Category Archives: 3DS

“Abilities Unlike Any Other” – Sakurai’s Famitsu Column, Vol. 457

Note: Do not repost the full translation. Please use the first two paragraphs and link to this translation. For additional information, please read this post.

Hey there! Here’s a translation I threw together back when Sakurai first published his article on Robin and Lucina, reposted here for posterity. I’ve also included Sakurai’s own comments on the article from his latest book.
I’m currently hard at work translating some other really interesting content, so stay tuned!

Thoughts About Video Games, Vol. 457 – “Abilities Unlike Any Other”

We’ve just announced two new characters who will be joining the fray in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U. One is Robin, the avatar from Fire Emblem: Awakening, and the other is Lucina, a swordswoman who plays an important role in the same title. I’ll skip over the details.

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“The Act of Balancing” Sakurai’s Famitsu Column vol. 480

Today, Source Gaming is bringing you the full translation of Sakurai’s latest Famitsu column, “The Act of Balancing”. This is brought to you by the efforts of Masked Man, Soma, X Kan from Kantopia and myself.The reason I brought on so many people for this translation is because I’m fully aware that this is a controversial topic within the Smash community. Furthermore, I wanted multiple opinions on word choices to ensure the best possible translation. Special thanks to かるび on Twitter for the scan.
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Rhythm Heaven Mini Comic Translation, Parts 2 & 3

Hey there! Masked Man back for a quick little translation. As someone with an extensive musical background and a strong affinity for quirky games, I found myself immediately enamored with the Rhythm Heaven series the first time I played it at an arcade in Japan. To celebrate the JP release of Rhythm Heaven: The Best+ (tomorrow!), the official site has begun posting a series of “the gang’s all here”-style comics. PushDustIn handled the first part, and I’m here to deliver the rest. Enjoy! Part 2: The Martian Returns
同窓会から…数日後。 Several days after the reunion…

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Can Ice Climber be in Smash 4?

The dynamic duo

The Ice Climbers, though from a forgettable NES game, were a well loved duo in the Smash Brothers series. So much so that their exclusion, due to technical issues with the 3DS version, has brought upon a lot of disappointment and discussion. In the Megapoll, Ice Climbers were the most wanted characters for DLC. However, can the Ice Climbers be included in the newest Smash. That’s what I’m going to try to answer today.

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Rhythm Heaven Mini Comic Translation

同窓会当日ー Day of Class Reunion

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Things You May Not Know About Jigglypuff

image

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Introduction to Sex, Japan and Video Games (NSFW…duh):

Sorry for the lack of updates. Everyone connected to the blog has been super busy with their personal lives. This post took me over a week to finish, and honestly– I’m not completely satisfied with it (no joke intended). I’m hoping that this post will serve as an introduction to sexual expression/ content in Japanese video games, and how it differs from the West. I also hope to address some issues with sexualization, and why it’s not seen as a big deal in Japan. However, this is a huge topic and I don’t feel that I’ve done it justice quite yet. I’d greatly appreciate feedback on what areas I need to improve on. This is an extremely long post– over 3,000 words. So sit back, drink some coffee and enjoy.

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All About Ryu and Roy’s Files

TL;DR on the bottom.

New Information:

shinyquagsire23 looked through the fighter table and found this:

After Mewtwo + 7 there are 5 additional “Mario”s listed. This means, that there are 5 additional unused characters in the fighter table in the latest update. Right now, we know for sure that Lucas is coming. After Lucas, it is heavily suggested that Roy (Fire Emblem) and Ryu (Street Fighter) will be incoming as DLC. Therefore, we have two additional slots for DLC. Whether the two slots will be used for the ballot results, or for pre-ballot result DLC is unknown. Stay tuned for additional information.

Introduction:

On April 15th, 2015 Club Nintendo users finally had the chance to play as Smash Veteran, Mewtwo. With the new fighter an update was released for both the 3DS and the Wii U which introduced a number of gameplay balance changes, and support for upcoming DLC. However, this news was quickly overshadowed by future DLC discoveries.

shinyquagsire23, an active member of the 3DS homebrew scene, posted on reddit claiming that there was a number of unused tracks in this update. The tracks were housed under a new folder, thus indicating that they were accidentally left in. Based on the numbering and names of these tracks, users were able to quickly figure out what the tracks were. The biggest shocker was that Ryu (from Street Fighter) and Roy’s (From Fire Emblem) victory songs were included in this folder– two potentially previously unannounced DLC fighters. Because of this, the Internet went on fire as users within the Smash community tried to find additional sources to confirm. Around 10 hours later, additional confirmations started to pour in as other data-miners and hackers backed shinyquaqsire23’s claims. Now, there are over 5 unique confirmation, which further proves that these files are indeed left in the update.

Below, are the list of files that were accidentally included in the update:

snd_bgm_F27_AIR_MoriStage_3DS.nus3bank
snd_bgm_H12_BW_Sentou_Zekrom_Reshiram_3DS.nus3bank
snd_bgm_SF01_SF2_Ryu_3DS.nus3bank
snd_bgm_T09_SDX_PupupuLand_3DS.nus3bank
snd_bgm_V01_PAC_PacMan_3DS.nus3bank
snd_bgm_Z80_F_Mewtwo_3DS.nus3bank
snd_bgm_Z81_F_Ryu_3DS.nus3bank
snd_bgm_Z82_F_Lucas_3DS.nus3bank
snd_bgm_Z83_F_Roy_3DS.nus3bank

Based on the track naming convention within Smash, users were able to identify the music tracks.

“MoriStage” is the Forest Stage song from Kirby’s Air Ride.

