Super Smash Bros. Melee

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Game InfoBox
SSBM-Box Art.jpg
North American box art
Developer(s) HAL Laboratory
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Designer(s) Masahiro Sakurai
Release date(s)
North America December 2, 2001
Japan November 21, 2001
Europe May 24, 2002
Australia May 31, 2002

Game Chronology
<-- Super Smash Bros. Super Smash Bros. Brawl -->
Guide/Walkthrough Link
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Super Smash Bros. Melee, known in Japan as Dairantou Smash Brothers DX (大乱闘 スマッシュ ブラザーズDX, Dairantō Sumasshu Burazāzu Dī Ekkusu) or simply SSBM or Melee, is a 2.5D fighting game for the Nintendo GameCube developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo. This game is different from other fighting games in its style. It is the second in the series after Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64, and precedes Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Nintendo Wii.


The gameplay in Super Smash Bros. Melee is very fast-paced compared to other fighting games. The Majority of competitive play comes from extensive mindgames, and skill. The player has a variety of attacks. Generally, the moves are split into four sections: ground moves, aerials, special attacks, and recovery moves. Ground attacks are performed on the ground, and vary very greatly. Attacks on the ground can be made more powerful by tilting the analog stick in a certain direction, and can be made even more powerful by tapping a direction and attack button at the same time, called a Smash Attack. Smash Attacks can be powered up by holding the A button longer. Grabs are performed when one character grabs another, and either pummels the grabbed one, or throws him or her in one of four directions. Some characters use tools from their game to grab other characters. Aerials are attacks that are performed in mid-air. They can be performed by pressing the A button while in mid-air, or by pressing the C-stick in mid-air. These attacks are generally pretty powerful, and after-lag can be shortened by half by pressing a shield button shortly before landing. This makes aerial moves preferred during advanced play. Special moves are moves that are unique to each character, and usually represent an attack from the character's game. They are performed by pressing the B button. Recovery moves are moves which differ from character-to-character, and are used to recover from falling off of the edge of a stage. Among recovery moves are a mid-air jump, the UP special move, and in some cases, a tether recovery. Knowing how to recover is essential in the Smash Bros. series. Moves are performed by pressing the A button to do a regular attack, C-stick to do a Smash Attack, B button to do a Special Attack, L or R buttons to perform a shield, X or Y buttons or UP on the analog stick to jump, Z or a shield button and A to grab, and the D-pad UP button to perform a taunt.


Melee features several different modes, each of which falls under single player or multi-player. The single player mode consists of Classic Mode, Adventure Mode, the Stadium which has the Home-Run Contest, Target Test, and Multi-Man Melee; the Event Matches, and the unlockable All-Star Mode. The multi-player modes consist of Versus Mode, Special Melee, and Tournament Mode.

Classic Mode

Classic mode is based on the one player mode from Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64. Before beginning, the player selects a character, the amount of stocks, and difficulty. This mode consists of fighting characters which are chosen at random, and three bonus stages, of which only the Target-Test can be played outside of classic mode. The last stage is a battle against Master Hand. By getting to the last stage on a Normal difficulty or higher in under 15 minutes without using a continue, the player gets to face off with Crazy Hand after depleting Master Hand's HP by half. The HP of both bosses depends on the chosen difficulty. After the battle, the character can be seen falling and transforming into a trophy, which lands on a board with the trophies of other characters the player has completed the mode with. Then the staff credits play, during which the player can shoot each one to obtain a point. The amount of credits hit is displayed at the end.

Adventure Mode

When beginning Adventure Mode, the player selects a character, the amount of stocks(lives), and difficulty. Adventure Mode consists of different stages which the player must complete before moving on. The stages are the same every time, and range from side-scrolling stages to battling a team of enemies. The last stage is a battle against a giant Bowser, and if the player makes it to the final stage on a normal or higher difficulty, in under 18 minutes, and without using a continue, the player has a final battle with Giga Bowser. After the battle, the character can be seen falling and transforming into a trophy, which lands on a board with the trophies of other characters the player has completed the mode with. Then the staff credits play, during which the player can shoot each one to obtain a point. The amount of credits hit is displayed at the end.

All-Star Mode

Mario in the All-star rest area.

All-Star Mode, which can be unlocked , starts the same way by selecting a character, amount of stocks, and difficulty. There are 25 characters that are faced, with the player having to face up to three at a time. The last battle is always a face-off against 25 Mr. Game and Watches. In between matches, the player has the option to pick up one of the three Heart Containers to reduce the amount of damage done. This area also features music from the save hut in Kirby Super Star. A trophy may also appear at random for the player to collect.


