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Video Game / Super Smash Bros. Melee

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"Nintendo's biggest stars are all here!"
Back cover, first line of the description



Super Smash Bros. Melee is a Mascot/Platform Fighter developed by HAL Laboratory under Masahiro Sakurai and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo GameCube in 2001. It is the second game in the Super Smash Bros. series.

While the original Smash game laid the groundwork for the series, Melee set the standard for what to expect for content. Not only does Melee have many more playable characters (25note ) and stages (29), it also has a number of new single-player modes such as All-Star and Adventure, collectible trophies based on games from Nintendo's past, present, and future, and a slew of customization options for multiplayer matches. This is all thanks to Sakurai becoming much more ambitious regarding the Smash IP, being blown away by the unexpected success of what was originally a Nintendo 64 budget title and feeling that, given the large amount of positive attention, there was more than enough room to make it into something big. This trait, which also provided greater production values than with the first game, would be repeated with all subsequent games in the series.

Melee is also notable for including Marth and Roy from the Fire Emblem series as playable characters, even though Fire Emblem had been a Japan-only property at that point. Roy in fact debuted in Melee as a means of promoting Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, which wouldn't release until 2002 (being perhaps the closest one would get to a literal case of Marth Debuted in "Smash Bros.", for which this game is the Trope Namer). The surprise popularity of the two led to future Fire Emblem games finally getting localized for international release.

After more then 20 years, Melee's Japanese website is still in operation and can be found here; the English website is archived here.

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    Playable Roster 
Note: Bold denotes unlockable characters.

Note: Bold denotes unlockable stages.

  • Balloon Fight: Flipper
  • EarthBound: Mr. Saturn
  • Kirby: Maxim Tomato, Parasol, Star Rod, Warp Star
  • The Legend of Zelda: Bunny Hood, Heart Container
  • Metroid: Screw Attack
  • Panel de Pon: Lip's Stick
  • Pokémon: Poké Ball
    • Pokémon that can spawn include:
      • Generation I: Venusaur, Charizard, Blastoise, Clefairy, Electrode, Weezing, Chansey, Goldeen, Staryu, Snorlax, Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, Mew
      • Generation II: Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Togepi, Bellossom, Marill, Unown, Wobbuffet, Scizor, Porygon2, Raikou, Entei, Suicune, Lugia, Ho-Oh, Celebi
  • Perfect Dark: Cloaking Device
  • Super Mario Bros.: Bob-omb, Fire Flower, Freezie, Green Shell, Metal Box, Poison Mushroom, Red Shell, Super Mushroom, Super Star
  • Super Smash Bros.: Barrel, Beam Sword, Bumper, Capsule, Crate, Fan, Food, Home-Run Bat, Motion-Sensor Bomb, Party Ball, Ray Gun, Super Scope

