This article is about Link's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee. For the character in other contexts, see Link. For information about Link's clone, see Young Link.
A sword-wielding hero who also boasts long-range attacks.
—Description from Melee's manual.

Announced at E3 2001, Link (リンク, Link) is a starter character in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Link returns as a veteran character from the previous game, acting mostly the same as before, as a swordsman with powerful short-range attacks and a wide variety of long-range attacks. Link, however, has received some large buffs, making him a considerably better fighter in Melee.

Link is ranked 18th in the tier list, in the C- tier, which is much higher than his second to last current rank in the Smash 64 tier list (11th out of 12), and one below his clone, Young Link. Link's placement is due to a very good approach, due to some low lag aerials (with his neutral and forward air), a good variety of projectiles and a very high air speed. A disjointed hitbox also gives Link a slight advantage against others, as well as a fully functional shield that can block a wide variety of projectiles. Link is also a potent edge-guarder in the NTSC versions of the game; his Spin Attack is possibly the best semi-spike in the game, though he still has many other options. Link, however, suffers from a rather high falling speed and a high weight, making him an easy target for chain grabbing and combos. His recovery is also predictable, though he can extend it slightly.


Link SSBM.png

Link has poor dash speed, but he makes up for this with great range for most attacks, a variety of projectiles and quite fast air speed. He also has powerful Smash Attacks and Aerial Attacks, but their high lag and moderate startup times counterbalance this unless the player L-cancels which can remedy this. Link's grab range is large due to being a tether grab, and can be used as a wall-grapple. However, it leaves Link vulnerable if it misses, and it's difficult to grab airborne opponents, which minimizes chaingrabing opportunities. Link's Up Special Move, Spin Attack, is a quick finisher and a good edgeguarding tool. Link is vulnerable to chain grabs and combos due to his fairly heavy weight, fast falling speed, and comparatively large size.

Link is a very reliable edgeguarder due to his powerful semi-spike. Those who are trying to recover must be careful when Link is on the ledge. It's better to attack and KO from the ground than from the air. If sent to the air by Link, the semi-spike can be deadly. Falco is a candidate for being killed in one semi-spike such as other fast fallers like Captain Falcon, Fox, Sheik, Roy and Marth.

Changes from Smash 64 to Melee

In his transition from Super Smash Bros. to Super Smash Bros. Melee, Link received numerous buffs, most of which made him a more potent fighter, going from bottom tier to mid-low tier.


  • Notice.png Link now has an added belt going over his shoulder and around his waist.
  • Notice.png Link has a new taunt.
  • Notice.png Link's helpless animation has changed.
  • Notice.png Link has a different dash animation.
  • -nerf- Link is lighter 108-104


  • Buff.png Link is generally a faster character, with a higher air speed and faster aerials, improving his combo and aerial games.
  • Buff.png Link's recovery was strongly buffed; it is considerably longer and more flexible, with Spin Attack granting a much higher vertical distance, and his higher air speed improving his horizontal recovery. He also has new options, with the wall grapple and bomb recovery.

Ground attacks

  • Buff.png Dash attack has a new animation that is a running slash rather than a stab. It has slightly better combo ability and can be considered an improvement.
  • Buff.png Forward smash is considerably stronger than his old forward smash.
    • Buff.png Pressing the A button after the first slash will make Link perform a second slash that is stronger than the first slash in terms of damage and knockback.
  • Nerf.png Up smash is slower, has less vertical range, and has smaller hitboxes.

Aerial attacks

Grabs and throws

  • Buff.png Link has been given an up throw and a down throw, providing him with more options.
  • Buff.png The Hookshot now has considerably less startup and ending lag.
  • Nerf.png The range of the Hookshot is shorter and can no longer grab aerial opponents.
  • Nerf.png Both forward and back throws deals less damage.

Special moves

  • Buff.png Link has a new neutral special move, Hero's Bow, which makes Link fire an arrow from his bow. The arrow's power and distance can be increased by holding the B button.
  • Buff.png Boomerangs travel faster and have less startup lag, as well as having a higher chance of returning to Link.
    • Nerf.png The Boomerang cannot travel as far as it did in Smash 64.
    • Notice.png Due to the addition of the Hero's Bow, Boomerang is now a side special move.
  • Buff.png Grounded Spin Attack is now a very powerful edge-guarding option.
    • Nerf.png Aerial Spin Attack, due to now being a multi-hit attack, can no longer KO reliably unless the last hit is landed—and even then, it has less power than in Smash 64.

