The wait is over and Super Smash Bros Ultimate is finally on store shelves. Nintendo fans, fighting game fans, and newcomers alike have gotten their hands on the game, and they’re all prepared to be playing for years to come. It’s safe to say that “Ultimate” is a worthy subtitle for the game, as there is an insane amount of content. People can easily spend upwards of 100 hours just delving into everything the game has to offer.
With so many things to dive into, people are sure to not have experienced or even noticed everything. All 74 fighters have a unique classic mode, there’s World of Light, which takes a crazy amount of time to complete, and there are several different multiplayer modes to keep the smashing going for hours upon hours. We still haven’t discussed the new Spirits mechanic, which has replaced the trophies for better or worse. Needless to say, there’s just so much to see and experience. Sakurai has done it again, and there is so much life in this release.
Because the game has been out for just a few days, there are still plenty of things to unpack with this massive release. We have had our hands on the game and have sent our eagle eyes to scour through all the juicy details. If you have Super Smash Bros Ultimate, then you might’ve missed these 30 hidden things in the game. There is a lot of detail, so be prepared to for some minor yet welcome changes.
30 Meta Knight Looks A Lot Like Someone Else...
Meta Knight isn’t the only powerful warrior in the Kirby franchise. Other characters like Galacta Knight and Dark Meta Knight are based on his design. In previous Super Smash Bros games, Meta Knight had color alts that were homages to them. In Ultimate, though, Meta Knight’s mask is respectively changed to better resemble each of those two characters. Kirby fans are sure to get their fill of fanservice with this change. Honestly, Meta Knight was a great candidate to get better alternate costumes anyway.
29 The Shovel Spirit's Appearance
One of the most surprising new assist trophies in Super Smash Bros Ultimate was Shovel Knight. Being the first indie character in the franchise, fans were excited to see him get in. Yacht Club was also kind enough to lend out a few of their other characters for Spirits in the game as well. Shovel Knight is a spirit, but Specter Knight and King Knight make appearances as well. On the topic of indies, most people already know this, but Shantae made it in as a Spirit too.
28 Master Hand Isn't The Only One Anymore...
One of the most welcome changes to Classic Mode was that characters don’t always fight Master Hand. Different characters have different final bosses. While there isn’t an exclusive boss for each character or even each franchise, the effort put in is welcome nonetheless. Rathalos from Monster Hunter, Galleom from Brawl’s Subspace Emissary, and Giga Bowser all return. However, and we won’t spoil them here, but there are some other new bosses that Nintendo hasn’t talked about, one, in particular, being a big surprise.
27 Switching Around Zelda’s Final Smash
One of the fighters to go through the most changes is Zelda. One such change is her Final Smash. As opposed to using the Twilight Arrow, Zelda now wraps fighters up in a Tri-Force.
What’s most interesting about it is that it isn’t used as a means of launching opponents off the screen.
Instead, if they are over 100% in damage, then they are instantly KOed, similar to the hazard zones in the Great Cave Offensive stage. It’s just another step in making her feel more unique.
26 The Missing Brawl Stage
There are a ton of stages in Super Smash Bros Ultimate and the vast majority return from previous games in the series. However, the one that got the biggest percentage of its stages taken was Super Smash Bros Brawl. Every single stage from that game was brought over and remastered for Ultimate save for just one: Rumble Falls. It makes sense too, as Rumble Falls was the most universally hated scrolling stage in the entire franchise. No other Smash game had all but one stage brought to Ultimate.
25 Making Villager More Diverse
Representing Villager from Animal Crossing in Super Smash Bros was always going to be a creative task. Because the character is a placeholder, Sakurai designed the character’s alternate costumes with all sorts of outfits and hairstyles. However, Super Smash Bros Ultimate changes them up a bit more. Previously, all Villager costumes featured him with white skin. In this game, some costumes have different skin tones, providing more diverse representation for the character, which is sure to make a lot of players happy.
24 Hidden References In The World Of Light
For the most part, World of Light is just a standard watercolor map with unique locations to Super Smash Bros. However, Sakurai is a man of many references, and he snuck several in throughout this adventure mode. There is a town based on Lumiose City from Pokémon X and Y, and an entire flight sequence that is ripped straight from Street Fighter, and even a location that references all sorts of Nintendo consoles. It makes the whole mode feel like one glorious reference.
23 This Level Was Finally Fixed
Frigate Orpheon was one of the new Metroid stages in Super Smash Bros Brawl. Players would fight on some moving platforms with the Parasite Queen raging in the background.
At certain intervals, the stage would flip upside down, forcing players to navigate to new platforms.
However, its original version was poorly balanced, often leading to characters getting caught underneath the stage, forcing a KO. In Ultimate, this problem is fixed. The stage will flip and characters won’t get caught underneath.
