With almost every new series we also get a brand new stage based around that IP (with the exception of R.O.B. & Gyromite) so if we were to get a Rhythm Heaven character in the Super Smash Bros then a stage is sure to follow. I already covered a character in Tibby but I also thought it was worth showing a stage as well. However, how would you do a stage based around Rhythm Heaven where all of the content is in bite-sized mini-games? You could do it like the WarioWare stage where it jumps between mini-games or it could be like Gamer where it is based on one specific game. I decided to go for the latter this time and I chose a mini-game that has been present in every single Rhythm Heaven title: Built-to-Scale.
So this image is a bit clustered I admit and that’s mainly the fault of no depth perception. For the rest of the article I will remove the background but what I wanted to get across for the aesthetics is simple. A light-green factory with conveyor belts and widgets going across in the background. We can also get cameos from other Rhythm Heaven characters like the Fill-Bots and the Screw-Bots to show it as a more interesting world. Super Smash Bros is also lacking a factory themed arena currently so it does not clash with existing arenas. The energetic but uniformed nature of the background would really fit with the series uniform music and rhythm. But anyway, here is it without any background.
Much nicer to look at, correct? I’ll quickly explain the color choice here as well.
- The ends of the picture are the blast zones.
- The red is the screen border.
- Blue are interactable platforms.
- Gold you can pass through
- Black are solid.
- Cream are important background elements.
- Purple is the rod which acts as the stages Hazard.
So the stages layout is based on all three versions of the Built-to-Scale mini-game with the top section based on the DS game, the very bottom based on the GBA game and the middle part based on the Wii title.
Built-to-Scale: Hazards and Statistics
- Game: Various
- Series: Rhythm Heaven
- Home to: Tibby
- Stage size: Medium-Large (e.g. Wrecking Crew, Gaur Plains)
- Niche: Rhythm/Factory level
- Blast Zones: Walk-off, medium
- Gimmick: Follows the Music, Springs, moving Rod.
As the Rhythm Heaven series is all about following to the beat, tempo and rhythm of a song I thought the stage should do the same thing. Main focus of the Built-to-Scale mini-games is to knock the rod into the widgets or get the rod to its next location. That is the focus of this stage as well but here the rod is your enemy. Below is a diagram following the path of the rod as it is knocked from the top of the screen and moves around using conveyor belts and springs to reach the bottom. You can knock the rod or if it hits you it disappears. Now, here is the catch that makes this level unique. The speed of which the conveyor belts, springs and other hazards move is directly affected by which of the stages songs are currently playing. A song with a fast tempo causes more hazards and action than one with a slower tempo. And to add to all this even if you knock the rod away the springs will still move as if the rod is meant to be there so knocking the rod away makes it harder to tell when the hazard might activate. It may seem chaotic so some balance would need to be added for the frequency of the rod, damage of the springs and whether some safe-zone platforms should be added (at the risk of making the stage larger).
As music is a big part of this level I had to pick the songs based more on their beat than anything else.
- Built-to-Scale (original)
- Built-to-Scale (fast tempo)
- Built-to-Scale (slow tempo)
- Bulit-to-Scale (Wii)
- Built-to-Scale 2 (Wii)
- Packing Pests (original)
- Karate Man (remix)
- Rhythm Heaven (remix)
- Rhythm Heaven Fever (original)
So, focusing on the bottom part of the level the springs can move up and down and launch the fighters into the air. At default all the springs remain in the ground and as the rod rolls along they jump out to the beat. They come out in multiple patterns (some examples below). They don’t do any damage but they do launch people up and due to the ceiling above this can cause players to bounce around in the lower parts.
The other major obstacle of the level is the middle section. On the right and left of the stage is a conveyor belt that moves towards the right. The rod (and players) move along until they get to the first spring which bounces the rod along to the right until it gets to the next belt. When no rods are present the springs are in the background and they shoot out when the rod hits the spring before. Any opponent who gets hit by the rod gets meteor smashed downwards. Player’s won’t die from this thanks to the platform below but it will deal a lot of damage (actual % subject to change). Once all the springs are out and the rod hits the next conveyor belt the springs shoot back into the background and wait for the next one.
The only other part worth mentioning is the top right where the spring that initially sets the rod on its course can also hit opponents away and deal a bit of damage. Understandably this stage seems a bit chaotic but it is not obnoxious and its uniqueness makes it worthy of inclusion. But for those of you who really can’t stand hazards there is always the omega mode. This version of the stage is like Duck Hunt’s omega stage in size and shape while all the springs and widgets are now a part of the background.
With that we have reached the end of our Rhythm Heaven day and with the Nintendo Switch fully revealed we are one step closer to a new Super Smash Bros title. If one releases do you hope for any Rhythm Heaven content to be included and if so what would you like? I would love to hear your opinions in the comments below.