Brawlhalla is a Free-to-Play Fighting Game based off of the Nintendo's Mascot Fighter Super Smash Bros.. The game was created by the Atlanta, Georgia-based Blue Mammoth Games, who also created Dungeon Blitz, and is published by Ubisoft.
The game takes place in Valhalla, where its only inhabitants are those who died in fame and glory (or infamy), mythical beings, beings of a different planet, and people who just want to fight other people. In Valhalla, combatants called Legends from all sorts of times and places fight in a seemingly never-ending tournament to be known as the greatest warrior of all time.
In essence, Brawlhalla sticks to the staples of the subgenre; you and up to seven other people fight to build up damage on one another until someone is knocked out of the ring. In some modes, you gain points by KO'ing opponents, in others, you lose a life if you're KO'd. The person with the most points or the last man standing wins. This is the standard mode, but there's also 2V2 modes, and even a side-game called "Brawl Ball", which is pretty much a strange combo of American Football and Soccer.
What makes Brawlhalla different from most platform fighters and pretty much most fighting games is that your moveset is already, well, set. Where most fighters in other games, in general, have unique movesets to them, Brawlhalla has none of that, and all normals are the same for each character. What Brawlhalla does have are three unique systems weapons, stats, and the gravity cancel ability.
Stats are the main character modifiers. Each character is given a value between one and nine in four categories; Strength, Dexterity, Defense, and Speed. Each stat, depending on how low or high it is, can change a character's playstyle. They work as follows:
- Strength determines how much damage your attacks do and how hard your attacks knockback enemies.
- Dexterity determines how fast or slow you recover after using normals and special attacks.note
- Defense is how much damage you can take and how far knockbacks send you.
- Speed is how fast your character moves.
Stats aren't the only thing here, though. The name of the game in Brawlhalla is weapons. Each character has two of twelve possible weapon types that they can use by collecting weapon drops throughout the stage (with the occasional bomb or mine). No two characters have the same two weapons, and similar to the standard movesetnote , the normals are the same for each character. However, each weapon has three special moves called "signatures"note that are unique to each character, and every character has six of them. The weapons are as follows:
- Axes (Relatively slow, hit hard, wide hitboxes.)
- Blasters (Low impact, but varied move sets. Arbitrary Minimum Range.)
- Bows (Difficult, but Awesome, narrow hitboxes, good combo capabilities.)
- Cannons (Slow, relying on steady combos, with good hitting power.)
- Gauntlets (Very short range, fast and hard to dodge. A few grabbing moves.)
- Hammers (Hit harder and slower than axes, with a superior range. One grabbing move.)
- Katars (Short range, fast but relatively strong. Good aerial mobility.)
- Rocket Lances (Awesome, but Impractical or Difficult, but Awesome, depending on your proficiency. Good mobility.)
- Orbs (A weird weapon, certain moves can bounce off of walls and the ground.)
- Scythes (Fast, weak hitting power, but several grabbing moves. Unorthodox movesets.)
- Spears (A polyvalent weapon, with medium speed, generous hitboxes, and easy-to-learn combos.)
- Swords (Weak but fast, easy to master. Useful for cranking up damage.)
Brawlhalla also has no blocking, instead favoring dashing and dodging. In place of that, however, is the ability to gravity cancel that is, using a ground move in the air.note Because of this, combos and mixups can be much more complex.
The game was first playable in Early Access in April 2014. Its open beta began in November 2015 and was given a full release in October 2017. A PlayStation 4 version was released at the same time as the official release, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch versions were released on November 6, 2018.
The Characters page needs to be updated, and more images need to be added.
This game contains examples of:
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Val decided to be evil after gaining sentient thought, but likes watching Kung-Fu movies with Brynn when not in the tournament.
- All Swords Are the Same: All of the swords in the game offer the exact same moveset (besides signatures), "swords" ranging from things like broadswords and katanas, to iron pipes and even nailbats.
- A Load of Bull: Teros is a Minotaur. His backstory is even that he was hired by various "villains" because it was the easiest work he could get; in other words, he did serve as a "boss" before coming to Valhalla. Humorously, when Brynn brought him to Valhalla, the trope name is implied to have been the reaction from many Asgardians.
- Ambidextrous Sprite: Asymmetrical characters' skins are just mirrored when they turn around, so Ada's green eye or Mirage's hair switch sides. However, there is also an animation showing the character switching which hand holds their weapon, making them all literally ambidextrous.
