Super Smash Bros Ultimate is a ridiculously overstuffed fighting game that manages to draw from all corners of gaming, with an eye watering 76 playable characters – that’s every fighter to ever have appeared in the franchise.
There are the ones you’d expect of course, including Link, Mario, and Pikachu – but Nintendo have consistently surprised by adding third party characters to what was once a purely Ninty-themed fighting game.
Super Smash Bros Brawl shocked the world by adding characters like Sonic and Snake to the lineup, but Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS went even further by giving us Bayonetta, Pac Man, Mega Man, and even Cloud. You know, the star of that PlayStation One exclusive Final Fantasy game.
All of this is to say that when it comes to adding new fighters to Super Smash Bros Ultimate, there are clearly no rules anymore. We obviously can’t try and predict what Nintendo have planned, because when you think you’ve got ’em pegged, they introduce the Piranha Plant from Super Mario Bros as an actual playable character.
Hell, the last fighter to be announced was Joker from Persona 5, and that’s a god damn PS4 exclusive. As a result, when new evidence surfaced that suggested N64-era Rare hero Banjo Kazooie will be one of the upcoming DLC fighters, I wasn’t that shocked, despite the fact Microsoft currently owns Rare (and therefore the rights to that character).
The inclusion of Banjo in Smash Bros Ultimate has been rumoured for a while now. Xbox Boss Phil Spencer has previously said he has no problem with the character being used in the fighting game, but some intriguing new evidence has come to light.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) March 20, 2018
As soon as Ultimate released, fans immediately started mining the game’s code for secrets (as they are so often wont to do). Interestingly, they found reference to Blast Corps and Jet Force Gemini, two Rare franchises from the time of the N64.
While these franchises were in the game’s code as Spirits (these neat in-game stickers that act as buffs), it’s also got people thinking that Nintendo and Microsoft have been talking, and have come to an agreement to use Rare franchises in Smash.
It could mean nothing of course, but given the fact we’ve already been told the DLC fighters are all from franchises who haven’t been represented in a Smash Bros game before, I think one the N64s most enduring icons is a safe bet.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.