This game provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Short Level: The Event Match "Seconds, Anyone?", where the objective is to KO Captain Falcon in seven seconds or less. Both you and Captain Falcon will start at 100% damage by default to make things a bit even, so the only thing you'll have to worry about is the clock.
  • Achievement Mockery: Some of the bonuses you can earn are effectively consolation prize points for being bad at the game. For example, World Traveler awards 2,000 points for getting KO'd in all four cardinal directions.
  • Advanced Movement Technique: Wavedashing is an infamous physics exploit caused by jumping, then immediately air-dodging diagonally into the ground. The momentum of the air-dodge is preserved even after landing, causing the character to slide around quickly. Mastering wavedashing is considered a key part of high-level Melee play.
  • A.I. Breaker: There are a number of ways to get level 9 CPUs stuck in indefinite loops where they'll repeat the same action/movement over and over until interrupted. Some of these loops will involve them killing themselves, such as Luigi on Mushroom Kingdom 2, Fox on Jungle Japes, and Roy on Jungle Japes (the lattermost example resulting in CPU Roy being able to kill himself 98 consecutive times). Surprisingly, level 8 and 7 CPUs won't get stuck in these loops, only level 9s.
  • The All-Seeing A.I.: In this game and Brawl, no Interface Screw in the world is going to deter the AI. Examples include:
    • In both games, the AI notices when items have appeared off screen, which can result in it running off in the middle of a heated duel to grab an item that it shouldn't have even noticed until it came on screen. This only applies to overly large stages though, as the majority of stages are small enough to stay entirely on camera the majority of the time.
    • When Togepi appears in either game and performs Night Shade, the screen goes completely black. You can't see what the hell you are doing, but the AI knows exactly where you are in the darkness, making this Pokemon move more of a hindrance.
    • In Melee with the Cloaking Device item, which turns the character invisible, but does nothing to deter the AI.
    • In Melee 1P mode, instead of being used to input Smash attacks, the C-stick instead zooms the camera in and out. This is entirely useless though, as all it does it screw with the interface and obstruct your vision, while your CPU opponents who always know where you are regardless.
  • Always Close: The Metroid level in Adventure mode, although it's difficult to make it with more than a few seconds left anyway. They never show you actually escaping the planet, just it exploding, then panning over to Pop Star for the next stage. In fact, the game actually gives you a bonus for waiting until the last second.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The fight against Master Hand (and, optionally, also Crazy Hand) starts in the same spot as in the original Super Smash Bros. ("Final Destination") but then warps out of there, eventually flying over a sun-lit field. The in-game explanation is that as the fight goes on, it transfers to the "real" world.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: The milestone messages for completing 50,000 and 100,000 VS. matches encourage you to stop playing for a bit, though they're probably a bit too late at that point.
    You've played 50,000 VS. bouts! Enough! Take a break!
    You've fought 100,000 VS. mode matches! Go outside!
  • Artificial Brilliance: Crazy Hand uses the downward vertical punch when the player is hanging onto the edge of the stage. The effect is identical to stomping on somebody's hand in such a situation: an unavoidable fall.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The AI does nothing to defend themselves nor avoid attacks offstage, and each character is programmed to recover the same exact way every time, ignoring all alternative and recovery-boosting options. The most infamous example is CPU Luigi being programmed to just use his Green Missile during recovery, thus he will never use his Super Jump Punch and will invariably die the instant he falls below the stage line.
  • Asset Actor:
  • Athletic Arena Level: Starting from this game, the series has featured a stage based on a Pokémon Stadium, based on the arenas used in Pokémon battling (a fictional sport). Melee also has two F-Zero stages based on that series' racetracks (namely one based on Mute City and the other in Big Blue), with the second being one of the unlockable hidden stages. Lastly, Adventure Mode also features an F-Zero platformer stage as its 9th level, where the player has to keep an eye on the incoming vehicles from behind to avoid being run over by them and reach the goal line safely (there's an Event Match set in this stage, only now the vehicles travel with exceptional speed, thus requiring near-perfect reflexes to quickly reach the safe platforms right before being run over).
  • Attract Mode: Like before, the game shows a scripted CPU match or the "How to Play" tutorial video if it's left idle for long enough. However, from this game onwards, the latter video can be viewed from an in-game menu at any time as well.
  • Audible Sharpness: One of Marth's victory poses has his sword give off distinct clashing noises while he flourishes it. Later games get rid of this particular sound.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Roy's Flare Blade. If fully charged, it can OHKO almost anybody, provided there isn't anything blocking their path. However, you can't hold the charge or move during the move, and it takes over four seconds to fully charge, so to actually hit someone with it, they would have had need to have let go of their controller or be the biggest dupe in the world.
  • Back Stab: One of the possible bonuses for Classic mode is the appropriately named "Backstabber", obtained for primarily attacking opponents from behind.
  • Battle Theme Music:
    • A special case with Giga Bowser. Whereas Master Hand and the newly-introduced Crazy Hand use the standard music of Final Destination when fought (as both can only be found there), Giga Bowser uses a higher-pitched remix of that theme when you meet him in Adventure Mode, and it's unusually absent in the Sound Test (it's the only theme to not appear there at all). When fought alongside Ganondorf and Mewtwo in the final Event Match, it uses the hidden Final Destination theme, which is more upbeat in comparison.
    • Metal Mario and Metal Luigi in Adventure Mode, as well as whichever character you face in Chrome Champion form in Classic Mode, all use a tense techno music during battle. This theme cannot be selected for play in the standard Vs. Matches.
  • Beam Spam: The Master and Crazy Hands can fire lasers from all five fingers at once. It's only dangerous if you get caught in the center of the stage, though, which is unlikely due to the long charge-up time — unless you're fighting both at once and don't notice one of them.
  • Behemoth Battle: One of the Event Matches has a giant Bowser fighting an equally giant Donkey Kong on skyscrapers, as an homage to King Kong vs. Godzilla.
  • Big Applesauce: Fourside is a large city where you fight on top of four skyscrapers. The background also features a very New York City-esque skyline.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The French, German, Spanish, and Italian translations seem to have been rushed, so while you'll get good translations for most of the simple text (fun fact: about 90% of the game's text is in the trophy descriptions), a lot of the larger text is still in English. So if you have little to no knowledge of English, good luck trying to figure out what all those signs mean or what the announcer is saying.
  • Boss-Only Level: Though most chapters in Adventure Mode have platforming segments, some of the later chapters (including the last two) eschew them in favor of directly confronting the challengers of the represented Nintendo universe.
  • Boss Remix: The Final Destination stage has a boss remix of the first Smash's credits theme. A special arrangement also plays during the battle against Giga Bowser in Adventure Mode.
  • Boss Rush: The All-Star mode is introduced to the series in this game, and in it the player fights all characters in a random order, in matches that start in 1-vs.-1 mode, go through 1-vs.-2, then 1-vs.-3 and finishes with a duel against 25 Mr. Game & Watches. Recovery between battles is allowed, with up to three Heart Containers present in the Rest Area. Brawl features this mode again, sorting the character order by the date of origin of their franchises. In 4, the order is based on the date of origin of the characters themselves (straight in the 3DS version, reverse in the Wii U version).
  • Bowdlerise:
    • In the original Famicom version of Ice Climber, the Topi enemies are seals. All other versions make them into yeti due to the taboo nature of Real Life seal clubbing. This change also extends to the Topi trophy in this game between regions.
    • The DK Rap from Donkey Kong 64 is censored so it no longer mentions the word "hell" in Chunky Kong's verse, saying "heck" instead.
  • Camera Abuse: Starting from this game, characters thrown off the top of the screen can bump into the camera on their way back down.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Pichu is a Moveset Clone of Pikachu, except it's faster and takes damage from using its special attacks.
  • Catch and Return: It's possible, with proper timing, to catch a thrown item just before you are hit, which makes it possible to use this trope. You might not even realize you did it if things got particularly hectic until you see "Item Catcher" and "Reciprocator" among the achievements in the match. This trick is made even easier to do in Brawl, which annoys human opponents to no end.
  • Cement Shoes: If you never jump during a match, you'll earn a bonus called "Cement Shoes".
  • Challenge Run: The game gives you points for certain accomplishments in battle, and in single-player mode, it even lists all these accomplishments for you; naturally, some have become fodder for challenges. For instance, you can lose points for relying too much on a single move, but you get a lot of points for only using a single move. Some challenges are a lot harder in certain modes; a No-Damage Run is a lot easier in All-Star Mode (but it's brutal everywhere else), and "Switzerland" — i.e. win around without ever attacking or taking damage — is pretty easy to get on Adventure Mode stages where you don't actually have to attack anything to win.
  • Charged Attack: All characters in Super Smash Bros. Melee can charge up their Smash attacks.
