Cruel Melee and Cruel Brawl are Multi-Man modes in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl, respectively. To summarize Cruel Melee/Brawl in one sentence, the tables are turned and you are the Alloys (and they are you only in higher numbers). They challenge the player to defeat as many opponents, with high handicaps and increased aggressiveness, as possible (Fighting Wire Frames in Melee, and Fighting Alloys in Brawl) before falling from the stage or self-destructing themselves with no recovery items. In Cruel Brawl, the Fighting Alloy opponents mimic the characters Mario, Kirby, Zelda, and Captain Falcon, though they cannot make use of the corresponding characters' special attacks, making them slightly easier to knock-out as they have little ability to recover using their own moves and also because they can't grab ledges. These are unarguably the most challenging of all Multi-Man Melees and Brawls, as the opponents faced are immensely harder than those who appear in the other modes.
The high scores of Cruel Melee and Brawl are recorded by the amount of opponents knocked out.
Most of the strategies for Cruel Melee and Brawl involves Planking (repetedly grabbing the ledge). Certain characters also have strategies involving flying beneath the stage and/or Meteor Smashing the wire frames or alloys.
A very simple way to gain 5 kills in Cruel Melee with Pikachu is to gather all five Wire Frames in one corner and use Pikachu's Down Smash. The Wire Frames should fly out of the attack early with just enough knockback to keep them from returning to the stage. This cannot be done in Brawl.
Another strategy is to drop off one of the ledges and use Thunder (down special), then using Agility (up-special) to return to the ledge, and repeating. This method cannot be done in Melee because if Pikachu uses Thunder, it becomes helpless.
Using Blazer is an effective way to KO the wire frames. The best time to use it is when five of them are together.
Simply hang on the ledge, drop straight down, and use Spin Attack, Toon Link's up-special, to return to the ledge and Plank. If an Alloy gets far enough from the ledge, you can use d-air on them, and use the "bounce" and recovery to return to the ledge. After jumping, you can use any of your projectiles. You could also hang on the ledge, drop down, and use u-air to attack through the ledge, then use Spin Attack to rise up to the ledge.
An alternative strategy is to lure the alloys to one side of the stage, and then use Jigglypuff's Side B Move, Pound, two times, and then switch directions. After that, pound two or three more times under the stage, then float to the platform to refresh jumps. After this, turn the opposite direction you're facing, and do the same thing. The Alloys will follow Jigglypuff under the stage eventually, trying to defeat Jigglypuff, but they will SD as the lack a third jump. Additionally, they are at the bottom of the stage, making it impossible for them to recover. This method is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to defeat the Alloys.
If you are not experienced with Jigglypuff, do not attempt the methods listed above, as any attack from the Alloys will crush Jigglypuff in one blow.
Jump off the ledge and go under the ledge, then use Final Cutter, Kirby's up-special, to grab the ledge and Plank. Another effective way is to jump off the ledge and quickly jump back on (Use 4 of your jumps). Another strategy is to repeatedly jump high up, so that the wire frames/alloys gather below you, then use Stone, Kirby's down-special. Make sure that you hit all enemies, and jump up again as soon as possible, because Kirby is extremely fragile and any left-over enemy will easily finish him off when he's jumping back up. You can also use Final Cutter so that it will hit them. Its riskier, but if they are hit on the fall down, they will be knocked down, meaning either they will land on the platform, or fall down a distance so that they can't recover. Practice so you can grab the ledge, because there is nothing more annoying then missing the edge.
In the Cruel Brawl, just hang on the edge of the stage. When all the alloys are grouped together quickly drop and use Aether, Ike's up-special, to grab the ledge and Plank. The alloys should jump after you. Some will hop to safety off of others heads. Some will fall to their doom.
NOTE: Be sure to land at the platform at one of the Aethers, because after five consecutive grabs by using Aethers without landing on the platform, should Ike use Aether again, he will fail to grab the ledge and fall to his doom.
Use Wings of Icarus, Pit's up-special, to fly under the stage from one ledge to the other. Like Ike's strategy, the alloys will jump after you. You can KO ten alloys this way in under three minutes.
