This page is all about the characters designed for Rivals of Aether, including both original and guest fighters. Click here for the characters specific to the workshop.
Initial Story Mode roster
Voiced by: James "Alpharad" Rabon IV (2021 Lovers of Aether Direct)
Zetterburn is one of the Firelands' greatest champions, son of Emperor Renburn and an experienced warrior with all the courage and fury to prove it. When Renburn is assassinated, he sets out from the Fire Capital to avenge his father.
Straightforward and unyielding to any rivals that come his way, Zetterburn fights using only his own claws and literal firepower.
- Art Evolution: He finally gets to have his loincloth in Definitive Edition, among other sprite touch ups.
- Damage-Increasing Debuff: Zetterburn's strong attacks deal double knockback to foes ignited by his various flame attacks.
- Damage Over Time: He can set opponents on fire, causing damage over time.
- Disproportionate Retribution: His response to a doppelganger of Orcane stealing the Flame Imperium is to burn Orcane's home village of Merchant Port to the ground.
- Expy: Of Fox and Wolf as they appear in the Super Smash Bros series.
- Easily Forgiven: Considering some of the stuff he did to both Orcane and Forsburn, there's not really any scolding from either of them after the final battle.
- Flaming Hair: His mane and tail tip are made entirely of flames, and appear to be the source of most of his flame-based attacks.
- Fiery Lion: An anthropomorphic lion with Flaming Hair and fire powers.
- Fireballs: He can throw these from his mane with his side special.
- Hot-Blooded: All puns aside, his personality is more fleshed out in the Creatures of Aether spin-off, which portrays him as being rather aggressive and prideful.
- Injured Vulnerability: Be careful if you have been set on fire by Zetterburn. His strong attacks deal greatly increased damage to anyone who is ignited.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: Zetterburn doesn't have any particular strengths or weaknesses, which makes him an excellent character for beginners.
- Lag Cancel: If he lands his dash attack, Zetterburn can cancel the lag and immediately use his up strong afterwards.
- Lightning Bruiser: He has some of the fastest attacks and movement in the game while still having decent weight.
- Lovable Jock: In Lovers of Aether, he's the popular captain of the football team and is introduced as your good friend throughout the game.
- Man Bites Man: His standard attack combo ends in him chomping down on his foe. Being a lion, it's rather effective.
- Missing Mom: While his father plays a role in the story, there is no mention of Zetterburn's mother.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Has this moment after his assault on Water Town, realizing that his blind following of the Fire Empire might have led to more harm than good.
- Off-Model: Prior to the Definitive Edition update, despite having a loincloth in all of his official artwork, he does not wear any clothing in-game.
- Panthera Awesome: Given since hes a lion.
- Playing with Fire: Zetterburn uses his flames to light opponents on fire, causing minor damage over time. Opponents hit by Zetterburn's strong attacks will take double knockback when they are on fire.
- Poor, Predictable Rock: One of Zetterburn's few shortcomings is his predictable up special, which can easily be intercepted by attacks to keep him off stage. He does have a few tools to mix up his recovery, such as the ability to air dodge out of his up special, but it can be very tricky regardless.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Is the son of Emperor Renburn, and also serves as a general in the Fire Empire's army.
- Running on All Fours: Zetterburn does this during his running animation.
- Series Mascot: Being the first character created and generally being one of the easiest to learn, Zetterburn gets a lot of attention from fans and the developers alike.
- Shotoclone: Alongside his fireball essentially being a Hadouken, Zetterburn's up strong resembles a Shoryuken, and his forward strong has him lunge forward in a manner functionally similar to a Tatsumaki.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: With Forsburn. While Zetterburn is a fierce warrior and general, Forsburn is a diplomat and spy.
- Skill Gate Character: A rare example of one considered to be very good in the hands of an experienced player. His simple gimmick and lack of any obscene weaknesses, aside from a rather easy to incercept recovery, make him very easy to learn.
- Theme Naming: Like all of the -burns, Zetterburn is named after a Swedish hockey player.
- Unwitting Pawn: After his father's murder, Zetterburn's tasks for the Fire Empire become more aggressive under the rule of Loxodont.
- Wreathed in Flames: His neutral special and up special. His mane is also made entirely of flames.
Playful, stealthy and slippery, Orcane's water powers allows him to turn into and travel through water and strike suddenly before his rivals can even realize it.
- Badass Adorable: Orcane is an adorable mash up of an orca whale and a puma/dog, but is just as powerful as his fellow fighters.
- Bubble Gun: A rare useful example. Orcane's forward aerial has him spew bubbles from his mouth, and while they don't do much damage, they can easily gimp a foe's recovery or set up for a combo with their lingering hitboxes and wide spread. The same applies for his down special if he has a puddle in place.
- Class Clown: Prone to this in Lovers, such as when he draws a few laughs from the class by claiming that his human ate his homework.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Orcane's ground game is incredible thanks to his speed and puddle traps, but his ability to fight in the air is notably lacking.
- Expy: Of Vaporeon from Super Smash Land. Both are water-based fighters who can turn into water, and even share the same base mechanic of using puddles and warping toward their location.
- Fighting Clown: He has some very silly animations and has somehow managed to effectively weaponize bubbles. Additionally, while most characters have a taunt meant for intimidation, he rolls on his back and flings a glob of his tail in his mouth. It's a lot more adorable than it sounds.
- Friend to All Children: Is very fond of Nesbit's granddaughter, and prioritizes getting her to safety when Zetterburn attacks Water Town.
- Gold Makes Everything Shiny: By buying the official Orcane plush doll, you can receive a code that will unlock a golden skin for Orcane, complete with sparkly particle effects.
- Just Like Robin Hood: He steals from the WTC to help its underpaid workers.
- Lightning Bruiser: Despite being the same weight as Zetterburn and Forsburn, Orcane's the third fastest character in the game, right behind Ori and Maypul.
- Lovable Rogue: Steals from the greedy Water Trading Company and gives to their underpaid workers.
- Making a Splash: Orcane can transform into water and uses water in a number of his attacks.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: His original concept was a combination of a orca whale and a puma, though Dan has stated that he's supposed to be more dog-like nowadays.
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: Begrudgingly hires himself out to the Water Trading Company when they agree to raise their workers' wages.
- Portmanteau: His name is a mix of "orca" and "arcane".
- The Prankster: His primary trait in Lovers of Aether. Sometimes to a maniacal degree.
- Recoil Boost: Orcane's forward and up aerials have him use bubbles/water as a means of propulsion, both of which let him ram into opponents for damage or to make a recovery from off-stage.
- Rolling Attack: Orcane's dash attack morphs him into a ball to ram opponents. During Abyss Mode, Orcane can equip a rune that lets him roll indefinitely.
- Series Mascot: Perhaps even moreso than Zetterburn, due to his cute appearance and unique gameplay. He was the first to get an official plush doll! He also represents Rivals in the crossover game Indie Pogo and Fraymakers.
- Slippery Skid: Not only does Orcane have the longest Wavedash in the game, but when performing strong attacks, he slides along the ground, allowing him to slide over his puddle, absorb it while moving, and unleash incredibly powerful blasts of water.
- Teleport Spam: His up special and side special can result in this.
- Thinking Up Portals: Like Vaporeon from Super Smash Land, he can create puddles and warp to them, allowing him to make effortless recoveries and get around the stage very quickly.
- The Unintelligible: Implied in the Story Mode, where only Nesbit's granddaughter can convey the WTC's offer to him. Averted in Lovers and Creatures, though.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Being able to turn himself into water, Orcane can take a variety of shapes in his attacks.
Voiced by: Uncredited (Lovers of Aether trailer, 2021 Lovers of Aether Direct)
With the power to fly around and use his additional wind abilities to wreck havoc, Wrastor is a fast and agile fighter on the battlefield.
- Ambiguously Gay: While in the story mode Wrastor and Bradshaw are presented as close friends, the non-canon spinoff game Lovers of Aether makes it very clear that Wrastor has romantic feelings for his wingmate, as seen by the state of his locker. Whether or not those feelings exist in the story of the main game, or this is a case of Adaptational Sexuality is unclear.
- Blow You Away: His side special has him summon a whirlwind that does rather pitiful knockback and damage, but leaves behind a current that boosts his speed while in contact with it.
- Brooklyn Rage: When he's Suddenly Voiced. Possibly a Shout-Out to Falco's famous accent in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. He at least tries to fit the role.
- Camp: He has a notably flamboyant sense of fashion and acts the part too. The fact that he's bright purple and pink only adds to it.
- The Chew Toy: In Lovers of Aether. With the punishment he gets at some points, Bradshaw got off easy.
- Composite Character: Shares moves and attributes with Falco, Jigglypuff, Meta Knight, and Captain Falcon. His strong down attack also resembles Greninja's downward aerial, and curiously enough, his wing swipe aerials and up special resemble those of Marth.
- Cool Shades: Wears them instead of his usual goggles in Lovers. He's actually wearing them to hide a pair of black eyes from being kicked in the face by Ranno.
