- This article is about Link's appearance in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. For other uses, see Link.
Link (リンク, Link) is a veteran fighter and a starter character in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. He was announced on June 11th, 2013 during the E3 2013 Nintendo Direct.
He currently ranks 31st on the tier list. This is due to his strong projectile game, disjointed attacks, and an improved recovery that allows Link to survive longer. However, his frame data is sluggish, which can lead to punishment if moves do not connect, his slow mobility makes him vulnerable to combos, and the buffs of several veterans have outclassed his.
- High launching power on many attacks.
- High priority attacks.
- Heavyweight, tied with Captain Falcon and Yoshi.
- All his attacks except for Neutral and Back Aerials have disjointed hitboxes, as he wields a weapon.
- Average recovery, which can be aided by using Bombs to inflict self damage.
- Has tether recovery, as well and extended grab range.
- Has a reliable Sex Kick in the form of his Neutral Aerial.
- Several projectiles that vary in use, making for a versatile camping/zoning game.
- Hylian Shield can block almost any projectile when standing still, walking or crouching. No damage will be taken whatsoever.
- Has two Meteor Smashes: Down Tilt and Down Aerial. Both are powerful, but require good timing in hitting the sweetspots.
- Considerable startup and ending lag in some attacks.
- Can be hurt by his Bombs if they explode while holding them.
- In addition, opponents can pick up Link's Bombs and use it against him.
- High falling speed can sometimes hinder his recovery, as well make him very susceptible to combos.
- Below average recovery, lacking a good aerial movement and reliable recovery move.
Link is the definition of a solid and balanced, yet a very versatile character, having a strong Zoning game, with a resilient Turtle stance. He has all-around but above average attributes, being able to play either defensively or offensively. With a good variety of melee and ranged attacks, Link can effectively control the space near him, interrupting opponents and punishing them accordingly. All his attacks, save for Neutral Aerial and Back Aerial, have disjointed hitboxes, giving him advantage over opponents. In addition, he has a solid defense in the form of his Hylian Shield, which can block most projectiles; being the only character other than Toon Link capable of doing such feat.
His Neutral Special, the Hero's Bow, can be charged up to increase range and damage; it has incredible range at full charge. This move is great to for edgeguarding, as it can be used from across the stage when the opponent is trying to recover. An uncharged version of it can be useful for spacing opponents out, interrupting enemy combos, or continuing a combo.
Link's Side Special, Gale Boomerang, is good for racking on damage but doesn't have a lot of range; the tornado windbox that takes effect on the projectile's return trip will carry opponents back to Link, where he can go for a grab or Forward Smash. The projectile can be aimed at an upwards or downwards angle to punish ledge hops, short hops, and low recoveries.
His Up Special, Spin Attack, has a decent recovery range and can kill opponents in midair at about 120% (when near the ceiling of the stage). On the ground, it is a powerful attack that will deal a good amount of damage to opponents and launch them a good distance as well. The attack can also kill quite early on the ground, specially when fully charged, and is also capable of breaking shields and punishing rolls.
Link's Down Special, Bomb is his most versatile tool. It is great for continuing combos both on the ground and in the air. It may take some skill to do, but a good combo with the Bomb is to toss it upwards, grab the opponent to hold them under the Bomb's landing point, pummel them to keep them in his grasp, and then have the falling bomb impact them and deal additional damage. Using Up Throw to launch them upwards into the Bomb's path is also a reliable option. The bomb also has recovery uses; when Link is going off stage for a deep KO, it is a good habit to always have pull a Bomb so that he will be able to recover; use Spin Attack; if he doesn't make it to the edge, the Bomb will explode, and allow him to use Spin Attack again, gaining extra height. This takes some planning ahead and timing in order to pull off, given that the Bomb takes 3.6 seconds to explode. The Bomb can be tossed upwards to hit opponents approaching from above, down to cover Link's descent, or Z-dropped on a below opponent to combo into an aerial attack. Link's most potent and versatile tool are his Bomb, with many uses. Throwing a Bomb at a foe can deal enough hitstun to help Link's approach and/or set up combos. If the opponent shields, the Bomb simply bounces off, allowing it to be used for spacing. Even holding a Bomb long enough for it to explode can be useful; while doing so damages Link, it gives him a small vertical boost that can break him out of combos. Link has a good variety of advanced techniques with his Bombs, allowing him to trick opponents with effective mindgames, similarly to Snake with his grenades in Brawl. Since the bombs no longer hurt Link when thrown at opponents near him, players can use this small window of opportunity to follow up with other attacks at close range without recoil.
Link's standard attacks are fantastic for combos, and some can also deal enough knockback to KO. His Neutral Attack combo is a three hit sword combo that is good for racking damage onto the opponent and preventing approaches. His Forward Tilt is good for increasing damage on opponents and has high knockback scaling; it is excellent for kills at mid-high percentages and can be useful as a combo finisher at lower percentages. His Up Tilt is good for disrupting enemy attacks from above or right up next to Link and combos out of Down Throw. Link's Down Tilt is useful for edge-guarding opponents and launching them into the air for some aerial attacks; it can also Meteor Smash opponents that are hit under the middle of the sword. His Dash Attack is a deadly move, with good range and high knockback, capable of KO'ing opponents between 110% and 140%.
Link's Smash Attacks are all incredibly useful moves and are best used as combo finisher and kill moves. Forward Smash is a phenomenal move; the first hit deals lots of damage, and then pressing the attack button again will release a second attack with great launch power, being his strongest Smash Attack; players can also fake the second hit or delay it, allowing for some interesting mindgames. Up Smash has high priority, being great to punish air dodges and spot dodges due to its multiple slashes that often outlast the dodges invincibility frames. Hitting with all three hits is the best way to get the kill, but even hitting with one of those powerful hits can rack some good damage onto the opponent. Finally, Down Smash is excellent for edge-guarding thanks to its speed, horizontal knockback and range.
Link's Aerial game has a lot of versatility, being either good for combos or kills. His Neutral Aerial is a reliable Sex Kick that can set for many follow ups, such as jab, Dash Attack, and Forward Smash. Forward Aerial can be a good combo finisher and kill move, as well as for edge-guarding thanks to its speed and range. Back Aerial can combo with itself at lower percentages, and is also good for edge-guarding, in a similar fashion to Forward Aerial, allowing for stages spikes if timed correctly. Up Aerial is his strongest aerial, with a powerful hitbox that has high number of active frames, sometimes outlasting airdodges. Down Aerial is high risk, high reward move, a powerful finisher that can also Meteor Smash opponents, however only at the initial frames. The move suffers from a massive ending and landing lag, which can lead to Link suiciding if used offstage incorrectly. When used for edge-guarding, use it close to the stage (just above the ledge) in order to get the Meteor Smash. When used on stage, should the move connect with the opponent, Link will bounce off, even if it hits shields. Finally, Link's Grab Aerial can be used offensively to set up for combos, or defensively for spacing.
Link's grab uses the Clawshot; it has extended range and is a tether, so it can be used to recover horizontally. While his grab game is not his greatest asset, it has some utility. Forward Throw can set up for a Dash Attack at low percentages, though it's not guaranteed. Back Throw's only utility is to throw opponents offstage. Up Throw is good for pulling off combos at low percentages and kills at very high percentages. His Down Throw is excellent for combos, allowing for many follow ups until mid-high percentages.
His main flaws, as in previous titles, are his considerably bad recovery, poor movement speed, and high lag for some attacks. His most powerful aerials also suffer from massive landing lags, leaving him vulnerable if misused. While his aerial Spin Attack covers good range and his Grab Aerial gives him tether recovery, his high falling speed means players must react fast when recovering. He is also a very easy target for combos and juggling, specially against fast characters like Sheik.
However, one of Link's greatest triumphs is how solid his moveset is, balancing range and power. All his normal attacks are considerably fast, allowing him to quickly disrupt the enemy's defense. He can also perform good variety of combos, many that start on air and string on the ground. Link in Smash is much like his games. The Legend of Zelda is all about solving puzzles and knowing what to do with what you have at your disposal. You need to know how to use his moves to their most effective methods; taking advantage of the bombs, his down air's iffy meteor, his tether, and his launching forward smash in order to play him effectively.
Overall, Link is a good option for new players, though he has some tricky techniques that require a lot of practice. However, once mastered, Link can control the battlefield with various projectiles while attacking with creative combos, leaving no chance for opponents to react, although his frame data forces him to play defensively. Learning to overcome some of his laggy attacks, reading opponents and keeping safe distance between enemies is key.
