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

The Definitive List of Unused Fighters in Smash

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Q: I know that you can’t talk too much about the characters that will be in the next game, but for previous Smash Bros. games, have there ever been characters that you wanted to include but couldn’t figure out a good mechanic for them, like a way to fit them into the game?

Sakurai: Yeah, there’s been a lot of instances like that. For example, there are places where we planned to have a character but then implementing that character just didn’t work out. Or we wanted to implement some character but there was too much overlap with other characters from the same title, and it didn’t work out. Or there’s places when I wanted to implement some character, but the image for how it works in the game just never comes to fruition.

An In-Depth Chat With The Genius Behind Super Smash Bros.


Seeing your favorite characters battle it out is probably the highlight of any Super Smash Bros. game. Character selection is a closely guarded secret by the series director, Masahiro Sakurai, but over the years he has released some information on his decision-making process. This page will outline all of the characters we know of that did not join the fight in each iteration. Each character has a quote from Sakurai himself that details what we know about that character’s selection process. Please comment with additional sources, or inquires about certain characters. I tried to be as thorough as possible, but I might have missed some.

There’s a summary of this page in table format below, in the spoiler tag.  

Summary Table

5/6 update: I have finally fixed my misspelling of Bowser in the summary table. Added Peach and Dedede to the “Misinformation” sections in Smash 64 and Melee, respectively.

9/12 Update: Long overdue, but a Kirby’s Epic Yarn (for Wii U) and a Mario Land (for 3DS) stage were planned.

Smash 64




Marth: “Well, I wanted to include Marth in the original Smash Bros. game, as a sword-wielding character. But for Smash 64, there were some features we barely finished in time, and the four hidden characters were created only on the premise of being able to reuse some movements and parts of the models of pre-existing characters, so in the end Marth couldn’t make it in.”

Sakurai interview: Fire Emblem 25th Anniversary

It seems pretty clear that there wasn’t anything like licensing, popularity, or technical issues keeping Marth out of Smash 64, just normal time constraints. It seems like development time was allotted to him before he was scrapped, so it seems likely that he was seriously considered before being dismissed.


Bowser from Super Mario 64.

Bowser from Super Mario 64.

King Dedede from Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards.

King Dedede from Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards.

Bowser and King Dedede: “Q: Hello. I love Smash. My friend told me that there are two super hidden unlockable characters, Bowser and King Dedede. Is this true?

A: No, it’s not true. But we did actually work on them and they were partially complete at one point in time.”

Reader Responses Page 75

So we have confirmation that Bowser and King Dedede, at least, had development done on them, but were cut during the process, as opposed to being cut in the “brainstorming” process, which makes them cut after development on them began. In this interview from Nintendo Power, November 1998, Miyamoto mentions that Bowser would be in it, which lends credence to the idea that Bowser was under development but later cut. However, it’s possible that Miyamoto was simply mistaken.



Mewtwo: “…Bowser, King Dedede, and Mewtwo were actually planned to appear during development, but due to a variety of issues ended up being cut…”

“If There Was A Smash 2” poll responses

From this sentence alone, it’s unclear whether or not development actually started on these three characters or not, but we already know that Bowser and King Dedede had some development done on them. Of course, Mewtwo might also– Sakurai might have restricted his previous answer to just Bowser and King Dedede because those were the only two questions asked– but we have no proof either as to what Mewtwo’s development status was. So at best, we have to consider him seriously considered before being dismissed, or possibly cut after development on it began.


Final Smashes: “Actually, I thought of using the Smash Ball since the very first Nintendo 64 version of the game….there are characters in the new series whose voices are the same as the ones we recorded for the Nintendo 64 Smash Bros. There are recordings we made for Final Smashes at that recording that are being used unaltered in the current Smash Bros. Brawl.”

Iwata Asks: Super Smash Bros Brawl, Volume 5, Part 1: Final Smash

In addition to the very direct quote above, The Cutting Room Floor has posted the sound clips from Smash 64.


Sakurai planning Sigurd (from Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War) for Smash 64 seems to be an unfounded rumor. No official sources could be found, making this pure speculation.

Meowth was probably not planned for Smash 64. No references to Meowth were found in any of the e-mail responses, despite claims that he was scrapped in favor of Jigglypuff.

Pit in Smash 64 being dropped because they couldn’t get his wings working seems to be another unfounded rumor, as no evidence supporting it can be found. It also seems likely that if this were the case, this would have been mentioned in some capacity during Brawl’s development.

Peach has not been mentioned by Sakurai as being developed for or in consideration for Smash 64. It seems plausible, but it’s never been confirmed. 




