Super Smash Bros. All-Time Merit Ranking (Mr. Game & Watch and Mario covered in Issue 182!)

Manfred Von Karma

*beep* the metal detector!
Poll Committee
Since Luigi looks like he's going to make it I at least would rather have Bowser and Byleth in the Top 3 than Jigglypuff, because Jigglypuff's design never interested me so while it's not my least favorite Pokémon it's not close to being in my top half of Pokémon.
1. Bowser
2. Byleth
3. Luigi
4. Ganondorf
5. Robin
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
HALF-WEEK WARNING

Sunday decides the Top 3! As of now, Luigi and Byleth will be in the Shroom if nothing else happens by Sunday. With Jigglypuff in the 3rd spot for the final non-Shroom section of this batch

Luigi 40
Byleth 36
Jigglypuff 30
Dark Pit 26
Duck Hunt 10

Bowser 18
Captain Falcon 16
Min Min 14
Ganondorf 12
Mario 10
Simon Belmont 8
Olimar 8
Fox 8
Toon Link 8
Wario 8
Lucas 8
Ike 8
Pyra 8
Inkling 6
Mewtwo 6
Little Mac 6
Ridley 6
Zero Suit Samus 6
Peach 6
Robin 4
Bayonetta 4
Pac-Man 4
Wolf 4
Donkey Kong 4
Cloud 2
Diddy 2
Young Link 2
Lucina 2
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
DUCK HUNT

Fighter Number: 59
Fighter Group: Smash 4 Veteran
Franchise: Duck Hunt
Game of Origin: Duck Hunt (NES, 1984 (JP), 1985 (US), 1987 (EU)​

It wasn’t too long ago where The Shroom hosted a contest between Dogs and Birds in the Shroomfest. In the end, Dogs were more popular, but Birds won in the overall points. A split like that actually pretty common given it is based on the Splatfests of Splatoon. As for my personal view on Dogs and Birds. I didn’t choose between the two because I have reasons to like both. I’ve had many cherished memories of dogs I’ve had in my life (My family’s just recently got a new puppy last month!), and watching birds can be peaceful. Not to mention the fact that the birds are what’s left of the Dinosaurs. And Dinosaurs are cool. I’ve been a longtime Jurassic Park fan and just overall into Dinosaurs since I was a kid.

That said, Duck Hunt (Or if you’re in the PAL regions… Duck Hunt Duo) is like a compromise of the two. The Dog teams up with a duck to lay waste to their foes. Even though it does seem like an odd couple, since in the original game. The ducks and the dog were certainly no friends. The dog triumphantly holds up the birds you shot. Let’s hope that the duck that the Dog teamed up with never sees perhaps photos of past birds and sees a family member or friend being held by the dog.

Regardless, I’m pretty sure Duck Hunt was meant to be a retro choice akin to Ice Climbers, Mr. Game & Watch, and ROB. Just of course we found out of Duck Hunt through the ESRB leak (I could have mentioned the ESRB leak for when I was covering Shulk too. But I decided to focus mainly on talking about what I’ve experienced in regards to Xenoblade 1 more. If not for the ESRB leak (Or perhaps more so if the 3DS version had not released first). Duck Hunt would have been one of the last fighters revealed.

Duck Hunt for the most part represents a NES peripheral similar to how ROB represented himself (Even if technically the Duck Hunt light gun game arguably makes Duck Hunt older then any other character. But the design of the dog and duck are from the NES game), the NES Zapper was of course a gun peripheral that allowed you to aim and shoot. Only 4 games were developed by Nintendo to fully use it. (Though there was a fair bit of 3rd party titles that also worked with it.) This titles were: Duck Hunt, Hogan’s Alley, Wild Gunman, and Gumshoe. In Duck Hunt’s Moveset, I think only Gumshoe is generally ignored. But otherwise you do have the can from Hogan’s Alley. And Duck Hunt can summon different gunmen from Wild Gunman. Of these games I think I’ve only played Duck Hunt (Unless you count WarioWare microgames). I think I have played the original on the NES before but that was a really long time ago as I never owned a NES. But I did pick up the game when it went on Wii U virtual console where you could use your wii remote as a NES Zapper. Sometimes the ducks are shootable in the target minigame of Wii Play too. It’s a relatively simple game anyone can get into (Well, unless you feel bad for the poor birds. Which I couldn’t blame you for that)

