Sakurai Showed Off An Early Version Of The Game That Would Eventually Become Super Smash Bros!

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The film, simply titled “Super Smash Bros.,” is an in-depth look at the history of the now-iconic crossover fighter franchise, and it features a never-before-seen look at Sakurai’s first prototype for the game: a stand-alone fighting game titled “Dragon King: The Fighting Game.”

During that time, Sakurai was also prototyping another game, and Dragon King was one of them. On the other hand, there was an “RC robot adventure game where you hacked into security cameras to progress,”

Start watching the video shown above at 1:25, or skip ahead directly to that minute by clicking here: Dragon King: The Fighting Game.

Video From The Dragon King

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Even though the Dragon King footage is clearly from an early development stage, it already features elements that are now central to the Smash franchise, such as health percentages, the iconic three-platform “Battlefield” stage layout, and characters flying off the edges of the screen to their deaths.

Combatants were regular polygonal individuals, not Nintendo characters, and they could use moves like smash attacks, midair jumps, shields, dashes, and aerial assaults. According to Sakurai, “the game’s rules were roughly the same as Smash Bros.,” despite the lack of “special moves,” “dodges,” or “items.”

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What Sakurai Thinks

Sakurai believed that games with a concentration on complex combination systems could be off-putting to players. Smash, on the other hand, is friendlier to players and encourages improvisation because of its simplified controls and the accumulation of damage system. Including Nintendo, the character was an afterthought.

He emphasizes that he is the ultimate authority on all musical creations and confesses that he frequently asks for changes to the tempo. He thinks this is a good thing since, in his opinion, game directors need to establish the tempo because composers often can’t see the big picture.

Keep in mind that the artist has his own channel on YouTube now that he’s moved on from posting daily screenshots of the fighting game. To be more specific, you can choose between an English version and a Japanese version.

Masahiro Sakurai’s two YouTube channels, both titled Masahiro Sakurai on Creating Games, are aimed at helping game designers add more playfulness to their work.

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Concluding Remarks

YouTuber Masahiro Sakurai has uploaded a “never-before-seen” clip of the prototype that became Super Smash Bros. Dragon King: The Fighting Game is featured in the video embedded, or you can skip ahead to that time by clicking here. Here, the film’s director, Masahiro Sakura, shares some additional clips from his channel. In this particular piece, he discusses how the game’s soundtrack and melodies contribute to the overall experience.

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