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|Mooch Value 10||Wanted: 34||Available: 25||Reviews|
Gallery images may be from the same game for a different platform.
Super Smash Bros. Melee is a fighting game published by Nintendo for the GameCube on November 21, 2001 and then a few weeks later on December 2, 2001. The game is the first of two sequels to the Nintendo 64's hit title, Super Smash Bros. Melee sports a cast of 25 total characters, all of which originated in Nintendo franchises.
Super Smash Bros. Melee was one of the GameCube's best selling titles. It was a huge financial success and one of the main games to boost the console's sale noticeably. Its main appeal derives from its large player base as well as being simple enough for many players to play. Following its release Melee was featured in many fighting game competitions such as EVO and MLG events.
Super Smash Bros. Melee was developed by HAL Laboratory, with Masahiro Sakurai as the head of production. The game was one of the first games released on the Nintendo GameCube and highlighted the advancement in graphics from the Nintendo 64. The developers wanted to pay homage to the debut of the GameCube by making an opening FMV sequence that would attract people's attention to the graphics. HAL worked with three separate graphic houses in Tokyo to make the opening sequence. On their official website, the developers posted screen shots and information highlighting and explaining the attention to physics and detail in the game, with references to changes from its predecessor.
The game's soundtrack featured a large series of remixes and remakes of classic Nintendo tunes and some new ones as well.
The game plays in the same format of its predecessor. A big part of the fighting is items, objects that have direct or indirect effects in battle. The way a player approaches this game can greatly differ with some players opting for crazy 4-player item matches and others choosing to have one on one fights on the more standard stages. Most of these originated from a previous Nintendo franchise which may or may not be represented in the game by a character. The actual game unfolds exactly like the earlier title, with it's percentage based system and knock-out of stage concept.
One of Melee's most acclaimed qualities is its large amount of playable modes. Default matches play out in Stock (a predetermined number of lives) or Time, where matches end when a certain time limit expires. Coin and Bonus battles are also available. In the former, players can earn coins by damaging other players, the one with the most coins prevails. In Bonus battles, players must try to gain bonuses, which grant points, by fighting with style or accomplishing different feats.
A number of single player modes are also introduced. Classic mode derives directly from the original Smash Bros. The new Adventure mode, however, consists of a series of platform-style 2D stages, all of which represent multiple Nintendo franchises. For example, the first level is a basic side-scroller level designed to look like the classic Super Mario Bros. game with the same music and enemies.
|Party Ball||A container item that explodes with confetti and items, though on occasion it will contain bob-ombs or enemies.||Smash Bros.|
|Capsule||A container that holds an item or an enemy, it can be thrown at your opponent to do damage.||Smash Bros.|
|Crate||A heavy container item that the player will struggle to walk with while holding, there is a small chance of enemies emerging.||Smash Bros.|
|Barrel||A heavy container item, if a barrel is thrown to the side it will roll along the floor until it breaks.||Smash Bros.|
|Beam Sword||A powerful weapon with a long reach, it is similar in appearance to a lightsaber.||Smash Bros.|
|Home-run Bat||A baseball bat that almost always kills your opponent when used with a fully charged smash attack.||Smash Bros.|
|Fan||Why is the fan awesome? Because it is. The fan attacks your opponent with weak rapid fire hits.||Smash Bros.|
|Star Rod||An item from the Kirby series that can be used to shoot stars out the end.||Kirby|
