All Star Mode is another mode in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U. Like the previous games, you have to defeat every character (including DLC characters if owned) in several rounds. The mode is available at the start with only the characters unlocked. It is available on easy, medium, or hard. If all characters are unlocked (DLC excluded), then the mode is known as the True All Star Mode.
There are a total of seven matches in All Star Mode. All of the fighters are ordered and grouped based on his or her first appearance. On the 3DS, the fighters are in chronological order. In the Wii U, it is in reverse chronological order. Also, the stages are based on the time period.
The damage you have carries on to the additional rounds. During matches, your attacks receive a boost in power, while your opponent's attacks are made weaker to compensate. Custom moves and equipment are disabled, and items will not spawn other than those manually created by characters. You only have 1 stock to clear the entire mode. Unlike in previous installments (Melee and Brawl), there are no continues. So if you are KO'd or the time limit runs out, gold, Global Smash Power, and any other rewards earned during the run are retained. But if you are KO'd or run out of time, you start over.
After each round, you end up in a Rest Area. It shows the next set of fighters as well as the time period. The fighters defeated also appear in the background.
Health items also appear. If all characters are not unlocked, there are two Maxim Tomatoes, a Fairy Bottle, and a modified Heart Container that heals off damage completely. Otherwise, there are one Maxim Tomato, a Fairy Bottle, and two Heart Containers. While in the rest area, your damage percent is constant; you cannot heal or do self-damage. Additionally, moves that normally grant increased healing from health items such as Chomp will not provide said health boost effect.
At the end of each round, you get coins. In the rest area, there are trophies and custom parts available. Getting KO'ed does not make you lose any of these rewards; you leave with just those rewards.
- Keep your opponents scattered or try to wall them off to one side. A bunch of foes ganging up on you can rack up damage really fast, so you must do your best to avoid getting surrounded.
- Based on the advice above, the best attacks to use are ones that are moderately quick and strong, usually most faster smash attacks. Your objective is to keep foes at a distance and busy recovering. Slow but powerful moves are poor choices as enemies other than your current can easily interrupt your move.
- For some reason, projectiles are NOT affected by the strength modifier on both you and your opponents. This means that while you may only take medium knockback from a charged Side Smash by Ike at 120%, a max-size Charge Shot at that percent is absolutely lethal. Be especially careful of characters with projectile KO moves like Samus and Lucario.
- Similar to projectiles, stage hazards will also do normal damage and knockback. Take extra care when playing on stages like Port Town Aero Drive.
- Ration your health items wisely. The main healing item you should plan around is the Fairy Bottle due to its picky healing mechanic. If you've taken slightly above 100%, it is practically an extra Health Container, but is completely useless anywhere below that threshold.
Note that match order is exactly reversed on the Wii U version. Characters and stages in bold will only appear if they have been unlocked.
Stage 1: 1980-1984
- Characters: Mr. Game & Watch, Pac-Man, Mario, Donkey Kong, Luigi, Little Mac
- Stages (3DS): Flat Zone 2, Pac-Maze, Jungle Japes, Boxing Ring
- Stages (Wii U): Flat Zone X, Pac-Land, Delfino Plaza, Luigi's Mansion
Pac-Man and the Game & Watch handheld series are the earliest franchises represented in Smash, so their characters are obviously the first two in the chain. Donkey Kong would dominate arcades a year later, introducing both its namesake ape and an early Mario, then called Jumpman. Mario's brother, Luigi will later debut in Mario Bros., while Little Mac would appear in Punch-out a while later. This is a manageable roster, being the smallest selection of fighters in True All-Star Mode. Pac-Man is the only character with dangerous projectiles, namely his hydrant, while Little Mac's KO Punch matches the strength of a normal KO move despite its lowered power.
In the 3DS version, Flat Zone 2 is a pretty dangerous stage to start with, as the hazards can both deal high damage and KO. Luckily, its small size makes it easy to get KOs, so you should be able to clear the stage before the Fire transformation ends. Pac-Maze's hazards are not a problem, but its solid floating platforms might get in the way of launched opponents, preventing a KO. Jungle Japes has a lot of horizontal space which helps minimize damage, but the raging river can result in an early loss. Boxing Ring is the best stage for this overall, with plenty of room to run around, no damaging hazards and walkoffs at the edges for quick KOs.
The dangers of Flat Zone X is pretty similar to Flat Zone 2, but in this case, you may be starting the battle with some damage already racked up, so be extra cautious of strong hazards like the pedestrians in Oil Panic or the tamers in Lion. Pac-Land is a moderately slow scrolling stage with mostly non-threatening hazards, but do watch out for the hydrant. Delfino Plaza lacks hazards altogether, but doesn't have any features that helps you either. Luigi's Mansion is an amazing stage for this final battle, since its first floor ceiling creates a cave-of-life effect, letting you survive to extremely high percents. Even if you start the match heavily wounded, you can still make a glorious comeback by holing up at the lower floor, teching off the ceiling to negate otherwise lethal knockback.
