Like in the original Super Smash Bros., Luigi is a floaty character with a high jump and low traction. As a result of his low traction, Luigi has the longest wavedash in the game, which allows him to slide across the stage in lengthy bursts at speeds nearly as fast as Captain Falcon's dash. Luigi is also well known for his powerful attacks and the hit-or-miss nature of his Super Jump Punch and Green Missile. Luigi has some of the better combos in Melee and due to his floatiness and quick aerials, combos are usually small against him as well. Unlike Luigi's Mansion, which was released shortly prior to Melee, Luigi's look is based more on his appearance in the Nintendo 64 era.
Luigi currently ranks 13th on the tier list, being located in the D tier. While his air game is relatively good (being one of the best in the game), they are hampered by his slow falling speed, which can prevent him from performing true aerial combos. His recovery is also predictable and easy to edge-guard, with his Super Jump Punch gaining no horizontal distance and his Green Missile leaving him vulnerable and can cause him to fly off the stage if he misfires.
How to unlock
- Clear the first level of Adventure Mode with a 2 in the "seconds" digit of the clock. (Example: XX:X2XX). After this requirement is met, Luigi will replace Mario in the accompanying cut-scene and battle. The player must then defeat Luigi (and Peach) within one minute and clear the Adventure Mode.
- Play 800 Vs. Mode matches.
Luigi can be an awkward character to play as. This is because his movement is best on the ground (due to having the longest wavedash in the game), but his attacks are best in midair (due to them being fast and powerful, which allows for high damage combos). Luigi's recovery is normally long, but also slow and predictable, due to Luigi having slow air speed and falling speed. His Side Special Move, the Green Missile, is his only method of horizontal recovery (besides Down B tilting). However, there is a 12.5% chance of the Green Missile misfiring. This can be good in some cases, as it can increase Luigi's recovery distance and speed. However, it can also lead to a self-destruct. Luigi also has the longest distance for wavedashing.
Luigi's high vertical jumping compliments vertical-trajectory ground attacks, but his slow falling speed slows his aerial game. However, one should note that slow falling does have advantages, such as making combos less effective against him. Luigi's approach is exceedingly poor outside of wavedashing (a combination of having low traction, slow initial dash speed, no disjointed hitboxes, slow falling speed, and a rather poor projectile in general), which forces an over-reliance on it for approaching. Luigi's Back Throw has very good knockback, and can be accompanied by edgeguarding on most stages for a quick gimp kill. Although Mario's and Dr. Mario's Back Throws are stronger, all 3 of them can take advantage of this in Mushroom: Kingdom and Mushroom: Kingdom II for an One-Hit KO.
Changes from Smash 64 to Melee
- Super Jump Punch has no horizontal distance and doesn't get as much vertical distance, making him rely on his Green Missile for horizontal recovery.
- New Forward Smash.
- New Neutral Combo (the third hit is a butt hit instead of a kick).
- Front Aerial is now a chop rather than a drill kick.
- Luigi Cyclone doesn't last as long, but strikes faster.
- New Up Tilt.
- His Down Aerial has been modified; now only does one strong hit rather than multiple weak hits.
- New Down Tilt.
- New Back Aerial.
- Overalls changed from purple to navy blue, now resembling his appearance in Nintendo 64 games
|Neutral attack||3%||Luigi's neutral attack combo is a three-hit attack consisting of two jabs followed by a hip bump. Useful as a low-damage opener.|
|Forward tilt||10%||Does a back spinning kick with his right leg. Has medium knockback. It is often used to poke or simply to push the opponent away, giving Luigi extra time to maneuver or set up edge-guards. This attack can be angled up or down, but all variations deliver the same damage.|
|Up tilt||9%||Luigi performs an overhead strike by swinging his fist over his head. Its upward trajectory makes this move well-suited for juggling, especially against fast-fallers.|
|Down tilt||9%||While crouching, Luigi turns around and kicks his heel out behind him, popping enemies into the air.|
|Dash attack||2% (hits 1-6)||Luigi dashes forward and attacks his opponent with a flurry of punches. All hits deal ≈11.1% when used fresh.|
|Forward smash||↗||14%||Bends his elbow before thrusting his arm out, performing a spearhand thrust. Launches opponents diagonally upwards. Has the highest knockback scaling in the game (at 135). This move be angled up or down.|
|Up smash||17%||Luigi swings his head to perform an upwards headbutt. Luigi's head is invincible during the attack.|
|Down smash||17%||Luigi kicks out twice in a break-dancing motion, first in front and then behind. The combination of the attack's upward trajectory and its knockback makes it an excellent combo starter.|
|Neutral aerial||15% (clean), 8% (late)||Luigi performs a jump kick attack that has sex kick properties. Sends the opponent straight upwards, which is often a popular tool for juggling and comboing opponents.|
