Sakurai Addresses Clone Characters in Smash Bros.

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

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Super Smash Bros. for 3DS | oprainfall

Super Smash Bros for Nintendo 3DS has been out for a little over a week now, and it is a fun time. While everyone is happy to be able to play Smash on the go, there is one thing that still seems to bother fans: clone characters. In case you are completely unaware, clone characters are characters who either look similar to one another or have very similar, if not identical, movesets. Examples include Ganondorf and Captain Falcon or Marth and Roy in Smash Bros. Melee. In the new game, there are three characters who are being labeled as such; Lucina to Marth, Dark Pit to Pit and Dr. Mario to Mario.  Many fans have expressed online their concern and disappointment to see these characters and comments like “They are a waste of a slot” or “No more clones pl0x” have been very common on message boards. In the latest issue of Famitsu magazine, Smash Bros. director, Masahiro Sakurai, decided to tackle the issue. He started off by saying:

There are 3 fighters [Lucina, Dark Pit, and Doctor Mario] that are alternate models (clones) in the game. Each was originally a color variation, but during development, they were given balanced characteristics. Since their functionality had differences, forms were separated from each other. However, it was vital that this didn’t increase the required man-hours. Some relative tuning was sufficient as it wasn’t necessary to create balancing from scratch.

He then explained some of the differences between the clones. For example, Marth and Lucina’s swords act a bit differently and, by making Dark Pit a separate character, he can have a different Final Smash and arm. He also explained that he gave Dr. Mario a different custom move set so he would not anger fans. He tried to relate all of this to eating out at restaurants by using this analogy:

This is like a free dessert after a luxurious meal that was prepared free of charge. In a restaurant with this type of service, I don’t think there’s anybody who would say, “Change this to a meat dish!!”

Yet, I’m told [to do that] about Smash Bros. But, I guess since a lot of them are children, it cannot be helped.

Could you please leave it to me to select [characters] with man-hours and costs in mind? However you look at it, the game is a great bargain buy as a result.

Interesting analogy, but it seems like he does not want us to let clone characters be a deal breaker. How do you feel about clone characters or what Sakurai has to say about it?


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About Justin Guillou

Justin joined Operation Rainfall after visiting the site numerous times and reading the articles on Xenoblade Chronicles. He enjoys searching for and collecting some of the more obscure video games out there.