Dream Smashers – Ashley

ashley

Every so often you get a character who is not a major player in their own series but is so popular that they have surpassed their own franchise and gone on to more of an iconic level. Ashley the witch from the WarioWare franchise is one of these characters. She made her Super Smash Bros debut as a sticker in Super Smash Bros Brawl but later saw an upgrade to Assist Trophy in the latest game, Super Smash Bros for Wii U. Due to the nature of her series it might seem like a tall order to make her into a playable fighter however despite that she is a very popular request, even making it as a Mii Swordfighter costume as part of Smash’s DLC. However of all the Wario characters Ashley is certainly the most likely to be boosted up to the playable role and thanks to her Assist trophy we have good evidence at how Sakurai may view the character and thus model her abilities from it. So it’s time to look at everyone’s favourite person in the world, Ashley.

Who is Ashley?

ashley
Splash Screen by TheRealHeroOfWinds
Gimmick: Status effects
Niche: Little Witch

Who’s the girl next door living in the haunted mansion? A little girl but a powerful witch, her name is Ashley! Hailing from Diamond City, Ashley is a young girl who lives with her familiar, a little demon by the name of Red. She likes to spend her free time practicing magic, thinking of where her parents might be and going to school. Ashley is one of these infamous characters in gaming whose demeanor and character has changed in the transition from Japan to the west. A lot of this is derived from her theme song which in the west paints her as a slightly more confident character who has no qualms being bad or aggressive if things do not go her way. In Japanese however she is a lot more shy and not as cold, although she still has moments of anger, hatred and/or laziness. Needles to say, in the Super Smash Bros series it would be the Japanese version of Ashley that would be the focus as the series is made in japan. This is the same thing that happened with Wario.

Importance to franchise/Nintendo?

ashley_and_red_congrats_screen

Ashley made her debut in the 4th WarioWare title, WarioWare Touched! for the Nintendo DS. Here she is one of the game makers for Wario and focus’ on mini-games that involving tapping and dragging objects on the touch-screen. Ashley soon became one of the more popular employees at WarioWare Inc. and has since appeared in every title since. If this was all there was to her then she would be on the same level, or even below, other WarioWare mainstays like Mona, Jimmy T and 9-Volt. However Ashley has one step-up from them that she only shares with Wario and that is her role outside of her own series. Ashley appears with other WarioWare characters in Rhythm Heaven Megamix for Nintendo 3DS but on her own she has made appearances in titles like Super Mario Maker and Art Academy: Home Studio. Most prominent however is her role in the Nintendo Badge Arcade on Nintendo 3DS where Ashley can easily be described as one of the games mascots alongside Nikki from Swapnote and Baito-kun himself. She has many badges just for herself including completely original artwork made specifically for the Badge Arcade.

How will she play?

Ashley Sprites
Sprites by TheAnvil, alts by Nantendo

Ashley’s model is very similar to her assist trophy model but with more energy and detail. Her blue and green alts are original while her yellow alt is based on Wario, the main star of her series. The orange alt is based on a pumpkin for that Halloween feel while her purple alt is based on her appearance in a comic by Ko Takeuchi. The black alt is based on traditional witches (with a similar colour pallet to Bayonetta, the only other Witch in Smash) and her final alt has white hair and a darker tone. This is a reference to when she gets angry in her game. Her eyes even turn red!

Now for some statistics:

  • Can they crawl: No
  • Can they wall jump: Yes
  • How many jumps do they have: 2
  • Is there any exclusive abilities they have*: No
  • Weight Class: D+
  • Height Class: D+
  • Speed Class: E+
  • Are they mirrored when they faces left: No

*i.e. Peach’s float

(for a more detailed look at the stats check this link here)

Ashley is an unusual case from all the other characters we have covered so far in Dream Smashers. Every character in the Super Smash Bros. series is made by Sakurai’s interpretation of the character. While the director’s aim is to keep them as close to their origin game as possible many characters have fighting styles or fit molds based on the director’s point-of-view. We can see this in his view of playable characters like Marth, who he described as an elegant sword-wielder. We see this with bosses like Ridley who Sakurai has infamously turned the playable position away from as he views it would take away from his character. So, it stands to reason that assist trophies are also made with his vision of the character in mind. This means Ashley’s role as an assist trophy gives us a good idea how she would be if she was playable. The only assist trophy to reach the playable status is Little Mac and he remains incredibly similar between both roles (although he is a boxer so that is hard to misinterpret). So to understand Ashley as a playable character we only need to look at her when she was an assist character.

ashleywiiu

The Ashley assist trophy causes a great big purple cloud to form around her. Any opponents who are caught in the bubble end up with a random effect placed on them. These range from turning opponents invisible, making their moves not work and causing food items to damage instead of heal. Obviously, a lot of these wouldn’t work when Ashley is playable and can perform these on demand as they would break the game but having moves that affect opponents status or controls in some way is a definite workaround. This ability of hers comes forth from her standard special and her side-special attacks which have status affecting attacks. The side-specials focus more on effecting movement while her standard special is more about damaging.

