Earlier this week, Nintendo revealed Min Min as the latest fighter for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. While fans were already expecting a character from the Nintendo Switch game ARMS, Min Min's addition proved surprising for one big reason: it means that characters that have previously appeared as Spirits in the game can still appear as playable fighters. While Nintendo had never specifically said that Spirits "deconfirmed" future entrants, many Smash enthusiasts have long assumed it to be the case. Since Min Min was previously available in the game as a Spirit, that means the pool of potential candidates for downloadable fighters is much deeper than some suspected.
For the uninitiated, Spirits can be applied to fighters to give them new abilities. The game features a massive number of Spirits based on characters spanning the history of gaming. These Spirits are based not only on franchises represented in the game by fighters, but also those that have no other representation. For example, Ultimate features a handful of Spirits based on characters from Capcom's Resident Evil series. While Capcom does have playable fighters in the form of Mega Man and Ryu, the Resident Evil series does not. Some gamers assumed that characters like Leon S. Kennedy, Jill Valentine, and Albert Wesker were essentially eliminated as potential playable characters, as a result. Now, Smash fans know that isn't the case.
Of course, as previously stated, this was never a rule established by director Masahiro Sakurai or Nintendo. In fact, Sakurai seems to play pretty fast and loose with one of the few rules he has previously established: playable fighters must have previously appeared on a Nintendo system. Sakurai has mostly stuck to that rule, but Final Fantasy VII's Cloud and Persona 5's Joker had only appeared in minor spin-off games on Nintendo systems when they were announced as playable fighters. Clearly, there's some wiggle-room on these rules!
At the end of the day, it seems that Sakurai will add whichever characters he feels will be the best fit for the game, regardless of any established rules. Sakurai has a lot of passion for gaming as a medium, and it seems likely that he will continue to leave fans guessing which characters will arrive next.
Are you happy that other Spirits could appear in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as playable characters? Which Spirit would you like to see playable? Let us know in the comments or share directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!