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This page lists the starter fighters of Super Smash Bros. Melee.


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     13 – Peach 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/peachssbu.png
3DS/Wii U 
Brawl 
Melee 

Voiced by: Jen Taylor (Melee), Samantha Kelly (Brawl, 3DS/Wii U, Ultimate)

Home Series: Super Mario Bros.
Debut: Super Mario Bros. [NES], 1985

Playable in: Melee, Brawl, 3DS/Wii U, Ultimate
Specials: Toad, Peach Bomber, Peach Parasol, Vegetable
Final Smash: Peach Blossom

"Oooh, did I win?"

The beloved princess of the Mushroom Kingdom and Love Interest of Mario. She's often kidnapped for her powerful magic (or in several cases, because Bowser or another villain has a crush on her), and has been saved by Mario more times than you can count. Usually, Princess Peach relies on Mario to fight for her, but since her debut in Melee, she's taken action and joined the battle. In this series, she's able to go toe-to-toe with many of the big guys, such as Captain Falcon, Donkey Kong, Ganondorf, and Ryu, and can even pay Bowser back in full for all the kidnappings.

As out of place as it may seem at first, given the role she's known for, different games in her series have given her a playable role before Melee, which translated into a badass princess in the Smash series. She's even saved the Mario Bros. herself once! Peach brings her innate magical powers and her trusted Toad assistant into the fray.


  • Adaptational Badass: While in her source series she's been shown to be quite capable of fighting, she rarely does so, and not to the same degree as she does here, unless you count her portrayal in Super Mario Adventures.
  • Adaptational Curves: She's bustier here than she is in her home series.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: Peach is pretty much Purity Personified in her home series. Here, she's much more flirty and a mischievous Ditzy Genius.
  • Ass Kicks You: Peach Bomber, which is her side special attack, along with her back aerial, down throw (prior to Ultimate), and back throw. Her back throw provides the page image.
  • Assist Character: She summons Toad as part of her Neutral Special. He works as a Human Shield who will release damaging spores if hit by an opponent. Custom moves can change him from using his spores to put opponents to sleep if he's hit to changing him into a straight-up attack. In Ultimate, Toad even pummels and helps Peach throw grabbed opponents.
  • Art Evolution: In Melee, her dress was only slightly more detailed than it is in her own series, such as having a visible bodice. In Brawl, they ramped it up to a full Pimped-Out Dress. In 3DS/Wii U and Ultimate, it's less embroidered than in Brawl, but still much more detailed and embellished than her main series and Melee appearance.
  • Artificial Brilliance: Peach's Brawl AI can use the "low float" technique rather effectively to land some solid aerials.
  • Badass Adorable: She's cute, kind, and can kick your rear to next Sunday.
  • Badass Pacifist: Offering tea to two combatants to stop them from fighting is pretty badass.
  • Battle Intro: Spins in a flurry of hearts while brandishing her parasol, then says "Hi!"
  • Big "NO!": She lets one out when she gets star KO'd in Brawl onwards.
  • Bling of War: While wearing a Pimped-Out Dress to a fight seemed impractical enough, Ultimate replaces her Daisy-themed Palette Swap due to Daisy herself being playable with a shiny gold dress.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: She's quite goofy in Subspace Emissary cutscenes, such as offering tea to stop an ongoing fight while standing on a flying battleship in the middle of a battle.
  • Combat Stilettos: Even on the battlefield, she still wears her signature high heels.
  • Counter Attack: Toad is used this way. He actually releases spores from his mouth to damage the opponent.
  • Cower Power: In Ultimate, rather than holding out Toad, she cowers behind him while he tries to protect her.
  • Cute Bruiser: To quote her 3DS/Wii U trophy's description, she "continues to prove that 'powerful' and 'cute' are not mutually exclusive". In fact, she has one of the more physical fighting styles amongst the female characters.
  • Damsel in Distress: If you choose to save Zelda in The Subspace Emissary. They both become this eventually. This role also gets poked at by Snake and Viridi. Her Classic mode route in Ultimate also references this, being named Damsel out of Distress, where all of Peach's normal opponents are villains who have kidnapped a female character at least once in their home series.
  • Developers' Foresight: If she's holding a Parasol item in Melee, she'll use it instead of her own for her up special.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Her method of defusing the fight between Sheik and Fox is offering them both a Spot of Tea while they're on top of a battleship engaging in combat.
  • Edible Ammunition: Played with. The turnips she uses in combat cannot be eaten normally like Diddy Kong's peanuts, but Kirby, King Dedede and Wario can eat them using their respective neutral specials.
  • Everything Is Better With Princesses: Princess Peach is the titular princess of The Mushroom Kingdom. She is also the most famous princess in gaming and she holds the title with pride.
  • The Face: In Subspace Emissary, Peach makes herself useful by breaking up fights and turning potential enemies into friends, such as mysteriously producing tea for Fox, or playing nice with Mr. Game and Watch.
  • Fanservice Pack: Her breasts are larger and more visible in this series than they are in her home series. An example is her pose on the boxart for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
  • Fighting Clown: Peach wouldn't seem like much of a fighter considering her Damsel in Distress background, and many of her abilities are silly, like using sports equipment, radishes, and her butt. Nonetheless, she's still a strong and capable fighter.
  • Foil:
