Everyone knows what Super Smash Bros. is, seeing as all five versions of the video game have been met with critical acclaim. These games have even been featured in high-profile tournaments around the globe.
One of the many, many, many reasons why Smash Bros. has resonated with so many members of the vast gaming population is because, as a crossover fighting series, it features beloved characters from various franchises and then pits them against each other... all in one place. Plus, with each subsequent release, more fighters have been introduced to the fold, creating a great deal of hype for future renditions as well as encouraging speculation (as we’re doing here).
Normally, the prerequisite for a new fighter to step (or fly, float, materialize or whatever) into the Smash ring was that he/she must’ve been established on a Nintendo system. Ever since Brawl, however, that rule has become more of a guideline (heck, Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog has been featured!), giving us some leeway for our list as well.
Speaking of which, ours is composed of video game characters (mostly Nintendo-established fighters) who we think should join this fraternity of fighting brethren known as Smash. The fighters that debuted in Nintendo land were given highest priority, but if a character were exceptionally badass (like number two on this list), then we were willing to make an exception.
You know the rules. Ready? FIGHT!
15 Maui Mallard (Donald Duck)—Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow
Yes, yes, yes we know this game premiered on the Sega Genesis before appearing on the SNES, and that’s why it’s number 15. Then again, it should be noted that on the box of the Super Nintendo version, it was branded with that “Only For Nintendo” logo-ized thingy in the upper-right-hand corner.
And, yes, we also know the game stars Donald Duck. However, it’s a little more complicated than that. In fact, to compound the complexity of this character further, if you’re to compare him to a Smash Bros. veteran, the closest would be Zelda. Huh?!
First off, in... Cold Shadow, the obnoxious Disney duck takes on a metafictional role, known as detective Maui Mallard. Secondly, (and this pertains to our Zelda reference earlier), in addition to being a duck detective, Maui also adopts a Ninja persona by the name of Cold Shadow.
So, if Donald… err… Maui… err Cold Shadow… ever made it into Smash Bros., a player could possibly have the capability to shift back and forth between Maui, the detective, and Cold Shadow, the ninja, like one can between Zelda and Sheik.
As Maui, you’d utilize his insect-launching pistol (which is already a standout variable) and, as his ninja alter ego, you’d wield his bo staff. Cool!
14 Sonic Blast Man—Sonic Blast Man
No. There’s no relation to the spiked, speedy, blue hedgehog. And, yes, Sonic Blast Man may have originated as an arcade game, but he did make his way to the SNES (where he remained a Nintendo-centric character, minus the arcade’s sequel and come back in 2011). Another fact worth noting: the SNES version greatly diverged from the arcade.
Let’s get down to business. There are three specific attacks that would make Sonic Blast Man a great addition in Smash Bros.
Blast Man has a special attack that not only knocks away all nearby enemies but also dizzies the user temporarily, a double-edged punch, if you will, that’s similar to Jigglypuff’s nearly useless singing move. These types of self-inflicting attacks are rare commodities in Smash Bros. It would be interesting to see how it would be utilized in the series.
Another one of his attacks, when adapted into Smash Bros., could be a combination of Samus’ “special” grappling-hook-grab-and-throw technique and Kirby’s Dragon Ball Z-esque barrage of punches. Blast Man is known for grabbing enemies and then shaking them, throwing them or, you guessed it, punching the living heck out of ’em. Neat-o!
His third attack might’ve “conflicted” with Captain Falcon’s signature “Captain… PUNCH!” and “Captain… KICK!” onslaughts, except Nintendo, gave Falco the Fire Bird attacks, which are pretty much identical (minus the distinct vocalization) to Falcon’s, so it’s not really a problem anymore. Blast Man’s charging-type punch was called the D. Punch, and it, unlike Falco’s, actually existed in his video game rather than being made out of thin air for Smash Bros.
13 Billy (and Jimmy) Lee—Double Dragon
If you aren’t familiar with the game Double Dragon, then you might be familiar with the animated series of the same name (if you’re a ’90s kid, that is). You might even be aware of the live-action film adaptation. Regardless, Double Dragon was originally for NES (after it was an arcade). And, seeing as the title of Smash Bros. includes the word “Bros.” in it and the main characters in Double Dragon are, uh, literal bros., then maybe they should make it in.
