The Hawk Samurai, Takamaru Ventures For Smash Switch (Takamaru is Deconfirmed again...)

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Welcome to the support thread for Nintendo’s oldest samurai and one of its oldest protagonists! We hope that your curiosity leads to you learning something fun about one of Nintendo’s “Most Known Unknowns”. You've caught us at a pretty cool time where we’re anticipating his inclusion in Smash 4 and as such have begun doing some renovations for the thread. We’re about to begin taking questions, starting with yours:


Who is Takamaru?”












Takamaru is the protagonist of the Japanese Family Computer or “Famicom” (NES equivalent) title “The Mysterious Murasame Castle” (lit. Nazo no Murasame Jō). As an apprentice samurai, Takamaru is given the duty of preventing a strange otherworldly deity from conquering Edo Japan after its initial descent and consequent possession of the lords of four neighboring castle towns. Armed with little more than a reliable katana and his own wit initially, he sets off on the journey that would have him visit these four castles freeing the inhabitants of the castle from this being’s influence before reaching his final destination, the titular Murasame Castle, wherein he would confront the strange deity for the sake of all involved.

For all that can be said of this story however, the character is a bit of a blank slate in terms of what can be done with his personality. While defined by the noble and honor first way of the samurai, Takamaru has also seen interesting characterization from his appearance in another game. Captain Rainbow’s interpretation of the character retains the same duty bound, humble and personable attitude while also introducing the “quirk” that the young samurai has a hard time around women.

"What is this “Mysterious Murasame Castle” game like? Is it a Puzzle game? Action-Adventure? Platformer?"





In some senses, The Mysterious Murasame Castle is both an action-adventure title and one of the earliest progenitors of the modern day “stylish action” or “twitch action” game genres. Even in its now basic gameplay design, Takamaru is a character that is nimble, responsive and, through the acquisition of varied offensive and support power ups, given a number of ways to deal with the challenges that arose in the game’s “screen by screen” design. Players encounter nimble enemies ranging from ninja foot soldiers to possessed lords with large AoE weaponry to various supernatural phenomena darting all about and generating mass pandemonium. The game demanded the absolute best of your ability to navigate its grid based design while making your way from one zone to the next avoiding or engaging the obstacles it would put in your way. As combat is a big component to the game, Takamaru (as the player character) was given a mixed moveset consisting of long ranged projectile items such as enchanted “will-o-wisp” flames, throwing knives and stars, support items such as a magic cloak that would turn the character completely invisible and thus impossible to damage, and a short range katana drawn from the sheath should you find an opponent stumbling into your strike zone.

“So you roam about a map beating foes while collecting crazy items? Oh, but that just sounds like a Zelda game!”


Not quite. Zelda is focused more on exploration, puzzles and discovery while The Mysterious Murasame Castle is skewed more towards combat, navigation and survival. You have brought up a pretty interesting observation however…

When was this game created? What significance do Takamaru and Mysterious Murasame Castle have to Nintendo’s history?”




The Mysterious Murasame Castle was created and released in 1986. Avid video game historians and enthusiasts will be quick to tell you that this was also the “birth year” of three other notable Nintendo franchises that currently enjoy a strong popularity in the Nintendo-verse. These franchises are The Legend of Zelda, Metroid and Kid Icarus. People in the know will also be quick to inform you that Metroid and Kid Icarus share a bond by being created by the same team. Instead of opting to design a wholly new franchise with new technologies or approaches after Metroid, the team decided to play with the engine and initial design of the game, eschewing the labyrinthine side scrolling nature for a faster paced experimental platformer/shooter hybrid. With the creation of a few new assets, a new story and a new protagonist in the form of Pit, the birth of the first Kid Icarus title was complete. But you knew that already, right?

Now what if I told you that The Legend of Zelda and The Mysterious Murasame Castle share a similar relationship with one another? After the breakout success of the first Zelda title, developers within Nintendo opted to play with the basic design and attributes of the first Zelda in the desire of making a faster paced action oriented title. The result was The Mysterious Murasame Castle. Sadly, due to the timing of the game’s release versus Zelda and Metroid, the game didn’t reach the same stratosphere of sales as those two franchises and due to the intrinsically Japanese flavor of the game, it was also passed over for a chance to find an audience in the West as at the time, Nintendo of America believed the game to be too niche and region centric versus the universal entities of the other big Nintendo games. This left the game caught between a rock and a hard place. The game and Takamaru have continued to persist through the ages however both by being remembered fondly by Japanese gamers who enjoyed its gameplay and being frequently referenced, especially in more modern Nintendo made or published titles. (See next question)

Takamaru's inclusion in the roster creates a very interesting “family (Famicom?) reunion” of franchises and characters that were all born in the same early era of Nintendo each of which has a strong history of circumstance and relation to one another. It also gives a character that was once bottlenecked by circumstance a second chance to find a real audience among the Nintendo All-Stars.

Where does his support come from? More specifically, how has he managed to remain visible for such a long time?”






The character and game have always seen a stable and somewhat loud bit of support from Japanese players enamored with the game. At times it has been described as the East’s “Punch-Out!!” referencing how the series is revered in one hemisphere but registers a complete blank in another due to either never seeing a release there or coming out to a (sadly) muted response from the opposite hemisphere’s gaming audience. Contrary to a large majority of Nintendo franchises that have come and gone into the back of the Nintendo Vault™ over the years, Takamaru and The Mysterious Murasame Castle have continued to receive small nods of recognition in a few Nintendo games released since. Pikmin 2 is the earliest modern reference with one of its objectives involving retrieving a copy of the Famicom game disk. Other homages and references include the inclusion of Douchuumen or the Castle Town theme and main musical theme of the journey heard from the start of the game in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the inclusion of an entire mode retelling the events of Mysterious Murasame Castle with a more realistic slant within the release of Samurai Warriors 3 for the Wii, his inclusion alongside other notable but “lost in time” Nintendo characters aiming for the spotlight again in Captain Rainbow, and a particularly surprising game mode themed after his franchise in 2012’s NintendoLand release. And he recently was featured as an Assist Trophy in Super Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS (Who was considered for the roster at first, but couldn't be in the final roster due to lack of Western familiarity)







While it is hard to pinpoint when exactly Takamaru became a figure in Western want lists and well wishes, the combination of allure for another character to break out while bringing a fresh side of Nintendo to the mainstream in a manner similar to the inclusion of the Fire Emblem duo Marth and Roy in Super Smash Bros. Melee, the heightened awareness of him and his game thanks to cameos made in the previously mentioned titles, and the desire for a wildly different take on swordsmanship is enough to get anyone moderately intrigued.

There is also the issue of Hideki Kamiya of Twitter Devil May Cry, Resident Evil 2, Okami and The Wonderful 101 fame stepping in and mentioning that of the Nintendo franchises he'd love to have a hand in reviving or developing for, The Mysterious Murasame Castle sits at the top of the batch next to otehr projects....

"Why is he such a great candidate for the roster? What does he bring in terms of aesthetic versus the other all-stars already present?”




Takamaru and the Mysterious Murasame Castle bring Japanese visual design and culture to the forefront through the combination of character and setting potential. Takamaru is not only one of those Japan only characters akin to Marth or Lucas before Smash propelled them to superstar level, but he is also literally a character from a stylized version of Japan’s Edo era. This means that a bit of Japanese culture will take influence on the character and the setting.

Now you might be saying "Why would Japanese culture be a big deal?" Well aesthetically, Japanese related content tends to have a notable style that expresses emotion by mixing environments and movements to make almost a poetic expression. For example:

Murasame Castle could be a beautiful place with sakura blowing in the wind, some chimes gently ringing, and a small river flowing underneath a bridge. A very soothing feeling at first, but then the sky could turn a blood red with all of the sakura wilting away and the river drying up, with mysterious figures stalking in the background and the mysterious alien deity that took over Murasame Castle watching anonymously around the castle itself. It would cycle between the peace and the chaos, like a never ending battle of good vs. evil.

Classic Japanese architecture will also lead to very interesting stages as players could either participate on stages made from the building’s exterior or play on stages with very ornate landscapes in the distance framing the action. (Footage taken from the anime Katanagatari and the game Muramasa: The Demon Blade for Wii)

The use of sumi-e styled background elements and filters (a la Okami) is yet another way to diversify from the cast and highlight the strengths of Japanese visual design.

Reason's for Takamaru's Inclusion by @BluePikmin11.
Takamaru joining Smash Switch is clear as day, in my opinion. We have already seen Nintendo and Sakurai dedicating some love to the Famicom game with Nintendo Land's mini-game, 3DS Virtual Console release, Takamaru's AT role and Mii costumes in Smash 4.
I feel what happened back in Smash 4 early planning in terms of the newcomer selection was that one retro and one retro hardware representative were planned from the very start. Duck Hunt Dog was the first selected to be Smash 4's 'surprise' character according to the Smash 4 slideshow proposal. Takamaru, was not in specific competition of that category. I feel, Takamaru was competing against Little Mac for the only standard retro newcomer spot. Although both had strong reasons to get into Smash, I think Mac was ultimately chosen over because of his worldwide appeal, especially noting the retro revival game that was Punch Out!! Wii that came out in 2009.

Being the only category Takamaru likely had a chance to be chosen in, it is VERY easy to understand why Takamaru could not get in Smash 4 despite merits. Getting in as DLC was not an option for Takamaru either, as I feel it was likely the retro category was hardly considered for the DLC selection. Now here is the interesting part.

Assuming that development started around in 2016 when Sakurai confirmed that he is working on the next project (likely being Smash Bros. Switch), there were no notable retro revival games from classic franchises from Nintendo that came during the timespan of Smash 4 and now. Given that selection of newcomers were likely selected from the beginning, Sakurai will have likely chosen the next standard retro candidate the same way as he did in Melee and Brawl (With Pit and Ice Climbers coming to mind). With no retro revivals to compete with, given everything I explained here, with Smash 4 content and pushes of the Murasame game from Nintendo, and one spot likely being reserved for one retro character again like Mac, with everything considered, it all lines up for Takamaru to be the next contender.

Sakurai had already noted the game's historical relationship with Zelda, Metroid, and Kid Icarus as an important point of Takamaru back in the Pic of the Day. I feel that status gives him the edge of consideration also. The only thing that would stand in the away for competition is if there were a major retro revival for a classic franchise other than Murasame Castle that Nintendo wants to promote badly, assuming the game comes out in 2018 in time for promotion. But I feel that is very unlikely at this point in time. I would be very surprised if anyone else got chosen other than Takamaru, unless in the case that Sakurai reconsiders Balloon Fighter and puts him in competition of Takamaru in honor of Iwata. Those are the only two candidates I can see Sakurai reconsidering for top retro candidates again. That and obscure status potentially being very large obstacles of Sakurai adding Takamaru, those are his only problems I can see. But, I can see Sakurai getting past that pretty easily and taking the risk to make the samurai finally playable in Smash.

