List of rumors
Like many other games, the Super Smash Bros. series has had various rumors spread about it, usually through the Internet, and sometimes magazines. A majority of rumors spread around the time of April Fools' Day, a day the gaming community is not unfamiliar with. Most of the time, rumors claimed to contain information concerning playable characters, though rumors concerning other aspects of gameplay, such as development scheduling, can also appear. Rumors can be proven true or false on arrival via fact-checking or by waiting for relevant information from official sources, though a majority are proven false; some rumors, however, can contain true information, or even fabricated information that coincidentally becomes true in a later reveal or game.
As with any game, the Smash Bros. series has had various works of fan art being passed off as supposedly leaked screenshots. Box art and character selection screens for Brawl were particularly common, though images of characters in the game also appeared. Shortly before and after the release of the game in Japan, these images had become more and more common, though the use of video streaming sites such as YouTube and Vimeo quickly disproved most of these rumors as more gameplay footage of the game became public.
Many character selection screens for Melee also made the rounds, though these screens were less credible due to the ability to quickly distribute images on the Internet being unfeasible during Melee's release; by then, all the unlockables had been well-known. Some of these fake rosters, however, were merely made as jokes, including a particularly famous image featuring over 108 characters and eight player slots. The inability to easily customize the character roster for the original game has prevented fake rosters from appearing, as there are no empty spaces, and the game was released before the Internet was widespread.
While extremely common, fake character rosters are relatively easy to debunk. Particularly low-quality rosters will often use art from various other sources, violating the trend in the series where all art is original to the games. For example, in the image to the right, Luigi's image is a mirrored version of his official artwork from Super Mario 64 DS; adding to this, the hoaxed image features both three-dimensional models (such as for the aforementioned Luigi and the F-Zero character Black Shadow) and two-dimensional illustrations (such as for Marth and Fire Emblem character Micaiah). Furthermore, hoaxers have sometimes made various oversights while producing such images. A minor hoax, for instance, claimed to feature the character Agnès from Bravely Default as a playable character, but the faked images improperly spelt her name as "Agnés", and her character portrait was different between the two images given.
Rumors about Super Smash Bros.
Unlocking non-playable characters
Being able to play as characters such as Metal Mario, Giant Donkey Kong, Master Hand, or a Fighting Polygon was the main source of rumors during the game's era. As with other rumors of the time, the supposed criteria ranged from unusual (spinning the control stick 30 times) to ludicrous (completing the 1P Game as every character in a specific order on Very Hard with a stock of one). Many videos on YouTube continue to claim these rumors, but all of these which supposedly work merely use cheat devices to allow playability of these characters.
A popular rumor about Smash 64 that came around long after its release was that several characters were planned to be playable in the game, but cut due to time and/or memory constraints. The characters most often rumored to have been planned but cut are Bowser, King Dedede, Mewtwo, Peach, Wario, Pit, and Meowth. A page on the official Smash 64 website claims that Bowser, King Dedede, and Mewtwo were indeed planned to be playable in Smash 64, but the reason for their exclusion is not specifically stated. No sources, however, have been proven to support Pit, Meowth, Peach, Wario, or any other characters as having ever been planned to be playable in the game.
Rumors about Super Smash Bros. Melee
Unlocking Sonic and TailsMelee remains one of the most infamous rumors not just in the Super Smash Bros. series, but also in the world of video games. An April Fools' joke pulled by the gaming-themed magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly said that Sonic and Tails could be unlocked after defeating 20 enemies in Cruel Melee, then defeating the two in a two-against-one battle. The blurb also claimed that upon completing Classic Mode with either of the two characters, the player would get a "special surprise". While EGM was famous for its numerous April Fools' jokes, such as the infamous Street Fighter "Sheng Long cheat", many readers still fell for the rumor.
