Anyone who plays Super Smash Bros. is familiar with "the mural," especially when a new DLC character enters the fold and is ceremoniously placed into it. Nintendo Dream Web got the chance to speak to the person behind that wonderful piece of art, Yusuke Nakono, about how it all went down.
Nanako notes, as translated by Siliconera, that "the idea came from Sakurai-san," as a way to show "how impactful" the series was at E3 and other such events. Explaining that they were the perfect person for the job, Nanako says that it had to be hand-drawn with "realistic proportions" for maximum impact. For Ultimate, Breath of the Wild's Link and Mario (of course) kicked the whole process off as the first two, and Sakurai greenlit the project formally after that proof of concept.
Going on about how this behemoth of an idea grew, Nanko says: "First, with the 66 Fighters revealed at E3, I considered ‘what pose they would make’ and ‘how they would be placed’ on the long canvas, by drawing rough linework and piecing it together like a puzzle. The Fighters in Smash Bros. are all main characters, so I didn’t place them focused around the center, but averaged them out around the artwork. The theme was that no matter which part you cropped, there would be sights to behold."
It is pretty genius. Even folks who aren't familiar with the "Smash Bros." name will look up at it, go "wow, what is this game with Pokemon in it?" or "what? An Animal Crossing fighting game?" and become enamored with it. Nintendo has built up such a huge amount of cachet that they can now court once mortal enemies like Sega into the fold with the appearance of Sonic as a playable fighter: the sky is the limit!
And with Smash Ultimate hitting the ~14 million sold mark on just one system in less than a year, that limit is pretty high.