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The Smash Bros. fanbase is no stranger to wild speculation in regards to both the games' features and its playable roster, but Ultimate brought in such a huge amount of hype that the speculation bandwagon reached a fever pitch. Here's just a few of the crazy theories and ideas that have spread across the community.

  • 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 or speculation within 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 Fighters 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 already having a Mii costume, along with him and his comrades as spiritsnote . This continues even further with the first fighter of the Second Pass being ARMS' Min Min, whose home game was on the same boat as Rex's, though Min Min was only a spirit.
  • 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 disconfirmed 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.
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  • 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.
  • 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, Tails, Knuckles and Ashley. So far, this is partially correct; King K. Rool and Chrom got Promoted to Playable characters and their Mii costumes also returned, Ashley returned as an assist trophy along with her Mii Swordfighter costume, Geno appears as a spirit, and Tails', Knuckles', and Heihachi's Mii Costumes have returned, leaving only Lloyd 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 (not just heroes, but villains and whatever too) 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 serving 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 being competitors in the Console Wars much like the former did with SEGA in the past, 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) and allowing Xbox Live to be accessible on Switch. Which character this would be is a matter of further speculation.
    • Banjo and Kazooie are a popular choice. In spite of Microsoft currently owning them, they have a strong history with Nintendo since 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, during the Fighter Ballot of the previous game, Phil Spencer said it'd be cool if Banjo was a DLC in the game, and as early as March of 2018 when Ultimate was announced, he said "Yep." to a fan who asked if he was willing to let Banjo and Kazooie appear in Smash. And when E3 2019 rolled around, video game character plush designer Stubbins advertised, with a drawing of their Banjo-Kazooie plush, that they'd be at the event on the day of Nintendo's presentation; seems odd to promote characters that most likely wouldn't have a game of their own shown. Once Nintendo's E3 2019 Direct rolled around, these conspiracy theories would end up being proven right.
    • 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, though they didn't specify what kind of content. Steve supporters also argue that Minecraft having had two Nintendo console releases already and Minecraft owner Microsoft being on friendly terms with Nintendo (similar to the above Banjo-Kazooie), noting that 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. Though Cuphead didn't join the fight in person, he did eventually get a Mii Gunner costume in January of 2020.
    • 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). Others point out that Master Chief would still need a noteworthy appearance on a Nintendo-related game of some sort before Sakurai can justify including him as a courtesy, even just a smaller one like Cloud got with the Theatrhythm games (before his actual first game appearance got released for the Switch years later) or Joker got with Persona Q2.
  • 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. Thus far, this has been Jossed, with Hilda only appearing as a Spirit.
  • 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. This was confirmed in a roundabout way when the full game came out; only 103 stages were in the game at launch, but the Fighters Pass, which was revealed before the game came out, was stated to contain five fighters (who would have to be newcomers, as all the veterans are in at launch) and stages based on their games.
  • 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. The full game Jossed this.
  • 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 actually first 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.
      • Later on in the 9/4/19 Direct, it was revealed that Devil May Cry 2 was also coming to the Switch, further increasing speculation for not only Dante in Smash, but also for Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening also receiving a port. It was confirmed later on that Dante's Awakening would indeed be receiving a port, but what fans especially took notice of was that the port was slated for release on 2/20/20, and that same month was stated to be the latest possible time for the Fighters Pass members to release, leading a good amount of people to speculate that Dante would be released alongside DMC3 on the Switch, if he was in.
  • 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. Ken would be revealed in the November 2018 Direct.
  • 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. The September 4, 2019 Nintendo Direct proved this right when it introduced a Sans costume for Mii Gunner and a Megalovania track.
  • 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 games on Nintendo consoles compared to the other two (1 on the SNES, 1 on the Nintendo 64, 2 on the GBA and 2 on the Switch). This is on top of the fact that his series codified the First-Person Shooter 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 that has been mostly unrepresented in Smash beforehand.
  • 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 (although Yarn Poochy does make an appearance). 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 there was an event celebrating Mother's 30th anniversary, with no Porky Event Spirit, only strengthens the belief that Porky will be added in the future. The possibility that the missing spirits are simply oversights on the part of the game staff's spirits division has also been brought up. Then there are those who point out that spirits are functionally similar to trophies, and that some could be upgraded into playable fighters later, much like Mewtwo and Lucas were for 4.
