Let’s Get Started
Unique to Brawl in the Smash Bros. series is the addition of the Stage Builder mode, where the player can create and design their own stages. There are three sizes for the arena: small (10 x 8 blocks), medium (14 x 11 blocks), and large (18 x 14 blocks). Each stage can have one of three backgrounds as well: an outdoor landscape with mountains in the background, an underground temple or ruin, and the inside of a space age facility. Moreover, any music that is visible in the game’s Sound Test can be used as the musical theme for a custom stage, and players can name it whatever they wish (up to 15 characters) as well as a comment on the stage. Also note that the background also determines the look of the stage objects: ornately carved silver stones as blocks for the outdoor mountain background, archaic yellow stonework for the temple background, and metallic panel blocks for the indoor space age background.
In the actual Stage Builder itself, once you’ve gotten the fundamentals squared away, there are three categories of parts at your disposal: floors, structures, and features. Note that you can have every object in three different sizes and can rotate it in different directions (especially useful for conveyor belts). You can also zoom in, zoom out, and even play a demo of your stage with Mario as a practice run-through. The floors are the same in all three backgrounds. You have three types of passable platforms: long ones that occupy a whole block (and connect when placed consecutively), short ones that do not connect even side by side, and slanted ones. Then there’s the standard block. There are also stairs, a steep inline, and a gradual incline. Under features you have two types of moving passable platforms: one vertical and the other horizontal. There’s also a Ferris wheel, springboard, ice block, drop block (it’ll sink after a player stands on it but soon regenerate), conveyor belt, and spikes.
Structures are nothing more than non-connectible impassable platforms that vary considerably depending on the background motif you’ve chosen. The mountain motif features structures such as ancient pillars, arches, tree trunks, and mushrooms. The temple motif has structures that pretty much all feature pillars and stonework but arranged in different ways creating all sorts of different terrain to experiment with. The futuristic motif has objects that one might find on-board a spaceship, in a factory, or in some other highly mechanized facility–the most unique one probably being a window-paneled structure that one can go inside.
Note, however, that not all stage parts are available to you at the outset. There are three sets of parts you have to unlock via Challenges (none of which are at all difficult to accomplish).
- Edit Parts A: Brawl on custom stages 10 times.
- Edit Parts B: Create 5 stages in the Stage Builder.
- Edit Parts C: Make 15 stages in Stage Builder.
The Example Stages
Moreover, there are three custom stages available to you from the game by default, without you ever having to build a stage. The first, Sample S: Hole, is a small stage inside the space age facility with Boss Battle Song 1 as its musical theme. The comment says, “Do a meteor smash!” and the stage is designed to be amenable for just that. Two block formations make for a somewhat narrow shaft in the middle (with a horizontally moving platform underneath the right set of blocks–and a single bed of spikes under the left set). A drop block flanks each side of the stage. The second, Sample M: Bath, is designed to be (as its comment says) a “Death Match Arena,” and “Attack” from the Fire Emblem series is its music. It’s a medium-sized stage with the temple motif, and the stage itself is comprised largely of yellow stone blocks in a general U-formation (with spikes at the top of each side) keeping players more or less trapped inside–KOs will pretty much only take place out of the top of the screen, not the sides or bottom (although those are not impossible). There’s also a horizontally moving platform inside the U. The last stage, Sample L: Maze, as its comment suggests, contains “Blue sky below!”–meaning it’s in the outdoor mountain setting. It is a large stage and appropriately enough has “Skyworld” from Kid Icarus as its theme. The maze is a series of stone blocks composed in a labyrinthine structure in the upper half of the stage. The lower half is dangerously empty, composed of only a few moving platforms, a tree structure, and a single stone block.
So, Now What?
What players tend to find the custom stages most useful for are for building stages meant to collect things very quickly, like CDs, Stickers, Smash Coins, and even KOs–such stages are colloquially referred to as “factories.” For the first two, this usually involves turning off all items except Sandbag and utilizing conveyor belts (obtained with Edit Parts B) to move the Sandbags toward the player who waits to pummel them on a flat surface bordering the conveyor belt. Creating narrow horizontal tunnels lined on the bottom with beds of spikes is an excellent way to accumulate Smash Coins at a rapid rate in Coin Matches. Stages can also be manipulated to rack up quick KOs as well.
If you’ve made a cool custom stage and are tach-savvy enough to have a screenshot of your masterpiece, send us an email and we might post it up on this page for everyone to see.