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The Nintendo Wars series, most famously recognized by western gamers as Advance Wars on the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS is a long running Nintendo franchise that has spanned 8 different Nintendo platforms. What a lot of Nintendo fans don’t realize is that Advance Wars is only a branch of the Nintendo Wars series that started all the way back in 1988, predating the majority of Nintendo franchises already represented in Super Smash Bros including Fire Emblem. Fire Emblem, as many of you know is also developed by Intelligent Systems like Nintendo Wars and the series has gotten a lot of love over the years in Smash Bros, having 6 playable representatives. Additionally, Fire Emblem was only able to see a release outside of Japan because of Advance Wars’ success in the west which led to Nintendo making the decision to release Fire Emblem overseas (in addition to Marth and Roy being playable in Melee of course).
I believe this series having a playable character in the next Smash Bros will launch this series to a new height the same way Fire Emblem being represented in Melee got it more attention from gamers in general and hence the position it’s in right now.
As it stands currently, the only form of representation the Nintendo Wars series has had in Smash Bros is in the form of an Assist Trophy and a trophy in both Brawl and Smash 4. For a series that has been going on since 1988 and has been confirmed not to be dead by Intelligent Systems, this series is absolutely deserving of playable representation in Smash Bros with it’s history on Nintendo consoles that expands beyond the four Advance Wars games people only recognize the series for.
The Nintendo Wars series can be broken into two different sub-series.
– Advance Wars; the traditional strategy turn-based series starting with Famicom Wars in 1988. This series has appeared on the Famicom, Super Famicom, Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Game Boy Advance, and the Nintendo DS. While the series has multiple names in Japan (Famicom Wars, Game Boy Wars, etc) the series has since taken the title of Advance Wars in all international releases of the game.
– Battalion Wars; a spin-off of the Wars series with new gameplay and a new setting. Battalion Wars is a third-person shooter/real-time tactical game that saw two releases on the Gamecube and the Wii.
As you can see from the above, the Nintendo Wars series has a well-documented history of being on many different Nintendo platforms so it has the long-running history that would be beneficial for inclusion in Smash Bros. While the series has had several different main characters in the series, Andy; who made his debut in the first Advance Wars on the Gameboy Advance, and was the first central character of any Nintendo Wars game would be the best character to represent the series in Smash Bros.
Who is Andy?
Andy, as many of you already know is the main character of the first Advance Wars game where he’s a CO (Commanding Officer) for the nation known as Orange Star located in Wars World (the main setting of Advance Wars other than Days of Ruin). Andy is blamed for various attacks across Wars World by fellow nations Blue Moon, Yellow Comet, and Green Earth. Andy, along with his comrades Max and Sami are forced to battle against these nations until it’s finally revealed that it was a clone of Andy that attacked these nations in order to stir chaos among the nations. Andy’s clone was created by Sturm, the leader of the nation called Black Hole and the main antagonist of Advance Wars 1 & 2. Strum orchestrates all the chaos in Wars World in order to conquer the land amongst the unrest of the nations. Sturm’s plot is foiled by Andy and co. who team up and defeat Sturm. Whilst the second game doesn’t have Andy in the leading role (Advance Wars 2 doesn’t have a central character), Andy still plays an important part in freeing Orange Star from Black Hole’s attack, aiding other Allied Nations, as well as facing off and defeating Sturm once again in the final conflict of the game. While Andy isn’t featured in the story of Advance Wars: Dual Strike, he remains playable in the game.
In a nutshell, Andy is to the Wars series what Marth is to Fire Emblem. While Andy himself didn’t appear in the older Wars games pre-Advance Wars, he was the first central character that the Wars series ever had as the older instalments didn’t have a storyline in their games. Any CO other than Andy becoming playable wouldn’t feel right because of this. Think of it like Sigurd becoming playable in Melee instead of Marth. Just wouldn’t feel right to not have the first central character in y’know? Although at this juncture I think it’s pretty safe to say that any Nintendo Wars fan is willing to accept any sort of playable representation in Smash Bros, myself included. Additionally, Andy can represent not only Advance Wars but the Nintendo Wars series as a whole which can lead to the possible inclusion of other Nintendo Wars characters.
As for the Wars series importance to Nintendo, it’s a long running Nintendo series as I mentioned before that’s nearing its 30th anniversary. When you think about that, the Wars series is older than every Nintendo series currently represented in Smash Bros sans Mario, Zelda, Kid Icarus, Punch-Out, and the Retro series. That includes it’s sister series, Fire Emblem. It can also be argued that the Wars series is the 2nd biggest Nintendo series to not have playable representation in Smash Bros, only behind Splatoon which the later series has seen enormous popularity and success in the past year. With that lineage going back to the 80’s, the series spanning 8 different Nintendo platforms, and the fact that Intelligent Systems have stated that their still thinking about future Advance Wars games, the series has both the long-running Nintendo history and a “future” which Sakurai states is important for characters to have thus having most of the important key factors for inclusion in Smash Bros.
How Will Andy Play?
