Now I’ll discuss the modes you’d be able to play in Ultra Smash Bros., and the stuff you could mess with in the options menu. This part is very technical, so there isn’t a lot of creative writing to keep it interesting. Like before, everything past this paragraph is in present tense for clarity.
All of the 1-player/co-op modes can be played on six different difficulty settings.
- Very Easy: AI opponents are idiotic, and bosses are pushovers.
- Easy: AI characters are only somewhat competent, and bosses don’t put up so much of a fight.
- Normal: AI characters, enemies and bosses are about as tough as they are in Brawl’s Normal mode, if not a bit harder.
- Hard: Things start to get more difficult. Some bosses will use new attacks.
- Very Hard: Here’s where it gets nasty. AI characters become almost devious, and bosses will get more new moves. In Quest Mode, the levels have more enemies, and they’re in new layouts so you’ll see different ones as you go through the same levels (usually tougher ones).
- Extreme: Only super players and masochists need apply. AI characters will use all the tricks of the game engine to beat you, and the bosses are at their peak.
These modes normally let you use 1 or 2 players, but you can unlock a 3+ players option.
- Classic: You fight randomly chosen characters, sometimes with a gimmick. Among these levels are 3 bonus stages. Then you battle a bunch of Fighting Polygons/Wire Frames/Alloys, a metal character, and finally Master Hand. The usual gimmicks are in the one-on-one battles, and there are new ones like Invincible (Opponent has an infinite Starman effect, you have to avoid them until time runs out), Speedy (Opponent has an infinite Bunny Hood) and Protect (You get a partner who fights too, but if they lose all their lives it’s Game Over, and on harder modes the AI opponent(s) will pursue them over you).
- Quest Mode (Super Smash Quest): You tackle a huge adventure laid out like Super Mario World, with worlds of 5-12 levels, stages with multiple exits, boss battles, and more than one path to the end. Instead of stickers, equippable items can be found and wielded. You also have an inventory to store usable items, and bring them out when needed. Coins can be used to buy both usable items and equipment, as well as extra lives, but lives get more expensive the more you already have. You normally start every level with 5 lives, but buying extras will let you start with more for that level. If you end a level with fewer than 5 lives, you’ll start the next with 5. If you have more than 5 at the end, you’ll still have that many for the next level. When playing co-op, the camera mostly follows player 1, and the other player(s) can warp to him or her any time except when they’re in a state of knockback. Every player gets their own set of 5 lives, and if you lose all your lives you can borrow one from another player to come back. The first time you beat a boss on a certain difficulty level, you get a medal from them. The type of medal depends on the difficulty, and in order you can obtain a Toy Medal, Bronze Medal, Silver Medal, Gold Medal, Diamond Medal, or Rainbow Medal. Some unlockables (like playable bosses) require enough points’ worth of medals. A Toy Medal is worth 1 point, and each higher medal is worth one more point than the previous (2 for Bronze, 3 for Silver, etc.).
- All-Star: You fight a set of characters from all the major franchises represented in the game. You can also play a variation where either the characters are picked at random, or you choose a set of characters to fight. In this case, you can battle anywhere from 10 to 100 characters, and choose which battles pit you against more than one character. For every ten characters total, you’ll start with one more Heart Container in the rest area. If you set the number of characters to something with 5-9 for the ones digit, you’ll have another Maxim Tomato instead of a Heart Container. (For instance, if you set it so you’ll fight 45 characters, then the rest area will have 4 Heart Containers and a Maxim Tomato)
- Break the Targets: There are 20 basic target stages, and each included character is given 5 they can complete. When you beat enough stages total (including the same one with a different character), you can play Extra Stage (try any stage with any character, whether or not they’re meant to be able to beat it) and Custom Stage (put the targets anywhere you want in the pre-fab stages, and use your own custom stages as target stages).
- Duck Hunt: Sort of like that Duck Hunt “character” made for MUGEN, but with two submodes. In Duck Hunt Stage, you play levels of Duck Hunt while attacking the ducks yourself, with the same rules from the original game (except the 3-shot limit, since you don’t have a Zapper). In Duck Hunt Trial, there are ducks all over the place and you have to hit as many as possible within a time limit. Both Duck Hunt modes are available in multiplayer, so you don’t have to do anything special to have 3 or more players.
