epicmartin7 discusses why we look at each Smash Wii U/3DS so closely and how the game’s data could hint toward the future of the series.
If you are into text adaptations, you can either check out the previous article this video was based on, or the script to this video below!
Hey guys! Epicmartin7 here and today we’re going to do something a little bit different. As we all know, on July 18th, patch 1.1.7 came out for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U which added amiibo support for Cloud, Corrin and Bayonetta. We predicted that the patch would come out a day earlier due to that support missing in 1.1.6.
Well, some people were asking on Twitter and YouTube why we pay attention to each patch release so closely…even if the functionality added was small. So today, we’re going to talk why even small changes are important.
All the information in this video is based on an article PushDustIn wrote back in 2016 with help from RandomTBush about patch 1.1.6. So if you’re looking for something that’s written, I’d highly recommend you check that one out. This video is going to use that information, but with the context of 1.1.7.
To first get a sense of all this information, we need to travel back to 2014 (3 years ago to be exact) when the base version of Smash 3DS/Wii U arrived. Version 1.0 of this game would be considered the final retail version. In a sense, this is where it all began.
Deep buried within the files of Smash Wii U, there exist special files with the extension “.xtal”. These files lay within a folder called “scripts.” They hold the location of where certain files were compiled. The drive letter they list are the ones we need to pay attention too.
So, if you were to plug in some sort of USB stick into the ports of your computer, they house a drive letter. Now, that might not mean much to an average user, but it sure means a lot to us today.
Now, it appears that stable versions of the game were housed on Drive Y. However, when content was being added, the files were compiled from Drive X. Think X as the “EXperimental” drive for Smash, and the Y Drive as the “why bother, it’s finished!” drive.
Image from MSDN.
There’s also a development technique called branching. Branching is where multiple people work on one file at the same time , and then all the changes are consolidated into one file. The reason it’s called branching is because you can imagine branches off a tree. They all come from one source, but in they end they are still part of the same tree.
The compile path has been updated numerous times. Instead of reading out all of the changes, it’s probably best to show you it.
Now, these might seem confusing at first judging we really have no context just by looking at the letters. However, the directories they point to gives us a clue as to which drive does what.
Within versions “1.0 to 1.0.7”, the directory goes to the path you see on screen. Now again, those words might not mean much at first glance. But if you look at this carefully and know the inner workings of Smash for Wii U, you can easily break it down.
Cross, is actually the codename for Smash Wii U and is the filename for the main executable of the game. Cafe is the internal codename for the Wii U, just like “Revolution” for the Wii or “Dolphin” for the GameCube. Rom stands for “read only memory” or a data image, like an ISO. Build refers to what version of Smash Wii U it is and branche is just the technique we talked about earlier.
Starting in 1.0.8 and ending in version 1.1.7, a new directory adds the word “patch” to the end which is explanatory in of itself.
For future subsequent patches (AKA 1.1.4 to 1.1.7), no new terms were added, but the word “branche” was taken off in 1.1.4 and re-added back into 1.1.6.
Now that those confusing points are out of the way, let’s go over what each patch that introduced edits to the .xtal files did. Just to note, every patch that changed the XTAL files has come with some form of balance changes along with the changes we are about list.
Starting off with the base game (AKA Version 1.0), this was the first version of Smash Wii U to ever be released into the wild.
1.0.8, the first patch to change these files, added Ryu, Lucas and Roy as downloadable fighters.
1.1.4 added Corrin and Bayonetta.
Then 1.1.6 was the patch that nerfed Bayonetta and was the final balance changing update up to this point.
Now, that we have all those pieces from each patch, try combining what you just learned with the facts on screen (or in this case, above.)
Now in hindsight, what does this all mean? Why is so important?
Well, you’re on your own for that one.
Basically, what this all means is, we are trying to come up with a better picture on what could have possibly happened during Smash Wii U’s development.
However, this does bring up several questions and inconsistencies.
Why does the Mewtwo patch, 1.0.6, still use the same compile directory as the base game?
Why did the drives change back to Y in 1.1.4 and get rid of “Branche” in the directory?
And finally, and arguably the most important, why did 1.1.6 change the drive back to X and add back in “Branche” into the directory?
With the 1.0.6 patch using the same compile paths as the base game, you could likely make the conclusion that Mewtwo was starting development as the base game was finishing. Mainly because Mewtwo was announced within the Super Smash Bros. for Wii U 50-Fact Extravaganza which was aired before the release of the game.
Mewtwo was also listed as a character that was made as a “thank you” to the fans who bought both versions according to Sakurai in Vol. 477 of his Famitsu Column, which then changed to providing the option of him being paid DLC because of complications with families owning multiple copies of 3DS, etc..
Going onto Patch 1.1.4, the changes actually correlate with a Sakurai Famitsu column that appeared around the same time. In Vol. 499 of his Famitsu Column “Exhaustion and Excitement”, he states “The last two DLC fighters for Super Smash Bros. for 3DS/Wii U, Corrin and Bayonetta, are now available. At long last, development on Smash for 3DS/ Wii U has ended!!”
Considering 1.1.4 and 1.1.5 use the version of the compile paths that got rid of the “branche” text, one can assume that they were done using the data and that development was completely done. While this is a considerable answer however, the next thing we’re about to mention puts a wrench into the whole thing.
