Of course the Switch is getting a Smash Bros game...C’mon, it was only a matter of time, even the 3DS got a Smash Bros and funny enough that turned out to be the best one. I’m not here to talk about that though, I kinda already touched on it the last time I typed about Smash Bros. No, this time I’m going all in when it comes to character speculation! It’s practically mandatory for insane people like me to completely geek out and let our imaginations run wild during the run-up to the next Super Smash Bros game. Before I continue, I don’t want this to be a 10,000 word read so I’m going to try and restrict this to newcomers and new variations of returning characters. I’m going to assume characters like Mario, Link, Luigi, Jigglypuff, and the rest of the original 12 are going to be returning, as well as most of the characters from Melee and Brawl. When it comes to new characters from third party companies, I’m going to just make a CBlog focusing on them and post that later so don't freak out when I don't list Sonic the Hedgehog as a returning character in this. Finally, I’m making this list assuming that these characters will be on the game cart as opposed to being DLC characters introduced some time after the initial release. I want to try avoiding the subject of premium skins: a concept that was brought to my attention with the introduction of Injustice 2. Premium Skins are essentially unlockable skins that turn one character into a similar character; Flash becomes Reverse-Flash, Supergirl becomes Power Girl, Hal Jordan becomes John Stewart (no, not that one) but upon reflection, I think I'll go ahead and bring it up from time to time.
During development of Smash Bros 4, it was revealed that limitations on the 3DS prevented characters like the Pokemon Trainer and Ice Climbers from being used. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is why characters like Samus and ZS-Samus were seperated and made into their own characters. I don’t believe this will be an issue in Smash for Switch so it’s easy to say that Shiek and Zelda will be remade into one character, ZS-Samus and Samus will be reunited into one character and, Ice Climbers will enjoy a triumphant return. What about the Pokemon Trainer though? Smash Bros is often used to tease or hype up future Nintendo games and I think Smash for Switch will be used to hype up not only Pokemon Switch but also the long-awaited remakes of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl. The Kanto Pokemon Trainer used Charizard, Ivysaur and, Squirtle so I believe the Sinnoh Trainer will have a similar makeup, using the three starters at various levels of evolution. Since it’s a fighter in Pokken, I can see Empeleon being the fully evolved Pokemon, Grotle would make for a cool mid-level Pokemon they would use but no matter which stage of evolution it is, the Turtwig Pokemon line will be cool to use anyway because of how few quadrupedal fighters there are in Smash. That leaves Chimchar as the base-level Pokemon used by the trainer but I’d like to subvert expectations by having Chimchar behave as essentially just a much faster Donkey Kong with about the same attack power. As for the Sinnoh Trainer’s final smash, I’d like to see them use their remaining 3 Pokemon in a move similar to Mega Man’s or Shulks: Trainer throws 3 balls, whoever gets hit is transported to a world of hurt where they’re beaten up and sent flying by Dusknoir, Gallade and, finally Mega-Garchomp.
(I'd have fun with these dweebs, and I know Dawn is one of the favorites among Ash's companions)
I would love to see the Kanto trainer make a return to Smash for Switch but I’d greatly prefer it if they’re an unlockable character, with the Sinnoh trainer being unlocked from the very beginning. A fun subversion would be to change up Kanto’s Pokemon team; give them Charmander, Wartortle and, Venusaur instead so Charizard can still potentially be used as its own character either as an unlockable, an unlocked-from-the-beginning or, a DLC character. Mewtwo should also be available on the cartridge from day 1. I liked that Mewtwo was in Smash 4 but I really hate that I had to purchase it later on. When it comes to Greninja, I liked using it but I can see it either being omitted completely in Smash for Switch or being used as a DLC fighter later on. The reason Greninja was used at all is because Sakurai loved the character design and it was a great way to promote Pokemon X/Y. Going along with this line of thought, it’s easy to predict that another playable Pokemon, hopefully one that is unlocked after some play time, would be a new final evolution of one of the starters for Pokemon Switch. The only way this wouldn’t work is if Pokemon for Switch isn’t really in development yet and the first Switch Pokemon title is the much anticipated remake of Diamond and Pearl, in which case the previous paragraph can still absolutely work. I am absolutely open to Detective Pikachu being used in Smash if there is no real Smash for Switch in development and thinking about it a bit more critically, Detective Pikachu would make for a great assist trophy.