Takamaru, to me, is literally in the very front of the line to get in Smash now.


How would Takamaru play optimally? Do you have move set examples?




“Pause. I just realized he uses a sword. We don’t need any more sword people.”

“Won’t he just be another blue haired swordsman?”

“Sakurai said X wouldn’t be a good inclusion for being ‘just another swordsman‘… What exempts Takamaru from this criticism?”

First things first, Taka was originally black haired (but would eventually be retconned to have blue hair in latter appearances). Even if he's bluish black like his AT model, it shouldn't really be a factor against his inclusion.

Now then, walk with me for a little bit. Just as there are a limitless number of ways to fight with fists and feet, use magic, generate energy, etc, while also being visually distinct, so too are there ways of using a sword. Before we talk about Takamaru any further though, let’s take a brief look at the current reality of swordsmen in Smash:

Knights (Sword & Shield style): Link, Young Link & Toon Link

Right off the bat, you should notice something strange with this. The series has gone through three entries with the fourth one rapidly approaching and this archetype is only made up of variants of the same character. Sure this is mitigated in play style by giving different properties to similar looking attacks, but with so little else being done in how this style is implemented, it comes across as being excessively same-y.

Fencers (fighting style based off of the European style of Fencing): Marth, Roy, and the newcomer Lucina

Yet again, we see another situation where in three games (soon to be four), there is only one style being represented between multiple characters with little in the way of variance besides move property changes.

Heavy Swordsperson: Ike and Cloud

Ike represents the first true divergence from either of the two styles mentioned above. By supplementing his raw power with the impressive reach of Ragnell, he was able to have a mixed style wherein scrappy physicality and powerful swings melded together to make something true to the character and truly divergent from the previously established swordsman mold. It took us until Brawl, the third game in the franchise 9 years after it started for one extra “swordsman” mold to be created. To put this in further context, it took the Smash franchise three games to officially have a third sword fighting style represented out of a cast of 39 characters as per Brawl. That’s not so good…

In addition to Cloud, who combines floaty gameplay with heavy sword strikes and his Limit Break Gimmick. Thus putting him in the same category as Ike.

Hybrids (characters that use a bladed weapon but do not specialize or identify by this specifically): Pit and newcomer Robin and Corrin

Pit’s redesigned weapon, Palutena’s Bow, was first displayed as a set of knives that joined together to create a pseudo bladed staff/bow hybrid. While I include him here for the sake of objectivity, I hesitate to consider him a “swordsperson” specifically because of his “jack of all trades” focus. Even so, if we count this, Pit makes for the fourth variance in swordsman/bladed combat styles over a three game and near decade long period of time in the franchise. Robin is another such character that falls into this mold. While the character possesses a sword, the sword runs completely secondary to the character’s mastery over magic. Even in the limited footage we have, there is a noticeable lack of finesse with the sword that the other swordsmen characters possess whereas his abilities with the tomes are varied and impressive. In that case, we can say that the sword is a supplement to Robin’s more magic oriented play style. Corrin is a jack of all trades with his Dragon's Fang transformations and Omega Yato, which functions as a doubled edged chainsaw sword hybrid. The character is fast with attacks and got decent speed to compensate for these strange mixture if close ranged and strong attacks. Making him a special case compared to Pit and Robin.

Hyper Offensive/High Octane/”Death by a million Cartoony Cuts”: Metaknight, potentially newcomer Mii Swordfighter

Metaknight was silly. While not adhering to any specific style of swordsmanship, his transcendental attacking speed and “whirling death” style is unique in its own right and deserves a mention. As such this is the fifth variance in swordsmen included as playable characters in every Smash roster from the first through Brawl. Mii Swordfighter ramps things up by bringing a broadsword to the battle but also bringing a distinctly chaotic nature to it as well.

Putting this all into perspective, this means that:

- In Smash 64, there was only one swordsman of one fighting style niche in Link

- In Melee, there were only four swordsmen out of a twenty six character roster. Out of those four, only two fighting styles were represented, fencers (Marth & Roy) and knights (Link & Young Link).

- In Brawl, there were six swordsmen and four styles represented (Marth, Ike, Pit, Metaknight, Link & Toon Link) out of a cast of 39.

- Speaking on characters confirmed as of this post, Smash 4 has fencers (Marth, Lucina), heavy swordsmen (Ike), Hybrids (Pit, Robin), and High Octane (Mii Swordfighters) covered.

So the issue isn’t that there are too many swords people. It’s that there are too many swords people riding the coattails of another established swordsman with not enough variety being shown in between to warrant a casual player’s interest.

Coming back to Takamaru now, we don’t have to look far to see how he can offer a satisfying and distinct new take on the surprisingly underserved swordsman flavor in the Smash rosters to date. The “draw and sheathe” style of sword fighting (via either Iaido or Battoujutsu) is a niche that has yet to be capitalized on within the playable Smash cast. With Lyn continuing to resume her role as an Assist Trophy character, Takamaru is the best, if not only, character in Nintendo's stable that is able to take this style and run with it by virtue of being Nintendo's oldest samurai protagonist and a character with some decent Nintendo history behind himself.

In this style of sword combat, the sword remains sheathed at all times until an attack is launched wherein the opponent draws their sword in a lightning fast manner simultaneously attacking them out of this draw before once again sheathing their blade. Even in the 1986 title, one could see that Takamaru was a character who only ever used his blade in close quarters lending more credibility to the idea that he could be a practitioner of iaido. The idea behind the style is in displaying a cool composition of the mind as well as swiftness of the body so as to be aware of openings and make quick lethal strikes once the practitioner was in a certain range.

What's more, Takamaru also brings with him numerous other toys in the form of Will-O-Wisp fireballs that explode on contact, the ability to call down screen clearing lightning, the ability to turn intangible/invisible, varied throwing knives/stars, projectile deflection with his sword, and of course his agility and twitch based gameplay. Lastly, there are a few special Shogi Pieces (Rook, Biship, and King) which allows him to throw his projectiles in manners like all around four-way, arced three-way, or all at once forward depending on which one that is used (which could serve the purpose of being a unique method that not a single character had done before). All of these aren't even stretches of what he was capable of doing, each of these abilities and subtleties were born with the character in the 1986 Famicom game. In developing a style that highlights both his close and long range attributes, it is possible to make a swordsman character unlike any other present in the roster and one who would be satisfying to use. Below are some examples from regulars in the thread:



Takamaru's Skilled Movesets








Takamaru, the Lost Hero




As Takamaru could be considered one of the earliest ancestors of the modern day “stylish action” genre, his combat design should consist of picking your spots, moment to moment awareness, tactical usage of long range weaponry to navigate through crowds or pressure targets from afar and potent sword play to make quick work of the closest opposing force. In his origin game, The Mysterious Murasame Castle, players are challenged by hordes of nimble enemies ranging from ninja foot soldiers to possessed lords with large AoE weaponry to various supernatural phenomena darting all about and generating mass pandemonium. The game demanded the absolute best of your ability to navigate its grid based design while making your way from one zone to the next avoiding or engaging the obstacles it would put in your way. You were given a mixed move set consisting of long ranged projectile items, support items and a short range katana drawn from the sheath should you find an opponent stumbling into your immediate strike zone.


With all this said, the character is envisioned as a strongly balanced “jack of all trade" in a vein similar to Link while skewing more towards offense than the defensive style of the hero of Hyrule. While his blade has noticeably less range than other sword fighters (Katanas are by nature shorter than the European broadswords and rapiers which inspire the swords used by Link and Marth), this is made up for by the speed of his attacks as well as his projectiles. Taking inspiration from Japanese iaijutsu sword play, Takamaru's combat design is based on his historic inspiration, the Edo period samurai, to create a unique swordsman based around the concept of fast lethal blows "drawn from the hip". With this move set, the goal is to offer a choice of tactics players can juggle between to remain potent in any number of match ups.

A number of inspirations from different media have informed this interpretation of the character. If you are not familiar with a reference being made, I have included links to either an image or video for you to get an idea of the animations I have in mind.


Basic Information


Running speed: Between Marth and Pit (Closer to Marth)

Wall Jump: Yes

Wall Cling: No

Tether: No

Reflector: Yes (Forward Smash)

Fall Speed: Fast

Weight Class: Lightweight

Jump heights: Average (think Fox)


Normals


Jab: Takamaru jabs the butt of the sword from left to right. Pressing jab again has him do it again from right to left. The third jab has Takamaru draw his sword, thrusting it by the butt of the hilt forward at an opponent's midsection before deftly sheathing it again.

Jab Combo: Takamaru unleashes a flurry of precise strikes immediately in front of himself with minimal knockback. Think of a hybrid of his current assist trophy's sword strikes and this scene from Rurouni Kenshin.

Jab Combo Finisher: Takamaru seemingly dashes through an opponent, sheathes his sword and the character is launched into the air.

F-Tilt: Takamaru draws his sword from sheathe and performs a crescent arc slash attack immediately in front of himself. This attack can also be angled.

D-Tilt: Takamaru crouches on one knee and sweeps his sheathed blade forward along the ground to hit his opponent's ankle. Can be rapid fired.

U-Tilt: Takamaru flicks/draws his sword hilt out and upward near himself hitting an opponent with the butt of the blade. This launches opponents for juggles. "...I wasn't finished speaking."

F-Smash: Takamaru assumes a drawing stance before unleashing a powerful blurring strike then re-sheathes his blade.This attack, much like in the classic Mysterious Murasame Castle, also has reflective properties when used against projectiles.

D-Smash: In one quick motion, Takamaru crouches, unsheathes his sword and performs a sweeping slash in a complete circle around himself. Using the remaining momentum from this maneuver, he takes a moment to re-sheathe the blade once the attack is complete. (Think of it as a single hitting version of Shulk’s down smash attack.)

U-Smash: Takamaru does a short hop knee kick that launches upward before drawing his sword in a solid attack arc above himself then sheathing his sword before landing. This attack arc is similar to Meta Knight's Up Smash.


N-Air: Takamaru performs a single hit spinning draw slash from left to right with great force. The momentum of this draw spins Takamaru around allowing the attack to create a ring around himself. (Think of Dante's jumping heavy attack in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 or Roy's Project M N-Air performed by Takamaru unsheathing his sword with the momentum from the draw spinning him around once before he re-sheathes the sword.)

F-Air: Takamaru draws his sword and slashes a straight horizontal arc in front of himself before quickly sheathing his sword. (Note: Moves referenced in links are not an indication of how I perceive their actual distances.)

B-Air: Takamaru performs a somersault in the air slashing from under to behind himself in a manner similar to Baiken's H guard cancel attack from Guilty Gear.

U-Air: Takamaru sweeps his katana above his head after a draw. This is similar in nature to Baiken's Youzansen.

D-Air: (Ryu Tsui Sen) Takamaru does a midair flip looking down for a second before drawing his sword straight downward in a power streaking movement and re-sheathing. The attack has a very small range and active time but is a true spike.

