The Retro Warrior of the skies: Balloon Fighter for Smash! (Villager's UP B is back, better luck Next Time buddy)

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#1

-Art by CarringCarrot-

Welcome to the thread of the Balloon Fighter, a gone but not quite forgotten character that you may be familiar with, or not. If it's the latter option, you may be wondering..

-Who is the Balloon Figther?-
The Balloon Fighter is a character that debuted in the Arcade game, VS. Balloon Fight released in 1984 in Japan.

However most of us recognize thanks to this game's much more well known NES counterpart, simply named Balloon Fight released in 1985 in Japan (and later released in 1986 in NA and 1987 in Pal regions) designed by Yoshio Sakamoto (known for the Metroid series) and programmed by the late Satoru Iwata (former CEO of Nintendo and programming genius)

In this game our titular protagonist must fly and pop the balloons of his enemies so that they fall into their grave in the sea (or become seafood) while avoiding Flippers and lighting sparks, or even worse, a giant fish that appears if you go too close to the water. Think it similar to William's Electronic Joust. There's also Balloon Trip, in which the player flies in an endless auto-scrolling stage trying to collect Ballons while avoiding lighting sparks.

That's pretty much it. He has no backstory,character arc, no real defined personality traits, inner struggles, friends, allies, love interests, rivals,etc. But don't let that discourage you, remember that he comes from a time when Story was basically an aftertought in Games, and Gameplay was always the main priority, and while this game may be a little repetitive, it sure is a fun time for anyone to look for some old-school arcade game action.
-Gameplay by nesguide-


May not sound like Fighting-Competitive-Party-game playable character material, but then again, we have a dog, a fitness trainer and other above-average fighters, but does Balloon Fighter have more to him than just beign a character from an over 30 year old game? Well yes my dear.

-Legacy in the World of Nintendo-
Balloon Fight may not be a giant franchise in the same vein as Mario, Kirby, Legend of Zelda or even smaller ones like Earthbound or Pikmin, but that doesn't mean that the franchise and his titular character don't get respect or recognition.

Well, Balloon Fight did get a sequel of sorts in the Game Boy, named Balloon Kid released in 1990 in NA (and later released in japan in 2000 as a GBC game), starring a young girl named Alice trying to rescue her brother Jim after beign carried away by Balloons. So how does she go after him? why by using Balloons of course!
-Gameplay by 1983parrothead-

As you can see, this game has a shift in objective. While Balloon Fight was a single screen game with the objective of eliminating all of the on-screen enemies with the occasional bonus stage thrown in the middle, Balloon Kid instead is an auto scrolling game (similar to the Balloon Trip mode in the Original Game) with elements that reflect the era this game was released.

Now there's an actual premise as to why you are going around flying with Balloons,
there's a point A and Point B, you can ditch your Balloons (sometimes necessary for some sections of the game) you don't die if both of your Balloons are popped, you can inflate a new pair of Balloons at any time on the ground, there's some boss fights thrown into the mix, and the game has you game going through different locations this time (like a city with Pencil-Shaped Skyscrappers with the pun-tastic name of Pencilvania) It's kinda like going from Mario Bros to Super Mario Bros.

While a fun Game Boy game in it's own right, it's not as remembered by many in the same vein as the NES game. Also let's face it, Alice doesn't have a lot going for since there's no reason to choose her over Balloon Fighter.

However some of the ideas implemented in this game could be used in Balloon Fighter's moveset (kinda like how Ness and Lucas borrow moves from other characters) but we still have to go through Balloon Fighter's legacy:

-References and nods to Balloon Fight in other games-
-Aside from the the multiple re-releases and ports the game has (Balloon Fight for the Game and Watch, Balloon Fight beign included in the NES Classic, beign avaliable in every incarnation of the Virtual Console, etc) he has appearead in the WarioWare games in the form of Microgame cameos. Wario Ware Smooth Moves even features a mini-game based on Balloon Trip but in 3D.

