The on-screen appearance, also known as an intro or entrance and as Entry (or EntryL and EntryR) internally, is a minor feature in all Super Smash Bros. games except Super Smash Bros. Melee. It includes a small animation unique for each character entering the battlefield during the countdown before the match begins.
Where exactly on-screen appearances are used depends on the game:
- In Smash 64, they are used in VS Mode and the standard matches in 1P Game; in all three Bonus Stages and the battle with Master Hand, the player's character will already be on the stage.
- In Melee, all fighters have a shared animation of becoming animated from their trophy forms, as seen in the opening movie; this animation appears in all modes.
- In Brawl, Smash 4, and Ultimate, all fighters have unique animations as in Smash 64, but they are only used in multiplayer modes; in single-player modes, such as Target Smash!!, the fighters will already be present on the field.
As the announcer counts down before a match starts, the camera will either pan far enough away from the stage to show each entrance or zoom in on each character during the first few frames of their entrance. In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, when a match starts, the screen will occasionally focus on the player's own on-screen appearance for the entire duration of the countdown, rather than moving between each character as they appear or showing the entire screen. In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, the camera may sometimes not focus on every character, instead focusing on just one, depending on how many people are playing.
It usually has no effect whatsoever on gameplay other than visually dramatic and comedic purposes. The exceptions to this rule are Zero Suit Samus's entrance in Brawl, which allows the players to hit their opponents with the fallen pieces of the power suit; Olimar's entrance, which automatically has him pluck three Pikmin; and Steve's entrance, in which a crafting table automatically appears at his starting point. Each entrance usually relates to that character's universe, such as Mario entering in through a warp pipe the way he does at the beginning of Super Mario 64.
Lists of on-screen appearances
Unique on-screen appearances are absent in Melee. Instead, all playable characters briefly start as trophies that "come to life" while the announcer says "Ready... Go!". Only Master Hand and Crazy Hand have "true" on-screen appearances, where they both gradually enter the stage from the background, laughing.
Giga Bowser, when fought in The Showdown and Adventure Mode, has no on-screen appearance of any type; when the countdown starts, he's already standing on the stage, although he does have an introduction clip before being fought in Adventure Mode, which consists of Giant Bowser's trophy being flung back onto the stage, transforming into Giga Bowser. Taking advantage of hacks, Giga Bowser may be fought in Vs. Mode. He then appears as a trophy when the "Must be ON" code from Action Replay is not turned on. When this happens, he will be in a T-pose upon trophy appearance. This freezes on stages that are not part of the Smash universe. The CPU players, including allies, in Event matches are already in the fight when the countdown starts. In Event 50: Final Destination Match, the hands' "true" appearances don't occur; they are already in the fight. In All-Star Mode, the player will only come to life in the first stage. After this (due to have already been came to life), the player's character is already in the fight, while every CPU enemy (barring the Mr. Game & Watch team in the final stage) will come to life.
- In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, if there is at least one human player in the battle, then only Player 1's on-screen appearance will be focused on onscreen, before showing the other fighters standing in place. However, if the battle consists of only CPUs then all on-screen appearances will be shown one after another.
- When in a battle to unlock a fighter, however, the opposing fighter's on-screen appearance is focused on onscreen instead.
- Link, Zero Suit Samus, and Sheik are the only characters to have their on-screen appearances change between games.
- Of these, Link is the only one not to change from Brawl to SSB4. Link is also the only one to change in multiple games.
- In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, there was a small error regarding Toon Link's entrance. If one looks closely at the explosion, one can clearly see that both his sword and shield are not sheathed even though they should be. This was fixed in Super Smash Bros. 4.
- Although Little Mac's entrance animation shows him flinging off his pink sweatshirt, he does not do so if his currently chosen palette swap has him wearing it permanently (both wireframe and non-wireframe versions included).
- In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, Little Mac's gloves only change color to match his currently chosen palette swap after he throws his sweatshirt off, meaning he always enters the stage wearing green gloves and a pink hoodie when not using a wireframe costume, and pink gloves with a green hoodie when using a wireframe costume. In Ultimate, Little Mac's green hoodie in his wireframe costume becomes pink when he throws it off during his on-screen appearance.
- Mario, Luigi, Peach, Snake, Pokémon Trainer, and Ken are the only characters that speak during their on-screen appearances.
- Of these characters, Snake is the only one not to always speak during his on-screen appearance. This only applies in Brawl.
- Pokémon Trainer has different lines depending on which Pokémon is sent out first.
- Daisy, Pichu, Wario, Ike, Lucario, Duck Hunt, and King K. Rool also vocalize during their on-screen appearances but do not actually speak real words.
- Additionally, Pichu, Ike, and Duck Hunt are the only characters who do not use a specific voice clip for their on-screen appearance, as Pichu's is also used for its side taunt, Ike uses one of his attack voice clip, and Duck Hunt's is shared with one of their victory poses.
- Captain Falcon (since Brawl), the Ice Climbers (in Brawl only), Pyra, and Mythra are the only characters whose on-screen appearance animations significantly differ depending on which direction they are facing.
- Chrom, Dark Pit, Ken, and Richter are the only characters in Ultimate to completely share their on-screen appearance animations with other characters. Coincidentally, all of them are Echo Fighters.
- Some series’ characters have a pattern where many of them use a similar on-screen appearance, even if the animation is not exactly the same:
- Mario and Luigi both emerge from Warp Pipes.
- Peach and Daisy both appear from thin air with their parasols.
- Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong both jump out of a DK Barrel. King K. Rool does not, making him the only Donkey Kong character with a different on-screen appearance.
- The Star Fox characters all jump out of their respective ships.
- All Fire Emblem characters except Corrin appear using warp magic.
- Pit and Dark Pit both appear from a beam of light, though the color of the beams differs between the two. Palutena does not, making her the only Kid Icarus character with a different on-screen appearance.
- Ryu and Ken both walk on stage from some mist in the background.
- Simon and Richter both appear on stage surrounded by light.
- All Pokémon characters except Mewtwo and Lucario emerge from a Poké Ball.
- Villager and Isabelle both exit from a building, though the building they exit from differs between the two. Villager’s building is a house, while Isabelle’s is the town hall, the same buildings they use for their Final Smashes.
- Pyra and Mythra both catch their swords that are thrown to them by Rex. Unlike the other characters listed above, Pyra and Mythra are a transformation duo, akin to Sheik and Zelda from Melee and Brawl.
- Compilation of on-screen appearances in Super Smash Bros.
- Compilation of on-screen appearances in Super Smash Bros. Brawl
- Compilation of on-screen appearances in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS (Japanese version)
- Compilation of on-screen appearances in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
- Compilation of on-screen appearances in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate