One of the playable fighters in the party fighting game is Mr. Game and Watch, a retro character from an old LCD handheld game of the same name. His design in Smash Bros would often draw reference toward the previous games he featured in, usually in the form of oil slicks, scuba helmets, and juggling.
In a recent promotional live stream, we discover that his sideways charge attack (Smash attack), is of Mr. Game and Watch striking down a torch. While this is the same attack as in past games, the characters new visual design also shows him dressed as a hostile Native American, complete with a feather in the hair.
The attack itself is in reference to Fire Attack, a Game and Watch game from 1982 where the player, a cowboy, had to defend their wooden fort from fire-wielding native Americans.
Something about depicting Native Americans as hostile men with fire didn't sit right with most people. It wasn't long until the topic became the center of attention on social media.
Nintendo has since responded to this feedback, promising to remove the headdress from the character in a statement to Eurogamer.
"Nintendo has been planning to distribute an update for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate that removes the feather from the silhouette of Mr. Game & Watch. The original game on which this depiction of the character is based was released more than three decades ago and does not represent our company values today.
We sincerely apologise that this change was not noticed in our marketing material and are continuing our work to make Super Smash Bros. Ultimate an experience that is both welcoming and fun for everyone."
It's nice to see a prompt and respectful response to an outdated and uncool portrayal. They don't bother with any of that "tradition" or "heritage" stuff. And since they've already chosen the final DLC characters, we probably won't have any more issues.