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Filed under: Featured, Speculation, Super Smash Bros. Series, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Dream Smasher – Excitebiker

Retro characters are some of the most surprising characters to enter Smash. The qualities they tend to share are debuting in the 80’s on a Nintendo platform, and having few entries in their franchise. This leaves the door open for many characters, but a solid candidate to represent Nintendo’s 8-bit roots, is Excitebiker.

By TheRealHeroofWinds (Excitebiker render by ConnorRentz)

 

Who is Excitebiker?

While there is no official name for this character, Excitebiker first appeared in 1984’s Excitebike, a motocross racing game for the Famicom (1985 for NES). This biker is known for riding his bike on triangular-shaped hills, white and red colour scheme, and performing wheelies.

 

Importance to Nintendo and Series

As a character that is more of an avatar, he doesn’t have a specific role in his series other than being another driver; however that doesn’t make him irrelevant either. Aside from Smash appearances, the original game got a remake under the name, Excitebike: World Rally in 2009, was the first 3D Classics game on 3DS (and for free) in 2011, a downloadable course for Mario Kart 8 in 2014, and saw a re-release on the NES Mini and Famicom Mini. The series is both recognized as a classic, but also is appreciated to get significant content in a modern game.

Sakurai also considered including Excitebiker in Melee, but was dropped (among other characters) for the Ice Climbers. Controlling two characters was more appealing to him. Somewhat jokingly he mentioned that ramps would and would not be a problem. Even if it was an issue back then, Sonic, Mega Man, and Pac-Man have recovery moves with instant objects, so it wouldn’t be a problem now anyway.

 

Colors and Design

Sprites by TheAnvil, Recolours by Nantanjex

Rather than simply change the red accents to other colours I chose to stick with colours that appear in-game (or as references). #1 from Excitebike: World Rally (the latest design), #2-#4 from the original, #5 from Vs. Excitebike, #6 also from Excitebike: World Rally, #7 is Mach Rider’s in-game colour scheme, and #8 is Mach Rider’s Melee trophy colour scheme.

 

How Would He Play?

The most obvious difference when it comes to Excitebiker is that he’s in a vehicle, compared to everyone else. But Unlike Bowser Jr., he wouldn’t be able to rely on mechanical arms and would rarely use his own arms. He would almost exclusively use his bike. This is a limitation design-wise, but limitations often lead to creative solutions.

Excitebiker is a short, but quick fighter (like Little Mac) who uses motocross tricks to attack and would be able to drag characters as part of his grab (like DK).

 

Now let’s look at some stats:

  • Can they crawl: No
  • Can they wall jump: No
  • How many jumps do they have: 2
  • Is there any exclusive abilities they have: *Yes
  • Weight Class: C
  • Height Class: C
  • Speed Class: B
  • Are they mirrored when they face left: No

*i.e. DK’s grab, but drags opponents and moves slower

(for a more detailed look at the stats check this link here)

 

Kirby Hat

 

Series Symbol

By Voyager

 

His tires will smoke (burnout) any time he charges a move. Where applicable, the name of the motocross trick will be in brackets.

 

Moveset

Entrance

Wheelie jump on the stage.

Idle 1 One foot on the ground, stretches his arms.
Idle 2 Looks over his shoulders for someone in his rear view.
Walking Drives slowly.
Running Drives quickly, ducking his head/body.
Falling

Forward flip.

Damage One arm off the handlebar, other arm behind him, looks like he’s about to fall off the bike.
Guard Crosses both arms in an X shape.
Crouch

The same pose as in Super Mario Maker.

Neutral/Jabs He revs his bike shooting gravel from the front tire as the first “jab”, then again, then a bigger stream of gravel for the finisher with more knockback.
F-Tilt Headbutts over the bike.
U-Tilt Headbutts above him.
D-Tilt Drives a short distance quickly.
Dash attack Front wheelie (stoppie).
Forward Smash

Front wheelie, but shoots gravel forward (stoppie).

Up Smash

He jumps in the air with his bike and stretches out his arms and legs (nothing).

