Super Smash Brothers Ultimate is a month old, and in that time well-known director and backbone of the franchise, Masahiro Sakurai, has taken a few victory laps to celebrate his accomplishment. One such lap was taken at AllSourceGaming, where apparently he did a Japanese interview and talked a little bit about how they selected certain characters, and why some got in over others.
For example, he talked about Pokémon: he knew from the start he’d want a Pokémon from Sun and Moon in the game, but originally it was a tie between Incineroar, and Decidueye, the grass-ghost type that also functions as the final form of a starter Pokémon. He would have played very differently, being floaty and focusing on long-range moves, but in the end, however, Sakurai decided to make the correct decision and make everyone’s favorite wrestling cat the new edition to the cast.
But he revealed other interesting tidbits as well. He talked about how this game’s version of Zelda is based off the Link to the Past/A Link Between Worlds version of the princess, rather than the Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess base they used in the past three games. He also said that the Belmont’s, Ridley, and King K. Rool were added as a direct result of the Super Smash Bros Poll from 2015, which… I’m not sure I believe, but I’ll take him at his word. He said that Piranha Plant was decided because it’s well known and “not a hero”, and all the heroes in the roster were getting a bit boring. Speaking of villains, he also revealed that King K. Rool’s whole concept was around being a heavy that could do things heavy characters couldn’t normally do, which is probably why people love playing him too damn much.
Finally, he revealed that Xenoblade 2 and ARMS were just too late to the party - by the time they showed up, development was just too far along.
Interesting bit of info, if I don’t say myself.