|Forward aerial||12%||Luigi performs a quick karate chop forward. Deals high horizontal knockback and is one of Luigi's primary finishiers in midair.|
|Back aerial||11%||Performs a reverse dropkick that is good for damage-racking, edge-guarding, and zoning (especially on floaty opponents such as Jigglypuff). It also has high base knockback, similar to Dr. Mario's back aerial, adding to it's effectiveness.|
|Up aerial||13%||Performs an upwards flipkick in midair, hitting enemies above him. A somewhat useful edge-guarding tool.|
|Down aerial||16%||Performs a quick downwards drill kick. A valuable edge-guarding move. Can meteor smash if he hits the opponent with his hip.|
|Pummel||3%||Headbutts opponent. Relatively slow.|
|Forward throw||8%||Luigi spins around once and chucks his opponent forward. This throw is relatively weak but can be used near the ledge to set up edge-guards.|
|Back throw||10% (throw), 8% (collateral)||Luigi spins around three times and throws the opponent backwards. Luigi's strongest throw, often being used for throwing enemies off-stage and getting KOs.|
|Up throw||7%||Luigi tosses his opponent upwards. A very useful combo starter that can lead into a follow-up attack. It can also chain grab fast-fallers at low damage.|
|Down throw||7%||Luigi jumps and tosses the opponent onto the ground, bouncing them upwards at a horizontal angle.|
|Floor attack (front)||6%||Gets up and punches behind him, then in front.|
|Floor attack (back)||6%||Attacks with a sweepkick that hits on both sides.|
|Edge attack (fast)||6% (body), 8% (legs)||Luigi quickly pulls himself onto the stage and performs a highly angled dropkick attack.|
|Edge attack (slow)||10%||Luigi slowly climbs up and kicks forward with one leg.|
|Neutral special||Fireball||6%||Luigi shoots a green fireball as a projectile. Unlike Mario's fireballs, Luigi's fireballs are not affected by gravity.|
|Side special||Green Missile||5-26%, 25% (misfire)||Luigi charges up before blasting himself headfirst toward an opponent. The longer this move is charged, the farther Luigi will launch and the more powerful it will be. There is a 1-in-8 chance that Luigi will misfire, sending him much farther, much faster, and with much more knockback. Performing this move like a smash attack causes the move the finish charging sooner.|
|Up special||Super Jump Punch||25% (ground clean), 20% (air clean), 1% (late)||Luigi does a jumping uppercut straight upwards with no horizontal distance. There is a 1-frame sweetspot right at the beginning of the move, which is very powerful. Otherwise, it deals pitiful damage and no knockback.|
|Down special||Luigi Cyclone||8% (ground hit 1), 9% (air hit 1), 12% (hit 2)||Luigi begins to spin around while outstretching both his arms. This move covers a great distance horizontally and can gain a little distance vertically by rapidly tapping the B button.|
Luigi puts both hands behind his back and does a casual kick against the ground. It is the only taunt in Melee that can damage the opponent, dealing 1% damage. The taunt normally sends the enemy upwards with set knockback, and meteor smashes an enemy hanging on an edge.
- Sheepishly scratches the back of his head.
In addition to the normal trophy about Luigi as a character, there are two trophies about him as a fighter, unlocked by completing the Adventure and All-Star modes respectively with Luigi on any difficulty.
- Although Mario's younger brother has always played second fiddle, Luigi finally garnered the spotlight with his very own game, Luigi's Mansion. Things are looking up for the eternal understudy; he's even picked up his own rival in Waluigi. The day he's referred to as the "lean, mean, green machine" may not be too far off.
- Mario Bros. [Arcade 1983]
- Luigi (Smash Red)
- Luigi has worse traction than his brother, but he's a more powerful jumper. His Fireballs aren't affected by gravity, so they fly straight horizontally. The Green Missile is similar to Pikachu's Skull Bash, but there's a 12.5% chance of a spontaneous misfire. Luigi's taunting pose inflicts minor damage.
- Luigi (Smash Blue)
- Smack someone with Luigi's Super Jump Punch, and if the timing is just right, it will become a Fire Jump Punch of incredible strength. However, Luigi can only jump straight up when delivering this blow, and if his aim is a bit off, he'll only do a single point of damage. The Luigi Cyclone sucks foes in and twirls them about.
- A CPU-controlled Luigi will always use his Green Missile move for recovery, and will never use his Super Jump Punch, even if there is a platform above him.
- The reference unlocking of Luigi when the seconds mark reaches a 2 symbolizes the fact that Luigi always comes second to Mario.
- Also, beating Luigi in the Adventure mode only gives the player 20 bonus points, the smallest bonus point increase in the game.
- Luigi is the only character in Melee that has a taunt that can damage a player.
- When using most attacks, Luigi will have his eyes close as if he is damaged. This might be due to his cowardice.
- Luigi is the only returning character in the original Super Smash Bros. to not appear in this game's opening.
- Luigi uses the same voice clips as Mario, but are higher pitched.