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Character Chronicle: Bayonetta

This conclusive piece was originally published at Nerd Underground under its original title,Bayonetta is ‘Super Smash Bros.’ DLC! We’ve reached the climax!” Its original publication date was June 17, 2016.

However, this article, particularly a few paragraphs towards the end, were a retrospective of sorts of my time at my old home. As such, there will be references to articles that don’t exist anymore. I apologize for any confusion.

As an aside, of the four “New Content Approaching” articles that passed my quality control, Bayonetta’s is the only one that was written from first-hand knowledge of the character. Here’s hoping for a third Bayonetta, especially since PlatinumGames is one of Nintendo’s partners for the Switch.

Anyway, I hope you’ve been enjoying this series, even if you disagree with what I write or with Sakurai’s roster picks. This “New Content Approaching” installment is the last one that’ll be reposted from Nerd Underground, but I, someday, will publish an original entry, and I promise it’ll be out of this world. Until then, let’s rock.

Bayonetta's alt costume in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

“If you need to learn how to talk to a lady, ask your mum.” (Image: Bayonetta’s trailer)

E3 is the hot topic right now, but I’m still pleased that Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U received two new balance patches. I’m happy they didn’t abruptly stop tweaking the games upon Corrin’s and Bayonetta’s release, and it’s also thought-provoking to me that someone is (was?) still working on Smash.

Anyway, I apologize for the extreme delay in delivering this exposé. However, while Bayonetta’s entrance to the Smash Bros. universe is old news, I would still like to talk about her. Thus, let’s continue from where we left off…

Bayonetta in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

“Who is that, Lady Palutena?” (Image: Bayonetta’s trailer)

I was still stuck at my dental appointment when Bayonetta was revealed for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. My friends texted me that bombshell, and I was surprised. Very surprised, and very happy! And I was even happier when I was assured that her stage, Umbra Clock Tower, didn’t seem to house a “garbage stage hazard.”

Both of my friends were let down with Corrin, but they had a different response to SEGA’s Umbra Witch. Sure, they didn’t play either of her games, but she bore little resemblance to the other 57 fighters in Smash. One of my colleagues was even motivated to try Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 following her reveal, and he ultimately enjoyed them.

Corrin was perceived as a disappointment by nearly everyone I personally know, but they all at least accepted Bayonetta. Some of them were excited for her, and some of them were grateful that she wasn’t “another swordfighter.” Bayonetta wasn’t encumbered with the stigma of hailing from Fire Emblem, so everyone could appreciate the unique flair she would add to the roster.

Bayonetta seemed to be a crowd-pleaser, so there wasn’t any palpable pessimism surrounding her unveiling. (Or, if there was, I wasn’t exposed to it.) A comprehensive explanation isn’t required to “justify” her presence in Smash, but there’s still plenty to review: we’ll summarize Bayonetta’s history, we’ll discuss why she’s in Smash, I’ll talk about democracy, and I’ll tell you what I think of the witch.

Bayonetta in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS

Bayonetta gets wicked! (Image: Bayonetta’s trailer)

Let’s dance, boys!

Bayonetta’s History

Hideki Kamiya worked for Capcom once upon a time, and one of his projects under their watch was Devil May Cry. While it originated as an early build of Resident Evil 4, Devil May Cry managed to branch off into its own distinct entity. This was probably for the best, as Devil May Cry was a considerable success, and it spawned the “stylish action” sub-genre of hack and slash games. Dante, the series’ protagonist, has also become an unforgettable face in Capcom’s lineup.

Kamiya, following the disbanding of Clover Studios, would go on to become a pivotal member of a new team called PlatinumGames. The studio signed a publishing deal with SEGA, and the accomplished director revisited the genre he helped pioneer.

Bayonetta is coming soon to the 360 and PS3!

Our first look at the witch. (Image: Bayonetta‘s first teaser)

Bayonetta was PlatinumGames’ second release (MadWorld, for the Wii, being their first), and they developed it for the Xbox 360. SEGA handled the underwhelming PlayStation 3 port, which Platinum’s Atsushi Inaba regards as Platinum’s “biggest failure.” Japanese gamers were treated to Bayonetta back in October 2009, and it came to other territories in January 2010. (Notably, Bayonetta is the only fighter in Smash whose first appearance was in 2009.)

Bayonetta, an Umbra Witch with no memories of her past, severed as the game’s titular heroine. Bayonetta’s day job involves dressing as a nun to lure out angels to kill, but her schedule gets shaken up when she departs for Vigrid. Along her journey, Bayonetta is frequently harassed by another Umbra Witch, Jeanne, and she’s burdened with the unwanted affection of a little girl named Cereza.

