Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is an entry in the Super Smash Bros. series of fighting games, featuring the return of every playable character from the previous games. It also includes many stages, songs, and items from the series' past, alongside many new features. It was released on the Nintendo Switch in 2018, and was developed by Bandai Namco and Sora, Ltd.
The Summit stage, based on the NES game Ice Climber and introduced in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, returns in Ultimate. Like in its original appearance, the Summit of the mountain will eventually break off and slide into a lake, where players run the risk of getting eaten by the Balloon Fish if they stay in or near the water too long. If it comes up, it will jump up and swallow the player instantly before dragging them under the water and KO'ing them. The Balloon Fish is fully modeled in a 3D realistic style, but matches the color scheme from in-game in Balloon Fight on the NES.
This game includes the return of the playable fighter Villager, the main character from Animal Crossing who was introduced to the Super Smash Bros. series in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS. For Villager's Up Special move, they can fly using a helmet with Balloons, much like the Balloon Fighter. This move is named "Balloon Trip," according to the in-game tips, and is a direct reference to Balloon Fight, likely because it was one of the NES games featured as unlockable bonuses in the first Animal Crossing game. The helmet and Balloons' color is based on which number the player is or whether they are computer-controlled. Player one is red, two is blue, three is yellow, four is green, five is orange, six is cyan, seven is pink, and eight is purple. If the character is controlled by the computer, it will be gray.
New to this game is the playable fighter Isabelle, who is from Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Her moveset is based off of the Villager's, including the Balloon Trip recovery, which retains the name despite being altered. Unlike the Villager, Isabelle's version involves her riding a swing suspended by two bunny-shaped Balloons.
Balloon Fight Stage
Returning from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS is a stage which is directly modeled after the NES version of Balloon Fight, simply called Balloon Fight. The stage is randomly generated, featuring an assortment of several platforms, clouds, and Propellers. Stalactites in the stage are destructible, unlike the original 3DS version. If players stay close to the water for too long, the Balloon Fish will grab them. Once caught in the Fish's mouth, they can mash buttons to struggle free or else they will be dragged underwater and be KO'd. Occasionally, a cloud may shoot out a Spark which will bounce around the screen. Unlike most stages in this game, the player can walk off the edge of the screen to appear on the other side. However, if they are launched by an attack, the wraparound effect will not save them.
Returning from Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is a stage based on Game & Wario named "Gamer." In this stage, just like in its original appearance, there is a small chance of the Balloon Fighter game system appearing as a background element. It is modeled after the Balloon Fight Game & Watch but features an animation of the Balloon Fighter flying. The screen occasionally becomes a hazard on the stage, as 5-Volt can appear in the screen and damage the players.
One of the new features in this entry is the Spirit Board and the World of Light adventure mode. In these modes, the player fights "spirits" of characters in battles where the criteria and settings reflect that character. Two of these spirits are based on Balloon Fight, the Balloon Fighter and Fish, using images which are taken from the Famicom version's box art.
The objective of this battle is to defeat four Villagers on the Balloon Fight stage within 1 minute, 30 seconds. The song used is the Balloon Fight Medley. The Villagers all favor using their Up Special move, Balloon Trip, and have increased jump power. The Balloon Fighter spirit itself is a two-star (advanced) support spirit which takes up one slot and grants extra jump height. He is number 1,124 in the spirit catalog.
In this battle, the player must defeat King Dedede on the Balloon Fight stage within 1 minute, 30 seconds. This fight also uses the Balloon Fight Medley. King Dedede uses a blue color scheme and favors using his Inhale attack, which also has increased power. The Fish spirit is a grab-type two-star (advanced) primary spirit which has no upgradable slots and increases the player's weakness to Electricity-based attacks. It is number 1,125 in the spirit catalog.
Over the lifetime of the game, there would be events where certain spirits became common on the Spirit Board. There were also events which would be tourneys, featuring specific fighters, stages, and rules. Several of these included the aforementioned Balloon Fight features:
- Classics! (1/4/2019-1/7/2019)
- Featured spirits from Famicom and Famicom Disk System games, and included a screenshot of Phase 2 and the Balloon Fighter in the promotional picture.
- Included the Balloon Fighter as a randomly appearing spirit.
- Making a Splash (6/7/2019-6/10/2019)
- Featured aquatic spirits.
- Includes the Fish as a randomly appearing spirit.
- Bringing Back the '80s (12/13/2019-12/16/2019)
- A tourney featuring characters and stages which were created in the 1980s.
- The Balloon Fight stage is featured.
- Free Four All (7/24/2020-7/27/2020)
- A tourney featuring characters and stages introduced in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
- The Villager, Balloon Fight stage, and Gamer stage are all featured.
- Bigmouthed Mayhem (8/202021-8/23/2021)
- Features spirits with large mouths.
- Includes the Fish as a randomly appearing spirit.
- The Balloon Fight series is given an icon of two Balloons, which is only used on the Balloon Fight stage. For unknown reasons, the two Balloon Fight themed spirits are not associated with this icon, and instead have no icon at all, despite many other Spirits having the most applicable icon associated with them.
- As with many previous games, the Balloon Fight music is simply listed in the "Other" category, allowing it to be played on stages which aren't part of otherwise largely represented series, such as Summit, Hanenbow, Balloon Fight, Living Room, Find Mii, Tomodachi Life, PictoChat 2, Duck Hunt, Wrecking Crew, Pilotwings, Wuhu Island, Battlefield, Small Battlefield, Big Battlefield, and Final Destination.