Dashed Expectations

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:43 am 
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Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U is out now, and by this point, everybody probably knows all its ins and outs. ((Note: It's been a while since I've started writing this, so some things may no longer be accurate.)) I, for one, am pretty astonished by its gigantic roster, which includes newcomers both reasonable and bizarre. Didn't Sakurai once say that a bigger roster wouldn't be the focus this time? Regardless of whether or not he (probably) changed his mind, it got me to thinking: What would the current Smash roster look like if it was trimmed down to its bare essentials?

So I delved into Nintendo's most iconic and prolific IPs to determine which ones stood to be represented in an all-star game the most. For this, I mostly judged them by the number of series and stand-alone games they had under their name. (For the record, I know Mario is Missing! stars Luigi, but I still counted it under Mario's list since it has his name in the title.) Other series that didn't have any protagonists' names in the title, such as Fire Emblem, I was more lenient on. Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Nintendo Land influenced a lot of my choices as well.

So here is my final, concise list. It contains 18 characters. I figured the bare minimum number of fighters a Smash Bros. game should have (nowadays, at least) is 20, but I left the last two spots up for debate...or third-party characters. Go nuts with that.

Since I know this is going to be misinterpreted, let state it clearly: This does not mean I think the next Smash Bros. game should have this few characters, although if it did, I don't think it would necessarily be a bad thing. It would leave a lot of room for polish, balancing, and other content. But to reiterate, this is just my pick of the litter of whom I think should be in every Smash game, bar none.

But since most of these should come as no surprise, I also included what I'd like to see for these characters in the future, mostly involving custom moves and palette changes. I also decided to go an extra mile and give each character his/her victory jingle and even some results music, for when you scroll through the details of the match you just played. Hey, a guy can dream.

Well, that's a boatload of text, ain't it? What do you say we actually get to the meat and potatoes of this post, eh?
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Mario
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Franchise: Mario
Series: Mario Bros., Mario Golf, Super Mario, Dr. Mario, Mario Teaches Typing, Mario Kart, Mario's Early Years!, Mario's Picross, Mario Tennis, Mario Party, Mario Artist, Paper Mario, Mario & Luigi, Mario vs. Donkey Kong, Mario Baseball, Mario Strikers, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games
Stand-alone Games: Super Mario Bros. & Friends: When I Grow Up, Mario Paint, Mario & Wario, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, I am a Teacher: Super Mario Sweater, Mario is Missing!, Mario's Time Machine, Mario's Game Gallery, Excitebike: Bun Bun Mario Battle Stadium, Mario no Photopi, Mario Pinball Land, Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix, Mario Hoops 3-on-3, Mario Sports Mix, Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition, Super Mario Maker

What, did you think there could possibly be a Smash Bros. game without Mario? He's Nintendo's main man, after all, and the owner of the best-selling franchise in the world! Taking him out would be like taking the cherry out of a cherry pie. He just completes it.

Now, I can think of a few ways to improve Mario's arsenal, or at least make it a little more true to his games. I'm not a huge fan of the idea of making custom moves simply the same attack with some variations. For instance, how many different Up Specials can you think of for Mario? I can name a few off the top of my head: using F.L.U.D.D.'s Hover Nozzle, F.L.U.D.D.'s Rocket Nozzle, and the Spin Jump from Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy. See how much variety there is? I'd like to see more stuff like that for all of the characters, not just Mario.

For tightening purposes, I think Dr. Mario, instead of being a separate character, should be an alternate skin for Mario, with his Super Vitamins as a separate custom move. It might make sense to make them DLC. Another alt for Mario that hasn't been done in Smash before could be Shadow/Cosmic Mario.

