I was playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate last night and noticed the weird height difference between Bowser and Incineroar. I always thought Incineroar was supposed to be huge but Bowser was making him look so weirdly small. The image really started to bother me and I started to wonder how Ultimate wound up choosing the heights for each character since they are so wildly different in their natural universe.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate character heights
For example, did you know that Kirby is only eight inches tall? This wouldn't ever cross your mind if you played a Kirby game because in his own universe Kirby is a pretty average size for a ball-like creature. But apparently, Kirby would be tiny on our planet. Of course, he would still be able to destroy everything. But who knew he was so tiny? You sure wouldn't know by playing Smash, where he is definitely short but not THAT small.
BUT even weirder, this means King Dedede is only a little larger than 1.5 feet tall! Of course, King Dedede is one of the bigger characters in Smash. So that means Smash Ultimate was clearly not taking actual size into consideration when putting characters into the game. Because King K. Rool is around 12 feet tall and Ridley is easily over 21 feet tall. On the other hand, Olimar is less than an inch tall according to his own lore.
This makes it quite strange that Sakurai was once quoted as saying he wouldn't add Ridley into the game because it wouldn't be accurate to the space pirate's actual design: "I definitely know that Ridley’s a much-anticipated name for fans, but if we made Ridley as a fighter, it wouldn’t be Ridley any longer...it’d have to be shrunk down, or its wings reduced in size, or be unable to fly around freely."
In the same interview, Sakurai said he wanted to have "accurate portrayals" of all characters in Smash. Okay, then why is Kirby not eight inches? Why is Olimar not the size of a fingernail? It all makes no sense! There is no logic!
What's even more frustrating is that size doesn't really play a part in a character's playstyle or weight. While Kirby and Olimar are light, so is Sephiroth. And Sephiroth is 6'1" tall. Yet his weight value is 79, same as Kirby, Pikachu, and Olimar. Mewtwo, who is 6'7", is also at a weight value of 79. So this basically proves that height was not put into consideration when it comes to a character's weight in Smash.
While characters like Kirby can duck below a projectile, was that really part of a board room consideration? Were Smash developers really discussing how Kirby should be able to avoid certain projectiles because he is actually eight inches tall? I assume not, although I can't know that. So how did they actually choose these random heights? For balance? For fun? If Kirby was suddenly not able to avoid certain jabs and projectiles would he not be "balanced" anymore? If Ridley didn't stand through some platforms would he be too OP? How did they choose to make them these exact, random heights?
I have clearly put too much thought into this and quick online research has not given me any answers. In fact, it's only made it more confusing. Mario is 3'8"? Since when? I feel like I can speak for most people when I say that I just figured he was some average height. I just don't know anymore. I don't know what to think or feel.
Okay and Sonic is also only 3'3"? I'm fine with all of these characters being short kings but I don't understand how Smash Ultimate decided their height and the heights of other characters then. Why did they make Sheik taller than Mario within Ultimate but in reality, Sheik is shorter than Mario according to cannon heights? Does being a certain height make Sheik better in Ultimate? Does it help with their moveset? WHY ARE THEY THE HEIGHT THEY ARE?
I would want Sakurai to explain this more but he is too busy with his cat during his retirement and I don't want to disrupt his rest. But I'm left with so many questions.
Esports writer and editor with a passion for creating unique content for the gaming community.