Back in March, we were treated to a long-awaited Nintendo Direct, which aired amidst the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic has caused mass cancellations of events, closure of schools and businesses, nation-wide quarantines and more, with the gaming industry heavily impacted due to an abrupt transition to remote working. Masahiro Sakurai stated that the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate team has changed to start working from home and further went on to explain that the team has adapted well to these new conditions. In the aforementioned March Mini Direct, Challenger Pack 6 of Fighter’s Pass Vol. 2 was confirmed to feature a character from ARMS. This series first appeared on the Nintendo Switch and was an interesting take on the entire fighter genre which gave all the characters extendible limbs to fight others with. These characters could also customize their attacks by equipping different ARMS onto themselves.
Ultimate has ARMS content with a Spring Man Assist Trophy, Mii Costumes, and Spirit. Ribbon Girl also got a Mii Costume and Spirit, while Ninjara, Min-Min, and Twintelle were made Spirits. This announcement could change a lot in the world of Smash speculation due to a number of factors. The Smashboards News Team took a few days and discussed who this new fighter could be and what this announcement means for Smash.
Amiibo Doctor Orange
@NonSpecificGuy Sky Blue
Scoliosis Jones Red
@Octorockandroll Light Red
@pupNapoleon Light Yellow
Venus of the Desert Bloom
Spring Man: Yay or Nay
Our biggest discussion point was whether Spring Man, the most visible character from ARMS, will be promoted from Assist Trophy to playable character. Spring Man is the de facto mascot of the series and, as we have seen with other characters, Sakurai has a tendency to always choose mascots to represent their respective series. Spring Man, however, is in merely the game as an Assist Trophy, Mii Costume, a Spirit and Spirit Battle. While we still don’t have concrete proof that Spirits deconfirm characters, neither Assist Trophies nor Mii Costumes have been promoted in the Smash game they have first appeared in. Samus and Captain Falcon may be Mii Costumes, but both characters have been in Smash from the start. King K. Rool and Isabelle’s Mii Costumes make a second appearance, coinciding with the actual fighters appearing in Ultimate. Spring Man appearing as a promoted Assist Trophy/Mii Costume character would be a game changing thing. According to ZeroSoul,
The reason I don't think it's him is purely because I feel like making a guessing game where the main character is the winning option is silly. Like, imagine if the Pokémon Company announced a Pokémon platforming game but left the identity of the main character you'd play as a mystery to be revealed at a later date and hyped it up. Then imagine they later reveal that the main character's Pikachu or Eevee, wouldn't that feel waaaaaaay too obvious? If it was really Spring Man or Ribbon Girl I imagine they'd just skip this whole guessing segment and show us a render of them back when they told us the next character's from ARMS.”
However, that’s where the resistance against Spring Man stopped with most of the team expressing…
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s first take a look at how Spring Man could spring past the fan rules and get his arms on coveted Challenger Pack 5. Scribe had this to say about it:
Scribe further explained
Fighters who are assist trophies can make it in the game imo. There's already instances where certain assist trophies won't appear based on various criteria. Did you know the Alucard AT won't appear on the Wii Fit Studio stage?— PG | Chia 💚 (@CLASH_Chia) March 26, 2020
Additionally, according to SmashWiki,
“Alucard cannot be summoned in Wii Fit Studio. It was stated during a tournament hosted by Nintendo Spain that he doesn't appear because the stage has a giant mirror, referencing how vampires do not have a reflection in mirrors.”
So we know that developers can either switch content like Toon Link and Alphonso or completely lock it out. Thus it’s possible that Spring Man, if selected as a playable character, would either cause Springtron to spawn or to have his Assist Trophy be locked away altogether.
And, truly, promoting an Assist Trophy is sadly the only chance they have left at being playable, as Scribe explained,
And a second season of DLC *might* be a second chance for the characters that were chosen as ATs or costumes after the roster was already finalized.”
How about a promotion of other characters in the game from Spirits?
Ribbon Girl, Ninjara, Min-Min, and Twintelle are all in Smash as Mii Costumes or Spirits. A number of people think that Spring Man will keep his Assist Trophy role and another character will take up the representative mantle:
Twintelle is yet another popular character who has a sizable fan following. She is a fighter who uses her hair while, as the game's title suggests, her rivals all use their arms to fight. As ZeroSoul stated earlier, Bayonetta’s old Witch Time glitch possibly hinting at Twintelle was based on how some DLC character development was based on pre-existing characters. Potential evidence can be found in past or current glitches. This was the case for Duck Hunt (Banjo & Kazooie) as well as for Mii Sword (Hero). This could possibly point to a Bayonetta glitch being caused by the development team using her model for Twintelle. On the topic of Ribbon Girl, the news staff didn’t outright suggest her as the default character, but she certainly does have a sizable following and fan base who would love to see her included.
