Three stages picked from various Metroid worlds join the lineup of arenas in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. All three are available by default, with two unique to Brawl and the third a returning stage from Super Smash Bros. Melee. See below for an overview of each.
The fiery depths of Norfair play host to five immobile floating platforms arranged in a V-formation above a vast underground lava lake. Although the platforms hover well above the heated surface, you can be sure that lava will still find its way onto the arena.
While the lava resides far below, avoid falling off the stage or it's an instant KO. But once the lake rises up closer to the arena, losing your footing will only result in a nasty bout of damage and momentary airborne immobility.
Watch out when an enormous wall of lava rises from the deep - it'll slowly consume half of the stage. Quickly evacuate to the opposite side, and try to knock some of your foes back into the vortex.
Apart from the deadly wall of lava and rising tides, flaming geysers tend to often spout from the lake and shower down from above. Use some quick footing to stay clear of the impact zone.
If you spot a large open capsule appear atop a platform, you've got seconds to get your fighter inside it. Watch the background - a massive wall of lava streaks towards the arena, and that capsule is your only form of sanctuary. Make your way inside and keep foes out - as soon as the hatches shut that wave of lava will strike, nailing any fighters haplessly caught outside.
If you're incredibly lucky, sometimes your character can survive the heat wave outdoors.
Just like in Metroid Prime, the reactor core of Frigate Orpheon is home to a rampant - and equally gigantic - Parasite Queen. Luckily it plays no part in the battle, only watching from the confines of the reactor. The stage itself comprises a number of floating platforms, some immobile while others around the edge of the arena move about.
As the battle carries on and the Parasite Queen lulls about (emitting a really odd droning moan) a blaring alarm sounds and covers the arena in an odd yellowish glow. That's your cue to move towards the center of the stage, as within moments the entire superstructure rotates 180 degrees vertically. The sudden repositioning of the stage can often lead to disorientation - especially if you're caught out on the edge of the field.
As the battle continues on this wider platform, the lights often flicker and fail, blanketing most of the stage in darkness. Thankfully running lights keep the ground visible, and the fighters themselves curiously aren't affected by the change in lighting.
The arena will continue to rotate as time goes on... does the Parasite Queen have anything to do with it?
Moving platforms border the arena - take care around the wide platforms moving horizontally as they tend to drift off the edge of the stage.
Final Smash attacks encompassing large regions often work wonders here - with a relatively small arena and little cover, attackers have the clear advantage.
The Brinstar stage from Smash Bros. Melee returns! For all intents and purposes the stage operates exactly as it did in the GameCube era, while the new items and fighters in Brawl mix things up a bit.
The massive acid lake will periodically rise - and despite inflicting harmful damage, the raised liquid level will stop instant KOs.
Every detail of the stage remains, from the lurking Chozo Statue to the odd gigantic brain in the background.
The giant brain in the backdrop often flails about madly - does that only happen when fighters take a beating?
New items, new fighters, assist trophies and Final Smashes all help bring new elements to this six-year-old stage.
See the juicy membranes keeping the arena held together? Don't punish them too much, otherwise the platforms literally break up and drift apart.