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YMMV / Super Smash Bros. 64

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  • Abridged Arena Array: Exaggerated. In tournaments for the game, Dream Land is the only legal stage; all of the others have some combination of unbalanced layouts and stage hazards that makes them uncompetitive by comparison. Later games in the series would tone down the stage hazards a bit, making for a wider selection of stages to play on.
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: Nintendo's response to the game's presentation didn't sit well with them. Nonetheless, they decided to green-light a Japan-only release while believing it would bomb in sales. After its sudden rise in sales and popularity, the game was released overseas, where it would go to sell even more. Its later sequels quickly established it as one of the most popular fighting games.
  • Awesome Music: Par for the course with Smash—some songs are actually pretty good considering the limitations of the N64!
    • The Character Select Screen music is a repetitive little ditty, yet really catchy at the same time.
    • The practice/training mode music is nice, chill, and jazzy, hitting a very Osamu Sato-esque chord of experimental.
    • The bonus stage music is a nice rompy little tune, serving as a fitting background track for the more relaxed levels.
    • The Duel Zone music is a hectic, yet energetic song that gears you up to be ready for a fight like no other.
    • The Master Hand battle music is a dramatic, booming track, yet also one that is slow-paced, almost sounding like it came right out of a puzzle game's final boss.
    • The Credits music is also incredibly triumphant, making for a nice completion song.
    • Dream Land's rendition of Gourmet Race from Kirby Super Star is iconic, and for good reason, due to its bombastic nature and making an already catchy song even more so.
    • Kongo Jungle is a nice tune that nails the instrumentation of its Donkey Kong Country friends.
    • Peach Castle/Ground Theme is a nice remake of... well, the original ground theme from Super Mario Bros.. And even though the remake itself sounds quite dated nowadays, it's a large part of why modern fans still enjoy it.
    • Planet Zebes serves as a nice remake of the Brinstar theme, with the same charming instruments as the Peach Castle remix—and is also quite triumphant, fitting for a character such as Samus.
    • Yoshi's Island is a cute little remix of the Yoshi's Story theme, making use of more jazzy rhythms and varied instruments to make a neat remix of the game's core song.
  • Best Level Ever: Dream Land, for having a competitive-friendly design and a catchy stage theme. Unsurprisingly, it has made an appearance in every subsequent game except for Brawl.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The commercial by KCL Productions. Mario, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, and Pikachu all beating each other up while The Turtles' "Happy Together" plays in the background.
  • Cult Classic: Due to how overshadowed the game became due to its later installments, the small fanbase this game gets tends to admire it a lot more deeply and/or casually than the other games. This especially applies to its competitive scene; while it was never nearly as big as Melee's, its competitive scene is still alive today, while Brawl's and 4's became largely dormant when the newer games were released.
  • Game-Breaker: Pikachu, Kirby, and Captain Falcon are widely regarded as the best characters in the game. They are extremely fast and possess great combo and edgeguard potential, whereas Pikachu has insane recovery, while Captain Falcon possesses strong survivability. Meanwhile Kirby also possesses great recovery, combo and edgeguard potential, and a few attacks that possess deceptively long range.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • If Mario and Luigi continually roll backwards into a wall, their z-axis will change and they will begin to drift off the stage. Depending on what wall this is performed on, they will move either closer to the camera or away into the background. Performing any action other than rolling or getting hit will revert things back to normal.
    • In Training Mode, placing a character between four shells and then having the opponent perform a multi-hit attack can deal massive amounts of damage to the former, sometimes freezing both characters until the shells disappear.
  • Memetic Mutation: This game's remix of Gourmet Race has had a lot of memes, both wittingly and unwittingly. Be it the ever-prevalent remix using Kirby's voice clips, superimposing the song onto videos (to surprising effectiveness), and the ever-famous 1, 2, Oatmeal cover, it's safe to say the song has been through a lot.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Smash 64 feels unbalanced, clunky, and feature-barren by modern standards. That said, there are various reasons why this game spawned one of the most famous fighting game franchises on Earth.
  • Special Effect Failure: Due to the game's low budget, it happens to suffer from this from time-to-time. One notable example being Kirby's Pikachu hat clearly clipping through him whenever he takes Pikachu's abilities.
  • That One Attack: With Master Hand's debut comes the introduction of his infamous Finger Drill, a fast and unpredictable Cycle of Hurting. To quote one commenter:
    as soon as you see him spin you've just lost your last stock...
  • That One Boss: Since beating the game on Normal is a requirement to challenge him, Ness is the only secret character in the game that can't be cheesed into unlocking by fighting on the lowest difficulty. His unorthodox moves — especially his PK Thunder recovery — don't make things any easier.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Names like Mario, Link and Samus would probably still make the roster if Smash 64 released a few years later. The same can't be said about Captain Falcon and Ness, who limped into the 2000s with only a few titles to their name — to the extent that it's often joked that due to F-Zero and Mother's dormancy, the franchise that they represent is Super Smash Bros. itself since it's essentially the only reason that people after the turn of the century know about them at all (at least prior to EarthBound's Newbie Boom in The New '10s in Ness's case). The lack of Fire Emblem characters dates this game back to the era when the Fire Emblem franchise was Japan-exclusive.