We are all excited about the possibility of the fifth character (technically sixth counting The Plant) being revealed and the threads are abuzz with fighter pass and leak talk. The Smashboards Writing and Moderating Staff wants to weigh in on our prediction picks for the new fighter! Each response is varied and provides an insightful look into the character, the series, and why they think this character will be the next fighter. Please be civil in the comment section and attacking someone for their choice in characters is not permitted.
Smashboards News Staff
@Thirdkoopa / Content Manager
Chosen Undead (Dark Souls)
Picking to write about Dark Souls for me is a bit dry; while it’s not the pick I’m the most familiar with, it’s definitely a pick that I think is probable. It’s a hard toss-up out of any third-parties left, but it practically has all the checks: FromSoftware’s recent games, specifically the Souls series, have made a huge dent on the gaming industry. it’s an IP directly by the company that helps on Super Smash Bros (Namco Bandai). It has popularity in every region. The first game is now on the Switch. The biggest questions lingering are if they have an interest in adding in a Dark Souls character, and if so, who it would be. Chosen Undead fits the bill pretty well (the protagonist of the first Dark Souls), but it could be anything. Well, chances are it’d be a protagonist, but still.
@ZeroSoul / Associate Content Manager
I don’t think any character at this point is really likely, but if I had to bet on one I’d go with Minecraft’s Steve. For starters, Minecraft is a massive presence in the gaming world, pretty much everyone has at least heard of it before. Then you’ve got the fact that all 4 of the revealed Fighters Pass characters have been third party. Minecraft is owned by Microsoft so Steve would definitely fit the bill there. And speaking of Microsoft, they own Banjo & Kazooie, so we know Nintendo has talked with them before. I also find it a little suspicious that Steve wasn’t added as a Mii Costume or Spirit in the Ver. 5.0.0. Patch. You’d think Microsoft would want to sneak in some Minecraft content and that would have been the perfect time to do that.
Scribe / Managing Editor
Kunio/Alex (River City Ransom)
This is probably something of a dark horse pick, but I think Kunio has a lot more going for him than most people realize. The Kunio-kun franchise spawned some of the most iconic beat-em-ups and action sports games in the NES library, including Renegade, Super Dodge Ball, River City Ransom and Nintendo World Cup. The series has also been in the middle of a revival as of late, with the release of River City Ransom Underground in 2017 and River City Girls in 2019, the latter of which received a Switch release. It’s also worth noting that, much like Terry, Kunio’s source material was a major inspiration for Smash’s design, acting as a major source of inspiration for Smash’s randomness and item mechanics. As for his moveset, I could easily see him having a mix of close-range hand-to hand attacks with some options for item play, perhaps with a move that pulls out a random item projectile or even a battering item based on one of the weapons from his home series, such as a lead pipe or a chain.
T thelastgogeta / Contributor
Wonder-Red (The Wonderful 101)
I have the sense that we will see another change of pace for the final character of this Fighters Pass, which is why I feel Wonder-Red, perhaps solo or uniting with other Wonderful Ones, seems compellingly possible as an inclusion from a recent game.
This comes from general attributes like his first party status and how the director of The Wonderful 101, Hideki Kamiya, also directed the original Bayonetta. It also extends to mechanics as Wonder-Red wields an abundance of utility with his Unite Hand, which can be held to shield and collect flames but also serves as a punching/grabbing/tickling weapon which can be scaled up for power far beyond his own size in exchange for mobility and speed. The shenanigans could be endless with the consideration of command specials, other Unite Morphs/weapons (Claws, Boomerangs and Drills to name a few) and the ability to summon other characters using their own.
I’m not done overexplaining as it is also worth considering how close PlatinumGames appear to be with Nintendo with Astral Chain having released this August, Bayonetta 3 being announced for the Nintendo Switch and the public allusions to a port of The Wonderful 101 for Switch from the development studio.
