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August 8 Smash Bros. Ultimate Direct – Information and Reaction

NOTE: I had to make a couple minor edits, both to more accurately incorporate Sakurai’s comments about the game’s stages and to include a theory on the hidden game mode or feature. Last edit: 5:32 PM EST

Once again, Sakurai and the team behind Super Smash Bros. Ultimate have dropped a mass release of information, revealing two newcomers, three Echo Fighters, and an entirely new franchise into the mix. There is quote a bit of information here, so we’ve compiled it here for ease of reading. Note that there was a number of things officially revealed here that had been unofficially discovered during E3. We want to make this comprehensive, so we’ll be including information Sakurai gave that was revealed, only unofficially or through separate channels like the Treehouse Live footage. We have also collected reactions from the Source Gaming team directly.

The Direct itself:

Character Trailers:

Tracks made for or used in prior Smash games. Bolded are ones we noticed had their pitch changed, though we couldn’t verify all of them:
  • NEWCOMER: Simon Belmont, from Castlevania. He draws from his home games: his specials are the Axe, Cross, Uppercut, and Holy Water, and he can use directional control of his whip as in Super Castlevania IV. Final Smash is the Grand Cross.
  • NEWCOMER: Richter Belmont, as an Echo Fighter of Simon. Many of both Castlevania heroes’ attacks originated from Richter’s portrayal in Rondo of Blood and Symphony of the Night.
  • NEWCOMER: Chrom, as an Echo Fighter of Roy. However, he also appears to have taken some animations from Ike, and he has what seems to be a unique Final Smash.
  • NEWCOMER: Dark Samus, as an Echo Fighter of Samus.
  • NEWCOMER: King K. Rool, from Donkey Kong Country. He uses a blunderbuss to not shots and apparently suck them back in. His recovery is a small propeller on his back, and his Final Smash involves him firing the Blast-O-Matic at DK Island. He also has a counter, involving his gut absorbing an opponent’s attack.In addition, Sakurai has stated that “we plan to reveal the design of every fighter before the game launches,” and that there will be more characters to reveal “later.”
  • One minor point of speculation. King K. Rool’s reveal trailer starts with a number of art pieces showing various Nintendo heroes fighting their archenemies: Mario saving Peach from Bowser, Samus attacking Ridley, and Kirby squaring off with Meta Knight. While this is in NO way a confirmation, it might – MIGHT – lend some degree of credence to the claims “heroes vs. villains” focus. However, do take this with several grains of salt; it is most likely just there to highlight Donkey Kong and K. Rool’s storied rivalry.
  • There are, in Sakurai’s words, “exactly” 103 confirmed stages in the game, the vast majority coming from prior stages; when counting both Omega and Battlefield forms, that number increases to 309.
  • New Stage: Dracula’s Castle, from the Castlevania series. Hitting a candle will drop an item. Bosses from the first two Castlevania games can appear as bosses, including Medusa, the Werewolf, the Creature and Flea Man, Carmilla, the Mummy, Death, and at least one as-of yet unknown boss (whose silhouette appears similar to Kid Dracula). Dracula can also appear as a boss, though the circumstances for activating him are as of yet unknown.
  • The unnamed Super Mario Odyssey stage has been confirmed to be New Donk City Hall, in which players ride a platform up and down the front of the building. There appears to be a mechanic in which players can “activate” the game’s musicians and Pauline.
  • Previously shown, Ultimate provides a stage hazard toggle, removing certain elements like the Yellow Devil.
  • All stages are available for eight player battles, and all of them are available from the beginning. Apparently, the process of unlocking stages has been removed.
  • Officially announced returning stages (whether or not they had been seen through videos, screenshots, and the like) are: Pokémon Stadium, Garden of Hope, Brinstar Depths, Summit, Unova Pokémon League, Magicant, Gamer, and Final Destination, now sporting a rocky look with glowing veins.
