Super Smash Bros. 4

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Super Smash Bros. 4
(conjectural title)
SSB4 Logo.png
Collective logo for the game.
Developer(s) Namco Bandai
Sora Ltd.
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Designer(s) Masahiro Sakurai
Projected release date Summer 2014 (3DS)
Winter 2014 (Wii U)
Genre(s) Fighting
Mode(s) Multiplayer
Ratings PEGI: 12+ (provisional)

Two games in the Super Smash Bros. series, collectively referred to as Super Smash Bros. 4, Smash 4, or SSB4 and individually entitled Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, are currently in development for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U respectively by Namco Bandai[1] and Sora Ltd. The 3DS version is the first game of the series to be released on a handheld.

When originally announced in passing at E3 2011, the game's development was slated to begin sometime after October 2011, once development on Kid Icarus: Uprising had completed. [2] In February 2012, it was then confirmed that development on the fourth game had begun.[3] The game was unmentioned during E3 2012, something which many fans were disappointed about despite the known extremely early state of the game; the "first step of the process" was taken shortly after in mid-June. Masahiro Sakurai has expressed disappointment that fans will be waiting for longer than expected for the game to be released due to the earliness of the initial announcement.[4] Shortly afterward, it was revealed during a Nintendo Direct that Namco Bandai was the primary developer alongside Sora Ltd., and had already completed a working prototype.[1]

The paired versions of the game were officially revealed at E3 2013 in the form of a trailer on June 11, 2013.

According to Masahiro Sakurai, the 3DS version is scheduled to launch this upcoming summer, and the Wii U version this upcoming winter.

Pre-trailer information

Sakurai has stated, in response to a fan asking him about whether a "child Link" would appear in the game, that he had not at the time decided on who would appear in the game. However, he had also said 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."[5] Indeed, Capcom's Mega Man was ultimately confirmed as playable.

Sakurai has revealed that one feature of the 3DS Smash Bros. title will be that players can improve their character through battles and rewards, then transfer them to the Wii U Smash title to play against friends. He said the 3DS title is intended to offer a new experience for veteran Smash Bros. fans, and that neither the 3DS game nor the Wii U game would simply be sequels like Melee and Brawl were, and that they'd do more than just add characters and stages. It has also been revealed that they are looking towards co-operative play for the Wii U title. Official Nintendo Magazine said "there is merit in having skilled and unskilled players play together, so one emphasis will be on elements of players helping one-another". They also stated that the graphics would be significantly stepped up, as the Wii U can handle high quality graphics, dynamic effects and smooth character movements in HD at 60 frames per second.[6] Sakurai is also quoted as claiming that the new game is unlikely to emphasize new playable characters, focusing instead on gameplay balance and distinctiveness of its characters. [7]

The whiteboard drawing posted by Sakurai.

On July 2nd, 2012, Sakurai posted a whiteboard drawing on Twitter which was drawn by the game's staff. It depicts Donkey Kong, Fox, a Heart Container, Kirby, Link, Luigi, Mario, Marth, Meta Knight, Mr. Game & Watch, a Mr. Saturn, Pikachu, a Pikmin, Pit, Sandbag, Wario, and Zero Suit Samus; some argue that the curved lines in the background form the shape of Master Hand. While it came with no explicit confirmation of any of these characters or elements as reappearing, it does show they are in some sense acknowledged by the staff working on the game. The image itself was later removed from the original Twitter post.[8] The sketch also has what appears to be large block letters hidden below the visible area.

Confirmed content

The trailer shown at the E3 2013 Nintendo Direct confirmed several characters, both returning characters and new characters. Since that time, other characters have been revealed on the website, sometimes at the same time as Nintendo Directs.


Mario SSB4.png
Luigi SSB4.png
Peach SSB4.png
Bowser SSB4.png
Donkey Kong SSB4.png
Donkey Kong
Diddy Kong SSB4.png
Diddy Kong
Yoshi SSB4.png
Link SSB4.png
Zelda SSB4.png
Sheik SSB4.png
Toon Link SSB4.png
Toon Link
Samus SSB4.png
Zero Suit Samus SSB4.png
Zero Suit Samus
Kirby SSB4.png
King Dedede SSB4.png
King Dedede
Fox SSB4.png
Pikachu SSB4.png
Charizard SSB4.png
Lucario SSB4.png
Marth SSB4.png
Pit SSB4.png
Olimar SSB4.png
Sonic SSB4.png
Rosalina SSB4.png
Greninja SSB4.png
Little Mac SSB4.png
Little Mac
Villager SSB4.png
Wii Fit Trainer SSB4.png
Wii Fit Trainer
Mega Man SSB4.png
Mega Man

