Nintendo today revealed that Terry Bogard of Fatal Fury/King of Fighters fame is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate‘s next guest character, supplanting widely spread rumors that Overwatch‘s mech-piloting superstar D.Va would be the next extra-planar hero to enter the fray. Terry is currently in development and will become available sometime in November of this year, according to today’s Nintendo Direct.
The reveal took place in true low-res Neo-Geo fashion, with multiple characters from the franchise trying (and failing) to snatch an invitation to Smash. While some KOF fans might have preferred other leading characters, such as Athena or Mai Shiranui, Terry is the long-time protagonist of the series and is the logical choice from a business/licensing perspective. Besides, putting Mai in Smash would probably require an overhaul of the game’s physics engine.
About 10 seconds of in-game Terry Bogard footage can be seen in the above video, starting at the 23:34 mark. After a quick introduction from Smash Ultimate director Masahiro Sakurai, we get a brief look at Bogard’s trademark Power Wave and Burn Knuckle attacks, as well as a new King of Fighters-themed stadium stage. Further in-game Bogard exploits weren’t ready in time for the reveal, according to Sakurai.
The rest of the video is mostly Sakurai’s deep dive into the mechanical specifics of Banjo & Kazooie, who finally went live as Ultimate‘s third DLC character(s) during today’s Nintendo Direct. (And since I know you’re wondering, Kirby gets a little backpack with a plushie Kazooie in it, and it’s perfect.) Terry Bogard is the fourth of five announced slots in the Smash Ultimate Fighter’s Pass, the fifth of which is still unknown, but Nintendo also announced today that further fighters are forthcoming, even beyond fighter number five, somewhere down the line.
This won’t be Bogard’s first time showing up for a franchise crossover event. In addition to appearing in every Fatal Fury and King of Fighters game (of which there are dozens), Terry was also playable in Capcom vs SNK: Millennium Fight 2000 and Capcom vs SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium 2001, as well as Neo Geo Battle Coliseum and most recently, Fighting EX Layer (as DLC). In total, Bogard has appeared in 52 video games, not counting mobile titles, and while most of them have been fighting games, Smash Ultimate will be Bogard’s first “platform fighter,” as the kids like to say.
It’ll be interesting to see how Bogard’s input commands are translated to Smash. Fatal Fury and King of Fighters are traditional fighting games, and their characters use traditional fighting game inputs, such as quarter circles and charges. Nintendo solved this issue once before when adding Street Fighter‘s Ryu to the stable; standard Smash directional inputs produced special moves as expected, but traditional Street Fighter inputs resulted in enhanced versions of those moves. Nintendo could easily take Bogard in a similar direction.
King of Fighters and Street Fighter aren’t one-to-one though, and KOF has a lot of subtle mechanics that don’t exist in other fighting games, or even from one version of KOF to the next. Nintendo has an enormous wealth of Terry Bogards to choose from, and while his trademark special attacks are always more or less the same, each King of Fighters introduces and/or removes its own mechanics. Will Smash Ultimate‘s Bogard be able to Just Defend (read: perfect block) like he can in KOF: XIV and Mark of the Wolves? Will he have access to Climax Super Special Moves, or will he be relegated to your every day, run-of-the-mill Super Special Moves? Can he enter Max Mode and perform unlimited EX Moves for the duration? Only time will tell.