By Cody Perez
June 11, 2019
There are two new fighters coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as DLC characters and we have all of the details to get you up to speed on their announcement. These are the second and third paid DLC fighters that are part of the expansion pass for the game. We’ve already gotten two DLC fighters: Piranha Plant and Joker. Piranha Plant from the Mario series is an odd character that no one was expecting to show up as a fighter in the game, especially before someone like Waluigi whom fans have been waiting for for years.
Regardless, Piranha Plant came soon after launch and was free to most players who purchased the game soon after its initial launch in December 2018. However, Piranha Plant was far from the first DLC fighter for the game as Nintendo quickly announced that an expansion pass would add more characters.
To be exact, five characters will be added to the game post-launch and they are all included in the expansion pass or available for purchase separately at a more expensive price altogether. The first of these was revealed the night of the launch of the game and was Joker, the main protagonist from Persona 5.
Joker wouldn’t release until several more months had passed and we entered April 2019. Since then, we’ve had no details on who the next four fighters would be other than a couple of notable factors. For one, Nintendo was picking the characters rather than the game’s creator (Sakurai) and, two, all five would release by February 2020. Now, we know who two more fighters are.
Nintendo took E3 2019 by storm, beginning its annual Nintendo E3 Direct with a DLC character reveal right off the bat. This is no surprise since the game’s creator Masahiro Sakurai had already teased a few days earlier that we would get a new character announcement at E3.
Nintendo chose not to waste time, announcing the new fighter as the first thing in the entire Direct on Tuesday, June 11, 2019. A video of Link fighting shadow versions of the fighters eventually led to him losing before being saved by another hero who wields a sword.
That hero is none other than The Hero from the Dragon Quest series, specifically, the upcoming Dragon Quest 11 for Nintendo Switch. There were rumors in the past that a Dragon Quest protagonist would be the next DLC character but little did we know that it would be not one but four heroes.
The Hero reveal was soon followed by yet another as it was announced that four of the Dragon Quest heroes are joining the game as a joint fighter in the roster. Interestingly enough, though, Nintendo wasn’t done with the reveal just yet. The company had one more Smash DLC fighter announcement by the end of the presentation.
It seems that the initial reveal at the start was meant to make us lower our guard so Nintendo could surprise us once again. Near the tail end of the video presentation, it looked like Nintendo was winding down its announcements when it showed a video of Smash characters in a montage followed by Donkey Kong, King K. Rool, and Diddy Kong chilling together.
The three look out the window, similar to the King K. Rool announcement, and see a silhouette in the distance. It is revealed to be a tease as it winds up being Duck Hunt masquerading as another character before finally unveiling that Banjo Kazooie will indeed be the third DLC fighter. This was a massive surprise, though, it had been leaked a few days prior simply because it required collaboration between Nintendo and Microsoft.
Let’s begin our analysis by taking a look at the Dragon Quest Hero. Seemingly named officially as “The Hero”, this character is the second paid DLC fighter and represents Square Enix’s Dragon Quest series, a massive hit in Japan.
We did get a fair bit of gameplay featuring The Hero in the initial trailer, showing off some of their moves. The Hero looks to switch between a “party” of four different heroes from across the series, each with what looks to be their own moves.
Not only is the party aspect an interesting feature of this new character, but magic is, too. You will have different spells that you can use against your enemies, some of which require navigating a traditional RPG command menu.
There are a few different spells that were shown off during the reveal trailer like one that puts the enemy to sleep for a little bit and another that teleports the player back as a recovery spell. There is also one that turns the player to metal to protect them against attacks.
The versatility of The Hero is uncanny, presenting a unique gameplay experience most likely unlike any other fighter in the 70+ roster. We suspect that they will be a very flexible and powerful fighter, if the other paid fighter Joker is anything to go off of.
Things are a little less clear about how the Banjo Kazooie Super Smash Bros. Ultimate fighter will work when they’re launched later this year. For those who don’t know, Banjo and Kazooie are two different characters who work together, hailing from the Microsoft-owned and Rare-developed franchise.
This is surprising because Banjo Kazooie is the first Western-developed character to show up in the game, one with a storied history on the Nintendo 64. From the looks of it, your moveset will vary and both members of the duo will have their own unique moves.
Banjo Kazooie looks to have a surprisingly fast dash and some great aerial abilities, too, due to the bird. His normal combos look strong and he does have a ranged attack of sorts. From the general look we got, he doesn’t look super unique as he isn’t controlling two individual fighters at once as with the Ice Climbers.
Unfortunately, though we hoped that at least one of the two fighters would launch the same day as the Nintendo E3 2019 Direct, that wasn’t the case. We are going to wait a little bit longer for both fighters, with The Hero coming first before Banjo Kazooie.
All that the Nintendo video revealed is that we can expect The Hero and his party members to arrive from Dragon Quest this summer. We don’t have a specific date, likely because Nintendo hasn’t nailed one down just yet. However, we shouldn’t have to wait too long.
After all, we know that all five DLC fighters have to release before February 2020, so too long and that date would likely have to move back some. Given how well-developed the character looked in the trailer, we are certain they are mostly done and are just working on some key tweaks in the meantime.
As such, we expect to see a release date for The Hero around August or so. We don’t expect him to release during June, as the trailer would have said that if that were the case. It could be next month in July but we doubt that is the case, too, as Nintendo would probably already know that by now.
The most likely scenario, therefore, is sometime in August. Any later than that and Nintendo will be treading rather close to the February 2020 date. But what about Banjo Kazooie?
Well, we know even less about that character than we do about The Hero. All we know is that they will release in the fall 2019. The gap between April when Joker released and our expected release date for The Hero in August is fairly large so we don’t expect a similar gap between the second and third characters.
The most likely scenario is that Banjo Kazooie will release sometime in October this year. That would be a perfect in-between time that would allow enough time to tweak and balance the character while preparing for the final two DLC characters for sometime later on. Speaking of which, who will the final two DLC characters be?
Now that we know about The Hero and Banjo Kazooie, there is only room for two more DLC characters to join the roster. With these first three characters, Nintendo has made it clear that it will be selecting crossover characters that aren’t from its own first-party franchises.
In addition, it has proven that the previous rule of no Western characters is now out the window with the addition of Banjo-Kazooie. However, we wouldn’t be quick to assume that another Microsoft character like Minecraft Steve or Master Chief would join the group. We highly doubt that will be the case.
But we do think it’s likely that another Western character will join the roster. The best choice in this scenario is a Bethesda character since it has been a staunch supporter of the Nintendo Switch with several games already released and many more on the way.
There are a couple of possibilities for who this DLC fighter could be but we believe that the best choice would be either Doomguy from the Doom series, which is getting a new game later this year, or the Dragonborn from Skyrim. Doomguy is the likely choice with not one but two games going to be on Switch soon.
As for the final DLC character, it will likely be another Japanese character that is from a massive series. There are a few different series that I can think of that haven’t been in Smash to date. Those two are the Monster Hunter and Resident Evil series.
Both have games on Switch and are huge overseas. Of these, I think bringing over the Monster Hunter from the titular series would be the best choice but I could also see Leon Kennedy or someone else from the Resident Evil franchise since there are so many games on the Switch.
Regardless of who gets chosen, I believe that we will see the fourth DLC character release somewhere around December this year with the final one releasing in February 2020, just barely meeting the time limit for the expansion pass. I do think that these are not the only characters either as I think Nintendo will announce more after that.