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"Simply put, this is the biggest crossover in gaming history. Once again, worlds will collide."
Masahiro Sakurai, after revealing the return of every veteran fighter
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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the upcoming fifth installment in Nintendo's Massive Multiplayer Crossover Platform Fighter series Super Smash Bros., and is developed by Bandai Namco and Sora Ltd. for the Nintendo Switch. Initially teased in March 2018 at the end of a Nintendo Direct, the game was formally revealed at that year's Electronic Entertainment Expo for a worldwide release on December 7, 2018.

The biggest Smash Bros. game to date, the title features the return of every single character from previous installments (including several not seen since Super Smash Bros. Melee in 2001) alongside several new fighters, with such newcomers including the Inklings from the Splatoon series and Guest Fighters like Simon Belmont from the Castlevania series. As of September 2018, 74 fighters (including the newly christened "Echo Fighters") have been confirmed playable with more yet to come, along with over 100 new and returning stages, 800+ music tracks, and more.

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Its website can be found here.


This game provides examples of:

  • All of Them: One of this game's main advertising points is that every character that has been playable in a Smash game is here, from every character previously in 3DS/Wii U (including DLC fighters), to characters that didn't make the cut from Brawl, to even characters that haven't been seen since Melee.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • All Final Smashes have been streamlined to keep matches fast-paced. To name a few examples: Sonic and Pac-Man have the characters attacking automatically instead of being player-controlled; some lost transformation like Fox and Falco initiating an Arwing strike similar to Captain Falcon. Some are changed to auto-combos that require the initial hit to land, like Donkey Kong doing a flurry of fists and Pikachu's Volt Tackle requiring his head bash to connect. There is also now the option to have Final Smashes activated by building up a special meter rather than breaking the randomly spawning orb, though the version activated in this manner is slightly weaker.
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    • To mitigate stalling and keep up the pace of combat, ground dodging now decays with repeated use in the same way that moves do. The more times you dodge in a row, the longer the dodge animation takes and the less invulnerability the dodge gives you.
    • Air-dodging now has increased momentum, allowing the fighter to gain some directional boost while dodging. This helps a lot towards characters with terrible recoveries.
    • If any character is offscreen, a minimap now appears at the corner of the screen that displays the current location of all fighters on the field, including how close they are to the blast zones.
    • Charged Attacks can now be charged in the air, and all charges can now be jump cancelled.
    • Characters with specific gauges and unique mechanics, like Cloud's Limit Break, Villager's Pocket, or Robin's weapon durability, will now always have a character-specific icon next to their damage that displays the relevant information.
    • Little Mac's Jolt Haymaker no longer puts him in freefall if he misses the attack, meaning that players can still recover if the attack causes them to fall off of the stage. It also allows players to pair this up with Rising Uppercut if he's sent flying from the stage, greatly improving his ability to recover.
    • Pokémon Trainer no longer has a stamina-reducing penalty for playing as one of their Pokémon for too long, allowing players to freely select and play as the one they prefer. Switching between the three of them is also much faster than Brawl, allowing for more combo potential, and they can switch while in the air as well. The "type damage" mechanic was also removed, something which infamously left Ivysaur at a severe disadvantage due to the abundance of fire attacks.
    • Shulk's Monado Arts were altered so that you can quickly pick a specific Art by pressing a given direction after triggering the move, rather than cycling through them.
    • Ryu always faces his opponent in a 1-on-1 match like in his home series of Street Fighter, making it much easier to use Input Specials.
    • Using PK Thunder now shows a trajectory arrow next to Ness or Lucas that tells you where the attack will fire them if they hit themselves with it.
    • When Sonic (and Knuckles) use Homing Attack, a targeting reticle will appear on the character they'll hit with the attack.
    • Stages are now selected first before the characters. This allows for a more strategic selection of characters, as certain fighters tend to perform better or worse on certain types of stages. Rules can also be set on who picks a stage after a match.
    • You can save your game setups like game mode, timer, number of stocks, and item availability / frequency.note 
    • Stamina Mode (where the fighters have Hit Points instead of the usual damage percentages) has been added as one of the default modes that can be mixed with multiple stocks and time limits, unlike previous games, allowing one to play Smash more like a traditional Fighting Game without having to dive into the Special Smash modes.