  • Previously returning stages which had not been seen in any capacity before now include: Big Battlefield, Peach’s Castle, Kongo Jungle, Mushroom Kingdom (64), Rainbow Cruise, Yoshi’s Island (Melee), Fountain of Dreams, Brinstar Depths, Pirate Ship, Mario Bros., Hanenbow, Golden Plains, Paper Mario, Dream Land GB, Mute City SNES, PictoChat 2, Flat Zone X, Gamer, Windy Hill Zone.
  • Several stages have been renamed: Mario Circuit (Brawl) is now Figure-8 Circuit. Dream Land (3DS) is now Dream Land GB. Mute City (3DS) is now Mute City SNES. Yoshi’s Island (64) is now Super Happy Tree.
  • Big Battlefield now has an orange tint to visually differentiate it.
  • Perhaps the oddest new stage element is a new feature: Stage Morph. Set to “off” by default, players can use it to select two entirely separate stages; as you battle, the stages will switch with each other at regular intervals set by the player.
  • The new Assist Trophy Rathalos also appears as a boss on a stage presumably inspired by the Monster Hunter series. This could mean Sakurai is hiding some stages, or it could mean that this will be a special stage not regularly accessible in versus mode. That the stage is unnaturally flat for a Smash Bros. environment suggests the latter.
Current Stage List (This is separate due to its sheer length, and ignores the Monster Hunter stage shown):
  1. Battlefield
  2. Big Battlefield
  3. Final Destination
  4. Peach’s Castle
  5. Kongo Jungle
  6. Hyrule Castle
  7. Super Happy Tree (formerly Yoshi’s Island (64))
  8. Dream Land
  9. Saffron City
  10. Mushroom Kingdom
  11. Princess Peach’s Castle
  12. Rainbow Cruise
  13. Kongo Falls
  14. Jungle Japes
  15. Great Bay
  16. Temple
  17. Brinstar
  18. Yoshi’s Island (Melee)
  19. Yoshi’s Story
  20. Fountain of Dreams
  21. Green Greens
  22. Corneria
  23. Venom
  24. Pokémon Stadium
  25. Onett
  26. Mushroom Kingdom II
  27. Brinstar Depths
  28. Big Blue
  29. Fourside
  30. Delfino Plaza
  31. Mushroomy Kingdom
  32. Figure-8 Circuit (formerly Mario Circuit (Brawl))
  33. WarioWare, Inc.
  34. Bridge of Eldin
  35. Norfair
  36. Frigate Orpheon
  37. Yoshi’s Island
  38. Halberd
  39. Lylat Cruise
  40. Pokémon Stadium 2
  41. Port Town Aero Dive
  42. Castle Siege
  43. Distant Planet
  44. Smashville
  45. New Pork City
  46. Summit
  47. Skyworld
  48. Shadow Moses Island
  49. Luigi’s Mansion
  50. Pirate Ship
  51. Spear Pillar
  52. 75m
  53. Mario Bros.
  54. Hanenbow
  55. Green Hill Zone
  56. 3D Land
  57. Golden Plains
  58. Paper Mario
  59. Gerudo Valley
  60. Spirit Train
  61. Dream Land GB
  62. Unova Pokémon League
  63. Prism Tower
  64. Mute City SNES
  65. Magicant
  66. Arena Ferox
  67. Reset Bomb Forest
  68. Tortimer Island
  69. Balloon Fight
  70. Living Room
  71. Find Mii
  72. Tomodachi Life
  73. Pictochat 2
  74. Mushroom Kingdom U
  75. Mario Galaxy
  76. Mario Circuit
  77. Skyloft
  78. The Great Cave Offensive
  79. Kalos Pokémon League
  80. Coliseum
  81. Flat Zone X
  82. Palutena’s Temple
  83. Gamer
  84. Garden of Hope
  85. Town and City
  86. Wii Fit Studio
  87. Boxing Ring
  88. Gaur Plain
  89. Duck Hunt
  90. Wrecking Crew
  91. Pilotwings
  92. Wuhu Island
  93. Windy Hill Zone
  94. Wily Castle
  95. Pac-Land
  96. Super Mario Maker
  97. Suzaku Castle
  98. Midgar
  99. Umbra Clock Tower
  100. New Donk City Hall
  101. Great Plateau Tower
  102. Moray Towers
  103. Dracula’s Castle
Assist Trophies:
  • Alucard, from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. He uses his iconic Symphony of the Night design: he wields his super-fast Crissaegrim sword, can fly across the stage as a bat, and dodges attacks by taking the Form of Mist.
  • Chef Kawasaki, from Kirby Super Star. Grabs fighters with a long spoon, then pulls them into his pot. Similar to Kirby’s Final Smash in Brawl.
  • Kapp’n, from Animal Crossing. He drives around in his bus, captures fighters, and drives them off the screen.
  • Klaptrap, from Donkey Kong Country. Runs around and leaps onto enemies, chomping on them,
