Adventure Mode: The Subspace Emissary is a mode in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, similar to Melee's Adventure Mode. It is also called Story Mode. It was hinted at with the This world... Dojo update on July 20th, and fully unveiled on August 3rd.
On July 20th, Smash Bros. Dojo!! was updated with a collection of enigmatic images that depicted Mario and Kirby transforming from trophies into fighters (akin to the introduction of Melee). After Kirby’s apparent defeat at the hands of Mario (or vice versa, depending on which character the player has chosen), he is changed back into a trophy, but Mario reverses the transformation and Mario and Kirby shake hands. However, the sky darkens soon after, and Meta Knight’s ship, the Halberd, flies over the stadium, soon followed by the appearance of a mysterious character. The screen shots were accompanied with this description:
In this world, trophies fight. They know nothing but fighting. Fighting is the sole reason for their existence. Being turned back into a trophy, being unable to fight, is much like death. Those are the rules of this world. But...When someone...or something...breaks those rules, the world will pay a terrible price...
The post was placed under a mode referred to as “???” until August 3rd, when it was changed to "Adventure Mode." On August 3rd, Smash Bros. Dojo!! was updated again. This time, more information was given. The mode was dubbed “The Subspace Emissary,” and a multitude of screenshots were shown, as well as a cutscene related to the “This World…” update. In the cutscene, Mario and Kirby were seen shaking hands, as depicted in the screenshots, and after waving to the crowd, the Halberd appeared as it did in “This World…” The mysterious character from before was shown to be one of apparently many odd, robot-like creatures formed from some sort of shadowy matter. Princess Peach and Princess Zelda were seen watching from the sidelines, but rushed down to the middle of the stadium to assist Mario and Kirby in fighting the mysterious army. After Peach and Zelda reach the stage and help destroy the Primids, an entity from the sky called The Ancient Minister appears on the stage. The Ancient Minister drops a Subspace Bomb on the arena, then flies off. As Mario approaches the bomb, he is hit by a cannonball and is sent flying from the arena. Petey Piranha appears and captures Peach and Zelda in cages.
The various screen shots in the update depicted a multitude of new enemies, as well as a few familiar ones, such as a Hammer Bro, who was previously confirmed as an Assist Trophy, and Bullet Bills. There were also a new series of enemies that were introduced that are part of the Subspace army. Some enemies of the Subspace army appear to be helpful while other ones are dangerous.
Multiple stages are in Subspace. If more than two are listed, that means there are more parts of the story there. They are listed by order:
- Midair Stadium
- Sea of Clouds
- The Jungle
- The Plain
- The Lake
- The Ruined Zoo
- The Battlefield Fortress
- The Forest
- Research Facility I
- The Lake Shore
- The Path to the Ruins
- The Cave
- The Ruins
- The Wilds I
- The Ruined Hall
- The Wilds II
- The Swamp
- Research Facility II
- Outside the Ancient Ruins
- The Glacial Peak
- The Canyon
- Battleship Halberd Interior
- Battleship Halberd Exterior
- Battleship Halberd Bridge
- Subspace Bomb Factory I
- Subspace Bomb Factory II
- Entrance to Subspace
- Subspace I
- Subspace II
- The Great Maze
The Subspace Emissary mode is a side-scrolling adventure in the style of a platformer, inspired by the Mario and Kirby games. However, it retains all basic mechanics of Super Smash Bros., such as a damage meter, stocks and Smash-style attacks. It can also be classified as a beat 'em up.
The mode features a world map where stages are selected; once a stage is selected, the difficulty can be chosen, and the character(s) will enter the stage. The selectable characters will change depending on the plot. Also introduced on Oct. 5, 2007 you can play with two players but it is optional.
When playing a level for the first time, many cutscenes will pause just before gameplay begins, showing a view of all available characters. A message will tell how many characters can be chosen for the level, and a cursor will appear that will let you choose which characters to play. The order characters are chosen in is the order they will appear: they will cycle through in that order until all stock is depleted. Playing through a level again, there will be a screen before the level allowing you to choose between any available characters instead of cutscenes during the level. This can be both an advantage and a disadvantage: you have a wider character variety to choose from, but you must choose the full number of characters. On a six-stock stage, you must select six different characters. You can't just select four characters and have extra stock that will cycle through them as you could in many levels the first time. Additionally, no mid-level cutscenes will play, including ones that would normally allow you to choose new characters and replenish stocks. While on many levels this makes little difference, it is very problematic on long stages like the second Subspace Bomb Factory, where you have to beat the level with a fraction of the lives you would normally get playing through.
Also, some of the character's stats are changed in side-scrolling stages. The characters jumping height, running speed and falling speed are altered. The difference varies from character to character.(i.e.; Pokemon Trainer's Pokemon will not be affected by stamina).
In addition, grabbing physics are altered. Normal enemies cannot be held onto for any length of time; they will be thrown immediately after being grabbed. This means that choosing which throw to use must be done with the Control Stick during the grab animation; inputting no direction will result in a forward throw (with the exception of Donkey Kong, who cannot carry enemies in the SSE and instead will utilize his up-throw). Special moves that involve grabbing (such as Egg Lay and Inhale) are also altered - instead of grabbing, they either deal damage like normal moves or do nothing. Bosses and large enemies such as Big Primids cannot be grabbed.
Like other single-player modes, one can select different difficulty levels to play the Subspace Emissary. At the creation of a new game file a "default" difficulty is selected from Easy, Normal, Hard, Very Hard, and Intense. Stages normally use this default difficulty (which cannot be changed), although the difficulty of a stage can be altered before it is begun. The game keeps track of the hardest difficulty level each stage has been cleared at, and when a stage is selected, it suggests a difficulty higher than the highest completion level.
As one selects higher difficulties, the game makes these adjustments:
- Enemy health goes up, sometimes considerably.
- Enemies move and attack faster. Especially noticeable with Glires/Glices/Glunders, as well as the vulnerability period of Armanks and bosses.
- Some enemies use different attacks. The basic Primid does not use its rapid vacuum punches on Normal and below.
- Enemies and obstacles do more damage and have more KO power.
- Enemies are harder to flinch and damage.
- Enemies generally get smarter (such as attacking more often, or Bytans duplicating nonstop).
- More (and sometimes more dangerous) enemies appear during locked battles.
- Trackballs lose energy faster.
- Auroros can't be thrown as far. (On Intense, they die the instant you chuck them, preventing you from using them against other enemies.)
- Less favorable items appear, although more and more powerful healing items appear when enemies are defeated.
- Stock Balls may get rarer (or, in the case of Intense, not exist).
- Barrel Cannons and some other vehicles (such as the orange platforms in Research Facility) move faster, therefore being harder to control.
- Auto-scrolling areas scroll faster
- Moving walls, floors, and ceilings move faster, making the characters more easily crushed .
- Platforms move or fall faster.
- Bomb block explosion chains move faster.
- Switches last shorter.
- Wind speeds increase (including the wind from a Borboras), sometimes to nonsensical levels.
- Keys break easier.
- More, better, and rarer stickers appear.
- More collectibles (CDs, trophies, stickers) appear.
- More trophy stands appear.
- More coins are given at the end of each level.
Notes: Because it is possible to take more than one path in Adventure Mode, there are sometimes two characters' names, divided by slashes when describing a scenario. (i.e.; Peach/Zelda) This means that if you take the first path, the scenario involves the first character, and vice versa. Also, there is no official chapter-by-chapter layout to the actual mode; the following material is divided in to chapters strictly for the sake of clarity.
The following prologue material is pulled from information in in-game trophies and the Dojo, and is not depicted in in-game video cinematics.
The Subspace Emissary depicts two realms: The "main realm" of "our world", known as the World of Trophies and is very much a typical Earth-like setting, and the realm of Subspace, a world of darkness. The "master" of the world of Trophies is the entity known as Master Hand; likewise, Tabuu, the main villain of the plot, is the master of Subspace and the effective embodiment of it. Tabuu intends to cut the World of Trophies into pieces and assimilate them into his own world. In preparation for this plot, he has long observed Master Hand and the fighting denizens of the World of Trophies (hereby referred to as "Smashers"), studying the fighting styles and mechanics of the trophy-based characters. Tabuu himself cannot leave Subspace, so his plan is to gather and arrange an army that Master Hand would lead as his proxy.
