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ARMS (universe)

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ARMS (universe)
ARMS logo.svg
ARMSSymbol.svg
Developer(s) Nintendo
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Genre(s) Fighting
Console/platform of origin Nintendo Switch
First installment ARMS (2017)
Latest installment ARMS (2017)
Article on ARMS Institute ARMS (universe)

The ARMS universe (アームズ, ARMS) refers to the Super Smash Bros. collection of characters, stages, and properties that hail from the 3D fighting game developed by Nintendo EPD. Set in a world where some individuals mysteriously gain extendable limbs, the game revolves around the titular combat sport in which fighters who have this ability compete using glove-like weapons, known as ARMS. Similar to Splatoon when it first launched on the Wii U, this franchise was conceived as a new intellectual property to take full advantage of the Nintendo Switch's hardware and functionality, being cited as a game with depth, challenge, and replayability according to producer Kosuke Yabuki.

Franchise description

ARMS was first conceptualized when Mario Kart 8 director Kosuke Yabuki expressed interest in creating a fighting game with the camera behind the player, instead of the standard side-on view. To avoid issues with depth perception, the developers had the characters' fists extend out towards the opponent, inspired by the obstacle-dodging gameplay of Mario Kart. A prototype was developed, and the developers found performing punching gestures with the Joy-Con controllers to feel natural.

The team experimented with several ideas for character designs, as well as considered using established Nintendo characters such as Mario, Link, and even Little Mac. They soon decided on having all the game's characters be original to fit with the gameplay. When designing a character, the ARMS were considered first, thus informing the overall design and personality of the character; for example, springs led to the conception of Spring Man, ribbon strands lead to Ribbon Girl, ramen noodles lead to Min Min, and DNA strands lead to Helix. The fights were framed as a combat sport, with the fighters participating in the ARMS Grand Prix, and various fictitious business logos and designs were added to characters and stages to help sell this idea.

ARMS was officially announced for the Nintendo Switch on January 12th, 2017 during the Nintendo Switch Presentation. Prior to launch, information about the game was detailed via a spotlight in the Nintendo Direct in April 2017, a dedicated ARMS Direct in May 2017, and a series of public hour-long multiplayer beta events called the "ARMS Global Testpunch" running from May to June 2017. The game released worldwide on June 16th, 2017 to positive reviews and strong sales, with many drawing comparisons to the Punch-Out!! series and the boxing minigame from Wii Sports. Outlets praised the game's unique, deep gameplay and customization, but criticized its lack of content at launch. Following Splatoon's post-launch model, new characters, stages, and modes were made available via free content updates throughout 2017, improving the game's reception over time. In October 2017, an official graphic novel was announced, designed to delve deeper into the game's lore. As of 2020, it remains in development with no current projected release date.

With the announcement of an ARMS fighter joining Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on March 26th, 2020, the game has seen a revival of in-game Party Crash events and a two-week free trial of the full game exclusively for Nintendo Switch Online members. Prior to Ultimate's launch, Masahiro Sakurai considered adding characters from recent Nintendo titles such as ARMS and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 in the base roster, but he was unable to do so because of poor timing; they were announced long after planning and production of Ultimate began.[1] When it came time to develop a second wave of downloadable content for the game, Sakurai considered Min Min and Ninjara as possible candidates and, following a request from Yabuki, the position went to Min Min.

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

While some of the content from this title was included at launch, including an Assist Trophy, two Mii Fighter costumes, and five Spirits, even more content was released as part of Challenger Pack 6.

Fighters

  • 76.
    MinMinIcon(SSBU).png
    Min Min: The Ramen Bomber debuts as the first downloadable fighter in the Fighters Pass Vol. 2. In battle, she attacks with her extendable ARMS for punches and grabs and complements her abilities with kicks. Unique to her moveset is that the left and right ARMS are individually controlled with the attack and special buttons, respectively. She can change her right ARM with her down special which also affects the properties of her normal attacks. Her Final Smash, ARMS Rush, brings in Spring Man, Ribbon Girl, Ninjara, Master Mummy, Mechanica, and Twintelle for a devastating onslaught of punches. An ARMS character was first teased on March 26th, 2020[2] before it was officially revealed to be Min Min on June 22nd, 2020. She was released on June 29th, 2020 along with Spring Stadium, the ARMS music tracks, and additional Spirits as part of Challenger Pack 6.[3]

Stage

  • SSBU-Spring Stadium.jpg
    Spring Stadium: Spring Man's stage from ARMS. Taking place on a floating arena above a crowded stadium, the ledges and top platform are covered with trampolines that can propel fighters high into the air. When propelled, the fighter can deal damage to opponents along the way, possibly leading to a KO. Additionally if items are turned on, an ARMS Drone will occasionally appear and drop items onto the battlefield. This stage was released on June 29th, 2020 as part of Challenger Pack 6.

