TimeStrike with assistance from Sora Ltd. and Nintendo, directed under the eyes of Athena Hawkins. It was released as an experimental video game with a core focus on hardcore play, with TimeStrike attempting to gather as much information from the competitive world as possible, though KINGMAKER remains a simple game that is accessible to all audiences, designed to be easy to play for new players while satisfying those that would be interested in its fairly deep mechanics. It is considered a spin-off project of the Super Smash Bros. series, taking many bold risks with the formula and having a vastly different roster to boot. The name, "KINGMAKER", is taken from the story mode, whereas all forty characters work against each other to become the rightful owner of the universe under the supervision of Satan, who is the "kingmaker" in the story.
The artstyle of KINGMAKER is inspired greatly by the darker, gloomier atmosphere of Super Smash Bros. Brawl when compared to other games in the series. However, it balances the atmosphere with having the modern-day lighting of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate while having present-day character appearances. The glory and edge of Brawl's aesthetic, in the personal opinion of Hawkins, immensely suits both the game's story mode and competitive landscape. Due to having a bit of violence and some mild language by the game's announcers, the game is rated "E+10" by the ESRB and has similar ratings in PAL regions for those reasons. This game is officially labeled as a TimeStrike project in spite of being mostly developed by an independent group of developers, and is occasionally featured among the likes of Adrenaline Rush and Crow: The Siege on Thorn Fortress.
The game was released on October 4th, 2020 exclusively for The V², and also comes in a bundle packaged with the console and two controllers. It is among TimeStrike's best-selling games and its sales are on par with Zaxinian Lifts titles such as Zin Emergence: Rebirth of a God and General's Journey. This is PJ's first appearance in any video game, and is seen as a mascot for KINGMAKER in spite of him not appearing on the boxart.
Many of KINGMAKER's elements derive from typical Smash Bros. gameplay, where players must brutally assault each other with their attacks and knock players off the stage boundaries, with the objective being to either be the last one standing or the one with the most points under a time limit. This remains true for KINGMAKER, although the rules are flipped around a little this time. Through any battle, when characters give and take damage, a meter next to their icon begins to fill. The properties of this meter charge work just like Cloud's "Limit Charge" in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, and when it's full, they can use up its power on any one special attack, which has been buffed to a really powerful level for the occasion. Due to the game's strong competitive shape, the gameplay speed is closer to Super Smash Bros. Melee than any of the other titles, although it is not quite as fast-paced. There are no Assist Trophies, but the player can bring in "partner characters" to help. Secondary characters are controlled by either AI or a willing player. Partners disappear if they take up to 40% in damage or get knocked off of the playing field. The partners respawn again within fifteen seconds, but can spend time out of play trying to persuade the audience to lean their votes and support over their teammate. The time it takes for them to respawn increases more and more as they get knocked out of play. You either play free-for-alls or use partners as part of team matches, with up to 8 players (though there can only be 4 leads in 8-player matches and just 2 in 4-player matches).
The variation in KINGMAKER's roster is diverse, but also significantly different than what the Smash franchise offers. Most characters are either villainous in nature or indie characters, with a few oddballs thrown in here and there to mix things up. Because there is only one character per franchise, the playstyles of these characters vary significantly. Each character is labelled with a tag that tells what kind of playstyle fits them most. For example, Ganondorf's in-game playstyle is Bait & Punish. While KINGMAKER does use Smash for a template, its stages are less "chaotic" in nature and are designed to be more appealing to the competitive landscape while allowing creativity in design. The stages are designed to be as fair as possible while being mechanically interesting; stages may carry platforms (stationary or moving), feature slopes, or have minor hazards that can lurk at the absolute bottom of the stage. Due to the simplicity of the stages in KINGMAKER in contrast to those in Super Smash Bros., the stages attempt to be well-designed while allowing the action to unfold mostly peacefully. The stages require often that players make advantage of their set-ups to lay waste on their opponents.