- Crippling Overspecialization: While an absolute terror in the air, Wrastor's ground game suffers due to his strong attacks being unavailable and his slow walk/run speed crippling his mobility.
- Death-or-Glory Attack: Wrastor's up special has a small hitbox that deals massive knockback, but if the move misses, he's stuck in free-fall until he reaches the ground, giving foes plenty of time to prepare an attack, which will more than likely result in a KO considering his lack of weight.
- Difficult, but Awesome: Hes considered one of the harder characters to master, but can chain together attacks with his fantastic aerial mobility, leaving little room for escape.
- Diving Kick: Does this when using his down special in the air.
- Eagleland: Invoked in Wrastor's Spangled skin, humorously enough.
- Feather Fingers
- Finger Poke of Doom: He's somehow able to do damage this way, despite his "fingers" merely being feathers.
- Fragile Speedster: His side special grants him a generous speed boost, but he remains the lightest character in the game, which results in this.
- Glass Cannon: Easily a powerful character in the right hands, but his lack of weight makes it very easy to KO him.
- Goomba Stomp: His down strong has him stomp downward. If he lands the hit, he'll bounce back upward, giving him the ability to either do it over and over again, or combo into a different move.
- Instant Flight: Just Add Spinning!: Using Wrastor's neutral special allows him to rise into the air as he spins around.
- It's All My Fault: Blames his own recklessness when Bradshaw is injured by Kragg.
- Jive Turkey: Speaks In nearly-incomprehensible slang in Lovers of Aether, as a very transparent attempt to try to seem cool.
- Mechanically Unusual Fighter: He's the only character that can jump more than twice, and can only use strong attacks in the air.
- Opaque Lenses: His goggles are always portrayed this way.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Bradshaw's blue, being the more aggressive and cocky of the two.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: During his chapter of the the Story Mode, Wrastor goes absolutely ballistic on Kragg after he shoots Bradshaw down.
- Scarf of Asskicking: Wears a cool blue scarf, and excels in ass-kicking.
- Stock Sound Effects: Landing the sweetspot on his up B will make him screech like a hawk.
- Suddenly Voiced: He's the only playable character to have voice acting, speaking in the trailer for Lovers of Aether.
- Tornado Move: Wrastor's neutral special has him spin around, creating a tornado around him, and his down special envelops his foot in one for a straight or diagonal kick.
Voiced by: Stefan Perez (2021 Lovers of Aether Direct)
Steady and focused, Kragg uses his power over earth to attack hard and strong.
- Art Evolution: The Definitive Edition touches his sprites up, making his design more detailed.
- The Big Guy: He's the second largest character, but this works both for and against him. While his size allows for massive hitboxes on his attacks, it also leaves him vulnerable to combos.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Uses various rocks in his specials.
- Diving Kick: Kragg's foward aerial is a brutal drop kick that serves as one of his most reliable kill moves.
- Expy: To heavy characters such as Donkey Kong, Ganondorf, and Bowser.
- Four-Legged Insect: He's obviously some sort of beetle, but has two arms and two legs.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: When using some of his ground-based attacks, Kragg's normally large eyes shrink down to tiny glowing dots.
- Ground Wave: Weaponizes this with his down special, which creates a wave of stone spikes of increasing size.
- Hoist by His Own Petard:
- Kragg's massive size and heavy weight makes it very easy to combo him off-stage.
- The combo setups involving Kragg's rock and pillar can easily be turned against him.
- If Kragg is on top of his pillar when it is destroyed, he'll go into freefall, but the same applies to other players.
- Horn Attack: Kragg uses his horn to great effect throughout his moveset, most notably in his up and side strong attacks.
- Immune to Flinching: His side special makes him completely immune to most knockback while using it. More powerful moves can push the attack backwards somewhat, and Maypul's vines can still ensnare and immobilize him, but it's not possible for other players to completely cancel the attack.
- Lightning Bruiser: He may be the slowest on the roster, but he can still keep up well enough to land some amazing combos with very powerful KO moves.
- Mighty Glacier: He's the slowest character and ties with Etalus for heaviest character in the game, but has great combo potential and can KO his opponents with relative ease.
- Poor Communication Kills:
- After being attacked by Maypul's Evil Knockoff, he goes into the Aetherian Forest to fight her, but is attacked by the rest of the Treetop Dwellers, who only see Kragg trespassing on their home and attacking one of their own.
- During Wrastor's Story Mode chapter, Kragg sees Wrastor and Bradshaw flying down towards him, and immediately assumes they're attacking. He shoots down Bradshaw with a rock, and subsequently gets beaten to a pulp by a very pissed-off Wrastor.
- Practical Taunt: His taunt deals a small amount of damage.
- Punny Name: His name is a play on the word "crag."
- The Quiet One: He's the quietest of the students in Lovers, and he mentions that when he does talk, people tend to find him tedious.
- Rolling Attack: His side special has him roll into a ball and become Immune to Flinching.
- Skill Gate Character: Like Zetterburn, Kragg is very easy to learn, and remains well-off competitively.
- Terrain Sculpting: Kragg can use his up special to summon a giant pillar of rock that can be used as a wall and platform until destroyed.
- Third-Person Person: Usually speaks in the third person in Lovers.
- Tough Beetles: A massive, earth-powered rhino beetle who possesses tremendous strength and durability.
- Trap Master: His ability to terraform the stage with his rock and pillar can lead to some very effective combo set-ups with enough strategy. He can also lure opponents on top of his pillar, and then destroy it to send them into freefall, though the situation could easily be reversed.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Kragg's up special summons a giant pillar of solid rock to act as a platform. It can be instantly destroyed by any projectile, including Maypul's seed, which only does 2% damage and deals no knockback whatsoever.
Finding sanctuary within the local Smoke Clan, Forsburn learned how to control smoke as a more deceptive alternative to fire. Soon rising to the top as the clan's leader, Forsburn wishes to clear his name, find his father's true killer, and reconcile with his estranged brother.
- Action Bomb: After absorbing three smoke clouds, Forsburn can use his down special to create a large radial explosion somewhat like Zetterburn's charged neutral special, only far more powerful. He can also make his clone do this at any time, though the effect is significantly more powerful with 3 smoke charges.
- Badass Cape: One that's even more badass due to being used for some of his attacks.
- Breath Weapon: Performing a side tilt will have Forsburn spew damaging smoke from his mouth, but not if he has a full smoke charge.
- Butt-Monkey: Often the target of the other fighters' ridicule in Lovers of Aether.
- Cape Swish: Forsburn has managed to weaponize this in his strong attacks.
- Composite Character: Borrows moves from Sheik, Meta Knight, and Marth.
- Confusion Fu: Basically the entire focus of the character. His clones and clouds of smoke can be used to confuse and mislead opponents, and his up special has him completely disappear for a moment, only to reappear somewhere else.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Uses smoke to hide himself and deceive opponents, but is undoubtedly one of the good guys.
- Difficult, but Awesome: To the unaccustomed, Forsburn seems incredibly awkward, having odd strong attacks and base mechanics, particularly those surrounding his clone, but someone who takes the time to get used to him will discover he has a fantastic combo game and has very reliable finishers in addition to his natural talent for mind-games.
- Doppelgänger Attack: Forsburn can create an AI-controlled clone of himself with his side special. It only takes one hit to destroy normally, but having 3 smoke charges when using the move creates a 'super clone' that can take a little bit more punishment. When you have a clone out, you can control it by pressing neutral special to switch between aggressive(the default) and evasive AI. By pressing down special, the clone will explode to deal damage. The super clone's explosion has a wider radius and is much more powerful, and can be commanded to attack with side special.
- Elemental Absorption: Able to consume three clouds of smoke to charge his side, neutral, and down specials for added effectiveness.
- Emo Teen: In Lovers, much to his brother's embarrassment. Dresses in edgy clothing and face paint and likes to write angsty poetry.
- Expy: See Composite Character for further details on his gameplay style. Story-wise, however, his role as the disgraced prince of a fire-controlling nation, being a more tactical and strategic contrast to a more aggressive and hands-on younger sibling, and having a burn wound over his left eye (as seen in some cinematics) bring Prince Zuko to mind.
- Flaming Hair: Like Zetterburn, his mane is composed of flames.
- Heinous Hyena: Subverted. Aside from being one of the good guys, he's actually less of an asshole than his lion half-brother.
- Heroic Bastard: He is the illegitimate son of the emperor. He himself doesn't seem to mind much, but it is likely one of the reasons why he was framed for his murder.
- Interface Screw: Forsburn's smoke from his neutral special, side tilt, and clone will obscure the stage and players within it.
- Knife Nut: Incorporates a rather large dagger into several of his moves.
- Mechanically Unusual Fighter: The only rival in the entire roster that is categorized as deception by the official Steam pages; everyone else is listed under balanced, rushdown, zoner, or heavy.
- Playing with Fire: His fully charged down special creates a large radial blast of flame with high KO potential.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: With Zetterburn. While Zetterburn is a fierce warrior and general, Forsburn is a diplomat and spy.
