If you don’t follow the Smash Bros. message boards, you may have missed what is possibly the biggest rumor leak of this year. Last week, someone posted some off-screen pictures of a Nintendo 3DS showing a character select screen from the upcoming Smash Bros. game. It was very similar to the one shown off during the Nintendo Treehouse live event at this summer’s E3, but with a few glaring differences. If the images are indeed true, which is still yet to be determined, there are some much-loved veterans returning as well as some pretty surprising newcomers.
The returning veterans, not confirmed by Nintendo, are Wario, Mr. Game & Watch, Ganondorf, Falco, R.O.B., and two of my all-time favorites, Jigglypuff and Dr. Mario. Most of these seem believable as inclusions in the final release and not too absurd. The real surprises were the possible newcomers Bowser Jr., Dark Pit, Shulk and, get this, the Duck Hunt Dog. Smash is a series known for taking obscure characters and making them somehow beautifully work and the Duck Hunt Dog would be the best example yet.
At this point in the game’s timeline its hard for a couple days to go by and not hear from another person claiming to showcase rumors coming out of Smash Bros. development and play-testing. The reason these new leaks in particular are truly making the rounds are because they feature character models for the new characters that have yet to be identified as Photoshopped from another source. Usual leaks like this are debunked because the Internet works incredibly fast and someone identifies the Photoshopped image from another source and then there you have it – debunked. A week on the Internet is a long time and the fact that no one has discovered the sources of these images either means they are indeed true or someone did some awesome 3-D modeling to create them from scratch.
If the images released last week weren’t enough to convince you, what popped up yesterday might indeed be the straw that broke Donkey Kong’s back. Forget about how tough it would be to create those still-image character models from scratch and instead think how hard it would be to fully animate those same characters. Yesterday, a video surfaced showing actual footage of Bowser Jr., complete with Koopa Clown Car, Shulk and Ganondorf duking it out on the Battlefield stage. Photoshopping images are one thing, but actually faking a video is completely different; if this is indeed a fake rumor these are some true masters of their
I myself thought the initial image leak last week was a fake. I thought the character select screen looked incredibly bleak and boring and although the character models were yet to be sourced I can easily see someone spending the time to make them just for fun. Now with these videos surfacing you can easily find me on the other side of the line in the sand as a believer. I still take these rumors with a grain of salt until I hear Masahiro Sakurai himself reveal the characters or until Smash is in my hands and I’m flying around in the Koopa Clown Car – did I mention how excited I am about the Clown Car? Regardless, we wont have to wait long to find out what’s real and what’s fake since the game drops here in the US on October 3rd. What do you think? Is this one big elaborate schmooze or are you a believer in what has been presented over the past week?
UPDATE: The videos have been taken down by Nintendo which tend to make me believe this leak is indeed authentic and not just a rumor.