Norfair (ノルフェア, Norfair) is a stage in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It was confirmed by Masahiro Sakurai on the Smash Bros. DOJO!! on November 9, 2007. However, it was selectable for play in the Brawl demo available during many events in Q4 2007, being the only stage not announced for the demo.
Norfair has five small platforms in the air, arranged in a V formation, with a volatile sea of lava at the bottom of the stage. The pass-through platforms are ideal for characters with far-reaching ground attacks or for characters with a good air game/up special.
As the player fights on Norfair, lava will rise every so often and cover the platforms, similar to the acid in Planet Zebes in Super Smash Bros. and Brinstar in Super Smash Bros. Melee. It can rise to three different levels and causes strong fire damage, but prevents KOs via the lower blast line. Lava sometimes falls from the sides too - this hazard covers over half of the stage. A wave of lava will also appear from time to time, slowly approaching the stage from the background. When this wave forms, a safe area will pop up on a random platform, with the design based on the bubble doors from the Metroid universe. It is unnecessary to fight for this safe haven as all lava hazards can be dodged, air dodged, shielded, and perfect shielded with decent timing; players can also take advantage of invincibility frames from edge-grabbing the numerous platforms. The safe haven can also be a hindrance since characters can still be hit through the refuge by those on the outside. It is also possible with characters with many short jumps such as King Dedede, Kirby, Meta Knight, Pit and Jigglypuff to completely avoid the wave by jumping over it. If items are turned on, an item will always spawn in the safe zone after appearing. Sometimes, the safe zone won't open until after the lava wave hits. The final stage hazard of Norfair are the occasional showers of lava that spurt in an arc and land on the middle platforms, which are better avoided than shielded given the difficulty in determining where they will hit.
The Ω form is the lower platform stretched out. Lava will not engulf the stage.
Currently, Norfair is officially ruled as a "counter-pick/banned" by the Brawl Smash Back Room, but is considered nearly universally banned in tournament play. Proponents of banning the stage claim that the increased number of edges promotes stalling the game by constantly alternating between edges for invincibility, and that the lava plumes provide an unnecessary degree of unpredictability. Those who believe the stage should be a counterpick insist that ledge-stalling is not that effective, and that the uniqueness of the stage is not brought down by the hazards, which can be defended against fairly easily. Regardless, the stage can assist characters who are easily gimped, since they are given more opportunities to grab an edge (especially tethers). In later Brawl tournaments, the stage has been banned much more frequently. It is also jokingly referred to as No(r)fair, regarding its legality.
In Smash 4, Norfair has seen no use at all in tournaments for the aforementioned reasons, with every major since Smash 4's inception banning the stage.
Although Norfair first appeared in Metroid, aesthetically this stage is based on how the area appears in Super Metroid and Metroid: Zero Mission. Located deep below the surface of Zebes, Norfair is one of the most dangerous areas Samus ventures through in the planet with caverns and tunnels full of magma and areas of intense heat that damage Samus by just being in the area. It is not until she acquires the Varia Suit that she can safely venture through the superheated area, and it is not until she acquires the Gravity Suit that she can she venture areas under magma. It is also where Samus gets notable upgrades to her Power Suit, such as the Wave Beam and Screw Attack.
In Super Metroid's Norfair, there is a room which features lava rising continuously, and Samus must get to the other side of the room, climb up platforms, and enter another room before the lava kills her. In this stage, that concept is retained by the safe room with Blue Doors that appears for fighters to take refuge from the lava. The Blue Doors themselves are also based on how they appear in Metroid and Super Metroid, and they can also be seen in the background.
The deepest portion of Norfair is where Ridley, leader of the Space Pirates, resides in his lair, and is also where Samus ultimately kills him in Super Metroid. In the background of this stage can be seen a large brick structure and statues that bear resemblance to Ridley's lair in Super Metroid and Zero Mission.
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