|Parasol||An umbrella weapon that can be used for attacks and to float peacefully back to the stage.||Kirby|
|Lip's stick||An item from a Japan only game, when you hit someone with this item it will attach a flower to their head that continually drains their health.||Panel de Pon|
|Hammer||An item that constantly attacks when you pick it up until it runs out, it deals a lot of damage and knock back.||Donkey Kong|
|Ray Gun||A gun that shoots out long powerful green beams.||Smash Bros.|
|Fire Flower||A item from the Mario series, you can hold it and shoot a jet of flame out at your enemies.||Mario|
|Super Scope||A Nintendo peripheral created for the SNES, you can shoot rapid fire shots or charge up for a more powerful blast.||Nintendo|
|Green Shell||The shell of a standard Koopa, it will slide along the ground if you throw or jump on it.||Mario|
|Red Shell||A famous Mario Kart weapon, when it is activated it will go after the nearest player.||Mario|
|Mr Saturn||A useless item that walks back and forth from the Earthbound franchise. Mr Saturn is a chill bro.||Earthbound|
|Flipper||After it is thrown it will stop in mid air and hitting it will cause it to spin, anyone who walks into a spinning flipper will be thrown back.||Balloon Fight|
|Freezie||An item from the Ice Climbers universe that will freeze an opponent solid.||Ice Climber|
|Bob-omb||A famous Mario enemy, if it is not thrown it will walk back and forth and eventually explode.||Mario|
|Pokeball||A spherical object that when thrown releases a random strange and exotic creature known as a pokémon.||Pokémon|
|Barrel Cannon||A barrel that you can jump into, when inside it will begin to spin and you can press "A" to fire out of the cannon.||Donkey Kong|
|Motion-Sensor Bomb||An explosive that attaches itself to the stage and detonates when a player comes within its proximity.||Smash Bros.|
|Starman||A famous Mario power up that turns you invincible||Mario|
|Warp Star||An item from the Kirby franchise, when using this item you will fly into the sky and come smashing back into the stage doing some large damage, you can direct where you are going to land on the stage.||Kirby|
|Poison Mushroom||An item from the Mario series that debuted in the Lost Levels, this mushroom looks slightly different to the Super Mushroom and shrinks whoever it comes into contact with for a limited time.||Mario|
|Super Mushroom||Perhaps the most famous power up of all time, it makes the character become much larger and more powerful for a limited time.||Mario|
|Screw Attack||A character holding this items regular jumps will become screw attacks ala Samus Aran.||Metroid|
|Cloaking Device||An item that turns the player invisible for a limited time, though the outlines of the player can still be seen.||Perfect Dark|
|Metal Box||This item turns the player completely metal, you will move a lot slower and be harder to knock long distances.||Mario|
|Bunny Hood||This item allows the player to jump much higher and also move much faster.||The Legend of Zelda|
|Food||Nom nom nom. This item will lower your percent by a varied amount.||Smash Bros.|
|Maxim Tomato||An item from the Zelda franchise that heals a large amount of health.||The Legend of Zelda|
|Heart Container||An item from the Zelda franchise that heals a large amount of health.||The Legend of Zelda|
Pokeballs are a staple of the Smash Bros franchise, having appeared in every game. When thrown, a random Pokemon will be summoned. There are 29 individual Pokemon that can appear in Melee and an extra one (Ditto) can be accessed through the use of an Action Replay. The previous game only had 13 Pokemon. Unlike in Brawl, which limits the number of pokeballs on screen at one time to three, there can be an infinite amount of pokeballs on the screen at any time in Melee. Other than Electrode, the moves of a Pokemon that you summoned will not affect you. Mew will not appear in the game until all characters have been unlocked and Celebi will only appear when all stages and characters have been unlocked. After this, both have a 1-in-251 chance of appearing.