Tabuu captures and enslaves Master Hand, and bends him to Tabuu's will using chains of light. Very shortly after acquiring Master Hand, Tabuu learns of a Smasher named Mr. Game & Watch, an entity without any concept of good or evil, composed of a trans-dimensional "mass" that has strange qualities. An infinite amount of a primordial substance known as Shadow Bugs can be extracted from the Smasher, so Tabuu and his puppet Master Hand capture him for themselves. Using the Shadow Bugs, Tabuu creates much of his Subspace Army, the force which he will have his puppet Master Hand command.
The next phase of Tabuu's plot centers on the Isle of Ancients, a mysterious land mass that floats in the sky above the World of Trophies. The society within the floating island is filled with advanced technology and is populated by a group of sentient robots classified as R.O.B.s, and they have existed for an indeterminate amount of time without any interaction with the civilizations on the landmass below. The hierarchy of this society comprises lesser R.O.B.s serving one R.O.B. known as the Master Robot.
Tabuu's Master Hand-led forces take the Isle of Ancients hostage, and the Master Robot and its R.O.B. brethren are blackmailed into agreeing to be the main front of the Subspace offensive. The R.O.B.s thus begin to develop and produce the various armaments and utilities to be used by the Subspace Army, including primarily the Subspace Bombs, timed devices that would explode to engulf a massive portion of the world into a pocket of Subspace and send that part of the World of Trophies into Tabuu's realm. Each bomb would be deployed by the Master Robot himself, and two R.O.B. minions would plug themselves into each bomb to set its countdown timer, which would essentially result in the sacrifices of each R.O.B. unit once that bomb detonates. The Master Robot, out of shame and sorrow for his decision to serve Tabuu, cloaks himself in a disguise and assumes the identity of "the Ancient Minister".
The Subspace Army also takes the plans for the Subspace Bombs and the technology from the Isle of Ancients and begins construction on the Subspace Gunship safely in Tabuu's realm. The Gunship is a colossal airship that can shoot out blasts that fully emulate the effects of a detonated Subspace Bomb; this would be the "ultimate weapon" of the Subspace Army and is Tabuu's intended trump card to complete the operation. But to make this giant airship enter "our world", a massive subspace portal must be made.
In addition, the R.O.B.s develop personal weapons called Dark Cannons, whose projectiles instantly turn any Smasher into its trophy form, thus emulating an ability Tabuu himself holds within his wings (a deadly assault known as Off Waves); the trophification of the Smashers would be Tabuu's intended measure to deal with any resistance they might mount against his operations. These prized weapons are few in number, though; indeed, Smashers themselves would best be able to use them. So to bolster the morale and organization of the Subspace Army, Tabuu has Master Hand seek out and recruit Smashers and other high-profile figures within the World of Trophies that would be willing to serve "Master Hand's" operation to assimilate their world into "his" realm of Subspace. Villainous characters that have had personal conflicts with other Smashers in the past are the ones Master Hand successfully recruit, such as Petey Piranha and Ridley, and the actual Smashers among them are the ones that are given Dark Cannons as the most major members and commanders of the Subspace Army: Ganondorf, Bowser, and Wario.
Ganondorf, a powerful, sinister warlock with aspirations for further power and control, swears allegiance to Master Hand in outward appearances only; his real motive is to usurp power from within and take out Master Hand when the time is right. Bowser, a brutish dragon-turtle-like Smasher with his own little army of grunts and minions, is relatively loyal to Master Hand and likely joins for the sake of settling his long-standing conflict with certain other Smashers, but does not care for Ganondorf. And Wario, a bellicose thug with a penchant for mischief, cares very little for the actual objective he was given and just wants to continue doing whatever he pleases, but he certainly appreciates having a Dark Cannon with which to turn Smashers into trophies. Of course, none of these three Smasher accomplices to Master Hand are aware of Tabuu.
Tabuu's final act of preparation for his invasion of the World of Trophies is the acquisition of the impressive flying warship named the Halberd, owned and piloted by the masked swordsman smasher Meta Knight, as a primary transportation means for the Subspace Army. So, the Subspace Army launches a violent attack against Meta Knight to take the ship for their own. Meta Knight attempts to defend, but by complete coincidence this attack fatefully coincides with an individual assault on Meta Knight by a rival of his, a self-styled "king" among Smashers named Dedede. Dedede unknowingly makes it impossible for Meta Knight to repel the Subspace Army's attack, so Meta Knight is forced to flee and give up his ship to the Army, and hide out in seclusion elsewhere (according to the DOJO!!, this scene was supposed to be included in the actual Adventure Mode).
Dedede, in the meantime, during his experience with being caught up in the Subspace Army's attack on the Halberd, comes to know all about Tabuu, his true nature and the potential of his Off Waves trophification ability. After he himself flees from the scene, Dedede begins to worry what will happen once all the Smashers of the world are turned into trophies; if every Smasher was reverted to trophy form, there would be no one left to restore them and each other, and the World of Trophies would effectively end by Tabuu's hand. Thus, Dedede gets to work on developing special brooches named Dedede Brooches, which are set to work on a timer; after a certain long period of time has passed, whichever inanimate Smasher trophy the brooch happens to be attached to would restore that Smasher to life. Dedede intends to use these Brooches on himself and some Smashers he may find as trophies down the line, so these revived Smashers would be able to combat Tabuu.
Tabuu's operation, in the meantime, has fully assembled all its resources and measures with which to commence the official invasion of the World of Trophies to slice it up and send its pieces back to Tabuu's realm of Subspace. With the Halberd serving as the Subspace Army's frontal flagship and effective "dropship", where it would deposit payloads of Shadow Bugs onto areas where the Subspace Army is needed to facilitate each of the Ancient Minister's bomb deployments, the Subspace Army thus begins its campaign.
High up in the sky, in an arena that is hence called the Midair Stadium, a fight is about to take place. A large crowd has gathered into the stadium and they, along with guest spectators Princess Zelda and Peach, excitedly await the arrival of the combatants. And then the fighters, the iconic protagonist of the world-renowned Mario Bros. series and close acquaintance to Peach; Mario, and the heroic, pink puffball Kirby, arrive at the arena in trophy form and take full shape. They fight a memorable and entertaining match. High above, a young angel named Pit watches the victor revive his fallen opponent. The two fighters shake hands and wave to the cheering crowd.
Suddenly the sky darkens and the Halberd appears, depositing a payload of Shadow Bugs into the stadium and forming Subspace Army units. Mario and Kirby are joined by Peach and Zelda and battle this mysterious invading force together. But just after doing so, what they perceive to be the leader of the army, the Ancient Minister, appears and deploys a Subspace Bomb. The four Smashers barely have time to investigate the bomb when all of a sudden, major Subspace Army member and enemy to Mario and Peach, Petey Piranha appears in the stadium and shoots a cannonball out of his mouth, blasting Mario out of the stadium and far into the sky. Petey immediately proceeds to capture Zelda and Peach in individual cages. Kirby must now face the gigantic plant monster and rescue the two hostages.
After Kirby defeats Petey the cages holding the princesses break. Kirby and the one princess he focused on rescuing first, Zelda/Peach, then watch as another major member of the Subspace Army, Wario, appears, holding a Dark Cannon. Wario points the gun at Kirby and Zelda/Peach, but then notices Peach/Zelda in her more helpless position, and he aims the Dark Cannon at her and a dark arrow emerges from the cannon and pierces the princess' body; turning her into a trophy. He then grabs the trophy and runs out of the stadium, and Kirby and Zelda/Peach begin to pursue him, but Kirby notices that the Subspace Bomb's countdown timer now remains at a mere 5 seconds before detonation. The Midair Stadium is then engulfed in a Subspace Explosion that consumes the arena and sends it and everyone inside it into to Subspace. Everyone except Kirby and Zelda/Peach who have just managed to flee the stadium by means of Kirby's Warp Star. The duo set off in pursuit of the Halberd and Peach/Zelda; carrying with them the hope of a world that is now in peril.