  • Frying Pan of Doom: She may pull out a frying pan to smack opponents when doing a Forward Smash. It is the most damaging but shortest-reaching of her three forward smash weapons. As an aside, said frying pan's strike power is a Shout-Out to her Infinity +1 Sword from Super Mario RPG, which has such high attack power that it puts her on par with Mario, Bowser, and Geno in terms of physical attack.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: In the early days of 3DS, there was an oversight with Peach's "Turnip Pull" Down Special, specifically its low chance to produce an actual item, even if they're not turned on, in place of the turnip (an ability she's had since Melee). This triggered the game's online match anti-cheat coding, getting players Mistakenly Banned from online play. A hotfix was released in short order.
  • Girly Skirt Twirl: Her down taunt, neutral aerial, down smash, and up smash. Her gown spins in many moves and is sometimes even weaponized.
  • Glass Cannon: Peach has an odd mix of attributes — below average weight (on par with Marth and Zelda), slow walking and dashing speeds, high air speed, and generally high attacking power, with some of the most absurdly damaging moves in the game (in Melee, if all five hits of her fully charged Down Smash connect, the opponent will receive up to 65% damage).
  • Goofy Print Underwear: In Brawl, the trim of her panties appropriately has images of peaches.
  • Hammer Space: No one's really all that sure where she pulls Toad out of... Or the aforementioned frying pan, as well as a tennis racket and golf club for forward smash.
  • Hotter and Sexier:
    • She has a much more flirty personality as opposed to her completely innocent canon portrayal, with suggestive winks and Panty Shot-allowing attacks.
    • The promotional screenshots for 3DS/Wii U show her openly flirting with other male characters besides Mario, ranging from giving Marth sultry looks, to stealing Link from Zelda.
    • She is more anatomically realistic in this series compared to her home series, and her Adaptational Curves makes her more attractive in this regard.
  • Human Shield: Uses Toad as one from Melee to 3DS/Wii U, who also functions as a Counter Attack. In Ultimate, this is revamped to Taking the Bullet.
  • I Know Madden Kombat: Her forward smash attack can potentially pull out either a golf club or a tennis racket.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Vegetables, frying pan, golf club, tennis racket, crown, and Toad.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Peach fights while wearing her crown and a fancy dress.
  • Lady and Knight: The Bright Lady to Mario's White Knight.
  • Leitmotif: No song in particular is associated with her in any game besides Ultimate, which gives her Princess Peach's Castle's theme. However, the Super Mario Bros Lost Levels Medley prominently plays her theme from her home series at the start.
  • Limit Break: Peach Blossom, a dance that doesn't cause any knockback, but deals good amounts of damage while putting her foes to sleep while spawning countless peaches to recover health with.
  • Meteor Move: Her down tilt will Meteor Smash opponents, but it is difficult to utilize because she needs to be at a ledge and the target airborne over a pit. It cannot meteor smash aerial foes anymore as of SSB4.
  • Made of Explodium: Her side special, Peach Bomber, sends her flying forwards hips-first. In Brawl and onward, it creates a flourish of hearts; in Melee however, it created a fiery detonation.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Her appearance in Melee shows her dress with a corset, an embellishment of her N64 era design, that was lost in future games that are based on her appearance on the Gamecube and onward.
  • Only Sane Woman: In the Subspace Emissary cutscenes, she's very intent on defying Let's You and Him Fight. Yes, a Cloud Cuckoolander and an Only Sane Woman.
  • Palette Swap: In Melee, she had a full Princess Daisy costume with a change in skin color and glove length, though in Brawl and 3DS/Wii U, it's her usual outfit just with Daisy's colors. Her white color swap is reminiscent of her wedding dress from Super Mario Adventures and Super Paper Mario. Brawl gave her a red dress which is a reference to Pauline. 3DS/Wii U also adds Fire Peach from Super Mario 3D World.
  • Parasol Parachute: She uses her parasol to slow down her fall, to beat the snot out of her opponents, or just to show her more feminine side.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Her character model in Brawl makes her dress the most elaborate it's been yet. 3DS/Wii U tones it down a bit, but it's still rather elaborate.
  • Princesses Prefer Pink: Which is just as well, peaches can be pinky.
  • Really Gets Around: While some promotional images and cutscenes portray her as being with Mario as in her home series, she's also seen out with Link and flirting with Marth.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: As this is a fighting game, she takes a very active role, something she showed occasionally before Melee in her home series.
  • Secret Character:
    • In Ultimate: Play Vs. Mode for 2 hours, beat Classic Mode with Fox three times, or find and defeat her in World of Light.
  • She-Fu: Her moveset consists of slaps, high kicks, attacks with her... ahem... peach, and hitting her opponents upside the head with a frying pan.
  • Skip of Innocence: Her normal walk cycle as of Brawl.
  • Statuesque Stunner: If her Super Mario Bros. self is of any indication, she is 6'1" tall. It's even more obvious in Smash since she's more anatomically correct, making her appear taller.
  • Super Cute Super Powers: Her up tilt and side special in Brawl create pink heart effects, while her new up aerial in 3DS/Wii U creates a rainbow and adds a pink ribbon to her up smash.
  • Taking the Bullet: Ultimate changes her Neutral B to this. While in previous installments, Peach would hold Toad out in front of her as a Human Shield, Ultimate has her duck away in fear while Toad willingly defends her.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In Ultimate, instead of being held out unwillingly in front of Peach, Toad is now laying down the punches himself. Inversely, Peach herself now looks far more cowardly than she did before.
  • Troll: Peach has quite a few butt attacks, and half her taunts and victory quotes are very cocky and/or have her literally taunt the opponent(s).
  • Warrior Princess: A princess with an upbeat attitude that still kicks a lot of ass.
  • White Gloves: Like Mario and Luigi, only it makes more sense in Peach's case, as her profession would probably be more likely to keep her hands nice and shiny.

