We’re now less than a month away from the release of Super Smash Bros Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch. Fans of the series are constantly searching for any potential piece of information leading up to this release, even if the hype gets the best of us all. In the latest scouring of footage though it seems that a reference to one of Mr. Game & Watch’s previous titles isn’t sitting well with fans.
Please check and spread the below thread from ResetEra. Mr. Game & Watch's new forward smash in Smash Ultimate is a direct reference to a G&W game featuring racist depictions of Native Americans.
— ✨ gale (@rr_gale) November 3, 2018
Originally debuting in 1980 the world was a very different place than it is now, as evident by the game Fire Attack, based on the game of Cowboys and Indians, which first released in 1982. In this game, it’s Mr. Game and Watch’s aim to protect a fort that’s getting attacked by Native Americans. In this setting, the Native American’s are throwing firesticks or using large matchsticks. While this attack has been referenced before by Mr. Game & Watch in Smash Bros what fans had spotted for the Switch release is that a feather had been added to Mr. Game & Watch’s head imitating a Native American headdress. After this was pointed out to Nintendo they gave the following statement to Eurogamer.
Nintendo has been planning to distribute an update for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate that removes the feather from the silhouette of Mr. Game & Watch, The original game on which this depiction of the character is based was released more than three decades ago and does not represent our company values today. We sincerely apologise that this change was not noticed in our marketing material and are continuing our work to make Super Smash Bros. Ultimate an experience that is both welcoming and fun for everyone.
What might then seem strange to some who know the history of Game & Watch re-releases is that when the game was re-released for the Game Boy Advance in Game & Watch Gallery 4 Nintendo had already made the feather removing changing. Game & Watch Gallery 4 was originally released in 2003 for the Game Boy Advanced and saw a virtual console release on the Wii U in 2015/2016 depending on your region.
What do you think of Smash Bros adding and then consequentially removing the feather from Mr. Game & Watch? Do you think it was the right thing to change?