During the Game Awards this past Thursday a question that a ton of Smash fans have been asking was answered. Who will be the next fighter to join the giant roster? Will it be Crash Bandicoot? Will Waluigi finally get out of the assist trophy role and become a true fighter? Will our anime dreams come true and give Sora the coveted invitation? Or will a dark horse win the race with a lesser known but still beloved character like Shantae or the Battletoads? The short answer is none of them. These and many other hopefuls were beat out by Sephiroth, Final Fantasy VII’s main villain is the newest fighter to join Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. As rad as this is, Sephiroth was not the character I was hoping they would put in this round.
Now before people start yelling at me let me make something perfectly clear. I’m not mad that they put Sephiroth in the game, far from it. Nor am I upset that the fighter I truly wanted hasn’t shown up yet, I’m still holding out hope that Sora will be in Smash Bros. My thing is that out of all the Final Fantasy characters they had to choose from, Sephiroth feels like the lowest of the hanging fruit. He’s the obvious choice since Cloud has been in the game since the last installment and that’s what bugs me. Ever since Cloud was announced for Smash, Nintendo has a giant library of characters they could use and have for this game. The Hero from the Dragon Quest games is from Square’s giant catalog of characters, and when he was announced the rumors involving Sora or any other big time Final Fantasy character not only started flying, they had some merit to them.
Who would I have rather seen in Smash other than Sephiroth? Well for sake of argument we’re just going to stick with the Final Fantasy characters because you could probably fill a book on who could be in Smash when you throw other games into the mix. My first pick would be Terra from VI. She’s the main character and a beloved one at that. She’s a magic user instead of a sword user meaning she could behave like a brawler but her move set could be like a gunner. She would be a great asset to the game and show off more of what the Final Fantasy series has to offer. Looking back at Melee kids had no idea who Roy or Marth were and in a way that helped the Fire Emblem franchise come to America. Terra could’ve helped people who want to play VI who haven’t, and in the Final Fantasy community, VI is regarded as the BEST Final Fantasy game ever made. Other characters that come to mind are Tidus or Yuna from X, Squall from VIII, a Black Mage from I, Cecil from IV, Noctus from XV, Vivi from IX, or even Lighting from XIII. I would love to see Gabranth from XII or even Kefka from VI be in the game if you needed to have a villain. However, I do see why they went with Sephiroth. As much as it pains me, Final Fantasy VII is the most popular Final Fantasy game ever. Is it a great game that pushed what the original PlayStation could do in terms of storytelling and graphics? Yes. Is Final Fantasy VII overrated? Also yes. I can still call a game I adore overrated, VII isn’t the end all, be all of Final Fantasy, but it is the most recognizable if I’m being truly honest.
I don’t know exactly how Masahiro Sakurai (game director and creator of Super Smash Bros.) and his team pick characters for the roster, but I can imagine it’s a grueling process and a character is picked because they know for a fact they can implement said character in the game. Now I found out the news before I watched the trailer and if you haven’t seen that trailer please go do so now. It is a hype trailer that got me excited and the game play for Sephiroth that is shown makes him fit well with how Smash works as a fighting game. Also if you’re upset about this announcement, there are still 3 more character slots left to fill so don’t loose hope yet but also don’t be a dick and get mad at other people for being happy. This game is insane as it is and with everything going on in 2020 to have something to look forward too is nice. The character I was hoping for hasn’t gotten in yet but let’s not pull a Steve and yell at the game devs, they worked HARD on this game for us. On the bright side we’ll finally have more Final Fantasy music to listen to in the game besides just the battle theme. I don’t know about you, but fighting with One Winged Angel in the background makes the fight so much more climatic. There’s a reason why I kept fighting Sephiroth when I was playing Kingdom Hearts, that is a killer song that gets the blood pumping. Also knowing Sakurai he may have a few more tricks up sleeve when it comes to characters so maybe he’ll pull a fast one on us and reveal another DLC pack. Only time will tell.