The Stage Builder (ステージ作り, Stage Maker) is a feature in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate that allows players to create their own custom stages by using the given stage parts, and in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's case, drawing on the GamePad and the Nintendo Switch, respectively. Players can also choose from a variety of backgrounds and pick any song on the games' soundtracks.
Builders must choose to create a small, medium, or large stage, which will affect the number of parts that can be placed and the location of blast lines. Next, the builder selects a theme: a mountain, a building in ruins, or a futuristic chamber. Each theme has its own set of special stage elements which allow for slight variations in stage design depending on what theme is used. The final step before building is picking music, which can be any track that has been unlocked. Only one track may be chosen per stage, though the player may change it to a different track after the stage has been built. Users must place a minimum of four horizontal areas (for spawning points) for the game to allow their stage to be saved.
There are different structures and building materials the player can use depending on the background chosen earlier. There are three different sizes for most of the structures, with the one exception being the ladder. The player can use a limited number of parts per stage (unless they remove the limit by hacking). Each piece used will use up a certain amount of memory for the map, and some pieces take up more memory than others. Once ready, the player can test the stage through the editor; however, the player is limited to using Mario with the default controls for the controller being used. One can also switch back to the editing screen to make more changes. Custom stages are compatible with SD cards. The limit to the number of custom stages a player can have depends on how much room one has in their internal Wii memory or SD card. The player can also send stages to their friends.
Types of parts the player can use in this mode come in three categories:
Custom stages could be uploaded to a Brawl server, with players also receiving a random stage uploaded by a different player via the Smash Service.
The game comes with three sample stages to demonstrate how the Stage Builder works.
There are three categories of parts: floors, structures, and features. The following table gives the name (unofficial), size, and description of each part.
There are also certain parts and features that can be unlocked to use in the Stage Builder.
Use in modding
Because of how Stage Builder loads custom data, a common method to hacking the Wii console involves exploiting this loading mechanism. Referred to as the Smash Stack, forcing Stage Builder to load a file that is too large can allow for a user to load custom data; this method of hacking is common in order to add the Homebrew Channel to the Wii, and it is also the main method of loading gameplay mods.
In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, the Stage Builder was changed immensely. Players now have much more freedom when creating stages, with the ability to draw platforms of any shape using the Wii U's GamePad. An option is given to either make the platform grabbable by players or not. However, there are much less stage parts than Brawl, being limited to cannons, springs, moving platforms and magma. Jump-through platforms can be made by making a line, and tapping it. All objects' and platforms' locations snap to an invisible fine grid. A visible grid can be displayed by pressing the X button for easier alignment when placing or drawing. The visible grid has a "resolution" measured in units, while the invisible grid allows accuracy to one-fifth of a unit. The grid also shows where in-game boundaries will be, with a green border showing where the camera boundaries are, and a red border for the blast lines. Walk-off stages can be created because of their placement.
Custom Stages are not available in 8-Player Smash. All Custom Stages have Star KOs and Screen KOs, regardless of layout.
When testing a stage, pausing and pressing ZL or ZR on the GamePad will allow players to select their character, an opponent character (including a second player), and customized controls and names, with the exception of Mii Fighters.
Five new backgrounds share two textures that can be given to drawn platforms, whilst they have three unique textures of their own.
There are four types of special features that can be inserted.
On April 9th, 2019, an advertisement released by Nintendo discreetly revealed the Stage Builder icon on the menu, confirming that a stage builder mode was in development at the time of the advertisement's release. A promotional video on April 16th confirmed the inclusion of Stage Builder in the version 3.0.0 update scheduled to release the following day.
Also unlike the Stage Builder from previous installments, the textures - now called Terrain Materials - are universal regardless of the background. Additionally, the ice block and magma are now treated as terrain material, rather than elements.
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