Answer: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
While we are sure that Chris was expecting a non-player character or even a painting on a castle wall, his cameo was radically more obscure. The Developers of The Legend of Zelda: A link to the past made Houlihans come into part of a game crash prevention error-proof in the form of a room that is not available during normal play. In other words, if the game has no idea what to do with you, you end up in this type of purgatory-like room.
So how uncertain is the room? There are only five ways that you can end up in the room and none of them enters the front door. The most practical (if you can call it that) way to enter the room is to carry the high-speed Pegasus boots and perform a series of dashes from the door to the castle sanctuary to the entrance of the drainage passage. Perform it quickly and without breaks, and instead of tumbling in the dungeon, you will confuse the game's algorithms and stop tumbling in the secret room.
What's in the room? 45 blue rupees and a telepathy plate on the back wall. Press tile and you will hear "My name is Chris Houlihan. This is my top secret room. Keep it between us, okay?" When you leave the room, you find yourself in front of the Link House where the game begins.
The room is so unclear that it was not until people began to play the game in emulation and poking around inside the game's ROM as it became widely known. Unfortunately for Chris it was about a decade and a half too late for something that at least resembled what was good to embarrass on their Nintendo Power magazine readers.