With the addition of Piranha Plant, the final five DLC characters for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will bring the game's roster up to a whopping 80 fighters. With the infamous Grinch Leak now confirmed to be false...
Sakurai confirmed in the November direct that all of the plans for these fighters were determined early on, so these characters were no afterthoughts. They're likely in pretty early development, and probably already have movesets planned. Who knows - Sakurai and his team may already have their reveal trailers planned. If Isabelle's trailer coinciding with the announcement of Animal Crossing on the Switch is any indication, these reveals are planned pretty heavily and probably well in advance.
This list of possible fighters will not include Assist Trophies or characters featured in Final Smashes or stages. Many characters who are playable have been depicted as Spirits, so it is likely that a character who appears as a Spirit can still be a playable character - although, it may make their chances lower than characters who are not featured as Spirits. Remember that Sakurai said in the November Direct that the final five DLC will not be Echo Fighters, and each new fighter will be accompanied by a stage and new music.
I feel that Dixie Kong may be an unlikely DLC fighter. Her unused data in Brawl
may suggest that Sakurai is interested in the idea of Dixie being playable, but it seems she would have been a clone (now known as an Echo Fighter) of Diddy Kong. Dixie Kong will also need to be either a completely new character or be in a situation like Dr. Mario or Falco, who are similar to Mario and Fox respectively. Dixie Kong has also been featured as a Spirit, specifically her Donkey Kong Country 3
Surprisingly, Black Shadow hasn't been referenced at all in Ultimate
. Many of us have viewed Black Shadow as a potential Echo Fighter for Captain Falcon, especially now that Ganondorf has received new moves that distance him from Captain Falcon. Sakurai could opt to give Black Shadow an original moveset, much like Captain Falcon received. However, Black Shadow isn't as demanded as Ridley or King K. Rool, nor has he been as relevant as characters like Isabelle or Incineroar.
Well, we haven't seen him yet. Bandana Dee has likely been requested enough to be a practical option for a DLC fighter, and since Kirby: Star Allies
has been out for some time now, it is possible that a unique stage based on an area from Star Allies
could be included for Bandana Dee. Sakurai has stated that stages can take up to a year to develop, so if a Star Allies
stage were to be featured, it is possible that Bandana Dee could be one of the later DLC fighters available.
Sakurai seems to be somewhat fond of Gooey, who has been featured as a Spirit. With Kirby: Star Allies
being in development at the same time as Ultimate
, it is possible that Sakurai was aware of the plans of Gooey's inclusion in Star Allies
in a situation similar to Greninja. The difference is that Gooey is already an established character. He isn't necessarily a popular character.
Mach Rider has always been in the discussion of possible new fighters, but I feel as though no one really took him (or her) seriously as a candidate until the fake Grinch Leak happened. Again, this is a character and a game that Sakurai seems to like. As one of Nintendo's early toys, Mach Rider has similar relevance to Duck Hunt, R.O.B., and Mr. Game & Watch. It also seems now that Sakurai doesn't always consider popularity, especially since a character's inclusion in Super Smash Bros.
will essentially guarantee fame for them.
Oddly absent from the large Assist Trophy roster, Saki is not as popular as some of Ultimate's
newcomers nor is he very relevant. However, Saki fits pretty well with characters Sakurai likes to include: fast, dynamic characters with multiple weapons (rather, a single weapon that has multiple functions). If Sakurai has opted for more obscure characters to fill the DLC slots, that would boost Saki's chances.
The Rhythm Heaven
series now has a history with the development of Smash Bros.
, and data from the Wii U/3DS titles suggest it may have been close to getting a representative in the roster. The Chorus Kids have been a very popular choice for Smash Bros.
for the past few years. If the Smash Ballot was taken into consideration for Ultimate
(as newcomers like Inkling, Ridley, King K. Rool, and Simon could suggest), Chorus Kids could very well be DLC.
Decidueye is in an interesting spot for me. With Incineroar being one of the newcomers, that makes me feel like we may not see another Poké
mon fighter. However, if there were to be another, making that a DLC fighter may have been an intentional decision to allow the base roster to have more variety. I'm not sure if Sakurai cares about these things either, but Decidueye, Incineroar, and Greninja would complete another trio of starters.