Dash Attack: Takamaru draws his sword, swings a half circle slash in front of himself, and sheathes it in a complete spin. (Think of Zero's Shippuga from Mega Man X4.)


Unique Mechanic

Takamaru, while adept with a blade, is most known for his aggressive zoning options. He has the ability to alter the number of projectiles thrown forward and the configuration or pattern of their flight through the air using Shogi piece power ups. Pressing the special button a second time during the flight of a projectile on screen will change the number of projectiles thrown as well as the formation they take when tossed.

Specials

Neutral Special: Will-o-Wisps - Takamaru can launch will-o-wisp style fireballs that travel straight forward with this move. Their range is limited but they do good stun. Pressing the special again during the startup of this attack has Takamaru toss three more fireballs in a line behind the first as a King Shogi Piece flashes above his head. This is a reference to the King Shogi piece power up found in his games which allowed players to throw three of the same projectile in a single direction in front of him.

Forward Special: Windmill Blades - Takamaru pulls out one of his trademark projectiles, a whirling circular shuriken-chakram hybrid, and tosses it forward. The strength of the directional input determines the distance the weapon goes forward. (Think of the Chakram special for Mii Swordfighters.) Pressing the special button as the blades are tossed has the Rook shogi piece appear over Takamaru’s head as he throws multiple blades forward as one which then expand in a “X” or plus sign formation (think of the assist trophy) depending on the strength of the throw.

Downward Special: Clay Bombs – Similar to the NintendoLand power up, Takamaru will toss a single bomb in an arc forward. These bombs detonate instantly upon contact with any surface or opponent. Pressing the special button when Takamaru would hurl the bomb in the air will make the symbol for the Bishop shogi piece Takamaru pitch two more concealed bombs alongside the first in a paper-fan like formation. This a reference to the Bishop shogi piece’s power up.

Upward Special: Invisibility Scroll – Takamaru slams his hand down on a scroll that unfurls itself on the ground before him and the sound effect for the scroll is played. While in this state, a comical “circle shadow” appears under himself showing where he is. Tilting the control stick will have Takamaru move through the air in the same direction. Upon becoming tangible again, the scroll furls back up and vanishes in a puff of smoke.

Grabs & Throws

Grab: Takamaru reaches out for the opponent with one hand outstretched.

Pummel: Takamaru jabs the butt end of his katana at the character's midsection.

Forward Throw: Takamaru does a turn around back kick hitting the opponent square in their jaw launching them forward.

Back Throw: Takamaru "disappears" and reappears behind the opponent, sheathing his sword. When the sword is sheathed, the opponent is launched. (This is a classic trope!)

Up Throw: Takamaru throws an clay bomb explosive downward that launches the opponent into the air.

Down Throw: Takamaru jumps on top, stomps once (think Kirby's down throw with a single kick down) and jumps off landing on the other side of the now downed opponent.


Final Smash: Inazuma Lightning: After donning the Kabuto Helmet power up (thus appearing in a state of visible intangibility), Takamaru stabs his katana into the air where it is struck by lightning. This burst of lightning is large (think Pikachu's Volt Tackle burst) and can be used three times in total while moving about in this state. During this Final Smash, the Invincibility Theme from Mysterious Murasame Castle plays in the background.


Other Animations


Spot Dodge: Takamaru leans to the side with his hand on his blade's hilt while looking attentively at whatever just passed him by.

Air Dodge: Takamaru is wrapped into his invisibility scroll as Sakura petals show where he is headed before the cloak is cast off.

Knockdown: Takamaru lands face in ground. His feet twitch every now and again similar to his damage animation from the Famicom title.

Broken Shield: Takamaru teeters in place alternating one foot with the other

Crouch: Takamaru sits seiza style with his dominant hand in drawing range of his sword.

Up Taunt: Takamaru draws his blade and swings it twice in a lightning fast manner before posing in the Famicom box art pose

Side Taunt: A small circle shadow appears in front of Takamaru, prompting him to inspect it. A tanooki appears (with the SMB3 sound effect) before him and the two give each other a nod in approval before the tanooki vanishes again.

Down Taunt: Takamaru seats himself on the ground in seiza style and meditates calmly.

TAKAMARU - MYSTERIOUS MURASAME CASTLE

Takamaru is a fun character and despite the fact that he has only a few games to pull from, his archetype- the samurai- and his origin- the sister series to Zelda- gives plenty to work with in terms of playstyle.

I envision Takamaru as a sort of middle-ground between Link and Mega Man. Mega Man is mostly projectile focused, and Link is mostly sword focused. Takamaru would strike an even balance between using projectile and swordplay. This would not only reflect on his source: an extremely difficult and punishing game where maintaining distance and picking off foes from far away is your preferred method of strike, and Takamaru's katana is saved for up close.

For the sake of incompassing more Japanese sword techniques, I would have Takamaru receive a slight update, with a wakizashi - a smaller, secondary blade, which would be mounted opposite to his katana.

MOVESET -

STANDARDS -
Neutral Attack - Projectile Throw
Takamaru will throw whatever projectile is active at the time. It will default to throwing knives.
Dash Attack - Iaijutsu (Quick Draw)
Takamaru will slide, drawing and sheathing his katana at incredible speed.

TILT ATTACKS -
Forward Tilt - Iaijutsu (Quick Draw)
Takamaru quickly draws his katana, slashes in a 45 degree arc, and sheaths.
Up Tilt - Nitojutsu (Dual Wield)
Takamaru will briefly dual wield. He will draw both his katana and wakizashi and slice upwards with each blade.
Down Tilt - Wakizashi Iaijutsu
Takamaru with quickly draw his wakizashi and make a small slash in an arc downward.

SMASH ATTACKS -
Forward Smash - Iaijutsu
The truest form of the ancient Japanese sword art - the quick draw of the blade. Takamaru will grasp his blade and quickly draw and slash with it.
Up Smash - Nitojutsu
The truest form of the ancient Japanese sword art - the pairing of a katana and a wakizashi. Takamaru will briefly dual wield. Takamaru will grasp both blades and rapidly draw them, attacking above him with quick slashes of his swords.
Down Smash - Iaijutsu Spin
Takamaru will draw his katana with both hands, exerting so much force that he will spin in a circle.

AERIAL ATTACKS -
Neutral Aerial - Aerial Wakizashi Iaijutsu
Takamaru quickly draws and attacks with his wakizashi.
Forward Aerial - Forward Projectile Throw
Takamaru throws a short reaching projectile in front of him, which will cancel any action an enemy trying to intercept him is trying to use.
Back Aerial - Backwards Iaijustu
Takamaru exerts himself to draw his katana and spin around, attacking behind him.
Up Aerial - Upward Projectile Throw
Takamaru launching a projectile upward.
Down Aerial - Nitojutsu Drop
Takamaru draws and plunges both of his swords below him, into the ground or his opponent if he lands. This is a Meteor Smash.

THROWS -
Grab - Up Close and Personal
Takamaru will grab his competitor with both of his hands.
Pummel - Samurai's Knee
Takamaru will knee his opponent in the ribs.
Forward Throw - Samurai Pitch
Takamaru throws his combatant in a straight line, launching projectiles their way.
Back Throw - Samurai Underhand
Takamaru will launch his foe behind him, him facing opposite the direction he is currently facing. He will blindly throw projectiles behind him which will hit his opponent.
Up Throw - Samurai Overhand
Takamaru throws his adversary upwards and follows up with projectiles.
Down Throw - Samurai DUNK
Takamaru dunks his enemy downward and they collide with the ground.

GET-UP ATTACKS -
Floor Attack - Samurai's SWEET MOVES
Takamaru will get up off the ground by spinning in a circle, akin to a break dance.
Edge Attack - Samurai's Sweep
Takamaru climbs up the edge and does a sweeping kick.


SPECIALS -
Neutral Special - 'Invisibility Gambit'
Similar to his Samurai Warriors incarnation, Takamaru will become shrouded in a bright white haze for a limited time. Like his original game, projectiles will pass through him for the duration of this attack. Any smash or strong attack Takamaru performs out of this technique will have its power multipled by 1.5 and instantly end the invisibility. Takamaru will also take 1.5 times damage from all attacks that hit him during this technique.
Side Special - 'Windmill Sword'
Takamaru will switch to windmill swords for all his projectile-based attacks for a limited time period. For this special Takamaru will also launch a slowmoving windmill sword which will hit anything it collides with. Similar to Link's side special.
Up Special - 'Vanishing Act'
Takamaru will vanish and reappear a certain space away. Similar to Sheik's recovery.
Down Special - 'Fireball Bomb'
Takamaru will switch to fireballs for all his projectile-linked attacks for a limited time period. For this special Takamaru will also underhand throw a fireball that will explode on impact and hurt everything within a radius. Similar to Link's down special.

Design Pitch: Takamaru is built around the idea of Iaijutsu, which is a Japanese swordplay technique using the quick draw. His stance is sheathed and each of his sword moves emphasizes the motion of removing the blade swiftly. His original game was like the original Zelda in design, but with a focus on the combat, with emphasis on evading the enemies and quickly taking them out. In keeping with this design, Takamaru is meant to be a skillful character with quick, snappy dodges and an emphasis on keeping your opponent on their guard.
Jab: Stops in place, leans his body and swipes his katana up from the sheath. Follow up inputs result in two more katana slashes, carefully executed by moving only his arm until it is quickly resheathed.

Forward Tilt: Stomps his foot down onto the ground and leans forward into a focused, abrupt strike.

Up Tilt: Throws three kunai above his head in an arc, which travel a short distance and disappear.

Down Tilt: An extremely snappy katana slash along the ground.

Dash Attack: Slides forward, swinging his katana out of the sheath and swiping it in a wide arc. Slightly slower than most of his non-Smash moves, but with slightly more ferocity as well. (Note: While Takamaru is dashing, his sandals become the Red Sandals).

Forward Smash: Charges his blade with the Fireball Scroll spell and performs a swift barrage of strikes.

Up Smash: Adjusts his stance, twisting his torso and swiping his katana out of his sheath and above his head in an arc.

Down Smash: Casts the Fireball Scroll spell on both sides toward the ground, creating a burst of flame on both sides at the ground.

Neutral Aerial: A quick slashing motion on all sides of Takamaru.

Forward Aerial: Takamaru throws a few kunai in an arc in front of him, which disappear after travelling a short distance.

Back Aerial: A backwards slice behind Takamaru with his katana.

Up Aerial: Throws kunai in an arc above his head, similar to his up tilt.

Down Aerial: Raises his arms a bit to shift his weight and jabs one foot down below.

Grab: Standard one-handed grab with the arm not closest to his sheath

Pummel: Grabs his katana hilt and slides it up a bit out of the sheath, bashing the enemy with it

Forward Throw: Unsheathes his katana and stabs it into the opponent.

Back Throw: Tosses them behind him and send them flying with a toss of a few kunai.

Up Throw: Throws the opponent above his head and shoots them up with the Fireball.

