I was but a boy when I played my 1st Super Smash Bros game. I often fantasized about how different it would be, leading up to its release date. This included: the levels, the game mechanics and how the characters fought. Ah, the nativity of childhood. The 1st two I didn’t have an issue with. But imagine my disappointment when I found out that recurring characters had the same move-sets that were tweaked slightly.
That aside, obviously, a lot of work has gone into the Super Smash Bros franchise. This is in order to maintain the quality that is expected of it by fans. However, to take the series to the next level, I believe they should radically alter these characters’ move-sets – especially the regulars, who have been in service for two or more games. Below I’ve chosen five characters to demonstrate what changes I would make to their four special moves and final smash. All while following the source material, of course. And if you want to know what each special move looks like you’ll need to Google them because showing a picture or link for each would result in this article looking like a mess. With that said, onto my picks:
Mario is the only character on this list with a special move change (at this time of writing). This occurred in Super Smash Bros Brawl when his Mario Tornado was changed to the down aerial attack. Instead, it was replaced by F.L.U.D.D. from Super Mario Sunshine, which pushes the enemy away but does no damage. As the moustached plumber has been in over 250 games, there is plenty of other titles we can take inspiration from. But as I am a die-hard Super Mario Galaxy fan, I will be mostly sticking to that game.
Special Move Changes:
- Standard – Ice Ball: Mario throws ice balls instead of his fireball variant. The opponent’s hit is briefly frozen and takes a slight damage. This is the Ice Flower’s power-up that came about in New Super Mario Bros. Wii (not the Super Mario Galaxy one) onwards.
- Up – Bee Suit: Slowly hover up for a few seconds before it wears off. It doesn’t damage anyone but is great for getting back on the stage.
- Down – Boo: This lasts for 10 seconds, and Mario can’t attack anyone or be hurt. He passes through everything except the floor. After use, there’s a cooldown.
- Side – Spring: I’m one of the few that like this one. Mario slinks along inside a spring. Hold the jump button to go high in the air. Touching someone with the spring hurts them. But when you’re hit, your springform goes away, and there is a cooldown before you can use it again.
- Final Smash – Super Star: Mario is briefly invincible, faster, and hurts anyone who touches him. He also does somersaults when he jumps.
Pokémon is 2nd to Mario in Nintendo’s best-selling franchises. However, it is the highest-grossing media franchise of all time – far ahead of any other Nintendo game. The games aside, Ash’s Pikachu in the anime has gone through a number of different move changes over the years. To reflect this, I’ve included some of his current moves as of 2021. Since there wasn’t enough, I’ve also thrown in some classics.
Special Move Changes:
- Standard – Thunderbolt: Pikachu shoots a thunderbolt in the direction he’s facing. This damages and briefly shocks anyone who comes in contact with it.
- Up – Electroweb: Pikachu fires an electric web in the background, which he uses as a springboard into the air (he does this in the anime). It is used for getting back onto the stage.
- Down – Iron Tail: When Pikachu is airborne, his tail turns to iron and he swings it downwards. Again he does this in the anime.
- Side – Agility: Pikachu quickly moves in the direction he is facing. It can be used with Electroweb to help get back to the stage.
- Final Smash – 10,000,000 Volt Thunderbolt: Pikachu jumps off-screen and appears in the background. He then fires off multiple shots at once of multi-colored lighting, just like in the anime. These bolts travel off-screen and land closely together on the stage. The player can then move the bolts of lightning to damage any opponents that come in contact with it heavily. This contrasts Pikachu’s final smash in the actual games, which is one of the weakest. This one is much better fits his character in my opinion.
The Legend Of Zelda series is Nintendo‘s 3rd most prolific IP. Link hasn’t starred in quite as many games as the dungaree sporting mascot or cute deadly creatures. With that said, his contribution is nothing to be sniffed at. Again my bias is showing a bit, with Twilight Princess being the focus game. However, it is far from his only achievement.
Special Move Changes:
- Standard – Fishing Rod – Odd choice I know. But it could help him recover from a ledge and reel in enemies/items from a distance. A target display is on the screen, so you know where to cast your reel.
- Up – Paraglider – Breathe Of The Wild had Link glide from high up, across long distances. Here there could be a gust of wind that blows him up a bit. This gives him enough height to glide back down.
- Down – Ball and Chain – Link swings this around, before letting it loose in the direction of the nearest poor sod. It’s slow at coming back to him, so that makes it a heavy hitter that’s risky to use. If he’s holding it, he drops like a stone so he can’t recover from a ledge.
- Side – Spinner – In Twilight Princess Link can hop on a Spinner. It would start off fast and slow down unless it connected to a grind rail (not the ones skate borders use). This would be fun to use in Super Smash Bros. Only instead, you keep your momentum by bouncing off enemies. Just be careful not to rebound off the stage.
- Final Smash – Wolf Link – In this transformation, Wolf Link can repeatedly bite into a single enemy, causing massive damage. He can also do a spin attack, but it needs to be charged first. This can damage multiple enemies at once.
The Metroid series has fallen to the wayside since the divisive Metroid: Other M in 2010. However, between 2002-2007 the series released games more frequently than a yearly basis.
Special Move Changes:
- Standard – Wave Beam: It fires multiple wave energy beams in the shape of a sine curve. Unlike the standard beam, it can’t be charged.
- Up – Space Jump: Samus can spin jump continuously. However, she moves very quickly, so it is challenging to control. This can often result in you spinning out of bounds.
- Down – Ice Missile: Improvement to the missile. If the opponent is hit, they slow down briefly and take damage. If they’re hit by a 2nd missile, shortly after, they freeze for a few seconds and take more damage. This can’t be spammed.
- Side – Speed Booster: If you build up enough running speed, Samus turns invincible and damages anyone she touches. However, you need to be careful not to run off the edge or bang into something. If you do, then it’s canceled.
- Final Smash – Unnamed Suit: Samus was given this at the end of Metroid Fusion. While active, she does more damage, can’t be hurt, and her Standard Attack changes to an ice beam.
Sonic (All moves have cooldown)
During the 90s, Sonic was an iconic rival to Mario. Since around the 2000s, the quality of his frequent titles has been mixed, unlike Mr Consistent Mario. However, when Sega occasional make a good Sonic game, he is back as the people’s contender. What doesn’t help matters is in Super Smash Bros, Sonic’s moves are mostly very similar. To combat this, I’ve enlisted the help of Sonic’s friends. They each will use an ability from Sonic Adventure.
Special Move Changes:
- Standard – Boost: When the button is “tapped” (can’t stress this enough), Sonic will quickly dash with a burst of speed in the direction he’s facing.
- Up – Tails: Grabs Sonic and flies him in the air for a few seconds before dropping him in exhaustion.
- Down – Knuckles: Grabs an opponent beside Sonic and buries them in the ground for a few seconds. This is a heavy damage move.
- Side – Amy: Chases after opponents, trying to hit them with her Piko Piko Hammer. She can jump and spin her hammer in the air, just like in past Sonic games.
- Final Smash – Warehog: This transformation isn’t overpowered like Super Sonic. Move about the stage attacking opponents with stretchable arms, dealing high amounts of damage. As a trade-off, this form is slower than regular Sonic.
Obviously, Nintendo would need be to make sure these characters are still balanced fighters. I’m sure they would manage just fine.
Should Nintendo change their character’s moves? If so, what characters would you like to see moves changed for? What else can be done to make the next Super Smash Bros game stand out? Let us know in the comments.