- Smoke Out: Forsburn can use his smoke to hide and mislead opponents.
- Super Smoke: Uses smoke to obscure the battlefield, create clones of himself, or just to attack people with. He can also absorb smoke three times to unleash a powerful radial blast.
- Teleport Spam: Capable of doing this by landing his up special inside of his smoke.
- Theme Naming: Like all of the -burns, Forsburn is named after a Swedish hockey player.
- Thinking Up Portals: The Story Mode reveals that Forsburn can create portals of smoke to travel long distances.
Brash and headstrong, Maypul uses her agility and plant-based powers to overtake any rivals she may come across.
- Action Girl: The first female character on the roster, and a very capable fighter.
- Adaptational Jerkass: Compared to her implied canon personality of being a courageous warrior with a good heart, Maypul acts startlingly sadistic in Lovers, using her position as Student Council President to act like a dictator, not above bids to keep her power through blackmail in one of the first events of the game. Blame Loxodont.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Maypul usually has her whips wrapped around her arms, allowing her to use the leaf-like blades at their ends like this.
- Bring It: Maypul's taunt has her do the "Come get me" variety.
- Bullet Seed: Maypul only throws her seeds, but Lily will take seeds fed to her and spit them upwards.
- Cool Pet: A sapient carnivorous plant named Lily.
- Difficult, but Awesome: Maypul has one of the higher skill floors of the roster, thanks to her low weight and extremely poor recovery, but with enough practice, she can chase foes all across the stage with her speed and ability to tether straight to them.
- Expy: She bears similarities to Ivysaur in terms of motif, but her gameplay is most similar to rush-down characters like Sheik, Zero Suit Samus, or Greninja.
- Flash Step: Maypul's side and aerial down specials have her dash at high speeds in the chosen direction, very much like Fox's side special from Melee-onward. She can even reverse her side-special just like Fox could.
- Fragile Speedster: She's the fastest character in the game, but has a rather poor recovery without her mark and is a bit of a lightweight.
- Green Thumb: Uses vines, seeds, and her plant Lily as weapons.
- Instant Flight: Just Add Spinning!: Downplayed with Maypul's up aerial, a spinning attack that significantly increases her jump height if timed properly, but does not actually let her fly. This is taken a bit further with one of her Abyss runes, which lets Maypul hover indefinably by repeatedly using the move.
- Mix-and-Match Critter: Maypul seems to be a mix of a ferret and a raccoon, having the slender body and movements of a ferret but has fur with the mask and ringed tail of a raccoon. In Lovers, she refers to her species as "Treedwellers".
- Panda-ing to the Audience: One of her DLC skins gives her a black and white color scheme similar to that of a panda. It even turns Lily into a cherry blossom.
- Poor, Predictable Rock: If knocked off-stage, Maypul often has no choice but to use her marked up special, which can easily be anticipated and punished.
- Practical Taunt: The practicality is minimal, but Maypul's taunt will make Lily grow a bit faster after planting her.
- Punny Name: Her name is pronounced exactly like "Maple", which is a reference to the nickname of Dan Fornace's wife.
- Running on All Fours: Does this during her running animation.
- Slide Attack: For her dash attack, Maypul slides on her belly then strikes upwards to send opponents into the air.
- Shout-Out: Has a Ragnir skin.
- Trap Master: Opponents can be lured/knocked into Lily for a weak hit that leaves them in hitstun, which can offer Maypul an opportunity to start or escape a combo. If they're marked and already in hitstun, Lily can ensnare them in vines, which presents similar options.
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Averted. Aside from in-game text and her profile on the official site, there's no indication to Maypul's gender. However, more recent art has given her more visible eyelashes and a more obviously feminine figure, with the comic series even giving her visible breasts.
- Vine Swing: Maypul's up special has her summon a vine to almost instantly put herself beside an opponent, but only if they've been marked by her neutral, side, or aerial down special.
- Wall Jump: Maypul shares this trait with the entire roster, but unlike most of them, Maypul can also cling to walls for a short while.
- Whip It Good: Her strong attacks have her use vines as whips, complete with leaf-like blades at the end. They can even wrap up and immobilize marked opponents.
(Formerly) Unlockable/DLC characters
Absa is a famed engineer and secret martialist of the Elders of the Air Alliance, who live high above the cloudline in the Archai Mountains. Before the Air Armada, winged citizens of the Alliance would fly between the high trees of the Aetherian Forrest and the mountaintops of Archai. The Elders of Air dispensed wisdom and law from the Archaian mountaintops, and Air society flourished under a peaceful neutrality.
However, after the Fire Kingdom burnt down the Aetherian Forrest, the winged citizens began to question the peaceful policies of the mountain-dwelling Elders. A rift formed between the Air citizens who could fly and those who could not. Soon the winged Air-dwellers built the Air Armada and declared war on the Fire Empire... leaving the Air Alliance in tatters.
Absa was only a young girl when half of the Air Alliance left with the Armada. However, young Absa, math prodigy and wunderkind inventor, perceived the vulnerability of her mountaintop civilization. She studied the world of Aether and developed a defense to protect the mountains from war. She mastered weather patterns and harnessed the power of lightning to create a permanent electrical storm at the base of the Archai Mountains. This storm barricade has hidden the mountains so well that the Air Elders consider themselves impervious to the turmoil of Aether. Yet, Absa, the inventor of the storms herself, fears that the barricades may prove insufficient. Despite the laws of the Elders, Absa secretly developed her storm techniques for offensive use. In martial arts societies hidden in the caves of the Archai mountains, Absa honed skills that she hoped to never need.
- Action Bomb: By holding her down special, Absa turns herself into an electrical time bomb. After a few seconds, it explodes, dealing high damage and knockback to anyone caught within. Her cloud can take on this effect by simply pressing the button.
- Action Girl: One of the most powerful members of the cast, and also happens to be female.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Her charged down special, though extremely powerful, can be canceled by taking a single hit or by using her up special.
- Charged Attack: Holding down Absa's neutral special with a cloud active will create a massive bolt of lightning between her and the cloud, rather than simply 'popping' the cloud if the button was simply tapped.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Absa excels at zoning and ranged combat, but can struggle to fend off opponents who get too close.
- Expy: People have compared her to several Smash characters, but her swooping double jump harkens to Ness and Mewtwo while plenty of her electric attacks resemble those of Pikachu. She's also takes inspiration from Zelda as she appears in Project M, particularly the "side special exploding projectile" and forward, down, and back aerial kicks with mighty sweetspots.
- Extreme Omni-Goat: In Lovers of Aether. Being a goat, she tends to eat her own homework.
- Glass Cannon: She has incredible KO power, but being based off of the element of air, she's quite lacking in weight.
- Graceful Ladies Like Purple: Generally acts very dignified and proper, and has a predominantly purple color scheme.
- Having a Blast: A surprising number of Absa's moves involve detonating her cloud, or in the case of her down special, even herself.
- Improvised Lightning Rod: Absa turns herself into one with her charged neutral special.
- Kick Chick: Her forward, down, and back aerials are electrically charged kicks with incredibly powerful sweetspots. By hitting her cloud with said sweetspots, it will explode and greatly expand the size of the kick's hitbox.
- Kung-Fu Wizard: Uses melee attacks and lightning bolts with brutal efficiency.
- Lady of War: Absa's animations typically portray her as very graceful and proper, but she also boasts some of the most potent attacks in the game.
- Levitating Lotus Position: Her taunt button has her meditate on top of a cloud. The button can be held to let her meditate indefinitely.
- Multi-Ranged Master: Makes use of both her cloud and lightning bolts in her moveset.
- Player-Guided Missile: Her side special can be controlled to a certain degree.
- Purple Is Powerful: Her color palette is mostly purple, and she boasts some of the highest raw power in the game.
- Shock and Awe: Absa's main attacks consist of electricity and using storm clouds as projectiles.
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Downplayed. She's considerably more feminine than the other characters, but it's not terribly obvious.
- The Stoic: Outside of being hit, Absa's facial expressions tend to stay fairly neutral, and this is reflected by her in-game portraits as well.
- Trap Master: Absa's cloud can be used in a variety of traps and combo setups thanks to its insanely versatile abilities.
- Whip It Good: Like Maypul and her vines, she uses electricity in a whip/chain-like fashion.
Etalus is a legendary warrior in his native land, the northern continent known as the Ice Barrens. He is one of the last surviving members of the Harbor Guard, an elite battalion that once defended the Hyperboreans, the peoples of the Ice Barrens.
The Harbor Guard battled other elemental factions on land and sea in order to protect their coast and keep trade routes open to the Water Merchants in the south. However, in the past two decades, few from the southern continent of Aether have had any contact with Harbor Guard or any other representative of the north. Most people assume that the Harbor Guard was defeated, and the Hyperboreans had to retreat further inland.