  • Knuckles, from Sonic the Hedgehog 3. He digs out of the ground and uses both punches and a Homing Attack.
  • Moon, from Majora’s Mask. It falls from the sky, causing a massive explosion when striking the stage.
  • Nikki, from Swapnote. She draws obstacles or enemies on the stage using a stylus.
  • Shovel Knight: He performs his downward stab and regular strike. Sometimes his digging uncovers an item.
  • Zero, from Mega Man X. Attacks with his sword, with both strikes and a sword beam.
  • Old Assist Trophes include Ashley, Gray Fox
  • Rathalos from Monster Hunter is the first character to appear as both an Assist Trophy and, surprisingly, a boss as well. Specifically, he appears on what is presumably a Monster Hunter stage, though one that was only partially shown and not explicitly confirmed.
New Pokémon:
  • Alolan Exeggutor: Acts as a natural barrier that stands in the stage
  • Abra: uses Teleport to drag characters all around the stage
  • Ditto: uses Transform to copy a fighter directly. Notably, Ditto was planned and scrapped as a Pokémon in Melee, most likely with this exact ability in mind.
  • Lunala: (likely) uses Moongeist Beam to fire a massive blast from the background
  • Marshadow: uses Spectral Thief to trap, then punch, its target.
  • Mimikyu: grabs an opponent, pulls it under its cloth, and beats them. It also seems that it can destroy opponents outright, likely if they accrued enough damage à la the danger zones in Great Cave Offensive.
  • Pyukumuku: (likely) uses Counter to respond to any attack with its “fist.”
  • Solgaleo: (likely) uses Sunsteel Strike to fire a massive horizontal blast
  • Vulpix: now comes in both Alolan and regular varieties to attack with ice and fire.
  • Killing Edge: a sword that becomes more powerful as it glows crimson. Frst item from Fire Emblem.
  • Death’s Scythe: large blade that instantly KO’s any fighter who has been “badly damaged” (possibly meaning they have over 100% damage). First item from Castlevania.
  • Staff: a Kid Icarus: Uprising rifle whose power increases the further you are from your target
  • Banana Gun: a banana that fires a single powerful “bullet” before turning into a banana peel.
  • Ramblin’ Evil Mushroom : an EarthBound monster. You pick it up and spew spores on your target, causing their controls to be reversed.
  • Rage Blaster: a variation on the Ray Gun with a twist: the more damage you have, the stronger it gets. We’re not quite sure whether or not this is an original item.
  • Bomber: a Kirby enemy which explodes after you hold it aloft like with the Special Flag
  • My Music functions differently to how it was used in prior games in one area: all stages from each franchise will now share the same music (though not, I believe, the same player-directed likelihood ratios).
  • There are over 800 music tracks in the game; when counting tertiary music like victory jingles that number rises to around 900.
  • Due to the absurdly high number of music tracks, Sound Test has been reorganized to sort all music by series. This menu allows us to see at least how many pieces of music each series has: Metroid has at least 25, Yoshi’s Island 14, Kirby 39, Star Fox 17, Game & Watch 2, Wii Fit 10, Sonic the Hedgehog 20, Bayonetta 11, Street Fighter 36, Pac-Man 13.
  • The “Other” category, for music from series either not related to characters or related characters whose series was limited to one mainline release (like Duck Hunt or Ice Climbers), has 97.
  • Alongside listening to the music in the game itself (or the characters’ voices), you can develop your own playlists and use the game as a music player.
  • Castlevania in particular has thirty-four tracks: “Vampire Killer,” “Vampire Killer (New Remix),” “Starker / Wicked Child,” “Out of Time, “Nothing to Lose,” “Black Knight,” “Bloody Tears / Monster Dance,” “Dwelling of Doom,” “Cross Your Heart,” “Can’t Wait Until Night,” “Beginning,” Mad Forest,” “Aquarius,” “Simon Belmont Theme,” “Simon Belmont Theme (The Arcade),” “Divine Bloodlines,” “Slash,” “Dance of Illusions,” “Iron-Blue Intention,” “Dracula’s Castle,” “Dance of Gold,” “Lost Painting,” “The Tragic Prince,” “Awale,” “Ruined Castle Gallery,” “Lament of Innocence,” “Jet Black Incursion,” “Crash in the Dark Night,” “Ripped Silence,” “Hail from the Past,” “Jail of Jewel,” “Twilight Stigmata,” “Jet Black Wings,” and “Go! Getsu Fuma.” These come from across the entire franchise, from the first Castlevania to Harmony of Despair.