    • 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. So far, all of the characters have indeed been third-parties, with Square Enix's Hero, Microsoft's Banjo and Kazooie, and SNK's Terry Bogard joining the fight.
  • 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. 3.0.0 proved to be large indeed, adding Joker, his stage of Mementos and its music, his DLC Spirit Board, the Edit Video function, Shared Content, and Stage Builder.
  • 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 Thieves 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. Erdrick later appeared, but only as an alternate costume for the Hero, with the default being the Luminary from DQXI.
  • 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. After it was pointed out that Hero had some similarities with Link, the speculation of the Mii Swordfighter being a basis for Lloyd increased.
  • 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, though some fans speculate that Kasumi may be added in as her own fighter at a later date. This gained traction after the announcement that more fighters beyond the Fighters Pass are planned as well as an announcement that the upcoming Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers has two music tracks that are unlocked on the Switch version of the game if save data for Ultimate is detected, one of which happens to be the battle theme from Royal (Take Over), which is currently absent from Smash. Note 
  • 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 release of Ultimate. 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 Fighters Pass slots post-Joker. While the Hero does fulfill the role of a Square rep, Geno's Costume and the Chocobo Hat ended up not being in the Wave alongside Hero, but considering they're owned by Square Enix, there could be any number of reasons for this.
    • When Banjo & Kazooie came out, this theory was briefly thought to be dead, as none of the Mii Costumes released alongside the bear and bird were related to them (they were Goemon (from Konami), Proto-Man, Zero (both from Capcom and returning from the previous installment), Team Rocket (from Nintendo), and most surprisingly, Sans (an indie character)). However, Terry got both costumes from SNK games (including Nakoruru, Ryo Sakazaki, and Iori Yagami) and unrelated ones (with Akira Yuki and Jacky Bryant returning from the last game). The costumes that came with Terry were all based off of Fighting Game characters, so it makes sense that Akira and Jacky would return at that point. However, one very noticeable omission from this is Heihachi's Mii Costume from the previous game, leading to speculation that a Bandai Namco rep, possibly Heihachi himself, would be added later on. What's interesting to note is that Heihachi had been considered for the previous game's base roster, but Sakurai thought that implementing the movement of Tekken would be difficult. Since he had been considered for the base roster, it means that this happened prior to Ryu's inclusion in that same game, and since then, he has managed to implement Ken and Terry as well into Smash, which could potentially make things easier.
  • 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.
    • Speculation for a Monster Hunter rep cropped up again after a mini-Nintendo Partner Showcase in September 2020 that showed off two new Monster Hunter games (Monster Hunter: Rise and Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings Of Ruin) exclusive to the Nintendo Switch. While a lot people think that the Monster Hunter will be playable as a fixed character (kind of like Monster Hunter's apperance in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite), but some are speculating that a hero from one of the Stories spin offs might be playable instead.
  • 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 one of the DLCs.
  • 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).
  • Joker's gameplay trailer ends with him stealing King K. Rool's crown, followed by Wario's motorcycle. At first people just wrote this off as a gag referencing things from his home game, but then K. Rool was seen hanging out in DK and Diddy's house in Banjo & Kazooie's reveal trailer. With Twitter user Ethan Mouta drawing a connection between K. Rool's Smash 4 trophy saying that the croc could be DK's friend if he ever had "a change of heart" and Joker stealing his treasure and seemingly changing his heart, some have started wondering if the theft of Wario's motorcycle could signify anything. Theories range from this being yet another hint at Waluigi (because it's always Waluigi Time), to a potential rep from WarioWare or Wario Land, to even a new Wario game entirely.
  • 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?
  • After an Overwatch-themed Nintendo Switch carrier licensed by Nintendo & Blizzard was leaked on Amazon and quickly taken down, many people began speculating that not only will there be a Switch port of Overwatch, but Tracer will also become a part of the Fighters Pass to go along with it. The fact that this happened shortly before August 2019's "female fighter nobody demanded" 4chan post only helped this theory. At present, the carrying case only seems to be related to Overwatch getting a Switch release.
