Melee's roster was beginning to get leaked way back in August, with the first character being confirmed being Ganondorf (I think via an interview), next was Luigi who was confirmed in an interview I think in September. There was much speculation as to whether Jigglypuff would be cut. Jigglypuff was not exactly popular among casual players, and many thought her to be a joke. However, around mid-October, there was a person claiming to know the entire roster. Many people accused him of being a fraud, a liar, etc. He confirmed that Ganondorf and Luigi were indeed hidden characters (some people said that the interviews meant nothing) and that Jigglypuff would be returning as a playable character. He also deconfirmed Wolf as a playable character. The "leaker" then said that he would not reveal the full-roster until a day before Melee's Japanese release. People continually called him a liar and a fake. So he instead decided to submit his story about knowledge regarding the Melee to some GameCube fansite.
This article appeared November 1st, about twenty days before Melee's Japanese release. People were shocked at what the contents were. Luigi, Ganondorf, Jigglypuff, Mewtwo, and Falco were all believable (as well as Marth for the few people that actually knew him). However, what made the list seem like a complete and utter joke was the inclusion of Dr. Mario, Young Link, and Pichu. Mr. Game & Watch also made little sense to many people at the time. Also, many people confused Roy for Roy Koopa from the Mario series. Also, was the fact that more than half of the hidden characters were clones. Many people were upset to discover that Ganondorf was a Falcon clone. The vast majority of Melee forum goers were angry over this and immediately dismissed this as being fake, however, there were a few believers, much like how people who believe Ness is returning are being squashed right now.
This website immediately apologized for the article after the enormous backlash they received from it saying that the information being supplied to them could be very well be wrong. With this, many Smash fans sighed with relief knowing that the nightmare roster was a fake. However, the nightmare would soon resurface in a few weeks. About a week prior to Melee's release, screenshots of the demon roster started floating around the internet. Pictures of Dr. Mario, Pichu, and Young Link in battle were also around. Many of us thought somebody had too much time on their hands, and was doing this for kicks. There was also the point that Melee's clone boxes were misaligned, surely Sakurai's team would not do a sloppy job on the character selection screen. It was also pointed out that there were two empty space on the screen. A lot of people dismissed these screens as being an elaborate fake.
However, when people actually got their hands on Melee and confirmed the worst, many of the naysayers reluctantly accepted that the leaked roster was the real deal. Many people cursed, screamed, saying that they would boycott Melee and threatened Nintendo and HAL for this abomination of a roster. However, when Melee was released many people angers were put aside by how great Melee was.
As you can see, I would not be surprised if a similar circumstance happens regarding Brawl's roster. It is also the reason why I am treating many people who claim to have inside information cautiously instead of immediately labeling him or her a liar. Hopefully, the Brawl roster leak won't get as ugly as the Melee one did. Anyone have ideas as to when and how the Brawl roster will be leaked? --- Play It Loud