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Super Smash Bros. Brawl Updates
In this thread i will post alot of information on Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Nintendo has confirmed that, in the United States, Super Smash Bros. Brawl will arrive on February 10, 2008. It had originally been scheduled for the holiday season of 2007. but was unfortunately delayed on the same day that Sonic the Hedgehog was announced as joining the roster of playable fighters.

Character with bios:

The Vetrans
First Appearance: Super Mario Bros., NES, 1985
Confirmed for Brawl: July 3, 2007
King Bowser Koopa, leader of the Koopa Klan. This middle-aged mutant wizard turtle has been terrorizing the Mushroom Kingdom and its heroes the Mario Brothers for now over 20 years. He's addicted to kidnapping Princess Peach – having done so in the majority of games in which he's appeared – even though he's always foiled, in the end, by the mighty red-capped plumber. Bowser first arrived in the Smash world in SSB Melee, and used his signature heavyweight bulk to put the hurt on any opponent foolish enough to stray into range of his claws or fire breath. Now in Brawl, Bowser's planning to pack on even more pounds – his Final Smash attack allows him to temporarily transform into the two-ton Giga Bowser and wreak massive destruction, Godzilla-style, over the entire stage. It's also expected that Bowser, along with the other heavyweight fighters, will be more playable on a competitive level this time around with the revelation that some attacks from their opponents will now not cause the bulky bruisers to flinch.

Donkey Kong
First Appearance: Donkey Kong, Arcade, 1981
Confirmed for Brawl: July 12, 2007
The leader of the bunch, you know him well. He's finally back to kick some tail. Nintendo's first major mascot, Donkey Kong was also the first hulking heavyweight in the Smash series, arriving as one of the original eight unlocked fighters back on the N64. His abilities are based largely on his large size and brute strength, but this time around the monkey's also getting a bit funky – his Final Smash has been revealed to be a Donkey Konga bongo attack, in which DK pulls a GameCube Bongo controller out of thin air and begins to slap and clap to the beat. He may also benefit from an increased resistance to light attacks

Fox McCloud
First Appearance: Star Fox, SNES, 1993
Confirmed for Brawl: November 3, 2006
Fast, frantic and furry, the ace Arwing pilot Fox McCloud has received a more significant graphical overhaul than many of his fellow returning fighters. In Melee, his look was more realistic – here in Brawl, he's been adapted into something more closely resembling his look from Star Fox Command. His new enormous boots don't seem to have slowed him down, though, as Fox is expected to remain one of the quickest fighters in the roster – and he's set to wield a newly redesigned version of his trusty KO-stealing hand blaster as well. There's no word yet on whether or not Fox's feathered friend Falco will also be returning to playability, though other elements from the Star Fox series – like the Lylat Cruise stage and Space Armada soundtrack piece – have been revealed.And Fox can do a barrel roll! The furry fighter is set to take his wingman Peppy's epic advice once again here in Smash Bros. Brawl, as his Final Smash has been confirmed as facilitating exactly that action. A to-scale Landmaster tank will appear on stage when Fox manages to grab a Smash Ball, and Fox will be able to command it to do barrel rolls on the spot and damage anyone standing in the vicinty of the vehicle. He'll also be able to make it jump and hover, presumably crushing anyone underneath when it comes back down again, and fire its primary cannon with the attack button. You're becoming more like your father, Fox.

The Ice Climbers
First Appearance: Ice Climber, NES, 1985
Confirmed for Brawl: September 14, 2007
Nana and Popo are a pair of mountain climbing adventurers whose only game was the 1985 NES launch title, Ice Climber. The title was a platformer that strictly scrolled vertically, as you began your ascent at the base of each mountain and used your huge hammer to chip away at the ceilings above you, eventually breaking through a path to the peak. Near the top of every level, a bonus round tasked you to collect vegetables for bonus points – the story of the game was that a thieving Condor had stolen the food reserves of Nana and Popo's village, and they were out to get them back.

And that's why their franchise icon is an eggplant, just as it was when this duo was introduced as a playable pair in Smash Bros. Melee. They were one of the most unique character choices in that game, as controlling two fighters at once was an innovative addition – though you primarily control Popo, and Nana follows behind as an AI partner. That appears to be the case again for Brawl, though these first screens indicate that the Climbers may be more frigidly powerful than before.

Nana and Popo will certainly be bringing the pain when they grab a Smash Ball, as on the spot they'll summon forth a massive iceberg to spike through the center of the current stage. It'll become an enormous obstacle for the fighters to have to deal with – but the Ice Climbers will be right at home, with their natural ability to move on ice without slipping. Better retreat to the far left or right side of the stage if you see a Climber player start glowing with Smash Ball power, too – because if you're caught in the inital punch of the peak coming up from the bottom of the screen, you could get frozen solid.

First Appearance: Kirby's Dream Land, Game Boy, 1992
Confirmed for Brawl: May 10, 2006
One of the first four fighters revealed to star in the Brawl, Kirby is also the least visibly changed of any returning character. But it makes sense that his basic form has stayed the same, because his real visual overhaul will come into play only after he's used his signature attack – swallowing his foes, and copying their powers (along with, usually, some article of their clothing). Kirby first displayed the ability to steal the traits of others in Kirby's Adventure on the NES, and he's used that skill in the Smash series since the very first N64 installment. With all the brawling newcomers on the roster this time around, his list of potential powers – and looks – will grow even greater. We can't wait to see wait the little pink puffball looks like after absorbing Ike, or Diddy Kong, or the Pokemon Trainer's Charizard. Kirby's also set to don a chef's cap for his Final Smash, in which a large cauldron appears and Kirby literally boils his enemy alive – that's got to be painful

First Appearance: The Legend of Zelda, NES, 1987
Confirmed for Brawl: May 10, 2006
The Hero of Hyrule, Link is another fighter who's been with the Smash Bros. franchise from the very beginning. This particular Link, though, is new to the series – he's the version of the hero who most recently starred in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Though one of his most notable abilities in that adventure was his power to transform into a wolf, it's been confirmed that he'll maintain his human shape in Brawl. (Though Wolf Link could still be revealed as a separate character.) His special moves have all been updated into Twilight Princess form as well, which is mostly a change for his Boomerang – it's now the Gale Boomerang, and it has the power to generate foe-dragging tornadoes as it spins through the air. Link's Final Smash is the Triforce Slash, a single-foe-focused brutal assault in which the hero rushes one opponent and mercilessly strikes them over and over again with his Master Sword.

First Appearance: Donkey Kong, Arcade, 1981
Confirmed for Brawl: May 10, 2006
Nintendo's main man is once again Fighter #1 for this meeting of the Brothers. Having appeared in over 200 different video games, Mario is the most prolific and most well known Nintendo character of all, and, beyond that, of all video games in general. He holds down the role of the measuring stick for the Smash Bros. series, serving as a well-rounded fighter against whom all other characters are measured. Mario's special moves have been changed a bit from Melee. His Down + B, previously the Mario Tornado, has instead become a water-stream assault with the F.L.U.D.D. backpack from Super Mario Sunshine. He'll still be able to use the Tornado attack, though we don't know quite how just yet. A reshuffling of his other B moves? A move to making it his Down + A aerial assault? It's all up in the air so far, though his Final Smash, the Mario Finale, has been locked down. In it, Mario blasts nearly the entire screen with a barrage of overpowered and oversized fireballs. It's an assault that looks more like something out of Dragon Ball Z, making it suitably over the top and cool for Nintendo's #1. No word yet on whether or not he'll pull double duty again as Dr. Mario, but the early opinion looks negative there.

First Appearance: Super Mario Bros., NES, 1985
Confirmed for Brawl: August 3, 2007
The constant damsel in distress, Princess Peach Toadstool has been Mario's love interest and impetus for adventure since 1985. Over those 20+ years, though, she's had several opportunities to prove her own heroic character – and did so with starring, playable roles in Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Princess Peach, and the last Smash game, Melee. Here in Brawl, her look has received a significant upgrade, as there's now much more detail in her dress. And her Toad Defense special move looks like it's unchanged – which is a shame, because many fans had hoped that Toad would rise beyond that cameo role and find a playable position himself.
For her Final Smash, Princess Peach will take command of the entire screen as two gigantic 2D cut-outs of herself frame up the left and right sides of the current arena, and the good princess herself begins dancing in the middle. All of her foes are put to sleep, and then health-restoring peaches rain down from on high. Peach then has the option to either spend her time healing herself, or casually walking around the level smashing her sleeping opponents into oblivion. It's a wicked technique for the usually demure young ruler.

First Appearance: Pokemon Red & Blue, Game Boy, 1998
Confirmed for Brawl: May 10, 2006
The world's most popular Pokemon was only barely known back when the first Smash Bros. game debuted, having first appeared himself in the original Pocket Monsters RPGs only a few months prior to its release – but over the years, Pikachu has established himself as a true icon and seasoned fighting veteran. The Pokemon series has grown exponentially through the past decade, and Pikachu's fighting power in Brawl reflects that – one of the series' newest moves, Volt Tackle, has been introduced as the little electric rodent's Final Smash. It's a bit odd that Pikachu's standing alone as his own character now that the Pokemon Trainer has arrived, commanding three monsters at once, but this yellow mouse has proven himself worthy and remains a fan favorite for many different styles of player.

Samus Aran
First Appearance: Metroid, NES, 1987
Confirmed for Brawl: May 10, 2006
The cybernetic bounty hunter Samus Aran is set to return to the fight, fresh off her adventures in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. And, appropriately enough, many fans are claiming that she's been corrupted for Brawl – Samus has been the recipient of one of the most controversial changes in established Smash gameplay yet announced, in her forced character transformation. When Samus uses her Final Smash attack, the Zero Laser, the force of the beam is so great that her Power Suit is destroyed – leaving her irreversibly changed into the newcomer character Zero Suit Samus. Well, maybe not irreversibly. We just don't know yet, for sure, if the change into her Zero Suit form will be permanent or not, or whether any other aspects of her fighting style have been altered in any way. Stay tuned to the FAQ for more word as it becomes available, and in the mean time try to make piece with Samus' new Justin Bailey upgrade.