With Shadow and Knuckles both as Assist Trophies, Tails is one of the few viable fighters from Sonic the Hedgehog
that could possibly be in the game. Seeing Ken and Richter in the game as second characters in third party franchises (for Capcom and Konami respectively) makes me feel as though another SEGA character would be on the way. Tails is certainly popular and relevant. Perhaps Sakurai is more interested in a unique newcomer rather than an Echo Fighter to join Sonic.
The main argument for Geno's inclusion is often related to the pomp and circumstance given to his Mii costume in the Wii U/3DS games, as well as the growing relationship between Square Enix and Nintendo. Geno is certainly one of the most highly requested characters for Super Smash Bros.
, and he has been for over ten years alongside the ranks of Ultimate
newcomers like Ridley and King K. Rool. Other than the passionate fans supporting Geno, he really has no relevancy. However, demand may be enough to guarantee him a DLC spot. Also, Geno is the kind of character that fans would pay for.
Paper Mario is still relevant and still has a lot of unique fighter potential, and Sakurai doesn't seem hesitant to add more characters from the Mario
franchise. Though some of the more recent titles in the Paper Mario
series have not been as well received as the first two games, Paper Mario gets a lot of love from Nintendo and fans. One more iteration of Nintendo's mascot may be an ideal way to wrap up the DLC characters.
Impa: With Ghirahim, Skull Kid, and Midna all as Assist Trophies, Impa is one of the few main characters left in The Legend of Zelda series. She is a popular choice among fans and has stayed somewhat relevant the past few years. I am not sure that Impa has a large enough following or enough star power to stand alone as a DLC fighter.
Another character scrapped from Brawl
, it is possible that Toon Zelda would have featured a transformation into Toon Sheik or Tetra, but currently, the only Ultimate
character to have any sort of transformation is Poké
mon Trainer. Toon Zelda may also be unlikely if Sakurai were to image her as an Echo Fighter for Zelda. However, most Echo Fighters have been in a weight class similar to their source character as well as having a similar bone structure, and Toon Zelda would be much lighter and has a much different form than Zelda. Toon Zelda or Tetra may be relevant enough to possibly get a DLC spot, but again, I feel so though they lack star power to stand alone as a DLC fighter.
Sakurai revealed that Xenoblade Chronicles 2
was not early enough to be included in planning Ultimate's
roster. However, at that time, Xenoblade Chronicles X
was a success. Elma would not only be a unique fighter, but would also give the roster some diversity. Elma may be strong enough to hold her own as DLC, and with Xenoblade Chronicles X
getting a re-release, she may be more relevant for her DLC announcment.
Personally, I think this is the most likely DLC fighter. With long-time requested newcomers like Ridley, King K. Rool, and Simon appearing in Ultimate
, Banjo fits right in. Furthermore, Microsoft's relationship with Nintendo has been incredibly strong, and to grasp straws, this close connection with the two companies started at a time when Ultimate
could have entered development, and Banjo's planned inclusion could be the reason for the love between Nintendo and Microsoft. Banjo's aesthetic also fits the other Ultimate
newcomers very well, and Banjo would certainly have a stage to accompany him.
Ubisoft and Nintendo have recently developed an incredibly close relationship, as demonstrated by Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
and Starlink: Battle for Atlas
. Rayman was featured pretty uniquely as a trophy in the Wii U title with a unqiue 3D model. The Smashified series has made Rayman an even more popular choice, and he would certainly be able to stand on his own for a DLC spot.
Capcom would have a lot of representatives at this point, but the inclusion of a Monster Hunter
boss/Assist Trophy may make a Monster Hunter a likely DLC character. I think there is enough relevance and popularity here for Monster Hunter to get a DLC spot, though Sakurai may not have more planned for the series than what is already present in the base game.
Steve: Steve may have a hard time fitting in, being different in a foundational way from all of the other characters (Mr. Game & Watch is the only character that is similar). I feel as though a Minecraft stage would fit very well in Ultimate, but Steve has received mixed opinions from fans of Super Smash Bros. With the other newcomers being highly requested characters, Steve wouldn't necessarily fit that category, but Nintendo has a strong relationship with Minecraft.
From these five characters, if I had to make a guess for the DLC, I would say (in no particular order):
- Bandana Dee
- Mach Rider
The later three may be wishful thinking. My next three guesses would be Rayman, Steve, and Elma. Would love to hear other thoughts!