Classic Mode returns in the fourth generation of Smash Bros., but this familiar arcade-style mode now comes with a few new changes. As always, Classic Mode is a one player mode in which the player must fight through a series of levels, mostly stock matches, to face a boss at the end. However, the classic formula for this classic mode has been altered a bit. No only is there no more static difficulty levels or stocks that carry over between stages, this installment of the series also introduces a risk-and-reward aspect that makes Classic Mode a worthwhile game mode for obtaining collectables.
In both versions, clearing Classic Mode will unlock the trophy of the character used to play through the mode. Additionally, some challenges and unlockables in either version also involve clearing Classic Mode at certain intensities or with certain characters. As a single-player mode, individual character scores and your total score will get a Global Smash Power rating once you've connected online with the game.
In past games, players could choose from 5 difficulty levels as well as the number of stocks they'll use to take on Classic Mode. Now, the difficulty is measured along a sliding scale from 0.0 to 9.0, and you always get 2 stocks for every stage. This scale is known as the Fiend's Scale, which determines the quality of rewards you get depending on the difficulty level. The default difficulty, 2.0, costs no gold to play and doesn't provide any rewards. Beginning from 2.1 up to 9.0, players must wager a set amount of coins. The greater the difficulty, the more coins must be wagered, but the prices obtained from clearing stages are better as well. You can wager more coins than you currently have, but you will end up with no coins if you fail to get any rewards after doing so. You also have to pay coins to access levels 1.9 and below, letting you breeze through classic mode for a price.
Before a Classic Mode match begins, there will be a roulette on the bottom screen in the 3DS version, or at the top of the screen in the Wii U version. The roulette displays a set of rewards, and the type and number of rewards on the face of the roulette when it stops is the one you will get after clearing the stage. There are four categories of rewards: up to 5 custom items, up to 5 trophies, up to 250 gold, or a Crazy Orders pass in the Wii U version. If you're unlucky, you may also get absolutely nothing by stopping the roulette over a greyed-out section.
On the 3DS version, you can pause the roulette by pressing the Home button and see the current rewards on the roulette. Tapping to return to the game won't stop the roulette, but holding lets you stop the roulette at that exact instance. As long as the reward you want is visible on the upper half of the roulette when its paused, you are certain to get it when you return to the game. This trick is especially useful when farming for trophies or custom items.
Path selection (3DS version)
Unlike past games, you can choose between multiple matches for each stage. Between stages, you will be dropped at an overworld map with up to three branching paths. The color of the path indicates its difficulty, with blue being the easiest, green being medium and red being the hardest choice. Like with the Fiend's Scale, picking a harder path has a better potential of getting good rewards. You can also see the series emblem that hints toward the characters you may fight by going down the path, as well as coins and trophies that you will pick up by going down the path they are on. At the end of the path, you will see a trophy or a set of trophies that indicate the character(s) you will be fighting.
At the penultimate stage, you will only get the choice of two paths. At the final stage, you will usually have a blue path leading to Master Hand, from difficulty 3.0 onward, there will also be a black path leading to a fight between both Master Hand and Crazy Hand. From difficulty 5.1, the secret boss Master Core can be fought after fighting both hands for a bit. On difficulty 8.0 and above, the black path is the only option, meaning the double Hand fight, as well as the battle against Master Core, is mandatory.
Match selection (Wii U version)
The Wii U version of Classic Mode gives you a lot more freedom than on the 3DS. Your chosen character is represented by a trophy of themselves on a large brick platform. There will be groups of up to 7 fighters gathered on parts of the platform, with a hexagon under them depicting a stage. Moving your figurine toward the fighters initiates a match with all of them, which takes place on the stage visible within the hex. Some fighters have icons on their trophies. If you manage to KO them in battle, you will get a random reward in the illustrated category.
At the beginning of the 1st round, a rival fighter will be assigned to you, as indicated by their glowing blue trophy base. Your rival gets stronger for every battle they survive, and so does the value of the rewards they drop when you KO them. The longer you hold off fighting them, the better the rewards you'll get, but you are ultimately forced to fight your rival on the third round. There's also a rare chance of your rival getting unceremoniously KO'd before you even fight them. After two more rounds of normal fights, you'll face a Multi-Man stage. At the end, a boss fight awaits!
