Get your smash on

Updated with even more reader suggestions! Continue to comment with characters you want added to the roster and we’ll keep updating the article with information! Oh, and we’ll eventually update it with the actual roster, too, once it’s announced, but in the meantime keep the speculation going!

One of Nintendo’s consistently highest-selling franchises of the last decade, Super Smash Bros has been used sparingly, only appearing once on each home console starting with N64. With so few releases, the years-long wait between sequels is filled with people dreaming up the rosters for the next entry in the fan-service drenched series. It’s felt so long since 2008’s Brawl that simply hearing Nintendo’s President Satoru Iwata mention a new Smash Bros was the highlight of the company’s E3 press conference, even without a single screen to show the audience. Now Smash Bros development has begun in earnest for the Wii U/3DS sequel, that gets our imaginations going.

Our old gamer’s brain have been pondering just who will be added to the next game. Though the roster is pretty huge already, for the purposes of this feature let’s assume that Nintendo won’t cut any of the characters from Brawl. That just leaves one question: Who or what deserves the honor of being a playable character in the next Smash Bros? Here are our highly educated (and continually updating) guesses…

Tanooki Mario

First appeared: Super Mario Bros 3 (1990)

We love all of Mario’s transformations and we enjoy how changes like Fire Mario are incorporated into his SSB move set, but we want more. Given how popular Tanooki Mario is right now since taking center stage again in Super Mario 3D Land, we think he deserves his own alternate spot on the roster. Now that a whole new generation has been introduced to the power-up, the tail-wagging furry would make a marvelous addition./p>

How they should play: Regular Mario with a touch of Yoshi. His jumps would be floaty and slow in the same way Yoshi’s are, but with a different, more gradual descent. Swinging his tail would be his main attack, but he’d also have a very powerful drop attack from turning into a statue mid-air, not unlike one of Kirby’s best moves.

Bayonetta

First appeared: Bayonetta (2010)

Created by many of the developers behind the first Devil May Cry games, Bayonetta is a sassy witch that kills demons and angels with equal panache. She doesn’t care what side of Heaven or Hell she’s fighting, so long as she’s paid. Bayonetta’s weapons of choice include her four favorite guns–two of which are attached to her heels–as well as her enchanted hair. Her flowing locks can transform into giant fists or gnashing fangs to destroy her enemies, and the rest of the time her mane takes the form of the clothes on her body. Like we said, sassy.

Chance she’ll be in SSBWU: Up until a few months ago Bayonetta seemed firmly established as a Sega franchise, but then came the shocking announcement that Bayonetta 2 is a Wii U exclusive. Now that Nintendo seems so firmly behind our favorite witch, the odds of her showing up in Smash Bros. have increased substantially. Yes, she’d have to leave some of her more risqué moves at the door, but with the kind of arsenal she’s packing, she’d be a great addition.

Shulk

First appeared: Xenoblade (2010)>

Shulk would be the next great sword master to join the series, but he’s got more than enough skills to separate himself from guys like Link and Marth. Shulk’s unique edge comes from his sword, the powerful Monado that’s imbued with multiple magic spells and techniques learned throughout Xenoblade Chronicles. A strong fighter with an interesting background, Shulk would also make a great addition because his stage has the potential to look fantastic and have some of the best music in the game.

Chances they’ll be in SSBWU: Shulk’s case is looking better every day. SSB needs some fresh blood, and Xenoblade is one of Nintendo’s most popular new franchises–in Japan at least. If Nintendo wants to keep that series alive, adding Shulk to Smash while fans hold out hope for a Wii U sequel is a great idea. Shulk is one of Nintendo’s best chances to bring something truly new to SSB, so we hope the devs don’t pass up this opportunity.

Starfy

First appeared: Densetsu no Starfy (2002)

One of Nintendo’s most recent additions to its mascot pantheon, Starfy is cut from the same cloth as Kirby, in that he’s a puffy cute thing, only yellow instead of pink. In the place of sucking down enemies and stealing their powers, Starfy is more at home floating around underwater like the starfish he’s styled after. He did appear in Brawl as an Assist Trophy, but now that Western audiences got a chance to play as the five-pointed hero in The Legendary Starfy, it’s time he got the star treatment (PUN!!!!).

How they should play: Since Starfy spends so much time below the waves, perhaps his movements should reflect more of his under the sea motions, feeling very light and floaty. Seeing as how most of Starfy’s moves in his own game involve spinning, we’re guessing that’ll be the source of many of his attacks. We just hope his stage includes the adorable space rabbit from his one English language game.

Zero

First appeared: Mega Man X (1993)

This list already features Mega Man, but it could use a boost of energy from his sword-wielding rival Zero. Introduced as an NPC in the first game, it wasn’t long before the amnesiac Maverick Hunter became a playable fan favorite, cutting through robots left and right with his Z-Saber. Blessed with speed, attitude, precision, and a killer instinct, Zero would rise to the top of the SSB ranks the moment he showed up.

Chance he’ll be in SSBWU: Based on the last couple years, it appears that Zero has a better chance of appearing in the next Smash Bros. than Mega Man. Zero was a playable fighter in both Tatsunoko vs. Capcom and Marvel vs. Capcom 3, plus he starred in a series of spin-offs from 2002 to 2007. Since he still seems to be a favorite of Capcom’s, perhaps the publisher will lobby hard to see him in the Wii U iteration of SSB.

