Prominent dataminer Shiny Quagsire has come forth with some new, potentially very exciting information for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS. While Smash for 3DS/ Wii U has gone through a number of updates since the two games were released, additions to the game’s databases have rarely been updated. However, the current findings show that Nintendo and Bandai Namco have deliberately added further space for potential downloadable characters and stages.
If this seems familiar to readers, it’s unsurprising that Shiny Quagsire made similar waves earlier this year by unveiling hidden data from the April update that revealed Roy, Ryu, and Dream Land 64 two months before they were added to the game. These two appear to be the only times in which the development team has added these kinds of placeholder variables. While the sheer amount of content this time is not quite as dramatic, it does carry implications about the amount of potential DLC in the future.
Breakdown of the Data
Like in April, the entries in the character database are a series of unused entries under the name “mario.” Lucas, Roy, and Ryu’s replaced three of the “mario” entries confirming what Source Gaming and other sites had already deduced through the naming conventions in the game’s data– that it is just a placeholder for entries belonging to characters. The April update added five “mario” files along with Mewtwo; suggesting that five additional characters were planned (or at the very least, that there was room for characters to be added in the future). With Lucas, Roy, and Ryu taking up those spaces, there used to be two “planned entries”.
The additional of a third “mario” file in Update 1.1.1 has increased that limit by one, meaning that the developers have built for themselves space to add three additional characters in total. As there appears to be no changes to the audio beyond the addition of the new stages’ music, we lack any concrete evidence for which, if any, characters are in production.
Similarly, “Tikibuzz” is used in a similar fashion in the data for stages, though it’s unclear why Bandai Namco would use an enemy name for that purpose. There were initially fourteen lines allocated for stage files (twelve of which had been used); the update adds four (with two being from April). The six are separated for unknown reasons by the files for the newly-added Duck Hunt stage (though the placement could have been the end result of an ultimately failed attempt to get Pirate Ship working on 3DS). Since each Omega Form functions as a separate stage, that means the data now has room for three additional stages. Just like with the characters, the lack of any new, or otherwise unused audio files means we have no information to go on for which stages might be added.
What This Means
The most immediate implication of this is fairly clear: Smash is at least considering– if not already getting ready, to add three characters and stages. More than likely, the characters have at least partially been chosen from responses in the Smash Ballot, and if they come from unique franchises may get a new stage in tow. Although this information only comes from the 3DS version of the game, considering that characters fully cross over and that there has been an emphasis on having stages be playable on both versions, all of this content is likely going to be available the Wii U as well.
On a broader level, this directly implies something important about Smash’s still-ongoing development: there has been either an increase, or at least a strong internal consideration of an increase in the DLC plan. While the logistical, economic, and space limitations of downloadable content are still very much present, Sakurai may have become more comfortable with increasing his games’ scope even further.
If all these spaces are used with none being added at a later date, the development of Smash for Wii U/ 3DS would end with DLC for seven characters and eleven stages (two of the latter being Wii U-exclusive). That’s a massive amount of content; it would increase the roster by just under 15%, and the number of stages by 26% on the 3DS and 23% on the Wii U. It’s a far cry from when Sakurai’s vocal concerns about poorly-used DLC sent the community into forceful debate.
We urge you to take these findings from an even-handed perspective; it is possible that these are being used for testing of some sort, and planning like this does not account for circumstances in the future. However, this is important both for the direct information it provides and how it changes, even slightly, what we know about the Smash for 3DS/Wii U DLC plan.
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