It’s that time of year of again! No, not Black Friday, it isn’t Christmas, or Kwanza, or Hanukkah; however, the time to speculate on Super Smash Bros. potential new DLC character is here. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has a record number of playable fighters with no “definitive” end in sight for a final cut. With the new zeitgeist of all games partially being categorized as “Games as service,” and Nintendo all but confirming that they don’t intend to stop with the initial batch of DLC characters, fans are frothing at the possibilities of new gaming icons to join the fray.
Terry Bogard from SNK’s Fatal Fury Franchise released on November 6th, 2019, to mixed reviews, with Joker, Hero, and Banjo-Kazooie being included throughout 2019 thus far. Masahiro Sakurai’s recent tweet left fans suspicious for an announcement at this year’s Game Awards, so expect plenty of speculation in the days leading to the event.
Fans know only one spot remains for the initial batch of fighters to be included but can’t help but daydream about what could be. The roster can never be big enough or too overwhelming. If there is a character fans want, they will gladly voice their opinion to all forums that will have them. The list considers fandom, history, and how enjoyable it would be to have them battling alongside our go-to fighters. The fun-factor trumps licensing, trophy status, obscurity, and overall difficulty to implement into the game. Mind you; I decided to throw in a few curveballs, because why the hell not? With a bevy of rumors making the internet rounds, it only makes sense that several of the characters on this list have been a part of the digital whispers, but without confirmation, it remains a pipe dream. With that in mind, let’s dive in.
Let’s just get this out of the way right now. Waluigi. Everyone and their mother have gone on record by saying how much they want Waluigi, Luigi’s evil doppelganger, and Wario’s gangly associate, to join Smash. Waluigi would be higher on this list, but this proverbial dead horse has been beaten with a stick. I want him in Smash, you want him Smash, but are we getting Waluigi? It’s doubtful. Insert awkward Waluigi cry of defeat here.
9) Viewtiful Joe
Capcom’s henshin hero, with a head the size of a watermelon, and a giant ego to match seems like a no brainer to add to Super Smash Bros. roster. Viewtiful Joe brought intense side-scrolling action and a bounty of fourth wall breaking to consoles with gleeful delight. Imagine Power Rangers blended with the humor of Deadpool, and you get the idea. Joe was just your ordinary run-of-the-mill obsessed movie fan who was pulled into his favorite movie franchise and gained abilities to manipulate the world around him as a movie editor might: speed up time, slow time, zooming in and out, etc.
In terms of playability, there’s a lot to work with here. Joe’s Voomerang can be used similar to Link’s boomerang, albeit with altered physics to distinguish him from other players. Like Little Mac, Joe’s attacks would be heavily focused on direct physical attacks with varied speed and power. His ability to manipulate time is ideally suited for a Final Smash, slowing players down within a “time bubble” and increasing Joe’s attacks to any characters unlucky enough to be caught within its grip. “Henshin a-go-go, baby!”
Spyro has been discussed by fans for a few years now, and with the newly remastered collection releasing, it gives Spyro his best shot at making it into the mascot platform fighter. The freshly remastered games breath new fiery life into Spyro, appealing to fans young and old. Older gamers are enjoying a trip down the memory lane of their nostalgic gaming past, while new players are introduced to the cute, but brutal, dragon for the first time. What’s there to lose here? Spyro could play similarly to the Pokemon already present in Smash. His move set is ripe for a 4-man battler. His flame breath, mega headbutt, and natural gliding (perfect for struggle hover) can allow for a fighter that both casual fans and pro gamers can relish in using. A combination of Charizard and Pikachu, with some unique movement and speed all his own, could do the dragon justice. Will we see him? One can hope, but expectations should be curbed. If only this could happen.
