The Balloon Fish is an incredibly infamous enemy from Balloon Fight, and has been referenced in many titles.
The Fish (Otherwise known as the Balloon Fish or Floppy Fish) is, in most appearances, orange with blue lips and yellow or green eyes. However, on the box art of Balloon Fight on the NES and in Nintendo Land: Balloon Trip Breeze, the fish is mostly purple with white eyes and lips. It is possible that the fish was intended to be purple, but due to color limitations it had to be the way it is. It also might be that the illustrator for that box art only envisioned the fish as purple, as the arcade game came out (With the orange fish) before the NES/ Famicom version did, meaning that the fish color would have been decided and official by then.
In the original game of Balloon Fight, the fish eats any object that floats near the surface of the water. It is easy to stay away from, but getting bounced into the water or above the water will usually trigger the fish. It also eats Balloon Birds if they get too close to the water, usually when their balloons have been popped. In an interview, Satoru Iwata, the main creator of Balloon Fight, stated that in the NES version the fish actually goes back and forth under the water and only comes up when you get close enough.
The fish has appeared in every game of the Balloon Fight series, excluding the Game & Watch game. In the manual of Balloon Kid, it is called "Floppy Fish". In Nintendo Land: Balloon Trip Breeze, it is referred to as "Balloon Fish". This coloration is also used in Tingle's Balloon Fight. It has also made appearances in the Super Smash Bros. Series. In Brawl, it appeared on the Summit stage when players got too close to the water or were in the water too long. It also appeared in the Balloon Fight stage on the 3DS version, where it was in its pixelated form and ate players near the water and dragged them below he stage, KO-ing them.
Balloon Kid/ Balloon Fight GB Edit
In Balloon Kid, the Fish re-appears, though it seems to be smaller, and it is now called the "Floppy Fish". In this game, the fish actually jumps out of the water to catch the player. However, not all levels have the fish in them, and some levels have a frog instead. Also, the fish is green in this game.
Tingle's Balloon Fight Edit
In this game, the fish is now purple, probably to closer resemble the Famicom box art representation of the fish. Besides other graphical upgrades, much like most other features in the game, the function is relatively unchanged from Balloon Fight.
Balloon Trip BreezeEdit
In the Balloon Trip Breeze, the fish stays true to it's original function, along with some new functions and a new color. It is purple instead of orange, keeping true to the game's Famicom box art. Flying close to the water and dodging the fish gives you a Question Mark item. This can vary from shrinking, invincibility, a spike eraser, or other items. Do not try to do this often, as the fish may get you. The fish also will eat any Present-like items if they come too close to the water. In this game, you can defeat the Balloon Fish, but only if you use an Invincibility Star or get invincibility from a Question Mark.
Due to its infamy, it is often one of the main elements recognized from Balloon Fight. Naturally, then, it has appeared in many other games, usually in some way representing Balloon Fight. For example, it appears notably in Super Smash Bros. Brawl on the "Summit" stage, which is based on the game Ice Climber. The level takes place on top of a mountain, though occasionally the Polar Bear from Ice Climber will appear, breaking off the stage from the rest of the mountain and causing it to slide down and float in the water below. If you stand in or near the water for too long, or fall in to the water, the Balloon Fish will jump out of the water, then drag the player to the bottom blast line, where they will be KO'd. It also reappears in the next installment in the series (Super Smash Bros. For Nintendo 3DS) in the "Balloon Fight" stage, though here it uses its original sprite. It is also possible to escape from the fish by rapidly pressing buttons, as you would the same way when getting away from an opponent player grabbing you.