Given the character in question, Spazzy_D elected to assign this to SG writer LIQUID12A due to the latter’s far superior knowledge of the character.
Metroid is a series in Smash that is often seen as neglected due to the comparatively low content it receives compared to other series such as Fire Emblem and long-running partners The Legend of Zelda and Kirby. Super Smash Bros. for 3DS/Wii U was particularly harsh in many fans’ eyes with Ridley assigned as a boss for the second time and Dark Samus being turned into an Assist Trophy. In the end, all the DLC was revealed and Metroid ultimately received no more than a Samus costume for Mii Gunners. However, the future has the potential for a third character. Ridley might be the king of requested Metroid characters, but a previously shadowy figure has begun an ascent to secure a place at his side and one I have briefly covered before, now confirmed for a revival. The ensemble darkhorse Hunter, Sylux.
II. Character Debriefing
Sylux is a bounty hunter who debuted in Metroid Prime: Hunters, a spinoff to the successful Metroid Prime trilogy, and is easily the most fleshed out new character from said game. Sylux is a renegade of the Galactic Federation, harboring a hatred for them and, by extension, Samus Aran. Sylux wields technology stolen from the former with an electric weapon, a suit of armor and the Delano 7, a gunship themed after said armor at its disposal. It’s gender and species remains unknown (but commonly speculated to be a male human), as is the source of its anger and desire to crush the Federation.
Like the other bounty hunters from Metroid Prime: Hunters, Sylux was drawn to the Alimbic Cluster in hopes of locating the ‘Ultimate Power’, not knowing it was a ruse by Hunters’ main antagonist, Gorea. Despite having its life drained by Gorea in the Oubliette, Sylux was later revived and escaped, both instances occurring when Samus defeated the creature. It’s last known appearance was after the planet Phaaze was destroyed in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, following Samus in it’s signature Delano 7 after the former jumped into hyperspace, leaving the trilogy on a cliffhanger.
III. Points towards inclusion
Metroid has been passed over for a new character in Smash for various reasons. Ridley was relegated to a boss twice because of creative difficulties regarding the character, and Dark Samus was possibly seen as too similar to Samus, or not relevant enough for inclusion(the most recent Metroid title at the time was Other M) . Sylux avoids all of these issues due to being the size of a regular character (what stopped Ridley), being confirmed for use in at least one future game and being distinct to Samus in design and armaments (the latter two may have stopped Dark Samus, lack of relevancy and distinction due to being a literal clone).
Metroid also has the benefit of being a series that fans consistently request more content for, especially characters. Arguably the next most ideal one in the event Sakurai’s stance on Ridley does not change is standing right here. Going by the known selection criteria, Sylux checks out as well:
・The character must display personality in their game.
Sylux is shown to be aggressive in the introduction video to Hunters, demonstrated on a Galactic Federation Marine followed by a roar towards the sky, showing an almost feral-like mentality.
・It’s important to have something only that character can do.
With Sylux’s default weapons, it has a life-leeching ranged weapon(current life recovery moves are either passive, defensive or short range grabs) and stationary bombs that form tripwires. By taking from the source material’s multiplayer component, Sylux could also have such tools as a sniper rifle, ice shotgun and lobbing projectiles, the latter only shared with Mii Gunner amongst the projectile-heavy characters.
・Potential development issues, and game balance is also taken into some consideration.
The most graphic-intensive part of Sylux is the electricity emanated from its weapons, so there wouldn’t be any evident development issues. It is entirely possible to balance a projectile-heavy character as well.
・Distribution among the franchises is also taken into consideration.
Metroid has a low amount of characters when compared to Nintendo’s major long-lasting series, equal to Donkey Kong (two), below Kid Icarus and Kirby (three) and evidently below Zelda (five), Fire Emblem, Pokémon (six for both), and Mario (seven barring sub-franchises like Yoshi and Wario).
IV. Reasons for exclusion
Sylux has a couple notable flaws, unfortunately. Most importantly, it has not had a game appearance in over 8 years, making it obscure despite it’s confirmed revival. Granted, this hasn’t stopped people from requesting characters in similar dilemmas (King K. Rool is a notable example), but relevancy is still a roadblock, not to mention a timing based one in the context of game development. Moreover, Sylux really is a minor figure in the Metroid canon; it’s added emphasis in Hunters, indirect cameo in Corruption and producer Kensuke Tanabe’s statements are currently the only things placing it above Hunters’ five also-rans and by extension the Corruption trio of hunters. While obscure fighters are not a new thing in Smash, they shouldn’t be added primarily on the basis of buffing their home series, especially when Smash has so many different avenues for representation (it’s worth noting that Sylux’s trophy from Brawl was removed along with many other Prime series trophies).
Nevertheless, these flaws are only temporary. Sylux’s next appearance will come eventually, perhaps as early as Federation Force, which is described as being a world-building title leading up to the next Prime game, so it would be logical to include Sylux in Federation Force for this purpose. The relevancy and importance arguments would be mitigated, and these would complement the other reasons to justify Sylux’s possible inclusion. It will take time, however, and won’t happen immediately. It might not be an important character now, but if revived properly, the character will likely be made so.
Overall, Sylux has the markings of a Smash newcomer, especially for a series seen as in need of one. It should iron out any shortcomings with time and become a more feasible character to include, thus potentially granting the prestigious Metroid series another character after many years.