Nintendo Switch

Sakurai Elaborates On Smash Ultimate’s Singleplayer Modes At Nintendo Live 2018


nintendo live

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate director Masahiro Sakurai appeared on stage yesterday at Nintendo Live 2018 to show off some of the singleplayer modes in Nintendo’s latest crossover fighter.


Classic Mode

While Classic Mode will feature the usual 6-7 fights before a showdown with Master Hand, each character has their own “route” (which are also named), essentially a mini campaign of sorts against themed opponents.

For example, Jigglypuff’s route is called “64 All-Stars”, and will heavily involve characters from the original Smash Bros., as well as stages and music from that game as well. Meanwhile, Isabelle will need to face off against all 23 female Fighters in her route.


smash classic

When you choose a difficulty for Classic Mode, you are brought to an elegant Smash mural featuring the roster, and can then choose to dial the difficulty from 0.1 to 9.9. The Smash mural features the cast of Smash Ultimate interacting with each other and fighting off shadowy creatures, but the left side (representing the lower difficulties) will be relatively peaceful compared to the right. [Thanks, polonoid75 on Reddit for the stitched image!]


After beating a stage, your difficulty will be raised, meaning even tougher battles to come.



Sakurai then showed off how different some routes can be – for Ryu, the entire route will consist of 1v1 matches with items off and Omega form stages on Stamina Mode, in order to make it more like the Street Fighter series. On the topic of Street Fighter, Sakurai mentioned that both the CPS-1 and CPS-2 versions of all the fighter themes (plus the ‘pinch’ variations) are included in Ultimate.


The fight after Ken was against Zero Suit Samus, representing “a certain lady proficient with kicks and wearing blue”. After that comes a fight against a certain pro wrestler as well. It seems that in Classic Mode, music not usually found on that stage will play to fit with the route, as Chun-Li’s theme was shown playing on Onett.



spirits gameplay 1

adventure mode

It seems that the Werewolf from Castlevania, Balder from Bayonetta 2, and King bulbin from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess will be World of Light bosses.


Sakurai then went to show off Spirits Mode, stopping at the menu screen to show off the location of Adventure Mode as well. He explained that the Spirits Board where you can tackle Spirit Battles is randomized.


Choosing to go against Tatanga, Sakurai showed off the process of setting up Spirits, and how you can easily skip the specifics by pressing Y over and over for the recommended options. Tatanga is represented by Morton holding a Super Scope, and shooting items will constantly drop in, to represent the shmup-esque battle in the original game.


Meanwhile, Fire Man will have a Mega Man in red using nothing but Down Smash on Norfair. Some of the platforms will even be on fire to make it even harder. Sakurai recommends equipping a fire platform-negating Spirit, such as Isuna from Ever Oasis, to deal with the heat. All battles against Mega Man bosses will also take place using Stamina rules.


nia 2


Sakurai showed off another battle, this time against Nia from Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Your fighter will need to face off against a Mii Brawler wearing Nia’s Mii Costume, as well as Incineroar. Nia will also constantly heal HP, referencing her role in the original game.



items 2

There are also a variety of support options to help you out if you require it. In the Spirits Board, there are support items that can immediately fill in gaps for Spirits you’ve already beaten, as well as a Shuffle item that swaps out all current ones with a new batch.


During preparations, you can set up predetermined Spirit setups that you can swap to easily. There are also some support items that make the Spirit Battle easier, like making the supporting enemy characters weaker.


Finally, when shooting Spirits, you can use items that immediately breaks part of the shield, or use an item to slow down the roulette wheel.


raising 1

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raising 4 raising 5

Sakurai then showed off Spirit raising, and how you can evolve certain Spirits into stronger rarity versions. For example, by raising Maria Renard to Lv. 99, you can choose to evolve her into her Symphony of the Night version, which is higher in power and rarity but resets her level. Meanwhile, Naked Snake can be evolved into Big Boss from Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes after maxing him out. Apart from these two, we can see Shadow, Mega Man Model X, and 5-Volt as other characters who can get a stronger form.


sending home

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Next, Sakurai showed off sending home Spirits and how to create new Spirits using the cores left behind, with a cameo of Raymond Bryce from Disaster: Day of Crisis.

It seems that creating new Spirits will sometimes require specific cores and some generic cores, but it’s always themed after the created Spirit in some way. For example, making Paper Mario will require a cardboard box and Cut Man’s cores, while Knuckles will need a Gordo and Muddy Mole from Mole Mania, etc.




Moving on, Sakurai showed off the Help section, which is full of tips and info. When looking up certain techniques, a movie will play for the highlighted technique, making it easier to understand what’s going on. He also showed off that there is now a proper Movelist section in Ultimate.



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Sakurai next went to the Shop, where you can buy Mii Costumes, Spirits, and new music tracks. Over 700 music tracks will be available at the very beginning, so players have around 100 songs or so to unlock.

The white-colored Fighter Spirits are a new kind of Spirit that was shown off today, and are based off the Fighters themselves. They can’t be equipped, but you can look at the art and descriptions.


world of light

Finally, Sakurai teased a bit of World of Light, confirming that while you start with Kirby, you’ll quickly unlock the other characters, and be able to switch to them afterwards. He hopes that people will play and enjoy this mode.


You can find the full presentation below:


Super Smash Bros. Ultimate launches for Nintendo Switch on December 7, 2018.

Alistair Wong
Very avid gamer with writing tendencies. Fan of Rockman and Pokémon and lots more!