smash bros kirby character: banada waddle dee

When I first heard about the campaign for Bandana Waddle Dee's inclusion in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, I scoffed. There might have been a sneer in there, too. The very concept of a lowly bit player wasting a slot in one of the biggest games of the year was laughable. How could anyone think a blob with a spear could make the playable character list in a game where Waluigi is treated like an afterthought?

I wanted to understand what I believed to be the folly of zealots, so I started digging into the hows and whys of the Waddle Dee for Smash community. I was expecting to find the desperate ramblings of a fandom that has been given so much that they don't know what else to ask for. And I did find that. But I also discovered that the case for Kirby's supportive friend is convincing and well-founded. Not only am I sure that Bandana Waddle Dee deserves a spot on the Ultimate roster, but I also think that he's got a good chance to make it.

I'll admit, I am an unabashed Waddle Dee convert. It didn't happen all at once. Only after researching the character's history, poring over persuasive fan movesets and reading some of the more tantalizing fan theories did I see the light. Here are the main points that pushed me over the edge:

 

Bandana Waddle Dee is a huge part of Kirby history

 
smash bros kirby character: banada waddle dee
Nintendo
 

Though Waddle Dees have been the Kirby equivalent of Goombas since the beginning of the franchise, a bit of fabric and a sharp object have gone a long way to make Bandana his own character. First appearing in the SNES era with Kirby Super Star, Bandana Dee has consistently played major roles in the series. Any diehard (Deehard?) will be quick to tell you that Bandana Waddle Dee has shown up in every Kirby game since 2011. 

Some have argued that one henchmen out of a thousand identical goons isn't significant enough to warrant a showcase. Some have also forgotten what the Smash roster actually looks like. 

In recent Kirby titles, BWD has been upgraded to a defacto ally. In Return to Dreamland on Wii, Bandana Waddle Dee is the fourth playable character after Kirby, King Dedede and Meta Knight -- all of whom have been playable in Smash Bros. for some time. In Kirby and the Rainbow Curse on Wii U, Bandana Waddle Dee and his magic clones are the only other playable characters besides the titular hero. You could say Dee is a pretty big deal.

Nintendo
 

It might be through sheer persistence (and perfect attendance), but Waddle Dee has wormed his way into the hearts of a niche but ardent fanbase. This already places our blob above the likes of, say, that asshole dog from Duck Hunt. But does Bandana Waddle Dee have a unique and viable moveset?


Bandana Waddle Dee has a unique and viable moveset

 
smash bros kirby character: banada waddle dee
Nintendo
  

Aside from having potential access to all sorts of wacky magical junk from the Kirby universe, Bandana Waddle Dee has one thing over everyone else in Smash Bros: A spear. No one in the history of the series has ever wielded a spear, not even the 89 Fire Embem characters (not including clones).

This alone has been enough to inspire Waddlites to create scores of imaginary movesets. But we don't have to look any further than this year's Kirby: Star Allies for a preview of Bandana Dee's abilities:

Nintendo/YouTube
 

Heck, Bandana Dee's Final Smash seems to be all sewn up, too. If you have a character that can karate chop the ground so hard that the world cracks in half, why would you pick any other finishing move?

Nintendo
  

Alright, so Bandana Waddle Dee could be a good choice for Smash Ultimate. What gives him a better chance than Shrek or Goku? Well, this is where we get into the weeds. The land of conspiracy theories is bountiful, no doubt, but just remember that it's fertilized with bullshit. 


King Dedede's new moves are missing something important

 
smash bros kirby character: king dedede
Nintendo
  

Up to this point, Waddle Dee's representation in Smash. Bros has hinged on King Dedede. The big bird is, after all, the honcho to the Waddle Dee henchmen. Yet over time, references to Waddle Dee have been removed from Dedede's arsenal. When Kirby's archrival was first added in Brawl, he sported a move called "Waddle Dee Toss," which is exactly what it sounds like. In the next game, Waddle Dee Toss was replaced with the Gordo Toss. Dedede's Final Smash was also altered, removing the stampede of Waddle Dees in favor of a combination of bombs and flaming hammer spins. Either someone at Nintendo really hates Waddle Dee, or the little guy is being set up for the spotlight.

The tweaked moveset, combined with the fact that Waddle Dee oddly had no trophy in Smash 4, led fans to believe that our bandana buddy was destined for DLC on Wii U and 3DS. That never came to pass, of course, but then a funny thing happened: King Dedede's Final Smash changed yet again for Ultimate. 

Nintendo
  

The rocket-boosted hammer and facemask are ripped straight from Kirby Super Star Ultra, a DS remake of the SNES game. When you go back and look at the original boss fight, it does take place in an arena similar to that depicted in the new finisher. And who is the lone spectator of this event? Why, it's Bandana Waddle Dee.

smash bros kirby character: king dedede's moves
Nintendo
   

Looking back at the new Final Smash, BWD is nowhere to be seen. It feels odd that a series known for attention to detail would go to such lengths to recreate a singular scene, only to neglect the one person watching the chaos unfold.

Smash Bros. mastermind Masahiro Sakurai voices Dedede himself, so these omissions could be part of deliberate groundwork to set the stage for Bandana Dee's triumphant debut. They could also mean absolutely nothing, but come on, just give me this one thing. Well, this one thing and also a fan theory that hinges on a 3DS game and the Daisy Amiibo.

The Great Amiibo Conspiracy

 
smash bros kirby character: great amiibo conspiracy
Nintendo
    

I know I said we were getting into the weeds here, but what we're about to enter is less of an overgrown thicket and more of an abyssal bog from which there is no return. Our story begins in said swamp, otherwise known as GameFAQs, where memoryman3 has just finished datamining Amiibo data for Poochy & Yoshi's Wooly World on 3DS. As memoryman3 notes, the files for the Daisy Amiibo hint at the possibility of multiple different figures for the character, whereas the same could not be said for others like Boo or (gulp) Waluigi.

When memoryman3 used this info to suggest that Daisy would be headed for Smash Ultimate and therefore gain a new Amiibo, he was met with the swamp people's trademark derision and ridicule. You almost can't blame them -- it was April 2018, and Daisy fans were yet to be vindicated. Of course, it wasn't long before Daisy was officially revealed as a playable clone fighter in Ultimate, with a new Smash Amiibo on the way.

What does this have to do with Bandana Waddle Dee? Well, as GameFAQs users remembered, Waddle Dee's Amiibo had the same data markings as Daisy's Amiibo. In other words, evidence suggests a new Waddle Dee figure might be on the way, which could mean it will come along with an Ultimate appearance from our favorite Dream Friend. 

If you haven't been convinced by now, well, you're probably a rational adult. If you've been successfully indoctrinated to Team Bandana Waddle Dee, then welcome! We meet on Tuesdays.