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

Super Smash Facts – Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and WII U Development


Time for a special announcement! Source Gaming has teamed up with famed YouTuber, Relax Alax to help bring our content to the masses. The video can be viewed directly below, but make sure to subscribe to his channel and like this video. We’ve included the transcript for fans, so they can fact-check every aspect of this video. If you enjoy the content we provide, please consider donating to PushDustIn’s patreon fund.

This video was only made possible by the efforts of:

Soma – Translation and research.
Sutamen – Translation assistance.
Frostwraith – Script
TheAnvil – Script.
DJMurr – Research.
IntelliHeath – Helped organize dates and events.
—  – For providing the base research.

The rest of the staff at Source Gaming for helping with articles and translations!

PushDustIn – Organizer, research and script.
Relax Alax – Video and script.

Est. Length – 7-9 minutes

Super Smash Brothers has been a series always shrouded in mystery, from the early days to just last year.I remember my beginnings with Melee, thinking that there existed a cheat code in the names menu to unlock Giga Bowser,and hell, who can forget that Sonic and Tails joke in the magazine article where you had to kill 20 CPUS in Cruel Melee.

(Not possible in Melee, an April Fools joke by EGM.)

Suffice to say, there are a lot of facts, leaks, secrets and hidden easter eggs surrounding the series, but most of them lack proper sources and very well have been accepted as truths because, well, they always have been.

So that’s why today, I’m happy to announce that Source Gaming’s writers and translators and I have collaborated to bring you,Super Smash Facts! A series where we smash through the facts to uncover the truth behind everyone’s favorite competitive, party, all-star fighting game, Super Smash Brothers! 2015-08-04 22-58-33

So, Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U is the 4th and 5th entry to the Smash Brothers series, the game was announced to be jointly developed by Sora Ltd and Namco Bandai in June 2012, and directed by none other than Masahiro Sakurai.

But, when exactly did development start for Smash Brothers for 3DS and Wii U?

(PROJECT PROPOSAL) It’s unknown for sure but in June 2011, Nintendo announced they were looking for a development team. By April 26th, 2012 — just a month after the release of Kid Icarus: Uprising, Masahiro Sakurai had joined development and presented a project proposal to Nintendo. A part of this project proposal appears in Sakurai’s latest Famitsu collection.

BASIC CHANGES This proposal not only outlined basic changes to this entry of the series, but solidified components that we can see in the game today. Some of the changes are new modes such as Smash Run, and 8-Player Smash. The idea of 8-Player Smash can be traced all the way back to Melee. But, due the Gamecube and Wii’s eventual power it was unable to be made possible.

PERSONAL AND PUBLIC: The two systems were developed with the idea of “personal” and “public” in mind. One of the key concepts of this idea was that the 3DS would be the version that is carried around (the “home”), while the Wii U would be the version where players would compete (the “stadium”) using their personal data. There were nicknamed accordingly with the 3DS being “the home” and the Wii U being “the stadium”. This is reflected in the modes that were chosen for each of these consoles. Smash Run was chosen for the 3DS because it highlights the “personal” aspect of the game with customization and the unique screen. Smash Tour on the other hand was seen as more “public” as it’s more multiplayer-centric mode compared to Smash Run.

CROSS PLATFORM Next, the idea of releasing the game on two consoles that had cross-platform compatibility was a focus from Sakurai’s early conceptions of Smash 4. Though Sakurai voiced his concerns about Smash Bros being on a smaller, less powerful device, he has always wanted an iteration of the series to be made on one. The reason the games were developed simultaneously is actually because of Sakurai’s working contract. If they weren’t developed at the same time, Sakurai would have to be employed under two different contracts making development a lot harder.

ART STYLE The proposal didn’t just go into these technical details, as there are stuff about aesthetics and characters too (the stuff you actually want to hear about). Firstly, there’s the art style. If you’re like me, the direction of art style in Smash games is a huge deal to you. And Smash 4 was in a unique position, as Smash Brothers Brawl and itself would not have such drastic changes in hardware and graphical capability, unlike that of Brawl and Melee. Sakurai took note of this early on, and it was planned to have characters step away from realism and have their design more closely aligned to their original art. From even the first renders they reveal after E3, you could tell this game was going to be way more vibrant than Brawl….and less gross.

Want additional information about Brawl’s art direction? Read Sakurai’s translated GDC slides here.

SMASH ATTACKS Next, there was a another little addition presented from the proposal, but we wouldn’t see it until a later patch of the game. Yup, it’s doing a Smash Attack by holding the Special and Attack button. Many were very confused with this addition in the patch, but a common theory is that it makes doing Smash Attacks easier on 3DS’.

