WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the following games:
The Wonderful 101
Xenoblade Chronicles 2
It’s been four years since my first “Ten Characters I Want in Super Smash Bros.” list and, boy, how things have changed since then. Back then, those choices were the whimsical wishes of a young dreamer, unlikely to ever come true. But now, thanks to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, it seems anything is possible. Hell, two of my picks have since been included, which is very vindicating, though one part of that list has aged horribly.
“… [Yu Narukami] does stand a better chance than Ridley.”
Oh, 21 year-old me, you were such a fool. But yes, between the likes of Ridley, King K. Rool, and Joker, I’ve found myself coming to accept that characters I would’ve initially scoffed at the mere suggestion of including could actually happen. Super Smash Bros. is no longer just a celebration of all things Nintendo, but of videogames as a whole.
So, with the current run of DLC nearing its conclusion and still more to come throughout 2020, how about I list off another ten characters I’d personally love to see get to join the roster, whether it be in Ultimate or in a possible sequel.
Before we begin, some quick stipulations for the list:
1. Only one character per series
2. They have to appeared on a Nintendo platform at least once. Even Snake and Cloud, despite being heavily associated with the PlayStation, have made appearances on Nintendo consoles
1. Rex & Pyra (Xenoblade Chronicles 2)
I noticed, looking back, that my first list was dominated by third-party characters. And whenever this topic comes up, people tend to focus more on those kinds of characters, like Crash Bandicoot or the Doomguy. We forget that Nintendo still has quite a wealth of potential fighters to pick from so, for the sake of fairness and variety, I’m going to list five first-party characters that I want to see make the cut. And my first pick is the duo of Rex and Pyra.
Having now completed Xenoblade Chronicles 2, I completely understand why so many want these two to jump into the ring. Aside from my personal love of the game and these characters (as well as a desire to hear more corny British voice-acting in Smash), I think they’d make for quite the interesting pair, maybe operating similarly to the Ice Climbers where the player controls Rex while an AI-controlled Pyra follows him. Rex would primarily dish out the damage while Pyra supports him and occasionally join in for special moves; she could even provide temporary passive buffs like what Shulk can do.
Of course, there would have to be an option to switch her out for Mythra as well, either as an actual mechanic (maybe it changes what kind of buffs she grants Rex) or just a simple palette swap. As for their Final Smash, it could either be their Burning Sword attack or have Pyra change into her Pneuma form and use one of her crazy-ass specials.
If Sakurai’s words are anything to go by, I get the feeling that he would’ve included Rex at the very least had Ultimate‘s design document not been finalised before Xenoblade Chronicles 2‘s release. So if it doesn’t happen with the next round of DLC, I think these two are practically guaranteed to appear in a sequel.
2. Bandana Waddle Dee (Kirby series)
There’s apparently quite a lot of pushback against the idea of Bandana Waddle Dee joining the roster and I don’t get why, especially nowadays. If a freaking Piranha Plant can get the opportunity to fight some of Nintendo’s all-stars, I don’t see why Bandana Waddle Dee can’t either. Besides, the little guy would certainly bring some neat things to the table.
Considering how fans love to complain about how many sword wielders are in the series now, someone who uses a spear would shake things up a bit. Imagine Kirby but with an incredible reach – a lightweight character that can’t really take damage but has the means of keeping opponents at bay. His appearance in Kirby Star Allies already gives him a move-set to draw from and expand upon; he’s a perfect fit.
It’s not like the series is oversaturated with Kirby characters and with him kind of forming a quartet with Kirby, Meta Knight, and King Dedede in other games, it almost feels sad to leave him out. The guy’s much more than a Goomba with a hat and I think he deserves a shot at smacking the likes of Dark Samus in the face.
3. Krystal (StarFox series)
If we ever get a new StarFox character, it absolutely has to be Krystal. Originally, my justification for including her in the past was due to the lack of female fighters in the roster, but that has improved significantly over the last few games, so now my main reason is simply because she would play differently to the likes of Fox and Falco.