Down Smash

He spins his bike in a circle with gravel around him.

N-air

He angles the bike to the side (tabletop).

F-air

He kicks over the handlebars while holding onto them.

B-air

He takes his feet off the bike, and pushes his legs behind him (superman).

U-air

He holds the handlebars, while kicking upwards with his body (kiss of death).

D-air

He takes his legs off the bike, and pushes it below him (no-footer).

Grab The bike is angled away from the opponent, then grabs the opponent by the neck with one hand.
Pummel Headbutts the opponent
F-Throw

He throws the opponent down at the spinning front wheel, which gets sent forward across ground. Think of kickback from a table saw, but with a wheel.

B-Throw He throws the opponent at the back wheel, and the character flies back in an arc.
U-Throw He pops a wheelie to give himself the momentum to throw the opponent upwards.
D-Throw He holds the opponent under the front wheel, while the wheel spins against them (think Bowser Jr. or Meta Knight with a multiple hit down throw).
Neutral Special 1: Turbo He dashes forward quickly (chargeable). Pressing the button again will cause a wheelie which can knocks opponents upwards. However it can overheat and cause his bike to stall, much like Diddy Kong’s peanut pistol.
Neutral Special 2: Heavy Turbo A shorter distance but stronger.
Neutral Special 3: Quick Turbo He moves further, but it’s weaker, and you can’t perform a wheelie.
Side Special 1: Ramp Jump

A ramp appears in front of him and immediately jumps off of it (instantaneous like Sonic’s or Mega Man’s). It’s chargeable, but the ramp won’t appear until you let go of the button. You can jump over enemies or use it as a horizontal recovery.

Side Special 2: Ramp Flip The ramp is at a lower angle, but he does a flip for more damage.
Side Special 3: High Ramp The ramp is at a higher angle, but has less horizontal movement.
Up Special 1: Wheelie Rocket He pops a wheelie, and shoots smoke from the exhaust to propel upwards at a slight angle.
Up Special 2: Burning Wheelie This time it’s a 90° angle (vertically), but shoots flames which cause damage.
Up Special 3: Wheelie Boost His bike shoots further, but has start-up lag.
Down Special 1: Mudslide The exhaust shoots mud, causing opponents to move and jump more slowly. It will disappear a few seconds after being stepped in.
Down Special 2: Oil Spill The exhaust shoots oil, causing opponents to slide a few feet in the direction they’re facing.
Down Special 3: Shrapnel The exhaust shoots gears, bolts, and other steel pieces, causing damage to opponents to that make contact with it.
Final Smash He charges into character(s) on the same plane as him (like Ganondorf) which cuts to an Excitebike stage (cutscene). He then signals to other bikers, and they all drive into the character(s).
Up Taunt

He pops a wheelie, and does the peace sign gesture to camera.

Side Taunt He puts both arms in the air, nodding his head looking to the left and right,

as if he won a race.

Down Taunt He crouches on the bike, and revs the engine twice while shooting smoke out of the exhaust.
Victory Animation 1 He flies off a jump in background from the left, then from the right. Then freeze frame mid jump with a peace sign before landing in the same pose.
Victory Animation 2 He drives in a circle several times, stops with his back to the camera and looks over shoulder.
Victory Animation 3 He sits on one knee, using a wrench to tighten something on his bike, puts his free hand on the bike seat to pick himself up and turns toward the camera.

 

Excitebiker’s victory music would be a remixed version of Excitebike’s title theme. Mario Kart 8 actually made a remix that sounds like a perfect fit for Smash (0:20 – 0:30).

Because there is no “retro franchise”, it can be tricky to pinpoint one specifically, as they’re all pulled from seperate games. But I hope I’ve shown how a simple dude on a dirt bike can still be an interesting fighter. Do you think Excitebiker could work? Would you want Mach Rider instead? Let me know in the comments below!

7 comments
  1. You did it, you created a workable moveset! I’ll have to save this every time I suggest the Excitebiker!

    Matt Bankey on April 21 |
    • Thanks! Hopefully you won’t have to suggest him for long, and he just gets in.

