Super Smash Bros. Melee

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Super Smash Bros. Melee
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Super Smash Bros. Melee

Developer(s) HAL Laboratory
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Release date(s) December 3, 2001
Genre Fighting game
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer
Rating(s) ESRB: Teen (T)
ELSPA: 11+
PEGI: 3+
Platform(s) Nintendo GameCube

Super Smash Bros. Melee (大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズDX Dairantou Smash Brothers Deluxe in Japan) is a colorful fighting game for the Nintendo GameCube with many modes of play. It stars many Nintendo characters, including Mario, Link, Samus Aran, Pikachu, Yoshi, Donkey Kong and Kirby (he's the best). It is the sequel to the Nintendo 64 fighting game Super Smash Bros., and includes all the characters from the previous game plus new ones. Super Smash Bros. Melee is a Player's Choice title and the second GameCube title to appear on the cover of Nintendo Power. The ESRB rating of 'T' is one level up from Super Smash Bros.'s E rating.

Like its predecessor, Super Smash Bros. Melee is an easy-to-learn, hard-to-master game that, while being child-friendly, can provide enjoyment for the adult gamer. It provides casual entertainment as well as deep challenges.

Super Smash Bros. Melee also has orchestrated tracks of classic Nintendo themes and victory fanfares, conducted by the aptly-named Orchestra Melee.



SSBM is different from most traditional fighting games because simply inflicting damage does not guarantee victory. In normal play, winning requires that the opponent be forced outside of the stage's boundaries, similar to a ring out. Inflicted damage increases the distance which attacks send an opponent, and so sufficient damage must be accumulated before attempting to KO an opponent (usually with a forceful Smash attack). Insufficient damage allows an opponent to recover and land back on the stage.

Items typically appear randomly around the arena, where they may be picked up and used by anyone. The items are derived from a number of Nintendo games, including, for example, Super Mushrooms which increase a character's size, An SNES Super Scope which can be charged up to cause extreme damage, and heart containers (from The Legend of Zelda) which heal 100 percentage points of damage a character has taken.

In single player mode, Classic, Adventure, and All-Star modes are available. Classic mode is a series of individual fights with the Stadium bonus stages in between. Adventure mode is a series of stages where the player must head towards the goal, fighting enemies along the way. In All-Star mode, the player fights all 25 characters, starting one at a time and eventually progressing to several at once. In All-Star mode, the player's damage carries over to the next fight, although limited healing is available in between.

In versus mode, between two and four characters may fight, either in a free-for-all or on teams. All characters may be controlled either by humans or varying levels of AI. The victory condition may be to either be the last man (or team) standing, or to achieve the highest score at the end of a certain time limit, where the score is determined by the number of KO's achieved. A variety of other options are available, such as determining the number and kind of items, or playing a match in slow motion.

In the single player mode, there is an option to go to the Stadium. In the Stadium, players can choose between three mini-games: Target Test, Home Run Contest, and Multi Man Melee.

Target Test

This mode provides easy access to the target-breaking mini-game found in Classic Mode. The object is to destroy all ten targets within a certain timeframe; completing the Target Test under certain time constraints can unlock bonus extras. Each character's Target Test level is tailored to their particular attacks and abilities.

Home Run Contest

In the Home Run Contest, the player's goal is to hit a character named Sandbag as far as possible. Only 10 seconds are allowed and the more damage inflicted on Sandbag before time's up, the farther it will fly when struck with the provided Home Run Bat. This all has to be done on a small platform, though, and if Sandbag goes off one will have to restart. The player can choose any character to beat up Sandbag.

Although Yoshi is often said to be the best choice of character for the challenge, the world record for furthest distance with any character is 11,347.2 ft, done with both the Ice Climbers and Ganondorf. If Sandbag is hit over 1,350 feet, the Yoshi's Island past stage will be unlocked.

The track eventually ends, preventing records higher than a certain distance from being recorded. In the first version of Melee, the track ends at 4556.6 ft; in later versions, the track ends at 11,347.2 ft. It has been shown that there is a slight increase in distance hit when the game is switched to the Japanese language than in default English. Also, the area in which the player stands on to damage Sandbag is noticably larger in Japanese than in English.

