*The following article is opinion-based and should be treated as such.
We are here today to present yet another Source Gaming Choice! Last time we looked at what stages we wanted to come back. This time we will be looking at ballot “winners”. By “winners” we don’t simply mean who will get the most votes via the ballot. Instead, we mean who will likely to be added as a result of high enough votes plus having the potential to be picked. We’ve organized the choices by the most amount of staff votes, and included a small cheat sheet. For each character, we’ve included rationale behind the choice. Please note, in consideration for length, we had each staff member pick three.
Many people now believe that the pre-ballot is over, and that it could affect Wolf’s chances as a result. While the first part is possibly true, I don’t think it makes a huge amount of difference to Wolf’s chances as a whole. He still remains one of the clear favorites. Possibly even the clear fan favorite.
In addition to his popularity, he’s also got a big new game on the horizon, of which he will feature prominently. We already know that Falco’s Amiibo has been delayed to coincide with the launch of Star Fox Zero, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility to think that a Wolf character could share a similar fate.
Wolf truly ticks every box that it takes to be a smash fighter. It’s rather safe to say that he is our most likely remaining veteran, should we get any more. -TheAnvil
It may seem hypocritical of me to think the Inklings as being as likely an addition on this list. Like K. Rool, they are in the “Mii Fighter costume” boat. Seemingly a sign that Sakurai has passed up on including them as playable fighters. However if you look deeper, then you will see that the two situations are actually fairly different. The Inklings costumes were worked on prior to the launch of Splatoon, which has since gone on to sell over 1.6 million copies. An adoption rate of 4 in every 25 Wii U owners. The sales figures put Splatoon at being the biggest new Nintendo IP since Animal Crossing.
The timing also suggests that the costumes were likely decided on prior to the launch of the fighter ballot, and certainly before Splatoon had seen its amazing success (as they were a pre-order bonus).
The Inklings are sure to get a great amount of support in the fighter ballot due to its recent ‘smash hit’ (heh) success. The iron couldn’t be any hotter for the Inklings right now. These overwhelming sales figures could easily secure them a spot in the roster. – TheAnvil
I’m not entirely sure that Smash 4 will receive anymore third party characters via DLC. I somewhat doubt it, in fact. If we do see more third party newcomers, however, Rayman has to be at that top of that very short list. While it is true that Ubisoft has softened their support for the Wii U as of late, it does not change that fact that they have released over 3 times the amount of titles on Wii U as Capcom, a company that currently has two characters in Smash Bros. On top of that, Michel Ancel, creator of Rayman, designed one of the default levels for the upcoming Wii U title Super Mario Maker. Allowing Ancel to have access to a Mario game in development should prove that Nintendo and Ubi have, at the very least, a “good” relationship at the moment. More importantly than all that is the fact that Rayman checks off all the boxes of what people expect in a Smash guest character. He has legacy, having debuted in 1995. He’s had several games on Nintendo hardware. He is the face of one gaming’s biggest companies. He has popularity, and he is no doubt doing well in the polls in no small part due to the timing of Artsy Omni’s now infamous leak. He even has series trophies (plural!) already in the game. He already has one foot in the door, so to speak. Let’s just hope he can shove his invisible leg and the rest of him in after! – Spazzy_D
TheAnvil, DMurr, Spazzy_D.
Golden Sun is a niche franchise. It’s best days are in the past. Isaac wasn’t even important enough to return as an Assist Trophy. I’ve heard it all before, and while Isaac is on the “low end” of characters I think can make it in, I don’t count him out. He is consistently in the top 3-5 in most character polls I’ve come across online. Popularity isn’t everything, but it certainly counts for something in this post ballot world. His Japanese popularity, while not as fervent as what is exhibited by his Western fanbase, exists. He has the possibility for an extremely unique move set, something which Sakurai has focused on with most of the newcomers this time around. Most important of all, though, is that Golden Sun is actually one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises from the GBA era. The only franchise without a playable character in Smash that debuted after the launch of Gamecube to have greater sales than Golden Sun is actually Rhythm Heaven, but that franchise has a divided fanbase when it comes to votes. Almost all Golden Sun fans want Isaac, which is why I believe he is one of the only new series representatives that stands any real chance.
One thing I have seen talked about when debating Isaac’s chances is the mention of his son Matthew. Despite being the face of Golden Sun, Isaac is only the main character in 1 of its 3 titles, the first one. He is replaced by Felix in The Lost Age and Matthew in Dark Dawn. Many people point to Matthew being chosen over Isaac because he is the most recent protagonist and so far more relevant. However I fully disagree with this and even have a compromise if this really is a problem for the relevancy I point to Marth from Fire Emblem who at the time of his inclusion in Melee was also not the most recent Fire Emblem protagonist, that was Sigurd. Yet Marth made it in over Sigurd because he was the original protagonist and considered the face of the series, much like Isaac. As for my compromise well Isaac and Matthew are very similar in design, abilities and stature so why not have an Olimar/Alph situation with Matthew being an alternative costume for Isaac. That would solve any issues people have when it comes to deciding which of the two should appear. – Nantendo
IntelliHeath, Nantendo, Spazzy_D.