Back at Skyworld, Pit helplessly watches as the Midair Stadium is consumed in the explosion. Just then, the Skyworld goddess, Palutena, summons him and assigns him the task of liberating Skyworld (and not to mention, the world) from the Subspace menace. Palutena then gives Pit a magical bow to use as a weapon. With that, Pit sets out and gracefully descends into the clouds. Shortly afterward he sees the Halberd approaching and depositing a payload of Shadow Bugs into Skyworld, forcing Pit to begin his fight. After successfully fighting off several of the foes, Pit spots Mario, who has since been turned into a trophy which has landed in Skyworld since being blasted out of the Midair Stadium from a distance. Pit revives Mario, and the two team up to fight the Subspace Army and pursue the Halberd. The two heroes aren't quite fast enough to reach the battleship, though, but a smaller attack ship called an Arwing glides toward the Halberd while Pit and Mario continue on their journey.
Meanwhile, Kirby and Zelda/Peach have traveled on Kirby's Warp Star in search of the Halberd themselves. It eventually turns out however, that they are right in front of it and although surprised, they use the advantage to make a crash-landing on the roof of the Halberd. They dont have adequate time to explore the ship though, as the Arwing has caught up to the Halberd and engages it in combat. The Arwing is skilled and is able to dodge the shots fired at it but is no match for the Halberd's combo cannon which directly hits the Arwing and sends it spiraling out of control and nearly colliding with Zelda/Peach and Kirby. The gust from the near-collision however, is enough to make the duo fall off the Halberd. The two eventually make a landing at Skyworld, and after briefly exploring the Sea of Clouds, Kirby and Zelda/Peach finally make it to solid ground into a nearby field. After crossing the field, the two continue their search for the Halberd on foot.
The Subspace Emissary turns its attention to a region of jungle much distant from the current location of Kirby, Zelda/Peach, Mario and Pit. The Jungle is the domain of the gorilla Smasher Donkey Kong and his monkey Smasher nephew Diddy Kong. Their hoard of bananas is being stolen by the minions of Bowser's personal army of Goombas, Koopa Troopas, Hammer Bros., and the like, and the two simians fight their way in pursuit of their property. They eventually find their stash of bananas, but are then confronted by Bowser himself, who appears and takes the opportunity to shoot his Dark Cannon at Diddy. Donkey Kong, in a split-second decision, Giant Punches Diddy out of range of the Dark Arrow and takes the shot. Diddy briefly glimpses this before he is flung across the jungle while Bowser claims his prize.
On what may be the other side of the world, Mario and Pit have touched down on solid ground into a large plain and continue pursuit of the Subspace Army. Eventually, they come across the Ancient Minister himself and though the duo put up a valiant effort, the Ancient Minister still manages to escape.
In the jungle, Diddy swings his way through more of the jungle away from where he was saved from Bowser by Donkey Kong, and soon arrives at a lake. Diddy's plan is to evade Bowser for the time-being and look for help, and confront Bowser again when the time is right. Diddy then sees the smoking wreck of the Arwing that courageously but unsuccessfully combated the Halberd earlier, near the lake. Diddy begins to investigate, but then, out of the lake emerges an immense, serpentine beast, the legendary Pokémon Rayquaza, who is obviously angry with Diddy and the Arwing for invading its territory. Rayquaza blasts the wrecked Arwing with a Hyper Beam and grabs Diddy and prepares to finish him off. In the nick of time however, the pilot of the Arwing, Fox, jumps out of the burning wreckage and saves Diddy, and the two Smashers team up to defeat Rayquaza together.
Fox is about to head off on his own when he is stopped by Diddy, who tries to enlist Fox's help in searching for Bowser and try to get back Donkey Kong, and Diddy soon has to resort to literally dragging Fox behind him by his collar. Fox and Diddy then travel together and battle their way through more of Bowser's troops and other obstacles, and soon encounter the Koopa King himself, who strangely enough, seems to emit a purple aura and now possesses glowing yellow eyes and has grown larger, but nevertheless is defeated in battle. But just as Diddy and Fox are celebrating the victory, the trophy of Bowser dissolves into shadowbugs; revealing it as a mere clone. The real Bowser shows up and fires another shot from his Dark Cannon at them; through quick thinking and reflexes, Fox grabs Diddy and jumps off a cliff to save them both.
The story shifts its attention to a location elsewhere in the World of Trophies that is essentially a deserted, dilapidated zoo, and focuses on a young, timid boy named Lucas who has psychic powers. As he wanders around the zoo, he is suddenly confronted by Subspace Army forces and a colossal, animatronic statue referred to as the Porky Statue. Lucas tries to run from the statue, but trips and ends up trapped and practically doomed. But then another psychic child, Ness, heroically appears and shatters the statue with his PK Flash. The statue reveals itself to be containing the arch-nemesis of both Ness and Lucas, Porky Minch, an evil child serving the Subspace Army as a major member, operating his trademark spider mech. Lucas and Ness team up to defeat Porky in an extended battle.
Lucas and Ness are then attacked by Wario, who fires his Dark Cannon at Ness repeatedly. After several misses, Wario aims his weapon at Lucas, and Ness sacrifices himself to save Lucas with a shove. As Wario lets out his takes possession of his new trophy, a frightened Lucas runs away. Shortly afterward, Lucas runs into the more confident Pokémon Trainer, who is in the area seeking out more Pokémon to catch and currently owns a Squirtle. After defeating Subspace forces, the two boys go their separate ways but Lucas, remembering Ness, boldens up and joins the Pokemon Trainer. The two boys travel together from that point forward.
Elsewhere in the World of Trophies, in the middle of a vast, desert-like battlefield, swordsman prince Marth is standing on his fortress as he observes some R.O.B.s detonating a Subspace Bomb far out in the field. Marth races to investigate and find out how to stop whatever devastating plot's going on, but his fortress is besieged by the Subspace Army, forcing him to fight his way through repeated swarms of enemies until he gets to the grounds outside of the fortress. When he reaches the zone of the detonated Subspace Bomb, Meta Knight flies in and attacks Marth, each thinking that the other is a member of the Subspace Army. The two duel briefly, but soon they find they are surrounded by Subspace minions. The swordsmen quickly see that they aren't enemies with each other, and team up to battle the wave of Subspace Army grunts. After the battle, the two catch sight of the Ancient Minister carrying yet another Subspace Bomb, and they desperately try to catch up to him but fail. Out of nowhere, a third fellow swordsman named Ike appears where they are and attacks with his Aether sword technique, severing the unset bomb from under the Minister and sending the Minister whirling off into the sky. Ike joins the other two to form a swordsman trio that proceeds to pursue the Ancient Minister and attempt to stop him again.
By this point, King Dedede has learned that Bowser and Wario have joined the Subspace Army and are turning fighters into a collection of trophies. With his Dedede Brooch gambit in mind, he decides to start his own trophy collection. On a remote road, he and his Waddle Dee underlings find, subdue, and trophy-ize a lone Smasher, Mario's timid and slightly cowardly brother Luigi. Right as Dedede does this, he sees Wario passing by on his Cargo with the trophies of Peach/Zelda and Ness in tow, and figures this is a perfect opportunity to collect more trophies for himself. Dedede places the Luigi trophy alone on the road to lure Wario, and when Wario tries to collect this apparent freebie he is ambushed and swarmed by Waddle Dees while Dedede takes away the Luigi trophy, steals Wario's Cargo and drives away with it while the Waddle Dees try to catch up with the vehicle. Now Dedede has added Wario's previous trophy acquisitions of Ness and Peach/Zelda to his trophy collection, much to the chagrin of Wario.
In a thick forest in the southwest region of the World of Trophies, young hylian warrior Link, a close acquaintance to Zelda in the same way as Mario and Peach are associated, appears with a blue fairy he befriended as a child. He comes across the podium in which his trademark weapon, the Master Sword, is set into, and draws out and holds his sword once again. Shortly after, Link watches the Halberd pass over his airspace and deposit Subspace Army forces into his area. A sleeping denizen of the forest, the dinosaur Smasher Yoshi, wakes up to see this as well, and he and Link very quickly decide to team up to try to pursue the apparently threatening commodity that is the Halberd, fighting Subspace Army goons along the way.