Fast forward to May of 2016, and the great Bayonetta nerf in the form of 1.1.6 drops. This is arguably the most interesting reason why we are paying attention to the XTAL files so closely. Not only were the XTAL files modified, but the “branche” was added back into the directory and the update changed drives back to X again.
Now as a disclaimer, this next part is going to be speculation heavy. So keep that in mind that the information were going to talk about isn’t 100% definitive.
With all this in mind, what this could basically mean is that the data is in use once more.
To date, this is the only patch that hasn’t been clarified via outside information as of this video. The only information we have to go by is Sakurai working on a new project right around the same time the NES Mini came out.
According to Sakurai in an interview with Nintendo Dream in February of 2016, the interviewer asks him “Since release, you’ve watched trends among online battles shift over time, and seen a number of tournaments take place. Looking back, how do you feel?” He then responds by saying, “I’ve checked the results from online matches, but I left all the finer details and research to the monitoring team, so I didn’t really go out of my way to watch things that closely.”
Looking into it, it could possibly mean the people who are releasing these patches are indeed the balance test team. But, the main drawback here is after the 1.1.6 patch, we haven’t seen a patch that has balanced any part of the cast. The most recent patch, 1.1.7, only added amiibo data and nothing else.
If there isn’t going to be constant balance changes or someone isn’t constantly at the helm constantly making subtle changes to the game, why keep the branching name in the directory and change it to a developmental drive?
The recent patch came out more than a year after 1.1.6. Which is a long time to keep using branching for just an amiibo patch.
It is certainly giving more questions than answers.
There is one theory in particular, that could explain all of this. Of course, take this all with a grain of salt as it is not definitively confirmed and is only speculation.
This theory, does require some background however.
Back when the late great president of Nintendo Satoru Iwata announced a new Smash game would be coming to Wii U and 3DS at E3 2011, Sakurai was still working on Kid Icarus: Uprising at the time. What a lot of people think is that the game started development when Sakurai was done. This is only half true.
During the time of Uprising, a team at Bandai Namco was actually porting Brawl to 3DS and Wii U as a base for Smash 3DS/Wii U. (Which means yes, there exists an unreleased port of Super Smash Bros. Brawl on Wii U and 3DS in Nintendo’s archive.)
After Sakurai joined the project, that’s when you could say ‘the real development begun’ as the project plan was finished shortly after.
But why does all this matter?
Well, that’s because the same could technically be happening with Smash Wii U/3DS.
Fan-Made by Nirbion.
The only logical enough theory seems to be that the porting process has been happening for awhile judging by how long the new compile paths haven’t been updated.
And considering the porting process happened without Sakurai in the beginning of Smash 3DS/Wii U’s development, the same thing could be happening here.
Ideally, if all of this pans out, the form all of this will take has everyone speculating. Before E3 of this year, we reported on a rumor that Smash 3DS/Wii U would be getting a port to Switch. Ever since this E3 has passed without a Smash announcement however, and our confidence in the rumor has diminished, the door is open once again to see which form this game will take.
That’s not what this video is about anyhow. It’s about keeping you, the viewer, up to date on all the latest Smash news that has been available underground for awhile. On the form this potential game will take is a matter of opinion. If you want to check out some potential ideas for the next game, Nantenjex and I got you covered in a discussion video we recently did. You can find that video in the description below, or in the end card of this video.
Suffice to say, all of this is just a matter of analyzing and coming up with conclusions based on the information at hand. This does not in anyway mean everything is 100% definitive. Something else could completely crop up that renders a theory in here useless. That’s why here at Source Gaming, keeping an open mind is such a detrimental part of our content and way of thinking.
If you have any questions or if you would like any clarifications on anything, please ask us in the comments below.
I want to thank PushDustIn who severely helped me with the fact-checking in this video!
Also, August 20th, we have a charity livestream coming up to celebrate our 3rd birthday. It will be aired on our twitch channel and we hope you guys check it out.
Anyways, with all of that out of the way, we want to thank you guys for watching! You can follow us on Twitter or Facebook. You can also donate to us on Patreon to receive exclusive perks and get more videos like these in the future! All the articles we mentioned are fully translated on Source Gaming by our wonderful translation team, and will be featured in the description below. We hope you guys enjoyed the video and we’ll see you in the next one!
Our Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/SourceGaming
RandomTBush’s Social Media Accounts:
Article this video was based on: http://sourcegaming.info/2016/05/21/116updateinfo/
Future of Smash Discussion Video
Patch 1.1.7 Incoming!?!
Sakurai casually confirms he’s working on a game in the column. He states that while looking around the development room, there’s [part 1] pic.twitter.com/5LOGiUkBcU
— Source Gaming (@AllSourceGaming) November 16, 2016
Sakurai’s New Project Info
Vol. 477 Sakurai Column: http://sourcegaming.info/2015/04/23/sakurai-on-dlc-its-all-about-making-players-happy/
Vol. 499 Sakurai Column: http://sourcegaming.info/2016/02/09/famitsu499/
Feb. 2016 Sakurai Nintendo Dream Interview:
Well i stumbled on a pre E3 texture on the 3ds. (This was upscaled for better viewing) pic.twitter.com/6saetytMbS
— Smb123w64gb (@smb123w64gb) December 9, 2016
Source of Smash 3DS/Wii U Pre-E3 Screenshot
Source of Branching Image: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa730834(v=vs.80).aspx
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