Classic Mode (SSBU)

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SSBU Icon.png
Classic Mode loading screen in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Classic Mode (勝ちあがり乱闘 Survival Smash) is a single-player mode in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Each character now has their own predetermined set of opponents and stages to face in this mode. A unique name is given to each character's path, and there may be special rules or conditions: for example, Ryu's path references Street Fighter II by using only Ω forms and Stamina mode alongside the fighters most closely representing the characters of Street Fighter II. It is different from the Classic Mode versions found in the two versions of SSB4, shown by the return to the style of Classic Mode that was in Melee and Brawl. Just like in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Classic Mode can also be challenged by two players. When playing with two players, the route will always be based on Player 1's character. 1v1 battles become 2v1v1 battles with two copies of the same opponent, usually in the second costume. In the case of Bowser in Peach's route, his 8th costume is used.

Similar to the Classic Modes for the previous entries, players can select an intensity level, indicated by the position of the lengthy mural. The highest allowed starting intensity is 5.0, and it will increase slightly, depending on how well the player does, after each victory, to a maximum of 9.9. Winning in fast times or with great dominance awards a "Nice Play!" label for the stage, and an intensity boost ranging from 0.6 to 1.2, depending also on how far along the player is in the game. Otherwise, the game's default intensity boost goes between 0.2 and 0.6, lower scores being awarded to longer battles with more damage taken. The layout consists of seven stages plus a bonus stage. Unlike previous entries, the opponent in the last stage is not always Master Hand or Crazy Hand; each fighter has a different encounter at the end. Scores are also present in Classic Mode, which is displayed alongside the player's Global Smash Power.

Players only have one stock, unlike previous installments. To continue, the player can either spend Gold, which lowers the intensity by 0.7 points, or use a Classic Mode ticket to keep the current intensity. Upon continuing, the match will start from where the player left off, but intensity will only rise to a maximum of 0.3 regardless of how quickly the CPU opponent is defeated afterwards. Using a Classic Mode ticket at any point during the run will stop the intensity from rising to 9.9, making the maximum possible intensity 9.8 for the rest of the run. However, it will not degrade a run already at intensity 9.9 if the ticket is used then.

Clearing Classic Mode with a character grants their Fighter Spirit, much like trophies from previous games.

Types of battles[edit]

Regular stage[edit]

Regular stages include Smash 1v1, 2v2, and Free-For-All battles where all enemy fighters must be defeated to proceed. Some variations include Giant Battles, where at least one opponent is giant, Metal Battles, where at least one opponent is metal, and Multi-Man Battles, where eight or less enemies are fought three at a time. When playing with two players, the 1v1 battles are replaced with 2v1v1 battles against two copies of the same opponent, and any allies granted by the match are overwritten by the co-op player.

Bonus Game[edit]

This is a challenge in the style of Race to the Finish, but rather than having a time limit, the player must outrun a void of darkness that consumes the stage behind them. Glowing orbs are scattered throughout the side-scrolling area which increase the player's score, some behind breakable blocks and bomb blocks that encourage the player to go out of their way as the void closes in. Some scattered physics objects impede progress in a similar manner to Trophy Rush. At the end of the stage, a cannon blasts the player into a portal that ends the Bonus Game.


Most fighters face a predetermined boss fight at the end of their route. The player must deplete the boss's HP in order to defeat them. In some cases, the boss is not the only challenge in the final stage; for example, Mario's and Captain Falcon's final stages features a regular battle on Final Destination against Bowser, who transforms into Giga Bowser and begins the boss fight upon his defeat. For Bowser and Mega Man, the boss is fought before the final stage. For the Hero, the boss is fought on Round 4. For Jigglypuff and Bayonetta, there is no true boss battle and the final stage instead consists of standard fights against a giant Donkey Kong for the former and a giant Palutena for the latter, respectively. Presently, the Classic Mode bosses include Giga Bowser, Ganon, Master Hand, Crazy Hand, Dracula, Galleom, Marx, and Rathalos. Characters that are assigned either Master Hand or Crazy Hand for their boss battles will fight both bosses simultaneously at intensity levels of 7.0 or higher, while certain characters (typically those accompanied by CPU allies in their final stage) will be assigned both Hands outright regardless of intensity. The exceptions to these rules are Pikachu and Pokémon Trainer, who will always fight a lone Master Hand immediately following a duel with Mewtwo. After defeating Bowser, Ganondorf or Mewtwo in the boss round, the character is given a Maxim Tomato.

