Acrofatic: As usual. While he's not really obese, he does have a belly, which doesn't impede his jumping ability. Notably, in Melee, he looks much less stocky than usual. He still has his pot belly, but he's significantly taller and slimmer (not like Luigi, but still pretty Off Model).
Art Evolution: In Melee and Brawl, Mario's jeans were significantly more detailed than they've ever been in his own series. In Wii U/3DS this was toned down to be more similar to his design in his home series.
Attack Reflector: His cape can send projectiles back and turn characters around.
Badass: He takes on armies by himself in his home series. In this one, he dashes to take on Charizard mano a mano in a trailer.
Badass Mustache: Though it was originally put there in Donkey Kong to avoid having to give him more detailed facial features, it has become one of his signature features.
Berserk Button: In Subspace Emissary. When he thinks that Link and Yoshi killed Princess Peach, he furiously attacks Link.
Boring, but Practical: His side-special has him swish the Feather Cape to turn around projectiles and enemies. As lame as it sounds, veterans know to watch out for it, lest they get K.O.'ed by their own projectiles, turned the other way during an attack and left exposed, or even have their recovery go away from the stage.
The trailers and official gameplay videos seem to make a habit of beating and humiliating Mario, especally the trailers for U/3DS, where every character reveal trailer so far has had something bad happen to him.
Ground Punch: In the Subspace Emissary, not as an attack but to avoid hitting the princess Bowser held out in front of him.
Heroes Fight Barehanded: Most of his moveset consists of bare attacks, with the exception of his forward smash some of his specials.
Jack of All Stats: He's got plenty of combo options, a cape that comes in very handy, he's a great juggler, and he's good at edgeguarding, but he suffers from a lackluster recovery, low range, and he lacks a reliable non-smash finishing move.
Out of Character: Unlike most characters, his characterization in the Smash franchise is totally different than in his home franchise. He still says "Yahoo!" as he attacks, but as of Melee most of his animations make him seem rather serious. Further solidified in the Brawl cutscenes and Smash 4 reveal trailers where he's a type two Old West Stoic, generally disinterested and straight faced, but will jump head first into battle when a formidable enemy shows up. Smash really brings out his competitive streak.
Palette Swap: Notable ones include Wario and Fire Mario. There's also one that resembles his classic outfit (albeit with a blue hat instead of his distinctive red one). Word of God on the brown overall palette is that it's based on Foreman Spike from Wrecking Crew. In Wii U/3DS he has a blue and pink outfit that was previously used for Overalls Wario in Brawl and a stars and stripes outfit only seen in NES Open Tournament Golf
Shock and Awe: His customizable attacks include an electric cape.
Shoryuken: Super Jump Punch, which has a near-identical trajectory as the Street Fighter Shoryuken, but it does not spin and has a much different use in this game series. In Wii U/3DS, It can be customized into a flaming punch, complete with a spin at the end.
Shotoclone: He's got a fireballHadoken, and a coin gathering Shoryuken, is the main character, and part of a Moveset Clone pairing (two in Melee). His Mario Tornado could also be considered a variation of the Hurricane Kick. For the most part, his moves all come from his own games, but that kind of makes the fact that they have been designed to resemble Ryu's all the more noticeable. His spins were never used in any way like they are in Smash Bros. until games well after Smash Bros., and even then it would be a stretch to equate it with Ryu's tornado kick. Furthermore, out of all fire moves he has in hisownseries, a never before seen Shinku Hadoken type one was seemingly the most preferable for his final smash. This also makes him a more direct a foil to Luigi's Ken whose Super Jump Punch can be a Fire Jump Punch if executed properly.
Skill Gate Character: What Mario can essentially be considered in Melee and especially Brawl. While Mario is an easier character to use, he is surpassed by many other characters in higher levels of play.
Spam Attack: Spamming fireballs is a great way to edgeguard and keep a good distance from an opponent.
Spin Attack: His Mario Tornado, which was at first a Down-B, then his Down-Air.
The Worf Effect: In The Subspace Emissary, he gets trophified anywhere from two to four times during cutscenes, potentially more than any other character with Bowser as a close second. Most notably, he is taken out in one shot from the Halberd.
Wall Jump: Just like in his own games (a glitch in the first, official Super Mario 64 and onward)
Wearing a Flag on Your Head: One of Mario's palette swaps in the Wii U/3DS game is him wearing red and white striped overalls along with a blue shirt with white stars. The end result makes him look like the U.S. flag. This costume originally appeared in a NES golf game.
White Gloves: Keeps them inexplicably shiny, considering his profession.
Wolverine Publicity: Along with Link, Kirby, and Pikachu, he features front and center in promotional materials and during cinematics.
Final Smash:KongaBeatnote The fourth game has a rhythm bar over his head
Mario's one-time rival Donkey Kong is also one of the characters available from the beginning in all four games. He is notable for being the only character in the first game to be able to move while holding a barrel or a crate. However, all characters have this ability in Melee and Brawl (though everyone but DK does so very slowly, and he's still the only one that can jump while doing so.)
Cruel to Be Kind: Donkey hits his buddy Diddy with a Giant Punch and sends him flying in the Subpace Emissary, but only to knock him out of the way of a trophy beam which he takeshimself.