The rumor can be debunked through many pieces of evidence:
The rumor rapidly spread following its publication, to the point where rival publication Nintendo Power would publish an article about how the rumor was a hoax, and the page on Melee in Nintendo's website also spoke about how the rumor was false. EGM would eventually confess in its next issue that the cheat was an April Fools' joke, and, like its previous April Fools' Day jokes, mock those who took it seriously. As a prize for readers who sent in video proof of getting 20 or more KOs in Cruel Melee, however, EGM rewarded copies of Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, which was Sonic's first game on a Nintendo system.
The Toad rumor, initially posted on a small Geocities site in November of 2002, stated that Toad could be unlocked as a playable character in Melee after obtaining a perfect score during the credits mini-game, which is played after completing any one-player mode; after hitting all the credits, the player would then have to clear Adventure Mode (with a requirement of "easily defeating" the Yoshis in the Mushroom Kingdom stage), after which they would be able to unlock him. The site also gave several fake screenshots depicting Toad in various in-game scenarios, propagating the rumor; it came to the point where the images had become more well-known than the site and the supposed method to unlock him, with explanations sometimes varying strongly from the original.
The method was disproved by the same evidence 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. Inconsistencies with the actual gameplay surrounding Toad also debunked the rumor; the site says that Toad has no accommodations in All-Star Mode, has no trophies, and has no videos for his Ending Sequence after finishing a 1-Player game, unlikely occurrences in terms of game design. The site itself also contributed to the debunking of the rumor; it was hosted on GeoCities, a former web hosting site that allowed anyone to create their own pages, causing the rumor to be considerably less credible than the Sonic and Tails rumor (which was featured in a widely-read magazine). The site also featured some incorrect information; for instance, when speaking about the game's Adventure Mode, the site claims that the ordeal is similar to unlocking Falco - Falco, however, is unlockable in Multi-Man Melee, not in Adventure Mode. Numerous spelling and grammatical errors were also present on the page, such as the misspelling of "taunt" as "taught".
Lucas replacing Ness
A widespread rumor that came around years after Melee's release was that Masahiro Sakurai planned to replace Ness with the new protagonist of Mother 3, Lucas. This rumor was confirmed by Sakurai himself, where he stated that he was going to replace Ness with Lucas, but the delay of Mother 3 (which ended up getting delayed to 2006, five years after the release of Melee) caused him to renege on the idea and keep Ness in.
Relating to this rumor, after Lucas was confirmed to be a newcomer in Brawl while Ness' confirmation had yet to be made, it was commonly speculated that Ness would not return, being replaced by Lucas, as was originally planned in Melee. A quote on the DOJO!! seemed to suggest this as well, claiming that "There’s a character named Ness who has appeared in the Smash Bros. series up until now, and Lucas is very similar". Such speculation ended up untrue however, as Ness returned again as a playable character in Brawl. Ironically, Lucas himself would be cut in Super Smash Bros. 4 (albeit only initially, before reappearing as a downloadable character) while Ness returned as an unlockable character in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and a starter character in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
Rumors about Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Radio interview rumor
Shortly after Brawl's announcement, a rumor claimed that in a radio interview, Masahiro Sakurai confirmed that Ridley, a cel-shaded Link, and Bowser Jr. would be playable characters. Coinciding with this was the rumor of Young Link, the Ice Climbers, and Mr. Game & Watch being dropped. This was proven to be false; while Toon Link does replace Young Link in Brawl as the second Link, Ridley appears as a boss instead of a playable character, Bowser Jr. only appears as a sticker and trophy, and Mr. Game & Watch and the Ice Climbers returned as playable characters in Brawl.
Coincidentally, Bowser Jr. was later playable in SSB4, with technical limitations of the Nintendo 3DS also causing the Ice Climbers to be cut from the game; despite this, Ridley did not become a playable character, and Mr. Game & Watch still returned from Brawl.
