SourceGaming Choice #2 – Ballot ‘Winners’


*The following article is opinion-based and should be treated as such.

We are here today to present yet another Source Gaming Choice! Last time we looked at what stages we wanted to come back. This time we will be looking at ballot “winners”. By “winners” we don’t simply mean who will get the most votes via the ballot. Instead, we mean who will likely to be added as a result of high enough votes plus having the potential to be picked. We’ve organized the choices by the most amount of staff votes, and included a small cheat sheet. For each character, we’ve included rationale behind the choice. Please note, in consideration for length, we had each staff member pick three.  


Many people now believe that the pre-ballot is over, and that it could affect Wolf’s chances as a result. While the first part is possibly true, I don’t think it makes a huge amount of difference to Wolf’s chances as a whole. He still remains one of the clear favorites. Possibly even the clear fan favorite.

In addition to his popularity, he’s also got a big new game on the horizon, of which he will feature prominently. We already know that Falco’s Amiibo has been delayed to coincide with the launch of Star Fox Zero, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility to think that a Wolf character could share a similar fate.

Wolf truly ticks every box that it takes to be a smash fighter. It’s rather safe to say that he is our most likely remaining veteran, should we get any more. -TheAnvil

TheAnvil, IntelliHeath, Masked Man, Nantendo, Soma, Spazzy_ D , Smashchu.


It may seem hypocritical of me to think the Inklings as being as likely an addition on this list. Like K. Rool, they are in the “Mii Fighter costume” boat. Seemingly a sign that Sakurai has passed up on including them as playable fighters. However if you look deeper, then you will see that the two situations are actually fairly different. The Inklings costumes were worked on prior to the launch of Splatoon, which has since gone on to sell over 1.6 million copies. An adoption rate of 4 in every 25 Wii U owners. The sales figures put Splatoon at being the biggest new Nintendo IP since Animal Crossing.

The timing also suggests that the costumes were likely decided on prior to the launch of the fighter ballot, and certainly before Splatoon had seen its amazing success (as they were a pre-order bonus).

The Inklings are sure to get a great amount of support in the fighter ballot due to its recent ‘smash hit’ (heh) success. The iron couldn’t be any hotter for the Inklings right now. These overwhelming sales figures could easily secure them a spot in the roster. – TheAnvil

TheAnvil, DMurr, IntelliHeath, Masked Man, PushDustIn, Soma.


I’m not entirely sure that Smash 4 will receive anymore third party characters via DLC.  I somewhat doubt it, in fact.  If we do see more third party newcomers, however, Rayman has to be at that top of that very short list. While it is true that Ubisoft has softened their support for the Wii U as of late, it does not change that fact that they have released over 3 times the amount of titles on Wii U as Capcom, a company that currently has two characters in Smash Bros. On top of that, Michel Ancel, creator of Rayman, designed one of the default levels for the upcoming Wii U title Super Mario Maker.  Allowing Ancel to have access to a Mario game in development should prove that Nintendo and Ubi have, at the very least, a “good” relationship at the moment.  More importantly than all that is the fact that Rayman checks off all the boxes of what people expect in a Smash guest character. He has legacy, having debuted in 1995. He’s had several games on Nintendo hardware. He is the face of one gaming’s biggest companies.  He has popularity, and he is no doubt doing well in the polls in no small part due to the timing of Artsy Omni’s now infamous leak. He even has series trophies (plural!) already in the game. He already has one foot in the door, so to speak. Let’s just hope he can shove his invisible leg and the rest of him in after! – Spazzy_D

TheAnvil, DMurr, Spazzy_D.


