Super Smash Bros. Melee (Japanese: 大乱闘 スマッシュ ブラザーズDX, Dairantō Sumasshu Burazāzu Derakkusu, Great Fray Smash Brothers Deluxe, often known as "SSBM" or "Melee") is a 3-D fighting game for the Nintendo GameCube. It was released in late 2001 in America and Japan, shortly after Gamecube's launch, and early 2002 in Europe.
Like Super Smash Bros., its predecessor, Melee features gameplay unique from that of other fighting games. Compared to characters in other fighting games, Melee characters have simple movesets, lack complicated button inputs and lengthy natural combos. In contrast, however, Melee greatly emphasizes movement and ringouts. Indeed, edge-guarding in Melee takes on much more significance than it does in most other games due to copious mid-air jumps and other methods of reaching the edge unfettered. Corneria and Venom appear as playable stages.
Like its predecessor, Super Smash Bros. Melee differs from traditional fighting games in that inflicting the most damage does not guarantee victory. Instead, opposing players must force their opponents beyond the boundaries of the stage. Most attacks inflict damage and can, if enough damage is dealt, knock back the enemy. Each character's health is measured by a meter that represents the damage received as a percentage. The higher the percentage value, the farther the player gets knocked back, and the easier they are to knock off the stage. Unlike other games of the same genre, in which moves are entered by button-input combinations, most moves in Super Smash Bros. Melee can be accessed via one-button presses and a joystick direction.
During battles, items related to Nintendo games or merchandise fall onto the game field. These items have purposes ranging from inflicting damage on the opponent to restoring health to the player. Additionally, most stages have a theme relating to a Nintendo franchise or a specific Nintendo game and are interactive to the player. Although the stages are rendered in three dimensions, players can only move on a two-dimensional plane. Not all stages are available immediately; some stages must be "unlocked" by achieving particular requirements.
Characters from the Star Fox series
- For other characters that appear in Melee, see the full list.
Fox is once again a default playable character. He retains his signature agility and light weight, and is still the second-fastest running character in the game. Unlike before, his blaster fires rapidly and he is equipped with new attacks which replace ones from before (like the commonplace "dropkick", which other characters used as well). While easy to knock away horizontally, Fox's fast falling speed allows him to endure attacks that send him upward. This makes it seem as though Fox is very heavy, but the reality is that the physics of the Super Smash Bros. games are different from the physics of real life. Fox is popular among key competitive players and has placed first on all versions of the tier list for Melee.
- Special Moves
Falco makes his debut in the Super Smash Bros. series in Melee as an unlockable character. He is a "clone" of Fox (adopting some of Fox's attributes from the previous game, like his Blaster, Up Special Move, and "loner" behavior), meaning all of his moves are the exact same, given some of them have different effects. For example, Falco's up smash is weaker than Fox's, but he has a stronger forward smash, and both of their down smashes do equal damage. Falco is slower, but jumps higher than Fox, and is only a little heavier (still lightweight). Additionally, Falco's physical (standard) moves have longer reach than Fox's, but his special attacks don't travel as far (with the exception of his blaster's shots, which travel farther than Fox's blaster's). Like Fox, Falco falls fast and is hard to KO vertically, but his light weight allows him to be KO'd easily horizontally. Being similar in nearly every attribute to Fox, Falco is also a key character used professionally by players, and places very high on the tier list in each of its versions.
- Special Moves
- Standard (B): Blaster
- Side (← or → + B): Falco Phantasm
- Up (↑ + B): Fire Falco
- Down (↓ + B): Reflector
Wolf makes an obvious, brief cameo appearance in Melee's introduction movie, where he and Fox are dogfighting each other. Slippy and Peppy appear at the Venom and Corneria stages whenever Fox or Falco perform their Easter Egg taunt. If Falco is not on the stage, he will make commentary alongside Slippy and Peppy, and if Fox is not present, he will talk with them. If both Fox and Falco are on the stage, then only Peppy and Slippy will converse.
Stages from the Star Fox series
Sector Z is no longer a playable stage as it was in the first game. It is succeeded by Corneria, though smaller. Venom is also a playable stage, but instead of fighting on the ship while it faces left, the characters fight on the ship as it faces the screen. Venom's background music is the main theme from Star Fox 64, while Corneria's background music is the Venom theme from Star Fox.
Trophies from the Star Fox series
Trophies are a new feature in Melee. They are considered a replacement to the character profiles from the previous game. Trophies can be earned randomly in Adventure Mode, by using coins in the Lottery Machine, completing special events, or completing Classic, Adventure, or All-Star mode with certain characters.
- Fox McCloud
- Falco Lombardi
- Peppy Hare
- Slippy Toad
- Great Fox
- Landmaster Tank
- Andross (organic)
- Andross (mechanic)