The Super Mario series is very well represented at the moment but that doesn’t mean and can’t be shaken up. Smash Bros 4 changed Bowser and Yoshi into more bipedal character and hopefully Peach, Luigi and Mario will be changed up in this time around. It’s unlikely that Peach will change up unless a 3DS remaster of Super Princess Peach happens but it NEEDS to happen if someone like Daisy or Pauline is introduced to the roster. I’m sure that even if she isn’t playable, Pauline will be used as an Assist Trophy and it’ll involve the song Jump Up Superstar and/or New Donk City because both of those things are amazing and basically synonymous with her character. The main reason I want Peach to be changed up is because I want Daisy to be introduced as a playable character but without a change-up, Daisy would like just be a model swap which is unfortunately, very common in the series. If Waluigi is brought onto the roster, I would love it even if he plays like Luigi did in Smash 4 but it wouldn’t be as fun if Luigi plays the same: Luigi can be updated not only with Luigi’s Mansion effimera but with balloons and...Balloons. Finally there’s Paper Mario...I would love to see Paper Mario in Smash but again, the Super Mario franchise is already very well represented in Smash but I’d still like to see Paper Mario because of how different he is from the core character: I don’t see him working as a premium skin for Mario and I would be willing to axe Dr. Mario if it means I get to play as Paper Mario. Before I forget: Bowser Jr and the Koopalings can stay exactly as they are since they nicely rep Mario Kart, are unique and are just genuinely fun to play as.
(Unfortunately, he's likely going to use stickers to attack but we still want to love Paper Mario)
Here’s another dense block of nougaty Nintendo legacy to chisel through: Legend of Zelda. Throughout the history of Smash, the mainstays from this series are Link, Zelda, Shiek and, Ganondorf. We’ve had some variations on Link, specifically Toon and Young and like Dr. Mairo, they play just like regular-ass Link but with things like speed and attack power reconfigured somewhat. We’ve seen in the teaser that Link is going to be modeled after his incarnation in Breath of the Wild so we can assume his moveset will likely also be tweaked, more than likely with his main abilities from Breath of the Wild: I can see ice being formed as a down-B, I can see Revali’s Gale being used as an up-B, I can see the sailcloth being used in the air with left/right-B...things like that. The Legend of Zelda reps have been in need of tweaking since Brawl and yet, I can still see a place for regular-ass Link from Smash 64: Let Toon Link keep that move set. I personally don’t want to see Young Link in Smash for Switch but if he makes it in as DLC I would hope he’s completely redone from the ground up: Let him use his masks from Majora’s Mask, people seem to enjoy that game a lot.
When it comes to Zelda and Sheik, I’m in favor of keeping them seperate characters. Sheik has a fun feel to her and I’d rather see her get tweaked a little bit to make her the best ninja she can be. As for Zelda, I’d like to see her take on her Skyward Sword look and act as Lady Paulatina in that she’s more of a defensive fighter. Then when you use her down-B, she’s swapped out with Skyward Sword Impa. For as important as Impa is in the Zelda series, it’s kind of weird that we’ve had 3 variations of Link but no sign of Impa, not even as an assist trophy. As for the elephant in the room...er, Pig in the room; Ganandorf hasn’t really been a great representation of Ganandorf in any of his Smash incarnations. When I think Ganandorf, I think of Kevin Smith with a pair of swords or, the King of the Gerudo harassing me into a game of Tennis. If Smash 5 doesn’t use Toon Ganondorf (which it won’t but that would be awesome), I would rather see a Ganondorf who plays more like Mewtwo: he floats around using ranged magic to attack and defend himself and oh what the Hell, we’re modelling him after his Ocarina of Time incarnation. One of his costumes can be his Phantom Ganon form! Ideally though, my dream fighter would be to play as Ganon from Link to the Past: a massive blue pig who spins a trident and attacks with force lightning and fire bats. The problem with using Ganon though is the same problem we run into with Ridley: they’re just too damn big and too damn awesome. As for other Zelda characters who I’d love to play as but who I’m sure wouldn’t make it in unless they’re assist trophies: Darunia, Yuga, Epona, Revali, Every Last Gerudo from Breath of the Wild, Groose, Skull Kid and of course, Tingle...and Toon Tingle...and Sexy Tingle from Twilight Princess.