Dixie Kong has appeared in nearly all of the Donkey Kong games, including the latest release Tropical Freeze. After Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong her and King K. Rool are the major characters within the Donkey Kong series. She’s has been playable in 16 out of 19 of her appearances. Unlike K. Rool she has been used recently, and consistently. In addition to padding out the Donkey Kong series reps, she would bolster the number of female characters in the game. Lastly, she was cut from Brawl, as a tag-team partner to Diddy. Sakurai has already been committed to the character before, so it’s very likely that he can re-use some plans he made for Brawl. Since King K. Rool has been “costume’d,” I believe Dixie Kong has a slightly higher chance now. I’ve always believed that one of the two (Dixie Kong or K. Rool) will get in, and not both. – PushDustIn
Although highly regarded for the music featured in its games, Nintendo has always sorely lacked solid games about music. Many will recall some of the Big N’s rather lackluster forays into the rhythm game genre, but the company eventually managed to find the formula for success with Rhythm Heaven. A collaboration with famed J-pop producer Tsunku, Rhythm Heaven is a collection of bite-sized music-based minigames—like WarioWare set to catchy tunes. (Incidentally, both games were developed by the same in-house studio.) The series has enjoyed great popularity both in Japan and abroad, and Marshal (who bears a striking similarity to my beloved Chorus Kids) has become something of a mascot for the series. We know a Rhythm Heaven character was planned for Sm4sh, and early rumors suggested the Chorus Kids had a spot on the roster. If the 3DS was unable to handle a three-person character, then Sakurai could easily reduce the trio to a single-body alternative: Marshal. – Masked Man
Masked Man, Smashchu.
Paper Mario has moderate to decently high “support” within the Smash fanbase in both the West and Japan. However, with Chris Pragner’s recent interview on Part Time Gamers, it’s becoming more and more evident that Sakurai will probably pick a ballot winner who will be beloved by all gamers — from casuals to hardcores. I know people are going to groan, “another Mario representative?” However, in actuality, that might be a strength—even though I once thought it was a barrier to entry. However, if we are looking for characters that are well known in the general public, then Paper Mario will inevitably be high up there. If he does make it in, I feel that Sakurai will really play-up his paper-motif, making the majority of his moves based on that. – PushDustIn
Many fans believe that there are two glaring issues with the roster. The first is a lack of adequate representation for the D.K. series. The second is the lack of villains. K. Rool would address both of those issues! On top of that, K. Rool is highly requested among the Smash community, often topping polls. His support is international too — with support in the West and Japan. While K. Rool has not appeared in any of the new Donkey Kong Country games, he is often said to be the “Bowser of the DK series”, with his trophy quote in the latest Smash Bros. stating, “Whereas Mario often squares off against Bowser, Donkey Kong must fight against King K. Rool. Before the costume was announced, TheAnvil wrote this great article on K. Rool’s chances. His costume could have been decided pre-ballot DLC, or could be Nintendo ‘testing the waters’ to see how well K. Rool could potentially sell. Do not rule, K. Rool out quite yet!
The focus of the ballot seems to be on veterans. As of August 14, 2015, we have three veteran characters and only one newcomer. As the Megapoll showed, Ice Climbers were one of the most popular character. This is not surprising, as Ice Climbers are a character so embedded in Super Smash Bros Smash. They were not only adorable, but very unique too. Its almost that they are a Smash Brothers characters rather than the star of their own game. This is likely why there seems to be a general disappointment with their exclusion. That’s not to say the Ice Climbers will be included, but with DLC, there can be a greater liberty adding characters, such as only including the Ice Climbers on the Wii U version. Adding the Ice Climbers may also pose less risk. Like the other veterans, fans are familiar with them and their design and moves have already been determined from past games. Compared to other alternative characters, the Ice Climbers pose less risk and have a lower opportunity cost by having higher sales and a lower cost than veterans.
As I stated previously, winning the ballot doesn’t mean the character will be included, but popularity will be a considering factor to adding new characters. With a popular character like the Ice Climbers, it makes a lot of sense to add them. – Smashchu
Intelliheath believes that Snake will be part of the DLC.
Wolf – TheAnvil, IntelliHeath, Masked Man, Nantendo, Soma, Spazzy_D, Smashchu
Inkling – TheAnvil, DMurr, IntelliHeath, Masked Man, PushDustIn, Soma
Rayman – TheAnvil, DMurr, Spazzy_D
Isaac – IntelliHeath, Nantendo, Spazzy_D
Dixie Kong – Nantendo, PushDustIn
Marshal – Masked Man, Smashchu
K. Rool – DMurr
Paper Mario – PushDustIn
Ice Climbers – Smashchu
Do you agree with our choices? Which characters do you see being added as a result of the fighter ballot? Let us know in the comments below!