Meanwhile, inside the Halberd itself, everything seems to be in order. The boxes and cargo are all properly and orderly stacked; with the exception however, of a single out-of-place cardboard box that is perched on a beam. The box then mysteriously stirs.
On the Isle of Ancients, a young woman named Samus Aran, an athletic and capable Smasher even in just her Zero Suit, has infiltrated the floating island and is now sneaking her way into the research facility areas, battling and defeating R.O.B. minions along the way. She soon comes upon a room where a captive electric Pokémon Smasher named Pikachu is trapped in a generator, with its electric qualities being cruelly siphoned to power the area's machines and technology. Samus breaks the sapping device with her Plasma Whip to save Pikachu, which sets off an alarm and causes many R.O.B. minions to enter the room and attack. The two Smashers team up and battle their way through the facility, and soon find a control room where Samus determines the location of what she has been apparently seeking out in the facility: Her personal Power Suit.
Kirby and Zelda/Peach in the meantime, have settled in the shore of another lake following their hands-on experience with the Halberd back in Skyworld. Kirby hears a menacing noise and chases after it, unknowingly leaving Zelda/Peach behind. Right after this happens, Zelda/Peach is rendered a trophy by a surprise attack from Bowser and his Dark Cannon. The Shadow Bug clone of Bowser that has accompanied Bowser comes up to the trophy and swarms over it, then forms itself into a Shadow Bug clone of the princess while Bowser retreats with the original trophy in tow. By that point, Link/Mario and Yoshi/Pit have arrived at this lake and are running through the area in their continued pursuit of the Halberd. The clone of Zelda/Peach tries to shoot Link/Mario and Yoshi/Pit with a Dark Cannon, but the weapon is destroyed when Pit/Link, who has also arrived at the lake shore with Mario/Yoshi, slices it in half with his weapon. The Zelda/Peach clone then faces Mario/Link and Pit/Yoshi and is defeated.
Link/Mario stops running to look up and see Mario/Link and Pit/Yoshi standing by the trophy of the fake clone of Zelda/Peach, which disintegrates. To Link/Mario's eyes, this appears as though Zelda/Peach has been destroyed by the other two Smashers, so in a rage Link/Mario launches an attack against Mario/Link, and their respective companions join the 2-on-2 fray. In spite of their noble vengeance, however, Link/Mario and Yoshi/Pit are eventually defeated by Mario/Link and Pit/Yoshi and turned into trophies. At that moment, King Dedede returns driving his Cargo (Mario/Link briefly glimpses the trophy of Peach/Zelda, as part of the Cargo's cargo) to grab the trophies of Link/Mario and Yoshi/Pit with the mechanical arm of his Cargo. But Kirby appears (the noise he heard earlier was the Cargo) from the back of the vehicle and cuts the arm in half to free the two trophies and immediately proceeds to revive them, to Dedede's shock and annoyance. The revived Link/Pit immediately returns thanks by shooting his bow-and-arrow at Dedede's Cargo in an attempt to slow it down, and the two pairs of Smashers appear to immediately forgive each other and join forces to form a five-man band (including Kirby) as they charge after Dedede's Cargo with the intent to save the other three trophies in Dedede's possession. They run as fast as they can to try to catch King Dedede, and run all the way into and through a cave complex in pursuit, the five heroes eventually glimpse Dedede's castle far in the distance, with the Halberd appearing to approach it. To reach the castle, they must go through a second cave complex.
In a control room somewhere, Ganondorf, who knows that Dedede and several Smasher trophies are in the castle below the Halberd's position, transmits the castle's coordinates to Bowser. Bowser acknowledges this by nodding his head, and then proceeds to the castle with his small army. By this point, it becomes clear that the Ancient Minister is not the leader of the Subspace Army as originally thought.
At a remote mountain near the ruined zoo, Lucas and the Pokémon Trainer see a dragon-like Pokémon named Charizard fly into a cave, and Lucas tags along as Pokémon Trainer follows Charizard down a path into an extensive series of ruins both underground and above ground. The two journey through the ruins and across an active lava pit until they confront Wario by the entrance to another underground ruin's cave's entrance. Seeing Wario and remembering Ness, Lucas grows bolder and joins the Pokémon Trainer's Squirtle to fight Wario and defeat him, which turns him into a trophy. Lucas is uplifted after having passed this test to overcome his own timidity, but he suddenly remembers Ness, and Lucas is distraught to see that the trophy of Ness that Wario originally took is nowhere in sight. Pokémon Trainer cheers him up by suggesting that Ness might be in the next set of cave ruins
In his personal castle, King Dedede decorates his three trophies - Luigi, Ness and Peach/Zelda - with his Dedede Brooches. He realizes he only has enough Brooches for the three trophies, and though dejected by the thought of having to take off the one he intended for himself to put it on the princess' trophy, he does so, intending to make another Brooch for himself later. However, at that moment Bowser and his troops begin their invasion of the castle. The ceiling collapses sending large cement blocks to the floor below, one of which hits Dedede right on the top of his head; incapacitating him. Bowser then sees the trophy of Peach/Zelda - the other princess he has been wanting to capture since his capture of Zelda/Peach earlier - whilst investigating and grabs it and runs away from the castle, unaware of the other trophies of Luigi and Ness he's leaving behind buried under the rubble.
Some time later, Mario, Link, Pit, Yoshi and Kirby clear the cave complexes leading to the castle, and catch up to Bowser and when Mario sees his personal nemesis, he attempts to punch him; Bowser forces Mario to miss by holding up Peach/Zelda's trophy as a shield. Pit fires an arrow that Bowser barely dodges, but which forces the Dedede Brooch off of Peach/Zelda's trophy and Bowser to fall off the cliff. Luckily for Bowser, his Koopa Clown Car picks him up and the Koopa King then makes his getaway to the Halberd above with the Princess' trophy in tow, to the inner frustration of Mario and his group. Kirby in the meantime investigates the dropped Dedede Brooch. Thinking it's food, he decides to eat it. While all this is happening, the Ancient Minister and his R.O.B. minions deploy and set a Subspace Bomb outside of Dedede's castle, and as Ganondorf watches on the display screen in his control chamber, the detonation engulfs the castle (and the trophies of Dedede, Luigi, and Ness inside it). Ganondorf then receives new orders from Master Hand on his display screen.
Back at the underground ruins, the Pokemon Trainer and Lucas continue to explore in search of their respective goals (Lucas searches for Ness' trophy while Pokémon Trainer seeks wild Pokémon to battle and capture), fighting off the Subspace Army all throughout their trek, Pokémon Trainer encounters and captures the plant-lizard Ivysaur and teams with Lucas to defeat and catch the Charizard they saw earlier. The two boys eventually make it into a great underground hall, which for all intents and purposes is a dead-end for them.
Back at the desert-like area, Marth, Ike, and Meta Knight see a colossal, mechanical agent of the Subspace army named Galleom patrolling the desert, and they decide to pursue it through the desert until they engage it in battle. Though Galleom proves to be a fiercely powerful opponent, the swordsmen do defeat it, but the still-operational beast leaps down a nearby cliff face into the front of the cave ruins. The ground below Galleom collapses under its weight because there is a huge empty hall right below its position, so it falls down into the ground to end up at the bottom of the giant hall which happens to be right where Pokémon Trainer and Lucas are. Galleom immediately attacks the boys in its second battle in a row, but they defeat the robot like the swordsmen did before. Thoroughly weakened, Galleom sets a Subspace Bomb with a 15-second countdown timer hidden within its head as an emergency feature, and grabs the boys and flies upwards out of the hall, out of the ground and into the sky. The Pokémon Trainer has fainted, much to Lucas' despair, but Lucas, now gaining his courage, uses his own PK Thunder attack to blow apart Galleom's arm and sever themselves from the robot's body. They both enter free fall to what seems like certain doom, until Meta Knight - who had been watching events unfold from nearby with the other two swordsmen - flies and catches them both at the last second. Behind them, Galleom's Subspace Bomb detonates at around the mountain, sucking up the Wario trophy that was left behind at the mountain's cave entrance into Subspace. Lucas and the Pokémon Trainer happily share a handshake while accompanied by the three swordsmen. Marth, Ike, Meta Knight, Pokemon Trainer and Lucas then form a team.