Down Throw: Stomps on the opponent and stabs his sword down into them

Ledge Attack: Flips up onto the stage on his knee, swiping his sword in a circular motion around him.

NEUTRAL B: FLURRY DEFLECT
A quick barrage of katana slashes which reflects projectiles if they come into contact with it. The rush of swings can be subtly angled, changing the direction projectiles go when reflected. Deals decent enough chip damage if used as an attack, but deals hardly any knockback at all and can be easily shielded.


SIDE B: PINWHEEL KNIFE
Throws a pinwheel knife which spins into enemies and deals several small hits of chip damage as it buzzsaws into them. Can be easily angled in a wide arc of potential shots, but not straight up or down. Similar to Mega Man’s Metal Blade, although it does not pass through enemies and disappears upon making contact with the stage.


UP B: RISING HAWK
The Hawk Samurai dons the Blue Sandals and lunges up in the air, coming back down spinning in a forwards diagonal arc with his sword drawn and landing by stabbing it into the ground. A risky recovery move like Aether or the Dedede Jump, where missing the ledge leaves you plummeting into the depths below.


DOWN B: INVISIBILITY SCROLL
Takamaru disappears in a puff of smoke and sakura petals, leaving an invisibility scroll behind. While this move is active, he becomes, well, invisible. He cannot jump or attack while the move is active, and releasing the special button will cause the attack to end. He can however, walk and run normally. Below where he is, a black shadow will appear marking his position on the floor. When the button is released, he appears in another puff of smoke and sakura petals, and attacks with his katana.


FINAL SMASH: INAZUMA LIGHTNING
Takamaru dons the Helmet from Murasame Castle, making him invincible to attack. He then calls down the destructive power of Inazuma Lightning, powerful and flashy bolts which rain down on the stage randomly in very quick succession, launching any poor fool that they come in contact with.


Stage Entrance: Decloaks from his Invisibility Scroll, with sakura petals appearing around him in a puff.

Idle Pose 1: Pulls some of the sword out from its sheath and inspects the blade before putting it back.
Idle Pose 2: Flicks his sword up a bit out from its sheath a few times, somewhat impatiently.


Up Taunt: Unsheathes his sword, swiping it in a steady manner and saying “You fight with honor”.
Side Taunt: Unsheathes his sword and strikes a pose heavily reminiscent of his classic artwork, remarking "I take your leave!"
Down Taunt: Silently brandishes a few kunai, faces the camera with a nod, and stashes them back away.



Victory Pose 1: Sheaths his sword and gives a confident look to the camera, saying "Justice will always emerge victorious in the end!"
Victory Pose 2: Takes a bow respectfully, saying "Perhaps we may meet again in battle, some other time and place."
Victory Pose 3: Spins his sword around in a collected, yet stylish fashion, slowing it down and holding it steady in place as he says "Another enemy falls to my blade!"


Takamaru moveset
Jab: Instant multihit jab like MK
Ftilt: A diagonal slash
Utilt: Slashes upwards, kinda like Shulk but more horizontal range instead of vertical
Dtilt: Slashes at feet
Nair: Slashes quickly in front of himself and then behind himself
Fair: A single sword strike by thrusting the blade forward
Bair: Kicks backwards then slashes
Uair: Two rapid sword swings
Dair: Ike's Dair, spikes better
USmash: Swings sword in a 180 degree angle
FSmash: A jump slash
DSmash: Stabs quickly in front of himself and then swings his blade behind him
Pummel: Bashes with Katana hilt
Fthrow: Slashes in rapid succession
Uthrow: A bit like Ryuenjin from Zero in MvC
Bthrow: Jumps in front of foe and slashes
Dthrow: Throws a few fireballs on foe
B: Pinwheel attack, shoots out a projectile not unlike the Metal Blade, faster at the cost of less directions, customs are Shogi pieces, more at a time but weaker
Side B: Shuriken, throws out a shuriken that has little lag, has to take a few seconds to recharge though
Up B: Flies on a hawk like Beat, but faster
Down B: Invisibility Cloak. only Takamaru's shadow is visible, can be used for trickery
Final Smash: Inazuma Lighting, summons a lot of lightning bolts like the final part of Pit's final smash, only Takamaru can still move around and attack freely
Taunt: Holds a battle stance
Taunt: Juggles some Shogi pieces
Taunt: Sword catches lightning while Takamaru poses

General Ideas for a gimmick:
1. All of his moves are projectiles, unless Takamaru is near an opponent:
Takamaru's moves all compromise off slow, weak projectiles, unless he's near an opponent.
The projectiles do damage, but can't kill.
The swordslashes are fast, do much damage and can kill.
This means Takamaru has to play rushdown with a walling moveset, a task for a hawk-minded Samurai!


2. Every slash of the blade reflects projectiles
All of Takamaru's sword moves reflect projectiles at different angles, (maybe including his own)
Takamaru can now make use of the opponents powers to strenghen his game and fame!


3. The Shogi pieces
Allow Takamaru's projectiles to change trajectory.
No way he'd be a Link clone!


4. The ability to change projectiles
Changing knives in Will 'O Wisps, changing shuriken into windmill blades.
Takamaru has a big arsenal of Japanese weaponry, and he's not afraid to use it.


Moveset:
General Info:


All of Takamaru's projectiles are affected by gravity and can hurt Takamaru himself too.
Luckily, his sword can reflect his own projectiles.


Kunai: Fast, low damage, affected by gravity (Heavier needle)
Pinwheel: As fast as Kunai, deals multiple hits, goes longer than Kunai
Fireball: Very slow and very powerful.
Smoke Bomb: Very quick, small knockback.


NeutralB: Shogi Shuffle
Takamaru shuffles through his Shogi pieces.
Shuffling changes the trajectory of all projectiles in Takamaru's moveset.
Takamaru gains a bit of Super Armour when shuffling.


Rock: Projectiles go in all four directions.
Bishop: All projectiles fly in a cone pattern.
King: All projectiles go in a straight line.
NeutralB2: Shuffle Strike
Takamaru can use a quick, hard-hitting sword strike while shuffling, but the shuffling is slower


NeutralB3: Swift Shuffle
Takamaru shuffles faster, but the Super Armor is gone.
SideB: Pyrokinesis
This special changes every projectile of his moveset in a Fireball for a short time, dealing big knockback but traveling incredibly slow.
Watch out!
Can't be spammed.
SideB2: Crossbow
Every projectile is shot from a crossbow and go 1.5x faster. They are weaker though.


SideB3: Windmill
Every projectile changes in a pinwheel. Has more range, but is slower.


UpB: Hover Sandals
Takamaru puts on his magic sandals and runs diagonally up.


UpB2: Samurai Jump
Takamaru puts on his sandals and jumps in the air.


UpB3: Sandal Strike
Takamaru puts on his sandals and slashes around, but doesn't run as far.


DownB: Invisibility Cloak
Takamaru becomes invisible for a short time, but he doesn't jump as high.
Can't attack or shuffle while invisible.
DownB2: Short-Time Cloak
The cloak lasts shorter, but your jump isn't limited.


DownB3: Cloak Counter
Attack while invisible!
This attack lasts the shortest, but you end with a strike!
Final Smash: Samurai Night
The screen turns dark and after Takamaru puts on his Invincibility Helmet, you can control him normally again.
Only Takamaru's projectiles are visible, the rest is covered in the night.


Normals:
Jab: Rapid Jab his AT does.
FTilt: Takamaru jumps up and throws pinwheels.
UTilt: Takes out the sword and points his sword in the air in front of him and sheats his sword. (Like that Link Taunt but better)
DTilt: Takes out his sword and pushes the side into the ground.
Dash Attack: Throws 3 Kunai up.


Aerials:
Nair: Takamaru throws 4 smoke bombs that surround opponents with smoke for a second. Takamaru throws them all forward with King equipped.
Fair: Overhead slice
Bair: A quick strike with the side of the sword
UAir: Throws 4 Kunai upwards.
Dair: Sets his feet on lightning. No movement attached, so surprise opponents
Smashes:
FSmash: Summons three fireballs and strikes them with a sword. Both parts deal knockback
USmash: Throws four lightning bombs that paralyze opponents.
DSmash: Basically a double Pika thunder on both sides.
Grabs and Throws
Pummel: Throws tiny smoke bombs
FThrow: Dissapears quickly and then strikes with his sword
DThrow: Sets the ground on fire
UThrow: Throws the opponent up, jumps, and throws pinwheels
BThrow: Marth's Iaido Counter


♦ Index:
1). Jab & Dash
2). Tilts
3). Smashes
4). Aerials
5). Specials
6). Grab & Throws
7). Final Smash
Summary
Just like in his game, Takamaru's sword is his most dangerous weapon, his projectiles being a side weapon. Just like a Samurai, Takamaru's fighting style focuses on watching the opponent carefully in a defensive manner, striking only when there is an opening. He keeps opponents at bay with his projectiles, and when they get too close for comfort, he has his sword to devastate them.
Just like in his games, Takamaru can deflect projectiles with his sword. Every one of his sword attacks is capable of reflecting projectiles. However, he can only reflect physical projectiles, not energy projectiles. For instance, Takamaru can send Link's arrows and boomerang back at him, but he can't reflect Pit's arrows or Samus's charge lazer.


1). Jab & Dash:

Author's Note: Takamaru's jabs do little knockback, but loads of damage.

Jab 1: Takamaru delivers a lightning-fast descending vertical strike.
Jab 2: Takamaru follows up with a lightning-fast rising vertical strike.


Dash Attack: Takamaru lunges forward, delivering a powerful two-handed thrust. Instant startup, and can kill early if used near the ledge, but has high ending lag, making it very punishable if missed or blocked. That said, this move is best suited for surprise attacks and punishing opponents.



2). Tilts:

Forward Tilt: Takamaru delivers a lightning-fast, two-handed stab that pushes the opponent out of arm's reach. Does little knockback, but lots of damage. Instant startup, very low ending lag.

Upward Tilt: Takamaru deals a two-handed rising diagonal slash in the air in front of him. Good anti-air move. Does little knockback, but lots of damage. Instant startup, very low ending lag.

Downward Tilt: Takamaru raises his sword above his head with both hands and delivers a lightning-fast vertical strike. Instant startup, and next to no ending lag. Does little knockback, but plenty of damage. Like Ness's d-tilt, Takamaru's d-tilt can be done repeatedly. This move has a 90-degree range, starting from Takamaru's head, and ending at the ground. This move can also be followed up with any other ground attack.



3). Smashes:

Author's Note: Just like his other melee attacks, Takamaru's Smash Attacks can reflect physical projectiles. However, his Smash Attacks are different in that the speed & power at which the reflected projectile flies back is increased based on the charge of the Smash. Unlike his other attacks though, Takamaru's Smashes are a little slow to start. Thus, they are best used for punishing or finishing off the opponent.

