If you've ever wondered exactly how many other game franchises Nintendo's popular Super Smash Bros. fighting game series has drawn from over the years, there's a new infographic online that lays it all out. The first installment of Super Smash Bros. debuted on the Nintendo 64 in 1999 and quickly came to dominate dorm rooms, living rooms, and just about any other social space around the world.
While most fighting games of the era were one-on-one, self-contained affairs, this new approach brought a mix of four-player action, familiar characters from some of Nintendo's most popular franchises, and gameplay that melded fighting and platforming in surprisingly deep ways. Nintendo continued to release a fresh iteration on each of their new console systems, adding more features and more characters every time. Later this year, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will make its debut on the Nintendo Switch.
Now Redditor and Imgur user Mitchdog72 has undertaken the herculean task of charting all the different games that have gone into the Super Smash Bros. franchise as well as their contributions. The usual suspects like Nintendo's Mario and Zelda series are prominent, but the list includes some surprises as well and even specific hardware that earned in-game references, like the R.O.B. robot that launched alongside the original Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985. Each entry includes a quick reference to what kind of elements made it into the game, whether in the fighter roster, music, stages, or other categories.
While the first game just played with the idea of letting Mario and Donkey Kong hash out their differences or answering whether Link or Star Fox would win in a straight-up genre brawl, it's become a badge of honor to be included in the ever-growing roster of fighters. Along with featuring every character from previous installments, the new Switch version looks to be adding a coat of graphical polish as well, updating the look of stages and taking advantage of the increased power afforded by the latest console. The creators are pouring so much into this new version that one of them worries that it could even ruin future fighting games.
In the meantime, fans can go back to the previous consoles and get in a few rounds to spot many of the references listed in the linked image above. It's a bit of information overload to be sure, but anybody who's spent time on the sofa with three friends watching a bunch of bright cartoon characters bouncing all over the screen while trying not to fall of a platform into oblivion should be right at home.