As of this writing, there are only ten confirmed characters for the upcoming Super Smash Bros. title, with three of them being brand new to the series (Villager, Wii Fit Trainer, and Mega Man). I figured that before too many more get revealed, now might be a good time to borrow some inspiration from fellow writer Aaron Sirois and offer up ten characters of my own that should be added to the roster.
Now would be a good time to mention that these characters are in no particular order, and I tried to stick with titles that were actually published by Nintendo. So while not all of them were developed internally, they were at least released under the banner of the big N. With that out of the way, here we go:
I think it’s fair to credit Super Smash Bros. Melee with the existence of Fire Emblem in the western market. The franchise received a lot of exposure with that release and had gamers not familiar with it asking who these characters were that they missed out on. Funny, then, that the first entry to cross the ocean had neither Marth or Roy as its protagonists.
Fire Emblem (or Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken as it was known in Japan) was released in 2003 in North America. It was designed with series newcomers in mind, with the opening chapters dedicated to training players on some of the finer mechanics of the franchise. While it didn’t shatter any records, it certainly did well enough to justify the localization of each release since then (save for one) including its latest 3DS entry.
Nintendo didn’t have a lot of faith in the 3DS release, Fire Emblem Awakening, but not only was it the most well received entry, but the physical release actually sold out in stores. For that reason, this game should be represented in some capacity, even if Chrom is just given a similar moveset to Marth. Since having team attacks was such a staple of Awakening, a special move (or just his Final Smash) could include having another character from the game assisting in delivering a blow to his adversaries.
While Little Mac was featured as an assist trophy in the previous game, I think the Punch-Out!! games are iconic enough for Nintendo that he deserves to be featured as a playable character. Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! was a rather popular release for the original NES, though its origins reach back further than that with the 1984 arcade game, simply called Punch-Out!! The game was then released again on the NES, this time dropping the Mike Tyson moniker, replacing his character with that of Mr. Dream (which is the version the VC editions are based upon).
Since then, Super Punch-Out!! came out to both arcades and the SNES console before entering a period of hibernation. After fifteen years, the franchise got a revival in the form of 2009’s Punch-Out!! on the Wii, which was a fantastic boxing title that didn’t force motion controls upon you if you didn’t want them. It also successfully captured the spirit of its predecessors while still making it feel like a modern game. I recommend everyone check it out.
Since Little Mac is already a character that knows how to fight, there wouldn’t be any difficulty in adapting him to the game. He would have an entire repertoire of boxing moves to rely upon. For a Final Smash, a white star can appear on screen, prompting him to uppercut his opponents into oblivion. This would be one game where he would not be the underdog.
If you had the misfortune of missing out on it, Elite Beat Agents was an early generation Nintendo DS title that used the system’s touchscreen capabilities to allow players to tap to the beat of various licensed songs. Players took control of government agents whose job it was to help people out of a jam by coercing them to dance. It was a neat concept and a fun game that was well received, though that unfortunately didn’t translate into a lot of sales. Nowadays, you can pick up the game dirt cheap, which I would encourage you to do if you haven’t already.
I envision the Elite Beat Agents playing very similarly to the Ice Climbers, in that multiple characters are controlled as one. The player can be directly responsible for one of the agents, which would lead to defeat if he were knocked out, though the other two could be there to lend assistance with attacks. Having the additional two agents knocked from the arena would merely weaken the player. While it would only work for players using the 3DS or Wii U gamepad, a Final Smash could involve tapping the touchscreen to the beat of a song, and success of this minigame would increase the likelihood of knocking out the other players.
The Golden Sun franchise was an iconic RPG series for the GBA, as it was created by Camelot Software Planning, best known for their work on the Shining series for the Genesis and Saturn. It was deliberately planned as two games, with the original ending on a cliffhanger that led directly into its sequel. Golden Sun: The Lost Age switched protagonists, though you could still import your save from the original game and maintain the characters built up in the original title (which had to be done with two GBA’s and a link cable or with a password system).
The series then went on to produce a DS entry, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, that featured the children of the characters from the first two titles, and actually seemed like it was setting itself for a sequel as well. I suspect sales were not what Nintendo was expecting, as the game is dirt cheap now, and without a follow-up (and admittedly not as good as the first two). How unfortunate.
Isaac would be the best candidate for a character to represent this franchise, as he was the main protagonist in the original, plus he was already featured as an assist trophy in Super Smash Bros. His special moves could involve summoning Djinn to perform special attacks on his behalf, with one large summon serving as his Final Smash.
I don’t think that this character has an official name, so for the purposes of this article, I’m going to just call him Balloon Fighter. At any rate, Balloon Fight the game was an NES and arcade release that could be played with two players and was functionally similar to another title, Joust. It involved characters that were suspended in the air by balloons and had to flap their arms in order to stay afloat. To win, you had to dispatch all of your enemies by popping their balloons and sending them crashing into the water below.
The game is very clearly on Nintendo’s mind, as it was recently released on the Wii U Virtual Console, plus a Balloon Fight inspired stage exists in the minigame compilation Nintendo Land. The character was also considered at one time for Super Smash Bros. Melee, though the Ice Climbers ended up taking the slot instead.
