64 Free For All: SNOSA III

By Josh “BarkSanchez” Brody and Jamie “JAMJAR” Jacobs

The 64 Free For All is a question and answer session with some of the biggest names in Smash 64. 6 questions, 4 top personalities. Today we have three players from the western part of North America and a legendary Japanese player. The mind behind SoCal Smash: Wookiee. A rising star SoCal rallies behind: Heropie. The enigmatic, doubles master JaimeHR. The legendary Kirby master from Japan: Fukurou.

  1. Snosa III will be the first modern North American 64 major to try out a 4 stock ruleset for singles. How do you expect competitors and fans to react to this change?

Alex “Wookiee” Jungsten: I think there will be a very positive reaction. With all of the crazy hype sets that will be at Snosa, I think four stocks is going to make it a really good event. As for the viewers, I hope it also becomes even more enjoyable.

Alex “Heropie” Ornelas: I think overall there will be a positive reaction. Some people are old school and don’t like the 4 stock game, but I think we should try it out considering that 64 has been known to have some pretty long sets.

Jaime “JaimeHR” Hernández Rodríguez: Well I’m personally not a fan of 4 stock matches and Dreamland only (lol) but if that’s what the community wants, I’ll just roll with it. There’s definitely going to be mixed reactions about this change, from the ones that don’t really care at all to those who feel that 1 less stock will force players to play more carefully, thus making matches take longer. There’s also the people that are going to think that we are Melee now or something.

Fukurou: I think it will be very good for the community to do, however fewer stocks means it is easier for the weaker player to win.

  1. The hype surrounding Snosa seems to be significantly less than what we have come to expect from 64 majors. Why do you think this has happened? What can events do to truly bring pre-event excitement?

Wookiee: I think people are going to be very surprised at how hype the tournament is going to be. I am very confident to say I feel bad for the people not attending. This is probably going to be one of, if not the best Smash 64 exclusive majors that has been run to this date.

I personally believe that there has just been too many 64 majors, which made it harder to market since we didn’t want to step on anybodies toes and interfere with their tournaments. It shows we have made significant growth however as a community. I was expecting less entrants due to people having gone to so many majors recently. Although we do have less entrants than what is expected, this tournament is STACKED. Go through the entrants list, even top 70 is going to be well known players. A Lot of good people are going to place lower than we think.   

I don’t think we need to do anything differently for our event. If people want to come, they can. For me as a TO however, I am just focusing on having a very high quality event, which everyone will come to see it is. We have the best venue a 64 major has ever had, the best stream equipment anybody has ever had access to, more set ups than we could ever need, Japan is sending three players, and we are in one of the best cities in the USA. It can’t get much better.

Heropie: I think people are underestimating how hype it will be. I can’t wait to watch the Japanese players play some of our top players. Anytime there is top level competition I think the hype will naturally follow.

JaimeHR: It is because 4 stocks is not popular! Nah, just kidding. It is hard to tell really, I think it has to do with the amount of Smash events that are currently happening throughout the year, there are a lot more tournaments featuring SSB64 than in previous years, back then we had at most 3 events that featured Smash 64 during the whole year and I think that’s what made those few tournaments so hype, because they were rare and everyone wanted to go. Now we have a lot more tournaments but the draw back now, I feel, is that now we are choosing which ones are “worth” going to more than others. Take Smash’N’Splash 3 as an example, that tournament was 2 weeks before Snosa and only got 63 entrants for SSB64, really good players were there that could build enough hype to bring out more participants but it just didn’t work, was it bad marketing? Or maybe people thought, “Oh, Snosa is more important, I should just save for that.”

As for building pre-event excitement, I think 64 majors are doing it great right now by bringing international players, the problem maybe was that there were other 64 events close to Snosa that actually seemed like they were competing for attendance, what needs to be done I think, is gather all the 64 TOs together and agree on which tournament will be labeled as “That Big Major that you must NOT miss” and help market it within their local tournaments and other non-exclusive Smash 64 events such as SSS or Smash’N’Splash 3 for instance.

Fukurou: Take care of the Smash community, and get more people to know about the game.

  1. Not long ago, the Super Smash Bros. 64 League announced an effort to create regional event circuits. Do you believe this is the direction our game should move? Why or why not?

Wookiee: I highly support the regional circuits. It accomplishes three big things that our community needs. It gives us organization, a motivation factor for the region’s players to attend a tournament, and a way for our community to start generating some money. The community is only growing faster and faster, and unlike the other Smash communities, we have a centralized organization that can oversee tournament quality and look for the best interests of the whole community. I think the 64 League is really going to do some amazing things over these next few years.

Heropie: I think it’s a good direction for the game to go considering the growth of the community in the last couple of years. The unity will be good and players now have an incentive to make it out to the tournaments.

JaimeHR: Circuits are definitely the next step into making SSB64 a more serious competitive (eSport?) game, the real question would be, is SSB64 ready? I don’t think it is yet, we are still debating which rulesets are the best for the health of the game, but once it is figured out, we can start talking with ESPN (haha).

Fukurou: No response.

  1. Some still say Isai could win majors if he played seriously with his mains. Some say he is playing seriously when he uses less developed characters. Do you think Isai still has it in him to win a major?

Wookiee: I think with any character at anytime Isai has the potential to win. I really appreciate him using other characters as it displays high level play with all of the cast, which I think this community needs to see. Any character can be good and win.

Heropie: Definitely. I think if he played Pikachu he could, but if he pulls out Luigi or some other joke character, he will get bodied.

JaimeHR: He has the means to win majors. Think about this, of all the strong NA players, Isai has the biggest character diversity, he can do well with almost the entire roster, potentially giving him an edge on matchup knowledge. His Link can’t take your C. Falcon? Then maybe his Jigglypuff can, probably Mario, Fox, whatever he feels like playing. We already saw him take Beast 7 with his Link against Revan, a top Kirby main, and that’s a matchup many consider in favor of Kirby.

Fukurou: I think Isai as stronger characters will win in tournament, but weaker character Isai will not.

  1. Who will be Top 8 at Snosa III?

Wookiee: 1. Fukurou
2. Isai
3. Mariguas
4. Dext3r
5. Hiyo
5. Gyaki
7. Dtan
7. BarkSanchez

Heropie: 1. Heropie
3. Mariguas
4. Isai
5. Gyaki
5. Hiyo
7. Barksanchez
7. Dtan

JaimeHR: Isai, Fukuroi, Gyaki, Hiyo, Mariguas and Dexter will definitely get there unless they eliminate themselves early, then there’s 2 remaining spots that will be disputed between Bark, Heropie, DTan and Janitor, if TheZ and tacos don’t show up. (I’m not sure if Z and tacos are coming, lol)

Fukurou: I do not know anything about overseas players, but believe Isai will win if he plays his strong characters.

  1. Does Kirby beat Captain Falcon?

Wookiee: Kirby gets rekt. Falcon is too fast and his punishes are too solid.

Heropie: I think Kirby still beats Falcon. I do think the matchup isn’t as lost for Falcon as people thought because of his heavy punish game. He just can’t get up tilted. I’d say it’s close to even but in Kirby’s favor.

JaimeHR: Kirby destroys C. Falcon, it is a matter of who has an easier time landing hits, C. Falcon needs to win the neutral game then setup for a grab or upsmash to 0 to death Kirby, while the latter has an easier time landing any hit into pain (uptilt) and there’s not much C. Falcon can actually do even with good DI, you will probably destroy your stick first before even hoping to get out of that safely, most of the time he’ll end up off stage.

Alvin has proved C. Falcon can beat a good Kirby, but most C. Falcons will avoid that matchup in tournament and play someone else against Kirby and I’ve seen that happen many times so that should give us a clue of who wins the matchup overall.

In short, C. Falcon has to work harder and play flawlessly​, while Kirby can just avoid getting grabbed floating on top plat until Falcon loses his cool and starts making mistakes which Kirby loves to capitalize on.

Fukurou: I wonder if it is hard for Kirby to win consistently. But I think he is better.

Free Barking with BarkSanchez

One year later, new venue, new tournament format, new Fireblaster beef that sadly won’t be played out here. This summer has been tough on attendance due to flight prices, but I’m confident Snosa will build upon its past two years in bringing more energy and entertainment than ever.

The absence of SuPeRbOoMfAn and Alvin is very disappointing, however, it blows this tournament wide open. Many consider Fukurou the heavy favorite to win, but what if Isai “finds him worthy”? Many still believe his Pikachu would power him past any opponent. Perhaps Mariguas, not ready to be embarrassed by another Japanese Kirby, comes back ascended in the matchup and defends North America? Dext3r has not been quiet about his desire to play Fukurou, and seems very confident. Snosa III feels like the first Smash 64 tournament where the top three or four players could be arranged in almost any order, with only minimal surprise.