Each stage in Classic Mode has its own rules that increase or even out the difficulty. The type of match will be shown before the match begins, at the roulette screen. Every type of battle requires a change in strategy, so quick adaptation is a must for clearing Classic. The types of battle in the 3DS version are:
- 1v1: A simple face off against a single foe. You only need to concentrate on your opponent, and having two stocks puts you at a slight advantage. Typically the easiest match type you will encounter.
- 2v2: Fight against two opponents while assisted by an AI teammate. Having two opponents forces you to divide your attention between the two. Your teammate can help you in the fight, but be careful not to have your partner KO'd or get left out far from the fight when there are still two enemies, as it is harder to fight back when both of your foes are ganging up on you.
- Four-man survival: You and three other characters must fight each other until only one player remains. There are no alliances here, so your foes may fight against each other. Try to divide up the fight between pairs of characters so that you can deal with each opponent without being ganged up upon, or avoid the fight altogether and let your opponents decrease their numbers themselves.
- Giant fight: Pits you against a character that have been increased in size and power, as if they're permanently affected by a Super Mushroom. Depending on difficulty, you may get up to 3 AI partners to help you. Big characters make big targets, so persistent attacking and use of weak, combo-friendly attacks can let you rack up damage without your opponent being able to fight back.
- Metal battle: You must defeat a character that is permanently under the effects of a Metal Box, with increased weight and heavy armor. Avoid using weak attacks, since they won't make the metal fighter flinch and lets your foe counterattack you with ease. Their high weight means it is very difficult to KO them normally. Try to get them to self-destruct offstage or, on stages without a bottom abyss, grab them at the edge of the screen and throw them into the blastzone.
- Multi-Man Smash: Fight against multiple foes using the same character, either Mii Fighters on Battlefield or normal characters at their home stages. This is always the match type for the penultimate stage. Your foes are a bit tougher than the standard Miis in the Stadium Multi-Man minigame, especially on higher difficulties, and they can do some surprising damage if they gang up on you. The best way to defeat them quickly is to use the items that spawn.
- Boss Battle: The final stage of Classic Mode always involves a battle with Master Hand, as well as with Crazy Hand on higher difficulties. See the sections below for strategies against them.
The Wii U version of the game has more homogenized battles, with the only difference in matches being the number of foes you fight. There are still various special conditions that you may encounter upon selecting your opponents:
- Intruder Alert!: Occasionally, one or two of your pre-selected opponents may get knocked out by surprise challengers just before a match starts. These challengers are called intruders, and are always in a Giant or Metal state.
- Custom fighters: On the fourth and fifth rounds, you will start to face characters with black trophy bases. These fighters are equipped with custom moves and equipment, so you may have to adapt to unfamiliar moves if you have not unlocked the moves themselves.
- Multi-Man Smash: Like the Nintendo 3DS version, you are forced to fight 20 Mii Fighters on Battlefield. Once again, these Mii Fighters are tougher than the ones you fight in Stadium, and they can be really hard to take down when they gang up on you.
- Boss Battle: Fight against Master Hand, Crazy Hand as well on higher intensities and Master Core on the hardest difficulties. The battle initiates automatically, so you can't choose an easier boss fight unlike in the 3DS version.
Master Hand is a boss that must be fought at the end of Classic Mode on Final Destination. Unlike fighters, Master Hand has a set amount of HP depending on difficulty, and you need to reduce Master Hand's health to 0 through attacks to defeat him. Master Hand takes no knockback and does not flinch, and he has a set of attacks that increase in power or speed based on the difficulty level. These attacks are:
- A finger snap. It starts slow, but you can get dizzy on the ground or take damage in the air. Getting dizzied by the snap will leave you vulnerable to attacks, especially if Crazy Hand is also in the battle. Stay in the air and air dodge to avoid the attack (or at least not get dizzy).
- A quick swipe across the stage. Fairly quick, so it is difficult to dodge if he executes it while you're using an attack.
- Walking across the stage using his fingers. He will launch you with a finger strike if you get in his way. You can safely avoid the attack by jumping over Master Hand as he moves beneath you.
- Moving to the top of the stage with a clenched fist and slamming down. It has a delay before the attack occurs, which makes avoiding the attack a bit harder. Master Hand may turn it to a slap, which has a bigger area of effect. The safest way to evade it is by timing an air dodge as he lands. If you move above Master Hand when the attack strikes, you won't be hit at all. Counters, teleportation, and Kirby's Stone can also avoid the attack.