-The original NES game was included in the original N64 version of Doubutsu No Mori (known here as Animal Crossing) and has apperead in every single re-release of the game ever since.

-Balloon Fight was included as a Touch Mode of Tetris DS, a game that features cameos of different Nintendo Franchises.

-On 2007, Club Nintendo released a "remake" of the game called Tingle's Balloon Fight for the Nintendo DS.

-Balloon Fighter appears as a Mystery Mushroom Costume in Super Mario Maker for the Wii U.

-Nintendo Land, a Wii U game that's basically a theme-park based mini game collection inspired after many Nintendo games, includes one based on Balloon Fight called "Balloon Trip Breeze"

-Balloon Fight was also featured in NES Remix (a challenge-based game featuring a multitude of NES games as it names suggests) and Ultimate NES Remix.

-Balloon Fight was featured as one of the challenges in the Nintendo World Championships 2015 and 2017.

-If you subscribe to the Nintendo Switch online service, you will be given Balloon Fight for free (alongside Dr Mario and SMB3)

As you can see, Balloon Fight is still fondly remembered by Nintendo. Ballon Fight is agruably one of the most fondly remembered games of the early NES era, and this is what brings us to Smash Bros.

-Balloon Fight content in Smash-
Balloon Fighter was, in fact a considered character for Super Smash Bros Melee, since Sakurai wanted a character to represent the NES era, however he was passed in favor of the Ice Climbers because the Balloon Fighter "could not fight witouth his Balloons".

However Balloon Fight still got some references in the Smash series. Balloon Fighter got a trophy in Melee, the Giant Fish makes a cameo in Brawl (specifically on the stage Summit), Balloon Trip's theme song has apperead in every game since Melee, and Villager's Up B move in Smash 4 is a reference to Balloon Fight (oh and the NES game is featured as a masterpiece).

Despite that, i personally believe that Balloon Fighter is worthy of beign a playable character in Smash, Villager's recovery be damned. As i showed you earlier, his 8-bit Adventure has become one of the most referenced games despite having only one sequel (and said sequel is ironically barely acknowledged in comparison) up to the point that it may be on par with Duck Hunt when it comes classic games from the third generation that are fondly remembred by the gaming culture.

However as Smash as showed us that beign well known and requested for Smash isn't enough for beign playable, you also need to be bring something to the table (like having abilities or moves fitting for Smash or beign unique up to the point that you bring something that no one else has)

So now we go onto our next section.

-How would Balloon Fighter..........well,fight?-
First let's get some things out of the way.

Yes i know that Sakurai said that Balloon Fighter could not fight without his Balloons, but you could say the same for Olimar and his pikmin. Yes Olimar punch could his enemies in his source game but that's not going to get you very far, and yes, Olimar doesn't die if he loses his Pikmin, unlike Balloon Fighter dies if his Balloons are popped. Still, Olimar clearly has attacks in which he doens't use his Pikmin (All ground attacks except Smash attacks and the Neutral Aerial). So i don't think the "Can't fight without Balloons" arguement holds any water anymore.


Furthermore, in Balloon Kid, it was enterily possible to ditch your Balloons and inflate a new pair in case you needed them. Just like how Sakurai implemented Paula, Poo, and Kumatora's PSI moves into Ness and Lucas movesets, we will give Alice's abilities to the Balloon Fighter. His Balloons would affect his movement and recovery:

-If he has 2 Balloons, he would have outstanding Air Mobility, 5 jumps, but low traction and be VERY floaty.

-If he has 1 Balloon, he will have Good Mobility, 3 jumps, medium traction and quite floaty.

-If he has 0 Balloons, he will have Bad Air Mobility, 2 jumps, normal traction, and be basically the heaviest Lightweight witouth his Balloons.


Also, the Balloon Fighter, at least in my vison of his moveset, wil not use the Balloons as Direct Weapon, but rather as a tool that aids him in Aerial Combat.

