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Super Smash Bros. is a 2.5D crossover fighting game series published by Nintendo Company, Ltd.. The series was created by Masahiro Sakurai, has been released exclusively on Nintendo consoles, and primarily features Nintendo characters along with guest characters from other companies.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U saw a cross-promotion with the Final Fantasy series when Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII was released as a DLC along with Midgar as a stage on December 15th, 2015. Cloud appears with his mercenary outfit while his alternate costume is based on his Advent Children outfit. Cloud Strife was later included in the following installment, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, released on the Nintendo Switch on December 7, 2018 and Sephiroth was later announced into the game as a DLC playable character on December 10th, 2020.
The Super Smash Bros. series is comprised of easy-to-learn fighting games, with the object of each being for players to use various items, attacks, and tricks to knock each other off the stage to cause KOs. Direct attacks increase damage on other players, indicated by a percentage bar. As the percentage goes up, characters become more vulnerable to hits and will launch them back further. Traditionally up to four characters are able to fight at once in single matches. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate offer as high as eight players at once. Additionally stages are littered with various hazards, unusual geometry such as pits, and items and weapons raining down from the sky to give players a hectic and wild game. Super Smash Bros. also offers options to limit random these random elements, flatten stages, and remove hazards to allow fair entirely skill-based duels for competitive players, if they so prefer. Games can be played either against CPU opponents, local multiplayer, or online. Victories can be decided either based on how many KOs a player has achieved in a span of time, or whether they have survived the battle with a stock of lives without all of them being KO'd before their opponent.
Characters are given two basic sets of moves. There are regular physical attacks and Special Attacks, which are usually more magical and can have long-range. Where other fighting games often require a combo of buttons to be pressed to pull off unique moves, Super Smash Bros. merely requires that players tilt the stick in one direction while pressing the Special Attack button to pull of various moves. Depending on whether the player is tilting to the side, up, down, or holding the stick at neutral different moves will be used. Characters can also block, creating an orb around them to avoid all damage other than grabs, though blocks can run out paralyzing the player for several seconds. If timed correctly players can use extra strong physical attacks called "Smashes" which will deal far more damage, though are very slow. Evasive moves also include dodge rolls, jumps, double-jumps, and the Up Special, which will usually launch the player upward to come back up to the stage. A mechanic introduced in Super Smash Bros. Brawl are Final Smashes, extraordinarily powerful attacks only unlocked if players attack a unique item called a Smash Ball. Final Smashes are highly powerful and theatrical, akin to the Limit Breaks of the Final Fantasy series.
Single-player modes have no story, they are merely survival tests where the player takes on a run of CPU characters in individual matches. These include Classic, the harder All-Star where players must face every other unlocked character to win, and the Wii-U exclusive Event Matches where players take on single matches with difficult unique challenges. The Final Boss of the single-player Classic mode is Master Hand, a disembodied right-handed white glove of massive size and great power. Occasionally he is joined by his more erratic brother, Crazy Hand, who is left-handed. Also there are special extra minigames like Break the Targets, and a Home Run Contest.
There are several multiplayer modes as well beyond the simple Versus, which just creates a match. Online multiplayer gives the choice between Casual and Competitive games, which will add or remove odd stages or items or random elements. The 3DS version of the game includes Smash Run, a game of exploration where players travel through a vast dungeon full of enemies from various Nintendo properties, gaining a score before finally facing each other in a match, with their stats adjusted depending on how well they performed in the dungeon. The Wii U version has Smash Tour, a boardgame where players use Miis to wander around the board collecting Stocks and stats for a final match. The Wii U version also has a Tournament mode.
An amiibo figurine based on Cloud was released on July 21, 2017. It comes in two forms for both of his outfits. In North America his default is available in any store, while his alternate is a GameStop exclusive.
Clearing Classic mode and All-Star on the 3DS and Wii U versions will result in a player receiving a trophy of the character they played as.
