Sakurai did another teasing reveal of Sheik, who is no longer relegated to an alternate from of Zelda but a character in their own right.
Sheik’s appearance as a unique character rather than just an aspect of Zelda is cool for a couple of reasons. It allows Nintendo to leave room for non-Ocarina of Time versions of Zelda without discounting one of her most popular appearances. It means both Sheik and Zelda can be balanced individually, hopefully resulting in both of them fitting comfortably into the roster.
Perhaps most importantly, it gives Sheik fans a little bit of representation. Everyone has their own reading of Sheik – as a simple disguise, as a second personality, as the “real” Zelda, et al – but without getting too much into it let’s just say the character has a really important place in the hearts of the QUILTBAG.
Naturally of course this means a lot of people are quite unhappy that the character exists at all, but at least the old “OP” chestnut is likely to hold less water.
Yoshi stands tall.
As he explained a number of character and balancing changes likely to set forums aflame for months, Sakurai maintain an easy grin and calm tone. But there was one change so dramatic, so consequential, and so controversial that he felt the need to presage it with an apology.
Bringing his Super Smash Bros. design in line with recent Nintendo games, Yoshi now stands upright.
I know, I know. You may need to sit down. You may require a glass of water. Breathe! Just breathe. You’re going to be okay. This is not a heart attack; it just feels like one.
Do you ever look around at the screeching hordes of our fellow gaming enthusiasts and wonder if maybe you should go off and feed orphans for a while? And maybe wash your hands?
And the rest.
The full presentation is really worth a watch if you have even a passing interest in the franchise, as Sakurai had a lot more to say that didn’t start controversial fires. His discussion of the game’s multiplayer makes Super Smash Bros. Wii U sound like Nintendo’s first really conscious effort to create a modern online multiplayer scene that matches its vision for how the world of gaming should be – pleasant, rather than the seething cesspool it mostly seems to be if you fail to mute everyone. The rest of the new characters seem to be pretty popular, and there’s a wide variety of stages, items and Pokémon to choose from.
Super Smash Bros. may not be the most original property to hit consoles this year, but it’s clearly one of the most treasured – both by Nintendo, and by its fans. We leave you with this video which certainly seems like proof of the latter.