*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 who we think will “win” the ballot. This time we will be looking at Clone Characters. By Clone Characters we are referring to characters who we think would fit to being added in the future as straight up clones to already existing characters, with only few moveset differences. Clone characters are seen as a “free desert” by Sakurai, they in no, way, shape or form take the place of unique characters. We limited these differences to just a few moves, think of characters like Lucina, Dark Pit and Dr. Mario for reference. For each character, we’ve included rationale behind the choice.
Star Fox currently only has two playable characters, and while Wolf is among the most requested characters right now, he’s not the only Star Fox character that justifies a spot in Smash. If anything, he’s less important to the franchise than Slippy, who has appeared in every Star Fox game so far as a member of the Star Fox team. He’s a pretty well known, and a well loved character. Albeit in a rather unconventional “I love to hate him” kind of way similar to the Duck Hunt Duo’s dog, as opposed to the ‘X-Pac heat’ the Krystal seems to suffer from. Star Fox fans see him as a weak link, even the “joke” of the team and enjoy hearing his frequent screams for help. Staying true to his characterisation as a toad, I think he’d have to be significantly slower than Fox, but with a very good air game (Toad’s after all, do have pretty impressive jumps for their size).
I’d like all of his special moves to be “bad” versions of Fox’s, not necessarily in function or usefulness, just in the way they’re portrayed through the animations.
His side B animation could be him tripping on his own feet and falling (making the distance travelled less than Fox’s, but with greater damage due to the ‘splash’ of Slippy falling on his opponent).
His up B animation could see him losing control of his recovery, making it much more useful than Fox’s.
His down B reflector could see a malfunction with a small explosion that bursts outwards towards the enemy, and also cause partial damage to Slippy himself.To shake things up with his regular B, it could require being charged to make it useful. Have it slow when it’s uncharged, but when charged it could be extremely fast and hard to telegraph.
Smash needs a joke character, and no one embodies that possibility more than Slippy. Someone along the lines of what Dan Hibiki is to Ryu, someone you can brag to your friends with when you beat them.
The Legend of Zelda
Why would they make a good clone: The Legend of Zelda is a series with a handful of key returning characters. You have the three bearers of the triforce: Link, Zelda and Ganon. Then you have the ever-strange Tingle. Finally you have Impa, Zelda’s aid who has appeared in numerous forms and in numerous games. I really feel that Impa deserves her own slot but there is a problem – Sheik. In the main series games where Impa is shown to be a capable fighter she is always given ninja like qualities. These two games are Ocarina of Time and Skyward Sword. In the former she is actually the master of Sheik, teaching her everything she would need to be able to fight and survive so it stands to reason that Sheik and Impa have the same style of fighting. I imagine they would go with Impa’s Skyward Sword design as it is the most recent. However, if they move Sheik back to her Ocarina design then i could see them adding Impa in with that design as well, but it is unlikely. Her final smash would be different, as Impa has never wielded the Light Arrows. The most likely choices for me are a copy of Greninja’s final smash or a copy of Marth’s, without the Fire Emblem health bar. However, if she was to have something unique I believe it would be an assault version of the shield she uses against Ghirahim; Impa would dash forward with it activated knocking opponents back, before ending in a kind of spinning slash that knocks any opponents flying. It has to be something quick and instant. Sakurai and his team could change up one of her moves. Rather than her side-Special being a bomb, why not the Deku Nut flash from Ocarina? It could stun opponents and add a different dynamic to impa. Sheik is already pretty fast so I imagine impa as a taller, stronger, slower (but not too slow) version of Sheik with more emphasis on sending opponents flying than racking up combos. One of her taunts could have her do the pose from her official Skyward Sword artwork while others could be her performing various ninja/sheikah-like poses.
Why would they make a good clone: Dry Browser is a character that has been featured in a number of Mario series as (spoiler alert!) as the true final boss. He could easily introduce some variants to Bowser’s unique moveset (maybe increase speed with a little less power) and would really stand out in the cast in appearance. Sakurai’s rationale behind Giga Bowser was that he wanted to make Bowser scary again(Japanese). Dry Browser would allow Sakurai to fully realize this by giving a version of Bowser that is actually playable! Furthermore, he would increase “villain” representation, which is something that many fans see as an issue in Smash Bros. It would be great if instead of ‘Fire Breath’ Dry Browser could throw bones to really mix up his moveset. For his Final Smash, Dry Bowser could grow huge and appear in the background of the stage, allowing the Dry Browser to wave his arms attacking the foreground.
Hitmonchan would be a clone of Little Mac, as both characters are based on boxing. They have similar body proportions, allowing for easy porting for animations. Unlike Little Mac, Hitmonchan would have better aerial mobility at the cost of removing the KO power bar, having no KO punch as a result. In other words, he would be a more balanced take on Little Mac’s moveset, aiming for a jack-of-all-trades kind of character.