Fire Emblem is a series that is arguably, more well represented in Smash than the Super Mario franchise. During development of the original Smash, Marth was intended to be playable but that didn’t happen until Melee, where he debuted with Roy to a thunderous, “Zuh?” from Smash Fans outside of Japan. As of Smash 4, there were 6 reps for Fire Emblem and only a handful of them really felt the same: I liked how Ike was changed up for example and Robin is probably the most refreshing of all of the Fire Emblem reps (I say, having never played as Corrin). As much as I’d love to trim the fat, I think Marth and Roy are absolute shoe-ins for Smash 5, Marth definitely. I want Robin to stay on as a permanent player because of how important Fire Emblem Awakening was for the franchise and if Robin’s moveset stays the same in 5 as it was in 4, I would be perfectly happy with that. When it comes to Lucina, Ike and, Corrin though, I’m happy to cut them. They can stay as Assist Trophies though: Maybe give them the same attack but randomly select them from a list of other FE characters. I am not by any means an authority on Fire Emblem: all I can really add to what I’ve said about FE representation is that Anna, the merchant, should also be used as an assist trophy, even if all she does is mimic Isabella by appearing and throwing helpful items to combatants rather than healing fruit. Maybe bring on Tharja as an assist trophy too and have her distract everybody with her sexy body...I mean, with her satanic witchcraft. Oh and also there’s a Fire Emblem for Switch in development so whoever the main protagonist is of that game is very likely to make it into Smash 5.
Another series that I’m not an authority on is Earthbound/ Mother but I do know that Ness is absolutely going to make it into Smash 5. Lucas may or may not be in the base game but he’s been around since Brawl so odds are good we’ll get both of those crazy Esper Boys. I think an interesting addition would be Flint from Mother 3. I’m always a fan of bruisers and power houses and it looks like Flint would fit that role nicely. Including Flint as a playable character would also be pretty damning evidence that Mother 3 (if not the whole trilogy) is making its way to the Switch which frankly would be more exciting than playing Smash as a big, punchy, cowboy type. I’m not even sure about which bosses or enemies would be a nice fit...I do know that Magicant from Smash for the 3DS was a level I would love to play in again on Switch and one of the reasons I consider Smash for 3DS to be better than Smash for Wii U.
Just for the fun of it, I’m going to try and go through a few more franchises that I’m not as great with. When it comes to Kid Icarus, drop Dark Pit unless he’s used as a skin for Pit. When it comes to F-Zero, Captain Falcon is going to be in Smash 5 and it’s likely going to be him alone from that franchise unless Fox has a James McCloud costume and Mario has a Mr. EAD costume. Black Shadow would be a nice inclusion though and it would be a more justifiable Falcon clone than Ganondorf. Pikmin is fine as is: Olimar and the trio from Pikmin 3 are functionally the same since their attacks are variations of throwing Pikmin around unless Pikmin 4 is completely different in which case we’ll see the playable character from that game joining Olimar. I’m unfamiliar with Wairo’s friends/cohorts in his solo series or the Wario Ware series but hey, there’s a cool looking pirate chick in Warioland Shake It and more pirates in Smash would be fantastic! As for Yoshi, yes he’s mostly a Mario mainstay but we can still rep his solo games by having a Yarn Yoshi as an unlockable character. Yarn Yoshi and even Yarn Kirby are different enough to where either or both characters would make for an interesting addition to Smash. At the very least, it would be neat to have a bedroom stage that features a giant Yarn Yoshi amiibo as a boss or just as a hazard. I would have said that Poochy wouldn’t work in Smash at all but then Duck Hunt proved that maybe a dog and a helper character working together could work and nobody would see that coming so why not add on Poochy to the list. Finally there’s Animal Crossing which is represented perfectly fine and I think can safely stay as it is: play as a villager with certain animal neighbors used as assist trophies.
(Their cold, dead eyes are just waiting to be made into Villager-style memes)
OK back to stuff that I’m somewhat more familiar with: The Kirby Franchise has enjoyed a fun few games on the 3DS recently and Star Allies is the new hotness on Switch (I assume, I haven’t actually played the full game yet) but there isn’t too much in the way of new characters that we can add. Kirby, Meta Knight and King Dedede are all fine as they are but I can see things like Hypernova mode for Kirby to use as a final Smash, a huge muscular form for Dedede to use as a final smash and Mecha Knight for Meta Knight to use as a final smash. I guess we can go ahead and do the obvious and either add Robobot Kirby as his own playable character or use Robobot Armor as an item to be used by anybody on the battlefield. As for assist trophies, I’d love to see things like the Waddle Dee sphere that you may have noticed in the Star Allies adverts. Using Whispy Woods as an offensive assist trophy would also be interesting but it’s more likely that Whispy Woods will be used as a stage boss in either a new or remade Kirby stage. It would be great to see Adeleine, Daroach, Queen Sectonia or Dark Matter appear as either assist trophies or playable characters but Whispy Woods as a stage boss is a much safer bet.