- An Ice Person:
- Mordex uses ice magic, which he stole from an ice witch.
- Kaya is from a land of ice, and uses it to both form her bow and spear and for many of her attacks.
- Animal Battle Aura: Some legends project an animal aura for some of their signature moves. Bodvar has a bear one, Jhala has one of a dragon she has presumably slain, Sir Roland may have one of his horse, Queen Nai has some snake spirit attacks, and Kaya has a mammoth. All of these auras are physical enough to be an actual part of their attack in some way.
- Anti-Frustration Features: The mall allows for full refunds of items you either purchase by accident or just realized you hate. However, you're only allowed three, and after 90 days, you can't get a refund.
- Animated Armor: Jhala's village had to regularly fight off suits of haunted armor.
- Bare Your Midriff: Ada's default outfit shows off her stomach. Asuri has visible fur between her top and pants, but no discernible belly button.
- Big Ball of Violence: The logo features some of the characters fighting with a dust cloud obscuring them.
- Blade on a Stick: The game has Spears and Rocket Lances; both are pretty good at long-range stabbery, but the lances tend to drag their wielder all over the place while the regular spears ones are less mobile.
- Bottomless Magazines: Blasters never require reloading, even those that clearly use solid ammunition, like Barraza's shotguns. Bows seem to materialize arrows as well, and most Legends who wield a bow don't seem to sport a quiver.
- Cartoon Bomb: They appear as a gadget that you can pick up and throw at your opponents, and even have a couple game modes that are about them.
- Cast of Snowflakes: The setting of Valhalla means the fighters can be from all across space and time. The first six characters, for instance, are a viking, a wild west marshal, some sort of mystery alien, a galactic conqueror, a caveman, and a jungle queen.
- Choice of Two Weapons: Each character has a unique set of two weapons that they carry.
- Crossover: In addition to Rayman being his own character and a Lum King as a Sidekick, there are also "Epic Crossovers", which brings in characters from basically anything in the form of skins for already existing characters.
- Deal with the Devil:
- Hattori swapped blood with a demon so she could defeat his brother and save her sisters. Then she became his bride.
- Cross made a deal with a demon while fighting in WWII, gaining the demon as a weapon until his last fight. Since Brawlhalla conveniently offers infinite fights, Cross is eager to stay.
- Thatch won his Ghost Ship from the Devil using "The Devil's own double-headed coin", which is now in Cross's hands.
- Death as Comedy: We know of very few of the actual deaths that happened to the Legends for them to arrive in Valhalla, but a few of the ones that we do know of are somewhat ridiculous. For instance, Sir Roland originally wasn't going to be able to enter Valhalla, as he was on a deathbed instead of dying in battle. So a Valkyrie came to him and punched him to death, technically counting as him dying in a fight and allowing him entry.
- Difficult, but Awesome:
- In 2v2 competitive play, there's a crazy way to rack up damage called a "black hole". You start by hitting an enemy with a neutral normal (usually a string-based weapon such as swords or gauntlets), having the enemy knock back into your teammate, they hit the enemy with a neutral normal, have them knock the enemy towards you, and repeat for as long as possible. This is insanely difficult to DI out of and is crazy to watch when pulled off. Obviously, the two things keeping this from being broken is that it's easy to drop when two people are involved, as well as if one of the enemies aren't caught in it, they can pressure with a signature and knock one of the enemies out of being able to hit the trapped player. And even getting a 2-man black hole is difficult in itself.
- Scythe and bow are both notable for their unorthodox movesets. Scythes have the active input mechanic which alters certain attacks based on directional input, while bows tend to be reliant on diagonal attacks for maximum effectiveness.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Kor has rock-based attacks, being a living rock, and Mirage seems to disappear into sand for some of her attacks.
- Double Jump: taken Up to Eleven. All characters have a triple jump by default, and are able to cancel all momentum once while in the air, and can make aerial attack to get a final upwards momentum boost if the need arises.note
- Drop the Hammer: The warhammer weapons are all big and heavy, giving them good range and smashing power.
- Dual Wielding:
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: It's Super Smash Bros. Brawl in Valhalla.
- Guest Fighter:
- After the acquisition of Blue Mammoth Games by Ubisoft, Rayman was added to the game, coming out on the same day as the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One versions of the game.