The Ancient Minister, witnessing the detonation of Galleom's Subspace Bomb from a different region of the same desert, continues to exhibit an increasing sorrow over the sacrifices of his R.O.B. brethren that occur whenever they set and detonate such a bomb themselves. He now has another Subspace Bomb in tow, which he is to deploy elsewhere in the desert. Then, Pit arrives and shoots an arrow at the Minister which he dodges, and the Ancient Minister flees. Pit, Mario, Yoshi, Kirby and Link then give chase. The Minister continues to elude their best attempts to stop his operation, firing shots at the heroes all the while. R.O.B. minions successfully set-up and activate the Subspace Bomb's inevitable countdown timer, which cannot be stopped however hard the Smashers try, and as the detonation ensues, one R.O.B. unit waves "good-bye" at the Minister, who looks depressed to say the least. The 5-man group escapes the huge Subspace explosion with Mario riding on Yoshi, and Link, Pit and Kirby escaping on the Warp Star.
Fox and Diddy Kong have been traveling east through the jungle and swamp since their last encounter with Bowser, which had ended by jumping off a cliff, and they have been continuing to battle Subspace Army goons and Bowser's troops. As they eventually leave the jungle, Diddy is suddenly shot by a Dark Cannon blast care of Bowser. A swarm of Shadow Bugs, under Bowser's command, then crawl over Diddy's trophy, then form a Shadow Bug clone of Diddy. Fox appears to be out-manned and about to be turned into a trophy himself when his wingmate, fellow pilot Falco Lombardi, flies in his own Arwing and jumps out to save the day. He kicks the Dark Cannon out of Bowser's hands and destroys it with his two blasters. Bowser then flees in his Koopa Clown Car, but the clone of Diddy then absorbs many more Shadow Bugs to grow to three times its size. Fox quickly revives the original Diddy, and the three team up and battle and destroy the evil clone together.
After the battle, Falco is about to head off on his own when he is stopped by Diddy, who tries to enlist Falco's help in searching for Donkey Kong, and Diddy soon has to resort to literally dragging Falco behind him by his collar much like Fox before him. Falco looks at Fox in a questioning way while Fox shakes his shoulders. Falco, Fox and Diddy then travel together and battle their way through a swamp as they face more troops and Subspace minions. At a river ending in a cliffside waterfall, they eventually see a Smash Skiff with DK's trophy on it fly off towards the Isle of Ancients in the sky in the distance. Falco calls for support in the form of the Great Fox, Fox and Falco’s co-owned command vessel, so that the three Smashers can fly in the direction of the transport.
Samus and Pikachu continue their exploration through the Isle of Ancient’s research facility in search of Samus's Power Suit, encountering and battling their way through more R.O.B. units and Subspace Army grunts. Upon finally reaching the room with the suit, the pair are confronted by two Shadow Bug clones of the Suit, which they soon dispatch. Soon, Power Suit Samus is back in action, and together she and Pikachu continue their run through the base in search of whoever is leading the R.O.B. units so that they can shut down the base. When they reach a particular dead-end, however, Samus is assaulted by her arch-nemesis, the dragon-like Ridley and major Subspace Army member, who keeps up a thorough, brutal onslaught upon Samus until Pikachu saves her by attacking Ridley with its Thunder attack. While Samus is fazed from the experience, her power suit is still functional and she and Pikachu team up to successfully defeat Ridley. The two victorious Smashers proceed to exit out of a secret door into the exterior portion of the Isle of Ancients, whereupon they see some R.O.B. units carrying Subspace Bombs out of another part of the base that appears to be a factory for Subspace Bombs. Samus and Pikachu decide to reenter the base through that opening with sabotage likely in mind.
On another exterior portion of the Isle, outside a set of ancient ruins, a little astronaut named Captain Olimar is engaged in commanding his plantlike minions, the Pikmin, to attack an oversized R.O.B. unit. The Pikmin are nearly wiped out by the R.O.B unfortunately. Olimar was worried about being trophy-ised when a red pikmin alerts him to something behind him. All of a sudden, an extremely fast racing machine piloted by superhero-like bounty hunter Captain Falcon zooms into view, and Captain Falcon leaps out and destroys the R.O.B. with a decisive Falcon Punch. But as he lands, he accidentally wipes out all but one of the remaining Pikmin. That mishap aside, the two captains decide to team up and fight their way through that area of the Isle, and they make it to the isle’s edge. There, they watch as the Smash Skiff carrying Donkey Kong's trophy approaches the island, and Falco's Arwing flies in, which drops Diddy onto it, who in turn blasts the Subspace grunts occupying the transport and revives Donkey Kong. Captain Falcon then jumps down onto the transport with Olimar in tow and introduces themselves to the apes, and when more waves of the Subspace Army attack, the four of them battle the forces off together. The transport then autopilots itself into the interior of the Isle, giving the two captains and the two apes the perfect opportunity to sneak in and strike at the core of the menace from within...
Back in the desert, Meta Knight sees the Halberd engaging in a battle with the Great Fox near a mountain. Leaving Marth, Ike, Lucas, and the Pokémon Trainer behind on the ground, he takes off after his warship and charges his way up the mountain. Along the way he passes by a pair of mountain-climbing parka-clad children named the Ice Climbers currently hiking up the mountain, and they take Meta Knight’s course as a challenge, so they try to get up to the top of the mountain before him. Meta Knight and the Ice Climbers eventually make it to the glacial peak after having to fight through more of the Subspace Army together. The Ice Climbers reached the top a little while before Meta Knight, and the two happily celebrate their victory.
At the peak of the glacial mountain, Meta Knight encounters a meditating, mystic Pokémon named Lucario, who challenges Meta Knight to a duel. Meta Knight/Lucario wins the battle, and he revives Lucario/Meta Knight from his trophy-state afterward, with the two combatants shaking hands in respect. Just then, the Halberd, which has won its battle with the Great Fox and has it tied underneath itself, rams the Great Fox into the mountain, causing the Ice Climbers to fall off to the bottom, but Meta Knight and Lucario manage to jump onto the ship and enter its interior. The Ice Climbers in the meantime meet up with Marth, Ike, Lucas, and the Pokémon Trainer at the bottom of a mountain canyon, and are subjected to another wave of Subspace Army soldiers, but luckily Mario's five-man group arrives and jumps down to help out the other group in combating the Subspace Army. After a long fight, the two teams are victorious.
Inside the Halberd, out of a cardboard box disguise emerges a special forces agent codenamed Solid Snake, who had infiltrated the Halberd much earlier in the story for the likely reason that he is trying to combat the menace of the Subspace Army in their own battleship in his own way. As the heavily damaged Great Fox is seen flying away from the Halberd, Snake continues to sneak through the battleship, but quickly hides himself in his box when he hears Meta Knight and Lucario approaching his position. As the other two Smashers pass by, Lucario’s attunement to Aura allows him to sense Snake in the box, and Lucario blows Snake’s cover by lifting up the box. Snake prepares to fight them and Meta Knight was about to fight when Lucario uses his Aura Sight to see Snake's dark blue Aura (a sign of good). He hears a noise and sees primids approacing. The others see this as well. With another wave of Subspace Army units on the way to attack them, though, Snake joins Meta Knight and Lucario in combating their way through the battleship. The three make their way into a room that has Zelda and Peach's captive trophies in cages; almost immediately, Shadow Bugs swarm over the Trophies and create Shadow Bug clones of them both to fight. After the clones are defeated, the princesses are freed and revived, and Snake tells them to stay put in the room while he and the other two keep looking around.
