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Top 15 Capcom Characters for Smash Bros.

Greetings and salutations Source Gaming fans. After a few delays we’re here (finally) to bring you another entry into our series of articles dedicated to looking at the top contenders from 3rd Party companies for Smash Bros. Be sure to familiarize yourself with our picks for both Rare and SEGA in previous articles, as today we’re going to delve into the immersive world of Capcom!!!

Before we get cooking, we want to stress that we opted not to include any characters in this list from Street Fighter or Mega Man in the interest of appreciating all that Capcom has to offer. Additionally as with previous iterations of this series, we decided to only use characters from games that have made appearances on Nintendo consoles. This unfortunately left some characters like Morrigan without a spot on our list. Above all else *This is an opinion based article and should be treated as such. To clarify, we do not necessarily think that these characters will be added to Smash.

Without further adieu, let’s look at Wolfman_J’s, Spazzy_D’s and TheAnvil’s picks.

15.Mike Haggar
While it’s one of the preeminent examples of the beat-em-up genre, Final Fight – originally a sequel to the first Street Fighter, and set in that series’ universe – never quite reached the popularity of contemporaries like Double Dragon or River City Ransom. However, it became a classic for one reason especially: Mike Haggar. The saga of Metro City’s ex-wrestler Mayor rescuing his daughter from stock Death Wish villains by ripping off his shirt and beating the snot out of street toughs is one of the more famous examples of late Eighties arcade games. Many of them were awash in American action movie clichés, and this one especially felt like a game adaptation of a lost Cannon Group film). The series’ goofiness wasn’t enough to keep the series solvent (its nadir being the lamentable Final Fight: Streetwise), but it catapulted Haggar into being one of the company’s most enduring figures. Final Fight characters have crossed back into Street Fighter numerous times, and Haggar himself became one of the first characters announced for Marvel vs. Capcom 3; he even became somewhat memetic for his ability to go toe-to-toe with Doctor Doom and Galactus.

If he was to enter Smash, Haggar wouldn’t use a dramatically different play style or be unique conceptually like Snake or Bayonetta; he’d represent nothing more elaborate than the two fisted action of Eighties arcades. He could pull out a steel pipe for some moves or have a Final Smash involving the “Car Crusher” bonus stage, but most of his fighting would be based on grappling and wrestling. Haggar often draws more than a little from Street Fighter’s Zangief, and he could fit a role in Smash as something of a bruiser. With so many of Nintendo’s heroes being small and fast, he’d fill a useful role as a heavyweight.

14.Viewtiful Joe
“Henshin-A-Go-Go, baby!” Viewtiful Joe is a series that just feels like it belongs on Nintendo hardware. Part of that is likely due to the fact that Joe debuted on the Nintendo Gamecube in 2003…but the general style of the game feel perfectly at home with Nintendo’s first party lineup. This is largely due to the colorful cell shaded world Joe hails from which and has a vibrant sense of energy and motion. The game’s story is both simple and fun. Joe is just your average cinephile who happens to get sucked into a movie he was watching and gains superpowers. That’s really all you need to know to enjoy this beat ‘em up.

The franchise itself isn’t exactly iconic, but  It is fairly well known, spawning several sequels, spin offs, and even an anime. Joe’s moves lend themselves very well to a fighting game. So well, infact, that he has appeared in a few. Most notable is probably his appearance in Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, but Joe has actually starred in his very own party brawler, Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble. If that doesn’t prove that he has a Smash ready move set, I don’t know what does.

Ghost Trick is a little known Capcom game released for the Nintendo DS, it is something of a spiritual (pardon the pun) spin-off to the Phoenix Wright games. Your role in the game is to essentially discover who killed your character, and to find out who you were when you were alive.

Sissel, one of two detectives on our list is technically dead, and he inhabits objects around him in order to move around in his home game, this would present an interesting gimmick for Smash. One where Sissel can control opponent’s projectiles.