Clone removal rumor
Another popular rumor stated that Sakurai claimed clones would not exist in Brawl, implying that Dr. Mario, Roy, Pichu, Ganondorf, Falco, Young Link, and (to a lesser extent) Luigi, would be either removed or redesigned for Brawl. Despite initially being disregarded as false, with most believing Brawl would likely have a similar developmental process as Melee, the rumor was eventually proven true on Brawl's release; Ganondorf and Falco returned, but with considerable differences from Melee, distancing them from the original characters of Captain Falcon and Fox respectively. Luigi had multiple changes to his character as well, though the original of Mario also had a few changes. Dr. Mario, Roy and Pichu were completely removed (although Dr. Mario and Roy would go on to return in SSB4), though data for the former two exists in the game. Young Link was also removed, though he was essentially replaced by Toon Link; Toon Link, however, still has many differences from Link, and is not as complete a clone as Young Link was. Additionally, of the 18 new playable characters added, only Toon Link and Lucas had some considerable sort of cloning, and were semi-clones rather than complete clones. Overall, Brawl has no complete clones and five semi-clones out of 39 playable characters, compared to Melee's six complete clones and one semi-clone out of 26 playable characters, thus validating the rumor by having significantly less cloning.
Animal Crossing characters rumors
During the development of Brawl, multiple rumors suggested that a character from Animal Crossing, such as the generic playable character (termed an "Animal Crosser") or Tom Nook, would be playable in Brawl. A statement was reportedly made by Sakurai on the matter, which claimed that "On one hand, they have an innocent charm to them that could be ruined if they were in a fighting game"; the veracity of this statement, however, is disputed. Despite the lack of a playable character, Animal Crossing is strongly represented in Brawl by some music tracks, trophies, stickers, an Assist Trophy, a stage, and numerous cameos on said stage.
An Animal Crossing Villager eventually became a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4; an interview with Sakurai also states that the Villager was considered for inclusion in Brawl, but the idea was rejected because "he wasn't suited for battle".
Assist trophy rumors
Towards the end of 2007, the Whobby Game Festival occurred in Japan; among its primary points of interests was that a playable demo of Super Smash Bros. Brawl would be available for play by attendants. Due to the event taking place only in Japan, a region with relatively little representation in most English-speaking websites, such as Smashboards, updates on the game were sparse and difficult to confirm. The most well-known claim, however, stated that Assist Trophies of Rosalina from Super Mario Galaxy, Duster from Mother 3, and Muddy Mole from Mole Mania would be featured in the game.
Amid an increase in English-speakers that played demos at events, as well as the release of the game, the rumor was proven false, and further hacking of the game proved that no such evidence of the trio were even planned to be included. It is unknown if the trophies were mistaken for other gameplay elements (such as Rosalina being confused for Gardevoir) or if these claims were deliberately hoaxed to fool players.
A third third-party
Sakurai said that, after Sonic and Snake, there might be a third third-party character; prior to Sonic's announcement, he also claimed that "one or two" other third-party characters would appear. This led many smashers speculating that another third party character was guaranteed to be included.
After Pac-Man was revealed for Super Smash Bros. 4, Sakurai stated that, during the development of Brawl, Shigeru Miyamoto asked him if Pac-Man could be playable in the game. Thinking of Pac-Man's pizza shape, Sakurai rejected the idea, thinking at the time putting in Pac-Man with said shape was "a little too farfetched".
Capcom's Mega Man
One of the most popularly-rumored characters was Capcom's Mega Man, from his own self-titled series. The inclusion was considered plausible due to Mega Man having a very strong history with Nintendo consoles, as well as a resurgence in popularity with the Mega Man Anniversary Collection for the GameCube. Rumors claimed that a Japanese website from Nintendo was asking players which third-party characters they wanted to see, with Mega Man being second-most requested (behind only Sonic). No website, however, is known to exist to prove that this poll occurred.
While Mega Man ultimately did not appear in Brawl, he was eventually introduced to Super Smash Bros. by being included as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4. His appearance, however, led to a minor rumor about his lack of an appearance in Brawl; rumors claimed that Mega Man was intentionally left out of Brawl due to Nintendo's anger over Capcom's mismanagement of the Capcom Five campaign. No official statements, however, have come from either company that can validate these rumors.
