Adventure Mode: World of Light
Adventure Mode: World of Light (灯火の星, The Star of Light) is a single-player mode in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The mode is accessed from the Spirits main menu item and revolves around the fighters teaming up with Spirits to defeat an "ultimate enemy" named Galeem.
Similar to The Subspace Emissary, World of Light features a navigatable world map. Map navigation is unlike The Subspace Emissary but somewhat resembles Smash 3DS's Classic Mode: the player character has a fully rendered model on the map, and the character themselves navigate on predetermined paths between map locations.
Both spirits and imprisoned fighters appear on the map as rendered icons, with one type of icon for spirits and one type for fighters. Moving up to and interacting with an icon will reveal which character it is. Opponent fighters (including puppet fighters) appear with distinctive red eyes both on the map and in battle. Spirit fights consist of fighter characters with battle conditions that largely mimic the spirit in their home series, for example Smoky Progg features Mario in his black alternate costume with the ability to occasionally turn metal. Defeating an opponent puppet fighter obtains that spirit, along with G, SP, snacks, and Skill Spheres.
Kirby is the only available fighter at the start, as he is the only one to have escaped his own fate from Galeem. Defeating an imprisoned fighter unlocks that fighter both in the mode and in the main game, which can be swapped through the mode's menu. Mario is the first fighter to be unlocked, followed by a choice of Sheik, Marth, or Villager.
Defeating "master" spirits does not yield a collectable that joins the player, but instead unlocks "activities" to aid the player and their collected spirits. Gyms trains spirits until they reach their maximum level; explorations sends spirits to find SP, snacks, and Spirit Board items; dojos train spirits that provide a stat modification when equipped to the playable fighter; and shops sell snacks, Spirit Board items, and other collectable spirits in exchange for SP.
The world map also features several many items and obstacles, such as treasure chests (resembling those found in Crazy Orders) which yield various rewards (including Spirits, music tracks, SP, and Skill Spheres), waterfalls that can be swum through, Warp Pipes and similar teleporters, and ! Switch that transforms a row of Dotted Line Blocks on the map into a bridge of red ! Blocks over lava. Certain spirits are required to pass through obstacles, such as needing Bomberman to remove large rocks, or Lapras to traverse an ocean. Some areas also have minigames and puzzles, such as a gourmet race that reveals spirits after collecting a certain score, or the Power Plant's Zapfish on various power generators that open up pathways so that they may reach the main reactor.
Bosses are present in subareas. Majority of them lack rendered models, instead appearing as an icon of swirling darkness with glowing eyes and their portraits shadowed before fought. Master Hand also often plays a role in creating obstacles, such as forcefields or smashing bridges, before disappearing.
The player may zoom out to view the full map by pressing the L button; the right analog stick can also be used to scan over the map on a smaller scale. Areas not yet accessible are obscured with clouds. When fully zoomed out, the player character's model is replaced with their stock icon, opponent fighter icons similarly become flat, and various other icons representing activities, warp pipes, inacessible obstacles, and swirling subareas appear on the map. Spirit icons do not appear on the zoomed-out map. In addition, the predetermined paths between map areas become explicitly drawn, with dotted lines showing paths that can't be traversed without the aid of a spirit.
The Skill Tree is a menu item in World of Light. In it, the player can spend Skill Spheres (スキルのかけら Skill Fragments) in order to learn Adventure Skills. These are effectively power-ups akin to the skills granted by Support Spirits (and can stack with their equivalent Spirit skills), and appear as icons resembling the stat boost icons found in Smash 4's Smash Tour and Smash Run. Obtaining a power-up also makes power-ups further down the tree available. The player can spend SP to forget a power-up and gain back all of the Skill Spheres spent on it.
Characters may be unlocked through this mode. Playing this mode is required to unlock the ability to train spirits in the dojo or have them explore for treasure. Completing the mode with the true ending requirements grants the player spirits of Galeem and Dharkon which makes attacks more powerful against puppet fighters controlled by Dharkon and Galeem respectively if used, and unlocks the ability to change the menu's theme in My Music.
Completing the mode also unlocks New Game+ which allows the player to begin a new save file while carrying over any fighters, Spirits, and Activities they unlocked.
World of Light
The story begins with a close-up of a Blaster aimed at the horizon, revealing its wielder to be Fox, who gives the command of "Don't let a single one get away!". The camera then zooms out and pans to the left, revealing that Fox is addressing the entirety of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's playable cast, all of whom have been summoned to the edge of a cliff. The camera then pans upward to reveal Galeem, who is currently accompanied by a looming army of Master Hands that is slowly approaching the mount. After Marth, Zelda, and Pit each comment on their reassurance over the upcoming battle, every Master Hand surrounding Galeem slowly disintegrates into a glowing, blue streak of light that ends up being absorbed by him. As the fighters prepare for the god-like being's next move, Shulk suddenly envisions the downfall of his comrades and immediately looks at them all in shock and despair, but perhaps foreseeing Kirby's escape. The singularity between Galeem and his now-absorbed Master Hand army creates a black hole, which soon collapses, creating an array of beams of intense light.