    • Music selection is now based on series instead of stages, meaning that songs are no longer tied to specific stages anymore. For example, every Super Mario Bros. music track can be played on any Super Mario Bros. stage.
    • Aside from Omega forms which feature a Final Destination-style stage layout, all stages now also have Battlefield forms as another alternative layout. All Omega forms also now feature the same layout of a singular floating platform as opposed to for 3DS/Wii U which had different structures despite fighting on a flat surface (i.e. Omega Pac-Land and Omega Onett had you fighting on top of a mountain/building which prevents players from crossing underneath, compared to Omega Super Mario 3D Land which was a floating platform). Additionally, there is now a stage hazard toggle for those that prefer the default layout of the stage without the annoyance of hazards.
    • There is an option to group Echo Fighters in the same slots as the characters on which they are based. Considering how many total fighters are in this game, this is done to make the character select screen more easily navigable to players who prefer it this way.
    • Training Mode now has a special stage that's designed to make it much easier to determine how each character's attacks work. The background has a grid that can be used to measure distance, and attacks have their launch distance displayed along with their possible trajectories at 0% and 100% damage, as well as factoring in the fighter's weight.
    • Landing lag has been reduced for aerial attacks, allowing the benefits of L-canceling to come back without the technique itself.
  • Art Evolution:
    • Ultimate goes out of its way to update the graphics of returning stages from Melee onwards, like this example comparing Kongo Jungle from Melee (now named Kongo Falls). Even Wii U stages like Gaur Plains from 3DS/Wii U get updated shaders and lighting.
    • Character design continues in the same vein of 3DS/Wii U, with the characters retaining the look and feel of their regular series counterparts while being given more realistic textures (Donkey Kong's fur and Little Mac and Ryu's muscles being huge examples).
    • Deliberately averted for the 64 stages, which only received minor touch-ups and upscaling, which was what they did for their 3DS/Wii U iteration. Mushroom Kingdom is the exception, which has had its sprite art updated to be more faithful to the original 8-bit Super Mario Bros. game.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Inklings graduated from being a DLC trophy and Mii Fighter costume to playable between 3DS/Wii U and this game.
    • Ridley appeared as a background character in the N64 original, a trophy in Melee, a recurring boss in Brawl's Subspace Emissary, and a stage hazard in Wii U 's Pyrosphere before finally becoming a playable character.
    • Daisy was formerly a palette swap for Peach before becoming a playable character in her own right as Peach's Echo Fighter.
    • Chrom was previously just a part of Robin's Final Smash in 3DS/Wii U before becoming an Echo Fighter of Roy.
    • Dark Samus was a regular trophy in Brawl and an Assist Trophy in 3DS/Wii U before becoming Samus's Echo Fighter.
    • King K. Rool had trophies in Melee onward and a Mii Fighter costume in 3DS/Wii U before becoming a playable character.
    • Isabelle goes from being an Assist Trophy in 3DS/Wii U to a playable character here.
  • Ascended Meme: For years, it was accepted as fact that Ridley would never be a playable character in Smash because he was "too big"; i.e., he is so large compared to Samus that to make him playable would require scaling him down to the point that he doesn't feel as fearsome as he rightfully should. When he was finally announced to make his Smash debut here, what was his newcomer blurb? "Ridley Hits the Big Time!" Additionally, one of his taunts is to stand to his full height, showing that even rescaled, he's still taller than all the other fighters.
  • Assist Character: You can now earn points for Time Battle by knocking out assist trophy characters (you could do so before, but there was no reward other than stopping them earlier than usual), a rather unorthodox way of "assisting" you.
  • Bait-and-Switch: King K. Rool's trailer. It shows various heroes fighting their most personal opponents, and then cuts to Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong's cabin, where they hear loud footsteps and look outside to see a silhouette of King K. Rool, their most persistent foe... only for it to be King Dedede pulling a prank. King K. Rool himself then proceeds to come in while Dedede is laughing, knocking Dedede out of the way and setting the tone for the remainder of the trailer.
  • Balance Buff: Several moves that left the user helpless despite being purely offensive and/or not offering recovery distance (Giant Punch, PK Flash, Din's Fire, etc.) no longer do so, giving them much more versatility offstage.
  • Big Damn Heroes: "Vampire Killer" features two. First, Simon pops in to save Luigi after the latter's soul had been reaped by Death. Second, Richter pops in to keep several of Dracula's fireballs from killing an incapacitated Simon.
