Challenges (クリアゲッター, Clear Getter) are a gameplay component from Super Smash Bros. Brawl onward. The purpose of the Challenges is to reward players with unlockable content or completing certain objectives or meeting certain conditions.
In Brawl, the Challenges made their debut as a way to show players the various ways to unlock additional aspects of the game. At first, the Challenge screen is a grid of blank squares. Upon completing a criterion in-game, the player is taken to the Challenges screen in order to show what they have accomplished, what they have unlocked, and, most importantly, what they can do afterward: Upon clearing a box, some of the adjacent boxes and their criteria become partially visible. The possible rewards for completing a challenge are Trophies, Music, Stages, Stage builder parts, Masterpieces, and Stickers. Specific challenges that are colored gold will also reward a Golden Hammer. These will automatically complete most challenges and instantly claim the reward. However, in the NTSC version, some challenges forbid the use of a Golden hammer, while the PAL version has no restriction. Only 5 challenges reward a Golden Hammer, and there is no chance to reclaim one after it is used. Brawl features 4 rows of 32 categories, for a total of 128 Challenges. However, only 54 challenges are visible at any given time, so the player has to scroll left and right to see all of them.
For Nintendo 3DS
Challenges made a return in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, but the presentation and functionality have been altered significantly. Like Brawl, the section is initially blank squares on a grid. Unlike Brawl the grid is split into 3 separate panels of Challenges, each with 5 rows of 7 categories, for a total of 105 Challenges. The first panel contains the easiest challenges, the second is harder, and the third panel is the hardest. Like in Brawl, rewards are claimed after completing specific challenges. In addition to the completion reward, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS introduced the additional reward of a special screenshot that the player can view at any point after completion. Upon clearing a challenge, the box above, below, and to the left and right become exposed. The possible completion rewards are Trophies, Music, Stages, Masterpieces, Poké Ball Pokémon, Custom moves, Mii Fighter costumes, Equipment and Powers. To potentially prevent spoiling the game's unlockable content from players, some challenges' criteria do not immediately identify certain elements. For example, a challenge may say "Complete ????? with ?????", if it refers to "Complete All-Star Mode with Mr. Game & Watch" and both All-Star mode and Mr. Game & Watch have not been unlocked yet. Pale yellow boxes give Golden hammers, which function identically as in Brawl. There are again only 5 challenges that reward a Golden hammer. Unlike Brawl, there are challenges that a Golden hammer cannot be used in all versions.
For Wii U
Challenges in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U are similar in functionality to Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, with a few key differences. The grid is now a single panel of 14 rows of 10 categories for a total of 140 Challenges. Due to the differences in available content, many of the challenges and rewards are significantly different than Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS. The challenges are also more difficult than in the 3DS version. Screenshots make a return but were made from scratch on Wii U hardware. Golden hammers also make a return, with access and functionality remaining identical. As a final bonus for completing all the challenges in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, the game will reward the player with 2,000,000 Gold.
Challenges make a return in Ultimate, and they have once again been altered significantly. Challenges are now grouped into several categories based on which game mode is required for completion. These categories are Smash, Adventure, Spirit Board, Spirits, Classic Mode, Games & More, Online, and Other. The format is no longer grid-based and instead has panels of different sizes, reminiscent of a comic book. There are 124 challenges in total. Possible rewards are Spirits, Spirit Board items, Spirit Board upgrades, Spirit points, Snacks, Gold, Classic tickets, Music, and Mii Fighter costumes. A bonus reward will be given every time all challenges in a category are completed. Screenshots make a return, this time being cropped on the main screen and the full image is shown after being clicked on. Challenges that have yet to be completed are still grayed out, but a fighter present on the screenshot is highlighted with a darker gray. Golden hammers make a return but have been altered. Instead of certain challenges giving the player a hammer, one is now automatically given after a certain amount of challenges are completed. There still are some challenges that a Golden hammer cannot be used on.
While hosting some differences from the mode's introduction in Brawl, Kirby Air Ride featured a "Checklist" mode that acts similarly to the Challenges in Brawl. In the game, players are given a Checklist that shows the player what they can do in order to unlock various gameplay elements in the game's various modes, similarly to the achievement systems in non-Nintendo games; upon completing the requirements in one check-box, the boxes above, below, left, and right of the cleared check-box would give players further goals to complete. Additionally, among the unlockables given to the player included violet "filler" boxes that could be used to complete any check-box and gain their potential rewards. Unique to Kirby Air Ride's checklist was that not all checkboxes featured rewards, a feature that was not retained for Brawl. In Super Smash Bros. 4, challenges are also shown above and below, similar to Kid Icarus: Uprising. Challenges would later become a staple in games that Masahiro Sakurai directed.
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