Speculation around Smash Bros. Ultimate characters has become an exhaustive and endless tradition, with the likes of Sonic, Solid Snake and Banjo & Kazooie blowing open the possibilities of who could be brawling among Nintendo’s elite.
There’s one character left to be released in the first Fighter Pass, following Persona 5’s Joker, Hero from Dragon Quest, Banjo & Kazooie, and Fatal Fury’s Terry Bogard. Creator Masahiro Sakurai confirmed this wouldn’t be the last though, with a second Fighter Pass coming in 2020 with five more fighters.
With speculation rife over an announcement coming at The Game Awards 2019 on 12 December for the final slot before a fresh pass, here’s all the rumoured candidates who could, or definitely won't be, taking the challenger’s spot.
Dante – Devil May Cry
Dante in Devil May Cry 5 (Picture: Capcom)
Capcom’s demon hunter would be a natural fit in the Super Smash Bros roster, especially following the release of Devil May Cry and Devil May Cry 2 on Nintendo Switch this year.
The rumour of Dante came about from Twitter user @New_WabiSabi, who described Dante as being ‘heavily rumoured’ although to take it with a grain of salt. The user has previously leaked correct info regarding announcements from E3, and coupled with the Switch releases this year, there’s a strong possibility Dante could be in the pipeline.
Geno – Super Mario RPG: Legend Of The Seven Stars
A long rumoured character is Geno, a partner character to Mario in SNES title Super Mario RPG created in collaboration between Nintendo and Square Enix (formerly known as Squaresoft). Weapons wise, he’s equipped with rocket fists, finger guns and a Star Gun which sprays stardust.
While his inclusion feels supremely niche, many fans have long wanted to see Geno return in Smash – with rumours stemming back to Super Smash Bros. Brawl on the Nintendo Wii. A leak in October from WeaverSerawl (who also correctly claimed Banjo Kazooie would be included), however, reignited speculation once more – claiming Geno would be the final DLC fighter and would arrive with two songs.
There’s evidence to support this too, with Sakurai previously stating how he wanted to get Geno into Brawl but it never came to fruition. Speaking to Japanese magazine Nintendo Dream in March, Sakurai said: “Geno was actually a character I wanted to include as a fighter. He has a gun for an arm, and just seems like he’d fit absolutely perfect into Smash.
“I was hoping I’d be able to put him in as far back as Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but unfortunately that never ended up materalizing.”
Could Smash Ultimate see Sakurai’s dreams come true?
Slayer – DOOM
Will Doom's mascot make an appearance? (Picture: Bethesda)
Another long rumoured character is Slayer from DOOM, who was previously rumoured earlier this year before the announcement of Terry Bogard.
Nintendo and Bethesda have formed a solid partnership for the Switch, with ports of Doom, Skyrim, and Wolfenstein all releasing on the platform. There’s also the release of sequel Doom: Eternal, delayed till next year, on Nintendo Switch too.
While a slightly left-field choice, it’d certainly be a fun inclusion – although it might be slightly too similar to Samus Aran when it comes to aesthetic and playing style.
Leon Kennedy – Resident Evil
Will Leon Kennedy make an appearance? (Picture: Capcom)
Resident Evil has felt like bizarre absence from Super Smash Bros for many years, especially considering Resident Evil 4 and 2002’s Resident Evil remake were originally exclusive to the Nintendo GameCube.
So what are the chances of Resi representation in Smash? In November, a bunch of spirits of Resident Evil characters were added to the game, inevitably sparking speculation a character could follow suit. The spirits were Leon Kennedy, Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine and Albert Wesker.
Similarly to Devil May Cry, Capcom has already released a number of Resident Evil titles on Switch this year. Could this all be preparation for a Smash crossover? We’re secretly hoping Leon Kennedy will be roped into action, purely for a Resident Evil stage alone.
Crash Bandicoot – Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
Crash has had a resurgence (Picture: Activision)
With Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy reviving the marsupial, Sony’s former platforming mascot feels ripe for the Smash crossover. His inclusion has been heavily rumoured and “leaked” for years, although with a new game potentially teased, this might be the perfect time for it to actually happen.
Activision owns the rights to Crash Bandicoot which means it’s an even greater possibility – with the trilogy remake and Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled both releasing on Switch. His move set would be easy to imagine too, from Crash 3: Warped’s apple bazooka, Aku Aku specials, and simple spins.
Gordon Freeman – Half-Life
Gordon Freeman and Alyx in Half-Life (Picture: Valve)
Alright, this feels like a stretch. Half-Life has never appeared on Nintendo consoles and the VR functionality of the upcoming Half-Life: Alyx rules it out from Nintendo’s near future. A “leak” however, earlier this month claimed main protagonist Gordon Freeman will appear with his gravity gun.
The leak came from Monsun, who also correctly predicted information about Half Life: Alyx’s release date and VR specifics. Shortly afterwards, however, this was debunked by the man himself – who admitted to making it all up for a quick giggle.
So no Gordon Freeman in Smash, essentially. But who will the last challenger be? We’ll have to wait until The Game Awards on 12 December.