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Masahiro Sakurai and Yuji Horri talk Hero in Smash Bros. Ultimate, the development process, and much more

A task of mammoth proportions

Dragon Quest XI S' launch live-stream in Japan featured numerous Square-Enix devs, as well as a special appearance from Masahiro Sakurai. Wondering what Smash's head honcho had to say during the stream? Check out a recap of the live-stream discussion below.

- Sakurai and Nintendo told Square-Enix they had a proposal for Hero in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- the proposal itself was very detailed, and Sakurai and Nintendo spoke very passionately, saying “We want to use Hero.”
- there was discussion about a monster being better for the role, but that was decided against
- Sakurai says that requests to add in a Dragon Quest representative have been around for a long time
- Nintendo approached Sakurai saying it might be possible, so he ended up doing the presentation proposal
- Sakurai knew he wanted to work with the franchise, but wasn't sure in what way at first
- Sakurai felt Hero was the best option, but would have worked with the Slime or other suggestions from Square-Enix
- Sakurai was quite convinced that he’d be rejected, but the agreement came surprisingly quickly
- Square-Enix approved the idea due to Sakurai’s passion, and because the ‘best of’ element in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- With Smash Bros. being such a popular series, Horii wanted Hero to join the game
- the rules for Dragon Quest appearances were much stricter years ago, but have changed in recent years
- Sakurai acknowledges that there are people who hate characters like Hero who add in random elements
- Sakurai says Smash is an unpredictable game where you have fun and move onto the next game anyways
- one spell Sakurai had trouble with was differentiating the Frizz line of spells (neutral B) and Sizz/Sizzle (via Command Select)
- he had to look up how the spell functioned in the original games, and how Frizz would float out to hit the enemy
- Sizz would fly quickly and sear the enemy when it hit the enemy
- making the Yggdrasil’s Altar was very troubling, to the point Sakurai thought of giving it up
- some other alternatives included the volcano
- in the end, they decided upon the altar as it would show the world tree that symbolizes Dragon Quest XI
- the world map as seen in the stage references the world map in the PlayStation 4 version, but was made from scratch
- originally there were only two Heroes set to join Smash Ultimate, being Erdrick and Eleven
- Horii later said it would be fine to have four Heroes join
- according to Sakurai, he was ready to make eight different Heroes, but that wasn’t a realistic option
- after Erdrick and Eleven, the hero of Dragon Quest VIII was decided as he was popular overseas.
- popularity wasn’t the only factor, as then the hero of Dragon Quest V would be included
- in the end, it came down to either the hero of Dragon Quest I or Dragon Quest IV
- as there wasn’t a unified image for Dragon Quest I’s main character across media, IV was decided upon
- Sakurai feels being a game designer is all about bringing together that sort of “fun” which is usually intangible and subjective
- for Horii, it’s something from a more practical angle, as in game designer = game creator
- Sakurai finds it nice when he’s working on something alone, as he’s usually in the director role and talking to people
- it’s more fun or interesting for him when he’s working on inputting data, especially the moment there are successful results
- for Horii, as an RPG creator he loves the part where he’s setting the stats and characteristics of battles
- Sakurai's the type to work under pressure, and he approaches his work not in an imaginative approach, but rather task-like
- for Horii, he’s the type to get a lot of inspiration from other media, which transform into other ideas for his works
- Sakurai gets inspiration by playing many games, such as Dragon Quest Walk, Link’s Awakening, and Borderlands 3
- Sakurai plays games while doing other things like watching Netflix, or gaming while riding the aerobic bike
- Sakurai makes sure to think of what the players want
- overall, he tries to go for a wide range of players, while still keeping a certain amount of depth
- for Horii, while it’s something similar, it also has to be fun to play for himself
- Sakurai has other hobbies like going driving, although he doesn’t want to make a driving game
- for Horii, he’s more relaxed, until meetings where he sort of shifts into working mode
- Horii doesn’t worry too much about outdoing each game in content
- when he adds in all the ideas, the game just ends up really large in scale, so he just focuses on adding in the ideas he has
- for Sakurai, he’s uncertain what to do next if there is a next game in the series
- he’s making the current one with the mindset that this is the last one, and he thinks that it might be impossible to top this one
- in Kid Icarus Uprising, Pit and Palutena are always trading jokes, and that was all written by Sakurai
- Sakurai says he's not that serious of a person
- as a game director, he puts on a stoic mask, and might say harsh things to his staff
- Sakurai thinks that if people were actually that serious, they wouldn’t be able to make fun games
- Sakurai does acknowledge he has some trouble showing off that fun side of him though

Nintendo says Smash Bros. Ultimate's Hero is now once again permitted in their tournament

Welcome back!

Earlier in the week, Nintendo France sent shockwaves through the Smash Bros. Ultimate community by saying that Hero was banned from competitive play in their official tournament. Many in the competitive scene have thought the character to be too random for tournament play, but it was surprising to see Nintendo take the same stance. Now just days later, Nintendo has reversed their decision.

In a statement provide to Kotaku, Nintendo said that they will be standardizing rulesets for all tournaments on the European Team Cup circuit in response to the French qualifier’s deviation.

“We’re harmonising these rules across Europe to make sure that no community or country is disadvantaged when competing in the pan-European final next year. In terms of future fighter releases, we’ll create more detailed guidelines for our tournament organizers, to make sure that we maintain a level playing-field through consistent fighter eligibility across Europe.”