He would be basically the anthitesis of Little Mac, terrible ground game, but unparalleled Aerial Game and Recovery. This also applies to his moves. Instead of punches, he uses kicks, and those kicks are aided thanks to 2 things:

1-Spike Boots, now Balloon Fighter's boots now have spikes that made Balloon Popping all the more easy for him.

2-Balloon's Fighter Kicks grow to cartoony size, in a similar vein to Mario's Up Tilt and Foward Aerial.

He could also be given electricity attacks as a nod to the lighting sparks of the original game. It helps that Balloons and static electricty go hand-in-hand.

"B-B-B-but da balloon fighta didt us eleactricity" you said? Well the "Ice" Climbers didn't use Ice attacks either in their source material, yet they use it in Smash.


-Hypothetical moveset (image is not mine)-

As you can see, Balloon Fighter does have some moveset potential up his sleeve dspite first impressions.

-What are his chances?-
Not likely, unfortunately Sakurai is not easily persuaded when it comes to changing his mind, and the Villager's Recovery move seems to imply that he is content with only making minor references to him.
Before he could get into Smash, the first step would be changing Villager's recovery to something else.

Despite this, i still hold a glimmer of hope, and you should too in case you are a supporter.

This thread is for discussing anything Ballloon Fighter or Balloon Fight related. Palutena Codecs, Home Stage Ideas, hell even non-Smash things related to the franchise, like an hypothetical Reboot or comeback for the franchise (Bubsy returned, wierder things have happened)

Fly high folks.

-BALLOON WARRIORS (Support List)-
-Thread owner-
Tord the Red Leader

Supporters:
Yomi's Biggest Fan.
Tortilla Noggin
Yoshi-Thomas
lady_sky skipper
smashkirby
Wonks
SquashiniKun
Aussie the Shinobi
sman3579
Morbi
Diddy Kong
DukeNapoleon
Crap-Zapper
Wario Bros
BluePikmin11
ProfPeanut
KeybladeSmasher
Astraltar
RealLuigisWearPink
Mr.J
MoveMan1
Jakor
Celever
MrReyes96
BridgesWithTurtles
Mrrgle
Calane
G-Guy
Questionmark222
Souldin
SEGAGameBoy
Thermithral
FunAtParties

-Moveset Ideas-
Balloon Fighter Gimmick
The obvious gimmick for him to have is the balloon-popping. However, while most movesets I've seen for him include a Down-B where he refills balloons, I don't think this would be particularly practical, as he would have to refill the balloons too often, and be gimped too significantly without them. This is problematic when considering how long it takes for balloons to be inflated in the original source material: a solid 10 seconds or so. As such, I would have the gimmick be that Balloon Fighter starts with 2 balloons and at around 100% (or thereabouts), one of the balloons pops. The character then moves slower and, more importantly, has an increased stopping time on his movement, mirroring the effect that balloons being popped has in-game. Balloon Fighter can therefore keep his multiple jumps just fine, but due to his difficult-to-control movement, can be potentially punished quite easily.

Lesser Gimmick
When jumping off of another character in the air, does 20% damage to that character.

Properties
Weight:
Roughly Mario, as he has a similar body-type to him.
Speed (Land & Air): Mirrors in-game physics of Balloon Fight: Controls slowly at first but can speed up to quite incredible heights before slowing down again upon a change in directional input
Traction: Poor, made poorer upon the loss of a second balloon

A: Generic Punch
AA: Generic Punch 2: Electric Boogaloo
AAA: Headbutt

F-Tilt: Swipes hands vertically behind him in the opposite direction to the tilt -- the movement he makes when flapping in Balloon Fight
U-Tilt: Balloons inflate (and then deflate). Hits send opponents either left or right depending on which balloon hits them last
D-Tilt: Pumps both of his arms downwards in front of him -- the action enemies make in-game when pumping up their balloons

F-Smash: Thrusts an enemy bird from the game forwards, and then throws it a little. The enemy is knocked out when hitting the ground, flying vertically downwards as a projectile. If it doesn't hit the ground, it floats down within its parachute until it does, meandering from left to right, acting as a hitbox the whole way.
U-Smash: Lifts a pipe from the bonus rounds above his head. Sends opponents extremely vertically, like the route the balloons take when leaving the pipes in-game.
D-Smash: Spawns two of the bubbles from the game on either side of Balloon Fighter, which then rise into the air slowly. Contact with the bubbles does a lot of damage but has no hit stun or knockback.

