Research & Analysis

Arguments for and against Wolf

Myth: Wolf is a Fox Clone 

This claim rarely comes with any tangible evidence to definitively confirm it,  but instead rhetorical and emotive based evidence usually built on a foundation of misinformation. Generally little research is conducted due to a clear bias against the character or based on a belief that if Wolf was included, the character they preferred would not be included when this argument is made. The biggest reason is Sakurai and the developers of the game have officially gone on record as to saying which characters are clones and which are not in various articles and interviews, and Wolf is not included in this list. While Wolf may share a similar visual base and theme for his move set and some development assets, The properties unique to Wolf and his moves make him play quite differently to Fox and Falco. 70% of Wolf’s development is made up of his own unique assets and  development assets of other characters including Sonic, Link, Diddy and others. Wolf compared to Fox and Falco is like Luigi to Mario and Ganondorf to Captain Falcon.

Some will argue “Clone gonna get cut” argument which is nonsense considering not only did we gain a veteran clone in Doctor Mario but several new clone characters also such as Lucina and Dark Pit. Not to mention Wolf at best you could barely prove he is a semi-clone. By the logic people say Wolf is a Fox Clone, Wolf could also be a pit clone (Neutral B shoots a laser projectile from a weapon, Up-B travels in a straight line, Down B deals with projectiles and side B is an attack that travels horizontally). His standard move set and character traits are always conveniently ignored because it makes up the bulk of his move set and would easily disprove biased claims.



✓ Wolf is a safe and reliable inclusion at minimal cost and development time! 

We know character development takes at least a few months from start to end. Wolf being a veteran provides the benefit of allowing at least some assets to be reused and less time spent developing the play style and base fundamentals since they already exist. Being a veteran also provides the benefit of already having an established fan base of the character and veterans in general so would be less of a risk due to being highly likely to sell well. This has already been proven with Characters such as Mewtwo, Roy and Lucas.

While Nintendo does not have the same reputation compared to other video game companies in terms of their general business practices including DLC they are still a business and still have a responsibility to shareholders to ensure the business is making as much profit as they can. Nintendo is not a Charity after all and while they enjoy and put much love into their work which brings a lot of joy to people the business realities do not go away either.



Myth: Wolf and Star Fox isn’t popular / relevant 

Wolf was included in Brawl due to popular demand by fans.

Wolf retains his popularity and currently ranks top five and higher within a large majority of most wanted characters new or old within various fan and community polls. You will almost never see a credible list without it. Wolf also appeared in one game between the release of Brawl and Smash 4, and several games prior to Brawl. Wolf also is a major character within the Star Fox series acting as Fox’s rival, a villain and an anti-hero. He is also set to return in 2016’s Star Fox Zero for Wii U.

Nintendo have some series’ that get multiple games per generation and others that only get one game a generation. Star Fox falls into the later group (although it has had some generations with multiple games) similar to Smash, Mario Party/Kart etc. Definitely has no comparison to series such as  Metroid or F-Zero. Over 11 million series sales isn’t anything to sneeze at either.

“Do a Barrel Roll” is a popular quote and meme among the Internet that originated from the Star Fox series that as lasted as a testament to the series.




Myth If Wolf got “cut” why would he come back? 

Unlike many characters who actually got cut from any Smash game Wolf has no official and/or confirmed reasons about why he was not included in the initial roster of characters. This does say something. “Lazy” clones especially ones that rely on relevancy and/or promotion as their justification are always going to be very high on any characters that do get cut such as Pichu and Young Link. Quite a number of characters were never actually removed on purpose but due to lack of resources could not make it back in time for launch. Many characters such as Mewtwo and Roy were always planned to return and weren’t “cut” per se. Just ran out of time  since new content generally gets priority in development terms. There is now precedence  however for Veterans to return to the game after missing an appearance with almost 50% of fighter DLC belonging to Veterans.

