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Classic Mode (SSBU)

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Classic Mode loading screen in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Classic Mode (勝ちあがり乱闘, Survival Smash) is a single-player (optionally 2 players) 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 2v2 battles with two of the same opponent, one in an alternate costume. If P2 chooses the same costume as an opponent, the opponent will not switch to another costume.

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 1.3, 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 long 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. 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. When playing with two players, the round does not fail until both players' stocks are lost.

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 run from a black hole that consumes the stage behind them. Glowing orbs are scattered throughout the side-scrolling area which increases 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. The most common boss is Master Hand on Final Destination, with Crazy Hand joining in higher difficulties, similarly to previous games. A select few characters replace Master Hand and Crazy Hand with either Rathalos, Dracula, Giga Bowser, Marx, Galleom or Ganon, and certain others may feature Crazy Hand with Master Hand regardless of difficulty, reverse Crazy Hand and Master Hand's roles, or be on an Ω form of another stage. Additionally, there are a few instances where another fighter is part of the final round:

  • Both Mario and Captain Falcon fight Bowser in their final round before fighting Giga Bowser.
  • Both Pikachu and Pokémon Trainer fight Mewtwo in their final rounds before fighting Master Hand.
  • Jigglypuff fights a giant Donkey Kong, and does not fight a boss at all in its route.
  • Bowser fights Rathalos in his penultimate round, but his final round is against Mario, then Metal Mario.
  • Zelda fights Ganondorf in her final round before fighting Ganon.
  • Mega Man fights Galleom in his penultimate round, but his final round is against Dr. Mario, then Mewtwo.
  • Bayonetta fights a giant Palutena, and does not fight a boss at all in her route.
  • Hero fights Rathalos in his fourth round, but fights Robin in his blue costume and then a Giant Charizard in its purple costume for his final round.
  • Terry simultaneously fights Ryu, Ken, and another Terry in his final round, and does not fight a boss at all in his route.
  • Steve fights a giant Ridley and two Endermen, and does not fight a boss at all in his route.

