Super Smash Bros. All-Time Merit Ranking (Sonic and Banjo-Kazooie covered in Issue 178!)

SonicMario

Star Spirit
PIT



Fighter Number: 28
Fighter Group: Brawl Veteran
Franchise: Kid Icarus
Game of Origin: Kid Icarus, (NES, 1986 (JP) 1987 (US/EU)​


Well if all the Smash characters were real, this would be one character I could say just about anything about them and they’ll never know what I said. For Pit can’t read.

I’ll admit Kid Icarus isn’t a franchise I don’t have too much experience with. I’ve played the original NES game of course, where I believe from what I’ve heard has this strange thing where unlike games getting harder as you progress. It’s the first level that’s the hardest and it ever gets easier. Though I guess it makes sense since you sort of start in the underworld AKA Hell and eventually reach Skyworld AKA Heaven. But I have to imagine not many kids wanted a game they could at least have fun breezing through the first level to have fun would be too fond of the difficulty spike happening at the very beginning of the game.

I don’t think I’ve ever played the Game Boy Kid Icarus game Kid Icarus: Myth and Monsters, so I’m afraid I can’t give too much of a personal experience on it. Though it should at least be interesting to note, that Kid Icarus has only 3 games in it’s entire history. Myth and Monsters came out in 1991. Sakurai himself pretty much revived Pit singlehandedly first about 17 years later including him as one of the first newcomers of Super Smash Bros. Brawl and then about 21 years after Myth and Monsters, Kid Icarus Uprising released. Definitely one of the more extreme breaks between Nintendo franchise games.

A fun note with me being a Sonic fan, Pit in Brawl is voiced by the same person who was the first to voice Rouge the Bat in Sonic Adventure 2. Though I will admit I found Pit’s voice pretty annoying back in Brawl (Especially if you spammed the move where he rotates his blades). I’m definitely more fond of his voice in Smash 4 and Ultimate. Though even with Pit’s Brawl voice. It could always be worse, it could be the Captain N Pit

Back to the Kid Icarus games though, I haven’t played Uprising either. Though I’ve watched at least one Let’s Play and am aware of the many characters introduced or otherwise expanded on in Uprising. I’ll talk more at length about Palutena and Dark Pit whenever it’s their turn in this series. But there’s plenty of other memorable characters from the sassy Viridi, the hotheaded (literally) Pyrrhon, and the hilarious Hades that might outdo even the Hades from Disney’s Hercules in being hilarious but still quite threatening and imposing villain. The characters and the world that Sakurai have helped expand for Kid Icarus quickly garnered the franchise a fanbase for the series so much bigger then it was back in 1991. Kid Icarus is an occasion where Smash Bros. not only brought back a retro character, but outright revived the franchise outright. Pit even keeping the character design upgrade received in Brawl ever since. Hopefully, the newfound fanbase won’t have to wait another 21 years for a new game. I’m sure at the very least they’d take Kid Icarus getting upscaled to the Switch (Given Uprising is one of those games where you have to be careful with the 3DS circle pad) Maybe with any luck, a sequel is among Sakurai’s plans for his post-Smash Ultimate career

Though I don’t think I can talk about Pit without mentioning the Palutena’s Guidances that made it’s debut in Smash 4 Wii U. Sadly, in the transition between Brawl and Smash 4. Solid Snake could not make the cut in returning. As I believe at the time Kojima and Konami’s relations were at an all-time low. And they couldn’t get together in time to bring Snake back into Smash. And besides the tragedy of no longer having Snake as more variety among the roster, it meant that the Snake Codecs were gone too. Luckily, Sakurai came up with a replacement that wouldn’t require a 3rd party company co-operation other then maybe what the Nintendo characters are saying about the character. With Palutena’s Guidances, if you played as Pit on Palutena’s Temple you can have him ask Lady Palutena (And Viridi snarking at him or the other fighters too) herself for assistance and tips on how to fight the fighter in front of him.


Some highlights include: A reference to “Why can’t metroid crawl”, Pit snarking about Daisy, Pit thinking the Ice Climbers got kicked out for Illegal teaming, Dr. Mario being called a fake doctor, Viridi having a crush on many of the sword fighters (Though sadly her crush on Link is kept to only Smash 4 Wii U), Pit saying Roy is Marth but he dyed his hair red, Alucard making a guest appearance in Richter’s guidance and more. Sadly, for the sole exception of the Plant (Who as mentioned before, may have been originally planned for the base game) any DLC characters only get a blanket guidance with Pit and Palutena having no idea who the fighter is. Though for what Nintendo couldn’t provide, the fanbase can provide, as I know a Youtube channel with some pretty talented fan voice actors that have sort of filled the void for the DLC characters in Ultimate.

