Lylat Cruise (ライラットクルーズ, Lylat Cruise) is a stage in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. It is situated on an original spacecraft called the Pleiades as it flies around various areas of the Lylat System. The original Great Fox, Arwings, and Wolfens can be seen at various points in the stage.
The stage itself has few hazards - the ship tilts to-and-fro as it makes turns and avoids shots from other ships, and the ledge is quite thin, so recovering characters may be caught under the ledge (as can happen in Melee's Battlefield). The tilting can affect the way some items (such as Barrels) move around the stage or how effective some attacks (such as Blaster and Green Missile) are due to the slope.
The Pleiades flies through many events:
Similar to the Corneria and Venom stages in Super Smash Bros. Melee, the Star Fox characters can perform a Star Fox Smash Taunt that allows them to contact their teammates. The conversation that ensues, as well as the characters involved, depends on who initiates the call and where the Pleiades is currently flying. The talk box is slightly updated in graphics compared to the Melee version.
In Super Smash Bros. 4, the game is more focused on showing all five backgrounds in the shortest amount of time as possible; backgrounds yet to appear in a match have a greater chance of appearing than the ones that already did. In addition, it's possible for the first background to be the Star Fox/Star Wolf dogfight or starry space unlike in Brawl.
The ship is redesigned that the base platform no longer bends and the smaller platforms removed. The ship no longer tilts. The background will only feature a dogfight between Star Fox and Star Wolf except in 8-Player Smash which uses a starry space background instead. The space warp no longer exists.
In tournaments, this stage is almost always neutral, due to its fair layout and no stage hazards. However, it was banned in the Japanese ruleset since characters can get caught in the thin edges of the stage while recovering, and the tilting can significantly affect the viability of some recoveries, particularly short ones. That being said however, the tilting of the stage is not random; the event occurring in the background dictates exactly how the stage will tilt. In Smash 4, the stage's edges are rather glitchy, as characters are sometimes able to pass through the ship for no apparent reason.
Notably, the 2017 recommended ruleset for SSB4 initially listed Lylat Cruise as a banned stage in tournaments. This decision was met with mixed reception; one notable example of opposition to this change is from ESAM, who made a video addressing his feelings on the subject. The stage was later unretired and returned to being a neutral stage due to the outcome of a community poll. Despite its return, however, the stage's mixed reception has continued, and it arguably remains the single most contentious point of Smash 4's current competitive ruleset.
The stage is based on different events in Star Fox games, most of which are from Star Fox: Assault.
In the beginning of Star Fox: Assault, remnants of Andross' army of Ape Soldiers, lead by Andrew Oikonny, attacked the Lylat System and a space battle between Andross' army and the Cornerian Defense Force began. In order to win, the Star Fox Team are called to help assist the Cornerian army. The first level of Star Fox: Assault takes place in this battle. One of the areas that Pleiades flies through in this stage is the battle between the Cornerian army and the remnants of Andross' army. The design of the ships seen in this stage are somewhat different from the ships seen in Star Fox: Assault and the ships still fire lasers as they did in Star Fox: Assault.
In Star Fox 64 (Lylat Wars), the mercenary group Star Wolf made their first appearance. The Star Wolf team would try to stop Star Fox's plans to defeat Andross and the two teams would battle each other until either team retreats. Star Wolf also appear in Star Fox: Assault with the design of the Wolfen being different and a new member. The place that the two teams battle in Star Fox Assault is in the Sargasso Space Zone. In this stage, the Pleiades flies through a battle between the Star Fox team and the Star Wolf team. The design of the ships appear as they do in Star Fox 64, but the area that they are battling looks similar to the Sargasso Space Zone.
In every Star Fox game, there is a level that involves going through an asteroid field. In the original Star Fox (Starwing), the player has to try to get through the level without getting hit by asteroids and not being killed by enemies. The player can also shoot the asteroids to destroy them. The asteroid field in Star Fox 64 is called "Meteos". The goal of this level is the same as the asteroid belt in Star Fox. The player can also shoot to destroy the asteroids like in Star Fox, but now there are larger asteroids that can't be destroyed. In order to get around those asteroids, the player has to maneuver around them. In this stage, the Pleiades flies and maneuvers through an asteroid belt. There are also the larger asteroids seen in Star Fox 64. An Arwing can also be seen, shooting the smaller asteroids and going around the larger asteroids.
Star Fox: Assault has a multiplayer mode where players can battle each other. One of the stages in the multiplayer mode takes place alongside the Great Fox above Corneria's clouds. In the Lylat Cruise stage, the Pleiades goes into Corneria's atmosphere. The area looks very similar to the multiplayer stage in Star Fox: Assault, but the Great Fox is absent.
Pleiades (プレアデス Pleiades) is the name of the ship players ride on on the Lylat Cruise. It is an original creation, and thus has never appeared in a Star Fox game. Its name likely came from the real-life star cluster called the Pleiades.
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