ESPORTSREPORTER.COM / DANTE SRILAPA – SENIOR EDITOR / DECEMBER 18, 2020 /
Hide yo’ kids, hide yo’ wives, and for Odin’s sake, please hide Aerith this time. Sephiroth is back in town, and this time he’s here to put an end to more than just Cloud. He’s here to beat the crap out of the entire Super Smash Bros. Ultimate cast.
That’s right. Your favorite animated Japanese edge-lord villain, who may have awoken certain “preferences” in some of you, is the latest DLC fighter. Welcome to Midgar, again.
Sephiroth created an enormous amount of buzz upon the announcement of his arrival. Why? Because he’s an incredibly cool character, as well as one that no one really expected to be in Smash. Tons of fans may have hoped for his addition to the roster, but there was no way anyone would have known for sure. But now he’s here and I’m gonna to introduce you to the man of the hour, as well as what he can do in this game.
“There was one SOLDIER named Sephiroth, who was better than the rest, but when he found out about the terrible experiments that made him, he began to hate Shinra. And then, over time, he began to hate everything.”
-Marlene Wallace, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children 2006
(If you played any version of Final Fantasy VII or watched anything pertaining to it, go ahead and skip this section.)
Sephiroth is a handsome dude with an insane amount of blood on his hands. He was essentially the Square Enix equivalent to a swordsman Captain America, until he began to read. There is no joke. The ability to read led to him becoming a super villain. The question is why. The answer: because he found out how and why he was created.
He was created by a company called Shinra in order to aid in their studies of beings called the Cetra. They were the original inhabitants of the planet, who were thought to be able to speak to it. Cells from a being called Jenova, who wasn’t a Cetra as believed, were injected into his fetus and he was born a child imbued with her powers. After birth, he was snatched away by Shinra scientists and his mother never even got to hold him.
The scientists realized early on that he had no semblance of the powers they thought they had given him, but he had insane physicality that couldn’t be ignored. So they did what all evil scientists did, they exploited him and turned him into a loyal killing machine. His initiation began an entire super soldier program, aptly named SOLDIER.
To avoid completely re-telling his entire story, which you can read here, I’ll leave it at this. He found out about the experiments that led to his birth and became sickened with his own existence as well as with the people that created him. Believing he is the last ancestor of the Cetra with Jenova as his mother, he sets out to become a God in order to vengefully “reclaim” the world. Cloud, who is a SOLDIER, becomes his adversary and the rest is history.
Alright kids, storytime is over. Time to talk about what he can do in Smash.
Sephiroth is yet another swordsman. His blade is canonically long as hell and this remains true in this game. He can space really well because of it.
Jab: Sephiroth’s jab string is a 3 part combo he kicks twice and then jabs with the hilt of his sword. Not a ton of shield pressure, but it’s very quick.
Side tilt: Sephiroth sweeps his blade in front of him. Lots of push back and range.
Down tilt: Sephiroth slides forward. Covers a decent amount of distance.
Up tilt: Sephiroth stabs his sword straight up.
Side smash: Sephiroth slashes forward, covering a large arc. It begins low and ends up high.
Down smash: Sephiroth stabs his sword down diagonally. Good tool for ledge guarding, as he can do it from a good distance. Launches upwards
Up smash: Sephiroth slashes his sword upwards in an arc, covering a wide area.
Neutral air: Sephiroth snaps and emits a quick energy pulse. Covers a small area around him.
Forward air: Sephiroth stabs his blade forward. Can be used to stick into walls and the stage itself.
Back air: Sephiroth slashes his blade behind him, covering a decent amount of area.
Down air: Sephiroth braces himself for a split second before plunging downwards with his blade. Will spike if the blade makes perfect contact with his opponent. Sour spot hits will launch the opponent away instead. Be careful, because this is a suicide move off stage.
Up air: Sephiroth slashes upwards in an arc.
Neutral special: Flare/Megaflare/Gigaflare. Slow/fast/incredibly slow moving, explosive projectile which changes based on how long it is charged. Gets increasingly powerful going from Flare to Gigaflare. Launch increases too.
Side special: Shadow Flare. One of the more unique moves added to the game. Sephiroth snaps and sends a projectile a short distance, increasing to a longer distance when charged. The opponent is tagged with up to encircling five flares, which will detonate after a set amount of time and hit the opponent one after another. If you know the timing, you can shield in time to prevent getting hit by them after being tagged.
Down special: Scintillia. Sephiroth’s very own counter. Even if he isn’t attacked, the counter will still trigger, dealing increased damage based off of the power of the attack that struck it. However, certain powerful attacks will break through it.
Up special: Blade Dash/Octoslash. Instant cast will give you Blade Dash, a quick directional dash with an incorporated slash. If you hold it, you will instead have Octodash, which does the same with multiple slashes and an opportunity to deal more damage. Octoslash has much more end lag. Both travel a considerable distance in all directions.
Final Smash: Supernova. This is based on the final encounter in Final Fantasy VII and it’s visually breathtaking to a degree. The initial hit is a forward slash. Hit enemies will be launched and will be given a negative status debuff such as, but not limited to, shield break or dizziness.
Grabs: Nothing special to note. None are kill throws, and they don’t really enable him to set up for anything. Up throw can lead to neutral air or up air.
My notes: Sephiroth is hot.
Wait sorry, wrong notes.
Sephiroth is annoying, is what I meant to say. I actually see him as a pretty fair character, but his long ass sword gives him the ability to space effectively. Be prepared to play a rush-down character, or to play around his camp-enabled playstyle. Play around his side special. Knowing when the flares will erupt will prove useful. Don’t play too recklessly and plan to shield (or counter if you can). It will be hard to ledge trump him better than he can ledge trump you, so plan around that too.
Overall, I’m really happy with the character. I haven’t gotten a single DLC character in this game prior to Sephiroth who I have enjoyed, and I spent good money on these damned passes. So hopefully I can have fun with the game again, Masamune in hand. And hopefully you can too.
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