Classic Mode titles[edit]

Fighter Classic Mode title Description
Mario Let's-a Go! (世界をまたにかけて, Go around the World) The title is Mario's famous catchphrase. The Japanese title and overall concept may be a reference to Super Mario Odyssey, where Mario goes around the world and visits different kingdoms. In a similar fashion to the Classic Modes of past games, Mario's opponents are groups of fighters from various universes fought on a home stage from that universe. The penultimate battle is against Bowser Jr. and the Koopalings, an allusion to the Koopalings' appearances as world bosses before the final boss fight with Bowser in various Super Mario titles. The boss of this route is Bowser, who transforms into Giga Bowser upon defeat (similar to the end of Melee's Adventure Mode), which pays homage to his status as Mario's greatest enemy and final challenge to defeat.
Donkey Kong Journey to New Donk City (ドンキーコング ニュードンクへ行く, Donkey Kong Goes to New Donk) Refers to New Donk City Hall being the final stage. The stages begin in the jungle before taking a plane to more urban locations, including the Onett and Moray Towers stages. The boss of this route is Master Hand, set on Ω form New Donk City Hall rather than Final Destination. Diddy Kong is on the player's team after the first round, which references the original Donkey Kong Country.
Link A Quest to Seal the Darkness (闇を切り裂く対魔剣, The Blade of Evil's Bane that Slashes the Darkness) The title references the main plot of most games in the Legend of Zelda series, where Link must seal away Ganon. Link's opponents on this route are all affiliated with darkness, including Ganondorf, with the penultimate battle being against Dark Link. The boss of this route is Ganon.
Samus Another Planet, Another Bounty (異星の深淵, Abyss of Another Planet) Each battle is set on a Metroid series stage and involves fighting a monstrous character. The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Dark Samus The Great Poison Given Form (仲間に牙剥く精神汚染, The Mental Corruption that Threatens the Companion) Refers to Phazon (the essence of Metroid Prime and Dark Samus), which is named "the Great Poison" by the Chozo in Metroid Prime. Dark Samus faces off against protagonist characters while she is teamed up with dark/evil/corrupted variants of characters from their series (for example, Dark Samus is teamed up with Ken in his Violent Ken alternate costume, and together they fight Ryu). The penultimate round is a Free-for-All against Samus and Ridley (likely in a reference to Metroid Prime 3). The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Yoshi Jurassic Journey (ジュラシックアイランド, Jurassic Island) Yoshi's opponents are all reptiles that vaguely resemble prehistoric dinosaurs. His penultimate battle is against Giant Bowser, likely in reference to his role as the final boss in the Yoshi's Island sequels. The boss of this route is Rathalos.
Kirby Gourmet Clash (激突!グルメバトル, Crash! Gourmet Battle) Refers to the Gourmet Race mode from Kirby Super Star. Kirby's opponents are characters who, like Kirby, love to eat things, including their enemies. For each battle, Kirby and his opponent each spawn with 35% damage and several food items appear on the stage as the match begins. Additionally, other food-based items (such as Banana Peels and Superspicy Curry) appear more often. The penultimate battle is against King Dedede on Fountain of Dreams, referencing both Kirby's Adventure and Gourmet Race. The boss of this route is Marx.
Fox Spaceborne Smash (無限の宇宙, The Infinite Universe) Fox's opponents in this route are characters associated with space or other planets. His penultimate battle is with Wolf on Venom, referencing their battle in Star Fox 64 as well as Team Star Fox's frequent final destination. The battle can also reference the No items, Fox only, Final Destination meme as the battle is fought on an Ω stage against Wolf, a pseudo clone of Fox without items appearing.The boss of this route is Master Hand, likely in reference to the battle against Andross in Star Fox 64, in which his disembodied hands guard his face from attack.
Pikachu I Choose You! (大乱闘ポケットモンスターズ, Great Fray Pocket Monsters) Refers to Ash Ketchum's signature catchphrase in the Pokémon anime, which doubles as the title of the first episode and the 20th movie. The Japanese title refers to the Japanese name of the Super Smash Bros. series: 大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズ, Great Fray Smash Brothers. The opponents are Pokémon characters from all across the Super Smash Bros. series. The final battle is against Mewtwo, immediately followed by Master Hand. Only Poké Balls appear throughout this route.
Luigi Luigi's Nightmares (こっちに来ないで、コワい人!, Stay away, scary people!) All of Luigi's opponents are scary characters, or characters using a scary alternate costume (such as Dark Link), which is a reference to the Luigi's Mansion games and Luigi's tendency to be easily frightened. The boss of this route is Dracula.
Ness Home to Onett! (ホームシック! オネットに帰ろう, Homesick! Let's Go Back to Onett) The title reflects Ness's journey in EarthBound in reverse from Magicant to Onett and refers to Ness's Homesick status effect from EarthBound; it may also refer to the end of the EarthBound game, where the game doesn't end until Ness returns to Onett after saving the world. The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Captain Falcon Up Close and Personal (戦いの基本は接近戦, Close-ranged combat is the basis of battle) Captain Falcon fights opponents who specialize in close-range combat, such as Ganondorf and Roy. The boss of this route like Mario's is Bowser, who transforms into Giga Bowser upon defeat (similar to the end of Melee's Adventure Mode).
Jigglypuff All Original, All 64 (64オールスターズ, 64 All-Stars) Refers to Jigglypuff being one of the original 12. It fights all of the other original characters on the stages returning from 64, in a similar manner to the 1P Game. The penultimate battle is a free-for-all with the four unlockable characters, while the final battle is against Giant Donkey Kong, referencing the unique battle in the 1P Game.
