Nintendo wasted no time adding continued hype to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate by revealing Joker as the first DLC fighter on launch day. Series creator Masahiro Sakurai had already confirmed five DLC packages but the first announcement comes sooner than expected.
Joker, the protagonist of the Persona 5 series, will be the first new character to join Smash. Piranha Plant isn’t expected to join the roster until early February. So it’s unlikely we’ll be seeing Joker anytime soon but he will be join the cast alongside a new Persona 5 stage.
For those unfamiliar, we’ve taken the liberty of dissecting this announcement into everything you need to know.
Who Is Joker?
Joker is the codename for the central protagonist in Persona 5. He has no official name since the player is allowed to create their own character name in the game. But he has been canonically referred to as Akira Kurusu and Ren Amamiya in the corresponding manga and anime.
A regular school student until he awakens his Persona powers and founds the vigilante group Phantom Thieves Of Hearts. Over the course of the game, Joker recruits others to his cause to wage war with the evil that has invaded Tokyo.
The game is actually the sixth instalment in the Persona franchise, which is itself a part of the larger Megami Tensei. The long-running RPG series goes all the way back to Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei in 1987. Encompassing an astounding 27 different platforms as well as broaching other media like anime.
Persona 5 was the most successful entry in the series winning multiple RPG of the year awards. Some even considered it the 2nd best release of the year behind Nintendo’s juggernauts Breath Of The Wild. Joker will now be completing the switch to another Nintendo series it seems by joining Smash.
Potential Moveset and Persona 5 Stage
As mentioned each character will come with their own stage and soundtrack, meaning we’ll also get a Persona 5 stage. The in-game world is based off real-world Tokyo so there are a number of great locations to choose. If we had to guess right now though we’d go for the Shujin Academy.
The school is where the game begins and serves as a landing point throughout with each of the characters being high school students. Probably one of the simpler stage designs with the Academy providing a backdrop to the action.
Joker’s go-to attacks in Persona 5 feature melee weapons and guns which could make up his basic moves. Joker also possesses the power of the Wild Card which allows him to use various elemental powers. Bufu (ice), Agi (fire), Zio (electricity), Garu (wind) will likely be utilised as heavy attacks. For a Final Smash, he could call on the Phantom Thieves for a combined attack similar to Megaman’s attack.
What it Could Mean for Persona 5 and Switch
Smash has often been used to promote new and upcoming games and that could be the case here. Persona 5 is currently a PlayStation exclusive but the inclusion of Joker could point to a possible Switch port.
Joker is set to make his Nintendo debut already though with the upcoming Persona Q2: New Cinema Labrinth a 3DS exclusive. The game is already out in Japan but will not reach Western audiences until next year. There is also a new Shin Megami release for Switch coming out in the new year so this could be an extension of that blossoming relationship.
With Persona 5 being deemed the best in the series so far it would still be considered a smart move to develop a Switch version. Smash would provide an accessible platform to attract new fans to the series as well, so don’t rule out a subsequent release.