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What Could Have Been / Super Smash Bros.

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The fighting game that became Super Smash Bros.

Super Smash Bros.

  • The game was going to be an original fighting game with generic characters, codenamed "Ryūō" (literally meaning "Dragon King") after the Ryūō-chō neighborhood where it was developed. Pictures of Ryūō-chō taken by Sakurai were used as placeholder backgrounds, as seen in the page image. Masahiro Sakurai, knowing that fighting games at the time did not sell very well, had the idea of using Nintendo characters.
  • Bowser, Mewtwo, and King Dedede were planned to be playable, but developmental constraints resulted in them being cut during development. Bowser and Mewtwo were added in Melee, while Dedede became a fighter in Brawl.
  • Final Smashes were supposed to exist as far back as this title. Apparently, voice clips were recorded for them, but left unused for whatever reason (most likely time or system restraints). The game was originally also supposed to have side-special moves like the later games do, but possibly due to time constraints, everyone except Master Hand is set so their side-special move is the same as their neutral special.
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  • Sakurai wanted to include Marth, but he was left out because of time constraints and the lack of pre-made character movements. He was meant to be used so the game could have another sword character with a different play style from Link.
  • Sakurai originally envisioned Fox's palette swaps as replacing him with Falco, Peppy, and Slippy, but the limits of the Nintendo 64's technology at the time made doing so not worth the time, money, and effort. Sakurai also felt that someone like Slippy suddenly becoming as agile as Fox via this idea 'didn't feel right', so the idea was scrapped. All that being said, Falco would eventually debut as his own character in Melee.
    • What's more, Sakurai would also go on to revisit (and successfully implement) this idea of 'bonus characters' via alternate costumes starting with 3DS/Wii U as Alph and the Koopalings would appear as playable characters in the aforementioned game, being accessible via Olimar and Bowser Jr.'s alternate costumes respectively.

Super Smash Bros. Melee

  • According to Wikipedia, Snake was requested to be in Melee by Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima, but the game was already more than halfway finished when he asked, so he was unable to be added.
  • According to Yuji Naka, Sonic would have made his Smash Bros. debut here instead of in Brawlnote , but by the time Sakurai was able to get in contact with Sega to ask permission, the game was too far along in development.
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  • Ditto was going to be one of the Pokémon you could summon with a Pokéball, copying the summoner to attack everyone else. It was taken out because its ability was too much for the GameCube and caused it to crash. While Ditto still exists in the final game, and can be summoned by hacking, it merely says its name and disappears, not attacking anything. It would eventually be implemented as a proper Pokéball summon in Ultimate with its intended purpose.
  • The Pokémon Stadium stage was originally planned to feature several Pokémon, including Venusaur, similar to how Pokémon appeared on Saffron City in 64. This feature had to be scrapped due to technical issues and the planned Pokémon became Poké Ball Pokémon instead.
  • The Sprout Tower from Pokémon Gold and Silver was considered as being made into a stage at the start of development, but was dropped during the planning process.
  • Had Mother 3 not been delayed at the time, Ness would have been replaced by Lucas.
  • According to an issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly that was showcasing early GameCube games, the creators mentioned trying to implement Assist Trophies in Melee. One of the ones mentioned in the magazine were the ducks from Duck Hunt who would fly around the stage and interfere with the fight.
  • Marth and Roy were originally going to be Regional Bonuses for the Japanese version because their games were only released in Japan. They were put in the Western version due to favorable attention from playtesters. Considering how this game made them popular on the west (albeit being an unexpected appearance), and caused the franchise to release their games there, it might be a good thing they didn't just restrict them in Japan.
  • There was intended to be a Fire Emblem stage called Akaneia, named after the continent featured in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light and Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem, but it was scrapped due to time constraints. This stage was going to feature dragons, mages, and even ballistae slinging stones at a castle. Remnants of the stage exist in the game data in an unused stage called "AKANEIA" that can be accessed by the debug menu, but trying to access it immediately crashes the game, and there are no known hacks that can access the stage without crashing. Notably, Fire Emblem is the only universe with playable characters but no stage of its own in the final version of Melee.
  • Trophies for other Fire Emblem characters beyond Marth and Roy were put as low-priority from the beginning as Fire Emblem's character designs were considered to be very complex to model, while there existed no 3D models of any FE characters at the time that could be used for trophies, and eventually they ended up by the wayside.