“Sentou Zekrom Reshiram” already exist the base version of the game. The file was updated in a previous patch.

“Ryu” is Ryu’s Theme from Street Fighter 2.

“PupuLand” is the N64 remix of Dream Land from Kirby Super Star

PacMan is a song that already exists in the base version of the game. Reportedly, it was altered in this latest patch,giving further credibility to this data-mining.

Mewtwo, Ryu, Lucas and Roy are all victory songs.

We can decipher the meaning behind the tracks not only by listening to them, but by the naming convention.

What Do You Mean, ‘naming convention’?

Brawl introduced a unique track naming system. This system is relatively straight forward once you look at the tracks. However, let me quickly break down some tracks:

snd_bgm_A53_MKT8_RainbowRoad_00000000.idsp
First off- snd_bgm indicates that the track is background music.

The first letter indicates its part of group “A”, which in Brawl and Smash 4 translates to the Mario series. 53 is the track number within that series.
MKT8 indicates that the song is from Mario Kart 8. “Rainbow Road” is the name of the track. The last number indicates if there has been a revision.

snd_bgm_A56_GLX_SuperMarioGalaxy_00000000.idsp
A = Mario
56 = track number in Mario series.
GLX = Mario Galaxy
Super Mario Galaxy theme song.

The Smash 4 system builds upon the existing Super Smash Brother’s Brawl system. Brawl’s system was even ordered by release date of games, which allowed users to identify some of the tracks that have been completely dropped or deleted from the game. Smash 4 new songs are placed immediately after Brawl’s songs. Below is a list of the series letters:

A – Mario
B – DK
C- Zelda
CRS – Menu music, music for modes
D- Metroid
E – Yoshi
F – Kirby
G – Starfox
H – Pokemon
I – F-Zero
J – Fire Emblem
K – Mother
L – Pikmin
M – Wario
N – Animal Crossing
O – Is missing. Was missing in Brawl.
P – Kid Icarus
Q – Famicon ・new series
R – Game and Watch, Punch Out, DS, Other ・Additional new series
S – Megaman (Used to be Metal Gear in Brawl)
T – 64 Songs
TEST1-5 – blank files, for testing purposes
U – Sonic
V – Pacman
W – Melee Songs
X- Music from Brawl
Y – Only two tracks here: snd_bgm_Y05_SBX_BossSentouKyoku1 and snd_bgm_Y07_SBX_BossSentouKyoku2. The two boss battle tracks. (Presumably for Subspace)
Z- Fighter related tracks (winning theme music)


New Kirby Stage:

Since there are two new Kirby songs, it would appear that Kirby is getting a new stage. Frostwraith, an active member of SmashBoards noticed in several 3DS Classic playthroughs that if the Kirby path was chosen, it would now sometimes load Battlefield instead of Dream Land. Theoretically, this is because the game is trying to load a new stage that isn’t in the current file set.

shinyquagsire23 investigated the stage table in Smash 3DS, and found that the number of additional slots was increased from 4 to 14. However, because each stage has both an omega version and a regular version the actual number of potential extra stages is increased from 2 to 7.

“Z” Fighter Numbering:

I marked my guesses with a question mark. I’m assuming based off the order of instance slots in Brawl. Only myu2 and Roy were leftovers in Brawl.

Bold, and caps lock so people will read it:

NOT ALL OF THESE FILES ARE IN SMASH 4. I’M SHOWING A THEORY OF WHAT A COMPLETED LIST LOOKS LIKE SO PEOPLE CAN BETTER UNDERSTAND THE MEANING BEHIND THE TRACK NAMES THAT WERE FOUND.

Fighters that were missing for a version were given new numbers in the newest version. See Mewtwo for definitive proof. This means that Lucas and Roy will also get a new number when they are released.

