Luigi (Japanese: ルイージ, Ruīji) is an unlockable character in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Luigi's moveset is markedly similar to that of Mario, though his attacks often differ in knockback and trajectory. Like in previous Nintendo games, Luigi is a floaty character with a high jump and low traction. As a result of his low traction, Luigi can lay claim to 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 aerial attacks and the hit-or-miss nature of his Super Jump Punch and Green Missile.
To unlock Luigi, the player must 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 within one minute. After Adventure Mode is completed, the player will face a CPU Luigi challenger and must defeat him to unlock Luigi.
Alternately, playing 800 versus matches will also unlock Luigi.
Luigi in competitive play
Luigi's aerial attacks are powerful, effective at combos, quick to come out, and virtually lag-free. Additionally, due to his floaty nature and low-lag aerial attacks, Luigi's greatest strengths at high level play are the abilities to string together multiple aerials in single Small Jumps and wavelanding aerials for fast and easy mobility along the stage.
Luigi is also a character who relies more heavily on luck than most of the others. With the 12.5% chance of a spontaneous misfire occurring on his Green Missile, Luigi can self-destruct unintentionally on smaller stages, but can also sometimes make a lucky recovery. Additionally, in order for his recovery to be at its most effective, Luigi needs to use his cyclone (down B) and rapidly tap B; to gain any height, he needs to have "charged" his cyclone by using it on the surface of the stage before being sent flying. As such, there is no guarantee that his maximum recovery distance will always be available in combat. Aside from possible misfires, Luigi's recovery is slow and predictable, due to his low air speed and his up B triple jump, which does not move Luigi horizontally at all.
Luigi's advantages and disadvantages are fairly distinct and as the game's depth has slowly been uncovered, his position in the tier list has fallen considerably from his rank in previous tier lists. Currently, he is ranked 14th in the tier list and second amongst the low tier characters, but in the past he has ranked as high as 6th. Although there is always debate amongst Luigi players, there is a general consensus that Luigi has difficult matchups against higher-tiered characters such as Marth and Sheik, in part because his strength in mid-air cannot coordinate easily with his reliance on ground-based movement and his low horizontal air speed. Many of the tournament-seasoned Luigis have either dropped off the professional scene or taken up different characters to keep pace with the steadily intensifying competition.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. to Super Smash Bros. Melee
- New Side B (Green Missile)
- Overalls changed from purple to navy blue.
- Super Jump Punch has no horizontal distance and doesn't get as much vertical distance, relying on his Green Missile for horizontal recovery.
- Forward Smash is a jab rather than a Mega Punch.
- New Neutral Combo
- Front Aerial is now a chop rather than a spin kick.
- Luigi Cyclone doesn't last as long, but strikes faster.
Neutral A combo
- A - Jab = 1-3%
- A-A - Jab = 1-2%
- A-A-A - Bump = 2-5%
Total damage = 4-10%
Luigi's neutral A combo is a three-hit attack consisting of two jabs followed by a hip bump. This combo can inflict up to 10% damage over three hits. It is useful as a low-damage opener. Because the third strike of the combo knocks the opponent away, and has a medium amount of lag, many players elect to omit the third strike of the combo. Luigi can also repeat the first strike of the neutral A by interrupting the combo with "down" on the control stick after each jab.
Another use of Luigi's neutral A is to interrupt projectiles. Since Luigi lacks a reflector, jabs serve as a low-lag alternative (as opposed to shielding). Examples of projectile-jabbing utility can be best seen against Mario's fireballs, Link's boomerangs and Dr. Mario's pills. Additionally, Luigi can use combo the first two punches into a Super Jump Punch against fast-fallers at higher percentages. However, it is easy to miss the final attack.
Luigi's forward tilt is a sideways kick with medium knockback. It is often used simply to push the opponent away, giving Luigi extra time to maneuver; he cannot, however, combo out of his forward tilt. Like some other forward tilts, Luigi's can be angled; it is unique in this aspect because it has set knockback when angled downwards, but knocks back the target normally when angled up or sideways.
- Up tilt - Kittenswipe = 4-9% damage
Luigi's up tilt is a swipe that arcs over Luigi's head. Its upward trajectory makes up tilt well suited for comboing, especially against fast-fallers. The kittenswipe hits slightly in front of and behind him as well as above him, so juggling fast fallers can be effective for at least a few strikes even if they DI competently. Also, its hitbox lends itself better to hitting opponents on platforms than a lower-ranged up smash.
- Down tilt - Crouch Kick = 4-9% damage
In this attack Luigi crouches down and kicks low to the ground. It is a low-knockback attack, but unsuited to combos because it is too laggy. Since this attack hugs the ground, it can be used to attack a sweet spotting enemy, but competitive Luigi players rarely use this attack otherwise.
- Forward smash - Poke = 7-19% damage
Luigi winds up and launches his hand straight into his opponent, sending them at a forward and upward trajectory. It can be angled up or down to vary the hitbox and shield stab the opponent. Luigi can also use forward smash as a combo finisher, in some cases. Additionally, charging a forward smash will cease Luigi momentum mid-wavedash, allowing him to come to an unexpected stop. There is a real-life version of this technique called "spear hand".
