During today’s Nintendo Direct, Sora Ltd.’s Masahiro Sakurai revealed Spirits for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The mechanic replaces the collectible trophies from previous games, as Sakurai said the trophies wouldn’t work for Ultimate and they were difficult to create.
According to Sakurai, many beloved characters from the game universes represented in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate have lost their physical forms. All characters aside from the fighters on the roster have turned into Spirits. This Spirits can be collected by the player and assigned to Spirit slots to help fighters during Smash battles.
Spirits come in several classes. Standard Spirits are called “Novices,” stronger Spirits are called “Advanced,” even stronger Spirits are called “Aces,” and the strongest Spirits in the game are called “Legendary.” Each Spirit is also assigned as an Attack, Grab, or Shield type. These types work in a rock-paper-scissors manner where Attack beats Grab, Grab beats Shield, and Shield beats Attack. You’ll want to assign a Spirit that has a type advantage over your opponent.
You can equip one Primary Spirit at a time. Primary Spirits enhance stats, adding its power to the fighter it’s equipped to. Some Primary Spirits have additional slots, which can be used to equip Support Spirits. Support Spirits lend additional skills to the fighter, like higher jumps or auto-heal.
If one team’s Spirits dramatically overpower another’s, the rewards will be less for the more powerful team. This means players are incentivized to keep Spirit power ccompetitive.
To win Spirits, you take part in Spirit Battles. These special-condition battles pit you against characters on the fighter roster who either behave like or are assisted by the Spirit you’re trying to win. For example, the Gordo battle has you fighting against King Dedede, but a barrage of Gordos rain from the sky. The Guts Man fight features a giant version of Mega Man relying heavily on his throws. The Owain battle features a cocky version of Chrom who taunts you before unleashes a powerful attack.
If you win the Spirit Battle, you must time one final shot without hitting a rotating shield that’s protecting it. Mistime your final blow, and you damage the shield, but you’ll have to complete the battle again. Thankfully, the shield damage carries over into the next attempt. If you hit the puppet fighter, you acquire the Spirit.
You can trade Spirits in by sending them back to the real world. While this means the Spirit is no longer in your inventory, you get cores for trading them in. You can use cores to summon new Spirits. In addition, you can train Spirits at the dojo, or send Spirits out to explore for treasure. Training and exploration missions continue even when you’re playing other modes or not playing at all. You can also use Spirits to power up Amiibos. In addition, some Spirits have enhanced forms if you level them up.
The Spirits system is more than just a mechanic, as the single-player adventure mode, World of Light uses it as the driving force in its narrative. You can read more about World of Light here. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is set to hit Switch on December 7.