All-Star Mode (オールスター) is a gameplay mode available in Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Super Smash Bros. 4 that pits the player against every non-Mii playable character in the game. The character chosen has a stock of only one life in this mode and is given limited opportunities to recover health. In Melee and Brawl, it is unlocked by unlocking every character within the game, but it is available from the start in Smash 4.
All-Star mode made its debut in Super Smash Bros. Melee, as an unlockable 1-player mode which puts the player up against every playable character in the game.
During each battle, the player fights up to three different characters selected at random, overall fighting every character once. However, Mr. Game and Watch is always fought last, in a team of 25. Each opponent (except Mr. Game & Watch) wears one of their first three alternate costumes (not their default costume). If the player's character is wearing one of the first three alternate costumes and fights the same character, that opponent can wear its default costume but not the same costume as the player. Mr. Game & Watch will always wear his default costume, unless the player uses Mr. Game & Watch in his default costume, in which case they will wear the red costume.
For the first four battles, the player battles against one opponent. After four battles, the player will battle against two opponents per battle. After eight battles, the player will battle against three opponents per battle until the last fight against Team Mr. Game & Watch.
Unlike Classic and Adventure modes, the player's percentage does not revert to 0% between battles; players can only recover health by using one of three Heart Containers available between matches located in the All-Star Rest Area. These Heart Containers, unlike normal containers, heal the player up to 999% (restoring the player to 0%, as they did in the original SSB) instead of only healing 100% damage. However, if the player enters the portal while damage is being healed, then the damage will not heal any further, and the next match will start with the same amount of damage the player had when he or she entered the portal. Once they are consumed, they will not respawn during that challenge.
While players can use Ness's PSI Magnet and Mr. Game & Watch's Judgement to recover health, there is no other way to recover with the exception of the Heart Containers; items such as food, Maxim Tomatoes, and eggs do not appear at all in the mode.
As a reward, the player can also collect random trophies that appear after every three battles.
For some characters, particularly characters with a home stage set outside their universe, the stage will have a specially selected track from their series play; this is the only time these tracks can play on these stages. For example, Pichu's stage is set as Fourside, but the "Battle Theme" plays. The only exception is Ganondorf, for whom the normal Brinstar Depths music is played.
Bold denotes a track that will not play on that stage in Versus Mode.
All-Star Mode returns in Brawl, and is mostly unchanged from Melee. The player still gets 3 Heart Containers (6 in co-op mode, the new 3 being underneath the platforms the normal 3 are on), random Trophies (but they will not appear as a question mark if the game is paused), and fight through every character in the game. The player still only has 1 stock, and they do not regain health between matches without a Heart Container (although the player can now enter the teleporter without having to wait for their health to fully recover).
However, instead of the matches having progressively larger enemy teams in random order, the order the opponents are fought is based on the first game in their series to be released (in Japan), with characters from the oldest series being fought first. As such, the player will always fight Mr. Game & Watch first and Olimar last, with Olimar's difficulty ramped up. In effect, this means that stages for Kid Icarus, Ice Climber, and Pikmin will be easier than Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon, due to the latter three universes having multiple opponents.
Up to two enemies can appear on the stage at once; when a series has more than two representatives, a new fighter will appear a few seconds after the player KOs one of the opponents. On stages with multiple opponents, the order of the opponents is random.
To defeat Pokémon Trainer, the player must defeat Squirtle, Ivysaur and Charizard; once one is defeated, Pokémon Trainer will send out the next one. For Metroid, the player will battle either Samus or Zero Suit Samus, selected at random; for The Legend of Zelda, the player will battle either Zelda or Sheik, selected at random.
The stage the player fights each character on will be a home stage from Brawl (Past Stages are excluded), randomly selected if there is more than one (Battlefield and Final Destination are not considered home stages, so unlike All Star Mode in Super Smash Bros. Melee, they will never be used.). Unlockable stages will not appear unless the player has unlocked them. Mario Bros. is R.O.B.'s home stage and does not appear as a Mario home stage; if Mario Bros. has not yet been unlocked, R.O.B. will appear in Delfino Plaza instead.
When the player finishes All-Star Mode with a character, they will enter Character Roll Call.
The order in which 'Universes' are fought is listed below:
Italics denote unlockable stages that the player is not guaranteed to have upon unlocking the mode.
As a reward for completing this mode, the player will earn a trophy of their character using their Final Smash. Additionally, the player will see an interesting congratulatory picture that plays according to what their fighter is. For example, for Snake, it shows Snake in his box with Zero Suit Samus and other various bounty hunters looking for him.
All-Star mode in Brawl may be played with 2 players. When playing co-op, the player receives a total of 5 heart containers, but if either player dies, the game is over and will be asked to continue. The opponents are the same until the last battle where the players face 2 Olimars instead of one (a possible nod to Louie from Pikmin 2). Playing All-Star with 2 players allows them to receive two Final Smash trophies at the same time. However, co-op play will not count towards the Challenges for All-Star mode, such as clearing it with ten characters.
