Nintendo only has one new fighter left to add into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate to round out its first DLC Fighter Pass. Game director Masahiro Sakurai has yet to confirm who will join the cast, but teased that Nintendo is hard at work to surprise fans.
Sakurai appeared at a corporate Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament hosted by Japanese games magazine Famitsu on November 22. He told attendees he was working on a mysterious fighter to join the likes of Joker, Hero, Banjo & Kazooie, and Terry Bogard.
“Today I also made things in the company, such as a fighter whom hasn’t been known by everybody yet and I came here after the work has ended,” said Sakurai, according to a translated version of the statement by Japanese games source BlackKite.
The statement is vague and the translation feels a bit clunky, though it appears to suggest DLC fighter five could be a lesser-known character, which could rule out icons like Waluigi or Crash Bandicoot. But this might provide a glimmer of hope for Geno.
Geno is one of the two original party member characters the SNES title Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (1996) and has been in the running for a potential addition to Smash Bros. since Super Smash Bros. Brawl on the Nintendo Wii. The possessed doll was only ever featured in the SNES game, which is considered to be one of the best games on the system of all time.
There’s a mountain of additional evidence to suggest Geno might mount a triumphant comeback, including a statement from Sakurai himself.
In a March interview with Japanese magazine Nintendo Dream, the Smash Bros. director said he wanted to get Geno into Brawl, but that never came to fruition for unknown reasons.
“Geno was actually a character I wanted to include as a fighter,” said Sakurai. “He has a gun for an arm, and just seems like he’d fit absolutely perfectly into Smash. I was hoping I’d be able to put him in as far back as Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but unfortunately that never ended up materializing.”
A Geno Mii costume was included in Smash Bros. for the 3DS and Wii U, nixing any hope that he’d make it into that iteration. But the outfit is glaringly absent from Ultimate’s Mii attire selection. There is only a single Geno reference in the game in the form of a Spirit, a type of power-up in featured in Adventure Mode: World of Light.
Nintendo traditionally doesn’t add characters to the roster who already feature in the game as an Assist Trophy or Mii costume. It’s unclear if Geno’s sprit disqualifies him, but the fact that his costume was removed may be a signal that efforts to put him into the game could be underway.
What’s more, the rights to Geno are owned by Square Enix. With Final Fantasy 7’s Cloud and the Dragon Quest Hero already in Smash Ultimate, a third character is certainly a possibility.
Nintendo has yet to announce when it will reveal the next Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC, but the game has been nominated for Game of the Year. The company could use its moment in the spotlight at the December 12 ceremony to tease the fifth DLC fighter. That said, Nintendo has done most of its DLC announcement via pre-recorded Nintendo Direct presentations. If the company doesn’t reveal what’s next for Smash Bros. Ultimate next month, expect a Direct sometime in early 2020.
The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC fighters can be purchased with either the $24.99 Fighter Pass or individually for $5.99 upon their release.