Metroid is awesome and frankly it’s another one of those series that I’m probably not as qualified to bring up when it comes to who should or shouldn’t be in Smash 5; I’ve never beaten a Prime and I liked the gameplay of Other M so I don’t blame you for skipping this paragraph! Keeping Samus and Zero Suit Samus is very likely in Smash 5 and since system limitations aren’t going to be as much of a factor, it’s possible that Samus will be able to swap between suited and zero-suited. From what we’ve seen in the Smash 5 teaser, it looks like Samus is going to have a different model in this entry, something based more around Samus Returns. It brings up a possibility that likely won’t happen but Smash 4 introduced the concept of building up power using regular attacks for the purpose of using a stronger attack later (see Little Mac, and Cloud). Maybe Smash 5 will use a similar mechanic with Samus: have her start with full on Gravity Suit and a plasma shot but as Samus takes damage, she loses that armor until she’s eventually in her Zero Suit form. The trade-off for lesser ranged firepower would be greater movement speed, higher jumps and stronger melee strikes. When it comes to new playable characters though, I don’t have any interesting ideas: Since we have other variations like Dr. Mario and Toon/Young Link, I don’t see why we couldn’t include Fusion Suit Samus as her own character but that concept might just work better as a premium skin. I would love to play as Ridley but since size is a factor with large characters it’s unlikely to happen.
(I like this suit even if it doesn't offer very much that would be new or different)
Donkey Kong is in kind of a strange place, he’s his own character with his own games but it’s hard to shake off his association with Mario and friends. As for Smash Bros representation, he’s one of the original 12 and should be considered a shoe-in for inclusion in the new roster (apparently his silhouette is visible in the teaser) and Diddy was added in for Smash Brawl...which is kinda weird considering how popular the little ape was on the SNES and N64. This is about it for Donkey Kong representation in the last 5 Smash games, there aren’t even any Donkey Kong characters used in Assist trophies! This is fertile grounds for speculation and I recall there being a lot of rumors during the Smash 4 development cycle about Diddy Kong and Dixie being playable and acting a lot like the Ice Climbers. Since Smash 4 couldn’t handle the Ice Climbers, that concept was likely scrapped but it could happen in Smash 5. I’m also a huge advocate for King K. Rool in Smash but in the last couple of Donkey Kong games, K. Rool and the Kremlings have been MIA so it’s unlikely that he’ll be making an appearance in Smash 5 unless he’s used as an assist trophy. I think it’s more likely that we’ll see another Kong as a playable Smash character and I think Cranky should be that Kong. Since he was playable in Tropical Freeze, I see that opening the door to allow him into the Smash roster. Funky Kong would be a more predictable pick but I just think it would be more fun to play as a cane-wielding elder with a chip on his shoulder about ‘the kids these days’.
(He looks like he's about to expand his chest 3 times and launch a kamehameha wave!)
Xenoblade Chronicles kinda came out of nowhere back in 2011...well it almost did but this was that one case of fan protests that actually worked. Personally, I couldn’t get into Chronicles but Shulk was a character who I played as more often than Olimar or Jigglypuff and that must count for something, right? I don’t dislike Shulk but I think Elma might have been a better pick for Smash 4 and since the Switch already has Xenoblade Chronicles 2, it’s highly unlikely we’ll see any playable Xenoblade Chronicles X characters (Sorry Celica and Lao). Hopefully Skells will be used an assist trophy but enough about the one Xenoblade game I’ve actually beaten, let’s make an easy prediction by saying Rex and Pyra will replace Shulk in Smash 5. I don’t think Pyra will actually have anything to do: I can see her acting as the Pokemon Trainer in Brawl and just hanging back during the fight. I do see Rex building up power as he successfully attacks other fighters like Little Mac until he’s able to use a much more powerful B-attack. I also think that Mythra should just be a skin for Pyra: The most that would have to be changed up here is the color of bloom used on the flashier attacks.If Nintendo wanted to be really cool about Xenoblade representation, I’d love to see Elma, Rex/Pyra/Mythra and Tora/Poppi. I’m just not sure how Tora/Poppi would really attack since my focus is usually on Rex and the blades he’s using...I recall a lot of drills being used with Poppi though so there’s that! As for Elma...guns, so she’s a ranged fighter who I’m 99% sure won’t be in Smash 5.