Golden Sun is a niche franchise. It’s best days are in the past. Isaac wasn’t even important enough to return as an Assist Trophy.  I’ve heard it all before, and while Isaac is on the “low end” of characters I think can make it in, I don’t count him out.  He is consistently in the top 3-5 in most character polls I’ve come across online.  Popularity isn’t everything, but it certainly counts for something in this post ballot world.  His Japanese popularity, while not as fervent as what is exhibited by his Western fanbase, exists.  He has the possibility for an extremely unique move set, something which Sakurai has focused on with most of the newcomers this time around.  Most important of all, though, is that Golden Sun is actually one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises from the GBA era.  The only franchise without a playable character in Smash that debuted after the launch of Gamecube to have greater sales than Golden Sun is actually Rhythm Heaven, but that franchise has a divided fanbase when it comes to votes.  Almost all Golden Sun fans want Isaac, which is why I believe he is one of the only new series representatives that stands any real chance.

One thing I have seen talked about when debating Isaac’s chances is the mention of his son Matthew. Despite being the face of Golden Sun, Isaac is only the main character in 1 of its 3 titles, the first one. He is replaced by Felix in The Lost Age and Matthew in Dark Dawn. Many people point to Matthew being chosen over Isaac because he is the most recent protagonist and so far more relevant. However I fully disagree with this and even have a compromise if this really is a problem for the relevancy I point to Marth from Fire Emblem who at the time of his inclusion in Melee was also not the most recent Fire Emblem protagonist, that was Sigurd. Yet Marth made it in over Sigurd because he was the original protagonist and considered the face of the series, much like Isaac. As for my compromise well Isaac and Matthew are very similar in design, abilities and stature so why not have an Olimar/Alph situation with Matthew being an alternative costume for Isaac. That would solve any issues people have when it comes to deciding which of the two should appear. – Nantendo

IntelliHeath, Nantendo, Spazzy_D.

Dixie Kong

Dixie Kong has appeared in nearly all of the Donkey Kong games, including the latest release Tropical Freeze. After Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong her and King K. Rool are the major characters within the Donkey Kong series. She’s has been playable in 16 out of 19 of her appearances. Unlike K. Rool she has been used recently, and consistently. In addition to padding out the Donkey Kong series reps, she would bolster the number of female characters in the game. Lastly, she was cut from Brawl, as a tag-team partner to Diddy. Sakurai has already been committed to the character before, so it’s very likely that he can re-use some plans he made for Brawl. Since King K. Rool has been “costume’d,” I believe Dixie Kong has a slightly higher chance now. I’ve always believed that one of the two (Dixie Kong or K. Rool) will get in, and not both. – PushDustIn

Nantando, PushDustIn.

Although highly regarded for the music featured in its games, Nintendo has always sorely lacked solid games about music. Many will recall some of the Big N’s rather lackluster forays into the rhythm game genre, but the company eventually managed to find the formula for success with Rhythm Heaven. A collaboration with famed J-pop producer Tsunku, Rhythm Heaven is a collection of bite-sized music-based minigames—like WarioWare set to catchy tunes. (Incidentally, both games were developed by the same in-house studio.) The series has enjoyed great popularity both in Japan and abroad, and Marshal (who bears a striking similarity to my beloved Chorus Kids) has become something of a mascot for the series. We know a Rhythm Heaven character was planned for Sm4sh, and early rumors suggested the Chorus Kids had a spot on the roster. If the 3DS was unable to handle a three-person character, then Sakurai could easily reduce the trio to a single-body alternative: Marshal. – Masked Man

Masked Man, Smashchu.

Paper Mario

Paper Mario has moderate to decently high “support” within the Smash fanbase in both the West and Japan. However, with Chris Pragner’s recent interview on Part Time Gamers, it’s becoming more and more evident that Sakurai will probably pick a ballot winner who will be beloved by all gamers — from casuals to hardcores. I know people are going to groan, “another Mario representative?” However, in actuality, that might be a strength—even though I once thought it was a barrier to entry. However, if we are looking for characters that are well known in the general public, then Paper Mario will inevitably be high up there. If he does make it in, I feel that Sakurai will really play-up his paper-motif, making the majority of his moves based on that. – PushDustIn


