Nintendo Dream Interview with Sakurai: Part 2

Nintendo Dream Part 2

Here’s part 2 of the Nintendo Dream interview! This part discusses all the DLC characters.
Part 1 – Sakurai talks about DLC Development.
Part 3 – All about the stages and some new information about the costumes.
We also did a discussion video that covers all three parts.


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Lastly, some pictures were taken right from the original article. However, Roy, Cloud’s pictures and Lucas’ trailer were not included in the original article. They were added to increase readability. 

The following is translated from Nintendo Dream volume 264, April 2016. The magazine was published February 20th, 2016.
This translation is for fan use only, and may not accurately reflect the opinions of Masahiro Sakurai.

The original version of this article stated Shin Hadouken instead of Shin Shoryuken for Ryu’s Final Smash. It has been corrected.


The Inevitable Seven

Of the characters available as DLC, three are returning veterans, and four are brand new to Smash. We sat down with Sakurai to learn about how they were made.


Sakurai: Among the veteran fighters who didn’t appear in Smash for 3DS/Wii U, Mewtwo was particularly popular, and it was clear many people wanted him back. Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible to include him in the retail release. Thus, we decided that, if we were to release DLC, Mewtwo would be an effective veteran choice, so we began with him.

—What sort of concept did you have in mind when designing Mewtwo?

Sakurai: Powerful, but light—a glass cannon. When fine-tuning a character, you have to make sure they stay balanced, but “light weight” being a character’s weakness is difficult to convey to users, so we made it really obvious just how light Mewtwo is.

—You mean how he’s so floaty?

Sakurai: No, floatiness is different from being a lightweight. Falling slowly and flying far when launched are two different parameters. Mewtwo’s weakness is that he can’t take a hit. Also, we gave him a Final Smash this time around, and I wanted to create a PSI-style attack, something shocking and unrelenting. Ultimately, we went with Psystrike, an attack in which Mewtwo sends an electric shock through opponents’ heads. Of course, there were limits to how far we could go because of ratings issues, but MewtwoYwe did what we could to give it some impact

—Speaking of his Final Smash, Mewtwo has two Mega forms, X and Y. Why did you pick the latter?

Sakurai: X wasn’t even an option (laughs). I mean, Mega Mewtwo X is about physical offense, which completely clashes with the concept I had for Mewtwo. From a gameplay perspective, I guess it could work to have him summon all his strength and deliver a powerful punch to his opponents, but that’s not the type of character Mewtwo is in Smash.


Sakurai: I was aware that, following Mewtwo, Lucas and Roy also enjoy considerable popularity. If we were to bring back a total of three fighters, I knew we couldn’t go wrong with these three. With Lucas, we made use of his unique playstyle from Brawl. At the same time, we originally created him using Ness as a base, so we once again started with Ness and made changes from there. In order to bring out the difference between the two, we made Lucas’s attacks more powerful but slower to finish, playing with the balance of strengths and weaknesses.

—Several new palette swaps feature characters from MOTHER 3, like Boney and Baby Drago. Were those your ideas?

Sakurai: No, one of the designers came up with those. They incorporated some memorable elements from the original game.

—I also noticed his Final Smash functions differently than in Brawl. Why is that?

Sakurai: In Brawl, you were able to unleash meteors one by one, but that wasn’t feasible this time around because of the limitations of the 3DS’s processor. To compensate, we animated the effect to look as if a slew of meteors are showering down at once to simulate the look of his original Final Smash even though its function has changed.


Sakurai: Roy from the Fire Emblem series (FE below) is a character who hits hardest at close range, just like in Melee. If pressed, I’d have to say Marth was stronger than Roy back then, so in Smash for 3DS/Wii U, we gave Roy more power, even adding strength to his animations.

—In what way?

Sakurai: To start with, we gave him a reverse grip. In Melee, we cloned Roy directly from Marth and continued development with the idea that we would simply tweak his parameters. This time, however, we remade a lot of his animations, using his reverse grip to emphasize his superior strength at close range.

How did you go about updating his design?


Sakurai: If you look at his Melee design today, it certainly seems old (laughs). That’s why I thought it was necessary to give him a more modern look. However, it was a pretty difficult process. Perhaps it’s because he’s a swordsman in a fantasy setting, but during the design process he took on a sort of Tales-ish appearance (laughs). I mean, the modelers responsible for his design also worked on the Tales series, so it makes sense (laughs).

When a character appears in spin-offs of their main series, designers have a hard time deciding which of their looks to use. For example, our designers might have considered basing Marth’s appearance this time on the illustrations Masamune Shirow drew for FE: Shadow Dragon.

—True. When a series has gone on for a long time, settling on one design could be tough.

Sakurai: It’s important to find the right balance. If you go too far, people will say, “Who’s this!?”

—For Melee, you included Roy in Smash before his own game was released. Did you incorporate elements from his original game this time around?

