Super Smash Bros. 4 roster analysis

So, Super Smash Bros. 4 will be a thing next year, and of course everyone’s going nuts over who’s going to make the cut, who will return from past games, and which newcomer will surprise everyone next. After sitting down to do a little thinking I decided to come up with this fancy-dancy chart, which plots all the characters from the first three Smash games, the current confirmed roster for 4, and a few predictions for the remaining cast.

Some notes, and explanations on my current thoughts:

  • I don’t think there’s any way in hell that the original cast of 12 doesn’t return for a fourth game, so Yoshi, Jigglypuff, Captain Falcon, and Ness are the safest bets of all.
  • Zelda/Sheik, Ganondorf, Falco, Ice Climbers, and Mr. Game and Watch are all Melee vets, so their inclusion is highly likely.
  • The Dr. Mario to Wario transition was sort-of a case of “different character, same universe” (even though Wario is labeled as his own universe) so Wario remains questionable. Rosalina could potentially be the Mario-universe updated character (not shown on the chart), or the Mario-and-others universe could expand, keeping him.
  • Pichu, a Pokemon representative, was turned into the Pokemon Trainer in Brawl. With the multiple-characters-in-one-slot mechanic being so uncommon, I think the Trainer returns, but with a different set of starters from a different generation.
  • Lucario replaced Mewtwo, so it’s likely that Lucario gets replaced with some Pokemon of the moment. Not taking a specific guess on this one, but I think Lucario’s return is unlikely, particularly if any modern Pokemon want to see inclusion—the franchise is very heavily represented already (assuming a new Trainer), so even more Pokemon is unlikely.
  • Ike replaced Roy, so another Fire Emblem character is likely to replace Ike. I don’t know anything about Fire Emblem so I have no guesses, but Ike is probably out.
  • Diddy Kong, as the first expansion of the underrepresented Donkey Kong universe (though sharing ground with the Mario universe) likely makes a return. Potentially he is swapped for another DK universe character, or potentially another is added (Cranky? Dixie? One of the ones from Donkey Kong 64? I dunno).
  • Zero Suit most likely makes a return, not much to say—unique mechanics are always fun.
  • Meta Knight and King Dedede likely return, as the only other members of the Kirby universe. Potentially one of them is replaced with another Kirby character (Prince Fluff is the only other character I can think of off the top of my head, having never owned a Kirby game), though I doubt that the two most recurring characters leave (certainly they both wouldn’t).
  • I was a little on the fence about Wolf. I left him as likely to return, but there is certainly potential to replace him with another Star Fox character (who, I don’t know). Wolf does occupy one of the few villain slots, though, which adds a little to his staying power (for story/challenge purposes).
  • I honestly think Lucas will be replaced with a different Earthbound character. Earthbound wouldn’t lose a representative, but there are plenty of other characters that could take the second slot. I also somewhat doubt a third rep in addition to Lucas.
  • I was also on the fence with ROB. The character they most “invented” for Melee, Mr. Game and Watch, stuck around, so he could make a comeback, but he may have been replaced as the “what the hell is this?” character by the Wii Fit Trainer.
  • I don’t think Snake makes a comeback—his huge array of projectiles role is fulfilled by Mega Man, and as the oddest inclusion in Brawl (he was specifically requested) and without any recent Nintendo titles (I think), I’m betting he’s out.
  • New characters: Mega Man (semi-replaces Snake), Rosalina (potentially replaces Wario), Villager, Wii Fit Trainer (potentially replaces ROB). If we play conservatively and say only Snake is dropped from the original cast (not counting the Pokemon/Fire Emblem updates), then we’re at 38 characters, including 7 brand-new ones (counting Trainer as one) and room for 2-5 more. If you play cutthroat and drop Snake/Wario/ROB and replace Lucas, you have 36 characters, with 8 newcomers. This leaves more room for universes like Donkey Kong, Metroid, retro-Nintendo (a la Ice Climbers/Game and Watch/ROB), and Earthbound to pick up reps.

Without further ado, a crude drawing for your viewing pleasure. Click for big.