The first villain to be playable in a Smash Bros. game, the King of the Koopas is one of the five Mario characters in Melee (unless you count Yoshi and Donkey Kong.)
Anthropomorphic Shift: Bowser's stance and proportions have been changed in U/3DS to be much more humanlike than before, much like his usual appearance from the Super Mario Bros. series, as opposed to the more bestial look Melee and Brawl gave him. Bowser returns to his previous feral stance when he's Giga Bowser.
Art Evolution: In Melee, he had an original design that gave him a more bestial stance, a very muscular physique and tanned skin as opposed to bright yellow. Brawl kept his stance but changed his colors and made his body look softer to match his main series appearance more. In, 4 he has a more humanlike stance; see Anthropomorphic Shift above.
Butt Monkey: After his addition, he literally became the punching bag in Melee, Brawl and Wii/3DS's How-to-Play videos. Many screenshots shown during Brawl and Wii U/3DS's development also have him getting the short end of the stick, and in Shulk's trailer he's the very first victim of Shulk's Back Slash.
The Brute: He's the powerhouse of the villain team in Subspace Emissary.
The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The Bowser in Melee's Adventure Mode has a natural advantage in size and power over the playable version, most noticeable when your character is another Bowser.
The Dog Bites Back: Bowser ends up exacting revenge on Ganondorf's trophy when finding it after the latter, prior to being turned into one, had shot Bowser in the back with the only Trophy gun left.
The Dragon: To Ganondorf in Subspace Emissary mode.
Enemy Mine: He joins the heroes in Brawl's adventure mode once he realizes that Tabuu had manipulated everyone. He is distinguishable from Wario or Ganondorf in that he is the only antagonistic fighter who is required to join you.
Mighty Glacier: Bowser was a pure mighty glacier in Melee, being the most powerful character after Ganondorf, while being arguably the slowest character, which resulted in him being a perpetual bottom tier character. In Brawl, his movement speed was buffed and his attacks are slightly faster, though he is still an overall slow character who relies on his great power and endurance.
Saved for the Sequel: Bowser, along with Mewtwo and King Dedede, was planned to be playable in the first Smash game, but was unable to get in due to time and budget constraints. In the next game, he finally got to show the Smash world what he's made of.
Turtle Power: He was originally supposed to be an ox, which is why he has horns. Then someone decided it did not make sense for an ox to be leading turtles.
Vocal Evolution: Similar to Charizard, Bowser's voice actors are usually the same as in the main Mario games, but voice him with more realistic roars and growls.
The Voiceless: Like Donkey Kong, Bowser only roars and growls, despite being able to speak in the Marioverse.
Your Size May Vary: Bowser's height has varied from being the same height as Super Mario to enormous, but in Smash he's roughly twice as tall as Mario.
Wrestler in All of Us: In Brawl, he gains the Flying Slam (a flying suplex he performs on an opponent) in place of the Koopa Klaw (which was nothing more than a glorified grab). And in U/3DS, he gains a drop-kick as well.
Voiced by Jen Taylor (Melee), Samantha Kelly (Brawl)
Usually, Princess Peach relies on Mario to fight for her, but after Melee, she's taken action and joined the battle.
Action Girl: As out of place as it may seem at first, given the role she's known for, different games in her series have given her a playable role before Melee, which translated into an ass kicking princess in the Smash series. In fact, alongside Shiek and Zero Suit Samus, she has one of the most physical fighting styles amongst the female characters.
Adaptational Badass: While in her source series she's been shown to be quite capable of fighting, she rarely does so, and not to the same degree.
Ass Kicks You: Peach Bomber, which is her side-B attack, along with her back aerial and back throw.
Art Evolution: In Melee, her dress was only slightly more detailed than it is in her own series, such as having a visible bodice. In Brawl, they ramped it up to a full Pimped-Out Dress. In U/3DS, it's less embroidered than in Brawl, but still much more detailed and embellished than her main series and Melee appearance.
Artificial Brilliance: Peach's Brawl AI is able to do a technique involving a short hop, doing an aerial attack; canceling the hop into a float, and and approaching using that float.
Badass Pacifist: Offering tea to two combatants to stop them from fighting is pretty badass.