Peach No Damsel in Distress (さらわれ姫から卒業!, Graduating from a Kidnapped Princess!) Peach fights against would-be kidnappers such as Bowser's family, Donkey Kong (in his "classic" costume), and Ganondorf with the penultimate battle against her own captor Bowser. If this route is played with two players, Bowser appears with a copy in his eighth costume, referencing The Lost Levels. The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Daisy Sarasaland Represent! (戦場のプリンセス, Princess of the Battlefield) Refers to Daisy ruling over the kingdom of Sarasaland. Daisy's opponents are all princesses in their respective franchises. The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Bowser The Red One. Every Red One! (因縁の赤いヤツ, The Fated Red Guy) Refers to Bowser's long-time rivalry with Mario. Bowser’s opponents in this route are all affiliated with the color red, with the penultimate boss battle being against Rathalos. The final battle is against Mario, who transforms into Metal Mario upon defeat.
Ice Climbers Duos for Days (ベストパートナー, Best Partner) The Ice Climbers fight two opponents per stage, all of which are certain iconic duos in their games. The bosses of this route are Master Hand and Crazy Hand.
Sheik Masquerade (仮面舞踏会, Masquerade) Sheik's opponents are characters who wear masks or other forms of headwear to conceal their identity, such as Meta Knight and Captain Falcon. The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Zelda Wisdom Prevails (狙われたトライフォース, Targeted Triforce) Zelda's opponents are all antagonists. The final battle is against Ganondorf, who transforms into Ganon upon defeat.
Dr. Mario Colorful Treatment Plan (いろいろ三色大作戦, Great Plan of Three Varying Colors) Dr. Mario's opponents are all trios of the same character in red, blue, and yellow costumes, referencing the three viruses: Fever, Chill, and Weird. The penultimate battle is against three Warios, which may be an intentional reference to Wario's role as a secondary villain in Dr. Mario 64's story. The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Pichu Lightweight Fracas (ふわっとバトル, Floaty Battle) Refers to Pichu fighting lightweight characters. The stage selections are also sky-based, such as Peach's Castle and Skyloft. The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Falco Soar above the Darkness (光あるところに, Where There is Light) Falco's opponents are "dark" characters, such as Dark Samus and Captain Falcon in his Blood Falcon alternate costume. The boss of this route is Crazy Hand, Master Hand’s chaotic and destructive counterpart.
Marth A Kingdom of Dragons (竜の王国, A Kingdom of Dragons) Refers to how Marth fights against Dolhr, a kingdom ruled by the dragon Medeus, in his games. Marth fights draconic characters on fantasy stages hailing from Fire Emblem or The Legend of Zelda. The boss of this route is Rathalos.
Lucina A Path of Heroes (歴代の英雄, Heroes of Many Generations) All of Lucina's opponents are Fire Emblem characters in reverse chronological order, likely referencing her traveling to the past in Awakening. The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Young Link Hyrule Smash! (ハイラル乱闘!, Hyrule Battle!) Young Link's opponents are characters from The Legend of Zelda universe, including Dark Young Link and a quartet of multicolored Toon Links, referencing The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords. The boss of this route is Ganon.
Ganondorf Encroaching Darkness (終わりの始まり, The Beginning of the End) Ganondorf's opponents are all heroes and protagonists, culminating in a penultimate battle with Link and Zelda. The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Mewtwo Psychic Control (洗脳による支配, Domination by Brainwashing) Refers to Mewtwo's intense psychic powers and its ability to mind control others into doing its bidding, such as with Nurse Joy in the first movie. The battles are a series of Team Battles where one of the opponents will join the player in the following battle. Some opponents are characters who have been mind-controlled in their own games, such as Richter. The bosses of this route are Master Hand and Crazy Hand, with Pikachu as the player's partner.
Roy A Journey of Swords (異界の剣士, Otherworldly Swordfighters) The title refers to Roy fighting only sword-using opponents. The Japanese title mentions the concept of Outrealms from more recent Fire Emblem games. The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Chrom Fight as One (運命か、絆か, Is it fate, or a bond?) Chrom's route begins with a one-on-one match against Lucina on Arena Ferox, referencing their duel in Fire Emblem Awakening. Battles from Round 2 onwards are Team Battles where Chrom's teammate alternates between Lucina in even-numbered rounds and either male or female Robin in odd-numbered rounds. The bosses of this route are Master Hand and Crazy Hand, with female Robin as the player's partner. The Japanese name comes from Chapter 23 of Fire Emblem Awakening, known as Invisible Ties in the English localization.
Mr. Game & Watch A Long Legacy (母川回帰, Return to the Origin) Mr. Game & Watch fights classic characters on retro stages in reverse chronological order, starting with Kirby on the Dream Land GB stage. The penultimate battle is a multi-man of Mr. Game & Watches on the Flat Zone X stage, similar to the finale of All-Star Mode in Melee. The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Meta Knight Two Sides of the Same Coin (表裏一体, Two Sides of the Same Coin) References Meta Knight's tendency to act as both ally and adversary in the Kirby games. Meta Knight's fights are free-for-alls against fighters and their dark counterparts (Blood Falcon, Dark Samus, etc.). His penultimate battle is with another pair of Meta Knights in alternate costumes representing Galacta Knight, his ultimate opponent in Meta Knightmare Ultra, and Dark Meta Knight, his evil doppelganger in Kirby and the Amazing Mirror, though if playing as one of these alternate costumes, the second opponent will become Meta Knight in his original costume instead. The bosses of this route are Master Hand and Crazy Hand, likewise two sides of the same coin.
