Nintendo Releasing NX In 2017, Has Light Plans For E3

E3

Nintendo held their annual shareholders meeting today and made several announcements regarding their upcoming system currently codenamed NX, their mobile games, the next game in The Legend of Zelda series, and what they’ll be doing for E3.  Firstly, we have a release window for the NX for March, 2017.  The next Zelda title has also had its release pushed back to 2017 and is planned to release simultaneously for both the Wii U and NX.  They also released a new piece of concept art featuring Link (pictured above), although it doesn’t reveal anything new about the game.  An official title for the new Zelda game has yet to be announced.

Two more mobile games were announced, but there are currently no specific details publically known for either title.  All we do know is that one will be based on the Animal Crossing series while the other is based on Fire Emblem.  Animal Crossing certainly seems like a good fit for mobile with its focus on casual play and social interactions, but the Fire Emblem mobile game could easily rub its core fanbase the wrong way depending on how it’s handled.

Finally, Nintendo had some shocking announcements for their E3 plans.  They stated that the NX would not be unveiled at this year’s E3 and would not have any presence at the event whatsoever.  Not only that, the new Zelda game will be the only Nintendo game to have a playable demo for the entire trade show.  That’s not to say that it will be the only game Nintendo will discuss at E3, but any other games will be restricted to trailers and interviews.  While there hasn’t been an announcement regarding it, it seems unlikely that the Treehouse Livestream will be broadcasting throughout the week given that they’d only have one title to work with for four entire days.  The rest of the year is looking uneventful for the Wii U now that Zelda has been pushed back as the only other titles known to be in development for the system currently are Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, Paper Mario: Color Splash, and Bandai Namco’s free-to-play game Lost Reavers.

What are your thoughts on the news to come out of Nintendo’s shareholders meeting?  What are your hopes for the mysterious NX?  How do you feel about their E3 plans?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Do Not Buy Both Physical Versions Of Fire Emblem Fates

With the launch of Fire Emblem Fates creeping up ever so swiftly, there’s no doubt that most of us have already either pre-ordered the game(s) or intend to buy them on release or shortly thereafter.

While this seems like a reasonable prospect, I have to warn those of you who intend on buying both versions physically: Do not do this.

For a while, we’ve known that Fates is split into two separate games, titled Birthright and Conquest respectively. Many view this like Pokemon, in that both versions differ and the player is meant to choose one copy and roll with it. The difference being that both Birthright and Conquest are very different games, unlike many of the double releases of Pokemon.

When you couple that with the fact that Nintendo offers a discount if you buy the second one in the eShop and really wants you to buy the third part, Revelation, when it comes out, it’s quite obvious that you’d be missing out if you only bought one.

What Nintendo doesn’t mention, however, is that if you buy both Birthright and Conquest physically, you will get severely punished for not somehow knowing a few key details beforehand.

  • Save files do not intertwine. Most importantly, support logs.
  • You will not receive the bonuses given to players who purchase the second game digitally.
  • Your DLC does not transfer over and must be purchased twice if you want to use it on both versions.

Now, this will definitely not impact those of us that only want to play one version, but to have critical limitations like this and not provide any substantial warning is ludicrous at best. Especially when you consider the fan base of this franchise, and how dedicated they are to having everything Fire Emblem. 

But, I must give credit where credit is due. In the eShop under the description for the game, they tell you not to buy both on the eShop separately. Hell, save-files are linked to the cartridges on all 3DS games, so that part is quite obvious. The problem, though, is that they do not clearly outline all of the specifics surrounding this ridiculous release.

Why do they not tell you on the official website for the game, or on the retail websites where people will be buying them? Why is the eShop information so damned vague? Why did Nintendo limit the Super Ultra 358/2 Xtreme ReMiX Legends Edition that rectifies these problems so much that it sold out in minutes, filling up Ebay with price-jacked auctions courtesy of scalpers?

Sadly, I possess no answers to these questions. What I can say though, is that I am definitely not buying both versions of Fates physically.