Mach Rider from Vs. Mach Rider.

Mach Rider from Vs. Mach Rider.

Mach Rider: “Q: …which character would you personally want to see– or want to put in– to Smash 2?

A: Character I’d like to see in Smash 2: Mach Rider. Reason: His name is great. Mach? Ha.”

–Reader Responses Page 49

Given that his response is clearly a joke (or at least made in a joking manner) it’s pretty clear that Mach Rider was never really considered and was momentarily considered and quickly dismissed.



Takamaru: “What’s more likely, a new entry in the “Mysterious Murasame Castle” series or Takamaru being playable in Smash 2? Well, both are pretty unlikely. Dang.”

Reader Responses Page 25

Likewise, it’s hard to say that Sakurai really gave much thought or chance to Takamaru given his low popularity at the time, so just like Mach Rider he was probably momentarily considered and quickly dismissed.



Ayumi Tachibana: “Well, I was thinking about it during the Melee days, Famicon Detective Club…Ayumi even has her own Trophy in that game. But in the end, there’s no way she’d work overseas, so…but I do like Famicon Detective Club.”

NicoNico guest chat with Tomokazu Sugita and Ito Kenji

Sakurai is a noted fan of Famicon Detective Club, so that may be why she has a trophy in Melee, but as he says, her complete lack of presence outside of Japan killed her chances. She may have been considered more seriously than Mach Rider and Takamaru, but she still falls into the momentarily considered and quickly dismissed category. Sakurai may have wanted her in more than Mach Rider or Takamaru, though.



Retro representatives: On the Ice Climbers’ character introduction page on the Japanese Melee site, Sakurai talks about wanting one retro representative from Nintendo’s Famicon/NES days. There was a pool of candidates, and the Ice Climbers were chosen via process of elimination. The other candidates were:

Balloon Fight — seems like he wouldn’t be able to do anything after his balloons are popped

Urban Champion — seems like he doesn’t have a lot of moves

Clu Clu Land — don’t know how she would fight

Excitebike — we’d need to make ramps for him to jump (that’s not really the issue)

Ice Climbers, News Flash! Smash Bros. Dojo!!

All four of these characters were eliminated in the planning stages, seemingly, meaning they were considered but quickly dismissed.



Banjo and Kazooie: “Incidentally, including a character from Rare in Smash would be difficult for various reasons. I know there are some people who think that Banjo & Kazooie are an obvious inclusion, but that’s unlikely for a variety of legal and financial reasons.”

Reader Responses Page 6, News Flash! Smash Bros. Dojo!!

James Bond: “Showing realistic guns = no good! Character uses an actor’s likeness = no good! Since the original game is based on a movie, getting those rights = no good! He’s Rare’s property = no good! Blocked on all fronts.”

Reader Responses Page 26, News Flash! Smash Bros. Dojo!!

Both Banjo and Kazooie and James Bond have similar reasons for dismissal: legal issues. While they may have been considered, legal complications make it likely that they were considered and quickly dismissed.



Snake: “Hideo Kojima phoned me and practically begged me to put Snake in the game, saying please, put him in there, I want him in there! But at that time we were already deep in development and I was thinking I wasn’t able to get him in there and that we’d probably be making another Smash Bros. game afterward, so I kind of gave up on the idea and said it’s too bad you hadn’t brought this up earlier.”

E3 interview: Super Smash Bros. Brawl, N-Sider

Sonic: “…for the one on the Gamecube, I’d actually talked to Sakurai at E3, saying “put Sonic in it,” but at the time it was too late, we couldn’t make it happen…”

Yuji Naka, SXSW 2016 Sonic 25th Anniversary Panel

These two are an interesting case– basically, they were requested but dismissed due to time constraints. It’s no certainty that either or both of these characters would have been added to Melee had the request come earlier, but regardless, both requests came too late in development to be really seriously considered.



Wario: “If I had time to add one more character, Wario would have made it in…”

Reader Responses Page 12, News Flash! Smash Bros. Dojo!!

“If we could have added one or two more characters, then maybe he would have made it. He was certainly high up on the list of characters we considered but ultimately he didn’t make it.”

Reader Responses Page 76, News Flash! Smash Bros. Dojo!!

From these statements, it seems more likely that he was seriously considered, but in the end dismissed. Sakurai has also mentioned that he didn’t want to add too many Mario characters. It’s unclear whether Wario was actually worked on at all, so he could possibly have been cut during development, but given how compressed Melee’s development cycle was, it seems unlikely that development time would have been allotted to a character, only to have that character cut. But it is possible.



Lucas: “To tell the truth, initially he was going to be replaced by the protagonist of MOTHER 3, but stuff happened and there were delays, so we ended up going back to the original.”

