Why Piranha Plant? Super Smash Bros. Ultimate creator Masahiro Sakurai reveals his reasons behind including the basic Mario baddie

'If we only had typical hero/heroine type fighters in the lineup... it probably wouldn't be very interesting'

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • November 26, 2018 at 2:38 p.m. PST

The first reaction most people probably had when they saw that Piranha Plant would be joining the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster as a pre-order DLC bonus was, "wait, really?"

It's not that there isn't room for such a character, (the current roster boasts more than 70 characters, includes every playable fighter on every previous Smash roster and has more DLC en route) but with so many other potential choices that would have had fans jumping up and down at their computer screens, one does have to ask why developers made this call.

Piranha Plant certainly isn't a bad call, as it's an iconic baddie from the gaming world's most recognizable franchise and is probably older than the vast majority of the Super Smash Bros. community.

The fact that Piranha Plant is so recognizable was actually a key factor in getting him onto the line up. Series creator Masahiro Sakurai sat down to talk with Game Informer about all things Ultimate, and took a moment to specifically address the Piranha topic.

'[U]nlike some main characters from some (not widely known) franchises, Piranha Plant is a character everyone knows well. And, I want to make sure to remind everyone that it is a limited-time offer fighter everyone can get for free as an early-purchase bonus."

Sakurai actually turns the attention to a few other somewhat "left field" picks that seemed a bit odd upon initial reveal, but have since become household names in the Smash franchise.

"Rather, I believe it’s important to have a good balance as a game. In the past titles in the series, Mr. Game & Watch, R.O.B. and Duck Hunt Dog were some of the examples we offered outside of people’s typical expectations.

"However, if we don’t have these types of fighters, and we only had typical 'hero/heroine' type fighters in the lineup, there’s not much difference. It’s probably not very interesting. Correct?"

There was also a bit of head scratching at the choice to include Piranha Plant as the very last big roster reveal before the game's release. It does seem perhaps more appropriate to bundle him with other combatants that would garner more hype, but Sakurai had something to say about that as well.

"I’m actually not paying too much focus on the surprise element when we introduce a new fighter," he said after being asked about how he approached keeping fans guessing with reveals. "The surprise element quickly fades once the announcement has been made."

We've already been wowed more times than we care to count by Smash Ultimate reveals, and we're still waiting for December 7th to roll around so that we can actually play it. Even with all the incredible content we do know about, we're still looking forward to the series of DLC reveals through 2020.

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