  • Boss Fight: The game will feature a few of them, including against Dracula and a Rathalos. In addition, stage bosses like the Yellow Devil and Metal Face return. Being a playable character, Ridley won't appear as a boss unlike the previous two titles.
  • Bottle Episode: Isabelle's trailer is set in the mayor's office, with no one besides her and Pete in it, and the entire scene is filmed with a single camera angle before the reveal. Other fighters are only seen in her gameplay montage.
  • Breather Episode:
    • Ridley's trailer features him violently killing Mario and Mega Man, and Simon's trailer features Luigi getting his soul torn out by Death (even if still with a comical slant to it). King K. Rool's trailer is, by contrast, much more comedic and lighthearted, with a lot of the humor coming from K. Rool's return and DK and Diddy's reaction to it.
    • Similarly, Isabelle's trailer deals with her secretary duties and has a comedic interlude where she considers taking over as mayor from Villager. In fact, her trailer doesn't feature any violence outside of the in-game clips from Ultimate.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • The game's tagline is "EVERYONE IS HERE!" All fighters who have previously appeared in the series are playable. In particular, this applies to the Ice Climbers, Wolf, Young Link, Squirtle, Ivysaur, Pichu and Snake, who all missed out on a game or two since their debuts. Note that Charizard returns as part of Pokémon Trainer's set, not as an individual fighter.
    • King K. Rool is a different sort, as this is the character's first major appearance in any game for over ten years, with his last role being as a Secret Character in Mario Super Sluggers.
    • Leaf is in the same boat as King K. Rool, as she hasn't been seen since 2004's Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen for over a decade's worth.
    • Although Krystal only shows up an Assist Trophy, it still marks her first physical appearance in over twelve years. She was last seen in Star Fox Command before the series went on hiatus and then came back, but with a semi-reboot game that dropped Krystal in favor of restoring Peppy's place on the team.
    • After being the only primary universesnote  entirely cut during the transition from Brawl to 3DS/Wii U, the Metal Gear and Electroplankton franchises make their grand return as well.
    • Many (but not all) old stages that debuted once and never returned for a long time (Saffron City, Brinstar Depths, Fountain of Dreams, etc.) returned.
  • Call-Back:
    • The Inkling's reveal trailer (which doubled as the game's teaser trailer), begins in the same manner as the original Splatoon's, with the female Inkling laying down ink and swimming through it as a squid before revealing her humanoid form.
    • In K. Rool's trailer:
    • When Isabelle receives an invitation in her reveal trailer, the envelope is identical to the one Villager got in the 3DS/Wii U reveal trailer, complete with a Smash-logo-shaped wax seal. It's also sent through the post, except Isabelle receives her invitation personally from Pete, while Villager picked up theirs in a mailbox.
  • Colony Drop: The Moon assist trophy, from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, drops onto the battlefield, blasting everyone except the player who called it in.
  • Commercial Switcheroo:
    • The game's reveal trailer starts out with what at first seems to be a repeat of the original Splatoon trailer, giving strong implications that they're porting the original game to the Nintendo Switch.
    • Isabelle's reveal trailer is made to look like a new Animal Crossing game. Played with, as a new Animal Crossing game really was revealed immediately afterward.
  • Composite Character: Many of the character redesigns in this game feature fusions of a character's various designs throughout their releases.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: The new "Smashdown" mode can Invoke this if you're skilled with a very little number of characters or just one, since after a fighter has been chosen for a match, they will be locked for the remainder of the playthrough. This can work in the other player's advantage if they pick a fighter they know their opponent is exceptionally good at.
  • Darker and Edgier: Inkling, Ridley and Simon's respective trailer reveals, in comparison to reveal trailers of the previous games. Inkling's ends with them staring at the Smash Logo on fire, surrounded by darkness and Ominous Chanting. Ridley's has Mario and Mega Man brutally stabbed by Ridley himself. Simon's has Black Comedy with Luigi getting his soul ripped out of his body by Castlevania's Death. Overall, Ultimate continues a trend from Smash 4 with rather violent trailers in dark, realistic locations.
  • Deconstructive Parody: The Belmonts' trailer has Luigi trying to use his standard Luigi's Mansion toolset to defeat the monsters in Dracula's Castle of all places. His usual tools like the flashlight don't work on them since they're corporeal, resulting in him "dying" at the hands of Death. Even as Luigi's soul is about to return to his body at the end, Carmilla pops over to scare the crap out of him one last time.
