Super Smash Brother Ultimate is the latest iteration of a game that I first discussed here. To sum up, it's a video game which takes characters from a wide range of other video games and brings them together to fight each other on stages deigned to evoke scenes from their and other video games.
The original game had a small roster that was essentially a list of Nintendo all-stars, but over the years the roster has grown to over eighty fighters, including "guest" characters from other companies. Ultimate has brought back every character that was ever in the game, plus several new characters, some of which are only available if you purchase them as DLC.*
I thought it might be fun to go through the roster and take a look at the various playable chracters.
*Stands for "Downloadable content"
What this is going is an attempt to create a single coherent timeline in which all of the characters that have been thus far featured (or that we know are going to be featured) in the various Smash Brothers games, up through Ultimate. I will not be attempting to reconcile all of the games these characters have ever appeared in – Hylia (1), Arceus (2), Palutena (3) and Anankos (4) preserve me, I'm not going to live that long! (Good grief, even the Hyrule Historia admits that the various Legends of Zelda contradict one another.) I'm just trying to balance being reasonably thorough while not creating something interminable and hard to read. I will try to avoid gross contradictions of established continuity, but some will probably be inevitable. I'll cop to not being familiar with all of these games - many of these characters I know only from Smash, so if I commit any real howlers, feel free to let me know. As with my MST3K timelines, I will be including notes explaining what led me to certain decisions.
The Creation and the Earliest Known Times
There are many garbled, uncertain and even contradictory myths regarding the creation of the Earth and the human race. One such legend says the Earth (and the human race with it) was created by three goddesses: Din, Goddess of Power, Nayru, Goddess of Wisdom, and Farore, Goddess of Courage. (Some myths claim only that they created the legendary kingdom of Hyrule and its inhabitants. (5) ) They also created the artifact known as the Triforce (which balanced the forces of Power, Courage and Wisdom) and charged the goddess Hylia with its protection.
In time, Hylia accepted mortality and took the name "Zelda", and became the ancestor of the royal family of Hyrule. Hyrule existed for many centuries and had a somewhat convoluted history, which was largely consumed with constant battles for control of the Triforce. The three main actors in these battles were Zelda, Link, a young man who became Hyrule's champion, and the evil Gerudo King Ganondorf).
It is widely accepted that there were several "Links", "Zeldas" and "Ganondorfs" over the centuries, although whether these were reincarnations, descendants, or merely namesakes is unknown. One such "Link" (6), known as the "Hero of Time", had adventures involving the soi-disant "Ocarina of Time" and Majora's Mask.
During the adventure of the Ocarina of Time, Zelda used her magic to disguise herself as a man named "Sheik" to avoid capture by Ganondorf.
Another, later, "Link" (7) had adventures which led to him becoming known as the "Hero of Winds". The final fate of Hyrule and its people is unknown, and little knowledge of it has come down to the present day.
Other Gods and Heroes
There were other gods and goddesses in the world, but what connection they may have had to the goddesses of the Triforce is unknown. Two such were Palutena, Goddess of Light, who ruled a realm called “Angel Land” (8), and Medusa, Goddess of Darkness.
These two goddesses frequently battled for control of Angel Land. Palutena's chief agent in these battles was the angel Pit. During one of the battles, a flawed clone of Pit was created and became known as "Dark Pit". Contrary to expectations, Dark Pit frequently fought on the side of "good". As with Hyrule, the final fate of Angel Land is unknown.
Other heroes of that early age included
The Age of the Fire Emblem
Human kingdoms continued to rise and fall. By this time, many of the magical creatures which had existed in the times of Hyrule and Angel Land no longer existed. It is unknown whether they simply became extinct, were wiped out by one force or another, or were removed to other realms by the various divinities who oversaw them. However, an age arose in which other supernatural beings took an interest in human affairs, in this case, the so-called First Dragons. This was known as the age of the Fire Emblem, for the legendary weapon or force which seemed to recur over several centuries.