    • Some Special B move attacks are more powerful the longer the attack button is held, but some (Samus, Donkey Kong, and Mewtwo's neutral B moves, especially) can be charged up and released whenever the player wishes it (Lucario's would count as well in Brawl and onward). The Super Scope item can also be charged.
    • In this game and Brawl, Mr. Game & Watch's "Oil Panic" move works by collecting three enemy projectiles in a bucket, then unleashing a splash of oil. The power of the splash depends on the power of the projectiles that were absorbed (Though in Brawl, it's always fairly strong regardless of what it absorbs).
  • Cherry Tapping: Like in the first game, Luigi has a taunt that does damage. It has to be done at least once to unlock a special trophy, and thus obtain 100% Completion). This is also encouraged thanks to one of the highest KO point bonuses being rewarded for defeating an opponent using your basic A button attack.
  • Company Cameo: Oddly, the texture for Roy's sword has HAL LABRATORY.INC [sic] written on it.
  • Concept Art Gallery: This game set the tradition in itself and subsequent games of letting you collect Trophies of everything from every single Nintendo video game (plus the third-party universes represented, in the latter two games). Ultimate uses Spirits instead, but the principle remains the same.
  • Console Cameo:
    • The debuting "Flat Zone" stage takes the form of Game & Watch systems.
    • The Super Scope light gun from the Super NES era has become a usable item since this game.
    • The Trophy Room has a number of Nintendo consoles in the background, including a GameCube. If the language setting in the American version is set to Japanese, then the NES and Super NES will be replaced by a Famicom and Super Famicom respectively, and a Virtual Boy will be added to the set as well. A GameCube trophy can also be won, whose description says "Rumor has it that Super Smash Bros. Melee is a software title for this wondrous device."
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: The game introduces two new bosses; Crazy Hand and Giga Bowser. Crazy Hand is the opposite of Master Hand (who symbolizes creation), being chaotic and destructive as opposed to careful and creative, but despite their differences the two hands make a pretty effective team. Giga Bowser is a powered-up transformation of Bowser unique to the Super Smash Bros. series who serves as the game's ultimate challenge, only appearing when certain conditions are met.
  • Cosmetic Award: Collecting all 290 trophies in the game is an incredibly difficult and time-consuming task. Many of them require insane amounts of skill and patience that only the most die-hard Hundred Percent Completionists would strive for. The most infamous example is the Diskun trophy, which requires unlocking every end-of-level bonus, including the No-Damage Clear award, which means completing Classic or All-Star mode without taking any damage whatsoever. But if you get all that, you unlock a video!
  • Counter-Attack: Peach, Marth, and Roy have these, though the last of the three is most noteworthy, due to his counter's strength being based on how much damage the countered move would've dealt. There's also Mr. Game and Watch, who after catching three projectiles with his Oil Panic special can unleash their combined destructive force in a single attack. Peach is also the only character to not have her counter as a down-special.
  • Country Switch: Switching to the Japanese language option is a neat trip into localization. It even reveals the origin of the Motion Sensor Bomb item if you can read the text on its trophy entry (which in English is only given as "TOP SECRET").
  • Crossover-Exclusive Villain: In addition to introducing Crazy Hand, the game also marked the debut of Giga Bowser as the True Final Boss in Adventure Mode as well as Event Match.
  • Deader than Dead: In this game and Brawl, when characters are defeated, they simply revert back into their trophy forms and can be brought back to life with outside help. At the end of this game's Adventure Mode, Bowser comes back as Giga Bowser this way, but defeating him a second time makes his trophy explode into dust.
  • Decomposite Character: Dr. Mario is a separate character from Mario in this game, as is Young Link from the adult, standard Link. This doesn't count the case of Zelda and Sheik, as they're treated as halves of one character here and Brawl, and it wasn't until Smash 4 when they were separated.
  • Degraded Boss: Inverted with the event challenges. The first one ("Trouble King") is Mario against a highly nerfed version of Bowser. It's fairly easy to complete without even getting hit once, let alone losing a life, and you have to almost try to lose. The sequel, "Trouble King II", is where Luigi faces a giant, souped-up Bowser on the Poké Floats level. You're more likely to win by outsmarting Bowser here than fighting him head-on.
  • Demographic-Dissonant Crossover: Played with. With the first game, the series started as a Massively Multiplayer Crossover that only featured characters from Nintendo's own franchises, the vast majority of which are child-friendly E/E+10-rated video game series, such as Donkey Kong, Kirby, Super Mario Bros., and Pokémon. This game is rated T for Teen, but all games represented here were at the time rated for all ages (E for Everyone); though many of Samus Aran's games are T-rated, they were all released after Melee, so the presence of Metroid didn't raise any eyebrows, and only displayed this trope from Brawl onwards (as it was the first to show Samus in her "Zero Suit" persona); the same applies to the characters from the often T-rated Fire Emblem series (as none of their games were even available stateside until 2003).
  • Depth Perplexion: In the Onett stage, which debuted in this game and has been a recurring stage ever since, players are fighting on a grassy path in the space between two houses, yet they get hit by cars that drive on the road in front of the houses.
  • Developer's Foresight: The "Continue" screen is normally disabled if you don't have enough coins to pay for a continue. However, hacking the game to re-enable the "Continue" screen reveals that you can't answer "Yes" if you don't have enough coins.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: This trope's original name, "Luigification," came from Smash Bros. fandom, referring to Luigi becoming less of a Mario Moveset Clone between the original Super Smash Bros. 64 and this game. Naming it after Luigi was very fitting even ignoring Smash Bros., because Mario would receive a closer clone (Dr. Mario), giving Luigi the opportunity to have his attacks differ from Mario's in a greater capacity.
  • Dual Boss:
    • After Luigi is unlocked, the penultimate fight of Adventure Mode starts pitting you against the Metal Bros.
    • When fighting Master Hand in Classic Mode, Crazy Hand can show up to assist its counterpart if certain conditions are met.note  Event Match 50 also requires fighting both at once from the start.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The game marked the debut of Roy from Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade as a playable character before the latter game came out.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: A meta example for this game, which based its characters on their Nintendo 64 era designs. Later GameCube games would provide these characters redesigns that would eventually become the basis for their modern appearances.note 
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • This is the first game to implement a camera where you can take snapshots of people. Unfortunately, it's restricted to a single mode and only three players can participate while the fourth player takes the pictures. In Brawl and later games, this is implemented whenever you pause in any offline mode and you can take pictures by pressing certain buttons.
    • There are a much larger amount of trophies from Japan-only games, possibly related to the fact that the first game in the series was itself originally planned to be Japan-only. Many of these are never seen again and such trophies in later games are generally either playable characters or related to them in some way, such as those from Mother 3 (whose predecessors are not Japan-only) and the Fire Emblem series (specifically, anything released between the since-localized first game and the series' international debut). In addition, a lot more trophies feature brand-new 3D models rather than ones recycled from the characters/items' origin series.
    • The C-Stick can't be used to execute Smash attacks in single player mode. It instead controls how far the camera zooms in, which is a feature that's never returned in later games.
    • Classic Mode trophies don't use the characters' in-game model; rather, they use a model that depicts what the character looks like in their home series. Additionally, they aren't posed like in any of their artwork. Characters also get multiple renders in different poses, unlike later games.
    • Final Destination and Battlefield are unlockable stages in this game; later games would make them available from the start.
    • Battlefield's aesthetics were themed on metallic platforms in the middle of colourful, swirling vortexes instead of the more naturalistic settings in the later installments.
    • As badge-type items didn't exist until Brawl, the Screw Attack is a held item, which prevents you from using normal attacks while you have it. It can also be thrown at enemies, which damages them and forces them into a Screw Attack jump that leaves them in the helpless state afterwards.
    • This is the first game to include Stage Titles. However, unlike the latter games where this title is the origin game of the stage (e.g. Super Mario 64: Princess Peach's Castle), it uses the greater location (e.g. Mushroom Kingdom: Princess Peach's Castle).
    • This is the first game to have water in some stages (in this case, Great Bay and Jungle Japes). However, swimming wouldn't be introduced until the next game. Therefore, while the roaring rapids of Jungle Japes will carry you off to the blast line if you don't get out in time, you literally fall through the water in Great Bay like it's nothing.
    • Peach's Daisy-themed Palette Swap changes details on her model to make her dress look more like Daisy's, and makes her skin tan, based on Mario Tennis and Mario Party 3 renders where it looks like Daisy's skin is slightly darker than Peach's. Later games have the costume appear as just Peach's dress with Daisy's colors, and do not alter her skin tone.
  • Easter Egg:
    • The Metroid trophy has a reflection of Super Metroid's title screen, minus the logo.
    • Similarly, the Metal Mario trophy has a reflection of the Yoshi's Island stage.
    • Some trophies have a reflection of Osohe Castle, as depicted in the canceled Nintendo 64 version of Mother 3.
    • The bottom of the Barrel Cannon item has a message that reads 2l84me note  on the bottom, which is easier to see in its trophy model.
  • Edible Ammunition: One of Princess Peach's special attacks involves pulling a very large turnip out of the ground in reference to Super Mario Bros. 2 and throwing it at somebody. Daisy borrows this ability in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The Green Greens stage has Whispy Woods dropping apples that can either heal or be used as a throwing item (which is also what he did in Kirby's Adventure in Kirby's fight against him).
  • Evil Knockoff: The game started a tradition to have a mode dedicated fully to defeat enemies that copy the skeleton and basic moveset of some fighters under a number of conditions. This game has the Fighting Wire Frames, coming in male and female variations that copy Captain Falcon and Zelda respectively. Additionally, Metal Mario returns as a boss in Adventure mode, and this time he's accompanied by a Metal Luigi if unlocked.
  • Evil Laugh: Crazy Hand, conceived as the destructive counterpart of Master Hand, has a laugh that is a reversed version of Master Hand's for extra-creepiness.
  • Final Battle: The 50th Event Match, "Final Destination Match", is a Dual Boss battle against Master Hand and Crazy Hand (the Final Bosses of Classic Mode). If this and all other events are cleared, however, an extra event is unlocked, titled "The Showdown". This is a battle against Giga Bowser, the True Final Boss of Adventure Mode, accompanied by Mewtwo and Ganondorf.
  • Final Boss: By default, Master Hand reprises this role in Classic Mode, being the last challenge for the player's character before triumphing, and Bowser does the same in the newly-added Adventure Mode; meeting certain conditions will unlock the hidden final bosses Crazy Hand and Giga Bowser respectively. In All-Star Mode, the role is given to 25 replicas of Mr. Game & Watch, fought in Flat Zone.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning:
    • Giga Bowser uses this trope in his smash attacks: up-smash electrocutes foes on his spikes, down-smash freezes foes with a spinning shell, and forward-smash is a burning explosive headbutt.
    • Mr. Game & Watch's side-special Judge can cause all three of these effects: it zaps the opponent with electricity with a 5, damages the opponent with flames with a 6, and freezes the opponent with an 8.
  • First-Person Snapshooter: The game has a Camera Mode that allows players to take in-game photographs of their battles from various angles. This also allows Video Game Perversity Potential.
  • Franchise Codifier: The game vastly expanded upon the Platform Fighter concept and modest template seen in the original Nintendo 64 game, allowing the series to adopt a more recognizable brand that is carried over to subsequent installments: The character roster and stage selection increased to the point that major Nintendo franchises or universes would be represented by at least four characters and two stages; several iconic modes like Adventure Mode, Event Match, All-Star Mode, Home-Run Contest and the trope-naming Multi-Mook Melee were introduced; lastly, the Collection Sidequest of trophies also debuted here, allowing several games and franchises other than those majorly present via characters and stages to be acknowledged, serving as a celebration of the history of Nintendo (and, from Brawl onwards, other gaming companies).
  • Free-Floor Fighting: Big Blue. In this stage, you actually fight on top of cars as they race around a track. If you fall off of one and onto the asphalt, you get whisked off the side of the stage as the camera leaves you behind, resulting in a near-instant KO unless you can very quickly jump off and return to the stage.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Quite a few of them.
    • There's the infamous Black hole glitch. While a fun glitch to fool around with, it can severely lag the game, and is prone to causing a complete game freeze if it becomes too intensive for the game to handle (especially if the players do "modifications" to the black hole).
    • In really early versions (the 1.0 versions), there's the Shadow glitch, which allowed players to catch the tiny Shadow Balls thrown by Mewtwo from his forward throw. If one of these balls is thrown after being caught, the game freezes.
    • A glitch with Mewtwo is the Soul Breaker glitch. When Mewtwo uses Confusion on a projectile too strong to reflect (thus causing his reflector to "break") while simultaneously grabbing an opponent with it, the opponent will become permanently stuck to Mewtwo and unable to move, with no way of escape unless Mewtwo is KO'd. Mewtwo can also permanently freeze other characters when the Soul Breaker is activated by using his down throw on them (where he must then use Confusion to unfreeze them). Due to the possibility of Mewtwo being able to autowin matches by activating this glitch (such as if he's ahead and thus can wait out the time to win while the opponent can do nothing), the glitch is banned from being intentionally performed in tournaments (though since this glitch is essentially impossible to perform in competitive formats, this doesn't really matter).
    • Similar to the Soul Breaker glitch above is the Freeze glitch, which allows the Ice Climbers to permanently freeze opponents unless they grab them again (though unlike Mewtwo with the Soul Breaker, the Ice Climbers can perform it entirely by themselves, making it actually feasible to perform in competitive play). Having the capacity to autowin matches like the Soul Breaker, it too is banned from being intentionally performed in tournaments, and it will be considered an automatic forfeit if any player activates the glitch. Unlike Soul Breaker though, the Freeze glitch can be useful in the 1P modes, particularly the Home-Run Contest (where it's necessary for the Ice Climbers to obtain max distance).
    • A more obscure game breaking bug is the Box glitch. This is a glitch that can only be performed on the Plumbers (Mario, Luigi, and Dr. Mario), and only by Fox and Falco. If Fox/Falco use their down throw on one of the Plumbers in specific locations on stages at certain damage percentages, the Plumber becomes stuck in an invisible box area that has solid collisions on all sides and cannot be escaped from unless another character grabs and throws them out. Besides completely restricting the affected player's movement, this glitch can be an autowin if the trapped player was behind in the match and the nontrapped player(s) let time run out to win instead of freeing them.
    • When playing Master Hand (whether from the Name Entry glitch or from hacking), the game will freeze in vs. mode after a match finishes if Master Hand wins the match, as he has no victory screens and thus the game doesn't know what to do (though playing in Stamina Mode will avoid this, as the victory screen is bypassed in that mode). The game will also freeze in Classic, Adventure, and Target Test before anything can be played as Master Hand lacks the requisite assets to be used, and will freeze in the intermission stage of All-Star mode (thus with Master Hand the player can only play the first match in All-Star).
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Dr. Mario's trophy states that he's slower than Mario because of his "lack of exercise". But during gameplay, Doc isn't actually any slower than Mario.
  • Gang Up on the Human: There are events called "Trophy Tussles" in which you fight against 3 other CPU opponents with the trophy you're trying to win being the stage. The CPU really does gang up on you during the events. All three of them.
  • Gimmick Level: The Brinstar Depths stage has a unique circular layout and will occasionally rotate clockwise or counterclockwise.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • Mr. Game & Watch is almost as light as Kirby (he's a two-dimensional character resembling an old LCD display), but has among the strongest smashes in the game and Judge 9, an RNG move that can KO extremely early.
    • Fox. He is extremely fast, and some of his moves, particularly his up Smash and up aerial deal devastating knockback, and his down special can kill the opponent very early when used offstage to hit a recovering fighter. He is also one of the lightest characters in the game, while being vulnerable to highly damaging combos due to falling very quickly. Coupled with the fact that many of his techniques require very precise execution, Fox can often die from a single mistake, and such mistakes are prone to happening more often than for other characters.
    • Falco is in a similar situation to Fox. He has potentially the most damaging and consistent combos in the game, with the potential to zero-to-death multiple characters, while also having powerful Smash attacks and a long-lasting down air that has solid range and spikes the opponent downwards. On top of this, he has a very quick projectile which can make it very difficult for opponents to hit him and sometimes even create offensive openings. However, he is only slightly heavier than Fox, and his offstage recovery moves have short range, causing him to die even earlier than his counterpart. He is also significantly slower than Fox, giving him fewer escape options in certain situations.
    • Mewtwo is powerful, but lighter than his size or speed would imply. He is also quite a large target despite his light weight, making him easy to hit in conjunction with his unexpectedly slow movement.
  • Goomba Stomp: This appears in Adventure Mode, in which most enemies must be defeated more conventionally, but Goombas and Koopas still die when you jump on them as a nod to their game of origin.
  • Gratuitous English: Fox and Falco have this here, but gained region appropriate voice actors from Brawl onwards.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Marth and Roy speak Japanese in all versions of the game. This may be because Nintendo intended to dummy them out for the American release, but the localization team liked them enough to keep them in the game. Most of the characters in Melee actually still have Japanese voice actors - with many of them using English catch phrases ("Mission Comprete!").
  • Greek Chorus: On the Corneria stage, Fox and Falco can give the rest of the Star Fox team a call to give their piece. This functionality is retained when the stage returns in Brawl, for Nintendo 3DS, and Ultimate. Slippy Toad will also chime in during one of the event matches, where he reveals that he invented the Cloaking Device item.