Stage 2: 1984-1986
- Characters: Duck Hunt, R.O.B., Peach, Bowser, Link, Zelda, Samus
- Stages (3DS): Golden Plains, Mushroomy Kingdom, Gerudo Valley, Brinstar
- Stages (Wii U): Duck Hunt, Wrecking Crew, Mushroom Kingdom U, Mario Circuit (SSBB), Skyloft, Norfair
All of the major titles for the NES were released around this time period. Duck Hunt and Gyromite demonstrated the NES's unique peripherals, but games like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda and Metroid are what the system is really remembered for. This set of opponents is pretty tough. Bowser, Link and Zelda are really good at racking up damage with either good range or projectiles, while Duck Hunt and Samus have KO projectiles with Trick Shot and Charge Shot.
For 3DS stages, Golden Plains has a modest size without many hazards that you need to beware, although you should KO your foes before they get the golden powerup. Mushroomy Kingdom is an unlucky stage to end up on, as your opponents can tech off of the suspended blocks to cancel out all knockback, especially on higher difficulties. Gerudo Valley is spacious and the hazards are telegraphed, although they'll usually leave only half of the stage safe. Brinstar's acid is tricky and can either leave you with almost no space or to take a lot of damage, but should be still manageable.
When playing the Wii U version, the Duck Hunt stage is a pretty good stage to get. It doesn't have any harmful elements, and there's a lot of horizontal and vertical space to keep yourself from getting surrounded. The bombs in Wrecking Crew can deal a lot of chip damage but probably won't kill you; just watch out for any overhead cans. None of the stage transitions in Mushroom Kingdom U are dangerous, but events like the falling icicle, Urchins on waterspouts and Nabbit are potentially lethal.
Continuing with Wii U stages, Mario Circuit has walkoffs for earlier KOs on your opponents, while the karts give plenty of warning and can be easily avoided. Skyloft is a typical moving stage and there aren't any hazards to speak of. You can take contact damage if you hit the landmass while the main platform is moving, but this is an exceedingly rare occurrence. Lastly, Norfair's lava is much like Brinstar's, with the addition of some more hazards that can be avoided if you're familiar with the stage.
Stage 3: 1986-1990
- Characters: Pit, Palutena, Ryu (DLC), Mega Man, Marth, Dr. Mario, Yoshi, Captain Falcon
- Stages (3DS): Reset Bomb Forest, Suzaku Castle, Wily Castle, Yoshi's Island, Mute City
- Stages (Wii U): Suzaku Castle, Wily Castle, Wooly World, Yoshi's Island, Port Town Aero Drive
Kid Icarus makes its debut soon after Metroid. Two of Capcom's most iconic characters will be created soon after, with the release of the first Street Fighter and Mega Man. Next, Marth debuts as the star of the first Fire Emblem game, while Mario will later be combating viruses in Dr. Mario. Finally, Yoshi and Captain Falcon are birthed into the videogame world with the creation of the SNES, being major characters on two of the systems early title: Super Mario World and F-Zero.
This stage has a large number of opponents with a full roster including DLC, but it's really relatively easy compared to the others. The only deadly projectile you have to be careful of is Mega Man's side smash, while the other characters don't really have any annoying moves that can quickly rack up damage or trap you. That said, some of the stages can make the battle harder than it is.
Speaking of stages, two of them are shared between both versions of the game. Suzaku Castle is obviously the easier one since it lacks any hazards and has a walkoff on the right side for quicker KOs. However, Wily Castle is the worst possible stage you might get, as the Yellow Devil will be a massive pain. Fortunately, since your damage is greatly amplified, you can usually defeat the Yellow Devil in less than 5 hits, so you can minimize the time you have to spend avoiding its attacks.
Exclusive to the 3DS version are the Reset Bomb Forest, Yoshi's Island and Mute City stages. The Reset Bomb Forest is pretty normal until after the Reset Bomb drops. The jagged platforms form walls and ceilings that enemies can tech off of, which makes it harder to KO them. Yoshi's Island has no dangers whatsoever, but the small size of the stage means less space to avoid enemies. The main threat of Mute City is the ground, which can definitely KO at high percents, so watch the position of the cars very carefully.
For the Wii U version, Wooly World seems to be the most common stage selected, and it has plenty of space to let you fight each foe individually, and no hazards that might harm you. Yoshi's Island from Melee is smaller but similarly hazardless, but the sloped edges can reduce the knockback of your horizontal KO moves. Port Town Aero Drive has both the damaging track while the platform is moving and the supersonic F-Zero machines, both of which can hurt really bad. Memorizing the safe spots of every stop on that stage to maximize your chance of survival.