If we didn’t base the new Roy on his appearance in Melee, he wouldn’t be the same, so we think of Smash Roy as separate from his appearance in FE: Binding Blade. When Roy uses his Final Smash, Critical Hit, he swings his sword in a circular motion before striking as a reference to his original game. Aside from that, however, he’s very much a unique incarnation of Roy. That’s why he’s more spirited in Smash than he is in Binding Blade (laughs).


Sakurai: My goal with Ryu was to incorporate input-based light and heavy attacks. I also wanted to make him a character that could combo. Smash is not a combo-heavy game; rather, Smash was actually designed as a response to the fear of matches becoming too formulaic because of combos. However, I think the fun of 2D fighting games is inherently connected to pulling off consecutive hits, so I made it possible to string together combos in Smash, too. The length of a button press allows players to alternate between light and heavy attacks, a system inspired by a little old game called Street Fighter (laughs). His attacks change depending on how hard the button is pressed just like in the original game, so Ryu is provided with a plethora of attack options. I think the sheer variety of moves makes controlling him feel really good, but also inherently makes mastering him very difficult!

—You even included command inputs in Smash!

Sakurai: The disparity between attacks performed normally and those performed using command inputs actually quite substantial. For example, Shōryūken naturally maintains its invincibility in both versions, but its speed and landing lag differ. Using the command input Special Moves always proves advantageous, even in the smallest way. Since entering the command input itself takes several frames, we had to balance that out by adding something beneficial. Truth be told, I felt exaggerating the difference between the command input Specials and the normal Special Moves even more would have made for a more interesting experience, but I ultimately didn’t do it.

—How come?

Sakurai: If I had gone too far, the character might have felt too weak to someone unable to effectively perform the command inputs. That reminds me—Yoko Shimomura, the composer for Ryu’s Theme, bragged to me, “Even I can perform a Shōryūken!” (laughs)

—There were people in the editorial department saying the same thing.

(Everyone laughs)

Sakurai: Honestly, Ryu remade the preexisting Smash system. For example, when entering the command input for Tatsumaki Senpūkyaku, the character turns around. It was essential for us to make sure the program accurately recognized the command input even though it begins while Ryu is turned around. It was quite a struggle since command inputs are a completely foreign concept to Smash, and we had to completely redesign the system.

—You say it was “quite a struggle,” but you wanted to implement it, didn’t you? (laughs)

SakuraiFightingSakurai: Ryu wouldn’t be the same without command inputs (laughs). Also, I was very particular about his animations. I essentially based Ryu’s motions off his attacks in Street Fighter II, but creating the full animations required more work. For example, when Ryu punches, his extended arm pose is the same, but the animations for extending and retracting his arm were brought to life using the animation know-how we’ve amassed making Smash.

—Why did Ryu become the first Smash character to have two Final Smashes?

Sakurai: Personally, I feel Shin-Shōryūken is the only real option—it just feels so exhilarating. On the other hand, it feels far less exhilarating when the attack doesn’t connect. After you’ve fought tooth and nail for the Smash Ball, even unleashing an ultimate attack feels like a real letdown when it just grazes your opponent. I thus decided to include Shinkū-Hadōken to provide a little more flexibility. In the Street Fighter series, players can pick special moves to match their own personal playstyle, so I thought it would be a good match.


Final Fantasy VII (FFVII below) has never been released on a Nintendo console, so how did Cloud end up appearing in Smash?

Sakurai: Final Fantasy (FF below) is one of the few uniquely Japanese game series revered by players around the world. I think fans across the globe have hoped a character from one of those series would appear in Smash, so it was only a matter of time. At the same time, there are only so many big-name titles we can work with at this point—mainly because we’ve covered most of those bases. Aside from the major globally-recognized franchises already featured in Smash, there really aren’t that many left.

—That’s true. No other franchises come to mind.

Sakurai: Exactly. And within the FF franchise, Cloud is without question the most popular choice. A number of people fixate on the fact his original game was never released on a Nintendo console, but if we were to limit our choices to characters who appeared on a Nintendo console, we’d end up with Bartz from FFV or the Onion Knight from FFIII—how would that work? Maybe they could change jobs or something… Actually, that would be kind of interesting (laughs).

(Everyone laughs)

Sakurai: At the same time, I think it’s only natural to prioritize the character who enjoys worldwide popularity. I might have had misgivings if Cloud had never appeared on a Nintendo console in any form, though.

—Recently, he’s shown up in the Theatrhythm and Kingdom Hearts series. He’s even branching out to the PS4 now with the FFVII remake.

cloud one610Sakurai: Which is why I think we should forget about console wars and focus on what’s really important: enjoying the games themselves.

—On that note, can you tell us how you approached the creation of Cloud in Smash?

Sakurai: The biggest problem was that Cloud is simply too strong. He boasts long reach, plenty of power, and considerable speed. With all those strengths, he’s the perfect fighter.

—And he’s handsome to boot!

