Super Smash Brothers Ultimate is the fifth installment in Nintendo’s popular fighting game series, Super Smash Brothers. As with other Smash titles, the game is directed by Masahiro Sakurai. The game notably features every playable character that has ever appeared in a Smash Brothers title, and announced new fighters including Daisy and Ridley have generated excitement among the series’ fanbase. The game was released on the Nintendo Switch on December 7th, 2018.
On March 8th, 2018, Nintendo released the first teaser trailer for Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo Switch console during the Nintendo Direct broadcast. Within one hour, the video (shown below) received more than 53,000 views. The trailer indicates that the Inklings from Splatoon will be included in the game.
After the trailer premiere, Nintendo of America tweeted the logo of the game with the caption “Super #SmashBros is coming to #NintendoSwitch in 2018!” The post (shown below) received more than 19,000 retweets and 33,000 likes in roughly one hour. That day, Redditor thecornballer1 posted about the news on the /r/NinentdoSwitch subreddit. The post received more than 8,900 points (96% upvoted) and 1,700 comments in under one hour.
June 12th Nintendo Direct
During a Nintendo Direct streamed on June 12th, 2018, during E3 2018, Masahiro Sakurai talked at length about the upcoming Smash game, revealing major details and mechanics. Sakurai revealed that the game would be called Super Smash Brothers Ultimate and that the game would feature every character who has ever appeared in a Smash Bros. game, including characters who only appeared in one title such as Young Link, Solid Snake, and Wolf. Daisy was also revealed as a new character, as well as Ridley from the Metroid series, who players have long clamored to have in the series, a fervor which in itself was the subject of the meme Ridley Is Too Big. Sakurai also revealed a wide variety of stages would be included and he also revealed some interesting new gameplay details, including tweaks to final smashes and more technical tweaks for competitive play. At the end of the stream, Sakurai revealed the release date to be December 7th, 2018.
The Ridley reveal caused a huge stir online, and many social media users created image macros about the reveal only minutes after the Direct (examples shown below).
August 8th Nintendo Direct
On August 8th, 2018, another Nintendo Direct provided more information about Ultimate. The major announcements included the addition of five new characters: King K. Rool from the Donkey Kong series, Simon and Richter Belmont from the Castlevania series, Chrom from Fire Emblem, and Dark Samus, an echo fighter of Samus.
Other announcements included 103 stages, a multiplayer-tournament mode, several new assist trophies (including Shovel Knight and a Monster Hunter beast), and the ability to listen to the soundtrack on-the-go.
They Killed Luigi
In the section of the trailer showing Simon and Richter Belmont’s reveal, which has Luigi attempting to use his Luigi’s Mansion gear to fight Castlevania ghosts before ultimately getting slashed with a scythe by a monster, causing his spirit to leave his body.
After the Direct, social media users made jokes about how Nintendo “killed” Luigi. Kotaku wrote an obituary for the character. Twitter user @TristanACooper made such a joke, gaining over 600 retweets and 1,600 likes in less than two hours (shown below, left). User @Enchantdlocket posted a series of pictures representing her reactions to the death, gaining
Possible Roster Leak
On October 24th, 2018, a French Snapchat user posted images of what appeared to be the side box-art for Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, which featured art of the entire cast of the game. The post was deleted but not before being shared online (shown below). Online users were able to deduce that several unannounced Ultimate fighters were in the image: Shadow the Hedgehog, Geno, Ken from Street Fighter, Isaac from Golden Sun, Mach Rider, Banjo Kazooie, and the Chorus Kids from Rhythm Heaven.
According to a lengthy thread by Twitter user @LeakReview,internet sleuths were able to discover several clues that helped give the leak legitimacy. For example, the background for the artwork is a never-before-used template for the Battlefield stage of Super Smash Brothers, making the artwork likely legitimate. Additionally, the name of the French Snapchat user, blocked out in the original leaked image, was able to be uncovered. The name found was Eric Bricard. A 4chan user was able to discover an Eric Bricard on LinkedIn who worked with a French marketing firm, Marina workshops, that handles displays for numerous companies. It was confirmed that Bricard works for the company and that Marina was working with Bandai Namco.
Furthermore, there were several as-yet unused promotional artworks for the upcoming film The Grinch in the original photo, confirming that Bricard had access to unused promotional materials. The inclusion of the Grinch led to jokes about the Grinch being involved in Smash, either as a playable character or the force behind the leak (examples shown below).
November 1st, 2018 Nintendo Direct
On November 1st, 2018, Nintendo streamed the final Nintendo Direct for Super Smash Brothers Ultimate. New characters announced included Ken from Street Fighter, Incineroar from Pokémon Sun and Moon, and Pirahna Plant from the Super Mario series, who will be available as free DLC for a limited time offer. Most notably, the Direct introduced the “Spirit” mechanic. “Spirits” are helpers which players can assign to their fighter and help their stats. They can be unlocked in single-player mode through “event”-style fights. This allowed for the inclusion of many more characters who can boost character’s stats, though they will not appear on screen like Assist Trophies (of which, it was revealed, there are 59). The stream also discussed changes to the multiplayer and online services from the Wii U version of the game. Sakurai also confirmed the development of five DLC stages and five new DLC characters, which have not yet been put into development.