PAL differences

Like other characters, Link received some changes in the PAL version of Melee.

  • Nerf.png Spin Attack has lost its semi-spike properties, making it slightly less useful for edge-guarding, though it still acts as a potent attack.
  • Nerf.png The boomerang superjump and chain dance glitches were removed; these were also removed in NTSC version 1.2.


  Image Name Damage Description
Neutral attack Link Neutral attack SSBM.png   5% Link performs a three-hit combo consisting on a vertical slash, a horizontal slash, and then a forward stab. If the A button is pressed rapidly after the second hit, Link will instead initiate a rapid stab attack that deals weak knockback.
1% (loop)
Forward tilt Link Forward tilt SSBM.png   13% (body), 14% (tip & hilt), 15% (base) Link performs a downward swing with his sword. This attack has relatively high knockback for a forward tilt.
Up tilt Link Up tilt SSBM.png   9% Link swing his sword in an arc over his body.
Down tilt Link Down tilt SSBM.png   11% Link swings his sword across the ground. This attack can meteor smash a ledge-grabbing foe only if they come in contact with the hilt of Link's sword.
Dash attack Link Dash attack SSBM.png   9% (tip), 12% (base), 11% (body) Link dashes forward and performs a downward strike with his sword.
Forward smash Link Forward smash SSBM.png   13% (tip), 14% (body) Link swings his sword downward and if the A button is pressed after the first strike, he performs a horizontal strike that deals more damage and knockback. Interestingly, the second slash does not increase in damage or knockback whenever it's "charging".
18% (tip), 20% (body)
Up smash Link Up smash SSBM.png   4% (hit 1), 2% (hit 2), 9%-10% (hit 3) Link slashes in an upward arc three times, with the last hit dealing the most damage and launching the opponent vertically. Deals below-average knockback for an up smash attack.
Down smash Link Down smash SSBM.png   13% (front hit tip), 11% (back hit tip), 16% (blade & body), 17% (hilt) Link sweeps with his sword in front of and then behind him. The first hit comes out fast, though the second hit has some startup lag.
Neutral aerial Link Neutral aerial SSBM.png   11%/9%/8% (clean foot/back leg/hip) 7% (late) Link does a jump kick attack that contains sex kick properties. This attack comes out very fast and has low ending and landing lag.
Forward aerial Link Forward aerial SSBM.png   13% (hit 1), 8% (hit 2) Link performs a double spinning sword attack. It's usually difficult for both hits to connect and the first hit doesn't deal much knockback, making it a situational attack to use while edge-guarding.
Back aerial Link Back aerial SSBM.png   7% (hits 1-2) Link performs a spinning double back-kick attack. The properties of the first hit makes it difficult for the second hit to reliably connect, especially at higher percents.
Up aerial Link Up aerial SSBM.png   16% (clean), 12% (late) Link thrusts his sword upward. Acts as a reliable vertical finisher at higher percentages.
Down aerial Link Down aerial SSBM.png   22%/20% (clean), 19% (late), 6%/8% (after bounce) Link uses his sword as a pogo stick, stabbing opponents below him. Hitting an enemy with this attack will make Link bounce in the air, making it possible to hit the same enemy again, but this only works if the opponent's damage is low. Has huge landing lag if Link lands in the middle of the animation (though L-cancelling helps).
Grab aerial Link Grab aerial SSBM.png Hookshot 6% Link uses his Hookshot to attack enemies while airborne. Can be used to wall grapple. This attack has the unusual property of not suffering from stale-move negation.
Grab Link Grab SSBM.png Hookshot Link fires his Hookshot forward to grab enemies from afar.
Pummel Link Pummel SSBM.png   3% Link bashes the opponent's head with the hilt of his sword.
Forward throw Link Forward throw SSBM.png   3% (hit 1), 3% (throw) Link attacks with a front kick, knocking the opponent away.
Back throw Link Back throw SSBM.png   3% (hit 1), 3% (throw) Link throws the opponent behind him and kicks them away.
Up throw Link Up throw SSBM.png   2% (hit 1), 4% (throw) Link throws the opponent above him attack them with an upward slash.
Down throw Link Down throw SSBM.png   4% (hit 1), 2% (throw) Link places the opponent on the ground and elbow drops them.
Floor attack (front) Link Floor attack (front) SSBM.png   6% Link quickly gets up and slashes on both sides.
Floor attack (back) Link Floor attack (back) SSBM.png   6% Link quickly gets up and slashes on both sides.
Edge attack (fast) Link Edge attack (fast) SSBM.png   8% Link returns to the stage and performs a downward slash with his sword.
Edge attack (slow) Link Edge attack (slow) SSBM.png   8% Link slowly returns to the stage and thrusts his sword forward. Only the sword has a hitbox—meaning foes close to the end of the ledge Link was on can avoid this attack completely.
Neutral special Bow (SSBM).png Bow 5-18% Link fires an arrow at the opponent. The damage and speed the arrow flies will increase the longer you hold down the B button.
Side special Boomerang Link (SSBM).png Boomerang 14% (throw), 16% (smash throw), 6% (far), 3% (return) Link throws his boomerang at the opponent. The trajectory the boomerang flies can be altered by tilting up or down on the control stick. When inputted as a smash attack, the boomerang will fly farther and deal slightly more damage. Only one Boomerang can be on the field at a time.
Up special Spin Attack Link (SSBM).png Spin Attack Ground: 15% (clean), 5% (late)
Air: 4%/6% (hit 1), 2% (hits 2-4), 4%/6% (hit 5)
When used on the ground, Link performs a spinning attack on the ground that only hits once. When used in the air, Link performs a jumping spinning attack that can hit multiple times and be used as a recovery move. Link can grab an edge of a stage even if he isn't facing one, but it can only be done before he performs the last slash.
Down special Bomb Link (SSBM).png Bomb 1~7.2% (contact), 4% (explosion) Link pulls out a bomb that explodes on impact or when the fuse expires. When used in the air, the explosion can grant Link another Spin Attack if one has already been used, making it useful when returing to the stage.


