When Sora was announced as the final fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the impossible became possible. The good people at Nintendo celebrated that feeling with a single frame, introducing the character without even needing to see Sora’s face: the silver Mickey Mouse keychain on Sora’s Keyblade. As central as Disney elements are to Kingdom Hearts, will any of them besides this single Mickey Mouse keychain make it into Smash Ultimate?
Judging by the final Mr. Sakurai Presents, the answer is a resounding no. Sora is the protagonist from Kingdom Hearts, the miraculous merging of two very different worlds: Disney and Square Enix’s Final Fantasy. Cloud and Sephiroth — two Final Fantasy characters who also appear in Kingdom Hearts — are already in Ultimate as fighters. On the other hand, Sora’s two Disney uncle-types, Goofy and Donald, will not be making cameos. However, the Square Enix-original characters, like Riku and Roxas, are available as both Spirits and in the background of the new stage.
Although game director Masahiro Sakurai never said the words “Disney” or “Mickey,” he admitted that even he was shocked that Sora is in Smash, and he alluded to a large amount of negotiation and work it took to get him there. Considering Square Enix is already present in Smash, it doesn’t take a giant leap of the imagination to guess which party needed to be negotiated with.
However, Nintendo found satisfying ways of honoring Kingdom Hearts while keeping The Mouse out of it. For example, Sakurai still got to say the word “Maleficient” while discussing the new stage, Hollow Bastion, which was carefully modeled after the ending of the first Kingdom Hearts game.
This Disney absence extends to the song list as well. “It didn’t seem appropriate to use music that’s closely linked with specific worlds in the original game,” said Sakurai. “So we opted to use central themes from the series.” This means nine songs from Yoko Shimomura’s iconic score will make it into Smash. It also means you will not deliver a final blow to King K. Rool underscored by “Under the Sea” or “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.”
While a Goofy, Donald, or Mickey cameo in Smash Bros. would have made the internet collapse in excitement, it’s understandable why it couldn’t happen. Sora being in Smash is a beautiful miracle in and of itself.