It’s incredible to think that the Nintendo Switch is already almost a year old. It seems like yesterday we were being bombarded with rumor after leak after rumor about the then-fabled NX, ultimately culminating in that long-awaited reveal video. Even so, we’re nearly a year deep and a new Super Smash Bros. game has yet to be announced — though rumors about its development are swirling. Super Smash Bros. has been a staple title of every Nintendo home console since the Nintendo 64, so it’s less of a matter of if a new installment will get announced and more of a matter of when.

Smash Bros. roster wishlists are no new idea: Every user from GameFAQs to Reddit to NeoGAF has posted their selection of hopefuls for the next Smash game. But with the excitement of the Switch’s one-year anniversary upon us, we figured it was a better time than any to list our (and by “our,” I mean “my”) most-wanted for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch. By the way, I really hope we don’t see yet another unimaginative name like we did for the Wii U and 3DS versions. I’d much prefer seeing “Super Smash Bros. Fray” or “Clash” or, hell, even “Slugfest” — one of the words Google listed as a synonym for “melee.” I won’t get my hopes up, though.

1. King K. Rool

My wishlist begins and ends with this big, green guy. Just kidding. But really, it’s been a long, long, long, long time coming for the Kremling King. He appeared on my personal wishlist back when Super Smash Bros. Brawl was still in development and I’d eagerly F5 the old Smash Bros. Dojo every morning before school. King K. Rool has a long and storied past with the Donkey Kong franchise, is the titular ape’s arch nemesis, and has tons of moveset potential (drawing from his many costumes and get-ups throughout the Donkey Kong Country series), making him prime material for the next Nintendo All-Star Battle Royale. Before I hear any cries of, “Irrelevant! K. Rool’s old news!” — when has relevancy ever been a factor in a Smash Bros. roster? Sure, K. Rool hasn’t been in a Donkey Kong title in many, many years, but he’s appeared as recently as in Super Mario Sluggers (albeit… ten years ago), as well as in Smash 4 as a DLC Mii Fighter costume. A reference to him was even made in Super Mario Odyssey’s New Donk City with KROOL St.

In addition to being a solid part of Nintendo history, K. Rool also adds a bit of diversity to the Smash franchise in the way of him being both a heavyweight and a villain. Let’s be honest: Smash Bros. is a bit of a… sausage fest, but, like, the good guy equivalent of that. Too many good guys, is what I’m saying. It’s also kind of a regular sausage fest, too, but fortunately, the Wii U and 3DS versions kind of remedied that. Plus, K. Rool provides the DK series another representative — a much-deserved one given its recent revival and upcoming Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze port for the Switch.

And no, he isn’t owned by Rare, so let’s just dispel that little myth right now.

2. Inkling

“Oooh, what a bold choice, Nintendo Wire writer!” Yeah, I know, but who doesn’t want to see these squid kids fighting against Nintendo’s sweethearts? Splatoon making an appearance in Smash for Switch is kind of a given — and a no-brainer, really. A new, successful first-party IP that’s already seen two installments, and already saw a crossover with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe? That’s just ripe for the roster picking. Inkling would have both a male and female variant and costumes based on the customization options from Splatoon and Splatoon 2 — so, different hairstyles, colors (corresponding to ink color), and clothes.

So what does Inkling bring to the table? Well, a fresh new gameplay style, for one: Spraying ink and swimming in it provides loads of new opportunities, giving it a leg up over other characters in the uniqueness department already. Inkling’s Final Smash could involve one of the many specials from the games — a massive Inkstrike immediately comes to mind. Inkling’s inclusion also adds another gunslinging fighter into the mix, right after Bayonetta (and Snake, may he rest in peace). Additionally, Splatoon representation means tons of kick-ass music from the series’s kick-ass soundtrack. …We can leave out songs from the Bottom Feeders, though. Those were… kind of a miss with me.

3. Spring Man

This spry, stretchy, young dude is straight outta ARMS, another of Nintendo’s newest IPs. Boasting extendable limbs and a bevy of cool weapons, any ARMS character would fit right in in the cutthroat world of Super Smash Bros. Why I chose Spring Man to be the ARMS rep over Ribbon Girl — or any other fighter from the game — is simply due to Spring Man being the sort-of “default” option. He’s arguably the most recognizable out of the ARMS cast, after all. That isn’t to say I wouldn’t invite any other ARMS characters into the Smash Bros. family — Ribbon Girl, Ninjara, Lola Pop… they’re all welcome to come!

