The Gematsu Leak: A Retrospective

“My unlikely predictions: Little Mac, Pac-Man, Animal Crossing Guy, Mega Man, Wii Fit Trainer, Mii.” – Sal Romano, on Neogaf.

That one quote, made on the eve of E3 2013, was the beginning of one of the most storied and controversial leaks in all of Smash Bros. history. Sal Romano, the long time administrator of, first posted this list of characters on Neogaf on June 10th of 2013. The post itself was initially completely ignored, and why wouldn’t it be? It was just one of dozens of character reveal predictions from a Smash Bros. thread on a gaming forum. No, no one would take note of this post until after Nintendo’s E3 reveal confirmed 3 out of the 6 of Sal’s “unlikely predictions.

The Gematsu logo. Yes, it’s an actual website and not just a leak. It’s a quality site, so check it out!

Brawl and Smash for Wii U Emblem Order

Chorus Men
Characters Missing
Vague Names

Safe guesses
Dated information vs. New information

E3 came and went, and with it, 3 newcomers were added to the Smash Bros. roster. Those characters were Megaman, The Villager from Animal Crossing, and the Wii Fit Trainer. All three of these additions had issues concerning their inclusion. Wii Fit Trainer was such an odd ball choice. In an interview with Nintendo Dream, Sakurai agreed that it was a character “no one saw coming” (Nintendo Everything) Despite all of this, someone did “guess” her. According to Sal, this was not a coincidence.

“Last week, Gematsu was tipped off about Nintendo’s E3 character reveals for Super Smash Bros. ” – Sal Romano,

Sal now professed to have an insider source, and this claim was given some veracity by the fact that he was successfully able to name the 3 characters that Nintendo decided to showcase before the event had occurred. People took note of this, and incredibly enough, Sal was 6/6 on his initial prediction by the time E3 2014 rolled around. This would certainly have cemented the legitimacy of the leak in the minds of most if it weren’t for one other thing. He had a second list.

“Today, we received a new e-mail from the same tipster, who claims Pac-Man and Mii are still on the way, and the following characters will also appear:

Shulk (Xenoblade)

Palutena (Kid Icarus)

Chrom (Fire Emblem: Awakening)

Chorus Men (Rhythm Heaven)

Pokemon from Pokemon X and Y”

The Unusual Suspects

This second leak was posted on on April 8, 2014. In it, Sal mentioned five more characters. This information came on the same morning as Nintendo’s Smash Bros. Direct. In this Direct Greninja, a Pokemon who debuted in Pokemon X and Y, joined the playable roster of Smash 4. This lead many to believe that whoever Sal’s source was, he had some insider info in regards to Nintendo events. Prior to E3 2014, Sal also shared some information regarding DLC and character cuts that debately happened to come to fruition in the future.

“-There has been internal debate about keeping Lucas versus Ness, apparently Lucas is likely to get the cut

– Nintendo is planning post-launch character DLC, source doesn’t like this as he thinks it’s greedy”

In this same message he also reiterated that fact that “Pac-Man, Mii Fighter, Goddess Palutena, Shulk, Chrom, and Chorus Men” were still on the way. Once Pac-Man, Palutena, and Mii Fighter made their E3 debut, the “Gematsu leak” began to be seen as infallible by many. This, however, would soon change.

“enjoy my good friend shulk! :)” – Sal Romano, quoting his source.

July 14th 2014 was a big day for the Smash fandom. On the previous Friday, Mashiro Sakurai revealed that a new character would debut on the site for the first time on the following Monday. Hype levels were high, but most had resigned themselves to the newcomer being one of the remaining Gematsu 3. This was seemingly confirmed when Sal himself came to and heavily hinted that Shulk would be the next reveal. This was further corroborated by Monolithsoft retweeting the announcement. So certain were people of this reveal that the internet dubbed the day “Monado Monday.” Then something incredible happened… Captain Falcon came and Falcon Punched people’s faith in this leak.

Faaaaaaaaaalcon Bust!

Monado Monday never happened. Instead, when the masses gathered around their computer monitors to see who would join the battle, it was Robin, the Avatar from Fire Emblem: Awakening, that would greet them. Not only that, but Robin’s inclusion would also mean that Chrom would be relegated to a mere Final Smash. Was this the end for the Gematsu leak? Not quite. Shulk would eventually join the playable cast, and there is at least some reason to believe that The Chorus Men and Chrom were planned for the game at some point. Still, the leak now has holes and there are many inconsistencies that lead some to discredit it completely.


PushDustIn and TheAnvil are two individuals that have a wildly different view on this leak. Their full debate will be posted in the near future. Right now, let’s look at things they both agreed on.  –Spazzy_D

Let us know in the comments what side you believe in. Are you pro-Gematsu, or anti-Gematsu?

PART ONE of the debate.

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  1. I’m inclined to believe that the Gematsu leak was real, or at least in the beginning. I seriously doubt anyone would predict Wii Fit Trainer and be correct by coincidence. I just believe that the information became outdated because the source – whoever it was – was from someone on the project very early in development, but did not stay.

    1. Yeah, I’m less certain about the comments later, but it definitely seems like the leaker had to be around for a really short period right at the beginning. If that’s the case, they were probably deciding to add Lucas later as DLC since they knew they couldn’t fit his development in the schedule.

      One thing that’s interesting, assuming it’s true (which I do): the leaks had to mostly be about starter characters, and, well…why? Duck Hunt was one of the earliest planned characters, it could explain Rosalina’s absence (maybe she was initially unlockable, and Sakurai didn’t want that for both Mario newcomers?) and they had the position for an X/Y Pokemon for a bit before picking Greninja, but it seems weird to only focus on them if you’re leaking the roster.

      1. Interesting thoughts, but I’m not positive that Rosalina or Bowser Junior’s absence means anything or relates to if they were both suppose to be unlockable. I don’t believe the Gematsu leaker ever intended to unveil the entire roster. The individual would just provide a list of characters on occasion without saying “this is everyone”. Why’d he/she do this? I don’t know.
        I do believe that Greninja was chosen to to represent Pokémon X & Y after the leaker left the project.
        For me, the only wild cards left are the Chorus Men and Chrom but I feel they were both already planned within development at some point.

  2. I believe that the Gematsu leaker was an E3 participant that got info early, that is why right before E3 2014 started he/she changed “Miis” to “Mii Fighters”. The leaker (if he/she had some inside info) should’ve have at least known some info about the Ice Climbers too because the problems they faced were crucial as to whether the Chorus Kids would be in the game or not plus we don’t know who the RH could’ve been. Other info he/she entirely made up

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