During today's Nintendo Direct, Nintendo confirms that the next Super Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS DLC roster addition will be Final Fantasy VII's protagonist, Cloud.
It was the first Nintendo Direct since E3, but the highlight of the livestream was yet again focused on Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. Today Nintendo confirmed another third-party character will be joining the fighting game's roster. Nintendo and Square Enix have made a deal to bring Final Fantasy VII's protagonist, Cloud, to Super Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS as a playable fighter.
The announcement was saved for the very end of the presentation, debuting Cloud in a "A New Challenger Appears" trailer similar to all previous big Super Smash Bros. roster reveals. The trailer opened by teasing the character, showing his shoes, his shoulder armor, followed by his sword dragging on the ground. As the camera finally panned backwards, revealing Cloud in full, there was little doubt remaining as to who the character reveal would be.
"Cloud Storms Into Battle!" read the text announcing his addition to the Super Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS roster. It wouldn't be a Nintendo announcement if the gravity of the reveal wasn't enshrouded with a horrible pun. Years of behind-the-scenes drama that prevented Final Fantasy from ever coming to Nintendo platforms appear to have faded; Cloud is joining the Super Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS roster, but there must be much more to this deal than meets the eye.
Other details were also teased in the trailer, including Cloud's Limit Break, Omnislash, being his Super move. Those other details include what looks to be at least one Final Fantasy VII stage, Midgar, which features several of the summons from the game. The summons tear the stage apart, flood it, and rebuild it as the fight progresses. There's even a flash of the place where Sephiroth stabs [Spoiler]. Nintendo's treading on sacred ground, or maybe it's more accurate to say they're letting Mario beat the crud out of Mega Man on sacred ground?
Other bits of Final Fantasy DLC teased include a chocobo hat for the Mii Fighters, though it could just as easily have been a brand new item. I say that because the chocobo hat appeared to make the Mii Fighters especially tiny. That may just have been a combination of other items, however, to add extra cuteness to the chocobo hat.
When can fans expect to download Cloud to play? Unfortunately that information was not revealed, or even teased. Nintendo did announce that there would be a Super Smash Bros.-focused Nintendo Direct during December, though. That's probably when all of the release information will be provided to fans. Don't stress over it, as the official Smash website does basically confirms Cloud will be coming to both platforms, as well as in a bundle for both platforms, just like previous Smash DLC.
As awesome as it is to see a Super Smash Bros. DLC roster announcement made without having been spoiled by leaks, there remains other reasons to be in awe. Square Enix and Nintendo relationships, specifically related to Final Fantasy, have always been heated, so it's a huge announcement that they've worked past those issues, if only for some DLC. Cloud has joined a Nintendo game, and the world rejoices. And Square Enix is probably already counting that inevitable amiibo money. Expect more information in December.