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Sora was added to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate because of a chance encounter at an award venue says Masahiro Sakurai

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • October 20, 2021 at 10:12 a.m. PDT • Comments: 5

Sora is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Many thought it was impossible. I know that I was one of those people that didn't think this would ever happen.

Masahiro Sakurai's latest entry in the Famitsu Column talks about the process of putting Sora into Smash. Translations of the column have been handled by PushDustin and Kody Nokolo.

From a Japanese perspective, it was surprising to see Banjo-Kazooie and Sora ranked so highly on the Smash Ballot that happened between the reveals of Street Fighter's Ryu and Final Fantasy's Cloud as DLC challengers in Super Smash Bros. 4.

As noted in the last presentation for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Kingdom Hearts' Sora was the most popular newcomer on the Smash Ballot. Of course, this does imply that certain veterans may have ranked even higher than Sora considering Sakurai's consistent word choice here.

However, it seems that Sakurai was not surprised about the barriers of getting Sora into Smash. Sakurai notes that the process was different from getting permissions for other characters.

Despite Sora's popularity on the Smash Ballot, Sakurai deemed this as highly unlikely. When Bayonetta was revealed for Super Smash Bros. 4, Sakurai stated that she was the overall number 1 choice worldwide "among the negotiable and realizable" characters.

It seems that Sakurai wasn't alone in thinking that Sora's inclusion would be extremely difficult. The team involved in negotiations for Super Smash Bros. very likely also thought the same.

However, fate would smile on Sora fans when Masahiro Sakurai had a chance encounter with a Disney representative a certain award venue. The Disney representative was receptive to the idea of Sora joining Smash's roster.

Not surprisingly, this meeting wasn't necessarily enough to make Sora a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. If the higher ups felt differently, then the talks to get Sora in would be for nothing.

Careful negotiations had to happen between Square Enix, Nintendo and Disney to make it all happen. Eventually, the impossible was made possible.

It seems that the Fighters Pass Vol. 2 was originally planned to only have 5 characters, just like the first Fighters Pass. All 5 challengers — Min Min, Steve, Sephiroth, Pyra & Mythra and Kazuya Mishima — had already been planned out already.

Since Sora's chances had suddenly skyrocketed with the talks between Square Enix, Nintendo and Disney, the number of challenger packs for Fighters Pass Vol. 2 was increased to 6. The existence of Challenger Pack 11 really ended up being an extra treat for fans.

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