  • Sheik was intended to have her own Target Test stage, distinct from Zelda's. Remnants of the stage do exist and it can be accessed through the debug menu, but it consists only of a single dark gray platform and three targets.
  • Sakurai confirmed that a second Ice Climber stage was planned but ultimately scrapped, with a stage in the debug menu named Ice Top being reminiscent of this idea. There was also intended to be another Ice Climber stage in Adventure Mode named 10-2, coming after 10-1, the internal name for the Ice Climbers stage in the Adventure Mode. Loading either of these stages through the debug menu normally crashes the game, but they can be accessed without crashing through additional hacks, where they both only yield the Icicle Mountain stage without the music.
  • In earlier versions of the game, the Laboratory in the Great Bay stage could be entered from both the left and right sides and be stood on top of. This idea was eventually canned and the laboratory was closed and moved into the background, no longer being part of the stage. Remnants of the lab however, such as some textures and models of some pipes inside, still remain in the final game.
  • According to Sakurai on the official Melee site, Wario was the character next-in-line for inclusion in Melee, remarking that he could have included Wario with the development time allocated to Mewtwo or Marth and Roy, but opted not to as he thought there would be too many Mario characters. Sakurai also remarked that he could have included Wario as a clone of Mario, but again opted not to. He was later added in Brawl with an original moveset.
  • Ayumi Tachibana, of the Famicom Detective Club games, was considered for Melee's roster, but the matter was decided against her due to lack of familiarity outside of Japan and she instead appears as a trophy. According to an interview with Sakurai, said trophy would have been the one the player would be awarded with for completing Classic Mode with Ayumi.
  • Other characters such as Takamaru and Mach Rider were also briefly considered to be playable characters before being passed over for various reasons.
  • The Timed Mine from GoldenEye was originally going to appear in the game. It was likely scrapped due to licensing issues, or its close visual similarity with the Motion-Sensor Bomb. All that remains of this item are some unused textures and an audio file containing a looping ticking sound.
  • According to an early presentation for 3DS/Wii U, 8-Player Smash was planned as far back as Melee. It was scrapped early on due to technical limitations, but the idea of fighting more than three opponents survived through the "Multi-Man Melee/Brawl/Smash" game mode. A 6-Player Mode still exists in the game's code and can be accessed in the debug menu of the released game.
  • All-Star Mode was intended to have intro screens nearly identical to the ones found in Classic Mode. They were ultimately unused, with the mode ultimately using the All-Star Rest Area to transition between fights. This is notably the only way players can see the unused intro images for Ganondorf, Sheik, and Roy, as they are never fought in Classic Mode.
  • Balloon Fight, Urban Champion, Clu Clu Land, and Excitebike were all options Sakurai considered for the "token retro character". Ultimately the Ice Climbers were chosen, as Sakurai found the other aforementioned options to be too limited in their moveset potential while he the thought the Ice Climbers' "2 characters in one" gimmick made them stand out.
  • Sukapon was originally going to be an item in Melee, and would have been able to be jumped on by characters, but was cut for "adult matters" (i.e. licensing issues). He eventually does appear as an Assist Trophy in Ultimate.
  • According to Rare, Trophies of characters from Rare games were planned, but were scrapped, presumably due to copyright issues and the at the time impending buyout by Microsoft.
  • One noticeable unused voice clip is of Sheik saying "Moratta", which translates to "I got it". This is the first time Zelda (or Sheik in this case) had a voiced line of dialogue.
  • There was originally intended to be Selected and Selected Wait animations that were to be played upon selecting someone on the character select screen, in a manner akin to the original Super Smash Bros. As Melee utilizes splash art on the character select screen as opposed to the playable character models, they are ultimately rendered unused.
  • Originally, Temple was supposed to have a different theme featuring somewhat different instrumentation, and using Ocarina of Time-esque music sounds. It was influenced by a famous Japanese ghost story and as a result was meant to be more eerie (similar to the music in the original Zelda's temple music), but was changed because it was thought fans wouldn't easily recognize the song in its more ominous incarnation.
  • Final Smashes were once again planned but not implemented, and would have to wait until Brawl to finally be added. A few remnants are sound files of Captain Falcon calling for the Blue Falcon, Ganondorf yelling angrily (which was oddly used in Brawl as his Wii Remote sound effect), and Mario saying "Let's-a-go". For Ganondorf and Mario, both of their mentioned sound files have "Kirifuda" in the name, which means "trump card" or "last resort" in Japanese.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

  • Brawl has what is known as the "Forbidden Seven", leftover character data indicating characters that were planned and developed for inclusion, that were scrapped at some point in development.