7 Video Game Spoilers that are Now Unavoidable

The worst part about a great plot twist is that spoilers for it are bound to precede the story it appears in for anyone that was late to the party.  Even if you’ve never seen a second of the films Psycho, Planet of the Apes, or The Sixth Sense, you probably already know all of their most famous surprises due to how ingrained they’ve become in the popular culture.  With video games often growing into franchises, spoilers are even harder to avoid as major twists of previous games can be played up in promotions for the newest one.  The following spoilers are almost unavoidable now due to how much they’ve been brought up since in their respective franchises.  If you follow games media even lightly, you already know all of these inside and out.  However, for the sake of those that have managed to avoid learning these twists early, I’ll just be listing the titles of the specific games being spoiled so you can skip any entries that you’re worried about.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Aerith

7. Final Fantasy VII

This one doesn’t exactly fit the theme of the article given that the Final Fantasy franchise tends to reboot its lore with each numbered entry, but its hard not to call it one of the most famous and unavoidable plot twists in gaming history.  Part way through the game, one of your party members, the kind-hearted Aerith, is fatally wounded by the villainous Sephiroth.  Despite countless rumors of a way to revive her, her death is irreversible without hacking the game.  While Final Fantasy VII has had plenty of spin-offs, the only one I can think of that made a point of Aerith’s death is the Advent Children film.  However, it still belongs on the list just for being the one thing that is always the first to come up in any discussion of the game.  It’s gotten to the point where most people don’t even recognize it as a spoiler and just assume it to be common knowledge.  How many news outlets do you think mused about the possibility of resurrecting Aerith while reporting on the recently announced remake?  Even the quirky competitive FPS Screencheat uses her name as one of its many analogies for killing an opponent.  That’s the thing with big surprises; everyone starts to either analyze or satirize it endlessly.

Snake_&_Raiden

6. Metal Gear Solid 2

The first thing that comes up with any conversation on Metal Gear Solid 2 is its infamous bait-and-switch that had regular protagonist Solid Snake built up as the lead in all demonstrations and marketing for the game, only to replace him with an entirely new character named Raiden.  Where the big twist of Final Fantasy VII is one of the most discussed topics of the game, the bait-and-switch of Raiden is the only thing that ever receives any attention when discussing MGS2 or even just the character of Raiden.  When Metal Gear Rising, a spin-0ff centered entirely around Raiden, was released years later, many were still so jaded by his appearance in MGS2 that they refused to give the spin-off a chance.  It’s actually pretty ironic given that Raiden was actually built from the ground up as a parody of the very fanboys that hate him, spending most of the game whining right alongside the bitter players for the ‘real’ Snake to get involved in the mission.  Typical Kojima.

Arthas

5. Warcraft III

Prince Arthas Menethil, the main hero of Warcraft III, is pretty much your typical Prince Charming when the game starts out.  That’s what makes it such a shock when he turns to the dark side and ultimately changes from being one of Azeroth’s most celebrated champions to one of its most repulsive monsters.  His descent begins when an undead curse begins to spread across the land, turning people into mindless ghouls.  Desperate to contain the curse, Arthas resorts to slaughtering an entire village that has been infected but has yet to fully turn.  It’s a brutal choice that immediately turns both his mentor and his beloved against him.  Eventually, his struggle against the forces of darkness leads him to not only embrace the undead curse himself, but to even become its leader as the infamous Lich King.  From there, Arthas quickly became Warcraft‘s most iconic villain with an entire expansion in World of Warcraft centering around his final downfall and being made a playable character in Heroes of the Storm.  If you haven’t been following Warcraft lore from the start, it’s likely too late to check out Warcraft III without already knowing who goes full Darth Vader in it.

