Super Smash Bros. is a series that represents all things gaming through its characters, music, and locations from our favourite franchises. However, one lesser acknowledged part of gaming that stands as a part of its history are glitches. Whether big or small, glitches can more often than not affect games in unpredictable ways. Pokémon is no stranger to glitches, and no glitch holds as much infamy as MissingNo., a weird jumble of leftover code found in the original Pokémon games that has become something of a series icon in terms of the original games. With the Kanto region being at the forefront once again due to Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu and Eevee, is it time for MissingNo., one of the most famous glitch characters in all of gaming, to make it into Smash?
Who is MissingNo.?
MissingNo. was the first major glitch Pokémon to ever be discovered. Originating from Pokémon Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow, it is a Water-type that’s considered to be the most well known glitch in all of Pokémon, with it and its effects on the game having remained in every port of the original games. From being able to duplicate items, mess with encounter tables, and even break the max level counter of 100 up to 224, MissingNo. is the result of placeholder code and text appearing when the system memory of one of the original games is overwritten, usually whenever a map is unloaded incorrectly. For example, the Old Man Glitch is the best method of making MissingNo. appear. By having the data of the battle from the catching tutorial be overwritten by party data, you can manipulate the encounter table at Cinnabar Island, resulting in the player encountering a MissingNo.
Importance to Nintendo/Series
MissingNo. is an infamous part of the Pokémon franchise due to its status as the first major glitch Pokémon. Despite rarely being acknowledged by Game Freak, MissingNo. has gained a following due to its weird nature and use of the original games’ more creepy sprites. While it’s speculated to have been making cameos in more recent titles, MissingNo. hasn’t truly been in a Pokémon game since its original appearance. However, the Virtual Console releases of the first generation games have notably kept MissingNo. in them, despite the fact that the games were slightly edited to suit the 3DS better. It is possible that Game Freak had intentionally kept MissingNo. in the game due to it being a part of the game’s legacy, which is proof of its importance to the Pokémon series.
In terms of gaming as a whole, MissingNo. is one of the most famous glitches in existence due to it being memorable and easy to execute. At this point, many people who don’t even play Pokémon have at least heard of MissingNo. and its effects on the game. With it being so well known despite it not being acknowledged often is a testament to how iconic MissingNo. has been to gaming in its entirety.
Colors and Design
MissingNo. takes many forms in-game, including the blocky mess of text in the shape of a backwards facing L, the square known as ‘M, the skeletal forms of Aerodactyl and Kabutops, the ghost of Lavender Town, and even an overworld NPC icon. In Smash Bros., there are many different aspects to think about when designing a character, and movement is very important. Taking this into consideration, the best form for MissingNo. to take in Smash Bros. is the skeletal Kabutops form, which would still have the other forms appearing in some way for its various attacks and animations. For example, MissingNo.’s dodging and guarding animations would have it transform into its backwards L form in order to avoid or block attacks.
MissingNo. would have eight palette swaps, like most fighters in the game:
MissingNo. would have eight palette swaps, like most fighters in the game:
How Will They Play?
Now, let’s have a look at some stats:
- Can they crawl: Yes
- Can they wall jump: Yes
- How many jumps do they have: 2
- Are there any exclusive abilities they have*: No
- Weight Class: B
- Height Class: C+
- Speed Class: C+
- Are they mirrored when they face left: No
*Like Peach’s float
A Poké Ball would be thrown on-screen as a mess of pixels emerged from it. These pixels would then unite and form MissingNo.
MissingNo. would face forward and take Kabutops’ stance with its claws hanging in front if its body.
|Idle Animation #1:||
MissingNo. would bring its claws up to its face, hitting them together a couple of times, as if it was attempting to get used to its new body.
|Idle Animation #2:||
MissingNo. would look at its back as two glitchy skeletal Aerodactyl wings appeared on it.
|Walking:||MissingNo. would move forward with its claws hanging near the ground as its back was slightly hunched over.|
|Running:||MissingNo. would run with its claws pointing behind it as its eye holes glowed with a dark aura.|
|Jumping:||MissingNo. would jump forward with its claws pointing outward.|
|Crouching:||MissingNo. would sit with its claws dug into the ground and its knees bent.|
|Crawling:||MissingNo. would sink into the ground as its lower body turned into pixels. It would then ominously float forward.|
|Jab: Fury Swipes||MissingNo. would stab and kick the opponent before beginning to fiercely slash forward with its claws, which would be surrounded by pixels.|
|Forward Tilt:||MissingNo. would slash forward with one claw.|
|Down Tilt:||MissingNo. would summon a small puddle of pixels in front of it, which would damage and stun the opponent.|
|Up Tilt:||MissingNo. would swing upwards with one of its claws.|
|Dash Attack:||MissingNo. would transform into its ghost form and float forward, damaging anyone it came into contact with.|
|Side Smash:||MissingNo. would swing its claws in a downward arc, launching the opponent forward. This attack would be an effective edge guarding tool since it would spike anyone off-stage.|
MissingNo. would transform into its backwards L form and jump upwards, damaging anyone it came into contact with.