(Everyone laughs)

Sakurai: If you look at him in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (FFVII: AC below), he’s on a completely different plane, and I had a hard time trying to make that work within the game. Ultimately, I came up with a balanced solution as seen in attacks like his Side Smash: he takes a moment to charge up, then slashes with incredible speed.

—You also managed to incorporate his Limit Breaks.

Sakurai: Charging up to the limit and then unleashing a powerful attack really meshes with my impression of FFVII, so I think assigning Limit Charge as Cloud’s Down Special was a good idea. Technically, Cross Slash is one of his Limit Breaks in the original game, so I suppose it’s not a perfect fit, but still (laughs).

—Yeah, you can’t use Limit Breaks until the Limit Gauge is completely full.

Sakurai: Right—so by using the Limit Charge to strengthen Cloud’s Special Moves, I feel like we were able to assimilate the feel of Limits from the original game. Unlike other chargeable Special Moves, Limit Charge is unique in that the gauge doesn’t reset. Most other attacks in Smash reset if the user takes damage mid-charge, but Cloud can start charging where he left off.

—And why is that?

Sakurai: I felt a lot of new players would want to try him out, so I made him a little easier to use. Of course, if he did lose his charge after taking damage, that would allow us to make other changes instead. For example, if we made it harder to fill the Limit Gauge, we could make his Special Moves even stronger to compensate. Balancing in extremes makes for a much more exciting game.

—Cloud’s appearance has evolved over time alongside the technology responsible for each game. How did you approach his look in Smash?

Sakurai: Cloud’s recent appearances have gradually become more photorealistic—but Smash isn’t like that. When you look at all the characters side-by-side, none of them should feel out of place. It’s not easy, though. We approached Cloud as a realistic character while making adjustments so he would fit in. In that sense, Cloud’s Smash appearance might come off as slightly comical. By the way, we based his look off of his appearance in Dissidia Final Fantasy on the PSP.

—Did you reference the animations as well?

Sakurai: No. Aside from Special Moves like Cross Slash, I came up with all of his movements from scratch. Well, in FFVII: AC, there’s a sequence where he flies along the ground instead of running, but that’s the only other thing we incorporated into Cloud’s animations.

—Once you decided to include Cloud, what was the first attack that popped into your head?

Sakurai: Hm… I don’t think I came up with anything in particular, but I knew from the get-go I wanted to include Cross Slash. At the same time, it presents an incompatibility, since the move itself doesn’t fit with a game viewed entirely from the side. Actually, it might be the first move in Smash to be completely different depending on whether Cloud is facing right or left.

—How so?

Sakurai: Put simply, we had to make sure Cloud properly slashes out the character 凶 regardless of which side he’s facing. The hitboxes are completely different (laughs).

—Ah, now that you mention it, the character doesn’t flip around when Cloud changes direction. It’s legible as either way.

Sakurai: Right. In FFVII, Cloud starts slashing from the corner and finishes with the cross in the middle, but in Smash, we had him draw it the correct way: start with the cross, then finish with the outline. This adjustment makes it easier to string together all the hits since Cloud begins the attack from the middle.

The match up we've been waiting for.

—While we’re talking about third-party characters, did you ever consider including characters like Cloud and Ryu in previous Smash games?

Sakurai: The thought crossed my mind for a fleeting instant—”I wonder how I could make that work”—but I quickly dismissed the idea (laughs).

(Everyone laughs)

Sakurai: Those third-party characters are huge icons of their respective companies, so such an opportunity is hard to come by. That being said, now that Smash has grown into a well-known franchise, the creators recognize the merits of allowing us to use their characters, so negotiations have tended to go rather smoothly.

—Nevertheless, it’s so impressive you were able to bring Cloud into Smash.

Sakurai: I’m pretty impressed myself (laughs).

—Did Square Enix make any requests?

Sakurai: They supervised the development, providing detailed feedback and harsh criticism, but they didn’t make much in the way of requests. We have our own format for designing content in Smash, and they were gracious enough to grant us considerable freedom when devising Cloud’s attacks, animations, and Special Moves.

—What was the voice recording process like?

Sakurai: Cloud’s voice actor is Takahiro Sakurai, so we talked about how we have the same last name.

(Everyone laughs)

Sakurai: I paid special attention to the intensity of his lines. Cloud is fundamentally a detached character, but it would make for a pretty boring battle if he were too dispassionate. During the recording session, I spoke with a sound director from the FF series. My conception of what Cloud would do and say completely matched theirs, so I think Cloud’s lines turned out perfect.

—Still, Ryu and Cloud crossing over into Smash must surely be a smash hit with long-time gamers. You really know how to make people happy.

Sakurai: At the same time, gamers from that generation probably already have all the characters they could want. Mega Man has also joined the fray, so there might not be anyone left.

—I guess that means you’re going to have to include Donbe after all.

Sakurai: I’ll leave that up to you (laughs).


—Corrin marks the sixth Fire Emblem character to appear in Smash.

