Like many other games, the Super Smash Bros. series has had various rumors spread about it, usually through the Internet, and sometimes magazines. Most of the time, these will be about playable characters, though occasionally, a different sort of rumor will pop up.
Sonic the Hedgehog and Tails In MeleeAn April Fool's joke pulled by video game themed "Electronic Gaming Monthly" said that Sonic and Tails could be unlocked after defeating 20 or more enemies in Cruel Melee; upon completing Classic Mode with either of them, it also claimed that the player would get a "special surprise". Multiple pieces of evidence debunk the myth; the method doesn't work, there is no data for the duo in the game, All-Star Mode makes no accommodations for the two, and if all trophies are collected, the getting trophies by completing Classic Mode with either would result in more trophies, making it impossible. EGM would later confess to making the joke, but as a prize for people who did get more than 20 KOs in Cruel Melee, they rewarded copies of Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, which was Sonic's first game on a Nintendo system.
Sonic has become a playable character in Brawl and SSB4, and Tails shows up as a cameo in the Green Hill Zone stage background, in Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. He also appears as a Trophy in both games.
Toad in MeleeAnother rumor featured Toad as a playable character in Melee. The Toad rumor stated that Toad could be unlocked as a playable character in Melee after obtaining a perfect score during the credits mini-game (played after completing Classic Mode, Adventure Mode or All-Star Mode). There are also several fake screenshots depicting Toad in various in-game scenarios, propagating the rumor. The method has been disproved by the same methods as the Sonic and Tails rumor; additionally, the screenshots of Toad were made by taking images from Toad when he was running around the Mushroom Kingdom of the Adventure Mode of the game.
Master Hand and Metal Mario as playable characters in Smash 64
Videos all over YouTube have claimed to unlock Master Hand in Super Smash Bros, via spinning the control stick 30 times on the select screen. The only way to play as Master Hand is through a cheat device, such as an Action Replay. The same goes for Metal Mario, only by spinning the control stick 4 times, or occasionally 10. Multiple other rumors of other characters have appeared; the most well known of these are Raichu and Wigglytuff, though these rumors are less recurrent.
Master Hand can be played as via the Name Entry glitch, but he isn't technically "unlocked".
Character faces appearing in Subspace Emissary map
A rumor states that at the beginning of the Subspace Emissary when Meta Knight's ship appears, various faces show when the ghastly clouds form. People have speculated this to be four major bosses throughout the game. This seems to be coincidence at best, much like Rorschach inkblot tests. Many people believe the four "faces" resemble Ganondorf, Master Hand, Bowser, and Ridley. As it were, all four characters were villains during the game, two being bosses.
Ridley, Bowser Jr., and Toon Link in Brawl
At one point shortly after Brawl's announcement, a rumor began floating around that Ridley, Wind-Waker/Cel-Shaded Link (Toon Link), and Bowser Jr. would be playable characters. There was also the rumor of Young Link, Ice Climbers, and Mr. Game and Watch being dropped. The alleged source was a radio interview with Masahiro Sakurai. This was proven to be mostly false, with the exception of Toon Link replacing Young Link. Ridley also appears as a boss and Bowser Jr. appears as a sticker and trophy, though the latter would later appear as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, while the former would later appear as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
No "clone" move-set characters
Another rumor stated that Sakurai claimed "clones" will not be in Brawl. That would mean Dr. Mario, Roy, Pichu, Ganondorf, Falco, Young Link, and (to a lesser extent) Luigi, would be removed or redesigned for Brawl. Despite initially being doubted, this has been proven mostly true. The majority of clone type characters have been differentiated compared to the level of similarity in Melee, while others have been dropped entirely; the only character who was not a clone that was removed for Brawl was Mewtwo.
