The Barrel is Half-Full

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This is an opinion piece. My opinion does not reflect PushDustin’s opinion or Sourgegaming as a whole. I fully expect some of you will disagree. Feel free to leave your feedback in the comments. Also, you can also hit me up on Twitter at @Spoogymonkey.

In my previous article, Return to Form, I discussed why the series should only included Nintendo characters, going forward. That said, a major concern of fans is that we’ve reached the ‘bottom of the barrel’ in terms of Nintendo characters. Fans have a glass-half empty outlook, and it may be why fans have expected more guest characters. However, I think now, more than ever, that there are still plenty of Nintendo characters left to ensure a large and diverse roster. I want to present some of these Nintendo fighters and show that the proverbial barrel is half-full.

Who Gets Included

In order to understand which characters could be added to Super Smash Bros., we need to review who can be included into Super Smash Bros. Thankfully, Sakurai has provided a guideline to what a character must have to be included. During a presentation at the 2008 Game Developers Conference, he presented the requirements a character needs to be in Super Smash Bros.

  1. The character must display personality in their game
  2. It’s important to have something only that character can do
  3. Potential development issues, and game balance is also taken intsome consideration
  4. Distribution among the franchises is also taken into consideration

Most characters would fit into these categories, but remember that is the bare minimum for character selection, and we are not sure how strictly Sakurai adheres to these rules. However, these rules, beyond else, demonstrate that to be added to Super Smash Bros. the character should stand-out and bring something to the game.

Overall, being unique is a major factor for Sakurai. In his 2008 presentation, Sakurai stated Sakurai discussed this further saying “we ensured that characters can be properly represented with a few words.” This is evident by the characters in Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS which are very unique, especially in comparison to those added in Super Smash Bros Brawl and Super Smash Bros Melee.  In a Famitsu article discussing the new characters, he stated “To be blunt, if I think I can do it then I can envision a concrete embodiment of the character, but if I cannot do that the character cannot be made.” This is a big factor. Of course getting permission and understanding from the original creators is necessary, but whether the image of the character in my head is dancing powerfully, or not. This is of the utmost importance.” In truth, being unique is perhaps one of the most important factors. Although I can not elaborate on every single character, I will try to highlight the attributes they can bring to Super Smash Bros.

There is a lot to consider when choosing characters. In order to create a roster with a lot of diversity, many factors and characters must be considered. As such, the previous Smash Bros. games have included characters for very specific reasons. In some way, a lot of the characters can fit into some fairly broad categories. For instance, some characters are added because they are brand new while others are added for being retro. By having both kind of characters, the game will have more interesting roster.

Who Could Be Included

So the question remains: can a cast of Nintendo characters really provide for a unique roster? Some reading may think that it’s impossible, but the truth is that Nintendo still has a huge variety of characters. I’m going to present some of the potential characters for the next game. Keep in mind this list is not comprehensive and some of these characters probably won’t make it in. The point is to present just some of the characters who would be good fits for the series and show there are plenty of potential characters. Rather than doing a simple list, I want to provide examples for the types of characters that could be added into the game and discuss those characters in that context. Without further ado, here are some of the characters that could be in Super Smash Bros.

The Characters



Some of the first amiibo to be released. This is the company’s first step in promoting their IPs.


amiibo have been a success story for Nintendo and are a crucial part of Nintendo’s strategy of expanding their intellectual properties (IP). As Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima stated “As for other initiatives to use Nintendo IP actively, we launched a new product called amiibo – Nintendo characters that come in figure or card form that work with our video games.” As of September 30, 2015, Nintendo has shipped 21.1 million amiibo, and will likely continue to grow. amiibo has been one of Nintendo’s first initiatives to promote and highlight their own characters. amiibo are typically done for popular characters, but by having an amiibo, a character becomes more relevant and will appear in more games. To put it another way, the characters that are amiibos are in the public’s mind and are more recognizable than they once were. In some way, amiibo are both an honor and an opportunity for those characters, making them prime candidates for Super Smash Bros.

The characters who are made into amiibo are usually characters who are already popular, but Consider Toad, who was the first character not playable in Super Smash Bros for Wii U/3DS to receive an amiibo. The character was always popular and well received which made him a perfect fit for an amiibo. With more games having amiibo support, he is appearing in more games. Toad was playable in Mario Party 10 and Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, his first playable appearing in a Mario Tennis title since the original title on the Nintendo 64. Toad will likely continuing to appear in games as Nintendo finds more ways to use amiibos. And with so many apperences, it will not be too difficult to create moves and abilities for him. Toad can easily take from series like Mario Kart and Mario Party, both series that do not yet encapsulate a character. Another character is Midna, who is receiving an amiibo (specifically as part of the Wolf Link amiibo) alongside the release of Twilight Princess: HD. During the November 2015 Nintendo Direct, Reggie Fils-Aimé hinted that the amiibo would work with the upcoming Legend of Zelda for the Wii U. Will the amiibo signal other appearance for Midna or even Wolf Link? Only time can tell. While Midna was always a fan favorite character, an amiibo makes her more prominent and, like Toad, may guarantee her a spot in more titles. Moreover, there may be other amiibos for the Legend of Zelda, perhaps even a line similar to Super Mario, so perhaps other Legend of Zelda characters may get a chance to shine.

Isabelle, along with other Animal Crossing, have received amiibos.


Additionally, Nintendo launched a line of Animal Crossing amiibo which includes Isabelle and other popular Animal Crossing characters. The recent focus with Animal Crossing has been on the animal characters. Since her debut in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Isabelle has become a mainstay character, perhaps even the face of the series. Furthermore, she could incorperate other characters or the villagers into her moveset. Also, she could use public works and ordinances into her moves as well. Other Animal Crossing characters, including Tom Nook, K.K. Slider and Mr. Resetti are also receiving amiibos. Animal Crossing has been a widely successful series, so having more characters is not outside the realm of possibilities.

