Sakurai explains how Pokemon characters are chosen for Super Smash Bros. - not enough time to bring back entire Smash roster for Wii / 3DS

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • June 19, 2013 at 1:08 p.m. PDT
Sakurai explains how Pokemon characters are chosen for Super Smash Bros. - not enough time to bring back entire Smash roster for Wii / 3DS With over 600 different monsters in the Pokemon franchise, it is a wonder how Nintendo chooses which creatures become playable in the Super Smash Bros. series. Smash creator Masahiro Sakurai discussed this with NowGamer and gave us a look at the thought process behind how these decisions are made.

Sakurai explains that when choosing Pokemon for Super Smash Bros. games, the company analyzes such factors as which of them are currently in movies, what makes each one unique and more.

Below is what Masahiro said on the matter.

Well first of all, we talk with the Pokemon company. What’s the hot Pokemon? What Pokemon are in the movies right now? And really do a lot of research on that front.

For example, X and Y are coming out – of course, we haven’t done any market research because they’re not out yet, but we look at the animated series or movies and anything like that and again, find out which ones are going to be central to any of conversations in Pokemon going forward.

But it’s not just that – going back to just what we talked about, what’s unique about them? Where do they fit in with the rest of everything else? What do they have? It’s a combination of those things.

Hit the jump to read on.

Sakurai also talked on the subject of bringing back all characters from the previous Smash installments. He states that there simply isn't enough time to recreate each character for the Wii U / 3DS games and that Nintendo will be putting as many fighters on the roster as possible.

I can answer that: no. We don’t have the time to fully recreate every single character who’s been in Smash Bros at this point.

Adding new characters is not a simple addition – it’s really multiplication. The amount of work, adding a character is multiplied and becomes bigger and bigger as you go. We can’t because of the amount of work it takes. However, I do believe I understand that each character has its own set of fans out there who really like that character.

So we’re not going to cut characters out of the way, we’re going to put in as many characters as we can, we really want to do that, because it's good for the fans and good for all of us. But in the event that we do have to cut some characters, I’d like to apologize in advance to those fans.

Via NowGamer and Nintendo Everything. Tip by Majin Tenshinhan.


ScrubStep said on June 19, 2013 at 1:13 p.m.

They should take into account *slightly* more on which are immortalized and less on what's "in" or "hip" at the moment. I think most people agree that Pichu and Lucario were bad picks.

KatzuyaSagara said on June 19, 2013 at 1:14 p.m.

So...The New Pokémon Character is representing the 6th Generation...Calling on Mewtwo's new Forme

Phynx said on June 19, 2013 at 1:15 p.m.

Pichu was my favorite.

Yousend said on June 19, 2013 at 1:15 p.m.

I know they can't really do it for Mario and Luigi, but I really wish they would put clones as the same character but just as a different color. That way they only have to deal with animations, rather than a whole new move set.

Solgryn said on June 19, 2013 at 1:15 p.m.

I'll be happy if they cut out all the clones such as falco/wolf/lucas and so on.

I'll be really happy if the new pokémon character is mewtwo with his new form as a zelda/sheik mechanic :D

illness690 said on June 19, 2013 at 1:15 p.m.

(This user was banned.)

DevilMaySpy said on June 19, 2013 at 1:16 p.m.

Sakurai: Bring back the whole roster? Ain't Nobody Got Time for Dat

ChunLi said on June 19, 2013 at 1:16 p.m.

A unique roster is better than a roster of half of them being clones, I'm sure this game's roster will be fun.

ChunLi said on June 19, 2013 at 1:19 p.m.


I personally loved Lucario's inclusion, the only thing bad about him was his Double Team "counter" move, but as a character he was really unique and an excellent replacement of Melee's Mewtwo.

Techits said on June 19, 2013 at 1:19 p.m.

I always thought it would be cool if Nintendo did a pokemon fighting game similar to smash.

ScrubStep said on June 19, 2013 at 1:22 p.m.

Im all for different moves sets and all, but Wolf for example is so completly different from Fox, im not sure what you guys consider the "line" for being unique enough to warrant entry.

Ultim87 said on June 19, 2013 at 1:24 p.m.

@1 Actually, to this day Lucario's highly popular; even a 5th Gen Pokemon designed to replace Lucario's been overshadowed by the original. Luke was a good choice then and is still one now.

Chrisuchiwa said on June 19, 2013 at 1:25 p.m.

Right way to move. Only take the best to make a good game!

