Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's mysterious mode has been revealed. At Nintendo's Smash-focused Direct today, series creator Masahiro Sakurai revealed the mode as "Spirits." This mode takes the place of collectible trophies, in that these Spirits are characters seen from throughout the Smash Bros. multiverse. From the Direct, you can see many different characters, such as Tails, Dragonite, and Dr. Wily.
So, what do these Spirits accomplish for the player? Sakurai states that Spirits enhance the fighter. Spirits are divided into four classes: Novice, Advanced, Ace, and Legend. Your fighter, we'll say Link, can be assigned one primary Spirit, we'll say Cranky Kong. Cranky Kong's power level stats will be added to Link. Then, you can have Support Spirits that will lend the fighter useful skills. For example, as read in the Direct, Cappy enables the player to have a "Strong Throw" and Vulpix will enable to the player to be equipped with a Fire Flower. With so many Spirits, the combinations will surely be interesting.
Primary Spirits can be leveled up by battling, or feeding it snacks. It should also be noted that some Spirits have enhanced forms, with one example being Groudon, who can transform into Mega Groudon. Spirits can also be trained at gyms, courtesy of Punch-Out !!'s Doc Louis.
In this mode, you'll have to win "Spirit Battles" to get a chance at acquiring more Spirits. The Direct shows a "Spirit Board with a "Target List." You can aim for the lower level Spirits for presumably an easier battle, or take on the Aces. However, if your Spirit team is vastly more powerful, you will be rewarded less. The video provides some fun and amusing examples of what Spirit Battles look like. One fight is against Mega Man infused with Guts Man's spirit. Mega Man here is large with super armor, and favors throws. Meanwhile, Iggy infused with Lakitu's spirit will send an army of miniature Bowsers after the player. In short, these battles have some similarities to the "Event matches" mode of previous Smash games while being something wholly unique.
There are a few other aspects worth mentioning. To acquire a Spirit after battle, you will engage in what Nintendo calls a "roulette challenge," seen in the picture above. Next, there is a level of strategy involved when picking your support Spirits; picking certain ones in certain battles will give you an advantage. (To make things easier, there is an option for the game to recommend Spirits.) Also, Primary Spirits are divided by "Attack," "Grab," and "Shield." Shield is strong against Attack as an example, so there is a layer of strategy for picking Primary Spirits as well. Spirits can be sent back to the real world, where you'll lose them, but you can combine their cores to summon a new Spirit.
Finally, Spirits mode isn't just single-player. You can battle other players within this mode as well. There was a lot of thought put into all this. There appears to be a level of depth that will make multiplayer battles between friends all the more fun.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will launch on December 7th.