Sakurai discusses the creation process behind Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's enticing character reveal trailers

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • July 11, 2019 at 5:50 p.m. PDT

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has a long list of boast-worthy successes already under its belt, and some that may not come to mind as quickly as others have to be the incredibly creative and captivating character reveal trailers.

In a recent column with Famitsu, Smash creator Masahiro Sakurai spoke on the process of creating these crucial first glimpses at newcomers. PushDustIn offered a translation of said column (via Japaneseswitch) so we can hear what Sakurai had to say.

First off, Sakurai himself is the one who writes these scripts. "He writes each scene and where it'll be cut and includes a lot of details," notes PushDustIn. "He also writes what music/what will be said. When it cuts to gameplay he initially just notes that 'there will be gameplay here.'"

The editing and reveal process in these videos is key to achieving the elevated levels of hype they so consistently induce, and so it comes as little surprise that Sakurai would have his hands on many of the intricate moving parts to ensure perfection.

The Banjo-Kazooie trailer that dropped about a month ago is a beautiful example of this. It begins in an extremely similar manner to the King K. Rool reveal (who was also a hugely-requested figure for the Smash roster) but features Rool sprawled out along with Diddy and Donkey Kong in their hut.

A jiggy suddenly and conspicuously bounces across the screen offering an all but certain hint that the bear and bird are en route. As the three aforementioned characters clamor at the window they see the unmistakable outline of Banjo and Kazooie, but are quickly betrayed (along with the audience) when the Duck Hunt dog reveals that it's simply him in disguise.


Luigi is murdered during the Belmonts' reveal narrative

The dog proceeds to do what he's known best for and mockingly laugh at his victims in their frustration. Now that morale is good and darkened, the true Banjo-Kazooie falls from the sky to crush the annoying dog underfoot and kick off a gameplay trailer.

The entertaining roller coaster of excitement and emotion gives players that extra sense of acknowledgment, and serves to make an already incredibly hype reveal that much more memorable.

A company called Digital Frontier has helped with these since the Smash team began doing them back during the Wii-U/3DS days, and they are the ones responsible for making storyboards after hearing the initial pitch from developers.

The crew goes the extra mile to design a particular character model specifically for the reveal trailer. You'd think it'd be enough work simply to use the designs made for the actual game, but no.

"After adjusting things like music/ sound, then work is done on updating the character models and the scenery. If character models were just imported into the CG movie, they wouldn't feel right, so work is done on making everything feel cohesive."

There's plenty more to the process, but you'll have to check out PushDustIn's thread to see it all. Share your appreciation for Sakurai and the Smash team's tendencies to go above and beyond in the comments below.

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