“WELCOME, RETURNING FACES AND NEWCOMERS ALIKE!” the all-too-familiar, disembodied voice of the announcer said to the horde of people, creatures, and otherwise gathered in the entry room. “I KNOW YOU'VE BEEN EAGERLY AWAITING YOUR RETURN TO SMASH, SOME OF YOU FOR LONGER THAN OTHERS.” Wolf huffed in the corner. “AND YOU'LL BE GLAD TO KNOW THAT THE GAME IS NOT THE ONLY THING THAT HAS CHANGED. THE HOUSING ARRANGEMENTS HAVE, TOO!”
There were murmurs around the crowd. Changes?
“BEFORE WE GET TO THOSE, THOUGH, LET'S GO OVER WHAT IS THE SAME, SO THAT OUR NEW ARRIVALS CAN LEARN ABOUT THEM. READY?”
There was silence as everyone waited for the announcer to continue.
“READY?” he repeated in the exact same voice.
“Oh,” Marth said. “Yes, we're ready.”
“Wait, you speak English now?” Sonic asked.
“I studied it rigorously,” Marth said. “I had to for Heroes.”
“ALRIGHT! AS MANY OF YOU KNOW, YOU ARE ALL ASSIGNED A ROOM OF YOUR OWN, WHICH YOU CAN CUSTOMIZE TO LOOK LIKE WHATEVER YOU WANT USING THE CUSTOMIZATION SYSTEM. I'D URGE ANY NEWCOMERS TO GET A RETURNING FIGHTER TO EXPLAIN HOW IT WORKS. TRY NOT TO MAKE ANYTHING TOO NOISY, THOUGH, BECAUSE THE SOUNDPROOFING SYSTEM IS STILL A WORK-IN-PROGRESS.”
“Tell me about it. I thought I was going to kill Captain Falcon for all the rock music he was playing in the next room over,” Falco said.
“At least he has good taste,” Dark Pit said, his arms crossed as he stood near the back of the group.
“THE SMASH MANSION HAS TWO POOLS, AN EXPANSIVE GAME ROOM, MULTIPLE GYMS AND EXERCISE ROOMS, AND MORE. IF YOU NEED SOMETHING, WE MOST LIKELY HAVE IT! WE WANT YOU TO BE COMFORTABLE WHILE YOU'RE HERE!”
“Wow, okay, that's cool,” Ken said.
“Yeah, but who is the ‘we’ that he's talking about?” Daisy asked.
“The… Smash committee…? I guess…?” Male Robin said, shrugging. Ness gave a noncommittal nod to this response.
“AND THAT IS BASICALLY ALL OF THE THINGS THAT HAVEN'T CHANGED,” the announcer said.
“Wait, that's it?” Fox asked. “I mean, not that I thought that everything was going to be the same. I mean, we all did… die for a bit there.”
Everyone in the room but Kirby gave a collective shudder.
“I see what you mean, though. There can't have been that much that has changed, right?” Bayonetta said.
“MAYBE YOU WOULD KNOW IF YOU LET ME TALK,” the announcer said.
“Sorry,” Fox said.
“FIRST OF ALL, WE HAVE CHANGED YOUR ROOM LOCATIONS. CONSIDERING THAT THIS TIME AROUND IS ALL ABOUT INCLUDING EVERYONE, WE WANT EVERYONE TO HAVE UNIQUE EXPERIENCES, EVEN IN THE MANSION. THEREFORE, YOUR ROOM LOCATIONS HAVE BEEN RANDOMIZED, AS HAVE YOUR NEIGHBORS. YOU WILL BE ABLE TO SEE YOUR NEW ROOM LOCATIONS ONCE THIS ORIENTATION IS OVER.”
The Pokemon Trainer gulped. He could spot quite a few people that he did not want as neighbors. Namely the hulking monsters and… Wario.
