Why is Smash's selection AND portrayal of Zelda characters so... weird?

Quillion

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#41
So to start, I'm gonna say the one that I was confused was not in the base game as far back as Sm4sh- Impa. When Sheik got separated from Zelda, it should have been Impa to become the new character. Now, this did not happen (obviously), so today, I think we have earned Impa (Skyward Sward content addition) with majority of Sheik's moves, but with more of Ganondorf's moves for Smashes.
The thing with Impa is that she may be prominent, but she's just not fighter material. You can't encompass both designs of Old Impa and Young Impa into one generalized thing; that's the issue that stops it from happening. This isn't Hyrule Warriors where they can make their own original incarnation, they have to do a generalized design, and that won't work.

-Another character? Yeah... this really is always the question. Part of me would have been completely fine with getting all four champions. My sadness with TOZ characters is that the world of Hyrule has so many vibrant species, and this is completely unrepresented in Smash. So much so that just adding one seems just as odd. Maybe the new BotW game can help figure this out?
Are you implying the next Zelda characters should be "Goron, Rito, Zora, or Korok", instead of any individual character? That could work.
 

Mewtwo

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#42
I don't know if Hyrule Warriors necessarily counts, but I actually hadn't considered the fact that he was in Ocarina as well, granted in a far more minor role. Far as I'm concerned that qualifies for my two game minimum. I'm down for Skull Kid.
I was not counting Hyrule Warriors, but rather OoT, MM and TP. Do you even Zelda?

It absolutely would be damaged, and I can assure you that more people will miss the Warlock Punch than welcome the Dead Man's Volley. People already miss Ganondorf's elbow and up-kick, could you imagine the outcry against losing one of the most iconic disrespect moves in the series? It would be better to give it a "weak version" so that it's entirely there, but has a far more practical purpose.

Nah, it absolutely was an issue of timing. Remember that Zelda got in before before her signature abilities (not that there are much, mind) were established. They just went off of what Zelda did at the time.

Even then, though, the fact that they took out her main signature ability, her Light Arrow, is pretty questionable.
I think people missed Ganondorf's old side and up Smash for like a day. And now no one cares because the swords are way better.
Zelda losing the light arrows is a real shame though, because that was like the one weapon that the series has connected her with consistently.
 
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#44
The thing with Impa is that she may be prominent, but she's just not fighter material. You can't encompass both designs of Old Impa and Young Impa into one generalized thing; that's the issue that stops it from happening. This isn't Hyrule Warriors where they can make their own original incarnation, they have to do a generalized design, and that won't work.
Why wouldnt it work? Most of smash as amalgymated characters- all I'd need to see is a Skyward Sword Impa for play, and a final Smash where she (and maybe other characters) get bloated and old. Problem solved.

Regarding "Zora, Goron, Deku, Rito," yes- if we added them generically one at a time, we could have them dispersed at a rate healthy for many years of fighter passes.
 

MAtgSy

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#45
The specific individual Skull Kid who was the antagonist in Majora's Mask appeared in Twilight Princess?
It's sorta implied to be the same one, he knows Saria's song. & Link played that song to OoT SK.
 
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Quillion

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#46
I think people missed Ganondorf's old side and up Smash for like a day. And now no one cares because the swords are way better.
Zelda losing the light arrows is a real shame though, because that was like the one weapon that the series has connected her with consistently.
And what makes you think people won't pine for the return of Warlock Punch if it were gone? The old Smashes were admittedly just normals, but removing a beloved special is a no-no.

Why wouldnt it work? Most of smash as amalgymated characters- all I'd need to see is a Skyward Sword Impa for play, and a final Smash where she (and maybe other characters) get bloated and old. Problem solved.
Link, Zelda, and Ganon are all similar enough throughout their various incarnations that they can be amalgamated effectively. Impa is not.
 

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#47
Link, Zelda, and Ganon are all similar enough throughout their various incarnations that they can be amalgamated effectively. Impa is not.
Ganondorf is pretty different in terms of fighting style in all his incarnations.

It sounds like Skyward Sword was her most significant story role. I haven't played the game, so I don't know what exactly she does in it. Presumably she would play very similarly to Sheik, plus a big sword if they chose to acknowledge Hyrule Warriors's existence, which Nintendo hasn't been keen on.