After defeating Bowser, Ganondorf or Mewtwo in the boss round, the player 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), 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 penultimate battle is against Mario and Luigi making an allusion to Donkey Kong's rivalry with the former throughout the Donkey Kong series. 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 defeat 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 characters that shares similarities with bosses from the series. 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, some of which resemble older pop-culture depictions of 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 when Kamek transforms adult Bowser into a giant upon the latter's defeat. The boss of this route is Rathalos, a reference to it being a classical draconic wyvern.
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 and all stages take place on Pokémon stages. The final battle is against Mewtwo, immediately followed by Master Hand. Poké Balls are the only items that 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, being a reference to the paranormal enemies he encounters in Luigi's Mansion and its sequels.
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 is Bowser, who transforms into Giga Bowser upon defeat (similar to the end of Melee's Adventure Mode) and the one with by far the least amount of projectiles (one).
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 Super Smash Bros. fighters. It fights all of the other original characters on the stages returning from Super Smash Bros. 64, in a similar manner to the 1P Game. The penultimate battle is a free-for-all with the original four unlockable characters, which are itself, Luigi, Ness, and Captain Falcon. 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 and his 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 Super Mario Bros: 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. such as Zelda and Peach. 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, with Metal Mario being summoned upon Mario's 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 culminating in a penultimate battle with four Dark Links. 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 either Wario's role as a secondary villain in Dr. Mario 64's story or Wario's trait of having a bad diet and hygiene in the WarioWare series. The boss of this route is Master Hand.
Pichu Lightweight Fracas (ふわっとバトル, Floaty Battle) Refers to Pichu's status as the lightest character in the game, and consists of matches against 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 penultimate battle is against a giant Mr. Game & Watch likely reflecting his role as a corrupted character in The Subspace Emissary as well as the opponent fought in both of Falco's events from Brawl to SSB4. The boss of this route is Crazy Hand, referencing him as Master Hand’s chaotic and destructive counterpart.
Marth A Kingdom of Dragons (竜の王国, A Kingdom of Dragons) Refers to how Marth slays dragons in his home series. Marth fights draconic characters on fantasy stages hailing from Fire Emblem or The Legend of Zelda. The boss of this route is Rathalos, referencing Medeus, one of the main antagonists of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem, and their remakes.
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. All stages, items and assist trophies are from The Legend of Zelda. 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, which might also be a reference to Ganondorf's desire to secretly overthrow Master Hand in The Subspace Emissary in Brawl.
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 swordfighters. 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. These battles reference the Pair Up mechanic introduced in Awakening. 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 (such as Link and Dark Link, Pit and Dark Pit). 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, referencing their rivalry in Kid Icarus: Uprising. The boss of this route is Galleom, a largely mechanical foe, 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 Hookshot. 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, as well as one of his lines in the opening cutscene of Metal Gear Solid. 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 or the fact that it uses projectiles and explosives.
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) The name references the gym guides in the Pokémon series, who often use the phrase みらいのチャンピオン (usually translated as "champ in the making") to describe the player and their goal of becoming the Pokémon Champion. 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. All items are disabled throughout this route.
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 was 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) References how fast Sonic is. 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?) King Dedede's opponents are characters with royal titles, positions, or monikers, such as Marth, the Hero-King, Princess Peach, the Princess of Mushroom Kingdom, and Ganondorf, the 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, such as Fox and Zero Suit Samus. 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. The boss of this route is Galleom, likely due to his inexpressiveness and 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, like Wolf himself, 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 but are very strong, 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 round 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. Starfy, another star, appears from every Assist Trophy. 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, likely a reference to his final battle in Kirby Super Star taking place in space, and with Mario joining 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, and is a supernatural being similar to the Ghosts Pac-Man is known to fight.
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. 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, due to him being the "rival" to Master Hand much like Ken's relationship to Ryu.
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 いかした (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, who is a heavyweight among bosses, being one of the largest.
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. All rounds (except Round 2) take place on Mementos in three different forms. 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 against tiny opponents (except for the last one) 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 the common early-game enemies Slimes and She-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: The Luminary with a Tiny red Robin, representing the mage Veronica, at Yggdrasil's Altar; Solo at Temple, a stand-in for the floating castle Zenithia; Eight with a Tiny Pikachu representing his pet, Munchie; Erdrick in the subterreanean cavern in Castle Siege, referencing the battles against Baramos and Zoma, which both take place in the basements of the villains' respective castles.
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 Motzand (the piano-playing ghost hand that appeared in Mad Monster Mansion), as well as the hands being a duo themselves.
Terry The King of Smash (ザ・キング・オブ・大乱闘, The King of the Great Fray) The title is a portmanteau of Super Smash Bros. and The King of Fighters. The Japanese title uses the Japanese name of the Smash series, 大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズ (Great Fray Smash Brothers). All battles are stamina battles against a team of three opponents, who each appear when one of their teammates has been defeated, similar to the 3-on-3 battles in The King of Fighters games. The enemy teams are made up of fighters who hail from the same series, or share a similar theme. Additionally, Ryu and Ken's appearances in the final battle references how they had previously crossed over in the SNK vs. Capcom games.
Byleth A Heroic Legacy (紋章の系譜, Geneaology of the Emblem) This route is themed around the different Fire Emblem games, fought in chronological order. The Japanese title of the route is a combination of two Fire Emblem games from the Super Famicom era: Monshou no Nazo (Mystery of the Emblem) and Seisen no Keifu (Geneaology of the Holy War). All battles are stamina battles. The player always starts with 100 HP, solo opponents have 100 HP, opponents in team battles have 50 HP, and CPU allies in last round start with 30 HP each. The penultimate battle is against three Byleths that represent the house leaders in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. The bosses of this route are Master Hand and Crazy Hand, and Marth, Roy, Ike, Robin and Corrin appear as partners.
Min Min ARMS at the Ready (ウデ自慢たち 全員集合!, All of ARMS' pride!) All opponents specialise in punching attacks or use arm mounted weapons. They also represent several ARMS characters. Notably, Round 1 is against a pair of Mii Brawlers dressed as ARMS characters Spring Man and Ribbon Girl, Round 2 is against Little Mac, referencing the similarities between ARMS and Punch-Out!!, and Round 5 is a Horde Battle against a team of R.O.B.s, referencing the 1 vs. 100 mode in ARMS. The boss of this route is Galleom, who represents Hedlock after fusing with Max Brass or Dr. Coyle.
Steve Journey to the Far Lands (世界の果てを求めて, In search for the ends of the World) The title refers to the eponymous world-generation glitch present in versions of the game prior to Beta 1.8. All opponents fought represent various mobs encountered throughout Minecraft. Most battles except the penultimate round are stamina matches. The final battle is against a giant Ridley and two Endermen, referencing the Ender Dragon boss battle in the End dimension of the game.