Ness, News Flash! Smash Bros. Dojo!!

It looks like Lucas was definitely planned, possibly even worked on, before he was replaced by Ness. Assuming he played very similarly to Ness, though, this is less of a cut and more of a replacement.


Cut Stages, Items, and Trophies

Sprout Tower and Summit (Ice Climbers) stage: “At the beginning of development we were actually discussing making Sprout Tower a stage.”

Reader Responses Page 6, News Flash! Smash Bros. Dojo!!

“We even planned a hidden stage for the Ice Climbers. It was called “Summit.””

Reader Responses Page 6, News Flash! Smash Bros. Dojo!!

Sprout Tower is pretty straightforward– considered at the beginning, but cut in the planning process. With the Summit stage it’s unclear, as it may have had some work done before being cut. So it was either cut in the planning stage, or cut at some point in development. It’s worth noting that there is a cut stage called titled ICETOP.


Kingdom of Akaneia (Fire Emblem) stage: “Q: Why aren’t there any Fire Emblem stages?

A: As a matter of fact, we did plan to make one, named “Kingdom of Akaneia.”…But it had to be cut because of development circumstances.”

Reader Responses Page 27, News Flash! Smash Bros. Dojo!!

It’s unclear how far this stage got during development, but there is a stage titled AKANEIA in the game’s files, so some development being done seems likely, which makes this stage planned and developed, but ultimately cut.


Assist Trophies: “…we considered an item called the “Assist Capsule”, containing various game characters who could assist you (different from the Poké Ball). But, in the end, circumstances were such that we had to scrap it.”

Reader Responses Page 37, News Flash! Smash Bros. Dojo!!

Assist Trophies were planned, and probably even developed and tested before being cut. The way he phrases his answer makes it sound like they couldn’t get it to work to satisfactorily levels, they couldn’t come up with enough characters to get a variety of “Capsules,” or something along those lines. So it’s likely that Assist Trophies/Capsules were planned and developed but eventually cut.


Sukapon: “Sukapon’s omission is purely a matter of financial and legal issues…For this game, we were planning to let characters get on Sukapon and ride around causing havoc, but it was cut.”

Reader Responses Page 10, News Flash! Smash Bros. Dojo!!

Pretty cut and dry: legal issues prevented Sukapon from being added, which likely means he was planned but immediately cut. Additionally, the bonus text for Sukapon was once on the Melee site, but it’s been removed and the archive doesn’t exist.


Pokémon as stage hazards on Pokémon Stadium: “During development, we initially planned for Venusaur and the other Pokemon to appear on the Pokemon Stadium stage (just like how Pokemon appeared on Saffron City in Smash 64). But, even though the models and animations were finished, they had to be cut because of programming issues. To put it simply, they were removed. That was extremely disappointing, so I asked the programmers to just make them come out of Poké Balls, and I did all I could in my role to make that happen.

Reader Responses Page 53, News Flash! Smash Bros. Dojo!!

Venusaur and his friends were in development, but eventually cut due to programming issues. But they became the beloved Poké Ball item instead. Personally, as a competitive player, I’m very glad things worked out the way they did.


Ditto: “Ditto will Transform into the player who threw the Poke Ball, then join up with him or her for a short time.”

Official Nintendo Power Super Smash Bros. Melee Guide

Ditto’s appearance in the guide tells us that it was planned and in the game until fairly close to the release date, which makes it planned, development, and scrapped right before release. He actually can be summoned in the game through hacking, but he doesn’t transform into anyone, and only has one short animation before he disappears. Special thanks to /u/Turkin4tor on reddit for the photo.


Fire Emblem trophies: “Of course Fire Emblem trophies were part of the initial plan. But the models would have been complicated, which would have taken a lot of development time, so they were low priority, and in the end the idea was scrapped.”

Reader Responses Page 69, News Flash! Smash Bros. Dojo!!

Planned but scrapped before development on them began. Not much else to say.


Rare Ltd. trophies: “Well, it was hardly surprising: Conker had only appeared in DKR at that point and Banjo-Kazooie was in development at the same time as Smashy [sic]. Memory tells me there were almost a boatload of Rare character trophies in Melee at one point, but it never happened.”

Rare Scribes, September 18, 2009

As far as I know, there’s no leftover data or files relating to any Rare trophies. Taking Rare at their word would mean that Rare trophies were planned, in development, but removed for some reason. 



Not all characters that appeared in the intro movie for Melee were intended to join the fight according to the Japanese official site. Sorry, Ridley, Wolf and Samurai Goroh fans.