|Pokemon Name||Description of move|
|Articuno||Articuno unleashes a blizzard that freezes your opponents and deals massive damage.|
|Bellossom||Bellossom sings a song that will send anyone within a close proximity to sleep.|
|Blastoise||Blastoise uses a water attacks to push the opponent off the stage.|
|Celebi||Its appearance is very rare. It drops trophies onto the stage.|
|Chansey||Chansey throws out a number of eggs that can be thrown for damage and contain an item inside.|
|Charizard||Charizard shoots flames out either side of itself.|
|Chikorita||Chikorita will shoots multiple leafs straight forward damaging your enemies.|
|Clefairy||Clefairy will do one of four random attacks:|
|Cyndaquil||Cyndaquil will hop into the air and shoot flames down in front of itself.|
|Electrode||It charges up and then explodes. On occasion it will be a dud and if you are brave enough there is a brief window before the explosion where you can pick up Electrode and throw it.|
|Entei||A wheel of fire is shot directly upwards.|
|Goldeen||Goldeen will flop about uselessly on the stage.|
|Ho-oh||Ho-oh will fly off the screen and then unleash a column of fire somewhere on the screen.|
|Lugia||Lugia will shoot blasts of air out in front of itself that deal great damage.|
|Marill||Marill will run around and slap whoever it crosses doing a small amount of damage.|
|Mew||Mew will appear and then fly off doing nothing, you will get a notice to say you have seen mew if it is your first encounter.|
|Moltres||Moltres hovers in the middle of the screen and then flies off, anyone who touches Moltres will almost certainly be instantly killed.|
|Porygon2||Dashes forward horizontally does small damage to whoever it comes into contact with and then disappears.|
|Raikou||Electricity will surge around Raikou and anyone who touches it will be dealt massive damage.|
|Scizor||Scizor will fly around the stage dealing large damage and knock-back to whomever it comes into contact with.|
|Snorlax||Snorlax leaps into the air and then fall back down on the stage in a much larger form crushing those beneath him.|
|Staryu||Staryu will search for a target and then shoot projectiles at its targets rapid fire.|
|Suicune||Suicune creates a mini-blizzard around itself which does damage to opponents and has a possibility of freezing opponents.|
|Togepi||Topepi will do one of five random attacks:|
|Unown||Unown will fly off the screen and then fly back across the screen with multiple other Unown's dealing damage.|
|Venusaur||Venusaur will stomp down on the ground hurting those within close proximity.|
|Weezing||Weezing shoots out poison gas in a low damage, short distance move.|
|Wobbuffet||Wobbuffet will rock back and forward when hit damages anyone who walks into it. If no-one attacks it then nothing will happen.|
|Zapdos||Electricity circles Zapdos and it holds whoever touches it in place while it deals a hefty amount of damage.|
A new feature in this game is the addition of Trophies. Trophies (known as "Figures" in the Japanese version) are small replicas of various Nintendo characters and objects throughout history that can be collected throughout the game. These trophies include figures of playable characters, accessories, and items associated with them as well as secondary characters and properties not otherwise included in the game. The trophies range from the well-known to the obscure, and even characters or elements that were only released in Japan. The trophies include a description of the particular subject and detail the year and the game in which the subject first appeared. Super Smash Bros. had a similar system of plush dolls (Biographies); however, it only included the 12 playable characters.
There are 290 collectable trophies for the player to try and obtain in the American and European version of the game. There is a trophy menu that you can select; in this mode the player can gamble to try and win new trophies, a mode where the player can pose their trophies and a mode where they can look through all their collected trophies. The player can access the gallery to view all the trophies they have collected so far, a "new" tag will show up besides the recently collected. The trophy lottery allows the player to spend coins earned in the game to try and win new trophies. The collection mode allows the player to pose the trophies they have earned. The Japanese version of the game has some additional trophies but three of these can be gained in the American version through using Action Replay codes.
Classic - The successor to the 1 Player game in Super Smash Bros, players fight a string of battles with some random conditions (such as fighting Giant/Metal characters), interspersed with mini-games such as Target Test and Snag the Trophies. Your end battle is always the same: against Master Hand
Adventure - A mode with equal parts platforming and battling. Certain stages/areas are only accessible in this mode. The player is tasked with making it to the end of character themed levels, such as the Hyrule dungeon crawl level, where you have the chance to beat up Like-Likes, Re-deads, and Octoroks. Players make it to different stages by completing the battles at the end of them. By meeting certain conditions, players may be allowed to participate in special battles (such as, against Giant Kirby or Giga Bowser).
All-Star - Unlocked after acquiring every character. In this mode, the player must fight and defeat every character, with characters randomly teamed up to battle. Damage is not healed after each fight, it only heals when using one of the 3 heart containers in the lobby area. Trophies occasionally appear in the lobby after a fight.
Event Matches - In these specialized matches, players must meet specific conditions (such as collect 200 coins during the battle) or defeat special opponents (such as the cast of Super Mario Bros. 2). Only the first 10 are available to start, but up to 51 are unlockable by completing events and meeting certain conditions. The majority of the matches let you select any character to attempt an event, though some do have a pre-determined character that you must use.
Stadium Games - Simple mini-games including the Home Run Contest (smack the sandbag), Target Test (break the targets), and Multi-Man Melee (defeat as many opponents as possible). There is also an Endless Melee mode which pits the player against an infinite number of foes until they are defeated, Cruel Melee which pits the player against some of the hardest CPU leveled characters in the game, and 100/50/15 man melee where the goal is to defeat said number of foes.
Training - Standard training mode with adjustable conditions.
Versus Mode - The standard Smash Bros. mode. This is where the majority of friendly and competitive matches take place. The player can determine which items are dropped, which stages appear, how many lives each player has, or the length of the match.
Special Melee - Players play matches under various conditions, such as slow-motion, and giant characters.
Tournament Mode - Players set up their own tournament with various conditions, with up to 64 players participating. They can also set the final match to be a two or four player match.
Melee sports a total of 25 playable characters. The initial roster is composed by 14 characters, the remaining 11 are unlockable by multiple means. Characters found within the Melee Roster are composed of recurring characters (i.e. Mario and Luigi) and new found classics (i.e. Ice Climbers) from different popular Nintendo series. The methods for unlocking characters is quite varied, such as completing Classic mode a given amount of times, or reaching a certain number of Vs. matches. Some of the characters have very specific and unique methods for being unlocked. Whatever the method, before being unlocked and playable, each new character has to be defeated in a standard match. If the player fails to defeat the new character, he/she will simply be prompted to battle the next time the unlock conditions are fulfilled.
|Playable Character||Series Origin||Attained||Recurring|
|Mario||- Mario series||Intial Roster||O|
|Pikachu||- Pokémon series||Initial Roster||O|
|Bowser||- Mario series||Initial Roster|
|Peach||- Mario series||Initial Roster|
|Yoshi||- Mario series||Initial Roster||O|
|Donkey Kong||- Donkey Kong series||Initial Roster||O|
|Captain Falcon||- F-Zero||Initial Roster||O|
|Fox||- Star Fox series||Initial Roster||O|
|Ness||- Mother series||Initial Roster||O|
|Ice Climbers||- Ice Climber series||Initial Roster|
|Kirby||- Kirby series||Initial Roster||O|
|Samus||- Metroid series||Initial Roster||O|
|Zelda/ Sheik||- Zelda series||Initial Roster|
|Link||- Zelda series||Initial Roster||O|
|Jigglypuff||- Pokémon series||Unlockable||O|
|Luigi||- Mario series||Unlockable||O|
|Marth||- Fire Emblem series||Unlockable|
|Mewtwo||- Pokémon series||Unlockable|
|Mr. Game & Watch||- Game & Watch series||Unlockable|
|Dr. Mario||- Dr. Mario series||Unlockable|
|Falco||- Star Fox series||Unlockable|
|Ganondorf||- Zelda series||Unlockable|
|Roy||- Fire Emblem series||Unlockable|
|Young Link||- Zelda series||Unlockable|
Super Smash Bros. Melee starts with 14 characters that can be used when initially starting a new game. There is no need to use any methods to unlock these characters for play. When these characters are used throughout gameplay, they may help to unlock hidden characters within the game. They may also be able to collectively achieve certain trophies that were once found unattainable.
Multiple characters in this game are "clones" of one another. This means that they have essentially the same moves but handle differently and appeal to different players. This is a list of the clones in Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Roy/ Marth: Roy handles like more of a heavy character with his main area of damage being the middle of his sword. Marth handles more like a light characters with a shorter recovery whose main damage box is at the edge of his sword. Marth's Down B "Counter" attack is slightly faster than Roy's and always does 7% damage. Roy's "Counter," on the other hand, takes a little more time to perform but does 1.5 times the damage of the opponents countered attack. Roy will take damage from his fully charged standard special move but has more of a potential for damage. Marth has much greater range than Roy due to his hit box being at the tip of his blade.