The Trophies shown are obtainable in both versions.
|Name||3DS Image||Wii U Image||Description|
|Cloud||The protagonist of FINAL FANTASY VII, Cloud wields the enormous Buster Sword, a memento from his comrade Zack. Once a SOLDIER of Shinra, he now fights as a mercenary against the corporation he originally served. His decision to join AVALANCHE's insurgence, however, will transform his destiny.|
|Cloud (Alt.)||Filling the Limit Gauge allows Cloud to perform a Limit Break , supercharging his next special move. His down special becomes Finishing Touch. With a huge swing of his sword, Cloud summons a whirlwind that inflicts only 1% damage, but boasts brutal launch power. Go for a KO while foes' damage is still low!|
Wii U only
The Trophy shown can only be obtained on the Wii U version.
|Omnislash||Cloud sets out to prevent Sephiroth from sending Meteor crashing into the planet. The fate of the world on his shoulders, Cloud confronts his enemy one on one. He unleashes a flurry of swift slashes before delivering the finishing blow. In Smash Bros., the final strike creates an explosion, launching nearby fighters.|
Initially, Final Fantasy was solely represented by Cloud's two Fighter Spirits as he appears in Smash Bros. Ultimate. As of Version 10.1.0, a new Spirit Board was released alongside the proper release of Sephiroth as a DLC character. The Spirit Board for Final Fantasy VII contains Spirits with themed fights based on Cloud's party, alongside Chocobo and Moogle, the Turks and Rufus Shinra and Bahamut ZERO, Shiva and Ifrit. Cloud was updated to feature his original Nomura artwork for his standard Fighter Spirit.
Connections to the Final Fantasy series
The November 12th 2015 Nintendo direct reveal trailer of Cloud and Midgar included several in-jokes to the plot of Final Fantasy VII. These include Cloud carrying Wario from the WarioWare series' motorbike, Princess Zelda from the Legend of Zelda series kneeling before him in a pose similar to Aerith Gainsborough's when she first meets Cloud, and Cloud appearing dazed while on the King of Red Lions from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, referring to Cloud's motion sickness while on the Cargo Ship. Also, at the end of the trailer, where Cloud confronts Ike from the Fire Emblem series, the camera angles flash back and forth between the two before Cloud finishes off Ike with Omnislash, alluding to Cloud's metaphysical duel with Sephiroth at the end of Final Fantasy VII. A summon materia will occasionally appear in the Midgar stage which will either summon Ifrit, Ramuh, Odin, Leviathan, or Bahamut ZERO depending on the color of the summon materia. The summons are stage hazards and will damage anyone who did not pick up the summon materia.
Some screencaps for Cloud were also posted for the 3DS and Wii U. In particular, one screencap, showing Cloud dazed while Wii Fit Trainer and Ness look on aboard Wuhu Island's boat, was a reference to his motion sickness aboard the Cargo Ship.
"Let the Battles Begin!" and "Fight On!" are the themes that play on Midgar on both versions of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U. If Cloud wins a multiplayer match the Final Fantasy VII victory fanfare will play. At the conclusion of the Classic Mode the word "Congratulations" is written in the font of Final Fantasy game logos. Also a chocobo hat accessory was released for Mii Fighters. Cloud's All-Star congratulations screen depicts Cloud glaring at Palutena as she walks away through flames, referring to Sephiroth and his role in the Nibelheim Incident. His pose when getting a screen KO resembles his default pose.
In Mewtwo's classic mode for Ultimate, after beating an opponent, his "ally" is one of the opponents it had defeated beforehand. Its ally in the third round is Cloud Strife, which may refer to the latter's status as a Sephiroth Clone and Sephiroth's manipulation of Cloud in Final Fantasy VII.
Sephiroth's debut trailer "The One-Winged Angel!" features several references to Final Fantasy VII. In particular:
- Sephiroth killing Galeem before promptly giving the other fighters a curb stomp battle refers to him killing President Shinra, only to prove to be an even worse threat to Gaia than Shinra afterward in his debut game.
- Sephiroth's splash screen has him adopt a similar pose to his character artwork in Final Fantasy VII.
- Sephiroth raises his hand and causes the lighting to develop dark stormclouds, similar to the beginning of his duel with Cloud in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. The same scene has him saying "Now I shall give SMASH despair", a paraphrase of Sephiroth's taunt to Cloud during his duel with him in the same film, "I've thought of a wonderful present for you. Shall I give you despair?"
- Sephiroth's iconic image from the Nibelheim incident is referenced at one point before transitioning to the Ganon's Castle ruins.
- Sephiroth missing an unconscious Zelda by inches with Hell's Gate at Dream Fountain is most likely a reference to his murder of Aerith in the original game.
