The latest Nintendo Direct dropped a bombshell on us—there are five DLC fighters headed to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate by February 2020. So my wild speculation about who might still enter the game cannot end yet. Indeed, we’ll likely have a full year of people campaigning for Waluigi (whose chances I don’t fancy), begging for a halt to Fire Emblem additions, and generally being a bit rude about what might be the most generous fighting game ever made. The Smash Bros. DLC fighters, whoever they are, are sure to be divisive.
We, naturally, don’t want to be left behind. The DLC characters will likely be a mix of figures from Nintendo games and third-party properties. Characters already highlighted as assist trophies and spirits seem unlikely. So we’ve picked out seven characters we predict have a serious chance (well, honestly, six firm predictions and one dark horse).
Urban Champion Mike
First seen in Urban Champion, 1984
Every Smash Bros. game has an obscure retro pull—a figure no one expected from a game nobody looked at. First it was Ness. Then came Mr Game & Watch, ROB, and the Duck Hunt Duo. But Ultimate’s line-up has lacked an equivalent.
Urban Champion isn’t a particularly beloved game, but it’s one Nintendo revived on Virtual Consoles and in WarioWare minigames enough that people are aware of it. They devs would have to work hard to make sure the titular Urban Champion’s moves were more diverse than in the original game, too.
It’s not the sexiest character, but there’s the potential for retro charm. It’s also in line with what Nintendo has done in the past.
Suggested stage: Snack Shop—or any storefront, really. You could knock your opponent down a manhole cover for a cheeky KO.
First seen in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, 2017
It’s wild that none of the champions from Breath of the Wild have made it into Smash Bros. already. Hopefully the DLC will rectify this. It’s between Urbosa and Daruk, really, but I’d lean Urbosa just because Smash Bros., like most fighting games, has a gender imbalance towards male characters.
Urbosa is huge and powerful, but you can also imagine her being quite swift, making for an interesting character. Since we don’t get to see so much of her in the game, Nintendo would be free to play around with her move set, too. Not to mention she has the most obvious Final Smash of any Breath of the Wild champion. Urbosa’s Fury would catch any nearby enemies with a bolt of lightning.
Suggested stage: Gerudo Town, which sand seals could occasionally surf right through.
First seen in: Crash Bandicoot, 1996
The release of the Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy on Switch earlier this year was the first time the original Crash games ever appeared on a Nintendo console. They held up well, despite some divisive controls, and there’s definitely a market for more Crash Bandicoot.
This newfound relevance is fairly recent. Crash probably didn’t look so attractive when Ultimate began development. Unfortunately, the character doesn’t have a variety of moves.. Besides spinning very fast, and maybe riding a hog around the arena, Crash doesn’t have many signature talents. He’s certainly iconic enough, though, and hey! If a Piranha Plant can make the cut, who’s to say what magic they could work on Crash?
Suggested stage: Slippery Climb, one of the first game’s most notoriously difficult levels. It already kind of feels like a Smash stage.
First seen in Spyro the Dragon, 1998
Spyro is a better fit than Crash. Although his appearance wouldn’t feel quite so iconic. He breathes fire and flies; two mechanics already present in Smash Bros. Meanwhile, getting his own amiibo would finally free Spyro from the shackles of the quietly dormant Skylanders franchise. Plus, with the remaster on the way (and not yet announced for Switch, but here’s hoping), the little dude is back in the spotlight. There are quite a few quadrupeds in the series now. So Spyro running around on all fours would fit right in.
Suggested stage: Gnorc Gnexus. Fill the background with dragons too, please.
First seen in Rayman, 1995
Rayman has been the star of five platformers, all of them great. He survived the transition from 2D to 3D and back again. His series spawned the Rabbids franchise that eventually spun off into its own weird, brilliant tactics game starring Mario himself. This one’s a no-brainer. Rayman’s got great reach, cool abilities, a fast run, and a design that still feels weird and fresh in 2018.
Rayman is due. Send him in, coach.
Suggested stage: I’m not sure how you’d convert the ‘Black Betty’ level from Rayman Legends into Smash Bros., but I’d love to see Nintendo try.
Fist seen in Advance Wars, 2001
Advance Wars was a big deal in the early 2000s. It was one of the absolute greatest examples of what the Game Boy Advance did best—deep, meaningful games with style and personality. It’s a crying shame that the series has disappeared. Putting one of the series’ COs in Smash Bros. would be a lovely tribute to the dead(?) franchise.
Sami, who was a bit more grown up and seasoned than face-of-the-series Andy, is a good choice. Many of her moves would, we imagine, involve summoning troops and attacking from a distance. That makes her a tactical choice. And then, when the DLC sells really well, Intelligent Systems can get to work on Switch Wars, right?
Suggested stage: Orange Star, where you fight across collapsing buildings as infantry rain down fire (Nintendo would make it cute, don’t worry).
First seen in Hollow Knight, 2017
Okay. This one’s a stretch, but listen to my reasoning: I really want it to happen a lot. So maybe I can will it into existence.
Some of that is local pride (Hollow Knight was developed in my home town of Adelaide, South Australia). But I also truly think the little guy is a great fit. Hollow Knight, which debuted on PC in 2017, but saw a noticeable surge in popularity when it hit Switch this year, is a modern classic. The character design is instantly iconic. The hero’s moves feel tailor made for Smash’s frenetic fights, too. He could slash opponents with his sword, use Focus (the Hollow Knight version of magic) to make his attacks more powerful, and parry enemy attacks.
Smash Bros. dipped a toe into indie representation with its Shovel Knight assist trophy, but Nintendo should seriously consider making a modern indie hero playable. Games have changed since the Nintendo 64 era. Smash Bros. can reflect that with a character that is, to many people, tied to the newest Nintendo console.
And really, more than anything else, I want to buy a Hollow Knight amiibo.
Suggested stage: Dirtmouth would look amazing rendered in 3D.
Let us know your suggestions in the comments. Unless it’s Waluigi (we’re there with you, but we’ve heard that one already).