||This article or section contains non-canon information.
- This article is about Ness's appearance in the Super Smash Bros. series. For information about Ness in general, see Ness.
Ness (Japanese: ネス Ness) is a playable character in the Super Smash Bros. series. Along with characters like Mario, Link, and Kirby, Ness is a member of the "perfect attendance crew" who have been in every Super Smash Bros. game.
Ness is voiced by Makiko Ōhmoto in all Smash Bros. games
Throughout the series, Ness is classified as a middleweight character with slow ground movement, and above average aerial speed. Ness has a variety of different PSI moves used for his special attacks: PK Flash is his neutral special starting in Melee. It is a damaging move that gets stronger as the player charges it, when fully charged it is a powerful move that deals a lot of damage and can KO at low percentages. PK Fire is Ness's neutral special in the original Super Smash Bros, and his side special from Melee onward. Ness fires a lightning bolt that ignites into a piller of electrical fire upon hitting an opponent. Characters will get trapped in the flame piller as they also gradually take damage, making it a useful move for racking up damage and combos. PK Thunder is his up special. Ness fires a ball of lightning that can be controlled by the player, which damages an opponent upon contact, but disappears as it does. However if the player hits Ness with it, Ness will be launched like a missile which is very powerful and as it sends him far it can be used as a Recovery to get him back to the stage if he gets launced. PSI Magnet is Ness's down special. It functions as a shield surrounding Ness which absorbs energy based projectiles such as fire or ice and heals Ness as a result.
Ness is a playable character and is the only EarthBound character in Super Smash Bros. He is unlocked by completing 1P Game on normal difficulty or higher with only 3 stocks and without using a continue. He is fought on Dream Land 64 for his unlock battle. Ness's appearance is largely based on his sprite from EarthBound due to having purple and yellow stripes and a more saturated color scheme.
During the early metagame of Smash 64, Ness was considered to be top tier, among the ranks of Pikachu and Kirby, ranking 3rd out of 12 on the original tier list. One of the main reasons was for his double jump cancel, which was a big threat early on. As the metagame progressed, however, his few but significant weaknesses became more apparent. Most notablly his poor recovery, which despite its great distance, can easily be exploited due to leaving him vulnerable to meteor smashes, its slow movement and predictably, along with how easily the lightning ball can be destroyed leaving him helpless. His short range also became more noticable and exploitable, causing his double jump cancel to become less effective. Currently he ranks 10th on the current tier list. Due to Ness being stronger in the Japanese version, however, the Japanese tier list ranks Ness as 5th out 12, in the high tier.
Ness was a seemingly-average kid from Onett, but in truth, he was destined for much more. When a strange meteorite landed near his hometown, the little boy with psychic powers set out to save the world. Little has been said of Ness's character, and much remains hidden.
Ness returns as a playable character, although he is now available from the start, and still remains the only playable EarthBound character. His home stages are Onett and Fourside. Ness was redesigned to resemble his clay model, now appearing more rounded with blue and yellow stripes rather than purple and yellow.
Ness's moveset was largely unchanged, though the most notable change is PK Fire was moved to his side special and he gained a new neutral special, PK Flash.
Ness was among the most heavily nerfed characters during the transition to Melee, along with Pikachu and Yoshi, though not as drastic as Kirby. Although his aerial game is strong thanks to his double jump cancel and he has access to some cheap kill options via the Yo-yo glitch, his KO power is extremely lackluster, which is made worse by the fact that his range, while significantly improved from the previous game, is still among the worst in the game. Despite PK Flash having strong KO potential, it is nearly unusable in competitive play due to its slow charging leaving him vulnerable to punishes. Furthermore, Ness's recovery via PK Thunder travels a shorter distance whilst having reduced KO potential, which, coupled with unfixed issues from the previous game, makes it arguably one of the worst in the game.
