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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

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E3 is here! All the streams occur very late for me, so I haven’t been sleeping as long as I should be. Lots of news — some good and some bad. Regardless, I always enjoy the passion of E3!

This article looks at comments spanning July 8th, to June 13th (Japan time).

There were a lot of great comments on SourceGaming Presents: Marvel vs. Capcom 4! However, since the authors have replied to those comments, I haven’t featured/ responded to them here. Please check out the article, and the discussion happening there!


I wouldn’t be able to decide, but let me point this out. Imagine the salt if this were reality.

*suffocates under a pile of salt*

From: What if Smash Had Only 30 Characters?

Yeah, it really is such a difficult task. It gives some insight just how hard of a job Sakurai has when deciding the roster. He has to include characters that people want, but still make it interesting. Limiting the roster to 30 characters would not be practical, but it’s still a fun exercise.


For me, this is easy. I don’t know if you’ve considered this but in total, 30 series has had character representation in smash over the years already if you include past games and smash 4’s DLC. If you take 1 character from each series, you can have every series stay and not worry. Also no series will get more characters than the other so it stays balanced.
1. Mario
2. Donkey Kong
3. Link
4. Samus
5. Yoshi
6. Kirby
7. Fox
8. Pikachu
9. Ness
10. Captain Falcon
11. Marth
12. Ice Climbers
13. Mr. Game & Watch
14. Pit
15. Wario
16. Snake
17. Pikmin and Olimar
18. R.O.B.
19. Sonic
20. Villager
21. Megaman
22. Wii Fit Trainer
23. Little Mac
24. Miis
25. Pac-man
26. Shulk
27. Ryu
28. Cloud
29. Bayonetta
30. Duck Hunt

From: What if Smash Had Only 30 Characters?


I thought this was an interesting approach to the question. In some ways, it works but in other ways it doesn’t. As much as I enjoy the retro characters, they would be over represented in this approach.


If the first Smash Bros came out right now, the roster would obviously be hugely different. If we want to keep it at 30, let’s do it.

Mario series:

The big dogs. This franchise gets the most reps and sets the tone for how the other series are represented. These are the core characters and the most easily recognizable ones. They have the star power and are a great sample of the cast.
You’ve got the main character, the sidekick, the love interest, and the villain, plus the most popular side character. Sorry, Toad/Rosalina/Jr/Wario.

1. Mario 2. Luigi 3. Peach 4. Bowser 5. Yoshi

Zelda series:

When you get right down to it, despite the incarnations, only three Zelda characters matter; the Triforce trio. Without Melee’s influence, Sheik would be a long gone character. If we’re starting fresh, she’s gone. Toon Link could MAYBE have a shot, but maybe not in the first Smash outing.

6. Link 7. Zelda 8. Ganondorf

Pokemon series:

Traditionally, Pokemon has pretty much been on par with Mario for representation. A lot of that seems to be out of necessity because of the ever-widening scope of characters fighting for relevancy. Jigglypuff would never be considered at this point, and Greninja may not has been given a chance over characters making their debut.(Not only that, but his recent popularity in the anime and his pick as the #1 Pokemon in the franchise lend a lot to the “Smash Bump,” I think. Maybe) Pikachu is a no-brainer, and Charizard and Mewtwo are consistently popular. Lucario ekes by because it’s probably the most popular non-gen 1 Pokemon and for variety.

9. Pikachu 10. Charizard 11. Mewtwo 12. Lucario

Metroid series:

When it comes down to it, Metroid is a personal story about one character, and that’s all we really need. However, it seems like Samus and ZSS are both pretty equal representation at this point. But without Dr. Mario, maybe they wouldn’t want to “repeat” the same character too many times. I’ll play it safe and just include regular Samus, though I can see a strong case for ZSS.

13. Samus

Kirby series:

Like Zelda, only three characters in the Kirby series really matter. Everyone else (Gooey, Ribbon, Magalor, etc.) are one-and-done characters. The Kirby series getting third billing with Zelda seems like a fair place to put them, considering the durability of the franchise and constant influx of games.