One such dragon was Anankos, who came in time to feel unappreciated by the humans he had protected and was, in fact, maddened with jealousy. In those days, there were two prominent human kingdoms, Hoshido and Nohr. Anankos possessed King Garon of Nohr and caused him to go to war against Hoshido. Anankos thus hoped to see both kingdoms destroyed. Fortunately, Corrin (Some sources give the name as "Kamui"), a young royal with connections to both Hoshido and Nohr, was able to reconcile the two kingdoms, and Anankos was defeated. (Yet again, there is some confusion as to whether Corrin was male or female!)
In subsequent years, additional heroes arose, including the legendary Marth of Altea, who became known as the Hero-King of Archanea, Roy of Pherae, who helped found the Kingdom of Lycia, and Ike, Leader of the Greil Mercenaries, who became known as the Radiant Hero.
Another of the great kingdoms of the Fire Emblem Age was the Halidom of Ylisse, protected by Prince Chrom, a distant descendant of Marth, Chrom's friend, and trusted advisor, Robin (As with Corrin, the records are unclear as to whether or not Robin was a man or a woman.), and the mysterious warrior, Lucina, who was in fact Chrom's own daughter, returned from the future in order to prevent the destruction of the world. Together, they and their allies defeated the Fell Dragon Grima.
Still another hero of this age was the mercenary-turned-professor Byleth. (As with Robin and Corrin, it is unclear whether Byleth was a man or a woman.) Byleth battled shadowy evil forces and eventually rose to become the first monarch of the United Kingdom of Fódlan.
In time, even the most prosperous of these kingdoms fell, and the world passed into barbarism. The legends of these great heroes were largely forgotten, except for the faintest hints in legend. After uncounted ages, a new civilization arose, one which would give rise to new heroes and villains.
Historic Time: The Past
Although the new civilization relied more on science than magic, there were still magic-users, among whom were the Umbra Witches, the most infamous of whom was called Cereza, although a later age knew her as "Bayonetta".
In approximately the year 1509, Bayonetta was sealed away in suspended animation, not to be awakened for several hundred years.
Another evil of these years was the vampire lord, Dracula, but a family of heroes arose to thwart his schemes to rule the world. The first of these was Simon Belmont, who was born in the year 1669, and who battled Dracula repeatedly.
Another member of the Belmont family who repeatedly battled Dracula was Richter Belmont, who was born in 1773, and who continued the family legacy of heroism.
Through the efforts of the Belmont family, Dracula was never able to conquer the world. However, in time, other threats would arise.
At some point in the 1980's, a mysterious extradimensional being in search of amusement discovered the timeline containing the Earth and decided it could provide endless entertainment. It began discreetly manipulating the timeline, opening portals between various worlds and times.
In 1981, Mario Video (Pronounced "vee-DAY-oh") (9), an Italian-American plumber living in Brooklyn, New York, discovered a gorilla at a worksite, menacing a woman named Pauline. Unbeknownst to Mario, the gorilla was actually a super-intelligent ape from the future named "Donkey Kong" who had passed through one of the portals opened by the mystery intelligence. (10)
In 1983, Mario and his younger fraternal twin brother Luigi, also a plumber, discovered mysterious creatures in the sewers below New York City. While battling these creatures, they would find a portal to the far future, through which they would find their way to the land known as the Mushroom Kingdom.
Elsewhere, in 1984, a hunting dog abandoned by his frustrated master formed a symbiotic relationship with one of the ducks he used to hunt, becoming infamous as the "Duck Hunt Duo".
In 1985, the first Robotic Operating Buddy (R.O.B.) was manufactured. these helpful automata soon became ubiquitous.
Events in 1987 included:
In 1989, the Umbra Witch Bayonetta awoke from suspended animation, but would wander, amnesiac, for twenty years.
Next: Up to the present
Another legendary martial artist, Terry Bogard, made his debut in 1991.
In 1992, an old rival of Mario's discovered the portal that Mario and Luigi had found in the sewers beneath New York City. Passing through it, he resolved to resume their rivalry. This rival's true name is unknown, but he is known by the alias "Wario".