  • Diminishing Returns for Balance: Dodging now decays. If a fighter keeps dodging too many times in a row, their duration of intangibility keeps getting shorter, and their recovery time keeps getting longer.
  • Double Subversion:
    • King K. Kool's trailer has Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong look out their window to see a silhouette of the aforementioned villain, who throws off his disguise to reveal himself to actually be King Dedede. Then, while King Dedede is running around laughing about the prank he just played, he gets clobbered from behind by the actual King K. Rool.
    • Isabelle's trailer was set up to look like a trailer for a new Animal Crossing game, only to reveal that she was a new fighter. Afterward, though, Tom Nook showed up to reveal that there really was a new Animal Crossing game coming out in 2019.
  • Dream Match Game: Although Super Smash Bros. as a series is already based upon this concept, this game takes it further by bringing back every fighter up to the point of this game's release, including the third-party characters, which allows for matchups that wouldn't have been possible at the time of their releases (such as Snake being able to fight Mega Man).
  • Dynamic Entry: Simon makes his entrance by smacking Death in the jaw with the Vampire Killer.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The Castlevania reveal trailer featured Luigi's new Poltergust before Luigi's Mansion 3 was formally announced.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: The character trailers have uncharacteristically violent deaths.
    • In Ridley's trailer, he impales Mega Man with his tail and crushes Mario's head.
    • In the Belmonts' trailer, Death literally slashes Luigi's soul out of his body. This one shocked enough people that the Nintendo UK Twitter account had to reassure people that he would be fine; indeed, one can see Luigi's soul was just about to return to his body at the end of the trailer.
  • Fanservice Pack:
    • Played Straight for Daisy as her design is slightly bustier than in the Mario sports and party games.
    • Double Subverted for Zero Suit Samus; her bustline was toned down to more realistic proportions in comparison to her 3DS/ Wii U incarnation. However, she is noticeably more muscular than her previous appearances, which is also more realistic, considering her profession.
    • Also inverted for Snake, as his bodysuit isn't as skintight as it appeared in Brawl. Among other less defined areas, his butt was toned down.
    • Less notable but also inverted for Palutena, as her dress cut has been slightly stitched, exposing less of her thigh. This change was originally made in the Japanese version of the previous game.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: King K. Rool's trailer starts with various Nintendo heroes fighting their respective villain or rival before cutting to Donkey Kong yawning, presumably watching this series of images in his television.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • Ridley literally impales Mega Man rather brutally in his reveal trailer, before grabbing Mario and crushing his head/throwing him off the bridge, with gorn-y sound effects accompanying them. They are both heavily implied to be dead. That's right: Ridley literally kills Mr. Nintendo himself!
    • Luigi has his literal soul ripped out by none other than Death. What's this game rated again? E10+, you say? Could have fooled some people.
    • In Ultimate, Captain Falcon's red costume reads "Hell Hawk"note  on the back.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Every single match starts off with silhouettes of the characters with a glint in their eyes before switching over to their character portraits.
  • Grandfather Clause: Nothing new for the series, but Ultimate adds some new ones where tradition is carried out despite being out-of-place.
    • Corrin's skin is still by default male, even after the female version has long since been accepted as the "main" version, because 4 did it before this happened. That said, the female skin still gets plenty of advertising alongside the male.
    • Dr. Mario is still a distinct character separate from regular Mario, even though Echo Fighters have been introduced in this game. Due to Divergent Character Evolution, he's considered too distinct to make an Echo.
    • Pokémon Trainer is the only character in the roster to maintain the Stance System of transformations, after 4 got rid of them by making Zelda/Sheik and Samus/Zero Suit Samus separate characters while taking out the Trainer in that game and making Charizard his own fully developed fighter. Because everyone is back, including the Trainer alongside Squirtle and Ivysaur, they get to retain the Stance System after it had been discarded, while kicking Charizard back into being part of the Trainer's set rather than his own character (throwing out Rock Smash in the process). But unlike the two examples given above, Pokémon Trainer conceptually is about using each monster to cover each other's weaknesses rather than being separate characters in a single slot (you can still stick to one Pokémon if you want to, though).
