March 16, 2018
In case you live in a hole, last week Nintendo revealed that our unworthy souls will be blessed by the arrival of a new Super Smash Bros. game for Nintendo Switch. THIS. YEAR. Since the Zelda series has been represented in this mashup of Nintendo franchises since the original title on Nintendo 64, I thought it would be fun to consider what characters might join the fray and fluff out the roster. This list is going to be the five characters I want the most, rather than theorizing who might actually come, so be aware of that going forward. I have little to no hope that any of these will come to fruition, but just in case Sakurai is listening, GIVE THESE GUYS A SPOT!
#5: Vaati (Minish Cap)
While he is not one of the more popular characters in the series, he surely shows more personality than almost any villain, Zelda or otherwise. Being born of the minute Minish race, he covets the magical treasure that his people would give to the Hylians, and ends up stealing it for himself. His is a deep story which I can sympathize with; feeling betrayed by his master, he turns the tables and becomes one of the most badass bosses in the series.
With his size-changing powers, he could shake up the combat almost as if they added Ant-Man. This added to a set of wind-based moves that could push enemies around would make him quite hard to handle. After all, how many Wind Mages are in the series so far? Robin has a Wind spell, but I think a character totally dedicated to this idea has so many potential movesets that it’s a no-brainer to add him!
#4: Ganondorf (Various)
Wait, hasn’t he been in every game since Melee? Nope. Slow Captain Falcon just doesn’t do the Gerudo King justice. He has never fought hand-to-hand in a Zelda game, he has always had a nice balance of strength and dexterity, and let’s be honest, Captain Falcon has to be a fast character to work. When he’s slower than Ike but doesn’t hit harder it leaves much to be desired. I like heavy-hitters and I hate Smash’s version of Ganondorf.
How can we fix it? Easy, just give him his own damn moves! Ganondorf has been presented differently in several games, and even the Gamecube tech demo footage made a more interesting fighter than the throwaway character we know and wish we could love. If I could pick, this would be where I drew inspiration for the character. It would keep him as a slower character, but it would vary his techniques and let him shine on his own. If not this, perhaps his dual-sword style from Wind Waker and Hyrule Warriors would be something that actually shows him off for himself rather than copying a character with no similarities. It’s time, Sakurai, let Ganondorf be Ganondorf.
#3: The Champions (Breath of the Wild)
Coming off the heels of Game of the Year, I think this is probably the most obvious choice, but I still somehow doubt we will see all four. I think each could bring their own play style to the table, though, so why not? Revali’s quick aerial movements would make him a great troll character like Sonic the Hedgehog was often used in Brawl. Mipha’s spear abilities as well as potentially a heal for teammates could really throw off some of the traditional Smash dynamics. Urbosa’s lightning strike and martial techniques could make for an epic combo of long and short-ranged attacks. And of course the best for last, Daruk’s heavy-hitting style mixed with a counter-striking barrier would suit my play style perfectly. If I had my say, I would definitely add all four of these incredible characters, but even one would add so much to the game it’s not even funny.
Even though I think this is a somewhat unlikely addition, I do think it is possible for us to see them spiritually added to the game through Link’s techniques. If Link could counter with Daruk’s protection, fry foes with Urbosa’s fury, and use Revali’s Gale as a recovery move, it would breathe new life into him as a character just as Breath of the Wild did for the series as a whole. Link is a fun character, but after four games with pretty much identical movesets, I think a little shake up could make all the difference, and this would be a fantastic way to do it while also paying tribute to the Champions.
#2: Hero’s Shade (Twilight Princess)
The Hero’s Shade is a character that appeals to me on so many levels. Just being a spectral sword-swinging skeleton got me started, and he continues to go so much deeper than that. He wasn’t just some knight who died, he was Link. The very idea of one incarnation of Link reanimating after his demise in order to pass on the techniques of the Hero blows my mind just by how awesome it is, and yet this character gets so little praise nowadays that it breaks my heart. This dude came back from the dead to make sure Link didn’t… go forward to the… dead…. Awkward descriptions aside, the Hero’s Shade would be an incredible fighter to see face the likes of Ike to see whose sword skills reign supreme, and other matchups would obviously be epic as well.
The Hero’s Shade’s moveset could be inspired by several parts of the series as well. I believe since the reveal trailer showed Champion Link from Breath of the Wild, there is a chance we might see him with a totally overhauled moveset, at which point fans missing the classic Link could look to the guy who taught Link to Link in the first place. A good option, but I would again prefer he receive his own unique style. Keeping true to his original self, he could use his own Hidden Skills. After knocking down a group of foes with the Jump Strike, he could deal serious damage with the Ending Blow. The Helm Splitter, Shield Bash, and Back Slice could all make for an engaging counter-focused style, and the Mortal Draw could have a high-risk/high-reward effect akin to Jigglypuff’s infamous Rest Attack.
#1: Marin (Link’s Awakening)
You may not know this about me, but I am a major Marin fanboy. Since my very first Zelda experience, Marin and I have had a relationship unlike any other game character. She’s sweet, sincere, and has a burning hatred for Cuccos just like me. None of those qualities make for a good Smash fighter, but I want her just the same. Marin’s addition to the story went a long way to creating what I believe to be the game that proved handheld titles can be just as deep as home console games. Whether or not there is any legitimate reason for her to be there, I want her because I’m a creepy weirdo.
Oh wait, I thought of a good reason to add her; she already has an incredible moveset if the team just translates her attacks in Hyrule Warriors to a sidescrolling style. She was a character out of left field, but just as every such case in the game, she made for one of the most fun characters to play. I loved trolling people with Agitha’s beetle summoning move, going full-auto with Linkle’s crossbows (which is probably physically possible), and above all, Marin’s moveset was my favorite. Hyrule Warriors had a knack for taking the least expected characters and turning them into some of the most powerful fighters, and Marin tops the list in that regard. Having her smack people with the Sea Lily’s Bell was a stroke of genius that made for a hilarious and adorable moveset that also paid tribute to my favorite game for the original Gameboy. Come on, Nintendo, you know you want to.
Woo hoo! Another list down, now your turn! Did I miss the mark by not letting loose the Groose? Is Link’s Grandma clearly more capable than all the Champions combined? Did I fawn over my video game crush for far too long? Let me know in the comments and on Twitter, I’d love to hear what characters you want to see, and even predictions for what we might actually receive. Let’s keep the conversation steaming!