     14 – Bowser (Koopa) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bowserssbu.png
3DS/Wii U 
Brawl 
Melee 

Home Series: Super Mario Bros.
Debut: Super Mario Bros. [NES], 1985

Playable in: Melee, Brawl, 3DS/Wii U, Ultimate
Specials: Fire Breath, Koopa Klaw (Melee), Flying Slam (Brawl onwards), Whirling Fortress, Bowser Bomb
Final Smash: Giga Bowser

The King of the Koopas, Arch-Enemy of the Mario Bros, and the biggest threat in the Mushroom Kingdom (when he's not go-karting, teaming up with his nemesis, or being controlled by another villain entirely). Bowser is an intimidating fire-breathing monster, feared by the populace, respected by his loyal minions, and adored by his son, Bowser Jr. Whenever Peach is kidnapped, expect this guy to be the usual suspect. He holds the honor of being the first villain to be playable in Smash.


  • Action Dad: The first to be in Smash in fact, being the father of Bowser Jr. (And formerly the Koopalings before they were Retconned into merely being his minions.)
  • Adaptation Personality Change: In most Mario games with another villain, Bowser usually opposes them, preferring to be the only bad guy around. In The Subspace Emissary, however, he willingly serves Master Hand, expressing sadness when he finds him defeated.
  • Anthropomorphic Shift: To reflect his increase in agility, Bowser's stance and proportions have been changed in 3DS/Wii U to be much more humanoid to match his usual appearance from the Super Mario Bros. series, as opposed to the more bestial look Melee and Brawl gave him. He also uses more conventional punches and kicks instead of the more reptilian claw strikes and headbutts he once had. Bowser returns to his previous feral stance as Giga Bowser.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: In 3DS/Wii U, the Bowser Bomb is remarkably good at destroying even full shields if all parts of the move connect. If you don't have a counter attack, you'd best get out of the way.
  • Art Evolution: In Melee, he has an original design that gives him a more bestial stance, a very muscular physique and tanned skin as opposed to bright yellow. Brawl keeps his stance but changed his colors and makes his body look softer to match his main series appearance more. In 3DS/Wii U, he has a more upright stance, and in Ultimate, his scales are of similar shading to his Brawl self while keeping said stance, possibly to keep in line with Giga Bowser.
  • The Artifact: While characters like Luigi and Peach received new voice clips in later Smash games to match their Vocal Evolution, Bowser is still stuck with the growls, grunts, and roars based upon his N64 era and (as of Ultimate) still hasn't been updated to match his current voice actor, Kenny James.
  • Ass Kicks You: The Bowser Bomb technically counts as an attack like this. Even the 3DS/Wii U manual says: Drop down, and smash opponents with your rump.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Watching a butterfly is enough to distract him in Shulk's trailer. It doesn't end well for him.
  • Balance Buff: Bowser has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of such throughout the series. After his horrendous debut in Melee, where he was so hilariously slow that he has always been considered a contender for worst character in the game, he was buffed considerably for Brawl, where he was given some significantly improved mobility alongside farther reaching and slightly faster attacks, at the expense of some power. The Brawl buffs weren't enough, though, as he was still considered low, if not bottom, tier past early Brawl, so Wii U/3DS saw him given a significant movement speed improvement, a bunch of new more-effective attacks, most of his moves being made faster among other improvements, and was made to hit harder than he ever had, alongside some new mechanics that benefited him immensely (such as the removal of chain-throwing and the introduction of Rage). At first it worked, as Bowser was considered a high tier contender in the very early 3DS days, but then the 1.0.4 patch significantly nerfing vectoring (another new mechanic Bowser was a huge beneficiary of) and his same old weaknesses proving still exploitable saw his tier perception plummet, leading to the additional balance patches giving him some more buffs. Most significantly, his previously nigh-useless up throw was turned into a very dangerous combo throw, that can now combo into his up aerial for KOs below 100%. Now Bowser hasn't reclaimed his early 3DS glory, but he's looked on as a lot more competitively viable than he's ever been. His Ultimate self has been further buffed, mostly with armor frames on most of his heavier attacks, increased aerial mobility, and far safer landing options that end his long run as a glorified beach ball whenever something doesn't work out in the air, but nerfs to his up-throw combo and already-terrible recovery, coupled with the double-edged sword of his safer air game also making him more susceptible to juggles, have all left his current viability somewhat nebulous.
  • Battle Intro: Walks out of a wall of flames onto the battlefield.
  • Breath Weapon: His Fire Breath neutral special move.
  • Butt-Monkey: After his addition, he literally became the punching bag in Melee, Brawl, and 3DS/Wii U's How-to-Play videos. Many screenshots shown during Brawl and 3DS/Wii U's development also have him getting the short end of the stick, and in Shulk's trailer, he's the very first victim of Shulk's Back Slash.
  • The Brute: He's the powerhouse of the villain team in Subspace Emissary.
  • Co-Dragons: He and Ganondorf serve directly under Master Hand, with Bowser commanding his Koopa Troop as well as going out onto the battlefield himself and Ganondorf remotely controlling the R.O.B.s and other mechanisms of the Subspace Army.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The Bowser in Melee's Adventure Mode has a natural advantage in size and power over the playable version, most noticeable when your character is another Bowser. And then he evolves into Giga Bowser...
  • Crosshair Aware: In Ultimate, his Final Smash has the user controlling a large crosshair around the stage not unlike the Dragoon's crosshair, aiming where his Megaton Punch will hit.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: After being a bit of a joke, viability-wise, in most games, in late Smash 4, and Ultimate, he gained a slew of buffs that turned him into this. After all of them, he's a high risk, high reward character who's insanely punishable if his moves whiff, or if he's being juggled. That said, using his tools wisely gives you a monster of a character who's generally held to be the strongest of the Super Heavyweights in the game, and is one of the few heavy characters that breaches the higher echelons of tier lists.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: In Melee, Giga Bowser was just a bigger, freakier Bowser with a buffed but fundamentally identical moveset. Brawl made Giga Bowser a One-Winged Angel form with immunity to flinching. Finally, 3DS/Wii U saw Bowser and Giga Bowser take on two very different movesets; Bowser underwent Anthropomorphic Shift, while Giga Bowser's fighting style remained distinctly primal. In Ultimate, Giga Bowser isn't directly playable, instead being a 2.5D style attack from the background; he also appears as a boss character again, but this time, he operates like a boss in every respect, including having significant wind-up on his attacks, having finite health, and being completely Immune to Flinching.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Bowser ends up exacting revenge on Ganondorf's trophy when finding it after the latter, prior to being turned into one, had shot Bowser in the back with the only Trophy Gun left.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: He's notably one of the few characters to try fighting off the beams of light in World of Light. He fails, but the effort is admirable.
  • Dub Name Change: From Koopa in the Japanese versions. Lampshaded in the Bowser + Flame Runner trophy:
    Incidentally, Bowser is known as Koopa in Japan, but the Japanese name for this bike is Super Bowser. How rare.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • He joins the heroes in Brawl's adventure mode once he realizes that Tabuu had manipulated everyone. He is distinguishable from Wario or Ganondorf in that he is the only antagonistic fighter who is required to join you.
    • Ultimate's World of Light mode has him teamed up with Mario and company against Galeem from the beginning.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: His down smash, neutral aerial, down aerial, and Whirling Fortress.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Easily the most iconic video game villain of all time, and the biggest and bulkiest playable character in Smash (Ridley is slightly taller than him in Ultimate when not slouching, but is very Lean and Mean in comparison).
  • Evil Is Burning Hot: One of the few villainous characters in the series, and with a lot of fire attacks and motifs to back it up.
  • Final Boss: In Adventure Mode in Melee, though the boss Bowser is slightly larger than the playable one, which is particularly noticeable if you're playing as Bowser yourself. He reprises this role in Ultimate for Mario and Captain Falcon's Classic Mode runs.
  • Furry Reminder: Bowser's voice clips are comprised of a dinosaur's roaring and growling, as opposed to his more human voice in the main Mario games.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: When he gets defeated in Adventure Mode without any continues, we get treated to a quick cutscene, his trophy ominously floats right back on Final Destination and a lightning bolt strikes it, causing his trophy to shed off his entire skin to reveal Bowser's downright demonic form as his eyes glow brightly. Good luck trying to take him down.
  • Ground Pound: Bowser's down special move, Bowser Bomb, which is identical to the Ground Pound he performs in the final battle of Super Mario Bros. 3. In 3DS/Wii U, his down aerial is reworked into being a second one, retracting into his shell and slamming downwards.
  • The Heavy: Although he is not the main antagonist of The Subspace Emissary, he's the most recurring nuisance after the Ancient Minister.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: His grab range in 3DS/Wii U was buffed considerably, though his hands don't reach out any farther, leading to him grabbing beyond where his hand actually reaches. Especially noticeable in his pivot grab, which extends twice as far as his hand. Unsurprisingly, this grab range was nerfed in Ultimate.
  • Human Shield: In Subspace Emissary, he holds either Zelda or Peach in front of one of Link or Mario's attacks to get them to stop.
  • Immune to Flinching: Bowser gained the exclusive "tough guy" ability in 3DS/Wii U, where if he is struck by hitboxes with negligible knockback, such as the first hits of most jabs, he will not be flinched. This will only work on lower percents however.
