It Is Time To Accept That Sora Isn’t Coming To Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
With Sephiroth being the latest addition to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate I have finally accepted that the ongoing dream of Sora in Smash is now dead.
Kingdom Hearts is my favorite franchise of any medium. As early as Super Smash Bros. Brawl where we first saw third-party characters join the fight I have been hoping again and again that our keyblade wielding hero Sora would finally get his invitation. Last year I wrote about how Sora should be announced for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate during The Game Awards in 2019, but just like any other time, I was let down.
I said I would probably give up all hope then if it didn’t come to fruition, but foolishly, I kept believing that there was a chance. During this year’s show last week, that sliver of hope has finally gone away.
The Game Awards started off big on December 10, 2020, by announcing who the next character would be to come to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. In a shocking turn of events Sephiroth, the iconic video game villain from Final Fantasy VII came into the fray. No one really expected Sephiroth after word got out that Nintendo had faced major difficulties with Square Enix about making a new deal to get Cloud into Smash Ultimate. Cloud was originally announced as DLC in Smash’s previous entry Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS.
So with Sephiroth joining in it seems that Nintendo’s relationship with Square has improved tremendously. Despite the excitement of Sephiroth coming to Smash, it also sends one message clearly to me; Sora from Kingdom Hearts is a lost cause.
For years now, Sora has been one of, if not, the most wanted character to join the iconic fighting game. But not only is he one of the most requested fighters; he is also one of the most worthy. Since the beginning of the Kingdom Hearts franchise in 2002, there have been five entries released on a Nintendo platform with four of them originally being exclusives. I still connect the series with PlayStation more than anything, but it is impossible to ignore the history it has had with Nintendo.
There has been this ongoing discussion between fans and industry folk alike on why he hasn’t joined the game because he seems like such an obvious choice. Well, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, the reason why is complicated. With Disney owning the Kingdom Hearts IP there is no telling what the exact reasoning is as to why Sora hasn’t made it to the game, but I can think of a couple that could more than likely be the reason.
Disney is the Nintendo of the film and television industry. It incorporates business practices that some fans do not like, but the fans begrudgingly accept anyway. Disney is stubborn and always wants its own way and Nintendo is the same. And in thinking about both of those companies trying to reach a deal with one another, Disney would likely want a lot more money than what Nintendo is willing to pay, and that would be the end of that. There was previously a rumor that Disney Japan would not allow Sora in Smash, but that seemed more like hearsay than anything else.
During the span on Smash Ultimate’s DLC, we’ve seen third-party characters get added to promote a game alongside it. Hero from Dragon Quest was brought due to Nintendo publishing the Switch version of Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age. And I think you can cash that check to the bank that Monster Hunter will be one of the new challengers in Fighters Pass 2 with next year’s Switch exclusive Monster Hunter Rise.
Byleth from Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Min Min from Arms were other promotional characters brought to the game as well. All the other DLC fighters that have made the cut so far were added due to Sakurai’s request or due to Nintendo’s good standing relationship with Microsoft.
Sephiroth is the first character where there appears to be no under the table tie-ins as to why Nintendo made a deal with Square Enix. It could be as simple as Sephiroth is one of the most iconic video game villains of all time and is notable even to your casual gamer. Another could be Nintendo riding off the coattail of Final Fantasy VII Remake, a game that in no way would be able to run on Switch, but still could get some promotional value nonetheless.
I do think Nintendo wants Sora in Smash but a deal simply cannot, or has not been made yet. Sora is definitely iconic enough in that he would sell incredibly well should he be added at any point, but I think Nintendo wants the Kingdom Hearts franchise on the Switch first. Something that is currently up in the air.
In September earlier this year series Creator Tetsuya Nomura stated in an interview that Square Enix has tried to get Kingdom Hearts working on Switch in the past with no success. However, the following month Nomura teased fans that something Kingdom Hearts related would be making its way to the Switch soon. We know there aren’t any new titles planned until the franchise’s 20th anniversary in 2022 at the earliest, so there are only so few things that this could be. Good ol’ Nomura, making things more difficult than they need to be.
I understand the popularity of Sephiroth, but seeing Square dipping in the same pot of Final Fantasy VII only backs my idea that Sora likely isn’t coming. Square Enix has a treasure trove of beloved characters and franchises that even with how well-known Sephiroth is, bringing someone like Crono from Chrono Trigger, Randi from Secret of Mana, or a different protagonist in another Final Fantasy entry would make the idea of other Square Enix characters possible additions for the game much more believable to me.
What’s also worth noting, while there is really nothing really stopping it from becoming a reality is that with the Smash fighter passes historically, we’ve never gotten two third party characters from the same studio. That honestly could change at any point down the road, but until it happens I’m assuming that it won’t.
It is always fun to talk about the possibility of Sora in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but it always ends up being the same conversation with the same theories backing them. Now more than ever does it seem unlikely for our spiky-headed hero to be the next new challenger approaching and at the end of the day I hope I am wrong. But I’ve been let down time and time again and at this point, I’ve just lost all hope.