Samus has appeared in all eleven Metroid video games as of 2010. She has also been featured in media outside of the series, including the comic book version of Captain N: The Game Master, all three games in the Super Smash Bros. series of multiplayer fighting games, and the video games Super Mario RPG (1996), Kirby Super Star (1996), and Kirby's Dream Land 3 (1997), in which she makes cameo appearances. Makoto Kano created the characters for the original Metroid, while Hiroji Kiyotake designed the main protagonist Samus. The idea for the character to be female came up partway through the development of Metroid, when the developers determined that it would be an interesting twist to reveal her as female at the end of the game. Samus is one of the first major female protagonists in a video game, and her popularity among fans has helped her top several lists of the best video game heroines.