Written by: Jre, Skeith, and Victiny
I think it’s fair to say Min Min is one of the most out of the box picks to ever be added to Smash. That might sound odd to you considering she’s a first-party Nintendo character from a relatively recent game but just stop and think about the kinds of characters they get added to Super Smash Brothers. Especially since the advent of DLC characters to the series, Min Min doesn’t fall under any of the recognizable trends. Arms isn’t an iconic industry-changing title gaming history like Castlevania, Sonic, or Final Fantasy. Arms didn’t seem to develop that hungry a fan base that would entice Nintendo to capitalize on like Persona 5 or Dragon Quest 11 did. It doesn’t seem like Nintendo has much interest in promoting a new game in the franchise so it’s not really comparable to picks like Byleth or Incineroar. And hell Min Min isn’t even the main character of her prospective franchise hilariously enough, Springman was an assist trophy. The theme of last year’s fighter pass revolved around the 3rd party characters with Byleth as the one exception. With Min Min could we perhaps be seeing a theme of more obscure / oddball first-party Nintendo characters? Me and a few other writers for Story Arc went searching through the left-field to find six often forgotten members of the Nintendo’s family that could make a surprise return in Fighter Pass 2.
Muddy Mole From Mole Mania
Mole Mania is my favorite obscure Nintendo game. It’s not perfect but it’s an eminently charming little puzzle game on the original Game Boy. Despite that, there’s never been any follow-up to the first game; no sequel, no call-backs, no cameos. In fact, the only acknowledgment of its existence since the original game is that the main character of the game Muddy Mole is a spirit in Smash Ultimate. Now there’s a lot of debate in the Smash community on whether or not being a spirit de-confirms you as potential DLC, an argument I’m not very interested in hashing out here but for brevity’s sake, I don’t think it does.
But Muddy isn’t here just because his game has a soft spot in my heart. I think Muddy himself would be a very interesting character to play as. Mole Mania is all about solving puzzles by digging between the surface and underground while pushing and pushing items around, mostly heavy metal balls. We’ve never had a character with the ability to dig through stages before. Maybe Muddy could for a brief time tunnel into a stage when on the ground possibly in a similar way to how the Drill Wisp works in Sonic Colors. Or he could have something similar to Peach or Daisy where you can dig up various items to attack with like its signature ball or massive thumbtack. You could be similar to Little Mac where he’s incredibly powerful on the ground but lacks a lot of tools of recovery, the key difference here being Muddy would be a lot more versatile. Muddy could be a really fresh feeling character that leans more towards the party game aspect of Smash and could also get some more eyes on one of Nintendo’s most forgotten games.
Airan Jo From Sin & Punishment
Sin & Punishment is considered to be one of the poster children for cult Nintendo franchises. A more serious tone anime-inspired on-rails shooter, with origins stemming from a late in life cycle N64 game that was never brought to the West. However the series hasn’t been totally forgotten, it received a well-remembered sequel on the Wii with Sin & Punishment Star Successor, which actually got an international release, and one of the main characters Saki Amamiya was an assist trophy in Smash Bros Brawl and 4. Sachi himself has been requested by a small group of fans ever since his initial appearance in Smash Brawl. And you think since he is no longer confined to being an assist trophy in Ultimate I would pick him. Instead, I’m picking the lesser-known of the two playable characters from the first game, Airan Jo. It’s quite clear that the online Smash community has a serious problem anytime a new anime swords boy is added, yes for some mysterious reason they don’t seem to show the same irritation whenever a new anime swordswoman is added. So adding Airan takes care of the silly fandom management and helps with a more serious issue of Ultimate’s lack of gender diversity.
But if you’re not picking Saki, the only character from the first Sin & Punishment that people outside of Japan might recognize, why still limit yourself to the first game? Why not just pick the two main characters from Star Successor Isa or Kachi? Star Successor has more in-depth gameplay so, in theory, they’d have the more interesting movesets anyway. Well aside from personally liking Airan’s design more than either Isa or Kachi’s, Super Smash Bros is supposed to be a nostalgic celebration for not just Nintendo but every era of Nintendo fan. And one era I feel Smash could do a better job reminiscing about is the Nintendo 64. The only characters in Smash that you can say really belong to the N64 are Banjo, some of the Zelda characters, and arguably the Star Fox reps. So Airan, even if most players aren’t familiar with her, would be a good addition that pays respects to Nintendo’s first 3d machine. I know I for one want to see this gun-slinging laser nightstick welding tough-as-nails rebel girl get her invitation
Lip from Panel De Pon
Lip is a textbook example of an Nintendo character who had never truly disappeared but is unknown to a majority of western fans. Lip originates from the Super Famicom game Panel De Pon, a puzzle game reminiscent of Sega’s Puyo Puyo franchise. While the game did see a western release, Lip and the rest of the game’s cast were replaced with Yoshi and various other Mario enemies, the game being renamed to Tetris Attack and later Puzzle League. Panel De Pon would see continuous re-releases or remakes on various Nintendo systems including the Gameboy, Gamecube, DS, and Wii Virtual Console. However the game would always either not see a western release or have situations similar to the original Tetris Attack release where the cast is replaced with Pokemon or the like. This all changed recently when the original Super Famicom Panel De Pon finally saw western shores via the Nintendo Switch’s SNES Online allowing western Nintendo fans to meet Lip for the very first time.
