The last time I typed about characters who could be in Smash Bros for Switch, I focused on first and second party entrants to the latest in Nintendo’s massive crossover franchise. Third party fighters have been a part of Super Smash Bros since Melee, when Sega negotiated to get Sonic in that entry but a bit too late during the development cycle. In Smash Bros Brawl, gamers were super sciced to find out that Sonic and Mario would finally meet in armed or unarmed combat, likely to the fiery, explody death. Also Solid Snake was there which was a fun inclusion even though Brawl was a Wii game and Metal Gear only really happened on the NES, Game Boy Color, Gamecube and, 3DS. It was a really nice gesture and an acknowledgement of the past that Konami shared with Nintendo and a promise of continued support in the future. Then Smash Bros 4 happened and the third party support got kind of wild: Mega Man, Ryu, Cloud Strife, Pac Man, Bayonetta, and of course the return of Sonic the Hedgehog. These are contributions from Capcom, Square Enix, Platinum Games, and Namco and even here it’s difficult to establish rules for who might be included in Smash 5. Mega Man and Ryu are both Capcom boys, Konami didn’t have any reps in Smash 4 but they did for Smash 3 and, most importantly of all, ever since the Switch turned out the be the hottest thing since Dark Souls branded pancakes, third parties are currently chomping at the bit to get their games on Nintendo’s new little hybrid. I’ve got a list of third parties who I think will contribute a character to Smash 5 and I hope these characters all make it so fingers crossed and I hope you enjoy this journey I’m about to take you on.
I might as well start with Sega to get it out of the way: Sonic the Hedgehog was introduced in Brawl and came back in Smash 4 and I will buy a hat for the sole purpose of eating that bad boy if he doesn’t return in Smash 5. Just to mix things up, it would be neat it he and Tails were in Smash 5. I can see them working together like the Ice Climbers where Tails is used as an up-B in the obvious way and left/right -B can have tails throw a ring bomb as a callback to Sonic Adventure. I’d also like to see Eggman in Smash 5. As for how he would be implemented, I’d like to see him work as a variation of Bowser Jr: Give him a floating vehicle that attacks with bombs, drills, saw blades and the like. Sonic’s final smash can continue to be Super Sonic and Eggman’s final smash can be him summoning in The Death Egg and smashing everybody like Fox with the Land Master. When it comes to Bayonetta, I don’t think she’ll be making it back unless there’s a huge fan outcry, in which case she’ll come back as a DLC character again. When it comes to stage bosses, I’d like to see some of Eggman’s robots come in randomly in a Sega themed stage, similarly to how summon spells were random in Smash 4’s Midgar. Finally, if Sonic comes back and he’s alone, Metal Sonic should absolutely be used as a skin for him to boost villain representation. Just for fun, let me bring up Segata Sanshiro as a potential Sega rep since he was a huge figure in Japan during the days of the Sega Saturn. I’m going somewhere with this, just please stay with me here.
(Segata Sanshiro was in Project X Zone 2 so I'm going to cling to that factoid as a good enough reason for his inclusion)
Another company I want to get out of the way nice and quickly is Konami, who allowed Solid Snake to be used for Smash Bros Brawl and nothing else. During the development and DLC cycles of Smash 4, there seemed to have been a lot of noise and hype surrounding either a return of Snake and the introduction of classic gaming icon, Bomberman. I think it’s highly unlikely that Snake will come back to Smash unless Phantom Pain is ported to the Switch (which again, I think is highly unlikely) but Bomberman could make it to Smash 5 if only because Super Bomberman R came the Hell out of nowhere and launched with the Switch in March of 2017. It was even a Nintendo exclusive for over a year which is a pretty good sign that Konami is ready to stop being total idiots and work on actual games that actual people might want to buy. I have a couple of other names written in my notes: Simon Belmont and Goemon. SImon Belmont hasn’t really been in any of the modern Castlevania games but he was a massive name in that franchise and a beloved character on the NES. Goemon on the other hand, was a much liked character on the SNES and N64 in the US but in Japan he was loved from the Famicom all the way up to the PS2. I want both of them in Smash but I don’t think either would make it. If their classic games are ported to Switch then maybe but if either of them do make it, my money would be on the legendary thief Goemon.
(Go Goemon! No...No Goemon, don't go into that Pachinko Parlor!!)
