Nintendo teased that they would announce a new Super Smash Bros Ultimate fighter during the Game Awards. Many projections ensued, but the reveal of Sephiroth made the collective consciousness of the internet explode in flames. Of joy.
Today, Smash Bros director Masahiro Sakurai broke down Sephiroth’s moveset and everything in the DLC Pack. Here’s what we learned.
Sephiroth’s Alternate Costumes – or lack thereof
Let’s start with an obvious highlight. As expected, Sephiroth’s alternate costumes allows one of the greatest villains of all time to kill everyone while shirtless.
This does have some story bearing from Final Fantasy 7, but until the Remake gives the people what they want, FF7 has yet to show Sephiroth’s abs with such definition.
Wow, his skin is smooth.
What’s the use of having such an amazing villain if you can’t battle him in a proper boss battle? Starting today, you can play the Sephiroth Challenge in Ultimate. All three modes are quite challenging, but if you win, you can play as Sephiroth or on the new stage ahead of the release date (If you’ve bought the DLC, of course.)
The Challenge is available from December 17 until Sephiroth officially launches on December 22. So happy Smashing.
The biggest surprise about Sephiroth’s actual gameplay was Winged Form, wherein Sephiroth shows off why he’s called the One-Winged Angel. In addition to looking menacing as hell, the extra wing gives Sephiroth an extra midair jump, slightly increases his speed and strength, and gives all his smash attacks super armor.
You lose the wing when Sephiroth either gets KO’d or KO’s an opponent.
Winged Form only activates when Sephiroth is “in a pinch,” which is more complicated than “high damage.” If you’re playing a stock battle, the number of stocks you have against your opponent counts, too. So, if you have one stock to your opponent’s three, Winged Form might activate quickly, but if that situation is flipped, you could be at 100% and still have no wings to show for it.
Sephiroth’s moveset prominently features his Masamune, an exceedingly long sword that gives him a huge reach. Sephiroth, though, is tall enough to be an easy-ish target himself, though he’s faster than other fighters in his height class.
As one might expect, Sephiroth’s moveset incorporates a bunch of incredibly badass flourishes. Hell, his backward throw begins with teleporting the opponent. He can also stab walls and launch himself back up to the stage – either as a feint or the world’s smoothest save.
During the broadcast, Mr. Sakurai was particularly fond of Hell’s Gate, Sephiroth’s down jump. It actually looks similar-ish to Link’s down jump, but has a much funner name. Plus, because of that long, long sword, it can damage enemies through the floor.
Sephiroth’s specials, though, are really something. The neutral special is of particular note: if you hold B long enough, the attack grows from Flare to Megaflare to Gigaflare. Gigaflare particularly is quite devastating (but can’t be used mid-jump).
The side special, Shadow Flare, appears to be a boring, narrow blast… at first. When it hits an opponent, ghostly orbs will circle around them and eventually explode. The victim can even get other players unwittingly caught up in the attack.
His down special, Scintilla, is a sort of counter, except that it triggers regardless of whether the opponent attacks. The up special is Blade Dash is a slick-but-standard sword attack. If you hold B, it becomes the slightly fancier Octaslash.
By the way, there’s also a new Omnislash for Cloud, but… whatever, he’s old news.
The Final Smash
Sephiroth’s Final Smash is Supernova, which is a direct nod to the end of FF7.
Interestingly, Supernova’s effects on each opponent will vary and be random. Some will be launched as you might expect, but other possible outcomes include dizziness, sleep, slow, and even reversed controls.
To top it off, Sephiroth’s Final Smash isn’t even the biggest spoiler Smash Bros is incorporating into this DLC.
The New Stage and New Songs
The DLC’s new stage quite literally plays out the events at the end of FF7 (not the Remake, the OG). Mr. Sakurai pointed out that Northern Cave is the first time a Smash stage has told a game’s story. So, if you haven’t played the original game and want to avoid spoilers… I guess don’t play this stage.
The DLC also includes nine new songs from FF7, four of which are entirely new arrangements. “Aerith’s Theme” and the FF7 Theme are among those with new arrangements, so get hype.
The Victory Screen
While we’re talking about the fiery, dramatic end of FF7, let’s all take a moment to admire Sephiroth’s victory screen, which is undoubtedly the most dramatic, chilling victory screen ever seen in Smash Bros. Slow walk into flames for the literal win.
Sephiroth’s Classic Mode
Sephiroth’s Classic Mode run is a classic boss rush. Enjoy using one of the most iconic villains ever to defeat other ridiculously iconic villains, like Dracula, Ganon, and Giga Bowser.
Mii Fighter Costumes
In addition to all of this, Sephiroth’s DLC will additionally include a bunch of FF7-themed Mii Outfits. There’s a gunner outfit for Barrett, a brawler for Tifa, and a swordfighter for Aerith (don’t sorry, she has her staff).
Additionally, there’s a Chocobo hat, because we deserve such silly frivolity.
There’s also a gunner named Geno from some Mario thing, but who cares. No offense, but we’re in FF7 mode.
Sephiroth will be downloadable on December 22. That’s five days away. Happy holidays to us all.