  • Returning tracks include (but are not limited to): “Overworld Theme / Underworld Theme (The Legend of Zelda),” “Saria’s Song / Middle Boss Battle,” “Gerudo Valley,” “Termina Field,” “Ballad of the Goddess,” “The Great Sea / Menu Select,” “Dragon Roost Island,” “Molgera,” “Village of the Blue Maiden,” “Full Steam Ahead (Spirit Tracks),” “Overworld Theme (The Legend of Zelda) (64),” “Overworld Theme (The Legend of Zelda) (Melee),” “Overworld Theme (The Legend of Zelda) (Brawl),” “Great Temple / Temple,” “Tal Tal Heights,” “Termina Field,” “Midna’s Lament,” “Vs. Meta Ridley,” “Multiplayer (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes),” “Psycho Bits,” “Lockdown Battle Theme,” “The Burning Lava Fish,” “Nemesis Ridley”,” “Star Fox – Main Theme,” “Corneria (Star Fox),” “Space Armada,” “Star Fox Medley,” “Star Fox 64 – Main Theme (64),” “Star Fox 64 – Main Theme (Melee),” “Star Fox 64 – Main Theme (Brawl),” “Star Wolf,” “Star Wolf (Brawl),” “Duck Hunt Medley (for 3DS/Wii U),” “Balloon Fight Medley,” “Balloon Trip (Brawl),” “Balloon Trip (for 3DS/Wii U),” “Clu Clu Land,” “Ice Climber (Medley),” “Ice Climber (Brawl),” Wrecking Crew Medley (Brawl),” “Stack-Up/Gyromite,” “Mach Rider,” “Famicom Medley,” “The Mysterious Murasame Castle Medley,” “Shin Onigashima Medley,” “3D Hot Rally – Title,” “Tetris: Type A.”
  • New tracks include: “Hyrule Main Theme,” “Woodlands (The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes),” “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2017 Trailer,” “Vs. Parasite Queen,” “Splash Screen (Metroid Prime: Federation Force),” “Area 1 – 5 Torrid Zone (Metroid: Samus Returns),” Wrecking Crew Medley,” “Wrecking Crew Retro Medley.”
  • On the screen, the list of Final Fantasy music shows only two tracks, suggesting the possibility that, as with last time, the series may only have two pieces of music.
Rules, Menus, and Other:
  • Classic Mode has returned, with one twist: each fighter has a set of opponents unique to them.
  • Squad Strike: a five-on-five / three-on-three elimination battle between players. Each side (whether played by a single player or a group) rotates through a number of fighters.
  • Tourney returns; up to 32 players can compete.
  • Smashdown: a mode in which after playing each match, all selected fighters will not be allowed for the next battles.
  • Training Mode now features a simple new stage visually based around graph paper. In addition, it displays launch distances for each attack with a range of whether the target is at 0% or 100% damage.
  • Chargeable Final Smashes are a new mechanic you can toggle on or off in Options; fighters will have a meter that slowly charges, allowing fighters to unleash their Final Smash when it’s maxed out – albeit one that is less powerful than the normal version.
  • You select the Rules first when starting a battle, to help speed up the process of setting up the match. In addition, Stamina is now treated as a standard mode.
  • In addition to choosing stages before characters, one new option involves choosing whether control of the stage select is limited to one person, goes between all players in order, or gives the stage pick to the last match’s loser.
  • Both the stage and character selection screens are structured to emphasize when each stage was added to Smash Bros., rather than being grouped by franchise.
  • You can change the character selection screen so that Echo Fighters’ slots are folded into that of the fighter on which they’re based.
  • Instead of making as many separate loading screens as past games, the Main Menu seems to zoom into larger sub-menus. Of the five main buttons on the menu – Smash, Games & More, Vault, and Online – the fifth is explicitly censored. Supposedly, we will hear about this mode at a later date. There’s also an easily accessible dashboard.
  • Simon, Richter, Chrom, Dark Samus, and King K. Rool will all receive amiibo.

