We sure get sent some unusual news tips here at Nintendo Life, but when Ben "Mikeyman64" Barger decided to tell us about a cool feature he'd found in Super Smash Bros. Melee, we knew we were onto something a little more out of the ordinary.
According to our tipster, Link's bow-work in the popular fighting title isn't typical of Hyrule, but instead finds itself rooted in the Japanese archery technique known as Kyudo, or "Way of the Bow".
Here's Mikeyman64 to fill you in:
When I was a youngster playing the brand, spanking new Super Smash Brothers Melee (I think I was 11), my favourite character was Link. That has now since changed, and I prefer Mario, however that is neither here nor there. Anyway, as an 11 year old kid with not much to do but accumulate hours of Smash time, I had a stint of picture-taking fever. Whilst spending countless hours photographing my faves in some cool, weird, and awkward poses, I accidentally stumbled upon a particularly interesting frame, which at the time I thought to be a glitch.
In this picture, you are seeing Link shooting his bow. However, I was able to punch Start just as Link was loosing his arrow. The resulting shot is as you see: Link, with his bow facing not in the direction of the recently-released projectile but instead facing himself!
For years I thought this was just a random glitch, and that still may be the case. However, my younger brother has been getting into archery a little recently, and he mentioned something about the Japanese art of Kyudo. In this form of archery, the archer slowly and gracefully sets his arrow and takes aim. The curious part of Kyudo is that upon releasing the bowstring, the archer twists the bow around in front of him! If you watch some Kyudo videos you will see that some of them even leave the bow facing themselves, like our familiar green-garbed hero.
In Kyudo, they set the arrow on the opposite side of the bow than other archery practices. Normally you would set the arrow on the top of your hand, Kyudo archers place theirs on their thumb. Link does this as well in Melee.
Do you think this is just a random glitch, or do you think the developers behind Smash Bros. Melee were honouring this Japanese form of archery? Post a comment to let us know.