Sakurai talks Smash Bros. Ultimate - Ken and Incineroar's inclusion, lack of trophies, amiibo production, and more

As usual, Sakurai has a feature in the latest issue of Famitsu. This week's article is all about Smash Bros. Ultimate. Here's a quick rundown of what Sakurai has to say, as translated by NintendoEverything.

On Ken…

“There’s a good few moves that differ from Ryu’s – please think of him as a service to players who make the most of the frames they’re given.”

On Incineroar…

“I wanted to try making a pro-wrestler character at least once! Mr. Unshō Ishizuka did some new recordings for Incineroar for this game; may he rest in peace.”

On amiibo…

“It takes around a year for us to make the amiibo from the original prototypes, so please excuse the wait.”

On the removal of trophies…

“I came to this decision pretty quickly. I wanted to divide my strength among other things – making them took quite a bit more effort than people might think.”

On Spirits Mode…

“Everything will become clearer when you actually start playing. I’ll put together a summary of the mode’s design after the game’s release.”

On online match-ups…

“In this game, matches will be completely synchronized. As such, the distance between players is a top deciding factor.”

On Elite Smash Mode…

“Players with a high skill level will be able to enjoy true battles, as this prevents them from being pitted against beginners. Achieving this definitely amounts to bragging rights, among other things.”

On Piranha Plant…

“He’ll be available 1~2 months after the game’s release.”

On the “Biggest, Baddest, Enemy”…

“If the opportunity presents itself I’d like to write about the game’s ‘Adventure Mode’ bit by bit. That being said, as of right now it’s finished.”


Top Rated Comment
Wed Nov 14 18 02:45am
Rating: 10

Huh? Do you really think Sakurai sits there and makes the amiibo prototypes and whatnot himself? He's a games developer, why would he have anything to do with toys? The trophies are something in which he ACTUALLY has a hand.

I am disappointed that trophies aren’t coming back but I can understand why Sakurai went with that choice.

On the removal of trophies…

“I came to this decision pretty quickly. I wanted to divide my strength among other things – making them took quite a bit more effort than people might think.

Really? More effort than making an amiibo? Not a chance or even remotely close. I'm very disappointed to see their removal. SSB amiibo are their trophy form from within the game made physical that Nintendo can sell individually for at least €15 a pop.

The irony that Nintendo are trying to shift their games more and more from physical to digital. But here we have amiibo going in the opposite direction, quite literally a physical manifestation of a digital creation. They don't mind making these physical trophies because there's more profit to be made this way. Not to mention the waste of the Earth's finite and natural resources that go into making these.

Wed Nov 14 18 02:45am
Rating: 10

Huh? Do you really think Sakurai sits there and makes the amiibo prototypes and whatnot himself? He's a games developer, why would he have anything to do with toys? The trophies are something in which he ACTUALLY has a hand.

The SSB amiibo are a carbon copy of their trophy pose in the game, which he is ultimately responsible for, so, yes, indirectly he does have a hand in the design of some amiibo. Did I say Sakurai makes the prototypes or that he personally makes them? No, I did not. Sakurai knew that some of the Smash amiibo had horrible bits of plastic propping them up, e.g. Twilight Princess Link with the horrible yellow pole. So he changed the designs of future DLC character trophy poses to reduce this happening.


I'll update this when I find a link to where he said he changed the pose of future Smash Bros. characters so that there would be less obtrusive plastic props holding the characters up or securing them to the base.

You do know that 60 (roughly the number of Smash Amiibo for Wii U) is a smaller number than over 700 (number of trophies)?

So designing 60 figures is more work than 700.....sure thing.

I hope I never come to the point in my life where I look at a toy and go “This is a waste of the Earth’s natural and finite resources.”

The energy and oxygen used to make such statements are a waste of the earths finite resources.

Wed Nov 14 18 02:37am
Rating: 2

I wouldn't have minded if they just brought the old trophies forward from the last game and just added some to the list.

But maybe the real reason they didn't do that, and don't have trophies at all, is because of the massive amount of storage space they take up. There were 743 trophies in the last game, most of them having a unique texture set in addition to their model. Dropping trophies helps the game fit onto a cartridge AND decreases the developer's workload.

I'll miss trophies, though. I think they might have been my favorite part of the game.

Ya, I've just been looking at them and the total in the Wii U version. The video below shows them all off.


Very early you can see they'd have possibly had to change the Mii Fighter to include Link's new design. There's a few that they'd have to change like that. Considering how many new trophies they'd have to add compared to how many already exist, it would have been infinitesimal. The likely reason is as you say, the space they would take up. The game is already around 13GB, Nintendo definitely wanted to avoid going over 16GB to avoid having to use a 32GB cartridge or forcing people to have to have a partial digital download, which would have caused a stir and ruined the boxart.

I loved collecting them and playing around with them in Smash U. I agree they could have ported them over and refined them for Ultimate rather than making them from scratch, but hey! That didn't happen. HEre's for hoping a DLC version might happen. BUt I won't hold my breath for that. Well, at least we get the Spirits.

Game looks great though, so I am still VERY excited for it, but nothing's perfect.

Hmm... to be fair, trophies were kinda pointless... I mean, I loved seeing all the characters rendered in 3D and all the bits of trivia... but on the other hand collecting them all was a pain in the butt and they didn't really contribute anything worthwhile to the main game.

You're right that they didn't really do anything in game.... But I like collecting things, and I like Nintendo history, so they were a lot of fun for me. I mean, I've bought a lot of amiibos just because I liked them as figurines. And the Smash trophies also reminded me which characters I've already beat the game with.

I wonder what kind of reward (if any) will come after you beat a mode with a character, if trophies are no longer an option. I'm skeptical that each character will get an "ending".

While I’m glad he focused on what he decided to focus on, I would be lying if I said I’m not going to miss trophies. With the way photo modes have taken off in recent games, I was hoping for some sort of cool diorama mode with lots of backgrounds and props to place trophies in and take pictures.

I really wish development of trophies could have been outsourced to an external team... or even to talented fans who compete to get their work in the game. I know they are kind of pointless but they are so fun to collect and strengthen the theme of celebrating all things Nintendo. I spent a decent amount of time spinning them around and reading the descriptions.

Spirits it is though.

Travis Touchdown could have been a pro wrestler character. 😢

Just thought of that and came back here to mention it....

We've got 5 more to go . Im not giving up hope yet. My fingers are crossed for Travis.

Excited about the game and the amiibo, but I will really miss those trophies

Does this mean that adventure mode will have a story? Sakurai has been very quiet about it. We know there won't be any cutscenes, but maybe we'll still have some form of character interaction. Heck, I'll take a .jpeg of the characters with some text under them over nothing.

Who said there wont be any cutscenes? Did I miss out on something? Last I heard they wont talk much more about the game until after it releases.

Wed Nov 14 18 10:08am
(Updated 1 time)

Going off of what I've heard - the Japanese Direct flat-out stated that there would be no cutscenes. The U.S. direct tried to soften the blow by stating "there is more of a focus on fun." I believe it was a post made by a member of source gaming that confirmed this.

I see. Didn't catch that. Guess I'll just wait it out.

Thanks! Smile

"In this game, matches will be completely synchronized."

So in other words, Namco still has no idea how to write netcode...

Thu Nov 15 18 01:49pm
Rating: 1

No trophy collection aspect is going to severely reduce how much I actually play this game. Bad move Sakurai, one of many.

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