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With Super Smash Bros. Ultimate due for release on December 7th as an exclusive for the Nintendo Switch, the game almost made it to the finish line without any controversy. Recently there were protests made by some members of the community regarding an animation in the game, now Nintendo has announced plans to remove it.
The news comes courtesy of a tweet made on the All Source Gaming Twitter account, where the outlet confirmed that during a livestream demonstration of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Nintendo featured one of the characters on display that happened to be Mr. Game & Watch from the old handheld system from back in the 1980s. The animation featured a fire attack from the character that was deemed offensive, so Nintendo stated that it would be changing the animation.
The two-frame animation of Mr. Game & Watch sees him transform into a Native American, complete with a sterotypical feather in a headband, wielding a torch as part of his attack. It's in reference to the old Fire Attack handheld device where the character Mr. Game & Watch takes his name. In the game, a Native American attacks a fortress with torches and it was up to players to stop him from attacking the fortress or disable the torches. This was from back in the early 1980s, before the Game Boy became huge and before Tiger got into the portable gaming market with licensed products.
The Fire Attack handheld was one of dozens of different games where Mr. Game & Watch style characters would appear in various outfits and gimmicks -- from boxing to pinball to being a pirate -- they did it all, including appearing in the Donkey Kong games.
However, the reference to Native Americans in the special attack offended some groups, which ended up on a thread on ResetEra recetly following a tweet made by a user who pointed out that the attack referencing the Fire Attack game from Mr. Game & Watch was offensive. Given that some of the localizers from Nintendo's Treehouse branch visit the ResetEra forums, the community there asked if any members of Treehouse could remove the reference from the upcoming game.
Several days later, Nintendo sent the response to Source Gaming stating that the Mr. Game & Watch Native American reference would be changed by removing the plume from the two frames.
The company also explained that the old games featuring Mr. Game & Watch were from back during a series of games released three decades ago. The company also stated that those values don't represent what Nintendo is today.
The reference will be removed through a patch issued for the physical and digital versions of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, so that you'll no longer see the Fire Attack reference as it was originally depicted in the game based on the old handheld.
Nintendo also stated that the company originally missed the reference in the marketing material, but it wants to make sure that the game is "welcoming" and "fun" for everyone. You'll be able to purchase Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as an exclusive for the Nintendo Switch either digitally or physically on December 7th next month.