Nintendo has confirmed that the steel-fighting Pokemon Lucario will make a return for the upcoming Smash Bros. game, stunning almost everyone in the Smash Bros community. It’s not that Lucario isn’t appreciated by fans, it’s more that he was expected to be on the “cut list” by many fans.
Additionally, Lucario’s announcement did not coincide with any Nintendo event. In contrast, many characters like Pikmin’s Olimar and Toon Link from WindWaker were announced on their respective games release dates. Lucario’s announcement comes almost out of thin air, although there may be new media pressures placed on the smash team thanks to Nintendo’s recent financial woes.
Now that Lucario’s confirmation is out of the way we can stop and ask the question that just about every Smash fan is pondering at the moment: What does Lucario’s announcement mean for the rest of the cast?
Mewtwo Strikes Back?
Smash players who have been involved in the series since Melee were probably disappointed to see Mewtwo get cut from the Wii’s Smash Bros Brawl. With the announcement of Lucario for SSB4, fans are once again assuming the return of Mewtwo has been canceled. However, this isn’t necessarily true, as Smash Bros. has long been home to “clone characters” and there is no reason that Mewtwo and Lucario won’t both make the final game.
Warning: Pokemon XY Spoilers Below
There’s another big reason that both Mewtwo and Lucario could share the spot light. Both were prominently featured in the most recent Pokemon title. For those who’ve played the game, or do not care about spoilers, Lucario is among the first Pokemon to display Mega-Evolution in context of the story. Additionally, Lucario is gifted to the player by a key character from the game’s plot.
Mewtwo also gets time in the spotlight in XY, but only after players have completed the game. Upon finishing the Elite 4, a cave will open for players, revealing a dedicated arena for capturing an elusive Mewtwo. The fight with Mewtwo is one of the toughest legendary catches in the game, and shows Nintendo still cares about this character, despite his age.
Lucario is in, so who gets cut?
As I mentioned before, a lot of fans seemed to believe Lucario was going to get cut, and likely be replaced with either Mewtwo or a newer Pokemon, such as Zoroark from Pokemon Black and White. Personally, I always believed Lucario to be a more fitting representative than Zoroark, due to the fact that Lucario has had plenty of attention given to him in both Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, as well as in Pokemon X & Y, not to mention he is technically a veteran from a previous Smash Bros game.
So which of the Brawl veterans will get the axe? I’m going to make my prediction here and now.
We liked Ike
It seems that almost everyone agrees that Nintendo is likely to replace Ike with another Fire Emblem character, such as Chrom from the latest game. We already know that Marth is confirmed for the game, leaving Ike in jeopardy for return, as many assume he will suffer the same fate that saw Melee’s Roy replaced with Brawl’s Ike. What may not disappear however, is Ike’s moveset. Much like how Mewtwo lived on in Lucario, Ike’s devastating side-B and F-air moves may live on in Chrom or whomever the next Fire Emblem character may be.
I was originally hoping we’d see Chrom teased on the one year anniversary of Fire Emblem Awakening in the U.S. However, that game launched on February 4th, and the confirmation of Lucario today makes me believe there won’t be a character announcement for a while.
R.O.B. The Friendly Robot
While I found R.O.B. to be a fun character to play, there are many among us who believe he will find the same fate as Pichu did in Melee, stuck in one game. R.O.B. also served as one of Brawl’s goofiest characters. He was unexpected, he was quirky, and his animations we delightfully stiff. However, I believe much of this charming weirdness has already been put on display for Smash Bros. 4 by none other than the Wii Fit Trainer.
So the question becomes: How much weird can Super Smash Bros handle? Could R.O.B. share a roster with the Wii Fit Trainer without Nintendo fans complaining about the lack of characters from core franchises? I’m not sure. However, I believe R.O.B. will forever remain a piece of Brawl and the Sub Space Emissary.
I know Mr Game & Watch is thoroughly goofy, but they can’t cut a two time veteran, could they?
It’s always incredible to see the Smash community react to each and every announcement that famed series creator Masahiro Sakurai dishes out, and the return of Lucario is no different. In the coming days we will likely know more about how similar Lucario is to his Brawl incarnation. Until then, all we can do is make predictions.
Fingers crossed Mewtwo is tucked away waiting his day in the sun.