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Official Next Smash - Speculation & Discussion Thread

dream1ng

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I love Impa. I would love her inclusion in Smash.

But I don't expect Impa to get in as a unique newcomer or even a Sheik echo without another major starring role. She's ultimately a minor character with a lot of plot important appearances, but without a large amount of notable appearances. She's also not popular enough in the Smash community to circumvent that. If she can just get one more SS or HW appearance, I think she can cross the threshold into a major franchise character. She's so close, but she just isn't a "mainstream" Zelda character like the existing Smash characters, Skull Kid or Midna are.

I also highly doubt that she'd replace anyone, especially someone as popular as Sheik. I really am a bit confused to see all the Sheik indifference. She's beloved in Zelda communities and other Smash circles. I don't expect her to leave unless the roster is gutted. Cuts usually aren't made lightly and aside from stuff that largely only hardcore Smash speculators care about, I see no reason to cut her.
The reason I am indifferent towards Sheik is because she fits all those descriptors you used for Impa, or would, were it not for her Smash appearance, but as a one-off disguise for Zelda, to an even greater extent. If Impa is minor, then I'd hate to think what Sheik is. The different is Sheik's on the roster, but that doesn't change who the character is.

I'm not saying other people have to feel that way. But I'm indifferent to Sheik in the way I suspect most people here would be indifferent to Wolf Link being added. Not Midna and Wolf Link, just Wolf Link. At least he was the main character.

Also, the line demarcating major franchise character here also seems... strange. SS, HW and AoC isn't enough, but SS, HW, AoC, and one more is? Seems... kind of arbitrary. And also just having those three is pretty good for a non-triforce character. Let alone also OoT and BotW appearances (even if she's not feasible in the latter). It's true Skull Kid might be more popular, but he's also not popular enough to get in on popularity. Meanwhile Impa's probably going to recur, and he isn't. On how Smash does things, it seems like it'd either be her or whoever rotates into the spotlight in whatever the newest game is. I mean, unless and until Skull Kid or Midna get more popular.

And the cut talk, for me, was hypothetical. Were we to only get one or the other.

Having said that, not to do with Sheik specifically, but eventually the axe is going to come down harder, and by the nature of having to start the roster from a more foundational level, which is the typical way they've done it historically, cuts are going to be more comprehensive. Just from the perspective of logistics. There are only so many characters they have the capability to add with finite time and resources, and with a normal amount of newcomers, cuts are, well, "taken more lightly" probably isn't the best descriptor, but they certainly will be more thorough.
 
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DarthEnderX

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Honestly I think I feel about Dixie and Impa in the same way; both could be feasible echo/clones of the likes of Diddy and Sheik, but there's so much potential the two have from their games that reducing both to just that would feel like a waste even if if it would be cool to have them officially included.
And I'd rather they get in as Echoes, than be left out entirely, which seems like the more likely outcome.

I really am a bit confused to see all the Sheik indifference.
Because they're Zelda. And Zelda is already a Fighter.

You talk about Impa being a minor character without a lot of notable or plot important appearances. But Sheik has way less than Impa does. Sheik was in ONE mainline Zelda game.

The only reason Sheik is a Fighter is because they were part of Zelda's original moveset. If Zelda didn't used to transform, Sheik would NOT be a Fighter in this game.
 
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Idon

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I love Impa. I would love her inclusion in Smash.

But I don't expect Impa to get in as a unique newcomer or even a Sheik echo without another major starring role. She's ultimately a minor character with a lot of plot important appearances, but without a large amount of notable appearances. She's also not popular enough in the Smash community to circumvent that. If she can just get one more SS or HW style appearance, I think she can cross the threshold into a major franchise character. She's so close, but she just isn't a "mainstream" Zelda character like the existing Smash characters, Skull Kid or Midna are.

I also highly doubt that she'd replace anyone, especially someone as popular as Sheik. I really am a bit confused to see all the Sheik indifference. She's beloved in Zelda communities and other Smash circles. I don't expect her to leave unless the roster is gutted. Cuts usually aren't made lightly and aside from stuff that largely only hardcore Smash speculators care about, I see no reason to cut her.
If Sheik was more canonical to her source material, she would be a background character playing a harp for 5 seconds and then disappearing with a nut bomb.

If you want to say Impa doesn't do much, I don't think you can really simultaneously raise up Sheik, a non-character who really only exposited lore and had a neat reveal that didn't amount to much. She quite literally gets fans purely based on her aesthetic, which is fine for a fighting game as that aesthetic forms the basis for her moveset...
BUT as a crossover character representing the franchise, I can see why people would prefer Impa.

And besides that, Impa is significantly cooler than Sheik in Age of Calamity.

Personally speaking, I'd like Ghirahim
 
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Grim "Anubis" Reaper

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The funny thing about Zelda is that she was basically not just tied with Sheik in the Smash 2 Poll(Ganondorf did beat them out, yet he only got in due to being a clone option), but it's made pretty clear on the website on both pages how important the transformation really is. It's their core concept. So the idea Zelda could get in without said Sheik is... extremely low. That would mean she'd have to have a strict concept of playstyle that doesn't include her unique transformation as well. Yes, they got split later, but that's after they gained more divergence with abilities and options in the series. Sheik didn't need any due to already having a very simplistic moveset as a ninja that at worst was difficult to animate(but easy to imagine). Zelda had to borrow a move from a different version of herself to make her next moveset work. Sheik ironically never borrowed any moves to begin with, as they're all made up or canonical moves she does. It's still only two canonical moves, but still.

To further clarify Zelda's abilities, she did have some kind of magic, and you can barely say that her grab and throws slightly reference her psychic abilities(as she could force open doors, so a form of kinesis), but these are stretches and show how difficult it was to come up with a coherent moveset with her massive lack of abilities. Which means literally her only legitimate move to transfer over at the time was... Transform into Sheik. So besides having the same votes(meaning that to the fans, they're equally popular at the time), she didn't exactly have obvious moves to use either. So of course a concept that makes both work well as a team(I note concept. Obviously the balance was bad, but to be fair, both Melee and Brawl has massive development issues and are highly unbalanced. Ironically Brawl's is worse despite being delayed more. Leave it to Sonic to also ironically slow the game's development down. Whoops?). 4 had its own issues, but it wasn't all that balanced either(Zelda still sucks). Ultimate was the first time Zelda wasn't trash tier. I don't remember how good she is now, but they definitely buffed her. The thing is? She wasn't going to magically be good in Melee either way. She may never have gotten better till Ultimate at best. Mayyyyyyybe in 4, due to having a better team for balance(and 4's balance wasn't as bad as Melee and Brawl. 64 and Ultimate do hold out for the best balanced games thusfar).

