The Smash Bros series has come a long way to be one of the most popular fighting games in the world. From its unique gameplay to the wide range of characters, it is the game that keeps on giving. And with Super Smash Bros Ultimate coming at the end of the year, no doubt that all eyes will be on Nintendo.
But for as spectacular has the series is though, there was one minor issue that some fans took with the roster. All the way back to Melee, there were a set of characters that the fanbase called “clones.” For some, it wasn’t a problem as much as it felt like expanding the roster for the sake of having a bigger roster. They still had their own unique things about them, but mostly, they were fairly the same character.
Over time, with later sequels, some returning characters got tweaks to set them apart. Others, though, did not return for the sequel or became entirely different, such as Toon Link. Fast forward to now where every character is coming back, and we see how far the series has come. Previous “clones” became their own characters with updated move sets to set them apart from their originals. For the two other characters from Smash 4 that still fit the criteria of clones, Sakurai gave them a new name.
“Echo Fighters” are characters that share similar move sets but with different properties. There’s Dark Pit, Pit’s slightly slower but harder hitting dark counterpart. And then we have Lucina, who got Marth’s moveset but could strike harder with the edge of the blade instead of the tip. Alongside this, we also have the recently announced Daisy, Peach’s Echo Fighter.
With Dark Pit, Lucina and now Daisy, there are three Echo Fighters. An interesting number to sit on and one that makes me think we aren’t done yet with the concept. Three sounds like the start of perhaps something bigger coming soon, rather than a final number. If you check out at the roster, you can tell there are plenty of opportunities to expand the roster even further with a few more Echoes. Let’s look at the roster and see just what kind of Echo Fighters we may see if more were to get an announcement later this year. Do I expect to see all eight in the game before the game comes out? Never. These suggestions, however, make more sense than other ideas passing through the web like Dixie being Diddy’s Echo, or Birdo being Yoshi’s. I’ll explain why at the end.
1)Dark Samus as Samus’s Echo
With Ridley getting into Smash at long last, one could say Metroid finally has a decent line up of characters that aren’t just Samus with and without her armor. Still, one can’t really argue against that claim if there aren’t many characters in the Metroid series that would fit the “playable character criteria.” You thought Ridley is too big? He’s practically Olimar compared to some bosses we’ve seen throughout the games. If you wanted to make a case for another playable character, the best one you could argue would probably be Anthony from Other M, and I’m not going to do that.
There is, however, one other gaming series in the Metroid universe that could still give us one more playable character: the Prime series. At the end of the original Metroid Prime, the Metroid Prime itself absorbed Samus’s Phazon Suit and became a creature of Phazon called “Dark Samus.”
One reason why a Dark Samus Echo is plausible is that we don’t know if Dark Samus is returning as an assist trophy yet. And it if fights in the same way as in Smash 4, it leads to a great possible dark counterpart to our leading bounty hunter. The only other issue that can come from this though would be how some haters would complain how there is “too many Samus’.” Still, we already have two Marios and three Links, but who’s counting at this point? For now, I’ll cross my fingers for another antagonist to join the roster.
Speaking of dark counterparts to a protagonist that was an Assist Trophy in Smash 4…
2) Shadow as Sonic’s Echo
We know all about the dark counterpart trope and how we already see it with Pit and Dark Pit. Not to say this is bad since at least Dark Pit wasn’t a complete jerk (or at least when he found out that if Pit gets KO’d, so does he). Still, it’s weird to think this was our only dip into light vs dark characters in the entirety of Smash. Also, I’m not counting Captain Falcon and Ganondorf here as they are from two different series. Still, if we were to make another dark Echo Fighter a thing, it wouldn’t be too hard to point towards a certain dark, edgy, firearms-wielding hedgehog.
