Dream Smashers – Elma

Dream Smasher Elma

A lot of people were really upset over Corrin’s inclusion as a the only first-party newcomer to be added as DLC in super Smash Bros for Wii U & 3DS. According to Sakurai: Corrin was chosen thanks to Fire Emblem Fates being a new game and so the character can act as an advertisement to help promote the game. This upset a lot of people but one specific reason was that they believed Fire Emblem Fates did not need the promotion. Fire Emblem is not exactly a minor series for Nintendo and they believed that this promotion would be better suited to a new IP like Splatoon or even to promote a more unpopular game like Metroid Prime Federation Force. Both of those games have issues however, with Splatoon being out for 9 months worldwide before this DLC launched and with metroid not being out for another 5-6 months after the DLC. Fire Emblem Fates was lucky in the placement of its launch but it wasn’t the only Nintendo game to be so close to the release of DLC. Xenoblade Chronicles X launched for the west a week before the final Smash DLC was revealed and so many people cite that game as one that both deserves the promotion more and could have easily had a new, unique, character added. That character was Elma and while she unfortunately missed out this time that does not mean her chances are completely gone for appearing in the Super Smash Bros franchise in the future. So in today’s Dream Smashers I give you Elma, humanity’s sharpest BLADE!

Who is Elma?

Elma! The Sharpest BLADE

Gimmick: Tension Points

Niche: Dual-Wielding Soldier


Elma is both the first and last character you see in the game (not including post-game content). Xenoblade Chronicles X has more playable characters than the original Xenoblade game. Many of them are optional but there are 3 characters that you always have to use in every story mission. These characters are Lin, Cross and Elma. Cross is the player character and cannot be removed but they are an avatar with very little personality. Unlike other avatar’s in Smash like Robin and Villager, Cross does not have their own personality and this makes him a hard character to bring over to Smash as he may come off as uninteresting. Lin and Elma are the other main characters but of the two Elma is definitely the more popular character. Xenoblade Chronicles X feels like Elma’s story that Cross just happens to be a part of. She is actually the team’s leader and you even get to hear her internal monologue at points which make her feel like the main protagonist. .

This situation is very similar to Robin and Chrom from Fire Emblem Awakening where it is very much Chrom’s story that Robin is just a part of. Robin got into Super Smash Bros for 3DS/Wii U instead of Chrom, but we already know why this is: Chrom was originally meant to get in but was seen as unoriginal moveset wise whereas Robin was very unique. Elma does not have that problem however as her moveset does not match up with any character currently in Smash.


History and Importance to Nintendo/Series

Team Elma reporting for duty.

Xenoblade Chronicles X only came out in 2015 and did not perform as successfully as some of Nintendo’s previous big holiday titles like Super Smash Bros for Wii U and Super Mario 3D World. This is because the Xenoblade series is a lot more niche than some of Nintendo’s other franchises. Super Smash Bros. has certainly made the series more well-known and all Xenoblade needs is one more unique game to have the same amount of releases as Nintendo’s other big JRPG series: Earthbound and Golden Sun. Although right now it is not that important of a series to Nintendo, timing is important in Super Smash Bros. If the roster for ‘Super Smash Bros NX’ is/was being picked around the end of 2015 or even early-2016, then Elma stands a good chance (being the main character of one of Nintendo’s biggest recent releases).

In terms of importance to her series, Xenoblade, she is the main character of her game, much like Shulk was the main character of his. Shulk’s story is wrapped up and so he is more likely to end up being the Marth of his series: the original hero everyone likes but does not play any major role in future installments. On the flip side, there is still plenty to tell of Xenoblade Chronicles X and Elma’s story, so she has plenty of reason to show up again. As I said above, in Xenoblade Chronicles X it is only her, Lin and Cross who are important enough to be considered for a playable status but Lin is less of a main character than Elma is. While Xenoblade has some other plausible reps from the first game such as Fiora or Riki, Elma is the current protagonist of the latest game which more than justifies her as a potential Smash newcomer, at least for now.


