Super Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai has an article in the latest issue of Famitsu (translation via Polygon,) where he explains how Mega Man, Animal Crossing’s Villager, and the Wii Fit Trainer ended up in Nintendo’s latest melee.
“A lot of people understood Mega Man,” Sakurai wrote “but they kept asking me ‘Why did you go for the villager and the Wii Fit trainer?”
“Something I think that people noticed in the movies and screenshots released… is that the villager and trainer were not choices we made for the sake of cheap novelty. Each has their own unique attacks and battle strategies, and they make the game more interesting. If I have an image of a character in my mind that dances around and jibes with what I want, then that’s the most important thing. On the other hand, even if you have a character suited for a fighting game, if you can’t make him stick out from the pack and extract something unique from him, then what can you do?”
Sakurai revealed that the Villager was originally planned as one of the new characters for Brawl, but was left out of that game because the team at that time felt like he wasn’t well suited for battle.
Sakurai wants each characters’ fighting style to highlight the unique aspects of the games they’re from. In regards to Mega Man, Sakurai said “If all we cared about was who we could get in the game, then he would just have regular old punches and kicks, like how he largely does in the Marvel vs. Capcom series. But Mega Man’s most unique trait is how he gains new attacks from bosses. Working that fully into the game results in a more complete Mega Man that we can give you. That’s why he’s done up in NES-era proportions rather than something more realistic; that’s why he’s a little expressionless; that’s why his jumping and damage motions and the way he can fire the Mega Buster while walking are all what they are. It’s all in an effort to present the character.”
“Every member of the team has their own vision of Mega Man that springs to mind instantly when they think about it. However, as long as the original image you construct remains firm, then that can survive a few discrepancies without the character falling apart. So what’s key in character selection is whether the guy dances out at you, and whether you have what it takes to portray that appeal.”
The next Super Smash Bros. is currently scheduled to hit the Wii U and 3DS sometime in 2014. If the new game is anything like Brawl, Nintendo will probably slowly release new info about the game’s stages, characters, and special features over the next few months, so stay tuned for new info as it develops.