A list of alt skin requests for everyone who needs one
[Art by Jayspring]
Todays detailed reveal of Super Smash. Bros. Ultimate was unlike any other in series history. Almost from the start, series creator Masahiro Sakurai made it clear that we shouldn’t expect too many new characters in the game, as his goal here was to refine core mechanics of the series while adding every previous Smash character to the roster.
This lead some, who were sure the game would be an enhanced port of Smash for the Wii U, to immediately say “I told you so!” while, on the other side of the fence, people who were sure that this would be an all-new game were also claiming they were right. Truth is, the game is both filled with legacy content and with new ideas simultaneously, and which is more prominent in your mind’s eye all depends on how you look at it.
That couldn’t be more true of the Echo Fighters, a new-ish feature for Ultimate. On one hand, these are just new skins for old characters. On the other, there is the hint that each Echo Fighter has the potential to have slightly different properties, and in competitive Smash, even the slightest tweak to a character’s lag time or dash speed can make all the difference. The first Echo Fighter to be revealed was Daisy, who has her own unique intro animation, but shares a move set with Peach. Dark Pit and Lucina are two other Echo Fighters, while Link and Ike have alt versions that may or may not have more to them that strictly cosmetic differences.
Now that the idea of Echo Fighters has been opened up, I can’t help but start dreaming of all the potential additions to the roster that this makes possible. While I’m guessing that characters like the Inklings, Bowser Jr., Wii Fit Trainer, and many others that already have alt skins on the books won’t be getting Echo Fighters on top of that, there’s still plenty of characters like Kirby, King Dedede, Ryu, Zero Suit Samus, and Captain Falcon who are just begging to share their spot on the character select screen with some kind of clone.
I’ve proposed Echo Fighters for each one of of these currently doppelganger-less Smash Brother. Sorry Mario, that technically disqualifies you because of your side job as a doctor. Some of them are a bit of a stretch, but I tried to keep each one as close to their roots as possible.
This seems almost too obvious, as Ken’s appearance as Player 2 in the original Street Fighter pretty makes him the original Echo Fighter. Still, it would be great to see him and his flaming uppercut make the cut for Smash Ultimate.
Zero Suit Samus: Justin Bailey
Samus’s original out-of-the-suit, green haired, arm cannon look is still my favorite. In Echo Fighter form, it would be great to see her keep all of Zero Suit Samus’s core moves while giving her Power Suit Samus’s gun, though there may or may not be a strict rule about Echos keeping the exact same specials as their counterparts. We’ll find out soon enough, I’m sure.
It would also be cool if they finally explained if Justin Bailey Samus is technically the Samus we know and love, or she’s some sort of clone or weird dream Samus had. She hasn’t been seen since Metroid, and doesn’t appear with her hair or arm cannon intact in any of the endings, so some fans think she may actually be Samus’ mother out looking for her, or just a totally random, non-canonical goof thrown in by the devs at the last minute. Smash Ultimate probably won’t be the place that the truth is finally revealed, but stranger things have happened.
Donkey Kong & Diddy Kong: Original face Donkey Kong & Donkey Kong Jr.
Ever since I saw this mod for Donkey Kong Country, I’ve been dying to see clam-mouth Donkey Kong and Diddy take a back seat to their forefathers. Remember, original Donkey Kong is technically a totally different ape than the star of the Donkey Kong Country games, so this technically counts a different character.
Mr. Game & Watch: Diskun
It’s a stretch, but Mr. Game & Watch really doesn’t have many analogous characters. He is less a person and more of a mascot for an entire platform. That’s also true of Diskun, the face of the Famicom Disk System. It would be weird to see him use Mr. Game &Watch’s moves, but weird is OK with me.
Captain Falcon: Captain Rainbow
Captain Rainbow is a Wii game that is basically a Smash Bros. lifestyle RPG, except everybody is washed up and sad. It bombed in Japan so it was never released here, but I absolutely love it.
While most people wouldn’t get the reference. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind seeing Captain Falcon step aside to see this other Captain fill in for him now and again.
Nintendo two best robot friends deserve to be together. Of course, it would be even better for Chibi to get his own move set, but considering just about every one of his games has failed to make big money, chances are slim.
Bayonetta already has an alt skin that’s pretty drastic from the original, to the point where they even made and sold amiibo for each design, but sweet Chris Moyse wants Jeanne in the game, and who am I to say no.
It’s a bit of a stretch, as Birdo has no tongue, Mario’s two original egg-laying lizard buddies both deserve a place in this world. Birdo’s appearance in Captain Rainbow shouldn’t be the last time she and Little Mac get to share the same air space.
Luigi: Mr. L
These two are basically the same guy, but if Mr. L is based on Paper Luigi, he could be a substantially different in style and tone while still retaining the same move set.