snd_bgm_Z00_F_MiiFighter_00000000.idsp
64 Fighters (Notice the lack of Jigglypuff)
snd_bgm_Z01_F_Mario_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z02_F_Donkey_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z03_F_Link_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z04_F_Samus_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z05_F_Yoshi_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z06_F_Kirby_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z06_F_Kirby_00000000_001.idsp
snd_bgm_Z07_F_Fox_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z08_F_Pikachu_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z09_F_Luigi_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z10_F_Captain_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z11_F_Ness_00000000.idsp
Melee Newcomers
snd_bgm_Z12_F_Koopa_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z13_F_Peach_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z14_F_Zelda_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z15_F_Sheik_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z16_FICHICLIMBER (FILE NOT IN SMASH 4)
snd_bgm_Z17_F_Marth_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z18_F_GameWatch_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z19_F_Falco_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z20_F_Ganon_00000000.idsp
Brawl Newcomers
snd_bgm_Z21_F_Wario_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z22_F_Metaknight_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z23_F_Pit_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z24_F_ZeroSamus_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z25_F_Pikmin_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z26_F_Lucas (FILE NOT IN SMASH 4)
snd_bgm_Z27_F_Diddy_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z28_FPOKETRAINER  (FILE NOT IN SMASH 4)
29 Squirtle?? (FILE NOT IN SMASH 4/BRAWL)
30 Ivysaur ?? (FILE NOT IN SMASH 4/BRAWL)
31 Charizard?? (FILE NOT IN SMASH 4/BRAWL)
snd_bgm_Z32_F_Dedede_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z33_F_Lucario_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z34_F_Ike_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z35_F_Robot_00000000.idsp
36 “Pramin” [reworked Pichu]?? (NOT IN SMASH 4/BRAWL)
(Let’s bring back the vets section/ new clones)
snd_bgm_Z37_F_Purin_00000000.idsp
38_F_MYU2 (NOT IN SMASH 4)
39_F_Roy (NOT IN SMASH 4)
40_Dr. Mario?? (NOT IN SMASH 4/BRAWL)
snd_bgm_Z41_F_ToonLink_00000000.idsp
42 – Toon Zelda?? (NOT IN SMASH 4/BRAWL)
43 -Toon Sheik?? (NOT IN SMASH 4/BRAWL)
(…Actually, lets add some new fighters)
44- Wolf ?? (NOT IN SMASH 4/BRAWL)
45- Dixie?? (NOT IN SMASH 4/BRAWL)
snd_bgm_Z46_F_Snake (NOT IN SMASH 4/BRAWL)
snd_bgm_Z47_F_Sonic_00000000.idsp
48 – ?? Reserved number? (NOT IN SMASH 4/BRAWL)
49 -?? Reserved number? (NOT IN SMASH 4/BRAWL)
snd_bgm_Z50_J_Continue_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z51_J_GameOver_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z52_JCLEAR1 (NOT IN SMASH 4)
snd_bgm_Z53_JCLEAR2 (NOT IN SMASH 4)
snd_bgm_Z54_J_FigureGet_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z55_J_RareFigure_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z57_J_Youso01_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z58_J_Youso02_00000000.idsp
Smash 4 Section
(Smash 4: Clones and Altered characters first)
snd_bgm_Z59_F_Lizardon_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z60_F_MarioD_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z61_F_Lucina_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z62_F_PitB_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z63_F_Rosetta_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z64_F_Wiifit_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z65_F_Littlemac_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z66_F_Murabito_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z67_F_Palutena_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z68_F_Reflet_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z69_F_Duckhunt_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z70_F_Koopajr_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z71_F_Shulk_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z72_F_Gekkouga_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z73_F_Pacman_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z74_F_Rockman_00000000.idsp
75 – ?  Reserved number? (NOT IN SMASH 4)
76 –  ? Reserved number? (NOT IN SMASH 4)
snd_bgm_Z77_J_World_YellowDevil_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z78_J_World_Ridley_00000000.idsp
snd_bgm_Z79_J_World_Face_00000000.idsp
(Updated File List)
snd_bgm_Z80_F_Mewtwo_3DS.nus3bank
snd_bgm_Z81_F_Ryu_3DS.nus3bank
snd_bgm_Z82_F_Lucas_3DS.nus3bank
snd_bgm_Z83_F_Roy_3DS.nus3bank

The list of files updated/changed in the newest version of Smash 4 3DS can be accessed here (Provided by SciresM).

The “Z” number order is further proof that Jigglypuff wasn’t a priority in Brawl. Also, since there are no missing numbers in Smash 4, it could mean that the Rhythm Heaven representative didn’t get very far into development at all. Most investigation will be done into both of these topics. 

Please note: because this folder was only accidentally left in the 3DS version, there are no files present in the Wii U version. Here’s the list of files included in the update. (Provided by soneek).

Possible Fighter Pack Incoming?

It’s possible that a fighter pack will be released with these three characters. Currently, there is no price listing for Lucas on all versions of the Super Smash Brothers site. The release date is slated for June, which will probably coincide with E3. Ryu and Roy would be huge reveals for Smash DLC, and it makes sense to announce both of them at E3.

TL;DR:

NEW INFORMATION: 5 additional “Mario” was added to the character database. 3 of them will probably be used for Lucas, Roy and Ryu. The other 2 are currently unknown.

Ryu from Street Fighter and Roy are very likely going to be DLC in Smash 4.
Their numbers indicate that they were started along with Lucas, possibly even with Mewtwo.

There’s additional stages incoming (up to 7). One of which is possibly a Kirby stage due to the number of new Kirby songs that were included. Possibly Dreamland from Super Smash 64.

The Definitive Unused Fighters List in Smash

Update 4: There is a cut mini racing game from Super Smash 64.
Update 3: Sonic was originally planned for Brawl. According to the History of Sonic, Sega initially refused causing him to be temporarily dropped.
Update 2: Sonic was indeed planned for Melee. I found the full magazine scan, so it’s no longer possible misinformation.
Update 1: Mii Fighters and Pac-Man were briefly considered for Brawl. They’ve been included in the list below.

Seeing your favorite characters battle it out is probably the highlight of any Super Smash Brothers game. Character selection is a closely guarded secret by the series director, Masahiro Sakurai, but over the years he has released juicy tidbits. This entry will outline all of the characters that did not join the fight in each iteration.

For clarity’s sake, I’ve decided to separate each game into three categories: considered, planned and scrapped. Considered are characters that Sakurai and his team thought about putting into Smash. Naturally, this list will always be largely incomplete. Planned characters are characters that made it into the planning stage, but were not started. The last category is scrapped characters, which are characters that nearly made it into the game, or have left over data in the game.

There is a possibility that some characters are miscatergozied in this post, as we have incomplete pictures of the development cycles. Within each title, I will identify common rumors I have read online, but as far as I can tell are not actually based on fact. In this post, there are a ton of links. This is to allow readers to double check the research that was put into this. Of course, the biggest challenge in writing this post was finding reputable sources and quotes for every character.

In some cases, I’ve linked to posts that I have translated. This was done for the benefit of English speakers. In each of these posts, I’ve included the original Japanese so readers may confirm my translation. Please comment with additional sources, or inquires about certain characters. I tried to be as thorough as possible, but I might have missed some. Without further ado, here’s the the list.