Regardless, it doesn’t look like amiibo will end anytime soon. As more amiibo are made, more characters will be highlighted, improving their odds of being Super Smash Bros candidates. Nevertheless, Nintendo strategy of expanding their IPs will not be limited to just amiibo. In a letter to shareholders and investors, Mr. Kimishima states “we are now expanding how we leverage Nintendo IP in various ways beyond our traditional use of them predominantly within the dedicated video game platform business.” As Nintendo continues to promote their characters, the door will only open for more characters who would be perfect fits for Super Smash Bros.

Newer Characters

Splatoon is one of Nintendo’s newest IPs and has been a success for the company. Will Nintendo continue to make new IPs?

Super Smash Bros. tends to take a lot from the games and content released since the previous game. amiibo are a new product and will likely be more fleshed out by the time the next title releases. In the same vein, there will be characters created between the release of Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS who could be added to the game. Characters like Wii Fit Trainer, Rosalina, Shulk and now Corrin are all new characters who were not around during the development of Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Thus, it is not unreasonable that the newest Smash Bros. will follow this trend.

Chief among these characters are the Inklings from Splatoon. Nintendo’s newest IP has been quite successful; the game has already sold over 2 million copies and has sold over 1 million units in Japan alone. The game also has been well received with a Metacritic score of 81 and winning best multiplayer game and best shooting gate at the 2015 Video Game Awards. Moreover, the character can provide some unique gameplay opportunities by spraying the battlefield with ink. Another series released around the same time as Splatoon was Code Name S.T.E.A.M., developed by Intelligent Systems, the team behind Fire Emblem. Although the game was not as successful as Splatoon, its main character, Henry Fleming (based off the main character of  the novel Red Badge of Courage) could add a lot to Smash. Beyond his macho, patriotic attitude, the steam mechanic of the game could be implemented giving him a unique meter system for his attacks. Like Corrin’s game, Fire Emblem Fates, Xenoblade Chronicles X has long since been released in Japan and arrived in the US in December of 2015.  Elma (or Cross) from Xenoblade Chronicle X could also be implemented as a new character, perhaps switching between guns and blades and using a giant mech (called a skell) as a powerful Final Smash. All of these characters come from newer titles and could use the mechanics of those games to make some really well thought out characters.

Even in the short amount of time since the Super Smash Bros for Wii U/3DS’s release, there are plenty of new characters to draw of, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be more to come. Nintendo will likely continue to make new characters. It will be some time until the next Super Smash Bros. game releases, so there are plenty of opportunity for new characters to be introduced. For instance, there is the potential for a new Pokemon character to be added, as was done in both Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS. With the success of Splatoon, Nintendo may be open to trying to develop more new IPs, adding more characters and series into Super Smash Bros. This argument may seem like a bit of a cop-out; however, each Super Smash Bros. game takes from the previous generation.  With this generation still ongoing, we’ll have to wait and see what Nintendo will come up with.

Retro Characters

Nintendo’s arcade history has yet to be fully implemented into a character.

One of the major element of the Super Smash Bros. series is having old-school characters. From Mr. Game and Watch, to Duck Hunt, the Super Smash Bros. games have always tried to highlight old Nintendo content. In the last three Super Smash Bros. games, there have been two classic characters. One represents old hardware (ROB, Mr. Game and Watch, and Duck Hunt) and a classic character (Little Mac, Pit, and Ice Climbers). The next Super Smash Bros. will likely look to classic characters and content to bolster the roster.

Takamaru is a perfect candidate for a classic character. Interestingly, Sakurai discussed, during an interview, that Takamaru was considered for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS. But since the start of development for the newest Smash Bros. game, Takuramu’s game, Mysterious Muramasa Castle, was released in the US via the Nintendo eShop. Excitebike could also be added. Of course, he would be unique as he would ride on a motorcycle. Although there were issues adding him into Super Smash Bros. Melee, he shouldn’t be an impossibility in the next title. Sakurai has shown he can make almost any character work, and he would no doubt be able to make this classic Nintendo icon be able to duke it out as well.

Now that the character is available to a wider audience, he makes perfect sense for a new inclusion. Additionally, much as Mr. Game and Watch and ROB encapsulate Nintendo hardware, Sheriff, from the 1979 arcade game with the same name, could be added to represent Nintendo arcade games. His moves could include elements of his own game, but also represent other arcade games including Popeye, Arm Wrestling, Firebird, Sky Skipper and more. Alternatively, Donkey Kong Jr. could also be added and represent Donkey Kong 2, and maybe even elements of Donkey Kong 3. Source Gaming’s own Nantendo wrote an interesting article explaining how Donkey Kong Jr. could be a unique character, utilizing items and abilities from the classic Donkey Kong games. Interestingly, Nintendo even refiled a trademark for Donkey Kong Jr. A Sports characters, from Tennis, Golf, or Baseball, could be added to represent Nintendo’s sports games.

Relevant Character

With Star Fox Zero on the way, could Peppy and/or Slippy be implemented into characters?

However, Super Smash Bros. isn’t only filled with the newest and oldest characters. Often, the game included current, relevant characters. During an interview, Sakurai stated “Industry trends around the time when development begins is a pretty big factor….So what’s popular around the time when I begin designing the game is important.” For example, Super Smash Bros. Wii U included characters like Little Mac, Villager and Palutena who appeared in games since Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Moreover, Super Smash Bros. Brawl included prominent characters like Meta-Knight, Diddy Kong, Wario and King Dedede.

The next Smash Bros. game will likely feature other long-time Nintendo characters. For instance, Dixie Kong, who appeared in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, could be a great addition to the roster, and Smash Bros. fans are eager to have another Donkey Kong character. Furthermore, Dixie Kong was planned to be included alongside Diddy Kong as a tag team in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Much like Diddy Kong, Dixie Kong could draw off the classic DK games with the ponytail twirl and perhaps even a bubblegum blaster from Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze. On the other hand, Peppy or Slippy of the Starfox team could join the battle as well. The Star Fox team has been iconic with “Do a Barrel Roll” Slippy’s usual mishaps. Its no surprise that Starfox Zero looks to try and recapture the glory of the older Star Fox games.  Moreover, with Starfox Zero is set to release in the first half of 2016, and these characters could incorporate some of those elements from that game into an interesting moveset. According to Kotaku, Project Guard, originally shown off at E3, is tied to the Star Fox universe, and both Peppy or Slippy could incorporate elements from that game into an interesting moveset.

