Smash 4 All-Star Hard with All Characters Guide

Smash 4 All-Star Hard with All Characters Guide by Espyo

I recently completed All-Star on Hard with everybody, on the Wii U. It was hard, no doubt about it. But I learned a lot of tips and strategies along the way, so I figured I should make a thread to help others complete this dastardly challenge. This guide won’t focus on the ins-and-outs of All-Star, much less of the whole game, and I won’t really focus on easy/medium difficulties. Needless to say, this guide is tailored specially for “true” All-Star mode (the one you get when the entire roster is unlocked), and for the Wii U version of the game.
Also, while I DID complete this just last week, for some of the earlier characters I’ve completed it with, I did so one or two months ago. So sorry if my memory fails me.

Things to keep in mind

  • Be patient: This WILL take a while, even if you’re good. Some of your victories boil down to luck, so be willing to accept failure. Play some relaxing music while doing the challenge, or chat with friends, and take the challenge with a more upbeat attitude. Seriously, it’ll stop you from flinging controllers. It also helps to do this challenge a bit early in your list of final challenges, as the fact that you constantly get trophies and moves just by playing will help calm you down.
  • Don’t try to learn everything in this guide: This is a long read, so don’t feel obliged to learn every tip here.

Quick tips for “Complete All-Star on Hard with eight characters”

  • Use the hard and slow characters: Bowser, Donkey Kong, etc. They hit hard, and their weight means it’ll take your opponents far longer before you’re dead. The downside is their slow speed, but as you’ll read further ahead, it matters more if you hit strong, not fast.

General tips
You don’t have to combine all of these tips. Just learn them, and experiment with your playing style. These are tips for circumstances and scenarios, not steps for cooking a meal.

  • Only heal after the third round: You can normally complete the first three rounds with around 150%. Only after this should you start healing. It feels good to heal after each round, and best of all, you know that if you reach the end of the third round, that you don’t need to worry about your damage too much any more. That said, this may not be a suitable tactic for all players, so experiment (like healing at the end of the 2nd, 4th, 5th and 6th rounds).
  • Spam. Smash. Attacks.: Midway through the challenge, I’ve read countless times that the CPU loves walking into smash attacks. Sure enough, it’s true, but because there were times where they didn’t, I felt like smash attacks were a waste of time. I only ever used them sparingly, and when I did, the CPU escaped half of the time. Boy, I was a moron. You’re meant to use smash attacks ALL the time, for the most part. The CPU might dodge one, but get hit by the next. You have to be REALLY obnoxious with your spamming. It sounds stupid, but experiment a bit, and you’ll see how much the CPU is willing to suffer at the hands of your smash attacks.
  • Projectiles are not buffed or nerfed: Projectiles don’t suffer the same buffs/nerfs as all other attacks, whether for you or for the CPU. Meaning that a smash attack from Donkey Kong at 150% will probably make you travel half a stage, but a Charge Shot from Samus at 120% could spell your doom. When you see a projectile-user, go for them and kill them as soon as possible. In the same vein, don’t rely on your own projectiles too much.
  • Use the platform exploit: This is something I’ve noticed while playing, even way back in Melee. If you’re under a fall-through platform (or really close to a normal platform, but under it), and the CPU goes above it, they will use their platform drop move to get to you, or fall off the edge of the platform. During this time, and pretty much for half a second afterwards, they will not air-dodge our counter your attacks. If you stay under platforms and charge your smashes (mostly up-smash), you can find yourself hitting the CPU a lot of times. Bonus tip: this tip applies to Super Smash Bros. Melee too!
  • Use sharking: You can rarely shark, but when possible, go for it a few times. “Sharking” is when you attack from under the stage itself, so it only works on some stages (Delfino Plaza, Kongo Jungle 64, etc.). This can also work on platforms that are fall-through, but is less likely. The CPU never dodges attacks from below, but be careful: chances are you’re going to use your up-special to strike with, leaving you vulnerable for a bit when you’re on the stage.
  • Use ledge get-up attacks in a pinch: If you have high damage, and can’t catch a break from the CPU, go for a ledge, and use the ledge get-up attack on them. They won’t dodge it, and it’s free damage. Getting onto the edge could be a problem in and of itself, and I recommend grabbing the edge from below, not from the sides.
  • Avoid having too many characters with 0%: At the start of a round, every CPU will have 0%, of course. But soon enough, you’ll be finding yourself with the three of them with damage above 90%. The thing you probably want to do most is to kill them one right after the other (or on the same attack), but avoid doing it! You see, if you do, you’ll fight three more fighters at 0%. What’s the problem with them being at 0%, you ask? They will take a while to get off you and leave you alone, because knockback will be small. If you have two characters at 100% or so, and one at 0%, you can focus on damaging the newcomer, and when one of the 100%+ opponents comes to you, you can just use a fast attack (like a tilt) to shove them away. While they’re busy flying across the stage, you can continue fighting WITHOUT being overwhelmed. Still, don’t go crazy — if your opponents have around 200% damage, I’d say you’ve gone too far.
  • Throw opponents off walkable blast lines, but don’t get cocky: If you see a stage with a side death plane you can just walk to, you might be tempted to camp near it, grab incoming opponents, and toss them to their doom. That will work… provided they have some damage on them already. That’s right: if they don’t, you’ll be wasting your time, or worse, risking getting pushed into the blast line yourself. Needless to say, don’t try this if your damage is higher than 70% or so. One smash attack is all it takes to kill you if you’re not careful.
  • Get ready for the fairy: This is obvious, but it’s here in case you didn’t think of it: remember to purposely let yourself get damaged to 100% if the next item you plan on using is the fairy. I recommend staying on the battle until only one CPU is left, and then throwing a single A-button jab once every second. The CPU will attack you a few times (which is good), and during the time they decide not to attack, you’re causing them non-fatal damage to “cook” them up. When you reach 100%, just blast them away, as their damage will hopefully be considerably high at this point.
  • Use projectiles on most 1v1s: When you’ve only got one opponent left on the round, stop them from coming to you by spamming projectiles. If you have a low-knockback projectile, you can as well forget it, but if not, just shoot it over and over, as the CPU isn’t that good at dodging projectiles. But hey, keep in mind the next tip.
  • Don’t use projectiles near reflecting characters: Obvious, right? “But c’mon, they’re just sitting there, they won’t use their reflector on this!” Oh yes they will. This is the CPU, remember? Their reaction-time is frame perfect.
  • The CPU will dodge aerials from rounds 3 and up: It shouldn’t matter a whole lot, but some characters have good aerial combos and finishers, capable of killing airborne enemies with ease. Well, if you’re confident with the attacks in question, and you think they’ll kill, go for them, but keep in mind that starting on round 3, the CPU will dodge anything while in the air. Just don’t waste your time with this strategy then, unless you’re REALLY sure it’s a true combo (they can’t escape it).

