Super Smash Bros./Printable version

Super Smash Bros.

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To an absolute beginner, this is an incredibly confusing game. Though the controller and control interface are relatively simple, this game is often difficult to perfect, even for hard-core gamers. This is mostly because of the innovative fighting style detailed above, but once you play the game enough, it all makes such perfect sense that you wonder how you ever could have had trouble with it.

To master this game, though, you need two main things. First, you will need a sense of timing. Once you master all of the moves, the only way you will hit with an attack or dodge someone else's is if you have very accurate timing. Secondly, you need to be able to recognize patterns well. A predictable opponent is a dead opponent, so figure out what he likes to do and when he likes to do it, and you've got him right where you want him. However, to be able to play enough to develop the two essentials above, one must have a good sense of humor. You will lose in humiliating fashion. You will explode for no reason whatsoever. You will toss your controller onto the ground in frustration and hang your head in shame. But if you can laugh at your character's surprised expression as he/she goes sailing off into the great beyond for no good reason, or at the utterly amazing series of coincidences that ended up with you in the KO wall, you will persevere easily, and will most definitely master the game. However, one must crawl before one can run, so let's start with the basics.

The Controller

How to hold the Nintendo 64 Controller when playing Super Smash Bros.

The Nintendo 64 controller, to many gamers, is one of, if not the best controller ever designed. Fitting the hand very well, its well-spaced buttons (A, B, C-pad, D-pad, R, L, and Z) allow for much control versatility. For Super Smash Brothers, The D-pad (cross on left prong of controller) is unused, so your left hand should hold the center prong, thumb on the control stick and forefinger on the Z button (trigger on middle prong). Your right should hold the right prong, thumb near the A and B buttons, and forefinger on the R-button (shoulder button on right prong). Every other button except for the D-pad is functional in this game, though it can be played effectively with just the stick and the A, B, and Z buttons.

Controlling Your Character


The first time you take out a game, you just want to get in there and fight. This usually involves copious amounts of button-mashing. However, Super Smash Brothers 64 and its sequel are a couple of the few (if not the only) fighting games in which button-mashing simply does not work. So, before you get into epic battles, I suggest first learning how to control your character.



Movement in Super Smash Brothers is accomplished through use of the control stick located on the middle prong of the controller. Tilting this stick to the right makes your character move right, left makes him/her move left, etc. The stick is sensitive to pressure, so pushing it hard to the right or left will make your character run in that direction, while tilting it will make them walk, and there are even different walking speeds, depending on stick pressure. Pressing down on the stick will cause your character to crouch, and if you are atop a platform that is not the main platform of the level, tapping the control stick down will cause your character to drop through.



Pushing the stick up makes your character jump (once again, different stick pressures will make him/her jump higher, a light upward movement will not make them jump at all, for reasons that I will go into later). However, the C-pad (the yellow buttons on the right prong of the controller) can also be used to jump as well. Pressing any one of these buttons will cause your character to jump; the direction of the arrows on the buttons doesn't matter. C-button jumps send your character higher, but stick jumps are variable in height. It is important to master these jumps, as both types are necessary in different situations. Also, your character has not one, but two jumps. He/she can double-jump in mid-air, allowing for more altitude and maneuverability. Even better, Kirby and Jigglypuff, being puffballs, can fly, allowing for 5 separate small jumps.

Coming Back


Oh no! You've been thrown off of the stage by your opponent, who is now gloating over your inevitable death. Are you just going to fall into oblivion? No! You're going to get yourself right back up there on the stage and smack your opponent one good! If you're hit or thrown off of the stage, you're going to want to try to return, as falling off makes you die, and that's bad. You'll notice that if you're in midair, you get an extra jump. If you're Kirby or Jigglypuff, you get 5 extra jumps, but with every other character, you get but one. Every time you touch the stage, this number of midair jumps resets to its maximum. If you're hit after using this second jump and you fly off of the stage without touching the ground, you don't have that jump any more, though something to remember is that if your opponent throws you you get your second jump back, even if you didn't touch the ground. So you're off of the stage and you've jumped in midair. Now what? You're still not close enough to the stage. Well, this is where your recovery move comes in. Every character except for Yoshi has a recovery move of some kind or another. In most cases, it's an up-B attack. Doing this move will net you extra vertical and/or horizontal (depends on your character) distance with which to reach the stage. You should plan your approach accordingly. Kirby can come from nearly directly below the edge, as his up-B is mostly vertical, while Donkey Kong wants to start his up-B while he's close to the level of the edge, as his is very much horizontal. Now, if you can't quite get far enough to land on the stage, that's OK! Your character is smart, and will grab the edge of the stage and hang from it. Every level (except for Peach's Castle) has an edge to the level from which your character can hang. From there, you have a few options for returning to the stage proper that will be detailed in the next section.

NOTE: Not all recoveries are up-Bs! For example, Mario's and Luigi's down-B will give altitude to the player if the player pounds the B button in sync with the spinning of the tornado, and Captain Falcon's Falcon Punch gives a little horizontal distance without much loss in height. Samus' bombs slow her descent speed, and Jigglypuff (with no usable up-B for recovery) can do her B button Pound attack (sliding the stick upwards after each Pound keeps more height) to slide across the sky with very little loss in height. This is another of the things which differentiates the master from the apprentice; the use of non-up B moves for recovery. These moves will be categorized separately in each character's in-depth guide.



After playing this game a few times, you will notice that when you come back from being thrown off of the stage, sometimes you don't make it back onto the ledge, but you end up grabbing the edge and hanging from it. Landing on the edge like this is a necessary strategic part of competitive play, as you are invincible for a few seconds and it provides you with new ways to return to the stage. From the edge, there are a few ways to get up. Firstly, you can tap the control stick up, and your character will simply clamber up onto the ledge and stand there. Secondly, you can tap the Z-button, and your character will climb up and roll a certain distance before standing up. Also, you can hit an attack button (A, B, or R) and you will attack as you climb back up. These three recoveries are executed quickly at damage percentages below 100%, but are clumsy and slow when you are at higher damage, as your character has been weakened. The final thing you can do is to tap the control stick down (releasing the edge) and then jump back onto the stage attacking, in order to get your opponent off of you. However, attacking while right next to the stage is a bad idea, as if your attack animation executes during the window where your character can grab the edge; he/she doesn't and it's lights out. Careful use of edge recoveries can make you much more difficult to kill, but don't become predictable, or you're as good as dead.

Getting Back Up


If you get hit with a powerful enough attack (or you have high damage and get hit with ANY attack), you will be lifted into the air and will fall down, either on your stomach or on your back (prostrate or supine, for you English majors out there). Once here, there are a couple ways to regain your feet and control of your character. Firstly, you can tap the Z-button, and your character will simply stand up, and you are invincible as you do so). Tilting your stick left or right will cause your character to roll in that direction and then stand up. Finally, hitting an attack button will make your character attack as they stand up. There is a certain attack for on your back, and one for on your stomach, but only two (it doesn’t matter what attack button you press). Use these unpredictably to avoid being “camped” (gamer term for when someone waits for you to be vulnerable again so that they can hurt you as soon as you get back up).

Directional Influence (DI)


Another very important thing to master is the art of DI, or directional influence. If your character is falling through the air, pressing up will make him/her fall slower (unless you have a jump left, in which case your character will jump), down will make him/her fall faster, and left or right will make him/her move in that direction. These movements, especially the vertical ones, are minimal, but they make a big difference. Directional influence is crucial to survival, because with it, you can slip out of combos, change trajectories in mid-air, dodge projectiles, and avoid death for a while by DI’ ing away from the KO barrier.



Now that you can move about, it's time to get down to the reason why you are here. There are many theories as to who hit whom first, or what feuds developed into this intra-Nintendo war, but the purpose is clear. You are here to knock your pitiful opponent out of the arena. This arena is, in essence, just a great big box. Off of the fighting platform there is a certain distance of free air where you can maneuver to come back to the stage; however, this ends at a certain distance from the stage, where there are the KO barriers. There are two KO walls, one KO ceiling, and a KO floor. If you pass over these boundaries, you die, and are respawned. Therefore, to defeat your opponent, you must get them over these boundaries. To do this, you will need to get their damage percentage up to a lethal level (usually around 80% - 100%). Everyone starts off with 0% damage, and as you get hit, this percentage increases. With each increase in damage, there is a subsequent increase in the distance that you fly when hit by a certain attack. Therefore, the higher damage they are, the easier it is to kill them. However, in order to do all of this complicated stuff, you need to learn how to bring the pain to your opponent.

Before we begin, let's talk about some basic Smash nomenclature. There is a large following around this game, as well as its sequel (and soon even another is coming out), and as is American nature, we get tired of speaking full-length terms. So, the names of these attacks have been shortened in a very logical way. The way you do it is to put the first letter of the direction of the attack (Front, Back, Up, and Down) in front of the type of attack (tilt, smash, or air). Therefore, a forward smash would become an "fsmash" and a back aerial would become a "bair".

There are two attack buttons, A and B. Their uses are multifaceted, and mastering all of them is necessary to become a Smash Master.