Brawl as the last game
Sakurai has said that several things along the lines of that he was making Brawl like it was the last game, or that this would be his last game; additionally, some advertisements had the tagline of "One brawl to end them all!". This has led several to believe that this is the last Smash game. However, Sakurai has also said that Melee would've been his last game, and that did not come true. It is also very likely that whether or not Sakurai will be working on another game, Nintendo will most likely continue the Smash Bros. series regardless, due to its success.
Other third-party characters
Sakurai said that, after Sonic the Hedgehog and Snake, there might be a third third-party character. This lead many people to believe that it was certain that a third party would be in there. The two most popularly rumored characters were Mega Man, from his own self-titled series, and Geno, from Super Mario RPG. Some even believed that Geno was partially programmed into the game, but cut out due to Square-Enix not giving consent. A file for the song Geno's Forest from Super Mario RPG have been found in the coding, meaning that that song was conceived as being included at some point during the game's development, and may support this theory. The Mega Man rumor was disproved when former Capcom member Keiji Inafune said that he would like to see Mega Man in Brawl, but Nintendo hadn't asked him or Capcom. It was also said that another Capcom character, Leon Kennedy, from Resident Evil, was in, due to his voice actor being listed on IMDB for a short time on the Super Smash Bros. Brawl page. However, this proved not to be the case, and that voice actor was either not performing for the game, or just voiced another character. Another rumored third party brawler named Bomberman was originally going to be in the game but Hudson didn't want him to be in Brawl for unknown reasons. Another rumored third party brawler was another character from the Sonic the Hedgehog series, such as Tails, Knuckles or Shadow (who turned out to be an Assist Trophy). A fifth rumor is that PAC-MAN was in the game. This was exposed during in a interview with Masahiro Sakurai that it was Shigeru Miyamoto's request to put him in, but Sakurai rejected it as he thinks PAC-MAN's design was far-fetched at the time. On the other hand, Mega Man was confirmed for Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U, realizing Inafune's wishes as well as PAC-MAN.
Leaked Brawl Image
Before Brawl came out, multiple images were found that resembled character screens filled with many of the most-wanted characters. However, just like other hoaxes, some of the character icons were copies of art from previous games (which Super Smash Bros. has never done), and so were confirmed as edited images.
The Pikachu in Super Smash Bros. Brawl has the same wall jump the Pichu from Melee had. Other factors, such as the Pikachu in SSBB being able to wear the Pichu's goggle costume from Melee (as a recolor) and the fact that Pikachus can only learn Volt Tackle as a Pichu, contributed to a rumor that the Pikachu in SSBB is the evolved form of the Pichu from Melee. However, this is unconfirmed.
Tekken in SSBWU/3DS
Since the announcement of Namco Bandai developing the next Super Smash Bros. game, there have been rumors of many Namco characters, particularly those from the Tekken series, being playable characters in it. After the release, it has been shown that no Tekken characters are playable. However, there is a downloadable Mii costume of Heihachi Mishima from Tekken.
Super Smash Bros. Memories
A rumor stated that the 3DS version would reference the past of Nintendo and have classic, retro characters like Pac-Man, Dig-Dug, Mach Rider and Stanley the Bugman among others; on the other hand, the Wii U version would feature modern Nintendo characters. Both games have the same characters.
The "Gematsu leak" started at E3 2013. A user speculated that Mega Man, Wii Fit Trainer, Little Mac, Villager (called "Animal Crossing Guy"), Pac-Man and the Miis were going to be revealed as playable characters. It turned out that Mega Man, Wii Fit Trainer and Villager were revealed, with Little Mac after Rosalina & Luma's reveal.
The user then followed up stating that Palutena, Chrom, Shulk and Chorus Kids (Called Chorus Men in this leak) were going to be revealed as fighters with Pac-Man and Mii still going to show up. It has been shown that Mii (actually called Mii Fighters) and Palutena were revealed at the Digital Event, while Pac-Man was revealed at the Super Smash Bros. Roundtable. Shulk was later revealed by Nintendo as a playable character.
