Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Champion Pack Concept

Talking about characters from the Zelda series as new fighters in Super Smash Bros. (Ultimate) is usually a delicate topic. With six fighters in total the series has a good amount of representation already – it's one of the top 4 series after Super Mario, Pokémon or Fire Emblem. It also has the second highest amount of stages and items in the game, after Super Mario.

But... the Zelda series hasn't gotten a new fighter since Super Smash Bros. Brawl in 2008, over 12 years ago. And that character was Toon Link, who basically just was a replacement of Young Link from the previous title, Super Smash Bros. Melee. It was in that game where the series has been fully extended with Sheik, Zelda, Ganondorf and Young Link – a huge focus that came with the popularity of Ocarina of Time.

Since then they regularly kept adding new fighters from the Super Mario, Pokémon and Fire Emblem universes, but Zelda fans had to make do with new Assist Trophies, stages and items, as well as some nice redesigns of the existing fighters that came with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Now, the Zelda series has seen its new big milestone with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which became the most successful Zelda game yet and has even sold almost as much as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the Nintendo Switch with 21.45 million units (see Nintendo's IR Information). And that's not even the counting its sales on the Wii U, which were over a million as well.

The game also got its fully dedicated spin-off and prequel with Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, which has already sold 2.84 million already (source) in less than three months. Needless to say that the popularity of the Zelda franchise is as high as it's ever been and even much higher than back in the days of Ocarina of Time.

So, maybe... just maybe it's time to add another Zelda character as a fighter to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. But who should it be? Who at this point would be a good fit? Over the years certain fan favorites like Midna and Skull Kid had been established, but who both are Assist Trophies in the current iteration of Smash and by now are more on the retro side of things. Impa also often gets suggested, but she wouldn't really cause the right impact (pun intended)...

What we should be getting at this point is another Super Smash Bros. Melee scenario, which does not only add one, but four new fighters. To make up for the years and years without a new Zelda fighter in Smash. To give Breath of the Wild the kind of representation it is asking for... Well, the title of this post already gives it away – this is about adding the four Champions: Mipha, Daruk, Urbosa and Revali.


Artwork of the four Champions from Age of Calamity: Mipha, Daruk, Urbosa and Revali from left to right

The Champion Pack

Of course something like wouldn't be happening as part of the current Fighters Pass. And it probably won't be happening in any way or form, where this is just a pipe dream. But let's dream for a moment and imagine a scenario, where Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is getting four more DLC characters based on Breath of the Wild alone.

Arguably, Breath of the Wild is already represented in Ultimate with the Great Plateau Tower stage and Link's newest redesign, but the latter was kind of a low effort and many fans wished that Link could have used some of the Champion abilities as part of his moveset, like Revali's Gale for his Up Special...

Well, again, they could make up for things by making the four Champions playable themselves. And not as a Pokémon Trainer type of character, like Zelda and Sheik used to be, but as four separate fighters, because this usually works better and gives each fighter one more Special move.

With that in mind, we would be looking at a separate DLC, the "Champion Pack", which gets either released alongside the second Fighters Pass or afterwards. We already know that the current character select screen can be extended by seven more fighters, so this would be a perfect fit for a full roster of 90 characters.

These fighters would not only represent Breath of the Wild, but also the different tribes of Hyrule, which have been around since Ocarina of Time and have been a very important part of the series. So, adding a Zora, a Goron, a Rito and a female Gerudo would be the right kind of impact.

Now, since each fighter already comes with a weapon and got quite well defined by the source material when it comes to combat, where they all have their special weapons, so you don't have to be overly creative for the movesets.

The most interesting part are their signature abilities, where Mipha's Grace and Urbosa's Fury are probably Final Smash material. Revali's Gale would work best as an Up Special, as already mentioned, while Daruk's Protection could either lead to a special shield or a shield-like Neutral Special.

The DLC pack would also come with a new stage in the form of the Divine Beasts, where you get teleported from one Divine Beast to the next as another morphing stage. This one could show different parts of the new Hyrule in the backgrounds, like the Gerudo Desert and so on. Similar to the "Minecraft World" stage, there could also be a mechanic where you get to select a specific Divine Beast with the right input.

And this would be the perfect opportunity to add some more music from Breath of the Wild, but mainly also from Age of Calamity, which has an amazing soundtrack that would be a really good fit for Smash. Especially the tracks for the Champions from the second chapter would be a must here.

No comments: