Super Smash Bros. Melee is a Mascot/Platform Fighter developed by HAL Laboratory under Masahiro Sakurai and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo GameCube in 2001. It is the second game in the Super Smash Bros. series.
While the original Smash game laid the groundwork for the series, Melee set the standard for what to expect for content. Not only does Melee have many more playable characters (26) and stages (29), it also has a number of new singleplayer modes such as All-Star and Adventure, collectible trophies based on games from Nintendo's past, present, and future, and a slew customization options for multiplayer matches.
Melee is also notable for including Marth and Roy from the Fire Emblem series as playable characters, even though Fire Emblem had been a Japan-only property at that point. The surprise popularity of the two led to future Fire Emblem games finally getting localized for international release.
This game provides examples of:
- A.I. Breaker: There are a number of ways to get level 9 CPUs stuck in indefinite loops where they'll repeat the same action/movement over and over until interrupted. Some of these loops will involve them killing themselves, such as Luigi on Mushroom Kingdom 2, Fox on Jungle Japes, and Roy on Jungle Japes (the lattermost example resulting in CPU Roy being able to kill himself 98 consecutive times). Surprisingly, level 8 and 7 CPUs won't get stuck in these loops, only level 9s.
- Anti Poop-Socking: Two of this game's milestone messages invoke this, though they may seem to come a bit too late:You've played 50,000 VS. bouts! Enough! Take a break!
You've fought 100,000 VS. mode matches! Go outside!
- Artificial Stupidity: The AI does nothing to defend themselves offstage (excusable because air-dodging kills momentum and prevents the usage of further midair jumps and recovery moves), and each character is programmed to recover the same exact way every time, ignoring all alternative and recovery-boosting options. The most infamous example is CPU Luigi being programmed to just use his Green Missile during recovery, thus he will never use his Super Jump Punch and will invariably die the instant he falls below the stage line.
- Big Applesauce: Fourside is a large city where the main platforms are four tall buildings.
- Early Installment Character-Design Difference: A meta example for this game, which based its characters on their Nintendo 64 era designs. Later GameCube games would provide these characters redesigns that would eventually become the basis for their modern appearances.
- Early Installment Weirdness:
- This is the first game to implement a camera where you can take snapshots of people. Unfortunately, it's restricted to a single mode and only three players can participate while the fourth player takes the pictures. In Brawl and later games, this is implemented whenever you pause in any offline mode and you can take pictures by pressing certain buttons.
- There are a much larger amount of trophies from Japan-only games, possibly related to the fact that the first game in the series was itself originally planned to be Japan-only. Many of these are never seen again and such trophies in later games are generally either playable characters or related to them in some way, such as those from MOTHER 3 (whose predecessors are not Japan-only) and the Fire Emblem series (specifically, anything released between the since-Remade for the Export first game and the series's international debut).
- Classic Mode trophies don't use the characters' in-game model; rather, they use a model that resembles what the character looks like in their home series. Additionally, they aren't posed like in any of their artwork. Characters also get multiple renders in multiple poses, unlike later games.
- Final Destination and Battlefield are unlockable stages in this game; later games would make them available from the start.
- Battlefield's aesthetics were themed on metallic platforms in the middle of colourful, swirling vortexes instead of the more naturalistic settings in the later installments.
- Easter Egg: The Metroid trophy has a reflection of Super Metroid's title screen, minus the logo.
- Expy: A lot of the stages are clearly based on the original Smash Bros.'s stages. Brinstar is Planet Zebes, Corneria is Sector Z, Mushroom Kingdom and Princess Peach's Castle are Mushroom Kingdom and Peach's Castle...
- Expy Coexistence: The original versions of Yoshi's Islandnote , Dream Land, and Kongo Jungle are all unlockable.
- Game-Breaking Bug: Quite a few of them.
- There's the infamous Black hole glitch. While a fun glitch to fool around with, it can severely lag the game, and is prone to causing a complete game freeze (especially if the players do "modifications" to the black hole).
- In really early versions (the 1.0 versions), there's the Shadow glitch, which allowed players to catch the tiny Shadow Balls thrown by Mewtwo from his forward throw. If one of these balls is thrown after being caught, the game freezes.
- A glitch with Mewtwo is the Soul Breaker glitch. When Mewtwo uses Confusion on a projectile too strong to reflect (thus causing his reflector to "break") while simultaneously grabbing an opponent with it, the opponent will become permanently stuck to Mewtwo and unable to move, with no way of escape unless Mewtwo is KO'd. Mewtwo can also permanently freeze other characters when the Soul Breaker is activated by using his down throw on them (where he must then use Confusion to unfreeze them). Due to the possibility of Mewtwo being able to autowin matches by activating this glitch (such as if he's ahead and thus can wait out the time to win while the opponent can do nothing), the glitch is banned from being intentionally performed in tournaments.