Sanox said on June 19, 2013 at 1:27 p.m.

should be the new form of mewtwo

Batmang said on June 19, 2013 at 1:40 p.m.

I just hope this doesn't mean that they're putting in a fairy type >_>

hazelnut1112 said on June 19, 2013 at 1:43 p.m.

Well, hopefully they don't cut Mr. Game and Watch, he has been my main since ever. Jigglypuff and Pikachu are pretty much confirmed since they are staple veterans since the first smash, it would be a crime to cut them form the roster. I'm thinking it's going to be Meowth and a current X and Y or Black and White Pokemon.

gtfopanda said on June 19, 2013 at 1:45 p.m.

New Mewtwo form seems a lock for this, hope he makes it.

Gotomaster said on June 19, 2013 at 1:47 p.m.

Mewtwo, and he can transform into his new form, like Zelda could into Sheik.

TheTHCGamer said on June 19, 2013 at 1:47 p.m.

No need to apologize Sakurai out of all the fighting game franchises ive ever played no matter what ive always been pleased Smash Bros rosters. A big debate about Smash Bros has always been about its roster but Sakurai has always done a great job with every Smash Bros release. There are always favorite and new characters added to the cast that are unique while still really fun to play.

No matter what your going to get people complaining about the roster this is part of the fighting game community it happens with almost every fighting game sequel. Like I said ill be fine with whatever the roster we get because we've gotten a great roster every time. Once again expect some delays this is after now nintendos flag ship title and these games take a lot more work than some people would like to believe.

Only thing im worried about is that netcode make sure you make it amazing smash bros deserves it.

Hypermarth said on June 19, 2013 at 2:10 p.m.

As long as Marth is in the new one I am A-OK

roknin said on June 19, 2013 at 2:20 p.m.

@1 - NO.

Lucario was a great pick and you should be banned for saying otherwise. >.<

...okay maybe not banned.

I'd say the argument is more that Lucario replacing Mewtwo was kind of a mis-step, but then what do you do? Having both just creates another clone scenario.

tktktk43 said on June 19, 2013 at 2:23 p.m.

This is why we didn't need wii fit trainer. Like I stated before, character slots are limited.

Buckmoth said on June 19, 2013 at 2:24 p.m.

I love you

PepeCojones said on June 19, 2013 at 2:24 p.m.

mewtow needs to come back, new pokemon are trash anyways.

ScrubStep said on June 19, 2013 at 2:25 p.m.

@21 I dont wanna start another argument, but ill just ask one simple question. If you poll any demographic of pokemon fans about their favorite pokemon, Mewtwo will be top 5 every time, and Lucario will not be in top 50. Do you deny this?

roknin said on June 19, 2013 at 2:26 p.m.

Eh I disagree completely. We need some off-the-wall picks like Wii-Fit Trainer. Something completely unpredictable that no one suspected. If you just go with the usual picks or what's popular, it can get kinda' stale.

Being able to zig when everyone expects a zag when choosing a roster, and still have everyone surprised? Plus in my book.

ScrubStep said on June 19, 2013 at 2:28 p.m.

Even if said "off the wall pick" is directly replacing a well known favorite? Imagine if they replace Yoshi with Birdo or something.

roknin said on June 19, 2013 at 2:28 p.m.

@21 - You took that a little too seriously my dude. :-p

I don't disagree, I think Lucario replacing Mewtwo was a mistake seeing as Mewtwo is the more popular, more known and more recognized PKMN. But they did and at that point they couldn't really have them both.

From a PERSONAL standpoint, I love Lucario. >__>


"Even if said "off the wall pick" is directly replacing a well known favorite?"

The problem with that in every roster in the history of games, is that people not involved in creating said game (me included obviously) assume that the new character was taking someone's place. That's not always the case.

Like say for example, Lucas doesn't come back. Was it because they added someone that took up a roster spot? Or because they didn't plan to bring him back in the first place? Could be both. Might be neither.

Kijui said on June 19, 2013 at 2:41 p.m.

As long as Dedede is in, I have no qualms. Also this whole "clones" thing is really inept. I don't think any character plays similarly. In Melee, Falco jumps higher than Fox, but Fox's specials go farther and his speed is super OMGWTFBBQ fast. Roy had fire, Pichu injured himself but his fully-charged Skull Bash had amazing knockback for a light character, Dr. Mario was electric-based, Young Link's special properties were vastly different and Ganondorf was stronger and slower. If you want to look at how clones can become unique, look at how Brawl dealt with character additions.

