As soon as the Smash Bros. logo lit up in the inklings eye, fans began to dream of which characters Nintendo will add this round. In the last installment in 2014 on Wii U and 3DS, Smash Bros had an astounding 58 characters. Before discussing which characters we dream of having, I want to break down which characters ought to be kept and which don’t make the cut. If you see what I see, and feel what I feel, then 58 was an overload and needs to be trimmed. Limits can be good right? I am going to breakdown all of the previous characters (some have returned before) into a few categories: Originals, Must Haves, Solid Additions, Borderline, and Cut Please! Finally, I will add the wish list. Of course, we will have to give Nintendo titles to each of these groupings. Without further adu.
We begin with the legendary original Smash Bros crew. It just would not be a Smash game without the inclusion of each one. They may have their faults, but we love them and could not do it without them. Beyond the nostalgia and legacy argument, each fighter has a unique move set. Luigi is the only copy, but he is Luigi! Luigi also can be changed up now with the success of Luigi’s Mansion, thank goodness.
4) Donkey Kong
7) Captain Falcon
Can’t have Mario without Bowser and Peach!
Not all characters can be founders, but this group has become essentials. It would not be a Smash game without them. Two keys here are how iconic the characters are and how unique of a fighter they are. If those two line up then we have an essential character.
6) Diddy Kong
7) Gannondorf (new move set would be nice though!)
Great Mario players never need a mushroom. It is nice to have, but you can still dodge koopas without it. This group of Smash characters are the same. They are quality additions, but no uprising necessary if a few get left out. These characters are still memorable and interesting to play with. Mr. Game and Watch is a great example. He can be tricky to use and is certainly not for everyone. His style, animation, and move set however makes him stand out in a game chocked full of memorable characters. Villains are also rare in Smash. This fact alone makes Bowser Jr and King Dedede more appealing.
2) Mr. Game and Watch
3) Rosalina & Luma
5) Little Mac
6) Duck Hunt
8) King Dedede
10) Mega Man
11) Ice Climbers
12) Bowser Jr.
15) Meta Knight
Doki Doki Panic
Over the various installments of Smash several characters have come and gone. These characters were fun when they were there, but they are not essential to the series. Losing them also makes the previous installment more interesting in comparison.
I enjoy many of the Pokémon characters. Pokémon is the one series that drops characters and adds new ones regularly to Smash. Pokémon Trainer was a great way to get multiple favorite Pokémon included while saving limited character space for others. I would advocate for bringing back the Trainer and mixing up the Pokémon. Greninja was also a fun addition. Keeping him around over Mewtwo, Lucario and moving Charizard back to the trainer would open up needed slots.
I love the inclusion of iconic non-Nintendo characters. These characters though should be changed up each version of Smash. New characters bring in different fans and change up game play. This fights the feeling of going stale. Bayonetta feels synonymous with Nintendo systems these days and would make sense to keep if space allows.
6) Zero Suit Samus
Bob-omb them please!
Blow it all up! The first set of cuts for me is clones. They serve little purpose other than to claim more characters. If a character has nothing unique, about them then scratch them as a clone and make them a simple costume change (Dr. Mario, Young Link, Falco, Wolf, Dark Pit).
The second group I would advocate cutting down drastically is the sword fighters. Smash for Wii U was oversaturated with sword users: Ike, Roy, Marth, Robin, Shulk, Cloud, Corrin, Lucina, and Mii Swordfighter. Their moves were all very similar. Sword slash. Neon Sword slash. Blah, blah, blah. No matter the character, some random person will claim it as their favorite. I do not think we should get rid of all, but it is time to trim the fat. Six characters being from Fire Emblem also feels excessive for a smaller (yet rabid) fan base. To put into context, Zelda had only five last game (including clones) and Pokemon clocked in at 6.
Finally, we also need to consider which characters were one hit wonders. Many characters were right for the time, but their game might have been a fad (Wii Fit Trainer and Miis). Other times the series moves on and the character is not as applicable (Shulk).
3) Dark Pit
5) Wii Fit Trainer
6) Young Link
7) Toon Link
8) Mii Fighters
14) Dr. Mario
The Starter Pokemon
Now that we have broken down the groups. Here is a sample list to gauge how many spaces we would have for new combatants. I cut the entire Bob-omb group and a few in the other bottom groups.
4) Donkey Kong
7) Captain Falcon
18) Diddy Kong
19) Gannondorf (new move set would be nice though!)
22) Mr. Game and Watch
23) Rosalina & Luma
25) Little Mac
26) Duck Hunt
28) King Dedede
29) Mega Man
30) Ice Climbers
31) Bowser Jr.
34) Meta Knight
37) Zero Suit Samus
39) Pokemon Trainer
41) Inkling (Splatoon’s new addition)
New Challenger Approaches!