In reality, Etalus and the Harbor Guard left their posts to battle a deadly threat from the northern reaches: the Black Ice. While the Harbor Guard were focused on their southern harbors, creatures of ice and shadow descended on the Hyperboreans in a sudden onslaught of slaughter and destruction. The Harbor Guard rushed, too late, to defend this new northern front. Many brave ice warriors fell. Etalus now hunts alone, stalking the northern reaches for Black Ice. The remaining Hyperboreans have pushed deeper into the tundras to the west, looking for a safe place to rebuild their homes.
- Audible Sharpness: Makes this sound when using his back aerial.
- An Axe to Grind: His down strong move has him create dual axes out of ice.
- The Big Guy: He's even larger than Kragg.
- Breath Weapon: His side tilt, similar to Forsburn, has him breathe out a chilling mist that coats the ground in front of him in ice.
- Charged Attack: His up special can be charged to let him jump higher.
- Death-or-Glory Attack: Etalus' neutral special leaves him very vulnerable during the extremely slow startup, but once the hammer drops, it deals an absolutely devastating amount of damage and knock back.
- The Ditz: In Lovers, it takes him a while to realize when something is happening, he tends to think insults are compliments, and he spells out "ETALUS IS COOL" in child's fridge magnets on his locker. It's all an act, though.
- Drop the Hammer: His neutral special has him create a giant hammer out of ice, and his up strong creates dual hammers. If he hits his ice with his neutral special, he gains creates a layer of ice armor that increases his weight and falling speed, allowing him to survive much longer than normal.
- Elemental Armor: Using his neutral special, Etalus can coat himself in ice, reducing incoming knockback, increasing his fall speed, and providing super armor to his strong attacks and up special. The effect lasts until Etalus uses a strong attack, his up special, or receives a total of 40% damage since donning the armor.
- Everything's Better with Plushies: Has an official plush toy right here, plus a gold variant!
- Expy: Like Kragg, he takes a few cues from heavyweight fighters in Smash Bros (e.g. an incredibly slow but incredibly powerful neutral special like Ganondorf and Captain Falcon, a Ground Pound down special like Bowser, a frog splash neutral aerial like Wario and Dedede). His aerial dunk grab could be inspired by Project M's Lucario.
- Frictionless Ice: Etalus uses it to his advantage; by creating ice on the floor, he creates surfaces where he can use his strongest attacks while still moving around, and can move exceedingly fast with his dash attack or wavedash.
- Ground Pound: Etalus' down special acts as this. When he hits the ground with it, all of his ice on-stage is destroyed, but anyone standing on it is frozen solid. Additionally, standing too close to Etalus when he hits the ground will also freeze, even if there is no ice present.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: While great for surviving with high damage, it is usually a very bad idea to use Etalus' ice armor at low percentages, because the increase in weight and falling speed makes him extremely easy to combo.
- An Ice Person: He's capable of freezing the ground, summoning icicles, and creating ice armor.
- Lightning Bruiser: While normally very slow, Etalus' ice can give him the means to zip around the stage at speeds exceeding those of even Maypul. Many of his moves also come out deceptively fast, giving him a surprisingly solid combo game.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Etalus' forward aerial has him use his bracers to block projectiles and some attacks before letting out a mighty punch.
- Man Bites Man: His jab combo and forward strong have him lunge forward and bite down on foes.
- Mighty Glacier: Almost literally. He's one of the slowest characters without his ice, but has incredible power behind his moves.
- Older Than They Look: In Lovers, he's actually a 36-year-old undercover cop posing as a high school student.
- Primal Stance: Despite being capable of standing on two legs, Etalus seems to prefer running and standing on all fours.
- Shockwave Stomp: His down special normally acts as an ordinary Ground Pound, but if he lands on top of his ice, it sends out a shockwave that destroys the ice and any opponents standing top of it are frozen solid.
- Skill Gate Character: Etalus' KO power, survivability, and easy to understand mechanics make him very appealing to new players. Like Kragg and Zetterburn, he is also more than capable in the competitive scene.
- Sleepy Head: His taunt has him curl up and go to sleep.
- Slide Attack: Etalus' dash attack lets him slide on his belly to attack. It normally has very short range, but when using it on top of his ice, he can easily dash across the stage at lightning speeds.
- Slippery Skid: His ice allows him to slide around for additional mobility.
- Spectacular Spinning: Etalus spins around in the air for a short period after using his up special. This is actually a fairly important detail, because the spinning signifies that Etalus cannot attack. Once the spinning stops, he is able to act freely.
- Stalactite Spite: He can summon giant icicles with his side special.
- Super Armor: By using his neutral special on top of his ice, Etalus can coat himself in ice armor that gives his strong moves and up special a single use of super armor.
- Unskilled, but Strong: His fighting style can be described as savage or barbaric, but his immense strength more than makes up for his lack of grace.
Voiced by: Ray O' Hare (2021 Lovers of Aether Direct)
Knowledge of Ranno's past is limited to a certain point. What is known is that Ranno was born before many of the current fighters, and was one day found in the Swampy Estuary by monks from the mountains that oversee his swamp.
When his training was complete, he returned to his swamp to meditate and to cleanse his putrid home, purifying the water that was polluted by the neighboring Merchant Port. He does not wish to seek a fight but will do what he must to defend his home.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Pretty much sums up his entire archetype.
- Big Eater: He can use his tongue to grab and swallow his opponents, regardless of size.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Ranno is incredibly fast on the ground, but has the lowest air speed in the game. This makes it rather difficult for him to recover without his second jump, or to chase foes off stage.
- Elemental Weapon: Can create darts from poison to attack from afar.
- Expy: Of Sheik, due to his high speed and usage of darts/needles to attack from afar.
- Floating in a Bubble: Able to inflict this on his foes with his neutral and down specials.
- Glass Cannon: Ranno boasts incredible speed and power, but is fairly light, and has an easily punished recovery.
- Green Thumb: Downplayed. The poison sash that floats around him is actually polluted water, and his abilities are actually purifying the water as he fights.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: His darts can be reflected back at him to inflict a poison stack. He can also can be knocked into one of his own bubbles, though he won't stay in for long unless he's acquired a poison stack.
- Meaningful Name: Named after the game's concept artist, Mark "ElRanno" Knelsen.
- Poisonous Person: Uses poison to create throwing darts, trap opponents in bubbles, and inflict a damaging status effect.
- Status Effects: Ranno's specials and strong attacks inflict up to four stacks of poison that damage opponents for 1% every time they attack, and greatly extend the time they spend trapped in his bubble. The stacks only decrease if they hit or parry Ranno himself, or until they are freed from a bubble.
- Stealth Pun: He's a poison dart frog.
- Stop Hitting Yourself: Parrying Ranno's tongue will cause it to snap back and slap him in the face, stunning him for longer than most other moves.
- Technical Pacifist: Ranno is supposedly an in-universe pacifist who's rarely seen fighting at all, though he fights with as much intensity as the other characters.
- This is lampshaded by Dan himself in the reveal panel.
- Lovers of Aether lampshades it further by showing that he doesn't exactly practice what he preaches; his idea of "peace" is "beat your enemy senseless until they can't fight anymore".
- Technicolor Toxin: The poison he uses is a bright green.
- Tentacle Rope: Uses his tongue to grab opponents, swallow them, and spit them up in a poison bubble. He can even use it to launch himself across the stage.
- Trap Master: He can trap opponents in bubbles of poison, leaving them vulnerable to attack.
Voiced by: Hannah Hellwig (2021 Lovers of Aether Direct)
Forsburn's granddaughter from a Bad Future where both he and Zetterburn mysteriously vanished soon after defeating the Gatekeepers. In their absence, Loxodont grew to become a powerful emperor and expanded his domain over nearly all of Aether. Through the years the Fire Empire's people lost their connection with the flame and could no longer control it, the Fire Empire becoming reliant on plasma weapons and technology to retain its power.
As a child, however, Clairen realized she could still control both flame and plasma. After enlisting in the Imperial Guard, she hatched a plan to destroy the endless Loxodont hoping that it would return the flame to her people. But Loxodont had grown invincible over time and his corporeal form was replaced with fortified machinery. She was defeated by the Endless Emperor and was set to be executed. But there were others who also despised Loxodont, and Clairens bravery motivated them. An unlikely ally helped Clairen escape using a machine to go back to a time when Loxodont was still vulnerable.
Now Clairen is on a mission in the past. To find the missing heroes that inspired her resistance and to destroy Loxodont before he becomes invincible.
- Badass Cape: Sports one just like Forsburn's, though it's merely cosmetic.
- Bad Future: The reason she came to the past is to keep Loxodont from becoming emperor, which caused the dictatorial-styled future in the first place.
- Breakout Character: Clairen's gotten the most spotlight out of all the post-launch characters, being the first character to have their backstory showcased as part of their reveal (with Sylvanos and Elliana following in that regard), being the face of the Lovers universe in both its appearances so far, and being the focus for the premiere saga of the story-focused Tales of Aether comic book.
- Cool Mask: Her visor can even display holograms in her Genesis 5 skin.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Clairen's sword lets her keep opponents a good distance away from her, but the moment that distance is closed, she will likely struggle to stay alive.
