It’s been about five months since Smash for Wii U and 3DS ended its DLC development. Even though we are still enjoying the games, with multiple rumors that a new Smash will be made for Nintendo’s next console, we decided it was an appropriate time to look ahead. The following list was chosen by Source Gaming staff (and friends!) and then ranked by the number of votes. For this article, each contributor had a limit of 10 votes each. Let us know how you feel in the comments or on Twitter!
Top Ten (Plus One!)
Inkling – 11 Votes
A character that nearly everyone expected for Smash for Wii U and 3DS DLC. With Splatoon’s breakout success and mainstream presence it makes too much sense to add these ink-shooters. In the individual character poll conducted by BluePikmin and Source Gaming, these stylistic sea creatures ranked #2 — gaining the most amount of 5s. In my Perception of Smash DLC in Japan, Redux, I ranked them in the 5th spot. Having a costume might have sealed their fate in Smash for Wii U and 3DS but they will be back to claim their turf! –PushDustIn
Ice Climbers – 10 votes
It really does seem that Sakurai wanted to add Nana and Popo to Smash for Wii U and 3DS. It was revealed in his column collection that they even tried removing bones and gravity. However, because of the hardware limitations, they just weren’t possible. Perhaps with the next Smash, the duo would make their triumphant return. –PushDustIn
A Pokémon from Generation 7 – 10 votes
Hard to believe another one’s here, isn’t it? The seventh Pokémon generation will be our introduction to many new faces, and the rumors of the NX getting its own version of Smash 4 could give any one of them a chance that rarely comes. Boasting an absolutely massive number of characters, many with a wide range of unique abilities and elemental powers rarely seen in Nintendo’s other mainstay franchises, it’s a pretty safe guess to say we could see a newcomer from what will be the newest and most relevant Pokémon games when the NX launches.
With so few ‘mons revealed so far, it’s anyone’s guess who has the best chance, but all eyes for now are on the new Grass starter, Rowlet. With a dearth of both plant- and wind-based abilities on the roster, Rowlet’s fully evolved form would have a leg up–or wing up–in uniqueness just from its elemental affinity alone! But with us knowing so little, it’s still too early to say–the line might grow into a form too difficult to make work in Smash, or maybe a different Pokémon that hasn’t been revealed yet will prove to be more compelling. It’ll be a while before we know for sure, but that’s all part of the fun. –Delzethin
Wolf – 7 votes
Let me make something clear: I don’t hate Wolf. Wolf was one of my mains in Brawl. I just didn’t think he was likely for Smash for Wii U and 3DS DLC for several reasons. With that out of the way…I do think Wolf will make his grand return in the next Smash. With the latest release of Star Fox: Zero, I think Star Fox might be relevant enough to warrant three characters. Furthermore, Wolf would be a slightly easier character to make meaning if the development for the next Smash has a quick turnaround, then it makes Wolf a very appealing choice to add. One of our own Spazzy has written an amazing article about Wolf titled, Wolf in Memoriam. –PushDustIn
A Rhythm Heaven Character – 7 votes
The notorious Gematsu rumor, a large rumor which included some of the characters in the final roster, included an interesting character: Chorus Men. Even more interesting was there is potential evidence of a Rhythm Heaven character being planned for the game. We don’t know why the character was removed or even how far the character made it, but Rhythm Heaven is ripe to have a character in Super Smash Bros. The DS title sold 1.92 million as of March 31, 2009. Will the Chorus Men make their big debut, or Tebiri, the main character of Rhythm Heaven Megamix, or even Karate Joe, the character who has appeared in every game? –SmashChu
(Captain) Toad – 6 votes
Toad is one of Nintendo’s most iconic Mario characters, but has yet to join the battle in Smash. Toad, however, has been more prominent since the release of Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS. Toad was one of the first non-Smash characters to receive an amiibo, and he has appeared in most of the Mario games, from Super Mario 3D World to Mario Party 10. Not only that, but Captain Toad received his own game on the Wii U: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. Now would be the perfect time for the little guy to join the series. I mean, he is the best after all. –SmashChu
Takamaru – 6 Votes
Takamaru is a character that Sakurai keeps on considering. He was considered not only in Melee but in Smash for Wii U and 3DS too. The only thing that held this retro swordsman back is the lack of popularity abroad. With the inclusion of not only an Assist Trophy, but a Mii Fighter costume…Takamaru’s notoriety abroad is on the upside. Furthermore, Mysterious Murasame Castle was included as an attraction in the Wii U premiere title, Nintendo Land. His game was also finally released to the West via the Virtual Console. All of this is helping Takamaru gain some popularity. We can only hope these are enough to convince Sakurai to upgrade Takamaru’s status. –PushDustIn
Elma- 5 votes
Xenoblade, despite being a newer Nintendo series, has already made its mark with the Operation Rainfall campaign and the inclusion of Shulk in Super Smash Bros for Wii U/3DS. Not long after the release of the newest Super Smash Bros. title, Xenoblade Chronicles X was released in Japan. The title received plenty of attention, thanks in part to the quality of the previous game. Meanwhile, Super Smash Bros. fans saw a major character, Elma, as a perfect addition for the next game.
