With E3 well underway, there is one topic that is on every Nintendo fan’s mind…and that is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. For those of you outside the Super Smash Bros. community, speculation around fighters leads to some of the most vicious, desperate and emotional discussions on the internet. Fans of Super Smash Bros. are incredibly loyal to their desired fighters, and will petition, argue and pick at every straw in hopes that director Masahiro Sakurai will consider their pleas. This year, there is no question about whether or not a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC fighter will be revealed, as Sakurai downright confirmed it on Saturday at the Super Smash Bros. Invitational 2019.
But who might this mysterious new fighter be?
In this article, I will breakdown the most speculated, rumoured, “leaked,” and desired fighters across the community in hopes of giving some ideas as to who might be smashing onto our screens during Nintendo’s E3 Direct on Tuesday morning.
Banjo & Kazooie
One of the biggest rumors being thrown around the internet right now is that the classic duo Banjo & Kazooie will be the next fighter to join the roster. Rumors of this fighter began back during the initial lead-up to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate when the infamous “Grinch leak” surfaced. The “Grinch leak” was a hazy image of a supposedly completed Super Smash Bros. Ultimate banner that included many newcomers, including Golden Sun’s Isaac, Super Mario RPG’s Geno and Banjo-Kazooie’s beloved bear and bird. While nothing eventually came from the “Grinch leak,” some information and speculation that happened during that time seemed to suggest that perhaps Microsoft and Nintendo may have been planning something.
During last year’s E3 event, Xbox head Phil Spencer supposedly had lunch with then-Nintendo of America head Reggie Fils-Aime. This lead many to believe that negotiations for a Microsoft-related Super Smash Bros. fighter may have begun. In the past, Phil Spencer had suggested on his official Twitter that if Nintendo wants Banjo & Kazooie in Super Smash Bros., all they have to do is ask.
Banjo & Kazooie appearing in Super Smash Bros. was further fuelled by the interesting increase in merchandise as of late, which is more detailed in our article about Banjo’s potential return. However, what pushed these rumors over the edge were a leak on the forum ResetEra by a credible leaker known as “Shinobi.” Shinobi, who has leaked content for Nintendo before, heavily implied that Banjo & Kazooie would be announced for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate at E3 2019. This was further confirmed by another somewhat credible leaker named “Vergebern,” who had previously correctly leaked the inclusions of Ridley, Isabelle, Ken and Incineroar, but had also been wrong about the inclusion of Minecraft and additional Square-Enix content. This mix of information has lead Banjo & Kazooie to be the top-runner for this year’s E3, and hopefully the insiders are correct, as it would help heal the wound left for fans of the bear and bird after Microsoft failed to deliver information about the series at their own E3 conference.
UPDATE: BANJO IN SMASH, BABY!!!!
Erdrick is one of the protagonists from the Dragon Quest series, and is another fighter that has been heavily rumored for months. The rumors of Erdrick’s inclusion are due to two major factors: the leaker “Vergeben” and datamined information. Back during the lead-up to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s release, “Vergeben” revealed that the final three fighters in the game would be Ken, Incineroar and another Square-Enix fighter. However, once Ken and Incineroar were revealed and the Square character was nowhere to be found, Vergeben back-peddled and explained that the Square character was being saved for DLC at the request of the parent company. Since then, Vergeben has revealed that this Square character is actually Erdrick from Dragon Quest, and while Vergeben’s information has been somewhat spotty, he did get many character reveals correct.
The other major piece of information that many associate with Erdrick are datamines for the first two DLC fighters that were found in leftover update data. The first character was labeled as “Jack,” which many believed was referring to Joker. The second character was referred to as “Brave,” and many believe that this title can be associated with the hero you see above. Will Dragon Quest finally make its way into Super Smash Bros.? I guess that only time will tell.
UPDATE: Erdrick (& other DQ Heroes) Confirmed!!
Going back to the Microsoft speculation, the other character that many people are anticipating is the player character from Minecraft known as Steve. Once again, this speculation largely originates from statements from the leaker “Vergeben.” In addition to suggesting a new Square-Enix character, Vergeben also suggested that some sort of Minecraft content would be present in the base game, which of course, never happened. Nevertheless, with the continued collaborations between Nintendo and Microsoft, fans are certain that a Microsoft character is incoming, and that Steve is a likely choice. Considering that Minecraft is one of gaming’s biggest, most successful titles ever, it would make sense that content from the game might make its way into gaming’s greatest brawler.
