Ike becomes invincible and swings his sword in front of him; anybody who he hits is sent upward. He then leaps into the air after the sent character(s) and yells "Great...AETHER!!" while slashing the target(s) seven times with his sword aflame, after which he kicks them twice, slashes them four more times, and knocks them downward with a powerful finishing blow, similar to Link's Triforce Slash. Upon impact with the ground, a large explosion knocks away the trapped character(s) and any character that happens to be too close. The DOJO!! described the move as a more powerful version of Aether.
The attack does about 64%-74% damage (52%-62% from the attack, 12% in the explosion), (31%-41% from the attack, 19% in the explosion, in SSB4), and is one of the most damaging Final Smashes. If the opponent is very close to Ike when he uses it, the initial hit will deal 15% damage, but if they are further away from him it deals only 5% damage. Because the knockback from the explosion is vertical, opponents may not be KO'd immediately due to the high blast lines on some stages. In most cases, however, the move does provide significant knockback to launch enemies off the screen. Multiple enemies can be picked up in this attack and, although Ike is invincible during this move, Ike's victims can be attacked by other players along the way down. The move elevates Ike to the highest point on the stage and always takes place in the center of the stage. On 75m and the World 1-2 version of Mushroomy Kingdom, it is essentially a guaranteed OHKO because the opponent is brought up to the top platform, very close to the stage boundary. On Pirate Ship it can also OHKO, but only on Jigglypuff. The attack can be canceled by attacking at the right time.
Due to the fact that Ike moves to the center of the stage when this move activates, on some created stages the downswing can be somewhat of a Sacrificial KO. As a result, Ike moves to the side instead of the exact center when using the move on Gaur Plain and Midgar. As with a standard Aether, Ike tosses his sword up into the air, and jumps after it, before attacking his foe in mid-air. It can be noted that the site of impact, following Ike's final descent, is determined by the character(s) closest to the ground directly below them.
CPU opponents tend to get hit by this move, even if not caught in the initial strike. When they try to "add to the woes" of one caught in the move (as Sakurai suggested at DOJO), they do not understand to get out of the way when Ike plummets down, and get caught in the explosion.
Similarly to Eruption, the flames that are part of Great Aether are changed to blue in Smash 4, making it closer to Ike's origin in Fire Emblem than before.
Oddly, this move has never been seen before in the Fire Emblem series, although it may be inspired by several elements of Ike's story. Aside from Aether being Ike's mastery skill in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, it could be based on the final blow Ike deals to the goddess Ashera in the end of Radiant Dawn. For this attack, Ike uses the power of the goddess Yune to finish Ashera off, which wraps him in radiant blue fire and is the basis of the title given to Ike in the game's epilogue ("Radiant Hero" in English material, "Hero of Blue Flames" in Japanese; both come from the title of Path of Radiance in their respective language). The actual attack finishes with a downward plunge at Ashera, which is similar to the final hit of Great Aether. While the fires of Great Aether are regularly colored in Brawl, Smash 4 changed them to be blue to match Radiant Dawn.
Ike's Aether up special is combined with a relentless barrage of sword blows in this powerful Final Smash. He knocks targets into the air with an upward swing, and then they're stuck there as he strikes over and over. Finally, he slams them down to the ground and launches them. Just make sure that first strike hits!
Ike's Aether up special is combined with a relentless barrage of sword blows in this powerful Final Smash. He knocks his target into the air with an upward swing, and then they're stuck there as he strikes again and again. Finally, he slams them down to the ground and launches them. Just make sure that first strike hits!