You'll never make me die
There's no spirit skill that beats me!
Know that I'm the super star
No-one else will drive you this far!
This spirit's a bitch
Get ready for this!
Let's go, and fight Pauline!
While the Spirit Battles that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's Adventure Mode World of Light and Spirit Board throw at you can be quite challenging, a number of them have become infamous for chewing up players and spitting them out. The World of Light ones are especially difficult on Hard Mode.
- On the Spirit Board you may find Donkey Kong and Lady. You have to beat a giant Donkey Kong with super armor in a stamina battle, and he has a metric ton of stamina and enough strength to destroy you in seconds. To complicate things, Peach is also in the fight, representing Lady/Pauline, but this time you have to protect her or you lose, and she goes out of her way to get involved in the fighting. There's also the fact that because DK is giant, his throw power is strong enough to OHKO you if you're unable to get out quick enough. None of this is helped by the fact that you fight in the awkward 75m, and unlike with the Pauline spirit, hazards are turned on this time.
- The Funky Kong Master Spirit, which takes place in Kongo Jungle against a Captain Falcon, DK, and Diddy who will eagerly pick up the constantly spamming Bullet Bills and fire at you with scarily competent aim.
- Jeff's Spirit Battle is a pain in the butt, considering the fact that the stage (Onett) will mean you'll have to move around. And the Inklings LOVE to spam their projectiles, and said projectiles are far more powerful here. And since it's the Inklings (all of them the same color), they'll splatter paint on you, making it harder for you to tell where you're at. And to add insult to injury, Assist Trophy Jeff will appear at certain intervals and shoot his bottle rockets, which are incredibly accurate unless you keep moving. Making this even worse is the fact that the game recommends using a spirit that gives you the Franklin Badge; doesn't sound too bad right? Except the AI is generally smart enough to not use projectiles against you as long as you have the Franklin Badge equipped (and will resort to other methods of attacking you instead) and Jeff's rockets cannot be reflected either. If anything, you're likely to lose the Franklin Badge and have one of the Inklings steal it from you, thus rendering them immune to projectiles for a spell.
- Black Shadow is an exclusive Spirit Board challenge that is a Legend with over 13,000 power. This fight contains both a Captain Falcon and a slightly larger version of Ganondorf. These two when together can knock you off the stage very quickly, and proceed to double on you, and Ganondorf hits like a truck with his Smash Attacks and Reverse Warlock Punch. It is very likely for you to get hit by their attacks, smacked off the stage and into a meteor smash from the Captain Falcon or Ganondorf, causing a defeat. Then there's the fact that you take sudden damage constantly, so you could be safe from one attack the next only to die from that attack in the next second. Even with some of the most powerful Legendary spirits, this fight can cause you to lose a lot of rematch items.
- Great Fairy takes the form of a Zelda that is both Giant and has Increased FS Gain, which is a mean enough combo in its own. But then she ramps it up and adds two more skills to the mix: the first is increased Special power, which makes the already hard-hitting and hard-to-dodge Giant hit even harder. The second and even worse skill is Critical Health Recovery, which means she heals 100% damage when she reaches 100% damage. Unless you KO her with the blow that triggers the heal, not only will she recover from your hard work (and it is hard work, as her Spirit Power is 9,500), but because of Increased FS Gain, she will likely have her Final Smash ready when she does. Not helping matters is that Zelda has a Danger Zone-style Final Smash (Triforce of Wisdom) that has a ridiculous range because she is Giant, and with the beating you're likely to take from her Special spam, along with her Final Smash being a One-Hit Kill when you're above 100%, this will KO you (and even if you aren't at 100% damage, chances are real good that depending on where she used it she'll kill you from the move's launching power anyways).
- Dr. Wily is the optional spirit battle of the Base, and boy howdy, is he extremely tough. The fight is a stamina battle against eight Metal Mega Men, who will relentlessly pursue you with deadly ranged attacks, with a combined total of a monstrous 800 HP. Wily himself isn't too tough due to just being a single Dr. Mario, but the battle to get to him is extremely difficult.