Artorias is a character that is rumored for a very different reason than some of the other fighters. A few months back, information known as “the Google leak” was posted on Smash forums everywhere that revealed the names of five DLC fighters. One of these fighters was Dark Souls’ Artorias. While this rumor has gained much less traction than others, it is possible that Namco-Bandai might want to include another fighter in the game, seeing as they have co-developed. And considering the success of the Souls franchise, it might not be a bad idea to include someone representing the series.
Another fighter that was suggested in “the Google leak” is Ryu Hayabusa from Ninja Gaiden. This is a character that was not previously speculated by any other source, but it still seems to make a ton of sense. Ninja Gaiden has a long and storied history in Japanese gaming, and as Super Smash Bros. often celebrates gaming icons that originated in Japan, Ryu Hayabusa is not completely out of the realm of possibility.
The Doom Marine or Doomguy is the main character of Bethesda’s Doom franchise, and another fighter that is rumored as a result of the “Google leak.” As Bethesda is one of the few major companies that does not have a representative in Super Smash Bros., it would make sense if Nintendo wanted to show some love to one of their partners by including a protagonist from one of their games. And seeing as Doom has been released on Nintendo Switch, and that Doom Eternal will be releasing later this year, it would make sense if the Doomguy was the highest priority choice from the company.
Edelgard or Byleth
Byleth (pictured) or Edelgard (not pictured) are two of the main characters from the upcoming Fire Emblem: Three Houses for the Nintendo Switch. Now, this rumor is one that is created out of hysteria, paranoia and hatred. In general, Super Smash Bros. fans have become somewhat angry with the amount of Fire Emblem characters included in Super Smash Bros., to the extent that many claim that Masahiro Sakurai is biased toward including characters from the series. As a result, many believe that the main characters of the upcoming title will be included as DLC fighters in order to promote the game, in the same vain as Corrin being included as a DLC fighter in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS/Wii U to promote Fire Emblem Fates.
Rayman is a character that fans have wanted in Super Smash Bros. for years. Similarly to the Doomguy representing Bethesda, Ubisoft is one of Nintendo’s few major partners that have not been represented in Super Smash Bros. yet. This is strange considering that Ubisoft and Nintendo are no strangers to collaboration, as the Rayman universe and Super Mario Bros. universe collided in 2017’s Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle and Rayman characters have been included as trophies and spirits in both Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. I think it is about high time that Nintendo finally gives some love to the limbless hero and allows him to fight alongside gaming icons like Mario, Link, Sonic and Mega Man.
Dante from Devil May Cry is another character that is rumored as a result of a leak. However, this leak is different than the rest. Before Devil May Cry V released, a text-based leak was posted on forums with tons of story and gameplay information regarding the game. Much of this information ended up being correct, but what was curious was that the end of the leak suggested that Dante would be playable in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Of course, at that time, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate had not released yet, and so the “leak” would have suggested he was part of the base game. When Dante was not in the game, many believed this information to be fabricated, but it did not stop the vocal fanbase from believing he had a shot. Capcom already has three representatives in the game in addition to Monster Hunter content, so it is unlikely that they will be receiving anymore love. But when it comes to Super Smash Bros., you really never know!
Crash Bandicoot or Spyro the Dragon
Activision is the final major partner of Nintendo’s that does not have a representative in Super Smash Bros. With the recent resurgence of the iconic platforming heroes Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon, many have speculated that one or both of these characters has a shot at becoming the next playable fighter in the game. After all, Crash has appeared on the Nintendo Switch twice now with Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy and the upcoming Crash Team Racing, and Spyro is rumored to be heading to the system with the late release of Spyro Reignited Trilogy. It would be fantastic to have either of these two fighters on the roster, so hopefully when Sakurai considers who would fit in best, he considers these two revived gaming icons.
When it comes to Super Smash Bros., anything can happen (except for Goku)! While these are the frontrunners of the community, we really have no idea what Sakurai has in store. Either way, I am excited to see who is eventually revealed to be the second (and maybe third) DLC fighter on Tuesday morning!