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An account of the way things were during pre-Melee.

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4 years ago#1
Since there are now very few people around today that were around for pre-Melee, I felt I would share this with everyone. Its basically a re-collection of my experience with Smash Bros. speculation from the time Melee was announced to its release.

When Smash Bros. 2 was finally shown in May 2001, it absolutely blew away my expectations. The graphics were a massive improvement over Smash 64 (the original Smash had poor graphics even by Nintendo 64 standards). However, the opening trailer they showed was absolutely incredible. Even to this day, I still prefer the E3 2001 unveil to the E3 2006 Smash Bros. trailer. It showed all the Nintendo characters in their various universes doing combat with their various rivals, with one especially bringing a huge grin to my face, Samus vs. Ridley!

It was from here that I thought the creators of Smash Bros. had a particular soft spot for Ridley. I thought now that Ridley had a pretty good shot at being a newcomer for Smash Bros. 2 (now with the official name of Melee).

I was also pretty happy about the newcomers shown so far (with the exception of the Ice Climbers). Ridley was of course my number one most wanted newcomer, however, there were various other characters I also wanted to see added in. They were Wario, Toad, Diddy Kong, Ganondorf, Zelda, King Dedede, Meta Knight, and Mewtwo. Later on during pre-Melee I would also want Pit after buying Kid Icarus.

It was after Melee's announcement that much more serious speculation for prospective characters in the Smash Bros. franchise started to happen. I lurked on the GameFAQs Melee board for two months before finally registering in early July 2001 (my username was and still is Snakey).

My primary impetus for registering was for two reasons, one it was because I thought much of the speculation posts were idiotic and fanboy delusions (third parties, Waluigi, DBZ characters, and loudmouths pumping minor Nintendo characters). I just wanted to bring some common sense to the table. The second reason I joined was to build up some fanbases for two characters I supported, Ridley and King Dedede. I was pretty much one of the first, if not the first, Ridley for Smash Bros. supporter.

Despite the status of the Metroid series at the time (though two new Metroid games were shown off at E3 2001), Ridley had quite a bit of support and was within the Top 10 most wanted characters after Melee's announcement (though probably not within the Top 5).

Pre-Melee was definitely interesting, though this period only lasted seven months. There was the first time serious speculation had been done for Smash Bros, so there were a lot of flimsy things done as to whether characters were confirmed or de-confirmed.

For example, the appearance of Ganondorf, Ridley, Wolf, and Samurai Goroh in the Melee trailer made many people thing those characters were going to be playable (it got so bad, that Sakurai even later said that not all characters that appeared in the trailer were going to be made playable, but that still did not put a damper on the characters that I just mentioned).

In regards to Japanese observations, it really only extended to people checking out the Japanese Melee dojo (where Western media would get most of their new Melee screenshots from). I think I remember one or two people passingly mentioning Fire Emblem, but that's it (I did not know what Fire Emblem was at the time aside from being some Japan-only Nintendo series).

You also had very bitter arguments about roster size. The character selection screen only showed five hidden character boxes (with a hand covering Sheik/Zelda's box, making many people believe Sheik was going to be a hidden character). There were people who thought that for this reason there would only be an additional five more characters unveiled after the four newcomers already shown, thus there was a lot of competitive viciousness for those spots.

To Be Continued
Play It Loud
4 years ago#2

There was particularly people out for blood. There were a few idiots saying Luigi would be cut, but those people got massively dogpiled due to the popularity of the character and the existence of Luigi's Mansion. There was a particularly large group of people saying Jigglypuff had to go, especially if there were only five more characters left to be unveiled. At this time though, it was known that Jigglypuff's inclusion was the result of her Japanese popularity at the time of Smash 64.

I spent a lot of time defending Jigglypuff's place in Smash Bros. from these people. This was basically like Roy for pre-Brawl and now. I argued that Jigglypuff had no reason to go, especially considering that a lot of people still loved using her. However, deep down, I was still a little worried about the possibility of Jigglypuff being cut.

However, there was a second school of thought amongst the roster size debate. These people believed that the development was pulling our legs and that there were actually "hidden" boxes without question marks on them, and that there were going to be more character slots than 19. They deduced from the size of the character selection screen, that there would be 27 playable characters (due to 27 character boxes being on the screen).

However, the more "grounded" Smash Bros. speculators though, they pretty much thought it was going to be 19 playable characters (though nearly all of these people did not want the roster to be so low).

The five hidden characters people generally thought them to be were either (if you thought Jigglypuff was going to return):
1. Luigi
2. Jigglypuff
3. Ganondorf
4. King Dedede/Wario/Diddy Kong or retro (Pit or Balloon Fighter)
5. A Pokemon newcomer (Mewtwo, Meowth, and Heracross were the most suggested candidates for this) or a retro pick (Pit or Balloon Fighter)

If you thought Jigglypuff was a goner:
1. Luigi
2. Ganondorf
3. A Pokemon newcomer (same choices apply here)
4. Some sort of classic character or new series (Pit and Balloon Fighter were the favorites here).
4. King Dedede/Wario/Diddy Kong

Needless to say I did not want to believe this (because there were so many characters I wanted that would not get in), so while I publically thought 19 characters was what we would get, I was really hoping for the "hidden boxes" theory to be true and not wishful thinking.

