All The Super Smash Bros. Characters Were Decided Upon Early In Development

By Robert Ward . June 10, 2014 . 8:17pm

Greninja, from Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, is one of the playable characters in the new Super Smash Bros. During a Q&A session at E3 this evening, Siliconera asked Sakurai at what point the character was chosen to be included in the game.


All of the characters for the new Super Smash Bros. were chosen at the start of development, Sakurai replied, and that includes Pac-Man, who was revealed as a playable fighter earlier today.


Picking up on what we were getting at, Sakurai explained that the development team wasn’t waiting to pull something out of Pokémon X and Pokémon Y—there was an open slot for a Pokémon, and the team began discussing who to put in it. Eventually, after a conversation among the various staff, they settled upon Greninja.


All the reference material they had for Greninja were drawings at that point, Sakurai revealed. Upon obtaining the explanation for Greninja—presumably from Game Freak—Sakurai went home that same day with the reference material and stayed up until midnight to do the motion capture for the character.


So, Sakurai concluded, Greninja’s inclusion had nothing to do with popularity.

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  • AuraGuyChris

    That’s a real shocker.

    Now please get rid of the overly popular Mega Charizard X and give us the Y version.

    • Reki Honoo

      Or include the Y version as well.

    • 하세요

      Nah, you get some Charizard X here.
      And in Origins.
      And in Mega Stone series.
      And in OR / AS.
      And I’m sure Ash will get one.

      Because blue flames are the new dubstep, amirite?

    • Koibito888

      Do you dislike X for some reason?

      • NintendoPSXTheSecond

        He’s used for the Mega Evolution Special, shown in Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, paraded by GameFreak. At least give Y a chance.

        • Koibito888

          Well the reason is that he looks cooler. I mean it’s barely even based on Charizard popularity anymore.

          X is a black dragon with blue flames.

          Y is pretty much just Chaizard with some spikes and is still flying type which is barely a type in the first place.

          I mean I agree that Y should also be included as well as perhaps some form of attack since customization is a thing. Heck, it could even be a costume since some costumes are model changes now but to say get rid of X is just preposterous with how cool it is. The only reason I could see anyone specifically hating X is because of hype but hype is not a valid reason to dislike something.

          • God

            They said every special had 3 versions, maybe Final Smashes do too?

          • Koibito888

            I doubt it but that would be freaking amazing.

          • 하세요

            Nah, it’s pretty obvious that a Final Smash is a Final Smash. Plus, they would’ve said “This is one of Charizard’s Final Smashes.”

            No need for giving some false hope, lol. It may suck, but it’s an obvious smart choice for popularity.

          • God

            Yeah sure, beacuse:
            a) Companies NEVER lie.
            b) There is a 0% chance of a slight mistranslation.

          • TalesOtaku21

            X is to appeal to the demand of genwunners who were whiny how their favorite fire lizard wasn’t an official dragon. Also, X is considerably preferred due to its ridiculous Tough Claws ability, access to D-Dance, and its new dragon typing which lowers its weakness to rocks. Even still, while I don’t hate Char X, lots of people (myself included) are getting sick of seeing it everywhere. Pretty much everywhere they promote Megas, even trailers for ORAS, Char X sneaks his way in there. It’s almost as if GameFreak is shoving what fans begged for down their throats until they don’t want it anymore.

            I’m happy they made Charizard usable. I’m happy megas made a lot of Pokemon usable because it makes for variety in the meta game (except like, Mewtwo, it really didn’t need any boosts, but hey, movies!). But honestly, there are over 700 other Pokemon in the dex. Seeing the same Charizard X over and over again in every promotion, advertisement, and episode relating to Mega Evolutions is really annoying. Char Y and the other megas besides maybe Mewtwo and Lucario, the other two husbando mons, don’t get nearly the attention they deserve. It’s not hype, it’s overuse.

