Simon and Richter, two vampire hunters from Konami’s Castlevania series, are coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. That’s cool. What’s not cool is the way Nintendo chose to tell fans—by having Death itself rip the soul from Luigi’s body.
Earlier today, Nintendo held a press conference to announce some more features coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It was a great video with a lot of information about the colorful fighting game, which Nintendo will release on December 7. The game will have more than 300 levels, more than 800 music tracks, and more characters than any other game in the franchise.
Which is great, but fans had a hard time processing all the good news while still coming down from the trauma of watching the literal Grim Reaper pull the soul out of Luigi’s body. The video opens with Luigi creeping through a mansion hunting ghosts, an activity he’s known for since the masterpiece Luigi's Mansion for the GameCube. He’s scared, sure, but Luigi can handle himself.
Our green plumber launches a plunger at a mummy. It slides off. The audience laughs. It’s all in good fun. Then an imposing Grim Reaper shows up and unceremoniously rips Luigi’s soul from his body. For a moment, Death’s eyes glint with pale fire as he works the remnants of the Green One’s soul between his bony fingers. Then Simon shows up and starts kicking Death’s ass.
It was a traumatic way to introduce the fan base to new Smash characters. I’m all for playing with Castelvania’s vampire hunters, but I was more interested in learning what happened to Luigi than I was learning about Smash Bros. at that point. Thankfully, the segment ends with the spirit of Luigi, freed from Death’s embrace, carefully lowering himself back into his body.
The only thing worse would have been Nintendo announcing Waluigi as a playable character.