Differences from Brawl
While being a very low tier character in Brawl (ranking among the Top 5 worst characters), Link received many buffs (and a few nerfs) that makes him a much better character overall. Among the changes, on both ground and air, are the improvement of his attack speed and range in exchange for less damage output, and better performance at combos thanks to larger and better placed hitboxes. With better projectiles his edge-guard game has become very potent, and his recovery has been greatly improved with the extended range for his clawshot (which has been even more extended in Patch 1.0.8) and new edge mechanics.
Appearance-wise, he has a refined design from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, however borrowing few elements from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and even The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
- Faster walk and dash speed.
- Faster air speed and higher gravity.
- Reduced lag in most attacks.
- Higher second jump.
- Dodge Roll is slightly faster and has a different animation, resembling his roll from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
- Hylian Shield can now block projectiles even when walking. Additionally, Link now flinches when a projectile or bomb explosion hits his Hylian Shield, making it more reliable when attempting to block multiple projectiles. It normally blocks any projectile in front of him, even while crouching or during idle poses.
- Neutral Attack deals less damage.
- Forward Tilt has less startup and ending lag.
- Up Tilt has more knockback scaling, enough to KO opponents at mid-high percentages.
- Down Tilt deals less knockback, however its Meteor Smash hitbox is much stronger.
- Forward Smash is much stronger in terms of knockback, and the first hit can now lock the opponent into the second (like Toon Link's). However, both hits causes less damage, with the second hit having more ending lag.
- The window of chance for using the second hit is now much lower, reducing the chances of accidentally using it.
- Up Smash's final hit deals much more knockback, and the hits connect better, making harder to escape.
- Down Smash's first hit deals more knockback while its second hit now sends airborne opponents diagonally downwards when used by the edge.
- Dash Attack is a completely new attack,, resembling his Jump Attack from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. It covers high range, has very high active frames and deals much more knockback (specially at the tip), enough to KO at mid-high percentages. However, it has higher startup and ending lags.
- Causes different knockback depending on which frame and hitbox it hits: vertical with the broad part of the blade, mostly at the beginning of the attack; and horizontal with the tip of the blade, mostly by the end of the attack.
- Neutral Aerial has lower ending and landing lag, and its sourspot now deals less knockback and sends airborne opponents towards the ground, increasing its combo potential and even leading to jab locks.
- Forward Aerial deals more damage, has slightly higher range and is much faster. It also has less ending and landing lag.
- Back Aerial has less startup lag and both hits connect better, however it deals less damage.
- Up Aerial has a different animation, with Link spreading his legs while stabbing more forcefully. It is faster, with more range and has less ending and landing lags.
- Down Aerial's first frames is now a powerful Meteor Smash, similar to Toon Link's. It also has reduced ending and landing lags. However; it causes less damage unless it's the Meteor Smash.
- In Patch 1.1.3, Down Aerial no longer ground bounces opponents on the ground, now launching opponents diagonally upwards and allowing Link to bounce on opponents, potentially increasing the damage output.
Grabs and Throws
- Grab is faster and with less ending lag if it misses.
- In Patch 1.0.8 it covers much more range.
- Grab Aerial is faster and has higher range when used as tether recovery. However, it deals less damage.
- Forward Throw has less ending lag.
- Up Throw has a slightly different animation, with less ending lag.
- Down Throw has less knockback scaling and now sends opponents at a more vertical knockback, resulting in more follow up options for Link.
- In Patch 1.0.8 the angle of the attack has been altered to send opponents at an even more favorable position for Link, allowing for more follow ups such as Up Tilt in low percentages.
- Hero's Bow charges and fires faster. The arrow now travels longer distances, even when uncharged. The knockback scaling is much higher.
- Gale Boomerang has increased base knockback, which launches opponents upwards. It also travels farther.
- Spin Attack charges slightly faster deals has higher knockback scaling, as well a longer hitbox in terms of duration, with more active frames. Its aerial version covers much higher distance; however, it has less base knockback, but higher knockback scaling.
- Bomb's explosion no longer hurts Link at close range (only if it blows while he is holding the bomb). The explosion deal less damage at point blank range, but more damage it it hits at the opponent's feet. The Bombs' fuse are also faster. However, the bombs explosion can now be absorbed by Ness/Lucas' PSI Magnet and Mr. Game & Watch's Bucket.
- Triforce Slash deals much less damage.
