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Characters / Super Smash Bros. 64 - 01 to 04

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This page lists the first half of the starting roster of fighters from Super Smash Bros. 64.

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     01 – Mario 
Voiced by: Charles Martinet
Builder Mario 
Wedding Mario 
3DS/Wii U 
Home Series: Super Mario Bros.
Debut: Donkey Kong [Arcade], 1981

Playable in: 64, Melee, Brawl, 3DS/Wii U, Ultimate
Specials: Fireball, Cape, Super Jump Punch, Mario Tornado (64, Melee), F.L.U.D.D. (Brawl onwards)
Final Smash: Mario Finale

The titular hero of the Super Mario Bros. series, this iconic, superpowered mustachioed plumber is Nintendo's most recognizable character. A resident of the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario saves its beloved princess from the claws of the nefarious Bowser, as well as a few other threats to his home, time and again.

It's certainly no wonder that Mario is featured across the entire Smash series. He is mostly a balanced character who is good for beginners and experienced players alike.

  • Acrofatic: He does have a belly, which doesn't impede his jumping ability. Notably, in Melee, he looks much slimmer and less stocky than usual (not quite Luigi, but still pretty Off-Model).
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Unlike most characters, his characterization in Smash is quite different than in his home franchise. He still says "Yahoo!", but as of Melee most of his animations make him seem rather serious. Further solidified in the Brawl cutscenes and 3DS/Wii U's reveal trailers, where he's a sort of Old West style Stoic and a headstrong leader, generally disinterested and straight-faced, but will jump headfirst into battle when a formidable enemy shows up. Smash really brings out his competitive streak. Only the N64 game kept him relatively close to the Mario games. Ultimate finally bucked the trend and brought him back in line with his canon personality, being smiley and cheerful, especially in his taunts, while still taking the fight seriously.
  • Art Evolution: In Melee and Brawl, Mario's jeans were significantly more detailed than they've ever been in his own series. In 3DS/Wii U, this was toned down to be more similar to his design in his home series, but there's still a noticeable denim texture that was new at the time of release (2017's Super Mario Odyssey would finally feature detail comparable to Smash 4's). Ultimate further tweaks them, giving them the detail Brawl gave them while maintaining the color from 3DS/Wii U.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: In any group he's ever been with, be it the Subspace Emissary or the 3DS/Wii U trailers, Mario's at the forefront. And nobody, not even Bowser tries to contest it.
  • Asskicking Pose: Does his Brawl pose in promotional trailers and The Subspace Emissary.
  • Attack Reflector: His cape can send projectiles back and turn characters around.
  • Badass Adorable: Downplayed. While Mario still keeps his lovable cartoony design, he shows less of the Keet attitude he has in his home series (only showing through in some of his Voice Grunting). In any case, Mario defies and downplays this trope in all his appearances, by being a capable adult man rather than a more inherently vulnerable character type; according to Word of God, Mario is not primarily meant to be a "cute" character.
  • Badass Cape: You know your cape is badass when it can disorient enemies and reflect projectiles.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Ultimate gives him his classy wedding suit from Super Mario Odyssey as an alternate costume.
  • Badass Mustache: Though it was originally put there in Donkey Kong just to make it clear he had a nose in his sprite, it has become one of his signature features.
  • Balance Buff: Throughout the series, Mario was considered an unremarkable all-rounder, in the middle of the tier list until Brawl where he was near the bottom. His buffs in the most recent game caused a striking improvement in his popularity in competitive play, taking him from bottom tier to widely being considered among the top ten best characters in the game. At one point on official tier lists he was top five, making him the most dramatically improved veteran of the series.
  • Battle Intro: Mario jumps out of a pipe while saying "Let's-a go!"
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Mario's silliness is slightly toned down here, but in the end, he's Nintendo's cartoonish mascot and definitely looks out of place compared to the likes of Link or Samus. However, he's Nintendo's most seasoned veteran, is far more serious here than in his home series, and frequently leads the charge whenever he forms a group with other fighters. The PAL version of Wii U even gives him a serious Boxing Ring title that contrasts with his usual cartoony nature, as seen above.
  • Blow You Away: His customizable options include a gust cape.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • His side-special has him swish the Feather Cape to turn around projectiles and enemies without any knockback. As lame as it sounds, it's still an Attack Reflector, can leave opponents left exposed as they attack in the wrong direction, or even have their recovery go away from the stage.
    • His down-special from Brawl onward, F.L.U.D.D. It doesn't deal any damage, just knockback, but like the Feather Cape is great at preventing the opponent from getting back on the stage since it doesn't give opponents another chance to use their recovery move.
  • Bring It: He makes this pose in Duck Hunt's trailer (in 8-bit form, no less!).
  • Butt-Monkey: This is more an impermanent/downplayed example. On one occasion during Adventure Mode in Melee, Mario attempts to jump onto the rooftop of Mushroom Castle... only to be jumped on top of, and sent falling down... by Luigi of all characters. Funny, considering that in terms of humiliating characters in their respective games, Mario seems to be the only character considered off-limits by Nintendo — even more so since Luigi himself is usually depicted as the Butt-Monkey of their franchise. He also seems to receive a lot of abuse from Piranha Plant, a common mook below Bowser, being curbstomped in its reveal trailer, and being bitten in one of its victory screens.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": The "M" on his cap.
  • Catchphrase: "Let's-a-Go!", said at the beginning of each match.
  • Charged Attack: His down special as of Brawl, F.L.U.D.D., must be briefly charged up before it can be used at full effectiveness. The charge can also be stored.
  • Combo Breaker: The Super Jump Punch is useful in this regard.
  • Combos: A surprising example as of 3DS/Wii U; Mario has received a number of buffs that make his attacks faster and reduce his lag time, making him a very combo-heavy character, especially in competitive play.
  • Dance Battler: Mario's down-smash has always been a leg sweep resembling a breakdance move, but in Ultimate, more emphasis is placed on his leg movements, with his legs windmilling overhead between kicks. This is in line with his general aesthetics trending toward making him a little happier in this installment.
  • Dead Hat Shot: Mere seconds after apparently being killed by Ridley, Samus finds his hat on the floor.
  • Famed In-Story: Snake and Pit both acknowledge Mario's fame and history of heroism.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: In Ridley's trailer in Ultimate, it's implied that Mario had his skull crushed by Ridley.
  • Final Boss:
    • In Brawl, Mario is one of the final opponents fought in the final Single-Player event match, as Giant Mario.
    • In Wii U, he's the last character to show up in the last events of both Single and Co-Op Event Modes.
    • In Ultimate, he's the last opponent that Bowser fights in his Classic Mode path, first as his regular self, then as Metal Mario.
  • Fireballs: His neutral B. They bounce weakly along the ground. They can be customized to fire straight-shooting faster variants, or a slower, multi-hitting fireball.
  • Gradual Grinder: Reworked in 3DS/Wii U to be this, as his melee attacks chain together much better.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Mario does this to other surrounding characters while in the middle of his back throw.
  • Ground Punch: In the Subspace Emissary, not as an attack but to avoid hitting the princess Bowser held out in front of him.
  • The Hero: He essentially fills this role among the cast, as Nintendo's mascot and a Red Is Heroic Primary-Color Champion who is depicted as front-and-center in most marketing materials.
  • Heroes Fight Barehanded: Most of his moveset consists of bare attacks, with the exception of his forward smash and some of his specials.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Mario almost always fills this role in his home series, and Smash is no different. 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.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: His Final Smash, the Mario Finale. His forward smash can also be considered a short-range version of this, especially as it involves cupping one of his hands in a way similar to Ryu and Ken when firing their Hadokens.
