The Smash Ball Won’t Be The Only Item You’ll Fight Over In Super Smash Bros.

By Ishaan . August 12, 2014 . 12:31pm

When a Smash Ball appears during a Super Smash Bros. match, everyone drops what they’re doing and begins to fight over the Ball instead. However, in the new Super Smash Bros. game, the Smash Ball won’t be the only item you’ll want to grab first.


The new game introduces an item called the Special Flag. Director Masahiro Sakurai wrote about the item in a post on Miiverse last night, along with the screenshot above.


“If you manage to raise this Special Flag for long enough, an additional KO count will be added to your score in a time match, or you’ll get an extra stock for a stock match,” Sakurai wrote.


“When this appears on the stage, the fight for the flag becomes a fierce battle of tactics, which makes things pretty interesting.”

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  • A “Capture the Flag” item that takes a bit of time to be absorbed by the carrier for Bonus Points/1ups. This DOES make Time Matches viable, though.

  • Kornelious

    Damn it Sakurai! Don’t we all have enough reason’s to hate each other without this! XD

  • You fight over getting first place

  • Soma Schicksal

    I thought this looked familiar, it’s like the flag from star fox.

    • AuraGuyChris

      Which Namco inserted in Star Fox: Assault.

    • doubleO7

      It’s the Special Flag (or S-Flag for short) from Rally-X, the classic Namco arcade game. They stick it in a lot of their games, Star Fox: Assault included, as that was developed by Namco.

  • Chaos_Knight

    Imagine Link/Toon Link raising that up.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    going to lose more friends now..

    • TheGioG

      Ain’t that the truth. From Blue Shells in Mario Kart, to Hammers in Smash Bros, the Proximity Mines in Goldeneye, and the entirety of co-op mode in the Mario games (it’s really more a versus mode), Nintendo knows dang well how to destroy childhood friendships.

      • ShawnOtakuSomething

        …..time to teach my pets to play smash

  • 하세요

    Now all we need is a Boo item to steal stocks/points and this will be officially Mario Party Brawler: Ultimate Lose Friends Edition.

    • That’s more like a Smash Run Power. And probably will be present… oh, who am I kidding. It is Sakurai.

    • raygunner659

      They’re definitely gonna have to make the Blue Shell more potent. It’s still avoidable and doesn’t drop you a couple places…which in this game will definitely be to last.

    • SlickRoach

      Funny how rage inducing Mario Party & Kart are to compared to most seriously competitve games huh?

      • 하세요

        I think it has to do with the fact that we’re trying so hard in games that have such a high percent of luck within them, so in the end, our hard work usually doesn’t mean squat.

        I’ve learned to just have fun with these games. I laugh more now when I used to get mad at situations now.

        • SlickRoach

          It’s all about “fun” until someone gets a higher roll than you and buys the Star than you were only a few spaces from you. Try maintaining your sanity after that.

          • 하세요

            I still play classic Mario Party games with friends to this day. They get pissed, but I can’t get mad. I’d do that shit too if I could xD Mario thug life son.

  • raygunner659

    I’m not sure if an extra stock in stock matches equates to an extra stock/ko in time matches. You can probably do a lot with an extra stock if you can also manage to hold onto a special item for a long time.

  • Namuro

    And… Pikachu just raised a death flag! Pac-Man totally didn’t see it coming!

  • AuraGuyChris

    Well, I think simply getting a 1-Up Mushroom would’ve been unfair because all you need to do is touch the darned thing.

  • Snorlaxation

    I love how mighty fine and proud of himself Pikachu looks in that image.

    • AuraGuyChris


  • Princess_Eevee9

    Damn all the good jokes were already said. Pikachu looking smug as hell too.

  • So Smash Bros’ “Extra Life” item is the S Flag. Am I the only one who expected that item to be a Green Mushroom?

  • WyattEpp

    Rally X is cool. Items that change the fundamental game from battling to “chase this stupid nubbin” are boring. It can’t possibly be as bad as the smash ball, though.

    • Tienron

      smash bros wasn’t intentionally made to be a strict fighting game why d people keep trying to turn it into something it’s not?

      • Asura

        That post had nothing to do with “strict fighting games” so why the hell did you even bring the topic up?

        • Tienron

          errr it did, this item doesn’t take away from the battling aspect of the game, there was no need to make out out liked it was a crap addition. when i mean strict fighting games i mean the way people think smash bros should be with no items flat stage scenario and that wasn’t the creators dream or direction for smash.