Also, the punch is Falcon's thing. He's the one everyone memes about, not Ganondorf. Even if this weren't so, a bad move isn't worth keeping around just for the sake of a joke--much like Jigglypuff's shield "pop."
 
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#48
Link, Zelda, and Ganon are all similar enough throughout their various incarnations that they can be amalgamated effectively. Impa is not.
Firstly, that is in your opinion.
Secondly, this isn't the case for the entire roster- they are all amalgamations of every version of the character- sometimes of other characters too. I honestly think your point is completely moot- but even if you disagree- its an anecdotal thought either way.
 

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#49
The Zelda roster is indeed weird, but outside of a newcomer, it's pretty decently represented in Ultimate. I am a strong advocate for Impa as a newcomer, and have been so ever since Skyward Sword was all hype and recent. And then of course Hyrule Warriors. I still think Impa would've made a great newcomer based of either HW or SS (Skyward Sword Impa would've probably been a Echo though).

But outside of that, they made sure each Link plays quite different from the other. Mostly changing Link and Young Link around, and keeping Toon Link sort of the same. Smart approach, because it worked. It's also great all Zelda characters take designs from different games / incarnations, though I do often wish Zelda was also based around Breath of the Wild (she is probably the most powerful, that's why). They finally changed Ganondorf around, and not only gave him a sword for his most bland and out of place attacks, but also made his playstyle work... at least.

I still would've loved Impa, and I think if Ultimate took the Smash 4 approach, a BotW Champion would be a given. Shame neither happened. Skull Kid also had great support, but still, I do think either Impa or Ganon would make better choices. Ganon would round out the Zelda roster completely because he's the main villain, and around both longer and more often than Ganondorf. Impa in the same way, yet both Impa and Ganon are sometimes just.. not workable for Smash because ; Ganon is either too gigantic or not even a complete living or conscious entity (Calamity Ganon in BotW) and Impa hasn't appeared as a young Sheikah warrior since Hyrule Warriors, and before Skyward Sword and is often an elder lady incapable of combat (my biggest gripe about BotW- as well as Impa not appearing as her younger self in cutscenes).

Just adding Impa would've been a big boon if she was just included in Smash 4, or now. Which would've been very reasonable given her relevance and popularity. But right now, not even adding Impa would be enough. At least, if she's not a unique fighter. However, it's very likely that the lesser relevant small Link will be cut if there's ever gonna be cuts in future Smash rosters, or both get combined into a more "Classic Link" taking inspiration for the upcoming Link's Awakening for Switch. Sheik could even be downrightly replaced by Impa with a similar enough moveset, or cut altogheter.

It's really hard to estimate a future for Zelda in Smash, because it's likely the next time a new Smash comes around the Zelda cast will be tweaked again to match the most recent Zelda game of that given time. And we don't know what's coming beyond Link's Awakening.

I still wanna see Impa and Ganon, being the most classic characters of Zelda who aren't entirely present yet (Ganon is a boss and Final Smash of course) and are likely to be mainstays in the future installations, but nothing is really sure. I do think Impa would make a lot of sense, because it's likely the Sheikah themes of technological inovation is gonna remain an element in Zelda games. The Sheikah are now way more established as a race, and Impa has always been their leader, no exceptions.

Anyways, that's my 2 cents on this.
 

Quillion

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#50
The Zelda roster is indeed weird, but outside of a newcomer, it's pretty decently represented in Ultimate.
I think character-wise, Zelda has quantity down, but its actual quality of representation doesn't match up. The Links are different in frame data and playstyle, but they should be MORE different. Zelda and Ganon can be excused since they debuted before their abilities were really established, but relative to their series, it still leaves a lot to be desired.
 

Diddy Kong

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#51
I think character-wise, Zelda has quantity down, but its actual quality of representation doesn't match up. The Links are different in frame data and playstyle, but they should be MORE different. Zelda and Ganon can be excused since they debuted before their abilities were really established, but relative to their series, it still leaves a lot to be desired.
Three Links isn't honestly all that bad. They are all quite important in the overall timeline, and we get to play as Link alone all the time. It's very excusable. Especially since we also have quite a few characters based around Marth and Mario.