Victory: Course Clear (Super Mario Bros.)
Results: Challenge Score (Super Mario Bros. Deluxe)
Credits: Ending Theme (Super Mario World)


Donkey Kong
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Franchises: Mario, Donkey Kong
Series: Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong Land, Donkey Konga, Mario vs. Donkey Kong, DK
Stand-alone Games: Donkey Kong 64, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast

And of course, where would Mario be if not for Donkey Kong? They made their debuts together, after all. Okay, so it wasn't this specific Donkey Kong that antagonized Jumpman back in the day, but with that old ape retired to a rocking chair, the new chief of DK Island has been the ringleader of his own franchise ever since.

All I'd really ask out of Donkey Kong is that Super Kong be a color swap for him (which he might already be), and it might be cool to see beta Dread Kong as one as well.

Victory: Bonus Win (Donkey Kong Country)
Results: Cranky's Theme (Donkey Kong Country) (Why this? Because in the GBA port of the game, it's what you always hear after the victory music after beating a boss.)
Credits: Credits (Donkey Kong Jungle Beat)


Mii
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Franchise: Nintendo
Series: Wii Sports, Wii Play, Wii Party, Wii Fit, Tomodachi
Stand-alone Games: Personal Trainer: Walking, Wii Music, StreetPass Mii Plaza, Pilotwings Resort, Nintendo Land, Wii Karaoke U

Yes, I think the Miis should be included as essentials. Sakurai once stated that they seemed unfitting for the game, but ever since the Mii Fighters were introduced, they've seemed like no-brainers. Obviously, this means the three types of fighters--Gunners, Swordfighters, and Brawlers--are in, but are there any additional types of fighters that Miis could accommodate? ...No...?

As for color swaps or alt skins, well, there shouldn't be any, as the Miis you could import are already diverse enough to count for that. The biggest question, I feel, would be: should they count as their own slot in the roster, or none and just be optional?

Victory: Title Screen (Wii Sports Resort)
Results: Mii Maker (Nintendo 3DS) set to the pace of Main Theme 1 (StreetPass Mii Plaza)
Credits: Ending (StreetPass Mii Plaza: Find Mii II)


Yoshi
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Franchise: Mario
Series: Yoshi's Cookie, Yoshi's Island
Stand-alone Games: Yoshi, Yoshi's Safari, Yoshi's Story, Yoshi Topsy-Turvy, Yoshi Touch & Go, Yoshi's Woolly World

Yes, Yoshi's games have become rather low-key, but they're still out there. You might know them mostly as platformers, but Yoshi has also been a big dabbler in the puzzle genre with games like Yoshi (Mario & Yoshi in Europe) and Yoshi's Cookie. The most unique entry in the dino's franchise would have to be the Super Scope shooter, Yoshi's Safari.

Yoshi's color swaps are pretty much laid out already in Yoshi's Story. There's Yellow Yoshi, Red Yoshi, Blue Yoshi, Light Blue Yoshi, Pink Yoshi, White Yoshi, and Black Yoshi. If that's not enough, there's still the Orange and Purple Yoshi from Super Mario Sunshine. Oh, and I guess there's also a Brown Yoshi? What other colors am I missing? Well, you get the idea.

Victory: Yoshi World (Tetris Attack) (slightly faster)
Results: Yoshi's Mood / Final Results (Yoshi's Story)
Credits: either Ending (Yoshi's Story), or Credits (Yoshi's Woolly World)


Wario
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Franchise: Mario
Series: Wario Land, WarioWare
Stand-alone Games: Mario & Wario, Wario's Woods, Wario Blast: Featuring Bomberman!, Wario World, Wario: Master of Disguise

Wario didn't arrive on the scene until Brawl, but now he should be here to stay. With two different series to represent as well as several more of his own games, Wario has really grown into his own, and it would be a crime if Nintendo didn't recognize that.

For alt skins, well, you know what ought to be used. Regular Wario, WarioWare Wario, it's all been done already. There are, however, some other outfits in other WarioWare games that Wario hasn't worn in Smash, such as WarioWare: Snapped!. It wouldn't be necessary to include them, but it would be a nice little nod if they were. They probably wouldn't deserve their own color swaps, though.