Dark Pit

First appeared: Kid Icarus: Uprising (2012)

Obviously the Kid Icarus series is very close to SSB creator Masahiro Sakurai’s heart. Not only was Brawl the first time Icarus star Pit had seen the light of day since the early 90s, but Sakurai and his team at Project Sora created Pit’s most recent adventure in Kid Icarus: Uprising. And that’s where they introduced Pit’s evil twin, Dark Pit. Replacing Pit’s earnestness and helpful nature with roguish independence, Dark Pit does much to differentiate himself from his “brother.”

How they should play: Your initial assumption might be that he’ll play exactly like Pit, but we imagine he’ll be somewhat different, like how Luigi plays compared to Mario. He’ll have more cutthroat moves than Pit, and (semi-spoilers for Uprising) his powers will be a little different from Pit’s as well. Though we’re not sure which deity will back him up like Palutena does for Pit. Medusa perhaps?

Krystal

First appeared: Star Fox Adventures (2002)

Fox and Falco are already part of Smash Bros., but there are other members of the Star Fox crew we’d like to see in SSB, with Krystal at the top of the list. Krystal has proven herself to be more than capable, thanks in large part to her magical staff. She’s first introduced as the protector of a dinosaur planet Fox McCloud crashes on, and she’s also blessed with telepathic abilities. Krystal joined the Star Fox team when she and Fox became an item, though in a later game Krystal left to be a part of the rival Star Wolf Team.

Chance she’ll be in SSBWU: Krystal may have been introduced in a game that was barely a Star Fox title, but at this point Nintendo has proven to be pretty committed to the character. In fact, given her melee skills, she’s arguably the most fitting member of the Star Fox crew for a fighting game, and SSB could always use more ladies on the roster. Unless Nintendo has totally turned its back on the newer Star Fox characters, we think the odds are in her favor.

Matthew

First appeared: Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (2010)

Son of the stars of the original Golden Sun for GBA, Matthew takes after his father Isaac a lot. Wielder of the famous Sol Blade, Matthew is a master of earth magic like his papa, often calling upon the ground in his mystical battles. Like most RPG protagonists, he teamed up with his childhood friends to save the world. Including him would not only add a newer character to the mix, but also finally give Golden Sun some real recognition in the SSB series.

How they should play: Given his potent mix of sword and sorcery, we see Isaac playing like a combination of characters. Obviously he’d have sword-heavy attacks similar to Link and Marth, but based on the number of spells he knows, we could see him using area-effecting magic attacks ala Zelda or Gannon.

Maxwell

First appeared: Scribblenauts (2009)

One of the key ingredients to a successful Smash fighter is variety, like the diverse number of moves each character has using different items from their games. Since Maxwell’s main skill is the ability to create nearly anything using his magical notepad, that puts few limits on the number of things he could conjure on the battlefield for any number of attacks. And though Maxwell may look like an unassuming little boy, anyone that’s played his games knows he’s deadly with whatever weapon you put in his hand.

Chance he’ll be in SSBWU: Not too long ago, Maxwell met with Nintendo’s stable of characters for the first time in Scribblenauts Unlimited making for one of the strangest Nintendo cameos in recent memory. However, while it’s promising that Nintendo is already interested in sharing gaming space with a series that’s always been associated with Nintendo systems, that doesn’t guarantee anything. Super Smash Bros. may be an international hit, but it has always been a very Japanese franchise, so it would be surprising to see a Western-developed character get one of the precious few spots for new characters. Then again, Nintendo appears more inclusive than ever these days.

Birdo

First appeared: Super Mario Bros 2/Doki Doki Panic (1988)

Since her first appearance as an egg spitting mid boss, Birdo has stuck in the minds of players everywhere. Though somewhat ignored directly after Mario 2, over the last decade or so, Birdo started popping up in Mario spin-offs until eventually she became a regular in most Mario sports and party games. Often used as the feminine counterpart to Yoshi, Birdo’s got a big enough fan base that she deserves to be playable in SSB instead of restricted to the cameo roles she’s had to put up with. If nothing else, she’d be a welcome female addition to a rather male-oriented roster.

How they should play: Since Birdo has been symbolically intertwined with Yoshi for years, why not use the green dino as a starting place for controls? She should have the flutter jump or a variation on it, though her egg attacks would obviously be a straight shot instead of Yoshi’s arc. Initially we thought you should be able to stand on her eggs if you time the jump right, but that seems like it might break the whole “throw your opponent off the stage” concept to the battles.

Andy, Sami, and Max

First appeared: Advance Wars (2001)

In real life the thought of young adults fighting wars is a tragedy, but in the World of Nintendo it makes for some of the best and most approachable strategy games to date. There are tons of COs to choose from in Advance Wars’ history, but none have stuck with us more than the core trio in the first English-language release for the GBA. Andy, Sami and Max all had their qualities and together made an unbeatable team, so why can’t that be the same in Smash Bros? Also, since the Smash Bros is going portable in the next iteration, it’d be nice to recognize such a well-known handheld series.

How they should play: There’s a precedent for a set of interchangeable characters acting as one in SSB, with each having their own qualities that could be useful at any given moment. The gruff Max would be your offensive heavy, Sami’s fast troop movement abilities would translate to high agility, and Andy would be the all-around character who could occasionally pull off a special move that would heal the team. And all of them could call in infantry for help every now and then, with their bigger moves calling bombers and tanks.

Professor Layton

First appeared: Professor Layton and the Curious Village (2009)>

Professor Hershel Layton is one of the most well-known characters introduced in the last five years, having starred in multiple hit puzzle games. Layton is famous for using his ample intelligence and good manners to solve ancient mysteries all over the world, often finding the logical explanation for some supernatural occurrence. And while Layton strives to be a gentleman at all times, if he’s forced to defend himself, he’s more than skilled at that too.