K. Rool

Many fans believe that there are two glaring issues with the roster. The first is a lack of adequate representation for the D.K. series. The second is the lack of villains. K. Rool would address both of those issues! On top of that, K. Rool is highly requested among the Smash community, often topping polls. His support is international too — with support in the West and Japan. While K. Rool has not appeared in any of the new Donkey Kong Country games, he is often said to be the “Bowser of the DK series”, with his trophy quote in the latest Smash Bros. stating, “Whereas Mario often squares off against Bowser, Donkey Kong must fight against King K. Rool. Before the costume was announced, TheAnvil wrote this great article on K. Rool’s chances. His costume could have been decided pre-ballot DLC, or could be Nintendo ‘testing the waters’ to see how well K. Rool could potentially sell. Do not rule, K. Rool out quite yet!



Ice Climbers

The focus of the ballot seems to be on veterans. As of August 14, 2015, we have three veteran characters and only one newcomer. As the Megapoll showed, Ice Climbers were one of the most popular character. This is not surprising, as Ice Climbers are a character so embedded in Super Smash Bros Smash. They were not only adorable, but very unique too. Its almost that they are a Smash Brothers characters rather than the star of their own game. This is likely why there seems to be a general disappointment with their exclusion. That’s not to say the Ice Climbers will be included, but with DLC, there can be a greater liberty adding characters, such as only including the Ice Climbers on the Wii U version. Adding the Ice Climbers may also pose less risk. Like the other veterans, fans are familiar with them and their design and moves have already been determined from past games. Compared to other alternative characters, the Ice Climbers pose less risk and have a lower opportunity cost by having higher sales and a lower cost than veterans.

As I stated previously, winning the ballot doesn’t mean the character will be included, but popularity will be a considering factor to adding new characters. With a popular character like the Ice Climbers, it makes a lot of sense to add them.   – Smashchu


Intelliheath believes that Snake will be part of the DLC.



Wolf – TheAnvil, IntelliHeath, Masked Man, Nantendo, Soma, Spazzy_D, Smashchu
Inkling – TheAnvil, DMurr, IntelliHeath, Masked Man, PushDustIn, Soma
Rayman – TheAnvil, DMurr, Spazzy_D
Isaac – IntelliHeath, Nantendo, Spazzy_D
Dixie Kong – Nantendo, PushDustIn
Marshal – Masked Man, Smashchu
K. Rool – DMurr
Paper Mario – PushDustIn
Ice Climbers – Smashchu

Do you agree with our choices? Which characters do you see being added as a result of the fighter ballot? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. For a site that shuns the ballot being a vote and not a suggestion box there sure are a ton of popular choices on this list minus K.Rool.

    1. I don’t think anyone here’s complaining that the Ballot isn’t a pure vote; we shouldn’t want it to be, because the winners would end up being Spongebob, Shrek, and Goku. But seeing which characters are popular where, or to what extent, can potentially help Nintendo get a better handle on who are the more “ideal” choices for hitting what they need with the DLC.

      It’s just good to remember that the choices popular with some audiences aren’t necessarily the most wanted choices overall. And reading people’s reasons or seeing where the ballot was made (there are different versions of the ballot site depending on the region) can provide a better sense of how characters are doing for different demographics. Like, maybe K. Rool is super popular within one group, but is disproportionately less so amongst others. A character who isn’t necessarily so “feverish” but who polls better for a wider range of consumers might be a smarter choice.

    2. Hi Jonathan. I’m not quite sure if you really understand the situation at hand. We’re fully aware that Sakurai and his team has the final say as to which characters will be added in the future. No amount of votes will change their mind on characters that they are otherwise unwilling to add.

  2. So, why wasn’t hardware issues addressed during the Ice Climbers’ portion, which was why they were left out in the first place? As long as there is roster parity between both versions, I doubt the Ice Climbers will rejoin the game during this iteration.

    1. Hi SC. This is an opinion article written as a collaboration so I can’t comment for Smashchu. But I personally don’t think the ballot has any bearing on the Ice Climber’s chances. If Sakurai can add them he will, with or without the ballot.