Neutral Special: Releases a spark from in-game in the direction inputted. This spark moves around the stage, changing direction when it hits a wall, until it flies off-stage, hits a character, or a new spark is released above the limit. Limit of 2 sparks at a time. Contact with the spark provides massive hit-stun and decent damage.
Side Special: Sends three gusts of wind in a fan shape in the direction of the special. These gusts do very small damage, but have small hitboxes with a significant amount of knockback and no hitstun -- traditionally how wind is used in Smash Bros. The graphics for the wind can reference the wind graphic used when swiping in Nintendo Land's Balloon Trip mode
Up Special: Creates a flipper and uses it on himself. This sends Balloon Fighter upwards predominantly, but in a fairly random direction besides that. Flipper remains after use, up to three, disappearing once another flipper above the limit has been placed, or if another flipper is placed too close to an existent one. However, they deal no damage or hitstun, making them mere directional inconveniences, or nasty ways to trap opponents into particular movements.
Down Special: Spawns a body of water around Balloon Fighter, roughly the size of 3 Balloon Fighter models placed side-by-side. This removes the stage from the contained area, treating it like normal air. Using Down Special again spawns Floppy Fish for a second or so (the fish from Balloon Fight which eats anything that gets too close to the water), which pokes its head out of the water and eats enemies traveling overhead or within the water area of the stage. The fish bites the fighters, launching them, rather than auto-killing them.

Neutral Aerial: Spawns an electrified cloud around him briefly, from Balloon Fight, dealing a lot of knockback with a very large hitbox.
Side Aerial: Sends Balloon Fighter upwards like flapping in-game, and using it after having been launched slows down the extent to which he's been launched more significantly than regular directional input. Does no damage, however. This is a way of including Balloon Fighter's deserved theoretical infinite recovery, but forces it into a more predictable path to refrain from it from being busted, though it has Balloon Fight's physics of building momentum with each flap.
Up Aerial: Deploys a parachute above himself of the same design that enemies use in the source material. Rope hitstuns and once the parachute deploys it launches.
Down Aerial: Releases a crate beneath Balloon Fighter on a rope with a permanent hitbox, from the Nintendo Land Balloon Trip mode. This remains there until it's struck by a strong attack, or touches the ground / a wall. Significant start and ending lag.

Taunt 1: Balloon Fighter creates a bonus balloon of a random colour from Balloon Fight and pops it, with the popping animation and sound effect.
Taunt 2: Balloon Fighter inflates a balloon, using the animation enemies used, and releases it: a 1% damage projectile with no hitstun and a small hitbox
Taunt 3: An enemy from Balloon Fight appears in its grounded state, Balloon Fighter walks into it, death animation plays

Final Smash: Bonus Time
A large bubbles rises from the bottom of the screen which Balloon Fighter automatically grabs, freezing time (as is what happens in Balloon Trip). Two balloons spawn upon each opponent's head. Time remains frozen for about 10 seconds, and Balloon Fighter must pop the balloons on the opponents by running into them at a direction generally upwards of the balloons. Fighters who have both of their balloons popped at the end of the final smash are launched, and each pop of the balloon does about 30% anyway. A second AI controlled Balloon Fighter can also come onto screen and help pop balloons, maybe targeting the character on the lowest percentage at the time of the final smash, or just the one closest to the right hand side of the screen, representing Balloon Fight's innovative 1987 multi-player.
-More moveset ideas are welcome-

-Signature Icon-

(by Golden Icarus)
 
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Mrrgle

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#3
Eh, works for me!
They've already added most of the classic characters to Smash, but Balloon Fighter is missing for sure. Hope to see him in the next one!
 

