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Prerelease:Super Smash Bros.

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This page details prerelease information and/or media for Super Smash Bros..

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Dragon King: The Fighting Game (Kakuto-Geemu Ryuoh)

Before it became the game we know and love, Super Smash Bros. existed in a prototype form lacking any Nintendo characters whatsoever. The prototype in question, called Kakuto-Geemu Ryuoh (格闘ゲーム竜王), or Dragon King: The Fighting Game, was planned as a totally new IP for the company, lacking any contemporary Nintendo characters. It is actually referenced to as "Test Version" if Satoru Iwata's name is selected in the game's credits. Not knowing if their approach would be well-received by players, the two creators focused on creating a game with four players that utilized the Nintendo 64's joystick, and built it as a creative, easy to play alternative to other games in the fighting genre, which were the main reasons for them to develop the project, with the help of one person for the audio.

"Dragon King" has a ton of differences from what become of the final Super Smash Bros.:

  • The damage meters were placed at the top of the screen, did not change colors as they increased or decreased, lacked the character's stocks and the symbol from their respective series, and the font was very different. Red, green, purple and gray were used as the representative colors for Player 1, 2, 3, and 4, but they were changed to red, blue, yellow and green. Gray was later used to represent CPU players. The damage meter was used to show these colors, but it was changed to the character's series symbol.
  • The background is exclusive to the prototype. Amusingly, it is actually a crude photograph of Ryuoh-cho, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, allegedly where one of HAL Laboratory's branches is located.
  • The stage is exclusive to the prototype, though its design has a resemblance to Battlefield, only being smaller and having a seemingly mobile platform. The primitive yellow texture used in the main platform is exclusive to the prototype; on it, stands a tiny, texture-less cube.
  • Two visual effects displayed in the pictures above are absent in the final game. One seems to be a completely blank and simpler version of the visual used for normal attacks, and the other is a faint purple circle, never seen in the game.
  • The four texture-less characters are exclusive to the prototype, though they share an almost identical body structure to Captain Falcon, two of them even performing an attack similar to his side smash. Some of these characters are seen being attacked, but not receiving any knockback afterwards.
  • The four special moves, dodging, and items hadn't been implemented yet yet.

(Source: Iwata Asks, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Once in a Lifetime Experience, Dragon King: The Fighting Game)
(Source: Masahiro Sakurai Reflects on Super Smash Bros. Melee)
(Source: Super Smash Bros.)


Scrapped Characters

It's common knowledge that games have to sacrifice much of their planned content to maneuver around budget & time constraints, and Super Smash Bros. is no different. While countless rumours have been perpetuated regarding specific characters or features being planned for or cut from the game, the information listed below comes straight from the game's official Japanese website and developer blogs, cementing their reliability. While much speculation has persisted on the topic of scrapped characters, a 1999 poll conducted by lead developer and Famitsu columnist Masahiro Sakurai (asking readers which characters they predicted and wanted in a hypothetical sequel) has shed light on precisely which characters were considered for the game but not added.

After publishing the results of the survey, Sakurai stated as an aside that Bowser, King Dedede, and Mewtwo were all intended to be playable early in development, but due to a combination of budget and time constraints could not be included. They have no leftovers in the final game, suggesting that they were axed very early on.

Additionally, a 1998 article on the game by IGN mentioned Princess Peach would be included in the game, although this may more than likely be a mistake.

Additionally, in an interview to the 25th anniversary of Fire Emblem in 2015, Sakurai revealed that Marth was also considered to become playable as an alternate sword fighter with a different style than Link.

(Source: Online results of the survey)
(Source: Who Would Win in a Fight?)
(Source: Sakurai Interview: Fire Emblem 25th Anniversary)

Gameplay Concepts

Many different parts of the game didn't see the light of day. Others however, would debut in future entries of the series.

