We all saw it happen. Following a bizarre, but hilarious and maybe a little confusing announcement that Piranha Plant will be the first additional character for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, one that lives in like, a purgatory state between free and paid DLC, we got the first “real” DLC announcement. Heading up the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC roster of five new characters is Joker, the protagonist of Persona 5. Holy crap, that was unexpected am I right? With Joker, comes a flood of possibilities, essentially confirming that Nintendo is neither playing it safe nor playing ball with expectations. For the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC roster, all bets are officially off.
What makes Joker, who was announced at The Game Awards 2018 when everyone was expecting news from the Metroid series, especially notable is that nobody had Persona anywhere near the conversation. Persona is something that, despite a couple of spin-offs, has been explicitly PlayStation-oriented in its branding ever since the PS1 “Classic” original. Sure, Shin Megami Tensei has been in and out of Nintendo, even in recent years, but that series proper doesn’t have the same capital-C Characters the Persona series does. Regardless, nobody has ever been like, “Could Persona show up in Smash?” The series is too dark, too off-kilter, and too weird. Joker even stands out like a sore thumb next to Bayonetta, which is an accomplishment.
So what does this mean for the greater DLC set? Reggie himself said it at The Game Awards 2018. Nintendo is aiming to make this DLC enticing, to upend expectations, to get people talking (screaming) with each new announcement. Even the “Grinch Leak,” which contained nonsense like Banjo-Kazooie, seems tame in comparison to that sort of statement. Yet at the same time, just because the goofy leak turned out to be a hoax, doesn’t rule out the relationship between Microsoft and Nintendo bleeding into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Many of the fans figured the weird stuff was out the window when Sakurai stated Nintendo had already chosen the DLC characters, but now we know that could mean anything.
But we can’t just look at platform-holders and start arguing about Banjo-Kazooie still having a chance or not. What about other third party weirdness? Some of the craziest inclusions in the current game already are the Belmont relatives Simon and Richter, who came along with their buddy (sorta) Alucard, and like 30 freakin’ awesome music tracks. But there are plenty other Konamis out there in the gaming world. Hell, even the current relationships could be expanded. What if we ended up with more from Capcom, or Square Enix? There is plenty of water in those wells. There’s also Namco Bandai, which is actually a development partner for the Super Smash Bros. series. Could something like a Dark Souls end up in Smash? After all, there’s an amiibo. There’s also an amiibo for Blizzard’s Diablo, which means there’s a relationship established there too.
I’m not going to make any predictions here, because Nintendo has proved to be immune to buzz, rumors, so on and so forth when it comes to this game. But I would like to take a second to name-drop a few characters I think could have a shot. I’m going to go out on a big limb and point out that Bethesda has also established a big relationship with Nintendo, and what’s coming soon from Bethesda that has a current presence on the Nintendo Switch? That’s right baby, I’m tossing my name in the Doomslayer hat. Bayonetta and Solid Snake show us Nintendo is okay with ordinance in Smash, so as long as Doomslayer isn’t ripping any heads off he’s totally fair game. Who else? Huh, you know what, I’m pretty sure a certain company is about to publish Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, which is developed by Team Ninja. Japan done stole Marvel back from the mobile menace. Could someone like Wolverine show up in Smash? Why the hell not, bub?
Okay, the goofy, pie in the sky, nonsense character stuff is over. I had to stop at two before I got myself in too much trouble. Anyway, what we know is that with the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC, we can take a look at Joker as a sign. Nintendo wouldn’t open with a megaton like that and then follow him up with Dry Bones or a new Fire Emblem guy or whatever. This is going to be, if not all five, at least two or three more huge gets, all of which may take us for the same kind of loop Joker did. If Nintendo and partners can continue keeping these things as secret as they did this time, the next several months are going to be a blast for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate fans, and fans of video game history in general.
Cover Image Credit: Jamesman