Welcome to a new series where I will take a look at some of the “underdogs” in Smash speculation. Their chances aren’t the greatest and they aren’t the most talked about candidates like Geno or Isaac, but these characters are definitely worthy of being in Smash based on their own merits. The purpose of this series is to introduce viewers to these characters and possibly get hooked on the idea of them appearing in Smash one day. I myself will even be learning about a few characters while doing this series.
But that last sentence can’t be said about today, as the first character to kick this series off will be someone who I am very familiar with! This character has been a favorite of mine for years and has even been my profile picture for most of my time on SmashBoards. That’s right, it’s none other than Quote from Cave Story!
Who is Quote?First Appearance: Cave Story (2004)
Latest Appearance: Crystal Crisis (2019)
Cave Story is a Metroidvania shooter that starts out easy and cute but gets surprisingly difficult and very dark as the story progresses. Upon its release, the game received universal acclaim and is widely regarded as one of the most influential indie games. With the exception of the Wii U, Cave Story has been ported to every Nintendo system ever since the first WiiWare port in 2010.
Quote is the main protagonist of Cave Story. About 10 years prior to the start of the game, Quote and another robot named Curly Brace are sent to a mysterious floating island to destroy a dangerous artifact known as the Demon Crown. During their search, both of the robots are severely damaged and lose their memories.
Quote wakes up from a decade of hibernation and finds himself in the village of the Mimiga creatures. He then decides to help the Mimigas as well as some human researchers take down The Doctor, a former member of the researchers who only went to the island to obtain the Demon Crown for power. During his quest Quote obtains many different types of weapons, reunites with Curly, and faces the Doctor’s assistants Misery and Balrog many times. Eventually Quote defeats the Doctor and the island crumbles with the researchers and remaining Mimiga being evacuated. By following very specific instructions throughout the game, Quote and Curly can face off against Ballos - the creator of the Demon Crown - in a secret “true” ending.
Created by a single person (Daisuke “Pixel” Amaya) over the span of five years, Cave Story became an instant classic when it released in 2004. The game helped get the indie movement started as it was created in a time where games not created by studios were unheard of. Cave Story has been referenced in many notable games including Terraria, Enter the Gungeon, and possibly even Sakurai’s own Kid Icarus: Uprising. Quote himself has even appeared in games such as BIT TRIP Runner 2 and Blade Strangers along with other big indie names like Meat Boy and Shovel Knight.
Trivia: In a 2015 interview with Japanese website Automatan, Undertale creator Toby Fox cited Cave Story as one of his favorite games. Although I could not find a source on whether Toby Fox’s breakout hit was truly inspired by Cave Story, both titles have a lot of similarities to each other such as Toriel’s design bearing a heavy resemblance to Mimigas and both games having similar story elements. Heck, even the names of the two games are similar so it might not be too much of a stretch!It's pretty cool to hear the voice of Mario talk about Quote
“I’m Interested in Cave Story! How Can I Play It?”
Because Cave Story was originally released as a freeware game, you can legally play the original version on PC here for free.
There are also several enhanced ports available on multiple systems such as the 3DS eShop. The most recent version of the game is Cave Story+ which you can find on both Steam and Switch.
Quote’s Chances For SmashI’ll list some of the general advantages and disadvantages that Quote has going for him.
- Cave Story is one of the most notable indie games not represented in Ultimate at the moment.
- The game has an incredibly strong relation with Nintendo, with Cave Story being almost exclusively on Nintendo systems and PC.
- Depending on how you view spirits/mii costumes, other big indie names like Sans and Cuphead may be out of the running for already having content in Ultimate.
- Although other indie characters like Sans might be out of the running, you could conversely argue that “if Sans couldn’t get in as a character than Quote definitely won’t.” While I love Cave Story, I won’t deny that characters like Sans are more well-known to the general public.
- The legal status of Cave Story is a bit iffy, as it was created by Pixel but Nicalis owns the publishing rights to it nowadays. From what I understand, Sakurai would have to reach out to Nicalis if he wanted Quote in Smash. Nicalis being a western company may prove to be a bit of a hurdle as it seems that working with Japanese companies is easier for Sakurai.
- Side Note: In regards to Nicalis, it has recently come to light that the company has a history of exploiting developers and having a very toxic work environment. Personally I doubt this would have too much of an effect on Quote’s chances since Nicalis would like to see Quote in Smash and Nintendo has put characters from even worse companies into Smash. That said though I don’t see the company’s toxicity as a good thing for Quote.
Why Should Quote be in Smash?
Cave Story is a beloved gem to many and often regarded as one of the definitive indie games. The game has a ton of replay value thanks to its many secrets and difficult challenges. Quote himself has a ton of moveset potential thanks to the many weapons in his arsenal as well as the power meter system in his original game. He would primarily play as a projectile fighter with a lot of setups that could lead to some flashy KO's if pulled off right.
