To encourage early sales of Super Smash Bros.
There's still hope for some fan favourites to appear in the game though as Nintendo announced that they will shortly begin work on new (i.e. not echo fighters) characters to be released as paid-for DLC.
Spirits have a rock, paper, scissors relationship with each other and can be levelled up, evolve into other forms, or combined to form an entirely new spirit - a bit like Shin Megami Tensei. We expect this to be a story mode of some kind, following up on Super Smash Bros.
They can also be used to power up amiibo characters.
This mode takes the place of previous Smash games offering tons of trophies from the represented Nintendo franchises.
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You'll be able to specify certain rulesets for rooms online for matches.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate launches for the Nintendo Switch on December 7th, 2018. Players can also save a few bucks by purchasing the full Fighters Pass for $24.99 upfront, giving them access to each DLC pack as they drop between the game's release and February 2020. This time, you can knock assist trophies off the map, giving you a chance to avoid getting hit by their attacks.
DLC has been confirmed for the game that will be out post launch. This means no Echo Fighters, significantly reducing the risk of buyer's remorse. Winning battles against them could earn you spirits, new support characters that buff your fighter's abilities and grant them additional ones when you're in a regular battle, or perhaps just unlock more characters for adventure mode.
Joining the ranks of Duck Hunt Dog as this generation's weird character reveal is one of Bowser's most memorable minions, Piranha Plant!
The Mii Fighter gets some brand new outfits to use, too, with a Splatoon set, an Arms set, a Chibi Robo costume, a Toy-Con set, and a Ray MkIII one all shown. Ultimate managed to surprise us.