SBox Soapbox: Is the Super Smash Bros. Roster Leak Real?

(Update: This article was made before the release of the leaked gameplay footage on YouTube and the announcement of Shulk on August 29. This is not only out of date, it is incorrect.)


 

Half the fun of a new Super Smash Bros game actually occurs before the game even comes out. In the 2 years since Super Smash Bros for 3DS and Wii U was announced, fans such as you and I have been speculating about the roster. We’ve been arguing, debating, predicting, and hoping for so long now which Nintendo icons will appear in this installment of Smash Bros. Well, the game is mere months away, so now is a good time for leaks like this to hit the web and spread just one more ounce of chaos in the community.

From the people who brought you popular Internet memes and the most notorious incidents on the Internet. 4Chan has supposedly leaked the Super Smash Bros 4 roster.

This picture seems to be of the 3DS version of the game and is said to be captured by an ESRB insider. The roster reveals several veterans of the series (Ness, Ganondorf, Falco, Wario, Jigglypuff, Dark Pit, Mr. Game and Watch, ROB and Dr. Mario) and some unannounced newcomers (Shulk, Bowser Jr, Dark Pit and Duck Hunt Dog). It also insists that the game will have DLC for later release (Lucas, Wolf, Snake, Ice Climbers and Chorus Men).

This leak has caught fire in the past day due to how real it looks. It looks like the real deal and just might be. All characters make sense to exist in the game, and boxes fit seamlessly. People are currently debating, with very sound arguments for it’s legitimacy. This is extremely debatable, but I am here today to give you my thoughts on these images and info.

Is it real? I’m going to say no. But let’s figure this out together.

Game & Watch’s arm

This one was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. I thought this was extremely real at first until I took a closer look. If you look at the top right of the main roster, you will see that Mr. Game & Watch is playable with Wario to his immediate left. Now that’s not the strange part. Notice how Mr. Game & Watch’s hand seems to be hovering over Wario’s slot image. That to me gave it away a bit for me.

You could look at that and think differently, though. Because of the image quality, that could also be a bit of Wario’s jacket in a very unfortunate spot. Personally, I see the hand. That leaves me with 4 theories.

  1. That is a Photoshop or other photo editing software mistake that was overlooked. In the case of Photoshop, they most likely forgot to place the image tab beneath the boundaries of the square, making Game & Watch stand out.
  2. That is indeed just a part of Wario’s jacket coincidentally placed where it can be confused for Game & Watch’s hand.
  3. This is just a bug left in the game itself that Sakurai and Nintendo forgot to fix.
  4. Mr. Game & Watch clearly doesn’t respect other people’s personal boundaries.

That leaves us at a 50/50 scenario. I will admit I could be very wrong about this observation, but I can’t be the only one who sees this. It’s a bit too coincidental.

This can’t be everybody

I know, I know. This game could have 46 characters or 146 characters and people will still complain about how their favorite character didn’t make the cut. I get that. But looking at what was shown, I think there is something off.

The returning veterans I understand- Ganondorf, Ness, etc. They all work. I have a bone to pick though with 2 characters that aren’t here: Ridley and Mewtwo. Bare with me here. This isn’t just me being sour. Personally, I can live with those two not being in the game if it turns out to be true. I’m just looking at Sakurai’s track record, and seeing things not add up.

Let’s start with Ridley. The immediate argument among this very split debate is that Ridley could never have been an option to begin with. I would agree with you on some parts, but let’s rewind back to April. There’s a big Nintendo Direct and tons of information are flying at us. In the middle of the Direct, they discuss stage bosses and particularly point out the Yellow Devil in the Dr. Whily Castle stage. he then states that “There will be other boss appearances”. Along comes an image that is no doubt Ridley’s shadow, and the internet goes crazy.