Multi-player stages

Stages in both versions
Wii U
Wii U
SSB4 WII U Final-Destination.jpg
Final Destination
SSB43DS BoxingRing PoisonMushroom.jpg
Wii U
Boxing Ring Punch Out.jpg
Boxing Ring
3DS-exclusive stages
New mushroom kingdom01.png
3D Land
Rainbow Road
SSBM Icon.png Jungle Japes
Gerudo Valley
Spirit Train
Lumiose City Smash 4.jpg
Prism Tower
Arena Ferox press image.jpg
Arena Ferox
Reset Bomb Forest press image.jpg
Reset Bomb Forest
Tortimer Island.jpg
Tortimer Island
Balloon Fight
Living Room
Find Mii
SSB4 - Villager & WFT indoors.jpg
Tomodachi stage
Wii U-exclusive stages
Mario Galaxy.jpg
Mario Galaxy
Pyrosphere press image.jpg
SSBB Icon.png Halberd
Dragonmark Chamber.jpg
Kalos Pokémon League
Palutena's Temple
Garden of Hope press image.jpg
Garden of Hope
Town and City
Wii Fit Studio press image.jpg
Wii Fit Studio
Pilotwings Wuhu Island 2.jpg
Pilot Wings
Windy Hill press image.jpg
Windy Hill
Wilys fortress.png
Wily Castle

Single-player modes

In the beginning Sakurai had made it clear that there would be a single-player story mode included in the new Smash Bros.[9], however stated it would be different from Brawl's Subspace Emissary, and there would be no cutscenes. He did not provide any other details as to what this, or any other single-player modes will consist of. On 20 January 2014, on a Miiverse post, Sakurai repeated his very first statement of the game not featuring a Subspace Emissary-like Story Mode.[10] Screenshots that were seemingly implied to be from a new story mode in the 3DS version were later revealed to be from Smash Run.

Outside of what little info is available on Smash Run, details about the games' other single-player modes are still unknown at this time.

Multi-player modes

  • VS Mode
  • Smash Run (3DS exclusive): In this mode, up to 4 players have 5 minutes to traverse a huge dungeon-like enviroment, collecting various power-ups and facing many enemies from various games. After the time limit, the players go at it in a battle utilizing their boosted powers, and can then do subsequent matches with those power-ups. Sakurai mentioned in the Smash Bros. Direct video that this mode was inspired by Kirby Air Ride's City Trial mode, which has a similar premise.
    • Players will also be able to have items set to their characters, in a way that may reflect Brawl's Subspace Emissary mode.

Apparent changes from Brawl

Gameplay changes

  • The size differences between bigger and smaller characters will be more drastic, which can be seen when comparing this Brawl image to this Smash 4 image, with Sakurai remarking "A group shot of the big guys. How much bigger are they compared to Mario?" for the latter image.[11]
  • Mid-match character changes, such as Zelda/Sheik's Transform, will no longer exist. This means Zelda and Sheik, along with Samus and Zero Suit Samus, will be completely separate characters that are no longer able to transform to the other. This also means the Pokémon Trainer will not return as a playable character without being completely revamped as a single character.
  • In an interview with Kotaku, Sakurai confirmed that tripping would not return.[12] It seems he was referring to random tripping, since forced tripping appears to have returned, as shown by the return of the banana peel item.
    • Similarly, it appears potential randomness in moves is being cut down; for example, Olimar now plucks his Pikmin in a set order instead of the Pikmin plucked being chosen at random, and King Dedede's Waddle Dee Throw has been replaced with a new move that involves throwing only Gordos instead of throwing one randomly chosen minion.
  • To appeal to both casual and hardcore gamers, Sakurai said the game's speed will be between that of Melee and Brawl.[13] In support of this, in the gameplay footage shown so far, characters seem to be falling faster than they do in Brawl.
    • In a similar appeal to both casual and hardcore gamers, there are now two distinct type of With Anyone Wi-Fi modes; one called For Fun, which seems similar to the previous game's casual-styled Basic Brawl, and one called For Glory, a mode explicitly catered to competitive-styled play
    • Additionally, almost every stage now will have a "Final Destination" version, where the stage's design is altered into a single large flat platform with no additional platforms, and these stages cannot not be played on the For Fun mode while being the only stages available in the For Glory mode.
  • In a demo match between Mario and Mega Man, there appears to be no stale-move negation [14]. It is unknown whether it has been explicitly removed, yet to be programmed, or temporarily disabled for the demo.
  • Jabs will now "always transition into a finishing move". It's currently unclear if this means infinitely-hitting rapid jabs will now have a proper final hit to knock opponents away, or if all jabs will now end in a hit with KO power.[15]
  • The mechanics of grabbing ledges will undergo an unprecedented overhaul[16]. The difference between fast and slow edge options based on current damage will be removed, the length of intangibility given by grabbing the ledge will be affected by air time and current damage, and there appears to be some way to steal the ledge from opponents edge hogging, though no information about it was given.
  • The special moves for characters can be modified using a new moveset customization feature.

