With some rather unexpected characters making their way into the next Smash Bros. such as the acrobatic Wii Fit Trainer, Capcom’s Mega Man, and perhaps the most surprising addition Pokemon gen VI water-starter Greninja, the GameKoop staff has decided to chime in with one newcomer they dream might one day make it into a Smash Bros. entry. Be sure to check back on Sunday for Jack’s pick.
Dream Newcomer: Marina Liteyears
Debut: Mischief Makers (N64 – 1997)
Mischief Makers stars “Ultra-Intergalactic-Cybot G Marina Liteyears” on her quest to rescue her inventor, the lascivious Professor Theo, from the clutches of the generically-named enemy faction, “The Empire.” Along the way, Marina makes use of her various abilities to thwart children, giant bees, a werewolf, a sasquatch, a bird-man and other zany characters on the planet Clancer, where almost everyone (and every thing) has the same hollow, off-putting face.
Mischief Makers was developed by Treasure and published by Enix in Japan and Nintendo in North America. This platformer was one of Treasure’s great successes, but in the grand scheme of things it’s considered a cult hit at best.
I played this game a lot when I was younger, and now I can’t see anything related to Mischief Makers without hearing Marina’s trademarked, “Shake, shake!” ring in my head. That’s what she does, that’s who she is.
She shakes things.
Blocks, balls, missiles, freedom-fighters, kittens, giant robots — if it exists, Marina will shake brightly colored gems out of it. She also uses a jet-pack and knows how to ride a tricycle.
At the same time.
Her inclusion in Smash Bros. isn’t impossible because Nintendo and Treasure have a long relationship — remember Wario World? Although Smash Bros. already has a Treasure representative in the form of Saki Amamiya from Sin and Punishment, he only functions as an assist trophy.
It’s not difficult to imagine an interesting moveset for Marina — in fact, many already have. There is a lot in Mischief Makers to draw inspiration from when thinking of attacks for her. She shakes, she throws, she slams, she plays dodge-ball against a kitten. The music in the game is amazing, and while the locations stick to typical platformer fare (fields, desserts, caves, etc.), they have their own special charm. A personal favorite has you capture ghosts in a pot.
And even the pot has that spooky face.
Unfortunately, Marina exists in the same sort of ‘copyright-limbo’ as another fan-favorite, Geno. Regardless of how much of a cult classic Mischief Makers is, there is virtually no incentive for Nintendo to put her in Smash Bros. when they could add someone who is familiar with a larger audience or has appeared in a more recent game.
Whether it’s with a remake, a modern take on the series or the inclusion of Marina in Smash Bros., Mischief Makers deserves a revival of some kind. Because the game is so dear to me, Marina Liteyears will always be the character I most wish were in Smash Bros., and although she’s definitely associated with Nintendo, I’m sad to say I don’t expect her to ever join the fight.