- Home Run Contest: Beat up Sandbag without knocking him off the platform, then use the bat to whack him as far as you can. You can choose whether you want the force field around the platform, and there are separate score rankings with or without the force field.
- Multi-Man Battle: Fight a bunch of Polygons, Wire Frames or Alloys. The same modes from Brawl and Melee are there- 10-man, 100-man, 3 minutes, 15 minutes, endless, and Sadistic.
- Baddy Battle: You fight lots of enemies from Quest Mode, along with minibosses. The modes are 50 enemies, 1000 enemies, 3 minutes, 15 minutes, and endless.
- Boss Rush: Bosses one after the other. Like All-Star, you can either pick which ones to fight, or let the game choose. You also have the option to not have any Heart Containers, in which case you won’t enter the rest area between battles.
- Boss Survival: You just keep fighting bosses until you drop. If you beat all the non-custom bosses in one run (alone or with a partner), there will be some kind of reward. If the game runs out of bosses including custom ones, then you’ll start fighting two bosses simultaneously until it ends. When starting, you can toggle Nonstop (no rest area between fights, and instead of the screen fading out, the current stage just vanishes and you fall into the next boss’ area) and Hurry Up! (each boss fight has a time limit, and if you let the time run out it’s Game Over).
- Normal Battle: For all the Vs. modes, you can play using either Time (whoever has the most KOs at the end wins), Stock (last one standing wins), Coin (coins and other goodies pop out as you hit each other, and whoever has the most coins at the end wins), and Style (Bonus mode from Melee). Coin mode has a couple of differences. First, it’s not just coins that appear from hits- often times you’ll see items from other games which make their respective noises when collected, and are worth certain amount of coins. Second, your coins will be up for grabs no matter which side of the screen you die off of. If you go off the top, half your coins go spilling down over the stage. If you fall off the bottom, the coins get flung up towards the stage. You’ll see items like Duke’s merchandise from Duke Nukem 1 and 2; bolts, P-chips, score pellets and the rare Yashichi from Megaman; money bags from Castlevania; various goodies from Bubble Bobble; gems from Duck Tales; rupees from Legend of Zelda; and medals from a bunch of shoot-em-ups.
- Gimmick Battle: You can apply several types of gimmicks to a multiplayer match, though some are mutually exclusive.
Sudden Death: Everyone starts with 300% damage.
Stamina: Everyone has HP instead of building up damage, and can be KO’d without being knocked out of the stage. Can’t use with Sudden Death or Tug-o-War.
Tug-o-War: Instead of damage or HP, there’s a bar on the HUD with segments of one color for each player. As you hit others, their bar shrinks and your bar grows. The smaller a player’s bar, the more attacks knock them back. When you respawn, your bar resets to 1/x of the total bar, where x equals the number of players. Can’t use with Sudden Death or Stamina.
Super-Size: Everyone’s big like from Super Mushrooms.
Micro: Everyone’s small like from Poison Mushrooms. Can’t use with Big.
Bunny: Everyone has infinite Bunny Hoods, moving much faster and jumping a lot higher.
Metal: Everyone’s always metal, as from a Metal Box.
Flower: Everyone has a permanent flower on their head like from Lip’s Stick, taking constant damage. Can now be used with Bunny, even though Brawl didn’t let you do so.
Vanish: Everyone’s semi-invisible like from Cloaking Devices, but still accumulate damage.
Curry: Everyone is constantly spitting fire, like from Superspicy Curry.
Fire Wheels: Everyone constantly has fireballs spinning around them, from the Art of the Fire Wheel.
Reflection: Everyone has infinite Franklin Badges, causing all projectiles to reflect off them.
Jet Sleds: Everyone has an infinite Unit-2. To actually KO someone, you’ll have to hit them hard enough that they fly all the way out of the stage, because if the knockback isn’t enough they can just fly back.
Hi-Speed: The battle goes twice as fast.
Slow-Motion: Everything happens at half speed. Can’t use with Hi-Speed.
Low-G: Gravity is lower for everything.
Heavy: Gravity is higher for everything.
Slip-n-Slide: All ground is slippery as ice, which affects both characters and items.
Hyper: Characters have a super gauge which builds up with attacks, and enables them to use their Final Smash when it’s full.
- AI Reads Input: When ON, AI-controlled characters will recognize your controller inputs and plan against them before your attacks even come out, just like fighting game bosses.