It just needs quality newcomers like Ganon, preferably as you fought him as a boss in Ultimate. That boss fight made me hunger for a playable Ganon honestly. Then there's Impa, but I can only attest for older appearances for her now. I think she'll likely show up in a next Sheikah-themed grand overworld 3D Zelda game. But yeah, I also don't know how Ganon is gonna be represented next time. We might see him with blades, with a trident, or as a mindless beast. It's hard to know what to want if we don't know what's coming... I am only 50% certain Impa and Ganon will return the next game after all.
 

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#52
It just needs quality newcomers like Ganon, preferably as you fought him as a boss in Ultimate.
Wait, you want the Ocarina Ganon? Every time I've heard Ganon suggested I've taken it to be the classic chubby pig-lord Ganon, which I think is a perfectly reasonable request, but 3D beast Ganon is way too big to ever be playable. Not to mention, beast Ganon's design has changed more or less every appearance, while classic Ganon has remained pretty constant in appearance (and use of trident, which I think would be cool).
 

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#53
Wait, you want the Ocarina Ganon? Every time I've heard Ganon suggested I've taken it to be the classic chubby pig-lord Ganon, which I think is a perfectly reasonable request, but 3D beast Ganon is way too big to ever be playable. Not to mention, beast Ganon's design has changed more or less every appearance, while classic Ganon has remained pretty constant in appearance (and use of trident, which I think would be cool).
I can't help but want what I want... But no realistically, I don't think OoT Ganon is possible. If they would base the next Ganon battle in a mainline Zelda game around the same sort of fight we had in Ocarina of Time, then it's possible. But I just don't think they are ever gonna make Ganon a playable character outside of Ganondorf.
 
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#54
Three Links isn't honestly all that bad. They are all quite important in the overall timeline, and we get to play as Link alone all the time. It's very excusable. Especially since we also have quite a few characters based around Marth and Mario.

It just needs quality newcomers like Ganon, preferably as you fought him as a boss in Ultimate. That boss fight made me hunger for a playable Ganon honestly. Then there's Impa, but I can only attest for older appearances for her now. I think she'll likely show up in a next Sheikah-themed grand overworld 3D Zelda game. But yeah, I also don't know how Ganon is gonna be represented next time. We might see him with blades, with a trident, or as a mindless beast. It's hard to know what to want if we don't know what's coming... I am only 50% certain Impa and Ganon will return the next game after all.
I know I said this above, but I want to make sure you specifically see this, this time.

I think a big thing about series 'representation' in smash comes down to what we get from a franchises world in the game.
Regarding TOZ- we dont have any representation of the more varied creatures in Hyrule. An enormous part of what makes any mythical world what it is, are the different races. We get almost none of this in Smash- all the characters could easily pass as human. Without the Gorons, Deku, Rito, Zora, Bokoblins, and so many more- Hyrule would not be what it is. In fact, no middle-earth-esque realm would be.
 

Quillion

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#55
Three Links isn't honestly all that bad. They are all quite important in the overall timeline, and we get to play as Link alone all the time. It's very excusable. Especially since we also have quite a few characters based around Marth and Mario.
Three Links isn't a bad idea, but I would prefer them to share normals while having different specials at minimum. Give Young Link mask-based specials. Give Toon Link the Grappling Hook, Deku Leaf, and Skull Hammer.

Marth and Mario echoes are... somewhat tolerable since there's not much more those characters can do, but the Links are so varied in their canonical tools, and Smash reflects none of that.
 

Quillion

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#57
Now we enter the elite mindset of "if you're not playable, you might as well not be here at all".
The hell does this have to do with anything? Are you trying to argue that if the Links weren't so similar, they shouldn't be playable at all? Is this about my arguing against Impa being a playable character?

For the former, I'm at least arguing that them being "normals-only semi-echoes" would work very well. That's less work than making "specials-only semi-echoes", while to the casual viewer, they're more different. For the latter, I'm arguing that she's just too different across her appearances to be generalized into one design.

And while I'm at it, late reply:

Just play Hyrule Warriors if you want more comprehensive Zelda fanservice, man. Smash is more of a "greatest hits" collection where every character that gets in faces the risk of backlash, but a game wholly dedicated to bringing stuff together from one franchise can include everything and the kitchen sink without anyone thinking it's a waste or unusual.
I don't need Zelda to be "comprehensive". Did you even read the last sentence of the OP?

