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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s last character should belong to Nintendo

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has been out for around two-and-a-half years now, and in that time players have gotten a whopping 11 new characters to play as. Adding that many characters into the game is a monumental task in itself, but when you consider where they all came from, it’s more impressive. The list of DLC characters for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate covers a mishmash of games and genres, including Joker from Persona 5, Banjo & Kazooie, Minecraft‘s Steve and Alex, and Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – Mr. Sakurai Presents "Kazuya"

With the reveal and addition of Tekken’s Kazuya to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, there’s only one spot left for another fighter. If you’ve talked about the game within the past year, you’ve heard or seen debates over who the next fighter should be. Sora from Kingdom Hearts is a favorite, as was Super Mario RPG‘s Geno until he was revealed as a Mii Fighter costume. Waluigi is, naturally, requested quite often, but would simply be too powerful to go up against the other fighters.

Jokes aside, with one slot left in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate‘s roster, you’re going to see a lot of arguments about who should get that final spot. I don’t have a specific contender, but what I believe is that the game’s list of DLC characters should end how it began, with a Nintendo character.

Sticking to Smash’s roots

If the final Smash character were to be one of Nintendo’s own, that would shut out a majority of the characters that fans are hopeful for, but it’s about time to stop looking toward our own wants and think more about the context behind Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

A majority of the characters added to the game since its release are not from Nintendo-owned titles, and a decent handful of the game’s default fighters aren’t either. Nintendo, or more accurately, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate game director Masahiro Sakurai, has made the game into a veritable video game melting pot. Regardless of how long you’ve been playing or what kind of games you like, you’ll almost definitely find a character you know in Smash. It’s an achievement that the series has seemingly been chasing for over two decades.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Before it was any of that though, Super Smash Bros. was a Nintendo game. It wasn’t somewhere that the newest, hottest characters would show up, or where developers and publishers could advertise their characters (though Nintendo is often guilty of that itself). To give the final slot to a character like Fortnite‘s Jonesy for instance feels like it would be hollow.

Call me old and out of touch, but Jonesy isn’t a beloved, iconic character. He’s not filled with the same history as so many other characters on the game’s roster. A character like Jonesy filling that last spot would scream “sellout” to me, like Nintendo was simply auctioning off spots to the highest bidder. Instead, these characters should resonate with players, make them think of some other gaming experience they had in the past, and leave them in awe that they’re reconnecting with a series or franchise again through Smash.

Honoring a rich history

I couldn’t tell you who I think should fill that last spot on the roster. Nintendo’s library is massive, filled with characters that some people would love to see and others would hate to see. The last character has to be ceremonious, a real tribute to Nintendo and its games, something or someone who captures the company’s essence. Whether that’s Waluigi or Geno, or any number of other Nintendo characters, I can’t say.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is Nintendo’s. It’s not Epic’s, not Square Enix’s, not Microsoft’s. Forget the hype or whatever character you’ve been hoping for, and consider how strange it would be to end a Smash game without another character from the company that started it all.

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Otto Kratky
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Otto Kratky is a freelance writer with many homes. You can find his work at Digital Trends, GameSpot, and Gamepur. If he's…
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