    • Mewtwo and Roy were going to return from Melee, but were cut presumably due to time constraints caused by the development demands of the Subspace Emissary. Mewtwo in particular has a lot of unused data on the disc, suggesting it was cut very late into development. Roy also has an unused victory fanfare, suggesting he too was cut late into development. Eventually, both fighters returned in Wii U/3DS as DLC.
    • Dr. Mario's data is among the seven; it's unknown why he was cut, but he returned in Wii U/3DS.
    • Dixie Kong appears in the data, and unlike every other character among the seven, Sakurai confirmed she was intended, stating that her and Diddy Kong were originally going to be a tag team that could swap out for one another with the press of a button like in Donkey Kong Country 2, but the idea was scrapped due to technical difficulties in getting it to work. It's unknown if Dixie was immediately scrapped with the idea, or if she was planned to be her own separate character alongside Diddy before ultimately being cut.
    • Toon Zelda and "Toon Sheik" appear among the seven. Due to Sheik never appearing in the "Toon" Zelda games, it's commonly believed that "Toon Sheik" was actually meant to be Tetra, Zelda's alter-ego in The Wind Waker.
    • Then there's "Pra_Mai", whose true identity is unknown; the leading theory is that it represents Plusle and Minun as a team character akin to the Ice Climbers, due to "Pra" and "Mai" seemingly being shortened versions of their Japanese names Prasule and Mainun. Another theory is that it was for Brawl's incarnation of the Mii Fighters, as Pra and and Mai can be translated to "every" and "player", respectively, and the Mii's gimmick is that they can be used to represent anyone.
  • Additionally, they were several characters that were considered for inclusion, but were dismissed for several reasons. These include:
    • Pac-Man, as he was reportedly requested by Shigeru Miyamoto to be the third third-party character in Brawl, Sakurai rejected that request because his pizza-shaped design was too far-fetched. He would later become playable in 3DS/Wii U.
    • The Villager from Animal Crossing was considered as a character in the planning stages, but was ultimately dropped, as Sakurai felt such a character "wasn't suited for battle". He too later became a playable character in 3DS/Wii U.
    • Miis were also considered as a playable character in Brawl, but were not included due to Sakurai feeling that "it didn't seem right at the time for Miis to be punching and kicking". They were also cut due to potential for online bullying. Miis also later became playable in 3DS/Wii U.
    • Blastoise was considered as part of Pokémon Trainer's team, but it was ultimately replaced by Squirtle, as Sakurai felt that Squirtle could "establish himself as a character better than Blastoise," as well as feeling that having a sense of "balance" involving the size and stages of the Pokémon Trainer's various Pokémon that would make the character feel deeper.
    • Krystal from Star Fox was considered as a playable character, but she was rejected due to development time concerns, as a Star Fox newcomer was not a high priority, and since she would fight primarily with a staff, a weapon no other on the roster at the time utilized, little of the pre-existing knowledge involving Fox/Falco's or any other character's models and movements could be applied to a theoretical new model and moveset for her. Instead Wolf was chosen for a Star Fox newcomer, as Fox could be used as a starting base for him to then deviate from, and according to Sakurai he took about 70% of the effort of a typical newcomer to create. Krystal would later appear as an Assist Trophy in Ultimate.
    • Geno was considered for inclusion, as Sakurai knew about the character's popularity, and he also felt that Geno could easily fit the universe of the games. However, plans for his inclusion fell through, presumably due to rights issues involving Square Enix, who own the rights of Geno.
  • In an interview, Sakurai stated that he included Lucas in Brawl's roster under the assumption that Mother 3 was going to get localized. Had he known it was not going to get released outside Japan, Lucas would not have been a playable character in Brawl.
  • Hacking the game reveals that each character was intended to have a third trophy, similar to how every character in Melee has a trophy for Classic, another for Adventure, and another for All-Star, but the concept was scrapped for an unknown reason. Some of the trophies are carried over from Melee.
