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NOTICE: While I will be sticking to facts as much as I possibly can, portions of this article may end up falling into mild speculation and opinion. While I’d like to think this speculation isn’t baseless and will be backing it up with sources, it is still speculation at the end of the day. This article does not represent PushDustin or the the Source Gaming team.
To say the past few months of reveals for Smash for 3DS/Wii U have been nothing short of a roller coaster ride would be quite the understatement. As is the case with every Super Smash Bros. game, speculation and rumors ran rampant like a collapsed dam. And with the unveiling of Cloud, that powerful torrent became a hurricane of possibilities. The unwritten rules of Smash newcomers was shattered, and the likeliness of at least two more fighters had people excited. The ballot was over, and the Final Smash Direct loomed over our heads. The stream began, the heart pounding trailer intro sliced the screen, revealing to us one of the final two characters in this incredible generation of Smash…
Well, it certainly was a surprise!
What WASN’T a surprise was the backlash he received, Corrin was met with mixed reception by many. And it’s certainly understandable why: the inclusion of Corrin brings the Fire Emblem roster up to six, with him and Roy making up essentially 30% of the DLC. PushDustin has already written his own article on this subject, so I won’t be beating a dead horse on that subject. Instead, I aim to focus on a question that tends to make the rounds whenever discussion on Corrin sparks:
On the surface, the answer seems fairly obvious. As stated by Sakurai himself, the team had decided that they would include a character from a soon-to-be-released game, and they ultimately settled on Fire Emblem Fates. Corrin was added as a means to compliment the game, much like how Roy was added to Melee for a similar reason. It’s simple enough logic to settle with, right?
However, Sakurai isn’t one to make decisions lightly. The man practically slaves himself over Super Smash Bros and its roster, and even he was worried that Fire Emblem might be over-represented with Corrin’s inclusion. In that case, why ultimately choose Corrin over other potential candidates that met the same criteria besides “fun”? Let’s start by talking about the man himself.
- Sakurai and Fire Emblem
Thanks to the ever-so-convenient timing of the Making of Fire Emblem: 25 Years of Development Secrets book and its interview with Sakurai, we know that Sakurai has had an appreciation of Fire Emblem since joining HAL in 1989. In fact, it’s plain as day that the man is a massive fan of Fire Emblem… He’s played every single game, and beaten a majority of them to boot! That’s dedication that even most hardcore Fire Emblem fans can’t match, and his long history with it certainly justifies Sakurai’s reasoning for wanting to include Marth in Smash Bros. since 64. So in hindsight, him being a bit more lenient on the number of characters could be a bit of personal bias. Of course, Sakurai is likely familiar and acquainted with many of the Smash Bros. Fighter’s respective series, but his inclusion in the “Making of Fire Emblem” book speaks miles for his enjoyment of the series. And speaking of that book…
- 2015 & Fates/IF mark the 25th Anniversary of Fire Emblem
This is still amazing to me. With how many games the series has produced, its constant development hell, and it’s lack of presence in the US until Melee raised international awareness of it, 25 years is very impressive. The series would not even be around at this moment were it not for Awakening demolishing the 250,000 copy milestone, so it is a significant moment for the series. And with Fates already moving itself up the sales ladder in Japan, the series likely has a bright future ahead of it. And what better way to celebrate it than with the inclusion of Corrin in Smash Bros? There are plenty of other games they could have picked from, but nothing that likely held as much significance to Nintendo as a whole than Fire Emblem.
- The Deep Bond that Fire Emblem and Smash Share
We all know the story: While not the sole factor, Smash was one of the influences that helped Fire Emblem ditch its Japan-only status was Marth and Roy’s inclusion in Melee. While it is likely that Fire Emblem would have probably found a way to go international one way or another, the series would not have nearly as much success as it does now. In turn, there were likely Fire Emblem fans in Japan that wouldn’t have cared for Smash if it weren’t for Marth and Roy. As Sakurai himself stated in regards to FE and other series introduced to Smash,“It’s a give-and-take relationship.”. And Fire Emblem is an example of that.
Make no mistake when I say that I agree with PushDustin on Corrin’s inclusion: Even with all of these possible angles to look from, the decision to add Corrin is, at best, not the worst choice he could have made, but certainly not one of his better ideas. There are probably several dozen characters I’d have liked to see before him. I love Fire Emblem, and I’m extremely revved up for Fates and Corrin’s Smash debut, but I’m certainly not blinded to the problems of his inclusion. People have every right, and good reason, to not be happy with it. However, I also am not one to believe his purpose was purely, or even primarily, advertisement. Smash and Fire Emblem, as well as their respective creators, have deep ties with one another. In a way, Corrin is (as CORRIN-y as I am about to sound here) a testament to the history that these two series share with each other. I don’t entirely agree with the idea of that, but with everything Sakurai and his team has done for this game, I’m willing to give the man a freebie.
DarkAura64 can be found on SmashBoards! Thanks for the submission!
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