A Case For Corrin: Why Corrin Was Chosen To Smash

case for corrin (1)

This is a guest post. For more information on how to submit a guest post, please check the guidelines.

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

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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.

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And Corrin thought THEIR choice would be impactful…



  • 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.

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…Aside from that. That’s a given. Besides, Super Mario Maker got a Stage already!



  • 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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  1. The criteria of having a recent character narrows down who the alternatives may have been:

    Someone from Codename S.T.E.A.M.
    Someone from Xenoblade Chronicles X (probably Elma)
    Captain Toad (he debuted a while back, but not in a starring role)

    Codename S.T.E.A.M. Was probably considered too much of a bomb to be worth promoting. Inkling may have been considered too resource intensive to develop in a way that does them justice (squid transformation, an ink mechanic). Captain Toad is defined by an inability to jump, and regular Toad has already been passed over in every Smash game.

    So that just leaves Elma. Maybe her use of firearms crossed the line into realism too much? Or may maybe Sakurai just thought Corrin’s dragon transformations had more to offer.

    1. Bandana Dee may have been another option, after his role as the multiplayer mode in Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. And with ORAS still the most recent Pokémon games at that point, Sceptile may have also been in the running. Ultimately, though, it seems like Skaurai’s team thought Corrin had the most potential out of the options they had, for better or worse.

      1. Sceptile? Seriously? This is as random as Waluigi would be. Yeah, I got that “need a grass type pokémon” mindset, but why necessarily Sceptile? Besides its ridiculous design (my least favorite of all grass starters) it’s not as popular as another gen III pokémon such as Blaziken (that would be awesome), Metagross, Salamence, Gardevoir, Jirachi, and so on. My problem is, if a grass type pokémon is needed in Smash, why not Venusaur? We had Ivysaur in Brawl and worked very well, a more heavy and slow Ivysaur with stronger attacks would be better that a randomic Sceptile.

  2. Precisely, I wouldn’t think Corrin’s inclusion was Sakurai alone’s choice, as he already explained that it was among the Nintendo company’s discussion. Much more, I do think there were differences among company’s choice from both Japan and in west. Japan might have agreed to use Corrin because FE:Fates was popular among every fans, while the west agreed as it was good for advertisement. But I’m not quite sure how it was decided, but I do agree that Sakurai was hesitated if it was okay to over-represent FE characters, but at least he made Corrin a lot more different than any FE characters as he’s more of a shape shifter than a sword fighter. And although I’m not a fan of the series as I haven’t played any of them before, I’m really excited to play as him on how great and interesting his moves will be.

    There might have been more choices other than Corrin I guess. If we can think of any games that was released in 2015, starting from the new ones and excluding third parties and downloadables…

    Wii U had #FE, Animal Crossing amiibo Festival, Devil’s Third, Splatoon, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Mario VS Donkey Kong, Mario Party 10, and Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. While 3DS had Mario & Luigi Paper Jam, Pokemon Scramble, Triforce Heroes, Chibi-Robo! Zip-Lash, Picross, Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon, NES Remix, Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer, Rhythm Heaven, Code Name S.T.E.A.M., Style Savvy, Lego City, and Majora’s Mask 3D.

    It’s hard to choose which character would be best for Smash DLC. I could agree that the Inklings were too difficult because of their mechanics might not help against Smash 4’s quality, while anybody from Code Name S.T.E.A.M. weren’t helpful because they weren’t popular at all, even Devil’s Third was out of the idea since the game was too violent, and Style Savvy weren’t eligible just by using fashion as weapons for Smash. Isabelle and Skullkid were already an assist trophy so that wouldn’t help, and Sceptile was already taken to Pokken so that was all for the Pokemon roster, and Paper Mario wouldn’t be satisfied for bringing another Mario in the game, and Elma couldn’t because of her appearance problem due to localization. So, maybe Corrin was the only choice of the selection since his purposes were perfect enough for both Nintendo of Japan and west. But seriously, 2015 wasn’t a good year for Nintendo when it came with so many hardships on games that didn’t go well. So in this case, Nintendo really had their hardships on which character was best to bring for Smash DLC too.

  3. I don’t know, Corrin’s inclusion stills bugs me.

    I feel like it was still overkill.

    There are other characters I feel would’ve been great for Smash, especially for game promotion. But this really does get me the wrong way. Corrin’s shape-shifting is nice, but other characters I personally feel would’ve been more interesting and diverse,

  4. A shape shifter character is really something that Smash never had, and despite being a Fire Emblem hater, I’m OK with Corrin’s inclusion. It’s nice to see Sakurai worried with over-representing the series in Smash.

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