Badass Princess: A princess in dress with an upbeat attitude that still kicks a lot of ass.
Cloud Cuckoolander: She's quite goofy in Subspace Emissary cutscenes, such as offering tea to stop an ongoing fight while standing on a flying ship in the middle of a battle.
Combat Stilettos: Even on the battlefield, she still wears her signature high heels.
Counter Attack: Toad is used this way. He actually releases spores from his head to damage the opponent.
Damsel in Distress: If you choose to save Zelda in Subspace Emissary mode. They both become this eventually.
The Face: In Subspace Emissary, Peach makes herself useful by breaking up fights and turning potential enemies into friends, such as mysteriously producing tea, in contrast with the action oriented Samus and Sheik.
Fighting Clown: Peach wouldn't seem like much of a fighter considering her Damsel in Distress background, and many of her abilities are silly, like using sports equipment, radishes, and her butt. Nonetheless, she's still a strong and capable fighter.
Frying Pan of Doom: Back from Super Mario RPG, it is the most damaging but shortest reaching of her three forward smash weapons.
Game-Breaking Bug: In the early days of 3DS, there was an oversight with Peach's "Turnip Pull" Down+B Special, specifically its low chance to produce an actual itemnote if they're turned on in place of the turnip (an ability she's had since Melee). This triggered the game's online match anti-cheat coding, getting players Mistakenly Banned from online play. A hotfix was released in short order.
Demoted to Extra: They're cut from the playable roster in U/3DS, but a trophy of them remains. Sakurai has stated that they were working in the Wii U version, but the team couldn't get them to work on the 3DS. Series that are unlikely to have another installment also had low priority.
Difficult but Awesome: In both Melee and Brawl, the Ice Climbers demand higher awareness than most characters, precise timing to pull off their deadly chain throws, and knowledge of difficult advance techniques such as desyncing, to be played at a competitive level.
Drop the Hammer: If the page image did not make it clear, this is their main form of offense.
Enemy Mine: Seeing the bond they share in SSB, it's hard to believe they were rivals in the original game.
An Ice Person: For no reason other than making them more competitive, as they did not have ice powers in their own games.
Kaizo Trap: One of the reasons they're dangerous. If you K.O. the lead character (usually Popo, depends on the Palette Swap), the following character disappears shortly afterwards. In the hands of a good player, and especially if they were K.O.'d by a smash attack with a lot of ending lag, and especially if they were star K.O.'d, the following character can definitely land a killing blow before they disappear.
Limit Break: They summon a giant Iceberg that covers most of the stage, which freezes enemies upon contact.
Glass Cannon: They can hit hard, but if they are separated, or especially if the computer-controlled Climber dies, their defensive and recovery options become severely limited.
Palette Swap: Notably, half of the outfits allow the player to control Nana instead of Popo.
Puppet Fighter: Downplayed. If the Ice Climbers are de-synced, the player can alternate between which character is acting, allowing them to be controlled separately. This is also the reason the Kaizo Trap mentioned above works. The problem is that if the lead character is safe but too far away from the following character, the following character will stop acting and automatically chase the lead one down, so the player has to be careful when doing this trick. This in contrast to Rosalina, who can control the Luma regardless of the distance between them.
Shout-Out: The player controls both of the Ice Climbers at all times. This is a reference to Ice Climber being the first Nintendo console game with two player simultaneous co-op.
Art Evolution: In Melee her design was based on her Ocarina of Time appearance. In Brawl, she has her Twilight Princess appearance as well as the light arrows she used in said game. U/3DS uses the same Twilight Princess design.
Action Girl: Appropriately enough, as the Melee version was based on Ocarina Of Time, the first Legend Of Zelda game to give the princess whose name is in its title this role.
Badass Princess: Of course. In fact, Zelda actually tends to deal more knockback than Sheik!
Combat Stilettos: She has heels in Melee, but switches to more practical boots in Brawl.
Composite Character: Despite Brawl having Twilight Princess' Zelda, she can still turn into Sheik a la Ocarina Of Time. Word of God says Sheik was an unused character design for a potential Twilight Princess appearance. U/3DS separates the two characters, but gives Zelda the ability to summon Phantom Zelda from Spirit Tracks.