  • Guest Fighter: Not only do all 7 previous third-party characters (Sonic, Mega Man, Pac-Man, Ryu, Cloud, Bayonetta, and Snake) return, but the game will have at least two new guests: Simon and Richter Belmont.
  • Haunted Castle: Dracula's Castle from the Castlevania series is a new stage. Various Gothic Horror monsters such as The Creature, a Werewolf, and Death will pop into the darkly lit level, with Dracula himself occasionally appearing.
  • Interface Screw: A new item is the Ramblin' Evil Mushroom, an enemy from EarthBound. Players who get hit by this will have their left/right controls reversed.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • Averted. Trying to guess the remaining characters by using the "Everyone Is Here" mural is a lost cause, as it changes frequently. The E3 2018 Direct version intentionally lacked Daisy and Ridley, with the updated version after their announcement having the positions swapped around on existing characters. Said mural was even used on various public promotions (like E3 2018 itself) so people thought it would have been the final positions. Then August 2018 Ultimate Direct came and pulled the same trick.
    • Also averted with the character select screen, which begins with only the original eight Veteran characters from the original game. Since the selection screen grows in size as you unlock characters, in addition to allowing the player to "merge" echoes and their originals into the same slot, it is hard to see how many are actually remaining.
    • Another aversion is with Isabelle's reveal trailer, which does not open up with the Smash logo. This is justified in that it doubled as the announcement for a new Animal Crossing game for the Nintendo Switch.
    • Played straight with Monster Hunter's Rathalos, whose reveal shows the boss in a location that does not appear on the stage selection menu, implying that they'll be seen in another mode all together. Done more subtly with Dracula, who is described in the same Direct as appearing as a boss in Dracula's Castle but is depicted as being fought in a throne room arena that appears to be separate from the selectable stage of that name.
    • Certain names hinted possible future inclusions. For instance, Kongo Jungle from Melee has been renamed to Kongo Falls, making many fans realize that the 64 Kongo Jungle will return.
  • Later Installment Weirdness:
    • The stage selection screen appears before the character selection screen. This would make players strategically choose a character who would be more suited to the selected stage.
    • The stock icons are not crops from the characters' renders and are instead minimalist vector graphics usually depicting the front of their head.
    • Unlike previous clone characters, Divergent Character Evolution is not applied to Echo Fighters who originated as clones in 3DS/Wii U. The game also gives the player the option to "stack" the clones in the same character slot as their basis rather than give them fully separate slots.
    • There isn't a new English-language announcer, with Xander Mobus reprising the role.note 
    • All stages are now unlocked from the beginning, as opposed to unlocking a few more.
    • Similar to stages above, all characters in the game will be revealed before release, meaning no more hidden characters. You still need to unlock characters, but there won't be any surprises for those who kept up with the game's promotional material.
    • Marth now has English voice clips, after three games being voiced in Japanese. This is due to his character being now dubbed in English in games like Codename Steam, Fire Emblem Fates, Fire Emblem Warriors, and Fire Emblem Heroes, which were all released after Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.
    • The Triforce Trio’s designs are not all based on the same game, instead being based on three completely different games (Breath of the Wild for Link, A Link Between Worlds for Zelda, Ocarina of Time for Ganondorf).
  • Level 1 Music Represents: Simon and Richter's character trailers use remixes of the level 1 themes from their respective debut games ("Vampire Killer" from Castlevania and "Divine Bloodlines" from Castlevania: Rondo of Blood). A large proportion of the other featured Castlevania songs are also introductory area themes ("Cross Your Heart" from Haunted Castle, "Dracula's Castle" from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, "Awake" from Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, "Jet Black Incursion" from Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, etc.).
  • Lighter and Softer: Isabelle's trailer was this compared to previous newcomer reveals. As opposed to Ominous Latin Chanting and characters dying, Isabelle's involves a typical day at work before getting her letter.
  • Limit Break: Instead of breaking a randomly-spawning Smash Ball, players have the option to build up their own Final Smash Meter to activate a weaker version of their Final Smash, akin to how supers in traditional fighting games are performed. No two Final Smashes can be activated at the same time, however.
  • Long Bus Trip: The cut Brawl and Melee veterans that had to wait 10 and 17 whole years to return to the cast.
  • Ludicrous Precision: This game measures damage percentages to an extra decimal point. Previous games (i.e. every game except for the original) did this as part of background damage calculation, but this is the first time it's been shown to the player.