The characters above are the ones gamers and Nintendo enthusiast may think of first; however, there are plenty of other characters that are recognizable that could be included as well. Regardless, there are plenty of other characters that are relevant that fans may not think about. What about Paper Mario, who is now appearing in Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam and could easily play off the paper motif. Or what about Mallo, the star of the Pushmo series which has multiple games to draw from. Or even Bandanna Dee, who has been appearing in every major Kirby title since Kirby: Return to Dreamland and could be Super Smash Bros.’s first spear user. Additionally, the Zelda series has a plethora of characters. For instance, Impa, who has appeared in multiple Zelda titles, could use her giant sword and spear from Hyrule Warriors. Heck, what about the duel crossbow wielder Linkle, who was added to Hyrule Warriors Legends due to fan demand for the character.

Additionally, other characters may be trusted into the limelight with new games, much like Palutena was with Kid Icarus Uprising. For instance, Metroid Prime Producer Kensuke Tanabe, discussed having Sylux, a popular villain from Metroid Prime: Hunters, return in future Metroid titles. He stated “There’s still more I want to build around the story of Sylux and Samus. There’s something going on between them. I want to make a game that touches upon [it].” And other characters may get the same treatment as well. Only time will tell.

Smash Ballot

The Smash Ballot has help highlight popular characters.

Lastly, there is the Smash Ballot. While Sakurai as already announced a winner with Bayonetta, the Japanese website indicated that the information would be used for future titles. So while many characters didn’t get in through the ballot as DLC, they may still be taken into account for the next Smash Bros. game. The most obvious example would be King K. Rool. The character has been very popular but has been neglected in recent years as the newer Donkey Kong titles opt to use a different villain rather than the Kremling. Another possible character is Ashley from the Warioware series. Although she may seem to be a side character, she is an extremely popular character, receiving a costume in Mario Maker and appearing several times as pins in Nintendo Badge Arcade.

Why Nintendo Characters

Now that I’ve given some examples of Nintendo characters that could be added, I wanted to explain why Nintendo should focus on these characters; why this whole idea even matters. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS added 12 new characters (not counting the Miis and those characters who were originally costumes). Of these 12, only 10 were new Nintendo characters. For comparison, Brawl added 14 new Nintendo characters. As the games continues, there will likely be fewer new characters added and more characters being cut. As Sakurai mentioned in the final presentation, there are 58 characters total. Super Smash Bros. has already exploded in terms of the number of characters. It will be harder to add some of the fringe characters. The characters I layed about above were not meant to be definitive, but examples of who could be added. There are some there, such as Inklings and Isabelle, who will almost certainly get in. But many won’t, and when trying to add third party characters, it gets more and more difficult to add a variety of characters. In the end, the developers can only focus on the biggest characters.

Heroes of the Storm has plenty of Blizzard characters and more on the way (grayed out characters are ones not owned)

And I’m sure many fans are concerned if a Nintendo only Smash Bros. will even be successful. To answer this, let’s look at Heroes of the Storm. Blizzard created a MOBA game that features their characters from across three major series (soon to be four). Mind you, most of these series have fewer games than even minor Nintendo series, yet Blizzard has not struggled to include new and interesting characters. For instance, not to long ago, Blizzard added Lunara from the Warcraft series. Lunara is an interesting case as she is only briefly mentioned in the lore. But this didn’t stop Blizzard from including this characters, and from my experience, her being a lesser known character has not hurt her popularity. But this isn’t the only time Blizzard has been creative. Characters like Valla, Sgt. Hammer and Lt. Morales highlight ways that Blizzard is adding characters that are perhaps not the major stars of their series, but still represent those games and add an interesting playstyle. Despite relying entirely on Blizzard characters, the game has been a success.  Heroes of the Storm, in addition to Hearthstone and Destiny, earned $1.25 billion in revenue and have 70 million players total. Heroes of the Storm is estimated to have at least 10 million players. In contrast, Super Smash Bros. does not have to go to the same lengths to find interesting and diverse roster. Considering this, Super Smash Bros. won’t suffer from only focusing on Nintendo content.

By trying to add lesser known characters, the designers can be more “entrepreneurial” with character selection. Rather than shying away from someone who may not be the shining star of the series, embrace a fighter who is a little bit different. Characters like King K. Rool and Peppy are interesting characters and will be familiar to fans of those series. With enough creativity, these characters could not only expand their own universe in Smash but be fun to play with. Another example is the Zelda series. Hyrule Warriors has shown that there are plenty of interesting and different Zelda characters. However, Super Smash Bros. has played it relatively safe only including characters that have been in numerous games. But, in the end, the diverse cast of characters in this series is ignored. According to the Video Game Sales Wiki, the Legend of Zelda series has sold over 75 million units, with most titles selling over a million units. As such, adding a character like Midna would not alienate fans.

Nintendo History

Nevertheless, some will still say “But why not use a more popular character from outside Nintendo?” It is because Super Smash Bros. is a celebration of Nintendo. It embraces every nook and cranny of the company’s long history in video games. While, yes, some outside characters may be more well known, there is something that is lacking when all the characters are the stars of the industry. In fact, Sakurai himself has stated “Asking only for popular characters to appear in Smash…doesn’t get me excited” As I discussed in the Love for the Unknown, even when character are not known, they still become popular to Smash fans. By having these characters, Super Smash Bros with have a well rounded roster of characters (both well-known and some not-so well known) and focus on one of its primary strengths: celebrating Nintendo history.

In the midst of all the guest characters, fans neglect that truly Super Smash Bros is about celebrating Nintendo. From the trophies in Super Smash Bros Melee to the assist trophies and stickers in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the series has always tried to include numerous elements from Nintendo past. This is why Color Game 16 is an assist trophy. Super Smash Bros. can not represent Capcom, Namco Bandia or Sega that well. But the series can always celebrate Nintendo’s history. Many of the characters I presented above are major names within Nintendo series and the company’s history, so there is still plenty to draw from.



