With the announcement of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Nintendo promised that every playable character throughout the series’ history was making a return. Well, everyone except for Waluigi who exists as an Assist Trophy. Despite what you may think though, Nintendo doesn’t “hate” Waluigi. In fact, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime even mains him in Mario Tennis Aces.
What started as a question from Waypoint about Fils-Aime’s main character in the recent tennis game inevitably devolved into a discussion about the villain’s exclusion. Fils-Aime stated that, “CLEARLY, Nintendo does not hate Waluigi. Because here I am with him as my main character. I mean look, we’re making every character that’s ever been in a Smash Bros. game available in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.”
When told that this doesn’t include Waluigi, Fils-Aime imitated exhaustion and replied, “You would think that would be enough to satisfy the fans. But noooooo! The fans have to focus in on one character that isn’t part of the series and to demand their inclusion.
“So, one of the good things about the way we approach E3 is when it’s all said and done we step back. We look at all of the feedback and share with the devs and certainly Mr. Sakurai will be aware of the groundswell of support that appeared for a Waluigi. And in the end it’s his decision to make. Just like when we were getting ready to launch the Wii U and 3DS version there was this groundswell asking for Reggie to be a playable character in the game. I mean…”
Obvious light-heartedness aside (and no, Fils-Aime never did become a playable character), Nintendo seems more than a little aware about the reception to Waluigi’s absence. How could they not be? Legions of his fans were furious about it, whether as a joke or in seriousness. Some even took to Twitter to harass Super Smash Bros. Ultimate creator Masahiro Sakurai who proceeded to block them.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t seem impossible that Waluigi is added to the game later especially given Nintendo’s exceptional post-launch support for Switch games. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is out on December 7th for Nintendo Switch.