They’ve also done plenty of guidances of other characters that do already have guidances but if Hades was giving advice.,. or rather… the opposite of advice.

Anyhow, Pit is a classic character that’s now had a consistent design since Brawl came out and a much more expanded and detailed world compared to how things were for him in the 80s/early 90s. Once again, let’s hope Kid Icarus actually gets another game before 2033.
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Steve may be apart of the best selling video-game of all-time. But a huge part of this merit list is a character’s part of Nintendo history, the character has to have a sense that they bleed Nintendo. Minecraft has a legacy of it’s own that shouldn’t be underestimated. But a character with a long history, along with some form of relevancy will go above a character with less Nintendo roots. Pit may have only 3 games. In fact, if not for Uprising he’d probably be lower then Wii Fit Trainer. While the future of the franchise is unknown, Uprising is recent enough to put Pit in a good form of spotlight and makes him a more bonafide Nintendo star then he would have been otherwise to the level that out of the 6 characters I’ve ranked so far. He still deserves to soar above them all. Too bad once again he wouldn’t be able to read this though..

1. Pit
2. Steve
3. Wii Fit Trainer
4. Chrom
5. Dr. Mario
6. Piranha Plant

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SonicMario

Star Spirit
NESS

Fighter Number: 10
Fighter Group: Original 12
Franchise: Earthbound/MOTHER
Game of Origin: Earthbound/MOTHER 2 (SNES, 1994 (JP), 1995 (US), 2013 (EU via Virtual Console)​

Well, well, well… we have the first of the original 12. A group of fighters that have a perfect attendance record in all Smash games. And it’s none other then Ness, the boy from Earthbound. Ness is the closest Smash 64 had to it’s own WTF character. All the Starting 8 were of established Nintendo franchises. Jigglypuff was one of the most popular Pokemon in Japan, Captain Falcon just had F-Zero X come out a year ago when Smash 64 was out, and Luigi was just a no-brainer. Hell, Earthbound didn’t even officially release in Europe until 2013 when it came out on the Wii U virtual console! For many europeans, Ness was probably as shocking a character as Marth and Roy were for us in Melee.

So all in all, Earthbound wasn’t quite the instant success or long established franchise the other characters included were, but over time his game and franchise gained a cult following. Perhaps in large part in thanks to Ness’ inclusion in Smash Bros. for giving the game some awareness. While the series didn’t hit it big with the sales (Probably at least partly due to a terrible ad campaign saying that the game smells for some reason), it certainly had an impression on those who did play it. The most well-known impact of Earthbound, is that it played a huge part in inspiring the hit indie game Undertale. Heck, it’s most well-known song Megalovania was first used in a rather edgy ROM hack made by Toby Fox. How funny is it that’s also the song chosen to be in Smash when the Sans costume was added. Undertale isn’t even the only indie game inspired by Earthbound as you have games like LISA the painful, Omori, and plenty of others.

As for my personal experiences with Ness… I have played a ROM of Earthbound for a bit4 but otherwise did not play it very much. This whole experience going through every Smash character will probably only make it a little more obvious that I’ve never been a big RPG guy. Though despite having not played much of Ness’s game. Ness did make me feel something at one point: the fear of a character being cut from the game. You see, during Brawl speculation there was a pretty infamous line on the Smash Dojo for Lucas’ profile. Mentioning that Lucas played similarly to Ness who has appeared in the Smash series… up until now. It’s those last 3 words that started a pretty long debate until Ness had been confirmed as a secret character in Brawl. There was an actual feeling that Lucas was here to replace Ness outright, and the smile of that side-hatted kid on the roster screen of Smash 64 and Melee was going to be gone forever. It’s just weird, I had not played much of Earthbound whatsoever but somehow the thought that Ness might actually not return strangely put a hole in my heart. It’d even kind of hard to explain why, I didn’t even use Ness that much in SSB64 and Melee from what I can recall. But it just didn’t seem right. I know nowadays that Lucas had actually once been planned to replace Ness had Mother 3 not been delayed as much as it did, and if that had happened. The cuts wouldn’t have been as emotional because it would likely have been established that not every character’s going to return. But something about a face seen in Smash that’s been around since 1999 suddenly have a prospect of not being there in 2007/2008 felt off.

