Top Ten: New Challengers Approaching

Who are the top ten characters you’d like to join Smash Bros? Here are mine.

By James Stank. Posted 08/04/2011 10:00 4 Comments     ShareThis

So we know that a new Smash Bros. game is coming to both Wii U and 3DS, and we also know that they aren’t even in development yet. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t build hype for the games by talking about who we’d like to see join the Smash Bros. veterans in the latest edition of the all-star fighting franchise. While these characters may not ultimately make the cut, for the basis of this article, it will be assumed that every one of them is in the game for sure. I want to go ahead and thank Andrew for the amazing graphics, and Aaron and the rest of my friends that helped me come up with moves. I don’t want to keep you waiting, as there’s a lot to read. Enjoy, and share your thoughts below.

(Want to see our movesets in better detail? Click on an image and a larger version will open in a new window. -Ed.)

Mask Link

Mask Link moveset Smash Bros. 4 (Top Ten)

At the top of the list we have Mask Link. You’ll notice that his moveset is identical to Young Link’s in Melee, save for his Side B. In Majora’s Mask, Link never gets a boomerang, so Mask Link will be without one in his battles. It took some time before coming up with a suitable replacement, but ultimately I decided that bombchus would be a nice addition to his moveset. I wanted to make sure to keep the rest of his moves the same, so that if you were a skilled player with Young Link or Toon Link, you’d be able to brawl with Mask Link right off the bat. But if you’re wanting a new challenge or want to become a pro at Mask Link, you’ll have to get good with his other three forms. Three forms you ask? Why yes. Deku Link, Goron Link, and Zora Link will all be transformations of Mask Link.

One of the major complaints about Pokémon Trainer was the inability to automatically choose which Pokémon you wanted to battle with. No matter what, you had to cycle through the other Pokémon if you wanted to switch in mid battle. To fix that problem, I’ve mapped all of Mask Link’s transformations to the d-pad. Up on the d-pad will remain a taunt, and Mask Link combined with his transformations will have four taunts, just like every other character. However, the other directions on the d-pad will determine which mask Link puts on or takes off. This means that you can go from Deku Link to Zora Link without having to go to Goron Link. To return to Mask Link, simply hit the direction on the control pad that corresponds to whichever mask you are wearing. Just like how each of Pokémon Trainer’s Pokémon have different movesets, so too will Link’s transformations. They vary in shape and size, and obviously need moves that are unique to each of them.

Deku Link

Deku Link moveset for Smash Bros. 4 (Top Ten)

Deku Link is used by hitting left on the d-pad, and was Link’s first transformation in Majora’s Mask as well as being the weakest. He runs at about average speed, and his attacks don’t do much damage. In Majora’s Mask, Deku Link could blow bubbles, shoot out of a Deku Flower, spin, and use Deku Nuts and each of these actions have become Deku Link’s special moves for the next Smash Bros. Since he is such a small character, Deku Link will get knocked around quite a bit, but fortunately his Deku Fower recovery will allow him to return to the stage from almost any vertical drop. While in the air or on the ground, his Deku Nuts will allow him to stun enemies, giving him a chance to attack. His bubble attack can be charged up for more damage, but its range is awful and won’t do much even when charged.

While his special attacks were easy enough to figure out, his other attacks not so much. While Goron Link and Zora Link both use punches and kicks, Deku Link doesn’t, which made coming up with moves for him quite difficult. However, when I thought about the flowers he uses like propellers after being shot out of a Deku Flower, I figured I was on to something. Since Deku Link’s arms are so short, he can’t really punch an enemy, but he can hit them with his flowers. He will use his spinning flowers like a helicopter blade to inflict damage on his opponents. Some of his grabs involve him putting his enemy in a Deku Flower and letting them blast off, but Deku Link’s Up Smash will also be just as enjoyable. He’ll raise a flower above his head to smash a foe, but then let go as it flies up off the screen, damaging any enemy it touches. If timed right, it could be used for some quick knock outs.

Goron Link

Players can transform into Goron Link by hitting down on the d-pad. Goron Link is largely what you’d expect; big, slow, and powerful. While he is considerably slower than Deku Link, his attacks are many times stronger. As with Deku Link, Goron Link’s special attacks have been carried over from Majora’s Mask and the Goron Roll is a deadlier version of Rollout. As Goron Link rolls in place and charges up energy, spikes will appear all around him, making the attack deadly to anyone in his way. Using a Powder Keg as an attack will give him one of the most powerful Up Smash attacks in the game, and he can even use the “Goron’s Special Crop” as a special attack. Unfortunately, Goron Link will have very little vertical recovery, and low jumps. His Goron Roll will do fine for a horizontal recovery, but his Up B won’t give him much air. It will however deal a great amount of damage to anyone unfortunate enough to fall under him.