Forward Smash: Takamaru sheaths his sword, then performs a powerful, lightning-fast horizontal slash. About the same startup as Meta Knight's f-smash. Can kill very early, but hard to land, due to zero vertical range.

Upward Smash: Takamaru performs a powerful, lightning-fast rising vertical slash. Quick startup. Covers Takamaru's entire front, and half above him--though the strongest hitbox is at the front and bottom. Can kill early if charged.

Downward Smash: Takamaru performs a powerful, lightning-fast descending vertical slash. Quick startup. Covers Takamaru's entire front, and half above him--though the strongest hitbox is at the front and above.



4). Aerials:

Neutral Aerial (Fire Ki): Takamaru surrounds himself in a ring of fire, repeatedly damaging nearby opponents before knocking them away. Instant startup. (Author's Note: This move derives from an enemy in Murasame castle, whom could surround himself with balls of flame, making him all but impossible to approach. One of the most dangerous enemies in the game.)

Forward Aerial: Takamaru deals a lightning-fast descending vertical strike that covers his entire front. Instant startup. Can kill off-stage and at higher percentages.

Upward Aerial: With one hand, Takamaru deals a lightning-fast slash directly above him in an arc. Instant startup. Has a short vertical range, but deals high damage and knockback.

Backward Aerial: With one hand, Takamaru delivers a lightning-fast reverse-grip stab behind him. Instant startup, but slightly low range. Can kill off-stage and at higher percentages.

Downward Aerial: With one hand, Takamaru deals a lightning-fast slash directly below him in an arc. Instant startup. Has a short vertical range, but deals high damage and knockback, and has a meteor effect.



5). Specials:

Standard Special (Hishaken): Takamaru simultaneously throws four windmill swords in four different directions. The swords deal a good amount of damage whilst knocking the opponent a short distance. The projectiles can be thrown in either a "+" formation or a "x" formation, depending on the player's input. To throw in the "x" formation, tilt the control stick at a diagonal angle at the last instant right after pressing the special button. For the "+" formation, simply press the special button without tilting the control stick. (Author's Note: In Japanese Shogi, "Hisha" is what they call the Rook. In Murasame Castle, attaining the Hisha Shogi piece allows Takamaru to throw his projectiles in four different direction--just how a Rook moves in four different directions. "Hishaken", which I made up, is an amalgam of the words "Hisha" and "Shaken", also known as Ninja Stars.)

Forward Special (Kakukaen): Takamaru throws three fire balls in front of him that spread out in a triangle formation; one ball goes straight forward, whilst the other two go up and down. The fire balls don't travel very far, and have very little knockback, but they do lots of damage. (Author's Note: In Japanese Shogi, "Kakugyo" is what they call the Bishop, which can move diagonally. In Murasama Castle, attaining the Kakugyo Shogi piece allows Takamaru to throw three of his projectiles in a triangle formation. "Kakukean", which I made up, is an amalgam of "Kakugyo" and "Kaen", which means "flame".)

Upward Special (Tengu Whirlwind): Takamaru transforms into a miniature tornado, after which he can fly in any direction. When Takamaru de-transforms, if the player presses the attack button Takamaru will deal a powerful sword strike that can kill at higher percentages. Works very similarly to Lucario's recovery, except it's slower and easier to control. While in tornado form, Takamaru is invulnerable to any attack. Instant startup. (Author's Note: In Murasame Castle, there is an enemy called a Tengu, which throws whirlwinds at you and can fly across the screen in a whirlwind, making it a very pesky enemy. While Takamaru cannot use this move in his game, I nevertheless thought it would make a good move--for recovery, evasion, and mindgames. Plus, this wouldn't be the first time a Smash character had a move he/she couldn't use in his/her own game.)

Downward Special (Invisibility Scroll): Takamaru turns invisible with a puff of smoke. Takamaru's shadow can still be seen, but his body will be completely invisible and intangible. During this state, Takamaru can still attack his opponents, despite his opponents not being able to attack him. After he reappears, Takamaru will not be able to use this move again for another ten seconds. This spell only lasts for three seconds, but the trick is knowing when to use it. Instant startup. (Author's Note: In Murasame Castle, you always start with three of these scrolls, be it when resuming your game or "continuing" after losing all your lives.)



6). Grab & Throws:

Grab: Takamaru thrusts one hand forward, hand shaped like an eagle's claw. Instant startup, and next to no ending lag.

Pummel: Takamaru bashes the opponent with the hilt of his sword. Roughly as fast as Link's pummel.

Forward Throw: Takamaru sends the opponent flying with a rising two-handed slash of his sword. Can kill near the ledge at high percentages.

Backward Throw: Takamaru turns around halfway and throws the opponent behind him a short distance. Afterwards, he can follow up with either a Dash Attack or a projectile.

Upward Throw: Takamaru hurls the opponent straight upwards a short distance. Afterwards, he can follow up with an aerial or standard special.

Downward Throw: Takamaru drops the opponent to the ground and with both hands plunges his sword into him/her. Afterwards, the opponent flies upward in front of him a short distance. Takamaru can then follow up with either a Jab, Dash Attack, Tilt, or Smash.



7). Final Smash (Inazuma Lightning): Takamaru casts a powerful lightning spell that damages every opponent on the screen and destroys any crate, barrel, capsule, or breakable stage element. Unless the opponent's damage is very low or has invicibility frames, Takamaru's Final Smash gives a guaranteed KO.


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Yomi's Biggest Fan

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#2
Takamaru's Possible Palette Swaps (Credit goes to ThatShadowLink)







\
























I only found this one a single time online. No idea what else there is to it.




























I have included as many pages as I could find on auctions and other parts of the internet, but it is almost definitely not complete. Made by the Japanese company Yamato Rainbow One





Another Japanese-only manga for Nazo no Murasame jo. This one seems to have the monsters more alienlike, but I couldn't find much of it.







 
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Yomi's Biggest Fan

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#5
Damn you Yomi's Biggest Fan Yomi's Biggest Fan you beat me to it. Put me down there on the Ronin list. Once a Ronin always a Ronin. Hopefully, this time, we'll finally get him in.
What can I say, I had to rush like the lightning to get this thing claimed.

Oh well. At least it's good to have you back and have a public place to talk about our samurai agin. Sure getting new faces would be hard since he's an Assist Trophy, but the best thing we can do is speculate towards the end (even in regards to him b=finally getting a new game if Kamiya is ready).

I know another certain someone we are missing and that is Cutie Gwen Cutie Gwen .
 

Yomi's Biggest Fan

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#7
I don't see anything wrong with Takamaru being promoted from Assist Trophy to Playable. He is getting some good recognition lately.
Added.

And you aren't wrong, he's definitely getting more recognition lately compared to pre-Brawl. The AT pretty much also helps him get that.



It's about being able to break from the shifty eyed demon.

 

Aussie the Naturist

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#8
Added.

And you aren't wrong, he's definitely getting more recognition lately compared to pre-Brawl. The AT pretty much also helps him get that.



It's about being able to break from the shifty eyed demon.
The Assist Trophy is more evil than Murasame itself.

Maybe one day we can destroy it. But that will depend if Takamaru gets enough power to escape.
 
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Yomi's Biggest Fan

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#9
The Assist Trophy is more evil than Murasame itself.

Maybe one day we can destroy it. But that will depend if Takamaru gets enough power to escape.
For now, he just needs something that would make Sakurai notice him. He's slowly getting that familiarity, but he needs more of it.

Waiting for that revival is one thing, but Sakurai being finally content with Takamaru despite his issues is another. Though e will know for sure unless we see an updated version of his Assist trophy model again.
 

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#10


Welcome to the support thread for Nintendo’s oldest samurai and one of its oldest protagonists! We hope that your curiosity leads to you learning something fun about one of Nintendo’s “Most Known Unknowns”. You've caught us at a pretty cool time where we’re anticipating his inclusion in Smash 4 and as such have begun doing some renovations for the thread. We’re about to begin taking questions, starting with yours:
Who is Takamaru?”


Takamaru is the protagonist of the Japanese Family Computer or “Famicom” (NES equivalent) title “The Mysterious Murasame Castle” (lit. Nazo no Murasame Jō). As an apprentice samurai, Takamaru is given the duty of preventing a strange otherworldly deity from conquering Edo Japan after its initial descent and consequent possession of the lords of four neighboring castle towns. Armed with little more than a reliable katana and his own wit initially, he sets off on the journey that would have him visit these four castles freeing the inhabitants of the castle from this being’s influence before reaching his final destination, the titular Murasame Castle, wherein he would confront the strange deity for the sake of all involved.

For all that can be said of this story however, the character is a bit of a blank slate in terms of what can be done with his personality. While defined by the noble and honor first way of the samurai, Takamaru has also seen interesting characterization from his appearance in another game. Captain Rainbow’s interpretation of the character retains the same duty bound, humble and personable attitude while also introducing the “quirk” that the young samurai has a hard time around women.

"What is this “Mysterious Murasame Castle” game like? Is it a Puzzle game? Action-Adventure? Platformer?"


In some senses, The Mysterious Murasame Castle is both an action-adventure title and one of the earliest progenitors of the modern day “stylish action” or “twitch action” game genres. Even in its now basic gameplay design, Takamaru is a character that is nimble, responsive and, through the acquisition of varied offensive and support power ups, given a number of ways to deal with the challenges that arose in the game’s “screen by screen” design. Players encounter nimble enemies ranging from ninja foot soldiers to possessed lords with large AoE weaponry to various supernatural phenomena darting all about and generating mass pandemonium. The game demanded the absolute best of your ability to navigate its grid based design while making your way from one zone to the next avoiding or engaging the obstacles it would put in your way. As combat is a big component to the game, Takamaru (as the player character) was given a mixed moveset consisting of long ranged projectile items such as enchanted “will-o-wisp” flames, throwing knives and stars, support items such as a magic cloak that would turn the character completely invisible and thus impossible to damage, and a short range katana drawn from the sheath should you find an opponent stumbling into your strike zone.

“So you roam about a map beating foes while collecting crazy items? Oh, but that just sounds like a Zelda game!”


Not quite. Zelda is focused more on exploration, puzzles and discovery while The Mysterious Murasame Castle is skewed more towards combat, navigation and survival. You have brought up a pretty interesting observation however…

When was this game created? What significance do Takamaru and Mysterious Murasame Castle have to Nintendo’s history?”



The Mysterious Murasame Castle was created and released in 1986. Avid video game historians and enthusiasts will be quick to tell you that this was also the “birth year” of three other notable Nintendo franchises that currently enjoy a strong popularity in the Nintendo-verse. These franchises are The Legend of Zelda, Metroid and Kid Icarus. People in the know will also be quick to inform you that Metroid and Kid Icarus share a bond by being created by the same team. Instead of opting to design a wholly new franchise with new technologies or approaches after Metroid, the team decided to play with the engine and initial design of the game, eschewing the labyrinthine side scrolling nature for a faster paced experimental platformer/shooter hybrid. With the creation of a few new assets, a new story and a new protagonist in the form of Pit, the birth of the first Kid Icarus title was complete. But you knew that already, right?

