1) Simon Belmont
They come in the ring swinging with a cinematic trailer of Luigi struggling in the frightening depth of an old English Castle. But who should appear but the vampire hunter himself? Simon Belmont, of Castlevania fame, has now been confirmed as a playable character. With this holy whip in hand, he unleashes a flurry of anti-evil attacks from a fair range. This has been a long, long requested character for the Smash Bros series.
Simon's main weapon is the holy whip, commonly known as Vampire Killer. While it's somewhat slow and leaves the player vulnerable to attacks, it has one of the longest reaches in all directions of all normal attacks. His special attacks are all homages to the classic items in the Castlevania franchise. This includes the throwing axe, the Cross, and holy water.
His final smash is called Grand Cross. This traps the player inside of a coffin, which is thrown into the air and put under massive damage.
2) Richter Belmont
Not enough? Immediately after Simon's introduction, they introduce Richter Belmont. The descendant of Simon, he will appear as an echo fighter. They're attacks and damage are the same, but both feature unique looks, sounds, and animations.
3) Dracula's Castle
What's a new character without a new stage? With Simon and Richter comes Dracula's Castle. Reminiscent of the in-game location, this stage has items hidden in the candelabras. Various monsters and bosses will also appear on this stage, including Medusa, Mummy, The Creature and Flea Man, Death, Carmilla, Werewolf, and even Dracula himself. The stage will also come with 34 different music tracks, all from the Castlevania brand of games.
The infamous sone of Dracula, Alucard will now appear as an Assist Trophy. With a design similar to his in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, He will attack as a swarm of bats and dodge attacks by disappearing into a mist. Like any other Assist Trophy, he can be attacked and knocked off stage, if you can deal enough damage.
Now that they had gotten all the Castlevania content out of the way, it was time to introduce some different character. Two new echo fighters, to be specific.
When Lucina was announced for Super Smash Bros for 3DS and Wii U, many, many, Fire Emblem fans were asking if we would see the exulted prince, Chrom. While he never appeared back then, he's here now as an echo fighter. While they don't explicitly say it, his appeared move set seems to imitate Roy, so we can only assume he's the fighter Chrom echoes.
6) Dark Samus
The Great Poison, Phazon, has made their way to the battlefield, looking for the greatest life form to imitate. Though for the time being, they'll stick to their Samus form. Dark Samus now appears as an echo fighter of Samus. Her design looks amazing in the Switch quality graphics, while her animations elegantly portray her inhuman nature.
7) How Echo Fighters Appear
Echo fighters don't have to have their own spot on the roster. Players can enable a setting that will instead group echo fighters into the corner of the fighter their echoing. Players can alternate between these fighters with a press of a button. This will save space for an already intimidating roster.
8) We Will Know Every Fighter Before Launch
According to game director Masahiro Sakurai, "This time, we plan to reveal the design of every fighter before the game launches." Right as it says on the tin, we won't have to wait until release to know if any secret characters were added. With a launch date of December 7, that only leaves a few months to reveal them all.
It's time we took a break from the characters and took a look at the stages. This, like the fighters, is the most ambitious they've been yet regarding how the stages are handled and included.
9) Some Returning Stages
They're putting a focus on returning classics. The following stages are confirmed to be in the Smash Bros Ultimate stage selection.
- Great Bay (Legend of Zelda)
- Shadow Moses (Metal Gear Solid)
- Living Room (Nintendogs)
- Guar Plain (Xenoblade)
- Figure-8 Circuit (Mario Kart)
- Flat Zone X (Mr. Game and Watch)
- Pokemon Stadium (Pokemon)
- Garden of Hope (Pikman)
- Brinstar Depths (Metroid)
- Summit (Ice Climber)
- Unova Pokemon League (Pokemon)
- Magicant (Earthbound)
- Gamer (Game and Wario)
- And of course, Final Destination
Based on the wildly popular urban area of Super Mario Odyssey, New Donk City Hall is now a playable stage. This has fighters flying through the air on platforms as you coast around the Metro Kingdom. Occasionally, a big band musician in some snazzy suit will appear. Touching this person will give the player a stat boost of some kind, though it's not clear what kind exactly.