After Snake, Meta Knight, and Lucario leave, Zelda transforms into her alternate guise Sheik and she and Peach make a battle-filled journey of their own on the exterior of the Halberd in spite of Snake's order, eventually making it to the front deck of the Halberd. At the same time they arrive at that area, Fox, now piloting another Arwing, engages the Halberd again, and destroys one of the battleship’s turrets, but the explosion occurs dangerously close to Peach’s current position. Sheik, thinking Fox was shooting at Peach, teleports onto Fox's Arwing and punches straight through the canopy, and forces Fox to eject out of the Arwing onto the front deck. The two are about to engage in a violent fight when they are stopped by Peach, who offers each of them a cup of tea. Fox is stunned, but realizes that Sheik and Peach aren't his enemies.
In the meantime, Snake, Meta Knight, and Lucario have made it to the Halberd’s main control room, where they discover several copies of what appears to be Mr. Game & Watches infesting the place. They send the clones flying through the windows of the control room onto the main deck where Fox and the princesses are, and the clones melt into Shadow Bugs, which merge into a gigantic, immensely powerful mechanical monster named Duon. As Meta Knight stays behind to regain control of his ship, Snake and Lucario jump out to join Peach, Sheik, and Fox, and Falco jumps out of his Arwing to join the fight as well. The six heroes engage in an intense fight with the monster and eventually defeat it, and the monster melts and leaves behind the intact trophy of Mr. Game & Watch. Peach revives Mr. Game & Watch and scolds him for the trouble he caused. Mr. Game And Watch feels ashamed for this, so Peach lets him join their group. Now, the Halberd has been retaken.
Back at the Isle of Ancients, Samus and Pikachu’s infiltration of the Subspace Bomb Factory plays out at the same time as Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Captain Falcon, and Captain Olimar’s own infiltration of the Isle’s same factory complex. Thus, the two groups of Smashers cross paths with each other, in the final room of the Isle of Ancients… and are all faced with none other than the Ancient Minister himself, the full remnants of the R.O.B. Squad, and hundreds of Subspace Bombs. The Ancient Minister hangs his head as if he is sad, though, and appears entirely unwilling to perform any more detonations, but then a holo-projection of Ganondorf appears and gives the R.O.B. Squad the command to set every bomb in the facility simultaneously. The Minister defiantly stands in the way of his brethren to stop them, but Ganondorf manually controls the enslaved R.O.B.s and have them shoot their former "master", setting his cloak aflame. Then as the R.O.B.s set each bomb, the other Smashers desperately try to stop them and their bombs, but to no avail. As Ganondorf's projected image disappears, he summons hordes of Auroros to distract the heroes. After dispatching much of the Auroros with his eye lasers, The burning Ancient Minister quickly chooses now to shed off the flaming cloak and reveal his true appearance and identity to the Smashers as the Master Robot of the R.O.B.s and a Smasher himself, and officially joins forces with the other Smashers in battling the Subspace minions. After the battling, though, it is all too clear that the detonation of the Subspace Bombs is inevitable. Captain Falcon remotely calls his personal flying ship, the Falcon Flyer, to arrive in the Isle of Ancients so that everyone may escape from the island in time. Donkey Kong decides to carry R.O.B. as he bids a final, sad farewell to the other R.O.B.s. Afterward, everyone piles into the ship and flies off towards the isle's exit at full-speed. However, Ridley reappears, now having been reconstructed as a cybernetic version of himself named Meta Ridley, and pursues the Falcon Flyer as it tries to make its escape. The Smashers must set the Flyer's autopilot on, then climb onto its roof to engage Meta Ridley in a high-velocity mid-air clash. They soon manage to defeat Meta Ridley in time to pilot the Falcon Flyer out of the Isle of Ancients, as the floating island is completely engulfed in a titanic Subspace explosion generated by many Subspace bombs set off simultaneously in close proximity.
In the desert, Mario, Link, Pit, Yoshi, Kirby, Marth, Ike, Lucas, Pokémon Trainer, and the Ice Climbers witness the Subspace explosion as it occurs far off-shore. The Falcon Flyer containing R.O.B., Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Samus, Pikachu, Captain Falcon, and Captain Olimar flies in and lands near the other group of Smashers, and at the same time the Halberd, containing Meta Knight, Peach, Zelda, Fox, Falco, Lucario, Mr Game & Watch and Snake, arrives and lands near the others. The two-dozen-plus Smashers fully acquaint themselves with each other and presumably discuss matters at hand.
Out of the huge rift between realms left behind by the detonation of the Subspace Bombs at the former location of the Isle of Ancients, the completed Subspace Gunship halfway emerges out of Subspace into the World of Trophies; indeed, the purpose of the original detonation of so many Subspace Bombs was to open a rift between realms physically large enough to allow the Subspace Gunship through. (It was also because there would be no need for the Subspace Bomb Factory at the Isle of Ancients anymore once the Gunship enters the world.) The incredibly large main cannon, as operated by Ganondorf and Bowser visible on the vessel's top canopy, produces a test-shot at an off-to-the-side area of the ocean that generates a huge Subspace explosion.
Then, Ganondorf and Bowser see the Halberd charging forward towards their position at full throttle. At Ganondorf's order, the hundreds of turrets lining the Gunship begin firing their lasers all at once; the Halberd, though able to dodge several shots, is completely destroyed in an explosion from the onslaught. Immediately, however, the lesser aircraft containing all the Smashers - the Falcon Flyer, Samus' personal gunship, Fox or Falco's Arwing, and Captain Olimar's Hocotate rocket - emerge from the dust cloud, zooming towards the portal to Subspace connected to the Subspace Gunship and skillfully dodging every round of turret fire. Then Kirby, individually piloting his "personal" ship, the Dragoon, flies straight into the Gunship and pierces it cleanly, causing the Gunship to begin exploding and disintegrating from the inside. Ganondorf and Bowser must return to Subspace, while the other five ships manage to enter Subspace. Now inside the realm of Subspace, the combined force of Smashers - Mario, Peach, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Yoshi, Link, Zelda, Samus, Pit, Ice Climbers, R.O.B., Kirby, Meta Knight, Captain Olimar, Fox, Falco, Captain Falcon, Pikachu, Pokémon Trainer, Lucario, Marth, Ike, Lucas, Mr. Game & Watch, and Snake - begin their exploration of the Subspace realm in search of whatever is responsible for the Subspace invasion and to put a stop to it.
Ganondorf and Bowser are on their way to report to Master Hand, but Ganondorf decides now is the time to go through with his intended plan to usurp the power of the Master Hand, so he turns his Dark Cannon on Bowser and renders Bowser a trophy without Bowser ever knowing. Then he meets Master Hand in person... but immediately sees the chains of light binding Master Hand, and looks upon the puppetmaster Tabuu for the first time - the true orchestrator of the plot to send the World of Trophies into Subspace, Tabuu's own realm. Shocked and angered that he has been used by Tabuu the whole time, Ganondorf leaps forward to attack Tabuu, but the incredibly powerful entity attacks Ganondorf and turns him into trophy form without much exertion. The force of the impact of Ganondorf's trophy against Master Hand physically snaps the chains of light from Master Hand, who falls to the ground free from Tabuu's mind-control. Master Hand regains his composure and immediately and angrily tries to attack Tabuu with all he's got, but he too is defeated very easily. The force of Smashers arrive in time to witness the fallen Master Hand and look upon the master of Subspace, but before they have an opportunity to do anything, Tabuu seizes this incredibly convenient opportunity, stretches his wings, and releases his full-powered Off Waves. Every single Smasher is instantly trophy-ized without further incident.
As the Smasher trophies are scattered and lost within the Subspace realm, Tabuu takes the portions of the World of Trophies that prior Subspace Bomb detonations had sent to his realm, and rearranges them to construct a nightmarish, extensive maze, filled with shadowy versions of fighters and reincarnations of major Subspace Army members and other monsters (including Ridley, Duon, and even Rayquaza), all of which were created based on detailed analysis carried out by the Subspace Army. The creation and future expansion of this twisted project was apparently Tabuu's desire all along in wanting to assimilate the world of Trophies into Subspace, and now with quite literally every Smasher in the World of Trophies turned into a trophy and removed as a threat to his operation, there appears to be nothing else that could possibly stop Tabuu from taking the rest of the World of Trophies for himself.
