Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

From Golden Sun Universe
Our affiliate wiki, SmashWiki, has a more in-depth article on this subject.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
North American box art
Developer(s) Sora Ltd.
Bandai Namco Studios
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Designer(s) Masahiro Sakurai
Series Super Smash Bros.
Platform Nintendo Switch
Release Date December 7, 2018
Genre Fighting
Media Nintendo Switch game card

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a Nintendo-themed platform fighting game released worldwide for the Nintendo Switch on December 7, 2018. Developed by Bandai Namco and Sora Ltd., the latter the personal game development studio of director Masahiro Sakurai, Ultimate is at least the fifth installment of the famed crossover fighting-game franchise. It features an enormous roster of playable characters taken from virtually every prominent franchise associated with the Nintendo brand, including Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon. As has been increasingly the case since the 2008 release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the roster also features characters held by third-party developers and publishers.

The Golden Sun series' famously spotty representation in the series had previously consisted of a non-playable cameo appearance by the series' main character, Isaac, and a remixed music track for Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The Smash titles released in the interim for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii had even gone as far as to remove Isaac's limited role, instead adding one extra music track ripped from Golden Sun: Dark Dawn. Ultimate, however, does a fair amount to restore what had been cut from Brawl and improve the series' representation through other in-game features, even if there is still no playable character.

Golden Sun Content in Ultimate

Golden Sun is given a modest expansion of its state of representation over what had been featured in previous Smash titles. While the original "Trophy" concept that displayed character models with accompanying text descriptions was removed from the game entirely, the "Spirit" feature introduced as a replacement system gives Golden Sun a rather fair amount of attention in comparison to other niche franchises. Golden Sun is even tied to cosmetic skin options that can be applied to one particular playable character.

Isaac as an Assist Trophy Character

Isaac returns as one of the many AI-controlled "helper characters" that can appear when a player-character grabs and automatically uses the Assist Trophy item.

Isaac Ultimate.png

Compared to his appearance in Brawl, Isaac exhibits additional AI behaviors once summoned, though his voice clips (given by Aya Hara) are reused. He retains his usage of the Move Psynergy, which summons a large "Psynergy hand" representing kinetic force that proceeds straight forward and knocks back opponents that touch it for set distances.

In one all-new behavior, Isaac summons a pair of projected hands that attempt to ensnare a given opponent and raise the target into the stage's top boundary line, which would score a knockout if the grabbed character does not mash buttons fast enough to free themselves. This bears some resemblance to the Lift Psynergy used in the GBA duology, which is used to make objects levitate in place.

Another new move on Isaac's part is that he creates a single magic hand that is clenched into a fist and slams down in front of him to deal 12% damage on average; it is unclear whether this is supposed to represent the Pound Psynergy despite the similar shape of the hand involved, since Pound is used to drive stakes into the ground without any striking motion or impact (hence its Japanese name, "Press"). The use of a conjured Psynergy hand to apply striking force to a target from above is a function that more closely resembles the Crush Psynergy from Dark Dawn, though that depicts a pair of hands striking together. At any rate, this technically breaks ground for Golden Sun-series representation in the Smash series in that it allows Isaac, as a character, to inflict damage on any of the established playable characters that are part of Smash Bros. Ultimate's roster.

In order to close the distance to a playable character fighting against the one who summoned him, Isaac will warp around the stage before performing one of his three Psynergy-based moves. It is also unclear how directly this is intended as a representation of the two forms of teleportation seen in the Golden Sun games themselves: the Teleport Psynergy used to either travel across the world map or warp across special "Teleport Pads" in Golden Sun: The Lost Age, or as another character's unnamed trademark talent.

Some of the expanded behaviors exhibited by Assist Trophy characters in general are inherited by Isaac. As if he were a standard playable character himself, he can now be attacked and potentially sent flying past a stage boundary to be KO'd, and he will attempt to return the stage through midair maneuvers if he is not knocked away hard enough. Furthermore, he can perform the standard Air Dodge maneuver, and the Inkling's special moves can cover him in ink like it would with normal fighters.

The above-pictured render of Isaac as an assist trophy is featured as one of the hundreds of "Smash Tag" icons that players can use as online profile images.