Chrom was confirmed to not be playable in Smash but instead Robin and Lucina would be.
Rayman DLC leak
On February 14, 2015, multiple pictures taken of Ubisoft's Rayman supposedly in SSB4 were posted onto 4chan by an anonymous user. The images were of Rayman's CSS icon, his render, his character unlock splash art, and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U's main menu with a new sub menu for a shop. Several hours later, video footage of Rayman's icon in the CSS being highlighted was posted onto YouTube, but it was later taken down by the uploader. Mewtwo can also be seen above Rayman on the CSS. The video footage and photos seemingly have no errors, are of reasonably high quality, and the two characters have renders that have not been seen in any official material; Rayman's render seems to be based on his pose on the cover of the original Rayman, mirrored. A similarly-updated CSS from the 3DS version has also surfaced. However, on February 15, 2015, the original creator of the Rayman artwork confessed that the leakage was really a fake. Since then Artsy Omni is doing his Smashified series to this day.
Roy and Ryu data leak
On April 15th, 2015, upon the release of version 1.0.6 for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, Reddit user shinyquagsire23 reported discovering files added in the patch which seemingly implicate unannounced DLC fighters. These include, among other things, a victory fanfare "snd_bgm_Z83_F_Roy_3DS" for Roy, which is a duplicate of the existing Fire Emblem Victory Theme, suggesting he would also return as DLC in the same way Mewtwo did. In addition, the victory fanfare "snd_bgm_Z81_F_Ryu_3DS" and "snd_bgm_SF01_SF2_Ryu_3DS" are apparently named in reference to Ryu from Capcom's famous Street Fighter series of fighting games; the files are claimed to contain the the victory theme and Ryu's theme, respectively, from Street Fighter II. The files' existence was corroborated the same day in a tweet by the official Twitter of The Cutting Room Floor, a wiki that specializes in unused video game content.
The same post also claims to have discovered music files, one of which is the remix used for the Dream Land stage in Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee; a second Kirby theme, the Forest Stage theme from Kirby Air Ride, was also listed. The presence of the Dream Land remix and another forest-themed track would seem to suggest the possibility of that stage being future DLC as well. A piece of corroborating evidence for this is also found in Classic Mode following the 1.0.6 update, as Kirby characters will sometimes be fought on Battlefield instead of the existing Dream Land stage, with Battlefield presumably being used as an error handler for an expected but not present Kirby stage.
Four days later, following the discovery of these files, shinyquagsire23 reported finding more hidden files in the game. An image of the character data was released; five unused character slots after Mewtwo are named "Mario", presumably as a placeholder for additional DLC characters. Additionally, shinyquagsire23 reported discovering changes to stage data table. The number of inaccessible stage slots had, according to the article, increased from 4 to 14; this includes the slots for omega forms, meaning there is space for up to 7 more stages and their omegas. The discovery of these files suggests there are more stages planned for DLC beyond Dream Land.
Videos of portions of the stream were uploaded to YouTube, but have since been taken down by Nintendo of America on copyright claims, similar to how they took down videos after the ESRB leak. All videos talking about the leak on major YouTube channels were also taken down, including those on Etika World Network and GameXplain.
Roy, Ryu, Dream Land (64), and all other elements implicated as DLC were formally announced and released on June 14th, 2015. Notably, Ryu's victory theme was replaced with a remix as opposed to the direct rip from Street Fighter II present in the 1.0.6 data (most likely just a placeholder); also, the Forest Stage track that was found in the 3DS version would end up only being used on Dream Land (64) on the Wii U version, as the 3DS version ended up using Ice Cream Island as its alternate track instead.
Pichu and Ice Climbers "leak"For a short period of time, an image was spreading around the Smash Bros community. It was quickly debunked after it was shown that the renders were from a Deviantart artist. The Ice Climbers render were mirrored from the original render and Pichu's render was slightly edited from the mouth. Sakurai previously stated that the Ice Climbers did not return due to technical limitations to the 3DS.