  • Sheathes sword and shield and brushes the hair out of his eyes, grunting slightly.


Super Smash Bros. Melee Character Matchups
  Fox Head 01 (SSBM).png Falco Head 01 (SSBM).png Marth Head 01 (SSBM).png Sheik Head 01 (SSBM).png Jigglypuff Head 01 (SSBM).png Peach Head 01 (SSBM).png Ice Climbers Head 01 (SSBM).png Captain Falcon Head 01 (SSBM).png Pikachu Head 01 (SSBM).png Samus Head 01 (SSBM).png Dr. Mario Head 01 (SSBM).png Yoshi Head 01 (SSBM).png Luigi Head 01 (SSBM).png Ganondorf Head 01 (SSBM).png Mario Head 01 (SSBM).png Young Link Head 01 (SSBM).png Donkey Kong Head 01 (SSBM).png Link Head 01 (SSBM).png Mr. Game & Watch Head 01 (SSBM).png Roy Head 01 (SSBM).png Mewtwo Head 01 (SSBM).png Zelda Head 01 (SSBM).png Ness Head 01 (SSBM).png Pichu Head 01 (SSBM).png Bowser Head 01 (SSBM).png Kirby Head 01 (SSBM).png Avg.
Link.png -3 -3 -2 -3 -1 -1 ±0 -3 ±0 +1 -1 +2 -1 -1 -1 -1 ±0 Mirror match +1 +1 +1 +2 +1 +2 +3 ±0 ±0