Aesthetic changes

  • While the general aesthetic design style of playable characters in Brawl was geared towards making them all realistic, the characters' aesthetic design style in Smash 4 varies, usually to match the tone of their home series. For example, characters from cartoonish franchises, such as the Mario and Kirby series, generally have a distinctly cartoonish appearance, while those from more realistic franches, such as The Legend of Zelda and Metroid series, generally have a distinctly realistic appearance. All characters are additionally brighter colored.
  • Many characters have different movement and attack animations when facing either direction, so they face the screen more often. Depending on exact animation details, this may mean that some attacks may behave slightly differently when they interact with each other from different directions.
  • Damage percentage numbers are no longer a solid colour, instead appearing as a metallic gradient, and pass through green and yellow colours instead of fading straight from white to red as damage increases.
  • Attacks' visual effects are in general more pronounced, with bright saturated blurs replacing the previous game's subtle ones. Additionally, landed blows will produce a red-black lightning effect when they deal especially high knockback.
  • The design of KOs in this game closely resembles Brawl's KO design, but the soundbyte for it sounds much more like an actual explosion compared with the previous three games.
  • The smoke trail effect produced by characters taking high knockback has been replaced by a coloured trail of light representing which player will get the KO should the target pass a blast line.
    • Additionally, when a character is KO'd, the character that is credited with the KO flashes their KO color briefly, with an aura similar to the KO trails.

Other apparent changes

  • Sakurai stated that the short movies for introducing new characters, including Mega Man, Villager, and Wii Fit Trainer, will be viewable without having to be unlocked.

Console differences

The Wii U and 3DS versions of the game were shown to have distinct art styles from one another in that the 3DS version uses flatter shading and optional black outlines to make characters easier to see at a distance; these outlines will be customizable as Sakurai stated players can change the size of the outlines or get rid of them completely. It is also known that several if not most stages will be version-specific, with the Wii U version's stages being based on console games, while the 3DS version's stages being based on handheld games.[17] It is confirmed that there will be no cross-platform gameplay between the Wii U and 3DS versions due to the exclusive stages to each version, but it has been mentioned that "customized characters" from the 3DS version can be imported into the Wii U version. Very little detail has been given as to what "character customization" entails; it has only been revealed that customizations will not be different costumes and will not have to be unlocked through repetitive tasks.[18]

While the two versions will have the same playable cast, it has been confirmed by Sakurai that there will be a few differences with the characters summoned from Assist Trophies and Pokemon summoned from Pokeballs in the 3DS version[19], though it has not been stated if there will either be explicit version exclusives or a few will be cut out of the 3DS version for space issues.

Another difference confirmed by Sakurai is that the trophies will be different in the two versions, with the trophies in the 3DS version being mainly from handheld games, while the trophies in the Wii U version will be from console games.[20]

When it comes to music, each stage on the 3DS version will only have two music tracks available, as was the case in Melee; this is presumably because of space issues on the 3DS cart. On the other hand, the Wii U version will see the return of Brawl’s My Music option, with a large selection of tracks available for each stage.

Sakurai has stated that there are currently no plans to implement downloadable content or touch screen controls of any variety.[21]



  1. 1.0 1.1 IGN: "Namco Bandai Developing Next Smash Bros."
  2. "Smash Bros. U & 3DS development appears to be very early"
  3. Cubed3: "Sakurai Begins Work on New Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS"
  4. Nintendo Everything: "Next Smash Bros. in “first step of the process”, Sakurai worried about long wait"
  5. Nintendo Everything: "Sakurai: Capcom character could appear in next Smash Bros."
  6. Official Nintendo Magazine: "Smash Bros Wii U/3DS: How they'll work together"
  7. Official Nintendo Magazine: "Smash Bros Wii U may not feature more characters"
  8. Jul 2, 2012 Tweet by Sora_Sakurai (Masahiro Sakurai)
  9. My Nintendo News: "Smash Bros Wii U And 3DS Story Mode Won’t Be Like Brawl"
  10. Miiverse: "To be clear, the new Super Smash Bros. games do not feature a story mode like The Subspace Emissary"
  12. Kotaku: "No More Tripping In The New Smash Bros"
  13. Polygon: "New Super Smash Bros. removes tripping; game speed between Brawl and Melee"
  17. Nintendo's YouTube channel: "Wii U & Nintendo 3DS Developer Direct - Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U @E3 2013"
  18. Joystiq: "No cross-platform play for Smash Bros on 3DS and Wii U"
  21. Gamnesia: "No Plans for DLC or Touch Controls in the New Smash Bros., Tripping is Removed"

External Links