A-attacks are attacks that are performed through use of the A-button. Although beginners usually shun these in favor of powerful, cool-looking B-attacks, masters end up using these attacks to an incredible degree. These are your character's basic physical attacks (punches, kicks, head butts, etc.), and there are many types.

  • Neutral A

This attack occurs when your character is simply standing in place and you hit the A-button. If you hit it repeatedly, it will hit them multiple times with different small attacks. Though not really a very useful move, it can act as a disruption to the opponent (it will knock them back a little ways) so that you can escape.

  • Dash Attack (DA)

When your character is running, and you hit the A-button, your character will perform a dash attack. Usually, this involves your character dropping his/her head or shoulder and slamming it into their opponent, sliding to a stop in the process. Compared to other attacks, the cool-down time is a little excessive as compared to the knock-back, and they are relatively easy to avoid, so I rarely use them, but I have seen them used as part of a combo to pretty good effect.

  • Tilts

To do a tilt move, you must lean the control stick lightly in any of the four main directions and hit the A-button at the same time. For utilts (up tilts, remember?) you must be very careful not to stick-jump, or you will lose the chance to tilt-attack. There are three tilts, a utilt, dtilt, and ftilt (tilting in the opposite direction that your character is facing will simply cause them to turn around and execute the tilt in the new direction). These attacks are inherently more powerful than the neutral-a, but weak enough that they knock the enemy back just far enough so that you can press the attack.. They are also generally quick, which makes them perfect for high-damage combos.

  • Smashes

Smashes are generally a character's killing move. Though slower in execution than tilts, on the whole, they are a great deal more powerful, allowing for the unlucky opponent to be sent through a KO barrier. As with tilts, there are 3 smashes, usmash, dmash, and fsmash. To execute a smash attack, smash your control stick hard in the direction you want the attack to go and hit the A-button at the same time. If you are having trouble with these, try smashing the stick just the slightest moment before hitting the A-button, and it should become easier. If used openly, these attacks are easily evaded by any Smash player worth their salt. Therefore, you use other moves to set your opponent up for the smash (tilts are great for this), so that even if they see it coming, they can't avoid it.

  • Aerials

Aerials, not surprisingly, involve jumping your character into the air and pushing the A-button. There are 5 aerials, nair (neutral, no stick), uair, dair, fair, and bair (stick in the direction opposite the one your character is facing). Stick pressure comes into effect here as well, for if you smash your stick over to attack in the air, your character will being drifting in that direction when attacking; however, if you tilt it slightly, your character will attack without changing course. Aerials are very versatile attacks, and combined with tilts they make up 90% of effective combos.



These are your character's "special attacks". B-attacks are incredibly varied in their relative speeds, power, and applications, so the notes below are simply a rule of thumb.

  • Neutral-B: To do this attack, just hit the B-button without any stick movement. If your character has a projectile, this is usually it.
  • Up-B: Simple enough. Stick up and B-button. This move, in all but two characters (Yoshi and Jigglypuff) acts as a recovery move. By recovery move, I mean that doing this move acts to get you closer to the edge so that you can successfully recover when with just your jumps you could not. This has caused many smashers to refer to it as a "third jump".
  • Down-B: Just lean the stick down and hit B. These attacks are most likely to be an area-affect attack, but these attacks are very difficult to generalize.



Remember when I said that there were only two attack buttons? Well, there are, if you're just looking to physically hit your opponent. However, attacks performed solely with the A and B buttons can be blocked with a character's shield (more on this in Defensive Moves). The only attack that can get through this shield is a throw. There are two ways to throw someone. You have to be right next to them, and facing them to grab them (though Ness can somehow grab people behind him on rare circumstances - must be all that psychic mumbo-jumbo). Everybody's grabbing range is different. Once you are in range, you can either press the R-button (the shoulder button on the right prong), or the Z (trigger on middle prong) and A buttons simultaneously. For future reference, pressing the R-button at any time does the same thing as pressing Z and A.

Once you have grabbed them, you can either push the stick forward (or hit the R-button again) or you can push the stick in the other direction. There are two different throws for each character, one forward, and one back. In my experience, rear throws are generally more powerful, but once again, it is difficult to generalize many things about this most excellent of games.

Damage Types


The following are all the types of damage that certain characters in the game can inflict. The type of damage inflicted dictates the state your character is in when hit/knocked off etc. eg. If you are smoking momentarily, then you were hit with fire damage, or if you are shocked momentarily, then you were hit with Shock (Electric) damage. Not all characters can inflict all types of damage, but all characters can inflict Melee damage (from a punch or headbutt etc).

  • Fire Damage (Falcon Punch, PK Fire) Average Damage Bonus of 2%
  • Melee Damage (Punches, Head Butts etc) Average Damage Bonus of 3%
  • Shock (Electric) Damage (Thunderbolt, PK Thunder etc) Average Damage Bonus of 2%
  • Magical Damage (Only Kirby, Jigglypuff and Yoshi can inflict magical damage, however only with certain attacks)

Fire damage attacks include:

  • Captain Falcon: Falcon Punch (B), Falcon Kick (B + Down), Uppercut Grap (B + Up), Fire Kick (fsmash)
  • Samus: Flamethrower (usmash or fair)
  • Link: Bombs (Down + B)
  • Luigi and Mario: Fireball (B)
  • Kirby: Can use Falcon Punch by absorbing Captain Falcon (except base damage is lowered by 3%, can't notice though), Final Cutter (B + Up, note that only the final hit in this move does fire damage, the first two inflict melee damage. The smokiness of the fire damage is not shown however)
  • Ness: PK Fire (B) Note that on Ness, the attack is an attrition. Bonus damage of 4% is applied each time the attack hurts someone consecutively; this attack can be used to stack on damage on another fighter and then knock him off when his damage is high enough.
  • Fox: Fire Fox (B + Up)

All fighters can do melee damage, which is basically a normal punch, headbutt etc. Donkey Kong however, is the only character that cannot inflict anything else than melee damage. Link is another unique character that can inflict melee damage from a distance using his boomerang. Unique Melee attacks include:

  • Links Hookshot (R)
  • Kirby's Final Cutter (B + Up, note that the first two hits in this move do melee, the final one does fire damage)
  • Pikachu's Forward Throw (R without control stick modifier)
  • Captain Falcon's Falcon Punch does fire and melee damage, which includes the damage bonus from the two; very powerful attack.
  • Yoshi's Egg Throw (B-up)

Shock (Electric) attacks include:

  • Samus's Charged Shock Cannon (B) and Grappling Hook (R)
  • Pikachu: Electric Shock (B), Thunderbolt (B + Down), Shock Spur (fsmash), Electric Fizzle (dair), Lightning Drill (fair), Backward Throw (R + Backward)
  • Fox: Laser Gun (B), Shine/Reflector (B + Down, note that this move reflect projectiles back at the enemy with a damage bonus applied of 50%, so the attack is thrown back usually much stronger)
  • Ness: PK Thunder (B + Up, note this move can be directed and controlled using the control stick), PK Thunder Recovery (B + Up + Maneuver the bolt to hit Ness, this move is the largest triple jump in the game, having the greatest distance)

Magical Damage is not normal damage, but affects the other player in a detrimental way. One example is on Jigglypuff and her singing. It puts the other player to sleep, but doesn't hurt the player. Such is considered a magical attack and the game engine doesn't add damage to the player getting hit by one if a magical attack was used.

Defensive Maneuvers


Okay, so now you know how to hurt your opponent. Now all you have to do is learn how to keep from being hurt yourself, because if you don’t take damage, there is no way that you can lose. There are two basic ways to avoid taking damage: blocking, rolling and nullification.



This is a very simple concept. Hitting the Z-button brings up a spherical colored shield that surrounds your character, protecting him/her from all attacks that touch it. This shield concept makes a lot more sense than does blocking in your average Street Fighter style game, where Chun-Li can block a Hadoken from Ryu by just putting her forearm in front of her face. Anyway, you have a shield that surrounds your character that will stay as long as you hold the Z-button. However, as time elapses, the shield will slowly shrink, so you can’t just stand there with your shield up. Secondly, damage to the shield causes it to shrink faster, so your opponent can beat at the shield in order to open up a piece of your body to hit around the shield (hitting your unprotected body while you have the shield up will knock the shield down). By gently tilting the control stick, the shield can be moved to cover different parts of your body, but if allowed to get too small, it will eventually break, leaving your character dazed and senseless (in Jigglypuff’s case, breaking her shield sends her sky-high for no particular reason). So, you will eventually want to let go of that shield. However, when you are attacked, you are stunned for a moment and cannot release your shield. The more powerful the attack, the longer the stunned period. AND the shield is not infallible; even when it is at full strength, people can still throw you out of it. So, don’t depend on your shield overmuch, but it is still a very useful defensive technique.



