Nowadays, Smash Bros is awash with Nintendo characters. Indeed, it’s the primary reason Nintendo have been able to collectively jerk so many of you into such a frenzy over the game! But back in 1999, it all could have been so, so different. In another of their candid chats on Japan’s Nintendo site, Satoru Iwata and Brawl director Masahiro Sakurai are discussing the origin of the series. And how it didn’t contain any Nintendo franchise ring-ins. Not a single one:
Iwata: Because we don’t often have the opportunity to sit down and talk about Smash Bros., I’d like to use the last part of this interview to turn back the clock and talk about the start of this series, beginning in 1999 with the Nintendo 64 title Super Smash Bros. You and I were responsible for developing this prototype.
Sakurai: Right. We called it “Kakuto-Geemu Ryuoh” (Dragon King: The Fighting Game)
Iwata: At that point in time, we weren’t utilising any Nintendo characters, and while you handled the planning, specs, design, modeling and movement, I worked on programming all by myself. In some respects, it was the ultimate handcrafted project.
A Smash Bros not basted in self-referential Nintendo marinade? Amazing. Just imagine where you’d be, right now, if that had come to pass. What would you spend all your allotted excitement points on?
Dragon King: The Fighting Game [Nintendo]