Source Gaming reactions:

Getting to be both right and wrong at the same time; mainly, my Chrom RTC has aged poorly, but Dark Samus has aged wonderfully. I don’t even mind Chrom, personally, but I just didn’t expect him to be added after FE got treated so well last time. Simon’s finally shown up, so that part of the leaks is done with. And King K. Rool on top of that? The Smash Ballot’s influence really is shining on Ultimate. And we’re still not done with reveals somehow. Amazing.

So it looks like we are getting more characters than I thought. I had eight characters, and four of them got confirmed in this direct. 4 of them! Simon, K. Rool, Chrom, and Dark Samus. I didn’t predict Richter, but who did really? It seems we are getting a lot more echoes than expected so now my confidence for Isabelle, Shadow, and Ken have skyrocketed. As for everything else, oh man. There is a lot of stuff here from all the stage love, Assists, items and so on. Also all the rules and training mode. And it is still going! Insane.

That was a fairly mediocre direct in my eyes. I’ll admit that I have higher standards than most, but Sakurai adding official support for modes that have been requested since 2005 and finally letting us set the default rules isn’t going to move the needle for me. Stages, items, Pokémon, are also negligible to me. Honestly, the reduction of the balloon knockback effect was the best part of the Direct for me.

Also Gamer and Fountain of Dreams. Where’s Poké Floats though? -Soma

That direct was really good. I’ll be honest, I was expecting a massive blowout. But the direct was modest in nature, which is totally fine. It means more is coming in the future. As for the contents? While I haven’t really played Castlevania, and only played a little bit of the first DKC, the reveals were pretty exciting. The trailer CGI was great, and I LOVED Dedede’s troll in the King K. Rool trailer. The lengths they are going with Echo Fighters is really insane. Truth be told, I wonder if those characters don’t even have their own character slot.

To kind of explain, in Smash 4, while there were character slots in the main code, you could actually do some hacky stuff with Smash 4’s character files. By using some specific code in Smash 4’s “animcmd” and “MSC” character scripts, I’ve heard that different move properties and taunt animations are theoretically possible per costume slot. Now, if a modder wants to correct me on this, let me know! But, that’s what I could understand at least.

I mainly bring this up because this game is based off of Smash 4, and it could be a way of adding echo fighters without tampering with the game’s code much. Thus, making echo fighters worth it. Again, if someone wants to correct me on this, truly let me know! This is only a basic understanding of the process, and more things could definitely go into it.

Other than that, the direct was pretty cool and I’m looking forward to seeing what that mysterious mode really is!

I think with this Direct, it’s almost proof that we’re going to get an Adventure or Subspace Emissary type of mode (whether that includes cutscenes or not). I’m not even talking about the Monster Hunter stage that’s both missing from the stage select screen and looks like a boss fight. Just about everything fans have been asking for has been added. From characters like Ridley, King K. Rool, and Simon Belmont to features like directional air dodging, Battlefield versions of stages, and the order of rules/characters/stages. Even the training mode is reminiscent of Street Fighter for competitive players.

But one thing was blurred for a later reveal, a new mode. Along with characters and other adjustments, the “last” big feature that fans want that has yet to be crossed off, is an Adventure mode. Not only would it be special enough for its own Direct, but it would also coincide with how the player unlocks characters. Sakurai said during the video that all of the characters would be revealed before launch. Therefore it makes complete sense to wait to announce them all first, and then introduce the new mode which shows off how to unlock them. I imagine we will get two more Directs like this. One in between September and October, and the final in November.

As for this Direct… I have Simon Belmont now so do whatever you want, Sakurai.

This is the best game ever made. Hands down. Smash for WiiU and 3DS have nothing on Ultimate. I will play Ultimate longer than Splatoon 2 – and I have 600 hours in that game.


Chrom as an echo fighter was very expected from everyone, but WHO he is an echo for wasn’t. As an Echo for Roy – that’s very interesting as Roy was originally always seen as a Marth clone. Seven Fire Emblem Characters, can’t wait for next year for the eighth.

The amount of stages, music, new modes, quality of life changes are absolutely extraordinary. Final Destination looks CLEAN! Magicant looks beautiful in HD, as well does Unova Pokémon League. I’m also extremely happy they incorporated playlists and music playing while the console is still in Sleep Mode.

Finally, the newcomer I was very against – King K. Rool. Not because I don’t like him, but because I love being antagonistic. However, that trailer was so charming – I couldn’t help but laugh and smile.

This Smash Bros. title is truly special.

Sakurai, you liar! You claim that all the stages are organized by when they joined the series, but spending so much of my time looking at the Brawl Dojo makes me entirely aware that those stages should be organized by when you revealed them! Mushroomy Kingdom next to Delfino? No way, buddy.

…On a less, um, dumb note, what I really liked about this Direct was that it was so weird. Like, the obscene wealth of information in the last one often feel deeply surreal – especially “Everyone is Here!” – but a lot of the neat changes to the game, the new options, Richter Belmont being a fighter, Shovel Knight actually appearing (even if as an Assist Trophy)…it was odd, and in a rather pleasing way. The game continues to look both exciting and wild, even if I will miss getting to unlock or discover more (and more hidden) content given how enjoyable that has been for me, and how it might mitigate how overwhelming the game may feel. And feel intimidating it does, albeit in a very positive way. I guess…all I can think about is how crazy all of this is: the hype cycle, these various bursts of information, the constant sense that there is something completely crazy and big just around the corner. It feels different from prior Smash games, and that makes me so happy.