12.Zack & Wiki
Aspiring pirate Zack and his primate partner Wiki are almost definitely never getting into Smash; their game sold poorly, and had it not been for Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure getting on the Wii U eShop, they’d be entirely gone. But they earned a place here not through commercial success but through the quality and appeal of their game itself, a charming homage to point and click adventures. Zack & Wiki was one of the early third party Wii titles, and while it wasn’t able to get to the console’s audience it was rather innovative in using the remote to play with the mouse controls of LucasArts classics.

As fighters, Zack (with Wiki at his side à la Duck Hunt) could easily use a generic moveset, for instance using a saw instead of a sword. But instead, I think there could be a great value in having their play style almost mimic the game itself, with special moves having wildly different directions and using Wiki to stun enemies, turn their projectiles into new tools for Zack, and grant new power-ups that demand players change on the fly. This could, however, definitely struggle to not be too “gimmicky” or focused to be satisfying.

While coming up with rules for this top 15 list, it was decided that we should not include two characters from the same franchise. Firebrand almost falls into this category, as he is a member of the Red Arremer race of gargoyles that debuted as adversaries in the Ghosts n’ Goblins franchise. After some consideration, though, it was decided that Firebrand could in fact take a spot on this list. This is because while does share a universe with Arthur, he is also the star of his very own, very different, spin offs series.

This series of games consists of
Gargoyle’s Quest, Gargoyle’s Quest II, and Demon’s Crest. All three of these games are side scrolling platformers with RPG elements, and all three debuted on Nintendo consoles. Firebrand himself has an insane amount of moveset potential. In addition to being a flying, fire breathing, demon, Firebrand also has various transformation and magical abilities that could really differentiate him from other fighters.

10.Brave One
Despite its age, I have no nostalgic attachments to Magic Sword, I didn’t even know of its existence until fairly recently. Upon hearing that Final Fight (billed as Final Fight Double Impact) would be releasing to the Xbox Live Arcade in 2010 I was all over that. That name Double Impact had a deeper meaning, Final Fight wouldn’t be coming alone, it would be coming with another game…Magic Sword. Needless to say I became enamoured with this game, and actually ended up preferring it to Final Fight.

Magic Sword, a 2 player sidescrolling action game pitted you as a character named “Brave One”, your goal is to make your way through the mystical tower, with a goal of saving the world. On your way through the tower, you will find yourself battling foes and finding friends to help you on your way.

Functionally the Brave One would be a very powerful character, with the ability to use axes, and magic.

I have to be honest; I’m not a Monster Hunter fan – Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate felt like a sequel to Dark Souls set in the DMV – but I can’t deny the intense popularity this series enjoys. Monster Hunter is in an almost perfect position for a modern franchise looking to get into Smash Bros.: strikingly popular, consistent in releases since the PlayStation 2, and increasingly tied at the hip to Nintendo (particularly via the 3DS). The Hunter and Rathalos costumes in Smash are a testament to the relationship between both companies with regard to this series. And of its many creatures, the clearest choice for a fighter would almost definitely be its mascot, a generic member of the Felyne race that lives mostly alongside humans in a world infested with a zoological cornucopia of monsters. As a bonus, the little fella’s even gotten into Mario Maker!

It’s harder to create a moveset that’s uniquely tied to the franchise, but Felyne certainly wouldn’t be wanting for inspiration. Monster Hunter employs such a high number of weapons and items that a character could have a very distinctive moves. It’d be especially the case if the crafting and auxiliary items were brought into the character; maybe Felyne’s main sword could degenerate over time, requiring him or her to restore it to a souped-up version with a whetstone? Or instead, the fighter could craft on the fly to gain additional effects? To an extent, this isn’t particularly Monster Hunter-y, but if Nintendo was to draw from the series, that could be a rather interesting way to do so.

8. Nathan Spencer
Bionic Commando is one of Capcom’s oldest and most prolific franchises. The original game in the series made it’s debut in arcades and on Nintendo’s Famicom home console in 1987. It was notable for being the first game to use a “grappling hook” mechanic as a focus of gameplay. Series protagonist Nathan “Rad” Spencer uses his bionic arm as a grappling gun, pulling or swinging himself through various locals to fight a cadre of dastardly villains, most memorably an ersatz version of Adolf Hitler whose head-exploding death ranks among the more gruesome moments in games. He is one of classic gaming’s premier soldiers, and he has a bit of a presence in the modern era as well. The game saw a reboot in 2009 that gave Nathan a bit of a grimmer redesign. This game, while not well received, left it’s mark on the character.

