Super Smash Bros. Melee
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Super Smash Bros. Melee (known in Japan as Great Melee Smash Bros. Deluxe) is a fighting game for the Nintendo GameCube. This is the second installment in the Super Smash Bros. series and is the follow-up to Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64. Various characters from Nintendo's popular franchises battle on different stages, also taken from the Nintendo franchises. Many major characters of the Mario franchise make an appearance. The game's major focus is the multiplayer mode, while still offering a number of single-player modes.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee, up to four characters fight on a side-view stage with invisible boundaries on each side. When a player hits these boundaries, the player is knocked out. Unlike other fighting games, the Super Smash Bros. series thus does not rely on hit points for each character which have to be brought down to zero, but on damage percentage. Whenever a player is hit, they get a certain amount of percent damage. The maximum damage that can be dealt to a player is 999%. The higher the damage percentage is, the easier it is for the player to be knocked out.
Players move around on the stages using the GameCube Controller's , and can jump by pulling up, or pressing the or button. It is possible to jump again in the air a single time. Some characters also have the ability to multi-jump in the air. By moving the down, the player can crouch or move a layer down on the stage.
A basic attack is performed with the button. When moving the into a direction, the player can attack upwards and downwards, or to either side. These attacks are usually weak and do not do very much damage. When the button is pressed repeatedly, the character performs a standard combo, a fast sequence of weak attacks. When the is titled fast and the button is pressed in time, the player can perform a Smash Attack. These are very powerful, chargeable attacks, which cause a lot of damage. Each character's moves for the side, up, and down Smash Attacks are different.
Character special moves
Each character has their own set of special moves, which are performed with the button. When moving the in a certain direction, or not moving it at all, a different special move is performed. The special moves are influenced by the character's individual personality, and have various effects, from doing more damage than with a normal attack, attacking from a distance, or repelling projectiles. Most characters' up + moves involve jumping, which makes it possible to perform a third jump in the air to prevent the character from falling down. The sideways special move was a new addition to the series.
Items appear on the stage at random and can be used by the players. Items have various effects, and some trigger by themselves. They can grant the character special abilities for a short time, like becoming invisible, contain a number of items themselves, explode when touched, or can be used as a weapon. When players are standing next to an item, they can use the button to pick the item up. Some items have effects that are activated when the item is picked up or touched, such as reducing the character's damage percentage, or turning characters into a giant version of themselves. Other items can be used as weapons. A held weapon can be used with the button. With the button, or and in combination with , the weapon can be thrown away. This thrown item can also hurt other characters when it hits them.
When pressing the or triggers, or the button, the character's shield is activated. Shields can be used to prevent any kind of attack from a character or an item, only grabbing cannot be prevented. If used at the right time, and for only a split second, the shield can be used as a reflector for items thrown and most projectile attacks. More powerful ones such as Samus' fully charged charge shot, however, will merely be absorbed by the shield. The shield has the form of a bubble (except for Yoshi, where it is a Yoshi Egg). The shield's power decreases every time it is used, and when the shield breaks, the character will be unable to move for a certain period of time. The longer the player waits before using the shield, the stronger it becomes, similar to Bowser's Fire Breath. Also, the harder the player presses on the or triggers, or button depends on how thick the shield is, a thicker shield will erode slower from damage but faster from time, while a thinner shield will erode more from damage but significantly less from time duration, adding to shielding strategy. Light characters may even be knocked out by the shield break.
Grabbing and throwing
Players are able to grab other characters and hold them. This allows the player to hit the character while they are not able to protect themselves or fight back. The player can also throw the character in any direction, or smash them to the ground. A thrown character can hit other characters and damage them this way, too. When not holding items and standing next to a character, the player can press , or and in combination with , to grab the character. The player can now attack the grabbed character by using the or buttons, and can also throw the other character in a direction by tilting the .
Unlike in Super Smash Bros., however, players can break free from grabs. The less damage the grabbed player has, the easier it is to break free from a foe's grab. However, if the player takes a lot of damage, it'll be nearly impossible to break free from a foe's grab.
In single-player mode, the player can use the to zoom the camera in or out. In VS mode, the player can move the in any direction, allowing them to perform uncharged smash attacks easily. By pressing Up on the , the player can use the Taunt.
