Masahiro Sakurai reveals footage of Super Smash Bros. prototype Dragon King: The Fighting Game in a video talking about the franchise’s history.
During a recent video on his YouTube channel, Super Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai shared footage of the prototype that would eventually become the massively popular fighting game. Sakurai’s YouTube channel has become a hub for those interested in the game design process to learn more from one of the industry’s greats. Past videos from Sakurai have focused on a variety of game design topics from elements like planning and UI to in-depth looks at games like Kirby’s Adventure and Kirby Super Star. Now, Sakurai has taken a deep dive into the origins of Nintendo’s premiere fighting franchise.
The newest video from Masahiro Sakurai takes a deep look at the development of the original Super Smash Bros. while also showing off the game’s prototype, titled Dragon King: The Fighting Game. The fighting game prototype showcases simplistic character models in different colored outfits with many of the game’s elements mirroring the final product. The Super Smash Bros. prototype features the franchise’s trademark percentage damage system, as well as stage layouts reminiscent of their Super Smash Bros. counterparts.
During the deep dive into Super Smash Bros. history, Sakurai also relates the story of how the game first came to be. HAL Laboratory began development on the original Super Smash Bros. prototype in 1996, shortly after the completion of Kirby Super Star. The developer had proposed two games to Nintendo with both Dragon King and an “RC Robot Adventure Game” with a heavy focus on stealth. Sakurai worked together with then-HAL Laboratory president and later Nintendo president Satoru Iwata on the prototypes, with both seeing positive reception from Nintendo.
The latter portion of the Super Smash Bros. video focuses in on Sakurai’s decision to incorporate Nintendo mascots as the main playable characters. Sakurai cited an issue he felt with fighting games having “too many main characters” with several original characters introduced to players from the very beginning, which he thought could be overwhelming. The inclusion of recognizable characters in Smash Bros. would give new players a character to connect with, based on their own personal gaming experience.
Throughout the more than 25 years since HAL first began development on Super Smash Bros, Masahiro Sakurai has become one of gaming’s most prolific creators. Sakurai has been the face of Super Smash Bros. since its outset and regularly appears on Nintendo videos covering the franchise. Sakurai is also very public on his own personal gaming preferences, singing the praises of games like Sonic Frontiers and even revealing that he owns an Xbox Series X. Sakurai’s YouTube channel has given fans of the director an invaluable insight into the mind of one of gaming’s greats.
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