As far as moves go, Billy (and Jimmy) were known for a rather nasty form of fighting, which would be fun as all heck to perform on opponents (especially in a multiplayer all-out brawl). When performing said move, they would grab a bad guy by the hair and then throw them. That’s freakin’ intense!
For those who know nothing about the franchise, there’s a reason why the game is called Double Dragon. The name is derived from a specific move that, in Japanese, is Ten Satsu Ryuuji Ken, which translates to Heavenly Killing Dragon King Punch. While the move itself isn’t as great as it sounds, back in the day, it was pretty awesome. Plus, these Dragon-inspired attacks were later embellished, and who’s to say the guys at Smash Bros. wouldn’t add a little flava’ themselves?
12 Firebrand—Gargoyle’s Quest
The Ghosts ’n Goblins franchise has spawned a significant amount of sequels and spin-offs since the arcade debuted in 1985. While not strictly Nintendo-based, one of its offshoot series, Gargoyle’s Quest, started out on the Game Boy and featured a playable character, Firebrand, who’d, up until that point, only been an antagonist. As a playable hero, Gargoyle’s Quest essentially made a new character, making Firebrand a Nintendo creation.
Plus, this hero is, uh, a gargoyle. And who doesn’t want to control a gargoyle? A crazy person, that’s who.
In these games, Firebrand collected Crests, which, when equipped, bestowed upon him certain abilities and skills (while also changing his appearance): Crest of Earth, Air, Water, Time and Infinity.
In Smash Bros., Firebrand could momentarily “transform” when performing a certain attack that corresponds with its respective Crest before returning to his normal appearance. How is that not awesome?
Again. Firebrand is a gargoyle! A gargoyle!!
11 Farmer Boy or Girl—Harvest Moon
People who’ve played this game might be confused as to why a Harvest Moon character, whose main purpose is farming, would be featured in this fighting series. The answer is the Wii Fit Trainer. Yup. It’s fine.
As far as this potential character’s attacks are concerned, all possibilities revolve around the basic tools you start off with in the original SNES game: an ax, hoe, sickle and hammer, among other things. Those sound like weapons to us!
Also, remember that the young farmer adopted a dog, which could be adapted into Smash Bros. as some sort of attack, even though the dog’s only purpose was to warn you if the farm’s fence required fixing... by barking incessantly. Death by barking? Yes!
10 Bubsy—Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind
Ignoring the horrific pun-filled title (if you don’t see it, then you need help), this game was compared heavily to Sonic the Hedgehog when it first came out, and for good reason. The designer of Bubsy, Michael Berlyn, was originally an adventure game type of guy. A little too much of one, though. Michael needed a change. One day, he stumbled upon Sonic and did something many of us can relate to: he played it for 14 hours a day… for a whole week… as a way to find inspiration for a future game. And that’s how Bubsy was born.
Even though Bubsy’s only method of attack was jumping on top of enemy “Woolies,” one of the main goals of the game was to collect stray yarn balls (seeing as the premise revolved around Woolies stealing the Earth’s supply of yarn, a terrifying prospect for any cat). So, in Smash Bros., Bubsy’s attacks could involve yarn.
That said, in its sequel, Bubsy brandished a new weapon: a Nerf gun. Sure, the game debuted on the Sega Genesis, but, we love Nerf. As they used to say “It’s Nerf or Nothin!”
9 Kid Kleets—The Adventures of Kid Kleets
Due to the overt success of Ness (partially because of “PEE-KAY THUNDER!!”) over the many reiterations of Smash Bros., Nintendo should look into adding additional youngster playable characters (besides Lucas). Soccer Kid, or Kid Kleets in the U.S. (which is weird because soccer is football in the U.K. but we digress), is a young lad, too, except he’s actually athletic and not some psychic freak.
A distinctive concept, the game’s lead character eliminated his enemies by utilizing a soccer ball, performing goal-like shots, bicycle kicks, headers, as well as other soccer moves. What other fighters in Smash Bros. remotely resembles this?
The kid’s soccer moves could be similar to that of Yoshi’s egg-tossing attack, except, rather than using his hands or arms (save for throw-ins), the kid could use his feet, legs, knee or head (for headbutts).
While not relatively well known, this little guy has been featured not just on the SNES, but Game Boy Advance and PlayStation, among other consoles.
