A breakdown of Minecraft’s Steve, Alex, Zombie and Enderman for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
After the surprise reveal of the Minecraft crew as Smash’s latest DLC character, developer Masahiro Sakurai gave us a full rundown of the new character in a full “Mr. Sakurai Presents” presentation. He’s still quarantining at home, and he mentioned that online development has entered a few interesting hitches into the process. As such, the stuff he shows off is not necessarily going to be reflective of the final build of Steve, just what they have so far.
So let’s take a look at Minecraft in Smash.
Overall movement and aesthetics
As you may have noticed, Steve doesn’t animate all that much. His walk cycle is identical to the walk cycle in Minecraft. He doesn’t have a low crouch and tilting the control stick up or down will make him look up or down. His taunts are all emotes from Minecraft including simple player-made ones. One of his taunts, however, is him eating a steak.
He has one of the lowest jump heights in the game. He cannot even reach a battlefield platform without using a double jump. In fact, his normal jump is lower than the short hops of most characters. This is because his normal jump is keyed to a single Minecraft block height. His double jump goes much further but, of course, that means you’ll use up your double jump earlier when playing Steve.
Steve has two additional color variations based on costumes you can wear in Minecraft, blonde with a headband, and red-haired with a kilt. Alex also has two additional color variations, dark-skinned black hair with a headband, and blonde-haired with her hair covered. Zombie and Enderman make up the last few color variations. Even though Enderman’s limbs are thinner than Steve’s his hitbox will be identical.
Steve has a special animation for parrying which brings out a shield from Minecraft. If he is put to sleep, he actually lays on a Minecraft bed.
Also, swallowing Steve with Kirby turns him into a voxel Kirby and it’s just the cutest thing.
Steve’s neutral A works a lot like Mega Man’s. Which is to say, they are both the same attack, it’s just that he can use one while moving. This attack is the basic Minecraft weapon swing, in this case, a sword. He can run and jump all while swinging.
Steve’s ledge attack and get-up attack are sword swings as well.
Steve also has access to the ax which can be swung by tilting up and holding A. It’s an upward swing, similar to looking up while attacking in Minecraft. Steve can also continuously do this by holding a button, freeing up his controls to move. His up tilt and up air are identical.
Steve’s dash attack brings out a pickaxe. Once again it’s very similar to his other swings, though it has slightly more range. He also brings out the pickaxe for his forward and back aerial attacks, and while they have a similar arc, speed, and hit-box, the forward swing has a spike effect while the backward swing has high knockback.
All of Steve’s weapons have durability. Use them too much and they will break, leaving him barehanded which reduces his range and attack power.
Steve also has a few attacks that don’t utilize his tools. Down tilt sets a small fire in front of him using flint and steel. It has a very large disjointed hitbox and will be a very useful spacing tool. It also blocks projectiles and slightly falls when done over a ledge, making it a good edge guarding tool.
His up smash places a magma block over his head which he then mines. It lasts a long time, but he is forced to go through the mining animation every time he uses it, which means he is left vulnerable from the front. It has low knockback but high damage and is good for going through platforms.
The down smash uses a lava bucket and dumps lava to the left and right. It’s rather slow, but it has one of the lowest launch arcs in the game, which makes it easy to kill characters with poor horizontal recovery.
Steve’s down air is an anvil. It immediately changes his aerial trajectory to a straight fall, similar to Kirby’s rock attack. It’s also one of his most powerful moves, with, once again, a low trajectory arc to its knockback. It can also hit people who are hanging on a ledge. Unlike Kirby’s stone, you can cancel partway through to jumps or other attacks.
Steve’s grab is a tether grab that uses a fishing rod. It has a very long-range, longer than most other tethers, and fires in an arc which allows him to grab opponents slightly above or below him. Once grabbed, Steve puts his opponent into a fence before his pummels or throws.
Back throw is a very high trajectory throw with a lot of power, though the high angle will make it hard to kill. It’s actually one of Steve’s only high trajectory attacks. His forward and up throws use pistons. His forward throw, once again, launches the enemy at a very low angle though it has less power than the back through. The up throw launches the opponent straight up.
Steve’s down throw is an anvil if you have any iron on you. It hits the opponent hard and has good knockback and a decent trajectory. If you don’t have any iron it’s just a small weak bonk on the head, though this too could be used for combos.
How do you get iron?
Specials – Mining and Crafting
Steve’s neutral B special is… well… Minecraft. When used on the ground it allows him to mine the stage for materials. Any time you use Steve, a crafting table will show up on your stage. Pressing B near the crafting table will power up the weapons he holds. They will upgrade in order of Wood, Stone, Iron, Gold, and Diamond, however, he will need materials in order to do so. Finally, using neutral B in-air will create a block, which you will then stand on.
The speed at which you mine and the materials you get from mining will change depending on where you are mining. This means that Steve gets different materials at different speeds in every section of every stage of the game and each of these materials has a different use. PHEW!
It’s worth noting that Final Destination and Battlefield style stages don’t use this rule but instead give materials at a set rate and rarity. Also, Steve only has limited item storage, so mining past your capacity will just chuck items away.
When crafting items you will always craft a full set of items at the highest grade possible. Upgraded weapons all have their own properties. Gold weapons and tools move very fast but have low durability. Meanwhile, diamond weapons and tools have high durability and hit like a truck.
Both you and the opponent can break the crafting table by attacking it, and doing so is a good way to disable Steve’s abilities. However, it will respawn after a certain amount of time. You can also force it to respawn or summon it to your position by pressing the special button while shielding. You cannot summon it while dodging. Multiple Minecraft characters can use each other’s crafting tables.