While you were practicing moving your shield about, you may have noticed that pushing the stick too hard to either side would cause your character to roll, and lose the shield. Rolling is an important maneuver, especially because when you roll, attacks pass right through you. To roll, tap Z and then push the stick to either the left or the right. Some characters roll faster than others, and the pattern seems to be that the more suitably you are shaped for rolling (the spherical Kirby and Jigglypuff, Samus in her Morph Ball, etc.) the slower you seem to be able to roll. Luigi has one of the best rolls in the game, but he’s a green-capped, lanky plumber. Hey, I never said that this game would make any sense. However, learn to use your rolls effectively for, though you will learn more efficient evasive tactics later, many players have trouble keeping up with you when you are rolling.



The third overall logical defensive strategy, after blocking the attack or getting out of the way, is to cancel it out with one of your own. This is, in essence, nullification, or "action blocking." This technique can be used to cancel out another fighter's attack, by just using another attack of your own. Certain (B) attacks can only be nullified by another attack of the same type. To cancel out another fighter's attack (nullify it), the two attacks must be executed near-simultaneously. The breakage point (the point onscreen where the attack hits the other fighter) is where you have to aim. Your counter-attack (your attack you use to nullify the other attack) also has to inflict at least equal or higher damage than the other attack your countering. For example, if you wanted to nullify Samus' fully charged shock cannon, a simple punch or head butt will not work; your punch's breakage point will be penetrated and you will still be hit!

Don't rely on nullifying your opponent's attacks continually, as nullifying cancels out both of your attacks so none of you do any damage. It can be a quick way of saving yourself from a humiliating KO if you keep forgetting the Z button (though simply blocking is a bit simpler), if you're paranoid that people will keep shattering your shield and making you go all dizzy, or if you are in a situation where you want to stop an attack without becoming stunned (if you stun your opponent at the same time, it's the same as not being stunned at all).

Some attacks that can be nullified:

  • Any normal punch or head butt (A once, or A while running)
  • Any normal down kick (Down + A on ground)
  • Any bonus triple punch move (pressing A repeatedly)
  • Some normal upward moves (Up + A on ground)
  • Some (B) attacks (Samus' non-fully charged gun can be nullified with a B-projectile or a thrown item, for example)
  • Any recovery counter move (A or B or R or Z while laying on ground after being hit or thrown)
  • Thrown items (nair with many characters will deflect thrown items, though it doesn't work with the bat, sword, wand, or the Bomb-Omb)

Some attacks that cannot be nullified (though they can be interrupted):

  • Any triple jump move that inflicts damage, such as Captain Falcon's Uppercut Grab (B + Up) or Fox's Fire Fox (B + Up) or Ness' PK Thunder Recovery (B + Up + Maneuver bolt to hit Ness) or Samus' Screw Attack (B + Up) or Link's Master Sword Swing (B + Up). Note: While you can try to nullify a damaging triple jump move, the breakage point of your attack will still be penetrated by the triple jump, and you may still get hit.
  • Grabs and throw downs (R or Z + A)
  • Downward attacks (Down + A while in the air), like Pikachu's Lightning Drill for example
  • Most attacks while in the air cannot be nullified

Some special conditions for certain (B) moves are present though:

  • Pikachu's Thunderbolt (B + Down) can only nullify an attack if the thunderbolt successfully strikes Pikachu
  • Captain Falcon's Falcon Punch (B) can nullify more than one attack because of the short distance his 'punch' travels
  • Captain Falcon's Falcon Punch (B) can only be nullified by another Falcon Punch, Samus' shock cannon (fully charged) or Pikachu's Thunderbolt (successful strike), or a successful smash attack.

Interrupting an attack, though it sounds similar, is not the same as nullifying an attack. If you interrupt an attack, you void the other fighter's attack and damage him with yours. This can be done quite easily with Samus, for example, when she is charging her gun. This is preferable to nullification, as you get a leg up on your opponent and can get free damage and maybe even begin a combo. To do this, you simply hit your opponent, but not their attack. Say Kirby is doing his B-up, and right before he lands you put a smash out there in his face. His attack stops, and he goes flying like the little balloon he is. See? Easy. However, if you smash as he lands and the projectile begins moving across the ground, your attack will only hit that and nullify it.

Advanced techniques

Universal Techniques


These can be used with all characters.



The mastery of teching, also known as “Z-recovering”, is often what separates the master from the talented amateur. Essentially, this technique cuts out the recovery time necessary when your character hits the ground. After being knocked into the air (or out of it), your character flops to the ground, and you must get up as described in the “Getting Back Up” section of this guide. However, what teching does is allow you to remove all of that tedious recovery time and get right back up out of your fall instantaneously. To do this, just tap the Z button at the exact moment that you hit the ground, and your character will immediately snap back to their feet, with a recovery time measured in milliseconds. And, as an added bonus, tapping Z and left or right on the stick will cause your character to immediately roll in that direction upon landing. Adding this to the tactics mentioned above will make you very difficult to camp upon landing, and will also allow you to escape previously inevitable combos. Master this first, then move on.



When you perform an aerial and hit the ground before completing it, there is a cool-down time as you stand back up (this is most noticeable with Link’s dair). This time is of varying length between attacks, but it is always there to some extent. Try it with Link. Do his dair, and at the precise moment that you land, tap Z. He should stand right up, no shield flash or long cool-down time. This is applicable with all characters, on all aerial A attacks, so you should tap Z just when, or just before you hit the ground. You can’t roll out of this, but the instant standing up revitalizes attacks that were just too slow before, allowing for swift execution and recovery. This will be rather awkward at first, but once you get used to it, you won’t be able to imagine playing without it. Right here is where you will see the massive speed boost in your play, and players who haven’t mastered this simply won’t be able to keep up with you. You'll be able to jump into a dangerous spot, attack, and get out before your opponent can do diddly squat. You will move like ninja. That is, once you get it right.

NOTE: for certain attacks, like Pikachu’s and Kirby’s fair drills, if you land next to them after doing this attack while they’re on the ground, you can tap the R-button instead of the Z button, which will cancel and grab them immediately. This is called "R-Cancelling" or perhaps "Fair-grabbing", although it can be done after dair drills as well.

Contrary to popular belief, Z-cancelling was programmed into the game, it's not an unintentional technique.

Shield Grabbing


If you have been reading this guide from top to bottom, you will remember that pressing the R button has the same effect as simultaneously pressing the Z and A buttons. This knowledge can be transferred to a blocking situation. While you have your block up, and your opponent is up next to you and attacking, there is normally no way to get him/her off of you. However, if you hit the A-button while holding Z, your character will reach out and grab, dropping the shield just for the moment it takes to do so. If your character misses, the shield will pop back up. However, if you grab them, the tables are turned, and you can throw them and get them the heck off of your back. This is another balancing technique that can keep your opponent from getting up close to you and spamming you until your shield breaks. Remember, though, that while grabbing, you can be hit by incoming attacks, so be careful.

Short Hopping


A short hop is something that can only be done by jumping with the C-button. The easiest way to visualize this is to stand under a platform (I learned under the platforms on Dreamland, but nearly any level will work) and press the C-button. Observe how you jump up and either land on the platform or fly high above it. Well, by tapping the C-button gently, see if you can make your character barely peek through the platform. Practice this, as it is a short-hop. You're simply jumping faster. Granted, this gives you less time to perform aerial attacks, but if you've learned Z-cancelling as you should have, this shouldn't be a problem. What short-hopping does for you is give you a nice quick jump that allows you to use your aerial attacks on opponents standing on the ground, and to be in the air in case they try to grab you. It also gives you a preferable option when jumping over projectiles/attacks. You have to time your jump a lot more accurately, but you are back on the ground and mobile again quite a bit sooner than if you had full-jumped. Once you get good at short-hopping, you can bounce across the stage, very hard to hit because of your low trajectory and near-constant attacking. Paired with Z-cancelling, the short hop is a deadly combo starter, allowing you to rain attacks down on your opponent while they are on the ground.

Jab Reset


If you're comboing your opponent and want to finish them, you'll want to do it with a power attack. With many characters, their best killing moves are on the ground. So, you'll combo them to the ground, and hit them with your smash, right? Well, since smashes are rather slow, and the other guy usually doesn't like getting hit with them, you're going to have to hold them in place for a moment so that they can't tech-roll away from you. The way to do this is with your jab. Most characters' jab is quick to start and quick to end, and has very little knock back. These are the keys to a jab reset. Say you're Fox, and your opponent's at around 100% damage. That's prime usmash territory there. You're in the middle of a combo. So, you dair (down-drill) them to the ground, Z-cancel (you have to cancel), and tap them with your jab as they bounce up off of the ground. Jabbing someone while they're in their tumbling animation (i.e., they've been hit and are spinning through the air) "resets" them to the normal aerial animation, and stuns them for a short amount of time. So, they're hanging in the air in front of you. You don't think they're high enough up yet, so you tap them again. Now, you upsmash, and they are helpless to prevent their death.

Jabs are also useful for interrupting the ground portion of a combo (usually the beginning). If you know your opponent is going to try grabbing you or tilting you, and you are just now recovering from something, do your best to get a jab out there in their face. If you are Fox, Falcon, Link, Pikachu, or Kirby, avoid doing the repeating jab, as it holds you in one place and makes you a big fat target. Tap the jab button twice and either follow it up or get out of there. Play with this, as it's very hard to combo someone who keeps punching you in the nose every time you get close to them.



