Here’s a list that will certainly be dated by about two weeks after my posting it, given how Nintendo periodically teases characters and builds hype around this series. I am a big Nintendo homer, buy into the hype with each new release of Super Smash Bros., having owned and played each title in the series since the original on the Nintendo 64. The next entry in the series is set to release this year, with a teaser tournament at this year’s E3 in June.
I don’t play competitively, so I’m not interested in the meta or the balancing, only that there are accessible characters there who represent Nintendo and their consoles as a whole. I have a few ground rules for my list. I’m excluding Splatoon Boy and Girl, since they’ve already been teased. I’m also excluding moveset changes/character re-skins – as a variation on Link from Breath of the Wild has been shown and he may even play differently. Also, all of these are never before seen in Smash, so I’m not including Ice Climbers, Wolf, Pokemon Trainer, and the rest of the bunch who have been there before.
So here’s my list of the Top Ten New Nintendo Characters Who Should be in Super Smash Bros. 5 on Nintendo Switch.
10. Koopa Troopa
First Appearance: Super Mario Bros. (1985)
Just a forewarning: I’m going to have a few Mario characters on the list. The Mario franchise and its offshoots are synonymous with Nintendo, and more from his cast are worthy of inclusion. Smash Bros. is more or less Nintendo’s Unofficial Hall of Fame, so I really think Smash should stick primarily to inclusions from mainline Nintendo titles.
Outside of your regular gamers, people recognize Koopa Troopa even if they don’t know the name. Koopa Troopa is a stalwart in the main Mario series, the Mario sporting titles, Mario Kart, and more. To a creative designer, there will be no shortage of options for a moveset. And Koopa Troopa already has an amiibo, if we’re going to see continued amiibo support. (Actually, several on my list already have amiibo). In my mind, Koopa Troopa would handle much like Squirtle in Brawl, without the water aspect.
9. King K. Rool
First Appearance: Donkey Kong Country (1994)
Something that most would agree on is that Smash Bros. needs more antagonists. Another point that most agree on is that Smash Bros. needs more oversized and/or brawler style characters. I think K. Rool fits both of these criteria, while also being an iconic character in a massive Nintendo hit. You won’t find many fan-made lists without this mainstay antagonist.
K. Rool also has the potential for an entertaining King Dedede-esque moveset, as we’ve seen him go from wielding blunderbusses to boxing to teleporting across screen. I know that I would have a blast meteor smashing people off the stage with the King of the Kremlings.
8. Callie & Marie or Marina & Pearl
First Appearances: Splatoon (2015) and Splatoon 2 (2017)
The Splatoon Girl and Boy shouldn’t be alone. Splatoon, in my opinion, is Nintendo’s best new intellectual property of the last five years (if not for longer) and deserves more character representation than many of the franchises already present. And not only is the Splatoon franchise a massive hit, but Callie and Marie / Marina and Pearl are two sets of characters who are full of personality. They fit the mold of an ideal Smash Bros. character or character duo.
Again, we’ve got amiibo support here already, not that it’s a major factor, as I feel like amiibo figures represent a level of faith in the character from Nintendo. As for moveset, I wouldn’t want them to be clones of the Splatoon Girl or Boy, but instead show something different from a franchise that features dozens and dozens of cool and unique weapons. And they have the possibility of being either singular or double characters, so there’s room for an interesting concept.
7. Any or All of the Champions
First Appearance: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017)
It’s honestly surprising to me that the Legend of Zelda series hasn’t had any new characters since Melee. I mean, you can argue that Toon Link and Young Link are different characters, but really it’s just a re-skin. It’s high time that this flagship franchise gets some new blood in the series. The best selection is one or all of the Champions, who stole the show in Breath of the Wild.
Honestly, the hardest thing with the Legend of Zelda franchise with Smash Bros. isn’t finding someone to include, but picking one from the long list of iconic and memorable characters to grace the adventure series. Midna, Tetra, Skull Kid, Impa, Yuga – the list goes on. While several are worthy, I think the best option is the Champions. The hardest thing for creators would developing four new characters, but I think it’s worth it for fans of the Legend of Zelda series. (Sorry, I only had a portrait of Mipha, of all of the Champions)
6. Dixie Kong or Cranky Kong
First Appearances: Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy Kong’s Quest (1995) and Donkey Kong (1981)/ Donkey Kong Country (1994)
Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong are undoubtedly mainstays to multiple Nintendo games over the years and should be included in every Smash Bros. ever – but they’re the only representatives of a long-lasting and adored franchise. I think that the DK Crew needs to grow by two, with Dixie or Cranky being added along with K.Rool. The best pick in my opinion would be Dixie, though Cranky Kong wouldn’t be a bad choice either.