Let’s be real here, the other StarFox characters play very similarly to each other. With Krystal, they could actually do something unique rather than copy and paste the same fight-style with some minor tweaks, and her appearance as an Assist Trophy proves that. While her last appearances in her series were as a pilot, I think her portrayal in her debut title, StarFox Adventures, is what should be represented, since she would be able to use her staff (another weapon-type that hasn’t been seen in Smash yet) and have access to magic, like the ice attack her Assist Trophy uses. She could even summon Tricky for some assists or something.
Throw in the option to play with either her Adventures outfit or the StarFox Assault outfit, and I’m sure that players will be more than welcoming. She’s kind of vanished from her own series as of late, so I think her fans would be thrilled to see her in a playable capacity.
4. Urbosa (The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild)
Out of all the Zelda characters that could appear in Smash, there are probably a lot more that should get priority over Urbosa. In fact, including her over the other three Champions would look a bit weird. But this is my list and I can write whatever I want.
However, I will admit that Urbosa’s placement on this list is purely superficial. I don’t want her in because she’d have an incredibly unique or interesting moveset or something; it’s just because I think she’s really cool and I want to play as her, damn it. She does wield a scimitar which would help her stand out amongst not just the other Zelda characters but other sword-wielders in general, and I wouldn’t say no to another lightning-user. Plus, having a not-evil Gerudo to counteract Ganondorf would be somewhat interesting. She could even be the first female heavyweight character, or at least have a similar playstyle to someone like Ike – slow with a mediocre jump but fantastic strength.
Chances are a more hotly demanded character like Vaati would get in before Urbosa, but I can always dream, can’t I? Maybe she’ll appear as an Assist Trophy, at least.
5. Spring Man (ARMS)
I feel so bad for ARMS fans. While it was nice to see the series get some representation in Ultimate, it’s pretty apparent that Nintendo doesn’t seem to view it as much of a success, especially when compared to their other newest IP, Splatoon. Despite that, I still think it should get a playable character in a fighting game that more people play. And while he’s not my personal favourite from the game’s cast (that’d be Twintelle), it would have to be cover star Spring Man.
I think he’d be a pretty fun character to play as. Imagine Little Mac but with a better jump and long-range attacks. They could incorporate the charging ability from ARMS, where even his standard attacks can be charged up to become more powerful, and maybe his attacks become permanently charged if he takes too much damage, again, just like in ARMS.
And if people find him too vanilla, the game could pull a Koopalings and have Ribbon Girl be an alternate character. She’s on the cover too and the two were the first characters announced for that game, so it makes sense to let her share the spotlight.
6. Wonder Red (The Wonderful 101)
While The Wonderful 101 has been represented in both Smash for Wii U and Ultimate, it still doesn’t feel like it got the recognition it deserved, due to it being released on the Wii U. Not many people may have played it, but those that did have been very loud when expressing their love for it and their desire for more people to play it. And with the majority of the Wii U’s library now being on the Switch, a port of The Wonderful 101 seems like a no-brainer. But if that’s not going to happen, then how about putting Wonder-Red in Smash?
He could function somewhat similarly to Olimar, where his regular attacks don’t do much but he can summon additional 101 members to buff said attacks and make his moves more effective. He could easily call upon the other key members like Wonder-Blue or Wonder-Green for certain attacks, making him an incredibly diverse fighter that can be used for every situation. And his Final Smash would be absolutely glorious – summoning Platinum Robo and firing that final laser he used to destroy his game’s final boss to obliterate the other fighters. Seeing that replicated in Smash would be amazing.
Making Wonder-Red playable would also help introduce his game to other people and, hopefully, lead to even more of an outcry for a Switch port. Though, even if that doesn’t happen, I’d still be happy seeing this well-meaning, determined but socially awkward goof stand alongside other beloved heroes.
7. Heihachi Mishima (Tekken series)
You’d have thought, with Bandai Namco helping develop Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, that the game would have included their own fighting game franchise, Tekken, in some form or another but no. Even Virtua Fighter got an Assist Trophy and a Spirit, so I think it’s high time that Tekken get some sort of representation, ideally with a playable character. As for who it should be, in my opinion, there’s only one choice and that’s Heihachi himself.
