We continue to march towards the end of the year as Super Smash Brothers Ultimate is less than three months out. While I have had enjoyment in compiling a list of unanswered questions this last month, I haven’t given myself the time to write my thoughts on newcomers we could see join the roster. When a new Smash title is around the corner, the internet can explode with their thoughts and idea of who we could see and how they can operate. It’s fun to see which characters we can guess right and then to come up plausible move sets for them. The bigger issue, though, is trying to ensure when character ideas one throws around doesn’t come from one particular series. As nice as it would be to get another Fire Emblem newcomer, we might want to have more variety in character options.
Before the Smash Brothers Ultimate direct, I had come up with a fun idea to do a “Dixie Kong vs K. Rool” discussion. If Ridley from Metroid was any indicator, it was how a series that has gone long untouched with newcomers could have a chance of getting more representation. In the case of the Donkey Kong games that would mean that these two popular characters could have found their way into Smash Brothers to join Donkey and Diddy Kong. I would have had a fun look at both characters, their history and what their move sets could be, but by the time I finished it, King K. Rool came aboard and threw that idea out the window. While it is still possible that Dixie could be an Echo of Diddy with a few tweaked moves, that reveal sunk my ship and I had to go back to square one.
Considering One More Mario Representative
At the present time, the series that has the most reps (if we count the Pokemon Trainer as one) is Mario with seven characters and one Echo. While a new playable Pokemon is entirely possible (and another topic for another time), another playable Mario character after Daisy isn’t too difficult to see happen. It also goes without saying we’re at a point where there is really no need to add in more Mario characters since we have most to all of them (not counting Waluigi). With most characters in Mario now in Smash, who else can we possibly add from this series that would be worthwhile? Well, if we focus solely on the main series itself, not much. But if we focus on the various Mario RPGs, we have two noteworthy contenders.
What makes this matchup fascinating is that these two characters already have involvement in Smash Brothers for 3DS & Wii U. Between a puppet and a piece of plumber paper, both combatants could find their way into Smash Brothers Ultimate. The issue becomes if they would consider putting in both or if only one of them could be the definitive Mario RPG representative. So in this debate, we have Super Mario RPG‘s Geno vs Paper Mario in all his flat glory. Who will probably come out on top and join the roster? Considering that either character could get announced during this next direct, I don’t want to make the same mistake twice and stall on what can be a fun debate. Even if neither character happens, they could still see an announcement later this year, so let’s find out.
The Star Warrior, Geno
Back in 1996, Mario took a big leap into a genre he had never touched: Role-Playing Games. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars was an astronomical game at the time as Square-Enix (Squaresoft at the time) took the reins. While we got to enjoy playing as Mario, Princess Toadstool and even Bowser, we also got two special characters created for the game. While Mallow was a delight in his own right, the other character was actually a star that took possession of a child’s puppet to save the world. The star took up the name of the puppet: Geno.
While Geno was only a one-shot character for Legend of the Seven Stars, his only other appearance in anything else was a cameo in Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga. While it is safe to assume that we won’t see Geno in another Mario game, many hold out for the possibility of Geno getting into Smash Brothers somehow. The biggest kicker for why many think this could happen is not only how Cloud got into Smash but also how around the same time, we saw the Mii Gunner get a Geno outfit. Characters like Chrom, K. Rool, and the Inklings were like this before they moved up to the main cast.
Geno Shoots For The Stars!
In Super Mario RPG, Geno was the team’s glass cannon. While he didn’t have as much HP as the others, he could hit like a freight train with projectiles that shoot out of his fingers and arms and using devastating special attacks.
If he were to find his way into Smash Brothers Ultimate, he would likely be one of the lighter characters in the cast. While he could have melee attacks to his name, he could also take a few pages from Mega Man and have a few projectiles tied in with his basic attacks. One fun idea could be to let him use one of his arm weapons for his Smash attacks. Weapons like the Hand Cannon can be a fun forward Smash while the Double Punch can fire into the air.
Geno would likely have a good number of projectile based attacks and have that reflect in his special attacks. His signature Geno Beam can be his standard B attack to charge up and fire off a powerful ranged attack. Forward B could be Geno Whirl lets Geno throw out a Disk at the opponent while Geno Blast could be like Pikachu’s Down B where Geno can bring down multicolor beams light to attack foes in an area. His Up B is hard to say, but part of me would love it being like Olimar’s Up B and have the start spirit carry the Geno doll upwards to get it back onto the stage. Finally, for his Final Smash we can go with his ultimate attack, Geno Flash, where he turns into a cannon and fires a powerful explosive attack.
The 2D Plumber, Paper Mario.
