I think we’re all aware of the Smash Ballot by now. I was going to vote for one of the Rays from Custom Robo, but I ended up with a far better idea: Blanc from Neptunia.
I know what you’re thinking: Why Blanc? Because she represents Nintendo, simple as that. If it weren’t for that, there’d be no way a character who’s never even graced Nintendo hardware could possibly get in.
Now, for the specifics. How would she play?
Blanc has 3 forms (base, HDD and NEXT), and we know for a fact that Sakurai doesn’t want to do multi-form characters due to 3DS limitations and likes how the character design has gone as a result of the change, but final smash transformations are fair game. As a result, I think Blanc can only work if she starts out in HDD.
So her intro would be her entering the stage, then transforming while yelling out one of her usual foul-mouthed transformation lines, like “That’s it, I’ll beat the crap outta you!”. This works out because her alternate costumes as her HDD form, White Heart, work out the best here for telling the uninformed that she’s supposed to be Nintendo. Below are the options I would pick:
These are the alternate costumes for her HDD form in-game, though I don’t think there are any games out where all of them are available at the same time except maybe Hyperdevotion Noire (even then, I didn’t pay too much attention and would need to check). I’ve taken the liberty of explaining each of them in brackets. 5 of the 8 are Nintendo consoles (her NEXT form is the Wii U, though a DLC hammer in Victory was also a parody of the Wii U).
She would likely be a slow and heavy character, to more closely match to her role in her home series. In her home series, her defensive stats are beastly, but her agility and movement stats are quite low. Her magical offense stat is abysmal, which is fine since she also has almost no use for magic (most of her attacks are physical neutral or ice moves). Her physical offense stat is respectable, but not the best. She does, however, carry defensive buff skills to increase the defenses of her teammates, which are usually not the best.
Blanc isn’t known for super-flashy techniques, and most of her moves damage in single hits, which drives in one major point for her gameplay style. In her home series, enemies have a guard gauge that goes down as a character is hit by attacks, with some attacks driving it down more than others. Breaking the enemy’s guard allows double damage until the guard recovers over time. The equivalent in Smash would be shield-breaking, and that’s the role of most single-hit moves in her home series. Additionally, single-hit attacks hit the damage cap far more quickly than multi-hit moves for obvious reasons, so I would imagine that Blanc would have low KO power as a Smash character.
Before I continue, since I haven’t brought it up yet, base form Blanc uses a hammer, White Heart uses an axe. Being White Heart works out rather well since there are no axe-users in Smash. In any case, this is what I’d do for her moveset:
- Neutral Special (Gefahrlichtern): White, magical spheres spawn in front of Blanc, after which she uses her axe like a bat to knock them in front of her. This is her one projectile to stop projectile-spamming characters like Mega Man from having a field day with her, so the animation for this would need to be fairly quick.
- Side Special (Tanzerin Trombe): Blanc spins forward while holding her axe out, dealing heavy damage to anyone in the way. Since White Heart can fly, it would make sense to allow this to be used in midair, in which case it would work as an alternate recovery option like with Pac-Man, Pikachu and Villager, among others. In her home series, the animation for this move shows her orbiting around her target several times while spinning and hitting them and it’s a single-target move, but that doesn’t work in a game viewed from the side.
- Up Special (Getter Ravine): Basically Ike’s Aether, really, except without the part where the weapon is tossed into the air. I did say that Blanc wasn’t a flashy character.
- Down Special (Zerstorung): Chargeable. Blanc hits an enemy directly in front of her with her axe. This breaks any shield that may be up, but only if fully-charged.
These moves can all be seen in the first 32 seconds of this video:
All of these are SP moves because, unlike the other characters in her home series, none of her EX Finishes are particularly memorable (Noire would probably carry Tricolor Order, for example), and her EXE Drives are all too complex to be anything but a final smash. The combo skills are obvious fodder for her standard moves.
For her final smash, her NEXT form is obvious. However, while we know what stat buffs will be present for everyone else, all we know for Blanc is that she has wings. That doesn’t leave us completely in the dark, though. See 2:15 in the video below:
That is one of the few gameplay videos we’ve seen for Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory II. What we know from the video is that the NEXT forms are temporary. They will automatically wear off after a bit if not right as soon as you use a supermove tied to the form.
So the way I’d adapt that for Smash is that she would transform and then a gauge similar to Little Mac’s KO meter would appear, being the EXE Drive Gauge. She has until her transformation wears off to go around dealing damage as a marginally-stronger Blanc who can fly. The damage would fill in the aforementioned gauge. When it’s full, the press of a button would initiate the move seen at 2:46 (Japanese name seems to be “Blaster Controller”). Whether she misses or hits with it, the final smash is over.
Finally, I’ve been of the opinion that DLC characters who don’t have a home stage should also receive a home stage as DLC. I would argue that Lowee could make for a decent enough stage.
Simply put, it would start off as the more standard Hyperdimension Lowee, which is covered in snow. This is where the omega form would take place as well, but otherwise the stage immediately transitions into the Ultradimension’s Lowee, which is quite Japanese. This Lowee was, like Japan, very reluctant to let outsiders enter. I’m sure this is supposed to parody their thinking in the Famicom days, since the Ultradimension Blanc’s default White Heart costume is the Famicom, but I don’t entirely get it.
In any event, what I’m thinking is that this stage is handled like the Town and City stage, where the platforms switch around slightly as the background switches between the town and the city. In this case, it would be different variants of Lowee made solely for Smash, as the stage rapidly transitions all the way to the Hyperdimension Lowee, which represents current Nintendo. At that point, the stage enters a dimensional rift and starts over again.
They could probably use the original Lowee from the first Hyperdimension Neptunia as the Wii portion of the transition, the Hyperdimension Lowee as the Wii U portion, and the Ultradimension Lowee as the Famicom/NES portion, but the SNES, N64 and Gamecube parts would need to be new.
So those are my thoughts on what Blanc would be like if she was in Smash.