  • Keet: Ever since Melee, this usual trope for Mario has been subverted, him wearing a pretty solidly serious countenance whenever Smash rolls back around. As of Ultimate, Mr. Nintendo's sporting his smiles again, in air not dissimilar from the upbeat competitive attitude he tends to sport in his own series spinoffs, and his new taunts show off his pluck.
  • Knockback: The purpose of F.L.U.D.D. is to cause this (or, more accurately, pushback) without additional chance of recovery. His cape also will give a spent target no recovery chance.
  • Lady and Knight: The White Knight to Peach's Bright Lady.
  • The Leader: Among the Five Warriors in Subspace Emissary. Mario is always front and center of the group in cutscenes and character trailers.
  • Leitmotif: As it is in his home series, usually Super Mario Bros' Ground Theme and its variations.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: He and Pit fight against Link and Yoshi in the Subspace Emissary mode, but they later join forces.
  • Limit Break: Mario Finale, where Mario fires two giant, spiraling fireballs forward.
  • Making a Splash: His Down Special starting in Brawl, F.L.U.D.D.
  • Master of None: He was seen as this in his Brawl days. Abilities that'd once been good for an all-rounder had been crept into obsolescence, leading to him being below-average on every front, and on top of that, his main flaws (bad range and lackluster recovery) remained prominent. He received a Balance Buff not long after.
  • Meteor Move: His Forward Aerial (from Melee onwards) and Down Special, Mario Tornado (64 only, if the final hitbox connects), are Meteor Smashes, as well as his down air in Smash 64.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The PAL version gives him "Smashes Bricks with his Fists" as a Boxing Ring title.
  • Non-Player Companion: Cappy comes along for the ride in Ultimate; in taunts and an easter egg in certain animations, occasionally breaking character as a hat to look around as he does in his game of origin.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • In Mega Man's trailer, he has a brief look of shock when he barely dodges Mega Man's Metal Blade; and in Bowser Jr.'s, he pulls this reaction after seeing Bowser Jr. call in the Koopalings.
    • In Ultimate, he also gives the "mama-mia" face in a bad ending just before Galeem vaporizes everything again.
  • Out of Focus: Half of the fourth game's reveal trailers feature Mario leading a group of fighters to face off against the new challenger. The other half depicts the new fighters showing themselves off or facing off against a single veteran such as Samus, Link or Captain Falcon (sometimes involving an Art Shift), and only feature Mario in gameplay; this type became more prevalent from Palutena's trailer onwards, with (fittingly) Bowser Jr.'s being the only one from that point to return to the previous format.
  • Palette Swap: Notable ones include Wario and Fire Mario (though these two currently seem to have been removed as of Ultimate for his new Builder and Wedding costumes). 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 3DS/Wii U, he has a blue and pink outfit that was previously used for "overalls" Wario in Brawl, a stars and stripes outfit only seen in NES Open Tournament Golf, and a Waluigi outfit.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Inexplicably throughout Melee, Brawl and 3DS/Wii U, Mario was this instead of his usual cheerful self. Ultimate brings him back in line with his canon personality.
  • Pinball Projectile: His Fireballs can bounce off of walls and floors.
  • Playing with Fire: One of his attacks is a fireball, his Side Smash is a burst of fire from his hand, and his Final Smash is a duo of huge twirling fireballs.
  • Primary-Color Champion: The most iconic hero in the series, and appropriately wears blue and red.
  • Red Is Heroic: Again, his iconic outfit is heavy on the red. His fire motif does not hurt in this regard either.
  • The Rival: He's generally paired off against Bowser, appropriately enough. The animated trailers for 3DS/Wii U also have him assume this role against Charizard and Bowser Jr.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Manly Man to Luigi's Sensitive Guy. This is taken even further here than in the Bros.' home series, with Mario acting like more of a serious, stoic leader, and Luigi being his usual cowardly self and having all sorts of extra wacky mannerisms.
  • Series Mascot: Mario is Nintendo's official mascot, and while never explicitly stated to be such for Smash itself, he takes on this role in all but official titling. He's the most prominent character in all five games and consistently gets first billing, being prominent on all games' boxart, appearing as the default online avatar, being used to customize controls and test stages, the name "Super Smash Bros." itself being a parody of the name of Super Mario Bros., and being sold as the most common and prominent amiibo in the Smash line (even being a pack-in with the Wii U version in some instances). Despite this, he doesn't play a notably important role in The Subspace Emissary and frequently finds himself getting Worfed.
  • Shock and Awe: His customizable attacks include an electric cape.
  • Shoryuken: Super Jump Punch, which has a near-identical trajectory to the Shoryuken, although it doesn't spin and is not very good for anti-air after the first game. In 3DS/Wii U, it can even be customized into a flaming punch. Ryu's Classic Mode image even shows him performing the real Shoryuken together with Mario doing a Super Jump Punch, along with other characters performing similar moves.
  • Shotoclone: He's got a fireball Hadoken, and a coin gathering Shoryuken, is the most prominently marketed character, and part of a Moveset Clone pairing (two in Melee and 3DS/Wii U). His Mario Tornado could also be considered a punching variation of the Hurricane Kick, and a never before seen Kamehame Hadoken attack was used for his final smash. From Brawl and onwards, he changed his input for his Tornado move. It should be noted that Ryu himself, the definitive Shotoclone, has very similar stats in Smash to Mario apart from size and weight.
  • Sibling Team: He teams up with his younger brother in the 1P mode of 64, certain events, and if the player sees fit.
  • 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. 3DS/Wii U instead has his Moveset Clone and alter-ego Dr. Mario take up this role, while regular Mario gets improved combo abilities, KO power, and mobility that remain effective at higher levels of play.
  • Spin Attack: His Mario Tornado, which was at first a Down-B, then his Down-Air.
  • Standardized Leader: As always. Not the flashiest character in Nintendo's stable, but he's the face of Smash and of Nintendo in general as the quintessential everyman and Jack-of-All-Stats.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: HEAVILY on the martial, minimal on the magical.
  • Super Strength: At the beginning of the More Fighters trailer he slams his fist into the rock solid ground shattering chunks of it. Considering that he's been doing the same thing to bricks he's destroyed in his games it comes as no surprise.
  • Three-Point Landing: Mario likes doing this in the character reveal trailers for 3DS/Wii U.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • In The Subspace Emissary, he gets turned into a trophy 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.
    • In some of the 3DS/Wii U introduction trailers, he serves as the go-to punching bag for showing off the combat prowess of other characters. The most prominent example happens when Bowser Jr. (someone he usually beats quite handily by himself) utterly crushes him despite Mario being backed up by Samus, Mega Man, Kirby, Link, and Rosalina.
  • True Final Boss: In Brawl's and Wii U's The FINAL Final Battle. In Brawl, he is giant-sized in comparison to the other fighters he's facing you with, while in Wii U, he is the final opponent to appear when you've beaten two opponents or the battle has dragged on for too long. He's also the last opponent to face you in The Ultimate Battle on Wii U's Co-Op Events.
  • V-Sign: Only in his 64 render.
  • Wall Jump: Just like in his own games (a glitch in the first, official in Super Mario 64 and onward).
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head: One of Mario's palette swaps in 3DS/Wii U 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.
  • White Gloves: Keeps them inexplicably shiny, considering his profession.
  • Working-Class Hero: Mario remains highly original as a video-game hero. Despite being the first major video game star, and living in a fantasy world, he stands out as a stocky, mustached plumber in working overalls whose real powers are his ability to move with his hands and legs, as opposed to video-game heroes who are elites — soldiers, warriors, and super-soldiers, as Smash's roster demonstrates.