Super Smash Brothers 64:

Considered: Planned: Scrapped:
Mewtwo Bowser
DededeRacing Mini Game

 The first game in the series, Super Smash Brothers 64 was developed with a low-budget, and few staff members. Even though it seems common sense now, Smash was not seen as a promising franchise as Nintendo was wary that people would not enjoy a crossover fighting game featuring their mascots. Furthermore, Masahiro Sakurai attempted to revolutionize the fighting genre as he got rid of complex button inputs and lifebars.

Ganondorf wasn’t considered for 64, but I couldn’t help but include this amazing piece of art.

Since Smash 64 had limited resources, there are characters that were planned, but did not made it into the final game. Bowser, Mewtwo and Dedede were confirmed by Sakurai himself when conducting a hypothetical, “If there was a Smash 2” poll (Japanese Source Here). There likely are additional characters planned but, as far as I know, no hard evidence for any other characters exist. Sakurai confirmed that Bowser and Dedede were being worked on for about half of the development of Smash 64 in a Smash 2 response. It’s unknown whether Mewtwo had any work done on him.

The information about the cut racing mini-game can be found here. No additional information is known at this time.

Possible Misinformation:

Sakurai planning Sigurd for Smash 64, seems to be an unfounded rumor. No official sources could be found, making this pure speculation. Fire Emblem is the only non-64 series to receive their own breakdown in the Smash 2 polls, which guaranteed Marth, and eventually Roy’s inclusion in Melee.

Meowth was probably not planned for Smash 64. I found no reference in any of the e-mail responses, despite claims that he was scrapped in favor of Jigglypuff. People tend to forget that Jigglypuff was popular due to her role in the anime at the time.

Pit in Smash 64 being dropped because they couldn’t get his wings working seems to be an untrue rumor. If this was true, I believe we would have heard about it during Brawl, which I’ve been unable to find a source on.

Super Smash Brothers Melee:

 

Considered: Planned: Scrapped:
Takamaru
Saki Amamiya
Mach Rider
Toad
Ayumi Tachibana
Banjo and Kazooie
James Bond
Balloon Fighter
Urban Champion
Bubbles
Excitebike
Snake
Sonic
Lucas
Wario
Sprout Tower (Stage)
Summit (Stage)
Sukapon (Item)
Kingdom of Akaneia (Stage)

Late in the development, the clone characters, Dr. Mario, Roy, Young Link and Pichu were added. Interestingly, Ganondorf was the last character in, and was extremely ‘lucky’ to make it as he was not originally planned. Since Captain Falcon’s model and moveset fit, and because of his popularity in the Smash 2 polls, Sakurai decided to add him in at last minute.

Additional characters were most likely considered, as Sakurai had the Smash 2 poll data. I’ve only included characters that were outright confirmed by Sakurai, or have an interesting history.

Considered:

Sakurai was asked by a fan what character he would like to see in Smash 2, and Mach Rider was the response he gave. He was most likely joking though, as he said he ‘wanted to include him based on his funny name’.  In an earlier response, he does say that his generation turns to Mach Rider or Takamaru. However, it’s unknown how much consideration was actually given into these characters as he outright stated that Takamaru’s chances of appearing in Smash 2 were low .

A Sin and Punishment character (Most likely Saki) was very briefly considered for Melee (Japanese). In his comment, Sakurai stated that he had no plans for a Sin and Punishment character, as a moveset did not come natural when thinking of a character.

Toad was at least considered for Melee. Not only was he ranked 9th on the Smash 2 polls, but Sakurai also said that he expected Toad to appear in Smash 2 in a reader response. Sakurai used the word “appear/ come out” and not “join the battle”/ “join the roster”; so it’s unknown how likely a candidate Toad was during Melee’s development. Like Wario, it is possible that he was dropped in favor of less Mario representation.

Ayumi Tachibana, one of the main characters in Famicom Tantei Club, was confirmed to have been considered for Melee during a recent NicoNico interview. Sakurai decided not to include her in the final roster plan, as she lacked familiarity abroad. In the Melee emails (Japanese), Sakurai stated that without a new release in the series, Ayumi Tachibana probably wouldn’t join Smash Brothers.

In an e-mail response asking about including a character from Rare (Japanese), Sakurai stated that it was difficult to include a character from Rare for various reasons. While some may see Banjo and Kazooie’s inclusion as natural, they couldn’t make it in due to ‘adult circumstances’ (This most likely means copyright).


In a similar vein, James Bond was considered for Melee. Again, “adult circumstances” led to him not being included. Sakurai actually lists the reasons here (Japanese). The reasons are: Can’t have realistic guns in the game. Can’t use the actor’s likeness. Since the game is originally based on a movie, the copyright won’t go through. Lastly, it’s owned by Rare.

Ice Climbers were chosen as Melee’s retro representation. In one of the Smash 2 e-mails, Sakurai discussed how important it is to have a wide selection of characters in order to appeal to the various demographics. When the Ice Climbers got their Japanese Melee character page, Sakurai included other characters that were considered for the Ice Climbers spot. These include Balloon Fighter, Urban Champion, Bubbles (from Clu Clu Land) and Excitebike.

Not a character, but Sprout Tower was considered for a stage at the start of Melee’s development (Japanese). Summit (Ice Climbers) was also considered (Japanese). Interestingly, ICETOP is a name of a cut stage. Reportedly, it can be loaded but it’s Icicle Mountain without music.

Planned and Scrapped:

During Melee’s development, Kojima (at his son’s request), asked Sakurai if Solid Snake could be in the game. Since Melee was pretty far into development, adding Snake was impossible. When starting Brawl’s development, Sakurai then asked Kojima if Snake could join the battle.