It’s interesting to note that while Fukurou comes from the land of four stocks, he acknowledges the volatility it adds. Perhaps there are players in Japan that wish to adopt five stock rulesets? It appears he struggled with most of the other questions. It’s great to see more Japanese players come out, but the odds seem stacked against Gyaki and Hiyo. At Super Smash Con 2016, the “Three Dragons” had pretty varied results, so there should be hope, as well as tempered expectations for Hiyo. Gyaki has a less forgiving path, although if he can adjust to the differences in versions he can perhaps mimic some of Isai’s success with Link.

Regional circuits are good, characterbans are bad, and 5 stock Dreamland-only with a 10 minute timer and No Whispy is the future. Thank you and #LoveSnosa.

Nothing good in life is free, except Wookiee’s Pika as Fox.

64 Free For All: Let’s Go!

By: Jamie “JAMJAR” Jacobs and Josh “BarkSanchez” Brody

The 64 Free For All is a question session with some of the biggest names in Smash 64. 6 questions, 4 top personalities. Today we have three SSB64 League ranked players and a legend returning to the game after a long hiatus. The Canadian Kirby automaton: Revan. The most improved player of 2016: Dext3r. The long lost mythological Mario Bros. main: Czar. The man who holds our entire scene together: Shears.

1. Let’s Go! continues quite a few trends that were popularized last year. It offers a continuation of both large-scale 64-only majors and the all-inclusive payment model for attendees. How do you view these attempts to differentiate 64 from its fellow Smash games?

Thomas “Revan” Dykes: One of the best changes I think 64 is making is that tournaments are starting to care more and more about the tournament entrants. In how tournaments used to be run (and still are done in other communities), attendance really felt like an obligation. If a tournament was run, nobody cared how seeding at the bottom was done, as the lower level players didn’t matter. In the same way, DE bracket is the most effective way to eliminate the lowest level players from your event as quickly as possible. If a tournament failed, it would rarely be the fault of the tournament organizer but rather of the local scene for not showing up, despite the tournament not appealing to their needs. The way 64 is moving seems to be a much healthier, much more logical way to run an event and I’m sure the scene is gonna be in a much better place because of these changes.

Yoshua “Dext3r” Peral Castillo: This is incredibly awesome, I don’t have to worry about anything like food or where can I sleep and most of the time this is decisive in my decision to actually attend a tourney. With this, I just have to think about having a great time, about adjusting between matches. I really like this approach because this will feel like vacation and give me the opportunity to interact with other players beside just playing and watching the finals. This makes everything more fun and easier to get better by interacting with other players. And free beer? I’m so down for that.

Cesar “Czar” Guzman: I’m a bit on the fence in this one. I think it’s cool to finally start seeing the 64 tournament emerge with exclusive 64 tournaments in order to establish the scene as one that can hold its own in the competitive field. On the other hand, I also think that the 64 community’s dependence on other Smash communities allows them to expand their scene into the communities of other Smash games. Either way, I think 64-exclusive majors can help grow the 64 community in the long run.

David “Shears” Shears: I think it’s necessary. If 64 wants to grow and be sustainable it needs to give attention to its majority customer base by providing an outstanding hassle-free experience without hidden fees and it needs money going back to 64. At multigame majors, profits don’t get reinvested, but with 64 exclusives it compounds to a better 64.

2. Under the leadership of David Shears and the SSB64 League, Let’s Go! seems to be raising the bar for any and all Smash events going forward. One particularly exciting development is the inclusion of a variety of events, ranging from a massive YOLO bracket to draft crews. What is one event you would like to see implemented at future tournaments?

Revan: No specific event comes to mind. I don’t really think it’s too important what side events are at a tournament, but I think just having something on the side can really make a big difference. For example, I don’t think anyone really cares if an event choses to have YOLO over Low Tier, or Low Tier over One-Handed Smash, but just having a bunch of fun events on the side can definitely add a bunch to the tourney experience.

Dext3r: When I was sharing a room with kysk, taimai and yu-kun at G4 they said that in Japan it is very common to see shorter versions of 12 character battles. For example 3, 4 or 5 character battles; I would love to play or watch an exhibition event like this. Some fun rules can be implemented like randomly picking your characters or low tiers in 3-5 battles or variations.

Czar: One thing I’d like to see in future tournaments is a crew battle or 12-character battle of NA vs. Japan. Events like this are very much an important aspect of Melee and Smash 4 tournaments, and it would be awesome to finally see each regions’ best players throughout the world duke it out in a crew battle!

Shears: If I could think of an event, I would’ve added it to Let’s Go! already. For real though, a co-ed doubles bracket to encourage people to bring wives, GFs, etc. and turn the events into a more welcoming environment instead of people having to leave significant others at home and making this a hidden hobby

3. Let’s Go! will see the full unveiling of the Waterfall Tournament Format. This new format was first used at Keystoned, the regional 64-exclusive event in Philadelphia, to great success. Some have expressed concern about this large departure from Double Elimination. What do you think about Waterfall Tournament Format?

Revan: I like Waterfall. Endurance seems to be a bigger factor for this format and I know some people were expressing concern about that, but I don’t think that that’s necessarily a bad thing. Even if this format turns out to be super exhausting for some players, I’m happy that we’re willing to give it a shot. If this format is successful at Let’s Go! I could definitely see it becoming the norm.

Dext3r: I heard Keystoned was a lot of fun and people got to play way more matches rather than just losing twice and being out. I think that’s very good, but also heard it was played in too few days and this forced people to play to the point of exhaustion. So performance can decay  and make you do worse; I’m really looking forward to playing this format so I’m not really sure how good it is this but it’s going to be interesting.

Czar: I love the concept of the Waterfall Format! It allows me to compete with more players in bracket, and this format, as opposed to a regular bracket format, seems more indicative of the level of skill among players. It should definitely start being utilized in future tournaments.

Shears: Necessary. Double elimination is awful for competitive growth and a total failure. 25% of competitors go 0-2, 75% finish 2-2 or worse. DE is to tournaments as TPP was to trade deals, the worst. WTF is the future and will soon be the standard at all events, not just 64

4. For the second major event in a row, SuPeRbOoMfAn has had to back out of attending. However, the Peruvian titan, Alvin, will still need a challenger in Grand Finals. Who is now most likely to run the gauntlet and possibly take him down?

Revan: Alvin is pretty good, but I think he’s one of the most fragile of the top players. I feel like if anybody is gonna break into that top level soon it’s gonna be Bark. There are a bunch of people who are close: Z, Wizzrobe, Mariguas, maybe Tacos…and even though I don’t think that Bark is the best out of these guys, there’s just something really special about his play that I think hasn’t been explored that much. If Bark can just get really good at that special little thing I could see him start taking out the guys at the top.

Dext3r: You saying he is going to make Grand Finals?! Mariguas already beat Alvin at SuperBoomed, and you have players like TR3GTheZ who can be very unpredictable because the guy uses 20 characters lol. Tacos and BarkSanchez already took games off him. I can tell you that all contenders here are trying to find the weaknesses of Alvin and will be prepared to try to beat the titan from Peru, so there is a possibility of him not making GF.

Czar: Considering that he has taken a set off of Alvin at SuperBoomed, I believe Mariguas might have the best possible chance in giving Alvin a run for his money, or perhaps even beating him. But the level of competition in this tournament is fierce. I wouldn’t be surprised to see players like tacos, BarkSanchez, TR3GTheZ or Revan also take it.

Shears: We saw Bark do well at CEO but I don’t think he has a chance really. Without Boom or Wizzrobe I can’t see anyone really taking down Alvin. The next best are all Pika, Kirby and Falcon, and Alvin won’t go down to any of those 3 characters. If I had to pick, Fireblaster. I know he got JV6 stocked at SSC, but it was Game 3 and he convincingly 3 stocked him in Game 2.

5. What is your Top 8 prediction for Let’s Go!?

Revan: This is actually really hard. I’m probably gonna have to go with:
1. Alvin
2. Mariguas or TR3GTheZ, hard to tell which
4. Me
5. tacos/Dext3r
7. Bark/Zero

Dext3r: 1- Dext3r

2- Mariguas

3- Alvin

4- tacos

5- TR3GTheZ

5- Zero

7- Revan

7- BarkSanchez

Czar: My top 8 prediction is:

1) Alvin

2) Mariguas

3) TR3GTheZ

4) BarkSanchez

5) tacos

6) Revan

7) Zero

8) Fireblaster

Shears: 1. Alvin, 2. Mariguas, 3. Dext3r, 4. Revan, 5. TR3GTheZ, 5. tacos, 7. Czar, 7. Zero.

6. Fill in the blank. Let’s go _____________!

Revan: Literally anything but Baltimore.