Victory: either Stonecarving City (Wario Land: Shake It!) (faster), or Boss Defeated (Wario World)
Results: Course Results (Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3)
Credits: Credits (WarioWare: D.I.Y.)


Luigi
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Franchise: Mario
Series: Luigi's Mansion, Mario & Luigi
Stand-alone Games: New Super Luigi U, Dr. Luigi

In the past, Luigi's claim to fame was that he was the brother of Mario. Now, however, with one series to call his own and another that he shares with his older brother (plus a couple of Year of Luigi games), Luigi has earned his place as a Nintendo headliner. Out of all the characters in this list, though, Luigi probably suffers the most from clone-itis, working as a somewhat different Mario in Smash. Perhaps this could be remedied with some more unique custom moves, such as using the Poltergust to suck fighters and items toward him as opposed to the Gale Bellows's effect, or utilizing the Thunderhand from Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.

Like Mario, Luigi should have his own Dr. Luigi outfit with a Super Vitamin custom move, preferably in the same downloadable package as Dr. Mario. Maybe it could even include a Nurse Peach outfit, if Peach was included in this list. She's not.

Victory: Course Clear (New Super Mario Bros.) (Well, he is the newer Mario brother.)
Results: Level Clear (Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon)
Credits: Pi'illo Vacation! (Mario & Luigi: Dream Team)


Link
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Franchise: The Legend of Zelda
Series: The Legend of Zelda, Hyrule Warriors
Stand-alone Games: Link's Crossbow Training

Link... Yes, as the protagonist of the Legend of Zelda series, he definitely has his spot on the roster reserved. What I'd recommend for a roster of essentials, however, is to have only one Link. No Young or Toon Link to go with him, just Link. Granted, I would prefer to see the Link from the upcoming Wii U game as pictured, as it looks to be a splendid fusion of adult Link with the cel-shaded graphics of Toon Link's games. Sticking with the Twilight Princess design for so long puzzled me a bit anyway.

Don't mistake the above picture as a vote for Link to default to his Wii U outfit, though. We just haven't seen him in his traditional green in that game yet. Naturally, that's his signature look, but I wouldn't mind seeing this outfit as an alt skin, nor his starting one in Skyward Sword (done properly), or in Twilight Princess. Of course, the Four Swords recolors and Dark Link take precedence.

Victory: Catch Triforce Fanfare (The Legend of Zelda)
Results: Great Fairy's Fountain (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)
Credits: Staff Roll 2 (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D)


Samus Aran
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Franchise: Metroid
Series: Metroid, Metroid Prime
Stand-alone Game: Metroid Prime Pinball

As Nintendo's most famous heroine, of course Samus should be included among the most iconic of video game characters. This isn't to say that her own games don't do her justice by themselves, oh, no, no. But taking into account this condensed list of fighters, Samus would once again be the only female fighter. Sad. Nintendo should really make some more girl stars.

On to Samus herself, the bounty hunter has plenty of moves in her arsenal that could be implemented as custom moves, from super bombs to ice missiles to a plasma beam. Speaking of beams, does anyone else think it would be more fitting if Samus's Neutral Special fired small Power Beams when tapped and would only charge a blast if the button was held?

As for alt skins, there are plenty of suits to utilize. Gravity Suit, Phazon Suit, Light Suit, the PED Suit from Metroid Prime 3, and I don't believe the Fusion suit behaves any differently despite its different physique. It would also be cool to see a Dark Samus alt skin.

Victory: Item Acquisition Fanfare (Super Metroid)
Results: either Item Room Ambience (Metroid), or Brinstar (Metroid) set to the pace of Record of Samus (Metroid Prime: Hunters)
Credits: either Ending (Super Metroid), or Credits Theme (Metroid Prime)


Pikmin & Olimar
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Franchise: Pikmin
Series: Pikmin

Yep, Pikmin. With their inclusion in the 3DS's AR Games and their attraction in Nintendo Land, I think it's safe to say that Pikmin is a high-profile franchise for Nintendo right now. They even carry all of your data during a system transfer! Has anyone else seen that? It's glorious.

