As soon as Nintendo announced that fans would decide who would be what sounds like the final character in the Super Smash Bros. roster, social media went crazy with campaigns pushing for each and every obscure character from the annals of gaming to be added.
While some ideas have been downright awful (I won’t even mention them for fear that they may gain even minimal traction), there have been some interesting pitches, the best of which involve characters from third-party games.
The floodgates certainly seem to be wide open, so SEGA fans have just as much of a chance at getting their favorite characters in Smash Bros. as anyone else. Why the hell not, right? So who are the most likely suspects, and which of these characters actually have a shot? Well, being an exasperating know-it-all, I’ve listed a top 10 list of characters I’ve seen pushed for repeatedly on Twitter. I’ve outlined how some of those characters might work and applied an absolutely unscientific process of determining their likelihood for success, giving each a ranking of “possible,” “unlikely,” “longshot” and “miracle.”
The Prince of Radaxian would fit into the Smash Bros. roster rather well, and he has six titular games to inspire his move set. Alex is himself a martial artist trained in the Shellcore technique, so his fighting style would likely be somewhat close-quarters like the Mii Brawler. Of course his rock, paper, scissors “Janken” moves could be used for his smash attacks, but a pedicopter-riding recovery move, possibly an Opa Opa familiar (similar to Rosalina & Luma), and the prospect of a summon-type final smash where he summons the aid of other lost SEGA icons like Ulala, Space Harrier or Professor Asobin would make him an instant favorite with die-hard SEGA fans.
Alex Kidd hasn’t been too active in gaming for a while, and his fan base, while loyal, is bound to be rather small. His only recent appearances were in SEGA’s crossover titles such as Sonic Racing Transformed. The good news for his supporters is that all but two of the nine games in which Alex Kidd is playable are on Nintendo consoles in one way or another (only BMX Trial and High-Tech World never received a Virtual Console release). As amazing as his addition might be (as well as the prospect of an Alex Kidd amiibo), Alex Kidd isn’t likely to appear without extremely resounding support from the SEGA fan base.
You can follow the Twitter campaign to add Alex Kidd to Smash Bros. via the hashtag #AlexKiddinSmash
One of the best things about Tails being considered is that, despite his nature as a sidekick, he won’t necessarily be a clone of Sonic. While still a very quick fighter, Tails could have access to all sorts of cool gadgets, and potentially be a much more vertical character than Sonic is. Naturally, his recovery move would likely involve flying (similar to the Duck Hunt Dog), and his Final Smash could call forth his faithful plane, the Tornado, for an airstrike filled with furry pain!
Tails was one of the quickest characters to gain traction on social media. His long-time and consistent association with the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise makes him a very strong choice, and Tails may very well be the best bet at getting another SEGA character shoehorned into Super Smash Bros... Well, there’s also the next guy…
Like Tails, Knuckles is not likely to be designed as a red Sonic clone. His gliding ability certainly sets him apart if nothing else, but Knuckles is also more likely to be a power-punching fighter. Think a hang-gliding Little Mac with a better jumping ability, and I think you’d have a pretty solid Knuckles Smash Bros. character. The Final Smash that comes to mind would likely involve the Master Emerald somehow, and I like to imagine Knuckles shattering it into a dozen piercing shards shards with a single punch!
While the social media push for Tails started strong, it seems like Knuckles has possibly emerged as the current favorite of the Sonic fan base. Knuckles has nearly the same history as Tails, and is probably considered the “cooler” sidekick to Tails’ “cuter.” Either way though, my bet is that SEGA fans would be happy enough to see either one added to the Smash Bros. roster.
Sonic clone? No way! There’s no reason that Shadow can’t play differently than Sonic, though that of course would be a concern, depending on how much work the Smash Bros. team wants to put into him. If nothing else, Shadow’s movement should be more of a glide than a run, and his attacks could very easily be quick, piercing dash attacks similar to Falco or StarFox. Need an idea for a Final Smash? Chaos Control! What else?
While there has been evident support for Shadow on social media, his supporters (in my very unscientific estimation) appear to be a much smaller group than those in support of Knuckles or Tails. Plus, Shadow already appears in Smash Bros. as an assist trophy, which could possibly hurt his chances of being promoted to a fully playable character. It’s not an impossibility for Shadow to be the last character standing, but he’s going to need an awfully big boost.