If Ridley was just a stage hazard in the game, why wouldn’t Sakurai have just spit it out already. I get the concept of trolling, but everything Sakurai says and shows is always so carefully said, and meticulously implemented. In that same Direct, he showed a trophy of a Possessed Pauletina, only for her to be announced 2 months later. In Smash’s debut, Toon Link was in the background of the Spirit Train, only for him to be announced a couple months later. You see the pattern here.

Sakurai always flat-out states what purpose a character serves once they are brought up by name. He doesn;t dance around it. Ridley was not only never discussed by name, but teased with the wording of “appearance” in order to throw people off. Therefore, I deduce that Ridley is playable… or an assist trophy I guess.

Then there is Mewtwo. Mewtwo is a shoe-in for the game, and no one denies it. He’s very popular, and fans have arguably demanded Mewtwo’s presence more than any other character. Sakurai knows dang well that people want Mewtwo in the game. Sakurai has made it a very careful priority to avoid discussion of Mewtwo. And the fact he is holding this information in for so long has to mean something.

This roster does acknowledge the possibility of Melee returns, but we’ll get to that later.

Other design coincidences

The most questionable part of the roster is not just the characters, but also the placement of the characters.

If you notice the selection screen of the past Super Smash Bros games, all of the characters were arranged by franchise. The Mario characters were all grouped together, as were the characters from Fire Emblem, Zelda, Pokemon and so on. That has always been the case, but this image scatter quite a few of them.

Let’s take a closer look.

A good number of characters are out of order. Mario characters are all across the top in this image, but Dr. Mario is all the way toward the bottom. In fact, Game & Watch and Dr. Mario should’ve switched places. Yoshi and Wario are also technically representing their own franchises just as Donkey Kong is. That also makes Yoshi’s placement off since Rosalina and Bowser Jr. are Mario characters.

Dark Pit and Lucina are also out of place with Dr. Mario. I’ve heard theories that the reason those 3 are grouped together is because they’re all clone characters. That would make some sense if not for the fact that Toon Link is seen with the Zelda characters as he should be. Toon Link is a clone, too.

Not only that, the designs of some of the newcomers is a bit fake looking. A quick Google Image search can show the models of characters like Dr. Mario and Ness. Dark Pit himself looks like Pit’s model inverted.

The DLC

DLC is a touchy subject when it comes to Super Smash Bros. It is neither denied or confirmed by Nintendo, and fans seem to have very positive or negative feelings towards DLC. According to this leak, DLC is not only going to be a thing with this game. It is aso going to include some Brawl veterans.

That’s all fine and good, but the choice of DLC characters are fishy. I can buy that Lucas (sadly), Chorrus Men and Wolf are DLC to a certain degree. That’s 2 semi-clones and a newcomer. I don’t buy the Ice Climber and Snake being DLC.

The Ice Climbers are fan favorites and staples of the series. You can argue that the twins are kinda hard to program on 3DS, but that doesn’t explain Olimar or Rosalina being there from the get-go.

As for Snake, he is a third-party character. I doubt that Nintendo would strike a deal with Konami for the rights to Snake, and have him not present in the game from the start. And I can’t even believe that Sakurai and Kojima struck this deal late enough to make him DLC; not when Sonic was announced so early.

Where this all comes from

Imagine you were the leaker. You just got your hands on this information, you take those pictures and you are determined to get this info out to the world. Where would you place such information so that the word can spread and be considered legitimate? I don’t know. How about 4Chan? Because the prank capital of the web is the best possible location for official information to be posted and be expected to have credibility.

I believe there are far better places to post these images. Grant it, I still wouldn’t believe it, but it would be less suspicious on a site like NeoGAF or something. Hell, sending a tip to Gematsu would’ve been one of the best calls.


So, that’s my take on the Super Smash Bro for 3DS leak. Like I said, I could definitely be wrong. I just personally doubt its credibility. I will give whoever made this credit on the detail. At the end of the day, if this really is the roster, would I be happy with it? I’d be a bit disappointed in some respects, but I’d be satisfied.

What do you guys think? Do you think this roster legit or not? Are you satisfied by the characters shown? Let me know, and we can speculate together.

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

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