Chance he’ll be in SSBWU: Layton seems like a shoe-in given the brand’s closeness to Nintendo systems, SSB’s Japanese development, and the fact that the next SSB will be on 3DS and needs guest characters famous on handhelds. Additionally, Layton just appeared in his first crossover game, Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney, a good sign developer Level-5 might share the character again in the future. The biggest strike against Hershel appearing is that his next game for 3DS is rumored to be his last, so if Level-5 is set on retiring him, it’s possible the publisher won’t want Layton appearing in SSB so soon afterwards.

King Hippo

First appeared: Punch-Out!! (1987)

The hefty, seemingly invincible boxer from Hippo Island might be the most famous Nintendo character to never get his due. Certainly the most memorable opponent in NES classic Punch-Out!!, Hippo also gained fame as a recurring villain on 80s Saturday morning cartoon Captain N. After that, he almost disappeared completely until his return in 2009’s Punch-Out!! for Wii. Now a new generation knows how awesome this chunky boxer is, they’re ready for him to be playable in the next Smash Bros.

How they should play: King Hippo’s flurry of jabs, hooks, straights and uppercuts will work fine for normal attacks, but what about the moves demanding more visual flourish? We trust Sakurai and the rest of the team to properly embellish some of his more famous attacks from the games. However, if you choose Hippo for a one-on-one match, be sure to defend your stomach.

Vaati

First appeared: The Legend of Zelda: Four Sword Adventures (2004)

Zelda takes up a fair share of the roster already, but it’s mainly variations on the tried-and-true trio of Link, Zelda, and Ganon. Those guys are great, but we’d love to see the developers reach a little deeper into Zelda’s history. Though there are tons of great bad guys Link’s faced over the years, we think Four Swords/Minish Cap’s Vaati is of the most distinct and deserving of a slot on the roster. A malevolent sorcerer out for god-like power, he turned Zelda into stone and his former teacher Ezlo into a hat. That’s pretty evil.

How they should play: Early in Minish, Vaati proves himself to be pretty good at sword fighting, so the devs could use the similarly small in stature Toon Link as a starting point for controls. However, his abilities as a sorcerer adds some flexibility to possible ranged and defensive moves, while his more powerful attacks could include transforming people into stone or, more interestingly, a hat. Finally, if you’re wondering what his Final Smash would be, he does change into a snazzy, giant monster at the end of Minish Cap…

Midna and Wolf Link

First appeared: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2006)

If you’re looking for a new form to give Link in the fourth Smash Bros, look no further than 2006’s Twilight Princess. Every time Link entered the Twilight Realm, he was transformed into a wolf, controlling very differently than he did in human form with more ferocious attacks. His constant companion, whether he liked it or not, was Midna, an imp that wields powerful magic and holds a dark secret.

How they should play: Despite being two separate characters, this duo would be better off playing more like a single character and less like the Ice Climbers. The combination of the wolf’s practical attacks (mostly involving biting jugulars) would mix with Midna’s mysterious powers that could be used for ranged and defense. Obviously Midna’s transformative abilities could come in handy too, especially with regards to a Final Smash.

Mii with Wii Balance Board

First appeared: Wii’s hardware and Wii Fit (2006)

People may complain that Nintendo hasn’t created a new franchise in years, but they aren’t looking in the right places. Wii Fit and Wii Sports were some of the best-selling franchises in gaming history whether you like it or not. Nintendo shouldn’t and almost certainly wouldn’t pretend like these games aren’t part of its history when making the roster for the next Smash Bros games. But how would they be used?

How they should play: The Mii is so non-descript, yet it’s done so many things that could be used in a potential move set: boxing, baseball, sword-fighting. Its third jump could even use the hang glider from Pilotwings Resort. Plus, if you’re looking for a charge move, how about it whips out the Balance Board and does some brief exercises that boost its attack? Following that theme, wouldn’t a Mii playing a painfully boring tune from Wii Music be the perfect stun attack?

Tom Nook

First appeared: Animal Crossing (2001)

Super Smash Bros has always been light on your options to play as a bad guy, and few in the Nintendo pantheon are more evil than Tom Nook. Don’t let his furriness fool you; this raccoon controls your life in Animal Crossing with an iron fist. You’re constantly pushing yourself to escape the grip of your many debts to Nook, and even when you finally do, he has a monopoly over your town’s businesses, so you still have to give him your money. Truly one of Nintendo’s most evil characters.

How they should play: Probably working similar to Mr Game & Watch, Nook’s moves would be based around his random uses of items from AC. A shovel here, an apple tree there, and his best power would be burying his enemies in crushing debt. He’d be a wonderful fighter in the “joke” character tradition of SSB.

Paper Mario

First appeared: Paper Mario (2001)

Introduced in the long-awaited sequel to Super Mario RPG, Paper Mario got his start as a cute variation on the Mushroom Kingdom’s classic look. Over the subsequent games, his two dimensional nature got played up more and more, until the adorable, flat Italian took on the physical properties of paper along with the look. Through multiple adventures, the turn-based, silent hero took part in some of Nintendo’s funniest and deepest adventures.

How they should play: Not only should he keep most of his paper transformations, including an airplane and getting so flat he can roll under cracks in the wall, but Paper Mario needs to maintain his silent mystique. One of the worst things to happen to Mario since the N64 is that he never shuts up, and that includes the Mario in Smash Bros. To be able to play as Mario without having to hear, “whoohoo! Yahoo! Whoopee!” every ten seconds would be a miracle.