Dext3r: MEXICO!

Czar: BarkSanchez!

Shears: Baltimore! Woo!

Free Barking with BarkSanchez

It’s been interesting seeing Dext3r coming out of his shell a bit lately, ever since ODS II. I remember sitting down next to him for friendlies at Apex 2015, my first major, thinking, “He seems like the most serious guy in the room.” Everyone in this community is fun, and wants to have fun.

Czar’s return should be huge for 64 as a whole. The return of another potential top player, so soon after losing two top players should definitely help the meta continue to develop. While Czar has shown he is quite adept with Pikachu, he has built his reputation with the Bang Bros., Mario and Luigi. A little over a year ago he was going toe-to-toe with some of the best in the country as Mario and Luigi, and he can definitely do some damage at Let’s Go!

I like all of the side events Let’s Go! has to offer, and Czar brushed upon a potentially amazing side event we could do for other tournaments. I like the idea of a North America vs. Internationals 12 Character Battle, except instead of the 12CB we could use the player-controlled story mode mod, a.k.a. The Boomputer. It’d be fun to see North America’s strongest player fight through an onslaught of foreigners, or the strongest traveler taking on all of North America’s defenders. The community should strive to create fun and innovative side events, like The Dark Gentleman did with the Boom Bounty at Keystoned, or Super Smash Con did with the Combo Contest.

It’s interesting what a tournament can be when you have the freedom to do basically anything you want with it. Let’s Go! won’t be the biggest tournament of all time, but it’s definitely shaping up to be one of the best. With months of the time, energy, blood, sweat and David Shears Tears put into the tournament, and with all of the hype surrounding it, won’t it seem slightly anticlimactic when the trophy just stays in Baltimore in the end?

Barking did nothing wrong.

64 Free For All: Genesis 4

The 64 Free For All is a question session with some of the biggest names in Smash 64. 6 questions, 4 top personalities. Today we have four players who are all ranked on the SSB64 Player Ranking Top 64. A local top player: Kimimaru. One of the top players of the year: Wizzrobe. A man who is unfortunately soon leaving our game: KeroKeroppi. One of the men organizing the event: SotoH.

1. SuPeRbOoMfAn recently received a major sponsorship through Panda Global. This is the first major sponsorship for a solo-64 player in quite some time, if not ever. What immediate impact do you foresee this having on the 64 landscape?

Thomas “Kimimaru” Deeb: I see SuPeRbOoMfAn’s sponsorship with Panda Global causing other sponsors to take a look at the growing 64 community. With more 64 exclusive majors in 2016 than ever before and SSB64’s increasing presence in multi-game tournaments, sponsors can’t help but notice our community and our players.

Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett: Only positivity, it’s great he got a sponsor and now there’s more room for 64 to grow and likely getting other players sponsors eventually.

Joey “KeroKeroppi” Speziale: I think this is huge for 64. In fact, I think it’s bigger than anybody is really even making it out to be. For starters, there’s now a big company that will be promoting 64. That’s very different from what we’re used to. It also sets a precedent for other esports organizations. Boom will not be the last to get sponsored. I think this is the beginning of something beautiful for 64.

Daniel “SotoH” Soto: Exposure. Immediate exposure. In fact, the very day the announcement was made the mere fact that they coupled Boom’s announcement with Smash 4’s Rich Brown earned us a significant amount of exposure to our fellow Smash communities. This alone serves as evidence that having these renowned organizations and Smash players talking SSB64 only helps us.

Additionally, Panda Global set a great example letting other esport teams know that SSB64 players are worth the investment. Coincidentally enough, not too long after Boom’s announcement, both Zantetsu and Mr. Marbles got picked up by Havov Gaming.

All of this sponsorship activity is motivating folks in the community to step up their game to become more attractive, or in cases like EMG’s Darkhorse, produce more quality content.
So, what immediate impact do I see? Exposure, productive exposure.

2. With KeroKeroppi and Stranded announcing they will be leaving 64 for Melee after Genesis 4, there were a wide variety of reactions in the community ranging from anger to sadness to doubt. What do you take from their actions? Will this leave a sour atmosphere around Genesis 4?

Kimimaru: I think they’re just trying out something different and won’t want to leave 64 for good. As a top player, Kero has always been very approachable to new players and veterans alike, and we will all miss how helpful he has been to many players. Stranded has set a very high bar for technical skill that has inspired many players, and I hope we can follow his lead and see more players implementing his tech.

Wizzrobe: I’m not sure, it seems like a lot of people respected the decision from what I saw so I don’t imagine anyone raging too hard.

KeroKeroppi: I’m leaving because I think that Melee will make me happier. That’s what all this was about for me, my happiness. I’ve stated countless times that I will always be an ally of 64 and that I will always consider the 64 community my family. I’ve tried to leave on very good terms so it sucks to see such negative reactions from the community. I understand if people are sad or doubtful, but I’ve tried to leave as peacefully as possible so it’s a shame to see so much anger and hostility towards me. At the end of the day, some guy quit a video game in an attempt to make him happier. If people get worked up over something that silly, then that’s their own fault I guess.

SotoH: Not much to be frank, as much as I empathize with the folks saying it might’ve been a better idea to not make the announcement in the manner that Kero did, I don’t feel it’ll have a negative effect on the community nor Genesis 4. We were already aware of the points he made that influenced his decision to leave, it’s not news to the community let alone the highly involved community leaders, so stating the obvious in that manner was not necessary especially given the clout he holds. Nevertheless, the announcement may have put us in a bad light to those not involved in the community but we’ll persevere, we always have, this is still the #Yearof64.

3. Genesis 4 once again sees the return of Alvin to North America for a major tournament. In his two results in North America he was double eliminated by Japanese Yoshis and finished with an underwhelming 13th, while at SuperBoomed he dominated the competition and earned 1st along with a double elimination of SuPeRbOoMfAn. What can we expect from this volatile Peruvian at Genesis 4?

Kimimaru: With even more top players in attendance than any previous event and only two majors we’ve seen him in, it’s hard to say how he’ll stack up to the Japanese this time. Peru has had several tournaments since SSC and Alvin himself has said he’s been practicing the Yoshi matchup, so I’m expecting the games to be closer at the very least. I don’t see him placing outside Top 8 this tournament.

Wizzrobe: No idea, he will probably do good unless he runs into good Yoshis, unless he improved enough in the matchup by a lot since last time.

KeroKeroppi: Everybody knows that the Peruvians are extremely dominant at the top tier match ups. So with less Japanese Yoshis running around, I think Alvin will perform very well. If he doesn’t run into Wizzrobe early on, I can see him making it to Top 3 without a doubt.

SotoH: It’s very difficult to say because of so many factors.

1. Mariguas is a man of discipline, a demigod if you will. He has studied Alvin like you wouldn’t believe, he has studied Alvin’s best matchup, the Rat ditto, and feels fairly confident in the matchup specific to Alvin. Mariguas has only shown to improve as time goes on, the man’s never plateaued for any amount of time, so one can only wonder how much better he’s gotten since SuperBoomed.

2. SuPeRbOoMfAn is not one who takes a loss lightly. I reckon he’s looking to reclaim his record as the undisputed SSB64 champion. Boom covers 100% of his bases, and rest assured he’ll come ready for the fight against Alvin. And one of the most unknown factors is the fact that we haven’t seen Boom lose a major, go to another major and meet with that very person that double eliminated him (with the exception of Isai). He didn’t get his chance with Wario but he might be granted his chance against Alvin. No one has seen a vengeful Boom, the beard holds many surprises, so he’s my main contender to challenge Alvin at Grand Finals.

3.Finally, there’s Isai. The mysterious Isai. With us not knowing the extent of his potential has always caused issues in seeding, ranking, and just plain bracket predictions. For argument’s sake, if we see Isai’s Rat throughout singles bracket I’m sure he’ll be an equal contender for 1st alongside Boom and Alvin.

4. At our last super major, Super Smash Con 2016, four Japanese players attended to great fanfare. However, many have claimed they did not live up to expectations, with only two of them managing to make the Top 8. What can we expect from Genesis 4’s roster of Japanese travelers, which include an incredible strong Kirby in k y s k, the flashy Captain Falcon main Yu-Kun, and a rising Fox main in Taimai?

Kimimaru: Since 2016, players who traveled from Japan have not played any of the characters that we will see at this event. With more character diversity from Japan this tournament, we will likely see new ways of playing them that most players won’t expect from them. Furthermore, all of these characters are significantly different in the J version of the game, so it would be interesting to see how well these players can adapt to the U version. However, I find it hard to not expect all of them to place in top 32 this tournament.

Wizzrobe: I imagine the Kirby doing very well since Japan has good Kirbies. The other 2 could be very good too but I don’t know how good they are personally.