In 1994, Kazuya Mishima entered the first King of Iron Fist Martial Arts Tournament.
In 1999, the mysterious extradimensional being that had been observing this timeline decided to take a more active role in providing entertainment for itself. Revealing itself as Master Hand, it constructed a massive arena outside of space-time. This arena contained many "stages", pocket dimensions which resembled interesting places that it had observed. Capturing powerful notable individuals from past and future (Mario and Luigi Video, Captain Falcon, Fox McCloud, Donkey Kong III, Kirby of Pop Star, Link of Hyrule, Ness of Eagleland, Samus Aran, and a Pikachu and a Jigglypuff), it forced them to fight on the various stages for its amusement. (11) Combining their resources, the assembled fighters were able to free themselves from Master Hand's control and take control of the arena. Somewhat facetiously calling themselves the "Super Smash Brothers", they resolved to retain control of the arena and to use it as a place where they could test themselves against one another in friendly battles.
Master Hand returned in 2001, this time accompanied by a similar being called "Crazy Hand". Together, they regained control of the Smash arena, and recaptured the various Smash Brothers. Additionally, they "recruited" several more fighters (Bowser, King of the Koopas, Doctor Mario, Falco Lombardi, Ganondorf, the Ice Climbers Nana and Popo, Marth, Mr. Game & Watch, Princess Peach, Roy, Yoshi, Young Link, Princess Zelda – both as herself and as "Sheik", and the Pokémon Mewtwo and Pichu). Once again, the Smash Brothers were able to fend off their captors and regain control of the arena. Bowser and Ganondorf were allowed to continue to access the arena so long as they respected it as "neutral territory".
Wario returned to the present day in 2003 and moved to Diamond City, where he began producing video games with the help of several of his friends.
In 2007, the World Invigoration Initiative hired two siblings (one male, one female) to represent their cause as spokesmodels. The pair were subjected to an arcane treatment which left them in perfect physical condition but turned their skin and eyes white. Receiving ample financial compensation, they became known as the "WII Fit Trainers".
In 2008, Tabuu, a powerful being that lived in subspace, enslaved Master Hand and used it to recruit Bowser, Ganondorf and Wario as part of its plan to subsume all reality into its domain. Tabuu was ultimately defeated by the combined efforts of all of the Smash Brothers, including several new recruits (Diddy Kong, a Pokémon Trainer, Ike, King Dedede, Lucario, Lucas of Eagleland, Meta Knight, Captain Olimar, R.O.B., Solid Snake, Sonic the Hedgehog, Toon Link and Wolf O'Donnell).
The Umbra Witch Bayonetta regained her memory in 2009 and battled the hordes of Paradiso and Father Balder.
In 2014, a security organization known as Military Intelligence and Infiltration (MII) recruited an expert in unarmed combat, an expert gunner and an expert swordfighter to serve as a special operations team known as the "MII Fighters".
That same year, the MII Fighters joined the Super Smash Brothers, as did Bayonetta, Bowser Jr., Cloud Strife, Corrin of Hoshido, Pit and Dark Pit of Angel Land, the Duck Hunt Duo, Greninja, Little Mac, Lucina, Mega Man, PAC-Man, Palutena, Robin, Rosalina and Luma, Ryu, Shulk, the Villager, the WII Fit Trainers, Alph and the Koopalings. This was the result of a recruitment drive in order to fend off further incursions from the Hands.
In 2016, High schooler Ren Amamiya was unfairly expelled, after which he moved to another town, where he discovered the mysterious force known as "Persona". He adopted the name "Joker", and he and his friends formed the Phantom Thieves of Hearts and used Persona to battle various criminals.
In 2018, several more fighters joined the team under as-yet-undisclosed circumstances, including Chrom, Princess Daisy of Sarasaland, Dark Samus, an Incineroar, an Inkling, Joker, King K. Rool, Isabelle, a Piranha Plant, and Simon and Richter Belmont. The Smash fighters were soon caught up in a battle between Galeem, Lord of Light, and Dharkon, Lord of Darkness,
They were joined in 2019 by Banjo and Kazooie, the Luminary and Terry Bogard, and in 2020 by Byleth, Min Min, the minecrafters Steve and Alex, a Zombie and an Enderman, and Sephiroth. In 2021, Pyra, Mythra, Kazuya Mishima and Sora joined the Smash Brothers.
