Beyond being a platform fighter, Super Smash Bros. is something of a celebration of gaming from over the years as all characters that have appeared on a Nintendo console are fair game for the series. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has every previous Smash character to date and more on its roster, making its character select screen a perfect opportunity at a blast from the past piece of artwork.
A graphic designer who goes by the handle MatttGFX took it upon himself to replace all 84 roster thumbnails with their respective characters’ official artwork… some of who are hardly recognizable anymore.
We kick things off with the most famous gaming character in the business, Mario, and his very first appearance in gaming as the protagonist of 1981’s Donkey Kong. While you’d likely be able to call out who he is from this art, many players would probably think this look is some kind of copycat or knockoff.
While we’re at it, that’s the original Donkey Kong right next to him. It doesn’t get much more simple than 1981 DK as you needn’t pick up your pen more than four or five times to create this particular version of Nintendo’s mainstay primate.
In looking over this character select screen, it’s almost like looking through the chapters of Nintendo’s past as certain figures are much, much younger than others. A few members actually have three dimensional designs, usually indicating a shorter history.
Funnily enough, pixelated Steve from Minecraft is actually one the youngest here at a mere 10 years old. Pyra and Mythra from 2010’s Xenoblade Chronicles are also among the freshest fighters, and though I initially thought it was Min-Min from 2017’s Arms who is the baby of the roster, reader tero_now pointed out that it’s actually Byleth from 2019’s Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
That guy next to Wario and below Falco? That’s the original Solid Snake from 1987’s Metal Gear. Also, we never realized until we saw Pit’s OG art that the first Kid Icarus looked so much like Peanuts. Check out image below and chime into the comments with your thoughts and reactions.
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