Now what if I told you that The Legend of Zelda and The Mysterious Murasame Castle share a similar relationship with one another? After the breakout success of the first Zelda title, developers within Nintendo opted to play with the basic design and attributes of the first Zelda in the desire of making a faster paced action oriented title. The result was The Mysterious Murasame Castle. Sadly, due to the timing of the game’s release versus Zelda and Metroid, the game didn’t reach the same stratosphere of sales as those two franchises and due to the intrinsically Japanese flavor of the game, it was also passed over for a chance to find an audience in the West as at the time, Nintendo of America believed the game to be too niche and region centric versus the universal entities of the other big Nintendo games. This left the game caught between a rock and a hard place. The game and Takamaru have continued to persist through the ages however both by being remembered fondly by Japanese gamers who enjoyed its gameplay and being frequently referenced, especially in more modern Nintendo made or published titles. (See next question)

Takamaru's inclusion in the roster creates a very interesting “family (Famicom?) reunion” of franchises and characters that were all born in the same early era of Nintendo each of which has a strong history of circumstance and relation to one another. It also gives a character that was once bottlenecked by circumstance a second chance to find a real audience among the Nintendo All-Stars.

Where does his support come from? More specifically, how has he managed to remain visible for such a long time?”



The character and game have always seen a stable and somewhat loud bit of support from Japanese players enamored with the game. At times it has been described as the East’s “Punch-Out!!” referencing how the series is revered in one hemisphere but registers a complete blank in another due to either never seeing a release there or coming out to a (sadly) muted response from the opposite hemisphere’s gaming audience. Contrary to a large majority of Nintendo franchises that have come and gone into the back of the Nintendo Vault™ over the years, Takamaru and The Mysterious Murasame Castle have continued to receive small nods of recognition in a few Nintendo games released since. Pikmin 2 is the earliest modern reference with one of its objectives involving retrieving a copy of the Famicom game disk. Other homages and references include the inclusion of Douchuumen or the Castle Town theme and main musical theme of the journey heard from the start of the game in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the inclusion of an entire mode retelling the events of Mysterious Murasame Castle with a more realistic slant within the release of Samurai Warriors 3 for the Wii, his inclusion alongside other notable but “lost in time” Nintendo characters aiming for the spotlight again in Captain Rainbow, and a particularly surprising game mode themed after his franchise in 2012’s NintendoLand release. And he recently was featured as an Assist Trophy in Super Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS (Who was considered for the roster at first, but couldn't be in the final roster due to lack of Western familiarity)

While it is hard to pinpoint when exactly Takamaru became a figure in Western want lists and well wishes, the combination of allure for another character to break out while bringing a fresh side of Nintendo to the mainstream in a manner similar to the inclusion of the Fire Emblem duo Marth and Roy in Super Smash Bros. Melee, the heightened awareness of him and his game thanks to cameos made in the previously mentioned titles, and the desire for a wildly different take on swordsmanship is enough to get anyone moderately intrigued.

There is also the issue of Hideki Kamiya of Twitter Devil May Cry, Resident Evil 2, Okami and The Wonderful 101 fame stepping in and mentioning that of the Nintendo franchises he'd love to have a hand in reviving or developing for, The Mysterious Murasame Castle sits at the top of the batch next to otehr projects....

"Why is he such a great candidate for the roster? What does he bring in terms of aesthetic versus the other all-stars already present?”




Takamaru and the Mysterious Murasame Castle bring Japanese visual design and culture to the forefront through the combination of character and setting potential. Takamaru is not only one of those Japan only characters akin to Marth or Lucas before Smash propelled them to superstar level, but he is also literally a character from a stylized version of Japan’s Edo era. This means that a bit of Japanese culture will take influence on the character and the setting.

Now you might be saying "Why would Japanese culture be a big deal?" Well aesthetically, Japanese related content tends to have a notable style that expresses emotion by mixing environments and movements to make almost a poetic expression. For example:

Murasame Castle could be a beautiful place with sakura blowing in the wind, some chimes gently ringing, and a small river flowing underneath a bridge. A very soothing feeling at first, but then the sky could turn a blood red with all of the sakura wilting away and the river drying up, with mysterious figures stalking in the background and the mysterious alien deity that took over Murasame Castle watching anonymously around the castle itself. It would cycle between the peace and the chaos, like a never ending battle of good vs. evil.

Classic Japanese architecture will also lead to very interesting stages as players could either participate on stages made from the building’s exterior or play on stages with very ornate landscapes in the distance framing the action. (Footage taken from the anime Katanagatari and the game Muramasa: The Demon Blade for Wii)

The use of sumi-e styled background elements and filters (a la Okami) is yet another way to diversify from the cast and highlight the strengths of Japanese visual design.

How would Takamaru play optimally? Do you have move set examples?




“Pause. I just realized he uses a sword. We don’t need any more sword people.”

“Won’t he just be another blue haired swordsman?”

“Sakurai said X wouldn’t be a good inclusion for being ‘just another swordsman‘… What exempts Takamaru from this criticism?”

First things first, Taka was originally black haired (but would eventually be retconned to have blue hair in latter appearances). Even if he's bluish black like his AT model, it shouldn't really be a factor against his inclusion.

Now then, walk with me for a little bit. Just as there are a limitless number of ways to fight with fists and feet, use magic, generate energy, etc, while also being visually distinct, so too are there ways of using a sword. Before we talk about Takamaru any further though, let’s take a brief look at the current reality of swordsmen in Smash:

Knights (Sword & Shield style): Link, Young Link & Toon Link

Right off the bat, you should notice something strange with this. The series has gone through three entries with the fourth one rapidly approaching and this archetype is only made up of variants of the same character. Sure this is mitigated in play style by giving different properties to similar looking attacks, but with so little else being done in how this style is implemented, it comes across as being excessively same-y.

Fencers (fighting style based off of the European style of Fencing): Marth, Roy, and the newcomer Lucina

Yet again, we see another situation where in three games (soon to be four), there is only one style being represented between multiple characters with little in the way of variance besides move property changes.

Heavy Swordsperson: Ike

Ike represents the first true divergence from either of the two styles mentioned above. By supplementing his raw power with the impressive reach of Ragnell, he was able to have a mixed style wherein scrappy physicality and powerful swings melded together to make something true to the character and truly divergent from the previously established swordsman mold. It took us until Brawl, the third game in the franchise 9 years after it started for one extra “swordsman” mold to be created. To put this in further context, it took the Smash franchise three games to officially have a third sword fighting style represented out of a cast of 39 characters as per Brawl. That’s not so good…

Hybrids (characters that use a bladed weapon but do not specialize or identify by this specifically): Pit and newcomer Robin

Pit’s redesigned weapon, Palutena’s Bow, was first displayed as a set of knives that joined together to create a pseudo bladed staff/bow hybrid. While I include him here for the sake of objectivity, I hesitate to consider him a “swordsperson” specifically because of his “jack of all trades” focus. Even so, if we count this, Pit makes for the fourth variance in swordsman/bladed combat styles over a three game and near decade long period of time in the franchise. Robin is another such character that falls into this mold. While the character possesses a sword, the sword runs completely secondary to the character’s mastery over magic. Even in the limited footage we have, there is a noticeable lack of finesse with the sword that the other swordsmen characters possess whereas his abilities with the tomes are varied and impressive. In that case, we can say that the sword is a supplement to Robin’s more magic oriented play style.

Hyper Offensive/High Octane/”Death by a million Cartoony Cuts”: Metaknight, potentially newcomer Mii Swordfighter

Metaknight was silly. While not adhering to any specific style of swordsmanship, his transcendental attacking speed and “whirling death” style is unique in its own right and deserves a mention. As such this is the fifth variance in swordsmen included as playable characters in every Smash roster from the first through Brawl. Mii Swordfighter ramps things up by bringing a broadsword to the battle but also bringing a distinctly chaotic nature to it as well.

Putting this all into perspective, this means that:

- In Smash 64, there was only one swordsman of one fighting style niche in Link

- In Melee, there were only four swordsmen out of a twenty six character roster. Out of those four, only two fighting styles were represented, fencers (Marth & Roy) and knights (Link & Young Link).

- In Brawl, there were six swordsmen and four styles represented (Marth, Ike, Pit, Metaknight, Link & Toon Link) out of a cast of 39.

- Speaking on characters confirmed as of this post, Smash 4 has fencers (Marth, Lucina), heavy swordsmen (Ike), Hybrids (Pit, Robin), and High Octane (Mii Swordfighters) covered.

So the issue isn’t that there are too many swords people. It’s that there are too many swords people riding the coattails of another established swordsman with not enough variety being shown in between to warrant a casual player’s interest.

Coming back to Takamaru now, we don’t have to look far to see how he can offer a satisfying and distinct new take on the surprisingly underserved swordsman flavor in the Smash rosters to date. The “draw and sheathe” style of sword fighting (via either Iaido or Battoujutsu) is a niche that has yet to be capitalized on within the playable Smash cast. With Lyn continuing to resume her role as an Assist Trophy character, Takamaru is the best, if not only, character in Nintendo's stable that is able to take this style and run with it by virtue of being Nintendo's oldest samurai protagonist and a character with some decent Nintendo history behind himself.

In this style of sword combat, the sword remains sheathed at all times until an attack is launched wherein the opponent draws their sword in a lightning fast manner simultaneously attacking them out of this draw before once again sheathing their blade. Even in the 1986 title, one could see that Takamaru was a character who only ever used his blade in close quarters lending more credibility to the idea that he could be a practitioner of iaido. The idea behind the style is in displaying a cool composition of the mind as well as swiftness of the body so as to be aware of openings and make quick lethal strikes once the practitioner was in a certain range.