    • After September 1st of 2019 brought a leak alleging that SNK would be the company with the fourth Fighters Pass member, this quickly shifted to a character from Metal Slug, due to that game having several prominent mechs, which were stated to be a part of the character in a followup to the above leak.
    • Similarly, a different leak alleging that the next DLC character was "a female character with a flying weapon" merged with the SNK leak to form speculation that Nakoruru would join the cast. In the end, it was Terry Bogard who joined the ranks.
  • Datamining has revealed that about 30 open slots for character ID marks are hidden in the game's files, in addition to around 16 slots for characters in World of Light. As of September 2019, only Piranha Plant and Joker were confirmed to take up the World of Light character slots, while the character ID slots disappeared after Piranha Plant was released. Since Sakurai confirmed that there are more characters planned for DLC after the Fighters Pass ended and has repeatedly expressed his desire to continue DLC for a long time, some people theorize that the game will continue being supported for about 2-3 years.
  • The Nintendo Switch gained a SNES emulator and several games as part of Nintendo Switch Online on September 4th of 2019, but one game people noticed wasn't there was Super Mario RPG, despite the fact that this game made it onto the SNES Classic 2 years prior. As a result, a theory came about that there will eventually be a Nintendo Direct that announces both SMRPG for Switch SNES and Geno as DLC for Ultimate.
  • In September of 2019, it was revealed that Daemon X Machina, a Nintendo-published game released during that month, would be receiving representation in Ultimate in the form of spirits. Several people took note of the fact that the game Astral Chain, which had been released a month prior to this and was a new Nintendo IP, didn't receive this kind of promotion, which lead to some people guessing that Astral Chain would instead be represented through a fighter added after the Fighters Pass concluded, with spirits from the game being added then.
  • The lack of representation for Fire Emblem: Three Houses despite being a new installment in a popular Nintendo-owned franchise, in contrast to the remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening and the new game Daemon X Machina receiving representation in the form of Spirits around their respective releases has led many to guess that a character from Three Houses will be added as a fighter via DLC alongside a spirit board containing spirits from the game, with the most popular candidates for a playable representative being Byleth or Edelgard.
    • Additionally, this suggests that DLC beyond the fighters pass might be willing to not only include first party franchises as noted above, but still include characters from already represented franchises. As a result, debate for characters such as Rex, Geno, Isaac, Spring Man, Blood Falcon and whoever continue.
    • Speculation for playable characters from Astral Chain and Fire Emblem: Three Houses as DLC only increased after it was revealed that Pokémon Sword and Shield was receiving four spirits in a Spirit Board event taking place in November of 2019, one of which is a group spirit containing that generation's starter Pokémon. Yet there was no sign of any Three Houses or Astral Chain spirits at all, despite it being a few months since both games were released. Some people have even speculated that Ring Fit Adventure could also receive playable representation, as that had also not received any spirits, despite it being a release that was promoted prominently by Nintendo. Ultimately, however, Astral Chain would later go on to receive spirits in January of 2020, and Ring Fit Adventure would do the same in March of 2020. Three Houses, on the other hand, would make it into the DLC with Byleth as the final member of Fighters Pass Volume 1.
  • On November 4th of 2019, a 4chan post was made containing a screenshot (and two videos) of Miis wearing Mallow and Cacodemon hats alongside Ken doing a thumbs-up, a pose associated with his own leak the prior year. Naturally, people took this to mean that Geno and Doom Slayer were coming as DLC. The lack of action taken by Nintendo towards this post led some to believe that it was legit and Nintendo was attempting to avoid invoking the Streisand Effect on it, and just letting detractors sow the seeds of doubt in the community in the hopes of the rumor falling by the wayside with time, similarly to what happened to the Ken leak.