Tortilla Noggin

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#4
I support! :grin:

I'd love to see the Balloon Fighter added as a playable character, and I have done for quite a long time - since long before Villager's reveal for Smash 3DS/Wii U.

I mean, the original game embodies fun by using a mechanic based on something that we've all imagined as kids - using regular balloons in order to take flight. (This is why I prefer Balloon Fight to Joust - Balloon Fight's premise is more relatable than jousting on a flying ostrich, and it also means that the game's handling makes more sense, too. :laugh:)

It's worth pointing out that Arcade Archives: VS. Balloon Fight has already been confirmed for a release on the Switch, so the Balloon Fighter will be making his Switch debut pretty soon, too!
 
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#9
I'm a supporter of this. It would also be the gift to us, for our late Satoru Iwata. As this was part of his great legacy. What a way to celebrate him I'd say.
 

Arcadenik

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#13
If Balloon Fighter or Alice the Balloon Kid gets in Smash as a playable character, I want them to use balloons as weapons. I don't want them to use the balloons only for recovery. They are called Balloon Fighters so I expect them to fight with balloons.

 
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#14
As those random kids demonstrated, it's possible to be a Balloon Fighter. It's fun to see these days, that the games kids play are based on true classics.
 
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#17
I can respect the fact that the Nintendo Championships wanted to give Balloon Fight some spotlight, but is that really a competitive game?
 
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#21
How would you guys feel if Alice was a Balloon Fighter alt costume (or vice-versa)?
I wouldn't be against it (though neither would smashkirby smashkirby ).


Ballon Kid is a fun game and it is a part of the Baloon Fight universe after all. An alt based on Alice would be pretty welcome.
 

Wario Bros.

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#27


All my yes. Balloon Fighter has always been my most wanted character since Melee was still a new game (yes, even more than my bois Wario & Waluigi). I haven't given up then, and sure as heck am I not giving up now.

But I would prefer to not have Alice.
 

Wario Bros.

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#29
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#30
Tingle needs to be a separate thing from Balloon Fighter, regardless of that game.

So no.
Agreed.

Just because Tingle had one spinoff that's tribute to Balloon Fighter, doesn't mean Balloon Fighter should have a Tingle alt.

But colors based on him? Sure.
 

BluePikmin11

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#32
After having a discussion about Balloon Fighter in the Smash Switch discussion and people telling me that they should include him as the second retro to represent Iwata's legacy, now I full-heartedly support the idea. Even more so than my Hanafuda character idea.

His inclusion is essential, it's just a matter if Sakurai will realize that, and if he can reconsider his moveset potential.
 
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#34
Not just a long time supporter, I think that after Iwata's death, his chances Sky rocketed.

This is also almost exactly as I imagined him working.
I would make the pump an item drop as well, so that it would damage below in air fall.
 

Morbi

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#37
Balloon Fighter is the only retro I want; however, compared to Takamaru, I just do not see it unless they go for double retro (which, to be completely fair, they usually do). That is the beauty of retro characters, they never go anywhere. Sakurai has the same pool to choose from now that he did then. And with the competition, or lack thereof, he has a moderately good chance of being considered this time around.
 

Astraltar

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#38
I would dig Balloon Fighter. Maybe to integrate to whole balloon propulsion he can start with three balloons and he gets to jump three times for each balloon he has, but as he fights and loses the balloons (like one per every 50% of damage) he also loses some of his jumps.
 
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#40
How many retro reps have they got left before they finally put this guy in?

Fully supported.
Lots of them. Some less likelier than the others, especially region excsluive ones.

Mike Jones, Takamaru, Ayumi Tachibana, Sky Skipper, Sheriff, Mr Stevenson, Foreman Spike, Devil, Tamagon, Bubbles, Alice (Balloon Kid), Goku, Hakkun, Diskun, Donbe & Hikari, Lip, Prince Sable, and Muddy Mole.
 
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