Perhaps I may be a bit hypocritical in that way, in that I didn’t feel so sad for the Melee newcomers that didn’t return in Brawl. Mewtwo being cut was a big shame but somehow I dealt with that blow better then the potential loss of Ness. And any other character from Melee that didn’t make the cut for Brawl were generally clones anyway. The next time I felt bad about a character cut, most certainly had to have been Solid Snake in the transition from Brawl to Smash 4. Though part of the difference for Snake is I knew ahead of time Konami had been pretty shitty at the time, and if a company isn’t playing ball, it’s possible to be prepared for a character to not make the cut. If Ness had been cut in Brawl, it may have signified the end for him for a little while… I guess until that hypothetical universe where Ness was brought back anyway in Ultimate. But nonetheless would have certainly broken the mystique of being part of the Original 12 making all these characters inevitable to return.

But when Ness actually turned out to be in Brawl. I was happy and relieved, to the point that when I finally got the game. I proceeded to use him a lot. In fact, he became my 3rd most used character in that game behind Pikachu and of course, Sonic the Hedgehog. And ever since then, Ness has been one of my mains since (Or secondaries if you’re one to say you can only have one true main). I may not be a knowledgable fan of his game or franchise, but I grew attached to his smile gracing the roster in Smash anyway.

You can say that… I’m happy Ness has been ok all these years.

_____________________________________________________________________________

I think at the very least Ness’ relevance to Nintendo, along with the cult following that’s ravenous enough to ask for Mother 3 every year, plus the impact Earthbound had on many modern Indie titles at least keeps Ness above Steve despite the latter being from the best selling game ever. It’s Pit that’s a little difficult to decide who’s higher. But I think I’m going to give the edge to Pit for being part of the older franchise, the main character in every Kid Icarus game to date, and something of a potential future. Given we know Itoi has said that Mother 3 is the ending to the series. And even if there was a future for the MOTHER franchise outside of Smash. There’s no guarantee that Ness plays a big part, just like how he was absent in Mother 3.

1. Pit
2. Ness
3. Steve
4. Wii Fit Trainer
5. Chrom
6. Dr. Mario
7. Piranha Plant
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
KING K. ROOL

Fighter Number: 67
Fighter Group: Ultimate Newcomers
Franchise: Donkey Kong
Game of Origin: Donkey Kong Country (SNES, 1994 (US/JP/EU)​

K. Rool’s path into Smash in many ways mirrors Ridley in terms of longtime fan requests. While I do think I’d give the nod to Ridley being the bigger request all-time. K. Rool sort of became the more… conceivably feasible Ridley in many a Smash player’s eyes. With Brawl and Smash 4 having no Ridley in the Roster, some thought that unfortunately maybe Sakurai agreed that Ridley was too big to ever be playable in Smash. While K. Rool is big, he’s not that much larger then Bowser, so he was considered more likely to actually happen before Ultimate’s newcomers started out with Ridley.

There was however something Ridley had that K. Rool didn’t. Relevancy. When a new Metroid game comes out, you can usually count Ridley to make an appearance (I guess he wasn’t in Dread in any fashion. But I imagine the timeline Dread takes place in, Ridley has been truly destroyed. Even if some other games pull a clone and/or a robot ridley for Samus to face.). Meanwhile K. Rool, while he did make some appearances in Donkey Kong spin-offs and even Mario Super Sluggers. He has still yet to come back in the Donkey Kong Country Returns games for whatever reason. It wasn’t because Rare owned his rights or anything, as mentioned Nintendo did use him. But only sparingly. He seemed like a forgotten character by Nintendo. While I would still say K. Rool and Ridley are two inclusions of the same coin. The question surrounding them was different. For Ridley, it was if Sakurai would ever find a work around (Or at least him ever wanting to use said workaround) for the whole size factor and finally give in to the demand. Where as for K. Rool, it was more so just getting Nintendo to acknowledge his very existence in the Donkey Kong games proper. K. Rool fans had to be diligent and make sure K. Rool came up top on nearly all the Newcomer polls for Smash. While the polls you saw on stuff that asked people on Smashboards, Reddit, 4chan, and more for their input for who they want is still a bit of an echo chamber in regards to the Smash Ballot (And in fact, we know now it was not K. Rool that topped off the ballot) but it gave us an idea on who the hardcore Smash fans wanted. So make no mistake, K. Rool was popularly requested and it wouldn’t be surprising if he was at least Top 10