In the portion of the Subspace Realm currently containing the World of Trophies area containing Dedede's castle, and thus the inanimate trophies of King Dedede, Luigi, and Ness within, the timers within the Dedede Brooches attached to Luigi and Ness reach zero, and suddenly revive the two Smashers. After a moment of gathering the current circumstances, they make the connection that it was King Dedede who caused them to revive, so they revive King Dedede from trophy-form in return. Dedede is ecstatic that his gambit has paid off and is deeply thankful to Ness and Luigi for reviving him, so now they agree to team up, search the rest of Subspace, and collect and revive the trophies of the other fighters. When they reach the area where Master Hand lies motionless and Tabuu's Great Maze is located nearby, King Dedede sees the trophy of Bowser, and revives him. Bowser immediately roars and engages Dedede in battle, who defeats Bowser and turns him back into a trophy. Dedede revives Bowser again, and when the ever-so-pompous Bowser roars and tries to confront Dedede again, Dedede casually smacks Bowser in the face upside, and points him to the rest of the scene. Bowser absorbs the current state of affairs and begrudgingly allows himself to join Dedede's group in combating Tabuu.
Elsewhere in Subspace, Kirby is suddenly and spontaneously revived out of trophy state. He spits out the Dedede Badge he had inhaled a long while back - this is what caused him to revive. Kirby thus sets out on his own exploration of Subspace, battling Subspace Army minions and finding and restoring Smasher Trophies along the way. By the time he makes it to the same area that Dedede is in, He finds Ganondorf's trophy. Before he could do anything, however, Bowser comes out of nowhere and physically vents out his anger at Ganondorf's trophy in response to Ganondorf blasting him with a Dark Cannon earlier, before heading off to join everyone else in the Great Maze. When they Kirby and King Dedede see each other, Dedede gives Kirby the famous "Dedede glomp", and enthusiastically drags Kirby along for the final confrontation in Tabuu's Great Maze. It becomes clear that Dedede and Kirby have had the potential to collect and restore almost every Smasher trophy independently.
If Wario's trophy, which had been sucked into Subspace after his last encounter with Lucas at the Ruins in the World of Trophies, became one of the trophies that Kirby revived during his run, Wario will briefly confront Dedede over what Dedede had done to him long ago (when Dedede stole Wario's Cargo and trophy collection), but is taken aback to see that Ness and Luigi - two of the trophies he would have had in his possession had Dedede not stolen them - are in support of Dedede. All three of them point Wario to Tabuu's Great Maze nearby to tell him that they are about to engage Tabuu in a battle to the end to save the World of Trophies; Wario, after a moment of self-reflection, hops on his motorbike and rides straight into the maze to assist all the other Smashers. In a similar situation, if Link and Zelda's trophies had been revived earlier during Dedede and Kirby's runs, they then come over to Ganondorf's trophy, and agree to revive him; in the past, prior to the Subspace invasion, Link and Zelda together have had personal conflicts with Ganondorf of their own, but they propose to the newly revived Ganondorf to work with everyone else in the upcoming battle against Tabuu. As the two leave, Ganondorf clenches his fist, frustrated by the fact that he was tricked by Tabuu and now he has to join forces with his two greatest rivals. However, he understands that Tabuu is the bigger foe, and puts his personal grudges aside. Thus, the formerly villainous Smashers Bowser, Ganondorf, and Wario, and the other Smashers King Dedede, Luigi, and Ness join the other two-dozen-plus Smashers in their greatest challenge.
The Smashers enter and explore Tabuu's Great Maze, reliving the many challenges they faced throughout the Subspace invasion of the World of Trophies, while battling the dark versions of the Smashers and the reincarnated major members of the Subspace Army that were all set up to guard the labyrinth. Through an epic, lengthy, and combat-filled exploration all across the Great Maze, the thirty-plus heroes finally reach Tabuu. Tabuu immediately spreads his wings and readies a second helping of his Off Waves assault, but all of a sudden, out of nowhere a new hero arrives: an extremely speedy hedgehog named Sonic, having probably been in the area where the Subspace Gunship had fired, and had been exploring Subspace ever since, flies straight through Tabuu's wings and shatters them, crippling his trophification ability. The weakened Tabuu, having been caught off guard by this attack, proceeds to engage in combat against the Smashers outright, and Sonic joins the other heroes in facing Tabuu down in the final struggle. Tabuu is the most powerful opponent they have faced, but in the end Tabuu is finally defeated. Tabuu explodes, which sends all of the segments of his Great Maze back to their former locations in the World of Trophies(except for the Isle of the Ancients, due to the fact that hundreds, if not thousands of subspace bombs detonated there, making it impossible to restore), restoring them "all" to normal, and all the Smashers manage to escape the Subspace realm back to their world.
The World of Trophies has been saved, and the thirty-plus heroic Smashers stand triumphant on a cliff face and share a brilliant sunset. This victory has not been without a heavy price, though: the sheer number of Subspace Bombs involved in the explosion that consumed the Isle of Ancients has prevented that area of space from ever being able to return to normal in spite of the complete removal of Subspace, so the Isle is permanently gone, with an X-shaped mark of light remaining in its place. As such, R.O.B. remains the last of his kind.
These battles are fought with the bosses having a specific amount of health; once their health runs out, they are defeated.
- Petey Piranha-(fought by Kirby)
- Rayquaza-(fought by Fox and Diddy Kong)
- Porky-(fought by Ness and Lucas)
- Galleom-Part 1 (fought by Marth, Ike, and Meta Knight)
- Galleom-Part 2 (fought by Lucas and Pokémon Trainer)
- Ridley-(fought by Samus and Pikachu)
- Duon-(fought by Fox, Falco, Lucario, Snake, Peach, and Sheik in a party of 4)
- Meta Ridley-(fought by Samus/Zero Suit Samus, Pikachu, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Captain Falcon, Olimar, and R.O.B. in a party of 4)
- Tabuu-(fought by King Dedede, Luigi, Ness, Bowser, Kirby, Sonic and any rescued characters in a party of 6)
Due to these battles being against smashers or slightly modified versions of same, they are fought like regular brawls.
- Kirby/Mario-(fought by Mario/Kirby)
- False Bowser-(fought by Diddy Kong and Fox)
- False Peach/False Zelda-(fought by Link/Yoshi and Mario/Pit)
- Mario/Link and Pit/Yoshi-(fought by Link/Yoshi and Mario/Pit (1 is CPU controlled unless Co-op Mode))
- Wario-(fought by Lucas and Squirtle)
- Charizard-(fought by Ivysaur, Lucas, and Squirtle)
- Giant False Diddy Kong-(fought by Falco, Diddy Kong, and Fox)
- 2 False Samuses-(fought by Zero Suit Samus and Pikachu)
- Lucario/Meta Knight-(fought by Meta Knight/Lucario)
- False Peach and False Zelda-(fought by Meta Knight, Lucario, and Snake)
- Bowser-(fought by King Dedede)
- All Bosses and Clones of all characters but Sonic and below characters (fought by any characters rescued in Subspace in a party of 4)
- Toon Link-(fought by 1 character that entered the Forest) (optional)
- Wolf-(fought by 1 character that entered the Ruins) (optional)
- Jigglypuff-(fought by 1 character that entered the Swamp) (optional)
Note: When only one character is available to fight a boss or mini-boss in Co-op mode, the second player plays as a color change of that character.
Other special enemy battle
- The Pig King Statue (The Ruined Zoo)
The vast majority of character interaction in the Subspace Emissary takes place through gestures and expressions, augmented by short grunts or exclamations. The only spoken words besides a quick "Hey!" or "Yeah!" are those that are a distinctive part of a character's attacks, like PK Thunder or Falcon Punch, or taunt-like sounds that have been put in key places. The only character who speaks in more than one cut scene is Pikachu. However, in the cutscene preceding the stage 'Battleship Halberd Interior', Solid Snake, after revealing himself, says to the camera "Kept you waiting, huh?". In Jigglypuff's only scene the crowd chants, making them the only non playable character to say a line.