  3. While I agree with most choices (Rayman ftw) I don’t think certain characters will make it in.
    There characters would be Ice Climbers for obvious reasons, Snake for Konami/Kojima reasons and Isaac because I feel Sakurai left him out for a reason (the games didn’t sell at all and he didn’t even deem him important enough to get in as and assist trophy which in my eyes kinda deconfirms him).
    Great list though!

    1. Isaac definitely felt like the most “out there” choice; considering the state of his series, it’s hard to believe he carries a huge amount of support outside the more hardcore fans. The other two you mentioned are out for reasons beyond Sakurai’s control, and if he can/could get them in he’ll likely do so.

      1. Isaac was primarily my addition and I honestly don’t think he is all that likely. I just don’t think he’s completely out of the running. either. Golden Sun is a very successful series, and I could see him making it in depending on how seriously Sakurai takes popularity (which might not be seriously at all) and how many more characters we have (which could be as few as 1 or 2.) Mostly, though, I just thought it would be fun to high light him a bit!

    1. Toad/Captain Toad, Bandanna Dee, and Chibi Robo were all heavily considered by a few of the staff members here. Consider them our runners up!

  4. Most of these are not good choices for the big N.

    I’m not sure if Wolf is fine for Nintendo due to being a past character but i doubt they’ll add Inklings or King K. Rool for various reasons besides being added as a Mii Fighter costume.

    Ubisoft has been pouring salt all over Nintendo’s wounds by making their games more accessible to Playstation/Xbox/PC gamers and less on Nintendo characters, which may have damaged Rayman’s chances.

    Isaac hasn’t been around seen since Brawl (which is how I learned about Golden Sun in the first place) and I doubt they’ll add the other Golden Sun characters in as color palettes for other characters or as newcomers.

    Paper Mario would cause an uproar since Sm4sh already has a second Mario.

    The Ice Climbers has been scrapped due to 3DS hardware issues and cannot be undone (especially when Sakurai wants to make sure that the rosters on both versions are the same).

    Snake can no longer join thanks to relations between Konami and the creator of Metal Gear Solid, Hideo Kojima (And to be honest, I like his moveset. Reminds me of Looney Toons).

    I’m not sure if Marshall (or any of the Rhythm Heaven characters) would make it into Sm4sh as well, I’m not sure why Sakurai scrapped the character (Although 3DS hardware may have been the issue, as the writers of this article suggested, but I don’t know).

    That leaves only Dixie Kong, who was also planned for a Smash game but scrapped to focus on the Subspace Emissary. I’m not sure if Nintendo would go for it but I know for a fact that Dixie has a better chance than King K. Rool thanks to that stunt.

    I do, however, believe that any character (besides Samus and Link) added as a Mii Fighter costume states that the character was plannedor considered, but scrapped due to the character being generic (which is why Chrom was replaced by Robin in the first place) and turned into a costume instead. It would also be pointless to make a DLC character if there’s already a Mii Fighter costume for it. Costumes cost 75 cents for one console or $1.15 for both while a full character costs $3.99/$4.99 or $5.99/$6.99 for character/stage bundles, which would burn a hole in your pocket. I looked at many of these characters and found that most of them lack any potential to be in Sm4sh either because they are:

    Not popular in Japan (Shantae and Shovel Knight)

    Not popular internationally (Anybody not released from Japan besides the Fire Emblem characters, but Advance Wars was part of the reason why Fire Emblem became popular in the first place)

    Not unique (Any of the characters besides Samus and Link that are added as Mii Fighter Costumes). Characters that are added as costumes rather than fighters tells me that they are generic and aren’t worth a year’s worth of development (unless if you want a bunch of clone characters in the first place). The two Megeman costumes belong to different versions of Megeman and Link and Samus were already in the game before the costumes came out.

