On April 1, most of the “news” we find is going to be shrouded in mystery and leave us sceptical. But since we have no obvious reason to assume that today’s Smash “pic of the day” is some sort of joke, the question is not “is this real?”, but rather “what even is this?”
The image presents Link dashing towards the Villager in a ruins-type area. Series director Masahiro Sakurai says on Miiverse: “This may look like a side-scrolling action game, but it’s actually one of the stages.”
Sakurai mentions the word “stage”, so the first assumption would be that this a new stage reveal — but there a number of issues. There seems to be a wall behind Villager, which would make it difficult to KO a character. If based on a Nintendo franchise, the closest thing this would come to is Kid Icarus; but we already have Palutena’s Temple on the Wii U version. It also just looks too plain to be a regular stage — though it could be a new mode. The spiked ball in the air, while seemingly blending in as part of the stage, is likely Kirby in Stone (Down + B) form. More interestingly, the spring looks identical to the one from Brawl‘s Stage Builder mode.
So, is this the new Stage Builder? It’s possible, if this area is part of a pre-selected list of backgrounds/themes that the player can choose from. It could also be from the Adventure mode, though traditionally that mode is single-player-only, and there is clearly more than one character — which presents a new possibility of co-op.
The more I think about this, the more confused I become (which I guess you could call a Fools Day prank after all). Perhaps you readers will spot something that I haven’t — any ideas?