“Almost deadly”: Smash Bros. director explains stress of choosing character roster

Tuesday, 18th June 2013 08:06 GMT By Dave Cook

Super Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai has called the stress of deciding which characters stay and go in each iteration of Nintendo’s brawler “almost deadly”. It’s not a decision the man has made lightly for the incoming Wii U and 3DS editions.

Speaking with Polygon, Sakurai said the decision is, “almost deadly in the amount of time it takes me,” and added “The amount of stress I feel, it’s almost to the brink of death.

“Because it’s not just a matter of me personally thinking this character or that character is going to be in the game; it’s that we also have the game balance, animation, graphics and sound to think about in order to make that character fully fleshed out in that universe. I have to think about all of that when I go through this decision-making process.”

There’s also the matter of fan favourites being culled, and the impact that omissions have on the balancing process. Sakurai continued, “Whether it’s a minor character or a character that is one of the most highly skilled and most played, if that character is removed from the game, the people who live for that character in Smash Bros. are going to have their feelings hurt.

“I think we have to really consider that, so I take a very serious, hard look at that and have empathy for the players who look for these type of characters when we’re making these decisions.”

Sakurai recently stated that it’s unlikely Smash Bros. on Wii U and 3DS will have any more third-party characters beyond Mega Man. Would you like to see more? Let us know below.



  1. Francis O

    This is why Japanese developers outclass all American and Euro developers. They take this shit so seriously, it’s to the point of death! LOL, love the passion, Smash Bros is going to be a huge hit for the Wii U.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Francis O

    Having just Mega Man is fine. Nintendo has a large roster of characters to chose from. Lucina from Fire Emblem would be good. Little Mac from Punch-Out, and the main character from The Wonderful 101.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. fihar

    “Japanese developers outclass all American and Euro developers”
    People still have backward views like these in 2013?

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Francis O

    @3 Just my opinion. I don’t think it’s backwards at all. Not only that, but the statement was a bit sarcastic. But I guess that’s hard to tell from a comments section.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Buran

    I don’t know, every time there’s this big successful franschise and there’s a person closely tied to its greatness, I always get a bit worried they’ll work themselves to death. We’ve seen health issues come up from working with games under pressure before, and I’m kind of concerned about this tradition/school-of-thought within japanese game development.

    On the flip side, maybe the quality would be lacking if they made the games any other way..

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Schwarzerwind

    Just don’t cut Peach!

    Looking all over and still no confirmation of her. I think Luigi is safe as well, given this is the Year of Luigi. If Luigi isn’t in there, I think my 4 year old might never recover. He’s sitting here behind me with his brother, playing Brawl right now, as Luigi.

    For that matter, I hope they keep Zelda too. Ganon is debatable, I suppose, but you should definitely have Zelda as a companion fighter to Link.

    I also vote for Little Mac. I think he’s long overdue.

    But you know who I would REALLY like to see, and Nintendo could make it happen easily…. Captain N and Princess Lana. There’s not enough females in the Smash Bros games, and what older gamer can say Captain N wasn’t a big deal back in the day of the original NES?

    #6 2 years ago
  7. salarta

    I currently can’t imagine any more characters being both good and safe to add.

    Bayonetta would be great now that she’s exclusive to Wii U, but I can tell Nintendo wants Smash Bros to be an all ages inclusive game, and Bayonetta is far too sexual to fit in that kind of game. Including her would require stripping her of who she is.

    Just about any of the characters from the Operation Rainfall games (Last Story, Xenoblade, Pandora’s Tower) would be great additions, especially since Fire Emblem characters get to be in the games, but it seems like at least some branches of Nintendo don’t have enough respect for those games.

    Wild ideas, Chell from Portal would be an awesome inclusion. Her finisher would be shooting a portal to the moon and having everyone get sucked into space, and she’d use portals to bring in turrets or drop cubes. Only problem I can find with this is that if we stuck to proper Portal logic, she’d have to at least shoot somewhere off-screen first before bringing in turrets or dropping cubes. Could also just let her use the portals on items on the stage instead.

    Jill Valentine from Resident Evil: Revelations would be great too; Revelations did get released on 3DS first, after all.

    I’m surprised they’ve never pulled in Simon Belmont from Castlevania.

    That’s all I’ve got for now. I’m guessing Sakurai wants to limit third party slot to just one character, same as any other fighting game franchise does.

    #7 2 years ago

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