Nintendo Plans to Remove Native American Caricature from Super Smash Bros.

Imran Khan, Game Informer


{snip} It turned out that Mr. Game and Watch’s Forward-Smash attack, wherein he uses a torch to attack the opponent, now transformed him into a Native American caricature with a feather on his head. This references a 1982 game called Fire Attack, where Native Americans tried to burn down a fortress with a lone cowboy defending it. This imagery seemed to pass by Nintendo’s western branch without much note until the Japanese stream.

The caricature of Native Americans as cartoonish characters wearing headdresses has become a much bigger debate within the last 20 years, taking specific aim at sports teams that use the imagery for mascots. Mascots like Chief Nac-a-Homa for the Braves and Chief Wahoo for the Cleveland Indians were determined to be insensitive and eventually retired.

As a response, Nintendo has issued a statement saying it plans to update the game to change the attack and, presumably though unmentioned, the associated Spirit image.


It is worth noting that Nintendo has recognized this particular image from Fire Attack as insensitive before and worked to change it. In Game & Watch Gallery 4 for the Gameboy Advance, Fire Attack came in both classic and modern forms. The classic version had been edited, removing the feathers and headdresses from the Native Americans and calling them bandits in the instructional text. {snip}


Original Article