The Final Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Direct

Written by Nico Farace|
Pictures from the November Nintendo Smash Direct|

This article will cover most of the information revealed in the November Nintendo Direct for Super Smash Bros. If you don’t want to spoil the new stuff in the game, or don’t want to ruin the spectacle of the reveal in the direct, then watch the direct first or refrain from reading the article.

On November 1st, the final Nintendo Direct for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was released. Series creator Masahiro Sakurai revealed the final 2 characters in the game, the previously leaked Spirits mode, various other features in the game, and the final reveal of the new story mode, titled World of Light.

There was a supposed leak, named the Grinch Leak because of an image of the new Grinch movie being in the background. This leak was posted to the internet and many people believed it was genuine. In the leak, there was the final picture for the banner of characters in the game, with characters that hadn’t been revealed at the time of the leak. The characters in the banner that weren’t revealed were Shadow (from Sonic), Banjo and Kazooie (from Banjo Kazooie), Mach Rider (from Mach Rider), Ken (from Street Fighter), Isaac (from Golden Sun), Chorus Kids (from Rhythm Heaven), and Geno (from Mario RPG).

grinch leak smash bros

The Grinch Leak’s banner, with higher brightness for easier viewing

These are all characters that fans have wanted in the game for a while, with the exception of Mach Rider. Mach Rider is from an NES game of the same name, and had not been featured in another game since. In addition, it was a racing game, so the character themselves didn’t have much to go off of for a moveset. This confused a lot of people, but nonetheless many still believed in the leak.

The presence of Mach Rider definitely confused people, but many still believed in the validity of the Grinch Leak. It looked pretty real, and a name associated with the leak matched up to a real employee of a printing company that worked with Nintendo. However, in the beginning of the direct the character Incineroar (from Pokemon) was revealed, who wasn’t in the banner provided by the Grinch Leak. Later on, the characters Isaac and Shadow were revealed as Assist Trophies, meaning they wouldn’t be featured as characters. These proved that the Grinch Leak was a hoax.

In the August Direct, Nintendo released the existence of a mysterious option on the main menu, with the only information about it being a pixelated area on the menu and that it was a new mode. However, despite the pixelization, fans were able to adjust the image to reveal the name of the mode to be “Spirits”. People theorized about it, thinking it could be a new adventure mode, a boss rush, and that it could be how you unlock the characters (since it was previously revealed you would only start with the characters in the original N64 title, and unlock the rest through a special method). In the new direct, they finally revealed the content of Spirits mode, and while some of the theories about an adventure mode turned out to be correct (as will be talked about later), they weren’t related to Spirits mode.

Spirits work similar to the custom characters in Smash 4 or the stickers in Smash Bros. Brawl, but have much more depth. Primary spirits can be assigned to a character to enhance their abilities. Then, secondary spirits can be attached to the character if the primary spirit has enough slots, and give secondary effects like automatic healing and resistance to a certain damage type. In addition, primary spirits can be leveled up through battles to make them stronger.

spirits2

To get new spirits, you can fight spirit battles. Each spirit battle is unique, and will try to make it like you’re fighting the character the spirit represents. For example, the spirit battle for the Guts Man spirit has you facing a large Mega Man with Guts Man’s colors, who is harder to make flinch and prefers to throw you. There is a lot to the Spirits system, and if you want to know more it’s suggested you watch the direct, since they go into much further detail, and there’s a lot more that would make this article much longer if it were explained.

Towards the conclusion of the reveals, Sakurai said that they were planning DLC for the game. There will be 5 pieces of DLC content, each containing a new character, a stage, and several music tracks. You could buy them when they came out, or purchase a pass that would give them to you as they release.

There was also another DLC character (not one of the 5 planned) revealed, being an early purchase bonus. If you purchase the game and register for Club Nintendo gold points with it before the end of January, then you can get the character free, otherwise they are paid DLC. The early DLC character revealed surprised many, many fans. Absolutely no one saw them coming, because the new character revealed was Piranha Plant from Mario. Despite the highly unusual character choice, the fan base seems to have embraced the new character, albeit mostly talking about it ironically in a more joking fashion.

At the end of the direct, a teaser was shown for World of Light, the new adventure mode. In the teaser, a mysterious winged being disintegrates every one of the fighters with beams of light except for Kirby, who escapes. After the CGI teaser, it shows off various features of the new mode, such as the spirit battles you fight against the possessed copies of the fighters, the overworld map, and some sort of skill-tree like feature. Though Sakurai said that it would focus more on gameplay instead of on story like the Subspace Emissary from Smash Bros. Brawl, lots of fans are still hyped for the new adventure mode. 

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Overall, most fans are very happy with the results of the direct. The new characters look good, Spirits Mode seems fun, and everyone is excited for World of Light. Sakurai made this game the best he could, and this game definitely deserves the title of Ultimate. If you want to discuss the direct and the things revealed with other fans, there are the forums at Smashboards. You can also the read the article published previously about fan speculation, and see how much came true.

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