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Super Smash Bros. Melee facts for kids

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Super Smash Bros. Melee
Super Smash Bros Melee box art.png
North American box art
Developer(s) HAL Laboratory
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Masahiro Sakurai
  • Masahiro Sakurai
  • Hitoshi Kobayashi
Programmer(s) Yoshiki Suzuki
Artist(s) Hitoshi Kobayashi
  • Hirokazu Ando
  • Shogo Sakai
  • Tadashi Ikegami
  • Takuto Kitsuta
Series Super Smash Bros.
Platform(s) GameCube
Release date(s)
  • November 21, 2001 NA
Genre(s) Fighting
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Super Smash Bros. Melee, known in Japan as 大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズDX (Dairantō Sumasshu Burazāzu Derakkusu, lit. Great Melee Smash Brothers Deluxe) is a video game where players can choose from many people from famous Nintendo games and have them fight each other. Players can fight alone or team up with someone else against a friend. This game is a sequel to Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64. Super Smash Bros. Melee is for the Nintendo GameCube. The subsequent game is Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii. Star Fox and Pokémon, among others. The stages and gameplay modes reference or take designs from these franchises as well.

Melee includes all playable characters from the first game and also adds characters from additional franchises such as Fire Emblem. The game was first released in Japan in November 2001, in the Americas in December 2001, and in Europe and Australia in May 2002. The game received widespread acclaim from critics, earning praise for its visuals, simple controls, gameplay, and orchestrated soundtrack, as well as several awards and acknowledgments from various publications; it is now considered one of the greatest video games ever made.

It has become the GameCube's best-selling title with over seven million copies sold by 2008. Considered one of the most competitively viable Smash Bros. games due to its fast-paced and offensive gameplay, Melee has been featured in many competitive gaming tournaments, boasting a dedicated fan community which has kept it alive well beyond the game's original lifespan. It was followed by Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii in 2008.


Like its predecessor, Super Smash Bros. Melee differs from traditional fighting games as the objective is to force their opponents beyond the boundaries of the stage. Each character's health is measured by a meter that represents damage 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, which will result in the character's death and the loss of a stock, or life. 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. For example, by tilting the joystick to the side and pressing the "B" button, the character will use their "side special" attack. Tilting the joystick up, down, or not tilting it at all while pressing B will use the up, down, or neutral special, respectively.

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. Some items are throwable (ranged items), some do melee damage (battering items), and some have an instant effect on the player (transforming items).

Most stages have a theme relating to a Nintendo franchise or a specific Nintendo game and are interactive to the player. For example, the Mushroom Kingdom stage is from Super Mario Bros, and the Temple stage is from The Legend of Zelda. 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. Some stages feature moving elements and platforms and hazards that harm players, while others lack these elements.


Single-player mode provides the player with a variety of side-scrolling fighting challenges. The applicable modes range from "Classic Mode", which involves the player battling multiple opponents and a boss character, to the "Home Run Contest", a minigame involving the player trying to launch a sandbag as far as possible with a Home Run Bat for ten seconds. Some of these modes are personalized for the character; for example, the "Target Test" sets out a specialized area for a character in which they aim to destroy ten targets in the least amount of time they can. These areas may include references to that particular character's past and legacy. The "Board the Platforms" minigame from the first game was not included in Melee. Melee introduced "Adventure Mode", which takes the player to several predefined universes of characters in the Nintendo franchise. "All-Star Mode" is an unlockable feature that requires the player to defeat every character in the game while having only one stock and three health supplements between battles.


Bowser, Ness, Kirby, and Yoshi fight in a "Sudden Death" match on the Corneria stage, based on Star Fox.

In the multiplayer mode, up to four players or computer-controlled characters may fight in a free-for-all or on separate teams. The central processing unit (CPU) characters' artificial intelligence (AI) difficulty is ranked from one to nine in ascending order of difficulty. Individual players can also be handicapped; the higher the handicap, the stronger the player. Victory is determined in five ways, depending on the game type. The two most common multiplayer modes are “Time mode”, where the player or team with the most KOs and least falls wins after a predetermined amount of time, and "Stock mode", a battle in which the last player or team with lives remaining wins. This can be changed to less conventional modes like "Coin mode", which rewards the richest player as the victor. Players must collect coins created by hitting enemies and try not to lose them by falling off the stage; harder hits release higher quantities of coins. Other options are available, updating from Super Smash Bros., such as determining the number and type of items that appear during the battle.


Trophies (known as "Figures" in the Japanese version) of various Nintendo characters and objects can be collected throughout the game. These trophies include figures of playable characters, accessories, and items associated with them as well as series and characters not otherwise playable in the game. The trophies range from the well-known to the obscure, and even characters or elements only released in Japan. Super Smash Bros. had a similar system of plush dolls; however, it only included the 12 playable characters. One trophy is exclusive to the Japanese version of the game.

Playable characters

Super Smash Bros. Melee features 25 (26 if Zelda and Sheik are considered separate) characters, 13 (14 with Zelda and Sheik separate) more than its predecessor. Fourteen are available initially, while the other 11 characters require completing specific tasks to become available. Every character featured in the game is derived from a popular Nintendo franchise. All characters have a symbol that appears behind their damage meter which represents their series, such as a Triforce symbol behind Link's damage meter and a Poké Ball behind a Pokémon species. Some characters represent popular franchises, while others were less-known at the time of the release; Marth and Roy represent the Fire Emblem series, which was not released outside Japan at the time. The characters' appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee led to a rise in the popularity of the series, including releasing it outside of Japan. References are made throughout the game to the relationship between characters of the same universe; in one of the events from "Event mode", Mario must defeat his enemy Bowser to rescue Princess Peach. Furthermore, each character has recognizable moves from their original series, such as Samus's firearms from the Metroid series and Link's arsenal of weapons.