Now, one new thing I'd like to see Olimar utilize as a fighter is to actually use Rock and Winged Pikmin in the way he uses the rest of the Pikmin; by throwing. Given how Purple Pikmin work in Smash Bros. already, Rock Pikmin could be substituted and nothing else would have to change. (In fact, maybe Purple Pikmin could be changed some.) Winged Pikmin, on the other hand, I could see as a sort of homing missile where if they miss an opponent, they'll automatically fly toward it, latch on, and attack anyway, the drawback being that they'd do less damage than any other Pikmin. Maybe some custom moves for Pikmin Pluck would determine what array of Pikmin you could get.

Instead of including the usual color swaps, I'd like to see Olimar go further along the route of Alph and include all of the other pilots we've seen: Louie, the President, Alph, Brittany, and Charlie. Maybe even the cut character D that was planned for Pikmin 3 could make it in, but the name I think he would've had--Drake--was used for Alph, Brittany, and Charlie's ship, so they'd have to come up with a new one. Not to mention that would probably send Nintendo a message to give the character some prominence in the main series when they obviously decided against that... Hmm... Deal's off for D.

Victory: either Main Theme (Pikmin), or Night Comes (Pikmin)
Results: Today's Results (Pikmin)
Credits: Creature Montage (Pikmin)


Villager
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Franchise: Animal Crossing
Series: Animal Crossing
Stand-alone Games: Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival

Animal Crossing has become a long-standing franchise of Nintendo's, and while the player characters haven't been at the forefront of ideas concerning Smash Bros. fighters prior to 3DS and Wii U, their inclusion introduced a wacky combination of moves that just works, even seemingly combining the villagers with the Balloon Fighters! And of course, the series has been big enough to get its own attraction in Nintendo Land and even its own movie, so I'd say Animal Crossing has earned its place as a Nintendo essential.

For future incarnations of the Villager, I'd like to see the taller designs from New Leaf make it in, with the same moveset from Smash 3DS and Wii U. As for what skins to use, it's a little tricky, since the Villager has so many options. The faces are limited, the hairstyles not so much, and the clothes are near limitless. Unlike Miis, however, there's no way to simply import your Villager into the game, so it's reasonable that Nintendo would go with the most recognizable designs--namely, those on the box art. For New Leaf, that would include the lad pictured above with the camo pants and the pink-haired lass with the more formal attire, both of whom appeared in Mario Kart 8's DLC. I'd also find it a nice nod if they included skins resembling Ai and Yu from the movie.

Victory: Title (Animal Crossing)
Results: The Roost (Animal Crossing: Wild World) (Why this? Because of this.)
Credits: Bubblegum K.K. (Animal Crossing: New Leaf)


Fox McCloud
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Franchise: Star Fox
Series: Star Fox

Fox McCloud is a guaranteed staple of the Smash series, as his own series has been a long-running one that Nintendo has no intention of neglecting, as evidenced by the new one currently in production. While Star Fox has had its ups and downs and periods of silence, it still remains an iconic franchise in Nintendo's arsenal.

As for Fox's alt skins, I don't know, maybe actually make Falco one? All of his special moves could easily translate into custom moves for Fox...well, the ones that are different, anyway. I don't know, I'm a little torn on the subject. On one hand, Falco is his own character with a different physique from Fox (and potentially a different Final Smash). On the other hand, if the roster would be restricted to its core essentials as intended for this list, then this may be Falco's only way of getting in. Wolf's as well.