Certain characters even have attacks called Meteor Smashes. These attacks can send opponents falling downwards, but they're not impossible to recover from. Some Meteor Smashes are very weak, while others pack a strong punch.
There are four standard fighting modes in Super Smash Bros. Melee. These can be freely chosen in VS mode. The regular matches in Single-Player mode only feature Stock matches, but different rules appear in the Event Matches. In all modes, it is possible that there is a tie between two or more players. When this happens, there will be a Sudden Death. It is a quick battle, where each of the players who are tied will fight. They each start with 300% damage, and the last player standing wins. The winner of Sudden Death wins the entire battle.
Players gain points by knocking out other players, and lose points by getting knocked out. When the time limit has run out, the player with the most points wins. It can be set by the player whether self-destructs cause players to lose 0, 1, or 2 points. A special function that displays the player's points during battle can also be unlocked. This mode is used by default in the VS. Mode, though it is rarely used in the Single-Player events.
Players have a set number of lives. They lose lives when they are knocked out. The last player standing wins. Optionally, a time limit can be specified. When the time has run out, the player with the most lives wins. This mode is featured throughout the Classic and All-Star Mode, and there is always a set time limit in these modes.
Players have to collect Smash Coins. Coins appear by hitting an opponent. When a player gets knocked out, they will lose half of his coins. When the time limit has run out, the player with the most coins wins. This fighting mode is rarely used in the Event Matches of the single-player mode, but is also available in VS matches.
Players get points for their fighting style. There are 249 different kinds of bonus points. Bonus points can be simplified for knock outs, for jumping a lot, for looking in the same direction all the time, for getting a rare Pokémon out of a Poké Ball, etc. When the time limit has run out, the player with the most points wins. Most bonuses will also have humorous names.
For a list of bonuses, see here.
Super Smash Bros. Melee contains a total of 25 playable characters (26 including Zelda's alter ego, Sheik); the twelve original characters return for this game, while thirteen more have been added. Fourteen characters (fifteen including Zelda's alter ego, Sheik) are available by default, while eleven more can be unlocked. Seven of them originated from the Mario franchise. These characters are Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Bowser, Dr. Mario, Yoshi, and Donkey Kong.
Characters in italics are newcomers.
There are twenty-nine selectable stages in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Eighteen stages are available by default, while the other eleven must be unlocked. Three of these stages are brought back from the previous game.
The Classic Mode is based on the single-player mode of the game's predecessor. However, it is no longer set what opponents will be fought and where. They are chosen randomly. Still, there is a set pattern for the battles. For setup, the players choose the difficulty (very easy - easy - normal - hard - very hard) and the number of lives (1 - 5) they will have for the whole mode.
All battles are in stock mode, with the opponents having one life, and a five-minute time limit (if in a rare case that if time runs out in a battle, the player will lose one life and will have to play that stage again from the beginning). The arena is one of the opponent's home arenas. There are also three bonus stages. When failing in one of them, the players do not lose a life for their upcoming battles.
When the players run out of stock lives during the mode's progress, they can use a continue to gain all lives again, but they lose points for that, and at any setting except for Very Easy, they will have to pay coins for the Continue. Those coins are won in any regular battle by performing Smash Attacks, or in the Bonus Stages of the Classic Mode. They can also be used to pay for the Continue in the Adventure and All-Star mode and in the Trophy Lottery mode.
The players' scores are saved after every stage. They get awarded points for the time remaining when a battle ends, as well as for the damage they dealt. They also get Bonus Points, just as in the Bonus mode. In the Bonus Stages, the players get points for how many targets they hit, or how far they made it in Race to the Finish!. Special Bonus points are awarded in the end for hitting all targets in the Break the Targets! stage, collecting all trophies in the Collect the Trophies! stage, beating Crazy Hand, beating the mode on the Very Hard setting, or beating the mode without losing a life. The scores are saved separately for each character, and there is also a total score for all characters combined.
The Adventure Mode is a mode taking place in most of the worlds of the games featured in Super Smash Bros. Melee. It features some special side-scrolling stages only available in adventure mode. As in the Classic Mode, the player chooses the difficulty (very easy - easy - normal - hard - very hard) and the number of lives (1 - 5) they will have for the whole mode.