This is a fighter that, much like Cloud and Bayonetta, would like likely have two completely unique costume options, his modern incarnation and his classic NES era design. His attacks would focus, obviously, on his Bionic Arm, with him pulling enemies towards him and subsequently knocking them away. It could prove to be a pretty unique Smash moveset, as grab-heavy fighters and tether recoveries are fairly rare.

7.Captain Commando
What better choice is there for another Capcom character, than a guy who is basically Captain Capcom. Cap(tain) Com(mando) was Capcom’s very first mascot, and actually originated as a character who appeared on the back of Capcom’s game boxes before he ever appeared in his own game.

When he finally got his own game, accompanied by Hoover, Jennetty and Sho, Captain Commando became one of the better beat-em-ups of its time. He has an impressive array of tools to choose from, including his Captain Kicks, Captain Corridor, Captain Fire and Captain Sword beam. The majority of his popularity stems from fighting games, most notably his playable appearances in the Marvel. vs Capcom series. Despite not returning for the latest rendition, fans clamored for his return. Unfortunately still MIA, it’s time for the Captain to reemerge.

Let us take you back to an ancient time long before Xbox One, when arcades roamed the Earth like Mad Max and video games were being redefined by a hundred year-old “upstart” called Nintendo. It was 1985, and Capcom had released the arcade game Ghosts ‘n Goblins, in which heroic knight Arthur must save a princess from demons (as well as the aforementioned ghosts, goblins, ‘n’ ghouls), along with an even greater danger: one of the most implausibly, irritatingly difficult arcade games in history. The Ghosts ‘n Goblins games are beloved for their haunted atmosphere and kooky approach to horror, but it’s that punishing, white knuckle gameplay that defines them.

Arthur’s not a likely choice for Smash by any means (he’s not a commercial powerhouse, fauned over by Nintendo fans, or used to getting modern sequels), but there could be a way to draw from his charmingly frustrating series into an appealingly goofy Smash fighter. For one thing, you could turn his poor survivability into a trait, with him able to rack up damage from a distance while having defenses that could be described as “unreliable.” This would be based around a mechanic where he loses his armor after a certain percentage, fighting in his boxers like his original game and losing almost all his survivability in exchange for mobility and damage. But more than anything else, his appeal all boils down to that classic theme.

Ōkami, developed by Capcom’s Clover Studio (which later formed PlatinumGames and made Bayonetta), is regarded as one of the best Zelda-style adventure games of all time. The game was a critical darling, earning it a 93 on metacritic. Unfortunately, these reviews did not equate to sales, and the game was named the “least commercially successful winner of a game of the year award”  by the Guinness World Records Gamers Edition in 2010. Still, the game’s unique combat, setting, and characters has earned it a spot in the modern gaming zeitgeist. This is especially true of Amaterasu, the game’s protagonist, who has become recognizable to the gaming populace even if they have never played Ōkami.

Amaterasu has all the making of a fun Smash character. She is a Japanese sun goddess who also happens to be a wolf. She would be a new female character and also one of the few true quadrupeds to ever be in Smash. If one questions her moveset potential, all they would have to do is look towards Marvel vs Capcom 3 to see how easily her abilities can lend themselves to a fighting game.  It should also be noted that while Ōkami made it’s debut on the PS2, the series has had a bit of a shift of allegiance towards Nintendo since then. A well received port of the game made it’s way to the Wii, and perhaps more importantly, the game’s sequel Ōkamiden was a Nintendo DS exclusive. 

4.Frank West
Dead Rising is a relative newcomer to Capcom’s plethora of incredible intellectual properties, having debuted in 2006. It has however, become a staple franchise for Capcom in recent years, and has quickly turned into their biggest success story of the past decade, with a total of 6 games and a soon-to-be-released movie. The lead character, none other than the guy who has covered wars (ya know), has found his way into nearly every Capcom crossover of the past years, including Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom and Project X Zone.