Zoroark

First appeared: Pokemon Black/White (2010)

Pokemon has had a long and close relationship with the Smash Bros franchise, with multiple playable pocket monsters on top of the dozens that explode out of Pokeballs and a big chunk of stages based on the series too. With Gen IV’s Lucario playable in Brawl, Gen V deserves a shot, and why not the first monster revealed for Black/White, Zoroark? The mysterious, shape-changing Pokemon is often found hiding in plain sight and isn’t the easiest to catch, but is a great addition to SSB and your Poke squad.

How they should play: Maybe it isn’t as famous as Reshiram or Zekrom, or as cute Victini, but Zoroark has more gameplay potential than the almost any other new Pokemon. Not only do his lanky proportions and bipedal movement fit well with Smash Bros style (like Mewtwo and Lucario before him), but Z’s special ability to transform into different Pokemon, including Legendaries, opens up even more Poke-cameo potential than the random Pokeballs. Imagine doing a combo that ended with transforming into Entei or Kyogre and blasting away at your opponent.

Poke Trainer with 5th Gen Pokemon

First appeared: Pokemon Black & White (2011)

The Pokemon series is more than just a monster-collecting RPG, it’s a way of life. And as fun as it is to play as you favorite Pokemon (be they Pikachu or Jigglypuff) it can be even more fun to play as the lead trainer from the main games. The Poke Trainer made a great addition to Brawl, so why not update him with the newest generation of Pokemon?

How they should play: As our image suggests, we assume the devs will stick with using the three BW starter Pokemon, as Oshawott, Snivy and Emboar would fit with Brawl’s trio. Of course they wouldn’t be exactly the same, as the BW trio has more diverse capabilities. Then again, maybe they’ll surprise us and use a combination of four or more. We’d love to see new Mon like Beartic and Emolga appear.

Yarn Kirby

First appeared: Kirby’s Epic Yarn (2010)

Everyone is familiar with Kirby’s love of eat his enemies and steal their powers, but in 2010 Nintendo got experimental with the Pink One’s look and abilities with the rather unique Kirby’s Epic Yarn. Our hero became a yarn outline of himself and the old school 2D platforming stages were built around the theme of quilts, threads, and other fabric creations. Even though Kirby’s returned to form in his later releases, this look has stuck with us and the game is one of the high points of the Wii’s library.

How they should play: Kirby’s yarn form diverged so much from his classic look that even if the movement would be similar, his move set would be wholly different. Kirby would lasso enemies with string, he’d glide through the air instead of floating while holding his breath, and he could transform into things for combat purposes, including a car, dolphin or tank. That’s way more nuance than most character variations in Smash offer.

Rayman

First appeared: Rayman (1995)

The armless French creation is enjoying a renewed relevance these days. Following years of being upstaged by Rabbids, Rayman and his lovably goofy friends returned in the gorgeously 2D platformer Rayman Origins. Based on Rayman’s history with the Wii and 3DS, plus Ubisoft’s dedication to the Wii U, if any guest character would appear in the next Smash Bros, it’d be Rayman.

How they should play: The Origins update to Rayman works almost perfectly for Smash. He’s got tons of different melee attacks, transformative powers, and can hover with his propeller head. As for his design, we’d hope for a mash-up between his colorful 2D self in Origins and his 3D looks from Rayman 2 and 3.

Kazuya Mishima

First appeared: Tekken (1994)

Since way back when Soul Calibur II came out with the earth-shattering appearance of Link, Namco has been needing to return the favor by lending one of its characters to a Nintendo fighter, but at first it was tough to decide who. You might think Pac-Man, but traditionally he doesn’t really have any arms or legs, and we’d rather Nintendo ignore the middling Pac-Man Worlds of a few years ago. No, Namco should instead go with its premier fighting game, one that that’s already appearing in another crossover, and was one of the few franchises to appear in the Wii U reveal trailer. We’re obviously referring to Tekken, and Namco’s got to go with the series’ anti-hero Kazuya.

How they should play: Obviously his move set will be simplified a little from the Tekken games, but all of his marquee attacks should be there. Perhaps the platforming aspects of the combat might seem odd at first, but we’d get used to it. Plus he could have a Zelda/Sheik-type transformation into his Devil form. Perhaps his style would be a little too rough for the good-natured thrashing of Smash Bros, but it’d certainly make him standout from the crowd.

Dragon Quest Hero and Slime

First appeared: Dragon Quest (1986)

Fans may want one of the many memorable characters from Final Fantasy to appear in Smash Bros, but it’s much more likely that its sister series would cross over. In the last few years, Nintendo has become very close with the Dragon Quest side of Square-Enix, publishing a few DQ games in the US and UK, lending Mario characters to the Wii game Fortune Street, and eventually the two companies will publish Dragon Quest X together. It only makes sense to add a DQ character to Smash Bros, even if most of the series’ heroes are pretty non-descript. It doesn’t matter how bland he is; as long as a Slime accompanies him, he’ll have all the charm he needs.

How they should play: It depends on which hero they use, but we think it would most likely be the hero from the first DQ or whoever the hero in DQX ends up being. Most likely they’ll play similar to Marth or Link, with tons of sword and shield attacks, with move variations reliant on the character using famous DQ spells like Bang or Buff. Meanwhile, the Slime could make random appearances with some joke moves that play up the comic sensibilities of the series.

Mega Man

First appeared: Mega Man (1987)

To be honest we were a little dumbstruck that ol’ Mega didn’t appear in Brawl as one of the first ever third party fighters. He’s one of the most well-known characters in gaming, his history is very closely tied to Nintendo’s, and his stages would be incredible. Additionally, Smash creator Sakurai is a big videogame music buff, and videogame music doesn’t get much better than the Mega Man 2 soundtrack. It’s time to right this wrong now!

