UPDATE1: Made Cooking Navi its own series
Everyone likes the Super Smash Bros series for different reasons whether it is the party aspect, the competitive aspect, the single player content or the love it shows for Nintendo’s IP. For me the latter is probably my favourite thing about the franchise and that is why I adored features like the Trophies and Stickers as well as seeing which characters, stages, items and songs get chosen for each game. With all this in mind I began to to develop some thoughts like, ‘How does a series get chosen for Smash?’ and ‘How many of Nintendo’s IP are in Smash already?’. Well to answer these questions (particularly the last one) I needed to answer a different question first: How many IPs does Nintendo have? With that as my goal I searched across the Internet, reached out to developers and took various facts into consideration before finally deciding on a number. I hope you brace yourself, the number is a lot bigger than I am sure most of you expected.
So are you ready? From the Arcades to Mobile, Nintendo has managed to amass a grand total of…
Yep, Nintendo is nearly hitting that 200 mark with their IPs. That means there is a lot of franchises for Nintendo to draw from for Smash, but how many does it use? Let’s work this out together but before that I should probably explain what guidelines I used to get to this number.
First of all I should stress that I am following the laws set out by Super Smash Bros. for what constitutes as its own IP. What this means is that while games like Mario Kart, Mario Sports, Mario Party, etc, all fall under the Mario IP label, the Yoshi, Wario, Wrecking Crew and Donkey Kong series are all their own separate entities. This is not just limited to Mario though as Wii Fit and Wii Sports are also considered separate IP and so by extension Wii Music, Party, Play and Chess (yes even Chess) are all also considered their own individual franchises as well.
On the flip-side of that there are some series that have been combined together when you might consider them as separate. In the file for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U & 3DS there is evidence that a Touch! Generations trophy category was going to be added. Now, Touch! Generations encompases a lot of different games and actually varies from region to region so I made a rule: games that began as Touch! Generation, but got sequels after the brand was dropped are classified as their own series. Games that only existed with this brand have been put under it. This means that the likes of Nintendogs, Brain Academy and Brain Age are all their own series whereas Master of Illusion, English Trainer and Magnetica are all examples of Touch! Generation games. I have also applied this to the generic sports games that Nintendo use to make before Mario took over them. This means Tennis, Soccer, Baseball, Ice Hockey, Golf and American Football have all been put under the ‘Nintendo Sports’ franchise.
Next, I want to bring up the franchises that Nintendo have worked on but do not own. These include games both designed and/or published by Nintendo, but they do not hold the rights for in any way. Games like this include:Mickey Mouse and Popeye to Tetris and SimCity to Baten Kaitos, Culdcept and Fatal Frame. Some of these, you may be saying to me in the comments, are in Smash already so why not include them. The reason being that the aim here is to look at the franchises Nintendo does own rights to, either 100% or even just a bit, and not the individual games they own. They don’t own all of SimCity for example just the SNES ones as they published and helped develop. That is why we can have Mr. Wright in Smash despite SimCity not being with Nintendo anymore.
Lastly, I have not limited myself to just game IPs. Although this only applies to three series so far being Hardware, Ultrahand and Nester, all of which were not originally thought of as game IP but are all brands owned by Nintendo so I have counted them. I will say it here but as of the time of this articles publication Captain N: the Game Master has not been confirmed to me by Nintendo as one of their IP. I do not know if it is owned by Nintendo, who produced the series, or if it is owned by DIC Entertainment (who made the series). Unlike the Super Mario Bros show and the Sonic cartoons that DIC also made, Captain N was a brand new IP so ownership of the series is not 100% confirmed.
With all of this cleared up, let’s take a look at the series that are in Smash and how they are represented within the universe of Smash. I want to clarify that I am only going to talk about Nintendo series here and so no 3rd Party franchises like Sonic or Mega Man will be mentioned. I am also not including Brawl’s chronicle as it is not really a proper representative of the IP, it is just a name in a long list. I won’t be going into a lot of detail here as we will be anymore but I will give at least one example where this series can be found.