Damsel in Distress: If you choose to save Peach in Subspace Emissary mode. They both become this eventually.
Decomposite Character: Sheik was an alternate form of Zelda in Melee and Brawl, but became her own character in U/3DS.
Difficult but Awesome: In the air, at least. Almost all of her aerials have to be landed exactly right to get the most damage and distance out of them. Otherwise, they're pretty weak, knocking the opponent back about as far as a jab combo would have.
Emotionless Girl: Gives the impression of one in Brawl and U/3DS. It fits her occasionally Machiavellian personality from her own series.
Everything's Better with Princesses: Yes, she's the princess of a kingdom with not often visible kings. Justified in her Twilight Princess iteration as her Brawl trophy states that she was in the process of becoming queen before Zant attacked.
Purple Is Powerful: Wears purple in her default costume in Brawl and U/3DS and she has some very potent attacks if you land them just so. Her backward and forward aerial attacks in particular can knock opponents pretty far away even at 0%.
The Rival: A lot of the pictures for Wii U/3DS depict her as being this to Rosalina. Maybe because they're both serene Ladies Of War?
Royals Who Actually Do Something: She started to take more active roles after her Ocarina of Time incarnation, which just so happens to be the first one featured in Smash.
Chain Pain: Her side special in Melee and Brawl has her attack with a chain with slight electric properties.
Character Exaggeration: Sheik's reactions are different from Zelda, though both forms get to keep serene expressions during the fight. The fourth game drops the serenity and her expressions become more exaggerated.
Composite Character: While Shiek is Ocarina of Time's Zelda, her Final Smash still uses the light arrows Zelda had in Twilight Princess.
Damsel out of Distress: She takes matters in her own hands once she's imprisoned on the Halberd in the Subspace Emissary.
Decomposite Character: WiiU/3DS splits Sheik off into a stand-alone character unique to Smash, but still mostly based on her unusued Twilight Princess concept.
One of the original legendary Pokémon next to Mew. Mewtwo's mastery of psychic power is nearly unrivaled.
Awesome, but Impractical: Its moves may be awkward and ineffective, but the animations are awesome. For example, its dash attack with the Beam Sword has the sword spinning in front of it.
Badass: The original legendary and one of the most powerful Pokémon of all, but its playstyle is difficult to use and relies on spamming to be effective.
Badass Boast: One of its Japanese victory quotes roughly translates to "No one can defeat me".
Casting a Shadow: Shadow Ball and many other moves with the same dark purple after effects as Ganondorf.
Continuity Nod: Its portrayal in Melee is heavily based on the Japanese version of Pokémon: The First Movie. Even though Mewtwo isn't playable in U/3DS, its trophy description also characterizes it with a similar personality/background to the movie.
Demoted to Extra: Reduced to a trophy in Brawl, though it was closer to being finished than any of the other scrapped characters. As of U/3DS, he is still a trophy.
Evil Laugh: In its taunt and English victory poses.
Glass Cannon: It hits hard, with some of the strongest throws in Melee, but has poor endurance that combines with its high susceptibility to combos due to his large size. Mewtwo is supposed to weigh 269 pounds/122 kg. Here, it is lighter than Peach, Zelda, and even the Ice Climbers.
Last Lousy Point: It takes a whopping 700 Melees, or 20 hours worth of them, to unlock it. Although the latter can be shortened to five hours when four people are playing, and the former can be shortened by just playing a bunch of one-stock matches against low-level and handicaped CPUs.
Mind over Matter: Its telekinetic lift. Also, it never comes into contact with any of the items it picks up, nor does it touch the ground while moving around.
No Biological Sex: Technically genderless, but has a masculine voice and personality. The Japanese version of the fourth game also refers to it with masculine pronouns in its trophy description.
Olympus Mons: Incredibly powerful, but a man-made clone of Mew, not anything related to mythology. Though the games occasionally describe this as Mew "giving birth" to Mewtwo, but it's unknown how literally this is meant to be taken.
Saved for the Sequel: Like Bowser and King Dedede, he was meant to be in Super Smash Bros. on the N64, but the lack of time and budget prevented it from happening. He takes the Smash world by storm in Melee.