Oh, and Quote could also come with an additional bonus: Curly Brace as an alternate costume (or maybe even an echo)!
In Cave Story+, there is an unlockable mode where you can play the entire game as Curly. Thanks to this, Curly sharing Quote’s moveset isn’t a stretch at all and they even have the exact same body size. Like female Byleth, Curly would share four out of the eight alternate colors with Quote.
With the history of Cave Story and Quote now wrapped up, I’ll now go over what content we can expect to get if Quote were to ever make it into Smash.
Note: For simplicity I’ll refer to Quote/Curly as just Quote going onwards.
Quote’s main gimmick would be his power meter. In Cave Story, each weapon has its own individual power meter that gets stronger as it levels up. To level up weapons, you need to pick up orange energy crystals that appear when you defeat an enemy. Taking damage will lower the level of your weapon.
In Smash, Quote would have a single power meter that applies to all weapons. For the purpose of game balance, Quote’s meter in Smash would most likely increase as he takes damage. Once his power meter is max level, most of his attacks would have increased range and deal additional damage.
I created a full moveset for all of Quote’s moves which you can check out here. In short, Quote would mainly be a projectile based fighter with very few melee moves. For the sake of this article I will only list his special moves.
Neutral B: Spur
Think of this move as a hybrid between Samus’ neutral B and the super scope item. Tap B to shoot a single small projectile that is slightly bigger/stronger than Quote’s Polar Star jab but takes longer to shoot. You can also hold down B to charge down a more powerful shot, with the strongest shot taking about 4 seconds to charge. When the charge is at max power, you can hold onto the shot for as long as you’d like and even jump/move, but you will be able to use any other attacks or dodge. You can shield to cancel the shot, however unlike Samus’ charge shot you will have to recharge it again from scratch.
This is the only weapon in Cave Story that does not require a certain weapon level to use since you manually charge it from level 1 to the max level. As a result, it would be completely immune to the power meter system that the other weapons have.
Side B: Missile Launcher
Quote pulls out his missile launcher and shoots it either to the left or right. Essentially a faster version of Snake’s side B except the missile only goes straight. When your power meter is high, the missiles would turn into super missiles which are orange and are much stronger.
Like in Cave Story, the missile launcher would have ammo. You can regain ammo either by waiting for a while or by dealing damage with other attacks.
Up B: Booster v.2.0
Quote flies around in any of the four cardinal directions using his jetpack. It’s essentially a combination of Pikachu and R.O.B.'s up-B's since you have the option to change direction mid flight but you can only fly for a certain amount of time. Quote’s body doesn’t hurt anyone during the move but Quote is able to use a few of his aerials during his flight.
Down B: Bubbler
Quote shoots bubbles in front of him that will deal small damage and knockback to enemies. When your power meter is level 3, you can hold Down-B to have the bubbles surround Quote and then release the button to have them launch in a direction of your choosing.
Final Smash: Soldier's Barrage
Quote hits the opponent(s) and then a cinematic happens where every weapon in the game is launched at the enemies. Quote ends the attack with a slash with King’s Blade, where King’s spirit can be seen charging at the opponent along with Quote.
Here is how I envision the costumes would look like if Quote/Curly made it into Smash:
The original version of Quote's third skin gives him tan skin and blonde hair. I thought it would look off in Smash so I just changed his clothes for his costume.
The spirits that coincide along with Quote’s release would probably look something like this, give or take the two at the bottom left. Listed below the pictures are the names of the characters as well as the Smash characters who would represent them during their spirit fight.
Stage: Mimiga Village
This is probably the most likely stage if Quote were to ever make it into Smash. Mimiga Village is the home of the Mimiga creatures and serves as a sort of hub area for the first half of the game. Background cameos would include King, Toroko, and Sue. The stage would be a giant interactive area similar to New Pork City and Palutena’s Temple. Of course since most of the game takes place underground, the walls and ceiling would be adjusted to include proper blastlines.
Honorable stage mentions: The Outer Wall and Egg Corridor.
Quote’s victory theme would be the item obtained jingle from Cave Story. The life capsule theme could work as an alternative but I feel the more commonly heard item jingle would better suit Quote.
Some Cave Story tracks to expect to coincide with Quote's release.
- Cave Story Main Theme
- Mimiga Village
- Egg Corridor
- Sand Zone
- Labyrinth Bust Out Theme
- Outer Wall
- Final Boss Theme
- Running Hell
I hope this post convinced some people to become interested in Quote being in Smash. I plan on doing analyses for other “underdogs” of Smash speculation so stay tuned for more news posts like this!
Authors Note: What are your thoughts on Quote (as well as Curly)? Would you like to see him playable in Smash some day? Let us know in the comments below!