Shovel Knight DLC rumor
In late August 2015, Tamaki, an employee from Unseen64, reported that a "reputable source" had informed him of a forthcoming announcement of a Shovel Knight amiibo, and by extension an appearance of the character himself in Smash Bros., which would be compatible with said amiibo, and retailers would be giving out download codes of said character. Yacht Club Games, the developers of Shovel Knight, did indeed reveal a Shovel Knight amiibo at PAX Prime 2015, but said amiibo was announced only as having compatibility with the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U versions of Shovel Knight.
However, the next day on SmashBoards, Tamaki stated that Shovel Knight was still on the way according to his source, and was expected to come around the end of October or the beginning of November. The rumor was ultimately debunked following the final DLC announcements on 15 December 2015, where Shovel Knight failed to make an appearance of any kind.
Super Smash Bros. for Switch
On 28 January 2016, Dr. Serkan Toto, CEO for Japan-based consultant firm Kantan Games, Inc. and lead writer for a blog on the Japanese mobile game industry, tweeted that Bandai Namco had been working on several titles for Nintendo's then-unofficially announced console, the Switch (codename NX). One of these titles was reportedly intended to be Super Smash Bros. game as a launch title. A few minutes later, he added that his source was unclear on whether or not it would be a completely new game in the series or simply a port of Super Smash Bros. 4, though he still defended the veracity of the source. On March 8th 2018, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was announced for release in December.
In May, a user by the name of Vergeben posted a thread on GameFAQs claiming he had a reliable source telling him part of the roster of the new Super Smash Bros.; specifically, that Ridley and Simon Belmont from Castlevania would be newcomers, with Ridley being announced at E3, while the Ice Climbers, who were in Melee and Brawl but not in SSB4 would be returning to the series. Additionally, he claimed that, while the new game would be a full-fledged sequel with some reused elements, the entire roster from SSB4 would return with no cuts. Later, in a comment on a Reddit post, Vergeben claimed that Snake would be returning from Brawl. He also claimed that some form of representation from the Microsoft-owned indie game franchise, Minecraft, would appear in the new entry. At the time that this rumor started, Vergeben had already made for himself a reputation for having a roughly equal amount of leaks proven correct as leaks proven incorrect, leading to a debate on the thread which group this rumor would fall into. Some argued that the majority of Vergeben's "true" leaks were not hard to predict, such as popular characters being added to DBFZ and Bandai Namco developing Metroid Prime 4, which had been rumored by other parties prior to Vergeben stepping in, and that many of his flawed leaks such as the roster selection of Season 3 of Street Fighter V makes him overall untrustworthy and too gullible as a source of info. Others argued that there were enough of these "true" leaks to make it hard to doubt whether Vergeben has some reliable sources, even if not all of his rumors originate from them.
In June, Vergeben had come out and claimed that Simon's inclusion in the next game was down to a specific set of circumstances regarding Konami preparing to announce a new Castlevania game at E3 2018, alongside a compilation title. The information regarding the Castlevania titles was seen as more likely after E3 floor plans revealed that Konami were planning to showcase a new Action/Adventure title and a compilation title for the Switch. However, another user, Stealth, had already made this claim a week prior to Vergeben's statement, suggesting that the main reason the Simon Belmont rumor gained traction was based off of Konami's current titles in development and Sakurai having been in contact with several third-party reps including Konami to renegotiate and negotiate third-party representatives. Furthermore, in regards to Ridley's inclusion, one of ResetEra staff members had already predated Vergeben's leak suggesting Ridley would be playable as far back since before the game's announcement, which has led to some people speculating that Vergeben most likely received information from a similar source, but that Simon Belmont's inclusion is only personal speculation, when it's possible that Sakurai could've instead been in touch with Konami to renegotiate the inclusion of Solid Snake, or perhaps another Konami representative like Bomberman. The lack of cuts, the return of Snake and the Ice Climbers were confirmed at Nintendo’s E3 2018 Direct, leaving only Simon Belmont and the Minecraft representation yet to be confirmed. In response to a GameFAQs post asking about Simon Belmont, Vergeben replied “Just be patient. There’s still things to be revealed before release” suggesting that Simon Belmont would be revealed at a later time. He later claimed on Reddit that there were at least “half a dozen newcomers” left to be revealed but didn’t know who any of them were outside of Simon Belmont. A user by the name DasVergeben appeared on Smash boards, claiming Simon Belmont, Lip, Captain Rainbow, and Excite Biker were all to appear. The appearance of another Vergeben account then appeared claiming all stages were to return and that there would be no subspace. After the appearance of a third account, all three were banned, and the moderators proved the illegitimacy of those users. However, DasVergeben would later state on Reddit that he was not involved with making any of the posts on SmashBoards.