Up special would be Sky Uppercut, retooling Little Mac’s move for higher height but only a single hit. The three Smash attacks would be the three elemental punches: up for Fire Punch, down would be Ice Punch, freezing enemies solid and finally side for Thunder Punch, with longer hitstun time before launching foes sideways.
Side special would be Mach Punch, replacing Jolt Haymaker. Hitmonchan punches forward very quickly but with low power and knockback. Down and neutral specials would remain the more or less the same as Little Mac, albeit renamed as Counter and Focus Punch, as they’re similar in concept to those moves from the Pokémon series.
The Final Smash would be Mega Punch, with Hitmonchan hitting a single but devastating hit. It could use the same animation as Little Mac’s KO punch, with perhaps some exaggerated graphical effects added for flashiness.
We will never have enough Fire Emblem characters, right? Chrom, in my opinion, would’ve been a perfect fit as an alt for Ike, but since we didn’t get that, perhaps a Melee-style clone would be more fitting, in terms of a move set. He would be a faster, weaker clone of Ike, with a few modified moves. In terms of appearance, in order to differentiate further from Lucina, his Falchion would be the Exalted Falchion (which glows orange on the blade, and blue on the hilt). His sword trails could follow this by being orange, but fading into blue.
Chrom could have a few things changed about his moves: He could have a stabbing motion for Eruption that sends flames sideways instead of up. His strong up attack could be an overhead slash. Neutral air attack could be his spin attack from the “Two Falchions” cutscene in Awakening, while he could take Marth and Lucina’s up-B in place of Aether.
What many see as an issue to Chrom is his pre-existing role in Robin’s Final Smash. I do see Chrom having a different one than Ike, even though he’s based off of him, and perhaps Chrom could have Robin’s Final Smash, as well. They both summon each other. Alternatively, Chrom could have his own version of the Critical Hit Final Smash, as well, and Robin could have a new character join him. Perhaps Owain or another fan favorite from Awakening.
While Pikachu got its pre-evolution in Melee, I thought that a different “Pika Clone,” one that would be more visually distinct, could be interesting. It’s been so long that Marill’s time as “Pikablu” has largely been forgotten, but it used to be (and in HeartGold/Soul Silver was reestablished as) something of an early Johto mascot. It was included in Melee as a Poké Ball, but its role was largely replaced by Piplup and, later, Oshawott.
To an extent, this is cheating a bit. Marill would fall under the “Dr. Mario” type of clone; it would have a slower, stronger version of Jigglypuff’s Rollout (albeit mapped to Down-B) but otherwise draw entirely from Pikachu. Water Sport would work as a Neutral-B, a projectile that bounces off the surface and slows enemies while doing less damage than Thunder Jolt, while Aqua Jet would function mostly identically to Quick Attack. For its Side-B, it would have Play Rough, a charged dive that grabs then knocks opponents away with a cartoon-style cloud dust.
Beyond that, Marill would work like a slower, more defensive version of our favorite lightning-powered lagomorph; instead of shocks that stun opponents, its water attacks would push them just slightly away. But it would shine with its Final Smash: Surf, in which it and its allies would get to ride a giant, undulating wave that knocks abouts and damages all other characters.
All of the third party characters in Smash have decent potential to be cloned (Ms. Pacman, anyone,) but Megaman in particular seems like a good choice for the honor. The Megaman games are largely about the variable weapons system, and having a Megaman clone in the game would be a great way to showcase more of the robot master weapons from the series.
Protoman himself is a pretty popular character amongst Megaman fans, and he often acts as an additional playable character when the need arises. Protoman, also known as Blues, is Megaman’s “big brother,” the prototype robot on which Dr. Light’s later creations are based. He was designed with a fatal defect to his atomic power core that makes him more powerful than Megaman, but also more fragile. To compensate for this, Protoman uses his signature Proto Shield. These would be key difference between Megaman and Protoman. Protoman is stronger, but he takes more damage. He also has his shield, which would likely be used to block projectile attacks when standing still or jumping. Protoman does not have access to Megaman’s loyal companion Rush, but he does have his own items (including the proto coil) which can function as Rush does in Smash. Protoman also has a wide variety of option for special moves. He can even use some of Megaman’s custom moves, such as Skull Barrier or Danger Wrap, as his defaults if Sakurai and company don’t want to include new moves such as Wheel Cutter or Jewel Satellite.
In addition to the characters listed above, we wanted to highlight Alph as a choice in an “honerable mentions” section due to the fact that he was already considered to be upgraded from alternate costume to clone character.
Do you agree with our choices? Which clone characters which you like to see added in the future? Let us know in the comments below!