We recently got together and discussed our favorite clone characters in Smash. Agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments.
For more information about clones in Smash, check out Frostwraith’s article on the subject.
(Note: semi-clones were acceptable picks)
Luigi is by far the best clone in Smash. Even with his appearance in Smash 64, Luigi still portrayed a lot of personality — perhaps even more than Mario! This can be even be seen in Secret of Alts page, where Luigi holds the same pose for all his alts (the only one!). In Melee, Luigi was given more differences, and birthed the term “Luigified” which is now used to describe semi-clones in Smash in English. Luigi’s personality is pretty quirky, and Smash really highlights it. Even if Luigi is a clone, he is still pretty true to his character.
Dark Pit is a controversial choice as I am sure many people out there feel he should not even be in the game and I can understand that. For me however, I was a massive fan of Pit pre-Brawl and really wanted him to be added to the game. I was ecstatic to see him in the reveal trailer but when I actually got the game I was somewhat let down by how he played. They changed him for the better in Smash for but I still didn’t think he was good enough. He was just a bit too weak. This is where Dark Pit comes in as the stronger variant. Although the two are similar (the nature of being clones) Dark Pit did everything I wanted from Pit originally.
For my choice, I’d like to speak about Toon Link. Because aside from being a lovable, goofy tyke, one who plays markedly differently from regular Link thanks to their dramatically different weights, he also does something only a clone character really could. See, the Zelda series is based partially around the idea of each game being a separate story, a “legend” passed down through the history of Hyrule. These differences relate not only to story, but to visual and gameplay style as well. What separates Toon Link from his Young Link counterpart in Melee is that the former represents an entirely different style of presenting and creating games, and the wealth of artistic inspiration that powers the Legend of Zelda. In other words, he’s a clone not only through his use of Link’s special moves, but by reinterpreting who Link is in each game. Both of them are Link, a very specific kind of hero with access to a bow, boomerang, and the spin attack. But the depiction of these same ideas is different, through unique animations and graphics That’s what Zelda is; it reimagines and plays with older ideas in new contexts. And it could not be done nearly as well unless Toon Link was playing by similar standards and moves to his older counterpart.
Also, his down aerial attack in Brawl was amazing, and I’m sad it was changed in Smash for 3DS / Wii U.
Considering my most played character in Smash is Ganondorf, that makes him my choice. Despite the oddity of being a Captain Falcon clone, I still think he feels like the canon Ganondorf in many ways, having the same personality, showing off dark powers and having brutal strength. I’ve had a preference towards medium and heavyweight characters and while Ganondorf does lack in mobility and attack speed, each of his blows is always incredibly satisfying to land. From timing a Warlock Punch for a devastating blow, to using his up tilt and pierce through unsuspecting foes’ defenses, to landing down aerials and Meteor Smash opponents into oblivion, Ganondorf may be hard to play, but playing as him and winning feels more rewarding than any other character in the game. Plus, he simply is one of my favorite fictional villains of all time.
Falco is my main character since Melee, but I like him more because of his cool and brash personality instead of his moveset (I mained Fox in 64, so it wasn’t a big change after all). Sadly he isn’t a top tier anymore, but his moveset fits my way to play Smash… Or maybe I adapted myself to his pressuring style. I hope in the subsequent games he get’s a more distinct moves, at least a new Final Smash, but even if he get’s nothing, I will personally prefer him.
Speaking as someone who generally supports clones, there are several I’d love to nominate. However, I can only choose one, so I’m going to follow my heart and pick Dr. Mario. Dr. Mario 64 was one of the first video games to enter my possession. It supplied me with great memories, and it served as my gateway drug into the puzzle genre. Seeing the Doc in Melee was great, even if I was probably the only person who requested him, and I was overjoyed for his return in Smash for Wii U/3DS. It also helps that Mario is among my main fighters in most Smash games, so I’m happy to have an alternative take on his moveset, especially since Dr. Mario retained his Dr. Tornado and drill kick.
I’m going to avoid semi-clones and pick Young Link. Ocarina of Time is my personal favorite Zelda game and Young Link really was a love letter to Ocarina fans. It’s more an aesthetic love than anything else. The little things like the wooden shield, and the lon-lon ranch milk taunt. Young Link is perhaps the only time in Smash Bros. history where I prefer the clone’d version of a character to the original.
Roy‘s our boy! Roy is by far my favorite “pure clone” in the Smash Bros. franchise. Lucas edges him out as a character I overall enjoy more, but as I don’t count Lucas as a clone, Roy is the clear winner here. Listen guys, I am not a huge Fire Emblem fan. I’ve never played Roy’s game and I probably never will…. still, there is something just fun about playing as a harder hitting, more “punchy” version of Marth. Also, fire > no fire. Just saying.