Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Direct Round-Up

August 9, 2018

Early this morning, Masahiro Sakurai hosted a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Direct video presentation. With a running time of just under 30 minutes, a lot of new content was revealed to be included in the game. In case you missed the Direct, or would simply like a recap, we have created this handy round-up article.

The Direct began with a new character reveal trailer, showcasing Simon Belmont and Richter Belmont from the Castlevania series as playable fighters. Richter is a Echo fighter of Simon. The pair will utilise a whip, axe and holy water to fight in the game. Their Final Smash move is Grand Cross, where opponents are put into a coffin.

Dracula’s Castle will be a new stage, featuring candles that release items when blown out as well as bosses from the Castlevania games such as a werewolf and the vampire lord Dracula. Dracula’s son, Alucard, will also appear as an assist trophy. Dracula’s Castle will feature 34 music tracks.

Two additional Echo Fighters were revealed. Chrom from Fire Emblem, an Echo Fighter of Marth, and Dark Samus from Metroid, an Echo Fighter of Samus.

Speaking of Echo Fighters, it was announced that players will have the option to stack Echo fighters on the character select screen or list them separately.

Next there was a showcase of returning stages, including Pokemon Stadium, Garden of Hope, Brinstar Depths, Gamer, Fountain of Dreams and Final Destination. A brand new stage, New Donk City Hall, was also revealed; featuring Pauline and her band members who will appear on the stage and can be activated to start the vocal track of Jump Up, Superstar from Super Mario Odyssey.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will feature a staggering total of 103 stages. For comparison, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U featured 56 stages, including DLC. Once again there will be regular and omega forms for stages, and there will be be a new option to turn off stage hazards entirely. All stages will be available to play from the beginning of the game.

A new Stage Warp option was shown, where players can select two different stages and they will switch seamlessly in the middle of a fight.

Sakurai revealed that stage music will be handled a bit differently for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Now all music from a series will be available on stages from that same series. So, for example, if there are two different Pokemon stages they will both have access to the entire Pokemon music library. You will once again be able to specify the frequency each track is played.

In total, there will be 800 music tracks, or 900 when including fanfares and menu music. This will total over 28 hours of music. The Sound Test menu appears once more, this time allowing you to create custom playlists. Interestingly, if playing the game in handheld mode on Switch you will be able to play music on the system with the screen turned off – it’s a makeshift Smash Bros. music player!

Next, Sakurai discussed some of the game rules and mode options available to players. Stamina battles are now treated as a standard mode, in addition to timed and stock battles. In Sudden Death matches, the camera will now slowly zoom into the stage to give the match a higher sense of urgency. There will also be a Final Smash Meter option, allowing players to fill a meter during battle and then unleash a weaker version of their character’s Final Smash once it is full. No two Final Smashes will happen simultaneously.

There’s a new Squad Strike mode which is a 5v5 or 3v3 elimination style battle that can be played with two players or multiple people taking turns.

Tourney Mode returns, allowing players to gather up to 32 players (or use CPUs to fill in blank spots) to compete in a tournament.

Smashdown has players choose fighters from a selection screen. Once they have finished a battle, those fighters will no longer be selectable. The idea here is that players will keep on fighting, using different characters until the screen is blank. The victor is the player who wins the most battles, though there’s the challenge of being familiar with using different characters.

Training Mode also makes a return, this time featuring a grid and lines which display launch distances. When your character makes impact with an opponent, their weight and attack strength is taken into account, showing how far the opponent will launch based on their damage amounts.

Classic mode also returns, having characters fight a set number of opponents.

A showreel featuring new items was shown, including a new banana item which fires one strong bullet then acts as a standard banana peel, death’s scythe which instantly KOs opponents with high damage, a staff that increases its damage the farther away an opponent is, and Killing Edge which is a sword that has increased damage when it glows.

New Pokemon where shown including Abra, Alolan Exeggutor, Vulpix and Alolan Vulpix, the legendaries from Pokemon Sun/Moon, and Ditto which temporarily transforms into one of the main fighters.

A whole cast of new assist trophies were shown, including Zero from Megaman, Knuckles from Sonic the Hedgehog, Klaptrap from Donkey Kong and Krystal from Star Fox Adventures. There was also Grey Fox from Metal Gear Solid, Shovel Knight and the Moon from Majora’s Mask. One particular major assist trophy will also be Ratholos from Monster Hunter, who also appears in the game as a boss character.

Sakurai teased fans by showing the main menu, featuring a modern take on the “clean” colourful look featured in previous Smash Bros. games. There was one hidden mode, which Sakurai explained would be revealed at a later date.

As Sakurai said a goodbye and took his final bow, there was a loud thumping sound. The screen faded to black to show one more character reveal trailer… King K. Rool joins the roster as a playable fighter, so watch out Donkey Kong!