Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the sixth and latest installment of the Super Smash Bros. series. It was first announced during a Nintendo Direct on March 8th, 2018, before being fully shown off at E3 that year.
Connection to the SNK fighting series
Terry Bogard was announced to be the fifth DLC character and the fourth character in the Fighters Pass in a Nintendo Direct on September 4th, 2019, and released on November 6th, 2019. Terry wears his well-known second outfit that debuted in Fatal Fury 2, but with The King of Fighters 2000 default color tones, while his animations are modeled after The King of Fighters XII onwards. His special moves involve his iconic special moves: Power Wave serves as his neutral special move, Burning Knuckle and Crack Shoot serve as his side special moves (with the ability to use the latter by pressing back on the control stick), Rising Tackle serves as his up special move, and Power Dunk serves as his down special move. If his damage reaches over 100%, he has the ability to use special inputs to perform either Power Geyser or Buster Wolf. His Final Smash combines Triple Geyser, Power Dunk, and Buster Wolf into a move dubbed "Triple Wolf". He comes with his own stage named "King of Fighters Stadium", with the following 20 characters being visible at random in the background: Andy Bogard, Joe Higashi, Geese Howard, Rock Howard, Billy Kane, Tung Fu Rue, Kim Kaphwan, Ryuji Yamazaki, Blue Mary, Ryo Sakazaki, Yuri Sakazaki, King, Kyo Kusanagi, Goro Daimon, Iori Yagami, Athena Asamiya, Chang Koehan, Choi Bounge, Ralf Jones, and Clark Still.
In addition to Terry, the Mii Fighter got three new skins based on Nakoruru, Ryo Sakazaki and Iori Yagami. The DLC pack also comes with 50 music tracks, including tunes from the Fatal Fury series, Art of Fighting series, The King of Fighters series, Metal Slug series and Samurai Shodown series, as well as a few select tracks from Alpha Mission, Athena and Psycho Soldier. Spirits for Andy Bogard, Joe Higashi, Kim Kaphwan, Geese Howard, Ryo Sakazaki, Kyo Kusanagi, Iori Yagami, Haohmaru, Nakoruru, Athena Asamiya, and Ralf Jones and Clark Still (as one Spirit) can also be obtained.
- Terry's reveal trailer makes several references to other SNK titles:
- The beginning of the trailer shows an invitation falling into Kyo Kusanagi's hand, a scene taken directly from the opening of The King of Fighters '94, the message ending with [S] (which may stand for "Sakurai", in reference to series director Masahiro Sakurai, or "Smash") is a reference to Rugal Bernstein ending the message with his initial [R].
- Ryo Sakazaki's cut-in is a sequence taken from The King of Fighters '96 intro.
- Joe Higashi and Andy Bogard's appearance features a sequence from Fatal Fury Special.
- Geese Howard falling from his tower references Geese's demise at the end of Fatal Fury: King of Fighters.
- Nakoruru's sequence is from the Vs. screen of Samurai Shodown II.
- Iori Yagami's sequence is taken directly from The King of Fighters '95, complete with his laughter from his signature win pose.
- Terry's hand that grabs the invitation is taken from his ending of Real Bout Fatal Fury.
- Terry's silhouette is from the opening of Real Bout Fatal Fury.
- Terry's inclusion in the game marks the second time Capcom, SNK, and Square Enix (and, more specifically, Street Fighter, Fatal Fury, and Final Fantasy) have crossed over in a fighting game developed by Bandai Namco, as Akuma, Geese, and Noctis previously crossed over in Tekken 7.
- SSB Ultimate also marks the second game to initiate the clashing return between SNK and Capcom, many years after the SNK vs. Capcom crossover series, with the first game being Tekken 7 as already mentioned above.
- The game is also the second time SNK and SEGA collaborated together, the first being Mai's appearances with the Virtua Fighter cast in the fifth Dead or Alive game.
- One major character that is absent from the game in any major capacity aside from the music and the reference is Mai Shiranui. In the presentation issued by Nintendo on the day the content was released, Masahiro Sakurai explained that, in order to keep the CERO rating Ultimate has in Japan (being an A for an all-ages rating; KOF XIV, for example, has a C rating, for ages 15 and up), Mai had to be left out of the game due to her iconic outfit being too sexually suggestive (although the game however, like the previous titles, still featured several elements would feel out of place for a family-friendly video game played by younger players). Since the ESRB and PEGI use different rating system standards than the CERO, the translation instead said that Smash "is for good boys and girls of many different ages", in a tongue-and-cheek manner.
- To acquire Spirits, the player must complete all of their respective Spirit Battles. The character choice, stage, music, and match conditions contain references for the following characters and their respective series:
- Andy Bogard: The player must defeat Fox (who has moves with a passing resemblance to Andy's, like the Fox Illusion, a high-speed charge similar to the Zan'eiken, and the Fire Fox, an aerial charge in which Fox engulfs himself on fire, like the Cho Reppa Dan) on Delfino Plaza (specifically the umbrellas area, which bears a resemblance to Andy's stage in Fatal Fury 2, given that the game the stage comes from, Super Mario Sunshine, is inspired by the Mediterranean landscapes of Italy). Fox fights in his default outfit, similar to Andy's white uniform. The music is a remix of Andy's Fatal Fury 2 theme: "Pasta".