First Appearance: Super Mario World, SNES, 1991
Confirmed for Brawl: July 24, 2007
Mario's trusted riding mount, Yoshi's a dynamic dinosaur with an endless appetite for enemies. His long tongue and egg-laying abilities made him a capable sidekick for Nintendo's plumber in his first few appearances, but over the years he's established some personal autonomy – today, he headlines his own series of titles and has starred in such games as Yoshi Touch 'n Go and Yoshi Topsy-Turvy. In Smash Bros. Melee, Yoshi's fighting style drew on his experience in those past games – throwing eggs, laying eggs, eating enemies – but here in Brawl, the connection to his past is even more pronounced. Yoshi's Final Smash, the Super Dragon, temporarily transfigures the green guy into a fire-breathing, winged harbinger of klutzy destruction. It's the first time Yoshi's sprouted angel-like wings since his debut in Super Mario World, and old-school fans are sure to appreciate the throwback

First Appearance: The Legend of Zelda, NES, 1987
Confirmed for Brawl: June 25, 2007
Like her faithful hero Link, Princess Zelda of the Kingdom of Hyrule has also been updated into a graphical style that more matches her look from Twilight Princess. Her new model is vastly improved over her appearance from Melee, but the change raises a question that has yet to be addressed – what happened to Sheik? In the last Smash Bros. game, Zelda could transform at will into Sheik, an entirely separate character. It made sense, as both were drawn out of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. This time around, though, it's a different Zelda, and this Zelda never had such a transformation. Will Sheik return regardless, updated into a graphical style that matches the Twilight Princess look, even though Sheik never appeared in Twilight Princess? Or will Zelda's transformation ability get the axe altogether? Keep an eye here on the FAQ, as we'll update with a confirmation one way or another as soon as the appropriate info drops.

The Newcomers

Sonic the Hedgehog
First Appearance: Sonic the Hedgehog, Genesis, 1991
Confirmed for Brawl: October 10, 2007
Sonic's his name, and speed is his game! Sonic the Hedgehog is the second third-party cross-over character to join the Brawl, entering the Super Smash series from the House of SEGA. He's been the most requested, most wished-for character to become a playable fighter for years now, ever since Super Smash Bros. Melee was in development – and having him confirmed now is a dream come true for countless old-school gamers. The rivalry between Mario and Sonic during the 16-bit era was the stuff of legend, so the fact that those two can finally face off head-to-head and beat the snot out of each other is epic.

Sonic is, expectedly, a pure speed character. He's entered into the Smash universe with a moveset based on his spinning and dashing attacks from the classic Sonic series games, and can roll up in a ball to rocket across the fighting arenas and bring the pain to distant enemies. His Up + B recovery move appears to be a spring bounce off one of the old red bouncing springs from the earliest Sonic adventures, and his Final Smash is, of course, a Chaos Emerald transformation into Super Sonic. We're looking forward to learning what Sonic's home stage looks like, or any Sonic-themed items or fellow characters he might have brought along with him to the Brawl – so stayed tuned to the FAQ for more info as it becomes available.

Diddy Kong
First Appearance: Donkey Kong Country, SNES, 1994
Confirmed for Brawl: August 22, 2007
Donkey Kong's little buddy Diddy first burst onto the scene when he burst out a barrel in Donkey Kong Country. He became the big ape's tag-team partner throughout that Rare adventure, then headlined the sequel himself one year later. Diddy Kong was already popular enough back in 2001 to be a favored request for inclusion in Melee, so it came as little surprise when he was finally revealed to be joining the fray for Brawl. A few details are known about his special moves and control style so far – first, he'll wield his Peanut Popgun from Donkey Kong 64. With it, you can shoot peanuts across the screen as a ranged attack. Holding down the B Button will make the shelled snacks fly faster, but holding it too long risks overload of the weapon – it could explode on the spot if used too much. Additionally, the peanuts will sometimes pop when out of the Popgun, releasing the edible insides as an eatable, health-recovering item.

The funny monkey's Rocketbarrel Boost, also from DK64, serves as his Up + B recovery move, as expected. Interesting, though, is that his rockets won't always be perfectly affixed to Diddy's body – if you're attacked mid-boost, the wooden jetpack could dislodge and fly off on its own, leaving Diddy hanging in midair, or even falling to his doom in unfriendly airspace. What Diddy's other two special moves will be is still up in the air, though speculation contends that he may access either his boombox or guitar from past games – or that he might perform the time-tested Chimpy Charge attack from a few generations back. We'll find out more in time. And Masahiro Sakurai has mentioned that screenshots can't truly capture the way Diddy moves on the battlefield, so it's possible that the manic monkey will employ a fluid, cartwheeling, capoeira style of fighting rather than just walking and punching in a more traditional manner
His Final Smash will involve the power of flight, and the potency of peanuts. After grabbing a Smash Ball, Diddy will fire up his Rocketbarrel Boosters and begin to fly around the screen. He'll then dual-wield two Peanut Popguns, which will fire continuously as you adjust the angle of his mid-air orientation to target your opponents below. A short while later, his rockets will overload and explode, leaving him to pick up the pieces – the unshelled peanut pieces, that is, which will litter the ground below and provide a small health bonus to those who eat them. It's a high-energy, wacky attack, and perfectly suited for DK's little buddy.

First Appearance: Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, GameCube, 2005
Confirmed for Brawl: August 1, 2007
The Fire Emblem franchise was unknown in the States at the time of Melee's release, making fighters Marth and Roy – both originally from Japan-only games – unknown as well. But the series has now seen several installments released worldwide, and the latest of these locally is Path of Radiance on the GameCube. Its hero, Ike, wields the vicious golden blade Ragnell, and enters into the Smash Bros. lineup with intimidating resolve. His special moves include Aether, in which he throws Ragnell into the air, leaps to catch it, and then slices straight back down to the ground – along with Eruption, wherein the sword is plunged into the ground to create an explosion of flame. Ike's inclusion has raised questions about what will become of Marth and Roy, with some speculating that the two established Smashers might be getting cut. But the fact that Ike is not a direct clone of their Melee movesets bodes well for them. It's just a matter of time to wait and see if they'll make it back in after all.

King Dedede
First Appearance: Kirby's Dream Land, Game Boy, 1992
Confirmed for Brawl: October 25, 2007
The Kirby franchise trio is complete. Confirmed to be joining Kirby and Meta Knight as a playable Brawler, and fighting under the Dream Land banner, is King Dedede – the pudgy, pompous penguin who's been a core villain of the Kirby series since the very beginning. He enters into the arena with his signature attitude, being carried onto the screen lazily by a group of Waddle Dees, and also brings along his massive wooden hammer.

And in Brawl, it's a hammer that's gotten an upgrade. The King's Down + B move, the Jet Hammer, powers up a standard swing of the bludgeoning weapon with the acceleration of a concealed jet engine. It looks like a maneuver that packs quite a punch, but one that also might backfire against you if used incorrectly. Also with potential backlash is Dedede's Up + B Super Jump, which end up smashing the ground to kick up stars, but that can additionally leave him vulnerable for a time after making impact with the ground. That's accurate – after a hard landing from a jump was one of the few times Kirby could approach him to inhale a star during their first-ever battle in 1992.Dedede's Side Special was revealed to be the Waddle Dee Toss. Similar to how Peach plucks vegetables and Link spontaneously creates bombs, King Dedede will be able to generate Waddle Dees from out of thin air to toss at his opponents. Sometimes, too, random chance will intervene and make a Waddle Doo or Gordo appear instead – whereas Waddle Dee will probably just walk around like a Mr. Saturn does, Waddle Doo looks like it might attack with its signature Beam power after entering the fray, and Gordo will spike things up as he always does.

The one technique we still don't know about is Dedede's Neutral B, which is the power Kirby would gain when sucking him up, which is expected, because Dedede's Neutral B is probably exactly that – sucking people up like Kirby. That's always been Dedede's core technique, and main way of mocking his rival – except that Dedede wouldn't absorb people's powers after inhaling them, he'd just spit them back out again at superspeed. But we could be wrong. That move could work as a grab and toss as well. We'll find out eventually!

First Appearance: Mother 3, Nintendo 64, Cancelled in 2000
Confirmed for Brawl: October 1, 2007
October got started right, as the month's first update was the first in several weeks to confirm a brand-new newcomer fighter – Lucas! Hailing from the Mother series (which American gamers know better as EarthBound) Lucas is set to take the stage as psychic fighter, much like his franchise compatriot Ness from the last two Smash games on the N64 and GameCube. This has, of course, immediately stirred up the debate as to whether or not Ness himself will return.

Meta Knight
First Appearance: Kirby's Adventure, NES, 1993
Confirmed for Brawl: May 10, 2006
One of the most enigmatic characters in the Kirby series, Meta Knight is set to reiterate his sense of personal ambiguity in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Is he a bad guy? Is he a good guy? His airship, the Halberd, has been seen in videos being used as the base of operations for the villainous Subspace Army, but Meta Knight himself has yet to be officially connected to that group – and further complicating matters is the fact that though he was the very first Brawl newcomer to be revealed, it took until early September for his official profile update to finally come to – and when it did, it held no new info. Regardless of what his role ends up being in the game's story, Meta Knight will assuredly be an interesting character to play.
Of his special moves, his Standard B move looks the most flashy. It's called Mach Tornado, and appears to be a localized whirlwind that generates directly around Meta Knight's body, protecting him inside the eye of the storm. His Side + B move is Triple Dash, and looks like a quick, perhaps complicated, three-part striking dash to the side with his deadly blade Galaxia held ready at the point of advance.

Up + B will be Shuttle Loop, Meta Knight's basic vertical recovery technique. Galaxia glows white as Meta Knight leaps high, creating a strike ahead of him that is slightly curved up and back along his vertical trajectory. And, finally, his Down + B is a move first seen way back in the original E3 2006 trailer – Dimensional Cape. Meta Knight will shroud himself in his cape, obscuring him visibly and also protecting him from projectiles like Pit's Palutena Arrow. And with his additional powers of limited flight/gliding and the intimidation factor of his hardcore mask and jagged, rapid-striking sword, he'll likely become a fan favorite among the many new arrivals.