- Deflector Shields: By using her counter, she can create an energy around herself that instantly destroys all projectiles that come into contact with it.
- Depending on the Artist: Clairen's tail was intentionally omitted from her in-game sprites due to difficulties animating it as well as readability issues caused by her cape.
- Easter Egg: As of Definitive Edition through a special taunt combination, you can make her take off her visor for the rest of any given match.
- Elemental Weapon: Weilds a sword made of plasma and can also control plasma.
- Expy: Mostly of Marth as he appears in the Super Smash Bros series, thanks to her sword-based fighting style and sweetspot-centric playstyle. The fact that she's a masked swordswoman from a Bad Future brings to mind another Marth.
- Genre Refugee: She comes from a dystopian future with Cyberpunk trappings, in a relatively High Fantasy game. She's also got a much more "80s" flair to her color palette. Justified due to the technological and cultural changes that happened in the meantime due to Loxodont's influence.
- Glass Cannon: With proper spacing of her tippers, Clairen can easily score KOs at low percents, but with her poor speed and recovery, she can't survive being off-stage for very long, and can't deal with being combo-ed very well due to her often sluggish startup times.
- Hit Stop: If she lands her tip sweetspot, the victim of her attack is stunned in place for longer than they usually are before they receive knockback.
- Kid from the Future: The Tales of Aether comic reveals her to be Forsburn and Claiyen's granddaughter.
- Mechanically Unusual Fighter: Unlike the rest of the cast, Clairen does not have any sort of projectile move. To make up for this, her counter activates a large energy bubble that will destroy any projectiles within it.
- Neck Lift: A plasma-charged neck lift, whenever Clairen lands her neutral special, followed by a swift sword strike in either direction. The user can choose to reverse it mid-grab to provide mixups and prevent the enemy from DIing effectively.
- New Transfer Student: In Lovers, though she's very hesitant to say when e—where exactly she transferred from.
- Nice Girl: Portrayed as this in the Lovers universe, being friendly to both the player and Adam.
- Panthera Awesome: She's a black panther.
- Playing with Fire: Or rather, plasma.
- Series Mascot: At least where Lovers is concerned. She features heavily in promotional artwork and gets a Big Entrance at the beginning of the game.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Her reason for traveling back to the main cast's time— find the heroes of Aether, prevent Loxodont's rise to power and save the future from tyranny and ruin.
- Skill Gate Character: Clairen was designed to be accessible and simple, much like Zetterburn or Kragg, allowing new players to pick her up fairly easily. Also, like Zetterburn and Kragg, Clairen is more than competitively viable.
- Strong Family Resemblance: As per the Tales of Aether comic and its refined character designs, Clairen is revealed to share many similar traits with her maternal grandmother Claiyen, such as lacking the spots seen on her parents and siblings. Aside from looking like an older Clairen, however, Claiyen has a different head and eye shape, lacks the lighter patches of fur that Clairen has around her eyes, and generally has a far more rugged and worn-down appearance (with a scar and blind eye on the right side of her face).
- You Are Already Dead: Her side special. Clairen dashes out of sight, reappearing with her sword already swung a slight distance away. As she reappears, the place she was just in explodes with a burst of plasma. It is subverted though, in that it doesn't actually deal any sort of damage until she reappears; someone who should have been "hit" when she started the attack but moved away before it finished will take no damage, and vice versa for someone who moves into the explosion when the move finishes.
Once, the entirety of Aether was a verdant forest; however, Fire's dominance began to scorch the woodlands, and ocean-crossing merchants cut down the trees to build their ships. Enraged at the destruction of the forest, Sylvanos, the forest's guardian, and the woods' army retaliated; however, the former began to lose his mind, becoming obsessed with preserving and increasing the size of his forest to the point where he began destroying other ecosystems such as swamps and deserts.
Eventually, the forest-dwellers came to a deal with the other empires. A wall was to be built around the forest; it could not be attacked, but it could not expand, either. Ever since, Sylvanos has laid in the depths of the woods, where he continues to hold a grudge against those who attacked the forest.
- Adaptational Nice Guy: Downplayed in Lovers. He's still bad, but he's far from the heartless force of nature he is in Rivals.
- Affably Evil: In Lovers. He'll happily chat with you and give you fitness advice while in the middle of pulverizing another student.
- Animalistic Abomination: Though Sylvanos takes a wolf-like form, it's certainly not what he truly looks like. As we can see during his taunt, he can take the form of a very monstrous, plant-like beast with rows of sharp teeth and a pair of eyes attached to the ends of vines.
- Botanical Abomination: He's a monster made out of plants, dead set on turning the entire world into forest.
- The Bully: In Lovers, though he's nice to the player.
- The Dreaded: He's the reason that the treetop dwellers are treetop dwellers.
- Expy: He bears a number of similarities to Ivysaur in Project M in terms of theme and a handful of moves, but is otherwise a fairly unique character.
- Gaia's Vengeance: His Start of Darkness was the destruction of the environment he embodied and was trying to protect.
- Green Thumb: Pretty much controls the entire Aetherial Forest. He also grows grass in-combat by simply by walking, or by shooting his flower projectile onto the stage.
- Man-Eating Plant: There's not much for "man" in Aether, but a wolf-plant-thing running around all predator-like with claws and teeth certainly qualifies.
- Mighty Glacier: Mildly slow, but more than makes up for it with his strong, extremely disjointed attacks.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: His rows of sharp teeth are very prominent in his biting attacks. His taunt exemplifies this more than anything.
- Planimal: A black wolf with a leafy mane, flower tail, and wooden front legs.
- Protagonist Journey to Villain: Went from a well-intentioned forest guardian who just wanted to protect his home from invaders, to a resentful being so obsessed with keeping his forest huge that he invaded areas where forests shouldn't grow.
- Savage Wolf: Looks and acts the part. It's implied that he was a bit nobler in the past, however.
- Stealth Pun: His front legs are made out of bark.
- Storybook Opening: His character reveal began and told his background as a story told by Maypul and Mayreed's grandmother.
- The Strongman: He can't expand the forest in Lovers. He's obsessed with expanding his muscles instead.
- Super Serum: Of his own design in Lovers, though its ingredients aren't exactly legal.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Sylvanos is capable of shifting from his wolf-like form into his Aetherial beast form during several of his moves.
- Whip It Good: The buds on his back are attached to vines, which he can use as whips.
Elliana's dream was to fly alongside the Air Armada. However, she was unfortunately born as a snake, a creature with no wings, and was not accepted by her sky-loving peers. To show her dedication to the sky, she created a flying machine. Many times her invention failed the flight exam, but each failure made her keep moving. But even once she was able to get her machine to work, she was scolded and was laughed out of the Armada for her ignorance of nature.
Furious, Elliana took to the streets of Julesvale, where she found a rabbit named Ayala. With her help, Elliana improved her machine's design to become a flyable mech. However, Elliana no longer wanted to fly with the Armada, instead, she added weapons to the machine with one goal in mind; to destroy the Air Armada herself.
- Charge Attack: Her missiles can be charged to make a bigger missile, which can't be steered as well but deals far more damage.
- Composite Character: She takes many small bits from other zoning-type characters in Super Smash Bros.: among some others, Bowser Jr., R.O.B., Mega Man, Samus, Pit, and Solid Snake. The overheating mechanic bears some similarity to that of the Guilty Gear character Robo-Ky, complete with a means of venting the heat through steam exhaust to deal damage.
- Death-or-Glory Attack: Her up tilt, which sends out a grappling hook straight up to snag enemies before launching them at a speed proportional to the amount of heat built up. It's slightly on the slow side in terms of startup and has a lot of endlag if it misses; if it connects, it can kill at scary low percents with sufficient heat, but if it doesn't, the opponent has a lot of room to set up a punish.
- Determinator: Despite repeatedly failing the Air Armada's flight test, Elliana never gave up and eventually succeeded.
- Difficult, but Awesome: Elliana was designed to be very different and awkward to use at first, but once you figure out how to make effective use of her tools, she's an absolute terror.
- Flight: One of her many unique character traits is that her mech flies instead of jumping. This makes her a terror in the air, and gives her a very potent ledge game, both recovering and guarding.
- Funny Animal: Elliana serves as an unusual contrast to the rest of the cast's overall design, being by all accounts a perfectly ordinary snake with no anthropomorphic features whatsoever (aside from perhaps her eyes). Her engineering marvels and the operation of her mech are entirely a result of using her tail as a manipulator. Despite this she is one of the most intelligent and articulate characters in the cast, unlike Orcane and Sylvanos, who like Elliana are more "feral" than not, but appear to be borderline non-sapient.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Elliana is very knowledgeable about the mechanics of flight. She even builds a functional rocket and assists Ayala in the construction of her mech.
- Game Within a Game: Her "Arcade" DLC color has a special taunt that creates a fully playable Snake arcade machine.
- Long-Range Fighter: Some of her most useful tools are her projectiles: a Rocket Punch, missiles, and clouds of steam. All of them have different timings (and the latter two are chargeable) so a skilled player can mix up their timings to catch opponents off guard.