11) The Classics Stay the Same
While the development team put significant effort into improving the visual quality of stages, the classic Nintendo 64 Smash Bros stages will retain their nostalgic look.
12) So Many Stages
Super Smash Bros Ultimate will have more stages available than any of the past games. While Super Smash Bros for the Wii U had an impressive 56 total stages, it doesn't bat an eyelash at Super Smash Bros Ultimate and their 103 different stages. When you consider that each stage has a Battlefield and Omega form, that's over 300 different kinds of stages you can fight on. And in the interest of fairness, every single one support 8-player battles.
You no longer need to unlock any stages, either. Every stage will be available at the very beginning.
13) Disable Stage Hazards
No longer do you have to avoid fun and interesting stages like Dr. Wily's Castle because you don't want to deal with hazards like the Yellow Devil. You can now turn off stage hazards. This will result in many stages now being competitively viable, and all around less chaotic.
14) Stage Morphing
Sakurai announced a new feature regarding stages: morphing. When enabled, stages will dynamically transform into a different stage, halfway through the battle. You can start on Brinstar and end on Temple. The stage morph option allows you to choose which two stages the game will swap between, and even how often it will happen.
15) More Music, More Places
Before, each stage had its own music playlist it would draw from. That's no longer the case. Now they organize music by franchise. This means all Zelda stages can select from all Zelda music, for example. When you count up every unique musical track available in Super Smash Bros Ultimate, it comes out to an incredible 800+ tracks.
16) Music Organizational Overhaul
Browsing the music selection has been reworked. Now you can peruse tracks by their game series, making it easy to find every song you're looking for. You can also create your own custom music playlists, consisting of whatever music you want from the game.
17) It's also an MP3 Player
Much like on Smash Bros for 3DS, you can play music from you're Nintendo Switch in portable mode while the screen is turned off, treating it much like a portable MP3 player.
The game itself has started to change. The way we set match rules, and the options available to us, have been improved upon from past games. Here's how.
18) Rules come first, and They're Custom
Now the first thing you select will be the rules. You can create your own rule preset, which will be available for quick selection on the rule menu. You can also quickly press Y to select the previously used rule set. No more having to set it from 2-minute mode to 3 stock mode every time.
19) Stamina Is a Mode Now
Stamina Battle, a game mode where all players have a set amount of health points, is now a standard battle mode option, next to time and stock. This mode prioritizes avoiding and dealing damage over placement and knockback.
20) Stage Selection First
before, you chose your map after everyone had selected a fighter. Now, you choose the map first, then your fighters. This allows players to choose a character based on the level they'll be fighting on. The option to take turns choosing a stage, or letting the last loser pick the stage, remains an available feature.
21) Sudden Death is Suffocating
In the event of a Sudden Death mode, you not only start with 300% damage, but the camera will slowly zoom in over time, closing the stage off and making knockouts more viable.
22) Final Smash Charging
With this new feature, Smash Balls aren't the only way a player can achieve a final smash. When enabled, the FS Meter option allows players to slowly charge up a final smash, which they can release once full. It appears that taking damage fills the bar up faster than anything. They also note that this form of final smash is weaker than the Smash Ball version. This option can result in some chaotically powerful battles. It's important to note that no two final smashes can take place at the same time.
23) New Battle Mode: Squad Strike
This is a new game mode for the Super Smash Bros series. You can choose 3v3 or 5v5, where each side will use 5 different fighters in a single battle. Imagine a Pokemon battle, we suppose.
24) Tournaments are Back
Tourney Mode has returned. Players can choose a number of participants and CPUs to participate, and the game will generate a tournament bracket to fit the scenario. Not much else was revealed about this mode, however.
25) New Battle Mode: Smash Down
This new mode is a full elimination style game mode. When you conclude a battle, the fighters that participated in the fight will no longer be available, forcing players to choose a new fighter. This repeats until no more available fighters remain. This mode greatly encourages a diverse fighter skillset. They also remark on intentionally picking someone else's favorite fighter, so that they can't use it to beat you later.
