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Former Nintendo employees doubt Smash Melee HD will ever happen

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate may be the main game for the Smash community nowadays, but it’s not the only one. Even though it is over 2 decades since it released, Super Smash Bros. Melee is still popular, and there is still an active competitive scene. Fans, for years, have also been asking for an HD remaster of the game, but Nintendo has not responded.

Well, we may now know why, thanks to Kit and Krysta. They no longer work at Nintendo, and Nintendo Minute has long since concluded, but they now have their own podcast that occasionally offers insight into their time at Nintendo, including things people didn’t know. For example, the pair revealed that, while Nintendo is aware of the demand for Super Smash Bros. Melee HD, they’re very hostile to the matter.

When the pair were at Nintendo, they said that it’s the sort of topic that “it’s a Mother 3-level game where you kind of tense up”. The main reason for this mindset within Nintendo is because of the community. Krysta said that “there are so many negative things from a Nintendo perspective around Melee that it’s just like… now there’s this ‘black market emulation’ around it and all this other stuff that Nintendo does not like”.

Nintendo also doesn’t feel that the community would be satisfied with it, no matter what they did. The reason being, according to Kit, is that Nintendo thinks that “if you change even one minuscule detail about this game, it’d be like ‘Oh, This game is not viable”. Because of this, Kit says that “from [Nintendo’s] standpoint, there’s actually no incentive for them to do this. If you can’t satisfy the Melee fanbase, there’s no point in doing the project”.

There’s also the issue that, while some fans may want a HD remaster of Melee, many others, especially outside of the Melee community, may not care for it because Super Smash Bros. Ultimate exists. Kit explained that “for everybody else, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is great. They don’t have this affinity and they don’t want to lug around a CRT, so they don’t need it”.

According to Krysta, Nintendo’s public approach to the topic is that they “just have to do the ‘sweep it under the rug’ tactic. Don’t talk about Melee. You let them do their thing and you just move on”. All in all, Kit and Krysta both agreed that “it’s never going to happen”. Krysta even went as far as to say that “It’s absolutely, 100% never going to happen”.


Thanks to GreatSong1 for the tip!

32 thoughts on “Former Nintendo employees doubt Smash Melee HD will ever happen”

  1. While a faithful HD version would be glorious, I understand the thinking behind not wanting to make it from fear of changing things and upsetting the die hard fan base. But there is another approach I’m still to this day waiting for…

    Bring Gamecube to the Online Service! If they won’t remaster the old game, then port it over as is so we can play it again on modern hardware.

    1. GameCube will most certainly be added to NSO within a few years if Nintendo’s game plan is to stick with it going forward, but I can only see it working like Xbox’s gamepass with the option to stream all of them or download individually, because having an app dedicated to that is going to eat the storage by quite a bit.

      1. Well yes, unless they decide to once again try something new we will eventually get Gamecube on the NSO. While it would be foolish for them to reset again, unfortunately its a very Nintendo thing to do. Assuming they finally decide to stick with a plan that offers their classic library going forward with NSO even through the transition to the Switch’s successor I’m still not confident they will put Melee in the library.

        Ever find it weird they don’t have the original Smash Bros. on their N64 list? Sure, it could come at a later date I suppose. But we’re talking about the game that started it all and Smash Bros. is one of their most profitable game franchises to boot. So why not have the original game on their N64 library? Well, to keep this short Nintendo will often times butt heads with the Smash community. To give an example, they forbid a tournament involving Melee to be played online during lockdown. Its my understanding physical Gamecubes and legal copies were to be used and they would only modify the game to make it playable online (correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s how I remember the story).

        I have a feeling even after they eventually bring Gamecube to the NSO service (again assuming they stick with it this time), there’s a chance they will intentionally leave Melee out in an attempt to burry the game permanently with the original Gamecube (and Wii). I hope I’m wrong here as I love Melee and would love to not have to resort to buying an adaptor to hook up yet another device to my monitor when they could simplify it by finally making the game available again. And yes I still have a Wii and Melee in a storage box in case they never bring this game out and I eventually say screw it and decide to bust out my old copy again.

        1. Nintendo has a lot of glaring ommisions from the online service for who even knows why. The SNES app has been out for even longer and we’re still missing Mario RPG despite it being on the previous storefronts, so I don’t think it’s a controversy with Smash specifically that’s causing Smash 64 to not be on there yet. It also doesn’t make sense to reset the game catalog yet again now that the business model is a subscription for these old games, so they have nothing to gain and everything to lose by ommitting these collections from the future system. I for sure am going to unsubscribe for a few years at minimum if they decide to reset, and many others are going to as well, so it doesn’t make the slightest business sense to reset everything back to the NES again even if they did that plenty of times before.