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 in the table below. For example, beating Classic Mode with Donkey Kong will then trigger the fight to unlock Bowser. If Bowser is already unlocked (or his Challenger Approaching duel has already been issued), Pokémon Trainer 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.


  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's Classic Mode is the only Classic Mode in which:
    • Each character has a unique, 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 Adventure Mode) instead of percentages or Stamina counts.
    • Not every fighter can be selected (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.
    • Difficulties can go up higher.
    • Every stage uses 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, appearing in a total of 9.
  • Ryu, Hero, Terry, Byleth and Steve are the only characters who have stamina battles for each of their Classic Mode routes.
  • Hero, Terry, Byleth, Min Min and Steve are currently the only characters who fight DLC characters in their route, those being themselves.
    • Piranha Plant, Joker and Banjo & Kazooie are the only characters who are not fought in any routes, base or DLC characters.
  • While Norfair appears in more Classic Mode routes than any other stage (appearing in 14 different routes within 15 rounds), Boxing Ring is the most common stage to fight opponents on (for 20 rounds within 12 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.
  • Terry faces the highest number of distinct fighters in his Classic Mode route, with a total of 21.
  • Link is the most common opponent for Classic Mode routes. He appears in 21 different routes, mostly in his dark alternate costume.
    • Conversely, outside of DLC characters, Snake is the least common fighter for Classic Mode opponents, appearing as an opponent in only three routes.
  • Young Link is the only character who only faces characters from his own series. Excluding bosses, Pikachu, Pokémon Trainer, Lucina, and Byleth also face characters from their own series.
  • Diddy Kong and Toon Link are the only characters to have AI teammates for all six rounds against playable opponents, including the boss round.
  • 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, Bayonetta, Terry and Steve are the only characters who do not fight a boss.
    • Terry is the only one of them who also doesn't fight a giant character.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hero and Steve are the only characters who fight tiny opponents in their routes.
  • Excluding its final round with Master Hand and Crazy Hand as its final boss on Final Destination, Incineroar travels to the fewest number of stages in its Classic Mode route, traveling only to Boxing Ring (in all three forms).
  • Corrin, Hero and Steve are the only characters who appear as opponents within more than one round of a Classic Mode route.
  • Peach and Marth are the only characters with an Echo Fighter who don't encounter their Echo Fighter as part of their Classic Mode route. Conversely, Chrom and Richter never encounter their parent fighter on their routes.
  • Donkey Kong and Joker are the only characters to face Master Hand and Crazy Hand on a stage other than Final Destination, instead, they face 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 bosses, with two appearances each.
    • Galleom is the most common boss who isn't Master Hand, being fought by 7 characters.
  • There are a few references with the poses that a few characters make in the Classic Mode mural artwork.
    • Daisy's pose resembles her pose on the Completion Screen of Mario Kart Wii.
    • Luigi's pose resembles his appearance on the boxart for Luigi's Mansion.
    • Fox and Wolf's positioning is a reversal portrayal of their team-up during Star Fox: Assault.

See also[edit]