- Joe Higashi: The player must defeat Incineroar (a Fire-type tiger Pokémon, referencing Joe's explosive kicks and affiliation with tigers), who comes equipped with an Ore Club (a weapon that emits tornadoes, similar to Joe's Hurricane Upper) on Kongo Falls (which looks like Joe's stage in Fatal Fury 2/Special). Incineroar has orange fur, similar to the color of Joe's trunks in the artwork (taken from Fatal Fury Special) and most of the games in which he appears. The music is Joe's Fatal Fury 2/Special theme: "A New Poem That South Thailand Wants to Tell".
- Kim Kaphwan: The player must defeat Ken, a giant King Dedede, and a small Ridley on the King of Fighters Stadium. All three fighters reference Team Korea for most King of Fighters installments. Ken represents Kim as he is a martial artist that specializes in kicks, King Dedede represents Chang Koehan as he is a large and heavy character with a massive weapon, and Ridley represents Choi Bounge as he frequently uses his claws for combat, and shrunken to mirror Choi's small stature. Ken is clad in a white gi, similar to Kim's dobok; King Dedede uses his dark purple palette, mirroring Chang's black clothes from The King of Fighters '94 and '95, while Ridley is colored green, similar to Choi's shirt in the same games. The music is a remix of Kim's Fatal Fury 2/Special theme: "Let's Go to Seoul!".
- Geese Howard: The player must defeat a giant Mii Brawler on Fourside (which is on top of a skyscraper like Geese Tower). The Mii Brawler is wearing a Business Suit and a Princess Zelda wig (which resembles Geese's appearance in Art of Fighting 2) and specializes in throwing and grapple moves. The music is Geese's theme from Fatal Fury Special, "Soy Sauce for Geese".
- Ryo Sakazaki: The player must defeat a Mii Brawler on Suzaku Castle (referencing the Kyokugenryu dojo). The Mii Brawler is wearing an orange Fighter Uniform and Isaac's Wig (the hero of the RPG series Golden Sun), mimicking Ryo's attire. His special moves involve multiple strikes at once similar to Ryo's moves and he can build up his Final Smash meter quickly to unleash a more powerful version of the Smash, which is similar to the Ryuko Ranbu in execution. The music is a remix of Ryo's theme from Art of Fighting: "ART of FIGHT".
- Kyo Kusanagi: The player must defeat Captain Falcon, Pikachu, and Donkey Kong on the King of Fighters Stadium. All three fighters reference Team Japan for most King of Fighters installments. Captain Falcon represents Kyo as he also has pyrokinesis and is a close-range martial artist, Pikachu represents Benimaru Nikaido due to his electric powers, and Donkey Kong represents Goro Daimon since he is a large character that specializes in grappling. Captain Falcon wears a black uniform like Kyo's school uniform, Pikachu is in his default outfit (likely to mirror Benimaru being a blonde, as none of its other costumes give it any resemblance to Benimaru) and Donkey Kong has white fur, mirroring Daimon's kimono trousers. The music is Team Japan's theme from The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match: "ESAKA!!".
- Iori Yagami: The player must defeat two Wolfs in the Reset Bomb Forest. Wolf's fighting style primarily consist of clawing strikes like Iori, and also like Iori, he has special moves capable of emitting purple fire-like energy. After the first Wolf is defeated, a second Wolf comes out that is stronger and more aggressive, which represents Orochi Iori (the Reset Bomb Forest is also glowing red similar to Orochi stages in The King of Fighters '97). The music is a remix of the Yagami Team theme from The King of Fighters '96: "Stormy Saxophone 2". The first Wolf wears red in reference to Iori's hair and part of his outfit, while the second one wears purple.
- Haohmaru: The player must defeat a Mii Swordsman on Gerudo Valley. The Swordsman is dressed like another Nintendo samurai, Takamaru (from the NES game The Mysterious Murasame Castle), and can shoot tornadoes just like Haohmaru's Senpuu Retsu Zan. Additionally, their attack power increases when they are at high damage, emulating the Rage Gauge from the Samurai Shodown series. However, the stage and the music, "Gaia", reference Earthquake.
- Nakoruru: The player must defeat Zelda on Yoshi's Island. Zelda also comes equipped with a Killing Edge and is accompanied by a small Falco, who represents Mamahaha. The stage takes place during winter, making it resemble Nakoruru's stage in the original Samurai Shodown. The high damage setting from Haohmaru's Spirit Battle is also present here. Zelda wears a white and red dress like Nakoruru, and Falco wears a brown jacket to emulate the predominant color of Mamahaha's feathers. The music is a remix of Nakoruru's theme: "Banquet of Nature".
- Athena Asamiya: The player must defeat Palutena on Mushroomy Kingdom. Mushroomy Kingdom is a sidescrolling stage, which emulates the gameplay of Psycho Soldier. Palutena is also based on Greek mythology like Athena (her name being a compression of "Pallas Athena"). Additionally, Palutena is accompanied by Richter, who represents Sie Kensou. Palutena wears a blue dress, like Athena's school uniform, while Richter is clad in green, like Kensou. The music is a remix of the vocal Psycho Soldier theme, with lyrics in English if the game's language is not set to Japanese.
- Ralf Jones and Clark Still: The player must defeat two Snakes on Gaur Plain. The stage looks similar to the environments of Ikari Warriors, and the two Snakes come equipped with Super Scopes. One Snake wears a red camo suit (Ralf's code color in Ikari Warriors), while the other wears a blue suit (Clark's code color). The music is the remix of the Ikari Warriors theme present in The King of Fighters XIV.