When the player runs out of stock lives during the mode's progress, they can use a continue to gain all lives again at the cost of some coins, but a penalty is received (it is Continuation, which subtracts 20,000 from the player's current score). Coins are won in any regular battle by performing Smash Attacks, or in the Bonus Stages of the Classic Mode. They can also be used to pay for the Continue in the Classic and All-Star mode and in the Trophy Lottery mode.
Players' scores are saved after every stage. They get awarded points for the time remaining when a battle ends, as well as for the damage they have dealt. Bonus Points can also be received, just as in the Bonus mode. Special Bonus points are awarded for collecting a trophy that randomly appears on a stage, defeating Luigi, all five Links, Giant Kirby, the Metal Bros., or Giga Bowser; beating the mode on Very Hard, beating the mode without losing a life, etc. The scores are saved separately for each character. There is also a total score for all characters combined. Also, the hardest difficulty the character has played is viewed on the character select screen, represented by the color of the smash logo next to the point count.
The All-Star mode can be unlocked by unlocking all secret characters. Unlike other modes, players only have one life for the whole mode, and their percentage of damage is not set back after a battle. However, players can use up to three Heart Containers to restore their health. For setup, they choose the difficulty setting (very easy - easy - normal - hard - very hard). Unlike the other game modes, this one doesn't have a time limit.
In the All-Star mode, players have to fight all 25 characters of the game. All battles are in the stock system, with each combatant having one life. When players get defeated in a battle, they can use a continue to continue playing, but they lose half of their points for that, and will have to pay coins. Those coins are won in any regular battle by performing Smash Attacks, or in the Bonus Stages of the Classic Mode. They can also be used to pay for the Continue in the Classic and Adventure mode and in the Trophy Lottery mode.
In the first four rounds, the players will fight a single opponent in their home stage. In rounds five to eight, the players have to fight two opponents at a time, and in rounds nine to twelve, three opponents. In the 13th round, the players have to fight 25 Mr. Game & Watches in the Flat Zone, five at a time. After each battle, the players return to a stage in-between, with their remaining Heart Containers, showing which characters they have already beaten, and which ones they will fight in the next battle. Occasionally, a trophy can be collected here.
The players' scores are saved after every stage. They get awarded points for the damage they dealt. Players also gets Bonus Points, just as in the Bonus mode. Special Bonus points are awarded for not taking any of the Heart Containers, beating the mode on the Very Hard setting, or beating the mode without losing a life. The scores are saved separately for each character, and there is also a total score for all characters combined.
The stage that is used is depended on what character plays as player 2. The stages would go as follows...
Event matches are specially designed missions. They have a certain goal to be achieved. All the player can choose is his character, though even that is pre-defined sometimes. Event matches can break the rules of a normal battle in Super Smash Bros. Melee. The following table provides a rules summary of each of the 51 event matches.
Note: Recovery items do not appear at all during Event Matches.
To unlock more event matches, the player has to win a certain number of the previous ones, and unlock additional characters.
By playing in event matches, the player's record for each event is saved. Most events are stock matches, and in those the time the player needs to clear the event is saved as a record. For the few events in the Time setting, e. g. Event #31: Mario Bros. Madness and #32: Target Acquired, the number of KOs the player achieves is stored instead.
In the Stadium, special minigames are available. Each minigame opens the way to unlock one of the Past Stages from the original Super Smash Bros.
The player can practice here. There are no rules such as Stock or Time, and the opponent can be controlled either by the Training menu, and set to actions such as walking and standing, or by a human player. Items can be created to practice with them specially. When the player performs standard combos here, the maximun number of combos is saved for each playable character, and the player can unlock several Trophies when getting a high number of them.
Melee mode allows players to set up the battles entirely for themselves. They can freely choose their characters, the stage, and have a variety of modes to play in. When using names, records are saved for the Melee mode which can be viewed in the Data menu. Up to four players can join the fight, either human or CPU-controlled players. It is possible to only let CPU players fight against each other.
Players choose their characters from the selection screen, and human players can set names for their characters to be displayed above the characters' heads during battle, and also recognizing the battle for their individual Melee Records rating. Multiple players can choose the same character to play as, and the characters then come in alternate outfits for each player. Each character has at least three alternate outfits for the team color red, blue, and green, but there can be up to six different costumes. Some costumes feature gimmicks; for example, one of Peach's costumes looks like Daisy, and Mario has an outfit in Wario's colors. When the same characters are on a team, they appear in different shadings.