I hope I presented some adequate examples of characters that could work. Again, not every character mentioned above would be a perfect fit for Super Smash Bros. and there are some Nintendo characters I didn’t include. But the point was to quell the fear of a Nintendo focused game. While third-party characters may be more popular, there is still plenty of opportunities for focusing on Nintendo characters and Nintendo content. In the end, I hope I’ve shown that the barrel is indeed half-full.


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  1. You pointed out something that people who make the “bottom of the barrel” argument forget: how many new Nintendo characters come around between Smash games. There’s a good chance that half the newcomers for the next Smash game don’t exist yet!

      1. Neither was Peppy or Slippy, and they’ve been around since the original StarFox. Wolf was only added because it was easier for Nintendo to make him rather than another StarFox character that doesn’t look like Fox..

  2. I do think we shoudn’t strip 3rd Parties all together, but I don’t think the barrel is exactly full.
    In terms of sales, I think it might sell less than previous installments. With MOBA’s they are easier to access with all you need is a internet and computer.
    Overall I think Smash 5 will have less characters than Smash 4 which won’t be a bad thing. I just don’t agree with the idea of only Nintendo characters.

  3. Heroes of the Storm is a sketchy parallel at best. The game is popular…. with Blizzard fans. To the wider, general appeal, League of Legends, Dota2, and even Smite blow Heroes out of the water in terms of popularity.

    1. Smite, Heroes and Dota 2 all have at least 10 million players. Heroes has done it over a much smaller period (Heroes has been “released” for half a year, Dota for about a year and a half since the time of the article).

      But, you are right. Heroes appeals to Blizzard fans. But Smash Bros appeals to Nintendo fans. You have to buy a Nintendo system to play Smash and you have to at least like Nintendo characters as they dominate the roster (49 Nintendo to 6 non-Nintendo). I think one of the assumptions that fans, and perhaps even Sakurai himself, make is they assume you need Non-Nintendo characters in order to appeal to people. But they are Nintendo fans by virtue that they are buying a Nintendo system to play it on. So I don’t think not having third party characters would negatively impact the game’s success.

  4. Unless Nintendo churns out high-profile new characters (ones more significant than Midna at the very least) at an exponential rate, any new batch of Nintendo characters will be subject to diminishing returns, just like any 3rd party characters after Mega Man and friends. An appeal to purity doesn’t change that.

  5. It was DLC it made sense to focus on 3rd parties.Nintendo is far from reaching the bottom on the barrel.we still bot those b-/C+ characters to use for the next game.Really you and push are both right but i feel main game should focus on nintendo characters and that DLC should focus on 3rd parties and vets

  6. Impa, Ghirahim, Linkle, Lana, Tetra, that’s a lot of characters. They only appeared in a game or two, but then again, so did Sakurai’s Fire Emblem darlings, & I would never in a million years choose Corbin first over any of those.

    1. The difference here is the so called ‘Fire Emblem darlings’ are the main characters of the games they appeared in. The ones you have listed are all side characters. I’ll give you Impa, since even I supported her, and Tetra, since she DID appear in another game besides Wind Waker, but the rest are all one off characters who were just side characters who will never likely re-appear again.

        1. Robin’s the protagonist of Fire Emblem: Awakening while Lucina is the tritagonist (a step behind deuterogamist, which is behind protagonist.) of the same game. And yes, they do return in Fire Emblem: Fates when you use their corresponding amiibos in the game. Therefore, they do return in some form.

        2. Doesn’t mean that Chrom is the “main” protagonist. In fact, there are 3 protagonists in Fire Emblem: Awakening, with Lucina as the tritagonist. It’s debatable on as to whether or not the “main” protagonist of the game is Chrom or Robin.

    2. Answering for each of the FE reps.

      Marth-Original Hero
      Roy-Games going abroad
      Ike-global success
      Robin-Awakening is to some extent, the revival of FE.
      Lucina-clone development
      Corrin-Dragons are prominent in FE games.

      Even from there, they all (minus Lucina and to some extent Roy) have unique movesets

  7. Some people keep saying Super Smash Bros is about celebrating Nintendo, but from the very beginning Smash Bros has always been about whatever Sakurai wants it to be. Nintendo characters were not added to Dragon King: The Fighting Game because Sakurai wanted to celebrate Nintendo, but because he felt the game needed more character appeal. Adding third party characters is consistent with this line of thought. I’m sure that a Smash Bros game with just Nintendo characters would be successful, but I’m also sure that a Smash Bros game with a good number of third party characters would be even more successful.

    1. I’m gonna agree with you, Super Smash Bros. was never mean’t to celebrate anything at all. While Sakurai was making Dragon King, he felt that a Nintendo All-Star cast would do a better job than making generic fighters for what would look like a fighting game that will be forgotten in the future. and guess what? It worked! After that, Nintendo discovered that they could actually profit from the series, even though the 64 version sold 5 million copies within 2 years, Melee selling 7 million 7 years after it’s initial release, Brawl selling nearly 13 million in 6 years, the 3DS version selling over 7 million within 11 months, and the Wii U version selling almost 5 million within 10 months.

      Super Smash Bros. was never about celebrating Nintendo or video games and it never will. It was about bringing “iconic” characters together in one massive crossover fighting game that can only be rivaled by Marvel vs. Capcom. Taking the All-Star cast out of “Dragon King” as it was originally called would be like heavily censoring the sex appeal in Dead or Alive or the gruesome fighting style in Mortal Kombat. In the end, Super Smash Bros. is just another fighting game with something different in it just like all the other fighting games. Sure it has a different way to play unlike the rest of the other fighting game series, but it’s just another fighting game.

