Introducing Steve, Alex, and all of their accompanying Minecraft mechanics to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was a Herculean task, since all of the existing levels had to be reworked to offer materials to mine. It wouldn’t be surprising if Smash series creator Masahiro Sakurai were to describe this development as the greatest challenge of the game’s development. However, that’s not quite the case. Rather, simply incorporating Minecraft music was apparently the most difficult.
In his latest column in Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu — and as translated by Brian Ashcraft of Kotaku — Sakurai said, “Over the whole span of Smash Bros., the toughest thing was doing the music [for the Minecraft characters].” Ashcraft clarified that the exact Japanese text used in the sentence can additionally mean both “hardest thing” or “even greatest crisis,” so regardless of phrasing selected, Sakurai considered Minecraft music quite the hill to climb. And it turns out the development team discarded some arrangements of Minecraft songs during development.
Sakurai had previously explained in his Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Steve / Alex stream that incorporating the standard Minecraft music into Smash just didn’t work because the music was too peaceful to match the frenetic fighting. Instead, they ultimate chose to use more fitting music from spin-offs like Minecraft Earth and Minecraft Dungeons. It would seem making this decision came with much bigger headaches than anyone might have suspected though.
Sakurai evidently did not elaborate too extremely on the difficulties they faced with the music, but he did note that development of the Steve DLC was quite challenging in general due in part to the complications of the pandemic.
What do you think of the Minecraft music in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate? Was it worth the development team’s turmoil?