     02 – Donkey Kong
3DS/Wii U 

Home Series: Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong in name debuts in: Donkey Kong [Arcade], 1981
Current Donkey Kong debuts in: Donkey Kong Country [SNES], 1994

Playable in: 64, Melee, Brawl, 3DS/Wii U, Ultimate
Specials: Giant Punch, Headbutt, Spinning Kong, Hand Slap
Final Smash: Konga Beat (Brawl, 3DS/Wii U), Jungle Rush (Ultimate)

A carefree inhabitant of Donkey Kong Island, one of Mario's longest-lasting friends, and has taken on armies of enemies in his previous adventures including the Kremlings, the Tiki Tak Tribe, and the Snowmads. He's the son (or grandson) of the original arcade Donkey Kong and King of Kongo Jungle. If anyone invades it or tries to steal his banana hoard, he'll make them realize why he has his title. He's a very strong physical fighter, and despite his size, is capable of moving really fast.

  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: His trademark tie.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: His Headbutt attack is capable of shattering shields. This is especially notable in 3DS/Wii U, where it is capable of bringing a shield to its final bar of health in one hit. His Hand Slap attack is also an effective shield breaker in that game.
  • Art Evolution: In Melee, Donkey Kong's fur was made a darker shade, making him look like a cross between his Donkey Kong 64 model and a real gorilla. Brawl and 3DS/Wii U brightened these colors and made him notably less scrawny in the arm department. Ultimate takes it a step further and not only gives DK more detailed fur like he has in Donkey Kong Jungle Beat and Donkey Kong Country Returns onward but also makes him as expressive as he was in those titles.
  • Ass Kicks You: Can use one to return to the stage when hanging if he is at low damage, though it has been removed as of 3DS/Wii U.
  • Battle Intro: DK bursts out of a DK Barrel and assumes a strongman pose.
  • Bear Hug: In Ultimate, pressing down while carrying his capture has him aggressively squeezing the opponent.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Never steal his banana hoard. His opening cutscene in The Subspace Emissary shows him crushing several Goombas and Koopas, before going on a rampage after the Hammer Bros that are driving away with his bananas.
    • King K. Rool, in general, is this for him. His rivalry with the Kremling King has long since passed the usual Lost Food Grievance that usually sets off DK, and into intense vitriol on both sides. By the end of K. Rool's trailer, the surprise has worn off and DK is visibly pissed that said croc managed to follow him into Smash.
  • Blow You Away: Two of his customs in 3DS/Wii U, Storm Punch (for Neutral-B) and Kong Cyclone (for Up-B) have powerful wind effects.
  • Boring, but Practical: Fighting Polygon Team, Multiman Melee/Brawl, Kirby Team/Galore, etc? Stand underneath a platform, repeatedly press B while holding down on the control stick, wait until the match ends. The computer players finally started wising up to this strategy by Brawl, but many players still abuse Donkey Kong's hand slap anyway because they still do not deal with it well.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": The "DK" on his tie.
  • Canon Immigrant: His white color palette is Eddie the Mean Old Yeti from the Donkey Kong Country TV series.
  • Charged Attack: Giant Punch can be charged and stored for later smacking.
  • Close-Range Combatant: Notably, he is the only 64 starter who lacks a projectile and it has been that way since. Not that he needs one though, as his actual moves do have reasonable reach in close combat and his surprising mobility can help him close gaps between him and his opponents.
  • Composite Character: The first game and Melee consider the playable Donkey Kong (who made his debut in Donkey Kong Country) and the Donkey Kong from the arcade games (who later became Cranky Kong) the same character, as seen in his fighter info. This was changed in later games, which consider Donkey Kong Country his debut game, but zigzagged with various 3DS/Wii U material, which uses the arcade sprite as his 8-bit form. He also plays the role in Mr. Game & Watch and Pac-Man's Classic Mode paths in Ultimate.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: Donkey hits his buddy Diddy with a Giant Punch and sends him flying in The Subspace Emissary, but only to knock him out of the way of a trophy beam which he takes himself.
  • 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.
  • Eternally Pearly-White Teeth: His teeth are cleanly white just like in the modern Donkey Kong games. In Brawl, they were an oddly shade of yellow.
  • Elemental Punch: One of his custom specials in 3DS/Wii U is Storm Punch, which causes a tornado. Another is an electric variant that charges and attacks quicker, but with less power.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: His up special, Spinning Kong.
  • Eye Pop: Used gratuitously in the fourth game and Ultimate to emphasize his pain animations. Also has a massive one when King K. Rool shows up, enough to shatter his house window.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: The Banjo-Kazooie reveal trailer shows him and Diddy Kong sleeping with the Big Bad of their home franchise, King K. Rool.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs:
    • Fought purely with body attacks.
    • Averted in both Brawl and 3DS/Wii U with his Final Smash, as he pulls out a pair of bongos from Donkey Konga and uses them to attack instead.
    • Back to playing it straight in Ultimate, which changes his Final Smash to a large series of rapid-fire punches reminiscent of Donkey Kong Jungle Beat.
  • Goomba Stomp: His down air from 64 is a two-footed stomp while making a strong man pose. It was replaced from Melee onwards with a one-foot variation with DK facing more towards the camera.
  • Ground Punch: His down special, the Hand Slap, where he repeatedly slaps the ground with his hands. It's actually based on an actual move Donkey Kong had in Donkey Kong Country, but a more casual player probably wouldn't know that thanks to the move being fairly obscure.
  • Hammered into the Ground/Use Your Head: 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 as of Brawl, where buried opponents can be knocked away normally with a strong enough move, providing an excellent combo with his Giant Punch or forward smash.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: His floor attack spikes! Yes, it will hit a person who is both behind and underneath him.
  • Immune to Flinching: Since Brawl, his Spinning Kong attack has Super Armor during the beginning when used on the ground. Also since Brawl, the fully-charged version of his Giant Punch has Super Armor during the animation. Since Melee, he gains small amounts of Super Armor when carrying an opponent or a heavy item. His Stubborn Headbutt custom move in Smash 4 also gives him Super Armor for the entire duration of the attack, and Ultimate gives the vanilla Headbutt some Super Armor.
