During today's Smash Bros. Ultimate Direct, one of the most mind-boggling additions to the game was revealed: the Spirit system.

The story goes that many video game characters have lost their forms and become Spirits, which can be used as power-ups for the player's fighter. These Spirits come from a dazzling array of different franchises, including Zelda, Metroid, Metal Gear, Castlevania, Xenoblade and even the Japanese DS exclusive Ouendan; basically, any series which is represented by a character in Smash already will have more than a few Spirit characters included.

This isn't just fan service, however; Spirits can make all the difference in battle. Players can equip primary and support spirits to power-up or gain additional abilities, such as improved speed, better hitting power or even increased defence. By mixing and matching the Spirits you have equipped, you can unlock new abilities as well as cool features which bring even more character to the world of Smash.

The main way to acquire spirits is to win Spirit Battles; if you're successful, you get to take part in a roulette challenge to acquire that spirit. Even if you don't win this, the next time you meet a fighter with that Spirit, it will be slightly easier to capture them. Spirits grow in power the more you use them, too. You can level them up during normal play to gain extra power, and some Spirits even evolve over time into different forms.

This is clearly a massive, massive part of the new Smash outing and we dread to think how long it has taken for the team behind it to develop and balance. Let us know what you think by posting a comment.