(Yes, I included Elma and Tora but I prefer to look at their dumb faces)
Nintendo’s red-headed step child, Star Fox has been pretty consistent about representation and I don’t think anything is going to change unless the Switch is getting a surprise Star Fox game that’s just completely different (or a remake of Star Fox 2). Fox is absolutely going to be in this, Falco has been in since Melee and is almost definitely going to be in and it was kind of an upset when Wolf wasn’t included as a DLC fighter in Smash 4 so I think it’s safe to assume he’ll be making it in. When it comes to new characters, I don’t know of any who might qualify if there isn’t a new Star Fox in the works. Andross has always been an assist trophy but he’s too non-traditional to be used as an actual fighter. Krystal might potentially be owned by Rare and even if she isn’t I don’t see her being included in Smash unless Star Fox adventure or assault gets remastered. It would be a very strange inclusion and it would almost certainly be too big but I think it would be interesting to play as an Arwing in its walker form. I can see that concept being used in Fox’s or Falco’s final smash but I don’t think it’s likely to happen.
On a final note, there are some miscellaneous characters to consider, like the Nintendo classic characters Little Mac, Ice Climbers, Duck Hunt, ROB and Mr. Game & Watch. It’s being heavily implied that Ice Climbers are going to be making their triumphant return in Smash 5 and I would be very surprised if the others listed above are left out in the cold. Little Mac was a ton of fun to play as, R.O.B. seems to have been popular since Brawl, Game & Watch has been around since Melee. Duck Hunt is the only one who I think is at risk of being left behind but I’m sure it’s a very low risk. Miscellaneous characters at a higher risk of being left behind though are the Mii Fighters. Mii characters are still available on the Switch but they’re buried within the system menu and they seem to be getting downplayed in a pretty big way. If the Mii Trio are left out for Smash 5, I wouldn’t be surprised but it would be a shame to not play as Brawler Lincoln or Gunner Tommy Wiseau. I’ve heard speculation that Labo Robot could be included in Smash 5 and I can see that working if Nintendo choses to scale it down since the Labo Robot seems to be gargantuan. I forgot about one final miscellaneous character: The Wii Fit Trainer. Wii Fit currently isn’t a thing on the Nintendo Switch and I’m not sure how it would be implemented in a way that it could be used as both a docked and handheld experience. This doesn’t necessarily mean WFT will be excluded from Smash 5 but her inclusion is definitely uncertain. As for someone who can come in and replace the Mii Fighters and the Wii Fit Trainer, a very popular potential newcomer would be the Nintendo Labo Joycon Man but I think he would make for a better assist trophy than an actual playable character.
(Now that's what I call a Giant Robot Project!)
If you’ve made it this far, you’ve absolutely noticed that I haven’t brought up Pac-Man, Solid Snake, Ryu, Cloud or any other third party characters. The main reason for that is because I understand that I have just constructed a lengthy wall of text and if I were to talk about third party characters who could make it into Smash 5, that could have doubled this entire thinkpiece. Even without considering returning third party characters, there are a lot of companies to consider for who might contribute to Smash 5 considering how popular the Switch has become compared to the Wii U. I’m just going to end this article with a bullet point of my suspected Smash 5 roster. My current roster, assuming we count multiple-characters as one (Pokemon Trainer, Ice Climbers, etc) comes out to 56. Smash Bros 4 wound up with 58 counting all of the DLC characters and my list doesn’t even include third party characters. There are some omissions like Young Link, Dr. Mario and Chrom who I strongly believe would work better as skins for other characters and if I haven’t pressed that point previously let me just do it again: character skins, premium skins (whatever Injustice 2 called them) is a quick and dirty way of keeping model swaps in the game without annoying fans too much. In fact if we consider Yarn Yoshi, Yarn Kirby, Daisy and a few others below as premium skins for existing characters then we can actually trim my 57 down to about 46. I guess I have no choice now but to write up another, hopefully shorter, article about which third-party characters should be in Smash 5. If you made it this far than thank you for reading some more of my Smash speculation!