Spring Man’s moveset would involve standard beat-’em-up fare, although with the added flavor of long-range punches and attributes like fire, ice, and poison attached to his attacks. His Final Smash could involve his Rush Attack, although having an on-screen Rush Gauge instead that would power him up once filled might make for more interesting gameplay. Now that I think about it, having Hedlok drop down onto him and unleash a jabbing frenzy would be a much cooler Final Smash. Oh, and you know that catchy theme song is gonna get about 17 different remixes in the game. After all, it already did in ARMS.

4. Ice Climbers

The prodigal children return, no longer hindered by pesky technical obstacles! I feel like the reintroduction of the Ice Climbers is sort of a given, considering their absence in Smash Bros. 4 was due to limitations on the 3DS — and a desire by game director Masahiro Sakurai to keep the rosters of both the Wii U and 3DS versions of Smash the same. Many fans missed the Ice Climbers, and while I never really played as them (or particularly enjoyed playing as them), I felt they were a good addition to the roster — a retro representative in a game overrun by new blood. Here’s to Popo and Nana: May they find their way onto our Switches when the newest Smash Bros. arrives.

Oh, but, okay… Can we at least do something about their ridiculous Final Smash? I dunno what to replace it with, but let it be anything but the giant glacier. Really felt like they were scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas there. I’m just imagining the Brawl game designers in a creative meeting, sitting around a table for hours, tapping pens on desks and foreheads before finally noticing the time and giving up, looking at a white board with the word “ICE?” spelled out in big, black letters before shrugging in defeated agreement to each other and heading out the door.

5. Rex and Pyra

Rex and Pyra hail from last year’s Xenoblade Chronicles 2. I picture these two working in tandem as a dual character, much like Rosalina and Luma do in Smash 4. Rex’s anchor shot could be adapted into his moveset, and the Blade/Driver dynamic of the two characters could drive the majority of their play style — Pyra would sit back, acting as support for Rex as he does most of the pummeling, but take her down and Rex would find himself weakened.

Does the Xenoblade franchise deserve another character on the Smash roster? The answer is yes. I’ll be honest, before Shulk’s surprise appearance in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, I had no idea what a Xenoblade was. I’d heard the name “Shulk” thrown about on various forums and Reddit, but I’d no clue who it was referring to. To be perfectly frank, I would imagine She-Hulk whenever I read the name and figured people clamoring for Shulk’s inclusion were simply joking. Shulk’s playable status introduced me to the fantastic game that is the original Xenoblade Chronicles, and I feel the addition of Rex and Pyra will do the same for a whole new group of gamers. Since playing Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, I’ve enjoyed every following installment in the franchise, even though I found X to be just a little extremely difficult and frustrating and overly complicated at times. I’ll never forget those three days I went to work and left an oscillating standing fan tied to my Wii U GamePad with string in order to farm credits to buy Skells.

6. Takamaru

Takamaru, the star of the Famicom-exclusive game The Mysterious Murasame Castle, is my sixth choice for playable character. Internationally, not many may have heard of him — it’s true. After all, his 1986 game was only available in Japan until its Nintendo 3DS eShop launch across all regions in 2014. The possibility of Takamaru’s inclusion in Smash Bros. for Switch has a lot going for it. For one, he was already considered for 2001’s Super Smash Bros. Melee until game director Masahiro Sakurai decided against it. Secondly, as I’ve already mentioned, his game had a somewhat recent revival on the 3DS eShop. Thirdmost, he had a starring role in a mini-game in the Wii U launch title Nintendo Land. Fourth… ly, he made an appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as a sticker and in both versions of Super Smash Bros. 4 as a trophy. Lastly, he exists as an Assist Trophy in the latter game, as well, where he jumps around and tosses blades. Plus, a Mii Fighter costume of him was released as paid DLC. If all that doesn’t signal his growing popularity and/or presence in the mind of Sakurai, I dunno what does.

His moves would involve his katana, throwing knives, and the various power-ups he receives in his game — fireballs, for instance. Following in the footsteps of characters like Ice Climbers, Duck Hunt, and Mr. Game & Watch, Takamaru is my pick to fill the role of retro representative for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch. I debated between him and Balloon Fighter to fill this spot, but ultimately, I decided Takamaru would make for a more interesting character — and because Balloon Fighter’s role as a desperate wing-flapper is already somewhat taken by Villager. I’d be more than happy to welcome both to the game, however.

