You've got the power!
- Aug 13, 2001
- Disco Room Party
- 3DS FC
- Switch FC
Oops, my wording was bad. I meant to say that some people were saying that Dark Samus couldn't be an Echo because she has a lot of abilities that are different from Samus'. But yeah, if she wasn't an Echo she wouldn't be in, and that's part of the argument. It's much easier for them to listen to fans on clones, and the Echo choices somewhat increase the validity of fan polls, since they line up with the Echo choices on those polls. But listening on clones isn't the same as listening on uniques.
But the argument is that most of those were either easy clones or characters that happened to line up with what they would've done anyway. The waters are pretty muddy on everyone but K. Rool. Of course, characters are gonna have multiple reasons for getting in, but if a character isn't at or near the top of the ballot then it's hard to justify that choice based on votes. Yes, other factors may have made it a more attractive choice to Sakurai but if the other factors overrode the raw results of the ballot, then the ballot isn't the real reason that they're in the game.
Chrom maybe, but Dark Samus had little going for her otherwise. Ridley was already in. If it weren't for actual requests, there'd be no point. Chrom was intended in 4, so he has enough of a reason to be put in. Ken also has the point of "he's pretty much the original echo", so no ballot needed. Obviously Isabelle being the new mascot and highly popular made her an ideal choice. Just not for an Echo. She's big enough to easily get in on her own merits. King K. Rool needed fan help. Dark Samus probably did too. Chrom is a maybe on that. Daisy is probably ballot-related too, as she's highly popular. But we have no evidence to prove that, just a fair guess.
Our disagreements on Pichu and Isaac mainly seem to stem from our differences in how much we trust the polls. If you give the polls any time of day, it's pretty universal that Isaac did really well worldwide and Pichu did mediocre at best.
I don't really trust those polls much because there's too many key variables as I outlined before. We don't know how they took the results. For instance, did they discount any IP that voted for the same character twice? Was the total number of votes fully ignoring impossible characters, or were they counted as "votes that exist, but don't count overall". What I mean for this is if Goku is voted for, they can either tally the total votes and remove all votes for him, or count them as empty votes in the overall ratio/total of full votes. We don't know enough to get a good grasp of the system. We absolutely know that the exact number of votes has little bearing compared to having a ton of votes on its own.
On clones, it absolutely does take a considerable amount of effort to make a clone, just less than a full PC. I don't know where the source for this is, but IIRC they said in the Brawl era that Wolf took about 70% of the effort that it would've taken to make Krystal. That is less work, but it's far from nothing. Granted, Wolf is closer to a full unique than Young Link or Pichu. But the point is that even semiclones still take up significant dev time. IMO it's hard to justify Pichu and Young Link when Pokemon already make up more than a tenth of the roster and we already have two other Links. And Dr. Mario was the product of a weird situation in Melee when they needed a bunch of clones to pad the roster and make up for a short dev cycle. There's a reason that a lot of them were dropped in Brawl; they're just not that important to the overall roster makeup and only got picked in the first place because of a unique situation. IMO a nice compromise for Dr. Mario would be a Mario alt costume. And really, if dumping YL, Pichu, and Doc only got us a mostly unique Dixie, I'd take it no questions asked.
That said, I will never cut a character to justify adding in another, veteran or otherwise. The costume thing just doesn't work. It's not like with Pikmin. Dr. Mario is too different from Mario to even work that way. Besides the fact they have to have unique animations for their B moves, they also have different effects, which is something that cannot be done with alts. They have to be identical in every way. It's just aesthetics. But that's not what Megavitamins is. It's supposed to be a different move. Dr. Mario could almost work as an Echo, though, if Mario had the Mario Tornado. Otherwise, an alternate moveset in the same slot(which is kind of what Echoes are, when you stack them) works too. But they have to be different as they never once played the same to begin with. They were always different in some way. He never made sense as a costume due to being an alternate moveset(as that's not how alt costumes work).