No standard shield system exists in KINGMAKER, unlike in Super Smash Bros., so defensive play is far less encouraged than going on the offensive is- though players can still grab and throw. If the grab button is held down at the precise moment where the player is hit by an attack, their character's eyes will flash red as they hop backwards and take zero damage. This grants the player some space from the foe, but continuous uses without letting it breathe will make the move weaker and weaker to the point of inefficiency. Grabbing can only be done on the ground, but the "safeguard" can work in the air- albeit just once before the player lands back on the ground. Using the left or right buttons on the D-pad will instead perform a "quick guard", which has the player take only half damage from an attack before pushing the foe away and letting them go in for the kill. A poorly timed quick guard can let the opponent set up on them, though, and quick guards don't push the foe away much if they're at low damage percents (such at 15%). Players should use their partners to defend them like meatshields.
Pressing the up button on the D-pad will let the player perform a Parry- if used against projectiles, smash attacks, special attacks or even MATCHBREAKERS, the player will fill up their MATCHBREAKER meter by about a quarter of a stage. It'll always long for as long as it's used against an attacking hitbox. This Parry will ignore the rest of the attack's collision. This move should be used wisely, as parries will not push the player away or towards the opponent, and can be telegraphed and used against the player!
The MATCHBREAKER is KINGMAKER's equivalent to a Final Smash from the Super Smash Bros. series, the only difference being they don't involve cutscenes and are right-to-the-point. To be able to use a MATCHBREAKER, the player must completely fill its corresponding 3-tier meter and press down on the inner triggers simultaneously, then press down on the same buttons to use the attack itself. The player's stats are boosted up by a large margin during the 10-second period of activation, with the weight of the bonuses largely dependent on how high this meter was filled upon its triggering. To fill the meter, the player must hold down on the right shoulder button while on the ground, but they will be completely vulnerable to attacks- to negate this, the player needs to roll out of it or move. As the player takes damage, their MATCHBREAKER meter will slowly drain, so they need to be very careful if they wish to use the high-reward MATCHBREAKER move. Partners can also charge up their own MATCHBREAKER meter at twice the speed, but the effects for them are only half as strong.
Note that the player will only receive stat bonuses if they fill the meter up to just Level 1 or Level 2, as the ultimate attack is reserved for those that make it to Level 3 on the MATCHBREAKER bar.
Prior to a match, the fighters and their partners (if any) are shown walking into a battlefield. Depending on their personality, they may wave at the audience, bump their fists together, pull on aggressive faces, cackle maniacally, or etc. The KINGMAKER referee, Ike, will often say a pre-battle quote and introduce the audience to the fighters and partners present in the match. After the two/three/four characters taunt, the fight starts. Midway through a fight, a cutscene plays that shows the status of the match. When things are looking heated, another intermission will play that has the audience put bets on the winner. Should the player be bet on the most and win the match, they can earn cash that they can use to purchase new stages, unlock new rule settings, or obtain alternate palette collections. During a fight's introduction and during intermissions, segments of Megadeth's Crush 'Em play as do segments of other varying tracks. All battle intermissions and the match introduction can be skipped in a heartbeat, and the player can choose to disable them altogether in the options menu.
Throughout gameplay, announcers will commentate on the match and its progress, occasionally bickering with each other. When betting time comes around, they will randomly put their bets on the match's different players; audiences will have their opinions gravitate towards the player that's doing well for the most part, occasionally putting money on the one that's suffering the most. While matches play out, Ike will be shown dragging away fallen fighters from the arena, fiddling about with his Ragnell blade, and updating the statistics of a match when fighters fall or when the crown in Crown Mode falls in someone else's possession. Ike will also be the one that proclaims the winner of a match, blessing them with a kiss after their victory (sometimes with humorous results). It should be noted that throughout every KINGMAKER match he's present in, he will be wearing a fancy tuxedo. Announcers can be disabled in the menu or switched on and off quickly between matches.