Sheik's going nowhere nor did she ever have a chance to beyond Brawl at best. She's also a separate person now, so that factor doesn't even work as an excuse for a cut. Shiek is a different Zelda from the current Zelda, which wasn't even surprising they'd go with after a while. Just like all 3 Links are different people(at least now they are). We've had two unique Links minimum as well otherwise. Like, I get the point with Dr. Mario(though to be fair... it's not like he would've been a costume either way. Definitely not during Melee or Brawl. 4 maybe... assuming Sakurai didn't think the Megavitamins required different properties. That's all it would take to give him a slot. Just remember, said groove system from other games is not plausible in Smash. They screw with results. Whether it's cause Sakurai can't find a way to program it or don't find it's worth the effort when you simply get more for a minor amount of work doesn't much matter though. It's a win win situation for players in general because it gives more diverged options. Literally the only issues we've had otherwise was some Echoes being... very poorly done, which is 2-3 at best, though).

Besides, this whole "two characters who sometimes are the same person can't be playable separately" never made sense in a fighting game. It's nothing but more options to begin with. There is literally no downside to having more options beyond "Wait, I actually have to do more to 100% the game?" which not a lot bother to do cause it's not actually important at all. The worst of it wasn't even Ultimate(only cause of a lack of modes), which has the most characters, but Brawl, where you had to defeat the Target Test variants 35 total times, but 5 times more. 4 is nearly as bad due to the Wii U version's achievements with Target Smash, since that's 30+ characters times 3. Ouch. Hell, as of now, Dr. Mario and Zero Suit Samus are the only ones to be this case(as there is no second Samus specifically. Unlike Zelda, Link, and in one case, Ganondorf, there's never been two separate Samuses). Related, as there is another Ganondorf(and Ganon), they can just use the FSA Ganon(who is not the same as the current Ganondorf in Smash, or actually any mainline Ganondorf who ever directly appeared, in Smash or a physical appearance in said games. For whatever reason, Ganondorf in FSA is merely a mention while only his pig form, Ganon, legitimately appears). Likewise, it's very unclear if the one in HW is actually the same one too, but it'd have to be the OOT variant at best, but remade, or a completely new for that story. At this time, since BOTW has no official placement, that's yet another Ganon who is technically separate(unlike the FSA, who is officially a separate person, BOTW could be considered at the end of any timeline too. Which is odd, cause that makes no sense. But, well, we don't have enough information).

Besides, if you wanted it to be realistic, Zelda would be nothing more than an entrance animation as she transformed into Sheik, the only fightable form Zelda ever had at the time(among the mainline series. Yes, she's fought in a cartoon and in the CD-i games. Except she was literally just a swap of Link for all intents and purposes. She wasn't her own thing. Even though she uses the 3 Goddess Spells that Link did, they're done entirely differently, still at least diverging it). It's more accurate to say Zelda got in because of Sheik and Sheik got in because she's Zelda(even befitting how the website describes it. They both transform into each other is literally the first thing on Zelda's page alone. And they didn't even bother to reveal her first, but Sheik got the E3 bit. It's pretty clear the ninja held importance to some degree). Again, package deal. They complimented each other as a concept. Zelda doesn't get special credit cause she's been around longer either. She would have literally zero canonical moves if it weren't for Transform, which puts a lot of light on how they represented her. ...Which is to say, actually accurate to a much bigger degree by including her alter ego. Also worth noting that they were always noted as separate characters to play as. Again, I'll reiterate that fighting games(if not many rosters for other games) don't care about "same person", because it's completely irrelevant to making a proper roster. What's important is said characters and how they play. Smash isn't even bad about it. It doesn't have 5 or more of the same person either, just in different forms. It's only at most ever had 2 of the same people, and not consistently. Especially when all 6 Zelda characters are overall different people now.

If you want to make it funnier, want to know what happens when you add Midna? Well, she's going to be using Wolf Link, as in TP Link. So that's a fourth Link who is still part of the playable moveset. Welp. Maybe, just maybe, the fact that sometimes they're the same person or based upon the same character is not really... relevant at all when making a roster? The bigger issue, either way, is that said Links do a terrible job of representing more abilities than a few. They're different people, but they barely delve into the constant unique abilities. The closest we've had of divergence is ironically Zelda(mainly thanks to Sheik existing in a way that made her current moveset plausible to create. As they were based around balancing each other out at the time) with the 3 Goddess Spells. Otherwise, we've had mostly the same thing with playstyle differences, while despite this, none of the 3 Links play that similarly. They don't even have the same proportions for that matter(which speaking of Echoes, is a hard requirement that their bodyshapes is barely different at all). That's the reason Young Link nor Toon Link can be legitimate Echoes. They don't work that way.

Last thing to say not in there is that while there's some really neat Zelda options(a few takes on Impa, two variants of Tingle who I'm not sure even have the same proportions, Midna & Wolf Link, Skull Kid(w/ Majora's Mask), Ghirahim, and ALTTP/FSA-style Ganon, and many others who could come about, most of these aren't too likely at this point. Especially when Sakurai has yet to explain why he goes only for Triforce wielders, which means at best, only the last one I mentioned has a decent chance. And that's iffy. I'd add that weird corpse we saw in TOTK, but it literally lacks any details and may not even be Ganondorf like people are thinking. It could be a new form of Phantom Ganon or be unrelated and a new villain of sorts. It would be the first canon Ganondorf version since FSA, though(even if it's just an offscreen mention).
 
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Chuderz

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I'm not down with idea of replacing Sheik whatsoever. Sheik is fighting game royalty because of Melee and Void's Ultimate Sheik is keeping that legacy alive just like Light's Ultimate Fox. I also don't like the idea of Impa being an echo versus giving her a unique moveset. Smash needs polearm users or more dagger users like Joker so make her one of those.

ANYWAY:

I totally forgot that Mushroomy Kingdom had a secondary underground level. I didn't have Brawl for long before my brother sold our Wii so yeah like I said I totally forgot about it.

I'm surprised basically nobody mentions it as a missing stage. It absolutely is a missing stage.

 
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dream1ng

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The funny thing about Zelda is that she was basically not just tied with Sheik in the Smash 2 Poll(Ganondorf did beat them out, yet he only got in due to being a clone option), but it's made pretty clear on the website on both pages how important the transformation really is. It's their core concept. So the idea Zelda could get in without said Sheik is... extremely low. That would mean she'd have to have a strict concept of playstyle that doesn't include her unique transformation as well. Yes, they got split later, but that's after they gained more divergence with abilities and options in the series. Sheik didn't need any due to already having a very simplistic moveset as a ninja that at worst was difficult to animate(but easy to imagine). Zelda had to borrow a move from a different version of herself to make her next moveset work. Sheik ironically never borrowed any moves to begin with, as they're all made up or canonical moves she does. It's still only two canonical moves, but still.