There is no reliable source for Wario actually being seriously “considered for a Mario clone but he deserved better.” He did say “Wario could only have been included if we had given him the exact same figure and moveset as Mario,” but that’s all I can find regarding this topic of Wario and “deserving better,” which isn’t a sentiment Sakurai has ever expressed, to my knowledge.

Wolf as a Fox clone seems to be misinformation, as no source regarding Wolf in Melee can be found, other than this post on Neogaf. PushDustIn, the admin of this site, has since contacted this poster, who has admitted that all of this info was falsified.

As far as I know, Sakurai has never talked about King Dedede in the context of Melee. Given the fact that he was in development during Smash 64, it seems likely that he was considered for Melee, but unfortunately we have no source so we can’t say anything definitively. 



Roster selection: “The first interesting tidbit he dropped during his talk was that the final character roster was essentially completed when the design document was finalized on July 7, 2005. That was, the character list was done 2½ years before the game was completed.”

Sakurai at GDC 2008, article from Nintendo World Report


Blastoise from Pokémon Adventures.

Blastoise from Pokémon Adventures.

Blastoise: “I came to the conclusion that Squirtle would be able to establish himself as a character better than Blastoise, plus I thought having balance with the sizes and stages of evolution would be good.”

Sakurai, from the GSLA Famitsu summaries

Blastoise was probably seriously considered as part of Pokémon Trainer’s moveset before he was switched out for Squirtle in the planning stages.



Geno: “To tell the truth, it’s because I wanted Geno to be a playable character. He has a gun for a hand, and I think he fits in really well with Smash. During Brawl, I thought it would be great if I could add him, but in the end it didn’t become a reality.”

Sakurai interview from Nintendo Dream vol. 264, April 2016

For Geno, it’s hard to say why he wasn’t added. He is a Square Enix character, so it may have had to do with legal issues, or maybe he simply didn’t work out from a programming or planning standpoint. It’s hard to say definitively, but I’ll go with considered, but ultimately cut without development for unknown reasons.



Krystal: “For Krystal, we didn’t have any of the technical modeling knowledge that we had cultivated with Fox and Falco, so it was like making a brand-new character from scratch. And because of the limited amount of time we had, creating Krystal wasn’t realistically possible. On that point, with Wolf we already have some knowledge of how to model his character, and would require about 70% of the effort required to create a whole new character.”

Sakurai interview from Nintendo Dream, 2008

It’s hard to tell when Wolf was decided to be added to the game, but he probably wasn’t one of the final entries (Sonic, Jigglypuff, and Toon Link seem to be in that category), so he was probably decided early on. It looks like the decision came down to Wolf or Krystal, and Wolf made it in based on ease of development, so she was seriously considered, but was beat out by Wolf.



Villager: “In fact, there was even a point where in the planning stages of the previous game, “Super Smash Bros. Brawl,” I removed the Villager, the protagonist of Animal Crossing, from consideration because he wasn’t suited for battle.

Are The Characters Dancing? Sakurai’s Famitsu column vol. 430

Villager was at one point planned for Brawl, but he was removed because Sakurai thought (at the time) that they weren’t suited for battle. As Sakurai has said that the roster was essentially finalized very early on in development, Villager was likely seriously considered but cut before development.



Pac-Man: “Back when I was developing Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Shigeru Miyamoto asked me, “What do you think about Pac-Man as a guest character?” “There’s no way!”, I thought to myself as I envisioned that mascot oh-so reminiscent of a pizza missing a slice. I didn’t say it out loud, of course.”

My First Conception Is My Landmark, Sakurai’s Famitsu column vol. 456

Pac-Man seems to have been briefly considered but rejected for a variety reasons, which could range from legal issues to Sakurai having difficulty settling on a design and/or a moveset for him at the time.



Mii Fighters: “The inclusion of Miis was considered for the previous game, “Super Smash Bros. Brawl,” but after thinking about it for about 1 minute, I dismissed that idea immediately.”

Everyone Joins the Battle! Anyone Can Join the Fray! Sakurai’s Famitsu column vol. 455

While Sakurai is probably being slightly humorous here with his “1 minute” statement, it’s pretty clear that Mii Fighters were briefly considered but rejected for a variety of reasons. You can read about the reasons in the column, but to summarize it’s because he didn’t want online bullying to occur, didn’t think they were very interesting, and weren’t suited towards fighting.



Ridley: “Q: There was a rumor at one point about Ridley being playable. Was that ever a consideration?

A: I think that would probably be pretty impossible…If we had put our best efforts into it, we may have been able to do it. But he might have been a little slow. Would that be all right?”

