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Aether Studios made several announcements Friday during their fourth annual April 1 Rivals Direct. Among other reveals and an unexpected puppet show, the developers shared a 2024 launch window for Rivals 2, the sequel to Rivals of Aether.

The new gameplay trailer showed off Zetterburn, Wrastor and Ranno in Rivals 2’s new 3D graphics. The trailer also highlighted new mechanics like grabbing, shielding and grabbable ledges. Though mainstays of many other platform fighters, these mechanics did not exist in the original Rivals of Aether.

In addition, Aether Studios CEO Dan Fornace announced additional mechanic changes during a Q&A session after the Direct. These include the removal of whifflag, which has become redundant with the addition of shields, and the addition of shield dropping.

Fornace also announced a unique pummel system wherein players can use a normal or special pummel. The grabbed opponent can then break out of the grab by inputting a normal or special attack at the same time as the pummeling opponent. Special variants also exist for parries and get-up attacks.

Rivals 2 and other announcements from the Rivals Direct 4

Along with the Rivals 2 release window, Aether Studios made several other announcements during the Rivals Direct. The previously-announced Dungeons of Aether, a dungeon crawler with turn-based battles, will become available on Steam on October 25.

Kragg, an original character from Rivals of Aether, will appear as an Assist in Fraymakers, another platform fighter from the developers of Super Smash Flash. He joins Orcane, who will be a fully playable character in Fraymakers.

The Direct also confirmed the creation of plushies inspired by the Rivals of Aether characters. Finally, Fornace made a few other informal reveals during the post-Direct Q&A, including the return of Hodan to Rivals 2 and the inclusion of new characters. In addition, he said there would be another season of the Rivals Championship Series this year. Season 6 of the RCS will conclude next weekend at Genesis 8.

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