            Char X makes more sense for Smash because it’s more proficient for hand to hand battling, while Char Y is meant to be speedy and more special attacking (hilariously its speed doesn’t change at all when it mega evolves into Y…).

            It would have been cool if they incorporated Greninja’s Protean ability somehow. It’s least good to know that they got creative with Greninja and are avoiding clones.

            Edit; Flying type, barely a type? Hello; my name is Talonflame. Please meet my priority Brave Bird. =)

          • Koibito888

            Okay first off wanting Charizard to be a dragon makes you a genwunner? Because that is definitely not the definition of a genwunner, many people who like all gens of Pokemon wanted Charizard to do a dragon thing.

            And while those things are there with the competitive game, the hype very much more comes from the appearance and those that care about that more. If Charizard X looked dumb or super ugly but was still competitively good then the hype would not be there or at least nowhere near as much. It looks awesome.

            Also you’re very much exaggerating everything Charizard X shows up in. He’s showed up only once in a special of the anime, once in origins, and smash bros. As for ORAS there have been little to none in trailers and none at all in magazines or other scans, it’s all been about the starters and Diancie (or however you spell it) the card game and game obviously don’t count as he is a Pokemon but as far as outer media, no it hasn’t been that much. Yes he’s popular but he has not been shoved down anyone’s throats by the outer media he’s in, only by it’s fans.

      • AuraGuyChris

        Y is non-existent compared to the evil black dragon of dark death.

        • Koibito888

          Only in offshoot media Y is still a valid Pokemon that exists and is in Pokemon things that matter so one can still appreciate it fully. I mean it was bound to happen, X is so much better so it’s the one that gets the hype. And again, who knows, it could also be in Smash with the ideas posted below.

          Also given that X was picked (if it is the only one in there) it’s not because of popularity as stated, which means it was just the cooler one. That’s no reason to not want X around.

        • Kevin

          Y is by far more common in game due to it’s utility, I am more thrown off when a X makes an appearance in battle. X gets more media coverage but that’s the limit to what I’ve seen. It only really seems like X makes better marketing material than Y, just let ’em shine where they do.

    • Dexterino

      Too late. LOL

    • Salvador Sandoval

      Its because he is black, isn’t he?

    • Kroz

      X gonna give it to ya

      • you made my day xD

      • Linhua

        … you made our day. XD

      • Gigaknight

        What these two said.

      • ShawnOtakuSomething

        won the internet…..congrats

    • k.b.a.

      Whatevs I want some x/y mewtwo. Charizard Is whackballs with tiny arms. Not even a dragon…

  • Kornelious

    Huh, so that means they KNOW if they are gonna add Shulk and Robin/Lucina to the game…they’re just keeping it a secret….HOW LONG WILL YOU KEEP US WAITING NINTENDO!?

    But hey, save the best for last, right…….RIGHT! >:(

    • 하세요

      But they already announced Rosalina. Eh? See what I did there? No? Okay.

      • Kornelious

        I got it, lol :P
        Glad to know that you got the character you wanted though :)

    • God

      What scares me the most is the lack of Captain Falcon…

    • Malon

      Oh my god how did you know for Robin and Lucina?!

      • Kornelious

        Genuine Intuition and the power of believing in myself my friend:D

        Seriously though I just though it would be more unique with Robin’s cool Sword and Tome skills and Lucina being another female character (Plus being the most popular FEA female character) versus Chrom being….well, Chrom (Not a bad thing but not much innovation, Though he would still be cool)…..

        Though mostly because I hitched the two in FEA, RobinXLucina FOREVER! :D……..(Ahem) But you get the point :P

  • Tails the Foxhound

    So much for the argument that they chose Greninja because he’s popular. No one else had a chance since no other Kalos Pokémon is as classically (or generically) cool as he is.

    • subsamuel01

      I swear like 90% of people who played X and Y chose him as their starter. It has the be because of popularity or Mewtwo could have been a viable option.