Although I treated these attacks just like other attacks earlier, I think that it's important to add a section on them to emphasize their use. Many smashers simply use smashes on the ground, completely forgoing their tilts or maybe using one. However, it is important to learn and use all of your attacks, including your tilts. They are fast attacks that are good for continuing a combo or stopping an opponent's advance when a smash won't connect in time. They are for those situations when you just don't have enough time to hit your opponent as hard as you want to, so you tilt them to get them stunned, and THEN smack the crap out of them. Remember that you have tilts, and they are meant to be used - they are not just that annoying attack that only comes out when you mess up your smash. Master them, and they will be very good to you. Thus ends my tirade.

Unique Techniques


These are techniques unique to certain characters.

Double Jump Cancelling (DJC)


This move can be done only by Ness and Yoshi. It is done by jumping twice and cancelling the second jump with an attack. If a player quickly slides his fingers down the Cpad (i.e. from right C to down C) and then attacks he can attack just millimeters off the ground giving him a very fast recovery.



This is a move that can only be done by Yoshi. If Yoshi brushes the Z-button (not pushes, not taps, but brushes, as the frame constraint for the move is so tight) just at the right time when being attack he can "parry" the attack as in receive no damage and not be knocked back. When he does this, he raises his head as if he's about to drop into his shield, but he doesn't, and puts his head back into normal position because the button was not pressed long enough. This is similar to parrying in the Street Fighter series. Yoshi can then attack back with any move.

Shine Cancel


Fox's b-down reflector (better known as the 'shine') ends as soon as Fox touches the ground, with no lag whatsoever. So, by starting the shine at the end of a short-hop guarantees that your shine will only last the fraction of a second necessary to hit your opponent or to reflect a projectile.

Dash Dancing(DD)


Dashing back one step then forward one step to dodge an attack. To dash in the game, you just tap the stick left or right and your character will start running. But before he runs, he dashes out a step with a trail of dust behind him. There is a distinct difference between this dash and a full run. Try this. Select Fox or Falcon on the Great Fox (they have the best dash-dances). Run in a direction so that your character's running animation is unchanging. Now, release the stick to stop running. Your character will slide to a stop, taking precious time to do so. Now, simply tap the stick in a direction to dash. You'll note that tapping and releasing creates a dash that stops as soon as it starts, giving you freedom to do anything at the end of it, for example, dashing back in the other direction. If you can master this, you can do over and over, but doing so is only useful to confuse and/or annoy your opponent. What you want to do is wait for an attack, and as it comes out, you dash out of range of the attack, then dash back in with an attack of your own. You can do smashes out of the dash, if you release the stick and then smash, you will actually slide a small distance while smashing, giving you a bit more range.



Everyone is familiar with dying through the KO ceiling or one of the walls. These are good, clean deaths, full of honor and all that. However, spiking is a tactic used to kill your opponent at relatively low damage. Certain characters' moves have a downward component, or simply launch the opponent straight down. These moves include:

  • Ness: Dair
  • Samus: Dair
  • Yoshi: Fair
  • Kirby: Dair, B+up (downward slash)
  • DK: Dair, Fair
  • Captain Falcon: Dair
  • Jigglypuff: Dair

Other characters have weaker moves that can move the opponent downward, usually dairs as well, but these listed above are the true spikes. If you have your opponent at about 50%-60% damage, get your opponent off of the edge and then use your spike to send them into oblivion. However, make sure you have enough jumps/recovery time to get back to the edge, or you will follow them down, which is simply unacceptable.



Edgeguarding is a tactic which is used to keep your opponent off of the edge. If they can't return to the stage, they are destined to die, so you edgeguard them to make sure that they don't make it back. Though it is rather simple concept, the edgeguarding game can make or break a player at a competitive level, so it's something to learn well. Best edgeguarding moves for each character include (assume these are all done on the very edge and facing it, unless otherwise noted):

  • Mario/Luigi: [1] Dsmash [2] Downward-tilted fsmash [3] Fireballs as they're coming back (careful not to interrupt their B-up with them, though, as they will get another chance)
  • Fox: [1] Dsmash [2] Downward-tilted ftilt [3] Laser to mess up recovery
  • Captain Falcon: [1] Downward-tilted fsmash
  • Pikachu: [1] Fsmash (this hangs in the air for a while, and will hit them even below the edge, so start it a bit early rather then late) [2] Lightning ball (will stun them for a moment coming back)
  • DK: [1] Dtilt [2] DK Punch (only second because it has to be charged)
  • Ness: [1] Dsmash (don't forget that the yo-yo goes behind him first) [2] Short-hop to PK fire (this may need to be followed up by a dsmash or fsmash)
  • Jigglypuff: [1] Dsmash [2] Downward tilted fsmash
  • Samus: [1] Downward-tilted fsmash [2] Charged shot (don't miss)
  • Kirby: [1] Downward-tilted fsmash [2] Dtilt (this one is brutal) [3] Dsmash
  • Yoshi: [1] Downward-tilted fsmash (who called that one?) [2] Dtilt [3] Dsmash [4] Eggs (don't forget, these have shrapnel)
  • Link: [1] Fsmash (no need to tilt this bad boy) [2] Dsmash (try to connect with the very tip to send them horizontally) [3] Boomerang and bomb (bounce em around out there)

NOTE: All characters with a spike can use that as an edgeguard if their spike is executed directly onto the top of the edge itself just before the opponent grabs it.

ALSO NOTE: The downward tilts on the smashes are not always necessary, but increase the chance of a hit.



This technique plays on the fact that only one character may be grabbing the edge at any given time. It involves nothing more then grabbing the edge just before your opponent tries to. The best way to do this is to shorthop backwards off of the edge and catch said edge. Just as your opponent is coming up to grab, tap Z to roll back up onto the stage, denying your opponent the edge while using the invincibility of your roll to avoid damage from their recovery. Devious, eh? Only use this when you really want to win, because it has been known to tick people off in friendly games.



The difference between this and comboing is blurred in the minds of some, but I will do my best to set the record straight. Juggling is the practice of using one move to bounce your opponent into the air or against a wall so that they cannot recover. This usually takes nothing more than basic timing, so the low-skill necessary component makes these juggles slightly cheap (although with higher damage on the opponent, they get harder to pull off), especially because players who juggle invariably repeat it over and over again. Juggles rarely kill, but they can get you up to some fantastic damage if done right. Some juggles are harder than others, and therefore more acceptable, but if you must juggle in competitive play, do it and win instead of abstaining and losing.

Some often-seen juggles include:

  • Ness: Repeated utilt, Spike Bounce (a difficult maneuver in which you use your powerful dair to alternately spike your opponent to the ground and bounce them back into the air. Gratuitous use of the double-jump cancel is necessary for proper execution).
  • Fox: Repeated uair (this juggle is great on heavier characters, as they don't fly as far, allowing you to reach them with another attack before they can recover).
  • Falcon: Repeated uair (see Fox's uair juggle), Spike Bounce (much harder to do than with Ness, but it is possible to do partially, and can link into other attacks)
  • Pikachu: Repeated utilt
  • DK: Repeated throws (when up against a wall, as on Hyrule or on Saffron, DK can grab an opponent, bounce them off of a wall with his throw, then grab them as they fly off of it - he can repeat this until the opponent clears the wall), DK grab repeat (I don't know if this even classifies as a juggle, but it IS cheap - Isai pulled this off in one of his videos, grabbing the opponent and putting them on his back to carry them, so that when they wriggle free, you can dash forward and grab them again and repeat)
  • Link: Repeated utilt (you'll have to move slightly in your opponent's direction between utilts)



Wall Traps


This technique (usually frowned upon) consists of getting your opponent backed up against a wall and then using either an A-move flurry (with Kirby, Fox, Pikachu, Falcon, and Link) to keep them trapped there and do massive damage. The fire flower is also very powerful in this situation, allowing the user to do massive damage to their opponent before the flower runs out.

Really the only counter to this is to DI upwards in order to escape the hits. You'll move slightly upwards between hits, eventually allowing you to jump out and wreak your vengeance upon your cheap opponent.

Shield Stunning


Dropping Through


You'll notice that most platforms that are not the main stage are selectively non-existent (you can come up through the bottom of them and stand on them). Well, you probably know that by tapping down on your control stick, you can drop through said platform and fall down to the level below. There are a few combat applications for this.

First of all, after the B-up move of most characters (excluding Link and Kirby at the moment), there will be a time where your character cannot do anything but DI about with the control stick. During this time, most characters can hold down to fall straight through a platform. Try it with Samus, for example. Go to Peach's Castle and do your B-up, and then hold down on the control stick. You should fall right through the upper platform and onto the bottom. This is good if you miss your attack (like Luigi's Fire Punch, for example) and want to get to cover quickly so that you can regain control. Simply drop through a platform or two and land, then go attack your opponent again.