    Can’t work in the game A.K.A: Ridley and possibly Goku. Note that Nintendo takes every vote into consideration, even the joke ones. Also note that Nintendo never said or alluded to the idea that the character had to originate from a video game, that’s just flamboyant fanboy talk. If this was the case than Lucario shouldn’t be in the game since he was introduced into the anime movie called Pokemon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew 14 months prior to the release of Pokemon: Diamond version and Pokemon: Pearl version. Although both were announced (and were supposed to be released) at around the same year, Lucario still counts as being the first Smash character to not originate from a video game. (Then again, Nintendo did allow a fighting game character into Smash, which means that they could break the fanboys’ idea of a “must originate from a video game” rule and not care at the same time.) In fact, I believe that any anime character that has some impact in the video game industry has a better chance than 80% of the choices that I have seen on the internet into making it into Sm4sh since they’re popular both in Japan and Globally (although there are other obstacles ahead that they must go through in order to make it, including this one).

    Can’t work on the Nintendo 3DS (Ice Climbers). It doesn’t matter what model the 3DS is, the characters must be accessible to ALL players, even the ones with the older 3DS models.

    They hit the rated M section (Bayonetta, Simon Belmont, Trevor Phillips, Freddy Fazbear). Although some characters have given the game a rated E +10 for their suggestive themes (Zero Suit Samus, Shulk, Captain Falcon, Palutena, Wii Fit Trainer, etc.), some are just too into the “Mature” section to be included. Tharja (from Fire Emblem: Awakening) is still debatable since her trophy was likely removed from the 3DS version either due to avoiding the T rating or because of hardware limitations on the the card.

    They come from another competing hardware company (Banjo & Kazooie and Kratos)

    They jeopardize another company’s toys for life sales (Spyro, Darth Vader, Sora, Iron Man, etc.) Even though DK and Bowser are joining the new Skylanders game, an amiibo of Spyro or Spiderman could damage sales for Disney and Activision.

    They do not have any relations to Nintendo whatsoever(Anybody that has never been on a Nintendo console)

    They already have a role in the game (Chrom, Waluigi, Ashley, Gardevoir, etc.) Adding them as fighters rather than the roles that they already have requires too much time to consume, and would require replacements for them. Characters with cameo appearances that do not affect gameplay on any stage (Viridi might be possible since she has subordinates to deploy Reset Bombs during her “errand run”) are possible since Fox, Falco, Link, Toon Link, and Sonic has had experiences with this.

    And finally… THE DLC MUST SELL (just as it was described in previous articles on this website)! Why else did Mewtwo, Roy, Lucas, and Ryu make it as DLC. Why else did they make the Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot in the first place. It’s not gonna sell if they add generic characters or characters that nobody even knows that existed in the first place (don’t even ask on how I discovered Shantae in the first place). If the character looks like it’s not gonna be great in the game, then they’ll make a costume out of it (in my theory, that is). But this is just my two cents so I could be wrong in my part. Apologies for the long wall of text.

  5. I was really so excited to see Marshal 🙂 he’s my #1 most wanted character for Smash, and I think he has a pretty decent chance of making it. Rhythm Heaven is so underrepresented it’s sad. Please Sakurai make it happen!!!!

  6. I’ve always wanted Ice Climbers to come back as they were my favorite since Melee, but I pretty much given up hope because of the machine power limitations for the 3DS…which I still blame 3DS for this. I do also agree that its impossible to bring in a character that nobody knows because it wasn’t released globally nor had any ties with Nintendo from the beginning, but some games that have plannings to be released globally may have possibilities, like the Fire Emblem series back in Melee. This doesn’t mean I’m positive about this idea, but as Shantae will be released in Japan this year, I guess she might join as an advertisement reasons. This may happen to Ray-man too, but he’s too out of the line as nobody truly knows him globally.

    Wolf isn’t my favorite but may have possibilities, but I can’t see how good K.Rool can be because he doesn’t have much of a “unique” moveset as I could recall in my opinion, since Sakurai only focus on characters that’s more unique. Inklings may have a possibility due to popularity, but unique is something what’s more important to this game, so it really depends. I’m pretty much expecting a second Sega and Namco character to balance with Capcom, but that really depends too, as much Sakurai will try avoid characters that’s not globally recognizable.

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