The Sephiroth Challenge was a mode introduced in version 10.0.0 of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, allowing players to unlock the contents of Challenger Pack 8 (sans spirits) when purchased prior to its official release date. It was announced in Mr. Sakurai Presents "Sephiroth", running from December 17th, 2020 until December 22nd, 2020, and would be removed in version 10.1.0. The mode uniquely features menus and sound effects based on Final Fantasy VII.
After selecting a difficulty of Easy, Normal, or Very Hard, Sephiroth must be defeated by any other fighter in a one-on-one Stamina Mode match in Northern Cave with items and Final Smash Meter turned off. The player had 150 HP, while Sephiroth had 100, 150, and 200 HP in Easy, Normal, and Very Hard respectively. The stage was in its normal form in Easy and Normal, and in its Ω form in Very Hard. Sephiroth's dealt and received damage were respectively ×0.965 and ~×1.32 on Easy, ×1.325 and ~×1.08 on Normal, and ×1.45 and ~×0.84 on Very Hard.
The player was rewarded upon completing the mode in any difficulty and the challenge could be freely retried. After each victory, a screen showing the difficulty chosen and time elapsed in the match was presented. The player was able to push the Y button to "Share" an automatically taken screenshot of the screen and promptly share it on social media platforms.
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- Initially, Sakurai planned to have the mode playable once; those who failed would lose the ability to unlock Challenger Pack 8 early. This idea was eventually scrapped.
- Sakurai stated developing the mode was difficult but a fun challenge.
- Sephiroth's pose on the Sephiroth Challenge screen slightly resembles his appearance in key artwork of Final Fantasy VII Remake.
- Sephiroth Challenge and Challenger's Approach are the only modes in Ultimate that can become permanently unavailable.
- Unlike other single-player modes, such as Classic Mode or World of Light, moves for the player and Sephiroth could stale.
- Following the mode's release, speedruns of it became a minor trend within the community. The fastest known record with video proof is 1.50 seconds by djf2564 on Very Hard difficulty, with the usage of Hero's Whack move, as it has an extremely low chance to instantly KO with damage.