  • Ground Pound: Bowser's pounding attack from Super Mario Bros. 3 became one of his attacks in this game, but is renamed the Bowser Bomb.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • How to obtain some of the after match bonuses in Melee, which is required to get the Diskun trophy. There are three things with these bonuses that cause them to be this. One and two, unless you look it up, you won't know the bonus exists until you obtain it, and only then will it show up among your collected bonuses, where you then get a short blurb on what gets you the bonus. Three, some of them though are really obscure and/or have unclear conditions to obtaining them that aren't properly explained how to get in the ingame blurb or anywhere (good luck getting the "Lethal Weapon" bonus without any guide, or knowing that "Button Holder" was a bonus).
    • Getting Luigi requires what is probably one of the most esoteric methods of unlocking a character ever devised. You need to cross the finish line of the first stage of adventure mode while the number in the timer's seconds counter ends in 2 (eg. XX.X2 xx). It's not hard to execute, but it's almost impossible to figure out on your own, and quite difficult to explain to someone else.
    • The alternate method of unlocking Mewtwo in Melee requires having 20 hours worth of playtime in vs. mode across human players. While you're guaranteed to get him eventually as long as you keep playing the game, it's going to take a very long time for a player to get him without looking up his unlock condition and ways to speed up the process (hint, the playtime is cumulative from all human players, so you can get him in as little as 5 hours across 4 human players).
  • Gusty Glade: In both Green Greens and the returning 64 stage Dream Land, Whispy Woods will blow to the left, potentially throwing away any character who isn't paying attention.
  • Hard Mode Perks: You can only fight Crazy Hand in Classic and Giga Bowser in Adventure if you're playing on Normal difficulty or higher.
  • High-Tech Hexagons: From this game onward, both Fox and Falco from the Star Fox series possess a Reflector move whose animation is a blue hexagon. The developer's intent for the move was to reflect projectiles; however, it's used as a direct attack in the current metagame.
  • Home Stage: With the exception of the Fire Emblem franchise, every series that has a playable character has at least one stage based on a location from one of their games; listed before in the "Stages" heading.
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: If you use Falco's special taunt in the Star Fox-themed stages (also applies to the rehashed Corneria stage in Brawl), this may come up:
    Fox: All ships report in!
    Slippy: This is Slippy! I'm alright, I'm alright!
    Peppy: Peppy here! I'm a little shaken... but I'm okay. [Beat] Sorry. I've always wanted to say that.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Carrying over a mechanic from Kirby Super Star (an earlier Masahiro Sakurai-directed project), the game introduces Food as a type of item. This is a variety of different food and drinks you can eat to regain a small bit of health. A few of them are burgers, ice cream, apples, pizza, tea, chocolate, orange juice, and cake.
  • Infernal Background: In the intro, Mario's nemesis Bowser appears standing in a field of flames. With Bowser himself darkened aside from his Glowing Eyes of Doom, the effect is pretty creepy... or badass.
  • In Name Only: The Jungle Japes stage, which originates from Donkey Kong 64, doesn't look anything like its original counterpart. It uses elements from the original Donkey Kong Country (Cranky's Cabin, the stage's music, the trees and Neckies in the background) and Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! (the wooden walkways and the river). There are no elements from Donkey Kong 64 at all.
  • Interface Screw:
    • Togepi's Night Shade will make the entire screen black. This is incredibly dangerous for you, given how easily you can fall off the stage this way — especially aerial stages. And it has no effect on the NPCs. Even if it was your own Poké Ball.
    • The invisibility power-up is nearly useless when playing against computers. If an NPC picks it up, you can't see them. If you pick it up, they can still see you, but you can't see your own character (unless you hunt for the little arrow). The only reason to pick it up is that it also prevents you from taking additional damage.
  • Invisibility Cloak: The cloaking device, of Perfect Dark fame. These also prevent you from seeing yourself. Of course this doesn't affect the AI in any way. On the other hand, while you still react to damage from other players while cloaked, they can't actually hurt you until it wears out.
  • Is There a Doctor in the House?: When you unlock Dr. Mario, his unlockable message says:
    Dr. Mario is in the house! His prescription? KOs.
  • Item Caddy: In an interesting take on this trope, Pichu was designed specifically with items in mind. His extreme speed would allow him to capitalize on item drops to gain the upper hand. Unfortunately for him, tournament rules largely ban items, sending him to the bottom of the tier list.
  • Jungle Japes: The Titular stage makes an appearance but the previous game's Kongo Jungle returns as a playable stage as well.
  • Kaiju: The event match "Gargantuans" is a homage to these films, which pits a giant Bowser against a giant Donkey Kong on Fourside and features a tiny Mario and a tiny Peach representing the helpless citizens.
  • Kill Enemies to Open: The first level of Adventure Mode features a fighting spot where the player has to dispatch all Yoshis before being able to move forward. And in the third level, should the player reach one of the many fake Triforce chambers, they won't be leave without defeating a Link clone first (though if all of them are defeated before touching the Triforce in the real chamber, the player will be rewarded with a bonus).
  • Lag Cancel: In addition to the standard form seen in 64, varitions are present in this game as well:
    • The auto-cancel, where an aerial attack's landing lag animation is canceled into a much shorter animation by landing within a certain frame-window (usually during the attack's endlag, but also sometimes in the attack's startup). Failure to do so causes the attacker to suffer the entire landing lag animation, increasing vulnerability. Auto-canceling is present in every smash title, but is comparatively strengthened by the removal of L-canceling from Brawl onward.
    • Landing out of a jump can shorten the ending lag of several specials. The most (in)famous example of this is Falco's laser in Melee, whose aerial version is superior than its grounded version in virtually every way (to the point where a player would only fire a grounded laser by accident): not only does it have a significantly faster startup and higher rate of fire than its grounded version, but it allows Falco to maintain control of his movement in the air, including triggering a fastfall. This combines with his high fallspeed to allow him to autocancel out of his aerial laser and be actionable far more quickly than his grounded laser would allow.
    • Melee features a unique movement technique called "wavedashing" which combines the game's directional airdodge mechanic with the ground's low friction value: by airdodging forward/backward and slightly down, they can slide along the ground for a certain distance (which is different for each character; Luigi has the longest wavedash and Peach has the shortest). This allows for more precise movement which is less laggy than rolling and typically faster and more versatile than running (which prevents characters from using most of their normal attacks).
    • Certain characters like Ness, Yoshi, Mewtwo and Peach have access to "double-jump cancels" (or "DJC"), which allow them to cancel the initial ascent of their double-jump with an aerial attack and immediately fall back to the ground. This can dramatically reduce the lag between attacks, especially combined with the aforementioned L-cancels. This was mostly removed after Melee, although some characters have retained some semblance of a DJC: in Ultimate, Peach can abuse her float in a similar fashion to halt her ascent and instantly fall, Ness has unique double-jump cancel mechanics with his PSI Magnet, and Lucas can cancel his upward momentum and fall back to the ground by pressing Jump+Grab in midair on the same frame.
    • Certain attacks and animations can be cancelled out of with a jump. The most famous of these are Fox and Falco's down-special "Reflectors" in Melee (which players often refer to as a "Shine"). Not only do both of these attacks have a total lack of startup frames (both hit on frame-1), but players can also cancel their endlag by simply jumping out of them. This can be combined with the wavedash mechanic to form a potentially-infinite technique called "Waveshining", although the maximum potential of this technique is considered beyond the limits of human execution.
  • Last Lousy Point:
    • The Diskun Trophy is not worth the effort, and wouldn't be, even if the game paid you by the hour to complete it. Ignore that trophy, you'll thank TV Tropes. It requires you to get every single point bonus in the game. It's worse than you'd think, since many will never occur in a normal match and are difficult to get even when it's all you're trying to do. It's obscene.
    • Young Link's Target Challenge is notably more difficult than the other ones; most of the targets are spread out very far and behind obstacles. But that's not the worst part: there's a massive Guide Dang It! at the beginning when you have to Wall Jump out of a pit, the only time in the game where this move is required. One of the only things that indicates this technique exists at all is Samus's 1-player mode completion video, which of course doesn't explain how to do it.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo:
    • The Motion-Sensor Bombs are from GoldenEye (1997), which is no longer under Nintendo's ownership due to it being part of Rare and the license issues surrounding the movie. The is lampshaded in its trophy description, which lists its origin as "TOP SECRET". The Japanese Version of Melee instead uses the Remote Mine model from Perfect Dark, and the trophy description actually verifies the game of origin.
    • The Cloaking Device is an item from Perfect Dark, another Rare property that Nintendo lost ownership of. Like the Motion-Sensor Bomb, its trophy description in the international version lists the game of origin as "TOP SECRET".
  • Leitmotif: The music that plays during the game's credits depends on the character you clear it with:
    • Mario's theme is "Super Mario Bros. 3".
    • Donkey Kong's theme is "Jungle Japes".
    • The theme of Link, Zelda/Sheik, and Ganondorf is "Great Bay".
    • Samus's theme is "Brinstar".
    • Yoshi's theme is "Yoshi's Island".
    • Kirby's theme is "Fountain of Dreams".
    • The theme of Fox and Falco is "Corneria".
    • The theme of Pikachu and Mewtwo is "Poké Floats".
    • Luigi's theme is "Mushroom Kingdom II".
