Nintendo did something unexpected with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Instead of adding a bunch of new fighters, the company is bringing back every single fighter from all the previous Smash games. That’s a pretty big lineup, even if it’s not exactly fresh.
But let’s be honest. It’d be naive to think that Nintendo won’t add more fighters to the roster moving forward, whether that’s a surprise addition before the game launches in December or some downloadable content you’ll have to pay extra for further down the line.
With that in mind, the Inverse Entertainment team put our heads together to come up with our dream list of new characters for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Here’s what we came up with.
Fortnite isn’t just the biggest game of 2018, it’s also a perfect fit for Nintendo’s beloved brawler series. They’re both beloved video games with cartoony graphics, mass appeal, and a feverishly devoted fan base. It would also be perfect timing since Nintendo just announced a Fortnite: Battle Royale port for its Switch console.
Beyond the fact that putting Fortnite into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate would be an obvious success, I think it could also bring some interesting new mechanics to the brawler series. Your Fortnite fighter could attack with a pickaxe at close range and use a rocket launcher from a distance. They could also take advantage of some of the game’s more ridiculous items, like the Boogie Bomb that forces nearby players to dance uncontrollably. Fortnite’s building mechanic could also work nicely in Super Smash Bros., and for a Final Smash you could summon The Storm and force your opponents to come together at the center of the stage.
Madeline from Celeste
2018 is still far from over, but my pick for best game of the year is all but set in stone. It’s Celeste, the indie hit that combined some of the best platforming I’ve seen in years with an impressively deep story about depression and perseverance. Bringing Celeste’s protagonist, Madeline, to Super Smash Bros. won’t be easy (she doesn’t actually have any attacks), but I think it could still work. Hear me out.
Celeste’s key mechanic is the dash, which gives you a second (and sometimes third) jump by propelling you through the air in any direction. Normally this is just used as a platforming technique, but at one point in the game it also becomes an attack. So in the Smash Bros. universe, dashing would become Madeline’s key attack as she slams into various opponents. She can also climb walls, which could definitely come in handy on some stages.
As for a Final Smash, I’m thinking that Madeline could temporarily transform into Badeline (a physical manifestation of her depression in the game). Badeline can fly and shoot lasers, which lends itself pretty easily to a Smash Bros. character design.
Waluigi from the Mario series
I’ve written at length about this beautiful lavender lad. I see no need to address the issue any further in this space, as I’ve already said my piece and it’s too painful to get into it again. Please give me and my family some space during this difficult time.
Knuckles the Echidna from Sonic games
Ever since Brawl, Sonic the Hedgehog has been a welcome addition to the Smash roster as a hyper-fast contender with a moveset reminiscent of the character’s origins. If Nintendo adds any other fighters from his universe it would have to be either his flying fox sidekick Tails, or, even better, his rival frenemy Knuckles the Echidna.
Despite looking like a red Sonic with flat hair, Knuckles is anything but. He’s much slower, stronger, packs a mean punch (literally), and has the ability to glide across the air. His vertical leaps and abilities could be similar, but his float might function like Peach’s umbrella move. He’d probably play like a mix between a slow Sonic and a larger version of Little Mac.
Noctis from Final Fantasy XV
As a longtime fan of the Final Fantasy games, I’m ecstatic to see Cloud make the return to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but there’s a real opportunity to add even more characters from the franchise. A practical move might be to add Sephiroth, the villain from Final Fantasy VII that’s appeared opposite to Cloud in other franchises like Kingdom Hearts, but a much more likely addition would come from other Final Fantasy protagonists.
Masahiro Sakurai, the creator of Super Smash Bros, said in 2015 that he also considered Final Fantasy protagonists like Bartz or Terra, but settled on Cloud because he was the fan-favorite.
Yet here in 2018, including the hero from one of the newer games makes more practical sense. And because Noctis, the main character in Final Fantasy XV, is already in Tekken, we can see a good roadmap for how he might function in Smash. He’d come in unarmed, conjuring various kinds of Royal Arms at will and also wielding a few different kinds of magic.
Travis Touchdown from No More Heroes
A self-described “otaku” who DIY’d his way to assassin status (he acquired his signature weapon, a working bootleg lightsaber, in an online auction), Travis Touchdown is somehow both perfect for Smash Bros. and one of the most left-field candidates possible. But Travis has far more legit Nintendo heritage than Bayonetta or Street Fighter’s Ryu. No More Heroes actually made its debut as a rare M-rated game on the Nintendo Wii in 2007.
As a sword-based fighter, Travis could easily find company with the Fire Emblem crowd, but his modern spin lets him stand apart from those ancient warriors. He’d certainly be heavier than Marth or Link (no surprise, modders tend to use Ike for Travis skins). And of course, one of his taunts would be his, ahem, unique way of recharging his beam katana.
Ryu Hayabusa from Ninja Gaiden
Originating from the Ninja Gaiden trilogy on the NES, Ryu Hayabusa already has fighting experience from his regular spot in the Dead or Alive franchise. As a super ninja who harnesses magic to vanquish monsters, there are endless possibilities for the “Dragon Ninja” to tear shit up against the squeaky-clean Nintendo family.
Imagine a cross between Sheik and Donkey Kong. A nimble fighter with extremely powerful smash attacks. All of his moves from the modern Ninja Gaiden games are ready-made for Smash, and his vast arsenal of weapons (including tonfas, quarterstaffs, shurikens, and nunchucks) could make for some excellent directional attacks.
Doom Slayer from DOOM
Doom Slayer (aka Doomguy) has been in almost a dozen game over a span of 15 years, but he’s never had much of a backstory. That is precisely why he is so awesome. He’s an unstoppable demon murdering machine that’s hunted the legions of Hell for eons on the Super NES, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo 64, and Switch (along with a bunch of other consoles).
I picture a Smash version of the Doom Slayer as a slightly less acrobatic Ganondorf, with guns. Tanky, usually attacking at a distance, and with less jump potential and dash speed. His close-range smash attack can be his iconic super shotgun and his normal B attack can be the spammable heavy assault rifle. There’s no shortage of power-ups to choose from in DOOM, but for the Final Smash, I’d have to go with the BFG 9000.
The Prince from Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
There have been several versions of the Prince, but the charming, conflicting rogue from the Sands of Time trilogy is easily my favorite. The acrobatic aristocrat has dashed, climbed, tiptoed, vaulted, and leapt across several Nintendo consoles.
Smash already has its fair share of swift-striking, agile characters, but the Prince is more of a runner than a fighter. It would be interesting to see him tweaked to have lower damage in exchange for unparalleled movement and knockout recovery. His abilities could be modeled around the Dagger of Time, allowing him to revert back in time to a previous location to escape his foes and heal any immediate damage. His Final Smash could slow or even halt time completely, giving him free reign to load someone up with damage before things return to normal.