  1. I agree with Soma, this was a lame showing on part of Sakurai. Once again demonstrating his ineptitude and laziness. Really glad SOMEONE agrees, felt like I was the only one.

    Smart Reasonable Guy on August 8 |
    • What an ironic username.

      It’s the stupid “videogame adds highly requested features and people whine about how they didn’t add them sooner” hypocrisy. What even is the issue here? He’d be even more “lazy and inept” if those modes were never added, by your logic.

      TheDanMan051 on August 10 |
  2. I think I saw Ashley as an assist trophy, so that confirms that she probably won’t be joining. Not a disappointment or anything, nor do I have any right to be, considering how packed the game already is. I’m happy for those who got who they wanted. : )

    xkan on August 8 |
    • Yeah. Ashley showed up just before Rathalos’ announcement mid-battle. (shrug)

      Adam Bell (@bellboy_64) on August 10 |
      • Oh well!

        xkan on August 21 |
  3. Castlevania was always one of the more likely third-party reps to get in Smash Bros so I was glad to see Simon in but like many others I was completely taken by surprise by Richter’s appearance, did not see that one coming. This is the first time a third-party franchise has two playables in SB history so this opens up a lot of possibilities in future games.

    Not a fan of FE so I didn’t feel anything for Chrom (but congrats to his fanbase) but it was cool seeing Dark Samus and King K. Rool. After Sakurai’s comment on ‘not many new fighters’ at E3 my guess was that (putting aside Inklings, Daisy and Ridley) we were gonna get 2-5 more newcomers and that would be it but after this Direct it looks like we are getting more then I expected so I’m excited. I was so happy to see Shovel Knight in even if he is an Assist Trophy, better that then no appearance at all. This makes it even more likely for most, if not all indie characters to get in as Assist Trophies then playables.

    As for the more-then-obvious new Adventure-like mode, I really hope its more in line with the ‘classic’ one rather then Subspace Emissary. Overall this was a good Direct and I’m looking forward to the next presentation.

    GreatMeat on August 9 |
  4. Apologies if this info has already been readily compiled elsewhere, but here’s a reference list of stages that aren’t coming back as of the present…

    Planet Zebes
    Sector Z

    Both of these make sense, as they have been rendered obsolete by later, more polished stages that execute the same concept (Brinstar and Corneria, respectively).

    Flat Zone
    Icicle Mountain
    Mushroom Kingdom (SSBM)
    Mute City
    Poke Floats

    You could also throw Melee’s versions of Battlefield and FD onto the list if you so choose, but I don’t.

    These are slightly harder to reason through than the 64 stages, but not wholly impossible. Flat Zone has been functionally replaced by Flat Zone 2 (and later, Flat Zone X); one could make a similar argument for Mute City (consigned to the recycling bin by Port Town Aero Dive), though it strikes me as a little less clear-cut in this case. Mushroom Kingdom is a little confusing, as there is no clear successor stage to serve as its substitute. If I were to hazard a guess, Mushroom Kingdom SSBM and 64 were seen as too similar, and Mushroom Kingdom 64 got the pass due to slightly higher complexity. Poke Floats and, to a lesser extent, Icicle Mountain make little sense missing the cut, as they are fairly unique stages that seem to be well regarded by the community as a whole. Icicle Mountain at least seems to be part of a larger trend of vertical scrolling stages getting eliminated from the roster (see Rumble Falls), but my only guess for Poke Floats is that Nintendo wanted a popular stage to use for DLC sometime down the line.

    Flat Zone 2
    Rumble Falls

    You could also throw Brawl’s versions of Battlefield and FD onto the list if you so choose, but I don’t.

    Yeah, we got some simpler snubs. Flat Zone 2 and PictoChat seem like rather cut and dry cases of functional obsolescence (via Flat Zone X and PictoChat 2, respectively). Rumble Falls, in addition to being somewhat unpopular (I personally love it, but I seem to be in the minority here), runs afoul of the vertical auto-scroller issue. My best guess is that the issues either stem from needing to accommodate the switch in handheld mode (maybe vertical scrollers lag the device and/or are too complex for a screen that small) or that vertical scrollers don’t play nicely with the stage morph feature, but this is pure speculation on my part.

    Smash 4 (+ 5):
    Jungle Hijinxs
    Orbital Gate Assault
    Rainbow Road
    Woolly World

    You could also throw Smash 4 (+5)’s versions of Battlefield, Big Battlefield, and FD onto the list if you so choose, but I don’t.