Pit Fighting for the Goddess! (群がる悪を浄化する‼, Purify the Forces of Evil!!) All battles are analogous to fights in Kid Icarus: Uprising (i.e. Ganondorf as Magnus, Bayonetta as Medusa, etc.). The bosses of this route are Master Hand and Crazy Hand (likely a reference to the giant form of Hades in the final battle of Uprising), with Dark Pit as the player's partner.
Dark Pit Created Warriors (つくられた戦士, Created Warriors) Refers to Dark Pit's origins as a copy of Pit in Kid Icarus: Uprising. Dark Pit's opponents are man-made clones or genetically enhanced fighters: Mewtwo, Dark Samus, Dark Link, Cloud, and Blood Falcon. His penultimate battle is against Pit. The boss of this route is Galleom, with Pit as the player's teammate.
Zero Suit Samus Grapplers! Whips! Claws! (ワイヤーを使いこなせ, Master the Wire) Zero Suit Samus's opponents are largely characters who use tether recoveries. Grapplers represent Samus and her dark counterpart, Whips refer to Simon and Richter and even Ivysaur as well, and Claws refer to Young Link and Toon Link's Hookshots. The exception is Little Mac, who represents the theme of "wires" by using his wireframe outfit. The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Wario I'm-a Gonna Win! (オレ様怪力ナンバーワン!, My super strength is number one!) Refers to Wario's catchphrase in the international version of Mario Kart 64: "I'm-a Wario! I'm-a gonna win!" Wario's opponents are those with brute strength, such as King K. Rool and Incineroar. The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Snake Weapons and Equipment OSP (装備あれば憂いなし, If there's equipment, you don't have to worry) "OSP" stands for "On Site Procurement", referencing Snake's need to obtain weapons and gear within the mission area in the Metal Gear series. Projectile weapons and explosive items make up most of the item spawns on this route, and Snake's opponents are all characters who all prominently use projectiles and explosives in their attacks, such as the Inklings and Link. The penultimate battle is a mirror match against another Snake, referencing Liquid Snake, his cloned twin. The boss of this route is Galleom, likely a reference to the Metal Gear machines themselves.
Ike The Black-Clad Warriors (漆黒の武者たち, Pitch-Black Warriors) Refers to Ike's rival, the Black Knight. All of Ike's opponents are in their black alternate costumes. The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Pokémon Trainer The Future Champion (未来のチャンピオン, Future Champion) Refers to the player's goal of becoming the Pokémon Champion in the Pokémon games. Like Pikachu, the opponents are all Pokémon. The penultimate battle is against the opposite-gendered Pokémon Trainer, and the final battle is against Mewtwo, immediately followed by Master Hand.
Diddy Kong Hey, Little Buddy! (バディーコング, Buddy Kong) A phrase which originated from the manual of Donkey Kong Country and popularized by the Donkey Kong Country TV series; Diddy Kong is also referred to as Donkey Kong's "little buddy" in games such as Brawl and Donkey Kong Country Returns. In each fight, Diddy is accompanied by a protagonist CPU ally whom he assists against corresponding series antagonists or final bosses, such as Mario versus Bowser and Bowser Jr. His penultimate battle pairs him with Donkey Kong against King K. Rool on Jungle Japes. The bosses of this route are Master Hand and Crazy Hand, with Donkey Kong as his partner again.
Lucas Magic, Sacred Powers, and PSI! (魔力、神力、超能力, Magic Powers, Sacred Powers, Psychic Powers) Lucas fights characters with potent psychic or magical powers. The penultimate battle is against Mewtwo, possibly in reference to Giygas's original form from EarthBound Beginnings, Giegue. The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Sonic At the Speed of Sound (疾きこと風の如く, As Fast as the Wind) The term "speed of sound" is commonly used in the Sonic franchise, including the lyrics of "Escape from the City" from Sonic Adventure 2. Sonic's opponents are either references to characters in his series or to Sonic games in general. Half of Sonic's opponents are also some of the fastest characters in the game. The boss of this route is Master Hand.
King Dedede Royal Rumble (王ってなぁに?, Whaaat is a King?) The opponents in this route are characters with royal titles, positions, or monikers, such as Princess Peach and Ganondorf, King of Evil. The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Olimar / Alph Planetary Explorer (いろんな惑星航海日誌, Logbook of Various Planets) Olimar's opponents are those who are space travelers in their respective series. The penultimate battle is against Alph, or Olimar if the player is using Alph. The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Lucario Counter Encounters (カウンターアタック, Counter Attack) Lucario fights characters with counterattacks, with the penultimate battle being against Greninja. The boss of this route is Master Hand.
R.O.B. Unreadable Expressions (ポーカーフェイスの戦士, Poker Face Warriors) R.O.B.'s opponents all wear masks or lack expressive faces, including Meta Knight and Wii Fit Trainer. The penultimate battle of this route is a Multi-Man Battle of R.O.B.s, likely referencing the R.O.B. Squad, and the boss of this route is Galleom, also likely due to his role in The Subspace Emissary.
Toon Link The Teamwork of Courage (勇気のチームワーク, Teamwork of Courage) All battles involve Toon Link teaming up with two other Toon Links, which is a reference to The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes, a multiplayer title featuring the Wind Waker artstyle. The penultimate battle of this route is Giant Ganondorf. The boss of this route is Ganon.
Wolf Reunited Roster (参戦ふたたび, Join the Battle Again) Wolf's opponents are veterans that did not return in Super Smash Bros. 4, starting with the veterans that debuted in Super Smash Bros. Melee. The boss of this route is Galleom. Like Wolf, Galleom debuted in Super Smash Bros. Brawl but did not return in Super Smash Bros. 4.