–Sakurai interview, Nintendo Power May 2008

Given Sakurai’s response and his joking statements, it seems like Ridley was at best, momentarily considered but immediately dismissed for several reasons. At worst, he might not have even been considered. There may have been plans for him to be an Assist Trophy at one point before he was converted to a boss.

Forbidden Seven


All of the “forbidden seven” have references that were found in Brawl’s Instance Slots.

Of the characters with leftover data, Mewtwo, Roy and Dixie arguably had the most work done on them. Roy had a unique victory fanfare while Mewtwo had a unique victory fanfare and a Wii remote sound. All files exist in name only.

Dixie had a working prototype at one point, as she was originally envisioned to have a tag-team mechanic, just like in Donkey Kong Country 2. However due to complications in programming, she was dropped and Diddy was made into a full character by himself.

It’s unknown how far these three characters got into development, or when they were dropped as the team worked on various aspects of the game at the same time. Since the other three (and arguably Dixie too) have less references to them, it’s plausible that they were dropped earlier in development. We do know that if Sakurai had more time, 1-2 additional characters could have gotten in.

Dr. Mario – Dr. Mario is only referenced in the game’s Instance Slot. However, something curious about Dr. Mario is that 0x28 refers to Dr_Mario, while 0x36, the last slot, refers to MarioD. In Super Smash Bros for Wii U/3DS, Dr. Mario is internally referred as MarioD. This could mean that Dr. Mario was dropped, and then picked up again at the end, or it could be a debug version of Mario. It’s impossible to know one way or the other.

Toon Zelda/Toon Sheik are obvious from their filenames.  While many believe that Toon Sheik refers to Tetra, there is no evidence to suggest that. Sakurai has never commented on this character duo, and only references to the file names are present in the game’s data — no files.

Plusle and Minun drew considerable debate within the community. The files are labeled, pra_mai, which kind of corresponds to their Japanese names, PURASURU and MAINAN(プラスル&マイナン). The main point against them is that the Ice Climbers, and presumably the Dixie/Diddy combo, had two separate character files. This could be explained by Plusle and Minun using an unknown mechanic where they weren’t separated. Furthermore, they do not use the Gamefreak localization for their names, nor the original Japanese. Despite this, it’s interesting to note that Plusle and Minun, along with Pichu and Mewtwo, are all special criteria Pokemon trophies in Brawl.

Cut Mechanics

L-cancelling: Q: Why is it that L-cancelling, which you could do in Melee, was removed in Brawl?

A: It’s the same reason as the reduction in game speed. First, doing all that on the Wii Remote would be close to impossible, and again it considerably increases the gap between beginners and high level players.”

Sakurai from an interview in Nintendo Dream after Brawl’s release

Very straightforward: Sakurai was thinking of the casual audience from the beginning with Brawl, so L-cancelling was probably planned to be removed/never implemented. I’ve seen people claim that early demo builds of Brawl had L-cancelling, but they actually seem to have confused L-cancels for autocancels.


Battle Damage: “In the beginning, we had a system where swords would break, or equipment would be destroyed. After you lost your stock and respawned, your equipment would be repaired, but people who survived, so basically the better, more skilled players, would be at a disadvantage, and I wanted to include a system like that.”

Sakurai from an interview in Nintendo Dream after Brawl’s release

Some textures of damaged equipment can be found, so it seems like this system was at least in development but cut at some point. It’s similar to the rage system, but inhibits the stronger players who survive longer much more directly.

Super Smash Bros. for 3DS/Wii U




Heihachi: “Q: Between Bandai and Namco, were there any other strong candidates for inclusion as a fighter?

A: There were none. We basically thought of all the characters at the start of development. We decided on characters we knew we could make. However, there were a few in consideration, such as Heihachi from Tekken….However, implementing Heihachi’s movement in Smash would be difficult…”

My First Conception Is My Landmark, Sakurai’s Famitsu column vol. 456

It seems like Heihachi was considered, but ultimately Sakurai decided against him, for reasons including, but probably not limited to, difficulty in implementing a representative moveset for him in Smash. It seems like there were other Bandai Namco representatives that were considered, but decided against.


Takamaru (1)

Takamaru: “For a moment, I did think about having Takamaru as a playable fighter, just for a moment…but there’s no way he could make it, popularity-wise.”

NicoNico guest chat with Tomokazu Sugita and Ito Kenji

Like before, Takamaru was momentarily considered but then logically dismissed due to his lack of popularity (especially in the West).



Chrom: “When it came time to decide on a character from “Fire Emblem: Awakening”, I had even thought of a moveset for him. However in the long run, he was just in between Marth and Ike, so he wasn’t added.”

