During the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Direct back in August, much of the game was detailed, but there was a big, green section of the main menu that was blurred out. In the more recent Direct from today (November 1), it was revealed that this section is Spirits and will offer a whole new kind of gameplay.
The Direct explains that this Spirits mode is a way to include tons of characters from a large range of franchises without including them all as unique fighters or having a slew of collectible trophies, since director Masahiro Sakurai felt that collecting trophies wouldn’t fit the themes of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as well as it had in past entries. In this mode, numerous characters have lost their corporeal forms and become Spirits. In the Spirits mode, players can use these Spirits of other characters to power up or give abilities to their playable character. Different Spirits have different power levels, ranging from Novice to Advanced to Ace to Legend.
The player can only equip a single Primary Spirit at a time that will lend its power to the player’s fighter. However, Primary Spirits will also be able to be equipped with Support Spirits. Primary Spirits will raise the fighters overall stats while Support Spirits will add special skills, such as being able to jump higher or prevent flinching. Spirits will be able to level up upon use, increasing their contributions to the fighter. Some Spirits will even be able to transform into an enhanced form when leveled up enough, somewhat similar to Pokémon evolutions. Spirits can also be trained outside of battle or sent to collect treasures.
The way players can attain new Spirits in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is by participating in Spirit Battles. These battles will pit the player against the Spirit of a character that is inhabiting the body of one of the game’s playable characters. The playable fighter that is being possessed by a Spirit will take on the appearance and personality of the Spirit controlling them. For example, when fighting a Gordo Spirit, you’ll really be fighting an invisible King Dedede that only throws Gordos, so it feels like you’re battling an army of Gordos rather than King Dedede. In short, Spirits Mode allows players to simulate battles with all kinds of characters that aren’t normally playable.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is set to launch for the Nintendo Switch on December 7.