Secondly, dropping through provides an opportunity for a quick dodge and return of attack. For example, you're on Mushroom Kingdom, fighting Link. You're standing on the platform to the right of the tube on the left side of the screen. Link, from above, tries to dair you. What do you do? Well, I would wait until the last second, and then drop below the level (thus making his attack miss), then pop back up and attack while he's in his lag. Play with it, as it gives you another level of mind games to play with your poor opponent.


There are 12 playable characters in Super Smash Brothers; eight that are available at the start, and four that can be unlocked in single player mode through completion of certain challenges. They all have certain advantages and disadvantages.

Although this game is very well balanced, certain characters tend to be better than others are. However, Super Smash Brothers 64 character tiers are VERY subjective, so characters will not be listed in order from best to worst, as any character can be good in the hands of a master. I give a basic summary of characters, and go can go to the In-Depth Guides for more specific info, but you will have to figure out character rankings for yourself.

Captain Falcon


Captain Falcon, of the F-Zero series of racing games, is one of Super Smash Brothers' hidden characters. To unlock him, you must beat the game on any difficulty level in under 20 minutes, and then defeat him. Captain Falcon is a very offensive character. He is the fastest (in terms of running speed) character in the game, and this can be used to string together combos that would be impossible with other characters. However, his recovery time is not the best, and his B-up is predictable, so once his combos are interrupted, he's relatively easy to combo and edgeguard into a KO.

For an in-depth Captain Falcon guide, click on the link.

Donkey Kong


Donkey Kong is a big gorilla from Donkey Kong Country, and was Mario's first archenemy. He is the only character that can move and jump with crates and barrels held on his back, and has the best throw in the game. As would be expected, he has very strong, punishing attacks, and is very heavy (i.e., hard to KO off of the top) but is the slowest character in the game. Don't let that discourage you, though, as he can rack up the damage quickly if properly handled.

For an in-depth Donkey Kong guide, click on the link.

Taken out of the cockpit of his trademark Arwing fighter, Fox McCloud is the protagonist of Star Fox 64 and later games in the series. He is easily one of the nimblest characters in the game, with some of the best comboing ability. Second in speed only to Captain Falcon, Fox can easily control the speed and momentum of the battle. His up-B recovery is relatively slow, but there are no real glaring drawbacks to this character. He is a good choice if you like a quick, agile character.

For an in-depth Fox guide, click on the link.



Jigglypuff, all the way from Pokemon, is a very good character, though many doubt her abilities. To unlock her, simply beat the game on any difficulty. She has ridiculous aerial priority, a devastating back-throw, and quite a few hard-to-escape combos. She also has a finisher, her B-down sleep move. If you don't know, falling asleep while touching your opponent sends them into oblivion. She is a floaty puffball, and runs out of steam near the end of her 5 jumps, and has no B-up recovery with which to return to the stage, but you still should give her plenty of practice time. Seriously, what's better than beating your friends with Jigglypuff?

For an in-depth Jigglypuff guide, click on the link.



For an in-depth Kirby guide, click on the link.


For an in-depth Link guide, click on the link.



For an in-depth Luigi guide, click on the link.



When one thinks "Nintendo", this guy comes to mind. A plumber with a moustache and a penchant for jumping who happens to be in love with a perpetually kidnapped princess (I mean, what the heck, Nintendo?), he and his games fill many of the spots for top-selling games of all time. In Super Smash Brothers 64, this red-capped and blue-overall wearing Italian is a good all-around character. He has fantastic aerial recovery time, a great u-air juggle, and very annoying fireballs, but isn't quick enough to keep up with the likes of Fox or Captain Falcon.

For an in-depth Mario guide, click on the link.



For an in-depth Ness guide, click on the link.



An electric Pokémon from the game series of the same name, Pikachu is very powerful and agile. He is SO powerful and agile, in fact, that he has been considered "cheap" by the unenlightened. I myself find few disadvantages to the little guy, but then again, he's my main. He has one of the best recoveries, if not THE best, in the game and has a simply unavoidable edgeguard. So although suffers from short range on the ground, is relatively light, and takes a good level of skill to play well, but this electric rat could very well be your route to victory.

For an in-depth Pikachu guide, click on the link.



For an in-depth Samus guide, click on the link.



For an in-depth Yoshi guide, click on the link.


Items are some of the main things that make this game so addictively fun. I mean, how can you have massive explosions without explosives? However, they can also make play very frustrating and/or annoying. Essentially, items act to balance out character and player differences, making for a fun casual game, but in serious play they don’t allow for the skilled players to always defeat the less skilled ones. There is quite the list of available items, and some are more fun than others.

NOTE: In high-level competitive play, items are invariably turned off. Play whichever way suits you the best, but remember that you will be scoffed at if you want to play with the best and you depend on items.



Put simply, these are items that contain other items, as many as three at a time. To open these containers, you can either pick them up and throw them or you can simply attack them. Beware, though, as some no-good individual has made random containers explosive, which means sometimes you go BOOM when you break them. However, people tend to take that chance in an attempt to get an item from a barrel or a crate, because it's a lot quicker than picking it up and throwing it. When you point a direction, and push the A-button, your character throws the item in that direction. Remember though, when taking long shots at an opponent, it’s better to break the container and throw one of the items inside then to throw the container itself, because you’re either wasting the items, or placing them at your opponent's feet if you miss.

  • Crate: The crate is just that, a great big wooden box. Picked up and thrown, the crate flies a short distance and then breaks when it hits the ground and/or an opponent. Donkey Kong, due to his massive strength, can pick up and carry crates, though he can only perform a single jump at a time while holding one. Also, you can attack it at your own risk, which is most times a better option than throwing it in the heat of battle.
  • Barrel: This is a barrel, shaped quite like those from the Donkey Kong series, but really, how different do barrels get? You can pick this up and throw it (or attack it), but when it hits a surface, it rolls until it runs into a wall or a character and breaks. Donkey Kong, just like when he threw them at Mario in the original Donkey Kong game, can pick barrels up and be exactly as mobile as he is with the crate. For other characters, it takes a while to pick up, so it might be a better idea to just smack it and hope for the best.
  • Canister: This is a white and pink canister that looks like a Dr. Mario pill. Anybody can pick this up and carry it, and throw it at stuff. Because this one can be picked up instantaneously, it’s a better idea to grab it, jump, and throw it at the ground or an opponent, and then take the items, to avoid the kablooie effect.
  • Chansey Egg: The eggs tossed around by the cute little pink Chansey contain items as well. Treat them like canisters, and try not to wonder too much why her eggs sometimes contain large explosive devices.

Hand-to-Hand Weapons


These weapons are held by a character and swung at them to inflict damage and death. Because they are an additional weapon, they provide a longer-range attack with a disjointed hitbox (attacking part is not part of the attacker, so you can't hit the attack to stop it), as well as adding on additional damage. Each one of these weapons has a different attack for: neut. A, ftilt, DA, and fsmash, and they are not used for any other attacks, which means that when you execute other attacks, you'll just do them while holding the item, without actively using it. Also, each character has a different version of each of the above movements, so learn your characters’. All of these weapons, when thrown, are action-blockable.

  • Baseball Bat: This weapon is good, old-fashioned American fun. You can’t lose if you can beat the bejeezus out of the other guy with a big, solid chunk of wood, now can you? Though not as long range or as quick as the beam sword, the baseball bat’s draw lies in the smash, wherein your character winds up and lets loose, and if it connects, it kills 99% of the time. Usually your character will have a bit of a backswing, which means that opponents just slightly behind you will get launched as well. Remember, though, that this attack has a long warm-up and cool-down time, so be careful using it (make sure you have good position and timing) and take advantage fighting it (roll, jump, or dash-dance out of the way, and then pounce on them, AFTER their swing is done). If you figure out a way to set up this smash well, please post it here, as it’s still a rather impractical move with my crew.
  • Beam Sword: The game's "lightsaber", this pink, glowing rod of doom is a hated weapon for those who must fight against its skilled users. Its relative speed and long range (as well as its knockback) make it a great juggling weapon, and its length makes for a large projectile when it’s spinning through the air at an opponent, and this large projectile has impressive knockback, so watch out. A common strategy is to run-juggle your opponent, as the dash attack stays out for a good while and this defeats techs and rolls. You can take them all the way across the stage by repeating this attack. It's also a great defensive weapon - one tap of A at the right time and you can slap them away from you with a quick neut. swing of the sword. Oh, and if someone gets all good with the sword and begin calling themselves a Jedi or some crap like that, smack them upside the head to disillusion them. I hate that.
  • Fan: The fan is seen by many as a weapon purely usable for annoyance. A fast neut. swing with low recovery time coupled with medium-high knockback makes a weapon that can lock an opponent in place for whole chunks of time, doing 1 damage a hit. If they try to run away, they are stunned - if they put up their shield, the fan does it MASSIVE damage (shield breaks in 2-3 hits). The tilt is a bit slower, but has more knockback, and the smash even more so. The thing with the fan is that it knocks them TOWARDS you when you hit them, so if you smash or DA them with it, they will fly over your character to the other side. So, the best way to get through a fan if you are stuck in the middle of it is to push the stick TOWARDS your opponent, and you will end up running past them. If they turn around in time, they can trap you again, but if you're quick enough, you can avoid it and hit them with a real attack. Thrown, the fan causes very large upward launching action, making it easy to kill light characters off of the top with it. However, this makes it a nearly useless edgeguarding weapon, because it simply gives them altitude. Have fun playing with this weapon.