So when K. Rool showed up to cap off a pretty hype August Smash direct, shaking the camera with his footsteps, trailer beginning with Donkey Kong & Diddy, a fakeout with King Dedede, followed by K. Rool finally appearing with the tagline “King K. Rool Comes Aboard!”, it was a pretty big moment for the Smash fanbase. Both Ridley and K. Rool had made it into smash, More representation for 2 franchises that the fanbase felt were sorely underrepresented. Not to mention finally some more villains added to the roster. There wasn’t a single villain newcomer in Smash 4 unless Dark Pit counts, but even then he later sort of just about immediately becomes an anti-hero similar to Shadow the Hedgehog in the Sonic series. Brawl did give us King Dedede and Wolf, though both have allied with the main character. Wolf immediately becoming less of a villain after the events of Star Fox 64, and while King Dedede certainly has tried to hurt Kirby he doesn’t feel like he’s even Bowser level of evil. But with Ridley and K. Rool you had two characters that were certainly fairly unrepentant and true enemies to the protagonists they faced. (Although Ridley is certainly more pure evil then K. Rool is, given the different tone of the franchises) We have to all the way back to Melee’s Ganondorf in terms of adding a villain of that caliber.

I know it’s quite pathetic of me, but I’ve only played a little bit of the Donkey Kong Country games. And I don’t think I played any of the boss battles with K. Rool myself. So King K. Rool didn’t really mean anything to me personally. But I could still recall just how popularly requested he was in all the big polls I had seen. So it was definitely a case where just like Ridley, I was very happy for the fans who’ve wanted him for so long.

There weren’t very many base game newcomers for Smash Ultimate, but they for the most part hit some real bangers with their choices.

Oh and BTW, the remix for Crocodile Cacophony? Absolutely my favorite remix in all of Ultimate. K. Rool's inclusion is worth it just for this alone.


_____________________________________________________________________________

There’s no doubt about it, K. Rool definitely deserves to be above Pit. Pit may arguably be more relevant, but the popular demand rises K. Rool to where he is. Plus, the Donkey Kong Country games are a beloved series of platformers. Which is more then we can say about Kid Icarus only getting really popular after Uprising

1. King K. Rool
2. Pit
3. Ness
4. Steve
5. Wii Fit Trainer
6. Chrom
7. Dr. Mario
8. Piranha Plant
 
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SonicMario

Star Spirit
Everything is set for the next weekend release of The Shroom! It is however, now time to start deciding who will be in February's issue. Any votes that have been made carry over as always even if there's people who haven't had a full set of 5 for a while since they made it into the Top 5 of either the last two tries. This is where things currently stand after all the carry-over votes. It only takes two first-place votes to overcome the current Top 2. Though for now feel free to focus on the 5th spot where Duck Hunt and Link are currently tied. As it'll only be a week until we decide #5.

Rosalina & Luma 18
Mythra 16
Snake 14
Duck Hunt 12
Link 12

Min Min 10
Luigi 10
Dark Pit 10
Jigglypuff 8
Simon Belmont 8
Byleth 8
Olimar 8
Fox 8
Toon Link 8
Mario 6
Captain Falcon 6
Inkling 6
Mewtwo 6
Little Mac 6
Ridley 6
Ike 6
Zero Suit Samus 6
Shulk 6
Bowser 4
Cloud 4
Ganondorf 4
Bayonetta 4
Lucas 4
Mii Fighters 2
Diddy 2
Wolf 2
Wario 2
 

YOU'VE KILLED ME

Hectan
Poll Committee
1. Rosalina and Luma
2. Dark Pit
3. Shulk
4. Lucas
5. Luigi
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
HALF-WEEK STANDINGS

I've realized I've made some counting errors regarding some votes, I think I've fixed them now though. But anyway, here's how things stand. Currently, it's Luigi who's slated for the #5. If nothing changes, Luigi will be the first non-shroom section of the 3rd batch. (Luigi and Link have the same amount of points. But the tiebreaker between him and Link is amount of people voting for them. Link has 3, Luigi has 2)

Rosalina & Luma 18
Snake 14
Mythra 14
Link 12
Luigi 12

Duck Hunt 10
Min Min 10
Bowser 10
Dark Pit 8
Jigglypuff 8
Simon Belmont 8
Byleth 8
Olimar 8
Fox 8
Toon Link 8
Captain Falcon 8
Shulk 8
Mario 6
Inkling 6
Mewtwo 6
Little Mac 6
Ridley 6
Ike 6
Zero Suit Samus 6
Mii Fighters 6
Cloud 4
Ganondorf 4
Bayonetta 4
Lucas 4
Joker 4
Diddy 2
Wolf 2
Wario 2
Pikachu 2
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
Sonic and Banjo-Kazooie now covered in the Shroom!