Perhaps the most enduring legacy of Duck Hunt is how everyone hates the Dog’s laugh for if you’re unable to shoot any ducks. That laugh has made some people want to be able to shoot that dog in anger. Honestly, I’m a little surprised the original sound of the laugh wasn’t put into the taunts. He does laugh when he taunts, but it’s closer to the snicker from Muttley from the Wacky Races cartoon then it is the infamous laugh from the NES sound chip. The notoriety of the dog quickly made him high up on a WTF choice in the Smash forums. People supporting him just to see how hilarious it would be to see the dog be a playable character. (Or even supporting him to one day make him a punching bag). It finally came to fruition in Smash 4. Honestly, despite being something of a joke character to be supported. Duck Hunt still overall makes sense amongst the many retro choices. It was even combo-packaged with Super Mario Bros. There’s a good chance many people who’s first experience with Mario was with the other game in the package. So there’s a good chance Duck Hunt was able to hit a good sized audience. Just of course, the game is a little too simple to become a real franchise. So other then the aforementioned cameo in Wii Play. There likely isn’t going to be a priority for a Duck Hunt revival anytime soon.

I do think it’s cool now that Duck Hunt gets to meet up with Banjo-Kazooie. They even appeared as the fake-out character in the trailer. Duck Hunt was the original mammal-bird duo of Nintendo. (Although, status as an actual duo’s age certainly goes to the bear and bird. As it wouldn’t be until Smash 4 that they even got the idea of having the dog team up with one of the ducks.)

_____________________________________________________________________________

Now as for merit-wise. I’m going to put Duck Hunt above Steve do to being an enduring icon of the NES era. I think I will put Duck Hunt below Ness however, as the cult-classic RPG series I think has a more definite impact then the simple Duck Hunt. You can thank the many quirky RPGs inspired by Earthbound for that.

1. Link
2. Banjo & Kazooie
3. King K. Rool
4. Sonic the Hedgehog
5. Rosalina & Luma
6. Snake
7. Shulk
8. Pit
9. Ness
10. Duck Hunt
11. Steve
12. Mythra
13. Wii Fit Trainer
14. Chrom
15. Dr. Mario
16. Piranha Plant
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
LAST CALL!

Luigi 42
Jigglypuff 42
Byleth 34
Dark Pit 26
Duck Hunt 10


Luigi and Jigglypuff currently set to be confirmed for this month's Shroom section tomorrow. (While it doesn't matter too much since both will make it in the Shroom if the score remains the same (Barring Byleth getting more votes or a sudden campaign for someone else within the next 24 hours). Luigi and Jigglypuff have not only the same score but the same amount of voters and the same amount of first place votes. Luigi is considered #1 because Luigi's #1 votes are older then Jigglypuff's #1 votes).
 

Fearless Fosdick

That's what I call hamburgers
Awards Committee
Retired Wiki Staff
Former 'Shroom Staff
1. Jigglypuff
2. Pacman
3. Roy
4. Little Mac
5. Mr. Game and Watch
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
ALL CHARACTERS LOCKED IN!

Jigglypuff 44

Luigi 42
Byleth 34
Dark Pit 26

Duck Hunt 10

Jigglypuff and Luigi will be this month's Shroom characters! Byleth covered in a Non-Shroom section sometime after I post Dark Pit's.
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
A heads up that Jigglypuff and Luigi are already submitted to the Shroom. Though I won't have Byleth's ready for a few more days. Anton did say it was ok for some hyperlinks to not be linked yet. For now, I'll put Dark Pit's up today, and then Byleth's on... maybe Tuesday? Either way though, without further adieu...