- Up smash - Headbutt = 9-23% damage
This up smash is nearly identical to Mario and Dr. Mario's headbutt with an up-and-behind trajectory, ideal for setting up aerial combos with Luigi. The player can also buffer a simple up smash in at the end of a wavedash which allows for an alternative vertical launcher to Luigi's common wavedash to down smash approach.
- Down smash - Sweep Kick = 9-23% damage
Luigi kicks out twice in a breakdancing motion, first in front and then behind. This attack has an upward trajectory and its knockback provides for aerial combos against low-damage enemies and KO's against high-damage enemies. The combination of the Sweep Kick's speed, range, comboability and power make it Luigi's most-used smash in competitive play.
- Forward throw - 4-7% damage
- Back throw - 5-10% damage
Luigi's strongest throw, it is used for throwing enemies off-stage.
- Up throw - 4-7% damage
Luigi's up throw can chain grab fast-fallers at low damage, as seen in Greenish Machine 2. If a person DI's, Luigi can follow the opponent up with a wavedash. This throw can also combo into up smash, down smash, or up tilt in various cases..
- Down throw - 3-7% damage
Luigi's neutral aerial has the same knockback properties of most sex kicks; however, this sex kick is unique in that it sends enemies upwards. For this reason, Luigi's sex kick is a popular tool for juggling and comboing opponents. This neutral aerial has high speed and range, so it can be used as a combo breaker as well as a combo starter of Luigi's own.
- Forward aerial - Chop - 6-12% damage
Luigi's forward aerial is a chop with the hand. It has high horizontal knockback and is one of his primary KO'ing aerial attacks. It also has high knockback at low damage which lends itself well to Luigi's wavelanding ability, allowing him to string together multiple aerials over a long distance, with proper spacing.
- Back aerial - Drop Kick - 6-11% damage
Racking up damage in the air is quick and easy with Luigi back aerial kick which, like Mario and Dr. Mario's back aerials, comes out fast enough so that the user can often kick multiple times per jump. This attack is commonly used to edge-guard the opponent, because Luigi is facing backwards in position to edge-hog.
- Up aerial - Flip Kick - 7-13% damage
Due to Luigi's low falling speed, his up aerial flip kick doesn't offer the same juggling properties from the ground as Mario's; however, it is often used against opponents above Luigi on platforms, or as a vertical launcher to set up an aerial finisher like the Chop. The opponent's trajectory upon being hit is dependent on which part of the flip kick you are hitting them with.
- Down aerial - Spin Kick - 8-16% damage
Luigi sticks his feet out with a little twist and knocks its target outwards horizontally, making it a valuable edgeguarding alternative to the back aerial that also offers a little more power. Luigi's down aerial can also spike if he hits the opponent with his hip (in a similar fashion to Young Link's down aerial spike). Luigi's down aerial spike is a meteor smash and therefore can be meteor canceled.
- Taunt - 1% damage
Luigi's taunt, a casual kick against the ground, is the only taunt in Melee that can damage the opponent. Taunt normally sends the enemy upwards with set knockback, but if Luigi connects with the bottom of his foot, the taunt can also serve as a spike and a meteor smash. Since it is slow and very weak, Luigi's taunt is rarely used in competitive play. This is one of the moves sometimes used just for laughs because it is very hard to hit somebody with it. Luigi professionals generally don't taunt as much when an opponent dies, preferring to use Down B in order to charge it.
Luigi can appear in the adventure mode if the player finishes the first stage, Mushroom Kingdom Adventure, with the number "two" anywhere in the timer, a cutscene will occur which will show Luigi taking Mario's place in the upcoming battle. The player will then have to battle a team of Luigi and Peach. If you have unlocked Luigi, Metal Luigi will appear on the Battlefield stage alongside Metal Mario.
Luigi is featured in the following Event Matches:
- Event 31: Mario Bros. Madness: Your character battles a team of Mario and Luigi in a 2-minute unlimited-stock match in the Mushroom: Kingdom stage. Whoever gets the most KOs wins, much like in a standard time-match.
- Event 35: Time for a Check-up: You play as Luigi as you battle a team of Dr. Mario and Peach on the Yoshi's Island: Yoshi's Story, with each character having 1 stock and the match timed for 3 minutes.
- Event 38: Super Mario Bros. 2: In this match, your character must battle against Mario, Luigi, and Peach in an unlimited-time 2-stock match on Mushroom: Kingdom II. The odds may seem especially stacked against the player, but the opponent team is subject to friendly fire. The character selection and stage are a direct throwback to the original Super Mario Bros. 2, an NES sequel to Super Mario Bros.
- Event 40: All-Star Match 4: Luigi is the second opponent you must fight in this series of staged battles. Your character battles him on the Mushroom Kingdom II stage, and your character has 2 stock while Luigi has one. With a timer of four minutes, you must defeat him and the other four characters with the overall time and life you have: Marth, Jigglypuff, Mewtwo, Mr. Game and Watch.
- Event 42: Trouble King 2: You play as Luigi against a giant Bowser on the stage Poke Floats, with both players having 2 stock each.
In addition to the normal trophy about Mario as a character, there are two trophies about him as a fighter, unlocked by completing the Adventure and All-Star modes respectively with Mario on any difficulty:
- 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. (B: Fireball, Smash B: Green Missile)
- 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. (Up & B: Super Jump Punch, Down & B: Luigi Cyclone)
- Despite the appearance from the Super Smash Bros. Melee website,Luigi's appearance when chosen in the actual game is different.