      Mango on April 21 |
  2. WOW. This is an insanely detailed imagining! Like….obsessive compulsive imagining, even. Impressive, it is.

    HOWEVER…… ;’]

    I do not see acknowledgement of two key issues with this imagined addition.

    #1: Excitebike is already an assist trophy. Obviously this doesnt preclue anything (ahem little mac) but i also feel like an AT is a way for them to nod to characters not quite ready for prime time. Excitebike feels like a bit of a reach for a Main Character, considering the trend (cloud, ryu, bayo, mega man, etc). But i suppose you could argue EB was on par with Duck Hunt (i dont agree–DH has a lot more cultural capital with the plebs) but anyway, its a maybe for me.

    #2. Wario. i dont see acknowledgement that basically, EB would be SORT OF like including Wario again (ala his motorcycle). Thats really the biggest issue here. You’d maybe need to admit they’d need to change wario (removing bike) so that the two wouldnt bascially be the same (in significant ways). Or maybe im wrong.

    What a piece of work this is!

    unoclay on April 22 |
    • Thanks!

      1) I agree that ATs are a way to nod to characters that aren’t good enough (for various reasons) to be playable. I’ll go into more detail in another video so I don’t want to spoil that, but there’s two things to consider. One is that Sakurai considered him as one of the retro characters for Melee. So there is a tangible interest compared to a character he has never mentioned. The second is that, even though he was turned down, other characters that were initially turned down (for stylistic reasons) made it into later games. Those being Villager, Miis, and Pac-Man: https://sourcegaming.info/2016/04/29/duflupdate/

      There’s also only so many memorable retro characters left, and given we’ve gotten two for every game (minus the original)…

      Melee – Ice Climbers, Mr. Game & Watch
      Brawl – Pit, R.O.B.
      3DS/Wii U – Duck Hunt, Little Mac

      …I think he might look back to someone he already considered.

      There’s better reasons why he could be in versus “here’s why he’s not automatically disqualified” but you’ll have to wait for that 😛

      2) I don’t see it as an issue. If two characters couldn’t share something then we wouldn’t have any sword characters past Link in Smash 64, yet we have 12-14 (if you include the Pits). Wario only has it for one move, and it doesn’t really control well. Plus it’s a motorcycle (specifically a “chopper”) versus EB’s dirt bike, so even thematically it’s different. The main difference though is that Wario attacks with his body, while EB never gets off his bike, which allows him to focus on motocross tricks exclusively as moves.

      This is a “what-if” segment after all, but I do think he has a solid chance.

      Mango on April 22 |
  3. This is an incredible concept! You managed to take a character I thought had no hope, and prove why he’d be such a compelling character! Like how Sakurai pulled from classic boxing techniques to fill the holes in Little Mac’s move set, you guys pulled from motorcycling tricks to modernize the Excitebiker! This style of character concepts inspired me to try one of my own. Me and @Probably_Evil_ on Twitter made a concept for Grovyle from Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky, and it’s actually reminiscent of Dream Smashers. Here’s a link if anyone’s interested in checking it out:

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1GOlYVqE5uQemQCSMNYGFz9-_Is2IuLLCXZQmSC6ytj4/mobilebasic#heading=h.taywytcocw39

    Hamada (@Hamada_520) on April 23 |
  4. You’re too kind, thanks!

    I admire the work you put into your own Dream Smasher! I think if you’re going to make Grovyle based on a side game though, he should have more moves to distinguish himself from other Grovyles. I haven’t played that series so I don’t know what those would be, but that’s just my opinion.

    The Mango Viking on April 26 |
  5. This is an interesting character you’ve brought. Unlike Mach Rider, using several bike tricks as Excite Bike’s movesets is fun and interesting, and I would love to use him if he had a chance to join in. But I could also imagine that he can be difficult to control; not just going fast, but steering to turn around, just like how actual bikes are. But other than that, Excite Bike would be a good retro rep to join Smash, if Takamaru didn’t get a promotion to become playable.

    zoniken on May 1 |