Are The Characters Dancing? Sakurai’s Famitsu column vol. 430

PushDustIn has written an article on why he believes Chrom was part of the original project plan, along with Robin, before he was cut several months later. Either way, it seems safe to say  Chrom was at the very least planned, but cut because he was considered too similar to other fighters, and lacked unique characteristics. It’s not really clear whether or not he was in development.



Alph: “Consider including Alph (Pikmin 3 protagonist) as a clone character.”

Sakurai’s development notes on Olimar/Alph

This excerpt was taken from midway through development, which means that Alph was planned and most likely in development in some capacity before being cut.



Ice Climbers: “Even if I cram in as many fighters as I can, there are some people who are focused on the few who didn’t make it back. Among them are the Ice Climbers, who were playable during development on the Wii U. However, moving the two as a pair required significant processing power. The 3DS was already being pushed to its limit, and I couldn’t get them to work no matter how hard I tried, so I gave up on them.”

I Answer Some Questions, Sakurai’s Famitsu column vol. 461-464

Sakurai adds some extra details to his columns when they are published in anthology format, and he said that “removed as many joints as I possibly could, and even when I removed certain effects, like gravity, they still wouldn’t work.” Thus, it seems pretty clear that Ice Climbers were planned and in development, but cut due to technical issues.


Geno: “When talking about older characters, Geno always gets a lot of requests. He didn’t appear as a fighter, but I was able to achieve something kind of close to that as a Mii Costume.”

Sakurai interview, Nintendo Dream vol. 264, April 2016

Sakurai previously considered Geno for Brawl, where he says he wanted Geno in the game, so I feel like saying that Geno was at least momentarily considered for Smash 4 is fair.



Ridley: “I definitely know that Ridley’s a much-anticipated name for fans, but if we made Ridley as a fighter, it wouldn’t be Ridley any longer. It’d have to be shrunk down, or its wings reduced in size, or be unable to fly around freely.”

Sakurai interview with IGN, November 19, 2014

Ridley was probably again, at best, momentarily considered, but once again, dismissed for a variety of reasons, and at worst wasn’t even under consideration. His reasons for exclusion haven’t seemed to have changed since Brawl, so he falls under the same category now as he did then.


Reggie Fils-Aime, Shigeru Miyamoto, and Satoru Iwata: “I don’t think the inclusion of these characters would be very interesting to a wide audience. For the amount of effort involved, I would actually prefer to add another roster character. As it takes a lot of work to add a character to the game, it’s not a decision that can be taken lightly.”

Sakurai interview with, November 19th, 2014

The quote above confirms that Sakurai at least judged the merits of adding Reggie, Miyamoto, and Iwata as playable characters, meaning they were momentarily considered before being dismissed.




Co-op play on 3DS: “I originally planned to allow for co-op play in Smash Run,  but the 3DS wasn’t powerful enough to display multiple characters on the same screen, so I had no choice but to give up.”

Sakurai’s commentary on the Project Proposal Slides for Smash for Wii U/3DS, slide 20

Planned, developed, but cut due to technological restrictions.


Fourth custom: “Custom specials. I initially intended to create four versions of each move.”

Sakurai’s commentary on the Project Proposal Slides for Smash for Wii U/3DS, slide 11

Four custom moves per character were planned, but cut during development for whatever reason. PushDustIn has written a bit more about the “fourth custom” if you want to look into it.

UPDATE: Sakurai has confirmed that a Kirby Epic Yarn stage was originally planned for the Wii U. In addition, a Mario Land stage was planned for the 3DS. Both were replaced by other stages during development.

Speculation based off of data mining

Rhythm Heaven character: It is speculated that a Rhythm Heaven character was scrapped. This is due to the order of the emblem database that PushDustIn uncovered while digging through the files. No additional files for the character were found, thus it is a mystery which representative would have been chosen and how long they were being developed. According to the Gematsu leaker, this would have been the Chorus Men.

Dr. Mario, Brain Age, Swapnote stages: Numerous emblem references, which are presumed to be stages, were found in the Wii U version. For a full explanation of the emblem order, check out this article by PushDustIn. These are all speculated, but it’s assumed that Dr. Mario was going to have a home stage (with the Virus’ as boss characters). Furthermore, Brain Age had a blank emblem file present in the Wii U. It’s speculated that this file would have been used on the stage select screen. Furthermore, a reference to the emblem still exists in the emblem database (brainage).  There is an emblem reference for “diary,” which is speculated to be a Swapnote Stage, as a literal translation of the Japanese name for Swapnote would be “Exchanging Diaries over Spotpass. However, no further evidence seems to exist to confirm or deny these theories. It’s also unknown if all these stages were planned for the Wii U version, or if they are leftover data from the 3DS version. It’s also unknown how far these stages got into development.