I'm not asking for Hyrule Warriors-level thoroughness when it comes to representing and selecting the characters, but in my opinion, the series' execution of such leaves a lot to be desired.
What I'm trying to say, as I hinted at in that other thread, is that Zelda's representation is very lacking in quality. In quantity it looks fine, but for quality, it really isn't that great. I'm not asking for every one-shot from every game, I'm more asking that we just get the MOST iconic one-shot, and that the existing character content be improved. I think Zelda's moveset needs to, at minimum, have the Light Arrow as a neutral B (with Nayru's Love moving to Down-B), since Light Arrow is Zelda's signature weapon. And I understand not changing Ganondorf's moveset (hell I have affection for the old Smashes over the sword Smashes), but I think they could compromise with certain moveset elements, like replacing Wizkick with a trident rush, and adding one or two sword aerials. Don't want Dead Man's Volley, though.
 

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#59
I feel the three Links are fine because they are a faithful representation of how they are in their home games, and it makes sense for them to fight similarly since all Links in the 3D Zelda games share the same fighting style and a handful of weapons in their arsenal such as the bow and arrow, bombs, boomerang and hookshot that have become mainstay items. Their stats in Smash are tweaked enough to warrant them a different playstyle and feel that to me they stand out from each other enough.
They are a set of clones that make complete sense based on canon material.


I also think Zelda is fine as she is. People are over evaluating her light arrows a bit too much when it comes to Smash. Yes, it's an iconic weapon for her but her current FS uses her sealing powers and Triforce of Wisdom, which are also recurrent elements of her character.
I don't see the need to drop Sheik because she offers a unique playstyle and she is still Zelda with another name.

Ganondorf is the only point I can agree on, but this is a topic that been beaten to death for more than 15 years. And before this thread devolves into the inevitable discussion of Ganon's old Smashes vs his new Smashes, I concede that he could still be modified further to make him more unique. I would be interested in a change of his neutral B, but rather than a complete replacement I'm more inclined for an overhaul for that move. Make him like Ganondorf's fourth special combo in Hyrule Warriors where he creates a ball of dark energy and punches it at the opponent.
With that said, I am very satisfied with the state of Ganondorf in this game.
 
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Quillion

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#61
I feel the three Links are fine because they are a faithful representation of how they are in their home games, and it makes sense for them to fight similarly since all Links in the 3D Zelda games share the same fighting style and a handful of weapons in their arsenal such as the bow and arrow, bombs, boomerang and hookshot that have become mainstay items. Their stats in Smash are tweaked enough to warrant them a different playstyle and feel that to me they stand out from each other enough.
They are a set of clones that make complete sense based on canon material.

Does it make sense? Yes, but the fact that the other Links are ignoring the unique tools that were in their games. Straight semi-echoes can be quality portrayals if it's hard to imagine them doing anything else, but given that YL has his mask abilities and TL has the Grappling Hook, Deku Leaf, Wind Waker, and Skull Hammer, they're just not quality portrayals.

I also think Zelda is fine as she is. People are over evaluating her light arrows a bit too much when it comes to Smash. Yes, it's an iconic weapon for her but her current FS uses her sealing powers and Triforce of Wisdom, which are also recurrent elements of her character.
I don't see the need to drop Sheik because she offers a unique playstyle and she is still Zelda with another name.
Light Arrow appeared as Zelda's weapon for WW, TP, and ST. Zelda only sealed stuff in OoT and BotW. You sure you're not the one over evaluating here?

Anyway, this is why they need to take the Wario approach and rework Light Arrow to a different spot: as a Neutral-B. Nayru's Love can go to Down-B; it feels more like a Down-B anyway. Some people may miss Phantom Slash, but hey, people miss Bowser's Koopa Klaw and they are resigned to being left in the cold.

And I know that it's too late for Sheik's cut. I'm just saying she's really out of place as a one-shot, and she's not even close to being one of the most iconic one-shots.

Ganondorf is the only point I can agree on, but this is a topic that been beaten to death for more than 15 years.
Agreed that it's a dead horse that will never go anywhere, so I'll avoid that.
 