Crutch Character: For novices, he is by far the easiest to use for the variations on the Multi-Man Melee, since the drones sent after you get positively creamed by the down special; there is even a bonus for using the move non stop against the fighting polygon team. Veterans, however, find that it's generally faster with any character (including DK) when using a mix of attacks.
Hammered into the Ground: His Headbutt drives a grounded opponent into the ground. In Melee, this gives you a few seconds to rack up damage with impunity (buried opponents are completely immune to knockback). It gets better in Brawl, where buried opponents can be knocked away normally with a strong enough move, providing an excellent combo with his Giant Punch.
Lightning Bruiser: Donkey Kong is between this and a Mighty Glacier. While his attacks are mostly slower than those of most characters, he is a faster-playing character than a Mighty Glacier, while having the great power of one, especially in Brawl. Donkey Kong's movement speed is also above average.
Limit Break: Konga Beat (based on the Donkey Konga bongo-style controllers), which required players to succeed in playing a psuedo-Rhythm Game in order to maximize the range and damage of the attack.
Rolling Attack: Has one in Wii U/3DS, based on his rolling attack from the Donkey Kong Country series.
Taking You with Me: His ability to carry opponents with his grab can be used to suicide and KO other players along with himself by walking off the stage or into an horizontal blast line, though it is extremely unreliable and an opponent can easily escape with moderate Button Mashing if they're not at extreme damage.
The Voiceless: His voice is reduced to grunts, screeches, and roars, even when he's perfectly capable of speaking in other games.
Took a Level in Badass: Donkey Kong has become a better character in each Smash game. In particular, Donkey Kong was given a large power buff in Brawl (most noticeable in his smash attacks), while his attacks were mostly given a slight speed buff.
Composite Character: The Smash franchise tends to build characters off of moves they've used throughout their history (or stuff just straight made up.) As no Link has been playable in more than two games (withoneexception), to get a full moveset he's necessarily a composite of almost every Link.
Cosmetically in 64 he's Ocarina Adult Link, with the Fairy Boomerang from Ocarina's Young Link (that turns blue when thrown like the Magic Boomerang from the original and A Link To The Past.
In Melee he's an updated version of the Ocarina Link (his segment in the intro sequence has him relieving moments from Ocarina), but his arrows have a blue glow to them making them seem like they might actually be Silver arrows from the original and A Link To The Past.
In Brawl his design is straight lifted from Twilight Princess, including swapping the Hookshot for the Clawshot, the Fairy Boomerang for the Gale Boomerang, and one of the updates on the official website referencing Barnes, the bombshop from TP. However his on-screen entrance uses the warp tornado, from the original, instead of the cel-shaded transportation more fitting for Link from Twilight Princess. Navi also appears in one of his taunts (or perhaps the Wii cursor). In Subspace he finds the Master Sword in the woods harkening to A Link To The Past, and again he clearly has Navi following him from Ocarina. In Wii U/3DS he retains this design.
Charged Attack: In addition to the Smashes, which are shared by everyone, his bows can be charged to shoot farther and faster, and in Brawl, his recovery special can be charged when used on the ground, as the Spin Attack always was in his games.
Laser-Guided Karma: A few screenshots for Smash U/3DS showed Peach and Link together with flirtatious undertones, including one with Zelda eyeing them from the background. During a video showcasing items, Zelda drops a Motion-Sensor Bomb near Link (who's near to Peach). Zelda "calls" him over and, of course, he promptly trips over the Bomb.
Legacy Character: The Link in the original and Melee is the adult Hero of Time. The Link in Brawl is his successor from Twilight Princess. (Technically, this makes four Links in the series when you include Young Link and Toon Link.)
Let's You and Him Fight: He and Yoshi fight against Mario and Pit in the Subspace Emissary mode, but they later join forces.
Mighty Glacier: In Brawl, he's quite slow, but throughout his moveset, he has strong attacks with great reach.
Nerf: From Melee to Brawl, where despite being given a large power buff, he was made into a generally slower character, with his air speed significantly reduced, special moves being less effective, and having his aerial game significantly hindered by the loss of L-Canceling. His Spin Attack also gains significantly less distance during recovery, reducing Link's recovering capabilities to again being one of the worst.
Skill Gate Character: Most pronounced in Melee. In casual play, he can hit like a train, but put him in competitive play and he just can't keep up.
The Southpaw: As per tradition, though some of his games have made him right handed.note Namely, the Wii version of Twilight Princess, and later, Skyward Sword. Since the Wii Remote is usually held in the right hand, Nintendo made Link hold his sword in his right-hand since they wanted to map his sword attacks to the motion sensors in the Remote. In adventures that're not on the Wii (such as The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds for the 3DS, which was released after Skyward Sword), Link is still depicted as a leftie.
Spin Attack: The one from his very games. It becomes a charged attack in Brawl.
Stab the Sky: His up aerial, one of his win poses and his up smash in the first game.
Took a Level in Badass: From Smash Bros. to Melee, where he was made into a generally faster character with improved combo ability, and had his recovery capabilities significantly improved (which were nearly nonexistent in the original Smash).
Final Smash:Zero Lasernote As of the fourth game she does not turn into Zero Suit Samus.
Samus Aran is the first female character in the series (since Jigglypuff is unlockable). A Bounty Hunter hailing from the Metroid series.
Action Girl: One of Nintendo's - and gaming in general's - most definitive examples.