Victory: Title Screen / Mission Accomplished (Star Fox 64)
Results: Mission Complete (Star Fox Assault) (without the percussion)
Credits: Star Fox Theme (Star Fox)


Captain Falcon
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Franchise: F-Zero
Series: F-Zero

Captain Falcon: the face of the F-Zero franchise! Now, to be frank, the F-Zero franchise has pretty much vanished since 2004. The last game to be released was F-Zero Climax for the Game Boy Advance, and even that was only in Japan. If it weren't for the fact that there was an attraction in Nintendo Land dedicated to F-Zero, I'd almost assume Nintendo had lost interest in the franchise. Still, when there's a will, there's a way, as Captain Falcon always proves. Whether or not his series will continue remains up to Nintendo, but he'll always have a second home in the Smash Bros. field.

Naturally, Blood Falcon should be a color swap, as he usually is, but I think it would be extra cool to have Mach Rider as a downloadable outfit for Captain Falcon, complete with the name change.

Victory: Finish to Go (F-Zero GX)
Results: Time Select Theme (F-Zero)
Credits: Staff Roll (F-Zero X)

Mach Rider
Victory: Race Clear (Mach Rider)
Results: no music
Credits: Title Theme (Mach Rider)


Mr. Game & Watch
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Franchise: Game & Watch
Series: Game & Watch

And of course, Mr. Game & Watch has to be included, being an essential part of Nintendo's history. Heck, his games even predate Mario, as well as any of Nintendo's home consoles! It was a different era of gaming back then, and Mr. Game & Watch really captures it.

For color swaps, I'm sure the least that could be done is to give Mr. Game & Watch colors matching most, if not all, of the ones on this theme.

Victory: Title Theme (Game & Watch Gallery)
Results: rhythmic Game & Watch sounds
Credits: Credits (Game & Watch Gallery)


Pit
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Franchise: Kid Icarus
Series: Kid Icarus

It would seem that ever since his re-intoduction into Brawl, Pit has flown back to the levels of standard Nintendo stardom. A retro character no more with the release of Kid Icarus: Uprising, Pit has pretty much earned his spot as a Smash staple. Now if only his Game Boy game could get some spotlight...

Dark Pit should be a color swap, plain and simple, with the same Final Smash as Pit.

Victory: Title Theme (Kid Icarus) set to the pitch of Level Clear (Kid Icarus)
Results: Solo Menu / Together Menu (Kid Icarus: Uprising)
Credits: Credit Theme (Kid Icarus)


Marth
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Franchise: Fire Emblem
Series: Fire Emblem
Stand-alone Game: Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE

Marth, the first ever Fire Emblem protagonist, is bound to deserve a spot on Nintendo's essentials. He may not be the most constant presence in his own series, as many more lords have come and gone, but there's no debating his stance as the first. It's undoubtedly the reason why he's remained in Smash when Roy didn't, and why he'll probably remain in Smash forevermore.

I suppose Lucina could be a downloadable alt skin for Marth, complete with the name change and different voice, but with no change in game mechanics. What I'd personally like to see, though, is Marth wearing Lucina's mask. With the outfit Marth is depicted with here, and how Lucina wears her hair in Awakening while wearing the mask, you wouldn't be able to tell them apart!

Victory: Fire Emblem Theme (Fire Emblem: Monshou no Nazo)
Results: Vow (Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance) (slightly faster)
Credits: Ending B Medley (Fire Emblem: Monshou no Nazo)


Pikachu
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Franchise: Pokémon
Series: Pokémon, Pokémon Card GB, Pokémon Pinball, Pokémon Puzzle, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, Pokémon Trozei, Pokémon Ranger, Pokémon Rumble, PokéPark
Stand-alone Games: Pokémon Snap, Hey You Pikachu!, Pokémon: Catch the Numbers!, Pokémon Channel, Pokémon Advanced Generation: I've Begun Hiragana and Katakana!, Pokémon Dash, Pokémon Best Wishes: Intelligence Training Pokémon Big Sports Meet!, Learn With Pokémon: Typing Adventure, Pokémon Conquest, The Thieves and the One Thousand Pokémon, Pokémon Art Academy, Pokémon Shuffle, Pokkén Tournament

Pikachu! The mascot of Pokémon. Who wouldn't know this face? Some may argue that it's not the coolest or the strongest Pokémon, not the true main character, or has appeared so much that it's practically insignificant to fans, but hey, who else would you pick that isn't just based on personal opinion? The Pokémon Trainer can't mix it up in a fight--because The Pokémon Company won't allow it--so if you can't have the real main character, you might as well go with the mascot.

