With a playable demo of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate available on the floor at E3, it was only a matter of time before gamers got a glimpse at one of Smash‘s lesser appreciated aspects: alternate costumes.
GameXplain were able to grab onscreen film of every demo character’s eight alternate costumes. This included Link, Zelda, Sheik, and Ganondorf, but left out Young Link and Toon Link as they are not yet playable.
Link sports both the Champion’s Tunic and Tunic of the Wild, as announced in the original Super Smash Bros. Ultimate reveal. Costumes inspired by Dark Link, Fierce Deity Link and Skyloft have been carried over from Super Smash Bros. for Wii U / Nintendo 3DS.
Link’s red and blue tunics, featured across many Zelda games, also make a return. The last costume seems to be reminiscent of an older Zelda game, potentially A Link to the Past.
Zelda’s alternate costumes have arguably drawn upon in-game inspiration more than any other Legend of Zelda character in Smash. Her default costume takes inspiration from A Link Between Worlds, while her original Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess designs have been relegated to alternate costumes.
Her grey-haired costume is reminiscent of Hilda, also of A Link Between Worlds fame. Zelda’s green alternate may be a reference to the ending of the original Legend of Zelda, where Zelda appeared in green in the ending scene if the player failed to get either of the magic rings. The red alternate may also be a reference to the original Zelda, whose hair was more brown than blonde. This leaves Zelda’s white costume, which we believe to be either a reference to Zelda’s white dress in Skyward Sword, or her white dress in Breath of the Wild.
Since Sheik does not appear in as many games as Link or Zelda, his alternate costumes rely less on in-game inspiration and more on simple palette swaps. However, I would be remiss to mention that his original color design is from Ocarina of Time, and one of his alternate costumes looks like it’s inspired by unused concept art from Twilight Princess.
Like Sheik, Ganondorf’s costumes are more palette swaps than individually inspired colorways. While the character design itself is more aligned with how Ganondorf looks in Ocarina of Time, he still possesses an alternate color design similar to his armor worn in Twilight Princess. His blue-skinned alternate is also a callback to the original cartridge-era Zelda games, where the monster Ganon was depicted as a blue pig.