Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, known in Japan as Super Smash Bros. Special (
The Super Smash Bros. series is a dramatic departure from many fighting games. Instead of winning by depleting an opponent's life bar, Smash Bros players seek to knock opposing characters off the stage. In Super Smash Bros., characters have a damage total, represented by a percentage value, which rises as they take damage and can exceed 100%, maxing out at 999% (999.9% in Ultimate). As a character's percentage rises, he can be knocked progressively farther by an opponent's attacks. In order KO an opponent, the player must send that character flying off the edge of the stage, which is not an enclosed arena but rather an area with open boundaries, usually a set of suspended platforms. When a character is knocked off the stage, the player may use jumping moves to attempt to return; as some characters' jumps are longer-ranged, they may have an easier time "recovering" than others. Additionally, some characters are heavier than others, making it harder for an opponent to knock them off the edge but likewise harder to recover.
The controls are greatly simplified in comparison to other fighting games. While traditional fighting games require the player to use command inputs, Super Smash Bros uses the same one-attack-button, one-control-stick-direction combinations to access all moves for all characters. Characters are not limited to constantly facing their opponent, but may run around freely. Smash Bros. also implements blocking and dodging mechanics, which can be used both on the ground and in the air. Grabbing and throwing other characters are also possible, allowing for a large variety of ways to attack. (Around 25, on average.)
One additional major element in the Super Smash Bros. series is the inclusion of "Items", of which players can control the frequency of appearance. Various items include "battering items" with which a player may hit an opponent, such as a baseball bat or a sword, as well as "throwing items", including Bob-ombs and shells, "shooting items", either single shot guns or rapid fire blasters, and "recovery items" allow the user to lose varying amounts of their damage percent. From the Pokémon franchise come Poké Balls that release a random Pokémon onto the battlefield to assist the user. Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the 3rd installment of the series, introduces a new "Assist Trophy" item which serves a similar purpose, albeit being capable of summoning a wider range of characters from a variety of franchises. Brawl also introduces items called Smash Balls, which allow fighters to perform character-specific attacks, known as Final Smashes. Ultimate introduces the "Final Smash Meter", which turns Final Smashes into a traditional meter, but balanced it out by making the Final Smash weaker than its Smash Ball counterpart.
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.
- Haremar Faith Capoeira School - Song of the Fight (Believers Will Be Saved) - FATAL FURY" (DLC): A remix of Richard Meyer's theme from Fatal Fury: King of Fighters.
- Kurikinton - FATAL FURY 2 (DLC): A new arrangement of Kurikinton, Terry's stage theme from Fatal Fury 2/Special, The King of Fighters '98, The King of Fighters 2002, and The King of Fighters XIV (as Kuri Kinton Flavor).
- Pasta - FATAL FURY 2 (DLC): A new arrangement of Andy Bogard's theme from Fatal Fury 2.
- Tarkun and Kitapy - FATAL FURY 2 (DLC): A new remix of Big Bear's theme from Fatal Fury 2.
- Let's Go to Seoul! - FATAL FURY 2 (DLC): A new arrangement of Kim Kaphwan's theme from Fatal Fury 2.
- The London March - FATAL FURY 2 (DLC): A remix of Billy Kane's theme from Fatal Fury 2.
- 11th Street - FATAL FURY WILD AMBITION (DLC): A new arrangement of Terry Bogard's theme from Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition.
- Stormy Saxophone 2 - KOF '96 (DLC): A brand new arrangement of Iori Yagami's theme from The King of Fighters '96.
- Theme of SYD - Alpha Mission (DLC): A remix of the main theme of Alpha Mission.
- Forest World - Athena (DLC): A remix of the first level of Athena.
- Psycho Soldier Theme (DLC): A remix of the first level / credits theme from Psycho Soldier with Japanese Lyrics.
- Psycho Soldier Theme (Overseas Version) (DLC): A remix of the first level / credits theme from Psycho Soldier with English Lyrics.
- ART of FIGHT - Art of Fighting (DLC): A remix of Ryuhaku Todoh's theme from Art of Fighting.
- Banquet of Nature - SAMURAI (DLC): A remix of Nakoruru's theme from the original Samurai Shodown.
- Gaia - SAMURAI SHODOWN (DLC): A new arrangement of Earthquake's theme from Samurai Shodown.
- Main Theme from Metal Slug - METAL SLUG (DLC): A remix of the main theme of Metal Slug.
- Assault Theme - METAL SLUG 1-3 (DLC): A remix of the boss theme of many Metal Slug games.
- Victory! Terry (DLC): A hard rock remix of "Results Are Everything", the theme that plays at the end of a battle in Fatal Fury: King of Fighters.
- The Sea Knows - FATAL FURY (DLC): Michael Max's stage theme from Fatal Fury: King of Fighters.
- Kurikinton - FATAL FURY 2 (DLC): The original version of Terry's stage theme from Fatal Fury 2.
- Kuri Kinton Flavor - KOF XIV (DLC): The King of Fighters XIV version of Terry's stage theme from Fatal Fury 2.
