Super Smash Bros characters time, folks. And this time it's bad news, although bad news we expected. Masahiro Sakurai, creator and developer of Smash, has confirmed that not all the characters from Super Smash Bros Brawl will be returning. It's not surprising, but it's still unfortunate -- who wouldn't like to have a full roster? We've covered who we're likely to lose before, and now it's even more likely that we'll have to say goodbye to Ike, Toon Link, Lucario, and maybe others.
Sakurai confirmed that we'll lose some Super Smash Bros characters in an interview with NowGamer over E3. He was directly asked whether every character would return, and he said,
I can answer that: no. We don't have the time to fully recreate every single character who's been in Smash Bros at this point. [...] Adding new characters is not a simple addition -- it's really multiplication. The amount of work, adding a character is multiplied and becomes bigger and bigger as you go. We can't because of the amount of work it takes. However, I do believe I understand that each character has its own set of fans out there who really like that character.
So we're not going to cut characters out of the way, we're going to put in as many characters as we can, we really want to do that, because it's good for the fans and good for all of us. But in the event that we do have to cut some characters, I'd like to apologise in advance to those fans.
So we'll definitely lose a few Super Smash Bros characters - but not too many, with any luck. And the ones we lose will likely be relatively marginal. In the past, we've lost Pichu (a clone), Dr. Mario (a clone), Young Link (a clone), Roy (a clone), and Mewtwo (not a clone, although the special Brawl Pokémon Lucario has a similar moveset). Based on those patterns, we are likely to lose Toon Link (in exchange for another form of Link -- 2D being most likely), Lucario (for another Pokémon, quite possibly Mewtwo), and Ike (for a newer Fire Emblem character, most likely Chrom).
Lucario is a special case among Super Smash Bros characters. It is almost definitely out - the closest thing to a sure bet on the roster. But what Pokémon will replace Lucario is more interesting. Sakurai selects Pokémon in close consultation with the Pokémon Company, focusing on characters that are in the movies, are unique, or our otherwise major parts of the Pokémon conversation, and would also be a good fit for Smash. I've suggested Keldeo before, largely because he was in the recent movie. Genesect isn't terribly interesting. The only Gen VI Pokémon that are good candidates so far are Sylveon and the new Mewtwo Forme.
The new Mewtwo Forme is actually a strong candidate to join the Super Smash Bros characters. Mewtwo was actually intended to return in Brawl; most of the code for Mewtwo is actually in the game, down to voice work and sound effects. But it was cut for unknown reasons prior to release. Perhaps now Mewtwo will make its triumphant return.
Regardless, everyone will be at least a little excited and a little disappointed by the Super Smash Bros characters. We'll all see a favorite excluded, a new character left out, a character who we think doesn't deserve it, or something like that. But all trust in Sakurai. All trust in Sakurai.