An Unused Character is a character that was planned to be in a game, but taken out due to certain reasons. Usually, the intended characters get put in later installments of the game, but some characters are not.
- King Dedede
Bowser and Dedede were being worked on for about half of the development of the game, but then were remove shortly late into development for unknown reasons. Marth was considered to join the original roster as a different type of sword-wielding character, but because the limited development time, he wasn't included.
- Mach Rider
- Ayumi Tachibana
- Banjo and Kazooie
- James Bond
- Balloon Fighter
- Urban Champion
Sakurai was asked by a fan what character he would like to see in Melee, and Mach Rider was the response he gave. He was most likely joking though, as he said he ‘wanted to include him based on his funny name’. In an earlier response, he does say that his generation turns to Mach Rider or Takamaru. However, it’s unknown how much consideration was actually given into these characters as he outright stated that Takamaru’s chances of appearing in Melee were low.
Ayumi Tachibana, one of the main characters in Famicom Tantei Club, was confirmed to have been considered for Melee during a recent NicoNico interview. Sakurai decided not to include her in the final roster plan, as she lacked familiarity abroad. In the Melee emails (Japanese), Sakurai stated fans should wait for a sequel.
In an e-mail response asking about including a character from Rare (Japanese), Sakurai stated that it was difficult to include a character from Rare for various reasons. While some may see Banjo and Kazooie’s inclusion as natural, they couldn’t make it in due to ‘adult circumstances’, this most likely means copyright.
When the Ice Climbers got their Japanese Melee character page, Sakurai included other characters that were considered for the Ice Climbers spot. These include Balloon Fighter, Urban Champion, Bubbles (from Clu Clu Land) and Excitebike.
Hideo Kojima asked Sakurai if Snake could be in Melee, but the game was too far in development and he didn't make it. Later in Brawl, Sakurai asked Kojima if Snake could join the battle.
In an Australian magazine, Yuji Naka stated that Sonic the Hedgehog was planned to be in the game. It was very close to happening, but because of time constraints, it was impossible. However it, “left the door open for future collaborations”.
Wario was planned for Melee. Sakurai has mentioned that he was concerned with over-representation of certain series, so some characters that were planned got dropped. Wario was the 3rd most famous character to join the game according to the poll after Bowser and Peach. Sakurai stated that he could add Wario if he had more time to develop the game.
Lucas was planned for inclusion in Melee. However, due to Mother 3 being in development hell, Ness was brought back. This is outright confirmed on Ness’ Japanese character page for Melee (Japanese) and in a reply by Sakurai.
- Blastoise (Pokemon Trainer)
- Mii Fighters
- Dr. Mario (Confirmed)
- Mewtwo (Confirmed)
- Roy (Confirmed)
- Toon Zelda/Toon Sheik (Speculated to be Tetra, not confirmed)
- Plusle and Minun (Speculated)
- Dixie Kong (Confirmed)
The characters cut from Brawl are known as the "Forbidden 7". Dr. Mario was close to getting in, but was cut due to time restraints. Of the characters with leftover data, Mewtwo, Roy and Dixie arguably had the most work done on them. Roy has a unique victory fanfare while Mewtwo had a unique victory fanfare and a Wii remote sound.
Toon Zelda/ Toon Sheik are obvious from their filenames. However, it’s unknown whether Toon Sheik was actually Tetra or not. It is highly likely that this is the case, as Toon Link’s design was inspired from Wind Waker and Tetra was made to be Wind Waker’s Sheik. Despite this, it is not 100% confirmed as Sakurai has never talked about this character.
Files were discovered that were titled "pra&mai", which led people to believe Plusle & Minun were planned in the game, due to the fact "pra" was the first syllable of Plusle's Japanese name, and "mai" was the first syllable of Minun's Japanese name. It is unknown if these truly are the characters found in the file.
Dixie had a working prototype at one point, as she was originally envisioned to have a tag-team mechanic, just like in Donkey Kong Country 2. However due to complications in programming, she was dropped and Diddy was made into a full character by himself. Villager and Mii Fighters were planned but Sakurai thought that they were not meant to be a fighting character, so they were removed. Pac-Man also was considered by Shigeru Myiamoto, but Sakurai went against it because he thought it was "a little too farfetched".
- Chrom (Speculated)
- Ice Climbers
- a Rhythm Heaven character (Speculated)
Sakurai stated that he and the development team had trouble adding the Ice Climbers into the game due to the 3DS' hardware limitations. It is unknown why the Chorus Men from Rhythm Heaven were cut.
Chrom was briefly considered to be playable, but the development team decided they didn't want another blue-haired swordsman and settled on Robin instead.
Takamaru was considered to be playable, but Sakurai cut him due to the fact that not many people would recognize him and added him as an Assist Trophy instead.
Heihachi from Tekken was briefly considered to be a playable character, but he was scrapped because of troubles to implement his moves into Smash.
A Rhythm Heaven character was supposed to be in the game according to leftover data found by PushDustIn. According Sal Romano, the "Gematsu Leaker", the character would be the Chorus Men. Whether this is actually the case or not has not been confirmed.