    • Captain Falcon's theme is "Big Blue".
    • Ness's theme is "Mother".
    • Jigglypuff's theme is "Pokémon Stadium".
    • Peach's theme is "Rainbow Cruise".
    • Bowser's theme is "Princess Peach's Castle".
    • The Ice Climbers' theme is "Icicle Mountain".
    • Dr. Mario's theme is "Dr. Mario".
    • Pichu's theme is "Battle Theme".
    • The theme of Marth and Roy is "Fire Emblem".
    • Young Link's theme is "Saria's Song".
    • Mr. Game & Watch's theme is "Flat Zone".
  • Lethal Joke Character:
    • At first glance, Jigglypuff is a terrible character: Slow ground speed, short reach, two incredibly punishable specials, is sent flying off the stage if its shield gets broken, and is as light as you'd expect from the "Balloon Pokémon" in a game where launching people off the screen is the name of the game. However, Jigglypuff's real strength comes from its amazing air game: It's incredibly nimble in the air and can jump multiple times, which combined with effective aerial attacks with low-angled launch trajectories means getting back on the stage against a good Jigglypuff is a nightmare for many characters. Adding to that, its special "Rest" is the ultimate Death or Glory Attack; although it has an incredibly short range and leaves Jigglypuff completely defenseless for a long time, sleeping somehow sends people rocketing out even at relatively low damage (it can KO below 25% in Melee). And unlike in later games, Jigglypuff has plentiful combos into it. This has combined to make Jigglypuff the scorn of the competitive Melee scene, where it reigns as a top tier character that represents the opposite of everything Melee players typically love the game.
    • The Ice Climbers are a pair of small children with hammers who come from an almost completely forgotten game, and their signature gimmick of being a Puppet Fighter puts the second Climber in the hands of Artificial Stupidity whenever they're separated. An inexperienced Ice Climber player will quickly find the duo isolated and eliminated. But once one masters the art of de-synching the Climbers, allowing true control of them both, they become quite powerful, especially so in competitive settings where Wobbling is allowednote .
  • Lethal Lava Land: Brinstar Depths has lava far below the stage. It's mostly cosmetic, due to the height of the playable terrain; the real threat is the stage's rotation due to Kraid's presence.
  • Level 1 Music Represents: For most of the represented universes, at least one stage will have the music from the first level of that series' first game. The one aversion from the last game is also corrected this time, as "Green Greens" from Kirby's Dream Land is remixed and used on the "Green Greens" stage.
  • Level Goal: The platforming levels in Adventure Mode end with a goal modeled after the universe or franchise it's representing: a finishing flagpole in the Super Mario Bros. level, the Triforce in the level based on The Legend of Zelda, the top of the Brinstar Escape Shaft in the Metroid level, and the checkerboard finish line in the F-Zero level (all other levels end with Smash fights, finished once the pertinent opponents are defeated).
  • Level in the Clouds: One of the unlockable stages is Poké Floats, which consists of several floating platforms shaped like Pokémon in the skies during the afternoon. The floats are based on, respectively: Squirtle, Onix, Psyduck, Chikorita, Weezing, Slowpoke, Porygon, Wooper, Soodowoodo, Snorlax, Venusaur, Seel, Wobbuffet, Unown, Goldeen, Lickitung, Chansey, and Geodude.
  • Levels Take Flight:
    • Poké Floats takes place over, as its name indicates, giant Pokémon floats that fly over the skies of Kanto.
    • Mute City has a flying section when you approach the looping on the track.
    • Corneria and Venom both take place on the Great Fox, as it flies over the stage's respective planet, albeit from different angles.
    • Rainbow Cruise takes place over the same flying ship and floating platforms as in Rainbow Ride from Super Mario 64.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Including transforming Bowser's trophy into Giga Bowser by striking it.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: The "Peach's Castle stage" song from the original Smash makes a single appearance in Adventure Mode, during Luigi's appearance in the first battle (if you triggered it in the first stage). The problem is, this cutscene, bar loading times, is about 6 seconds, and the song isn't in the Sound Test.
  • Luck-Based Mission: There's a minor one that can make an otherwise difficult sidequest much easier to deal with. Adventure Mode features one level patterned after The Legend of Zelda, where the player needs to find the Triforce in order to clear it. There are five potential places for it to spawn, and a Dark Link fight is positioned at the four places where it didn't spawn. Two of the locations are at places where the player can check them without triggering a possible fight (which is shown by a Master Sword in a pedestal rather than the Triforce hovering over it), with the other three situated beyond one of the first two (thus, if the Triforce is in one of those, you have to go through at least one Dark Link to get to it). The fights aren't necessarily hard, but if the Triforce is in one of the first two positions, and the player avoids the very slow Mooks in the area, they can get the Switzerland bonus, otherwise known as one of the hardest stage clear bonuses to get (all of which must be earned to get a trophy for 100% Completion). Some players will quit and restart Adventure Mode multiple times just for the chance at that bonus.
  • Make My Monster Grow:
    • From this game onward, Giant Mode is an option in multiplayer, making everyone jumbo-sized for the match.
    • The Super Mushroom item, introduced in this game, gives any player who picks it up a boost in size and ability for about ten seconds.
  • Marathon Level: A Multi-Mook Melee mode introduced in this game is 15-minute Melee (renamed accordingly 15-minute Brawl in the next game), a long fight against Wire Frames (Melee) and Alloys (Brawl). And in this game, it must be done to unlock a stage.
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter:
    • Zelda was the first multi-form fighter in the series. Using her down special switches her from Zelda, who is slow and uses magical spells, to Sheik, who is fast and fights close-ranged. She always starts as Zelda, but can turn into Sheik at the start of a match by holding down certain buttons. This persisted in Brawl, but was dropped in 3DS/Wii U onwardsnote , which split the characters into two different slots and gave them their own down specials.
    • The Ice Climbers are a Puppet Fighter dual character. The player controls one of the Ice Climbers with the second following behind them, and they perform attacks in tandem. They only lose a stock if the player-controlled Ice Climber dies, but losing the AI-controlled one makes many of their moves much weaker and ruins their recovery.
  • Mercy Rewarded: There's the "Merciful Master" bonus awarded if you win a match without KO'ing anyone - which usually means they managed to KO themselves. And an even bigger bonus called "Switzerland" awarded for not taking any damage and not using any attacks at all. This even extends to using recovery moves for navigation.
  • Mini-Boss: There's the Fighting Wire Frame team as well as the Metal Bros. (Metal Mario and Metal Luigi) in Adventure Mode. Cassic Mode has just a fight against the metal version of any character.
  • Mini-Game Credits: Makes a return from the first game, but more dynamic, giving a feel similar to rail shooter, and the game proceeds to report your score at the end of the credits sequence. High scores do nothing, though there was an urban legend that shooting all the names would unlock Toad as a playable character.
  • Mini-Me:
    • This can be invoked in the series from this game onward, using the Poison Mushroom "power up" during a Mirror Match, where fighters will be fighting against or alongside a smaller version of them for a few seconds.
    • Both versions of Ocarina Of Time's Link are playable in this game; Young Link wears the same outfit and has the same moves as his older counterpart but is slightly faster and is a smaller target. This is downplayed in later games as there are still bigger/smaller versions of "Link" in later titles (with three in Ultimate) they are all separate versions of the character from separate games.
  • Missing Secret: The game has the weird situation of having 29 playable stages, and not 30. You could say there's a 30th stage (not counting the three trophy stages which are in Event Mode only), but it's the debug stage accessed via cheating. The hypothetical 30th stage, according to recorded statements by Sakurai, would have gone to one of the following:
    • The Ice Climber franchise is the only starter series without two stages; the stage menu shows an empty space under Icicle Mountain suggesting a 2nd stage. A second Ice Climber stage being planned was later confirmed by Masahiro Sakurai, who mentioned there was a second stage planned called Summit, which ended up being used in Brawl.
    • A Fire Emblem stage called "Akaneia" can be found using Action Replay, but it was scrapped. A Fire Emblem-based stage finally appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, however, under the name of Castle Siege.
  • Mission Control: Fox can receive advice from his teammates in their representing stages during matches, and a brief conversation occurs as well during the Star Fox stage in Adventure Mode. This feature became a mainstay for all subsequent Smash games, which also expanded the idea to Snake and Pit.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: The game uses one of these to unlock Luigi. In order to unlock Luigi, you have to finish the first stage of Adventure mode while the 1's digit in the seconds counter of the level's timer is 2. This will cause Luigi to replace Mario in the battle that normally occurs after the level. Then you have to play through the rest of Adventure Mode, and defeat Luigi in his Challenger Approaching battle.
  • Moveset Clone: Notably nearly half of the 14 newcomers are clones, with six in total, which are consistently placed in the extremes of the character select screen, in recessed boxes adjacent to their original equivalents. According to Sakurai, these clones were added mid-development to spruce up the roster as he thought fans would be disappointed with the roster size, while the game didn't have enough development time to add even a single unique newcomer in their place instead.
    • Luigi has undergone substantial Divergent Character Evolution in relation to Mario, being in the realm of a "semi-clone" in this game. However, Mario gained a new proper clone in Dr. Mario, who is supposed to be a "slower but more powerful Mario"... in theory anywaynote .