Both of these ladies seem to have some connection to Bayonetta’s past, but how are they linked? What other threats loom in the distance? Will Bayonetta conquer them, recover her memories, and make sense of her game’s bizarre plot?

Bayonetta in Bayonetta (Wii U)

This is the first image I envision when I think of Bayonetta. (Image: this Bayonetta 2 trailer)

Hell yeah, of course she will!

Bayonetta was subjected to critical acclaim, and it left an impression on a certain Masahiro Sakurai. Ultimately, across the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Bayonetta’s worldwide sales have exceeded one million copies. Regrettably, while Bayonetta was their most commercially successful title (as of 2012, at least), Platinum’s president, Tatsuya Minami, has referenced their disappointment with its sales.

Bayonetta’s next appearance was in Anarchy Reigns, a sequel of sorts to MadWorld. Initially available only to those who pre-ordered the game, Bayonetta was later purchasable for everyone as DLC. Going off of this video, her portrayal seems pretty faithful to the source material.

Bayonetta in Anarchy Reigns

Bayonetta in Anarchy Reigns. (Image: her Anarchy Reigns trailer)

Anarchy Reigns demonstrated that Bayonetta isn’t afraid to venture out of her comfort zone. Would she proceed to challenge the greater SEGA universe? Alas, she wasn’t allowed to. SUMO Digital briefly considered featuring her in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, but dropped the idea for fear that she’d increase the game’s age rating.

Platinum was making a game for Nintendo’s then-upcoming console, the Wii U. Kamiya’s initial pitch was turned down, but he consequently got to create another brand new IP in The Wonderful 101.

You should try it, even if it wasn’t a bestseller. Oh, and did you notice that The Wonderful 101’s copyright credited SEGA for the presence of Bayonetta characters? Hidden within the game are “chibified” versions of Bayonetta, Jeanne, and Rodin, although you don’t need to earn every Pure Platinum medal to play as them.

Bayonetta in Bayonetta: Bloody Fate

“The fun is just getting started.” (Image: this Bayonetta: Bloody Fate trailer)

2013 kindly graced us with another appearance of the witch via Bayonetta: Bloody Fate, an animated adaption of her debut appearance. It takes some liberties and omits a lot of details, but it’s still a pleasant affair. Regardless, Bloody Fate in no way supplants Bayonetta, and there wasn’t a moment of the film that was preferable to playing the game.

You haven’t seen Bloody Fate yet? FUNimation kindly uploaded the first nine minutes to their YouTube channel. Bloody Fate served as the basis for a manga, by the way, allowing the witch to spread her wings into another medium.

The Wii U was treated to another Platinum effort: Bayonetta 2! Yusuke Hashimoto served as its director, and Nintendo proudly announced Bayonetta 2 on September 13, 2012. (You may recall some backlash following the declaration of its Wii U-exclusivity, but let’s not mar our time together by talking about that.)

Bayonetta in Bayonetta 2

She’s back for another round! (Image: this Bayonetta 2 trailer)

SEGA, as a consequence of their monetary woes, had previously cancelled the game, but Nintendo stepped in and saved it. As a result, Nintendo has custody of Bayonetta‘s second installment; Bayonetta 2 is as likely to show up on a competitor’s system as the next Mario and Zelda games, and Nintendo is listed along with SEGA as Bayonetta’s copyright owner on the official Smash Bros. website.

Set shortly after the events of the first game, Bayonetta has comfortably nestled back into her everyday routine…until Jeanne returns.

Bayonetta’s motivation this time? Jeanne is stripped of her soul following an unfortunate accident, and Fimbulventr, a mountain in a far-off country, is the only place that might be able to reinstate it. Her travelling companion this time is Loki, an amnesiac kid with a gold pendant and a talent for throwing rare and powerful cards.

Angels and demons have it out for the mismatched pair, and a certain Masked Lumen is prepared to antagonize them at every opportunity. Moreover, will Loki’s mysterious past come back to haunt them, and is Bayonetta prepared to once again be forced into fisticuffs with deities beyond our comprehension?

Bayonetta and Valiance in Bayonetta 2

One fight of many. (Image: Nintendo)

She’ll be fine.