  • Final Smashes and Smash Balls were introduced in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but this concept was planned since the very beginning. Voices and sounds were recorded for this feature, and leftovers of this feature can be found in the system debug menu, and some of them are even used unaltered in Brawl.
  • Only fire, electric, sword slashes and normal effects can be produced from attacks, but an ice effect was planned, despite no ice-based attacks existing in the game. This effect is featured in other games of the series.
  • Split-screen was a concept, but the director was against it because he wanted all characters to be on the same screen and it would be difficult to see the game's action unfold smoothly if separated.
  • Pressing Z would make Link protect himself with his Hylian Shield, but it had to be cut for unknown reasons. It can block projectiles that make contact with it in other games of the series.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was in development simultaneously with Super Smash Bros., and because of the developers' lack of information, Adult Link has the Boomerang as one of his special moves, despite the item being exclusive to Young Link.
  • A time attack minigame was also planned to be introduced in this game.
(Source: "Bonus" - Super Smash Bros. Website)
(Source: "Specification of attacks" - Super Smash Bros. Website)
(Source: Iwata Asks, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Plethora of New Features, Final Smash)
(Source: Shigesato Itoi’s Smash 64 Interview Highlights: [Smash 64 Development])


Many of the game's stages received minor to substantial changes in layout, objects and textures.

Peach's Castle

Intro Image

Prerelease Image In-game
SSBPrereleasePeachCastle.png SSBMarioIntro.png
  • The small signpost that stands in the background was absent.
  • The background had denser clouds.
  • The trees on the lower level got repositioned very slightly to the left.
  • The green lines around the stage have different thicknesses.
(Source: Super Smash Bros. Website)

Stage Image 1, 2 & 3

SSBPrereleasePeachCastle3.png SSBPrereleasePeachCastle4.png SSBPrerelease1.png

  • The upper section made entirely of wood isn't implemented yet, and was instead separated into 2 segments connected by wires.
  • The light brown section of the main platform is untextured in the first picture.
  • The red segments at the stage's end are shaded slightly differently between pictures, the one on the left being a much duller shade of red.
  • The triangular columns positioned on both sides of the stage contain early checkerboard textures, which were substituted with a generic steel texture later on.
  • The moving stone platform below the stage base had a much brighter texture, which was later replaced with one blending in more seamlessly with the structure.
  • The Bumper was originally positioned much lower, and features a completely different color scheme.
(Source: Super Smash Bros. on IGN)
(Source: Nintendo 64 Website)

Hyrule Castle

Intro Image

Prerelease Image In-game
SSBPrereleaseHyruleCastle.png SSBLinkIntro.png
  • The castle structure has a muddier texture and door which were later removed. The structure actually seems to have been ripped directly from Ocarina of Time.
  • The stage itself is much browner than the gray & purple heavy Hyrule Castle seen in the retail product.
  • The background appears to have been much darker at one stage, with a direct contrast between the dark purple sky and the fog. Both graphical effects are altered to blend more seamlessly for the final version, with barely any fog and a much brighter shade of purple for the sky.
(Source: Super Smash Bros. Website)

Stage Image 1

Prerelease Image In-game
SSBPrereleaseHyruleCastle2.png SSBHyruleCastleBackground.png
  • The background image in the final, seems to have been flipped from the prototype.
  • Death Mountain's halo changed from white in the prototype, to purple-red, as seen in Ocarina of Time.
  • The sun got removed for the retail version.
  • Ridges are made more visible in the final game.
  • The second layer of mountains are re-drawn and made to look more like mountains and less like fields.
(Source: Super Smash Bros. Website)

Stage Image 2


  • Although the rest of the stage appears identical to what we eventually received, a picture from the Super Smash Bros. Japanese site shows the left side of the roof with no textures.
(Source: Super Smash Bros. Website)

Yoshi's Island

Intro Image & Stage Image

Prerelease Image In-game
SSBPrereleaseYoshi's2.png SSBYoshiIntro.png


  • The Super Happy Tree, and the orange and blue colored clouds in the background were resized slightly to become more proportionate to their appearances in Yoshi's Story.
  • The floating platforms lacked textures on their undersides.
(Source: Super Smash Bros. Website)
(Source: Super Smash Bros. Website)