- Follows you around a bit before grabbing you. If he succeeds, he will squeeze you to do damage before either tossing you offstage or leaving you onstage asleep. You can mash out of it like you would with a normal grab. While you can easily notice Master Hand following you, avoiding the grab requires intuition and experience. Using a well-timed dodge will usually work. You can also try going airborne and fast falling around the time he grabs.
- Aims at you before firing a bullet. The projectile can be reflected but not absorbed. At low HP, Master Hand may fire three bullets in a row. See the circle around Master Hand's fingers. When they shrink fully, Master Hand will fire his bullets, so use the circle to time your dodge. If you have a reflector, using it will protect you as well as do some extra damage to Master Hand.
- Shoots up, then flies in from the background. He can either move straight to the foreground with a clenched fist or swoop in erratically. This is one of Master Hand's more threatening moves in terms of power, but it is also quite predictable, since you get plenty of warning as Master Hand moves in from the back. Just jumping high is usually enough to avoid this attack.
- Drills upward, then drills downward where you're standing. The attack traps you and can do a lot of damage, but not much knockback. It can be quite difficult to dodge, since Master Hand homes in pretty well at your location. Try to roll away the moment you spot him shooting down from the top. If your character has multiple jumps, try staying offstage for the duration of the attack. since Master Hand will not drill away from the stage.
- Crushes an orange sphere of plasma, raining harmful energy balls across the stage. The energy balls are pretty weak, but they can be hard to dodge due to their scattered trajectory. Staying in the air should let you avoid them, since they fall in an arc to the ground.
- Fires lasers from each of his fingers. Stay behind Master Hand to be safe from this attack.
- Swipes about repeatedly to create a strong gust that blows you to the left. At higher difficulties, there can also be ice in the wind that freeze you if you touch them. This is really only dangerous when you also have to deal with Crazy Hand, but it could also be very inconvenient since Master Hand always uses this move if you fall off the left edge.
- Deals out cards that each take up a quarter of the stage, which then ascend offscreen. The move doesn't do damage, but it can potentially take away an entire stock if you're on a card as it flies off the top. Note the placement of the cards and keep moving without hesitation so you don't get carried over the top. Be especially careful of Crazy Hand if you're fighting both hands, as any attack that knocks you down, stuns or buried you could prevent you from getting off a card in time.
When playing on difficulty 3.0 and higher, you get the option to fight both Master Hand and Crazy Hand. Crazy Hand is pretty similar to Master Hand, but his attacks have slight variations to throw you off. Crazy Hand's attacks are:
- Swiping across the stage. Similar to Master Hand's, and similarly fast. Roll with good timing to dodge this.
- Shoots up, then zooms in from the background to strike at you. Just Like Master Hand's attack, jumping high up will usually let you dodge the attack just fine.
- Follows you a bit before grabbing you. If he succeeds, Crazy Hand will squeeze you several times before burying you in the ground. It is dodged the same way as Master Hand's grab, but the stakes are a bit higher, since you're very vulnerable to attack while buried.
- Fires lasers from each of his fingers. Again, staying behind Crazy Hand will let you avoid all of his lasers. You may not be in position to do so if you're currently focusing on Master Hand, though.
- Follows you around above you with a clenched fist before punching down several times. The multiple punches might catch you off-guard if you're used to Master Hand's single punch. You'll need a well-timed roll to dodge this one, or simply stay offstage, as Crazy Hand can't punch you when there is no ground below him.
- Crawls across the stage. Jump over this attack as Crazy Hand passes near you.
- Moves above the center of the stage and drops bombs straight down. This move is easily avoided by staying away from the center. Just don't get knocked into the bombs by Master Hand.
- Lays at the center of the stage and flails about. Similar to Crazy Hand's bombs, this attack is can be easily dodged by staying away from the center. It takes up more horizontal space, but it is easier to jump over Crazy Hand while he is flailing.
- Throws a ball of darkness up, then slams it into the ground, producing a wide shockwave. Stay away from Crazy Hand when he initiates the attack, then go for the skies as he slams the sphere down to avoid the shockwave.
- Plants several pillars in the ground, which explode when touched or after a certain time. This attack is meant to confine space, so you'll just have to work with the small room for movement between two pillars for dodging Master Hand's attacks.
- Tears apart the fabric of space, creating a black hole that sucks you in and will do high damage if you're trapped by it. Just run toward any direction away from the black hole, as you definitely do not want to get caught in it. Crazy Hand will be stationary while the black hole is out, so concentrate on Master Hand so that you won't get knocked in by a stray attack.