The most likely reason that wolf did not return initially to Smash 4 is due to development time. A game like Smash 4 requires a lot of time and resources and when you have a release date to stick to you have to make some difficult choices. However Nintendo had planned for DLC to be developed for Smash Bros starting with Mewtwo, and then expanding on the DLC concept if Mewtwo sold well and brought a lot of Media attention which he did. Most likely development was done in this way due to Nintendo still being relatively new to the DLC concept. Sakurai probably decided that he could work on Wolf later, knowing that Star Fox Zero for Wii U would release in the future and Wolf could return as DLC around then.

However Wolf had a redesign between the Nintendo 64 and Nintendo GameCube era of games. Wolf in Super Smash Bros. Brawl used the GameCube design for Wolf. Smash 4 released in October of 2014 which as at a minimum 18 months before the release of Star Fox Zero. Wolf’s design would most likely not match his design from Brawl so Sakurai would be caught in the position of either revealing Wolf’s new look well before Nintendo was ready to release information about Star Fox Zero or risk his look in Brawl being outdated. There are also potential issues with plot spoilers for Star Fox Zero by releasing Wolf and his potential updated look early.

Critics will say that Sakurai has put content into the game prior to those games coming out so the argument that Wolf may not have been included due to potential plot spoilers is not correct. If we examine said content that is used to support this however we will find key differences. The first is the Yoshi’s Wolly World stage. This game is a platformer however and the stage itself is not a spoiler in anyway, unless you consider Yoshi platforming in a Plains/hills archetype of a stage a spoiler. Having personally played the game myself the stage is in no way a spoiler. Greninja being included during his concept phase prior to the release of Pokemon X and Y is also citied as an example. As a starter Pokemon Greninja was always going to be revealed before the actual game itself and is hardly in any way a spoiler critical to the plot not that Pokemon is a series popular for its plot compared to the game mechanics.



✓ Star Fox Zero for Wii U presents a great promotion opportunity specifically and generally! 

In Q1 of 2016 Star Fox Zero for Wii U is due to release. This is the first major game for Star Fox since Star Fox 64 3D in 2011 for Nintendo 3DS. As we get closer to the release date more and more people are going to either be introduced to the series for the first time and is an exciting time for current/old fans. They will want to be involved with the game and series as much as possible including merchandise.

Mewtwo was released in a promotion that saw people get him for free and earlier than anyone else! They could do something similar to help promote Star Fox as a series especially the new game Star Fox Zero and Smash Bros if they did include him as Smash 4 DLC. For example if you pre-order Star Fox Zero you may be given a code that allows you to get Wolf for free and earlier than anyone else!

Wolf wouldn’t be added in purely as a promotional tool for Star Fox Zero, however like Mewtwo he’s still relevant and is a veteran. It’s not like Nintendo have never put in a character before as an advertisement (Pichu, Roy and Greninja to name a few). It’s not the only reason but is a big reason indeed. Wolf would sell on his veteran status and popularity alone, Star Fox Zero just sweetens the deal.




Myth: Having old characters return is a “waste” of a roster slot for a newcomer. 

This is not an honest argument because if we applied this logic to every character it was relevant to we would only have 21 characters out of the current cast of 58 fighters.

It is an argument which is cherry picked because some people do not like Wolf for whatever reason (usually due to misinformation) or simply because he isn’t a character they wanted so whatever weak justification against including Wolf is created because it may risk having their preferred character which is not how character selection is done.

Sakurai has also stated many times that sometimes when a character is included they do not increase the workload required and in creating them are somehow denying another character to be included.




✓ Wolf can help with the problem of Nintendo’s Diminishing returns for expanding the roster for the next Smash Game/port [Incomplete]

With every iteration of Smash Brothers, fans have come to expect more playable characters compared to the last entry. Smash 4 is expected to finish at 58 characters which compared to other fighting games is an absolutely massive amount when you consider all the development resources and time required to make, balance and test each one.

Nintendo is known for being somewhat slow when it comes to the creation of new characters either within existing series and universes or within brand new IP’s.

Characters in each entry of smash have always been a combination of new characters and returning characters. Having Wolf return will help somewhat with this issue of Nintendo having to expand the next game’s roster.



References and Sources:

As this page becomes more content complete we plan to attribute references and sources to specific parts within each argument as opposed to the whole section.




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