|Down Smash:||MissingNo. would transform into a sideways version of its backwards L form as its bottom and top thrusted forwards and backwards, respectively.|
|Neutral Air:||MissingNo. would transform into its backwards L form as pixels engulfed it, damaging anyone in its way.|
|Down Air:||MissingNo. would kick downwards with one of its feet.|
|Forward Air:||MissingNo. would slash forward with both of its claws.|
|Back Air:||Two skeletal Aerodactyl wings would materialize onto MissingNo.’s back as they struck backwards, propelling MissingNo. forward in a similar manner to Corrin’s Back Air.|
|Up Air:||MissingNo. would slash in an upward arc with one of its claws.|
|Grab:||MissingNo. would immobilize the grabbed opponent using pixels as it took on its backwards L form.|
|Pummel:||MissingNo. would flicker and flash as the opponent was hit by the pixels engulfing them.|
|Forward Throw:||A wave of pixels would appear in front of MissingNo., launching the opponent forward.|
|Up throw:||MissingNo. would headbutt the opponent with the top of its body.|
|Down Throw:||MissingNo, would let the opponent fall to the ground as it jumped on top of them.|
|Back Throw:||MissingNo. would throw the opponent behind itself and hit them with the bottom of its body.|
|Neutral Special: Scary Face||
MissingNo. would transform into its ghost form and hide its face behind its hands as the player charged up the attack. Upon release, MissingNo. would grow twice its size and roar forward, dealing damage and stunning anyone in front of it. The longer the move was charged, the longer it would stun.
|Neutral Special Custom #1: Astonish||
The attack would deal more knockback, but the opponent wouldn’t be stunned.
|Neutral Special Custom #2: Glare||
The attack would deal no knockback, but the opponent would be stunned for much longer.
|Side Special: Infestation||
MissingNo. would transform into its backwards L form as it launched forward. Those hit by this would be engulfed by a swarm of pixels, which would damage the opponent and heal MissingNo. before the pixels leaped off of the opponent and returned to its Kabutops form.
|Side Special Custom #1: Aqua Jet||
MissingNo. would engulf itself in water and launch forward, damaging anyone in its way.
|Side Special Custom #2: Quick Attack||
MissingNo. would glow white as it quickly launched forward, similarly to Fox Illusion and Falco Phantasm.
|Up Special: Fossil’s Flight||
MissingNo. would transform into its Aerodactyl skeleton form and launch upwards at an angle, damaging and launching anyone in its way.
|Up Special Custom #1: Sky Drop||
MissingNo.’s flight path would resemble Kirby’s Final Cutter, and have it fly directly upwards before diving back down.
|Up Special Custom #2: Tailwind||
MissingNo. would ascend higher and move much faster, but deal no damage to opponents.
|Down Special: Lavender Syndrome||
MissingNo. and its eye holes would glow lavender as pixels engulfed its body. In this temporary state, MissingNo.’s stats would begin to resemble its stats in the original games, with its launch power growing exponentially. The trade-off would be a severely lowered defense, meaning that MissingNo. would be extremely easy to launch, and it would take much more damage from attacks. After a certain amount of time, Lavender Syndrome would wear off, and it could not be used again until some time has passed.
|Down Special Custom #1: Lavender Burst||MissingNo. would be completely engulfed in lavender energy as its launch power was amplified even further. While MissingNo. would still have incredibly low defense in this state, it would also take damage over time, a side effect of the overwhelming power emanating from it.|
|Down Special Custom #2: Lavender Pulse||MissingNo. would strike the ground with one of its claws as lavender particles formed around it, blowing the particles in all directions and damaging anyone they came into contact with.|
|Final Smash: Glitch City||
A wave of pixels would emanate off of MissingNo. and shoot forwards. If anyone was hit by these pixels, they’d be sent to a monochromatic landscape full of random sprites from the first Pokémon games. Suddenly, four out of five of MissingNo.’s forms would swarm the opponent(s) as a giant version of MissingNo.’s Kabuopstops form towered over the opponents and slammed its scythe into them, launching them back to the stage.
MissingNo. would transform into its backwards L form and flicker before returning to normal.
|Side Taunt:||MissingNo.’s eye holes would glow a dark aura as it tilted the side of its head downwards, appearing either very curious or very malicious.|
|Down Taunt:||MissingNo.’s skeletal Kabutops head would evaporate and be replaced by the skeletal Aerodactyl head as it roared upwards.|
|Victory Animation #1:||
MissingNo. would transform into Red’s overworld sprite from the original Pokémon games as the bird sprite from the same games flew down and carried him away.
|Victory Animation #2:||The camera would look around at empty space as MissingNo.’s ghost form suddenly appeared, roaring at the screen. The camera would then jump back as MissingNo. laughed and pointed at it.|
|Victory Animation #3:||MissingNo., in its skeletal Kabutops form, would fly on-screen with the use of some skeletal Aerodactyl wings on its back. Upon landing, MissingNo. would strike a menacing pose as the wings evaporated.|
MissingNo.’s victory fanfare would be a rearrangement of the Pokémon Mansion theme from the original games, as both MissingNo. and the mansion itself reside on Cinnabar Island, and the overall feel of the song is very odd and glitchy with its offbeat notes.
Despite its literal existence being completely unintentional, MissingNo. has a lot to work with in terms of a potential moveset. This “Pokémon’s” unique skills and attributes, as well as its unnatural appearance, have made it an icon in the eyes of the franchise’s fans. While MissingNo. rarely being acknowledged by Game Freak might be what’s holding it back, the fans’ perception of it and its potential for a unique moveset are what make MissingNo. one of the most interesting potential characters for Smash Bros. Ultimate.