Two of the most fearsome members of Castlevania's Belmont clan are coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but don't worry if that's too much righteousness for you - King K. Rool from the Donkey Kong Country series is on his way, too. Nintendo introduced the new fighters in a dedicated Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Direct stream on Wednesday, where it also revealed and/or confirmed the return of tons of stages, items, and assist trophies, not to mention the unexpected death and return of a beloved plumber. But before we get to that…
Simon and Richter Belmont stake their claim on Smash Bros.
Original Castlevania hero Simon Belmont is coming to Smash Bros. and he's bringing his whip, axes, and enough flasks of holy water to make Wario burst into purifying flames. He's also bringing along his grandkid (or maybe great grandkid, or grand nephew, it's all kind of fuzzy) Richter Belmont, the main hero of Castlevania: Rondo of Blood. The two play the same aside from differing looks and sounds: during the reveal, Masahiro Sakurai noted that the fearsome Vampire Killer whip gives them the longest-range standard attacks in the game, with the drawback that it leaves them vulnerable if they miss.
King K. Rool counters attacks with his shiny golden belly
The big baddie of the Donkey Kong Country series finally arrives in Smash, and he looks like he'll play with all the same madcap unpredictability of his evil machinations on Donkey Kong Island. King K. Rool showed up as a surprise announcement at the end of the Direct presentation, so Sakurai didn't get into any gameplay details for him. But judging by the gameplay video, he may be the most adaptable heavyweight character yet: throwing his crown like a boomerang, blasting fools with a blunderbuss, and lacing up a boxing glove for some fierce close-up damage. Best/strangest of all, he can puff out his big, golden belly to absorb an enemy's attack and respond with a powerful counter.
Dark Samus and Chrom enter the ranks of Echo Fighters
Technically, Richter Belmont is an Echo Fighter of Simon Belmont - a new classification introduced in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate to help clarify how "clone" characters like Lucina (cloned from Marth) or Dr. Mario (cloned from original Mario) relate to their source material. And Nintendo confirmed two more fan-requested characters are joining the Smash Bros. roster as Echo Fighters: Dark Samus from the Metroid Prime series, and Chrom from Fire Emblem: Awakening. As you may expect, they're based on Samus and Marth respectively, though unlike Richter their play styles and attacks vary slightly from their base characters.
New Donk City Hall joins a ridiculous number of stages
Remember how the original Super Smash Bros. had nine stages, assuming you unlocked Mushroom Kingdom? Haha, yeah, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has 103. Or roughly triple that if you count all the Battlefield and Final Destination versions of each stage. They're not all new, of course - in fact, all the N64 stages will reappear in their old low-poly glory - but many are, including New Donk City Hall. The battle on this Super Mario Odyssey stage unfolds around the City Hall skyscraper, going up and down its many floors via floating platform. Mayor Pauline will be there to perform"Jump Up, Super Star" along with the rest of the band, naturally.
Assist trophies and Pokemon get more starring turns
You ever want to party with Alucard? The son of Dracula will appear as a particularly fearsome Assist Trophy, attacking in his normal dhampir form as well as turning into mist or a swarm of bats. More into echidnas with bad attitudes? Well, Sonic's friend Knuckles is here too, and so is Krystal from Star Fox, and Shovel Knight, and even frickin' Nikki from the 3DS Swapnote/Swapdoodle apps. On the trapped-in-a-tiny-ball side of things, Ultimate will add the Alolan forms of Eggsecutor (which is an impractically tall palm tree) and Vulpix (which breathes ice, not fire) among many others. That should make fights nice and unpredictable... assuming you don't just turn items off by default, like some kind of monster.
There's a whole mode Nintendo's not willing to talk about yet
Nintendo demonstrated the main menu for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the first time during this Direct presentation, which ordinarily wouldn't have been noteworthy on its own. But Sakurai's narration (well, the English translation of his narration) specifically mentioned "a mysterious mode" that Nintendo isn't ready to talk about yet (the fuzzy one in the picture above). If it's significant enough to merit its own spot on the main menu screen, just below "Smash," it must be a big deal. Could this be the return of a full story/adventure mode? We haven't had one of those since The Subspace Emissary in Super Smash Bros. Brawl - which came out just over a decade ago, if you need a reminder of your own mortality. Speaking of mortality...
Luigi died but he got better
The introductory video for the Smash Direct presentation began with Luigi wandering around Dracula's Castle, where it became clear that the Poltergust was no match for Death itself. Sadly, Simon Belmont didn't show up to save the day until after Luigi's soul had been thoroughly reaped. Dude was dead. The teaser video ended with Luigi's ghost almost reuniting with his body before being interrupted by the looming face of Camilla, AKA that creepy mask boss from the original Castlevania. Fans were understandably concerned.
Pour one out for our boy Luigi he actually straight up perishedAugust 8, 2018
since luigi died maybe we can contact his spirit with one of those luigi boards ive been hearing so much aboutAugust 8, 2018
But don't worry, apparently Luigi did manage to reunite the two halves of his essence, at least according to the official Nintendo Versus UK Twitter account.
Luigi is okayAugust 8, 2018
Still, Luigi died and then he returned to life. I'm pretty sure that makes him undead, one of the things he fears most in this terrifying world. Poor zombie Luigi.
Find more to look forward to in our list of upcoming Nintendo Switch games for 2018 and beyond.