Sora (ソラ, Sora) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He was officially announced during The Final Mr. Sakurai Presents on October 5th, 2021 as the sixth and final downloadable character from Fighters Pass Vol. 2 and was released on October 18th, 2021 (October 19th in time zones east of the Americas) as part of Challenger Pack 11. He is the fourth fighter from a Square Enix published/developed series (after Cloud, Hero, and Sephiroth), as well as the first and only fighter from Disney. Sora is classified as Fighter #82, the last fighter number of the newcomers and fighters as a whole.
Haley Joel Osment and Miyu Irino, Sora's main English and Japanese voice actors since the first Kingdom Hearts game, reprise their respective roles as Sora, with their portrayals from Kingdom Hearts Re:coded and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance being repurposed for Ultimate.
Sora is a swordfighter whose mobility attributes reference his movement in the Kingdom Hearts series. Although he is of light weight and weighs the same as Zelda, his aerial mobility is notable, due to having below-average fall speeds, extremely low gravity on par with Kirby, a relatively high ground jump and a very high delayed double jump. Sora's air speed is lackluster, the 24th slowest, but he has the 15th highest air acceleration. Comparatively, Sora's ground speed is poor, with the tenth slowest walk speed and a surprisingly slow dash, again being the 24th slowest. Sora can stay in the air for a long time to dish out damage but has trouble closing in or escaping ground pressure through his mobility alone. Having said this, Sora has among the longest recoveries in the game, with his high, slow double jump, Aerial Sweep for extra height which can also transition to Sonic Blade for three additional bursts of movement.
The centerpiece of Sora's game plan is his aerial prowess, due to his aforementioned jumping abilities. His neutral and forward aerials are similar to Bayonetta's forward aerial in that they are both natural combos. Holding or repeatedly tapping the attack button for each move completes the full combo while tapping the button once only initiates one hit. However, of note is that the first hit of his forward aerial during a fast fall negates his upward momentum, allowing for KO confirms on landing well past mid percentages. His back aerial has relatively low landing lag (at roughly twelve frames), making it relatively safe on shield, and his down aerial works well as an edgeguarding tool due to its long duration, low ending lag and Sora's aforementioned double jump. However, where his air game shines is his up aerial, which can carry opponents closer to the upper blast line due to its high overall knockback, putting them in an unfavorable position where Sora can potentially KO them with his up special, Aerial Sweep.
Sora's ground game also has its uses. His neutral attack and forward tilt are similar to his neutral aerial in that they are natural combos that either initiate only one hit on a single button press or the full combo if the attack button is held or repeatedly tapped. In particular, his neutral attack comes out on frame 4, making it a good tool for close-range pressure. His forward tilt has a slow startup, but compensates with more versatility than his other moves; when single tapped, it has enough power to KO reliably despite dealing very low damage, and when held or repeatedly tapped, it deals much more damage but sacrifices some KO power (although it is still an effective KO tool regardless). His up tilt functions much like Palutena's equivalent move in that it hits multiple times and has solid KO power while being an effective anti-air to its overall good range and multi-hit properties. His down tilt is his go-to combo starter, being able to combo into his aerial moves at low to medium percentages, while it can also combo into his up aerial for a KO if the opponent does not react correctly. Lastly, his dash attack covers a very large area of effect and can also KO at very high percentages.
His smash attacks are serviceable in their own right. His forward smash is the least reliable of his smash attacks due to its startup and end lag, but is the most powerful, and can negate other projectiles (although he is left vulnerable when doing so). His up smash has deceptively good range in front of him, and likewise has strong KO power, being one of the strongest up smashes in the game. Lastly, his down smash functions like the equivalent moves of Ridley, King K. Rool and Incineroar, jumping upwards before striking the ground. In doing so, he can vault over low profiling attacks, but unlike other moves, the move is also well suited for two-framing since the move's hitbox goes well below him.
Sora's grab game is also very good. His standing grab is among the fastest in the game with only seven frames of startup, his pummel is among the best in Ultimate due to its damage and speed, and he has three KO throws. His forward throw is mainly used for getting foes offstage, but can KO at high percentages near ledges. His up throw is also decently powerful and can set opponents up for juggles if they do not DI or react correctly. His back throw, however, is his primary KO throw, being able to KO at around 130% near the edge. His down throw lacks the KO power his other throws have, but like up throw, can still position opponents for juggles and other aerial situations.
Lastly, Sora has a useful kit of special moves. His neutral special, Magic, cycles between three attacking spells (Firaga, Thundaga and then Blizzaga), each cycling after the previous one has been utilized. Firaga functions similarly to Banjo & Kazooie's Breegull Blaster, being able to launch fireballs by repeatedly pressing the attack button. After finishing, Firaga transitions to Thundaga, which drops several bolts of lightning that combo into each other. Notably, the last bolt has very strong KO power, making it the only spell that can outright KO reliably. Lastly, Thundaga transitions to Blizzaga, which has no KO power but freezes opponents starting at mid-high percentages, allowing him to catch up to deal extra damage. Casting each spell in the air stalls Sora’s vertical momentum, allowing him to apply offensive pressure offstage, though Thundaga’s lag causes him to fall comparatively faster than the other spells.
