Yesterday, Simon Belmont (of Castlevania fame) was announced for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The announce trailer is above, it’s pretty cool. However, there’s a new wrinkle: one of Simon’s special attacks is holy water. Yes, that’s right, he just lobs a jar of holy water out there like a grenade.
And it works.
According to the fount of all knowledge, holy water has been blessed by a member of the clergy. It’s believed to ward off evil, unholy or unnatural creatures, like vampires - hence its use as a weapon in Castlevania. But we see here that, in Ultimate, it burns all of the characters it’s used on - not just the demonic ones. The only conclusion we can possibly arrive at is that, in some way, every character in Smash is an unholy monstrosity that must be vanquished. Here, arranged from most likely to least, we try to work out why.
Bayonetta is a black witch who uses dark magic to murder angels. She isn’t shy about it, either. I think she'd be personally offended if holy water didn’t work on her.
Look into those dead, soulless eyes. That, right there, is the true face of evil.
Mewtwo is a living, walking, talking affront to God. Cloned, genetically altered, and up to his eyeballs in unnatural telekinetic powers. Ticks all the boxes, holy water would work.
They don’t call Ganondorf the Demon King for nothing. Also, he’s practically a werewolf (werepig?), able to transform into a Dark Beast. Also black magic.
A practitioner of the dark arts if ever I saw one.
Ridley lives in an underground, lava-filled cavern. He's sadistic and evil, and keeps returning to inflict strife on the galaxy no matter how often Samus disintegrates him. Look at those horns, that tail, those wings. He might actually be the devil.
Dark Pit was not born naturally - he was created by the Mirror of Truth in Pit’s image, a definite act of blasphemy.
Like Ganondorf, the Inklings are shapeshifters, switching back and forth between a childlike form and a weird paint-squid at will. I don’t know how these creatures came about, but it wasn’t by the hand of any God I know. Holy water should work fine.
Bowser is a bad guy, sure, but so was Hitler, and holy water probably wouldn’t work on him (would it…?). Yeah, he looks scary, but so do crocodiles, and, again, no effect. But Bowser has died many times at Mario's hands, yet he always returns to kidnap Peach again. Sometimes his reanimated bones come back straight away to pursue his nemesis.
Something dark is tying Bowser to this world. Something is holding him back from the sweet release of death. Whatever it is, it’s enough for holy water to burn.
Also, red hair is the mark of Satan.
Indicted by heritage. Sorry, buddy. Sins of the father.
Nobody knows just where Bowser Junior came from, is all I’m going to say.
Look at him. Just LOOK AT HIM. Maybe if we were talking about his old-fashioned 2D sprite, it would be a different story, but no, we have this mouth on legs over here. If this thing isn’t against God, I don’t know what is.
Another shapeshifter, but this time one who steals a piece of his victim’s soul each time he transforms.
Mr Game & Watch
What even is that thing? He’s a visitor from another plane at best, and that plane might just happen to be one of the circles of hell. The LCD one.
Wii Fit Trainer
There’s no way this thing isn’t some kind of voodoo golem, sculpted from the ashes of someone’s parents or something. There’s nothing behind those empty eyes, only pure malice.
Possible candidate for the antichrist.
There’s no doubt that he conducts ethically questionable experiments under the table, and if Dr Mario hasn’t made some Faustian bargain at some point, I’ll eat my hat.
King K. Rool
If you think he got that crown via democratic election, you’re living a fantasy.
Princess Zelda & Sheik
Good intentions or no, Zelda is a sorceress, and there’s kind of a zero-tolerance policy on that stuff when it comes to the church. She is also descended from the pagan goddess Hylia. The gender confusion added by her transformation into Sheik doesn’t help either.
Snake might not be perfect, but he isn’t evil, and he’s quite human. But he is a clone, not of natural birth. This might be enough to make him unholy in the eyes of whatever church Belmont serves. I’m not saying he deserves it, but that’s religion for you.
Marth, Roy, Ike, Robin, Lucina, Chrom, Corrin & Cloud
All the anime swordguys are either sorcerers or accessories to sorcery. All the same, in God’s eyes.
While she might seem benign, Palutena is a heathen goddess of just the sort the church has been trying to vanquish since they co-opted Easter. Yes, holy water should work on her.