As we got closer to Melee's release, there were some hidden character confirmations unofficially by various Nintendo developers via interview (Ganondorf and Luigi, and maybe Jigglypuff). The hype for Melee was unlike anything I had seen, and many people thought there was going to be an excess of 19 playable characters. There was a very large number who even thought there would be over 30 characters.

I don't remember the particular order of character requests outside of the Top 3 after Melee's announcement (Ganondorf, Diddy Kong, and Wario), however, these were the character who came up the most for requests: Wario, Waluigi, Toad (up until he was deconfirmed), Diddy Kong, Ganondorf, Zelda (there was people arguing whether Sheik's inclusion meant Zelda would not show up), Ridley, King Dedede, Meta Knight, Wolf, Falco (though the Falco fans pretty much accepted Wolf was going to get in over their character due to Wolf's appearance in the Melee opening), Mewtwo, Meowth (Meowth fans were particularly boisted by the Meowth's Party GameCube tech demo), Charizard (though like Toad, he was de-confirmed after a few months), Heracross (the most popularly requested second-generation Pokemon), Samurai Goroh, Poo (who was basically the Geno of pre-Melee, a bunch of loudmouths talking up how likely he is, despite giving no actual reasons aside from "think of the moveset potential" and "he's so cool), Pit, Balloon Fighter, Banjo-Kazooie, and Joanna Dark.

To Be Continued
Play It Loud
4 years ago#3
SNAKEYYY! YOU ARE BACKK! We needed wisdom from you after the huge wave of ignorance in this board.
I am not changing this signature until Mewtwo/Dr. Mario is confirmed for Smash 4.
Jesus is the best ever! (B)uilt (O)n (S)elf (S)uccess.
4 years ago#4

On the last two characters mentioned, there was a debate as to whether Rare-made characters would show up, and the nature of Rare's properties to Nintendo. Combine this also with the rumblings about Rare being separated from Nintendo and potential buy-out by Microsoft, you had people thinking even Diddy Kong had problems (thus you had some people trumping Donkey Kong Jr. as the most likely DK newcomer since he was at least created by Nintendo). Joanna Dark was one of two of the only female characters to get a lot of requests (the other being Zelda). However, combined with the uncertainty of Rare's characters with the fact that Joanna's game was much more violent than any other Nintendo propery already in Smash Bros., there was a lot of animosity toward including her.

Keep in mind that there was no lul in speculation after Melee was shown, it was pretty much non-stop new information until the game's release.

Anyway, like with Brawl, Melee had a roster leak a month before the game's release. In mid-October, a gaming website (I can't remember the name), revealed they had an inside source about who the rest of Smash Bros's newcomers were and even said it was way more than 19. This got a ton of attention and hype. However, when they actually bothered to unveil the characters, it was met with anger, scorn, and disbelief. Many people thought that either the website or the inside source was trolling the readers or website.

The return of Luigi and Jigglypuff was seen as good. The inclusion of Ganondorf, Zelda, and Mewtwo was also very well-received. However, the rest of the newcomers were met with head scratches and disbelief. Many people were confused as to why Falco would get in over Wolf, since Wolf was in the opening trailer but Falco was not (but still there were a lot of people happy that Falco would get in).

Head scratches were also reserved for the likes of Marth, Roy, and Mr. Game & Watch. The last one, no one had any idea how such a character would work. A few people knew Marth was Prince Mars of Fire Emblem fame, and thought it made sense because the series was supposedly very popular in Japan.

However, Roy was truly a mystery. A lot of people thought Roy actually referred to Roy Koopa, and this perplexed a lot of people as how a random Koopaling would get a spot on the roster in place of other Mario characters (coupled this with the fact the leak had the likes of Dr. Mario, Young Link, and Pichu, many people thought it was indeed Mario's Roy). Later on, the website would clarify that Roy was another Fire Emblem character. This made a lot of people write off the leak as fake because there was no character named Roy in Fire Emblem (knowledge about FE was pretty primitive then, the only thing was known was that there were five game in the series and the names of the heroes of each game).

However, in combinations with those odd choices, there was the three that people truly thought that no sane person would ever pick, Dr. Mario, Young Link, and Pichu. Many people thought those characters being on the "leak" alone disqualified it. I, myself, did not want to believe the leak since only a few characters I wanted on my personal wishlist at that point (Ganondorf, Mewtwo, Zelda, the return of Luigi and Jigglypuff) got in, though I was indeed curious how a character like Mr. Game & Watch would work since I was big fan of the Game & Watch Gallery series.

The website was deluged with such an angry reaction to the "leak" that it apologized and said it was merely what they were relayed to by their "source" and it could easily end up wrong.

