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  • Part of Waluigi's fanbase think that him being shown as an Assist Character is actually a Red Herring and he's a Secret Character, because he never appeared in any of the demos at E3 2018 and Sakurai knows how popular of a request he is. Even with the game released, some people believe he could appear as DLC.
  • In an interview with Sakurai soon after the announcement of the game, he said that the proposal for the game was completed in December of 2015. This made a lot of debate in the community about whether newer characters like Rex, Pyra, and Spring Man were automatically excluded from the initial roster. Some have argued that characters like Greninja were examples of characters not having to be finalized when Sakurai decides on the roster, while others say that newer characters in this game probably weren't considered due to how early in development their games would have been when the roster would have been finalized. Them coming in as DLC characters isn't out of the question, though. This was addressed in the November 2018 Nintendo Direct, which mentioned that Rex didn't make the cut due to his game being announced after development started, which is why a Mii costume for him is being bundled in with the Fighter's Pass DLC as compensation. Spring Man however, ended up as an Assist Trophy.
    • However, it is unclear if Sakurai was referring to only the base roster, and with how he tweeted that the DLC characters have been decided, days after the November Direct, this currently remains as another matter of debate due to the possibility of Rex making it in despite him and his comrades already having a Mii costume and spirits respectivelynote .
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  • Some characters are thought to be Echo Fighters due to certain things not being shown off. Two Assist Trophies, Shadow and Dark Samus, have not been revealed in the game. Shadow is thought to be replaced by Knuckles as an Assist Trophy while Dark Samus is no longer represented as an alternative color for Samus, with its outfit replaced by a black and yellow one. Robin's Final Smash has also not been shown off, which lead some people to think Chrom's an Echo Fighter. Surely enough, the August 8, 2018 Direct would reveal Chrom and Dark Samus to be Echo Fighters! On the other hand, the November 1, 2018 Direct deconfirmed Shadow, revealing his return as an Assist Trophy. Funnily enough, Robin's Final Smash didn't change at all despite Chrom's addition to the roster.
  • Similarly, certain Lip supporters have noticed that the flower status effect, traditionally caused by the Lip's Stick item, has received an updated appearance for the first time in the series, leading some to believe she'll have a more prominent role this time despite the return of the item itself.
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  • The idea that some of the downloadable Mii costumes in Smash 4 are being Promoted to Playable here (not just Inklings) became spread across the fanbase due to a 4chan "leak" in July, the fact that this game shows some influence from the Smash Ballot (some of the Mii Costumes are characters that were popular to vote for in the Ballot), and evidence that Bayonetta was chosen two weeks into the Ballot, making votes later in the Ballot less meaningful. The most common characters speculated to playable from the DLC Mii Costumes are King K. Rool, Chrom, Lloyd, Heihachi, Geno, and Ashley. So far, this is partially correct, King K. Rool and Chrom are confirmed to be playable characters, Ashley is returning as an assist trophy, and Geno appears as a spirit, leaving Lloyd and, if one doesn’t count his appearance as a sprite as part of one of PAC-Man’s taunts, Heihachi left.
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  • While some people are not buying the excuse for Zelda not representing Breath of the Wild, others are taking suspicion over Sheik somehow representing that game instead of Ocarina of Time, despite never being therenote , leading some to believe that some surprise about the missing Zelda could be announced sometime in the future.
  • Due to Rathalos being a boss fight and Assist Trophy, there's been hope/speculation of some Assist Trophies becoming playable characters anyway as well.
  • When the menu was revealed, part of it was blurred, with Sakurai stating that he couldn't tell the fans about that just yet. Predictably, this has caused a huge amount of speculation, mostly relating to the potential of a new story mode akin to the Subspace Emissary. With someone working out that the blurred mode reads "Spirits" coupled with the Family Unfriendly Deaths prevalent in the reveal trailers, there is speculation on how these two things are related.
  • The new characters revealed in the August 2018 reveal were added to open areas on the panoramic, leading to fans scanning the picture to try and deduce other potential open spots to be filled by characters that haven't been revealed yet. Of course, it was quickly clarified that the artists just move around the layers in Photoshop to create the gaps, rather than the gaps always having been there.
  • The continued absence of Skull Kid wasn't odd in and of itself. However, his Assist Trophy seems to have been replaced by the Moon that he causes to fall, without him being there to make it fall. This is odd as Skull Kid already represented Majora's Mask fine in that district, and having The Moon and Skull Kid act as separate Assist Trophies would be strange. Add that Young Link is (partially) based on his Majora's Mask depiction, without his Final Smash being shown off yet and thus possibly also based on Majora's Mask, and it seems as though Skull Kid may have been upgraded to a boss or even playable character. It helps that Skull Kid happened to have enough of a following to receive a Mii Costume in 4, and the increased emphasis on villains is in line with Skull Kid joining. Even the feature of bosses now also servicing as Assist Trophies would explain Skull Kid's absence.
