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Thursday, December 3, 2020

NintendoVS Challenge Cup December 2020: Mushroom Kingdom Edition

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - There are a number of oddities and exclusions here.

As the Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary Direct from three months ago said would happen, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is having a special in-game NintendoVS Challenge Cup event this December (December 12, 6 PM to 9 PM Eastern). You may remember NintendoVS Challenge Cups from the September one, which I criticised heavily when it was done. This one has the same Tourney Score system that I was critical of.

This time, however, there are two stocks instead of four, and character selection is quite limited, as are the stages that will be picked and the items that may appear. There are still Stage Hazards and Final Smash metre remains on, which means that Peach and Daisy will be completely overpowered in this tournament thanks to their sleep-inducing Final Smash having disproportionate impact when there are only two stocks, and you're basically guaranteed to get a Final Smash to happen.

But let's talk about the characters and stages and items, because they are all supposed to be from the Super Mario series.

By the way, just to make a quick tangent and get this important message before the page break, the prize for winning (defined as Top 35) is a Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary Coin valued at $10. As of publishing, Nintendo STILL hasn't paid out the Gold Points (or physical trophies) to the people that won their Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open October 2020 over a month ago. Maybe Nintendo feels like they're more capable of shipping out cheap physical coins, and that's why they won't offer Gold Points for this tournament. (That doesn't make any sense, but...)

As you may expect, Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, King Bowser Koopa, Dr. Mario, Wario, Rosalina & Luma, and Piranha Plant are all selectable fighters. Oh, and, uh, Bowser Jr. and the seven Koopalings are as well, though the ruleset doesn't specify the Koopalings. (We BETTER be eligible!) Joining us are Yoshi and Wario... along with Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong.

However, King K. Rool is not allowed in. Why? Why is Diddy Kong allowed but not King K. Rool? Diddy Kong's only affiliation to the Mushroom Kingdom is by joining their sporting events and the occasional party as a guest of Donkey Kong's. But King K. Rool also can claim that (though in much less quantity), appearing in Mario Super Sluggers, and he was in a completely new Egyptian Pharaoh diaper outfit made just for that. (Besides Super Smash Bros. Ultimate itself, Mario Super Sluggers is King K. Rool's last physical appearance in a game.) King K. Rool also had actual dialogue and interpersonal relationships with series regulars, such as bad chemistry with my father, King Dad, but good chemistry with King Boo. That's worth looking into.

Mario Super Sluggers King K. Rool Challenge Mode story appearance diaper pharaoh
Yes, of course we know who you are, King K. Rool!
You're so familiar to the Super Mario cast...

This makes King K. Rool more worth appearing in a Super Mario celebration than, say, Link and Inklings making cameo appearances in Mario Kart 8 (as paid DLC), despite Mario Kart being defined as part of Super Mario with the inclusion of the Mario Circuit stage (but the Figure-8 Circuit stage is not included). Or Samus sleeping in a bed in Super Mario RPG. King K. Rool had a real, unavoidable role, and an original design for that role.

Other exclusions include any Donkey Kong series stage (including the dreaded 75M stage based on Donkey Kong arcade, which also means the Hammer item is not present), the Luigi's Mansion stage, and any Wario series stage. A stage called Yoshi's Island appears, and I assume it's the one from Super Smash Bros. Brawl with the platform and the slants, as opposed to the one with the Rotating Blocks and even more gross slopes from Super Smash Bros. Melee. This is from the Yoshi series, so why is it allowed? (The one from Melee is based more on Super Mario World than the actual Yoshi's Island game.) Rainbow Cruise is also excluded, despite Super Mario 64 being a prominent part of Nintendo's anniversary celebration with Super Mario 3D All-Stars.

Several other stages are missing from the stage list (like Golden Plains and Mushroomy Kingdom), but that's okay, because those are really bad places to play. Maybe there is just a grudge against auto-scrolling stages, despite side-scrolling being one of the things that Super Mario is associated with. However, transformational stages are apparently encouraged—many of the stages on the list transform throughout the match.

Despite the many flaws in terms of representation, as well as the fact that the rules list is not fun, and the fact that Tourney Score is bad, I'm going to be participating in this tournament on December 12. Hopefully I'll actually show up on the top 100 leaderboard this time instead of losing my last match and falling off it. (Though I had no way of knowing that until after it was over.)

Ludwig will likely opt for playing as himself instead of playing as his father, simply because his Final Smash is much better. The Final Smash metre is definitely going to define this event. You may also see a lot of Luigi players trying to zero-to-death you off a grab; you should camp them with the plethora of items that will be available.

The NintendoVS Challenge Cup December 2020 is now over... and here are the results! (Ludwig made it!)
The next of these Nintendo VS Challenge Cup events is happening November 2021.


  1. Personally, at this point I wouldn't want to participate in any event in any Nintendo game in which Nintendo has a direct hand. From recent actions they're making it quite clear that they don't WANT their games to be among those used to bring people together through nonviolent competition.

    1. Is that a different declaration than "I'm not going to play any Nintendo games in their multiplayer mode"?

    2. Yes. This declaration only refers to formalized events. I'm still willing to, in theory, try random matchups in Smash or race online in Mario Kart 8, to give a couple examples from games I actually own. Not to mention, it only applies to events run by Nintendo and not by a game's community.

    3. Alright, so using Nintendo Switch Online and Nintendo matchmaking apparatuses is Nintendo having an indirect hand. (Even though those things are bringing people together through non(-physically)-violent competition.)

    4. I'm sensing a rather scoffing tone here, but yes actually. Although, I don't believe I'm familiar with any fandom run events that use Nintendo's matchmaking, but them providing Nintendo Switch Online for say, a Smash Ultimate tournament run by the community makes them no more involved than a professional Starcraft 2 player's ISP in an SCII tournament.

  2. King K Rool wasn't invited because he's green. Think about it. Lugi gets the most hate in the mushroom kingdom because he dresses in green. The koopalings, Bowser? Many of them have green features. King K Rool has the more green than any member of the Mushroom Kingdom. Why isn't he allowed? Because they are green racists.

    1. Obvious, unanswered question: How come they invited Yoshi?

    2. Yoshi is a light green so he's not as bad as a dark green. Modern yoshi or at least the Smash yoshi is much brighter than king K rool in it's standard skin. My guess is that the mushroom citizens didn't want to seem too racist, while at the same time doing just that. "We're not racist, look we brought yoshi!". Yoshi is just as bad, he is the Uncle Tom of the Mushroom kingdom cabin.

    3. He definitely was a lot darker in Super Smash Bros. Melee than he is now.

  3. When do you think we will get our results from the december qualifier? I participated and got a 25,000 something.

    1. "On or about January 4, 2021, Sponsor will identify the top 35 players based on the Tourney Score accumulated during the Tournament Period. "

      I got a 26,000 something. :x


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