Luigi has seen his share of spooks in haunted mansions, but Wednesday’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Nintendo Direct was the first time he’d literally faced death. Luckily, Castlevania series star Simon Belmont was on hand to save the mascot’s harvested soul.
Simon, who has starred in Castlevania games ranging all the way back to the 1986 original on NES, will wield his famous whip in the new game. The inclusion of Simon and fellow vampire hunter Richter Belmont as playable characters in Ultimate was the first of many reveals packed into the half-hour Direct presentation, hosted by Smash series creator Masahiro Sakurai.
The other highlight of the event was the addition of Donkey Kong’s villainous crocodile King K. Rool, who first appeared in Donkey Kong Country on the Super Nintendo in 1994. Sakurai also revealed two other playable characters during the Direct: Fire Emblem’s Chrom (an echo fighter of Roy) and Metroid’s Dark Samus (an echo fighter of Samus).
In addition to playable characters, Sakurai detailed information on new stages, assist trophies, items, and game modes. There are currently 103 maps planned for Ultimate, including the newly added Dracula’s Castle from Castlevania and New Donk City Hall from Super Mario Odyssey. There will also be a feature called Stage Morph that allows players to select two stages for a single match.
Freshly announced assist trophies include some beloved characters like Knuckles from the Sonic universe, and some terrifying foes like the moon from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask and a Rathalos from the Monster Hunter franchise.
Another welcome addition is the inclusion of a structured Tourney mode, so players in larger groups can spend less time making brackets and more time competing. Other new modes include Squad Strike, in which players choose three or five characters to cycle through in a match, and Smashdown, a mode in which previously selected fighters can no longer be picked by any player in subsequent matches.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be released Dec. 7 on Switch.