    • Link has Young Link, who is essentially a "lighter, smaller, and weaker version of Link that's much faster".
    • Falco is a clone of his teammate Fox, with them specializing in a host of different areas. Falco runs much slower, but jumps higher; Falco is a bit heavier and can especially survive vertical hits longer, but Fox's recovery moves go a lot farther; Falco is much better at KOing horizontally and downward thanks to his much stronger forward smash and devastating down aerial spike, but Fox can KO vertically much better thanks to his much more powerful up smash and up aerial; Falco's Blaster stuns while Fox's doesn't, but Fox can shoot his a lot faster; then finally Falco's down special "Shine" launchs vertically, making Falco specialized around vertical-based combos, while Fox's launches horizontally at a low trajectory, making Fox specialize around horizontal-based combos, and doubling as a fantastic gimping tool when edgeguarding.
    • Unlike most of the series' clones, Ganondorf is completely unrelated to the character he's cloned from, Captain Falcon. In this game, he is straightup a much slower but heavier and more powerful version of Falcon. However all of Falcon's fire effects in his attacks were replaced with the darkness effect for Ganon's equivalent, as well as some of Ganon's attacks having an electric effect such as with his down aerial, and unlike other clones, Ganon does have a couple unique moves of his own; notably, Falcon's famous forward aerial Knee Smash was swapped out for a very strong over-arching punch for Ganon, referred to as the "Skull Crusher".
    • Pichu is a clone of a Pikachu, though is basically an all-around intentionally worse version as the game's Joke Character, with it not being any faster than Pikachu (it actually even runs a bit slower), but it's much lighter (being the lightest character in the game even), the reach of its attacks are shorter, and most of its attacks are weaker or otherwise less effective. Most notoriously to hammer the point home, it also has a gimmick that it takes damage from its own electric attacks, handwaved as being from Pichu's "inexperience".
    • Marth, a spacing-oriented character with a devastating "sweetspot" for his attacks at the very tip of his blade, has Roy as his clone, standing out for both of them being hidden characters. Roy recycles Marth's animations but his sword is heavier (giving his moves more lag) and on fire (giving some of his moves a fire effect when they hit), giving his attacks slightly different properties - in particular his neutral-B attack can be charged to devastating effect, his Counter operates differently, and he does the most damage with the base of his blade instead of the tip. Roy in essence is supposed to operate as the Lightning Bruiser version of Marth, rushing down opponents and punishing them harshly when he does get in, but due to flawed balancing in this game, Roy ends up more of a Fragile Speedster minus the required compensation and thus worse than Marth in nearly every relevant way.
  • My Future Self and Me: Link and Young Link, due to them being actually the one and same character in Ocarina of Time, only from different eras.
  • No-Damage Run:
    • Clearing the entirety of either Classic, Adventure, or All-Star modes without taking damage gives you a special bonus. If you're going for the Diskun trophy that requires earning every bonus, this is gonna be one of the Last Lousy Points. Luckily, all three modes grant the same bonus, so you only have to do it once.
    • There's also two bonuses for clearing a single round without taking damage — Impervious, if you dealt damage to any enemies; or Switzerland, if you didn't.
  • Non-Indicative Name:
    • The stage "Mushroom Kingdom II" is actually based on Subcon, the dream world from Super Mario Bros. 2.
    • For a minor example, the "Rare Trophy" jingle that can be found in the Sound Test doesn't play when you obtain a rare trophy, but rather when you obtain your last remaining trophy from the Lottery.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: Out of all the games in the series, this one has the least amount of plot. At least Super Smash Bros. 64 showed that the fighters were dolls from a child's toybox brought to life by Master Hand. Here, the fighters are trophies inexplicably brought to life. Nothing on where they came from or who brought them together.
  • No Points for Neutrality: Due to the major Developer's Foresight factor regarding the bonuses, the game shows a notable aversion of the trope. The Switzerland bonus is won by going through a match without ever being attacked or attacking anyone else.
  • Nostalgia Level:
    • Mushroom Kingdom I and II, which are based respectively on Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 2, along with Flat Zone which is based on the Game & Watch games.
    • For the context of the Smash series itself, the stages Kongo Jungle, Yoshi's Island, and Dream Land from the first game can be unlocked to play in (all of them, interestingly, via the respective Stadium modes). They're even identified as Past Stages in-game.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: The ReDead trophy clarifies that ReDeads are magical constructs made to behave and look like the walking dead as an exercise in psychological warfare.
  • Official Game Variant: The manual suggests several do-it-yourself minigames, such as racing around the Temple stage, or using the rock on the Kongo Junglenote  stage for king-of-the-rock.
  • Old Save Bonus: Having a save file of Pikmin on your Memory Card unlocks the Captain Olimar trophy.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: The Pokémon battlefield stage has an ominous chorus remix of the Pokémon theme.
  • One-Hit Kill: Roy's fully charged B attack, Flare Blade. It's powerful enough to not only cause huge damage to its target, but also deliver a strong knockback onto them that is near-guaranteed to send them away from the battlefield.
  • One-Winged Angel: By beating the Adventure mode on a hard enough setting and under a certain time limit, the last boss Bowser transforms into the giant beast that is Giga Bowser.note  Brawl actually has this as Bowser's Final Smash, Giga Bowser.
  • Optional Boss: The Link fights in the Underground Maze area in Adventure Mode, as the objective in the level is to simply get to the Triforce. There's a score bonus for beating Link in all matches in this level.
  • Orchestral Bombing: Starting from this game, the OST of the Smash series does this for lots of older Nintendo themes, thus providing iconic Orchestral Versions of them. In a literal context, several of the Melee themes have been in turn performed by the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra and released as an album called Smashing...Live!
  • Original Generation: While Giga Bowser is still technically Bowser, this extra-bestial form is unique to the Super Smash Bros. games, to the point where his series icon in Melee is the Smash Bros. insignianote  and his spirit in Ultimate is listed under the Smash Bros. series while all the other Bowser spirits are labeled under the Mario series.
  • Ornamental Weapon: Ganondorf's sword, which is only used for a victory pose in this game and a taunt in Brawl, and is otherwise kept in Hammerspace. It wouldn't be until much later in the series when it would be part of Ganondorf's standard attacks.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: From this game onwards, Marth's taunts and win quotes make him out to be self-centered, or at least to anyone not familiar with Japanese speech and inflections. (For example, "Everybody, watch over me" being mistranslated as "Everybody, look at me") Complete opposite of his personality.
  • Outside Ride: The Big Blue stage has characters fighting on all of the F-Zero cars as ther race. Falling on the track itself is near-instant death.
  • Pacifist Run: The Pacifist bonus from the first game returns, and is joined by another bonus called "Switzerland" which requires not being attacked as well (complete neutrality). Yet another bonus is called "Peaceful Warrior," which lets you attack an enemy but not KO them. And all of these are necessary for 100% Completion. There are some AI quirks in certain stages that help with getting these.
  • Palmtree Panic: Starting from this game, there has been at least one battle stage set in a coast, namely one from a represented video game franchise: Great Bay from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask in Melee itself plays the role, taking place specifically in the outer area of the Marine Research Laboratory. And unlike in all future Smash games (including Ultimate, where this stage returns), water acts as a Bottomless Pit.
  • Play as a Boss: A glitch makes it possible to play as Master Hand.
  • Power Creep, Power Seep:
    • The game brings Ganondorf and the Ice Climbers. The former, due to time constraints in development, was made as a Captain Falcon clone, thus replaces his powerful sorcery with punches and kicks; powerful punches and kicks, sure, but nothing like what he demonstrated in the Zelda series. The latter, originally just a hammer-wielding duo, got cool ice powers just because they were in a crossover.
    • Played with Roy's sword; in The Binding Blade the titular weapon turned him into a walking machine of death, and it only caught on fire when he landed a critical. In Melee, though he can set it on fire anytime he wants, these are toned down so they are normal attacks. The reason why this isn't a straight example is that Roy actually did debut in Smash. Incidentally though, it also received a boost: unlike other legendary weapons in the series, the Binding Blade has a limited number of uses and it can break, while in Smash, Roy can use it as much as Marth and his descendants do with Falchion, Ike with Ragnell or Corrin with Yato.
  • Pressure-Sensitive Interface: The GameCube's joystick has touch-sensitive shoulder buttons, with another button at the very bottom of each of the buttons. The shoulder buttons are used for shielding. Lightly pushing the button made a larger but more translucent, and likely weaker, shield; pushing the button harder made the shield more compact as well as more durable and opaque.
  • Production Foreshadowing: There are trophies for Animal Crossing characters (which was already released in Japan at the time but not America) and a single character from Cubivore: Survival of the Fittest (said character was cut from the final game). Both trophies are said to be from "Future Releases".
  • Promoted to Playable: The game marks the first time that Sheik, Ganondorf and (if one doesn't count The Legend of Zelda CD-i Games) Princess Zelda have ever been playable in any game. Also, whereas Metal Mario and Giant Donkey Kong appear as unplayable bosses in Super Smash Bros. 64, from Melee onward anyone can be made metal or giant with the Metal Block and Super Mushroom items respectively.