- Mega Man Volnutt puts you against 3 Mega Men with items already equipped. Simple, right? How about the stage where it takes place being The Great Cave Offensive and under a two minute limit? This makes it so the player most likely has to resort on the stage's gimmick of KOing an opponent when touching lava at high damage, but it's still a fight against three opponents, so you have to make sure to damage them all enough and launch them to any lava area under a restrictive time limit. And of course, being an Ace spirit, it means the three are likely to gang on you and give you a difficult time on it. And he blocks the route towards the Sacred Land, making it a mandatory fight.
- The Boss is easily among the most difficult of all the Spirit Battles. The reasons are numerous: you fight a smart and reactive Zero Suit Samus, on an Omega stage with the ground covered in poison, while she has over 13,000 power. This means you have to come in with at least one Support Spirit of poison immunity or Madama Butterfly's Poison Heal, as she will outdamage you with the poison constantly draining your health away otherwise. Even worse, early into the fight, Samus receives a potent Defense Up boost that makes damaging her much harder (it actually kicks in when her health is lower than 150 out of 180 when the battle description itself says it's supposed to kick in when she's at high damage). While this wouldn't be much of a problem due to being a Stamina Battle (and thus being able to cheese her out with ranged hits), this particular battle is timed, meaning that you can lose if you don't kill her by the time the clock runs out. Even worse, it's almost certain that she will charge up her Final Smash at least once over the course of the fight, which is a free 20 HP she gets off of you, since her A.I tracks you scarily well while she's aiming her laser.
- Omega Ridley might show up late, but it still is a pain for how late it is. Ridley is already a powerhouse, but he's easy to launch, so no problem, right? Well, this Ridley is metal, making it harder for you to launch. As if that wasn't enough, Ridley is constantly under the effects of Superspicy Curry, requiring projectiles or a Franklin badge to even attack. Oh, and the stage you fight him on? Norfair, which has all its rising lava intact. This is somewhat mitigated by the fact that Ridley is just as prone to the hazards of Norfair, but don't rely on it to save you. By the way, want to play as Lucina in World of Light? This is the Spirit guarding her, meaning you must beat him before getting to her.
- Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres, another Spirit Board exclusive. The legendary birds are represented by three Lucas fighters who each spam PK Freeze, PK Thunder, and PK Fire. Theyre also really aggressive, and due to the fact that they all have 60 HP, theyre almost guaranteed to swarm you and ensure you never get a chance to fight back. While this can be worked around with a Franklin Badge (which they all permanently have) or super armor, theyll still likely beat you.
- The Victini fight features an Incineroar that can easily launch the player as far as possible, which usually starts with its Final Smash that it uses almost immediately in the beginning of the match thanks to the Victini-loaded Poké Ball that it starts with. This will either KO the player immediately or cause enough damage to ensure that the next attack does KO the player.
- Giga Mac. He has the tied most power in the entire game, that being 13,900. It puts you into the Boxing Ring with a giant Little Mac to represent Giga Mac himself, and it's extremely difficult to get him flying. His attack speed is also wicked too, draining your HP in a flash. To add insult to injury, his Final Smash gauge charges quickly. Any spirit that heals you every five seconds is a must-have, but it cannot go higher than the starting amount. Good luck trying to beat him because the title screen theme from the Wii Punch-Out!! game will be stuck in your head for a while.
- The Dr. Eggman spirit battle is no slouch either. It has you up against Roy Koopa (representing Eggman himself) and a metal Sonic (who is Metal Sonic, of course). Wouldn't be so bad on its own, except that ranged items keep spawning, and they are gravitated toward the AI. If that metal Sonic takes a lot of damage and grabs a Rage Blaster, you're screwed. And worst of all, Bob-ombs fall from the sky every fifteen seconds or so. There's no way of knowing where they will fall, and you'll need incredible reflexes to avoid them.
- Krystal is another Legend spirit battle that on paper sounds perfectly manageable, but in her own words... "You're not ready yet!" It pits you against a skilled and bloodthirsty duo of Fox and Falco that starts out with a Krystal enemy assist trophy. What makes Krystal scary is her versatile pool of attacks including freezing you from a distance with icy blasts that avert Denial of Diagonal Attack, and smacking you with her staff for a smash attack's worth of damage and knockback at close quarters. She also has a nasty habit of respawning right on top of you whenever she's out-of-bounds. Between the three of them and one of you, the Corneria stage becomes very cramped, not helped by the occasional Arwing swooping down and potentially firing at you. By the time you manage to defeat Krystal, you are probably at killing range percentage while dealing with the remaining Fox and Falco.