A second Sonic the Hedgehog character
After the announcement of Sonic appearing in Brawl, another rumored third-party brawler was another character from the Sonic the Hedgehog series; Tails, Knuckles, and Shadow were the most commonly speculated, as Tails was Sonic's partner and close friend, Knuckles was a partner and rival, and Shadow was among the most popular characters in the series. Additionally, all three had been playable in the Sonic series. While they did not become playable, Tails and Knuckles appear in cameos on the Green Hill Zone, while Shadow appears as an Assist Trophy.
A popular rumor among some fans is that Nintendo had negotiated with Square Enix to receive a license for the inclusion of their character Geno, from Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (a game which was developed with Square, who disallowed direct sequels to the game without their permission or involvement), as a playable character in Brawl. This rumor suggested that Square declined to allow Geno's appearance, or they demanded a large amount of money to allow him. After the release of the game, rumors went as far as to suggest that the Random Character box on the character select screen was intended for Geno, which ties into the fact that it is located under the third-party characters of Snake and Sonic and a dedicated "random character" box had not previously been featured in the series. There is no evidence to support such a rumor, as there is no Super Mario RPG-related content in Brawl. Instead, Square Enix would eventually have a completely different character playable in Super Smash Bros. 4 - Cloud Strife.
Leon S. Kennedy's voice actor and Brawl
The IMDB page for Super Smash Bros. Brawl initially listed the voice actor Paul Mercier as one of the many voice talents recruited for the game; Paul Mercier's most well-known role as a voice actor was Leon S. Kennedy of Capcom's Resident Evil 4. Some fans claimed this gave evidence to Kennedy appearing in Brawl. Leon's possible appearance was considered plausible by these speculators; while he appeared in M-rated games, Snake had also done so, and he had appeared more often and more recently on Nintendo consoles than Snake: Kennedy appeared once on the Nintendo 64 in Resident Evil 2, two times on the GameCube for a port of Resident Evil 2 and the original game Resident Evil 4, once on the Wii for a remake of Resident Evil 4, and once on the Game Boy Color for Resident Evil Gaiden. IMDB, however, allows anyone to contribute content, causing the rumor to suffer from poor credibility. Mercier's name was later removed from the listing, and neither Leon nor Mercier appeared in the game.
Relating to the Mega Man and Leon S. Kennedy rumors, Sakurai said, in relation to the fourth Super Smash Bros. game, that he "can't say that it's entirely out of the realm of possibility that some Capcom character could appear in the next Smash Bros." Capcom's Yoshinori Ono also has stated he has an interest in creating a Nintendo vs. Capcom game, in a vein similar to the Marvel vs. Capcom series.  Mega Man was announced at E3 2013 to be in Super Smash Bros. 4, but he eventually became the only playable Capcom representative in the game, up until Ryu's inclusion in Super Smash Bros. 4 as a DLC character.
Downloadable content rumor
Shortly after Brawl was released in America, a newspost appeared on the Internet, claiming that Brawl would feature four downloadable characters and two downloadable stages, as well as a new Wii Channel of "Wii Want More". The discovery of multiple unused character files present in the game also added credence to the rumor, under the assumption that the empty files rendered it easier to create add-on content.
The rumor was quickly proven as false; Masahiro Sakurai himself stated that downloadable content would never be coming for Brawl, as the Wii's flash-based internal hardware is incapable of patching or otherwise modifying a game based on a downloaded file. The supposed release date of 13 May 2008 also passed without a "Wii Want More" channel being released or announced. Additionally, in a vein similar to the Toad rumor, the site was hosted on 110MB, a hosting site where anyone on the Internet can publish content. However, downloadable content would become a prominent part of Super Smash Bros. 4.