Let’s start with an easy one, the fighters. The latest Super Smash Bros. has 58 characters but there were more cut in the previous games. I am also going to include Mii Fighter costumes here as they are involved with the fighters. Let us take a look at which franchises are represented here:
So in total for the characters in Super Smash Bros we have 30 series represented with 2 of these being from Mii Fighter costumes.
The next big part of the Super Smash Bros. series is the stages so now I will move onto them. This includes obviously what series these stages are based on but also includes all the individual hazards in these stages. Again I will make sure to include at least one example of where you might find this representation in the Smash series.
So in total for the stages we have 32 represented with only 1 of these being just a hazard. A fun fact about this is that Robot is the only series with a unique playable fighter but no level based on it. Poor R.O.B!
Next we have items, the final major element that makes up the Super Smash Bros. experience. I am also going to include the Assist Trophies here as they are connected to the game through the use of items and just like before I will include one example of where you might find this series represented in Super Smash Bros. This will NOT include items that come from fighters like Peach’s vegetables or R.O.B.’s gyros or stages like the apples in Green Greens as they are technically just an extension of that fighter/stage.
These numbers keep getting bigger. From the items there are 43 different series shown through items with 29 being from Assist trophies.
All things considered this should be a short one. Ever since the first Smash game there have been NPC enemies and bosses for the player to fight whether it be Master Hand or enemies in Smash Run. Once again I will give one example of where to find the representation so let’s-a-go:
This time around we have ended with 15 series represented. All of these are from series that have playable characters except for one and that is Rhythm Heaven. Maybe this is a sign that it was once planned to have playable character…
Super Smash Bros Brawl introduced the My Music section of the game where stages could now have more than one or two songs. This came back in Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS and thanks to this there are many series that now got some representation in Smash, even if this is there only one. Once again I will give one example of a song that has some representation in Super Smash Bros.
That’s a lot of minutes you can listen too! For the music in Smash there are 67 different series represented. 64 of these series can be found in Super Smash Bros for Wii U & 3DS but two can be found only in Brawl being Cooking Navi and Wii Play.
Welcome to the longest part of this article. There are a ton of series who have been represented via the trophies from the GameCube to the Wii U. There is a ton of series there but I will do my best to give an example of one. I really hope you appreciate all this hard work.
Phew. This is definitely the category that represents the most Nintendo series with 88. It’s not surprising that this area references Nintendo’s IP the most but it does not reference all of them. If only it were that easier.
And now we are on to our final category for the series represented in the Super Smash Bros series. Stickers acted very much like trophies but got to represent those games that do not have 3D models. They only appeared in Super Smash Bros Brawl and while not representing as many series as the trophies they do represent a few different franchises. So let us stick to the same plan as before as I give at least one example of where the series are represented.
So through Brawl’s stickers there are 57 series represented. With that we have covered every Nintendo IP ever represented in the Super Smash Bros series (excluding the Chronicle). So what is the final tally? Well before that I just wanted to briefly mention the franchises that were considered for a different category at some point. This means series with considered characters, stages and music. This does not necessarily mean they were ever worked on. The reason I want to do this is because it will help us in evaluating why certain series have never been chosen for representation in Super Smash Bros. I can’t give any examples for this but I will say what the series was planned for instead.
So there was only 11 series that were planned to have certain features appear in the Super Smash Bros series but never did. All of these series eventually appeared elsewhere in the Smash Bros franchise except for one: Swapnote/Diary. We do not know why this series got removed entirely but I will cover it in the next part. Yep there is going to be a second part to this article where I go over all the Nintendo IP that have NOT appeared in the Super Smash Bros. franchise. For now though let’s get to the figure you have all been waiting for. Out of Nintendo’s 193 franchises the grand total of Nintendo IP that are represented in Super Smash Bros is
That is not even 2/3rd! In fact, that is barely over half. It just goes to show that there is still plenty of IPs that Sakurai and his team can pull from for future installments of Smash.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Part 2 can be found here so I hope you go and check it out. There are 84 Nintendo IP unaccounted for (Swapnote included) and I am going to list them all off with reasons why I think they have missed the cut for so long. Leave a comment below and if you have any questions make sure to hit me up on Twitter. Now good luck trying to play all those Nintendo games, I know I will need it.