  • Many fans have noticed that in King K. Rool's reveal trailer, Donkey Kong relaxes and scratches his butt while watching TV in a similar fashion to Karate Joe from Rhythm Heaven, claiming that this is Foreshadowing of him making an appearance as either a playable character or Assist Trophy. However, others have argued that laying on one's side like that is a stock Lazy Bum pose and doesn't indicate anything.
  • While not as strongly speculated as Skull Kid, some fans have speculated about the possibility of the Black Knight being a playable character due to both him getting a Mii Costume as DLC in Smash 4 and the increased emphasis on villains this time around. The fact that Chrom was made an echo of Roy rather than Ike also fuels this theory. People also noticed that the general sitting on the throne in the background for Castle Siege was edited to less resemble the Black Knight, fueling this theory even more.
  • One screenshot featured some of the game's fantasy swordsmen facing down Rathalos, with the same general over-the-shoulder perspective as the battle screen in the Golden Sun games. Cue fans thinking that this is a sign that Isaac will join. Later debunked when the man himself returned to being an Assist Trophy.
  • During the August 2018 Smash Direct, the room Sakurai was sitting in had two chairs in the background, one purple, one yellow. Incidental background decoration, you say? Never underestimate the Smash community's capacity to wring "clues" out of nothing (see the "DK scratching his bum" entry above). The chairs have been cited as anything from proof that Waluigi is playable, proof that Waluigi will never be playable, and an indicator of more Majora's Mask representatives (as they match the colors of the fairies from the game). This was heightened when it was discovered that King K. Rool may have been teased in a prior Direct due to a DK-like barrel, rope ladder, and books strongly resembling his color scheme that were removed in the August 2018 Direct. People have also noticed that the couch and single pillow next to Sakurai perfectly mirrors Skull Kid's own color scheme... and how the chairs seem to actually complement said couch rather than appear independently.
  • Many fans have speculated that the game or its DLC will include a character representing Xbox Game Studios. While this may have seemed unlikely in the past given Nintendo and Microsoft's rivalry in the Console Wars, the two companies have become quite chummy in the lead up to Ultimate's release, with moves such as allowing cross-play between Xbox One and Nintendo Switch (even making a joint commercial touting this fact). Which character this would be is a matter of further speculation.
    • Banjo and Kazooie are a popular choice, given how the first two games in their series were some of the most acclaimed and popular games on the Nintendo 64 and retain a passionate fanbase even to this day. On top of this, as early as March of 2018, Phil Spencer said "Yep." to a fan who asked if he was willing to let Banjo and Kazooie appear in Smash. Nintendo's E3 2019 Direct would end up bringing this tree to full growth.
    • After being pretty much a joke suggestion for the longest time, some people genuinely speculate that Steve may actually join the roster for real. Their main evidence is that a very trustworthy leaker stated that there is going to be Minecraft content in Ultimate, he didn't specify what kind of content though. Steve supporters also argue that Minecraft had two Nintendo console releases already, Minecraft owner Microsoft being in friendly terms with Nintendo (similar to the above Banjo-Kazooie), Steve would be perfect as the first playable indie representation note  and the gameplay of Minecraft could be replicated into a functional moveset.
    • In a similar vein to the above is Cuphead. Like Steve, Cuphead and Mugman are the main characters of a Microsoft-owned indie game that was a runaway critical and financial success and was even released on the Switch despite initially being hard-exclusive to Xbox/PC, on top of Cuphead and Mugman themselves having a fairly diverse moveset to draw from. With the game and its developers being on such good terms with Nintendo, Cuphead/Mugman is commonly seen as another plausible choice for Microsoft/Indie rep, especially with those who feel that the brothers would make for a more interesting pick than Steve.
    • Lastly, some fans have speculated that even Master Chief could be within the realm of possibility. While his series targets a mature audience and has been exclusive to Xbox consoles, many argue that the former hasn't stopped Snake, Bayonetta, and Joker from appearing in Smash and that, much like Cloud and Joker, Nintendo might overlook the latter since Halo and Master Chief are so iconic (and perhaps the most iconic of Microsoft's characters).
  • Hilda is also being speculated to be playable as an echo of Zelda. Some people pointed to the fact that Zelda is based on her Link to the Past/Link Between Worlds design and that she doesn't have a Hilda-themed costume, much like with Samus and Ike not having their Dark Samus and Chrom colors.
  • Isabelle being her own unique fighter but still sharing some aspects with Villager make some people think, or hope at least, that popular characters like Shadow and Dixie Kong will be given the same treatment.
  • An article posted in an issue of CoroCoro listed the total number of stages to be 108, leading people to theorize that the remaining unrevealed stages might have newcomers assigned to them.