How they should play: Another reason Mega Man is a no-brainer is the fact that at his core he works perfectly with Smash controls. He’s a standard-bearer of classic platforming, his light projectiles from his Mega Buster fit with ranged attacks from characters like Fox and Samus, he has literally dozens of boss power-ups to repurpose in special moves, and his collection of support characters, especially Roll and Rush, would make great cameo attackers. It makes too much sense not to happen!

Nobunaga Oda

First appeared: Nobunaga’s Ambition (1983)

A famous Japanese Shogun from the 1500s and a leader during a time of intense struggle in the country, Nobunaga is most famous to gamers thanks to his appearances in Koei series Samurai Warriors and Nobunaga’s Ambition. A strong fighter, Nobunaga’s plays a pivotal role whenever he appears in games and given Koei’s friendliness with Nintendo of late, his appearance in SSB seems likely. He’s already teamed up with Zekrom in Pokémon + Nobunaga’s Ambition, so appearing in the next Smash is hardly a stretch.

How they should play: Another strong, evil-ish character, Nobunaga would make a good teammate for Gannon or Bowser. He’d have heavy sword attacks, plus he could call in support from troops, plus he could reuse famous combos from the Samurai Warriors games. We’re not sure how he’d pull off a triple jump, but we trust Sakurai could figure it out.

Raiden

First appeared: Metal Gear Solid 2 (2001)

For years he was one of the most hated characters in gaming history, but once Raiden was reborn as a cybernetic ninja badass all was forgiven. Soon to star in Revengeance, Raiden isn’t just nimble on his feet, he also has a sword that can seemingly cut anything. Since Snake appeared in Brawl, now that Raiden is about to star in his own game, it’s only fitting he replace Snake in the next Smash Bros.

How they should play: He’d use his quick reflexes and ninja skills to acrobatically outclass most of his competitors. He could bust out some of the insane moves he used in the reveal trailer for Revengeance, running on ceilings and slashing foes with his technologically superior swordplay. We’d love to see what kind of insane combo Raiden would pull off for his Final Smash.

Travis Touchdown

First appeared: No More Heroes (2008)

One of the few M-rated standouts on the Wii, No More Heroes was an oddball, violent game with a devoted cult audience. That sounds like a perfect fit for SSB, and since Snake already broke the M-rated barrier in Brawl, Travis’ sexy/bloody adventures shouldn’t ban him from the game, though they would have to be toned down some. And since he hasn’t had a new game in years, the otaku/pro wrestling fan/world’s greatest assassin and his beam sword could use the kind of notoriety this cameo would provide.

How they should play: The multiple, upgradable versions of the beam sword (don’t call it a lightsaber) could appear in multiple melee attacks. And we’d love to see more involved attacks using the multiple wrestling moves and vehicles Travis uses in NMH. Plus, any tribute to Pure White Lover Bizarre Jelly would be greatly appreciated.

Knuckles

First appeared: Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (1994)

Following Sonic’s long awaited appearance in Brawl, it’s only a matter of time before his shitty friends got into the mix, it’s just inescapable. So we had to pick the least shitty for inclusion, and that came down to Tails or Knuckles. And even though Tails is cuter and is Sonic’s classic sidekick, Knuckles is a much better fit for a fighting game, so he gets our blessing for SSB insertion.

How they should play: Knuckles’ knuckles give him an edge in the punch-and-kick side of Smash, certainly in a more straightforward way than Sonic’s speedy qualities. Plus his gliding ability would work great as a third jump for players trying to get back to the platform. His attitude even fits, as it’s in Knuckles nature to be a scrapper, starting a fight with friend or foe. Our one condition for Knuckles being playable is that he’s the last Sonic character to appear in Smash Bros ever. No Big the Cat or Cream the Rabbit allowed.

Who do you want to see?

We’ve read your comments below and decided to give our feature an update based on your suggestions!

The next slides you’ll see are bios on the characters you readers say you want. For each there’s a quick primer on the character, followed by what we think the chances are that they’ll appear in the next Smash Bros game. Keep commenting with more suggestions and we might just update again!

Phoenix Wright (Readers’ Choice)

First appeared: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (2005)

Phoenix Wright is rarer than a dozen elf boys and giant lizards: he’s a defense lawyer that wants to help. An attorney that continually gets assigned the most impossible cases and the flimsiest defenses, he’s used to proving innocence with a smattering of evidence, contradictions, and one lawyer’s badge. Backed up by a supporting cast of ghosts and clairvoyants, Phoenix saves the innocent and punishes the guilty in his humorous series of adventure games.

Chances they’ll be in SSBWU: Even though his games have recently been ported to iOS, Phoenix has a long history of appearing on Nintendo systems. Despite that closeness, if Capcom is allowed only one guest character, we bet it’d be Mega Man or even Ryu before Wright. Then again, many didn’t think Phoenix would be in Marvel vs Capcom either, so who knows?

Banjo and Kazooie (Readers’ Choice)

First appeared: Banjo-Kazooie (1998)

After Nintendo basically invented the 3D platformer with Super Mario 64, there were dozens of clones and titles inspired by it, but few got as close to SM64’s greatness as Banjo-Kazooie. The unlikely team of a doofus bear and the bird that lives in his backpack battled witches, helped their animal friends and collected thousands of doodads in their day. Though the series has been quiet for a few years, they still have a devoted following.

Chances they’ll be in SSBWU: Nintendo no longer owns any part of these characters, and despite appearing in on the Game Boy Advance, Banjo was absent from the DS remake of Diddy Kong Racing, making odds of a Nintendo published return slim. Then again, it seems like Microsoft has basically zero plans for the characters these days, so why not share them with Nintendo? BK already appeared in Sega All-Star Racing for 360, why not a cameo in the next Smash? Wouldn’t it be grand to drive your friends crazy with Banjo’s no doubt annoying taunts?

