Sakurai comments on Steve from Minecraft and Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII means that his job is never boring due to the dynamics of the game before diving into Sephiroth’s moveset.
Sephiroth Smash Moveset
Sephiroth’s sword, Masamune, has long reach.
Sephiroth himself has a large hitbox, but despite his stature, he is a rather light character.
Only Japanese voice will be in the game, like Cloud.
His black wing will emerge when Sephiroth is in “danger.”
One of the factors for deciding when Winged Form activates is damage, but it is mainly the overall state of a battle. For instance, if Sephiroth has a stock lead against his opponent, then Winged Form will activate at a much higher damage percentage. Being at a stock disadvantage activates Winged Form as low as 30% damage.
Winged form buffs: Increased speed and strength, extra mid air jump, and super armour on Smash attacks
Sephiroth will lose Winged Form if he is KO’d or if he KO’s an enemy.
Sword sweetspot: with some exceptions, Sephiroth’s sword has a sweetspot in the middle of the blade for slash attacks, and on the tip for stab attacks.
Neutral attack: quicker compared to Sephiroth’s other attacks, but still slower than other fighters’ neutral attacks. It consists of two kicks and a jab with the hilt of his sword.
Dash attack: Step forward and attack. Has plenty of launch power.
Side tilt: A quick slashing attack. It can be angled upwards or downwards.
Up tilt: A stabbing upwards attack with hit detection that lasts for a while. It can launch a character directly in front of Sephiroth to launch him/her upwards.
Down tilt: A sliding kick, similar to Joker’s or Simon/Richter’s. Sephiroth crouches really low for this attack, allowing him to dodge certain attacks.
Side Smash: Powerful, long reach, but plenty of delay. It’s a slash attack, so the sweetspot is near the middle.
Up Smash: Wide sweep upwards. Will hit opponents on the ground on either side of Sepiroth due to its wide range.
Down Smash: Downwards stab at towards the ground, sending debris. Debris will not appear if the blade doesn’t hit the ground, such as when used near the ledge.
Neutral air: a quick attack with wide range. One of Sephiroth’s faster moves.
Forward air: a stabbing attack with his sword. Has a unique feature when sued to stab a wall, which allows Sephiroth to stick to it, giving him an extra jump. Useful for mixing up recoveries.
Back air: a backwards slash attack with a wider range than forward air.
Up air: A wide-range cleave.
Down air: Hell’s Fate. It’s a downward dive attack, similar to Toon Link’s down air. It has a meteor effect, but Sephiroth’s momentum will not stop when hitting an opponent. The sword also pierces through the floor, so it is very possible to be hit by it while underneath a platform.
Forward throw: a thrust that sends your opponent flying.
Backward throw: opponent gets teleported behind Sephiroth and then thrown.
Up throw: A sword cleave that sends your opponent upward.
Down throw: Slam your opponent into the ground.
Sephiroth’s throws are weak, much like other sword users, but they might be usable as part of a combo.
Neutral Special: Flare, Megaflare, Gigaflare, depending on the amount of time spent charging. You can cancel the charge up by shielding, but it cannot be stored. Flare travels further with less damage, while Gigaflare travels slowly at shorter range, but results in a giant powerful explosion.
Flare, Megaflare, and Gigaflare can be reflected, absorbed, and pocketed. Since most of the damage comes from the explosion, absorbing the projectile itself won’t heal a lot.
Side Special: Shadow Flare. Narrow blast that can be charged. Upon hitting an opponent, a blast will circle the opponent, which will then detonate after a period of time. Charging up the attack or repeated hits will add more blasts that will circle the opponent, up to 5 in total. If there are more players, the blasts will damage other opponents while they circle their target.
Up Special: Blade Dash – similar to Fox’s Side Special. Sephiroth travels in a straight line in any angle. Charging it up turns it into Octaslash, which adds 8 rapid slashes to the attack. Octaslash has slightly longer range. Blade Dash will snap Sephiroth to the ledge while Octaslash doesn’t.
Down Special: Scintilla – a counter the only protects from the front. Does not reflect project. Will break against strong attacks, resulting in no counterattack, but nullifying the damage. If Sephiroth isn’t attacked during Scintilla, the move will still emit a hitbox, meaning that if an opponent is close enough, they will still get hit even if they don’t attack.
Final Smash: Supernova – Sephiroth transforms into Safer Sephiroth in a cinematic Final Smash that destroys planets. Applies different effects to opponent hit by it, such as reversed controls, shield break, flower, launch, etc.
Cloud also gets a new Final Smash that only differs aesthetically. Omnislash Ver. 5 is used by Cloud’s even-numbered costumes.
The stage included in Sephiroth’s DLC pack is Northern Cave. It has a simple layout with a background that depicts a series of events from the end of Final Fantasy VII. The full showcase of the stage is better experienced as a video. You can watch the Sakurai presentation starting at the stage showcase here.
Sephiroth’s Classic Mode is a series of boss fights. Sephiroth fights, in order, against Rathalos, Galleom, Marx, Dracula, Ganon, Giga Bowser, and finally, Master Hand and Crazy Hand.
Sephiroth’s DLC pack will include nine new songs: (* = New Arrangement)
Opening – Bombing Mission*
Those who Fight (AC Version)
Those who Fight Further (AC Version)
Main Theme of FINAL FANTASY VII JENOVA*
Advent: One-Winged Angel
Sakurai mentions the copyright challenges they face with adding characters in the game, which is why Final Fantasy VII only had two tracks.
From December 17th up until Sephiroth’s release, there will be a Sephiroth challenge, giving him a special spotlight as a boss character. Sephiroth Challenge is limited time mode where you fight Sephiroth is as a boss. Completing this mode will allow Sephiroth to be playable before his release date. Take note that this mode is only available to anyone who has already purchased the Fighter’s Pass Vol. 2 or Sephiroth’s Fighter Pack.
The mode comes in 3 difficulties: Easy, Normal, and Very Hard. Sakurai has stated that their original plan was to prevent players from using Sephiroth until the release date if they failed the mode, but they have decided to scrap the idea, likely to encourage people to try out the mode in Very Hard difficulty.
Sephiroth’s official release is on December 23rd, one day before Christmas Eve, but players who finish the challenge can play him now.
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