Everyone knows Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for its diverse cast of fighters, with Nintendo classics like Mario and Link rumbling alongside Solid Snake, Joker, and Banjo-Kazooie. I still remember how excited I got at the announcement that Sonic the Hedgehog was coming to the Smash franchise. Sonic? In Smash? Nothing could ever top that!
Except I was a fool, and Ultimate has introduced so many characters from different franchises that I am now numb to shock. Spirits and Mii Fighter skins mean that Nintendo has room for even more characters than ever before, and so indie darlings like Sans from Undertale or Shovel Knight could pop into a player’s game.
Today, Nintendo announced that Warframe’s space mom, Lotus, is coming to Smash in the form of a spirit. In-game, she’ll be represented by Bayonetta. Spirits are full of obscure picks and deep cuts; there are over 1,400 of them in the game to date.
But if you asked me to guess what game would never show up in Smash, Warframe would be pretty high up there on the list.
It’s not that I don’t like Warframe; in fact, I love it and I’m absolutely delighted to see Lotus in Smash. She deserves it! I just wasn’t expecting this inclusion in any form. This is the first MMORPG to be honored with a Smash addition, and the game’s aesthetic is so alien that it clashes bizarrely with Smash’s cast of cartoony folk. It’s tough to even explain who Lotus is or why she’s meaningful without preparing a PowerPoint.
Warframe has made its way to a port on the Nintendo Switch, however, so there is a small connection that may have helped this spirit’s debut along.
The entire thing feels so surreal that I could believe anyone is set to Smash next. If Byleth’s introduction to Smash Bros. was considered a snooze, Lotus is a cold splash of water to the face. My third eye is open and I am envisioning a world where anyone, literally anyone, could show up in Smash. Master Chief. John Anthem, from the BioWare game Anthem. Arthur Morgan. Sure! Right now, I would believe any of those. Heck, you could put Warframe’s Excalibur in as a fighter, and my only objection to the skin-suited horn-headed murder ninja would be “Oh, man, not another sword guy.”
With another wave of DLC fighters coming down the pipeline, we have six more opportunities for a surprise. Go ahead and give me a Chell, or a Kratos, in the next fighters pass. I’m ready for anything.