“I'M SURE THAT THERE MAY END UP BEING TENSIONS BECAUSE OF THIS, BUT PLEASE REMEMBER THAT FIGHTING IN THE MANSION, THOUGH NOT AGAINST THE RULES, IS STRONGLY DISCOURAGED. REMEMBER, THE WHOLE POINT OF BEING HERE IS FIGHTING IN SANCTIONED MATCHES. I'M CERTAIN YOU CAN WAIT UNTIL THEN.”
Samus and Ridley stopped glaring at each other from across the group as if this comment was meant specifically for them.
“OTHER CHANGES INCLUDE THE FACT THAT THE ROOMS ARE SLIGHTLY INCREASED IN SIZE, THE WIFI IS BETTER, AND WE HAVE A BRAND NEW POTTED PLANT IN THE FRONT ROOM!”
All eyes went to the white-spotted plant that seemed haphazardly tossed in the corner. Suddenly, it popped up and showed its sharp teeth, and scared the hell out of Luigi.
“YES, TRY NOT TO LOSE ANY FINGERS TO IT. ANYTHING THAT I HAVEN'T MENTIONED, I'M SURE YOU CAN FIGURE OUT ON YOUR OWN. PLEASE LOOK ON THE SCREEN DEVICES THAT HAVE BEEN PROVIDED TO YOU, AND HAPPY SMASHING!” Then the voice disappeared.
All of the assembled looked at their screens and saw a map detailing where their rooms, along with everyone else's, were.
“Father, I'll help you get your room set up to your liking,” Lucina said once she had located Chrom in the crowd.
“Thanks, Lucina,” Chrom said. “I'm glad to get an actual room this time. Last time they made me stay in a motel.”
“I saw it,” Female Robin said, joining the conversation. “Trust me, it wasn't pretty.”
“Well, I'm certain that you'll enjoy your room here. They are quite roomy, and the customization options are expansive,” Lucina said.
“Are they really? I'd be interested in seeing your room, then,” Chrom said.
Lucina blushed. “Umm, well, you likely wouldn't understand… uh… what I was going for with my decorations…”
“So we'll just help you set up your room first,” Female Robin said, swooping in to save Lucina. “Then I'll go with Lucina to her room.”
Lucina looked puzzled. “Why?”
Robin showed her screen to the bluette. “Because I'm your neighbor!”
Palutena longingly observed the conversation from afar, and watched the three Ylisseans leave. She smiled.
“Lady Palutena?” Pit called.
“Oh, Pit! I lost track of you for a bit there. How have things been for you?” Palutena asked, turning her full attention to her angel follower.
“Uh… I'm going to be honest, I'm not exactly comfortable with my neighbors,” Pit said, taking out his screen and showing it to his Goddess.
Palutena studied it. Let's see, he's room fifty-one, and next to him is… Ridley. And King K. Rool on the other side. Oh.
Pit rubbed the back of his head as he put his screen away. “Yeah. Do you think that whoever runs this thing would allow for room changes?”
Palutena shook her head. “One of my neighbors last time was Wario. Trust me. You can't change rooms.”
“Hey, at least you had Lucina on the other side,” Pit said.
“Yes, and I'll admit that I've missed her a lot,” Palutena said. More than she had anticipated, actually. Enough to keep her up some nights. “I'll also admit that I was extremely concerned when they said that we were getting random neighbors, but it seems that luck has smiled upon me.” She lifted her screen, beaming, to show that she was at the end of a hall, with her one neighbor being Lucina once again.
Pit looked at her suspiciously. “You didn't use some sort of god powers to rig that, did you?”
Palutena shook her head. “Pit, I wouldn't do something that petty.” She tapped her chin in thought. “Anyways, I think you should give your neighbors a chance. Who knows? Maybe they won't be as disruptive as you think?”
Pit huffed. “Yeah. Okay. I'll trust your judgement, Lady Palutena.”
Incineroar looked at his screen, which was conveniently pictographed for his use. He could see a picture of himself in room 23, and then he saw that right between him and Pokemon Trainer was Wario.
Incineroar grinned. It was going to be fun tormenting him.
Snake squinted at his screen, then looked up as most people had already departed.
“Why the hell are there five empty rooms? And why are two of them next to me?”