PC gaming lags behind Nintendo in two capacities: our number of official mascots, and the number of games that pit those mascots against one another in freeform fights to the death inside increasingly nostalgic themed environments.
Are we jealous? A little. As Minecraft avatars Steve and Alex burrow into Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as its 77th character(s), we see plenty of room for the PC’s disparate franchises and decades of history to gather in the dignified form of a multi-brand melee fighter. Join us as we build a roster and scrape the barrel for weird characters from ancient, forgotten franchises.
The obvious stars
SPECIAL: Jumps on head, controls mind.
Geralt of Rivia
SPECIAL: Unleashes a deck of razor-sharp Gwent cards with a charged up Aard blast.
SPECIAL: Rip and tear the guts out of a grabbed opponent. Only works on huge enemies, who have huge guts.
Lara Croft (classic)
SPECIAL: Summons random exotic animal/dinosaur that chases opponents. Lara can kill animal to activate Needless Animal Murder (stuns opponents in AoE near animal corpse). No animal corpse limit.
Lara Croft (new)
SPECIAL: Summons a spire of rusty rebar from the ground as a trap.
SPECIAL: Insult swordfighting.
SPECIAL: Rides a rocket across the stage, which shreds into explosive shrapnel after five seconds.
A worm (Worms)
SPECIAL: Holy hand grenade. Arguably no one is more ready to fight inside a flat landscape filled with platforms and a variety of weapons.
Minsc (Baldur’s Gate)
SPECIAL: He just chucks a hamster at you while screaming.
The obvious villains
Who’s PC gaming’s Bowser?
SPECIAL: Pauses the game, asks you a middle-school-level geography question. If you’re wrong, she dodges all attacks for the next 30 seconds.
Dysentery (The Oregon Trail)
SPECIAL: Kills a random character, who becomes a permanent grave marker on the map with the phrase “rest in pepperoni” etched into it.
Kane (Command & Conquer)
SPECIAL: Gives a speech so inspiring you decide you should be on his team. Can’t actually die.
The Spy (Team Fortress 2)
SPECIAL: Sleeps with another character’s mother.
Gwyn, Lord of Cinder (Dark Souls)
SPECIAL: Plays somber piano music in an AOE that stuns nearby players with overwhelming sadness. All this? To dust?
Ragnaros, The Firelord
SPECIAL: Emits a gout of flame that launches a player off the map and sets them on fire. Does Smash have status effects? I have not played Smash in a long time. Smash should have status effects.
Feral dog from STALKER
Passive ability: reminds player that they, too, are simply an animal.
(Isn’t actually a selectable character, but a giant, floating head on the Citadel Station map along the lines of Master Hand in Smash Bros. Calls you various synonyms for “filthy bag of meat.”)
SPECIAL: Signs a peace treaty with all players, making him immune to damage while he builds a nuclear arsenal underneath the map.
SPECIAL: When Tie-Fighter is defeated, explodes and pilot ejects. Pilot has 1HP but can summon another TIE-Fighter after 10 seconds.
PC gaming’s retro bad boys
The sunglasses’d, leather-jacket-wearing rebels of PC gaming history.
SPECIAL: Dual wields lightsaber and blaster while saying something tough.
SPECIAL: Pogo stiiiiiiick.
SPECIAL: Interrupts an opponent’s special attack with advice on how best to perform it.
Tux the Linux penguin
SPECIAL: Summons a command shell and dazes opponents with mysterious, uncanny syntax
SPECIAL: “A bomb?”
SPECIAL: Disguises himself as an Easter Egg, lying in wait while the other fighters diminish each other’s HP.
SPECIAL: Cannot be uninstalled, defeat it and four more take its place.
SPECIAL: Attack delivery failed: returning damage to sender.
SPECIAL: Informs you Mavis Beacon is actually not a real person and just a model. The shock kills you.
SPECIAL: Caps Lock: Gets big, breathes randomly generated YouTube comments and Twitter replies.
SPECIAL: Right-Click: Summons a massive pillar of secondary options
Truck (Euro Truck Simulator 2)
SPECIAL: Deafens opponents with a very loud horn blast.
Mr. Ray Tracing
SPECIAL: Tanks framerate, peels back the veil with fancy ‘real’ lighting (performing this move costs $1400).
SPECIAL: Smothers an opponent in multiple layers of tweed clothing.
The Star Citizen
SPECIAL: Needs to constantly pick up money donated by other players in order to continue to fight.
More recent middleweights from across the PC gaming landscape.
SPECIAL: Dresses up as an opponent then hits them with a brutal sneak attack.
SPECIAL: Inflicts slippery ragdoll physics on every opponent for the next 15 seconds.
Peely, the horrific banana man (Fortnite)
SPECIAL: Built Battle, summons a soccer skin to disorient and block opponents by building erratically around the arena.
Rocket-powered battle car (Rocket League)
SPECIAL: Multiple teammates fly in from off-screen and all whiff on the same opponent.
SPECIAL: Rearranges the furniture within the level to their advantage. An experienced Sim can trap another player in a closet-sized space with no bathroom until they eventually die.
Tachanka (Rainbow Six Siege)
SPECIAL: Deploys a gun tripod on the map, rips the machinegun off, and replaces it with an iPhone to capture a “200 IQ Tachanka ace” for YouTube, earning the player incremental ad revenue.
Underrated heroes from the far corners of gaming.
The Defect (Slay the Spire)
SPECIAL: Infinite claws.
Prince of the Underworld, Zagreus (Hades)
SPECIAL: Daddy Issues, summons Hades (dad) who nabs a player and temporarily strips them of their abilities. Abilities return on a short timer at random.
Among Us Astronaut
SPECIAL: Calls an emergency meeting to vote one character out of the arena.
SPECIAL 2: Gives an opponent the “sus” status effect which makes them more likely to be ejected from the arena.
No Man’s Sky Sandworm
SPECIAL: Added in an update 4 years after launch.
Steel Judoka (Into the Breach)
SPECIAL: Body slams opponent through time, dealing 2d6 ancestor damage.
SPECIAL: Howling Wraiths, unleashes a terrifying explosion of souls that pushes the opponent back, leaving them open to a quick follow-up attack.
SPECIAL: Summons a giant sawblade to swing like a battle axe.
SPECIAL: None, you aren’t. Dies in four hits.
They can’t all be stars. Depending on what’s going on at the time our PC Smash Bros. releases, other brands will want to piggyback on the blockbuster multi-franchise, once-in-a-generation game we’ve assembled. Here’s who will be tagging along like strange Mercedes-Benz DLC in Mario Kart.
The Winamp Llama
SPECIAL: It really whips an opponent’s ass.
SPECIAL: Sings “Daisy, Daisy” until the game crashes and your parents make you delete him.
A cursed amalgam of the shitty 3D fairies/creatures from old Voodoo 3D cards
SPECIAL: Forces your opponent to Alt-Tab and update their drivers.
The “Dude, you’re getting a Dell!” kid
SPECIAL: Free CD burner upgrade.
Cortana, but not the Halo one the actual AI assistant and it just shouts at you
SPECIAL: Changes the game’s soundtrack to a Latin choir, totally throwing off the mood.
John Hodgman (PC) and Justin Long (Mac)
SPECIAL: Locked in a never-ending battle for the soul of the desktop computer, PC and Mac cannot fight other players directly, but their feud can indirectly damage combatants who wander too closely to it.