Smash Bros Character Checklist: The Donkey Kong Series

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You could say that Nintendo owes a lot of their success to a gorilla. If not for the original Donkey Kong arcade game in 1981, the world today might not have the Super Mario series. And if there were no Mario, Nintendo might not be the household name that it is.

Of course Donkey Kong himself has had plenty of his own adventures without the plumber’s help. Even though he’s a regular cast member of Mario spin-off titles such as Mario Kart and Mario Party, DK has a well recognized game series of his own. They take the form of several arcade and Game & Watch outings in the 1980s, and the beloved Donkey Kong Country series that began in the 1990s.

Since he has his place at the origins of Nintendo’s video game empire, it’s no surprise Donkey Kong was one of the characters picked to be in the original Super Smash Bros. He and his little buddy Diddy are now mainstays of the series. But surprisingly, they’re the sole representatives of the Donkey Kong games, even though the series has a rich supply of characters to choose from.

Dixie Kong was intended to be a playable character in Super Smash Bros Brawl, and was meant to be teamed up with Diddy Kong like in her game of origin. However, that idea didn’t pan out, and Dixie has remained on the sidelines to this day. That being said, there’s always hope for her to make an official appearance as a playable character in Smash, and she has plenty of support behind her. However, my choice for a playable Donkey Kong character is someone a bit more… villainous!

Who’s the meanest, greenest crocodile you’ve ever had to face in a series of brutal Super Nintendo games? Why, King K. Rool, of course!

CharacterChecklistKRool

The cry for the King of Kremlings to be playable in Super Smash Bros is a strong one. I know I’m not the only one who would love to see him make an appearance on the roster. We got at least a LITTLE close when he was turned into a wearable costume for the Mii Brawler character. But as the main antagonist of the Donkey Kong series, K. Rool absolutely deserves a full playable spot in the next Smash Bros.

While heavy-weight, brutally powerful characters sporting fangs and claws are no stranger to the Smash Bros roster, K. Rool has a lot of points of inspiration for his moveset that could set him apart from the likes of Bowser and Charizard. He’s used plenty of projectile weapons before (including his own crown, which behaves like a boomerang for whatever reason), giving him some potential long-range options that other big characters lack.

King K. Rool has fondness for different personas as well. In several of the games he’s made an appearance in, he’s taken on different names and likenesses, and he changes the way he fights accordingly. In Donkey Kong Country 2, he took up the guise of Kaptain K. Rool, wielding a giant blunderbuss. In Donkey Kong Country 3, he became Baron K. Roolenstein, sporting a helicopter pack for easy maneuverability. And in Donkey Kong 64, he was heavyweight-champ King Krusha K. Rool, emphasizing his brute strength. Any one of these disguises can be used as inspiration for K. Rool’s moveset (as well as inspiration for alternate costumes, perhaps?).

Throughout all of his games, King K. Rool has shown himself of strong, durable, agile, smart, and wildly creative, leading to all kinds of potential for him in a Super Smash Bros games. They only issue with including him is that in more recent games like Donkey Kong Country Returns and Tropical Freeze, he’s been set aside for other villains to take his place. It’s been about 10 years since he’s had a starring roll in a Nintendo game, the most recent of which is Mario Super Sluggers. But even though he’s not as prominent of a Nintendo villain as he once was, I’d say it’s high time he made a comeback! Here’s hoping he finally shows up again in the next Smash!

So what do you think of my pick? Do you think K. Rool deserves a shot at Smash glory, or are other Donkey Kong characters more worthy of the spot? Let me know what you think!

But for now, I’d say that’s all for me. Thanks a lot for reading, and be sure to be on the lookout for the next entry in my Smash Bros Character Checklist! This is is Sparky, signing off!

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Smash Bros Character Checklist: The Mario Series

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I. Freaking. Love. Super Smash Bros. Ever since I first saw that glorious commercial for the original game on Nintendo 64, I knew I was in for something amazing. To this day, Super Smash Bros remains my favorite video game series, and each game just keeps getting better.

To many gamer’s surprise, Nintendo announced the return of the series on the Nintendo Switch almost out of nowhere the other day. Everyone knew it was going to happen at some point, but I don’t think anyone expected an announcement for a Smash Bros game to happen before E3. The trailer was just a small teaser, and didn’t tell us much, aside from the addition of the Splatoon Inklings to the character roster. But regardless, it was enough to get the hype train rolling once more, and get everyone speculating about who’s going to make the cut in Nintendo’s next huge crossover fighting game.