Unlike previous installments, All-Star mode is playable from the start of the game. However, the mode is incomplete at first, as players cannot fight against characters they have not yet unlocked; the only way to completely beat All-Star mode and attain most of the rewards from the Challenges is by playing it after unlocking all characters. Downloadable characters will also be added to the mode if the player obtains them, but their presence or absence will not affect any of the challenges, and if the player deletes the DLC data, the downloadable characters will be removed from the mode, until they're redownloaded again.
The order in which different characters are fought is now based on a character's personal first appearance anywhere (all characters debuted first in Japan with the exception of Diddy Kong, Sonic and Zero Suit Samus, while Greninja debuted on the same day worldwide). In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, the order of opponents starts with the oldest characters (1980) and progresses to the newest ones (2013 [2015, including DLC]); in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, the order is reversed, with the newest characters fought first and the oldest ones fought last. Mii Fighters are not fought at all.
Up to three enemies can appear at a time (two if played on co-op in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS) with four to nine opponents per stage with a five minute time-limit. Stages are chosen randomly from some of the home stages of that era's characters (this includes stages that are not yet unlocked), but overly large stages such as Palutena's Temple, The Great Cave Offensive and 75m are never picked. Wii U stages will use their 8-Player Smash variant if applicable; similarly, some 3DS stages have certain elements removed, as noted below.
Some characters with special alternate costumes can wear these costumes in All-Star Mode; Little Mac can wear his wireframe costume, Wario can wear his classic overall costume, Cloud can wear his Cloudy Wolf costume, Bayonetta can wear her original Bayonetta costume, Robin, Corrin and Wii Fit Trainer can be either male or female, and the Villager can wear any costume. Both Alph and the Koopalings can take the place of their original characters, Olimar and Bowser Jr., respectively; however, their appearances will seem misplaced in relation to the chronology, as Alph's debut in Pikmin 3 comes twelve years after Olimar's in Pikmin and the Koopalings' debut in Super Mario Bros. 3 predates Bowser Jr.'s debut in Super Mario Sunshine by fourteen years.
The recovery items available in the Rest Area are one Special Heart Container (healing 999%), a Maxim Tomato (healing 50%), a Fairy Bottle (healing 100%, but only if the player's damage is 100% or greater), and, if all characters are unlocked, a second Special Heart Container. In the Group version, two extra Special Heart Containers are added. If the player attempts to carry one of these items outside of the Rest Area (e.g. carrying the Fairy Bottle normally, or Pocketing an item), it will be lost without healing the player. Unlike in previous games, no items spawn at all during battles. In addition, while in the Rest Area, the player's damage is fixed and cannot be altered in any way outside the provided healing items—self-damaging moves (such as Judge) and self-healing moves (such as Sun Salutation) will not have any effect on the player's damage; they can still be used in battle without the healing items. Chomp cannot boost the effectiveness of healing items in the Rest Area.
While previous games used knockback handicaps to make each individual opponent easier to defeat, SSB4 instead uses damage multipliers to increase the damage dealt to opponents while reducing the damage taken by the player. Strangely, however, indirect attacks such as projectiles and Olimar's Pikmin attacks are not affected by the damage reduction applied to opponents' moves and will deal their normal damage and knockback to the player. In addition, the environment will deal full damage and knockback to player and enemy alike (such as falling onto the track in Mute City, which will reasonably KO the player at 110%). As a result, powerful indirect attacks and stage hazards are by far the greatest threats to the player in this mode, since the opponents will not be able to reliably KO with direct attacks until approximately 200%.
Additionally, the player is not allowed to use any customizations, as some equipment can sidestep the damage recovery limits that All-Star mode has. As a result, excluding the Miis, the player can only use the default special moves that each fighter has for this game mode.
When the player finishes All-Star Mode with a character, the credits will roll (Solo mode only), and they will earn the character's "(Alt.)" trophy (similar to Melee) in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS or a Final Smash trophy (similar to Brawl) in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U; "(Alt.)" trophies in the Wii U version are instead randomly obtained from the Trophy Shop after beating Classic Mode or All-Star Mode with the character in question.
Italics denote unlockable characters. Bold italics denote characters that are only unlockable in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl
In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Note: "True" All-Star mode refers to having all unlockable characters unlocked, though not necessarily all DLC characters, thus making such challenges harder if DLC has been added.
Rest Area music
All-Star mode is heavily based on Kirby Super Star's The Arena. In Melee, the music comes from The Great Cave Offensive's save cottages in Kirby Super Star. Interestingly enough, in Kirby Super Star Ultra, this music is used in The Arena between boss fights.
In Brawl, the music is a light, relaxed remix of Brawl's main theme.
In Smash 4
In Smash 4, the music is a light remix of the main theme.