Fox/ Falco: Falco is more of a heavy character and a fast faller after using an aerial move. Good at ground combos leading into air combos into a spike. A slower laser gun but, being a little bit more powerful, slightly stuns the enemy. Fox is a light character who is arguably the fastest character in the whole game. He is extremely good at doing combos in the air leading to a shine off of the edge. Has a much faster laser which can be spammed repeatedly to keep enemies at a distance, but there is no stun from his blasts. Falco has a worse recovery with his Up B and Side B (Falco Phantasm) having a less range than Fox's respective moves. Another notable difference lies in the characters' Down Aerial. Fox's Down Aerial functions as a combo attack, hitting six or seven times and having little-to-no knockback, whereas Falco's Down Aerial is a single hit spike.
Link/Young Link: Link and Young Link don't have to many substantial differences; Young Link is lighter and thus faster than Link; Link is heavier and slower than Young Link. Given the difference in the size of their swords, Young Link has a slightly shorter range than Link in certain moves. Both have similar moves with slight aesthetic differences. Both have the ability to use their hookshot to grab onto ledges, but only Young Link has the ability to perform a wall jump technique and it is actually required in his target test stages. There main special move is different when activated on the ground in the Young Links version does less damage but does immediate knock-back, Link's version will trap his opponent in the spin before knocking them away. When Young Link taunts he will have a swig of tasty milk, where as Link will just summon Navi.
Captain Falcon/ Ganondorf: Captain Falcon is a fast light character and a fast faller. Falcon is fast enough to break into many combos and is an extremely good character for chain throws. Ganondorf is a heavy and slow moving character. Despite the fact that Ganondorf is slightly stronger than Falcon, Falcon is fast enough to gain the same damage from multiple moves as one of Ganondorfs powerful moves in about the same time. Ganondorf has an arguably better recovery due to the Down B trick. While recovering, both characters can use their mid-air jumps, followed by the Down B (Falcon Kick/Wizard's Foot) and recover their midair jump for further use. The difference in use lies in the great range of Falcon's Down B, causing him to lower his position a greater amount than Ganondorf's attack, making the trick more difficult to use than Ganondorf's.
Mario/Dr. Mario: Both play extremely similarly with the only real differences being the after effect of each of their same moves. Both have the same exact speed and falling time, although Mario has slightly more range and slightly less power than the Doctor. Both have the same distance of recovery. Both of the characters can use their capes (Side B) to gain horizontal distance to the ledge and end with an up b recovery. Using the cape makes up for both characters' poor recovery. The two characters do have their differences, however subtle. For example: both characters have the same move set but Mario's ground A "jab" combo is faster than Dr. Mario's "jab" combo by about a quarter of a second and is only really noticeable when you have two controllers and are making both do the same moves at the same time. The first two attacks, punches, are perfectly timed but the third attack, a kick, sees Mario pulling ahead of the Doctor. This is a result of an extra few frames of Doctor putting his fist down after the second punch. Furthermore, Mario's and Dr. Mario's grounded Down B are the same attack with the same damage but, Mario's attack sends enemies launching straight up into the air while Dr. Mario's sends the enemies at an arc to either side of him. Mario's fireballs have a higher downward angle of trajectory from the hand than Dr. Mario's pills, the Doctor's pills deal random damage unlike Mario's fireballs. Bigger differences lie in the characters' aerial moves. Visually, Mario and Dr. Mario have the same Forward Aerial, but in practice, Mario's attack is a meteor smash whereas Dr. Mario's attack sends the opponent straight upward. Mario's Neutral Aerial reduces in damage and knock-back the longer it is out (which is the norm for similar ariel moves for other characters) while opposite is true for Dr. Mario's Neutral Aerial (unique to Dr. Mario). Both have similar cape attacks. These two are true clones with only mild differences and essentially a pallet swap to tell the two apart.