I'd like to see Shiny Pikachu as a color swap. Smash in general has ignored the Shiny variants for too long, I feel (or have I just been blind?). There's also the Cosplay variants from Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, if you think Pikachu really needs to start wearing clothes.

Victory: either Main Theme (Pokémon Red/Green/Blue/Yellow), or Pokémon Caught (Pokémon Red/Green/Blue/Yellow) (lower speed)
Results: Victory! Wild Pokémon (Pokémon Red/Green/Blue/Yellow)
Credits: Ending (Pokémon Red/Green/Blue/Yellow)


Kirby
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Franchise: Kirby
Series: Kirby
Stand-alone Games: Kirby's Pinball Land, Kirby's Avalanche, Kirby's Toy Box, Kirby's Dream Course, Kirby's Block Ball, Kirby's Star Stacker, Kirby's Tilt 'n' Tumble, Kirby Air Ride

It's Kirby, another strong presence of Nintendo! He may not be one of the first names that Nintendo or its fans will immediately think of, probably because he's only second-party if I'm not mistaken, but there's no doubt he's recognizable anyway. With Kirby, the five icons of the 3DS AR Games get rounded out and accounted for (the others being Mario, Link, Samus, and Pikmin).

There's not much I can think of for improving Kirby's Smash capabilities, aside from making his copy abilities actual abilities from his games. It will likely never happen, but for the sake of imagining, here's what I'd arrange from this list's roster:

Mario - Tornado Kirby
Donkey Kong - Backdrop/Suplex Kirby
Mii - Random
Yoshi - Throw Kirby
Wario - Wheelie Rider Kirby
Luigi - Hi-Jump Kirby
Link - Cutter Kirby
Samus - Missile Kirby
Captain Olimar - UFO Kirby
Villager - Leaf Kirby
Fox - Jet Kirby
Captain Falcon - Burning Kirby
Mr. Game & Watch - Bell Kirby
Pit - Cupid Kirby
Marth - Sword Kirby
Pikachu - Plasma Kirby
Kirby - Copy Kirby
Ness - Yo-yo Kirby

As for color swaps, naturally the three other Kirbys from Kirby and the Amazing Mirror should be included, along with whatever other colors from Kirby Air Ride are viable. And if that doesn't give you enough options, you should check out Kirby Squeak Squad's color room!

Victory: Victory Dance (Kirby's Dream Land)
Results: Air Ride - Results Screen / Top Ride - Results Screen (Kirby Air Ride)
Credits: Dream a New Dream for Tomorrow (Kirby's Dream Collection) (faster)


Ness
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Franchise: EarthBound
Series: EarthBound

For a short while, I was debating whether to hold Ness or Lucas as the EarthBound series representative. At first, I thought Lucas should be it since he was the most recent protagonist, but then I decided Ness was the better choice, and not just because he's been in every Smash Bros. game to date. The reasoning is simple: Ness was the only one whose game left Japanese shores! ((Note: No longer true; this might deserve some extra thought.)) Naturally, he would be the one most people would be familiar with. If Mother 3 ever sees an international release...or, against all odds, a fourth entry gets made and released internationally, then this spot would probably go to the most recent lead character. Remember, unlike Marth, Ness wasn't the first protagonist of his series, but I doubt we'll ever see Ninten grace the field of Smash Bros.

...Except, possibly, as an alt skin.

Victory: Eight Melodies / Smiles and Tears (EarthBound) (faster)
Results: Your Name, Please (EarthBound)
Credits: Smiles and Tears (EarthBound)


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