Nintendo did their part to help Bayonetta 2 perform well. It was a regular in their Nintendo Direct presentations, and Nintendo advertised the game on TV and through Playboy. Nintendo even commissioned Platinum to bring an updated port of Bayonetta to the Wii U, and both titles were bundled together at retail. The Wii U’s iteration of Bayonetta can even be regarded as the definitive version. (You may have noticed, but the Bayonetta screenshot I used earlier is from its Wii U release.)

Additionally, Bayonetta was featured in some of Nintendo’s promotional materials (including last year’s Women’s History Month), and the Nintendo World Store hosted a launch party for the long-awaited Bayonetta 2. (Tragically, I could not attend this particular event, but one of my friends showed up on the spur of the moment and won a poster. I’m still not jealous, I promise.)

Kamiya was delighted to see Platinum’s leading lady join the Smash Bros. family. To think, the Bayonetta series was, in all likelihood, over until Nintendo, of all publishers, effectively adapted it. Nintendo even reprinted Bayonetta 2 (albeit without the original Bayonetta) to commemorate the occasion.

Bayonetta in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Bayonetta is ready to pummel poor Pit. (Image: Bayonetta’s trailer)

It’s come to light that Bayonetta was offered a spot in Project X Zone 2, but Kamyia declined. He wanted to helm the game in which Dante meets Bayonetta, although he seems to have reconsidered his stance.

Following that revelation, Kamyia asked which incarnation of Dante we’d like Bayonetta to encounter. (Uncle Dante won, for the record.) While the poll shouldn’t be taken as an indicator of anything that’s in development, it is fun to imagine the possibilities. For what it’s worth, Capcom’s Rey Jimenez has previously mentioned his desire to see the pair team up.

Bayonetta is a relatively new character, but she has already garnered a respectable resume. She’s the protagonist of a small, but acclaimed series; she’s not afraid to crossover with other franchises; and she’s been featured in animation, a manga, and merchandise. Last year, SEGA even bestowed Bayonetta with the highest honor this industry can grant: a pachislot machine!

Bayonetta in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.

Bayonetta in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. (Image: Bayonetta’s trailer)

What’s next for the Umbra Witch? Well, Platinum would be interested in developing a third Bayonetta. Her voice actress, Hellena Taylor, would love to work on such a project, and I’d love to play it. We don’t know what Bayonetta’s future holds, but you know what? I’m optimistic that she has a future, and I’m happy to sit back and wait for it to unfold.

Of all potential newcomers, why Bayonetta?

Creating a roster that would please everyone is impossible and it wouldn’t be fair to begrudge Sakurai for failing to achieve that standard. However, while you don’t have to agree with every decision the man makes, you should respect that there’s always an underlying logic fueling his selections. Thankfully, the reasoning over this specific case is very straightforward.

But first, it’s important to remember something: Bayonetta, Nintendo’s connection to her notwithstanding, is still a guest to the Smash Bros. universe, and she’s not comparable to the other guests Sakurai has invited thus far. Well, yes, Bayonetta loves to flaunt her femininity, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

Bayonetta in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.

“Gotcha.” (Image: Bayonetta’s trailer)

I remember some were disappointed when Final Fantasy’s Cloud was revealed back in November. “Final Fantasy VII wasn’t released on a Nintendo console,” was a concern I saw expressed often enough, and I offered my take on the situation. Spoiler: Cloud earned the right to be in Smash. Why? Because he’s important.

Snake, Sonic, Mega Man, Pac-Man, Ryu, and Cloud are among the most beloved characters this industry has produced. They’ve showcased genre-defining games, and they absolutely hold the authority and recognition to stand alongside Nintendo’s top mascots. To cherry pick a few examples, Sonic had two cameos on The Simpsons and he influenced science, Peter Griffin partook in a Street Fighter-inspired brawl, and Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph included references to five of these six franchises. (And Mega Man’s Dr. Wily was spotted in an early promotional pamphlet, although he sadly failed to appear in the film proper.)

Bayonetta, at least in my estimation, isn’t quite on their tier. Sure, she’s certainly well-known among the people who’re reading this very article (really, if you’re not familiar with her, then I can’t imagine how you stumbled upon this page), but I don’t believe Bayonetta has penetrated general awareness in a comparable manner to her colleagues just yet.

Why did Sakurai send her an invitation, then? Well, I’m sure you already know the answer to that.

Bayonetta's popular.

The Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot (Image: the final Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS presentation)

Bayonetta's popular.

The Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot (Image: the final Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS presentation)

Bayonetta's really popular.

The Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot (Image: the final Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS presentation)

Diplomacy didn’t fail, guys! Bayonetta is in Smash Bros. because we voted for her. Well, okay, I didn’t vote for her, and you may not have either, but she was the elected official who was “realizable.” While Sakurai’s precise definition of that word wasn’t articulated in the presentation, one of his Famitsu columns has given us insight into it.

Sakurai has been pretty open with his selection process, and a character’s distinctiveness is vital in earning them a place in Smash. Sakurai discoursed Bayonetta’s inclusion in his Famitsu column, where he brings up her combo-focused moveset and how they, amusingly, struggled to slip her past Japan’s rating board. Sakurai talks about her again in his interview with Nintendo Dream, where he notes the importance of Dodge Offset and Witch Time.

Of course, we have to take Sakurai’s word for it that Bayonetta placed well. Some were in disbelief, such as the folks over at Gamnesia, but if I may speak my mind? While the exact procedure behind the Ballot will remain unknown to us, I don’t have a problem believing Bayonetta was a strong contender in it. I know people like to perpetuate this narrative that Sakurai’s a “liar” and a “troll,” but he actually seems like a pretty sincere guy.

Bayonetta's infamous slide attack in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.

Bayonetta’s infamous slide attack in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. (Image: the final Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS presentation)

(Although I do think it’s kind of humorous that Sakurai neglected to mention how she scored in Japan. I’d love to see a detailed breakdown of the Ballot’s results, but we’ll probably never be privy to that information.)

Y’know, speaking of the voting process…

My experience with the Super Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot

Bayonetta is the outcome of the Super Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot. Given that, I feel it’d be appropriate if I discussed my voting experience. Other websites, including my associates at Source Gaming, have done so. I secretly harbor the desire to be cool, so I’m going to join in.

While I’m a tad disappointed the Ballot only resulted in one newcomer for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, the Ballot’s results will be referred to when development begins on their inevitable sequels. A character scoring well won’t guarantee his or her place next time – sorry, Goku and SpongeBob fans – but I expect a few fan favorites will finally get their due. (With that said, I really hope you did me that solid!)

Dixie Kong in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Dixie Kong in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Image: Tropical Freeze‘s opening cinematic)

I endorsed Dixie Kong, and, as much as I dislike using the d-word within the context of Smash speculation, I genuinely believe she deserves her place in the roster. While this could simply be naiveté on my end, I maintain that Dixie will make it in someday, and I’ll celebrate when (if? …nah, when) it happens.

Aside from Dixie, I also submitted votes for Wario Land’s Captain Syrup and Metroid’s Ridley. I cannot fathom the former being a meaningful consideration for Sakurai, and we all know his stance on the latter. But you know what? I’m not hopeful for those two rogues, but I was offered an outlet to voice my support for them. I’m fond of both characters and they represent games I care for, and I’m content in getting to relay that information to Nintendo and Sakurai.

I hope others weren’t discouraged to do the same. A few of my friends were reluctant to vote for Ridley because of his role on the Pyrosphere stage, and one of them also decided against voting for Dark Samus due to her status as an Assist Trophy. I assured them that it wouldn’t be a wasted vote per se, they would simply be preparing for further in the future. I’m guessing this didn’t affect the process to any noteworthy degree, and I hope people supported their favorite characters.

Ridley in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Ridley looking dejected. (Image: this Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS presentation)

Regardless, I am impressed with the Ballot for, in my experience, rejuvenating anticipation for Smash. We were all hyped for Mewtwo’s grand return and I was happy for Mother fans when Lucas was confirmed, but the Ballot?

Sakurai is aware of how much excitement is generated by the roster, and here he was, directly asking us to vote for our favorite unsung individual. We, the fans, could request any video game character we wanted! This wasn’t the first time Sakurai set up a suggestion box, but it was the first time it would be widely accessible to his entire audience.

Should you go for the “safer” candidates or should you follow your heart and vote for that obscure pick? Communities akin to real world political parties were formed as fans clustered around their preferred choice(s). We unfortunately didn’t know at the time exactly how the Ballot would influence things, but given the presence of two dummy slots (later bumped up to three), it’d result in at least one DLC character.

Cloud, Corrin, Bayonetta and their alternate costumes in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Cloud, Corrin, Bayonetta, and their alternate costumes in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (Image: the final Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS presentation)

Two of those slots were claimed by Cloud and Corrin, and Bayonetta was the only product of the Ballot. Now, let’s be realistic: there is no strategy Sakurai could have enacted that would’ve satisfied everyone. As I’ve mentioned in the past, Smash resonates with people for different reasons, and we all have our own views of how and why characters should be selected.

