Super Smash Bros – A Brief History

Super Smash Bros – A Brief History by Jonathan Benson

Super Smash Bros. is an award-winning fighting game franchise, created by Nintendo in the late 1990’s. Originally developed for the Nintendo 64 video game console, Super Smash Bros has turned into a worldwide phenomenon and spawned a dedicated fanbase over the years. As far as gameplay goes, Smash Bros. is fast paced, multi-tiered, hand to hand combat against other players. Matches are colorful and chaotic at the same time, with a variety of Nintendo themed items appearing on screen for use by players. Up to four players can be on screen at once, either controlled by humans or up to three computer-controlled bots. The goal is to diminish the other players’ lives and be the last player standing.

Super Smash Bros Characters

The series originally launched with a very minimal cast, consisting of popular Nintendo character such as Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong, Link from The Legend of Zelda, Pikachu from the Pokemon series, and a few others. With each subsequent title release, the cast has expanded more and more over the years. The most recent release on the Nintendo Switch (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate) for example, now features up to 80 playable characters from a variety of game franchises. Newly added characters in the most recent entries, feature many characters from outside of the original Nintendo universe. Some of the newest characters in the series, include characters from video games such as: Minecraft, Banjo-Kazooie, Fatal Fury, Castlevania, and Persona 5. These new additions have also greatly expanded Smash’s player base.


Over the years, gameplay mechanics have evolved, but the core game has remained relatively the same. Each battle takes place in a Nintendo themed arena level, usually with a “bottomless pit” where players can be knocked off or accidentally fall in and lose a life. “Smash Balls” can be picked up, which grant players special abilities based on who their character is and allow players to execute a massive attack against their opponents. The newest addition to gameplay in Smash Bros. Ultimate, is the addition of the Story Mode “World of Light.” As you progress through the game, you rescue other characters who you can then play as yourself. The most recent three entries in the series, also featured the ability to use “Amiibos,” which are detailed plastic figurines released by Nintendo. Character data and customization can be saved to these figurines, which can then be scanned by your game console and utilized in-game.

Super Smash Bros in Esports

Perhaps its most notable contribution to the video game world, is Smash’s involvement in the eSports competitive gaming scene. Smash Bros. has a dedicated community of professional gamers. Some of the best Smash eSports players in the world currently are: Hungrybox, Armada, Mew2King, Mango, PPMD, among many others (Esports Earnings, 2020). Currently, the best Smash player in the world is thought to be Daniel “SuPeRbOoMfAn” Hoyt. However, the greatest player of all time is currently considered to be Joel “Isai” Alvarado. (Lindberg, 2015) The top players in the world have netted an upwards of $300,000 - $350,000 in total, while some of the biggest prize pools for tournaments can earn players up to and around $80,000 (Esports Earnings, 2020). Nintendo itself has gotten involved in many of the tournaments and has fully endorsed their activity. While many eSports tournaments involve the newest entries in the series (Ulimate and Smash Bros. Self-Titled), some of the most exciting and thrilling tournaments, involve Super Smash Bros. Melee on the Nintendo GameCube.  This title today, remains the single most popular entry in the series for competitive gameplay.

Super Smash Bros Local

Did you know that central Florida has one of the biggest fan base for Smash? Here in Brevard, you can find weekly tournaments and meetups. Arcade Monsters, Game Over Bar Arcade, and Florida Institute of Technology Esports Club are among the few venues where you can find other melee players. Be sure to check out the current calendar to find an event.