Finally, Meta Knight's Final Smash will be called Galaxia Darkness. In it, Meta Knight will begin by sweeping his cape forward in an arc in front of him. If he misses capturing any other characters inside the cape at that time, the move will end in failure. But if any of Meta's enemies get caught in the area of effect, they'll then be sucked into the darkness of Meta Knight's shadowy psychosis as the screen dims around them. Then, from the shadows, Meta's shining blade will slice them up for major damage. The move, in action, looks pretty cool – but it will be a tough one to master, since it relies on good timing and placement with the initial cape swoosh if you want it to be at all effective

First Appearance: Kid Icarus, NES, 1987
Confirmed for Brawl: May 10, 2006
Pit is the hero of Angel Land, and leader of the army serving the goddess Palutena. He's also likely the most in-demand, sought-after, constantly-requested old-school Nintendo mascot ever. Gamers have been crying out for years for a new sequel to the Kid Icarus series, as its last installment came out nearly 16 years ago on the original Game Boy. And though those cries have yet to be answered, Pit's revival in Brawl will certainly please many of those faithful fans – it's even been revealed that Pit will star in several cinematic cut-scenes and story sequences from the game's single-player adventure mode. His special moves draw on his wings and magic bow, which can separate itself into two short swords for close combat fighting. The Up + B move Wings of Icarus allows Pit to recover with limited flight, while the Neutral B attack Palutena Arrow sends soaring an arrow of light that can be curved mid-flight by pushing on the Control Stick or D-Pad. Pit's also able to summon Palutena's Army as his Final Smash, and several Centurions will flood the screen and assault his enemies one at a time. Thank goodness Nintendo finally brought back the boy who could fly.

Pokemon Trainer
First Appearance: Pokemon Red & Blue, Game Boy, 1998
Confirmed for Brawl: August 13, 2007
"I wanna be the very best, like no one ever was! To catch them is my real test, to train them is my cause!" Monster mad fans the world over have been setting out to catch 'em all for over a decade, and finally representing the human character avatar of those adventures is the Pokemon Trainer. No official name – he's not Ash Ketchum from the anime, and he's not Red from the games or comics. He's just a common trainer whose design is based off of the male sprite and artwork from Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen. But the Trainer isn't the fighter here – instead, he stands in the background of the stage and issues commands while his three monsters do the active battling.

Squirtle is small and assumedly agile, and will employ some of his water-based attack techniques like Waterfall. That will be his Up + B, in which he'll generate a cascade of falling water and climb up it, recovering some height and doing some splash damage to those in the area. His Side + B is Withdrawal, which is normally a defensive technique in the Pokemon games – but here it's recast offensively, with Squirtle retreating into his shell and then jetting himself horizontally across the stage with a stream of water.
Ivysaur is the Smash series' first true quadraped character, and will have access to his Grass-type Vine Whip and Bullet Seed moves. Vine Whip confirms Ivy's potential as a Tether Recovery character, as when you press Up + B a long, green vine will project out from his body and grab onto the nearest ledge as he's falling. While on solid ground, it will assumedly lash out to strike nearby foes instead, perhaps in a direction controlled by the Control Stick or D-Pad. Ivy's Standard B will be Bullet Seed, which is a distance attack with a difference – it goes straight up. No use trying to attack Ivysaur from above, it seems. You'll just get peppered. Also, think about what Kirby will look like after absorbing this power from Ivysaur – he'll have to grow a bulb on his head, won't he?
And Charizard is the original fire-breathing dragon of the Pokemon world, and will no doubt use his claws, wings and flame-tipped tail to devastating effect on the battlefield – along with his staple attack, Flamethrower. That will be his Standard B, and it seems to work just like Bowser's Fire Breath from Melee. His Side + B is Rock Smash. And, well, Who knows how that will play out. On pressing Side + B, it seems Char will either magically make a boulder appear in his hands or else pluck one out of the earth below him. Then, holding it high in front of him, he'll headbutt it to send it flying. Will it fly forward whole, in one piece? Or will it shatter into pebbles? It's definitely an odd option for Charizard, but adds to his unique appeal and reasserts his position as a heavyweight fighter.
Finally, one special move that all three will share is Down + B, which changes the current Pokemon on the field – playing the Trainer is like playing three characters in one, and he's definitely the most unique and novel new addition to the series revealed so far.

Solid Snake
First Appearance: Metal Gear, NES, 1988
Confirmed for Brawl: May 10, 2006
Hideo Kojima, game designer for Konami, has long been a fan of the Smash Bros. franchise. He's also long been a friend of Smash game director Masahiro Sakurai, and apparently begged his pal to include his signature creation in Brawl – Solid Snake. Though Snake's first appearance did come to the NES back in the '80s, he's since been more associated with Sony's PlayStation systems through the Metal Gear Solid series. That made his reveal at the end of the first ever Smash Bros. E3 trailer a great surprise.
And it wasn't until another trade show event that we finally got some more information about the secret agent spy. A handful of screenshots showing Solid Snake in action managed to make it out from Konami's presentation at the 2007 Tokyo Game Show on September 20. And, expectedly, the next day's update capitalized on that momentum by finally revealing Snake's official profile.

Snake's moveset is based largely on using explosives. Missiles, grenades, even a rocket launcher and buried mines – if it's military, and it blows up, it's part of Snake's arsenal. His Side + B Special Move is a remote-controlled missile, which you can guide through the air after it's fired. Snake himself remains unguarded and vulnerable while the missile's in flight, though, so beware of enemy sneak attacks. His Neutral B will be a hand grenade, which he can throw forward at three different ranges. He can also just carry it around and have it blow up in his hand if he really wants to.
An unmanned airborne surveillance vehicle called a Cypher is used for Snake's Up + B recovery move. He pulls the propeller-powered, disc-shaped saucer out of nowhere and jets straight up into the sky. He'll likely be able to float back down to earth afterward, as well, in a manner similar to Peach's umbrella boost.

First Appearance: Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, Game Boy, 1992
Confirmed for Brawl: May 10, 2006
Wario is Nintendo's everyman, even moreso than Mario in some cases. He's been both hero and villain, both active playable character and mini-game host. After first appearing as the anti-Mario antagonist of Super Mario Land 2, Wario was given the starring role in the next four "Land" games, all appearing on the various incarnations of Game Boy. He's also adventured on the GameCube in Wario World, joined Mario as a playable hero in Super Mario 64 DS, and been a regular fixture of every Mario series spin-off game for several years. Here in Brawl, though, he's representing the popular mini-game-focused series WarioWare. His movements, attack style and general mannerisms on the Smash Bros. battlefield all seem to be quirky, kooky and unpredictable, just like the twitchy two-second microgames from that series, and he's set to ride his giant motorcycle from those games right into the middle of his fights. That's his Side + B move, while his Down + B is a bit more objectionable – Wario passes explosive gas. It's a technique that grows more powerful over time if you keep from using it, as the foul flatulence percolates inside his bowels just waiting to erupt. Certainly a unique character, this Wario. Wonder if Snake up there has a gas mask.

Zero Suit Samus
First Appearance: Metroid, NES, 1987
Confirmed for Brawl: May 10, 2006
In the original NES Metroid, players who could complete the adventure start to finish in under three hours were treated to the first appearance of Samus removed from her Power Suit – which was quite a shock to early players in 1987, because no one initially knew that she was actually a woman in there. A popular cheat code, "Justin Bailey", achieved the same purpose, and Zero Suit Samus became playable, available to run through the labyinthine halls of Zebes. The concept of playing as Samus out of her suit then went dormant for several years, and was revived in the Game Boy Advance title Metroid: Zero Mission – which is the design that this Zero Suit Samus is based upon. Samus out of her armor has been a controversial addition to the Brawl, because it's been revealed that she enters the battle forcibly after normal, armored Samus Aran unleashes her Zero Laser Final Smash attack. It's unknown whether or not the transformation is permanent, or whether Zero Suit Samus will be selectable as her own separate character – but she's being treated like one so far, with her own profile and screenshot updates. One move that has been confirmed for Zero Suit Samus is a tether recovery technique, in which her laser-whipping-pistol lashes out to the nearest ledge and forms a safety line keeping her from plummeting to a score-decreasing doom.
And that little laser-whipping gun turns out to be the basis of all her special moves. Really, there are only two. There's the Plasma Whip, which is fired out vertically with Up + B, or horizontally with Side + B. And then there's the Paralyzer, which electrically tazes opponents to stun them in place as both Samus' Neutral B and Down + B attacks. It's a bit disappointing that there wasn't more variety introduced into Zero Suit Samus' moveset, but then we're still not sure if she's meant to be a fully-fledged character or not. We still don't know if she has a Final Smash of her own, or if she can regain her Power Suit, or what. Oh well. She looks nice.


First Appearance: Debuting in Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Confirmed for Brawl: May 22, 2007

The most basic of fighting arenas is Battlefield, a simple floating land mass with three hovering platforms that isn't thematically aligned with any of Nintendo's other franchises. It's the standard by which other stages are judged, and will likely be a popular choice for straight-up fighting without anything fancy going on – though change does occur in the background. As you play a match on Battlefield, the time of day will change from morning, to afternoon, to night and back again – it'll make things a bit more interesting than they otherwise would be in a vanilla, no-frills arena. The music track Menu 1, which you can here on the Music page, plays as the background sound to this stage.

Battleship Halberd
First Appearance: Kirby Super Star, SNES, 1996
Confirmed for Brawl: May 10, 2006

Meta Knight's massive, intimidating airship first served as the setting of Kirby's adventure, The Revenge of Meta-Knight, in the Kirby Super Star game from the SNES. Now it's back again, with a greatly expanded role – the Halberd has been seen in videos being used as the base of operations for the evil Subspace Army. We don't know if Meta Knight himself has joined forces with those primitive Primids, but we can be sure that the Halberd will play host to one of Brawl's many battling arenas. The stage begins as a fairly standard platform set-up, where you fight the good fight while the Battleship itself soars around in the background.
But then the fight will transition to the main deck of the Halberd, where on-board weaponry awaits to make your life a little more painful – lasers and a flexible "grabbing arm" will lash out from the background to cause trouble for everyone. The ship will star in both multiplayer and single-player modes, but Sakurai's holding on to the particulars of why for a later date.

Bridge of Eldin
First Appearance: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Wii, 2007
Confirmed for Brawl: July 6, 2007

This long, flat, stoneworked bridge was the site of a memorable fight in the most recent Legend of Zelda adventure, Twilight Princess – Link, on horseback, chased down the despicable kidnapper King Bulblin and challenged him to a high-stakes joust high above the abyss. Here in Brawl, the Bridge will be home to even more frantic duels – but Bulblin hasn't left yet. He'll show up at random times on the stage to bowl over Brawlers with his bulky riding bull, Lord Bullbo. Additionally, the stage will occasionally be blown apart by Bulblin's bomb blasts, leaving a sizeable hole in the middle of the arena. Midna's Twilight magic will regenerate the fractured section in time, though, lending credibility to the idea that Link's sly little sidekick may be making an appearance herself in the fight. Overall, the Bridge of Eldin should be a fun stage to play, and Wario users will likely enjoy its flat, even, open design as it will give them a chance to really turn up the Wario Chopper's engine and ride.