  • When "Mr. Sakurai Presents - Terry Bogard" was announced, a notable detail was that the video was stated to be "a roughly 45-minute livestream". Considering Hero and 4.0's presentation was about 21 minutes and Banjo & Kazooie + 5.0 had a 25-minute timeslot, many began to wonder what could be so significant that it would double the length of the presentation's usual runtime. When Nintendo Versus said that "During this livestream, there are no announcements regarding any unrevealed fighters", most people took that as Suspiciously Specific Denial, considering none of the prior presentations had such a message preceding them. Others took note of a message saying that "[b]roadcasts may be interrupted or canceled without notice due to system problems", leading to a theory that another Joker-style reveal opening with a Do Not Adjust Your Set would interrupt Sakurai. The presentation itself Jossed both of these, due to the livestream coming and going with no surprises, leaving some to speculate that the above Mii Fighter leak prompted Nintendo to postpone Doom Slayer/Geno’s reveal.
  • After four waves of Mii costumes, many people noticed that Namco is the only company besides Microsoft to not have Mii Costumes yet, especially as Terry's release brought Mii costumes based on fighting game characters, and yet Heihachi's Mii costume didn't come back despite the Virtua Fighter costumes returning. This made fans speculate that Namco is getting a character either as the final Fighters Pass character or after it, with choices ranging from the long-requested Lloyd Irving, KOS-MOS, Segfried or the aforementioned Heihachi, who actually was considered for 3DS/Wii U.
    • Further supporting the possibility of Heihachi in addition to having been considered before is that Virtua Fighter isn't an SNK franchise, but a Sega franchise, and costumes for Sega characters Tails and Knuckles had already been released alongside Joker and several Persona costumes. Akira and Jacky could have seen an earlier release with Joker, but the fact that they were kept until Terry's release suggests that they were saved specifically to fit with the fighting game theme of the fourth wave of Mii Costumes. If so, then it would theoretically make more sense to release Heihachi's Mii Costume alongside the SNK and Virtua Fighter Mii Costumes, unless Heihachi or a different Tekken rep is planned to be playable at some point in the future. Furthermore, a Tekken rep would bring together the three big Japanese fighting games in Smash, and would represent a genre of fighting not represented through a playable character yet, which is the 3D fighting genre. However, Heihachi was ultimately represented through his Mii costume, which was bundled with a character from another fighting game, seemingly taking him out of the running.
    • Another side noted that all the other returning third-party companies received additional characters, except for Namco, who only has Pac-Man as a playable character. Meanwhile, Konami got Snake, Simon, and Richter; Sega got Sonic, Bayonetta, and Joker; Capcom got Mega Man, Ryu, and Ken; and Square Enix got Cloud and the Heroes.
  • Joker, the first member of the Fighters Pass, was revealed at The Game Awards 2018. Since then, the first four members of the Fighters Pass were revealed and released before December of 2019, resulting in everyone believing the final member of the quintet would crash The Game Awards 2019 to bookend the Pass. Due to this, many have speculated that the character hypothetically revealed at a large event like TGA 2019 would have to be as hype-worthy as Joker (whose game won several awards since its release and was near universally acclaimed), leading to people saying that more niche picks that wouldn't make such a splash likely wouldn't be appearing. When The Game Awards' Twitter account started reminiscing about Joker's reveal the prior year in the lead-up to TGA 2019, practically everyone started treating this theory as confirmed. However, this ended up Jossed, as nothing pertaining to Smash DLC was announced at the show.
  • A lot of people also expected something Ultimate-related to be announced on December 7th of 2019, as that's the first anniversary of the game. Some people who subscribed to both this theory and the above one combined them, and guessed that the final member of the Fighters Pass would be announced in a surprise Smash Direct held on the 7th, while the DLC reveal of The Game Awards 2019 would be the first member of the post-Pass characters, so that they could generate hype for the second wave of DLC in the same way that Joker did for the first wave. Alas, both of these dates have come and gone without a reveal.
  • In one of the most reaching theories short of the chair theory, December 6th of 2019 brought us "Daisy Theory". This tweet from the Japanese Smash Bros. account has four pictures, but the last one is what caught people's eyes. It contains Mario in the middle, and three characters each on both sides of him. Five of them were the DLC characters released at the time (Piranha Plant, Joker, Hero, Banjo & Kazooie, and Terry), while the last was Daisy, whose only relation to the other five was being a newcomer. Naturally, some people took this as a hint towards the final Fighters Pass member, with theories including Waluigi, since both Daisy and Waluigi are Mario characters who are more known for being in spinoffs, Geno (despite being allegedly disconfirmed for this spot in November of 2019) because both Daisy and Geno are Mario characters, Doom Slayer (who was also allegedly taken out of the running for the Fighters Pass), as he has a pet rabbit named Daisy, and even Arle Nadja, due to both her and Daisy being Tomboys with orange-ish hair who like to flash the V-Sign, which Daisy is doing in the picture.