FESakurai: There are too many Fire Emblem characters! The decision to include Corrin was admittedly strategic, but I genuinely worried we might be adding too many characters from the series. That said, once the FE Fates developers shared their idea with me, I knew I could make Corrin into an interesting fighter. Their unique characteristic in Smash is their incredible reach, attacking from further away than anyone else. Even in the midst of a heated melee, Corrin can poke with their lance from afar and pierce opponents. They can transform one part of their body and extend it to hit opponents. I guess you could say they’re like Dhalsim… Well, maybe not quite (laughs).

It’s always interesting to see the difference in strategies which arise when a unique character comes out. When Corrin enters the fray, you have to pay attention to the distance between the two of you. On the other hand, that’s less of a concern with returning characters like Roy and Lucas with preexisting strategies. In that sense, I feel Corrin is a really important addition.

—Did you decide from the beginning to allow players to select Corrin’s gender?

Sakurai: Of course. I had even hoped to allow players to choose from a variety of heads and palette swaps, but I realized including all of them would be impossible.

—That makes sense since the original game provides players with a lot of freedom regarding Corrin’s hairstyle.

Sakurai: In the box art for Fates, Corrin♂ is drawn as a young man, whereas Corrin♀ is depicted as an adult woman—and we paralleled those designs in Smash. We watched some videos for reference and decided Corrin♂ would feel wrong as an adult but also feel too young as a child. Likewise, Corrin♀ could be seen as feminine, which caused its own difficulties.

—Deciding on the right tone for Corrin is something players dealt with in Fates, too.

Sakurai: I spoke with Corrin♂’s voice actor, Nobunaga Shimazaki, and asked him to aim for something between child and adult. He performed a whole range of voices, and we eventually settled on an ambiguous middle ground for Smash.

—How did you come up with Corrin’s animations?

Sakurai: Basically, I just took the animations from Fates and expanded upon them. I determined Corrin’s ability to transform part of their body was crucial in gaining the advantage in battle. In the original game, however, Corrin’s feet never change shape. Their legs morph into drills for some attacks in Smash, but the creators have thankfully allowed me some creative freedom. Unfortunately, that also means most of the attention is drawn away from their actual weapon—the Yato.

—Really? When I saw their trailer, I immediately thought, “That looks like it would hurt!”

Sakurai: I was surprised at first, too: “Huh? Is the blade spinning?” (laughs) I wanted to incorporate that surprise into Smash, so when you charge Corrin’s Side Smash, you can deal damage with the chainsaw.

The Yato changes shape several times over the course of Fates. What made you decide to use its Omega form?

Sakurai: We’ve traditionally equipped all the Fire Emblem characters with their strongest swords in Smash, so the decision didn’t require much thought. At the same time, the Omega form doesn’t show up for very long in the original game.

—For their Final Smash, Corrin transforms into a dragon. How did you come up with the idea for Torrential Roar?

Sakurai: First of all, I knew they had to become a dragon. I also decided they should use water, and eventually the attack took its current shape. Dragging opponents into another world is a neat effect, but overusing it can lead to an overabundance of visual sequences. At the same time, I felt incorporating some flashiness was necessary for Corrin, especially as a new character.


Who says Nintendo is just for kids, amiright?

Sakurai: My first concern with Bayonetta was devising a way to maintain the flavor of her games.

—What does that mean specifically?

Sakurai: In order to efficiently progress through the original Bayonetta, her Dodge Offset technique is absolutely essential since it allows you to dodge mid-attack and continue a combo. I wanted to preserve the concept of holding down the attack button being advantageous, so I included her Bullet Arts in Smash. In addition, I took pains to implement combo and Special cancels for stringing together chains in true Bayonetta fashion. Unfortunately, combo characters don’t exactly fit the fundamental model of Smash

—In Smash, the higher an opponent’s percentage, the farther they fly when hit with the exact same attack.

Sakurai: Exactly. Depending on how much damage an opponent has accumulated, some attack strings will fall apart midway through. That sort of uncertainty is a key part of what Smash is, so I avoided creating “true combos” guaranteed to connect under any and all circumstances. Also, I realized it would be obnoxious if Witch Time activated every time Bayonetta dodged an attack, so I made it into one of her Special Moves instead.

—Bayonetta is a character who shows a lot of skin, but Smash is a game rated for all ages. What kind of adjustments did you have to make?

Sakurai: It took a lot of effort (laughs). For example, her Bayonetta 2 costume features diamond slits on the back of her thighs. We were warned too much skin showing through would clash with the game’s age rating, so we touched up those spots and made them darker. Bayonetta also shows quite a bit of skin when summoning her Wicked Weaves, so those were also quite a challenge to adjust. We had no choice, though, since her design needed to pass ratings inspections in all regions.

—What can you say about the voice work?