Projectile Weapons



  • Star Wand: This weapon is hard to place in a certain genre, because it is a hand-held weapon with both a melee attack and a projectile attack. A neut. swing of the wand gives simply a melee swish, but tilts and smashes both shoot a star out of the end of the wand in the direction of the attack. This star has decent knockback, but travels relatively slow and has maximum range, so it should not be used at long distances. The best use of the wand, in my own opinion, is thrown, as (if it hits them, of course) it will send your enemy away and DOWN with decent knockback. This means that if you hit them with it while they are near or off of the edge, they will be spiked down at an angle, making recovery much more difficult, or even impossible.
  • Fire Flower: Unlike one would expect, picking this item up and using it does not change your character's colors and allow him/her to throw fireballs, but instead it shoots out a continuous stream of fire. This fire stuns your opponent and has little knockback, allowing you to keep your opponent trapped in the fire for a few seconds, accumulating free damage. It DOES knock them back a bit with every hit, allowing them to escape the fire after a couple of seconds of damage. Adding this to the relatively slow speed of the fire makes this weapon less useful when simply triggered stationarily. However, you can trap someone with it easily by either falling from above them while holding the A-button or by putting their back to the wall and burning the living daylights out of them. The latter method can rack up significant damage, and your opponent can't really do anything until your flower runs out of charge. When this happens, the flower will simply emit puffs of useless smoke. Thrown, the flower has acceptable knockback and does fire damage, stunning them for a bit longer than a normal item would.
  • Ray Gun: One of the more annoying weapons present in the game, the ray gun shoots fast-moving laser bolts that cause electrical damage to the opponent, stun them, and knock them slightly up and back. With good aim and timing, one using this ray gun can bounce their opponent 15 times before running out of charge, doing a bit of damage every time. Even better, you can do this while they're off of the edge to knock them directly into the KO wall with repeated blasts. Careful, though, as this weapon DOES demand accuracy to use. When you run out of ammo, don't forget to throw the gun at your opponent for extra damage and knockback.



This category covers the items that are meant to be thrown at an opponent. Pressing "A" while holding these items throws the item (as that is its whole purpose). However, one must remember that every item in the game (save the Hammer, Heart, Tomato, and Star) can be thrown by pressing the R-button. Neuts, tilts, and smashes all work as well when throwing items, for different stick pressure while throwing causes different throwing distance. Some items work very well when thrown (melee weapons especially), so that should be a very viable option when using an item. However, do not throw away items unnecessarily, because you are just giving them to your opponent if you miss. Also, though items will bounce if thrown with some sideways momentum, when thrown straight up or down they do not, unless they bounce off of another character.

  • Motion Detector Bomb (Mine): This weapon provides me with some of the most fun that I have with the game. My friends try to avoid planting mines on the stage, and if they are planted, they try to detonate them with projectiles instead of leaving them. This is because, once thrown, this little grey disk lands on the ground with a "click", and after about a half-second, activates. Anyone or anything that touches the mine now will cause it to explode, causing very good damage. It doesn't have quite the knockback of a Bomb-Omb, but it is good enough. If you can distract your opponent enough so that he/she doesn't see/hear that you planted a mine, so much the better. However, even if they know where it is, you can still direct them towards it, though it's harder. It has been theorized that I get some sadistic pleasure out of throwing my opponents into mines, and this is partially true. It is fun, but it's also a lot quicker than simply smashing them off of the stage. They hit that mine, and they're gone, if not dead then certainly off of the stage. Play with these, but be careful that you remember where your mine (and your opponents') landed, because they are very hard to see once planted.
  • Bomb-Omb: Ah, the Bomb-Omb. This is the most potent explosive in the entire game, by leaps and bounds. It's also a very impatient bomb, for after being left alone for a while, it begins to wander back and forth across whatever platform it's on (it won't fall onto any others), starting in the direction of the nearest character. After a while it bores of even THIS and stops walking, gets all red and glowy, and then detonates. My personal rule of thumb to avoid getting rocked by Bomb-Ombs is that if I don't see it appear, I don't go get it. Once picked up, the bomb is happy, and will explode on contact with anything. This explosion knows no allegience, so don't throw it at yourself or your teammate.
  • Bumper: I'm not exactly sure which game these hail from, but they have to be one of the most annoying items present in the game. Little disks of metal, you can pick them up and throw them. Upon contact with an opposing character, they bounce that character away a small distance and bounce themselves 180 degrees in the other direction, about the same distance. This means that if you throw it at a nearby opponent, the thing could bounce back and forth 2, maybe three times before landing. Once on the ground, they just sit there for a while, doing the same action-reaction bounce that occurs in the air. Thankfully, they will eventually disappear. This item is good for mean edgeguards, as it stops your opponent's momentum and sends them backwards. Just watch out you don't get hit on the rebound.

Another reason to be careful; this is the only non-explosive item that will hit and damage you if you happen to be an idiot and run into it, even if you just threw it. Beware.

  • Pokeball: These are very useful items. First of all, hitting your opponent with them does good damage and has good knockback. Secondly, and most importantly, when the ball comes to a stop, out pops a pokemon. With any pokemon, the act of popping out of the ball hurts the opponent. There are 12 different types of pokemon, each doing different things, which hurt everyone but the owner of the pokeball (and his teammates):
    • Beedrill: My personal favorite, your opponents will groan and/or shout, "Dammit, bees!" A single beedrill (a wasp-like pokemon) will fly out of the ball, hover for a moment, then take off in either direction, flying out of the level. If it hits you doing so, it will damage and knock you back moderately. Just when you think it's gone, though, it comes back from the KO wall it left through...and it brought friends. A line of beedrills, altidudes slightly randomly modulated, stream horizontally across the stage at the altitude where the pokeball was originally dropped. These guys hurt as much as their scout buddy, except there are lots of them. You're gonna want to stay either well above or below these pokemon, as though they do deviate from the normal altitude, it isn't by very much.
    • Chansey: This happy little pink pokemon cheerfully distributes three eggs, each containing up to three items. See the section on "Chansey Eggs" (in Items:Containers) for how to deal with them.
    • Charizard: Bursting out of the pokeball with a ferocious roar, Charizard spews flame alternately in both directions (left and right, that is) as he turns his head from side to side. This flame is just like fire-flower flame, in that it hurts and holds you in place, but different in that when he turns to burn the other side, you can move.
    • Clefairy: Because this pinkish white pokemon has no self-esteem, she shamelessly copies the attack of another random pokemon. You can tell which she is by watching her actions, so be careful you don't get hit by a Hitmonlee that you thought was an Onyx.
    • Goldeen: "Pointless, Wasteful, Depressing...Useless(TM) by Calvin Klein" is what my smash partner used to say when he saw this tiny fish pop out of a pokeball. Goldeen generally makes your opponents chuckle at your misfortune. However, that's about all she does, flopping around, quite literally, like a fish out of water, repeating her name until she disappears or flops off of the edge. Good riddance.
    • Hitmonlee: This is a pokemon with an identity issue. When he pops out of the ball, he clearly says "Psyduck", although he is OBVIOUSLY not a psyduck, and I don't personally see why he would want to be one. Poor guy. Anyway, he leaps into the air after a moment with an extended flying side-kick, yelling a poke-warcry. He can't jump very high, so leaping above him is the best option, but he will aim for you if you are in his range, and he moves parabolically, so he can hit and kill you on the way back down as he plunges to his untimely end. When he hits you, it HURTS, so just avoid him.
    • Koffing: Another self-involved pokemon, Koffing states his own name and then begins spewing poison gas from every one of his many orifaces. If you get in the middle of these puffs of gas, you will be juggled around between them and damaged, making this a beautiful set-up for a killing aerial by the owner of the pokeball. This is an area-effect pokemon, so if you can stay out of its cloud, you will be just fine, but watch for your opponent knocking you into it. If you have this pokemon, it is most effective near edges.
    • Meowth: Like Koffing, Meowth is an area-effect pokemon, one of the deadliest in the game. Not even bothering to state his identity, Meowth begins spewing out coins in a rotating, four-spoked windmill pattern. These coins, though they hit for 1% damage each, present a high-damage juggle threat to any and all characters, especially heavy ones. Getting caught in one of these is extremely painful, and can lead to quick death if you have a semi-good opponent. They ARE area effect, so if you throw it, put it on an edge or back your opponent against the wall with one, and if you are defending against it, well, stay out of the way and hope they don't throw it onto the edge.
    • Mew: Another pointless pokemon. Unlocked after you successfully unlock all four secret characters, this rare pokemon will randomly appear in pokeballs. If it does so during single-player, it nets you mass points. In multiplayer, it simply sparkles and then flies away. Like Goldeen, Mew is simply a waste of oxygen.
    • Onyx: With a wordless roar, Onyx pops out of the pokeball and throws himself straight up, through the KO ceiling. However, it seems that he isn't rated for that sort of altitude, because he begins to come apart, and the boulders that made up his body begin raining from above. If hit by Onyx himself as he heads for the roof, you will go flying, big time. If you are hit by falling boulders, you will be bounced upwards (hey, no one ever said that the physics in this game made sense) and stunned for a moment. As the boulders fall in a medium-sized radius around the pokeball, it's a good idea to stand clear and use projectiles from afar.
    • Snorlax: The obese American of the Pokemon world, this lazy guy bellows his own name as he flies up towards the ceiling. He must have found a burger joint up there or something, because when he comes down, he is livin' large. If you get hit by him, either on the way up or the way down, you will go flying up and away from him at impressive speeds. This is a good pokemon for getting some breathing room, because your opponents will most likely get out of range of the falling fat man.
    • Starmie: This little starfish-dude isn't the smartest of pokemon, but can be very damaging against a disadvantaged opponent. Starmie comes out of the pokeball and heads towards an opponent. When it reaches the right point, it opens fire with a horizontal stream of energy blasts in the opponent's direction. If they are off of the edge or if they simply have nowhere to run, this star attack hurts as it juggles them in the air. However, to combat a Starmie, if you jump high and then fast-fall before it starts firing, you can get it to miss you completely, as it doesn't move once the shooting starts.
  • Green Shells: As seen in various Mario games, Koopa shells can be used as potent projectiles when kicked or simply picked up and thrown. The same is true in Super Smash Brothers. If attacked, a shell will simply cruise off in the direction that it was hit. Throwing a shell can make it go further, though shells will also respond to very light tosses and taps, making them creep along the ground. They move only if given momentum, and will disappear after a random number of tosses. This weapon has very good knockback, but watch out when throwing it, as once it bounces off of a surface, it can hit and damage you.
  • Red Shells: Unlike the green shell, the red shell is inhabited by miniature demons, bent on pissing you off. This shell, when thrown, immediately begins following the character nearest it in an attempt to hit it and do damage. Jumping over or rolling through the shell works to avoid it, and remember that you can use the shell to your advantage by drawing it over to your opponent and causing it to hit them. The knockback isn't nearly as great as the green shell, but the red shell is good enough to be very annoying. It hits everyone, no matter who threw it originally, so take care.

