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

Sakurai’s Internal Smash for Wii U/3DS Development Notes

In Sakurai’s anthology Think About Making the Video Games Vol. 2, he posted some of the notes he had written before and during the development of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS. I finally stopped being lazy and decided to post this. These are almost all in text form, so there are no accompanying images. Everything here has been translated according to what was on the page. There may be some statements here that don’t correlate exactly to what ended up in the final page, likely because these things change during development. There are instances where I use common competitive Smash terminology here, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Sakurai uses competitive terminology, simply that it’s the easiest way to convey the information. For example, Sakurai sometimes says “red circle” instead of hitbox, it’s much easier to understand “hitbox.”

These are my notes on what I wanted changed from Brawl. To make them easier to understand, I kept the descriptions here are as concise as possible. There are numbers after each entry, which are the ticket numbers that are sent to the staff.

11. Increase the amount of overlap repel on airborne characters

Before, characters did not repel each other if one was grounded and one was airborne, and airborne characters had smaller repelling bounding boxes. Increase the amount of overlap repel on airborne characters to increase each character’s presence in-game.


12. Visual effect on fast fall

During fast fall, incorporate a flash or some sort of visual effect to visually convey that character’s state.


13. Increase the fall speed slightly

For characters whose fall speed is slow, increase their fall speed slightly. This has severe repercussions on character strength and balance, so make minute adjustments. The impact of this change to the characters should be minimal.


14. Upon landing, if the control stick is being held down, make the character instantly crouch

During landing, or after a character has landed while using an aerial attack, if they have continued to hold down on the control stick, the character should immediately crouch. The character should not start their crouching motion, but should immediately be in the crouching state.


15. Landing lag on special moves should be in a set range

Landing lag on special moves should be around 30 frames. Depending on other parameters and the situation, change the character’s animation speed, and emphasize the lag/vulnerability.


16. Redo the invincibility frames and animations of rolls, spot dodges, and air dodges

There are numerous mismatches between the animation and the actual invincibility frame durations. For example, Zelda’s dodging motion and invincible timeframe don’t match up.


17. Increase the lag on spot dodges and rolls

Rolls especially can look like they’re fast with no weaknesses, so increase the endlag. Specifically, increase the number of frames until they can shield, so they can’t immediately go from roll → shield.


18. Knockback angles that send the target towards the attacker

Until now, knockback angles that sent the target towards the attacker subtly adjusting the location of each hitbox.  Of course, there were situations where this solution didn’t work. Wouldn’t it work better if there was a type of knockback that calculated the proper angle to sort of drag the target back towards the attacker?


19. Reduce the movement on attacks with IASA frames

For example, when using Marth’s down tilt repeatedly– reduce how far forward he moves.


20. Increase the amount and clarity of attack afterimages

For moves like somersaults, where a character’s limbs will cut through the air, add more action lines (especially on 3DS).


Updated: 2013/09/04

Character adjustment level: increase strength [★]

Points To Improve

  • Overall, make him feel more fluffy. Like a kigurumi.*

Translator Note: Kigurumi are like fluffy onesies of animals or characters. They can be more like clothing, or larger and more like a mascot at a sporting event.

  • By repeating dash > grab > down throw, a pseudo-chain grab is possible, this should be removed.
  • Make his rapid jab more useful.
  • The balance between the hitbox size and endlag on his up tilt and up smash is bad, so adjust as necessary, focusing on those two elements.
  • Up tilt has a lot of range and the hitbox stays out for a long time, so it should be weakened.
  • Down tilt, reduce the amount of time the hitbox stays active.
  • Up smash should come out faster.
  • Down smash, reduce the amount of time the hitbox stays active. Keep its damage output lower than his other smash attacks.
  • The hitbox on neutral air is a bit too big. Increase the knockback on the strong hitbox.
  • For all of his aerials, I feel like his hitboxes stay active a bit longer than they should based on the animations, so slightly reduce the amount of active frames.
  • For the aerial neutral special, decrease the knockback by a little bit. For the grounded neutral special, increase the knockback by a little.
  • I want to make neutral special a bit stronger.
    • Make the capture hitbox bigger
    • Increase the speed of the animation where the target enters his mouth
    • Make it so he can eat projectiles
    • When he eats an item or a projectile, make it so he can cancel his movement/animation
    • Make food items heal 1.5x as much damage
    • When he eats Dragoon parts, etc. count as obtaining that item
  • Increase the hitbox of up special slightly, also increase knockback
  • Increase the fall speed of up special
  • Down special is laggy but the animation makes the hitbox seem deceptively small, so change the swing animation so it stretches out further. Decrease startup frames to make the attack come out faster.
  • When down special is fully charged, incorporate a flashing effect to indicate full charge.
  • Increase the knockback of down special.
  • Make it so you can hit a Waddle Dee or Waddle Doo with down special and use them as a projectile.
  • At the start of a match, sometimes the timing off his appearance is off (when the camera zooms in, there are times when he isn’t there for a moment).
  • I think we might need a short animation in the beginning where he gets on the palanquin.

New Side Special: Gordo throw

  • To lessen the load on the 3DS, change the move from Waddle Dees to Gordos.
  • With side + B, throw a Gordo. One Gordo on screen at a time.
  • The Gordo should move across the stage by bouncing, and will bounce off of walls. After a set time, it will disappear.
  • Sometimes, the Gordo will get stuck in a wall and stop.
  • If a Gordo is hit by another attack that exceeds a certain knockback threshold, it will change direction and “ownership” of the Gordo will switch. Like the Red/Green shell items.
  • When the ownership of the Gordo has changed, it will rotate at a high speed while moving.

Updated: 2012/11/15

Unique Properties

  • His sword, the Monado, will increase its length based on the strength of the attack, for tilts and smash attacks. However, this will depend on the individual moves.
  • Can change his attributes during battle with his neutral special, Monado Arts.
  • He has an Art that is suited towards situations where he can run around freely, like in Smash Run, an Art that is good when he’s at high percentage, an Art that’s good for finishing off opponents, etc, and switching between these Arts at the right time is the key to victory.
  • His side special, Backslash, is an attack that is stronger if you hit an enemy in the back.
  • His down special, Vision, is a counter that changes the flow of time for his enemies.

Neutral Special: Monado Arts

  • A move where he can shift modes.
  • Each mode has a weakness, but generally it should be better to use an Art than not.
  • When this move is used, the appropriate symbol for the Art being used should appear on Shulk’s back, above his percentage, and on the loop on the Monado.
  • The symbol should be the characters that appeared in the original game. Speed, Shield, and Buster are from Xenoblade Chronicles, Jump and Smash are unique to Smash.
Symbol Name Image Color Effect Side Effect
Jump Yellow > Green Increase jump height Decrease defense
Speed Green > Light blue Increase walk, dash, aerial drift speed Decrease damage dealt
Shield Blue > Yellow Increase defense Major decrease in movement speed, decrease damage dealt
Buster Purple > Indigo Increase damage dealt, change attack sound effects Major decrease in knockback, slight decrease in defense
Smash Red Increase knockback dealt Decrease in damage dealt, major increase in knockback taken
  • Each Art should have different colors on their visual effects, etc. The colors match with Smash Run, so sometimes the colors differ from Xenoblade. For #9/8 the image color should match the original game.
    • For reference: in Xenoblade, Speed = light blue, Shield = yellow, Buster = purple
  • For every press of the B button, the symbol should move forward. After Smash, loop back to Jump.
  • If 46 frames pass without another neutral B input, along with Shulk doing the associated pose with that Art, his attributes will change. The symbol that appeared behind Shulk should get much bigger and then disperse.
  • If 30 frames pass after using his neutral special, even if he takes damage at this point, Shulk will activate the chosen Art while the animation plays. Shulk will do his pose at any time when controlling the character is possible, e.g. standing, walking, dashing, running, jumping, falling, etc.
  • The pose lasts for 20 frames. You can cancel the pose by pressing the shield buttons.
  • For 20 seconds after activation, Shulk’s attributes will change as in the table above. There are side effects, but overall the pros should outweigh the cons.
  • Make visual effects of the appropriate color appear around Shulk and the Monado.
    • For the attack-based ones, from his sword, for the movement-based ones, from his feet, etc.
  • While one of his Monado Arts is in effect, if he uses his neutral special, a failed activation sound effect should play, and nothing should happen. A grayed out symbol should appear above him for a moment, to confirm what Art is being used at that time.
  • When the effect of the Monado Arts wears off due to time, make it so Monado Arts can be activated again. In this case, the next Art in the cycle should be the one after the one just used.


one comment
  1. Thank you very much for posting this!

    jedisquidward on June 28 |