Roy Seals The Deal!
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is huge. Not just in terms of hype and importance and sales potential, but just in terms of sheer stuff. The Nintendo Switch mascot fighter features over a hundred stages, nearly a thousand songs, and too many Pokemon and items and Assist Trophies to think of crammed onto a cartridge you can plan on the go or on a TV. When you have as many big franchises as Nintendo, putting them all in one game will make that game is very big boy indeed.
But the biggest, most exciting thing about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is its mind-blowing, heartwarming roster of playable characters. Fighting games pride themselves not just on the strength of their mechanics but the strength of its fighters, especially in a crossover fighters like this. And Super Smash Bros. Ultimate crushes all rivals by including every single playable character from the across the four previous games in the twenty-year-old series. Include the new combatants and so far we have over 70 fighters to wrap our heads around. We’re excited, but we’re also intimidated. So to get ready for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, every day, character by character, we’re creating the ultimate guide to all of its characters. Today’s fighters: Roy and Chrom.
Who Are They?
In a series full of blue-haired swordsmen, Roy, the hero of Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, stands out with his red hair. He’s also the son of Eliwood, one of the heroes of the first Fire Emblem that actually made it to America on the GBA. Meanwhile, his echo fighter Chrom is (at least initially) the main lord of Fire Emblem Awakening, which revitalized the franchise on 3DS.
Whereas Marth was included in Melee to honor Fire Emblem as a whole, Roy was included as a clone in order to promote his new game out in the Japan at the time. Not that it made a difference to Western audiences confused by both of them. Roy took a break in Brawl, presumably replaced by Ike as the slower fire-based Fire Emblem lord. However, Roy returned as DLC in Smash Wii U/3DS, a game which also has playable Koopaling Roy. Chrom’s absence in Smash Wii U/3DS was almost a running joke in trailers, appearing only in Robin’s Final Smash and certain Mii costumes. But he finally joined the battle in Smash Ultimate.
What Looks New in Ultimate?
Unlike Marth’s powerful tipper, Roy is a swordsman who deals more damage up close. And that range contradiction means Roy has been a bad character in the past. But based on recent tournament footage, top players are really starting to make things happen with Roy, and we guess it’s because his increased speed and power are just overwhelming any disadvantages of his weird spacing requirements. And despite a vulnerable Aether recovery taken from Ike, Chrom also has potential as a Roy clone with power consistently throughout his sword.
Two more Fire Emblem characters directly descended from Marth don’t exactly make us giddy with anticipation, even if Fire Emblem Awakening is still the best Fire Emblem game. But good for Roy fans for seeing their character become good. And good for Chrom fans for seeing their character at all.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate releases Dec. 7 for Nintendo Switch. Until we can play more for ourselves, changes we talk about here are mostly speculation. For more thoughts check out our Smash hands-on as well as cool Switch games to play that aren’t Smash Bros., because those definitely exist.