Master Hand and Crazy Hand can team up for some special attacks, which are:
- Throwing balls of energy to each other. The balls home in on you when they fly toward the stage. Occasionally, both hands will throw extra-large but slow spheres. Use rolls whenever a sphere has been thrown back and you should dodge them without much trouble. For the large spheres, try running away a bit before dodging to ensure you evade the ball fully.
- Crazy Hand scrapes across the stage, then Master Hand does an upward hook in the opposite direction. Crazy Hand's grind serves to setup Master Hand's uppercut, and you will be hit by both attacks if you get caught in Crazy Hand's. Stay in the air to avoid the attack completely.
- Crazy Hand punches Master Hand's open palm. This attack has a set movement path, so it can easily be dodged if you see it coming. However, it does comes out pretty fast. Jump up high to avoid the collision between the two hands.
Master Core is a bonus boss that can only be fought by choosing to fight Master Hand and Crazy Hand from difficulty 5.1 and up. As the fight with both hands are mandatory above difficulty 8.0, the fight with Master Core is also forced if you're playing at said difficulty. To start the battle with Master Core, you must first attack Master Hand until you reduce his HP by roughly 100. Once you do, Crazy Hand will disappear as Master Hand bursts into a cloud of black particles. These black bits are called the Swarm, and they will take different forms depending on the difficulty and phase of the battle. The Swarm even clouds the damage meter of Master Core, so you won't know how much damage you're doing to Master Core, and how long it will take to defeat him.
When playing on difficulty 7.5 and higher, the Swarm forms a huge giant looming over the stage. The core is located in the giant's head, so you must concentrate your attacks there. Master Giant often makes use of projectiles and odd attacks that seem hard to dodge, but gets pretty simple once you know how to evade them.
- He swipes his hand across the screen, causing a rift to briefly open up. The swipe does not hurt you, but the rift definitely can, and it even ignores shields. However, this attack can be dodged by rolling in the opposite direction with the right timing, usually as Master Giant finishes the swipe.
- Master Giant shakes around as if having a headache, then lets out a sonic shockwave. The move deals damage and knockback if you're too close, while it has a strong wind effect that pushes you away if you're far from Master Giant, even if you shield it. This attack is more dangerous if you're playing a character with a poor horizontal recovery, such a Ike or Little Mac, as it can push you too far from the stage, leading to an early stock loss. Rolling during the scream should let you dodge the wind effect entirely.
- Four purple orbs form on Master Giant's head as he follows you around the stage. After a while, he will slam into the ground, burying you if you're caught beneath, while releasing the four orbs. The orbs scatter around the stage and will detonate after a short while, sending shrapnel in four directions. Getting buried will result in you getting hit by the orb explosions, so it is important to dodge the initial slam. Rolling around quickly should let you avoid the slam with ease, but you still have to contend with the orb mines. Try staying at the edge of the stage and get airborne so that you're diagonally above the closest orb and you should be safe from all the explosions.
- The head of the Master Giant rips open, causing a wind effect that pulls you in. Energy spheres will also appear to knock you into the void. If you get sucked in, you will be damaged for a bit before launched into the ground. When Master Giant uses this move, start moving in one direction away from him and keep dodging to avoid the spheres. Grabbing the edge can also avoid the attack.
- Master Giant spawns two glowing hands and tries to grab you with them. The left hand will move low toward the left before going high while the right hand does the opposite. Stay on one side of the stage and jump or stay grounded depending on the side the hand is, then quickly fall to the ground or jump up respectively based on your previous action to avoid the hand as it returns. Taking advantage of edge-grabbing invincibility can also work.
- Six bright balls of energy spawn high above the stage and move around. Master Giant will then raise the stage up to where the spheres are, before dropping it back down. Watch for a safe opening in the spheres before the stage is raised and be sure to stay there to avoid the balls of energy as you ascend, then keep actively dodging or shielding the moving spheres until you're dropped. Also, grab the edge to avoid it altogether, but when you drop, do not forget to recover.
After defeating the Master Giant, or if you're starting the fight on difficulty 6.0 to 7.4, you will face Master Beast, a monstrous creature with a gaping maw and a scorpion's sting. This battle is actually the easiest, as Master Beast is a big target. You won't have much trouble avoiding his attacks as long as you stay careful and don't commit too much to an attack during the interval between Master Beast's own moves. Using counters, teleportation, and Kirby's Stone can avoid most attacks and maybe do damage to Master Beast.
