Super Smash Bros. Melee
Released: November 21, 2001
Super Smash Bros. Melee (Great Battle Smash Brothers Deluxe) is a popular fighting game released for the Nintendo GameCube shortly after its launch in 2001 (2002 in the PAL region ). It is the sequel to the 1999 Nintendo 64 fighting game Super Smash Bros. It builds on that game's broad appeal and involved multiplayer mode, adding new features. Melee is the GameCube's best-selling title with sales of 6 million games sold worldwide. Due to its large and somewhat unwieldy name, it is usually referred to by its acronym, SSBM , or, more informally, Smash or Melee .
A sequel, Super Smash Bros. Brawl , is under development for the Nintendo Wii.
Like its predecessor, Super Smash Bros. Melee is different from most traditional fighting games in that simply inflicting damage does not guarantee victory. In normal play, a player must force the opponent off the stage's boundaries, termed as a " KO "; this can be likened to a ring out in standard fighting games. Attacks both inflict damage and can, if enough damage is dealt, knock back the enemy; inflicted damage increases that distance, so sufficient damage must be accumulated before attempting a KO. Each character's strength is measured by a percentage damage counter. The higher the percent value, the weaker the player is, and the easier they are to knock off the stage. However, he or she may be able to jump back to the stage ("recover") using multiple "mid-air" jumps and special moves, and continue to fight. During the game, items fall into the game field [e.g., Super Mushrooms (the character grows), Poké Balls (release Pokémon ) and Koopa shells (to be kicked or thrown at foes)]. The speed of gameplay can be very fast-paced compared to the original at times, mainly when using aerial attacks.
The controls for Melee are simple: almost every single move in the game can be accessed via one button press and a joystick direction. This control scheme contrasts with that of standard fighting games which often require the player to memorize complicated and sometimes lengthy sequences of button inputs to perform effective attack combos. Different attacks can be accessed depending on which button is pressed or whether the control stick is tilted or "tapped" (quickly tilted). Tapping the control stick in the proper direction and/or along with the appropriate button presses allows the controlled character to run, jump, and perform the game's eponymous "Smash attacks", which are very powerful moves with substantial damage and knockback. In addition, each character has unique special moves, such as Link's boomerang or Mario's fireballs. Characters also have a number of defensive moves, such as the dodge and roll which combine shielding and tapping of the control stick of the GameCube controller. Though the core controls are simple, they have also been praised as equally sophisticated.
Single player mode provides the player with a variety of fighting and side-scrolling challenges. The three main playing modes are "Classic" (similar to the single player mode in the previous installment, but with all matches except for the last randomized), "Adventure Mode", in which the player character travels from one side-scrolling level to the next while battling foes, and the unlockable "All-Star Mode" -- in which the player character must fight all of the game's playable characters with only one stock life. One can also practice in Training Mode, or use the Stadium to play various minigames : Target Test (known as "Break the Targets" in Super Smash Brothers; the character must destroy 10 strategically-placed targets), Home Run Contest (after damaging Sandbag , the player must launch him as far as possible with a Home Run Bat or any attack in the characters arsenal) and Multi-Man Melee (fights with the Fighting Wire Frames , paced by time or number of foes). The Event Match mode allows the player to attempt to negotiate various scripted challenges (such as fighting a Pokémon themed match, or defeating an enemy in less than seven seconds).
In multiplayer mode, up to four characters may fight, either in a free-for-all or on teams. All characters may be controlled either by humans or the computer. CPU characters' AI difficulty is ranked from 1 through 9, with 1 indicating that the AI is weak and doesn't attack much, and 9 indicating it attacks faster and more often. The victor is determined in one of four ways, depending on the game type: Stock mode (a solo or team-based last-man-standing), Time mode (in which points are lost for a fall or self destruct and gained for a KO, with whoever has the most points after the chosen time period being designated the winner) Coin mode (in which coins are dropped by players when they take damage, with the winner being the player that has collected the most coins at the end of the time period) and Bonus mode (in which the players are ranked by points awarded for fighting style). A variety of other options are available, such as determining the number and type of items that appear during the battle. There are also special modes that involve changes to the game mechanics (speeding up or slowing down the game, for example).
Trophies ("Figures" in the Japanese version) of various Nintendo characters and objects can be collected in the game. These trophies include statuettes of various playable characters, accessories, and items associated with them, as well as secondary characters not otherwise included in the game. The trophies range from the well-known to the obscure, and even characters or elements that are or were only released in Japan. Super Smash Bros. had a similar system of plush dolls (Biographies); however it only included the 12 playable characters.
There are 290 trophies in the NTSC (North American) and PAL (European) version of Super Smash Bros. Melee , but 291 trophies in the Japanese version. There are three extra trophies which are obtained through use of cheat device such as an Action Replay in the NTSC version, but only two extra trophies in the PAL and Japanese version. The trophy, Tamagon, was removed due to alleged association with Satanism . Tamagon can be obtained in the NTSC version with an Action Replay, but is not in the PAL version at all. In the Japanese version, it can be gotten via normal means. The other two trophies, which can only be accessed using an Action Replay in all three versions, are Samus Unmasked and the Mario & Yoshi trophy. When the game was released, there was a promo event in Japan at Toys R Us stores, where people could get these two trophies written to their memory cards.