Goron Link’s game is all about being on the ground. His Rock Toss and Bomb Flower moves will help keep the opponent at bay, and his punches will take care of foes that have gotten too close. His Darmani Punch in particular is quite powerful, and is one of the strongest moves Mask Link has in his arsenal. Players will have to be careful, since he is so slow it will be easy for faster characters to pour on the damage if they can keep him in the air. If the matchup isn’t a good one, you may want to use a different transformation. Then again, if you are playing against a small, light character, Goron Link has plenty of power to send them off the stage at low percentages.

Zora Link

Mask Link’s final transformation will turn him into Zora, and can be done by hitting right on the d-pad. Zora Link is the most human out of the Mask transformations, and utilizes a combination of punches and kicks to knock out his opponents. While Zora Link would be more suited for underwater combat, he is able to hold his own on dry land. He is much faster than Goron Link, but doesn’t deal as much damage. Veterans of Majora’s Mask will notice that Zora Link’s Double Fin Boomerang is here as Zora Link’s Side B, and his Energy Aura will be his Down B. The Aura will quickly damage any enemy that touches it, causing them to flinch. However, it can only be used for seconds at a time so it can’t be spammed.

Zora Link’s B move will send him across the stage at a high speed, using water to power his charge. The move will be similar to Luigi’s Green Missile attack, and will also have the option of being charged. Since the Zoras would be better suited to be in the water, Zora Link won’t have too much of a vertical recovery either. He will use water to propel him straight up, hopefully back to the stage. It will do the job in most situations, but is nothing compared to Deku Link’s recovery. His attacks will do more damage than Deku Link’s, but not as much as Goron Link’s, placing his damage somewhere around what Mask Link will do. Despite being a fish, Zora Link’s athleticism will make him formidable at aerial combat. The four characters combined will make Mask Link able to handle any situation, as he will have the option of speed and strength, along with great recovery. Maybe it’s too much, but the only way to do Mask Link justice is to have all of his transformations.

Paper Mario

Paper Mario Smash Bros. 4 moveset (Top Ten James)

Paper Mario would make a really unique addition to the Smash Bros roster. Unlike Mario, Paper Mario never punches or kicks, but relies on his hammer instead. He’s a 2D character like Game & Watch, but will be completely different. In each Paper Mario game, Mario makes a bunch of new friends, and they will be here to help him in his fights. For this game, I’ve chosen all of Paper Mario’s original partners and incorporated them here in some way or another. He’ll be a pretty quick character, but since he’s made of paper, it will be easy to send him flying. Like the Ice Climbers, Paper Mario will use his hammer to spike enemies to their deaths, and he’ll be quite good at it, too. For his recovery, he’ll fold into an airplane as in The Thousand Year Door and control much like Meta Knight when he is gliding.

Many of Paper Mario’s attacks are named after his partner’s attacks in Paper Mario, and therefore will behave in similar ways. One of the coolest attacks Paper Mario will have at is disposal is Outa Sight. Bow (a Boo) will show up and make Paper Mario temporarily invisible for a few seconds if he stands in one place. It will be a great move to use in a free for all, to avoid Samus’ Power Beam or Game & Watch’s Bucket. The move will make all attacks pass right through him as if he wasn’t even there. The Quake Hammer will be unique in that it doesn’t actually have to hit any enemy, but will do damage to enemies standing on the ground in close proximity of the attack. In his games, Paper Mario’s attacks have to be timed right to do more damage, so his hammer attacks will fit perfectly as smash attacks. With a new Paper Mario game in the works for 3DS, I’d say it’s only a matter of time before he makes his first playable appearance in the Smash Bros. universe.

Leon S. Kennedy

Leon S. Kennedy is a man who needs no introduction. When not escaping zombie infested cities or saving the President’s daughter, he’s fighting hand to hand with Mario and Link. Leon has been trained by the best of the best and excels in hand to hand and knife combat. While he uses punches, his true power is in his kicks. He is a faster than average character, and most of his moves carry over from Resident Evil 4. He was one of the characters rumored to be in Brawl so he has a chance at being in the next game in the series. Leon’s Down B will make him pick up a harpoon, which he can throw with A, and Side B will allow him to do a trademark knife throw. Brawl players will notice that Leon’s side smash is taken directly from Snake. I did this because I felt that the smash fit Leon better than it did Snake, and because the Rocket Launcher is the item that is used to kill every Resident Evil final boss, so Leon had to have it as an attack.

