One of the common characteristics that links most of the
Fire Emblem characters in Super Smash Bros. is their ability to counter attacks. It always struck me as an odd move choice, but it turns out there’s a perfectly valid reason for this. As Sakurai explains in Making of Fire Emblem: 25 Years of Development Secrets, this counter move was incorporated in order to mimic the battle mechanics found in Fire Emblem.
Interviewer: In Smash, a lot of Fire Emblem characters have “counter” moves. Is there a reason behind that?
Sakurai: That comes directly from the Fire Emblem games. In Fire Emblem, first you have your attack phase, and then the enemy attacks. That pattern repeats itself, so to express the nature of those battles, I gave them counter moves…although Robin doesn’t have one (laughs). Robin doesn’t seem like a counterattack-type character to me.
Interviewer: Robin is a character who’s more about ranged attacks anyway.
Sakurai: Moreover, I thought it would be more fun to include an attack that can absorb percentage, like Nosferatu. Of course, the initial tactician class can’t use Nosferatu. But Ike doesn’t use projectile attacks with Ragnell, either, so it’s all part of balancing the game. Knowing the source material and then making each of the fighters unique is how they ended up the way they are today.
I love the fact that they were able to successfully pull this off. It showcases a great understanding of the source material, while providing the characters with a vital ability.