The stage consists in a single piece of land with a bridge on its left, walk-offs at both sides and a depression in the middle. The ground of the middle part is susceptible to attacks, and chunks of it crumble away if they sustain enough damage, transforming the center of the stage into a pit. The broken parts regenerate over time: players below it when this happens will fall through it.
Occasionally, checkpoint lampposts randomly spring up. They are normally blue, but when attacked they turn red and start spinning: in this state they are able to hurt players other than the original attacker. They only deal 10% damage, but cause decent knockback with KO capabilities. After a few seconds, spinning lampposts stop and can be attacked again. They disappear on their own after a while.
The background features a giant shuttle loop with a 1-Up video monitor above it. Occasionally Tails, Knuckles and Silver run along it.
On March 17, 2009, the SBR announced that the stage should be banned, as opposed to its former status as a counterpick. Many players take issue with Green Hill Zone for its extremely campy nature. The most effective strategy when fighting here is to camp the signposts, which have significant defensive power for an already highly defensive game, and this can severely cheapen the flow of the match. Furthermore, both sides of the stage have permanent walk-off edges, favoring chain-grabs or simply camping the edge should the character have even average throwing capabilities, as it is easy to simply throw your opponent off the edge (even at low percents). For these reasons, this stage is frequently banned in tournament-level play, meaning that no stages based on third-party games are allowed as such, since Shadow Moses Island is also banned.
This stage represents Green Hill Zone, the first zone (stage) from Sonic the Hedgehog (1991). The shuttle loop seen in the background first appeared in Green Hill Zone and has appeared in some form in almost every Sonic game. This stage also does have some similarities to the Green Hill Zone in Sonic Adventure 2, with the stage rendered in 3D.
This stage has many elements from Sonic the Hedgehog in the background, such as flowers, rings, spikes, palm trees, etc. In Sonic the Hedgehog there are cliffhangers that crumble down if the player jumps on them. In this stage, the center of the stage can crumble. The Point Marker that appears in this level is a reference to the checkpoints in Sonic games, which rotate as the player character runs by them and return him to that spot should they die while having remaining lives. An Item Box can be seen on the top of the shuttle loop. In Sonic the Hedgehog, Item Boxes are containers in the shape of monitors that contained certain items, being essentially the equivalent of the Mario franchise's ? Block. This particular TV has a picture of Sonic on it. In all Sonic games, this would give Sonic an extra life.
In the background of this stage, Tails, Knuckles, and Silver can be seen running through the shuttle loop. Miles "Tails" Prower first appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and is one of Sonic's best friends. Knuckles first appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and is a friendly rival of Sonic. Silver the Hedgehog is from Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) and is also one of Sonic's friends.
Sometimes, the bridge will slow down an attack like Spin Dash or Wario Bike. This is rather ironic considering that, in the Sonic series, a player would ordinarily use the Spin Dash in an area with this stage's layout in order to quickly accelerate to max speed.
A mistake currently exists in the Spanish version of the DOJO!! of this stage's page: instead of displaying the Sonic universe icon, Sonic's head's silhouette, it has the symbol of the Mario universe, which is a mushroom.
The songs Green Hill Zone, Emerald Hill Zone and Scrap Brain Zone are the only unchanged 16-bit songs in Brawl.
Green Hill Zone is the only stage to have only one remixed theme.
The stage was most likely made from Green Hill Zone from Sonic Adventure 2, but the grass is a lighter color.
When a section of the stage regenerates, if a player is below the regenerated ground, he/she will fall through the ground.
In the intro of Super Smash Bros Brawl Sonic is seen running on Green Hill zone.
Coincidentally, the initials of the Genesis music tracks, Scrap Brain Zone, Emerald Hill Zone, Green Hill Zone and Angel Island Zone, make the word SEGA.
Green Hill Zone is one of only four stages in the Super Smash Bros. series to be featured as a stage in fighting games outside of the Super Smash Bros. series, the others being Boxing Ring, Pyrosphere and Suzaku Castle. Green Hill Zone appears in Sonic Battle as an unlockable stage, an arena in the arcade fighter Sonic the Fighters (under the title "South Island"), and in Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax (under the title "Seaside B-Field").