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The Ultimate Smash Bros. 4 Character Analysis Topic: Metroid Series
Now that we are very close to a formal unveil for the Smash Bros. series, I decided to post my analyses for what the Smash 4 roster could probably end up being.
I will post a new analysis for each series every one or two weeks or so.
The fourth series I will be doing is the Metroid series.
Play It Loud
Metroid is one of gaming’s most iconic and acclaimed series. Starting in 2002, it enjoyed a massive resurrection, with eight games being released in the interim between Melee and Brawl. Since Brawl’s release, only one new Metroid game has been released (two if looking at Japan, considering that Prime 3 was released after Brawl in Japan, and received no content in Brawl).
For the first two Smash Bros. games, Metroid only had one playable character, Samus. With Brawl, the series finally received a second playable character in the form of Zero Suit Samus. The very high demand for Ridley (along with the very early reveal for Zero Suit Samus) made many think Ridley was going to make it in Brawl as a playable character, however, he ended up showing up as two boss fights.
There is still an incredibly strong demand for Ridley to be a playable character in Smash Bros. (among the Top 3 most wanted newcomers in the West). Aside from Ridley, there are no characters that stand a plausible chance of being added in (a combination of a lack of interest, as well as the relative small size of the series in comparison to many of the other veteran series within Smash Bros.).
At the very least the Metroid series should receive two playable characters in Smash 4, considering that both Samus and Zero Suit Samus are virtually guaranteed to return. Ridley, who is among the few Nintendo characters left not yet playable that has “starpower”, is the series’s only real contender for a newcomer.
Samus is one of the most iconic and popular Nintendo and video game characters of all time. Samus has been a playable character within Smash Bros. since the first installment on the Nintendo 64. Samus traditionally has been revealed whenever a Smash Bros. sequel has been first unveiled. Samus has no chance of being cut for Smash 4. Samus is practically guaranteed to be confirmed for the Smash Bros. 4 roster whenever Smash Bros. 4 gets a formal unveil.
Zero Suit Samus:
Zero Suit Samus has become the face of “suitless” Samus ever since her debut in Metroid Zero Mission. Zero Suit Samus was among the first newcomers confirmed for Brawl. Sakurai added her because he wanted to add another Metroid character as well as another female fighter. Many people ended up misinterpreting this as Sakurai wanting to go out of his way to add female newcomers. It turned out that Zero Suit Samus was not only the only Metroid newcomer added to Brawl, but also the only female newcomer added as well. Zero Suit Samus has very low chances at being cut due to her continued relevance to the Metroid franchise as well as her high reception among Smash Bros. fans. The only question that remains regarding Zero Suit Samus is when she will be confirmed as a playable character for Smash 4. She will probably be confirmed sometime before Smash 4’s release, and possibly even confirmed when Smash 4 is formally unveiled.
To Be Continued
Play It Loud
Ridley is Samus’s arch-nemesis, and is probably the most iconic and popular character to the Metroid series, aside from Samus Aran herself. He has made an appearance in nearly every game in the series as well, with an even better attendance rate than even Ganon/Ganondorf has within the Zelda series. Among Nintendo characters, Ridley remains among the few that left that is iconic yet not yet playable in Smash Bros.
There has been some fan interest in seeing Ridley as a playable character ever since people saw him flying in the background to the Planet Zebes stage for Smash Bros. 64. However, Ridley’s popularity as a playable character in Smash Bros. really did not take off until the unveil of Smash Bros. Melee, where a scene of Samus battling Ridley, tantalized many Smash Bros. and Nintendo fans. From that point on Ridley, has been among the most wanted characters by the Western Smash Bros. fanbase.
Due to the successful resurrection of the Metroid series, Ridley’s popularity as a possible newcomer for Smash Bros. vastly increased after Melee’s release. He was arguably within the Top 5 most wanted newcomers for Brawl even. Many Ridley fans and supporters believed him to be a good bet to be shown/confirmed whenever Smash Bros. 3 would be unveiled. However, Sakurai threw a curveball, and instead Zero Suit Samus became the Metroid series’s second playable character.
Nevertheless, the Ridley fanbase was undaunted and most Smash Bros. fans still felt that Ridley was among the most likely newcomers for Brawl. Ridley’s position within the Top 5 most wanted characters for Brawl was solidified as a result of the confirmations of Wario, Meta Knight, and Pit at E3 2006.
Ridley was a mainstay for almost every fan roster among Western Smash Bros. fans. However, doubt as to Ridley’s inclusion would strike due to a Dojo update in June 2007, “Metroid: Vs. Ridley”. For some people, it was seen as a tease to Ridley’s eventual unveil, but for others they did not believe Sakurai would be so sly, and that this was rather a hint Ridley would not be in. Nevertheless, Ridley was still seen as likely to get in.