Androcles Lion: In Subspace Emissary, her saving Pikachu makes him an immediate ally that eventually saves her from Ridley.
Arm Cannon: Her main means of attack come from there.
Art Evolution: 64 and Melee, Samus design was based off of Super Metroid. In Brawl, her costume was lifted from Metroid Zero Mission, bringing her in line with the then recently debuted Zero Suit Samus. As of 4 she matches her Other M design.
Artifact Title: The Zero Laser's name made sense in Brawl, as using it forced her to transform into Zero Suit Samus. This is no longer the case in the fourth game.
Badass: The greatest bounty hunter in the galaxy ladies and gentlemen.
Beam Spam: Able to spam both missles and her powershot.
Bounty Hunter: Melee says she is a take no prisoners bounty hunter, which bring into question what that the infant Metroid from her second game was. Brawl says she is the most renowned bounty hunter in the galaxy.
Homing Projectile: Her weaker missiles, which would retain these properties in Metroid Prime.
Jack of All Stats: Armored Samus isn't slow, but is certainly not a fast character in any of the Smash games. And despite being a heavyweight, her power ranges from above average to poor (depending on the Smash game).
Limit Break: The Zero Laser, a giant laser that shreds the stage. In Brawl, this overheats Samus's Power Suit, causing it to fall apart at her feet, leaving her in the Zero Suit. She apparently fixed this issue by the fourth game, where her suit remains intact.
Long-Range Fighter: Has weak melee attacks but powerful projectiles that her finishing options rely upon.
Nerf: From Melee to Brawl, where Samus' projectiles, especially her smash missiles, were weakened in power and efficiency, as well as her smash attacks and aerials being given a power nerf, despite not being particularly powerful in Melee.
Playing with Fire: Added to her suit in the first Super Smash Bros, her up smash and forward aerial involves her shooting out fire in an arc. She would later get a flame weapon proper in Metroid Prime
Powered Armor: The video game poster child for it before Doom even, though she had fallen a little of the radar until Super Smash Bros put Samus back on it.
Rocket Jump: Samus has her own variation of the aforementioned Bomb Recovery, based on her Bomb Jump ability from her own games.
Samus Is a Girl: Brawl makes this obvious, but it's noticeable in the first game as well (if Samus is hit with electricity, her X-Ray Sparks animation shows a non-textured female model instead of a skeleton like the other characters). To anyone not familiar with her or miss the clues like the electricity silhouette, the fact that she fights you alongside Zelda and Peach in the "Girl Power" event match of Melee gives the traditional reveal.
Shed Armor, Gain Speed: When she switches to Zero Suit Samus in Brawl, she's lighter and more agile, but that makes her easier to knock farther.
Slapstick Knows no Gender: In a sense. Samus appears to be the only humanoid female that can be hit by the male characters in the updates by Sakurai. And she was a main victim of Little Mac in his debut trailer. The only other woman he tried to hit (or who even showed up) dodged him, resulting in his death.
Mario's pal Yoshi is one of the few characters to appear in all four editions of the Super Smash Bros. series. In the first two games, he lacks a third jump, but has a very high and Super Armor-protected second jump. Starting with Brawl, he keeps the former and gains a third jump when using the Egg Throw move.
Art Evolution: In 64 and Melee, he has a much longer and draconian appearance and red shoes similar to Super Mario World and Super Mario 64. In Brawl, he's chubbier and stouter with brown shoes as was codified in the Gamecube era. In Wii U/3DS, Yoshi is more in line his current appearance, with a more upright stature and much brighter skin tone.
Badass Adorable: It's not hard to view him this way, especially with his cartoon-y voice. The games seem to be sticking to this, as other animal characters such as Donkey Kong and Bowser were upgraded to having a more realistic look and sound, while Yoshi stayed himself. Justified though, as trying to make Yoshi look more realistic would seem very out of character.
Fragile Speedster: Mainly in playstyle. Yoshi's walking/dashing speed is fast in every Smash game, as well as having the fastest air speed (second fastest in Melee), and generally fast attacks. While Yoshi is great at taking a hit, his defensive options are generally poor, mainly due to having a functionally different shield that's inferior, being slower to put up and down, as well as being impossible to jump out of (which greatly hinders Yoshi's ability to counter attack after shielding, a vital part of competitive play in Smash).
An Ice Person: His Inhale ability can be replaced with Ice breath in the fourth game.
The Artifact: Kirby's hats stay the same between games even if the character he's copied them from have changed. For example, he wears Young Zelda's headdress from Ocarina of time despite Zelda being updated to her Twilight Princess design.
Badass Adorable: He may look really harmless, but Kirby is really hardcore in the Subspace Emissary mode. He is the one to destroy the Subspace Gunship with his legendary Air Ride machine, the Dragoon!
Chef of Iron: Cook Kirby has him transform into a chef and cook his foes alive.
Cool Starship: His Warpstar and Dragoon could technically count as starships, with the Warpstar being a "Star Ship" in the most literal sense.
Dishing Out Dirt: Stone, which is invulnerable to strikes but can be grappled out of. Best used on top of somebody else. Melee adds additional objects, such as a brick and weight, while Brawl makes it less invulnerable (attacks doing fifty damage and higher tend to break it).