Steve’s create block special will do just that, create a block that acts as part of the stage. Creating blocks will always use your cheapest materials first as opposed to upgrading which always uses your most expensive materials first. Holding the button while walking or jumping will continue to craft blocks as you move. Blocks slowly break over time and break quicker if you stand on them, are launched into them, attack them, or jump into them.
Blocks made of better materials will take longer to break. You can use blocks to stop recoveries, change your momentum mid-air, or even to create platforms to chase the opponent off stage with. There is a small bounding box around each stage though, that prevents you from creating blocks too far out in order to stall the game. Also, the further away from a stage you build your blocks, the quicker they break.
How do you manage all your materials? Steve has a bar over his head in the U.I. which will tell you which materials you have in your inventory from cheapest to most expensive. Dirt is all the way on the left of the meter and iron is on the right. Iron is also broken up into small pips which can be used on a number of iron enhanced moves. Diamond and gold are kept separate from the meter, as they will never be used for blocks. There is one material that is not shown on the gauge and that’s redstone.
Steve’s side special is the minecart. It uses iron to bring out the cart and your other materials to craft rails. If you have gold and redstone available you will create powered rails that will turn the minecart into a very dangerous attack and will allow you to speed across the stage. Normal rails let you move at a decent speed but can’t be used to climb up hills.
If you are out of materials the minecart will skid along the ground to a stop on level terrain, but can still use gravity to attack on hills. If you jump out of a minecart and it touches an opponent, they will get grabbed and stuck inside. This can lead to some cheap kills by sending them off platforms. They can mash to get out but will be stuck inside longer if they have high damage.
Steve’s up special is the Elytra, a combination rocket pack, and glider wings. You can launch it at any angle and then control your descent by adjusting your angle further. Pull up too far and you’ll stall. It has a hitbox on the initial launch but not on the following glide.
Steve’s down special is TNT, which is crafted using low-quality materials. It explodes after a certain amount of time and can be set to explode faster by attacking it. The explosion can damage Steve as well. If you have redstone you can build a redstone circuit by using down special again which will then let the TNT be remotely detonated by a pressure plate. Opponents can also step on the plate, making it a good trap if you put the TNT and the plate on top of each other. If two characters are caught in a pressure plate explosion, the character that stepped on the pressure plate will be launched less far. Fire-based attacks will also ignite the TNT instantly as will firearms. Finally, Minecarts can set off pressure plates remotely.
Steve’s final smash is another in the long line of cinematic final smashes. He fires out a piston and, if it hits, it sends you into a big house full of creepers and TNT boxes which then explodes. It’s fairly basic. It’s important to note that only one character can get hit by the final smash. Though the initial piston hit can hit multiple people, only one will get the increased knockback from the explosion.
Stage – Minecraft World
Appropriately enough, Steve’s Minecraft World stage is randomly generated. It can choose between six different biomes and will generate different stage elements depending on which biome the game picks.
The plains biome features grasslands and a village with villagers. There is a day-night cycle which will show monsters coming out in the background and villagers retreating to their homes. It can generate small structures including bales of hay and half-finished houses. All objects can be broken, leaving the stage flat. They do not regenerate.
The birch forest biome can generate trees and varying platform heights. It will show wildlife grazing in the background. If the trees are broken they will reveal floating platforms.
The savannah is similar, except its flatter, and grows acacia trees. Breaking these trees will reveal slightly longer floating platforms.
The taiga has much more variance in height and conifer trees can grow. There are also several breakable blocks that can be mined for extra resources.
The tundra has an igloo in the center and two floating platforms to each side. The igloo is breakable and it too provides additional materials.
Finally, there is the stone shore biome which piles up stones in the middle of the stage with a ceiling.
Once each stage’s elements have been broken down, Minecraft World always has the same underlying structure in terms of harvestable materials and they are always in the same place. The Final Destination and Battlefield versions of the stage do not change biomes.
As is the case with every character pack, Minecraft Steve comes with a bunch of extra additions to the game as well. For example, he comes with a new DLC spirit board featuring spirits such as Zombies, Creepers, Skeletons, Slimes, Endermen, Villagers, Iron Golems, Ghasts, Piglins, and more.
Steve will also have his own classic route which will be themed around Minecraft enemies.
Unfortunately, original music from Minecraft could not be included. It was just too mellow. Instead, they chose tracks from spin-offs and mini-games that fit better in a fighting game context, including Minecraft Earth and Minecraft Dungeons. Seven new tracks will be included including:
- Clockwork Crafter
- Toys on a Tear
- Dance of the Blocks
- The Arch-illager
All of these tracks are new arrangements except for Clockwork Crafter. These tracks will also change in tone as the Minecraft World stage changes from day to night.
Pricing, release date, and additional DLC
Challenger Pack 7 will release on October 13 for $5.99. If you have fighter pass two you will automatically receive Steve for free.
Several new Minecraft themed costumes will also be made available for Mii Fighters. The Brawler will receive a creeper costume and a Pig costume, and the Swordfighter will get a full diamond armor set costume. In addition, Swordfighter will be getting a Gil costume from Tower of Drauga and a Travis Touchdown costume from No More Heroes while the Brawler will be getting a Bomberman costume. They will all be available on October 13 for 75 cents each. Does this mean Bomberman and Travis won’t be entered as DLC fighters?
OF COURSE NOT! Nothing makes sense anymore. Anyone could enter the game!
The next Smash amiibos will be Banjo and Kazooie, male Byleth, and Terry Bogard which will be available in 2021.
Finally, Smash has now sold more than 20 million copies worldwide, solidifying its station as the best-selling fighting game ever.