Nintendo has announced the final roster for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with the addition of Ken and Incineroar. The two new fighters bring the character count to 74. Ultimate director Masahiro Sakurai said months ago that fans would know every character in the game prior to its release date.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is bringing back every fighter in series history, which amounts to a total of 63 fighters. Ultimate will make the roster even more massive by adding nine new challengers, including the Inklings, Ridley, Daisy, Dark Samus, Chrom, Simon, Richter, King K. Rool, and Isabelle. The game will feature an unprecedented 103 stages, and several new and returning modes.
In a Nintendo Direct video presentation, Sakurai revealed that Street Fighter's Ken and Incineroar from Pokémon Sun and Moon are joining Ultimate. The two will complete the roster of characters available at launch. Incineroar will represent the seventh generation of Pokémon. Ken will be an echo fighter of Ryu. A third character, Piranha Plant from the Mario series, will serve as a pre-order bonus. Piranha Plant will be added in a update sometime after the game launches. Sakurai also confirmed the development of five DLC fighters for 2019.
Ken will be the game's fifth echo fighter, which are essentially clones of existing characters with only minor differences. According to Sakurai, Ken's appearance and moveset are based on the version of the character that appears in Street Fighter II. Ken is faster than Ryu, and some of his moves are slightly different in the way that they do damage. In classic Street Fighter games, Ken was basically a palette swap of Ryu, which makes it fitting for Ken to be just an echo fighter, rather than a separate character.
Incineroar is a large cat-like Pokémon capable of unleashing powerful, fire-based attacks and a few wrestling moves that make him an interesting addition to the roster.
The announcements debunk the recent "leaked" artwork that seemed to reveal seven new challengers, including the fan-favorite duo of Banjo & Kazooie. Incineroar wasn't shown on the banner. Alternatively, leaker Vergeben has stated for months that both Ken and Incineroar would be included in the base game, and Ken was leaked in a gameplay image. Though some may have been hoping that Ultimate would match the high number of new challengers that previous installments generally add, Sakurai has repeatedly stated that the top priority for Ultimate was bringing back all existing characters. So for longtime fans of the series, the 11 new fighters are just the icing on the cake.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate launches December 7th for the Nintendo Switch.