Now to go over one of the more entertaining third parties developing for the Nintendo Switch: Capcom. I foresee either Mega Man returning to Smash or global riots when he doesn’t make it into the base game, one or the other. Despite all of the Street Fighter releases on the Switch, I don’t think Ryu will make it back unless it’s later on as a DLC character. From here we have a couple of potential wildcards Capcom could use. Amaterasu could be in Smash Switch thanks to the upcoming release of Okami HD, so too could a Monster Hunter thanks to XX on the Japanese Switch. More interesting still could be someone from Resident Evil since Resi 4 started on the Gamecube, Revelations 1 and 2 are on the Switch and if 1 and 0 aren’t launched on the Switch before 2019, I’ll buy a hat and wear it. A safe bet would absolutely be the return of Mega Man and addition of Proto Man as a Skin to serve as Capcom reps for Smash 5 but if Snake can be in Brawl, I don’t see why Jill Valentine or Wesker couldn’t be in Smash 5. The most boring (and most likely) thing we’re likely to see though would be Mega Man, Proto Man and X in Smash 5 since I can see Capcom anticipating the X collections selling better than any of their other Switch games this year.
(He's not Mega Man, he has a shield...and is red)
I haven’t brought up Bandai Namco yet and I’ll continue to leave you in suspense while I talk about Square Enix instead. Cloud being a DLC character in Smash 4 came out of nowhere and was the most exciting post launch Smash 4 announcement as far as I’m concerned. That being said, Cloud will absolutely NOT be in Smash 5 unless he’s brought back as DLC. If a Final Fantasy rep makes it to Smash 5 I would bet a pair of shoes that it’s going to be Prince Noctis from Final Fantasy XV. Here in the prehistoric hellscape of pre-E3 2018, we can only speculate on whether or not the Switch is getting a port of the Royal Edition of FFXV, Vanilla FFXV or, Pocket FFXV (Gods, I hope not that one). Final Fantasy XV’s development for Switch is something of a poorly kept secret at the moment and I wouldn’t be surprised if Noctis is used in Smash 5 though he might be tired after his time over in Tekken 7. Another couple of potential Squeenix reps would be the Dragon Quest XI protagonist or Neku from The World Ends with You. Given its popularity in Japan, history on Nintendo platforms and, presence on the Switch right now (in Japan) a Dragon Quest rep is a lot more likely than a Final Fantasy one but I’m going to give the nod to Noctis anyway because I’m petty...Oh fine: Slime can be an assist trophy and a stone golem can be a stage boss. I’m dead set against Cloud though unless Final Fantasy VII-R or a Final Fantasy collection is announced for Switch and even in that scenario, I would assume Cecil or Terra would be a more likely inclusion to Smash 5 than Cloud.
(Nice boots, wanna go on an 80-hour road trip?)
Ubisoft and Bethesda have been supporting the Switch quite nicely since it started making money but it’s hard to say if either of those two would be willing to lend a character or two to Smash. When the Rayman thing happened, people seemed genuinely upset that it was a hoax so maybe Ubisoft will relent and allow him to fight in Smash, if only because Rayman 2 was a solid N64 title. I can see Rabbids being used as an Assist trophy too if Ubisoft is agreeable to the concept and it would be a more fitting form of representation than plopping Aiden Pierce or an Assassin into Smash. As for Bethesda, there isn’t a single good fit for Smash among the Dovakiin, BJ Blazkowikz or, anybody from Fallout. A Brotherhood of Steel soldier would look neat of course and using VATS as a final smash could be interesting but it absolutely, positively would not fit...which is why I’m positive a Brotherhood of Steel soldier will be playable in Smash 5 and it’ll be announced during a post E3 Smash Direct, after its announced that Fallout 4 Game of the Year edition will be launching on the Switch in mid-October of 2018. Oh and also Nuka Cola will be a healing item mixed in with the other foods.
(It's like what you would get if you complain that Samus is too spicy for you)
Another huge company of note is Activision and they absolutely support Nintendo. Back on the Wii and Wii U they made sure Call of Duty happened on those platforms and I’m sure the Switch will end up with a port of Modern Warfare 1 and 2 HD sooner or later, if not the latest Call of Duty later this year. They won’t be represented in Smash but I’m sure Crash will be. It would be a kick in the face to Sony for not using him in Playstation Battle Royale and a second kick would be using Spyro in Smash. I don’t think Spyro will make it in Smash 5 but Crash Bandicoot could make it. One of the great things about Smash 4 was how Pac Man, Mega Man, Mario and, Sonic could all duke it out as a means of living out those awesome console war fantasies we used to have back in the early-to-mid 90’s. Adding in Crash Bandicoot would allow us to live out the console wars as of Generation 5 and it would be a nice way of promoting the Crash Bandicoot trilogy that everyone already bought on the PS4.I’m really on the fence about Spyro: he was also a huge name during generation 5 and after Crash’s and Spyro’s successful trilogy on the PSX, they had some really great game boy advance entries. I’m going to assume that both Crash and Spyro are likely to be DLC characters and that DLC bundle will call back to the GBA, Purple and Orange games but I want to give Crash that extra little nudge and say he’ll make it in the base game.