Sakurai: One aspect that stands out to me is Bayonetta’s announcement trailer. We got Pit and Palutena’s voice actresses (Minami Takayama and Aya Hisakawa, respectively) back in the studio to record a few exchanges. Since Corrin and Bayonetta’s trailers were the last ones for this cycle of Smash, we decided a number of other characters should make cameo appearances, so we naturally asked the actors to record for us. I felt a little guilty calling so many famous voice actors into the studio for only a handful of lines, but it was a lot of fun.


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The full interview is now available in English!


Masked Man

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  1. I know Sakurai did a good job on the DLC characters and all…..But seriously. I still think he could’ve ended it in a better way if he brought Wolf back as well. He’s popular too…..And yet I still don’t know why he got cut.

    1. Me too. I thought they’ve finally added new lines for the DLC characters, but looks like they’d stay as unknown intruders…poor Lucas for no longer remembered by Pit. (lol)

    2. This is seriously the most disappointing part. He even mentioned that he felt guilty inviting them for only a few lines, and that could have been circumvented by just getting some new lines for all the DLC characters up. I wonder if Sakurai honestly just didn’t think of it, or if the thought crossed his mind and he didn’t find the money in the budget to pay for the extra lines.

  2. I think the Shin-Hadōken mentioned in Ryu’s Final Smash section was meant to be Shin-Shōryuken since that would match perfectly with the ‘exhilarating’ finishing move nature of it.
    Wonderful translation of all three parts of the article. I still wonder about the limited music choices on Midgar though. :p

  3. There is no way that Roy, Mewtwo, and Lucas are more popular than SNAKKKEEKKKEKEK!?! Mewtwo, Lucas, and Roy all have clones!!!

    There is no way Sakurai left Snake out on purpose. Konami probably fucked it up somehow….

    Can someone please ask him? How has no interviewer even mentioned it??

    1. I understand Roy and Lucas, but Mewtwo? Don’t tell me it’s another Lucario thing–they have ONE similarity people! XD come on!

    2. Mewtwo was never a clone of someone else. Sure his Shadow Ball may look like Samus and Lucario’s special, but that doesn’t mean he’s a clone of whichever. If you say he is a clone, then both Samus and Lucario is too, which is not true of course. Besides, both characters have perfect differences if you haven’t noticed.

      1. You didnt get the joke, he called mewtwo a clone because he -literally- is a clone of mew in the game. Got it?

        1. He actually didn’t make that joke as he didn’t call Mewtwo a clone. He said Mewtwo (and Roy and Lucas) has a clone, implying that Lucario is a Mewtwo clone.

  4. “At the same time, gamers from that generation probably already have all the characters they could want. Mega Man has also joined the fray, so there might not be anyone left.”

    That, along with the fact that King K. Rool wasn’t mentioned in Part 3 of this interview, makes me really worried for the Kremling King’s future in Smash as a playable fighter.

    1. Yo, you understand that King K. Rool is a very, very niche character right? It’s a very small(albeit vocal) minority that wants him in. I doubt more than a tiny fraction of smash’s playerbase even has any idea who he is-honestly, I would be utterly shocked if they even mentioned him, much less actually considered putting him in.

      1. Why does it matter if a character is niche or not? A lot of newcomers like Wii Fit Trainer, Shulk, Little Mac, and Duck Hunt could also be niche since a lot of gamers these days don’t really know who they are, and they fill in certain roles for what they represent. King K. Rool is only considered niche because he hasn’t been in a game in years. If he was in Returns or Tropical Freeze, then he would be considered relevant to Nintendo fans and have their attention. Plus, Sakurai also said in the same interview that he wanted Geno to be playable, a character that’s even more niche than King K. Rool. If he says that Geno is popular among older characters, then King K. Rool can’t be too far behind. King K. Rool was a more popular choice than Geno was worldwide after all.

        Lastly, a lot of characters that had support were vocal minorities to begin with. Even though the internet is loud, most of the people who buy Smash don’t participate in forums and the like that much. There are hundreds of people who use SmashBoards every day, but Smash 3DS sold at least 7 million copies. How many of those 7 million people do you think actively supported Little Mac and Palutena before they got confirmed? Not many of them for sure. Even Bayonetta 1 and 2, the ballot winner’s own games, were not a high sellers and only sold a couple million copies. In the end, it’s up to Sakurai to add who he wants, but my point is that novelty has never been an issue before and it never will be.

        1. I suppose it’s mainly a matter of not being particularly prominent nowadays. Back in 64 and Melee? Maybe a chance. But if they’re not going to do anything new with him, I suppose they don’t feel like adding the effort.

          Plus, they made the newcomers with all these new mechanics and such, it’s hard to make K.Rool stand out when he’s such standard heavy fare by comparison. Who’d be willing to pay five bucks for a low tier character?

          1. Like I said, King K. Rool’s only glaring issue is his lack of relevancy. If he was in Returns or Tropical Freeze, then he most likely would have got added in. Sakurai clearly knows how important the character is if he included a trophy of him in every Smash game featuring trophies, plus the fact that he was apparently notable enough to be sold as a Mii costume.

