Greetings fellow Smashers, it’s SourceGaming Choice time once again! If you missed us last time, we looked at our thoughts for the upcoming December broadcast. However this time, we’re going to revisit an idea that we had that lead us into setting up SourceGaming Choice #9, and that idea is simply “Who is an All-Star”. The difference here is that we’re only looking at Nintendo characters, and their status as an All-Star relative to Nintendo. So without further adue, let’s get this ball rolling.
The criteria when selecting these characters was similar to that in which we selected the All-Stars for the previous SG Choice article, we followed this set of guidelines.
1: The character must have impacted Nintendo as a company.
2: The franchise that they hail from must have a deal of success, and legacy.
3: The character must be important to their own franchise
4: That character must be a Nintendo icon and recognizable.
Toad/Captain Toad – PushDustIn, Masked Man, Soma, Nantendo, Spazzy_D, Wolfman_J, Smashchu, TheAnvil, Neo Zero, Nirbion, Frostwraith
Toad, although not playable in Super Smash Bros, is one of the most iconic members of the Mushroom Kingdom. He has made numerous playable appearances including Super Mario Bros 2, New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Super Mario 3D World. Moreover, he has appeared in every Mario Kart game, having a perfect track record. Toad has appeared in many more titles including both Mario Party 10 and Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, both released this year. Perhaps his appearances are due, in part, to his amiibo. Part of the Mario line of amiibos, he was the first non-Smash character to receive one. Captain Toad, first appearing in Super Mario Galaxy, had his own game in Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. Nevertheless, Toad remains a popular character even amongst all the juggernaut Nintendo characters. – SmashChu
Inklings – Masked Man, PushDustIn, TheAnvil, Nantendo, Wolfman_J, Smashchu, Neo Zero, Nirbion, Frostwraith
Being an all-star can sometimes be a fleeting thing. Sometimes you have your 5 seconds in the sun before you fizzle out into obscurity. Arguably, at some point in the era of the NES, characters like the Ice Climbers or Takamaru could be considered a Nintendo All-Star but now this is just not the case. The Inklings fall into this category for me. Right now, with their first game being a massive seller for the Wii U; winning 2 awards at the Game Awards 2015 and beating out other big AAA titles like Halo 5, Splatoon is certainly up there with the likes of Mario. The Inklings are very recognizable to the point that no one would not be surprised if they showed up in this smash DLC. Heck, they were even wanted before their first game had come out. We do not know how long the Inklings will stay in the limelight, perhaps by this year Splatoon will have been nothing more than a fad, but as it stands now, these anthropomorphic cephalopods easily belong in this all-star category. — Nantendo
Dixie Kong – TheAnvil, Masked Man, Spazzy_D, PushDustIn, Smashchu, Neo Zero, Nirbion, Frostwraith
Dixie first made her mark as Diddy Kong’s co-star in what is often considered to be one of the elite platforming experiences of all time, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest, in addition to Donkey Kong Land 2. This lead to a subsequent starring role in the 2 sequels to those games, Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble, which despite releasing on the SNES after the Nintendo 64 was released, was still a critical and commercial success, as well as Donkey Kong Land 3. She remains one of the first, and few female characters to ever get a starring role in a Nintendo game.
She has since gone on to appear in a plethora of other Donkey Kong games, including Donkey Konga 2, Barrel Blast, King of Swing and even more notably, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. She has even made her way into the Mario Sports titles through games such as Mario Hoops 3 on 3, and Mario Super Sluggers. She is essentially the 3rd wheel of the Donkey Kong tricycle. -TheAnvil
Isabelle – Neo Zero, PushDustIn, Nantendo, Smashchu, TheAnvil, Nirbion, Masked Man, Frostwraith
The Animal Crossing series is incredibly popular and could very well be considered one of Nintendo’s major franchises in this day and age. However, as a life sim game there is no real main character apart from the player. This meant that there was never really a mascot for the Animal Crossing series. There were a couple of good candidates but nothing really solid. That was until Isabelle came along and stole the hearts of players everywhere. Introduced in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Isabelle is the competent but occasionally air-headed assistant to the player as he/she moves in and begins their duty as mayor.
