There’s a lot of people who were curious as to why Kirby was the lone survivor and default hero for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate after the massive trailer reveal last month. As much as a Kirby fan I am, even I’m curious why Nintendo chose the pink marshmellow over the traditional lead of Mario for this journey. Welp, we got an answer from the main man himself, director Masahiro Sakurai. Source Gaming translated a full interview Sakurai gave to Famitsu in their latest issue, in which he details the reasoning for their choice. And you know what, it makes complete sense from a storytelling perspective and a gaming perspective.
All the fighters perish at once in “World of Light,” but there wouldn’t be much of a story if one of them didn’t survive. So why did I choose Kirby? “It must be because you created the Kirby series!” …I thought you might say that. But from a game design perspective, and based on process of elimination, Kirby was the obvious choice.
We needed a solid, convincing reason for why said character could outrun Galeem. All fighters possessing “normal” abilities were immediately disqualified. Given that its assault enveloped the ends of the galaxy, only a vehicle that could defy the laws of physics would work. Even short-distance teleportation wouldn’t be enough.
Some of you may have forgotten, but Kirby’s Warp Star has been able to, y’know, warp since his very first game. That alone made him a pretty solid contender. The only other two fighters that could have survived would have been Bayonetta or Palutena. That said, Bayonetta’s enemies from Purgatorio (a hellish other world) were turned into Spirits, so it wouldn’t have made sense for her to escape. Other divine beings like Hades were also turned into Spirits, so there was no way Palutena could have survived, too.
Plus, it would have been difficult to use Bayonetta or Palutena as the starting character. The first character players try has to be simple and easy to use. As you may have seen in The Smashing Life, Kirby was voted as the character they should play first. I really had no other choice than Kirby