Project M is a mod of the Nintendo Platform FighterSuper Smash Bros Brawl, inspired by competitive-styleSuper Smash Bros. Melee and designed to add rich, fast-paced, and technical gameplay to a well-balanced cast of characters. It's created by a group of tournament-style Smash Bros. enthusiasts known as the Project M Back Room (PMBR), some of whom were involved in Brawl+, the previous attempt to modify Brawl into a better-balanced and competitively-oriented game. Importantly, it isn't just a copy of Melee; the goal is to tweak all 39 characters in Brawl's roster (and Melee fan favorites Roy and Mewtwo) to be viable yet fair fighters against the likes of the best Melee characters, Fox, Falco, Jigglypuff, Sheik, and Marth. Ultimately, the project is meant to create the ideal version of Super Smash Bros.: one that is well-balanced, is energetic, and supports a dynamic balance between offensive and defensive playstyles, yet overall slightly favors offense. Simply put, it's a fan-made sequel/remake/improvement/conceptual expansion of Melee.So far, public reception has been extremely positive, landing Project M front-page coverage and wiki support from the major gaming news website IGN.Version 3.02 was released in January 2014.For information on the characters, see the character sheets: Melee Veterans and Brawl Newcomers.Compare to Air Dash Online, which is another in-progress game inspired by competitive-style Melee.Not to be confused withMetroid: Other M. Read our Forum discussion about it here.
This game has examples of:
Adaptation Decay: The Custom Stage menu in Vanilla Brawl has been disabled, as the StackSmash exploit (which enabless Wii hacking) requires the stage list to be empty. Thankfully, though, a patch exists for the Homebrew Channel version (which only needed StackSmash when first installing) to bring it back.
April Fools' Day: The PMBR made a trailer that demonstrates the supposed new, over-the-top direction the game will take in Demo 3.0. However, "Turbo Mode" was later confirmed to be an actual bonus mode in the update. Spiky-Eared Pichu still won't be in the game, though.
Artificial Brilliance: There have been slight tweaks to the character's AI, including all CPU-controlled characters being able to wavedash, some characters being able to recover more efficiently, and all characters being capable of L-cancelling.
Artificial Stupidity: Since it's largely Brawl AI, the CPUs are incapable of fully utilizing the advanced techniques technical potential of the game (e.g. chaingrabbing and DACUSnote a Dash Attack Cancelled Up Smash. It involves performing a dash attack, and then very quickly pressing Up and the throw button simultaneously). This has largely been fixed with 3.0, although there are still some issues (such as an extremely suicidal A.I. prior to the 3.2 Patch).
Attack Reflector: Everyone can achieve this if they perfect shield, though it's much harder than using a relevant special move to do so.
Backstory: The project has two Game Mod precursors: Brawl+ (which is generally considered a failure), and a subsequent small project to replicate Falco's Melee functionality as a custom character for regular Brawl (which soon expanded to the goal of making the entirety of Brawl like Melee, but better).
Beta Test: Aside from maintaining public interest and support, the purpose of the public demos is to beta test P:M on a large scale, thus making bug-searching easier and character-balancing decisions statistically reasonable.
Combos: Although comboing is a mainstay of the Fighting Game genre, this is the first time in Smash that combos of such complexity are intentional and integral to the gameplay.
The infamous Turbo Mode grants on-hit-cancel to every attack in the game, a mechanic usually exclusive to most of Lucario's attacks. note Lucario's moves are tiered so that their combos follow a four-attack magic series. Therefore, that instance is not seen as overpowered. Turbo Mode makes it possible to cancel any attack...into any other attacknote No, you cannot combo one move into the same move., allowing the most extensive combos ever seen in a Smash game. The result is gameplay that looks like it's from Marvel vs. Capcom.
The Bus Came Back: This was the first use of the Clone Engine - bringing back characters that had been cut out of Brawl.
If a modder tried to access the unfinished characters in Demo 2.6 and earlier by adding and using a fully-unlocked character select screen, the game simply loads Mario instead, both to prevent access to the characters and to prevent potential crashes. (Compare to Copy Protection.) The PMBR takes the stability of their work (in relation to the public) very seriously; it doesn't want random hackers altering and distributing its work.