- AI Gangs Up: When ON, AI characters will prioritize attacking human players instead of each other, even in a free-for-all. When OFF, they choose who to attack based on the situation.
- Air Attack Cancel: NONE (landing lag from air attacks can’t be cancelled), L CANCEL (tap L or R as you land to cancel recovery), AUTO (landing lag is automatically shortened by half).
- Air Dodge: SOFT DODGE (Brawl’s version, dodge multiple times in a jump but it doesn’t change momentum), HARD DODGE (Melee’s version, one dodge you can use to shift in any direction, but you can’t do anything till you land or get hit), BOTH (tap L or R briefly for a soft dodge, hold it for a hard dodge), BOTH INVERSE (hold for soft dodge, tap for hard dodge), BOTH BUTTONS (two separate buttons for soft and hard dodge).
- Assist Trophy Carry: ON (you can hold an Assist Trophy and press A to use it), OFF (you automatically use an Assist Trophy when possible).
- Auto A Jabs: ON (you can hold A to keep doing normal jabs, including mash-type ones), OFF (you have to press A for all your jabs, and mash A for rapid-fire ones).
- Beam Sword Type: SHORT (the pink one from Smash and Melee), LONG (the blue one from Brawl with more range).
- Dash to Crouch: ON (you can immediately crouch while running, or Dash-Cancel), OFF.
- Directional Influence Timing: Adjust the timing window for tapping a direction when you get hit to shift yourself that way.
- Eat While Prone: ON (while knocked down, you can grab food that’s near you before standing up), OFF (you have to stand up first before you can pick up food).
- Footstool Jump: ON, OFF. Configure how many Footstool Jumps you can do before the effect starts to decay, and set how fast it decays.
- Footstool Jump Tech: ON (if someone Footstool Jumps off you, you can do a Tech to recover as if you took a hit)
- Grapple to Terrain: ON (ranged grapples can latch onto surfaces besides ledges), OFF
- Gravity: Configure how fast all characters and objects fall.
- Hang and Shimmy: ON (you can grab onto horizontal bars and similar foreground objects, then shimmy across them), OFF
- Ledge Grab During Attack: ON (you can grab ledges during an attack, canceling it), OFF
- Ledge Reverse Grab: ON (you can grab ledges while facing the wrong way), OFF
- Ledge Auto-Grab: NORMAL (there’s a radius in which you automatically grab a ledge, even without touching it directly), SMALL (this auto-grab radius is smaller), OFF (you have to touch a ledge to grab on).
- Ledge Auto-Grapple: NORMAL (ranged grapples home in on ledges), SMALL, OFF (grapple won’t latch on until it actually touches the ledge).
- Moonwalk: ON (when starting to dash, you can tap the other direction to slide backward a bit without turning around), OFF.
- Move and Shoot: ON (with gun-type items, you can move and jump while firing them), OFF
- Offscreen Damage: ON (while off the screen, you gradually take damage), OFF. Configure the rate of damage, and maximum damage.
- Perfect Shield Timing: Adjust the timing window for parrying attacks with Perfect Shield.
- Pity Final Smash: ON (if Smash Balls are enabled, then whoever falls way behind in the match will respawn with a Final Smash ready), OFF.
- Pity Final Smash Trigger: COMPARE TO LEADER (if a player dies when the leader has at least x more points than them, they get a Final Smash), FALLS (if a player dies x times in a short period, they get a Final Smash).
- Reflector Break: STUN (if your reflector breaks, you get stunned like when your shield breaks), PENETRATE (the attack that breaks your reflector will just damage you), OFF (reflectors won’t break).
- Screw Attack Type: HOLD (item you can throw), BADGE (temporary item you can’t throw, but you can grab something else while it’s on).
- Shield Break: STUN (if your shield breaks, you get knocked down and turn dizzy when you stand up), FLINCH (you go into a long, uncancellable flinch animation), NO BREAK (your shield won’t break no matter how small it gets), OFF (your shield won’t shrink).
- Stale Move Penalty: ON (using the same move repeatedly makes it weaker until you do something else), VS ONLY (only applies to multiplayer modes), OFF. Configure how many repetitions are necessary for it to kick in, how much the move’s damage and knockback decrease, and the maximum decrease.
- Swim: ON (you can swim across water), OFF (you fall through water like it was thin air).