Castle Siege
First Appearance: Inspired by the Fire Emblem series
Confirmed for Brawl: August 2, 2007

Many of the Fire Emblem games have nothing to do with many of the other Fire Emblem games, kind of like how few Final Fantasy titles connect with any other. Because of that, it's difficult to pick one location that represents the FE series overall – so instead of choosing Random Fortress #3 from Fire Emblem 4 or somesuch, Sakurai and team decided to create a more generic, general castle that will serve to represent the franchise as a whole. Castle Siege is a dynamic arena with three different levels of play. Battles will begin on the parapets while the fortress is under attack from some unknown assailing army. The floor will then break away and the fighters will fall inside, to an area with platforms supported by giant statues of Atlas-like men. Then, again, the floor will fall and the Brawlers will tumble into a deeper underground area that hasn't been fully revealed yet. There's a lot going on in the Castle Siege, and it's nice to see that Fire Emblem finally has a place to call home.

Delfino Plaza
First Appearance: Super Mario Sunshine, GameCube, 2002
Confirmed for Brawl: June 1, 2007

The tropical Isle Delfino was home to Mario's adventures in Super Mario Sunshine, and Delfino Plaza there served as the inconnecting hub of all the action. Palm trees, an oceanfront beach, and a towering monolith holding up the island's giant Shine Sprite all mark the area in which Mario originally battled his Shadow self, which was later revealed to be Bowser Jr. in disguise. A floating platform will carry the fighters to several different stops around the plaza while the brawling here takes place – let's just hope that there aren't too many of those silly Pianta people out strolling around and getting in the way.

Lylat Cruise
First Appearance: Star Fox, SNES, 1993
Confirmed for Brawl: June 22, 2007

The Lylat solar system of the Star Fox series is home to a wealth of different alien worlds, space stations and instellar anomalies – and you'll be visiting them all on the not-so-leisurely Lylat Cruise. A new ship design made just for Brawl serves as your method of conveyance, as you and your opponents are taken on a tour of the asteroid belt, the planet Venom and even into the atmosphere of Fox's homeworld, Corneria. The Lylat Cruise may be the most visually impressive arena yet, as dynamic battles rage in the background, beautiful star clusters shimmer in the distance and the ship beneath you erupts into flame as it transitions to and through Corneria's atmospheric barrier. The soundtrack piece Star Fox: Space Armada is expected to be the background sound for this stage, and you can give it a listen in our FAQ's Music section.

Mario Circuit
First Appearance: Super Mario Kart, SNES, 1992
Confirmed for Brawl: November 3, 2006

Little has been revealed about this Mario Kart-based map, though it was seen in action in several shots of last year's Nintendo World trailer. Fighting takes place on a Kart track in the middle of a race, with Shy Guys whizzing by from the background, into the foreground, running over any fighters in the way. Three platforms float above, providing a way to dodge the traffic below. Mario Circuit seems to be mostly inspired by Melee's F-Zero stage, Mute City, which similarly had you having to weave between oncoming cars while fighting on the road – but it's unknown yet whether the platforms you're fighting on will shift around to different positions on the Circuit here, as they did in that stage there.

New Pork City
First Appearance: Mother 3, Game Boy Advance (Japan only), 2006
Confirmed for Brawl: October 15, 2007

Smash fans unfamiliar with the EarthBound franchise might not recognize the source of this new stage, but it's based off a locale from the Japan-only release, Mother 3. New Pork City is its name, and it's a massive stage – bigger even in scale and scope than the Temple level from Super Smash Bros. Melee. While playing a match in ole New Pork, you could conceivably just run away from your opponents for minutes at a time – using the wealth of different platforms and structures to evade damage as long as possible. But, if you tried that strategy, you'd still have to look out for the Ultimate Chimera. He's a vicious monster from Mother 3 who'll show up as a stage hazard on occasion. And if he bites you, it's almost guaranteed to be an instant kill. Look at those teeth!

First Appearance: Metroid, NES, 1987
Confirmed for Brawl: November 9, 2007

Brawl's standard Metroid level will once again be based on a bit of subterranean geography from good old Planet Zebes – this time, the lava-filled Norfair region. The area was known to be the home of Samus' classic enemy Ridley in Super Metroid, so its confirmation could point to him in a positive way once again. But we can't help but be a little disappointed – there are so many other planets and places that Samus has explored, through Metroid Fusion and the Prime games, that going back to a moving-lava-in-Zebes level, again, seems old. Oh well

First Appearance: PictoChat, Nintendo DS, 2004
Confirmed for Brawl: October 22, 2007

PictoChat is a wacked-out abstract arena based on the freebie doodling game that's programmed into Nintendo DS hardware. When you play a match in the world of PictoChat, you start off on a plain flat surface with not much going on. But then the stage gets dynamic quickly, drawing in platforms, objects and characters in line-art style. You'll have to adapt to the changing terrain and conditions for the duration of the match.

Pokemon Stadium 2
First Appearance: Pokemon Red & Blue, Game Boy, 1998
Confirmed for Brawl: November 3, 2006

The Indigo Plateau in the Kanto region was the basis for one of Melee's most interactive and interesting stages, and it appears to be coming back for an encore. Pokemon Stadium 2 is set to take on the same style of the terrain-changing transformations as its forebear, but this time the settings will all be all new. The terrain types are Flying, Ice, Electric and Ground – In the Ground terrain change, a massive mound of earth and dirt will rise up to take center stage, while Ground-type Pokemon like Diglett and Dugtrio make cameo appearances in the background.
Birds like Pidgeotto and Staraptor will likely soar about behind the action as every characters' jumping ability is maxed out in the Flying terrain, and the Ice terrain may give monsters like Glalie and Snover a place to call home while you're trying to tack down traction on the slipping, sliding surface area below. No screenshots have been revealed of the Electric terrain, but it'll surely be the perfect place for Pikachu to pound his opponents. The Pokemon Stadium will certainly still be a major draw for players of the Pokemon Trainer – Trainer vs. Trainer matches, Poke Balls set on Very High, will be an amazing fighting experience for fans of that franchise.

Rumble Falls
First Appearance: Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, GameCube, 2005
Confirmed for Brawl: July 23, 2007

The excellent yet overlooked Donkey Kong platformer Jungle Beat, controlled by the DK Bongos, is the source of inspiration for this stage – and it appears to be taking over for the Ice Climber's Icicle Mountain as the automatic vertical-scroll stage of annoyance. You'll have to keep up and keep moving while fighting in this area, as the screen will be in constant motion, progressing to the top of the falls. Then, there, the stage will continue on up into the sky. An interesting feature the Falls has confirmed is the addition of ladder-climbing to the Smash Bros. series. Not an altogether amazing feature, but it is a classic one – after all, climbing ladders and jumping barrels was the basis of the Big N's first big hit.

Shadow Moses Island
First Appearance: Metal Gear Solid, PlayStation, 1998
Confirmed for Brawl: November 3, 2006

The home stage for Solid Snake is being designed by Metal Gear Solid director Hideo Kojima himself – which means it's no surprise that it stayed shrouded in secrecy for a long time. But now we know quite a few more details. Shadow Moses, from the Solid series, is a windswept Alaskan island that's home to a military facility and Snake originally infiltrated it to find and destroy the gigantic mechanized beast, Metal Gear REX. In Brawl, the level based on Shadow Moses will be highly interactive, featuring destructible walls on the left and right sides of the screen, a spotlight that scours the arena and causes fighters it lands on to be "caught" with signature Metal Gear exclamation point over their heads, and, to top it all off, the Metal Gears themselves will appear in the background to cause some trouble from time to time. Guess Snake didn't destroy REX after all.

First Appearance: Kid Icarus, NES, 1987
Confirmed for Brawl: November 3, 2006

Skyworld is based on the third world Pit explored in the original Kid Icarus adventure. It's much brighter and more colorful than that black-background source material was, though, which is suitable for representing the proper style of Angel Land. Also suitable, the precariousness of every platform – the surfaces in this stage are destructible, and will leave only thin layers of cloud behind once they've been broken. The platforms won't be permanently destroyed when they take too much damage, as they'll regenerate eventually – but it could be a little wary if all of the many sturdy surfaces manage to get smashed at once. Also notable? In the distance sits the Palace of Light, and a giant statue of the Goddess Palutena. Kid Icarus fans be pleased.

First Appearance: Animal Crossing, GameCube, 2002
Confirmed for Brawl: July 13, 2007

Representing the easy-going, placid places of the Animal Crossing franchise, Smashville is a town where there's a lot going on. But what's happening in the background depends upon what time of day you're playing. Like Animal Crossing itself, Smashville will check your hardware's internal clock to determine whether to display morning, afternoon or night behind the action, while characters from the series stroll about minding their own business as usual. Special events are set to occur here at certain times, too, like a weekly performance from canine musician K.K. Slider if you play on Saturday nights at 8 p.m.

The Summit
First Appearance: Ice Climber, NES, 1985
Confirmed for Brawl: October 31, 2007

A subtle, grinning pumpkin made its way into one of the screens on October 31st, as it appeared to herald Halloween as part of the Ice Climbers' new home stage, The Summit. They finally made it to the top of Icicle Mountain, it seems, but their lofty accomplish won't last long – while brawling on the mountain peak, a huge section of ice will break off and fall into the sea below as a floating glacier. The current combatants will be swept along with it, and they'll have to finish the fight while also avoiding the obstacle of the ocean – and the giant, demented fish from Balloon Fight that has relocated there.

First Appearance: WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$, Game Boy Advance, 2003
Confirmed for Brawl: August 31, 2007

The most random, nonsensical, quirkiest stage so far, Wario's home turf is inspired by the rapidly-changing gameplay of the WarioWare series. A central foundation with four floating pass-through platforms will serve as the stage's "normal" look, but every few seconds the entire background and platform structure will change – adopting the look of one of the classic WarioWare five-second microgames. You'll have to keep brawling amidst the chaos of each unique scene shift, dodging waves of arrows, or jumping to avoid a ground-shaking earthquake. It's pure ridiculousness, and a perfect fit for Wario

Yoshi's Island
First Appearance: Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, SNES, 1995
Confirmed for Brawl: June 12, 2007

Yoshi's home turf is based on the spectacular masterpiece platformer Yoshi's Island from the later days of the SNES, complete with a colorful hand-drawn style to accent every element. This arena's dynamic feature is changing seasons. Battles will shift from spring to summer, to autumn, to winter. And all back again, as a cycle of changeable weather patterns blows through to alter the surroundings. The platform in the center of the stage will tilt on a diagonal on occasion, and off to the sides a character called the Support Ghost will sometimes appear to save falling fighters with an extra landing surface on its head.