What's more, Takamaru also brings with him numerous other toys in the form of Will-O-Wisp fireballs that explode on contact, the ability to call down screen clearing lightning, the ability to turn intangible/invisible, varied throwing knives/stars, projectile deflection with his sword, and of course his agility and twitch based gameplay. Lastly, there are a few special Shogi Pieces (Rook, Biship, and King) which allows him to throw his projectiles in manners like all around four-way, arced three-way, or all at once forward depending on which one that is used (which could serve the purpose of being a unique method that not a single character had done before). All of these aren't even stretches of what he was capable of doing, each of these abilities and subtleties were born with the character in the 1986 Famicom game. In developing a style that highlights both his close and long range attributes, it is possible to make a swordsman character unlike any other present in the roster and one who would be satisfying to use. Below are some examples from regulars in the thread:


Takamaru's Skilled Movesets

Takamaru moveset
Jab: Instant multihit jab like MK
Ftilt: A diagonal slash
Utilt: Slashes upwards, kinda like Shulk but more horizontal range instead of vertical
Dtilt: Slashes at feet
Nair: Slashes quickly in front of himself and then behind himself
Fair: A single sword strike by thrusting the blade forward
Bair: Kicks backwards then slashes
Uair: Two rapid sword swings
Dair: Ike's Dair, spikes better
USmash: Swings sword in a 180 degree angle
FSmash: A jump slash
DSmash: Stabs quickly in front of himself and then swings his blade behind him
Pummel: Bashes with Katana hilt
Fthrow: Slashes in rapid succession
Uthrow: A bit like Ryuenjin from Zero in MvC
Bthrow: Jumps in front of foe and slashes
Dthrow: Throws a few fireballs on foe
B: Pinwheel attack, shoots out a projectile not unlike the Metal Blade, faster at the cost of less directions, customs are Shogi pieces, more at a time but weaker
Side B: Shuriken, throws out a shuriken that has little lag, has to take a few seconds to recharge though
Up B: Flies on a hawk like Beat, but faster
Down B: Invisibility Cloak. only Takamaru's shadow is visible, can be used for trickery
Final Smash: Inazuma Lighting, summons a lot of lightning bolts like the final part of Pit's final smash, only Takamaru can still move around and attack freely
Taunt: Holds a battle stance
Taunt: Juggles some Shogi pieces
Taunt: Sword catches lightning while Takamaru poses

General Ideas for a gimmick:

1. All of his moves are projectiles, unless Takamaru is near an opponent:
Takamaru's moves all compromise off slow, weak projectiles, unless he's near an opponent.
The projectiles do damage, but can't kill.
The swordslashes are fast, do much damage and can kill.
This means Takamaru has to play rushdown with a walling moveset, a task for a hawk-minded Samurai!

2. Every slash of the blade reflects projectiles
All of Takamaru's sword moves reflect projectiles at different angles, (maybe including his own)
Takamaru can now make use of the opponents powers to strenghen his game and fame!

3. The Shogi pieces
Allow Takamaru's projectiles to change trajectory.
No way he'd be a Link clone!

4. The ability to change projectiles
Changing knives in Will 'O Wisps, changing shuriken into windmill blades.
Takamaru has a big arsenal of Japanese weaponry, and he's not afraid to use it.

Moveset:
General Info:

All of Takamaru's projectiles are affected by gravity and can hurt Takamaru himself too.
Luckily, his sword can reflect his own projectiles.

Kunai: Fast, low damage, affected by gravity (Heavier needle)
Pinwheel: As fast as Kunai, deals multiple hits, goes longer than Kunai
Fireball: Very slow and very powerful.
Smoke Bomb: Very quick, small knockback.

NeutralB: Shogi Shuffle
Takamaru shuffles through his Shogi pieces.
Shuffling changes the trajectory of all projectiles in Takamaru's moveset.
Takamaru gains a bit of Super Armour when shuffling.

Rock: Projectiles go in all four directions.
Bishop: All projectiles fly in a cone pattern.
King: All projectiles go in a straight line.
NeutralB2: Shuffle Strike
Takamaru can use a quick, hard-hitting sword strike while shuffling, but the shuffling is slower

NeutralB3: Swift Shuffle
Takamaru shuffles faster, but the Super Armor is gone.
SideB: Pyrokinesis
This special changes every projectile of his moveset in a Fireball for a short time, dealing big knockback but traveling incredibly slow.
Watch out!
Can't be spammed.
SideB2: Crossbow
Every projectile is shot from a crossbow and go 1.5x faster. They are weaker though.

SideB3: Windmill
Every projectile changes in a pinwheel. Has more range, but is slower.

UpB: Hover Sandals
Takamaru puts on his magic sandals and runs diagonally up.

UpB2: Samurai Jump
Takamaru puts on his sandals and jumps in the air.

UpB3: Sandal Strike
Takamaru puts on his sandals and slashes around, but doesn't run as far.

DownB: Invisibility Cloak
Takamaru becomes invisible for a short time, but he doesn't jump as high.
Can't attack or shuffle while invisible.
DownB2: Short-Time Cloak
The cloak lasts shorter, but your jump isn't limited.

DownB3: Cloak Counter
Attack while invisible!
This attack lasts the shortest, but you end with a strike!
Final Smash: Samurai Night
The screen turns dark and after Takamaru puts on his Invincibility Helmet, you can control him normally again.
Only Takamaru's projectiles are visible, the rest is covered in the night.

Normals:
Jab: Rapid Jab his AT does.
FTilt: Takamaru jumps up and throws pinwheels.
UTilt: Takes out the sword and points his sword in the air in front of him and sheats his sword. (Like that Link Taunt but better)
DTilt: Takes out his sword and pushes the side into the ground.
Dash Attack: Throws 3 Kunai up.

Aerials:
Nair: Takamaru throws 4 smoke bombs that surround opponents with smoke for a second. Takamaru throws them all forward with King equipped.
Fair: Overhead slice
Bair: A quick strike with the side of the sword
UAir: Throws 4 Kunai upwards.
Dair: Sets his feet on lightning. No movement attached, so surprise opponents
Smashes:
FSmash: Summons three fireballs and strikes them with a sword. Both parts deal knockback
USmash: Throws four lightning bombs that paralyze opponents.
DSmash: Basically a double Pika thunder on both sides.
Grabs and Throws
Pummel: Throws tiny smoke bombs
FThrow: Dissapears quickly and then strikes with his sword
DThrow: Sets the ground on fire
UThrow: Throws the opponent up, jumps, and throws pinwheels
BThrow: Marth's Iaido Counter

♦ Index:
1). Jab & Dash
2). Tilts
3). Smashes
4). Aerials
5). Specials
6). Grab & Throws
7). Final Smash
Summary
Just like in his game, Takamaru's sword is his most dangerous weapon, his projectiles being a side weapon. Just like a Samurai, Takamaru's fighting style focuses on watching the opponent carefully in a defensive manner, striking only when there is an opening. He keeps opponents at bay with his projectiles, and when they get too close for comfort, he has his sword to devastate them.
Just like in his games, Takamaru can deflect projectiles with his sword. Every one of his sword attacks is capable of reflecting projectiles. However, he can only reflect physical projectiles, not energy projectiles. For instance, Takamaru can send Link's arrows and boomerang back at him, but he can't reflect Pit's arrows or Samus's charge lazer.


1). Jab & Dash:

Author's Note: Takamaru's jabs do little knockback, but loads of damage.

Jab 1: Takamaru delivers a lightning-fast descending vertical strike.
Jab 2: Takamaru follows up with a lightning-fast rising vertical strike.

Dash Attack: Takamaru lunges forward, delivering a powerful two-handed thrust. Instant startup, and can kill early if used near the ledge, but has high ending lag, making it very punishable if missed or blocked. That said, this move is best suited for surprise attacks and punishing opponents.



2). Tilts:

Forward Tilt: Takamaru delivers a lightning-fast, two-handed stab that pushes the opponent out of arm's reach. Does little knockback, but lots of damage. Instant startup, very low ending lag.

Upward Tilt: Takamaru deals a two-handed rising diagonal slash in the air in front of him. Good anti-air move. Does little knockback, but lots of damage. Instant startup, very low ending lag.

Downward Tilt: Takamaru raises his sword above his head with both hands and delivers a lightning-fast vertical strike. Instant startup, and next to no ending lag. Does little knockback, but plenty of damage. Like Ness's d-tilt, Takamaru's d-tilt can be done repeatedly. This move has a 90-degree range, starting from Takamaru's head, and ending at the ground. This move can also be followed up with any other ground attack.



3). Smashes:

Author's Note: Just like his other melee attacks, Takamaru's Smash Attacks can reflect physical projectiles. However, his Smash Attacks are different in that the speed & power at which the reflected projectile flies back is increased based on the charge of the Smash. Unlike his other attacks though, Takamaru's Smashes are a little slow to start. Thus, they are best used for punishing or finishing off the opponent.

Forward Smash: Takamaru sheaths his sword, then performs a powerful, lightning-fast horizontal slash. About the same startup as Meta Knight's f-smash. Can kill very early, but hard to land, due to zero vertical range.

Upward Smash: Takamaru performs a powerful, lightning-fast rising vertical slash. Quick startup. Covers Takamaru's entire front, and half above him--though the strongest hitbox is at the front and bottom. Can kill early if charged.

Downward Smash: Takamaru performs a powerful, lightning-fast descending vertical slash. Quick startup. Covers Takamaru's entire front, and half above him--though the strongest hitbox is at the front and above.



4). Aerials:

Neutral Aerial (Fire Ki): Takamaru surrounds himself in a ring of fire, repeatedly damaging nearby opponents before knocking them away. Instant startup. (Author's Note: This move derives from an enemy in Murasame castle, whom could surround himself with balls of flame, making him all but impossible to approach. One of the most dangerous enemies in the game.)

Forward Aerial: Takamaru deals a lightning-fast descending vertical strike that covers his entire front. Instant startup. Can kill off-stage and at higher percentages.

Upward Aerial: With one hand, Takamaru deals a lightning-fast slash directly above him in an arc. Instant startup. Has a short vertical range, but deals high damage and knockback.

Backward Aerial: With one hand, Takamaru delivers a lightning-fast reverse-grip stab behind him. Instant startup, but slightly low range. Can kill off-stage and at higher percentages.

Downward Aerial: With one hand, Takamaru deals a lightning-fast slash directly below him in an arc. Instant startup. Has a short vertical range, but deals high damage and knockback, and has a meteor effect.



5). Specials:

Standard Special (Hishaken): Takamaru simultaneously throws four windmill swords in four different directions. The swords deal a good amount of damage whilst knocking the opponent a short distance. The projectiles can be thrown in either a "+" formation or a "x" formation, depending on the player's input. To throw in the "x" formation, tilt the control stick at a diagonal angle at the last instant right after pressing the special button. For the "+" formation, simply press the special button without tilting the control stick. (Author's Note: In Japanese Shogi, "Hisha" is what they call the Rook. In Murasame Castle, attaining the Hisha Shogi piece allows Takamaru to throw his projectiles in four different direction--just how a Rook moves in four different directions. "Hishaken", which I made up, is an amalgam of the words "Hisha" and "Shaken", also known as Ninja Stars.)

Forward Special (Kakukaen): Takamaru throws three fire balls in front of him that spread out in a triangle formation; one ball goes straight forward, whilst the other two go up and down. The fire balls don't travel very far, and have very little knockback, but they do lots of damage. (Author's Note: In Japanese Shogi, "Kakugyo" is what they call the Bishop, which can move diagonally. In Murasama Castle, attaining the Kakugyo Shogi piece allows Takamaru to throw three of his projectiles in a triangle formation. "Kakukean", which I made up, is an amalgam of "Kakugyo" and "Kaen", which means "flame".)