The original Mario heroine deserves to be playble, and picturing her as a tall, tank like diva makes perfect sense. I’m not sure who would stand in for Luma though. Maybe a Will O’ The Wisp (also known as Trouble Bug or Sparky) from the original Donkey Kong?
Bowser: Live-action Bowser
This is a very dumb idea, but Dennis Rodman just helped to start peace negotiations between the US and North Korea while wearing a t-shirt that says “Potcoin.com”, so I’m going to stop thinking that I do and don’t know what’s going to happen in the future.
Fox, Falco & Wolf: Peppy, Slippy & Crystal
The Star Fox crew members who have made the jump to Smash so far all handle pretty similarly, so they might as well get the whole team in there. No-one seems to care that they all have the same special moves and many of the same normals, so I don’t think they are going to start complaining now about them playing too much alike.
Jigglypuff, Mewtwo, Greninja & Pichu: Igglybuff, Shadow Mewtwo, Ash’s Greninja & Notch-eared Pichu
Pokemon are tough to come up with clones and alts for. You are either that type of Pokemon, or you are not. Pikachu has Pikachu Libre (and hopefully Dectictive Pikachu) in Smash, who may end up having slightly different moves. There’s whole move list from Pokken to take from if they want to. Still, Pikachu is still Pikachu, just as Greninja, Igglybuff, Mewtwo and Pichu will always be their respective selves. Bring back their limited event alternate versions or pre-evolutions is probably they best they can hope for in terms of legitimate alternates.
We all want Reggie in the game, and his battle with Iwata had him using moves that looked similar enough to Lucario’s attacks. It’s maybe even more of a stretch than the Bowser/Dennis Hopper as Bowser idea, but I doubt fans would complain if it happened.
Ice Climbers: Captain Toad & Captain Toadette
I’m hoping these two end up getting their own spots on the roster, but if they don’t, making them Echo Fighters for Nintendo’s other cute, blunt object swinging duo would be a fine fit.
Pac-Man: Ms. Pac-Man
Another easy one, but I know I’d pick her every time over vanilla Pac.
This one would probably fly over the heads of most Smash fans, as Ness and Ninten look almost identical, but if they swapped out Paula and Poo for Ana and Teddy in Ninten’s Final Smash, die-hard Mother/Earthbound fans would go bananas.
Young Link: Ravio
This may still be spoiler territory for some of you, so I’ll just say it would be cool to see Ravio finally getting to use all the weapons he happens to hold on to at his shop.
[Art by Sean Hicks]
Kind Dedede: Wart
I’m no Kirby expert, so I have to step outside of the series for this one, but I think it’s worth it. Wart is one of the most memorable kings in Nintendo history, and like Dedede, he’s portly, ready to slam, and loves to eat. I think he’d make a great alt for our great penguin overload.
Wario: Vampire Wario
Wario is a weird one as he already has two totally different looks and at least one pretty substantial move set change. In Brawl, he has a shoulder charge, like in the Wario Land games, while in Smash 4, it was a released with a giant punch. That changes a few others make the difference between the Brawl Wario and Smash 4 Wario almost as substantial as the differences between Dr. Mario and regular Mario, so one could argue that Wario and WarioWare Wario are equally deserving of their own respective spots on the select screen.
They could also just as easily be Echo Fighters of each other, though, as our own Mike Sounders pointed out, all the Echo Fighters thus far have the exact same normal and special moves as their counterparts. That’s why I’m going for Vampire Wario from Dr. Mario 64 instead. He’s a weird creep that it would be fun to see make a comeback.
Medusa is a great public domain villain, and a big part of the Kid Icarus mythos. Palutenta’s mostly shiny and sweet specials would have to be given a grimdark overhaul would they be wielded by the world’s most famous Gorgon, but it would be worth it to see Pit square off against his old foe again.
Snake: Old Snake
This one is pretty obvious, and maybe a little past its prime, but the charms of Old Snake are hard to deny. Naked Snake would be fine too, and Norman Reedus (Kojima’s new Snake and one half or the Merlin Durl duo for Walking Dead: Survival Instinct on the Wii U) would be an incredible get if they could talk him into it, but all in all, Old Snake makes the most sense.
Sonic: Classic Sonic
I know some Sonic fans who are dying to play as Shadow or Silver will balk at this, but Classic Sonic is definitely the way to go. He’s back in style due to Sonic Mania, and he’s also just happens to be better than Modern Sonic in every way. A no-brainer.
This is another weak one, but there really is no other character in Nintendo history who has both powers and looks like Kirby. Qbby from Box Boy is in the same general ballpark, but he’s still not as good a fit as Lolo, HAL Labratory’s original mono-colored round mascot. He doesn’t have any of the same powers, but outside of getting Rogue from the X-Men to sign on for a Smash appearance, there aren’t many out there who can match Kirby’s breadth of potential abilities.
Which reminds me of another guy.
