Lovely image, isn't it? I've been waiting a long time to show it off. Almost immediately after the final Brawl character was revealed to be Wolf O'Donnell, I decided to put a lot of effort into making sure the same thing didn't happen again. I commissioned Sig-nal to create this artwork in preparation for a campaign to convence Mr. Masahiro Sakurai to put Krystal in the next Super Smash Bros. There was to be a dedicated website linking to an online petition where Krystal fans could sign up to request Krystal be included. As I continued to advance in my DigiPen studies of video game programming, I even considered writing up the character design document that would detail movesets, animations, costume changes, physics, art specifics, and all the other nitty gritty details that comes with creating a character for a character-focused game like a fighter. I planned all of that in an effort to entice Mr. Sakurai to include our lovely blue vixen.
Then I got busy with finishing school and finding a job. Plans are much easier to think about than act on. I kept the site up to date (mostly), but special projects like making a campaign for Krystal in SSB4 kept getting delayed in favor of other things. Before you know it, Nintendo launches their next console and promises a new Smash game coming soon. I realized then that it was probably too late. Now that an official trailer has been show, it is almost certainly too late.
During that time, I also gained an appreciation for just how the game industry works. Up until last month, I've been working for EA for a little over 2 years. I learned that while there is a lot of fun and magic to be had in making games, it is decidedly less magical than I expected going in. You can't just decide that a character should be in a game. There are licensing issues, technical challenges, and the character's impact on the game as a whole that must be considered. Mr. Sakurai could get it done if he wanted to, but he has correctly decided to place overall gameplay concerns over getting the most popular characters in the game. That's not to say he isn't listening. Megaman was the most requested guest character, but Mr. Sakurai was very careful to choose the classic NES-style Megaman simply brought into the land of 3D. If Krystal isn't a good fighting choice and not popular enough, there's little to no hope that she will be in any Smash game.
Sounds pretty negative, I know, but I'm just being realistic. Barring some kind of executive decision by Shigeru Miyamoto, Satoru Iwata, Reggie Fils-Aime, or Mr. Sakurai himself, all of the characters that will appear in the game have been decided on long ago. The only way she will likely appear is if she was already chosen. What are the chances of that? Not terribly bad, actually. Let's look at the reasons.
1. Staff-Based Fighter
Krystal's Staff is the primary weapon used throughout Star Fox Adventures. We only got to see Krystal wield it briefly in that game, but Fox showed that it has many, many capabilities. This opens up numerous possibilities. While Link, Ike, Marth, and Roy used swords as part of their fighting style, there has yet to be a character in Smash games to use a staff. Unlike a sword, which generally only allows for attacks in one direction at a time, a staff can be used to attack in both directions or one direction depending on how it is used. This would be useful for mid-power attacks. Krystal's Staff features upgrades that allow for elemental attacks based on fire, ice, earth, and plain-old energy shots. In Star Fox Adventures, Krystal's Staff was intended to be a universal tool and weapon. Krystal can use her Staff in Smash the same way.
2. A New Female Character
If I recall correctly, Mr. Sakurai expressed interest in including more female characters in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The result? Zero Suit Samus was included as an alternate form for the normally suited Samus. This time around, we're doing a little better. We get the Wii Fit Female Trainer as one of the newly revealed characters. Why have only one when we can have two (or more)? Adding Krystal would increase the number of playable female characters without resorting to alternate forms.
3. Krystal, the Unusual Star Fox Character
The development of Star Fox Adventures led to Krystal having attributes not shared by any other characters in the Star Fox series. Namely, she's a telepath. In the games, she displays strong empathic abilities and possibly a small amount of future-sight. While all other Star Fox characters can (and do) use mostly physical attacks and laser weapons when fighting outside their vehicles, Krystal presents the opportunity to have a Star Fox character with a more psychically focused moveset. It could be implemented as distance psychic attacks like Ness's, or as close-up disorientation type attacks like Mewtwo. Krystal also displays a connection with the various Saurian dinosaur characters she encounters. She might also be able to call in helper dinos like Captain Olimar calls in Pikmin.
4. No More Landmaster!
It doesn't need to be this way! Krystal can call on one of the CloudRunner dinosaurs, or a whole pack of them. Or she can do some kind of crazy psychic limit break. I don't care. Point is, Krystal presents much more opportunity for a unique Final Smash.
5. In Uniqueness, Familiarity
While Krystal has a lot of unique abilities and a diverse set of options available, she remains a member of the Star Fox team. She can pilot an Arwing, use firearms, talk on comms, and do all the other things most Star Fox characters can do. If Mr. Sakurai wants to keep part of her moveset familiar, Krystal is fully capable of using kicks, punches, and laser pistols.
While Krystal is not without her share of controversy, she remains a very popular character. Indeed, when Mr. Sakurai polled people for characters to include in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Krystal was requested multiple times and was the most-requested female character among those listed in the poll results. I've even heard that Sakurai expressed surprise at the numerous requests for her in Brawl, though I was unable to find the source.
Not a bad list of reasons. Even Krystal herself believes she should be in the game. She's certainly just as interesting as most other characters in the series. Fox is going to be in the Super Smash Bros. 4, but Falco and Wolf are easily up in the air considering their clon-y movesets.
Is Krystal the logical choice? What other reasons should she be in Smash? Are there good reasons to keep her out? What do you think?