How will they play?

Elma Alts

Elma’s design in this game takes a lot of inspiration from how Shulk’s design was in Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS; this makes sense as they are from the same series. Elma’s outfit is her default one from the beginning of the game and her outfits are taken from the other party members. Xenoblade Chronicles X has a lot of potential party characters,so I chose to only limit it to the six characters that actually show up and are playable in the game’s main storyline (Lin, Irina, Gwin, Doug, L and Lao respectively). The only exceptions to this are Cross and Nagi: Cross because they are the avatar and Nagi because he is technically an optional character for the party, even though he is in the main story. Elma also has a special eighth alt like how Shulk has his swimsuit outfit. Thanks to the way the ratings boards like the ESRB work, Shulk in his undies is fine because he is male but if it was female it would be deemed to sexual. So Elma does not have a swimsuit but she does have a special ‘spoiler’ outfit that can only be accessed post-game in Xenoblade X. Thanks to it being a spoiler though, I will hide it behind a spoiler tag below but do not expect Smash to be as considerate.

Spoiler title


Now, let us look at some stats:

  • Can they crawl: No
  • Can they wall jump: Yes
  • How many jumps do they have: 2
  • Is there any exclusive abilities they have*: No
  • Weight Class: B
  • Height Class: B+
  • Speed Class: D+
  • Are they mirrored when they faces left: No

*i.e. Peach’s float

Elma is a medium-heavy character due to her space-suit and a height which is close to Samus. She is also not mirrored due to her always having a weapon in her hand.

Activating Overdrive
Activating Overdrive

Elma’s use the Tension point system found in Xenoblade Chronicles X as her gimmick. As players battle as Elma their Tension Points (TP) will increase. When/if she dies it will reset back to zero. This makes it similar to Cloud’s limit-break system, yet it does not work exactly the same. In Xenoblade Chronicles X, TP increases when your characters auto-attack and sometimes your arts will require TP in order to be used. When your TP gets to 3000 points you have two choices: the ability to bring back an ally from being knocked out or activate overdrive which increases the power of your arts and allows for easier chain-attacks with allies. In Super Smash Bros. TP would allow for the latter ability: Overdrive.

In Super Smash Bros., Elma gains TP by doing standard attacks. Anything from jabs to smash attacks will increase the player’s TP (which is not shown on the screen but a background figure). Using grabs will not affect TP at all and the same is said for her final smash. However, using the players specials will use up TP. Specials can still be used even without TP but the goal is to earn TP because once you hit enough to activate Overdrive Elma will look like she has activated an aura (a blueish aura will come off of her). The next time a special is used two gears will spin into place behind Elma and she will enter Overdrive. Entering Overdrive does not replace the special attack but works alongside it. When Overdrive activates Elma will say “Follow me! Overdrive!”.

Elma and Fiora are very similar in their weapons
Elma and Fiora are very similar in their weapons

What Overdrive does is increase the power of the player’s special attack for about roughly five seconds however this can be extended based on the amount of hits you get in with your special attacks. Every hit on an enemy will increase it by two seconds so you aim is to rack up a combo in order to do more damage. The amount of strength your specials increase in is 200% rather than 400% in the original game.

Elma’s class is a Full Metal Jaguar which means her main fighting style involves dual-wielding two blades and two guns. Her main weapon in Super Smash Bros. are the blades which are used for nearly all of her standard attacks. Her guns are used for a few moves though as guns are a big part of Xenoblade Chronicles X so they needed to be represented and we now know that guns are not completely against the rules of Super Smash Bros. (i.e. Bayonetta) it just depends on how they are used and animated.

(Unfortunately there are no images this time. I couldn’t find any that helped show off how she played. So I hope my descriptions do it justice).