Though also, a last chance to get our #5 locked down. At the current moment that is still set to be Luigi

Rosalina & Luma 18
Snake 14
Mythra 14
Link 12
Luigi 12

Duck Hunt 10
Min Min 10
Bowser 10
Dark Pit 8
Jigglypuff 8
Simon Belmont 8
Byleth 8
Olimar 8
Fox 8
Toon Link 8
Captain Falcon 8
Shulk 8
Mario 6
Inkling 6
Mewtwo 6
Little Mac 6
Ridley 6
Ike 6
Zero Suit Samus 6
Mii Fighters 6
Cloud 4
Ganondorf 4
Bayonetta 4
Lucas 4
Joker 4
Diddy 2
Wolf 2
Wario 2
Pikachu 2
 

YOU'VE KILLED ME

Hectan
Poll Committee
I don’t think Dark Pit should have eight points now compared to ten points earlier considering I actually bumped him up one spot on my rankings.
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
I don’t think Dark Pit should have eight points now compared to ten points earlier considering I actually bumped him up one spot on my rankings.
You're the only one who voted for Dark Pit. You put Dark Pit at #2 in your current list. That amounts to 8 points. I made some point miscalculations earlier and (hopefully) corrected all of them. That's why it went from 10 to 8 suddenly.

Just a reminder of how the votes work for everyone voting.

1. 10 points
2. 8 points
3. 6 points
4. 4 points
5. 2 points
 

YOU'VE KILLED ME

Hectan
Poll Committee
Gonna shake things up since Dark Pit very likely won't make it anywhere this time
1. Rosalina and Luma
2. Luigi
3. Shulk
4. Dark Pit
5. Lucas
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
Gray Discord's vote means Link is who will be locked in at #5 as a heads up for anyone unless a last chance vote before I lock in #5 sometime around noon tomorrow
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
LINK IS LOCKED IN!

Rosalina & Luma 18
Luigi 18
Snake 14
Mythra 14
Link 12

Now next week decides #4. At the moment, that's Mythra. (Once again tiebreaker is decided by how many people have voted for them. 3 have voted for Snake. 2 for Mythra)
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
Mythra's still currently set to be #4 should nothing change by Sunday. And for now Snake and Rosalina are our Top 2. Though there's still close to 2 weeks to decide that

HALF-WEEK STANDINGS

Snake 24
Rosalina & Luma 18
Luigi 18
Mythra 14

Link 12
Duck Hunt 10
Min Min 10
Bowser 8
Jigglypuff 8
Simon Belmont 8
Byleth 8
Olimar 8
Fox 8
Toon Link 8
Shulk 8
Captain Falcon 6
Mario 6
Inkling 6
Mewtwo 6
Little Mac 6
Ridley 6
Ike 6
Zero Suit Samus 6
Mii Fighters 4
Dark Pit 4
Cloud 4
Ganondorf 4
Bayonetta 4
Joker 2
Lucas 2
Diddy 2
Wolf 2
Wario 2
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
MYTHRA IS LOCKED IN!

Snake 24
Rosalina & Luma 18
Luigi 18
Mythra 14
Link 12


Now to decide who's going into the Shroom and the last non-shroom section. For now, Snake and Rosalina are set for the Shroom. While Luigi will be a non-shroom section should nothing change in a week
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
A little late on this,but giving the half-week warning. Sunday decides the Top 3. Nothing's changed since Waluigi Time's vote still. So Snake and Rosalina are still set to be the Shroom characters and Luigi the last non-shroom section.

HALF-WEEK STANDINGS

Snake 24
Rosalina & Luma 18
Luigi 18
Mythra 14
Link 12

Duck Hunt 10
Min Min 10
Bowser 8
Jigglypuff 8
Simon Belmont 8
Byleth 8
Olimar 8
Fox 8
Toon Link 8
Shulk 8
Captain Falcon 6
Mario 6
Inkling 6
Mewtwo 6
Little Mac 6
Ridley 6
Ike 6
Zero Suit Samus 6
Mii Fighters 4
Dark Pit 4
Cloud 4
Ganondorf 4
Bayonetta 4
Joker 2
Lucas 2
Diddy 2
Wolf 2
Wario 2
 

YOU'VE KILLED ME

Hectan
Poll Committee
I hate to do this to Luigi (edit: and Rosalina) right now but since Shulk might have a chance because of PF's changed vote
1. Shulk
2. Dark Pit
3. Lucas
4. Ganondorf
5. Bowser
 
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