Brawl is the last game
During the development of Brawl, Sakurai reportedly said statements along the lines that he was making Brawl as the last game; additionally, some advertisements had the tagline of "One brawl to end them all!". This led several to believe that Brawl was the last game in the series. The rumor, however, is taken out of context; Sakurai stated he was making Brawl like it was the last game, not that it was the last game. Additionally, Sakurai said that Melee would have been the last game on Smabura-Ken, and that did not hold true. This rumor was ultimately proven false at E3 2011, where a new Super Smash Bros. title was announced for both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U consoles; development started in February 2012 and ended up being Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U respectively.
Artificial intelligence rumors
While still suffering flaws like its predecessor, CPUs within Brawl came under scrutiny by members of the Brawl community after analyzing the behavior of them within fights. Two primary theories surrounding the AI eventually became commonplace:
The former rumor was especially controversial, as many smashers thought that allowing the AI to "cheat" was an unfair tactic, as well as lazy developing. The American crew SLAPAHO attempted to see whether or not CPUs had perfect reaction times, but their results were eventually declared inconclusive, and more tests were intended to be carried out; inactivity by the group, however, caused these further tests to never occur. In 2013, Canadian smasher Toomai analyzed various animated GIFs of CPUs responding to aerial attacks; it was ultimately proved that CPUs had a reaction time of one frame, and thus, did not read button inputs to form decisions.
The second rumor was primarily spread by an AllisBrawl blogpost by American smasher Churro; entitled "The Wonders of Brawl's CPU Experience System", Churro claimed that CPUs in Brawl could learn from human players, with such changes being unique from different save files for Brawl. Churro provided video examples of these supposed changes, such as how a CPU Captain Falcon began to more frequently use Falcon Punch following an all-Captain Falcon match featuring overuse of the move. Other videos by other smashers also appeared to show CPUs using tactics such as dash dancing, DACUSes, and other tactics.
Initially widely believed, advances in the hacking scene for Brawl ultimately disproved the existence of a learning system for CPUs:
Despite this, amiibo in Super Smash Bros. 4 use a learning system very similar to the one described here.
Rumors about Super Smash Bros. 4
Super Smash Bros. Universe rumor
Shortly after the official announcement of the fourth Super Smash Bros., an image circulated around the Internet detailing what appeared to be an advertisement or design document that was said to be from the official Nintendo headquarters in Japan for "Super Smash Bros. Universe"; multiple imageboards worked to translate the document, leading to some supposed preliminary idea for the games. Sakurai, however, stated that he had not begun working on the new Smash Bros. at the time and was focusing on Kid Icarus Uprising; the documents were later finally disproven when it was demonstrated that the game's title would not be Super Smash Bros. Universe.
Namco worker rumor
On 12 December 2012, a thread on GameFAQs was started by a user named Halibuton; the user claimed that he worked for Namco and had some information told to him by his co-workers concerning the development of Super Smash Bros. 4.
Halibuton claimed that there would be a Nintendo Direct on the fifth anniversary of Brawl's Japanese release (31 January 2013) and said it would be centered around Smash 4, though likely more of a series retrospective with minor new info than a full-blown reveal trailer. He also said that he knew a bit about the early roster and claimed to know a few newcomers: Takamaru from The Mysterious Murasame Castle and Little Mac (chosen as recent-popularity classics and an "East vs. West" concept supposedly due to previous games featuring too many Japan-exclusive characters) as well as King K. Rool and Ridley (chosen due to popular demand and having movesets based on more recent games). Other claimed, less-finalized newcomers are Shulk from Xenoblade, Dillon from Dillon's Rolling Western, Ghirahim from the Legend of Zelda series, a "Debu" from the at the time rumor-only Yoshi's Woolly World (supposedly a partner of Yoshi, with "Debu" possibly being just a nickname or placeholder), and a Platinum Games character possibly from The Wonderful 101. Aside from characters, multiple stages were listed: Starship Mario (Super Mario Galaxy 2, later confirmed as background scenery in Mario Galaxy), Giant Chasm (Pokémon Black 2/White 2), Pushmo Park (Pushmo), and Cookie Country (Kirby's Return to Dream Land).