This change has bumped Hero from the banned list to the permitted side of things. In all of this, no branch of Nintendo has ever said why Hero was banned in the first place.

Thanks to Andreslop24 for the heads up!

Dragon Quest creator shares his excitement for Hero's inclusion in Smash Bros. Ultimate

It's all thanks to Sakurai, says Horii

While Dragon Quest might not be as big a franchise in NA/EU, the series is huge in Japan. We also know that Smash Bros. as a franchise has the ability to raise the profile of other properties worldwide. That's why seeing Dragon Quest's Hero in Smash Bros. Ultimate is such a big deal, and Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii knows it. He shared his appreciation of the character's inclusion in an interview with RPGSite, which you can find below.

I'm very happy that the Hero has been added to Smash! I'm also so happy that they included things like the commands, the MP... and also the character is really strong! [laughs] I'm really happy about that.

Regarding the process of having the Hero in Smash, Mr. Sakurai really wanted to have the Hero in Smash and they'd been proposing it for quite a long time. Also, since Dragon Quest XI was coming out, we felt it was the perfect time for him to join Smash. It's all thanks to Mr. Sakurai.

Smash Bros. Ultimate 'Daemon X Machina' Spirit Board event announced

An arsenal of new Spirits

The next Spirit Board event for Smash Bros. Ultimate has been announced, and it kicks off Sept. 27th, 2019. This time around, a new set of Daemon X Machina Spirits will be added to the game. One more reason to get in there and flesh out you collection of Spirits!

The Cat Mario Show - Ep. 148 (Zelda: Link's Awakening, Super Kirby Clash, Smash Bros. Ultimate)

Episode 148 of the Cat Mario Show is now available. This episode takes a look at The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, Super Kirby Clash, and Banjo-Kazooie in Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Get a detailed look at Smash Bros. Ultimate's raw file size, and the compression process

Compression magic

Just a couple weeks back, Bandai Namco gave a CEDEC panel on their work for Smash Bros. Ultimate. That's when we learned the game took up over 60 GBs before any compression took place. Now we have a breakdown of how much space each resource/component of the game took up, as well as how things shrunk as development continued.

Raw data – 61.5GB

– Resources: 42GB
– BGM: 17.6GB
– Other: 1.5GB

Development ROM size – 21.5GB

– Resources: 14.6GB
– BGM: 5GB
– Other: 1.5GB

Final ROM size – 15GB

– Resources: 11.2GB
– BGM: 1.2GB
– Other: 1.5GB

Final ROM size detailed breakdown

– Fighters: 5GB
– Stages: 3GB
– UI: 2GB
– Voice data: 1GB
– BGM: 1.2GB
– Videos: 1GB
– Other: 1.5GB

Nintendo France bans Dragon Quest's Hero from their Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament, as well as all unreleased DLC characters

The Hero's watch has ended

Dragon Quest's Hero has been a huge topic of conversation for those in the Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament scene. There's been discussion all over about banning the character from tournaments, and now Nintendo themselves have made a decision that is sure to send ripples through the community.

Nintendo France has decided to ban Dragon Quest's Hero from their upcoming Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament, alongside any DLC fighters that are yet to release. In other words, all DLC characters that are available can be used, leaving only Hero out of the fun.

Thanks to Andreslop24 for the heads up!

National Student Esports and Nintendo UK Announce the launch of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate University Championship

Why study when you can Smash?

[London, September 23]: National Student Esports (NSE) and Nintendo UK today announced a partnership to officially launch the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate University Championship, which will become a part of the NSE winter season allowing players to earn points for their University as part of the British University Esports Championship.

“Since launch, there have been many requests from students for Super Smash Bros Ultimate., so we are delighted to be able to add such a prestigious, sought-after title to the roster” Said Jonathan Tilbury, Executive Director at NSE. “We will be working closely with Nintendo UK to ensure that the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate University Championship exceeds all expectations, especially for players who are extremely passionate about the community”

The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate University Championship will consist of an eight-week online circuit, which will contain four weeks of 3 v 3 team tournaments and four weeks of 1 v 1 singles tournaments. Sign-ups for the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate University Championship will open later this week to UK university students via the NSE Championship portal on NSE.gg. The first tournament of the circuit will take place on October 10 and will continue weekly until the finals, which will take place at the British University Esports Championship live winter finals in December. Event attendees will be able to play other Nintendo titles whilst also taking part in a last chance qualifier.

On top of the stand-alone championship and with the support of Nintendo UK, NSE will be holding up to five Super Smash Bros. Ultimate regional university tournaments, which will accompany existing student regional events across the country. More details on the tournaments will be revealed soon.

NSE will be distributing Nintendo swag to participating university societies as a part of the partnership and societies will be encouraged to run Nintendo events as part of their planned society activity. More details of what the partnership will include will follow in the coming weeks.

Link, Snake, Ivysaur, and Squirtle amiibo unboxing

The latest round of amiibo are launching later this week, but why not get an up-close-and-personal look at them right now? Check out the video above to get a better look at Link, Snake, Ivysaur, and Squirtle.

Smash Bros. Ultimate “Who is the Superstar!?” tournament kicks off Sept. 20th, 2019

A Mario-themed tournament

Nintendo has announced a new tournament for Smash Bros. Ultimate, and it kicks off Sept. 20th, 2019. The tournament is called “Who is the Superstar!?,” and features Mario-related fighters and stages. The more you win, the better Spirits you'll receive.

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