Flat Zone (フラットゾーン, Flat Zone) is an unlockable stage in Super Smash Bros. Melee, and the home stage of Mr. Game & Watch. Flat Zone is unlocked when the player completes Classic Mode with Mr. Game & Watch. In All-Star mode, Flat Zone appears as the last stage where the player faces 25 lighter Mr. Game and Watches. Two event matches in Super Smash Bros. Melee involve fighting on this stage. Mr. Game & Watch's Target Test also takes place on a modified version of this stage.
While the stage itself has never been brought back as a standalone stage, it appears as one of the transformations in Flat Zone X, a mixture between Flat Zone and Flat Zone 2 (from Brawl) in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Flat Zone is a small stage. In the middle of the stage there are numerous lines that characters can jump on. The lines will fade out and reappear while the characters battle. On the far right of the screen, characters can stand on the roof of the house. Characters will appears as 2-D images on the screen, and make a beeping noise whenever they walk. When the game is paused, rather than zoom in on one character, the camera zooms out to show the entire Game & Watch device being played on. The layout is heavily based on the Game & Watch game Helmet.
From 1980 to 1991, Nintendo produced handheld electronic games called Game & Watch, and there would be one game for each model of a Game & Watch. Game & Watch games use an LCD screen, the same type on an ordinary calculator, which means characters and other moving objects can only move to pre-determined locations on the screen and everything appears flat. Whenever objects moved, a beep sound could be heard. In this stage, the fighters and stage elements on the screen are all flat, and beeping sounds are heard when walking on the stage.
This stage is based on the Game & Watch game Helmet, in which the goal is to try to get from the building on the left to the building on the right without get hit by falling tools. In this stage, falling tools occasionally appear with the only safe spot being under the middle platforms and inside the buildings.
This stage also contains elements from other Game & Watch games, such as: the character from Manhole filling in spaces between platforms, which is in reference to the goal of the game being to fill in manholes with manhole covers so that pedestrians don't fall in; and the character from Oil Panic spilling oil, which is in reference to him spilling oil on customers at a gas station if he misses the oil bucket below.
Flat Zone is listed as a banned stage in tournaments in both the singles and doubles sets; this is largely due to the small size, which allows for very simple KOs because of closer blast-lines. Along with this, the falling tools can cause one-hit kills, and are difficult to avoid due to their falling speed.
This stage of Super Smash Bros. Melee takes its motif from the Game & Watch series. It incorporates settings from Oil Panic, Helmet, and Manhole, and it's sure to send a wave of nostalgia crashing over old-school gamers. If you want to truly reproduce the Game & Watch experience, try playing this unique level in Fixed-Camera Mode!.
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