Hello Source Gaming fans, Spazzy_D here. Today we will be looking at SEGA characters that we think would be a great fit for Smash Bros. This is a bit of a sequel to what TheAnvil and myself wrote concerning possible Rare characters, but this time Nantendo is joining in on the fun to make what would be a top 10 ten list into our top 15 most wanted SEGA characters for Smash.
A few ground rules before we get to the countdown. Number 1, even though we all agree that Sonic would probably get another rep if SEGA ever does get another character in Smash, we decided it would be more interesting to only include characters from other franchises. Similarly, we decided to not double dip into franchises, so each one of these 15 represents a unique series. In addition to this, a decision was made to not include characters that never had a game on Nintendo hardware (virtual console releases are fine), so characters such as Ryo Hazuki from Shenmue were instantly disqualified. It should also be noted that even with 15 characters, SEGA has such a wide and varied stable of characters that some of our favorites didn’t make the cut. (Sorry Vyse and Vectorman fans). So, without further ado, here our the SEGA characters we want in Smash:
*This is an opinion based article and should be treated as such. To clarify, we do not necessarily think that these characters will be added to Smash.
15. Bayonetta (Bayonetta)
I feel at this point talking about Bayonetta’s chances for Super Smash Bros is like beating a dead horse so I will not spend a lot of time on it. In previous SourceGaming posts Bluepikmin gave his reasoning for why Bayonetta should get in while Spazzy_D gave a counter-argument. These are my two cents: Bayonetta 2 was probably the most important 3rd party game on the Wii U and will always be remembered as such. Unfortunately the game did not sell well and if Platinum was to get any representation then Wonder Red, as a Nintendo character, makes more sense. Add to the fact that Bayonetta’s inclusion in any form runs the risk of increasing the age rating of the game (which is something Nintendo have tried to avoid by removing the Tharja trophy) and I do not see Sakurai and his team taking that risk to include her. I put her on this list however because she is a Sega character who has recently meant something to Nintendo and so she deserves a spot at least.
14. Billy Hatcher (Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg)
Billy Hatcher would be a real front runner for SEGA characters making it into Smash Bros. Hailing from a greatly overlooked franchise by SEGA, his eponymous game was one of the few Zelda-esque clones that actually hit it out of the park.
For those unfamiliar with Billy, he was the hero that would liberate Morning Land from Dark Raven and his Evil Crows, who wanted to create eternal darkness. Dawning his legendary Chicken Suit and backed by his trusty friends he would go on an epic adventure filled with rolling large eggs, charming character designs and quirky music, all to stop Raven from hatching the giant egg to gain ultimate power.
As far as his moveset goes, the egg rolling would make for a fantastic final smash, along with all sorts of egg related normal moves. Think Yoshi cross Link with a bunch of unique tricks thrown in the mix. An interesting combo which could create a fresh and innovating character for Smash.
Don’t forget to to taunt your opponent with a Cock-A-Doodle-Doo!
13. Alis Landale (Phantasy Star)
Phantasy Star is one of SEGA’s longest running and most successful franchises. The series also has a strange tie to Nintendo history as Phantasy Star Online is one of 5 games that actually used the Gamecube’s broadband adaptor.The original Phantasy Star launched on December 20, 1987. This is important for a few reasons. First of all, this really helps establish the series as one of the forefathers of the the JRPG genre. To give you a frame of reference, the original Final Fantasty on the NES launched just two days before Phantasy Star, on December 18th of the same year. Second of all, the game was the first JRPG to star a female protagonist. Alis Landale, the heroine of the Algo Star system, was a kicking butt and taking names only a year after Samus made her debut on the NES. Even though Alis only appears in the original Phantasy Star, her legacy is brought up in many of the future installments of the series. For those wondering about possible moves, Alis is a capable swordswoman who can also use various magic and items from her series to make her a fun addition to a game such as Smash.
12. NiGHTS (NiGHTS into Dreams…)
NiGHTS is a very special character to fans. He has only had three games of his own, two on the Sega Saturn which was not a very successful system, and then one game on the Nintendo Wii. The original Saturn game is very notorious now and the character of NiGHTS has cameoed in a very large amount of Sonic Team’s games from Phantasy Star to Billy Hatcher to Sonic (as they were the developers of NiGHTS). Thanks to these cameos as well as NiGHTS Journey of Dreams on the Wii, NiGHTS has associated herself with Nintendo and so qualifies for entry into Super Smash Brothers. Being a Sonic Team creation helps her but she does have issues. NiGHTS is a fairly pacifist character with the ability to fly. This has not stopped Sakurai in the past however, just look at Wii Fit Trainer for the former and Bowser Jr. for the latter. Yet I think the lack of NiGHTS own titles and her status more as a cult character than a superstar will keep her back (remember that getting into smash works differently for 3rd party characters than Nintendo characters).