- Because Crossover skins are an official type of skin, we have Shovel Knight characters Hellboy (2019) characters, and even Adventure Time characters.
- Guns Akimbo: The blasters always come in a pair. They offer great combo and damage potential at the cost of Arbitrary Minimum Range and little to no diagonal capabilities.
- Holiday Mode: Christmas, Halloween, "Back to School", St. Patrick's day, Valentine's day, "Summer Break", and other special events (that usually accompany the release of a new character, or a new movie coming out) all come with special skins, taunts and colours that can only be purchased during the event's duration.
- Honor Among Thieves: Subverted with Lucien, who was part of a group who were loyal to him... but at some point, he decided to turn them all in to turn his own profit, and actually did better without them as a lone criminal.
- Horror Hunger: It's implied that Mordex ate his fellow monster hunters after turning into a werewolf; that said, Mordex wanted to be a werewolf, and probably didn't care or feel any remorse for them anyway.
- Horny Vikings: Bödvar is certainly a viking and has a horned helmet.
- Hunter of Monsters: Before she died, Diana hunted monsters for a living and killed vampire kings like it was nothing. Even demons feared her.
- Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: The Fangwild is "a spacetime anomaly much like a black hole" and travelers would "inevitably be torn to shreds" if passing through it.
- Impossible Thief: Caspian's hat among the things he stole before stepping foot in Valhalla are The Mona Lisa (which was replaced with a portrait of Caspian with a Mona Lisa Smile), the city of Kiev (all of it), and August 32nd (or, as his lore states, "some time for himself").
- Karma Houdini: Any of the Legends that were evil in life but somehow have a seat in Valhalla. Some were just amoral, others dealt specifically with demons and dark magic. Special mention goes to Mordex, who backstabbed and killed many people, one of them being Diana.
- Mysterious Stranger: When he was first introduced, very little was known Orion, and all the characters had their own ideas about him. He was made much less mysterious with the introduction of Ulgrim and his accompanying lore.
- My Instincts Are Showing: Mordex claims that Diana should have caught on to him being a werewolf when she found him sleeping under the porch.
- Our Orcs Are Different: Xull is not just a random orc mook, he was the commander of the Iron Legion, he rode a T-rex, and is obsessed with being in charge, going so far as to challenge Thor for leadership of Thursday. He has the highest strength of all the legends at base, even outdoing the Minotaur.
- Our Were Wolves Are Different: Mordex was a man who fully sought out being a werewolf for the power. He also has ice magic and dark magic that he stole from a witch.
- Phlebotinum Rebel: Ada, after being trained for the Black Ops division of a corrupt company, discovers their true goals and promptly exposes them to the media and becomes the worst thing that ever happened to them. She also appears to have some cybernetics at least in one eye, pointing to possible enhancements or experiments.
- Nix is a Grim Reaper for hire. She specially targets some of the fighters for profit, since they broke metaphysical laws to get to Valhalla.
- Brynn is part Valkyrie, who bring the worthy dead to Valhalla. Most of the fighters got to Valhalla through either her or another Valkyrie bringing them there.
- Rerouted from Heaven: Inverted; despite Valhalla being the Norse equivalent to heaven for warriors, there are a few less-than-savory fighters that were considered worthy or are there through some mistake, it isn't always made clear. Namely, we have a demonic mobster, an insane pirate, a lich lordnote , and a man-turned-werewolf who would do anything for more power.
- Rocket-Powered Weapon: Rocket Lances are oversized lances that have a head almost as big as the legends themselves and have a rocket in the back to use for boosting around or hitting people with. They have extremely good horizontal capabilities and the tools to keep them in situations where they can use said capabilities.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Queen Nai is a proud warrior and magic user who wants to do the best for her people and would fight to the death for them.
- Snowball Fight: one of the game modes involves the players chucking snowballs at each other, but they hit extra hard and can be fast-fired.
- Supernatural Is Purple:
- Technical Pacifist: Wu-Shang is a monk and prefers not to fight unless necessary; however, given that in Valhalla, he can fight without killing or doing permanent harm, he enjoys fighting in the tournament.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: To get rid of your weapon, you throw it. If it hits someone, it does damage, and can even knock someone out if they're at a high enough percent.
- Transhuman Treachery: Mordex was once a monster hunter and head of an order of them. He was always it doing for his own gain, to get closer to the supernatural for more power, eventually purposefully getting bit by a werewolf before turning on humankind.