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(05-16-2012, 05:15 AM)
I can't remember if I posted this on NeoGAF, and it isn't really 100% on topic, but I made bullet points of the old 2002 Famitsu translations I found on my old computer pertaining to Melee. There's some good insight in here, I think. It's interesting that a lot of these concepts ended up making it into Brawl.
  • It was decided early on to separate the newcomers into two even groups for balance reasons: fan favorites (as determined by a survey) and unique, unexpected characters.
  • Bowser, Peach, Mewtwo, and Marth were culled from the fan survey.
  • Zelda, Sheik, Ice Climbers, and Mr. Game & Watch made up the other group.
  • Just in case Sakurai couldn't get approval to use Marth from Intelligent Systems, he had some King Dedede concepts ready as a backup.
  • Wario placed third in the poll, but with Bowser and Peach pencilled in, Sakurai didn't want to include 3 Mario newcomers.
  • Sakurai considered adding a character from Pokémon Gold/Silver during planning, but none of the popular options were feasible.
  • He thought about having a trainer summon the second generation starters, but there wasn't time/resources for such a labor-intensive character.
  • Pichu was promoted as the main Pokémon from those games, but it would have been too similar to Pikachu, so Sakurai passed on it.
  • Thinking back to Pichu is partly what made Sakurai want to include clones.
  • Clones were not included in Melee's planning documents.
  • Sakurai had a hard time deciding on all of the clones, though some choices came easy like Pichu and Young Link.
  • Sakurai says that he probably could have finished Dedede in the time it took to make the 6 clones, but he's glad he was able to beef the roster up a bit.
  • Wario was briefly considered as the Mario clone, with low speed and high attack power, but Sakurai felt that Wario deserved better.
  • Dr. Mario made sense for a few reasons: he's from a critically-acclaimed retro game, the team wanted to include his music, and because a doctor would probably be on hand at an event as violent as Smash Bros.
  • Wolf was considered as Fox's clone, but with shared animations Sakurai felt he would just be perceived as a gray-colored Fox, so he went with Falco for his drastically different appearance and excellent jumping capabilities.
  • Leaf was considered as Marth's clone, but when Sakurai went to Intelligent Systems for approval they gave him an early look at the GBA Fire Emblem, and he agreed that Roy would be a better fit. Sakurai mentions his fire properties as making him stand out.
  • Ganondorf was the last character added to the game. He was only included because he was popular, had a similar body type to Captain Falcon, and because Sakurai couldn't really think of any additional plausible clones.