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Sakurai reiterates that it’s not his decision whether to include sword fighters in Smash Ultimate

Super Smash Bros Ultimate creator Masahiro Sakurai popped up on Japanese show Washa Live to chat about the inclusion of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 characters Pyra and Mythra in the legendary fighter. Some fans have expressed disappointment that additional sword fighters have been added to the game. Mr. Sakurai says that ultimately those kinds of decisions aren’t up to him. The Super Smash Bros Ultimate stream for Pyra and Mythra begins today at 2pm UK time.

Nakamura: Is there anything you want to announce?

Sakurai: No, nothing in particular (laughs) … But on the other hand, there is something.

Nakamura: What would that be?

Sakurai: I want to say that tomorrow or the day after that will be my special video on how to use Pyra and Mythra.

Kajita: Oh, the one where you show the in-depth look? That’s exactly what I wanted to know!

Nakamura: It’s those sword fighters again that have you [Sakurai] racking your brain, right?

Sakurai: Sword fighters…? Hey, it is what it is!

(everyone bursts into laughter)

Sakurai: Like it or not, it’s not up to me whether another sword fighter goes in the game.

Nakamura: You’re right. But even the players talk about it, you know? Like, “Agh! Why another sword fighter?!”

Sakurai: Well even if it is another sword fighter, it will be fine as long as we balance them properly.

Nakamura: You’re right about that.

Sakurai: And in contrast, sword fighters are easy [to implement].

Nakamura: What do you mean?

Sakurai: Compare that with Steve.

Nakamura: Ahhhhhhhhh.

Kajita: Is it really okay for you to talk about stuff like this?

Sakurai: Not really!

(Nakamura, Kajita burst into laughter)

Nakamura: You’re right, especially here.

Sakurai: I’m sure if I go a little further, I will get something from Nintendo…

Kajita: How about signing some kind of contract with us? That should help…

Nakamura: As if such a thing exists! … Anyhow, thank you for joining.

Sakurai: My pleasure, thanks for having me.

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27 comments

  1. The sword fighter complaints are so tiring.
    As long as they’re unique and fun to play, what does it matter? Sephiroth didn’t play like any sword fighter before him, and pyra/mythra look to be just as unique.

    1. Glad to see I’m not the only one who is tired of all the swordfighter hate. If you ask me, the only good DLC fighters in this game are anime sword fighters.

      Piranha Plant: It’s just a mook. It’s not even an important mook like Goomba or Koopa Troopa. And we got it before Toad and Waluigi.
      Joker: Another sacrilegious Sega-not-Sega character that isn’t Akira Yuki.
      Banjo & Kazooie: They’re technically a Microsoft character. Couldn’t Microsoft have waited until after it lost the first party race?
      Terry: A pure male from a lesser company that contributes nothing to Smash. Blandest. Fighter. Ever.
      Min Min: She’s neither the protagonist nor the female lead and she’s the final nail in the coffin for assist trophies.
      Steve: Another Microsoft character.

      Now you can argue that Pyra & Mythra are meddle fingers to Rex, but at least Pyra is a hot redhead. I’ve been waiting for a hot redhead (Mona from Warioware or Anna from Fire Emblem) for a while. Every redhead we had before Pyra was either a child, cute, an alternate costume, or male. In any case, there are plenty more sword fighters I would welcome in Smash. Zero from the Mega Man franchise, Dante from Devil May Cry, Monster Hunter, a Soul series rep (preferably Nightmare with Siegfried with an alternate costume or Mitsurugi), or a Tales rep (Cress, Lloyd, or Sorey. I don’t think Sorey has ever been on a Nintendo system before, but I want him to use armitization).

      1. I’m so glad that your main reasoning for liking Pyra is that she’s a “hot redhead.” You must be popular with the ladies.

  2. Basically it’s Nintendo choice for deciding on the characters from another series. Not sakurai because Nintendo is the boss and Sakurai and his team handle the development for the game and the rosters of characters balance attributes.

    I understand some fans are getting tired of another sword users being added in the game. Let’s hope these sword users be the last one for the roster to have a sword.

  3. Wait, then why did he say during Byleth’s reveal that “this one will even surprise the people at Nintendo; I’m sure some of them will be saying ‘what?’ as the trailer is playing”? Did Nintendo not pick Byleth and Sakurai decided on his own whim “yeah, I want *that* one…”

    1. Well, Nintendo isn’t a person. Nintendo is a company with multiple thousands of employees. It’s likely that just a hand full of higher ups get to make the decision on what characters can get into Smash, and I assume Sakurai can probably only approve or disapprove of those decisions (for when he thinks a character is just impossible to get working in Smash). But that would still leave thousands of employees at Nintendo who don’t know anything about new character additions, so his statement is still accurate.

      1. Small addition: I assume Sakurai can still make character requests to Nintendo. Like, I assume he can ask them “Hey, is there a possibility we could add Byleth to Smash?”, but the decision would ultimately still be up to Nintendo. So maybe Sakurai did have some influence on Byleth getting into Smash, but the final decision was probably made by other people at Nintendo.

      2. Honestly Nintendo decided on the characters back in last December. Some fans are not eager with another sword users. They are a bit eager with new characters in the crossover without swords. So basically Sakurai wanted to see if the characters will work out or not.

