Well, for every person who’s thrilled, ten more are pissed. Probably. During a digital presentation this morning, Masahiro Sakurai at long last unveiled the final fighter for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It’s Sora, from Kingdom Hearts. He’ll be available October 18.
Sora is the latest in a long line of blade-based fighters in Smash Bros. He’s apparently lighter than Animal Crossing’s Isabelle, and can be launched easily as a result, intended to be a more accessible character. His basic attacks are a bit slower than other sword fighters, like Lucina or Marth, but you can hold down the basic attack button to perform multi-move combos. Also, his aerial combos look bonkers.
For special moves, Sora can cast magic. (The standard special attack cycles between fire, lightning, and ice spells, which you can see indicated above your damage marker.) He can also do a dash attack, Sonic Blade, which seems key (geddit?) for stringing together attacks. Crucially, he can dash after using his up-B—extremely helpful for getting back onto the stage. Finally, he has a counter, in case you didn’t have enough of those from all the Fire Emblem fighters.
Sora’s stage looks a whole lot like Final Destination, except with one extra floating platform.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the ne plus ultra of Nintendo’s long-running series of party fighting games, cobbling together characters and stages from previous entries alongside a bunch of fresh ones. Mostly, Ultimate features heroes from Fire Emblem, but some non-Nintendo stars are also included. Think: Cloud from Final Fantasy or Pac-Man from Pac-Man.
The game was released in 2018 with a roster of one metric bajillion characters. DLC has made new characters and stages available piecemeal, or bundled them at a slight markdown in so-called Fighter’s Passes, to the point where the game has expanded to one-point-one metric bajillion characters. The first Pass added Joker (Persona), Hero (Dragon Quest), Banjo & Kazooie (Banjo-Kazooie), Terry (King of Fighters), and Byleth (Fire Emblem), while the second, thus far, has introduced Min-Min (Arms), Steve & Alex (Minecraft), Sephiroth (Final Fantasy), Pyra/Mythra (Xenoblade Chronicles), and Kazuya (Tekken). Longtime Mario nemesis Piranha Plant has also been available, albeit outside of the Fighter’s Passes.
Players have long speculated over who would nab the final slot. Last month, during a ballyhooed Nintendo Direct showcase that many assumed would pull back the curtain, Nintendo said, “lol, gotcha!” and passed the buck to a dedicated Smash Ultimate showcase. (Not for nothing: During that same event, Nintendo announced an announcement about Animal Crossing: New Horizons scheduled for some time this month.) For the betting crowd, here’s a short list of characters many observers believed could be included:
- Master Chief
- Someone from Fortnite...I think?
- Leon Kennedy
- Viewtiful Joe
- A Nintendo executive in a bad suit
- A Nintendo executive in a good suit
- The purple-clad Paragon alter ego of Mario’s significantly more handsome brother
But no. It’s Sora. He’ll be available alongside several Mii Fighter costumes, including some from Splatoon and Doom, which will be available October 18 for $0.75 each.