There will be one more fighter added to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Zagreus from the indie hit Hades would be an excellent candidate.
Masahiro Sakurai confirmed that the next DLC addition to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be the final fighter of the game. While most of the speculation around who this final fighter could possibly be focuses around AAA games, the Nintendo Switch has also garnered a reputation as an indie powerhouse. From that angle, it may be wise for Nintendo to go for a fighter from an indie game instead. Few indie games have gotten as much the buzz in the last year as Hades, and Zagreus would make an excellent Smash fighter.
Hades received positive reviews as a roguelike couched in Greek mythology. Players embody Zagreus, the Prince of the Underworld and the son of Hades, and aid his attempts to escape the underworld and reunite with his mother. When Zagreus dies, he’s resurrected back in his father’s hall and has to start his escape all over again. The clever ways the game grows players’ abilities, the rich cast of characters, and addicting gameplay catapulted Hades to success.
Hades had an early access PC release in December 2018. Its official release in September 2020 included a surprise launch on the Switch, and subsequently, Hades was called one of the best games of the year. Zagreus quickly became recognizable in the gaming world, and the Switch played a huge role in his popularity. While the exact number of Hades’ sales to date is unknown, according to GameSpot, it sold 300,000 copies on the Switch and PC combined in the first week of its official launch.
Hades’ Zagreus Would Be An Amazing Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighter
Hades‘ ubiquity is only growing, as developer SuperGiant Games announced in June that Hades will come to Xbox and PlayStation in the fall. And if it’s any clue as to how well Hades as done on the Switch, in a relatively unheard-of move for the Switch’s indie games, Nintendo sponsored a physical release in March 2021. The deep meaning behind the gesture is difficult to understate, considering physical releases – especially ones with an art book like Hades’ – are expensive to manufacture, and Hades was already doing well on the eShop. The move likely shows Nintendo knows it has helped to foster a hit, so it’s not too far of a stretch to think that the company may approach Sakurai about Zagreus.
Popularity aside, Zagreus would make an intriguing Smash fighter. In Hades, Zagreus eventually has five different weapons he can utilize: the Stygian Blade, the Eternal Spear, the Shield of Chaos, the Heart-Seeking Bow, and the Twin Fists of Malphon. While including all five of the Infernal Arms in Smash might be a stretch, fighters such as Pyra/Mythra and Pokémon Trainer demonstrate Smash‘s team is willing to create multiple move sets for the same character. Furthermore, a large yet understated feature of a DLC character is the music they bring along with them, and Hades‘ bass-laden soundtrack is excellent.
SuperGiant Games’ devs have said they’d love Zagreus in Smash, so it’s Nintendo’s move now. Giving indie games a prominent platform was a gamble for the Switch, but it’s paid off thanks to titles like Hades. There’s arguable no better way to acknowledge this rousing success than by ushering in the first indie game fighter into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
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