  • Related to the 108 stages rumor is that one of the 5 new stages is believed to be a Yoshi's Crafted World stage, due to a Crafted Yoshi Costume being discovered and the Woolly World stage being absent.
  • A popular theory has suggested the possible arrival of Dante, based on a leak which not only correctly predicted several aspects of Devil May Cry 5 but also called his inclusion in Smash. Even the word of DMCV producer Matt Walker denying this to be the case hasn't completely deterred supporters, given that this may mark the first time Bayonetta could face off against her spiritual predecessor in a moment both Bayonetta and Devil May Cry fans and even Hideki Kamiya would be open to witnessing.
    • As of May 2019, it was announced that Devil May Cry was going to be ported to the Switch in the Summer of that same year, marking the first time a Devil May Cry game has been released for Nintendo consoles (though Dante himself had appeared in Project X Zone on the Nintendo 3DS). Given that the producer of the series has stated that he wanted to see a Devil May Cry game on Nintendo consoles before Dante was placed in Smash (he was quoted saying such 3 months prior to the port's announcement), speculation for Dante's inclusion has reignited, with some people speculating that Dante's potential inclusion in Smash and the first Devil May Cry being ported to the Switch would be a package deal.
  • The August 8 2018 Direct briefly showed that the Street Fighter series now has 36 tracks, up from 6 in 3DS/Wii U, which some people took as a hint that it would get another rep (most likely Ken as an Echo Fighter of Ryu), due to Castlevania having 34 tracks and two representatives.
  • The release of the first chapter of Deltarune just one day before the November 1, 2018 Direct had many speculate that there would be Undertale content in the game, due to references to waiting 24 hours both in the demo itself and on the game's website, and a Shout-Out to Smash when talking to Toriel. Eventually Jossed as of now with the only indie reps so far are from Shovel Knight and Shantae leaving some fans to speculate that Toby Fox broke NDA with the above events.
  • With the recent ports of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, DOOM (2016) and Doom Eternal to the Switch, alongside the revelation in September that Bethesda were discussing future plans with Nintendo (with the former's vice president of PR and marketing, Pete Hines, confirming Smash Bros. to be one of the subjects discussed), fans have been speculating the inclusion of a Bethesda rep as DLC, with popular suggestions including; the Doom Slayer, the Dragonborn and Vault Boy.
    • Of these three options, the Doom Slayer is speculated to be the most likely candidate thanks to having the most amount of ports to Nintendo consoles compared to the other two (1 on the SNES, 1 on the GBA and 2 on the Switch). This is on top his series' claim to fame of codifying the First Person Shooter genre alongside Wolfenstein 3D (with Sakurai even going on record to say that John Carmack is "the father of FPS's"), making the Doom Slayer a key representative for a significant chunk of gaming history.
  • With the full list of Spirits being leaked, people have been combing through them in order to find characters don't have any, under the assumption that having a Spirit is a deconfirmation. The most notable absences are Porky Minch, Sylux, and most bizarrely of all, Poochy. Worth noting is that all these characters have marketing reasons to be included (Mother's 30th anniversary, heavily implied to be the antagonist of Metroid Prime 4, and being heavily advertised for Yoshi's Crafted World), which just makes the speculation even more fueled. It should also be noted that Porky's boss battle is absent. However, it is worth noting that playable fighters also appear as spirits, mostly as alternate forms of the character. In addition, Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! spirits were added in an update, meaning Sylux and Poochy could also have their spirits added when their new games are released.
    • The fact that Goron- and Zora-Link are lacking Spirits is also a bit suspicious, since they are Link's most prominent forms from Majora's Mask, besides Deku-Link. While Deku-Link is the form Link starts out with, these two have by far the most potential for Smash and people did take note of Young Link being a fairly generic Moveset Clone, despite his potential as a unique fighter. Plus, it's a good way of making a Goron and Zora playable without breaking the unspoken rule that only variations of Link, Zelda and Ganondorf are allowed.
    • Another noticeable absence is Lycanroc. While Pokémon Sun and Moon already have a character with Incineroar, Lycanroc is more popular and promoted, and the game lacks an Alola stage as well as music and spirits from Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, perfect for a challenger set.
  • Due to the belief that Isaac is too popular within the Smash community to stay as an Assist Trophy, he is speculated to be DLC. This is helped by the game having code for Assist Trophies to be disabled under certain conditions, such as the Moon already being in the background of the Great Bay.
  • The surprise reveal of Joker from Persona 5 as the first DLC fighter from the Fighters' Pass, as well as comments from Reggie Fils-Aime stating that Joker is "emblematic" of the approach being taken with DLC for Ultimate, has led to a large change in speculation. A number of people have taken this to mean that most of, if not all of the fighters will be third-parties. Names thrown around range from Sora to Doom Slayer to Dante and even Master Chief in some circles.
