Let’s Examine That “Leaked” Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Roster

Let’s Examine That “Leaked” Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Roster

The full roster for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate supposedly just leaked, so let's examine the evidence and try to determine whether or not it could be legit.

If there’s one thing that I have learned in my life, it’s that you should never believe anything that you see on 4chan. If there’s another thing that I’ve learned in my life, it’s that you should never believe any Super Smash Bros. roster leaks that you might see online in the build-up to a new entry in the series.

With these core tenants in mind then, imagine how far back into my head I rolled my eyes this morning when I saw that the full roster for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate had supposedly leaked via 4chan. I guarantee you, it was an eye roll that even The Undertaker would be envious of.

As I began digging more into just what this surely bogus leak entailed though, I began to break both of my two guiding rules for life. The longer I looked at the supposed evidence that was being presented, the more I started to legitimately believe that this Super Smash Bros. Ultimate leak could be real — and I hate myself for buying into it.

To provide context for this whole weird situation, supposedly, an image containing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s entire roster from the ever-expanding banner art that Nintendo continues to add new characters to was captured via picture and video by someone with access to the art. After uploading these images and the video to this person’s personal Snapchat, they were then quickly deleted — but that didn’t prevent many from having already screenshotted the pics. The screenshots of both the still images along with the video then made their way over to a Discord server, which then led to them being posted on 4chan, which in turn prompted Reddit posts, and now I’m here writing an article about it.

Let's Examine That

The most recent banner art for Smash Ultimate featuring new additions Isabelle and King K. Rool.

In this supposedly finalized banner art, which has now started circulating around the Internet, we can see seven new characters in total that haven’t been featured before. Two of these are likely Echo Fighters, with the other five being wholly new to the series. They are as follows:

  • Banjo-Kazooie — Banjo-Kazooie
  • Geno — Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
  • Chorus Kids — Rhythm Heaven
  • Isaac — Golden Sun
  • Mach Rider — Mach Rider
  • Shadow of the Hedgehog (Echo) — Sonic the Hedgehog Series
  • Ken (Echo) — Street Fighter Series

A lot of these characters–Banjo, Geno, Isaac–have been some of the most requested and rumored characters to appear in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for months at this point, so to see their potential inclusion isn’t all that shocking. The Chorus Kids have also been rumored for multiple Smash games, and Shadow and Ken aren’t surprising additions as Echo Fighters. Mach Rider is the strangest of all included in this image but knowing how other odd characters like Duck Hunt Dog have appeared in other entries, maybe I shouldn’t be shocked.

Let's Examine That

The new leaked banner art with outlines around the newly added characters.

So presented with this idea at a base level, it sounds easy to write off. I sure didn’t believe it at first, at least. Heck, we’ve seen crazier leaks in the past. Anyone who has been a part of the Smash community for a while now surely remembers the infamous Rayman leak from a few years back that seemed like a surefire bet to be real at the time. Of course, it wasn’t.

That being said, the more I read about this roster leak, the more prone I am to believe it’s legitimate just because of how asinine some of the smaller details are involved with its arrival. Smarter folks than I began tracing these leaked banner art images back to find out where they could have come from and before long, found the fellow who originally uploaded them to their Snapchat account. Eventually, this led to people finding out his identity and tracing his name to a LinkedIn account, which as of this moment has been either privatized or outright deleted.

What was found via this person’s LinkedIn page is that they work for a company out of France called Marina PLV, which is an organization that does marketing for a variety of clients. This company seems to specialize in cutouts, banners, and standees when examining their past work. Upon visiting the Marina PLV website and seeing which clients they have worked for in the past, you can see Bandai Namco Entertainment is listed — the developer of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. That doesn’t seem to be just some simple coincidence.

Let's Examine That

The original images from Snapchat featuring the banner art and The Grinch images underneath.

What continues to add more credence is that in the original Snapchat images, you can see promotional materials for the upcoming animated film The Grinch. These images from the movie likely appear next to the Smash art because Marina PLV is likely doing work for the film as well. What’s even crazier about all of this is that from what many have found, the pictures of the Grinch that are briefly seen don’t seem to line up with previous images for the film that have been released — they’re entirely new. If a fake “leaker” were to really think to include something like this, they’d also need to create these entirely new images for the Grinch just to add further evidence to the fake leak that they’ve created is real. Anyone who would think to do this is probably a genius, and I’d love to meet them.

One other worthwhile nugget in this leak sticks out as well, and it involves the number of stages present in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. As stated in a previous Direct, director Masahiro Sakurai revealed that there will be 103 stages present in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, a staggering number to be sure. However, in a recent issue of CoroCoro, a Japanese gaming publication, it accidentally stated that there will be 108 stages present in Smash Ultimate. Was this a leak or just a simple mistake? Well, in a follow-up issue, CoroCoro tried to rectify the “mistake” and say that there are only 103 stages.

So why exactly is this relevant? Well, as many usually know, when a new character joins the roster of Super Smash Bros., they’re often accompanied by a new stage. This has been seen dozens of times in the series’ history and has become expected at this point.

With this in mind, if we accept that this character leak is indeed real, then that means that five new characters have joined the roster. If we assume that Banjo-Kazooie, Mach Rider, Chorus Kids, Geno, and Isaac were to all receive new stages based on the games that they are from, this brings our stage total back up to 108. So was CoroCoro initially correct after all but just accidentally let slip something that wasn’t supposed to be public knowledge just yet? It’s impossible to say, but the correlation between the two is quite eyebrow-raising.

Let's Examine That

Having seen all of the evidence on display here, I struggle to discount this roster leak. Again, we’ve seen crazy “leaks” in the past that turned out to be fake in the end, but the amount of depth that someone would need to go through to add this amount of believability just doesn’t seem likely to me. I mean, creating new images of the Grinch? And all of this stemming from a random marketing place in France that works with Bandai Namco? Really? How would someone even think to fake this whole ordeal?

There’s way too much here for this to simply turn out to be fake, in my opinion. I say this, but at the same time, deep down I struggle to believe any of it — and that’s maybe the best part of all. Even if the full Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster did just leak, I’ll still have lingering doubts about its legitimacy until Nintendo officially unveils it, which means that my shock and surprise come the next character reveal trailer will be just as impactful as ever.

All I know is that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is out in a little more than a month at this point and I can hardly wait any longer. Nintendo will likely divulge the rest–or at least some–of the roster ahead of release in a Direct or something of that manner in the lead-up to December. Oh, and if Banjo-Kazooie is really in this game, expect me to cry.


Super Smash Bros. Ultimate launches exclusively on the Nintendo Switch on December 7. If you’d like to pre-order the game, then hey, you can do just that over on Amazon right this very moment.


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