Bomberman (Readers’ Choice)

First appeared: Bomberman (1987)

Mascot of the now defunct Hudson, Bomberman’s a strange mix of cuteness with explosive death, which is why many love him. His adorable, modest design is fitting with his NES background, and the simple multiplayer joy of blowing people up in Bomberman games could translate to fun in Smash Bros. Wouldn’t it be fitting if he appeared alongside his 8-bit mascot brothers?

How they should play: Like Banjo, Bomberman has been dormant the last couple years. Perhaps you can blame that on Konami purchasing Hudson and so far having little need for the cute powder keg, so he could use the kind of boost a Smash Bros cameo would provide. If Konami isn’t into the character right now, who would it harm to lend him to Nintendo, especially given Nintendo’s history with Bomberman crossovers? (See Wario Blast)

Earthworm Jim (Readers’ Choice)

First appeared: Earthworm Jim (1994)

Once a simple worm crawling out of the ground, after he enters a super powerful suit from a distant galaxy he becomes Earthworm Jim, a hero for all time. With his trusty gun and rocket, Jim battles space crows, Queen Slug-For-A-Butt and interrupting cows to save Princess-What’s-Her-Name. His combination of shooting and melee via whipping people with his head makes Jim ideal from a gameplay perspective.

Chances they’ll be in SSBWU: Though Earthworm Jim went missing for a number of years, in 2010 he made a comeback of sorts. A sexy HD version of his first game appeared on 360 and PS3, seemingly marking the return of the annelid, though we haven’t seen much of him since. Though we bet whoever currently owns the rights to Jim would love to see him in the next Smash Bros, we wonder if Nintendo would think he’s worthy of being on the roster.

Sora (Readers’ Choice)

First appeared: Kingdom Hearts (2002)

The type of upbeat, friendly, “believe in yourself” kind of kid that appears in Disney films or JRPGs, Sora is already the star of his own crossover series bringing together the unlikely worlds of Final Fantasy and Disney. In Kingdom Hearts, Sora uses his Keyblade to explore many different worlds based on classic Disney cartoons, all while battling the Heartless alongside Donald and Goofy. Soon he’ll be playable alongside his friendly rival Riku in the 3DS game Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance (yes, that’s really the name).

Chances they’ll be in SSBWU: Though it started as a Sony exclusive, KH spin-offs have appeared on Sony and Nintendo handhelds for years, with the Kingdom Hearts 3D being the most recent addition. Given their similarly devoted fan bases, it would be fitting to add Sora to Smash Bros, but that situation probably hinges on one important factor: What system is the eventual Kingdom Hearts III on? If Square Enix makes it a PS3-exclusive, then we doubt Sora will be in Smash. But if KHIII appears on Wii U, then it seems more likely than ever.

Viewtiful Joe (Readers’ Choice)

First appeared: Viewtiful Joe (2003)

When he was first introduced, it seemed like Viewtiful Joe was going to be Capcom’s big star for the new millennium. An ironic hero for our times, Joe was obsessed with classic monster movies and Japanese superhero shows like Ultra 7, which made his transformation into a colorful superhero fitting. Joe jumps into the movie screen and battles his enemies with cinematic powers, like the ability to slow down, speed up, or zoom in on a film. Based on how he plays (and the fact he starred in a Smash Bros rip-off of his own) Joe would fit in the roster viewtifully.

Chances they’ll be in SSBWU: Nintendo and Capcom seem to be on good terms at present, so we could imagine them sharing Joe, but not before a few other characters. Joe did appear in the last couple of VS fighters Capcom put out, but he was hardly the lead in those. Unless Nintendo makes a ton of room in the roster for several Capcom characters before him, we bet we won’t see Joe.

Groose (Readers’ Choice)

First appeared: Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (2011)

One of the funnier new characters from Skyward Sword, Groose has his own little cult of support. Link’s rival at the start of Skyward Sword, Groose comes off alternately pompous and bullying towards Link, probably because of Groose’s unrequited feelings for Zelda. Eventually Groose comes to respect Link and sees that Link really is the hero people say he is, and Groose ultimately helps Link on his quest.

Chances they’ll be in SSBWU: Based on the diverse collection of stages created for each new Smash Bros, we bet there will be a Skyward Sword stage. And it’s very likely Groose will make at least a cameo in that stage, perhaps even firing the Groosenator at the fighters. But unless Sakurai is the world’s biggest Groose fan, the odds of him being playable are pretty low.

Geno (Readers’ Choice)

First appeared: Super Mario RPG (1996)

A noble warrior from beyond the stars, Geno was one of the new friends Mario made in the classic Super Mario RPG. A strong fighter that knows celestial secrets, he has a defiant attitude, but often is guiding his teammates to take down the evil Smithy. And he does all this while occupying the Pinocchio-like body of a child’s toy.

Chances they’ll be in SSBWU: Sadly pretty low. There’s a reason Geno has appeared in virtually zero games since Super Mario RPG. The characters created for that game all belong to Square and there’s no doubt a lot of legal red tape keeping him from being in more games. Geno made a very simple cameo in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, which probably hinged on many corporate favors, so who knows how complicated it would be to add him to Smash Bros?

Jack (Readers’ Choice)

First appeared: Madworld (2007)

Trapped in a deadly reality show, Jack is a killer for hire that really seems to enjoy his job. With his trusty wrist-mounted chainsaw, he’s hacked to pieces armies of men and appears to take real pleasure in finding new, creative ways to murder. Jack probably describes himself best in his own words: “I don’t help people, I kill them.”