However, seriously doubt would strike when there was confirmation for boss battles for Brawl’s massive single-player mode, The Subspace Emissary. The update pertaining to Petey Pirahna as a boss for the SSE in August 2007, led to lots of serious doubt about Ridley’s prospects as a playable character in Brawl. It was from here that the meme and idea that Ridley was “too big” began to take off. For doubters, Ridley’s size in the Metroid series (or rather most games within it) meant that he could not be included as a playable character since shrinking him down to the size of other fighters would not be canonical. However, Ridley supporters countered this point with various arguments (Ridley’s own changing size with the Metroid series, how the sizes for various characters already in Smash Bros. were altered compared to their series of origin, and the shining example of Melee’s intro where Ridley was of a similar size compared to Samus).
Although Ridley would remain among the Top 5 most wanted newcomers for Brawl, serious doubt set in about his actual chances of getting. It turned out that the doubt was warranted. While Brawl received even Ridley’s old stomping grounds (Norfair) as a stage, Ridley himself was not a playable character. Instead Ridley made an appearance as TWO boss fights in Brawl, one for “normal” Ridley and another for Meta Ridley. In addition to having two boss fights, there were two songs in the game that were remixes of Ridley’s battle theme (Vs. Ridley and Meta Ridley), a trophy each for Ridley and Meta Ridley, and two stickers of Ridley (not to mention a hack into the game’s files showed that Ridley was at one point planned to be an Assist Trophy as well).
To Be Continued
Play It Loud
After Brawl’s release, unlike many other characters that failed to get into Brawl, Ridley did not experience any decrease in requests for him to become a playable character. Ridley has remained within the Top 3 most wanted newcomers for Smash 4 for the entirety of the pre-Smash 4 period.
Ridley also made three new game appearances since Brawl. His first was in Metroid Other M, perhaps the most controversial game in the series. He also made a cameo appearance as a stage hazard in Dead or Alive Dimensions for the 3DS. Finally, Ridley was a boss battle in Metroid Blast a mini-game in Nintendo Land, a pack-in game for the Wii U.
With Ridley continuing to make game appearances since Brawl’s release, his overall importance to the Metroid series, and the very high amount of requests for him to be playable, most Smash Bros. fans are expecting him as a newcomer for Smash 4.
However, Ridley is not without detractors. As with during 2007 for pre-Brawl, there are some concerns that Ridley will not get in because he is “too big”. Some also argue that resizing Ridley would take away from his “ferocity”. Most Metroid and Ridley fans disagree on the previous statement though, and in regards to the size issue, plenty of characters within Metroid have been re-sized, and Ridley himself has too been re-sized within Smash Bros. (the Melee introduction).
Ridley also has the distinction of being the only character not playable in Brawl, for Sakurai to comment on after Brawl’s release.
In the May 2008 (Volume 228) issue of Nintendo Power, there was an interview with Sakurai. One of the questions asked was about Ridley specifically.
Nintendo Power asked Sakurai:
There was a rumor at one point about Ridley being playable. Was that ever a consideration?
Sakurai’s response to this was:
I think that would probably be pretty impossible. [Laughs] If we had put our best efforts into it, we may have been able to do it. But he might have been a little slow. Would that be all right? [Laughs]
This response shows that Ridley could very much work within Smash Bros., however, it would be difficult to implement Ridley in. It is possible that Sakurai could come up with a gimmick involving Ridley’s evolution from Other M as a way to get around re-sizing Ridley (either through the player evolving into Ridley gradually by getting KO’s , or by doing gradually doing it as the match wears on). However, although this is a possibility, it would be hated by 90% of Ridley and Smash Bros. fans, mostly because Ridley and Smash Bros. fans want to play as Ridley (not Little Birdie and Hairy Lizard) and due to the strong negative fan feedback that Other M received.
To Be Continued
Play It Loud
As it stands, Ridley is among the most likely newcomers to be confirmed at E3 2013. This is mostly due to his prominence with the Metroid series, his very high demand for inclusion, and for him to be a great cinematic choice (a ferocious dragon would sure get people’s attention).
If Ridley is not among the first newcomers unveiled, he will probably be shown some time on the Dojo (he would definitely increase hype among Western Smash Bros. fans). Due to how much of a high profile newcomer he would be, his chances of being a hidden character are low.
Aside from the size issue, the only other obstacle facing Ridley is the lack of Japanese interest regarding inclusion for him (likely due to that there is little interest in the Metroid series in general in Japan). However, considering that even some Japanese Smash Bros. fans are aware of Ridley’s “overseas” popularity, there is a good chance that a professional developer like Sakurai probably does too. If Ridley does not get in Smash 4 as a playable character, he will likely reprise his role as a boss, and have a trophy based on that boss form, as well as a remix of his battle theme (as well as stickers of him if stickers return).
Overall, there are few other possible Nintendo newcomers left that are as well-known as Ridley is, or could be labeled a “Nintendo all-star”. Ridley is among the few Nintendo characters left not yet playable in Smash Bros. that could bring hype and starpower to Smash Bros. After waiting for over a decade, Ridley fans will likely finally have a playable version of the space pirate commander with Smash 4, and a very good chance of him being confirmed at E3 2013.
To Be Continued
Play It Loud
Other Metroid characters:
These are Metroid characters that are unrealistic for a playable spot for Smash Bros. 4, but have some support for playable status among the Smash Bros. fanbase.