          1. I want to believe this. It makes so much sense. But we’re talking about Nintendo. They make great games and baffling decisions on everything else. Like why get rid of the Virtual Console the moment your console becomes a handheld. It makes literally no sense to introduce a service that requires you to check online to play retro games the same generation the console is also a handheld. Sometimes this company makes hairbrained decisions and I’ve come to expect the latest in their stupidity. This is the life of a Nintendo fan unfortunately.

  2. Typical we won’t, we can’t, we never will, we can’t be bothered sort of approach, this is the typical lazyness you can expect from Nintendo. We are still waiting for Paper Mario 2 either from a virtual console, or a HD remake, I would not want to hear their lazy excuses for that! Melee would not be hard to do, in fact it would effectively be very easy, especially when you compare it to the massive world of the Metroid remake. Nintendo don’t want to put effort into anything, we haven’t had a new main series Mario game in forever, and Donkey Kong, basically if Nintendo can’t be bothered with something they leave it for as long as humanly or inhumanly possible, until their desires meet their goals!

    1. Is it really considered being lazy when the vocal minority will b*tch when they do an HD port and it’s “butchered” cuz the game runs 0.666 frames different than the original and that it doesn’t retain the CRT look?

      1. @Aye Nanny Mouse, yes it is! If they can’t be bothered to put the effort in to make this a better looking carbon copy of the original, then that’s fantastically lazy! Especially considering this is a peanuts easy game to make that’s already been done! There is a minimal amount of characters to deal with, and it’s just basically platforms stuck in the middle of a screen on most stages, lazy doesn’t even begin to describe their lazy thoughts and actions! If they just got on with it, they would be done, all would be happy. But they don’t care to do, and only care to don’t.

        1. Fellas, is it lazy if you choose not to make an HD remake of a game the vast majority of the gaming market thinks is inferior to the newest entry of the series based off of content alone?

          Honestly, as a GCN nerd I’d try a Melee HD, but the simple fact is that the gaming market wouldn’t bite as much as you think it would. That’s not laziness- that’s just business.

        2. +No ones game
          I’m just gonna point something out here; It actually isn’t as easy as you think it is and it comes down to this thing called “Input Lag”.
          The structure of the Nintendo Switch’s responses to buttons is actually different from how the Nintendo Gamecube is structured, because of this it’s actually impossible to have SSBM on Nintendo Switch be a carbon copy to how it is on Nintendo Gamecube.
          I don’t normally side with Nintendo as I agree they can be pretty infuriating sometimes but SSBM’s competitive community is incredibly passionate about accuracy and with the issue of the input lag not being the same, they will instantly reject it and just go back to SSBM on Gamecube/Dolphin Emulator.

          Also, on another note, how exactly is Nintendo being “lazy” when they pulled out the behemoth that was SSBU? Even without the DLC the base game was absolutely crammed with content.
          Also, what do you mean about Super Mario? We’ve almost always only had 1 mainline 3D Mario Game per system, the only outliar to this trend is Super Mario Galaxy 2 on the Nintendo Wii, all other systems are just 1 3D Mario game.

          Cosmic Tornado is right, that’s not laziness, that’s business.

        3. Just because it’s done before, doesn’t mean it’s easy to recreate again. Like Kit said, even if there’s one small thing different it’s unviable.

          Remakes are usually for old games that people haven’t picked up in awhile, and give them a breath of fresh air so people are willing to play it again. People still play SSBM, so why remake it if people are still picking up their GameCube controllers?

          And it’s not lazy to not make it, they are putting their time to other projects in order to diversify their library. Granted not every project is of interest to someone, but they probably want to invest more resources (time and money) into a game to appeal to more audiences than remake a game that already has a well-liked sequel

          1. @Christoper James @PoZitron

            Thanks for your excellent points of view 😁

            I hope Nintendo eventually launch a NSO channel with the whole GameCube library on. We could do with it. Melee is 22 years old, it’s hardly a new game 😂 whatever people are still playing it must be minimal compared to Nintendo switch customers, so who cares how they feel about a HD remake. Nintendo still needs smash bro’s games in the future. And this would be a lovely instalment for new comers whether it’s right or wrong, new comers won’t care, and there are millions of new people that would pick it up, regardless of the the smaller older crowd. Look at Pokemon scarlet, it was complete trash, but people are buying it in there millions. It would be the same for this smash bros game if it were to ever get re released. Trust me remaking this even if it’s garbage, will still sell very very well, people don’t seem to care about quality to much, as long as they are picking up the next instalment 🤣

    1. I would love to play that game again in HD on Nintendo Switch, it would be so cool to play it over again on the Switch

  3. Thank God. You can trace everything wrong with the Smash Bros community back to diehard Melee fans. And imagine if Nintendo actually balanced the game for rerelease. There would be riots. And imagine if they didn’t change anything except the graphics. There would be riots. There’s absolutely zero incentive to do a Melee HD project. The best Nintendo could do is just simply start a Gamecube VC service and have Melee on it.