For now, the Ballot, for better or worse, was only utilized to determine one character. Sakurai will reflect upon its results down the road, but all we have to show for it in the present is Bayonetta. So…what do I think of her?

So, what’re my thoughts on Bayonetta?

I’m still very happy. I didn’t nominate her, but Bayonetta was one of my dream characters who I never thought had a meaningful chance. Hey, the Ballot did say to vote for any video game character, so I’m glad you all picked up my slack!

Bayonetta and her alt costume in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Both flavors of Bayonetta in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. (Image: the final Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS presentation)

Honestly, I never foresaw her joining the battle. I figured her series was too minor, at least in relation to its peers. No one in my social circle thought she’d make it, either.

However, the hypothetical did occasionally creep up during our conversations. These deliberations would inevitably turn into a debate over whether she could accurately be depicted in Smash. Considering some of Bayonetta’s more suggestive mannerisms, it was a fair concern. (I, however, always thought they could make her work, given her presence in the T-rated Anarchy Reigns. I hope you’re impressed with me!) During this period, Source Gaming reviewed both sides of the debate in more detail.

I welcome Bayonetta’s inclusion on multiple levels: she represents a new franchise in Smash; she represents a new genre in Smash; she’s the protagonist of two great games; and she represents PlatinumGames, who’ve worked with Nintendo on multiple projects, so it’s nice to see Sakurai acknowledge their most significant character.

Bayonetta and Bayonetta-Kirby in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Kirby had a taste… (Image: Bayonetta’s trailer)

Furthermore, I feel Bayonetta continues Solid Snake’s legacy in a manner no one else does. Nintendo is primarily known for their family-friendly heroes, but the longstanding company doesn’t have an inherit inability to dip their toes in M-rated content. (Ever play Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem? It’s neat.)

Nonetheless, Snake was very much a lone shark back in Super Smash Bros. Brawl; Konami’s soldier was the outsider in its roster and he knew it. Snake served as a foil to the other 38 fighters, and his codecs and personality were completely detached from what I classified as “Nintendo.” The dissonance was entertaining, and I missed it in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.

Nintendo treats Bayonetta as one of their own, but I’m not convinced she would have been created by them; her stylized appearance, her colorful vocabulary, and her fighting methods stand out from their troupe. She, like Snake, works as a counterpoint, and I relish in that discord. Granted, some of that was toned down to allow her in Smash, but Sakurai still did an outstanding job in preserving her character’s essence.

Bayonetta and Pit in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

“Don’t be such a wimp.” (Image: Bayonetta’s trailer)

Bayonetta happens to be a character I’m familiar with; I have not only played through her adventures, I’m a fan of them! I can appreciate all of the nods and call-backs Sakurai made with the Bayonetta content (this is my favorite), and Sakurai did a great job in representing her series.

Finally, she’s really fun to play as! Bayonetta not only meets Sakurai’s demand for unique movesets, she rose the bar. It’s almost as if she was transplanted from Bayonetta 2 and placed in a 2D plane! …Although I suppose they might have done too good of a job, considering how strong she was. I maintain that it would have been too soon to ban her, however.

And the balancing team evidently agrees, given her reduced effectiveness following the recent patch. Intriguingly, she wasn’t the only aspect that was affected, but she’s unquestionably the most perceptible change.

So in conclusion, Bayonetta is cool and I still can’t believe she’s in the Super Smash Bros. series.

Congratulations, Bayonetta! You’re gonna sparkle, you’re gonna shine!

Bayonetta in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Fly her to the moon. (Image: the final Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS presentation)

This…this is it. The final character for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.

It’s been a fun ride. If you’re still reading this, then I can assume you’re a Smash Bros. fan, correct?

Super Smash Bros. is one of my favorite video game franchises, and it’s responsible for some of my finest gaming memories. Playing Smash throughout the years with my friends, family, and classmates never gets old. Getting excited for the latest release is just as much fun, and I always enjoy speculating which characters will make it and which “leaks” are authentic.

Mario and Bowser Jr. in Super Smash Bros.

Mario admiring a newcomer. (Image: Bowser Jr.’s trailer)

My face always lights up when a brand new character is revealed. Sakurai seems to be under an obligation to add a new group of fighters with each installment, and I’m grateful that he always delivers. While Brawl was fun in how an Ike or a Pokémon Trainer could spontaneously appear, I prefer how the character reveals were handled this time.

Nintendo Directs and E3 presentations are occasions with the gravity a newcomer warrants, whereas I always believed it was unceremonious to announce them through Brawl’s daily updates. It was exciting in how we didn’t know what awaited us in the morning, yeah, but newcomers deserve to be an event.