To further clarify Zelda's abilities, she did have some kind of magic, and you can barely say that her grab and throws slightly reference her psychic abilities(as she could force open doors, so a form of kinesis), but these are stretches and show how difficult it was to come up with a coherent moveset with her massive lack of abilities. Which means literally her only legitimate move to transfer over at the time was... Transform into Sheik. So besides having the same votes(meaning that to the fans, they're equally popular at the time), she didn't exactly have obvious moves to use either. So of course a concept that makes both work well as a team(I note concept. Obviously the balance was bad, but to be fair, both Melee and Brawl has massive development issues and are highly unbalanced. Ironically Brawl's is worse despite being delayed more. Leave it to Sonic to also ironically slow the game's development down. Whoops?). 4 had its own issues, but it wasn't all that balanced either(Zelda still sucks). Ultimate was the first time Zelda wasn't trash tier. I don't remember how good she is now, but they definitely buffed her. The thing is? She wasn't going to magically be good in Melee either way. She may never have gotten better till Ultimate at best. Mayyyyyyybe in 4, due to having a better team for balance(and 4's balance wasn't as bad as Melee and Brawl. 64 and Ultimate do hold out for the best balanced games thusfar).

Sheik's going nowhere nor did she ever have a chance to beyond Brawl at best. She's also a separate person now, so that factor doesn't even work as an excuse for a cut. Shiek is a different Zelda from the current Zelda, which wasn't even surprising they'd go with after a while. Just like all 3 Links are different people(at least now they are). We've had two unique Links minimum as well otherwise. Like, I get the point with Dr. Mario(though to be fair... it's not like he would've been a costume either way. Definitely not during Melee or Brawl. 4 maybe... assuming Sakurai didn't think the Megavitamins required different properties. That's all it would take to give him a slot. Just remember, said groove system from other games is not plausible in Smash. They screw with results. Whether it's cause Sakurai can't find a way to program it or don't find it's worth the effort when you simply get more for a minor amount of work doesn't much matter though. It's a win win situation for players in general because it gives more diverged options. Literally the only issues we've had otherwise was some Echoes being... very poorly done, which is 2-3 at best, though).

Besides, this whole "two characters who sometimes are the same person can't be playable separately" never made sense in a fighting game. It's nothing but more options to begin with. There is literally no downside to having more options beyond "Wait, I actually have to do more to 100% the game?" which not a lot bother to do cause it's not actually important at all. The worst of it wasn't even Ultimate(only cause of a lack of modes), which has the most characters, but Brawl, where you had to defeat the Target Test variants 35 total times, but 5 times more. 4 is nearly as bad due to the Wii U version's achievements with Target Smash, since that's 30+ characters times 3. Ouch. Hell, as of now, Dr. Mario and Zero Suit Samus are the only ones to be this case(as there is no second Samus specifically. Unlike Zelda, Link, and in one case, Ganondorf, there's never been two separate Samuses). Related, as there is another Ganondorf(and Ganon), they can just use the FSA Ganon(who is not the same as the current Ganondorf in Smash, or actually any mainline Ganondorf who ever directly appeared, in Smash or a physical appearance in said games. For whatever reason, Ganondorf in FSA is merely a mention while only his pig form, Ganon, legitimately appears). Likewise, it's very unclear if the one in HW is actually the same one too, but it'd have to be the OOT variant at best, but remade, or a completely new for that story. At this time, since BOTW has no official placement, that's yet another Ganon who is technically separate(unlike the FSA, who is officially a separate person, BOTW could be considered at the end of any timeline too. Which is odd, cause that makes no sense. But, well, we don't have enough information).

Besides, if you wanted it to be realistic, Zelda would be nothing more than an entrance animation as she transformed into Sheik, the only fightable form Zelda ever had at the time(among the mainline series. Yes, she's fought in a cartoon and in the CD-i games. Except she was literally just a swap of Link for all intents and purposes. She wasn't her own thing. Even though she uses the 3 Goddess Spells that Link did, they're done entirely differently, still at least diverging it). It's more accurate to say Zelda got in because of Sheik and Sheik got in because she's Zelda(even befitting how the website describes it. They both transform into each other is literally the first thing on Zelda's page alone. And they didn't even bother to reveal her first, but Sheik got the E3 bit. It's pretty clear the ninja held importance to some degree). Again, package deal. They complimented each other as a concept. Zelda doesn't get special credit cause she's been around longer either. She would have literally zero canonical moves if it weren't for Transform, which puts a lot of light on how they represented her. ...Which is to say, actually accurate to a much bigger degree by including her alter ego. Also worth noting that they were always noted as separate characters to play as. Again, I'll reiterate that fighting games(if not many rosters for other games) don't care about "same person", because it's completely irrelevant to making a proper roster. What's important is said characters and how they play. Smash isn't even bad about it. It doesn't have 5 or more of the same person either, just in different forms. It's only at most ever had 2 of the same people, and not consistently. Especially when all 6 Zelda characters are overall different people now.

If you want to make it funnier, want to know what happens when you add Midna? Well, she's going to be using Wolf Link, as in TP Link. So that's a fourth Link who is still part of the playable moveset. Welp. Maybe, just maybe, the fact that sometimes they're the same person or based upon the same character is not really... relevant at all when making a roster? The bigger issue, either way, is that said Links do a terrible job of representing more abilities than a few. They're different people, but they barely delve into the constant unique abilities. The closest we've had of divergence is ironically Zelda(mainly thanks to Sheik existing in a way that made her current moveset plausible to create. As they were based around balancing each other out at the time) with the 3 Goddess Spells. Otherwise, we've had mostly the same thing with playstyle differences, while despite this, none of the 3 Links play that similarly. They don't even have the same proportions for that matter(which speaking of Echoes, is a hard requirement that their bodyshapes is barely different at all). That's the reason Young Link nor Toon Link can be legitimate Echoes. They don't work that way.

Last thing to say not in there is that while there's some really neat Zelda options(a few takes on Impa, two variants of Tingle who I'm not sure even have the same proportions, Midna & Wolf Link, Skull Kid(w/ Majora's Mask), Ghirahim, and ALTTP/FSA-style Ganon), and many others who could come about, most of these aren't too likely at this point. Especially when Sakurai has yet to explain why he goes only for Triforce wielders, which means at best, only the last one I mentioned has a decent chance. And that's iffy. I'd add that weird corpse we saw in TOTK, but it literally lacks any details and may not even be Ganondorf like people are thinking. It could be a new form of Phantom Ganon or be unrelated and a new villain of sorts. It would be the first canon Ganondorf version since FSA, though(even if it's just an offscreen mention).
I find it highly unlikely that if Sheik hypothetically didn't exist, we wouldn't have gotten Zelda in Melee. That the former was necessary for the latter. Under how Sakurai envisioned the character perhaps. But if Sheik didn't exist, I have to imagine he'd just have approached Zelda's implementation under a different outlook, not that he couldn't have wrapped his head around her. Zelda is still Zelda, she's still absolutely key to the series, and the next logical inclusion after Link.

Especially since her moveset itself doesn't have anything to do with Sheik, other than the down B.
 

Oracle Link

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I see tons of impa Disscusion here glad i kickstarted it but yeah impa She was there since day 1 (In the Instructions) Shes the 4th most important Character (atleast if we dont count a younger link) And while she doesnt do much its not like Peach, Zelda, Shiek, Ice Climbers, Rob and tons of other smash Characters had much to pull from! And heck Old Impa could maybe also be fun maybe using her ALBW DEsign and Attacking via the Sages from that game?