Drop the Hammer: Kirby's side B special is a hammer swing. In Smash Bros. WIIU and 3DS he can charge it up to more damage with it.
Extreme Omnivore: He can eat items including bombs in Brawl. Doing so does a little damage but prevents knockback from the explosion.
Glass Cannon: In both the original and Brawl, Kirby has impressive attack power, but is one of the lightest characters.
Ground Pound: Turns into a rock to do it. He can also turn into other heavy objects from other Nintendo games.
Kid Hero: It's vague how old Kirby really is but he's pretty child like anyway.
Limit Break: Gets 2 different ones depending on the game.
Brawl: Cook Kirby (from Kirby Super Star), Kirby sucks all of his opponents into a pot and cooks them before launching them out. Just like in his own games it turns all nearby items into food.
Wii U/3DS: Ultra Sword (from Kirby's Return to Dream Land), Kirby cleaves his opponent with a humongous sword multiple times (but only if the first swing connects).
Palette Swap: Has yellow, red, and green; the three Kirby colors used for Multiplayer in most Kirby games, as well as blue. He also has a Black and White one as a Continuity Nod to his first appearance on the monochrome Game Boy.
Playing with Fire: His generic tackle from the first game that was shared with Jigglypuff was replaced with a fireball dash (Burning/Fire power) from his own games in Melee. In Brawl, this is replaced with Yo-yo's Break Spin.
Power Copying: Kirby's copy ability allows him to copy the standard move of the character he inhaled.
Shout-Out: His Stone ability can transform into, besides the classic rock-with-a-"\ /"-face and among other things, a Thwomp (Super Mario 64 design in Melee and Brawl, Super Mario Galaxy design in Wii U/3DS) and Lip's garbage block.
Skill Gate Characters: In Brawl, at least, Kirby is a relatively popular character among lower level players, having strong, spammable smash attacks, a simple yet very effective recovery, and generally easy to utilize moves. Among higher-level play, Kirby is much less common, though subverted in that unlike your typical skill gate character, Kirby is still relatively effective.
Sky Surfing: His Warpstar and Dragoon allow him to do this. In gameplay, anyone else can take surf in these ships.
Tagalong Kid: While has a Vague Age, he essentially counts as this when traveling with Mario, Link, Pit, and Yoshi in Subspace Emissary.
Taking You with Me: Kirby can kill both an opponent and himself simultaneously in multiple ways, with the most popular method being inhaling the opponent while falling or inhaling them on the ground and then jumping off a cliff.
Wolverine Publicity: Along with Mario, Link, and Pikachu, he features front and center in promotional materials and during cinematics. Although Kirby is beat by these three characters as far as revenue and recognition is concerned, and is a less obvious choice for the the fourth slot than perhaps Donkey Kong or Samus, Kirby is most likely in with the other 3 because the Smash Bros. series is made by the creators of the Kirby series and Kirby Super Star inspired many of the gameplay elements used in Smash Bros.. This same reason is also likely why Kirby and his rivals are heavily involved in the Subspace Emissary story.
Fox McCloud, protagonist of the Star Fox series. Since his appearance in the original Smash Bros, Fox has become a proficient fighter in his own games as well. In addition to the original, Fox has been playable in Melee, Brawl, and the fourth installment.
Adaptational Badass: Fox is one of the best pilots in his games, but he never demonstrated fighting skills in the Star Fox series (except in 64's multiplayer if you unlocked bazookas, Star Fox Adventures and Star Fox Assault, and even then they only showed weapon skills). Super Smash Bros. gives him prowess in hand-to-hand combat.
Art Evolution: In 64 and Melee, his design was a more streamlined version of his Star Fox 64 appearance. In Brawl and Wii U/3DS, he has the square shaped head from Star Fox Command, but otherwise a completely original design with red boots and gloves, a scouter over his eye, the reflector visibly hanging from his belt among other details on his pants and jacket.
Badass Normal: Although the first game gave the impression that he was an Empowered Badass Normal (for the move Fire Fox), in Melee and Brawl it's more evident that he's using rocket boots for Fox Illusion and Fire Fox. Fox has no super powers, being a man Fox, but he does have advanced technology.
Barrier Warrior: His "Reflector" attacks when it's activated. In fact, it's more useful as an attack than it is as a shield.
Big Damn Heroes: His first appearence in Subspace Emissary features Fox saving Diddy Kong from Rayquaza.
Big "WHAT?!": In Melee, whenever he is knocked out from the sides or bottom.
Butt Monkey: For the fourth installment, there is a staggering amount of official snapshots from the main website that have Fox being hurt by nearly every character and/or item to the point they try to invoke Amusing Injuries.
Captain Crash: In the Subspace Emissary, almost every time Fox gets in his Arwing, it winds up crashing or being destroyed. Isn't he supposed to be a great pilot?
Glass Cannon: In Brawl, Fox exemplifies this. He has great offensive prowess, being one of the fastest characters in movement and attack speed, with the capability to rack up damage quickly, and has access to a fast and very powerful finisher in his up smash. However, Fox sustains the fourth most knockback in Brawl, is heavily vulnerable to combos and follow-ups when hit, has very poor horizontal momentum cancelling, and no longer has the great vertical endurance he had in Melee.
Gratuitous English: In Melee, his dialogue was in English but spoken by Shinobu Satouchi, a Japanese voice actor. "Misshon konpurito!"