Assist Trophy
First Appearance: Debuting in Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Confirmed for Brawl: July 2, 2007
It's a Poke Ball for people. The Pokemon-based summoning item was a fun, random item in the first two Smash Bros. games, as you never knew which monster would pop out of it when it opened. Assist Trophies are the same idea, just with classic Nintendo characters in place of those Pocket Monsters. When you get an Assist Trophy and hold it high above your head, any of several past Nintendo mascots might appear to lend you a hand – these characters might be well known, or might be completely abstract. For a full list of what assistants have been confirmed so far, click over to our Assist Trophies section.

Banana Peel
First Appearance: Super Mario Kart, SNES, 1992
Confirmed for Brawl: June 27, 2007
Discarded peels from yellow produce have been a staple of physical comedy for over a century, at least. The concept of a banana peel slipping you up and slowing your progress was first used by Nintendo, though, in 1992's Super Mario Kart. The peels made racers peel out and spin around there, losing precious time on the tracks – one of which, we know, has also been confirmed to serve as a stage in Brawl. In action, the Banana Peel is a pretty simple item. You throw it, hope that someone is absent-minded enough to try to walk across it, and then laugh maniacally when they fall backward on their rear end. There will likely be some fun custom matches played by Donkey Kong fans with this item set on Very High – maybe a Donkey vs. Diddy banana bash on the Rumble Falls stage?

First Appearance: Pinball, NES, 1985
Confirmed for Brawl: July 11, 2007
Nintendo's never been much of a physical pinball company, but its mascots have starred in a variety of pinball-themed spin-off video games over the years. Kirby's Pinball Land, Mario Pinball Land, Metroid Prime Pinball. The original, though, was simply called Pinball – and it contained simple, standard bumpers just like this one. The Bumper was first used as a Smash Bros. item back on the N64. It then missed out on Melee, having been replaced there by the Balloon Fight Flipper. But now it's back, and better than ever. When you place the Bumper on the stage, enemies who stray too near to it will ricochet off in the opposite direction – making it the perfect item to use in guarding a platform's edge. It also seems to have grown in size from its N64 debut, so it should prove to be now a more useful tool of annoyance.

First Appearance: Debuting in Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Confirmed for Brawl: September 7, 2007
Smash Bros. Melee held hundreds of collectible trophies, that, when acquired in that game's Adventure Mode, added new entries to the title's "History of Nintendo" database. Brawl's got the same idea going, but in a new direction – music. Picking up CDs in-game will add now new soundtrack selections to the game's "My Music" mode, which allows players to select which songs they want to hear as they fight. Expect there to be both brand-new, remixed tracks and old-school, untouched themes spanning the entirety of the Big N's last three decades as a part of the gaming industry. Here's hoping for an audio clip of the laughing Duck Hunt dog in there somewhere.

Cracker Launcher
First Appearance: Kirby Air Ride, GameCube, 2003
Confirmed for Brawl: May 31, 2007
The name of it makes it sound like a Saltine-firing sniper rifle, but the Cracker Launcher is actually more like a giant Roman candle. It first appeared as a projectile weapon in the City Trial mode of Kirby Air Ride, the mode in which Kirby could actually get off his Warpstar hoverboards and walk around. When you pick up the Launcher here, it will act just as it did in that game – automatically sending out bursts of colorful, explosive fireworks while you move and jump to get into proper player-popping position. It's unknown just how powerful each of these explosions will be, but they're guaranteed to put on a show – make a note now to play an all Cracker Launcher match with your friends while you're counting down to midnight this New Year's Eve.

Crates & Barrels
First Appearance: Super Smash Bros., Nintendo 64, 1999
Confirmed for Brawl: June 14, 2007
The most basic of items, the crates and barrels of the Super Smash Bros. series simply serve as storage for other, smaller objects. But even containers can get an upgrade, and Brawl introduces two – in both visuals and gameplay. Graphically, both the barrels and boxes will alter their looks to better match the motifs of the surrounding stages in which they spawn. They'll take on a sci-fi style in Star Fox and Metroid stages, or appear as gift-wrapped presents in the whimsical worlds of Yoshi or Kirby. And should they be placed on a slanted slope, gravity will now grab hold of them and send them sliding or rolling down the hill – not unlike in Nintendo's first major arcade hit, Donkey Kong. It may be too much to hope for a re-envisioned version of that classic construction site as a playable Smash Bros. stage, but the climbable ladders introduced in Rumble Falls give us an additional clue that such an arena might appear.

Franklin Badge
First Appearance: EarthBound, SNES, 1995
Confirmed for Brawl: August 10, 2007
EarthBound fans don't catch a lot of breaks, so it's comforting to see that at least an item has been confirmed to appear representing the series. The Franklin Badge is a defensive emblem of honor, embuing its bearer with full resistance to projectile attacks. In the EarthBound games, it blocked lightning- and beam-based attacks for heroes who equipped it, so it makes sense that here in Brawl it can fully foil such related strikes as Samus' arm cannon shots and Fox's blaster fire. Its small size may make it hard to make out in the middle of a hectic battle, further boosting its usefulness – foes may continue to try to assault you with distanced strikes if they haven't noticed you're wearing it.

Golden Hammer
First Appearance: Mario Party 4, GameCube, 2002
Confirmed for Brawl: September 17, 2007
Though each character's massive Final Smash attack may now be the most feared assault in Smash, the old intimidator – the Hammer – will not be left out. The first two games in the series offered the huge, crushing hammer from the original arcade Donkey Kong game as an incredibly powerful bludgeoning weapon. It made one-hit kills much easier for the limited time in which you would wield it, and the music for the stage would even change while it was in play.

This time around, it looks like the Hammer's back – but also joined by a newer, rarer, even more powerful version called the Golden Hammer. It will behave similarly to the original, but will be faster and more damaging. And, for some wacky reason, will allow its user to float across open air – so no more trying to run from a hammer-swinging player by jumping out to a distant, outlying platform.

Of course, the Golden edition won't be immune to faulty performance. Just like the head would sometime fall off the normal Hammer in Melee, the Golden Hammer will sometimes be secretly replaced by the Golden Squishy Hammer, which will do no damage at all. Probably make a funny bouncing noise though.

Gooey Bomb
First Appearance: Cho Aniki: Seinaru Protein Densetsu, PlayStation 2, 2003
Confirmed for Brawl: May 24, 2007
OK, that First Appearance might not be perfectly accurate – but it's the closest match the fans have found. The Gooey Bomb was the first new item to be revealed for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and it doesn't seem to come from any past Nintendo title. Instead, it most resembles a character – yes, a character – from the homo-erotic Japan-only shooter series, Cho Aniki. Now before you dismiss that connection completely, there are some development team members in common between the Smash and Cho series, so it's not out of the realm of possibility that some creative inspiration was brought over from such an, ahem, unlikely source. Cho Aniki: Seinaru Protein Densetsu, or "Legend of the Holy Protein," allowed you to control the Holy Protein, a flying glob of goo that flew flanked by Adon and Samson, two musclebound smiling flying men. In the game, it attacked enemies with laser blasts ... you know, it's not really like the Gooey Bomb at all. The Bomb may well just be an all-new, original, weird-looking item made just for Smash – and in Smash, it functions as an explosive device that affixes itself to your foes. You throw it, it sticks to them, you wait for it to go off – but you have to be careful not to get too close while the countdown is counting down, because it's possible for them to pass it back onto your character's body with any physical contact.

Lip's Stick
First Appearance: Panel de Pon, Super Famicom, 1995
Confirmed for Brawl: September 10, 2007
Lip's Stick is a returning item from Super Smash Bros. Melee. It's a clobbering weapon that infects your opponents with a health-draining plant that sprouts on their heads, and stays there slowly sapping their strength and raising their damage percentages for about ten seconds or so. Because it's been reconfirmed as a standalone item, it's probably safe to assume that Lip herself, the Japan-only star of the Panel de Pon series, won't be stepping into the playable fighting roster. (Much to the dismay of our speculation to the contrary in the third volume of Smash It Up!)

First Appearance: Animal Crossing, GameCube, 2002
Confirmed for Brawl: July 31, 2007
It's so much fun to annoy the villagers. In Animal Crossing, everything is peaceful and serene. Your human avatar interacts with happy animal neighbors, life is never too fast paced, and nobody means anybody any harm – until they fall into a hidden Pitfall pit trap. The Pitfall was probably the most out-of-context item included in Nintendo's second life game series, a funny little orb modeled after Bubsy the Cat's classic T-Shirt that, when buried in the ground, created an on-the-spot sinkhole trap for the next person who strolled by. Villagers with sweet, inoffensive personalities showed their true colors by crying out in anger when they fell afoul of the Pitfall – as will, likely, your multiplayer friends. The Pitfall in Brawl, in addition to serving its original purpose, will also create holes in pass-through platforms – you can throw it directly at an enemy to make them sink right where they are.

Poke Ball
First Appearance: Pokemon Red & Blue, Game Boy, 1998
Confirmed for Brawl: June 5, 2007
If you "gotta catch 'em all," you're going to need a lot of Poke Balls. These red and white spherical capture traps are the foundation of the Pokemon franchise, as they're used as the means of catching wild monsters in the Pokemon world. And, once caught, they serve as portable storage for the creatures, who are able to be summoned into any fight by simply giving the Ball a toss in the direction of an enemy. Poke Balls have been around in Smash Bros. since the beginning, and they're one of the most random items in the series – when you throw one, you never know which monster you're going to get. The unpredictability continues in Brawl, though we have had confirmations of a few new and returning Pokemon creatures – you can visit our full Poke Ball page and find out who you can expect to appear.

Smart Bomb
First Appearance: Star Fox, SNES, 1993
Confirmed for Brawl: November 20, 2007
The Smart Bomb from the Star Fox series is an item not normally used by someone on foot – it's a screen-blasting explosive device more commonly deployed by an Arwing fighter. And in Brawl, its explosive power is equally great. It'll start off slow, its radius covering only a small area, but then it'll expand out and end up affecting a huge portion of the current arena by the time it's done delivering damage.

Smash Ball
First Appearance: Debuting in Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Confirmed for Brawl: May 10, 2006
One of the most major gameplay additions to this new sequel is the Final Smash, a Trump Card, last-ditch final attack that each character has access to – but only if they manage to grab this item. The Smash Ball, when claimed, will cause its new owner to start burning with power. The fired-up fighter can then unleash his or her ultimate strike, like Mario's blazing storm of flying flame or Link's dashing slash with the Triforce of Courage. Many Final Smash attacks are risky, though, necessitating you to take care in using them – some even trigger transformations into another character.