Super Smash Brothers Ultimate was released on December 7th, 2018 to extremely positive critical reception, scoring a 93 from critics on Metacritic the day of release. Additionally, the day prior, at The Game Awards, Nintendo revealed that Joker from Persona 5 would be joining the roster (shown below).
On Reddit, a thread compiling reviews for the game gained over 3,000 points. Some fans were divided on the game’s character-unlocking system. The game starts the player out with eight playable characters and new characters are added via playing the game, as was the case in previous Smash titles. Polygon posted an article detailing fan reaction being split between wanting to have all the fighters instantly available and remembering the fun of unlocking characters slowly.
June 11th, 2019 Nintendo Direct
On June 11th, 2019, Nintendo held their Direct for E3 2019. In the 45 minute presentation, Nintendo announced two new fighters. First, they announced that “The Hero” from the Dragon Quest series would be added as a fighter (shown below, left). This was the first thing they announced during the trailer. 45 minutes later, they announced that Banjo Kazooie would be another DLC fighter (shown below, left).
Having the trailers bookend the entire Direct presentation led to 45 minutes where fans discussed the addition of the Dragon Quest hero thinking it was the only new fighter to be announced. While some fans were excited, others were disappointed, as Dragon’s Quest isn’t as popular globally as it is in Japan. Twitter user @WEEGEETHEGOD tweeted he “literally could not be less excited for Dragon Quest Man,” gaining over 110 retweets and 960 likes (shown below, left). However, the Banjo Kazooie announcement was met with more universal excitement. User @visecs tweeted their enthusiasm, saying “MY FUCKING FAVORITE GAME!!!! MY FUCKING BEAR AND BIRD!!! GOT IN!!!! SUPER SMASH BROS HAS BANJO-KAZOOIE IN IT!!!!!”, gaining over 100 retweets and 500 likes (shown below, right).
Other notable reactions include a video reaction posted by JonTron (shown below, top) that gained over 8,400 retweets and 35,000 likes (shown below, top) and a tweet by DitzyFlama that gained over 9,000 retweets and 25,000 likes (shown below, bottom).
— JonTron (@JonTronShow) June 11, 2019
TWITTER RIGHT NOW AFTER NINTENDO’S DIRECT pic.twitter.com/XwqPHublIO
— DitzyFlama (@DitzyFlama) June 11, 2019
Inkling Girl’s Eye
Inkling Girl’s Eye refers to an exploitable image of one of the Inklings from Splatoon seeing the reflection of something in her eye. The image comes from the March 8th, 2018 Nintendo Direct presentation. In the original, the Inkling girl has the Super Smash Brothers logo reflected in her eye. What she sees is changed in the exploitables.
Quickly after the presentation, exploitable variations of the moment began appearing online. One of the earliest variations appeared on Tumblr, posted by user kukui, who placed the character Sans from Undertale in the girl’s eye (shown below, left). Twitter user @LivingTombstone uploaded a version with Pee Is Stored In the Balls, gaining over 60 retweets and 320 likes in less than 24 hours (shown below, right).
Meanwhile, the format began growing very popular on meme-based subredditst. Several posts appeared in /r/memeeconomy after the Direct presentation excitedly discussing the format. A post featuring Savage Patrick in the eye on the subreddit gained over 800 upvotes (shown below, left). On /r/dankmemes, several posts with the format appeared as well. One of the most popular, a Guys Only Want One Thing and It’s Fucking Disgusting variation, gained over 680 upvotes (shown below, right).
Waluigi’s Smash Snub
Waluigi’s Smash Snub refers to jokes about noted Super Mario character Waluigi being absent from the upcoming Super Smash Brothers video game, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Nintendo promised “every” character who has ever been in a Super Smash Brothers game would appear in Ultimate and promised the additions of characters Daisy and Ridley, but not Waluigi, who fans were hoping to see in the title.
On June 12th, 2018, Nintendo gave a Nintendo Direct presentation during E3 2018 with much of the information given being about the upcoming fifth installment in the Super Smash Brothers series, Super Smash Brothers Ultimate. The major announcement was that every fighter who has ever appeared in a Smash game would be available in Ultimate, as well as Nintendo characters Daisy and Ridley. However, Waluigi was absent from the roster.
The announcement disappointed fans of Waluigi, who shared their negative reactions on websites such as Twitter. That day, Twitter user @GenjiShitmada tweeted a picture of a Waluigi doll lying dirty on the ground with the Smash Bros reveal tagline “Everyone Is Here.” The post (shown below, left) received more than 34,000 retweets and 87,000 likes in 24 hours. Twitter user @sir_stride posted a variation of the Try Not To Cry meme featuring Waluigi with the caption “Waluigi is still an assist trophy #NintendoE3.” The post (shown below, center) received more than 2,000 retweets and 6,000 likes in 24 hours. Throughout the day, people continued to post variations on the theme of Waluigi being left out (example below, right) .
