'Smash Ultimate' Leaks: Ranking Roster Rumors Before Nintendo's Big Reveal

Is 'Banjo-Kazooie' coming to 'Smash Bros.'?

We’ve been tracking the rumors and leaks around Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for a while now, but last week we hit the mother lode. An image allegedly showing the final box for the game surfaced on Snapchat before spreading online, apparently revealed eight unannounced additions to the Ultimate roster.

The full list of leaked Smash Bros. Ultimate characters allegedly revealed by the box art is as follows:

  • Shadow the Hedgehog (Sonic)
  • Ken (Street Fighter)
  • Banjo Kazooie (Banjo Kazooie)
  • Geno (Super Mario RPG)
  • Isaac (Golden Sun)
  • Mach Rider (Mach Rider)
  • KOS-MOS (Xenoblade)
  • Chorus Kids (Rhythm Heaven)

Many (or possibly all?) of those characters can all apparently be spotted in this image (via TechRadar), but good luck making them out for yourself in such a blurry picture:

Is that you Ken?

With Nintendo set to make its “final” Super Smash Bros. Ultimate announcements this Thursday ahead of the game’s release in early December, it’s worth taking a closer look at these earth-shattering leaks.

Here’s a semi-definitive ranking of those leaked Smash Bros. Ultimate characters from most to least likely based on everything we know about the roster so far:

8. Banjo Kazooie

Sorry to drop a bomb like this so early on, but I just don’t buy it. Sure, putting Banjo and Kazooie in as some sort of tag-team fighter would pretty much convince anyone who grew up with an N64 to pick up Smash Bros. Ultimate — and a Nintendo Switch — but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.

More compelling is that face that Xbox boss Phil Spencer says Microsoft (which owns the rights to the characters) is open to partnering with Nintendo. But considering that this is a huge deal between two massive companies, the fact there’s been nary a single leak about it until now suggests it’s just wishful thinking.

Nintendo also has nothing to gain from adding Banjo Kazooie to Smash, so I feel pretty confident ruling this one out. Hopefully, I’m wrong, but don’t count on it.

7. Isaac (Golden Sun)

Again, the big issue here is simply a lack of supporting leaks. We’ve seen so many rumors and reports around which characters will make it into Ultimate that a true surprise seems pretty unlikely. Isaac would be that surprise, so you can probably rule out the Golden Sun character too.

6. KOS-MOS (Xenoblade)

This one is a bit tougher. It would definitely come as a huge surprise, but considering that Nintendo is still making Xenoblade games, adding KOS-MOS to the roster isn’t unreasonable. Put her in the maybe pile.

5. Mach Rider

Here’s where the list goes from questionable to likely. Mach Rider might not be a particularly well-known character today, but he’s a classic racer from the NES days. This also isn’t the first time we’ve heard that name mentioned in leaks. So you shouldn’t be surprised to see his 8-bit motorcycle race onto the screen during Nintendo’s big reveal this Thursday.

4. Chorus Kids (Rhythm Heaven)

Again, here’s a not-very-well-known character (or characters, in this case) that we’ve already seen mentioned in previous leaks. The Chorus Kids actually popped up in the Ultimate IMDB a while back. So don’t be surprised if all three of them turn up as some sort of Ice Climbers-style character.

3. Geno (Super Mario RPG)

Geno is one of the most leaked characters for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The only reason this possessed puppet isn’t in the number one slot is that technically he isn’t owned by Nintendo. The rights to Geno actually belong to Square Enix, which made the first game he appeared in, Super Mario RPG. Rumor has it Nintendo and Square Enix are teaming up for a new Ultimate character, but it’s possible that deal could fall apart or simply be untrue.

2. Shadow the Hedgehog (Sonic)

There’s been plenty of speculation that Shadow could join Smash Bros. Ultimate as an Echo version of Sonic with a nearly identical moveset. Alleged insiders claim as much on a pretty regular basis, so we definitely wouldn’t be surprised to see this one turn out to be true.

1. Ken (Street Fighter)

Finally, there’s Ken. Similar to Shadow, he would be an Echo (but in this case of his long-time rival Ryu). Ken appears in pretty much every Ultimate leak. We even saw a screenshot of the Street Fighter character posing in Smash alongside Pichu and Pac-Man. So we’ll be pretty shocked if he doesn’t show up at Thursday’s event.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate launches December 7 on Nintendo Switch.

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