  • Meet Your Early Installment Weirdness: Pikachu and Link are part of the Original 12 and have gone through both Art Evolution and moveset changes in all of the games. In comparison, Pichu and Young Link have had little changes since they last appeared in Melee, making them the closest things you have to Melee versions of the characters they were based on in this game. Young Link is notable in that he's the same Link that appeared in 64 and Melee except shorter, whereas this Link is based on his Breath of the Wild incarnation.
  • Megamix Game: Although the sheer volume of fighters already qualifies Ultimate as a Dream Match Game, it has plenty of returning content besides fighters, such as stages and game modes.
  • Moveset Clone: Now clones are formally called "Echo Fighters". They refer to characters who, like Dark Pit, Lucina, and Dr. Mario in the previous title, are only balanced against the fighter they are based from instead of the whole roster, and are mostly the same altering first animations, then some moves and attributes. However, clones that are fundamentally different from their base, including Dr. Mario himself in this version, Ganondorf and newcomers like Isabelle, don't qualify. Echo fighters can also be stacked into the same slot on the character select screen as the character they're based on if the player so chooses.
  • Musical Nod: The main theme of the game, though it doesn't have any direct melody lifted from any game before, has similarities to Melee's opening theme and menu theme, and 3DS/Wii U's main theme, with how the score progresses through the notes and how the A section transitions to the B section, as shown here. Notably, the transition between the two sections in the "Challenger Approaching" trailer occurs when Zelda appears with Sheik being there later, as a call back to Melee's opening, where Sheik appears when the transition happens with Zelda being in the background afterwards.
  • Nerf: In previous games, only a couple Assist Trophies could be KO'd. The majority of them are now susceptible to being damaged and defeated.
  • Nostalgia Level: A lot more than in previous games — in fact, most of the stages are returning older ones. Unlike 3DS/Wii U, Ultimate features Melee stages not featured in Brawl. For the first time in the series, the majority of older stages (except for ones originating from Super Smash Bros. 64) feature updated graphics and textures to bring them up to modern standards, in the vein of Mario Kart 8.
  • Oh, Crap!: In King K. Rool's reveal trailer, upon seeing that King K. Rool's finally returned, Donkey Kong and Diddy's eyes pop through the window.
  • Old Save Bonus: Figure Player data stored on amiibo can be transferred from 3DS/Wii U to Ultimate.
  • One-Hit Kill: While attacks and items that have high enough knockback that a Ring Out is almost certain are nothing new, Ultimate adds the ability to straight-up obliterate your enemies in certain conditions (usually a high damage percentage), such as the Death's Scythe item, various Final Smashes, or Mimikyu's grab.
  • One Steve Limit: Several past stages have been renamed to avoid confusion with similarly-named stages. Some examples are "Yoshi's Island" renamed to "Super Happy Tree", "Kongo Jungle" renamed to "Kongo Falls," and "Mario Circuit" renamed to "Figure-8 Circuit". Averted with Melee and Brawl's versions of Yoshi's Island, which are both named that, but the former additionally has "(Melee)" in its name. There's also an interesting aversion in the form of "Mute City (SNES)", though the Melee version of the stage is not part of the initial roster.
  • Pirates Vs Ninjas: Ridley and King K. Rool (the former a Space Pirate, the latter having appeared as "Kaptain K. Rool" in Diddy's Kong Quest), who can fight against Greninja and the ninja-esque Sheik.
  • Poison Mushroom: In addition to the returning Trope Namer, Ultimate introduces the Fake Smash Ball, which releases a devastating explosion when it's broken. Compared to a real Smash Ball, the Fake Smash Ball has a thicker horizontal line and a thinner vertical line.
  • Promoted to Playable:
    • This is the first time Ridley and Dark Samus have been playable under any circumstances.
    • Both Chrom and Isabelle used to be NPCs, the former as part of Robin's Final Smash and the latter as an Assist Trophy. Both are now playable fighters.
  • Production Foreshadowing: The Vampire Killer trailer featured Luigi using a new version of the Poltergust which could also fire plungers. Later, the 9/13/18 Nintendo Direct reveals Luigi's Mansion 3, which also features the same Poltergust model and the plunger ability.
  • Resting Recovery: The Healing Field item creates a small area that heals anyone standing inside of it.
