Smash 4 DLC: The Case for Bomberman


Bomberman NES: A better design than Bomberman: Act Zero

Character Background: Somewhere in the Bomber Nebula, on Planet Bomber, lives Bomberman. A staunch defender of his planet, he has the ability to generate bombs from his hands, but beware, as Bomberman is not immune to his own armaments.

The Bomberman series, also known as Dynablaster in Europe, originated on the MSX in 1983. The game found its biggest audience on the Famicom/NES, selling over a million units on the platform globally. The ‘White Bomber’ has starred in over 70 games since his creation, making him one of the most prolific video game characters of all time. While the series is best known for its strategic top down action titles, the franchise itself has branched out over time to include a wide variety of genres and game types.

Just in case anyone was doubting he was an industry icon, here is Bomberman’s own Kart Racer. (Just like Sonic, Megaman, and Pac-Man)

Reasons for inclusion: Bomberman is the defacto mascot for the now defunct Hudson Soft. Not only was he front and center on a majority of the companies’ promotional materials, he was also the signature character that was chosen for kart racers, puzzle games, and other assorted spinoffs. For all intents and purposes, he was the companies’ Mario. This alone makes him the best possible candidate to represent Hudson Soft in Nintendo’s premiere party brawler. While it may not seem necessary to feature a company that is no longer developing games in Smash Bros., Hudson Soft is important enough to Nintendo history to warrant consideration. They created dozens of software titles on Nintendo consoles beginning with the NES and concluding with the Wii. If you are curious of the level of trust between the two companies, all you have to do is realize that Hudson Soft developed the first eight Mario Party games.

Yes, Bomberman has a Kangaroo friend that he rides. His name is Louies. That’s also the name of his species. Hudson Soft unfortunately never made “Louies’ Story” or “Louies’ Island,” though.

Bomberman himself holds the distinction of being the only third party character to appear on every Nintendo handheld and home console prior to the launch of the Wii U and 3DS. The ‘White Bomber’ even had an official crossover with current Smasher and Nintendo icon Wario in 1994’s Wario Blast. In that game Bomberman had to stop the greedy Wario, who was on a search for treasure, from carelessly destroying Planet Bomber. He also traded blows with veteran Smash Bros. guest character Solid Snake in DreamMix TV World Fighters.

The Bomberman design is cartoony but distinct, an attribute he shares with many characters currently in Smash Bros. Something else he shares with much of the Smash cast, including all of Smash for Wii U’s current guest stars, is that his appeal extends beyond video games. Bomberman has appeared in several mangas over the years and is even the star of his own anime!

FACT: Anime Bomberman is super cute

Reasons for exclusion: In March of 2012, Hudson Soft ceased to exist. The company merged with Konami and all of its intellectual property become part of the Konami brand. The reality of the situation is that Nintendo and Konami aren’t exactly the best of friends at the moment, and that Bomberman is a Konami property. Being a Konami character would also mean that he has to contend with Snake and his veteran status.

Another point of contention is that the IP has been largely dormant outside of the mobile games market for some time now. The last Bomberman to release on a dedicated gaming device was Bomberman Live: Battlefest for Xbox Live in 2010. A new 3DS Bomberman was planned before the Hudson Soft – Konami merger, but the game was unfortunately cancelled.

That is Smash Bros. without music? Here are a few tracks you can look forward to if Bomberman makes it in.

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  1. ” In March of 2012, Hudson Soft ceased to exist.” “Konami things”…

    Pretty much a dead franchise like every non-Metal Gear Konami’s game.

    1. Whatever happened to the Contra-esque Hard Corps game Konami showed off for Xbox Live and PSN a few years back? It’s all Metal Gear and Soccer games now.

  2. Good article. Being someone who supports Bomberman for this game (but recognize his really low odds of ever getting in), I’ve been looking at arguments that can be made for his inclusion and these are some nice ones.

    Although both the cons can be argued against. The first is that Ryu opens the gate for more third-party characters (unless by some anti-miracle he doesn’t get in) from the same company but you already know that. As for Bomberman being dormant, it’s worth noting that recency has never played a role a third-party character inclusion. Mega Man was clearly not added because he has a good future ahead of him (and I was one of his biggest supporters for SSB 3DS & Wii U) but due to fan demand and Pac-Man was likely added due to Namco. Snake was added as a request from Kojima and Sonic was added as a last minute character because of how incredibly requested he was. We don’t know the circumstances behind Ryu’s probable inclusion yet but I doubt we’re going to be seeing Street Fighter-related material on Nintendo consoles anytime soon. So this argument is understandable but not substantiated and I doubt Konami would reject Nintendo or Sakurai’s request to include Bomberman based on being a dormant franchise. It is also worth noting that recency has been significantly reduced as an emphasis if Lucas and Roy’s inclusion are any indication.

    I just figure I would give my two cents on the matter.

    #VoteBomber #TeamKonami

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