  8. You didn’t even mention Chibi-Robo, Isacc (Golden Sun), Andy (Advance Wars), Lip (Panel de Pon/Puzzle League), Starfy (The Legendary Starfy), Ray MK II (Custom Robo) and Lolo (Eggerland/Adventures of Lolo), all from Nintendo series that haven’t even been represented yet! I could easily see every one of these characters fitting in just fine, and if no one else at least Chibi-Robo, Isacc and an Advance Wars character deserve to be in the game.

    1. Yeah, some people got surprised about Splatoon, since it was a “new IP, and Nintendo almost never does new ips, the last one was Pikmin….” But Nintendo has a lot of “franchises”… I just think they’re bad at advertising it at the point that it looks like that even them don’t care. I wouldn’t even say “side-b” games, I think I could say “side-c” games because there’s really a lot. If Sakurai chose Ice Climbers to represent NES, G&W to represent G&W (of course…), R.O.B. for the Nintendo hardware (I think?) and Duck Hunt for… some reason.. Why didn’t he followed his own motif and made a character that represents “side-c” characters? I’m not really talking about old games like Kid Icarus (NES) who was kind of side-b, but the ones they’re constantly (recently) releasing and are overshadowed by Mario, Pokémon, Zelda, and almost every active franchise represented in Smash. I feel bad for Chibi-Robo, I haven’t played it but I just think that if the Smash developers cared a little more about him as far as to give him an assist trophy or song, this could’ve helped his franchise, I mean… How much times we’ve seen in the internet people wanting a new Ice Climbers game? It’s not because the original game was popular… The farthest they went with it was the Electroplankton stage that made part of DS’s “Touch” series, but maybe it was only because Miyamoto was the producer of that game…

  9. EVERY iconic Nintendo chara is already in Smash.
    Sorry, but I think Bandana Dee, Ashley, Krystal, Elma, Sylux are far away from beeing relevant for Nintendo itself. They might be important for their series. But their series are already beeing represented by more important charas, Kirby, Wario, Fox, Shulk, Samus respectivly. I disagree about a new AC chara like Isabelle because the Villager already covers every possible move from this franchise.
    Very old and not relevant series like Golden Sun, Advance Wars, Panel de Pon, Starfy, Custom Robo and Lolo (a Kirby chara btw) will never get a chara slot anymore because they are to young for retro and do old for relevance. Chibi-Robo is hard to say, because he always had new games but very low sales.
    My only predictions for the new Smash game are Takamaru (retro), Wolf (because of his demand in Smash4), Toad (he got more and more unique abilities over the years) and maybe Dixie OR KKRool (because of his demand).

    Back to the topic: I don’t get your hate against thirds. Smash has always been a game about charas who had something to do with Nintendo, except Cloud it still is!
    Snake, Sonic, Mega Man, Pac-Man, Ryu and Bayonetta all had some interessting history with Nintendo.
    Pac-Man might even be the smallest of them^^
    I think it doesn’t make a difference if you add a third or a second party chara to Smash. And second party charas are there since SSB64.

  10. This was quite an interesting article to argue about, but there some parts that Sakurai couldn’t bring those characters for Smash 4. This is my typical view so I may be wrong, but here are the problems that made those characters impossible to join…

    1. Nintendo strongly needs third party support. Starting from the N64 to Gamecube era, Nintendo was failing a lot during the console wars because they lacked third party support. Sakurai including the third parties, starting from Snake and Sonic for Brawl, was a evidence to make Smash and Nintendo successful, and it was truly a success. Much more, Nintendo needs to continue to have support from third parties in order to keep Nintendo alive, which the relationship between Square Enix has finally recovered, and having discussions of joining hands with Microsoft (I’ve heard this from Nintendo Life but I’m not quite sure if this was a good idea or not, or some kind of rumor).

    2. That franchise must be popular. I’m not saying of having fame, but as being well known to the public. If that character nor that franchise were never mentioned a lot in public, as also means there won’t be sequels in the future, then it’s impossible to bring that character for Smash. Gamexplain’s Derrick said he liked Code Name S.T.E.A.M., but he later forgot about it for awhile as he didn’t enlisted that game in his Best Game of 2015 listings. PushDustIn even stated that even the most popularly voted K.Rool wasn’t even mentioned by his gaming friends as being a forgetful character. Characters need to be recognizable and memorable to be in Smash, not forgettable. Eventually, Sakurai even stated that games without a sequels/prequels in the future wouldn’t have a chance in join nor return.

    3. That game must be known globally. This may sound the same as above, but this is the different level. Certain characters need to be recognizable not just locally, but globally. There are some games that weren’t able to be localized for certain reasons, and not having those games globally wouldn’t seem to have a chance to be in Smash. Takamaru is the evidence of this case, as Sakurai was planning to bring him in Smash, but declined because nobody in the west know who he is. This can affect with Captain Rainbow who were only known in Japan but never in the west, while (this is the third party though…) Shovel Knight is only known in the west but never in Japan. Sakurai want to avoid those games which have no plannings to be localized to be in Smash, as to avoid many local fans from confusions.

    4. Characters must be unique to be chosen. This is the most important part of choosing the character. Sakurai needs to choose a character with the unique ability that no other fighters can do. Such as Little Mac’s K.O. Meter, Corrin’s shape-shifting ability, Shulk’s Monado effect, etc. Sakurai needs to make a deep research on certain characters on their uniqueness, and how iconic those abilities can be. He can’t just choose anybody if that character was meant to be generic and simple, or else that character might end up being a clone instead. Wolf may have been a choice for DLC, but declined because he wasn’t unique, as much being another “Land Master user”. K.Rool may have been popular in the ballot, but couldn’t find out how unique this character was anyways. Other popular characters like Daisy, Ashley, Waddle Dee, Krystal, etc. may had attention too, but difficult to find their uniqueness. Sakurai needs to avoid every clone possibilities as much as possible, as he needs to focus mainly on unique characters to make the game great.