As a witch (and a little girl for that matter) most of her attacks do not involve physical contact but instead rely on magic. Most of her attacks are magic based with the magic coming from the tip of wand but occasionally she will just beat opponents with it instead. Of course her broomstick and cauldron play a part in her moveset to really emphasis that she is a witch and she can even bring forth a familiar in her little devil friend Red. The purple clouds from her assist trophy attack are used a lot as a visual indicator of her magic attacks, like Lucas or Ness PSI squares/circles.

Ashley’s Kirby hat would have Ashley’s pony tails and hair band. He would also have a magic wand.

Move Name & Action Description
Entrance monasuperscoop13

Ashley rides in from the foreground on her magic broomstick.

Idle Ashley swings her arms back and forth with her wand in her right hand.
Idle 2 ashleywwdiy

Ashley puts her left hand to her mouth and tilts her head a bit, as if contemplating something.

Idle 3 ashley_artwork_-_game__wario

Ashley leans a little forward and puts her left hand in-front of her forehead, as if looking into the distance

Walking Ashley walks forward, swinging her hands back and forth.
Running Breaking into a run her wand-hand remains a bit more controlled and she leans a little forward.
Jump Ashley jumps with her wand hand stretched upwards.
Falling Animation/Damage Ashley panics, sticking her hands out and flailing as she falls.
Neutral/Jabs Ashley swings her rod in front of her, first from right-left and then back again before ending with a jab that has a magical effect that damages opponents. The tip does more damage here.
F-Tilt Ashley swings upwards in front of her. A stream of magic follows the end of her wand.
Up-Tilt Sticking her wand skyward, a mini, magic, cloud circle spins around the tip.
D-Tilt Crouching down, Ashley jabs forward with her wand, as if poking something out of curiosity.
Dash Attack Ashley does a spin as she moves forward while magic spins around her.
Forward Smash Ashley swings the rod in front of her and an explosion of magic happens in front of her.
Up Smash Similar to her forward tilt but above her head. It leaves a trail of clouds that then explode one after another.
Down Smash Ashley swings her wand first to the ground in front of her and then behind her. As she does this a little explosion forms a cloud where she was pointing and then those clouds explode one after another for follow-up damage.
N-air Ashley draws a circle with her wand around her, a streak of magic follows and damages opponents.
F-air Ashley grabs her wand with both hands and swings it horizontally. This causes he to spin around in front of her.
B-air Ashley looks back and flicks her wand backwards. At the tip of her wand you can see a bit of magic making it stronger at the tip.
U-air This is similar to her up-tilt but Ashley moves the wand in a circle above her.
D-air The only standard projectile Ashley has. She swings her wand and shoots a cloud of magic in a downwards-diagonal angle. It is average speed and doesn’t have any special effects, unlike her specials.
Grab Ashley causes some dark clouds to move in a circle a bit in front of her. This catches opponents in place.
Pummel While grabs the opponent and hits them with her magic rod.
F-throw Using magic, Ashley spins the opponent around her and throws them forward.
B-throw Using magic, Ashley throws opponents behind her and over her head.
U-throw Using magic, Ashley throws her opponents upwards and uses her magic to pummel opponents above her before firing them off.
D-throw Ashley throws an opponent down and behind her using magic. She then creates a purple cloud on the same spot, much like her down smash, which explodes and damages the opponent.
Neutral Special 1: Hocus Pocus ashley_3ds_theme_promo_artwork

Ashley fires a ball of magic. It automatically heads in the direction of the nearest player in front of Ashley but it doesn’t home in. It poisons (flowers) whoever it hits.

Neutral Special 2: Hocus ‘splosion Much like the poison one however it explodes upon contact with the opponent.
Neutral Special 3: Hocus Shock A paralyzing equivalent of her neutral special.
Side Special 1: Spell of Confusion ashleyorigin

As Ashley stand’s still dark clouds emit from her wand in front of her. The clouds look like the one from her Assist Trophy although the effects are different. The opponent receives no knockback from this attack however and does not even flinch.The standard one causes the opponent’s movement controls to briefly be reversed.

Side Special 2: Spell of Freezing The second custom causes the opponent’s to freeze.
Side Special 3: Spell of Invisibility The third custom causes the opponent to go invisible, one of the random effects her assist trophy does.
Up Special 1: Broomstick Ride monasuperscoop13

This moves functions similar to Villagers. Ashley hops on her broomstick and can float freely for a short period of time. It is a very good recovery although any hit to her will cause her to become helpless, as will jumping out of the recovery.

