Smash Bros Character Checklist: The Kirby Series

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I owe a lot to the Smash Bros series. It introduced me to so many Nintendo franchises and games beyond my little world filled with Mario and Pokemon. I had no idea who the likes of Samus, Fox, Ness, and Captain Falcon were until I played Smash Bros. And I might not have expanded my gaming experiences if not for seeing these characters in Nintendo’s all-star brawl. It’s the main reason I consider Smash Bros to be my favorite game series of all time.

And of all the Nintendo heroes that Smash Bros introduced me too, I think I’m most thankful for it introducing me to Kirby. I mentioned briefly in my Character Checklist’s Yoshi Series post that I was obsessed with playing as Kirby in he original Smash Bros. My playtime with the character absolutely dwarfed everyone else’s. I loved that he could fly, I loved that he could dive-bomb people by turning into a rock, and I loved that he could copy other fighter’s powers and turn them into his own. I couldn’t get enough of Kirby!

So when I saw that a Kirby game was coming to my beloved Nintendo 64, I knew I had to own it. Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards became my first Kirby game, and it’s remained my absolute favorite in the series ever since. Kirby games are pretty special to me, and I jump at the chance to play them whenever possible. And of course, I’m always excited to see what new Kirby characters and stages will arrive in Smash Bros.

Kirby remained the solo representative of his games for the first two Smash Bros titles, until he was joined by Meta Knight and King Dedede in Smash Bros Brawl. No new Kirby characters were added to Smash 4, however. And in all honesty, finding characters TO add can prove to be a little difficult.

The Kirby series as a whole doesn’t exactly have a huge cast of main characters to choose from to go on the Smash Bros roster. Each game has its own villains and its own side characters, and very rarely will they end up in another entry in the series (until the recent release of Kirby Star Allies and its Dream Friends feature). The only truly consistent characters in the series are the three that are already in Smash Bros.

However, a lot of Smash and Kirby fans will point to Bandana Waddle Dee as being the perfect potential fourth-entrant in Smash from the Kirby Games. Since becoming a playable character in Kirby’s Return to Dreamland, Bandana Dee has become a regular cast member for the series alongside the main Kirby lineup. And if they DID pick Bandana Dee to be playable in Smash, I would be totally okay with it. He fights with a spear, so he could easily fill the same role I would like Mipha to fill on the Smash Roster. He’d make a great addition to the Smash cast… but I thought of someone who could be a much better choice, far more unique than the standard melee fighter Bandana Dee would most likely end up being.

I’m referring to the manipulative menace with a desire to rule Popstar, the devious boss from Kirby Superstar known as Marx!

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Of all of the one-off Kirby baddies that have shown up over the course of the series, Marx to me is one of the best, and possibly the most memorable. Under his cute exterior lies the heart of a villain who coerced the Sun and Moon into fighting (it sounds strange, but just roll with it), and used Kirby as a means to an end to get his wish to take over the planet granted. He’ll use whatever underhanded tactic he wants to get his way… which is a bit odd, because HE HAS NO HANDS!

Just think of it: a Smash Bros fighter without any kind of arms, hand, fists, or claws to speak of! Imagine all the creative ways they could make a fighter like that work! Would he primarily attack with kicks? Maybe he could smack people around with his little jester hat? He could do all kinds of flips and acrobatic moves to get his damage in, and just thinking about the possibilities he could hold gets me excited!

And even though he has no arms, Marx still has plenty of special attacks in his arsenal that can be translated into a Smash Bros move-set. For his Neutral B, he could summon in his ball and begin rolling around on it. He could move left or right, dealing damage as he rolls the ball into opponents. And he could stop the move in various ways, either jumping off it to gain extra height, or kicking the ball to attack, with the attack changing depending on what button you press or what direction you hold the control stick. His Up-B would let him sprout his wings and let him fly briefly to recover, and his Down B could be some variation on his teleportation or warping techniques. Alternatively, his Down-B could also be one of the moves where he summons ice balls or thorny vines.