Now, there are a ton of other details planned from the start that made it into the final games, such as having Final Destinations for every stage, 8 player Smash becoming a reality, the details of Smash Run, having dedicated online modes that became For Fun and For Glory and notable, custom moves and custom fighters.

CHARACTERS But the most interesting part of this Project Proposal were arguably the details about characters. Not only were characters planned out and set in stone from the beginning of the project, but how they would fight was decided as well. Sakurai made this detail extremely clear through interviews and his character choices.

Want additional information about character selection in Smash? Read these articles.

ALL FROM THE START Essentially, Sakurai words it as he wanted to be able to see the characters dance in his mind before considering them as fighters. What he means by this is that they needed to have a certain uniqueness to them- a certain style that would stand out from all the other characters on the cast. For example, the characters Rosalina, Robin, and Duck Hunt were all considered fighters from the start because of certain attributes that made them unique, such as Rosalina having an anti-gravity style, Robin being a magic wielder having Duck Hunt be the surprise character. Alternatively, this is the reason why characters like Chrom did not make it into the battle. In Sakurai’s mind, the character was a bit of a mix between Ike and Marth and didn’t really offer anything that made him unique. So, he was given representation in the form of Robin’s final smash.

UNIQUE: But, ultimately, characters were chosen based on what new things they could offer to the roster. After Brawl’s development, Sakurai reflected on the lack of new series being introduced. He stated that he wanted to bring in a new variety of fighters, especially from Nintendo’s latest games (Japanese Source).

Some of the characters that were considered for Brawl, but didn’t make it in until Smash for 3DS/Wii U, are the Mii Fighters, Pac-Man, and Villager. For Pac-Man, Sakurai made him a hybrid fighter mixing his old and new designs. In Brawl, Sakurai did not believe that the “pizza-face” fighter could have unique moves.  Also, Sakurai did not want popular candidates of the Miis and an Animal Crossing fighter in Brawl because they were seen as lovers instead of fighters.

Want additional information? Read PushDustIn’s Definitive Unused Fighter List.

CLONES? So, what about clones you ask? Your Doctor Mario, Lucina and Dark Pit? Sakurai himself has said that these characters were not planned from the start of project… sort of. You see, they were initially planned as alternate costumes in the vein of Alph for Olimar and the Koopalings for Bowser Jr. You know, speaking of Alph there were recent findings showing that he could’ve been a potential clone character! However,somewhere down the line the developing Olimar it was scrapped or forgotten. There are even remnants of Rock Pikmin being included in the moveset. But, as you can see in the final release he remained an alternative costume. But back to the ones that made it in. Because they were added so late into development, and they vary ever so slightly, they were not balanced across all characters on the roster. Instead, Sakurai considers them as a little special extra. Actually, the way he describes it it’s pretty funny, it’s like going to a  magnificent dinner at a restaurant, getting the best dinner, you’ve paid for and the chef comes and gives you desert for free! It’s like a lot of people on the internet that were mad at the clones go, “NO! I want more of the main course!”

Want additional information? Read Frostwraith’s article on Clone Characters in Smash: Truth and Misconceptions.

FIRST SHOWING And as far as Smash 4 development goes, this was the main bulk of it. After the initial trailer of Smash 4, the website launched June 11, 2013 with the picture of the day starting the day after. From that point on, the games would be continually developed to be released in the Fall and Winter of 2014. That would mean this game was in production for about 3 years, if we count the little cogs working in Sakurai’s mind from early February 2012.

DLC PRODUCTION Now, DLC was never considered until production of the two version of Smash were finished. That means the likes of Lucas, Mewtwo and even Ryu were only developed after the games completion. However, they could have been planned far before hand, but would not be developed to interfere with what they had planned already.

Want additional information? Read Sakurai’s original Famitsu column detailing how DLC is, “all for the players” !

ENDING REGARDS And just like that – that’s Smash 4’s development! But of course, it isn’t as pretty clear cut and pretty as that. As there were a couple of leaks surrounding the games prior to their release. But I suppose we’ll save that for another time.

Thank you, my friends, for watching the video! This video was only possible through the collaboration I had with Source Gaming organized by PushDustIn. Source Gaming is a site dedicated to ironing out the truth of Smash Brothers and uncovering many hidden secrets from the past and present! On the site, they will be providing a transcript of this video citing all the sources for your convenience, so check out the link in the description to learn more about Smash.
Anyways, thanks for watching, and I’ll see you on the flipside!

  1. Awesome transcript Push!

    RelaxAlax on August 4 |
  2. Can’t wait for part 2!

    Brandon (@Brandon_SM101) on August 5 |
  3. Rosalina doesn’t belong in a fighting game