Playing tips for each fighter
Tips for when you’re playing AS these characters. Again, these are just tips, so you aren’t forced to only use the attacks and strategies listed here.

  • Mario: Mario is good on normal game modes, but not so much here. Still, his smash attacks are pretty powerful, so use those for the victory. Down aerial is good for approaches.
  • Luigi: Luigi’s side special is pretty good at striking characters when they’re coming for you, at a distance; the CPU rarely dodges it. Also, when you feel like killing quickly, and you don’t think you’ll suffer from being helpless soon after, use his up special (remember the sweetspot).
  • Peach: Her side special is really quick in this game, and it’s good to throw away opponents that are pressuring you. Other than that, use smash attacks and the up strong attack.
  • Bowser: Use down special ONLY if you are sure it will hit. Other than that, use smash attacks a lot for an easy victory.
  • Yoshi: Use a lot of down aerials, but don’t think this’ll make the fight easy. If a down aerial connects fully, it can do around 70% damage, but it leaves you a bit exposed for its long duration — try hitting multiple enemies at once, then. Down smash is pretty quick and has good knockback, so use that a bit more than the other smash attacks.
  • Rosalina: Abuse smash attacks. Her up, down and back aerials are also pretty powerful.
  • Bowser Jr.: Use up smash a lot, specially while running towards the enemies. Down smash is a good killing move. Don’t use down special, as the CPU is great at grabbing your Mechakoopa.
  • Wario: His smash attacks are pretty good, and so is his back aerial. If you’re scared that the CPU will get you when you’re at high percentages, just hop on your bike and drive left and right. The CPU will almost never try to attack or dodge your bike attack, allowing you to rack up damage slowly but surely (bonus tip: tilt the control stick up right after a hit, in order to combo into the wheelie; be careful not to fall off the stage though).
  • Donkey Kong: Smash attacks. Neutral special is pretty disappointing, but it can be a good damager.
  • Diddy Kong: Use smash attacks. Your up special is good for offense, but also dangerous, so don’t toy with it. Don’t even bother using the his neutral special.
  • Mr. Game and Watch: Back aerial to rack up damage, down strong attack to push enemies away, forward aerial, down aerial, and all smashes to kill. Surprisingly good character for this mode. Use Judge if you’re feeling gutsy.
  • Little Mac: Smash attacks are great, and so is the neutral special. You can use side special, but just don’t embarrass yourself by jumping off the stage.
  • Link: His up smash is a godsend in this mode. Don’t bother too much with your projectiles. When you want to finish the opponents off, side smash is the way to go, although up smash can get the job done too. Linke’s dash attack is also pretty good.
  • Zelda: Dash attack comes out quickly, so use it for crowd control. Other than that, you’ll rely on your tiny up and side smashes. Down smash comes out quickly, but its knockback is poor — use it to shoo away pesky opponents while you deal with stronger ones. Finally, front and back aerials are pretty good against larger characters.
  • Sheik: Her smash attacks suck early on. Focus on comboing the CPUs with your forward strong attacks, and when they’re ready, try using dashing up smashes. Use dash attacks to push away enemies. Down and up specials are good KO moves, too.
  • Ganondorf: Use anything that hits strong, so smashes and neutral special. Be careful on the Warlock Punch’s speed, and be wary of up smash’s surprisingly quick speed. Don’t try his up strong attack, as it’s not really worth it. Good attacks for reach are the down and side strong attacks.
  • Toon Link: Same as Link (yes, even the up smash attack, despite being different), except aerials are also pretty good.
  • Samus: Use a lot of up smashes. They’ll be hard to connect, but that’s why you really have to spam them. Down and side smashes are good killing moves. Other than that, I like approaching the CPU with dash attacks or running down aerials.
  • Zero Suit Samus: Up smash is pretty good here… as long as your target isn’t behind you. You can also stay under platforms and poke enemies above you with this. On early stages, her up special attack on airborne characters can make short work of them.
  • Pit: Smash attacks, specially up; although side strong attacks are also notably good. Other than that, use side specials.
  • Palutena: Her special moves suck, except for her counter, which is decent. Use it when crowded, and when you’re sure an attack is coming. Other than that, spam smash attacks, and don’t even think about trying your tilt attacks.
  • Marth: Side smash is great because of its reach, although up and down smashes can also be used for variety.
  • Ike: Any smash attack is wonderful. So is his neutral special. Avoid using up specials offensively, and as for side special, don’t overglorify it.
  • Robin: Your neutral and side special attacks are not toys. Use them sparingly and under control and you’ll see how they are good tools. Nosferatu is great in this game mode, specially if you only have one opponent left. Use smash attacks, and smash aerial attacks for good damagers and killers. Learn about the cooldown of all of these moves and you’ll be good to go.
  • Duck Hunt (Duo): Spam smash attacks. Up smash is probably the best one to use on close enemies, with down being a good second; side smash is good for stopping characters from reaching you. This character’s smash attacks are only useful if you really spam them, though, and keep in mind that the more you charge them the more reach they get. Don’t bother with your neutral special unless you’re good at multitasking and are confident that the can will be hit somebody. Side special is pretty poor, but you can use it if you think it’s a good idea.
  • Kirby: Smash attacks are pretty okay, but an uncharged hammer strike can be deadly to most opponents. Just be wary of your vulnerabilities while using it. I’ve read that spamming down special from above is good, but never tried it.
  • King Dedede: Do not use side special, period. The CPU has inhumane reactions with these, and they know exactly how to hit the Gordos back at you. They have a rough 20% chance of not doing so, but when you consider that the three CPUs are normally found together, the chances of all of them failing to reflect it back is around 0.8% (this means they WILL hit it back). Other than that, use smash attacks and down specials, and if the CPUs are pressuring you, use up special. Neutral special is risky, but may be good to use sometimes, when the CPU isn’t aggressive.