8 Pete Grey—The Firemen
Nintendo, please add Pete Grey to the Smash Bros. roster. Ever since his debut on the SNES (including its sequel for the Playstation, The Firemen 2: Pete and Danny), Pete’s purpose has been to put out fires through the use of—surprise, surprise—hoses (which could shoot a direct stream or a more proximate spray) as well as fire-extinguishing bombs. Rad!
Water can be dangerous, by the way. Case in point, Starmie’s hella powerful (and incandescently annoying) bubble beam blasts in Smash Bros.
If Pete were in Smash Bros., a player could possibly perform similar moves, maybe even use the fire hose as a whip. Making up attacks isn’t unheard of in the franchise. Just look at Captain Falcon. (F-Zero was a racing series, and the cap’n always stayed behind the wheel, so there were no crazy-powerful punches or kicks, no nothing.)
Like in the SNES and Playstation games, maybe Pete Grey could be accompanied by Daniel McClean who provided backup for Pete. Come to think of it, maybe Danny could hold a ladder for Pete (acting as a unique double jump feature). We would’ve gone with trampoline, but Mr. Game & Watch have dibs on that.
The main character in this SNES game combines two of some of life’s most awesome things: cute opossums and badass knights. That’s right. Sparkster was an opossum knight who combated yellow wolves and robots. Add him in Smash Bros.? Yes, please!
Unfortunately, as was the case in many early games, there were very few things Sparkster could actually do. The opossum knight did, however, have a sword, which is something, and this sword could shoot fire energy bolts, which is definitely something, too. But that was it. Well, kinda. Sparkster was also armed with a rocket pack. While only utilized as a method of flying, albeit for short distances, in Smash Bros., the pack could be weaponized, as are most non-weapon-y things in the franchise.
6 Ardy Lightfoot and Pec—Ardy Lightfoot
The thing that’s so intriguing about the feline-like Ardy Lightfoot in the eponymous SNES game is that he was accompanied by Pec, a blue thingamabob. Their companionship was very similar to that of Sega’s Sonic and Tails (as far as video gaming dynamics go), the difference being that Ardy and Pec’s teamwork was so much more involved (and, you could argue, more abusive).
While Tails, in Sonic 3, could pick up Sonic and carry him around for a short time before tuckering out, panting and all, that was about it. Pec could not only serve as a hot air balloon for Ardy, but also as a rock wall destroyer (like Knuckles) and a weapon. Of course, Pec wasn’t the only way in which a player could attack enemies. Ardy’s tail was like a deadly pogo-stick.
As far as Smash Bros. is concerned, the way in which Ardy and Pec interacted with each other during gameplay could be similar to how Ice Climbers and Mr. Game & Watch work as a team, except much more involved... and therefore a definite asset to the series.
5 Ryu—Breath of Fire
Usually, when a character appears in Smash Bros., a player has full access to his/her abilities. If we’re to follow this pattern, then Ryu, from the SNES franchise Breath of Fire, would be an amazing addition, seeing as he could transform into dragons and drakes (after defeating the test proctor that dwelled in their respective dragon shrines).
When translated into Smash Bros., these “transformations” could be any of the self-proclaimed “Strong” or “SMASH” attacks and could change the look of Ryu momentarily for the duration of said attack, similar to our concept of Firebrand from Gargoyle’s Quest. And, of course, Ryu should be able to wield his sword.
It should be noted, too, that, in addition to Breath of Fire spawning many sequels, Nintendo Power gave it a ranking of 82nd (out of 100) games in 1997 and, in 2006, 161 (out of 200).
4 The Blob—ClayFighter
One of the many, many things that made the Super Nintendo Entertainment System’s ClayFighter so awesome was that the fighters were made out of clay. In other words, you could really mess everyone up... literally.
As far as which fighter should be included in Smash Bros., our original pick would’ve been Bad Mr. Frosty, except Smash Bros. already has snow-based fighters (here’s looking at you Ice Climbers), so our next pick would be the character that’s literally just a blob of clay... the aptly named Blob.
The Blob’s fighting abilities (known as “goojitsu”) were quite versatile back in the day, of which have the potential of being expanded upon in Smash Bros. Goojitsu allowed Blob to morph into various objects when attacking his opponents, his signature transformation being a buzzsaw... which would be great to see in the context of Smash Bros.
