Imma go ahead and warn you guys: If you don’t give a shit about Fire Emblem, video game history, or Super Smash Bros., don’t read this. I’ve been doing a lot of news lately, so I though I’d go with something that bugged me for a change.
So I was talking to a few people the other day and one of them mentioned that he really wanted Roy back in the roster for the newest Smash Bros. When I asked him why, he responded with, “uh, because he’s cool and super cool and my favorite and stuff.” Well, Super Smash Bros. Melee was the first Smash Bros. game to feature plenty of identical characters, or clones, as they’re called. Such relationships are Link and Young Link, Fox and Falco, and even Captain Falcon and Ganondorf. While they have small differences, one character is often a very blatant copy of their original.
So why did I just very suddenly shoot off topic and explain that? Well, Roy is a clone of Marth, the protagonist of the first Fire Emblem and poster boy of the entire series. Roy was slightly slower, and hit higher damages when using the middle of the Sword of Seals, as opposed to Marth’s tip of the Falchion. Roy had many of Marth’s attacks copied over to his moveset, with only a few changes. Many people dislike such shameless rehashing of characters, but apparently people bonded to Roy’s “totally different” fighting style.
For many western players, Roy’s first appearance was in Super Smash Bros. Melee on the Nintendo Gamecube. Very few people in the west had heard about the Fire Emblem series, and much less have played the game Roy came from. Fire Emblem 6: Fuuin no Tsurugi, or the Sword of Seals, features Roy as the protagonist in what is the prequel to Fire Emblem 7: Blazing Sword. up to that point, Nintendo had no interest in bringing Fire Emblem to the west, or even keeping Marth and Roy in the western versions of the game; however, after stunning feedback from testers, Nintendo decided to keep them in, leading Fire Emblem to receive its first mainstream exposure on non-eastern shores.
Now that I’ve set it up, I’ll return to my friend’s answer of “he’s cool and stuff.” Well, my unnamed, un-Fire-Emblem’d- friend, that’s the dumbest shit I’ve ever heard, and I’ll tell everyone why.
First off, Marth and Roy were chosen for specific reasons. Marth represent the entire series, and such was a shoe-in as a representative for SSB Melee. The newest Fire emblem game at the time was FE6: Sword of Seals, so Roy was chosen to represent his game. This set the pattern for the series in the next game: Super Smash Brothers Brawl.
For Brawl, Marth made a unanimous comeback, but the second slot was iffy. While Roy was no longer fresh in the series, The latest game, Fire Emblem 10: Radiant Dawn, had multiple main characters. So, the developers chose the protagonist from Fire Emblem 9: Path of Radiance, who also plays a significant role in the sequel game: Ike.
Going back to Fire Emblem terms, every character has natural “growth rates” for stats. Each stat had a percentage (example: 60% for Strength), and upon every level up, they had that much of a percentage to gain one point. In his own game, Roy consistently fails to be useful at endgame, and people who have played Fire Emblem 6 more than once can confirm this. For the sake of putting Roy in his place, I made this chart for you guys:
As you can see, Roy has both good stat growths and high stat caps. So why is he such a bad unit? Well, when a character hits level 20, or uses a special item, they can promote to a higher ranking class, which raises their stats and stat caps. Most units can promote whenever you put enough effort into them, but certain characters, including the Lords (or main characters), promote at a certain point in the story. In Marth’s game, he never promotes, but his starting class has promoted unit stat caps, leaving ihm on equal footing with promoted units. Ike promotes after chapter 18, which is a little over half way into the game, giving you ample time to turn him into a monster. Roy? Roy promotes so late into the game that most of the time, you’d have to nerf other units just to catch him up. his special weapon and promotional stat boost help him a little, but unless you specifically dedicate a large amount of chapters to leveling him, he’ll be dead weight compared to other units. Sure, you have to do that to Marth and Ike for a little, but eventually Marth can hold his own, and a good Ike can solo THE ENTIRE GAME WITH AN UNBREAKABLE SWORD THAT SHOOTS SWORD LASERS.
And there he goes. One shotting the boss before he powers up for ANOTHER one turn kill, all while swatting away some pesky max level units. That’s on Hardmode, by the way.
Marth’s spot will be hard to take for his iconic role is as mascot of FE, and Ike deserved his spot in both newest release and potential power, although he’s in danger of losing his spot due to Awakening being the newest release. Roy, on the other hand, turns out subpar in many instances, and only got in because his game was new. If you ever meet someone who wants Roy in, and they’ve never played Fire Emblem 6, just tell them this last bit:
Wasted potential in FE6, shameless clone in SSBMelee. Take your nostalgia glasses off and accept that not even Fire Emblem fans want him back in.
If you ask real fans, we’ve got a few suggestions here for you:
Hector and Ephraim are absolute monsters in the respective games. Very high growths in the stats they need, including Strength and Defense, it’s very rare to have an unusable Hector or Ephraim. In fact, every Hector I’ve ever used, even in his legendarily hard “Hector Hard Mode”, has been one of my top three units every time. While Chrom in the middle there isn’t as much of a powerhouse as those sexy beasts, he IS the newest Lord in the series, so he has a very good chance of making the second slot for Fire Emblem reps. Plus, having a bloodline relationship with Marth could sway the SSB team to keep family together, even if Marth is Chrom’s ancestor from thousands of years ago.
..unless Sakurai makes a third slot?! Marth, Ike, and Chrom, please! Jesus Christ I spent 2 hours on this article. I’m going to bed. Hope you enjoyed it!
If you even read it lol.
UPDATE FROM THE FUTURE
Check out how I feel about Roy being added to Smash 4. Don’t worry, I know this article’s kind of pointless now. The irony is not lost on me.