Smoke Ball
First Appearance: Debuting in Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Confirmed for Brawl: August 6, 2007
"Ninja, vanish!" Nintendo's Smash Bros. developers have no doubt been influenced by the impressive actors in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze. The Smoke Balls used in that film and other ninja movies and shows are the closest thing you'll find to this item, which serves no purpose other than to conceal a portion of the active stage in clouds of multi-colored smoke. It's another item that, like the Nintendog assist trophy, could prove just as inconvenient to you as to your enemies – but it'll be fun to pretend that Diddy Kong's gone bad and decided to join the Foot Clan.

Super Scope
First Appearance: Super Scope 6, SNES, 1992
Confirmed for Brawl: May 30, 2007
The hardware follow-up to the classic NES Zapper was this, the bazooka-shaped SNES Super Scope. It's found more fans in the Smash world than it ever did in the real one, though some diehards out there are likely still playing Yoshi's Safari and Battle Clash on a daily basis. The Super Scope arrived first as a chargeable projectile weapon in Melee – able to fire quick, successive bursts of circular laser fire or one giant blast, if you took the time to hold down the A Button long enough. In Brawl, the Scope is upgraded by the new fact that players can move and jump while shooting, meaning you'll probably have more chances to give the gun the full charge it so loves before trying to send your enemies sailing.

Superspicy Curry
First Appearance: Kirby's Dream Land, Game Boy, 1992
Confirmed for Brawl: August 27, 2007
The first ever Kirby game was a little bit different from all those that came after. Kirby could fly, shoot out puffs of air and swallow enemies – but he couldn't copy their powers yet. Instead, there were a few different collectible power-up items placed throughout the game's levels that would give him temporary abilities. There was a microphone that cleared the screen of foes with an ear-splitting screech, a lollipop that made Kirby invincible like Mario's Starman item, and there was this – a plate of extra-hot curry. When Kirby ate the curry, he compulsively began spewing out rapid-fire jets of flame, over and over again, for about 15 seconds or so. The ability was useful for clearing out walls of obstructing blocks quickly, or dealing with rooms full of enemies. Here in Brawl, the curry seems to act similarly, but with an upgrade. The flame-shooting aspect has returned, but it's also been paired with a limited-time increase to your fighter's combo-creating abilities.

Pokeball Pokemon

First Appearance: Pokemon Gold & Silver, Game Boy Color, 2000
Confirmed for Brawl: June 5, 2007
Chikorita was the Grass-type Starter option for new players entering the Johto region in Pokemon Gold and Silver. She's adorned with a large, flat leaf on her head that serves as her primary weapon in battle – and in Brawl, it spins back and forth to unleash Razor Leaf, an attack that summons a storm of smaller leaves that fly forward to slice foes in Chikorita's line of sight. It's notable that Chikorita uses Razor Leaf as a Poke Ball Pokemon, because it may mean that Ivysaur, a playable fighter when using the Pokemon Trainer character, won't have access to it – which would be odd, since Ivysaur is an older and more venerable monster than little Chiko.

First Appearance: Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire, Game Boy Advance, 2003
Confirmed for Brawl: July 17, 2007
Catching Pokemon #386 was the ultimate achievement in the franchise's third generation, as Deoxys was difficult to legitimately acquire. Further complicating matters was the fact that he had four different forms, quadrupling the work that trainers hoping to catch 'em all had to do. In Brawl, he appears in his Attack form. He'll soar out of the Poke Ball, take up a position in the sky above the stage, and then fire down a Hyper Beam from on high. It's a suitable appearance for the respected monster, though many fans had hoped Deoxys, like Mewtwo, would take up a position as a playable Pokemon villain – hope now seems to rest on the idea of Lucario, the next most likely standalone Pocket Monster, to take up the call to playability.

First Appearance: Pokemon Red & Blue, Game Boy, 1998
Confirmed for Brawl: June 5, 2007
In the Pokemon anime series, the second ever episode featured main character Misty attempting to summon her goldfish monster Goldeen into a battle on dry land. It didn't work – she just flopped around, doing nothing, and Misty had to call her back from the fight immediately. That seems to be what Goldeen's appearance in Brawl is based upon, as this monster is a dud. When Goldeen appears from a Ball you've thrown, it's totally useless – she'll splash about a bit and then disappear. Better luck with your next Poke Ball.

First Appearance: Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire, Game Boy Advance, 2003
Confirmed for Brawl: June 5, 2007
Groudon is a legendary monster, a Ground-type with the power to control the eruptions of volcanoes across the globe. He was sought after in Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire by the villainous Team Magma, who hoped to eliminate the oceans of the world by filling them in with lava and creating more land masses – but their plan failed, because the enterprising Trainer caught him first. In Brawl, Groudon doesn't move. He doesn't have to. He's huge. He appears from his Poke Ball and just stands there in place, creating a giant damaging obstacle on the playing field – his body is red-hot, so any fighters coming into contact with him will get burned and bounced, not unlike touching the lava in the Metroid level of Melee. We'd expect that Kyogre, Groudon's Water-based counterpart, will also be summonable – but no official word on that just yet.

First Appearance: Pokemon Red & Blue, Game Boy, 1998
Confirmed for Brawl: October 17, 2007
Team Rocket's troublesome mascot cat returns to the Smash series after a one game absence – Meowth was originally a monster who could be summoned via Poke Ball in the first Smash game on the Nintendo 64, but he missed out on Melee for whatever reason. Now he's back, and will be attacking helpless foes with one of his signature techniques, Pay Day. The move utilizes lots of coins as damaging projectiles, which could be interesting if paired with Coin battle matches. Did anybody ever bother with the Coin matches in Melee?

First Appearance: Pokemon Dash, Nintendo DS, 2005
Confirmed for Brawl: September 10, 2007
The first fourth-generation Pokemon to be confirmed to exist, years ago, was Munchlax. So, appropriately, he's also the first fourth-generation Pokemon to be confirmed as a possible pop-out-of-the-Poke-Ball monster in Brawl. Munchlax has an insatiable appetite, and in Brawl he turns that terrifying tummy on the items of the battlefield. If he sees an unclaimed item, he'll walk up to it and consume it, assumedly clearing it off the battlefield permanently so that no one can then grab it. Better rush to claim that Smash Ball quickly if Munchlax appears, otherwise he'll just make the glowing orb his lunch.

First Appearance: Pokemon Diamond & Pearl, Nintendo DS, 2007
Confirmed for Brawl: September 20, 2007
We haven't seen a whole lot of representation for Pokemon's fourth generation yet, so it's good to have another confirmation that another one of that franchise's most modern monsters will be making an appearance. This time it's Piplup, the Water-type starter from the Sinnoh Region, and one of the three choices players have to begin their journeys in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl on the DS.

Piplup will appear on stage and use the Surf attack, which generates a wash of water that the little penguin will then ride around on. Anyone unfortunate enough to be caught in the path of the wave will get swept away along with it, right over the edge of the stage and into the abyss below. Piplup's confirmation suggests that the other two starters from Diamond and Pearl, the Fire-type Chimchar and the Grass-type Turtwig, might also appear as Poke Ball Pokemon. Or maybe their evolved forms – anybody else want to see Infernape take the stage and heat things up with a Blaze Kick or two?

Assist Trophy Characters

Fans of farflung, no-chance Nintendo characters from yesteryear might have shed a tear at the announcement of Assist Trophies, items that work like Poke Balls but summon – instead of Pocket Monsters – classic old-school Nintendo mascots. Not every hero or villain in the Big N's past is appropriate to become a full-on playable Smash Brother, so many are appearing in this capacity instead. They'll show up on stage for just a short while, perform one or two attacks, and then disappear. But they'll be adding a ton to the nostalgic appeal of the game, and to the chaos of each fight.

First Appearance: Star Fox, SNES, 1993
Confirmed for Brawl: August 28, 2007
That blocky, weird, polygonal face is actually the mask of a masterminding monkey. Andross, the mad scientist ape, is the original arch-nemesis of the Star Fox team – and in the FX-Chip-powered debut game 14 years ago, he was rendered using the latest in 16-bit technology. His appearance in Brawl pays homage to that original look, even though he's been realized more recently as a flying monkey face and floating hands. Perhaps that would have been too similar to the Smash series' Master Hand, hinting at a reappearance of everyone's favorite evil glove? Could be. As for Andross, he'll have a two-part attack. First he'll suck in his breath, creating a movement-impeding vacuum vortex directly in front of him. Then, from a safe position in the background of the arena, he'll spew forth a torrent of tumbling panels. Maybe Pit will remember his training and be able to take them out with his arrows ...

First Appearance: Devil World, Famicom, 1984
Confirmed for Brawl: August 14, 2007
The Devil. First of all, don't freak out – this guy isn't meant to be Lucifer himself. He's a lesser demon, and he commands even lesser demons below him. He's demonic middle management. And he managed the movement of the game screen in Devil World, an 8-bit Nintendo title that was designed by Shigeru Miyamoto but never made it out in the States. Blame its overuse of religious imagery and Nintendo of America's censorship protocols in the '80s. But Devil World did see release in Japan and Europe, making this character and his actions known to everybody else – just not us in America. In Devil World, this guy stood at the top of the screen. He would point his fingers up, down, left or right and the gameplay area would scroll in that direction – while the player, as the hero character Tamagon, scrambled to not get squished between the shifting walls. There aren't many squishing walls to worry about in Smash Bros., but his screen-scrolling power is equally deadly in Brawl – by pointing his fingers and causing the landable ground area to move out of frame, fighters will be left with no choice but to squabble over any small amount of remaining safe ground. Or else fall to their death, of course. Not much of an assist, if you think about it. Better be playing a semi-flying character like Kirby or Pit when this guy appears.

Dr. Wright
First Appearance: SimCity, SNES, 1991
Confirmed for Brawl: July 10, 2007
You wouldn't think that a simulation game about building cities would be able to yield any characters suitable for inclusion in a fighting game, but you'd be wrong. Dr. Wright, the city managing advisor from the SNES edition of SimCity, is on his way into the mix. He'll appear on screen for a few seconds wielding his baton, which has the ability to spontaneously spawn sprawling urban cityscapes on the spot – skyscrapers will pop out of the ground before him and boost any characters unlucky enough to be in the area into the air. Dr. Wright's inclusion as an assist trophy was more of a confirmation that anything – and anyone – goes in Smash Bros. Brawl. But he did appear first as a trophy in Melee, and had another cameo in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening – so he's certainly not the most abstract of abstract characters appearing here.

