Super Smash Bros. Melee
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Super Smash Bros. Melee (大乱闘 スマッシュ ブラザーズ DX Great Fray Smash Bros. DX) is the second game in the Super Smash Bros. series and was released for the Nintendo GameCube. It features 25 characters, with many being unlocked through different ways. It also features various game modes, including multiplayer mode. It features the return of Ness, although this time as a starter rather than an unlockable. The game also introduced two EarthBound series stages, Onett as a starter stage, and Fourside as an unlockable stage.
There are a total of 25 characters (26 if Zelda's transformation Shiek is considered separate). Bold denotes EarthBound characters. Italics denote unlockable characters:
- Dr. Mario
- Young Link
- Ice Climbers
- Mr. Game & Watch
There are 29 stages in the game, with 11 needing to be unlocked. Bold denotes EarthBound series stages, italics denotes unlockable stages:
- Princess Peach's Castle
- Rainbow Cruise
- Kongo Jungle
- Jungle Japes
- Great Bay
- Yoshi's Story
- Yoshi's Island
- Fountain of Dreams
- Green Greens
- Brinstar Depths
- Mute City
- Big Blue
- Pokemon Stadium
- Poke Floats
- Mushroom Kingdom
- Mushroom Kingdom II
- Icicle Mountain
- Flat Zone
- Dream Land 64
- Kongo Jungle 64
- Yoshi's Island 64
- Final Destination
Super Smash Bros. Melee is probably best known for its multiplayer mode, which allows players to fight each other using various famous Nintendo characters. This includes several variable settings and configurations, such as item selections, timed battles, stock battles, team battles, and more. Other settings include various special rules, such as Super Sudden Death mode, which starts all players off at 300% damage, making it extremely easy to KO opponents. Players can even set up elimination-style tournaments with up to 64 participants.
The game also has several single-player options. In Classic Mode, the player makes their way through a series of battles and trophy-collecting mini-games. The final match is a fight between the player and Master Hand; if played on Normal difficulty or higher within a certian time period without using a continue, players may also encounter Crazy Hand during the fight. Adventure Mode sends the player through a series of specific challenges on various worlds, each of which is associated with another playable character. For example, Samus Aran, the main character of the Metroid series, will be found in Brinstar; in another match, the player must fight three copies of Ness in Onett. At the end of Adventure Mode is a showdown with Bowser; if the rest of Adventure Mode was cleared quickly enough on Normal or higher without a continue used, Bowser transforms into Giga Bowser for one last battle. The last single-player option in Melee is the All-Star Mode, where the player must battle each of the 25 playable characters in a row. Later matches will pit the player against more than one opponent at a time, and the final match always features the player against 25 Mr. Game and Watches.
Other game modes exist as well. In Training Mode, the player can fight any other character like in multiplayer mode. However, they have far greater control over the battle; for example, they can force items to spawn, decide on the speed of the battle, choose their opponent's tactics, and more. Multi-Man Melee tests players' endurance by pitting them against never ending streams of generic Wire-Frame enemies. The Home Run Stadium allows players to try to hit a Sandbag as far as possible, usually with the help of a Home Run Bat. Finally, Target Smash times players while they attempt to break a series of ten targets scattered throughout a character-specific level.
The protagonist of EarthBound, Ness, returns in Super Smash Bros. Melee. His moves are mostly similar to his previous Smash 64 incarnation with a few changes. Some of his moves, including forward air and back air, have been given psychokinetic properties, and he has gained a new neutral aerial. The most notable change to Ness is the introduction of his new neutral special, PK Flash, with PK Fire being moved to his side special.
Despite being considered a low tier character in Smash 64, Ness had been nerfed during the transition into Melee. Although his aerial game is superb thanks to his double jump cancel and he has access to some cheap kill options via the Yo-yp 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. Furthermore, Ness's recovery via PK Thunder travels a shorter distance which, coupled with unfixed issues from the previous game, makes it one of the worst in the game. As a result of his nerfs and poor viability, he is currently ranked 23rd out of 26 characters on the official Smashboards tier list, 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.
In an interview, series creator Masahiro Sakurai mentioned that he planned to replaced Ness with Mother 3 protagonist Lucas, however due to Mother 3's delayed release, he decided to keep Ness instead. Lucas will eventually appear alongside Ness in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Super Smash Bros. Melee features two EarthBound stages: Onett and Fourside.
Onett is mainly fought on some buildings, which include two generic buildings and the Drug Store. Many cars drive by the stage and act as stage hazards, including the Runaway Five bus. In the background, many references to the different buildings and landmarks in Eagleland could be seen, including a crane from the Dusty Dunes Desert, a hill with Ness and Pokey's house, and the meteorite. There are two themes present on this stage, the main theme being a remix of Bein' Friends and the Eight Melodies from EarthBound Beginnings, and the alternative theme being a remix of Pollyanna. The themes are titled "Mother" and "Mother 2," respectively.
Fourside is fought on top of the Monotoli building helipad, along with many other buildings including one that resembles the Dinosaur Museum. The UFO from the intro to EarthBound will occasionally enter the Fourside stage, playing the static effect that is also from the intro. Fourside's appearance is significantly darker than it's EarthBound counterpart as the stage is set in a nighttime environment; this may also be a reference to Moonside. Fourside only has one theme titled "EarthBound," which is a remix of the theme that plays in Fourside, Held in a Skyscraper, and small background notes of Smiles and Tears.
Mr. Saturns are projectile items in Melee. Although they deal minimal damage, they can instantly destroy shields unless the opponent power shields them. Mr. Saturns are one of the items that Peach could pull out via her down special Vegetable.
- Spare change
- Space Travelers
Super Smash Bros. Melee has gotten relatively high scores from many gaming websites, getting an 8.9/10 on GameSpot, which praised the game for keeping many of the previous game elements but managing to be a game of its own. It was criticized for the Zelda stage in Adventure mode and over-responsive controls, however.
- Many of Ness's PSI abilities in Super Smash Bros. were not originally his, rather they were used by Paula and Poo. These abilities are PK Thunder, PK Fire, and PSI Magnet. The only move he uses that's originally his own is PK Flash. Paula's trophy description mentions she probably taught Ness PK Fire and PK Thunder.
- PK Flash is interestingly a damaging move in Super Smash Bros., while it was a support move in Earthbound.
Super Smash Bros. • Super Smash Bros. Melee • Super Smash Bros. Brawl • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Onett • Fourside • New Pork City • Magicant
Mr. Saturn • Franklin Badge • Ramblin' Evil Mushroom
Jeff • Starman
Trophies • Stickers • Spirits