    5. There are system limitations in Smash. Its true that Sakurai cannot bring everybody to Smash, because there are limitations on every game’s data. Even if there were possibilities to put more characters in it with their own uniqueness, there will always be a wall of limitations. Which is one, 3DS…although the handheld version had a lot of copies than the home console version, 3DS lacks the amount of machine power. They’re not strong as Wii U, as the 3DS’s loading takes more time than the Wii U. Second is the 8 Player Smash…as an Wii U exclusive, 8 players can play in one game. Playing 8 characters all at once is one huge power usage, and that’s something 3DS can’t do due to its lack of power. This is the reason why the Ice Climbers were rejected because of these points which dealt to technical difficulties, although the Wii U version did work perfectly. And I think this is another reason why Inklings didn’t make it either because of their ink mechanics.

    There maybe more like license issues too, but as far as I know, these points may be the problem of why other Nintendo characters didn’t make it in Smash 4. But as I said in the beginning, I may be wrong. It really depend on how Sakurai look at those characters on how unique they can be. Eventually, Sakurai is always reasonable when choosing characters, and that’s something we should respect on.

    However, fans wouldn’t agree on this point at all, nor they agree on Sakurai point and this article’s point either. You see, no offense but, fans who are extreme as hardcore are meant to be ignorant. They won’t agree on how Sakurai chooses characters as fan believes that their own ideas are righteous. Most of them chooses characters that may not be unique at all, or even someone that’s only known locally, or even someone that’s not even a video game character like Goku and Shrek. Some are not even reasonable like “X should be in because X is awesome!” and “X is stronger than Y so X should be in!” and “Put X in or else!!!”. Really, I don’t call that reasonable, but childishly selfish. Eventually, fans still think Smash is MUGEN, or even Project M which is the fan-made Smash Bros. Those games can bring anybody or everybody in it because there’s no rules and limitations, which is ridiculous and unreasonable. But of course, Sakurai isn’t that pathetic to do that, as he has his sets of rules and limitations to protect and follow, in order to make Smash a great game rather than something to be broken later on.

    If Sakurai ever plan to make Smash 5, I would agree Toad to be in too, as there may be possibilities for Rosalina and/or Bowser Jr.’s removal. I do think Impa should be in too, but as being a replacement of Shiek; I wouldn’t think they’ll bring in Hyrule Warriors because that’s licensed by Koei-Tecmo. Although Ridley may still be impossible as what Sakurai stated before, Sylux can be a great candidate for the new Metroid roster. Waddle Dee definitely should be added as well, while I don’t know much about Star Fox as long there won’t be anymore “Land Master users”. Pokemon will be the odd one as there will be additions and removals, while Isabelle can be a great candidate for the new Animal Crossing roster, or maybe become the Villager’s replacement. I’m hoping for Medusa to be in Smash too as being part of Kid Icarus’s history, but that really depend on Sakurai on how unique she can be. Elma can be a good candidate for Xenoblade roster too, but I guess that’ll depend due to those localization problems she had. I don’t know if Ice Climbers will ever return, but having retro characters like Takamaru and Lip is interesting. I also do agree to have the Inklings to be in Smash too, if the ink mechanic is still important. But although third parties are suggested not to be joined, I still think Sonic will still return as being an important character for both Smash and Nintendo, while others are depending.

    And finally, sorry for the extremely long comment.

  11. I imagined you were the author of this text. After reading your ocean salty reaction in the Final Smash Broadcast article, it became easy to me to identify your writing style. Glad to read something anger-free and that does not looks like a soap opera cryout.

    You know, I can understand perfectly your will for a Nintendo-only Smash game, because I also used to think exactly like you, in fact, if Mega Man wasn’t showed off in the reveal trailer from 2013, I would want this game to be Nintendo-only this time, however I was among the huge amonut of people wanting Sonic to join Brawl because of the rivalry with Mario, this is sompething from the video game history that can’t be omitted, spectially with such big chances. The current games have 52 Nintendo characters and 6 guest characters, I believe this is a fair number to me, the previous game had 37 Nintendo characters and 2 guests, I want to Believe that Sakurai keeps an eye about Nintendo representation in this game and the volume of guest characters, we can say that he has a sense of proportion. Among the six guests, only one is strange to the Nintendo context, which is Cloud, the other five have some level of relationship with Nintendo (and I still believe Sonic has the stronger one, he was Mario’s rival in the 16-bit era, and when Sega quitted the console market, Sonic found a new lair in Nintendo consoles, in fact, most of the Sonic’s fanbase is in Nintendo consoles even when big games like Sonic Generations only go out in the other consoles).

    My point is, the game is becoming more a celebration of video games as a whole, which is a fantastic thing, than a celebration of Nintendo, and you fear this so much that you believe that in the near future, Nintendo characters will be cut in order to add guest characters. But the game is still heavily focused in including Nintendo characters, and now I will mention some controversity you made, you counted 12 newcomers when there are actually 15, I counted the Mii Fighter separatedly because I counted while thinking about the barrel being half full, just like the idea of your text, so we have 13 Nintendo characters and 2 guests, omitting Miis is such a big mistake, Miis came from the most successful home console in the history of Nintendo, as their debut game is the best selling game in the world (and don’t even think about telling me that Wii Sports came with the console and shouldn’t count. If Wii Sports was a bad game, does people would buy the Wii with the game bundled in?). Whatever, it’s normal to people being upset about their favorite character not making into it, be a Nintendo character or not, I would never be upset about this roster since I liked some of the newcomers a lot! Mega Man, Little Mac, Palutena, Pac-Man, Bowser Jr., Ryu and Bayonetta. I could play Smash 4 for ages because of these characters, and the game itself is extremely pleasureable to play in many different ways.

    My big piece of advice is, chill out a bit, and let Sakurai make his job 😉

  12. Someone manages to put Sonic, Pacman, Megaman, Ryu, Cloud, Mario and 49 other Nintendo characters together in a single game and one of the first responses he gets is “where’s K.Rool?” Meanwhile there are Mercedes-Benz driving around in Mario Kart but Smash Bros clearly crossed the line and deserves a 4000 word write-up.

