Smash Redesign: Fire Emblem Part 1: Solving The Issues
Ever since Super Smash Bros Melee, Fire Emblem has been an integral part of Super Smash Bros history. However, in recent times there has been an outcry for no more Fire Emblem characters because of their over representation. WHat is going on?
Too many Fire Emblem characters
If there is one thing that everyone in the Smash community can agree upon, it’s that there are too many characters from Fire Emblem. Fire Emblem is the third most represented series in all of Smash bros, behind only Super Mario and Pokémon (however, if Pokémon trainer is treated as only one character, they actually tie for second). Mario and Pokémon make perfect sense, as they both of dozens of games each of which usually do better financially than most other games. Mario is the most successful and recognizable video game character of all time. Pokémon is the second bestselling game series that has ever existed, behind only Mario (although that number may be different since 2019). It makes a lot of sense for those characters to be included in abundance.
However, The Legend of Zelda franchise has sold over 100 million copies of their games, Donkey Kong over 80 million, Animal Crossing 61 million, and Kirby 42 million. All these franchises have performed amazingly and are massive money generators for Nintendo. All of these franchises have sold nearly 3 times as many copies as Fire Emblem, as they have managed only a humble 16 million in their 16 games, averaging 1 million per game. Even Wario games have outsold Fire Emblem at 21 million despite having only half as many. Yet out of all these franchises, Fire Emblem has at least twice as much representation as them with the sole exception of The Legend of Zelda.
Fire Emblem has also been behind most of the negative outcries from fans of Super Smash Bros series. Byleth’s reveal trailer is still one of Nintendo’s most disliked videos on their channel. It’s not like Nintendo couldn’t have seen this coming either. When Corrin was revealed in Smash 4, there was a lot of backlash from fans. There were plenty of people who were upset at Robin’s and Lucina’s reveal trailers as well. It was clear that fans really did not want any more Fire Emblem in the game.
So, what’s the big deal? Why so many Fire Emblem characters? Some rumors say that Fire Emblem is one of Sakuri’s favorite game franchises, so he always adds in another because of that. Others say that it’s for the Japan audience because Fire Emblem is so popular in Japan. Overall, trying to pin down an exact reason as to why there are just so many is kind of hard seeing as neither Nintendo nor Sakuri has ever made any kind of official statement on it.
However, instead of lamenting the number of characters, why don’t we try to fix it instead? Fire Emblem may have a lot of characters in Smash, but that doesn’t mean that these characters aren’t fun to play. If there was more diversity in the Fire Emblem cast, I’m sure that they would be more welcomed in the Smash community.
Let’s go ahead and find out why the outcry is so bad. The first issue is that a lot of the Fire Emblem characters play very similarly. Chrom, Roy, Marth, and Lucina all share the same basic moves. Over half their individual movesets are shared among all the characters (at least visually) including all their aerials, three of their specials (four if you take out Chrom), two of their smash attacks, and their down tilt. Out of 16 moves, they share 11 moves that are visually identical to each other even if they serve different functions (although most of them serve the same basic functions). Even all the others feel very similar because they all use swords and play in the same way: use spacing to rack up damage and then go in for a kill.
Another problem is that it feels like Fire Emblem is taking away spots from other potential fighters that are far more deserving than another anime sword character. Characters like Bandana Dee (Kirby), Black Shadow (F-Zero), Medusa (Kid Icarus), Waluigi (Wario), Shadow, Knuckles, Tails (Sonic), Zero, Protoman (Megaman), Jeanne (Bayonetta), or even any other character from any of the other many Nintendo franchises have all been waiting for a chance to get into Super Smash Bros with no success. Often times, these characters feel like they were snubbed for another unknown Fire Emblem character.
So, what can we do to fix this? What can we do so that both fans and company are happy with the results. The answer is actually more surprising than you might think: We add more Fire Emblem characters. Before you click away, just hear me out.
I don’t want to add more new Fire Emblem characters to the roster; rather, I want to have more characters as one single character in the game. The idea works like this: each Fire Emblem character will be replaced with what I am going to call a template. Then, using the 8 available color slots, put in different characters as alternate colors. It worked for Bowser Jr. and it should work for Fire Emblem too.
How is this a solution you may be asking? First of all, it lets Sakuri add as many Fire Emblem characters as he wants to the roster. This way, he won’t feel pressured to not include his favorite series in the game. Second, it would appease the fans of Fire Emblem so that they can be happy as well. Thirdly, since Sakuri can add a Fire Emblem character to whatever spot he feels like now, it means no more new fire emblem characters will be added to the roster.
So what will become of our characters? Each one will receive a template. Using that template we will create a new character, or alter an existing one, so that there is more variety in the roster then before. Let’s go over each template:
Marth: Marth will be replaced with a spearman template. This unit will have a completely different moveset then Marth. They will be named the Halberdier template. This is so that we can keep the tipper effect that made Marth so unique.
Lucina: Lucina will be upgraded from Echo Fighter to full character as the Swordmaster template. Marth will become the new featured character of this template. Otherwise, it will probably remain mostly the same.
Roy/Chrom: Roy is an interesting case because his fighting style doesn’t really feel like any specific character. It’s basically a rushdown style of gameplay, but with a sword. Most characters in Fire Emblem don’t really fight like that so for right now, he’ll be the alternate Swordmaster template for characters who don’t really fit into the original Swordmaster template (there are a lot of sword units in Fire Emblem).
Ike: Ike is obviously the Warrior template; units who mainly use axes. Ike might be the only sword user in this template, but we’ll see what we can do.
Robin: The Mage template. We might lose his sword in favor of a more magic based fighting style, but we might not. We’ll probably have him keep his sword and give the other characters something else, like light magic or something.
Corrin: The Dragon template. His Sword is going to be completely removed in favor of more claw action so that more dragons from the Fire Emblem series can get in on the action.
Byleth: The Weaponmaster template. This will probably contain characters mostly from Fire Emblem: three houses since that is the only game I know where every character can be trained in almost any kind of weapon, but we might add a few of the more popular characters from previous titles.
In total, there will be 64 different Fire Emblem characters. I feel rather confident that will be good for Sakuri. It will mean that no more fire emblem characters will be added to the game and that we’ll have some really interesting new characters in the game.
Each of these templates will get their own episode, so stay tuned for that.
So, what do you think of this idea? Is it good? Would you rather have all Fire Emblem characters removed entirely? If you do like this idea, let me know which characters you think should be included as the alternate colors. Also let me know how Roy’s template should differ from the standard Swordmaster template.
That’s it for this post. I hope everyone is having a wonderful day. Until next time, stay bewildered