  • Meta Knight: His range is abysmal, so you have to try spamming up and down smashes really close. Side smash is a good finisher, but barely worth it over how slow it is. Instead, get close and use an up special to KO opponents with high percentages (just be wary of the helplessness).
  • Fox: Don’t shoot your neutral special unless you want to waste your time. Just use a lot of smash attacks, but keep in mind that it’ll be a bit rough to land them. Side smash is surprisingly sucky, but do it if you must. Dash attack is a bit good against groups. Sometimes, you can jump up and use down special directly below you, landing on CPUs stupid enough to not dodge, but experiment a bit so you can find out the ins-and-outs of this strategy. Also, you’d think his side special would be good, but it really isn’t.
  • Falco: Same as Fox, but down special and side smashes are a lot better.
  • Pikachu: Any smash attack works, and as long as you’re not facing characters that can reflect projectiles, spamming down special is a good idea. Pikachu’s side special works the same as Luigi’s, so use it on incoming opponents.
  • Charizard: Smash attacks are good, and so is his down aerial. Side special is okay, but don’t abuse it, as it can end up hurting you more than not. Side strong attack is good for pushing away big crowds.
  • Lucario: You’ll do abysmal damage if you’re at low percents, but be deadly at high percents. Lucario is a bit of a luck-based character here. When you’re at high percentages, up smashes are very deadly, and side specials are good for approaches, but an unlucky strike can KO you. All other attacks are pretty powerful, but avoid the clunky and boring down and back aerials. At low percentages, just try your best to mix between smash attacks, strong attacks, and side specials.
  • Jigglypuff: Smashes and back/front aerials are pretty good. Neutral special is great to charge up and run across the stage, running over the barely-dodging CPUs. If you think they’re dodging neutral special too much, try mindgames… yes, they won’t work well against CPUs, but for some reason, I find they work more often than not (mindgames like rushing for an enemy, turning around before impact, and then turning for them again right away). Only use down special if your final opponent is large, and you know you won’t suffer from being punished in case you fail.
  • Greninja: Just spam smash attacks. The CPUs rarely dodge his side special, so use that too. Use down special if you know you’ll be hit, but remember to angle the stick in such a way that you’ll hit the most opponents while countering.
  • R.O.B.: Up smash is excellent, and because down smash is one of the fastest in the game, you can use it out of a shield or spot dodge pretty effectively. Other than that, I find his down special to be good to mess with enemies, and his up aerial can hit aerial enemies fairly decently on the first and second rounds. Neutral special is good for crowd control.
  • Ness: The normal way: use neutral, up and back aerials, and use smashes sparingly, but for good hits. Dumb but strangely effective way: hit yourself with up special over and over, specially when you’re off the stage and aiming towards the stage. Anyway, down special can be used when you know an energy projectile is coming, but it’s rarely worth the risk. Your other projectiles are very flexible, but useless if you’re fighting characters with reflectors.
  • Captain Falcon: Smash and strong attacks are pretty nice. Don’t bother much with aerial attacks, except front aerial, but only when you know it’s a safe bet. Neutral special is also pretty good, but mind the slow startup time, and the fact that the CPU likes dodging this one.
  • Villager: Spam down special. Honestly, the CPU sucks at dodging trees. You can also use the axe against their bodies. Other than that, up and down aerials are surprisingly strong. As for the smashes, you’d think up and side smashes would be good, but they’re only “meh”, at best; this is because they are projectiles. Still, they’re a good way to KO if the opponent has high damage and you can’t really pull out a tree quickly.
  • Olimar: I’ve read that you shouldn’t use smash attacks near characters with reflectors, but I have never had one such character reflect one of my Pikmin back at me from a smash attack. That said, use a lot of smash attacks, and the occasional forward/backward aerial to mix things up a bit. If you’re not having a lot of luck killing with a smash attack, try the side strong attack, which is surprisingly strong.
  • Wii Fit Trainer: Because of the trainer’s horrible range, you’ll have to get close and personal to the enemies. Spam smash attacks, specially side smash, but you’ll really need to do it a lot, because you miss more often than not. Use down special occasionally, specially when you’re ready to deliver KOs. When you only have one opponent left (that cannot reflect projectiles), use neutral special, but let it charge up: the small percentages you heal could end up making a world of difference.
  • Shulk: Smash attacks and side special are pretty good, specially up smash. Aerials are slow, but strong. I get better results if I don’t pick a Monado Art for most of the match, but if you only have one or two characters left, switch to the Smash art, and one or two up smashes should do short work of them.
  • Dr. Mario: Same as Mario, except up and down specials are better and should be used more often, and down aerial is pretty pointless for Doc.
  • Lucina: Same as Marth.
  • Pac-Man: Same as Pit, except you can spam side special even more.
  • Mega Man: Spam up smash attack. A lot. Use down smash attack to kill. If you only have one or two opponents, use side smash, as long as they cannot reflect.
  • Sonic: Dash attacks and running up smashes are pretty darn great here. Other good moves are side smash and all aerials. Down smash is okay, but don’t expect to land it too often. Neutral special is also surprisingly strong, and side and down specials are good for approaches from afar, as long as you don’t rely heavily on them.
  • Mii: Wait, are you serious? You mean you don’t know? You don’t have to use the Mii Figthers at all to get the challenge! Even if you want to, I’m sorry, but I have no tips for them. You do need to complete All-Star to get their trophies (there’s one for each type of Mii Fighter), but you should them on easy.

