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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Not the Heroes We Needed, but the Banjo We Deserved – An In-Depth Look at Ultimate’s Newest Fighters

E3 was fairly boring this year. For the most part, we were shown a whole bunch of CGI trailers with very little gameplay. Outside of Keanu Reeves, Final Fantasy VII and The Avengers, everything was mostly a snooze fest. That was, of course, until Nintendo’s E3 presentation. Nintendo seemed to really bring their A-game this year with a myriad of games, with a lot of gameplay, some of which coming from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

In this article, we are going to take a look and analyze what we know of the two upcoming DLC fighters for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: The Hero(es) from Dragon Quest and everyone’s favorite, Banjo-Kazooie.

APPEARANCE

Firstly, we’ll go into the appearance of both fighters.

The Hero
Eleven as he appears in Smash Ultimate.
Eleven as he appears in game.

First, we’ll take a look at the Hero. The Hero’s default costume is based off of the protagonist of Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age (dubbed Eleven by a few fans of the series. We’ll refer to him as Eleven for the rest of the article). Eleven wields the Sword of Light, which is the best sword in his game. He also uses Erdwin’s Shield on his left arm. In his reveal trailer, it’s shown that he can use his shield to block projectiles, just like Link.

Of course, as we all know by now (or maybe not, maybe you missed the news), Eleven is one of the many fighters that has alternate characters for his costumes.

Erdrick, Solo, and Eight as they appear in Smash Ultimate
From left to right: Solo, Erdrick, and Eight, the protagonists from previous Dragon Quest titles.

Eleven’s other three defaults are the main characters from the other installments of the Dragon Quest series. We have Solo from Dragon Quest IV, Erdrick from Dragon Quest III (so the leakers were kind of right), and Eight from Dragon Quest VIII. In Smash Ultimate, all three of them use their best set of tools from their respective titles. The remaining four costumes are alternate colors – one for each hero.

Banjo-Kazooie
Banjo and Kazooie's Smash Ultimate render
Image: Smashwiki

 

The second newcomer is the beloved Rareware duo, Banjo-Kazooie. The iconic bear and bird pull their design from the original Banjo duology: Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie. Their design is very faithful to their original counterparts, and is basically an update to their pre-existing design. However, as of right now, only one costume color is known to us, being their default. On the official Smash Ultimate webpage, there is no way to access their fighter page. We most likely won’t have access until or close to their official release in the Fall of this year.

Their appearances all look to be faithful to their source material, but what everyone is really interested in is their movesets and mechanics.

Eleven: Just Another Anime Swordsman?

Upon the announcement of Eleven’s inclusion to Smash Bros, many were quick to write him off as just another anime swordsman. However, upon closer inspection, it may seen that he’s more than just another character with a blade.

Normals

Not sure if this is a special or a normal to be honest

For the most part, Eleven’s normals seem pretty standard as far as being a swordsmen. He has all the fundamentals: Decent range, quick movements, good spacing tools, the usual. He seems like most of the other sword users in Smash at first.

There is one move of interest, however. At exactly 1:33 in the trailer, Eleven hits Incineroar with what looks like his forward smash. When the attack lands, it triggers the effect that would play on a heavy hitting attack. Given the spacing, it would seem like this is showcasing some kind of tipper mechanic.

Specials

The more interesting thing about Eleven are his specials, and the mechanics tied to them.

Early on in the trailer, we see Eleven throw out a fireball. It moves in a straight line and disperses when it hits an opponent. Pretty standard as projectiles go. In the next scene, we see him use a more powerful version of the move. It has a bigger radius and seems to have a lingering hitbox. It looks like it needs to be charged up first, preventing it from a spammable option a la Ness’ PK Fire.

Eleven up-special, a pair of cyclones.

The next special we see is a move in which he summons two cyclones that send him upward. The cyclones linger on for a bit, damaging anyone who is caught in them. It sends the opponents upward and away from the direction Eleven is facing, so its use as an edge guarding tool may vary on the character. As a recovery option, it’s okay. There looks to be a bit of startup lag, and he’s open to being spiked from above, unless he has a hitbox above him that we can’t see.

A thunderbased move used by Eleven in the trailer.

The last special we see him use before the other heroes are shown off is a move that summons lightning out of his blade. Like his fireball special, this one looked like it needed to be charged, so it might be the stronger version of this move.

As far as specials go, Eleven’s standard kit is pretty well-rounded, but as stated earlier, there seems to be more than just this.

Special Swapping?

Once the other heroes are introduced, we see Erdrick standing in place with a selection screen over his character portrait.