(Oh hey, it's that thing I said)
The Nintendo Switch has been a pretty great place to launch your indie game but even before the Switch, the Wii U was surprisingly good when it came to indies. Shovel Knight sold well on the Wii U but his success continued to grow on the Switch. That leads me to the easiest prediction on this list who isn’t Sonic the Hedgehog: Shovel Knight is definitely going to make it into Smash 5, even if he’s a DLC character launched later on and if not, I’ll purchase a nice pair of slacks. There are a few other standout indie characters who I think would fit nicely in Smash 5; characters like Shantae, Wonder Boy/Girl, Dorothy from Steamworld Dig 2 and even Meat Boy if you use him as an assist trophy. I would love for Nicalis to have a character used in Smash 5 just because of how much software they’ve already launched on the Switch! Binding of Isaac, Meat Boy, 1001 Spikes, VVVVVV, Cave Story: there’s a lot to choose from here! If it came down to a vote, I can see Shovel Knight being joined by Shantae and the player character from Cave Story being made into playable characters. I can see Celeste, Rusty and, the dragons from Wonder Boy and the Dragon’s Curse being used as assist trophies. I would love for Steam Powered Giraffe to be used in some way in Smash 5 and maybe if there’s a Steamworld Dig themed level that can happen but I’m fully aware that there’s no way in Hell that’s going to happen.
(He's very dangerous)
I want to introduce a wild card here and that wild card is Microsoft. Minecraft is owned by Microsoft after all and since Minecraft is on the New 3DS and Switch it’s obvious that Nintendo and Microsoft must have some kind of positive relationship going on behind closed doors. So will Master Chief or a Crackdown Cop or that jerk from Quantum Break make it into Smash? Of course not you fool, that would be ridiculous! A much more likely Microsoft representative would be someone much more familiar to Nintendo fans, someone who comes from a company currently owned by Microsoft who used to work closely with Nintendo. I’m of course talking about Rare and the most likely candidate for a Rare Rep in Smash would be Spinal from Killer Instinct. No, not really: It would be Sabrewulf from Killer Instinct! Again no: I’m of course talking about Banjo and Kazooie who would fit in with the theme I mentioned above of major 5th generation characters coming together to beat the crap out of each other. If Smash Bros 5 can bring together Crash, Spyro, Segata Sanshiro, Banjo and Kazooie together it would likely overload the hype machine by nicely represent all 3 big consoles available during the 5th console generation.
(Just make it happen already Nintendo...Microsoft...Rare)
I have deliberately left this company for last and there’s a good reason for that. Bandai Namco has been supporting the Switch in a pretty significant way and for Smash Bros 4, they licensed out Pac Man to be used in that game. You may have forgotten about this but the Wii U did host a couple of Pac Man 3D platformers that were liked but which I’m sure have been forgotten by now. Bandai Namco’s support of the Switch however is a lot more diverse, with games like the Namco Arcade Museum, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, the Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Trilogy and Dark Souls Remastered. I’m sure Pac Man is going to come back and that’s the only thing I can say that won’t make you beat me up in the parking lot later on but please hear me out. Solaire has an amiibo which could hint that he or the Chosen Undead or someone else from Souls (like Ornstein and Smough) could be playable in Smash.Another much more likely possibility however would be Goku. Goku has been a playable character in various Nintendo games since 1986 in Japan and 1988 in North America (Dragon Power, please look it up). I firmly believe that Goku has a much higher chance of making it into Smash Bros for Switch than Banjo, Spyro, Noctis, Bomberman or really most of who I mentioned up above. I’ll accept that Goku will either be a surprise character who isn’t announced until launch like Duck Hunt or a surprise DLC announcement like Cloud. Naruto is another character who has a huge following, has been featured in dozens of games and who I’m sure is a likely candidate for Smash 5 but I’d have to beat myself up if I suggested that dweeb.
(Goku Rocks the Dragon)
I somehow squeezed 4 full pages out of this concept and I’m positive that out of everybody I mentioned in this list, less than a fifth of them will actually make it into Smash 5 but it’s fun to speculate and considering how many more third party characters were in Smash 4 compared to Brawl, I really don’t think anything is impossible. If Goku makes it in but King K Rool doesn’t, I would absolutely be a little bit miffed. If I can play as a Brotherhood of Steel soldier and use it to fight against inklings, that would be wild but I’m not going to throw a tantrum if it doesn’t happen. No matter what the final Smash Bros 5 roster looks like, it’s going to be a fun game and part of the fun of Smash is thinking about all of the characters who could make it into the latest entry. With that being said though, I just want you all to know that I, a person who would have been an uncle if I didn’t get out of that relationship, work with a Nintendo rep who hasn’t updated that restraining order. That Nintendo rep told me that Son-Goku from Dragon Ball is definitely going to be in Smash 5 and his final smash will be going Ultra Instinct-Oozaru and you unlock him by playing six hundred sixty-six matches as Captain Falcon and you have to knock out at least 6 players per match using Falcon Punch. Anyway, here’s a list of third party characters who I think will be in Smash 5 to recap and if you made it this far than thank you for reading.