Masahiro Sakurai was met with dead silence when he told the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate development team that he wanted to bring back every character

'I speak from the depths of my heart when I say it’s a lot of work'

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • June 19, 2018 at 11:51 a.m. PDT

During Nintendo's E3 2018 presentation, they finally gave audiences an information dump about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. While the announcement of fan favorite Metroid character Ridley was indeed a "big deal," the reveal that every single fighter that has been playable in Super Smash Bros. 64, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Super Smash Bros. 4 will be returning was probably the most shocking to fans.

Many were expecting to never see Solid Snake of the Metal Gear series return to Super Smash Bros. as a result of Hideo Kojima's departure from Konami. There were a number of reasons to be skeptical of Vergeben's leaks regarding the return of Snake, the Ice Climbers, every character that appeared in Super Smash Bros. 4 and the new announcement of Ridley. According to rumors, Simon Belmont is apparently also supposed to be joining the roster at some point.

In a way, it's not entirely surprising that Masahiro Sakurai would want to bring back everyone from the series' history into this new game. He has stated before that the roster selection process was "stressful to the brink of death" because he didn't like cutting anyone that fans liked. This new game is sort of cathartic for him.

Masahiro Sakurai has been able to maintain a healthier work schedule this time around. While he previously commented that he was suffering from calcific tendonitis in his right arm during the development of Super Smash Bros. 4, he's only been working 50 hours per week. Notably, Nintendo has reported that Masahiro Sakurai has been in good health ever since.

This isn't to say that Sakurai hasn't been working extremely hard on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. In fact, after the Nintendo Invitational he announced to the crowd that he'd be taking a midnight flight back to Japan so that he could get back to work the very next morning.

Imagine the response from the development team when he first informed them that he wanted to bring back every single fighter in Super Smash Bros. history this time around. The Verge has reported that Masahiro Sakurai was first met with gasps of surprise, then dead silence.

"From where I stood, all I heard was dead silence."
— Masahiro Sakurai.

"From where I stood, all I heard was dead silence," noted Masahiro Sakurai. Even for Sakurai, this goes well beyond "ambition."

As of right now, we know that the roster will consist of Mario, Donkey Kong, Link, Samus, Yoshi, Kirby, Fox, Pikachu, Luigi, Ness, Captain Falcon, Jigglypuff, Princess Peach, Princess Daisy, Bowser, Ice Climbers, Sheik, Zelda, Dr. Mario, Pichu, Falco, Marth, Lucina, Young Link, Ganondorf, Mewtwo, Roy, Mr. Game and Watch, Meta Knight, Pit, Dark Pit, Zero Suit Samus, Wario, Snake, Ike, Pokemon Trainer (consisting of Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard), Diddy Kong, Lucas, Sonic the Hedgehog, King Dedede, Captain Olimar, Lucario, R.O.B., Toon Link, Wolf, Villager, Mega Man, Wii Fit Trainer, Rosalina and Luma, Little Mac, Greninja, Mii Brawler, Mii Swordfighter, Mii Gunner, Palutena, Pac-Man, Robin, Shulk, Bowser Jr., Duck Hunt, Ryu, Cloud, Corrin, Bayonetta, Inkling, and Ridley.

That's a total of 68 combatants. While Masahiro Sakurai stated that bringing back every fighter was their number one priority and that he was hoping we weren't expecting too many newcomers to join the fight, it's highly likely that there are at least a few more surprises that are still to come.

Vergeben recently commented that there are supposedly "at least a half dozen characters still to be revealed." A number of these combatants could be Echo Fighters like Daisy, Lucina, and Dark Pit.

"I speak from the depths of my heart when I say it’s a lot of work."
— Masahiro Sakurai.

Not only did Sakurai want to bring everyone back, but he also wanted to adjust every single fighter in order to speed up the game. Nintendo recently revealed that they believe that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate isn't just a port as all the fighters are being rebalanced.

It's rare to see someone so ambitious able to reach their goals to the degree that Masahiro Sakurai has been able to. This doesn't necessarily mean it hasn't been a ton of work for him.

"I speak from the depths of my heart when I say it’s a lot of work," stated Sakurai. Characters like Link and Mario are also receiving updates based on their recent adventures in Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey respectively.

Despite all that Masahiro Sakurai has accomplished, he always appears to be pushing himself to do more and is never completely satisfied with the outcome. This is apparently the main driving force behind the man.

"I don’t think I’ve ever made something that I’m totally satisfied with," he said. "That feeling of doubt, or wanting to do more, is my engine to move forward and make the next iteration."

Luckily though, it appears that his studio, Sora, is working with Bandai Namco just like with Super Smash Bros. 4. Supposedly, the staff working on the game is largely the same this time around.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be releasing on December 7, 2018 for the Nintendo Switch.

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