  • On January 14th, 2020, a 35 minute Mr. Sakurai Presents video was announced for the morning of January 16th, 2020, which would finally reveal Fighters Pass member 5. What's of note is Sakurai in the accompanying image holding up three fingers in a peculiar manner. Some have speculated Travis Touchdown will be revealed given how No More Heroes creator Suda51 has been previously seen making a similar hand gesture. Others guessed Dante from Devil May Cry, given how the Switch port of Devil May Cry 3 has been given specific three announcement dates leading up to its February 20th, 2020 release date, one of which coincidentally falls on the same day as the aforementioned Mr. Sakurai Presents video. When the presentation aired, it turned out that Sakurai's three finger hand gesture was actually foreshadowing the reveal of Byleth from Fire Emblem: Three Housesnote .
  • After Byleth's reveal, some people began speculating that they were actually meant to be a part of the second Fighters Pass, since they're a first-party fighter who contrasts heavily against the other, all third-party members. The style of their reveal trailer also fits more with those seen in Directs than those in dedicated Smash videos, in part due to it dropping the "it's a Smash reveal" midway through despite being in an entirely-Smash presentation, as the trailer conceivably could've been a bait for the DLC pack for Three Houses that released on the same day as the ''Mr. Sakurai" video.
    • On a similar note, many people believe Nintendo forced Sakurai to include Byleth as part of the first Fighters Pass since they're the ones who outlined who he could pick for DLC this time, and the fact that in the previous game, when Corrin was added, it was done by Nintendo to plug Fire Emblem Fates. Sakurai, while a huge fan of Three Houses and looking to make Byleth stand out against the other FE characters, is aware of the West's hatred of Fire Emblem's over-representation, and most likely how they would react over Byleth’s inclusion (because these things also came up when Corrin was announced) and added an additional sixth slot to the second Fighters Pass to make up for those who felt that Byleth's inclusion was "wasted".
  • As the Kunio-kun spirit board event requires collaborating with Arc System Works, this has sparked speculation that a fighter in Fighters Pass 2 will be from them, primarily one of their two flagship fighting games' protagonists, Sol Badguy from Guilty Gear or Ragna the Bloodedge from BlazBlue.
  • On February 11th of 2020, a Cuphead spirit event was announced. Considering Sans didn't have an Undertale spirit event or spirits in general, this immediately led into theories that more repping of that series was coming.
  • The Cuphead series' Spirit Battles notably are different from every other one, in that they change if you own the Cuphead pack; if you bought the DLC, Floral Fury is used as the backing track for every fight, and Cuphead and his pal Mugman are represented by Mii Gunners in the Cuphead costume, but if you didn't, the fights use base game music, and the brothers are represented by Mega Man puppet fighters. This immediately led part of the community to believe that base game spirits were now on the table to be DLC fighters in Fighters Pass Volume 2.
    • On June 17th, 2020, due to the Cuphead spirits getting added to the normal spirit rotation on June 9th, Nintendo of Europe tweeted about how the Cuphead and Mugman spirit battles change based on your ownership, or lack thereof, of the Cuphead DLC Mii costume. Some have taken this as "warming up" the fanbase for the "spirits disconfirm" fanrule being proven wrong, as it seems odd to bring up the spirit battles changing 4 months after the spirits were first added and (as the ARMS in Ultimate presentation was announced on the 19th) so close to the 22nd's ARMS reveal, as opposed to doing so when the Cuphead spirits first launched in February. While no confirmation was given that this was the intent, the base-game spirit Min Min was revealed as ARMS' DLC rep, so the expectation panned out anyway.
  • On February 25th of 2020, Sakurai tweeted a picture of Pit and a tiny Inkling on Battlefield. Strangely, it's not on Ultimate's Battlefield, but rather For Wii U's rendition. Some started speculating that stages could get alternate forms in updates or DLC, while others said that since these photos were taken during Ultimate's development, it's possible that this photo was simply taken when the previous Battlefield was being used as a placeholder. The following day, the man himself confirmed that it wasn't significant and was just part of the dev build.
