Authors Note: While I will be referring to Samus throughout as the character that will be changed, please know that this will apply to both Samus and Dark Samus.
Being the original kick-butt female protagonist, Samus is the most dangerous and deadliest bounty hunter in the galaxy. Space Pirates fear her, Mother Brain dreads her, and the Galactic Federation need her.
Yet despite her long list of games and all the abilities that she possesses in them, she doesn’t have many of the long list of abilities that come from them. Some of the suit abilities, such as the super bomb or the ice beam, do not appear in her tool kit at all in super smash bros. I aim to change that.
Once again, I am showcasing the video from Madao Joestar for his history of smash characters throughout the ages. Click here to see his video about Samus.
To make a long story short, Samus has barely changed at all, a rather common occurrence for any character from smash 64. The only noticeable change that she has ever experienced is a change to her neutral air from brawl to smash 4. Otherwise, she has stayed nearly identical since melee and she’s actually still really similar to her appearance in smash 64. Let’s give her a moveset that is worthy of her legacy.
The rules are simple, build Samus in her best, most represented form for super smash bros. Ultimate. Any games that came out before Ultimate are fair game. Any games that came out after Ultimate are not allowed. With that said, lets hunt.
Neutral attack: Samus’s neutral attack is one of the most infamous moves in smash history. It is notorious for not connecting into itself properly throughout any of her iterations in smash bros. The old “one almost two but miss” move has got to go. This move will be changed from what it is now to her new melee attack from Metroid: Samus Returns for the 3DS. It will now be a swift hit (one of her fastest moves) that will knockback the enemy and put them in the perfect position to be shot by some kind of projectile.
Tilt attacks: Samus’s tilt attacks are good in some cases and bad in others. We’re going to change some of the tilts, but others will be kept.
Forward tilt: Her new forward tilt will be what her smash attack used to be (I will be changing her forward smash later). It will be more or less the same as her current smash attack, but it will be a little faster and a little weaker to balance it. It will still be a decent killing move, but not as good as her smash attacks.
Down tilt: This will be the same. I have always liked this attack.
Up tilt: This will be change from her current split leg kick to a scope attack followed by a fire attack after the scope. Visually speaking, it will be similar to Inklings up smash but with a smaller area of effect. It will only hit in front of her, will have high base knockback but low knockback growth. It won’t be a real kill option but will make a good anti-air.
Dash attack: I think that this is fine as it’s the only way I can think of to represent the speed booster from her games. Plus, she has the same animation from Metroid: Zero Mission when you charge the speed booster and then use the shinespark move. If you can think of a better option, let me know in the comments.
Smash attacks: Samus doesn’t really have very many situations where her smash attacks make sense in regards to her games. However, I think that I have figured out a solution to her smash attacks that will make her powerful and rewarding to play.
Side smash: As you already know, we are changing her side smash. We are going to take a page out of Megaman’s book and change Samus’s side smash to her charge shot. This will be more or less identical to Megaman’s side smash including its range and it being considered a projectile and being able to be reflected. It will still retain the original look though.
Down smash: Since Samus doesn’t really have a good analog for this move, I have decided to keep it as is. Perhaps she’ll get something in Metroid Prime 4.
Up smash: I wanted this move to change slightly to something akin to Zelda’s up smash, but with her own twist. Instead of it being several explosions one right after the other, this will instead fire a flamethrower like in Metroid Prime where she has her flamethrower super missile for the plasma beam. The move will draw enemies in with the final hit sending them high. I feel like this will represent her just a little bit better.
Aerials: Unlike Donkey Kong, Samus will have some changes to her aerials, which is why I am putting it here instead of at the end. Let’s take a look at some better moves for her.
Neutral air: This move will cause Samus to spin around similar to how her screwattack works. Visually speaking, it will look a lot like the screwattack, but will probably be different in color or animation so that players can tell the difference. It will work similar to Ivysaur’s or Piranha Plant’s neutral airs where it hits multiple times before sending the enemy away with the final hit.
Forward air: We are changing this to work like Mii Gunners forward air where they shoot out a quick moving projectile that fades away after a little bit. It will also push Samus back a little like it does with Mii Gunner.
Back air: Giving them the toes is good enough, so this one will stay as it is. I can’t think of anything else besides giving her another projectile shot, which I’m not about. It will remain as Samus’s best kill option in the air.
Up air: It will remain the same also. See back air for why.
Down air: It will remain the same also. See back air for why.
Specials: Now we’re getting to the part I’ve been most excited about: the special moves. Samus’s special moves are pretty good and represent her games pretty well, but there are so many more options than what we have, so we’re going to change some things around.
