Planet Zebes consists of a rough, jagged base, three main platforms (one of which is sloped at an angle), and a smaller platform ascending and descending to the far right of the stage. Hazardous acid surges below, periodically submerging most of the base and two of the three main platforms, though never rising high enough to reach the topmost platform.
Touching the acid results in damage and high knockback, capably KOing a player if their damage meter is high. The acid can, however, also be used strategically as a means of salvage when risen enough; in the event a player is knocked off the stage and into the acid, it will launch them skyward, allowing them to reuse their recovery or simply fall back onto the stage. Obtaining a Starman (or any form of strong knockback resistance) grants invulnerability to the acid, allowing the player to walk through it with no obstruction. However, if, while invincible, the player falls off the stage and through the acid, they will self-destruct; the acid will not "bump" the player back up, as they are immune to its burn.
According to the original Super Smash Bros. website, Planet Zebes occupies "an extremely unstable space station." Although not drawing homage to any particular game, this stage is based on Zebes, the planet on which Metroid and Super Metroid are set. A clear reference is the yellow acid featured in some rooms in Metroid. The rising and falling acid is a reference to Super Metroid, wherein the lava in some Norfair and Tourian rooms would rise after earthquakes. The stage's platforms, composed of green bubbles with red highlights, are a direct reference to the aesthetics of Norfair in both games.
The stage is commonly banned in N64 Backroom tournaments, largely due to the acid's interference with gameplay; star KOing at unexpected moments, covering up parts of the stage, and forcing opponents to avoid the acid causes the fighting space on the stage to become extremely small. Additionally, the sometimes awkward camera can make gameplay unnecessarily difficult. However, the stage is occasionally allowed in non-official tournaments for its large size, making it an ideal choice for aerial combos and a counterpick to Peach's Castle.
Names in other languages