Sakurai reflects on Super Smash Bros. reveal trailers


Super Smash Bros. has become one of the most iconic Nintendo series of all time, with a huge roster full of important video game characters. It's no wonder that some of the most exciting moments have been the reveal trailers for fighters joining the roster, something that creator Masahiro Sakurai recently celebrated in a blog post


"It was a lot of work to make the videos while working on the game at the same time, but there were always big reactions from fans, so it was worth the effort," Sakurai wrote. 


In the first part of the ongoing blog series, Sakurai reflected on trailers for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, commonly just called Smash 4. 

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Mega Man Joins the Battle


This trailer is eight years old at this point, which is crazy to think about. While not as intense as some of the more recent trailers, you can already get a taste of the hype around character reveal trailers. 


Said Sakurai: "This is the first official fighter reveal video. That said, the announcement was the same day as Trailer 1. Considering it’s the first video, it came together well! This was made by Digital Frontier. They worked on many reveal videos after this, until the release of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate game." 


Wii Fit Trainer Joins the Battle


Wii Fit Trainer is probably not the most exciting addition to the roster, but it still was an entertaining trailer for E3 2013. For Sakurai, the toughest part of the trailer was getting Mario to hold his hands over his head. Because of Mario's proportions, this was "kind of tricky to pull off." 


Champion of the Ring


This reveal brought a new style to the game's trailers, giving it a more comic book-like vibe. But Sakurai admitted this was a way to "save budget." Still, it gave a "good impression" of Little Mac's personality. 


"The arcade machine at the beginning is inspired by the original Punch-Out!! arcade game. Even back then, Nintendo used two screens a lot," Sakurai added.


Challenger From the Shadows


Sometimes the key to a good trailer was misdirection. Many of the fighters were already in previous games, like Charizard in Brawl. So the trailer had to still give gamers a bit of a shock. This trailer also showed a new fighter, Greninja. Showing so many Pokemon was the difficult part for the video team, especially with how fast the trailer was. 


" The video is fast and dynamic — this is because I was trying to release fighter reveal videos quickly, at a fast pace. The people who made the video even told me that I wanted it twice as fast as it needed to be!" Sakurai wrote. 


Red, Blue, Yellow


At E3 2014, the Smash team announced Pac-Man as the newest fighter. BANDAI NAMCO Studios' in-house Super Smash Bros. team was largely responsible for the stylish trailer. 


Sakurai recalled: "I’ll never forget the cheers when the mouth opened on that yellow circle."


Looks Like We Don't Have a Choice


While Shulk isn't often the most hype character, there is no denying that his trailer is one of the most iconic. Even though fans recognized that Shulk was the subject of the reveal since the trailer began in Gaur Plain, it was the easter eggs that pulled people in. 


Said Sakurai: "This video is also notable for having so many references to things that appear in the original and in the Super Smash Bros. series, like visions, changing Monado Arts, and Metal Face."


Lucas Comes Out of Nowhere


This trailer has a ton of action. It starts with Ness getting attacked. Lucas comes to his rescue, which is the "reverse" of what happened in Brawl's Subspace Emissary mode. 


"The scenes of Ness getting beaten up go on a bit long, but this is because of the length of the music they had to be matched with," Sakurai revealed. "We put a lot of work in with each video in getting them to match with the music."


Here Comes a New Challenger


A lot of the reveal trailers were simply gameplay taken directly from Smash. But Ryu's trailer had a bit more to it. Sakurai explained that the opening shot was inspired by Super Street Fighter II Turbo. Even the title phrase, "I'm looking for a challenge," is a tagline from Street Fighter II in Japan. 


"It was a perfect fit both for Ryu and for a reveal video. There are a lot of moves, but for the video, we prioritized moving around a lot, like in the original game," Sakurai said. 


Cloud Storms Into Battle


Sakurai admitted that Cloud's reveal was "shocking," even to this day. The team took an "unusual amount of time" with the opening to ensure it reflected the tone of the original game's opening. The trailer also had a lot of references to stages, making the video a bit longer than previous DLC videos. 


Bayonetta Gets Wicked


Bayonetta was the final character revealed for Wii U. Her trailer featured the conflict between angels and witches that's prominent in her own series. The video also featured some information about her moveset. 


Sakurai said: "I still get shivers hearing Bayonetta’s voice together with the moon onscreen. Pit and Palutena’s voice clips were new recordings for this, too."

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