Byleth Reveal in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Brings Mixed Reviews

Byleth Super Smash Bros
Byleth made the cut as the final fighter of the first downloadable batch. Was it the right choice?

There is no doubt that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the ultimate Smash title. Upon release, the game included every single character ever to appear in any of the games. In addition, the first fighter pass would give access to an additional five fighters that would slowly be released. Popular names like Banjo and Kazooie, and Joker made the cut. Finally, Masahiro Sakurai revealed the final fighter from the first pass: Byleth.

It was an interesting choice, considering the developers claimed that the DLC characters would be from games that had previously been ignored by the franchise. Fire Emblem, the game Byleth is from, already has a ton of characters in Smash. Still, should be a fun character to use.

Byleth Joins the Fray in Super Smash Bros. With Mixed Reviews

So Many Options

In the months leading up to the final reveal of the first batch of characters, there was all kinds of speculation on who it could be. Although the game started out as sticking strictly to Nintendo exclusive characters like Mario, Link, and Kirby, it has since expanded out to include characters from basically every game out there. Sonic the Hedgehog joined in Brawl, along with Snake from the Metal Gear series. Cloud, from Final Fantasy VII came as a downloadable character.

Some of the most wanted characters were Dante, from Devil May Cry, and Sora, from Kingdom Hearts. Sure, they are from titles that saw releases on Nintendo platforms, but their games are originally Playstation exclusives. Some were even banging the drum that Crash Bandicoot, a former Playstation mascot, could make the cut. In reality, they could, but that wasn’t what ended up happening. Instead, we got Byleth, of Fire Emblem: Three Houses.

Check out the reveal trailer below:

“Too Many Swordsmen”

The reveal video is almost a meme itself. A male Byleth is caught in a void with Sothis, and Sothis basically declares for Byleth to either join Smash Bros. or die. And so he does. Byleth whips out his sword and does battle with the likes of Link and Cloud – only to get annihilated. He returns to the void, where Sothis utters a familiar fan observation about the game – “Too many swordsmen.”

And so Byleth transitions into her alternate costume – as a female, and Sothis gifts her the Hero’s Relic, a weapon that can change from a sword to a spear to a bow. So, although Byleth might be yet another sword user, it can also be argued that they are the first spear user. Along with the player’s ability to choose what gender they play as when selecting Byleth, it makes her a little more unique than some of the other Fire Emblem characters.

So she isn’t “just another sword user.”

(Un)Balanced Representation

Fire Emblem first saw its entry into the Smash series in Melee for the Gamecube with Marth and Roy. The two were some of the original sword users along with Link making them instantly popular, even with people who aren’t fans of the Fire Emblem series. Now in Ultimate, they are at the top in terms of franchise representation.

Pokémon still holds the top spot with a whopping ten playable characters in Smash. But there are literally hundreds of Pokémon. The Super Mario series is unsurprisingly second, as it is Nintendo’s flagship. (Although fans are still saying “Waluigi when?”) But in third place, now with eight characters is Fire Emblem. Even the Legend of Zelda series only has six characters (though three of them are just different versions of Link).

With so many other games out there to choose from, many have to wonder why Byleth was the one ultimately chosen. Still, there are plenty more characters to come in the game during the next batch of DLCs, so there is still hope yet for Spyro the Dragon, or even Master Chief!

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