Here's more SSB-related stuff but this time, it's more of a personal discussion that could be incorporated with possible future releases or something like that.
When it comes to clones in fighting games, they're pretty common. They're characters with a moveset and physics similar to another character. While they play similar to the fighter they were based on, they contain a few tweaks to their attacks and/or stats such as elemental properties, stronger or weaker punches, change in range, etc. People's opinion with clones is mixed as many understand that developers save time copying an existing moveset than making a whole new one since there's also other stuff to input in a fighting game while others feel that they were lazy or did a lame job making a copied moveset when they could've done better for a clone's moveset. Street Fighter has its clones (the Shoto clones), Marvel vs Capcom has its clones (palette swap characters plus EX Wolverine), and many more have their clones. Smash is no exception as it has a bunch of clone fighters that some either love or hate and I'm gonna talk about every one of them in this two parter!
Luigi- One of the first SSB clones of the series as he started off as a pure clone but after 64, he became semi and grew slowly more unique than his bro. In the first, he was overall faster but weaker, had a damaging taunt and had all of Mario's moves but with differences. Fireball was a straight shot, Luigi Cyclone doesn't suck foes it but launches them and his Jump Punch can possibly deal massive damage. In Melee, he's the only semi clone with him having new smashes and a different Side B. In Brawl, he now has his own voice (BTW his 64 and Melee's voices were Mario's only sped up), Mario lacks his Down B Tornado and with a different Final Smash, it made him more unique along with having different animations in both Brawl and SSB4. Luigi as Mario's clone made sense but him slowly being less of a clone in later installments shows how much Luigi has evolved into his own guy. He even had his own year!
Jigglypuff- Yes. Jigglypuff used to be a semi-clone in SSB. As Kirby's clone, she shares all of his smashes and physics and animations. While her specials are different, her appearance in the original definitely helps prove her inclusion in SSB was due to her similarities to Kirby's appearance. I'm glad JP became her own in Melee as her being Kirby's clone is kinda weird but reasonable.
Pichu- Here we have Melee's joke character/only 2nd gen Pokemon fighter in Smash Bros/the character that influenced Sakurai's decision to include more clones. Pichu is a faster but weaker and smaller version of Pikachu that manages to injure itself often. While not a very popular inclusion to Smash, he did help Sakurai decide to pad out the roster for Melee. When it came to G2 Pkmn in Melee, Pichu was considered since there weren't many other choices to be feastable. I know there's Johto populars like Scizor but still. Pichu to him was a bad idea since it is too similar to Pichu but their similarites helped him decide to include clones. While Pichu didn't return for Brawl or SSB4, it's not forgotten as it has its trophies and attributes given to Pikachu. Pichu was a joke IMO but if you can rule with this only baby pokemon fighter in SSBM, you're awesome.
Dr. Mario- A slow but stronger version of Mario that has electrical properties along with the lack of wall jumping. This is my favorite Mario clone as he contains Melee Mario's specials (in SSB4) and is stronger but slightly slower which doesn't really bother me. With his inclusion in SSB4, he was going to be an alternate for Mario but return as his own fighter to appeal to Melee fans and IMO it wasn't a bad choice. He may be a lame choice for Nintendo's puzzle genre but he's a cool clone in my book. Also, Wario was going to be in Melee as Mario's clone but Sakurai didn't want him as a clone since he deserved better.
Young Link- Like Pichu, it's smaller and weaker but faster compared to the original. Attacks are slightly different, Neutral B deals fire damage and his Up B, on the ground, deals multiple hits. Not too fond of Young Link but I'm glad Toon Link replaced him. (and finally got his Fire Bows in SSB4 via custom)
Ganondorf- He's currently the only fighter in SSB to be a clone of a character from another series. Many fans were annoyed that friggin' Ganon is a clone of Falcon when he clearly has original moves that can be incorporated. Personally, I'm not really bothered since while he's gained new smashes and animations in Brawl, I learned that he wasn't even going to be in Melee. His inclusion was due to him having a body build similar to Falcon so he could be easily forged while adding another rep to Zelda and villain rep in general. He's really slow but really strong and while he never uses his sword (until SSB4 as a custom) except for taunts or victory screens, I enjoy playing as Captain Ganon.
Roy- The only character in SSB4 to not have had a game before this game's release. Nintendo wanted to include the upcoming hero to Melee to promote his new game and although Fire Emblem never made an international release, Marth and Roy were kept in to see how they would fare out with Western players. They were a fit and Roy is definitely a fan favorite clone. Originally being Leif but was favored for Roy due to his fire properties, this Marth clone is slow but strong, has fire damaging properties and his power is balanced instead of being from the tip of the blade like Marth's. It sucked that Roy didn't return for Brawl as I preferred him than Marth (but it was cool to see the Project M team bring him back for their mod) but Lucina would do fine despite her differences with Roy making her less loved in Smash.