MaskedLucina

4. Fire Emblem: Awakening

Here’s a tip: If you don’t want games spoiled for you, don’t even look at the Super Smash Bros games as you can find massive spoilers for other games just by looking at the character roster.  For example, there’s the identity of the masked swordsman going by the name Marth from Fire Emblem: Awakening.  This was built up as the big mystery for Awakening right from the game’s reveal and remained the focal point of its marketing all the way up to its release.  How could the legendary hero king from the very first Fire Emblem game, whose reign was generations ago, be appearing in this era?  Well, you could play the game yourself to discover the truth, or you could just take a glance at Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS.  As it turns out, it’s not King Marth traveling from the past, but Prince Chrom’s daughter Lucina traveling from the future.  While having Lucina appearing on the roster may not immediately give away that she’s the Marth impersonator, her using the mask from the disguise as one of her taunts and Kirby wearing the same mask after stealing her ability certainly make it obvious.  At least they didn’t give away the time-travel part from tha… She mentions it in one of her victory quotes, doesn’t she?

Portal

3. Portal

Here’s one that’s become so ubiquitous that you’ve probably forgotten that it even is a plot twist: GLaDOS, the mastermind behind the first Portal game, is actually a psychotic computer out to kill you.  Today, that just seems as obvious as the fact that you use portals, but this was actually a massive surprise when the game first came out.  Remember that Portal was first released as a part of the Orange Box alongside the highly anticipated Half-Life 2: Episode 2 and Team Fortress 2 with little build-up for the tacked-on puzzle game.  People started it up thinking it was just some simple bonus that was thrown in with the big releases because it wouldn’t sell on its own.  Then it starts throwing around a dark sense of humor slowly enough for it to be cynically charming.  As you dig deeper, it becomes more and more apparent that this facility is not what it seems and that everything has been designed to tear you apart physically and mentally.  Finally, you meet with the mechanical mastermind to shut down her devious plans… And then GLaDOS became the most iconic character in the Portal franchise, being heavily promoted for the sequel, making cameos in Poker Night at the Inventory 2 and the film Pacific Rim, and generally made it impossible for anyone to enjoy the same mental trip that Portal once offered again.

OcarinaSheik

2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Smash strikes again, but at least it’s not the only guilty party for this one.  The fact that the mysterious ninja warrior named Sheik is actually the missing Princess Zelda in disguise has been made abundantly clear in anything and everything to feature Sheik since.  First, Super Smash Bros Melee introduced both Zelda and Sheik as playable fighters with the unique ability to transform from one to the other during matches.  This was carried over into Brawl before being cut with the 3DS and Wii U entries making the two completely separate characters, but the damage had already been done by that point.  Even then, Hyrule Warriors came by to make sure nobody forgot the princess’s double-life by making it a plot point in its own campaign.  At this point, expecting anyone to be surprised at Sheik’s true identity is a joke in and of itself.

AlbertWeskerFMV

1. Resident Evil

Capcom really couldn’t try harder to make the single biggest plot twist from the original Resident Evil known to everyone, regardless of whether or not they’ve ever even touched it game or any games in the series.  One of the members of your team sent into the Spencer Mansion, Albert Wesker, is secretly a double-agent working to sabotage your operations from the inside.  It’s shocking to discover that, after all of the horrors you’ve struggled to survive against, one of your own is actually complicit in it all and working to cover it up.  Or, at least, it would be shocking if Wesker hadn’t been made into the main villain of the series and highly advertised his turn to the dark side in future titles.  Not only did he reappear as the antagonist in several RE games, such as a major selling point for Resident Evil 5 being the chance to finally take revenge on him, he’s also appeared in two of the live-action films and as a playable character in Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 and Lost Planet 2.  Each time he’s appeared, it’s been readily apparent that he’s the baddest bad guy that the entire RE series has to offer.  Honestly, it feels like he should have just been a low-level goon that died within the first game and have a new character take up the role of the mastermind if only to keep the surprise fresh for a lot more people late to the party.  If you haven’t already picked up Resident Evil with any of the half-dozen rereleases that the game has had over the years, you’re going to have to go in already knowing who the surprise villain is right from the start.

