In the spirit of Wolf, this article is a semi-clone. If you stalk me on other sites (Neogaf, SmashBoards or Twitter) then you probably have already seen a good part of this article. This is a very controversial opinion within the Smash speculation community. After the first episode of SourceCast, I was repeatedly asked why I had not included Wolf in my prediction list. This article will serve as a full explanation for those comments. Please remember, this is just an opinion. It’s not a fact and I’ve been wrong about other things in the past, so I could very well be wrong about this.
Final reminder: THIS IS AN OPINION ARTICLE. You are allowed to disagree.
The longer it goes without Wolf being announced, the less likely I think he is.
This may seem like circular logic, but I would like to explain why it’s not. Wolf has been expected since the game was released. Even after the ERSB leak, people were expecting Wolf would show up. Once Lucas was announced people said ‘Wolf is a shoo-in!’. As Spazzy_D said in SourceCast, the “deadline” for when Wolf is expected to appear has constantly been pushed back. I remember saying along the lines of, ‘If Wolf isn’t in by July, then I don’t think he’s coming back’ when the data was found by Shiny Quaqsire.
It’s been about six months since the original data slots found by Shiny Quagsire were found. That means they have been working on two characters for almost the same amount of time that Mewtwo*, Lucas, Roy, Ryu** were in development.
*Initially revealed on October 23rd, released April 15th…so at least 7-8 month development cycle as the model was ready for presentation.
**Were all started before April 1st, but unknown exactly when. Lucas had significant Wii U progress in the April 1st direct, so at the very least Lucas was probably worked on for quite some time Lucas, Roy and Ryu were all released June 14th).
My rationale for dividing the two development periods is because I believe there is a possibility that we will see two sets of four characters (a total of 8 DLC characters). Therefore, dividing the content among this arbitrary line made the most sense to me.
|First Half (November – June)||Second Half (July – ??)|
|# of Updates:||8||3 (so far)|
|Characters||Four (Mewtwo, Lucas, Roy and Ryu)||Three Characters?
Possibly four, based on fighter packs and CSS. But not guaranteed.
|Stages||Added additional 8 Player Stages
Miiverse Stage (Will U)
Dreamland 64 (3DS/ Wii U)
Suzaku Castle (3DS/ Wii U)
Peach’s Castle (Started)
Hyrule Castle (Started)
|Peach’s Castle 64 (3DS/ Wii U)
Hyrule Castle 64 (3DS/ Wii U)
Duck Hunt (3DS)
Super Mario Maker (3DS/ Wii U)Pirate Ship (Wii U)
Three additional Stages?
|Modes||Conquest Mode (Wii U)
Share Feature (3DS and WIi U)amiibo functionality (3DS)
in-game store (Wii U and 3DS)
Tourney ((Started), Wii U)
|Tourney (Finished and updated) Wii U)|
|Mii Fighter Costumes:||2 Waves||2 Waves (so far)|
|Other||Smash Controller software (3DS)
Of course, June isn’t a hard deadline, the team continued working on DLC. They probably worked on some, if not a lot of the content that was released early on in the second half. We know that some progress was made on Peach’s Castle 64 and Hyrule Castle 64, as they were shown off in the New Content Approach! direct. Either way, the content in the first half looks heavy. While the second half has had more stages, a lot of them have been simple ports. It makes sense that they would utilize veterans and ports, as they would be less development intensive.