KeroKeroppi: From what I understand, k y s k is the TOP top Japanese player coming this year. So I think we can expect amazing things from him. Having said that, underestimating the Japanese has always been a foolish mistake by the North Americans. In the several years that the Japanese SSB64 players have been coming out, we’ve been disappointed by their performances MAYBE once or twice, while we’ve been blown away in every other instance. I think the Japanese players are going to do great.

SotoH: If history serves as any evidence, k y s k will certainly pose a real threat to Top 6 as a Japanese Kirby. With k y s k’s performance showing a serious threat and both Kikoushi and Moyashi doing exceptionally well at each of their respective North American performances, we can only expect the best from k y s k. As far as Yu-Kun, I believe he’ll shed some new valuable insight on the Falcon meta similar to how Wario did for Pikachu at Genesis 3. Lastly, I certainly hope Taimai will resurrect the interest in investing time and effort in developing the most incredible glass cannon that is Fox.

5. Who will be Top 8?

Kimimaru: In no particular order:







-k y s k


However, I foresee either of the other Japanese players, Yu-Kun and Taimai, also making Top 8 as well as KeroKeroppi.

Wizzrobe: Me, Kero, Boom, at least one Japanese or more? Alvin? I don’t know how good the Japanese are. And a lot of people have potential to get upset. Plenty of people have a good shot that I didn’t mention.

KeroKeroppi: In no order,

k y s k

(TBH I don’t even think that’s possible with the way the bracket is but oh well lol)

SotoH: 1. Boom

2. Isai (Rat all tourney)

3. Alvin

4. Mariguas

5. k y s k

6. Dext3r

7. tacos

8. TR3GTheZ

6. Will anyone get that ranking defining victory over Shears at Genesis 4?

Kimimaru: Considering the scale of Genesis 4, I predict several upsets will occur, so this isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

Wizzrobe: Insert witty response here.

KeroKeroppi: Ya the kid is garb LOL his mom’s p cute tho.

SotoH: Only Isai will because if you gon’ act like a bitch, you gon’ die like a bitch.

64 Free for All: Boss Battle II

The 64 Free For All is a question and answer session with some of the biggest names in Smash 64, plus a bonus section where this time Dasit Mane will voice his thoughts. 6 questions, 4 top personalities. Today we have four players from all walks of life in Smash. Bacorn, the genius mastermind behind the event. KeroKeroppi, a frequenter of this feature who is an elite player on the rise. K19 | $$$ Jim $$$, a recently sponsored player and host of The Dream Land podcast who is breaking onto the console scene in a big way. Janitor, The Boss of this event who is much more than an epic combo master.

  1. Boss Battle 2 is proving to be very creative in their financing of the event. As opposed to other majors we typically see, they have decided to make the entrance fee cover not only the venue, but also housing and food costs. What is your opinion on using such a structure? Do you prefer having costs go only to the venue so a more impressive venue can be made affordable?

Ben “Bacorn” Corn: When Shears approached me with this idea, I definitely thought it would set BB2 apart and give the attendees a lot of bang for their buck. I feel like having food and housing provided actually GIVES something to the attendee, as opposed to using it on decorations and such. However, this is not something one should do for tournaments without careful consideration to the tournament’s costs and such. Our margin is crazy thin and has required a lot of delicate planning to make a reality. If I were another tournament wanting to do this, I would first lock down a decent sponsor so you have extra capital to help. Also, there are very few venues better than Boss Battle Games!

Joey “KeroKeroppi” Speziale: I love it. The 64 community is so close that I think BB (being a 64 exclusive) can definitely pull off something like this. Including food and housing in the cost for a tournament like Genesis or SmashCon might be tricky, but I think for BB it’s absolutely perfect. The 64 community is like family. I don’t think anybody minds that we’ll all be hanging out with each other in the same hotel. I’m really looking forward to this change actually.

Jim “K19 | $$$ Jim $$$” Orris: Obviously this is SICK. I’m sure everyone else is saying the same thing. If anything, I’m a bit concerned about the low-cost of the event. It seems like Ben’s putting in a lot of his own money into this, with no intent of making any of it back. That seems messed up to me. The amount of TIME and EFFORT it takes to make a huge event is staggering. To do that with zero organizational support, like you might have at a supermajor, is even more intense. To do that in Indiana of all places? Get outta here. It seems like the people who can make that happen should be paid for their work. Instead, I’m sure Ben’s pretty far in the red. Support your community organizers.

Robert “Janitor” Miller: I think that the structure of financing that Ben and others put together for this event was amazing and I’m sure it was a huge influence on the amount of people who were able to attend. I’m sure that attendees will be much more attainable with this type of financing than the normal tournaments that we are used to. However, bigger tournaments like G3 were able to bring hundreds of players partially because of the type of venue they were able to secure. I hope to see more tournaments set up in the same way Boss Battle 2 is so we can have a more consistent flow of players heading to tournament.

  1. Continuing the trend that has been seen in 64 for the past couple years, Boss Battle 2 has decided to shake up the rules of its event. This time, coaching will be legal throughout the event. This has been a point of much contention in the community. How do you feel about coaching? What would you be your ideal coaching ruleset?

Bacorn: There is precedence for coaching in the greater FGC. I feel like the thing that will make coaching successful is having set rules in place for coaching (i.e. one-minute timer, no phone coaches, etc.). BB2 is FILLED with up and coming players so the focus shouldn’t be on how good they are right now, it should be on the best ways to make them better in the future and I think having KeroKeroppi coaching Dogs_Johnson from Indiana is going to help with that.

KeroKeroppi: Until this year, nobody cared about coaching. You could coach all you want and nobody would say anything about it. So coaching being legal at this tournament is not a change. It is the standard. Banning coaching is something new, which I am an active supporter of.

If there was a way to guarantee every player had rights to the same coach, I would support it. But the idea of two beginners playing round 1 and one of them having Boomfan as a coach is disturbing to me. I’m not concerned with how top players will perform under a coaching ruleset. They’ll be fine. I’m concerned with the extreme disadvantage a player has if he’s about to play someone he should go even with and now his opponent has a top player as a coach.

K19 | $$$ Jim $$$: Coaching’s funny because the people who are most against it seem to have this boogeyman mentality. Having someone talk to your opponent between sets isn’t going to give them some secret to beating you that they discovered watching you play for the past 7 minutes. One thing that’s really nice about having someone next to you is simply the ability of them to emotionally recenter you. It’s easy to get on-tilt playing the game, and having someone take 30 seconds to say, “Hey, remember your gameplan. You can do this.” is incredibly helpful. Basically, it’s a simple counter to Shears yelling out, “Baltimore!”

Janitor: Coaching is a very important to some smashers and detestable to the rest. I have no position on coaching because I have never participated in it. I understand the benefits of coaching and I’m sure that if it was allowed then it could make players perform better in tournament because a coach could help them rid their nerves or tell them to stop engaging in bad habits or unsafe options. Having someone there can help but I am not a big supporter or objector to coaching in short.

  1. At the last 64 major, SuPeRbOoMfAn suffered his second loss of the year. Not only that, it was his first 3rd place finish in North America since Apex 2014. While he had not lost since Genesis 3, there were a few moments where he looked rather mortal this year. How do you expect him to bounce back from this recent loss, both at Boss Battle 2 and going forward?

Bacorn: Boom will win BB2, I’m sure. There is some competition, of course, but Boom has extensive experience against people like Kero, Fireblaster, BarkSanchez and such. I honestly think in the next couple years, we will start seeing more majors won by non-Boom players. The growth of the 64 community has led to a lot of players getting good really fast.

KeroKeroppi: I wanna start by saying that Boom’s third place finish at SuperBoomed was directly the result of bad seeding. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Having said that, I am not denying that North America has gotten a LOT better, but I believe Boom has had 4 game 5 sets with players from North America. Only 4 sets lol. All of which he won. That is f—ing wild. Alvin and Wario are two of the best players in the world. Am I surprised that Boom lost? No. Would I be surprised if Boom lost to a North American? Very.

We have a long way to go still. But we’ll get there. Boom will fall.

K19 | $$$ Jim $$$: LOL who is going to beat Boom at this tournament. Yeah right. The only difference we’ll see is Boom going more Pika.

Janitor: I think that Boom probably realized before those losses that the average player has been improving a lot. Also, that top level players have really been stepping up their tech and combos to make very worthy adversaries. Boom is Boom and he will always be at the top. He’s too good and has been playing too long to fall behind those that are getting closer to his level. I’m not sure what Boom should do to recover from those tournaments but I’m guessing he has something already in the works.

  1. The Midwest has a number of rising scenes. It is full to the brim with many very talented mid-tier players. However, it completely lacks any truly elite, stand-out competitors. Who do you expect to be the first to bridge that gap and join the elite? What are the steps necessary to make such an impressive leap?

