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“More Information about the Smash Direct” Sakurai’s Famitsu Column Vol. 561”

Note: Do not repost the full translation. Please use the first two paragraphs, link to this translation, and credit Source Gaming. The following is a selection from Famitsu. This translation is for fan use only, and may not accurately reflect the opinions of Masahiro Sakurai. If you enjoyed this article, I would strongly encourage you to support Sakurai by buying his books

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On August 8th, we held our second presentation for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. (I’m actually writing this column before it airs, though…) I look forward to seeing everyone’s reactions.

There are plenty of things I’d like to say about the contents of the presentation, but I can’t possibly write them all. Thus, I’d like to select a few aspects and go into a little detail about the developmental background for each.

Castlevania in Smash

The hurdles we face when adding a third-party character to Smash are mountainous, but I feel we did everything we could and then some to make this happen.

Simon and Richter. New whip physics. Dracula’s Castle and a whole host of boss characters. Count Dracula himself–complete with two forms. Alucard. Not to mention 34 music tracks. Even the trailer, made expressly for the purpose of introducing a new character, required a considerable amount of time and energy to create. A lot of people are probably wondering, “Who’s Richter?” I hope they’ll enjoy getting to know him through Ultimate.

Echo Fighters

Chrom from the Fire Emblem series and Dark Samus from the Metroid series are also joining the fray. I received many requests for both fighters from people in Japan and overseas, respectively.

Echo fighters aren’t simple reskins. First, we give them their own taunts and victory animations. Then, we adjust their abilities and parameters as necessary. Many people also overlook the artwork. Each piece features a given character in their standing pose, and each one undergoes a slew of tiny revisions–but it doesn’t end there. We then have to create a total of eight palette swaps for those artworks. I don’t think there are many other games that feature artwork that changes colors like that.

100 Stages

If you include Battlefield, Big Battlefield, and Final Destination, then there are 103 stages–104 if you also add in the Training Stage. And if you factor in the Omega and Battlefield variants, then you have over 300! It’s absolutely insane. I imagine you’ll have a hard time even finding the stage you want to choose on the select screen. Despite how it may look, stage creation is one of the aspects of development that requires a lot of manhours. Even though many have been ported over from previous games, updating the graphics takes a considerable amount of work, and some stages took upward of a year to complete. The Omega and Battlefield variants aren’t easy to put together, either. Despite struggling to gather the necessary human resources, we made it our mission to put together 100 stages, so I hope you enjoy them.

Enormous Tracklist

You can listen to roughly 800 tracks across the various stages! That’s over 27 hours of music! Of course, we’ve built that tracklist on top of previous versions of the game, but it’s still a pretty incredible amount of music. We might even be able to earn a Guinness World Record.

And it isn’t just the music: Ultimate is jam-packed with all kinds of content. This is a little bit of trivia, but thanks to improvements in compression technology, we were able to fit all this music into the game without sacrificing audio quality in only a quarter of the space it took in Smash for Wii U. It’s like magic!

Squad Strike

In order to make all those home Smash sessions a little more exciting, we’ve introduced a number of modes that allow you to play as multiple fighters, including Squad Strike, Tournaments, and Smashdown.

You can play Squad Strike in battles of either 3-on-3 or 5-on-5, and you can choose between “Winner Goes On” or “Best of X” rules. In the first ruleset, the winner of a match goes on to face the next opponent. The second ruleset is one you often see in judo or kendo matches. The team had quite a hard time coming up with a way to denote the fighters in the Squad Strike lineup.

Final Smash Meter

You can also opt to use a Final Smash Meter that fills up while you fight (although it is turned off by default). Most fighting games include some sort of meter that fills up and lets you unleash a super special move or ultimate combo, so the FS Meter will simulate that feeling. Battles get even wilder than usual, so it might be better suited to casual play.

King K. Rool in Smash

I referred to the Smash Ballot when selecting characters this time, and King K. Rool from the Donkey Kong series was one who received a ton of votes. I haven’t gone into detail about his moves or characteristics, but I feel it might be better to leave some room for imagination.

In order to make him more K. Rool-esque, we had to make sure he stood up perfectly straight. Of course, we couldn’t make him too tall, however, so please forgive us for shrinking him down a bit. Then again, it isn’t like anything else in Smash is to scale anyway.

The dev team is working at just as frenetic a pace as ever, and my work days are likewise filled to the brim. Rest assured, though, I plan on continuing to give it my all until release day!



These are either guest posts, or posts made by the SG Team. Read the article for more information.
  1. I’m sure the top 5 ballot fighters are in

    #Shantae4Smash on August 22 |
  2. Pleasent read, thanks for the translation!

    GreatMeat on August 22 |
  3. Great translation as always, Is nice to spot those details that tend to be lost on other translations (like the fact Sakurai says he used the ballot “this time” not only for K.Rool. Keep the amazing work!

    Ruy F on August 23 |
  4. Just to make sure, is the translation for “compression” accurate? or could it be encoding too?

    deideidei on August 24 |
  5. amaterasu okami for smash ultimate!

    white wolf on September 2 |