Upward Special (Tengu Whirlwind): Takamaru transforms into a miniature tornado, after which he can fly in any direction. When Takamaru de-transforms, if the player presses the attack button Takamaru will deal a powerful sword strike that can kill at higher percentages. Works very similarly to Lucario's recovery, except it's slower and easier to control. While in tornado form, Takamaru is invulnerable to any attack. Instant startup. (Author's Note: In Murasame Castle, there is an enemy called a Tengu, which throws whirlwinds at you and can fly across the screen in a whirlwind, making it a very pesky enemy. While Takamaru cannot use this move in his game, I nevertheless thought it would make a good move--for recovery, evasion, and mindgames. Plus, this wouldn't be the first time a Smash character had a move he/she couldn't use in his/her own game.)

Downward Special (Invisibility Scroll): Takamaru turns invisible with a puff of smoke. Takamaru's shadow can still be seen, but his body will be completely invisible and intangible. During this state, Takamaru can still attack his opponents, despite his opponents not being able to attack him. After he reappears, Takamaru will not be able to use this move again for another ten seconds. This spell only lasts for three seconds, but the trick is knowing when to use it. Instant startup. (Author's Note: In Murasame Castle, you always start with three of these scrolls, be it when resuming your game or "continuing" after losing all your lives.)



6). Grab & Throws:

Grab: Takamaru thrusts one hand forward, hand shaped like an eagle's claw. Instant startup, and next to no ending lag.

Pummel: Takamaru bashes the opponent with the hilt of his sword. Roughly as fast as Link's pummel.

Forward Throw: Takamaru sends the opponent flying with a rising two-handed slash of his sword. Can kill near the ledge at high percentages.

Backward Throw: Takamaru turns around halfway and throws the opponent behind him a short distance. Afterwards, he can follow up with either a Dash Attack or a projectile.

Upward Throw: Takamaru hurls the opponent straight upwards a short distance. Afterwards, he can follow up with an aerial or standard special.

Downward Throw: Takamaru drops the opponent to the ground and with both hands plunges his sword into him/her. Afterwards, the opponent flies upward in front of him a short distance. Takamaru can then follow up with either a Jab, Dash Attack, Tilt, or Smash.



7). Final Smash (Inazuma Lightning): Takamaru casts a powerful lightning spell that damages every opponent on the screen and destroys any crate, barrel, capsule, or breakable stage element. Unless the opponent's damage is very low or has invicibility frames, Takamaru's Final Smash gives a guaranteed KO.


Yomi's Biggest Fan
Aussie the Shinobi
NonspecificGuy
Jason the Yoshi
Can you change my moveset's name to my current one? Otherwise peeps won't know that I supported the guy with a moveset!
 

N3ON

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#12
That sure is a slick banner at the top you've got there.
It's actually not I hate looking at my old work. >_<

Hope someone eventually takes the reigns to Takamaru's series so Sakurai can stop dancing around his inclusion and finally get to it. Also hope he gets a slight redesign. The current one is fine but a little bland. Nothing more drastic than how Link, Samus and Pit have received updates to their looks through the years.
 

Yomi's Biggest Fan

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#14
Awwwwww yeah, we're back!
Back with a vengeance. We shall crush that Assist Trophy and save our fallen samurai when the time is right.

That sure is a slick banner at the top you've got there.
It's actually not I hate looking at my old work. >_<

Hope someone eventually takes the reigns to Takamaru's series so Sakurai can stop dancing around his inclusion and finally get to it. Also hope he gets a slight redesign. The current one is fine but a little bland. Nothing more drastic than how Link, Samus and Pit have received updates to their looks through the years.
I sort of agree. The current design is alright, but he does need a few things to really pop out more visually. And I don't meant something drastic like having him wear a helmet, but maybe have a more detailed outfit to match more flashier samurai of modern video games. Things like the blade, ponytail, and steel gauntlets should stay however.

It's definitely going to be long wait until that happens and he finally catch Sakurai's eye.
 

Yomi's Biggest Fan

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#16
Needless for me to state this, but promote Takamaru. I support this samurai getting in. Unique applications of the sword are welcome to me.
Welcome back Blue.

Will do add you up there since this is a fresh start for Switch speculation.

Like the Little Mac gang, we can all hope that we will be lucky this time.
 

Yomi's Biggest Fan

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#18
Back and ready for more; I'm willing to say I support Takamaru once again for Smash Bros! I'll find my old Takamaru moveset from a while back, but I've work to catch up on, so I'll be back later.
While I'm waiting, let me do you a favor and add you to the list.
 

Yomi's Biggest Fan

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#22

Freduardo

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#25
I'm in. Some fan of Yomi on the Daisy thread suggested I play this game as well as make a challenge of a bundle game collection that catches it up to modern systems... not sure what fan of yomi it was. I think like second or third biggest.

Still working on that challenge by the way. So far one of the fill in games (probably the SNES homage one) would be Takamaru globe trotting and hitting different types of castles (and enemies) than feudal Japan.
 

Yomi's Biggest Fan

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#26
I'm in. Some fan of Yomi on the Daisy thread suggested I play this game as well as make a challenge of a bundle game collection that catches it up to modern systems... not sure what fan of yomi it was. I think like second or third biggest.

Still working on that challenge by the way. So far one of the fill in games (probably the SNES homage one) would be Takamaru globe trotting and hitting different types of castles (and enemies) than feudal Japan.
Oh really, tell me who this biggest fan is? (Added, by the way). :troll:

A globe trotting idea for Takamaru would be interesting. Given the time period, I can see him interacting with other ancient warriors like vikings and knights. There's some potential in the idea.

Did you get that idea from Samurai Jack? :p
 

ThatShadowLink

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#27
Of course I'm on board! I'd like to insert my pitches for costumes again.
Again, the costumes are based on palettes from the original game and Samurai Warriors 3. For reference, they're Earth Demon (Red), Aosame (Blue), Ryokusame (Green), Sword Samurai (White+Black), Ayame (Pink), Original NES Palette, and the Captain Rainbow Palette.
And for good measure I'll include my mockups with the Samurai Warriors 3 artwork to give a better sense on how they'd work in 3D.
 

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#28
Of course I'm on board! I'd like to insert my pitches for costumes again.
Again, the costumes are based on palettes from the original game and Samurai Warriors 3. For reference, they're Earth Demon (Red), Aosame (Blue), Ryokusame (Green), Sword Samurai (White+Black), Ayame (Pink), Original NES Palette, and the Captain Rainbow Palette.
And for good measure I'll include my mockups with the Samurai Warriors 3 artwork to give a better sense on how they'd work in 3D.
Glad to have you aboard TSL. The Switch had definitely been taking my time recently. Quite nifty, but we have an HDMI issue with that TV.

Always, I will do add your alt ideas to the OP. I quite like them and the inspiration for each other. The Classic and Captain Rainbow ones will have to be my favorites of the bunch.
 

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#29
Did you get that idea from Samurai Jack? :p
Unless he will be fighting robots and Scotsmen, then it's best to accuse him of that. :troll:

Of course I'm on board! I'd like to insert my pitches for costumes again.
Again, the costumes are based on palettes from the original game and Samurai Warriors 3. For reference, they're Earth Demon (Red), Aosame (Blue), Ryokusame (Green), Sword Samurai (White+Black), Ayame (Pink), Original NES Palette, and the Captain Rainbow Palette.
And for good measure I'll include my mockups with the Samurai Warriors 3 artwork to give a better sense on how they'd work in 3D.
The Ayame and Aosume alts will have to be my favorites of the bunch. All of them are still just as good as I've remembered (3D or 2D).

A wonderful addition to the OP so far. Glad to have you back mate.
 

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#31
Support. And his chances are the best they've ever been at the very least. If Sakurai does reprise his role for the next Smash, I think Takamaru will actually get in next time.
Pretty much. It's either have Sakurai come back and give him another chance or have a reboot really convince the director (him or a new one) that he would be a great addition. I'd see the later putting him in a Little Mac situation given all the push and shove done for Next Level Games to work on a new Punch Out project. Mac's been asked for quite a while and given his design in Smash being based on the Wii game, I can say that's no real coincidence. Though that's not to ignore his heavy Western following, which mostly helped in his inclusion when most of the Japanese audience were pretty meh about the series (You should see all the Japanese complaints about his reveal). :laugh:

Welcome aboard the clan, fellow ronin.
 

Tortilla Noggin

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#32
Just paying a quick visit to say that I'd like to see Takamaru in Smash, too. His home-game's fun, there's a lot to draw on for his moveset, and he's consistently gotten nods and references over the years.

Best of luck, guys! :grin:

Why am I subscribing to so many threads and why do I keep looking for more?
I guess that I'm not the only one. lol
You're not the only ones. :laugh:
 
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Freduardo

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#33
Oh really, tell me who this biggest fan is? (Added, by the way). :troll:

A globe trotting idea for Takamaru would be interesting. Given the time period, I can see him interacting with other ancient warriors like vikings and knights. There's some potential in the idea.

Did you get that idea from Samurai Jack? :p
While I didn't get the idea from samurai jack and was just trying to think of it from a stage design perspective, I now want to hire Gendy Tartovsky to handle all story animation in a new Takamaru game.
 

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#34
Just paying a quick visit to say that I'd like to see Takamaru in Smash, too. His home-game's fun, there's a lot to draw on for his moveset, and he's consistently gotten nods and references over the years.

Best of luck, guys! :grin:



You're not the only ones. :laugh:
What goes around, comes around as they would say. You're more than welcome to join our clan, Tortilla. I definitely agree that he's got enough material and consistent appearances over the years.

Right about now, he he just needs a reboot. Please Kamiy.... *blocked*

While I didn't get the idea from samurai jack and was just trying to think of it from a stage design perspective, I now want to hire Gendy Tartovsky to handle all story animation in a new Takamaru game.

Hell to the yes. His style and story telling would work well with the Murasame Castle universe. It's at least a project to consider after he's finally done with Season 5 and the entire series.
 
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Yomi's Biggest Fan

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#36
I'm still here to support Takamaru!
Added.

And to get a new topic rolling, how about some Smash Run enemy suggestions.

Should the only enemies provided from the series be the ninjas or should they also add some deadly foes like the Spear Samurai and Oni?
 

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#37
Added.

And to get a new topic rolling, how about some Smash Run enemy suggestions.

Should the only enemies provided from the series be the ninjas or should they also add some deadly foes like the Spear Samurai and Oni?
The ninjas are a must. They are so iconic to Mysterious Murasame Castle that they were even bought back for Nintendo Land and Samurai Warriors 3. They could go for just the black ones and not the others to avoid Sakurai bias accusations.

Or maybe the Tengu since they at least have a unique design and attack pattern along with the Fire/Bomb Shinobu. Those blokes were a pain to deal with.
 

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#39
I still support Taka!
Added.

Bringing up an old subject again, which Murasame Castle enemies would you like to see in a mode similar to Smash Run?

Aussie does have some good ideas in the form of the Tengu and Bomb Shinobu. The ninjas are definitely the Goombas of Murasame Castle, thus making the most sense as shoo-ins.

Perhaps I would also suggest the Castle Bodyguards, who are deadlier with their bombs than the Shinobu and maybe do some close combat attacks given their roles.
 
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