Secret Character: In Melee, play a total of 20 hours on VS. Mode,note This is 20 hours cumulative, not consecutive. The amount of time is also divided by the number of players; 20 hours for one player, 10 hours for two players, 6 hours and 40 minutes for three players, and 5 hours for four players or fight in 700 VS. Matches.
The prince of Altea, and the hero of the original Fire Emblem: Dark Dragon and the Sword of Light, its sequel, and the remakes thereof. Brought into the game by popular demand of the Japanese fanbase, but a complete surprise for the English base; he only speaks Japanese to reflect his games being Japan-only titles (until Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon).
Art Evolution: In Melee and Brawl, his design was an original embellished update of his costume from The Mystery of the Emblem. In U/3DS, his design matches his official redesign from the New Mystery remake, with elements of the Brawl design.
Badass Normal: Possibly the best example in the game, next to Snake. None of his attacks come with any sort of flashy elemental effects; they are just simple sword moves.
Back-to-Back Badasses: With Meta Knight in Subspace Emissary after the Subspace Army interrupts their fight.
Bilingual Bonus: Marth's Japanese was kept un-dubbed in the NA and European releases of Smash and Brawl.
Bishōnen: In contrast to the rugged Ike and the spiky-haired Roy, to the point that many people mistake him for a girl.
Blue Oni: To Ike's Red in Subspace Emissary with Meta Knight as the mediator between them. Also reflected in their cape colors despite them both being Primary Color Champions.
Combos: His side-special attack (Dancing Blade) is a 4-part combo attack. The first two swipes are easy enough to do and are fairly weak, but the second two hits require timing and finish off the move.
Force And Finesse: The Finesse to Ike's Force so the two FE representatives (both Lightning Bruisers in their own series) can be differentiated. Where Marth is quick and powerful when spaced properly, Ike is big, slow, and hits hard regardless of where he connects. Also reflected in Marth's Bishōnen status and princely armor vs Ike's burly appearance and tattered mercenary armor.
Limit Break: Critical Hit, involving Marth dashing at somebody and hitting them with a Critical Hit from his home series.
Nerf: Invoked, but averted. Marth's sword is shorter in Brawl, resulting in his great reach being reduced (though it's still among the best), the tip of his sword is more difficult to land with most attacks, and his dashing speed was reduced. However, the tipper hitbox for most of his attacks is stronger, and Marth's aerials, special moves, and recovery were improved.
Sword Lines: Employed in the Brawl depiction of his Dancing Blade attack. The trail of Marth's Falchion blade in motion changes in color depending on the input from the Control Stick/Directional Pad when the attack is used, with red being neutral/forward/side, blue being up, and green being down.
Unexpected Character: For non-Japanese players, as the games he appeared in were exclusive to Japan at the time.
Weak, but Skilled: His playstyle: His attacks, while fast, are normally weak unless he hits with the tip of his sword. Skilled Marth players know how to take advantage of this for either combos or KO power.
The Wise Prince: He is said to be by Mei Ling and is probably the wisest of his initial team in The Subspace Emissary.
You Don't Look Like You: His design in Melee and Brawl has some pretty substantial differences from his Fire Emblem designs from both before and after; the most obvious difference is his hairstyle. Marth received a redesign in Shadow Dragon, but this design and the Brawl model were concurrent projects. They were completed at the same time, meaning that the former could not be used in the latter. In the fourth game, his design is new, but draws heavily from his New Mystery design. Also, in none of the Smash games does Marth actually carry the Fire Emblem!
The epitome of old school, Mr. Game & Watch is not a distinct previously-existing character so much as a conglomeration of elements from characters seen in the myriad Game & Watch games. Still, he can be considered the first successful digital character in Nintendo history, predating even Mario.
Badass Adorable: He's a stick-figure-like silhouette with a bulging nose and is 2D, but he can kick butt with the best of them.
Blue and Orange Morality: According to Word of God, Game & Watch has no concept of right or wrong. He defects to the heroes' side in the Emissary just because Peach gave him her parasol.
