Which Smash Playable Characters got in at an Opportune Times?

winstein

Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality
The playable characters found in the Super Smash Brothers series are full of variety, and the unpopular characters get to mingle with the popular characters. I daresay that certain characters could have only entered Smash as a playable character at one point of time but would otherwise be unfeasible, but their inclusion basically immortalised their place as one of Nintendo's famous characters. Here are some that I can think of:

Lucas: Sakurai admitted that he was included because of a mistaken assumption that MOTHER 3 would be localised, but the unfortunate reality is that it never did, making Lucas a huge outlier as a character who was region-exclusive, more so than Roy since Fire Emblem characters were basically requested to not be removed. I doubt Lucas would have made it in if it would be known that MOTHER 3 won't be localised.

Jigglypuff: As part of the original 12, Jigglypuff is an outlier since unlike the other characters, it is not the main character of a universe nor is it a longlasting popular character. It is believed that Jigglypuff has the fortune of sharing its body type with Kirby, and that it is popular in the anime series at that time, which is why it made it. Given how Jigglypuff isn't a popular Pokemon as time goes by, it's doubtful that it will be included in a future game.

Lucario/Greninja/Incineroar/Pichu: A current-gen Pokemon tends to get included in a Smash game, and these three fit the bill. When Brawl was released Gen 4 was underway, 4 was when Gen 6 was underway, and finally, Ultimate was when Gen 7 was underway. That means we never have a Gen 3 or Gen 5 Pokemon as they were out of range. Instead, new Pokemon tend to come from Gen 1 since it's the most popular generation after all.

Dr. Mario: Basically an echo fighter of Mario, Dr. Mario was made to pad out the roster since making derivative characters are far easier than an original character. Ever since Mario have changes in his moveset, Dr. Mario (as well as other Melee echos) can comfortably remove his echo status just by not changing at all. Given the huge variety of Mario characters, Dr. Mario is an outlier by being a different version of an existing character.

What other characters basically lucked out?

Thank you for reading.
 

winstein

Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality
megaman barely missed brawl, and his series was dead when 4 came around.
how is he here? idk
I felt that in Mega Man's case, it's more that, sooner or later, he will be in Smash because while his games aren't bestsellers (he has around 5-6 games out of the several dozens that are million sellers), the character is well-loved that his inclusion is not a surprise. The examples I listed would not make sense if they weren't included then and there.

Thank you for reading.
 

Robo-Mario

Kart Racin' Robot
Banjo & Kazooie.

They came out of the blue, even though Mr. Phil said that he didn't mind Banjo for Smash. Microsoft and Nintendo had butted heads for years, and Banjo is keeping the two companies together like Spider-Man is keeping Sony and Disney together.
 

Marie

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I think Young Link and Roy fit the bill here as well. Young Link was a clone character who would not have been relevant in any game after Melee and would have been overshadowed by Toon Link at that point anyway. Roy is similar in that he was an extra clone who was relevant at the time but would have been overshadowed by characters from later games had he not been added. It's funny because all the Melee clones fit the description except for Falco and Ganondorf.
 

winstein

Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality
Banjo & Kazooie.

They came out of the blue, even though Mr. Phil said that he didn't mind Banjo for Smash. Microsoft and Nintendo had butted heads for years, and Banjo is keeping the two companies together like Spider-Man is keeping Sony and Disney together.
Somehow I don't see Microsoft and Nintendo having conflicts or strong disagreements over the years (if that's what you are saying), mainly because they seem to be in friendly terms most of the time. If you mentioned either of them in relation to Sony, that I can understand. Plus, Microsoft allowed certain properties to be played on Nintendo systems, them being Minecraft, Cuphead and Ori. If anything, I view Microsoft and Nintendo's differing roles as complementary and not conflicting.

Now whether or not Banjo could only enter Smash at this time, I felt like it could go either way. On one hand, Banjo is a Microsoft property so they definitely cannot directly go on Nintendo systems, meaning that there's no chance for them to be playable; on the other hand, Microsoft and Nintendo's overall cordial relationship is just a matter of when's the best time to do it, and is not bound by a particular Smash game.

Overall, I think that example is a good one.