Much like Lucina from Fire Emblem, Isabelle is being pushed by Nintendo everywhere. Isabelle was the first Animal Crossing amiibo highlighted at this year’s E3, both in card and figure form, as well as one of the bundled amiibo in Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival. Isabelle also appeared in Nintendo’s ad campaign for the New 3DS in japan alongside the likes of Mario, Link and Pikachu. She has even had her Smash debut already as the lone Animal Crossing assist trophy in Super Smash Bros for Wii U/3DS. I cannot imagine her popularity dwindling at any point so do not be surprised when she turns up with a major role again in the next main Animal Crossing title. – Nantendo
Ridley – Spazzy_D, PushDustIn, Nantendo, TheAnvil, Smashchu, Neo Zero
When you think of Nintendo villains the first that pop into mind are usually Bowser, Ganon and King Dedede. But if you asked anyone who had played a Metroid game who the main villain is they would probably tell you Ridley (or an actual Metroid but, you know, that’s like calling a Goomba a villain). Ridley is probably one of the darkest characters in all of Nintendo history, performing mass genocide and constantly coming back to torture Samus, whose parents he killed. Ridley is a scary monster but because of this he is also very recognizable.
This big purple lizard has appeared in every single Metroid title sans 2 (both of which have 2 in the title. Conspiracies…) and is also one of the most highly requested characters in all of Smash. Ridley is the Bowser to Samus’ Mario and whether you consider him a real All-Star or not probably relies on whether you feel the Metroid franchise or Samus herself deserve that title. Either way, if there is any villain missing from Nintendo’s All-Star line up so far it has to be Ridley. – Nantendo
Tingle – PushDustIn, Masked Man, Wolfman_J, Neo Zero, Nirbion, TheAnvil
Kooloo Limpah! These are Tingle’s magical words, do not steal them.
Tingle originally debuted in The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (2000). Ever since his inclusion the 30+ year old bachelor’s presence brings out a strong reaction in people. People either love him, or absolutely despise him. No matter how you feel about Tingle, he has appeared in numerous Zelda games, and even had three games in which he was a protagonist. While not in the base roster of Hyrule Warriors, he was later included in DLC and is used in the official art for Hyrule Warriors: Legends. Tingle is the most recurring side character in the Zelda franchise sans Impa. He’s already in Smash for Wii U/3DS and Brawl as an assist trophy, where he causes a random action to occur. Koloo Limpah! -PushDustIn
Tom Nook – Smashchu, Nantendo, PushDustIn, TheAnvil
As I previously mentioned in my write up for Isabelle there were a couple of good candidates for Animal Crossing mascots pre-Isabelle and the top of this list was Tom Nook. This devious shop keeper is seen by some to be the main antagonist of the Animal Crossing series as he is the one who sets your goals. When you enter your town for the first time it is Tom Nook who teaches you the basics and gives you a roof above your head. Alongside this however, he also gives you a massive debt that becomes your life goal just to pay off. It is always him in every game so far. Tom Nook is a much more important, driving, factor of the Animal Crossing games than Isabelle that I feel he deserves all-star status alongside her. The only reason he is not mascot is because he is arguably not as popular or cute. – Nantendo
King K. Rool – TheAnvil, PushDustIn, Smashchu, Neo Zero
The Donkey Kong franchise is one of Nintendo’s biggest selling franchises of all time, behind only Mario, Pokemon and Zelda. For over 3 decades, Donkey Kong has seen some of the most notable games on their respective platformes. Perhaps most notably, the extremely successful Donkey Kong Country series. King K. Rool first appeared in Donkey Kong Country 1, and has since gone on to appear as the main antagonist in the majority of the Donkey Kong adventures since then, appearing in a total of 12 different games (excluding ports and rereleases). Most notably Donkey Kong Country 2, Donkey Kong Country 3, and Donkey Kong 64.
Although he has taken a backseat in the two most recent iterations of the Donkey Kong Country, he remains Donkey Kong’s primary antagonist, one of few true recurring primary antagonists that Nintendo has in its repertoire. If Mario has Bowser, then Donkey Kong has King K. Rool. -TheAnvil
Paper Mario – TheAnvil, PushDustIn, Wolfman_J
Mario is an iconic character, so his paper version should be just as big. Paper Mario has been the staple of the role playing Mario games. Originally conceived as a continuation of Super Mario RPG, Paper Mario released in 1999* on the Nintendo 64, the game was well received among fans and critics*. Since then, the Paper Mario games have been popular and well-loved. The series has been folded into vastly different games such as Super Paper Mario, a hybrid between a platformer and an RPG. The games has continued with Paper Mario: Sticker Star on the 3DS, and the first spin-off with Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam. But among all the game is the game’s funny, well-written dialogue. Nevertheless, the series has not fallen flat, and will likely continue in the future. And this has filed Paper Mario in the documents of the Nintendo All-Star. – Smashchu
Peppy & Slippy – TheAnvil, Smashchu, PushDustIn
Peppy and Slippy are the remaining members of the Star Fox team, and their status as All-Stars basically derives from that fact. Star Fox upon its release on the SNES instantly became a smash hit, and was followed up on the Nintendo 64 by a game that arguably surpassed that. Their roles in the game were as Fox’s team mates, they would help guide you through the games using team work.