Lightning Bruiser: Fox is more this in Melee instead of a Glass Cannon, as he has some of the best attacks considering strength per speed of execution (most notoriously, his up smash and up aerial). And he's very hard to KO upwards, which can allow Fox to outlive much heavier characters, even heavyweights like Samus. He also has great defensive options.
Nerf: Fox received a notable nerf from Melee to Brawl, with his endurance greatly reduced, his up smash and up aerials weakened, and his "Shine combos" removed.
No Sell: Can't sell his Blaster to anyone from Melee onwards, unless it is part of one of his grapple moves where he shoots it. It racks up damage quickly despite this (in fact, the lack of flinching is the trade-off for its ludicrously fast rate of fire), so his opponents would still do their best to avoid it.
Pikachu is one of the most famous Pokémon ever, and he boosted his fame with his appearance in all four games in the Super Smash Bros. series, bringing his electrical powers and lightning-quick reflexes to the fight.
Adaptational Badass: Pikachu might not be very impressive in his home series, but the Smash Bros. games portray him as one of the more tricky fighters to deal with.
Androcles Lion: After Samus rescues him from the Subspace Army's generator, he returns the favor when Ridley blindsides her.
Anti-Air: His down special, Thunder, which covers a respectable vertical area.
Art Evolution: In 64, Pikachu is fairly chubby. He gets slimmer with each iteration of the series, mirroring his Art Evolution in the Pokémon series.
Beware the Nice Ones: One of the most loyal and nicest Pokémon in history. God help you if you hurt someone he has become loyal to. Take Samus, for instance. Ridley messed her up bad, only to wind up electrocuted.
Composite Character: Pikachu's voice and mannerisms are heavily based on Ash's Pikachu, but isn't the exact same character due to it coming out of a Poké Ball for its entrance animation, with Ash's Pikachu known to refuse to go in one.
Hoist by His Own Petard: Normally, his down-B Thunder attack involves striking himself with lightning and use that lightning to become briefly invulnerable. But the lightning itself counts as a projectile, and all Attack Reflector moves only reverse the horizontal momentum of all projectiles. Therefore, if Pikachu's Thunder so much as touches Mario's Cape or Fox's Reflector, he strikes himself with lightning... and, amusingly, gets harmed by it.
Killer Rabbit: He may be be a cute yellow mouse, but don't let that fool you: Pikachu is one tough costumer.
Lightning Bruiser: He is the top character of Smash 64, the one game in the series notorious for zero-to-death combos.
Limit Break: Volt Tackle, the signature move of his line. It functions differently from the Pokemon games or anime though, behaving more like Pulseman's Volteccer instead.
Palette Swap: Pikachu's shiny form (which is admittedly just a darker yellow bordering on tan) is always one of the palettes available (while wearing a hat based on Red's). In Brawl, he gains Brendan's headband, and Pichu from Melee's goggles.
Pokémon Speak: Interestingly (though not unexpectedly) the game went with Pikachu's anime noises instead of its game noises. This is most likely due to the anime being at its most popular at the time of Smash 64's release, as well as the only fully-animated and voiced version of Pokémon at the time. This would later be ported back into Pokémon X and Y (but only for Pikachu itself), bringing the business full circle.
Power Source: Pikachu was actually a power source for a Subspace Army base.
Mario's cowardly younger brother appeared as one of the original four unlockable characters in the first game, and he continues to be unlockable in each new game.
Adorkable: He was in the dorky side in 64 and Melee. Then his Lovable Coward persona started surfacing in his home series, and it carried over to Brawl, giving this effect. It's especially visible in stuff like his taunts and victory poses.
Art Evolution: In 64, he had purple pants like in Super Mario World. In Melee, his jeans matched Mario's like in the N64 era, and as in Brawl and Wii U/3DS his jeans are a darker shade of blue than Mario's as they've been since the Gamecube era. See Mario entry above for level of detail.
For his reveal in Wii U/3DS, 6 out of 10 of the screenshots on the official website were of him in pain or fear. For comparison, the rest of the characters screenshots are either of them doing something badass or silly.
Confusion Fu: A mild example. He has odd characteristics, some odd moves, and some of his moves don't hit exactly when you expect them to. And his Final Smash: Negative Zone is all kinds of weird. The misfire on his Green Missile is also unpredictable, whether you charged it or not.
Cowardly Lion: Luigi may be scared out of his wits most of the time, but that won't stop him from kicking your ass.
Dance Battler: Whatever Negative Zone is, Luigi starts it by dancing and it compels opponents to taunt more frequently.
Difficult but Awesome: A mild example with his recovery in Melee and Brawl. His recovery can be great if his three moves capable of recovery are mastered and utilised together, but is otherwise poor.
Divergent Character Evolution: He started out almost a clone to Mario, but by Brawl, their attacks and playstyle have become quite different. Comparing his and Mario's moves in the original to his and Mario's moves in Brawl, Mario seems to draw more inspiration from kick-boxing while Luigi seems to have practised an odd form of karate.
Fighting Clown: His attacks fall squarely on the silly side, like using his butt or shooting himself like a missile.
Fireballs: His neutral-B. It's different from Mario's in that it just floats forward instead of obeying gravity, and it's colored green.