Move Name & Action Description
Walking Elma walks forward casually, both blades in hand.
Running Elma runs forward with a lowered head. She still has both blades by her side but they are slightly more out and ready to attack.
Jump Elma jumps left leg first with her arms stretched back. Her double jump has her spring off with her right foot and flip forward.
Falling Animation/Damage      Elma’s falling animation has her looking down with her sword arms out to the side. When damaged she is still holding the swords but is leaning back with only one eye open.
Neutral/Jabs Elma slices her swords in front of her alternating between her hands. She then ends by stabbing forwards with both swords and then splitting them apart.
F-Tilt Elma swings up with her right gun. Acts as a blunt attack.
Up-Tilt Elma spins her guns in her hands as she swings them in an arch over her head.
D-Tilt Elma gets down low and kicks in front of her.
Dash Attack Elma darts forwards with both swords held close before opening up and slicing both ways.
Up Smash Elma swings in an arc over her head and then flips over with a follow up attack
Down Smash Elma lunges forward with one sword before pulling backwards with the other sword.
Forward Smash Elma performs a 360 spin while swinging with her swords. The first sword strike will knock opponents into the ground while the second strike will knock opponents away.
N-air Elma will spin in the air with both swords held out.
F-air Elma will perform a double kick in-front of herself, using her heel as a blade.
B-air Elma will turn to look back with her torso and lunge her right arm backwards.
U-air Elma will hold both blade skyward and in the center before ripping them apart and swinging them down in an arc, one going forward and the other going back.
D-air Elma will shoot both her guns downwards briefly. The momentum will hold her in place. Think of Dante from Devil May Cry but not as exaggerated.
Grab Elma will grab with her left hand. She will still be holding her blade though.
Pummel Elma slashes the opponent with her right sword continuously.
F-throw Elma will stab her opponent with both swords before ripping them out, knocking opponents backwards.
B-throw Elma will stab her opponents and roll on her back, flipping them over her head. She will end by kicking them away and dislodging her sword in the process.
U-throw Elma throws them upwards and then perform an attack similar to her up-smash.
D-throw Elma will throw them to the ground behind her and then shoot at them with one gun at close range.
Neutral Special 1: Electric Surge Elma charges up electricity in her swords before jabbing them both straight forwards into opponents. They give a shock effect. The attack’s power increases based on how high Elma’s % is
Neutral Special 2: Side Slash Elma swings both her swords into the opponent. This attack does more damage if you hit the opponent’s back but cannot be charged. The attack’s power increases based on how high Elma’s % is
Neutral Special 3: Hundred Shells Elma will charge up her attack and when she lets go she will do various swings in front of her. The longer you hold down her special button the stronger the attack is. Her health has nothing to do with it.
Side Special 1: Sliding Slinger Elma slides along the ground and shoots in 45 degree angle in front of her.
Side Special 2: Violent Streak Elma slides along the ground and shoots all around her in an arc going from front to back.
Side Special 3: Executioner Elma no longer slides, she just shoots in a straight line in front of her but it does not last that long. It’s more like one big shot.
Up Special 1: ShadowStrike Elma jumps up and backwards  into the air. The animation can just go from there but pressing the special button during this animation will cause Elma to spring forward and slice in front of her with her swords.
Up Special 2: Reverse ShadowStrike Elma jumps up and forwards into the air. The animation can just go from there but pressing the special button during this animation will cause Elma to spring forward and slice in front of her with her swords.
Up Special 3: Vertical Strike Elma jumps straight up and into the air and performs a bunch of slicing attacks at the peak of her jump.
Down Special 1: Blood Sacrifice With this attack Elma will hold both of her blades in an X shape above her head and a red aura will glow from her. Elma will take 10% damage but will gain some TP in return. This % could change in testing.
Down Special 2: Extreme Blood Sacrifice With this attack Elma will take 50% damage but will gain a lot of TP in return. This % could change in testing.
Down Special 3: Ghost Factory This attack essentially acts like a counter, similar to Lucario’s down special, but Elma will actually walk forward during it. If she is hit while walking forward then she counters on the spot.
Final Smash: Skell Arts Elma will jump into her red Skell as seen in her flashbacks. She will then fly to the bunch of the screen and will act like Snake’s final smash in Brawl. However Elma can swap between using a gun and a sword based on whether the special or attack button is being pressed.
Up Taunt Elma will perform a battle pose with both of her blades. She will also say “It’s time to move in and keep the rhythm going!”
Side Taunt Elma will pull out her comm device, look at it before looking around a bit, press a button on the device and then puts it away again while saying “no lifehold pieces around here.”
Down Taunt Elma will reload her guns and say “I have to stay in this.”
Victory animation 1 Elma spins her blades before sheathing them. While doing this she says “Looks like you underestimated your enemy.”
Victory animation 2 Elma is crouching on the ground looking at her comm device. She then stands up while putting it away and says “hmm… looks like there is no sign of the lifehold, but I have gotta keep looking” and then looks off the her left.
Victory animation 3 Elma turns around to face the camera and smiles. She then says “heh, looks like you’re all in one piece.”

