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Filed under: Editorial, Masahiro Sakurai, Super Bros. Smash For 3DS, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Super Smash Bros. Series

Indie Representation in Smash:


Warning: This article is my personal opinion!

Social media is currently on fire, as many indie fans and developers are feverishly supporting their characters to be included as Sm4sh DLC. As of right now, there are four main contenders.

Commander Video:

Commander Video’s trophy was only revealed in the American Nintendo Direct (His trophy segment was not featured in the Japanese Direct). Has a full release on both the Wii and 3DS. He is almost synonymous with the word Indie because of his numerous cross-overs/ references in other indie games.

Had a game released on the Game Boy Color. I haven’t played any of her games, and I’m unfamiliar with her creator. I know that her newest game is multi-platform. The first time I ran into this character was through Smash speculation, if that means anything.

From Cave Story. One of the first mainstream indie games, and has a full physical release on the 3DS. The original developer, Daisuke “Pixel” Amaya is Japanese, which would help his chances. As far as Cave Story goes, it is an incredibly unique game, and have been released on a ton of platforms– multiple times.

Shovel Knight:
Probably has the most support right now due to his beautiful Smashified, but I see his chances very low. The main reason is that his game has not been released in Japan yet. Furthermore, while Shovel Knight is a great game, it doesn’t have legacy like the other characters do. 3rd party characters need legacy, and within indie legacy Shovel Knight has the least in this short list.

Personally, I believe none of these guys have a chance of getting in as Sm4sh DLC. (Read about how I think Sakurai picks the roster here, for a more indepth reason) I’m also suspicious that some are using the poll in order to advertise their characters/ franchise in general–especially Shantae as Way Forward include their Kickstarter link while including hashtags for Smash. The Western indie scene is really behind in Japan. In the latest Nintendo Direct, they featured Little Inferno and The Swapper– games that came out 2-3 years ago in the West.

Furthermore, they are not iconic like Pac-man, Sonic, Megaman or Snake. There’s tons of 3rd party characters that are way more iconic than these characters. If Nintendo wanted to show support for Indie titles, then they should include more trophies for various indie titles, or even assist trophies. But playable characters are on a whole different level. Indie games have a steep up-hill battle to climb to even be considered.

Tell me how I’m wrong in the comments below.
Then, bash my choices here.

  1. Will i believe that your wrong and wouldn’t be suprised at all is an indie character got playable representation.For my example i’m using shantae seeing as she’s the only one i see likely out of the trio.First you don’t have to be a gameing icon to be in smash.Characters like Robin,Villager,wii fit trainer and olimar are not gaming icons there just characters that are featued in nintendo games.Hell i would argue that shantae is more reconizable and iconic than the ones i just listed.However it’s a nintendo fighting game so i’ll let it slide.And i don’t see how they are using the pool to promote the kickstarter(which ended a year ago) they linked it to the article in which they were promoting smash and getting her in the game.I don’t see how that’s advertisting about the game as it’s more advertsing to vote for her Also you stated something about unfamilarity.Which is oneof main things smash is about.How many people you included knew who ness was?Knew who marth or roy was?Hell look at look at characters like Shulk.How man people outside the Hardcore gaming community knows about him.Smash is used to promote obsucre characters while i think shantae isn’t as obsure as the likes of shulk i think the point should be considered.Not to mention unlike popular 3rd party charactrs she has history with nintendo.She’s not like any other 3rd party character and i believe she has a fair shot adn that your under-selling her and other indie characters.Especially the likes of quote who is the face of the indie community and nintendo has been supportive of the character.Which is something you can’t say for the likes of banjo kazooie,any ubisoft character, or snake

    Nate on April 7 |
    • Thanks for your comment, I really appreciate hearing your thoughts.

      First off, Robin, Villager, Wii Fit Trainer and Olimar are way more recognizable worldwide than Shantae is. Each one of their games have easily outsold all of Shantae’s games, probably combined.

      Secondly, as you mention the restrictions are less for those characters because they are Nintendo characters/icons. This is entirely true, and that’s exactly why I don’t think Shantae has a chance. She’s not owned by Nintendo. She’s not published by Nintendo. She’s not on the same level as any of the other third party characters we’ve had in Smash. Her games have had limited release, and are a cult classic…with some potential in the future. But as of right now, if I show my mother a picture of Shantea, she would have no idea who she is. If I showed her a picture of Pac-Man or Sonic she would know. Megaman and Snake have less general recognition, but are way more popular and historical to the the games industry than Shantae is. Snake has been around for a long time. See Spazzy’s article on him.

      It’s very different going from Japan -> US characters than US -> Japan characters. The game is made in Japan, by a Japanese man. Even still, he does take worldwide recognition very seriously. He’s dropped multiple characters because they were in the spot that most of these indies are — obscure characters with one title. Lucas, Ness, Shulk, Marth and Roy all came from ongoing Nintendo series. Takamaru, Ayumi Tachibani were dropped because their series were dead, and they were never released outside of Japan. Furthermore, It’s going to be much more troubling going from US -> Japan because the director is Japanese. His exposure to indie games made in the West is extremely limited. As I noted in my article, Nintendo just published Little Inferno in Japan. I don’t expect representation from a game series that the director can’t even play nor understand and might be hearing about it for the first time because of this poll.

      PushDustIn on April 7 |
    • “Characters like Robin,Villager,wii fit trainer and olimar are not gaming icons there just characters that are featued in nintendo games.”

      Except in a game about NINTENDO characters, they have priority over third-party indie game randoms.

      MagcargoMan on June 29 |
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