            King K. Rool could have a unique playstyle just like any other character. However they do that is something that I can’t disclose, but Sakurai does a great job with making a lot of the newcomers feel unique. King K. Rool has a lot of moveset potential to bring from his boss fights, like his crown toss, poison gas clouds, electric traps, blunderbuss. and even Klaptraps if the team wants to use creative freedom.

            Who would pay $5 for a low tier? Tell that to all of the people who wanted Mewtwo back and bought him. Tiers do not matter for who should be a DLC character and never should matter, Sakurai doesn’t design his characters with tournament play in mind. Like I said earlier, King K. Rool has a Mii costume that can be bought, so that shows that he is willing to sell the character in some way.

            1. I guess it’s mainly a matter of not caring enough. Unless he suddenly makes this huge comeback in a new game that’s noteworthy enough, he’ll be stuck the way he is. For now, I can only see Splatoon content being added in a sequel. We’ll just have to wait for some new games/sequels to better ascertain a potential roster.

  5. I wonder if he realizes that the love & want for cut vets grows stronger every time another is re-introduced. It’s kinda like a double-edged sword, you bring back beloved characters but end up making mouths water even more for other vets.

    I know, I know, be happy with what I got. But just hearing how Wolf was easy to make, his popularity, the upcoming game, the fact that if another vet was brought back it would most likely be Wolf makes it so bothering how close he potentially was to fruition.

    1. No, no. Criticize. We don’t have any more characters left at this point? I can name thirty alone. Sakurai needs to relook at how he decides who should get in Smash or let someone else handle it. There was no reason to not bring back Wolf, and even less reason to bring back Roy of all people.

    2. I agree. There is no way Mewtwo Lucas and Roy were more popular than wolf and snake… Lucas I understand, there is only one other character from Earthbound. But Roy and Mewtwo over Snake and Wolf is not great.

      I have to beleive that something went wrong with Snake contractually because it makes no sense… He is way more popular than even PAC Man and Mega man at this point…. He’s as famous as Cloud.. If not more so.

    3. If I don’t get an answer on Snake…. Someone please fucking ask him!!!! We are talking about characters from 20 years ago like fucking GENO?! MGS is huge still! What the helllll

      1. Konami’s being greedy, Kojima left them, David Hayter is forever upset, and Campbell’s Japanese voice actor is dead. It’s just not happening.

  6. One of my new favorite Sakurai lines:

    “Which is why I think we should forget about console wars and focus on what’s really important: enjoying the games themselves.”

    I’m glad higher-ups at Nintendo, even if it’s just one guy, agree that console wars aren’t as big a deal as some people make it seem.

    Cloud in Smash is still so surreal, ahhh~! I love it.

      1. It’s true, in Smash Bros, the way they treat characters from other companies x the way those companies are approaching Nintendo seems very unfair. Nintendo puts Snake in Brawl, great publicity for Konami, Konami doesn’t ports MGSV to the Wii U, Nintendo puts Ryu in Smash4, SFV doesn’t comes to Wii U… And I wonder what’s the case for the FFVII Remake that seems to not have plans for Nintendo as of now…

    1. That’s a horrible quote, Smash is exactly the place for saying “Nintendo is better, you all fucking suck!” And he goes and adds a playstation exclusive piece of trash weeaboo character that nobody ever wanted.

      Smash is for NINTENDO.

  7. I genuinely wonder if Wolf was an afterthought to the team at this point. He hasn’t been mentioned at all when talking about the veterans.

    And I think we overestimated his popularity.

    1. Out of all the cut veterans in Smash, Wolf had no reason to be cut. Snake got cut because Kojima left Konami and it made them lose their contact with Sakurai, Ice Climbers got cut cause they made the 3DS game and 8-Player Smash lag and Sakurai didn’t wanna make them as separate characters, The Pokemon Trainer got cut due to the loss of transformations, Young Link and Pichi have been cut since Melee because they were both too much for Clones, And even though Squirtle and Ivysaur are very unique, They still got cut because Charizard was way more popular than them. Once again out of all of them, Wolf had no reason to be cut.

  8. “gamers from that generation probably already have all the characters they could want.”

    Someone needs to pop his bubble, now.

    1. I think I haven’t exactly got that part, because of my english, but I think his concern was about if they made male Corrin too young, it could look feminine enough for players to mistake it with the female Corrin.

      1. But the symbol used (I don’t know how to get my computer to do that) is the symbol for female. Meaning he was referring to female Corrin. Maybe he was referring to sexualization, but I doubt it could be worse than Bayonetta.

  9. Samurai Pizza Cat, c’mon. You know very well that Corrin was pushing the envelope with Fire Emblem characters in Smash. 2nd most series roster in Smash, counting and even not counting alternate costumes.