- Akuma will, for lack of a more polite term that adequately conveys how rough his Spirit Battle is, f*** your s*** up. It's a Stamina Battle against Ryu. Now, Akuma in his playable appearances has traditionally been a Glass Cannon, so you'd think that that would be the case here, right? WRONG. See, he's modeled after his original boss appearance, so he takes normal amounts of damage (and likely has more stamina than you will), and his specials are massively buffed to the point where he can quite literally wipe you out in three or four hits, his AI is fairly smart, and the fact that it's Suzaku Castle means that there's nowhere to hide.
- Guile is a massive pain in the butt, and the battle pits you against him and Captain Falcon, the latter of whom is more than willing to get in your face. Falcon has 180 HP, just like other Legend-class Spirits, but it's him pestering your face while Guile Sonic Booms you in the interim that will drive you up a wall. Want to take Guile out with Assist Killer? It's freaking Guile — he will merely Flash Kick you away if you don't have a whip, and Falcon can soak up projectiles like a boss. This match is a very ugly instance of Character Select Forcing, because mixup and rushdown characters like Pikachu are going nowhere against this double team from hell.
- Geno can turn into a mess very quickly due to Gang Up on the Human. The fight is a 3 vs. 1 battle against five AI players who each represent one of the five party members from Super Mario RPG, all of whom are reasonably competent enough to completely obliterate you if you let them surround you. The primary target is a Sheik with a Super Scope, but she doesn't spawn in until after the second enemy dies, meaning you will have to go through two enemies first, and they will very easily wear you down significantly before the Sheik even gets a chance to spawn.
- Pauline is easily the most infamous Spirit battle in the entire game, and not without reason. The map is 75m and the target is a pacifist Peach, and her backup is a Mario who starts with a Hammer and a giant Donkey Kong. Sound simple on a map as big as 75m? Not quite. First of all, your jump height is reduced (though Bunny Hoods spawn for you to remedy this). Secondly, another item that commonly spawns is the Timer, and while you can grab it to make beating up on Pauline easier, the enemies can do the same thing and utterly gang up on you. And third, there's a minute-and-a-half time limit. It turns out that Mario and Donkey Kong are actually really good at wasting your time, with one of them blitzing you as you chase Peach while the other farms Stopwatches; Donkey Kong in fact will use his grapple Forward Throw and just hold you there with it, not even attacking. You'll almost certainly have to KO Mario and DK before you can get at Peach with any big hits, which is a difficult task with the strict time limit. Compounding this is the fact that the game doesn't tell you about Peach fleeing from you before the stage starts.
- 9-Volt & 18 Volt's Spirit Battle is pure agony, even on easy. You have to fight a Villager who loves to spam projectiles, an Incineroar who likes to grab you so his teammates can rack up damage on you, and worst of all, a permanent Sheriff Assist Trophy. Sheriff's attacks are quick, have infinite range, cannot be blocked or reflected, and inflict significant knockback, and with all the enemies ganging up on you, trying to do anything without getting locked in hitstun is nearly impossible. Sure, you could try to get rid of Sheriff first, but Sheriff is Immune to Flinching, very durable (although an Assist Killer Spirit helps greatly with that), and you have to worry about the other enemies attacking you. Just to top it all off, the stage keeps dropping Galagas that the enemy will use as soon as they appear. Given all the attacks that keep knocking you around, it's only a matter of time until something knocks you into a Galaga, leading to an unavoidable KO. Worst of all, you could even try to use the Galaga against them, but due to the constant bullet spam from the Sheriff, the Galagas will probably get destroyed even afterwards.
- Ashley is a weird case. You have to deal with both a very competent Mii Swordfighter (dressed as Ashley, of course) and a tiny Ridley, on a hazard-filled WarioWare. It also starts with an Ashley assist trophy, which is already an annoying assist (and you can't even harm her at all). Most importantly, however, is the stage-effect, where every once in a while your controls are flipped. While this can be nullified by a Support Spirit, spirits that provide immunity to this effect are very rare, and in World of Light itself it's almost-guaranteed you won't have it by the time you square off with her. The result is that most players end up trying to brute-force a nearly unbeatable fight instead of hunting for an ability they may not know exists.