The first Dead Rising game was styled in the vain of a b-movie horror, perhaps unintentionally. There’s a certain quality (for lack of a better word) that it exudes that I think can only be obtained through its poor translation. You simply can’t write funny dialogue like this, it has to come from human ignorance. It is comparable in that way to the original Resident Evil (“Jill Sandwich,” anyone? I hear they’re delicious).

Frank as a character in Smash would essentially have an unlimited amount of potential weapons for a moveset. Ranging from serious items like swords (hey, we need more sword users, right?), baseball bats and knives to more silly items like Servbot heads, squirt guns, Orange Juice and… saliva.
Despite a pretty appalling 3rd entry, I still hold Dead Rising in high regard. I guess playing through the first game more than 50 times will do that!

3.Phoenix Wright
Ah, Phoenix Wright. Smash Bros. fans have looked to gaming’s most favorite lawyer as a possible fighter since Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney left Japan in 2005. And why not? At their best, his games are ingenious, and their lead has become an incredibly beloved figure in the medium. Perhaps this stems from his being joined at the hip to the Nintendo DS, where the unique appeal of the console led him, Professor Layton, and Ryuta Kawashima to becoming mammoth icons Or it comes from the unique spin on adventure and puzzle games, genres that have been underrepresented in Smash but are definitely part of the “Nintendo ethos.” Certainly the idea of the nonviolent, goofy Phoenix fighting Pikachu with finger pointing, evidence, and well timed “OBJECTION!” calls is a concept that’s easily sellable to fans (as it was for his appearances in games like Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Project X-Zone 2, which were heavily fan-demanded).

Phoenix – and Ace Attorney as a whole – are in an interesting position for prospective Smash Bros. inclusion. On one hand, they’re certainly not commercial titans on the level of Pac-Man, Street Fighter, or Final Fantasy; the latest installment Dual Destinies was only sold as a digital release in America, and a substantial amount of its spinoff content has never left Japan. But Phoenix remains popular, and his silly, bold attitude is known and beloved all over the world.

In that sense, he might be most comparable to Bayonetta, another character whose sheer iconography vastly outweighs her games’ paltry sales. People know Phoenix and Bayonetta, and the appeal of seeing them go up against Nintendo’s finest is definitely more exciting to fans than actually purchasing their latest adventures. That puts them in an odd place, where they aren’t great as advertisement (and yes, Smash isn’t about that for Sakurai, but it probably is at least to an extent for third parties), but would be incredibly exciting for the game itself. Capcom icons will come and go, but I suspect Phoenix will continue to have a place in Smash fans’ hearts for a long time to come.

2.Strider Hiryu
I have long said that Smash Bros. could use more ninja characters, and there are few ninjas in all of video gaming that are as iconic as Strider Hiryu. Hiryu (the player character’s name, as Strider is actually the title of the group of ninja-like agents Hiryu belongs to) actually made his first appearance not in a game, but in a 1988 manga (Strider Hiryu) that was developed as a companion piece to the games Capcom were developing. He would make his digital debut a year later in both arcades and on the NES. The Strider franchise would go on to appear on a wide variety of consoles over the years, ranging from the Sega Genesis to the PlayStation to the Xbox 360. Hiryu himself often finds himself in many Capcom crossovers, such as Project X-Zone and Marvel vs. Capcom.
Striders are, for all intents and purposes, cyber ninjas.  He has superhuman speed and agility, and a host of futuristic weaponry, most notably his light sword cypher. This weapon is only issued to Elite special A-Class Striders, of which Hiryu is the youngest. His mastery of this plasma based weapon is unmatched, and he can use it both for fierce melee combat as well as charge it for long range projectile combat. Hiryu also enlists the aid of robotic animals and uses more traditional ninja weaponry, such as Kunai, in order to carry out his missions. I could easily see one of those future missions being Smash.

