There are few games more anticipated than the next Super Smash Bros., but the 3DS and Wii U versions are still so far away that news on either of the games is hard to come by. We’ve learned from previous interviews that the series’¬†creator Masahiro Sakurai plans on adding more “old characters” to Super Smash Bros. 4, and now the big boss himself may have spilled the beans on the latest bit of news pertaining to returning veterans in the next games’ rosters.

Sakurai recently tweeted a photo of art that his team at Project Sora¬†left on the company’s whiteboard. Aside from being an adorable drawing filled with many mainstays from the Nintendo universe, the art may give away several characters that are returning in the next Super Smash Bros. iterations. None of them should come as a surprise to long-time fans of the license, but seeing them up on that board is reassuring to anyone who feared that characters like Marth and Mr.Game & Watch may have been on the chopping block.

The Smash veterans prominently featured in the office art include:

  • Mario
  • Luigi
  • Link
  • Kirby
  • Pikachu
  • Donkey Kong
  • Fox McCloud
  • Pit
  • Zero Suit Samus
  • Marth
  • Meta Knight
  • Mr. Game & Watch
  • Wario

For those who aren’t great with numbers, that’s a grand total of 13 characters, but the picture also points to the return of other fighters from Nintendo-owned properties. A lone Pikmin alludes to the return of Capt. Olimar, while Mr. Saturn hints at the reappearance of either Ness, Lucas, or both.

It’s entirely possible that we’re just looking a little too far into the art, and that Sakurai just posted it to broadcast his team’s artistic ability in a fun way. Of course, since the games have entered development (and co-developer Namco Bandai has already gotten a playable build of the next Super Smash Bros. running), it would be pointless to fill an image with characters that weren’t appearing in either the 3DS or Wii U versions.

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Source: Masahiro Sakurai (via Joystiq)