Also im just saying if we want another Zelda Character with tons to pull from, being in all Zelda Games that arent trying to be MaTuRe Than we have a Candidate: Octorok Hehehe But yeah he wouldve been atleast a better choice then P Plant!

So the Takeaway is: Smash Characters make stuff up or alternativly mix Stuff from diffrent appearnces/ Borrow Moves From Similar Characters
As long As Impa Doesnt just Start Wielding Lightsabers (Wait BOTW... Okay she could wield Lightsaber) Anyways BECAUSE She has no real moves she could use Shieks already Made up Moveset maybe incorporating her like 5 Canonical Moves Into it!
 
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Grim "Anubis" Reaper

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I find it highly unlikely that if Sheik hypothetically didn't exist, we wouldn't have gotten Zelda in Melee. That the former was necessary for the latter. Under how Sakurai envisioned the character perhaps. But if Sheik didn't exist, I have to imagine he'd just have approached Zelda's implementation under a different outlook, not that he couldn't have wrapped his head around her. Zelda is still Zelda, she's still absolutely key to the series, and the next logical inclusion after Link.

Especially since her moveset itself doesn't have anything to do with Sheik, other than the down B.
That's actually inaccurate. Magic is her moveset. Her only magical abilities were summoning an item(of which any Great Fairy can do, so it's not that notable alone), and transforming into Sheik(which made her impossible to detect by Ganondorf's extremely powerful magic). Sheik is a magical form that showed off the fact Zelda took a massive level in badass and had new magical capabilities(instead of minor telepathy at best and maybe being able to... do Link's moves. Of which the latter is non-canon). To emphasize what I mean, Ganondorf was able to detect Zelda once the Sheik disguise was gone. He couldn't in her disguised form. That requires very strong magic to become undetectable, and whereas Zelda's magical training was never seen, we know that Ganondorf was trained by two magic users alone. Even if you want to account for the Triforce of Wisdom also helping Zelda to a degree(though see some paragraphs below why it wouldn't really mean much), she was still trained by Impa, who is also capable of magic. Even then, if you want to take other portrayals into account, it means her non-canon variants were basically used as inspiration for giving Zelda strong magic... of which her only instance of showing it at the time was transforming into a warrior who can ignore detection. It's also been noted many times it's a magical transformation to begin with(something the manga later goes with, as does Smash too, so it's clearly the core inspiration whether it was the full intent of OOT or not).

The Light Arrows also have a specific context that is tied to Sheik. The reason she's able to give them is because she was undetectable long enough as Sheik only(and Ganondorf did detect her once she turned back into her other form) to be there when Link was able to be given them. The story is directly based upon Sheik's magical form being undetectable meaning she can consistently help Link. So while it might not look like much at first, the story does revolve around her character being active in the story. Sure, it's not as cool of a role as also directly fighting something like the Manga did, but this was the first time they even had her active beyond being the damsel in distress. Later games start giving her stronger roles too, though the results are varying on how well it works(and sometimes it's even worse than before. PH is a travesty as it's basically Z1 style damsel, instead of at least her leading Link a little like in ALTTP. She also appears more in ALTTP than just at the beginning and the end, as small as the cutscene is).

Basically? The magic is actually tied to Sheik as a concept. Without it, there would be no magic to speak of. That's how she was written through and through. OOT is a huge milestone for Zelda breaking out and being an action girl... because they first gave her said unique magical form. With the entire moveset being based around magic too, you definitely can't have it if her only magical usage(of which the Light Arrows is based around) didn't exist. And why would Zelda play like Link anyway? Sakurai would have zero content to go off of beyond that. Thanks to Sheik and how she affected Zelda's character overall, we actually got something completely unique instead.

So... yeah, I'm not seeing anywhere where Zelda would be anything like she is in Smash without said counterpart. There's literally no straight materials to base her current moveset upon. Even ignoring Transform. Grabs and Throws being based upon telepathy aren't really accurate, as Kinesis is the only other interpretation of her magic at the end of OOT when escaping from Ganon's Fortress. But that wouldn't happen anyway cause the story is written in a way where she's active mainly due to her alter ego. It's a catch-22. Zelda's true badass self came out because they gave her a new form to first break the mold of her princess damsel style. The only few times she seems to have magical capabilities is more channeling the Triforce of Wisdom's powers instead in the comics and cartoons. None of this is shown in the games for a very long time. The moveset is nothing like said comics and cartoon either, so, it's pretty odd to say it was inspired by that. About the only thing they might've inspired in Smash or the regular Zelda games is Zelda conjuring a bow at best. And the Smash games that have that is only after said Zelda games do, so... it would've been Comic/Cartoon -> Zelda Game -> Smash anyway. No, she couldn't conjure the Silver Arrows either, making OOT her first case of conjuring a powerful magical item outright(but only cause Sheik was part of said story, allowing her to have the time to do so). The thing about the Goddess Spells being usable has even more of a basis than one thinks. She's using something another person would be taught, right? Well, how do you think she became as strong of a warrior as Sheik? By being trained by a Sheikah. Impa is her caretaker in general. So this is also the case where she was trained to be able to fight as is. Zelda never fought properly in a canon game before OOT either, meaning said story is why she's an action girl to begin with. But moreso to the point that her copying an ability is also a trained factor. While a light note, it's not really hard to understand that the point behind Sheik was not only to show Zelda is massively capable of strong magic but to show she can fight too. Her magic was never anything special in other spin-off materials, so it's not really possible to inspire an entire moveset on that. On the other hand, OOT gave her materials(also thanks to Sheik) to create something.

I probably said a few redundant things, but Sheik does play a key role in the development of Zelda's introduction as a magic user. Besides the first instance in a canon game. Her second instance was conjuring the light arrows(of which there's not enough context to legitimately say she created them). The final one was magically opening up the doors in Ganon's Castle. We see only minor stuff in spin-off materials, but this is the first game to actually take anything into account and in context show she has very strong magic. And not a specific element either, as hers was variable in said game. Transformation, Conjuration, and object movement. Also, said doors were from Ganon's Castle, so probably magically sealed too? But either way, it just says she has strong magic and reinforces kinesis style abilities, not enough for a moveset alone.
 

Gengar84

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I really wish Sakurai would use content from spinoff games along with mainline games. Hyrule Warriors and Age of Calamity have so much to offer Smash through music, character inspiration, stages, and more. In my opinion, not only does Hyrule Warriors have my favorite version of Impa, but it also has my favorite soundtrack in the series. There is so much creativity in the movesets for the characters they share with Smash and I feel like Warriors does an even better job than Smash in that regard. There is also a ton of moveset inspiration for other characters that aren’t playable anywhere else.
 