His side special, Sonic Blade, is a charging attack that functions similarly to Pikachu's Quick Attack. When the move is initiated near an opponent, Sora faces towards them and charge; otherwise, he continues to move in the direction the Control Stick is held in. If the special attack button is tapped, Sora charges forward once, but if directions are continuously inputted, Sora strikes up to three times instead. His up special, Aerial Sweep, is a spinning sword strike much like the Spin Attacks utilized by the three Links; however, unlike said move, the grounded version causes Sora to rise upwards, making it identical to said move's aerial version. It can also transition into Sonic Blade if the move input is performed near the jump's apex. His down special, Counterattack is a counterattack that almost uniquely functions as both a reflector and a counter, alongside the down specials used by Palutena, King K. Rool, and Joker. Uniquely among said moves, however, is that projectiles that get reflected behind Sora instead of in front of him. While this makes the move ineffective as a direct reflector, it allows him some defense against characters with both reflectors and projectiles (such as Mario, Mewtwo and Hero).
One of Sora's most defining traits across his moveset are the presence of lingering hitboxes. Almost all of Sora's normals and aerials, as well as select specials like Blizzaga, feature an extensive number of active frames, granting Sora a fair degree of safety when it comes to throwing out attacks and intercepting opponents. Many of these attacks also cover a plethora of angles, though they are perhaps most useful for his aerials, as a result of Sora's aforementioned ability to negate his upward momentum through fast falling, being able to cancel his attacks into longer combos or stronger attacks. As a result of these factors, Sora has a number of ways to cover multiple committal ground- and aerial recovery options when pushing advantage, in particular sporting a strong ledgetrapping game, and in many cases they may be the difference maker between an opponent's survival and them losing a stock.
However, for as many strengths as Sora has, he also has several flaws. His low weight and below-average falling speed make him very susceptible to vertical KO's, and despite his high amount of active attack frames, he has below-average frame data on his moveset, making it hard for him to escape from combos. With all of these factors considered, he is particularly susceptible to wall of pain combos, as he has no realistic ways of defending himself.
Sora's range is also another issue. Despite being a swordfighter, Sora's Keyblade has among the shortest range of any weapon in Ultimate, which leaves him at a disadvantage against other range-based fighters such as Shulk and Sephiroth (especially given their respective sword attacks). When combined with his aforementioned frame data, he is unable to keep maximum distance from other characters as effectively as other spacing-based characters (such as Marth and Simon) and can result in opponents being able to chase him down more easily. Despite his grab being quick, it also suffers from abysmal range like many other sword fighters, but to an even larger extent, being tied with Pikachu for one of the worst grab ranges in the entire cast.
Lastly, Sora's special moves all have certain flaws that force him to maintain a patient playstyle. Magic cannot freely swap between spells (unlike other three-weapon attacks, such as Peach's forward smash), forcing him to repeatedly use his spells to utilize one for particular situations. Transitioning also leaves Sora vulnerable since he cannot move until his current spell concludes, making him very vulnerable if opponents can get behind him, where he has limited defense options. Lastly, since all three spells are projectiles, they can easily be turned against him by reflectors.
Sonic Blade also slows down slightly upon hitting a shield (although given the short amount of time it takes to transition between hits, punishing the move can prove to be difficult), while Sora cannot input any actions if the move concludes in the air, making him very vulnerable. Aerial Sweep does not hit behind Sora on startup, while Sora is vulnerable to meteor smashes since the move does not hit directly above him. Lastly, Counterattack shares one flaw with Sephiroth's Scintilla in that the area directly behind him is not protected, while the move's aforementioned ineffectiveness against projectiles makes it infeasible for reflected projectiles to KO opponents.
Overall, Sora's playstyle is reminiscent of Jigglypuff where his light weight and somewhat lackluster direct range force him play very patient in order to get the most out of his combos and strong air game. His ability to reliably edgeguard the majority of the cast alongside his wide array of combo routes give him the potential to kill at very early percents, however he must be very careful to not overextend or whiff too much as he has the potential to die at very early percents.
For a gallery of Sora's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
Classic Mode: The Light That Clears the Darkness
Sora's route mostly consists of stamina battles against opponents based on various antagonists from the original games.
Note: Every stage plays a track from the Kingdom Hearts universe, no matter what universe the stage originates from.
Role in World of Light
Due to his status as downloadable content, Sora does not have a legitimate role in World of Light. Instead, he is unlocked for use in the mode after freeing ten fighters from Galeem's control. If loading an existing save file that meets this condition before downloading Sora, he is immediately unlocked.
Sora's default 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 Sora has been downloaded. Unlocking Sora in World of Light allows the player to preview the first 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 Kingdom Hearts II, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Kingdom Hearts III, and Timeless River outfits have fighter spirits of their own, available through the shop. Each fighter spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Conditions in italic are not listed on the Spirit Battle preview screen.