The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate mural featuring all of the game's playable characters will likely stick in our minds as one of the best pieces of gaming artwork of all time. Used in Nintendo Directs (who could forget the moments when new characters would appear alongside old favourites?) and to promote the game at events like E3, it really was something to behold.
In an interview with Nintendo Dream, the artist behind the mural, Yusuke Nakano, has explained how it all came together. Nakano has a frankly incredible credit list to his name, including countless Zelda and Mario titles, so it's hardly surprising to hear that he got the job on this particular project. The translations provided below come via Siliconera:
Yusuke Nakano: “The idea came from Sakurai-san of creating a giant mural that could show off how impactful the game was at E3 and other promotional events. It was decided that it would feature hand-drawn art with realistic proportions, and I would be the main person working on it as it would be the quickest.
Regarding the artstyle, I first showed off Breath of the Wild’s Link, and Mario in an oil painting style and showed it to Sakurai-san. He liked it and gave the go-ahead, and it was a smooth start. Out of all the characters, the first two I illustrated were those two.”
He goes on to note that when thinking about the piece's compositional balance and each character's pose, he'd check in with the original creators for each character, and also gives a little insight into how new additions were placed alongside the already-existing fighters.
“First, with the 66 Fighters revealed at E3, I considered ‘what pose they would make’ and ‘how they would be placed’ on the long canvas, by drawing rough linework and piecing it together like a puzzle. The Fighters in Smash Bros. are all main characters, so I didn’t place them focused around the center, but averaged them out around the artwork. The theme was that no matter which part you cropped, there would be sights to behold.
Furthermore, by averaging out their positions, it had the advantage of being easier to add in the additional characters. Regarding the additional characters, I already had an idea of where to place them, but they were mostly placed through trial and error."
We don't know about you, but we could happily sit and look at that mural all day long. Amazing stuff.