Do a Full Jump off the side of the main platform, then use Plasma Whip (Side+B) to grab the ledge. When all of the alloys group together at the edge, do a ledge attack (press A twice in rapid succession to ensure you go up to the ledge and attack almost instantly, before they can hurt you), then jump back and grab the ledge with Plasma Whip again. If your Whip is too short, drop down and use Plasma Wire (Up+B) to grab the ledge again. You can KO ten alloys with this method very quickly, as the lower you are from the ledge, the more likely they are to SD below you.
Jump on the ledge of the platform, then do a ledge-attack if all of the enemies are near the ledge. Some enemies will fly behind you off the stage, so you can easily KO them by using a Down Aerial. Then jump with second/third jump back to the ledge. You have to take care you don't jump over the ledge, the alloys will KO you.
Hang on to the ledge of the platform, and jump up and away from the platform. Direct PK Thunder, Lucas' up-special, so that it propels Lucas into the Alloys and racking up damage (the first hit most likely will not kill the Alloys). Repeat, swapping sides whenever necessary. PK Thunder should guard against most aerial attacks, and some Alloys will SD themselves trying to reach Lucas. Repeat as necessary.
Similar to Ike's method. Use Cypher, Snake's up-special, while under the ledge to grab it and Plank. Drop and repeat. The super armor in this move makes it nearly impossible for the alloys to attack you while using it, and they will eventually SD.
Grab the edge of the stage, then drop off and use Super Jump Punch, Mario's up-special, to grab the ledge and Plank. The Fighting Alloys should jump off and eventually SD. Sometimes they will be stage spiked by the Super Jump Punch. This method only works in Brawl.
Like many other characters, this strategy involves grabbing the ledge, jumping off, then using a recovery move, in this case, Fire, to grab the ledge again and Plank. With Mr. Game & Watch, one can also use his neutral aerial to attack the enemies before using Fire to recover.
Use ExtremeSpeed to constantly grab the ledge and Plank. The Alloy will have a hard time hitting while use ExtremeSpeed due to the quickness (unless you end up landing in front of them). Use the ledge grab invincibility frames to fall down, jump up, and use ExtremeSpeed to grab the ledge, and repeat. Using neutral and down aerials are optional, though it does help to ensure the alloys' deaths.
Jump off the stage and grab onto the edge. Drop down and jump back up to lure the Alloys off the stage, then hit them with the Reflector. Use your second jump to gain some air time, then use your Reflector again. Use Fire Fox to grab onto the stage's edge and repeat. Occasionally, you might use your second jump to use an up aerial attack underneath the stage's edge where the Alloys have gathered, but you may get KO'd if it is used too early. Though not as effective in Brawl, this strategy can be used to defeat more than 10 Alloys.
Quickly pluck three Pikmin and run off the ledge with the use of Pikmin chain and hang there until the Alloys follow you. Retract the Pikmin and use the ledge attack. Repeat until you get K.O'ed
- Defeating five opponents in Cruel Brawl will result in unlocking a trophy depicting the Red Alloy.
- Defeating ten opponents in Cruel Brawl will result in unlocking a sticker depicting Liquid Snake.
- The Super Smash Bros. Melee incarnation of this mode is famous for its involvement in the Sonic and Tails Rumor spread by Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine. The rumor suggested that after defeating 20 Fighting Wire Frames in a single round the player would be challenged to defeat Sonic and Tails of the Sonic series, where victory would result in unlocking the characters. This rumor was proven false both in premise and in practice. Cruel Melee strategies proved very quickly that Sonic and Tails did not actually appear after knocking out 20 opponents. Apparently it was an April Fools joke.
- In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, if the player trips at the start of a Cruel Brawl, it is very unlikely that they will survive the following few seconds. This is because every way of recovering from the trip takes a long time, and the player cannot move very far to either side until they have fully recovered. This gives the Alloys enough time to drop from their spawning points and KO the player. If the trip was to the right, it will be the Blue Alloy that attacks, and if the trip was to the left, it will be the Red Alloy.