KirbyFor starters, the Kirby series, which was designed by Sakurai himself, holds several distinct influences straight from Smash. Kirby Air Ride, released on GameCube two years after Super Smash Bros. Melee, features the UI designed around the latter's menu. These menu designs came from Sakurai's wife and would continue to be used in the Smash series. Note that Kirby Air Ride would be the last Kirby title Sakurai would design until his departure from HAL and Nintendo.
HAL Laboratories continued designing Kirby games, including Kirby and the Amazing Mirror, in 2004. This title featured two special bosses - Master Hand and Crazy Hand - who appeared in the Smash series. Replicating their fighting styles, Kirby would battle them both, gaining the Smash ability once they were defeated. This ability would feature Kirby's moveset from Smash, including aerial strikes and his specials. The Smash Bros. ability would appear later in Kirby: Planet Robobot.
Speaking of Kirby: Planet Robobot, it was the first title to use amiibos. You could use any Smash character amiibo and gain a powerup while playing. Mario's amiibo would give Kirby Fire, while Ike and Link gave Kirby Sword. Bowser would create Rock Kirby while Dr. Mario would give you Doctor Kirby. Over a decade after Sakurai's departure from HAL and the developers would still honor his work in their games.
Fire EmblemThe next example comes from the Fire Emblem series. The history of Smash Bros. and Fire Emblem is virtually, intrinsically tied by destiny. When Sakurai added Marth to Melee, he also added Roy. Note that Fire Emblem: Binding Blade would not release until after the Japanese release of Melee. This was to help promote the upcoming game in Japan. In response, Intelligent Systems included Sakurai's name as a thank you in the Binding Blade credits.
Fire Emblem: Awakening later featured the Smash Bros. DLC. This included new artwork of units from the Smash Bros. series, including Marth, Roy, and Ike. Shortly after, Super Smash Bros. 4 would come out, including Robin and Lucina as characters. Roy and Corrin would also appear as DLC characters. Fates allowed you to use their Smash amiibos to summon them as units, while Echoes included Roy and Corrin as well.
Kid IcarusOur third example comes from Kid Icarus: Uprising. Prior to the 3DS release in 2013, Pit had not starred in a game since the NES Kid Icarus and its Game Boy sequel. While Super Smash Bros. Brawl returned Pit to Smash Bros., he gained a complete redesign featuring more anime attributes and realistic proportions. This also included the return of Palutena who would appear in Pit's Final Smash.
Kid Icarus: Uprising was designed by Sakurai. This included the noteworthy menu, mentioned earlier, as well as a few Smash Bros. references. Among these included a line of dialogue between Pit and Palutena referencing a "Super Smash Sisters." Palutena herself would later appear as a character in Super Smash Bros. 4, along with Pit's counterpart, Dark Pit.
Star FoxStar Fox also received influence from the Smash series beginning in Adventure, released in 2003. At the beginning of Fox's adventure, he complains he couldn't bring his Blaster on his adventure. One common misconception among fans is that the Blaster appeared in Star Fox 64's multiplayer. While it was a Blaster in name alone, the appearance took on a bazooka while its firepower was far more destructive than the small lasers that fire from Fox's gun.
Star Fox Assault would be the first Star Fox game where Fox, Falco, and Wolf could fire their blasters on foot. This means the gun, not the bazooka.
F-ZeroFinally, Smash Bros. longtime veteran, Captain Falcon, gained much exposure through Super Smash Bros. While the F-Zero series hasn't had a console release since 2003's F-Zero GX, Captain Falcon has stayed alive and well through Smash Bros. Most notably includes his trademark move, the Falcon Punch. While never appearing in the F-Zero titles, a song referenced it in F-Zero GX's lyrics. Also, coming from the F-Zero GP Legend anime, the series hit its climax when Captain Falcon unleashed his finisher on his nemesis, Black Bull.
Bonus: Soul Calibur IIWhile SoulCalibur characters have yet to appear in Smash Bros., Namco's 2003 fighting game featured Link, from The Legend of Zelda, in the GameCube version of the title. While Link took his special moves, Spin Attack, and downward stab from past Zelda titles, one move particularly stuck out beyond the Zelda series: Illusion Stab.
Link's multi-hitting stab move appeared in Super Smash Bros. (N64) at the end of Link's jab move. Repeatedly mash A and he would hit his opponent multiple times. This attack reappared in Melee before being used, and officially named, in SoulCalibur II. Interestingly, Link lost his Illusion Stab from Brawl onwards. We would not see the move, in any capacity, until Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, in 2018, when Young Link returned as a character.
Final ThoughtsSuper Smash Bros. is home to dozens of noteworthy series. Its impact not only reaches across the world with its millions of fans, but also to the very game developers who work for Nintendo. All of them honor the Smash team's work with references based on a game they love, forever changing the landscape of those series with that bit of Smash influence to show where they came from.
I find beautiful to see how passionate these developers are and how they influence one-another with the games they make. With Smash forever maintaining a sort of gaming hall of fame status, I look forward to seeing how it will influence other featured games in the upcoming future. What's your favorite Smash reference? Let us know in the comments below!