The source for Sonic being planned for Melee Edge magazine in Australia. Yuji Naka spilled the beans on Sonic’s possible inclusion in Melee. In it, Yuji Naka states that it was very close to happening, but because of time constraints, it was impossible. However it, “left the door open for future collaborations”.

Here’s the source information for for the magazine:
Edge Magazine (Australia Edition) Issue 04 (January 2005)
Author:Future Publishing
Subject:Edge Magazine (Australia Edition);
Year:2005

Wario
was planned for Melee. Sakurai has mentioned that he was concerned with overrepresentation of certain series, so some characters that were planned got dropped. Wario was the 3rd most popular character on the Smash 2 ballots (After Bowser and Peach). On a Melee site, Sakurai stated that if he had the time to add one more character, he would have added Wario (Japanese). See possible misinformation for additional information on Wario.

Lucas was planned for inclusion in Melee. However, due to Mother 3 being in development hell, Ness was brought back. This is outright confirmed on Ness’ Japanese character page for Melee (Japanese) and in a reply by Sakurai.


Sukapon
was going to be an item in Melee (Japanese).  Sakurai mentioned Sukapon twice in the reader response. He says that Sukapon was cut because of “adult matters”, and that players would’ve been able to ride Sukapon. The bonus text relating to Sukapon was on the site, but it has since been deleted. Unfortunately, the Melee site didn’t allow it to be archived, so we don’t know how many points the bonus would have given. Since Sakurai said “adult matters” it’s plausible that there were legal complications which lead to Sukapon being cut entirely. I found a Japanese blog, supposedly written by someone who worked on Joy Mecha Fight, that stated that the contract for the game was lost, which is the reason Sukapon was cut. The contract was found, hence the Virtual Console release in Japan. It’s unknown the actual validity of the blog.

Not a character, but Kingdom of Akaneia (Fire Emblem) was scrapped from Melee (Japanese)’s stages. It was going to have machines that threw stones at the castle, and have appearances from a dragon and a sorcerer. Due to various circumstances it was cut. AKANEIA was found in the debug menu of Melee, and trying to access it crashes the game. Furthermore, the game’s Fire Emblem track is named AKANEIA.

Luigi’s plan in Melee was decided before Sakurai knew about Luigi’s Mansion (Japanese). His high pitch voice is based off of Mario Kart. “Assist Capsules” were thought of during Melee’s development but were removed for an unknown reason (Japanese). Giga Bowser was made as a reaction towards Bowser’s modern design. Sakurai notes that the old Bowser was really scary, and he wanted to incorporate that. However, since the design has changed, he had no choice but to include the modern version as a playable character (Japanese).

Venusaur, along with other Pokemon, were originally going to appear on Pokemon Stadium (Like Saffron City in 64) (Japanese).

Fire Emblem trophies were planned for the game, but they were too complex so they were not a priority (Japanese).

Misinformation:

Update:I got in contact with the original poster for the following information. After careful consideration, we both determined that the information was illegitimate. Therefore, anything from the original post is open to debate as some parts of it are purely speculative.

Not all characters that appeared in the intro movie for Melee were intended to join the fight according to the Japanese official site. Sorry Ridley, Wolf and Samurai Goroh fans.

There is no reliable source for Wario actually being seriously, “considered for a Mario clone but he deserved better”. In addition, I haven’t been able to find hard sources on Japanese character discussion. Sakurai did say, “If I cut all the clone characters, I wouldn’t have been able to even add one new character. However, I could have made Wario using the same body shape and attacks as Mario” (Japanese). He also states that if he cut Roy and Marth or Mewtwo, he might have been able to add Wario, but the Mario representation was too much (Japanese). There’s nothing there that says Wario was cut for deserving better.

Dedede being next in line, or Sakurai choosing between Dedede and the clones, might also be false information. No Japanese sources exist for this comment. Considering that it Sakurai has stated that there was no option between one new character, or the clones in the Melee polls, I’m leaning towards this being false.

Wolf as a Fox clone might also be misinformation. The only source I’ve been able to find is a Neogaf user, who has since been banned. He claims that the information came from a Famitsu article, but provided no scans nor the date of the article. This was said by the same guy that claimed Wario was considered as a Mario clone. Based on Sakurai’s comments about not all characters in the opening movie being planned, and the questionable legitimacy of that user, I believe that this accusation is false. Sakurai mentioned that Peppy’s voice actor was wondering if Peppy was going to be a playable character. Afterwards, he mentioned that fans would really like to see the Starfox team complete (Japanese).

Super Smash Brawl:

At GDC 2008, Sakurai stated that a lot of characters were originally planned, but also many were scrapped so that they could focus on, ‘balancing series representation and making each character unique’.

Brawl’s character selection was essentially completed by July 7th, 2005. The only exception was Sonic, as he was a late addition to the game (Japanese). Sonic was added due to his overwhelming popularity in the ballots (Mainly from the West). This means that characters like Wolf, Toon Link, and possibly Jigglypuff might have dropped at one point from development.  For additional information about Brawl’s development, check out DarkErmac’s comments on reddit for additional information about this theory.

UPDATESonic was planned from the very beginning. However, Sega initially refused to have the hedgehog join the fight.

“Early on, Nintendo asked SEGA if Sonic could be included in the game, but the Haneda company refused. It was only later, when the development of Super Smash Bros. Brawl was nearly finished,
that SEGA changed its mind. This is why the game’s release was delayed.”

History of Sonic, page 210.
Thanks to Sur and Naoshi for providing the quote and source.