1.Leon Kennedy
There can be no doubt that Resident Evil is Capcom’s biggest prized pig. Boasting total sales figures that surpass any other franchise in their repertoire, Resident Evil games also populate the majority of Capcom’s biggest and best sellers. Resident Evil 4 is considered by many to be the pinnacle of the series, with sales figures approaching 6 million alone. Resident Evil 4 saw a departure in the style of traditional survival horror into a more action oriented 3rd person shooter. Its over-the-shoulder perspective on gameplay has become a staple of not only 3rd person shooters such as Gears of War, but has been adopted into other genres of gaming, even the Batman: Arkham series of games untilizes this perspective.

While one could argue that Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine are equally as deserving of this mention, I personally believe that Leon Kennedy outclasses them. Leon’s 3 main games, Resident Evils 2, 4 and 6 have all performed exceedingly well, and I would classify him as having closer ties to Nintendo as a result of the particular games he’s been a part of. Jill for example starred in Resident Evil 1 and 3, and Chris; 1,  5 and 6, both of these characters have stronger ties to non-Nintendo consoles than Leon does (as 2 and 4 both saw initial releases on Nintendo). And while Cloud is also in a similar boat to both Chris and Jill, I think strong ties to Nintendo are still beneficial to Smash inclusion as evident by Sakurai’s prior comments.

In terms of moveset, Leon would primarily use various guns and knives. Chris Redfield’s moveset in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 would be a relatively good indication of how he would function within Smash Bros. Bayonetta has since destroyed any illusions that fire power automatically rules characters out of being playable in Smash Bros! It would be grand if we got the 3rd Pillar of Capcom’s big 3 into Smash Bros. in the future.

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Do you agree with our choices? Which Capcom characters would you like to see in a Smash Bros. game? Let us know in the comments!

  1. My first though is: Wow, no Chun-Li? What?

    Second, Smash has always needed a grapple/wrestler character, but it should be Fighter Hayabusa.

    J. G. (@GeneralRayburn) on February 12 |
    • Chun Li is a Street Fighter character, we omitted Street Fighter and Megaman characters from this article.

      Hayabusa, are you referring to the character from Ninja Gaiden? If so, that’s not Capcom :).

      TheAnvil on February 12 |
      • Um, no…

        J. G. (@GeneralRayburn) on February 12 |
        • Games can have more than one grappler type of character, and personally speaking, Starman > Hayabusa.

          In anycase, Zero and Chun Li would both instantly be on this list if not for the fact that we decided to not give additional reps to existing franchises. They both, in my opinion, definitely derserve it.

          David "Spazzy" Krane on February 12 |
    • My biggest problem with Fighter Hyabusa is that I’m not actually sure who owns Pro Wrestling – though I’m fairly certain it’s not Capcom in any event (my second-biggest problem is that he’d be way less exciting than…the Amazon! Thrill as he noshes on Link’s head!).

      Chun Li was one of my first choices, but we explicitly omit guest series that already have been represented with fighters in Smash.

      Wolfman_J on February 12 |
  2. I’d looooooooooove a Resident Evil character. While Leon is the most popular, I’d be fine with Chris or Jill like his blurb mentioned.

    Horror is one of the only genres that Smash doesn’t really have someone to stand in for, and since Nintendo’s forays into horror seem to have faded into obscurity (RIP Eternal Darkness), someone from Resident Evil would fit in very nicely.

    EdgeTheLucas on February 12 |
  3. The focus on history here instead of recency is what shall make this incredibly unlikely. Amaterasu & especially Felyne should be in the top 5 most definitely.

    Also, no Jill Valentine or any other RE characters? You crazy? … Any character can work if put the right time & effort.


    whiteagle on February 12 |
    • Umm, our number one character was Leon Kennedy, and his blurb mentioned that he was pretty much interchangable with Chris and Jill as far as importance goes….so I’m not really sure what you’re getting at.

      Amaterasu was actually in the top 5 as well……..

      David "Spazzy" Krane on February 12 |
  4. Could you do the same for Namco? I WANTED LLOYD! Loyd for smash 5

    Denis Parfenov (@Mudkip971) on February 12 |
    • We’ve already done Rare and SEGA lists, so Namco might be a fun choice in the future. Please note that this is seperate from our Dream Rosters articles, and Namco is certainly in consideration for one of those as well.