Opponent tips for each fighter
Tips for when you’re fighting AGAINST these characters.

  • Mario: His cape is very annoying. Be careful while using projectiles and recovering, as he could gimp you easily, although rarely. Other than that, he seems to be a bit vulnerable to dash attacks and other quick rush strikes, so use those to keep him away from you.
  • Luigi: Luigi’s pretty peaceful, although every time he attacks is annoying. Don’t focus on him too much, but avoid having him use aerial attacks.
  • Peach: Strangely peaceful, so she’s not a high target. Even her projectiles are not menacing. I’d say “be careful about her pulling out bob-ombs”, but that’s not a realistic concern.
  • Bowser: He hits hard, which can be annoying, but I don’t think he ever once killed me. Hit him with your hardest attacks. His Fire Breath can also trap you, so watch out.
  • Yoshi: He can be annoying because he barely stops attacking, but when he does, he’s a pretty easy target to hit.
  • Rosalina: The Luma can be a force to be reckoned with. I don’t mean you should take the Luma out first, but I suggest you use quick attacks against Rosalina before she has the chance to strike. Her up strong, up aerial and down aerial attacks are ridiculously strong, too, so try not fighting her while airborne. She’s one of the calmest but smartest opponents in the entire mode, for some reason, so you should try being smarter when attacking her.
  • Bowser Jr.: He loves using Clown Cannon and Mechakoopa, which are equally annoying. Just avoid them instead of trying to fight back. Other than that, he likes standing still a lot, but he can sometimes be a pain when he decides he wants to move. Also, he’ll occasionally use Abadon Ship! on the ground, as if that were a smart thing to do. However, his hammer while in this state is really painful, and so is the clown car’s explosion. If you see him do Abadon Ship!, just run away.
  • Wario: He’s a bit peaceful, although he likes abusing smash attacks and his bike, which is actually considerably strong. Try to make him a moderate priority, and hit him with strong attacks.
  • Donkey Kong: One of the most peaceful CPUs in this game mode. He’s pretty low-priority, but hit him with strong attacks or quick attacks — your pick.
  • Diddy Kong: He loves using Peanut Popgun. It’s not a big danger, but it sure is annoying. Make him regret his decision by hitting him while he’s charging. He’s also a fan of his side smash attack, which has killed me more times than I’d like to be true; watch out.
  • Mr. Game and Watch: Pretty peaceful, and a bit stupid, but I’ve heard stories of Judge 9s killing fairly easily… Just attack him several times without giving him a break in order to get a moderately easy victory.
  • Little Mac: His side strong attack and smashes are very annoying, but not very lethal, really. Just watch out for his KO Uppercut which, despite not being deadly until later on, can still be a large pain. When his damage is high and his meter is almost full, I like baiting him towards the edge, and throw him off with a grab. It may work poorly for some fighters, but for the times I did it, it was surprisingly effective at killing him.
  • Link: He loves using projectiles, but luckily, likes staying close to you. Just beat him up with strong melee attacks, but keep in mind that he’ll switch to melee just as quickly as he’ll use projectiles.
  • Zelda: She likes using projectile attacks, but other than that, only a few moderate attacks here and there. Pretty average fight against her.
  • Sheik: Cocaine is a hell of a drug. She will hardly stand still, leaving you with little time to breathe, and worst of all, she loves using her Burst Grenade. If you see a grenade, try staying away, but if she misses you completely and you’re near her, make her regret her stupid mistake, because she always takes a while before clicking the grenade. If you can’t run away from a grenade explosion right next to you, hold your shield down all throughout. Other than that, just strike her as quickly as you can, with as many attacks as you can, instead of using slow-but-strong attacks.
  • Ganondorf: He’s really a fan of using his strongest attacks against you. But he refuses to be fast. If he’s far away from you, you can appreciate a few seconds of rest, because he’ll take a while to get to you. Hit him with fast attacks when you’re being surrounded, but use stronger attacks when not, provided you’re sure he won’t hit you.
  • Toon Link: Likes using Spin Attack on the ground, even if he’s far away from you. Other than that, he doesn’t attack much, so just give him strong attacks that’ll leave him really far away from you. If he’s only at a moderate distance, he’ll switch to projectiles, so control your distance between him.
  • Samus: The campiest CPU I have ever seen. She’ll go towards one end of the stage, charge Charge Shot, and spam all sorts of projectiles. She also likes to use Bomb when she’s near you, which is annoying. Make her a very high priority target, as her Charge Shots can really end your run, and try to keep yourself close to her at all times.
  • Zero Suit Samus: She can switch between peaceful and aggressive rather quickly. Hit her with strong attacks, because she’s a fan of getting hit by slow strikes.
  • Pit: Expect a lot of Upperdash Arms and Palutena’s Arrows. He also likes using smash attacks, but he has his moments where he stands there next to you doing nothing. Try to keep yourself at a moderate-to-close distance from him.
  • Palutena: She can be pretty peaceful, but she’s a fan of her up smash, which is stronger than normal, but not projectile-like strong. She also uses Autoreticle quite a bit, so try to stay close to her and not giving her much time to attack you with.
  • Marth: He likes attacking, but is surprisingly easy to shove off. A good candidate for a character you should keep away while focusing on other, more important characters.
  • Ike: He can really land a few strong hits, but when he’s not doing that, he’s general just standing around. Hit him hard.