Balloon Fighter could flap to keep himself afloat when knocked away from the battle arena in much the same way that Kirby and Jigglypuff can. While the character didn’t get many attacks in the original game he’s from, he could call in hazards that would have done him in from that title. For example, lightning bolts or flesh-eating piranhas could be called at will, with a Final Smash causing a giant chimney to emerge and unleash a flood of balloons on the enemy.
It would be a shame to not include one of the best releases on the Wii platform in the latest Super Smash Bros. Especially since it’s probably a title that a lot of people are playing on their Wii U’s right now, on account of its late release. Originally launched in Japan in 2010, Xenoblade Chronicles didn’t make its way to North America until 2012, and only after a major grassroots campaign was launched in order to get it over here. Even then, the only places you could buy it were at GameStop and directly through Nintendo’s online store.
The game starred Shulk, who came into possession of a sword known as the Monado that gives him the power to see the future, and is also the only weapon that can weaken the Mechon. These gameplay mechanics could be built into the character itself, by allowing Shulk to slow down time momentarily to dodge an oncoming attack. He could also increase the length of the Monado as either a regular attack or a Final Smash in order to unleash a devastating attack and knock everyone out like the jokers they are.
My only concern is that the inclusion of Shulk could jack up the price of the original game far higher than it already is, further putting a barrier in place for those who have yet to play it. Probably time for a reprint, yeah?
The Custom Robo franchise hasn’t gotten much exposure outside of Japan, though there were a couple of entries that were released to North America. The first was simply titled Custom Robo, and came out on the Nintendo Gamecube in 2004. Custom Robo Arena was later produced and released in 2007 for the Nintendo DS. Both featured robots that could be customized by the player and unleashed upon each other in small battle arenas.
There isn’t much yet revealed about plans for customization in the latest Super Smash Bros. game, though if such a capability exists, this character would lend itself well to it. Even if it was for cosmetic purposes, having different parts to acquire and fit on the robot would be a lot of fun. The greater likelihood is that players will merely get to pick between palette swapped versions of the different characters, but a person can dream.
Since Ray MK III was already featured as an assist trophy, it would make the most sense as a candidate for robo of choice. There are a number of guns and bombs that could be used as its main attacks, allowing it to serve as a compromise between Samus, ROB, and Fox. The Final Smash could include stuffing enemies inside of a robo cube and launching them into space.
I actually struggled picking out a character to represent Sin & Punishment, simply because the sequel Star Successor, had two playable characters to pick from. So my compromise was to go with the lead character from the original.
The original game was a Nintendo 64 title made for western audiences (it even had English voiceovers), though it ended up not getting released at all. It wasn’t until its Virtual Console debut that western audiences could get their first taste of Treasure’s Cabal shooter. The Wii follow-up did get an official localization and subsequent retail release, though despite the positive reception, the game wasn’t a massive seller. All the more reason to bring a character from the franchise in and get some exposure!
Saki would have access to both an energy sword for close range combat as well as his gun for projectile shots. It would be a mix of Link and Fox in a nutshell, and a Final Smash would entail Saki transforming into a Ruffian and annihilating all of the other players. Players could also use lock-on shots to target players, so it wouldn’t always be required to be standing directly in line in order to hit them.
Sometimes I feel like the only person who remembers this series. StarTropics was an offshoot of The Legend of Zelda formula, only taking place in a modern island setting. The main character, Mike, used a yo-yo as a weapon, though he could pick up other items, such as a baseball bat, to use instead. He explored islands using a submarine and the various islands he encountered would sometimes house dungeons for him to explore. Originally released in 1990, it was a fondly remembered title from my youth, as was its 1994 sequel Zoda’s Revenge that featured a time travel premise.
Mike’s inclusion would serve a number of purposes. First, it would highlight an otherwise forgotten franchise from the NES that, in my opinion, doesn’t get as much recognition as it deserves. Second, it would pave the way for an inevitable Virtual Console release for both games that could arrive on both Wii U and 3DS. He could even be implemented as a palette swapped version of Ness, who is also adept at using a yoyo and baseball bat, though his Final Smash would instead involve dipping his enemies in water, which would in turn make a message appear onscreen on how that character was going to die… and then it would happen.
I actually don’t want to play as the Laughing Dog at all. I just want him to be a playable character so that I can pop that giggling mutt in the nose.
Oh, you wanted more than that? Alright, fine. For the unaware, the Laughing Dog (not his official name) made his debut in the 1985 NES game Duck Hunt, a title that tasked players with shooting down ducks using the bundled NES Zapper. If the player managed to fire all of their shots without hitting a duck, the dog would pop out from the brush and giggle at you. Likewise, actually hitting one of the ducks would prompt him to rise up holding the prize of what you had just shot down.
I suspect his arsenal of attacks would include a shooting a Zapper gun at you and laughing a whole bunch. Having the screen covered in ducks, dive bombing all of the other players would likewise make for a fitting Final Smash. He still needs a good bop on the nose though.
I hope you enjoyed reading my list of Super Smash Bros. hopefuls as much as I did writing it. Were there any that you agree with, or did you have any ideas of your own? Sound off in the comments.
What Video Game Release for January 2014 are you most excited for?
Total Voters: 91