I think Young Link and Roy fit the bill here as well. Young Link was a clone character who would not have been relevant in any game after Melee and would have been overshadowed by Toon Link at that point anyway. Roy is similar in that he was an extra clone who was relevant at the time but would have been overshadowed by characters from later games had he not been added. It's funny because all the Melee clones fit the description except for Falco and Ganondorf.
That's a great point. When Daisy was revealed last June, it made me wish that it was she who made it in instead of Dr Mario, because at least she would go through an evolution in moveset like Falco and Ganondorf did. Speaking of Melee characters, Sheik is arguably only able to be included in Melee and no other future game, since Ocarina of Time was recent but also not too recent as to be a huge spoiler.

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Smasher

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JIGGLYPUFF - was actually really big back in the early days so her inclusion made perfect sense, but her popularity and relevance from her own franchise has long sense faded. I think she could have easily made a strong case for Melee still but if she misses the cut there then she's out for good

SHEIK - she got in because shes actually Zelda and made for a unique transformation gimmick, plus Ocarina of Time was still recent when Melee was made. she ended up being one of Zelda's many one shots so it's unlikely she gets considered again if she's not in Melee

SEVERAL MELEE CLONES - the clones were to fill out the roster and most of them just got lucky. Roy, Pichu, and Young Link were all relevant at the right time and would have no reason to be in after (Roy wouldn't be as popular without Smash imo), and Dr. Mario is likely a costume today if Melee doesn't establish him as his own character. Falco and Ganondorf could have easily gotten in later though, those two are fine

ZERO SUIT SAMUS - this one is less because of loss of relevance and popularity and more because transformations became much less prominent after Brawl. I don't think she ever debuts standalone

LUCAS - most western fans wouldn't even recognize him if he wasn't in Brawl. Mother 3 ended up being Japan only. kid got lucky as hell

GRENINJA/INCINEROAR - there will likely always be a new Pokémon added every game but almost every one that misses out probably misses for good. Lucario could fit here as well but he's probably the most prominent mon outside of Gen I and I don't know how much of that is because of Smash so I dunno

PALUTENA - very popular choice for 4 because of Uprising which was still pretty new, but if she misses out then her hype dies down. unlike most of these she might still have a shot in future Smash titles, it just becomes harder for her unless Kid Icarus gets a new entry

DARK PIT - even moreso than Palutena because he wasn't even a popular choice, he was just an easy echo fighter that existed at the right time, like half of Melee's clones

CORRIN - promotional character whose reception was mixed at best. unlikely they get considered again if they miss out. MAYBE in Ultimate but I doubt it, definitely not after

edit: maybe JOKER as well - Persona 5 was very well received and successful but if there's a future game that does even better then Joker might be forgotten about as a fighter. this more depends on the future though so it's hard to say for sure right now as he is the lead from his series' most popular game iirc
 
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BEEEEEAAARRRS

how about a rousing game of pool
Fox, and by extension Falco and Wolf may have had a later introduction if Star Fox 64 hadn't done so well, or maybe none at all since Star Fox doesn't seem to do as well as 64 did lol

Still pretty curious as to how Ness got in 64 at all, since the obvious saying is "all the unlockables borrowed assets from other characters". What does Ness borrow from anyone? His jump from Yoshi maybe? I personally think whether or not Earthbound was a massive game at the time, Ness was one of the first jokey out of the blue characters to be added, like Duck Hunt and Game and Watch
 

Mario's Painting

HEY LUIGI, WHAT'S DA HOLDAAAAAAP!!!?
Ness borrows a few of Mario's moves and animations if that's what people mean by "borrow from anyone".
 

Baby Luigi Rescuing Mario

*insert Shakira music here*
Which ones? You saying that reminded me that Ness has the same polygon as Mario did, but I can't think of any animations that would be the same
Ness's battering item attacks (including the hammer)
Ness's prone (he puts his foot up exactly like Mario)
Ness's getting up attacks
Ness's ledge animations
Ness's picking up a crate animation
(Ness's back air, I think, it could be just similar)
Ness's launch animations (but his tumbling is different)
 

Mario's Painting

HEY LUIGI, WHAT'S DA HOLDAAAAAAP!!!?
And while his jab, d-tilt, f-tilt and n-air and f-air have different animations, they also seemed to be cribbed from Mario's toolset, just reworked a little.
 

BEEEEEAAARRRS

how about a rousing game of pool
Figures it was more obscure animations that I couldn't picture, but I do remember the prone pose with the foot up. I guess that explains part of Ness.
 
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