DARK PIT

Fighter Number:
28e
Fighter Group: Smash 4 Veteran/Echo Fighters
Franchise: Kid Icarus
Game of Origin: Kid Icarus: Uprising (Nintendo 3DS, 2012 (US/JP/EU)
Now here are back with an… interesting one. Because we’re back into the territory of some of the worst merited inclusions in the entire series. Because spoiler alert: Dark Pit’s one of those. Remember back in Dr. Mario's section, I referred to "that one" characters for Smash 4 and Ultimate? Piranha Plant was of course Ultimate. But Smash 4's was Dark Pit. Though, I’m not going get as ranty as I was about Piranha Plant. Now, this is mostly because of how terrible the Plant’s merit is, but it’s easy to say that… Dark Pit’s… aged a little better? I mean, he still has less merit then Dr. Mario. Which still says a lot. But I don’t feel like I can be quite as harsh about Dark Pit as I may have been for Smash 4.

That’s probably thanks to the introduction of Echo Fighters. So far in these merit rankings, the only echo fighter I’ve ever gotten to cover is Chrom. Who’s a good choice, I said as much covering him. But Echo Fighters have inherently less merit then other kinds of fighters. Maybe that’s a little unfair to characters who are echoes. Though the fact of the matter is, most echoes are characters that couldn’t have gotten in any other way. If Toad wasn’t making it in as a unique character, Daisy surely couldn’t have. Chrom had missed his chance to be a unique fighter in Smash 4, he’s only in because they could copy most of Roy’s moveset onto him to satisfy the fans disappointed by him being essentially relegated to a joke in the Smash community. Dark Samus did not get to have any of her assist trophy abilities and played just like Samus. Simon and Richter’s movesets were a fusion between their games. (And Richter is the more popular belmont in Japan). And Ken has the distinction of being pretty much THE original echo fighter.

And then we get into the 2 retroactive echo fighters. Lucina and Dark Pit. Lucina was introduced like any other character though she turned out to play as essentially “Marth for Dummies” (As in no longer vital to learn how to space your hits to land tipper smashes). And then there was Dark Pit who had a few seconds cameo at the tail end of Palutena’s trailer. Yet he didn’t get like a tagline or footage of gameplay for him. So it easy to think he wasn’t going to be a separate character. But then the ESRB leak came out and Dark Pit had his own spot, and when the game came out. He literally ends up being no different then Pit. The most laziest clone in Smash history (Up until a certain princess, but at least she has some form of marketability with having been in so many Mario series spin-offs).

While the existence of Echo fighters have cooled down Dark Pit’s reputation, I feel it should be understood why there was some concern about an inclusion like Dark Pit as it was done in Smash 4. In the same game, you had characters with downright different character alts like Alph for Olimar and the Koopalings for Bowser Jr. Not to mention the existence of alts having a different voice set such as the gendered alts for Wii Fit Trainer and Robin. Yet despite how simple it could have been, Dark Pit was not an alt. costume, he was his own character. And while you could get into stuff like the electroshock being slightly different (As in knockback angle is different) from Pit’s orbitars. The only real significant difference was final smash… which even then... Dark Pit’s was basically just Zelda’s arrow of light final smash and even when Zelda got a new final smash. It works the same way that Link’s does in Ultimate. Sakurai supposedly said it doesn’t make sense for Dark Pit to use the the three sacred treasures? The Koopalings weren’t in Super Mario Sunshine, they didn’t get to be Shadow Mario. I’m not saying I wanted Alph or each of the Koopalings to be separate fighters too, but Dark Pit’s inclusion still seemed inconsistent and it raised an eyebrow where it seemed Sakurai was maybe putting a little too much love towards Uprising in Smash by adding Dark Pit alongside Palutena. (Not to mention that there’s a lot of uprising enemies that were in the 3DS version’s Smash Run.)