What spoilers are you sick of seeing everywhere?  Do you have any that should have been included on the list?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Lucas, Roy, and Ryu DLC Now Available for Super Smash Bros, New Amiibo Revealed

Super Smash

Three more characters have joined the cast of Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS.  Lucas from Mother 3, Roy from Fire Emblem, and Ryu from Street Fighter are all available for purchase now.  Lucas and Roy make their long awaited returns from Brawl and Melee respectively with all of their familiar techniques intact.  Ryu is the first entirely new character released as DLC and he is easily the most unique character to join the roster yet.  While his special moves can be performed with the simple Smash inputs, using the more complex inputs from the Street Fighter games will result in much more powerful attacks.  Performing a Shoryuken with SF inputs and hitting at just the right point can be an almost guaranteed kill.  He can also perform light, medium, and heavy variants of all of his attacks based on how long you hold the button down.  Finally, he is the first smasher to have two Final Smashes.  Performing the Final Smash directly next to an opponent will perform the incredibly powerful Shin Shoryuken.  Otherwise, he will fire of a massive Shinku Hadouken projectile.  Ryu definitely looks to be one of the most insane and powerful characters yet.

Along with the new characters, there are also three new stages added to the game.  The long-awaited Miiverse stage is available for free to all players.  The stage is essentially a reskin of the the Battlefield stage with the addition of Miiverse messages from players all around the world appearing in the background.  The brand new Suzaku Castle stage is based on Ryu’s stage from Street Fighter II and comes included with the purchase of Ryu.  The stage has two layers of large, stable platforms to the right and two smaller platforms to the left.  Finally, the Dream Land 64 stage from the original Super Smash Bros returns.  It’s not the only stage to return from the first Smash Bros as Hyrule Castle and Peach’s Castle 64 are also set to be released as DLC, but they’ll both come at a later date.

Plenty of new outfits have also been released for the Mii Fighters.  Along with the previously announced Splatoon outfits, there will be costumes based on Isabelle from Animal Crossing, Zero from Mega Man X, MegaMan.EXE from Mega Man Battle Network, Akira and Jacky from Virtua Fighter, and Heihachi from Tekken.  Ironically, the recently revealed K. K. Slider costume is nowhere to be seen.  The Mii Fighters will also be receiving their own amiibo figures.  The figures themselves are based on the default designs used on the character select screen, but their appearances in-game can be customized to your liking.  Along with the Miis, amiibo for R.O.B., Duck Hunt, Mr. Game & Watch, and Falco have also been revealed.  The Mr. Game & Watch amiibo is of particular interest as it will include multiple poses that can be swapped out.

The Tournament mode is now in its testing phase and will be released in August.  Lastly, there will be updates made to the replay function with Youtube intergration, allowing players to directly upload recordings of their matches online.  You will need a Google account in order to use this function.  Which of these announcements has you the most excited?  What are you still hoping to see adding to Super Smash Bros in the future?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

8 Nintendo Characters You Haven’t Considered for Smash DLC

Nintendo

Nintendo recently opened the floodgates on Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS.  Not only are Mewtwo and Lucas set to appear as DLC, but there is also a page on the official Smash website to submit your own requests for characters you want to see added to the game.  There are plenty of obvious fan-favorites that are overdue for an appearance, but there are also obscure characters worth considering.  These characters haven’t appeared in any Smash game save for maybe a few trophies, but they still have plenty of potential as new fighters.  We’ll be focusing on just first-party characters owned by Nintendo with this article rather than opening it up to the entire gaming industry.  They aren’t so obscure as to be entirely ridiculous to consider; they just offer unique additions to the roster that shouldn’t be overlooked.

CaptainSyrup

8) Captain Syrup

The Mario series isn’t exactly hurting for representation (including spin-offs, it’s currently sitting at eleven fighters), but there are still some characters that could use some recognition.  One prime example is Wario’s arch-rival in thievery: Captain Syrup.  First appearing as the antagonist in Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, Syrup is the leader of the pirate troupe known as the Black Sugar Gang.  Not only is she a rival for Wario, she could also act as an antithesis for Peach.  The idea of a Peach counterpart has been tossed around within Nintendo for years (along with Waluigi, there were plans to introduce a character named Warupichi in Mario Tennis), but they’ve never been able to settle on something.  Syrup could finally fill the void as Smash‘s resident bad girl.  Plus, the ninja-to-pirate ratio in Smash is currently 2-0 and that is unacceptable.