Lip herself has made a few appearances outside of the Panel De Pon in other Nintendo products including appearing in Captain Rainbow, having her wand be an item in Smash since Melee, and her costume being available to wear in Animal Crossing New Leaf. So while she is a next to entirely unknown character for tons of western Nintendo fans, she hasn’t been quite forgotten by the company yet, so she could be a perfect potential left field Smash Bros rep.
Ossan from Golf on the NES
I guarantee at least half of you viewers closed this article the second they read that name. Yes, the once nameless golfer from Golf on the Nintendo Entertainment system is my second pick. I could have gone with someone like Takamaru or Mach Rider, the people you would expect to see on a list like this, but no, we’re going to be taking some time to talk about Golf on the Nintendo Entertainment System.
It’s golf! There’s not much to say about the game aside from how successful it was back in the day, selling more than 2 million copies on the NES and securing itself in Nintendo History, being ported to any and all consoles that support NES games most recently being the Nintendo Switch’s NES Online.
Emotionally it has recently also been used as an easter egg to memorialize the late great Satoru Iwata, who was the programmer of Golf. If one were to do Iwata’s iconic “direct” motion with the Switch Joycons when the console is set to June 11th, they could play an emulated version of Golf on their Switch.
So how about the golfer himself? Well for years he was nameless, just someone to represent the player, sometimes even just replaced with Mario. It wasn’t until Captain Rainbow was released on the Wii that he was given a name: Ossan. So why am I even bothering suggesting this random nobody for a Smash slot? Well the first reason is that I want to have a unique voice in the myriad of safe choices the internet throws out. The second reason is Duck Hunt. Duck Hunt is undeniably a bigger part of Nintendo history than Golf, I’m not even going to pretend they’re equals. However Duck Hunt did prove that super simplistic NES games aren’t a complete impossibility for Smash. Viva la Golf!
Famicom’s system mascot Diskun
Diskun is the name of the little Spongebob apparition that appeared as a largely Japan exclusive ambassador for the Super Famicom. They often materialized like some sort of fiendish bookworm in the corner of Famicom manuals and bore a color scheme and appearance much like the discs themselves. Unless you were a Japanese hardcore Nintendo fan during the early 90’s, there’s a strong possibility your being was never graced by this cheddar shaped wraith. Those eyes may not appear malicious, but there’s a reason they’re sealed deep within Miyamoto’s personal vault, like some sort of Pandora’s box scenario. I’m not saying Diskun is the reason the Wii U failed, but…
Anyway, onto moveset potential. Diskun appeared in Smash Table Tennis for the Super Famicom, Ice Hockey, and Golf for the same system. They also had cameos in Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer and the Warioware series as Super Famicom themed collectables. Therefore, the moveset could be similar to Mr. Game & Watch; though instead of repping the Game and Watch era, this time could be the Super Famicom in general. Think of a fighter that could use the aforementioned sports titles as smash attacks, though their specials would consist of whacking opponents with a manual or whipping out or a SNES controller cable as a ranged tether.
Additionally, since Diskun could be used to wipe data from Famicom disks in order to load new data onto them, their final smash could be an entire screen wipe. A wide, encapsulating attack like Bowser Jr. that ends with a bang like Villagers. I know the SNES/Super Famicom isn’t exactly starved for reps (Ness, Captain Falcon, Richter), but I think taking the angle of wielding the console itself is a worthy niche in Smash Bros.
Mary O. from Super Mario Maker
Speaking of manual exclusive promotional characters, Mary O. has to be one of the more prolific. Reminiscent of an in-flight stewardess onboard Air Mario, Mary resides within the manual of Mario Maker as the helpful guide toward navigating the creation tool’s ins-and-outs. She can be accessed by clicking the green guide icon at any moment, and can provide hints and suggestions on how to make the players’ Mario Maker level more challenging (or in some cases, hilariously unfair) to the community.
There are two strong pieces of evidence that support Mary O. as a playable fighter. One, the Wii Fit Trainers existence as an upgraded yoga instructor NPC to actual combatant (with a moveset under similarly unconventional means), and two, the suspicious inclusion of a Mario Maker course as added DLC in Super Smash Brothers for Wii U. I’m onto you, Nintendo!
As for the moveset of Mary O. herself, imagine the physics of Princess Peach but with a range of Mario themed moves celebrating the series 30 year history. Mary’s smash attacks would be slamming an 8-bit fire bar with insane reach, while her specials could be a boomerang from Boomerang Mario or Kuribo’s Shoe from Super Mario Bros 3. Her recovery could be the propeller cap from the NSMB series, and the final smash would involve the player placing stage hazards directly on top of their friends. There’s a lot of celebration of the Mario franchise to be had here, is what I’m saying, and Super Smash Brothers is just that celebration to be had!