22 Final Destination, Only Fox
One of the biggest jokes in Super Smash Bros is playing on “Final Destination, no items, only Fox.” Of course, this is a reference to the competitive scene for Melee. However, Sakurai seems to notice this joke, as Super Smash Bros Ultimate’s opening references this. It has a screen of Fox standing by himself on Final Destination with, you guessed it, no items in sight. It’s nice to see the developers having a bit of fun with this new game.
21 Mii Costumes Are References
Mii Costumes were introduced in Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS as a way of customizing Mii Fighters. In Ultimate, this feature returns, but there are several new costumes to use. There are costumes for both Rex and Nia from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 as well as one for Isaac from Golden Sun. However, these costumes seem to be released as compensation for those who didn’t see the characters they wanted make it as playable fighters in the game.
20 Hints Of Previous Themes
When listening to the main theme for Super Smash Bros Ultimate, it’s interesting to note the homages it makes to previous themes in the series. There are a series of a few short notes that reference Super Smash Bros on the 64. There is a slower, more orchestral part that references Melee. The vocalized version of “Lifelight” could be seen as a reference to the choir used in Brawl’s main theme. With the game being a celebration of the franchise, it makes sense that the theme would reflect that as well.
19 Ness’s Father Spirit Makes An Appearance
This is a bit of a deep cut in Nintendo’s history. Ness’s father is a Spirit in Super Smash Bros Ultimate, but he’s little more than a pair of shoes. This is a reference to Earthbound, in which Ness’s father was entirely absent from his son’s life. The fact that Sakurai managed to work this in is both sad and hilarious (at the expense of Ness, of course). What makes it even funnier is the fact that the fight against the Spirit is versus Solid Snake, but he is invisible.
18 Alternate Ways To Get The Characters
As is the case with most Super Smash Bros games, there are multiple ways to unlock all 74 fighters. One is to save them in World of Light, which could take upwards of 15 hours to complete. Another is to beat Classic Mode with a bunch of characters, as most completions reward you with a chance to unlock a character.
The last is to play Smash battles for 5-10 minutes at a time.
The fastest way to do this is to play a battle, unlock a character, reset the language, and do it again. Resetting the language resets the in-game timer.
17 New Remixes On Old Stages
Super Smash Bros Ultimate brings a lot of new music to the mix, and that includes plenty of remixes. With most of the stages returning, these remixes appear on classic stages. Brinstar Depths has an entirely new remixed theme that is set to play more frequently than the Melee version. Delfino Plaza was also given the same treatment. It’s interesting to see how those songs have changed over time, getting the remaster treatment just like the stages they appear in.
16 Wait, How Many Players?
One of the biggest features in Super Smash Bros Ultimate is that 8-player Smash is now compatible on every stage, hazards included, and it’s not separated by its own mode.
However, 8-player Smash works on other modes as well.
Squad Strike offers the chance for players to rotate, upping the number of people that can join. Smashdown allows for up to 8 people to play at a time. Then there’s the Tourney mode, which lets people hold local tournaments for up to 32 people at a time.
15 How To Have A Rematch
With a total of 66 characters to unlock (62 of which you have to fight), you’re likely going to lose a few rounds, thus ruining your chances of unlocking certain characters at that time. However, if you lose battles with an unlockable character, they can later be challenged in the “Games and More” section. There is a door icon that appears at the bottom right of the screen, and every challenger that beat you (that you haven’t already unlocked) can be challenged and unlocked right then and there and in rapid succession.
14 Hidden Moves For The Mii Fighters
Custom moves were a bit of an oddity in Super Smash Bros for Wii U. They didn’t quite have the balance that the developers were probably intending, so they were cut entirely in Super Smash Bros Ultimate. Well, that isn’t entirely the case. Mii Fighters are just as customizable as they were in the previous game, and that includes their moveset. Miis have a set of a few different specials that can be chosen when creating them. We’ll see if they are balanced for competitive play.
13 Pichu’s Hats Look Familiar
With Pikachu getting alternate costumes that reference Melee, Pichu was given a lot of new costumes in Super Smash Bros Ultimate. More specifically, Pichu is given two different hats that have neat little designs on them. Fans of the Pokémon franchise will notice that one sports the design from Team Aqua and another sports the design from Team Skull. Pichu also has an alternate costume that gives him the spiky ear from Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver. He also keeps his goggles from Melee.
12 It Now Pays To Play A Heavyweight
Heavy characters haven’t been widely known for their viability in Super Smash Bros. The new game seems to do away with all of that, though, as the engine rewards aggressive play. Furthermore, just about every heavy character in the game got noticeable improvements, such as Bowser’s increased fall speed. New heavyweight King K. Rool is also a beast with his super armor. Even Charizard feels much faster on the ground and can eliminate at early percents. Heavyweights might just dominate the game in the future.