That said, characters like Dark Pit have some form of advantage in that they cannot be blamed for the exclusion of characters, because the only other alternative is that they’re just not playable at all. It’s why Piranha Plant has softened me on just about everything else. Piranha Plant was a unique fighter, that meant taking time away from characters that actually deserve it. And while I get why inclusions like Byleth or new gen Pokemon bothered people, they at least tended to represent their games as the main character and/or part of the starter trio of the latest Pokemon game. As much as I know it bothers some of the people who care about Merit, Smash is the ultimate promotional vehicle. And Nintendo may want to give new games a spotlight to make it more likely more people try out those games.

As I mentioned in covering the plant, there is many characters that could have filled in better for that individual DLC spot even if it were for a more promotional character. I actually would have completely understood if say the free bonus character was say… Eevee because of Pokemon Let’s Go (I think at the time of Piranha Plant's reveal. It was still too early for a Gen 8 Pokemon even for promotional purposes). Whether the plant was Sakurai’s or Nintendo idea, there was still time to say “Maybe that’s taking a joke too far, we need this preorder bonus DLC to be someone special”. Where as is with Dark Pit, it could have been possible that Dark Pit was simply going to be another Alph and/or Koopaling situation, but they decided to go a slightly extra mile with a whole character slot for him. Between Dark Pit and Piranha Plant it’s a rare case where the laziness actually is beneficial in a merit comparison.

Still, compare Dark Pit’s merit to anyone else other then the plant. And he still loses. Even to Dr. Mario, who while Dark Pit would have the argument that he’s actually a separate character. Dark Pit does not have the longevity of Dr. Mario’s existence, Uprising is just one game while Dr. Mario is a series of games, and Dr. Mario’s actually developed more differences from Mario. From being there so players who are more comfortable with Mario’s melee moveset with no FLUDD can use him, to the differences they added in Ultimate to justify his non-echo status more. If Kid Icarus ever gets a new game, and Dark Pit sort of becomes the Luigi/2nd player. That’s where things can start to make a case that Dark Pit can get above Dr. Mario. Especially if the next game decided to differentiate them more. That said, if Echo Fighters as a concept returns it’s very possible Dark Pit gets stuck on that label. And it’ll forever limit any potential of him rising out of the Bottom 3 most merited inclusions in Smash history.

_____________________________________________________________________________

So this one was easy. Dark Pit’s only beaten out in WORSE merit by the plant. Nothing else to really say

1. Link
2. Banjo & Kazooie
3. King K. Rool
4. Sonic the Hedgehog
5. Rosalina & Luma
6. Snake
7. Shulk
8. Pit
9. Ness
10. Duck Hunt
11. Steve
12. Mythra
13. Wii Fit Trainer
14. Chrom
15. Dr. Mario
16. Dark Pit
17. Piranha Plant
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
It's now time to open up voting for April's issue! As I said, Byleth's will still be coming shortly on Tuesday. And the Shroom will have Luigi and Jigglypuff on Saturday.

Pac-Man 18
Bowser 18
Min Min 16
Captain Falcon 16
Mario 10

Little Mac 10
Simon Belmont 8
Olimar 8
Fox 8
Toon Link 8
Wario 8
Lucas 8
Ike 8
Pyra 8
Diddy Kong 8
Cloud 8
Inkling 6
Mewtwo 6
Ridley 6
Zero Suit Samus 6
Peach 6
Roy 6
Ganondorf 4
Robin 4
Bayonetta 4
Wolf 4
Donkey Kong 4
Young Link 4
Diddy 2
Lucina 2
Mr. Game & Watch 2
 

Manfred Von Karma

*beep* the metal detector!
Poll Committee
1. Lucas
2. Bowser
3. Bowser Jr.
4. Robin
5. Lucina
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
BYLETH

Fighter Number: 75
Fighter Group: Ultimate Newcomers/Fighter’s Pass 1
Franchise: Fire Emblem
Game of Origin: Fire Emblem: Three Houses (Nintendo Switch, 2019 (US/JP/EU)​

