Banjo Masahiro Sakurai Smash Bros
Image: Nintendo / Microsoft / Masahiro Sakurai

For a long time, Kirby creator and master of the Smash Bros. series Masahiro Sakurai posted near-daily Super Smash Bros. Ultimate screenshots on Twitter using his special debug build of the game. This developer-only mode let him line up angles and create special in-game shots that regular Smash players couldn't hope to catch with their retail copies.

Masahiro Sakurai
The great man himself. He can play 8-player Smash against himself, you know. Uses his feet. — Image: Nintendo

Sakurai often used the game's vast roster of luminary characters to pay tribute on specific gaming anniversaries — Pac-Man's 40th, for example, or Kid Icarus: Uprising's 10th, or Pictochat's, er, 17th. Other times he just posted hilarious shots of characters interacting in silly ways. It's joyous, celebratory stuff and it was great to follow him injecting colourful snaps into some frequently gloomy social media feeds.

We admired his wit and dedication to posting these amazing screens for a long time and since his supply of shots dried up — seeing as development on the game finally ceased — we thought it was high time we highlighted some of our very favourite posts.

There are so many to choose from we can only hope to highlight a tiny fraction. Nevertheless, we're certain you'll enjoy the ones we've picked out below. And if you want more? Well, just head over to Sakurai-san's Twitter feed and start scrolling!

Without further ado, we present our picks of Masahiro Sakurai's very finest Smash Bros. Ultimate tweets, in no particular order...

Our picks of Masahiro Sakurai's best Smash Bros. tweets

We've split up our picks into sections for easier navigation, although we recommend just scrolling and enjoying the lot.

Anniversary shots

Here we look at video game anniversary-related shots from Señor Sakurai...

We kick off where it all started, with the original Super Smash Bros. intro recreated, with Mario, Samus, Yoshi, Pikachu and Link sprinting across the screen. Ah the memories!

Next is a Balloon Fight anniversary pic featuring Villager floating and Fox getting devoured by the water beastie.

Yes, this is a shot from Smash, not Wind Waker.

The announcement of Banjo for Smash remains the most emotional gaming moment of the last decade for several of us on the Nintendo Life team. Well, at least two of us. S'up Alex!

We love how Sakurai highlights the big and the small anniversary. Bird & Beans is a tiny DSiWare game that was spun off from Pyoro's microgame appearance in WarioWare series.

Sakurai's cat is another fixture of his Twitter feed, as seen in the follow-up shot to this Mega Man anniversary composition.

A game you have to use your hands for. Little more than a baby's toy, really.

Low-hanging fruit considering some of the intricate masterpieces Sakurai-san has painstakingly constructed, but still pretty. Can't beat them Sega blue skies.

This F-Zero shot showcases yet more of the retro detail crammed into Ultimate.

And Banjo returns in this neat Diddy Kong Racing anniversary post.

One of several tweets using the DMG-01 Game Boy screen as a frame, this one neatly pays homage to the jump from monochrome to Game Boy Color, Mr Game & Watch notwithstanding.

A double anniversary whammy, with Sakurai-san highlighting the release of the most requested Switch port of all time which still hasn't come to Switch, Persona 5, followed by a neat Undertale pic referencing its debut to Earthbound.

Here Sakurai carefully recreated a scene from the original Street Fighter.

Some more Mother-ly love.

Into the 'Wallpaper' folder with this one.

Another double-header, with Luigi's Mansion and the Japan-only The Bell For Whom The Frog Tolls being celebrated.

General Silliness

Here are a bunch of random pics that just made us guffaw...

This is just silly. We don't know what Villager is up to exactly, or what has come over him, but something about his dumpy proportions juxtaposed with the trim figure of the Wii Fit Trainer — not to mention the devious grin — just made us laugh. Also easy to miss the devilish face on the right there. Bah!

It's the critters that Sonic saves after Robotnik encases them in badniks! Shots ike this really show off the incredible detail that went into every aspect of Smash Bros. Ultimate. Speaking of which...

Just look at the detail on these two R.O.B.s!

Link's face here is priceless.

Look, we like Spirit Tracks, okay? Absolutely cracking train music.

We also adore Nintendo Badge Arcade and spent way too much time and money grabbing badges for our 3DS games folders.

We love the Apocalypse Now energy Gannondorf is channelling here, and how his menacing rise from the deep is having precisely zero effect on the ever-genial Isabelle.

Oh my! Bayonetta and Ike and Bayonetta and Ike, getting up close and personal.

A missed DLC opportunity if we ever saw one. Wii Fit Trainer for BOTW2? Let's make a snappy hashtag out of that.

Samus and Joker engaging in some good old-fashioned digital blood sport.

Wario downing an entire garlic here, while Peach looks on aghast. Not sure how she's surprised given Wazza's usual behaviour — if anything this is an improvement. He's gonna feel rumbly in the tumbly soon after eating that, though.

Mighty steeds, all.

See, Wario isn't such a bad guy — he just always takes the wrong advice!

Some cheeky commentary on the Wii U, perhaps?

Given our Banjo love / infatuation, we had to include this one. That Grunty would return so lovingly rendered after so many years on the shelf — and on a Nintendo console, too — brought tears to our big googly eyes. Bravo, sir! One more...

Mr Sakurai's final Smash shot, wrapping up the series with style.


That's more than enough to be getting on with — these are just a small selection and we could quite easily go on! Mr Sakurai has repeated a few posts over the years, but we're sure you'll agree that he's created some cracking images.

Let us know below which ones are your favourites, and feel free to add others we skipped in the comments.