    Corrin’s shape-shifting ability is cool, but it still doesn’t make up for misrepresentation. Should’ve thought about adding him in before Roy. Maybe then we could have gotten another vet, sorry Wolf, but my picks have been waiting before you. I’m still very glad you really nailed it with dlc, so many new unique ways to play and for me, a person who enjoys seeing odd movesets that change the way Smash is thought about and played, characters like Bayonetta and Ryu really pushed that envelope. But Corrin can just change to a Dragon, with many which attacks could be pulled of by other character choices that wouldn’t have broken the Fire Emblem limit. 3 new characters and a returning character, nice.

    The one thing I really want interviews to ask is about are characters Sakurai wishes he could’ve added, vets that he would return (let’s face it, the more Smash games and vets come back, the more the request come). I’d like to see him check out fan movesets, and listen to what fans think about character inclusions.
    Asked fans before inclusion, and I bet Corrin wouldn’t have gotten in.

    I would like to now what his thoughts are really on vets, since they are such a different type of character inclusion. If he were to bring back characters like Pichu and Young Link, would he accept fan movesets and ideas, since I’ve only seen very little fans of these characters wish for the original movesets. It would be a shame to get Pichu as the same old cruel joke character, or Young Link still as a clone.

    Why wasn’t Pichu included as an alt. for Pikachu, which would’ve been easier, considering the fact that it would take ease on development, and would please fans, he already has trophy models in game, and they could upgrade the model from X and Y, like they seemingly did for Pikachu and Jiggles. Is our new Pikachu really that old Pichu?

    Further more, how come Young Link got no appearance in Smash 4 whatsoever, outside of a mere reference in Adult Link’s trophy. Pichu got a trophy, Wolf got a trophy, Mewtwo got a trophy, Squirtle and Ivysaur(my bebi) got trophies, Pokemon Trainer, Ice Climbers, and Lucas got trophies that referenced their past appearances in Brawl.

    There was an Adult Link, Adult Zelda, and Young Zelda trophy, but no Young Link. Why? Was he planned to be in Smash 4 due to Toon Link on the Spirit Tracks stage, but scrapped for Toon Link to appease his fans (in which I must say thanks for…)? Why the absolute disappearance. Him and Snake are the only dropped vets with no appearance, but Snake has proper reasoning for exclusion, the festering boil that is Konami.

    Would Pokemon Trainer be brought back with Squirtle and Ivysaur ( and even other Pokemon) as a moveset, while you actually fought as the trainer? That sounds interesting and possible on 3ds, with low polygon Pokemon models of course, no feat there. Or would he get dropped so Squirtle and Ivysaur could thrive?

    And lastly, why did Wolf not return. I don’t route for his return, but his fans ABSOLUTELY deserve an answer. He would have been easy to implement, was popular enough, and having more than 1 brawl return vet doesn’t seem a problem, as Roy came back even despite Mewtwo and Doc’s appearance already. P.S. Roy is as much a semi-clone as Wolf.

    These are answers I want to hear, I’ve already heard all these dlc talks already, and they’re nice, but they are kinda repetitive. Can’t we get some juicy topics we fans want to hear?

    btw, I think we have a good list of untapped first party characters to choose from Sakurai, again, get fan opinions and ideas, not just who yells the loudest( I know it isn’t a popularity contest, well, I mean it really is…).

    1. Pichu and Young Link don’t really work as anything but clones, really. Young Link has his role taken by Wind Waker Link, and Pichu can’t really work as an alt due to the major difference between Pichu and Pikachu.

      Pokemon Trainer’s gimmick was unfortunately both competitively unviable and taxing on hardware. Not many other games come to mind where you’d completely switch characters during a match, especially given how such a mechanic isn’t quite as useful for tier lists and such. Plus, Pokemon trainers aren’t one to actually fight in the games, it’d take away from the entire point of the character.

      At this point, there really shouldn’t be too many more characters. 58 is a really big number, and that’s hell to balance. You can’t just keep adding more, especially when they’re outright trying to make all of them unique. There has to be a limit, especially if you’re trying to make the game actually competitive. Look at Mortal Kombat Armageddon, 63 characters, but a bunch of them are just reskins. Tobal 2 has over 200, but also has a bunch of half-finished characters.

      There’s only so much stuff you can put in at a time.

      1. I feel there is a limit to how many characters will be in Smash, at a time and forever.

        However, I must go against some of your statements,
        honestly, Pichu’s chances are quite low, but the addition of him as a clone would take time off the devs shoulders and offer a quick love letter to his fans. I doubt they couldn’t add him in clone or no clone, no rule states alt. costumes can have slight differences in moveset.

        As for Young Link, I say this a lot, and though the Toon Link replacement is true, and I don’t mean to be rude, it pisses me off like no other argument.

        Young has the most appearances of any Link, hailing from the most iconic games. Remember that in Smash, Zelda characters can represent they’re appearances through out the series. With this, Young Link represent any prepubescent Link, like how Toon Link disappears from the Spirit Tracks Train when played as a character on the stage, despite seemingly having his Smash appearance from Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass.

