Princess Peach's Castle
The stage itself consists of two halves separated by a tower in the center. Near the edge of both halves is a small floating stand that rises when a character stands on it. The middle tower contains two layers; the bottom layer is a narrow, rising sloped area that can be used as a foothold to reach the top layer. The only way between the two halves of the stage is to pass over the entirety of the central tower; the edges of the stage are walls that travel all the way down to the bottom blast line at water level. Although swimming was introduced since Melee, the water in the stage's Ultimate appearance cannot be used for swimming.
Occasionally, switches will appear somewhere on the castle. These switches are pressure activated, and come in three different colors: red, blue, and green. When a switch is activated, some "!" Blocks and some platforms of the same color will appear somewhere on the castle, and it will also apply about a full second of freeze frames to whoever (or whatever) touched it. Two Red "!" Blocks can appear on either side of the castle roof, a sole Blue "!" Block can appear at the top of the castle, and two Green "!" Blocks can appear bunched together on the far left side of the castle, suspended in the air. If items are turned on, the blocks release items when one touches them in any manner.
Every one to five minutes, a large Banzai Bill will shoot from the side of the stage in the sky. This is first signaled by the sound of a cannon firing, and then the Banzai Bill will appear from a random side of the screen (including the top) and move in a slow straight path until it crashes into the castle. Approximately four seconds after contact with the castle, the Banzai Bill will explode, dealing around 30-45% damage with multiple hits with the last hit dealing very large knockback, resulting in a one-hit KO if a player is caught by all the hits. Aesthetically, fabrics (like Mario's Cape or the flags on the stage) will shake when the explosion occurs. It is possible to throw or hit an opponent into the explosion. Before it explodes, the Banzai Bill itself also does light damage and soft knockback if touched.
While initially available in older Melee tournaments as a counterpick stage, the stage is currently banned. The stage's large permanent walls can allow for infinites, especially Shine infinites from Fox, and the Banzai Bills are deemed too disruptive for a fair competitive match. The walls can also promote camping, as they reduce how many angles players can attack each other.
Princess Peach's Castle debuted in Super Mario 64, where it acts as the game's hub area and has appeared in numerous Mario titles since. The overall design of the castle in this stage is based on its appearance in Super Mario 64; however, the very top spire has been removed and the castle itself has been scaled down. Some other elements which surround both the original castle and this version are a waterfall, some trees, a moat, and fences.
The ! Blocks in this stage work as a combination of Super Mario 64's ! Switches and ! Blocks; the former are hidden in some levels and have to be pressed to make the latter appear in other levels, while the latter release specific items when hit. Switches which make blocks appear are also featured in numerous Mario games, starting with Super Mario World's P-Switches.
Princess Peach's Castle
Princess Peach's magnificent royal castle appears to be inhabited solely by the princess and a multitude of Toads. Bowser tried to steal the castle's Power Stars in Super Mario 64, and in Paper Mario, the surly archfiend actually lifted the castle into the stratosphere with his own filthy fortress.
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