Leon’s grabs will be very satisfying, as he will do some of the same actions that he is famous for, namely the suplex. Admittedly it may not be as fun as doing a suplex on crazed members of the Los Illuminados cult, but who wouldn’t want to see Leon suplex Bowser or Donkey Kong? Leon also typically uses his pistol, but since Snake didn’t use any guns in Brawl, I wanted to make sure Leon didn’t either. His recovery won’t be anywhere near as good as Snake’s, but it will be unique to Leon. The Grappling Hook that Leon used in Resident Evil 4 will be his Up B. While it won’t be a third jump, it will have quite the range, allowing Leon to climb back from any situation. It can also be used to grab enemies from the sky and slam them into the ground if Leon is standing on the stage. Leon will be faster than Snake, and also use grenades as his B move. However, there is a chance that a grenade will be a flash, incendiary, or explosive grenade, as opposed to Snake’s grenades. Who would win in a fight? Snake or Leon? I’m on Leon’s side, but maybe we won’t have too much longer to find out.

Mega Man

Mega Man should have been in Smash Bros. by now. Why he wasn’t, I have no idea, but that is going to change with the next release. Some fans have thought that he’d be a copy of Samus, but I completely disagree. If you’ve played a Mega Man game before you know that he is very different than Samus. In Smash, his Mega Buster will be considerably faster than Samus’ Power Beam (it’s stupid that it isn’t faster, but that’s for another article) and has the ability to be charged. Mega Man will also have the unique ability to change forms. In the Mega Man games, Mega Man would gain a new ability after defeating a boss. The same will be true for Smash. For every character Mega Man knocks out, he will gain a new power. Don’t think that it will make him a different character; only moves involving the Mega Buster will be different. For example, if Mega Man knocks out Mario, he will turn red, and shoot a fire beam instead. If you don’t want to use the new form, hit Down B and you can change back into normal Mega Man. However, when Mega Man is KO’ed, he loses his power ups.

Mega Man will have an extremely good recovery, which will be similar to that of Sonic’s. Mega Man’s faithful robot dog Rush will appear and using the Rush Coil, Mega Man will fly high into the sky. His Side B is the Mega Ball from Mega Man 8 and can be aimed with the control stick. I wanted all of his powers to be standard, which is why you aren’t seeing any powers that he gained from beating a robot boss. He’ll be faster than Samus, and his attacks will deal a decent amount of damage. In a free for all, the Form Change ability could be a great asset, as different beams will do different things, allowing Mega Man to adapt to multiple situations.

Knuckles the Echidna

I was glad that Sonic the Hedgehog was in Brawl. Out of all the numerous third party characters, he deserved it the most. Unfortunately he wasn’t that good, and Sonic just isn’t that much of a fighter. Do you know who is? Knuckles the Echidna. Knuckles can do nearly everything Sonic can do, plus glide and hit harder. How is that not better? Most of his moves will be carried over from Sonic, because the two characters are extremely similar in early Sonic games. Up B will launch Knuckles into the air with a spring, but Side B in the air will allow Knuckles to glide, which will help him get back to the stage in situations where Sonic would be dead.

He’ll be a slower character than Sonic but will deal more damage. In case you were wondering, when he does his Down Grab, he digs into the ground with them, and yes, he makes the same noise that he does when digging in the Sonic Adventure games. “Rats.” Tails was also considered, but like Sonic, isn’t much of a fighter, so I decided Knuckles was the better choice. Will any characters be able to stop the deadly alliance of Sonic & Knuckles in a two on two match? Only time will tell…

Skull Kid with Majora’s Mask

You can’t very well have Mask Link without the Skull Kid wearing Majora’s Mask being a playable character as well. Skull Kid’s moveset was tough to come up with, like Deku Link’s, since we don’t really see the Skull Kid do too much by himself. What we do know is that he has dark psychic powers, which he uses for levitation, lasers and telekinesis, so that’s a good place to start. I see him as a mix of Lucario and Lucas, with faster attacks than the former but with dark energy empowering every strike. His Up Smash would be very similar to that of Lucas, which means it would be very deadly. Another one of the ideas I had for Skull Kid comes from the fact that the mask allows his body to disappear into darkness, leaving only the mask visible. When we first see the Skull Kid in Majora’s Mask we only see the mask at first, before the body slowly formed from the darkness. Therefore, for some of his moves, his body will disappear, leaving only the mask.