Villager Mistake to Underestimate (普通のひとは強かった, Ordinary People were Strong) Villager fights against characters who appear unsuited for battle, such as Isabelle and Wii Fit Trainer. This is a reference to Sakurai's reason for not including them in Brawl. The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Mega Man Variable Weapons System: Online! (Dr.マリオの謎, The Mystery of Dr. Mario) Mega Man's Variable Weapons System allows him to duplicate the abilities of his foes. The Japanese title refers to the Japanese subtitle of Mega Man 2: Dr.ワイリーの謎, The Mystery of Dr. Wily. Mega Man’s opponents in this route are stand-ins for the thematically-armed Robot Masters (such as the Ice Climbers for Ice Man and Captain Falcon for Quick Man) fought on Ω Form stages, with the penultimate boss battle being against Galleom. The final battle is against Dr. Mario, who represents Dr. Wily, and then Mewtwo (upon Dr. Mario's defeat), a reference to the final battle in Mega Man 2 against Wily's Alien hologram.
Wii Fit Trainer Aerobic Smash (有酸素乱闘, Aerobic Battle) The opponents are rotund characters, such as King Dedede and Jigglypuff. Dr. Mario appears as a teammate. The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Rosalina & Luma One Star after Another (星々へ探訪, Searching the Stars) The opponents are characters from space or other planets. Her penultimate battle is against Bowser, with Mario as her partner, a reference to the final battle against Bowser in Super Mario Galaxy. The boss of this route is Marx, with Mario as her partner again.
Little Mac Friendly Sparring (異種格闘戦!!, Not-Your-Average Bout!!) All of Little Mac's opponents are close-range martial artists. The penultimate opponent is Donkey Kong, referencing his boss fight in Punch-Out!! (Wii) . The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Greninja Your Turn, Greninja! (タイプ攻略リーグ, Type Conquest League) Greninja fights against characters that represent a certain type: for example, Charizard and Bowser for Fire, and Mewtwo, Ness, and Lucas for Psychic. All battles take place on Pokémon Stadium and Pokémon Stadium 2, except for the penultimate battle, which takes place on Kalos Pokémon League. These likely reference the Gym Battles in the Pokémon games and the eventual battle with the Elite Four. The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Palutena A Little Divine Intervention (思いつきだけど、鍛えてあげます, I think I should train you) The English title references a line spoken by Palutena in her debut trailer for Super Smash Bros. 4. Palutena's battles are against characters whose gaming universes have a key emphasis on religion and mythology: Link and Zelda, Cloud, the Belmonts, Shulk, and Bayonetta. The penultimate battle is a multi-man battle of three Pits and three Dark Pits, and the boss of this route is Master Hand.
Pac-Man Ageless Classic (ファミコンクラシックス, Famicom Classics) Pac-Man fights classic characters in accordance to their original release date, similar to All-Star Mode in Super Smash Bros. 4. The boss of this route is Dracula, whose fight dates back to the original Castlevania release in 1986, making him the oldest boss battle in the game.
Robin Thunder and Flames (雷炎闘技, Thunder and Flames Competition) Refers to two of Robin's tomes, Thunder and Arcfire. Robin's opponents are all pairs of fighters who use fire and electric attacks (for example, R.O.B. and Ken). Robin's penultimate battle is against the opposite-gendered Robin, a reference to the final battle in Fire Emblem Awakening against Grima. The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Shulk Witness the Monado's Power (「翔」「疾」「盾」「斬」「撃」「機」, Jump, Speed, Shield, Buster, Smash, Machine) Each of the opponents represent one of Shulk's Monado Arts and are fought in their cycling order in Super Smash Bros. 4. The penultimate opponent is Mega Man, representing Shulk's Monado Enchant Art (represented by the "Machine" kanji), which allows his party to damage Mechon armor with normal weapons in Xenoblade Chronicles. The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Bowser Jr. / Koopalings Mama Peach, Where Are You? (あなたはピーチママ?, Are you Mama Peach?) Refers to how Bowser Jr. thinks Peach is his mama in Super Mario Sunshine. All of Bowser Jr.'s opponents are princesses, some of which are teamed up with their love interest (or in Lucina's case, her father). The penultimate battle is against Mario and Peach. The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Duck Hunt Dog, Duck, Zapper (けものブラザーズ, Animal Brothers) Refers to the elements of Duck Hunt's character. The Japanese title may be a reference to the franchise Kemono Friends (けものフレンズ). Duck Hunt's opponents are all animals or Mii Fighters with animal costumes. The boss of this route is Rathalos, whose home series title of Monster Hunter aligns with the character and series name of Duck Hunt.
Ryu Seeking a Challenge (俺より強いファイターに会いに行く, I'm going to meet a fighter stronger than myself) Referencing the single-player mode of Street Fighter II, all battles are one-on-one stamina battles on Ω form stages; this route is the only one in the base game to use stamina at all. All of Ryu's opponents reference a Street Fighter II character with their costume choice, stage, and music. The bosses of this route are Master Hand and Crazy Hand (possibly a stand-in for M. Bison for the similarity of one of their moves to the Psycho Crusher and the usage of his theme for the fight), with Ken as the player's partner.
Ken Red-Hot Rivalry (燃えるライバル, Heated Rival) Refers to Ken's status as Ryu's rival, which is further cemented by Ryu being his penultimate opponent, notably on the Ω form Suzaku Castle stage (mirroring the start of Ryu's Classic Mode). All opponents are rivals to the main character to some degree. The boss of this route is Crazy Hand.