Finally, we have arrived at the newcomers. The fresh rookies who will liven up Smash for the next generation. I would aim for no more than fifty characters. Honestly, this feels like too much as is, but cutting it too much will have fans up in arms.
When adding characters for Smash, I began with the question of who is missing. The first group that arose for me is villains. Current Smash is loaded with heroes. Balancing this with iconic missing villains rounds out the roster. I prioritized Nintendo villains. That said, no Ridley. I would love to add him, but I trust the designers when they said he is too large and would not have that interesting of a move set.
After creating the list, I noticed another sorely missing area, characters of color. Nintendo will be adding an ARMS character to promote their new fighter. Virtually all of Nintendo’s characters are also white. Peach, Daisy, Mario, Luigi, Rosalina, Wario, Pit, Pokemon Trainer (Ash), Ice Climbers, Little Mac, Marth… You get the point. ARMS presents a chance to add in a more diverse character. This is why Twintelle should be the choice over Spring Man or Ribbon Girl. It is time.
The last piece is that these additions are well known. Others have cherry picked the other announcements in the latest Nintendo Direct and assumed that Undertale is going to get a character. There are unique options, but Undertale is not a well-known game. If Nintendo is going to secure a third party game (read- likely very expensive and time consuming to negotiate and coordinate), then the characters have to be worth it.
Now, here are my realistic votes:
1. K. Rool
Donkey Kong’s big bad villain. Why he has not been included to this point is a mystery. He would serve as another heavy character like Bowser or King Dedede. This simply needs to happen.
2. Shovel Knight
While Shovel Knight is more of a new kid on the block, he has gathered quite the following. His unique abilities and shovel mechanics would make a great addition. He already has an amiibo, making the partnership seem simple enough. Finally, Shield Knight could act as his spring to help him get back or jump high.
ARMS will be included in the next Smash Bros as Nintendo will not pass up an opportunity to promote their new characters. Twintelle may not be the featured fighter in the promotional materials and box art, but Nintendo needs at least one character of color in their lineup. No, Donkey Kong and Pikachu do not count. Gannondorf might have some color, but having a hero matters!
4. Dr. Eggman
Including Sonic is a no brainer at this point. The Sonic games have a plethora of interesting characters like Tails and Knuckles. With a need for more villains, though Dr. Eggman is the perfect add. His ship would allow for some great transformations and attacks.
5. King Hippo
Punch Out could use another character. Bald Bull would be an interesting inclusion (his laugh for a taunt would be epic!), but the true iconic character from the game is King Hippo. The only question is if his move set would be varied enough to warrant being a playable character.
Square Enix allowed for the addition of Cloud in the last go around. This was a fun inclusion for many Final Fantasy fans. The better fit however seems to be the Kingdom Hearts series. With a new game coming out, Sora could be a great new challenger. His keyblade would make him another sword fighter. This is why clearing out many of the others would be necessary.
7. Simon Belmont
Castlevania has been a Nintendo mainstay for years. It is where Simon Belmont first made his name. Bringing him to Smash makes sense and would allow for some great whip attacks and weapon throws.
8. Black Mage
Nintendo fans have a special place in their heart for Final Fantasy games. Voting to include Cloud was no surprise. The challenge with Final Fantasy is that the characters change in virtually every game so the hero and villain are not consistent. Enter Black Mage. This classic character would be a great throwback and allow for some unique moves. I envision him similar to how Lucario worked. Final Smash could be a meteor attack!
9. Skull Kid
Zelda appears to be well represented in Smash. The problem is that the majority of the characters included are clones. Toon Link, Young Link, and Gannondorf are all clones of other characters. Adding Skull Kid though would allow for yet another villain, but more importantly a light villain. All the other villains are in the heavy set like Bowser or King Dedede. Adding a fast small classic Nintendo villain with unique moves would be a great way to build a better use of the Zelda series in Smash.
Fans have mentioned my next three, but to be honest I do not see the need for any of them. Waluigi does not have his own personality. He is simply skinny version of Wario. What would his move set be? A copy of Warios, but faster and less powerful? That seems pointless. Wario is the more iconic and Mario is over represented as is.
Like Mega Man and Sonic, Bomberman has had a long successful series. The main challenge here would be to include a variety of moves that are not just set bomb. What would be his up B move? Blow himself up? While it would be a nice nod to a classic character, I do not see how this would work.
12. Porky Minch
Our final villain comes from Earthbound. He is a rival for Ness and Lucas. I could see him replacing Lucas or Ness and allowing the two to battle. I have yet to play Earthbound series so I am unfamiliar with possible move sets, but most RPG bosses have a variety of attacks.
Now that you have completed this deep dive into past characters and possible new additions, please let me know who you want to see cut or added in the comments below.