After Nintendo's January 2020 Direct, there's still hope for 'Smash Bros. Ultimate' fans

That fifth DLC fighter will be announced sooner than you think.


This week, fans of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate went haywire after Nintendo announced its Direct for January 9, 2020 will focus exclusively on Pokémon. Eager to learn the identity of the fifth character for Ultimate’s DLC Fighters Pass, fans were livid when they learned Nintendo will remain quiet, for now.

But brawlers need not despair: The identity of the fifth add-on Smash Bros. Ultimate character will be unveiled in due time, and sooner than you might think.

First, it should be noted that Pokémon-focused Directs do not keep general Nintendo Directs from happening. In fact, historically, Pokémon Directs often precede Nintendo Directs, where other Nintendo games get time to show off new content. There are no definitive patterns for how Nintendo schedules its different Directs, but whenever a Pokémon Direct takes place, a general Nintendo Direct will sometimes follow a few weeks later.

For example: In 2016, Nintendo streamed a Pokémon Direct (showcasing Sun and Moon and Pokémon Go) on February 26. Less than a week later on March 3, Nintendo streamed a general Direct showcasing new Wii U and 3DS games and updates. Just last year in 2019, Nintendo streamed a Pokémon Direct on June 5. E3 took place just days later, where Nintendo aired a general Direct on June 11.

Secondly, the mysterious “Challenger Pack 5,” which will contain a new character, their stage, and some of their game’s music, is already available to purchase and will be added to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate by Februrary 29, 2020. (Happy Leap Year!)

I understand the wait is agonizing, but February 29 is not far away; just a little over a month. Most importantly, Nintendo has never revealed the contents of DLC on the day the DLC is added to the game. There is always plenty of advance notice, especially for new Super Smash Bros. Ultimate characters, so expect the reveal to happen any minute now.

Just not on January 9.

Banjo and Kazooie were one of 'Smash' fandom's most popular dream characters. In 2019, a million wishes came true when Banjo and Kazooie were added as "Challenger Pack 3" DLC for 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.'


So, who will the Smash Bros. Ultimate Challenge Pack 5 DLC contain?

Ah, the eternal question. “Who will Nintendo add to Super Smash Bros.?” is like asking “When will Bitcoin rise again?” No one knows, it’s all a wild mass guess that we feverishly Google to shut up that part of our brain that just won’t cease.

Smash Bros. fans constantly seem to request a few favorites. One of the most visible “wishlist” characters is Geno, a spirit who inhabited the shell of a toy wooden doll and appeared as an ally to Mario in the 1996 Super NES game Super Mario RPG. The game, itself a cult title, was Geno’s only major appearance, lending Geno a certain kind of popularity among hardcore Nintendo fans. Despite Geno’s inclusion in the series relegated to a wearable costume for Mii fighters in 2015, fans haven’t let go of wanting to play as Geno.

Another popular choice seems to be Sora, the protagonist of the Kingdom Hearts games. As the wielder of the Keyblade, Sora seems ready-made for Smash Bros., even if fans seem convinced that Disney stands in the way of that dream becoming reality. Truth is, no one really knows for sure.

Other names you’ll find mentioned on video game forums and Reddit are:

  • Doomslayer (of the DOOM series)
  • KOS-MOS (the protagonist of Xenosaga)
  • Dante (the über-cool demon hunter of Devil May Cry)
  • Phoenix Wright (of the popular Ace Attorney narrative games)
  • Crash Bandicoot (of his starring games)
  • Lloyd Irving (star of the popular 2003 installment Tales game Tales of Symphonia on the Nintendo GameCube)
  • Master Chief (of the best-selling Xbox shooters, Halo)
  • Ryu Hayabusa (of the infamously difficult Ninja Gaiden games)

In a true “believe it not” scenario, director Masahiro Sakurai once alluded to wanting James Bond in a much earlier entry of Super Smash Bros. (due to the popularity and significance of GoldenEye on the Nintendo 64). But for many obvious reasons including, but not limited to, the character’s film rights and likeness, James Bond has never joined in on Nintendo’s fighting game.

Travis Touchdown, the Johnny Knoxville lookalike from the cult No More Heroes games, was mentioned in a dubious “leak.” Much as I want to believe it, it’s not advisable to take it as fact.

“Challenger Pack 5” is expected to release for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on or before February 29.

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