Richter (リヒター, Richter) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He is the third fighter from Konami after Snake and Simon. He was announced as a newcomer alongside Simon, Chrom, Dark Samus, and King K. Rool during a Nintendo Direct on August 8th, 2018. Richter and Simon take inspiration from each other's home series appearances, with Richter being labeled as the Echo Fighter of the two, thus being classified as Fighter #66ε.
Richter is voiced in English by David Vincent, his recurring voice actor from Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles onward, who initially confirmed this on Twitter. He is voiced in Japanese by Kiyoyuki Yanada, his voice actor from Symphony of the Night onward.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
Richter is Simon's Echo Fighter, so his moveset, animations and attributes are directly derived from the latter, and his overall gameplan is also the same—he is a zoner with poor mobility (especially in the air) who utilizes his highly disjointed attacks courtesy of the Vampire Killer whip and his three projectiles to keep his opponents at a distance.
Like Simon, Richter's special moveset possesses decent utility. Firstly, Axe is a very strong projectile that can be thrown in three angles, which makes it effective at both edgeguarding and a threatening anti-air option, compounded by its ability to go through solid terrain. The axe can additionally lead into forward aerial, or, at higher percents, Uppercut for a KO. His side special, the Cross, functions like a boomerang, though unlike other boomerang projectiles, it does not follow Richter, instead going straight and then briefly going backwards on its own if not grabbed by Richter; in addition to this, it sends opponents vertically in the air with low knockback, which is favorable for setups into aerial attacks, the Axe or an up smash. His up special, Uppercut, is a very fast out of shield option with decent kill power that has multiple setups into it, such as the Cross, or more notably, down aerial.
However, the sole difference distinguishing Richter from Simon lies in his down special, Holy Water; it utilizes the same blue flame effect used by Lucario's aura-based attacks as opposed to a regular flame effect like Simon. Against Olimar, this is highly effective, as Olimar's Red Pikmin are immune to all flame-based attacks, such as Simon's Holy Water, giving Richter a better matchup against Olimar. That said, the projectile possesses similar utility; it is useful for ledge-trapping, combo setups or kill setups such as a forward smash, forward tilt, or Uppercut.
Another notable trait that Richter shares with Simon is his impressive range. His Vampire Killer whip offers the overall longest disjointed range out of any fighter in the roster, and it makes his overall kit well-rounded and versatile. In the air, despite his aerial mobility being sluggish, his aerials are effective in their own rights; his up, forward and back aerials all have impressive range and can be used as tether recoveries, along with the latter two having the unique ability to be angled. His down aerial, while lacking the disjoint of his other aerials, is a notoriously effective combo tool, as it functions much like Greninja's down aerial; it meteor smashes at the beginning, but what makes it versatile is its late hit. On the late hit, both Richter and the opponent will bounce back up at diagonal angles, which opens up many KO confirms, notably into his Uppercut. At low percentages, it can combo into itself multiple times, which can potentially make it a zero-to-death tool if the opponent reacts poorly.
Richter's range is also effective on the ground, as his sluggish frame data is compensated by his attacks having immense range and power at the spiked ball at the end of the whip, to the point where they can be considered safe on shield if spaced, despite their lag. All of his smash attacks are notable examples of this; his forward smash is very powerful when tippered, and when combined with its ability to be angled, this makes it a deadly edgeguarding and ledge-trapping tool. His up smash is very strong when tippered, making it a reliable anti-air tool and a combo finisher and KO confirm out of his Cross. His down smash hits on both sides like most others, and keeps his trademark range while possessing decent power when sweetspotted. His forward tilt possesses decent range and uncharacteristically low ending lag, his dash attack is relatively quick and effective for crossing up shielding opponents, and his down tilt, while not disjointed, is a unique two-hit move that causes him to pseudo-crawl, allowing him to cross up foes or effectively retreat from the corner. Due to Richter's excellent range and his three projectiles, he is very good at keeping the opponent at bay.
Yet another trait shared with Simon is a decent grab game. His grab has below-average range and possesses noticeable lag, but his dash grab gives him a lot of momentum due to his low traction. His throws also have great utility: his forward and back throws have good KO potential despite their rather quick speed, and can be used to set up edgeguards otherwise. His up throw is considered to be his most useful throw, as its decent damage is compounded with its great setup ability, being able to start juggles. His down throw is rather situational and is his least used throw, but nevertheless has combo potential thanks to Richter's range.
Likewise, Richter also shares the exact same crippling flaws that Simon possesses to counterbalance his strengths. Perhaps his most infamous shortcoming is his extremely poor recovery, being among the worst in the game, despite having three aerials function as tether recoveries; his very low air movement, combined with Uppercut offering very poor vertical and horizontal momentum, give him very poor offstage presence. As such, he is very easy to gimp, and overall has a slim chance to return to the ledge, making him easy to KO despite his good endurance due to his almost non-existent offstage game. This is further compounded with Richter's susceptibility to combos due to his heavyweight status, poor aerial attributes, and lack of effective combo breakers within his moveset, preventing him from easily getting out of combos or escaping pressure. Due to his very low traction and slow attacks, he also has a poor out of shield game outside of Uppercut.
Despite his zoning and spacing potential, it is overall burdened by his poor frame data, lackluster overall mobility, and narrow attacks. His slow movement makes him vulnerable to pressure and zoning. While he has his projectiles, they each have noticeable startup and are susceptible to being reflected back, which can be a huge turnabout, especially since the projectiles play a huge role in Richter's neutral game. An opponent can also catch Holy Water mid-flight and use it against Richter as he can only have one out at a time, allowing his opponents to perform combo setups or kill setups on him.