Because the purpose of this page is mostly to document statements made by Sakurai, it doesn’t contain an exhaustive list of all things that were planned or cut from each game. The Cutting Room Floor has articles that detail all leftover files, etc. for each game in the series, so check that out if you’re interested in more!

Finally, if you have any other characters that you think should be on this page, and have concrete evidence of Sakurai making such statements, please let us know.



  1. Thanks for mentioning the MarioD thing I brought up.

    Octavian on April 29 |
  2. Still just need to know.. why is there no Young Link trophy at all in Smash 4 and Brawl?
    I guess Sakurai has no comment on such.

    Either way, nice to have a clean up article. Can’t wait till another one in say 6 months.

    aguchamp33 on April 29 |
  3. I can’t wait to see if the Chorus Kids get in the next game. I love Rhythm Heaven and it is a desperately under-rated series!

    Brainz on April 29 |
  4. I kinda wished that Rock Pikmin would be included as an extra Pikmin in the roulette instead of having Alph as a separate character. If they can be matched with Purple Pikmin some of the main differnces could be more shield damage and the disadvantage in letting them rejoin the group during Pikmin Call.

    Chris.W on April 29 |
  5. Wait a minute, we had a translation a while back that mentioned Krystal was considered for Brawl and mainly missed out because they were pressed for time. Shouldn’t she also be included on this list?

    delzethin on April 29 |
    • Oh yeah…..shoot. I’ll add her in.

      Soma on April 29 |
      • yay

        Michael Khan on April 29 |
  6. Well they confirmed that Lucina, Dark Pit, and Dr. Mario were originally costumes like Alph is, right? It’s more likely that when making the costumes into characters they just ran out of time before Alph made the cut than Alph just being cut from the game.

    PTG on April 29 |
    • I think the difference is that with Alph, he was going to use Rock Pikmin, which I think would be a much bigger difference between him and Olimar than between Marth/Lucina, Mario/Doc, Pit/Dark Pit. Which means Alph would have taken more work. Sakurai wanted rock pikmin in the game in general, but they didn’t make it, which makes thing that they possibly just didn’t work out well/didn’t work on the 3DS (like, add alph w/rock pikmin, if that doesn’t work add rock pikmin, but neither worked out).

      Clones were only added in Smash 4 because they didn’t add to the workload of the project. I’m assuming that Alph did, which is why he was cut during development. Although, I’m not sure if I understand your question fully, since even if he was cut because they ran out of time, that doesn’t really change the designation of Alph being in development in some capacity before being cut.

      Soma on April 29 |
      • I am sorry but the differences between the other pair of clones are also basically none. They took at most 2 days to program, at least for Lucina and Dark Pit, cause it really is just changing one or one and a half percent here and there. Since the models were already on they didn’t waste time with that. Seriously Sakurai should learn we’ve passed on from the era of Melee, things like this shouldn’t be accepted cause the people that are happy for seeing them in stupid separated spots would be as happy with them just as alts for the original and the differences definitely did not warrant a separate spot, it was just Sakurai with his stupid bias again. You’re right, they were easy A F, but Sakurai says he works for quality, something these three prove false.

        Ddrevolution on April 29 |
        • “the differences between the other pair of clones are also basically none”

          That’s the point I’m trying to make? The three clones were only added because they took so little time to make, something that seems to not be true with Alph, which is why he wasn’t added.

          As for the rest of your comment, I’m sorry you feel that way.

          Soma on April 29 |
        • Eh it was either these characters or no characters so I don’t really see the big deal. If your metric is correct this took six days to do. I doubt even one new character would take that little time. Heck, if Alph was in the same boat that means it was impossible for them to squeeze out eight days of work so it’s not like it would be possible for you to get something new in their place. From the way Sakurai described it this was literally him going “well crap I have this part of the team not working on anything. I should get them to at least add a little more content to the game instead of sitting around” so it’s not like they spent extra time they could’ve spent on something else (and even if they could’ve it’s six days, not a big deal)

          PTG on April 29 |
      • Well mostly I meant it’s more of a manner of phrasing. I don’t think Alph was cut necessarily because Sakurai made it seem like they would only be in the game if they had the time, so it’s not something you can really cut.

        I didn’t know about the whole Rock Pikmin deal but I can’t imagine they would really change so much that it would impact the workload much more than making custom moves for four new characters would already be, just an extra model.

