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ARMS (universe)

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ARMS (universe)
The logo for ARMS.
Symbol of the ARMS series.
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[edit]

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 League 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 and the inability to remap button controls at launch. Following Splatoon's post-launch model, new characters, stages and modes were made available via free content updates throughout 2017, including the aforementioned button re-configurations, thus 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 2021, it has no current projected release date, and is believed to be cancelled.[1]

The announcement of an ARMS fighter joining Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on March 26th, 2020 was commemorated in two ways: a two-week free trial of the full game was made available exclusively for Nintendo Switch Online members from Marth 26th to April 6th, and a one-off Party Crash event that featured a rematch between Spring Man and Ribbon Girl was held from April 3rd to April 5th. 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.[2] 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 ARMS producer Kosuke Yabuki, the position went to Min Min.

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

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.

Fighter[edit]

  • 76.
    MinMinIcon(SSBU).png
    Min Min (DLC): "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[3] 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.[4]

Stage[edit]

  • SpringStadiumIconSSBU.png
    Spring Stadium (DLC): 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[edit]

  • 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. Spring Man can be KO'd, but if he sustains enough damage, he will unleash a considerably powerful Rush. He uses recycled voice clips from ARMS.

Mii Costumes[edit]

Outfits[edit]

Headgear[edit]

Music[edit]

Original Tracks[edit]

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 (DLC): A new arrangement of the title screen and main menu theme from ARMS. Also incorporates excerpted arrangements of the background tracks for "[NAME REDACTED]" and "Sky Arena". The original version was used during the initial announcement that an ARMS character would be added as part of Challenger Pack 6, on the Nintendo Direct of March 26, 2020, although it is not available in game.
  • Ramen Bowl (DLC): 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[edit]

The following tracks are taken directly from ARMS.

Victory Theme[edit]

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

Other[edit]

  • The original unaltered main theme was used in the ARMS fighter teaser announcement during the Nintendo Direct Mini on March 26th, 2020, and again in the Mr. Sakurai Presents broadcast prior to Min Min's formal reveal trailer on June 22nd, 2020.

Spirits[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • 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. This was also the case for a Xenoblade Chronicles 2 character, which was also later included by means of DLC.
  • ARMS is the third major fighting game universe to appear in Smash, following Street Fighter and Fatal Fury and preceding Tekken.
    • Out of these, it is the only one that is first-party.
  • ARMS is the only universe present in the base game that didn't have a series symbol originally, but would later gain one due to Min Min's inclusion as a playable character.
  • 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 the first universe to not have the flagship character or mascot as its first roster inclusion.
    • To justify Min Min's inclusion over the perceived protagonist Spring Man (who is already present in the game as an Assist Trophy), Kosuke Yabuki explained that every fighter in ARMS is a protagonist.
  • 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 be represented in playable form solely by a female character.
    • They are also the only universes with multiple Smash arrangements that were all done by the same composer - both Bayonetta arrangements were handled by Junichi Nakatsuru, while Atsuko Asahi worked on both ARMS remixes.
  • True to the original game traditions (except certain spin-offs or/and crossovers), the ARMS, Virtua Fighter and Tekken casts are restrictively spoken in their native languages in all international versions of their Smash appearances.

References[edit]