Back in January, rumors began to circulate regarding the release of a new Super Smash Bros title. According to reports, Bandai Namco had already gone to work on the game, looking towards a 2017 release on the new Nintendo NX. Details about the new game are virtually non-existent. It could just be a remaster of Super Smash Bros for Wii U, but nobody knows for sure. No matter the case, Smash Bros is too big a franchise to remain dormant for long, and sooner or later a brand new game will be planned for release. Here are ten characters that Nintendo may consider for the next Super Smash Bros release.

mike jones

Mike Jones

As a character, Mike Jones would seem like a long shot. Few people know who he is, and those numbers decrease in Japan where his games never came out.

Mike is the star of the venerable StarTropics series that originally released for the Nintendo Entertainment System. There were two StarTropics games, but the second came out so late in the NES’s lifespan that hardly anyone played it.

The first game, however, was an underrated classic. It combined dungeon crawling action with exploration, puzzle solving, and an elaborate story. Players fought by using an odd assortment of weapons, including baseballs, yo-yos, and bolas.

Admittedly, Mike Jones and StarTropics are probably at the bottom of Nintendo’s candidate list. There are plenty of better known Pokemon to tap if they want extra characters, but is that really the best idea?

Mike may not be well known, but he has a defined move-set, history as an adventurer, and an entire game of stages, content, and music to draw from. For him to make the roster would be similar to the Ice Climbers back in Super Smash Bros Melee. He doesn’t have the name recognition, but he has a lot of character. If Nintendo decides to dig deep, Mike Jones is the diamond they will find.

geno

Geno

There’s been a groundswell of support of Geno for a long time, but his Super Smash Bros inclusion never looked that realistic. He’s a bit of an obscure character, with only one major appearance in a video game, and that happened over twenty years ago in Super Mario RPG. Worse, despite his appearance in a Mario game, he’s not even a first-party character. Geno is owned by Square-Enix, the company that partnered with Nintendo to make the SNES classic.

However, Cloud’s appearance as a downloadable fighter for Super Smash Bros proves that Square-Enix is willing to lend characters to the franchise. More curiously, at the same time, Nintendo released a Geno outfit that could be equipped onto the player’s Mii fighter. That little gesture was more a tease than anything, but at least it showed that Nintendo was aware of their fans.

Geno’s inclusion still isn’t particularly likely. He serves no purpose for cross-promotion, and a lot of younger gamers have no idea who he is. Still, can you imagine how cool it would be to get him alongside his Mushroom Forest stage? I’m already salivating at the thought of that classic piece of music getting the SSB remix treatment.ganon

 

Ganon

As a general rule, clone characters are usually disappointing. Even if they play differently, they often share moves and feel like they’re taking up a better character’s roster spot—even when they’re not. Ganon, however, needs to be in the next SSB, with a move set and character design that are entirely different from those of Ganondorf.

Picture Ganon as his iteration from the classic A Link to the Past. Here, he carried a trident, dashed around the room, and spawned fire bats. Fire bats! That’s the perfect foundation for a move set. He’s also a classic villain, even more than his human counterpart, appearing from the very start of the series, and in a larger selection of games.

Nintendo likes to find unexpected first-party characters to throw into each new iteration of SSB, and Ganon would fit the bill. He’d be appreciated by long time gamers, and has enough history and personality to hold his own amid an already stacked roster.

king krool

King K.Rool

King K.Rool receives buzz every time a new Smash Bros game gets announced. As the main antagonist from the Donkey Kong franchise, K.Rool would be a sensible choice. He’s been a part of some of Nintendo’s greatest games, including the Donkey Kong Country trilogy for SNES.

So why hasn’t K.Rool already made the main roster? He hasn’t been featured as prominently in any games since 2008, and took a sabbatical from Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Furthermore, his best and most memorable appearances were spearheaded by Rare, who hasn’t been with Nintendo in years.

Still, with his robust history, K.Rool’s eventual inclusion seems inevitable. He’s an ace that Nintendo can pull out of their sleeve at any time. As the first party pool gets emptier, the big bad crocodile stands out more and more.

simon belmont

Simon Belmont

Simon Belmont isn’t necessarily a likely choice to appear in the next SSB. He’s owned by Konami who is no longer active in the console market, and whose character Snake was omitted from the last game after appearing in Super Smash Bros Brawl.

