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Masahiro Sakurai originally wanted the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 rep to be like the Ice Climbers duo but this was scrapped due to limitations

Rex was then almost the solo rep but Sakurai thought that fans wouldn't want this

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • March 10, 2021 at 3:40 p.m. PST • Comments: 11

Now that Pyra & Mythra have released in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Masahiro Sakurai was able to reveal some interesting details regarding their development in Famitsu Column 624. Translations have been provided by Kody NOKOLO of Source Gaming.

According to the translation, Sakurai originally thought of a concept that would have the player controlling two characters once it was decided that a rep from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 would be joining Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's roster. Rex and Pyra would be fighting together similarly to how the Ice Climbers are controlled during gameplay.

"What? I thought I was going to be in Smash!" - Rex

Of course, Sakurai would quickly realize that this concept for Rex and Pyra was too complicated. After his development team look at his concept, they agreed that it would be too difficult to implement. Rex and Pyra couldn't work like this because they would use too much memory.

"What? I thought I was going to be in Smash!" exclaimed Rex once he realizes that Pyra & Mythra were to become playable instead of him, the main character of Xenoblade Chronicles 2.

Evidently, there is actually some truth to Rex's now famous quote that plays during Pyra & Mythra's reveal trailer. Rex almost became more than just a component of Pyra & Mythra's taunts and Final Smashes.

During the Mr. Sakurai Presents "Pyra/Mythra" video that played prior to Pyra & Mythra's release, Sakurai briefly touched upon the idea of having Rex fight alongside Pyra in a manner that was similar to the Ice Climbers.

"However, getting a simple duo like Ice Climbers to work was already pushing the boundaries of what we could do in this game... Pyra & Mythra probably have the most complex designs in the game." - Masahiro Sakurai

"During development, we did consider having Rex fight alongside Pyra & Mythra. However, getting a simple duo like Ice Climbers to work was already pushing the boundaries of what we could do in this game," said Sakurai. "If everyone uses Ice Climbers, a battle with 8 fighters becomes a battle with 16 fighters. We had to make a lot of sacrifices to get them to work, and Pyra & Mythra probably have the most complex designs in the game."

Though Ice Climbers were playable in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, they weren't present in Super Smash Bros. 4's roster. Some time ago, Masahiro Sakurai revealed that the retro duo were cut from Super Smash Bros. 4 due to limitations of the Nintendo 3DS. Though they apparently worked fine on the Nintendo Wii U version of the game, Sakurai wanted the rosters between the two versions to stay consistent with one another.

Similarly, Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong were originally intended to fight together in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The two would have a tag-team mechanic that would allow the player to switch control between Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong.

Limitations would inevitably cause the concept to be axed. This resulted in Diddy Kong becoming a challenger by himself. Dixie is among the fandubbed Forbidden Seven that were supposedly cut from Super Smash Bros. Brawl's roster. To this day, Dixie Kong is still not a playable character in the Super Smash Bros. series.

Needless to say, getting a duo of characters with the Ice Climbers concept to work in the Super Smash Bros. series has historically been very difficult. With all this said, we probably shouldn't expect anyone quite like this for Challenger Pack 11 or Challenger Pack 12.

After realizing that Rex and Pyra couldn't function like the Ice Climbers, Sakurai then considered making Rex and Pyra like the Pokémon Trainer. In this draft, Rex would be the playable character that would be led by Pyra or Mythra in stage backgrounds.

However, it was difficult to judge if this would be capable of working considering the complex designs of Rex and Pyra. The developers would also have to consider the beam that goes between them during gameplay for Xenoblade Chronicles 2.

Ultimately, Sakurai decided that fans wouldn't want this for the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 rep. This caused Sakurai to look at Pyra & Mythra to be the playable reps instead of Rex fighting by himself.

Though it would've been simple to just make one fighter, Sakurai was keen on making this challenger to feel distinct. And thus, we have a design where Pyra & Mythra are able to swap between one another, similar to Sheik & Zelda in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Near the end of Sakurai's Famitsu Column, he thanks his staff for their hard work that came with making these fighters.

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