The beams of intense light quickly extrude from the black hole, rapidly approaching the cliff where the fighters are situated. As they aim downwards to consume the fighters, Link successfully reflects three beams with his Hylian Shield before succumbing to another. Samus attempts to fire at the beams, but it's to no avail before she is engulfed by one. Both Zelda and Mewtwo simultaneously attempt to reflect the beams with Nayru's Love and Confusion respectively, before being immediately decimated. Sonic and Pikachu attempt to outrun the beams, with the former attempting to assist the latter in escaping, but both are ultimately disintegrated. Bayonetta successfully dodges three beams at once using Bat Within, but she is disintegrated by yet another beam of light as soon as she retains her original form. Both the Pokémon Trainer and Bowser attempt to fight off Galeem's beams of light, with the former ordering his Pokémon to use Triple Finish, and the latter uses his Fire Breath respectively, only to fail and be consumed by the light. Captain Falcon is briefly shown attempting to get into his Blue Falcon in order to escape the onslaught, but both he and his vehicle are destroyed just as quickly. Lucario is shown successfully teleporting away from one of the beams with Extreme Speed, finding himself behind Greninja, who jumps upward to successfully escape from a beam. Unfortunately, this was all for naught as the beam Greninja hops over ends up engulfing Lucario instead, and yet another beam of light reaches Greninja in midair. The female and male Inklings use their Splattershots to shoot ink onto the ground and then try to hide in it, only to have yet another of Galeem's beams of light ram into the ground, decimating them. Falco is shown in his Arwing attempting to make his escape, but his exceptional flying skills are just not enough to evade the persistent tendrils of light, and he ends up getting taken down by multiple beams all at once. Both Pit and Dark Pit are seen flying away with the Power of Flight, bestowed unto to them by Palutena, who attempts to buy the two angels more of a chance to escape by summoning a Reflect Barrier in the hopes of suppressing Galeem's attack. With little effort however, the goddess of light is simply vaporized by a beam, which ends up activating the unfortunate chain reaction of causing the (normally flightless) angelic duo to lose their ability to fly, resulting in each angel getting wiped out by a beam of light in midair. A lone cardboard box is shown on the cliff's edge, hiding away Snake, only to have a beam prove the espionage expert's attempt futile. Both Rosalina & Luma and Diddy Kong attempt to fly away from the onslaught using a Launch Star and his Rocketbarrel Pack respectively, but both are eventually swallowed by the beams. A group consisting of the Wii Fit Trainer (who simply strikes a yoga tree pose), Duck Hunt (which consists of the dog cowering in fear of Galeem's attack as the duck attempts to fly itself and its canine companion away to safety with Duck Jump), and the Villager (who simply runs around in circles in a blind panic over his and the group's impending doom) with all of three of them eventually getting engulfed by the light.
Amidst the massacre, Kirby is shown flying away from a legion of Galeem's beams of light via his Warp Star. After deviating from many of them, the frequency of the Warp Star's blipping noise increase in rapid succession and intensity as Kirby attempts to push its power to its absolute limit, resulting in it moving at warp speed, temporarily warping Kirby to another plane of existence just before the aforementioned series of beams could swallow it and Kirby along with it. From this point onward, the beams are then shown atomizing multiple non-playable characters into oblivion. The scene then transitions from the planet in its entirety being engulfed by Galeem's light, with said light slowly expanding throughout the galaxy, engulfing and vaporizing multiple planets. Eventually, the deadly light produced by the deity-like being soon erases the entire universe, leaving nothing in its wake. The planet on which the ordeal started is now left as nothing more than a barren wasteland, with its remains currently inhabited by the now-hostile souls of non-playable characters. A glimmer of light is seen on the horizon, later revealed to be none other than Kirby, who has ended up becoming the sole survivor of Galeem's onslaught upon the universe, and ends up making a rough emergency landing into a nearby canyon. As Kirby recovers from his crash-landing, he looks towards a vast landscape consisting of various areas, some of which are recognizable as coming from the fighters' old worlds. The landscape, constructed by Galeem, is none other than the World of Light.
Army of Puppets
Following Kirby's arrival in the World of Light, the scene cuts to a dark room, in which the only source of light found in it reveals that of a now-unconscious Mario being held captive by a series of fibers made out of pure energy. A golden liquid resembling that of molten metal is poured upon Mario's body, which is then absorbed by the fibers holding him. The liquid then passes through the stand on which he is situated to create a monochrome clone of him, which forms on the stand's opposite end. The resulting puppet fighter then disconnects from the stand and falls to the ground, motionless. The spirit of a Smoky Progg then weaves around the dark room and, coming across the lifeless Mario clone, is forced by Galeem to possess it, thus giving life to the previously inanimate statue, which now dons distinctive red, glowing eyes. The camera slowly zooms outward, revealing that Galeem has already made puppet fighters out of every single playable character, with the intention of unleashing this army upon the planet to stop Kirby from freeing his comrades. The scene then cuts back to Kirby, now about to take his first steps into the World of Light.
