The people of the small Japanese village lived peacefully until one stormy night, when a shining golden object fell onto the Murasame castle from the sky. That night they had to face the terror that was... Challenger Approaching!

Welcome Smash enthusiasts, to the only series on Kotaku that looks at POTENTIAL Smash Bros characters THAT HAVEN'T OFFICIALLY BEEN ANNOUNCED. *ahem* Sorry to yell, but people seem to be missing that very important tidbit when they read these articles. Last week things got a bit furry with an (apparently) controversial Star Fox ally. This week we're going to take a step back. Way back to the times of samurai and shoguns. Please give a polite bow to...

Name: Takamaru

Notable Appearances: Nazo no Murasame Jō* (Famicom Disk System, 1986), Captain Rainbow* (Wii, 2008), Samurai Warriors 3 (Wii, 2010)


*Japanese exclusive

Bio: Chances are you haven't heard of Takamaru... or have you? He's only been in one title that made it state side and unfortunately that game, Samurai Warriors 3, didn't stand out from the crowd. That being said his name was used very recently in the Wii U launch title Nintendo Land. One of the Nintendo Land attractions is called "Takamaru's Ninja Castle", and lets players wield throwing stars, bombs and samurai swords to take down cardboard foes. Though the game includes his name, Takamaru is strangely nowhere to be found. Aside from this he can be seen as a sticker in Super Smash Bros Brawl. The story of Nazo no Murasame Jō is actually pretty bizarre and interesting. Takamaru, a mere samurai appearance, is tasked with investigating four castles that have been overrun by evil ninjas and monsters during Japan's Edo period. Did I mention that these villains are being controlled by evil orbs... that were put there by aliens!? What a twist! Takamaru must defeat the possessed daimyo lords of all four castles if he wishes to take on the aliens himself and save the day. Good lord, this game needs a remake.

Plan of Attack: Though very basic in nature, I feel that Takamaru should only use the weapons he fought with in his original outing. This includes shurikens, a katana, lightening smoke bombs, and a special cloak. There are plenty of sword wielding heroes in Smash Bros history (Link, Young Link, Toon Link, Roy, Ike, Marth, Metaknight, and Kirby), but none of those fools are samurai! Think of the amazingly quick and brutal combos Takamaru could pull off with his deathly fast blade and pin point accuracy. The lightening smoke bombs could be used in a similar fashion to Sheik's "Vanish" attack, only Takamaru could give his opponents a nice jolt on his way out. That coupled with his invisibility/invincibility cloak could make Takamaru one of the best Smash characters to ever enter the ring.


Odds of Being Added: This one is a tough call. Nintendo is obviously still interested in the Nazo no Murasame Jō series as they brought it back to life for Nintendo Land, but will they go the extra mile to make Takamaru a name worth knowing around the world? My gut says don't hold your breath, but let's just hope I'm wrong. Takamaru is easily one of my most wanted characters to date.

The Challenger Approaching archives can be found here.