Issues aside, Simon is the best remaining third-party candidate, at least from a classic perspective. SSB has often prided itself on finding the most iconic characters associated with Nintendo, and have done an admirable job of scouring their own history. If you look back at the NES era, Nintendo has given us a character from every first-party game this side of Balloon Fight. Last generation, they increased the third-party effort by giving us the best available candidate in Mega Man.

Simon Belmont of the Castlevania series is far and away the biggest name left from that era. There were three classic Castlevania games released on the NES, and Simon starred in two of them. His trademark whip, cross, and holy water all make for perfect Smash Bros attacks. Imagine using the whip to cling onto platforms as a recovery move. Nintendo might be compelled to censor some of Castlevania’s religious imagery, but even if they do, there’s still lots of content to choose from.

The Castlevania series is such an important part of gaming history that it would be a shame not to represent it.

shovel knight

Shovel Knight

When Nintendo surveyed fans regarding who they wanted to see in Smash Bros, Shovel Knight was one of the best performers. His games sold better on Nintendo consoles than on Playstation or Xbox, and Nintendo even released a Shovel Knight Amiibo; a rarity for a third-party character. Hopefully, Nintendo appreciates its relationship with Shovel Knight and will take the next step of bringing the fan favorite to the next SSB.

There’s so much to like about Shovel Knight! He has a unique jumping and pogo mechanic, a look that’s unlike any other characters in the game, and a retro design that appeals to both veteran and newer players. He has a great variety of stages to lend to the game, and the Shovel Knight soundtrack was one of the best regarded of 2014. Strike the Earth, my friend!

toad

Toad

I don’t sense that Nintendo has been too keen on adding Toad as a playable character, or they would have done it before now. He’s always been a well-known, well-liked character, but his role is often one of a captive, or a cheerleader, or a game show host. Fortunately, with the 2014 release of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, our little mushroom buddy might finally be an attractive candidate.

If Toad were to get the SSB treatment, it would almost certainly be as Captain Toad. His move-set would make reference to that game, using pickaxes and turnips as weapons. Toadette could even appear during his Final Smash, or if Nintendo really wanted to be daring, they could pair the two up, Ice Climbers style.

inkling

Inkling

Nintendo doesn’t release a lot of original console IPs these days. In fact, since Pikmin on the Gamecube, new properties have mostly taken the form of casual or non-combat related franchises. Games like Wii Fit and Wii Sports are great, but they don’t produce the type of characters that make obvious fodder for Super Smash Bros. Sure, we got the Wii Fitness Trainer anyway, but isn’t it cooler when the new fighter has seen their share of action?

That’s what makes Splatoon such an exciting game for a new Super Smash Bros character. Splatoon introduced a fresh take on the team multiplayer shooter, splicing fantastic action with the more family-friendly aesthetic that Nintendo has worked to embrace. The game introduced new characters called inklings, who can transform between human and squid form to perform different actions. To fight, they can disperse ink by using brushes, guns and bombs.

Nintendo would jump at the chance of including an inkling in a new Super Smash Bros. Such a character is likely to have unique mechanics centered around their abilities to spread ink across the map and transform themselves from one form to the other.

ridley

Ridley

I thought that for sure, Ridley would make the active roster of Super Smash Bros: Brawl. When he didn’t, there was no question in my mind that he would be playable in SSB: Wii U.

And now?

Well, I still think he makes the next game. He’s the most iconic villain from Metroid, and by the time the next SSB is released, there’s a good chance Nintendo will be promoting the next major Metroid release. Smash Bros is a huge tool for cross-promotion; it’s the whole reason we end up with so many Fire Emblem characters.

Ridley has often been used as a non-playable boss within the Smash Bros universe, and there’s a chance that Nintendo has found comfort in giving him that role permanently. But if the timing is right and there’s a new Metroid game on the horizon, Ridley’s chances become that much greater.

tapu koko

A Pokemon from Sun and Moon

There has never been a SSB release that hasn’t added new Pokemon. With each further generation of Pokemon, new monsters are spotlighted by Nintendo and embraced by the fans. They become featured prominently in the cartoons and sometimes in the games themselves. We may not know who it is, but there’s a star waiting to be born out of Pokemon Sun and Moon. What better way to showcase that star than to feature them prominently in Super Smash Bros? Likely candidates include a fully evolved version of one of the starter Pokemon, or perhaps one of the new legendary creatures.

If I had to place a bet from one of the already revealed Pokemon, my wager would favor Tapu Koko. This special Pokemon is an electric-fairy type, and is referred to in official documentation as Melemele Island’s guardian deity. Tapu Koko has a unique look, and an upright design that fits in perfectly with the existing roster.