This round of Smash has been particularly meaningful to me; I’ve been writing about it, resulting in an intrinsic link between Nintendo’s mascot fighter and my time here, at the Nerd Underground. Over a year ago I submitted two writing samples when I applied for this website, and one of them was a rundown of the Super Smash Bros. for Wii U 50-Fact Extravaganza. The first article I published, a synopsis of the 11/5/2014 Nintendo Direct, included a passing reference to the latest titles, and my second was about the first balance patch in Smash’s history.

Ness and a shiny Mewtwo in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

A fateful encounter! (Image: Mewtwo’s trailer)

My first (arguably) worthwhile piece pertaining to Smash was over some cut content discovered by Source Gaming’s PushDustIn, and the second was about Mewtwo. I feel it took until my Roy and Ryu articles for my style to start stabilizing. To conclusively cement the connection Smash has with my portfolio, this is my 200th article for the Nerd Underground.

I’m psychologically incapable of rereading anything I wrote. I suppose some of them hold up, but I’m always too distraught over sloppy writing, less-than-stellar use of images, and other rough patches. Since I’m unloading anyway, I’ll divulge that this extends beyond my Smash coverage; I hold my twopart Sonic the Hedgehog 4 retrospective to be just as vital in my growth, and I can’t stand it either.

And you know what? That’s great. I had fun writing all of them, and they were essential in helping me find my voice. I’ll be unable to look at this article in two months, but I know it has its place in my record and the experience gained will allow me to write more elegantly about the next Super Smash Bros. game!

Roy and Metal Face in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Roy vs. Metal Face (Image: Nintendo)

A rumor going around the internet states that a Smash Bros. game is set for the NX’s launch. I wouldn’t be flabbergasted to see Nintendo release a port of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U for the NX, possibly with some additional content to entice people to upgrade, but what do I know?

Regardless of what’s in the works for the NX, there will be another Smash Bros. eventually, and new material will be added to the series at some point. When that time comes, I’ll voice my support for Sakurai’s return. I don’t agree with all of his decisions (I still don’t understand why he’s so averse to a hazard toggle, especially since one is already programmed), but the man pours his heart into his work. Besides, there’s no reason to believe a new director would automatically “fix” anything I take issue with.

Mario, Pikachu, Link, and Samus vs. Cloud, Corrin, Ryu, and Bayonetta

Mario, Pikachu, Link, and Samus vs. Cloud, Corrin, Ryu, and Bayonetta (Image: the final Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS presentation)

Whatever’s in store for us, I’ll be here to blog about it. Until then, we have an abundance of content to entertain ourselves with in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, and I’ll be playing them for the foreseeable future. Now, after all of this time, there’s one last thing to say…

Thank you, Sakurai, Bandai Namco, Nintendo, and everyone who helped deliver these games to us!

Masahiro Sakurai

At last, he can rest…? (Image: the final Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS presentation)

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Cart Boy

Cart Boy wants to be the very best. Like no one ever was. He also occasionally contributes an article here when the stars align properly, and he helps out with editing and Source Gaming’s Facebook page.
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  1. Another great article! I think you highlighted a lot of what makes Bayonetta a unique member of the Smash 4 cast, and that even though everyone had their own hopes for the Ballot ‘winner’, many of us had been hoping for Bayonetta before the game was even released, and can appreciate the lengths Sakurai and the dev team went though to make her stand out in Smash.

    Also, for what it’s worth, Dixie was in my top 3 most wanted newcomers; here’s hoping she gets her chance to shine soon!

    Bob Lennon on January 25 |
    • I glad you enjoyed it!

      I wrote a bit about Dixie in a couple of the now-dead Nerd Underground articles. I was working on a “New Content Approaching” article for her back then, too. I feel confident that she’ll make it someday, however. After all, she got into Brawl in a parallel universe.

      Cart Boy on January 26 |
  2. I didn’t vote for Bayonetta, but i wasn’t disappointed, her inclusion shocked everyone for better or worse, Bayonetta is still an amazing addition like Cloud, Ryu and Snake back in Brawl. Now we just got wait for the Corrin, Cloud, and Bayonetta Amiibo to get a release date.