The Stadium is a group of three modes where the player can try to set a record for each of the following: longest distance in Home-Run Contest, fastest time in Break the Targets, and a mixture of fastest time, longest survival, most KOs in Multi-Man Melee. Aside from setting a record, it is possible to unlock stages, trophies, and other characters.


The Event Matches are a group of 51 events which the player can complete. At first, there are only twenty, but as the player unlocks more characters and achievements, more events are available. Each event consists of a task that the player must complete. These tasks vary, from simply defeating another character under certain conditions, to racing against time in order to get something done. Event 51: The Showdown, is unlocked after completing every other event, and gives the player the Final Destination stage upon completion. It is a battle where the chosen character faces off against Giga Bowser, Ganon, and Mewtwo.


Melee is best known for its multi-player mode. Here, players can choose any character, set different settings such as time limits and items, select a character's color, select AI opponents, and select one of the many stages. A lot of the characters, stages, and settings can be unlocked through the single player modes. Special Melee is used to add special functions to each match, such as having only giant characters. Tournament Mode can be used for tournaments of up to 64 players. Despite being a mode for tournaments, it is rarely used for full scale tournaments, or even in simple competitions. There is also a Loser/Winer out mode for tournaments in which the players choose their characters, and switch players every round, for an infinite amount of rounds.


There are a total of 26 playable characters in Melee, 15 of which are accessible from the start. The other 11 can be unlocked through the single player mode, or by playing a lot of matches.




Many of the stages in Melee are taken from other games published by Nintendo. Some stages which were originally in Super Smash Bros. can be unlocked as secret stages.


  • Icicle Mountain
  • Princess Peach's Castle
  • Kongo Jungle
  • Great Bay
  • Yoshi's Story
  • Fountain of Dreams
  • Corneria
  • Rainbow Cruise
  • Jungle Japes
  • Hyrule Temple
  • Yoshi's Island
  • Green Greens
  • Venom
  • Brinstar
  • Onett
  • Mute City
  • Pokémon Stadium
  • Mushroom Kingdom


  • Flat Zone
  • Brinstar Depths
  • Fourside
  • Big Blue
  • Poké Floats
  • Mushroom Kingdom II
  • Battlefield
  • Final Destination
  • Dream Land
  • Yoshi's Island
  • Kongo Jungle

Kirby Stages

There are three stages based on Kirby games. They are the Fountain of Dreams, Green Greens, and Dream Land. The Fountain of Dreams stage has the fountain in the background, out of which water flows to create a shallow pool. There are three platforms, two of which are moved vertically by a jet of water. The music that plays on this stage is a remix of the Gourmet Race type 1 and 3 theme from Kirby Super Star. Green Greens is a stage based on Kirby's Dream Land which features Whispy Woods, and two columns of falling Star Blocks with the occasional Bomb Blocks. Whispy acts as an obstacle by blowing at the characters, and dropping apples onto the stage once in a while. The background of the stage has what appears to be an ocean with star-shaped islands, and a rainbow behind the stage. The music is a remix of the first level in Kirby's Dream Land, and the victory theme at the end of Milky Way Wishes in Kirby Super Star. The Dream Land stage from the original Super Smash Bros. game is reused as an unlockable stage in Melee. The level consists of three floating platforms above a bigger main one, and Whispy Woods as an obstacle. Unlike in Green Greens, Whispy doesn't drop apples in this stage and has less flexible movement. King Dedede and Bronto Burts can be seen flying in the background occasionally. The music is a remake of Gourmet Race from Kirby Super Star.


Many items from the Kirby series appear. Some of them include the Star Rod, Maxim Tomato, Food, and Warp Stars. Items can be found in crates, barrels, capsules, or found spawned at random. During multiplayer matches, items can be turned off, or filtered to allow only certain ones. During single player mode, items are always present.

Tournaments and Competitive Play

Melee is widely known for its tournaments. The Smash community has a set of to accommodate tournaments. All matches are played with timed stock. Items are always turned off, and many stages are unavailable, or available only after certain matches. The rules were created to support gameplay at the highest level while remaining fair and interesting. Tournaments range from small, bring-your-own-controller events, to full-scale international championships. Many advanced techniques are mastered in tournaments, such as wavedashing, L-canceling, SHFFLing, and others too numerous to mention.