    Aside from maybe a rerelease of Subspace Emissary, there’s not much reason to go back to the older games. The only worthwhile project imo (and Nintendo would never do this) is to release something like Smash 64 Remix. Something like that wouldn’t be too difficult, definitely popular for the older crowd, and not cannibalize Smash Ultimate sales.

  4. I would imagine Nintendo dislike the Melee community for the following reasons:
    a) The competitive community persists even though Nintendo thinks they should move to the latest Smash game.
    b) Much of competitive Melee tech is based on glitches – Nintendo are very touchy about people using glitches in their games.
    c) Much of the community are very prescriptive about what a Smash game should be like and it conflicts with what a casual player would want from Smash.
    d) The community obviously doesn’t have a great reputation for various reasons.

    As said, furthermore, making an HD remake would be a minefield because make one change and the Melee community will be furious and just default back to playing the Gamecube game anyway, defeating the point of the remake.

    From my perspective, I’d rather they didn’t waste the time making an HD remake when an NSO version of the game would suffice. I honestly don’t plan to ever properly return to Melee because I vastly prefer Smash Ultimate with its greater number of characters and stages. But to have the option to go back and play that game again without pulling a Gamecube/Wii out would be nice.

    1. Anonymous (@Anonynonymouse)

      Nintendo doesnt like the Smash Bros community cuz they are not only toxic but also groomers, some of them are groomers and they dont want them tarnishing their image, heck even i would ignore a community if they are groomers if i were someone running a business.

  5. Can’t blame them, i also wouldn’t want anything to do with the Smash community. The fact Smash 64 is not even in the coming soon list of games of the NSO makes me think the sentiment it’s not just limited to Melee.

  6. To Nintendo, the GameCube is dead. They intentionally brick the Wii U so you can’t use the eShop anymore, they screw up the only port of a GameCube game to the Switch (Super Mario Sunshine), they block any attempts to port Xenoblade Chronicles X to the Switch, they create GameCube style external ports and controllers for the Switch to create false hype and there are zero plans for any GameCube games to be put on the Switch games as a service subscription service. The main reason? Paper Mario Thousand Year Door. If they have to bring back the GameCube games, the fans will demand that one specifically. And if they bring it back, they have to acknowledge the fact that every Paper Mario game after that one has been subpar.

    1. “They intentionally brick the Wii U so you can’t use the eShop anymore”
      Might want to take off the tinfoil hat buddy. The eShop was closing down anyway, there’s literally no reason why they’d intentionally destroy people’s Wii U’s for that.
      The recent brickings are the result of a simple hardware flaw, not some evil scheme of Nintendo’s.

    1. Why buy Melee again? Because I love Smash

      That’s easy- Melee’s my favorite one. I’d buy a re-release of any of the Smash games in a snap, though.

  7. Why would Kit and Krysta be an authoritative source as to what Nintendo does or doesn’t plan to do with game releases? They hosted Nintendo Minute, not worked for any of Nintendo’s dev teams.

  8. As someone who follows kit and krista, and someone who loved the GameCube era, I get it: I think that melee HD is just too heavy, and Samurai has already given us in the Smash community enough of his blood, sweat, and tears.

  9. I’m sure to Melee fans the difference in mechanics is night and day, but you also have to look at things from more of a general consumer point of view: it’s basically Ultimate with less stuff.

    1. Imo, you could do a melee re release if they treated it like capcoms street fighter collections and just included 3-4 versions of the game to pick from depending on tastes:

      New- a directors cut of original, updated visuals, new features, couple new characters
      HD- updated visuals, some ease of use options, bug fixes, maybe some balance options, online play
      Classic- literally the same as cube version, either emulation or just tweaked enough that its crt requirements transition to modern displays and maybe a online play option

      Have a single unlock/stats save file that works across all versions. Even this may not be 100% satisfactory, but it would come close to covering all bases.

  10. Wow, lots more discussion here than I was expecting…

    As a Melee player, I would 100% buy a copy of an HD port of the game. It would honestly be nice to have an official way to play the game on modern hardware. Any arguments about lag are dumb. Use a low-latency monitor.

    And if Nintendo is so concerned about us getting mad about little changes, then all they have to do is not make any changes. Simple. Of course, if they did want to make the base game better, they could actually reach out to some of the prominent figures in the community for ideas/approval. Even just little stuff like allowing the c-stick to work they way everyone expects in single-player mode.

    Not exactly news that Nintendo isn’t going to do this though. And the reasoning was obvious. But I guess it’s nice that it got brought up. And it’s not that big of a deal, since we’ll always have our community of passionate players working to keep the game running. Slippi is sick. Fans do what nintendon’t, amirite?

    And for the last time, wavedashing and l-cancelling are not glitches. They are intentional mechanics.

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