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Masahiro Sakurai feels that he has completed the 'final mission' given by the late Satoru Iwata with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • December 27, 2021 at 7:18 a.m. PST • Comments: 11

With Kingdom Hearts' Sora now released as a DLC fighter, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's roster now sits complete with 86 playable characters. This truly is a roster to marvel at when considering that even Masahiro Sakurai himself doesn't believe that the series can head in a direction where all the current fighters are kept without any cuts.

In an email interview with IGN, Masahiro Sakurai was asked if he felt he was able to complete the final mission given to him by Satoru Iwata before his passing. Sakurai provided a brief response about this.

"Yes," replied Sakurai. "I believe I was able to fully complete this mission."

It was unfortunate news to hear that the then president of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, had passed away back in 2015 due to complications with bile duct cancer. Back then, Super Smash Bros. 4's DLC was still being developed, but Sakurai and Iwata had already discussed plans to develop a Smash title for the Nintendo Switch.

However, Sakurai wouldn't begin writing the project proposal for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate until after Corrin and Bayonetta were announced to be the final characters for Super Smash Bros. 4. It's funny to think that Sakurai was met with dead silence once he finally got around to presenting his idea of bringing back every character for the "Everyone Is Here" theme to the rest of the development team.

"Yes. I believe I was able to fully complete this mission." - Masahiro Sakurai

Needless to say, Sakurai definitely had a personal interest in seeing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate through as a result of his promise to Iwata. During his speech at the Japan Game Awards of 2019, he noted how Smash Ultimate was effectively the "last mission" given to him by the late Satoru Iwata.

"I'm sorry for bringing up this personal story at a time like this... but making Smash Bros on the Switch was the last mission the late Satoru Iwata gave to me," said Sakurai as translated by PushDustIn. "I've put my all into the game, and with more DLC I will continue to work hard."

Satoru Iwata has been described by Sakurai as being the "best superior" he ever had and "a man who understood [Sakurai] better than anyone."

"Making Smash Bros on the Switch was the last mission the late Satoru Iwata gave to me." - Masahiro Sakurai

If not for Iwata, the Super Smash Bros. franchise would be totally different compared to what it is today. Though they were initially denied the right to use established Nintendo characters during the development of Super Smash Bros. 64, Iwata took a major risk and told Sakurai that he could include the likes of Mario, Link, Donkey Kong and Fox anyhow.

During the "Mr. Sakurai Presents Kazuya" broadcast, Sakurai noted Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as being his "life's work." It really does seem like Sakurai has put his all into this series. He seemingly did this both for the fans and Satoru Iwata

"Now that I think about it, it's been close to 10 years since Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and 3DS systems were in development," said Sakurai during the presentation. "I've been working on this for a long time. You could call it my life's work."

Sakurai would bring up Iwata once more during the "Mr. Sakurai Presents Sora" broadcast. During this, he referenced how he and Iwata made the decision to keep the results of the Smash Ballot a secret while planning for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

"While this ballot was happening, we spoke with Mr. Iwata, who was still with us then, and we decided not to reveal the results," said Sakurai back then. "For the fighters at the top of the list, we thought that some people might demand them from the respective game companies. We believed that this would cause some inconveniences to many parties."

"While this ballot was happening, we spoke with Mr. Iwata, who was still with us then, and we decided not to reveal the results." - Masahiro Sakurai

"We're sorry that we could not reveal the results," continued Sakurai. "But now, after a long time, we were able to connect it to the result we have today."

According to Sakurai, Sora was the most requested character for the Smash Ballot. Sakurai apparently went out of his way to secure Sora for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate when he was presented with a certain opportunity.

The Fighters Pass Vol. 2 was originally going to stop after 5 challengers, but Sakurai felt that negotiations for Sora were going well enough to announce that the DLC package would actually come with 6 challengers instead.

While it is sad that Satoru Iwata was never able to see the completion of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with the addition of the Smash Ballot's most popular challenger, it is nice to hear that Sakurai feels that he was able to "make it up to Iwata" by seeing this project through.

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