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Monday, November 9, 2020

Are the "Hiding Your True Self" Spirits Wearing Masks Properly?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - “Properly” meaning within CDC guidelines.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every able-bodied person over the age of two years old who is unable to socially distance and isn't in a hazardous setting or activity (like swimming or marathon running) should be wearing a mask or other face covering to prevent yourself from spreading the Chinese Communist Party Virus to other people. That mask should be covering your mouth and nose (or snout) and fit against the sides of your face and shouldn't have valves or openings.

In (long overdue) recognition of this, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate held a Spirit Event—Hiding Your True Self—over the weekend using already-existing Spirits that wear masks or otherwise hide their face. That's the traditional usage for wearing a mask—not to protect others’ health from you, but to protect your own identity from being discovered by others.

Still, it's worth looking at the eligible Spirits and categorising them. I went and classified each of the twenty-two Spirits and their mask usage against the CDC guidelines. Text explanations follow below the chart:

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Hiding Your True Self masks spirit event COVID-19 Centers Disease Control recommendations face coverings
Read the rest of the article for explanations. I recommend opening this chart in another tab so you can follow along.
It's pretty clear there is a LOT of educating to do on proper mask wearing...

Proper Mask Wearing Spirits in Hiding Your True Self

Dark Matter (Kirby series)
If Dark Matter has a nose or mouth, it's covered up by its face covering. All you see is Dark Matter's eye, and that's fine.
Kafei (The Legend of Zelda series)
Kafei's entire face is covered by the Keaton Mask, which is snugly secured over Kafei's face and will protect others from potentially expelling Chinese Communist Party Virus particles.
Slugger and Green Glove (Yoshi series)
Both Slugger (yellow) and Green Glove (green) have masks over their faces that only show their eyes. Their noses and mouths are covered up. That said, the CDC does not recommend wearing masks during strenuous sports because it can be difficult to breathe, but the Slugger and Green Glove seem to be very used to that by now.
Drake Redcrest (Chibi-Robo! series)
Drake Redcrest appears to be wearing a face shield or helmet, which are still under study for how well they block COVID-19 particles. However, I don't think Drake Redcrest will be giving the coronavirus to anyone, since there doesn't seem to be any way for it to actually escape from his mouth or nose out of his helmet. I wonder how he keeps it from getting foggy from the interior.

Mask Wearing Spirits in Hiding Your True Self that are UNKNOWN

Bandit (Yoshi series)
It's not obvious from the image, or from Bandit's behaviour in Yoshi's Island, if the mouth present on the mask is Bandit's actual mouth (in which case, that's... not really a mask, is it?) or if it's merely drawn on. Same goes for what appears to be Bandit's eyes and unibrow. People do draw all sorts of things on their face coverings (just ask Bowser Jr.), so it's definitely a viable theory. There's no depth to the mask markings, so they don't seem to be a hole. Still, that could be an art style thing. We don't know what's going on with Bandit, so it's Unknown.
Plague Knight (Shovel Knight series)
We don't know what's under Plague Knight's mask (or robe). This is problematic because there is a line indicating some kind of opening at the bottom of the beak. This probably wouldn't be a problem, unless the Plague Knight has a big nose or mouth that extends that far. In addition, there appears to be two small nose holes at the top of the mask, but it seems unrealistic for the Plague Knight's face to actually have a nose up there. Still, we don't know for sure, so Plague Knight's mask wearing is of Unknown compliance with CDC guidelines.
Eggplant Man (Wrecking Crew series)
I don't even know what exactly we're looking at with Eggplant Man. Is the darker part of the Spirit image the mask? Or is that Eggplant Man's face, and the mask is supposed to be the whole pink costume? Since it's impossible to tell what's going on, I think it's fair to deem this as Unknown. By the way, we looked at higher-resolution images of the Eggplant Man (such as their Super Smash Bros. Melee trophy) and it's just as unclear. You could say it doesn't matter since there's no nose or mouth showing, but other artwork suggests there might be a poorly-defined nose sticking out.