Luigi has to be the most changed character in the game. He will more or less reflect his Luigi's Mansion version but has done rather well for himself. I think in the Nintendo universe, there are two Luigis. The one that appears in the Smash series is the one we see in the Mario & Luigi RPGs. His more serious demeanor is seen in the Mario Party and other Mario Sports. You could say that as of Mario Party 1 and SSB that Luigi was split into two forms. All the other characters act as they would in their games.
With an exception to Peach and Bowser. Peach is a lot more... Daisy-ish... in Smash, while up until SSB4, Bowser's father was participating

Von_Kunlun_BOOF said on June 19, 2013 at 3:17 p.m.

Crossing my fingers for Zoroark as the 5th Gen Pokemon.

He was just as popular as Lucario was when DPP was around.

He'd be an interesting touch too with his illusion powers.

yomaaaahval said on June 19, 2013 at 3:28 p.m.

i'd be happy if they ran it back to the 1st gen starters

GreenDragon said on June 19, 2013 at 3:41 p.m.

Shiek or no buy I want my ninja girl.

Syirine said on June 19, 2013 at 3:48 p.m.

3ds version slowing things down huh?

analogos said on June 19, 2013 at 3:52 p.m.

i'm not particularly invested or interested in familiar picks merely for the sake of familiarity (or popularity). replacing yoshi with birdo would be amazing. lucario and R.O.B. were maybe my favorite characters in brawl.

roknin said on June 19, 2013 at 4:18 p.m.

@34 - Personally I hope ROB comes back. He was a WTF pick at first, but now he's one of my favorites to play. They gave that thing TONS of personality that I just did not expect.

Apparently a lot of people hate his inclusion though. :-(

ChipsLight said on June 19, 2013 at 4:43 p.m.

The only think I hope about the roster is the possibilities of DLC Chara. If they do it, hope it'll be free/cheap.

Chaos15 said on June 19, 2013 at 4:46 p.m.

I just want Jigglypuff back.

Dan_CiTi said on June 19, 2013 at 5:05 p.m.

I hope they bring back Pokemon Trainer and make all of those characters better (Charizard wasn't so good) and have a Pokemon Rival (in the form of Blue AKA Gary to oppose Red) and have have 3 very unique pokemon like Nidoking or Rhyhorn, Alakazam or Exeggutor, Pidgeot, a form of Eevee, Machamp, etc. anything that isn't one of the types that the Pokemon Trainer already has.

I like Lucario a lot, and I hope they find a good replacement.

ArkticDark said on June 19, 2013 at 5:26 p.m.

I want a Pokemon Master character instead of just a pkmn Trainer. Pkmn Master's 3 pokemon should be Lucario, MewThree, and Zoroark.

ArkticDark said on June 19, 2013 at 5:29 p.m.

Also they should take Pikachu out and take Trainer out and replace them both with Ash Ketchum whose 3 pokemon will be Pikachu, Charizard and Heracross. And they can even add in a 3rd X,Y trainer with the 3 new starters if they need to.

ArkticDark said on June 19, 2013 at 5:33 p.m.

Also Jiggly Puff should be tossed In The Trash!

okay said on June 19, 2013 at 6:10 p.m.

All of the original Smash Bros characters should return. This includes Purin. Purin is the best Pokemon in Melee and Project M.

BoscaBat said on June 19, 2013 at 6:26 p.m.

Nice to see a lot of pokemon fans on here. I honestly wish they'd use Blaziken it's perfect for the game.

illness690 said on June 19, 2013 at 6:31 p.m.

(This user was banned.)

emc said on June 19, 2013 at 8:11 p.m.

i think if we've seen pikachu and jiggly 3 times in a row it's safe to say that jiggly will be in 4 as well. I'm hoping they keep the lucario style character but turn him back into mewto as many people are saying, that would be cool. I thought pkmn trainer was pretty cool idea but I thought the whole having no down B was kinda bad, here's hoping that if they do add in a new trainer, that they give you a down B but when you die your pkmn changes to the next one.

gtrejo1 said on June 19, 2013 at 8:21 p.m.

i think 35 characters would be kool 30 old and 5 new plus 5 new dlc characters and dlc skins for mario and others for example doctor mario dlc skin toon link dls skin kirby yarn dlc skin and pikachu dress as wallord dlc skin LoL we could have Mewtwo and the New Form if Nintendo would do dlc skins they really need to step they dlc game up and if the game sells and they feel like it hell even add 3 old characters fan voted as dlc but for a good price ;)

Marill said on June 19, 2013 at 9:12 p.m.