Richter's poor frame data also gives him a mediocre close-range game, as many of his attacks are unsafe if not spaced properly, which often leaves him heavily susceptible to punishment. While Richter's whip attacks have excellent range, they are also very narrow, and some attacks such as up tilt, up smash and up aerial only hit directly above Richter, giving him poor hitbox placements and creating big blindspots that can cause them to miss opponents even if they are directly touching him, which hampers his juggle ability and overall punish game, and gives him a hard time hitting smaller characters. Finally, his moves tend to be rather weak when sourspotted, making spacing crucial if the player plans to score an early KO. With his grab range being below-average and his kill power being noticeable with his tipper mechanic, he must keep his space and fish for tippered tilts and aerials for maximum effect, in a similar vein to Marth.
Despite not being very different from Simon outside of his down special, Richter has seen greater representation in direct comparison. In recent times, however, his popularity has noticeably diminished due to his and Simon's shared weaknesses becoming more apparent, with players such as Brood and Riddles dropping Richter in favor of other characters. Other players, such as Nitro, have relegated him to a secondary. As such, he may not have been as strong as originally thought, leaving his true placement debatable.
The only gameplay difference between Richter and Simon is that Richter's Holy Water has an aura effect, as opposed to Simon's Holy Water which has a flame effect, as a result of the blue flames. Because of this, Richter has a slightly better matchup against Olimar (as he can deal damage to Olimar's Red Pikmin, who are immune to flame-based attacks, with Holy Water), while Simon is more favorable in the matchups against Link, Young Link, Toon Link and Steve, as he can cause the former three's explosives to forcibly detonate before reaching him using Holy Water, while his Holy Water's flame effect makes it easier to detonate Steve's TNT blocks.
Otherwise, Richter plays and acts identically to Simon, with his only different animations being his idle animation, taunts and victory animations. Aside from the aforementioned matchups, choosing one is entirely a matter of aesthetic preference.
Richter received a mix of buffs, a single nerf and a single glitch fix via game updates, but was buffed slightly overall. Initially, he received only inconsequential changes from updates 3.0.0 and 4.0.0. After being absent from updates for a whole year, however, Richter received a few quality of life buffs from update 9.0.0. Neutral infinite received transcendent priority as part of a near-universal buff, which prevents it from being canceled by weak attacks. Dash attack's looping hits had their damage outputs increased, although its last hit's knockback was altered slightly to compensate. Up tilt's knockback was also altered, which makes it safer on hit at low percentages at the cost of worsening its KO potential. Up and down smashes received more knockback, with the former also having its start-up and ending lag decreased slightly. Lastly, Uppercut's vertical range was increased.
Overall, Richter fares mildly better than he did at Ultimate's launch. Due to his strengths and weaknesses being largely kept intact so far, his standing relative to the cast remains largely the same.
For a gallery of Richter's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
Richter's idle stance is based on his idle from Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, as well as every preceding Belmont since the original Castlevania.
In competitive play
When the game released in December 2018, Simon and Richter attracted interest due to their unique attributes, including extremely long reach, an array of powerful projectiles, and ledge trapping potential; many players initially viewed the Belmonts as a high tier, or potentially a top tier character because of their spacing and zoning ability allowing them to play an effective defensive game. Simon and Richter were also notable counterpicks against certain characters, such as Olimar, that struggled with their range and keep away game. During the early stages of the metagame, the Belmonts were relatively popular characters, with Riddles being their highest level representative. However, their weaknesses were soon discovered to be perhaps too significant to overcome, most notably a notoriously poor recovery due to short-distance recovery moves with mediocre protection that left them severely vulnerable to gimping, but they also suffered from significant KOing inconsistency, mediocre frame data, vast difficulty in hitting agile small characters with their attacks predominantly having thin hitboxes, and very poor all-around mobility. Thus, most of their playerbase, including Riddles, eventually dropped them for other characters and their results fell off as a result. Because of this, the consensus about the Belmonts shifted, with most players viewing them as mid tier or low tier characters.
During and after the COVID-19 pandemic, the Belmont playerbase experienced a small resurgence, with players such as T3 DOM, Noxumbra and TRIGGER rising to prominence with decent results both online and offline. The Belmonts have also received buffs in update 9.0.0. However, these buffs made little to no impact in fixing the main weaknesses of the character, ultimately leaving the Belmonts' definitive tier placement questionable at this time.
Most historically significant players
Classic Mode: Smash Echoes
Both the English and Japanese names refer to Echo Fighters, whom Richter fights in numerical order. However, instead of Crazy Hand, who can be considered an echo of Master Hand, he faces Dracula as his final boss.
Role in World of Light
Although Richter does not appear in the World of Light opening cutscene, he was vaporized and later imprisoned alongside the rest of the fighters (sans Kirby) when Galeem unleashed his beams of light.
Richter was one of the many fighters that fell under Dharkon's control upon Galeem's first defeat. He is in the Dracula's Castle sub-area, but only makes an appearance if the player manages to destroy all the purple evil ghosts that teleport the player if touched with the use of cannonballs. If the player manages to do so, he'll appear in between the spaces for Alucard and Dracula.
Richter's fighter spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 300 Gold, but only after Richter has been unlocked. Unlocking Richter in World of Light allows the player to preview the spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As a fighter spirit, it cannot be used in Spirit Battles and is purely aesthetic. His fighter spirit has an alternate version that replaces it with his artwork in Ultimate.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Fighter Showcase Video