Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica | Smash Bros. Ultimate adds fan faves Simon Belmont, King K Rool, tons more

Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica |

Bloody tears —

New characters headline a feature- and stage-filled news frenzy.

  • Simon Belmont’s in-game render.

  • Nintendo revealed the Konami addition through a cute, Castlevania/Luigi’s Mansion crossover video.

  • Belmont shows up just in time to see poor Luigi slashed by a demon.

  • And, thus, he lashes out.

  • In addition to his classic whip attack, Belmont will also use holy water, axes, and his throwable cross.


  • The Dracula’s Castle stage will include various monsters showing up to pester fighters, particularly Dracula.

  • Richter appears as Simon’s “echo fighter” variant.

  • Richter, seen here standing next to Alucard, who will appear as a helpful “assist trophy.”

If you thought Nintendo’s upcoming mascot-battler game Super Smash Bros. Ultimate couldn’t get any bigger, its creators had a Konami-tinged surprise on Wednesday: Castlevania‘s Simon Belmont as a brand-new playable Smash fighter.

Belmont was arguably the biggest announcement to come in the latest news-filled Nintendo Direct video series. Smash Director Masahiro Sakurai confirmed that the character’s classic whip gives him the longest standard melee attack ever seen in the series, at the cost of speed—and that it can be freely waved around, just like in the SNES classic Super Castlevania IV. His other attacks take advantage of classic “magical items” like the axe (complete with its thrown arc), ground-burning holy water, and straight-thrown blue cross.

He’ll be joined by Symphony of the Night hero Richter Belmont, who will appear as an “echo fighter”—Smash‘s term for an aesthetic re-skin with very slight move variations. Both characters will be able to fight in a new Dracula’s Castle stage, which will include cameos from monsters like a werewolf and Dracula that pester fighters when they randomly appear. The series’ famed Alucard will appear as an “assist trophy,” as well, to be used in combat as a temporary helper.

  • Wow, Nintendo isn’t messing around when adding fan-service characters to this game.

  • As a slower, larger fighter, Rool’s belly-bounce “reflect” will be useful to help him counter when he’s too slow to dodge certain moves.

  • His cannonball-launching gun returns, as well.

  • Not looking good for Mewtwo.

  • A moment from Rool’s flashy reveal video.

The video concluded with a “one more thing” video reveal of another new main character, as well: Donkey Kong Country‘s King K Rool. His move set didn’t receive as detailed of a reveal, however, but Rool’s revealed attacks include a cannonball gun, a tummy bounce, and a throwable king’s hat.

Craziest of all, Sakurai says Nintendo is not done adding main characters, and he did not offer an estimate of how big this cast will get, nor how many of the additional characters will appear as “echoes.” Two more echo fighters were announced, as well: Dark Samus from the Metroid Prime series, who can replace normal Samus, and Chrom from Fire Emblem.

  • The game’s main menu. Online modes were not detailed today, nor was anything from that mysteriously blurred green box. (We assume that’s some sort of single-player campaign, like in prior games, but we’re still waiting for confirmation.)

  • Gosh, that is a lot of confirmed stages.

  • Today’s brand-new stage: New Donk City Hall from Super Mario Odyssey. Platforms move and change, and various Donk citizens, particularly the musical band, show up to assist.

  • Hooray! Now any stage’s hazards, particularly destructive bosses, can be disabled while still leaving moving and disappearing platforms toggled, should players want something a little wilder than the plain “Battlefield” stage for competitive play.

  • Many classic stages will be touched up…

  • …but for some reason, they’re leaving the game’s N64 stages as-is.

  • Hope you like pixels and smeary textures in your Wispy Woods.

  • A better look at the new “echo” characters.

The video confirmed some, but not all, of the modes coming to the game. A variety of tournament-friendly combat modes will be available, including Squad Strike, which lets players choose a few characters before starting a fight and whittling each side’s three- or five-strong roster down. It’s not quite a Marvel Vs. Capcom-like team frenzy, as team swaps won’t be available mid-combat, but it’s a great option for a game with such an enormous character roster.

And a new “Smashdown” mode will automatically remove characters as available options every time they are used, so when a group of two-to-four players gets into an extended session, they’ll all be forced to re-pick fighters after every match. (Sakurai goes so far as to suggest swiping certain prized characters early in this mode to antagonize your friends.)

Lots of pre-battle tweaks can be selected, such as previous games’ “stamina” battle options. When this mode is toggled, players fight over their HP bars, like in more standard brawlers, as opposed to launching each other off the stage. Pe

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