  • Implacable Man: He still takes damage when attacked as Giga Bowser in Brawl and 3DS/Wii U, but is completely immune to flinching and knockback.
  • The Juggernaut: A core part of his design in Ultimate, as his newfound super armor on most of his heavier attacks allow him to power through weak attacks, which further establishes his core "ignore what the opponent throws at you and send their ass flying into another dimension with a good, solid hit" identity.
  • Kaiju: Giga Bowser is an archetypical Japanese giant monster. Regular Bowser also qualifies, if a smaller example than usual.
  • Leitmotif: The Airship Theme played in many of his appearances in Subspace. In addition, his Ultimate character trailer played King Koopa Battle, his boss fight theme from Super Mario Bros. 3.
  • Lightning Bruiser: In 3DS/Wii U, they buffed his speed, and his attacks have been reworked to be much quicker, making him one of the hardest-hitting characters in the game and frighteningly fast to boot. His more upright stance in that entry reflects this. Furthermore, Bowser's already great endurance was helped by making him Immune to Flinching against attacks with negligible knockback, like the first hit of most jabs. Despite this, Bowser finds less competitive success than other lightning bruisers due to his easily exploitable weaknesses (including his size and weight, which are probably his biggest weaknesses and near-unavoidable for his character).
  • Limit Break: Giga Bowser. He grows huge and has all of his attacks buffed on top of being immune to knockback during the transformation. In Ultimate, he instead turns into a Background Boss and charges a massive punch, which heavily damages anyone it hits. note 
  • Megaton Punch: In Ultimate, Giga Bowser unleashes a punch so powerful that anyone that gets hit by it instantly goes splat against the screen if their damage is high enough.
  • Meteor Move: His down aerial in Brawl (towards the end of the attack) and 3DS/Wii U (towards the beginning of the attack), and his down tilt attack while he's Giga Bowser (first claw strike) will Meteor Smash targets.
  • Mighty Glacier: In Melee, he is the most powerful character after Ganondorf, but was also abysmally slow, with among the slowest movement speed, and by far the slowest and laggiest attacks in the game. In Brawl, his movement speed was buffed and his attacks were made slightly faster, though he was still an overall slow character who relies on his great power to make up the difference. In Ultimate, he is in the pantheon of big, slow heavy hitters with Ganondorf, Dedede, and K. Rool who makes up for their ponderous speed and large frames by being able to end stocks with one good hit and take one hell of a beating.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: He's a monstrous turtle with some elements of oxen, dragons, and dinosaurs.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • His Fire Breath move can be customized into either a stream of flames or to spit large Fireballs, both variations of Bowser's fire breath that he is able to do in his own series.
    • The Bowser Bomb is based on his attack pattern in Super Mario Bros. 3.
    • His revamped Final Smash in Ultimate has him transform into Giga Bowser, but he turns even more enormous while delivering a powerful punch towards the screen and is surrounded by a swirling background, much like the final boss of Super Mario Galaxy 2. Sakurai himself compares it to the boss fight against Baby Bowser in Yoshi's Island.
  • Nerf:
    • In 3DS/Wii U, prior to the 1.0.4 patch, an opponent dragged offstage by Flying Slam would always be KO'd before Bowser, which besides making it inescapable if dragged offstage, always ensured Bowser would win if he did the move on his and the opponent's last stock. The 1.0.4 patch changed it so, depending on the height at which the move was initiated, will either result in Bowser and the opponent being KO'd at the same time, or Bowser will die first (despite Bowser being visibly above the opponent). This change means not only will Bowser risk losing if he attempts a suicide KO on his last stock, but his opponent can actually now recover and survive it if Bowser dies first and their recovery is good enough to make it back to the stage. The same patch also gave Bowser a serious indirect nerf by nerfing the new vectoring mechanic to the ground, as since Bowser is the epitome of a character who can't combo and is pure combo food while living a really long time and hitting really hard, he became significantly less viable competitively when comboing and KOing became much easier in the game. This does not work at all in Ultimate, as Bowser will always be KOed first.
    • Within the final patches for 3DS/Wii U, his Up Throw became a monstrously-useful combo throw, turning him into a surprisingly combo-heavy Grappler who could easily combo into his various aerials (including one of his kill moves, his Up-Air). In Ultimate, this is no longer the case.
  • Not Zilla: Bowser's monstrous behavior in Smash is more reminiscent of Godzilla than usual, and one event in Melee even has a Giant Bowser face off against a Giant Donkey Kong as a possible homage to King Kong vs. Godzilla. Even more so with Giga Bowser, who's pretty much a dead ringer for the King of Monsters, and has the size too.
  • Off-Model: His Primal Stance and proportions in Melee and Brawl do not match his regular appearance in the Mario series, though it somewhat resembles Bowser's sprite in the original Super Mario Bros.
  • One-Winged Angel: Giga Bowser, the True Final Boss in Melee and his Limit Break in Brawl. Just think of Bowser, only bigger, more muscular, and more monstrous. Turned Up to Eleven in Ultimate, where he grows to giant size like he does in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Subverted; Bowser is a big reptilian monster with some dragonlike characteristics, but Smash doesn't classify him as a dragon as it does with Yoshi, Charizard, Ridley, and Corrin.
  • Out of the Inferno: His Big Entrance in Brawl and onwards during multiplayer matches.
  • Palette Swap: His red, blue, and white swaps are inspired by the sprites of the Koopalings Wendy, Iggy, and Morton respectively in Super Mario Bros. 3.
  • Playing with Fire: Several of his attacks come with fire effects.
  • Primal Stance: His normal form in Melee and Brawl. He has a more humanoid stance in 3DS/Wii U and on, though he reverts to this when transforming into Giga Bowser.
  • Recurring Boss: Fought or faced multiple times in the Event Matches after the first one, where he serves as the Warm-Up Boss. His Giga Bowser transformation was the True Final Boss in Melee, while normal Bowser is faced alongside other villains as one of the Final Bosses in the lastnote  event of the sequels. Giga Bowser returns to his boss role in Ultimate.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Especially as Giga Bowser.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: He is the king of the Koopas, and he's no slouch in battle.
  • Saved for the Sequel: Bowser, along with Mewtwo, King Dedede, and Marth, was planned to be playable in the first Smash game, but was unable to get in due to time and budget constraints. In the next game, he finally got to show the Smash world what he's made of.
  • Secret Character:
    • In Ultimate: Play Vs. Mode for 30 minutes, beat Classic Mode with Donkey Kong once, or defeat Giga Bowser in World of Light.
  • Signature Move: In 3DS/Wii U, it was his new side smash, a powerful dropkick, in order to show off his more athletic revamped moveset.
  • Skill Gate Character: In 3DS/Wii U. Bowser is very strong, very fast, extremely durable, is fairly easy to use, and can be quite difficult to deal with for inexperienced players (as seen in his domination of pre-release tournaments). At higher levels of play, he can still be used competently, but is much easier to deal with and is susceptible to combos due to his size and weight.
  • Sore Loser: When he's defeated, his clapping animation is remarkably sarcastic.
  • Spikes of Villainy: He's loaded with spikes, noted by his Melee classic trophy.
  • Spin to Deflect Stuff: 3DS/Wii U gives his Whirling Fortress the ability to deflect weaker projectiles if they hit the top part of the shell.
  • Spinning Piledriver: In Ultimate, his Flying Slam has been given an additional animation. He now spins while dropping with the enemy. The move also explodes upon impact.
  • Stock Sound Effect: In Melee, some of his roars come from Kaiju movies, which only proves his ferocity.
  • Stout Strength: Bowser isn't obese like Dedede or Wario, but he has a typical "giant reptile" build with both muscle and fat, and is one of the hardest hitters in the series.
  • Suicide Attack: Bowser can use Flying Slam to hurl himself right off the stage, carrying a hapless opponent along for the ride. If both Bowser and his target are on their last life when this is used in Brawl, Bowser will be declared the winner in a last stock situation instead of initiating Sudden Death if he's being played on a lower player port due to the port priority system. It's also possible to do in 3DS/Wii U, though as covered in the nerf section, it became a lot less reliable after the 1.0.4 patch, and was nullified in Ultimate altogether.
  • Truer to the Text: His revamp in Smash 4 replaced his T-rex-esque proportions and Primal Stance with more humanoid proportions and expressive animations closer to his portrayal in canon. Most notably, the inexplicable sliding he did as his "run" was replaced by an actual run, something that Bowser has been able to do in many games.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: In Melee and Brawl, his overall fighting style was rather sluggish and brutish, such as violent claw slashes, headbutts, and even gnawing his opponents up close and personal. Thanks to 3DS/Wii U, the Koopa King gained an Anthropomorphic Shift, making his moveset more versatile along with superior mobility. He still fights like the brute that he is, but because he's a monstrous draconian turtle-like beast, who says he needs technique and finesse to show his foes what for?
  • Wrestler in All of Us: In Brawl, he gains the Flying Slam (a flying suplex he performs on an opponent) in place of the Koopa Klaw (which was nothing more than a glorified grab). And in 3DS/Wii U, he gains a drop-kick as well for his side smash and back aerial.
  • Warm-Up Boss: The first event in both Melee, Brawl, and Wii U feature him as one of the first opponents to be fought, facing Mario.
  • Your Size May Vary: Bowser's height has varied from being the same height as Super Mario to enormous, but in Smash, he's roughly twice as tall as Mario, but transforms into Giga Bowser as a reference to him being huge in certain boss battles.

