Update: as of the latest Nintendo Direct on November 1st 2018, this leak has been confirmed fake.
Smash Ultimate has already been confirmed to have a staggering total of 74 new and returning fighters slated for its December 7th release date. But since this timeframe leaves over a full month left until the game’s release, now would be the most logical time for Nintendo to launch one final wave of PR for the game, revealing a number of new characters to make sure its launch is as explosive as it can be.
Due to this, a number of anonymous individuals have emerged from the cracks of the internet to spew all sorts of info regarding the final additions to the roster. And while some of this informations seems plausible, it’s all, you know, anonymous – Making it next to impossible to give it any credibility. Even if one of these leaks is true, it’d be practically impossible to pull it from the ocean of fake leaks.
Until now, that is.
A new leak has emerged from the waterworks, this one going a little bit further than the traditional text post format. The image, originally posted anonymously to 4Chan, has been re-uploaded by a number of sources and has already been making waves in the smash community.
Now, before you lose yourself in confusion, allow me to take some time to explain exactly what you’re looking at.
This image is a combination of three separate images, one of them apparently taken in Snapchat or is using a text overlay similar to Snapchat; I won’t directly translate that french, but will say it translates to something along the lines of “Eff Nintendo”.
This leak takes the form of the ‘complete’ Smash Ultime character banner, a banner which has appeared in every major announcement to the game so far. Every time a new character is announced, other characters are moved around / adjusted to make room for the newcomer, who is then added to this banner.
It’s important to note that characters are MOVED each time a new fighter is added, as to ensure there’s no blank space left to obvious to-be-announced characters when previous banners were shown.
But since the picture’s so far away, it’s hard to see what exactly is being shown in this banner. Luckily, a few helpful internet denizens have taken to photoshop to enhance on the newly added fighters – in this image, posted on a report of the leak by NintendoEverything.
This triple-comparison pits the new image against previously released banners put out by Nintendo, as well as highlighting all SEVEN of the new fighters who seem to be in this poster. Those fighters are…
- Shadow the Hedgehog
- Mach Rider
- Isaac ( Golden Sun )
- Ken ( Street Fighter)
- Chorus Kids ( Rhythm Heaven)
- Geno ( Super Mario RPG )
This is what many would consider a dream roster, and also seems like a fairly likely one – many of these characters have been highly requested / the subject of great speculation for some time. But obviously, none of this matters if this leak is fake.
So what makes this so credible? Quite a bit actually.
- It’s an image. That’s quite a bit more credible than a text post. That’s quite a bit more effort from a fake leaker who simply wants to mess with people. But this isn’t exactly proof – past leakers have made full-blown fake gameplay videos before the official gameplay reveal.
- Did you notice this?
That’s an image of the banner’s background – WITHOUT any of the character sprites present. And it’s fairly legitimate-looking, too. Nintendo has not officially released anything like this, which suggests that this image was taken in a print shop that’s readying production of the final banners for shipment. The cylindrical diagram just above suggests the same thing.
The image would sensibly be released to print shops by now – if not earlier. So moving off this ‘print shop’ theory… let’s see what else we can find…
3. These look interesting…
Those little snippets appear to pictures of The Grinch and The Grinch’s dog, which would also be likely candidates for a print shop about now due to the upcoming November 9th global release date for the upcoming Grinch film by Illumination studios. Dedicated 4Chan and Reddit users have all but confirmed that these renders of The Grinch have never been seen before, either – meaning that the leaker couldn’t have simply pulled an image off the internet for their leak.
Of course, they could have made the renders themselves. But this leak is starting to look more and more credible…
4. The folks at 4Chan never sleep…
Furthering the internet discussion, they were able to pull a name from the image that leads to a Linkedin account for a manager at Les Ateliers Marina, a French print company that specializes in the printing and manufacture of banners, cutouts and posters for media advertising purposes. Since this discovery, the Linkedin account has been deleted and is no longer accessible.
So, after all is said and done, it’s safe to say that this once-random leak is looking a whole lot less random and a whole lot more credible. Of course, it could always just be a very clever and very elaborate faking plot involving the creation and subsequent deletion of an entire Linkedin account just to fool some people on the internet… Or, it could be real.
If it is real, then one thing’s for sure – A particular manager at a particular French print company is not going to be keeping his job for much longer.
Smash Ultimate released on December 7th, 2018 for Nintendo Switch.