Multi-man Melee

Multi-man Melee mode stars the Fighting Wire Frames. There are five types of Multi-man Melee modes: 10-Man Melee, 100-Man Melee, 3-Minute Melee, 15-Minute Melee, Endless Melee, and Cruel Melee.

Mode Objective
10-Man Melee KO 10 of the Fighting Wire Frames
100-Man Melee KO 100 of the Fighting Wire Frames
3-Minute Melee Survive a three-minute timed match with the Fighting Wire Frames
15-Minute Melee Survive a fifteen-minute timed match with the Fighting Wire Frames
Endless Melee Survive as long as possible against an endless barrage of Fighting Wire Frames
Cruel Melee Survive as long as possible against an endless barrage of Fighting Wire Frames with very aggressive AI, and with no items

Meeting certain requirements in the Multi-man Melee modes unlocks things.

Playable characters

Characters available from the start of the game

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Screenshot of Yoshi in Super Smash Bros. Melee

1These characters appeared in the original Super Smash Bros. Captain Falcon and Ness were also available as unlockable characters.

Unlockable characters

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Screenshot of Mr. Game & Watch in Super Smash Bros. Melee

²These characters appeared in the original Super Smash Bros. Jigglypuff and Luigi were also available as unlockable characters.

Non-playable characters

Master Hand - A giant, floating, white glove, similar to Mario's, that first appeared in the original Super Smash Bros. at the end of the 1 Player game.

Crazy Hand - Crazy Hand is almost identical to Master Hand, but is more difficult (and is a left glove, whereas Master Hand is a right glove). Crazy Hand also has several attacks that Master Hand does not.

Crazy Hand only shows itself when certain requirements are met: when the player proceeds through Classic Mode without using continues on at least the Normal difficulty, and gets Master Hand down to at least half of its HP. Additionally, it can be found in the fiftieth (second-to-last) Event Match.

Its behavior is more random than Master Hand's. Its attacks are more devastating, and overall it is more difficult to defeat than Master Hand.

Fighting Wire Frame - The Wire Frames are wires in the shapes of men and women, apparently wrought from the power of Master Hand. They bear its symbol beneath the "skin" of their face. (Of course, they are a tribute to the wire frame models used in the early stages of character creation.)

They appear in Adventure Mode and the Multi-Man Melee challenge, replacing the Polygon Team from Super Smash Bros. Like the Polygon Team, they are the game's generic weak opponents. Usually it takes a large group to even stand a chance against a reasonably skilled human player; However, in Endless and Cruel Melee modes they are much stronger and do pose a danger. One fights them on a stage called the "Battlefield".

Giga Bowser - Giga Bowser is a possible final boss in the game's Adventure Mode, and can only be fought when the player beats the Adventure mode on Normal difficulty or higher, without using any continues, and in under eighteen minutes. At this point, where the credits would normally begin, Bowser returns from the abyss surrounding the Final Destination field and transforms. He becomes far larger, quicker and more powerful than Bowser was, and can be quite a challenge. Additionally, he can be found in the last Event Match alongside Mewtwo and Ganondorf.

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Sandbag in Super Smash Bros. Melee's home run contest.

Sandbag - The Sandbag appears only in the Home Run Contest (see "Stadium" section below). In the Home Run Contest, the player's goal is to hit Sandbag as far as possible. According to the game's trophy description, "Getting hit doesn't hurt Sandbag at all!", which is fortunate for Sandbag, as its flight distance is proportionate to the damage it has accumulated. In order to get the Sandbag Trophy, the player must hit Sandbag 984 feet (300 m). The player has 10 seconds in which to damage Sandbag, then smash it off the screen as far as possible with a provided Home run Bat.