The CPU levels range from 1 to 9, with 9 being the most advanced AI. An optional handicap mode also ranges from 1 to 9. The handicap determines how fast a character is knocked out by other fighters, items, and the stage environment. When characters have a high handicap, they are more resistant to stage hazards, and can easily KO opponents with lower handicaps. Whereas, for the low handicapped characters, they can be sent flying (even get KO'd) pretty easily by stage hazards, and will have a very hard time KOing higher handicapped players. If the handicap is set to "Auto", all players will start with a handicap of 5. With the "Auto" handicap setting, the winner of the next match will get their handicap lowered, while the loser will get their handicap heightened. On a side note, unlike in Super Smash Bros., CPU players can have their handicaps adjusted in this game.
In the optional team battle mode, players can set up to three teams. The characters in the team work together and win or lose the match together. In Coin, Bonus, and Time mode, the points of each team are added and compared. In Stock mode, after a player of the team has been defeated, they can press to rejoin the battle, but takes away a life from one of their teammates. Optionally, the Friendly Fire option can be set, which makes it possible for teammates to (accidentally) hurt each other with their attacks.
The battle mode can be set to Time, Stock, Coin, and Bonus. For Time, Coin, and Bonus, the time limit can be set, and is 2 minutes by default. It can range from 1 minute to 99 minutes, or no time limit at all. The default Stock level is 3, the maximum number of lives is 99. Optionally, a time limit can be set for the Stock mode too. After it has run out, the player with the most lives remaining wins. For the Time mode, it can be determined how many points a player loses when doing a self-destruct. It can either be 1 (default), 2, or 0 points.
A special score display can be unlocked by reaching a total of 5000 KOs in VS mode. It displays the players' current score in Time Mode during the battle, which they would only know after the battle's end otherwise. Another optional setting is the Damage ratio, ranging from 0.5 to 2, default being 1. The higher it is, the faster do all players fly from the screen when hit by stage hazards or other fighters. Lastly, it can be decided whether players are allowed to pause the battle by hitting Start. Turning this off also prevents players from resetting the battle while it is paused by pressing +++.
On the Item Switch, the player can turn off specific items, change the chance of items appearing, or turn off items entirely. It can also be set which player is to select a stage for the next battle. By default, everyone can move the cursor and select a stage. It is also possible to allow only the loser of the last match to select, or to let the players select stages in turns, or to make the stage selected by the computer, either in a set order, or completely at random. When players have unlocked all the stages, except for the Past Stages, they can alter the random stage selection to exclude certain stages from the random routine.
After all preferences have been set, the players get onto the stage selection screen, which once again allows players to choose a random stage to play on. When all competing human players hold + when a stage is selected, the stage's alternate music track will play during battle, if it is available. When players are playing as Zelda and hold after a stage has been selected, they will start the battle as Sheik.
As the battle ends, the players get to the battle results screen, where they can view their KO scores, a list of their bonus points, and special statistics about their movements. These lists are available in all the VS Game Modes, except for Camera Mode and Stamina Mode.
Tournament: In this mode, played as a single-elimination tournament, the winner of a battle passes on to the next round CPU-only matches can be skipped. The number of combatants per battle ranges from 2 to 4. The number of entrants is selected and can be up to 64. It is selected how many humans are among the competing players. The stage selection mode is selected; "Single Random" chooses a stage at random on that every match of the tournament is played, "Always Different" chooses a new random stage for each battle, "Choose First" lets the player select the stage for the tournament in the beginning and "Choose All" lets the player choose a new stage for each match of the tournament. The level of additional computer opponents can be set from 1 to 9, applied to all, or to a random value applied to each CPU player. The rules settings for the battles have the same choices as the VS mode. Each player chooses their character and the tournament begins.
Winner out/Loser out: This mode is for human players only. A number of players fight against each other. The winner or the loser of the match, depending on the setting, gives his controller to the next player waiting for his turn to come. This continues endlessly, until the mode is canceled. Players are free to change their characters while the tournament is ongoing. When they hold down and , their character image changes to a Ditto, the placeholder for a random character. Here, too, the number of combatants per battle ranges from 2 to 4, and the number of entrants can be up to 64. The stage selection mode has the same options as in the regular tournament.