     15 – Ice Climbers 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/iceclimbers.png
Brawl 
Melee 

Voiced by: Sanae Kobayashi

Home Series: Ice Climber
Debut: Ice Climber [NES], 1985

Playable in: Melee, Brawl, Ultimate
Specials: Ice Shot, Squall Hammer, Belay, Blizzard
Final Smash: Iceberg

From the old NES game Ice Climber, Popo and Nana are a mountain climbing duo with a seemingly unbreakable bond. As their name suggests, they climb icy summits in their spare time. In their game, they pursued a condor that was in possession of various vegetables.

In Smash, they work together to take down their opponents with teamwork-based attacks and ice-based powers.


  • Achilles' Heel: Losing the second Ice Climber (typically Nana) severely cripples the character's attack and recovery options; and unlike Rosalina, whose Luma partner respawns after a few moments, the Ice Climbers won't become a duo again until the lead climber falls.
  • Adaptational Badass: Much like Captain Falcon, they never displayed any cryokinetic abilities in their home game.
  • Adventure Duo: Would be a Battle Couple if their relationship wasn't totally platonic.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Ultimate provides a rare 3D example. Unlike other weapon-wielders, the Ice Climbers will exchange their hammers to their other hands depending on which way they're facing.
  • Ambiguously Related: They're depicted as having a very close lover-esque relationship, described as "rarely seen apart". The Melee intro at one point even shows Popo and Nana giving each other a high five, with a heart coming out where their hands meet. However, given that they look and sound like children (too young to be lovers), and that they have identical features, many believe that they are actually siblings. Word of God states that the nature of their relationship is up to the player's interpretation. However, the Japanese title of Event 21 in Melee roughly translates to 'Those Who Interfere People's Romance', and an update to the Japanese Melee website explains that they're "more than friends, but not quite lovers".
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Popo and Nana will shoot Blizzard in opposite directions while together when the move is started on the ground. Averted when in the air in Melee and Brawl and in all cases in Ultimate, where they shoot in the same direction.
  • Badass Adorable: They're mountain-climbing experts and powerful fighters in their own right, and they just look so adorable in the process.
  • Battle Intro: The duo ride in on the Condor from the end of stages in their original game, then high-five.
  • Black Bead Eyes: Both climbers sport these, similarly to Kirby.
  • Blush Sticker: Permanently rosy cheeks do kind of make sense in the climate they are usually seen in, though.
  • The Bus Came Back: They return in Ultimate after being cut from 3DS/Wii U.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Apparently happened In-Universe according to Pit on their Palutena's Guidance entry in Ultimate. Aside from the real-life hardware limitations of the 3DS (which was why they were cut in the first place from Smash 4), the duo were actually temporarily suspended from participating when their dual-fighter playstyle was deemed against the rules. Since they're back, it's likely that said playstyle was now determined to be legal.
  • Cheerful Children: They're left with a Vague Age in the original Ice Climber game, but are most certainly these here.
  • Combination Attack: All of them except Iceberg become stronger with the presence of both of them, but Belay and Blizzard depend on both the most.
  • Cry Cute: On the results screen after a loss, as a Call-Back to the original game.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: "Wobbling". Unlike in most fighting games, players can attack enemies during grab attacks before tossing them. This works heavily in the Ice Climbers' favor, given that there are 2 of them. The player can grab the opponent and repeatedly tap the attack button to have the Climbers attack in immediate alternating succession. If done properly, the round becomes hilariously one-sided, as the Climbers can rack up damage and the opponent can only sit there and take it until they're finished off (by inputting for a smash attack, Popo may wind up to throw the sucker, but Nana simply does the smash attack, knocking them from Popo's grasp and sending them to their doom).
  • Cycle of Hurting: In Melee, the Ice Climbers can perform a technique known as "wobbling" where a desynced Climber grabs their opponent and pummels them in rapid succession with the other Climber. It's nearly impossible to get out of unless the Ice Climbers decide to throw.
  • Demoted to Extra: They hold the dubious honor of being the only character that has appeared in multiple installments in a row to be cut from the roster in 3DS/Wii U, since their team gimmick couldn't work in the 3DS version due to hardware limitations. However, a trophy of them remains on both versions.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: It's possible to "de-sync" them for short periods of time to pull off some Combos, like having Nana do a Smash attack while Popo is in the middle of a grab.
  • Drop the Hammer: If the page image did not make it clear, this is their main form of offense.
  • Dub Name Change: An odd variation. In Japan, they're simply known as "Ice Climber" after their game of origin, while the states make it plural to refer to the Ice Climbers as characters. It's notable because the announcer always distinguishes between "Ice Climber" and "Ice Climbers" depending on the set language.
    • The Russian version chose to Take a Third Option and call them Alpinists, without referencing the game's title.
  • Enemy Mine: Seeing the bond they share in SSB, it's hard to believe they were rivals in the original game.
    • Despite being the de-facto villain of "Ice Climber", the Condor assists them during their entrance and their Final Smash.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Palutena's Guidance always assumes the lead Ice Climber is Popo, as she suggests isolating him by defeating Nana first to make the fight easier, despite half of the palette variants allowing the opposite.
  • Feet-First Introduction: In the E3 2018 trailer showing all the returning fighters, we first see the Ice Climbers' shoes before the camera pans to show the rest of their bodies.
  • Freak Out!: Nana has an adorable one when Popo is nowhere to be seen in Ultimate.
  • Glass Cannon: They can hit hard, but if they are separated, or especially if the computer-controlled Climber is KO'd, their defensive and recovery options become severely limited.
  • An Ice Person: For no reason other than to give them more battle options, as they did not have ice powers in their own games.
  • An Ice Suit: Parkas that resemble Eskimo dress.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: Aside from the color of their parkas, the only other physical difference between them is the shape of their bangs.
  • Just Friends: Sakurai describes them as being close since childhood, more than friends not quite lovers. (Or that one has unrequited feelings depending on the translation.)
  • Kaizo Trap: If you K.O. the lead character (usually Popo, depends on the Palette Swap), the following character disappears shortly afterwards. In the hands of a good player, and especially if they were K.O.'d by a smash attack with a lot of ending lag, and especially if they were star K.O.'d, the following character can definitely land a KOing blow before they disappear.
  • Leitmotif: Icicle Mountain, which got another remix in Brawl simply called Ice Climber, which got reused in Ultimate.
  • Limit Break: For their Final Smash, they'll summon a giant Iceberg that covers most of the stage. It freezes enemies upon contact.
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter: They're effectively two characters being controlled at once. This can lead to some shenanigans when grabbing or being grabbed, as the second Ice Climber can still attack normally in Melee and Brawl (but not in Ultimate).
  • Meteor Move: Their forward aerial will Meteor Smash targets, though in Brawl, only the CPU-controlled one can do this.
  • Mythology Gag: The player controls both of the Ice Climbers at all times. This is a reference to Ice Climber being the first Nintendo console game with two player simultaneous co-op.
  • Nerf: Their return in Ultimate came with some significant nerfs. Their grab game is far less fearsome due to the removal of chain grabbing, the other Ice Climber no longer pummels the enemy during a grab, and if the lead Ice Climber is grabbed, the other one will panic and do nothing, similar to Rosalina and Luma.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: "Wobbling" is the process of grabbing the opponent and repeatedly pummeling them.
  • Not Quite Dead: In Versus mode, you can still control the partner while the lead one is flying off screen.
  • Oh, Crap!: In Ultimate, if the lead Ice Climber is grabbed, the other will stand in place panicking.
  • Palette Swap: Notably, half of the outfits allow the player to control Nana instead of Popo; the leader is indicated on their select-screen portrait in Melee and Ultimate. One is based on their original sprites (a more washed-out blue for Popo and red for Nana), and another clads them both in white (with their gloves color-coded accordingly).
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Their default outfits. Blue for Popo, and pink for Nana.
  • The Power of Friendship: All of the Climbers' special moves are enhanced when both are in play, but Belay in particular relies on it. The AI climber will use some rope to throw the lead Climber higher, potentially sacrificing themself in the process depending on the height needed to recover.
  • Puppet Fighter: Downplayed. If the Ice Climbers are "de-synced", the player can alternate between which character is acting, allowing them to be controlled separately. This is also the reason the Kaizo Trap mentioned above works. The problem is that if the lead character is safe but too far away from the following character, the following character will stop acting and automatically chase the lead one down, so the player has to be careful when doing this trick. This in contrast to Rosalina, who can control the Luma regardless of the distance between them.
  • Secret Character:
    • In Ultimate: Play Vs. Mode for 1 hour and 40 minutes, beat Classic Mode with Link twice, or find and defeat them in World of Light.
  • Sore Loser: In reference to the "No bonus" animation in their home game, they sob when defeated instead of clapping.
  • Spin Attack: Their Side Special, Squall Hammer, has them spin around while swinging their hammers. The move can give them some airtime, assisting in horizontal recovery.
  • The South Paw: Both of them use their hammers in their left hands.
  • Vague Age: They may be Cheerful Children, they may be adults in a cutesy artstyle, or anything in-between.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: Whichever one is in the lead (Popo as the default) is the only one whose life counter matters; if the lead Ice Climber is KO'd, the other Ice Climber disappears.
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     16 – Sheik 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sheikssbu.png
3DS/Wii U 
Brawl 
Melee 

Voiced by: Jun Mizusawa (Melee through 3DS / Wii U), Ayumi Fujimura (Ultimate)

SHEIK APPEARS ON THE SCENE!

Home Series: The Legend of Zelda

Playable in: Melee, Brawl, 3DS/Wii U, Ultimate
Specials: Needle Storm, Chain (Melee, Brawl), Burst Grenade (3DS/Wii U, Ultimate), Vanish, Transform (Melee, Brawl), Bouncing Fish (3DS/Wii U, Ultimate)
Final Smash: Light Arrow (Brawl, 3DS/Wii U), Sheikah Dance (Ultimate)

"It's over!" (Translated from Japanese)

The alter ego of Princess Zelda from Ocarina of Time. In order to avoid capture by Ganondorf's minions, she disguised herself as a Sheikah male, though later appearances give her a more feminine look, including the 3DS remake. In her game of origin, she would help Link by leading him to the temples and teaching him songs to warp to them. In Smash, Sheik finally gets a chance to show off her training as a Sheikah warrior and attacks with Ninja techniques.

Sheik is unique among the Zelda cast in that she is the only playable character to appear in a single Zelda game (remakes and spinoffs notwithstanding). Melee uses her Ocarina of Time design, Brawl and 3DS/Wii U use an unused concept design from Twilight Princess, and Ultimate takes influence from Link's Sheikah-made Stealth outfit in Breath of the Wild.