Although Elma is not the character the player will mostly control, she remains the de facto main character of the story. Elma is a leader of BLADE, a military organization that protects the people of New Los Angeles, and is the guide for the main player. Even though you are the one in change, the game refers to your squad as “Elma’s team.” Elma is, at times, stoic and generally dutiful and supportive of her team. Her class is the Full Metal Jaguar, and she uses both dual blades and dual machine guns in combat. Additionally, she has a myriad of other acrobatic attacks such as Shadow Strike, her signature attack, and Stream Edge. –SmashChu
Geno- 4 votes
Funny how a character’s outlook can change completely, isn’t it? After missing out in Brawl despite strong fan support, Geno was little more than an afterthought in the speculation leading up to 3DS/Wii U. A one-off character from the 20-year-old Super Mario RPG, whose patron company of Square-Enix wasn’t even involved in Smash yet? He hardly stood a chance.
But in the time since, the stars have begun to align. Cloud Strife signaled Square-Enix’s grand entrance into the series, and Ryu’s inclusion proved that a third party company could bring in multiple characters if they were able justify doing so. Then a Mii costume based on Geno found its way into the final batch of DLC, and with it, a character believed to be long forgotten turned out not to be.
Then in a twist that made the collective fandom’s jaws hit the floor, we learned that Geno was legitimately considered for Brawl. Not only did Sakurai’s team know about him, he’d been on their radar for a long time.
With the combined attention of both the Smash developers and Square-Enix plus a cult following 20 years strong, and with the potential for a unique moveset built around the Mario RPGs’ famous Action Commands, the time may be right for Geno to finally fulfill a wish we thought was long forgotten. –Delzethin
Dixie Kong- 4 votes
It’s arguable that the DK series has been relatively light in content throughout the entirety of the history of Smash Bros. Even going beyond the minimal 2 playable characters, there has never been a Donkey Kong Assist Trophy, nor a particularly healthy array of stages or items. It almost goes without saying, but I feel like I need to point out that there are many characters that have had central roles as either co-protagonists or antagonists throughout its arsenal of critically acclaimed and commercially successful games. Aside from Donkey and Diddy, no character within the DK universe is more prominent than Dixie Kong. She always manages to pop up in the most beloved Donkey Kong Country games, such as Diddy’s Kong Quest, and Tropical Freeze. Considering she was prime for a playable role in Brawl, she seems like she’s in a “not if, just when” situation. –TheAnvil
King K. Rool – 4 votes
Despite this being a “top-10” list of characters, we had a tie, leaving us with a total of 11 characters! No “top” list of speculation relating to character additions in Smash Bros. is complete without the King of the Kremlings, who managed to muscle his way into this one too! K. Rool is quite simply one of the most heavily sought after characters to enter the Smash Bros. fray, both in Japan and in the West. I have in the past discussed the main issues that he faces, such as his lack of relevancy, and the competition within his own franchise. Though his status as a Mii Fighter costume was more likely than not, a consolation prize for his lack of a playable appearance. Potentially putting him in a better position than previously believed. With his overwhelming popularity, he’s almost certainly a prime candidate for the next Smash, be it an enhanced port, or a true sequel. –TheAnvil
While the ten-plus-Kremling above were collectively considered the most likely by our team, there are several other characters with arguments for inclusion who fell short in support. Narrowly missing the mark were Paper Mario, Isabelle, and Rayman, all of whom were considered possible roster candidates by speculators at some point in the past. There was minor support for Snake to return, as well as newcomers in the form of the upstart Bandana Dee, the retro-inspired Donkey Kong Jr., and Minecraft’s Steve. Tied with them in support were the concepts of newcomers from The Legend of Zelda and Pikmin, and the chance of Pokémon getting multiple newcomers, all three involving franchises with major titles coming down the road or at least hinted to be coming. Rounding out our list with just a sliver of support were the divisive Pichu, the child witch Ashley, and the concepts of characters from Monster Hunter, Resident Evil, and Bravely Default. Says a lot about how many options there could be that so many were left on the cutting room floor, doesn’t it?