Super Smash Bros. Ultimate fans were pleasantly surprised when Sephiroth was revealed as the next DLC fighter during The Game Awards. Naturally, there were a lot of questions regarding how he’ll play – namely how the game will handle his absurdly long sword, the Masamune. The latest gameplay deep dive hosted by Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai gave us an intimate look at the villain in action as well as the new additions coming when Sephiroth arrives on December 22. 

Sephiroth comes in both his classic look as well as a shirtless variant. He’s only voiced in Japanese, which is a bummer for fans of his English voice. As expected, Sephiroth’s sword has a long range, great for keeping foes at bay or for closing the gap against ranged-based fighters. His wide-arching Up + Smash attack can simultaneously strike opponents in front of and behind him. The downward stab attack can pierce through platforms, damaging opponents hiding underneath. When knocked out of the ring, Sephiroth can also stab the stage to prevent himself from falling, then pull himself back up … and that’s not even his actual recovery move. Of course, Sephiroth sports his signature Octaslash as well.

When he’s not slicing foes to shreds, Sephiroth is blasting them with his Flare, Megaflare, and Gig aflare attacks. He also boasts Shadow Flare, fireballs that orbit fighters for a period before suddenly bombarding them. His Supernova inflicts a random array of crippling status effects, such as reversing an opponent’s controls. 

When Sephiroth is on his last legs, his one-winged form activates. This mode increases Sephiroth’s speed and strength, and he also gains an added jump (giving him three jumps total). If that’s not enough, the winged form also grants super armor to Sephiroth’s smash attacks, meaning it’ll be tougher to interrupt his most powerful strikes. Balancing this transformation out is the fact that either KOing an opponent, or getting knocked out himself, deactivates the winged form.  

When Sephiroth arrives, he brings a host of other additions. Final Fantasy VII themed Mii fighter skins based on Barrett (Gunner), Tifa (Brawler), and Aerith (Swordfighter) as well as a chocobo hat. Additionally, there’s also a Gunner skin based on the much-requested Geno from Super Mario RPG (don’t shoot the messenger, guys). Cloud also gets the Omnislash Ver. 5, the Advent Children version of his signature attack. 

Nine new Final Fantasy VII soundtracks make there way into the game as well: 

  • Opening – Bombing Mission
  • Those Who Fight (Advent Children version)
  • Those Who Fight Further (Advent Children version)
  • Main Theme of Final Fantasy VII
  • Jenova
  • Cosmo Canyon
  • One-Winged Angel
  • Advent: One-Winged Angel 

There’s also a new stage, and fans of Final Fantasy VII Remake who haven’t played the original game may want to tread lightly as even Sakurai stated this could potentially be a mild spoiler (while also acknowledging Remake could change things). If you’re worried, skip to the section below the next image. Otherwise, click the text to reveal information on the new arena. 

The Northern Cave, the climatic setting of the final battle in the original Final Fantasy VII, is a brand new arena. Here, players can battle while scenes from the game’s big finale play out in the background, including Cid’s airship flying overhead and even the big Meteor moment. You know the one. It’s kind of wild to just have a game’s ending more or less happen right in front of players, but Sakurai himself basically said out that FF VII is a 20-year-old game, so to heck with spoilers at this point. 

If you can’t wait for the December 22 to play as Sephiroth, a limited-time Sephiroth challenge is live today. You can find it atop the game’s main menu. From now until the 22nd players can battle Sephiroth one-on-one under various difficulties. Defeating him unlocks the him and the new stage early (but you still need to purchase Challenger Pack 8 or Fighter Pass Vol. 2). 

What do you think of Sephiroth and the new additions coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate? Let us know in the comments!

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