|X Marks the Spot|
Dialogue and cutscenes are mostly told Kid Icarus: Uprising style- everything is done in game and characters talk over the gameplay in levels. While many characters talk, it is only to the level they have previously been seen talking in their past titles- Mario and Kirby for example don't talk much if at all- while Wii Fit Trainer and Palutena are more chatty.
X Marks the Spot is more or less identical to the mechanics of Super Smash Bros. Discord, featuring the Power Smash mechanic (as well as it's other functions such as X-Cancel and Knockback Cancel). Certain characters have a increased jump height compared to their game counterpart to make platforming much more manageable and status moves deal raw damage to enemies. Players can customize the move list each character has in the menu as well as using the triggers allowing them to switch out movesets incredibly fast; there is no cooldown while in platforming segments.
Compared to the Subspace Emissary, there are a few alterations with how stage progression works. Only the first level needs to be cleared before access to the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth levels are unlocked, which unlock 1-2 more branching levels. While these levels can be done in any order, all levels from this section must be cleared first before the player can move onto the seventh main level, which unlocks another set of six levels. Additionally, to end a level, a treasure ala Wario Land 3 must be found. The player can find up to four treasures in any given level.
The plot concerns a treasure hunt that sees the Smash characters going against each other to find the legendary "X" treasure; a treasure so elusive and valuable that even pits the best of friends against each other. With various factions and bonds being forged and betrayed, everyone must work with and against each other should they desire the treasure.
The X Reports
The X Reports are collectible papers that can be collected in X Marks the Spot. They can be found in giant hidden chests and feature information about the lore that is used for this mode.
Who is Master Hand?
Master Hand is typically seen as a child's hand by the outsiders of this world, merely playing with his toys. In the realm of Smash, this may have been the case at some point, but has since changed, and continued to do so. Looking at past data reports suggests this is the case.
Recently the World of Trophies has depicted him more as a friend to the Smashers, depicting the situation more akin to a fighting tournament of sorts. In fact, it was not long ago we were shown the origins of the first Super Smash Bros. as a traveling act. Perhaps traveling from the worlds before they slowly became merged prior to the Subspace Emissary, since the universe is now officially known as the World of Trophies. To do this, I have theorized Master Hand seeked out Tabuu to give him the increased power to do this.
Back around the era known as Melee, characters traveled from world to world, where as the Brawl depicts this World of Trophies as more of a singular entity. While Master Hand could always animate the characters and form the stages, he may have needed more power to do more than just that… a world that was breathing and living without his control.
More on Master Hand
Some extra information that I'm not really sure fits anywhere else...
As found in this report, there's more information about Master Hand's role in the Subspace Emissary...
The last tidbit is really really interesting and would feed into the theory that after the Brawl era, Master Hand's powers come from Subspace to some extent, which feeds right into the theory that he took power from Tabuu. Another interesting note is that in the two Smash tournaments prior to the twin Wii U and 3DS Smash tournaments, there is a visible core on Battlefield, but in the joint twin tournaments, it's just gone. Combined with the fact Master Core debuts in said tournaments... there has to be a connection here. My possible theory is that it really is some sort of extender for his abilities that he uses to either keep the Shadow Bug powers under control or perhaps to control them. It's difficult to say what exactly happened to poor Master Hand after Tabuu.
Another tidbit is that Master Hand is behind the scenes as the announcer too. Not many people know this, but he says the character names when he's not laughing at the end of the Classic Mode segments of the tournaments. Pretty easy to see why since he controls everything and produces the stages and fights for the audience, who hear pretty often cheer on their favorite smashers.
Who is Gangeem?
This mysterious woman claims to be the last scholar of Galeem, the threat that previously took over the world of trophies through effortless power and would have succeeded in shaping the world in his image if it were not for Kirby, the lone warrior who managed to escape the light beam attack. She seems to have some kind of connection to him, although she hardly claims to be Galeem himself, just a mere scholar that inherited what was left of his will. She has her own plans, it seems.
In addition to having elements of Galeem in her attacks, she also seems to utilize the chains of light that were used by Tabuu, as well as a mastery of Shadow Bugs.
What is Narlux?
Narlux is an odd specimen I came across on my travels, working alongside his silent partner Zissel. I suppose I was lucky enough to get away before I was sucked in or paralyzed permanently...
I have no idea who exactly he works for, but he uses old Subspace equipment and Shadow Bugs. I would suggest a connection to Tabuu, but the Subspace Bombs he uses vastly differ from how they were previously reported to act. They can vanish after being set off, something that was not part of the original behavior of said bombs. How exactly he got access to Shadow Bugs is also beyond me, although given the several different sources of it, it doesn't exactly surprise me.
He's a pretty icky individual, I'm not a huge fan of him. Arrogant but a coward, he always seems to have some kind of trick up his sleeve. He just looks gross too, with that manged fur and that awful looking trunk... what exactly is he? He wants the treasure evidently, but who is he working for and why?
World of Light: Sources of Power
The last remaining characters in the World of Light war were Bayonetta and Palutena, who could have both survived the onslaught of Galeem if Palutena didn't stand back to protect the twin Pits and if Bayonetta had made more of an effort to actually survive the onslaught. As such, these two were highly prized by Galeem and Dharkon due to their powers being incredibly similar. They may have even powered some of their attacks, or at least were copied from to some extent.
As such, due to their imprisonment being so prized by the deities, it's safe to assume that the Umbran Witch and the Goddess of Light would be big targets for anyone looking to start things with the Smash Bros., although they pale in comparison to one pink demon.
The Pink Demon
A devourer of giant eels, a splitter of the earth, a being capable of breaking planets in half with a swing of a baseball bat. This creature is still within in it's infancy and it's capabilities are terrifying. Power copying alone would put it in the realm of the most powerful smashers, but that was never enough for this demented orb. It's ability to suck up just about everything, as well as their ability to pilot warp stars to the extent that they could avoid Galeem's onslaught makes them overpowered to a degree never even close to being seen again.
It's no surprise that the demon has a clone too, although it's genetic insuperiority ensures it's degrading cells will never come close. Is it any surprise that the cosmic prankster named Marx stays the heck away from troubling the pink ball in any shape or form, while still masquerading his plans around him? The only thing that stops this pink colored black hole from destroying the universe is a complete lack of awareness. While a frightening aspect of the demon is in fact, their lack of awareness of any situation they find themselves in, one can only imagine what their power could do with someone who has demonic aspirations.
Kirby has never been under the effects of brainwashing. We shudder to think what might happen if they do.
- The Road's first real scene was originally a callback to the start of the Subspace Emissary, although no invasion from Subspace occurs. It still kind of is in the original scene, although Mario and Peach immediately take off from there and serves as the introduction for Dragon Queen. This scene was more or less to poke fun at story modes that start identically to the Subspace Emissary.
- The original beginning of X Marks the Spot reused a rejected concept for the Subspace Emissary mode where the cast was on a bus. This was scrapped due to it being hard to start the story from that position.
- Another rejected concept was the exploration of Master Hand's use of the Smash Bros. fighters and whether they are actually being forced to fight, although this has been scrapped in favor of exploring the lore in general.
- The story mode, like the Subspace Emissary before it, is being developed more or less as it's own game that will be integrated into Super Smash Bros. Discord as a way to unlock characters and items quickly.