      • Tails the Foxhound

        Almost everyone I know chose Fennekin. I must be in a weird pocket of the country or something because almost everyone I know chose Pokémon Y over X too.

  • Namuro

    Well, I’m glad Greninja made the cut!

  • Go2hell66

    Someone leaked the entire roster a couple months ago and its been 100% accurate

    Which mean Shulk from Xenoblade will probably get announced at some point

    • Andrés Ortiz Ozeta


      • Go2hell66
      • British_Otaku

        June 2013:

        This isn’t the rumor thread, but this tipster apparently made the claim a week before that Mega Man, Animal Crossing Villager, Wii Fit Trainer, Little Mac, Pac-Man, and your Mii would be playable. As of now, a whole year later this is all true.

        April 2014:

        He sent in more tips to Gematsu, this time being recognised a newsworthy article with a mark “Rumor” just in case, he sent the hint just before the Smash Bros Nintendo Direct.

        The characters were Shulk from Xenoblade, Palutena from Kid Icarus, Chrom from FE:A, Chorus Men from Rhythm Heaven and an oddly vague “Pokemon from Pokemon X and Y”.

        Only Greninja from X or Y made it for that direct in the list from what I remember, but Palutena, Miis and Pacman were shown off at E3 this year.

        It looks like they really chose who they wanted and didn’t want a long time ago.

  • Seth Rich

    Guess that means I can give up on the idea that the Ice Climbers will make it in. I was only okay at playing as them, but they were my favorites nonetheless. They’re just adorable.

    • Aisha Lee

      Don’t say that. Your gonna make my cry.

      • Seth Rich

        There’s always the DLC bet. I don’t think they’ve ever said their not going to do something like that. Nintendo needs someway to combat the hate mail they’ll inevitably receive for who they might exclude.

        • Aisha Lee

          Well there is some time before the game is release. I’m sure they will coming back. I mean they’re the only ones representing their series.

    • Michael Cortorreal

      i think they can make it, I mean, they are part of nintendo :3 Along with Ness and C. Falcon those three for me, need to return.

  • powerlessbump

    “…and stayed up until midnight to do the motion capture for the character.”

    Sakurai confirmed for being a ninja.

  • Juan Andrés Valencia

    I’m still missing Captain Falcon, Ness, Mr. Game & Watch and Snake. I hope at least two of those make the cut.

    • Herok♞

      Mr.Game & Watch is in and Captain Falcon and Ness have always been unlockables

      • Johnathan Lenig-Lopez

        When was Mr G&W confirmed?

        • Andrés Ortiz Ozeta

          earlier, along with Pac-Man

    • TempestTwin

      Doubt snake will make a return considering MGS 5 will not be on the wii U at this stage.

      • Tails the Foxhound

        Metal Gear Solid 4 also wasn’t on Wii, nor were Metal Gear Acid 1+2 or Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker on DS.

        • TempestTwin

          Exactly, which is proving my point even further. Why would sakurai want to advertise a series that isnt on Nintendo platforms anymore? Would be a fools decision.

          • Tails the Foxhound

            Because to Sakurai it’s not about advertising, why else would we have “bad” “characters” like Wii Fail Trainer, Villager, and Mii? Besides all that, Snake was done as a favor to a friend more than anything else.

          • TempestTwin

            Wii fit trainer advertises Wii fit? And villager advertises Animal crossing, which if you haven’t noticed, is one of Nintendo’s best selling franchises on the 3DS? Not to mention both villager and mii have been requested by many people for awhile now. I don’t think a favor to kojima matters any more, since he had his chance, snake was put in for 1 installment but it doesn’t mean his existence will matter much for future installments of the series.

          • Shon Burch

            By that logic, all characters involved are simply advertisements for their respective games. And at any rate, Snake has had history with Nintendo, as the very first Metal Gear games were for the NES. He’s not entirely out of place in the roster.

