April Fools' Day jokes are a tradition played in some countries on April Fools' Day, an annual celebration on April 1. They are practical jokes and hoaxes that people play on each other before eventually exposing them. Like many companies, McLeodGaming often plays elaborate jokes each April Fools' Day, which are usually orchestrated on their official website, the McLeodGaming Forums, the Smash Flash DOJO!!!, or social media.
Below is a list of all April Fools' Day jokes made by McLeodGaming for each year since 2008.
On April Fools' Day in 2008, Cleod9 replaced the forums with "Forums baleeted" as a parody of the mass account hacking and porn spamming that took place weeks before. The word "Baleeted" comes from a web series called Homestar Runner in a cartoon called 50 Emails.
On April Fools' Day in 2009, Cleod9 announced in a news post that Nintendo had discovered Super Smash Flash 2 and had sent him a cease and desist order to shut down McLeodGaming and cancel the project. Cleod9 then posted a link to what seemed to go to Nintendo's official forums to protest Nintendo's decision, but it actually went to the music video for Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley on YouTube. Cleod9 then announced that it was an April Fools' Day joke and that SSF2 was still in development.
On April Fools' Day in 2010, the Smash Flash DOJO!!! was redirected to a page with an "OBJECTION!" shout-out from Ace Attorney, along with text that read, "You must be an April Fool if you didn't see this coming".
On April Fools' Day in 2011, a Smash Flash DOJO!!! update titled "Dojo Ending" was posted, which detailed the end of the Smash Flash DOJO!!!. However, if the reader scrolled down the page, there was a real update about "trigger items". These items appear to be normal items, but they turn into shout-outs from Ace Attorney when used (e.g. "OBJECTION!", "TAKE THAT!"), causing a variety of effects on the player.
On April Fools' Day in 2012, Cleod9 redesigned the forums after allegedly demoting himself from the rank of site administrator. He even claimed that the red color that highlights the name of an administrator did not match his style. In turn, by "demoting" himself he also promoted all global moderators to site administrators and all regular users to global moderators, leaving only developers unchanged. During this day, a forum dedicated to spam was also opened. In reality, Cleod9 never demoted nor promoted anyone, including himself. He just changed the color of the usergroups. The spam forum was erased afterwards.
On April Fools' Day in 2013, Cleod9 turned the main McLeodGaming website upside-down. For the forums, he replaced every profile picture with an image depicting Link's "Elegy of Emptiness" replica statue from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, based on the infamous creepypasta called the "Haunted Majora's Mask Cartridge Hoax" or "Ben Drowned". The site would also play the Lavender Town theme from Pokémon Red and Blue on an endless loop.
On April Fools' Day in 2014, Cleod9 and the developers released a video on McLeodGaming's YouTube channel which supposedly confirmed Mr. Incredible's inclusion as a playable character in SSF2. To make the joke look more authentic, Mr. Incredible was actually coded into the game, with only one known visible attack, which was used as his down attack in the original Super Smash Flash. His sprites also hailed from the Game Boy Advance version of The Incredibles game but this time using Mr. Incredible's red attire. Additionally, Cleod9 announced a fake release date for demo v0.9b on August 21, 2014, which turned out to be the eighth anniversary of the release of SSF.
On April Fools' Day in 2015, Cleod9 announced in a news post that made some updates to the forums, claiming that "the tone [of the forums] has always been a bit too casual, so these upgrades should make it much easier to converse in a more polite and respectable fashion". In reality, Cleod9 added a tag under every profile picture calling every user a "loyal subject to his royalty cleod9[sic]" and added the text "ALL HAIL CLEOD9!" under very signature. Also, typing "Cleod9" or "SSF2" on posts would automatically result in replacing them with "royal ruler of the forums" or "greatest creation of his royalty cleod9[sic]", respectively. The smiley emoticon was also replaced with a mugshot of Cleod9 himself.
On April Fools' Day in 2016, the fifth SSF2 Dev Blog for Beta was posted by spid3y916, supposedly to be focused on costumes to be included in the game. However, it was allegedly interrupted by a bot in the likeness of Cleod9, called ＣＬＥＯＤＢＯＴ, that has grown tired of working for the devs and has rebelled against them. As punishment for trying to seize him (and failing to do so), he executes his revenge by downloading his consciousness into the Sandbag. A trailer uploaded alongside the blog showcased gameplay of Sandbag as well.
This joke invariably served as a confirmation for Sandbag's playable inclusion as the game's joke character. However, it still seemed that it could be a joke not to be taken seriously, as fake character inclusions have been done in the past (such as Mr. Incredible's case). An extra Dev Blog was posted two days later to clarify the Sandbag was, indeed, made a playable character, and that the intended joke of the previous blog was to trick people into thinking that Sandbag would not be playable.
On April Fools' Day in 2017, SSF2 developers published yet another video supposedly confirming multiple new playable newcomers for the game. The video features literal stages as the actual playable characters fighting each other. The match has Smashville facing against Final Destination on a Sandbag-esque stage, with the Falcon Flyer from Sand Ocean making an appearance at the end as well. As usual, developers achieve this joke thanks to model replacement, with Smashville being a swap of Marth (using its floating platform as substitute for Marth's Falchion), Final Destination as a swap of Fox, and the Falcon Flyer as swap of Captain Falcon.