Oh booooooooy, here we are with the character that probably caused the biggest negative uproar in terms of inclusions out of anybody included in Smash Bros. ultimate. Now I completely understand why, at the point before we got Byleth revealed. Fighter’s Pass 1 was going pretty strong with some choice 3rd parties. The surprise of having Persona 5 represented with Joker, the franchise that is rockstar status in Japan in Dragon Quest, Banjo-Kazooie making hardcore Nintendo fans in the west very happy, and while Terry wasn’t someone anyone expected. He meant a lot to those who’ve long been in the fighting game community. And the final character of the pass even got a MYSTERY PRESENTATION. We wouldn’t know who the character is up until the video started and Sakurai would then proceed to talk at least a half hour about them and their franchise. I don’t think we could fault people for thinking it was going to be something else then what it actually turned out to be. Cause why would they pull this mystery presentation for yet another damn Fire Emblem character?

And yet… that’s exactly what happened. For the same price as all the other fighters in the package individually. They gave yet another Fire Emblem character to end it off on. It quickly got the ire of most of the Smash community. However, I’m going to urge that with it have been more then 2 years since that reveal. Put all emotion of the timing of that reveal aside. As honestly, while Byleth is still one of the lower-ends in Smash history. I can’t even be sure Byleth cracks it in the Bottom 10 when this list has finished, or if they do then it’s a very fringe #10. For one, I automatically credit Byleth more merit then any of the echoes for being a unique fighter (The Piranha Plant is the only one that doesn't get that benefit). Heck. Byleth’s not even the lowest FIRE EMBLEM character in Merit. As I feel aside from of course Chrom and Lucina. Byleth has some advantages over say Roy and Corrin. While just like both of them, Byleth was technically chosen to be in Smash before Three Houses was made. Meaning even if Three Houses turned out to be the Sonic 06 of Fire Emblem. Byleth would have gotten in anyway., which should get the inclusion some scorn. But in some good luck, Three Houses turned out to be quite successful. Roy was put in Smash before his game was even released, and Corrin’s game was not released in the West yet. And both turned out to be rather unpopular characters in the Fire Emblem fandom. Fates being a mixed bag that maybe tried a little too much going after the Pokemon formula with releasing three separate (Though to be fair, somewhat fairly different) games. Granted, in the FE fanbase Byleth is hardly the most popular thing about Three Houses. There’s probably a fair bit that would have preferred say Edelgard, Dimitri, Claude, etc. to have been the rep for Three Houses over the avatar yet again.

I think I understand that the timing of Byleth’s inclusion amplified the toxic reaction to it. If Byleth had been in the pass earlier or somewhere in Pass 2 it might have been not nearly as bad. But Byleth was put in as the tail end of Fighter’s Pass 1. We should be especially thankful that the 2nd Fighter’s Pass had been announced prior to Byleth’s reveal because it would have been even worse if people thought this was the final character in the game. If Byleth wasn’t included at the time they were, they likely wouldn’t have been an E3 or a Game awards reveal. They’d be a random direct reveal which another FE characters was going to get scorn anyway. But it wouldn’t have been as hype of an event. Plus it would have dispelled the thought that the DLC would be only 3rd party. Because every character up until Byleth was 3rd party. It led people to believe this entire pass was 3rd party which added to the shock. If say Fighter’s pass 1 started with Byleth or they were announced at a more low-key time like when Terry was revealed, it likely wouldn’t have been nearly as bad.

