Last week, a series of screenshots claiming to be from the 3DS version of the upcoming Super Smash Bros. were leaked by various anonymous sources revealing an updated roster and stage list – including characters previously unconfirmed by Nintendo.
Today a series of videos were posted to YouTube that seem to confirm at least some of the screenshots (and the information leaked) as legitimate. Just a few short hours after their release Nintendo of America had the videos removed further confirming their legitimacy.
**Warning: Potential spoilers for the upcoming Smash Bros. below**
NeoGaf has compiled the series of screenshots by poster, offering a detailed history of when and where they were posted and challenging their authenticity based on available information.
The first screenshots surfaced on 4chan’s /v/ board and show what looks to be the game’s updated roster screen (with a few notable omissions), and a comment explaining that the missing veteran fighters (namely: Lucas, Wolf, Ice Climbers, & Snake) as well as newcomer Chorus Men (or Kids depending on your region) as DLC characters (possibly to be released alongside the Wii U version of Smash). The original leaker went on to say that the promise of DLC was in fact a hoax.
New characters revealed in the screenshots include Bowser Jr. (seen riding in the Koopa Clown Car), Shulk from Xenoblade, the Dog from Duck Hunt, and Dark Pitt. The leak also features returning characters who have not yet been announced, like Ness and R.O.B. Also featured is Dr. Mario, who appeared in Melee but did not return in Brawl.
The second leak was posted in the same /v/ thread shortly after the first batch of pictures. Since the original poster stated “my friend will stick around” in his DLC post, and due to the fact that the Shulk and Dr. Mario models match the head portraits on the roster of the first leak, these images are believed to be authentic as well. They show what appears to be a Start Screen with the characters scrolling by, the Stage Select Screen, and character editors for custom movesets.
The third set of images were posted to GameFaqs “LONG after the other leaks,” according to NeoGaf, and are believed to be shots taken from a modified version of Brawl in an attempt to “piggyback” on the original leak. They are largely considered to be fake.
The authenticity of the images was heavily called into question up until today. Earlier this morning a series of gameplay videos were posted showing Bowser Jr. and Shulk in real-time action. Several major gaming news outlets reported on the videos, and Nintendo of America subsequently had them removed. As a result, many are claiming the gameplay video leaks to be confirmed as authentic. A rep from Nintendo responded to GameInformer‘s request for comment on the leaked character videos saying,
“We have nothing to announce at this time. For the list of announced playable characters for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS please visit: www.smashbros.com.”
If you missed the leak videos, Redditor tonicodrea has posted them to his DropBox account for your viewing pleasure.
UPDATE 8/25/14 6:11 p.m.: Due to increased traffic DropBox has disabled the video from view and the post has since been removed from Reddit. You can currently view them The Unofficial Leak Mirror Thread or check out IGN’s video on the subject which we’ve embedded below for you convenience.
It is unclear at this time where the leaks originated from, but as Kotaku points out, the username “ESRB0083” seen in the screenshot points to the idea that this build was designed for the Entertainment Software Rating Board. According to their website, the ESRB does not play the games they rate. Instead, they are sent video showing the game.
Since the initial wave of leaks, a new gallery of seemingly legitimate in-game images have been posted to Imgur, and old text-only rumors, which match up to some of today’s announcements, are being revisited.
Ultimately, only word from Sakurai himself will put the endless speculation to rest, but at the very least we now have a better idea of what the final roster of characters will look like.