There are five major modes in KINGMAKER, including Brawl Mode, Crown Mode, Boss KO Mode, Online Mode, and KINGMAKER Mode. Please note that Online Mode is exclusive to multiplayer events and that KINGMAKER Mode can only be played with a single player.
- Brawl Mode: The standard battling mode. Brawl Mode features very typical Super Smash Bros.-esque battles, with two to four players competing together on 2D stages of varying shapes and sizes. The player must play in either Stock or Timed matches, with the former being default. In the former, the winner is the last player to hold any stocks by the end of the round. In Timed mode, however, each KO obtained gains the player a point - the player with the most points when the time limit expires is the winner. Battles can either be played in free-for-alls, team battles, or against hordes of CPU opponents as practice. Also accessed through Brawl Mode is a training room, which functions much like the training room featured in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Brawl Mode allows the player to change up the rules to their desires, with three presets available: Player's Preference, Casual Experience, and Competitive Experience. This allows the player to practice under either official environment or under the player's own rules and terms for local play reasons. When battling CPUs, they can be set from Level 1 to Level 9, though Level 10 CPUs of each character becomes available and in Fandraxono-inspired colors when their respective Level 9 CPU is beaten for the first time.
- Crown Mode: A crazier take on Brawl Mode makes things quite hectic! Two to eight players are dropped onto a map alongside a crown- grabbing this crown will make you the definitive KING! As the KING, you quickly obtain points over the course of a match, and if you make it to a provided threshold of points, you will win the battle! However, getting hit will cause the crown to fall off of you, and falling off the stage will remove about a quarter of your current points as a penalty! If you have the crown, run for your life and try to keep the crown on your head! If you don't have the crown, go all-out for the leader! If your battle has four or more players, an optional timer can be applied to the battle- every 30 seconds, the player(s) with the least amount of points will be removed from the match! In this alternate take on Crown Mode, the last player remaining is the winner! A third and final take on Crown Mode is based off of the properties of the Super Crown- if a player grabs the crown, they will transform into a Princess Peach-esque version of themselves! They will gain the statistics and athletic ability of Peach from the Super Smash Bros. series, particularly her Ultimate incarnation, but will retain their own attacks and moveset powers... just with a bit of "Peachiness". After taking 30% damage, though, the crown will be forcibly knocked off of them and stop the player from obtaining points! Again, the player will have to reach a provided threshold of points.
- Boss KO Mode: An alternative to standard battles is Boss KO Battles. In these battles, the players must concentrate their efforts towards defeating a colossal enemy rather than for defeating each other. In fact, the players cannot hurt each other in these battles under these circumstances by default, though this can be turned on outside of online matches. The objective in Boss KO Mode is to gain the highest score, with points earned for the following: damaging the boss, destroying projectiles, eliminating its summons, and not losing any stocks. Extra points are earned for those that don't take damage through the entire fight, those that evade getting hit by projectiles and/or physical attacks, those that land combo chains on the boss, and for those that land the last hit on the boss. The more damage done to a boss at a time, the more points the player earns at once. Once the boss is defeated (or if the time limit in the fight expires), the player that's done the most damage towards the boss is the victor of the match. It should be noted that if a player loses all their stocks, all their points will be brought down to zero due to them not keeping up the ability to stay alive.
- Online Mode: It is possible to hook online to watch other players duke it out without directly participating through Viewer Mode. The player can bet on the winner when the opportunity rises up (with their bet vote counting towards the total) and send messages to root any of the present fighters on. They can also communicate with any of the announcers of the match; they'll offer their thoughts and/or insights on who the winner of the match may happen to be. If a match is open to having extra fighters or if only one player remains in a room, the player may join in the battle from their position. Each room can have up to 10 fights going on, so the player should be able to get within a fight in not too long. The player can select any member of an audience that happens to be controlled by other players and challenge them to a battle if they desire; they can choose if they want to have more than two players or not. If allowed, other players can join in and warp to where their fight is taking place. Note that if a room already has ten battles going on, they will have the option to decline or teleport away to another server room.