Just like Melee, additional characters were surely considered as Sakurai had the results from the Smash 3 ballots. The official site for Brawl was completely replaced by Smash 4’s site. Luckily, I was able to capture all of the poll results by using the Wayback Machine.

Considered: Planned: Scrapped:
Takamaru?
Villager
Nintendog
Blastoise (Pokemon Trainer)
Ridley
Pac-Man
Mii Fighters
Confirmed: Dr. Mario, Mewtwo, Roy, Dixie.Highly Likely: Toon Zelda/ Toon Sheik.
Speculated: Plusle and Minun

Considered:

Takamaru – Brawl response #71, #121, #139, #165, #284 all argue that Takamaru should be a playable character, but Sakurai did not give a  response. Flip at NinDB posted:

If the GBA port of Nazo no Murasame sells well, then I will consider Takamaru.
In the same paragraph, he mentions that the GBA port of Kid Icarus was the final deciding factor in the inclusion of Pit as well. He knew Pit was popular, but he didn’t think he could be a “top-seller.” Lo and behold, Kid Icarus was the number one selling title in the Famicom Mini Series and thus Pit was included.

However, I’ve been unable to find the original source of this comment. Additional help finding this source would be appreciated.

Sakurai stated that finding representatives from new series was difficult as many of the characters did not have the fighting spirit, despite being really popular. The Villager and Nintendogs were explicitly named in an Iwata Asks. Most likely, they were only briefly considered.

In the previously mentioned interview (Japanese), Sakurai stated that Blastoise was briefly considered for Pokemon Trainer. However, he felt that having a representation for each of the stages of evolution would really balance the character out.

Pac-Man was briefly considered. Sakurai stated that Miyamoto approached him with the idea, but Sakurai thought it was a little “far-fetched”.

Mii-Fighters were also briefly considered, but Sakurai decided against it.

In a Nintendo Power Article, Sakurai said that “Ridley would be impossible”, “very slow”,and that the team would have to work very hard in order to make him work as a playable character. Interestingly, Ridley was possibly going to be an assist trophy, as leftover data has been found. His role as an assist trophy was most likely changed to a boss role during development.

Scrapped:

AKA: The forbidden seven.

Of the characters with leftover data, Mewtwo, Roy and Dixie arguably had the most work done on them. Roy has a unique victory fanfare while Mewtwo had a unique victory fanfare and a Wii remote sound. Dixie had a working prototype at one point, as she was originally envisioned to have a tag-team mechanic, just like in Donkey Kong Country 2 (Japanese). However due to complications in programming, she was dropped and Diddy was made into a full character by himself. It’s unknown how far each of these characters got into development, or when they were dropped as the team worked on various aspects of the game at the same time. Since the other three (and arguably Dixie too) have less references to them, it’s plausible that they were dropped earlier in development.

Toon Zelda/ Toon Sheik are obvious from their filenames. However, it’s unknown whether Toon Sheik was actually Tetra or not. It is highly likely that this is the case, as Toon Link’s design was inspired from Wind Waker and Tetra was made to be Wind Waker’s Sheik. Despite this, it is not 100% confirmed as Sakurai has never talked about this character.

Plusle and Minun draw considerable debate within the community. The files are labeled, pra_mai, which kind of corresponds to their Japanese names, PURASURU and MAINAN(プラスル&マイナン). The main point against them is that the Ice Climbers, and the Dixie/Diddy combo, had two separate character files. This could be explained by Plusle and Minun using an unknown mechanic where they weren’t separated. Furthermore, they do not use the Gamefreak localization for their names, nor the original Japanese. Despite this, it’s interesting to note that Plusle and Minun, along with Pichu and Mewtwo, are all special criteria Pokemon trophies in Brawl.

Super Smash 4 3DS/Wii U:

Considered: Planned: Scrapped:
Takamaru
Chrom
Speculated: a Rhythm Heaven character
Confirmed: Ice Climbers
Speculated: Dr. Mario Stage
Brain Age Stage
Electroplankton Stage
Swapnote Stage

Additional characters were most likely considered. However, I’m only including the characters that Sakurai himself has stated were considered. Like Melee and Brawl, clone characters (Lucina, Dr. Mario and Dark Pit) were added late into development. DLC for Smash 4 was formally announced on April 1st.

Takamaru was (once again) considered as a playable character in Smash 4. In a NicoNico interview with the voice actor for Takamaru, Sakurai mentioned that he briefly considered adding the unique swordsman as a playable character. However, because of lack of name recognition Sakurai decided against it.

Chrom was briefly considered before deciding upon Robin. Robin was picked as he was more unique than Chrom.

Ice Climbers, officially were scrapped due to issues on the 3DS.

Note: This is my personal opinion, and should not be treated as fact. This is open for debate: Personally, I think that 8 Player Smash might have also played a role in them getting scrapped, despite claims by Sakurai saying they were working on the Wii U. This is because many of the 8 Player stages have removed components which require some artificial intelligence (A.I.). These include boss characters, stages with breakable walls, and even background effects. I believe that that the team could not make 8 Nana’s A.Is. work on many stages. It’s also interesting to note that some characters like Wii Fit Trainer actually have less bones in 8-Player Smash. This causes her thumbs up pose to look a little different– depending on what mode you are playing.

It is speculated that a Rhythm Heaven character was scrapped. This is due to the order of the emblem database that I uncovered while digging through the files. No additional files for the character were found, thus it is a mystery which representative would have been chosen and how long they were being developed. According to the Gematsu leaker, this would have been the Chorus Men. This is a very hot topic within the Smash community.The next article that I’m working on is an in-depth discussion about the potential validity of the Gematsu leaks.