Halibuton's claimed date for the reveal of 31 January 2013, however, ultimately passed without a Nintendo Direct presentation, significant news about Smash 4, or mentions of any of the aforementioned characters, thus ultimately disproving the rumor after two months of speculation. Little Mac and Shulk would eventually be confirmed as newcomers, while Takamaru, Dillon, and Ghirahim would later be confirmed as Assist Trophies. Ridley would later be confirmed as a stage boss on Pyrosphere.
Before E3 2013, the owner of the gaming site Gematsu, Sal Romano, claimed to have received an email from an anonymous source claiming to know which newcomers would be introduced at E3 2013. Initially doubting the veracity of the letter, Romano jokingly posted the list to NeoGAF as a "unlikely prediction". Among the predicted newcomers were an Animal Crossing Villager; Capcom's Mega Man; the female trainer from Wii Fit; Little Mac from Punch-Out!!; Nintendo's Mii; and Namco's Pac-Man.
To the surprise of many observers, including Romano himself, the leak successfully predicted the reveal of the Villager, Mega Man, and female Wii Fit Trainer. This successful prediction, especially of the Wii Fit Trainer, would lead to a following of the leak and the subsequent leaks reported by Romano. With the leaks getting every newcomer right except for Rosalina, and failing to get any character completely wrong for over a year, the majority of observers treated the leaker as fully legitimate, with many seeing the characters implicated by the leaker as inevitable. The leaker's credibility was ultimately shattered when one of their implicated characters, Chrom, was disconfirmed as playable in the July 14th reveal trailer, while Robin and Lucina were revealed playable, two characters never implicated by the leaker.
An AllIsBrawl post made early on the 25 June 2013 claimed that an image had been leaked on the Smash 4 website, presumably from the "image of the day". The image shows Mario and Lucina (from Fire Emblem Awakening) on a Fairy Isle in the Great Sea. There was no evidence on the site, however; the image of the day instead featured Link doing an aerial Spin Attack in Skyloft.
This image, while initially appearing to be legitimate, was actually compiled using a variety of elaborate hacks available for Brawl. The stage seen in the image is a Fairy Isle hacked stage, and the Mario in the image uses a texture hack to make his model more closely resemble his newer model in Super Smash Bros. 4; Lucina herself is identical to a Project Smash Attacks hack seen in "The Lucina PSA". While not particularly widespread outside All is Brawl, this was the first known rumor to showcase the level of elaboration that Brawl hacks bring to rumor producers; later hoaxed images were made with similar techniques, and other hoaxes were often compared to existing Brawl hacks to check for their credibility.
Lucina was confirmed to be a playable character on July 14, 2014, over one year after the faked image was first posted.
Ness and Jigglypuff rumor
In November 2013, two supposedly leaked images of Ness and Jigglypuff in Super Smash Bros. 4 began to circulate on Smash-related message boards and other resources. One of these images depicted the "official" artwork of Ness for Smash 4, while the other picture featured both Ness and Jigglypuff standing on the Battlefield stage in the 3DS version. The gameplay image, however, was proven fake after cross-checking it with an actual image of Link and Toon Link standing on the same stage; numerous graphical differences could be seen between the two images, primarily in regards to the rendering of the outlines and shadows in the faked image.
Both characters were later unofficially confirmed after the game's Japanese release. Ness's actual artwork in the game, however, differs from the false artwork. Furthermore, Jigglypuff's model in the final game is different from the hoaxed images, particularly in regards to the size and spacing of its eyes.