Choosing Andy’s alts was really easy because in Advance Wars 2 there’s an option to change the color of a CO’s hair and clothes so Andy can use all of those as his alts.
- Can they crawl: No
- Can they wall jump: Yes
- How many jumps do they have: 2
- Is there any exclusive abilities they have: Being able to switch freely from Standard Combat and Vehicular Combat.
- Weight Class: D
- Height Class: D+
- Speed Class: B+
- Are they mirrored when they face left: No
For more information on how these stats work please check out the linked article.
Stats are pretty much laid out in the description above. An exclusive feature Andy has is codecs exclusive to his stage (Wars World).
Similar to Snake with Snake’s Codec’s and Pit with Palutena’s Guidance, Andy also has codecs where he’s able to communicate with Max, Sami, and Nell to discuss who he’s fighting. I think this would work great because Andy is very similar to Pit in personality and Nell would pretty much play the role Palutena does in informing Pit who he’s fighting. Max and Sami would play the role Virdi and the others would have in making extra comments about the fighters. The potential for some great, funny dialogue is there. I for one would love to see a conversation between Andy and Pit. Other characters will make cameo’s in Andy’s codecs as well.
Andy’s moveset stays true to the Nintendo Wars/Advance Wars series whilst also taking creative liberties with his moveset (i.e. Andy using his wrench to fight despite never being shown to use his wrench at all). Andy uses his wrench for most of his standard attacks in addition to a rocket launcher for some of his Smash Attacks. For Andy’s specials, Andy is able to summon various different vehicular units from Advance Wars. That’s what makes Andy stand out from most Smash Bros characters; his reliance on Special Moves which are essentially the “second half” of his moveset. Andy can switch seamlessly from fighting with his wrench to fighting in a vehicular unit and that forms the bulk of any strategy for Andy. This also makes him different from Bowser Jr. who’s only a vehicular fighter. Each vehicular unit Andy summons serves a unique purpose and is what makes him a force to be reckoned with.
i.e. Artillery units are good for zoning out and keeping opponents at bay while Tanks are good for overwhelming opponents with their heavy fire.
Keep in mind that three of the four units Andy can summon can be destroyed by the opponent upon being damaged depending on the unit (Artillery, Recon, and Tank). There’s also a certain amount of time Andy has to go without summoning an Artillery, Recon, and Tank unit (about 7-10 seconds) because Andy being able to summon these units instantly would be unfair. Additionally, if the opponent manages to destroy one of these units, Andy will have to wait 15 seconds before being able to use that unit again. In general, Andy gets in the vehicular unit almost immediately after being summoned and then is able to press B to shoot and A to get off his vehicular unit in which said vehicular unit will immediately fade away. The sprites I provided for the units are in 2D so you’ll just have to imagine how they would look like in full 3D.
One last thing before I talk about the specifics of the moveset. Despite having two wrenches in his official artwork, Andy will only fight with one wrench in Smash Bros.
Andy rides and comes out of an APC unit, somewhat similar to Lucas’ Entrance Animation.
Andy hold his wrench in one hand while his other hand is at his side, similar to Roy’s Idle stance.
|Idle Pose 1:||Andy examines his wrench briefly.|
|Idle Pose 2:||Andy swings his arm around, being the restless kid he is.|
Similar to Ness’ walking animation.
Likewise similar to Ness’ running animation only faster. Andy holds his wrench behind him as he runs.
First jump is similar to Marth’s though his second jump is similar to Falco’s second jump.
|Falling Animation:||Andy falls like most other character only he’s still holding his wrench in his hand.|
|Damage Animation:||Andy moves back a bit while holding his wrench above his head and having one eye closed.|
|Ducking Animation:||Similar to most Smash Bros characters really.|
|Ledge Animation:||Andy stares down below the edge while trying to maintain his balance, similar to most Smash Bros characters.|
|Ledge Attack Animation:||Andy swiftly strikes with his wrench to attack anyone that might be near the ledge upon recovering to the stage.|
|Item Animation:||Andy will hold an item in his other hand that isn’t holding his wrench.|
|KO Scream (Being knocked off the stage):||Andy will yell “Darn!” when he’s KO’d.|
|KO Scream (Screen and Star KO):||Like most other characters. Andy will scream in defeat.|
|Jab:||Andy does a series of quick wrench attacks on his opponent, the last having the most knockback.|
|Up Tilt:||Andy does a quick, weak uppercut to his opponent.|
|Side Tilt:||Andy strikes his opponent with his wrench quickly horizontally.|
|Down Tilt:||Andy quickly kicks his opponent downwards for a quick strike.|
Andy lunges his wrench at his opponent whilst dashing towards them, similar to Link’s old dash attack from Smash 64.
Andy lunges his wrench up in the air quickly. Similar to Cloud’s Up Air.
Andy thrusts his wrench downwards in the air, similar to Roy and Ike’s Down Air.
Andy thrusts his wrench vertically at his opponent. Similar to Marth’s Forward Air.