  • There were plans to include a battle damage mechanic, where characters would show visible damage and their armor and weapons would break after their damage reached a high point, while weakening characters as their damage increases. Examples Sakurai gave were Captain Falcon's helmet would become chipped and Meta Knight's mask would have started to crack. This mechanic was scrapped due to developmental constraints, and Sakurai feeling that the mechanic would have hindered better players by punishing them for living longer. Little Mac in Smash 4 and Ultimate would end up featuring a similar mechanic where he appears bruised and bandaged when his damage becomes high, though in his case the mechanic is purely aesthetic with no effects on gameplay. Smash 4/Ultimate also have a universal gameplay mechanic called Rage that has the opposite gameplay effect, where characters get stronger as their damage increases.
  • The Pokémon Trainer has unused jumping, falling, and landing animations that were presumed to be intended for the trainer to traverse in the moving stages. In the final game, he simply teleports when his Pokémon gets too far away.
  • Empty files for various cut songs were found in the code, including "Smiles and Tears" from EarthBound, "You Can Do Anything" from the Japanese version of Sonic the Hedgehog CD, and "The Ballad of the Wind Fish" from The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening.
  • Among the unused music files are various victory themes that are specifically attributed to one character; in fact, every non-main character besides Wolf has one, suggesting that characters were supposed to have their own victory theme independent of their series. Even Mewtwo and Roy, two characters who aren't playable in the final game, have unused victory themes. In the final game, only Meta Knight has a fanfare unique from the other characters of his universe. Wii U/3DS and Ultimate would have a few more characters with fanfares unique from their universe, though most characters still do not.
  • In all versions of the game, data hints towards a Masterpiece of Donkey Kong Country that was intended to be included. Similarly, in the American and PAL versions of the game, Masterpieces featuring Fire Emblem: Monshou no Nazo and EarthBound are believed to have been planned to be included, as their data is found on the disc, or that the games were simply leftover data from importing the data of the Japanese version.
  • Ridley was not always intended to be a boss in The Subspace Emissary. In-game data suggests that he was originally going to be an Assist Trophy as he has an unused Assist Trophy file, but this was changed presumably to spruce up the game's story mode by adding in more name power.
  • Multiple scenes in the Subspace Emissary were cut due to time constraints, leaving some parts of the story out, with only putting out an update on the Smash Bros. DOJO!! to explain these removed cut scenes. Among the explanations include how the Subspace Army takes over the Halberd and King Dedede unintentionally stalling Meta Knight from preventing it from happening.
  • Nintendo announced Brawl at E3 2005 without consulting Sakurai about it beforehand and asked him to direct it after the announcement. According to Iwata, had Sakurai declined this request to direct, Nintendo's Plan B would have been to just port over Melee with online multiplayer, as being able to play Super Smash Bros. online was one of Nintendo's selling points of the Wii.
  • There is a lot of unused enemy files on the disc. Most of the names appear to be just more of Original Generation mooks and thus no one knows what they would have been. One of them however is Mizuo, the enemy you get a trophy of who only appears on one screen in the game as a background element, and some of them are enemies from Kirby: Waddle Dee, Waddle Doo, Blade Knight, Bronto Burt, and Bonkers. All of these Kirby enemies would later appear in Smash 3DS' Smash Run mode, except for Blade Knight. Dry Bones and Buzzy Beetle from the Mario series are also among these unused enemy files.
  • Some enemies in the SSE have a weak spot where attacking them deals a lot more damage than attacking them elsewhere. Datamining reveals Rayquaza has such a weak spot programmed in, seemingly explaining why he has such massive resistances to everything, intending to be a boss where you'll have to focus on attacking his weak spot to deal damage to him. However none of Rayquaza's hurtboxes are set to have this weak spot, leaving it Dummied Out and effectively leaving Rayquaza a Damage-Sponge Boss.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U

  • Lucina, Dark Pit, and Dr. Mario were originally Alph- and Koopaling-type alternate costumes for Marth, Pit, and Mario respectively. Sakurai later decided to deviate them a bit into their own playable characters as he thought fans of Dr. Mario's appearance in Melee would be disappointed if he didn't retain his gameplay differences from Mario, decided to make Lucina into a more beginner-friendly Marth with a balanced blade, and he did not like the idea of Dark Pit using Pit's Final Smash, the Three Sacred Treasures, as he could not canonically use them in Kid Icarus: Uprising.
  • According to Sakurai's design documents for Wii U/3DS, Alph was originally next in line (following the aforementioned Lucina, Dark Pit, and Dr. Mario) to be included in this game's roster as an alternate costume-turned-separate playable character, specifically deviating from Olimar (though he still would have been a Moveset Clone of the latter), possibly making use of Rock Pikmin. In the finished product, Alph is playable, but he is only accessible via Olimar's alternate costumes.