Venus of the Desert Bloom / Contributor and Ultimate/News Moderator
2B (NieR Automata)
2B is from the critically acclaimed game NieR Automata. She is basically an android from the future who can do all sorts of crazy stuff such as summoning two blades in combat. She has a plethora of techniques and abilities that would translate well into Smash. This also includes Pod 042, a robotic helper who can either spray a storm of bullets or grant 2B special abilities. While 2B is a Square-Enix character, the game was developed by PlantinumGames who was also responsible for Astral Chain, Wonderful 101, and Bayonetta. Nier Automata has plenty of content that is suitable for Smash including a location from the series as a stage, a wide variety of spirits, and an amazingly beautiful soundtrack with musical tracks While having a second SE rep as a DLC fighter isn’t probable, I do think 2B has a decent chance given her unique abilities, a totally workable Smash moveset, popularity, and the fact Sakurai likes the game
Smashboards Site Staff
AEMehr / Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Professor Layton (Professor Layton)
I dunno this may just be me hoping that Sakurai will shine mercy upon me and create a character I want, but I think he has a solid chance. The fighters in the Fighters Pass so far have heavier popularity in certain regions over others: Dragon Quest in Japan, Banjo-Kazooie in the United States, Fatal Fury / The King of Fighters in Latin American countries, with Persona 5 being a somewhat universal pick. Theoretically, what's left is something particularly popular in European regions which is where I think Layton could surprise many. As a fighter I would imagine him to be very unorthodox, like playing him is somewhat of a puzzle in itself. Several attacks having sweet spots that hit at weird angles, which means you need to optimize your knowledge of how he works to use him effectively. It emphasizes his core gameplay to thinking outside of the box to use his awkward hitboxes, like you would have to look at the various puzzles in a variety of ways.
/ Super Smash Bros. Ultimate / Bowser
Oda Nobunaga (Dynasty Warriors)
As we enter the final fighter in the Season 1 Fighter Pass there are a couple observations to be made. Sakurai has consistently prioritized IPs and studios with a major impact on the history of Japanese game development, Nintendo’s history, or a personal impact on his growth as a game dev. If it can meet 2 of those conditions, the better. Combined with his statement that he does not want to represent a studio or IP that already has some form of representation in Smash Ultimate, I feel we must look to what currently remains. Of the studios that have had a major impact in Japanese game development who still have (or are currently having) an amazing relationship with Nintendo, I can think of no better than Koei Tecmo who helped make the critically acclaimed Fire Emblem: Three Houses. They are also currently opening the way for Persona 5 Scramble on the Switch, further destroying Sony’s hopes of keeping main P5 entries on their system, and are responsible for a slew of successful Musou games on Nintendo platforms.
If you dig into the history of Koei Tecmo, their Musou games really shot off in the PS2 era, completely setting the tone for future beat-em-ups and enjoyable button-mashing action games for generations. However, before all of that, Koei Tecmo made their biggest splash with grand strategy. That’s right, I’m talking Romance of the Three Kingdoms and, more importantly, Ambition of Nobunaga, the IP that put Koei Tecmo on the map in the first place. These games are the origin and building blocks of all the Japanese grand strategy games to come after, whether it be the influence on game design or music (featuring Yoko Kanno, no less). Even modern doujin games in the market make consistent reference to these games of old, with Oda Nobunaga being a cornerstone not only for Koei Tecmo’s brand, but for Japan’s love of reinventing historical figures in the context of their own modern mythology.
Coincidentally, Oda Nobunaga has even found himself in the world of Pokémon in the oft forgotten Pokémon Conquest. No boundaries can hold him. Oda Nobunaga is man, demon, and demi-god, as far as Japanese media has taken him, and I can think of no better rep for the final entry in the Season 1 Fighter Pass than the fool of Oda himself.
Mic_128 - Site Admin
Cranky Kong (Donkey Kong)
While I was tempted to suggest a certain blue-suited lawyer in response to AEMehr’s suggestions (One of which I have no objections to, hurr hurr) I think it’s possible that Cranky Kong could make an appearance.
The Donkey Kong franchise has seen the long-time rival of the Kongs, K.Rool make an entrance, it’s possible that the original Donkey Kong could make a return. It’s not as unlikely as you’d think. After all, he was a playable character in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, a much more active role than he’s ever had, despite his age.
His age is something that would also be unique in Smash. There’s not really any characters you would say are ‘old,’and I’m sure that could give a few interesting attacks, as well as his trusty walking stick. I mean, let’s be honest. Wouldn’t you like to just whack some whippersnappers over the head with a hunk of wood? Get off m’ platform, gosh dangit!