11 Ridley... Is Lighter Than Samus?
Despite the argument that Ridley is too big for Smash, he finally got in the game. He is a fairly big character, though he’s not actively classified as a heavyweight. Ridley is a medium character in the game and somehow weighs less than Samus, believe it or not. However, he does make up for this with his insane running speed on top of some of the scariest attacks in the game. Ridley may not be a heavyweight, but he certainly plays like one.
10 Luigi And His Poltergust
While many returning characters didn’t get a lot of changes, Luigi got a surprising new addition that Nintendo didn’t talk about much. Instead of the grab that he had in previous games, Luigi now uses his Poltergust from the Luigi’s Mansion series. The grab is a tether, so it can snatch people from a distance as well as help him recover back on the stage. Tether grabs have their advantages and disadvantages, but it’s nice to see Mario’s brother get his own identity.
9 Inklings Are Based On Splatoon 1
Inklings were a no-brainer addition to Super Smash Bros Ultimate. With Splatoon being one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises now, it made sense to put the Inklings in Smash.
However, with the game being decided so early in production, the Inkling designs aren’t based on Splatoon 2.
Their alternate costumes and even their moves are based on the first game. However, costumes for Splatoon 2 Inklings were given to the Mii Gunners if that fancies you. Either way, the Inklings are a great addition to the franchise.
8 Switching Between Ice Climbers (For Once)
This is a change that you may not notice at first glance. When playing Ice Climbers, you control one and the other helps. However, with the Ice Climbers’ alternate costumes, you can actually switch which one you control. This is evidenced by their hair change, which is the only way you can tell them apart. Other than that, their costumes aren’t much to write home about. Honestly, it’s just nice to have them back after they were cut due to the 3DS’s hardware limitations.
7 Less Costumes For Little Mac?
Little Mac had the most alternate costumes in Super Smash Bros for Wii U. He had 8 different colors for his regular version and the same 8 colors for his wireframe version. In Super Smash Bros Ultimate, his costumes are brought back down to 8 instead of 16. Six of his costumes are standard colors and the last two are different versions of his wireframe design. It makes sense to cut the number, though, as players were never going to get so much use out of 8 different wireframe skins.
6 Paying To Use Classic Mode?
Classic Mode works a bit differently than in previous games. Starting each round takes either 100 gold or a ticket. Those tickets have another use too. If you get knocked out during Classic Mode, you can spend gold and lower the difficulty or use a ticket to save your gold and keep the difficulty. On a side note, the respawn in Classic Mode is phenomenal. You just pay your dues to continue, and the game thrusts you right back into the match where you left off.
5 Finally, Kirby Acts More Like Kirby
When playing the game, it’s hard to notice at first glance, but take a closer look, and you’ll see that some characters have had their animations changed since their last appearance.
Kirby’s run is entirely different, more closely resembling his run in the newer Kirby games.
Older characters like Ivysaur are given new running animations that make them feel more natural and like they have better identities. All in all, these minor changes go a long way to making the characters stand out in such a big roster.
4 Fighting The Computer Isn't Easy Anymore
Players who tackled the CPU fighters in previous Super Smash Bros games might be a bit surprised when they tackle the CPU fighters in Ultimate.
These fighters are no joke.
Not only do they know how to do a perfect block, but they dodge and punish better than they have before. It makes fighting a level 9 CPU a much greater challenge than before. On the bright side, it might lead to people without the online service feeling like they can still effectively train.
3 Shulk’s Decreased Lag
Shulk was one of the most unique fighters in Super Smash Bros, being the only characters who could actively change his stats. However, these changes didn’t help him much when he had serious lag on all his moves. In Smash Bros Ultimate, Shulk has been significantly sped up. His moves are now faster, which makes him a much more serious threat. Combine that with his simpler Monado Arts, and he is looking to be a much better character in the game.
2 Tiny But Important Visual Changes
Some characters were given new animations in Super Smash Bros Ultimate, but there are also tiny visual changes introduced. After Donkey Kong charges his punch, his face changes and his model has a little flash to it. Olimar’s helmet cracks after he gets hit. Squirtle’s cheeks fill up as he charges his Water Gun attack. Honestly, there are just so many small details to witness that it’s crazy. Sakurai clearly put a lot of passion into this game, and it makes it all the sweeter.
1 The Brand New Parry Animation
Super Smash Bros Ultimate added a new mechanic to the mix, and that is the Perfect Shield. If players let go of their shield right when they are receiving an attack, they will parry, giving them the opportunity to punish their opponent.
To pull this off, every fighter was given an entirely new animation to signal when the Perfect Shield was executed.
Just think that pre-existing fighters were all given new animations to fit this. As if the fighters didn’t already have enough detail.