    And back to a slightly more mixed bag of eliminations. Pyrosphere is relatively easy – without access to Ridley as a boss character, the stage loses the special sauce that makes it unique. Miiverse is also fairly easy to work through, as its namesake’s shutdown robs it of one of its only purposes (the presence of battlefield versions of every stage arguably robs it of the other one). Jungle Hijinks and Orbital Gate Assault strike me as the prototypical “if only we didn’t have to design around handheld mode” stages – Jungle Hijinxs’ background shenanigans can be difficult to follow on a 20″ screen, let alone on a 6″ screen, and if any stage were to stand a chance of lagging the valiant little device, it’d be Orbital Gate Assault. Pac-Maze, Rainbow Road, and Woolly World seem like the bizarre exclusions amongst this group. Woolly World is a vertical scroller (if you stretch the definition), but it also takes advantage of horizontal space much better than Icicle Mountain and Rumble Falls and it serves a fairly unique role in the roster. Pac-Maze, while not especially enjoyable to yours truly, is quite the unique stage in terms of layout and marginally obtrusive gameplay gimmick, and doesn’t present any obvious issues to me. Finally, Rainbow Road might be a tiny bit derivative, but it still strikes me as a fairly well-executed mixture of elements from other auto-scrollers.

    Luke R. on August 9 |
  5. I don’t know how readily propagated this info is, but here’s a reference list for all the stages that aren’t returning in Ultimate (assuming circumstances don’t change later on during development):

    Planet Zebes
    Sector Z

    Flat Zone
    Icicle Mountain
    Mushroom Kingdom (SSBM)
    Mute City (SSBM)
    Poke Floats

    Flat Zone 2
    Rumble Falls

    Smash 4 (+5):
    Jungle Hijinks
    Orbital Gate Assault
    Rainbow Road
    Woolly World

    You could also include the various versions of Battlefield (SSBM, SSBB, S4), Final Destination (SSBM, SSBB, S4), and Big Battlefield (S4), if you feel that their minor variations between games are enough to differentiate them. I don’t, however.

    I had some detailed commentary/speculation on an earlier comment that was lost, but I can’t be bothered to retype it now.

    Luke R. on August 9 |
  6. (Note: sorry if there is already a comment by me here, it didn’t appear the first time on my screen for some reason.)
    Castlevania was always one of the more likely third-party series to be included in Smash Bros so I was glad to see Simon in, and like many others I was taken by surprise by Ritcher’s appearance, did not see that coming. This is the first time a third-party franchise has two playables in SB history so this opens up a lot of possibilities for future games.

    Not a fan of Fire Emblem so I didn’t feel anything for Chrom (but congrats to his fanbase) but it was cool seeing Dark Samus and King K. Rool. After Sakurai’s ‘not many new fighters’ comment at E3 my guess was that (putting aside the Inklings, Daisy and Ridley) we were gonna get 2-5 newcomers and that would be it but with this Direct it seems we are getting more characters than I expected so I’m excited. I was also happy to see Shovel Knight in even if he is Assist Trophy, better that then nothing at all. This also makes it more likely for most, if not all indie characters to make it in as ATs then playables.

    As for the more-then-obvious new Adventure-like mode, I hope it is more in line with the ‘classic’ one instead of the Subspace Emissary. Overall this was a really good Direct, and I’m looking forward to the next presentation.

    GreatMeat on August 9 |
  7. Actually I think the total stages is 305. Possibly up to 307 but 305 is a nice round number.

    100 Nintendo stages x 3 = 300

    Then Battlefield and its Omega (no need for a Battlefield form) = 2

    Then FD and its Battlefield form (no need for an Omega) = 2

    Then Big Battlefield (not sure if the slightly different tint means it gets those other stage forms or not)

    ItalianBaptist on August 11 |
  8. i loved the reveal of Simon, Ricther and King K.Rool very awesome and i was surpirsed that Chrom and Dark Samus made it too. i have a feeling that we will see Isabelle, Dixie Kong, Celica and Alm, Ken and Shadow as Echo characters though i’m worried that they might make Paper Mario and Rex as Echo Fighters. i was right about a Monster Hunter Stage though which i’m happy

    David Mark Horan on August 12 |
  9. Goddamn I’m so late for commenting! Been busy at work so badly that I always come home during late night! Anyways, here’s my comment of this Direct, in the order that was presented.

