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LONG BLOG

Challenger Approaching: A Llama

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Whether it's because they're funny, friendly, or fearsome, llamas are very well beloved animal among humans. Maybe not as much as a cat or a dog, but who doesn't love llamas? I think it might be their looks. Llamas just plain look really goofy. They're funny to see. If you're one of the lucky ones who have managed to work with llamas, you may have also been endeared to them through usefulness. They can haul stuff, they have great wool, and they're just fun to be around. Among the llama's biggest fans is Carl from Jimmy Neutron. Remember that show? I do. One of my professors in college was just like Mrs. Fowl.

Speaking of things that are well beloved among humans, the latest Super Smash Bros. is still getting updated. Sakurai recently promised even more DLC characters to square off with the Nintendo crew. If you've been reading this little series, you know my mind is rife with ideas for new fighters to join the roster. As I was mulling over the endless possibilities following recent news about the game, I came across a startling discovery:

SUPER SMASH BROS. HAS NO LLAMAS!

Forget everything I've written about in this blog series thus far. This mistake needs to be corrected immediately. The next DLC for Smash must include a llama. Not a specific llama, like a llama character, just a llama. Why include a llama? I think the better question is, why NOT include a llama?

Disclaimer: I don't know much about llamas. All the information herein comes from the internet. Mostly WIkipedia.

WHAT IS A LLAMA?

The llama, scientific name Lama glama, is a member of the camelid family. That pretty much makes them the western hemisphere's version of camels. Scientists believe they originated in central North America but migrated southward during the last ice age. They are now found naturally in western South America, primarily Peru, although there are modern llama farms all over the world.

One of the llamas most well-known traits is its ability to spit, and spit hard. It's not only gross, it hurts, and is often used by llamas to tell somebody off or discipline their kids. It's their way of establishing who's the boss. If raised properly, they generally don't spit at humans, only other llamas.

In the olden days, llamas were mostly used as pack animals, to haul supplies. They are also sometimes sheered to use their fur for clothes. One of the most interesting uses for them in modern time is as a guard animal. Sheep farms will sometimes employ a llama in place of a dog to keep predators away from their flock. They are reportedly pretty good at it, being more than a match for coyotes and feral dogs.

HOW WOULD A LLAMA WORK?

Let me get the most obvious think out of the way first. It's projectile would be it's spit. It could be as simple at tapping the n-special for a quick low-damage projectile. In researching this article, I discovered that llamas actually have three different kinds of spit, which they bring up from different glands and even their stomachs. Their deepest kind of spit is actually more like throwing up. In Smash, maybe you could charge the spit by holding the button or something. A fully charged loogie would be a big green ball of power, though in keeping with real-life accuracy, that charge would require a bit of recharge time.

As far as the rest a llama's attacks, there's already pretty good precedent for that. IIRC, Pikachu is the only playable quadruped. It's a rare instance when PIkachu is based more on its native species rather than Ash's specific Pikachu from the anime. Being a quadruped, Pikachu would be a great starting point for a llama. Pikachu's basic attack is some kind of headbutt thing, which is perfect for a llama. Llamas have long necks and big heads, so it makes perfect sense. The rest of its physical attacks and movements could fall in the same vein, from its kicks to holding items with its mouth.

In terms of specials, llamas don't have any powers or anything to draw on. I think we can make a decent arsenal out of a llama's basic physical characteristics. In addition to the spit, side-special would be a dash or charge. Down would be either a stomp like Bowser, or it could shake the ground with its hooves like DK's ground pound. For its up special, maybe the llama could spin its head around like a helicopter.

That leaves its Final Smash. Maybe the llama could take its inspiration from the spit, launching a huge blast of third-level spit-puke. Spuke? Spuke. A huge blast of third-level spuke. A transformation is another possibility. The llama could turn into a very angry llama, with glowing red eyes and a mean scowl. That would make it far faster and more powerful than the happy llama. I also thought that it could turn into a camel, seeing as how its related to the camel, but that would imply that camels are the superior species, which is disrespectful to the llama. Also, since llamas are sometimes used to guard sheep, maybe the llama could summon a whole herd of sheep to trample across the battlefield and stomp its enemies to the dirt. On the other hand, I can't imagine the loyal llama endangering its charges for its own gain.

Every fighter needs an arena. A llama would be most at home with a nice green pasture. For alternate outfits, the possibilities are endless. While llamas are most commonly white or gray, brown and black llamas are far from unheard of. There could be all kinds of fur colors and patterns. In addition, why not base a model on the llama's cousin, the camel, or the alpaca. No matter how it ends up happening, a llama would be a great addition to the Smash roster.

WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENING?

With all the great characters at Nintendo's disposal, I doubt they would want to overshadow their own work by including something as prestigious as a llama. It would also be pretty hard to make it DLC, since a llama would deserve top billing. Putting a llama in in the current games would require the Big N to re-release the retail package with the llama in Mario's place in all the artwork.

That said, there's nothing stopping them from doing it. It's not like there are any copyright issues in place. It's not like the llama has to be a character. It would just be llama. The only thing stopping them is because they don't want to. So let's get the word out there. Start a petition or something. Tell Nintendo, we want a llama in Smash Bros.

 

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About Adam Pone of us since 10:34 PM on 04.28.2013

My name is Adam. I've been gaming as far back as I can remember, ever since the NES my parents owned when I was a wee lad. Writing has been a passion of mine for almost as long, and I've made quite a hobby out of combining the two pastimes.

I have a very wide taste in gaming. I'll give just about anything a shot, regardless of age, genre, or hardware. I like to think of gaming as an entertainment medium in the same vein as literature and film rather than a simple toy.

When I'm not writing or playing, you might find me in church, in the woods (probably on a four wheeler and/or carrying a gun), or in my room playing my guitar.