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Frankie JumpStarts the Smash Grade!? - Frankie/JumpStart Series Support Thread

Cyborg Sun

Smash Apprentice
Jun 6, 2019
The Clown Motel
"He's more than a mascot, he'll help you a whole lot, he is really super silly, he's Frankie!"

Wait, who?
Frankie is an anthropomorphic dachshund dog who serves as the mascot of the "JumpStart" series of edutainment PC games (though there have been a few console games and, most recently, mobile phone games as well). Initially only being a central character in the games for 1st Grade, he has since become the de-facto main character from the Advanced series onwards. His most notable traits are his sociability and leadership skills, and represents the "interpersonal" learning style in the Advanced series.
Ok, so I know who he is now, but... why?
This may be the strangest, most "out there" character choice you've ever seen, I'm sure, but hear me out on this one. The "edutainment" genre is typically ignored and forgotten by the vast majority of gamers. There are of course exceptions to this rule, like the Oregon Trail, but series like JumpStart aren't typically brought up in discussions about the greatest games of all time or what-have-you. Adding someone like Frankie would give the genre much needed representation into Smash... plus, the idea of this guy beating up Sephiroth is just so darn amusing to me.
Remind me... what is JumpStart again?

JumpStart is a series of edutainment games for the PC by JumpStart Games, Inc. (Formerly Knowledge Adventure, Inc.), meant to teach fundamentals by grade level (from babies all the way to 6th Grade!) through a series of minigames, sometimes connecting to a plot or a greater end goal. There are tons and tons of JumpStart games, ranging from the grade level fundamentals to specific subjects. Over the years, it's received a lot of praise and won lots of awards, and I hope I may have given someone out there a burst of happy nostalgia with this thread.
Doesn't he look different?
Perhaps a few of you recognize the franchise, but not Frankie himself. The thing is, he's actually had quite a lot of different designs over the years. The one you see in the picture is his look from the "Advanced" series, which I have a personal bias towards. If he were added to Ultimate though, I could see him taking on his newest design from the "Academy" series. No matter what approach they take, I think they can transfer the designs into Smash's art style quite nicely. To me, the alts could go two ways:

1. Frankie sticks to one design and simply has alternate color schemes (most likely mimicking other JumpStart characters, such as Hopsalot, CJ the Frog, and Elanor Elephant).
2. Frankie's alts are his differing designs from over the years (something akin to Hero, where he has four alts based on Academy, 3D Virtual Word, Advanced, and Classic, with the other 4 being recolors, once again probably based on other characters).

So, what would his general moveset be like?
To start, let's go over some basic attributes:

Playstyle: All-Rounder + Precision

Being the mascot of an educational series, I felt it best to make Frankie someone who's more simple to pick up and play like Mario, rather than someone more complex like Robin. However, while all of his normals are simple to understand like most other all-rounders, Frankie still has a tricky unique mechanic in his specials that mimics his games' adaptive learning systems...

Stats: Weight 98, Walk Speed 1.259, Initial Dash 1.905, Run Speed 1.606, Air Speed 1.55, Fall Speed 1.5
: Size 6/10, Frame Data 6.5/10, Damage 7/10, Combos 5/10, KO Power 7/10, Recovery 7/10

Do note that my numbers are rough estimates only. Being an all-rounder mascot, I wanted to make Frankie's base stats a bit more akin to Mario, but if you compare the exact data you can see that most of it is not exactly the same. Since the games Frankie's in don't usually involve much high-stakes action, there's a level of inexperience on the battlefield, but still enough youthful energy to make up for some of that, which is why I decided he's a bit slower than Mario. The ratings were tricky to determine. Obviously he's meant to be simpler, at least in terms of normals, so he has average comboability and frame data that's not too good nor too bad. His unique mechanic changes the power of his specials, which explains why the KO power, damage rates, and recovery are a bit... high. This is only the maximum, however; should you wish to play it safe, those numbers in particular are actually quite lower. You'll see what I mean in a second...

Frankie's Unique Mechanic: Adaptive Learning System
Frankie's specials offer a new type of "precision": You need to quickly solve a reading or math question before you perform them to make them more effective! How this works is that, similar to Hero's Command Selection, a box with a multiple choice question appears next to his HUD while doing a special. Much like Hero, he will enter a sort of "thinking pose" until you choose an answer (also, unlike Hero, this pose will slow down his falling speed in midair, for a slightly easier recovery). As you would expect, a correct answer = more power, while getting it incorrect = less power.

Inspired by how difficulty works in his original games, he has a meter that can be controlled with the down special, but can also change on its own. There are three levels: Level 1 is the lowest. The questions are really easy (Preschool-Kindergarten level), and more often than not you can get the correct answer by simply mashing (as there is a much higher chance the correct answer appears at the top of the selection), but there is much less power to the "correct" versions of moves compared to Levels 2 and 3. Level 2 is the in-between, offering questions that require a bit more thinking but not too hard (1st-3rd Grade level), with the "correct" versions of the moves having more power than Level 1. There's also a more notable damage difference between correct and incorrect at this level, and there is less of a chance the correct answer is at the top. Level 3 is the highest, with more complex questions that require more pondering (4th-6th Grade level), which can and will leave you open. Get them correct, though, and you get massive power! Get them incorrect, and the moves are practically useless.

This system is called "adaptive" for a reason. Keep an eye on the meter, because if you get several questions correct in a row on Levels 1 and 2, it automatically raises you to the next level. Conversely, if you get several questions wrong in a row on Levels 3 and 2, it automatically bumps you down a level. The meter also goes straight to Level 1 when you lose a stock. If you want to stick to a single level, you'll need to use that down special! This instantly swaps to the next level (Level 1, to Level 2, to Level 3, then back to Level 1).
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Cyborg Sun

Smash Apprentice
Jun 6, 2019
The Clown Motel
Just gave the OP a big update! Carried over my idea for his unique mechanic that I posted on the "Crazy Newcomer Ideas" thread, and expanded on it a little. Don't know if I'll ever make a full moveset, but at least I got his central mechanic out of the way now.


Smash Rookie
Mar 10, 2021
Is there a moveset you have in mind? As much as Jumpstart's a memorable children's series, the only issue is the tracks that go with it. The players shouldn't have to deal with any sort of annoying scores, you know? But the series could be an interesting addition.

The players want something unexpected, so this could be a good pipe dream.
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Smash Rookie
Sep 7, 2021
In addition to
Frankie, here are more JumpStart characters in their late 90s/early 2000s look (or Advanced) to be available as appearance in Super Smash Bros.


Teddy - Baby

Dee Dee Duck

Giggles Gopher & Dee Dee Duck - Toddlers

Eleanor Elephant
Pierre (Polar) Bear
Kisha Koala
Casey Cat
Cecil Mouse

The Preschool Gang (Eleanor Elephant, Pierre Bear (polar), Kisha Koala, and Casey Cat) with Cecil Mouse


Hopsalot - Kindergarten


CJ & Edison - 2nd Grade

Botley - 3rd Grade

TJ Adams, Sally Chu & Flap the Bat - 4th Grade

Jo Hammet - 5th Grade

Zack & Jess - 6th Grade
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