Umbra Clock Tower
Umbra Clock Tower (アンブラの時計塔, Umbra Clock Tower) is the final downloadable content stage in Super Smash Bros. 4 from the Bayonetta series, released on February 3rd, 2016. The stage returns in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Umbra Clock Tower is identical in layout in both Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. The battle begins and takes place on the face of the clock tower, while in an infinite free fall. The clock face itself is slightly recessed from the surface of the broken tower piece, creating a small incline. Occasionally, falling debris comes close to the main clock face platform, serving as extra platforms; both hard and soft platforms can appear, creating temporary walk-offs and caves of life. There are seven possible layouts that appear in a random but sequential order. Similarly to Town and City, the layouts themselves contain many platforms moving in different directions, then eventually leaving the stage. However, this stage forces characters to fall through soft platforms as they exit.
The layout of each set of platforms are as follows:
The soft platforms tend to move around sporadically but generally don't move far
Players enter and exit the alternate world of Purgatorio throughout the match, which is indicated by a specific sound and a very large rising purple portal that represents Umbra Witch magic. The angels Affinity and Inspired only appear and fly around in the background of Purgatorio, and occasionally the enormous Fortitudo comes close to the playing field and lets out a powerful roar, shaking the screen. However, none of them have an actual effect on the battle and mostly acts as extravagant aesthetics. In 8-Player Smash, it does not enter the world of Purgatorio, hence the angels won't show up in the background.
Star KOs and Screen KOs are disabled in both versions of Smash 4. This makes it one of the two stages in Smash 3DS where Screen KOs cannot occur, the other is Super Mario Maker, but it is also the only stage in the game where only Blast KOs occur without hacking the game.
The Ω form is mostly identical to the normal form of the stage, but the extra debris platforms will no longer appear, and, as a result, the camera will no longer zoom and shift. The clock face is no longer slightly recessed, flattening it out. The angels still appear, including Fortitudo and its roar.
Umbra Clock Tower is currently listed as a Counterpick/Banned stage in competitive play, but this ruling has been heavily disputed in the community. Arguments to ban the stage include the appearance of temporary walk-offs (even though many of the walk-offs can be escaped from below) and that the platform that briefly appears below the stage creates a temporary cave of life, and any fighter on that platform when it leaves can be easily edgeguarded. It was also suggested that the Purgatorio background can be distracting to some players with attention problems, like the backgrounds of Final Destination and Lylat Cruise. Tournaments that have larger stage lists that encompass stages such as Delfino Plaza and Castle Siege have been more likely to allow the stage as a counterpick, but so far it has not been used in any major tournaments because these larger events have more restrictive rulesets. The stage is also said to cause motion sickness for some players due to the constantly moving background.
However, some smashers argue that the stage was banned without proper testing, saying that the stage as a whole is less intrusive than the likes of Pokémon Stadium (which has always been legal in Melee) and that its inclusion would give a new option with big blast zones to the stage list, which currently has several stages heavily benefiting characters that K.O at the top. Despite this, the stage has remained banned in most major rulesets and has only been legal at smaller tournaments.
The Umbra Clock Tower is a reference to the opening of Bayonetta, where Bayonetta and Jeanne fight angels on top of a falling clock tower face during the Witch Hunts. The stage also appears in Bayonetta 2 when Bayonetta is sent back in time. Forced to re-experience the Witch Hunts all over again, while fighting by the side of her mother Rosa, Bayonetta and Rosa witness the clock tower's destruction first-hand, due to two giant fireball attacks by the angel Fortitudo. The resulting explosion causes Bayonetta and Rosa to fall off a cliff together—a different side to the one Bayonetta's past self and Jeanne fell off.
As it begins crumbling, Rosa calls the tower the "Symbol of the Umbran Way" and begins mourning its destruction, showing that the tower itself had significant meaning to the Umbran culture and their way of life.
In the Bayonetta series, there are three different dimensions called the Trinity of Reality: the Human World, Paradiso, and Inferno. Purgatorio, an alternate reality to the Human World which Angels and Demons can use to influence the Human World without having to directly enter it, exists between them.
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