- Master Beast leaps up, covered with electricity, then slams down on either side of the stage, causing it to tilt briefly. The leap is the attack most likely to catch you offguard, since it has very little warning before Master Beast uses it, and it can actually knock you into the strong hit when Master Beast slams down. Start watching out for it when you've been fighting Master Beast around the center of the stage for a while. Stay at the center and keep your distance to avoid the attack.
- Master Beast leaps into the background, then rushes to the front and chomps down at your current location. This move is dangerously fast and dangerously powerful, but it can be evaded with a quick dodge or even by shielding. Master Beast will try to move toward you before attacking, so try to note how he is moving around the stage.
- Master Beast attempts to get close to you, then shrinks and calls down a lightning bolt with its sting. Master Beast's body will be enveloped by electricity, and touching him during this time will cause you to get trapped by the lightning and take lots of damage. If you see Master Beast move close to you, stay where you are to let him begin the attack, as you do not want him to corner you at the edge of the stage. Roll away before the lightning strikes, then wait out the attack. If you have projectiles, use them to do chip damage to Master Beast while he is stuck being struck by lightning.
- Spikes shoot up from Master Beast's back, after which he will cause spikes to jut out from your location on the stage. The first set of spikes can hit you if you're attacking Master Beast from above as it starts the move. Once you see the spikes, get high into the air and airdodge to evade the spikes it sends at you.
After defeating Master Beast, or when starting the battle at difficulty 5.1 to 5.9, you will fight Master Edges, a set of five sabres with the core located at the largest one. Master Edges is the most dangerous stage of Master Core, with both attacks with huge reach and difficult to dodge projectiles. It also hovers in the air near you, making it more difficult to hit with strong ground attacks.
- All of Master Edges' sabres swing up following a quick flash of light. This is Master Edges strongest move and it will likely KO you if you're at a moderately high percentage. Don't use attacks with a long duration while fighting Master Edges, since you need to be ready to dodge the attack the moment you see the flash.
- Master Edges follows you around before trapping you in a series of slashes, ending with a powerful downward slash that sends you at a diagonally downward angle. Although the attack starts off slow, this move is very hard to avoid since Master Edges will follow you closely, and his attacks take up a lot of space. Even worse, he will still be moving toward you during the attack. Try to get Master Edges to follow you into the air and fall down as he initiates the attack, then roll away as he continues to follow you. Also, go to the left part of the stage, and when Master Edges is about to start the move, run to the right.
- Master Edges throws out two pairs of blade projectiles that home in on you. These projectiles can be reflected or absorbed, and it is definitely recommended for you to do so. If you can't reflect or absorb the projectiles, keep moving to avoid the homing projectiles. Getting hit by one usually knocks you into the others.
- Master Edges unleashes two large blade projectiles which only boomerang in a straight line. The projectiles don't disappear when they hit, and can trap you as they travel back and forth. The size of the projectiles and the space between them makes it very hard to evade them with any dodge. Staying airborne or running behind the swords if fast before the attack can dodge the attack. If you need to, try to land when the projectiles are at the farthest left so you can jump back up.
- All five sabres assume positions and follow you around before starting a devastating combo attack. The sabres knock you into each other's attack, with the fourth sabre hitting you into the final, large sabre and knocking you to the ground. After a short delay, the large sabre will then slam down, launching you sideways. You must dodge each individual sabre strike as they come, and take into account the delay before the final sabre hits. Be sure to roll only when the last sabre starts crashing down, or else you're likely to get hit by the surrounding shockwave. If you're caught by the first few sabre strikes, you have a chance to evade the last strike if you can tech as you hit the ground from the large sabre's meteor smash.
Once you defeat Master Edges, the Swarm will form a larger version of the character you're using. This dark version of your character has slightly stronger attacks and can use every move you have, right down to your equipment changes and custom specials. While Master Shadow can flinch from attacks, he is also a lot more unpredictable, and a sudden smash attack can quickly knock you out if you've taken a lot of damage from previous phases. Fight the Swarm clone as you would with a regular fighter, but focus more on fast and damaging moves to minimize the damage you take yourself. Master Shadow can be defeated either by taking enough damage, or by getting KO'd like a normal fighter.
Master Fortress (Wii U only)
Only on the Wii U version when playing 8.0 intensity and above, and only when not playing co-op, will you face Master Fortress as the fifth form of Master Core. Upon defeating Master Shadow, you will get an additional 3 minutes to your timer, as well as a Heart Piece that fully heals off all damage you've received so far. The Heart Piece will be available for the entirety of the fight with Master Fortress, so you may wish to save it if your damage is still low at the start of the fight.