Cloud A Ride? Not Interested. (乗り物...? 興味ないね, A vehicle...? Not interested) References Cloud's motion sickness; all his battles are on vehicle stages that travel. The title is also a reference to his catchphrase "Not interested" (興味ないね). The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Corrin Between White and Black (白と黒の狭間で, Between White and Black) This title originated as an epithet given to Corrin on a Fire Emblem Cipher trading card released in 2018, alluding to Corrin's wish to unite the Hoshido and Nohr families. Further referencing this, Corrin's opponents alternate between black and white alternate costumes, for instance Round 5 with a multi-man battle of six Mr. Game & Watches (three of them black and three of them white). The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Bayonetta The Requiem of Fallen Wings (散りゆく翼の鎮魂歌, Requiem of Scattering Wings) References the epilogue of Bayonetta: "Requiem". Bayonetta fights winged characters, and the final battle is against a Giant Palutena, a reference to the final battle in Bayonetta against Jubileus. The Giant Charizard opponent 4 battles in is also a reference to the battle against Fortitudo whom Bayonetta fights in Chapter 4 of Bayonetta.
Inkling An Inkredible Journey (イカした色に染め上げろ, Dye It With Trendy Colors) The English title makes an ink-related pun, much like the dialogue in Splatoon itself. Similarly, the Japanese title makes a pun with イカした (which means "trendy") and イカ (which means "squid"). Each stage and set of fighters represents a particular color: for example, a pink Greninja on Magicant or a giant light blue Yoshi on Summit. The boss of this route is Marx, who has multiple rainbow colors on his wings and, in Kirby Super Star Ultra, utilizes attacks that grant Kirby the Paint ability.
Ridley It Can't Be! Space Pirates! (銀河の脅威!スペースパイレーツ, Threats of the Galaxy! Space Pirates) Refers to Ridley's title as the leader of the Space Pirates, while "It can't be!" is one of Samus's lines of dialogue upon seeing Ridley in Metroid: Other M. Ridley fights characters who pilot their own spaceships, such as Samus, Olimar, and Meta Knight. The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Simon Smash-vania (悪魔城スマブラ, Demon Castle Smash Bros.) The title is a portmanteau with the names of the Smash and Castlevania series. The Japanese version makes a similar pun with the Japanese title of the Castlevania franchise, 悪魔城ドラキュラ (Demon Castle Dracula). Simon fights monstrous characters that reference the beasts he battles in the Castlevania games; however, the penultimate battle is against his descendant, Richter, similar to his appearance as a boss in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. The boss of this route is Dracula.
Richter Smash Echoes (ダッシュファイターズ, Dash Fighters) Both the English and Japanese names refer to Echo Fighters, which make up all of Richter's opponents on this route. The boss of this route is Dracula.
King K. Rool Super Heavyweight Class (ヘビー級のキケンなヤツら, Dangerous Heavyweight Guys) The title uses boxing terminology, referencing the final boss battle of Donkey Kong 64. King K. Rool's opponents are the heaviest characters in the game, with most of them being antagonists. His penultimate battle is with his nemesis, Donkey Kong. The boss of this route is Galleom.
Isabelle Best in Show (紅23点, 23 Red Flowers) The English name refers to conformation shows. The Japanese name is a pun on the phrase 紅一点, which translates to "one red flower (in a field of green)" but figuratively means "the only woman in a group of men". All of Isabelle's allies and opponents are female save for Popo of the Ice Climbers in Round 4, for a total of 23 female participants. The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Incineroar Burning Pro Wrestling Spirit! (こわもてヒールのプロレスリング, The Pro Wrestling of a Hard-faced Heel) All battles take place on Boxing Ring in three different forms and feature opponents who use wrestling moves, such as Bowser, Donkey Kong, and King K. Rool. The penultimate battle is a mirror match against another Incineroar, and the bosses of this route are Master Hand and Crazy Hand, with Greninja as the player's partner.
Piranha Plant New Bloom (花の新人王, Floral Rookie of the Year) All of the opponents are the newcomers for the base game. It also references Piranha Plant being the last newcomer revealed prior to the games launch. Each stage is based on the reveal trailer for one particular newcomer, in the order in which they were released. The boss of this route is Rathalos likely because it is a boss from a newly represented universe.
Joker Shadows (シャドウを追え, Follow the Shadow) The title refers to a reoccurring element in the Persona series, Shadows. All of the opponents use dark alternate costumes. With the exception of the first and final round, Joker is joined by a character from the previous round using a light alternate costume. The boss of this route is Master Hand (who, coincidentally, shares the same English voice actor as Joker) on Ω form Mementos rather than Final Destination, referencing the god Yaldabaoth.
Hero A History of Heroism (勇者たちの記憶, Memory of the Heroes) All battles including against tiny opponents (except the last for unknown reasons) are stamina battles. The first, fourth, and seventh battles represent the progression of a typical Dragon Quest game. The first battle is against a Tiny Kirby team who represent weak enemies like Slimes. The fourth battle is against Rathalos, representing a mid-boss. The final battle is against Robin, who is replaced by a Giant Charizard upon defeat, representing Dragonlord: a two-phase final boss and the main antagonist of the original Dragon Quest game. The other four battles are against each of the playable Dragon Quest protagonists, with stage choices and companions appropriate to the specific entries in the series they originally come from.
Banjo & Kazooie Perfect Partners (ぼくらでこぼこパートナー, Our Bumpy Partnership) All battles consist of duos of each series either as a two-in-one character, or two characters from a particular series. The penultimate battle is against Diddy Kong and Donkey Kong as a reference to both the Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong series being developed by Rare Ltd.. Additionally Duck Hunt references the similarities between the characters with Duck Hunt using the palette swap most similar to Banjo & Kazooie. The music and stage combinations reference the various worlds from Banjo-Kazooie. The bosses of this route are Master Hand and Crazy Hand, referencing Mozand as well as the hands being a duo themselves.

