Super Smash Bros. Brawl

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Super Smash Bros. Brawl (大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズX, Great Fray Smash Brothers X), often shortened to "SSBB" or "Brawl", is the third installment in the Super Smash Bros. series published by Nintendo. The game was designed by Masahiro Sakurai, who also created the two preceding Super Smash Bros. games, and was developed by an ad hoc development team consisting of Sora, Game Arts, and staff from other developers, beginning in October 2005.

The game was released on January 31st, 2008 in Japan, March 9th, 2008 in North America, June 26th, 2008 in Australia, and June 27th, 2008 in Europe. Brawl supports four types of controllers - the Wii Remote alone held horizontally, the Wii Remote and Nunchuk together, the Classic Controller/Classic Controller Pro, and the GameCube controller. Up to four players can engage in local multiplayer battles at any given time with any combination of controllers, while Brawl also supported online play through the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, the first game in the series to do so.

While Brawl continues to include the tournament-like "Classic" and "All-Star" single-player modes, Melee’s Adventure Mode has been replaced with The Subspace Emissary; a much more extensive side-scrolling beat-'em-up mode featuring both the playable characters and many enemies specifically created for the game. The resulting mode includes an involved plot and numerous pre-rendered cutscenes, as well as some platform game elements during gameplay.

Following the trend set by earlier games in the series, Brawl showcases a wide selection of characters from Nintendo and its second parties, setting them to fight in several different types of matches. Unlike its predecessors, however, Brawl also includes two third-party characters in Solid Snake and Sonic the Hedgehog. In total, the number of playable characters was increased from Melee's 25 to 35 (or 39, if counting Sheik and Zero Suit Samus separately from Zelda and Samus, and counting Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard individually rather than grouped with the Pokémon Trainer).

Most of the game's musical score is made up of newly-arranged versions of pieces that originated in earlier video games starring the characters featured in Brawl, with the remainder taken directly from the original games. The new arrangements were composed in a collaboration between 38 renowned video game composers and has been critically acclaimed for its representation of different generations in gaming history.

As of May 20, 2014, the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection has been shut down therefore making it impossible for anyone to play Brawl online without hacking.

Brawl received universal acclaim, with praise centered on its entertainment value despite issues relating to its content loading times, and its musical score was lauded for its representation of different generations in gaming history. The game has sold 13.32 million units as of March 31, 2020, making it the eighth best-selling Wii game of all time.