On April Fools' Day in 2018, developers made an announcement that SSF2 would allegedly be completely rebranded as Flash Minus, named after the popular Super Smash Bros. Brawl mod Brawl Minus, due to the amount of ex-Brawl Minus developers that have joined their development team. This announcement came with a YouTube video that introduced the new moveset of Sonic that parodies the style and format of Brawl Minus's own character introduction videos. The changes spotlighted in the video include the ability to cancel any attack where Sonic spins into a Homing Attack with no startup lag, the ability to hold Light Dash to indefinitely move forward with a guaranteed sweet spot, a forward aerial that could now always meteor smash opponents hit, down aerial and the spring in Spring Jump being able to meteor smash, and an overall reduction of landing lag.
A second video was published the following hour, simply titled ".", which features a giant Sandbag in the background of Final Destination with a Master Hand on either side of the stage, acting as the hands of Sandbag. Sandbag's eyes and the crystals of Final Destination have an orange glow, and a slowed-down version of the song Vs. Master Hand is played. The video is now unlisted.
Several jokes were made on April Fools' Day in 2019, with the most major one being announced by Cleod9 in a news post. It was announced here that McLeodGaming would be officially renamed to "McLoudGaming" due to how common it was for people to mispronounce the name. With the renaming, a new logo for McLoudGaming was created, which temporarily replaced the main logo on the website. The name of the website changed accordingly, along with the names of the forums, Twitter account, and Discord server. The McLeodGaming Forums logo was changed to reflect this, and any mentions of McLeodGaming on the forums were replaced with McLoudGaming. Also, Cleod9's username on the main website was changed to Cloud9.
This joke was expanded upon using the Twitter account, which vaguely teased throughout the day that there was a secret hidden by the company somewhere. This secret turned out to be another website named after the rebranded company, www.mcloudgaming.com/, which hid ten free Steam keys for Yeah Jam Fury: U, Me, Everybody!. By the end of the day, all ten keys had been used. The website was not officially revealed until the following day, when it was redirected to the main McLeodGaming website.
In the same news post that revealed the renaming to McLoudGaming, it was also announced that the original Super Smash Flash would receive a remake titled Super Smash Flash 1 HD (abbreviated SSF1 HD). This remake would feature much of the same content with higher-quality sprites resembling those of SSF2, though all of the original game's physics would remain unchanged. More updates were said to come in the future, and a channel for the game was created in the official Discord server for the duration of the day. This announcement came with a screenshot of the starting character selection screen for SSF in which the character portraits are changed. Characters who also appear in SSF2 simply used their sprites from that game, while Knuckles, Mega Man X, and Blade received new custom sprites of a similar style. Updated sprites of Mr. Incredible and Blue were also shared over Discord by former developer FriendAlias, who later revealed himself as the sprite artist on his Twitter account.
Additionally, the developers created a teaser trailer on YouTube announcing that a role-playing game based on SSF2 called Super Smash Flash 2: Trophy War was in development for mobile devices. The trailer, shown in a portrait orientation, shows colorless trophies of Mario, Ichigo, and Sandbag falling to the ground before the characters on them quickly jump off of the bases, now colorful. The logo for the game then appears with text saying that more information would be coming soon, and logos appear in the lower-right corner showing the fake mobile distribution platforms the game would release on, which parody the iOS App Store and Google Play. Like with SSF1 HD, a channel for the game was created in the official Discord server for the duration of the day. Although the game itself is fake, this trailer served as a teaser for the Trophy Stand item, as the trophies shown are the same trophies that Mario, Ichigo, and Sandbag can be turned into using the item.
Another joke was played on the official Discord server. Similarly to the company's April Fools' Day joke in 2012, developer Jamal Zero Insanity Ransaw recolored almost all the roles below Administrators to blue, the color of the SSF2 developers role, which gave the appearance of all users being developers. This ended the next day when Zero Insanity made the announcement that "you're all fired".
On April Fools' Day in 2020, McLeodGaming's Twitter account was deactivated during the morning with no official comment. It remained deactivated until being reactivated at 4:30 P.M. EST, which McLeodGaming acknowledged by tweeting, "alright who deactivated our account that was rude".
Although McLeodGaming did not play a traditional April Fools' Day joke, it was initially planned that a fake trailer would be released to McLeodGaming's YouTube channel for a recreation of the scrapped game mode in SSF2, Adventure Mode: The Flash Of Shadows (simply named Flash of Shadows). The trailer, created by FriendAlias, shows conceptual cutscenes and gameplay for the game mode, with many scenes based on the original mode's story. Scrapped or unconfirmed characters including Knuckles, Blue, and Azrael, as well as Mega Man X and Mr. Incredible, are shown as trophies with original sprites created by FriendAlias. Additionally, the original main antagonist Umbra and her enemy team of CuBots are depicted with new designs based on their conceptual designs. Gameplay is shown depicting story-based fights and interactions between characters, with some featuring dialogue, as well as the unlocking of stages and side quests.
According to FriendAlias, this trailer is meant to serve as a tribute to the McLeodGaming Forums where the original story, concepts, and characters had been conceived, as it would be closing later that month. The reason given for the trailer not being released to McLeodGaming's YouTube channel is that the trailer itself is so high-quality that it may trick fans into believing that the game mode is real. The trailer was instead released to FriendAlias's own YouTube channel, and a channel for the game mode was created in the official Discord server for the duration of the day.