  • After the reveal that characters from Ring Fit Adventure were coming to Smash as spirits, some believe that the protagonist of that game was planned to be part of the second Fighters Pass, but due to the backlash towards Byleth and the accusations of them being just Three Houses Product Placement, the Ring Fit characters were demoted to spirits.
  • On March 13th of 2020, two fan expansions of Project M, Legacy XP and Legacy TE, suddenly got nuked, with both the devs and normal users seeing weird messages on the Discord servers for the mods, official downloads for the mods vanishing, and the mods' website getting wiped and its text replaced with a message announcing development has ceased (with the first post on the mods' SmashBoards forum topic being replaced with the same message); even a month later, Nintendo's lawyers don't want to see mirrors of the mods online, essentially confirming they took them down. Several people have put the pieces together; this isn't the first time Nintendo's taken down fanworks, some of their takedowns have lined up with official announcements made laternote , Nintendo only targeted these two mods despite several other Smash fanworks existing, and these mods are for an old game that neither Nintendo nor the modders are profiting off of. Thus, this led into speculation that Legacy XP and/or Legacy TE contained a character that Nintendo was also working on for Ultimate. As for who it could be, the only characters they have that aren't playable in Ultimate are Geno, Waluigi, Metal Sonic, and Shadow.
  • When ARMS was finally confirmed to be getting playable representation in Ultimate on March 26, 2020, some people believe that since 5 of the characters are in the game as spirits note , only the rest of the ARMS roster note  are up for grabs, and no one else. Others think the opposite, since the Direct showed pictures of all 15 fighters, and thus believe that the whole roster is an option. Some even say Biff, the host, may be the fighter because he appeared on the same screen of 15. The rest assume that 7 or less of them could become the winner's alts, akin to Bowser Jr. and Hero.
    • Another theory is that the character is the main face of a hypothetical sequel to ARMS that will be announced in the June 2020 Direct; it's odd that the character wasn't revealed then and there despite the Volume 2 DLC having been decided much earlier, and ARMS also got a free trial for Switch Online members in the same Direct their inclusion in Ultimate was announced in, leading to suspicion over the sudden promotion of the game when it was believed to be dead in the water.
    • Some also believe that due to the DLC's teaser saying that "this fighter's arms can exteeeeend", Twintelle is out of the running because her ARMS are her hair, and not her actual arms.
    • With the reveal of the ARMS fighter being Min Min, it's confirmed that base-roster Spirits could potentially be promoted to fighters, opening the door for characters like Bandana Dee and Geno.
  • Byleth's presentation was noted by Sakurai to have been filmed in November of 2019, and Sakurai confirmed in the video that the lineup for the second Fighters Pass had already been decided. With spirit events for Pokémon Sword and Shield, Resident Evil, Kunio-kun, Astral Chain, Ring Fit Adventure, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Trials of Mana, and Octopath Traveler happening in the months after, some people believe that these spirit events disconfirm a fighter from these games appearing in the second Fighters Pass due to each DLC fighter coming with their own Spirit Board and set of spirits from their home franchise, which would make these spirit events redundant.
  • On April 18, 2020, Ubisoft's survey to collect the input of players had its Smash-related questions get removed for no apparent reason, leading quite a few fans to think that the company might have accidentally hinted a character of theirs to be confirmed as upcoming DLC. Later, on the 22nd of April, it was discovered that Sam (Ubisoft's Siri who responds to DMs) used to respond to mentions of Ultimate with a message talking about the game's latest DLCs at the time (Byleth and the Altair and Rabbid Mii costumes) that ended with the statement "Here's hoping Rayman will be part of the next Fighters Pass!", but on the 22nd this was replaced with a different set of messages that only mentions Smash once and doesn't discuss the game or the Fighters Pass at all. The sudden hushing up about Smash has led to the theory that Ubisoft is trying to avoid breaking an NDA. Fueling this theory even more was the discovery of this Rayman series trademark renewal, with some pointing out that the same thing happened in regards to Banjo and Kazooie, before they got confirmed.