Bacorn: Dogs_Johnson will be a top 10 player in Smash 64 in a couple of years if he keeps going like this. In March, I almost beat him (I’m really bad) and he just won six-straight games against Amida, the second best player in our region (behind Combo Blaze). Our goal at Indy 64 is to grow Smash 64 in the Midwest and that’s what BB2 is all about. I hope people get introduced to players like Vinsanity and Pugs from Ohio, Scoback and Supa from Michigan, Zantetsu from Missouri, LimeSoda and Fishaman P from Wisconsin and come away impressed. I didn’t mention the Chicago guys because everybody knows Combo, battlecow, Knite Phox and Komotonoto, right? There’s a lot of young talent in this area that just needs some work to become great.

KeroKeroppi: I haven’t played with anybody from the Midwest nearly enough to be able to assess who the next “elite” will be. I feel uncomfortable guessing. But I do feel comfortable talking about exactly what that player would need to do to close the gap. And it comes down to wanting it. Practicing, watching videos, studying, they all come after wanting to win. I don’t know the players from the Midwest, but I do know that whoever it is that becomes the best will be the player who wants it the most.

K19 | $$$ Jim $$$: I mean the three people with the quickest upward trajectories are Zantetsu, myself, and Dogs_Johnson. Zanny has the skill, but needs to make sure he’s not nervous during the set. I need to solve the Pika matchup. Dogs needs to play online. Besides that, it’s just a matter of putting in the work, and all of us have been willing to do that.

Janitor: I honestly don’t know that many Midwest players but one player that has stood out to have a lot of talent and promise is the falcon main ComboBlaze from Chicago. Not only does he impress me with his combos but he is also very smart on positioning and move choices when it comes to troubling scenarios where the average player would have definitely dropped the combo. Maybe he won’t be the first one to bridge the gap but he will be on his way to the elite very soon.

  1. Who will be Top 8 at Boss Battle 2?

Bacorn: Boom
Combo Blaze
Da Bear

KeroKeroppi: Gotta say that I only just looked at the entrants list for the first time after reading this question and there are a lot more players going than I thought there was LMAOOOOOOOO

  1. KeroKeroppi
    2. SuPeRbOoMfAn
    3. Fireblaster
    4. Bark the f—ing shark Sanchez

Next 4 is a total mixup. Could see the following people make Top 8: Combo, Shears (has a hot a mom), CTG, Lorenzo, Jim, Marbles, Hipstur, Janitor, IDK and others

There are a lot of players going to this that are at around the same level. Looking forward to seeing who makes Top 8.

One thing I know for sure is that KeroKeroppi and Stranded will win doubles.

K19 | $$$ Jim $$$: It’s hard to be accurate without seeing the brackets. Doing a quick look through the attendees, here are the names that stood out to me:

DaBear (SaTan)

Of these, Shears probably isn’t quite as good as the others. Combo is known for not trying, so maybe not him. Bear might be a bit controversial to pick over NaCl, given that NaCl won at SSC, but I believe in Jacob. DOGG actually doesn’t have a chance of Top 8, since he can’t seem to outplace me LOL. Maybe if I get a good bracket into Top 8, it’ll open up the possibility of him making it in there. I probably shouldn’t have left off battlecow, CTG, NaCl, DogsJ, or SaltSizz, but you gotta draw the line somewhere. So blind Top 8:

  1. Boom
    2. Kero
    3. DTan
    4. BarkSanchez
    5. Fireblaster
    5. Zantetsu
    7. DaBear
    7. ComboBlaze

Janitor: 1. Boom, 2. Kero, 3. Bark, 4. Fireblaster, 5. Marbles, 6. Janitor, 7. ComboBlaze, 8. Dtan

  1. Now, for the most important question: what would you do with a 50 pound block of salt?

Bacorn: Do what Wookiee did: give it to Combo Blaze.

KeroKeroppi: Sounds like the perfect thing [to] bend Shears’s mom over.

K19 | $$$ Jim $$$: My sponsor only allows me to use salt substitutes. I’m so sorry.

Janitor: I would have airdropped it on Hillary after she conceded.

A Lotta Bit From Dasit

Yep, it’s me, Dasit Mane. Have you ever been so frustrated that you created a local Smash community from scratch?

Let me lay down a little lore…

Bacorn and I got destroyed at SMYM16 last fall. We had been smashing casually since the turn of the century, and didn’t expect to drown in a pool with Bloomington’s finest and Battlecow. Desperate for more games, and unable to get a quick fix, I angrily bought a domain and branded a contrived gaming community.

362 days ago, we got some momentum with a $25 donation to the G3 player fund. That tiny bit of visibility led to a website contact form submission from Wookiee.

SUBJECT: “YO WTF. im flying here late january”

Wookiee was looking for games during an upcoming business trip. Like any sensible person would, I hyped it up.

At about the same time, we discovered a new local weekly smash tournament at Boss Battle Games, a brand-spanking-new arcade. The awesome owners, PheaWolf and Zoex, are partially responsible for the existence of Indiana’s growing 64 community. There would be no Smash 64 Boss Battle without its namesake arcade.

Just after G3 launched the #yearof64, Wookiee came to town, which snowballed into a beautiful and sentimental regional tourney. BB1 rocked our region and solidified the ND64 crew you see today. Enough lore, let’s get to the action.

First question first:

Potassium Honey Jim Money’s thoughts beg for a response. Bacorn has personally jumped on many opportunities to improve BB2 every step of the way. This is not the result of a community failing to support its organizers. (If that was a stab for the camping meme, touché) There are a lot of hard-working people behind the scenes. Bacorn is leading a group of smashers who have little access to top talent, so they have chosen to import it instead. It is not the easiest way to grow a community, but it’s like throwing gas on a fire. BB2 is the pyre that Indiana’s smashers can roast their scrub tendencies upon. Perhaps you ponder why Bacorn has chosen to go in on this event so hard. He will have to put the sticks down for a while next year as he evolves into PopCorn. Let him have his party and raise the bar for our beloved game.

On the matter of couching, I believe all attendees will find the on-site provisions to be accommodating and comfortable. While I have not personally experienced the new couching system that will be used this weekend, I can guarantee that each player will have the same opportunities to kick back and relax. Be sure to thank Boss Battle Games for implementing such a fair couching system.

I am very pleased to see Dogs_Johnson getting due recognition for his xp grind. I’m hoping for some major upsets in bracket, and would not be surprised to see Dogs’s mental game put some bigger dogs on tilt. This is how we do it.  

Top 8? I am barely top 10 in Indiana, so I’ll just make some stuff up…
There’s the guy that almost beat the legendary Alvin a few weeks ago. We imported a Spezoli with young Spezoli support included. The BB1 boss slayers, Bark and Combo will be putting in work. There are numerous online warriors and a seasoned beast from majors past. Several of Baltimore’s reps will surely take up residence in bracket. Fireblaster has shield armor, so he’ll be playing at a high level. Madrush, Marbles, and CTG will be putting on for their regions too. We mustn’t ignore the massive turnout of midwest players who are going the distance to level up. You don’t get to watch them play every week, so there is great potential for plot-twists. Dollay hoogadoories!

This weekend will be a beacon of hope in the now post-apocalyptic world. We are honored to have Janitor as the star of BB2. The LAS boss crop has been bountiful this year, and our entire region is eager to bask in the boss’s hitstun. Shoutouts to all of you that will be traveling for this game-changer. As Darkhorse would say, Indy’s single mothers have never been more excited.

We will kick things off on Thursday night with a special Bloomington Bi-Weekly stream featuring Boom, Hipstur (honorary Hoosier), and potentially a carload of BaltiBros. I can’t decide if I’m more stoked for the three nights of chill smash parties surrounding BB2, or the main show itself. “Whatever it is, the party’s underway. So tip up your cup and throw your hands up…”

Dasit Mane

64 Free For All: SuperBoomed

By: Jamie “JAMJAR” Jacobs and Josh “BarkSanchez” Brody

The 64 Free For All is a question and answer session with some of the biggest names in Smash 64, plus a bonus section for our own BarkSanchez to voice his thoughts. 6 questions, 4 top personalities. Today we have four players from across three countries to answer our queries. Mariguas, the enigmatic Mexican Pikachu player. TR3GTheZ, the Canadian master of many characters. Jimmy Joe, 64’s model-worthy commentator. KillaHertz, the puppet master of Nebulous.

  1. Nebulous is doing a few cool things to make SuperBoomed great for all players. One such opportunity is that they are inviting everyone to bring as many recording set ups as they can. How will this arrangement help the new players who will be attending?

Arturo “Mariguas” Núñez Hernández: I think that is a very sexy proposal and that it can lead to an orgasm.