Similarities to Kirby Super Star and other Kirby games
Because the Kirby and Smash Bros. games were both developed by Masahiro Sakurai, The Subspace Emissary contains gameplay elements similar to the sub-games of Kirby Super Star and other elements from Kirby games. One should keep in mind that the Kirby series and Smash Bros. franchise are two different things.
- The Halberd plays a very strong role in both games, and in both, it breaks/explodes and crashes in the ocean.
- Being chased down by the Pig King Statue is similar to being chased down by the Heavy Lobster (including the enemy, activating switches, the foe destroying anything in its path and a small delay from the foe).
- Both feature cart rides and special devices that propel characters forwards. The later's design and function comes directly from KSS. Additionally the special propelling devices puts characters in a shield position just like KSS.
- Various Kirby games have doors.
- The Space Jump is just like how P2 from Super Star comes back to P1.
- The final boss (Tabuu) teleports around the stage repeatedly (a common feature in most final bosses in Kirby games, such as Marx and Nightmare).
- Bosses such as Dyna Blade or Marx has similar moves to Ridley and Tabuu.
- The Subspace Emissary has a map that allows the player to re-enter a stage anytime they want, this was also in Milkyway Wishes and Dynablade
- Elevators are also in both games, however, you can get crushed, unlike Kirby Super Star's elevators, which will pass you with no harm.
- Enemies may drop items in KSS case, food while in SE, random items including stickers.
- Golden boxes are inspired from the treasure chests from Great Cave Offensive, once you get the prize it will not appear again. This also applies to the Copy Ability Deluxes (not the ones in Milky Way Wishes), and food to green boxes.
- Bosses never flinch (except King Dedede, Whispy Woods and possibly Kracko) (Until Kirby and the Amazing mirror, stars appear rather than flash and in KSS there are small sparks if the enemy is hit.
- Feyeshes drown immediately in water. References how enemies die upon contact with water (though it first started in Kirby's Dreamland but now enemies will stay in water before disappearing).
- Jyks are similar to Kirby's Gordos, they sit and some move in a repeated pattern, invincible and have spikes.
- The planet Floria in Milky Way Wishes has a similar concept to the day-changing doors, except that it has four rooms and they are based on seasons instead of day and night.
- King Dedede first appears to be evil but later turns out to have good intentions in most Kirby games.
- All the Kirby characters play a significant role in the game.
- Saves a Princess
- Saves Mario and Pit/Link and Yoshi from King Dedede
- Destroys the Subspace Gunship
- Frees a good fraction of the Smashers turned into trophies by Tabuu
- Meta Knight:
- Saves Lucas and the Pokemon Trainer from falling to their doom
- Retakes the Halberd
- King Dedede:
- His Dedede broaches
- Also frees a good fraction of the Smashers turned into trophies by Tabuu
Gameplay Differences from Other Modes
Despite characters using the same moves and using much of the same engine as in the other modes of Brawl, many differences exist.
- Luigi cannot rise in the air above a pathetic bare minimum using his Luigi Cyclone, as opposed to the attack's large recovery when brawling. It is believed this is because the gravity of the Adventure Mode is slighty higher than that of normal matches.
- The running speed of some characters has also been decreased, however, any character that Player Two controls will have an increased dash speed if Player One is somewhat ahead.
- The Pokemon Trainer's Pokemon will not tire in Adventure Mode.
- The jumping ability of some characters has also been altered. It is most notable with Jigglypuff, whose vertical range is now one of the worst, as it has no UpB to aid recovery, and even Rising Pound's effect is reduced.
- However, everyone can swim a little longer in any of the bodies of water you can find.
- In the Subspace Emissary, you cannot get Star KO'd - you crash into the top of the screen; this does not apply when you're fighting a Subspace Clone in the Great Maze or a boss, or in a forced battle.
- Mario and Kirby fighting might be a reference to the Super Smash Bros. intro, which Mario and Kirby are seen fighting in a field. Another similarity is to the opening of Super Smash Bros. Melee, which included a Mario trophy "coming to life" as it lands in a stadium.
- The Subspace Emissary plot is not canonical to any game series overall storyline.
- This mode is the recommended method to unlock secret characters, since once they join your party, they can be used in all other modes right away.
- In the mode's cutscenes, whenever a character is introduced with their name appearing on-screen, the accompanying sound is lower for villainous characters than for heroic characters. Zero Suit Samus and King Dedede have unique introduction sounds: Zero Suit Samus's sounds similar to a flash (possibly referring that she is only temporarily in the story); and King Dedede's is the beginning of his theme, though, once his name appears, the theme fades out and we can hear the usual lower sound (possibly referring that whatever he did after his introduction might be evil, but it is for a good reason).
- All the unlockable characters in the SSE are introduced in the same order as to how many brawls it takes to unlock them with the exception of Ganondorf and Mr. Game & Watch. Also Toon Link, Jigglypuff, and Wolf can be introduced in any order depending on the order you go into The Ruins, The Swamp, and The Forest after completing The Great Maze.
- For whatever reason, Mr. Game & Watch, and all bosses (except Tabuu and Master Hand) are never formally introduced.
- Captain Olimar's ship was left behind on the floating isle, but it somehow reappears during the gunship scene.
- The only characters who fought a boss more than once (besides rescued characters at the end of the Great Maze), are Kirby (Petey Piranha and Tabuu), Fox (Rayquaza and Duon), Diddy Kong (Rayquaza and Meta Ridley), Ness (Porky and Tabuu), Lucas (Porky and Galleom (Part 2)), Samus/Zero-Suit Samus (Ridley and Meta Ridley), and Pikachu (Ridley and Meta Ridley).
- It never explained what happens to Wario's Dark Cannon.
- The game gives a notice whenever you unlock all the cutscenes (variations).
- Giga Bowser (Melee), Menu (Super Smash Bros. Melee), and Flat Zone (Melee) are the three only Melee themes used in the SSE, and are also both in a battle in Subspace, while one is in The Midair Stadium.
- The original 12, excluding Fox and Jigglypuff (who wasn't even in the main plot) all seem to have a major role with another character from the original Super Smash Bros. Mario with Kirby, Link with Yoshi, Donkey Kong with Captain Falcon, Pikachu with Samus, and Luigi with Ness. Ironically, Jigglypuff can only be added to your team through a level, The Swamp, which Fox is playable in.
- Bowser's minions appear as enemies only in the nature-themed stages, while R.O.B.s appear as enemies only in the stages in the Isle of the Ancients.
- All of the ships from Star Fox (Excluding the Wolfen) are seen attacking the Halberd and getting destroyed by it in some point of the Subspace Emissary.
- Ness is the only one out of the three first revived after Tabuu's Off Waves to have fought in the Subspace Emissary before.
- In The Subspace Emissary, the minimum characters you must use at least once during your adventure is 13, provided that you didn't lose a stock and be forced to use a different character. This list shows the minimum adventure roster: Kirby, Pit, Lucas, Marth, Zero Suit Samus, Snake, King Dedede, Diddy Kong, either Link or Yoshi, either Pikachu or Samus, either Olimar or Captain Falcon, Meta Knight, and either Peach or Sheik.
- It was originally planned that the taking of the Battleship Halberd be shown in cutscenes, but they had to be scrapped.
- In the beginning of the Subspace Emissary the Kirby vs Mario snapshot is similar to what the characters did in the original Super Smash Bros.
- Each time you power on the game, the Primids change their expressions. There are a lot of faces to discover.
- The Arwing was destroyed by the Halberd near the beginning of Story Mode but somehow re-appears in the Sheik and the Fallen Arwing scene and once again in the Subspace Gunship scene.
- All characters move slower in The Subspace Emissary than in game (such as a Brawl.)
- There is a slight error in one of the first cutscenes of the SSE. If you choose to play as Kirby against Mario and defeat him, Mario's trophy's eye is missing.
- If you choose not to rescue any of the trophies in Subspace and confront Tabuu, you will still have six characters to choose from: Ness, Luigi, and Kirby are revived by the Brooches, King Dedede is revived by Luigi and Ness, Bowser is revived by King Dedede, and Sonic appears at the very end of the Great Maze.
- The diagonal jumping ability is reduced, and on some characters, there is none.