Elma’s victory music is the default Xenoblade Chronicles victory fanfare already in Smash:

With that we bring Elma to a close. I really enjoyed Xenoblade Chronicles X and if you have a Wii U then I would 100% recommend getting it. It is an investment though. The Xenoblade series is only going to grow from here out with Monolith already discussing ideas for the third game in the franchise. If it really is a direct follow-up to X like many hope then Elma will most likely be back and cement herself as a franchise mainstay. If you liked this moveset and want to see Elma in a future Smash iteration then let me know in the comments below. I am always interested in reading your feedback and thoughts.

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  1. You know what’s funny? I’m working on a Fiora move set that also uses tension as a primary mechanic. All in all a solid moveset as far as I can tell at least considering I haven’t played X yet.

  2. I always preferred having Cross over Elma. Though I guess I haven’t played the game far enough to realize how prominent her role is in the story.

    I had actually thought up a moveset for cross recently. It would have a mechanic where by pressing down special you would switch your weapon from swords and guns via Down Special.

    For when he is using a gun:
    Neutral Special – Flame Gernade (Does more damage if opponent trips or lies on the ground similar to topple)
    Side Special – Assault Hammer (Trips the opponent)
    Up Special – Well this is embarrassing I didn’t think of anything

    For when using a Sword:
    Nutruel Special – Rising Slash (3 Hit Combo, Does more damage if opponent taunts)
    Side Special – Back Slash (Same as Shulk)
    Up Special – Tornado Slash

  3. Nice article! I too was confused that they went for FE instead of XCX for a recent game newcomer. For your side specials, Side Slash doesn’t scale with low HP in XCX; I don’t know if you had that intentionally to mirror Electric Surge (which is Ether-element for some reason) or not. For the Final Smash, no G-Buster for the Verus Cain, 0/10 lol :P.

    I’m personally more in the Cross camp myself (the name is from some JP promotional footage; he has no confirmed official name besides the nickname of Rook, so who knows what he’d be called in Smash) because he can use every weapon. I’d personally see a XCX character using a weapon-switching mechanic (probably with a special like Bambam said) but your TP idea is cool too.

    I believe that Sakurai would go for Cross before Elma because Sakurai has picked avatars that aren’t the true main character (Robin) and have little personality so that the player can determine it themselves (Villager, Pokémon Trainer). Cross is also more important in gameplay, as he’s always required to be in the party and Elma isn’t, and Cross is the one doing everything outside of the main Lifehold plot (including multiplayer, which allows only Cross), and this content makes up most of one’s playtime. The only way I can see Elma getting picked first is if XCX2 is out in time for Smash 5 and both Cross and avatars in general are gone and Elma is still important.

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