How cool would it be to fight as Dr. Robotnik? (That’s his real name, you young wankers!) I’d expect him to be a slower, heavier fighter, with a lot of gadgets at his disposal, possibly with an Orbot and Cubot familiar. He could also fight similarly to Bowser Jr. and simply stay embarked in his Egg Mobile rather than run around, and his attacks could mirror those from the early Sonic games including a giant ball and chain or a massive mechanical hammer. One this is for certain, though, his Final Smash moves could be really interesting, including summoning Metal Sonic or giant a laser blast fired from an orbiting Death Egg!
I’ve actually been pretty surprised to see how many Twitter posts there have been saying that they voted for Dr. Eggman. While his chances may be on the unlikely side of possible, and if I were a betting man, I would still put my money on Knuckles, Dr. Eggman would certainly make an interesting addition and bulk up the villain roster a bit if added.
You can follow the Twitter campaign to add Dr. Eggman to Smash Bros. via the hashtag #EggmanforSmash
Singing and dancing into battle, the vocaloid diva Hatsune Miku would make for a very interesting fighter. Much like how the Wii Fit Trainer introduced some really bizarre movements into her fighting style, you can expect that Hatsune Miku would also be an open door for all kinds of crazy dance moves-turned fighting frenzy. I would expect that her Final Smash would involve some kind of song. Just a guess. Certainly many different costumes could be available for Hatsune Miku if she was included, too.
This one surprised me. Sure, Hatsune Miku has a game on Nintendo 3DS, but outside of a very niche fanbase, her series doesn’t have widespread recognition outside of Japan. You could argue that Nintendo has historically added Mother or Fire Emblem characters despite their not being overwhelmingly known internationally, but those were Nintendo franchises, and a third party will likely have a higher bar set for it with regards to demand. A Hatsune Miku Amiibo would make for a pretty quick seller, though. Speaking of that…
You can follow the Twitter campaign to add Hatsune Miku to Smash Bros. via the hashtag #mikuforsmash
Holy cow, what WOULDN’T Bayonetta’s fighting style include? Claws in hand, guns on her feet, a sword on her back and hair whipping in every direction, Bayonetta could make for the most ridiculously awesome fighter in the entire Smash Bros. roster. Her move set is likely to be more gloriously bizarre than even I can imagine (and I can imagine quite a bit). You know what, Nintendo? I think we SEGA fans would be happy enough with Bayonetta in the game that you could even make her alternate costumes those Link, Samus and StarFox abominations from Bayonetta on Wii U.
I’ll say it again. Why the hell not, right? She’s got more Nintendo connection than any other character on my list considering that Nintendo, as it seems, single-handedly saved the Bayonetta series when they published Bayonetta 2. Let’s see them up the ante and put her right up next to her goody-good peers like Princess Peach or Zelda. Plus, prepare for the Amiibo-selling onslaught that will accompany her pre-order announcement. (“Mom, I REALLY just need it to complete my collection!”) The biggest hurdle in getting Bayonetta added to the roster is that she is a controversial character from an M-rated game. You might say that didn’t stop Solid Snake last time around, but you have to admit that Bayonetta has that little extra… something… that Solid Snake doesn’t (Begins and ends with a “B”, has “OO” in the middle, and there’s two of ’em. They’re controversial, for some reason).
You can follow the Twitter campaign to add Bayonetta to Smash Bros. via the hashtag #BayonettaforSmash
It’s hard to imagine the ToeJam & Earl duo as anything but a tandem fighter. Their funky antics would certainly stand out in the Smash Bros. lineup, complete with spring shoe-enhanced jumping, speed-dashing using rocket skates, using a decoy to block, teleporting via a magic doorway, and present-tossing attacks with randomized effects. Their Final Smash? A boombox pumping out some funky tunes inspiring all other fighters onscreen to shake their bootays!
