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New Smash Bros. fighter catches everyone off guard

On the morning of Dec. 10th, Nintendo announced that a new Super Smash Bros. Ultimate character would be revealed at this year's Game Awards, scheduled to stream later that day. Just about as soon as the Game Awards' pre-show concluded, the fighter was then showcased in the awards show's first major trailer. The newest Smash Bros. Ultimate fighter was revealed to be Sephiroth, an announcement that was as unexpected as it is destined to please the Final Fantasy 7 villain's legions of fans.

Predicting additions to Smash Ultimate's roster is a pastime nearly as old as the announcement that Ultimate would introduce new characters as DLC. Fans requesting or anticipating new Smash characters, meanwhile, is a tradition that dates much further back in time, to well before the first marketing campaign for Ultimate proclaimed that its roster would indeed include "everyone."

That said, recent predictions as to who would be next to join Smash Ultimate's roster leading up to the Game Awards reveal seldom included Sephiroth. Casual fans and Smash pros alike were quick to express their surprise and delight at his Game Awards announcement.

Sephiroth first entered the fray in his reveal trailer slicing the game's story villain, Galeem, clean in half with his signature, huge sword. Subsequent gameplay footage continued to showcase the Jaws-inspired supervillain making ample use of the weapon against Marth, Incineroar, and other opponents only possible now that he's appearing in Smash. This surprisingly violent display also includes a shocked Mario, who Sephiroth seemed to impale at one point to the delight/horror of many a social media user.

Each DLC fighter so far has joined Smash Ultimate accompanied by a stage, designed to emulate one or multiple locations from their associated game. Sephiroth's stage resembles Battlefield in shape, including two platforms over an otherwise flat arena. Its location appears to be that of Final Fantasy 7 Remake's finale.

The trailer concluded with Sephiroth morphing into the form he takes in the original Final Fantasy 7's final boss fight. In practice, this is likely a tease for Sephiroth's Final Smash, given that Final Smash attacks generally allow a character to use their most powerful in-canon abilities. This also seems to confirm that Smash's version of Sephiroth draws from both the original (and surprisingly creepy) Final Fantasy 7 and its Remake.

Sephiroth will be available later this month on a date that has yet to be specified.