Nintendo rarely makes timely choices when it comes to selecting new characters for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but if ever there was a chance to delight fans, it's right now – by adding Tifa from Final Fantasy VII Remake as part of the Fighters Pass 2. After the upcoming Arms character is released in June, the next character should be released by early autumn. Could it possibly be Tifa?
Here's why she would be oh-so-perfect — and why it actually seems possible.
Final Fantasy VII Remake launched for PlayStation 4 on April 10, and it'll introduce (or reintroduce) millions of gamers to characters like Cloud Strife — who's already in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with his massive Buster Sword — and his closest friend Tifa Lockhart, a mixed martial artist who packs a punch. (Yes, I went there.)
In FF7 Remake, Tifa is fast, acrobatic, and powerful but lacks the range, weight, or defenses that would make her overpowered in a game like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. In other words, she'd be the perfect candidate, and unlike anyone else in the current roster.
New Smash characters are chosen via a literal popularity contest — Smash Ultimate game director Masahiro Sakurai revealed in previous interviews that new fighters are selected as a result of "a character popularity poll both domestically and internationally." He added that a character had to be "unique" enough to warrant inclusion from a gameplay standpoint. "We also research games that are currently being developed," he said. "After that, it's pretty much up to us, with a touch of convenience."
Tifa is a fan-favorite Final Fantasy character that would bring unique skills to the fight, and she's relevant as a star in the ongoing Remake series. The precedent of Cloud already being in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate only makes this seem that much more possible.
Some rumors from February claimed that Nintendo wanted to include more Square Enix characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but Disney Japan prevented Kingdom Hearts protagonist Sora from being considered. We're now so far away from Final Fantasy XV's release that there's no way Noctis would be a candidate. If more Final Fantasy characters are possible, then who better than Tifa?
Nintendo sometimes picks characters for business reasons — When Nintendo added Byleth to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate earlier this year, it felt like a smart business decision that also helped promote Fire Emblem: Three Houses, a Nintendo game that from summer 2019.
The last thing most fans wanted was yet another character with a sword, let alone another Fire Emblem character.
“I understand [that] there are too many [Fire Emblem] characters and there are also too many sword users,” Sakurai said in February 2020. “But it has been decided like that so I just proceed as is [and] since there are so many sword users, I [brought] in tactics exclusive to each fighter.” The implication is that Sakurai doesn't always get final say in what characters get added to the game, and that Nintendo sometimes makes the choices for business rather than practical balance reasons.
Nintendo should capitalize on the release of Final Fantasy VII Remake and hype around future installments by adding Tifa at some point later this year. For all we know, this has been part of the plan for years.
"The new additions have already been decided," Sakurai said during the Byleth announcement in January. "Even if I receive many requests regarding potential candidates on Twitter, I'm afraid it would be very hard to consider them. But I still hope you'll look forward to it."
Nintendo and Sakurai previously reached agreements with Square Enix character designer and FF7 Remake Tetsuya Nomura to include Cloud in Super Smash Bros., so it's possible that similar deals have been in the works for quite some time.
What could Tifa's moveset be like in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate? The explanation is obvious: Her character model would be similar in size to Zero Suit Samus, and her moveset would resemble a mix of Little Mac and Mii Brawler with Cloud's Limit Charge down special move (which is already identical to Little Mac's Power Meter). Maybe throw in some Captain Falcon maneuvers for good measure.
You can basically create a fake version of Tifa using Mii Brawler already if you build the Mii and select the following Special moves.
- Flashing Mach Punch — Neutral Special
- Onslaught — Side Special
- Thrust Uppercut — Up Special
- Feint Jump — Down Special
If this wish never comes true, the Mii Brawler might be the closest we can get. But when you stop to remember that the next fighter added after the upcoming Arms character will be Fighter 77. Tifa from FF7 couldn't be more perfect.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighters Pass 2 is now available for pre-purchase.