- KINGMAKER Mode: In the KINGMAKER universe, all the playable fighters are known as the playthings at the hands of a special entity known as naught but the KINGMAKER! The KINGMAKER, an unstable dark lord going by the name of "Satan", wields these dolls like puppets on strings... Angered deeply in his chest by the overwhelming amount of hate and cruelty he's received over the centuries, Satan decides to pour it all back on the faces of humanity in an effort to stand up for himself! He decides to corrupt a number of overly powerful playthings and use them to conquer the corners of the universe, enchanting them with his own evil power and morals and promising to make the victor the KING of the universe, able to do with it as they please! But... as Satan grows in strength with all the heroic souls he absorbs over the course of the mode, he starts to behave strangely... it is all what it's cracked up to be!? Choose your favorite character in KINGMAKER mode and head out on a non-linear journey inspired by Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS's "Classic" mode, taking out as many enemies as possible to please Satan and hopefully earn the title of King of the Universe! Just... be careful, okay?
Other modes that are not currently enlisted include Training Mode and Options Mode.
There are initially twenty-five fighters available for the player to control in KINGMAKER. Each character has a Super Smash Bros.-stylized moveset as well as their own personal home stage. Over time, new characters were added in free-to-download "waves", with the roster currently at forty characters. Each character is one that Athena is deeply fond of, hence their inclusion. Clicking on a fighter will take you to their respective moveset page, though characters without movesets just yet cannot be clicked on.
KINGMAKER has its own trading cards. Collect all 40 and send them in to TimeStrike to earn a special prize!
There are four total announcers in KINGMAKER. Each of them can speak on the mic and have their own idealistic ways of gaining an audience's attention. Most are based off of the director's varying personalities, though Anchor Emcee is the announcer by default. Chronia, Silver Zin, and Athena Hawkins can be unlocked by playing 100, 200, and 300 matches respectively. "James Hetfield" and "Ozzy Osbourne", heavy metal bands Metallica and Black Sabbath frontmen respectively, are included due to Athena being huge fans of both bands. They are unlocked together by playing 500 matches overall.
In KINGMAKER, the SPELLCASTER is a special customizable avatar that the player can use for combat, being an expressive character that uses a number of unique magical skills to partake in combat. The SPELLCASTER solely borrows the color scheme the player's chosen Mii holds, with other elements of their design being handpicked by the player (personality, hairstyle, voice). They are completely customizable powerset-wise, with the player able to choose between up to three alternate moves for their neutral and up to five for their special movesets. All of the SPELLCASTER's attacks revolve around magic, but the player can choose between whether or not they're close-ranged or long-ranged and use a number of skills that bend and twist their magic techniques in varying ways to counter a number of different characters while leaving them open to others. The player may also grant their SPELLCASTER their own properties or gimmicks, but only up to a few at a time. Though many of these moves and equipment are available at the beginning, the player can earn more by playing as the SPELLCASTER more often. The SPELLCASTER, appearance-wise, is inspired by the looks of all six main Zaxinian Lifts protagonists:
The SPELLCASTER is designed to be a casual-friendly character and is not designed for competitive play, intending to be an avatar that the player can call their own throughout their time with KINGMAKER.
There are as many stages in KINGMAKER as there are characters, meaning that there are currently forty stages, with each fighter having one they can call home. These stages are designed (or in some cases, redesigned) to suit the competitive nature of the game, featuring little hazards but still having unique aspects that make them each different (and fun) to play on, even by casual players.
