Castle Siege (攻城戦, Castle Siege) is a Fire Emblem stage in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It was first revealed for Brawl at E3 2006. It is based upon themes and motifs from the series as a whole, rather than one particular title, due to the stage not resembling any game of the series. The stage takes place at an unnamed castle, transitioning between the castle's roof, its throne room, and an underground lava cavern.
In Brawl and Ultimate, Marth is fought here in his unlocking battle, and Roy and Robin are also fought here in their unlocking battles in the latter.
The match begins on a small section of the roof of the castle, which has two elevated platforms. The castle itself is being bombarded with catapulted fireballs, but these do not affect the match.
After forty seconds, the ground begins to rumble, and the stage transitions into the throne room of the castle. It is a walk-off, as the floor reaches both of the lateral blast lines. There are four platforms, two of which are supported by statues. These statues can be attacked, and each one will break if it takes enough damage, which destroys the platform it is supporting. In Brawl and Smash 4, these statues can be hit by projectiles, potentially blocking their travel, but in Ultimate, the statues are intangible to indirect attacks.
After forty seconds in the throne room, the ground begins rumbling again, and the stage transitions to an underground cavern. It consists of a single large stone platform which balances on a stone spire, tilting in both directions.
After forty seconds in the underground cavern, the ground begins to rumble once more, as the stage transitions back to the first segment on the castle roof, and the cycle repeats.
While the stage is transitioning between segments, it is a walk-off. This can have the effect of saving a character who would have been otherwise unable to recover, as the ground comes from beneath; for example, Bowser players attempting a stalled Flying Slam or Ganondorf players attempting a stalled aerial Flame Choke. However, players must make sure to move to the center of the stage if it is not transitioning to the throne room, as when the stage is done transitioning, players that are on the sides of the ground will fall rapidly with the ground, easily causing a self-destruct.
Ω forms and Battlefield form
In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, the Ω form is set on a completely flat version of the first segment of the regular form, the castle roof. The stage does not transform.
In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the Ω form and Battlefield form are set in the first segment of the normal form, and the main platform is similar in design to SSB4's Ω form; however, it does not extend below the blast line, and it is resized and reshaped to match Final Destination and Battlefield, respectively. The three soft platforms of the Battlefield form bear the design seen on the platforms of the second segment, the throne room.
With hazards off in Ultimate, the stage never transitions and remains in the first form atop the castle.
Throughout the Fire Emblem series, the main objective for many chapters is to seize a castle, which is the inspiration for the theme of this stage. The Fire Emblem games typically depict castles as immense fortresses surrounded by woodlands, which provide extra defense for surrounding units. The first segment of this stage depicts one of these castles, where attacks are being launched from a forest in the background.
A common motif throughout the Fire Emblem series is that many of the villains belong to a draconian race, or use dragons and wyverns in battle. The flags in this stage depict a dragon; while not identical to any particular flag in the series, it bears similarities to the flags of Daein and Dolhr, the main antagonistic nations in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, respectively.
In various Fire Emblem games, Ballista appear as ranged weapons. Specific varieties known as Hoistflamme and Pachyderm are used by a class known as Ballisticians in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem, and Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon. These projectile weapons launch flaming or explosive missiles at their targets. The weapons in the background of the stage are presumably similar, but are described as catapults, and are launching fireballs rather than explosives.
The second segment of the stage resembles a throne room; many major chapters in the Fire Emblem series involving seizing a throne from a powerful boss, such as a General. In the background of the indoor area, a General can be seen sitting on a throne, bearing a resemblance to the Black Knight from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. Soldiers wearing red armor also appear throughout the indoor area; the opposing armies in Fire Emblem games traditionally wear red armor. These soldiers wear full body armor and wield swords, similar to that of enemy Armor Sword units in Radiant Dawn.
The collapsing statues that appear in the throne room may have been inspired by the destructible terrain in various other Fire Emblem games, specifically being introduced in Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade. The Binding Blade also introduced stages that take place in underground areas surrounded by magma, which have become a recurring theme throughout the series. The final segment of Castle Siege is designed to represent one of these areas.
This stage is generally a counterpick, but may be a starter in less restrictive rulesets. Though the stage has mostly unobtrusive hazards, the layout changes can give advantages or disadvantages to certain characters. In particular, the second segment has walk-off blast lines; these can allow easy or early KOs, especially for characters with chaingrabs, such as the Ice Climbers. The statues in the second segment also block projectiles, which can limit approach options for characters such as Falco or Pikachu.
In Smash 4
Castle Siege was formerly included in rulesets as a counterpick, due to chaingrabs being non-existent and therefore not being abusable on the walk-off edges on the second segment. However, the second segment still has issues with the statues (which block projectiles and increase hitlag), as well as an unusually high top blast line. Combined with the walk-offs, the stage is seen as unfairly beneficial to characters with poor recoveries, such as Little Mac; as a result, it was seen as too strong of a counterpick and has been banned in major rulesets since GENESIS 3.
With the introduction of the stage hazard toggle, Castle Siege doesn't transition past the first segment. Because of this, it was proposed as a legal stage during the earlier phases of the Ultimate metagame. However, it quickly proved to be controversial due to its asymmetrical layout and small size, as well as the slanted floor giving a disadvantage to projectile-focused characters, and the camera on the bottom right sometimes obstructing the view and hindering recovery and edgeguarding attempts. The stage was legal early on at tournaments such as GENESIS 6, but it quickly fell out of favor and is now almost universally banned, and still one of the least played stages in the few tournaments where it is legal.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate