Lylat Cruise: Stage Research

ParanoidDrone

Smash Master
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#1
A new year, a not-so-new stage. Lylat Cruise is a returning stage from Brawl, but there's an interesting twist to it that some people may be aware of already. Let's get to it.

Shoutouts to @ Amazing Ampharos Amazing Ampharos who helped me learn about this twist and, quite frankly, knows more about it than I do. Hopefully he'll see this and chime in.

As a final note, I invite everyone reading this to also read this thread by @ T-block T-block from the Brawl Competitive Discussion forum. I have utilized it when collecting some of the information presented in this thread. I also wish to give credit to @Toomai for a diagram which I have shamelessly reposted below.

Previously Covered
Castle Siege
Town & City
Duck Hunt
Delfino Plaza
Kalos Pokemon League
Mario Galaxy
Coliseum
Gamer
Wii Fit Studio
Kongo Jungle 64
Windy Hill Zone
Luigi's Mansion
Norfair
Orbital Gate Assault
Woolly World
Skyloft
Garden of Hope
Mushroom Kingdom U
Wuhu Island
Mario Circuit

Layout
Lylat Cruise has a simple layout. The main playing surface formed by the spaceship Pleiades is flat in the middle but slightly angled on the sides, resembling a trapezoid. Three platforms overhead follow the same contours but are otherwise unremarkable. The entire stage as a whole tilts back and forth as the spaceship navigates one of five different environments.

Players 1 and 2 start on the side platforms above the main surface. Players 3 and 4 start on the main surface in the gaps between platforms. The Omega form floats over a void.

Lylat Cruise has no stage hazards or other interactive stage elements.

Tilting
The Pleiades is not a static entity. Instead, it tilts back and forth as it navigates the various background scenes. This tilting, while complex, follows the same pattern every time for any given scene. Each scene lasts for a set amount of time before the Pleiades tunnels through a wormhole of some sort to a different scene, although there can be a small amount of variance where the transition starts a few seconds early. The order of the scenes is random and each is pictured below in spoiler tags.


Scene 1: Asteroids. The Pleiades flies through an asteroid field. This is the shortest scene, lasting only 20 seconds.


Scene 2: Dogfight. The Pleiades flies around a battle between Star Fox and Star Wolf. This scene lasts about a minute.


Scene 3: Space. The Pleiades flies around the same area as the Great Fox scene, the only difference being the absence of other spaceships. This scene also lasts about a minute.


Scene 4: Corneria. The Pleiades enters the atmosphere of Corneria before departing again. This scene lasts roughly 30 seconds.


Scene 5: Battleships. The Pleiades flies around a large scale space battle. This scene lasts around 45 seconds.

Of note is the effect that the tilting stage has on the fight. In addition to the obvious interference with projectiles, it can also make recovering troublesome as the ledges move back and forth. Lastly, as the stage tilts, certain attacks which physically move the fighter can end up placing the fighter in an airborne state instead of leaving them on the ground. This effect seems to be localized at the ledges and the engines, where there exist sudden height differences. Bowser's jab is notable for being particularly easy to trigger this effect with; stand on the ledge while facing the middle of the stage and use his jab as the ledge tilts up. This has been patched out with the 1.0.6 update.

Fortunately for the player, the tilting is dependent on the background scene currently in progress. The following diagram made by @Toomai shows how the Pleiades tilts over time through each of the background scenes. For this purpose, the Space and Dogfight scenes are identical. This diagram is from the Brawl era, but eyeball comparisons show it is still reasonably accurate.


A diagram illustrating how the Pleiades tilts over time through each background scene. Positive Y values indicate a tilt to the left, while negative Y values indicate a tilt to the right. The X axis is time.

Ledges
Lylat Cruise is well noted for its ledges, which are unusually difficult to sweetspot. This is because the ledges themselves have only the smallest of walls to help guide recoveries, and the shape of the stage underneath the ledge does not permit players to use it as a recovery aid. The stage's constant tilting, of course, does not help matters either.

The Omega Form continues this trend. However, there is a small exception. Underneath the ledge on the Omega form is the steepest of slopes, and indeed most recoveries will not ride it to safety. However, Zelda and Palutena can situationally use it when recovering with Farore's Wind and Warp, respectively, due to how teleport moves work. While teleporting, any sloped solid surface they encounter will guide them along the slope. Thus if they are properly positioned underneath the ledge and teleport straight up, it is possible for them to still sweetspot the ledge. This is a very situational ability and does not apply to Sheik's Vanish for reasons unknown.


Lylat Cruise got patched during the 1.0.6 update and underside of the stage now allows players to recover normally. However, the stage still tilts and the tilting can turn the sloped underside into a solid ceiling for a few seconds at a time. That said, it is still much easier to recover here than it was before.

A new video has recently surfaced showing that the ledges on Lylat Cruise can be jumped through from below while the stage tilts. You can view the video here.