Chances they’ll be in SSBWU: Jack’s making the leap from black and white to color in the upcoming Anarchy Reigns, so he’s far from forgotten by his creators. Still, even though he was the star of one of the Wii’s most creative games, we have a hard time imagining him in Smash Bros. Solid Snake proved M-rated characters could appear in the game, but Snake’s never gone anywhere near the murderous excesses Jack does. Unless the next Smash Bros takes an extreme turn, Jack probably won’t be invited to the party.

Son Goku (Readers’ Choice)

First appeared: Dragon Ball (1984)

Born Kakarot on the planet Vegeta, Goku made his home on earth and was dedicated to one thing: becoming the greatest fighter of all time. Starting his life as a stronger young man with a tail and a love for fighting, he eventually became a character that could move faster than light and destroy planets with a thought. His natural abilities as a fighter, his famous Kamehameha Wave, and the ability to transform into a giant space gorilla would all make many wish Goku would join the roster.

Chances they’ll be in SSBWU: Though he’s not technically a video game character, Goku has appeared in games dating back to the NES, so it’s not a total stretch. Seeing as how Super Smash Bros is a very Japanese series, it isn’t impossible to imagine one of the most famous characters in the history of manga/anime appearing in the game. It all comes down to Namco’s willingness to share the rights to the character and if Sakurai enjoys DBZ.

Mickey Mouse (Readers' Choice)

First appeared: Steamboat Willy (1928)

Do we seriously need to describe Mickey Mouse to you? You know, that cartoon Walt Disney made? Most recognizable character of all time? Mickey came back into gaming with Epic Mickey, so if he made his way to the Wii U we’d expect that he would bring his paintbrush with him.

Chances they’ll be in SSBWU: Honestly, though it’s not too low, we can’t help but think that the laws of awesome would prevent it. Being able to have Mario fight Mickey might cause the universe to implode, so maybe it’s best if this doesn’t happen.

Pokey (Readers’ Choice)

First appeared: Earthbound (1995)

Pokey, also known as Porkey, also known as that jerk from Earthbound and Mother 3, has had many different forms throughout the Earthbound series, though we imagine it’s his final form that would make the best SSBWU character.

Chances they’ll be in SSBWU: Not as startlingly low as you might expect. Lucas, Mother 3’s protagonist, already made his way into Smash Bros before despite his game never getting a US release, and if Nintendo has any intent on ever resurrecting the series it would likely start by adding new characters to Smash. Though some others in Mother 3 might be more deserving, Pokey be good, too, since his status as “villain” would help fill out the roster’s quote of evil characters.

Slippy Toad (Readers’ Choice)

First appeared: Star Fox (1993)

Slippy’s high-pitched naggings are essentially synonymous with the Star Fox series . The amphibian is the inventor of the group, tasked with putting together new machinery as well as constantly screaming about enemies being on his tail. And yes, Slippy is a guy.

Chances they’ll be in SSBWU: Low. Smash Bros. already has three Star Fox characters, and if they were to add another we expect it would be another villain or Crystal before they’d slip Slippy onto the roster. Plus, no one really likes Slippy all that much.

Rosalina (Readers’ Choice)

First appeared: Super Mario Galaxy (2007)

What? A Mario female that isn’t Peach or Daisy? That’s right! Rosalina was the prominent female protagonist in the Mario Galaxy series, and before you start rambling about the Smash Bros. not needing a Peach clone we should note her abilities. Namely, the fact that she’s essentially a star god, with incredible magic powers. If anything she’d be more of a Zelda clone, but we have a feeling they could be more original with her, especially considering her Mario Galaxy roots. Maybe she could reverse gravity or something! Not that… you know… that would be too overpowered.

Chances they’ll be in SSBWU: The Mario Galaxy series sold extremely well on the Wii, so we wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Rosalina join the cast. In fact, if Nintendo wants to continue making Mario Galaxy games it might be the best way to remind gamers that there’s another princess in another castle.

Quote (Readers’ Choice)

First appeared: Cave Story (2004)

Quote’s the lovable shooting lad from the indie megahit Cave Story, who captured our hearts without uttering a word. He’d no doubt be packing his trusty Polar Star peashooter, which he could upgrade by smacking triangular Energy pellets out of his opponents. He’d be like a more adorable, paler version of Toon Link, if Toon Link had a gun and a super missile launcher.

Chances they’ll be in SSBWU: Smash Bros. is in need of an indie character, and Cave Story’s gotten a lot of love with its Wii/DSiWare and 3DS ports. It’s tough to picture Nintendo giving the spotlight to an off-brand protagonist…then again, they did include Sonic in Brawl. Stranger things have been known to happen.

Baby Mario and Baby Luigi (Readers’ Choice)

First appeared: Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island (1995)

A commenter pointed out that Baby Luigi and Baby Mario could work together, like some sort of super annoying Ice Climbers, and you know what? That sounds awesome. The baby versions of the plumbing duo have been around for nearly 20 years now and have appeared in a dozen or so games, and it’s about time the kids make their way into the fight. Gotta earn their keep somehow, right?

Chances they’ll be in SSBWU: Medium. If the next roster really is a big one Nintendo will need to dig deep, and we’d like to think that the babies aren’t that far down the list of easy targets. Plus, they’d add some nice size variety, which makes for more interesting-looking battles.

Namco update!

