Content of the article: "Smash Bros. has managed to give Steve a subtle but rich characterization for the first time in the character’s history, that also seamlessly interconnects with Minecraft’s lore."
In regards to the source material, the player character of Minecraft is nothing more than a blank slate for players to insert themselves into the game. There are no hidden depths to be found with Steve; no character motives, no history, naught but the clothes on his back and an ambiguous beard/doofy grin. He is a player-controlled avatar, lingering in the background to the extent that most players forget they're playing as him entirely. All it takes is a change in skin and Steve is basically gone.
How the hell did Sakurai take a complete non-character and inject him with such deadpan charm? It's subtle, but Steve has a distinct personality to him now.
His interactions with Mario in the reveal trailer speak silent volumes. The two encounter each other and engage in what appears to be a standoff… until Steve simply begins eating steak apropos of nothing. In his character-defining moments, we see that Steve doesn't give a rats arse about introductions; he'll eat whenever he so pleases. Whoever this mysterious round plumber is, he simply isn't a priority for Steve, as further illustrated when Steve blocks up his entryway and leaves Mario at a Creeper's mercy. Steve took a startling situation in stride and proceeded to act in his own self-interest.
In the first win-screen shown to us, Steve builds a house on the results podium, exits it, closes the door, and then turns to the camera as though just noticing it's there. He appears to have built a house for the simple joy of building a house.
Steve exhibits a startling degree of pragmatism paired with often ludicrous endgoals. This is reflected in his fighting style. Steve is minimalist in animation and crafts better tools for himself from the environment, but Steve also overcomplicates his TNT trap with a redstone line and a pressure plate when the flint & steel he has would suffice. Or how he places minecart rails while riding a minecart, Wallace & Gromit-style. Steve does not take the easy way; he takes the fun way, his way, and he does so with finesse.
In no way is this trait further exemplified than in Steve's Final Smash. The kill box he sends opponents into – filled with Creepers & TNT – must have taken a lot of prep time. He stands next to it as the entire building detonates and eats cooked steak. Whether this is flexing over his enemies or a matter of simple apathy is unknown, but it should be apparent that Steve treats a lot of things as trivial.
All this is incredibly easy to miss thanks to Steve being as enigmatic and impassive as ever, but enough pieces are there that I'm pretty confident.
Steve lives in a world all to his own, one where he is his own master. Anything that falls outside his sphere of self-interest are goals to be conquered or mere non-factors. He does stuff because it's fun, and he does it the way he wants to. Life is but a dream, and the world his oyster.
All this added characterization ties neatly into the End Poem (Minecraft's pre-credits sequence) and the game's aesops about solipsism and the nature of purpose (which equally apply to both the player and their avatar).
To sum it up, Steve essentially has the personality of a Minecraft player.
- Why I was against minecraft steve in smash (And I was wrong)
- Games vs. Toys – Thoughts inspired from No Man’s Sky
- Neat details and easter eggs about the new character
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