Numerous stage references were found in the Wii U files. These are all speculated, but it’s assumed that Dr. Mario was going to have a home stage (with the Virus’ as boss characters) Furthermore, Brain Age had a blank emblem file present in the Wii U. It’s speculated that this file would have been used on the stage select screen. Furthermore, a reference to the emblem still exists in the emblem database (brainage).  Electroplankton? (Plankton) has an emblem reference, and so does “diary”. “diary” is speculated to be a Swapnote Stage, as いつの間に交換日記 (Literally: Exchanging Diary over Spotpass) is the Japanese name. However, no further evidence seems to exist to confirm or deny these theories. It’s also unknown if all these stages were planned for the Wii U version, or if they are leftover data from the 3DS version.

Conclusion

I believe I provided a comprehensive list of all the unused characters in each of the Smash Brothers game. Please let me know if I made any mistakes or if you guys find additional sources. I will not accept information without legitimate attribution. Special thanks to Flip at NinDB, and Sir llpalazzo at Starman for laying the groundwork for this post. Additional thanks to Spazzy_D (Check out his amazing DLC article) and Frostwraith for giving me suggestions. I spent over 20 hours researching and writing this post so give me a shot out on Twitter. Stay tuned for more great content at Source Gaming.

Was DLC Planned for Smash 4?

Or does he?

DLC.  A three letter acronym that many gamers consider to be the dirtiest word a video game publisher can utter.   It’s no wonder really, as many companies ship incomplete piece meal titles to consumers only to charge them later for content that should have been included in the game to begin with.  Some publishers (*cough* Capcom *cough*) have even been known to charge for content that was already present on the game disk to begin with.  These sort of practices have caused a rift in the trust between the gaming populace and the giant companies that produce many of their favorite titles.  This has ultimately lead to a negative perception of downloadable content as a whole.

The view point that “DLC is bad” is understandable, but it is also very short sighted.  DLC provides developers with a tool to continually provide their fans with fresh content, thus greatly increasing the life span of a game.  It also allows them to fix problems within a title after launch.  Shigeru Miyamoto himself has famously said that “a delayed game is eventually good; a bad game is bad forever.”  That is no longer necessarily true.  It is for these reasons that fans of the Smash Bros. series had long been looking forward to news about DLC for the franchise.  Well, that wait is now over.   Nintendo’s April 2015 Direct showed us that paid character DLC will now be a part of Smash Bros. moving forward.

Just how long has that DLC been in the works for, though?  We were all lead to believe that Mewtwo was primarily what the team has been working on post launch, but Lucas’ trailer shows a character that is much further along in development than that line of thought would suggest.  So, has Nintendo been planning for Smash DLC all along?   Let’s look at the evidence.

What Sakurai has said about DLC

Back in 2008, Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai was noted as saying that he would have included DLC in Smash Bros. Brawl, but was unable to do so due to the lack of a hard drive on the original Wii.   A lot has changed since Brawl’s launch, and Sakurai’s attitude on the subject of DLC reflects this.  He has had quite a lot to say about the subject since Smash 4 was revealed at E3 2013.  Let’s take a look at a few quotes from that time period.

“At the current time we have no plans. I consider my job at this point, and my main responsibility, to make the Wii U and 3DS versions the best and the fullest experience possible. That said, once finished, it’s the type of thing we could take into consideration, but for now, you could consider DLC as not being in the cards.”

This quote makes it seem like DLC was not on his mind in one way or another at the time.  It seems believable enough.  He also had this to say:

“I am not opposed to DLC. I loved those proposed for the game Fallout 3, for example.”

It’s almost like he’s trying to leave the door open for DLC without confirming  it.   He might as well have said “Hey, not all DLC is bad, right?  I mean Fallout 3 DLC was cool and worth the money, so keep that in mind!”

The next bit of interesting news came in November of 2014, after the final Smash Wii U Nintendo Direct.  That Direct confirmed what many of us had long since suspected, that Nintendo would support the game in some form post launch.  Nintendo showed off Mewtwo, as part of a promotional deal that involved purchasing both the Wii U and 3DS versions of the game and registering them with Club Nintendo, as well as a new Miiverse stage and tournament game mode.  None of these features were paid DLC, however, so future content beyond them still seemed uncertain.  Let us look at Sakurai’s quotes from this time period.

“What I can say now about paid DLC is that we aren’t working on anything at the moment. We’ve put all our efforts into making the actual game. Creating DLC would involve large additional costs and require the involvement of a lot of people.”

This seems pretty self explanatory.  He goes on to say the following.

“Creating a single fighter involves a huge investment, and we’ve already been giving it our all and investing a lot of work in the characters currently available in the game, and I think it’s an incredible package in terms of the sheer amount of content in the game. But it might be that people may not understand and may think that I am not offering enough just by looking at DLC itself.”

“As for why Mewtwo isn’t paid content from the start, releasing that character is an experiment meant to act as a foothold in content distribution; thus it’s simply meant as part of the service we’re providing to gamers.”

No DLC for a while then?  Or maybe he just didn’t want gamers to unfairly (in his opinion) judge him based on the common conception of DLC practices.  Take a look at the following quote that was taken from the same interview and judge for yourself.

“However, I think there might be criticism that we are cutting up content to sell characters one by one, or that we are adding things later that should have been there from the start.”