14. Kirby 15. King Dedede 16. Meta-Knight

Donkey Kong series:

We all know DK deserves to be treated better than it is in Smash, but if this was the first outing, I think we’d only get one rep. It’s a Mario spinoff and I’m not sure if the “Returns” series is the product of a “Smash Bump” or not. If it is, DK probably would have fizzled out with the rhythm games on the Gamecube. Even so, he’s so important to Nintendo’s history that he couldn’t be left out.

17. Donkey Kong

Star Fox series:

Like DK and so many other franchises on this list, I think Star Fox’s continued popularity is the result of a “Smash Bump.” Without it, Star Fox’s relevancy probably would have ended at the DS’s awful Star Fox Command.

18. Fox

Fire Emblem series:

This is a series that has absolutely gotten a “Smash Bump.” Without Marth and Roy in Melee, Fire Emblem would have never caught on with western audiences, and Awakening would have been the last in the series. Since it was still so long-lasting, I think this hypothetical Smash team would have wanted to give them a nice send-off. Remember, in this alternate timeline, Fates never happened, so the two reps would be from the first and last entries in the series.

19. Marth 20. Lucina

Animal Crossing series:

The up-and-comer of the list. The opposite of many franchises in Smash, because while the “Smash Bump” keeps F-Zero and Fire Emblem and Star Fox alive, Animal Crossing got a rep on it’s own merit and with Sakurai saying he initially didn’t think it was a good idea. That’s hard to ignore. Even so, I think the existing rep perfectly encapsulates what Animal Crossing is.

21. Villager

Pikmin series:

For the Pikmin rep, I’m going to institute the “Marth Rule.” Olimar is the star of the first game in the series and is the character most closely linked to it. So he gets the spot.

22. Olimar

Retro series:

Sakurai loves the NES. Because of that, I think a lot of the remaining characters would be from that era. Again, in this alternate universe, Kid Icarus: Uprising never happened, as there was no “Smash Bump” (or rather, Sakurai Bump) for that franchise. This would have been the perfect opportunity to pull Pit out of retirement. I also think that F-Zero would largely be a dead franchise by now, so the Captain would be MIA. I know, I’m sad about it, too. As for Mother/Earthbound, one could argue that Fire Emblem is all the RPG representation this game needs, so maybe they’d be left out, too.

23. Pit

Since Sakurai likes retro stuff so much, and since he’d probably want to bring in wide appeal to other audiences, I think his next two picks would be based on the NES market overseas.

24. Little Mac 25. ROB

There’s always a “WTF?” character in Smash, be they Jigglypuff/Ness, Game and Watch, or Wii Fit Trainer. Since the game really only has room for one of these characters in its first outing, I’m going to go with the most iconic (Also, Jiggs wouldn’t be relevent enough at all to be considered, and I explained my reasoning against Ness above).

26. Mr. Game and Watch

With the modern customization of characters and the hours that have gone into producing Miis, there’s no way they’d not be considered at this point.

27. Mii

I’m intentionally leaving third parties off of this list. It’s the first game. Wouldn’t they want to test the waters?

But that leaves room for three more characters. When pressed, I’d probably say Zero Suit Samus, Wario, Diddy, Duck Hunt, and Toon Link are all logical choices. Maybe even the Ice Climbers, if the team didn’t hit the same roadblock as with the 3DS.

From: What if Smash Had Only 30 Characters?

JaidynReiman (@jaidynreiman)

If we assume a strict 30 characters, I also assume no clones. So many people like to cut Diddy Kong, but that’s a ridiculous notion. Diddy Kong wouldn’t go anywhere.

He’s got a registered trademark, for one, that means he’s relevant and iconic enough that Nintendo believes he is a huge marketable character. And he appears in a LOT of games and throughout Nintendo’s marketing materials as well.

If we had a hard cut on the roster, we’d definitely lose third-parties first (the only one who MIGHT stick around is Sonic), we’d definitely lose Earthbound, we’d likely go down to no more than 2 FE characters, and we’d definitely lose all clones (the idea of clones, however, makes the notion of a clear cut strict amount irrelevant anyway, but we’re assuming a strict cut).