If Classic or All-Star mode is completed with Roy or Mewtwo, then Mario's trophies are rewarded.
Divergent Character Evolution: Zigzagged to accomodate whatever is necessary: Lucas has had his special moves overhauled to make him more different from Ness but many changes made in Brawl like Falco's kicked reflector and Mario's FLUDD have been undone. Ganondorf has been reverted back to his Melee playstyle but keeps the Brawl Ganondorf's Flame Choke.
Fan Nickname: An unofficial name of the mod used primarily by the fans is "Project Melee". To clarify, the "M" doesn't actually stand for Melee. It's only a reference to "Melee".note The official Twitter and YouTube pages used to use the handle "Projectmelee" simply because "Project M" was taken, but they were changed because they proved to be too confusing.
Fan Remake: Though with occasional tweaks, P:M contains stages, physics, and character mechanics derived from Smash 64 and Melee.
Some character aspects that were in the characters' source material games, but not native to the official Smash Bros. games, such as animations, were remade and implemented.
In general, the purpose of this mod is to recreate the technical and fast-paced experience of Melee, and then make the game even better, technically and aesthetically.
Fan Sequel: To Melee, since Smash as a series has general subsequent installments rather than direct sequels (in terms of gameplay)note This is due to Sakurai's insistence on making every additional game drastically different from the last, since he isn't much of a "sequel" person in general. - unlike Brawl, P:M was created with the intent of playing like an actual sequel.
Fanwork Ban: Typing the words "Project M" in any post on the Miiverse network will trigger an automatic ban for discussing "criminal activity".
Game-Breaking Bug: As a side-effect of the first Subspace Emissary cutscene replacing the generic "Congratulations montage" to prevent crashing when one beat Classic Mode with a character that's not supposed to be there, it's not possible to start a new file on the Emissary - the game crashes when the time comes to select your character. Can be worked around, though, by loading a previous save made in Vanilla Brawl.
House Rules: Averted in that the conventional competitive set (which was previously customized from Smash's options) is now default, which saves players the trouble of ever needing to set the rules manually. 4 stock, 8 minutes, and team attack turned on.
Same goes with the crew mode; what was once house rules is now a basic feature.
Iconic Outfit: Expanded thanks to the Alt. Costume Engine: Now, Wario isn't the only character to have a second outfit with its own set of palette swaps. See the character pages for details.
Knockback: Restored to Melee standards thanks to the Knockback Stacking fix. Suppose a player is knocked more than once in a row. If the player is hit within 10 frames after an initial attack, the second hit's knockback would completely replace the knockback and hitstun of the first attack. However, if a player is hit after those 10 frames (yet still in knockback), the hitstun would still be replaced, but the knockback vectors for the two moves would be added together when they are in opposing directions (and the greater of the two is used when they are not). This huge breakthrough adds to the "Meleesque" feel of many combos.
Knockback Evasion: Teching, which has always been a mainstay of the Smash Bros. series.
Characters are often referred to with the letter "M" to distinguish them from their other Smash incarnations. For example, Mario:M, as opposed to Melee Mario.
Stages occasionally get this treatment. The stage that's essentially the upper-left chunk of Temple was referred to as Temple:M before being reskinned as Skyloft.
There's also the reskin of Pokémon Stadium 2 with a Master Ball motif.
Level Editor: Disabled out of technological necessity - the custom stage list needs to be empty to run the game due to the nature of the exploit that allows Wii hacking. However, a patch exists for those who run the Homebrew Channel version (and thus only needed to use said exploit once).
Meteor Move: Footstool jump is one of the few techniques retained from Brawl. Essentially, it gives every character a downward-pushing movenote which, contradictory to the Brawl official description, is technically not a meteor smash, since it doesn't have any of the the right properties.. Unlike in Brawl, where it's executed by pressing a jump button while on an opponent, it's done with a separate input from the regular jump, so it can be mapped to a different button on the controller (up on the d-pad by default), and it can't be done accidentally.