Assist Trophy

  • Spring Man: The Bouncer debuts as the newest Assist Trophy in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. When summoned, he moves around the battlefield striking nearby opponents with long-ranged punches. He can be KO'd, but if he sustains enough damage he will unleash a flurry of punches called a Rush attack. He uses recycled voice clips from ARMS.

Mii Fighter Costumes

Costumes

Hats

Music

Original Tracks

Arrangements and remixes unique to Ultimate. Both of these tracks were arranged by Atsuko Asahi, who originally co-composed the music for ARMS.

  • "ARMS Grand Prix Official Theme Song": A new arrangement of the title screen and main menu theme from ARMS. Also incorporates an excerpted arrangement of the background track for "Sky Arena".
  • "Ramen Bowl": A new arrangement of Min Min's stage theme from ARMS. Also incorporates an excerpted arrangement of the background track for "Spring Stadium".

Source Tracks

Tracks taken directly from ARMS.

  • "Spring Stadium": The background track for Spring Man's stage, sourced directly from ARMS.
  • "Ribbon Ring": The background track for Ribbon Girl's stage, sourced directly from ARMS.
  • "Ninja College": The background track for Ninjara's stage, sourced directly from ARMS.
  • "Mausoleum": The background track for Master Mummy's stage, sourced directly from ARMS.
  • "Scrapyard": The background track for Mechanica's stage, sourced directly from ARMS.
  • "Cinema Deux": The background track for Twintelle's stage, sourced directly from ARMS.
  • "Buster Beach": The background track for Byte & Barq's stage, sourced directly from ARMS.
  • "Snake Park": The background track for Kid Cobra's stage, sourced directly from ARMS.
  • "DNA Lab": The background track for Helix's stage, sourced directly from ARMS.
  • "Sky Arena": The background track for Max Brass's stage, sourced directly from ARMS.
  • "Via Dolce": The background track for Lola Pop's stage, sourced directly from ARMS.
  • "Temple Grounds": The background track for Misango's stage, sourced directly from ARMS.
  • "Sparring Ring": The background track for Springtron's stage, sourced directly from ARMS.
  • "[NAME REDACTED]": The background track for Dr. Coyle's stage, sourced directly from ARMS.
  • "Vs. Hedlok": The background track that plays when fighting an opponent controlled by Hedlok, sourced directly from ARMS.
  • "ARMS Grand Prix Final Battle": The background track that plays while fighting Max Brass controlled by Hedlok, sourced directly from ARMS.

Victory Fanfare

  • "Victory! ARMS": An abridged cover of the ARMS theme song, notably incorporating vocals from the version performed by Ribbon Girl.

Spirits

The following characters are Spirits. Five were available at launch, but seven more were added as part of Challenger Pack 6.

1,287. Spring Man
1,288. Ribbon Girl
1,289. Min Min
1,290. Twintelle
1,291. Ninjara
1,414. Min Min (Fighter)
1,415. Master Mummy
1,416. Mechanica
1,417. Byte & Barq
1,418. Kid Cobra
1,419. Helix
1,420. Max Brass

Trivia

  • ARMS is the newest major universe (represented by a character, stage, item, or Assist Trophy) to be represented in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate at launch, with an initial debut of June 2017.
  • ARMS is the first major universe that debuted on the Nintendo Switch.
  • Before the release of Ultimate, Sakurai considered adding characters from ARMS to the base game, but according to him, it was impossible due to character planning ending before ARMS was announced.
  • ARMS is the third major fighting game universe to appear in Smash, following Street Fighter and Fatal Fury. Out of these, it is the only first-party series and the only one not to focus on 2D gameplay.
  • ARMS and Punch-Out!! are the only universes whose series emblems are fists.
  • ARMS is the first universe of a DLC character to already have representation in the base game (via an Assist Trophy, Spirits, and Mii Costumes), but not a playable character, prior to the aforementioned character's release (as Mario and Fire Emblem already had playable characters prior to the releases of Corrin, Piranha Plant, and Byleth).
    • ARMS is also the first Nintendo-owned universe to have its first character introduced as downloadable content.
  • ARMS is the only universe to have ever confirmed a character's addition, but not which character would be added.
    • ARMS is also the only universe to promote a Spirit to a fighter (in this case, Min Min).
  • ARMS is the only universe whose first fighter was introduced as DLC in Ultimate to have an Assist Trophy (that being Spring Man).
  • ARMS and Bayonetta are the only universes to have only female playable representatives.
    • They are also the only universes with multiple arrangements that were all done by the same composer.

References