  4. Sword Fighters being “overrepresented” in Smash isn’t the problem. Swords are overrepresented in ALL video games. It’s not a Smash issue, it’s an industry issue. I wish people had the same attitude towards all games that have a sword figther announced in them and not just Smash. Smash highlighting Nintendo franchises and other gaming icons is what is the game is about. Not what kind of weapon they use.

    Anyways, really excited for the presentation. A XC2 character was my number one want as a newcomer for all of Ultimate and it’s finally happening!

    1. Dang, I never really thought about it like that way. But now that you pointed it out almost every video game I’ve played or grown up with has swords as the main feature weapon or as a weapon you can give to a character to wield.

    2. Dang, I never really thought about it like that way. But now that you pointed it out almost every video game I’ve played or grown up with has swords as the main feature weapon or as a weapon you can give to a character to wield. And half the time when the swords an optional weapon, it still gets used since depending on the game, the sword’s a good balanced weapon for a character to used or easier to access.

      Also, congrats on getting a XC2 character getting picked! I haven’t played XC2 but since it’s rumored (I haven’t watched the announcement, a lot of the DLC characters end up on my ‘Meh’ list.) they’ll play like Zelda/Sheik (I miss their old play-style.) in Brawl and Melee I’m interested in seeing how that works out.

      1. Yeah honestly nearly every protagonist with a weapon that isn’t a gun, is normally a sword. It’s really disappointing because all the cool weapons that do exist and are underused. Like I’d love a spear wielder in Smash but what iconic character uses a spear? Bandana Dee?

        Thank you, I’m looking forward to getting to play them myself to get a good feel for how they play. It’s not exactly like how Zelda and Sheik actually fight, just the swapping mechanic!

    3. Finally, someone who understands the root of situation. Generally characters these days eother have a blade and/or a gun. Since Smash Generally doesn’t cover games that use realistic fire arms, we get left with a bunch of Sword characters. Some cases, like with Dante and Joker, you get both a Blade and Gun. It’s always funny when you see people complain about a sword, then ask for characters who also have swords.

      1. Yeah it’s all guns and swords. Like nearly all the picks people wanted had swords but it’s a point to give out about when it isn’t the sword fighter they wanted. It’s hilarious and a bit sad how ignorant and hypocritical that a few smash fans can be.

    1. Because they get boring. Give us iconic characters who uss a Lance, Axe, Scythe, Naginata, Staff, Chain Weapon, Arm Blades, Chakram, Shuriken, Throwing Knives, Daggers, Crossbow, Mace, Hammer, Shield, Gauntlets, Ckaws, etc. Nintendo acts like Swords & Guns are the only weapons that can be used in a fight. We need some weapon variety ffs. Nearly all swordfighters have a similar moveset, Down B is a Counter/Reflect, Up B is thrusting/slicing/arching the Sword Up somehow, Side B is a sword dash/strike. Despite the fact that Byleth was yet another FE character to advertise an FE Game, she actually brought variety to game by having a moveset that incorporates a Sword, Lance, Axe, & Bow/Arrow.

      1. Ok I see your point lol that’s why he said their easy to implement.

        Which is why he shouldn’t have said that because that means they don’t add the other types because it would cost more time and money lol

      2. Yeah, why can’t they be more varied like unarmed fighters who punch, kick, and headbutt for all their moves.

  5. And yet another display of poor decision making by Nintendo. You can appeal to wider audience, increase DLC sales, & improve the game’s reception by adding characters with a large variety of weapon options and yet they continue to choose stale a$$ sword users……. Even if it’s a popular character it’s like giving you another penny and saying it’s special because it’s shiny. Their only motives for theses characters are just “Who’s Popular?” “What Game should we advertise?” & “Who uses a Sword?” lmao

    1. Yeah this was a real failure marketing wise on their part. Xenoblade 2 sales skyrocketed the week after the characters were announced, completely selling out in Japan and nearly selling out in other regions. Nintendo owns that franchise too so from a marketing perspective this was clearly a big mistake.

      1. You know you haven’t said anything new right? The same thing applies as to why they added Corrin, Byleth, Min Min, & Hero. They add these characters to advertise and boost the sales of their respective current game in their series. They’re advertisement characters and they’re obviously gonna boost sales for their game, but instead of that the better option for both making profit and minimalizimg criticism/negative reception would be to make it diverse and non-dependent on current games that they want to improve sales on. I’m not ignorant as to how/why these characters boost their game’s sales. And don’t act like I said this was a “real failure marketing wise” cause I never said that lmao “Poor decision making” means there’s better options, not that it’s a failure.

  6. Well Sakurai was wildly enthusiastic about adding Sephiroth in Smash.
    -Unique victory screen
    -His own freakin mode/title screen

    But what does “Nintendo” (and not Sakurai) have against Rex?

  7. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; The issue isn’t that Smash Bros keeps adding more sword characters, it’s simply the fact that a lot of the most beloved characters in gaming just happen to be sword wielders. When you think of weapons, specifically medieval time weapons, the sword is pretty much always the first that comes to mind. In addition, the sword comes in a variety of forms. We’ve got longswords, katanas, daggers, broadswords, blades, cutlasses, and so on. When you have this many variants of swords, it’s only natural there’s going to be a lot in gaming and by extension a lot in Smash.
    Honestly, this isn’t even an issue really, as long as the character ends up being really unique and fun to play and not just another Marth, who cares what weapon they are using?

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