  • Retraux: Stages originating from the first game are designed to look like they were ripped straight from an Nintendo 64 with some minor touch-ups. This includes using sprites for some map features and retaining the somewhat blocky stage geometry.
  • Running Gag:
    • During online announcements, Sakurai frequently states that he's about to talk about a new fighter... except it's one you've recently learned about, like the Inkling or Richter.
    • When Sakurai is finishing off talking about an Echo Fighter (or three in the case of the August 2018 Smash Direct), one of the Echo Fighters that were being discussed will have one of their victory animations shown. Dark Samus, the only Echo Fighter to not adhere to this in any Direct, does a victory animation in her trailer on the official website.
  • Serial Escalation: Ultimate brings out every fighter from past installments, introduces a few new fighters on top of that, contains over 100 stages, and has 800 tracks (900 if you include things like fanfare and menu music) from each series.
  • Sinister Scythe: Death's Scythe is a new striking item that instantly KOs high-damaged opponents without sending them to the blast line.
  • Situational Damage Attack:
    • One of the new items is a gun called the Rage Blaster, where its attacks are stronger when the user is more damaged.
    • The Staff from Kid Icarus: Uprising fires a beam that does more damage the further it travels before hitting a target.
    • From the Fire Emblem series is a sword called the Killing Edge. Based on its increased Critical Hit probability in its home games, here it can deal twice the damage only when the sword is glowing.
    • Death's Scythe from Castlevania can One-Hit KO opponents without them even being knocked past the stage boundaries, but only if their damage is high enough.
  • Slasher Smile: Due to the more wider variety of expressions a character can have in battle, the villainous characters like Ganondorf, Ridley, and Wolf may sport one in any of their animations. King K. Rool is a special case, as he has one constantly, but it's not apparent immediately.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The Stage 2 theme from Castlevania, usually spelled "Stalker," is spelled "Starker" in the August 8th, 2018 Nintendo Direct list of Castlevania songs.
  • Super Move Portrait Attack: When a character initiates a Final Smash, it is accompanied by their portrait appearing on the side of the screen.
  • Teleport Spam: One of the many Pokémon one can summon from the Poké Ball is Abra, which will float over to opponents and spam Teleport, taking nearby fighters with it and potentially offstage.
  • This Banana is Armed: This game introduces a new item called the banana gun. It looks like an ordinary banana, but it fires a single, powerful bullet before turning into a banana peel.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Peach (and Daisy)'s Toads function the exact same in Ultimate than in previous installments, but now appear more confident. Whereas they looked like they were being used as human shields in prior games, they jump out to protect their Princess instead. They're also now a part of their Princess's throw animation.
  • Unrealistic Black Hole: The appropriately-named Black Hole item sucks everything — items, enemies, projectiles, etc. — into its center. Only the player who activated the item is immune from this. Trying to knock away a person being sucked into the black hole will only have them be pulled back.
  • Variable Mix: When playing on the New Donk City Hall stage, the various members of the New Donk City Players, as well as Mayor Pauline, float in on platforms. Touching them will activate that member's instrument, including Pauline's singing voice, in "Jump Up, Super Star!"
  • A Wild Rapper Appears!: This game's remix of Gangplank Galleon unexpectedly has a rap verse snuck into it, turning the theme into something of a Villain Song for King K. Rool.
  • Wham Line:
  • Wham Shot: Snake disengaging his camouflage during the character count surprised many.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Zig-zagged with the fate of Luigi in the Simon/Richter reveal trailer. After being reaped by Death, his ghost is never shown re-entering his body (Carmilla scares him just as he's trying to do so, and the last we see or hear of him is his scream from the exterior of Dracula's castle). Nintendo UK's twitter tried to assure fans that Luigi was okay, but some remain skeptical.
  • The Worf Effect: So far, every character reveal trailer except Inkling and Isabelle's has had a newcomer show up an established fighter.
    • Ridley impales Mega Man with his tail and punctures Mario's neck.
    • Simon Belmont banishes Death after the reaper kills Luigi with a single swing of his scythe.
    • Soon after, Richter saves his wounded ancestor from one of Dracula's fireballs.
    • K. Rool wallops Dedede for impersonating him and gets a flabbergasted Eye Pop from his old nemeses.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: Death rends poor Luigi's soul from his body in Simon's trailer. Luckily for Luigi, Simon wasn't having any of it.

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