  • The original 3DS' limitations led to multiple changes to various, and in the Ice Climbers' case, outright getting cut:
    • The Ice Climbers were intended to return, but Sakurai stated in interviews that he couldn't get them to work properly on the 3DS system due to hardware limitations (as original model, pre-"New 3DS" 3DS systems cannot handle eight fighters on screen at once and still maintain a smooth framerate). Because of his desire to not have "version exclusive characters" (a la Soulcalibur II), he ultimately decided to remove the Ice Climbers entirely and focus on including characters that can perform better on the 3DS.
    • Olimar was almost cut for similar reasons hardware limitations, but in the end the team was able to make him work on the 3DS.
    • 3DS limitations and cross-platform roster parity were also the reasons as to why...
      • 1. Zelda was separated from Sheik.
      • 2. Samus could no longer alternate between her armored and Zero Suit variations.
      • 3. The Pokémon Trainer was cut along with Squirtle and Ivysaur while Charizard returned as a standalone character.
  • Chrom from Fire Emblem Awakening was considered, but Sakurai decided to pass him over in favor of Robin. Sakurai thought the latter was more unique due to his/her use of magic on top of using a sword and felt that Chrom probably would have been much too similar to other Fire Emblem characters already included in the game. He was later added as an Echo Fighter in Ultimate.
  • According to an interview Sakurai had with Nintendo Dream, Bowser Jr. was very close to being cut, as development for him and the Koopalings kept falling to the wayside, but they eventually managed to finish them up.
  • A reference to a series icon from Rhythm Heaven was found hidden in the code among the series with playable characters, implying that there was going to be a playable character from this series that was scrapped mid-development. This is further supported by the Gematsu Leaks claiming the Chorus Kids (from the Rhythm Heaven minigame Glee Club) were in, which got every other character it claimed right other than Chrom, who also could have been planned at any early point with Sakurai's stated heavy consideration for him.
  • According to Xander Mobus in the 50 Facts Extravaganza video, Sakurai originally considered on making every single character unlocked on the get-go on Wii U. He decided to leave a few that still required unlocking, as he felt like fans enjoyed fighting the characters to earn the right to play as them.
  • Data in Wii U hints that the original Smash would've been one of its masterpieces.
  • A piece of artwork for the viruses from Dr. Mario was found with the artwork for the other boss characters, indicating that they were once planned to be a boss on a scrapped Dr. Mario stage.
  • There is an unused My Music category for minigames on Wii U, along with a mysterious "fighters" category.
  • Leftover files for the 3DS-exclusive stages 3D Land and Mushroomy Kingdom exist on Wii U, hinting that they were considered to be on both versions (in the case of Mushroomy Kingdom, the World 1-2 variation might have been intended as an exclusive for Wii U, since only the World 1-1 variant was featured on Nintendo 3DS).
  • Sakurai had originally planned to allow co-op play in Smash Run, but the 3DS wasn’t powerful enough to display multiple characters on the same screen, so he had no choice but to cut it the from the game. Additionally Co-op power-ups for Smash Run were also planned, but removed as well.
  • Special rule-sets for 8-Player Smash were planned, apparently similar to the online mode Light vs. Dark in Kid Icarus: Uprising.
  • According to Sakurai himself, Takamaru was once again considered for the playable roster, however he was dropped as Sakurai thought he lacked sufficient international recognition, but he did at least make it in as an Assist Trophy.
  • Heihachi was considered, but Sakurai thought implementing his moveset and movements into Smash would have been too difficult, so he became a Mii costume instead.
  • In an interview with Sakurai and Tetsuya Nomura, it was revealed that Bartz from Final Fantasy V and Terra from Final Fantasy VI were briefly considered to be the Final Fantasy fighter, but Sakurai thought they didn't have enough recognition to work out. In comparison, Cloud took up more than a third of requests to put a Final Fantasy character in Smash, and his home game is generally considered to be the most popular in the entire series despite its lack of ties to Nintendo's history.
  • A Kirby's Epic Yarn stage was originally planned for the Wii U title. However, after the announcement of Yoshi's Woolly World, the yarn aesthetic was used for the Yoshi stage and the Kirby stage was retooled into The Great Cave Offensive. In addition, a Super Mario Land stage based on the Game Boy game of the same name was planned for the 3DS before being reworked into a Kirby's Dream Land stage.