But wait, Ribbon Girl, Min-Min and Twintelle (and Spring Man!) are Spirits. How would this work? Like with Cuphead and Mughead, we have seen them edit Spirit Battles before, but this is a whole different issue. Even the whole “Mewtwo and Lucas were Trophies in Wii U and 3DS but were made DLC fighters with different trophy poses” argument doesn’t hold much water. Trophies didn’t have a specific purpose other than to collect and display. Spirits have a special purpose in enhancing characters, and this is especially the case with the ARMS characters.
Scribe was very vocal about how he felt this wasn’t an issue and suggested a work-around by keeping the ARMS Spirit as is but having the Fighter Spirit feature another artwork of that character. He went on to explain:
“e.g. this one posted by the Nintendo Versus twitter account
To celebrate Min Min's big win in the #ARMS #PartyCrashBash and the game's 2nd anniversary, the development team has created this special commemorative artwork of our champion! Thank you to all for supporting ARMS on #NintendoSwitch! pic.twitter.com/DaUg6i0ju6— Nintendo Versus (@NintendoVS) June 27, 2019
which also shows up on the official Japanese twitter account for ARMS”
and this one
I could see the old spirit and associated battle remaining intact, with the same render as its image while his Fighter Spirit uses one of his other renders. Or if we got Min-Min, her old spirit and associated spirit battle could remain intact, and she could get a new Fighter Spirit with a piece of promotional art as the associated image.”
Still, it’s never been done before, so we will have to wait and see. With that in mind, why not just look at other characters that aren’t in the game yet? ARMS has tons of other characters to choose from besides the five already mentioned.
However, aside from PupNapoleon suggesting Helix, there wasn’t much discussion about characters other than the top five.
Sari even stated,
- Master Mummy
- Kid Cobra
- Byte & Barq
- Max Brass
- Lola Pop
- Dr. Coyle
What about a Hero/Koopalings situation happening?
In Wii U and 3DS, Bowser Jr got seven costumes featuring the Koopalings while in Ultimate, Hero got four alternate costumes featuring different Heroes from Dragon Quest. Unlike Bowser Jr and the Koopalings, Hero got two color swaps per alternate costume. Could we possibly see the same situation for the ARMS character, with not only Spring Man, but other characters as well?
Sari had this to say:
My roster prediction is 4 characters each with a single color palette swap. Most likely the following:
- Spring Man (with Springtron color swap)
- Ribbon Girl (with Twintelle color swap)
- Ninjara (with Misango color swap)
- Min Min (with Mechanica color swap)”
This makes sense, especially for the larger or unique characters like Max Brass, Master Mummy, Byte and Bark, and Helix when coupled with Spring Man or Ribbon Girl. Even Twintelle would be strange given how her hair ARMS work.
Sari continued to explain on how having different character alts could work:
Sari went further to explain,
So in terms of four gloves for specials you can use:
Scribe was quite vocal about Assist Trophies/Spirits being promoted, but expressed both support and concerns to such a Hero/Koopalings situation:
A lot of the staff thought it would be Spring Man as the default, or possibly Ribbon Girl or Min-Min. Twintelle could work technically, but it might be a bit difficult to implement her, as mentioned earlier. It would make sense for ARMS to have more than one character to represent it since a large portion of the cast is quite popular. It would be a very Sakurai thing to say “ARMS is about the roster, so let’s do that too.” However, you can’t just slap Master Mummy onto Spring Man and expect Spring Man to hit like him. Well, you could, but it might look weird.
Cyndane made point about how having alternate costumes would truly bring the best out of the series:
Amiibo Doctor said,
ARMS 2 on the horizon?
There were some who thought that content in Ultimate could point to a new game in the works. Many thought the series was dead in the water and Spring Man’s early reveal as an Assist Trophy was the final nail in the coffin, but that doesn’t seem to be so.
There was a contending thought though by Sari:
Ever since news of ARMS getting a character, speculation has focused on Spring Man. If Assists/Spirits can be promoted, ARM2, will there be alt costumes and more related topics. Based on the discussion between the News Staff, there seems to be a number of potential scenarios that could happen:
- Spring Man is promoted to playable character, with his Assist Trophy highly modified or removed.
- One of the four ARMS Spirits is promoted as the default fighter
- We could get a Hero situation and have four alternate costumes with four recolors
- There could be a tie in with ARM2
While it’s an entirely different situation, we are just as in the dark as we were within Fighter 5. We know the character's original series, we know that the series already has a presence in Smash, and we know, regardless of the path the development team takes, it’s going to be a huge game changer.