7) Crash Bandicoot
At its core, Smash Brothers is a representation of gamings mascots. Few characters represent a brand quite like Crash Bandicoot does for Playstation. Like Sonic before him, Crash was Sony’s mascot rival to Mario. Gamers of the ’90s will remember Crash serving as PlayStation’s character of choice. The commercials were fun and included an actor in a plush mascot costume. The Crash Bandicoot games themselves were explosive fun. The games revolutionized platforming with innovative level designs and camera angles never used before. Like Spyro, Crash Bandicoot has been injected with a new lease on life with a remaster that does the original series justice. Hell, there’s even a petition for him to be included on the roster.
If there is one character that embodies the Sony brand, it is Crash. Best of all, Crash Bandicoot is currently owned by Activision, which is a third-party gaming company, meaning fewer legal loopholes for him to join the ever-growing roster. I won’t pretend to be privy to all the work that goes into including a character in Smash Bros., but let’s make this happen sooner rather than later.
6) Conker The Squirrel
What’s not to love about Conker? He’s cute, cuddly, has the mouth of a sailor, and has been in the gaming landscape since the ‘90s. Conker initially debuted as a playable character in 1997’s Diddy Kong Racing – think Mario Kart with characters pulled from the world of Donkey Kong, but repetitive and lacking the staying power of everyone’s favorite kart racer. Conker’s inclusion was a promotional tool by Nintendo for future games starring the furry little freak.
Conker made his first solo debut in 1999’s Conker Pocket Tales for the Game Boy Color, but let’s be honest, Conker’s Game Boy Color does not elicit recognition. Enter – Conker’s Bad Fur Day in 2001 for the Nintendo 64. During development, the game was cited as being too like another platformer starring anthropomorphic lead characters or characters for that matter: Banjo Kazooie. The game underwent a complete transformation and resulted in what can only be described as mature, violent, sexual, riddled with drugs and alcohol, but more importantly, memorable. The game didn’t hit projected sales figures, but a cult following breathed new life into the unique franchise. Rare began work on a sequel before being bought out by Microsoft in 2002. In 2005 Conker: Live and Reloaded was released. The world didn’t get the full-fledged Conker sequel it wanted, but the game’s bread and butter were its online multiplayer offering.
Without a doubt, Conker would be a welcome addition to the Smash Bros. franchise. His character is in stark contrast to the cute and cuddly roster. In one corner, we have Pikachu, the result of adorable and wholesome having a baby. In the other corner, we have Conker, Disney character on the outside, curse-spewing pimp on the inside. Conker’s use of heavy artillery and bright aesthetic are perfect for the ridiculous on-screen action Smash Bros is known for. And what would be a fitting Final Smash: anything involving heaving weapons and series of beeped out vulgarity. Welcome, Conker to the arena.
5) Travis Touchdown
More so than the rest of this list, Travis Touchdown seems like having a higher chance of joining Smash. The Anti-hero from No More Heroes debuted on the Nintendo Wii, as a fun surprise for Wii players, bringing a fresh new franchise to Nintendo. Because most of Travis’ forays into gaming have been on Nintendo consoles, the next logical step would be to bring his rather unique fighting style to Smash Bros.
Putting good use to the Wiimotes, No More Heroes is an action-adventure game with hack and slash elements. The game is a spiritual successor to Suda 51’s Killer 7. Suda 51 has stated that while Killer 7 focused on political issues, No More Heroes focuses on social ones. Despite severely mixed reviews, No More Heroes stands out as a title worthy of playing, if only for the unique experience. Some of the characters on the list deserve a roster spot based on their renown, Travis makes the cut based on pure unadulterated fun. Travis is a brash, women-chasing, money garnering character. Nobility went out the window when Travis Touchdown was created. Even Suda 51 has sought Travis Touchdown’s inclusion into Smash Brothers. Remind me why hasn’t this happened yet?
No More Heroes has a unique cell-shaded style that works seamlessly to distinguish Travis from the other players and act as a complementary juxtaposition of artistic choice. The obvious choice would be to implement Travis’ beam Katana into the game. Travis’ secondary mode, “Dark Side,” will act as an adequate addition to his move set. While in “Dark Side” mode, Travis gains super-powered moves that can range from increased speed, or more interestingly, Killing every enemy on screen. A final Smash if I’ve ever seen one.