- Mechanically Unusual Fighter: Elliana has a number of unique or nearly-unique mechanics, most linking into her overheating passive: rather than a Double Jump, she can fly at will until she overheats. A few grounded attacks can be extended in the same way. If the command is held instead of tapped, her aerial attacks give her a slight kick of upward momentum in exchange for adding a small amount to her heat meter. Her strong attacks are more trapping maneuvers that cool her mech down, and can be done in the air or on the ground - but when she overheats, they become more traditional bursts of knockback until her mech cools off.
- Mini-Mecha: Elliana pilots one loaded with weapons to fight.
- Nice Hat: An aviator's cap, with fancy wings and cool goggles to boot.
- Ornamental Weapon: Her character reveal and some of the official art shows that the grey panels on her mech's arms can slide open to reveal secondary machine guns, but she never uses them in-game.
- Player-Guided Missile: Elliana's side special fires a missile that can be guided freely with the control stick.
- Recoil Boost: Her strongs can be used when mid-air to boost herself in the opposite direction. The primary use for this is using the downwards one to maintain height, but fast horizontal movement is possible too.
- Revenge: Her motivation; being rejected by the Air Armada, even after proving she's able to fly among them, has spurred her to destroy them.
- Shout-Out: Her taunt, a reference to Earthworm Jim.
- Snakes Are Sinister: Downplayed somewhat. At first, Elliana starts off merely wanting to fly, and seemingly has no malicious motivations in wanting to do so. After attempting to join the Air Armada, she is violently rejected because she's a snake, despite her passing their entry test. From that point onwards, Elliana vowed revenge against them. She even goes as far as to trick Ayala into helping her build her mech, under the false pretense of still wanting to join the Air Armada, and instead loads the mech up with weapons so she can outright destroy the Armada.
- Steampunk: Her mech is steam-powered, and can even use steam clouds to attack opponents.
- Sticky Bomb: Her down special mine. It'll stick to both players and terrain, and can be detonated with missiles or rocket fists. The former causes a cluster explosion that stuns the victim and allows for further combo setups, while the latter powers up the launch strength of the fist.
- Walking Armory: In addition to her projectiles listed under Long-Range Fighter, her mech can drill her opponents, grapple them with a chain before shooting them like a cannonball, and hit them with twin wrecking balls, a boot-on-a-stick, her mech's propellers, and Good Old Fisticuffs; her trailer shows that the panels on the mech's arms hide machine guns that aren't usable in-game. All of it is contained within the mech itself.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Her dreams of joining the Air Armada are crushed because of Fantastic Racism against snakes, leading her to seek revenge.
Workshop Pack characters
- Art Evolution: The Workshop pack characters' sprites and key art were given a touch up compared to their workshop days.
- Ascended Extra: The latter four were fan made characters posted to the Steam Workshop who were re-balanced, re-sprited, and ultimately made a part of the core game, even for versions that lack access to the Workshop. So far, Mollo has even appeared in the Tales of Aether comic.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Mollo and Pomme are from the same future as Clairen, but no explanation is given for why either of them are able to interact with fighters from the past.
- Discard and Draw: Several of their mechanics were removed or reworked for balance purposes. Some of these are still available through the Abyss Runes system in more casual modes, however.
Made by: Patrick "Giik" Whitesell
A rioter from the timeline that Clairen left. Notable as one of the first complex characters on the workshop.
- Art Attacker: His jab combo ends in him pulling out a spray paint can he sprays rapidly to deal damage.
- Batter Up!: Uses a bat with nails in it for his down special, which can be a substitute for a traditional strong.
- Big, Bulky Bomb: One of the available bomb types. It takes a long time to explode, but its explosion is very powerful.
- Blinded by the Light: One of his bomb types is a flashbang, which stuns enemies.
- Bomb-Throwing Anarchists: His entire theme, complete with a face mask and ample supply of explosives, though given he lives in an actual dystopia, it's more justifiable than your average example.
- Dub Step: The theme of his stage has some mild dubstep elements, which his victory melody focuses on.
- Explosive Stupidity: As Orby points out in his tutorial, Mollo can be hurt by his own bombs, so players have to try and keep a certain distance from their opponent when using them to avoid blowing themselves up as well.
- Fatal Fireworks: His firecrackers are an available weapon, causing multiple explosions in quick succession which can be good for juggling enemies.
- Flare Gun: Uses one in his side special, causing an explosion a far distance away. It isn't that strong, but can be useful for detonating his bombs from a distance.
- I Know You're Watching Me: When he debuts in Tales of Aether issue #3, he can tell that Clairen's unit is sneaking up on him without so much as batting an eye. He more or less spells it out for good measure:Mollo: (seemingly talking to himself) The terrible thing about big government, the horrifying thing— is how it tries to compartmentalize everyone into rigid little boxes. The great thing, wonderful, really— is their bootlickers follow protocol so precisely you can set your watch to it. (launches a flashbang towards Clairen's unit)
- Mad Bomber: He's quite angry (albeit in a reserved manner), and fond of throwing bombs.
- Mechanically Unusual Fighter: Instead of having traditional strong attacks, his strongs will have him throw a bomb in a particular direction. This bomb's effects are dependent on what is picked from Neutral Special. He does get more traditional strong attacks when not actively holding one of his four bombs in the Workshop Character Pack, though.
- Moth Menace: He's an anthropomorphic moth and very dangerous.
- Throat-Slitting Gesture: How he'll taunt if you press the button while he's got a bomb in his hand.
- Throw Down the Bomblet: Again, uses bombs for his strong attacks.
- Traintop Battle: His stage, which appears to be on a railway outside the city fellow future Fire Rival Clairen's stage is located.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: As shown by Tales of Aether issue #3, Mollo actively fights against Loxodont's dictatorial regime, but has absolutely no problem with fighting to kill or committing attacks on targets like reservations to achieve his goals— and Clairen even suspects that he was responsible for the attack on her home reservation that took her mother. As per the moth himself:Mollo: Loxodont built himself upon the ashes of the true Flame Imperium! The only way to get it back is to burn it all down!
Made by: Team NeRVe
Voiced by: Stefan Perez and Sean Chiplock (2021 Lovers of Aether Direct)
A wise white ape who wields a towel and the power of hot springs.
- Acrofatic: He can roll and jump and even pull off near instant backflips with the best of them despite being one of the heavier set members of the cast.
- All Your Powers Combined: While he's officially aligned with Water, Hodan's practice of "Elementalism" combines all the elements. In gameplay, he embodies Fire through his steam and sweat abilities and Earth through his mud down special.
- Belly Flop Crushing: Throws his weight around with his dash attack and down strong. Like fellow fatty and inspiration King K. Rool the latter provides a guard point ostensibly due to his girth.
- Big Fun: Easy going and always smiling.
- Cloth Fu: Of the sweaty towel variety. most of his attacks involve his towel in some way or another.
- Charge-Input Special: Hodan can maintain a charge by holding down, but is still free to move and even jump while maintaining one. Nearly all of his inputs that are "opposite" it (up tilt, up special, forward tilt, etc.) have enhanced versions so long as he's got a charge to enhance them with.
- Expy: Ironically, despite being an ape, primarily of King K. Rool's Smash Ultimate incarnation, though he borrows moves from fellow primate Donkey Kong as well. Finally, the entire charge mechanic makes him one to a myriad of Street Fighter characters. His charged up tilt in particular strongly resembles Guile's Flash Kick (to the point of being jokingly called "Splash Kick" on an official Twitch livestream held by Rivals eSports manager Stephen Sobansky).
- Hot Springs Episode: His stage, naturally. The apes bathing in the back watch and laugh every time someone (even Hodan) is KO'd or parried.
- Immuneto Flinching: His down strong has a guard point on it that, if used to parry an enemy's attack, makes the already fairly potent move even stronger.
- Making a Splash: As expected of a Water Rival, though his kit has everything from traditional water, steam, mud, and even sweat.
- Mechanically Unusual Fighter: His charge mechanic aside, Hodan also posseses the strange ability to summon sweat spirits that enhance all of his special attacks, some of which even stack with the enhancements from maintaining a charge.
- Meteor Move: An unusual one in the form of his up strong. If aimed properly, he'll wrap his opponent up and either slam them on the stage or simply dunk them into the abyss.
- Mighty Glacier: Slow, heavy, and hard hitting.
- Shout-Out: His default custom skin is a dead ringer for Donkey Kong.
- Tornado Move: His neutral special is very similar to Donkey's side special from Smash Bros, though Hodan will get dizzy if you hold it for too long.
Made by: Carill "RubyNights" Munnings
A singer who inhabits the timeline that Clairen's from, using a special frequency of song to move and attack opponents. She is the first of the "Diamonds in the Rough" pack to be released.
- Assist Character: Summons Vince, her bodyguard, for her side special, who will attempt to grab opponents. While he's active, he also cancels projectiles fired in his direction. Finally, he's the one who actually parries opponents, not Pomme.