  13. smash bros is a celebration of nintendo, it always was, and it still is even with the addtion of 3rd parties, they are called guest characters after all, it won’t become about having 3rd parties, they’re just cool additions in my opinion. that’s why i don’t see a reason to cut them, whenever smash 5 comes out with or without sakurai, most, if not all newcomers will be nintendo’s (there are not alot of 3rd parties with as big of a name as 3rd parties currently in the game).
    In addition, in your pharagraphe about surprising characters, you act like it’s a thing that is in Heroes of the Storm but not smash, while they have always been part of the roster, like wii fit trainer, mr. game and watch, sheik, jigglypuff, robin being chosen over chrom, rob, pit and more.

  14. Personally, I think it’s fun when Capcom adds more obscure characters to their roster alongside the famous ones, such as Jin in Marvel Vs. Capcom. As long as the roster isn’t overly saturated with unknowns, then obscure characters can provide a unique sense of variety amongst the better known mascots. That being said, the likes of Mike Jones or Captain Rainbow probably wouldn’t be too exciting to gamers who are unfamiliar or uninterested in Nintendo’s less popular titles, and it seems like Nintendo would prefer to include characters in Smash that appeal to as many fans as possible.

  15. I still vote for Issac from Golden Sun, a very unique and irregular magic fighter, or a Young Link that is a universal rep of Zelda, using the many items (rods, nets, shoes, gloves, masks, etc) that the other Links seem to forget, which is sad, since they could make for a really cool moveset.

    All in all, I’d like to just have irregular and different characters that go against traditional Smash controls and set up, hence why I enjoy Lucas and Ness so much.

    Pichu could also be cool as an alt or even a fast balloon-weight fighter with changed up specials and non of that self-damaging bull.
    But he isn’t likely, so the next best idea if we really needed a Pokemon rep is Chesnaught, my personal favorite (obviously biased), and another heavy… but better than Charizard. Really almost any character in my mind is better than Charizard, but taking him out of Smash is a bad idea… for his fans.

  16. Great post. It made me realize that I really want a “tertiary character” to appear, I think it would feel very different. I think the closer to it is Sheik, but Sheik is Zelda so that’s not super exciting.

  17. I don’t think no-third party characters is a good option, they just need to keep in mind to not add so many, in this Smash there were too many third-party chars, but cutting them in the next game would make a lot of people sad just like happened with Snake and I don’t think it would make any significant number of people happy. Actually, looking at some character, I think third-party characters were a good choice (in moderation), Nintendo or not, some of these *are* important to Nintendo, and some even feel like they have always been part of Nintendo despite being not being first-party.
    I mean, for example, Megaman, I didn’t even played his games too much, but he’s a very much important icon, as an icon, maybe he’s almost as important to Nintendo than he is for Capcom, and maybe he’s more important to Nintendo and it’s “iconography” in pop culture than some Nintendo’s own characters already in Smash, It feels natural for him.
    Sonic on the other hand… Was partially created because of Mario, he is so many times paired with Mario by fans that he almost feels part of it and not just an “wannabe”, not even considering than he’s a big game icon, Smash is one of the best ways to keep on the good side of important companies like Sega.
    Ryu is when the things started getting a little stretched, it doesn’t exactly fits the Smash concept, but it fits his own concept of making crossovers all the time in fight games, he has appeared in crossovers of so many characters not owned by Capcom that maybe Nintendo’s time had to come one time or another. (Er.. I think he’s like the Kevin Bacon of videogames. o___o)

  18. I’m wonder which characters could be selected in the next game. I only see as the only “safe” picks in my opinion are the Inkling (they need a special dedication in the game development… So, make them DLC in this game would “hurts” the Character’s Integrity) and a New Generation Pokémon

    The case with Fire Emblem could depend if the option has something unique to work or don’t (And it’s unlikeable see a older character be selected unless the Smash Ballot has something to do with that).

  19. Cutting all third parties is probably not the best move. That said, they should probably be cut down in number back to about three, maybe four. DK certainly could use a new character or two and has several to pick from. I see a problem with the Hyrule Warriors characters because Nintendo didn’t actually create them; kinda like Geno. Wolf Link might have potential though. I want Wolf to come back definitely, but as far as Peppy and Slippy…not so much. While I think FE needs to shrink, I know Lucina is more than likely the first on the chopping block(really I just want the Corrins cut).

    Mario could see another character(it is the flagship series after all) but as to who it would be…

  20. The barrel is half full? I don’t agree with that. When you say half-full, you’re saying, “I’ll settle for less, simply because.” That’s stupid. You should never settle for half-anything. When you get a half-full glass, you actually get a half-empty glass. You could have more than what you’re getting. You settle for a half-empty ‘barrel’ and then you’re settling for a half-full paycheck, or a half-full benefits, or half-effective medicine.

    No matter what you do or how you do it, you are always entitled to a full glass. And if you don’t think that, and you settle for less, or a half-full barrel, you deserve it, because you’re a damn fool who’s scared to thrive for more. It’s your video games today, and your supposed rights tomorrow. But to avoid a political debate, I’ll keep it related to the topic at hand: I didn’t get what I wanted and as a consumer, I felt I got gipped and bamboozled with the base game and the supposed content that came after. That ballot was a farce and nothing more than to give us the illusion like our vote mattered. 58 characters and we’re still missing a good chunk of them, simply because they aren’t ‘popular’ or ‘realizable’. Translation: “We don’t want to bring these characters back because we don’t like them, have a stupid ass costume instead while we pander to ourselves and our circle of friends!”

    And this is where I no longer follow Smash or anything to do with it. 58 characters and it still doesn’t appeal to me, and probably never will.

    In my opinion, of course.