11. Mobo & Robo (Bonanza Bros.)
What’s better than one Bonanza Bro? Well, two Bonzana Bros. of course! Putting the player in the role of the bad guys, Mobo and Robo were responsible for burgling such places as a bank, a mansio, a casino and an art gallery among others. While being one of the earliest notable games that made the player rely on stealth to succeed, the Bros were equipped with some crazy megaphone looking firearms.
In terms of their Smash Bros. moveset potential, I’d envision them to be a duo functioning along the lines of the Ice Climbers. As thieves, they’d be able to steal moves from their opponents, and they’d absolutely have to use their blimp for the Final Smash!
10. Joe Musashi (Shinobi)
As I mentioned in our previous Source Gaming Choice, Smash could use a more traditional Ninja, and Joe Musashi from Shinobi is a great example of just such a character. Joe is the main protagonist of 5 games in the Shinobi series and makes appearances in several more titles. The series debuted in 1987 and reached its peak during the days of the SEGA Genesis, but that is not to say that franchise has long been dormant. The most recent game in the series was actually 2011’s Shinobi 3D, a 3DS game where you take control of Joe’s son, Jiro Musashi. Joe is everything you would expect from a ninja, and his combination of speed, agility, weaponry (being an expert with the katana and the shuriken) and ninjitsu magic (which gives him the ability to summon lightning from the skies, jump to great heights, shoot fireballs, or even create duplicates of himself) would make for one fun smasher.
9. Amitie/Arle Nadja
While Puyo Puyo did not begin as a Sega franchise they are still the company that most people I know think of when discussing this puzzle game series. The series is super popular in Japan and has been brought over to the west a few times; even Kirby got in on the action in Kirby Ghost Trap/Avalanche. Since 2001, Sonic team have been the developers for the Puyo Puyo franchise and the first game they developed was for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance. Probably the biggest Puyo Puyo game they made was Puyo Pop Fever on the Gamecube which stars Amitie as the protagonist. This upbeat girl could easily be described as the western mascot for the Puyo Puyo series as well as Sega’s own original mascot for the franchise which is why I chose to include her here, however there is another suitable rep for this franchise being Arle Nadja. I could not decide between the two. While Amitie has both the Sega and Nintendo connection that Arle Nadja lacks, the latter was the original protagonist of all the early Puyo Puyo games until Puyo Pop Fever. She has recently seen a resurgence back into the spotlight in Puyo Puyo!! 20th Anniversary and she is a very popular character for the smash ballot in japan according to the results found by our very own PushDustin where she ranked 16.
8. Roman Centurion (Altered Beast)
Wise from your gwave…
Altered Beast is a side scrolling beat-em-up, set in the same canonical world as the Golden Axe franchise. Boasting an awesome soundtrack, its gameplay is lacking in the kind of quality that sees other SEGA titles such as Streets of Rage or Golden Axe, nevertheless it still holds the distinction of being an extremely enjoyable experience.
Altered Beast remains one of SEGA’s most well known games, with the main villain of the game even making a cameo appearance in Disney’s Wreck it Ralph. Possessing 4 different beast modes in the original game, and despite many more added in the 2 sequels it received, the Werewolf form of the Roman Centurion is perhaps the most iconic form. I would envision a Smash moveset to be based around the Werewolf, with a Final Smash transforming the character into the Dragon form for a small duration.
7. Ulala (Space Channel 5)
Most of my choices for this countdown are characters who originated in the 8 or 16-bit eras. Ulala is, in comparison, a fairly new addition to SEGA’s character roster. It doesn’t make her any less deserving or popular, though. Ulala is a stylish reporter in Space Channel 5, a Dreamcast title that found players competing in various dance offs or rhythmically shooting enemies in order to pull in top ratings. It’s a …weird game, but one the perfectly exemplifies the strange energy that seemed to define SEGA in the Saturn and Dreamcast days. The game has become a bit of a cult classic over the years, and Ulala herself has found her way into almost every SEGA crossover. She’s just such colorful and fun character, and I’m also pretty sure she would be the first dancing, ray gun wielding, space reporter to be playable in a Smash Bros. game.
6. Alex Kidd (Alex Kidd in Miracle World)
Alex Kidd was the original Sonic the Hedgehog. Before Sega was all about the blue-blur, Alex Kidd was their monkey mascot and for the video game industry he was a sensation in the early 1980s. Although his first appearance on a Nintendo system would not be until 2008 with Sega Superstar Tennis on the Wii and DS (and then later that year his first game on the Virtual Console), Alex Kidd was still an important character to Sega and gaming. He was a platforming hero and so his implementation into Super Smash Bros. would be a lot easier than many of the other characters here. Alex Kidd has a variety of vehicles like his ‘pedicopter’ and pogo stick that can be used in battle. They could also pull a Pac-Man with Alex Kidd by having him represent various classic Sega characters from the Master System and Arcade days of Sega. This would also tie into his more recent appearance which have been exclusively in Sega cross-over titles. The only real problem Alex Kidd has are the two previously mentioned points. He is not really relevant anymore and he was never really relevant to Nintendo so it really depends on how Smash is going to go from here on. Will it be a celebration of Nintendo’s history or a celebration of the history of video games as a whole?