- Similar to the Soul Breaker glitch above is the Freeze glitch, which allows the Ice Climbers to permanently freeze opponents unless they grab them again (though unlike Mewtwo with the Soul Breaker, the Ice Climbers can perform it entirely by themselves). Having the capacity to autowin matches like the Soul Breaker, it too is banned from being intentionally performed in tournaments. Unlike Soul Breaker though, the Freeze glitch can be useful in the 1P modes, particularly the Home-Run Contest (where it's necessary for the Ice Climbers to obtain max distance).
- A more obscure game breaking bug is the Box glitch. This is a glitch that can only be performed on the Mario Bros., and only by Fox and Falco. If Fox/Falco use their down throw on one of the Mario Bros. in specific locations on stages at certain damage percentages, the Mario Bro becomes stuck in an invisible box that they cannot escape from unless another character grabs and throws them out. Besides completely restricting the affected player's movement, this glitch can be an autowin if the trapped player was behind in the match and the nontrapped player(s) let time run out to win instead of freeing them.
- When playing Master Hand (whether from the Name Entry glitch or from hacking), the game will freeze in vs. mode after a match finishes if Master Hand wins the match. The game will also freeze in Classic, Adventure, and Target Test before anything can be played, and will freeze in the intermission stage of All-Star mode (thus with Master Hand the player can only play one match in All-Star).
- Gang Up on the Human: There are events called "Trophy Tussles" in which you fight against 3 other CPU opponents with the trophy you're trying to win being the stage. The CPU really does gang up on you during the events. All three of them.
- Guide Dang It!:
- How to obtain some of the after match bonuses in Melee, which is required to get the Diskun trophy. There are three things with these bonuses that cause them to be this. One and two, unless you look it up, you won't know the bonus exists until you obtain it, and only then will it show up among your collected bonuses, where you then get a short blurb on what gets you the bonus. Three, some of them though are really obscure and/or have unclear conditions to obtaining them that aren't properly explained how to get in the ingame blurb or anywhere (good luck getting the "Lethal Weapon" bonus without any guide, or knowing that "Button Holder" was a bonus).
- The alternate method of unlocking Mewtwo in Melee requires having 20 hours worth of playtime in vs. mode across human players. While you're guaranteed to get him eventually as long as you keep playing the game, it's going to take a very long time for a player to get him without looking up his unlock condition and ways to speed up the process (hint, the playtime is cumulative from all human players, so you can get him in as little as 5 hours across 4 human players).
- Infernal Background: In the intro, Mario's nemesis Bowser appears standing in a field of flames. With Bowser himself darkened aside from his Glowing Eyes of Doom, the effect is pretty creepy... or badass.
- Jungle Japes: The Titular stage makes an appearance but the previous game's Kongo Jungle returns as a playable stage as well.
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo:
- The Motion-Sensor Bombs are from GoldenEye (1997), which is no longer under Nintendo's ownership due to it being part of Rare Ware and the license issues surrounding the movie. The is lampshaded in its trophy description, which lists its origin as "TOP SECRET". The Japanese Version of Melee instead used the Remote Mine model from Perfect Dark, and the trophy description actually verifies the game of origin.
- The Cloaking Device is an item from Perfect Dark, another Rare Ware property that Nintendo lost ownership of. Like the Motion-Sensor Bomb, its trophy description in the international version lists the game of origin as "TOP SECRET".
- Lethal Lava Land: Brinstar Depths has lava far below the stage.
- Levels Take Flight: Poké Floats, Mute City (when you approach the looping on the track), Corneria and Venom, and Rainbow Cruise.
- Luck-Based Mission: In Adventure Mode, the The Legend of Zelda-inspired level has a 2-in-5 chance of spawning the Triforce at a location that the player can get to without having to fight a Dark Link at all. If that happens, and Link can avoid the slow-moving monsters in the area, the level is over and the otherwise frustration-inducing Switzerland bonus can be easily earned. If not? Enjoy a couple Dark Link fights.
- Non-Indicative Name: The stage "Mushroom Kingdom II" is actually based on Subcon.
- Nostalgia Level:
- Mushroom Kingdom I and II, which are based respectively on Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 2, along with Flat Zone which is based on the Game & Watch games. Later games in the series would also feature Flat Zone as a stage.
- For actual nostalgia levels, Kongo Jungle, Yoshi's Island, and Dream Land from the first game can be unlocked to play in.
- Old Save Bonus: If you had Pikmin saved on your memory card, it would unlock the Captain Olimar trophy.
- Random Number God: A very strange case with its Item Containers; They all had a very low chance of producing a Goomba or a Redead on the field, whether it was during a normal Match or Event Mode.
- Recurring Boss: Bowser in the Events is your opponent in several of the events after the first (including a harder sequel to the first event), including in one of the obligatory All-Star Battles and as part of the final battle (his Giga Bowser form was the True Final Boss).
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Icicle Mountain, based off the Ice Climber universe takes place on a snowy mountain, yet the players are constantly pushed around by wind rather than Frictionless Ice.