All-Star mode (オールスター, Ōrusutā) 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 playable character in the game. The character chosen has a stock of only one life in this mode and is effectively given no 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 SSB4.
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. Each battle selects a number of characters at random, fighting every character once - the only character immune to this is Mr. Game and Watch, whom is always fought last, in a team of 25. Each opponent faced wears up to 3 of the alternate costumes, with the exception of Mr. Game & Watch, who always wears his default (unless the player uses Mr. Game & Watch in his default costume, in which case the Game & Watches will instead use their red costume). If the player uses a character with an alternate costume and the player faces the same character, the character will either use up to 2 of the alternates, or use the default costume. The characters are fought on the "home stages" of the first member on the list (for example, if the team was Luigi, Pikachu, and Ice Climbers, the stage would be Mushroom Kingdom).
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% in between battles; players can only recover health by using one of three Heart Containers available between matches located in the All-Star Teleporter. 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.
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 the third, sixth, ninth, and twelfth battles.
For characters with a home stage set outside their universe, the stage will have a more appropriate track from their series play; this acts as the only time these tracks can play on these stages. For instance, 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.
However, instead of the matches having progressively larger enemy teams in random order, the opponents are based on their series of origin - characters are grouped by series, and the first game to be released in that series (in Japan) is the deemed "Initial Release Date". From there, the series are fought in order of said date. As such, the player will always fight Mr. Game & Watch first and Olimar last. The highest count of enemies on the stage at a time is two. When a series has more than two opponents, a new fighter will appear a few seconds after the player KOs one of the opponents. In effect, this means that stages for Kid Icarus, Ice Climbers, and Pikmin will be easier than Mario, Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon, due to the latter universes having multiple opponents. In the case of Pokémon, there are a total of six opponents, as the Pokémon Trainer will send out each Pokémon separately. On the Metroid stage, the player will randomly battle Samus or Zero Suit Samus, and on the Zelda stage, they will battle Zelda or Sheik. Another note is that the player doesn't fight a team randomly, but on stages with multiple opponents, the order of the opponents is random. So, even though the Mario universe will be fought at a fixed point, the characters within it appear in a random order. The stage the player fights each character on will be a home stage from Brawl, randomly selected if there are more than one (Battlefield and Final Destination are not considered home stages). Strangely, Mario Bros. is R.O.B.'s home stage instead of a Mario home stage. However, if Mario Bros. has not yet been unlocked, he appears in Delfino Plaza instead.
The order in which `Universes` are fought is listed below:
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 them the 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, 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 unlocking all characters.
The order in which different characters are fought is now based on a character's personal first appearance. For instance, players will face Samus in her armor form first, as her Zero Suit did not appear until over a decade after her series started.
Up to three enemies can appear at a time (two if played on co-op) with four to seven opponents per stage with a five minute time-limit. Stages are chosen randomly from some of the home stages of that era's characters; unlike previous games, this includes stages that are not yet unlocked.
Characters with alternate costumes that use unique models can be fought in said forms including Wire-Frame Little Mac, overalls Wario, male and female Robin and Wii Fit Trainer, and the alternate costumes of the Villager. Sportswear Zero Suit Samus, swimsuit Shulk, and hoodie Little Mac, however, cannot appear, even if playing as the default color of them. 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. Unlike Melee and Brawl, no items spawn in the battles, and attacks that can potentially heal the player (such as Wii Fit Trainer's Deep Breathing or Villager's Timber) will have no effect in the Rest Area, though they can perform such benefits in actual battles. Furthermore, self-inflicted damage, such as via Duck Hunt's Trick Shot or Link's Bombs, will not cause damage 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; the degree of damage done is influenced by the difficulty, with higher difficulties inflicting less damage to opponents and more to the player.
In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, the order of the characters fought is reversed. The list below shows the order in the 3DS version.
Italics denote unlockable characters and stages.
Unlike in previous games, the player cannot continue if they are defeated, but they will keep any gold, custom parts or trophies won.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl
In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Rest Area Music
All-Star mode is heavily based on Kirby Super Star's Arena. In Melee, the music comes from The Great Cave Offensive Save Room 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.