Masahiro Sakurai and the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate art team had to consult all IP publishers for the Classic Mode mural

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • March 20, 2019 at 4:58 p.m. PDT

During one of Masahiro Sakurai's published Famitsu columns (via Nintendo Everything), Sakurai took the time to speak about the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Classic Mode mural and how it was developed.

"A few members of the staff worked on [the mural], offering up a stylistic caricature while maintaining the integrity of the design, all the while fine-tuning their work," stated Sakurai. "In addition to getting an OK from me, though, we had to go through and get the OK from each IP’s original publisher, so it took a lot more time and effort than just having to draw it."

The artwork that Sakurai is referring to can be seen by completing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's Classic Mode. Only by completing it at the highest difficulty (9.9) can the player view and admire the entire mural.

"I have to receive approval from the original creators of the characters, and I need to reflect their feedback. If this feedback differs from the direction we’ve taken with a character in Smash, then it’s our job to reconcile this disparity no matter how much time or energy it takes."
— Masahiro Sakurai

This isn't the first time that Sakurai has mentioned having to consult with the original owners of an intellectual property featured in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's roster. Sakurai has stated multiple times that he believes that the "Everyone is Here" theme will only happen once considering how difficult it was to make it happen this time.

"I have to receive approval from the original creators of the characters, and I need to reflect their feedback," said Sakurai in another Famitsu column (translated by Source Gaming).

"If this feedback differs from the direction we’ve taken with a character in Smash, then it's our job to reconcile this disparity no matter how much time or energy it takes. Contractual agreements and other legal issues can also make development exceedingly difficult."

"In reality, it was quite a challenge to bring every fighter back, and I barely made it work," continued Sakurai. "Frankly, it almost didn't happen."

Considering that this is coming from a man who uses an IV drip when he's sick as to avoid missing a day of work, we kind of have to take that statement at face value.

Funnily enough, Sakurai isn't just referring to the feedback from third party developers like Sega, Konami, Capcom, Bandai Namco, Platinum Games, and Square Enix. If you recall during the E3 trailer, Sakurai spoke about the feedback he had received from the Wii Fit team.

"[Wii Fit Trainer's] face has a new look," said Sakurai. "I wavered a bit on whether to change it, but it was a request from the Wii Fit developers."

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster crossover image #1 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster crossover image #2
Click images for larger versions

Note that the second image above was shown during the E3 trailer, before the reveal of Simon Belmont and Richter Belmont of the Castlevania series. This makes the total number of intellectual properties in the roster 32.

• Super Mario Bros.
• Yoshi
• Donkey Kong
• Legend of Zelda
• Metroid
• Kirby
• Star Fox
• Pokemon
• Earthbound
• F-Zero
• Ice Climbers
• Fire Emblem
• Game and Watch
• Kid Icarus
• Warioware
• Metal Gear
• Sonic the Hedgehog
• Pikmin
• R.O.B.
• Animal Crossing
• Mega Man
• Wii Fit
• Punch Out
• PAC-MAN
• Xenoblade
• Duck Hunt
• Street Fighter
• Final Fantasy
• Bayonetta
• Splatoon
• Castlevania
• Mii

Of course, these are only the crossovers featured in the roster so far. If you considering the World of Light and the seemingly endless number of Spirits in the game, that number is even greater.

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