No matter how many Nintendo characters get smashed into Smash Bros., it just never feels like enough.
And while the release of downloadable, add-on characters for the most recent entries in the series, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS, has long ended, rumors have been swirling around the Internet-osphere about a Smash Bros. port for the Nintendo Switch. With that, the possibility for new Smash. characters is renewed.
And that means it’s open season on speculating which characters could make the cut. Who will it be this time? Will it just be returning veterans, or will brand new characters get their turn to fight? And even if Smash Bros. doesn’t end up getting ported over to Switch, another Smash game will come out eventually, and that game is going to need some new characters. So yes, we have a few suggestions.
At this point, are there any new characters even still left? Oh, there’s plenty. Hold on to your Mario hats, because here’s 20 that deserve a chance to duke it out with Nintendo’s all-stars.
This has gone on long enough. The draconic nemesis of bounty hunter Samus Aran keeps getting the shaft and showing up in Smash Bros. only in non-playable form. Even worse, Metroid as a series still only has one character — two if you count both versions of Samus, I guess — in its Smash Bros. representation. Ridley’s time is long, long overdue. Enough of the excuses. Make it happen Sakurai.
Isaac was included in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, where the Psynergy-wielding adept of Golden Sun fame appeared as an assist trophy. But for some reason all mentions of Golden Sun, trophies included, were stripped from the most recent Smash Bros. games. It’s time to bring Isaac back as playable character. Robin’s inclusion on the roster has already shown that magic-based characters can work in Smash, and it’s time for Isaac to shine.
Of all the characters on the list, Nintendo might face the biggest fan revolt if the Inklings from Splatoon don’t make a multi-colored splash into Smash. They were already added in Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U as costumes, and are also showing up in the Switch’s Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Edition, so this one is pretty much as close to a ringer for inclusion as they come.
Pokemon is already taking up a lot of slots on the Smash Bros. roster, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a new ‘mon from the most recent games make the leap to the arena. My vote? I actually liked how they handled the Pokemon Trainer in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, so using Lillie could work, with her being able to rotate through the Alola starters.
Like Golden Sun, Advance Wars is another Game Boy Advance-era title that can’t seem to break out of second-fiddle assist trophy status. Given we haven’t seen a new Advance Wars game in some time, Andy might be a long shot, but if Smash is going to include 50 million Fire Emblem characters, it should give at least a little love to one of Intelligent System’s other series, shouldn’t it?
The cute and cuddly Sumo-wrestler from Pushmo, I was a bit surprised that Mallo wasn’t included in Smash Bros. after his string of recent games. Just because he starred in a puzzle game doesn’t mean he can’t throw down with the best of them. Plus, he’s already dressed for the occasion.
The cowboy-hat wearing armadillo was another one of Nintendo’s eShop creations for the 3DS. His game was a lot of fun, and he even showed up in the most recent Smash as an assist trophy. But now it’s time for this ‘dillo to roll his way up to a slot on the character selection screen.
I get it. We already have a few versions of Link in Smash Bros., but Zelda is one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises, and there’s a cool way for them to use Link that could give us three playable characters, not just one. Bring in Link from Majora’s Mask, and let him switch between wearable masks. Goron Link, Zora Link, and Deku Link could all then be playable. And given we just saw the 3D re-release of Majora’s Mask, it could make sense for them to revisit Link in such a fashion again.
Midna is, hands down, one of the best characters in the entire Zelda canon. She showed up in Hyrule Warriors, but it’s time for a larger role for the impish Twilight Princess. Smash has had quadrupeds before (don’t forget about Ivysaur!), so putting Midna on the back of Wolf Link with her plethora of hair-based powers could work. And like Majora’s Mask, we also just got the HD version of Twilight Princess, so she’s still fresh in player’s minds.
Most people may have never heard of Captain Rainbow, and for good reason: His only game, the predictably named Captain Rainbow, was never released in the States. I’ve wanted to play it for years, and this Wii-era hero needs a bit more attention. Will it happen? Probably not. But it would be hilarious to see.
Donkey and Diddy tend to get all the attention, but the pink-cap wearing monkey deserves some love of her own. She did show up recently in Donkey Kong Country Returns: Tropical Freeze, and it’s time for her to also join the boy Kongs in Smash. And Smash needs more female playable characters, anyway.
And speaking of Donkey Kong Country…don’t worry K. Rool fans, I didn’t forget you. The evil crocodile nemesis of the original SNES Donkey Kong Country games did manage to make an appearance in Smash Bros., but as a costume. That’s just simply not enough for the king slash pirate slash evil doctor.
OK. It’s time to talk third-party shop, now. With characters like Cloud and Sonic showing up, the past two Smash Bros. games have introduced new characters from companies other than Nintendo. Cloud was a big get, there’s no doubt about that, but fans of the Nintendo 64 era all too fondly are still waiting for a certain bear and bird that Microsoft now owns. Microsoft sounds on board with the idea. Your move Nintendo. Let’s bring Banjo back home.
Ubisoft’s Rayman did make an appearance in Smash Bros., but only as a trophy. Maybe Nintendo wasn’t able to come to terms with Ubisoft to get the arms-less denizen playable in the game, but he’s another third-party character that could see himself promoted to a fully playable slot on the roster.
Capcom’s Ryu made his Smash debut in the most recent Smash Bros., and there were a few Monster Hunter inspired costumes that made their way into the game, as well. But Monster Hunter has given a lot of support to Nintendo lately, and the, well, monster hunting series is more than worthy of inclusion.
Like K. Rool, Geno is another oft-requested character that was included as a costume in the most recent Smash Bros. But will it silence Geno fans? Probably not. Square-Enix was already involved with Cloud joining the fray, so there’s no reason that the gun-touting character from Mario’s original RPG can’t make an appearance, as well.
Ah, the little blue knight with a shovel. Even though he got his own amiibo, Shovel Knight didn’t make the cut for Smash Bros. I’ve got to be honest, I’ve been dismissive of of his inclusion in the past, but after playing Shovel Knight I think he deserves it. Plus it would also be a nice bone to throw the indie gaming community. For the shovelry!
For the same reason I was originally dismissive of Shovel Knight, I think Smash Bros. has to be careful about including characters that are just currently popular and ones that haven’t yet proven to have staying power. But I think there’s an exception to be made for Yooka-Laylee, especially if we can’t ever get Banjo playable.
He’s only been hunting Dracula since the 80s, but yet Simon hasn’t managed to break into the Smash Bros. arena. Konami did just bring Bomberman back for the Switch, so maybe the company is going to finally let Simon adventure in other places, as well.
Another 3DS eShop title, Rusty is the furry salesman from Rusty’s Real-Deal Baseball. Nintendo doesn’t have a whole lot in terms of active sports franchises (if you removed all the ones with Mario in the title, at least) so Rusty could be a way for them to throw some baseball into the mix. Or maybe he’ll just be there to haggle with players over DLC prices.
Willie Clark is a writer, editor, photographer, barrel-rider, reliable brave guy, and co-host of the 8 Bit Awesome podcast. You can find his scribings at sites like Polygon, Vice, GamesRadar+, and many other fine dining establishments.