          • TempestTwin

            Yes? Wouldn’t Nintendo like to advertise their games on their platforms, instead of advertising games that are on other platforms? I know Metal gear games were originally for the NES, but are they on Nintendo Platforms now? No. Snake wasn’t even requested by fans to be put in.

          • TalesOtaku21

            ‘Bad’? I wouldn’t call them bad at all. Just because you dislike them doesn’t make them bad characters at all. The Wii Fit training looks unique, the Villager looks fun as hell and the Miis have a very interesting concept.

            Regardless, it’s not about advertising, correct…it’s mostly contractual agreements to encourage players to buy the game with incentives.

          • Tails the Foxhound

            They’re not bad characters because I don’t like them, they’re bad characters because they’re not “characters”, they’re avatars at best and boring/generic as hell to look at. When I think of playing Smash I want to play as the important characters from my favorite franchises across Nintendo’s history, not the random faceless avatar from only a handful of the modes of Wii Fit, not the random village boy (especially when they have so many unique actual named villagers), or stupid Miis. They’re bad because they’re insignificant. But you’re right, I do also dislike them, very very much.

    • TalesOtaku21

      I don’t see Snake happening. He already looked oddly out of place in Brawl. Plus, I have a feeling the roster is already done. I’m hoping there are still more characters for reveal, especially since the game was pushed back to October.

      Game and Watch was in Pacman’s trailer but wasn’t officially announced yet. Falcon seems irrelevant now and we already have Little Mac who is better in every way. Ness and Lucas, I dunno, maybe…I’d rather some tanky characters over more mages though.

      • Norman Fong Ochoa

        Well, I agree in most what you said, but since Samurai Goroh is confirmed as an assist trophy, it’s safe to beat Falcon will appear. But only Sakurai knows.

  • Tatsumaki_lp

    So….. what about Lucas and Ness?

  • JustJam

    More like ‘popularity potential’. Even the staff liked Greninja so much so they decided to put that in.

  • Johnathan Lenig-Lopez

    I always thought it was as a foil to Charizard. Fire vs Water, Aggressive vs Focused, Gen 1 vs Gen 6, etc.

  • MrJechgo

    Really hope they didn’t remove iconic characters like Ness and Captain Falcon. Seriously, would it kill them to make them regular, like they were in Melee?

    • I won’t worry about those two (plus Jigglypuff).

      They’ve been around since the 1st game, and never had any presentation as they are hidden characters.

      • MrJechgo

        Jigglypuff never has been a favorite of mine… couldn’t care less if she doesn’t return…

        • Shon Burch

          That’s nice that you don’t care, but since I’m a huge fan of Jigglypuff and have handed butts back to people talking smack about the ‘puff for about 15 years now, I could care a lot more if she does return.

          • MrJechgo

            I know some people like Jigglypuff… but I just couldn’t tolerate her (yes, it’s a she).
            1) Not a popular Pokémon, be in-game, or out of the game, compared to Pikachu (mascot), Mewtwo (bad guy), Charizard/Ivysaur/Squirtle (starters), Greninja (starter) or Lucario (first revealed Gen 4 Pokémon, plus movie mascot)

            2) Many of her normal moves are Kirby’s moves, until Kirby got a few new ones in Melee… but even still, Jigglypyff never got new moves.

            3) Her specials are hit or miss, especially Sing, which isn’t a 3rd jump, has barely any range and barely an effect; Peach’s Final Smash and Bellossom had better sleep effects.

            4) Her Final Smash is a joke: Hyper Voice should have been selected, and it should have been much faster.

            5) She’s one of the lightest, if not the lightest character.

            6) Shield Break = KO… I tested it out in a stage with solid platforms and Jigglypuff hovers for a good 5 seconds before going back down. She’s weak to shield breaking for… no reason, be Marth’s special or a Paper Fan.

            Look, I’m sure that her absence would enrage some people… but not me. Just sayin’

  • Bobby Jennings

    They need to remove these clones of characters and add some true ones.

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