Falco- Originally, Wolf was going to be in as Fox's clone but their similarities in appearance would've been annoying to most players so Fox's buddy took over! Having better jumps but slower movement, Falco has most animations taken from Fox but has different properties in Specials such as a slower shooting blaster that stops foes and a Reflector that knocks back foes vertically. In Brawl, he got his own unique animations while still retaining his physics and changes in Melee and receiving one of Wolf's smashes.
Toon Link- Pretty much an evolution of Young Link. While it retains Young Link's physics and specials, minus the Fire Bow until SSB4 via custom, it has unique smashes and animations. I'm more fond of TL than YL since he's another Link than a younger version meaning this is a different Link altogether (I'm not too keen of the same fighter being in the game twice, whether it'd be an alter-ego or a younger version. Clones is okay if done well) as well as retaining most of Young's stats. I do like these clones but I'm more fond of Toon Link more even though I don't know why he replaced Young Link but whatever...
Lucas- This clone of Ness is much like most other clones: unique smashes but altered specials and similar body physics. I'm more of Ness player than a Lucas player so while his disappearance was sadly missed and will always be remembered by Mother fans, I'm not really bothered by his exclusion. Also worth noting, Lucas was going to replace Ness for SSBM but due to time constraints with Mother 3, Ness stayed in despite Lucas taking over his spot as a starter.
Wolf- In the past, I saw Wolf as a semi-clone but after replaying Brawl/Project M and looking up his differences, I believe that calling him a clone is really difficult to dub but I see him now as a "quarter-clone": a character with totally different smashes and physics but has variations of existing specials. Now hear me out, he functions differently (which could explain why he didn't return since programming him in is different and more time consuming compared to other clones) but calling him an original character isn't exactly correct since his specials are very similar to Fox's. While his specials are very different, he has a blaster like Fox, his Wolf Flash and Fire Wolf operates similar to Fox Illusion and Fire Fox, he reflects projects like Fox and has his own Landmaster only better yet shorter lasting. Take of that what you will but don't try to convince me that Wolf ain't a clone at all. In the end, I wish he did return to SSB4...
Lucina- The new Roy clone/easy-to-play Marth clone that received mixed feelings. To make a long story short, Sakurai wanted to include an FE Awakening character. Robin was in because of his projectile characteristics. Chrom was considered but was scrapped because he'd be another swordsman/clone fighter yet Lucina is another swordsman AND a clone. But as many know, she was going to be a Marth alternate but due to their characteristic in their attacks being different, she got her own slot. She, Dr. Mario and Dark Pit were the only three pure clones that were going to be costumes but technical issues gave them their spot in the roster. Her attacks and animations are the same as Marth but is smaller and has less range but like Roy, her blade's power is balanced. While she's no Roy (from Fire Emblem), I still like using her more than Marth.
Dark Pit- He started off as a palette swap for Pit in Brawl, became an actual anti-hero clone in Uprising, and teased his inclusion via Palutena's trailer. Now he's a fighter in SSB4 and boy, were Smash fans annoyed by him being a clone of Pit despite him being an actual Pit clone but still. He was gonna be an alternate for Pit but Sakurai gave him his own spot because he felt better if Dark Pit had his own Final Smash and Electroshock Arm. He along with the future princess and doctor gave fans the impression that they "stole" spots from other characters like Lucas and Wolf. And honestly, I hate that excuse. I've gotten over the absence of veterans and wasted potential of newcomers that "deserve to be in Smash" but I understand it takes time to make a SSB game. IMO the three pure clones were more of additions and the original SSB4 was probably going to be about 49 instead of 52. Any character (of being a clone) that are more deserving is a matter of opinion than fact. Like Melee, they padded out the roster. DP is okay but I'm cool with this guy in Smash 4.
When it comes to clones, you either like them, hate them or don't care about them being copies. Clones in Smash are mostly criticized since they feel like they're not really unique or as deserving as other clone candidates. But Sakurai compares these clones as to a "free dessert" for a big meal you've just gotten. Minus the 3 pure copies, we would've had 46-49 fighters (which I would've been cool with) since those three were more of extra additions. Sakurai's decisions aren't always a hit but the guy knows what he's doing and what makes Smash Bros so awesome. Although SSB4 may be his last Smash game he'll work on (due to the rumors I've heard involving him retiring), all I can say is that when it came to Smash, he really dedicated his time to the series for better or worse. As for clones, I'm cool with them being in Smash. There's not many clones in any roster and over 80% of the rosters are all original fighters. To me, they're just alternate versions of certain fighters. Unnecessary additions but offers something different to that certain fighting style.
Well that's my thoughts. What do you think?