Topping the character roster from Super Smash Bros for 3DS and Super Smash Bros for Wii U will be no easy task. The duo of games, collectively known as Smash 4, had a huge 58 character roster, with 8 additional fighters being represented as alternate costumes for existing characters. Smash Bros for Switch promises to be gigantic, and everyone has their own thoughts on who’s going to be joining the fray. And of course, that includes me.

So I’m starting off what I’m calling the Smash Bros Character Checklist, where I talk about characters I would like to see join the battle! I’m going to be going through the existing represented Nintendo games, series by series, and discussing who I think from that series would make a good addition to the cast. These aren’t going to be detailed analyses of what the character’s complete move-sets would be or anything; just my general thoughts on what the characters would play like, and why I think they should be included in the game. And starting us off, of course, is the Mario series.

Now, the main series Mario titles already have plenty of representation in the Smash Bros titles. There’s Mario and his Doctor counterpart, his brother Luigi, the lovely Princess Peach, and Mario Galaxy’s Rosalina. We also can’t forget the big baddie Bowser and his son, Bowser Jr. If you count the fact that the seven Koopalings also serve as Bowser Jr’s alternate costumes, that brings the total Mario characters up to fourteen. I think most agree that the Mario series has plenty of representation at this point, so adding more characters almost seems a bit silly.

But… there’s someone missing, isn’t there? A main series Mario character, often playable in games, that isn’t among the other main characters? Why, it’s Toad of course! It seems strange to have every other Mario character under the sun, and not include one of the longest running characters in the series as a Smash fighter. Though there is the small problem that Toad serves as one of Princess Peach’s special moves. So why not make the playable Toad a different Toad? Make it… Captain Toad!

CharacterChecklistCaptainToad

Starting off as a minor supporting roll in Super Mario Galaxy, Captain Toad and the Toad Brigade grew into characters of their own. The sometimes cowardly treasure hunter is now a mainstay of the series, with his own title game that’s soon going to be re-released on the Nintendo Switch. He would be a perfect fit to represent his Toad brethren in a new Smash Bros!

Like other playable Toads before him, I envision Captain Toad as a quick character with a good deal of strength behind his attacks. Though he would most likely sport the poor jumping ability of other Toads as well. Considering he doesn’t have a jump button at all in his game, maybe he should invest in a smaller backpack for his Smash Bros debut?

He would be a lot like Little Mac in a way. But in order to differentiate him from the small-stature boxer, Captain Toad would sport an arsenal of tools from his treasure hunting expeditions. He would have his pickaxe handy for Smash Attacks, and he could even borrow Princess Peach’s vegetable-picking attack for his Down-B Special (perhaps he could occasionally unearth heavy treasures, instead of vegetables, in order to deal extra damage?). The Captain could even make use of his headlamp for a Neutral-B Special, charging the light up to temporarily blind his opponents.

His alternate costumes would be easy to come up with: give him colors representing the other members of the Toad Brigade! He could even have an alternate costume that turns him into Toadette, similar to the gender-swapped costumes of Robin, Corrin, and Wii Fit Trainer. That way you could have another character added to the game, without taking up a spot in the character roster. Plus it would add to the number of female characters in the game as a whole.

Overall, I think Captain Toad would be the perfect choice to fill in what feels like a large hole in the cast of Mario characters represented in Super Smash Bros. He can be a modern AND classic Nintendo character rolled into one! Here’s hoping the development team feels the same way as I do. I’d love to see him make it in!

So what does everyone else think of my choice? Would Captain Toad make a good Mario representative, or do you have another character in mind? I hear that Paper Mario is a popular choice, and there’s always characters like Princess Daisy and Waluigi (though would Waluigi count as a Wario series character? That’s something to think about…). Either way, tell me what you think! I’d love to hear fellow Smash-Fan’s thoughts on the matter!

I’m planning to continue the Smash Bros Character Checklist in the future, so be sure to look out for posts on other characters and franchises I think would be a perfect fit for Super Smash Bros!  Until then, keep on playing! Sparky is signing off for now.