26) New and Improved Training Mode
Training mode now comes with a new, exclusive stage, which marks out a grid in the background. This allows players to get an accurate visual record of speed, height, and so on. It also now includes a trajectory prediction arch. When a character is knocked back, three colored lines appear on screen predicting the path the character would take in the air. The red line predicts your launch distance with no damage, the blue line predicts it at 100% damage, and the green line predicts it at the current damage.
27) Classic Mode Returns
The popular single-player mode has returned, where a player will fight off against a series of set opponents and stages. Whether or not Master Hand is the final boss remains a mystery.
28) New Items
Super Smash Bros Ultimate will come with a selection of new items to choose from in combat. Here are the items they debuted and what they do.
- Banana Gun: Fires a single, powerful banana shot, the leftover peel can trip players.
- Killing Edge: A sword item that is significantly more powerful when it's glowing.
- Bomber: The tiny bomb guy from Kirby, holding him up causes a powerful explosion
- Death's Scythe: Instantly KOs a player with enough sustained damage.
- Staff: A ranged item that deals more damage the farther you are from your target.
- Ramblin's Evil Mushroom: Reverses the affected player's controls.
- Rage Blaster: A ranged weapon that is more powerful the more damaged you are.
New Pokemon have entered the public eye since the last Smash Bros game, and some of them have made their way into Ultimate. They are as follows.
- Alolan Exeggutor: Becomes an extremely tall barrier wherever cast.
- Abra: Will teleport opponents (seemingly) into items and other dangers.
- Solgaleo: Fires a powerful solar blast attack.
- Lunala: Fires a powerful lunar blast attack from the background.
- Mimikyu: Captures and damages opponents, capable of KOing them.
- Pyukumuku: Counters and attacks against it.
- Alolan Vulpix: Blasts out ice attacks, freezing opponents.
- Marshadow: Sneaks up on opponents and stuns/attacks them.
- Ditto: Imitates a fighter and fights as them.
These teammate items summon various characters from different Nintendo games to help fight beside you. The following are the confirmed Assist Trophies from the Direct and their respective franchises. It's important to note that if a character is an Assist Trophy, they WILL NOT be a playable character in the final game.
- Zero (Mega Man)
- Knuckles (Sonic the Hedgehog)
- Krystal (Star Fox)
- Klaptrap (Donkey Kong)
- Kapp'n (Animal Crossing)
- Chef Kawasaki (Kirby)
- Grey Fox (Metal Gear Solid)
- Nikki (Nintendo)
- Shovel Knight (Shovel Knight)
- The Moon (The Legend of Zelda)
31) Monster Hunter's Rathalos
This mighty and dangerous dragon from the Monster Hunter franchise is now part of Smash Bros. Not only as a boss, but as a deployable Assist Trophy. He's the reported first character to appear in a Smash Bros game as both. Fighters may need to team up to take this beast on.
32) Main Menu Tease
Sakurai debuts the game's expected main menu and the various options they will have available. While it's nice to see what it will be like, everyone is focusing on a strange, blurred out option. They cannot speak about that option yet, they say. So fans are left to speculate. Here's hoping for a new adventure mode.
33) King K. Rool
The final announcement before closing out the Direct may have been one of the funniest ones of all. As the Direct ended, it fades to a scene in the world of Donkey Kong. The ground rumbles as stomping can be heard. This jerks Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong both awake. As they look out the window to see what it may be, they're greeted with a familiar, reptilian silhouette.
Only to have them throw off their costume, revealing it to be King Dedede. The Royal Tyrant of Kirby origin laughs at the ape pair for being fooled.
Only before being knocked away by King K. Rool himself. That's right folk, He's confirmed for Super Smash Bros Ultimate. A large and heavy fighter, K Rool features a number of powerful and slow attacks, complete with a gut-based counter move.
Leave it to Sakurai to bait the fanbase not once, but twice in only a few seconds.
That's everything that took place in this Nintendo Direct for Super Smash Bros Ultimate. We hope you're as excited as we are for this game, releasing on Nintendo Switch on December 7.