  • The Artifact: Sheik remains the only One-Shot Character from the Zelda franchise in the series to be playable in Smash due to being incorporated as Zelda's gimmick in her Smash debut.note  Other popular one-shots from the same series, such as Midna and Ghirahim, have been relegated to Assist Trophies at best. Even with the inability to transform characters in 3DS/Wii U, Sheik's popularity has allowed her (alongside Zero Suit Samus) to appear as Decomposite Characters. It's also likely due to her Smash popularity that the incarnation of Zelda in the non-canon Hyrule Warriors uses Sheik as an alternate identity.
  • Art Evolution: Despite only appearing in one game in Zelda canon, Sheik's design continues to evolve with eras the character never existed in. In Melee, her design was based on her Ocarina of Time appearance. Beginning in Brawl, she's based on an unused character design for a scrapped Twilight Princess appearance. In Ultimate, she wears the Stealth Chest Guard and Stealth Tights from Breath of the Wild.
  • Battle Intro:
    • In Brawl, she appears in a shower of sparkles.
    • In 3DS/Wii U and Ultimate, she appears in a spiral of smoke.
  • Bifauxnen: She's a woman disguised as a man. Later games make her femininity more clear, however.
  • Blade Spam: Sheik's Final Smash in Ultimate has her rapidly assault the enemy from many angles by Flash Steping with her sword.
  • Chain Pain: Her side special in Melee and Brawl has her attack with a chain with slight electric properties.
  • Charged Attack: Neutral B, Needle Storm, which can be stored. The longer it's charged, the more needles Sheik sends out when it's fired, each one dealing low damage. They are fired diagonally downwards in midair.
  • Composite Character: In Brawl and 3DS/Wii U, this Sheik is an original incarnation based on Twilight Princess' artstyle, and a non-canon alter-ego of Twilight Princess Zelda. In canon, only Ocarina of Time's Zelda was able to transform into Sheik, and Sheik's Final Smash still uses the light arrows Zelda had in Twilight Princess. In Ultimate, her bodysuit and armor have been updated to match the design of Link's Sheikah Set from Breath of the Wild. Interestingly, she keeps her ponytail from her Brawl design rather than the short hair used in Shiek's mask in the same game.
  • Contralto of Danger: Much like in her debut game, she has the same voice actress as Zelda but with a deeper tone.
  • Damsel out of Distress: She takes matters in her own hands once she's imprisoned on the Halberd in the Subspace Emissary.
  • Decomposite Character: By removing all mid-game transformation mechanics, 3DS/Wii U splits Sheik off into a stand-alone character, but still mostly based on her unused Twilight Princess concept art and the Brawl incarnation that could switch back and forth. Ultimate goes a step further by having Sheik and Zelda from different eras (Breath of the Wild and Link Between Worlds, respectively), so they may not even be the same person at all anymore.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Sheik has a high learning curve, as her best killing options are hard to pull off, and she needs to be both quick and patient to react to her opponent's actions. Pull her moves off, however, and she can defeat her opponents quickly.
  • Flechette Storm: Needle Storm, which is also a charged attack.
  • Fragile Speedster: Has incredibly fast movement and attacks but fairly low weight. Melee's incarnation edged more towards Lightning Bruiser, however, due to her surprisingly high weight and falling speed.
  • Kick Chick: Her kicks are slightly slower than her fists, but they hurt.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Sheik is Zelda in disguise. 3DS/Wii U has some fun with this by having trophy descriptions and some tips spoiler-warn this relation. Pit outright says it in Palutena's Guidance in Ultimate.
  • Leitmotif:
    • In Melee, she shared Temple with Zelda.
    • In Brawl, the Ocarina of Time Medley, again shared with Zelda.
    • In 3DS/Wii U, the Gerudo Valley played during the April Direct to introduce her as a separate character from Zelda. The same theme was reused for her Ultimate trailer.
  • Light 'em Up: With the light arrows she uses in her Final Smash in Brawl and 3DS/Wii U.
  • Lightning Bruiser: In Melee, she was one of the fastest characters, with one of the most powerful aerial movesets, along with one of the strongest up smashes. She's also great at taking a hit due to her relatively high weight for her size and high falling speed, which allows her to survive strong attacks well.
  • Limit Break:
    • In Brawl and 3DS/Wii U, Sheik fires a Light Arrow forward. Differs from Zelda's by having opponents hit by it be launched more horizontally.
    • In Ultimate, her Final Smash has been changed to a lightning-fast blitz of sword slashes and kicks from all angles.
  • Nerf: In Brawl, she had all of her aerial attacks weakened, especially her forward aerial, along with a weakened Up Smash, the removal of her down throw chain throw, and sustaining more knockback.
  • Ninja: Extrapolated from Ocarina of Time, where she and Impa were the last of the Sheikah and were known to ninja vanish.
  • Ornamental Weapon: Since Brawl, she has a small tantō that she never uses. Zigzagged in Ultimate, where she no longer has the tantō on her model, but she does draw a short sword for her new Final Smash.
  • Pronoun Trouble: While the Smash series almost always refers to Sheik with female pronouns in trophies and other descriptions, the Smash Ultimate Blog uses the "his" pronoun when talking about Sheik's speed. In Ultimate, Palutena and Viridi both refer to Sheik with male pronouns, much to the confusion of Pit (who reminds them that Sheik is just Zelda in disguise). Note that all other Ultimate media refers to Sheik with female pronouns, making these two instances the only outliers.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Her basic stationary attack.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: A fearsome Ninja with the traditional red eyes of the Sheikah tribe.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: The disguised form of Princess Zelda, who also happens to be a ninja.
  • Sarashi: Wears chest wraps across all of her appearances.
  • Scarf Of Asskicking: Sheik gains a long scarf in her design in Ultimate.
  • Secret Character:
    • In Ultimate: Play Vs. Mode for 7 hours and 50 minutes, beat Classic Mode with Donkey Kong five times, or find and defeat her in World of Light.
  • Significant Double Casting: She shares a voice actress with Zelda. Take a wild guess why.
  • Smoke Out: Her recovery has her pause to release a smoke bomb before reappearing elsewhere.
  • Stance System: Used to be able to switch into Zelda at will until 3DS/Wii U, where the two are separated from each other and given new down-specials.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: A woman disguised as a man, and perceived and presented as such in her original appearance. Her design in Brawl onwards makes her femininity clearer, though. This trope leads to Palutena and Viridi referring to Sheik as male during Palutena's Guidance in Ultimate, although the game otherwise refers to Sheik as female.
  • Technicolor Eyes: Zelda has blue irises, while Sheik's are red.
  • Third Eye: Her primary emblem is the Eye of Truth, a stylized eye with a teardrop associated with the Sheikah tribe. Her Final Smash in Ultimate flashes a big one of these across the screen before she attacks her opponents.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: Her side special in 3DS/Wii U has her using grenades.
  • Walking Spoiler: Unless you've only played 3DS/Wii U before even touching Ocarina of Time. The first of her tips in Ultimate tries to hide her identity as Zelda. Poorly.
  • Wall Jump: Can also cling to walls in Brawl.
  • Voice Grunting: In the first 3 games she appears in, she only utters wordless vocalizations, similar to Link. Her dialogue in the Zelda series is entirely conveyed through written text, which is absent here. However, in Melee, one of her Japanese victory quotes has her say, "It's over!" in Japanese.

     17 – Zelda 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/zeldassbu.png
3DS/Wii U 
Brawl 
Melee 

Voiced by (Japanese): Jun Mizusawa (Melee through 3DS/Wii U), Ayumi Fujimura (Ultimate)
Voiced by (English): Brandy Kopp (Ultimate, World of Light intro only)

Home Series: The Legend of Zelda
Debut:
Zelda in name debuts in: The Legend of Zelda [NES], 1986
Zelda from Melee debuts in: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time [N64], 1998
Zelda from Brawl and 3DS/Wii U debuts in: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess [Wii/GCN], 2006
Zelda from Ultimate debuts in: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past [SNES], 1991

Playable in: Melee, Brawl, 3DS/Wii U, Ultimate
Specials: Nayru's Love, Din's Fire, Farore's Wind, Transform (Melee, Brawl), Phantom Slash (3DS/Wii U, Ultimate)
Final Smash: Light Arrow (Brawl, 3DS/Wii U), Triforce of Wisdom (Ultimate)

The Legacy Character princess of Hyrule, boasting magical attacks. A descendant of the Goddess Hylia, Zelda has used her powers to assist the various Heroes of Hyrule countless times — though often not before having to be saved herself.

Melee uses the incarnation who helped the Hero of Time defeat Ganondorf in Ocarina of Time. Brawl and 3DS/Wii U uses her Twilight Princess self instead, while Ultimate bases her design off of her A Link to the Past and A Link Between Worlds appearances.