- The Casino: One in Neo Julesvale, the future version of the town where fellow Air Rival Elliana built her flying machine, is her home stage.
- Developers' Foresight:
- If she isn't being played by any player and Neo Julesvale, her home stage, is selected, the center platform will be occupied by a hologram of her that sings along with the music in the background. If she is, however, she has the unique honor of being the only official character in the game with an intro animation, in which she'll jump down from the platform into position during the countdown.
- The pitch of the notes she summons and attacks with varies in accordance with the current stage's background music.
- The Diva: She's a famous singer with a sassy demeanor, which is apparent in her standard poses, her attacks and her taunts (see "Mic drop" below).
- Easter Egg:
- The sound test displays the dynamic background and singing Pomme hologram from her stage when you select "Dazzling Dark Future", her stage's theme, to listen to.
- Muting the volume via the in game settings and selecting Neo Julesvale without also selecting Pomme will lead to the hologram posing to sing before realizing there's no music to sing along with. It stamps the ground and then jumps off the stage for the remainder of the match.
- Expy: Takes several cues from Peach in her moveset, including sharing her hover gimmick and having a similar down aerial.
- Kick Chick: Many of her attacks involve kicks.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Her Forward Air and Strongs have this vibe, with Pomme attacking with a powerful sound wave.
- Mic Drop: Her taunt. It can actually deal damage to opponents if they're close enough.
- Musical Assassin: Sings at a special frequency, both to move around and attack.
- Music Is Eighth Notes: Her music attacks are generally represented as Eigth Notes. She even throws a music note as a projectile in her Neutral Special.
- Power Floats: Just like Peach in Smash, she can float while in the air.
- Practical Taunt: Her taunt can deal a small amount of damage to opponents.
- Video Game Flight: Her hover gets upgraded to this if she's in her song field, allowing her to freely move in any direction. She also has a single-direction flight for her Up Special.
Made by: Kris "Sprite Star" Ballad
- Discard and Draw: A lot of her older mechanics from her Workshop days have been removed in favor of using her crystal as a fairly simple space controlling tool to trap enemies with temporarily.
- Expy: Takes cues from the likes of Ryu in her moveset in terms of design philosophy. Her walking animation is directly inspired by his and his fellow Ansatsuken Karatekas, and many of her attacks run the gamut of inspirations from him, Ken, and even Akuma.
- Gemstone Assault: Uses a large crystal to control the stage or pummels enemies with her jewel-encrusted fists. She can also create a deceptively long row of crystals to attack with by charging her down strong.
- Immune to Flinching: Her down special, similar to Ryu and Ken's Focus Attack, has a single hit of armor on it.
- Glacier Waif: She's not that much bigger compared to other fighters, but is a Mighty Glacier. Must be the gauntlets.
- Mighty Glacier: She's rather slow and heavy, but she has great power and burst movement to overcome this weakness.
- Power Crystal: Her Neutral Special's crystal has this vibe, as Olympia can use it to alter her momentum with her side B, and make it explode, trapping enemies in crystal in the process.
- Shotoclone: Subverted. While she has a projectile, it only serves to summon her crystal, her uppercut attack is actually a Rolling Attack, and she uses a Shoryuken to dash forwards instead of go high in the air.
- Rolling Attack: Her Up Special is one, it deals repeated hits to carry foes upwards before ending with one final kick.
- Adaptational Badass: Ori is much more hands-on here than in their home game, where Sein did the vast majority of the fighting. Some of what were once simply playful looking jumping animations have even been repurposed into aerial attacks. Arguably inverted after Will of the Wisps released, though several options from their new moveset can be unlocked in non-competitive modes.
- Ambiguous Gender: Just like in their home game, neither Ori nor Sein have a stated gender, and in-game text avoids the use of gendered pronouns when referring to either of them.
- Attack Reflector: Ori can use Bash to reflect projectiles. They're even capable of throwing Lily at Maypul, wrapping her in the process.
- Checkpoint: In non-competitive modes, Ori can unlock the ability to generate a Soul Link once per stock, like in their home games. These effectively double their stocks, but when they return their damage is preserved from when they died, somewhat balancing it more towards a Last Chance Hit Point gimmick than anything else.
- Difficult, but Awesome: Ori and Sein require a lot of dexterity and spacing skills to play well, but have insane combo potential and KO power when you get used to their sometimes awkward mechanics.
- Expy: Though many of their moves are lifted straight from their own game, Ori and Sein's playstyle is similar to other Smash Bros. Puppet Fighters such as the Ice Climbers or Rosalina and Luma, while their aerial prowess resembles that of Captain Falcon.
- Fragile Speedster: Ori's the second fastest character in the game after Maypul, but they're as light as Wrastor, making it very difficult for them to take any hits.
- Glass Cannon: With Sein powering them up, Ori's strong attacks are absolutely devastating, but they can't take much punishment at all.
- Ground Pound: Ori's down air uses their Stomp skill to attack directly below them. It can spike opponents Ori lands directly on top of them and creates a small shockwave when hitting a platform.
- Guest Fighter: The very first non-original character in the roster.
- Leitmotif: A medley of songs from Ori and the Blind Forest is used for their stage, but both the first proper length one in said medley and the song from which Ori's victory tune is derived is a recurring motif explored at length in "Restoring the Light, Facing the Dark", the theme used when escaping the Ginso Tree in Ori's debut game.
- Laser Blade: You can unlock a small laser arsenal the likes of which Ori wielded in Will of the Wisps by using Runes in the Abyss Mode, including the Spirit Edge, a sword several times Ori's height, the Spirit Smash, a huge spectral hammer, and the Spirit Star, a boomerang made of light.
- Light 'em Up: As both are beings of light, Ori and Sein primarily use light energy in their attacks.
- Mechanically Unusual Fighter: Unlike the rest of the cast, Ori does not have a dedicated move to help with stage control (Kragg's rock/pillar, Forsburn's smoke, Maypul's plant, etc.), but instead can use Sein's position to use the Spirit Flame and Charge Flame to allow for more precise, though brief control over small portions of the stage.
- Power Palms: Ori's forward strong have them strike opponents with palms and blasting them with light energy. When powered up by Sein, it creates a much larger wave of light.
- Puppet Fighter: The player mainly controls Ori, but can manipulate Sein's position enough to set up combos.
- Recoil Boost: Ori can use their Bash ability to fling enemies or projectiles wherever they want while sending themself in the opposite direction.
- Some Dexterity Required: Sein can attack alongside Ori by pressing or holding neutral special, but it can be tricky at times to press special and attack buttons at the same time without some practice.
- Wall Jump: Ori can do this like the rest of the cast, but can also wall cling just like Maypul.
The titular protagonist of Shovel Knight, announced on August 10, 2018, and was released on September 14th, 2018.
- Anchors Away: Shovel Knight's recovery move involves swinging his Throwing Anchor high and taking himself with it. It packs a hell of a wallop if an enemy is in the way.
- Assist Character: Shovel Knight's traveling companion and love interest Shield Knight will jump down to protect him when he parries, and the intrepid merchant Chester sells him relics.
- Bling of War: One of the items he can purchase is the Golden Armor. It is the most expensive thing Chester sells and it offers no combat utility whatsoever, but it does change his animations to be much more stylish and glittery.
- The Cameo: Aside from her and Chester's in-game functionality, Shield Knight will also show up to stand by Shovel Knight at the start of every stock in his Valentine's skin.
- Dishing Out Dirt: His up-strong attack, if sufficiently charged, will dig an oversized block out of the ground and can be sent flying as a giant (if unwieldy) projectile similar to Kragg's rock.
- Improbable Weapon User: Besides his trademark Shovel, SK packs most of the Relics from his home game. Everything from anchors, to rolling platforms, to oversized gauntlets, to hunting horns and more, can and will be used in his battles to great effect.
- I Shall Taunt You: Shovel Knight's taunt button summons Chester instead, but the blue burrower effectively has three taunts:
- Press the Parry button at the same time as the taunt button and Shovel Knight raises his shovel skyward, like he does at the beginning of every stage in his home game.
- An alternate version is done if parry, taunt, and special are all pressed simultaneously.
- If that's not enough, you have an alternate way of styling on your opponents by buying the Golden armor, which effectively turns all of Shovel Knight's jumps into taunts, choosing from a random selection of silly animations and poses.
- Mechanically Unusual Fighter: Shovel Knight in order to access his Relics has to purchase them from Chester with the treasure he digs up with his basic attacks.
- Mythology Gag: His alternate taunt animation has him accidentally drop his helmet, revealing that he's actually the fish man from his home game known as ????. Whether his species reveal is actual canon information or just something to avoid making him stick out among the cast is up in the air.
- Shovel Strike: He's not called "Shovel Knight" for nothing. Many of his normal attacks have him swinging his shovel around.
- Sword Plant: He's able to use this to attack and even hop across projectiles.
- Token Minority: The only human in the entire castnote assuming the fish stuff isn't true, at least.
Wrastor's best friend and wingmate. In the Definitive Edition, he's playable as an alternate skin to Wrastor.