We now bring you an important update! Namco is helping to develop the next Smash Bros!!! What does this mean? Well, we hope it doesn’t hurt the development (and Smash Bros super boss Sakurai is still involved), but what’s most important here is that it almost guarantees at least one Namco character starring in the game. But who? Well other than the two we already listed (Kazuya and Goku) we think these fighters have a chance…

Pac-Man

First appeared: Pac-Man (1980)

We start with the most obvious one, Namco’s happy, yellow, circular mascot Pac-Man. One of the most well-known characters in the world, Pac is synonomous with gaming to an entire generation. Though known for his arcade classic, he’s also starred in dozens of other games for Namco, including the Pac-Man World platformers, kart racers and party games. We’d say he’s earned a spot on the roster.

How they should play: He won’t need to drive any goofy mech like he did in Street Fighter X Tekken, that’s for sure. His size and stature make him a perfect fit for Smash Bros, plus a Final Smash that involves eating a Power Pellet and transforming every other fighter into a purple ghost is too awesome not to happen. DO IT!

Klonoa

First appeared: Klonoa: Door to Phantomile (1997)

But why stop at Pac-Man, Namco’s original mascot? Why not include their attempted furry mascot of the 90s, Klonoa? Though his design might cause a knee jerk reaction to dismiss him as a Sonic clone, give him a chance. This dream traveler’s 2D throwback adventures are great tributes to a simpler time. Play the Wii remake of his first game and see if you don’t agree.

How they should play: Since the core gameplay of Smash is platforming meets fighting games, Klonoa would transfer perfectly. In fact, his core gameplay involves throwing items at other characters, and his Air Bullets would make a great projectile. Unless he’s deemed too obscure, we expect to see him in the game.

Lloyd Irving

First appeared: Tales of Symphonia (2004)

For conspiracy theorists out there, it’s not hard to understand why Nintendo wanted to work with Namco: To feed on the popularity of the Tales series. In Japan the Tales of games are million sellers, so it makes sense Nintendo would make it clear to Japanese fans that the Tales devs were working on the next Smash. So if that team gets to add anyone to the roster, how about the star of Tales of Symphonia, the Tales series most famous to Nintendo fans?

How they should play: As you can see from the above image, Lloyd is no stranger to fighting game crossovers, having already appeared in the Wii-exclusive Soulcalibur Legends. Since he’s from an RPG and carries a sword, it’s easy to imagine him playing like Link or Ike, but we hope Namco is a little more imaginative.

Reiko Nagase

First appeared: Ridge Racer (1993)

Ridge Racer is still one of Namco’s go to franchises, so you have to think it’ll make an appearance in Smash Bros. And if it isn’t a Ridge Racer themed level, then it’d have to be an appearance by the only person that stars in the series. Race Queen Reiko Nagase. Otherwise they’ll just have a car like Fighting Vipers (which isn’t a bad idea).

How they should play: We don’t know, maybe she gestures for cars to fly at people? Look we admit it, this was a poor choice. We just wanted to include Reiko’s smiling face. Is that so wrong?!?

Mr Driller

First appeared: Mr Driller (1999)

Some might prefer to include Dig Dug star Taizo Hori, but that’s ancient history to us. We’d rather include his literal and symbolic child Mr Driller. The adorable and dedicated drill operator is the star of one of our favorite puzzle titles, with a spin on the falling block concept that flexed our brains and pressured us to move as fast as we could.

How they should play: His telltale drill would make for a cute/brutal attack close up, and his jumping down attack could only be drilling down. Projectiles could just be him throwing the blocks from his game. The only place where our imagination is stuck is trying to figure out how he’ll jump…

Nightmare

First appeared: Soulcalibur (1998)

Soulcalibur is arguably Namco’s most popular fighting franchise, making it clear that some member of the weapons-loving franchise will get their Smash on. Seeing as how the extreme sexualization of every woman in series probably exempts them from being in an E10 game like Smash, we’ll go with the most famous male character, the curse knight and holder of the Soul Edge, Nightmare.

How they should play: Pretty similar to how he works in SC. He’ll have a deliberate pace, heavy attacks, and works best when he keeps players at a distance.

Mobile Suit Gundam

First appeared: Mobile Suit Gundam (1979)

We’ve focused much on the Namco side of things, but what about the Bandai half of the equation? Of all the Bandai properties, Gundam is about as big as it gets, a franchise that has been consistently popular in Japan for over 30 years. As for which series would be represented, despite the US popularity of the Wing characters, we bet the dev will stick to basics and use the original MS that was piloted by Amuro Ray in the 1979 TV show/films (or maybe an SD version of the same).

How they should play: We envision a heavy fighter with floaty jumps, a Gundam that has many weapons at its disposal. Beam swords, laser cannons, multiple attachments and enhancements should be open to the player since SSB can pull from Gundam’s decades of history. And there should be some extra complexity to the character, the type that could only be mastered by a Newtype.

Naruto

First appeared: Shonen Jump magazine (1997)

Namco is also pretty famous for the number of games it has created based on hit anime franchises. Not only are there the countless Dragon Ball games, but there’s also the Naruto titles. The Harry Potter meets ninjutsu franchise is one of the biggest properties in the world, easily worthy to be in the next Smash Bros.

How they should play: Naruto would be one of the more nimble fighters in the game, light on his feet but strong enough to do some real damage. Naruto pulling out moves like his Sexy Technique, Shadow Clone, Rasengan and other abilities he’s learned in the series would be a great move set. And we think it’s obvious to fans what his Final Smash transformation would be.

Warning New Challenger Approaching!

Of course, this is just the beginning. There will likely be characters we never would have suspected in the roster, as well as a few favorites (though we’re not going to hold our breath for some of them). Is there anyone else you’d want to see added to Smash’s roster?

And if you’re looking for more fighting rosters, check out our list of PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale characters and the full Dead or Alive 5 roster.

By Henry Gilbert