Sothe

7) Sothe

The Fire Emblem series has quite a few fighters on the roster already, but they’re mostly just different spins on the same swordsman type.  Given the wide range of classes that Fire Emblem has to offer, there’s little excuse for the lack of diversity.  One good example is Sothe, one of Ike’s allies in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and a major character in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, who would be a perfect representative for the thief class.  Being a thief, he could steal items right out his opponent’s hands in similar fashion to the Villager’s pocket ability.  He could also use a knife-based fighting style similar to Street Fighter‘s Cody and Killer Instinct‘s Maya; able to use his knife as a powerful projectile, but having to physically recover it afterward.  I do feel guilty putting Sothe on the list over Micaiah, the actual main character in Radiant Dawn, but I can’t see her light-based magic offering much to the roster.

Vaati

6) Vaati

Despite being one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises, The Legend of Zelda hasn’t had a truly fresh addition to Smash‘s roster since Melee.  Hyrule Warriors recently displayed just how much potential the series has with characters like Impa, Ghirahim, Midna, and Darunia to name a few.  Anyone of those characters would make a fine addition to Smash, but there’s one major character in the Zelda series that was bizarrely absent from Hyrule Warriors (besides Groose).  Vaati is the second most prominent villain in the Zelda series, appearing as the central antagonist in The Minish Cap, Four Swords, and Four Swords Adventures.  A powerful wind mage capable of changing his appearance, there’s no doubt that he could provide a unique playstyle to Smash.  Much like Ganondorf’s ability to take the form of a giant pig demon, Vaati takes the form of a giant bat demon for the final battle and this would obviously be his Final Smash attack.

Sukapon

5) Sukapon

Super Smash Bros isn’t the first fighting game Nintendo developed as there were two 8-bit fighting games they released for the NES and Famicom.  The first was launch title Urban Champion, which is probably too simplistic to offer much that brawlers like Mike Haggar and Axel Stone couldn’t do better.  The other was Joy Mech Fight, which was released exclusively in Japan towards the end of the Famicom’s lifespan and was a full fighter on the level of Street Fighter II despite being an 8-bit game with only two buttons and a D-pad.  The way it got around these these technical limitations was to go the Rayman route (two years before Rayman debuted) and make all of the characters limbless clusters of floating body parts.  To make that concept less creepy, all of the fighters are robots.  The main character, Sukapon, was originally designed to be a comedian, but was converted into a fighter when one of the scientists behind the line of physics-defying machines tries to take over the world (sounds like he would have plenty to discuss with Mega Man).  Sukapon makes the most sense as a legacy character for Nintendo as their one traditional fighting game character.

Rundas

4) Rundas

When it comes to adding a new Metroid character, everyone immediately looks to regular antagonist Ridley, who has been relegated to the role of boss fight due to his massive size.  The issue with Metroid is that Samus has few allies and most of the characters are large bosses that can’t work as fighters in Smash.  The only exceptions are the rivals in Metroid Prime Hunters (who’re all fine characters, but the game itself isn’t fondly remembered) and the bounty hunters introduced in Metroid Prime 3 like Rundas.  An alien with power over ice, Rundas worked alongside Samus in hunting the Phozon threat and he is the closest she has ever had to a love-interest.  With the Ice Climbers showing no sign of making a return, Rundas could offer a new spin on ice-based attacks with a freezing beam and icicle traps.  If we can’t have Ridley, Rundas is the next best choice for a new Metroid fighter.

