News Flash! Smash Bros. Dojo: Unlockable Back Stages

Unlockable Bac Stages

Unlockable Back Stages

Posted 12.14.2001

Previously, I talked about how Smash has this concept of “front” stages and “back” stages.

Every world has two stages.

So today I’m going to introduce the five back stages that are marked by a question mark on the stage selection screen.

Brinstar Depths

It just keeps spinning...and spinning...
It just keeps spinning…and spinning…

From the world of Metroid.

The giant monster Kraid can be seen in the background, and when he claws the terrain, it rotates.

Just one rotation causes massive changes and panic.

You won’t know the speed, how much the stage rotates until it actually moves, but if you watch Kraid closely you can see which direction he’ll move the stage.

You should move in the opposite direction of the rotation to survive.

The bottom is lava, but unlike the acid, you won’t take damage and go flying back up.
The bottom is lava, but unlike the acid, you won’t take damage and go flying back up.

The song is a mix of the slightly melancholic music that plays in the area where Kraid lives in the first Metroid, and the even more melancholic music that plays before the elevator.

I think that if you’re a Metroid fan, you’ll recognize the songs.

Unlock criteria: Play 50 matches in VS. mode.


The Monotoli Building towers over the surrounding cityscape.
The Monotoli Building towers over the surrounding cityscape.

From MOTHER 2.

…but compared to the kind of “light” feeling of the MOTHER universe, this stage is much more “heavy.” You can enjoy the beautiful night skyline.

The layout of the stage has three buildings, creating two pitfalls in the stage. You can aim for meteor smashes, or do a cool recovery with a wall jump. So cool.

Sometimes a UFO will appear, making for a large platform, but it’s very slippery so it’s hard to fight on.

A UFO appears! Slippery slidey.
A UFO appears! Slippery slidey.

The music is based on the song that plays at Fourside. We’ve recreated that weird feeling that’s unique to MOTHER 2.

Unlock criteria: Play 100 matches in VS. mode.

Big Blue

Too fast. It’s out of control.
Too fast. It’s out of control.

The F-ZERO circuit from the side. It scrolls horizontally at an incredible speed, and F-ZERO machines or floating platforms fly at you.

You start on the Falcon Flyer. It’s Captain Falcon’s spacecraft, which you could see on the instruction manual for F-ZERO on the SNES.

Even if you land on the course if you jump immediately, you’ll be able to make it back most of the time. But right after you pass the airborne part of the stage, you need to be careful.

If you hit the ground you’ll fly off the left of the screen.'s way too fast.
If you hit the ground you’ll fly off the left of the screen. Seriously…it’s way too fast.

The song, of course, is “Big Blue,” from F-ZERO. It’s an arrangement of the SNES and Nintendo 64 versions.

Unlock criteria: Play 150 matches in VS. mode.


They’re coming!
They’re coming!

In some unknown dimension, there’s this surreal stage, where giant Pokémon-shaped platforms come and go. I was thinking, how can I make as many Pokémon show up as I can? And came up with this stage.

The Pokémon floats are much bigger than the fighters, and always seem like they’re being pulled in a direction. Eventually they’ll loop around, but in a 2 minute match you actually won’t get to the end.

You should start by memorizing the positions of each float.

One Pokémon, four Pokéfloats.
One Pokémon, four Pokéfloats.

The music is an arrangement of Pokémon Red/Green’s battle theme.

It’s an excellent song and it’s a perfect fit for Smash.

Unlock criteria: Play 200 matches in VS. mode.

Mushroom Kingdom II

Feels a little...flat.
Feels a little…flat.

From Super Mario USA (or alternatively Super Mario Advance), the pixel art style has been brought to life in Smash. It’s actually from the dream world of the Subcons.

The feel we’re going for is something that’s closer to the style of the SNES or GBA than the Mushroom Kingdom stage is.

Logs are being swept up by the waterfall and into the stage, so be careful, because they might block you from grabbing a ledge!

Birdo and a Pidgit make an appearance too.
Birdo and a Pidgit make an appearance too.

The music is “Super Mario USA.” The NES one. It’s a faithful recreation.

Unlock criteria: Obtain the Birdo trophy.

. . .

On top of that, we even have Special stages, which are located beyond the grid where the normal stages are on the selection screen.

I think that regarding these stages, people who are in the know learned about them awhile ago.

But I’m sure that there are a lot of people who will get this game as a Christmas present or with their New Year’s money, and I don’t want to spoil the experience for them, so I’m going to keep it a secret for now.

I do feel like for people who have already played a lot, I’m not saying anything new, and for people who haven’t played it yet, I’ve already said too much…

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    1. Agreed. Smash adds a retro Mario stage in every game (although in Smash 4 it didn’t have retro visuals), so I’d like to see them do more with that trend with a Super Mario Land stage (plus Birabuto and Muda Kingdom remixes would be nice). While we’ve already had an SMB2, I think it’d be cool if we got another one if this time it had modern visuals instead of recreating Super Mario All-Stars.

  1. While I don’t think every series needs more than one stage in a single instalment (*cough* Kid Icarus *cough*), I liked how most series had more than one new stage in Melee. In Brawl and Smash 4 some series only get one new stage despite the potential for more to be there.

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