Spikes have returned, greater in number. In Brawl, the Melee veterans' spikes were nerfed to be meteor smashes.
Moveset Clone: Some of the moves introduced in Brawl to differentiate clone characters from their sources were swapped with their Melee counterparts. However, Falco is the only clone character that was completely functionally reverted to his Melee movesetnote and even so, was at least left with a few different animations. Characters like Ganondorf and Roy have entirely new moves.
Never Trust a Trailer: The team's trailer makers are known for using gimmicks that aren't in the official release builds:
Mario's Turbo Tuesday video makes it look as if Mario could switch between being Plumber Mario and Dr. Mario instantly. This isn't mechanically possiblenote since Brawl is programmed to only allow the caching of one model per player at a time, which is also why Sheik and Zelda can't switch as fast as they could in Melee and is simply clever editing of splicing two variations of the same clip via Brawl's replay feature.note The replay system records button presses rather than real video, so the same actions could be remade with different costumes.
Mewtwo's Turbo Tuesday video shows Pokémon Trainer throwing a Poké Ball at Mewtwo. Pokémon Trainer is not playable.note For the video, a trainer costume was put over Snake.
Contrary to Diddy Kong's demonstration video, the boombox victory animation can't be used during a battle.
No Export for You: Unfortunately, Brawl has significantly different programming for the NTSC and PAL versions, so Project M has to be made for NTSC before being ported to PAL.note However, it's possible to run the current PM with an NTSC Brawl ISO and a PAL Wii with the region lock disabled.
No Sell: Characters that tether recoverer in Brawl suffered from extremely easy ledge-hogging; when a character was occupying the ledge, the tether couldn't detect the ledge, so the user wouldn't be able to recover. In PM, tethers are no longer dependent on ledge occupation, so the tethers can work without being blocked off. Therefore, multiple characters could grapple to the same ledge at once, with an additional character occupying the ledge. When a tethering character pulls up while the ledge is occupied, he/she ledge-jumps instead.
Obvious Beta: Not really a beta, but the first demo fits this trope. Compared to the more recent developers' builds and the second demo, the first demo is very outdated, and it inversely shows how much "Melee-ifying" the team has accomplished in months.
Screwed by the Lawyers: The team is actively trying as hard as possible to avert this. They have vowed only to include franchises that are already in the game (such as in stickers, trophies, etc.) as characters for the Clone Engine, for one example.
A stage-based one: Dracula's Castle from Castlevania was created for this game; a third-party franchise not even represented in any of the official Smash games so far.
Shown Their Work: Many characters were given both functional and aesthetic changes that reflect their incarnations in their previous games. A good example is Wario, who was given several new attacks and animations to make him more of a Wario Land Wario.
Tournament Play: This game is made especially for the competitive Smash enthusiasts, so several features were added to give competitive play more professional tools.
The game has an idle mode; if the game is left on without input for three minutes, the audio will fade, thus making tournaments less hectic with unoccupied game setups.
The Crew Mode was added to facilitate the process of setting up a crew battle, specifically by making the game automatically detract stock so that suiciding before a match starts is no longer necessary.note Info:In a crew battle, stock carries over when a player advances to the next opponent; in previous Smash games, if he lost 1 of his four lives in his first match, he has to suicide to take off that life before fighting his next opponent.
The stage select screen has been redesigned to be more systematized, aesthetically pleasing, and functional. The stage picture is much larger, and is backed with the Project M logo. The stage icons are grouped by their properties (such as platform layout, hazards, and series franchise), and arranged in tier rows to reflect how complex their layouts are, as well as to separate the starter stages (which occupy the entire bottom row) from the counter-pick stages (for example, Dracula's Castle is on the top, Lylat Cruise is in the middle, and Final Destination is on the bottom). Stages can now be crossed out. Crossing out stages will remove them from the random select as well.note Pressing X crosses out a stage, pressing Y strikes all stages disabled from the random select. Also, the stage pages can be switched by pressing the L or R button.