Composite Character: The Game & Watch characters did not have consistent appearances, so Mr. Game & Watch's character model is mostly based on the falling civilians in "Fire", but his moves come from many other Game & Watch games. Some of them even come from the Game & Watch games based on Mario.
Catching Some Z's: If put to sleep, Game & Watch will have Zs flashing above his head.
Confusion Fu: His animations don't telegraph a lot of his attacks. Additionally, his "Judge" attack has random power, knockback, and sometimes other effects, based on a scale of one to nine. One is practically Scratch Damage, while nine is a One Hit KO under normal circumstances.
Drop the Hammer: His down smash, his on the ground recovery attack and his judgment special.
Energy Absorption: He can absorb energy attacks with his Oil Panic special - if he absorbs three, he then can use it as an attack that does the damage of the three absorbed attacks combined. In terms of raw percentage, this potentially can be the most powerful attack in the game that is not a counter or a final smash. note In Melee, the most powerful attack has been determined to be Mr. Game and Watch absorbing three PK Flashes, and then throwing it on Roy and having Roy counter it.
Eyeless Face: A rare, non-creepy example, which comes justified as he completely lacks other features.
Fighting Clown: Smacking people with whatever you can get your hands on is passable, but it crosses into ridiculous extremes when you can weaponize stuff like juggling and sausages.
Final Boss: Melee's All-Star Mode concludes with a throwdown against 25 Mr. Game & Watches.
Flat Character: Pun notwithstanding, given that he's a character pulled from a series of simplistic LCD handhelds, he doesn't have much of a personality. The little he gets in Brawl's cinematics labels him as a True Neutral at best.
Glass Cannon: He is among the lightest characters in both Melee and Brawl, but has powerful aerials, some of the strongest smash attacks, and two special moves that can potentially KO someone at 0%.
Humanoid Abomination: It is suggested that he is composed of some primordial substance that can be created to make anything—for this reason, his body was used to create the SubspaceArmy. He is a 2-dimensional character in a 3-d world. He doesn't move like other characters do, instead jerkily twitching from one sprite to another. He has no understanding of good or evil, which is why he helped produce the Subspace Army and why he betrayed them to join the heroes.
Lightning Bruiser: It's arguable he is this instead of a Glass Cannon for Brawl; he has above average speed, great power, strong defensive options, and the ability to survive to surprisingly high percents with Bucket Braking and his strong recovery.
Limit Break: Turns into the Octopus from the Game & Watch game of the same name. Mostly attacks by extending his tentacles.
My Master, Right or Wrong: Was the only person serving the Tabuu-controlled Master Hand who wasn't inherently "bad". One must wonder what Peach told him to get him to fight against said "Master".
One-Winged Angel: As mentioned above, his Final Smash turns him into a giant octopus.
Reference Overdosed: For a complete list as of Brawl see here. So overdosed that he's one of the few characters without any animations or techniques unique to the Smash series. Everything he does is Shout-Out to a past game.
Retraux: He is designed to resemble the extremely choppy animations of the old LCD Game & Watch units.
Secret Character: In Melee, Brawl, and U/3DS. He becomes playable after the following conditions are met:
Melee: Beat Classic Mode, Adventure Mode, or Target Test with all other characters; or fight in 1,000 VS. Battles.
Brawl: Have him join you in The Subspace Emissary, beat Target Test with 30 characters on any difficulty, or fight in 250 brawls.
Spam Attack: Uses Stanley's gas sprayer as a standard A.
Unexpected Character: In large part because he wasn't technically a distinct character before Melee.
Took a Level in Badass: Mr. Game & Watch was given a buff in nearly every way in Brawl, being a faster, heavier, stronger character. His down special, Oil Panic, also was given the unique ability to negate all momentum, allowing him to survive to much higher percents than a character of his weight class conceivably would. The maximum damage of Oil Panic was severely reduced, but its maximum knockback wasn't; he's still probably going to send flying off the screen anyone he dumps oil on after absorbing three strong projectiles.
Demoted to Extra: Was demoted to a sticker and two songs in Brawl, one of which was just a carry-over from Melee.
Divergent Character Evolution: Oddly, by not changing much. He retains his original moveset in Smash 4 while Mario had his revamped in Brawl, making what was previously one of the closest clones into a semi-clone.