Master Fortress comes in two waves, the second having different music and noticeable increase in difficulty. You must simply venture into tunnels that open up within the Swarm until you reach weakpoints, which are bright pink glowing spheres attached inside the fortress. You must then attack and destroy the weakpoint, which will open up the path to the next weakpoint. A recurring hazard are Danger Zones, yellow acid that covers some surfaces and pools on the ground. Touching these zones causes you to take serious damage, and even outright KO you if you get launched into it above 100%.
Other than danger zones, you will also encounter a few enemies, all taken from the 3DS version's Smash Run. These enemies are:
- Stalfos: A skeletal swordsman from the Zelda series. Their shields render them invulnerable to attacks from the front, although they can still be grabbed. They attack with sword slashes with fairly high range and area. Avoid them rather then fighting them, as they don't move around much and have too much vitality and defense to make KOing them worthwhile.
- Lethiniums: Plant sentries from Kid Icarus: Uprising. These huge flowers are stationary but will track your movement while charging energy. After a while, they will unleash a beam with extreme range that passes through walls. The beams can trap your fighter, but you can escape by repeatedly tapping the control stick in a single direction to escape. These plants are extremely disruptive and usually placed strategically around weakpoints, so taking them out should be top priority. Just knocking a Lethinium over is good enough, as they should remain out of commission until you can destroy the weakpoint.
- Geemers: Geemers are spiky insects from the Metroid series that crawl along surfaces, hurting any fighters that touch them. Geemers are pretty minor threats that usually spawn around weakpoints, where they guard the small platforms you use to reach the orbs. They are quickly dispatched, but it's easy to overlook them while you're fighting off more threatening foes.
- Plasma Wisps: These ethereal balls of flame originate from the Kirby series. They can fire projectiles of various levels. Level one is a barrage of quick and weak bullets. Level two is a piercing beam that briefly stuns you. Upon reaching level 3, a Plasma Wisp gains invulnerability to physical attacks. The resulting projectile is a huge sphere that deals major knockback. These are probably the most uncommon enemies and usually appear away from other foes, but you must still be wary of their level 3 attacks.
The first weakpoint is located at the end of a straightforward tunnel, with no danger zones on the path and the orb itself being easy to hit. Once the first weakpoint is destroyed, an upper path will open up. Returning to the main stage, you must then go on the upper path and fall down a shaft. Moving left, you'll come across the second weakpoint. This time there are Danger Zones along the path and around the orb, and you must get on one of the small platforms to attack the orb. The longer path also exposes you to more enemies.
Upon defeating the second orb, you will be teleported back to the main stage. You must take the upper path again to reach the edge of the fortress, where the third weakpoint is suspended in midair. It isn't too hard to hit and there are no danger zones, but you can get KO'd by falling or by getting launched into the sides. Finally, you must double back and drop into a new tunnel into the deepest parts of the fortress. The area around the last weakpoint is practically coated with danger zones, and moving platforms are the only footholds near the orb. Destroy this last orb and Master Fortress will be defeated!
Depending on difficulty and version, the true Master Core will appear after you defeat Master Shadow or Master Fortress. The timer will stop and the swarm will dissipate completely, letting you see the Smash Ball-like core and its damage percentage. Use powerful attacks to rack up damage at the core and KO it with a strong move. The core will gravitate toward the center of the stage, so you must KO it outright to destroy it. After about 45 seconds, the core will suddenly levitate, then unleash five deadly, screen-filling waves that instantly KO you, then self-destructs after that. You can still dodge these waves using sidestep dodges with precise timing, but it is much safer to KO the core while it is still inert. Once the core is destroyed, whether from being KO'd by you or by self-destruct, you will clear Classic Mode.
Game Over and Continuing
Whenever you lose all of your stocks in a match, you will get a Game Over, losing some points, money and rewards you've already earned, as well as moving to a lower difficulty on the Fiend's Scale. You can choose to quit and take whatever is left, or continue to try and get more prizes and points.
During the credits, you can attack the names of the credited people to reveal parts of a picture behind the credits. This picture is usually a screenshot related to the character you're playing. The position of the picture will shift vertically to make it easier to reach any awkward spots. Any unrevealed spots will also turn dark halfway through the credits, and start glimmering near the end of the credits. Filling out the picture gives you some bonus gold depending on the percentage of the image you revealed.