It’s been a tough year for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and me, mostly because with the ongoing pandemic I couldn’t play IRL with anyone. However, the game’s new limited-time Sephiroth boss fight helped me fall in love with it again by completing a short but excellent new single player challenge.
Final Fantasy VIIis notorious (and sexy) Villain has been added Smash Bros. Ultimate Yesterday, and although it doesn’t officially go live until December 22nd, enterprising gamers can unlock it early by paying for it now and beating him in a fight. Easy enough. This is how new fighter unlocks have traditionally worked in the game and in the series, but Sephiroths has been built into something more.
You face him on one of three difficulties – easy, normal, or very difficult – and once he is defeated he will be added to your roster. But even after your first win, you can always come back if you want. The game even adds a little tick to the difficulties you’ve already completed and records your fastest time. There’s no official leaderboard, but you can share your times online and at least in spirit it gives the modern Nintendo platform fighter a little old-school arcade charm.
It’s also quite difficult on the hardest difficulty level, but rewarding. I thought I had defeated Sephiroth on Very Hard initially and was disappointed with what a cake it was. I actually hit him normal. Very tough ratchets take things to an entirely different level, giving Sephiroth 200% health to your default of 150%, and letting his attacks do additional damage while yours are under attack. All of this on top of the fact that Sephiroth is quick on Very Hard, performs aerial combos, and dodges with ease – making him just feel a little more difficult than your average level nine CPU opponent. Make sloppy mistakes or fail to take advantage of the openings and Sephiroth will punish you for it, just like any of the friends you played smash
He’s no ordinary opponent either, he fucks Sephiroth. Shortly thereafter, achieve legendary bad dude status Final Fantasy VII was originally released this year Final Fantasy VII Remake reaffirmed his all-star status and stamina. The battle to unlock it takes place on its new stage, a Final Destination variant that represents a single, flat platform with a view of the crater from the end Final Fantasy VIIwhile the Advent children Version of “One-Winged Angel” plays in the background.
As the battle continues, the platform will eventually descend into the crater and immerse you in the pale, green glow of lifeeam. Once Sephiroth’s only black wing is below 75% health, it will even pop out, a nod to its final transformation in the source material. It’s an incredibly worthy and effective tribute, and the best kind of fan service one could hope for in a game where random game mascots beat the shit out of each other.
When I finally defeated Sephiroth with Link, thanks to a constant barrage of arrows, bombs and boomerangs interrupted by the hero of the evil smash attacks of the time, I was relieved, hyped and breathless in equal parts. It took me a dozen tries and even my win came with a finish time of well over two minutes (some non-peels run in less than 30 seconds), but it was worth seeing two of my childhood favorites epic each other beat the head with swords.
The Smash bros. The series has a long and tragic history of shaky single player adventure modes. Smash Bros. UltimateThe Spirit Board is no exception. I love spirit battles alone and the system as a whole, but producing cool battles that are artfully linked to the games that inspired them isn’t one of them Ultimateis strong suits. But the Sephiroth Challenge makes it. Perhaps it is a sign that more is to come on this front? The game’s second fighter pass contains three more characters. Hopefully they will also get a decent showdown in which to be featured. (And please, oh please, let one of them be Goku.)