Informed Flaw: Dr. Mario's Smash trophies in Melee state he's supposed to be slower than Mario while being more powerful (and thus led many people to believe he's a slower but more powerful version of Mario). While Dr. Mario is certainly more powerful than Mario, in actuality, he isn't any slower (his movement speed and the speed of his attacks are equivalent to Mario), and he actually has faster air speed. As such, Dr. Mario is essentially a more powerful version of Mario with a stronger projectile and few drawbacks.
Limit Break: His is the same as Mario's, except for the fact that he launches two giant pixelated pills instead of giant fireballs.
Moveset Clone: Of Mario obviously, sharing just about everything. He's less of one in U/3DS, due to him keeping his old down aerial and his down special, with Mario replacing his old down aerial with his old down special and gaining a new one.
Secret Character: In Melee, beat Classic Mode or Adventure Mode with Mario without continuing, or fight in 100 VS. Battles.
Shotoclone: He plays nearly identically to Mario in Melee, with several minor differences.
Unexpected Character: Manages to count for this twice. He was not expected to be playable in Melee, given that he's more or less Mario with different clothes, nor was he expected to return in U/3DS after his absence in Brawl.
White Gloves: They make more sense here, as sanitary hand ware is fitting for a doctor.
The legendary Gerudo and immortal King Of Evil, Ganondorf is the second villain to become playable in Smash Bros.
Art Evolution: In Melee his design is taken directly from the Space World 2000 tech demo duel, which itself is based off of his appearance in Ocarina of Time, combining his pre-time skip cape design with his post-time skip cape length, and giving him a sword. In Brawl he was updated to his Twilight Princess design, which he retains in the fourth title, with the addition of the glowing Sage Sword wound from said game.
Awesome, but Impractical: Ganondorf's Warlock Punch and up tilt (dubbed the "Volcano Kick") invoke this. The former involves Ganondorf charging his fist to unleash a mighty punch that sends opponents flying and covered in dark flames, while the latter involves Ganondorf charging his leg in a midair split, before violently crashing it into the ground in a large explosion. Both attacks can KO at ridiculously low percents. Both attacks are also the slowest attacks start-up lag wise in both Melee and Brawl, being nearly impossible to land on a non incapacitated opponent.
Badass: It's Ganondorf, the King of Evil. What did you expect from a title like that?
While he doesn't actually wield it, Ganondorf flourishes the two-handed sword he was seen wielding in the tech demo in one of his victory animations in Melee, and in Brawl pulls out the Sage Sword, examines it, then puts it away as a taunt. Sakurai even posted an ironic comment on the old Smash Bros Dojo website regarding this.
One of his Warlock Punch variants in U/3DS allows him to wield the Sage Sword.
Dark Is Evil: "A great evil walks the Earth, Ganondorf has been unlocked."
Dark-Skinned Redhead: Given that Gerudo have been portrayed as desert-dwelling bandits and sea fairing pirates, it is makes sense.
Difficult but Awesome: Ganondorf's "Flight of Ganon" and "Flipman" techs in Brawl. The former gives Ganondorf access to a super jump he can use at any time when grounded, and the latter gives Ganondorf a method of getting back on stage from hanging on the ledge without lag. Both, however, are very difficult to pull off consistently, especially in the midst of battle.
Genius Bruiser: In Subspace Emissary. For a sorcerer, he's awfully comfortable with high-tech gadgetry.
Killing Intent: While talking to Otacon, Snake remarks that Ganondorf has a "murderous vibe" and questions if modern weaponry would even work on him.
Knight of Cerebus: Ganondorf is the only one of the Subspace Emissary villains originating from out of Super Smash Bros. to be completely devoid of humorous elements. In particular, the scene where he overrides the Ancient Minister's control over the R.O.B.s to make them detonate the Subspace bombs is a contender for the darkest part of the game.
Kung-Fu Wizard: Despite being an incredibly powerful sorcerer, his fighting style is designed to mimic Captain Falcon's.
Limit Break: He turns into Beast Ganon - taken from his Twilight Princess appearance - roars, and rushes forward.