◾Jab – Slashes twice, then a stab. 2%, 2%, 5%
◾Up Tilt – Slashes in an arc above him. 9%
◾Down Tilt – Slashes his sword low to the ground. Can Meteor Smash if it hits the opponent under the middle of the sword or above the middle of the sword. 12%
◾Forward Tilt – Slashes broadly and strongly in front of him. Can KO at around 110%. 13%
◾Up Smash – Link slashes upwards three times. Only the third slash will launch. Uncharged: 18% when all hits connect; fully charged: 25% when all hits connect.
◾Forward Smash – Link slashes once, and then has the ability to slash twice. The second slash is overall stronger, but if Link hits an enemy with the tip of his sword on his first slash, it will do more damage and launch opponents farther. However, if this happens, it is very likely that he will have no chance of hitting the second slash. Uncharged: 7%, 12%; if both hit, 20%. Fully charged: 9%, 18%; if both hit, 28%. Uncharged (tip of the first slash), 14%; fully charged (tip of the first slash), 19%.
◾Down Smash – Link slashes on the ground on both sides. First slash: 14-19%; second slash 10-16%
◾Dash Attack – Link does his famous jump strike. Very strong, can KO at around 100%. 14%
◾Ledge Attack – Link stabs in front of him right after climbing the edge. 7%
◾Get-Up Attack – Slashes on both sides of him. 7%
◾Up Aerial – Thrusts his sword upwards. 15% sweet spotted, 13% if not.
◾Down Aerial – Link does his famous finisher, pointing his sword down as he falls, using his weight to power the attack. Can Meteor Smash if it hits at the initial frames. The meteor effect is absent if Link strays too far from the edge of a stage, so he must stay near or on the stage for the meteor to work. Usually 15%, sometimes 18%. If Link hits the same opponent twice, the second hit will deal 8%.
◾Neutral Aerial – Kicks forward. Similar to Mario's. Is a sex kick. 11%
◾Forward Aerial – Slashes twice in front of him. First slash 8%, second, 10%
◾Back Aerial – Kicks twice at his back. First kick 3%, second, 5%
Grabs and Throws
Grab - Fires his Clawshot and reels in opponents with it. It will no longer fall on the ground when it misses like it did in previous games. Can also be used for tether recovery.
◾Pummel – Punches enemy with his sword hand. 2% each hit
◾Forward Throw – Kicks the opponent forward. 7%
◾Back Throw – Kicks the opponent to his back. 7%
◾Down Throw – Throws opponent on the ground and body slams them. 7%
◾Up Throw – Throws the opponent upwards and slashes at him. 7%
|Link's Custom Special Moves|
|Custom 1||Custom 2|
|Standard Special||Power Bow||Quickfire Bow|
|Side Special||Boomerang||Ripping Boomerang|
|Up Special||Shocking Spin||Whirling Leap|
|Down Special||Giant Bomb||Meteor Bomb|
- Up taunt: Swings his sword in front of him twice, then spins it as he brings it closer to its sheath and sheathes it. This taunt is a reference to The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, where you could make Link do this same thing after killing an enemy.
- Side Taunt: Releases his fairy, Navi, which spins around his once and comes back to him.
- Down Taunt: Stands on one foot and makes a pose, as his sword shines briefly. It is exactly like his taunt in the original Super Smash Bros. game.
In competitive play
To be added
Green tunic? Pointy hat? Yep, it's Link, all right! In this game, his sword and shield make for effective attacking and blocking, and his bow, bombs, and boomerang will spice up any battle. He's even brought his Clawshot for grabbing enemies and edges. Jeez, just how much can Link carry?
- NES - The Legend of Zelda (08/1987)
- SNES - The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (04/1992)
If Link was on a desert island and could only pick one item, it'd be his powerful sword. This weapon is key to his down-air attack, a move with great launching potential and the ability to strike twice. He can also strike twice with his side smash—the second blow deals more damage and launches harder.
Adult Link (Ocarina of Time)
The children from Kokiri Forest never seem to grow into adults. Just a young boy, Link is entrusted with a quest by the Great Deku Tree. He leaves the forest and eventually find the Master Sword in the Temple of Time. When he awakes, he is sever years in the future and an adult!
Link is one of the few characters who have a Tether recovery, using his hookshot to grapple onto the edge.
His Hylian Shield has the potential to block projectiles coming from in front of him if he is standing still. This is a reference to the Legend of Zelda and The Legend of Zelda: Adventure of Link, where you could block projectiles with the shield as long as you stay still. The shield can also block the Crash Bomber explosions, but only if Link is not moving and he is looking in the same direction when the bomb was attached to him.