AlexRoivas

3) Alexandra Roivas

If you’re looking for something truly unique for the roster, you can’t get much more bizarre than good, old-fashioned eldritch horror.  Alexandra Roivas is the main protagonist in Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem, a survival-horror game released on the Gamecube and one of the few M-rated games developed by Nintendo. While investing her grandfather’s mysterious death, she discovers the Tome of Eternal Darkness and learns of a group of malevolent elder gods called the Ancients that seek to invade Earth.  While her marksmanship is clearly off the table with Nintendo’s stern refusal to include realistic guns in Smash, Alex still has plenty of magic and sword skills that could easily form a moveset.  The biggest twist she can offer is the addition of the unique insanity effects that Eternal Darkness is famous for.  These range from the level being flipped upside-down and hallucinating death to fourth-wall-breaking effects like muting your television and trying to delete your save files.  These sparks of madness could fit in perfectly with the chaotic gameplay of the Smash series.  On the other hand, they’ll never be quite as scary once Kirby and Pikachu get involved.

captain-rainbow

2) Captain Rainbow

This guy was pretty much made for Smash.  Starring in the Japan-only Wii game of the same name, Captain Rainbow is a down-and-out superhero armed with only a yo-yo who travels to a mythical island in the hopes that he can find a way to restore his former glory.  The part where things get really strange is that he isn’t the first to search the island with this goal as it is already populated with several forgotten Nintendo mascots.  Some of the characters he meets include the samurai Takamaru, minor Mario antagonist Birdo, and, most interestingly, Punch-Out!! star Little Mac who soon after made his return to the spotlight with a new game on the Wii and a playable role in Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS.  If nothing else, I’d say Mac owes the captain a good word after he did his part to get the former champ back into fighting shape.

Pro_Wrestling_Star_Man

1) Star Man

Star Man, a character from Pro Wrestling on the NES, is easily the one Nintendo character with the most to offer Smash that has the least amount of people thinking about him.  Being a luchador, Star Man could bring plenty of high-flying techniques that fit Smash so well.  Think of him like a reverse Little Mac; a close-combat fighter that thrives in the air, but is more vulnerable when close to the ground.  He’d also give the roster some much-needed racial diversity as the first Mexican smasher (assuming he’s not secretly an alien under that mask or something).  If old-school oddities like Duck Hunt and R.O.B. can make it onto the roster, there’s no reason to ignore this master of the ring.

Which characters have earned your vote on the Smash Ballot?  Has anyone listed above caught your interest?  Are there any other obscure characters out there that you think warrant consideration?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Meet the Cast of Code Name S.T.E.A.M.

S.T.E.A.M.

Code Name S.T.E.A.M., the new strategy game from the studio behind the Fire Emblem games, is set to release on March 13th with a cast of characters pulled from every corner of classic American fiction taking on an alien invasion.  As its release on the Nintendo 3DS draws near, let’s look at all of the announced characters that you can recruit for your squad and not only examine their roles in the game, but also the famous stories that they originate from.  The only ones I’m leaving out are Abraham Lincoln and the Fire Emblem characters as I’m fairly certain you’re already familiar with the great emancipator while Marth and friends are merely making cameo appearances.

Henry Fleming

The main character in the Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, Henry Fleming acts as the field leader of the team and is the most prominent character in the game’s marketing.  A fictional soldier serving in the American Civil War, Henry fled in fear during his first battle, but gained the courage to return to the battlefield and stood his ground even when he was left without a weapon.  As a member of S.T.E.A.M., Henry is a balanced fighter with the assault fire of his Eagle Rifle.  Whatever the mission, Henry is sure to be a valuable addition to the team.

John Henry

A famous American folk hero, John Henry is known as the man that fought the machine to prove the value of good old-fashion sweat and tears in the face of automated assembly.  As a member of S.T.E.A.M., John has embraced the machine for the greater good and takes on the alien menace as a powerful assault character.  Armed with a hammer and a supply of grenades, he can burst through crowds of enemies with ease.

Lion

One of Dorothy’s companions in L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, the Lion is a fearsome beast with his share of self-esteem issues.  However, given that he’s dropped the ‘Cowardly’ part from his name, it looks like he’s already found his courage and will have no problem facing down the alien threat.  In fact, Lion will be able to tank damage and leap directly into the fray with his Lion Launcher ability.  Also, looks like he didn’t step out of Oz to aid S.T.E.A.M. on his own.