Lastly, Ness's combo game has been significantly toned down due to the nerfs to his aerials, with his down aerial in particular being much slower, and is further hindered by the universal gameplay changes such as the reduction of hitstun and addition of air dodging and DI. As a result of his nerfs and poor viability, he is currently ranked 23rd out of 26 characters on the current tier list, being in the D tier and two spots away from the bottom tier, a slight fall from his placement on North America's Smash 64 but a significant drop from his placing on Japan's Smash 64 tier list, and his lowest placement in the series.
Ness is a young boy who's mastered the psychic power known as PSI. Ness was living a normal life in the suburbs of Onett until a meteor crashed into a nearby mountain and sent him on a wild adventure. Believing in the ultimate powers of wisdom, courage, and friendship, Ness proves that some heroes come in small packages.
The key to mastering Ness is controlling his unique midair jump, which makes up for what he lacks in speed. His PK Flash attack may seem weak at first glance, but it grows more powerful the longer you hold down the B Button. To do a lot of damage with PK Fire, try to burn your opponent as many times as possible.
Ness's mind is his best weapon. PK Thunder is a PSI missile weapon that can be guided using the Control Stick, and if Ness hits himself with it, he turns into a living missile capable of doing massive damage. This move can also be used for recovery. PSI Magnet turns energy missile attacks into health; try out certain Pokémon for stamina replenishment.
Lucas was originally planned to replace Ness in Melee, however due to EarthBound 64's constant delay and cancellation, Ness was kept instead.
||Actually, at first, I planned to change him [Ness] into the protagonist of Mother 3 [Lucas], but for various reasons during the delay, I settled back on the original idea.
|— Masahiro Sakurai, Smabura-Ken Ness page (Japanese)
Lucas eventually became a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Ness returns and is once again an unlockable fighter. He is unlocked by playing five VS. matches, reflecting ten projectiles, or having Ness join the player's party in the Subspace Emissary. Aesthetically, Ness has recieved several changes in line with Brawl's more "realistic" artstyle, namely his colors being much less vibrant and his clothes having more fine detail.
Ness has achieved better tournament results in Brawl, being 26th out of 38 on the tier list. He was mostly buffed in his transition to Brawl, with his speed and KO power increased. While his recovery is still exploitable, it has been improved due to the lightning ball moving faster, and when launching Ness like a missile now traveling farther and has increased knockback. However, he still recieved some nerfs such as the removal of his double-jump cancel technique and hitstun cancelling removing his combo ability. His most significant and controversial flaw is that his grab-release animation is 10 frames longer than other characters, a trait he shares with Lucas. This makes him vulnerable to grab-release followups by many characters, including zero-to-death chain-grabs from characters like Marth and Donkey Kong.
The Subspace Emissary
In The Subspace Emissary, Ness appears after saving Lucas from the giant Pig King Statue, which is soon revealed to be Porky Minch. Lucas and Ness team up to defeat Porky. After the two defeat Porky, Wario appears and attacks Ness with a strange cannon, and Ness successfully dodges each shot. Wario, however, then aims at Lucas, forcing Ness to push Lucas out of harm's way and take the arrow from the Dark Cannon, which turns him into a trophy. As Lucas is too scared to face Wario, he leaves Ness behind as Wario cackles in the rain. Most of Lucas's story in SSE involves getting revenge on Wario and trying to find Ness.
As Wario is driving his Cargo with Ness' and Peach/Zelda's trophies on board, he finds Luigi's trophy and prepares to take it until he is ambushed by an army of Waddle Dees, who throw Luigi's trophy into the cargo, which is stolen by King Dedede. At his hideout, Dedede puts a badge on Luigi's, Ness', and Peach/Zelda's trophies before the roof collapses on them, turning Dedede into a trophy in the process, and Bowser takes Peach/Zelda's trophy. Soon afterwards the Ancient Minister detonates a Subspace Bomb that consumes Dedede's castle along with Ness', Luigi's and Dedede's trophies by Subspace.
