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"Simply put, this is the largest crossover in gaming history."
Masahiro Sakurai, after revealing the return of every veteran fighter

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 December 2018 release.

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 Guest Fighters like Simon Belmont from the Castlevania series. As of August 2018, 73 fighters (including the newly christened "Echo Fighters") have been confirmed playable, along with over 100 new and returning stages, 800+ music tracks, and more.

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 WiiU/3DS (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, Pac-Man, and Pikachu's have the characters attacking automatically instead of being player-controlled; Fox and Falco's Landmasters are retired in lieu of a cinematic attack by the Star Fox team; and Donkey Kong's replaces his bongos with Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs. 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.
    • 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, like Little Mac.
    • 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.
    • 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. 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.
    • 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/WiiU 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 undoubtedly to make the character select screen more easily navigable.
    • 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.
  • 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 WiiU stages like Gaur Plains from 3DS/WiiU 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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:
  • Colony Drop: The Moon assist trophy, from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, drops the moon 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.
  • Darker and Edgier: The trailer reveals, besides King K. Rool's, appear like this 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 getting stabbed through the chest. Simon's has Black Comedy with Luigi getting his soul ripped out of his body by Castlevania's Death. And even then, King Dedede ended up being slammed away in King K. Rool's trailer regardless. Furthermore, Ultimate features a larger number of villainous newcomers (Ridley, Dark Samus, King K. Rool), with the two Metroid villains in particular being much more sinister than all the other playable villains except Ganondorf.
  • 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, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: The character trailers have uncharacteristically violent deaths.
    • In Ridley's trailer, he stabs Mega Man's chest and punctures Mario's neck.
    • 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.
    • Depending on how you look at it, King K. Rool hitting King Dedede where he did may have broken his neck.
  • Fanservice Pack:
    • Played Straight for Daisy as her design is slightly bustier than in the Mario sports and party games.
    • Inverted for Zero Suit Samus as her bustline was toned down to more realistic proportions in comparison to her WiiU/3DS incarnation. However, her arm and thigh muscles have become noticeably larger and more toned, 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.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: King K. Rool's trailer starts with various Nintendo heroes fighting their respective villain. Kirby is shown fighting Meta Knight rather than King Dedede, who shows up later in the trailer as part of a Bait-and-Switch.
  • 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. Had he been introduced in this game and not in Melee, he would've certainly been a Mario 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. The August 2018 SSBU Direct pulled the same trick.
    • Also averted with the character select screen, which begins with only the original twelve 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 did this as part of background damage calculation, but this is the first time it's been shown to the player.
  • Moveset Clone: Now clones are formally called "echo fighters". They refer to characters who are pretty much exactly the same as the "original" character they are based from, altering only attack properties, some animations, and possibly a Final Smash. However, previous clones that had undergone Divergent Character Evolution, like Dr. Mario, 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.
  • Never Say "Die": Richter Belmont's iconic quote from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night gets watered down a bit in Simon's reveal trailer:
    "Begone! You do not belong in this world, monster!"
  • 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 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."
  • 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: 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.
  • Resting Recovery: The Healing Field item creates a small area that heals anyone standing inside of it.
  • 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 from each series.
  • Super Move Portrait Attack: When a character initiates a Final Smash, it is accompanied by their portrait appearing on the side of the screen.
  • Situational Damage Attack:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Worf Effect: So far, every character reveal trailer after Inkling's has had a newcomer show up an established fighter.
    • Ridley impales Mega Man with his tail and smashes Mario's head against a wall.
    • 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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