  • According to demos, Rosalina was much heavier than she was in the final product, being heavier than Zelda. In the final product, she's one of the lightest characters in the game.
  • Sakurai considered cutting Pac-Man from the game if Namco pushed to use the Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures design. Luckily, they gave him the okay to use the classic design.
  • Sakurai also planned for each character to have four custom moves, but the fourth move was cut during development for unknown reasons.
  • A trophy for Tharja was initially planned for the game, with the trophy being visible in leaked ESRB footage of the game. Following the release of the game however, her trophy was not found by players, and hacking later showed that there was no data for the trophy, indicating it was removed completely some time after the ESRB footage. The reason for the removal of her trophy is considered to be related to the game's rating; her outfit as a Dark Mage was likely considered too suggestive and revealing for SSB4's intended E10+ rating, compared to Awakening's T rating.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

  • Wii Fit Trainer's face was originally going to be like it was in For 3DS/Wii U, but was made more expressive and human-like at the request of the Wii Fit development team.
  • Wolf's appearance in the E3 2018 trailers is slightly different than the final version; he has red soles and white stripes behind his right shin guard in his model whereas his render has him with blue soles, black stripes, and a lighter purple jacket. His character trailer has him use the same design as his render, implying it was changed shortly after E3.
  • All of Villager's alternative costumes shown in the E3 Nintendo 2018 Direct had light skin. In the final game, Villager's seventh and eighth costumes had their skin darkened.
  • In the E3 demo, Ridley had two Palette Swaps that had the color schemes of Meta Ridley and Mecha Ridley respectively. In the final game, those two are replaced by the Meta Ridley alternative costume shown in his reveal trailer, and a recolor of that costume that also has Mecha Ridley's colors. It's unknown if the two cut Palette Swaps were supposed to be placeholders, or if Ridley was originally supposed to have more alts than he has in the game (like Wario in Brawl and Little Mac in the fourth game).
  • Early footage from videos before the game was released showed that Inklings that were KO’d would turn into squid ghosts as they did in their home game. It’s unclear why this change was made.
  • A prerelease screenshot shows Wario's default overalls outfit originally had golden buttons, but they were changed to the standard white later on.
  • Mr. Game & Watch's forward Smash, which originally referenced the Fire Attack Game & Watch game, was altered just a month before release after complaints that it was supposedly promoting a Savage Indian stereotype.
  • Pac-Man's showcase trailer contains two things that didn't make it into the game proper:
    • A scene in the Kalos Pokémon League shows him attacking water from his hydrant to destroy it (and therefore, stop it from pushing him), but this feature was scrapped come the final game.
    • The very next scene, in Green Greens, shows Ike attacking Pac's trampoline with his side smash, turning it green. When Pac-Man knocks Ike onto the green trampoline, it instantly puts him in a helpless state. In the final release, the green trampoline is completely removed, and hitting the trampoline changes its state to yellow or red, or just breaks it, depending on the strength of the attack or number of hits.
  • Upon the early stages of development, Sakurai planned to have different features depending on the mode used for the Switch due to expecting that the handheld mode was going to be weaker since he knew very little about the hardware specs as it was also in its early phase. Upon discovering that handheld mode was just as powerful as its TV mode, he kept the game the same.
  • According to a Famitsu interview with Sakurai after the August 8, 2019 Nintendo Direct, Alucard was mentioned as being a possible choice for the playable Castlevania character due to Alucard being the most recognizable Castlevania character, but was passed over due to Sakurai thinking fans would prefer one of the Belmonts being playable, thus he was relegated to an Assist Trophy.
  • In an early 2019 interview Sakurai stated that the choice for the playable Gen 7 Pokémon came down to Decidueye and Incineroar, but he ultimately went with the latter due to its wrestler angle.
  • The November 2018 Direct confirmed that Rex from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 didn't make it in because the game was released long after the roster for Ultimate had been finalized. In addition to that, a Nintendo Dream interview with Sakurai confirmed that characters from ARMS didn't make it in the base roster as fighters for the same reason, though in this case, a character (later revealed to be Min Min) would later be announced as the first character in the second Fighters Pass. Similarly, Pyra and Mythra would later become the fourth character of the second Fighters Pass.
  • There's data in the files suggesting that there were going to be additional Spirit categories devoted to Devil's Third, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, and, surprisingly, Jet Force Gemini and Blast Corps, despite the former having been sold by Nintendo to Nexon prior to Ultimate's release and the latter two still being owned by Rare and their current parent company, Microsoft. Whether this was the result of a licensing fallout mid-development or part of yet to be revealed DLC remains to be seen. Even with Banjo and Kazooie's inclusion via DLC, these series have yet to receive content in the game.