Tropes used in Super Smash Bros. Brawl include:
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: Multiple-Choice Final Exam example in Brawl with The Great Maze.
  • Autobots Rock Out: In Brawl, the Final Destination theme is a hard rock remake of the main theme of the game.
  • Banana Peel: One of the items in Brawl.
  • Blind Idiot Translation: Brawl's translation has quite a few examples, mostly trophies and stickers.
  • The Cover Changes the Meaning: The Brawl cover of "Unfounded Revenge" is significantly more lighthearted and cutesy than its original incarnation, which was a theme associated with powerful Pigmask bosses.
    • Metal Gear's famous "Game Over" tune is used here as a fanfare for whenever Snake wins a multiplayer match.
  • Drop the Hammer: The regular Hammer item and the Golden Hammer in Brawl, as well as those wielded by King Dedede, Kirby, the Ice Climbers, and Mr. Game & Watch.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: An item in Brawl is a plate of super-spicy curry that lets you breathe fireballs. You also erupt in a fiery aura. If you stand still, you can even get to see the character dance in agony.
  • Freaky Friday Flip: In Brawl, the Pokémon Manaphy's Heart Swap move causes you to play as an opponent's character temporarily. However, you have the same lives, so you can't commit suicide to your advantage.
  • Game Mod: The community has an extensive collection of codes for Brawl that can change everything from the mobility of the picture camera to default versus mode settings. Also, several full-on codesets were created to greatly modify Brawl, essentially turning it into different games:
    • Brawl+ changes everything from characters to game physics. It's no longer being worked on because of its decentralized development, over-frequent patching, lack of a strong idea on what the mod is supposed to be and the fact that it's still not Melee. It wasn't at all a waste of time, however, because Plus became the starting point for the mod team's next mod: Project M, which unlike Plus, specifically modifies Brawl to play like Melee.
    • Balanced Brawl mostly balances the characters by buffing all of them and only nerfing a select few, while keeping the core gameplay and physics as close to regular Brawl as possible. Also, there's no random tripping.
    • Brawl- might be considered a parody of the above; whereas Plus and Balanced try to balance the characters by making them stronger and weaker in specific areas, Minus makes balance by breaking everyone to the point of God Mode. Its physics and attacks also make it much faster-paced than Brawl.
    • Project M is made to be the "true" successor of Melee (Brawl being a general installment of the series). Currently in the closed Alpha testing stage with a public demo, it emulates the Melee physics engine while also adding in tweaks, major and minor, to the Melee veteran characters as well as the Brawl newcomers so that they play both Melee-esque and competitively viable. For instance, Fox:M is exactly like Melee FOX, and Snake:M is geared more towards quick tactical approaches, rather than his grenade-camping metagame established in Brawl. This mod will also change most of the stages to be tourney-legal, and include a few stages from Smash 64. Basically, it's Melee 2.0.
    • The community is big on character and stage mods, which in practicality come in handy for team matches by making characters that look too similar in every color slot (e.g. Sonic, Charizard) easier to distinguish (Red Sonic, Green Charizard). Other than that, it's quite entertaining seeing Hatsune Miku fight Boba Fett in The Great Desert.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Whenever a character picks up a Smash Ball in Brawl.
  • Green Hill Zone: Battlefield in Brawl. The actual Green Hill Zone appears in Brawl as well, but it averts the trope with its unorthodox shape, randomly appearing obstacle, and breakable floor.
  • Healing Checkpoint: The last level in the Subspace Emissary story mode of Brawl includes save points that heal you and revive fallen party members.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: The CPU players on Brawl Versus mode are labeled, according to the number (from 1 to 9) as Puny, Wimpy, Weak, Normal, Hardy, Strong, Burly, Mighty and Nasty.
  • Killer App: Brawl has sold over 9.5 million units, making it the 8th best-selling game for the Wii. It's also notable for being Nintendo's fastest-selling game ever in the United States upon its release, selling over 874,000 copies on launch day alone.
  • Let X Be the Unknown: The Japanese title of Super Smash Bros. Brawl qualifies as this: Dairantō Smash Brothers X.
  • Level Editor: Brawl lets players build their own stages out of blocks and other features.
  • Life Meter: Used to display the enemies' Hit Points in Brawl's Subspace Emissary and Boss Battles modes.
  • Limit Break: In Brawl, each character is permitted to activate this whenever they manage to obtain/shatter the Smash Ball.
  • Orchestral Bombing: The main theme to Brawl is almost ludicrously epic.
  • Production Foreshadowing: The Metal Gears that show up on Shadow Moses Island in Brawl ended up hinting at Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Foreshadowing your work in a competitor's game takes guts.
    • Pit's presence in Brawl gives this impression since a lot of the elements made for Brawl were used in Kid Icarus: Uprising, but there was no intention to do another Kid Icarus until after Brawl was finished.
  • Spoiler Opening:
    • Ness and Marth, being secret characters, appear in Brawl's opening, and the Green Hill Zone battle stage not only appears in said opening, but on the back of the game's box too. The Guest Fighters Snake and Sonic are excused since even though they are heavily featured in the promotion, Sakurai outright said that they're unlockable to begin with, and Snake's stage was one of the game's default stages.
    • Not to mention some of the cutscenes from the Subspace Emissary appear in the opening which could spoil which characters team up with each other, and maybe a few other things from the story.
  • Take That:
    • Sakurai wrote a Dojo post for Brawl's website that includes a screenshot of a battle with the caption "I'm finished registering." Rather than translating it properly, Nate Bihldorff switched it entirely to say "Real men use items!", a jab at the no-items-allowed playstyle of some players.
    • Some people think that Starfy's general uselessness as an Assist Trophy is a jab from Sakurai (maker of Kirby) at the Starfy series. The line "Starfy, why did you even come here?" in his Dojo update is probably what cemented the idea.
  • Video Game Flight: Winged characters can glide in Brawl. It's not quite "flight", but close.
    • Played straight with certain character's Final Smashes, like Sonic and Yoshi for example (though they only last for a limited amount of time like all Final Smashes do).