For example, with his Over B, the Skull Kid’s body will vanish, leaving only the mask, which will spin on its back across the stage, cutting foes with its spikes. His Darkness Gaze takes some time to get off, but will stun enemies in where they stand, giving him an opening to strike. His Plunder attack is inspired from the stealing that he did from Link in Majora’s Mask. Maybe the next Smash Bros. will be where Majora can get his revenge on Link, and it won’t even take three days this time.

Ryu Hayabusa

Ryu Hayabusa may come as somewhat of a surprise, but since Team Ninja made Metroid: Other M and since Samus is in Dead or Alive: Dimensions, I’d say there is a good chance that Ryu will be in the next Smash and what a character he’d be. Using his Dragon Sword, he’d be a mix of Sheik and Marth; extremely fast and skilled with a blade. However, unlike Marth, Ryu has a bunch of special techniques that he will bring with him, making him much more than just another character with a sword. He is extremely acrobatic, making him a great aerial fighter, while his special attacks make him a force to be reckoned with on the ground as well.

His Side B will send a tornado flying in whichever direction he is facing, dealing damage to all enemies it touches. His B attack will send fireballs flying, while his Down B will be the classic Counter. To get back to the stage, he’ll simply teleport. All ninjas can do that, right? Though let’s not forget about the rest of his moves. Art of the Flying Flame Wheels will devastate any enemy above him, setting them aflame and knocking them into the sky. But what about Ryu’s trademark move? Don’t worry, the Izuna Drop is here in all of its glory, and will quickly become one of the coolest looking attack in the game. If you don’t know what it is, Ryu grabs an enemy, jumps into the air with them, and spins while falling, driving them into the ground. Seeing the Izuna Drop never gets old.


Geno has always been a fan favorite, ever since Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. Unfortunately, he is owned by Square-Enix, which explains why he has yet to make his Smash debut. Geno is a Star Spirit that takes the form of a wooden doll to help Mario find the remaining Star Pieces. Don’t let the form of a doll foll you; Geno means business. Geno is capable of multiple forms of magic and weaponry, and even hand to hand combat. His arms and legs are loaded with springs, so he has more range than you’d expect, and therefore can hit even harder. He can hit you from across the map with either the Geno Shot or Geno Whirl. The Geno Shot is Faster, but the Geno Whirl deals considerably more damage. Once he knocks an enemy from the stage, the Geno Blast is perfect to make sure they never come back. Multi-colored beams of light will shoot down from the sky (similar to Pikachu’s Thunder), and send opponents flying.

Getting back to the stage won’t be a problem for Geno with his Leg Springs, and while he’s in the air he can show off his aerial skills. His enemies won’t even see his attacks coming with their surprising range. If Geno’s foes aren’t careful, they might not make back to the stage. While many fans would like to have another Square-Enix character in Smash, I feel that Geno has a much bigger chance than Cloud make an appearance. Geno was already in a game with Mario, and I doubt Cloud even has a chance. Now would be a perfect time to bring Geno back into the fold.

K. Rool

Mario vs Bowser. Link vs Ganondorf. Kirby vs King Dedede. See the trend? It only makes sense then that K. Rool be added to the cast of characters. The Kremlin king has plagued Donkey Kong and his friends for many years, and now they will finally be able to Smash it out. He’ll have his crown to throw, along with his classic Blunderbuss. Yes, I know that seems to count as a gun, but it’s much more cartoonish than Leon’s pistol. The Blunderbuss can also be used as a blunt object to hit enemies with, which along with his claws makes him a deadly adversary.

K. Rool will also make use of cannons to get revenge on Donkey Kong once and for all. His Down B attack will send cannon balls flying down from the sky to flatten any enemies they land on. One thing we know about Kremlins is that they can jump, and K. Rool is no different. When he gets knocked off the stage, his Up B will launch him into the air and back onto solid ground, much like Dedede’s. He’s a big, powerful character, though not as slow as you think he’d be. He was deceivingly fast in the Donkey Kong Country games, and the same will be true here.

Meta Ridley

There’s only one Metroid character in Smash, and that has got to change. I’ve run through every possible Metroid character in my mind, from the SA-X to Dark Samus, and didn’t think they’d be good characters. SA-X would be a copy of whatever character it fought, and Dark Samus would be very similar to Samus. I had dismissed Ridley at the beginning, but the more I thought about it, he’s the only option. In the next Smash, Meta Ridley will be as fearsome and powerful as he is in every Metroid game. I decided on Meta Ridley specifically because it seems as though the Metroid Prime games dont’ get enough respect. Despite their critical reception, Samus in Brawl was still based on the original design, not the Prime version. When he does his Down B, he’ll fly at his enemy and grab them, like in Other M, and slam them into the ground. He can even shoot plasma from his jaws and has the ability to fly.