5. Ristar (Ristar)
Ristar, the shooting Star just looks like he belongs in Smash Bros. One of my favorite things about his design is that he looks like he was plucked straight from the Sonic franchise and placed into his own game.
For those unfamiliar with him, Ristar’s mission is to stop the evil space pirate, Kaiser Greedy from enslaving several different planets through mind control. Ristar’s primary gimmick is the use of his extendable arms, which in my mind gives him the potential to be the Dhalsim of Smash Bros. SEGA’s continued refusal to even allow him to become a playable character in their racing games is profoundly saddening.
4. Opa-Opa (Fantasy Zone)
Opa-Opa is one of a handful of characters that were considered SEGA’s mascot prior to the creation of Sonic the Hedgehog. He is a tiny, sentient, and adorable spacecraft that guards the eponymous Fantasy Zone from any invaders. The original game played much like the arcade classic Defender in that Opa-Opa is not bound by a scrolling screen. He can move in any direction, moving left or right or up or down, and the little egg shaped ship can even sprout legs if he needs to. The game was unique in its currency based upgrade system and bright and colorful aesthetic. It, along with Konami’s Twinbee, actually coined the term “cute ‘em up,” to help define these types of games. Being a spaceship, Opa-Opa has a wide variety of attacked at his disposal, including a large assortment of lasers and bombs. He has a unique look, great moveset potential, and is important to SEGA. In other words, he has everything it takes to be in a crossover fighter.
3. AiAi (Super Monkey Ball)
There is no way we will ever see a game like this again from a major triple AAA studio and that is a shame. In 2001, with the launch of the GameCube, Sega released Super Monkey Ball. The game was a fun puzzle title that involved tilting the world to have a monkey in a ball run towards a goal. It was very simple in concept but it was amazingly successful spawning tons of sequels both on and off Nintendo systems. Most fans I have spoken to agree that the games have always been better on the more powerful GameCube. The first 2 titles saw release there and then later the PS2 and Xbox received them both under 1 title known as Super Monkey Ball Deluxe but it was plagued with frame-rate issues and load screens. AiAi is the main character of the series and he would be a unique character to play as in Smash, being inside his ball at all times. This would make him feel slippery and harder to control but countering this with some powerful attacks could make him a devastating fighter for those willing to master him. The Nintendo connection is important here as Super Monkey Ball was the first Sega game ever published on a Nintendo system. This was a big thing back in the day and the series was exclusive for a time. While Super Monkey Ball has dropped out of the spotlight in recent years, I would argue that most of Sega’s IPs outside of Sonic have, so it is really not an issue, and Super Monkey Ball has this connection with Nintendo that no other Sega franchise on this list does (except for Billy Hatcher but he had 1 game compared to this franchises’ 8 on Nintendo alone).
2. Axel Stone (Streets of Rage).
While the phrase “criminally under-utilised” plagues so many SEGA IPs I feel that no other IP is as befitting of this title as Streets of Rage is. Originating as a virtual carbon copy of Capcom’s Final Fight, Streets of Rage adapted into a series that far surpassed the originators.
Peaking with its second instalment, Streets of Rage 2 is often considered one of the best games of all time. A trilogy of side-scrolling beat-em-up games offers up a hefty and diverse selection of environments for stage (and music) choices, including but not limited to; Pirate Ship, Arcade, Bar, a stadium, and most appropriately a dark street.
Axel Stone is the face of the franchise. A former cop turned Karate Dojo owner, Axel would make for a very unique and interesting fighter in Smash through not only his hand-to-hand combat skills, but also his skills while using many different weapons.
1. Gilius Thunderhead (Golden Axe)
Golden Axe is one of, if not the, best beat ‘em up series of all time. It is an arcade classic with many memorable gimmicks and moments. Few who have played any of the original games in the series can forget the thrill of riding a beast into battle or beating up on gnomes around a campfire to restore your magic. The franchise is actually so popular that it had several spin offs, including Golden Axe: The Duel, a 2D fighter, and Golden Axe: Warrior, the SEGA Master System’s answer to the Legend of Zelda. Gilius Thunderhead is one of the three original playable characters in the series. He is a dwarf warrior who wields a giant axe and is proficient in the use of lightning magic, While Ax Battler and Tyris Flare, the other two playable characters from Golden Axe, have their own spinoffs, Gilius is the only one of the three to have a role in all of the classic games. He is also important as he plays a key role in the final defeat of series villain Deth Adder, and is able to use Golden Axe itself in battle. This, along with his recurring status in SEGA All-Stars titles, make him the most natural choice to represent Golden Axe in a game like Smash.
Do you agree with our choices? Which SEGA characters would you like to see in Smash Bros? Sound off in the comments below!