How Smash Bros. Sora Stage Censors Disney Characters – Screen Rant

Sora was recently added as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s final DLC fighter, but the imagery in his stage has been altered to omit Disney characters.
As a part of Challenger Pack 11, Sora from Kingdom Hearts will join Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as the game’s final DLC fighter. In addition, a stage based on Hollow Bastion from Kingdom Hearts will be included, which will reference a number of franchise characters. However, the stage’s imagery has been censored from its original state to exclude Disney characters.
Sora’s stage is an important location in multiple Kingdom Hearts titles. Unlike some of the series’ worlds, which are modelled after existing Disney movies, Hollow Bastion is a location original to Kingdom Hearts and appears in Smash Ultimate without revealing any specific Disney properties. Still, it is when the stage background shifts to the Dive to the Heart setting that certain key visuals are changed.
Related: Smash Bros.: Every Sora Fighter Costume, Ranked Worst To Best
Smash Ultimate borrows visuals from Kingdom Hearts for use in Sora’s Hollow Bastion stage, but they are specifically altered to remove Disney characters. In Kingdom Hearts II, the Dive to the Heart location contains a depiction of Sora surrounded by his closest friends and companions. Included among these individuals are Donald Duck and Goofy, two major characters who journey alongside Sora throughout the Kingdom Hearts series. However, their likenesses are omitted in Smash Ultimate‘s version of the image and replaced by the Highwind raft and a Paopu Fruit, two significant items from the prologue of the first Kingdom Hearts game. Sora’s friends Riku and Kairi appear in both versions of the image, as do the other Kingdom Hearts original characters featured within the Smash Ultimate stage.
This censorship of Disney characters is in line with Smash Bros. Ultimate‘s precedent of only including video game characters. All characters that have appeared in Smash Bros. games, be they fighters, assist trophies or cameos, have all originated in video games. While the topic of adding Marvel characters to Smash, or characters from franchises like Dragon Ball Z, has been discussed among fans for years, no such non-video game characters have appeared. As characters from animation, Donald Duck and Goofy likewise fail to meet the game-based criteria, while the characters originating in Kingdom Hearts, such as Sora, Riku and Kairi, all make the grade.
Even though Disney characters are an important part of the Kingdom Hearts franchise, Sora will still bring considerable new content to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate without them. Aside from the aforementioned Hollow Bastion stage and character cameos, nine Kingdom Hearts music tracks will also be added to the game’s soundtrack. Even without Donald and Goofy to fight alongside him, Sora’s variety of techniques and abilities should be enough for him to hold his own.
Next: Sora In Smash Bros. Was Always The Most Obvious Choice
Sora will be added to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as part of Challenger Pack 11, available October 18, 2021.
Justin is a Gaming Features Writer for Screen Rant, and a graduate of Quinnipiac University. Based in Connecticut, he is also currently a staff writer for Parish Property Management in Pelham, NY, as well as an avid fan of fantasy fiction. Justin has enjoyed a variety of games since his beginnings with the Nintendo 64 and original PlayStation.

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