Glass Cannon: He has frighteningly fast and powerful attacks that can combo into each other well with finishers that can knock away with under 100% damage. However he has poor and slow mobility, and because of his terrible traction causing him to slide far when shielding attacks, Luigi really can't punish shielded attacks. This makes it hell for Luigi to approach (especially in Brawl), and the shielding issues give him a very poor defensive game.
Lethal Joke Character: Mild example in Brawl. While he's not labeled as such, his Lovable Coward tendencies, Butt Monkey status, and somewhat odd fighting style can cause opponents to underestimate him. His general characterization in every sequel since the original seems to have made him into the Smash Bros. version of Dan, except he's still effective as far as gameplay goes.
Moveset Clone: He started sharing 3 specials and all neutral moves with Mario. Thanks to Divergent Character Evolution, after Brawl only 2 of his specials and a few of his normal moves remain similar to Mario's in some way.
One-Hit KO: A timed Fire Jump Punch while inside the Negative Zone will mostly be this. Curiously, the down taunt can be this as well when inside the zone and with a light enough opponent.
Palette Swap: His notable palette swaps include Fire Luigi and Waluigi.
Pinball Projectile: Not as noticeable as his brother, but his fireballs can indeed bounce off of walls and floors like Mario's fireballs do.
Practical Taunt: His down taunt is a meteor smash when performed against midair or ledge grabbing foes.
Secret Character: One of the original four in the first game, and is usually grouped together with Captain Falcon, Jigglypuff, and Ness for this reason. Together with Jigglypuff, he has also stayed consistently unlockable through the first three games.
N64: Complete Break the Targets with all of the starting characters.
Melee: Finish Stage 1 of Adventure Mode with the seconds digit ending in 2, then defeat Luigi and Peach, and finishing the rest of the mode; or fight 800 VS. Matches.
Brawl: Have him join you in The Subspace Emissary, clear Classic Mode without continuing, or fight in 22 brawls.
Shotoclone: The Ken to Mario's Ryu. He even emphasizes Shoryuken with the Fire Jump Punch in contrast to Mario as a Hadoken specialist with Mario Finale.
Shoryuken: His Super Jump Punch, though it works a lot differently compared to Mario's.
Throw the Dog a Bone: He was one of the characters who could rescue the others in the final parts of the Subspace Emissarywhen the majority were turned into trophies by Tabuu, making him one of the six characters who will stay in your final party if you miss or purposefully don't rescue the others. Those six are also always a part of the ending sequence for the same reason.
Vocal Evolution: In the original game and Melee, his voice clips were just high-pitched, sped-up Mario clips. Starting with Brawl, Luigi was voiced as his own character, with the distinctively deeper tone from his home series.
Wall Jump: Gains the ability to do this in Wii U/3DS.
Captain Falcon is the championship racer/bounty hunter who is playable in every game of the Smash franchise. He appears as an unlockable character in the first game, and is available from the beginning in Melee, but he goes back to being unlockable in Brawl.His seemingly baseless moveset is a remnant of the prototype title Dragon King: The Fighting Game (before it became a Mascot Fighter), where it was the moveset for the one character programmed in at the time.
Downplayed, as Captain Falcon has always been a bounty hunter who apparently does not need that thing in his holster. We had never actually seen him fight until Super Smash Bros however, and were given no indication he had super powers.
Barehanded Blade Block: In the trailer introducing Chrom and Lucina for Wii U/3DS, he does a variation by parrying Lucina's sword with the back of his hand.
Big "YES!": When successfully pulling his Up-B move, Falcon Dive.
Boring, but Practical: In order to be played successfully in Brawl competitive play, Captain Falcon has to rely on heavy use of his jab and up aerial, playing a safe and predicting style, and focusing on punishing the opponent's mistakes, rather than rely on the Falcon Punch, his Knee Smash, and the flashy combos and maneuvers Falcon was known for in previous Smash games.
Curbstomp Battle: Implied to have given one to Chrom in the Lucina/Robin reveal trailer. It starts with the Ylissean Prince on the ground defeated while the Captain looks no worse for wear. He was even still able to get the upper hand on Lucina.
Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: He has a gun in the holster on his belt, which he never uses (he has never been seen using it in the F-Zero storyline either, discounting a comic based off the first game).
Lightning Bruiser: He's very fast, has some of the most powerful moves, and has one of the best endurances. Despite his nerf, Captain Falcon still fits the Lightning Bruiser build in Brawl, though without the competitive success that's typical for a lightning bruiser.
The Rival: To Lucina. In her debut trailer, she's seen facing off against him in revenge for seemingly having beaten up Chrom. To a lesser extent, Robin and Chrom are this to him too.
Secret Character: One of the original four in the first game, and is usually grouped together with Luigi, Jigglypuff, and Ness for this reason. The only game where he is playable from the start is Melee.
N64: Beat 1-Player Mode in under 20 minutes.
Brawl: Have him join you in The Subspace Emissary, fight in 70 brawls, or beat Classic Mode in under 12 minutes.
Shock and Awe: His forward aerial, the aforementioned Knee Smash.
Signature Move: Falcon Punch. It even became a meme and found it's way into his home series. His Knee Smash can also be considered a second signature move.
He was the fastest character until Brawl, where he was slowed down and Sonic was introduced.