  • Jaw Drop:
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In Mega Man's debut trailer, DK spikes him during the initial beatdown ol' Rock got from Nintendo's all- stars. Guess who gets to be the guinea pig for the game's version of the Hard Knuckle?
  • Legacy Character: According to Otacon, Donkey Kong's grandfather; Cranky Kong fought Mario in the arcade game under the same name.
  • Leitmotif: As it is in his home series, usually Jungle Level and its variations.
    • In 64, it's Kongo Jungle, which also plays in his first challenger approaching battle in Ultimate's World of Light.
    • In Melee, Jungle Japes.
    • In Brawl, Jungle Level V2 plays during his entrance in Subspace. It also plays in his Ultimate character trailer.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Despite being huge and heavy, his movement speed in the games is actually quite fast, and he is typically played as an aggressive, combo-centric rushdown character whose neutral B allows him to force opponents to play overly safe or end combos with an almost-guaranteed KO. However, some of his attacks are rather sluggish to balance this, and he also has poor defensive options and lots of ending lag on most of his stronger moves, which forces him to ensure that he can successfully land killing blows and finish everything that he starts.
  • Limit Break: Konga Beat (based on the Donkey Konga bongo-style controllers), which require players to succeed in playing a pseudo-Rhythm Game in order to maximize the range and damage of the attack. In Ultimate, this is changed to a Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs attack inspired by Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, Jungle Rush.
  • Living with the Villain: The Banjo-Kazooie trailer shows that Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong willingly let King K. Rool into their home, seemingly not minding their arch-enemy sleeping on their floor.
  • Megaton Punch: His neutral special, Giant Punch. He charges it up and can be stored like Samus' Charge Shot.
  • Meteor Move: Has the most Meteor Smashes of any character: Headbutt (on an aerial opponent), down aerial, and forward aerial. In 3DS/Wii U, his Hand Slap becomes yet another one when used in midair.
  • Mighty Glacier: He was closer to being this in the original Super Smash Bros. When slower, more powerful characters such as Bowser and Ganondorf were introduced in Melee, DK's speed was increased and his strength was decreased (though he's still very powerful) in order to stand out and he became more of a Lightning Bruiser. Overall, while he is technically a super-heavyweight, he has almost nothing in common with Bowser, Ganondorf, Dedede, or K. Rool in terms of playstyle.
  • Musical Gameplay: Tapping A in time to the music makes Konga Beat much more effective. In the fourth game, there's even a visible beat meter.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In 3DS/Wii U and Ultimate, whenever the crowd is cheering for him, they'll chant, "DK! Donkey Kong! DK! Donkey Kong!" to the beat of Donkey Kong 64's DK Rap.
    • His forward aerial in all Smash games resembles his mid-air attack from Donkey Kong 64.
  • Nerf: In 3DS/Wii U, he had an infamous kill combo called Ding Dong that could guarantee a K.O. if he grabs the opponent when they're at high percents. In Ultimate, while Ding Dong is still there to an extent, you need either platforms to cancel end lag, or setups involving a Staled Cargo Throw\Kong Karry.
  • Palette Swap: Notable Swaps: his original black second player palette swap from Donkey Kong Country and his white costume is based on Eddie the Mean Old Yeti. Fitting, since Eddie was simply a palette swap of DK. His red costume resembles his appearance in Donkey Kong, and his pink costume resembles Junior (II) from Donkey Kong Jr. Math.
  • Primal Chest-Pound: A taunt of his since Brawl. He also does this briefly if he hits someone with his Final Smash in Ultimate.
  • Primal Stance: He's almost constantly standing with his fists on the ground; very appropriate for a gorilla.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: His Final Smash in Ultimate is a flurry of punches a la Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, ending in a big uppercut.
  • Ret-Canon: Without giving anything away, he uses the Giant Punch in Donkey Kong Country Returns.
  • Rolling Attack: Has one in 3DS/Wii U, based on his rolling attack from the Donkey Kong Country series.
  • Skill Gate Character: His relatively high mobility and powerful attacks make him easy to use for beginners, but his large size and lack of a projectile attack hold him back at higher levels of play.
  • Suicide Attack: 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, at which point DK may be better off just throwing them away.
  • Use Your Head: His up aerial attack and his Headbutt attack since Melee. He didn't have any head attacks in Smash 64.
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: His responding to the dramatic montage of various Nintendo protagonists facing off against their rivals by turning off his TV and yawning can be perceived as this.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: In 3DS/Wii U, the ground version of his Spinning Kong was reworked to look like a Zangief-esque Double Lariat. On top of that, his Smash 64 B-Air is a dropkick.

     03 – Link 
Voiced by: Nobuyuki Hiyama (in the original game and Melee), Akira Sasanuma (in Brawl and 3DS/Wii U), Kengo Takanashi (in Ultimate)
Tunic of the Wild 
3DS/Wii U 

Home Series: The Legend of Zelda
Link in name debuts in: The Legend of Zelda [NES], 1986
Link from 64 and Melee debuts in: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time [N64], 1998
Link from Brawl and 3DS/Wii U debuts in: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess [GCN/Wii], 2006
Link from Ultimate debuts in: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild [Wii U/Switch], 2017

Playable in: 64, Melee, Brawl, 3DS/Wii U, Ultimate
Specials: Bow / Hero's Bow / Bow and Arrows, Boomerang (64, Melee, Ultimate), Gale Boomerang (Brawl and 3DS/Wii U), Spin Attack, Bomb (64 through 3DS/Wii U), Remote Bomb Rune (Ultimate)
Final Smash: Triforce Slash (Brawl and 3DS/Wii U), Ancient Bow and Arrow (Ultimate)

The hero of The Legend of Zelda series, Link is one of many incarnations of the spirit of the hero and the chosen champion of the Golden Goddesses. Throughout his many reincarnations, he manages to grow from an ordinary boy to a legendary warrior and defeat the ultimate evil plaguing his world.