  • Robin: Thoron-spamming buffoon. Make him a high-priority target, and never stay too far away. He’s also a big fan of Arcfire, so watch out for incoming fireballs. After you fight him for a few minutes, you’ll start learning exactly when he’ll use Arcfire, and for the most part, you’ll never predict incorrectly.
  • Duck Hunt (Duo): A bit peaceful, but a sudden Trick Shot is enough for you to get a powerful exploding can in your face before you even realize what happened. Try approaches from above and below, and either keep yourself very far away from him, or if you choose to be close, don’t give him time to breathe.
  • Kirby: Just walks around cluelessly. He’ll occasionally attack, hitting the air half of the time. This actually makes him attack you in times you wouldn’t expect, so just try to toss him out of the way while you focus on the others, and when it’s time to get him, use either strong attacks or quick attacks, whichever you like.
  • King Dedede: He loves staying behind and shoot Gordos, but unlike Samus, he actually approaches you from time to time. Try to always stay close to him, and try keeping him in the air, because he’s pretty bad at handling air battles.
  • Meta Knight: A bit annoying, but if he’s far away from you, not a big threat. Attack him with fast strikes, and once he’s ready to kill, focus on using strong ones.
  • Fox: He likes shooting his Blaster, but it’s hardly worth it to dodge the shots. Try to stay close to him to minimize the amount of Blaster spam, but be careful of melee attacks, Fox Illusion and reflector. Normally, you should go for quick attacks, but when you feel like you have space for strong ones, use those.
  • Falco: Same as Fox, but interestingly, almost every time he shoots, he’ll do so three times in a row. So if you can dodge the first shot, you may be able to reach him and punish him before he finishes putting his Blaster away after the third shot.
  • Pikachu: Loves spamming Thunder Jolt and Thunder. Luckily, its down special won’t really kill you. It’s also a professional with Quick Attack. Overall, this character will drive you insane, but it’s not that deadly. Use a lot of quick strikes against it.
  • Charizard: …For some reason, Flare Blitz is not affected by the damage nerfs all (non-projectile) attacks are. It uses it when you’re at a medium distance, meaning you should keep close to Charizard at all times unless you want to die all of a sudden. It also likes attacking with a bit of a high frequency, so don’t give it time to do so. Rush it down and beat it before it has the chance to do anything painful.
  • Lucario: High-priority target. It’s annoying in and of itself, but if its damage is high, it’ll be happy to push some nasty damage into you. Use strong attacks early on, and when it’s weaker, try to focus on killing it while ignoring the rest.
  • Jigglypuff: Pretty annoying character, as it’s always moving. Use quick attacks, because Jigglypuff isn’t a fan of moving out of the way.
  • Greninja: Really likes spamming fully-charged Water Shurikens. You can punish it while it’s charging up, but it may be hard. Instead, just strike quickly without giving it time to do much.
  • R.O.B.: A bit peaceful, but its gyro is annoying. Robo Beam can hit pretty hard when it’s fully charged, so try to defeat R.O.B. quickly.
  • Ness: Be afraid. Be very afraid. Try to stay away from him at all times until you only have himself to take care of (maybe one more opponent too). Now, you have to try to attack quickly while he’s busy suffering from start/end-lag from a move. The reason you should be afraid is that the yo-yo is almost always a one-hit KO move, and Ness knows it. He’ll spam it a lot, so try not to be a sitting duck. He also occasionally uses PK Thunder on himself on the stage, which can be pretty scary; keep an eye out for it.
  • Captain Falcon: He sure likes using forward smash. Beat him up with quick strikes, and if you want to use stronger blasts, do it near him or from above.
  • Villager: His forward and backward aerials can be really deadly if your damage is high. He’s also quite fond of using side and up smashes, which are even more deadly. Don’t give him time to react and attack him on sight.
  • Olimar: The deadliest character in the mode. Any attack involving his Pikmin will kill you at the percentage they would in a normal game mode. Aerials aren’t so bad, but he’s pretty commonly throwing smash attacks around. If it’s only you against him, try hitting him while he’s suffering from start or end lag from using a move.
  • Wii Fit Trainer: She won’t spam Sun Salutation as much as other characters spam their attacks, but it’s still annoying. She also likes to sit around doing nothing, so take the chance to spam mighty attacks.
  • Shulk: It’s as if the CPU knows that the priority is racking up your damage — Shulk will use the Buster Monado Art a lot. Keep him out of your hair by pushing him away with high-knockback attacks.
  • Dr. Mario: Megavitamin-spammer. He won’t really mess with you with his cape, unlike Mario, but he’s still a bit annoying. Not too hard to take down, though, so just use strong attacks.
  • Lucina: See Marth.
  • Pac-Man: Make sure that you’re not under his spawn point when he spawns. This is because he’ll use his Fire Hydrant every time you’re below him, and it will hurt. If you have a clear way to attack the hydrant, do so, and try to hit Pac-Man with it. If not, stay away, because the jets of water will just mess you up. Other than that, he’s a bit annoying, constantly attacking, so hit him with fast attacks.
  • Mega Man: Strangely, he used to spam side smash a lot, but stopped doing that almost entirely the more I played. Still, keep in mind that his forward smash is a death hazard. If you’re lucky, he’ll use Leaf Shield and jump off the stage with it, suiciding in the process. If not, you’ll just have to rush him with strong attacks up close.
  • Sonic: He barely stands still, and likes charging Spin Dash far away from you. On the other hand, he’s not very bright at dodging attacks, and his stupidity might land you solid hits on him. Still, be a bit cautious, or else you’ll be juggled like no tomorrow. If he’s recovering, chances are he’ll do Homing Attack, so be ready for it, shield it, and punish it.