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#63

Does it make sense? Yes, but the fact that the other Links are ignoring the unique tools that were in their games. Straight semi-echoes can be quality portrayals if it's hard to imagine them doing anything else, but given that YL has his mask abilities and TL has the Grappling Hook, Deku Leaf, Wind Waker, and Skull Hammer, they're just not quality portrayals.
Its good enough for me. I'll leave it at that.
 

Quillion

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#64
Its good enough for me. I'll leave it at that.
Meh, can't really argue against your opinion. I just think the Zelda series has been hurt the most by Smash's habits of prioritizing similar specialsets for semi-echoes and not significantly updating characters with their games.

The only series I think has been hurt by it as much is Star Fox, but that can be excused as Nintendo ignores all their non-EPD-developed Star Fox games nowadays.

We know that Smash isn't above bringing back and even reworking signature moves due to fan demand; Wario got that luxury. Zelda and Ganon should get that next.
 

Quillion

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#66
What's wrong with Star Fox?
They treat Fox's template like it's the only thing Star Fox characters can do. There's nothing wrong with (semi) echoes, but the fact that Star Fox's entire pool in Smash is reliant on one template AND Assault gave the characters more to do makes it a case of meh quality representation.
 
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#67
They treat Fox's template like it's the only thing Star Fox characters can do. There's nothing wrong with (semi) echoes, but the fact that Star Fox's entire pool in Smash is reliant on one template AND Assault gave the characters more to do makes it a case of meh quality representation.
But they're extremely similar in the games proper. Falco pilots the exact same ship as Fox and Wolf's Wolfen also have similar characteristics to Arwings. Not sure how making up even more stuff leads to better representation.
 

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#68
Isn't Fox's moveset entirely made up, since every Star Fox game is just in a ship? Save for... what was the one, Adventure? One of the ones most people panned because it wasn't originally intended to be a Star Fox game at all?
 

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#69
I see Quillion's point about Star Fox characters. I'm sure there's SOMETHING they could draw from other Star Fox games at this point. Also, as a non Star Fox fan, I feel like Star Fox Assault should have been better received so that's a shame. I also just learned it was also developed by Bandai Namco and the Special Flag even appears in it!
 

Quillion

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#70
But they're extremely similar in the games proper. Falco pilots the exact same ship as Fox and Wolf's Wolfen also have similar characteristics to Arwings. Not sure how making up even more stuff leads to better representation.
Isn't Fox's moveset entirely made up, since every Star Fox game is just in a ship? Save for... what was the one, Adventure? One of the ones most people panned because it wasn't originally intended to be a Star Fox game at all?
Are either of you not aware of Star Fox Assault? Sure, it's far from being the best Star Fox game, but it's still decent enough to warrant representation.
 

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#71
They treat Fox's template like it's the only thing Star Fox characters can do. There's nothing wrong with (semi) echoes, but the fact that Star Fox's entire pool in Smash is reliant on one template AND Assault gave the characters more to do makes it a case of meh quality representation.
Thing is they don't do much outside of their vehicles in their own games. There is very little to draw from. Gameplay in almost every Star Fox game is centered around aerial dogfights. In Assault they have different kinds of firearms available for everyone, after all that game was partially a third person shooter, but making the shift from close combat experts with gadgets and good mobility to walking armories would be jarring and very alienating to some. I honestly don't think that kind of change is necessary just for the sake of making something more canon, which is something that you also advocate against.

And while Falco and Wolf use that template, Wolf feels unique enough that his feral fighting style is more comparable to the likes of Bowser and Charizard. Also, incorporating those firearms wouldn't make them stand out more from each other because in Assault everyone can use the same weapons. In that game, they feel that they were made from the same mold more so than in Smash.
 
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Quillion

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#72
Thing is they don't do much outside of their vehicles in their own games. There is very little to draw from. Gameplay in almost every Star Fox game is centered around aerial dogfights. In Assault they have different kinds of firearms available for everyone, after all that game was partially a third person shooter, but making the shift from close combat experts with gadgets and good mobility to walking armories would be jarring and very alienating to some. I honestly don't think that kind of change is necessary just for the sake of making something more canon, which is something that you also advocate against.