Healing Items


Healing items, of which there are two types, heal you (but if you had to be told that, you should probably be spending your time elsewhere). These items normally don't drop as frequently as others do, so be sure to quickly make your way to them if they do drop.

  • Maxim Tomato: When picked up, your damage meter scrolls down 100%, and your percentage cannot be increased while you are being healed.
  • Heart: This does the same thing as the tomato, except it heals you of ALL your damage.

Because they can give an unfair advantage to one player or another that does not depend very much on skill. Essentially, it either levels or immensely steepens the playing field, so these two items are usually banned from serious competition.



The hammer is most likely the best weapon to tilt the odds of winning in your favor. It drives your character into a smashing spree (Your character takes his/her hammer and whacks it back and forth) With 30% damage per hit, the hammer will send most enemies flying sky-high in a couple of hits... however, double (or triple) jumping is impossible. Also, if for some reason, you get knocked off the stage, the only way to make it back on with the hammer is to "float" back with the tilted fall. Also, remember that you cannot throw away the hammer. You hold on to it for the duration that it lasts, which you may regret as you plummet to your death.

For fighting a hammer, many people run away, but if you do it right, you can use your opponent's hammer as a handicap. Kirby's B-down Stone and Link's bomb will hit right through the hammer and maybe even knock it out of their hands, and if they hit while the hammer is back, boomerangs, fireballs, and other projectiles will connect. Also, the hammer's blocking radius does not extend very far behind your opponent, so you can smash them in the back if you can get behind them. Essentially, you're trying to either knock the hammer out of their hands or knock them off of the edge where they will fall helplessly into the pit.

However, once again, as this item is rather cheap, it is often banned from tournaments as well.



The star is another powerful item. It grants you limited invincibility, so you will not be hit or damaged from any attack. While you have the star, the invincibility music from the Mario games plays, but be careful, as the invincibility dies a few moments before the music does. Also, this invincibility does not save you from flying through a KO barrier (I've gotten a star as I flew upward from a smash and the music played for about .5 seconds before abruptly stopping). An interesting twist is if you are invincible and you fall off of the edge of Zebes, you will fall right through the lava to your death, as it will not hurt you and launch you back up. This is also regarded as a "cheap" item, and is also usually banned from tournaments.


The stages that are described below are your fields of combat. Some stages have more of an advantage for certain characters than for others, and some have advantages that can be exploited by a clever fighter. Get to know these levels, as they will be the only places that your Nintendo characters will be doing battle. A Smash Master knows these levels like a spider knows its web - which parts are deadly and which are not, where to step without getting stuck, how to entangle your opponent. Needless to say, to compete, you will need to know them as well.

Dream Land


This is one of the most balanced levels in the game. A small level with three platforms above an ice-cream cone-like base, it is not well suited to larger than two person matches. However, its symmetry and flatness make it a very good level for 1v1 duels. Watch out for the tree, though, as it will periodically blow a wind in either direction, slowly moving your character in the direction of the wind. Also, make sure that your B-up recovery is executed at the right place in space near the level, or you will hit your head on the bottom of the stage and plunge into the abyss.

Yoshi's Island


This fanciful level necessitates agility and power in the air. With angled platforms and main stage, a large opponent will sometimes miss a small one, or normal-sized one in a crouch, as the attack will pass right over their head. The angled platforms also provide a unique challenge to a projectile user, as the top of the platform will deflect your projectile while the bottom and sides will let it through. The things to watch out for in this level, though, are the cloud platforms. One to the left of the stage and two to the right, they are a mixed blessing. They allow characters (especially ones with a bad recovery) another chance at life, but if stood on too long, they disappear underneath you, dropping everything that was resting atop them into the depths. Be wary of this, because other players will try to lure you into attacking them as they stand on the cloud, and then jump away as it disappears. Also, watch out, as you can hit your head on the bottom of the level if your B-up recovery goes wrong.

Planet Zebes


This level is almost universally disliked. Some smashers won't even play it anymore, as it is just annoying. It consists of a bottom stage that has two low points and is very bumpy, making attacks done at the wrong time prone to missing. Above this is one long, flat platform on the left, one short angled platform on the right, with a short, flat platform above them both in the middle. Just off of the right side of the stage is a platform that moves up and down. And underneath it all is a layer of acid lava. This yellow lava, if touched, bounces your character back up (and damages him/her, of course) at a slight angle away from the stage, giving you another chance to B-up recover. This lava will come up and engulf portions of the stage from time to time, making the highest platform the only safe place to sit for 100% of the time (but no one is going to let you do that, now). This acid lava, though it prevents spikes from killing instantly, has been sworn at many a time by smashers everywhere, as its coming-up will obscure the edge that is so vitally needed for a recovery. For this reason, it is usually banned from tournaments.

Sector Z


Ah, the uplifting strains of the Star Fox theme. On this stage, you and your opponent(s) will duke it out on the back of the Great Fox, which, as the name implies, is very large. The largest level in the game, the stage starts at the nose of the ship, gently slopes up and then down into a small valley, and then slopes back up a bit more steeply to the tail fin of the Great Fox. Here, it drops down onto the fighter launch surface and the big engine. Because the nose and engine of the Great Fox are only so big, it is possible to accidentally go under them and then, unless you are Pikachu, you are done (no, you can't land on the Great Fox's main guns). You can also grab onto the top of the tail fin, allowing characters with a weaker B-up to return to the main part of the Fox. However, most of the fighting usually takes place in the area behind the tail fin, because of the ability to bounce your opponent off of said tail fin for longer, more damaging combos. Beware the Arwings, though, who will come by every now and then to try and destroy the pesky creatures running about on the hull, beating each other up and generally making a ruckus. You can stand on top of the horizontally-moving ones when they are right-side up, but just don't get caught on top of one when it moves away from the ship, because it will take you with it, and to your doom.

Hyrule Castle


Personally, the Legend of Zelda theme from this level gets stuck in my head the worst out of all of these levels. This is another large stage, as you and your opponent are fighting on top of a castle, but can be conceptually split into three different parts. On the far left, there is a roof that gently slants down towards the edge, allowing for brutal edgeguards. It connects with the stone floor of the main portion of the level at about a Mario-height below the surface, essentially separating it from the main. The middle of the level is a flat, stone floor that comprises 2/3 of the total level. Towards the right of the middle of the level float three platforms, staggered so that one would have to jump back and forth (as well as up) to get to all of them in sequence. Then there is a drop-off, just above the height of a single jump from most characters that leads down to the third area. This part, dubbed "The Hall of Pain" by my particular smash crew, is combo city. A short portion of flat stone floor with a green tower near the edge allows for one to bounce their opponent back and forth between wall and tower until they are at high enough damage to kill them with a smash. The thing to look out for here are those pesky blue tornadoes. If you get caught in them, they will spin you around and then shoot you straight up, damaging you and possibly killing you as well. They appear in 4 places, the roof on the left, the main stone floor, the rightmost platform about the main floor, and the Hall of Pain. All of these whirlwinds usually move back and forth rather slowly, but the tornado on the main level has a mean streak, so watch out. It will rush towards you every now and then very quickly, so always be alert. In the Hall of Pain, you can't be killed if the tornado catches you under the tower, as it will just slam you into the top and drop you, so if you MUST be caught by it, do it there.