Golden Sun Spirits

Static artwork pieces of Golden Sun characters, like images from countless other franchises, are featured in Ultimate as what ended up being over 1,500 "Spirits" to collect (and in many cases, fight) in features like the adventure mode, "World of Light." Each "Primary Spirit" encompasses a set of statistical improvements and/or special traits that can be applied to any playable character, and a large fraction of the spirits are categorized as "Support Spirits" that can only be assigned to other "Primary Spirits" in turn.

In most cases, when a Primary Spirit increases a main character's offensive and defensive statistics, it also assigns one of three "types" to that character, which share a rock-paper-scissors relationship. When a character defined by a "Shield"-type spirit faces off against one defined as an "Attack"-type spirit, for example, the former will deal 1.3 times as much damage to the latter with attacks, whereas the latter will deal only .85x as much damage to the former.

The statistical increases afforded by a given Primary Spirit increase as they level up, and they can reach an upper cap of 99. Fighting while having Spirits equipped is the primary method of increasing their levels, and feeding them "Snacks" is another method. A select few Spirits, once they reach level 99, can permanently "promote" into a stronger Spirit that restarts at level 1, and these are often depicted as canonically "evolved" or "advanced" forms of the previous characters. There are also in-game facilities, such as "Dojos," that further modify Primary spirits.

Over 1400 of the game's total Spirits have individually assembled "Event-like" scenarios that can be completed to earn copies of them. While these Spirit Battles always pit the player against characters from the main roster, which characters are fought, their behavioral trends, their costume choices, the stage, which special hazards and items can appear, and the music are always selected to bear a passing resemblance to the character and overall game series the Spirit represents. Spirits come in four "Ranks" that reflect their general performance quality: "Novice," "Advanced," "Ace," or "Legend." That spirit's Spirit Battle is also tuned to be roughly as difficult as the rank implies.

Considering the niche status of Golden Sun as an IP at the time of the release of Ultimate, it is given a noticeably higher number of representative Spirits than other similarly niche franchises. Every Golden Sun Spirit displays the associated character's artwork and is assigned an official number in the game's master list of Spirits. The eight pieces of character artwork represent seven distinct characters who, incidentally and perhaps coincidentally, are the very seven characters whom the player is allowed to directly control on the field at some point or another within the Golden Sun titles released as of Ultimate. In another piece of trivia, Golden Sun is the only represented series that does not contribute a playable character but happens to feature a primary spirit for each of the four Types.