Unlocking criteria[edit]

All eight of the starter characters from the original Smash Bros. and Ultimate have their own character unlock paths, each with eight characters to unlock, except for Pikachu, who has seven. Completing Classic Mode with any character in a given path will challenge the player to a Challenger Approaching duel for the next available character from the start of their path down, as indicated on the table below. For example, beating Classic Mode with either Link or Young Link will then trigger the fight to unlock King K. Rool. If K. Rool is already unlocked (or his Challenger Approaching duel has already been issued), Ice Climbers will be unlocked next. When playing with two players, Player 1's fighter will be used to determine the next challenger.

When all the characters in a path are unlocked, completing Classic Mode with those characters will unlock the next available character in Mario's path, then Donkey Kong's, and so on. Completing Classic Mode with downloadable fighters will also unlock fighters in this order, as these characters are not assigned an unlock path.

Unlock stages and music are the same as in Vs. Mode. Notably, all clones, semi-clones, and pseudo-clones except for Ganondorf, Roy, and Chrom are in the same path as the character they are based on.

Unlock Order MarioHeadSSBU.png DonkeyKongHeadSSBU.png LinkHeadSSBU.png SamusHeadSSBU.png YoshiHeadSSBU.png KirbyHeadSSBU.png FoxHeadSSBU.png PikachuHeadSSBU.png
1st SonicHeadSSBU.png BowserHeadSSBU.png KingKRoolHeadSSBU.png InklingHeadSSBU.png LucarioHeadSSBU.png NessHeadSSBU.png CaptainFalconHeadSSBU.png VillagerHeadSSBU.png
2nd BayonettaHeadSSBU.png PokémonTrainerHeadSSBU.png IceClimbersHeadSSBU.png WiiFitTrainerHeadSSBU.png MarthHeadSSBU.png JigglypuffHeadSSBU.png ZeroSuitSamusHeadSSBU.png ShulkHeadSSBU.png
3rd LittleMacHeadSSBU.png RosalinaHeadSSBU.png SimonHeadSSBU.png PitHeadSSBU.png RyuHeadSSBU.png Pac-ManHeadSSBU.png PeachHeadSSBU.png ROBHeadSSBU.png
4th IkeHeadSSBU.png KingDededeHeadSSBU.png MetaKnightHeadSSBU.png IncineroarHeadSSBU.png GanondorfHeadSSBU.png ZeldaHeadSSBU.png FalcoHeadSSBU.png MegaManHeadSSBU.png
5th LuigiHeadSSBU.png SheikHeadSSBU.png SnakeHeadSSBU.png DarkSamusHeadSSBU.png LucinaHeadSSBU.png RobinHeadSSBU.png DaisyHeadSSBU.png IsabelleHeadSSBU.png
6th RoyHeadSSBU.png GreninjaHeadSSBU.png YoungLinkHeadSSBU.png CloudHeadSSBU.png RidleyHeadSSBU.png CorrinHeadSSBU.png BowserJrHeadSSBU.png MrGame&WatchHeadSSBU.png
7th DrMarioHeadSSBU.png DiddyKongHeadSSBU.png RichterHeadSSBU.png WarioHeadSSBU.png ChromHeadSSBU.png LucasHeadSSBU.png WolfHeadSSBU.png PichuHeadSSBU.png
8th OlimarHeadSSBU.png DuckHuntHeadSSBU.png ToonLinkHeadSSBU.png DarkPitHeadSSBU.png KenHeadSSBU.png PalutenaHeadSSBU.png MewtwoHeadSSBU.png


The mural that is displayed when selecting the difficulty level.


