At the start of April Nintendo dropped the bombshell that players would get the chance to vote for who they thought should be the latest addition to the growing Super Smash Bros roster. At which point forums across the internet exploded filled with gamers willing to express their views, people began trolling the ballot box with nonsense suggestions and Twitter was assaulted with VoteCharacter hashtag campaigns. Well we’re now well into the second month since the poll opened so I thought it was about time to see if the heated debate is still playing on gamers’ minds and who the top contenders for the position are.
After extensive searches through smash communities, gaming forums, independent polls and subreddits I found dozens of fan favourite characters fighting for their place in Smash history. Listing every character would take way too long and there are characters that are obviously not going to be taken seriously by Nintendo. So I’ve narrowed it down to the most popular characters, ones that would make sense to include from Nintendo’s perspective and ones that would make sense within the Smash Bros Universe.
King K Rool (Donkey Kong Country)
The malevolent ruler of the Kremlings and archenemy of Donkey Kong looks to be leading the pack. It seems that fans of the smash franchise would like to see more villains fill out the roster; out of 51 playable characters only 7 are villainous. Appearing in a number of Donkey Kong games he’s built up quite the arsenal from his blunderbuss to his helicopter backpack there’s plenty of variation he could bring to the series.
The Inklings are the stars of Nintendo’s latest IP Splatoon, the game has yet to be released but there’s already quite a dedicated fanbase surrounding these Ink obsessed squid-kids. Honestly it wouldn’t surprise me if Nintendo decided to add these guys to the game regardless. Splatoon DLC is already on the way and why wouldn’t they want to pit the new kids on the block against their biggest stars.
Geno (Super Mario RPG)
Geno was first introduced to the world in 1996 through the SNES title Super Mario RPG: Legend of the 7 Stars and has built up a cult following since. During the development of Super Smash Bros Brawl fans pleaded for the inclusion of Geno to the point where Sakurai threatened to delay the game by an extra day every time he was requested by fans.
Paper Mario (Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door)
Introduced in Paper Mario for the N64, fans are eagerly requesting his inclusion into the franchise. This would be the second alternate Mario character after Dr Mario. There is an argument that he’s just a two dimensional character and he wouldn’t really fit in with the rest of the fully 3D cast but then Mr. Game and Watch can duke it out as well as the rest of them.
Ice Climbers (Ice Climbers)
Making their debut appearance in Melee and returning again for the follow up Brawl many fans were massively disappointed to see that the parka-clad duo didn’t make the final cut. Franchise Director Masahiro Sakurai stated that the reason for their removal was down to technical limitations of the 3DS system, it’s also the reason why Samus/Zero Suit Samus and Zelda/Sheik have been separated into individual characters. Fans still cry out for their return but unfortunately their pleas may be in vain.
Surprisingly the biggest contenders that gamers want to see are all third-party IPs. Nintendo have stated that any character can be voted for but because of legal copyright and ownership it might be less likely that 3 party characters will make the cut. Still let’s take a look at who’s in this running.
Rayman (Rayman 2: The Great Escape)
Rayman’s adventures have turned up on just about every console out there including many Nintendo systems as original versions, remakes and ports. You may remember towards the start of the year a certain leaked video staring Ubisofts main mascot as a DLC character. Well even though the video was proved to be a very good fake it did start a heated debate on the limbless hero’s inclusion to the franchise with many supporting the idea.
Shovel Knight (Shovel Knight)
Shovel Knight is not even a year old yet and he’s already gained a hefty following of fans around the world. So when the Ballots opened he was a character that was high on people’s priority to get the vote. Shovel Knight debuted on PC and both of the current Nintendo consoles so that could work in his favour from Nintendo’s perspective. Despite only having one game appearance he does possess quite a range of fighting abilities that work within the smash universe.
Banjo and Kazooie (Banjo Kazooie)
10 years have passed since we last saw this lovable big bear and sassy red bird duo grace a
Nintendo system (BanjoPilot for GBA) and seven years since their last appearance (Nuts and Bolts for Xbox 360). Fans have longed for years to once again see them return to the gaming scene and now that the ballot boxes have opened gamers are starting to believe that if they made an appearance then there may be a chance for a Banjo reboot further down the line. The only issue with this is that Nintendo would be promoting a franchise currently owned by major competitors; Xbox.
Shantae (Shantae: Risky’s Revenge)
Shantae has had exclusive game launches on Nintendo platforms from the Gameboy Colour up to her most recent outing on the 3DS and Wii U which makes her quite an ideal contender from Nintendo’s perspective. Over the course of her adventure filled games she has also built up a range of skills and weaponry in which she could utilise in her Smash appearance from her belly dancing transformations to her pirate gear consisting of a scimitar and flintlock pistol.
Snake (Metal Gear Solid)
Snake is another former combatant that has been dropped from the roster after his brief appearance to the franchise in Brawl. The reason behind his disappearance is somewhat unclear although most seem to think it’s most likely down to licence agreements with Konami and Sony. Fans of the MGS franchise and even just fans of his fighting prowess in his last outing are hoping to see his return to the frantic battle scene.
Well we’ve got the reactions of the fans but what about the developers. As it turns out it seems most are all up for seeing their characters enter the Smash Bros fray. Wayforward actively urge all of their fans to vote for Shantae through Twitter, Facebook and even created costume variation ideas for her through their ‘Half-Genie-Hero’ kickstarter page. Playtonic Games (creators of Yooka-Laylee spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie) and Phil Spencer (Head of Xbox) have expressed their interest in having Banjo and Kazooie make an appearance to the franchise. The inclusion Shovel Knight and Rayman has also been heavily promoted by their creators Yacht Club Games and Ubisoft.
So there you have it, a breakdown of the top contenders fans are actively fighting for across the world, well as far as I could find anyway. So what do you think? Were there any other key-contenders you think have better odds or do you just disagree with these characters listed here? Well why not drop a comment below and let us know who you’d most like to see duking it out in the Smash universe alongside Nintendo’s greatest.
This feature was originally published on the site GamersFTW which unfortunately has now been taken down.