Name Spirit Effects Spirit Battle
GS Isaac.png
#1,168: Isaac
Ace-Rank Primary Spirit with the Grab type.
At level 99, this is graded at 7622 Power on account of providing a 4497 boost to offense and a 3125 boost to defense. Features 3 Support Spirit slots. A copy of this spirit can be acquired by dismissing one each of "Garet", "Ivan", and "Mia" and expending their leftover spirit cores to summon this for 1800 SP. At level 99, this can be Enhanced into an "Isaac (Dark Dawn)".
Ace-Rank match with opponents set to 8900 Power and aligned with the Grab type. On the Wuhu Island stage (specifically the swaying wooden bridge area), the initial opponent is Roy in his yellow costume, and he frequently uses his Flare Blade special move. An additional opponent who soon joins the enemy team is Robin in his green costume, and he frequently uses his Elwind special move. Another additional opponent is Palutena in her cyan costume, and she frequently uses Autoreticle. The final opponent is a Mii Swordfighter wearing the "Isaac Wig" and "Isaac's Outfit" costume pieces and sporting the custom moves Gale Strike, Slash Launcher, Skyward Slash Dash, and Reversal Slash. All opponents' magic attacks have increased power. Meanwhile, the Isaac assist trophy routinely appears for the enemy team's benefit.
GSDD Isaac.png
#1,169: Isaac (Dark Dawn)
Legend-Rank Primary Spirit with the Grab type.
At Level 99, this is graded at 11,672 Power on account of providing a 6362 boost to offense, a 4154 boost to defense, and a trait (valued at 1156 Power) that increases the equipped character's attack power with energy shots and resistance to energy shots. Features 3 Support Spirit slots.
N/A; this spirit can only be acquired by Enhancing "Isaac" at Level 99.
GS Garet.png
#1,170: Garet
Advanced-Rank Primary Spirit with the Attack type.
At level 99, this is graded at 5486 Power on account of providing a 2968 boost to offense, a 2020 boost to defense, and a trait (valued at 498 Power) that increases the power of the equipped character's fire attacks. Features 1 Support Spirit slot.
Advanced-Rank match with the opponent set to 2500 Power and aligned with the Attack type. On the Battlefield form of the Temple stage, the opponent is Roy in his yellow costume, who starts the battle holding a Fire Flower. Lava covers the floor of the main platform.
#1,171: Ivan
Novice-Rank Support Spirit that occupies 1 Spirit Slot.
Increases the power of the equipped character's magic attacks.
Novice-Rank match with the opponent set to 2300 Power and aligned with the Attack type. On the Onett stage, the opponent is Robin in his green costume, who starts the battle holding a Gust Bellows. High winds blow through the stage after a set period of time.
#1,172: Mia
Novice-Rank Primary Spirit with the Shield type.
At level 99, this is graded at 4353 Power on account of providing a 1632 boost to offense, a 2399 boost to defense, and a trait (valued at 322 Power) that increases the power of the equipped character's water attacks. Features 2 Support Spirit slots.
Novice-Rank match with the opponent set to 2200 Power and aligned with the Shield type. A timed match lasting one minute. On the Delfino Plaza stage (specifically the large island area), the opponent is Palutena, who is given to shielding often; her shield heals her whenever it blocks an attack.
#1,173: Felix
Advanced-Rank Primary Spirit with the Neutral type.
At level 99, this is graded at 5878 Power on account of providing a 2998 boost to offense and a 2880 boost to defense. Features 2 Support Spirit slots.
Advanced-Rank match with the opponent set to 3500 Power and aligned with the Neutral type. On the Coliseum stage, the opponent is Marth in his green costume. Periodic earthquakes will shake the stage. POW Blocks will appear on the stage in waves.
Jenna Spirit.png
#1,174: Jenna
Advanced-Rank Support Spirit that occupies 1 Spirit Slot.
Increases the power and ammo count of the equipped character's shooting items.
Advanced-Rank match with the opponent set to 3500 Power and aligned with the Shield type. On the Battlefield form of the Temple stage, the opponent is Zelda in her red outfit, who is given to using her Din's Fire side special move often. The Isaac assist trophy regularly appears for the opponent's benefit.
#1,175: Matthew
Advanced-Rank Primary Spirit with the Grab type.
At level 99, this is graded at 6198 Power on account of providing a 3626 boost to offense and a 2572 boost to defense. Features 2 Support Spirit slots.
Advanced-Rank match with the opponent set to 3600 Power and aligned with the Grab type. On the Coliseum stage, the opponent is Chrom in his black costume. Hothead items routinely drop.

Any spirit that isn't a playable character or "Master Spirit" character that provides an in-mode service in the World of Light can periodically appear in the Spirit Board feature and be fought to be earned, and it will eventually be replaced on the Spirit Board after enough real-world time has passed. Meanwhile, a significant swath of the game's total Spirit collection appear in the World of Light and can be earned once each from there, which means each World of Light adventure mode save file can give an extra copy of all these spirits. Three of the game's eight Golden Sun Spirits have spots on the World of Light's map:

  • Felix's Spirit Battle is located in the Badlands area in the Light Realm, corresponding to his earth-aligned abilities.
  • Matthew's Spirit Battle is located in the southwest third of the "Sacred Land" map later on; this map resembles the Triforce from The Legend of Zelda.
  • Isaac's Spirit Battle is located in the last map explored in the World of Light mode, "The Final Battle", and his spirit is one of the few that can only be found for the first time in the adventure mode. Incidentally, this map arranges its Spirit Battles into thematically corresponding pairs split between the map's light and dark halves, and Isaac's "dark counterpart" in this map is presented as Shanoa from Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia.

Garet, Ivan, Mia, and Jenna's Spirits, on the other hand, can only appear in the Spirit Board, which can easily lead to players taking a lot of time to acquire them if luck doesn't play out in their favor. However, all Spirits other than the adult version of Isaac can be purchased for "G" whenever they appear at certain shops:

  • At the "Vault Shop" reached from the main menu, the Garet and Mia Spirits can be sold for 500G each, and the Matthew and Felix Spirits can be sold for 1000G each. Isaac himself gains the capacity to appear in the Vault Shop once he has been earned at least once from the World of Light; it will be priced at 6000G.
  • At "Anna's Emporium" in the World of Light, which primarily deals in Spirits of characters that rely on weaponry of some kind, the Ivan Spirit can appear for 500G, and the Jenna Spirit can appear for 1000G.

