It’s well known now that Masahiro Sakurai’s team is listening to fans regarding which characters end up in Super Smash Bros. Not only did the Smash team implement King K. Rool, they also managed to team up with Microsoft and get Banjo & Kazooie in the game. This is all within the same game that now boasts Joker, a character from PlayStation-exclusive series Persona.
Honestly, most of the logic and realism that you’d think would have to be present in Smash character discussions has flown out the window. “Everyone is here” also means “anything is possible.”
That said, there are clearly differences in the criteria for third-party characters when comparing that section of the roster. While lesser-known Nintendo characters like Corrin and Shulk have seats, Sonic the Hedgehog, Mega Man, and Pac-Man are the only representatives from their respective series- and it’s highly unlikely that will change.
You do suspect, though, that the two remaining DLC packs will feature third-party characters regardless. We’ve gone so deep into Nintendo franchises that Incineroar and Piranha Plant are now in the game- they’re likely not going to hype anybody up with another low-fame Nintendo challenger. As well, every Fighters Pack so far has featured third-party characters. The aforementioned Banjo-Kazooie from Rare/Microsoft, Joker from Atlus/Sony, and Hero from Dragon Quest/Square Enix are our winners so far.
It’s time, then, to predict the final two “Challenger Packs,” assuming that these are the final two Smash characters to join the game.
Unlikely: Bandana Waddle Dee, Shovel Knight, Hat Kid, Rayman, Shantae
Shovel Knight’s inclusion as an assist trophy in Smash Bros. Ultimate is amazing, and he makes the most sense as an indie pick for the game, but following the reveals so far, it just doesn’t seem like an indie character will get into the main roster.
This also eliminates Hat Kid, and even though WayForward’s status an an indie studio is debatable, we’re going to eliminate Shantae too.
Bandana Waddle Dee was actually fairly highly requested by many, but the point about these characters likely being third-party stands.
That leaves Rayman here, and his inclusion in the competing Brawlhalla likely eliminates him from Ultimate’s roster.
Bandana Waddle Dee (2.5/10)
Shovel Knight (4/10)
Hat Kid (2/10)
Maybe?: Klonoa, Sans/Undertale Rep, Tracer, Bomberman
Normally, Klonoa wouldn’t be on anyone’s radar, since his last appearance was a Wii remake of a PS1 title, but Klonoa’s brand is owned by Bandai-Namco, and the creators of Pac-Man helped out with the development of Smash Ultimate. It would be smart to include Klonoa in a way that’s similar to how Sakurai snuck Pit in. That way, you can introduce him to new fans and then make a semi-reboot of the series. All that said, would that bring enough hype?
With the inclusion of Persona’s mega-stylized art style, another great fit for a Smash stage, music, and character inclusion is Undertale. It’s tremendously popular, and already has a Switch port. Sans is the most recognizable character from the game, but Undyne might be a better fit as a challenger.
Overwatch isn’t on Switch (yet?), but that isn’t a prerequisite (See Joker from PlayStation-exclusive Persona 5). Tracer would be a great fit for a number of reasons: The moveset would be naturally sourced from Overwatch, the cartoony-yet-recognizable design, and the state potential to go along with her inclusion.
Bomberman is a natural fit, really. He’d fit in right alongside Pac-Man, Mega Man, and Sonic as recognizable third-party characters with a lot of potential.
Sans /Undertale Rep (7/10)
There’s a Pretty Good Chance: Steve?, Crash Bandicoot
If we’re picking two, these are the two most likely to join the party.
With the inclusion of Banjo and Kazooie, Crash Bandicoot seems like an absolute slam dunk for Smash Bros. inclusion. His moveset writes itself, it’s a classic design that everyone recognizes, it cashes in on nostalgia, and Sakurai and Co. clearly have no issue with bringing in characters normally known for other platforms.
A new Smash Bros. character ideally has a timeless design, a great state potential alongside, amazing music to bring to the game, and a natural moveset. This is all sounding like Steve? from Minecraft to me. Smash is a celebration of huge video games, and there’s arguably no bigger video game in the last decade than Minecraft. The Wii U/Switch version has exclusive Mario content.
With the renewed hype that these two would bring to Smash alongside Banjo, Joker, and Hero, they’re absolute no-brainer inclusions for us.
Crash Bandicoot (9/10)
Have another idea for a Smash character? Let us know in the comments!