Mighty Glacier: Quite slow, but one of the strongest characters. Brawl made him even slower, and U/3DS made him even stronger - 40% damage from a charged Smash Attack is normal, without getting into the custom movesets.
Moveset Clone: With Captain Falcon, to many people's confusion. He was a last-minute inclusion, and was only added because he was popular and had a similar body shape to Captain Falcon. He still cribs off Falcon in Brawl having only 3/4 specials in common (with the fourth still vaguely similar), tough he does have different animations, such as the Warlock Punch being more of a backhand then the straight. He's also still a Captain Falcon clone in U/3DS, but his Warlock Punch now has a sword variation that is quite different from anything Falcon's ever used.
Mythology Gag: His Melee design and his sword only appeared in a tech demo, not in any actual games.
Nerf: In Melee, Ganondorf was a strongest character with some very fast options and aerial attacks that were sickeningly powerful yet fast. In Brawl, Ganondorf was slowed down immensely, with many key attacks weakened or nerfed in other ways. This was later fixed in U/3DS, where he remained slow but hit much harder.
Ornamental Weapon: In Melee and Brawl, Ganon only ever uses his sword for one victory pose and one taunt. It's actually a holdover from his old moveset, which was going to incorporate the sword, but it was cut short and thus he received Captain Falcon's moveset. Sakurai mocks him on the Smash Bros Dojo blog for not using it. This stopped in U/3DS: While it's not a part of his standard moveset, it's used in one of the Warlock Punch variants.
Palette Swap: In Brawl he has one that resembles his Ocarina of Time colors, and by extension his appearance in Melee.
Reverse Grip: Stabs opponents with the Sage Sword in a reverse grip in one of his alternate Neutral Specials in Wii U/3DS.
The Starscream: It's strongly implied in the game itself (and confirmed via Word of God) that Ganondorf plans to backstab Master Hand at the right opportunity. However, when he learns that Master Hand is actually being manipulated by Tabuu, he tries to fight Tabuu instead, and also freed Master Hand in the process.
Supernatural Martial Arts: He fights with magic-boosted punches and kicks. One of his taunts has him pull a sword, but he doesn't use it.
The Man Behind the Man: To Bowser, Wario, and the Ancient Minister. And Master Hand is the man behind him, and Tabuu is the man behind Master Hand.
Attack Reflector: In Melee, he had one that worked just like Fox's. He kicks it forward in Brawl, allowing him to reflect projectiles from farther away at the expense of not being able to hold it like in Melee.
Art Evolution: In Melee his appearance was based off of Star Fox 64. In Brawl its an original costume but stays much more faithful to his Star Fox Command design than Fox's does in comparison.
Badass Normal: He has no super powers, relative to being a man bird, but does have advanced technology.
Big Damn Heroes: In The Subspace Emissary, his introduction has him appearing from his Arwing and destroying Bowser's Trophyfying Gun, which had been plaguing Fox and Diddy Kong for several levels.
Difficult but Awesome: Falco was one of the most technical characters in Melee, demanding fast reflexes and high technical skill to master his Shine combos and other advance techs. In Brawl, Falco doesn't demand as much technical skill, though he still requires more than most characters to be played at a competitive level. In both games, Falco is considered top tier.
Fragile Speedster: Falco's attacks are among the fastest in both Melee and Brawl, though he doesn't sustain hits very well (except for vertical KO hits in Melee, where his vertical endurance was among the best). Thanks to Falco's strong defensive options, however, he competes better than the typical Fragile Speedster.
Fricking Laser Beams: Falco's competitive metagame in both Melee and Brawl utilize heavy use of his Blaster, especially in the latter.
Lightning Bruiser: Falco is this in Melee, where he has access to zero to death combos, a fast and powerful forward smash, and one of the best vertical endurances.
Limit Break: Summons the Landmaster. Differs from Fox's by being able to "fly" much more manageably than his.
Moveset Clone: Shares 4/4 specials with Fox , a Final Smash and several regular attacks. His blaster was different (slower firing, but flinches enemies) and his attacks got more variations in Brawl (such as kicking his reflector instead of holding it and using a few Razor Wings), to the point of keeping him viable in the metagame while Fox was Nerfed.
