It’s not as simple as just having similar move sets, as it turns out.
During the last Nintendo Direct broadcast, Nintendo revealed, right before announcing the new Animal Crossing game for Switch, that Isabelle, the adorable puppy from Animal Crossing: New Leaf, who acts as your assistant over the course of your mayoral duties, will be joining the fight in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Interestingly enough, Isabelle was revealed not as an Echo fighter for Villager, as you might have expected, but rather, a brand new fighter entirely. Echo fighters, for those new to Smash Ultimate’s parlance, are fighters who are effectively based off existing ones, acting as clones with minor variations. Isabelle very clearly seems to be based on Villager— so why is she not an Echo?
Speaking in his weekly column in Famitsu (via Siliconera), Super Smash Bros. Ultimate director, and series creator, Masahiro Sakurai, talked about the decision to not have Isabelle be branded as an Echo.
According to Sakurai, Isabelle, while having her move set based on Villager, has entirely different animations, and a completely different model, thanks to her and Villager having entirely different body types. As a result, even though the two fighters share similarities, one is not an Echo of the other.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate launches on Nintendo Switch on December 7