Meta Knight: The Wonderful 101
Meta Knight is famously overpowered in Brawl, which did a lot more damage to the game’s viability as a fair tournament friendly game than tripping ever did. Part of the reason for that is Meta Knight can do everything, and he can do it fast. He can fly, turn into a tornado, teleport, you name it, he can probably do it.
The only other Nintendo melee experts who that kind of speed, supernatural power, and tiny little limbs all in one package speed are The Wonderful 101. Their debut game apparently bombed hard, so it’s unlikely they’ll be ever heard from again, but making the an Echo Fighter for Meta Knight would be sure to make at least a few hundred thousand people incredibly happy.
Little Mac: Fat Little Mac
Another refugee from Captain Rainbow’s Minmin Island, Fat Little Mac will live in my heart. Well before the Wii’s triumphant Punch-Out revival, this was the face of Little Mac post retirement, and he’s worth paying attention to.
He’s just Little Mac, except he’s fat, and I love him. He is my boy.
Roy, on the other hand, is most other people’s boy. I can see why. He’s pretty likable, and the series he comes from was big time underdog for years.
These days though, Fire Emblem is pretty huge, and the last thing Smash Bros. needs is yet another character from the series. It would be much cooler to see Zael – the star of Nintendo Wii’s 100% underdog RPG The Last Story – make an appearance as Roy’s Echo Character. He’d not a perfect match for Roy’s move set, but lets not forget that four games later and Smash has just now given Ganondorf the ability to attack with a sword. The series is willing to play fast and loose with accuracy to the source material when it wants to.
It’s pretty likely that Shulk’s Echo Fighter will be Rex from Xenoblade Chronicles 2. He’s a little shorter than Shulk, but I’m sure they’ll be able to make it work.
I was going to say that Cloud doesn’t need an echo fighter because his alt outfits are different enough as it is, but then our own CJ Andriessen pointed out that Zack would be a perfect match for the Echo Fighter concept. I rarely play as Cloud in Smash, in part because his fancy modern look and feels weird to me after all those years seeing him as either a colored pencil drawing or a low-poly model. Zack, on the other hand, makes total sense to me as a modern, well quaffed hunk.
I blame Crisis Core.
Duck Hunt: Mack from Eco Shooter
I bet you didn’t think I come up with one for Duck Hunt, did you? Well maybe I didn’t. It’s definitely a matter of opinion.
What I’m saying is, there was a really weird WiiWare game published by Nintendo called Eco Shooter where all you do is fly around and shoot cans. Most of Duck Hunt’s specials involve either flying around and shooting cans. In fact, Eco Shooter is probably the closes we ever got to a Duck Hunt sequel outside of the side game in Wii Play.
So I vote for Mack, the Eco Shooter guy, and you can’t stop me.
Mega Man: Roll
I know Bass or Proto Man are easier picks, but I’d much rather play as Roll. She’s awesome in Marvel Vs. Capcom and Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom, and it’s a mystery to me why she doesn’t make playable appearances more often.
Impa (from Hyrule Warriors) really deserves her own spot on Smash Ultimate’s roster, but realistically speaking, its not super likely. She fights in a style similar enough to Shiek that seeing her take on that move set would work for me though.
A few years ago, I defintiely would have nominated Dark Samus to this position, but Metroid Prime 3 was nearly ten years ago now. That ship has sailed.
Up on the horizon in Metroid Prime 4, which many guess will co-star Sylux, another bounty hunter from the series who shares many powers in common with Samus, including a modified version of the morphball ability. Playing as Sylux in Smash Ultimate would be a great way to warm up to the character in the months (or maybe years) in between now and Prime 4’s release date.
Lucas: The Masked Man
Again, I’ll try to avoid spoilers here, but Mother fans would freak out over this.
Toon Link: Tingle
Sorry folks, I saved the worst for last. I was racking my brain for a valid idea Echo Fighter for Toon Link, but since we already have Young Link on the roster, and “Toon Link wearing a little train engineer’s uniform” doesn’t really count as a separate character, I ended up with nothing.
So who does that leave me with? Tetra would be cool, but she doesn’t fight like Link, and she doesn’t want to. She’s got her own thing going on, and that’s how she likes it. Tingle, on the other hand, at least aspires to be a fairy someday, and Ocarina of Time’s Link grew up in a wooded village where everyone had a fairy? So maybe Tingle thinks that if he learns to fight like Link, he’ll get a fairy too, then someday he’ll use that networking skill to become a fairy?
Honestly, I just want to play Smash Bros. as Tingle, and if the only way for me to even pretend that is going to happen is to imagine him as an Echo Fighter for Toon Link, then so be it.
As a great singer once said “I’m a dreamer, but my hearts of gold.” That’s never been more true than when it’s pre-Smash season and speculation is running wild. I hope you share your speculations with us in the comments as well. No idea of yours could possibly be more unlikely than some of mine.