With the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, there are 77 characters that are playable or will be in the future. With so many different representatives from some of the most iconic video game franchises in history, there’s guaranteed to be someone for everybody.
With the Smash franchise now spanning 20 years, we took a look back at all the various character trailers and reveals over the past two decades. While they have all been exciting in one way or another, there’s no doubt that some character reveals broke the internet more than others. We have picked five of the most jaw-dropping, unbelievable character announcements that were almost too good to be true. Check them out!
The World Warrior definitely had a home on Super Nintendo consoles when Street Fighter II was hot, but Ryu (and Street Fighter in general) had moved on to PlayStation, Xbox, and PC versions when the 2000s rolled around. The main character from one of the most iconic fighting game franchises was considered a longshot as a Smash character, due to both no longer appearing on Nintendo consoles and the logistics of making Ryu’s style working in a Smash-style game.
So, when Ryu was announced as a downloadable character on June 14th, 2015, the internet rightfully exploded. The character was able to fit right in with the gameplay, and fact that you’re able to do all the Street Fighter commands (and even some combos!) made him a unique and appealing choice. While Ryu struggled against zoner characters, his high-damage combos and ability to KO characters insanely early made Ryu a perfect “glass cannon” character; far removed from his role as a neutral, balanced character in the Street Fighter series.
Snake making an appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl wasn’t as large a surprise as one might think; Hideo Kojima really wanted the Metal Gear Solid protagonist to appear in Super Smash Bros. Melee, but development was too far along Sakurai to make it happen.
So while Snake in Smash had some history behind it, the reveal was still incredibly hype because having third party characters was almost unheard of at the time. Couple this with the overall general hype behind Super Smash Bros. Brawl (there was almost a seven-year gap between Melee and Brawl) and it’s easy to see why so many fans were pleasantly shocked by Snake’s inclusion.
They did a good job with his playstyle too! With Nintendo still maintaining a family-friendly image, Snake does not use any guns or rifles, sticking exclusively to grenades, rocket launchers, and good ol’ CQC. The result is an explosively unique character.
The Banjo-Kazooie games were some of the most popular and acclaimed games on the Nintendo 64, and fans never gave up hope that the bear and bird would make their way into a Smash game. You would think that Microsoft buying out Rare Limited in 2002, and both Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U not featuring the duo would make some people give up hope.
Finally, their prayers were answered.
On June 11th, 2019, a Nintendo Direct waited until almost the very end of their 40-minute presentation to finally reveal that Banjo and Kazooie would be released as downloadable content, with their release pending for Fall 2019. The internet rightfully exploded, with “Banjo” trending on Twitter for the entire day, and dozens of reaction videos gathering hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube.
Whether or not the character will be good remains to be seen, but for now, we can all indulge in one of the hypest character reveals that was well worth the wait.
Cloud in Smash was a meme for years and years, with nobody truly considering it as Final Fantasy VII had been released on the PlayStation and Square Enix is notoriously tough to negotiate with when it comes to their intellectual property.
Which is why the trailer on November 12th, 2015 revealing Cloud Strife as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U was so exciting beyond comprehension for so many players; a pipe dream had actually come true. Fantasies of watching Cloud duke it out with characters such as Mario, Link, Sonic, and Pikachu were about to become a reality.
Within days of Cloud being revealed, reaction videos were flying up on YouTube. Videos by YouTubers such as Maximilian Dood and Etika each reached over one million views, with dozens of other videos garnering hundreds of thousands of views.
There was no Final Fantasy character more worthy of being a Smash character than Cloud, and despite the odds, he finally made it in.
Long before the days of social media being the hub for hype, it was message boards and forums discussing updates on the next big release. When it came to Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the daily updates from the Smash Bros. Dojo were a constant source of excitement and discussion. Whether it was a character breakdown, a new stage, or any other content about the game, it was worth it to check the site every day and then begin speculation.
However, nothing trumped the day that they announced the game’s release date would be pushed back from December 3rd, 2007 to March 9th, 2008. The long wait for the new Smash title would be even longer, and no amount of daily updates would appease fans…but something else would.
Right after the delay was announced, a trailer was released for a newcomer in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and this character was none other than Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonic would be one of the first third-party characters in Smash alongside Snake. Sonic was more of a pipe dream and a myth as a Smash character up until that point, with no real prospects of making it into the game.
So when he was revealed on October 10th, 2007, the internet literally broke. GameFAQs, one of the most sites to discuss the game, crashed to the sheer volume of posts over the reveal. Forums all over the web were filled with Sonic discussions for days and days, and it only helped increase the hype for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which went on to become the best-selling fighting game of all-time.
While some character reveals might seem more hype in terms of numbers, none were able to crash large websites in the way that Sonic’s reveal did.
There are still three more characters to be announced as part of the fighter’s pass for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Will they be more hype than the five on this list? Only time will tell!