  • Fans of Square Enix characters that aren't from the company's flagship games Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, such as Geno and Crono, have theorized that the company would first want to represent their bigger names in Smash before looking towards non-mainstream ones; the first part has been fulfilled so far, as Cloud reps Final Fantasy and the Heroes rep Dragon Quest. Some have taken the April 2020 Trials of Mana spirit event and the July 2020 Octopath Traveler spirit event, which both came after the aforementioned characters, as leaning towards a confirmation of the latter part of the claim.
  • After missing the first pass, Geno has been roundly speculated to be the second fighter of Fighters Pass Volume 2. The main reasoning ties to the significance of the number 7 in his home game, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. Being the second fighter in FPV2 would not only make him the seventh Challenger Pack, but the seventy-seventh fighter overall. After it was announced on June 19th that the ARMS character would be revealed on June 22nd, a few began to speculate that, with any potential announcements that would've been at E3 pushed back due to the pandemic, Geno could end up being announced on July 7th, the seventh day of the seventh month. As should've been expected from such a reach, this one didn't pan out.
  • In "Mr. Sakurai Presents 'Min Min'", Sakurai mentions after the Mii Costume showcase that "when purchasing Mii Fighter costumes, some of the Spirit Board targets may change slightly in the future." While Min Min had already put spirits back on the table in Smash speculation, this statement led to the belief that further spirits getting Promoted to Playable was a guarantee, rather than merely a possibility.
  • Out of all the major third-party Japanese publishers/developers, Koei Tecmo stands out as not having a representative on the playable roster (though they are represented by Yuri as an assist trophy). Considering that the company has a long and strong history with Nintendo (even collaborating with each other for Hyrule Warriors, Fire Emblem Warriors, Metroid: Other M, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, and Fire Emblem: Three Houses, with Koei Tecmo also doing the animation for Byleth's reveal), and that Sakurai and Nintendo have shown preference for Japanese developers, many have theorized that Koei Tecmo would receive a representative on the roster. The most popular choice by far is Ryu Hayabusa, who is more or less their Mascot, and whose franchise has been present on Nintendo platforms since the days of the Nintendo Entertainment System, with many saying that he'd fit in right along with other NES icons like Mega Man and Simon Belmont.
  • Another Square Enix rep, Neku Sakuraba, has been speculated for Fighters Pass 2. The main reason is Square's recent interest in the series; between the Nintendo Switch port of the first game, the announcement of an animated series, and Kingdom Hearts III's true ending, many believe that Square is working on a followup to The World Ends With You and putting Neku in Smash would be great promotion. Plus, Neku would be a good alternative to Sora if it's true that he's off the table due to Disney's interest in the character.
  • King Zell, a big-name insider, has backed rumors for a Nintendo Direct airing on July 20th, while reaffirming that a Switch port for the Master Chief Collection would be officially announced. Due to that and the timing of said rumored Direct being 3 days before Microsoft's own Xbox Games Showcase, this has naturally led fans to assume that Master Chief himself would be revealed as a fighter during the Direct. There was a Direct on the 20th, but there was nothing in regards to Smash.
  • On July 15, 2020, a GameStop video discussing Paper Mario: The Origami King included the line "I mean, there's a reason people were freaking out when Geno was announced for Smash" over footage of his Spirit Battle intro screen, with the obvious problem being that he wasn't announced as anything, be it spirit, fighter, Mii costume, or anything in between. This resulted in speculation and debates over whether it was just a poor choice of words, an assumption about his Spirit (which wasn't "announced") or Mii Costume (which was only in 3DS/Wii U), or a script written under the expectation that Geno already would've been revealed by the time the video went live, with the fact that he had not been slipping by the editors (who, if Geno was on his way, might have had a myopic view of the information). The next day, the video ended up getting delisted, and then relisted; after that, GameStop pinned a comment claiming they were referring to the Spirit battle (which, again, was not announced), unpinned it, repinned it after editing it (adding a statement to the end saying that they "don't have any information regarding new Smash characters that the public doesn't have"), unpinned it again, and replied to the comment reaffirming that they don't have any unreleased information and hedging their bets on another Fire Emblem character. On the 19th, GameStop then edited the ad to cut out the sentence about Geno's "announcement" entirely, with this new version being the one to play in stores. Due to the very rushed damage control in spite of GameStop's ignoring the discussion earlier, the multiple reiterations of their lack of information, and the fact that they removed the bit about Geno's announcement despite having already made the excuse of it referring to the Spirit battle, this led to the belief that it was indeed a leak, thanks to the classic Streisand Effect.
