By Jason Parker
January 16, 2020
I was one of the 356,000+ people sitting in a YouTube video, waiting for the announcement. Some people (including some of us) thought it would be Dante. I want to go on the record and say that I, Jason, correctly guessed Byleth to a friend earlier this week. Why?
Byleth is the only major hero of the recent Fire Emblem games not in yet. Do note I said “recent” though. Byleth is the latest Fire Emblem protagonist. I love the game, but I didn’t want another sword user.
At the very least, Byleth is not just a Sword wielder. This video was recorded two months ago. I can only imagine how hard it was to keep this a secret (so people didn’t scream with anger).
Byleth is the protagonist in the 17th iteration of the Fire Emblem franchise, Fire Emblem: Three Houses. I’ll avoid spoiling anything, but they undergo a pretty intense transformation at some point in the game. Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a game where old friends ultimately become enemies and loyalties are tested.
The main character, Byleth winds up leading one of the three houses of the Garreg Mach Monastery. It’s up to you decide which one you will work with. One of the houses has a very important decision to make. Coincidentally, that was my favorite of the three houses. Byleth winds up wielding the incredibly powerful Sword of the Creator. It’s a Sword also used as a whip for long-range, a’la Ivy in Soul Calibur.
It was sort of interesting that Byleth went back to a mute protagonist, as an aside. Corrin and Kris before them were not. But it’s okay.
Byleth’s default weapon is admittedly a sword – the Sword of the Creator. The down-tilt moves default to the Sword of the Creator’s whip form and in a few other moves. You can use the whip form to snatch people out of the sky, knock them up, juggle them temporarily and knock them about.
The Sword of the Creator can also use its Up-Special to grab onto ledges, to save yourself from being knocked out. Bad Smash players like me will have to use this often. But depending on what direction you use with your attacks, Byleth uses the other relics. Areadbhar is the forward attack and has a decent range. It won’t launch players very far, though.
Areadbhar (Lance)’s side attack is pretty great too. You can use it to charge forward during Smash attacks to bully people in small areas. But, it’s easy to shield against, so just throwing it out randomly will probably not pay off.
The down attacks utilize the Axe (Aymr). The Down-Attack can have a meteor effect, to blast people off into the distance. I think my favorite one is the Down-Attack that sends people flying into the distance with a single strike. Why is this one my favorite? It has Super Armor! That means you can take a hit before it’s interrupted. It can beat out the Falcon Punch because of that (though you can still be grabbed). Sakurai-san also pointed out that you can change direction with it and drop down from platforms with this attack.
Sakurai-san also noted not to use this against people with amazing counters (like the other Fire Emblem characters). Counters have a damage multiplier, so they can counter and do tons of damage to Byleth.
The Bow (Failnaught) next. You can hold down the neutral B attack with it to charge it up for explosive results. It leaves you vulnerable, though. Once you start charging, you can’t cancel out at all. You must commit to the damage. In a 1 vs. 1, this is probably just going to get you bopped. Do be careful with it.
All told, Byleth can use a Sword, Bow, Spear, Lance, and Axe, depending on what direction you input while attacking. This variety of options should make Byleth a fun addition for many Smash Bros fans.
Progenitor God Ruptured Heaven is Byleth’s Smash. It’s an enhanced version of the original Three Houses move, Ruptured Heaven. You team up with the mysterious Sothis to obliterate whoever happens to be facing off against you.
Sakurai-san pointed out that the odd-numbered colors are male and even-numbered colors are female. The 3rd, 4th and 5th color variations are also based on the leaders of the three house leaders, while the 6th focuses on Sothis.
This is one of those moments where I didn’t want to be right. Byleth is the next Smash Bros character. There’s no stopping it. They’re arriving soon, too! On January 28th, in fact. That’s also when the next Mii Fighter Costumes will drop. Assassin’s Creed, Rabids, Megaman X, Megaman Battlenetwork and Cuphead themed costumes are on the way.
So, what do I think? Honestly, I’m a little disappointed. Not in the “OMG I AM FILLED WITH RAAAAAAAAGE.” The characters I want are already in the game, so I’m not let down. With this though, the Fighters Pass is complete. Each of these Smash Bros characters is unique, including Byleth. They are different from each other. The ability to swap to other weapon styles is awesome.
They also revealed the next Amiibos for January 17th: Richter and Dark Samus. They look gorgeous, I gotta say. Though the Fighter’s Pass is over, the Fighters Pass Volume 2 announcement came. It can be pre-purchased on January 28th. The characters that will join (six new characters) have already been decided also.
Fighters Pass Volume 2 also has a special bonus. Mii Swordfighter will receive “The Ancient Soldier” costume from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It’s also important to note it will be purchasable elsewhere.
If I could pick six new characters to come to Smash Bros, here are my personal choices. What are yours?
So that’s it! On January 28th, we receive a brand-new character, from a familiar franchise. I know a lot of people are upset because “lul more Fire Emblem.” How do you feel about Byleth joining Smash Bros? We’d love to know!