From Light to Dark
Kirby rescues many fighters and spirits and defeats Giga Bowser, Galleom, and Rathalos powering Galeem's shield. A Master Hand puppet appears to intercept, but is destroyed. The fighters defeat Galeem, but this victory is short-lived as a crack appears in the sky. The crack shatters and Dharkon and his army of Crazy Hands emerges, taking advantage of the situation and forcing Galeem to retreat. The World of Light is then swallowed by darkness, with Dharkon taking control of Galeem's remaining spirits and fighters.
The Final Battle
The fighters continue to free the puppets and spirits under Dharkon's control, and defeat three Crazy Hands as well as Ganon, The Demon King, Marx, and Dracula to force Dharkon to appear. After the fighters confront Dharkon, Dharkon retreats, but Galeem soon came back and launches an assault with a new army of spirits and puppet fighters. Both gods were trying to defeat the other, but Mario, Simon, Pit, Zelda, Kirby, Fox, Greninja, Bowser, Samus, Sonic, and the rest of the fighters soon catch up in the middle with both Dharkon and Galeem noticing. The final battle is about to begin.
Consumed by Light
This bad ending is achieved if the fighters defeat too many dark spirits during The Final Battle, allowing Galeem's light to dominate and creating a path to fight only Dharkon or, if the balance between light and darkness is achieved, if the player chooses to take the left path leading to Dharkon.
With Dharkon and its army of darkness defeated, Galeem impales Dharkon with beams of light, before vaporizing Dharkon. Galeem then consumes the universe in its light once more, vaporizing Mario, Samus, Greninja, Bowser, and the other fighters in the process.
Swallowed by Darkness
This bad ending is achieved if the fighters defeat too many light spirits during The Final Battle, allowing Dharkon's darkness to dominate and creating a path to fight only Galeem or, if the balance between light and darkness is achieved, if the player chooses to take the right path leading to Galeem.
With Galeem and its army of light crushed, Dharkon then engulfs the world in darkness, destroying the Master Hand army in the process, and piercing Galeem with chains. Mario is then shown dropping on the ground (presumably dead) as the screen turns to static, then black. The world then turns all dark, and Dharkon's eye is then shown in the destroyed world, now completely dark forever.
The true ending is achieved by navigating through The Final Battle while attempting to preserve the balance of power between light and darkness. This is achieved by keeping the amount of spirits from each side equal.
The fighters defeat two more Master Hands and Crazy Hands, freeing their originals from control. Aiding the fighters, they create a fracture within the space where Master Hand dives into the crack, becoming a playable character as he defeats an onslaught of 50 light and dark puppet fighters, conquering the battlefield and paving open a fork road to confront only Galeem or Dharkon and their bad endings, along with a new path in the middle. In this new path, Galeem and Dharkon come together in the center from their previous positions, face to face, for the final confrontation.
As the fighters climb the long stairwell while defeating more puppets and all six bosses once again, the two deity-like beings continue to battle each other before turning their attention to the fighters in a three-way climactic clash. Even in the midst of a shared enemy, the two deities still wage war against another. When both Galeem and Dharkon are destroyed, their armies vanish as they fall into the ocean and explode, cleansing the universe of their influence. Now free, the spirits return to their original worlds, forming colors that weave into a spire of flame and distant sparks that call to a past still unnamed.
All who opposed Galeem (aside from Kirby) are scattered among three realms, each being ruled over by Galeem and/or Dharkon, and must be defeated before joining the fight. 42 characters (with Pokémon Trainer counting as one) can be found in The Light Realm. 27 characters can be found in The Dark Realm after defeating Galeem. 4 more characters are found in The Final Battle following Dharkon's defeat. Several characters require more than just reaching their location on the map, such as King Dedede requiring collecting 11 foods in a minigame.
Sub-worlds are an additional map that is separate from the main map. They tend to have a puzzle in order to advance the area, and each have at least one character trapped within. Six of them also contain bosses. Most are themed after a game.
Trapped within the Light Realm's sub-worlds are Peach and Bowser; Pichu; Pit and Simon; Diddy Kong; King Dedede; Snake; Toon Link; and Ryu.
With the exceptions of Rosalina & Luma, Lucina, and Incineroar, all fighters trapped inside of the Dark Realm are located inside sub-worlds. Trapped inside of Marx’s sub-world are Luigi, Meta Knight, Mewtwo, Ike, R.O.B., Wolf, Greninja, Corrin, and King K. Rool. Trapped inside of Dracula’s sub-world are Daisy, Dark Pit, Wario, Robin, Ken, Ridley, and Richter. Trapped within Ganon’s sub-world are Zelda, Young Link, Ganondorf, Chrom, Sonic, Mii Brawler, Bowser Jr., and Cloud.
The maps below show the location where the player can find the characters within story mode. (Note: Luigi and Greninja are missing from the Dark Realm map)
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