AGAIN, WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT.
UPDATE: It’s fake. A very elaborate fake. Please read the rest and laugh at my optimism.
“Leaks” for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate are a dime a dozen and we’ve seen a ton since the game’s reveal a few months back – and most end up being fake. However, today saw a leak unlike any other. One so wild, convoluted, and downright crazy, that it may in fact be real.
Chronicled via a thread on ResetEra, it appears as though the final roster to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has been leaked. The leak comes from a screenshot from someone’s Snapchat of what appears to be the game’s character artwork banner filled in with new fighters.
These new characters are (deciphered via Internet super sleuths):
- Shadow the Hedgehog
- Ken from Street Fighter
- Banjo and Kazooie
- Chorus Kids from Rhythm Heaven
- Isaac from Golden Sun
- Mach Rider from Mach Rider
- Geno from Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Star
Before we get into more details of the leak, lets break down a couple of the lesser known characters from that list.
The Chorus Kids originate from a minigame in Rhythm Heaven for Nintendo DS. In the minigame (link to video of it here), the player must keep one of the kids quite and only open its mouth when conducted to do so. This trio of fighters were heavily rumored to be included in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U, but did not make the cut.
Mach Rider is a classic NES driving game. The titular character rides a futuristic motorbike and wears an outfit very similar to Captain Falcon. Since Melee, there have been claims that series creator Masahiro Sakurai wanted to include Mach Rider in the series as a playable character.
If this leak is accurate, these seven fighters would bring the Ultimate final roster to 81 total characters (including Echo Fighters). They would be joining the other announced newcomers- Inkling, Daisy, Ridley – Simon, Richter, Chrom, Dark Samus, King K. Rool– and my hero Isabelle.
While the image itself is blurry and hard to make out, like a lot of supposed leaks, the credibility of this leak comes from how convoluted it is.
As you may have noticed, a portion of the leaked Snapchat photo contains a blacked out line. 4chan super sleuths were able to decipher that this was someone’s name, and the occupation of this person was discovered via LinkedIn. In turns out this person apparently works at a print company that specializes in promotional material, such as banners like the one for Ultimate.
It was then found out that this company has previously done work for Bandai Namco, who are co-developing Ultimate with Nintendo.
As the cherry on top, you may have also noticed the leaked image contains what appears to be promotional material for The Grinch, the upcoming animated film from Illumination Entertainment. The Grinch is set to release November 9, one month before Ultimate, and according to the ResetEra user who complied this leak, this specific render of the Grinch and his dog Max isn’t currently used in any marketing material for the film.
This supporting evidence (the employee, his company, the freakin Grinch), is all to say that if this leak is fake it is one of the most comprehensive and detailed fake leaks of all time.
But again, there’s lots of evidence, and there’s still more to point out.
The character banner artwork featured in the leak has been updated each time new characters have been revealed for Ultimate. Each time, the artwork is slightly reorganized or stretched so to accommodate the new fighters.
As you can see in the image below, the leak rearranges the existing characters in order to compose the artwork for the new characters. For example, notice on the left side of the image the Mii Fighters have been rearranged in the leak to all be right next to each other.
Additional points of evidence can be found in this comprehensive Pepe Silvia-esque conspiracy image posted by Dark Cloud on ResetEra.
Overall, this leak is complicated, extremely interesting, and I hope it’s real. Ken and Shadow have long been speculated as Echo Fighters of Ryu and Sonic, Geno and Isaac are characters heavily desired by fans, Chorus Kids and Mach Rider are wants by the game’s director, and Banjo Kazooie, a duo I really want in the game, would break the Internet.
This final lineup of fighters is insane, but as always take leaks with a grain of salt.
Even if you want to believe. And I believe. #GrinchLeak
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate comes to the Nintendo Switch on December 7.