Was Piranha Plant planned as a non-DLC character?

Piranha_Plant feature image.jpg


It’s no surprise to diehard Smash fans that Smash development is an arduous process. Planned characters are cut, others thrown in at the last minute, and occasionally entire modes are withheld for a DLC release. With this history in mind, I propose that Piranha Plant was planned for Super Smash Bros Ultimate’s initial fighters roster, but wasn’t finished until later.


Piranha Plant released shortly after Ultimate’s launch. While the other downloadable characters took months to develop, including a five-month delay between Joker’s announcement and release, Piranha Plant had been finalized for the demonstration alongside Ken and Incineroar, the last two non-downloadable characters to be revealed. In addition, you’ll notice that Piranha Plant’s reveal trailer was entirely in-game footage, possibly an indicator of a lack of time after the finalization of the design to produce a CGI trailer.

Piranha Plant’s amiibo hit shelves quickly after Ultimate’s release, on February 15 2019, and in a set with non-downloadable characters. Amiibo require several months for production, with the typical development time being 6-9 months after the release of the DLC character. No other DLC character has had an amiibo release or announcement. If Piranha Plant was intended to be released with the vanilla game, it would make sense that Nintendo would begin production of the amiibo ahead of time to have it ready for the February launch date. It’s possible that the reason behind their February release date was to avoid selling an amiibo for which no character had been released.

In addition, Piranha Plant is the only DLC fighter to have a unique Palutena’s Guidance. It is also the only DLC fighter to have a 28-second “fighter video” on the official Smash Bros website.

Given all of this information and the uniqueness of Piranha Plant’s treatment compared to the other DLC fighters, it seems reasonable to conclude that Piranha Plant was planned to be available at Ultimate’s launch. It’s likely that the development team couldn’t complete him before launch, so they chose to use him as an incentive for players to pre-purchase the digital version of Ultimate.

Do you think this theory is correct? Let us know in the comments below why or why not!
 
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Amiibo Doctor

Comments

#2
This was pretty obvious for reasons stated here. On top of the fact the 4chan post that leaked plant, Ken and incenroar as the last characters made no mention of it being dlc. The reddit play tester leaker also knew of plant but stayed they were behind a separate menu, implying they were being planned but weren’t ready for the full addition yet
 
#6
Seems logical. Smash rosters are known for having an off-kilter choice as the very last character in a roster (which also applied before DLC existed), whereas Incineroar was more or less seen as a given before the fake leak incident.
 
#7
Is plant damage a thing? Everyones always taling about electric, poison, fire, & water... But.... Isn't there also plant?
 
#8
I think it's almost universally accepted that Plant was a base game character turned in to a limited time free DLC character. For the reasons mentioned in this article and the fact that Sakurai said no one was cut or added from the roster plan back in 2016. Given he stated he wanted a character that wasn't a hero or a side character, it adds up that Plant was decided at the start.
 
#9
It makes sense. Plant was pretty much done minus not making the roster on time and him having a amiibo early shows that he was planned for base roster. And there wasn't a perfect wtf newcomer until PP came along. PP takes the slot for that making perfect character for planning ahead

Now I am curious who will be the next wtf character in the next Smash
 
#10
I think this is probably correct. Let me add my hair-brained thoughts. I think Plant might have originally been part of a playable Waluigi idea. Waluigi is sometimes shown with a PP. Sakurai started giving Plant moves, and soon found he could make a full moveset for it while still struggling for other Waluigi ideas (for whatever reason). Development basically had to start over with a new character, causing its delay.
 
#11
In all retrospect this is the most logical explanation for why Piranha Plant was DLC because Plant doesn't seem like the type of character most people would want to pay for or a character to promote as DLC in general.
 
#12
I'm pretty sure it was already stated that they had planned to have him be in the game at launch, but he got pushed back as a DLC character in order to reach the deadline for Ultimate's release. This is why Piranha Plant isn't part of the planned DLC character pass, and was separate all together. They also kind of reflected this, by having him be free for anyone who pre-purchased the game (as you may know, most in store places use a $5 down rule towards Pre-purchases, essentially making it so P.Plant pays for your pre-purchase. what a nice guy!). My final point in proving this is that Piranha Plant makes character 70. Even though Smash bros is pretty hard to ignore DLC for, there are still people who don't like buying them, and as such, a game planned to have a 69 character base roster, is kinda odd to say in the least. I think it's pretty clear that Piranha Plant was supposed to be in from the start (again, im pretty sure Sakurai flat out said this, hence the pre-purchase bonus). He also didnt come with any stage or music, sooo while that doesnt say anything by itself, he's the same price as the others and doesnt get anywhere near the same treatment. just something to consider.