Marco “TR3GTheZ” Jardak: They can get more games streamed/recorded despite not being high profile players which is cool. New player exposure was damaged at past majors because of TOs discouraging side recording setups.

James “Jimmy Joe” McGurl: Being able to have your matches recorded to show your friends or study what you did well or poorly is huge for players who don’t typically get to play on stream, as usually it is reserved for those we know are going to put on a hype/tense show. Having so many extra setups allows for everyone to get a chance to have their matches recorded. We live in an amazing time for SSB64.

Jesse “KillaHertz” Hertz: I think newer players may gain a lot from getting to analyze their matches later on. RR pools and amateur bracket also are a huge boon, as they let even scrubs get a lot of matches in a “tournament environment”, which is really important to grow as a player (play a million friendlies vs. boom, it still doesn’t match the pressure of playing even a modest opponent when the chips are on the table).

  1. Through a poll voted on by people registered for this event, SuperBoomed will be the first 64 major to use the Star King rule set for doubles. This rule states that teams of Pikachu-Pikachu, Pikachu-Kirby, and Kirby-Kirby are banned. How do you feel about this rule?

Mariguas: I think now more than ever we promote Smash and I think it is a good rule for future prospects interested in the game, many can be discouraged if your doubles looks very repetitive. Overall I think we should put into practice many more rules not only for doubles but also for singles, we have not squeezed Smash in its entirety and having serious discussions about the rules is a way to achieve it.

TR3GTheZ: This is a good tournament to test it. A lot of people don’t like the idea, I personally voted in favor of it. Teams have been pretty unenjoyable to watch and have been feeling like a chore to play in the last majors. Hopefully this change will make doubles and America great again.

Jimmy Joe: I think the Star King ruleset is fun and adds an element of character/player choice strategy. Ultimately the highest level doubles play will be determined by letting people choose whoever they want, but this could open people’s eyes to other great combinations and possibly have them become more developed and ultimately more viable in the typical doubles ruleset. I think it was a great move to let people vote on the ruleset and go with the majority decision. If more people want this ruleset, why deny them. It may even have brought more players to the event for doubles alone. On the subject of doubles rulesets, where did the DL only for doubles thing start?? It was never officially decided to do that, and DL is a laggy doubles stage. Hyrule is still legal in doubles, if someone tells you otherwise, they are playing by their own weird ruleset period.

KillaHertz: I think it’s really good for the doubles-meta, which is still in its infancy, to explore a bit. Brawl doubles was really boring until they banned Double-MK, and after that, it’s held up as one of the deeper and more interesting parts of the game. I think the common consensus (as shown by the vote) is that if you don’t main Pika or Kirby, you’re handicapping yourself or your partner by not switching to one of them for doubles. I think this ruleset probably lets more people play their mains in doubles, and puts a premium on players who don’t main Pika/Kirby, making things seriously interesting. I’m excited.

  1. SuperBoomed is unique in that it is a 64 major held in New York city, something that has never happened before. However, despite the region being both densely and highly populated, it is struggling to develop (besides Nebulous itself). What do you think needs to be done to help this region flourish?

Mariguas: Alcohol and women.

TR3GTheZ: NY is a region with strong active players, but I don’t think they take the right initiatives to grow their scene; they have never released power rankings and their events are not very well advertised.

Jimmy Joe: This region has had trouble flourishing I think due to the nature of the tri-state area lifestyle. We all work or study wayyyyy too much to be consistent. This is going to be a great event, but majors in an area as dense as NYC are tough for out-of-towners simply for the parking/driving aspect alone. Unless you’re a local, you’ll be in way over your head trying to get to a major by vehicle in NYC. It takes hours to travel just a couple miles around here, so I’m not sure we can do much better than trying to get more NYC gamers playing and competing, and hosting any majors larger than SuperBoomed outside the city…who knows, I’ll probably be a hypocrite and try to throw a MAJOR major here in the next couple years lol.

KillaHertz: One of the hardest things is venues. NYC is an extremely expensive city, and getting a venue for a “major” is no small task. Putting the “down-fees” on a big venue without proper sponsorship and precautions can easily bankrupt an organization if the tournament doesn’t make its numbers. With the actual Nebulous venue, we have a secure venue where we can store our equipment and reliably run tourneys that fits over 100 people, that’s HUGE for NYC, where we used to struggle to get people to bring CRTs (remember, no one has cars in the city), and where we often were packed into tiny venues.

  1. Nebulous’s Hitbox Gaming sponsorship gave them the opportunity to fly out a handful of truly elite players to make this event special. What does a major sponsorship such as this mean for future events and the growth of our community?

Mariguas: It really is something that needed to happen to increase the size of the Smash 64 scene, it is strange to think that a game that takes many years is just now giving its best, but I think it all goes for good and this is a good sign of growth.

TR3GTheZ: Having myself been part of this sponsorship, I would most likely have not been able to make the trip otherwise, same can be said about the three other voted players. Most players travel cause they love the game, there isn’t much money on the line.

Jimmy Joe: This type of sponsorship is huge. It gives us the opportunity to get elite players here, who otherwise may not be able to afford/make it, which draws hype, and ultimately other players and viewers to an event. It’s a worthwhile investment and it’s nice to see that our beautiful game is being invested in.

KillaHertz: All I’m really going to say is that the Hitbox sponsorship (and other sponsors) aren’t a fluke, we have a lot of smart people working at Nebulous to increase our sponsor base. In the current tournament ecosystem, a TO (or their organization) can’t risk funding a major tournament all on their own, sponsors are needed for real expansion. Nebulous as a whole is actively pursuing more sponsors, and I can promise that 64 won’t be ignored. A rising tide lifts all boats, or something like that.

  1. Who will be Top 8?

Mariguas: 1-Mariguas 2- Alvin 3- Boomfan 4-Mariguas (always), 5- The Z, 6- Stranded 7-Kant 8- Lakatos.

TR3GTheZ: 1. superboomfan
2. alvin
3. mariguas
4. revan
5. barksanchez
5. fireblaster
7. firo
7. cobr

Jimmy Joe: I think top 8 will be consisting of Definitely Boom, Alvin, Mariguas, and The Z, Revan and Bark highly likely and that final spot going to likely Fireblaster but with a solid chance of it going to some locals like Firo or Cobr, and possibly even Lowww or Kuz, with a slim chance of SunnyB or dare I say it, Myself sneaking in.

Oh and Shears is even more likely than everyone after Cobr.

KillaHertz: (in no order) Boom alvin z mariguas firo revan, not sure on the 8th.

  1. Now for the most important question: why is New York City the best city in the world?

Mariguas: No comment.

TR3GTheZ: The palm trees.

Jimmy Joe: New York is the best city in the world because within just a couple square miles we have it AAAAALLLLLLL. Whenever I leave here, I’m inevitably missing it for something. Music, Art, Theatre/film, Food/drink, Partying, you name it. Not to mention delivered to your door at ANY hour. NYC is all about convenience and getting shit done. I ❤ NY. Could use some better weather though XD

KillaHertz: Pizza. Public transport. Homies. It’s home.

Free Barking with BarkSanchez

I wanted Free Barking to be about the doubles ruleset mainly but I can’t ignore the predictions. Obviously Mariguas is having a little fun, but I’m curious who Kant and Lakatos are. Someone should tell him that Stranded isn’t available for his penetration in bracket. Someone should also tell ESPN SSBML VCR | RHCP TR3GTHEZ NIN that I won’t be participating on Sunday, so cracking top 5 in singles would be impressive. Ditto for JimmyJoe. Jesse listed six people and said he wasn’t sure of the eighth. WHO’S SEVENTH?? Maybe it’s those New York palm trees messing with his head.

Ok doubles. I love doubles. I have my favorite teammates, but I love teaming with anyone. This summer I teamed with Meerkat at Smash n’ Splash 2, and Preston at Summit 2016. All three of us are single main players, through both doubles and singles, and this ruleset would have forced us off our mains. I can’t support this happening to newer players who might not have the experience with other characters that I have.

The reality is Falcon, Fox, and Yoshi are not very good in the current doubles meta, despite Pika/Yoshi getting fifth at Super Smash Con. Players that main these Singles high-tier characters, instead of exploring mid-low tiers with serious doubles potential, such as Mario, Puff, Luigi, Samus, Ness, or even Link, they opted for the more forgiving route, and no one can blame them. There are very few mid-low tier mains in singles, and doubles gets very few added from the displaced high-tier mains. Newer players see a decent amount of Pika/Kirby in the mid-high level matches, and believe that is what they need to do to win. The doubles meta is still new and unexplored, and this ruleset could help others learn the powers of the mid-low tier characters in doubles, but will more likely stunt the meta, as less people learn to counter pika/kirby.

