It was revealed that Sora was the most requested character in the Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot six years ago for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS.
Sakurai revealed that after speaking to Satoru Iwata at the time, they decided not to reveal the top fighters to the public at the time, to prevent some people making demands of their respective companies and causing inconveniences. Bringing Sora into Smash was a huge undertaking that took more coordination that with other characters.
While his default appearance is based on his appearance in the first Kingdom Hearts game, his player 2, 3, and 4 costumes are based on Kingdom Hearts II, Dream Drop Distance, and Kingdom Hearts III respectively. He also has costumes based on the Drive forms from Kingdom Hearts II, Ultimate Form from Kingdom Hearts III, and his Timeless River costume (based off Steamboat Willy).
Sora is quite good in airborne fights. He can jump high, but he is lighter than even Isabelle from Animal Crossing. While his attacks can be slow, the timing window is longer, so he can overwhelm foes.
While retaining most of his basic attacks, Sora has multiple three hit combos when neutral, tilting forward, neutral air, and forward air. Landing and other inputs can cancel the combo, and hitting only one or two hits can give those moves launching power rather than the third hit.
His down-tilt normal can launch foes airborne, while his up tilt can hit foes multiple times. His Smash attacks can also be wide-hitting, with more power the opponent is to the point of attack. Some of Sora’s throws can also hit other foes, and are generally easy to combo into his aerial attacks.
Neutral B is magic. This cycles between launching Firaga, Thundaga, and Blizzaga. Firaga can launch multiple fireballs in a straight line, while Thundaga launches three lightning bolts in a row- though it can leave you vulnerable.
Blizzaga launches a cloud of ice-cold shards, freezing foes solid for a short time (longer if they have taken more damage). Up taunt also cycles between Stopga, Aeroga, and Curega- but it is purely for show.
Side B is Sonic Blade, which thrusts Sora forward three times. Between each thrust, players can change direction, but they can also “lock-on” to foes via spamming the B button to home in and deal more damage.
Up special is Aerial Sweep, launching Sora high into the sky even when on the ground. The move has great launching power, and can deal multiple hits to foes. Sonic Blade can also be used straight after it for even more recovery options. Sora players should have ease pursuing foes off the stage.
As with other sword fighters, Sora’s down B is a counterattack. Foes are briefly stunned for a time if they hit Sora, rather than the attack being stopped and control returned. Sora’s counter also cannot reflect projectiles, but it will protect him.
The Final Smash was not initially shown, only named; Sealing the Keyhole. This was later shown during the gameplay segment. Sora launches his foes into a keyhole, and then behind a door to another world, before sealing it.
The stage that will come with Sora is Hollow Bastion; Maleficent’s castle in Kingdom Hearts (later renamed Radiant Garden, and it’s original name in lore). Once time or stocks run low, the stage will transition to Dive to the Heart, the stained-glass world usually seen in the games’ tutorials. Showing characters from past games in the stained glass behind, Disney characters are notably (but understandably) absent.
When Sora beats the final foe in Stamina Mode, the scene enters slow-mo, as it does when players beat a boss in Kingdom Hearts. Nine songs not associated with Disney worlds were chosen. However, if players have save data from Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory, the Dearly Beloved -Swing Version- will be added to the track list.
The DLC spirit board will feature battles against Kairi, Ventus, Aqua, Terra, Riku, Xion, Axel, and Roxas.
You can find the announcement trailer and the entire presentation below.
Sora will be available October 18th. Other Fighters Pass Vol. 2 DLC characters have included Min Min from ARMS, Steve from Minecraft, Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII, Pyra and Mythra from Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and Kazuya from Tekken.
The game now has a total of 89 fighters, 116 stages, 201 items, over 1,100 songs, 1,469 spirits, features content from over 450 games and 2,200 characters, 140 Mii Fighter Costume sets.
Since launch, the game has been played for over 2.2 billion hours, and launched over 2 billion times. Over 11.7 billion offline battles have taken place, and 7.8 billion online. Over 90 billion foes have been KO’d.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is available now for Nintendo Switch. In case you missed it, you can find our review here (we highly recommend it!)