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Making a convincing Super Smash Bros. fake is a lot of work

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Last week, Super Smash Bros. fans were maybe almost convinced that Ubisoft's Rayman was set to join the cast of the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS game. What was eventually revealed to be a faked leak seemed plausible. After all, Rayman (and Globox and Barbara) are in the game as trophies. And the supposed leak of Rayman in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U was accompanied by some genuine-looking video.

But it was a hoax, the work of a very talented artist who invested considerable effort to make Rayman's appearance in Smash seem believable.

This weekend, artist Omni Jacala copped to being the man responsible for creating the faked Rayman leak and offered a step-by-step explanation of how he did it. He painted original art for Rayman — and confirmed add-on character Mewtwo — to make the hoax feel legit. More importantly, he pretty convincingly nailed all the stuff that other fakers screw up: fonts, menu behavior, placement of characters. He also first uploaded his leak to 4chan, previously a source of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS rumors that wound up being true.

Rayman art

Why would someone put that much effort into faking Rayman's appearance in Smash? Jacala said he wanted to make some "cool art of Rayman" and learn Adobe After Effects, which you see him put to good use in the video above. He also said he just wanted to see how Etika, a popular Smash Bros. YouTuber, would react to the "leak."

Jacala said he also wanted to "redeem" himself after creating another fake leak that was quickly debunked last year. He tried to convince Smash fans that Namco's Klonoa was going to make an appearance in the game, but blew it by including some Japanese he couldn't read.

You can see more of Jacala's Smash Bros.-style artwork on his Deviantart page and watch a time-lapse painting of Rayman on YouTube.

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