Sakurai responds to criticism over too many sword fighters in Smash Bros

Michael Gwilliam

Super Smash Bros creator Masahiro Sakurai has addressed complaints regarding the amount of sword and Fire Emblem fighters in a new column for Famitsu magazine.

It seems like with each new Smash game, the amount of sword-wielding fighters grows immensely. While Melee only had two with Marth and Roy, by the time the series reached Ultimate, Fire Emblem had more representatives than The Legend of Zelda.

Now, with Byleth’s addition to the game, Fire Emblem is tied with Pokemon at eight representatives each if you count Pokemon Trainer as a single fighter.

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Are there too many Fire Emblem fighters in Smash?

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Sakurai has acknowledged these concerns but distanced himself as being solely responsible for the influx of sword characters and disappointing DLC.

According to a translation of his column published by Siliconera, the Smash boss stated that he didn’t choose who got added to the game based on his own preference and that it was Nintendo who made those calls.

“There are too many Fire Emblem characters. And there are too many sword characters. I, too, understand,” he confessed.

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Sakurai says Nintendo is making all the fighter decisions.

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With Byleth, specifically, the developer wanted her to stand out and have a different style than other sword-wielders.

“This time around, we brought the experience of immediately playing as the protagonist of a game that people currently play,” he wrote, a reference to how Sakurai played an early version of Three Houses when it was still under development.

“Since there are too many sword characters, we make them all have their own tactics that are unique to the fighter,” he added.

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Roy first joined the cast of Smash back in Melee.

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With six new fighters still scheduled for release up until December 2021, there’s plenty of room for non-sword characters to join the massive roster of video game icons.

As for who the next to enter the fray will be, recent leaks have pointed to Crash Bandicoot being the first addition to Fighters Pass Volume 2. However, that reveal is still anyone’s guess with some even suggesting it could come as early as a February Nintendo Direct.

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Until then, we can only wait and hope that Crash, or whoever it is, doesn’t end up carrying a sword.

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About The Author

Michael Gwilliam is a senior writer at Dexerto based in Ontario, Canada. He specializes in Overwatch, Smash, influencers, and Twitch culture. Gwilliam has written for sites across Canada including the Toronto Sun. You can contact him at or on Twitter @TheGwilliam