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The Best Part Of The Super Smash Bros. Fighters Pass Is Wondering Who The Next Fighter Could Be

There’s currently ten DLC fighters in Super Smash Bros Ultimate; assuming you include the free Piranha Plant and count doubled up characters like Pyra and Mythra as one. There’s two more characters set to arrive in the second Fighters Pass, although a recent datamine suggests a third Fighters Pass is on the way afterwards. I really hope that’s true, not because I particularly care about my favourites making the cut, but because speculation about who is going to get in and who isn’t is one of my favourite things in gaming right now.

The Piranha Plant was just a free, goofy incentive for players to pick up the game early, so if you take the start of the first Fighters Pass as kicking all of this hysteria off, Nintendo came out swinging. The first character added was Persona 5’s Joker – massive idiot that he is – with his slick leather coat, Persona-fuelled Final Smash, and literal gun. After that, all bets were off. Joker came from a PlayStation-exclusive, he had cult popularity without being as mainstream as say, Link, and again he has an actual gun. Once Joker was in the game, no suggestion was too stupid, no request too outlandish, no character completely devoid of hope.

Throughout the first Fighters Pass, the reveals were eclectic. Some were Joker-style wildcards, others were safe bets, and one was clearly just there because Masahiro Sakurai wanted him to be. Banjo-Kazooie being brought back from the great beyond and being cheered on by their former Rare brethren was incredible. And do you all remember Sakurai spending ages showing us how Terry Bogard plays and getting very excited about it, even though only around seven percent of us knew who the hell Terry Bogard even was? Don’t get me wrong, I loved it. If anyone’s earned the right to play favourites a little, Masahiro Sakurai has.

Actually that reveal probably sums up why I love the Fighters Pass so much. Terry was the only character I knew absolutely nothing about, and yet Sakurai’s passion made it the best reveal of the lot. The Fighters Pass is brilliant for introducing players to new characters, or shining a spotlight on some forgotten favourites, but mainly it’s wonderful for bringing people together. Fan theories based on things in the background of Sakurai’s streams, mistranslated quotes that can be decoded to spell out C-R-A-S-H, or just good old-fashioned guesswork. There’s even Fighters Pass fan art, with fans either creating a mock up reveal, or creating comics where their chosen fighter ends up in the game.

Despite all this, it did feel like the Fighters Pass ended on a bit of a bum note. The final character revealed was Fire Emblem: Three Houses lead Byleth, who could be played in both their male and female forms. I actually love Fire Emblem: Three Houses, especially as a former teacher, but I do get where people are coming from. It’s reductive to call Byleth an anime sword fighter, given that they’re also armed with an axe and a bow, but we already had Fire Emblem characters in the game, and up until that point all of the Fighters Pass characters were from new franchises.

Things soon perked up, however, as it turned out Byleth wasn’t the end after all, with a second Fighters Pass rocking up soon after. This pass seems to have also understood that range is really what people want. Few people were clamouring for Min Min from Arms, but she has a great moveset and Arms is an innovative game in need of a little more attention. Then Steve and Alex from Minecraft literally broke Twitter as arguably the biggest game of all time finally joined the Smash fray. Sephiroth followed soon after, and while he was another anime sword fighter and had already matched wits with Cloud in several other games, the One Winged Angel coming to Smash was a big deal.

It also means that Sephiroth has now been in video games with Pikachu, Donald Duck, and Ariana Grande. Pyra and Mythra are a little like Min Min, in that Xenoblade is a smaller series than Minecraft or Final Fantasy, but their entrance was so fun and cheeky, literally stealing an invitation from fellow Xenoblade alum Rex.

That’s a really underappreciated part of what makes the Fighters Pass so amazing. It isn’t just a name popping up on the screen, or Sakurai telling us who the next character will be – there are full blown cinematics each time. Sephiroth descended from the sky as Cloud watched in disbelief, then ended up almost killing Mario. I still think Joker’s animated heist of a Smash invitation, all while the Phantom Thieves themselves narrated his escapades, might be the best of the lot.

There’s only two spots left in the second Fighters Pass, but I hope there’s a third on the horizon. Any time anything vaguely related to Nintendo is announced, the anticipation of another Smash reveal gets turned up. It’s like a shared community of hype and hope. Sure, there’s a few toxic voices in there trying to spoil the fun, but don’t let them. Masahiro Sakurai wouldn’t.

Personally, I really don’t care who winds up in Smash. I don’t play it often enough, and when I do, I stick to the handful of characters I know quite well. I don’t even care about tiers; I main Kirby, for god’s sake. I suppose if I could pick, Crash Bandicoot would probably be my first choice, and Sora would get everybody incredibly hyped, so I guess that would be cool to see. I don’t really know who else I’d want. Liara T’Soni? Lara Croft? Gary from down my street? Seems like everybody has a chance these days. I’m honestly not bothered who gets added to Smash next, but I hope they keep adding characters for a long time, and I really hope they add your favourite.

Next: It’s Sad To See Razor Slowly Declining In Genshin Impact, But He’ll Always Be My Boy

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Stacey Henley is an editor for TheGamer, and can often be found journeying to the edge of the Earth, but only in video games. Find her on Twitter @FiveTacey

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