Dark Samus is the main antagonist of the Metroid Prime trilogy. She was featured as a boss in Metroid Prime 2 and Metroid Prime 3 (and her hand made a cameo in the secret ending for the first Metroid Prime). Metroid Prime 3 received no content in Brawl due to how late the game was released compared to when Brawl was release (in Japan, Metroid Prime 3 was released after Brawl was). There was a lot of requests for Dark Samus during the pre-Brawl (especially in 2007 after the release of Metroid Prime 3). However, like with many characters that were popularly requested for Brawl, her popularity has declined dramatically since the release of Brawl. Due to the conclusion of Metroid Prime 3 (the destruction of all phazon in the universe, and the death of Dark Samus herself), she probably will not return in a future Metroid title. However, Dark Samus overall is still the second most wanted Metroid newcomer (though she is far, far less requested than Ridley is). Dark Samus did make an appearance in Brawl as a trophy and a sticker though, and Dark Samus will probably return in Smash 4 the same way (as a trophy and a sticker). There is also the possibility that Dark Samus could end up as an Assist Trophy though. Overall, Dark Samus is yet another example of a character who missed their chance with Brawl.
Anthony Higgs is a supporting character in the latest Metroid game, Other M. He is the only member of Adam’s team to have survived the events of Other M. He has a few people who support his inclusion for Smash Bros., although its less than even Dark Samus. Due to his “assist” role in Other M, he is probably the most likely new Assist Trophy to be added for the Metroid series. He will likely use his plasma gun for his attack as an Assist Trophy. Anthony Higgs could very well be among the most likely new Assist Trophies to be added to Smash 4 when looking solely at veteran franchises. Even if Anthony Higgs does not make it in as an Assist Trophy, his chances for being a trophy and a sticker are very high too.
Sylux has only appeared in one game to the Metroid series to date, Metroid Prime Hunters. Sylux was one of six “hunters” created for Prime Hunters. Of all of them, Sylux is the most popular. Sylux, like the rest of the hunters from Prime Hunters, made an appearance in Brawl as a trophy, and one of three hunters to also make an appearance as a sticker. Sylux was the third most wanted Metroid newcomer during pre-Brawl, however, like Dark Samus his popularity has drastically declined since then. Aside from Sylux’s popularity relative to the rest of the hunters, there are some that believe Sylux will have an important role in the next Retro developed Metroid game due to a starship that appears in the secret ending for Prime 3 appearing to resemble Sylux’s own starship, the Delano 7. However, assuming that even if this ship does belong to Sylux, and that Sylux does end up playing an important role in the next Metroid game, it is likely that by the time “Prime 4” is released, the roster will have long been finalized, as well as Ridley likely confirmed as a newcomer prior to then. Sylux probably won’t make an appearance as a trophy or sticker in Smash 4. If he does end up being in “Prime 4”, he will probably be a trophy and a sticker, like he was in Brawl.
To Be Continued
Play It Loud
Other Hunters from Metroid Prime Hunters:
Weavel, Kanden, Noxus, Spire, and Trace have only appeared in one game to the Metroid series to date, Metroid Prime Hunters. They are the rest of the “hunters” that were created for Prime Hunters. They all have little popularity nowadays, and have mostly been forgotten. Weavel, Kanden, Noxus, Spire, and Trace all made appearances in Brawl as trophies. Weavel and Kanden also appeared as stickers. Due to how long ago Prime Hunters was released (2006), its likely that none of these hunters will make an appearance as a trophy in Smash 4, although there is a possibility that one or two will make an appearance as a sticker.
Hunters from Metroid Prime 3:
Rundas, Gohr, and Gandrayda have only appeared in one game to the Metroid series to date, Metroid Prime 3. All three of these characters died in Prime 3, and for this reason, likely will never appear in another Metroid game. There was some interest in them being playable durng pre-Brawl, but nowadays, such interest is virtually absent. There is the possibility that at least one of these characters will make an appearance as a trophy or a sticker in Smash 4 though.
Samus is guaranteed for Smash 4, and its only a matter of “when” in regards to confirmation. Zero Suit Samus is also very likely to return for Smash 4, and is also a matter of “when” in regards to confirmation. Both of these characters could very well be confirmed at E3 2013, however, both are guaranteed to be confirmed some time before the game’s release.
Ridley is the only highly requested Metroid character for Smash 4, and is the only one that is likely to get in. Ridley is not only among the most likely newcomers to be added to Smash 4, but he is also among the most likely characters to be among the first set of newcomers to be confirmed at E3 2013.
There are no other Metroid characters that have a decent shot for Smash 4 aside from Samus, Zero Suit Samus, and Ridley. After the confirmation of Ridley, most Metroid and Smash Bros. fans will be content with the playable characters Metroid has within Smash Bros., and it could very well be the case that Ridley is the last Metroid character ever added into Smash Bros.
End of Analysis
Play It Loud
he is also among the most likely characters to be among the first set of newcomers to be confirmed at E3 2013.
How does one even predict something as specific as this as likely...
Great analysis as always Snakey. Ridley is overdue for an appearance in a Smash game and now is his chance.
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