++Please note that if entering the Action Replay Debug code, these characters will be playable


Trophies of various Nintendo characters and objects can be collected. There are 290 of them in the U.S. version of SSBM, and 293 in the Japanese version. One trophy, the character Tamagon from a game called Devil World released only in Japan, was locked out of the U.S. version possibly because of the title of the game in which he appeared. Additionally, the Motion-Sensor Bomb trophy originally bore a resemblance to the Proximity Mine in the game Perfect Dark; the trophy was altered in the U.S. version to resemble a proximity mine from the N64 game GoldenEye 007 for unknown reasons, and its game of origin was changed to "TOP SECRET." There were also 2 trophies that could be won in a contest at Japan. One featured Mario and Yoshi, and the other one showed Samus Aran without her helmet on. However, all three of the locked-out trophies can be unlocked with use of the Action Replay. There is no way to obtain the original Motion-Sensor Bomb trophy outside of the Japanese version, however, and setting the U.S. version's language to Japanese will not work either.

Trophy errata

Samus Aran (trophy number 10) appeared in Metroid when it first came out in August 1986. Super Smash Bros. Melee chose a later release date (1989) for the Samus Aran trophy description.

Meta Knight (trophy number 240) first appeared in Kirby's Adventure (later enhanced-remade as Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land), not in Kirby Super Star. However, he was not mentioned by name in Kirby's Adventure, which probably caused this overlooked fact.

Ayuma Tachibana (trophy number 286) was the protagonist of the original Detective Club game, even though the trophy description states that she appeared only in the second Detective Club game.

The "Coins" trophy speculates that they may be the currency of the Mushroom Kingdom; however, Mario and other Mushroom Kingdom characters have clearly used them as such in several games.

Although the games the Motion-Sensor Bomb and Cloaking Device are from is listed as "TOP SECRET" one of the ending credits clearly states that "Certain characters and items from Perfect Dark[...]", implying, if not, outright stating the source of these items.

The Home Run Bat was described as first appearing in Super Smash Bros. Melee, when there is a Home Run Bat in the game EarthBound.


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Screenshot of the Mushroom Kingdom 2 stage, which features graphics from Super Mario Bros. 2
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Screenshot of the character selection screen after all the characters are unlocked.

Character "clones"

There are six pairs of characters that quite resemble each other (having similar attacks and movement). Although the moves of the characters may appear similar at first glance, there are very subtle differences between the characters that keep them distinct, especially to more advanced players.

Falco is an adaptation of Fox as he appeared in the original Super Smash Bros. game.

Voice actors (seiyus)

Sonic & Tails Rumor

In 2002, the April edition of the video game magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly included a "cheat" for the game that would baffle people for years to come. The issue claimed that the Sega characters, Sonic the Hedgehog and Miles "Tails" Prower were hidden characters in the game. In order to be able to play as them, the player was required to eliminated 20 of the wire-frame characters in the Cruel Melee mode. Then, both would supposedly fight the player at the same time, and if they lost, then they would become playable. The magazine also said that if one completed Classic mode with one of them, then they would be given "a special surprise". To convice readers, they included some screenshots of Sonic and Tails in play.

However, this was revealed to be a hoax shortly after one of the readers discovered the date in one of the photos 'EGM' placed. It was included in the April edition for the sole purpose of being an April Fool's joke, reminiscent of their equally cunning Sheng Long joke for Street Fighter II. There are also several factors that also prove this false, such as Nintendo not joining forces with Sega until after the game was released, as well as the fact that there is a screen that tells the player that they have achieved all of the hidden characters. In addition, these characters were not included in any strategy guide.


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Left: Metal Box. Right: Its effect on Pikachu

The future of Super Smash Bros. series currently lies in the balance. It has been widely speculated across Internet forums. Masahiro Sakurai, the creator of Super Smash Bros. and Kirby video game franchises, resigned from HAL Laboratory, Inc. in June 2003. He said that he left of his own free will and neither because of poor relationships nor because of a desire to establish a new corporation. Some other sources said that Sakurai felt that he was unable to develop the games he desired for Nintendo to publish. He eventually decided to resign on this basis, and engage in freelance work that befits his skills and talents. Sakurai said that even though the Kirby video game franchise will still be developed by HAL Laboratory, he has not said a word about the future of the Super Smash Bros. video game franchise.

At E3 2005, the head of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, announced a third game in the Super Smash Bros. series that is currently in development for the Nintendo Revolution. The game was confirmed to be be playable online by taking advantage of the system's Wi-Fi capability.

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