Fans Commiserate After Big Smash Bros. Leak Turns Out To Be Fake

Fans Commiserate After Big Smash Bros. Leak Turns Out To Be Fake

Last week a Super Smash Bros. leak, known as the Grinch leak, sent the Smash community down a rabbit hole of rumour and speculation that ended up with fans divided into two camps, #teamreal and #teamfake, depending on whether they believed the leak would turn out to be legit.

In its final Smash Direct, Nintendo resolved the debate: Grinch was a hoax. But while #teamfake was vindicated, the reality that soon replaced the speculation surrounding the leak has left both sides reeling.

The Grinch leak had left some believing, and many more hoping, that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s final roster would include Shadow the Hedgehog, Isaac, Ken, Mach Rider, Geno, Chorus Kids, and Banjoe-Kazooie. That last prospect had people particularly excited, given the character’s origins on the N64 and Nintendo’s increasingly buddy-buddy relationship with Microsoft when it comes to cross-play collaboration.

What Nintendo revealed instead, however, was only one character from the rumoured lineup, Ken, who would be joined by Pokemon’s Incineroar. That’s it for the base game’s roster.

While Nintendo plans to add six more characters later on, including Piranha Plant, fans’ hopes of seeing the musically inclined bear and bird duo at launch have been dashed.

This meant #teamfake was right all along. The Grinch leak was nothing but a masterful hoax, as self-proclaimed Nintendo leakers like Vergeben had said at the time. On GameFAQs, Verge is now being hailed as a prophet, while others who had attacked Vergebean’s credibility in the days prior descended back into name calling.

“Some people on here are good sports, but the rest of you still hating on Vergeben are the definition of petty and pathetic,” wrote one poster.

ImageScreenshot: Nintendo

Elsewhere, the adherents of #teamreal and #teamfake have been more conciliatory, brought together by a mutual sense of disappointment over how underwhelming news presented in today’s 40-minute Direct seemed to them.

Fans had previously debated what either side should do if proven wrong, but now, in the wake of Nintendo’s official news, most appear to be too disappointed to apologise or gloat.

Now, many on both sides say they feel doubly trolled, both by the outrageous leak that fuelled their hopes and a Nintendo Direct which appeared to have tried its best to undercut them as brutally as possible. Far from being playable characters, Shadow and Isaac were revealed to be assist trophies, meaning an in-game item can summon them to momentarily help out in a fight.

That felt like the cruellest sort of half gesture for certain diehard fans of more obscure video game characters.

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Fans of Isaac, the protagonist of a JRPG series that stated on the Game Boy Advance, have been voicing their crestfallen feelings. “Wow Isaac being one of the first AT’s shown after Ken & Inceneroar confirmed playable… That hurts,” one wrote on the game’s subreddit.

“I’m not even a big Isaac supporter at all but when I saw him as an assist I nearly had a heart attack. That hurt to look at,” wrote another.

Skull Kid from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask has also been at the top of some Smash fans’ wish lists for a playable character. He too was revealed as an assist trophy, helping to spread the disappointment around to other fandoms. The game’s newly detailed Spirits mode, which had been much anticipated following speculation about it during the summer, also came across as a disappointment for many.

ImageScreenshot: Nintendo

A sort of collectathon for random video game characters to replace trophies, which Smash Bros. Ultimate won’t have, the Spirits mode has also become a graveyard similar to assist trophies for the fighters that various fan groups had hoped might appear in the game. The genie Shantae will be a collectable spirit, for instance.

“Might be worth adding Shantae as a deconfirmed character too #deathbyspirit,” one Smash fan wrote. In the same thread, another fan wrote: “Wow, so Smash kinda just ran this hype train into a ravine with Spirits. Fuck.”

There is one place fans are still finding some solace as they wipe the dream of a Grinchmas from their eyes: the game’s Fighters Pass. Over the course of the 15 months following the game’s launch, Nintendo plans to release five additional fighters as DLC. It’s possible one or all of these slots could be taken by Banjoe-Kazooie and others, especially if Nintendo hasn’t even started creating these characters yet.

In a GameFAQs thread, Nintendo leaker Vergeben appears to be newly energised following the Grinch fallout and has proclaimed that one of the DLC fighters will be a Square Enix character.

Since the game’s release is still just over a month away, Smash fans will have plenty of time to get invested in the next round of rumours all over again while they wait to the play the game itself.


    • You would have rather had 3 fighters instead of 7 (which would mean at least a few more sick trailers)?

      • I said I’m glad the leak turned to to be bogus. I didn’t say anything about the number of fighters. I’m glad it was bogus because the final roster was not spoiled for anyone. Also because some of the characters on said leak were ridiculous. And it’s always nice when leaks are proven wrong, especially this one which had lot of people convinced.

        • I think in this particular scenario, it would have been better to be spoiled and spoiled than surprised and not having the game potentially a lot better. As nice as a surprise as the plant is…

          • I’m kinda tired of people whinging that their favourite character didn’t get in.

            The game will have 74 characters at launch and 6 more being added as DLC, including Plant. characters that fans have been requested for many many years including Ridley and K Rool are finally being added to the roster. The game is going to be so completely choc-a-block full of content it’ll be ridiculous. Yet people are still complaining that Banjo didn’t get in or that Shadow is only an assist trophy. The addition of this stuff won’t make the game “a lot better”. And there’s still 5 more DLC characters they haven’t announced yet too. They should be happy with what the game contains, not whining about what it doesn’t.

            Having said that I do wish these fake leaks would stop happening, it just gets people’s hopes up. It’s not the developer’s fault that some people decide to fake this stuff.

          • Fake leaks definitely get tiring, especially if you frequent a place where they’ve been happening multiple times a day.

  • Of course the Grinch leak was bogus. What else do you want to say WhitePointer? Anyway the Grinch leak may have turned out to be fake but what I was hoping for was Banjo and Kazooie to be added as new fighters along with Shadow the Hedgehog, Spring Man from ARMS, Golden Sun’s Isaac, and Waluigi. Instead all we got is new fighters and new echo fighters and they are in no particular order. Inkling Boy and Inkling Girl from Splatoon and Splatoon 2, Simon Belmont from the Castlevania series, Metroid’s Ridley, Donkey Kong’s King K. Rool, Animal Crossing’s Isabelle, Incineroar the wrestling Pokémon from Pokémon Sun and Moon, and Super Mario’s Piranha Plant as a free DLC character for a limited time only until the end of January next year if Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is purchased as a physical version and registered for Gold Points. But the offer is only available for My Nintendo members. And the echo fighters also in no particular order are Richter Belmont also from the Castlevania series, Chrom from the Fire Emblem series, Super Mario’s Daisy, Dark Pit from Kid Icarus, Lucina from the Fire Emblem series, Metroid’s Dark Seamus who was once an Assist Trophy now an echo fighter, and Ken from CAPCOM’S Street Fighter series.
    Now the fans want some answers WhitePointer. Why was the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Grinch leak fake?

  • It has to be said it was a very believable hoax. That said, Geno was always a bit too far fetched.

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