Summary
  • Stage tilts back and forth as spaceship navigates background scenes.
  • Tilting follows consistent pattern, complex as it may be, depending on which background scene is active.
  • Background scenes are ordered randomly.
  • Tilting no longer causes players to go airborne after certain moves after 1.0.6.
  • Ledges are no longer difficult to sweetspot after 1.0.6.
 
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#2
I really don't like this stage's ledges... Somehow makes it hard to recover as Pit, of all people. The only characters that'd like the stage are those that can exploit the ledges easily, like ROB or Villager.
 

ParanoidDrone

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#5
Semi-major update. After finally getting off my *** and looking through the various threads and images people linked me to, I have gone and incorporated their data and naming conventions into this topic where applicable. Credit to @ T-block T-block and @ MetalMusicMan MetalMusicMan in particular. The only major change is that according to @ T-block T-block , the Brawl version of this stage followed a few rules when changing backgrounds. Namely, the Space and Dogfight scenes were interchangeable and each cycle of 4 used one or the other. This has changed as proven by the game throwing a cycle of Battleships/Dogfight/Space/Corneria/Space/Asteroids at me, in that order. The diagram made by @ MetalMusicMan MetalMusicMan is still accurate based on eyeball comparisons.
 
Joined
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#6
Cool. Good to know that information is still useful.

Is the "twist" about characters being made airborne due to the tilt? If so, I'd be very interested in hearing what you guys have to say about it - I've been meaning to do some experimenting myself, but I never got around to it. If it can be done consistently (assuming the appropriate tilt is occurring, of course), then I think we have a very cool and unique stage mechanic on our hands. If it can't be done consistently, then it's just annoying haha.

EDIT: The Brawl selection process may have changed, but I'd be careful about claiming it's now "completely" random. There may be some order behind it, as in Brawl. For example, I'd be very surprised if the game allowed for the same scene twice in a row, but I could be wrong.
 
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ParanoidDrone

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#7
Cool. Good to know that information is still useful.

Is the "twist" about characters being made airborne due to the tilt? If so, I'd be very interested in hearing what you guys have to say about it - I've been meaning to do some experimenting myself, but I never got around to it. If it can be done consistently (assuming the appropriate tilt is occurring, of course), then I think we have a very cool and unique stage mechanic on our hands. If it can't be done consistently, then it's just annoying haha.

EDIT: The Brawl selection process may have changed, but I'd be careful about claiming it's now "completely" random. There may be some order behind it, as in Brawl. For example, I'd be very surprised if the game allowed for the same scene twice in a row, but I could be wrong.
Well the thing about the Space and Dogfight scenes being interchangeable still holds as far as the tilt patterns is concerned and they came up one after the other, so I extrapolated from there. I didn't feel up to watching the stage move along for longer than necessary, but I can edit out the word "completely."

As far as the airborne characters go, it does seem tied to the tilting but localized around the ledges and the points where the stage starts sloping down. @ Amazing Ampharos Amazing Ampharos knows more, I believe.
 
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Amazing Ampharos

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#8
The way it works is that some moves in their animation shift the user on the ground a bit and the game has to correct for that movement at some point. In order to keep attackers on the ground when the stage tilts, the game has to correct as well. If you are standing on the engines (where the stage "bucks" just a bit) or right on either ledge and use such a move, the sum of the necessary corrections gets greater than the game is willing to automatically do and you pop into the air in the middle of the animation. You pop very low; on the engines you tend to be in the air for only a frame or two which pretty much just means it instantly cancels whatever you were doing to trigger the effect. On the ledges you often fall off the stage which doesn't seem very useful but does come up.

It is 100% non-random. It's just very hard to determine which moves in particular will trigger it and just how much tilt is needed per move (some moves need less tilt than others; Bowser's jab needs way less tilt than most others). It's also more often than not unhelpful for the user since it seems very easy to cancel a move before it hits, but I'm pretty sure there's some really clever stuff to be done with this by a knowledgeable player. In general I look at this as a super specific AT more than a "problem" with the stage.
 
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#9
I have this fantasy in my head where I dash attack someone's shield (as Bowser Jr., so it's a lasting dash attack) and Lylat lets me tap their shield and then cancel into a grab. If this is doable consistently then I will 100% put in the time to practise it.
 

Luigi player

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#10
It's not just attackmoves which can make you airborne. I've been interrupted in my jump startup frames and didn't jump at all. Also it happened pretty often while I was charging smash attacks.
(this was always while I was above the engines)
 
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ParanoidDrone

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#11
I have this fantasy in my head where I dash attack someone's shield (as Bowser Jr., so it's a lasting dash attack) and Lylat lets me tap their shield and then cancel into a grab. If this is doable consistently then I will 100% put in the time to practise it.
The moves that do get affected by this are affected consistently, but the problem is that there doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason to the list of "moves that are affected by this." If you can manage it then go on ahead.
 
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