On Tuesday, October 30 Nintendo announced that on Thursday, November 1, they would hold the final "Smash Direct" and announce the complete final roster for the upcoming game “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.” On that same day, “Undertale” creator Toby Fox would announce that the very next day, Wednesday, October 31, he would have something of his own to announce after a roughly three year silence. Of course this immediately led to wild speculation: were the two in kahoots? Would we see an “Undertale” character in “Smash”?
Speculation flew even more out of proportion when October 30 came and Fox would drop “Deltarune,” which players quickly recognized as an “Undertale” spinoff, unsurprising as “Deltarune” is an anagram of “Undertale.” Half the internet crossed their fingers while the other half paced nervously as it seemed the possibility of Sans in "Smash" had been given a new validity. All was riding on Nintendo. They had already seen huge speculation into this next direct with the now infamous “Grinch leak,” and were now even more heavily scrutinized by this latest omen.
And from this point on I have to give a big spoiler warning as to the "Smash Direct," if you have not already seen it and still intend on doing so, put down your paper and watch it before coming back.
Both the supposed leak and the speculation into Sans’ inclusion had borne no fruit. We did, however, finally get confirmation into Ken’s much needed inclusion in the game, as well as the unsuspected reveal of two characters beyond the internet's most diligent speculation. The first was Incineroar, the first new "Pokémon" character to be added to the game. While many would not have found it surprising that they would add a new "Pokémon" character to the game, as naturally as they are bound to add new “Fire Emblem” characters to each "Smash," Incineroar was likely not the choice most people had expected. Another one of the starter Pokémon would probably have been the obvious choice, or perhaps another legendary like Victini or Celebi to supplement Mewtwo.
But no choice was less obvious than the third and final character Masahiro Sakurai announced. Move out of the way Waluigi and Geno, you lost to… Piranha Plant. Of all things, I don’t think anyone saw this coming. Even in his reveal video I don’t think anyone believed it until they actually saw Piranha Plant roll dodge. Not only that but from what we saw it looks like he’s gonna have insane range, recovery, and a near-instantaneous spike. As if watching Richter Belmont's stupidly long up-smash wasn't bad enough now we have Piranha Plant with the extendo-neck.
Seriously. At this point Sakurai is just trying to assert dominance over the entire "Smash" community badgering him about which characters to add and not add. After that reveal I think even the most hardcore detractors of the “Sans in Smash” bandwagon turned face. However bad people may have worried it would be with the inclusion of "Undertale," most of them will admit this was even worse. In addition to announcing new playable characters, Sakurai also revealed the so-called “spirits” system, in which stuff from all the games represented in "Smash" take the form of buffs, boosts, and modifiers to characters playstyle. Equipping a spirit to a fighter will give them some sort of modification, sort of like the custom moves from “Smash 4.”
Overall it took up about half of the show for features you’re going to immediately turn off. The end of the direct, however, was perhaps the biggest reveal. After Mario, Mega Man, and Luigi, people were joking about who Sakurai was going to kill off next. It turns out, the entire "Smash" roster except for Kirby. The end of the direct teased the game’s new story mode via an intro cutscene that saw every character except for Kirby get vaporized by beams of light. It looks promising though; I really liked Subspace Emissary from "Brawl" and I'm excited to see something like it for "Ultimate." And though it did not mean Sans would be in "Smash," "Deltarune" is very promising, though more on that next week when I review it.