Two trophies were altered for the international release:
- The Topi trophy was originally a small seal , just as it appears in the original Japanese version of Ice Climber . Like the original NTSC /US Ice Climber release (and Famicom Disk System pseudo-sequel), the seal was replaced with a Yeti - Bird -like creature due to the fear of animal killing promotion. The English descriptive text in the Japanese and US versions is identical. The in-game Topis were also changed.
- In the Japanese version, the Proximity Mine was designed after the same weapon in Perfect Dark . However, in the US and PAL versions, the item's appearance and name were changed to the weapon from GoldenEye 007 (also used in the original Super Smash Bros. ). The reason for this change is unknown.
All eight original and four secret characters from Super Smash Bros. return along with four new characters available from the start of the game. Two of the secret characters from the original game are now automatically available from the start in Melee (Captain Falcon and Ness). Nine new secret characters have been added in addition to the two remaining secret characters for a total of 25 playable characters.
In addition, there are also 5 non-playable (only playable within Action Replay ) characters: Master Hand, Crazy Hand (in some cases both the Master and the Crazy Hand are at the end of Classic mode on higher difficulty levels), and Giga Bowser, a heavily enlarged and mutated version of Bowser. Also, there are male and female wire frame fighters (weakened versions of the Captain Falcon and Zelda characters that lack special abilities), found in both a later stage in Adventure mode and the Multi-Man Melee mode, and an utterly helpless Sandbag character, used as a target in the Home Run Contest mode. Neither the wire frame fighters, Sandbag, The Hand Bros., or Giga Bowser are playable without the use of an Action Replay.
One of Peach 's alternate costumes very closely resembles Princess Daisy ; she even becomes a brunette with daisy's flower broach. Similarly, one of Mario's costumes resembles Wario and one of Captain Falcon's costumes actually is that of Blood Falcon , which can be seen if the game is paused. Also, in two of the Ice Climbers colors, Nana becomes the one in front, instead of Popo.
Video game developer Hideo Kojima originally requested Solid Snake , character of the Metal Gear series, to be playable in Super Smash Bros. Melee , but the game was too far in development for him to be included. Snake has been confirmed to appear in Super Smash Bros. Brawl .
There are a total of 29 playable stages in the game, a threefold increase over the number of stages in the original (eight + one unlockable). Three of the stages from the first game may be unlocked for play here. Of the 29 stages, 18 are available from the start of the game, while the remaining 11 must be unlocked by achieving certain goals and completing specific tasks. Melee also boasts a number of "moving" stages, in which the camera scrolls along a fixed path. In order to stay alive, you must remain visible on the screen.
- Icicle Mountain (from Ice Climber )
- Princess Peach's Castle (from various games in the Mario series; not to be confused with the Peach's Castle stage from the original )
- Rainbow Cruise (from Super Mario 64 )
- Kongo Jungle (from various games in the Donkey Kong Country series; not to be confused with the incorrectly-spelled Congo Jungle stage from the original that may also be unlocked in Melee )
- Jungle Japes (based off the Donkey Kong Country series)
- Great Bay (from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask )
- Hyrule Temple (from various games in the The Legend of Zelda series)
- Yoshi's Story (from Yoshi's Story )
- Yoshi's Island (from Super Mario World ; not to be confused with the Yoshi's Island stage from the original that may also be unlocked in Melee )
- Fountain of Dreams (from Kirby's Adventure )
- Green Greens (from Kirby's Dream Land )
- Corneria (from Star Fox 64 )
- Venom (from Star Fox 64 )
- Brinstar (from various games in the Metroid series)
- Onett (from Earthbound )
- Mute City (from various games in the F-Zero series)
- Pokemon Stadium (from various games in the Pokemon Stadium series)
- Mushroom Kingdom (from various games in the Mario series; not to be confused with the Mushroom Kingdom stage from the original)
Sonic and Tails hoax
In 2002, the April edition of the video game magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly listed a " cheat " for the game that would baffle many players. The issue claimed that the Sega characters, Sonic the Hedgehog and Miles "Tails" Prower , were unlockable characters in the game. In order to be able to unlock them, the player was required to eliminate 20 of the wire-frame characters in the Cruel Melee mode. Then, both Sonic and Tails would supposedly fight the player simultaneously. If defeated, they would then become playable. EGM also stated that if a player completed Classic mode with either character, they would be given "a special surprise". To convince readers, EGM included some "screenshots" of Sonic and Tails in play.
Once players started fulfilling the supposed requirements, however, the "rumor" was revealed to be an April Fools joke, reminiscent of EGM 's similarly executed Sheng Long for Street Fighter II . More recently, Sonic is top third-party character wanted for Super Smash Bros. Brawl , and Yuji Naka , the ex-head of Sonic Team has stated he would like to see Sonic in the next game. Solid Snake, a third party candidate from the "Metal Gear" games, is included in Super Smash Bros. Brawl . In the October 2006 issue of EGM, Miyamoto has stated that he would like to see Sonic in Brawl.