Ness is not seen again until much later in the story, where he and Luigi are revived thanks to the Dedede Badges. Upon inspecting Luigi's badge, he notices that it looks like Dedede, and, assuming that Dedede made them, proceeds to revive him. Upon being revived, King Dedede gives both of them a hug before they team up and rescue Lucas, along with most of the other characters. Kirby, who was revived by the Dedede brooch he swallowed earlier, revives whatever characters that Ness' group did not come across, including Wario. Wario then bashes Dedede in the head as revenge for Dedede stealing his cargo and trophies. He is then surprised to see Ness and Luigi on Dedede's side. They offer to let Wario to join them, and he agrees and rides his bike up to the entrance of The Great Maze. After clearing The Great Maze, the characters reaches Tabuu again. He attempts to use his Off Waves attack, but they are destroyed by Sonic. Lucas, along with the other revived characters team up to defeat Tabuu, the ruler of Subspace.
In the Subspace Emissary, characters are playable by what's going on in the story. Ness is playable in The Ruined Zoo, Subspace (Part I), and The Great Maze. After the game is completed, Ness can be played on any level.
- An average boy whose life changed when he found a meteor and an alien on a nearby mountain. The alien warned him of a future threat, and adventure ensued. He can use psychic energy known as PSI, and also wields a bat and yo-yo. This brave youth gives his all to defeat the evil Giygas.
- Ness as he calls down a host of damage dealing stars in his Final Smash. Everyone on the screen must dodge like crazy to avoid getting hurt, but that's no easy task. This attack first appeared in the Mother series, but it was Poo, not Ness, who wielded it. Perhaps Poo taught Ness the secret of the attack for use in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Ness is playable in both versions of the game, he is unlockable in the 3DS version and a starter in the Wii U version. Ness's design have been noticably overhauled and are now a combination of his Smash 64 and Melee appearance, now appearing more slender much like the former while having the coloration of his clay model akin to the latter.
Ness was buffed in his transition to this game: his extra 10 grab-release frames were removed so he is no longer vulnerable to grab-release combos. His recovery was greatly improved, it no longer disappears when hitting an opponent until the "tail" leaves his body, additionally Ness has a small window where he can use PK Thunder again if he crashes into a wall or ceiling. Due to these buffs, Ness is now a high tier character ranked 28th out of 58 characters, tied with Lucas, being his best placement to date and similar to his placement in the Japanese version of the original game.
- NTSC: Hailing from Onett, a small town in Eagleland, this young boy's ordinary looks hide his psychic powers. Ness fought against the evil Giygas in Earthbound, and in Smash Bros. he unleashes some of the same PSI moves. Watch out for PK Thunder, a guided attack that can also launch Ness like a rocket!
- PAL: From Onett in Eageland comes this young lad. He may not look like much, but he has powerful psychic abilities, and they really come in handy in EarthBound. They come in handy in this game, too. Did you know you can control his PK Thunder bolt? Aim it at Ness himself to send him flying, absolutely clobbering anyone in his path!
- NTSC: Ness may have psychic powers, but that doesn't mean he shies away from getting physical. His side smash packs a real punch if you hit enemies with the end of his bat, and it can even deflect projectiles! His up and down smashes also have a lot of range - Ness can land his strikes with ease!
- PAL: Ness may have psychic powers, but that doesn't mean he shies away from getting physical. His side smash packs a real punch if you hit enemies with the end of his bat, and it can even reflect projectiles! His up and down smashes have a lot of range, meaning when you play as Ness, it's always easy to land hits on your foes!
- In EarthBound, this PSI ability belonged to Poo, the Crown Prince of Dalaam and one of Ness's friends. Ness must have learned it especially for Smash Bros.! The attack makes a shower of meteors fall onto the stage, damaging any foes it hits. While the attack's in progress, Ness is invincible and can adjust the meteors' trajectory.
As the game brings back every past veteran from previous games, Ness once again returns, now he is unlockable as the starting roster consists only of the original eight starting fighters from the original Super Smash Bros., however he is usually the first character to be unlocked. Ness retains his design from For 3DS/Wii U with a slightky lighter color scheme.