On 22 January 2014, two supposedly leaked images of Palutena in the 3DS version of Super Smash Bros. 4 began to circulate on the internet. The veracity of the images were immediately questioned, though some observers noted that the model and poses used by Palutena were not seen in any previous photo, and unlike the Lucina rumor, no hacks available for Brawl could replicate the image seen. Of particular note is that after the two images were released, a series of Kid Icarus-related images were released on Miiverse, leading some observers to speculate that Sakurai was aware of the Palutena images.
During the 2014 E3 event, Nintendo confirmed Palutena's inclusion in the game, and gameplay footage of her was also shown; despite this, several differences between the models used in the rumored photos and the actual game were observed, which led to debate over whether or not the images were legitimate in the first place. The images were finally revealed hoaxes in a thread on 4Chan concerning the ESRB leak; Mario and Palutena were created in an external program and these models were later digitally manipulated to resemble those from Super Smash Bros. 4.
In early April 2014, Reuben Langdon, a voice actor known for voicing Ken Masters in the Street Fighter series and Dante in the Devil May Cry series, claimed in an interview that he had voiced Raiden from the Metal Gear series in Super Smash Bros.. As Raiden's only appearance in Brawl was as a sticker, this seemed to leak Raiden having some sort of major role in SSB4, as well as indirectly confirming the return of Snake and their respective universe. When the news was first announced, some observers believed he was mistaking Super Smash Bros. for PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, a Sony equivalent to Super Smash Bros. that featured Raiden as a playable character. This potential confusion, however, initially was eliminated when it was demonstrated that Raiden's voice actor in the game was Quinton Flynn, not Reuben Langdon. Langdon, however, would later reignite this confusion himself:
Langdon, who also does motion capture work for video games, additionally claimed he was referring to motion capture work. However, no official source credits Langdon as having done any such work in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, and the credits of that game do not list individual actors that performed motion capture work. As such, it was speculated by some that Langdon may have been trying to cover up an inadvertent leak by falsely confirming the mix-up.
Ultimately the rumor was disconfirmed when the Japanese version of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS came out. Snake did not return for SSB4, Raiden did not make any appearances, and the Metal Gear universe does not have any representation in the game, suggesting that Langdon was in fact referencing PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.
Chunky Kong Assist Trophy
During the E3 2014 demo and ensuing Smash-Fest, people reported seeing many previously unrevealed Assist Trophies, such as Shadow, Tingle, and Magnus. While these reports ended up being later confirmed by video evidence, one particular character implicated in these reports, Chunky Kong from Donkey Kong 64, completely eluded any sort of video or photographic evidence. Despite the lack of evidence, people initially generally believed this report, as it came from multiple independent sources, that even fully described his effect as "slamming the ground to make bananas fall from the sky". However, Smash-Fest passed without any sort of video or photographic evidence of Chunky Kong, and with the lack of direct or indirect confirmation from Sakurai, it became doubted if these reports were entirely telling the truth. Chunky Kong later became a minor meme within the Smash community; with the lack of any sort of concrete evidence to prove the character's existence despite multiple claims to the contrary, the character was jokingly compared to Bigfoot, a famous North American cryptid.
After Comic-Con 2014 came to pass, with there still being no visual evidence of Chunky Kong despite the tens of hours of new gameplay footage being seen, the Chunky Kong Assist Trophy was generally regarded as having been a false report all along, whether from people intentionally making false information up, or people genuinely mistaking something within the game as Chunky Kong. Ultimately, the rumor was proven false after both the Japanese release of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and the North American release of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and later on, the person who originally reported the Chunky Kong assist trophy confessed to making it up, to see how many people would parrot a seemingly outlandish claim, and to put out a false piece of information to catch fake "leaks".
On August 1, 2014, Nintendo of Canada held a session for Super Smash Bros. 4, where Matt Ryan, a manager of communications, marketing, and alliances of the Canadian division of the company, said the following statement during the session that suggested Rayman was in the game as a playable character:
This led to new speculation that Rayman was in Smash 4 as a playable character, rather than just the trophy depicting him. However, it is also speculated it may have been an honest slip-up, with confusion stemming from the common suffix of "Man". Shortly after the sentence, Nintendo of Canada would later clarify that Matt Ryan was referring to the previously seen Rayman trophy. However, like with the Reuben Langdon slipup above, some observers believed it to be a false confirmation as to cover up an inadvertent leak; the release of the game in Japan, however, proved that the supposed confirmation of Rayman as playable was a mental blunder on Ryan's part.