I would go with Dixie over Cranky since she’s headlined before in Donkey Kong Country 3, where Cranky has never truly been as significant. Also, I feel she has a bit better potential for an interesting and versatile moveset. I would be happy with either, given their continued playable appearances in the DK franchise, which arguably is continuing to improve with Tropical Freeze on the Wii U and later the Switch.
5. Anyone from ARMS
First Appearance: ARMS (2017)
ARMS is one of Nintendo’s newest and most exciting IPs and will almost definitely have a character in Super Smash Bros. 5. I would honestly bet for an inclusion from this franchise over anyone else in this list. And while ARMS has had a bit of a slower start than Splatoon overall, there’s a great following and the characters should fit into the Smash universe without a hiccup.
Who would I choose? Well, you could go with Spring Man and/or Ribbon Girl – to keep the same moveset with different skins (like Wii Fit Trainer) and have the main protagonists. That’s probably the safest and most likely bet. But honestly, they’re a bit vanilla for most fans, so you may see them go with an ‘edgier’ or more interesting selection like Helix or Min Min. Heck, you may even see multiple characters from ARMS in Smash 5.
4. Paper Mario
First Appearance: Paper Mario (2000)
Paper Mario, despite a dip in form over the last few years with Sticker Star and Color Splash, is an interesting franchise that warrants a character inclusion in Super Smash Bros.. And while it’s never been a flagship series, there are a handful of critically-praised and well-loved entries to choose from, featuring a different take on Mario in the limelight.
From his charging hammer to using the catalog of characters available for assist like Bombette or the Shadow Sirens – similar to Pac-Man in Smash 4 – I think you can make a very balanced neutral character, with a similar weight as Mr. Game & Watch. Also, I think that Paper Mario has a very intriguing design, which would translate well to the fighter.
First Appearance: Excitebike (1984)
With the exception of the Excite-Biker, I think one of my main factors in character additions on this list is that there’s some level of continued interest from Nintendo in using these characters currently. That said, I think there’s always an off-the-wall retro character inclusion with each Smash – something I want to see continue. And while we’re not talking Tetris popularity levels, Excitebike was a massive game in the day and actually has a very viable character in the Excite-Biker (unlike the Tetromino designs I’ve seen).
I think the trick with the Excite-Biker is to make him similar to Little Mac, in that he does the majority of his damage close to the ground, and is very quick covering horizontal distance – but I would make Excite-Biker lighter, and with better recovery. As for the moves, I want to see what the creators can come up with. I love playing with the likes of R.O.B., Mr. Game & Watch, and the Duck Hunt duo despite them not being high-tier competitively.
First Appearance: Super Mario Bros. (1985)
I would be willing to wager that Toad has to be the most-represented Nintendo character who isn’t playable in the Smash Bros. Series. He’s probably more represented in Nintendo games than 4/5 of characters already on the roster. Toad is undoubtedly a major Nintendo property, and very recognizable. Peach’s moveset should change, and Toad should no longer be her punching bag. He just got his own popular game a few years back with Treasure Tracker, which is soon to be ported to Nintendo Switch – so there’s definitely interest there in the character from Nintendo.
I think you have a lot of options for a moveset, whether you go the Captain Toad route or you follow a more traditional path, highlighting Toad’s abilities as a supporting character. I’ve always been a fan of Toad, and it makes me a little frustrated knowing he’s left off of the roster, when characters like Snake are included. Nothing against Snake, but Toad and his creators/handlers over the years are more deserving of the representation.
First Appearance: Mario Tennis (2000)
Toad is the most-deserving of entry in Smash Bros. in my opinion, but there’s one character I want to see more, and that’s Waluigi. Sure, he started off as an afterthought doubles partner in Mario Tennis. He’s come under a lot of criticism over the years, but he’s grown to become a character that lots of people enjoy. And that’s something that shouldn’t be forgotten when choosing characters for Smash Bros.
Who doesn’t love Wario’s moveset? Farts and bikes and chomps are all great things to laugh about when sitting around playing the game with friends or family – and I think you can have another character like this with Waluigi. Have him throw Bob-ombs and poison mushrooms and use his Wall-Luigi ability from Super Mario Strikers.
I would like to see Smash 5 be fun – and dial it back with the edgy, stoic characters. Of the ones on my list, 5/10 already have amiibo support and are characters that I feel Nintendo believes in. I think that we’re going to see at least a couple from here if the roster expands, which I hope it does. I hope you liked my list. Look out for my next post, where I will list the Top 10 Non-Nintendo Characters that should be included in Smash Bros. 5.