The Subspace Emissary Mode in Brawl provides examples of:

  • All There in the Manual:
    • This page clears up some of the less obvious parts of the narrative.
    • And that doesn't even cover the scene from Mother 3, which would not make sense if you weren't at least familiar with the series.
  • Asskicking Pose: Besides the taunts, which work here too, many of the cutscenes end with one, as the screen freezes for you to choose the characters you're using.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses
  • Badass Crew: All of the characters start off divided into their own sub-groups and achieve multiple feats of Badassery before joining together into a Badass Army for the finale.
  • Battle Trophy: In Brawl, "The Subspace Emissary" campaign has the Trophy Stand, an item that, when thrown, turns weakened enemies and bosses into trophies that you can then pick up and add to your collection.
  • Berserk Button: The scene where (depending on who you saved from Petey Pirahna) either Link thinks Mario has killed Zelda, or Mario thinks Link has killed Peach. There's no other way to describe the rage that follows.
  • Big Damn Heroes: A fair few, but the most impressive is Sonic coming out of nowhere to save the day at the end.
  • Big Door: The door to Tabuu's room.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Tabuu is defeated and all the locations are sent back to their original locations in the World of Trophies, but strangely enough, the Island of Ancients doesn't return to the world. Since Tabuu is responsible for the destruction of the R.O.B.s due to the detonation of the Subspace Bombs, this also makes the playable R.O.B. the Last of His Kind.
  • Boss Subtitles: Master Hand and Tabuu, when they first appear, are the only bosses to receive them. The Ancient Minister, the Subspace Emissary's initial antagonist, gets one as well, despite him never actually being featured in a boss fight. Furthermore, although not bosses, each fighter (excluding Mr. Game and Watch) receives one during the first time he/she/it is seen in a Subspace Emissary cutscene.
  • Bullet Time: Too many instances to count.
  • Character Development: A few instances as the characters begin working together. A notable example is Lucas, who, through his travels with Pokemon Trainer, eventually gains the courage to stand up to bullies like Wario.
  • Cloning Blues: The so-called Shadow Bugs can imitate characters by using their trophy.
  • Credits Medley: The ending credits theme for The Subspace Emissary in Brawl is a mix of the Super Smash Bros credits theme, Melee's menu and opening theme, and the Brawl main theme.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: At the beginning of the story, Mario and Pit try to catch Ancient Minister as he flies away with another bomb, but they both fail to jump up and reach him and he gets away.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Too many to name.
  • Darkest Hour: After Tabuu turns everyone into trophies, you can't replay any stages you've already cleared, and when you go to save your game, you'll find that everybody is gone from your file. Of course, in the only stage available at that point, Dedede saves the day.
  • Desolation Shot: "The Ruined Zoo" opens with this.
  • Duel Boss: Mario vs. Kirby at the start of the first level, as well as Meta Knight vs. Lucario in "The Glacial Peak". In a twist, you can actually choose to play as either one. For 100% completion and to get every cut scene unlocked, you have to do both. Also King Dedede vs. Bowser in one of the Subspace levels.
  • Eldritch Location: Subspace, of course.
  • Enemy Mine: By the nature of this plot it's to be expected. The most notable case is between Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf. While standing over Ganondorf's statue, Link and Zelda agree that they do need his help. They awaken him and point him toward the Great Maze. As they walk away, Ganondorf starts loading up an attack to go after them, but realizes that, sadly, he needs their help as much as they need his, and follows along.
  • Faceless Eye: Feyesh are enormous floating goldfish with tentacles and a single large eye where their face should be.
  • Five-Bad Band:
  • Five-Man Band: Many, including:
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Many cases:
    • The most extreme being, after mowing through R.O.B.s by the dozen in the preceding stage, the characters are completely unable to damage them in a cutscene.
    • Also oddly averted near the beginning: Zelda teleports onto the field, and later, gets captured in a cage without even trying to escape. However, this is completely accurate to the actual mechanic of the attack, which does not let you go through things, just turn invisible and quickly move in one direction.
