Classic Mode is a single-player mode in Super Smash Bros. Brawl that encompasses characters fighting through 12 "stages," or levels, with a set amount of stock. The mode can be attempted on 5 difficulties: Easy, Normal, Hard, Very Hard, and Intense, and provides a trophy of the selected character upon completion, along with coins earned per every completed stage. Additionally, various awards can be given based on completed challenges which pertain to Classic Mode (see below).
As opposed to Melee's randomization in characters in its Classic Mode, each of the stages of Brawl's Classic Mode is based on at least one predetermined universe, where characters and stages that belong to any of the universes are chosen at random. Additionally, the majority of battle types are no longer in a predetermined order (Target Smash!!, Free-for-all, and Final are the exceptions), as the stages may vary in battle types from time to time, thus randomly altering the battle types' order but no two types will appear consecutively.
The enemies on any given stage barring 11 and 12 will all be specified by a set of parameters that varies per stage, such as being metal or giant. There are two Target Smash! levels thrown into the mix of stages. The mode ends with a fight against Master Hand; Crazy Hand will fight as well if Classic mode is played on Hard or higher and the player arrives at Master Hand in less than 9 minutes.
Classic Mode Layout
|Stage 1 - The Legend of Zelda||Team, or Normal||Link, Zelda/Sheik, Ganondorf, Toon Link||Bridge of Eldin, Pirate Ship|
|Stage 2 - Yoshi, Donkey Kong (Minor Mario Characters)||Giant (Yoshi series only, 2 allies (helped by the Donkey Kong characters)), Team (Donkey Kong universe only, Donkey & Diddy Kong are fought alphabetically with Yoshi as player's ally), or Normal||Yoshi||Yoshi's Island|
|Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong||Rumble Falls, 75m|
|Stage 3 - Pokémon||Giant (1 ally), Team, or Normal||Pikachu, Jigglypuff, Pokémon Trainer, Lucario||Pokémon Stadium 2, Spear Pillar|
|Stage 4 - Fire Emblem or EarthBound (Originally Japanese-only RPGs)||Giant (1 ally), Team, Multi, or Normal||Marth, Ike||Castle Siege|
|Ness, Lucas||New Pork City|
|Bonus Stage 1: Target Smash! (same level as the chosen difficulty)||Break The Targets||Targets||Appropriate Target Smash!! map|
|Stage 5 - Kirby||Giant (1 ally), Team, Multi, or Normal||Kirby, King Dedede, Meta Knight||Halberd|
|Stage 6 - Metroid or Pikmin (Planet explorers)||Giant (no allies), Multi, Metal, or Normal||Samus/Zero Suit Samus||Norfair, Frigate Orpheon|
|Stage 7 - Star Fox or F-Zero (Spaceship flyers)||Giant (no allies), Team (Star Fox universe only, Captain Falcon is a possible ally, order of opponents are Fox, Wolf, and Falco), Multi, Metal, or Normal||Fox, Falco, Wolf||Lylat Cruise|
|Captain Falcon||Port Town Aero Dive|
|Stage 8 - Super Mario Bros.||Giant (no allies), Team, Multi, Metal, or Normal||Mario, Luigi, Peach, Bowser||Delfino Plaza, Luigi's Mansion, Mario Circuit, Mushroomy Kingdom|
|Stage 9 - Game & Watch, Kid Icarus, Ice Climber or R.O.B. (Obscure classic characters)||Giant (no allies), Multi, Metal, or Normal||Mr. Game & Watch||Flat Zone 2|
|R.O.B.||Mario Bros. (Delfino Plaza if Mario Bros. has not been unlocked yet)|
|Stage 10 - WarioWare, Metal Gear, or Sonic the Hedgehog (Third party characters, or portrayed that way in-universe)||Giant (no allies), Multi, Metal, or Normal||Wario||WarioWare, Inc.|
|Snake||Shadow Moses Island|
|Sonic||Green Hill Zone|
|Bonus Stage 2: Target Smash! (1 level higher, if played on Intense, level 5 again)||N/A||N/A||Appropriate Target Smash!! map|
|Stage 11 - Free for All||Free for all with three computers||Three random characters that have not been fought yet||Final Destination|
|Stage 12 - Master Hand/Crazy Hand Battle||Enemies have stamina based on difficulty selected||Master Hand (and, depending on situation, Crazy Hand)||Final Destination|
As one unlocks more characters and stages, the rest of the battle types will be chosen. There are:
- 2 Target Smash!!
- 3 Single
- 2 Team
- 2 Multi-Man
- 2 Giant
- 1 Metal
- 1 4 player free for all
- 1 Final
- Clearing on Easy gives the player a sticker of a running Chibi-Robo.
- Clearing on Normal gives the player Icicle Mountain Music.
- Clearing on Hard gives the player Credits (Super Smash Bros.) Music.
- Clearing on Very Hard gives the player the Striker Mario Trophy.
- Clearing on Intense gives the player a trophy of Crazy Hand.
- Clearing with 10 characters will challenge the player to defeat Sonic. Beating him will unlock him, the Green Hill Zone stage and the Assist Trophy, Shadow the Hedgehog.
- Clearing on any difficulty will challenge the player to defeat Marth, assuming that no other secret fighters appear, and beating him will unlock him.
- Clearing without using any continues will challenge the player to defeat Luigi. Beating him will unlock him.
- Clearing on Normal or higher in 12 minutes will challenge the player to defeat Captain Falcon, and beating him will unlock him.
- Clearing on Hard or higher as Link or Zelda will challenge the player to defeat Ganondorf, and beating him will unlock him.
- Clearing after beating the SSE will challenge the player to defeat Toon Link. Beating him will unlock him.
- Clearing with 20 different characters gives the player a trophy of Master Hand.
- Clearing with all characters gives the player the Paper Mario Trophy.
- Collecting all character trophies (including both Zelda and Sheik, both Samus and Zero Suit Samus, and all three of Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard) gives the player the Creeping Chrysanthemum trophy.
- Clearing Classic Mode on any difficulty with any character will give the player a trophy of the character used. In the case of Zelda, Samus and the Pokemon Trainer, only a trophy of the character who landed the final blow on Master Hand will be obtained.
- In Brawl, Halberd will always be fought on in stage 5 due to only Kirby characters being fought in stage 5, and Halberd is the only eligible stage from the Kirby universe for Classic Mode (Green Greens is a Melee stage, and thus never appears).
- Brawl's Classic Mode is the only one (including the 1P game from Super Smash Bros.) in which Battlefield is never fought on.