Boss Battles Mode is an unlockable Stadium mode introduced in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which is very similar to All-Star Mode, except the player fights all the bosses rather than all the playable characters. Boss battles mode is unlocked after the player completes both Classic Mode and The Subspace Emissary for the first time, or in other words, has defeated each boss other than Crazy Hand at least once.
A battle with Petey Piranha in Boss Battles Mode. Note that the cages are empty, and the sky is blue, like in The Great Maze
The goal of Boss Battles Mode is to defeat every boss in the game with a single stock, or two characters in its co-op mode. When a player begins Boss Battles Mode, they are immediately dropped into combat against one of nine bosses except for Tabuu. Once a boss is defeated, the player is brought to the rest area. The rest area displays all defeated bosses as trophies, a screen that displays the face of next boss to be fought, and has three heart containers, or five in co-op mode, which, like in All-Star Mode, do not reappear even upon later visits to the rest area. This format continues until all bosses are defeated.
This format is mostly the same as All-Star Mode. However, the player is not allowed to continue after losing their stock, as it is a stadium game. The battles occur in random order, except for the battle with Tabuu, which always occurs last. Each boss has their own stamina bar as one would normally fight them in the Subspace Emissary, including both of the Hands. The final three bosses before Tabuu move and attack at a faster rate (most noticeable with Rayquaza and Galleom), and bosses have more HP the later they appear. The player is treated with a picture of one of the bosses upon completing boss battles: this picture varies depending on the difficulty level chosen. Stickers cannot be used in Boss Battles.
The battles in this mode include:
There are eight trophies obtained by completing Challenges and one unlockable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl involving boss battles mode. Golden Hammers cannot be used to break them, except in PAL versions of the game.
- Clearing Boss Battles with Fox or Falco will challenge the player to beat Wolf, and beating him will unlock him.
- Clearing Boss Battles with 10 characters unlocks the Subspace Gunship trophy
- Clearing Boss Battles with 20 characters unlocks the Jyk trophy
- Clearing Boss Battles with every character unlocks the Winged Tabuu trophy
- Clearing Boss Battles on Easy difficulty unlocks the Subspace Bomb trophy
- Clearing Boss Battles on Normal difficulty unlocks the Shadow Bugs trophy
- Clearing Boss Battles on Hard difficulty unlocks the Dark Cannon trophy
- Clearing Boss Battles on Very Hard difficulty unlocks the Porky Statue trophy
- Clearing Boss Battles on Intense difficulty unlocks the Galleom (Tank Form) trophy
Differences between the easier and harder difficulties
- Bosses have more health.
- The bosses move and attack at a faster rate.
- The bosses are more powerful.
Boss changes from other modes
Several of the bosses are slightly altered from their appearances in other modes.
- Bosses generally have around half the HP they do in the equivalent difficulty in the SSE and Classic modes, with their attacks having about half the power as well.
- Bosses are additionally slower than they normally are, unless they're one of the final three before Tabuu.
- Crazy Hand is a boss on his own, rather than together with Master Hand.
- Master Hand and Crazy Hand have Stamina Bars like other bosses, rather than the usual HP shown at the bottom. Both Hands also suffer a much more severe HP drop than the other bosses, resulting in them having much less HP than the other bosses despite having above average HP in Classic Mode compared to the other bosses.
- Galleom will be fought randomly in one of his two stages. His death animation will depend on when the player fights him. If they fight him as one of the earlier bosses, he will kneel to the ground, defeated (like his animation at the end of The Wilds I). If he is fought as one of the last three bosses before Tabuu, he will fall backwards to the ground (like his animation at the end of The Ruined Hall).
- Additionally, while the attacks of bosses are normally slower in Boss Battles, Galleom's uppercut attack is always faster in Boss Battles than it is on the equivalent difficulty in the SSE.
- There is no time limit to fight Meta Ridley.
- On easy, normal and hard modes, Tabuu's Off Waves do not OHKO the player.
- Petey Piranha's cages are empty, as they are when he is faced in The Great Maze. Similarly, the sky is clear when fighting him in Boss Battles, rather than covered in dark clouds.
- The individual boss themes are replaced with generic music, Boss Battle, except for Master Hand, Crazy Hand and Tabuu. They use the music Final Destination (Melee), Giga Bowser (Melee), and Boss Battle Song 2, respectively.
- Items do not appear.
- The camera behaves as it does in normal brawls rather than how it behaves in the SSE.
- After a boss is defeated, players will not lose a stock going past the blast lines, nor suffer hoop damage, akin to the SSE.
- Despite having a boss trophy appear in the background of the resting area after each victory, players do not "earn" those trophies.
- The boss system works like the one in the game Kirby Super Star (and its remake Kirby Super Star Ultra), which has a subgame named The Arena in which Kirby had to fight bosses in a random order, except the final most difficult one which always came last.
- The player can attack before the Announcer shouts "GO!"
- Porky can attack the player after he himself dies, through the usage of his Porky-bots; causing damage which is likely to frustrate the player on higher difficulties.
- Water effects from F.L.U.D.D and Water Gun and Push effects from PSI Magnet will make the colour in the boss' health bar blink like the boss is hurt, even though these moves don't inflict damage.