It's been nearly four months since Joker was announced to join the battle in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's first Challenger Pack. The announcement was something no one saw coming. We saw, once again, that the mind of Nintendo was too fast for eyes.
Anticipation ran hot. Piranha Plant was released at the very end of January, and yet the question lingered: When's Joker?
It seemed Joker entered development sometime after his announcement, so it’s understandable that he was going to take some time. Yet some grew antsy. The announcement of a Nintendo Direct in February was sure to bring us our first glimpse of him in action, right?
Well, we were right. We got a glimpse. And not much else.
However, we were given a timeframe: before the end of April. While some thought he would drop before then, that wasn't the case. Joker is still MIA. So logically, he'll be releasing this coming month... But when exactly will he show up?
The obvious answer is "When he's ready". But where's the fun in that? This community thrives off of needless speculation! Not to mention, the month of April holds a surprisingly strong connection to Persona 5, so there are a number of days his release could be associated with. Let's take a look at all of them.
While this likely isn't going to be the case considering we're only a day away from the date in question at the time of this article being published, it certainly wouldn't be too much of a surprise. It's the beginning of the month, but more importantly, it's April Fools. I mean, his code name is Joker. Even his primary Persona, Arsene, just so happens to fall under the "Fool" Arcana. It wouldn't even be the first time Smash has been associated with the holiday: Both Mewtwo and Lucas were shown as the first DLC for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS on April 1st, 2015.
However, with no announcement of any form of a direct, I can't say it will be all that likely. While it's true that Piranha Plant dropped out of nowhere with almost no fanfare, we had seen gameplay of him in his reveal trailer. I can't see them releasing Joker without anything to hype him up first. So while possible, I wouldn't get your hopes up for a release. A trailer could be in the cards, though, especially with the recent leak of his render.
April 4th is the day Persona 5 was given a worldwide release. I don't find this particularly likely since the game's Japanese release was the September prior, but it's still a noteworthy day that could hold significance. Stranger things have happened!
Another date that has potential. The date holds significance in Persona 5 itself, as it is the day the player character (Joker) moves in with Sojiro, I.E. the first official day of the in-game calendar. It would be almost poetic to release him here, given how far he's come since being branded a delinquent.
April 24th - 25th
This is what many see as the most likely time frame for Joker's release. On these two days, Persona Super Live (Or Persona Super Live P-Sound Street 2019) will be held. This is a concert in which a variety of music from the Persona series will be played, but more importantly, the concert is when Atlus will go into more detail about Persona 5: The Royal, a recently-teased game. It's the ripe time for any kind of Persona related hype, and nothing has the potential to get a crowd excited quite like Super Smash Bros.
That's not all. While this falls more into speculation than anything, data-mining suggests that Joker may have an alternate costume involving a ponytail hairstyle, with the codename "Jane" instead of "Jack", the latter of which is believed to be Joker's codename in Smash's file structure. The consensus seems to be that this could be a female version of Joker, or could something to do with the new character teased in Persona 5: The Royal's reveal trailer. who, funnily enough, has a pony tail. This wouldn't be the first time a Persona protagonist was given a female counterpart, as Persona 3 Portable also gave the player a choice between a male and female. If Joker does have a female alternate costume, it would be pretty strange to release him/her without any proper context.
Of course, there's no real way to know for sure. There's a lot we don't know about Joker's Smash incarnation, and for all we know, a Smash Direct could be announced within the month that will give us more insight into Joker and the game's 3.0 update. Still, speculation can be a fun way to help ease the wait, especially since the remaining 4 DLC fighters remain even more elusive. We're in the final stretch, folks. The Calling Card will arrive any moment.
Author's Note: I'm on the final stretch of Persona 5's story, and am beyond excited for Joker to join the roster. When do you think Joker will come out of the shadows? What will he play like? Do you believe in the rumored "Jane"? Let us know in the comments!