The unusually dark image came during a trailer for a Super Smash Bros Ultimate update, which was unveiled during last night’s Game Awards ceremony.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Nintendo’s bestselling fighting game for the Switch console, is set to add Final Fantasy VII’s villain Sephiroth to its large roster of playable characters.
The trailer saw Sephiroth, who featured prominently in this year’s Final Fantasy VII Remake, take on some pre-existing Smash characters in combat, including Mario, whom it seemed he had impaled with a sword.
While a subsequent shot showed that the villain had in fact simply hooked Mario through the strap of his dungarees, viewers of the popular awards show were left stunned by the deception.
“I can’t believe this image is real,” wrote one viewer, while another commented: “Wow this seems like super violent for kids who play Smash lol. Sephiroth completely just punctured Mario.”
“I have never played Smash before nor wanted to but suddenly I wanna avenge Mario,” wrote someone else.
Others saw the lighter side of the moment. “This is the funniest thing I have ever seen a video game do,” wrote one person.
“One of the funniest images that gaming has produced this year, fantastic bit honestly,” wrote another.