    As for the Smash Ballot, i only voted for the 3rd party characters that had history with Nintendo. I said this question in the “new content approaching Cloud”, that if Cloud Strife would have been announced during the Smash Ballot lifespan, would anyone’s votes have changed, because Cloud doesn’t have History with Nintendo but he got included, that being said, my opinion is that if Cloud would have been announced during the Smash Ballot lifespan, i would’ve changed my votes and voted for 3rd party characters that have NO history with Nintendo. Right now with characters like Ryu, Cloud, and Bayonetta, i wonder how Sakurai and his team will approach 3rd characters now, because we’re now in the post-Cloud & post-Bayonetta for Smash Bros that we might get 3rd party characters that aren’t associated with Nintendo, 3rd party Characters that are controversial in video gaming, or 3rd party characters that are now retro or cult classics especially if the Smash port for Switch gets confirmed or at least a teaser.

    vigilante 155 on January 25 |
    • Bayonetta was shocking, no doubt. Honestly, I might not have believed it if she was leaked ahead of time.

      It’ll definitely be interesting to see what guests show up in future Smash entries. Being a gaming icon will help their odds, as would scoring well in the Ballot, I think. One of my friends voted for Travis Touchdown. Who knows, maybe he’ll get his wish! A lot less seems impossible after Bayonetta.

      Cart Boy on January 26 |
      • Oh man, Travis Touchdown would be amazing! I know he’s not a character on the level of Cloud, Ryu, or Bayonetta, but it seems like he’d be a lot of fun to play as in Smash, between his wrestling moves, turning into a tiger, and bashing people over the head with what’s basically a fluorescent light tube.

        Megadoomer on January 26 |
  3. How about the results Daddy Sakurai?

    backup368 on January 25 |
    • You don’t actually think Sakurai is authorized to relase that data, do you? There’s probably a miasma of legal red tape surrounding those results.

      Bob Lennon on January 25 |
      • I don’t see why not.

        backup368 on January 25 |
        • Those are all character owned by Nintendo, which shows me that you don’t really have a strong grasp on the problem.

          Bob Lennon on January 25 |
          • Owned by Nintendo.

            Think about that for a second.

            backup368 on January 25 |
          • I think you’re forgetting that literally any character from a video game was eligible for submission, that doesn’t necessarily give Nintendo the rights to those characters, let alone Sakurai.

            Bob Lennon on January 25 |
          • The rights to those characters aren’t be used by being tallied to an online database.

            backup368 on January 25 |
          • True, but using those results to advertise your product is a completely different scenario.

            Bob Lennon on January 25 |
          • How is it advertisement if none of those characters are being used?

            backup368 on January 26 |
          • If those characters are being used in the official ballot results, thats still a form of advertisement, regardless of whether or not they are included in the game.

            Bob Lennon on January 26 |
    • No matter who won, releasing the full results would just make people even more annoyed – everyone who isn’t a fan of the character in question would be up in arms, blaming other members of the fanbase for their character not winning (ex. “If only the people who voted for Dixie voted for K. Rool instead, then he would have won” or something much more hostile). What we got (that she’s extremely popular in Europe, quite popular in North America, and got the most votes in total out of characters that they could use or get working in the game) was enough, in my eyes.

      Megadoomer on January 25 |
      • He wants you believe it took 8 weeks, from the end of the “fighter ballot” to the Nintendo Direct, to gain copyright clearance, develop her, & get her ready to show off, where as it took Mewtwo, whom we later found out wasn’t created from scratch, was completed in a hard 7 months.
        He wants you to believe a character that he so happened to proclaim as the “new standard for action games” has been requested more in a short period of time than other characters have in 13 years.
        He wants you to believe he’s not partial towards any franchises, yet Fire Emblem got 3 characters alone from its previous 2 games, one of which wasn’t even available yet in Europe and NA.

        It would have been more respectable for Sakurai to have just said “Here’s Bayonetta, because I’m obsessed with her.” Trying to paint a narrative like set up a phony poll and predetermine the winner to make her seem like a bigger deal than she actually is, is so Sakurai. Remember, because he was all about “promoting characters to boost their games’ sales”, which coincidentally Bayonetta 2 was not a hit. Funny how it’s only the games he likes that he’s willing to promote, & to the games that don’t matter to him are swept under the rug.

        If he can’t show the results, then clearly he has something to hide.

        backup368 on January 25 |
        • I honestly don’t understand why you think the ballot results was something that belonged to Sakurai alone, or that he would have any part in whether or not those results could be released publicly. Also going to remind you here that the majority of the poll data was likely obtained within the first few weeks of the ballot, so theres no reason to assume the dev team only had 8 weeks to create the character. And lastly, the Smash ballot was not a democratic election; it was a marketing poll. If you voted with the assumption that the entire results would be made public knowledge, you were misinformed.