Stage tips

  • Mario Galaxy: This stage… Ugh. The platforms are too high to be of any exploitable use, and the side blast lines are so deceptive — they won’t kill half of the time. Luckily, the stage’s curvature is broken, and some projectiles (most notably Thoron) won’t curve, meaning that with luck, you could escape some shots that would otherwise get you. This is a common stage for the first round, so be ready to accept it, and be ready to understand that you’ll have to rely getting high damages before you can kill anybody from the side blast lines.
  • Mushroom Kingdom U: This stage is a bit rare. Its hazards can get you if you’re not careful, but other than that, the platform positioning will prove to be very useful for you. When the stage is transitioning, the second you see the new stage’s ground poke up, pause the game, and check where Nabbit is. Then, run away from him by being on the opposite side of the stage, and shoot enemies Nabbit’s way. If he gets an opponent, you could easily win a free KO.
  • Mario Circuit: It’s a pretty annoying stage, as sometimes the ground is on top of you (uh…) and you won’t be able to get top blast line KOs. Try to stay away from the cars at all times, even if you think it’s a good idea to bait the CPU into being hit by them.
  • Delfino Plaza: Pretty common final stage, and not really bad. The water adds to your survivability, and if the CPU itself is swimming, try going for attacks while they can’t fight back. This stage is also good to shark on.
  • Luigi’s Mansion: The most common stage on the final round, Luigi’s Mansion is pretty amazing. Stay under the mid-floors, and hit opponents so that they keep bouncing between the ground and ceiling. That should rack their damage up pretty nicely. It also improves their survivability when you’re trying to kill them, but it’s not too annoying, given the previous advantage. Plus, it increases your survivability too, so you better be good at teching if you are to take the most out of it.
  • Mario Circuit (Brawl): There are no Shy Guy drivers here, so you don’t have to worry about that. Don’t play around too close to the blast lines, though, as it could end up poorly. Instead, stay a respectable distance away from them and exploit the fact that the CPU won’t react right after dropping from a platform, in order to blast them into the KO planes.
  • Wooly World: Fairly common stage. The platforms are pretty good, because you can exploit the aforementioned platform dropping vulnerability. You can also make opponents bounce between the ground and the rocket’s bottom, racking up their damage while you do so.
  • Yoshi’s Island: Pretty bad stage because of the blocks, which will save the CPU quite a lot. Still, stay far away from the right blast line, and bet more on the left one. Staying under the blocks is bad, because a flying CPU can just tech on them from below, but staying above the blocks will make the opponents attack you from below instead of going to you and fighting there. So try to find a balance on your vertical positioning.
  • Gamer: This stage is both good and bad, and I think we all know why: Mom can either catch you or the CPU, and if your damage is a bit high, you can die from this. When she starts scanning, either go for the largest shadow, or go for the small shadows only IF the CPU isn’t going to pester you. Other than that, abuse the blocky platform and have the CPU bounce up and down between the ground and the block, for a good chunk of damage. The drop-through platforms’ positioning is also normally good to counteract Dedede’s Gordos and Wario’s bike.
  • Jungle Hijinx: I never fought here on All-Star, I don’t think. If you happen to land here, I’d recommend taking the opportunity to punish enemies that just came out of a cannon. Stay a bit away from their zone of impact, and know that they’ll almost always use their get-up attack in order to stand up from lying down. Don’t get hit by that, and counterattack them right after.
  • Kongo Jungle 64: A very common stage, and one that allows sharking (see above). Make good use of the platforms in the middle by standing below them and having the CPU mess themselves up because of the platform chaos and your incoming attacks. It’s a bit hard to explain, but try attacking from under the two central platforms and you’ll see what I mean.
  • 75m: Don’t think I’ve ever fought here either. Well, if you want to be safe, bait the CPU into getting hit by the fire (surprisingly easy) and by Donkey Kong.
  • Skyloft: Moderately common. Be ready to react to the stage transitions, and know that the CPUs mess up during the transitions a bit. Hit them during these times, because they won’t be too focused on attacking or defending.
  • Temple: Don’t think I’ve ever fought here either. If you do, go on the “fight club” (the bottom-left section) and rack up damage. Get away from it to KO your opponents. If you see yourself receiving a lot of damage instead of giving it, just go on the opposite corner of the stage.
  • Bridge of Eldin: Charizard has a higher tendency to use Flare Blitz here for some reason, so try attacking it from above. Other than that, respect the side blast lines, and don’t be cocky trying to send opponents to them. When King Bulblin comes, let him hit the stupid CPUs.
  • Pyrosphere: Ridley doesn’t appear, so don’t worry. Other than that, the platforms are really good for the platform drop-down exploit, but the large central area of the stage makes the CPUs more aggressive, for some reason.
  • Norfair: Use the platform exploit, but respect the platforms, as it’s actually a bit easy to miss their ledges while trying to recover (unless you’re a CPU…).
  • The Great Cave Offensive: I never fought here, and I honestly doubt you will.