One Melee event has Falcon running on a track while F-Zero cars are zooming by and the entire game speed is literally hyper speed, making Falcon possibly as fast as Sonic for that one level.
Toku: As an animal themed hero in a mask and bright colored costume, his moveset and mannerisms are inspired by this genre even if it contrasts with his main series portrayal. It's also rumored that his moveset is partially taken from the original Dragon King beta since hes the only one with a body type that matches the prototype characters.
Unexpected Character: In the first game, at least. His iconic portrayal across the Smash Bros. games has gradually turned him into more of a staple Nintendo character, though.
Wall Jump: The same way everyone else does or with the Falcon kick
The hero of EarthBound, Ness is one of the original four unlockable Smashers. After appearing in 64 and Melee, it was feared that Lucas would take his place in Brawl, but this rumor was revealed to be mostly false. (He was supposed to be replaced by Lucas back in Melee, but Mother 3 was delayed again.) Ness is unlockable in the original game and Brawl, but a starter character in Melee.
The only way you're going to hit someone with a fully charged PK Flash is if there are a 3rd or 4th player to keep each other busy, the opponent is incapacitated, or as an edgeguard to catch an opponent returning to the stage.
PK Thunder as a recovery move, since it has an extra "step" to the process that, if interrupted (such as the opponent merely jumping into it), will cause Ness to fall to his doom. It also tends to fail horribly in tight vertical corridors or below one-way platforms.
Batter Up: His forward smash involves him swinging forward with his bat.
Black Bead Eyes: Judging by the Paula and Poo trophies, it is just an Earthbound thing.
Berserk Button: Though he doesn't show it on his face, he was pissed when Porky returned and was tormenting another innocent kid (Lucas); one PK Flash later, and the statue explodes.
Big Damn Heroes: In his first appearance in the Subspace Emissary, Ness save Lucas from Porky by using PK Flash to destroy the statue chasing him.
Difficult but Awesome: Particularly in the first game — his attacks' hitboxes were a bit disjointed (not as bad as some later characters, but in the original, it was quite noticeable), he had some awkward ways to get his moves to work, and his saving maneuver was the one of the hardest to use. However, he also had insane power, incredible jumps, was the only character that could regain health by absorbing enemy attacks, and anyone that could use PK Thunder as a recovery move well had the ability to use one of the most powerful saving maneuvers in the game. While still one of the trickier to use in the game, Ness is one of the most Nerfed characters from the original.
Energy Absorption: His down special, PSI Magnet, causes energy attacks to heal him by the amount they should have damaged him, making him one of only three characters who can heal on their own (Lucas and Mr. Game & Watch with food items are the other two). More potent in the original game, where any projectile, physical or energy, would be absorbed by the move (with the exception of Link's boomerang).
Secret Character: One of the original four in the first game, and is usually grouped together with Luigi, Captain Falcon, and Jigglypuff for this reason. The only game where he was playable from the start is Melee, much like Captain Falcon.
N64: Beat 1-Player Mode on Normal difficulty with just three lives.
Brawl: Have him join in The Subspace Emissary, reflect 10 projectiles, or fight in five brawls.
Shock and Awe: PK Thunder takes the form of a string of lightning that can either be used to hit something, or to hit Ness himself as a recovery move that also does damage. Literally a Player Guided Missile.
Squishy Wizard: Though he's not entirely fragile for one, he can be hard to use. His unwieldy recovery move doesn't help.
Unexpected Character: His appearance in the first game, in part due to his home game having initially been a sales flop in America.
One of the two Pokémon playable in the first game, Jigglypuff could put her enemies to sleep by singing, and her "rest" attack is about the strongest attack in the series. This Pokémon has gone on to appear in the first three games.
Bonus Boss: One of the 3 for the Subspace Emissary.
Dub Name Change: Named "Purin" in Japan. Also changed in French (Rondoudou) and German (Pummeluff). Other countries use the English name.
Glass Cannon: In Melee, its aerial game was incredible, with the fastest air speed, fast and powerful aerials, and the ability to utilise its jumps to chase an opponent far off the stage using the advanced "Wall of Pain" technique. And to top it off, its Rest attack can KO under 25% while having guaranteed combos into it. However, a combination of being the second lightest character and having the slowest falling made it get KO'd vertically at extremely low percentages, well before other characters would get KO'd at. It has slightly better endurance in Brawl, though its offensive capabilities have been severely reduced.
Grandfather Clause: Around the time the original game was released Jigglypuff was a recurring character in the anime (and replaced Nidorino in the opening of Pokémon Red and Blue). Since then Jigglypuff is rarely used in any marketing and has become less relevant as the generations go by. Still keeps its spot in Smash Bros likely due to being one of the original 12, unlike Roy, Young Link, Pichu etc who were removed as more modern or relevant characters from their franchises took their place.
Lethal Joke Character: Being one of the lightest characters and having a very low ground speed, Jigglypuff looks like a terrible character on paper. However, its strengths (having very strong aerial attacks and access to some lethal combo techniques) more than make up for its flaws, to the point where it's considered to be among Melee's best characters.
Limit Break: Puff Up, which expands Jigglypuff to absurd levels, causing it to push foes off the stage.
