The final DLC character for Super Smash Bros. has been revealed in a dedicated Nintendo Direct stream, and Kingdom Hearts fans can rejoice, as the keyblade-wielding hero Sora will join the game on 18th October 2021.
Series director Masahiro Sakurai revealed that, all the way back during the Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS era, Sora was the most-requested character in the Smash Bros. Fighters Ballot. The results of that ballot were never publicly revealed, with Sakurai-san and Iwata-san (who was still with us at the time) deciding that to do so would put an awful lot of pressure on the various parties across the industry who may or may not be interested in collaborating, and Sora in particular needed quite a lot of collaboration from multiple companies.
Sora is the final character in Fighter’s Pass 2, with Sakurai-san and his team at Sora (yes, his company shares the same name with the final fighter) adding 12 characters to the game since it was released at the end of 2018. The first of these was the Piranha Plant as a standalone reward for early purchases of the game, leading into Fighters Pass Vol. 1 which added Joker from Persona 5, Hero from Dragon Quest XI, Banjo-Kazooie, Terry from Fatal Fury and Byleth from Fire Emblem: Three Houses over the course of the next year.
Further reading: We rank every Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC Fighter
Fighters Pass Vol. 2 was announced at the end of 2019, promising six more characters. Their development was impacted by the covid-19 pandemic and working from home, but has included Min Min from ARMS, Steve from Minecraft, Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII, Pyra/Mythra from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Kazuya from Tekken. The final piece of the puzzle is Sora from Kingdom Hearts.
In our original review of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Jason said:
“Smash Bros. has often felt a bit like it was trying to do too much and while it has always been a fun series, the disparity between the fighting game and the party game didn’t always mesh well. Ultimate is the perfect fusion of the two styles. There are countless additions to it as a fighting game to keep the competitive players happy, but the new items and features make the party game the most exciting it could be. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate feels like one of the best written love letters to gaming that there has ever been, the care and attention given to each of the games represented is incredible. This is quite simply a must-play game, one that will keep you going for hundreds of hours with its single player alone, and with multiplayer that will keep you going for thousands.”
I think it’s fairly safe to say that the game has only improved and grown since then. Hats off to Sakurai-san and his team for their tireless efforts over the past decade of Smash Bros. development.