64 and Melee use the design of the legendary Hero of Time from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Brawl and 3DS/Wii U base him on the shape-shifting ranch hand from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Ultimate uses the Hylian Champion from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

  • Alternate Self: The Twilight Princess based Link is this to Toon Link in Brawl and 3DS/Wii U, since they come from different branches of a diverging timeline.
  • Annoying Arrows: Even when charged, Link's arrows lack KO power outside absurdly high damage percentages. Subverted with the Power Bow custom variant in 3DS/Wii U, which has slower but more powerful arrows that can be used to easily KO foes to awesome effect.
  • Balance Buff: Link was often considered to be one of the worst characters in the series, but 3DS/Wii U gave him some huge buffs by improving his speed and making his weapons much better in combos.
  • Battle Boomerang: Changed in Brawl and 3DS/Wii U to the Gale Boomerang, giving it pull back effects.
  • Battle Intro:
    • In Smash 64, he descends from a pillar of light and then unsheathes his sword and shield.
    • In Brawl and 3DS/Wii U, he appears out of a small tornado, then draws his sword and shield.
    • In Ultimate, he drops in from his Paraglider, then equips his sword and shield.
  • Bishōnen: As has become standard for every Link in their teens, Link in Smash Bros. is very pretty. He also has the honor of being the only youthful human(oid) male character out of the original 12. Viridi even swoons over him in his Palutena's Guidance conversation in 3DS/Wii U, and Pit is visibly jealous of both adult Link's handsomeness and Toon Link's cuteness.
    Pit: They're cherry-picking all the best bits!
  • Black Eyes of Crazy: His Dark Link alternate costume in 3DS/Wii U is updated to have pupils and black sclera in addition to red irises, rather than solid red eyes like in Brawl.
  • Blow You Away: The Gale Boomerang is of the wind element, though because it's a tornado, it actually sucks people in.
  • Blue Is Heroic: Ultimate has him wear the blue Champion's Tunic from Breath of the Wild, the Magitek attacks he uses consist in large part of blue Hard Light, and the Master Sword glows blue during stronger attacks.
  • Bow and Sword, in Accord: From Melee onward.
  • Breakout Character: Link's role seems to have increased with each game. In Smash 64, he wasn't very prominent on the box art and hardly appeared in ads, but was a fan-favorite character to play as; as a result, he earned himself a more prominent spot on Melee's box art along with Mario, Pikachu, and Bowser. From that point, he began to be treated as one of the four "mascots" of Smash along with Mario, Pikachu, and Kirby, even becoming the most prominently displayed character on the cover of 3DS, being shown with nearly equal status to Mario in other Cast Herd artworks, and earning himself his own video by Nintendo of Europe about his status as a fan-favorite. The teaser for Ultimate depicts him and Mario as equals, as the two returning veterans who are clearly visible (albeit in shadow), and they're the most prominent characters featured on the game's box art, both being in the dead center and larger than all the other characters.
  • Cast from Lifespan: Common to all the Links, but beginning with him, of course, is doing this to increase his recovery. His bombs can be used to aid his recovery in exchange for adding more damage to him (on account of, essentially, blowing himself up, and using the physical recoil to get back to the stage).
  • 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.
  • Composite Character: The Smash franchise tends to build characters off of moves they've used throughout their history (or stuff that's just flat-out made up). However, Link is a Legacy Character, so unlike most characters, who might change their costume or art style, the different Links are based on different people from across the Zelda timeline evidenced by their different designs, voices actors, and even movesets. Despite the fact that the majority of Links in Zelda proper are 'Young/Toon Links,' the "03 - Link" banner that stands in for the character as a whole has always been an 'Adult Link.'
    • In 64, he's based on Ocarina of Time 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). Apparently, this is only because of an oversight on Sakurai's part, who didn't know that Ocarina adult Link couldn't use the attack.
    • In Melee, he's based on an updated version of the Ocarina of Time Link. His segment in the intro sequence has even him reliving moments from it.
    • In Brawl, his design is 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 bomb shop from Twilight Princess. However, his on-screen entrance uses the warp tornado, from the original, instead of the cel-shaded dark portal transportation more fitting for Link from Twilight Princess. Navi also appears in one of his taunts. In The Subspace Emissary, he finds the Master Sword in the woods harkening to A Link To The Past, and again he clearly has Navi from Ocarina following him. He retains this design and its composite aspects in 3DS/Wii U.
    • Ultimate features Link's Breath of the Wild incarnation in both his blue Champion's Tunic and green Tunic of the Wild. His bombs are now the Bomb Rune and remotely detonated instead of on a fuse, he no longer has a hookshot for grabs and tethers, he no longer has the Gale Boomerang, and his Final Smash is an Ancient Arrow. But the promotional videos and pictures imply that he is The Champion and an Implied Love Interest for the Princess Zelda from A Link Between Worlds and archenemy to the youthful Ganondorf from Ocarina of Time, making them all composites across the various timelines and dimensions of the series despite where they take their primary influence from.
  • Cool Sword: The Master Sword, which is also known as "The Blade of Evil's Bane", or as of Breath of the Wild, "The Sword That Seals the Darkness".
  • Costume Evolution: As in Breath of the Wild, Link in Ultimate has a brand new outfit completely different from his iconic green tunic and cap that have been synonymous with his character for over 30 years.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max:
    • In Palutena's reveal trailer for 3DS/Wii U, Link uses his Clawshot to grab Pit in mid-flight by his ankle and pulls him down to earth. Yeah — go ahead and try doing that in the actual game. World of Light's opening cutscene shows Link actually managing to deflect one of Galeem's beams with the Hylian Shield - the shield's defenses aren't quite as absolute during Super Smash Bros. gameplay (though they are in The Legend of Zelda games such as Skyward Sword).
    • In the Hero's reveal trailer, he's facing off against Dharkon's copies of Meta Knight and Marth, two of the fastest swordsmen in the game, and manages to defend well enough to block every strike (even if he is on the losing end). In-game, his speed is much less than theirs. Also counts as a slight zigzag - Link canonically has enough fighting skill for this feat both in his home series and the Super Smash Bros. universe, but this doesn't fully translate to his gameplay abilities.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Has Dark Link's very sinister colors as a palette swap, but it's still the same old Link we're used to. This is the same as in Hyrule Warriors and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, where Dark Link is just a costume recolor of regular Link rather than a separate character and a villain.
  • Death-or-Glory Attack: Downplayed. His dash attack in the fourth installment is the jump attack from his home series, and like it is there, it's very powerful, almost as much as a smash attack, and able to KO at appropriate percentages. However, also like in his home series, missing will briefly leave Link wide open for punishment.
  • Demoted to Extra: His Ocarina of Time incarnation (aka the Hero of Time), who was the playable Link in Smash 64 and Melee, is merely a trophy in 3DS (and didn't appear at all in Brawl). As the playable Link is a Composite Character, having a separate Link as a trophy can seem rather odd.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: His Breath of the Wild-inspired Ultimate incarnation trades in his traditional bombs with BotW's remote-detonated rune bombs. On one hand, they're less spammable, requires more foresight, it's harder to use them to help you recover, and they generally require more finesse. On the other hand, as shown by this video, there's a lot of advanced tech that he can do that neither Toon or Young Link can do, making them all the more powerful when used properly.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: His recovery attack.
  • Facial Markings: The Fierce Deity costume has red streaks on the cheekbones and blue arc on the forehead.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Of the "ready to go at a moment's notice" variety.
  • Glacier Waif: Link has the body of a nimble, slender teen, but generally has below-average speed and above-average strength, in keeping with his movement speed and broad, spaced-out sword slashes from his home series. Brawl exemplified this by making him much slower and stronger than in Melee; 3DS/Wii U gives him better mobility and increases the speed and combo ability of his attacks, making him more well-rounded if still a bit on the slow side.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Link uses the Hookshot/Clawshot for his grab. True to its use in the Zelda games, it can also be used to tether him to ledges. He loses it in Ultimate due to it being absent from Breath of the Wild.
  • Hair Flip: Had this as his taunt as his Ocarina of Time incarnation in Melee; absent from Brawl onwards.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: The Master Sword can only be wielded by the legendary Hero.
  • Heroic Ambidexterity: Holds his sword with his left hand but has no problem grabbing items and secondary weapons with his right. Canonically speaking, Link was just left-handed until Skyward Sword onward began depicting him as right-handed in order to accommodate motion controls, so Word of God declared he was ambidextrous in order to solve the discrepancies.