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  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's Classic Mode is the only Classic Mode in which:
    • Each character has a predetermined route.
    • The final round features bosses other than Master Hand and Crazy Hand.
    • The player can have CPU allies in the final round.
    • Master Hand's solo fight, Crazy Hand's solo fight, and their tag-team battle have different themes.
    • Boss fights show a health bar for the bosses (like in World of Light) instead of percentages.
    • Not every playable character can play (due to Mii Fighters being absent from this mode).
    • The highest difficulty cannot be selected from the start.
    • Continues do not restart the current battle.
    • Every stage uses has predefined music, instead of picking one at random from that stage's music pool.
    • The announcer does not speak during the pre-match loading screens.
  • The banner represents every playable fighter in the base game in their default color scheme and costume, with the exception of Corrin, who is represented by the default female variant instead.
    • Despite appearing in the banner, the Mii Fighters themselves are not playable in Classic Mode. However, they are still fought in some of the routes.
  • Ryu and Hero are the only characters who have stamina battles for each of their Classic Mode routes.
  • Hero is the only character who can use the same costume as the CPU fighter. For other characters, when using the same costume as the enemy, the opponent will change the costume.
  • Hero is currently the only character to fight a DLC fighter in their Classic Mode route, said fighter being Hero himself.
  • While Norfair appears in more Classic Mode routes than any other stage (appearing in 13 different routes), Boxing Ring is the most common stage to fight opponents on (for 18 rounds within 10 different routes).
  • Big Battlefield, Paper Mario, Super Mario Maker, Yoshi's Story, Mute City SNES, WarioWare, Inc., Hanenbow, PictoChat 2, Balloon Fight, and Tomodachi Life are the only stages that do not appear in any character's Classic Mode route in any form.
  • Mario fights the largest number of different playable characters in his Classic Mode route, with a total of 23 (including Bowser before his transformation into Giga Bowser).
  • Hero fights the fewest number of different playable characters in his Classic Mode route, with a total of only five different characters.
  • Mario and Piranha Plant are both tied for fighting the most characters in a single round, with eight each; Mario fights Bowser Jr. and the seven Koopalings, while Piranha Plant fights all eight Inklings.
    • Coincidentally, they are both Mario characters.
  • Link is the most common opponent for Classic Mode routes. He appears in 19 different routes, mostly in his dark alternate costume.
  • Excluding DLC characters, Snake, Mega Man and Pac-Man are tied as the least common fighters for Classic Mode opponents, each appearing as opponents in only three routes.
    • Pac-Man is the only one of these three who does not fight himself in his own route.
    • Coincidentally, Pac-Man fights both Snake and Mega Man in his own route.
  • Young Link is the only fighter who faces opponents only from his own series, including the boss. Excluding their bosses, Lucina, Pokémon Trainer, and Pikachu each face characters only within their own series as well.
  • Yoshi is the only character who does not face any human opponents in his Classic Mode route, as Ivysaur & Charizard are each fought individually without Pokemon Trainer.
  • Mario, Yoshi, and Peach are the only characters who face all seven of the Koopalings in their Classic Mode routes.
    • Mario fights the Koopalings, followed by Bowser Jr., in the same order he faced them in Super Mario Bros. 3.
    • Yoshi fights the Koopalings in the same order as in Super Mario World (Yoshi's debut game).
    • Peach fights Bowser Jr. individually, then fights the Koopalings in the same order as in New Super Mario Bros. U.
  • Mega Man, Ryu and Bayonetta are the only characters whose Bonus Game occurs earlier than the penultimate battle. Mega Man and Ryu have their Bonus Game in the middle of the route, while Bayonetta's is before the final two rounds.
  • Jigglypuff and Bayonetta are the only characters who do not fight a boss. Instead, both characters fight a powerful fighter for the final battle.
  • Bowser, Mega Man, and Hero are the only characters who fight a boss outside of the final round. Bowser and Mega Man each fight a boss for their penultimate battles, while Hero fights a boss in the middle of the route.
    • Out of these, Mega Man is the only character who does not fight Rathalos, instead fighting Galleom.
    • Bowser and Hero are the only two characters who fight a boss before the bonus game.
  • Bowser and Sonic are the only characters who each fight a metal opponent in their Classic Mode routes. Bowser fights Metal Mario (upon defeating normal Mario in the final round) while Sonic fights a giant alternate metal version of himself.
  • Incineroar travels to the fewest number of stages in its Classic Mode route, traveling only to Boxing Ring (in all three forms).
  • Corrin and Hero are the only characters who appear as opponents within more than one round of a Classic Mode route.
    • Incidentally, these occur in their respective routes.
  • Donkey Kong and Joker are the only characters to face Master Hand and Crazy Hand on a stage other than Final Destination, instead facing them on New Donk City Hall (Ω form) and Mementos (Ω form), respectively.
  • Master Hand is the most common unique boss. He is fought by 34 characters normally (with Crazy Hand appearing at higher intensities), by nine characters in a guaranteed tag team with Crazy Hand, and by two Pokémon characters after fighting Mewtwo for a total of 45 appearances.
    • Conversely, Giga Bowser and standalone Crazy Hand are tied as the least common unique bosses, with two appearances each.

See also[edit]