Gematsu Leak and DLC

Sal Romano, editor of Gematsu.com, firmly entrenched himself in the annals of Smash Bros speculation history due to the infamous “Gematsu Leak.”  A day before E3 2013 he posted his “unlikely predictions” for Smash Wii U character reveals. They were:

  • Mega Man
  • Animal Crossing Guy
  • Wii Fit Trainer
  • Little Mac
  • Pac-Man
  • Mii

After 3 of the 6 were revealed the following day at E3, Sal stepped forward with information of a purported “leaker” that had e-mailed him the information.  Sal eventually received a second e-mail in April of 2014 which added even more new characters to the leaked roster.  There characters were:

  • Shulk
  • Palutena
  • Chrom
  • Chorus Men
  • Pokemon from Pokemon X and Y

The legitimacy of this leak is still being fought over, but there are a few interesting things to note.   9 out of the 11 fighters on the list ended up making it into the game.  Of the two that did not make, one (Chrom) was mentioned by Sakurai to at least have been considered for playable status.  The other fighter(s) that did not make the final cut are the Chorus Men.   It should be noted that datamining the Wii U Smash Bros. game revealed that placeholder data for a franchise entitled “Rhythm” was found near the emblems for playable franchises.  (See more here https://sourcegaming.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/smash-4-wii-u-data-discoveries/) This likely points to a character from the Chorus Men’s home series, Rhythm Heaven, having been planned and cut at some point in development.  All in all, it seems very likely that Sal’s leaker had at least some insider knowledge.

What does this have to do with Smash Bros. DLC?  Well, Sal’s source sent a third e-mail which is of particular interest to this discussion.   It states that:

  • There has been internal debate about keeping Lucas versus Ness, apparently Lucas is likely to get the cut
  • Nintendo is planning post-launch character DLC, source doesn’t like this as he thinks it’s greedy

After this e-mail was released, many people made the logical assumption that Lucas had been cut but would return as DLC.  If we are to assume that the Gematsu leaker had actual information then it would appear that Smash DLC had been in the works for quite some time.

Smash 6

In April 2014,  Bandai Namco posted an ad for programmers for a “Smash Bros. 6.”  The post was on e-Career FA, a Japanese career board which is routinely used by many Japanese video game developers to recruit talent.  Interestingly enough, the job posting was for work to be done in 2015 even though Smash Bros. for Wii U was scheduled to (and indeed did) launch in 2014.

The ad stated the following:

“Social games are currently a big hit, but the current state of job opportunities for making retail games is critically low. In the midst of this, this will likely be your only chance to be part of a development project for the Smash Bros. [series], which has surpassed a total of 10 million in worldwide sales. And Bandai Namco believes that now is the best time to recruit programmers for retail games.”

The ad was taken down within a day, shortly after major video game news outlets began reporting on it.  The listing itself was posted by a consultant by the name of Tatsuya Matsumura.  He also uploaded career opportunities for other major video game clients, so odds are that it was not a hoax post.  Sakurai stated in an interview dated sometime after this job listing was posted that he thought of Smash Bros. Wii U and Smash Bros. 3DS as Smash Bros. 4 and 5.   This would make the proposed Smash Bros. 6 title make a bit more sense, but what was it?  Perhaps it was a job listing for Smash DLC?

 Datamining and DLC

Our own PushDustin has found quite a few items while perusing the files of the 3DS and Wii U versions of Smash that point towards possible DLC.

Let’s have a look at a few of the more curious items.

3DS Additional Page Arrows

What appears to be next page arrows were found with the both the stage and character icons, and seem to fit very well on the empty spaces on both the character selection and stage selection screens.  One would expect to see these sort of icons on the 3DS as shrinking the icons any further would result in them being almost unreadable on the classic 3DS model.  The following two images are for use on the character selection screen.

This next Icon is from the stage selection screen.  This one is particularly convincing, largely because the 3DS stage selection screen has that odd empty space.  The icon looks like it was literally made to fit on the bottom right portion of the screen.  Probably because it was.  Here, look at this mock up:

Look at how well the arrow fits on the screen.  Why else would the bottom row not be centered?  That arrow could easily lead to a second page of downloaded stages.  To further reinforce this theory, the following unused line of text was also found in the files: “See stages you have downloaded.”  This could possibly be a relic from a time when stage builder was feature on the 3DS, but it is doubtful as no other traces of the mode can be found.

In Game Shop and Extra All Star Stages

There is also evidence of an in game shop.  These lines of text are found in the 3DS version of the game and are currently unused:

Shop
Unable to connect.
Disconnect?
You’ve been disconnected.
You will need to update the software via Nintendo eShop before using the in-game shop.

There is very little doubt in my mind that this refers to a DLC shop much like the one found in another Nintendo game, Mario Kart 8.

While this text is absent from the Wii U version, we do have a mysterious texture that is likely related to downloadable content.  Below you will see a mock up of where it may go.

Finally we come to the extra Stage Clear icons.

These icons are used whenever a player completes All Star mode on the 3DS.  Stages 1-6 are used in the final game, while stages 7-9 do not appear at all.  If they ever were implemented, however, the game could host up to 22 additional characters in All Star mode.

Was it planned all along?

Reviewing all the evidence, it becomes readily apparent that Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS was made with the ability to receive DLC from the start, even if paid DLC was not a certainty at the time of its release.  It is very hard for me personally, knowing how much Nintendo has embraced DLC in the last few years (in titles such as Mario Kart 8, Fire Emblem: Awakening, and Mario Golf,) to believe that DLC plans were not laid out far in advance of Smash 4’s completion.   I cannot say with any sort of certainty that Smash Bros. was always meant to have DLC.   I do not, after all, have any sort of insider knowledge of the industry in general or of Smash development in particular.  Instead I will say nothing, and leave you with this.

Take it for what it’s worth.