Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Director Sakurai Acknowledges That "There Are Too Many Fire Emblem Characters"

The famous Smash developer weighs in on the addition of Byleth to the roster and in the process has agreed with most fans on the matter.

February 5, 2020

If you’re not a huge fan of the anime sword fighter flood in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, you have quite a bit of company. In a recent column with Japanese magazine Famitsu, Masahiro Sakurai, the director and designer behind the Smash Bros. series, agreed that too many Fire Emblem reps have worked their way into the game.

“I also know,” says Sakurai, “There are too many FE (Fire Emblem) characters and too many swordsmen. But it’s a fixed thing, so let’s just go. There’s more to be considered.” Sakurai went on to also remind fans that the decision to add certain characters to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is left up to Nintendo, and not himself.

This is all in reference to the recent release of Byleth as a DLC fighter in Smash UltimateByleth is the main character of the latest Fire Emblem title, Fire Emblem: Three Houses. While the game itself has been received well, the reception of Byleth into Smash hasn’t been as smooth.

Let’s get this out of the way first – Smash fans are choosy. When they want a certain character in the game, it becomes all they can see or look forward to. I should know, I am one of these people and acted the same way up until King K. Rool was announced.

That being said the launch of Byleth has been especially rough. Sure, sometimes surprises are welcome, but only when they’re shaped like Banjo & Kazooie or Joker from Persona 5. But nobody was expecting another Fire Emblem representative. In fact, the favorite fan theory for this last character was Dante from Devil May Cry. Sure, it was another stretch, but with the recent announcement of a Devil May Cry Triple Pack for the Switch, can you blame them? Nintendo’s tendency to open up the Smash roster to third parties has also given more credibility to those previously thought long-shot characters.

If Nintendo has learned anything from this, it may be to listen to the audience a bit more. Of course, they shouldn’t ever solely cater to the Smash audience, but they should take their input into some consideration. It would lead to less disappointed crowds and more fans rejoicing over a game that celebrates games. This also isn’t the first time Sakurai has thrown jabs at Fire Emblem. You can read more about that here.


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