It’s time for the birthday bumps! Yes, with time moving irrevocably and irritatingly forward, the original Super Smash Bros. turned 20 today – or a version of it did. Having had its Japanese launch in January 1999 and its North American debut in April, Europe finally received the N64 crossover brawler on 19th November exactly two decades ago.
Nintendo of Europe tweeted out the following picture to remind fans of the game which started it all:
As well as making us regret letting our mate borrow our pristine copy and it being returned to us like his dog had spent a fortnight chewing on the cardboard, the pic above also got us nostalgic for HAL’s first game in what became such a successful series. While the original only scratched the surface in terms of potential and what Smash would later become, at the time it seemed like such a fascinating anomaly in Nintendo’s family-friendly lineup. You mean to say Nintendo’s letting me use Mario to beat seven shades of grey out of that upstart yellow rat Pikachu?!? Yep, fill your boots.
Of course, the framing device that all the characters are toys being pitted against each other by the ‘Master Hand’ of a child provided leeway which seemed to satisfy the guardians over at Nintendo. And thank goodness, too – Super Smash Bros. Melee on GameCube would refine the original in practically every way and the games that followed would ultimately (pun intended) culminate in the Switch version which includes absolutely every character ever to appear in the series to date and recently became the best-selling fighting game in history. Andl, it all started 20 years ago with just 8 characters (well, 12 including the unlockables).
What are your memories of the original Smash Bros.? Feel free to share them below.