  • Adaptational Badass: Most incarnations of Zelda do not fight directly, and even when they do, they tend to stick to a more supporting role with a bow. Her Smash incarnation, on the other hand, is a Kung-Fu Wizard who can and will get in your face.
  • Age Lift: A variation. Since Zelda has changed incarnations over the years, her age has also changed with them. In her Ocarina of Time and A Link to the Past appearances, she appears to be around sixteen; in her Twilight Princess design, she's in her twenties, no longer a princess but a queen-in-waiting.
  • Animated Armor: Her Phantom Slash summons the enchanted Phantom Armor to attack foes.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: One of the custom moves for her Phantom Slash special in 3DS/Wii U is Phantom Breaker, which can break full shields if charged enough.
  • Assist Character: Her Down Special summons a Phantom for both defensive and offensive purposes. Custom moves in 3DS/Wii U change how the Phantom acts.
  • Attack Reflector: Nayru's Love, her neutral special, can reflect projectiles.
  • Badass Adorable: While Zelda's always been a beautiful young princess, her Ultimate design being based on her appearance from A Link to the Past makes her look younger, cuter, and more cheerful, but no less capable in battle than she ever was.
  • Badass Cape: Zelda gains one in Ultimate, with the crest of the Hylian Royal Family on the back. It previously featured on a few different Zeldas, including the Link to the Past, Link Between Worlds, Oracle, and Four Swords Adventures incarnations.
  • Balance Buff: The Zelda in Ultimate is more competent than the Zeldas in previous games. She's faster, is able to trap opponents more easily, and her specials don't remove her momentum as they did previously.
  • Battle Intro: Teleports in, focusing magic in her hands.
  • Beauty = Goodness: The beautiful young princess of Hyrule — who also happens to be one of the kindest and wisest rulers anyone could ever hope for.
  • Brainy Brunette: In Brawl and 3DS/Wii U, she has brown hair, which fits with her status as "Hyrule's Wise Princess" and keeper of the Triforce of Wisdom, and as a counterpart to the blonde and bubbly Peach.
  • Combat Stilettos: She has heels in Melee, but switches to more practical boots in Brawl. Interestingly, in all games after Melee, she has received higher walking and dashing speeds, though they are still slow. Ultimate goes back to the trope, giving her sandal-like heeled boots.
  • Composite Character:
    • In Melee, her design is based on her Ocarina of Time appearance. In Brawl and 3DS/Wii U, she has her Twilight Princess appearance as well as the light arrows she used in said game. In Ultimate, her design is based on her appearances from A Link to the Past and A Link Between Worlds, albeit with realistic proportions as opposed to her Super-Deformed look in those games. Despite being different characters from different eras in the Zelda canon, all three princesses have counted as "Number 17 - Zelda" to represent the character as a whole.
    • In Melee, her specials all use the magic Link can learn in Ocarina of Time.
    • Despite Brawl having a Twilight Princess design, she can still turn into Sheik a la Ocarina Of Time. Word of God says Sheik was an unused character design for a potential Twilight Princess appearance.
    • 3DS/Wii U separates the two characters, but gives Zelda the ability to summon Phantom Zelda from Spirit Tracks, adding more composites to the character.
    • Her Ultimate look is a composite of her appearances from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, with conflicting sources regarding which one she is specifically based upon.note  Her moveset is the same as previous games, with her Final Smash being different and being based off her Ocarina Of Time usage of the Triforce of Wisdom to hold down Ganondorf (while the Zelda from A Link Between Worlds also had the Triforce of Wisdom, she gets kidnapped and her Triforce piece taken from her before she can get a chance to use it). According to the reveal video for Ultimate, Zelda's incarnation from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was passed over because that Zelda was more focused on research than action, while Sakurai said in the subsequent Treehouse stream that they also wanted to give a broad range of representation for the Zelda franchise rather than focus on a handful of games.
  • Confusion Fu: Ultimate's rework of her Phantom Slash adds a significant degree of unpredictability to her playstyle. To wit, the move has six different attack variations depending on how long it's charged... and only the person playing Zelda knows which one she's going to use.
  • Damsel in Distress: If you choose to save Peach in The Subspace Emissary. They both become this eventually.
  • Decomposite Character: Sheik was an alternate form of Zelda in Melee and Brawl, but became her own character in 3DS/Wii U and is depicted from a different era than Zelda altogether in Ultimate.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • In the air, at least. All but one of her aerials have to be landed exactly right to get the most damage and distance out of them. Otherwise, they're pretty weak, knocking the opponent back about as far as a jab combo would have. When they are sweetspotted, however, they will hurt.
    • Farore's Wind can attack the opponent from multiple angles. However, its distance has to be calculated almost perfectly. Otherwise, Zelda can end up plummeting to her doom or getting beaten up easily, as she is completely defenseless when she reappears.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Yes, she's the princess of a kingdom with not often visible kings. Justified in her Twilight Princess iteration, as her Brawl trophy states that she was in the process of becoming queen before Zant attacked.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: Many of her magic attacks involve sparkles.
  • Fanservice Pack: The fourth game maintained her already very attractive Twilight Princess incarnation, but with the addition of a softer and more expressive face, brighter eyes, and slightly larger — though still reasonably-sized — breasts.
    • While the fanservice-iness is toned down a little in Ultimate thanks to using her more conservative and younger Link to the Past design instead, she still looks gorgeous in a cuter way; particularly with regard to her newfound expressiveness and cheeriness, adorkable smiles and poses, and new cut-away boots that reveal her lower legs and toes.
  • Flash Step: Her recovery is a magical version of this, though it requires a short delay to cast.
  • Full-Contact Magic: Zelda's attacks are often magically enhanced kicks, knifehand, and palm strikes.
  • Genki Girl: Downplayed with her Ultimate incarnation. While overall much more cheerful and expressive (even accompanying her waving taunt with a playful giggle), she manages to maintain the serene and graceful air of her previous incarnations while doing so. Compared to said previous incarnations, however, this trope is definitely played straight.
  • Girliness Upgrade: Went from The Stoic from Twilight Princess to the Genki Girl seen in A Link Between Worlds between 3DS/Wii U and Ultimate. She's no less of a badass, however.
  • Glacier Waif: Despite being on the light side, something visible in her design, she is tall, moves slowly, and hits hard. Ultimate downplays it with the fact that Zelda is way faster than past incarnations, but not as fast as Sheik.
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple: In Brawl and 3DS/Wii U, in-keeping with her more mature Twilight Princess look.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: In Melee and Ultimate, she has golden-blonde hair like any other number of kindhearted fantasy princesses — including Peach — taken respectively from her Ocarina of Time and A Link Between Worlds appearances. One palette swap in Brawl and 3DS/Wii U can also give her this.
  • Hartman Hips: Like in Twilight Princess, she has fairly prominent hips in Brawl and 3DS/Wii U, but not to the same extent as Peach.
  • High Class Gloves: She wears them in most of her appearances to date, the sole exceptions being her red costume in Brawl and her design in Ultimate.
  • Humans by Any Other Name: Apart from the Pointy Ears, Hylians are virtually indistinguishable from real-life humans.
  • Kick Chick: Her Lightning Kicks and down aerial — since Brawl — are potentially the strongest attacks in her arsenal, provided the timing and spacing are done correctly.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Zelda fights while wearing her tiara and a fancy dress.
  • Kung-Fu Wizard: She can fight barehanded, which is accentuated by her magic.
  • Lady of Black Magic: Very much capable of knocking back opponents with powerful spells, and while maintaining her princessly grace.
  • Lady of War: While Zelda is very elegant, even moreso than Rosalina and Palutena, she is just as powerful and graceful in battle with her magically enhanced blows.
  • Lady and Knight:
    • The Bright Lady to Link's White Knight.
    • Her Phantom Knight attack in 3DS/Wii U creates a rather paradoxical case of this, as her "knight" is her Spirit Tracks incarnation in a Phantom's armor.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Sheik and Zelda are the same. 3DS/Wii U has some fun with this by having trophy descriptions and some tips spoiler-warn this relation.
  • Legacy Character: A version of Zelda is reincarnated alongside every legendary hero.
  • Leitmotif:
    • In Melee, she was mostly associated with Temple.
    • In Brawl, the Ocarina of Time Medley, showcased on the Dojo pre-release and used as her unique credits theme. It also prominently plays Zelda's Lullaby, her theme from her home series.
    • In 3DS/Wii U, the Menu portion of the Great Sea / Menu medley played during the April Direct to introduce her as a separate character from Sheik.
