Sakurai admits Smash has too much Fire Emblem and sword-wielders

Masahiro Sakurai too much Fire Emblem sword-wielders Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Since Byleth was revealed as the final character of the first Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighters Pass, a popular sentiment has risen in the community that the game has too much Fire Emblem representation and too many sword-wielders. This sentiment is actually debatable, of course, but adding fuel to the fire is the fact that Smash creator Masahiro Sakurai seems to agree with the sentiment to an extent.

Is there really too much Fire Emblem and swords in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate?

BlackKite, a translator who frequently collaborates with the likes of Japanese Nintendo and RPG Site, has translated some choice segments from Sakurai from a recent issue of Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu. It’s unclear and probably even highly unlikely that these quotes are supposed to be arranged precisely side by side like this; rather, they are probably just highlights. So keep in mind that some important context could be missing in the following translation of Masahiro Sakurai’s words:

“The new fighters were not decided by my own favorites; they’re brought by Nintendo.”

“This time I’m bringing the experience to play as the protagonist of a game you can play now right away, so I tried to start working on a title where the original game was still in development.”

“I understand as well. There are too many FE characters. And there are also too many sword users.”

“But it has been decided like that so I just proceed as is. There are other things I must think about more.”

“Since there are so many sword users, I bring in tactics exclusive to each fighter.”

“The 3 Hero Relics owned by the 3 house leaders are being included in move inputs.”

So, again, there is probably context missing. But the version of events being depicted here makes it seem like Sakurai simply tried to do the best job he could with the situation he was presented when it came to Byleth, Fire Emblem, and having another sword-wielder in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

What do you make of this development?

Update: BlackKite has now provided a full translation of the Sakurai column. It does basically support all the ideas outlined above, while providing some additional context to how Byleth was added into the game.


John Friscia
Head Copy Editor for Enthusiast Gaming, Managing Editor at The Escapist. I'm a writer who loves Super Nintendo and Japanese role-playing games to an impractical degree. I really miss living in South Korea. And I'm developing the game Boss Saga!