Development and release

Super Smash Bros. Melee was developed by HAL Laboratory, with Masahiro Sakurai as the head of production. The game was in development for 13 months, beginning around autumn 2000, and Sakurai called his lifestyle during this period "destructive" with no holidays and short weekends. Unlike the experimental first Super Smash Bros., he felt great pressure to deliver a quality sequel, claiming it was the "biggest project I had ever led up to that point". Despite the stressful development cycle, in a 2010 interview, Sakurai proudly called Melee "the sharpest game in the series... it just felt really good to play", even compared to its successor, Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

On the game's official Japanese website, Sakurai and the developers explained reasons for making particular characters playable and why some characters were not added. Initially, the development team wanted to replace Ness with Lucas, the main character of Mother 3, but retained Ness in consideration of delays. Video game developer Hideo Kojima originally requested the inclusion of Solid Snake to Sakurai, and according to Yuji Naka of Sonic Team, Miyamoto requested the inclusion of Sonic the Hedgehog to Sakurai, but neither characters were added as the game was too far in development. Additional development time later enabled all three characters to be included in Brawl. Marth and Roy were initially intended to be playable exclusively in the Japanese version of Super Smash Bros. Melee. However, they received favorable attention during the game's North American localization, leading to the decision for the developers to include them in the Western version.

Sakurai stated that the development team had suggested characters from four other games to represent the Famicom/NES era, until the developers eventually chose the Ice Climbers to fulfill this role. Additionally, Ayumi Tachibana from Famicom Detective Club was considered as a playable character, but was ultimately relegated to a cameo role as a trophy. The developers have noted characters that have very similar moves to each other on the website; such characters have been referred to as "clones" in the media.

Nintendo presented the game at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2001 as a playable demonstration. The next major exposition of the game came in August 2001 at Spaceworld, when Nintendo displayed a playable demo that updated from the previous demo displayed at E3. Nintendo offered a playable tournament of the games for fans in which a GameCube and Super Smash Bros. Melee were prizes for the winner. Before the game's release, the Japanese official website included weekly updates, including screenshots and character profiles. Nintendo followed this trend with Super Smash Bros. Brawl, in which there were daily updates by the game's developer, Masahiro Sakurai. Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu reported that Nintendo advertised the game in between showings of Pokémon 4Ever across movie theaters in Japan. In January 2003, Melee was re-released as part of the Player's Choice program, a marketing label used by Nintendo to promote video games that have sold more than a million copies. In August 2005, Nintendo bundled the game with the GameCube for $99.99.

Professional competition, metagame and legacy

Melee tournament sa

Competitive history

Super Smash Bros. Melee is a widely played competitive video game and has been featured in several high-profile tournaments. Many consider it to be the most competitively viable game in the series. Melee version NTSC was first released on the gamecube in 2001 in Japan and later North America, Nintendo ran the first ever Melee tournament named Premium Fight most likely from August 25 to August 27, 2001. That circuit launched tournaments and competitive Melee on the local level. For competitive "smashers," as they were soon to be called, tournaments at houses, video game stores and internet cafes would become the norm.

The tournaments increased in popularity, and an echelon of competitively successful top players emerged in each region of the United States and Japan. Professional gaming organizations began to take more notice of Melee and started sponsoring players professionally. Several professional Melee players including Christopher "KillaOR" McKenzie, Isai Alvarado, and Ken were seen in the 2005 "I'm a Professional Gamer" episode of the MTV reality series True Life. Tournaments became larger, more televised and more professional. The audience was bigger, the amount of competitors was bigger and the prize pool was a lot bigger. From 2004 to 2007, Major League Gaming sponsored Melee on its Pro Circuit. Ken Hoang, also known as "The King of Smash" was considered to be the game's best player from 2003 to 2006, and has won over $50,000 from Smash tournaments. Although dropping Melee from its 2007 Pro Circuit, MLG still sponsored a number of tournaments as part of the Underground Smash Series.

Melee was also included in the Evolution Championship Series (Evo) in 2007, a fighting game tournament held in Las Vegas. Melee was hosted at Evo 2013 after a charity vote to decide the final game to be featured in its tournament lineup. Due to the large turnout and popularity that year, Evo again included Melee at their 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 events. In 2014 Melee was played at MLG Anaheim. Evo 2016 is the largest Melee tournament to date with 2,350 entrants.

The competitive Smash community was featured in a 2013 crowd-funded documentary called The Smash Brothers. The film detailed the history of the professional scene and profiled seven prominent Melee players including Hoang, Azen, Jason "Mew2King" Zimmerman, Isai, PC Chris, KoreanDJ, and Evo 2013 and Evo 2014 champion, Joseph "Mang0" Marquez. Commentary footage from a Melee tournament is the origin of the Wombo combo internet meme.

In 2020, Project Slippi, a fork of the Dolphin emulator for Melee designed to introduce quality-of-life features such as replays and online play, was updated to support rollback netcode and integrated matchmaking, allowing netplay across large distances with little latency. In the same year, an e-sports competition known as "The Big House" was sent a cease and desist by Nintendo, due to the usage of Smash Bros.#Super Smash Bros. Melee

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Super Smash Bros. Melee para niños

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