Background characters are cameo characters that appear in a stage that correspond to their home universe (e.g. King Dedede appears in the Super Smash Bros. stage Dream Land). Note that background characters should not be confused with stage hazards (though they sometimes play that role).
Lakitu can sometimes be seen flying in the background.
Necky appears flying in the background.
Many classic enemies from Super Mario Bros. are seen in the background.
Porky Minch indirectly appears in his helicopter.
After three minutes have passed, the Four Giants appear on the hillside to push the falling Moon back into the sky (This is in reference to the fact that Link had three days to wake said giants and prevent the Moon from falling).
Cranky Kong is seen walking back and forth in his cottage, sometimes also rocking in his chair at some points. Flocks of Neckies can also seen in the far background.
Pak E. Derm can be seen walking behind the scenery.
Regardless of stage and game mode, using Pokémon Trainer will have the Trainer himself stand on a platform in the background. As with the previous games, there are stage-specific background characters as well.
The original Donkey Kong appears on the top of the stage, as in the original game.
A Red Bulborb occasionally appears in the background. A Cloaking Burrow-nit can also be seen.Tails, Knuckles, and Silver can be seen running up and down the shuttle loop.
Boos briefly appear from the rubble of the mansion when it collapses.
For a third time, Shy Guys appear in the background, with Support Ghosts, Chain Chomps and Goonies also occasionally appearing.
In Nintendo 3DS
A Mii appears in the cage in the background, like the player's Mii in the original game Find Mii. In 3DS, this Mii is the Mii assigned to the player's console. In Ultimate, one of the Miis from the player's system is randomly selected instead.
Miis appear in the background hanging out in the apartments.
A few Nintendogs or a cat can appear as background characters in this stage.
Kapp'n appears ocasionally in his boat. Also, Leila, Leilani, or Tortimer can appear beside the shop depending on the variant.
Prior to the Reset Bomb's landfall, Viridi appears for a moment.
Captain Falcon can be seen riding the Blue Falcon in the background.
Miis appear on this stage, flying through the sky riding jetpacks. Unlike most Mii appearances, these Miis are pre-modeled and do not use the faces of Miis from the player's system.
Loftwings can be seen flying around.
Seven Animal friends (Flicky, Pecky, Picky, Pocky, Cucky, Ricky, and Rocky) from Sonic the Hedgehog can be seen in the background.
The angels Affinity and Inspired only appear and fly around in the background of Purgatorio, and occasionally the enormous Fortitudo comes close to the playing field and lets out a powerful roar, shaking the screen.
The members of The Super Mario Players, including Pauline, appear on floating platforms, and on the ground in front of City Hall. Interacting with the band members causes them to begin performing "Jump Up, Super Star!". Captain Toad and the Odyssey can be seen in the background as well.
The Old Man from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild periodically floats onto the stage on his Paraglider.
Shadows of Dracula and Kid Dracula appear occasionally, illuminated by flashes of lightning. Other enemies make an appearance, each with an entrance based on how they appeared during their original boss battle in the Castlevania series: the Creature with Flea Man, Mummy, Medusa, Werewolf, Carmilla, and Death.
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