- Swim Length: NORMAL, NONE (you drown the moment you fall in water), SHORT, LONG, NO LIMIT (you can swim as long as you want).
- Tech Timing: Adjust how accurate your timing needs to be to do a Tech when hitting the ground, a wall or a ceiling.
- Trip %: Choose a percentage from 0.00% to 100.00%. At 100%, you’ll trip every time you try to dash.
- Wall Jump Decay: ON (after a certain amount of wall jumps, the height from each one decreases), VS ONLY (doesn’t apply to 1-player/co-op), OFF.
Awards and Bonuses
Awards are special challenges you can do to unlock stuff, like Achievements or Trophies.
Bonuses are extra points for doing something cool, silly or otherwise notable during a match.
Boingsball: Hit a thrown Mr. Saturn with a baseball bat (it can be a Home Run Bat or some other kind of bat).
Get Even Again: Destroy a whole formation of Space Invaders without being hit by them once. (Includes being hit by the turret’s explosion if it takes a hit)
It’s Yours, My Friend: Buy 9999 coins’ worth of items in Quest Mode.
Persistence Pays: Accumulate 200% or more damage, then get a KO before you get KO’d.
Wabbit Stew: As Kirby in a match with four or more players, cook everyone else at the same time with your Final Smash.
Warning Forever: Defeat 15 or more bosses in a Boss Rush.
52 Actions: Perform 52 movements and/or attacks in one minute.
Caught in the Crossfire: Get between two opponents who are firing projectiles.
Charged KO: Score a KO with either a charged Smash Attack, or any special move that involves charging up.
Coinpurse Bandit: KO someone in a Coin match when they have at least 50 coins, and get the majority of the coins they drop. (You have to get at least 60% of the coins)
Crazy Climber: Every time you grabbed a ledge, you pulled yourself up normally. (You have to grab ledges at least 6 times)
Destroy Them All: In any stage where enemies appear in waves, beat the entire first wave of them. Every player who kills at least one of the enemies will get this bonus.
Dream Team: In a team match, get twice as many KOs/coins/points as the team in second place.
Eggsacting Punishment: KO someone with an exploding egg. The egg has to explode, but it’ll count whether or not the explosion knocks them all the way off the screen, as long as they don’t recover.
Extreme Close-Up: Get smacked into the camera.
Final Bonus: When finishing a 1-player mode, you get points for how many lives you have left, as long as you didn’t use any continues. The fewer lives you started with, the more points each one is worth.
Flawless Victory: Finish a match without ever getting hit.
Get my Good Side: Taunt at the end of a match.
I Hate that Edge Hog: Attack someone who’s hanging on a ledge to knock them off it.
Kill ‘em with Suspense: Get a Smash Ball and hang on to it for 10 seconds before using your Final Smash. (It doesn’t have to be continuous)
Minesweeper: Destroy a Motion-Sensor Bomb without taking damage from it.
Oh No, I’m Falling!: Get pushed off a ledge while blocking.
One Credit Clear: Beat a 1-player mode without using any continues.
Party Wipe: Cause everyone in a match to be KO’d within 2 seconds of each other, including yourself. (Time spent flying into the background or into the camera isn’t counted, so as long as everyone is knocked out of the stage boundary at once, this counts)
Precision Parrier: Parry lots of attacks.
Rolling Start: Do 10 or more rolling dodges in the first 30 seconds of a match.
Shot the Food: Attack someone who’s close enough to a piece of food to pick it up, then eat it yourself.
Soundly Beaten: Get knocked back and forth between two or more opponents. (The programming name for this bonus in Melee really was “GETSOUNDLYBEATEN”)
Speed Expiation: Finish a level very quickly, without ever attacking an enemy, using an item (other than any required to proceed), or taking any damage. You can use moves for mobility, but not to hit anything that can be damaged. The required time depends on the level.
Spin Doctor: Score 3 or more KOs with spinning attacks.
Take-Backsies: When an opponent picks up an item you just dropped or threw, knock it out of their hands and grab it again.
The Ultimate Sacrifice: In a team match, stop an attack from hitting your teammate by taking the hit yourself, and get KO’d by it.
What the Shell: Use one Koopa shell to attack every opponent at least once. It counts whether it’s a green, red or blue shell.
You Only Live Once: Beat a 1-player mode without losing any lives.
Your Skill is Great!: Beat a boss very quickly. The required time depends on the boss and the difficulty level.