          • Asura

            It didn’t.

            New items in party games can still be crap additions, and it has zero to do with “strict competitive gaming”.

            You’ve got an unhealthy obsession. Get over it.

          • Tienron

            well that’s your opinion on it being a crap addition. im not obsessed with anything cause it’s in the game it’s great and your the one who cant get over it, cause it’s here to stay :)

      • WyattEpp

        It’s not about being a “strict” fighting game. It’s about gameplay dynamics.

        Typically, powerups and pickups are used in map design to encourage movement, either to gain advantage or to prevent it from being taken. We can see this quite clearly with e.g. Deck 17 (cf. UT2004) where no one would ever go into the main hall if the amp and shield weren’t in there. This placement is deliberate to create a flashpoint and constant tension. Because the pickup positions are exposed and firefights can be initiated from almost any angle, taking them has a risk-reward factor. This makes it an interesting space to play in.

        However, simply because of the dynamics of damage and recovery in Smash Bros, a typical skirmish will go all over the stage anyway, and item spawns have a high degree of randomness. From this we can deduce that the skill exercised by items in this context is that of adaptability to changing conditions within the established framework of melee, short-, and mid-range combat. Fundamentally, Smash is about beating the crap out of the other people– so much so that it’s embedded in the name of the game.

        Enter the Smash Ball. It has high visual impact, and using it has a lot of wow factor. Sure, it’s cool from that standpoint. But — and here’s the part that’s problematic — as soon as it spawns, it stops being a game about combat. It becomes a race. The implicit “truce” signalled by the lapse in hostilities when the smash ball appears is kind of fascinating because it’s fairly consistent across a wide range of players and play styles. Then, eventually, someone wins that race (or the random movement of the ball wins the race for them). In many cases this means they receive an unpunishable wide-area attack that almost guarantees multiple KOs in a four-person match (and some, like the Landmaster, are even more absurd).

        Through this lens, I hope it becomes clear what I’m actually saying is wrong with this class of item. They alter the mode of play to the point that it can’t be considered the same system, but with stakes that force the issue.

        Actually, in the interest of full disclosure, I don’t believe the Special Flag is nearly as broken as the Smash Ball (as we know it). In fact, I could see a “CTF”-type match being an interesting game type players could CHOOSE to play.

    • SteveThompson1

      play for glory then. thats what I’m doing.

    • hawk222

      A scenario

      You are fighting in a 4-stock match. You get the S Flag and get an extra stock. You get a second S Flag and get another stock. You get a third and a fourth S Flag and stock. However, you still lose because people completely crushed you and your eight lives. The S Flag didn’t help at all.

      Now I’m not suggesting that you, WyattEpp, are a terrible Smash Bros. player, but I am giving an exaggerated example of why the S Flag isn’t necessarily “the worst thing ever” (<-not that you said that, either).

      • WyattEpp

        That’s a possible scenario, but falls apart beyond the conceptual level because it’s statistically highly unlikely.. If the other player(s) are good enough to overcome a 100% stock handicap, it stands to reason they’ll be good enough to get the flag more often than not, as well. For evaluating systems design, it’s important to consider as much equal as possible.

        • hawk222

          Heh, well, I did say it was an exaggerated example. Just trying to show both sides, I guess. A futile attempt on my part, but I try.

    • J_Joestar

      well you also have the opportunity to change it from “chase this stupid nubbin” to “take the chance to take out those concentrating too much on chasing the stupid nubbin”

      • WyattEpp

        Well, we’ll find out how players react to the rally flag in due time, but the Smash Ball doesn’t offer a rosy outlook; KO during chase generally only happens incidentally. This _does_ have a crucial difference in that, once they get it, they have to hang onto it whereas the ball tends to get used fairly immediately and has potential to confer greater advantage with more immediacy.

        • Codi Schumacher

          you have to use the ball right away or else it could get stolen and used against you

  • anthony apduhan

    I hope for more characters announced at Gamescom…

  • lol at how smug pikachu looks

  • MaskedHeroxx

    Hahaha is seems so fun….but items are you usless cus where not gonna use them ..mybe kids tho

  • ndjn3979

    Isn’t that from Namco?

    • Sentinel

      I seem to recall those from Star Fox Assault, which Namco made.

      • Mantiskilla

        It’s from the old 80s Namco game Rally-X. I used to pump tons of quarters into that game back when i was a kid

        • ndjn3979

          Sounds like a good memory.

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