First Appearance: Excitebike, NES, 1985
Confirmed for Brawl: October 3, 2007
The Excitebike rider was the star of one of Nintendo's first ever racing games, and summoning him will turn the current Brawl match into an impromptu motocross event. Several Excitebikers of different colors will ride, jump and flip onto the screen and run over any fighters that get in the way. This character is also sometimes known by the less-generic name, Jim Rivers, and also appeared in Super Smash Bros. Melee in 3D form as a collectible trophy.

Gray Fox
First Appearance: Metal Gear, NES, 1988
Confirmed for Brawl: November 7, 2007
The original Cyborg Ninja himself has arrived from Metal Gear Solid, confirming that 3rd parties are contributing Assist Trophy characters in addition to playable fighters. Did you hear that, Tails and Knuckles haters? Gray Fox will swoop into a stage with stealth, and then cut people up with his katana. Hmm. Sounds awfully similar to Lyndis and Samurai Goroh – can Sakurai's team not think up more creative ideas for Assist Trophy actions than attacking with a katana blade? Who's next, Leonardo from the Ninja Turtles?

...actually, that would be pretty cool. Nevermind.

Hammer Brother
First Appearance: Super Mario Bros., NES, 1985
Confirmed for Brawl: July 2, 2007
Usually found in pairs, it seems this Hammer Brother is set to appear as a solitary soul in Brawl – which is just as well, because his hammers aren't any less deadly alone. Mario first met and fought the Hammer Brothers in his original Mushroom Kingdom adventure back in 1985. And, over the years, they've continued to appear as regular enemies, even expanding to hurl other weapons on occasion, and further proving they have some skill at sports in games like Super Mario Strikers. When the Hammer Brother is summoned into battle in Brawl, he'll simply do what he does best – hop on the spot and hurl a barrage of bludgeoning metal mallets.

Knuckle Joe
First Appearance: Kirby Super Star, SNES, 1996
Confirmed for Brawl: July 27, 2007
Knuckle Joe threatened to become an on-the-spot Internet meme when his profile stayed live as the top post on far beyond the normal time to update – which just goes to show how high the hype has climbed for Brawl. Joe's in-game abilities seem to be worthy of such notoriety, too, as he currently appears to be the most versatile of Assist Trophies. He has three different attacks. The first, Vulcan Jab, is a rapid-fire hand-strike assault reminiscent of E. Honda's Hundred Hand Slap from Street Fighter II. The second, Smash Punch, is a smoke-generatingly solid finishing strike with his fist, while the third, Rising Break, looks like he might have been trying to learn Ryu and Ken's Shoryuken uppercut technique. Knuckle Joe hasn't seen much action since his initial appearance in Kirby Super Star over a decade ago, but he's bound to be a favorite when he randomly arrives in battle in Brawl.

First Appearance: Super Mario Bros., NES, 1985
Confirmed for Brawl: October 3, 2007
Lakitu is a classic, glassed-clad Mario series enemy presented just as he first appeared in World 4-1 of Super Mario Bros. He attacks just as he always has, by throwing Spiny Eggs that transform into walking Spinies when they hit the ground. Later versions of Lakitu would yield their floating clouds to Mario and Luigi after being defeated, which the brothers could then use to temporarily soar around side-scrolling stages. But that likely won't be the case with this 8-bit original edition.

Little Mac
First Appearance: Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, NES, 1987
Confirmed for Brawl: October 18, 2007
Little Mac is Back, but only as an Assist Trophy. Sad but true, another potential playable character – and, by extension, his entire franchise – has bit the dust in favor of AT status. Little Mac was the diminuitive rookie boxer from Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, an NES action/fighting game that still holds up today as a legendary gaming experience. The franchise itself, though, died out right after the 16-bit Super Punch-Out!! came and went.

Little Mac arrives as many expected he would, utilizing various punching techniques and just being a boxer in general. Perhaps Sakurai and team couldn't dream up enough extra moves to make him eligible for a playable position – but, regardless, at least he's in the game. Now come on, King Hippo!

First Appearance: Fire Emblem, Game Boy Advance, 2003
Confirmed for Brawl: September 11, 2007
It's confirmed – Sakurai reads Smash It Up! He must, because this newly confirmed Assist Trophy character was mentioned in Volume 7 of that speculation series, as a potential Sister to join the Smash Brothers fray. She's not a playable fighter, as some had hoped, but she will be using her signature attack from the first US-released Fire Emblem game from the Game Boy Advance. She'll appear on stage once summoned, pause and kneel to build up her strength, then disappear in a flash as she delivers a slicing strike with her Mani Katti. It's great to see Lyndis get to represent the female fighters of the Fire Emblem franchise, and to see that some of our speculation now seems to be paying off – what other characters mentioned in the Smash It Up! series do you think will make it now?

Mr. Resetti
First Appearance: Animal Crossing, GameCube, 2002
Confirmed for Brawl: September 26, 2007
Mr. Resetti gives you a lecture. A long-winded, seemingly ceaseless, nearly neverending tirade of text that pops up right in the middle of your active brawl. It's a perfect representation of his character as it was first introduced in Animal Crossing and Animal Crossing: Wild World, only this time you don't even have to push the reset button to get him to appear.

First Appearance: Nintendogs, Nintendo DS, 2005
Confirmed for Brawl: May 10, 2006
This happy little puppy is anything but man's best friend. He hails from Nintendo's highly successful virtual pet series on the DS, Nintendogs – a game in which you get to play around with your puppy, speak to it through the DS mic, and laugh as he or she jumps up to paw at the screen and block your view. There, it's cute. In Brawl, it's deadly. This doggy's display of puppy love has him hopping up and down in the foreground of the fight, visibly concealing huge portions of the stage at a time. It'll make your opponents unable to see what they're doing for a while, which could help you out – but your view will be blocked, too, so it's not all that much of an assist. The Nintendog was actually the first assist trophy revealed, way back in Brawl's first ever E3 trailer. We just didn't know, at the time, that he was set to be one of many non-playable but still very active battling characters.

Samurai Goroh
First Appearance: F-Zero, SNES, 1991
Confirmed for Brawl: July 2, 2007
Alas, Goroh. Many had hoped for him to become a playable newcomer in Brawl, and were overjoyed to see him appear on the morning of July 2 – but, unfortunately, the day's update simply confirmed that he would make only brief battling appearances at best. Goroh may be upgraded to playable status by the time Super Smash Bros. 4 comes to the Wii 2 in 2013, but for now we'll have to settle for some simple samurai slicing action. When Goroh is summoned, he'll quickly draw forth his katana and cut up your competition for you – all the while wearing a scowl. One more positive thing his confirmation introduced was the reintroduction of the F-Zero series as a whole, which Captain Falcon fans are happy about – the Captain, at this point, has yet to be reconfirmed to return himself.

Game Modes

Break the Targets
Confirmed for Brawl: October 24, 2007

The single-player target test challenge has been a staple of the Smash series since the beginning, and Sakurai confirmed that it will once again be back for Brawl. This time, though, there will only be five different Break the Targets maps – the character-specific challenges seem to be gone from this mode.

Classic Mode
Confirmed for Brawl: October 30, 2007

The Game Modes page is already overflowing, but Sakurai just keeps adding on new ways to play – and today, that way is an old one. Classic Mode is the single-player mode from the original Super Smash Bros. game, given a visual makeover and tweaked a bit to include copious amounts of coins. You earn yourself a mound of the money when you successfully clear a Classic stage – which is usually just a straight-up fight against another character, but sometimes includes special rules like Giant or Metal enemies – and you use that cash for some secret purpose that the Dojo has yet to reveal. What could the coins be fore, if you're not buying things in a shop with them? I suppose we'll find out soon enough.

Confirmed for Brawl: November 14, 2007

Keeping things fair and balanced between new players and old pros got a bit of a boost from today's news, which confirms that the Handicapping feature has been enhanced for Brawl. You'll now be able to more specifically define how much damage each fighter starts out with on every life, as well as setting an option to have your damage meter consistently increase, over time. Each option should allow noobs some more psychological breathing room, before you rush in to beat them down anyway.

Home Run Contest
Confirmed for Brawl: October 16, 2007

The Sandbag's back and waiting for more painful punishment, as the Home Run Contest mode first seen in Super Smash Bros. Melee is on its way back for Brawl. There are some new enhancements this time around, though, that should give the mode more versatility. First, you can now play with two players simultaneously – working together to rack up the damage meter on the Bag before one of you grabs the Home Run Bat and smashes it as far as possible. Alternatively, you can choose to compete against a second player, taking turns going against the Bag solo to see who can get more distance alone. And both of those options will also be playable online, through Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, with friends that you've registered in the game. No matter which way you play, you'll finally find that there's been a thin force field erected around the Sandbag's platform – so no more worrying about the Bag falling off the edge while you're trying to just raise its damage meter. Only a significantly forceful Smash attack will break the barrier and let it fly, hopefully setting greater and greater distance records that will make your friends stand around you in awe.

My Music
Confirmed for Brawl: September 7, 2007

It's all about the tunes in Brawl. September 7th's update was massive, filling three separate blog posts on and revealing a wealth of new information for those interested in Brawl's audio aspects. The "My Music" mode headlined the announcements, and will represent a utility in Super Smash Bros. Brawl that allows you to choose from a variety of different songs from throughout Nintendo's history to play as the background music to each stage.

Melee took one step toward this idea, as some of its arenas had two different tunes you could choose from – but here, it appears every level will have access to far more than that. Playing on the Zelda-themed Bridge of Eldin stage? You can select a tune from Twilight Princess, or Ocarina of Time, or even the original Legend of Zelda. Brawling in Delfino Plaza? The music of the Mario series is open to you. And so on and so forth. Sakurai has said that not every track made available will be remixed in "Brawl" style, so even old-school Nintendo purists who'd prefer their tunes untouched will have something to be happy about. The tracks will be unlocked by collecting CDs, which you can read more about in the Items section.

Special Brawl
Confirmed for Brawl: September 13, 2007

An enhanced customization mode that will allow for some pretty unique styles of battle, Special Brawl exists mainly as an options menu. There, a variety of different modifying factors can be selected to be applied to your next match – you can make every character mega- or mini-sized, as in Melee, but beyond that you can choose to always have everyone wearing the Bunny Hood item, or effected with Metal status, or with increased or decreased stamina, or ... the list goes on and on. Some of the status options seem to be fairly overt clues that items like the Bunny Hood will return on their own, and others seem to be drawn from new-for-Brawl objects like the Franklin Badge. It'll definitely be interesting to play around with all the potential combinations.