7. Shovel Knight


Everyone’s favorite pick for a third-party character is also one of my top picks for a third-party character — surprise, surprise. Shovel Knight has become a bit of a break-out star in the past few years, with his game receiving three additional full-length campaigns, and himself winning playable appearances and cameos in a variety of different games. Did I mention he even got his own amiibo? Oh, and three others based on antagonists Plague Knight, Specter Knight, and King Knight are dropping this year. The Nintendo console versions of Shovel Knight also received some additional features not seen in other versions, thanks to amiibo support. So, not only has Shovel Knight arguably become a face (I won’t go so far as to say the face) of indie gaming, but he’s also shown he has some amount of importance to Nintendo. He’s the perfect pick for a third-party rep.

Like Inkling, Shovel Knight would also use ink shooters to attack opponents, diving in and out of ink to escape enemies’ attacks. No, just kidding — of course he’d use the most obvious tool at his disposal: his helmet.

Anyway, after steeling his shovel, the knight in blue would attack using all sorts of combinations of moves from his own game — a Neutral + Down move not unlike Link’s, a Down + B that buries opponents, and various specials that take inspiration from the relics (sub-weapons) he finds over the course of his noble journey. The Chaos Sphere, Flare Wand, Dust Knuckles, and more would all find the perfect home in the world of Smash. His inclusion also means we’d be getting some of the killer music from his games, although I’m on the fence about whether I’d prefer faithful chiptune versions of the tracks or arrangements with real instruments. Hm… why not both?

8. Shantae

Yep, our purple-haired half-genie hero is my second choice for a third-party rep. Shantae got her start on the Game Boy Color back in 2002 with her self-titled game Shantae. After a Game Boy Advance sequel, Shantae 2: Risky Revolution, never saw the light of day, Shantae returned to handheld screens in 2010 with the DSiWare-only game Shantae: Risky’s Revenge (although it later made its way to other consoles). Later, Shantae saw two sequels: Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse and Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, both cross-platform releases. Clearly, Shantae’s history is pretty deeply tied to Nintendo, making her an appropriate addition to the Smash series.

Like Xenoblade, I’d never heard of the Shantae series until I ran into Smash Bros. fans online who were lobbying for her playable appearance. At first, I was against the idea, thinking her franchise too obscure. After I downloaded Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse for 3DS, I immediately took a liking to the game, as well as her, Sky, Bolo, Rottytops, and the whole Sequin Land gang. I replayed it endlessly, adoring the fun gameplay and hilarious (and ludicrous) dialogue. Having played all the games in the series now — save for the original — I am solidly in the “Shantae for Smash Bros.!” camp.

Shantae’s whole deal (except in Pirate’s Curse) is her ability to transform into different creatures to scale certain obstacles thanks to her half-genie blood. We’re talking spiders, mermaids, bats, elephants, mice… you name it, she can probably transform into it. I’d imagine her moveset would draw heavily from her transformations (with her standard attacks involving her hair — her signature weapon), although she uses pirate-themed tools in Pirate’s Curse after losing her magic in Risky’s Revenge, permitting her to also possibly utilize a cutlass and cannon as a recovery move in Smash. Her Final Smash could even involve Risky Boots and her Tinkerbats arriving via ship and just blasting everyone with cannonballs.

Also, I keep going on about music, but the Shantae series (particularly Pirate’s Curse) has some pretty awesome tracks thanks to composer Jeff Kaufman. I’d kill (yes, literally kill) to see some of those songs make it into Super Smash Bros.

9. Chorus Kids

We all remember the so-called “Gematsu leaks” from the pre-Super Smash Bros. 4 era, and if you don’t, well, then, go educate yourself! The Chorus Kids are from a game on the Nintendo DS called Rhythm Heaven. More precisely, they’re the stars of a mini-game called “Glee Club.” As Rhythm Heaven’s name would imply, it’s a rhythm-based title wherein players hold, tap, and flick their stylus across their DS screen to the beat of music as they participate in a variety of different mini-games. The Chorus Kids are just some of the many memorable characters from the Rhythm Heaven franchise (now up to four games), but they’re ostensibly the most popular representative pick because of their inclusion in a very credible Smash Bros. 4 roster leak. The “Gematsu leaks” (named after the site that reported them — Gematsu) reported, prior to release, a number of different characters that would be in the game. Most were right. Some were wrong, including the Chorus Kids.

I think it’s high time Rhythm Heaven receives some sort of character representation in Smash, and the Chorus Kids fit the bill just fine — they’re recognizable and unique in the way that a three-person character hasn’t been done before. Their attacks would pull from mini-games from across the Rhythm Heaven series — attacking with a fork or a tambourine, for instance. Additionally, some sort of rhythm-keeping mechanic could be used for their B moves, requiring a player to keep a steady beat in order to pull them off.

