Nintendo has announced that the final DLC fighter coming to its perennially popular brawler, Super Smash Bros Ultimate will be Sora, the Keyblade-wielding hero from Square Enix’s Kingdom Hearts series.
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The long-awaited reveal was made in the last direct announcement stream from Smash Bros director Masahiro Sakurai. Sakurai said he would be sad to see the video series end.
Sora first appeared in the original Kingdom Hearts, a 2002 PS2 RPG developed as a crossover between Square Enix and Disney. His appearance in Super Smash Bros Ultimate comes after he won a fan poll centered on the previous game in the series, Super Smash Bros for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, although Sakurai says this was kept secret at the time.
In game, Sora will be a lighter fighter, with Sakurai saying his weight – or lack thereof – is his greatest weakness, making it easier to launch Sora from a stage with a smash attack. However, he makes up for it by excelling at airborne combat, with Sakurai describing Sora as “quite floaty”. His attacks are said to be slow to connect, but with a more generous timing window.
Like most crossover characters in Super Smash Bros, Sora’s moveset will be drawn from his home games, with attacks centred primarily on his signature Keyblade weapon. Players will be able to unleash rapid three-hit combos, similar to Sora’s fighting style in Kingdom Hearts, while his Final Smash attack will be called “Sealing the Keyhole”, channeling some of the magical prowess displayed in his own titles.
There will be eight costume variants for the character, each drawing on Sora’s appearances in past Kingdom Hearts games. Costumes P1 through P4 are his default looks in Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts II, Kingdom Hearts 3d: Dream Drop Distance, and Kingdom Hearts 3, respectively. Costume P5 is a monochrome look based on Sora’s “Timeless River” look, a world based on the original Mickey Mouse cartoon, Steamboat Willie, while P6 and P7 reflect Sora’s Valor and Wisdom forms from Kingdom Hearts II. His final outfit will be based on his Ultimate Form, as seen in Kingdom Hearts III.
“Of all our DLC fighters, Sora’s colour variations might be the most elaborate,” Sakurai said.
Sora will also arrive with a dedicated fighting stage, Rising Falls. This will feature a central platform that floats around the castle of Hollow Bastion, a pivotal location in Kingdom Hearts. However, if time is running out during a battle, the stage will transform into a shadow world called “Dive to the Heart”, where other Kingdom Hearts characters will appear on stained glass windows in the background.
Sora will be available in-game from October 19, priced at £5.39 for a standalone DLC purchase. Anyone who has bought the Fighter Pack II bundle will get Sora as the final addition to the roster.
Other Smash Bros announcements included a range of new costume DLC coming for the Mii Fighter characters in Ultimate. An outfit for the Gunner, based on the Doomslayer from DOOM, plus Splatoon-inspired hats based on Octolings and Judd the cat, will be available for 70p (75c) each, available the same day as Sora is introduced to the game.
Sakurai also confirmed plans for more amiibo, with Minecraft’s Steve and Alex set for release in 2022, plus plans for Final Fantasy VII’s Sephiroth, Tekken’s Kazuya, and Xenoblade Chronicles’ Pyra and Mythra to join the line of collectible figures.
Finally, Sakurai also confirmed the actual Kingdom Hearts games would be coming to Nintendo Switch. Kingdom Hearts 1.5+2.5 ReMix, Kingdom Hearts 2.8, and Kingdom Hearts III are all set for release at an unannounced date. Sakurai mentioned that the games would be coming to Switch via Cloud Gaming, though whether this will apply to all three games or perhaps just Kingdom Hearts III – as the most recent and therefore most technically demanding title – remains to be seen.
Elsewhere, nostalgia-fueled crossover brawler Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl has revealed its launch trailer, showing characters from the likes of Hey Arnold, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The Wild Thornberries battling it out.