  • Heroic Mime: No dialog in his own games, no spoken words here.
  • Humans by Any Other Name: Apart from the Pointy Ears, Hylians are virtually indistinguishable from real-life humans.
  • Hunk: Downplayed in Brawl and 3DS/Wii U. Twilight Princess Link had some very hunky characteristics in his home game, which showed him to have a Heroic Build via a Shirtless Scene and undertake various manly deeds. Smash doesn't show off these characteristics, though he still comes across as quite aloof and masculine compared to some of the other Bishōnen characters such as Shulk, Marth, and especially Pit.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal:
    • Before Ultimate, most of his weapons come out of nowhere.
    • In Ultimate, this is zig-zagged: Averted for most of his weapons as he's clearly equipping them and his animations include sheathing and unsheathing the Master Sword, drawing and hanging the traveler's bow - and he also has a quiver - and using the Sheikah Slate. Justified for the remote bombs since they're just hard light created by the slate. Played straight for the boomerang -when using the move- and the Ancient Bow and Arrow during his final smash, which materialize out of nowhere.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Not quite as pronounced as Mario, but his main strength is versatility, with both a strong melee and ranged game that is generally hampered by his below-average running and attack speed. Depending on playstyle, Link can reliably be a Long-Range Fighter, Close-Range Combatant, or even a Mighty Glacier.
  • Kiai: Pretty much the only noises he makes are screams.
  • Knightly Sword and Shield: He is an archetypical knight from a fantasy land and his most visible weapons are the Master Sword and the Hylian Shield.
  • Lady and Knight: The White Knight to Zelda's Bright Lady.
  • The Lancer:
    • During his time in The Subspace Emissary with the five-hero grouping, he was shown serving as this to Mario for some brief stints.
    • Link is essentially portrayed as the Lancer to Mario's Hero in marketing, especially for later games. He's the second most prominent character (first on the cover of 3DS, equal to Mario on the cover of Wii U), is a more realistic and serious character juxtaposed with Mario's quirky and cartoony vibe, and wears green, a secondary color that directly contrasts with Mario's red.
    • In the first teaser trailer for Ultimate, Mario and Link were the only two characters to get close-ups when a lineup of veterans greeted the Inklings.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: A few screenshots for 3DS/Wii U 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.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Link's Tunic of the Wild was an unlockable outfit in the original game that required you to complete every shrine. Here, it's a costume at the start of the game.
  • Legacy Character: The first and third variations of Link playable in series, used to represent the idea of Link as a whole. The adult Link used in 64 and Melee is the predecessor of Toon Link, while the adult Link used in Brawl and 3DS/Wii U is descended from the Young Link in Melee.
  • Leitmotif: As it is in his home series, usually The Legend of Zelda Theme and its variations.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: He and Yoshi fight against Mario and Pit in The Subspace Emissary mode, but they later join forces.
  • Limit Break: Triforce Slash, where Link traps his opponent between two Triforce symbols and repeatedly slashes them, launching them with one final thrust that breaks the symbols. In Ultimate, he instead breaks out an Ancient Bow to shoot a powerful Ancient Arrow at his enemies.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: If Link is standing still or crouching, his shield will stop most projectiles that touch it, just like in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. It is easy to forget in a frantic game like this one.
  • Magitek: In Ultimate, his Down-B has him use Remote Bombs, Hard Light explosives produced by the tablet-like Sheikah Slate, while his new Final Smash has him pull out the high-tech Ancient Bow and fire an equally high-tech Ancient Arrow.
  • Master Swordsman: He qualifies by default. His sword is even called the Master Sword.
  • Meteor Move: His down strong attack (Melee onward), down aerial (3DS/Wii U), and Meteor Bomb Custom Special (3DS/Wii U) will Meteor Smash targets.
  • Monochromatic Eyes: The Fierce Deity, of course.
  • Multishot: In Ultimate, if Link shoots an arrow and then picks that arrow back up (a mechanic lifted straight from Breath of the Wild), he'll shoot two arrows at once next time.
  • Mystical White Hair: In his Fierce Deity and Dark Link palettes.
  • Mythology Gag: In Simon's reveal trailer, he uses his Holy Water to "cook" a chicken and a shish kebab in front of Link, a reference to how cooking meals was an important mechanic in Breath of the Wild.
  • 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. 3DS/Wii U undid this by buffing his mobility and recovery while still keeping most of his power.
  • Numerological Motif: Three, in Ultimate. He's fighter number 3, and there are 3 different versions of him in the game, which is probably a reference to the Triforce from his home series.
  • Palette Swap: Notable swaps: red and blue Goron and Zora Tunics in all Smash Bros., Blue Ring lavender up until the fourth game, Dark Link's cameo from Twilight Princess in Brawl, a Skyward Sword casual clothes-patterned Link, and Fierce Deity Link in 3DS/Wii U.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: In Ultimate, his default outfit is blue as it was in Breath of the Wild, while Zelda's is white and pink as it was in A Link Between Worlds.
  • Pointy Ears: Has these, as a member of the Hylian race. While these are a stereotypically elven trait, Hylians like Link are merely a pointy-eared race of humans rather than elves.
  • Really 700 Years Old: In Ultimate, he looks like a teenager like the Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess versions before him but is actually over a century old due to him having spent that time asleep in the Shrine of Resurrection.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: His Adorkable Hair Flip taunt in Melee is almost laughably girly.
  • The Rival:
    • Marth is his primary foil, as acknowledged by Sakurai. It was intended that the two would be a Force and Finesse duo in 64. In future games, Event Matches and official pictures often make the two face off.
    • Palutena's reveal trailer portrays him as such with Pit — both the chosen warriors of goddesses of light. Pit's commentary in 3DS/Wii U further enforces this as he sees Link as ripping off his style and complains that there's two Links.
    • Cloud is another as the poster boys for critically acclaimed, blond haired, fantasy, video game heroes of the late 90s, Ocarina of Time for Nintendo and Final Fantasy VII for Sony. A nod is given to this in the Final Video Presentation, and the centerpiece of Cloud's character illustration has him crossing swords with Link.
    • In general, Link is The Rival to just about anyone who brings a sword to Smash. See Running Gag below.
  • Rocket Jump: A recovery method for him, called the bomb recovery, though it isn't that useful outside Melee.
  • Running Gag: As the poster child for Nintendo swordsmen and the first to get into Smash, Link is The Rival to just about everyone else who brings a sword to the series. Since Melee, he's often pitted against Marth in event matches and official screenshots, and he also had event matches vs. Self and vs. Young Link. In 3DS/Wii U, he's seen fighting Pit in Palutena's reveal trailer, faces off with Lucina in her official portrait, and teams up with Marth to fight Shulk in his reveal trailer.
  • Series Mascot: As of 3DS/Wii U and Ultimate, Link seems to have supplanted Kirby as the series' secondary mascot, frequently portrayed alongside Mario as an equal and foil of sorts. Ultimate's trailer depicts him (in his Breath of the Wild incarnation) and Mario as the two prominent veterans that the Inklings encounter.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Link gets quite a bit of these with Peach in 3DS/Wii U. Zelda is... less than pleased about it.
    • Viridi has quite the obvious crush on Link. She's quick to deny it, despite evidence to the contrary. Palutena even offers to introduce the two of them, which she doesn't deny.
  • Shock and Awe: A custom variant of his Spin Attack is a more powerful, electric variant.
  • 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  Averted in Ultimate, where he is right-handed like in Breath of the Wild.
  • 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.
  • The Stoic: Link's mannerisms make him come across as quite determined, serious, and battle-focused. A bit more so for his Twilight Princess version, since his Ocarina of Time incarnation still shows shades of being Adorkable and Hot-Blooded, in keeping with each of their respective games of origin.
  • Sword and Fist: His moveset has multiple kick moves along with the weapons.
  • Sword Beam: In Ultimate, if Link hasn't received any damage, he can launch beams with his side smash, a mechanic used in multiple The Legend of Zelda games.
  • Sword Plant: His down aerial.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Triforce Slash in Brawl and 3DS/Wii U, where Link traps an opponent between two Triforce symbols and slashes them repeatedly.
  • Warm-Up Boss: In the 1P Mode of 64, he's the first enemy faced and puts up so little resistance he often doesn't even bother to recover when launched offstage. This allows the player to practice and get used to the game's controls.
  • Weapon Twirling: Link's Unorthodox Sheathing from Twilight Princess is used as a victory pose and a taunt.
  • You Will Not Evade Me: His Gale Boomerang in Brawl and 3DS/Wii U can pull enemies and items toward Link if aimed correctly. To a lesser extent, his Hookshot and Clawshot embody this trope.

