Smash Bros Ultimate fans may have gotten a glimpse at an upcoming map thanks to a Twitter photo by series creator Masahiro Sakurai.
The photo in question shows off Kid Icarus protagonist Pit staring downward with Splatoon’s Inkling in the background.
While this may not seem like anything too impressive or leak-worthy, there is one major detail fans honed in on: the stage.
— 桜井 政博 / Masahiro Sakurai (@Sora_Sakurai) February 26, 2020
The picture was taken on the iconic Battlefield stage, known for its triangular three platform structure. But the key factor lies in what version of Battlefield it was – the previous Smash game on the Wii U.
Battlefield on Smash 4 notably featured two flags while Ultimate only has one. What’s more is that Smash 4 didn’t feature the character Inkling, so this couldn’t have been a photo from the older game.
Fans began to speculate about what this could mean with two theories in particular gaining popularity.
The more hopeful of the theories is that future DLC will feature older versions of classic maps, giving players even more variety from the already-massive list of stages currently available.
The second is that the photo was taken during Smash Ultimate’s development and the textures from the previous game had been imported.
Sadly, this seems to be the most logical considering the whole “picture of the day” tradition has ties going back to early development.
“Throughout the development of Smash Ultimate, I have been sending the team a picture every day. This is still going on. I figured I'd start uploading some of those pictures here and there. Please note that sometimes these pictures are taken with development tools,” Sakurai said when he uploaded the first photo back on December 26, 2019.
While nothing has been ruled out and Sakurai himself hasn’t addressed the speculation of this recent photo upload, fans should probably not get their hopes up.
Still, getting classic editions of all the stages would be a nice treat and hopefully something Nintendo implements at some point during Smash Ultimate’s lifespan.