4) Earth Worm Jim
If obscurity were a video game protagonist, it might be Earthworm Jim. The aesthetic, tone, history, and sheer entertainment value of Earthworm Jim makes a good argument for the character. If Earthworm Jim doesn’t ring a bell, it should be excused.
Earthworm Jim is the titular character from a series of side-scrolling platforming games initially introduced in 1994 on the Sega Genesis. Eventually, it was ported to several other systems and platforms, including XBOX Arcade.
En route to deliver a Super Suit, bounty Hunter Psy-crow lost it in a battle. The suit fell to earth before Jim, an ordinary earthworm. Lo and behold, Jim crawled into the suit and was granted the strength and skill of a human. The series is recognized for its cartoony art style, surreal humor, and the combination of platforming and shooting. Colorful villains opposed Jim’s efforts to save Princess What’s Her Name, that isn’t a placeholder, Princess What’s Her Name is literally the McGuffin; a perfect example of the series inimitable humor.
In other media, A line of toys and action figures released in late 1995. A cartoon series also ran from 1995 to 1996 on Kid’s WB bearing the same bizarre sense of humor as the games. Four games, a television series, and a toy line are more than some characters on the current Smash Bros. roster. His importance to gaming’s early growth is unquestionable. Jim’s inclusion in the Smash Bros. roster can rejuvenate the franchise and the desire for a new series. Earthworm Jim has plenty of moves to incorporate as well. His gun, worm whip, and pocket rocket can be used to attack opponents. Final Smashes can include run-in attacks from Jim’s rogue’s gallery of villains or odd allies.
3) Lara Croft
Super Smash Bros Ultimate roster is brimming with new characters fans can’t wait to get their hands on. Female representation is strong in Smash, but there remains a glaring omission: Lara Croft. It would be hard to argue otherwise. When considering the most iconic characters in gaming, Lara Croft deserves to be in the argument, male or female. Her exploits have surpassed video games and entered the pop culture space with a series of films. Despite the mixed reactions, the Tomb Raider motion pictures have received, the simple fact that the movies were made is an achievement unto itself.
Tomb Raider ushered in a new cinematic experience for the fledgling PlayStation console in 1996. Some critics consider her a gender-bent Indiana Jones, but such a categorization is offensive, at best. Lara is always portrayed as elegant, intelligent, resourceful, and worldly, admirable qualities for any protagonist. At the time of the game’s launch, a female lead was risky. However, gamers recognize good gameplay. Tomb Raider’s emphasis on story, puzzle-solving, combat, and atmospheric level designed garnered praise. Like any series, the games in the Tomb Raider series have been met with an ebb and flow of innovation and acclaim, but Lara’s indomitable presence remains tried and true.
All that’s left is for Lara to join her Nintendo counterparts in Smash Brothers. Lara’s ventures into the depths of catacombs have provided perfect items for use in battle. What would Lara Croft be without her duel pistols? Yes, please. In recent iterations, she’s also made good use of a bow and arrow, a climbing ax, and grappling hook and rope. Fan boards have been clamoring for Lara Croft for some time, her addition to the roster is an old dream come waiting to come true.
2) Master Chief – Jon 117
Arguably Microsoft’s most iconic character, the protagonist of Halo entered the gaming zeitgeist in the aughts and has remained relevant ever since. Halo’s single-player campaign was commendable, but its multiplayer stood out as a bastion of team-based multiplayer. Microsoft’s teaser trailer at E3 has returned Master Chief to the forefront of player’s minds; the mere thought of a new Halo has us salivating onto our controllers.
It only seems logical to have Master chief Join Smash Bros. Smash Brothers has proven to break expectations. If you had been told ten years ago that Solid Snake, Cloud, and Ryu would all be playable in Smash, you’d laugh at the thought. But today, it just seems like a rational choice.
