Sakurai says Villager was scrapped from Brawl, talks about choosing Smash Bros. character
Super Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai revealed an interesting nugget about the Animal Crossing Villager in his Famitsu column posted this week.
According to Sakurai, the character was previously considered for Brawl. However, he was removed “in the planning stages because he wasn’t suited for battle.”
“A lot of people understood Mega Man, but they kept asking me ‘Why did you go for the villager and the Wii Fit trainer?’, Neither of them are fighting characters, certainly. In fact, we had previously removed the villager from Super Smash Bros. Brawl in the planning stages because he wasn’t suited for battle.”
Sakurai went on to discuss the importance of including characters on the roster who are unique and can “stick out from the pack”:
“Something I think that people noticed in the movies and screenshots released, is that the villager and trainer were not choices we made for the sake of cheap novelty. Each has their own unique attacks and battle strategies, and they make the game more interesting. If I have an image of a character in my mind that dances around and jibes with what I want, then that’s the most important thing. On the other hand, even if you have a character suited for a fighting game, if you can’t make him stick out from the pack and extract something unique from him, then what can you do?”
Sakurai finally wrote about how the same philosophy applies to Mega Man. Simply including standard punches and kicks wouldn’t be enough. It’s the character’s ability to acquire new attacks from bosses that make him unique.
“For Mega Man as well, if all we cared about was who we could get in the game, then he would just have regular old punches and kicks, like how he largely does in the Marvel vs. Capcom series. But Mega Man’s most unique trait is how he gains new attacks from bosses. Working that fully into the game results in a more complete Mega Man that we can give you. That’s why he’s done up in NES-era proportions rather than something more realistic; that’s why he’s a little expressionless; that’s why his jumping and damage motions and the way he can fire the Mega Buster while walking are all what they are. It’s all in an effort to present the character.
“Making a game by yourself is one thing, but if a lot of people are involved, retaining a unified direction is vital. Every member of the team has their own vision of Mega Man that springs to mind instantly when they think about it. However, as long as the original image you construct remains firm, then that can survive a few discrepancies without the character falling apart. So what’s key in character selection is whether the guy dances out at you, and whether you have what it takes to portray that appeal.”