Neutral Special: Am I the only one who thinks it strange that Samus doesn’t have an ice attack despite the ice beam appearing in every single game in one form or another? (Dark Beam for Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and ice missile for corruption). Her neutral special will be change to an ice beam because it is a tragedy that it isn’t in smash bros. This new projectile will work in similar fashion to Zero Suit Samus’s neutral special in which she has to commit to the move and can’t move until it has been shot. It will increase in range and freezing power the longer you charge it, and it will freeze longer the higher percent the opponent has. I think that it should go slightly farther then Zero Suit Samus’s projectile, but that one is up for debate.
Side Special: The only change I would have would be to make the normal missiles track better. Otherwise, they’ll be exactly the same.
Up Special: I feel like this is a good recovery move and should stick around.
Down Special: This is the special move that I have been most excited for. Instead of Samus turning into the morph ball and planting a quick bomb before reverting back to her non-ball form, down special will turn her into a ball where she will get all new specials. Down special will change her into the morph ball and then pressing down special again will have her revert to her normal self. Dodging, rolling, shielding, air dodging, or any standard attack will bring Samus out of her morph ball mode and have her do the move but doing it in this manner will add extra frames to the move as she will have to revert back to her normal self before performing the attack. Quick moves like her neutral attack or dash attack will have very few extra frames added in order to keep them quick while stronger moves, like her smash attacks, will have more frames added to keep players from abusing the morph ball by having completely non-telegraphed smash attacks. Samus can jump and double jump while in morph ball mode and will otherwise be unchanged besides her profile being smaller including fall speed and air movement. Hitting or launching Samus will not bring her out of morph ball form but grabbing Samus will, so players will have to pay attention to what form they are in at any given time. Changing into or out of a morph ball will take at minimum 2 frame and at most 10 frames. Shielding, dodging, aerial dodging and rolling will have no extra frames added to them. Comment below if you want me to calculate all the moves and their frame data increase.
Morph ball neutral special: This will be Super bomb. In the original games, the super bomb would fill the entire screen, but we’re going to nerf it a little bit for the sake of balance. It will work like the falcon punch in that you have to hard commit to the move when using it. The animation will show Samus energy gathering together as though Samus is taking energy from the air. This is to show the range of the move. After that there will be a large explosion which will be about the size of a Corrin counter, maybe a little farther out on the sides. Like any move like that, there will be a charge up period and a cool down period where Samus cannot move for a little bit. This will be a move for reads and hard punishes. It will take about as long as Ganondorf’s warlock punch but will hit a bit lighter because it hits all around her rather than in one direction.
Morph ball side special: This move will be the standard bomb move that Samus currently has for her down special. The big difference will be how it’s used in the air vs on the ground. While in the air, the move will work exactly like how it currently does only she won’t turn back into her normal form after the bombs blow up. While on the ground, it will be planted without causing Samus to jump at all. This move will be extremely fast to plant the actual bomb, probably 1 or 2 frames like Snake’s grenades. This move will otherwise be identical to the current version of her bombs, including timing and damage. I would like knockback to be slightly higher or for the hit stun to be slightly longer, but that might be asking for too much.
Morph ball up special: The morph ball up special will be the boost ball from the Metroid Prime Series. It will need to be charged up before launching. It won’t be able to be canceled similar to how Ike’s side b works. On the ground, it will shoot straight horizontally staying firm on the ground. If it hits an opponent, Samus will bounce off the enemy in a mostly upwards and slightly away from the enemy arc (think along the lines of how Captain Falcons up special makes him go after a successful use of it against an opponent and you’ve got the right idea). If used in the air, Samus can angle it in order to reach the edge but cannot be angled any more then 90 degrees. An aerial attack from the boost ball will do less damage and knockback, but it will work as an effective recovery move. Additionally, if Samus hits an opponent with this move while in the air, she’ll be launched off in a similar trajectory as the grounded version, and she’ll get the ability to use her up special again. Just like Diddy Kong or Banjo and Kazooie, this move will have to be charged in order to get anywhere, but a lower charge will still get a little bit of height. Unlike Diddy Kong She will not be able to control the direction after launch. The hit box will be relatively small and there will be no invincibility frames on the move, so it will be punishable.
Grabs and Throws: I have no ideas for changes here. Her grab is great and works as a nice recovery move for mix-ups, and all her throws seem like they’d be legit from her games if she did a lot of throwing in her games.
And there it is. A completely redesigned Samus for a modern Smash Bros using more of her abilities and skills from her games. What do you think? Do you like the redesign? What would you do differently? Let me know in the comments down below.
That’s it for this installment of smash redesign. I hope you enjoyed the ideas cast around for a redesign of gaming’s original kick-butt female protagonist. Until next time, stay bewildered.