  • Halberd: It’s tempting, but don’t play around trying to keep one opponent on the dock while the Halberd lifts off — it’ll just end poorly and you’ll be the one staying behind. Other than that, the floating drop-through platform is pretty great, and this stage is a bit okay for sharking.
  • Orbital Gate Assault: I’m not sure if this stage appears in All-Star, but if it does, know that the force shields cause a lot of knockback. Other than that, just try to survive, as the stage is very tricky. Luckily, the CPU is focused on surviving and adapting too, so they won’t be very focused on attacking.
  • Lylat Cruise: The platforms are small, but still exploitable. Not much else to say.
  • Kalos Pokémon League: More common than I’d like. The stage isn’t too bad, but some layouts can really drive you mad. I tend to restart the mode if I get the Ironworks Chamber fairly soon, because characters in metal form take forever to die and the swords are very annoying. Also, if Registeel is there, you ARE going to get hurt.
  • Pokémon Stadium 2: Fairly common stage; just exploit the platforms. For some reason, the CPU edgeguards like mad on this stage, so be ready for that.
  • Port Town Aero Dive: If the F-Zero racers are driving around, chances are at least one CPU will die, so there’s that. The drivers can kill you too, so learn how to anticipate and dodge them. When the stage is transitioning, watch out for the part where a wall to the left will hurt you, so try fighting on the right of the stage during most of the transition. Other than that, the CPU is pretty mediocre on this stage, not too aggressive.
  • Onett: This stage increases your survivability, but you can get hit by the cars if you’re not careful. There are a lot of platforms here, great for exploits. My favorite spot on this stage is under the awning to the right of the yellow house.
  • Coliseum: Pretty standard stage, but it’s a good candidate for the “throw enemies into the blast line” strategy, as long as you’re not too cocky.
  • Castle Siege: Abuse the platforms when they exist, and when not, just try being quick instead of strong.
  • Flat Zone X: It’s a pretty dangerous stage, but it’s dangerous for the CPU, too. Try your best to fight here while dodging the hazards, and more often than not, the CPU will get hurt by them. And stay near the center of the stage whenever possible, as the blast lines are dangerous things.
  • Palutena’s Temple: See The Great Cave Offensive.
  • Skyworld: I tend to restart when I get this sort of-rare stage, because most matches here go pretty poorly. Your mileage may vary, though. The platforms are good to hit the CPU with, and also to juggle them with up-and-down bounces, but the opponents also survive far too easily, and are extra aggressive on this arena.
  • Garden of Hope: The top blast line is a bit far, so you’ll have to work for it. Bet more on the side blast lines, but don’t take the fight to the pulley cans, as it will probably end badly for you. Avoid destroying the bridge, because the Aristocrab almost always kills at least one opponent, and if the bridge is out, it’ll only affect half the stage. That said, when you see the crab coming, jump up and air-dodge to avoid it. Other than that, use the overturned pot for the platform exploit, despite the fact that you’ll end up breaking it quickly.
  • Boxing Ring: I never fought here, I don’t think, but if you do, I’d say standing on top of the light and hitting incoming opponents is a good strategy. You can use the side blast lines, but they can be a bit dangerous if you’re reckless.
  • Town and City: Use the platforms. Pretty standard fight.
  • Smashville: See Town and City.
  • Wii Fit Studio: You can try throwing CPUs into the blast lines, but try practicing looking at yourself in the mirror first, as the reflection will be your only visual when you’re near the blast lines. Other than that, this stage has a lot of times where fights take place in a large mat of solid ground, making the CPU aggressive.
  • Gaur Plain: See The Great Cave Offensive.
  • Duck Hunt: The tree on the right is good for the platform exploit, and the tree to the left is good for sharking. Other than that, it’s a bit easy to die here, so try to stay close to the center while fighting.
  • Wrecking Crew: Hitting the bombs will cause explosions that damage enemies, so use that for free damage. Meanwhile, try your best to keep up with the constantly changing stage, and be ready to rage, because the CPU will never stand still here.
  • Pilotwings: Don’t think I’ve ever fought here whatsoever. Try using the platforms for the exploits, and try bringing your fights to the air.
  • Wuhu Island: Doubt I’ve ever been here on All-Star. Try abusing whatever fall-through platforms the stage gives you.
  • Windy Hill Zone: The CPUs act like idiots on the windmill. It’s like they’re trying to both come on the stage and stay on the windmill’s platforms. Use this fact to beat them up. And stay away from the treacherous springs.
  • Wily Castle: I don’t think I fought here on All-Star, or at least, I don’t recall seeing the Yellow Devil. Go for airborne battles, and mess around with the moving platforms, where the CPU performs sub-optimally.
  • Pac-Land: If you get this stage as the final one, congratulations, you’ve completed All-Star on Hard as the character you’re currently using! Well, you will soon, anyway. The CPU players are perfect idiots on this stage. They will keep hopping around, but will barely attack or dodge your strikes. Be careful for the stage hazards, SPECIALLY on the way back, and try to hurry up so that you can finish the fight before the second half even comes. Stay near the center of the screen, and hit them with what you’ve got.

