Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. (株式会社スクウェア・エニックス・ホールディングス) is a Japanese video game developer, publisher, and distribution company. It is best known for making role-playing video game franchises, having created well-known titles such as Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, the Chrono series, the Mana series, the SaGa series, and (in collaboration with Disney) the Kingdom Hearts series. The company as it exists today is a merger between Square and Enix. Square started in 1983 as a division of the Den-Yu-Sha powerline company dedicated to video game development before spinning off into an independent company in 1986. Enix started in 1975 as a tabloid publisher and real estate brokerage firm, but shifted to video games in 1982 after that venture failed. Both companies considered merging since the year 2000 because both were on a financial decline at the time. Negotiations were delayed because the failure of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within made Enix hesitant to merge with Square. However, the success of Final Fantasy X, Kingdom Hearts and the Dragon Quest: Monsters series rebounded both companies into financial recovery, and the merger went through on April 1st, 2003.
With Nintendo, Square Enix has produced a strong number of exclusives including The World Ends With You, the Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles series, the Bravely series, Octopath Traveler, and several Mario games: Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Mario Hoops 3-on-3, Mario Sports Mix, Itadaki Street DS (Japan only), and Fortune Street. Square Enix has also acquired the Taito Corporation and Eidos Interactive, bringing numerous franchises including Space Invaders, Bubble Bobble, and Tomb Raider into the Square Enix fold.
In the Super Smash Bros. series, they are the original creators of three guest characters that appear as playable fighters: Cloud Strife and Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII and the Hero from the Dragon Quest series. They also supplied additional content from their work on the CGI sequel movie Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, the action RPG Trials of Mana, the traditional RPGs Octopath Traveler and Bravely Default II, and the Nintendo-exclusive Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars.
One of Square Enix's flagship characters, Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII, appears as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4, announced during a Nintendo Direct on November 12th, 2015 as downloadable content along with a stage based on Midgar, the songs "Let the Battles Begin!" and "Fight On!", and a Chocobo Mii Fighter hat.
Cloud returns as a playable character, along with the Midgar stage and its two accompanying tracks, "Let the Battles Begin!" and "Fight On!", and 2 spirits, which are the renders of Cloud's first and second alternate costumes respectively. Sephiroth was also added as a DLC newcomer in December 2020, along with a new stage, nine new music tracks, and several new Spirits as part of Challenger Pack 8. Alongside Sephiroth's release, a Barret Wallace costume for the Mii Gunner, a Tifa Lockhart costume for the Mii Brawler, an Aerith Gainsborough costume for the Mii Swordfighter, and the returning Chocobo Mii Fighter hat were made available.
The Hero from Dragon Quest also appears as part of Challenger Pack 2, being announced at E3 2019. He is not based on one single Hero; he is represented by the Luminary from Dragon Quest XI, Erdrick from III, Solo from IV, and Eight from VIII, with the Luminary being the default costume. He brings a stage, several music tracks, and a multitude of spirits. Additionally, multiple Dragon Quest Mii Costumes released at the same time, including Veronica and Erdrick for the Mii Swordfighter, a male and female Martial Artist costume for the Mii Brawler, and a Slime as a Mii Fighter hat.
Geno and Mallow from Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars make an appearance as Spirits, and the former's Mii Gunner costume made a return as DLC. Duran, Angela, Kevin, Charlotte, Hawkeye, and Riesz from Trials of Mana debuted in the Spirit Board event, "The Spirits of Mana", on April 24th, 2020 as a tie-in to the release of the game's remake. Obleric, Primrose, Tressa, Cyrus, Alfyn, Therion, H'aanit, and Ophilia from Octopath Traveler debuted in the Spirit Board event "Second Anniversary of OCTOPATH TRAVELER" on July 10th, 2020. Seth, Gloria, Elvis, and Adelle from Bravely Default II debuted in the "BRAVELY DEFAULT II" Spirit Board event on February 26th, 2021 as a tie-in to the game's launch.