Because Shadow’s assist trophy went MIA during E3 and got replaced by Knuckles, that led some in the community to speculate that Shadow could be on standby. There’s a good chance we’ll see him perform Chaos Control, perhaps, but until we get that confirmation, maybe Knuckles replaced Shadow as an Assist Trophy for a reason. And as funny as it would be if Sakurai let Shadow use actual firearms, it’d be a safe bet he’ll fight unarmed. No doubt he’d be harder hit than Sonic, but our blue hedgehog likely would edge him out in speed. Still, Shadow has a variety of moves and abilities that could make him a fun alternate choice to Sonic. Bonus points if his back throw is a swift kick to the back of the opponent’s head.
3) Hades or Black Shadow as Ganondorf’s Echo
In my previous draft, I made a pitch of how Ganondorf had to get an update due to how his move set was outdated. Why dress him up in his Twilight Princess attire if his moves came from Ocarina of Time? I had a nice summary to give him a new move set and give his current set of moves to someone else like Black Shadow. Something to which could still happen since it would make sense to have Captain’s arch-nemesis have more powerful darker moves. Leave it to Sakurai pulled a fast one on me though when Ganondorf in Ultimate appeared in his OoT attire, thus killing my draft cold. Still, that has not changed who I was planning on giving his move set to.
Kid Icarus has seen its own uprising after the 3DS title. The game was great, and we got to see some good representation from the series in Smash Bros with Lady Palutenia and Dark Pit. I have a strong opinion on how each main Nintendo series in Smash should also have an antagonist representative. Now that Ridley in, I’d say the time would be great to see someone like Hades playable. If he were to have his very own move set or even be Ganondorf’s Echo Fighter, Hades would make a great addition to the roster. A delightful villain in how he enjoyed the chaos he put Pit through and likely other fighters he comes up against. We need to have more villains and Hades would be a great choice.
4) Hilda as Zelda’s Echo
Kind of weird that almost all the Zelda characters got updates, huh? Link is sporting his appearance from Breath of the Wild while Ganondorf has him looking for Ocarina of Time (and gave him his sword finally). Out of our three main leads though, the one that caught everyone’s attention was Zelda herself. While her BotW counterpart wasn’t really a fighter as much as her counterparts, they gave her her appearance from “Link Between Worlds.” She looks amazing and seems like the next logical step rather than having her adapt like Link did. Still, I can’t be the only person who questioned the decision of using this version of Zelda unless if it were for a reason.
And then it hit me. Call it a conspiracy theory but suppose that the choice of using A Link Between Worlds was purposeful and the reason being was to allow Zelda’s counterpart from Lorule in the game. It would be fun to see what Hilda is capable of since we already have a good idea of what Ravio and Yuga can do through Hyrule Warriors. We can finally give her the chance to shine and show what magic she can do. Perhaps it would be a fun way to show just how different the two princesses really are.
5) Ken as Ryu’s Echo
So many people love to talk about clone characters in fighting games that some might forget who the originators were. While Ryu is the main character in the first Street Fighter game, he had his own Player 2 that tagged along to get into some fights: Ryu’s buddy/rival who helps him strive for greater heights, Ken. If you were to make a “possible Echoes list” yourself, you’d probably throw Ken in there too. At the start, Ryu and Ken were very similar, and it wasn’t until later games did the two develop in their own special ways.
During fights, Ken can share Ryu’s ability to face the opponent at all times in 1v1s and having input commands. Where things would differ would be how Ken is much more fierce in his uppercuts and kicks. They could do a thing where Ken’s uppercut is stronger than Ryu’s alongside with the Tatsumaki. The tradeoff would be that Ken’s fireballs and some basic attacks might not be as strong as Ryu’s. Add that in with Ken having two Final Smashes of his own, and you have the perfect balance that could bring in some variety for those who want to see more fighting games characters in Smash.
6) Funky Kong as Donkey Kong’s Echo
If you grew up before the turn of the century, chances are that there was that one Kong that you wanted to play as. Yeah, Donkey, Diddy, and Dixie were always highlights, but then you have that one Kong that essence about him that screamed “90s!” He was always a delight to come across whether if he was your way to move around islands, being your engineer or even your arms dealer. It took time for Funky to be a playable character, but it finally happened in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze on the Switch. And apparently he is even better than Donkey Kong and company, considering he could not only do what they could do, but better. But he apparently was “Easy Mode.”
