Barrels are objects that can be scattered through the landscape whose main purpose is to make the battlefield more explosive and fun.
Interaction with barrels
Barrels can be damaged similar to hedgehogs, so they take damage from explosions, falling, fire and so on. They first have to take quite some damage before they explode.
If a barrel took too much damage, it will explode. Using a blowtorch to dig into a barrel will immediately make it explode. An exploding barrel causes 75 damage and creates 128 flames (64 normal flames and 64 sticky flames).
Barrels can be frozen by the Freezer to increase their “health” (see below), thus making them less dangerous (for a while). Frozen barrels behave like their normal counterparts, the only differences are their color and the fact they cannot be frozen again (as long as they are frozen).
All barrels start standing straight up and as such, they can only fall straight down. But with punches (from Shoryuken, Whip, Baseball Bat and a few other weapons) they can be also hurled to the left and right after which they will continue to roll for the rest of their existance. Once a barrel has started rolling, it can not be turned back into a standing barrel.
Barrels have a health like hedgehogs and can take damage, but they are a bit more prone to fall damage. All barrels start at 60 health points and explode when their health got down to 0 or lower.
The barrel's health cannot be seen directly, but it can be estimated by multiple means. A barrel with no smoke usually has not or just been very lightly damaged where a barrel with a lot of gray smoke has been heavily damaged. Barrels start to emit smoke when they have 53 health points or less left. Note that barrels with 53 health points technically emit white smoke, but very rarily. Smoke is more noticable at a health of roughly 35 or lower.
Both the amount of smoke and the smoke color are indication for the barrel's damage. Barrels will gradually emit more smoke the less health they have. The relationship between smoke color and health is shown here:
If a barrel gets frozen by the Freezer, it gains 60 health points. A frozen barrel will turn into a normal barrel as soon as its health is 60 or lower.