        PTG on April 29 |
        • Well, Sakurai said he had to do a lot of work to get the existing Pikmin working on the 3DS, which is why I say that.

          Soma on April 29 |
  7. Nice update! Though, you misspelled Bowser as “Bowsder” in the table at the top of the page.

    the101 on April 29 |
    • …..I’ll fix that

      Soma on April 29 |
  8. Wow……this looks SO much organized! Props to you guys! Also, it’s funny….after all the fan requests for Reggie, I never thought Sakurai would actually CONSIDER him as a playable character, even for a brief moment. Same goes for Miyamoto AND Iwata as well. I wonder if the Mii Fighter reveal at E3 2014 was serving as a little reference to that very notion.

    smashkirby on April 29 |
  9. Snake didn’t use guns, but explosive weapons like rocket launchers.

    Bayonetta, on the other hand…let’s just say that Sakurai changed his opinion over the years.

    TrinitroMan on April 30 |
  10. Oh Soma, there is a little error in the Summary Table.

    Krystal doesn’t appear (Brawl) and Bowser appears as “Bowder”

    • MFW when I misspell Bowser and “Bowsder” and in my attempt to fix it, spell it as “Bowder”….lol.

      I will fix these right now! And thank you for pointing out my mistakes!

      Soma on April 30 |
  11. It’s not worth noting to have Sakurai just thinking about a character, like the Excitebike rider, that warrants him a possibility for Smash Bros.

    backup368 on April 30 |
    • The fact that he wrote about Excitebike warrants his inclusion on the list. Even if he was immediately dismissed and has probably 0% chance of being playable in Smash, the entire point of this list is to document any characters Sakurai has mentioned in the context of being playable fighters in Smash. It’s not just that he thought about Excitebike, it’s that he actually wrote about it. I’m sure Sakurai has thought of dozens more characters that aren’t on this list. This list simply documents any character he has mentioned. Plus, this list would be a lot shorter if I didn’t include characters that were immediately dismissed, like Excitebike.

      Soma on April 30 |
  12. Thanks for bringing this article again! There are so many people saying Sakurai is a liar for not bringing certain fan favorites, but at least this became a big evidence that Sakurai never lied at all.

    I may have said this many times before, but although Smash is made by Sakurai himself, most of the characters in that game aren’t all owned by Sakurai, except for Kirby and Kid Icarus series. In order to bring that character, he needs to negotiate with those creators of certain game titles, and discuss who can join and what they can do in Smash. I think Ridley’s exclusion isn’t just only because he’s too big, but I guess the creators do believe that he’s suited to be kept as a boss rather than being playable, as that’s what he’s meant to be. Of course that may not be the answer, but its something what both Sakurai and the owners agree on during discussion.

    But entirely, although I may be wrong on this, I still think the 3DS version was the main obstacle for many cuts because of their lack of power. It doesn’t matter how well they sold than the Wii U version; handheld games were meant to be less powerful as they couldn’t handle certain power over the limit. If it wasn’t for the 3DS, there could’ve been a chance for the Ice Climbers to return, and maybe the Chorus Men joining in for the first time.

    Still, its a good thing Sakurai did explain everything as much of possible. However, there are still other things that he never answered yet; such as K.Rool’s exclusion, the other characters for the Smash Ballot, etc. If Source Gaming have a chance to interview with Sakurai in the future, you should try ask about it. It’ll be an interesting thing.

    zoniken on May 4 |
  13. Fatal Frame is overlooked a lot. Along with Last Story

  14. wasnt there a snake announcer sound found in 3ds?

    Tim Callil on May 9 |
  15. you forgot Nintendog

    Lucas Petrin on May 25 |
  16. You forgot to mention that for Geno’s inclusion in Brawl, dataminers a file for the song “Geno’s Forest” from Super Mario RPG in Brawl’s data which means that we was most likely in development but cut due to Square Enix not wanting him in.

    Matt on June 28 |
  17. I’ve been thinking, since Meta Knight in Smash 4 is pretty much a copy and paste from brawl. Also, when the 3ds version came out he had weird hitboxes. Does anyone think that he was added later in development and/or he was meant to be cut?

    Rosalinatehplumber on September 4 |
  18. In the article where Sakurai explains why the Ice Climbers were cut. He mentions that the Pokemon Trainer was impossible to work on the 3DS version. Would the Pokemon Trainer be on this list or was Sakurai just giving an example?

    Rosalinatehplumber on February 17 |
  19. Update: In an interview I heard Sakurai revealed Leif was going to be the Marth Clone in Melee till he went to ask, they showed him a sneak peak of Binding Blade and he was convinced Roy would be a better fit

    Nathaniel A Seitz on March 2 |