Greetings, friends. I’m Cart Boy. As this is my first post on Source Gaming, I wanted to formally introduce myself.
I used to write for a now-defunct website known as Nerd Underground, and some of my articles there pertained to the Super Smash Bros. series. I’ll be reposting some of those pieces here, and I hope you enjoy them. And if you happened to read these before, rest assured that I’ve been working on new stuff, too. (No comment on when they’ll be finished, however. I write slowly.)
This piece was originally posted at my old home on June 14, 2015, under its original title, “Roy is announced for Super Smash Bros.” This was one of my first attempts at discoursing a character (and it’s the earliest attempt I’m not too embarrassed by), so if you decide to read on, please be gentle.
My lord, you’ve returned!
Moveset wise, Roy is faithful to his Super Smash Bros. Melee incarnation, with the hilt of his blade being its strongest part. Thankfully, Roy seems to have gained some unique animations, and he’s retained his Flare Blade from Melee. Marth is still indispensable to his identity in Smash, but Roy seems to have been granted the same “Luigification” that Luigi, Falco, and Ganondorf have received in prior games, and that Lucas was born with.
In terms of aesthetics, he appears to be a cross between his Binding Blade and Awakening designs. Surprising, given that his four peers are modeled after only one of their appearances, rather than two.
By the way, Roy is available to purchase right now! If you wish to use him in one version of Smash, it’ll cost $3.99. One dollar more will score you the Young Lion in both Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.
Is Roy your boy?
Roy was an unlockable character in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Specifically, he was one of the six “model swap” characters that were added toward the end of development. Roy, being the second Fire Emblem character, was based on Marth.
Roy’s inherit fire-properties and status as a newbie are what warmed Masahiro Sakurai up to him. It may not seem like it, but Roy was a historic addition as far as Smash Bros. newcomers go – Roy was the first (and, thus far, only) character to be playable in Smash before his own game was even released.
Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade was the sixth installment of the ongoing strategy series, the first to appear on a handheld, and the final one to remain exclusive to Japan. Our boy was the protagonist, and he led the Lycian army to victory.
The seventh Fire Emblem game was the first entry to be released internationally. The Japanese know it as “Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken,” which roughly translates to “Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword,” but it was released as “Fire Emblem” over here. Eliwood, Roy’s father, was one of its main characters. Roy, as a boy, makes a brief cameo in the extended ending.
Roy did not return for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, though files within the game make it clear that he was intended to. Roy, and Mewtwo, even had their own victory jingles.
Brawl still gave Fire Emblem its due, despite Roy’s absence. Ike, the newest hero, and the only one (aside from Marth) to star in more than one game, was added as a newcomer. Fire Emblem finally received a stage, and it had a healthy spread of trophies and music.
Of course, cuts still suck, and Roy’s fans were understandably saddened. Thankfully, fans of the redhead had a silver-lining: Roy was restored in the popular fan-mod Project M, with Mewtwo joining shortly thereafter.
But as far as Nintendo and Intelligent Systems were concerned, would Lord Roy fight again?
Fire Emblem: Awakening’s DLC eagerly answers that question with a “Yes.” Roy appeared twice-over as a playable unit, once via Spotpass, and again as part of a character package. One of the downloadable missions, aptly titled “Smash Brethren 1,” features Roy and Ike on opposing sides of the battlefield.
Roy was also included in Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem’s teaser trailer, proudly standing with several of the most prominent Lords in his home series. Fire Emblem is known for frequently changing casts between games, but even so, Roy maintained a presence in the brand. Would that be enough for him to return to Smash?
Roy did not return for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. Well, to be completely accurate, Fire Emblem’s Roy was not included in the games.
Fire Emblem was still treated with respect, as Awakening’s Robin and Lucina joined the festivities. Lucina, in particular, was originally intended to be an alternate costume for Marth, but was promoted later on during development. Marth was also given a new pallet swap that vaguely resembled his fellow Melee ambassador. But would Lord Roy ever be re-invited to Master Hand’s domain?
Yes, it was inevitable.
Is Roy really unpopular?
A fairly common consensus I’ve seen online, and amongst one of my social circles, is that Roy is a bad character in Binding Blade; he’s ineffective in-game, and he has a bland personality. These comments are often followed with the claim that Binding Blade is unpopular, and one of the weakest in the Fire Emblem lineage.
Now, I’m not qualified to discuss Roy’s characterization or usefulness on the battlefield. (My Fire Emblem experience is limited to the first-fourth or so of Shadow Dragon and Awakening.) However, I do question the notion that Roy and Binding Blade are unpopular.
Binding Blade sold pretty well in Japan, for starters. But does that speak for Roy’s credentials? Two official popularity polls were conducted, one after Binding Blade was released, and the other pertained to Awakening. In the latter poll, Roy was a nominee under the “Favorite DLC Characters” category. Roy placed first and third, respectively.
Plus, you know… Roy was in Melee. Every character that’s been playable in Smash is someone’s favorite. (Yes, even Dark Pit.) That’s to be expected of any crossover game, let alone one with the prestige of Super Smash Bros. – and, yes, there was a visible demand for Roy to return. Don’t underestimate the power of nostalgia.
As for my thoughts on Roy? I’m not a Fire Emblem fan, but I’m still happy to see the lad back in action. You can argue that five Fire Emblem representatives is excessive, and you can argue that Roy is redundant.
I still believe Roy deserves to return, and I’m happy for his fans that he has.
Welcome back, Lord Roy. Together, we ride!