Sora from Kingdom Hearts is the perfect final crossover character for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, a game that has been highly anticipated since its announcement in 2014. Sora’s inclusion in the game will be a major step forward for Nintendo and Square Enix, who have been working to bring their characters together for years.
Sora is the perfect final crossover character for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He has a long history in the series and is one of Nintendo’s most popular characters.
To begin, let’s look at some background information: I’m a big admirer of Kingdom Hearts. I’ll fight for the show every step of the way, yet I won’t support Disney’s copyright nightmare conglomerate, and I’m not embarrassed of it. But don’t get me wrong: I’m not a fool. I never expected Sora, the protagonist of the series, to appear in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. How could he be, since the same corporation that controls everything also owns the character’s rights? Then Masahiro Sakurai, the director of Super Smash Bros., proved me incorrect. And he did it with a character that is the ideal conclusion to the Smash Bros. roster.
Let me give you the elevator pitch if you’re unfamiliar with the Kingdom Hearts series: what if the worlds of iconic Disney films and Square Enix JRPGs collided in the most complex of ways? Characters such as Donald Duck and Goofy befriend Sora and accompany him on a trip through the realms of Hercules, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and others. They meet characters like Squall from Final Fantasy VIII and Cloud from Final Fantasy VII along the journey. It’s strange and lovely, and it established Sora as the crossover king as early as 2002.
Remember how Marvel dubbed Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame as “the most ambitious crossover event of all time”? They were nearly two decades late. Whether it’s via the places you explore or cameo appearances strewn around, the Kingdom Hearts series has included a wide variety of Disney flicks. The first game went to great efforts to remain faithful to the original films, with one extreme example being the return of the original voice actor for Wendy from Peter Pan 50 years after she last performed the part.
Image courtesy of Nintendo
The Kingdom Hearts games were made with a lot of love and attention to detail, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is no exception. Of course, the Smash Bros. franchise hasn’t always been like this. The initial N64 game, as well as Melee, exclusively featured Nintendo characters; it wasn’t until Brawl, when characters like Sonic and Snake, two gaming superstars that aren’t Nintendo IPs, were included, that Smash became what it is today.
The multitude of games included in Ultimate now stand as a love letter to gaming as a whole – of course, the multiplicity of titles covered demonstrate this, but it shines brightest in the little things. It’s stuff like being able to mimic Terry Bogard’s moves by entering his original game’s combinations. Because Charizard and Incineroar are fire-type Pokémon, they take harm from being in water. It’s also incorporating little elements like Sora’s lock-on reticule in his moveset, as well as fan service like Sora’s black-and-white appearance from Timeless River, which was influenced by vintage Disney cartoons.
Having 89 characters to select from across a wide variety of games is a tremendous accomplishment in and of itself. But it’s the fact that these characters are faithfully translated from their individual games in a manner that doesn’t detract from their original appearances while also fitting into Smash Ultimate that makes it such a unique fighting game. Any feeling of affection that may exist in Ultimate or Kingdom Hearts would seem inauthentic if they didn’t go to such efforts to remain faithful to the properties they showcase.
Image courtesy of Nintendo
The last Sakurai Presents shouted Nintendo’s understanding of the significance of this crossover. The whole cast was there for Sora’s revelation, with every single character in attendance for his spectacular arrival. After soaring around, his splash screen was devoid of puns and simply stated “Sora Is Finally Here!” While Sakurai was demonstrating Sora’s skills, he took care to show off every single fighter in the game. They wanted you to know how amazing it is that they have so many well-known video game characters on their roster, and how effortlessly Sora fits in.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is finally completed, or will be on October 18 when Sora enters the lineup for the first time. But it’s so densely packed with video gaming history that it’s difficult to know where to begin. Simply by virtue of his involvement with other planets, Sora’s presence on the roster adds tenfold to that history. He won’t appeal to everyone, which is great, but it’s hard to deny that he’s the ideal way to wrap off a crossover-heavy series.
With the exception of Jonesy from Fortnite, no one wants that.
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