- means the stage is designed with casual audiences in mind (softcore)
- means the stage is designed with competitive audiences in mind (hardcore)
- means the stage mostly encourages offensive play
- means the stage mostly encourages defensive play
- means the stage is best suited for 1-on-1 battles
- means the stage can work with 4 players quite easily
- means the stage works quite well for 8 players
In spite of the game's competitive focus, there are a limited amount of items featured in KINGMAKER that can be used in hardcore and softcore play. However, only a small percentage of items can be used in the competitive scene. Players must use the neutral attack command to pick up an item. The items featured here in KINGMAKER are original to the game- none of them emerge from official series, unlike the case in Super Smash Bros.. They do come out of Sonic Mania-esque monitors, though.
- denotes that the item is exclusively for casual play
- denotes that the item is available in competitive play
The contents of the item boxes are of clipart found across the internet.
This is the official tier list for KINGMAKER, created roughly six months after the game's initial release date and revised a month after each update's release. The tier list exists solely for competitive purposes and shows which characters are generally viable in the hardcore metagame and which ones generally are not.
- CAUTION: Music will be LOUD as you can't control the sound level on embedded Spotify playlists. Be sure to turn down your volume before clicking anything on the playlist!
|The soundtrack to KINGMAKER is composed of licensed tracks that were given the A-OK to include within the game. The most commonly heard song in the game is Megadeth's "Crush 'Em", which plows through the game's intro cutscene, match intermissions, and match introductions by default. "Kingmaker", also by Megadeth, is the game's main theme and credits song. Other tracks in the game can be played in place of "Crush 'Em", which are typically tracks that are focused on giving the player heat akin to the aforementioned songs. The soundtrack is composed largely of rock and metal music, though it normally tends to not be overly aggressive and is supposed to just fit with the fighting nature of the game. The player is capable of selecting whichever music they want for each stage as long as it's already included within the game.
Original tracks within the game are uncommon and are typically filler tracks used in menus or in stages. However, the soundtrack producers at TimeStrike ensured that every element of the game would get the player's blood pumping no matter what. They are not played to the same extent as the rest of the game's music, though.
For anyone else that joins KINGMAKER beyond the initial roster of 25 characters, they will be enlisted here with a log telling their date of addition alongside a short summary describing them. Other things, such as bug patches, will also be enlisted here.
- October 10, 2018: Bow wow! This pupper named "PJ" joins the cast of KINGMAKER with nothing but a bone to give. He might look cuddly but this dog is no man's best friend in battle! His moveset is something that will make you want to wag your tail and bark until the cows come home. He joins the cast as of 10/10/2018.
Helena Harper, TimeStrike director's wife
- December 27, 2018: We see five new fighters join the roster of KINGMAKER! Please say hello to Akuma, Poison, Tifa, Grim, and surprise fighter Abraham Lincoln, who have joined our roster of 25 to show their moves! They were all added as of 12/27/2018 as part of our surprise update.
Athena Hawkins, TimeStrike director
- March 2, 2019: An extra set of five fighters join KINGMAKER's ever-diversifying roster! Say hi to our friends Mai, Shade Man, Undyne, Technus, and our own fighter Zodiez! They're here to kick some ass and take some names as of 3/2/2019. Have fun with them all, y'all!
Athena Hawkins, TimeStrike director
- July 13, 2019: The last set of fighters join the KINGMAKER roster! Please give warm welcomes to Dante, Mira, Thief Wario, Specter Knight, and Giorno! Please have fun with these characters- you have forty characters to fight with! Please do not ask me for anything ever again.
Athena Hawkins, TimeStrike director
- This game is a remake of Project V from the Lapis Wiki, and carries the exact same premise it does. The game's roster takes inspiration from previous umbrellas, such as Sanguine Bloodshed, Masses, and Cardinal Masquerade.
- The game takes its title from the 2013 Megadeth song of the same name, inspired by the following lyrics:
* I want everything that makes me feel alright
* That feels alive, don't ask me why
* I want everything, right before my eyes
* I can't deny I want to be the King!
These lyrics would later influence the game's story mode.
- The idea of Zaxinian Lifts character Fandraxono being presented as a bad guy in story mode reflects his original role as antagonist in the creator's first fully-finished fighting game, Brawl of the Fandraxonians.