Having a Rhythm Heaven character would also invite a Rhythm Heaven stage, which I imagine could be very similar to the WarioWare, Inc. stage from Brawl and Smash for 3DS. All players would occasionally have to participate in rhythm mini-games lest they suffer a fate worse than death: being launched off the screen.

10. Wolf


I was a little confused when Wolf didn’t return for Super Smash Bros. 4 after his debut in Brawl. He was mostly a Fox clone, yes, but he was different enough to set him apart from both Fox and Falco (who was more of a clone than Wolf was). He also added to the number of playable villains in the game, which I’ve always thought Smash needs more of. Plus, he just felt good to play as and was a lot of fun. All that being said, I’d be delighted to welcome Wolf back into the fold, granted he has a changed-up moveset. I’m really crossing my fingers for a no-clone policy in Smash for Switch. I’m lookin’ at you, Ganondorf, with your race-car driver moves and that sword you so evilly taunt us with.

Wolf’s Final Smash, for example, could easily be changed up so it isn’t a near-replica of Fox’s and Falco’s. Save the Landmaster for just Fox (yes, Falco “Personally, I Prefer the Air!” Lombardi should also have a new one, preferably involving an Arwing since he loves flying so much) and have Wolf call in Star Wolf to attack opponents instead. Hell, even use one of the many new vehicles introduced in that one Wii U Star Fox game with the terrible controls. What was it called, again? “Star Fox”? Oh, that’s right.

11. Waluigi

Waluigi, Waluigi, Waluigi… Man, what isn’t there to say about this magnificent specimen? That gorgeous, slender mustache… that long, traffic cone-like chin… those beady, dead, little eyes… It’s like Nintendo stirred every one of the most desirable male characteristics into a pot to create this ideal of a man. I’m also just now noticing those captivating, sky-blue circles under his peepers, sitting snug above that pork-colored beak of his. Perfection.

You can’t say you don’t like Waluigi. He’s so incredibly over-the-top and absurd, you can’t help but love him for what he is. I’ve been a fan of his for quite a while now — something some of my Nintendo Wire teammates even noticed, causing them to kindly gift me a Waluigi plush during E3 last year. He now sits proudly in my room, having slowly claimed supreme dominion over my apartment. He may not have been a top pick for a playable character, say, when Brawl was coming out, but now that Sakurai’s pretty much covered everyone who absolutely deserves to be in the game and was kind of getting desperate in Smash 4 (Palutena? Really?), Waluigi’s next up to bat.

Speaking of bats, Waluigi’s moveset would draw from the many, many, many Mario spin-offs he’s been in over the years. He can keep his tennis racket from his Assist Trophy days (after all, he did originate in Mario Tennis for the N64) while adding various items from Mario Party, Mario Golf, Mario Strikers, and Mario Baseball to his arsenal. I’m still holding onto hope for an E3 announcement of a Wario + Waluigi game for the Switch, but I fear the outlook isn’t very pretty. I’ll have to pray to my Waluigi plush again tonight.

12. Tingle

Yep.

Tingle.

The Legend of Zelda hasn’t had a new playable character since Brawl (and I’m not sure if Toon Link really even counts when considering his predecessor, Young Link), and I think we’re due for one. After flipping through pages and pages of Zelda’s collection of characters, I realized that, apart from Impa, Tingle was the most recognizable and recurring one. For a long time I was a Vaati hopeful, and Impa would definitely be a cool addition (given the fleshing-out Hyrule Warriors gave her), but Tingle would serve to fill two roles: a Zelda rep and Smash for Switch’s idea of a joke fighter. Y’know, like Wii Fit Trainer in Smash 4.

Tingle’s moves could pull from his attacks in Hyrule Warriors (meaning they’d be heavily balloon-based), as well as utilize bombs as he does in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker when called with the Tingle Tuner. He could also possibly use a system like a hypothetical Balloon Fighter character would, where he could float around with multiple balloons while other players aim to pop them to bring him down. Ultimately, I think Tingle would make for an intriguing and unexpected character that even his harshest detractors would learn to enjoy.


That’s it for my top picks! What are yours, and what’d you think of mine? Loved them? Hated them with every fiber of your being? Let us know in the comments!

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Written by Daniel Dell-Cornejo

Daniel is an editor at Nintendo Wire. Always with his head in the clouds, he is never apart from his creative thoughts – a blessing for an aspiring fiction writer. As a journalist and lifelong gamer, he aims to provide readers with the very best in Nintendo coverage.

Daniel Dell-Cornejo