    First off, while we’ve already heard it through the infamous Vergeben leaks, I was still surprised of seeing Simon joining the brawl. Using his holy chain whip as his regular attacks, even using the similar mechanic as Shiek’s previvous move, using simple but iconic items like the cross…it looks great! Even I was surprised with Richter’s inclusion, which was something I’ve never seen it coming! Although I don’t know much about him, his inclusion has proven that third parties now have a chance of having their own Echo Fighter too. Alucard being an Assist Trophy does make sense too, and him being the difficult character to defeat looks very challenging. Even for the stage…not just having Dracula being the boss, but bringing more enemies like the mummy, werewolf, death…I think this is the first time they brought more than one boss character to on stage! Even Kid Dracula?! We need to see how he’ll fight. But entirely, even we knew they’ll be coming thanks to the leaks, I do welcome Castlevania to Smash as I do wanna learn more about it.

    Next is Chrom and Dark Samus’ inclusion as an Echo Fighter…I was very surprised with this. I’ve never seen this coming at all, since I thought it was impossible. But this does explain why they didn’t show Robin’s Final Smash in his character trailer and Dark Samus being absent during the E3 demo; they were preparing for this! While making Dark Samus as Samus’ Echo does make sense, Chrom being Roy’s was odd since I thought he’d be Ike’s. But eventually, I’m glad they’re both playable. However, this makes me wonder…if Chrom’s playable now, then what’s gonna happen with Robin’s Final Smash?

    The stages are even more surprising. 103 of them?! That’s insane!! But I’m glad several made its return, even the beautifully remade Fountain of Dreams and Magicant. While it’s odd we didn’t see Rainbow Road returning, I’m honestly glad Poke Floats didn’t return because I disliked that stage so badly. I know so many people liked that stage, but I do think that stage was made in a lazy way as possibly made in the very last minute back then. Anyways, it’s also good to see New Donk City Hall made its appearance, alongside Pauline joining in the background as probably a music gimmick. While I do hear PushDustIn saying we won’t see more stages afterwards, I do think we’ll see more in the further update.

    The musics were also outrageous too. 800 of them…that’s more insane! But I think most of them are originals while remixes are less. I would like to listen to more remixes as possible. And Final Fantasy still only have two songs…why? I know they’re strict with their license, but come on, at least bring One Winged Angel.

    It’s also good to see more new items. Banana Gun, Bomber, Death’s Scythe…everything looks unique as I really do wanna try them out! And we’ve seen Lip’s Stick returning as well…sad that Lip’s deconfirmed now. The Pokemon were great too. Alolan Exeggutor being a wall, two Vulpix separated as fire and ice, Mimikkyu appearing thus deconfirmed, Ditto doing something that it should’ve been done back in Melee…fantastic! But I was more surprised on the Assist Trophies instead. Zero joining for the first time (while sad it deconfirmed as I had my Dream Smasher Article ready with few edits), Kapp’n kidnapping fighters by bus, Kawasaki using Kirby’s former Final Smash, Nikki joining for the first time but not in her Mii form, the Moon making an unbelievable appearance…I really liked how the team reacted to Kapp’n and the Moon as it made me laugh too lol. But one thing I was more surprised is Shovel Knight’s inclusion as I’ve never seen it coming. While this deconfirmed his inclusion as a fighter, I think this also made the Indies having their possibilities too. And finally…I really don’t have much comment with the Monster Hunter dragon, since I was like “Who the HELL are you!?” But I guess it’s the first time to have both boss and Assist Trophy to join Smash…but what does this mean? Does this mean we’ll have a Monster Hunter content to Smash, or is this something like Bomber Man and Shovel Knight’s case?

    While I don’t have any complaints with the previous Smash for’s menu, Ultimate’s new menu looks great. Kinda wondering what that unknown mode is, but probably gonna be a new Adventure Mode. Don’t know if it’s gonna be a Story Mode, but we’ll have to see in the next update.

    Finally, K.Rool’s inclusion. Honestly, while I did see it coming due to his extremely strong popularity, I’m still surprised that he finally joined the fight. I mean how long it has been for him to return in a video game community, more than 20 years? Now that’s damn long. But it’s good Sakurai made him so unique; using several attacks from the DKC series, using his golden belly as attacks and counters….now I wanna try touch that belly. (lol) But anyways, it’s really good to see him join Smash! Alongside Simon, Richter, Chrom and Dark Samus, welcome to Smash Brothers bros!

    And thanks to this Direct, I kinda felt new possibilities have appeared, and I do wanna try put up my speculations. If I have time and if anybody wouldn’t mind, I’ll think of putting up here later.

    zoniken on August 15 |
  10. I don’t normally post about SB theories/rumors but this is currently the ‘hot’ theory most fans have about the new mode.

    GreatMeat on August 15 |