Smash Bros. game is announced, the internet boils with controversy about which characters are going to be included in the new installment. You can find forum posts, YouTube videos, and website articles defending why such-and-such characters are going to make the cut. We first saw this when Melee was announced, and then it became an even wider phenomenon when Brawl‘s trailer was revealed. Now that the Wii U and 3DS games are underway, the internet has once again become ripe with all kinds of theories—you can find some of these here, for instance. This article is no exception: throughout it I will argue why I think not only that Isaac, the main character from the Golden Sun series, will be included, but also why the latest Smash Bros. Nintendo Direct basically confirmed that he will be in.
We’ll start with the basics. There are some obvious reasons why
Golden Sun should be represented in the next Smash Bros. game. It is, after all, one of the very few second party Nintendo franchises that has not yet been represented in these games. It is a pretty popular one, too, and one that has been critically acclaimed. It was so beloved by fans that, after the first two games, there were multiple efforts to make Camelot produce a third installment—although it did take them eight years to do so. Surprisingly enough, fans stayed faithful that the franchise would not be abandoned and kept on asking for the game that would be known as Golden Sun: Dark Dawn. Despite all obstacles, fans and casual gamers alike have enjoyed and supported this saga.
There is also the fact that these games could count both as classic
and modern. The first one was released 2001, and the third one in 2010—whether Nintendo wants to exploit Golden Sun as a classic (as they did with Pit or Little Mac) or as a modern game (like they did with Ike or Greninja), the franchise would adapt to their needs. Of course, depending on which strategy they follow, the character represented would change: Isaac, the main character from the first game, would be better for nostalgia, whereas Matthew, his son and protagonist of the latest game, would be a more modern addition.
And now we begin with the heavy arguments. Nintendo obviously appreciates the Golden Sun saga, so much so that, in Smash Bros. Brawl, not only did they include Isaac as an Assist Trophy, but they also included a CD with a remixed song from Golden Sun: The Lost Age. Whereas there are many other ATs, they either lack a CD track (such as Advance Wars) or are part of an already profusely represented saga (Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, etc.). What is more important, though, is what we saw in the latest Nintendo Direct. Some highlights of the game were shown, such as some of the characters and stages that will be included, as well as some ATs. In that section they showed the most important ATs that had made their appearance in Brawl—namely Saki, Dr. Wright, etc. It is to be expected, given the prominence of Isaac as an AT in Brawl (let’s remember that he had his own track), that he would be shown along with the major ATs for the new game, but he wasn’t. Now, while this could mean nothing at all, it could also mean a lot—from how I see it, the omission of Isaac as an AT is a strong indicator that he could be included.
Some people could argue that the first
Golden Sun was not released early enough to be a classic, and the latest one was released way too long ago to be considered modern—it has been four years, after all. This could be an obstacle for the argument I’m defending here, had it not been for a recent implement in the Wii U’s Virtual Console. The first installment of Golden Sun was released the 17th of April (just a couple of weeks ago) on the Virtual Console, as one of the very first GBA games to be seen there. If nothing else, this at least means that Nintendo has high regards for the franchise, enough to put it on the same level as Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3, Metroid Fusion, and F-Zero: Maximum Velocity. Yoshi and Zero Suit Samus have been just very recently been uncovered—in fact, in April’s Nintendo Direct—and Captain Falcon is obviously making it back as a veteran. Now, could this mean that the recent batch of GBA games released in the Wii U’s Virtual Console are related to the characters we’re going to see in Smash Bros.? Remember, after all, that a similar strategy was used by Nintendo for marketing NES Remix 2, when they created a section of NES games you could buy from the Virtual Console so as to properly enjoy the game.
Lastly, there is the fact that, throughout many popularity polls, some of the characters that have been asked for the most were Isaac, Ridley, Midna, and Mewtwo, all of which have a huge fanbase supporting their inclusion. Again, in the latest Nintendo Direct, Sakurai went out of his way to disprove that Ridley and Midna would be characters (the former is a stage boss and the latter is an Assist Trophy), whereas Greninja’s inclusion, and the way it was shown (by using a charged move very similar to Mewtwo’s shadow ball) basically refuted the inclusion of the Pokémon—especially since that franchise, which already has five representatives, would feel overcrowded. In the end, some of the very few popular characters that have not been disproved are Palutena (who will almost certainly make the cut; teased by the inclusion of fake Palutena as a trophy), Crom/Lucina (teased by the inclusion of Tiki as a trophy) and Isaac.
Take any of these reasons alone, and you couldn’t defend Isaac’s case for Smash Bros. But take them all together, and I think we may be on to something. What about you? Do you think Isaac will make the cut? Who else do you want to see in the next Smash Bros.?