Gengar84

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In her role Obviously shes the 4th Most Important Character, and was there since Day 1 (BWD After all represents Waddle dees as a whole!)
Not more not less! I shouldve specified that BWD Has Much more Moves!
Unless you count the Warriors games, where Impa has three completely unique movesets to pull from (two in HW and another in AoC).
 

fogbadge

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In her role Obviously shes the 4th Most Important Character, and was there since Day 1 (BWD After all represents Waddle dees as a whole!)
Not more not less! I shouldve specified that BWD Has Much more Moves!
Right so the comparison is where they are in the pecking order rather than their roles in the respective series
 

Oracle Link

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Unless you count the Warriors games, where Impa has three completely unique movesets to pull from (two in HW and another in AoC).
Yeah true if we count the Warriors Games They have basically the same Ammount of Moves!
I was Mostly just saying that cus of this answer i got:
you what?
So yeah i hope that explains it!
 

fogbadge

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Yeah true if we count the Warriors Games They have basically the same Ammount of Moves!
I was Mostly just saying that cus of this answer i got:
you what?
So yeah i hope that explains it!
Well it’s not exactly a natural comparison can you blame me for being taken aback?
 

dream1ng

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That's actually inaccurate. Magic is her moveset. Her only magical abilities were summoning an item(of which any Great Fairy can do, so it's not that notable alone), and transforming into Sheik(which made her impossible to detect by Ganondorf's extremely powerful magic). Sheik is a magical form that showed off the fact Zelda took a massive level in badass and had new magical capabilities(instead of minor telepathy at best and maybe being able to... do Link's moves. Of which the latter is non-canon). To emphasize what I mean, Ganondorf was able to detect Zelda once the Sheik disguise was gone. He couldn't in her disguised form. That requires very strong magic to become undetectable, and whereas Zelda's magical training was never seen, we know that Ganondorf was trained by two magic users alone. Even if you want to account for the Triforce of Wisdom also helping Zelda to a degree(though see some paragraphs below why it wouldn't really mean much), she was still trained by Impa, who is also capable of magic. Even then, if you want to take other portrayals into account, it means her non-canon variants were basically used as inspiration for giving Zelda strong magic... of which her only instance of showing it at the time was transforming into a warrior who can ignore detection. It's also been noted many times it's a magical transformation to begin with(something the manga later goes with, as does Smash too, so it's clearly the core inspiration whether it was the full intent of OOT or not).

The Light Arrows also have a specific context that is tied to Sheik. The reason she's able to give them is because she was undetectable long enough as Sheik only(and Ganondorf did detect her once she turned back into her other form) to be there when Link was able to be given them. The story is directly based upon Sheik's magical form being undetectable meaning she can consistently help Link. So while it might not look like much at first, the story does revolve around her character being active in the story. Sure, it's not as cool of a role as also directly fighting something like the Manga did, but this was the first time they even had her active beyond being the damsel in distress. Later games start giving her stronger roles too, though the results are varying on how well it works(and sometimes it's even worse than before. PH is a travesty as it's basically Z1 style damsel, instead of at least her leading Link a little like in ALTTP. She also appears more in ALTTP than just at the beginning and the end, as small as the cutscene is).

Basically? The magic is actually tied to Sheik as a concept. Without it, there would be no magic to speak of. That's how she was written through and through. OOT is a huge milestone for Zelda breaking out and being an action girl... because they first gave her said unique magical form. With the entire moveset being based around magic too, you definitely can't have it if her only magical usage(of which the Light Arrows is based around) didn't exist. And why would Zelda play like Link anyway? Sakurai would have zero content to go off of beyond that. Thanks to Sheik and how she affected Zelda's character overall, we actually got something completely unique instead.

So... yeah, I'm not seeing anywhere where Zelda would be anything like she is in Smash without said counterpart. There's literally no straight materials to base her current moveset upon. Even ignoring Transform. Grabs and Throws being based upon telepathy aren't really accurate, as Kinesis is the only other interpretation of her magic at the end of OOT when escaping from Ganon's Fortress. But that wouldn't happen anyway cause the story is written in a way where she's active mainly due to her alter ego. It's a catch-22. Zelda's true badass self came out because they gave her a new form to first break the mold of her princess damsel style. The only few times she seems to have magical capabilities is more channeling the Triforce of Wisdom's powers instead in the comics and cartoons. None of this is shown in the games for a very long time. The moveset is nothing like said comics and cartoon either, so, it's pretty odd to say it was inspired by that. About the only thing they might've inspired in Smash or the regular Zelda games is Zelda conjuring a bow at best. And the Smash games that have that is only after said Zelda games do, so... it would've been Comic/Cartoon -> Zelda Game -> Smash anyway. No, she couldn't conjure the Silver Arrows either, making OOT her first case of conjuring a powerful magical item outright(but only cause Sheik was part of said story, allowing her to have the time to do so). The thing about the Goddess Spells being usable has even more of a basis than one thinks. She's using something another person would be taught, right? Well, how do you think she became as strong of a warrior as Sheik? By being trained by a Sheikah. Impa is her caretaker in general. So this is also the case where she was trained to be able to fight as is. Zelda never fought properly in a canon game before OOT either, meaning said story is why she's an action girl to begin with. But moreso to the point that her copying an ability is also a trained factor. While a light note, it's not really hard to understand that the point behind Sheik was not only to show Zelda is massively capable of strong magic but to show she can fight too. Her magic was never anything special in other spin-off materials, so it's not really possible to inspire an entire moveset on that. On the other hand, OOT gave her materials(also thanks to Sheik) to create something.

I probably said a few redundant things, but Sheik does play a key role in the development of Zelda's introduction as a magic user. Besides the first instance in a canon game. Her second instance was conjuring the light arrows(of which there's not enough context to legitimately say she created them). The final one was magically opening up the doors in Ganon's Castle. We see only minor stuff in spin-off materials, but this is the first game to actually take anything into account and in context show she has very strong magic. And not a specific element either, as hers was variable in said game. Transformation, Conjuration, and object movement. Also, said doors were from Ganon's Castle, so probably magically sealed too? But either way, it just says she has strong magic and reinforces kinesis style abilities, not enough for a moveset alone.
No, if Sheik was never in Smash, and Zelda had any other given down B, no one would look at her moveset and go "I bet there was supposed to be another character as part of this". If the big connection is it has to do with Sheik because "magic", then that's a connection that can stand without Sheik too.

If Sheik was never in Smash, no one would be like "I can't believe Sheik's not here".

Sheik is inessential to Zelda's moveset, and frankly Zelda is inessential to Sheik's moveset (maybe her old FS aside). It's just that Sheik wouldn't make sense being on the roster without Zelda also being present, while Zelda being on the roster without Sheik is, from a series perspective, entirely sound.
 
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Sucumbio

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Zelda/Sheik in Melee made sense cause Melee Zelda is OOT Zelda. After that it didn't make sense to keep them together as a transforming character but I think it's fine Sheik stayed because her role as a fighting game character trumps her necessity as a franchise rep.
 

Gengar84

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I agree that if Smash started today and they had to build the roster up from scratch, Sheik probably wouldn’t make the cut. What I think a lot of people are overlooking is her legacy as a Smash character. She’s been in every game since Melee and has a lot of fans just through Smash. Much in the same way that Captain Falcon and Jigglypuff might not make the cut just based on their appearances outside of Smash, I feel their presence has become pretty iconic from Smash alone.