I’m not going to say Byleth was actually an amazing inclusion or anything. As I completely understand the thought of not being impressed with yet another sword fighter that I don’t really care about as a character. But I think it’s fair to say the reaction was a bit overboard. Putting a dislike bomb on the presentation like Byleth’s reveal was on a level with the overview for Nintendo Switch Online and/or it’s expansion pack. Nintendo is far from a perfect company, but probably fair to say a company putting it’s own characters in it’s own super popular crossover fighting game shouldn’t be deserving of a dislike bomb as much as Nintendo making it’s rather lackluster online service into a money cow. Emotions were high, and it was pretty terrible timing for what people were expecting. As well as the method they went with revealing the final fighter in a mystery presentation that made it a perfect storm for the reaction it’d end up having. But by no means is Byleth the worst in merit ever

_____________________________________________________________________________

With that in mind, where does Byleth rank among the characters I’ve ranked so far? I think Byleth already has more merit then the quirky Wii Fit Trainer. Again the trainer mostly coattailed into Smash off the Miis. Regardless if the Trainer was revealed before the Miis got in, it’s the Miis that will get the full credit that the Wii series of games provides. Not the trainer who you have the option to ignore in Wii Fit. With Byleth on the other hand, being the main character of their game. I cannot put Byleth any higher then Mythra though. Xenoblade 2 is older then Three Houses. Plus Mythra is either half of the 2nd Xenoblade rep or the 3rd Xenoblade rep outright. While Byleth was the 8th Fire Emblem character. It’s at that point where overrepresentation hurts Merit.

1. Link
2. Banjo & Kazooie
3. King K. Rool
4. Sonic the Hedgehog
5. Rosalina & Luma
6. Snake
7. Shulk
8. Pit
9. Ness
10. Duck Hunt
11. Steve
12. Mythra
13. Byleth
14. Wii Fit Trainer
15. Chrom
16. Dr. Mario
17. Dark Pit
18. Piranha Plant
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
HALF WEEK STANDINGS

After the half week, we have Min Min currently slated to be locked in at #5 on Sunday

Bowser 26
Captain Falcon 24
Pac-Man 18
Wario 14
Min Min 12

Mario 10
Little Mac 10
Lucas 10
Simon Belmont 8
Olimar 8
Fox 8
Toon Link 8
Ike 8
Pyra 8
Diddy Kong 8
Bowser Jr. 8
Cloud 6
Inkling 6
Mewtwo 6
Ridley 6
Zero Suit Samus 6
Peach 6
Roy 6
Robin 6
Bayonetta 4
Wolf 4
Donkey Kong 4
Young Link 4
Mii Fighters 4
Lucina 4
Diddy 2
Mr. Game & Watch 2
 

winstein

Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality
1. Mario
2. Bowser Jr.
3. Diddy Kong
4. Donkey Kong
5. Mr. Game & Watch

Thank you for reading.
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
PAC-MAN IS LOCKED IN!

Now we move to deciding #4. Currently that is Diddy Kong

Bowser 26
Mario 18
Bowser Jr. 18
Diddy Kong 16
Pac-Man 14
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
HALF-WEEK WARNING

No change since Sunday. Diddy Kong is still slated to be #4 for this batch

Bowser 26
Mario 18
Bowser Jr. 18
Diddy Kong 16

Pac-Man 14
Min Min 12
Little Mac 10
Lucas 10
Wario 10
Simon Belmont 8
Olimar 8
Fox 8
Toon Link 8
Ike 8
Pyra 8
Donkey Kong 8
Captain Falcon 6
Cloud 6
Inkling 6
Mewtwo 6
Ridley 6
Zero Suit Samus 6
Peach 6
Roy 6
Robin 6
Mii Fighters 6
Bayonetta 4
Wolf 4
Young Link 4
Lucina 4
Mr. Game & Watch 4
Fox 2
 

Manfred Von Karma

*beep* the metal detector!
Poll Committee
1. Bowser
2. Lucas
3. Bowser Jr.
4. Robin
5. Lucina
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
LAST CALL!

Relatively no change in regards to any positioning. Diddy Kong still currently slated to be locked in if nothing changes before tomorrow.
 

Manfred Von Karma

*beep* the metal detector!
Poll Committee
In hopes of tipping the scales in favor of Robin considering Hooded had him on his list
1. Robin
2. Bowser
3. Lucas
4. Bowser Jr.
5. Lucina
 
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