  • On January 24, update 2.0.0 was announced. Because Wii U/3DS never got an update past version number 1.1.7, people theorized that this update was going to include big things other than Piranha Plant, such as the return of Home-Run Contest. But at the end the only addition was the ability to play Spirit Board in co-op.
    • Instead, when 3.0.0 was announced in the February 13 Direct, this began to be thought of as the real big update. This is not just due to it being announced in a Direct, but also being accompanied by a couple of blurry screenshots.
  • Players who datamined the game noticed three files holding parameters like weight and run speed for characters not playable in the base game; "packun", "jack", and "brave". The first character was unanimously considered to be Piranha Plant as its japanese name is Packun Flower, but there was speculation to who the other two characters are. "jack" is assumed to be Joker, as it fits the Playing Card Motif of the Phantom Theives as well as Atlus' mascot Jack Frost. "brave" is speculated to be Erdrick from Dragon Quest III as his / her placeholder name "Hero" or "Yuusha" can translate to "brave". Come Update 2.0.0, Piranha Plant is released with different parameters than "packun", and the "jack" and "brave" files were removed. Notably, "packun" and "jack" were in the initial version of the game, while "brave" was added in the day one patch.
  • After it was discovered that Mii Swordfighter and Duck Hunt can cause save corruption in All-Star Mode in 2.0.0, and some Bowser Jr. data was found in Piranha Plant's, there has been speculation about these two fighters being used as the bases for DLC fighters. Mii Swordfighter is speculated to be used for the aforementioned Erdrick, or possibly even Lloyd Irving due to his Mii costume in Wii U/3DS and some of Mii Swordfighter's move options resembling his own. Duck Hunt is speculated to be the base for Banjo due to the two having been compared before, or quadrupedal canines such as Amaterasu or Lycanroc.
  • On February 5th of 2019, Cristina Valenzuela tweeted "oh ya know just about to work on one of the biggest games ever". Cue speculation for Shantae or, once more, Erdrick, as DLC, to the point that she had to clarify multiple times that she wasn't talking about Smash. She eventually revealed that this game was Fortnite.
  • Another datamine revealed a line referring to a model file for one of Joker's alts labelled "Jane"note , it was debated whether or not it was an alternate gender option for Joker or perhaps a female outfit for Joker, or if the line was instead referring to an assist character who would appear in his Final Smash. When a teaser for Persona 5: Royal was revealed on March 23rd 2019, it showed a glimpse of the then-unnamed new character Kasumi Yoshizawa. This led to fans speculating that she was the character the "Jane" line was referring to and that she'd be debuting in Smash before her game was released. The "alternate costume" theory was jossed on April 16, 2019, with Nintendo releasing Joker's gameplay trailer and a showcase of him, showing his alternate costume is his school uniform with Kasumi nowhere to be seen. Although it's often speculated that Kasumi may be added at a later date as a bonus Echo Fighter, the fact that she fights very differently could throw a wrench in this line of speculation.
  • Shortly after Joker's release, a theory was cooked up over the fact that among the Mii costumes that were sold alongside him were the Tails and Knuckles sets that were present in the previous game but were cut in the base Ultimate version. This states that the previous costumes will likely return and be sold alongside characters from their respective IP holders, which in turn has lead people to believe that characters from Square Enix, Capcom and Namco would at least fill out 3/4ths of the remaining Fighter Pass slots post-Joker. While the Hero does fulfill the role of a Square rep, only time will tell if the cut costumes from Square will return alongside him and if Capcom and Namco can take the final two spots.
  • Many fans have pointed out that Rathalos is the only boss character to be from a series that is unfamiliar with Smash, although Capcom provided Mii Costumes for the Hunter and Rathalos in the previous game. This has lead to speculation that either the Hunter or the Felynes might become playable in the future, since the Hunter is a popular character choice amongst the Smash fanbase, as well both of them being playable in their home game and have a lot of potential for alternate costumes given their highly-customizable nature.
  • In mid-May of 2019, a rumor started circulating that Rayman was frozen in a pillar of ice in Battlefield. Cue rumors about him being the second member of the Fighter Pass.
  • After E3 rolled around and the game was revealed to be "future proofed" through hacks, some speculate that new characters from upcoming games will be made playable, either as completely new characters or simple Alts. Those include Gooigi, either Byleth or Edelgard note , New Horizons’s Tom Nooknote , a new Pokémon note  and the new versions of Zelda and Ganondorfnote  (alternatively, a different Zelda character that hasn't been revealed yet).
  • When the opening animation for Shantae 5 was revealed, some people noticed something very interesting: Shantae's window looks exactly like the Smash Bros. logo. Coincidental decoration, or something more?

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