Andy kicks his opponent behind him. Similar to Falco’s Back Air.
|Up Smash:||Andy lunges his wrench vertically which is practical when he’s up against foes at a close distance. Has moderate damage and knockback.|
Andy fires a rocket forward in which the wind pushes foes behind him backwards. The rocket Andy launches doesn’t travel far before it explodes but also does significant damage and knockback. Think Snake’s old Side B only Andy doesn’t control the Rocket and it’s more powerful.
|Down Smash:||Andy swings his rocket launcher around in a 360 angle that does a lot of damage and has a lot of knockback but is heavy and slow. Andy is gritting his teeth in this animation as he’s lifting a heavy object.|
Similar to Marth’s grab.
Likewise similar to Marth’s dash grab.
|Pummel:||Andy whacks his opponent with his wrench repeatedly.|
|Forward Throw:||Andy lunges his wrench at the opponent in an uppercut-like fashion.|
|Back Throw:||Andy throws his opponent behind him and then hits the opponent with his wrench.|
|Up Throw:||Andy hits his opponent with his wrench upwards sending the opponent into the air.|
|Down Throw:||Andy hits his opponent multiple times with his wrench while the opponent is on the ground.|
|Neutral Special 1:
Andy summons and gets inside an Artillery unit. Whilst inside he can control the angle of where the Artillery fires by flicking the control stick up or down and the distance it goes meaning this move is the perfect option for zoning your opponent and keeping them at bay. Additionally, it can be used in close quarters as well. Unlike Andy’s other specials however, the Artillery unit can’t be moved.
|Neutral Special 2:
|Artillery has rapid-fire shots albeit significantly weaker than the regular Artillery.|
|Neutral Special 3:
|Artillery can’t be used as much though the attack is much more powerful, even killing at early percents.|
|Side Special 1:
Andy summons and gets inside a Recon unit which operates very similarly to Wario’s bike in that it moves freely and quickly across the stage (albeit not having firepower). This move is good for quick surprise attacks to catch the opponent off guard though it can be destroyed relatively easy.
|Side Special 2:
|A faster variation of the Recon that moves extremely fast but can very easily be destroyed in addition to having reduced damage and knockback.|
|Side Special 3:
|A variation of the Recon that’s harder to destroy but has reduced damage and knockback.|
|Up Special 1:
Andy summons a Bomber to assist him in getting back to the stage whilst the Bomber drops bombs below Andy. Great move for edge guarding opponents or just safely recovering to the stage.
|Up Special 2:
|The Bomber doesn’t drop any bombs though it allows Andy to freely control the Bomber and move wherever he wants for a limited duration (7-10 seconds approx). Think of it like the Jetpac item.|
|Up Special 3:
|The Bomber doesn’t have as much vertical distance though the bombs the Bomber drops have more knockback/damage and drop faster.|
|Down Special 1:
Andy summons and gets inside a tank. Andy can move his Tank freely across the stage similar to Wario’s bike and blast opponents with his tanks for considerable damage. Additionally, there’s a 10% chance that Andy might summon a Medium Tank; a much more powerful yet slower version of the normal Tank.
|Down Special 2:
|Chances of summoning a Medium Tank increases to 50% though the Tank is weaker and easier to destroy.|
|Down Special 3:
|A much more powerful variation of the Tank that does a lot more damage but is prone to being destroyed easily.|
Andy’s CO Super Power from Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising and Advance Wars: Dual Strike though it functions differently in Smash Bros. Andy heals 50% of damage and summons a Neotank, a Tank that is both more powerful than a Medium Tank and faster than a normal Tank that devastates his opponent(s).
|Up Taunt:||Andy gives the peace sign and says “I can fix anything!”.|
Andy lifts his wrench towards the screen like Roy’s taunt and grins.
|Down Taunt:||Andy looks inside his toolbox for utilities.|
|Victory Animation 1:||Andy throws his wrench in the air and grabs it, striking his Advance Wars 2 pose.|
|Victory Animation 2:||Andy poses next to an APC unit, holding his wrench towards the screen like his Side Taunt, and says “I’m a mechanical genius!”|
|Victory Animation 3:||Andy climbs on top of his Medium Tank and says “Hah! I just can’t be beat!”.|
This would be a good victory theme for the Wars series if represented in Smash Bros. The track is from the first GBA Advance Wars game after you successfully complete a mission.
And that’s how Andy would play in Smash Bros as well as why the Nintendo Wars series should be represented in Smash Bros. For coming up with Andy’s moveset I had a bunch of ideas on how to tackle it. One idea I had was a system very similar to how Advance Wars works. Andy would have to establish a Base and then buy units from there using a fund system. In this case, Andy would have a counter in the top left screen with his funds displayed and would have his funds increased every 5-7 seconds. I figured that wouldn’t be feasible for a Smash Bros setting mainly because off all the work needed to put every single kind of unit in the game as well as a menu opening in the middle of a battle which would be very distracting for everyone playing. The moveset that you see here is what I settled on and is much more feasible to implement in Smash Bros while also staying true to the Wars series.
So what do you think of this Dream Smashers article? Also, are you more open to the idea of a Nintendo Wars character in Smash Bros now? Let me know what you think.