After Super Mario RPG, the next dive into the world of RPGs for Mario came in the form of Paper Mario. After the first game in 2000, the series gained critical acclaim for its unique approach to gameplay and saw five titles over the course of 15 years. The world of Paper Mario has no ties with the actual Mushroom Kingdom (outside of Paper Jam), but Paper Mario is just as much of a hero there as the real Mario. He can also be expressive too as Paper Mario doesn’t really talk either (or rather characters around Paper Mario talk for him). Still, with RPG experiences on the Nintendo 64 and on the Gamecube, the Paper Mario games stood towards the top.
While Paper Mario has appeared on just about every console since his creation, it is difficult to say if he would stand a chance on getting into the roster of Smash Brothers Ultimate. Many fans hope that our flat Italian will get the recognition he deserves and getting a playable slot would be one way to make that happen. Even though we have had no hints or indicators that Paper Mario would be in Smash, it is interesting to note that the stage from the 3DS is in Ultimate. A curious thing to consider since this is bringing back a stage from the 3DS version. Could it be that Sakurai wanted to stockpile as many stages to get to 103? Or could the Paper Mario Stage be hinting at something more?
Paper Mario Cuts (or Slips) In!
Just because Paper Mario may be a different version of Mario doesn’t mean he would play like his 3D counterparts. If we were to use Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam as an example, we know the two Marios have their own unique ways to fight. It would also be hard to classify Paper Mario’s weight too since he is paper, but drops to the ground fast.
While he can borrow a few elements or moves, it would be more likely to see Paper Mario have his own weapons and abilities we’ve seen from his various games. Regular attacks would likely include a variety of attacks with his hammer and boots. This could also carry over to his special moves too for things like hammer throws, hammer quakes or more powerful stomping attacks.
Other special attacks could also let Paper Mario summon in partners to attack an enemy. Koops or Kooper can fire themselves forward, Bombette or Admiral Bobbery can be set to blow themselves up, and have Parakarry or Carrie help Paper Mario get back onto the stage in case he goes flying. We could even see Paper Mario folding himself into various shapes like a paper airplane to fly back onto the stage. You could throw in everything from his various games to showcase how far he has come since the 64 days.
As for a Final Smash, it can vary to a wide assortment of ideas. We could have a callback to the original with the Star Beam or Thousand year door with Supernova. Maybe Kersti will put Mario in a powered up state or we can skip all formalities and Mario uses the Cat-O-Luck to pulverize the enemy.
Paper Or Puppet?
So between Paper Mario and Geno, who stands a better chance of getting in? That’s the question that has spun in my head throughout writing this. It’s not like I feel it can be one or the other, but rather I’d have my doubts that Sakurai would add in two brand new Mario characters.
Ultimate will probably focus on one new character per franchise with echos not counting, and I doubt we’d see two Mario RPG characters at the same time. The bigger question to answer would be just what the two offers and which one would provide a bigger and better experience?
There’s no denying that Paper Mario does have much more of a portfolio compared to Geno. It also helps that unlike the case with Goldie-Zelda And The Three Links, Paper Mario would likely not share a move set with the plumber. The problem is we run into, though, is the about the same reason people are wary of Chrom getting into Ultimate where “The same characters have the same move set. That wouldn’t be the case with Paper Mario, but there could still be that possibility where Paper Mario may borrow a few tidbits before we see some unique abilities. Something to which would be no worries if Geno were our Mario rep instead.
Conclusion: Who deserves it to be in Smash Ultimate more?
For as fun as it is to speculate on the possibilities of characters getting into Smash Brothers, I have to remind myself to not dream too much. Not that I don’t allow me or anyone else to have our dream wishes come true, but then we can’t say for sure if when the game comes out, we will get what we want. If you are reading up to this point, chances are that you already made your choice, and I’m sure you said, Geno.
If you look around the web for supposed “Leaked Smash Ballot” results, you may see that Geno outpaces Paper Mario or how they are neck and neck. Whether if this is true is uncertain but overall, there’s no denying that the demand is there to see these two. Who knows if we will get to see the both of them or if they might even appear as assist trophies. If we were to compare the two, you could say that Geno is the one everyone is banking on while Paper Mario is a harder sell. Could we see the two of them together? Possibility. But I know that besides the bear and bird wedged in between those two, these guys are sitting on the top of my wish list for Smash Brothers Ultimate.
So what do you think? Could we see Either Geno or Paper Mario in Smash Brothers Ultimate? And what kinds of moves would they have if they got in? Leave your thoughts down below and be sure to follow us here at Culture of Gaming for more pieces on Smash Brothers Ultimate, and other things gaming.