Super Smash Bros Ultimate had a lot going for it when it came out in 2018. But one of the surprising things was the World of Light mode that was part fighting game part RPG with customizable elements. One of the funnest parts of the game though was when the gamers got to go up against legendary bosses, including ones that weren’t strictly Nintendo based, like Dracula from Castlevania and Rathalos from Monster Hunter.
In an interview with Nintendo Dream (translated by Nintendo Everything), Producer Masahiro Sakurai detailed how the boss fights came to be in World of Light:
I’d say it’s more like, “How would the original game’s boss fight go if we interpreted it for modern times?” We create the boss fights while holding that state of mind in high regard. We definitely do make things in accordance with the original, but since “Smash Bros.” is a game on a 2D plane, if we just try to reproduce the original boss as is, it could just become an inferior representation instead. For example, we decided it was a good idea to have a large, 3D field displayed in the fight with Rathalos.
He went on:
To put it clearly, the more of the screen this colossal dragon takes up as he stares you down from afar and roars, the more frightening he is. And when you simplify that into just a profile view, it lacks a certain edge. So, we raised the positioning of his head and changed the way he opens his wings a little and whatnot. Then that gave him a more striking and aggressive pose compared to how he normally looks from the side. We knew that if we reproduced him as is, it wasn’t going to be impactful for the player. So we took that as our main starting point, we set our standards high and that’s how we work out imagining these bosses.
It should also be noted that the surprise villain Marx from Kirby Super Star was almost made even scarier, as Sakurai wanted him to look like a “horror monster”.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate is available now for Nintendo Switch.