Grab my hand and squeeze it tight, for I’m about to take you back in time. We’re going back to when videos were the size of 2 Switch’s, TV’s were square, and Virtual Console was the current console.
Please, stay by my side and be careful not to get lost in the rose-tinted fog! In these early years, we see young Eric, who was currently mesmerised by the Nintendo Entertainment System. Even though he could only pronounce one of those three words, he knew what he loved; his mum and his games.
Years would pass and as young Eric grew, so would his affection for the interactive video programs. Eric would see the release of the SNES (pronounced SNEZ) and the generation that passed would see our young protagonist become what modern gamers would call “hardcore”. At this point in time Eric was a gamer, maybe even a Nintendo gamer, but he wasn’t a Nintendo fan. He loved his “Nintendo” and enjoyed playing games on it, but who made the games he was enamoured by, did not come into play.
I apologise for the build-up but we’ve finally arrived. The Nintendo 64 had been released, which meant Eric had to keep up his “hardcore” reputation and obtain the latest console. After much Christmas begging and many attempts to convince his parents that he would “work off the debt”; Eric received his wish of a Nintendo 64. After playing a few rounds of Super Smash Bros. at a friend’s house, he quickly added this game to his collection. As he played, and played, and… played, something inside the youngster changed. No, this was not puberty, the only thing getting hairy was the close matches he played in Super Smash Bros. The thing that changed was Eric’s attitude towards Nintendo; the company was no longer just the name of a video game console and he became a Nintendo fan.
Super Smash Bros. is an excellent game, there’s no doubt about that, but that was not the reason Eric became a fan of the big N. As I mentioned, Nintendo was still just a console and every game on it was a Nintendo game. Whatever Eric’s age was, he didn’t know who, how, or why people made games; he just enjoyed them. However, Super Smash Bros. changed the game and introduced him to a universe. Eric started to understand that the gaming stars that shined on his console, could be connected to form constellations.
Eric knew all about Mario, Yoshi and Donkey Kong. Now, he could connect the dots, and soon realised that these games were all made by Nintendo. Eric was a huge fan of these Nintendo games, but that made him question, who is Link? From where is Samus? And what in the pink depths of hell, is a Kirby? The characters he knew in Super Smash Bros. were from some of his favourite games, and this made him curios of the other characters and their games. As time went by, Eric would see the names pop up of characters familiarised through Super Smash Bros. and although not apparent at the time, the fandom created from brawling Nintendo characters would play a large roll on his
future gaming choices. Additionally, future Super Smash Bros. games would continue to plant the seeds of curiosity into Eric’s adolescent brain, and in a way, his Nintendo fan roots could be traced back to Super Smash Bros.
Welcome back to the present. If you have any rose-tinted fog stains, I hear Napisan is good for that. I hope it was as fun for you as it was for me. If there is something to take away from all this, it’s that Super Smash Bros. is a great series and we all have many different, fun, and nostalgic memories of it.
However, as fans of Nintendo it’s easy to forget that Smash isn’t just for Nintendo fans. Super Smash Bros. is for everyone. It’s a celebration, a history book, and an introduction into the universe that hosts the best franchises that gaming has to offer; Ice Climbers being the exception. This cosmic franchise holds us fans together (in bloody battle), and also extends a master hand to those on the outside. With the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, get ready because a new fan approaches!