This mode offers a couple of different rules settings for the Melee mode. Any records (such as amount of KOs) are not counted.
Trophies can be collected in single-player mode, won in the special lottery mode, or acquired on special events, such as playing a certain number of matches in VS mode. There are 290 trophies in the game (293 in the Japanese version), with a large percentage being Mario series characters, items, and locations. Each of the playable characters have three trophies. One explains the character's backstory in the game he or she originated from, and is collected by completing Classic mode. The other two explain their Super Smash Bros. Melee background. They can be collected by completing the Adventure and All-Star mode with them.
When unlocking any of the secret characters, the player first has to beat them in a stock battle with one life each. When the player loses, several characters will appear again after the player has played the next VS match. Other characters require the player to achieve the task again. In addition to their special method of unlocking, all characters can alternately be unlocked by playing a certain number of matches in the VS mode.
There is only one method to unlock the stages, and the player does not have to unlock them by an additional battle like the characters.
Each stage has a track from the game it is from, and some stages also have alternate music tracks which are not necessarily from the game the stage is from. The alternate music is heard more rarely than the regular one. However, the player can force the game to play a stage's alternate music by holding or when selecting a stage on the stage selection screen. If more than one player is playing, however, every player has to do this action to get the alternate music.
When all stages are unlocked, the player gains access to the Sound Test, where the player can play all music tracks and voices from the game, and might occasionally hear an alternate music track in the menu. Also, if the player uses sound test and then opens the trophy gallery, whichever song was played last in sound test is played in the trophy gallery. However, the music has to loop, or else it won't be played in the trophy gallery.
An orchestrated version of the game's soundtrack was released as a special CD known as Super Smash Bros. Melee: Smashing...Live!.
Super Smash Bros. Melee received very positive reviews from most critics. The game came in sixth for two GameFAQs events: the Best...Game...Ever contest and as a poll for the 100 best games ever. Nintendo Power named Super Smash Bros. Melee the 16th best game ever to appear on a Nintendo console, and "Game of the Year" in 2001. IGN gave Super Smash Bros. Melee a rating of 9.6 out of 10, and ranked it as the 3rd best Nintendo GameCube game, out of all GameCube games released to date. Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the game a 9.5 out of 10, and it was ranked 92nd on the Electronic Gaming Monthly's "Top 200 Games of Their Time" list. In fact, it was ranked as the 3rd best Video Game of all time during the 2001 Penny Arcade Award Ceremony.
It was praised for its increased number of modes and characters, as well as improved graphics. The inclusion of the Adventure Mode and Event Match was highly complimented. Overall, the game's critical reception was very positive, and the game still continues to be a gamer favorite, being frequently played at tournaments alongside more traditional fighting games such as Street Fighter.
Super Smash Bros. Melee is the best selling game for the Nintendo GameCube, selling about 7.09 million copies worldwide, as of December 31, 2009.
Pre-release and unused content elements
Through the use of an Action Replay, many unused/unfinished stages can be found. The first is a large, gray stage with the background appearing to be some kind of pub. The music is the same as used on Fox McCloud and Falco Lombardi's stage Corneria. This is assumed to be a test stage because of its name, which on the debug menu is TEST. There are three other stages, "AKANEIA" (a possible predecessor to Castle Siege from Super Smash Bros. Brawl, a home world for Fire Emblem) "10-2", and "Dummy", which all crash the game when loaded. The last stage, named IceTop which simply loads Icicle Mountain except without music.
Ice Climbers freeze
Pick the Ice Climbers, and while wall walking up to the opponent, make the partner (Nana if the player is Popo and vice versa) grab the opponent, then, right as they have the player enemy grabbed have their main Ice Climber do Side+B. The opponent should now be frozen in place. Simply use a Screw Attack item to get them unfrozen. This doesn't seem to cause any damage to the disc.
Infinite Super Scope glitch
There is an in-game glitch to get an infinite super scope that will never run out of bullets. It is obtained by shooting fifteen small shots then two charged shots and during charging of the third shot the player must get hit, that will result in an infinite super scope. If the player throws the scope, it will then disappear.
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