The Future, Part One
In time, the human race spread out into space, first throughout the Solar System, and then on into interstellar space. The first starships were sublight vessels that took many long years to reach their destinations. While the passengers traveled in suspended animation, the crew remained awake. To pass the time, one such crew programmed their ship's computer with a personality. They created a two-dimensional avatar for this personality, naming it "Mr. Game & Watch", after its two functions: diverting the crew members and keeping "watch" that the ship's functions ran smoothly. In time, this personality gained sentience. At its request, the crew created a small "world" for it to "live" in.
Humans planted colonies far and wide, for a variety of reasons. One such colony was named "Eagleland", which was settled by people from what had been the United States of America and was patterned to resemble an idealized version of that nation. The colony thrived and in time, it drew the attention of a malevolent alien force called Giygas. Giygas' invasion of Eagleland was thwarted by a young boy named Ness and his friends.
Sometime later, another boy with psychic powers, Lucas, defended another part of the same colony from the Pigmask Army.
Another early such colony was a world rich with minerals, which was riddled by maze-like tunnels which humans realized could be used to mine said minerals. However, the tunnels swarmed with protoplasmic animals (colloquially named "Ghosts") that made mining problematical. Human bioengineers developed a new lifeform to control the Ghost population, which they called a "Protoplasmic Animal Controller", or "PAC", for short. Legend has it that when the creature was released into the tunnels, one of its creators said, "Go get 'em, PAC-Man!", and so the creature was named. However, the project ran afoul of the law when a scientific survey team determined that the Ghosts and PAC-Man were both sentient, and the colonization effort collapsed amid lawsuits and recriminations, and PAC-Man and the Ghosts were ultimately left to their own devices. (It is uncertain how much truth there is to the legend that the bioengineers created a mate for the creature which they named "Ms. PAC-Man".)
Despite the colony's failure, it sparked a widespread interest in the genetic engineering of new and existing animals. One such project took place on a planet codenamed "POP STAR" at a research station codenamed "DREAM LAND". The scientists there worked on the creation of both new life forms (as with "PAC-Man") and the alteration of existing animals (in this case, some black market penguins they had obtained). However, the project lost its funding, and the experimental creatures were released into the wild. Unexpectedly, the creatures thrived, becoming the ancestors of Kirby, Meta Knight, King Dedede, the Waddle Dees and other similar creatures.
An illicit project (Codenamed "Project ANIMAL CROSSING") on a different colony world sought to test whether humans could live alongside artificially evolved intelligent animals, who could then be used as work units - i.e., slaves. Sentient animals were developed and were taught how to use simple technology, at about the level of Twentieth Century Earth. (This was believed to be the highest level that the animals could master.) Once the animal "civilization" was in place, a human volunteer (Codenamed "VILLAGER") was sent to live among a population of the animals.
VILLAGER came to sympathize with their animal neighbors and exposed ANIMAL CROSSING to the authorities. The animals were freed and granted full rights as sentient beings. VILLAGER lived out their life with their animal friends. One of VILLAGER's closest friends was a female Shih Tzu called Isabelle, who served as VILLAGER's administrative assistant.
Conditions on some colony worlds occasionally caused odd mutations in the colonists themselves. On one mining colony, radiations unique to the planet caused the colonists and their livestock to assume odd, blocky appearances. They found their attempts to develop the planet and exploit its resources opposed by odd creatures they called "Zombies" and "Endermen". The colonists used the special skills they called "minecraft" to battle these enemies and develop their planet. Among their leaders were a man named Steve and a woman named Alex.
The Future, Part Two
On yet another colony world, two humans of Inuit descent - Nana and Popo - established themselves as the defenders of Icicle Mountain, becoming the legendary Ice Climbers.