Up until January of 2022, the developers would introduce a Spirit-Board-centric event for a few days in which a selection of Spirits would both appear more often and yield bonus rewards when their Spirit Battles are beaten. The game has hosted reruns of spirit events in the time since. There were a total of five such events in which Golden Sun characters' Spirits were included in the Spirit pools:

  • The Right Staff: (April 12, 2019 -> April 15, 2019) Spirits based on staff-wielding characters. Includes Ivan, Mia, and Jenna.
  • Super Smash Sisters: (May 30, 2019 -> June 4, 2019) Spirits based on heroines prominent in their respective games. Includes Jenna.
  • Talk to the Cape!: (June 20, 2019 -> June 23, 2019) Spirits based on cape-wearing characters. Includes Felix.
  • Smash by the Sword: (November 1, 2019 -> November 4, 2019) Spirits based on sword-wielding characters. Includes Matthew.
  • All's Hair in Love and War: (September 11, 2020 --> September 14, 2020) Spirits based on long-haired characters. Includes Jenna and Mia.

Golden Sun Music

Though Super Smash Bros. Ultimate does not feature any new music that represents Golden Sun as a series, it retains both of the pieces of music that had been introduced to Smash Bros. in previous installments. These tracks are categorized under "Other Series" in-game, which means that these, like all the other songs occupying the label, can potentially play on the following stages: Summit, Hanenbow, Balloon Fight, Living Room, Find Mii, Tomodachi Life, PictoChat 2, Duck Hunt, Wrecking Crew, Pilotwings, Wuhu Island, Battlefield, Small Battlefield, Big Battlefield, and Final Destination. The two tracks are as follows:

  • "Battle Scene/ Final Boss (Golden Sun)" is a progressive rock remix of the default battle theme of Golden Sun: The Lost Age ("Felix's battle theme"), which is followed by the perpetual looping of the similar remix of the same title's final boss theme. It appears in all Golden Sun-related Spirit Battles except for Matthew's, and it also appears in the Spirit Battles for Zael and Calista from The Last Story and Tressa & Cyrus from Octopath Traveler.
  • "Weyard" is directly imported from Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, where it plays while walking anywhere in the game's overworld that isn't covered in shadow. It plays during Matthew's Spirit Battle.

Isaac as a Mii Fighter Costume

A Mii Swordfighter wearing the two Isaac-themed costume pieces.

Since the Wii U and 3DS editions of Smash, the roster has included a special character representing the Miis that have been prominent on Nintendo systems since the Wii as user avatars. Both their skins and their special moves can be customized, and these skins include outfits and wigs/headpieces representing relatively prominent characters that never made it as either playable characters or Assist Trophies. Any Mii Fighter can wear any headpiece or wig, but the Mii Brawler, Mii Swordfighter, and Mii Gunner each have their own exclusive collections of character-themed outfits.

Among the costume choices available are the "Isaac Wig" for all Mii Fighters and the "Isaac's Outfit" for the Mii Swordfighter specifically, and they can be unlocked by spending in-game currency without having to purchase DLC. Incidentally, the Isaac's Wig appears in the Spirit Battle for Sebastian Tute from Wii Music, and it also appears in the Spirit Battles for Chocobo & Moogle from Final Fantasy VII Remake and Ryo Sakazaki from Art of Fighting if no other DLC is purchased. Furthermore, an Isaac-dressed Mii Swordfighter is one of a horde of six distinctly themed, Blade Counter-knowing Mii Swordfighters that Lucario must fight in stage four of his Classic mode route, "Counter Encounters."

External Links

Golden Sun games and media
Main Series Games Golden SunGolden Sun: The Lost AgeGolden Sun: Dark Dawn
Cameos: Super Smash Bros. Brawl & Ultimate
Other Media: 4-Koma Gag BattleDark Dawn V-Jump manga
Other Information: Game data directoryGBA plot summaryDark Dawn plot summaryStaff Credits