- Ace Pilot: He and Wrastor are both among the best flyers in the Air Armada.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: He is known as the "Pirouetting Partner", according to his unlockable Steam emote.
- Butt-Monkey: Along with being injured in the main game, he tends to be the fall guy in Lovers despite not having any lines. The player frames him if doing badly at the computer lab game, Zetterburn teases the player about a rumor involving him and them, and in the dance he's seen being elbowed in the face.
- Flat Character: He's mostly around to give Wrastor a reason to fight Kragg in his story.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Wrastor, though some background details from the Lovers of Aether spinoff call into question how "heterosexual" the two are.
- Informed Attribute: He's supposedly more calm and rational than his wingmate, but never gets a chance to demonstrate this. Given he's just a re-sprite of Wrastor in his playable incarnation, his attacks look just as flamboyant and over the top as his.
- Promoted to Playable: The Definitive Edition makes him an unlockable alternate skin for Wrastor.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Wrastor's red, being the more calm and deliberate of the two.
- Stock Sound Effects: As a kind of mallard rather than a bird of prey, he honks when he lands his up B's sweetspot, but it's no less devastating than Wrastor's for it.
The mechanic that Eliana tricks into building her mech. In the Definitive Edition, she's playable as an alternate skin to Elliana.
- The Alcoholic: She drinks AND smokes!
- The Atoner: She helps Clairen escape and return to the past in order to make up for creating Loxodont's unbeatable cyborg body to begin with.
- Cyborg: Tales of Aether #4 reveals that she was the one that helped Clairen escape to the past all along, kept alive to do maintenance on Loxodont in a similar cybernetic body to his.
- Early-Bird Cameo: She appears cloaked in Clairen's introduction trailer as Clairen's mysterious benefactor, long before her proper introduction.
- Goggles Do Nothing: She has them on her head but never actually wears them properly. She even takes them off to put on a proper welding mask when welding for Elliana's mech!
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Keeps a hip flask on her at all times for this exact purpose.
- Mascot: Of the Steam Workshop. An image of her shrugging and looking disgruntled was used as the Steam Workshop branch splash page and is currently in use as the Workshop's banner.
- Mythology Gag: The original concept for Elliana was going to be one of either a rabbit or a snake in a mech, with the latter winning out in the end. Ayala's release means players can choose whichever they prefer.
- Omnidisciplinary Engineer: Averted. It's implied she wouldn't know how to build Eliana's mech if the serpent didn't help her in regards to flight. Played completely straight when she goes on to create a cybernetic body for both herself and Loxodont, and eventually a time machine.
- Poor Judge of Character: Elliana tricks her into creating a war machine in order to take revenge on the Air Armada. Loxodont also talks her into building him an immortal cyborg body. She acknowledges her poor judgment in both cases in Tales of Aether #4.
- Promoted to Playable: The Definitive Edition makes her an unlockable alternate skin for Eliana.
- Wrench Wench: One that specializes in steam machinery. Her neutral attack has her whack opponents with her wrench rather than bite them like Eliana does.
Other official Workshop Characters
A humorous joke character that was put into a special build of the game for April Fools 2018. Later, he was brought back to demonstrate the custom character feature.
- Expy: Playfully takes a few jabs at Super Smash Bros. Melee by copying some of the moves of that game's resident strongest character. Sandbert has Fox's projectiles, Fox Illusion, and his Shine.
- Fountain of Expies: In the workshop. Due to their simplicity as a base, it is rather common to see a character where the only changes are the sprites or with a couple changes.
- Heart Beat-Down: His neutral special is to shoot hearts from his lips. They deal damage, but have no knockback.
- Lethal Joke Character: Deliberately designed to be as unbalanced and powerful as possible.
- Meteor Move: Their Down Air. Quite notable for its insane damage, knockback, and rather fast attack speed. Its prescence on other characters that use Sandbert as a base has given the move the moniker of a "Sandbert D Air".
- Purposefully Overpowered: Pretty much all of Sandbert's moves are excessively powerful.
- Shapeshifter Weapon: Sandbert plays this trope to a T by changing his body into various shapes to attack.
An official Workshop character, demonstrating the possibility of making characters with more complex gimmicks.
- Green Thumb: She has wood on her arms that she can make grow to attack. She can also instantly make bamboo sprout from the ground.
- Man Bites Man: Her neutral special is a bite. After hitting her opponent with certain attacks, they will be marked with some bamboo shoots, and if she bites them in that state, it heals her.
- Stock Animal Diet: She's a panda, and she can eat bamboo to heal herself.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: No explanation is given about them before or after.
- Ascended Extra: Only mentioned in passing in the base game. Becomes a serious threat in expansions and spin-offs.
- Big Brother Is Watching: Takes this role in Lovers as Aether High's principal.
- The Corrupter: In Lovers, he's shown to occasionally take someone under his wing, and they end up not being quite the same afterwards. Just ask Maypul.
- Cruel Elephant: He's an elephant and is shown to be pure evil, intending to take over Aether (and succeeding in it in the Bad Future) and being the tyrannical principal of Aether High in Lovers.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Easily defeats Clairen when she attempts to overthrow him.
- Cyborg: Has become one of these in the Bad Future Clairen's trying to deny.
- The Emperor: Unlike Renburn, Loxodont is an undoubtedly villainous example.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Turns out the Abyss Clones were the least of Aether's problems...
- Knight of Cerebus: The story takes a notably darker tone upon his appearance in Clairen's trailer.
- Playing with Fire: Even in his robotic form, Loxodont is one of very few still able to control the power of flame in the Bad Future.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He appears in literally one scene during the game's story mode, but as revealed in Clairen's trailer, he managed to conquer nearly all of Aether and become immortal.
- The Unfought: For all the threat Loxodont poses narratively, he has yet to take to the battlefield.
- The Good King: Judging from the state of mourning the Fire Empire was in during Zetterburn's chapter, he was likely this to his people.
- The Emperor: Obviously.
- Posthumous Character: Dies very early on in the story mode for Forsburn, and is already dead by the time Zetterburn's story begins.
- Small Role, Big Impact: His death kickstarts one of the game's largest plot points, and sets in motion Loxodont's takeover of Aether, but Renburn himself only appears in a single scene.
- Theme Naming: Like all of the -burns, Renburn is named after a Swedish hockey player.
Maypul's sister. She entrusts Kragg with Maypul's companion plant Lily and warns him of the danger plaguing her home during his chapter.
- Dual Tonfas: In this concept art, Mayreed wields a pair of wooden tonfas, but this is never seen in the final game.
- Flat Character: She only serves to inform Kragg of Maypul's quest.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Downplayed. While Maypul goes off to find the source of the shadowy blight ravaging their home, Mayreed stays behind to relay a message to any willing passerby.
- The Ghost: She doesn't appear in Lovers, and is only referred to a couple of times. Word of God says she was considered for a cameo like the other minor characters, but excluded because she would have been middle-school age.
- Prone to Tears: As shown in Sylvanos' reveal trailer, Mayreed is on the verge of tears after hearing her grandmother read a story about him.
- Seldom-Seen Species: She's a red panda.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Maypul is green and acts as a vigilante, while Mayreed is red and seemingly the less daring of the two.
Orcane's adoptive family.
- Fish People: They're both bipedal, fish-like humanoids.
- Flat Character: Nesbit himself is at least shown to be somewhat business savvy in his dealings with the Water Trading Company, but Melby doesn't even have a personality to speak of.
- No Name Given: Downplayed. Melby remains unnamed in the story mode, but her name shows up when selecting her as a buddy.
- Translator Buddy: Melby acts as this for Orcane.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: While Orcane is able to get Melby to safety, the fate of Nesbit himself is unknown after Zetterburn attacks the town.
The protagonist of Tower of Heaven, appearing as a background cameo on the appropriate stage.
- All There in the Manual: Not even for this game, actually. He's never named in anything Rivals related.
- Butt-Monkey: Gets killed often when he peaks out to watch the fighting.
- The Cameo: Appears regularly to watch the fighting on his stage but otherwise doesn't involve himself.
- The Dog Bites Back: On the Aether version of his stage, he becomes a stage hazard that hurts you on contact if the law prohibits touching living things.
- Meaningful Name: Spell it backwards. It fits.
- Off with His Head!: How he dies.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: All it takes is the lightest tap from anything to take him down.
- Unexplained Recovery: He'll come back no matter how many times he's killed as if it never happened, just like in his home game.
Dungeons of Aether
Voiced by: Faye Mata (2021 Lovers of Aether Direct)A fox girl with skills in archery, and the protagonist of the upcoming Dungeons of Aether.
- Cloudcuckoolander: In the Lovers universe, at least— she thinks that Adam Cappybara (unconsciously) lying face-down on the ground means he's protesting against corruption in the school system, drops in and out of conversation to continue her archery, and the first question she asks about a made-up activist organization is what its stance on spelunking is, regardless of what it's called.
- Early-Bird Cameo: She was added as a Rival in Creatures of Aether's 220.127.116.11 update on March 31, 2021, one year before her home game.