Throughout human-controlled space, people continued to find ways to occupy themselves, both legal and illegal. One person whose profession involved him with people on both sides of the law was Captain Falcon, who operated both as a bounty hunter and an F-Zero racer. Both professions brought him fame and fortune.
Another bounty hunter who became a galactic legend was Samus Aran. Samus was born on the mining colony K-2L but was orphaned when her parents were killed by Space Pirates led by Ridley. Samus was raised by the alien Chozo, who gave her armor known as the Power Suit when she reached adulthood. Samus frequently battled Ridley, the alien parasites known as Metroids and her own evil duplicate, Dark Samus. Samus usually wore her Power Suit in battle, but sometimes fought while wearing her "Zero Suit".
Conditions on another colony world caused a genetic condition that caused the arms of many human colonists to become long and uncontrollable. After technology was developed to enable people so afflicted to control their arms, many afflicted people began fighting one another for money in what became known as the Arms League. One such fighter was a young woman of Chinese descent named Min Min, who sought to use her celebrity to promote her family's ramen restaurant.
Humans on other worlds continued to battle among themselves, as well, and their wars produced legendary heroes. One such was Cloud Strife, who lived on the Earth colony Gaia and fought legendary battles with his archenemy Sephiroth.
Another colony was inhabited by both humans and sentient animals and was re-shaped to resmble various realms from ancient Earth legends. In a region called the Destiny Islands, a teenaged boy named Sora obtained the legendary Keyblade, and was recruited by a duck named Donald and a dog named Goofy to help find the missing King Mickey. During his adventures, Sora encountered both Cloud and Sephiroth.
Meanwhile, in other regions of space, the descendants of the evolved animals developed a space-faring civilization of their own, and colonized other worlds, sometimes alongside humans, and sometimes on their own. Many of these animals forged legends of their own, including the super-fast Sonic the Hedgehog, the star-traveling Fox McCloud and Falco Lombardi of Team Starfox, their rival, Wolf O'Donnell of Team Starwolf, and the team of Banjo the Honey Bear and Kazooie the Breegull.
Another colony world was home to a race of cephalopod/human hybrids called Inklings. A popular pastime among the Inklings was a game called "Splatoon Turf Wars". Much of the industry of their capital, Haikara City (also known as "Inkopolis") was given over to supporting these competitions.
The Future, Part Three
Another colony world was set up for ecological purposes. A team of conservationists terraformed a colony world (Kongo II) to be an ideal environment for African animals. They stocked the world with several different kinds of animals and created a "caretaker" class of intelligent animals, including various types of apes and crocodiles. Unfortunately, these creatures, having human intelligence, fell prey to human vices like greed, factionalism and violence. One notable ape on this world was the gorilla known as "Donkey Kong" (later "Cranky Kong)". He was the gorilla who fell through one of Master Hand's spacetime tunnels to Twentieth Century Earth. His grandson, Donkey Kong III, became famous as a protector of other animals on Kongo II.
He, along with his sidekick, a monkey named Diddy Kong, frequently battled the machinations of the evolved crocodile self-styled "King K. Rool" and his army of Kremlings.
On another such colony world, humans lived alongside intelligent animals, plans and even fungi. This world was divided into various polities, including the Mushroom Kingdom and Sarasaland. It was this world the Mario and Luigi Video traveled to when they passed through one of Master Hand's spacetime tunnels. At this time, the Mushroom Kingdom and Sarasaland were ruled by two cousins, Princess Peach and Princess Daisy.
The Video Brothers soon became embroiled in the politics of this world, frequently saving Peach and Daisy from threats to their kingdoms. The most persistent threat to Peach's rule came from an evolved turtle named Bowser (also known as "King Koopa"), who frequently attempted to gain control of the Mushroom Kingdom by kidnapping Peach.
Bowser frequently utilized the services of several other of his kind, in particular a group known as the Koopalings.
In his turn, Mario was frequently assisted by an evolved reptile creature known as "Yoshi".
Another of Mario's allies was Princess Rosalina (another cousin of Peach and Daisy), who operated the Comet Observatory and served as protector to the creatures known as Lumas.