To Be Continued
Play It Loud
4 years ago#5

Most people refused to believe the leak and just thought of it as a troll. Things were relatively peaceful for the next few leaks, until a week prior to Melee's release, screenshots started to be shown on the web. The screenshots had Dr. Mario fighting Falco. A lot of people were like "no no no no no no", and a lot of people thought it was some troll with a lot of time on his hands. Later on more screenshots popped up with more characters for the leaked roster. Lots of Smash fans were freaking out. People could not believe that "troll roster" was real. People were looking for irregularities in the screenshots to show that it was just the result of some troll having too much time on his hands.

When the full character selection screen was shown, there was actually some hope. There was hope for two reasons. One was that the misaligned extra character boxes (people used the misaligned clone boxes as proof that this was a fake). There was also hope in that there were two empty spaces on the character selection screen, which made many people hold out hope that there were two more super secret characters on the roster, even if the "nightmare roster" was real. I too wished that Ridley was one of the those two remaining "super secret, super last" characters. I really, really wanted Ridley to be in. I was really bummed too that so many characters I wanted in did not get in (Wario, Toad, Diddy Kong, Ridley, King Dedede, Meta Knight, Pit). However, I was still very hyped to play Melee and glad they added in Ganondorf, Zelda, Mewtwo, and Mr. Game & Watch (along with Bowser and Peach from earlier on).

There were loads and mountains of angry posts saying they would not buy Melee, and some even going as far to say they would not buy another Nintendo game ever again. People even thought the developers were purposely sabotaging their own game to have made a roster as horrible as that one. There were even topics asking people to make a roster worse than the official one, with many people flat out seriously saying "not possible". When word got out that Ganondorf was actually Captain Ganondorf, peoplef flipped out even more (Ganondorf was the most wanted newcomer after Bowser was confirmed). There was crying and meltdowns as far as the eye could see.

There were lots of people huddled around the small flame of hope that there were two more characters in the game, and that those last two characters were the characters that they wanted most. People thought that the team snuck in two nuggests of gold underneath the dung heap that was most of Melee's newcomers. However, when the North American player's guide for Melee was released, those hopes were dashed for most people (though there were still some people insisting that there were two more super secret characters in the game years after Melee's release).

However, when Melee finally released, and when people actually got their hands on the game, a very different tune was coming out amidst all the bawling about the dismal roster decisions. These people found a fighting engine that was much more satisying than Smash 64, much more and more inventive stages, loads of new items, a liiteral Nintendo museum (trophies), and the multitude of new modes the game had over Smash 64. Indeed, many people ended up falling in love with the two unknowns (Marth and Roy) and also thought lame, obscure guys like Ice Climbers and Mr. Game & Watch were pretty inventive. The only three characters that were pretty much still whining about was Dr. Mario, Pichu, and Young Link (and also about Ganondorf being a Captain Falcon clone).

To Be Continued
Play It Loud
4 years ago#6

Everyone that played Melee declared it leaps and bounds above its predescessor despite the roster not being what most people wanted. Indeed, nearly every speculator was blindsided by this (no one saw Dr. Mario, Pichu, Young Link, Mr. Game & Watch, and Roy coming). There were also few people expecting Marth (probably due to the fact that few people knew about Fire Emblem and also no one thought they would include Japan-only characters) and also many people did not think Falco would get in over Wolf. Indeed, the only newcomer characters that the speculators thought would get in that actually got in were Ganondorf, Mewtwo, and maybe Zelda.

End of Essay

I think this is a valuable story that shows that even if the roster is disappointing, that as long as the gameplay is leaps and bounds an improvement it matters little.
Play It Loud
4 years ago#7
I am bookmarking this.
I am not changing this signature until Mewtwo/Dr. Mario is confirmed for Smash 4.
Jesus is the best ever! (B)uilt (O)n (S)elf (S)uccess.
4 years ago#8
Kooky_von_Koopa posted...
SNAKEYYY! YOU ARE BACKK! We needed wisdom from you after the huge wave of ignorance in this board.

I am just back for a bit. Just briefly browsing this board makes it seem this place took a massive nosedive in intelligence.

There has been no news for a while, so hopefully I can get explaining a few things.

I have been browsing Japanese message boards, sites, and blogs for more Japanese opinions pertaining to Smash 4. I will make a topic about that, though I think a lot of this board won't like what I found.

I'm happy to see you are excited about my return though.
Play It Loud
4 years ago#9
Too long, had to skim through.

But it seems vaguely similar to this place now. All these roster and character topics, talking about cuts.

All I really want is Ridley, to end all these "Ridley is TOO BIG" topics.
4 years ago#10
I was around pre-Melee! :P

Well, not on GameFAQs obviously. Haha.

But this is awesome! c: I too was confused over who Marth and Roy were. I had NO idea about Fire Emblem at all. But then again who did?! Lol xD
Not changing until a new Star Fox game is announced. (started 8/03/12)
Brawl is better than Melee. Nuff said
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