In the menu we see four moves listed: Sizzle, Psyche Up, Oomph and Snooze. Out of these four options, the player controlling Erdrick chooses Snooze, and uses that to put the opposing Pikachu to sleep. Next to the menu is an indicator showing how much MP the move uses. The MP bar above Erdrick starts at 100, and when Erdrick uses Snooze, 16 MPs are subtracted from the meter. This confirms that the heroes are working on a MP meter that depletes when they use their specials. How they refill that meter is probably based on how much damage they dish out or take.

However, something strange happens in the next few scenes.

In the next scene, we see Solo using a reflector-type move called Bounce. In the scene after that Eight uses a move called Kacrackle Slash, which freezes the two opponents he’s fighting, and in the scene after that, Eleven uses a move called Kaclang, which is similar to Kirby’s stone special. All of these moves have one thing in common: none of them appear in Erdricks mini-menu from earlier.

This means one of two things:

1. You can set the specials mid-match

Each special move can be changed on the fly and have 4 different moves are tied to each input. Assuming the fireball input Eleven used earlier is the move in Erdircks menu called Sizzle, it could mean that these moves can be changed and set until you choose to swap it out later, instead of it being used automatically and requiring you to reselect it every time.

2. Each character has their own set of specials that they can use

This one’s a bit more out there, but what if each character has a different set of specials at the start of the match? In the trailer, we don’t see any of the heroes use the other specials used by the other heroes, and some poses are shared by the heroes when using certain moves.

 

In the trailer, Eleven uses the aforementioned Kaclang, and in the next scene, Solo uses a move called Kamikazee, which creates a huge explosion at the cost of a stock. Both moves use the exact same pose, so it could really be pointing at either theory.

While we’re on the topic, Kamikazee looks like it could also be a devastating move if landed properly. It looks to have very slow startup time, but it also has super armor, so it could be great for punishing aggressive play.

Overall, the heroes look to be a very interesting addition to Smash Bros. It will be interesting to see how the meta develops around them.

Banjo-Kazooie: It’s Like They Never Left

After missing out on the Smash action since being passed up for Melee, Banjo-Kazooie finally return after an incredibly long series absence. They seem to bring a very fun an unique playstyle with them, so let’s see what they got.

Normals

Kazooie performing a multihit back-air, similar to a few other characters in Smash.

Being a duo, certain attacks are handled by both members. Sometimes Banjo attacks, sometimes Kazooie attacks, and sometimes Banjo just beats his opponents with Kazooie. That last one is very amusing to watch.

Their down tilt seems to be another slider like Cloud, Mega Man and Joker’s, but it doesn’t take them nearly as far. Other then that, their specials seem pretty standard. Parallels could be drawn to Duck Hunt Duo, but everyone can see those already.

Specials

This duo has some creative specials up their sleeve. They don’t have as many as Eleven and the other Heroes, but they’re still good tools in their own right.

The first special we see them use is a move in which Kazooie fires eggs out of her mouth. At first it seems that this is a stationary move, but very quickly we see Banjo pick her up and carry her like a machine gun as she continues to fire eggs at the opponent.

Whether Banjo’s movement during this variant of the move is autonomous has yet to be seen, though it probably isn’t.

The next special we see them use is a move in which they throw out a grenade.

The movement of the grenade itself is similar to one of the Mii Gunner’s specials, however unlike that move, this projectile can be picked up by the opponent, similar to Snake’s grenades.

We next get a look at their up-special, in which the pair launches into the air off of a Flight Pad from the original games. From what the trailer implies, it would seem the pair gains additional jumps from this move. In the original games, Kazooie was able to take the pair higher a further depending on how many Red Feathers the duo had. Would the same rule apply here?

 

The last special we see them use is a move in which the duo rushes forward with Kazooie using her wings as a form of shield. They drop a Golden Feather behind them when they do this move.

Golden and Red Feathers

Golden Feathers grant the pair temporary invincibility in the original games. Smash Bros they might give the pair super armor during this move, since invincibility would be broken. As seen in the trailer, they drop a Golden Feather, and it’s removed from this little Golden Feather storage that they have.

Maybe if you want to keep using the move, you would need at least one Golden Feather. Alternatively, you may not have super armor if you don’t have a Golden Feather. This might also be the case with their Up-Special. You won’t be able to go as far if you don/t have a lot of Red Feathers.

Overall, these two fighters seem like very interesting and fun additions to the cast. Eleven and the other heroes are slated to come out later this summer, and Banjo-Kazooie is coming out at some point in the Fall. Which fighter are you excited for? Leave a comment down below!

 

All images, including the featured image were taken from both The Hero and Banjo-Kazooie’s trailers respectively.

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