If people want to have Impa adopt Sheik’s playstyle, why not add her as an echo rather than replacing Sheik outright? It wouldn’t be that much more effort to keep Sheik at that point and it would keep everyone happy. On the other hand, I feel like Zelda could really use another completely unique character. We haven’t had any since Melee and even then, Ganondorf and Young Link were just clones. Replacing Sheik with Impa wouldn’t really solve that problem.
 
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TCT~Phantom

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Cutting Sheik because of some arbitrary view of the roster without thinking about 20+ years of Smash is the single most insular speculation thing I have seen yet. Smash is never truly going to go to a “foundational” level given we have 25 years almost of Smash at this point. It’s a fringe at best view and is exponentially unlikely. Literally the only way sheik is going to be in any remote danger of a cut is a hardcore reboot of smash, which I think is just a speculation dream. Nintendo doesn’t broadly mess with the formula, especially when this smash sold more than Brawl and Melee combined easily.

I also find it hilarious that people complain about Zelda representation, yet are still whining that we should cut one of the few unique Zelda characters we have to give that moveset to someone else. The roster will never be a perfect picture of representation you expect. Sure, if smash was made from the ground up today, sheik might not be there. Neither would plenty of Brawl and before characters. Would Earthbound be a priority without Smash helping add interest? Would Falcon have any strong chance with the state of F Zero? What if Kid Icarus never got its remake due to Brawl? Sure, if smash went to some “fundamental level” things could be different. That’s not gonna happen. The genie is out of the bottle. Smash Ultimate was the best selling fighting game ever. They are not going to hard reboot things. Even if they were, the niche fringe at best views that are on here would not be how they reboot it in the slightest.
 

Gengar84

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Cutting Sheik because of some arbitrary view of the roster without thinking about 20+ years of Smash is the single most insular speculation thing I have seen yet. Smash is never truly going to go to a “foundational” level given we have 25 years almost of Smash at this point. It’s a fringe at best view and is exponentially unlikely. Literally the only way sheik is going to be in any remote danger of a cut is a hardcore reboot of smash, which I think is just a speculation dream. Nintendo doesn’t broadly mess with the formula, especially when this smash sold more than Brawl and Melee combined easily.

I also find it hilarious that people complain about Zelda representation, yet are still whining that we should cut one of the few unique Zelda characters we have to give that moveset to someone else. The roster will never be a perfect picture of representation you expect. Sure, if smash was made from the ground up today, sheik might not be there. Neither would plenty of Brawl and before characters. Would Earthbound be a priority without Smash helping add interest? Would Falcon have any strong chance with the state of F Zero? What if Kid Icarus never got its remake due to Brawl? Sure, if smash went to some “fundamental level” things could be different. That’s not gonna happen. The genie is out of the bottle. Smash Ultimate was the best selling fighting game ever. They are not going to hard reboot things. Even if they were, the niche fringe at best views that are on here would not be how they reboot it in the slightest.
Well said. Those are pretty much my exact thoughts as well but I think you put it a bit better.
 

Oracle Link

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So like i did a while ago lets try to atleast agree on something Vague:
So Everyone seemed to agree that Zelda Needs a new Rep(S)
So would you be fine with Impa Getting into smash as either a Costume like alph, a Echo or a Unique Character!
Lets all atleast agree that impa however they tackle her is a good idea!
 

Gengar84

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So like i did a while ago lets try to atleast agree on something Vague:
So Everyone seemed to agree that Zelda Needs a new Rep(S)
So would you be fine with Impa Getting into smash as either a Costume like alph, a Echo or a Unique Character!
Lets all atleast agree that impa however they tackle her is a good idea!
Impa is definitely deserving in my opinion. Even if I only really care about her Hyrule Warriors incarnation personally, I’d still be happy to see Zelda get some more representation either way.
 
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Batkelley

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How do people feel about Tingle these days? I know he used to be hated a lot in the west (or at least in America, I'm not sure how well he was received elsewhere), but he was popular enough in Japan that he started in a few games of his own.
I feel like if any Zelda character outside of the "Triforce Trio" is prominent enough to get in Smash, then he certainly is, and sometimes I wonder if the main reason he isn't in Smash already is because Nintendo and/or Sakurai are concerned about the potential backlash from his haters.
So do people still hate him that much? And conversely, is he still popular in Japan? Because I can't help but feel like we're sleeping on the funny rupee man.
 

Gengar84

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How do people feel about Tingle these days? I know he used to be hated a lot in the west (or at least in America, I'm not sure how well he was received elsewhere), but he was popular enough in Japan that he started in a few games of his own.
I feel like if any Zelda character outside of the "Triforce Trio" is prominent enough to get in Smash, then he certainly is, and sometimes I wonder if the main reason he isn't in Smash already is because Nintendo and/or Sakurai are concerned about the potential backlash from his haters.
So do people still hate him that much? And conversely, is he still popular in Japan? Because I can't help but feel like we're sleeping on the funny rupee man.
I’m not really a fan of Tingle. I think I’d rather have almost any Zelda newcomer over him. Still, I won’t complain if he gets in and I’ll be happy for his fans like any other character.
 

Chuderz

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I'm an Ultimate DX believer/hoper so my opinion likely stems from that but I've always said I think with regard to Zelda representations on the character selection screen, that it'd be best to work with what we have first before adding new characters. I won't go into too much detail with what I would specifically do but the 3 Links could easily be unique from each other with Young Link being the one to "inherit" the classic moveset since it suits him better anyways. Zelda could use some tweeks here and there and Gandondorf should basically be redone minus his skeleton/movement-animations.

Sheik is literally the only member of this franchise in this game that needs nothing.

Personally I'd love each mainline game to have representation. Ocarina is already heavily repped and Toon Link reps Windwaker but besides that Skull Kid would rep Majora's Mask, Midna/Wolf-Link would rep Twilight Princess, Ghirahim would rep Skyward Sword and BOTW in this ideal scenario would already be repped by standard Link but this could also be done by doing that champion idea maybe. LOTS of work here tho. I think over 20 years without a unique rep calls for something drastic tho. Maybe not this much but still something drastic.
 

chocolatejr9

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Are we still on about Sheik? If so then damn. I really caused all this huh?
Here, let me try to change the subject:

Apparently, we MIGHT be getting another Mario movie preview tonight at the Game Awards. I haven't found a source, so don't quote me, but I do know that Toad's actor WILL be there, so there's that.

Doubtful it'll top TGA's Smash reveals, but hey: it's SOMETHING from Nintendo.
 

Gengar84

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Here, let me try to change the subject:

Apparently, we MIGHT be getting another Mario movie preview tonight at the Game Awards. I haven't found a source, so don't quote me, but I do know that Toad's actor WILL be there, so there's that.

Doubtful it'll top TGA's Smash reveals, but hey: it's SOMETHING from Nintendo.
I feel like it might be a bit too soon for another trailer since we just got one but that would be pretty cool to see.
 