    • In Ultimate, her character trailer uses Hidden Mountain & Forest as her theme.
  • Light 'em Up: The light arrows she used in her pre-Ultimate Final Smash are composed of holy light, and she uses her divine sealing magic in her Ultimate Final Smash.
  • Limit Break:
    • In Brawl and 3DS/Wii U, Zelda fires a large Light Arrow straight forward. Opponents hit by it are launched more vertically than Sheik's version.
    • In Ultimate, she switches to using the Triforce of Wisdom to trap enemies and deal damage before knocking them back, and can instantly KO enemies whose damage is 100% and above.
  • Mystical White Hair: She gets white hair when she is using her "Dark" palette swap in Brawl onwards. It gives her a faint resemblance to a Sheikah.
  • Meteor Move: Her down tilt attack and down aerial will Meteor Smash targets. Like Peach, her down tilt attack is difficult to land the Meteor Smash with because the opponent needs to be airborne to produce the effect, and it was removed entirely in the fourth game.
  • Modesty Shorts: She wears white tights under her dress in Melee, and then leggings in Brawl and 3DS/Wii U. She still wears leggings in Ultimate, but to go with her new cut-away sandal boots, they only go up to her lower knees.
  • Nice Shoes: As seen in her above render, her Link Between Worlds-based design in Ultimate gives her a new pair of boots that are partially cut away in a sandal-like fashion, showing off her lower legs and feet.
  • Non-Dubbed Grunts: In Ultimate, she has a single English line in the World of Light intro, but her voice in-gameplay is left alone, similar to Fox and Falco in Melee.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: As opposed to her Breath of the Wild incarnation's Received Pronunciation accent, Zelda's one voiced line in the World of Light intro cutscene has her speaking in an American accent. Justified however, as they're separate incarnations of the character.
  • Palette Swap: In Brawl, she has an alt that resembles her look in Ocarina of Time and by extension, Melee. 3DS/Wii U adds one based on A Link To The Past/Between Worlds, which is very similar to the Ocarina look, but with blue embroideries instead of purple, even lighter hair and more saturated colors. Her Ocarina look is also updated to even deeper purples to match Ocarina of Time 3D. In Ultimate, she has a new assortment of swaps — her red palette is given darker hair to resemble her original design, the Ocarina design is retained, and she also has designs based on Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess.
  • Perpetual Frowner: In Brawl, she's mostly serious or "sad", save for her first cutscene in Subspace Emmisary, where she's smiling alongside Peach while greeting the crowd. If you played Twilight Princess, you'll probably know why she doesn't smile very much. In 3DS/Wii U, Zelda is much more expressive. For example, she scowls when performing certain attacks (such as her neutral attack), appears alarmed when teetering on a ledge, and winces sadly when laying prone. Ultimate inverts this, with her default expression being a graceful and cheerful smile.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: In Ultimate, her default outfit is white and pink as it was in A Link Between Worlds, while Link's is blue as it was in Breath of the Wild.
  • Player-Guided Missile: Din's Fire, her side special. Works differently from the Sphere of Destruction that it was in Ocarina of Time.
  • Playing with Fire: Her up aerial, Din's Fire, and Farore's Wind (Brawl only, when reappearing) will set enemies on fire when making contact. 3DS/Wii U also adds the custom moves Din's Flare, Din's Blaze, and Nayru's Passion, and her down throw was also changed to have a fire effect.
  • Princesses Prefer Pink: She sports some pink in Melee, but not to the extent of Peach. It is later one of her palette swaps since Brawl. She also sports some pink in Ultimate, as she did in A Link Between Worlds.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Wears purple in her default costume in Brawl and 3DS/Wii U and she has some very potent attacks if you land them just so. Her backward, forward, and downward aerial attacks in particular can knock opponents pretty far away even at 0%.
  • Rapunzel Hair: In Brawl and 3DS/Wii U. While not as ridiculous as Palutena's, her hair goes down to her waist, and that's when it's tied into a braid at the bottom.
  • Real Is Brown: Her Brawl design reflects the desaturated, somewhat sepia-toned look she had in Twilight Princess; both Brawl and Twilight Princess were released in the heyday of this trope. Her colors, like all characters, were brightened in 3DS/Wii U.
  • Religious Bruiser: One of her victory poses is a praying gesture while looking up to the sky. In her home series, she occasionally talks about following the will of the goddesses, and her royal lineage is descended from the gods.
  • The Rival: A lot of the pictures for 3DS/Wii U depict her as being this to Rosalina. Maybe because they're both serene Ladies Of War?
    • This gets a Continuity Nod in a pre-release screenshot for Ultimate depicting what looks like the two ladies high-fiving each other. Either they buried the hatchet between games, or Rosalina's rivalry exists purely with Zelda's Twilight Princess incarnation.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: She started to take more active roles after her Ocarina of Time incarnation, which just so happens to be the first one featured in Smash.
  • Secret Character:
    • In Ultimate: Play Vs. Mode for 20 minutes, beat Classic Mode with Kirby four times, or find and defeat her in World of Light.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: Her back is fairly exposed in Brawl and 3DS/Wii U, but not in Melee and Ultimate.
  • Sexy Walk: She sways her hips when she walks in Brawl and 3DS/Wii U.
  • Shock and Awe: In Melee and Brawl, her neutral attack, up tilt, dash attack, forward smash, up smash, Lightning Kicks, pummel, down throw, neutral aerial, and sweetspotted down aerial (in Brawl) all had electric properties. They were all changed to be purely magical in 3DS/Wii U except for down throw, which received a fire effect instead.
  • Significant Double Casting: She shares a voice actress with Sheik. Take a wild guess why.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: A beautiful, serene, and kind-hearted princess who can defend herself, with or without her hero. Her Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess portrayals also qualify for the trope.
  • Squishy Wizard: She mainly attacks with magic, but is quite slow and light, and her recovery is sub-par.
  • Stance System: Switching into Sheik amounts to this. Changed in 3DS/Wii U, where the two are separated from each other and given new down-specials to further differentiate them from each other.
  • Statuesque Stunner: She's taller than Peach, who is 6'1" tall, and she rivals Zero Suit Samus in height, who is 6'3".
  • The Stoic: She does not convey much emotion in Twilight Princess because of the Twilight invasion, a portrayal that carries over to Brawl and 3DS/Wii U. The latter game, however, made all characters more expressive, including her as explained above. Ultimate moves away from this by making her more cheerful and expressive.
  • Suddenly Voiced: She has a brief line in the introductory cutscene for World of Light. This is the first time that Zelda has a fully-voiced line of dialogue in the Smash series, since she usually "speaks" in grunts like the rest of the Zelda characters. It's also the first time that any incarnation of Zelda featured in Smash has spoken dialogue, since they are not fully-voiced in their respective games (Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, and Link Between Worlds).
    Zelda: Stow your fear. It's now or never!
  • Summon Magic: Zelda's new down special in 3DS/Wii U allows her to summon a Phantom to either attack or act as a meat shield. If it breaks, it takes 9 seconds for it to respawn.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: Farore's Wind, which allows her to teleport to cover some good ground.
  • Tele-Frag: In 3DS/Wii U, one could pull off a version of this using Farore's Wind. By warping right on top of opponents, she can cause considerable knockback, and even KO opponents under 50%.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: In her Final Smash in Ultimate, Triforce of Wisdom, she damages the enemies caught inside. It then instantly KOs enemies that have 100% damage or higher upon the end of the attack.
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: The new, younger Zelda in Ultimate is a lot more expressive and happy when fighting compared to her more stoic previous incarnations — with her default expression now being a confident smile. This is likely a nod to the design change to her A Link Between Worlds look, whose Zelda was shown to be quite upbeat.
  • Triang Relations: In the lead-up to the release of 3DS/Wii U, several images showed her being jealous of Link and Peach spending time together. This carries into the actual game, since one of the clips for her Classic/All-Star Mode clear movie shows Peach flirting with Link again and Zelda teleporting into her with Farore's Wind and knocking her away from "her man".
  • Voice Grunting: Only utters wordless vocalizations, similar to Link. Her dialogue in the Zelda series is entirely conveyed through written text, which is absent here.
  • Walking Spoiler: A meta example; she was deliberately absent from the E3 trailer for Melee and other pre-release content, which is why Sheik comes before her in the fighter list.
  • Warrior Princess: A calm, gentle, quiet, and polite young princess who happens to be a wise ruler and powerful spellcaster, and is more proactive than many other Nintendo princesses, even if she herself is vulnerable at times. In fact, Zelda actually tends to deal more knockback than Sheik!

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