of the Balloon Fighter. Such as Wario Ware: Smooth Moves, Super Smash Bros. Melee, and many others. In Wario Ware Smooth Moves, a three dimensional version of Balloon Trip mode can be played as a micro game or a full version.
Also, in Game & Wario for the Wii U, the 9-Volt stage is themed around the Balloon Fighter, even with a "Balloon Fighter" Game & Watch system and featuring him on the screen. In this game, though, he can have up to 4 Balloons.
In Tingle's Balloon Fight, the Balloon Fighter briefly appears using his NES sprite in the opening cutscene, where he pops one Balloon with a Rupee tied to it and is then chased off screen by Tingle.
Balloon Fighter has appeared as a trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee, and as a sticker in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. In Melee, he was considered as a possible playable character, but was later scrapped in favor of the Ice Climbers. In Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U, the Villager from Animal Crossing can put on a helmet with balloons and fly around, and this move is even named "Balloon Trip".
Balloon Fighter is in Super Mario Maker as an unlockable costume power-up. Update 1.40 (Usually known as the "Key Update"), released on March 9th 2016, added 12 new unlockable costumes for the "Mystery Mushroom" item, which will grant the user a slight power-up and a new "costume" sprite of another character. The costume can be randomly unlocked when playing the 100-Mario Challenge on Normal difficulty or above. The costume is number 133, and the original game is stated as being the NES version of Balloon Fight, despite appearing earlier in Vs. Balloon Fight. The sprite is somewhat shrunk and modified to be closer to 16x16 pixels in size, though this mostly only changes the Balloons. The sounds are all directly taken from Balloon Fight for the NES, including the jumping sound, goal fanfare, death jingle, and taunt sound.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate features a wide variety of characters as "Spirits" which can be fought and collected. The Balloon Fighter appears as a support spirit, using his design from the Famicom box art. When equipped, he grants extra jump height. He can be found in World of Light, the story mode, or at random on the spirit board. The player can also dismiss the Balloon Fighter and then use his core in summoning Tingle. When fought, he appears as four Villagers on the Balloon Fight stage with the Balloon Fight Medley playing in the background. At one point, there was an event in which the Balloon Fighter had an increased chance of appearing and gave more rewards upon defeat.
- The Balloon Fighter has made many cameo appearances, including in games like Art Style: Pictobits and Pushmo, where he is actually the level itself.
- The Theme Shop on the Nintendo 3DS has a theme called "NES: Balloon Fighter" which shows the Balloon Fighter (Facing to the right), among with other Balloon Fight sprites and elements.
- A "Dot Graphic" collectible figurine was made based around Balloon Fight, and featured a 3D-voxel version of Balloon Fighter, along with a falling Balloon Bird. There was other merchandise that also featured the Balloon Fighter in some way, usually as the in-game sprite, but also some instances that were more based on the Famicom version's box art.
- The box art for Hudson Soft's PC-8801 port of Balloon Fight, the Balloon Fighter is seen with a strange design which is very different to the in-game representation. He wears a red helmet, gloves, and shorts with suspenders, without any shirt. Other major differences are yellow balloons and arm-mounted transparent wings.
- Although official art shows Balloon Fighter with more pink-color Balloons, a light blue helmet and shirt and orange overalls, in-game he has the final colors because of color limitations of the NES palette. Most references to him usually go with the in-game red and blue because that was really all that the U.S. was shown, even on the NES box art. Besides some graphics on some Vs. Balloon Fight flyers and marquees, the U.S. had little knowledge of these "official" colors. Balloon Trip Breeze, however, uses a coloration closer to the Famicom box art.
- In Super Mario Maker, all costumes have a "taunt" animation, which can be seen by pressing Up on the D-Pad. The Balloon Fighter's taunt seems to show the iconic Nintendo Direct gesture, usually associated with the late Satoru Iwata, who worked on the NES version of Balloon Fight, and also provided help to the developers of Vs. Balloon Fight.