      1. Hmm, let’s see.
        -King K. Rool(Popular choice since 2007, THE one character I wanted, had a massive following and possibly THE no. 1 choice of the ballot, guaranteed. Guess Sakurai didn’t like that too much)
        -Ridley(Can be the first giant character, with a gimmick built around his size, Sakurai showing his bias once again)
        -Dixie Kong(Who fit that entire criteria on Sakurai’s stupid guidelines, shows he is truly biased)
        -Wolf(If Lucas came back, he should have, too, likely to appear in Star Fox Zero)
        -Tetra/Zant/Ghirahim/Midna(Sheik is long overdue for a cut, also a one-off character like the ones mentioned, though Tetra has more appearances then all of them)
        -Toad(Swap Peach’s Toad with Toadsworth, and supposed problem solved. Powerful and fast but with a weak air game, like in SMB2)
        -Ice Climber(Keyword, I would have taken a solo Climber over them being cut. Being a duo wasn’t even a gimmick in the original game, and you know how Sakurai loves to stay true to the games characters come from- oh wait)
        -Ray-01(Unrepped series, could be a small but quick character)
        -Lip(Her stick was already in the game, along with her trash can, why not? Plus, I actually played and liked Panel De Pon)
        -Isaac(Golden Sun isn’t a particularly good series, but the characters have some potential and I’m not against him)
        -Sceptile(Grass-type to balance out the type circle, advertise the Gen III remakes)
        -Inkling(I don’t know how they’d do this one, but I’m sure they’d make a gimmick revolving its ink)
        -Stafy(His series sold more than Kid Icarus, yet Sakurai wants to poke fun at him for whatever reason. Someone’s mad that Stafy managed to be cuter than his precious Kirby. Hack)
        -Black Shadow(You won’t update Ganondorf but you’ll put your time into giving Pit a brand new moveset? And people will attack me or anyone else for calling this guy a biased hack)
        -Wario Land Wario(One that doesn’t fart and represent THE EMBODIMENT OF GROSS HYUK)

        Just to name a few. Not every character needs to be relevant or have a stupid gimmick. If you’re a fan of Nintendo, you should know all of those characters that I listed. If you’re a fan of 80’s/90’s Nintendo, Smash For wasn’t for you. Throwing one little bone doesn’t count in my book, and I’m not even a Golden Sun or a Metroid fan and I still see the potential waiting to be had with those two. It’s obvious Nintendo doesn’t want to acknowledge those lesser series and would prefer to have popular picks to advertise their upcoming catalog. Trophies don’t mean a damn thing to me anymore, not after they just ripped them from other games, making some sections look pitiful by comparison(Wario). 58 characters and we’re still missing a few notable faces, some not even on my list. I don’t care anymore for Smash, even if they actually dropped that advert nonsense and gave us more than Fire Emblem and 3rd party bile(Cloud, Ryu and Bayonetta can go right where Snake was left at).

        You’re more than welcome to attack me, I stand by what was posted.

        1. “If you’re a fan of 80’s/90’s Nintendo, Smash For wasn’t for you.” I don’t know, as someone that grew up playing the NES and then the SNES, Duck Hunt, Little Mac, Palutena, and ESPECIALLY Megaman appealed to me more then most of the Brawl newcomers. Personal preference and all that, but still, that’s a pretty blanket statement you made.

          1. I was born in ’91 and overall, while I can say Mega Man, Greninja, Duck Hunt and Pac-Man were superb choices, the rest were either ‘eh’ or pissed me off. Being a Pokemon fan, I was happy to see Greninja, and overall, as I stated before, some bones tossed here and there doesn’t excuse the rest of the otherwise boring/irritating roster. And I wouldn’t put Palutena in the same ranks as Mega Man. While she did appear in the original game, you can’t argue that the real flair she showed was from Uprising. She may as well be a modern character. Brawl had better newcomers than Smash For, Mega Man and Pac-Man be damned.

            Again, most of those characters I mentioned are from games or series that aren’t as recognizable or had some relevance when I was growing up, so to see them neglected or outright ignored is a bit grating, and Smash For is telling me that the only series that really matter are Mario, Fire Emblem and Pokemon, but at least Mario and Pokemon are justified with that treatment. Fire Emblem JUST got its stride and it gets six characters. Meanwhile, Donkey Kong can’t even get Dixie.

            Bob: That’s also something I’m annoyed at. We could have gotten at least two characters from the ballot, and I still find it hard to believe Bayonetta won. This whole thing screamed executive meddling and cherrypicking, and if they are going to use said results for future installment(They won’t), I’m not going to lose sleep over waiting for the next one. I was already anticipating this game’s roster after Brawl’s got leaked. I’m not doing that a second time.

        2. Some of these I can accept, some of them I cannot. I can accept Sakurai’s judgement on character selection, but not all the time. I’m not gonna say my opinion on each and every one of them because then it would show bias. I’m only upset with the ballot because it only utilized 1 character to be a standalone fighter (2 if you count Cloud) and many of the top chosen became Mii Fighter outfits as a compromise (Nice try, Nintendo. You only made it worse.). But to be honest, if Sakurai and Nintendo were going to make DLC, then why bring up a Ballot for the community to vote, then bring in only 1 fighter out of all that ruckus and make some of them costumes? Steve and Shovel Knight became immediately believed to be in the game as future DLC when the Shovel Knight and Minecraft for Wii U were announced. I didn’t even expect Bayonetta to be in the game for various reasons (firearms can be replicated, sex appeal, etc.), and I still feel like something’s missing when Bayonetta was announced.

          I wouldn’t blame Nintendo entirely, however. They’re kind of new to the DLC logic, with Sony and Microsoft many years ahead of them. I do hope that they improve on how to handle DLC in the future.

          As for characters, they weren’t entirely the type of fan-service that everybody claims. Remember that Sakurai said that after Wave 2 he said that he would do fan-service as long as it shows some interest to him.

        3. To be honest, the only reason why Bayonetta was included was because the majority of the fan-base spam-voted for their favorite characters, resulting in their REAL votes not counting at all. This means that there were more than 1.8 million voters, but Bayonetta was claimed to be at the top because she was considered as the most “realizable” character worldwide (If anybody knows what their view of “realizable” means in the first place).

          Hopefully the next game (if there is a next game) will have more fan-service into it. I heard that Cloud was despised by many Japanese players because Cloud wasn’t the most popular FF character in Japan (they claimed that Cloud was mean’t to appeal to foreigners).

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