- Pyra is a bad time. To wit, you face off against a Lucina and a Shulk, both with boosted melee weapon damage, on a field covered in lava, immediately robbing you of two of your precious support slots. Lucina packs a powerful melee weapon in the form of the Fire Bar, while Shulk starts the fight with Superspicy Curry active, making it very difficult to both get close to them and start a combo. Finally, unlike the average AI, if you're offstage they will come after you and try to edgeguard, meaning you'll likely die sooner than you normally would.
- Baby Bowser is yet another Spirit Board-exclusive that can be a major pain in the butt. It's a stamina match against two Bowsers, one tiny and one giant, on the Omega form of Find Mii entirely covered in lava, meaning a lava immunity Spirit is an absolute must. While the tiny Bowser isn't that overly difficult, the giant Bowser is a major pain to kill, as he will spam his most powerful attacks which hit like a truck, and if you're not good at dodging can (and probably will) reduce your stamina from full to zero in literally seconds. You can easily recover all your Stamina if you chose Ness or Lucas and throw your PK Shield the moment you see Bowser spitting fire (which is scaled up to cover the entire stage), but you'll still need to resist a long fight and don't get overconfident.
- Rayman may not seem overly threatening at a glance, but the battle has the right combination of elements to make it quite the trial. You engage in a stamina battle against Sonic, whose incredible speed makes him hard to keep up with and lets him get in your face instantly, and his strength is boosted, so it hurts a lot when he hits you. What takes the fight into the realm of frustrating is that a Sukapon Assist Trophy (the actual Rayman stand-in) will also be attacking you. Trying to drain Sonic's health becomes a nightmare when Sukapon can launch his head at you from a great distance to interrupt your attacks and deal a ton of damage, or throw you away if you get too close to him. Worst of all, the AI has an uncanny ability to juggle you between the two fighters' attacks, swiftly racking up the damage and making it nigh-impossible to get a hit in. Fortunately, like with most fights with assists, if you manage to defeat Sukapon (which is not as hard, as Sukapon may be strong, but he is not too durable), the fight becomes far more manageable.
- While Sukapon's Spirit Battle isn't in World of Light, it does have a rare chance of appearing on the Spirit Board. This fight is twice as bad as Rayman because Sukapon is a Legend spirit with 13,700 power and puppets a Mii Gunner with 180 HP in a Stamina Battle. This Mii Gunner is extremely aggressive and nimble, preferring to zone you with her multitude of ranged attacks to make avoiding Sukapon almost impossible. Thanks to the enemy's high HP and AI level, it's more than likely you'll have to KO Sukapon twice before the fight is over. And to make matters worse, the Mii Gunner periodically gets a damage buff to keep the pressure on you even if Sukapon is gone. Odds are, you will have to buy it from the Shop when it's available and it costs a fortune, that being 15,000 gold.
- Akira. Take a Ryu with much higher health than you that requires extra Stamina spirits to even come close to, add in high-gravity to possibly waste a spirit slot or make it harder to dodge Ryu's attacks, add an Assist Trophy that's basically a second Ryu that can perform synchronized combos with the real Ryu, and the result is a spirit that can drive you insane. Think of bringing an Assist Killer support to help you? Sucks to be you, because the Akira assist can block your attacks, giving Ryu more time to damage you. To top it all off, this spirit is the one placed directly in front of Bowser Jr. in World of Light, meaning that you have to beat this battle to play as the Prince of the Koopas or the Koopalings.
- Toy-Con Robot is way too difficult, even if it is an Ace. It's almost as bad as Rayman but this time you face two Mii Brawlers with one of them being giant, and both of them have increased power. Not to mention, they have 10,000 power. And both of them are really aggressive as they constantly gang up to spam attacks on you. Worse, the giant Mii Brawler can survive up to 250%. This one can be really a nightmare if you aren't good at dodging.
- Toy-Con VR Goggles can also be quite the challenge despite being an Advanced Spirit. You're pitted against R.O.B. and two Mii Gunners, and all three will gang up on you and keep you at bay with ranged shots. May not be too difficult in theory, except you're fighting on Gamer with hazards on, meaning you have to always avoid 5-Volt's line of sight. As if that wasn't enough, hazard assist trophies are on, and it's Yuri Kozukata, meaning you can't KO her, and you also have to avoid her camera even with everything else happening. Finally, to top it all off, Dragoon parts spawn, meaning that even if you can work through all that, you may just get one-shotted.