Scarecrow

Another hero from The Wizard of Oz, the Scarecrow provides area control with his supply of pumpkin-based landmines and health pick-ups.  The Scarecrow has been given a Halloween-style makeover and bears more of a resemblance to fellow Oz denizen Jack Pumpkinhead than his own classic depiction.  He’s never been the sharpest tool in the shed, but he was able to rule as the new king of Oz for a short time following the events of the first novel.  Given that both the Scarecrow and the Lion are in S.T.E.A.M.’s ranks, its a safe bet that the Tin Man will join in on the action as well.

Tom Sawyer

I’m not sure why S.T.E.A.M. would ever arm up a child and send him into battle with savage extraterrestrials, but I probably shouldn’t be surprised given how frequently kids are used to pilot giant robots in this exact situation.  The titular character from Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, he is street-smart trickster known for manipulating people into getting what he wants.  That cunning carries over into his appearance as a member of S.T.E.A.M. as he is fairly weak in direct combat, but he can stun enemies with his Punch Gun and can scatter mines across the battlefield.

Tiger Lily

Including a minor character from Peter Pan while no other characters from the story have been announced is a bit of an odd move.  Than again, S.T.E.A.M. has been built up as an all-American team while Peter Pan is a British tale and Tiger Lily is simply one of the most famous Native American characters in fiction.  On the other hand, the action of the game is primarily set in Britain and we haven’t seen all of the playable characters yet, so Tiger may have a few friends waiting just around the corner.  As a squadmate, Tiger is the team medic with abilities focused on healing teammates.

Queequeg

I bet you weren’t expecting a whale-hunting cannibal to show up on this list.  Well, Queequeg is exactly that.  One of the main characters in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, Queequeg is the most fearsome member of a crew trained to slay giants of the deep.  Still, he does have a softer side to him as he quickly became good friends with main character Ishmael.  Apparently, Codename S.T.E.A.M. will represent this side of him by arming him with a supply of explosive, clockwork penguins.  That would certainly have given Moby Dick a different tone, but I can see Melville dedicating about ten pages to explain exactly how it works.

Randolph Carter

If you thought the cast couldn’t get any stranger than a cannibal wielding penguin-shaped explosives, how about someone straight out of Lovecraftian horror?  Randolph Carter is a recurring character in the works of H.P. Lovecraft and often considered an avatar for Lovecraft himself.  Given that the villainous aliens take a good deal of inspiration from Lovecraftian monsters, Randolph is certainly the kind of expert that S.T.E.A.M. would want.  He is a utility character with the ability to bait enemies with his Unspeakable Lure and protect teammates with his Eldrich Shield.  Just don’t ask where he got the meat for that lure; it’s unspeakable for a reason.

The Fox

The female sniper Fox is easily the most mysterious of the current cast with no clear literary inspiration.  As such, the following is purely speculation.  For one, there is an official screenshot of her standing in front of what appears to be a Mexican flag or at least an alternate universe version of it for the game’s stylized take on the world.  Now consider that the Spanish word for fox is ‘zorro’ and it’s a fairly safe bet that she is here to represent the famous swashbuckler Zorro, who was one of the major inspirations for comic book hero Batman.  The only problems with this idea is that she isn’t referred to as Zorro while every other character is directly named after their inspiration and the fact that she is a she while Zorro has always been male.  It’s probable that Nintendo and Intelligent Systems are concerned about copyright disputes surrounding the character and opted to create the Fox as a tribute to Zorro rather than try to use the original.

Califia

The most recent character revealed in the official sing-along trailer (yes, that is a thing and this game is quite weird in case you haven’t already noticed), Califia is a pagan warrior queen of the fictional Island of California and the namesake of the actual state of California.  She joins S.T.E.A.M. armed with a powerful rocket launcher that can blaze down groups of enemies with massive damage.  Unfortunately, there’s currently no sign of the griffins that she and her exclusively female army were known to ride into battle.  We can still hope.

That’s all of the playable characters that have been announced so far.  Given the diversity that we have seen, there is almost no limit on the characters that we could see join the roster.  Who do you hope to see added to the line-up?  Personally, given the concept of figures of classic American fiction battling monstrous aliens, nobody seems more appropriate than pulp sci-fi original John Carter of Mars.  After the infamous Disney film, he could certainly use some good press.