  • Random Number God: A very strange case with its Item Containers; They all had a very low chance of producing a Goomba or a Redead on the field, whether it was during a normal Match or Event Mode.
  • Rare Random Drop: There is a 1 in 151 chance of getting Mew from a Poké Ball, and a 1 in 251 chance of getting Celebi. Disappointingly, they only appear and fly away, but reward you with a lot of points, and an alert after the match is done telling that you met them for the first time.
  • Recurring Boss: Bowser is your opponent in several of the events after the first (including a harder sequel to the first event), including in one of the obligatory All-Star Battles and as part of the final battle (his Giga Bowser form is the True Final Boss).
  • Rise to the Challenge: The Ice Climber themed stage. In this case, it's auto-scrolling rather than only scrolling up as you climb (though climbing makes it go faster), but the frame of reference still determines where you die. Sometimes, just to confuse the player, the scrolling reverses, and you have to descend for your life.
  • Same Content, Different Rating: The game is rated T for Teen in the Americas, a bump from the E-rated first game. Other than the increased frantic action in the fights, the game is only barely more violent than the original game. The higher rating is partly due to the game coming out at a unique time for the gaming industry, in which the increasing realism of graphics and the aftermath of the 1999 Columbine school shooting led to renewed scrutiny towards violence in video games. Because of this the Entertainment Software Rating Board handed out T ratings to various stylized-looking games for featuring levels of violence that would've generated E ratings just a few years prior, later creating the E10+ rating in 2005 to create a better middle ground for games that teetered this newfound line.
  • Secret Character: A greater amount of hidden characters than the original game, which only had four. And thanks to the availability of new modes, the methods to unlock the characters are more varied as well. Mewtwo in particular takes the Guide Dang It! to the extreme, you have to play over 20 player-hours (that is, 20 hours divided by the number of people playing) or fight around 700 matches. The other secret characters are: Luigi, Jigglypuff (these two reprising the status from the first game, whereas Ness and Captain Falcon became starter characters here), Marth, Mewtwo, Mr. Game & Watch, and all clones (Dr. Mario, Ganondorf, Falco, Young Link, Pichu and Roy).
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: After beating Samus in Adventure Mode, the entire planet of Brinstar initiates a self-destruct sequence. You then have to climb up the caverns to get to a teleporter and escape before everything blows up.
  • Serial Escalation: Melee drastically increased the number of characters and stages in comparison to its predecessor, to the point of incorporating Nintendo franchises that, at the time, weren't as well-known or renowned as others (such as Ice Climber, Game & Watch and most notably Fire Emblem). Several new modes (namely Adventure Mode, Event Match, Home-Run Contest, All-Star Mode and the trope-naming Multi-Man Melee, as well as the unique Special Smash modes) were added as well, and many of them would reappear in the subsequent games. Lastly, Melee started the trend of introducing unique bosses other than Master Hand, with the addition of Crazy Hand and Giga Bowser.
  • Shapeshifting Sound: Zelda/Sheik, a Swap Fighter, have their transformation accompanied by the "secret unlocked" jingle from throughout the The Legend of Zelda games. This is retained in Brawl, but not in later games due to the characters having been separated.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Icicle Mountain, based on the Ice Climber universe takes place on a snowy mountain, yet the players are constantly pushed around by wind rather than Frictionless Ice.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: When only 30 seconds remain, the retro Mushroom Kingdom I and II stages switch the audio themes to, respectively, a faster-paced version in the former, and a boss theme in the latter. This also happened in the original Nintendo 64 game with the retro Mushroom Kingdom stage.
  • Speedrun Reward: You earn the Wolfen trophy for beating Adventure Mode in under 18 minutes and 20 seconds as well as the Mach Rider trophy for doing the same with Classic Mode in under 5 minutes.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Bowser, who already has a spiky shell to go along with his villainy, takes this and runs with it when turning into Giga Bowser, pumping his spikiness up to Kaiju levels.
  • Spiteful A.I.: The A.I. has been known since this game to leap right off the stage and get KOed if a human-controlled character has been launched away from solid ground and is taking too long to return.
  • Sprint Shoes: The Bunny Hood from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask makes an appearance as a usable item in this game as well as Brawl, where it increases jumping ability as well as speed. Ironically, due to the game's gimmick of forfeiting players who fall off-screen, both the official website and in-game trophy room describe it as an occasional Power Up Letdown in terms of maneuverability if worn by the fastest characters.
  • Stance System: Zelda can transform into Sheik, and each form has unique movesets. Due to the huge difference between each "stance", both the community and development team considers each of them separate characters (which was later embraced by Smash 4, where Zelda and Sheik were separated for technical reasons.
  • Superboss: The game's Adventure Mode has several examples:
    • From this game onward, Crazy Hand will join Master Hand as the final boss of Classic Mode if the player can get up the ladder fast enough while playing on a specific difficulty.
    • By far the most notable is if you beat Bowser in Adventure Mode after reaching the final battle in less than 18 minutes on Normal or harder without continuing, you'll then fight a gigantic, monstrous version of him known as Giga Bowser.
    • To a lesser extent, there is the Giant Kirby fight in Stage 5, accessible after beating the 15 Kirby team in less than 30 seconds.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Water in this game is treated as a bottomless pit that doesn't break your fall.
  • Swap Fighter: Zelda and Shiek are one and the same and are essentially the Trope Codifiers. Their down B has them shift between one another.
  • Switch-Out Move: Zelda and Sheik are two fighters who have their own unique playstyles, but they share a down special that allows them to transform into each other.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: A remix of the main opening theme exists as an alternative song to Multi Man Melee, and is the song that plays in Event Matches 1 and 51.
  • Third Eye: A rare unintentional example. The Daisy trophy has a third eye in the back of its head. You're able to zoom in close enough behind the hair to see it. Later revisions of Melee removed the eye, but it's still creepy to realize it was there in the first place, especially if you weren't aware of it beforehand.
  • Time Keeps On Ticking: Both this game and Brawl have this during the pause screen in some areas, like the Target Tests. Probably justifiable in that case, as pausing the game also gives you a good look at where all the targets are.
  • Title Scream: At the end of the game's opening intro, the announcer screams "SUPER! SMASH BROTHERS! MELEEEEEEEEEEE!"
  • Training Dummy: The Sandbag, which made its debut in this game. It is sentient, but as its trophy description demonstrates, it's totally cool with getting smacked around. In this game, it serves as the "ball" in the Home-Run Contest minigame, but was later introduced as an item in Brawl.
  • True Final Boss: Both this game and Brawl have Crazy Hand in Classic Mode, who will appear alongside Master Hand only if the difficulty level is set high enough and certain other conditions are met. The Adventure Mode in this game has similar conditions for fighting Giga Bowser. Beating him earns you a trophy and the sight of Bowser's Adventure Mode trophy actually falling into the abyss, then exploding into a million tiny fragments.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: The credits of the game become part of a shooting minigame, and this tradition was carried over to all subsequent games (except for the Adventure Mode of Brawl and Ultimate, which use standard credits).
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: In both this game and Brawl, if you do an endless-time match with pause turned "off" (i.e. activate the setting that disallows pausing during a match), you can't escape the match unless you turn the game off.
  • Unperson: The "Original Game Staff" section of the credits omits notable key staff from the original games who had left Nintendo and/or passed away by the time of Melee's release. In particular, the names of Shouzou Kaga (the creator of Fire Emblem) and Gunpei Yokoi (creator of the original Game & Watch games and producer of Metroid and Dr. Mario) are nowhere to be seen.
  • Villain Team-Up: Event 51: The Showdown has the player face off against Giga Bowser, Ganondorf, and Mewtwo, all of whom are the main antagonists of their respective seriesnote  and the only antagonistic playable characters in the game.
  • Wall Jump: Some of the characters can wall-jump. They are: Mario (but not Luigi or Doctor Mario) Fox, Falco, Samus, Captain Falcon, Sheik (but not Zelda) Young Link (but not regular Link) and Pichu (but not Pikachu). However, all characters can wall-tech jump if hit into a wall. This technique is the only way Young Link can even start (and then clear) his Target Test challenge.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: This is the reason why the Motion-Sensor Bomb and Cloaking Device items, which originally hailed from GoldenEye and Perfect Dark respectively, have their respective trophies listed with their first appearance as "TOP SECRET", the Cloaking Device due to Rare being bought by Microsoft and the Motion-Sensor Bomb for the same reason as well as being from a licensed game.



Video Example(s):


Super Smash Bros. Melee

Super Smash Bros. Melee is a Mascot/Platform Fighter developed by HAL Laboratory under Masahiro Sakurai and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo GameCube in 2001. It is the second game in the Super Smash Bros. series.

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Example of:

Main / MascotFighter

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