This time Ness has been buffed significantly: most of his moveset has recieved increased KO power and combo potential, as well as reduced lag. His specials have been buffed, with PK Flash being faster no longer making him helpless, PK Fire has reduced lag, PK Thunder dealing more damage and knockback, and PSI Magnet now deals direct damage. His up and down yo-yo smashes are now reverted to their pre-SSB4 render, where they are now active while being charged. They have also regained their KO potential from the original Super Smash Bros. game, and most infamously, they now hang off ledges, which combined with their KO power, makes it a lethal edge-guarding technique. The return of directional air dodging greatly improves his recovery, as it is much safer to use when closer to the stage than PK Thunder. His greatest strength is his aerial game, due to all of his aerial attacks being fast and disjointed, and having reduced ending lag, allowing him to effectively combo and edge guard opponents
He is also benifited by the nerfs to characters who Ness previously suffered against, such as Rosalina, Cloud, and Corrin who are now less troublesome to deal with. Ness is strongest against characters who rely heavily on projectiles, such as Pikachu, while he does struggle against characters who can outrange him such as swordfighters. Because of these buffs, Ness is now a much stronger fighter than he has ever been in previous games. He has achived excellent tournament results in Ultimate's early metagame, whith many players reguarding him as a high tier, even a few players considering him as a top tier fighter.
His dominance is even more apparent in online play, due to the increased imput lag allowing his already fast aerials to be even safer to use and recovery harder to exploit. This became especially significant during 2020 when the regulations surrounding COVID-19 caused all tournaments to be temporarily regulated to online, with one of his most major wins being a first place finish at The Box, which featured a $10,000 prize pool and the largest bracket of any Smash tournament (online or offline) to date.
Ness has received aesthetic changes to his special moves, where they now display graphics similar to there respective animations from EarthBound, an example being PK Flash displaying bright circular flashes. When Ness uses PK Starstorm, the background shows graphics similar to the Sound Stone's background pattern. Additionally Paula and Poo now appear and assist Ness as he uses PK Starstorm.
Ness's Classic Mode route is named Home to Onett!, which is based on his adventure in reverse from Magicant to Onett, possibly referencing the end game where Ness rerurns home after defeating Giygas. Ness's credits theme is Smiles and Tears referencing the credits in EarthBound.
Although Ness wasn't in the opening cutscene, he was vaporized by Galeem's attack and turned into a spirit along with everyone else (sans Kirby.)
Ness's spirit can be found in the Light Realm in a pink cloud area based off of Magicant. After defeating it, Ness is freed and can be selected in battle throughout the World of Light adventure.
- Colonel: That kid... Isn't that Ness?
- Snake: Ness?
- Colonel: He may look like a mere boy, but don't let that fool you. He has PSI abilities that defy all scientific explanation.
- Snake: Just like Psycho Mantis...
- Colonel: Exactly. He can use teleportation, levitation, pyrokinesis, and psychokinesis.
- Snake: Yeah, but the question is, can he read minds?
- Colonel: Not to my knowledge, no.
- Snake: Good. Then I won't have to worry about him predicting my every move.
- Colonel: Even if he had telepathic powers, I don't think he'd use them to mess with you like that. I hear he's a good kid.
- Pit: I'm picking up on some weird kind of energy here.
- Palutena: What you feel is Ness's PSI.
- Pit: What's PSI?
- Palutena: It's a general term for supernatural abilities.
- Pit: Supernatural?! Isn't that pretty unscientific?
- Palutena: Said the angel to the goddess.
- Pit: What are you getting at?
- Palutena: Pit, we're having this conversation via telepathy. Meanwhile, the power of flight is a type of psychokinesis, and I see you from the heavens using clairvoyance. Finally, I call you back from the battlefield with something akin to teleportation.
- Pit: And believe me, I truly appreciate all that...stuff...you do...with things...
- Palutena: Anyway, if Ness tries to recover via PK Thunder and you reflect it, that will really ruin his day. Give it a try when you get a chance!
- Only PK Flash can be used by Ness in EarthBound, as PK Fire, PK Thunder and PSI Magnet are learned by Paula and Poo, and PK Starstorm can only be learned by Poo. However his trophy discriptions in Melee, Brawl and SSB4 mention that Paula and Poo taught him the respective moves to use them in Smash.