Much like many indie developers promoting their own characters for the Smash Bros. lineup, the campaign to add ToeJam & Earl came from ToeJam & Earl creator Greg Johnson in the most recent email update to supporters of the ToeJam & Earl Back in the Groove Kickstarter. One of the most damning reasons that this funky duo has so little chance of being added is that tandem characters aren’t technically feasible on the hardware, according to Smash Bros. creator, Masahiro Sakurai, which is the primary reason why the Ice Climbers were left out in the cold this generation.
Technically, the original ToeJam & Earl Genesis games appeared on the Wii Virtual Console, so there is at least a tenuous association with Nintendo. If you want to vote for them to give their new game momentum for a Wii U version, sure, go ahead, that’s not a bad idea. Still, this duo has quite the upward hill, er, stack of floating islands to climb before they get added to Smash Bros.
Ryo has had plenty of time to study up and learn some slick moves before finally (fiiinnnnaaallllyyy) taking on Lan Di, and why not practice up on a fat plumber’s face before heading off to do the same to Lan Di’s smug mug? Ryo would probably have a pretty straightforward martial arts array of attacks, but his ducking pose has to involve petting a cat. I’m sure most would expect that Ryo’s Final Smash would somehow include a fork lift, but how great would it be if it was a QTE? Press A to kill… everyone! “Good!”
You want it. I want it. We all want Shenmue 3, but if you are voting for Ryo Hazuki with the hope that he will actually make it into the Smash Bros. roster, I hate to break it to you, not going to happen. Ryo only appearance on a Nintendo console was in the first Sonic All-Star Racing game on Wii, after all. However, if you want to voice your support for Shenmue 3 by voting for Ryo, sure, that’s actually not a bad idea. If there is a big enough push for him, who knows? Maybe that could go somewhere eventually, but at the moment, even SEGA appears content to let Shenmue 3 lie fallow and Ryo Hazuki along with it.
You can follow the Twitter campaign to add Ryo Hazuki to Smash Bros. via the hashtag #SaveShenmue
How could he not win every match? Back when Segata Sanshiro created the earth, he willed his appearance in this iteration of Smash Bros. Segata Sanshiro’s return will bring with it a firestorm of vengeance by the fist! No Nintendo character will be safe from being besmacked by a SEGA Saturn console! Nunchaku made from Saturn controllers? Segata Sanshiro has no need for such crude tools! He shall Final Smash you into the fourth level of Smash Bros. Hell by crashing an airborne missile into your face! (Will that missile be launched from Sony HQ? Segata Sanshiro demands it!)
In all seriousness, unless the benevolent hand of God steps in and bestows us with the most incredible gift since the seal of the prophets (insert your own religious preference), Segata Sanshiro’s second coming from video gaming Heaven isn’t likely to take form in Smash Bros.
For one, Sanshiro-san has never appeared in an actual game, he’s a marketing mascot. We’re probably just as likely to get Colonel Sanders or the Trix Rabbit added to the roster. If nothing else, putting him in the game would be a licensing nightmare between SEGA, Nintendo, and the actor who originally portrayed the character, Akira Kurosawa. Even if all of those stars aligned, Segata Sanshiro is known only by the most hardcore of SEGA fans outside of Japan, and his reveal trailer would likely be met with a resounding “What the hell?” from most everyone else, including members of the modern gaming media.
You can follow the Twitter campaign to add Segata Sanshiro to Smash Bros. via the hashtag #SegataSanshiroForSmash
And the winner is …
What do you guys think of my completely unscientific rambling? Am I leaving out someone obvious? Have you already submitted your vote? To be fair, I also saw at least one supporter for Amy Rose, Vyse, Rouge the Bat, Kazuma Kiryu, Billy Hatcher, “Sonic Boom” Sonic, NiGHTS, Beat, Metal Sonic and even the Daytona Hornet, so vote your conscience!
Keep in mind, Nintendo never promised that the character with the most votes would “win.” They only said that they were open to fan suggestions. So “please to understand,” we’re all likely to be disappointed in the end… Toad.
You can submit your pick at the Smash Bros. Ballot site here. I know who I voted for… “Jan-Ken-Pon!”
[Editor’s note: This article’s banner image of Alex Kidd was contributed by Nex Flores, who has been campaigning for Alex Kidd to be added to Super Smash Bros. even before Nintendo began calling for submissions. That’s hardcore Mr. Flores!]