- Sephiroth willingly walking towards a black hole is an allusion to how he created a portal by slashing a dark tornado and walked through it in the remake for Final Fantasy VII.
- Sephiroth's sprouting his single wing in Advent Children Complete before exacting revenge on Cloud for his earlier defeat at Nibelheim Reactor is re-enacted.
- Sephiroth turns to look at a descending object, alluding to his casting Meteor in the original game.
- Sephiroth's impaling of Cloud during both the Nibelheim Incident and Advent Children Complete is spoofed late into the trailer where he narrowly misses impaling Mario by having the tip of his sword lift his overall.
- Cloud using Omnislash Version 5 against Sephiroth in Advent Children Complete is reenacted.
- Cloud and Sephiroth reenact their final dialogue after the duel in the film in the ending of the trailer, with the only noticeable difference being that Sephiroth shortly afterward assumes his Safer∙Sephiroth form as Cloud readies himself.
One of Sephiroth's teaser images is a direct reference to the key art for Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. His Classic Mode Congratulations screen is a recreation of the scene in Final Fantasy VII where Cloud hands an encased Sephiroth the Black Materia, using the Black Hole item in place of it.
The Final Fantasy Spirit Board released concurrently for Sephiroth features battles based on themed fights to acquire their corresponding Spirits:
- Barret's fight consists of Mii Fighters modeled after Biggs, Wedge and Jessie, members of AVALANCHE with the only items spawning being bomb-based, a referencing to the opening bombing mission. A Mii Gunner wearing the Barret costume appears as the main fighter. The fight itself takes place on Midgar.
- Tifa's fight is represented by an aggressive Mii Brawler with enhanced attack and speed.
- Aerith's fight is represented by either a Mii Swordfighter wearing the Aerith costume or Zelda in her Ocarina of Time colors, depending on whether the player has the Aerith costume downloaded or not, with Cloud as a partner and possesses the auto-heal ability, referencing her healing affinity.
- Cid's fight is represented by a Link with enhanced jumping power and favors the use of his Downward Thrust.
- Vincent's fight is represented by Wolf, referencing his Galian Beast form and is giant. Dracula's theme from the NES game is chosen for the background, an allusion to his vampire-like motif.
- Yuffie's fight is represented by a green Sheik who prioritizes hoarding items over fighting the enemy.
Behind the scenes
Lead developer Masahiro Sakurai frequently gets requests to include a Final Fantasy character, with Cloud being the most requested. When Sakurai first approached Square Enix for the inclusion of a Final Fantasy character in Smash Bros., he had initially considered Bartz Klauser or Terra Branford. However, because Cloud usually took up a third of all the Final Fantasy character requests he had ever gotten, and his fear of not many fans knowing who Bartz or Terra were, he pushed for Cloud. This is the third fighting game franchise Cloud Strife has had involvement in, after Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring and the Dissidia subseries.
Although Steve Burton voices Cloud in English, only his Japanese voice actor, Takahiro Sakurai, is heard in all regions of the game. According to Burton, he was never asked to voice Cloud in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U. This was likely due to Burton being a union-based voice actor; contractual obligations at the time only allowed Burton to be the voice of Cloud in English and he had to be credited as such. For the same reason, neither George Newbern nor Tyler Hoechlin was brought in to voice Sephiroth in English, leaving him to be voiced only in Japanese by Toshiyuki Morikawa.
Several voice actors known for roles in Final Fantasy games, such as Jun Fukuyama and Laura Bailey, voice non-Final Fantasy characters in the game. In particular, Jun voices Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade protagonist Roy in Melee, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U (added via downloadable content), and in the Japanese version of Ultimate (as he receives his own voiceover work in English), as well as Persona 5 protagonist Joker in the Japanese version of Ultimate (also added via DLC). In the English version, Roy is voiced by Ray Chase, who is the voice actor for Noctis in Final Fantasy XV. Laura Bailey, on the other hand, voices Fire Emblem Awakening character Lucina in the English version of both Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U and Ultimate.
- Cloud Strife To Be Available Later Today For Super Smash Bros. (Accessed: March 24, 2020) at Siliconera
- Sakurai x Nomura: Creator Interview 2016 (Accessed: March 24, 2020) at Sourcegaming
- Tweet by Steve Burton (Accessed: March 24, 2020) at 1SteveBurton at Twitter
- [ Steve Burton was never asked to play Cloud in SSB4] Twitter