My runs
These are my general strategies for each round.

  • Round 1: Lucina, Robin and Greninja are the first opponents. I chase after Robin first, because his projectiles are disgusting. When Dark Pit comes, I try to make him a priority too, because his arrows are also pretty infuriating. Shulk and Wii Fit Trainer eventually come, and while they’re annoying, I don’t give them any higher priority than the rest. Before Rosalina comes, I try clearing everyone and then 1v1 against Rosalina.
  • Round 2: Lucario is my first target — I just chase him and try to KO him first, hitting the other ones when they’re in the way. For me, it’s important to not fight Bowser Jr., Olimar and Villager at the same time, so I try to balance out my KOs. Those three characters all have annoying and deadly projectiles, so they’re better fought alone, while the other opponents are constantly being tossed far away. Regardless, Olimar is a kill-on-sight target.
  • Round 3: Ugh… These three will not give you a single second to rest with. I just go for Sheik as soon as possible, and try my best to KO her quickly. Charizard is a bit more relaxed, so this gives me time to beat up Ganondorf and Jigglypuff. Pikachu and Diddy Kong are pretty annoying threats, but I try my best to leave them all at high percentages, and destroy them all quickly one after the other. This leaves me fighting against Ness alone, where I have to use my wits to escape alive. If I can’t fight Ness alone, I just try to stay away from him and defeat the others until I can have a proper showdown. I almost always heal with a Heart Container after this battle.
  • Round 4: Fox and Falco start off by shooting you, almost every time, so get ready to shield. I just try rushing right in and cause damage. Meta Knight normally stays behind while the other two are made worm food out of. Wario and Dedede can be annoying, but they’re manageable. I try to take this opportunity to balance the damage between all of them so that I can also have Kirby fight me while I fight two others, as Kirby is pretty chill most of the time. Then, I try to fight Sonic alone, but if I can’t, I just try hitting everybody, Sonic included, at once, with my strongest attacks. I heal with a Maxim Tomato after, most of the time.
  • Round 5: The three starting characters here will be a pain, as they won’t stand still, but unlike round 3, they won’t rack up your damage to ludicrous numbers. I can split them up fairly quickly, and bring new fighters into the arena at a steady pace. Mega Man is a bit of a high target, but he has the tendency to stay away, so he doesn’t bother me much. When Pit and Palutena are the only ones left (happens more often than not), I try to check my damage, and if I have less than 100%, and already had the Maxim Tomato, I leave one of them alive, punch them for good non-fatal damage, and let them hurt me to 100%, at which point I finish them. (This is easier than it sounds, as the CPU likes going extra-aggressive when you reach 100%. I can’t tell if this happens all the time or if it only happens on this “hit me until I reach 100%” strategy, or if this is even just a wrong impression I have.) I then use the fairy, and if I hadn’t reached 100%, I just use my second heart container instead.
  • Round 6: Everybody has projectiles here, but I go for Samus first because of her KO and damage potential. Peach, Bowser and R.O.B. also come at steady intervals, but I try to make R.O.B. my next big target. I then try to have a final showdown with just Duck Hunt Duo, but it doesn’t always work; if not, I’ll just target him and then KO the remaining fighters. I use my final healing item here, unless I messed up and can’t.
  • Round 7: It’s a bit easy to hit Luigi, Donkey Kong and Little Mac at the same time, so I try to do that. Donkey Kong and Little Mac are particularly close buddies. When Little Mac is starting to reach KO percentage, I try shooing everybody else away and launch him off with all my might. Mario is fought pretty normally, but when Pac-Man starts to arrive, I try to make him a priority. Finally, Game and Watch eventually shows up, and if Pac-Man or Mario still remain, I try giving them a bit of a higher priority. I tend to end up fighting against Game and Watch alone for the final brawl, and because he’s not really deadly unless I’m incredibly unlucky (I never was), I usually sigh of relief at this point, and finish him off.


  • There are reports of a “glitch” trophy on the All-Star resting area. If you grab this “invisible” trophy, your game will freeze. If you’re really scared about losing your progress, pay attention to the trophies on the resting area.
  • The time limit between rounds is almost pointless. Even on rounds where I had to act slowly and carefully, as characters that have a hard time killing, I don’t think I ever got to the final minute, much less suffer a proper timeout. So don’t stress about it.
  • If you don’t get the challenge after you’ve beaten All-Star on Hard with the final character, double-check to see if all characters have their high score as Hard. If all of them are on Hard (ignoring Miis), play again with the characters that have the lowest scores, as it’s very likely that you never actually completed with them, and only got to a really late round.

So this is my guide, with the knowledge I soaked up over the runs. Of course, if you have any further ideas or feedback, let me know, and I can add them here. My purpose is to make this the ultimate All-Star on Hard guide. Please, try it out, and let me know how well it worked for you.

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