His Down Smash will result in Meta Ridley slamming into the ground, sending a laser shockwave across the stage, while his claws will tear enemies to shreds. His missiles will lock on to his enemies, and blow them into oblivion. Some of his other moves will be similar to Charizard’s, as they will have a similar shape and design. Just goes to show that Ridley doesn’t need the space pirates; he’s more than capable as a one man army.

It took a great deal of time to come up with these moves, and I could spend many more weeks on the lists and never be satisfied with them. So what do you think? Do you have any suggestions for moves that may fit the characters more than the ones that I’ve given them? Would you include some characters that I didn’t? If so, which ones, and which of my characters wouldn’t you have added? It’s not even in development yet, but I can’t want for the sequel to Brawl.

4 Responses to “Top Ten: New Challengers Approaching”

  • 219 points
    Smith Stuart says...

    I love the ideas of Geno, Knuckles, Paper Mario and Mega Man. It’d be great to see them in Smash 4. Also, you can bet your blankets that a character or two from Sakurai’s Kid Icarus will be playable on the next game.

  • 576 points
    MegabusterLegends3 says...

    If you wanted a new Metroid Prime character, you could have looked at Sylux, from Prime Hunters. Telling by the end of Prime 3, where his ship was seen tailing Samus, he is probably the hunter to most likely get follow up in the story. Anyway, he is much more agile, can heal himself with a certain weapon, has a hovering morphball form, definitely not just a rip off of Samus.

    Also, for me, I would want multiple Megaman movesets. What you are talking about is classic Megaman, but his other incarnations can take things further. Megaman.exe is really just a computer program, so he could teleport pretty much anywhere. He would be able to absorb items to alter his abilities, (Fire Flower = Flame Sword), sort of like Kirby, except with items. And as a final smash, Lan, his Navigator, would feed him battlechips galore and throw everything he’s got. Megaman Volnutt (Still miss you, MML3) would have all of Roll’s buster parts, from the vaccuum arm, to the mines, to the dummy reaver, to the hover boots, to the Rapid Buster. He would be slower, more clunky, but he would would have the data dance as a final smash! CANT…STOP…DANCING!
    He could possibly work like Pokemon Trainer, letting you pull the ol’ switcheroo between all his forms.

    And we will totally see Magnus in SSB4

  • 261 points
    JasonMaivia says...

    1) Zack & Wiki – Player controls Zack, and Wiki can be used as tools for the normal and smash attacks.
    2) Rainbow Mika Nanakawa – She’s appeared in Street Fighter Alpha 3 on GBA. Her wrestling style will make her unique to the roster, and not feel like a clone, which would be AWESOME!.
    3) Mega Man (I agree)
    4) Phoenix Wright – Maybe Maya, Mia, Francesca von Karma, Edgeworth, Ema, Gumshoe, and the rest (or some) would be added as well, or be used as Assist Trophies.
    5) Daisy – Because she deserves it.
    6) Birdo – For the lolz or the epicness (or both?)
    7) Rydia (Final Fantasy IV). Adult Form, of course. Black mage/Summoner or another FFIV character would attract even some non-Nintendo gamers. Drawing attention to itself is good.
    8) Prof. Layton – The character and series are HOT right now!! Why wouldn’t you add him in?
    9) Krystal – The asked for her…now they’re demanding her to be in!
    10) Midna – She’d make a great addition, plus she can be made unique enough to stand out on her own, like R. Mika. Even though I’m thinking of her imp form being used, I don’t know what Nintendo can do with her true form. She didn’t show much at all at the end of the game, so….imp form all the way.

    • 576 points
      MegabusterLegends3 says...

      As cool as it sounds in theory, what abilities does Layton have outside of being a smart dude? I could see him having a Stage and Assist Trophies like Animal Crossing had in Brawl. Any moves they could give him just would seem contrived. The only ones I could think of involved him throwing Luke around as a weapon (lol). Of course the same could be said of Pheonix Wright, but that series is so over the top that it wouldn’t surprise me if they all happened to know Kung-Fu, too.

      And yes. Birdo = epic lolz.

      “PSH like you’ll beat Fox with Birdo!… Wait, is that… vibrating?”



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