  • Heroic Mime: The entire mode contains no dialogue (which is an interesting variation per se) save one No Fourth Wall moment from Snake. Several characters call their attacks and make some interjections, but that's it.
  • Humongous Mecha: Galleom and Duon.
  • Jump Physics: Jumps and general recovery effectiveness was turned down in this mode to make platforming harder.
  • Marathon Level:
    • The Great Maze, which is straight Metroidvania style, in contrast to the linear levels used in the rest of the game. It also counts for roughly one third of your completion percentage.
    • As far as linear levels go, Subspace Factory (Lower) is a long trip. It also has multiple cutscenes, a big turning point in the plot, and Meta Ridley.
    • The Cave and the first stage of Subspace are relatively short, but the fact that they only consist of one long section rather than multiple short ones makes them strenuous for players who keep getting Game Overs.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The R.O.B squads.
  • Mooks: Primids, Goomba, basic R.O.B. models, etc.
  • New Game+: As the story progresses, Subspace Bomb explosions prevent you from replaying certain levels (including the very first level of the game), and when you finally enter Subspace, the Halberd gets destroyed in the movie building up to it, so you can't replay the Halberd levels either (though you still walk on it at the beginning of the Sea of Clouds level, somehow). The only way to replay these levels at this state is to beat the game.
  • Only Mostly Dead: Characters become trophies instead of dying. All one has to do is touch their trophy stand in order to revive them.
  • Original Generation: Master Hand, Tabuu, the Fighting Polygon/Wireframe/Alloy teams, and the Subspace Army Mooks.
  • Out of the Inferno
  • The Sadistic Choice: In the first level the player, has to choose to save Peach or Zelda. (Even if you break both cages at once by attacking Petey Piranha's head only, the game randomly picks a princess and acts as if you chose to save her instead of the other one.) You eventually are able to play the character not chosen later in the game, though.
  • Sphere of Destruction: Subspace Bombs basically eat perfectly spherical chunks of the universe, sending them into the subspace.
  • The Starscream: Ganondorf. He's secretly planning to usurp power from Master Hand.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: Since there's no dialogue, the only concrete information you have to go on within Brawl itself are the relevant trophies.
  • Timed Mission: Oddly averted in part of the second Subspace Bomb Factory stage. In-story, the heroes have to escape from the factory before the Subspace bombs explode, but you aren't timed at all, and even in the room before Meta Ridley, you can practically sit there forever, waiting for the explosion that never comes. However, the plot catches up to the gameplay in Meta Ridley's fight itself, which the player must complete before the explosion hits the Blue Falcon.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The final level is done in a non-linear, Metroid-esque style.
  • Unflinching Walk: Princess Peach. Of course, she has her umbrella out, so maybe that's what's shielding her.
  • Unique Enemy: Mizzo, whose trophy description is a Lampshade Hanging.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Manages to include one within one!
  • Videogame Set Piece: At certain points during gameplay, the screen suddenly goes purple and you're forced to go through a Multi Mook Melee in order to bring things back to normal and continue on.
  • Wave Motion Gun: The Subspace Gunship has one that tears a hole to subspace.
  • We Cannot Go on Without You: If you play the Adventure Mode with a friend, the game ends if Player 1 is knocked out and has no extra stock left, regardless if Player 2 is alive.
  • What Do You Mean It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Seriously, it's really hard for this section of the game not to feel like this when Jigglypuff grabs a rocket launcher and blows up a giant floating fish with a roman helmet and swords, or when the Final Boss is a giant floating blue angel thing with rainbow wings.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Played by KING DEDEDE! If the heroes beat Tabuu the first time, well and good. But if they don't, no biggie, Dedede has the trophies of Ness and Luigi to be revived by his badges for just that occasion. This is Dedede's Crowning Moment of Awesome.