72 days since the presentation and release of Sephiroth as a fighter, Sakurai has showcased the upcoming fighting duo of Pyra and Mythra from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 as the next downloadable fighter for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Contrary to his previous presentation, Sakurai presented Pyra and Mythra within the confines of his home once again. A state of emergency had been declared in Japan due to the coronavirus pandemic at the time that this presentation was recorded, which prevented Sakurai from being able to visit his studio to record.
The Pyra and Mythra duo is the second representative of the Xenoblade Chronicles series after Shulk, who was released as a fighter in Super Smash Bros. 4. While Shulk originates from the original Xenoblade Chronicles game, Pyra and Mythra are from its sequel. Even though Rex is the main character of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Sakurai noted that it's already chaotic with 8 Ice Climbers battling at once, so he opted for Pyra / Mythra who were much easier to create.
As they appear in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Pyra and Mythra have a gimmick similar to how the characters Sheik and Zelda functioned in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl; in other words, both sets of characters were able to swap between themselves during the course of the game by using their respective down special moves. Sheik and Zelda were expanded to have their own character slot each in later games, and could no longer switch between themselves. However, Pyra and Mythra now inherit this ability after it was absent during Super Smash Bros. 4.
Pyra and Mythra have generally similar movesets in Ultimate, but with differences in speed and damage output, as well as a difference in special moves. Mythra is all about attack speed and agility, being able to perform their moves quite quickly while sacrificing high damage output in her moves. On the flipside, Pyra is slower both in the air and on the ground, and does not have as many options for recovery as Mythra does. The main advantage that Pyra has over Mythra is that her moves deal more damage and have higher potential for KOing opponents. While sticking to just one of the characters is certainly viable, swapping between the two wherever and whenever they are needed can allow players to take advantage of both of their strengths and weaknesses.
The stage that arrives with Pyra / Mythra is called Cloud Sea of Alrest. In its standard form, the battling will take place on Gramps, the Titan that initially serves as Rex's home while he works as a Salvager, and before he eventually meets Pyra and becomes a Driver. Gramps will occasionally move his head in different directions, which changes the layout of the stage and can have ramifications on recovering if unprepared for them. The stage also features guest appearances from other characters from Xenoblade Chronicles 2, as well as other Titans from the game roaming in the background. The battlefield and omega versions of this stage feature a floating platform with engines, as Sakurai didn't want to shrink Gramps to meet his needs.
With Pyra and Mythra's inclusion comes a new assortment of songs from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 that can be played on any stage from the Xenoblade Chronicles series, being Gaur Plains and Cloud Sea of Alrest. With this in mind, songs from Xenoblade Chronicles 1 can also be played on Cloud Sea of Alrest. The 16 new songs that arrive with Pyra / Mythra (with remixes denoted with asterisks) are:
- *Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Medley
- A Ship in a stormy Sea
- Crossing Swords
- *Tiger! Tiger!
- Death Match with Torna
- You Will Recall Our Names
- Driver Vs
- Mor Ardain - Roaming the Wastes -
- Bringer of Chaos! Ultimate
- Praetor Amalthus - The Acting God -
This update will also bring 4 new downloadable Mii Fighter Costumes available to be purchased, being:
- Hunter Equipment (Swordfighter, from Monster Hunter)
- Rathalos Equipment (Swordfighter, from Monster Hunter)
- Felyne (Hat, from Monster Hunter)
- Arthur (Swordfighter, from Ghosts and Goblins)
Pyra and Mythra will launch later today, March 4th, for $5.99 USD.