          Bob Lennon on January 25 |
          • If they set a deadline & did not follow it, then they broke their own rules, first and foremost. It’s a poll until you tamper with it & predetermine its outcome. Summer 2015 came around & we got DLC outfits for Miis such as Chrom & King K. Rool, Toad, & then announced on that Nintendo Direct, Geno, Tales, Knuckles, etc. who never never became actual characters. So basically if a character first became a costume, they were automatically removed from consideration for being a real character, even though there was still 3 months before the “ballot” ended. So it’s very likely that Sakurai was well aware for the high demand for those characters, but it’s clear that he has no interest to work on any of them.

            Of course, Sakurai did not have to reveal every character that gotten a “vote”, but as I recalled, only the “realizable characters” in were considered. That could mean anything. That could mean only Nintendo characters, that could mean only 3rd party characters, or it could mean only female characters from M rated games who are 8 feet tall. Sakurai did not tell us exactly what criteria the character had to meet nor did he state what this was as the “ballot” had begun. So that’s pretty shady.

            Marketing is definitely what it was. Companies hype products just as Sakurai hyped these characters. He wants you to think the characters he chooses are the biggest selections to date, because he wouldn’t feel that way about another Donkey Kong character.

            backup368 on January 25 |
          • So even if they did release the results, you’d complain that they were doctored… how fitting.

            Bob Lennon on January 25 |
          • Is that what I said?

            backup368 on January 26 |
          • From the tone of your argument you seem to be implying the results are illegitimate, no?

            Bob Lennon on January 26 |
          • Is that not possible? The results can be meaningless if the most voted on character wasn’t Bayo. If she is the most requested character, then he should show us other than tell us.

            backup368 on January 26 |
          • There was never any guarantee that the character with the most votes would automatically be chosen; this was an actual disclaimer on the Ballot site.

            Bob Lennon on January 26 |
          • Right, so any vote could have been void for all we know unless it was for Bayonetta.

            backup368 on January 26 |
  4. There’s no reason to assume that Nintendo would go though the trouble of collecting such a massive amount of data just to scrap it; you’re starting to come off more as a sore loser than someone who’s genuinely interested in the ballot results.

    Bob Lennon on January 26 |
    • How are you certain that they’re even collecting data? For all we know, the forms that fans have filled out could have just led to nowhere. There was no indication exactly where they led to, who they go to, or how many have been sent. Is it confidential? Yes. We aren’t supposed to know any of that. But as you said, it’s “marketing”. Without something like this, Sakurai would have had no good reason to add a guest character with such a niche following & little exposure to put among the likes of Pac-Man, Sonic, Ryu, etc.

      backup368 on January 26 |
      • So now you’re implying that Sakurai faked a marketing poll as an excuse to add Bayonetta to Smash? Thats quite a massive leap in logic, even for you.

        Bob Lennon on January 26 |
        • Just feel like bopping in to this thread to say that I still don’t believe Sakurai rigged the Ballot in Bayonetta’s favor. We, as a collective fanbase, may not have foreseen her, but that doesn’t invalidate anything.

          Also, in addition to all of the reasons that’ve already been stated, another reason Sakurai and Nintendo might not want to release the Ballot is for the sake of surprise. It can be assumed that they’ll refer to it when developing the next Smash, so seeing the Ballot’s results could spoil potential newcomers. In fact, they may be working on two such characters right now, assuming those Smash for Switch rumors pan out.

          Cart Boy on January 26 |
        • Would you be surprised? I mean, this is Sakurai we’re talking about, the man who compares himself to George Lucas.

          backup368 on January 26 |
          • By what logic would Sakurai need to fake a character ballot to put Bayonetta in Smash? Once again you’re letting your bias against Sakurai cloud your reasoning.

            Bob Lennon on January 26 |
          • Why would he all of a sudden need a “character ballot” to begin with? Hasn’t he read online polls on his Japanese website in the past?

            backup368 on January 27 |
          • There’s a difference between Japan-only online polls and getting feedback from fans all over the world. What’s popular in one area might be obscure in another.

            Megadoomer on January 27 |
          • (This is in response to backup368) The Smash 4 ballot wasn’t even the first one. This one was done before Melee:

            It’s worth noting that of the characters listed here, 17 have since become playable (9 of which were added in Melee and were at the top of their respective polls), and more have been represented in the game in some form (trophies, items, stages, etc.). There was a precedent for the Smash 4 poll, so acting like it was all a ruse to promote Sakurai’s own wishes doesn’t make much sense.

            Spiral on February 8 |