Mario also faced occasional threats from his old rival, Wario, who eventually returned to Twenty-First Century Earth. Bowser eventually mated with a female of his own species, who presented him with an offspring, Bowser Jr., who joined in his father's vendetta against Mario, Peach and the Mushroom Kingdom.
While defending the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario frequently found himself bedeviled by Piranha Plants, carnivorous creatures which infested the network of warp pipes that connected the Kingdom's various regions.
In time, the Video Brothers settled down, Mario marrying Peach, and Luigi marrying Daisy. Mario and Peach had a son, Mario Jr., who closely resembled his father. Mario Jr. studied medicine and fought mutant viruses that threatened the Mushroom Kingdom, becoming famous as "Dr. Mario".
The Future, Part Four
While some colonies handled their engineered lifeforms responsibly. others did not. On one such world, the colonists bred super-powered animals that they called "Pokémon" that they used in fighting contests. There were hundreds of different kinds of Pokémon, and the craze spread across the planet. Some of the better-known Pokémon were Charizard, Greninja, Incineroar, Ivysaur, Jigglypuff, Lucario, Pichu, Pikachu, and Squirtle.
However, the Pokémon broke out of captivity and bred wild across the world. The sudden influx of super-powered wildlife brought about the collapse of technological civilization on the planet, and it was only after several centuries that the colony's human population once again approached a modern technical level. By that time, humans had learned to live cooperatively with Pokémon, and young people often followed Pokémon training as a vocation.
However, there were some criminal groups that attempted to exploit Pokémon. One such group was Team Rocket, which bred a Pokémon they called "Mewtwo", that proved too powerful for them to control.
As some groups of humans went further into space, they themselves changed, sometimes forgetting their origins on Earth altogether. An expedition from one such group was led by Captain Olimar of the Hocotate Freight Company. He explored a planet designated PNF-404 (not knowing that it had been seeded with genetically engineered life by a previous Earth-descended group centuries before), where he discovered the creatures known as Pikmin.
Olimar never returned from PNF-404, and so, ten years later, another expedition set out for the planet, this time led by Captain Alph.
Even in the most distant future, threats to humanity arose, and heroes arose to meet them. One such hero was Shulk, Master of the Monado Arts, who helped his colony world survive the conflict between the god-like Mechonis and Bionis. Still another was a boy named Rex, who became the "Driver" of the living weapon Pyra and her alternate personality Mythra.
(1) In the Legend of Zelda games, Hylia was the Goddess Protector of Hyrule, who took human from as the first incarnation of Princess Zelda.
(2) In the legends of the Sinnoh, Arceus is the creator of Sinnoh and the entire Pokémon world, which makes it seem kind of weird that it allows a ten year-old to catch and use it in battles against other Pokémon.
(3) In the Kid Icarus games, Palutena is the Goddess of Light, and ruler of Angel Land.
(4) In Fire Emblem: Fates, Anankos was one of the First Dragons. Initially a friend to humanity, he later turned against them, believing that they had betrayed and abandoned him.
(5) The people of Hyrule tended to have pointed ears, a trait which later humans tended to lack, although it did recur in some individuals, including Corrin of Hoshido and Wario, perhaps indicating that they had some Hylian blood.
(6) I.E., “Young Link”.
(7) I.E., “Toon Link”.
(8) It is unknown whether Angel Land was coeval with Hyrule, or whether it preceded or succeeded it.
(9) Yes, I know, his name is supposedly "Mario Mario", but for some reason, my brain - which can accept all sorts of nonsense - simply cannot accept that. I remembered that an early name for the character was "Mr. Video", and "Video" sounded like a plausible Italian surname to me, so I arbitrarily decided that that was Mario and Luigi's surname. If you are unhappy with this, I completely understand.
(10) This was the ape that would later become known as "Cranky Kong", whose namesake grandson would go on to become quite famous
(11) Master Hand deployed an energy field that selectively suppressed some of the fighters' powers, so as to level the playing field somewhat.
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