     04 – Samus
3DS/Wii U 

Home Series: Metroid
Debut: Metroid [NES], 1986

Playable in: 64, Melee, Brawl, 3DS/Wii U, Ultimate
Specials: Charge Shot, Missile, Screw Attack, Bomb
Final Smash: Zero Laser (transforms her into Zero Suit Samus in Brawl)

Hailing from the Metroid series, Samus Aran is the galaxy's most feared Bounty Hunter and the first female fighter in the series. She tears through galactic threats, kills giant monsters and destroys planets for a living. After her home planet and parents were wiped out by the Space Pirates, she was taken in by the Chozo civilization and trained to be one of the galaxy's most powerful warriors. She brings their advanced Power Armor into the mix, allowing her to fight with all different kinds of weaponry.

The original and Melee use the Super Metroid design, Brawl uses the design from Metroid: Zero Mission and the Metroid Prime Trilogy, while 3DS/Wii U and Ultimate use the Other M design.

  • Action Girl: One of Nintendo's — and gaming in general's — most definitive examples.
  • Anchored Attack Stance: She uses her suit's built-in jet pack as retrorockets when firing her Zero Laser in Ultimate, presumably to keep herself from being blown away by the massive recoil.
  • Androcles' Lion: In The Subspace Emissary, her saving Pikachu makes him an immediate ally who eventually saves her from Ridley.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Ridley, considering he killed her parents.
  • Arm Cannon: Her main means of attack come from there.
  • Art Evolution: In 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 3DS/Wii U, she matches her Other M design (with added black vents around the suit), but is just as tall in previous games and has her visor in full combat mode.
  • The Artifact:
    • Because Samus is almost exclusively a projectile-based character in the Metroid series, the exclusively hand-to-hand standard moveset she's had since 64 is outdated and Out of Character when compared to the dedicated projectile-oriented characters (Mega Man, Mii Gunner, and to a lesser extent, Villager and Bayonetta) introduced in 3DS/Wii U. While Samus only uses her projectiles in special moves and otherwise is mostly Brawler-style for her standard moves (as has traditionally been the case for Smash characters), the newer Gunner-style characters use projectiles for many of their special and standard moves both. Interestingly enough, this increased emphasis on physical combat seems to have been worked into newer Metroid games, with Samus performing a series of brutal close-quarters takedowns on her opponents in both Other M and Samus Returns.
    • Ultimate has a lot less focus on Other M as a whole, with all the other Metroid characters getting new designs based on older Metroid games. However, Samus still retains the same design she had in 3DS/Wii U. This is partly justified since Samus Returns and Prime 4 most likely started development much later than Ultimate.
  • 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 and Ultimate.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: With Pikachu in The Subspace Emissary when facing an army of clone Samus.
  • Battle Intro: Samus walks out of a Super Metroid-style Save Point.
  • Beam Spam: Able to spam both missiles and her power shot.
  • Bounty Hunter: Melee says she is a take no prisoners bounty hunter, and Brawl says she is the most renowned bounty hunter in the galaxy.
  • Charged Attack: The aptly named Charge Shot.
  • Cool Helmet: As part of her standard bounty hunter attire.
  • Cool Starship: Her ship, simply titled "Samus's Starship". In the fourth game, it becomes more closely associated with Zero Suit Samus than regular Samus, as both her stage entrance and her Final Smash.
  • Decomposite Character: Regular Samus and Zero Suit Samus are separate characters in the fourth game and Ultimate.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: While a reckless usage of Samus' attacks and projectiles generally doesn't work out too well, careful and proper use of them can allow her to adapt to a variety of situations. For example, 3DS/Wii U gives Samus a number of Charge Shot combos that are fairly difficult to learn but are useful for breaking the enemy's shield and leaving them stunned.
  • Enemy Mine: For the first time ever, in Ultimate, Samus teams up with her hated arch-nemesis Ridley to oppose Galeem. And this is Ridley we’re talking about. The monster who murdered her parents and whom she shares a deep, mutual hatred with.
  • The Faceless: Zigzagged. In Smash 64, Samus' face isn't shown at all. Melee then gives her a rare "Samus Unmasked" trophy that shows her face. Brawl and 3DS/Wii U unmask her in full as Zero Suit Samus, but when in the Power Suit, her face can't be seen at all through the visor except in two cases (a Subspace Emissary cutscene and Bayonetta's newcomer poster). This is retained in Ultimate, though we can see her expression through the visor when Ridley appears.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: She's a gorgeous blonde underneath that iconic helmet, and she's one of the kindest and most heroic bounty hunters you could hope for — as seen when she rescues and teams up with the adorable Pikachu in The Subspace Emissary.
  • Hartman Hips: In 3DS/Wii U, her Power Suit is slightly more... "form-fitting" around her hips and pelvis.
  • Heroic Mime: She never says a word when in armor, possibly because her armor completely mutes her voice (as she gets fully voiced taunts as Zero Suit Samus).
  • Homing Projectile: Her weaker missiles, which would retain these properties in Metroid Prime.
  • Irony: Almost all of regular Samus' attacks deal less damage and knockback than Zero Suit Samus', even including regular Samus' projectiles and Screw Attack, with Charge Shot being the only real standout, in order to give the Varia Suit a focus on defense and the Zero Suit a focus on offense.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Like Link, Samus is a fairly well-rounded character in Melee and 3DS/Wii U with unique strengths of her own, if not a definitive example of this trope like Mario is. While her strength, attack speed, and mobility are merely average, she's heavy and has a good recovery, decent combo potential, and a variety of projectiles with different specific uses.