Star Fox’s infinitely quotable lines, many of which were popularized bySlippy and Peppy have kept them forever in the forefront of gamers minds ever since. DO A BARREL ROLL! -TheAnvil
Kamek – Neo Zero, PushDustIn, TheAnvil
Kamek has been Bowser’s right hand man (or should I say Magikoopa?). Originally debuted in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island, Kamek straddles the line between Yoshi and Mario character. Kamek has been featured in numerous spin-off games, and was even originally on the roster for Mario Kart 64 (before Donkey Kong replaced him). Kamek has seen an increased role in the canon Mario games lately with a prominent role in New Super Mario Bros. Wii and New Super Mario Bros. Wii U and even having a major role in Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam. I feel that the future is bright for Kamek, and it should be a character on everyone’s radar. -PushDustIn
King Boo – TheAnvil, PushDustIn
King Boo is perhaps a dark horse Mario character, the Boo enemies are one of the most iconic recurring enemies in the Mario series, and King Boo himself is basically the big, bad (named) version of these characters.
Securing prominent roles in Super Princess Peach, Super Mario 64 DS, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam and numerous Mario spin off titles, he is perhaps best known for being the primary antagonist of the Luigi’s Mansion games, of which are among the biggest games on their respective platforms. -TheAnvil
Tetra (Toon Zelda) – TheAnvil, Masked Man
Tetra, although a Zelda has really stepped out from that role and become almost an entirely new and separate character from the usual Zeldas. First appearing with a major role in the Wind Waker, Tetra went on to make an appearance in the Wind Waker Sequel, The Phantom Hourglass. She was set to star in her own game, titled Tetra’s Trackers, though it was repurposed as Navi Trackers and packaged with the Four Swords Adventures. She is also a strong selling point for the 3DS version of Hyrule Warriors. -TheAnvil
Chibi-Robo – PushDustIn, TheAnvil
What Chibi-Robo lacks in size, he makes up for in personality. While his games has not been system sellers, he is one of the most notable and relevant Nintendo characters to be fully excluded from Smash for Wii U/3DS. His latest game even came bundled with an amiibo — a status that many characters on this list currently lack. Generally speaking, Chibi-Robo’s games revolve around cleaning a house and making people happy. However, his latest game was an action platformer. For more information about Chibi-Robo check out Nantendo’s Nintendo History 101: Chibi Robo series. -PushDustIn
Bandana Waddle Dee – Neo Zero , Nirbion
The Kirby-Series is usually not known for many recurring characters. I see a lot of requests for other Kirby-characters like Prince Fluff, Magolor or Marx. But the problem is, that many of them didn’t stay long in the Kirby-Series and only had one chance (or had a tiny cameo). They lack series-representation, but only one dude made it through: Bandana Waddle Dee!
He was overlooked first in Super Star but thanks to Kirby’s Return to Dreamland and Kirby & the Rainbow Curse (in which he was the only other playable character in the multiplayer-mode) he gained his place in the Kirby-maincast-squad. So HAL Laboratories did a good job in pushing a “new” Waddle Dee-character, since he became a highly requested character to represent the current Kirby-games. Not only does he represent modern Kirby-Games, he also represents the recurring Waddle Dees. Like Captain Toad would be to the iconic Toads. The Kirby-Universe would feel empty without any Waddle Dees, so Bandana Waddle Dee would the the perfect chance to represent them. -Nirbion
Honourable Mentions to other Mario and Pokemon characters.
When devising this article we quickly learned that for the sake of keeping this at an appropriate length, one in which people would still enjoy reading it, we decided to ommit from the main article and mention many characters from the Mario and particularly Pokemon franchises separately. Between the two of them, there unquestionably dozens, if not hundreds of characters that could be construed as being All-Stars. We did want to give special mentions to two characters in particular though, those being Waluigi and Meowth.
Have we missed anyone? Do you agree with our choices? Which Nintendo characters do you consider All-Stars, sound off in the comments below!