Dream Land

Intro Image

Prerelease Image In-game
SSBPrereleaseDreamLand2.png SSBKirbyIntro.png
  • The patches of flowers were redesigned from tulips to resemble sunflowers.
  • Additional patches of grass in the background were changed to fences.
  • Whispy Woods has slightly different shading both on his bark and leaves, the former containing slightly repositioned "light" patches and the latter looking much darker.
(Source: Super Smash Bros. Website)

Stage Image


  • The textures for the wooden platforms were darker than in the final release. It in fact bears close resemblence to the one used in the two unused stages.
  • The small bodies of water used different, much flatter textures.
  • The bushes with pink flowers were originally darker and colored orange.
  • Some very tacky-looking grass patches were substituted with more flowers.
  • The tree opposite of Whispy has a branch with leaves, in the prototype.
(Source: Super Smash Bros. Website)

Saffron City

Intro Image

Prerelease Image In-game
SSBPrereleaseSaffron2.png SSBPikachuIntro.png
  • The building holding the "Got a Catch 'em All!" banner was much smaller and had a white rooftop with black windows covering the walls, but it was changed to a bigger, green building.
  • The "Got a Catch 'em All!" banner was pink with a white stripe in it, but it was changed to green with a pink stripe in the middle and two white stripes.
(Source: Super Smash Bros. Website)

Stage Image 1 & 2

Teach FLY to a POKÉMON? SSBPrerelease2.png

  • The colors of the main building's rooftop were purple and pink, but they were changed to gray and a lighter tone of purple respectively.
  • The left building had a green rooftop that was changed to gray.
  • The building on the right didn't have a helipad and originally stood in the background, in front of the building holding the banner.
  • The hovering platforms were black with a brown top. They were changed to gray.
(Source: Super Smash Bros. Website)
(Source: Nintendo 64 Website)

Character Selection Screen

Image 1

Prerelease Image In-game
So, there was a "MAN" counter? Poor Samus... "Choose your character!"
  • Icons for unlockable characters that were not unlocked had a simpler design of blue, green, red and yellow-colored squares with a black question mark in the middle, but were replaced with gray silhouettes with a white question mark in the middle.
  • The yellow bar with the stock count or time limit of the next match had "TIMER" written in it when the match was a Time match, but it was changed to "TIME".
  • A counter of how many "MAN" (human controlled) and "COM" (computer controlled) players there were in the character selection screen of VS Mode was replaced with the "BACK" option.
  • For some reason, Yoshi has a shadow on his snout.
(Source: Nintendo 64 Website)

Image 2

Prerelease Image In-game
So, there was a "MAN" counter? Poor Samus... "Choose your character!"
  • It lacked the "BACK" option.
  • The font used in "1 Player Game" was changed and the spacing between words was removed.
  • The color used in "EASY" is blue instead of green. The very easy option uses this color instead.
  • The display for total high score is absent.
  • There are seven digits in the high score display instead of eight.
  • The "Option" menu is bigger.
  • The blue counter next to the high score display has parentheses that were changed to brackets around it and has two digits instead of three.
(Source: Super Smash Bros. on IGN)

Series Symbols

  • The Super Mario series symbol originally lacked eyes on the Super Mushroom
Prerelease In-game
The Triforce parts are resonating... These toys are too much for you!
  • The Legend of Zelda's series symbol was an upside-down piece of the Triforce, likely inspired by the Triforce of Courage shown in Link's hand before the battle with Ganondorf in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It was changed to the full Triforce.
Prerelease In-game
SSBPrereleaseYoshiSymbol.png SSBYoshiEgg.png
  • Yoshi's series symbol lacked the spots in the Egg, being a simple oval shape.



  • The Crate lacked the Super Smash Bros. symbol on its side.
  • As can be seen in the respective Peach's Castle images, the Bumper's colors were changed. It had a cyan outline that was recolored to dark blue, and the yellow symbol in the center was slightly darkened.
(Source: Nintendo 64 Website)