Getting rid of Jigglypuff now would be a shame since now she's classified as a new Fairy type in the games and could be incredibly different.

DCarvel said on June 19, 2013 at 9:44 p.m.

Darkrai anyone?

Reiji said on June 19, 2013 at 9:45 p.m.

Speaking of Jigglypuff, replace her Up + B move with something like a new Fairy-type move and make her Final Smash her Sing move but something like Peach's without the peaches to heal. I also would like Doubleslap, Hyper Voice, Double-Edge or some other different types or TMs moves in her physical moves.

Her aerial fighting style is my main all the way in all 3 games so far.

"not enough time"...I guess that does mean somebody or more character ARE getting axe out of the roster in the next Smash games.

AkumaMishima said on June 19, 2013 at 10:12 p.m.

tl;dr version: Bye Lucario, hello again Mewtwo, hope you like the newer pokemon.

FoxHound24 said on June 19, 2013 at 11:42 p.m.

NOOOOO Please oh PLEASE don't take Ganon and Luigi away! Ganon's ground up tilt, ground side tilt (What I call THE REJECTION KICK!), side B and air down a were all soo awesome moves! Luigi on the other hand I just liked his up b, side b and his judo chops.(air side a and ground side smash) Please! I know Peach and Zero suit will be back, but don't take them away! (I also Liked R.O.B. and Wario, but Idk if they'll be back...)

theshredder39 said on June 19, 2013 at 11:52 p.m.

Well this explains quite a bit actually. Mewtwo and Pichu appearing in Melee made sense because the third Pokemon movie was coming out at the time and the first movie granted Mewtwo a huge amount of fans, then we got Brawl with Lucario and his movie coming out around that time as well.

As someone who's really only played five games in the Pokemon series, I do like to see which ones make it to Smash Bros games because I like the idea of Pokemon given full move sets for something like this rather than 4 attacks in an RPG, plus I always generally liked the idea of playing as the Pokemon themselves rather than the trainers however I loved the concept of the Pokemon trainer in Smash Bros. Brawl, that's a neat concept that I'd personally like to see come back but instead of 3 gen 1 Pokemon it would be one Pokemon from gen 1, one from gen 2 and one from gen 3.

On the subject on returning characters, I think it went without saying that some may not return especially with Toon Link being put in the background of one of the stages however we could at least probably expect the original 12 from the first game because they all came back for Melee and Brawl so why break the pace now?

In terms of new characters, all I ask are for another Pokemon trainer and/or at least one more F-Zero and/or Metroid rep because Metroid and F-Zero are the only two franchises in Smash that only had one rep for all three games and no Zero Suit Samus doesn't count however I did appreciate her inclusion.

Gemakai said on June 20, 2013 at 6:46 a.m.

I would like the following to return/join:
Snake (a fleeting hope I feel) or Sonic (has a better chance)
Ness or Lucas (just some Mother representation)
Fire Emblem Rep (personally prefer Lyndis but it can be just Marth if it's that much a tight scehdule)
Little Mac
Geno (REALLY unlikely I know)

And that's my wish list, most of the others are practically guaranteed.

lordrockman said on June 20, 2013 at 7:10 a.m.

i loved lucario and i hope zoroark or zorua are his replacement!! mewtwo already had his chance even with a new formehe is still MewTwo!!!

Yarott said on June 20, 2013 at 9:46 a.m.

King Dedede should return! And I don't think that many people will miss Meta Knight, if he's removed. I also hope for Diddy Kong to stay, since he's pretty cool! ZSS getting removed might also be alright for some, but I don't think that many will see her normal form's Final Smash in the same way ever again. As for Pokemon Trainer, he should be the new staple, along with Pikachu and Jigglypuff, with only one spot vacant for whoever other Pokemon is popular at the time. Hopefully, this time, it will be Mewtwo with his new forme as a transformation mechanic (either like Samus/ZSS or a Zelda/Sheik variant)!

But like many before me, they should get rid of the clone characters. And if they keep some, they should revamp their movesets entirely. Especially so for Ganondorf and Falco (and the Landmaster bit, in the case of ALL Star Fox characters). Also, the Ice Climbers, but I don't know if that many people like them. I know I do, even if they are the hardest to master for competitive play!

flavoredsour said on June 20, 2013 at 1:07 p.m.

"blablablabla money blablablabla money blablabla money"


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