  • In order to pack every single song in the game behind a threshold, a new compression technique was used. Had this not worked or been used, the game's price would've been substantially higher for a physical release and some greenlit songs would've been dropped due to file size concerns despite some songs being truncated in the final product.
  • Since Ultimate's 2.0 update was datamined, the character codenamed "Jack" (who the fanbase correctly guessed was actually the internal name for Joker) had a seventh alternate costume named "Jane" in the files. Speculation reigned across the fanbase as they tried to determine who this Jane was, a popular theory being that Jane was the protagonist of the then upcoming Persona 5 Royalnote  and was going to debut in Smash Bros. before her game's official announcement like Roy before her. Come Joker's release in April 2019, Jane was nowhere to be seen. The only thing known about this Jane was that she was to have a ponytail as evident by the text string associated with her.note 
  • According to an interview with Grant Kirkhope, after he was told that Banjo and Kazooie were in Ultimate and was asked to remix a track from the game, he was inconveniently not told that their stage was Spiral Mountain, which led him to consider other tracks such as Mad Monster Mansion, Freezeezy Peak or Treasure Trove Cove. In the end, he decided to choose Spiral Mountain as the main theme since he knew that it would be the most recognizable and interwove some of the aforementioned themes into it as per Nintendo’s request.
  • The heroes of Dragon Quest were originally planned to not speak to reflect their status as heroic mimes in their games, but it was later changed to give them voice acting. This was changed after seeing that the international version of Dragon Quest XI had a voice for the Luminary, which would be implemented in the Switch edition globally. That said, all four of the Heroes were solely given Japanese voice actors despite the Luminary having an English voice for XI.
  • Square Enix had suggested Slime as the playable fighter for Dragon Quest, but Sakurai wanted the Heroes to be playable instead. He would have settled for Slime if the heroes weren't possible.
  • Sakurai originally envisioned for there to be eight Dragon Quest heroes representing the series, but time constraints did not allow it. He expected to only use two, but Square Enix allowed for four. Both the heroes from Dragon Quest and Dragon Quest V were considered for the fourth hero note  but the former was rejected due to not having an official design and the latter due to not actually being a sword fighter.
  • When Sakurai and Bandai Namco were trying to decide on music to include with Terry Bogard, they sent a list of fifty songs to SNK with the expectation that they would only sign off on somewhere between ten and twenty of them. To their surprise, SNK approved of all fifty songs, seventeen of which are new arrangements.
  • A higher-quality Dragonite model than its model for the Kalos League stage can be found in the data for the Poké Ball Pokémon, indicating that it was planned to be summoned from a Poké Ball at some point during development but was scrapped. What it would have done when summoned is not currently known.
  • Originally, Sans' Mii Costume had small fingers for the exposed hand, but Toby requested for it to be changed to a small mitten-like hand to match his sprite.
  • While Sakurai was fine with Min Min (whom ARMS game producer Kosuke Yabuki specifically requested to be the game's playable character) as the ARMS fighter, he had also considered Ninjara for the position.
  • The developers considered implementing rollback netcode for playing online, but it had a lot of side effects due to variables such as random items and stage hazards.
  • Several music tracks from Minecraft were planned, but cut due to various reasons (likely Screwed by the Lawyers).
  • Sakurai briefly entertained the idea of creating stages in the actual Minecraft and then porting them to Smash. It was abandoned due to being practically impossible.
  • According to Sakurai in the Sephiroth presentation, the Marx boss fight was originally much creepier and more violent. This drove the game's rating up and the developers also began to worry that it would terrify children, so the boss fight was toned down.
  • During the development of the "Sephiroth Challenge", it originally had only one chance to unlock Sephiroth and his stage 5 days early before his official drop, meaning that if the player lost whatever difficulty they picked for their first attempt, they'd have to wait until the official drop 5 days later, making it challenging for those who picked Very Hard. This was dropped, instead having the player try as many times as they want to unlock him.
  • According to Sakurai in the Pyra/Mythra presentation, Rex was considered to be the fighter from Xenoblade Chronicles 2, but properly implementing the Driver/Blade mechanic as in the original game was considered more complex than the Ice Climbers, so Pyra/Mythra were chosen instead.


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