His Side-B I imagine as a three-stage chargeable move, allowing him to rotate between his different projectile attacks. For a light charge, Marx would use his crescent shaped blades, acting as short-range boomerangs. For a medium charge, the attack would change to his flurry of arrows, dealing several rapid attacks in front of him. And a full charge of the move would launch his laser attack, inflicting a heavy blow to anyone who’s unfortunate enough to get caught in it.

And or course his Final Smash would be his black hole attack, sucking in everything around him and dealing heavy damage. I can’t think of anything that would be more appropriate!

Marx may not seem like a likely pick, but he and many other characters from Kirby history have been brought back into the spotlight as Dream Friends in Kirby Star Allies. This opens up all kinds of possibilities for new Kirby characters in Smash, and of the whole bunch I feel like Marx would be the best pick. He’s a classic and memorable Kirby bad guy, and I’d be totally psyched to see the crazy things he would be capable of in Smash Bros!

So what do you think of my choice? Is Marx the best pick, or would you prefer another character like Bandana Dee? Be sure to let me know your choice! But for now, Sparky is gonna sign off. Stay tuned for the next Character Checklist!

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Smash Bros Character Checklist: The Zelda Series

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With all the Mario and Mario sub-series talked about and out of the way, now it’s time to move onto discussing one of Nintendo’s OTHER gigantic franchises. And aside from maybe Pokemon, I’d say the biggest non-Mario franchise Nintendo has to offer is The Legend of Zelda.

The original Zelda released in 1986 has gone down as one of the greatest games in history, leading to one of the greatest game SERIES in history. Many will still tell you The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is one of the best games ever made, and the recently released Breath of the Wild is quickly climbing to such ranks as well.

It makes sense that long-time protagonist Link was one of the original Smash Bros fighters, and has remained a series staple to this day. Joining him from his game series is the lovely Princess Zelda, the mysterious Sheik, the powerful Ganondorf, and two variations of a younger Link.

Though surprisingly, there have been no new Zelda characters introduced to Smash since Super Smash Bros Brawl on the Wii. Even though a new major console Zelda game had been released in the time between Brawls release and Smash 4’s debut, no new characters or major character changes were introduced in the new Smash Bros based on the new Zelda. The only real change to the Zelda roster was the separation of Zelda and Shiek into two characters, rather than one character who can transform between the two.

But that lack of new Zelda characters might soon change. In the Smash Switch trailer, you can very clearly see that Link has adopted his brand new look from Breath of the Wild. Some are predicting that this indicates that Link is going to get a major moveset overhaul, or that Breath of the Wild Link may be a different character entirely from the standard Smash Bros Link we all know and love.

Though personally, I don’t really think either situation is the case. There might be some move-set changes, sure. But a complete overhaul or a seperate character feels a little unlikely to me. The new costume motif is most likely just to match Link to the newest Zelda game. Though that’s not to say I don’t think there will be a new Zelda character from the new Zelda game, but… we’ll get to that in a moment.

First, I want to talk about a different character pick to represent the Zelda franchise. Another villain to go alongside Ganondorf, and another character to have the “Toon” artstyle. The Minish-turned-Wind Mage, Vaati!

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This may seem like a strange pick for some, but I know I’m not the only one who wants to see Vaati make his Smash debut. Of all the Zelda villains, Vaati is the only one to show up in multiple games aside from some incarnation of Ganon/Ganondorf. He has an entire trilogy of titles featuring him as a main antagonist known as the Four Swords Series. So while it may seem like Vaati is just another Zelda bad guy, he’s actually a pretty big deal.

Vaati’s classification as a Wind Mage helps fill the same kind of magic-user void that I want Kamek to fill. And having a character who can potentially and creatively use the power of wind as his main weapon could lead to interesting move-set choices as well. Vaati is also well known for utilizing several demon-like transformations. Just imagine the small, unassuming purple-colored mage suddenly lashing out with shadowy claws as he uses his Smash Attacks!