  • On August 3, 2020, the 8.1.0 update came out of nowhere with a free new stage, Small Battlefield. The fact that most updates usually come when a new fighter's arrival is imminent, and that much of the standalone content up to that point was delivered via spirit events, has made fans assume that the announcement for the second fighter of Fighters Pass Volume 2 would arrive within the month.
  • On September 16th, 2020, keen-eyed fans noticed eight private videos being uploaded to the official Super Smash Bros YouTube channel which coincided with a live stream announcement for a Partner Showcase on September 17th, 2020. Many fans have speculated that there will be an announcement for the second Fighter's Pass regarding who's coming after Min-Min or even the next two fighters coming after her for that matter as some fans have speculated Min-Min was meant to be released earlier than summer and that the summer DLC fighter was originally going to be the seventh slot on the pass before Covid-19 pushed back Nintendo's plans for 2020 and beyond and as such, there being no less than eight videos means there will be a double reveal for the seventh and eight fighter slots on Fighter's Pass Vol. 2!
    • Another point of speculation has been the fact that there was absolutely no limited time weekly event the week of September 2nd, 2020 and furthermore, the tournament for the week of September 16th, 2020 has its image labeled as "4030" (meaning it's the thirtieth online tournament overall since Version 4.0 of SSBU re-introduced Online Tournaments) whereas the tournament that proceeded it the week of August 19th, 2020 was labeled "4028", leading many to speculate the twenty-ninth tournament that was skipped over was planned to be a commemoration tournament for Challenger Pack 7 (who at the time hadn't been revealed yet), as every DLC fighter starting with Hero has had an online tournament to celebrate their Smash Bros. debut. This has further evidence, as there's a huge gap in the file numbers; the Smash Dojo photo results for September 2020 start with 103, while the last in-game news has the number of 91, implying that 11 news bulletins, most likely for the content of 9.0.0 (the announcement of the upcoming update, the announcement of the update going live, the supposed tournament, the seventh Fighters Pass member, and each individual Mii costume, give or take some odds and ends), were currently ready and waiting until the official announcements to be posted.
  • When it was announced on September 17th, 2020 that Disgaea 6 would be an exclusive for the Nintendo Switch (in the west, at least) and that Disgaea 5 Complete was receiving a free trial for NSO members, speculation began increasing about a Disgaea representative, such as Laharl. Up until that point, Disgaea had been a series that mostly favored PlayStation consoles, so the announcement of the next mainline entry being an exclusive for the Nintendo Switch took lots of people familiar with the series by surprise.
  • On September 20th of 2020, a new ad was sighted on Japanese 7-11 stores that talks about Fighters Pass Volume 2, with the poster set to be removed on October 4th. Similar posters went up at 7-11s prior to Hero's and Banjo & Kazooie's releases, and both of those characters were released before the dates the posters were to be taken down; July 30th, five days before the takedown date of August 4th for Hero's, and September 4th, eleven days before the takedown date of September 15th for Banjo & Kazooie's. From here, people began speculating on the possibility of a reveal and release before October 4th, especially since with Joker and Hero's amiibos set to release on October 2nd, the dates appeared to line up. Others believed that a reveal wouldn't happen until after the posters get taken down, since there wouldn't be any game events or holidays (national or otherwise) getting in its way, with news possibly occurring around October 8th at the earliest.
  • A quote from an interview within the September issue of Switch Player had Suda 51 reply to a question about him wanting Travis Touchdown in Ultimate with a "big no comment". This has stricken fans as very unusual behavior for him, since he had previously been very vocal about his efforts to get Travis into Super Smash Bros., so this has led to the reasoning that he might be in the game, and Suda was instructed to remain silent to avoid breaking a NDA, similarly to how Grant Kirkhope dodged questions like these in the year before Banjo & Kazooie were added to Ultimate.


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