Super Smash Bros. was developed by HAL Laboratory, a Nintendo second-party developer, during 1998. It began life as a prototype created by Masahiro Sakurai and Satoru Iwata in their spare time titled Kakuto-Gēmu Ryūō or Kakuto-Geemu Ryuoh (格闘ゲーム竜王 ?, lit. “Dragon King: The Fighting Game”), and originally featured no Nintendo characters. However, Sakurai hit on the idea of including fighters from different Nintendo franchises in order to provide “atmosphere” which he felt was necessary for a home console fighting game, and his idea was approved. The game had a small budget and little promotion, and was originally a Japan-only release, but its huge success saw the game released worldwide. [Info from Wikipedia]
Below you can read the “Iwaka Ask” chat about Smash Bros:
Iwata: Because we don’t often have the opportunity to sit down and talk about Smash Bros., I’d like to use the last part of this interview to turn back the clock and talk about the start of this series, beginning in 1999 with the Nintendo 64 title Super Smash Bros. You and I were responsible for developing this prototype.
Sakurai: Right. We called it “Kakuto-Geemu Ryuoh” (Dragon King: The Fighting Game)
Iwata: At that point in time, we weren’t utilizing any Nintendo characters, and while you handled the planning, specs, design, modeling and movement, I worked on programming all by myself. In some respects, it was the ultimate handcrafted project.
Sakurai: Right. I mean, we didn’t know at the time that we would be able to use Nintendo characters.
Iwata: In retrospect, the main reason I undertook the project was to build a 4-player game that utilized the N64’s unique 3D joystick. What were your reasons?
Sakurai: Well, I wanted to offer an alternative to the two-dimensional fighting games that were crowding out the market. I also wanted to see if it was possible to make an interesting 4-player game that offered a new experience every time you play. Simply put, I was aiming to design a 4-player battle royal.
Iwata: I seem to remember “4-player Battle Royal” being written on the cover of the project planning document.
Sakurai: Right. I hadn’t given it a title yet.
Iwata: We hadn’t even come up with the codename Ryuoh yet. I think we ended up using Ryuoh because we happened to use scenery from the Ryuoh-cho neighborhood, the location of HAL Laboratory in Yamanashi Prefecture, as the background for the game.
Thanks to Adriel for the contribution!
[Source: Iwata Ask]
Rumors say that in the beta concept of Super Smash Bros. 64, Pit, Bowser, Peach, Mewtwo, Meowth and King Dedede were going to be playable characters, but was taken out due to limits in the hardware. It should be noted though that Meowth and King Dedede appeared in the game as a Poke Ball Pokemon and as a background character, respectivly.
Two beta Kirby stages are only playable with a GameShark. The stages have strange elements, such as invisible barriers. A working Dream Land stage can be viewed in the “How to Play” tutorial, which itself can be seen by waiting on the title screen. Also, in the character select, the question mark boxes were supposed to be colored and Saffron City also had pink with purple on the rooftops, the smash ball were supposed to be introduce in this game. [Info from Mariowiki]
Screen 1: There is no sign or bridge or sliding stone block
Screen 2: a pink floor that was later changed
Screen 3: Just some beta textures shown on Hyrule Castle
Thanks to 8PM and Deep Game Research for the contributions!