Wonder Smash

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Looking at the second Mario movie trailer, I saw the Rainbow Road part on there and it made me think, I hope the next Smash game has the Rainbow Road theme from the first Super Mario Kart game on the SNES.
 
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Grim "Anubis" Reaper

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How do people feel about Tingle these days? I know he used to be hated a lot in the west (or at least in America, I'm not sure how well he was received elsewhere), but he was popular enough in Japan that he started in a few games of his own.
I feel like if any Zelda character outside of the "Triforce Trio" is prominent enough to get in Smash, then he certainly is, and sometimes I wonder if the main reason he isn't in Smash already is because Nintendo and/or Sakurai are concerned about the potential backlash from his haters.
So do people still hate him that much? And conversely, is he still popular in Japan? Because I can't help but feel like we're sleeping on the funny rupee man.
MM Tingle is best version, imo, though in general the fact he got his own games makes him very notable(especially when they’re Nintendo system games). It’s too bad they haven’t used him since HW(his only playable US appearances too).
 

Troykv

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The funny thing about Zelda is that she was basically not just tied with Sheik in the Smash 2 Poll(Ganondorf did beat them out, yet he only got in due to being a clone option), but it's made pretty clear on the website on both pages how important the transformation really is. It's their core concept. So the idea Zelda could get in without said Sheik is... extremely low. That would mean she'd have to have a strict concept of playstyle that doesn't include her unique transformation as well. Yes, they got split later, but that's after they gained more divergence with abilities and options in the series. Sheik didn't need any due to already having a very simplistic moveset as a ninja that at worst was difficult to animate(but easy to imagine). Zelda had to borrow a move from a different version of herself to make her next moveset work. Sheik ironically never borrowed any moves to begin with, as they're all made up or canonical moves she does. It's still only two canonical moves, but still.

To further clarify Zelda's abilities, she did have some kind of magic, and you can barely say that her grab and throws slightly reference her psychic abilities(as she could force open doors, so a form of kinesis), but these are stretches and show how difficult it was to come up with a coherent moveset with her massive lack of abilities. Which means literally her only legitimate move to transfer over at the time was... Transform into Sheik. So besides having the same votes(meaning that to the fans, they're equally popular at the time), she didn't exactly have obvious moves to use either. So of course a concept that makes both work well as a team(I note concept. Obviously the balance was bad, but to be fair, both Melee and Brawl has massive development issues and are highly unbalanced. Ironically Brawl's is worse despite being delayed more. Leave it to Sonic to also ironically slow the game's development down. Whoops?). 4 had its own issues, but it wasn't all that balanced either(Zelda still sucks). Ultimate was the first time Zelda wasn't trash tier. I don't remember how good she is now, but they definitely buffed her. The thing is? She wasn't going to magically be good in Melee either way. She may never have gotten better till Ultimate at best. Mayyyyyyybe in 4, due to having a better team for balance(and 4's balance wasn't as bad as Melee and Brawl. 64 and Ultimate do hold out for the best balanced games thusfar).

Sheik's going nowhere nor did she ever have a chance to beyond Brawl at best. She's also a separate person now, so that factor doesn't even work as an excuse for a cut. Shiek is a different Zelda from the current Zelda, which wasn't even surprising they'd go with after a while. Just like all 3 Links are different people(at least now they are). We've had two unique Links minimum as well otherwise. Like, I get the point with Dr. Mario(though to be fair... it's not like he would've been a costume either way. Definitely not during Melee or Brawl. 4 maybe... assuming Sakurai didn't think the Megavitamins required different properties. That's all it would take to give him a slot. Just remember, said groove system from other games is not plausible in Smash. They screw with results. Whether it's cause Sakurai can't find a way to program it or don't find it's worth the effort when you simply get more for a minor amount of work doesn't much matter though. It's a win win situation for players in general because it gives more diverged options. Literally the only issues we've had otherwise was some Echoes being... very poorly done, which is 2-3 at best, though).

Besides, this whole "two characters who sometimes are the same person can't be playable separately" never made sense in a fighting game. It's nothing but more options to begin with. There is literally no downside to having more options beyond "Wait, I actually have to do more to 100% the game?" which not a lot bother to do cause it's not actually important at all. The worst of it wasn't even Ultimate(only cause of a lack of modes), which has the most characters, but Brawl, where you had to defeat the Target Test variants 35 total times, but 5 times more. 4 is nearly as bad due to the Wii U version's achievements with Target Smash, since that's 30+ characters times 3. Ouch. Hell, as of now, Dr. Mario and Zero Suit Samus are the only ones to be this case(as there is no second Samus specifically. Unlike Zelda, Link, and in one case, Ganondorf, there's never been two separate Samuses). Related, as there is another Ganondorf(and Ganon), they can just use the FSA Ganon(who is not the same as the current Ganondorf in Smash, or actually any mainline Ganondorf who ever directly appeared, in Smash or a physical appearance in said games. For whatever reason, Ganondorf in FSA is merely a mention while only his pig form, Ganon, legitimately appears). Likewise, it's very unclear if the one in HW is actually the same one too, but it'd have to be the OOT variant at best, but remade, or a completely new for that story. At this time, since BOTW has no official placement, that's yet another Ganon who is technically separate(unlike the FSA, who is officially a separate person, BOTW could be considered at the end of any timeline too. Which is odd, cause that makes no sense. But, well, we don't have enough information).

Besides, if you wanted it to be realistic, Zelda would be nothing more than an entrance animation as she transformed into Sheik, the only fightable form Zelda ever had at the time(among the mainline series. Yes, she's fought in a cartoon and in the CD-i games. Except she was literally just a swap of Link for all intents and purposes. She wasn't her own thing. Even though she uses the 3 Goddess Spells that Link did, they're done entirely differently, still at least diverging it). It's more accurate to say Zelda got in because of Sheik and Sheik got in because she's Zelda(even befitting how the website describes it. They both transform into each other is literally the first thing on Zelda's page alone. And they didn't even bother to reveal her first, but Sheik got the E3 bit. It's pretty clear the ninja held importance to some degree). Again, package deal. They complimented each other as a concept. Zelda doesn't get special credit cause she's been around longer either. She would have literally zero canonical moves if it weren't for Transform, which puts a lot of light on how they represented her. ...Which is to say, actually accurate to a much bigger degree by including her alter ego. Also worth noting that they were always noted as separate characters to play as. Again, I'll reiterate that fighting games(if not many rosters for other games) don't care about "same person", because it's completely irrelevant to making a proper roster. What's important is said characters and how they play. Smash isn't even bad about it. It doesn't have 5 or more of the same person either, just in different forms. It's only at most ever had 2 of the same people, and not consistently. Especially when all 6 Zelda characters are overall different people now.

