Tiny office puppy Isabelle is going to be brawling in the Smash Brothers’ line up! The only thing funnier is how fans reacted to the news.

The last main series Animal Crossing game, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, came out in Japan in 2012. Six years ago, Nintendo gamers delighted in foraging for fossils, catching bugs and designing cute furniture for themselves and their animal critter friends – all with the aid of their helpful dog assistant, Isabelle (Shizue in Japanese).

▼ Isabelle in her native game, Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Cute as a button, endlessly hardworking and a little bit silly, Isabelle captured the hearts of gamers worldwide. So when the latest Nintendo Direct promotional video aired on September 13, everyone was clamoring to see her in the hope of new Animal Crossing news. It’s been a long, hard six years, with only spin-off designer titles and smartphone app games to fill the friendly village simulator shaped holes in our hearts. Alas, games came and went with hide nor hair of Isabelle – and announcements for the hotly anticipated, multi-franchise fighting game Super Smash Bros. Ultimate were thin on the ground, too!

Nintendo’s Shinya Takahashi hinted to viewers of the Direct stream that they should stay tuned until the very end of the broadcast, and opened up to pre-rendered footage of Isabelle toiling away in her tiny town office. She’s feeling a little down… After all, so much has happened in six years, so no wonder the mayor (that’s you, the player) is too busy to visit lately. But when the pelican postman Pete drops off a letter, she gets a nice surprise!

▼ Isabelle confirmed for Smash…?

Before this sledgehammer of a news update could fully land, before anyone could even anticipate that it was a joke, the typical Smash character announcement overlay confirmed it.

Isabelle confirmed for Smash!


For dedicated Animal Crossing fans across the globe who had been waiting for years for more news on their favorite village sim, this seemed like a blessing and a curse all wrapped into one. While it was great to see Isabelle, she would be just an optional character in another game; what’s more, she would have to fight other characters to the death, like Solid Snake, Sonic the Hedgehog and even Ridley! How could anyone with a conscience put a sweet little puppy secretary in the midst of all that punching and kicking?

This fraught, perfect moment was prime for some incredible reactions, and our in-house reporter P.K. Sanjun made a shortlist of his top picks for over-the-top, dramatic screams and tears of emotion. The following videos are recorded in the highest pinnacles of gaming emotion, so keep in mind that the volume is loud and the language is often lurid!

▼ P.K.’s personal favorite, by Roger’s Base.

▼ This one has explosive heart racing action, with YouTuber Etika flinging himself out of a chair and taking a sudden break to apply lotion.

▼ Arnold a.k.a MurderofBirds gets successfully faked out by the double whammy announcement.

Tom Fawkes drumrolls in anticipation in this video.

HMK‘s reaction stream contains a passionate argument about whether Isabelle is an ‘echo’ (duplicate of another character’s fighting style). She isn’t!

As you can see in the video, the Smash announcement was followed up with an arguably even better announcement that Animal Crossing itself would be hitting the Switch in 2019, with another main series release. Time to save up those bells again!

While English-language YouTube has the market cornered when it comes to outlandish, over-the-top reaction videos to express our excitement, there’s one stage where all of us have the same fighting advantage: anticipatory crossover fanart.

“Her cuteness is her strength.”

Are you raring to let Isabelle unleash powerful paw punches on your enemies? Dreading having to fight against those puppy dog eyes? Excited for what else Smash Brothers Ultimate has in store? No matter how you choose to channel your excitement, there’s an audience for you on the Internet!

Featured image: Nintendo Direct