For a community that shames “tryhard” mentalities more than others, and prides itself on not “playing for the win screen”, it’s ironic to see people needing a ruleset change to play characters “they really want to play” instead of Pika/Kirby. It’ll be interesting to see the reactions from players getting gimmicked by Pika/luigi, Pika/Puff, Pika/Samus, or the unstoppable Kirby/DK. It’ll all be worth it when Grand Finals is Boom/Firo’s Pika/Ness (or double random) versus Bark/Shears’s Bang Bros (Mario/Luigi).

The 64 community has more fun than anyone else when it all comes down to it, ODS II was proof of that, but competition is competition. The best of the best, no handicaps, no gimmicks. This doubles ruleset may make for an interesting side event in the future, but should never replace true doubles.

That being said, SuperBoomed is going to be an incredible event, and the doubles ruleset will be something unique to fool around with. Jesse and the Nebulous crew are always great when I go up there, hopefully the wind tunnel air conditioning is in full effect again!
Nothing good in life is free, except doubles as Team Bang Bros.

64 Free For All: Operation Desert Smash II

By: Jamie “JAMJAR” Jacobs and Josh “BarkSanchez” Brody

The 64 Free For All is a question session with some of the biggest names in Smash 64, plus a bonus section for our own BarkSanchez to voice his thoughts. 6 questions, 4 top personalities. Today we have four players from regions, all famous for their different contributions. The legend from GOML: Derek. Leader of the growing NorCal scene: Duncs. Top Mexican player: Dext3r. The man who organized the whole tournament: Daniels.

1. A weekend like ODS is unique for the 64 community, allowing players of various skill levels to have greatly increased access to each other. What do you look forward to most with such an opportunity?

Derek “Derek” Bancarz: I’m really looking forward to being able to play all of the people I have been watching for so long. I’m an online player so I’ve never had exposure to playing these guys, so I am looking forward to meeting everyone and playing everyone, rather than just watching them play from a computer screen on YouTube or Twitch at home. That and also looking forward to being surrounded by people that love Smash, it’s a very welcoming community. Oh, and to challenging people on Saffron of course.

Riley “Duncs” Robinson: ODS has been described by many as a Smash “Retreat”, a place where players journey, from great lengths, to have a stress-free environment to be around their friends and counterparts whom are all there for love of the game. With very little notoriety as a “sought after destination”, Lake Havasu City, Arizona has become a must-see-must-do event for new players and veterans alike. I think what Cody “Daniels” Daniels has done for his regional scene, the community in general and dedication sets a nice bar of attainment for what players are capable of in creating such an event in great demand! Not having been to the first ODS in 2015, I look forward to going this year to what looks to have the potential of being better than the first, given the AMAZING international roster of attendees. Meeting the higher-level players on a more personal basis (compared to say, a multi-game, hectic major) will definitely give the attending players plenty of chance to interact, party and train amongst each other. I personally look forward to hanging with the players I’ve interacted with in the SSB64 Community Page and all the memelords in 64 Hell but have yet to personally meet. This game has some pretty interesting personalities, and that’s going to be exciting to be among them.

Yoshua “Dext3r” Peral Castillo: I’m looking to talking more with everyone since it’s pretty hard in majors, everyone just wants to play alot.

Cody “Daniels” Daniels: I look forward to spending my birthday weekend with a hugely diverse group of talented minds and partying like an animal. I look forward to finally playing Smurf for $500 and my fedora at the Salty Suite on Saturday night. Most of all, I’m looking forward to teaming with Kero and having some fun in doubles.

2. ODS represents a growing trend of individual 64 scenes hosting large and stacked 64 exclusive events, including such tournaments as SNOSA II and Boss Battle 2. Do you foresee this trend increasing in the future or will we continue to be largely stationed at multi-game majors?

Derek: I totally see this growing. SSB64 has basically been brought up from the grave over the past year or two. We’ve now had a tournament like SSC, with over 300 people and things like combo contests, with commentators from Melee/Smash 4 judging. This is the exposure that we needed and it’s happening. It’s not just people that go from 64 to Melee, people are going from Melee to 64 now. With the way the game is taking off I see tons of 64 exclusive events in the future.

Duncs: Havasu Smash and Indiana Smash, just a few names off the top of my head, have done an EXCEPTIONAL job bringing in top talent any chance they get! I’m sure more scenes will follow suit as it generates hype for the viewers at home, and the players physically there playing them. It has the potential to expose newer players, and new viewers, to the top level of Smash that can be watched or played. Personally, I’ve reached out to a few top level players for iterations of The End is Nair tourney series I founded in San Francisco, CA, where some have been able to make it up and grace us with their presence already, while some are still in the works and pending a confirmation from my end or theirs, but there are talks! Point being, our regional scenes are growing at an exponential rate, and I doubt the majors or supermajors like SSC, Genesis, Apex, etc will be the only places we can see the highest level play for much longer!

Dext3r: I think this is just the beginning, SNOSA and ODS are just the first ones,
this is just getting bigger and bigger; it’s just a matter of time to see more exclusive 64 tourneys
honestly, game dosent have 17 years for me, the game started 1 Janurary 2016.

Daniels: I foresee this continuing for only a short time. We’re still in this fragile, grassroots era like Melee was when they had their rebirth. Although, if and when we keep growing, tournaments like these will happen less and less as we get included in more majors. ODS is unique in the sense that the tournament is not the main focus. It’s a party, it’s a Smash retreat with a group of all the best players. With a tournament basically as a side event.

3. Havasu Smash is one of the fastest growing scenes in 64 due to a variety of reasons. What lessons can other scenes take from Havasu to promote their own growth?

Derek: Not sure what Havasu is unfortunately, so not too sure haha.

Duncs: Cody “Daniels” Daniels puts a lot of effort into recruiting new players, at a rate of nearly 2-3 steady players a month, if not more. He presents their scene’s appearance well, streams weekly, collects data for their PR and remains dedicated to his creation, it’s something to be proud of for sure! All of our scenes are doing great jobs to promote the game itself, but where most lies Havasu Smash’s success is the dependable stream for the viewers, and his commitment to making the regional scene grow larger.

Dext3r: I think the word is “Determination”, other communities should follow Havasu scene’s steps; just look at ODS, hard work looks awesome.

Daniels: Other scenes can learn that you have to stop waiting for a scene to come to you. It’s really not that difficult. As cliché as it sounds, it starts with you. Get a friend and start playing. Start turning other people and friends on to 64 and then start hosting 4 person round robins if you have to. Get SOME sort of organization and host a round robin once a month. Don’t worry about skill, you need numbers and entrants. Skill will come and Havasu is a great example of that. Get yourself and at least one other person so passionate about the game, and the rest will take care of itself.

4. What player attending ODS do you think you could learn the most from, both for your main and for your general gameplay?

Derek: As far as learning goes I think Mariguas, Tacos and Boom. Tacos is pretty offensive, which my game is lacking, so playing with him I may learn new approaches. Boom is pretty defensive and very careful with his attacks, so I can situationally learn from Boom, like what to do when the characters are at X and Y on the screen and how to capitalize on certain situations. Mariguas is a super smooth blend of the two from what I have seen. He’s becoming amazingly optimal and I could learn how to balance different playstyles through Mariguas, especially with rat. I generally goof around when I play and only really use rat when I feel the need for a win or if I’m close to a tournament now. So for my general gameplay I would say Boom because he’s at a very high level, and when we would play online we would use most of the characters which makes it fun and helps your overall gameplay and ability to play with the whole cast.

Duncs: Being a Jigglypuff player, who I feel like a lot of top-level players have a good handle on, despite being a main of Puff or not, are fully capable of showing me a few things with her that I can add to my neutral and option-select game. I’m really looking forward to playing lots of Luigi and seeing new things with him as well, he’s just too fun and SO underdeveloped in my opinion, so I’m looking forward to seeing other Weegies, specifically Phoenix’s Freean and New York’s Jimmy Joe (no offense Shears, you don’t know how to d-tilt, so you’re not always right).

Dext3r: SuPeRbOoMfAn definitely.

Daniels: Revan. I can’t wait to get a sesh in with him again. I’m gonna have a private set up on my side of the house so I can have 1 on 1 sessions with players without playing in rotation. And Revan, Revan’s at the top of my list.

5. What will be the Top 8?

Derek: Top 8? Derek and Boom in Grand Finals, that’s all I know, it will be a good Yoshi ditto.

Duncs: Two Canadians, two Mexicans, two East Coast, two West Coast.

Dext3r: My Top 8 Predictions:









Daniels: It’s so hard because there are SO many top 8 worthy players and it’s tough to predict but my list would be:









Derek and HeroPie as the wild cards.

6. Now for the most important question: could you beat Shears in a boxing match?

Derek: If he boxes like he plays Luigi it would be an easy W.