There hasn’t been any indication that we will receive additional modes past the ones we’ve gotten. Therefore, I expect the work that was previously being done to finish the rest of the base game/ work on online services / make the original set of DLC content will be entirely focused on making new characters and stages. Therefore, I can’t see them taking the “easy” route, and going with Wolf — even if it “makes sense” for us. I also believe they will use the ballot /DLC to add only newcomers, as it seems that Lucas was chosen as the ‘cut Brawl rep’, while Roy was the ‘cut Melee rep’. Let me quickly explain this:
In the New Content Approach! direct, Sakurai states the following after Roy’s introduction video:
Let’s cut right to the chase. In Super Smash Bros., for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, Roy is returning to the series. Last time, Roy appeared as a fighter in Super Smash Bros. Melee…..He will be made available alongside the revival of Lucas. Roy is back from Super Smash Bros. Melee, and Lucas returns from Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Of the many fighters from past versions, I hope fans are happy to have back these two that were particularly popular. (Emphasis mine)
I can already see some of you readying up your replies. ‘What about Mewtwo? He’s a cut veteran from Melee!’ Well the fact of the matter is that Sakurai has never mentioned that Mewtwo was a cut Melee veteran. Even in Mewtwo’s Famitsu column, that was never mentioned. Not in the 50 Facts Extravaganza nor the April 1st direct. For Mewtwo it was all about giving thanks to fans who purchased both versions of the game…a ‘bonus’ character if you will. Yet with Lucas and Roy being previously cut and returning as DLC was their highlight; ‘fans should be happy because their beloved characters are returning’. Even with Lucas’ initial reveal (the same direct that Iwata showed up Mewtwo, mind you) Iwata stated, “You will recognize this fighter from Super Smash Bros. on Wii” Since Sakurai has a heavy hand in the way the characters are portrayed and presented in media, I do believe this is how and why Lucas and Roy were chosen (in addition to be a lighter load, development wise); their catch-copy was possibly “veteran from Melee, veteran from Brawl”.
A lot of people have suggested that Wolf will be added in order to advertise Star Fox Zero. I’ve previously written that I don’t think content is selected for pure promotional purposes. I discuss that in my, “Reminder: Sakurai Isn’t Use Smash to Advertise Nintendo — he’s Celebrating it” article. I do think the reveal dates are picked to tie into cross-promotion–whenever possible…but the content selection is essentially a celebration of Nintendo’s games. Frankly, Wolf being added purely to advertise Star Fox Zero doesn’t make much sense to me. Again, I could be wrong about this, and this is purely based on my opinion.
This is coupled with the fact that we have two strong rumors (Shovel Knight, and one potentially coming next week), and Wolf is a no-show. If both of these rumors do come to fruition, then that takes up the two slots that Shiny Quaqsire found back in April. Of course there was one more added very recently, which could still be Wolf. However, based on what I said in this article, I think it’s unlikely to create Wolf at this point in time. I believe that if we were to get Wolf, he could get in just like how clones (and semi-clones) get into Smash…at the tail end of development when they have extra time they can use to throw together a character or two. I don’t think he will be a ‘focused development’ character. So if the third slot is the final slot, and DLC will wrap up soon…then his chances are still decent. However, my gut feeling on the ballot characters is that they will pick only newcomers, based on the way they presented Lucas and Roy and the ballot in general.
TL;DR: It’s still possible he will get in via the newest (last??) slot, but I don’t think we should consider him as a shoo-in. Believing any character is a shoo-in will only leave us disappointed. We are truly in the dark about a lot of things concerning DLC…as it is a new endeavor for the series.
It’s more that if he was such a guarantee and so much more popular than all these other characters, then why did they get in before him? All of the reasons he is a shoo in now are the reasons people felt like he was a shoo in for the base roster.
People keep moving the goal with Wolf… they keep expecting him to be the next character revealed. That’s all well and good until that last character is revealed and he is not one of them. Is Wolf a possibility? Yes. I’m not even saying that he isn’t probable. I’m just saying that it would be foolish to consider him a done deal. —Spazzy_D
I’ve come to strongly believe that any fan thinking that any character is a “shoo-in” is unnecessary and will probably ultimately lead to disappointment. History has shown us so many examples of the fanbase believing that various characters are guaranteed to join the fight, and more often than not, they are wrong. Of course, that leads to vast quantities of disappointment and it’s all completely avoidable. Simply by lowering our collective expectations just slightly. I myself am not exactly innocent of this, as I had assumed that Dixie was “just about guaranteed” during the speculation period of this iteration of Smash Bros. There comes a time when we need to learn from the past, and not make the same mistakes.
While I picked Wolf as a ballot winner in our SourceGaming choice article, I do not personally believe that he is a “shoo in”. I do however rate his chances as being among the strongest of any one character right now. While we don’t know of any reasons that would prevent him from returning, but we have to remember that the same could have been said for Mewtwo’s absence in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. An educated guess puts Wolf at the forefront of the pack of plausible additions, but please don’t mistake that for making him “guaranteed” or a “shoo-in”.