I could see Vaati’s Final Smash paying out like this: After transforming into his final, giant-eyeball form known as Vaati’s Wrath, he lashes out and grabs at whoever is in range. Then a cutscene triggers, and whoever is grabbed is shrunk to Minish size and is mercilessly attacked. With one final blow, any opponent who is above a certain percentage of damage is instantly KOed, similarly to how Bayonetta’s Final Smash functions.

Of course, Vaati’s chances of inclusion are pretty slim. As much as I would like him to be in the game, a new Smash character from the Zelda franchise would most likely be from the newest Zelda game. Breath of the Wild is a really big deal among gamers right now, and the game has four chosen Champions that fight alongside Link who would all make excellent Smashers. But which one would be the best to pick?

While Urbosa and Daruk would be fun to play as, I don’t see their inclusion as totally necessary, since we already have several sword-users and heavy-hitters on the Smash Roster already. And while I know for a fact that Revali is a really popular choice among fans, I have my reasons for not wanting him as a playable character (and we will get to those reasons at another time). And that leaves us with one last champion…

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It might be odd to think of the most gentle of the Champions as the one to represent the group in Smash. However, Mipha has the potential to be one of the most unique combatants in the history of the series. And it has to do with her weapon of choice: the Lightscale Trident.

In a sea of characters that use fists, feet, lasers, swords,  and super natural powers to fight, not one character uses a spear-like weapon as their main mode of attacking. The closest one would be Palutena and her staff, but she more relies on maneuvering it with telekinesis then using it physically as a long-range weapon. Mipha and her trident offer a potential fighting style to the series that we haven’t seen before, and that makes her the perfect choice to be a Smash Bros newcomer.

Though aside from fighting with a trident, what else could Mipha do? Using water to fight, similar to Greninja and Squirtle, would be suitable for a Zora of course. But Mipha is also known for her healing powers, allowing Link to channel this healing in the form of an ability called Mipha’s Grace. She could potentially use Mipha’s Grace on herself in Smash as a non-offensive Down-B special, healing a set amount of damage like she had picked up a healing item. This of course would be combined with a very long cool-down time before it could be used again, similarly to how it works in Breath of the Wild.

In fact, what if Mipha used a series of Water-based moves that all had a similar property to that? When they made contact, they would heal Mipha for a small amount of damage,  like a reverse situation of Pichu damaging itself when using its electricity moves. Combine that with the long-range potential of the Lightscale Trident, and it would make for a protective fighting style fitting of a non-aggressive character.

As Mipha would be representing the other Hyrule Champions as well, it would make sense for her other Special Moves to channel their strengths. Her Neutral-B would be Daruk’s Protection, creating a barrier that could absorb a few hits before breaking. Her Up-B would of course be Revali’s Gale, giving her a massive amount of recovery potential. And her Side-B would be Urbosa’s Fury, summoning lighting in front of her and striking her opponents. Of course, these special moves hold a lot of potential power to them. To balance them out, they would have the same kind of cool-down period needed to recharge them like the above-mentioned Mipha’s Grace Down-B. Her specials would work similarly to Robin’s in that way: you would need to use them strategically and sparingly, otherwise you won’t have them at all when you need them the most.

And what else could her Final Smash be other than summoning a giant attack from the Divine Beasts? It would be way to fitting a choice NOT to make it her strongest attack.

And with that, I think that covers it for my Zelda character picks. I know neither of my choices are the most popular ones, but I think they would make for unique and original fighters befitting the Smash Bros roster.

What do you think of my picks? Do you think Vaati and Mipha would make excellent Smash combatants, or do would you rather have another Zelda character make their way to the game? Be sure to comment what you think! I’d love to hear about the cool ideas you guys can come up with.

For now though, that’s all from me. Sparky is signing off!