Up Special 2: Broomstick Spin Ashley spins up in a diagonal path, doing damage to her opponents on the way up.
Up Special 3: Broomstick Loop This move acts in the same way that Meta Knight’s Shuttle Loop attack.
Down Special 1: Red red_warioware_touched

Ashley will summon her familiar, Red. He will run forward and swing his pitchfork back and forth to hit opponents. Their can only be one Red on screen and he only moves forward. He doesn’t even stop at the edge!

Down Special 2: Homing Red This time Red won’t just spiral of the edge but instead follow whoever is closest to him. However as he has to watch his opponents he does not flail about as much and so does not hit as much. Eventually he gets tried and disappears.
Down Special 3: Big Red Despite the name Red is still the same size. His pitchfork on the other hand is massive and does far more damage. However he is much slower as it requires more effort to swing.
Final Smash: Magic Cauldron fskirby_cook

Along with Ashley we can bring back a removed Final Smash as well. Kirby’s Chef ability got replaced with his Return to Dreamland Giant Sword ability however unlike many other removed Final Smashes this one never got repurposed with another character. But now it has the opportunity to come back. It functions in very much the same way except we see purple cloud-like smoke spiral around it before it attacks. Touching this smoke is what drags opponents into the cauldron so it is easier to avoid than Kirby’s one was and so more balanced.

Up Taunt ashley_and_red_congrats_screen

Ashley creates a semi-circle arch above her head using magic from her left hand rather than her wand. We see the magic streak down in front of her as she looks at it in awe. It is too weak to cause damage though.

Side Taunt ashley_warioware_touched

Ashley pulls out her white bunny-doll and looks at it. On the rare occasion she will give it a quick hug before putting it away.

Down Taunt ashleyredgamewario

Red will skip around Ashley as she looks at him before he disappears behind her again.

Victory animation 1 Ashley flies in on her broom, stopping in front of the camera and floats there with a stoic expression.
Victory animation 2 Ashley swings her rod around causing streaks of magic to flow around her. Red is also there and he chases these streams of magic.
Victory animation 3 Ashley uses her magic finger to make her doll float in front of her as Red skips around her.

Ashley would have a unique victory theme from Wario, being a remix of a part of her own theme song (but instrumental).

And with that we have the adorably spooky Ashley in Smash. She is certainly a popular enough character to appear in Super Smash Bros for Switch, it just raises the question of ‘will they upgrade assist trophies if it is really just a port?’ I guess we will have to wait and see but until then why don’t you let us know if you liked this edition of Dream Smashers. Would you like to see Ashley make the cut next time around? How about any other WarioWare characters or even Halloween characters for that matter? Let us know in the comments below and have a spooktastic Halloween!

Nantendo
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5 comments

  1. Ashley was my most-wanted, and I’m glad she made it in as an assist trophy. I like the move set and such given here, they sound reasonable and true to her character. Whether she would speak or not is another thing to consider as she has a few one-liners attached to her too. I can easily hear a taunt going, “Laaaaaameee” (though of course that would only be fitting for the attitude depicted in the NA version… xD)

  2. I always love Dream Smasher articles! Its good to know I’m not the only person who spends time speculating on character movesets!

    I had a much different idea for Ashley, though admittedly it’s one that less represents Ashley and more Represents Warioware as a whole. I figured since Ashley is a magic user and her spells tend to be a bit on the sillier side, she could use magic to summon objects and attacks directly drawn from Warioware microgames.

  3. Nice moveset, while some of her normal attacks felt standard, her specials really stood out. Her side special would be really good for edgeguarding, and her neutral and down special as well as her down air would be great for zoning out opponents. I do think that there’s more room to explore with the whole debuffing thing, like maybe Red could slow opponents on hit or one of her grabs could have some other effect. Still, I could see myself playing this character, so great work as always!

    Also, a question on the Final Smash. Will it still draw in items like Cook did? If so, I imagine that healing items wouldn’t pop back out.

  4. Indeed, Ashley is strongly popular throughout the Warioware fan base, and I do agree to see her in Smash in some form. Sakurai brought her remixed music to Smash, even her sticker to Brawl and her Assist Trophy to 3DS/Wii U. It’s proven Sakurai cares her a lot, but only thing he couldn’t figure out was her movesets. At least this can help Sakurai having some ideas of what she can do if she joined Smash.

    Great article!

  5. Is the reversing property of her side special meant to be the same as the reversing effect of Mario’s cape, or something more long-lasting?

    Anyway, I feel having Red roam freely across the stage for her down special clashes with the fact that Ashley’s staff and broom are actually a shapeshifted Red. To give more variety to her normal attacks, I think some of them could be made more distinct by involving Red’s shapeshifting abilities, e.g. her forward/up smashes could have Red turn into his default form and attack with his pitchfork, and the like: this would be consistent with how some other characters’ (Pac-Man, Duck Hunt, Bayonetta) smash attacks behave in a conceptually different way than their tilts.

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