If you want to make it funnier, want to know what happens when you add Midna? Well, she's going to be using Wolf Link, as in TP Link. So that's a fourth Link who is still part of the playable moveset. Welp. Maybe, just maybe, the fact that sometimes they're the same person or based upon the same character is not really... relevant at all when making a roster? The bigger issue, either way, is that said Links do a terrible job of representing more abilities than a few. They're different people, but they barely delve into the constant unique abilities. The closest we've had of divergence is ironically Zelda(mainly thanks to Sheik existing in a way that made her current moveset plausible to create. As they were based around balancing each other out at the time) with the 3 Goddess Spells. Otherwise, we've had mostly the same thing with playstyle differences, while despite this, none of the 3 Links play that similarly. They don't even have the same proportions for that matter(which speaking of Echoes, is a hard requirement that their bodyshapes is barely different at all). That's the reason Young Link nor Toon Link can be legitimate Echoes. They don't work that way.

Last thing to say not in there is that while there's some really neat Zelda options(a few takes on Impa, two variants of Tingle who I'm not sure even have the same proportions, Midna & Wolf Link, Skull Kid(w/ Majora's Mask), Ghirahim, and ALTTP/FSA-style Ganon, and many others who could come about, most of these aren't too likely at this point. Especially when Sakurai has yet to explain why he goes only for Triforce wielders, which means at best, only the last one I mentioned has a decent chance. And that's iffy. I'd add that weird corpse we saw in TOTK, but it literally lacks any details and may not even be Ganondorf like people are thinking. It could be a new form of Phantom Ganon or be unrelated and a new villain of sorts. It would be the first canon Ganondorf version since FSA, though(even if it's just an offscreen mention).
Your mentioning how Zelda appearing in Melee was directly related to also Sheik entering makes me think about a dark alternative future.

Where Link remained the sole representative of the Zelda Series until Smash Ultimate, where everyone added was just Link, and another Link
 

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Your mentioning how Zelda appearing in Melee was directly related to also Sheik entering makes me think about a dark alternative future.

Where Link remained the sole representative of the Zelda Series until Smash Ultimate, where everyone added was just Link, and another Link
Sadly without the gimmick, and clones, the Zelda roster would be a loooooot smaller. Especially as Toon Link was specifically a retool of Young Link’s data. Smash 4’s timing may have given us Impa and/or Ghirahim, and Brawl could’ve given us Toon Ganondorf and/or Midna & Wolf Link. Tingle was active enough during Melee and Brawl for a plausible newcomer slot too.
 
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Gengar84

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Tokyo Mirage Sessions 2
I bought the first game on the Wii U but still haven’t opened the package yet. I’m not sure I’ll ever get around to playing it at this point. I need to stop buying games that I can’t make time to play lol (I do that too much).
 
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Dinoman96

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Poor Tingle's been effectively phased out of his own franchise. He's still gotten cameos/references here and there and he's also gotten to appear in some of the third party developed spinoff stuff like Hyrule Warriors and Cadence of Hyrule, but he hasn't actually made a true new physical appearance in the mainline series since...2004, The Minish Cap. Even Wind Waker was pretty much his last hurrah as far as big 3D console Zeldas are concerned.

Pretty obvious Nintendo caught wind of how disliked the character was in the west and thus gave him the boot from further big mainline Zelda titles. They never bothered to even release his spinoff games in the US.

We have this to blame: https://www.ign.com/articles/2004/06/09/igncubes-2004-die-tingle-die-die-campaign
 

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Poor Tingle's been effectively phased out of his own franchise. He's still gotten cameos/references here and there and he's also gotten to appear in some of the third party developed spinoff stuff like Hyrule Warriors and Cadence of Hyrule, but he hasn't actually made a true new physical appearance in the mainline series since...2004, The Minish Cap. Even Wind Waker was pretty much his last hurrah as far as big 3D console Zeldas are concerned.

Pretty obvious Nintendo caught wind of how disliked the character was in the west and thus gave him the boot from further big mainline Zelda titles. They never bothered to even release his spinoff games in the US.

We have this to blame: https://www.ign.com/articles/2004/06/09/igncubes-2004-die-tingle-die-die-campaign
Well, it's fair why the games weren't released. It's not just unpopularity(at the time), but Rupeeland is also basically dealing with gambling to a pretty rather large degree, making it much more difficult to transfer it anywhere else. It's not an image they want in the West. Which means releasing the other games wouldn't be useful either since they can't release his core one. That, and they have to change other references, like the ending which was blatantly inappropriate.

His hate grew down massively even since then, but it's kind of too late when there's nowhere to really put him that makes sense. His whole shtick was basically a salesman, and sometimes a helpful NPC. WW forever soured people on him for being a jerkass instead of a helpful guy. FSA at least was more of a fun take on his greed, mostly cause his emotions were silly during that too. He's basically the same guy as MM in Oracle of Ages too(just using the Toon design). It's only one timeline he's an outright jerkass, and it clearly isn't how he always acts despite his backstory explaining a bit more why he's based around greed. ...It's literally the lifestyle he grew up with. WW is notable for him doing stuff unrelated to that too(he basically is a slave driver to his brothers... and a guy he calls his brother, and was in jail, for who knows what). People probably could've let go of the hate if it was simply just the greed, since they did bother to give a backstory that puts a whole new light on it. But you can't really when he turned out to be doing some pretty evil stuff too despite helping you. With no comeuppance. Even Ganondorf is given some sympathetic traits in comparison, despite never being intended as more than a villain who at best manipulates people. Ironic that.

The thing is, there also nowhere to really use him after a while, since his core shtick(money) isn't easy to utilize anymore without making for something tedious. Even when it's used well(MM), that only made sense because of teleportation. WW changed the requirements for filling out the world's map(with another tedious thing. It actually could've been easier to go to one island to get it done by paying some very easy to pick up cash to quickly jot down the world's design, heh). Not to say the Fishman wasn't cool too, but WW has its own issues with being partially a collectathon anyway. Let's also note that his appearances were in spin-offs or the Toon-style games other than MM. Toon Link's usage has dwindled a lot, being two DS games with varying issues(controls-wise mainly, they did not work well bar the items and some puzzles). Tingle was already in said timeline, and who knows if hate was what made him unable to have a cameo. He also had his own games around this time, so maybe that's why too? Already was used, so no need to put him in the other games. That said, I wouldn't expect much use beyond a MM(character style) cameo or if another Toon-style game comes up again. Which neither seem likely.

-----------------

Tingle didn't even keep his AT form cause of Great Bay returning. And to be fair, his AT form wasn't that great either. A minor cameo in the stage was neat(and his more popular form in the West). Why he was cut as an AT? Who knows. But it's silly that they did cut so many. Probably cause the game had such a limited development time and all? I mean, at least a few were third party and they had new ideas to use, so that's more understandable(different MegaMan ones, for instance).
 

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A lot of the Tingle hate was due to two big reasons.

1) Dude was obnoxious in Wind Waker
2) There was a lot of dude bro style hatred for anything that wasn't heteronormative back then. Tingle, though not gay (one of his games is him picking up chicks lmao), got a lot of hatred because of how he acted and how he dressed.

Tingle got an unfair deal. But it's just what happened. Nintendo got the memo that people didn't like him. He's probably not coming back in a mainline game unless he gets a Big the Cat style ironic resurgence. I don't think Tingle is funny enough to pull that off.
 
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