Super Smash Bros. Ultimate character guide (part 1)

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Pau Monfort
Author and references

Welcome to the first installment of our in-depth guide to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's stellar cast of playable characters

In this ours guide, we will devote ourselves to the many characters playable of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, starting with Mario up to the latest additions of the second Fighters Pass. In each episode we will describe about five or six fighters, however, dividing them according to the chapter of Smash in which they made their debut. In this first appointment, we will dedicate ourselves to half of the cast coming from the very first episode for Nintendo 64, or the first six fighters also available in the chapter for Nintendo Switch. We will therefore talk about Mario, Donkey Kong, Link, Samus, Yoshi e Kirby. Get ready to fight!

Quick Preamble

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, each player's task is to knock opponents off the screen, battling in arenas that mix the genre of fighting with elements of platformer (X and Y allow you to jump). The A and B keys, used in combination with the various directions, give life to the most disparate moves, as well as the back keys to manage shields, dodges and holds. The game also implements tools that irremediably alter the fate of each encounter, but in this guide we will basically focus only and only on the characters themselves. Increasing the opponent's damage will make him lighter and, therefore, vulnerable.

Mario - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Character Guide

The Big N mustache has been synonymous with video games since the dawn of time, and it is no coincidence that it appears at the center of the cover artwork of each chapter of the crossover saga. Mario he is usually the best character to learn the gameplay rudiments of any game he appears in, but will that be the case in Smash too?

  • Franchise of origin: Super Mario
  • Origins: As a "semi-parody for legal matters", Mario was born as Jumpman in the first Donkey Kong (1981) playing the role of Popeye in Popeye-Olivia-Bluto love triangle. From a mustachioed carpenter that he was, in Mario Bros. he became a plumber whose aim was to clear the sewers of the most assorted critters. With Super Mario Bros. the pipes took him to the surface of the Mushroom Kingdom, and the rest is history.
  • Gameplay: As we anticipated, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is no exception; Mario is balanced. Nonetheless, it does not particularly shine for attacking or throwing power, and for this reason aggressive play is rewarded more. In particular, hitting an opponent in the air (A) while moving forward leads to a Smash Meteor, which is an attack capable of knocking the target down. To make it balanced, there is the side Special Attack (B), Cappa, with which you can play on the defensive by repelling bullets and making opponents turn around to ruin their timing. The Special Attack at the bottom, the SPLAC 3000, once charged uses water to push an opponent, but does not cause damage.

Donkey Kong - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Character Guide

Originally called "Monkey Kong" (and then crippled into "Donkey", "donkey"), our guide could not miss one of the first symbols of Nintendo, a regular guest who also returns among the characters of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Even with the occasional Achilles heel, DK remains a tough nut to crack in the hands of the most seasoned players, as well as the first heavyweight in the crossover saga.

  • Franchise of origin: Donkey Kong (now a Mario spinoff)
  • Origins: We've already alluded to the love triangle that sees Donkey Kong as a simian version of Bluto, but there's more to it. With the debut of Rare's "son with ex-wife", Donkey Kong Country, 1994 marks a massive redesign by the character. An aged version of the original appearance appears in the DKC series as Cranky Kong, which is still considered "the original Donkey Kong" to this day.
  • Gameplay: Mario rewards a aggressive play, Donkey Kong demands it. With all his Herculean strength, our tie gorilla does not boast any bullets whatsoever, therefore requiring a game in close contact with the opponent. By managing shields (controller triggers) and dodges (shield + analog lever click) with cunning, it is possible to turn DK's sweet spot into his best weapon. Side Special Attack buries opponents, the longer their damage is. The defensive game, however, is not impossible: the Special Attack down allows you to hit the ground repeatedly (B, B, B ...), complicating the life of the opponents who try to get close. The standard Special Attack allows you to charge a punch to be delivered at full power later: manipulating the paranoia of the opponents is always effective.

Link - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Character Guide

The hero of The Legend of Zelda with multiple incarnations (and no, it's not hyperbole on our part) returns in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a representative of the latest and appreciated chapter, Breath of The Wild. The champion of “one hundred years ago” therefore abandons the ruined Hyrule of the 2017 game of the year in favor of the thousand other worlds of the Big N, bringing with him a colossal arsenal.

  • Franchise of origin: The Legend of Zelda
  • Origins: Except for exceptions such as direct follow-up, each Link he is a different incarnation of the same hero; currently, the canonical progenitor is the Link from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. The character owes his unusual name to his nature as a mute avatar of the player: this fencer (and archer, as well as bomb squad and so on) is himself our window on the game world. Our link, our… link. The first The Legend of Zelda dates back to 1986.
  • Gameplay: Of the first eight / twelve fighters, Link is definitely one of the more technical characters. Aside from the various standard directional attacks (A), each Special Attack (B) corresponds to a different weapon. Attacking while standing allows us to use the bow, hitting while moving horizontally gives us the boomerang, and pressing B while lowering will give us a bomb that we can detonate with the same key combination. The high number of bullets available to Link will allow us to keep opponents at a safe distance; in addition to that, although not very heavy, he is not even among the lightest characters.