Fun fact: ClayFighter was created in direct response to the rapid proliferation and overall popularity of Mortal Kombat as a means to combat (pun intended) the latter’s gratuitous amount of violence, with Interplay promoting ClayFighter as an “alternative title” for concerned parents.
3 Rash and Pimple—Battletoads
What kind of Nintendo franchise, one that primarily features characters from series established on its systems, doesn’t include the radical beat-em-up amphibians from Battletoads, a game introduced on the NES? A lame one!
In Battletoads, the two battling toads you could choose from, Rash or Pimple, were extremely well-versed in melee combat, making them perfect additions to the brotherhood of Smash. What’s more, both characters came with their own special abilities... ones that could also be defined as incredibly unique and entertaining. This means one Battletoad could be a potential starter, and the other, an unlockable character. Since they would have their own attacks, Rash and Pimple wouldn’t just be mere facsimiles of each other, unlike Pit and Dark Pit, both huge letdowns.
Pimple’s idiosyncratic repertoire was spearheaded by his BT Big Hammer. You know, the one where an exaggerated mallet-type weapon would suddenly protrude from his fists, which he then used to pummel his enemies with mercilessly. Then there was Rash’s Big Boot Block where, as the name implies, a massive boot would “grow” out from his webbed foot, complete with spikes.
Sure, some critics made fun of Battletoads as being complete knockoffs of the pizza-lovin’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but it should be noted that Arcade Sushi, in 2013, ranked the SNES’ Battletoads in Battlemaniacs as the fourth best beat ’em up retro game... and they ranked TMNT: Turtles in Time at number 10.
We’re surprised Bomberman hasn’t appeared in Smash. Bros. yet, and, quite frankly, it’s an abomination. (Ha, get it?) But at least it gives us an amazing number-two contender.
This little dude is probably one of the most iconic Nintendo characters (besides Mario and Link), having been featured in over 70 games on a plethora of platforms, which include every single Nintendo console, save for the 3DS and Wii U.
Also worth noting: Bomberman was given Electronic Gaming Monthly’s “Game of the Month” award back in the day.
If you’re a purist and know that Bomberman originally appeared on the MSX, you should also realize that Metal Gear was also an MSX creation (of which Smash Bros. featured in Brawl by introducing Snake).
Without a doubt, the “closest” character we could compare Bomberman to is Link, seeing as one of the Zelda-pursuing hero’s most spammed moves (besides the spinning sword of death dance) is his freakin’ endless supply of bombs. Of course, Bomberman’s bombs would be a little more powerful than Link’s, just by taking into account what Bomberman’s are capable of doing, after going through their pulsation phase, that is: they shoot out flames horizontally and vertically.
Of course, even though Bomberman’s actual “moves” are limited in the regular Nintendo games, for Smash Bros., the creators should take into account the various items Bomberman collected, such as “Accelerator,” whose icon was a roller shoe and, therefore, could involve Bomberman wearing a pair to execute some sort of dash attack; the “Remote Control,” which could let players choose when their bombs exploded by pressing a button; and Boxing Glove (does this need an explanation?).
Having Bomberman would be bomb-er-ifick! Okay. That one wasn’t so good.
1 Simon Belmont—Castlevania
Who could forget Castlevania? You know, the game starring the whip-wielding Simon Belmont, introduced on the Family Computer Disk System. The fact that PC World considers it an NES classic, seeing as Nintendo Power has ranked it as the 22nd best video game and Game Informer as the 48th, and knowing full well that IGN has said Castlevania is their 19th favorite NES game makes it downright egregious that Simon has yet to appear in Smash Bros.
But we’ll forgive you, Nintendo... so long as he becomes a playable character in a future game.
Think about it. Wouldn’t it be fun to literally whip your opponents’ asses with the Vampire Killer (or add some burn to said whipping with the Flame Whip)? How about brandishing the Gold Dagger, which not only stabbed enemies but burned them, too? And don’t forget the pillar-of-flames-creating Sacred Fire!
As we’ve said, Smash Bros. normally features characters from franchises introduced on one of Nintendo’s own systems, and the Family Computer Disk System was one of their first. So where’s Simon at?!
Sources: IGN; Universal Videogame List; Gamasutra; Nintendo Power; Electronic Gaming Monthly; Game Informer; PC World.