In July, Vergeben made another post titled "Disregard ALL people claiming leaks that don't have these two characters". In the post he went on to state that Isabelle from Animal Crossing would join the roster as well as his previously statement that Simon Belmont would also appear.
In August, Vergeben made a post a couple days before a Nintendo Direct stating that a new Pokémon from Generation VII would join the roster. He also went on to state that the Pokémon joining would not be Mimikyu, Decidueye, or Lycanroc. Several days later, a new Nintendo Direct had revealed Simon Belmont as a new character and also revealed Mimikyu as a PokéBall summon, supporting both of his claims about the two characters. Vergeben also made a post stating that Ken from Street Fighter would also join the roster as a Ryu echo-fighter. He also stated that a new Square-Enix representation would come to the roster. He also defended himself against users stating he had copying off of the NeoGAF leak which he quickly contradicted by claiming the NeoGAF leak said there would be no new Pokémon rep.
In September, Isabelle was officially revealed at the end of a Nintendo Direct. Vergeben made another post regarding his source which stated that the new Generation VII Pokémon was Incineroar. He also addressed the Box Theory which theorized that the two remained characters of the main-roster were Incineroar & Ken.
In October, Vergeben made a post contradicting the "Grinch/Banner Leak", stating that Isaac would not be playable and would instead be an Assist Trophy.
In November, the final Smash Direct came, revealing Ken & Incineroar, the last remaining fighters of the main roster. Vergeben also made several posts during the month. He was confident in the 5 DLC characters to be revealed and that the Minecraft and Square-Enix content would include it. He also stated in the post that the first DLC character would be the Square-Enix rep. Vergeben addressed the user Senjougahara__Hitagi, which claimed that Steve was the playable Minecraft content. Hitagi also stated the a Granblue Fantasy newcomer may had come to the DLC, mostly pointing to Katalina. Hitagi later took back the claim of Katalina, as they stated that the agreement was not relating to Smash Bros.. Hitagi also later claimed that they had given up trying to find any DLC fighters, as it had become to difficult to find real information rather than dummy files. They also started to doubt the possibility of a Square-Enix rep. Later that month, another user by the name of Ryce stated that Vergeben may have been misled by the claim of Minecraft content, as the claim of Steve being playable was earlier before there were any official DLC announcements or plans. Vergeben replied stating that Ryce's claim still didn't contradict Steve being in DLC.
In Decemeber, Joker was officially revealed as the first DLC fighter. This marks Vergeben's first false claim as he had stated that the first DLC character revealed would be Square-Enix related. Vergeben also made a post related to DLC, involving the use of a Dragon Quest character, possibly Slime, Erdrick, or Luminary.
- Sonic & Tails Hoax picture
- Toad rumor on Detstar
- The Master Hand Rumor
- Zelda Informer's "Super Smash Bros. Memories" - New Page
- Original "leak" of Ness in SSB4
- Smash Boards "leak" of Ness and Jigglypuff in SSB4