I feel like, out of the entire cast, he’s the most recognisable and arguably the face of the franchise (it’s probably why he was picked to rep Tekken in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale), and it would certainly be interesting to see how the Tekken style of gameplay would be integrated into Smash. Don’t act like seeing Heihachi’s most famous moves replicated wouldn’t be exciting. There could even be an option to play him as an old man or with his younger look from Tekken Tag Tournament 2.
His inclusion could also serve as tribute to both the character himself and his late voice actor, Unsho Ishizuka (who also voiced Incineroar). Heihachi has seemingly been killed off for good in his own series, so an appearance in Smash could serve as one last swansong, with his voice provided by re-used voice clips just so we can Ishizuka’s amazing performance one last time.
8. Dante (Devil May Cry series)
There are quite a few Capcom characters I’d love to see fight against Mario, Link etc. (I put two of them on my last list), but ever since playing Devil May Cry 5 earlier this year, I’ve found myself really wanting to see Dante join the cast. Smash has no issues bringing in characters from more mature series and making them suitable for the game without toning them down so it’s certainly not impossible.
Dante has an expansive move-set to draw from, considering the number of weapons he’s wielded over the years. Of course, he’d have his iconic Rebellion sword and Ebony and Ivory pistols, but he could also use Balrog for rapid-fire punches, stun opponents with the Nevan guitar – in fact, if they wanted to go really crazy, they could give him multiple weapons to switch between that completely change his standard attacks. Sakurai and his team always manage to make a character’s inclusion feel like a celebration of the character and their series so I wouldn’t put something like that past them.
And since everyone has their own favourite iteration of the Devil Hunter, his alternate palettes could be his different appearances throughout the DMC series. I’m sure someone would get a kick out of playing as him in his DMC2 clothes (my personal favourite is his DMC4 appearance). Plus, just imagine it – Dante VS Bayonetta with Devil Trigger playing in the background. Getting to have two of Hideki Kamiya’s most beloved characters in the same game is reason enough to put Dante in.
9. Shantae (Shantae series)
Over the years, I’ve seen so many demand Shantae be included in Smash, and I sort of went along with it since, hey, people want her and it’d make them very happy. Having now played a couple of her games, though, I properly understand why those people are so vocal.
Aside from having a really likeable personality that shines through her animations and a history that began on Nintendo consoles, Shantae could make for a fun fighter in Smash, using her hair as a whip for close range attacks and having access to a number of animal transformations for special attacks and other moves. She can transform into a harpy to reach the stage when she gets knocked off, an elephant for a heavy, ramming attack; maybe she could even use some of the pirate gear from Pirate’s Curse to help her out.
It would also just be really cool to see an indie character actually be playable. While indie games being represented in Smash at all, like Shovel Knight as an Assist Trophy and the Sans Mii costume, is amazing, it would mean whole lot more to see one of them get to properly tangle with some of gaming’s biggest icons. And if it’s not going to be the aforementioned Shovel Knight, then Shantae seems like the best choice to me.
10. Lara Croft (Tomb Raider series)
Multiple aspects of the very history of videogames have been represented in Smash in some form or another, from its early stages in the 80s to characters that helped define the fighting game and RPG genres. So how about the series amp things up even further by bringing in a character whose series helped pioneer the action-adventure genre and became a 90s icon – Lara Croft.
Her inclusion could quite easily appeal to the two different fans – those that loved the original series of games where she was essentially a female Indiana Jones and those that are more familiar with the modern, more grounded and “real” iteration of the character. Her move-set could be an amalgamation of both versions of her, armed with her twin pistols, her bow and arrows, a grapple – players could even have the option to swap between the two different designs for her.
Admittedly, trying to strike a healthy medium between these two very different iterations may be difficult and, if she was included, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sakurai and is team prioritised one over the other. But, frankly, I’d be thrilled with either one, since it would still mean one of the most iconic women in videogames would be part of the biggest gaming crossover and be able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the medium’s famous and not-so famous stars.