Improper Mask Wearing Spirits in Hiding Your True Self

Black Shadow (F-Zero series)
Black Shadow's mask covers his nose, but not his mouth. This is improper and a danger to others, though Black Shadow probably does not care.
Wario-Man (WarioWare series)
Wario-Man's mask covers the top of his head, but his nose and shiny grin are in full display, offering zero protection.
Blood Falcon (F-Zero series)
Blood Falcon has a helmet with a visor over the top of his head and eyes, but his nose and mouth are unmasked. If he snugly wraps his scarf around his face, that could work in a pinch.
Spring Man (ARMS)
Spring Man has face gear that protects the top of his head (...sort of?) but exposes his mouth and his nose. He fails CDC standards, just like his game fails fun standards.
Min Min (ARMS)
Min Min has a hat and something covering her eyes, but like Spring Man, her nose and mouth are exposed.
Mr. L (Paper Mario series)
A lot of people seem to think that your identity will be shrouded if you just cover up your eyes and put on a hat, but Mr. L's nose and mouth are in full display. He may wish to consider trimming his moustache to make fitting a mask easier... or possible.
Ravio (The Legend of Zelda series)
Ravio's head covering seems almost close, but since his teeth are clearly sticking out, it's pretty obvious that if he coughs or sneezes or something, he'll spread lots of coronavirus particles everywhere. Improper.
Dr. Crygor (WarioWare series)
While Dr. Crygor's helmet at least looks sturdy, and it's good he's wearing what look like disposable gloves, his giant nose and mouth are totally exposed.
Octoling (Splatoon series)
This Octoling is wearing the Octoling Goggles. Inklings may get a version of these called the Octoleet Goggles, produced by Cuttlegear. Regardless, they are not suitable for wearing during a pandemic, because they cover eyes, not one's nose or mouth.
Reporter and Wrestler (Rhythm Heaven series)
It looks like the Wrestler's nose is covered by his mask, but his mouth is obviously not. The Reporter has no face covering at all. (Unless they have a fake face on and there's really someone else underneath it.)
Twintelle (ARMS)
Like Twintelle's other ARMS buddies, her face covering goes over the top half of her face, and not her nose or mouth. By the way, you probably don't want to wear lipstick before putting a real face mask on.
Shy Guy (Super Mario series)
Shy Guy has a hole in the mask around where the mouth is. This jeopardises the protection the mask offers and defeats the whole purpose (if the purpose is public health, which for Shy Guy... it's probably not).
Wonder-Blue (The Wonderful 101)
Wonder-Blue's nose and mouth are clearly visible, though his eyes aren't. ...Still, you're not expelling Chinese Communist Party Virus through your eyes.
Little Mouser (Yoshi series)
Look how much Little Mouser's nose sticks out from its mask! Obviously an improper use of a mask by CDC standards.
Cubone (Pokémon series)
First of all, Cubone's skull helmet has big nose holes, which are a no-no. Second of all, Cubone's skull helmet, according to the Pokédex, is ripped right off its dead mother. While this probably isn't actually true (...think about the fact that Cubone are born wearing the skull helmet, even with their mother Marowak very much alive), let's say it is. The CDC doesn't recommend reusing your mask unless it's a reusable one that can be washed. Do you think Cubone (which is scared of water... probably ain't a fan of soap, either) thoroughly washed the skull helmet before taking it? Or is it full of gross bacteria and germs?

By the way, Marowak's skull helmet doesn't have the nose holes, so that would be a proper mask by CDC standards. Apparently, Cubone must Bone Club some holes into the skull helmet and then break the protection of the mask? Sounds like what some uneducated humans on Earth do.

Some credit goes to Witch Princess for helping Ludwig categorise the Spirits, though all she did was confirm his first impressions because he's usually the right the first time he does anything, anyway. However, if you disagree with that assessment and would like to dispute any of the Spirits’ placings, please do so in the comments section below and a KoopaTV staffer will have that discussion with you. By the way, the KoopaTV logo is in the chart under Unknown because... well, who knows what the staff does. Ludwig clearly doesn't wear a mask in his publisher avatar, but he's also quite socially distanced.

Apparently, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate does not consider masks to be headwear.


  1. Plague Knight design is based on the plague doctors of the 17th century. "In the 17th century, people believed these outfits could purify poisonous air. They were wrong."

    So would be under the improper mask wearing category.

    1. HOLD IT!

      It's true that the plague doctors were incorrect in thinking that their outfits could protect them from the plagues all around Europe.


      That still doesn't rule out the possibility, depending on Plague Knight's unknown physical anatomy, that the outfit still protects others from asymptomatic plague transmission should Plague Knight have the CCP Virus. And that's all the CDC expects.


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