Tower of Smash "leak"
Roughly a month prior to the release of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, a notable rumor began to circulate forums and Smashboards, concerning the ability to connect the 3DS version to the Wii U version, as well as extra information about the Wii U version.
The Tower of Smash rumor claimed that the Wii U version of the game would feature 40 new stages, alongside 15 "past" stages and a few stages shared with the 3DS version, such as Magicant; in addition to these stages, the Stage Builder was claimed to have returned from Brawl after being left out of the 3DS version, and the mode would feature improvements, such as no longer restricting players to one "theme". Arguably the most notable claimed addition was that of a "Tower of Smash" mode. A replacement for the Event Matches that were absent in the 3DS version, the Tower of Smash involved a 100-floor tower which tasked the player, with four characters of their choice, continuously taking part in one-on-one stock battles, with some matches having random modifiers. Various boss battles were also implicated, which would feature characters from outside series, such as Dyna Blade from the Kirby series. These bosses would also make up a new "Boss Rush" mode as somewhat of a successor to the Boss Battles from Brawl.
In addition, leakers claimed that five new characters could be unlocked when the 3DS and Wii U versions were connected. The five implicated characters were Ridley, the Chorus Men, Dixie Kong, Mewtwo, and Impa from The Legend of Zelda. Notably, the first four characters were previously implicated by leakers in the ESRB leak, though the list was intentionally fabricated by the ESRB leaker in order to identify copycat leaks. As a final note to readers, the leaker also claimed that stages and characters would not be unlockable in the game, with all of them being available from the start. There were some notable oddities in these leaks however, such as the fact that Ridley has no wings on the ground but can sprout them in the air, something that never happens in the Metroid series, and it also said that Mewtwo would make "generic grunts".
The leak was proven false by an an official screenshot demonstrating amiibo. The screenshot showed the roster with characters such as Mr. Game & Watch completely absent, still needing to be unlocked by the player. The Nintendo Direct presentation on 23 October 2014 further refuted the rumor; while an improved Stage Builder was confirmed in the presentation, the Tower of Smash and Boss Rush modes went without mention, no information was given on Magicant or Mute City being shared stages, and all other implicated characters were absent. Furthermore, Ridley was confirmed to be a stage boss on Pyrosphere, and the Event Matches were confirmed to be returning for the game. While Mewtwo was revealed as a playable character, it was revealed to be a downloadable character, not an on-disc transferable character. Additionally, only 29 new stages and 17 past stages appear in the Wii U version, six of which need to be unlocked.
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 the main menu of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U 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. Many people were led into believing it since the images and the video were seemingly error free, were of reasonably high quality, and had renders not seen in any official material. A similarly-updated CSS from the 3DS version also surfaced. This rumor also lined up with another rumor with similar information.
It was later deconfirmed the next day in a YouTube video showing the fabrication by the user Artsy Omni who revealed that he did it as a promotional stunt for his new series "Smashified". Artsy Omni was also the author of another high quality fake of Klonoa being a playable character which was quickly debunked because of errors in the Japanese texts. He would later apologize for leaks and as a result continued his series featuring various other fan-favourite characters.
A DLC shop for the game, however, was added in a future update, albeit in an entirely different spot and only in the 3DS version, as the Wii U version requires the use of the Nintendo eShop to purchase DLC.
Shovel Knight 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. Shovel Knight's amiibo was also shown to have a different base and packaging from the Smash series of amiibo.
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. YCG has denied several times that Shovel Knight will be in the game, leaving it unclear as to whether Shovel Knight will be making an appearance in Smash or not.