While I would say Funky wouldn’t get in before Dixie Kong or King K. Rool as his own character, there is another means for him to get in. Technically, Funky and Donkey aren’t that far apart in terms of designs. Funky wouldn’t have his surfboard or guns at his disposal, but it wouldn’t mean he’d be any less effective than Donkey Kong in a fight. You can make it where Funky may not be as strong, but he would be a touch more agile. Perhaps even during his Final Smash, you can have it be a callback to Donkey Kong 64 as he was the one who landed the final blow on King K. Rool at the end. Either way though, the Donkey Kong series deserves to have more representation in Smash out of the original eight.
7) Octoling as Inkling’s Echo
To wrap up the list, let’s look at our most recent entry (besides Ridley) that got into Smash: the Inklings. Even before we knew Smash for Switch was coming, many gamers made wishlists that had the Inklings near the top due to the impact Splatoon had made. Since they are now in Smash Bros, you’d think we don’t need another character from the game in right now. While it’d be great to see Agents 1 and/or 2 playable, if we were to get one more representative into the game, there is only one logical step for us to move towards. And how fitting that the timing couldn’t be any better than now.
With the big boom for the Octolings with the launch of the Octo Expansion in Splatoon 2, one can make a case of having them playable. You can also use this time to provide them with weapons that would fit the criteria of “harder, but slower hitting” Octoling approved arms. We could say that Octolings might be on better-talking terms with Inklings but there’s nothing wrong with having Turf Wars in Smash to see just how far they can take their fight against each other. Bonus points if for the Octoling’s Final Smash, DJ Octavio comes in to perform his version of the Killer Wail.
There are plenty of ideas one can make about possible Echo designs. While I’m sure you’ve read a good number of them already, I wanted to acknowledge a few of them and explain why I didn’t cover them here. Galacta Knight would be a fun echo of Meta Knight and would make sense. The issue with that though is Meta Knight has an alternate skin that makes him look like Galacta Knight, so that could be a soft debunk there. Another idea thrown around is having a playable Ms. Pacman. It is amusing, but it feels as if this were to happen, she really would be like Pacman but with a bow. Things can They can change things around for her, but at that point, it gets nonsensical.
There were also ideas about things like Dixie as Diddy’s Echo, or Birdo as Yoshi’s Echo. These fall into a “never going to happen” category since you would change what makes them unique characters. If either lady were to get in, they have enough moves on their own to be their own character and not have to copy others.
Speaking of ladies, there’s also Jeanne as Bayonetta’s Echo. You could make a case for it if you wanted to, but considering that Bayonetta already has a few haters out there, it might push it to suggest Jeanne (especially if her color scheme is in the game). Finally, there’s Dry Bowser as Bowser’s Echo. That’s nice, but again, you could just make Dry Bowser one of Bowser’s alternate skins and have that taken care of.
So while there is a nice range of choices to consider I will not hold my breath on what I wrote. The ideas ranged from the obvious choices to ones that likely fall under 1% of happening. Still, that is the fun of Smash Bros and the magic it gives the fans. It’s one thing to talk about additions to the game, but with Echoes given a proper name who knows what this will mean for the future. I can’t wait to see who the next character will be and I feel like we may find out soon enough perhaps when we get to EVO. We’ll see what happens, but the wait to December will be painful.
Would be neat to see Ninten as Ness’s Echo or Medusa as Palutena’s Echo though. I wouldn’t be able to write up as good of a pitch for them…
So what do you think? Which character would have a good chance to find it’s way into Super Smash Bros Ultimate as an Echo Fighter? Do you think we’ll see more Echo Fighters before the game’s launch? Leave your thoughts down before and be sure to follow us for more editorials on Super Smash Bros Ultimate and other games.