  • Jump Jet Pack: She has one built into her suit that she uses for her standard jump. In Ultimate, they get re-purposed as retrorockets to cancel out the recoil of her Zero Laser.
  • Law of Inverse Recoil: Her charged shot and missiles.
  • Leitmotif: Typically Brinstar and its variations.
    • In 64, it's Planet Zebes.
    • In Melee and her Ultimate character trailer, she gets Brinstar.
    • In Brawl, Theme of Samus Aran, Space Warrior plays when she dons her suit for the first time in The Subspace Emissary. This is her theme from her home series.
    • In Ultimate, for World of Light, she gets Title Theme - Metroid.
  • 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: Samus has a fairly poor melee attacking ability, but has a stronger long-range projectile game on her arsenal.
  • Meteor Move: Her down aerial in all games and Slip Bomb Custom Special in 3DS/Wii U will Meteor Smash opponents.
  • Metronomic Man Mashing: She can wack enemies into the ground in Melee onward.
  • Moe Couplet: Forms one with Pikachu in Brawl.
  • Nerf: From Melee to Brawl, her Smash Missiles, Smash attacks, and melee attacks were weakened in power. This may have been justified as her Zero Suit form was introduced as a more agile close-range fighter to contrast her Varia Suit's focus on long-range attacks.
  • Not So Above It All: Much like in her home series, she is usually a serious and stoic bounty hunter. Upon meeting Little Mac, however, her first reaction is confusion followed by making sure he actually is that short. It earns her an uppercut to the kidneys.
  • Off-Model: A few versions of her official amiibo figure accidentally gave her dual arm cannons.
  • Painfully Slow Projectile: The Slow Beam variant of her Charge Shot. A fully charged shot is so slow that Samus can actually walk past it. Her Homing Missiles also qualify to a lesser extent.
  • Palette Swap: Her notable ones include the Fusion Suit, the Pink Varia Suit from the original Metroid, the Gravity Suit, Dark Suit, Light Suit, and Dark Samus, which was replaced by a black-and-yellow suit when the latter was Promoted to Playable in Ultimate.
  • Playing with Fire: Her down tilt and (as of 3DS/Wii U) her forward smash involve a single burst of flame from the tip of her arm cannon, and her forward aerial and up smash each involve multiple blasts of fire.
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: In her home series, Samus is a Lightning Bruiser who runs at high speeds and has a ton of different projectiles of varying potency. In Smash, her movement speed is much slower (with Zero Suit Samus inheriting the "high speed" aspect), her moveset is mostly based on hand-to-hand combat, and her projectiles are more limited, turning her into a balanced Stone Wall.
  • Powered Armor: She wears her Power Suit at all times (unless you're playing Brawl and use her Final Smash), which gives her increased weight but not-so-great speed.
  • Practical Taunt: In Brawl, taunting fast enough will allow her to shed her armor and turn into Zero Suit Samus.
  • The Rival: To Captain Falcon in numerous Event Matches.
  • Rocket Jump: Samus has her own variation of the aforementioned Bomb Recovery, based on her Bomb Jump ability from her own games. It's not very useful since the boost is very small.
  • 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. She also had a Dummied Out trophy where she was depicted with her helmet off.
  • 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.
  • Shoulders of Doom: Since she's donning the Varia Suit, she has massive shoulder pads. They aren't serving any function like in her home series; they're there purely for cosmetic reasons.
  • Shout-Out: Her green outfit is known as the "Mass-Produced Samus" by Sakurai, in reference to the Gundam series.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: In a sense, given that every playable character in Smash is subject to slapstick. Being the only unambiguously female character in the first game, she's depicted on the box art being punched out by Fox. Even after more female fighters were introduced over time, Samus in her power suit appears to be the only humanoid female that can be hit by the male characters in the updates by Sakurai. And she was the 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 him being KO'd.
  • Smurfette Principle: In the first game, she was the only explicitly female member of the roster. Increasingly averted in the later installments, as more female fighters have joined her in the cast.
  • Spin Attack: Her Screw Attack, which can also be used by anyone holding the item of the same name. It causes her to jump upwards while spinning, pulling in nearby foes and damaging them.
  • Stone Wall: Samus has average movement speed with above-average weight and recovery, and her Morph Ball roll covers a lot of distance but is also very punishable. This mixed with her strong projectile game can make her hard to get close to and deal with, but her weak melee abilities (especially in 64 and Brawl) give her problems dealing with enemies herself. Melee and 3DS/Wii U make her a bit more balanced by giving her some comboing and shield-breaking ability.
  • Super Speed: In 64, she actually had the 4th fastest dash.
  • Tomboy: Samus (in both her forms) is one of the least feminine out of the female Smash fighters, perhaps only being rivaled by Sheik and Lucina.
  • Tomboyish Ponytail: Wears her hair in a ponytail underneath her helmet for practical reasons, as shown both in her Dummied Out helmetless Melee trophy and her playable appearance as Zero Suit Samus.
  • Wall Jump: One of the characters with the ability to wall jump, just like some games in her home series.
  • Wave Motion Gun: Her Final Smash is the Zero Laser, a massive blue laser that deals a lot of damage and has a vacuum effect to suck in opponents.
  • The Worf Effect: The last clip of Dark Samus being Promoted to Playable displays her and Meta Ridley, overpowering Samus ending with both of them taunting to add insult to injury.


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