Peach's Castle


This level is simply weird. Most definitely one of the strangest of all of the stages, the main portion of this level is a stone block about a Donkey Punch and a half wide. This stone block, like all other portions of the level, has no grabbable edge! Above this is a wooden, railroad-looking thing that slopes up on the left and down on the right, with a flat part in the middle. Out to either side of the level are right-triangular gravity-defying blocks that have their short side parallel to the ground and their pointed end up (hypotenuse on the stage side). And that is the end of the immobile parts of the level. The annoying parts are as follows:

  1. There is a bumper that floats back and forth over the top of the stage, bouncing people off of it and inflicting one damage whenever it is touched. This can severely hamper kills, as no matter the strength of the attack hitting the character into the bumper, the character just bounces off gently and floats down.
    However, this is not even the worst part of the movable stage.
  2. Through the base of the stone block that makes up the foundation for the stage is a long, stone block. This stone block moves back and forth to either side, slowly but inexorably. Throwing characters like Link or Captain Falcon off of the side where the block is not causes instant death, as they have nothing to grab onto, and this is compounded when the block is moving away from them.

Strategies for this level heavily involve spiking and throwing off of the un-recoverable side. A good move is to hit your opponent upwards with a smash so that they hit the bottom of one of the triangle blocks, bouncing them off and down in an improvised spike, for those characters lacking one.

Saffron City


Pikachu's home stage, Saffron City is also reviled by many Smashers because it gives unfair advantages to a few characters (though not abhorred quite as much as Planet Zebes). It consists of three separate buildings and a few floating platforms. The leftmost building (much lower than the others), is separated from the main building by a gap that is covered above by a floating platform that changes height (from high to low and back) periodically. Down to the left of the leftmost building, there is another floating platform of the same type, except angled slightly down towards the left KO wall. At its low point, this platform is flush with the building, but it is not at its higher level.

The main building is substantially wide, with a floor that is flat on the left and slopes up slightly on the right. Then, there is a box that sits on the right of the building, with a door in it. Pokémon of different types come out of this door, if someone gets too close while it is open.

  • Porygon: This crystalline little guy pops out of the door, sending anyone who touches him flying.
  • Charmander: The little orange and yellow fire Pokémon sounds off his name to anyone who wishes to hear. Hitting him will cause damage. If he feels like it, he will spew fire from his mouth for a few seconds, immobilizing and damaging anyone caught in the blast.
  • Venusaur: This is a big blue Pokémon with a plant on his back who will shoot his Leaf Cutter at you, a stream of green projectiles that will juggle you in midair.
  • Chansey: Just like her Pokéball cousin, Chansey pops out of the door and tosses an egg. However, she only gives you one, and if you touch her while she's out of the door, she will heal you for a small amount of damage.
  • Electrode: Ever the angry Pokémon, Electrode will pop out of the door, charge up, and explode, sending anyone inside the blast radius flying.

Then there is the final building, small, flat, and separated from the middle building by a gap. A little bit lower than the top of the Pokémon garage, this building is used by certain players as a fortress from which to spike and edgeguard their way to victory.

Kongo Jungle


Welcome to Donkey Kong Country. The main wooden platform is flat on either end, but slopes down on either side to a flat spot in the middle, so that a barrel thrown at normal speed will roll gently back and forth on the leve, ad infinitum, until someone runs into it, attacks it, or otherwise destroys it. There are two slightly outward angled platforms above the edges of the level, and two small, flat platforms that rotate around one another in a circle. Below the level is a barrel, like the ones in Donkey Kong Country, that, if you jump into it, will carry you around until you hit a button for it to shoot you out, or the barrel time runs out. Watch out, because this barrel will turn upside down periodically, shooting you out at odd angles. Also, the base of the main stage is permeable, meaning you can jump and recover up through the bottom of it. This makes this level great against an unsuspecting opponent, because as they come over to edgeguard, you can B-up right into them, through the level, or simply move past them.

Mushroom Kingdom


The one and only unlockable stage in the game. To unlock this hidden level, you have to beat the single-player game with all eight original characters (no time, stock, difficulty, or continue limits). This is the strangest level in the game, in my opinion, and I'll tell you why.

There are two main parts to this level, separated by a gap in the middle, the only place on the level where you can fall to your death. To the left and right of this gap are flat brick floors, stretching off into infinity. This is the only level on which you can literally walk into the KO wall, which is embarrassing. On the left side there is a platform above the edge of the gap, and then a higher platform that goes all the way into the KO wall on the left. You cannot jump or drop through this upper platform, as it is really thick. However, if you have a long-range uair (Captain Falcon, Link, DK), you can smack your opponent through the platform when they're not expecting it, as your attack will reach through. There is a green pipe, like the ones in Super Mario, on the very right edge of that top platform, making it a nice little wall to bounce opponents off of.

To the right of the gap, above the floor float two platforms, the lower one slightly to the right of the upper one. Just to the right of the lower one, there is another, lower, green Mario pipe, and then nothing else until you reach the KO wall. There is also a pipe on the surface of the left wall of the gap itself.

Covering the middle gap are two platforms, connected by a rope and pulley. If a character stands on either one of the platforms, the platform that he/she is standing on will start moving down, and the other will start moving up. If he/she stays on the platform, eventually both platforms will plummet into the depths. However, if another fighter stands on the OTHER platform at the same time, then the two platforms will stay where they are, as they have been balanced (this works even if it's Donkey Kong on one and Jigglypuff on the other). After they fall, they will reset after about 5 seconds.

Another phenomenon on this level is the POW block, straight out of Super Mario. They will appear periodically floating in the air, and if you hit one, anybody touching the ground at that time (except for yourself) will be rocketed into the air. This can kill, at around 80% on average, so if you see someone going for a POW, jump.

One more thing about this level that is critical for good performance is knowledge of the pipes. If necessary, you can get atop one of the green pipes and tap your control stick down to pull a Mario and go from one pipe to the other. Remember, though, that there are 3 pipes, and you can end up at any of the other two. However, you know that Nintendo never makes it that easy, so watch out for the carnivorous piranha plants that come out of the pipes whenever someone gets near (they don't come out of the gap-pipe, though; I guess it's below them). They will send you flying in an upward direction if you run into them, but I've never seen one kill someone directly.

This level is a throwing character's level. Getting your opponent over on the far side of either of the vertical pipes means that you can likely throw them to death at low, maybe even 0% damage. That means Ness, Donkey Kong, Pikachu, Captain Falcon, etc. do very well on this level.




1P Mode


The single player mode spans 11 stages, ranging from battles of different types to minigames. The 1P game can be played on one of five difficult levels: Very Easy, Easy, Normal, Hard, and Very Hard. The default lives for your character can also be set from one to five. If all lives are lost midway, a Continue? screen will appear. You can continue the game with the set number of lives, or quit, and receive a Game Over. The stages are:

  1. VS Link - a one-on-one fight between you and Link at Hyrule Castle.
  2. VS Yoshi Team - you must defeat 18 Yoshis, 3 at a time on Yoshi's Story.
  3. VS Fox - fight Fox on top of the Great Fox in Sector Z in a 1-on-1 fight.
  4. Break the Targets - a minigame where your character must break 10 targets in a level. The level is different depending on the character.
  5. VS Mario Bros. - you and a random ally will fight Mario and Luigi at Princess Peach's Castle.
  6. VS Pikachu - you versus the Pokémon Pikachu in Saffron City.
  7. VS Giant DK - you and two random AI allies will team up to fight a giant Donkey Kong on Congo Jungle.
  8. Board the Platforms - another minigame, where your character must land on ten platforms. When you land on one, it changes from red to green.
  9. VS Kirby Team - fight eight Kirbys, three at a time. Seven will have other character's hats on, and one will be the origonal Kirby. Fight takes place in Dream Land.
  10. VS Samus - fight Samus on Planet Zebes in a 1 vs. 1 fight.
  11. VS Metal Mario - fight a metallic version of Mario on a special stage. Metal Mario is heavier, although gravity works against him, making his vertical descents faster.
  12. Race to the Finish - the final minigame. Simply dodge the enemy characters and get to the exit before time expires. Hazards such as bumpers are in your way.
  13. VS Fighting Polygon Team - fight polygon versions of characters on a special stage. There are 30 of them to be defeated.
  14. VS Master Hand - the final battle against Master Hand. Dodge his attacks and counterattack when he is idle. His HP varies depending on the difficulty. Get his Hit Points down to o to win.

Training Mode


Training mode is where you and a CP controlled character can play in any stage. This is a good way to study character moves, learn level layouts, and practice using characters and combos.