Jon 117 is as stoic as they come. Although the games don’t explore his personality as profoundly as the books do, certain traits stand out. If Pop culture dominance alone is enough to warrant Master Chief’s inclusion, then the battle has already been won. Films, books, novels, and comics have all added to the lore of the Halo Universe. Master Chief serves as the poster child for the entire concept.
Just imagine his moves and weapon sets: the overpowered pistol that dominated multiplayer, the energy sword that cuts through foes like grandma’s favorite kitchen knife, or even the Needler. Envision Master Chief spraying Link with energy-based needles, only for the weapons devastating power to take effect second later. And for his final smash? The Wart Hog can fly onto the screen, rev up, and make mincemeat of opponents as they’re ground to dust beneath its wheels. Or take command of a Gunship to lay down a salvo of artillery. With the current movement of cross-platform playmaking strides, it only seems inevitable for the respective properties from console gaming’s “Big 3” to play nice. Make this happen, Nintendo, make this happen.
1) Captain Nintendo
Okay, stay with me on this one. Children of the ’80s and ’90s will remember Captain N: The Game Master. The series was produced by DiC and ran on NBC from 1982 to 1992. The idea initially stemmed from Nintendo Power Magazine as a comic series within its pages, but Nintendo of America later decided to convert the concept to a cartoon series. Captain N’s plot was straightforward. Kevin Keene is a high school student that magically gets transported to the magical world known as Videoland. To no one’s surprise, this world is in peril, embroiled in a war between good and evil. Only Kevin Keene, as Captain N of course, can bring about peace.
Kevin is joined by a paint-by-numbers Princess, Princess Lana, and iconic Nintendo characters throughout his adventure. What can only be surmised as terrible depictions of Mega Man, Simon Belmont, and Pit – or Kid Icarus as he was referred to on the show. Sadly, Captain N: The Game Master was fraught with inaccurate representations of villains too. King Hippo, Eggplant Wizard, and Dr. Wily rounded out the group of villains with a comical version of Mother Brain serving as a leader to the ne’er do wells. The overall tone of the show is humorous, with video game tropes thrown in for good measure.
Without a doubt, the best part of the show was Kevin’s weapon-set consisting of Nintendo peripherals. Kevin’s belt buckle is a Nintendo controller (referred to as the Power Pad) that allows him to leap over objects, speed up, or even pause time. Any fans who played Duck Hunt would instantly recognize Captain N’s Zapper, a cartoon equivalent to Nintendo’s Zapper, which would blast lasers and somehow fire Ice-shaped objects similar to Tetris blocks, pure ‘80s cheese at its best.
Nostalgia alone warrants Captains N’s inclusion into Smash Brothers. More importantly, there are no other Nintendo characters with the unique history of Captain N. With the current trend of everything old being in fashion; Captain N can be a bridge to Nintendo’s rich history. Nintendo has proven in the past that obscure characters remain viable candidates for their ever-growing roster.
The best argument for Captain N is his potential move set. Picture him using the Power Pad and Zapper in the game. Why not ramp things up a bit and have him use Nintendo’s catalog of peripherals in unique ways? The power glove can power stronger attacks; the Wii Nunchuck can be used as well… a Nunchuck and The Wii Zapper can act as an upgrade to his current Zapper. The nostalgia and desire for Captain N to join the ranks of Nintendo’s biggest brawler remains prevalent. Just point us in the direction of a palm we have to grease and say no more.
Without a doubt, you probably agree with some of these picks, but more likely you’re seething at your screen wondering why your favorite characters weren’t included. But therein lies the beauty of Smash, it’s the ultimate compilation of our favorite (and not-so-favorite) gaming characters thrown into one game in to battle it out for supremacy. Feel free to leave some comments and we just might create a fan-favorite list, maybe your obscure pick will make it. A gamer can dream at least.
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