Everyone is Here
Everyone Is Here is a catchphrase from the trailer for Nintendo’s upcoming entry into the Super Smash Brothers series, Super Smash Brothers Ultimate. The phrase is a reference to how every character that has ever appeared in a Smash Brothers game will be available to play in Ultimate. Online, the phrase has been parodied in videos which posit that “Everyone Is Here” means that obscure and non-Nintendo characters will be playable in Smash.
During a Nintendo Direct streamed on June 12th, 2018, during E3 2018, Smash Brothers director Masahiro Sakurai talked at length about the upcoming Smash game, revealing major details and mechanics. Sakurai revealed that the game would be called Super Smash Brothers Ultimate and that the game would feature every character who has ever appeared in a Smash Brothers game, including characters who only appeared in one title such as Young Link, Solid Snake, and Wolf. This reveal was announced with the phrase “Everyone is here!”
That day, YouTubers began creating parodies of the trailer using different characters. User Real Anime Training posted an anime parody that day, gaining over 1,200 views (shown below, left). User Dlusardi posted a clip from Spongebob Squarepants edited to parody the announcement, gaining over 1,800 views (shown below, right).
User Cyrakek (formerly Cyranek) posted one of the most popular uploads that day, including various meme characters in their parody, gaining over 151,000 views (shown below, left). Three days later, user Hyejun posted a parody that gained over 109,000 views (shown below, right).
One of the posters most instrumental in the spread of the meme was YouTuber The Beanery, who posted several videos using the meme that gained tens of thousands of views (examples shown below).
Daisy Ridley in Smash
Daisy Ridley in Smash refers to jokes made prior to the announcement of Super Smash Brothers Ultimate that Nintendo characters Daisy and Ridley would never be in a Smash Brothers game by saying actress Daisy Ridley, best known for playing Rey in the Star Wars sequels, would not appear in Smash. For example, on January 13th, 2016, Tumblr user crustyclarinet posted a text post that read “I’m not into star wars but the person that plays Rey has the same name as two characters that will never be in smash bros”. On May 30th, 2018, Alpharad tweeted a picture of Daisy Ridley with the caption “Two characters who won’t ever be in Smash,” gaining over 1,000 retweets (shown below).
The Nintendo Direct at E3 2018 from June 12th, 2018, gave lots of details into the upcoming Super Smash Brothers game, including that Daisy and Ridley would be new characters. This led to a surge in-jokes about actress Daisy Ridley being in the game. Tumblr user crustyclarinet updated their original post and said: “I’m gonna go back in time and kick my own ass.” The post gained over 27,000 notes in total. Twitter user @Chastity_V tweeted a joke about adding Daisy Ridley to Smash, gaining over 200 retweets and 1,100 likes (shown below, left). User @ConfessAmiibo did the same, gaining over 100 retweets and 290 likes (shown below, right). Jokes about the surge in “Daisy Ridley” jokes were covered by The Wrap.
Laughing King Dedede
Laughing King Dedede refers to a snippet from the reveal trailer for King K. Rool during the 2018 Nintendo Direct focusing on Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, wherein King Dedede fakes out Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong into believing he is King K. Rool, before the Donkey Kong villain reveals himself and swats King Dedede out of frame. The snippet was often used as a reaction of ridicule and associated with Masahiro Sakurai’s trolling antics (as he voices the character himself).
Joker from Persona 5 is the second downloadable character announced for Ultimate. He was announced on December 6th, 2018 and released on April 17th, 2019. The release of the character caused online servers to crash as fans attempted to download the character overwhelming numbers.
Bayonetta as Joker’s Mom
Bayonetta as Joker’s Mom refers to a humorous fan theory in the Super Smash Brothers Ultimate community that Bayonetta from the Bayonetta series is the mother of Joker from the Persona series. The theory has spawned fan art and jokes.
Kotaku “Disability Slur” Article
On April 18th, 2019, Kotaku UK published an article saying that one of the songs added to the game as part of the Joker DLC, “Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There,” featured a “disability slur.” The author of the piece, Laura Dale, claimed one of the lyrics read “Are you ready? / Ready to pick up the pieces / Let’s go, let’s play, retarded.”
The article took issue with the use of the word “retarded.” However, Persona fans were quick to point out that the singer of the track, Lyn, is not a native-english speaker, and that what Kotaku was hearing as “retarded” was actually “retort it” or “retarget,” though there has been no official clarification of the lyrics. Dale reportedly tweeted in defense of herself, saying that she was waiting for clarification from Nintendo or Atlus (the Persona developers) and that the article was published prematurely, though those tweets are deleted. The following day, Kotaku UK posted an apology for the article after receiving word from Nintendo that they’d confirmed with Atlus that the song does not have the word “retarded.” Editor Rich Stanton said the original article would not be deleted and would be updated to feature a link to the apology.