@Megadoomer / Moderator - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Doomguy/The Doom Slayer/Doom Marine (Doom)
At this point, I have no idea who to realistically expect. For me, the current DLC line-up has been a mix of completely unexpected characters, characters that I thought were impossible (or at least unlikely), and Hero (and even then, I figured that Erdrick would be the main Dragon Quest hero). If I had to pick one, the main character of Doom (whatever you want to call him) seems like the sort of pick that makes a ton of sense (the series has a long history on Nintendo consoles, stretching back to the SNES, and heavily influenced an entire genre) and also seems incredibly unlikely at first glance (most people couldn’t picture Doomguy alongside Mario, Pikachu, or Kirby).
Some might claim that the gory nature of Doom, or its depiction of Hell, make its inclusion in Smash seem impossible, but games like Quake Champions and Smash characters like Ridley show that characters (and, in the case of Quake Champions, Doomguy specifically) can be brutal without blood spewing everywhere. His Glory Kills (minus the actual killing part) give him a lot of options for melee attacks, and even if shotguns are ruled out, he still has plenty of energy weapons, explosives, and a chainsaw to work with for specials. As for the stage, a lot of the third party stages tend to be from early on in the games, so they could easily go with a UAC base on Mars. While Doom may not have been the first example of its genre, much like Street Fighter and Dragon Quest, it almost single-handedly popularized it, and that alone seems enough to justify its inclusion in Smash Bros. while still being a surprise pick for most people.
Altaï Ibn-La'Ahad/Ezio Auditore (Assassin’s Creed)
I personally believe that this next character is going to be quite a shock. So I targeted a character that is not only feasible in the grand-scheme but also likely when taking in the account of popularity and relevancy. With Assassin's Creed being Ubisoft's most popular and profitable franchise, Ubisoft's connection with Nintendo through multiple collaborations like Mario + Rabbids and Starlink, and the fact that Grant Kirkhope was introduced to Sakurai through Ubisoft, I think saying that a Ubisoft character has a shot is putting it lightly. With the Rabbids and Rayman also being represented in Smash already as Spirits I feel like this might be the perfect out-of-nowhere choice that Sakurai is looking for.
While Assassin's Creed hasn't been around for as long as the rest of the franchises represented in the Fighters Pass, it has been around since 2007 and has maintained a steady popularity even to this day. Assassin's Creed on Nintendo consoles goes back nearly as far with the Altair Chronicles release on the original DS and even Assassin's Creed 3 being a launch title for the Wii U. Personally, I would pull for Altaïr for my choice of Assassin but Ezio's overwhelming popularity could be to his benefit or it's even popular for them to be alternate costumes of each other. However it turns out, I think an Assassin is a shocking, yet exciting prospect for the final character of the pass.
@--- Super Moderator
Ryu Hayabusa (Ninja Gaiden)
It should probably go without saying that, in the realm of major Japanese game publishers, Koei Temco is pretty well overdue for a character in Smash. The company has been a regular for Nintendo fans dating back to the original NES/Famicom. Koei Temco’s relationship with Nintendo, particularly within the past decade, has spawned several major titles, spin-offs, and or crossovers featuring key IPs from both companies. Notably Koei Temco has already been credited in Smash Bros. due to the inclusion of Fatal Frame content in both Ultimate and the previous 3DS/Wii U games.
When looking at characters from the company it’s hard to ignore the elephant (or ninja) in the room: Ryu Hayabusa of Ninja Gaiden/Dead or Alive series fame. Originally debuting in a Beat em’ Up arcade game (which would be a first for a Smash character), Ryu has gone on to be featured in a surprising amount of game genres such as platforming, fighting, adventure, and hack and slash; all of which could be drawn on for a varied moveset. I’d personally imagine him being a weak but fast paced fighter with powerful throws (Izuna Drop!), specials based on the subweapons of the NES Trilogy, standard attacks being based on his Dead or Alive moveset, with his signature Dragon Sword being primarily saved for smash attacks & forward tilt/aerial. The cherry on top for me would be for Sakurai to implement the shadow clone power up from Ninja Gaiden II; I can only imagine what kind of combos the competitive scene could come up with using an after-image trailing behind them.
It’s hard to say for certain he’ll be Fighter 5 given the current rumor mill. As someone, however, who’s been wanting to see a different take on the stereotypical sword-wielder, I’d love to see any of these rumors come true.
Author’s Note: What do you think of these choices? We are interested in hearing them! Let us know what you think and perhaps also let us know who you want or predict for the next fighter!
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