- A New Poem That the South Thailand Wants to Tell - FATAL FURY 2 (DLC): Joe Higashi's stage theme from Fatal Fury 2.
- The Working Matador - FATAL FURY 2 (DLC): Laurence Blood's stage theme from Fatal Fury 2.
- Duck Dub Dub (Duck, You Too) - FATAL FURY SPECIAL (DLC): Duck King's stage theme from Fatal Fury Special.
- Soy Sauce for Geese - FATAL FURY SPECIAL (DLC): Geese Howard's theme from Fatal Fury Special.
- Soy Sauce for Geese - KOF XIV (DLC): The King of Fighters XIV version of Geese Howard's theme from Fatal Fury Special.
- Big Shot! - FATAL FURY 3 (DLC): Terry's stage theme from Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory.
- 176th Street - KOF '99 (DLC): The King of Fighters '99 version of Terry's stage theme from Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition.
- Ne! - KOF '94 (DLC): Team Women Fighters's theme from The King of Fighters '94.
- DESERT REQUIEM ~Operation02UM~ - KOF 2002 UM (DLC): The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match version of Team Ikari Warriors's theme from The King of Fighters '95.
- ESAKA!! - KOF 2002 UM (DLC): The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match version of Team Japan theme from The King of Fighters '96.
- KD-0079+ - KOF 2002 UM (DLC): The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match version of Team K' theme from The King of Fighters '99.
- W.W.III - KOF XIV (DLC): The King of Fighters XIV version of Team Ikari Warriors's theme from The King of Fighters '99.
- Terry115 - KOF 2000 (DLC): Team Fatal Fury's theme from The King of Fighters 2000.
- Street Dancer - KOF XI (DLC): Team Fatal Fury's team theme from The King of Fighters XI.
- New Order - KOF XIV (DLC): The King of Fighters XIV Version of Team Kyo & Iori theme from The King of Fighters XI.
- Undercover - KOF 2002 UM (DLC): Team Agent's theme from The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match.
- Cutting Edge - KOF 2002 UM (DLC): Krizalid's theme from The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match.
- The Second Joker - KOF XIII (DLC): Ash Crimson's theme from The King of Fighters XIII.
- Esaka Continues... - KOF XIII (DLC): Team Japan's theme from The King of Fighters XIII.
- Wild Street - KOF XIII (DLC): Team Fatal Fury's theme from The King of Fighters XIII.
- Tame a Bad Boy - KOF XIII (DLC): Team Kim's theme from The King of Fighters XIII.
- KDD-0063 - KOF XIII (DLC): Team K' theme from The King of Fighters XIII.
- Yappari ESAKA - KOF XIII (DLC): Team Japan's theme from The King of Fighters XIV.
- Departure from South Town - KOF XIV (DLC): Team Fatal Fury's theme from The King of Fighters XIV.
- IKARI - KOF XIV (DLC): The King of Fighters XIV version of the main theme of Ikari Warriors.
- Art of Fighting Ver.230000000.0 - FATAL FURY SPECIAL (DLC): Fatal Fury Special version of ART of FIGHT from Art of Fighting.
- Tuna - SAMURAI SHOWDOWN (DLC): Galford's stage theme from Samurai Shodown
- Final Attack - METAL SLUG 1-6 (DLC): Final boss theme of several Metal Slug games, specifically taken from Metal Slug 5.
- Judgment - METAL SLUG 2 (DLC): The first mission theme from Metal Slug 2.
- Blue Water Fangs (The Island of Dr. Moreau) - METAL SLUG 3 (DLC): The first mission theme from Metal Slug 3.
- Terry Bogard
- Andy Bogard
- Joe Higashi
- Kim Kaphwan
- Geese Howard
- 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 thought that "S" stand for "Sakurai", in reference to series director Masahiro Sakurai, but was later revealed to stand for "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, Square Enix and Bandai Namco (more specifically, Street Fighter, Fatal Fury, Final Fantasy, and Tekken 7) have crossed over in a fighting game developed by Bandai Namco, as Akuma, Geese, Noctis, and Kazuya Mishima previously crossed over in Tekken 7.
- Super Smash Bros. 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 (while the game, like the previous titles, still featured several elements would feel out of place for a family-friendly video game played by younger players, such elements are considerably toned down in this game). Since the ESRB (in which Ultimate is rated E-10+, corresponding to ages 10 and up) and PEGI (which classifies the game 12, for that age and up) 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.
- Masahiro Sakurai has cited The King of Fighters '95 as part of his inspiration for creating the Smash Bros. series of games, saying that an experience he had at an arcade handily defeating a novice made him want to create a fighting game that treated players of all skill levels more equally and could be fun for all players even when matched against someone less skilled.
- With Kazuya Mishima added as a DLC character in the 2nd Fighters Pass, this marks the 2nd time where Terry and Kazuya appeared as playable characters in the same game, the first being The King of Fighters All Star, while Geese is a DLC character in Tekken 7.
- From Kong to Kirby: Smash Bros.' Masahiro Sakurai on mashing up 35 years of gaming history The Guardian, Retrieved June 3, 2021