And while Falco and Wolf use that template, Wolf feels unique enough that his feral fighting style is more comparable to the likes of Bowser and Charizard. Also, incorporating those firearms wouldn't make them stand out more from each other because in Assault everyone can use the same weapons. In that game, they feel that they were made from the same mold more so than in Smash.
Who says all three need to change? I'd be fine with Fox and Falco staying with the old template. Wolf though needed to but cut from a new cloth to improve Star Fox's quality of representation.

And I'm not opposed to ALL canon changes, just the ones that makes characters less fun to play like what they did to Bowser.
 
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#74
I'd be okay with someone like Slippy being added with a focus on Assault's ground mission's weapons and items, and a few callbacks to the existing Star Fox characters in Smash like keeping the Reflector. He's the gadgeteer genius of the group and not the best pilot.

On top of that, he can use stuff from Star Fox Guard as well. Slippy is technically a video game icon, if only for dubious reasons, but if he ever got in it'd make sense in that respect.
 

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#75
Your reaction: we get two Zelda newcomers but they are Echoes. We get Ocarina of Time Adult Link :linkmelee: as a Link Echo, and Impa as a Sheik Echo. Each have some differences in their moveset close as Ken. Like y / n ?
 

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#76
Your reaction: we get two Zelda newcomers but they are Echoes. We get Ocarina of Time Adult Link :linkmelee: as a Link Echo, and Impa as a Sheik Echo. Each have some differences in their moveset close as Ken. Like y / n ?
I would think a Classic Link would be very strange considering there's already three, but I would begrudgingly tolerate him. Impa echo would be all right.
 
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#77
On the one hand I kinda miss the TP/Amalgam Link, but if we only kept the current 3 Links, this is what I'd like to see:

BotW Link: Keep him largely the same, though I think removing hookshot was premature. He's a good 'new era' Link

Toon Link: Give him the Deku Leaf!! It could replace some aerials, or it could replace Boomerang as a move similar to Mario's Cape, though instead of turning it creates a wind box. Also replace Triforce Slash Final Smash with literally anything; King of Red Lions, his Spirit Train, a mob of Koroks, I don't care. Just something else.

Young Link: Make him represent his appearance in Majora's Mask more (or at least this could have been an alt): MM Hero's Shield, MM Kokiri Sword/Razor Sword, MM Hookshot, MM Hero's Bow, and a taunt where he briefly puts on different masks before taking it off again. Perhaps Ice Arrows could also somehow be incorporated, though honestly any of the Links could have elemental arrows. Final Smash is Fierce Deity Link, which could function the same as Triforce Slash.
 
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#78
I understand the version of Adult Link from Ocarina of Time is very iconic, and that it was that design and voice that was in the first two Smash games, but I'm actually glad he isn't playable anymore while Young Link is still around. This is because a big theme in Ocarina was that Link was forced to grow up too fast in his quest to save Hyrule. Young Link, I feel, is the truer Link of the two, and having him and not Ocarina of Time's adult version of Link is a nice reminder of that to a video game playing audience that may need it.

Impa as a Sheik echo, however, is more than welcome. Sheik can be surmised as having learned everything from Impa in Ocarina of Time, so them playing similarly is a non issue. I'd welcome it even if it means the next Zelda character is yet another clone, since it's still a good choice. Her design can either be the Ocarina of Time or Skyward Sword one.
 

culumon

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#79
With the Majora's Mask itself being perhaps the most recognisable piece of Zelda iconography outside of the Triforce I feel like Skull Kid would fit most snugly in a lineup of the series' biggest names/faces as Smash is inclined to represent.

Plus a lightweight, nimble villain would be cool.
 
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#80
With the Majora's Mask itself being perhaps the most recognisable piece of Zelda iconography outside of the Triforce I feel like Skull Kid would fit most snugly in a lineup of the series' biggest names/faces as Smash is inclined to represent.

Plus a lightweight, nimble villain would be cool.
That's true. Yet I'm not sure what significance the Skull Kid(s) are gonna have in the future of Zelda. Sure the Lost Woods came back in BotW, and Skull Kid is implied to be the one laughing if you lose track in the woods, yet am not convinced yet.

In the future, we might simply see just Impa, as a Sheikah "Champion" or their leader, and maybe her and Link's Yiga rival?

I really think a next major theme in the Zelda franchise is gonna be the Sheikah vs Yiga wars honestly.
 
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