Pikachu & Pichu
Can summon bolts of lightning from the sky. Definitely not kosher.
Captain Falcon’s superhuman speed, agility and strength speak to some kind of deal with the devil. To say nothing of fire abilities and Schumacher nipples.
Lucario & Greninja
Not unlike Mewtwo, these two are definitely up to some illicit sorcery in their spare time.
Shulk once caused the universe to be remade by wishing for a world without gods. God wasn't terribly happy about this.
Ness & Lucas
They’re just kids, you might say. They don’t know that what they’re doing is wrong. You might be right, but their psychic powers are tools of the devil all the same. Also, as if that snake isn't the same one that tempted Eve.
I don’t know what Nana and Popo saw on the mountain. I don’t know what dark powers they consorted with. Maybe they were born this way. But whatever twisted relationship these twins have, whatever dark bond exists between them that allows them to fight as one, it can’t be God’s will.
Mega Man & R.O.B.
Artificial intelligence is bound to be against God.
DK is just a gorilla. What did he ever do wrong? He’s made up for the sins of his grandfather a hundredfold by now.
But a more-than-simian intelligence hides inside this protector of the forest. He wears a tie, and is clearly smarter than your average ape. However Donkey Kong came by this unnatural knowledge, whether by Planet of the Apes-style alteration or by demonic instruments, it should be enough to render holy water functional.
Ditto for Diddy, but two-fold. The damn monkey can make jetpacks and high-grade weaponry out of wood and coconuts. It ain’t normal.
Sonic, Duck Hunt, King Dedede, Fox, Falco & Wolf
Inhuman creations all, beasts with the glint of sentience in their eyes. They are not part of the natural order, and must surely be genetically-engineered abominations.
Yoshi is about as innocent as they come. But look closer. Is it male? Is it female? It doesn’t matter. It lays eggs no matter what. The identity politics of the church have never been terribly progressive, and Yoshi might push them just a little too far.
He’s saved Hyrule more times than anyone can count (are we including the CD-i games, or…?). But Link isn’t human. He’s a Hylian. You can tell by the pointy ears. And in the church’s hierarchy of interspecies politics, I bet Hylians are considered subhuman at best - worshippers of pagan godesses and pretenders to humanity's rightful place atop the pyramid. Holy water to the rescue.
By the same token, Olimar is an alien of human intelligence, and thus cannot be allowed to live.
Samus is a human, albeit an awesome one. But she's part Chozo, and in Metroid Fusion she was spliced with Metroid DNA, making her another unnatural being for holy water to vanquish.
Luigi is practically a Ghostbuster. As we saw in the trailer, ever since Luigi’s Mansion he basically does the same job as the Belmonts. I’ll grant he doesn’t do it well, but that’s beside the point. So why does holy water work on him?
There’s a clue in the very same trailer: in a shocking moment, Luigi is straight-up murdered by a grim reaper, his soul ripped from his body. But then, later in that very same trailer, we see his soul trying to return to his body:
I propose that Luigi is basically Slimer from The Real Ghostbusters - a ghost who detests who he is and wants to help imprison other ghosts. He has been dead for a long time, but his undead soul continues to return to reanimate his zombie-like body. He can’t break the cycle. He will always be tormented by his horrifying existence.
There’s no way that sweet pink puffball harbours anything but pure, seething hatred within.
Pit is a damn angel. Why would holy water work on him?
Except that he isn’t any normal angel. He serves the heathen goddess Palutena. He is either a traitor to Belmont’s God or some twisted mockery of the true angels.
How could Mario be evil? He’s practically a saint at this point. He’s vanquished Bowser a million times and brought peace to the Mushroom Kingdom over and over. He’s a royalist, sure, but we can’t hold that against him, he doesn’t know any better.
Or does he?
Is Mario a pawn of the dark powers? Does Mario perpetuate the eternal cycle of violence by allowing Bowser to live on, every single time, to kidnap again?
What sinister intentions lurk behind those deep, expressive eyes, that bobbing moustache?
We may never know.
And that’s the most terrifying thing of all.
This new information casts the Smash Bros series in a new light. It was never about fun, colourful Nintendo characters coming together for a happy Smashy time. It is, and always has been, about a gathering of creatures from the abyss, of dark and unspeakable monstrosities competing to rule over this foul kingdom. And now Simon Belmont has come to put a stop to it.