Steve from Minecraft was announced as a character in Super Smash Brothers Ultimate earlier today and since I am on record as being against his inclusion I felt it only fitting that I say a few words about my feelings on the matter. In short, were 2020 not an atypically horrible span of time which has seen the amount of disasters usually reserved for b-movies about the apocalypse, I would say that Steve from Minecraft‘s inclusion in the game was the worst thing to happen this year. It’s probably not the worst thing to happen this month and it’s still the first of October. I am still not a fan that he’s here, and never will be, and this is not the first time I have come down hard against a character included in Super Smash Brothers.
In the original game, it was Jigglypuff, and my animosity for the character was so great I took out a Geocities site and created a series of stories under the title “Jigglypuff Gets Whupped” in which various Pokemon beat on Jigglypuff. These have been lost to time. For Melee, it was the Ice Climbers, and you can read what they inspired in me right here on the Fictosphere. Then, things subsided, though I had promised to start riots if Ness was not included in Brawl and the Wii U/3DS versions of the game. Steve from Minecraft doesn’t inspire that level of anger, though I still do not like him.
The question, then, is why? With Jigglypuff, it was their perceived (and eventually disproven) uselessness. With the Ice Climbers, it was more bafflement than anything else. With Steve from Minecraft, part of it is the feeling that he might be taking the space of someone more worthy but who would that be? The only two I can really think of are Spyro and Crash Bandicoot, the latter of which I was previously dead-set against as well though I have clearly come around on that front. I honestly can’t think of anyone I’d really want in the game who could actually get in so why not Steve from Minecraft?
At this point, I’ll admit that I’ve never played Minecraft, though if I was unwilling to accept fighters from games I’d never played this would have put me off Ness and countless other characters. In some cases, their inclusion has made me actively seek out their game to try it. I may even try Minecraft at this point, and knowing what kind of games I play, I’ll probably enjoy it. It wouldn’t be because of Steve from Minecraft, though.
I can’t even say that it’s because Steve from Minecraft is a cipher, the default male skin. I was fine with the Mii Fighters, whose only purpose was to allow other characters to show up through costumes. I’m fine with Wii Fit Trainer, who’s just kind of there. I’m even fine with the Villager, who is probably the closest thing the franchise has to anything even remotely resembling Steve from Minecraft.
It’s not his playstyle, either. Minecraft is a game that promotes and rewards unlimited creativity, and while they couldn’t possibly put that in the game, the trailer shows that they’ve done a decent job of replicating that within Super Smash Brothers Ultimate. I don’t even mind his alternate skins (which are the default female skin Alex, an Enderman, and a Zombie) as much as I mind Steve from Minecraft himself.
What is it about Steve from Minecraft that irks me so? With the others there were tangible things I could grasp onto but with him, there’s nothing to him to hate. Except, perhaps, for the fact that his game has been forever associated with my past, a past filled with pain and turmoil and heartbreak. Steve from Minecraft is the avatar of a game which vexed me, to a degree, a game which was prominent during a period of my life I’d rather not relive but can never forget. Do I hate Steve from Minecraft for representing that?
I will never know the true answer for why I hate Steve from Minecraft, but I do know this: I will get better at Super Smash Brothers Ultimate and then I will hunt down everyone who plays as Steve from Minecraft and defeat them. This I swear. Then, perhaps, I can finally heal.