  • A good combo to use in one on one battles is to use the Boomerang, to momentarily disable the character of any attacks (they will pop into the air), use this momentarily, cease fire to use a Spin Attack and send them flying away. Must be done quickly or else chances are they will attack.
  • Another great combo is to grab the opponent, throw them up/down, depending on character and damage the opponent has, if its a fast faller then use Up Throw, if they have high damage use the Down Throw anyway, then instantly use the Spin Attack. On high damage this is lethal. Follow the Spin Attack with a Boomerang and charge in for the kill. A Forward Aerial or another Spin Attack usually does the trick.
  • Up Throw, Up Aerial, then Spin Attack. If the enemy still lives, Up Smash.
  • Pull a bomb, Spin Attack, throw the bomb into the air, grapple the opponent and throw them upwards. If done quickly enough the opponent will be hurled into the bomb and fly away, doing no harm. However if too much time is wasted, the bomb will bounce off the opponent and land on Link.
  • Down Tilt, jump, Forward Aerial or Neutral Aerial.
  • Down Throw, Jump, then Down Aerial. If done correctly, Down Aerial will strike the enemy as soon as they get up. Great for racking up the enemy's %.
  • Down Throw, turn around, Down Tilt, then Spin Attack. May not work if the enemy is at a high %.
  • For more tricks and combos, go to this tutorial.

Trophy description

In addition to the normal trophy about Link as a character, there are two trophies about him as a fighter, unlocked by completing the Adventure and All-Star modes respectively with Link on any difficulty.

Even in his youth, Link was already becoming the warrior who would carry the destiny of Hyrule (and many other lands) on his shoulders. His epic struggles against the forces of darkness are written in legend, and he is bound to the Princess Zelda and the archfiend Ganondorf by the awesome power of the Triforce.
Link (Smash Red)
Burdened with a shield, a heavy sword, and plenty of equipment, Link is not a very mobile character. Nevertheless, he's skilled with the blade, and his varied supply of missile weapons makes him a powerful fighter. To master Link, you must control the pace by balancing your long-range attacks with head-to-head swordplay.
Link (Smash Blue)
Link's Bow, Boomerang, and Bombs all take time to wield, so you may want to try drawing them in midair to prevent your foes from attacking you while you're vulnerable. The Spin Attack can score consecutive midair hits, and the final slash is very powerful. Link's Bombs are his trump card, but he can't pull one out if he's carrying another item.

Alternate Costumes

Link's alternate costumes in Super Smash Bros. Melee.


  • Link and his clone, Young Link, both use the same model for the Hookshot. This makes Young Link's look rather large compared to Link's.
  • Link has an interesting hitbox with the Home-Run Bat. When the opponent is in the air and slightly behind him, and he performs a Smash Attack with the bat in the opposite direction, the bat will actually deal a greater knockback than a front hit.
  • Link is the only character in Melee who is hard-countered by somebody else on the matchup chart who also hard-counters a character.

External links

ZeldaSymbol.svg The Legend of Zelda universe
Characters Link (64  · Melee  · Brawl  · 3DS/Wii U  · Ultimate)
Sheik (Melee  · Brawl  · 3DS/Wii U  · Ultimate)
Princess Zelda (Melee  · Brawl  · 3DS/Wii U  · Ultimate)
Young Link (Melee  · Ultimate)
Ganondorf (Melee  · Brawl  · 3DS/Wii U  · Ultimate)
Toon Link (Brawl  · 3DS/Wii U  · Ultimate)
Side Characters Bosses Dark Link  · Ganon
Assist Trophies Tingle  · Skull Kid  · Midna  · Ghirahim  · Moon
Mii Fighter Costumes Link  · Princess Zelda  · Sheik  · Majora's Mask  · Yiga Clan  · Skull Kid  · Ancient Soldier Gear
Background characters Four Giants  · Moon  · Tingle  · Toon Link  · Alfonso
Stage Hazards King Bulblin  · Koume and Kotake
Enemies Bubble  · Cucco  · Darknut  · Like Like  · Octorok  · Peahat  · ReDead  · Stalfos
Other Navi  · Beedle
Stages Hyrule Castle  · Great Bay  · Temple  · Bridge of Eldin  · Pirate Ship  · Gerudo Valley  · Spirit Train  · Skyloft  · Great Plateau Tower
Underground Maze  · Majora's Mask
Items Beetle  · Bombchu  · Bunny Hood  · Cucco  · Deku Nut  · Fairy Bottle  · Gust Bellows  · Heart Container  · Triforce
Music List of Music (The Legend of Zelda series)
Collectibles Trophies Melee Trophies  · Brawl Trophies  · 3DS Trophies  · Wii U Trophies
Stickers List of Stickers (The Legend of Zelda series)
Spirits List of spirits (The Legend of Zelda series)
Masterpieces The Legend of Zelda  · Zelda II: The Adventure of Link  · The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time