        With this, Young Link, even fits with other Links, has a MASS moveset to pull from, rods, masks, capes, even ladders, deku nuts, boots, gloves, nets, hookshots, such a diverse movepool I’m sad Sakurai has never touched or played with.

        He could even have different costumes hailing from different tunics, rings, and Link versions that could alter his abilities in battle, like a better resistance to fire moves.
        Zelda has a lot of things to offer for a moveset, and Young Link could really help that. This would also be great for Zelda’s anniversary, imagine the beauty of getting to play as all 3 Link incarnations, getting a new Zelda character in the form of the first ever Link players have ever played as.

        We got 3 Marths and 3 Marios. (Sorry Doc but I gotta call you out.)
        This is an inclusion that I’m sure would please and surprise many.

        As the Pokemon Trainer, you’re pretty much right. I mean, Duck Hunt Trio (Dog, Duck, and Gun) have only one character that you actually play as in their respective games. Game and Watch was made up as an universal rep for the Game and Watch series, which was quite smart I must add. Again, the moveset potential would be great, and would not only be better than adding Ivysaur and Squirtle separately, an idea I’m not to dismissive of, just sounds hard, but could also allow other Pokemon that wouldn’t hold up a chance in the roster by themselves a chance to Brawl.

        Probably just me, but I would love to see the Pokemon trainer sucker punch Mewtwo with a Quilava on his fist.

  10. I read the whole article of this interview from Part 1 to 3, and you made quite a good timing of keeping Part 2 on waiting because you already know everybody were eagerly wanted to read about characters than any other. As I read the whole article, I’m glad that Sakurai is well fine that his project has finally became over, and I’m glad how he’s being so honest on explaining everything among those things fans really wanted to know since then. Although there were few things that wasn’t explained, I’d rather blame on the interviewer because he didn’t bring that up to make Sakurai explain about it.

    “Which is why I think we should forget about console wars and focus on what’s really important: enjoying the games themselves.”

    This phrase has enlightened me the most. Sakurai have proven that Smash isn’t just a Nintendo-only crossover game, but a celebration of video games entirely, which is the most important part of enjoying playing video games. However, it seemed Square-Enix lending their character to Sakurai did look kinda difficult than how Sakurai ever thought. There were parts that they gave harsh criticism to Sakurai upon few points on Cloud’s development, which can tell how strict Square-Enix could be if things didn’t go perfectly according to their ideas. Although bringing Cloud to Smash in a form which Sakurai and Square-Enix became perfect, it makes me wonder if there’s another chance of Square-Enix lending their characters for Smash in the future again. It does sound like asking Square-Enix a favor isn’t that easy than other companies like Sega and Capcom, but at least their really not that strict like Disney I guess.

    I must agree that the interviewer didn’t bring out more important questions to Sakurai like the Smash Ballot results, but I guess they still wanted to keep that a secret for some reasons. If the Smash for NX rumor is meant to be true, which of course the interviewer or Sakurai never mentioned about it during the interview and while nobody in Japan realizes such rumor from the beginning, I think they the reason to keep it a secret is because they might bring those characters from the ballot as new characters. It make sense, but that’s just my opinion so I don’t know whether it’ll happen. But either way, I could’ve wished Sakurai would talked about more upon the Smash Ballot of who were in the Top 5 other than Bayonetta…

    Anyways, thank you for bringing us such wonderful interview article about Sakurai’s satisfaction of his completed project Source Gaming staffs! You all did a great job translating them all! Thank you so much!

    1. Forgetting the console wars might be easy for him to do since apparently Smash is just a way to work on a lot of IP’s for him, but most of them rarely return the favor. Also, it is clearly labeled a Nintendo crossover with GUESTS.

      1. Yeah, and there are possibilities that those guest may not return to Smash 5 too. Maybe Sonic will, but others depend. But I just felt Square-Enix’s case can be more difficult next time since their more stricter, and we already know Konami’s helpless now.

        1. Yeah, Sonic is the most likely to return I would say. Nintendo and Sega have been pretty chummy lately; plus he is the only third party to be in more than one. Also, Mario VS. Sonic! Pac-Man is also very likely if Namco helps with the next one as well. Mega Man. . . I don’t know. I’d like to him come back, but Capcom has not been kind to the blue bomber.

  11. “Sakurai: There are too many Fire Emblem characters!”

    I can’t wait for people to take that quote out of context.

    Jokes aside, Sakurai’s process on character development and inclusion is still very informative. I can understand what really goes into making this game a lot more with each translation you guys post, so thanks a lot for the effort.

  12. Thanks a lot for translating this!

    A question… Is Sakurai the ‘only’ inside worker of Smash Bros that talks about it (the game)? I mean, I’ve seen sometimes here mentions of the voice actors saying something, but that was Sakurai talking about them. That’s kind of weird, because there’s a lot of people working on the game, maybe they aren’t allowed to talk about it?

    1. It’s likely they can’t talk about it. I forget his name, but remember than NOA employee who got fired? I don’t think they gave a specific reason for his termination, but it was pretty obvious.

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