Nerf: In Melee, Jigglypuff was a terrifying glass cannon with an unmatchable aerial game, fast and powerful attacks, and the ability to combo about anyone into an attack that kills under 25%. In Brawl, its strong attacks were weakened and/or slowed down, Rest went from killing under 25% to not killing until around 75%, and Jigglypuff's combo ability was more hindered than other characters' were by the decreased hitstun. Brawl's more defensive play has also amplified Jigglypuff's survivability issues, despite Jigglypuff being slightly heavier. Jigglypuff still has a great aerial game, but the changes made to Brawl's engine, especially infinite air dodges, make this a moot point.
Rolling Attack: Its side B, which can be charged up to make one nasty attack. Really be careful about those edges now.
Secret Character: One of the original four in the first game, and is usually grouped together with Luigi, Captain Falcon, and Ness for this reason. Together with Luigi, it has also stayed consistently unlockable through the first three games.
In both N64 and Melee: Clear 1-Player/Classic Mode on any difficulty.
Melee: Fight in 50 VS. Matches.
Brawl: Fight in 350 brawls; have her join you in The Subspace Emissarynote post-game; go to The Swamp and enter the first door after defeating False Diddy Kong; or clear The Subspace Emissary, finish Event Matches 1-20, then finish any Event Match.
Giant Donkey Kong is, well, a giant Donkey Kong, and the first mini-boss of the original's one-player gauntlet. He's so big that when you face him in 1P Mode in the original, you get two CPU allies to help you. In Melee, he shows up as a boss in Adventure Mode, but you don't get any allies. However, in this game he is simply Donkey Kong under the effects of a Super Mushroom. He also appears in a few events in both Melee and Brawl, sometimes as the player character, sometimes as an enemy.
Demoted to Extra: Super Mushrooms in Melee made him obsolete; as such, stage 6 in Classic Mode is you plus two allies against any random character (even Ness or the Ice Climbers), giant-sized.
Metal Mario is the second mini-boss of the original game's 1P Mode. He is very different from Mario, as he is much slower, but can take far more punishment. In Melee, he is once again a mini-boss, this time in Adventure Mode. However, the introduction of the Metal Box, which could put any character in a similar state, lowered his importance, and he doesn't return as a boss in Brawl.
Bash Brothers: In Melee, if you've managed to unlock Luigi, Metal Mario will then be joined by Metal Luigi from that point on.
Canon Immigrant: While not really "canon" (he started life simply as a power-up in Super Mario 64), he has appeared in some Mario spinoffs as a separate character from Mario. Mario Kart 7 gives him a distinct, cockier personality from Mario.
Damage-Sponge Boss: If you're unable to trick him into falling off the side, beating him by brute force will take a while. He doesn't start to be tossed around easily until you rack up the damage to around 200%.
Demoted to Extra: Metal Boxes in Melee made him obsolete; as such, the final fight in Classic Mode before Master Hand is against any random character (even Kirby or Pichu), metallized.
Stone Wall: The fastest he goes is a brisk walk (unless you are playing on very hard), but it takes a LOT of damage for him to even flinch compared to Mario himself.
Implied by the few cutscenes in the original, but the plot presented in 1P Mode is symbolic at best.
Set up to be this in Subspace Emissary, and then subject to a Bait and Switch.
Boring, but Practical: In Melee, he is actually less dangerous than Crazy Hand, due to the latter's added effects in his moves and the lower level of predictability. Brawl buffs the power of Master Hand's moves (except the bullets) to make them equal threats to Crazy Hand's or perhaps even more threatening, depending on play style and the character used.
Canon Immigrant: Appeared in Kirby And The Amazing Mirror as a mini-boss, then as a dual boss with Crazy Hand. They both attacked like Master Hand rather than having the variation they show in Smash, though.
The Dog Bites Back: After Ganondorf ended up freeing Master Hand from its... puppeteer strings of Tabuu, Master Hand's immediate action upon being freed is attempting to punch out Tabuu.
Expy: Most of its and Crazy Hand's designs and movesets come from Kirby Super Star boss Wham Bam Rock.
Family-Unfriendly Violence: In the Subspace Emissary, after it's revealed that Tabuu is controlling him, he breaks out of the puppet strings and attacks Tabuu, only to be knocked back. Afterwards, blood forms on his hands where the strings were attached. This isn't too surprising coming from the creator of the Kirby series, which has its own share of that.
Finger Gun: One that actually shoots bullets - his signature attack. From Melee onward, they can also fire laser beams.
Helping Hands: Except he is hurtful, but the opening of Melee does imply that there is an arm wearing that glove before the child's imagination, wizard magic or something brings the Super Smash Bros world to life.
Hit Points: The first character in the series to have these. Instead of building up his knock back percentage, you whittle down these points, and at zero, he will immediately fly off the stage with lots of explosions.
Lightning Bruiser: In 64. You have to hack him playable to see it, though, as in normal play, he just moves in slow boss patterns.
Lowered Monster Difficulty: The introduction of the side dodge and air dodge make him much easier to deal with from Melee onward. To counter this, Master Hand can now team up with Crazy Hand.
The Man Behind the Man: When he's first seen in the Subspace Emissary, he seems to be Ganondorf's master. Later, we learn he's being involuntarily controlled by Tabuu.
Original Generation: In the first game he created the Super Smash Bros setting by pulling toys out of a box, placing them on table tops then snapping his fingers, bringing the toys to life and changing the tables into video game representations.