We are nearing the finish line! December 7 is nearing ever closer, and our final checkpoint has come in the form of the last Super Smash Bros. Direct presentation.

New details are abundant, so let’s get moving.

Characters: Ken, Incineroar and Piranha Plant

We have our last two additions to the roster! Incineroar comes as a new fighter from Pokemon Sun and Moon, and Ken is an Echo Fighter of Ryu. This has been confirmed to be the final roster for the game’ release, but they did confirm more fighters are coming in the future.

For registering your copy of Smash Bros. Ultimate with your My Nintendo account, you will be granted a free character! By January 31, you’ll be able to register and get your very own playable Piranha Plant. Note, this is not Petey, this is a Piranha Plant in a pot. I’m not going to try and explain why it looks awesome, just check out some of the footage!

No other fighters were revealed, but there are currently plans for five more brand new fighters (not echoes!) to be available as DLC later. Each character comes with a stage and associated music, and you can buy them individually or as a pass. The pass and game are available to preorder on your Switch eShop now! If you preorder the game or bundle on the eShop, My Nintendo members will get double coins to their account!

When you load up the game for the first time, you’ll find that your only characters are the original eight from the original Super Smash Bros. Over time you’ll unlock more characters in the order they appeared in the series.

Online Play

There’s a variety of ways to play Ultimate, including each player having their own Switch in hand, everybody on one Switch, and going online. “For Fun” and “For Glory” are gone, and instead you pick from a series of gameplay preferences. When you’re sent online, you’re matched with another player ideally with the same preferences. If one isn’t immediately available, you’ll get mixed with other players and the preference set will be chosen at random from the two sets. One preference is also for people who don’t care for specifics and just want to play.

Global Smash Power returns in all its super vague glory. Once your score hits a certain unknown threshold, you will become an “Elite Player.” Elite players will be watched carefully by the game’s devs to help with directing future tweaks and balances.

You’ll create a Smash Tag for yourself when you play online, which is similar to other fighting game profile cards. Every time you beat a player, you get their tag added to your collection to be viewed later. You’re not going to lose anything, but it’s a nice record of your conquests.

There’s a few odds and ends with Online play to mention. You can play other modes while searching for an online opponent. Spectator Mode is back again. When you play with friends you can set up a lobby of sorts that has three areas: “Spectating”, “Fighting”, and “Waiting to Fight”. It’s all themed like a wrestling ring, which I think is just adorable. You’ll also be able to use the Nintendo Online App on your phone to chat with friends online. There will also be a separate app called “Smash World.” I believe it is still within the Nintendo Online app, like the Splatoon 2 stuff.

Assist Trophies

More Assist Trophies were detailed in the Direct, breaking some hearts as they do. It’s important to note that a trophy’s summoner can also KO it, so you’re not giving up a KO by summoning one. Here’s a list of the newly announced folks:

  • Yuri Kozukata from Fatal Frame: Stay out of the camera’s frame, or find out how fatal it can be. 
  • Isaac from Golden Sun: Making a return from Brawl, Isaac throws a giant psychic hand around to shove enemies around.
  • Black Knight from Fire Emblem: Something of an Iron Knuckle, this heavily armored monster runs around with his giant sword, cleaving all in his way.
  • Thwomp from Mario: If anybody gets close to Thwomp, he’ll drop down and try to flatten you.
  • Spring Man from ARMS: He jumps in to take a few spring-loaded shots on your enemies.
  • Wily Capsule from Mega Man: Blow it up and watch Wily beg for forgiveness.
  • Flies & Hand from Mario Paint: Just like the classic minigame, except your character counts as a fly! Don’t get swatted!
  • Tiki from Fire Emblem: This mainline character summons her true Manakete form and assaults your enemies.
  • Vince from Art Academy: Watch his paintings come to life — and shudder with fear.
  • Guile from Street Fighter: Just like in Street Fighter II, he stays in a low crouch to bait you into jumping at him. That’s when he throws out his Flash Kick.
  • Akira from Virtua Fighter: The low-poly classic returns.

Games and more

Smash has always had an assortment of other activities to do when your friends are all out. Over the years, there have been remixes of Break the Targets, Home Run Smash, and more. We will be seeing 100-man Smash come back in the form of “Century Smash.” All-Star mode will be available immediately but appears to fill in the slots where unlocked characters would go with repeats of characters you’ve already unlocked.

The Challenge Board returns as well. This time it sports a more dynamic menu, and cracking the spaces gives it a very comic book feel!

Assorted details

Sakurai showed off the main game screen again, showing that by tapping ZR you can bring up a menu with various options. You can look at a guide for the game, check notifications, and game settings. One of these is “Language”, of which up to 11 are supported.

For those looking to hunt trophies, know that there is no more trophy collecting. According to Sakurai, the development cost of all of those trophy models was just too great. That’s not to say you won’t collect anything, however, but we’ll get into that further on.

Replays can again be stored, and stats will be recorded in various ways. There also is a new video feature, which wasn’t really explained.

Gold is still earned through fighting, spectating, and now through selling player tags you’ve collected. It can be used in a shop to buy music tracks, Mii outfits, and more. Speaking of Mii Fighters, they can now be customized with voices as well as outfits. Some new items were shown off, including the Yiga Clan outfit, the Splatoon 2 costume pieces, a Ribbon Girl costume, a Chibi Robo costume, armor for Ray MkIII, and (personal favorite) your Mii dressed in the Labo Robo-battle outfit.

Spirits Mode

And finally, the curtain was pulled back on “Spirits”, a new game mode that is a cross between Event Mode and the Subspace Emissary. In the story mode, everybody in the video game worlds has turned into a spirit by an evil force named Galeem. Only Kirby survives the carnage, and he must travel the world fixing all of the lost spirits. You’ll find numerous Smash fighters possessed by restless spirits, creating a unique kind of match that you must complete in order to move ahead.

Similar to stickers and equipment in the past, you can build and equip sets of souls to give yourself different attributes. There’s a fighting game rock-paper-scissors aspect to them, so making sure to set your equipment before each fight is key. There are also ranks for each of these three classes. Each fighter can have one Primary spirit, which can also equip support spirits. Your primary spirits also gain experience through battle, or by feeding them snacks acquired in other modes in play. You can send spirits to a dojo to train while you’re away, and you can unlock more facilities by battling masters in the dojo.

As one might imagine, these spirits can also be associated with amiibo figures. But real players can play each other with spirit battles or in two-versus-two modes.

And that’s it! Everything they want us to know is out. Anything else will be a secret to find out when Smash Bros. Ultimate launches.

Special thanks to fellow Zelda Universe staffer Michael Laverty for helping compile information for this article!