Nerf: Falco received some nerfs in Brawl, with combos being removed, his vertical endurance no longer being great, and his forward smash being replaced with one that is slower and weaker. He received some buffs to compensate, though, such as a very powerful chain throw that works on nearly the entire cast and can guarantee over 50% in damage if a grab is landed at a low enough percent, a much better recovery (with Falco Phantasm being buffed), improved vertical KO options, a stronger up smash and aerial, and a stronger camping game (as his Blaster is more effective in Brawl).
The Hero of Time's younger self. As his trophy notes, he is the original portrayal of Link (a child).note At the time Melee was released, the only Zelda games that starred Adult Link were The Adventure of Link and (partially) Ocarina of Time
Annoying Arrows: Just like Link's, the difference is most in appearance and that his do less damage and knock back.
Arrows on Fire: You would think the fire on them would make them more powerful, maybe the short arms negate it?
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Cut from Brawl. In fact analysis of Brawl's data files showed that while the other cut characters were considered, Pichu didn't even get as far as the chopping block.
Elite Tweak: His down special, Thunder, only damages him if the thunder bolt it summons touches Pichu. If this move is only used when it is safe, it maintains all the utility of Pikachu's version of the move (ie: attacking above him when beneath platforms, attacking behind him when jumping horizontally, etc.), in exchange for only losing a small amount of damage/knockback.
Fragile Speedster: He has one of the fastest movement speeds in Melee with comparatively fast attacks and a teeny-tiny hitbox, while being terrible to subpar in about every other category.
Gradual Grinder: He excels at hit and run tactics and evading the opponents' attacks, and has moves that come out quick enough to punish anything. However, he lacks good KO moves, with about his only one being Thunder, which hurts him if you want the maximum knock back from it. This all adds up to mean that Pichu is good at racking up big damage percentages, which he needs to do to have any hope of actually defeating the opponent.
Joke Character: He's Melee's lightest character, weaker damage output compared to Pikachu, and he takes damage from his own actions. The latter is carried over from the Pokemon franchise, where the self - damage is said to be caused by Power Incontinence due to youth and inexperience. Even his trophies outright admit that he's the weakest character in the game.
Lethal Joke Character: Only a few of his moves cause him to take damage; if the player avoids using those moves, then his biggest weakness vanishes, while his insane speed and tiny hitbox remain. These traits actually synergize together well, because his need to only use certain attacks gives him a great emphasis on controlling positions properly, which is trivial with his speed and agility.
"It was a difficult fight." (translated from Japanese)
The main character of Fire Emblem: Sword of Seals, a game that would be released soon after Melee. He was put in the game so fans could get excited about the new game.
Awesome, but Impractical: His neutral B attack. While it boasts as monstrous 50 damage at maximum charge as well as being a potential One-Hit Kill, the charge-up takes forever to max out, and the attack happens almost immediately after maxing out so you can't even wait until the target gets into the right spot (and this is providing said target doesn't just belt you during the charge).
The Cameo: Marth has a palette swap based on him in the fourth game, minus the red hair.
Demoted to Extra: While the others were reduced to trophies, he was nothing more than a sticker and unused playable data.
Fragile Speedster: While he appears to be a Mighty Glacier to casual players and novices due to his powerful forward smash, Flare Blade, and his laggy attacks, Roy fights as a Fragile Speedster in competitive play. His fast dashing and falling speed give Roy access to one of the fastest SHFFLs, but Roy suffers from being heavily susceptible to combos, having one of the worst recoveries, poor horizontal endurance, and severe difficulties in finishing off opponents due to his lack of reliable KO moves outside his forward smash.
Power Creep, Power Seep: For all the romanticizing Roy recieved from Smash Bros., he is infamous in Sword of Seals for being pretty weak on average.
Secret Character: In Melee, beat Classic Mode or Adventure Mode with Marth without continuing, or fight in 900 VS. Battles.
Skill Gate Character: Roy is a favorite among casual players for his incredibly powerful, fiery attacks that are easy to get the hang of, but competitive players aren't as kind to him due to his powerful attacks being slow, his lack of reliable finishers, terrible recovery, and high weight making him susceptible to combos.