Samus - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Character Guide

Full name Samus Aran, the heroine of Metroid is also one of the unmissable characters of Super Smash Bros .: no chapter is an exception, much less Ultimate. Perhaps to a lesser extent than Link, this intergalactic bounty hunter also has a good arsenal.

  • Franchise of origin: Metroid
  • Origins: Just as the early Zelda experimented with free exploration in general, Metroid replicated the same game design ambition with platformers. The context sees Samus, orphaned by archenemy Ridley (who only debuted in Ultimate), prevent similar atrocities from recurring as a bounty hunter in the cosmos. That she was a woman was kept secret until the end: at the time (always 1986) it was a big spoiler, a surprise aimed at going against the chorus of beefy protagonists.
  • Gameplay: Samus has a standard Special Attack that can be loaded not unlike Donkey Kong, but it is a bullet. Outside of Smash attacks (right analog stick), his strongest attack remains; the remaining explosives (the missile, Side Special Attack, and the bombs, Downward Special Attack) do a much smaller amount of damage. The possibility of abusing these moves, however, makes them an excellent disturbing element, contributing to a moveset that is perhaps less defensive than Link, but which at the same time knows how to reward the most versatile players.

Yoshi - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Character Guide

The dinosaur introduced in Super Mario World, and later the eponymous protagonist of the spinoff series Yoshi, is another permanent presence that returns to peep in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. With its sticky tongue and aerial combat handling unlike most on the roster, this semi-light fighter can prove treacherous… in the right hands.

  • Franchise of origin: Yoshi (Mario spinoff)
  • Origins: Born as one of the (many) discarded ideas from the first Super Mario Bros., Yoshi was officially implemented as Mario's mount in the fourth installment of the platformer saga, Super Mario Bros. 4 - or as we know it, Super Mario World. With the sequel Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island is officially born the subplot that sees Yoshi as an interim babysitter of a little Mario (technically) about to be born.
  • Gameplay: Yoshi does not shine for weight or resistance to attacks, but it allows a particularly treacherous game. Let's start with the potential weak point that threatens to unseat the players: the jumps of the character. Yoshi, like other characters such as Ness or Jigglypuff, does not have an upward Special Attack capable of gaining altitude. Instead of having a third jump, in fact, by combining the B key with an upward tilt of the analog lever, Yoshi will launch an egg with an arc trajectory. Yoshi's second jump, however, makes up for this shortcoming. The standard Special Attack consists of swallowing the opponent and then locking him in an egg behind him: useful for trapping opponents and playing them without the risk of reprisals, and - provided that the opponent's damage is high - devastating if performed on the edge of a scenario.

Kirby - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Character Guide

We conclude this first episode of our guide dedicated to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate characters with Kirby. An emblematic character of the birth of Smash in toto, if we recall an anecdote by the creator of both series Masahiro Sakurai: after having beaten another player of The King of Fighters in the arcade for many times in a row, Sakurai wanted to give life to a fighting game accessible to all. The chrysalis of this idea, Kirby Super Star, implemented directional commands in the various powers that the protagonist could use. And while putting fighting elements into a platformer could work, the opposite was also possible.

  • Franchise of origin: Kirby
  • Origins: The idea behind Kirby was to create a platformer antithetical to the prohibitive difficulty of the various Mega Man (notice a pattern?). The result was Kirby's Dream Land on Game Boy (1992), in which the eponymous Kirby must overcome levels with the aid of flight and the ability to absorb enemies. The sequels, however, have included the gameplay element that the Smash series faithfully reproduces ...
  • Gameplay: Kirby's standard Special Attack (B) allows you to suck in an opponent, then absorb their powers and finally spit them out. Put simply, Kirby is the equivalent of Mokujin from Tekken: he can insert the standard Special Attack of any other fighter into his moveset, while modifying his appearance to symbolize his new ability. Even outside of this, however, Kirby remains a highly respected versatile fighter; the merit is also of the aforementioned flight, which in Smash translates as a generous amount of consecutive jumps to return to the field. The Side Special Attack can also be charged indefinitely, sometimes allowing you to triumph with very few attacks. The Special Attack below is a dive that allows the user to lock themselves into a boulder.

Concluding details, first episode: shields, holds, dodges and throws

As you may have noticed, we are illustrating the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate characters without going into too much detail. The idea is to give you a general framework to get started, and then "train" you each time. Let's start by talking about shields. Depending on the controller you use, the larger triggers are relegated to the shields, while the thinner spine keys act as shortcuts for the grips (which can also be done by combining the shield with the A button).

Moving during a shield grants a dodge, while making a move after a grapple allows for a throw. Donkey Kong stands out in its forward throw: try to throw an opponent in the direction you are facing when you use it, you will understand what we mean.

That's all for this first date: what do you think of our guide so far? (You can find the summary here.) Please let us know by leaving us a comment below, and don't forget to stay on Holygamerz to not miss any news from the videogame world and beyond.

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