Here’s my speculation on this idea of dropping down to the bare basics (not worrying about the number as long as its less than 30, and not adding new characters, but assuming the previous games existed, so its actually cutting characters):

Mario, Luigi, Peach, Bowser, Yoshi

Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong

Link, Zelda, Ganondorf (new moveset)

Pikachu, Charizard, Mewtwo

Kirby, King Dedede



Captain Falcon (he’s practically the face of the series)



Little Mac


Mr. Game and Watch, Duck Hunt

Sonic the Hedgehog

This would potentially leave room for 5 more characters. Earthbound and Wii Fit cut completely and IC’s not brought back. I don’t know how to categorize Mii, so I left them off, but not necessarily cut completely.

No way we’d get more than one third-party with this restriction, and Sonic is it because he’s been in two games already and was a fierce rival of Mario. If we got a second, I’d argue Mega Man.

Most franchises get only one character. Mario gets 5, Zelda and Pokemon get 3, DK and Kirby get 2.

From: What if Smash Had Only 30 Characters?

The question of Yoshi and/ or Wario is kind of interesting. It totally depends on the timing of when the roster was being made. Wario has had more stand alone entries than Yoshi, however at this present time Yoshi has had a newer game in his series than Wario (Woolly World is newer than Game and Wario). With the N64 and Yoshi’s Story it made sense to include him on the N64 roster.


I think I said this before on the article about who might get cut in the next game, and I’m gonna say it again here: What’s the point? Why would you want to envision a Smash game with fewer characters? That just seems like backwards thinking to me. Maybe I’m being pessimistic, but I just see this as an excuse for people to cut the characters they don’t like and include the ones that they do.

From: What if Smash Had Only 30 Characters?


It’s just a fun mental exercise. Some people have argued that Smash would benefit with fewer characters for balancing reasons. The balancing of Smash is pretty deliberate, so I think even with 30 characters the competitive community wouldn’t be exactly happy.  Characters are a huge draw for Smash, so I don’t think they would ever have less characters.


I’m not sure about “hugely” popular, but Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse (released there in Nov 2015 on 3DS physical) managed to get a Japanese wiki page and homepage, and is doing fairly well in reviews (based on sales on and other Japanese merchant sites). So, it’s around, at least. xD

From: SG Choice: New Characters for Smash NX

Shantae also had a full page advertisement in Famitsu a couple weeks back! Her next game is being localized here too. We had an interview with one of the developers from Way Forward! If you haven’t listened to it, we discuss the localization of Shantae too.


I am reminded of the story of the blind men trying to identify an elephant. Even assuming good intentions, empirical evidence can only do so much.


That’s a good analogy and pretty accurate.

From: Why Having Sources Does Not Guarantee Accuracy

Spoiler title

I think that the reason Chorus Men were removed is because they were multiple characters and couldn’t work, just like Ice Climbers, and therefore could be in the buffed up specs NX version along with Ice Climbers.

From: SG Choice: New Characters for Smash NX

Already responded but here’s my response:


The only issue with that theory is that the Ice Climbers’ emblem reference was totally removed.

rhythm still exists.

They lasted longer than the Ice Climbers.

Ryan Hines-Kazama

Most of us here are still clueless about what Sakurai meant when he said that he was gonna add new game modes as DLC in Smash Wii U and 3DS. Tournament mode was the only mode we got as DLC so it’s tough to figure out what Sakurai meant when he said new modes.

From: Mega Smash Poll – Post DLC Results

Already responded, but here’s my response:
Share, and Tournament are modes.

To expand upon it, it comes from The Creators Hands are Alive and Well which was translated by us! Japanese doesn’t have singular/ plural, so it’s unclear if Sakurai meant one mode, or many. In retrospect, we should have added a translation note or parenthesis when we posted it. However, with the inclusion of Share and Tournament, I do think modes is the correct translation.


  1. Aonuma’s comments on a female main character in Zelda are comedy gold.

    backup368 on June 16 |
  2. Alright, I will accept that imagining Smash with a 30-character limit could be an interesting creative challenge. I didn’t even consider thinking about it from the development’s perspective until now. However, it’s my personal philosophy that if I’m going to dream, I’m going to dream big. With that aside, thanks for featuring me again!

    Spiral on June 16 |