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Reggie Fils-Aimé asked Nintendo for help ahead of Hungrybox Super Smash Bros battle, got none

Reggie Fils-Aime
(Image credit: International Video Game Hall of Fame and Museum)

Former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé has given more context to his iconic Super Smash Bros match, which has lived on as a meme. 

During a Q&A session at a book signing event (shared to YouTube by David V. Kimball (opens in new tab)) for Fils-Aimé's recently released book 'Disrupting the Game', the chief operating officer turned author was reminded of a moment during the first ever Super Smash Bros Invitational where, second-place winner and professional Smash Bros player, 'Hungrybox' challenged Fils-Aimé to a match. 

If you didn't know, during the event, Fils-Aimé made a surprise appearance which is when Hungrybox proposed a "for glory" match with the then Nintendo of America President. "I suck at Smash," was Fils-Aimé's initial response before offering to play against Hungrybox in the future once he had gotten some practice in on Super Smash Bros on the 3DS. 

"My opportunity is coming," Fils-Aimé said back in 2014, "with Smash on 3DS, now I'm going to play it on the go, I'm going to be able to come back up next time and kick your ass." And so, the classic meme was born. Just so you know, the Reggie vs Hungrybox match did go ahead a year later in 2015, and as you may have guessed, Fils-Aimé lost by a large margin blaming his choice of controller for the loss. 

Back to the present day, Fils-Aimé reflects on this moment in his career telling the audience at the book signing: "Now, Nintendo has a group called 'The Treehouse', this is where all of our product experts are." Fils-Aimé recalls, "and I go to the team at The Treehouse and [ask] 'isn't it about time for you to give me some tips and tricks for how I could manage this situation?' And they're like 'no, he's just gonna wipe the floor with you, there's nothing we could do, let it happen.'

"The other thing that they surprised me [with], I thought we were going to play on the Wii U controller, right? Because at that year we were launching the Wii U version," Fils-Aimé continues, "and so I practice on my own with a Wii U controller." What Fils-Aimé wasn't expecting though was to be handed a GameCube controller on the day of the highly anticipated battle. "I hadn't picked up [a GameCube controller] in years, so Hungrybox embarrassed me, quite rightly, after I had picked on him the year before," Fils-Aimé adds. 

The Nintendo icon was also asked what Nintendo's reaction to the whole situation was at the time, to which he replied: "At all of our big public events, certainly a large part of it, was scripted, but invariably something would happen," Fils-Aimé explains. 

"Stepping on the Wii Balance Board and saying 'my body is ready', that wasn't scripted, Hungrybox getting all aggressive after he lost that championship, me getting into his face; that just happened." Thankfully, as Fils-Aimé goes on to explain: "More times than not, it all worked out, so no, I typically didn't get reprimanded by anyone for those types of statements."

Wondering what Nintendo is up to at the moment? Find out with our upcoming Switch games list. 

Hope Bellingham
News Writer

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at university, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became a Trainee News Writer at GamesRadar+ before being promoted to a fully-fledged News Writer after a year and a half of training.  My expertise lies in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, cozy indies, and The Last of Us, but especially in the Kingdom Hearts series. I'm also known to write about the odd Korean drama for the Entertainment team every now and then.