The Switch community is buzzing with all things Super Smash Bros. now. All eyes, of course, are on Ultimate, the climactic (and possibly last) entry in the franchise. Before that, though, something may be afoot back with Super Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS. Data mining seems to have discovered an interesting little tidbit.
Dataminers, as we all know, are not to be messed with. They know games’ deepest, darkest secrets, and they are not afraid to expose them. Remember the hideous, unused bosses and half complete areas of Bloodborne? There were some true nightmares in there, and no mistake. Dataminers thought that was something the world needed to see.
They do provide some interesting industry insight at times though, there’s no denying. In the case of the last Smash title, something has come to light concerning the character ballot that took place back in 2015.
As fans will remember, over this six-month period, Sakurai and the team took votes to see which dream Smash characters were the most popular. The upshot of all of this was that the winners would be added to the game. Sure enough, we saw Cloud Strife of Final Fantasy VII and Bayonetta join the fray.
The two characters may have seemed a little out of place, but they took the Smash world in their stride and were worthy additions to the roster. The question is, did fan votes earn them their place at all? According to dataminer @Ruben_dal, the pair were already essentially added to the game in update 1.0.6, which released only two weeks after the ballot began.
Said slots were, at the time, occupied by ‘copies’ of Ike and Zero Suit Samus. Mechanically, these characters act and move very similarly to Cloud and Bayonetta respectively. Clearly, for these two newcomers in particular, there couldn’t really have been better templates to work from. Could it be, then, that these two were coming to the game regardless of the poll’s outcome?
In the end, as Linkin Park so wisely said, it doesn’t even matter. We might never know the full story, but do we really need to? At the very least, the great popularity of a whole range of characters (regardless of whether they were an impossibility, thanks to licensing issues and other legal snafus) the team must have seen surely left an impact.
This may well have been the driving force behind the team’s decision to bring absolutely everybody back for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Fan-favourite Ridley made it in, after all, just a game late. If that’s not enough of a silver lining, you’re just too dang tough to please.