Pikachu/ Pichu: Following the trend of the clone characters, Pikachu is the heavier, stronger version of the character type, whereas Pichu is the lighter, weaker version. The most notable difference between the two is that Pichu hurts itself when using an electric attack, taking 1-4% of damage depending on the attack. This difference basically makes Pichu an inferior version of Pikachu. Its light weight coupled with its self-damaging attacks make Pichu much easier to KO than its evolved counterpart. Although the two have essentially the same moveset, other minor differences exist. Most of Pichu's attacks seem to be designed more around multi-hit combos whereas Pikachu's attacks are mainly one strong hit. Pichu's Forward Smash, for example, hits several times in a row and ends with strong knockback. Pikachu on the other hand, hits just once for high damage and knockback. Also note that Pikachu's Up B "Quick Attack" does damage (although minimal) to the opponent if it is in the path of movement, whereas Pichu passes harmlessly through the opponent.
Super Smash Bros. Melee has a total of 29 stages, 18 of which are available immediately. These stages run the gamut and each character typically has at least one stage that is representative of their homeworld and/or a stage from their series.
In January of 2003, Nintendo Power sent a live orchestrated version of the soundtrack to subscribers as a bonus. The track listing is as follows:
|Song Title||Song Length||Game Song is From|
|Planet Corneria||02:05||Star Fox ( SNES)|
|Jungle Garden||02:57||Donkey Kong Country ( SNES)|
|Great Bay Shrine||04:14||The Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link ( NES)|
|Dr. Mario||04:04||Dr. Mario ( NES)|
|Original Medley||05:00||Super Smash Bros. Melee ( GCN)|
|Fountain of Dreams||03:35||Kirby Super Star ( SNES)|
|Pokemon Medley||05:00||Various Pokemon Games ( Game Boy)|
|Opening||02:40||Smash Bros. Melee ( GCN)|
|Planet Venom||02:19||Star Fox 64 ( N64)|
|Yoshi's Story||02:43||Yoshi's Story ( N64)|
|Depth of Brinstar||03:41||Metroid ( NES)|
|Smash Bros. Great Medley||14:18||Various Super Mario Bros. Games ( NES)|
|Fire Emblem||03:52||Fire Emblem ( NES)|
|Green Greens||01:53||Kirby's Dream Land ( Game Boy)|
|Rainbow Cruise||02:49||Super Mario 64 ( N64)|
The songs were recorded on August 27, 2002, at Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Tokyo.
Conducted by: Taizo Takemoto
Performed by: New Japan Philharmonic.
Sponsored by: Nintendo Co. Ltd./HAL Laboratory Inc.
Produced by: AZA/HAL Laboratory, Inc.
Supervised by: Masahiro Sakurai.
Super Smash Bros. Melee received universal acclaim from critics and was praised for the numerous improvements it made to the formula of the original game as well as adding several brand new features. The visuals of the game got a great reception at the time of launch and it remains one of the best looking games on the Gamecube to this day. Melee's orchestrated soundtrack was also lauded for its nostalgic factor, incorporating the music of countless Nintendo classics. The game received an aggregate score 92 out of 100 on Metacritic and a 90.3 on GameRankings. Super Smash Bros. Melee is the best selling Gamecube game of all time with over 7 million copies sold, it was also the first Gamecube game to reach a million copies sold. It has also received numerous awards such as IGN's readers choice award for 2001, Gamespot's Gamecube game of the year and the Official Nintendo Magazine named it as 58th best Nintendo game of all time.
Melee was well received by high level fighting game fans and has been featured in the MLG as well as represented at EVO in 2007. The game has remained an active tournament game for over nine years. The game has remained popular with competitive players even after the release of Brawl. Ken Hoang is generally considered to be the best high level player of all time and has won over $50,000 from competing in various tournaments. The game was successful enough to spawn an inevitable and much anticipated sequel that was launched in 2008.
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