I think this is probably correct. Let me add my hair-brained thoughts. I think Plant might have originally been part of a playable Waluigi idea. Waluigi is sometimes shown with a PP. Sakurai started giving Plant moves, and soon found he could make a full moveset for it while still struggling for other Waluigi ideas (for whatever reason). Development basically had to start over with a new character, causing its delay.
I think your reaching too hard for this. Piranha Plant was definitely decided upon without waluigi for more than one reason. Piranha Plant has many different forms and abilities as shown in a wide array of mario games, where as waluigi doesn't. I know people like to say he could have the tennis racket, and other party game stuff, but the thing is, those are the Party games movesets, not waluigi's. What I mean by this is they aren't unique to him as a character, as all of the Mario characters have the potential to use those too, making it less of a waluigi thing, and more of a Party Games thing. While many people would be satisfied with just having him in, Sakurai has proven time and time again he would NOT. He takes a lot of pride in making character 100% like there source material, while still giving it the classic smash bros twist. Waluigi doesn't have any source material of any kind to work with, making him essentially useless to Sakurai (hence the assist trophy treatment). Sakurai has never had any intention of making Waluigi a playable character (i get the idea he doesn't like him much, lol). Aside from the relativity of his moveset, Do you realize how unrealistic it would be to take a character and just change it into another? i get why you might thank thats plausible, but the reality is, it takes a lot of time to make one character, and changing it mid creation is like making a whole new one production and development wise. So not only were they already behind with piranha Plant as is, but then they'd be waaay further behind. when piranha plant was announced first, Sakurai mentioned he he was still very early in the process of making him, and it was going to take a bit, hence him not releasing till February.

TLDR: no, piranha plant was never part of waluigi's moveset. given all the info thats been released and what can be logically inferred within educated parameters of the information that's been given thus far, Sakurai had no intentions of ever making waluigi a character.
 
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#13
My personal theory is that Plant was used as a test run for their DLC development process, chosen further ahead of time than the rest of "Season 1" the same way Mewtwo was back in Smash 4. If there was plans for it to have been in the base roster, I feel like there'd be more signs that a character'd been ripped out in places like World of Light, opponents in Classic Mode routes, puppet fighters used in Spirit Battles, et cetera, but there's nothing like that. In fact, the awkward Nipper Plant -> Petey Piranha spirit line would make more sense if the Nipper Plant was original a Piranha Plant spirit, and had to be replaced with something else late in development! Someone important must've decided it'd have been weird for a spirit to exist of a character who was going to be announced as a DLC newcomer before anyone got to play the base game or collect any spirits.

Other "evidence" toward Plant being cut from the base game isn't so clear-cut when you look closer. Plant having staged gameplay footage for a trailer and quick blurb in the Smash Direct isn't any different from a lot of Ultimate (and Smash 4) newcomers, and it didn't get a full demonstration afterward the way the base game characters announced in that Direct did. Having a Palutena's Guidance conversation wouldn't have been too weird if it was already in development when the voicework for the new Guidances was recorded...which it probably was, considering how long it takes to build new fighters from scratch. Especially since Plant was finished less than two months after release, whereas Mewtwo wasn't added to Smash 4 until 7 months after the 3DS version debuted in Japan!

I can't fully explain the amiibo thing, though. Maybe it got prioritized to stir up buzz for DLC? Maybe being a first party character made it easier to set up production since there were fewer hoops to jump through?
 
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#14
Is plant damage a thing? Everyones always taling about electric, poison, fire, & water... But.... Isn't there also plant?
There's not really a plant effect in the game per say (unless you count Lip's Stick.) People just wanted a character that uses plant based abilities. Like Ivysaur.
 
#16
There's not really a plant effect in the game per say (unless you count Lip's Stick.) People just wanted a character that uses plant based abilities. Like Ivysaur.
From what i have seen there is but only with pokemon (fire weak to water, water weak to lightning, grass weak to fire) and oddly enough it seems, in my experience at least, P.Plant has this as well, taking extra damage from fire. it also seems the reverse (fire attacking water) deals reduced damage. again i dont know for sure, but it definitely seems to deal more/less damage when these situations occur.
 
#17
From what i have seen there is but only with pokemon (fire weak to water, water weak to lightning, grass weak to fire) and oddly enough it seems, in my experience at least, P.Plant has this as well, taking extra damage from fire. it also seems the reverse (fire attacking water) deals reduced damage. again i dont know for sure, but it definitely seems to deal more/less damage when these situations occur.
That has been officially confirmed by the developers to not be the case. The only time in Smash history that was ever a thing was with the Pokemon Trainer's 3 Pokemon in Brawl where they did take slightly more damage from elemental weaknesses. And even then they got rid of that in Ultimate.
 
#18
That has been officially confirmed by the developers to not be the case. The only time in Smash history that was ever a thing was with the Pokemon Trainer's 3 Pokemon in Brawl where they did take slightly more damage from elemental weaknesses. And even then they got rid of that in Ultimate.
ah ok. like i said i wasn't sure, just there seemed to be more damage at times with those situations. it's likely that was due to moves staleing or an ever so slightly longer smash charge.
 
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