      David "Spazzy" Krane on February 12 |
  5. Three characters I could agree more on…

    1. Leon S. Kennedy
    Him being in Smash was part of my dreams alongside with Sonic, Mega Man, and Cloud back in the 64 era. Although I was a scared pussy for horror games back then, I haven’t played Resident Evil 2 before. But eventually, I liked the story as I liked the character more than the first game. Leon was too iconic for me, as having a strange remembrance of thinking he looks like Leonardo Decaprio, and I was happy to see him back on Resident Evil 4 and 6. That handsome bastard was always my favorite Resident Evil character, and I’d be happy if he did appear in Smash too. I don’t know if they’ll allow using firearms in Smash, while I don’t know what to say about Bayonetta’s guns because that may be a different case, but using explosives like grenades or rocket launchers can be perfect, and I think he’ll use kicks as his regular attacks like Lucas does, since Leon prefers using kicks when breaking the doors or attacking enemies.

    2. Felyne
    I too am not a huge fan of Monster Hunter, but I do agree that Capcom will choose this cute but scary looking kitty fighter to Smash. Monster Hunter has a great tie with Nintendo somehow, it even brought badges to the Badge Arcade game for 3DS, while giving many Nintendo costumes for Felyne like the Mario Bros., Isabelle and Mr. Resetti, Toon Link, Star Fox members, etc…and boy how I do remember they look really scary to me… But I don’t know if they’ll use the original cat design. Maybe they’ll use the cartoony design since that’ll fit perfectly in Smash.

    3. Frank West
    Although this may be impossible, I do like to see him being in Smash. Why? To be honest, I LOVE FRANK WEST. But other than that, his movesets does look perfect enough for Smash. Double Lariat, Knee Drop, Face Crusher, Somersault Kick…he can use all those iconic melee attacks for Smash if possible! Or he can just pull out random weapons like baseball bat, laser sword (which is a toy), mini chainsaw (YEAH MY FAVORITE BABY!!!!), sledge hammer…he can almost be like the Villager in a brutal way. (lol) He can power up himself by taking pictures too, because I don’t know why but that’s how it works in his game… I hope he can do a Weapon Combo with items too.

    zoniken on February 12 |
  6. No Dante?

    Colin Amaya on February 12 |
    • Another one of the rules we made, if you read the intro, is that the character had to have a starring role in a game on a Nintendo console.

      David "Spazzy" Krane on February 12 |
      • While Sakurai says that it would be a courtesy for any character to have an appearance on a Nintendo system at least once, I don’t think that Sakurai (or anybody in Nintendo) would be convinced that Dante is not a million light-years away from being the next Capcom representative in Super Smash Bros., even if he starred on a Nintendo console. I’m amazed that they got Bayonetta in, but I don’t think that Dante will receive the same treatment.

        Bob on February 12 |
        • Bayonetta was able to because her second game is also licensed by Nintendo, so she’s practically be part of the Nintendo Family now I guess.

          And Dante may have appeared in Project X Zone series as that’s a 3DS game, but I wouldn’t think crossovers will count at this point. But even for choosing “Dante”, I just hope they’re not referring to the NEW Dante which is a total failure…no please, don’t even bring him here, that’s not even a Dante we love, get that guy away from me!!! D:

          zoniken on February 13 |
          • It wasn’t Ninja Theory that made that choice, it was Capcom. And they did it to boost their western audience. But I do agree with you there that the new Dante is ridiculous.

            Bob on February 13 |
  7. I feel like Jill/Chris are the “Cloud” of RE. They are the faces of the series as a whole even if they weren’t on Nintendo-focused game.
    In terms of game icons I feel like Jill/Chris are up there for the horror genre.

    DonkaFjord on February 12 |
  8. No Ryu from the Breath of Fire series?

    Ian on February 13 |
    • Can’t add everyone, unfortunately. Besides, I’m sure Nintendo doesn’t want another dragon changeling outclassing Corrin (kidding)!

      David "Spazzy" Krane on February 13 |