Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is finally here and with it, the return of Classic Mode. This short single-player mode has been around since Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64, and for good reason. It's quick, fun, and offers a nice change of pace to playing against friends. But perhaps the most iconic element of Classic Mode is its final boss: Master Hand.
Master Hand started out as just a disembodied glove that featured in the opening of Smash 64. He picked the heroes out of the toybox and placed them in the fighting arena. Of course, he returned later in the game: upon reaching the end of the first version of Classic Mode, players faced him 1-on-1 in battle. His moves were unpredictable and powerful, but that was nothing compared to his sibling, Crazy Hand. Introduced in Super Smash Bros. Melee, he's also featured as a final boss, fighting alongside his brother when the player reached the last level under certain conditions. In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, they're back with their old tricks and some new moves.
Classic Mode in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate works differently than in iterations past. This time, each hero has a different path, featuring battles specific to them. For example, in Luigi's Classic Mode, titled "Luigi's Nightmares," each fight features a character in a "spooky" variant of their costume, with a final fight against Dracula from Castlevania. This change to Classic Mode is incredible; it's more replayable and varied than ever before. However, it does mean that only certain characters actually face off against Master Hand or Crazy Hand. Below are the characters that face each Hand.
- Master Hand: Peach and Daisy, Dr. Mario, Bowser Jr., Sheik, Ganondorf, Samus and Dark Samus, Zero Suit Samus, Ridley, King Dedede, Fox, Pikachu, Pichu, Pokemon Trainer, Lucario, Greninja, Ness, Lucas, Roy, Robin, Lucina, Corrin, Mr. Game and Watch, Palutena, Wario, Olimar, Villager, Isabelle, Little Mac, Wii Fit Trainer, Shulk, and Cloud.
- Crazy Hand: Falco and Ken.
- Both: Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Meta Knight, Mewtwo, Incineroar, Ice Climbers, Ike, Chrom, Pit, Sonic, and Ryu.
All characters listed will face both hands if the difficulty has been raised to 7.0 or higher. For the aforementioned characters that face both by default at all difficulties, an AI will assist the player as a partner. For example, in Pit's final battle against Master Hand and Crazy Hand, Dark Pit joins the fight. These AI are mostly unhelpful and can be KO'd, so don't count on their assistance to win the battle.
Defeating Master Hand In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Master Hand returns with all of his signature moves that players of all skill levels have to look out for. Luckily, he telegraphs his plays just as obviously as in previous games, giving those with the knowledge plenty of time to react. After playing through Classic Mode a few times, with one of the characters who faces Crazy Hand along, continue to rack up the difficulty as well as memorize his moves and how to avoid them. Most moves can be dodged simply by standing far enough on Final Destination to not get hit. Some, however, require precise timing. When Master Hand flies into the background, like a plane, make sure to wait until he's just about to hit before dodging, either in the air or on the ground. Other moves should be shielded instead of dodged, as the hitbox is much longer. Make sure to use shield sparingly, however; Master Hand's moves deal massive shield damage and there's nothing worse than a broken shield when facing a boss.
Master Hand does bring a few new tricks to his battle as well, including tossing out rings that return like boomerangs. There's not too many additions, though, so those who have faced the Hand before are at a distinct advantage.
Defeating Crazy Hand In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Crazy Hand's appearance is more or less the same. His moves are more erratic and powerful than his brothers, but they are also are easier to avoid if you know what to look for. Prepare yourself for each move by positioning your character towards the middle of Final Destination. It's always safest to be far from the blast zone. After he's done with his attack, he'll leave plenty of time to dish out damage. The best attack to use against either Hand are strong aerials like Captain Falcon's backwards or forwards-air, or quick moves that can be used several times in one waiting period like Pikachu's neutral air.
Fighting each Hand separately is old hat (old glove?); the real challenge comes from facing the two brothers together. Though they've fought side-by-side before, the difficulty is upped here, as they only appear together (with exceptions) at the highest level of Classic Mode play. On a 9.9 difficulty, don't be afraid to be cautious, chipping down their health bars only when it's absolutely safe. The most important thing to remember when facing Crazy Hand and Master Hand is spacing. Because each Hand does a move at the same time on opposite sides of the stage, sometimes the only place to hang out is off the stage. Choosing a character with decent recovery is helpful, as you can remain safe, hovering or floating far away from the danger. When the move is over, jump back (or climb back from the ledge) and attack the Hand of your choice.
A new addition to all boss fights in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is stunning. After a certain amount of damage is dealt, the boss will go into hit-stun. They will float on the ground with stars appearing above their head, giving the player a ton of time to dish out free damage. This is key when fighting the Hands together; even for a moment, a 1v1 is much easier than a 1v2. Damage one Hand first and when they are stunned, use this time to focus on the other boss. Deal damage to them, rinse and repeat. Each boss gets stunned twice (once towards the middle of their health bar, and once towards the end), so staggering which Hand you attack maximizes time fighting a Hand solo. Hand Solo: A Smash Bros. Story.
After one Hand has been eliminated, it's just time for cleaning up the other Hand. When they are stunned for the final time, the best moves to use are jabs that can be held indefinitely or quick tilts (Ness' down tilt, for example). When their health bar reaches zero, they'll explode in the distance in the most beautiful display of fireworks a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate fan can imagine.