Duncs: Will a money match with a tall, lanky set of janitors in white gloves count as a “boxing match?”

And yes Shears, that’s a call-out.

Dext3r: I think he will beat me with 1 hand while playing Smash with the other lol.

Daniels: Could I beat Shears in a boxing match?! Boy, nobody can take this left hand shot, these are fundamentals.

Free Barking with BarkSanchez

So we’re boxing now, huh? I’d love to see any Smash community try to pull that off. ODS was an absolute blast last year, and as much as I love seeing all of the international players and the Titans of Smash 64, the natural feel of the 64 community is what makes this event. Whether it’s watching SotoH and Wookiee getting heavily inebriated as they play doubles, fun laid back commentary with Daniels and Revan as Boom 5 stocks everyone in the room or Madrush being everyone’s favorite Drunkrush, this event had a wholly different feel than any of the other events I’ve been to. It’s a Smash retreat, a Smash party, that just happens to have a stacked bracket.  This year it had to have a cap to keep it manageable as it is a house party, but despite a stacked summer slate of events, this was not the trip to miss out on.

Derek should be seeded below Stranded and Dext3r, one tournament is not enough results to place him that highly, but he could pose a serious threat to everyone above him. It should be interesting to see how other top players handle this fairly new (to console) challenger.

If JimmyJoe tries to spend 2 hours getting groceries before our doubles match again this year I’ll have a bit of a fit. Ditto for Socal and trying to drag us to Chili’s for four hours.

There are four ways to die this weekend: Boxing, putting pasty smashers in 120 degree weather, going up against Wookiee in Pool Basketball or alcohol poisoning. Regardless of the method, ODS makes sure everyone has a blast doing it.

64 Free For All: Super Smash Con

The 64 Free For All is a question session with some of the biggest names in Smash 64, plus a bonus section for our own BarkSanchez to voice his thoughts. 6 questions, 4 top personalities. Today we have three international players looking to make waves and the man who is the mind behind the whole event. Note: due to a translation error, Alvin was unable to answer two of these questions.

  1. With the recent revitalization of 64, the meta has been changing very quickly. Characters like Yoshi are being explored much further than previously, exposing untapped potential. Some argue that the tier list is still inaccurate and is in need of a refresh. Which character(s) do you see becoming more popular in competitive play in the near future? Which will see a drop off in usage?

Takashi “bonobono” Suyama: Pikachu is too strong so he will reign from now on. C[aptain]F[alcon] and Yoshi could exterminate rats, so they will be seen more frequently at tournaments. Kirby and Fox have advantages over C[aptain]F[alcon] and Yoshi; however, they have trouble winning against Pikachu. If asked which character will become popular compared to now, I would answer Fox. He has the potential.

André “Banze” Luiz Almeida: It is really hard to say which characters are dropping really. Yoshi has definitely improved a lot in the past few years, and I still think he has a lot to grow. I see Jiggly going up and Mario. Kirby might be going down a little bit.  I think he doesn’t have that many options to work with.

Alvin “Alvin” Leon Haro: N/A

Justin “Justin” Wykowski: This is always a fun conversation that seems to come up in full force at least a few times a year. I’m personally excited at how much growth is still left with all characters, even some of the “low tiers” – but if I had to guess, I’d say we are very much moving towards a Fox/Yoshi/Falcon future. And I think we’re already starting to witness a Kirby drop-off to be honest. Can’t wait to see where it goes!

  1. The funding projects of our scene raised quite a bit of money to bring top talent together for this premier tournament. What other players would you like to see funded going forward? How can we do a better job in raising that money?

bonobono: I want to play with wario and fukurou at a tournament using the American version. However, they can’t go to SSC, not because of money, but because of a busy schedule.

Banze: It’s a really tricky question. I really don’t have any idea on how to do a better job on raising the money because it has already done an amazing job. As far as players go, I would like to see some other Peruvians such as marka or Gerson. Though it’s really hard to get them a visa. And Japanese such as fukuro or sekirei.

Alvin: Another player I would like to see and play seriously is Jousuke.

Justin: The fundraising the 64 community has done over the last year or so is incredible. I think it’s a tough thing to wrangle with as 64 continues to get traction. One of the keys I could see going forward is other communities/new players to 64. One reason Melee exploded so quickly was the wide-appeal and support across gaming in general (even 64 players donated to the EVO drive a few years back). Soon enough though – I’m sure 64 will be up there with the big boys.

  1. Team Mejor (SuPeRbOoMfAn and JaimeHR) have been dominating the doubles scene for quite a long time. With Super Smash Con having such a large collection of talent, is there any team you think could possibly give them some trouble? Will we see an upset of this doubles mainstay?

bonobono: In Japan, team battles are not hugely popular or important because of the lag they cause in the game. So I don’t know the best team players, it may be difficult for the Japanese to defeat them.

Banze: I think so! Team LUV has been improving a lot, and now we have Alvin teaming with Isai. If there is any chance for Team Mejor to go down for the first time, it would be this.
I’m really excited for teams!

Alvin: I did not know boomfan and jaime were the best team. I only see full versus 1 on 1.

Justin: This is probably the most predictable answer – but I think Isai/Alvin take them down.

  1. SuPeRbOoMfAn staked his claim as the top player of North America with his showings this year. Who has the best chance to remove him from his position and when will that happen?

bonobono: I’ll talk about only the players I know, except the Japanese. Revan could defeat boom’s C[aptian]F[alcon] because he uses Kirby; however, boom uses Pikachu, too. So I think tacos has the best chance if he uses only Yoshi.

Banze: Well, if it is only considering NA players, tacos and mariguas have the best chances I guess, but I really don’t see anybody defeating boom any time soon. His dominance has been so big it’s really hard to think someone would take his spot in the next two years maybe.

Alvin: I don’t know if anyone in North American can beat boomfan if isai does not play seriously.

Justin: I think Boom is going to continue to be the overwhelming NA favorite until proven otherwise. But a full power Isai (Pika/Kirby) certainly poses a huge threat even at SSC. It also wouldn’t completely floor me if Mariguas took a set off Boom somewhere down the line.

  1. What is your prediction for Top 8?

bonobono: 1. Bonobono
2. boom
3. Isai
4. Wangera
5. Prince
6. tacos
7. KeroKeroppi
8. Kurabba

Banze: This year top 8 is a huge mystery. I would say we will see Boom/alvin/bonobono/wangera/mariguas/tacos/prince/isai. Not in this order tho

Alvin: N/A

Justin: Gotta go with my gut:

  1. Isai
  2. Boom
  3. Bonobono
  4. Alvin
  5. Wangera
  6. Tacos
  7. Mariguas
  8. LD (had to pick one big surprise)

6. Now for the most important question: what country will reign supreme at Super Smash Con?

bonobono: I say, “Japan”.

Banze: For the number of players, I guess Japan will be dominant. But I’ll put my money on boom for this year’s SSC!!

Alvin: Peru!

Justin: I think it’s going to be tough to top Japan, considering Isai could end up being the only American in Top 8. Japan could literally end up with 4.

Free Barking with BarkSanchez

Currently Darkhouse is loaded with legends and top players from around the world. Boom, Alvin, Prince, Banze, Dext3r, the mysterious Kurabba, Kort and other players of various skill levels are all playing friendlies and seriouslies against people they don’t have the opportunity to play frequently. Yet I’m here on a couch, writing Free Barking. Someone should tell Kero couching is legal at Darkhouse. I’m itching to play more games with Dext3r and Kort so this will be fairly brief by my standards.

Everyone is talking about how Super Smash Con is the biggest Smash 64 tournament ever. Everyone knows how stacked this event is, yet most of the focus is on singles. Several players from Genesis 3’s Top 8 could be outclassed this time. Peru vs. Japan. Isai going Trysai. Boom vs. The World. Studstill vs. Level 9 Falcon CPU. Singles has earned the hype. However, this could be a historic event for Doubles. Team Mejor (SuPeRbOoMfAn and JaimeHR) nearly dropped a set to Kero and Isai at Snosa, and did drop a set against Team Mexico (Dext3r and Mariguas). With Isai teaming with Alvin, bonobono and Prince creating Team Japan A, Wangera and Kurabba forming Team Japan B and Team Mexico coming back stronger than ever, Top 8 could create vast shifts in the doubles meta. Many will tune in to see Team Mejor potentially be eliminated for the first time in years. I’m excited to see how the other high level USA teams (Firo and Nintendude, as well as KeroKeroppi and Stranded) perform. Regardless of the outcome, more people than ever are excited to see top level doubles play, to see the best pushed to the limit. With almost as many teams registered as singles entrants for Pound, there will be no shortage upsets from top to bottom. Get ready for the hype train.

CashBark B*tches