Spectator Mode
Confirmed for Brawl: November 16, 2007

Those gamers who sometimes want to just kick back and watch other people play games will be enthused to know that Brawl supports that practice, with the newly confirmed Spectator Mode. As an extension of the Wi-Fi battles that will take place over Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, Spectator Mode allows you to download the data from other players' matches and watch them play out on your Wii. Like a Smash Bros. television channel, piping fresh matches to view into your TV all the time. You can also set an option to allow the data from your own matches to be gathered and sent to Nintendo, so you could end up being the one who other people are watching do battle in their homes.

Stage Editor
Confirmed for Brawl: October 29, 2007

Brawl's replay value, if it wasn't already going to be huge enough, just spiked through the roof – daily downloadable levels were confirmed in the October 29 update. The feature comes by way of Brawl's Stage Editor mode, which will allow players to engineer the fighting arenas of their dreams, then save and submit them to Nintendo's Wii Connect 24. There, one lucky user will have his or her stage selected as the daily winner and sent out to all other Brawl players who have chosen to receive them.

Levels can be crafted with a fair amount of creativity, it seems, with a variety of sizes, backgrounds and visual styles available – and you'll be able to pick any track you've unlocked in the game's My Music mode to be the background music for your masterpiece. In addition to the random level-per-day available for download, too, you can save your own creations to exchange on a smaller scale with those friends you've registered on your Wii, or store them on a SD card to take over to a friends' house. This feature could also be huge for the competitive community, as tournament judges can create simple, straightforward battlefields with no frills at all to be the official stages for their competitions.

Confirmed for Brawl: August 15, 2007

As My Music will serve in many ways as a catalog of past Nintendo music, the Stickers mode will be a chronicle of past Nintendo artwork. It's an interactive art gallery populated by the promotional drawings and renders of characters and items from Nintendo's past several decades of games. Characters not major enough to become playable fighters or assist trophies can still be represented this way, by becoming a collectible sticker that you can position and paste in your own personal albums wherever you'd like. And you can pick up new stickers frequently throughout the rest of the game, as they'll appear during fights and the adventure modes to grab and collect.

An interesting aspect to Stickers mode is that you can save screenshots of your stickered-up album pages. Perhaps you might even be able to send these screens to friends, through Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection? That's a pretty safe bet.

Taking Snapshots
Confirmed for Brawl: October 12, 2007

One of the most entertaining extra activities in past Smash titles has been pausing the game in action, while something funny is happening on screen, and then zooming in the camera to get a better look. Brawl continues to support that feature, but elaborates upon it by allowing you to take screenshots that can be saved to your Wii's internal memory, or to an SD Card plugged into your system. The snapshots can also be sent to friends through the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, which should give new life to the Photo Channel that's just hanging around collecting digital dust on most people's machines.

The Subspace Emissary
Confirmed for Brawl: August 3, 2007

Since the beginning of the series, Smash Bros. game director Masahiro Sakurai has always wanted to include a robust single-player experience in Smash – but Shigeru Miyamoto rightly advised him to focus first on making the multiplayer the best it could be. For both the first Smash on the N64 and the last Smash on the Cube, the single-player adventure mode was fairly straightforward and uncomplicated. Now, not any more. Sakurai's finally decided to go against the current of Miyamoto's suggestions, and has dreamed up a full-fledged side-scrolling action game to serve as Brawl's single-player experience. It's the Subspace Emissary.
Above is one of the first videos released of the Adventure Mode in action. That clip introduces the Primid, a race of dark and dastardly purple puppets that form the core fighting force of the Subspace Army. They are led by the villainous Ancient Minister, who appears to have taken over Meta Knight's flagship, the Halberd, as his base of operations.

Through the videos and information released so far, we can get a sense of what playing The Subspace Emissary will be like. The action sequences will be bookended by cutscenes like the one above, and players will control a variety of different characters, working together on teams of heroes. We've already seen Mario taking on Kirby, and then Kirby facing off against Petey Piranha to save the captured Princess Peach and Zelda. And, recently, Pit's introduction was revealed as part of this mode as well. It turns out that those events are what establish the early teams, as Kirby joins forces with the Princess he saves to begin his adventure, and Mario ends up meeting Pit and going questing with him.

And, more recently, we've learned that there will be a two-player co-op option for the Subspace Emissary adventure mode that looks an awful lot like a similar mode from Kirby Super Star. (That's a good thing – Kirby Super Star rocked.) You'll be able to play through the storyline of Subspace along with a friend, as one of you is designated the primary player, and the other is the partner. If the partner player falls behind and goes off-screen, he or she will automatically teleport back to the primary's location after a short while. So you don't have to worry about accidentally scrolling the screen and making your teammate bite the dust.

Tourney Mode
Confirmed for Brawl: September 29, 2007

An expected inclusion, Tourney Mode is a tournament play facilitator that helps you set up and organized bracket-based contests among you and up to 63 of your closest friends. The mode will walk you through how many players, what rules, what characters and every other option you need in getting a tourney started, before then beginning a progression from match to match that will ultimately leave you (hopefully) standing high atop a hill of your defeated foes. It was hoped that Tourney Mode might support Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, so that tournaments could be played with distant friends, but that doesn't appear to be the case. Guess you'll still need to wrangle all your buddies together into the same dorm building basement to get your championship on.

Training Mode
Confirmed for Brawl: November 20, 2007

You'll be able to hone your skills alone once again with Brawl's included Training Mode, which offers a vast variety of different combat-customizing options to help you learn how to win, again and again. You can spawn items for yourself to practice with, give yourself several A.I.-controlled opponents and dictate their level of aggressiveness, play the whole thing in slow motion and more. Training Mode will likely be a utility used quite a bit by those players who are serious about mastering a variety of characters.

Confirmed for Brawl: September 24, 2007

Trophies, just like in Melee, will serve as 3D models of past Nintendo characters and creations accompanied by historical explanations. Some of the notable characters seen in the first Trophy mode screens include Tingle, in his cel-shaded form from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Slippy Toad, sporting his Star Fox Assault look, and a Bulborb, which is the first element from the Pikmin franchise that has so far been confirmed for Brawl.

It looks like players will be able to interact with their earned Trophies in a few new ways this time around, like selecting a few of them, rotating and positioning them on a staged surface, and then taking screenshots. We've already learned that you can take still shots of your album pages in the Stickers mode, so it's likely that the screenshots you take in the Trophy room will be similar – probably tradeable with other players through Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection as well.

Video Replay Recording
Confirmed for Brawl: October 24, 2007

Perhaps the most casually mentioned megaton Sakurai's ever dropped was on October 24, when he revealed that replay video recording has made the cut for Smash. Halo gamers are already aware of the massive appeal of such a feature, as its addition to the latest game in that franchise has added a new layer of depth to multiplayer matches – so it's sure to do the same for Brawl. Professional players will now be able to record their matches against one another and save the video replay files to the Wii's internal memory, or to an SD Card, to be kept safe as proof of who came out victorious. Or shared on the Internet, or sent to Wii Connect friends registered on their systems. This is a massive feature with tons of potential, and we'll definitely be seeing more and more of it as Brawl's playership lives on for years to come.

Wi-Fi Play
Confirmed for Brawl: September 18, 2007

The megaton has arrived. After months, upon months, even years of worry that it wouldn't happen, Super Smash Bros. Brawl has finally been officially confirmed to support Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection for online battles. Breathe out, rest easy. Smash is online, with 100% assurance. Though it might not be the vision of online you'd hoped for.

Sakurai revealed on that you'll be able to mix it up through Wi-Fi with opponents around the world. You'll have two options for finding challengers – first, you'll be able to look for opponents among those players who you've registered as friends, with the "With Friends" option. This will necessitate entering in a 12-digit friend code from that person, similar to how Pokemon Battle Revolution and Mario Strikers Charged have handled friends lists. You'll be able to store up to 64 friends in this way.

Second, you'll be able to take on all comers, including strangers from around the globe, with the "With Anyone" option. You won't get any personal information about your opponents this way, so you won't know who it is you're playing. And no records of your wins, losses or anything else like that will be kept here – that means no online leaderboards or competing to be the best Smasher in the world. "With Anyone" seems to be geared solely for players who just want human intelligence controlling their opponents, rather than the Wii's AI. This will probably be disappointing to many, but it's definitely the more safe option.

And in keeping with that sense of safety, in-battle communication has been limited. You'll get absolutely no means of communicating with your opponents in "With Anyone" matches, and even with your friends you'll be limited to just simple text messages, keyed to your character's Taunt maneuver. This means a big thumbs-down to the idea of a headset and voice chat, barring some radical change in the next two and a half months. We've recently opined that this is a considerable oversight on Nintendo's part – time will tell how players will react to the exclusion.

But, to end on a brighter note, Sakurai finished up the big reveal with the confirmation of the return of a beloved character from Melee – the Sandbag. The big bag of beans with two sad eyes is back, and ready for more painful punishment. Whereas he starred in Home Run Mode in Melee, now he'll be put in place as a mini-game distraction for waiting players while each match loads. (He may, in fact, be back for Home Run Mode as well. That's a likely asssumption.) Also, interestingly, the bottom of the Sandbag screenshot shows that Player 3 is in the process of selecting the stage. This suggests that arena choice passes from player to player between matches, and stages won't be chosen randomly by the computer. It's possible that certain stages may be unselectable for play through Wi-Fi, though Sakurai's attitude seems to be ahead-of-time apologetic – that you can set up a match how you want, but that you may have to deal with slower connection times as a result.

Overall, definitely a huge announcement and confirmation. But with, certainly, some reservations. While it's a sigh of relief to be able to finally say "Yes, Smash is online for sure," it's a definite disappointment that desired options like voice chat seem all but thrown out the window. More details of Wi-Fi's role in other game modes are set to be revealed in the future, so we don't know all the details yet


Dec. 25 Tue. 2007

Sonic: Final Smash

When talking about Sonic’s Final Smash, there is no other option than Super Sonic!

Use the power of the Chaos Emeralds to transform. Race through the air at reckless speed!

Get the Smash Ball!

Now I’ll show you!


He has tremendous inertia and is hard to control, but his top speed is top class!

Those who are witnessing this move should plan on dodging!

Whoa! Hold on!

I won’t take it!

If you boost your speed recklessly, you’ll pass by people too quickly, making it easier for them to dodge.

Speed control is important with this Final Smash.

And it’s over.

Characters | Sonic | Dec. 25 Tue. 2007


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