This article is about Mario's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee. For the clone of Mario, see Dr. Mario; and for the semi-clone of Mario, see Luigi. For the character in other contexts, see Mario.
A well-rounded hero who boasts a balance between offense and defence.
—Description from Melee's manual.

Announced at E3 2001, Mario (マリオ, Mario) is a starter character in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Mario debuted in Donkey Kong on the arcade, and has been considered the main video game mascot for Nintendo ever since. His design is based on Super Mario 64.

Mario currently ranks 15th place in the tier list, because of being considered an "all-around" character. He is well-balanced, possessing average power in most of his attacks. However, his predictable recovery and above-average match-ups lock him in the E Tier.


Mario SSBM

In almost all of the games Mario is in, he is very balanced, and Super Smash Bros. Melee is no exception. Mario is well-rounded in terms of weight, falling speed, air speed, size, and dash speed. Mario's smash attacks do decent damage, and he can rack up damage by easily comboing his opponents. On the downside, most of Mario's KOs require a setup, and he does not have a reliable finisher. Mario has a decent edgeguarding projectile in the Fireball, which is very useful for setting up approaches, but this is his only ranged move.

Mario's Up and Down Throws can be used to chaingrab fast fallers and a few other characters, and his Back Throw can hit groups of opponents. His Forward Aerial is a powerful, but slow Meteor Smash. Mario can also wall jump, and he has good juggling abilities. Mario's recovery is very poor in comparison to other fighters', but his Cape, in addition to being able to turn opponents around and reflect projectiles, can help this problem. Alongside Luigi and Dr. Mario, he has one of the strongest Back Throws, and he can accompany it by edge-hogging for a quick gimp KO.

Changes from Smash 64 to Melee

Mario has been buffed from Smash 64. Here are some changes:

  • Mario Tornado doesn't last as long, but strikes faster, and knockback increases by damage percent.
  • New Forward Aerial which can Meteor Smash, but is slightly weaker and has slightly more starting and ending lag.
  • New Side Special - Cape.
  • Super Jump Punch doesn't travel as far, but it combos a lot faster.
  • He is now faster, stronger, more range, easier to combo with and more balanced.
  • His Up Smash and Down Smash are slightly weaker overall, but are much faster and have less ending lag. His new Forward Smash is much stronger and can reliably KO under 101% when angled straight, 98% when angled up, and 104%-105% when angled down.


  Image Name Damage Description
Neutral attack Mario Neutral attack SSBM 3%Two weak punches followed by a stronger forward kick. Originates from Mario's standard combo in Super Mario 64.
Forward tiltMario Forward tilt SSBM 10%Does a back spinning kick with his right leg. Good speed, though it has short range and is lacking in power. This move can be angled up or down.
Up tilt Mario Up tilt SSBM 8%Does an uppercut while spinning. A good juggling move, as well as a rather good combo starter.
Down tilt Mario Down tilt SSBM 8% (foot), 9% (leg)Sweeps low to the ground with his leg. Deals very low knockback.
Dash attack Mario Dash attack SSBM 9% (clean), 7% (late)Mario performs a quick running slide. Knocks the opponent diagonally behind him. Very similar animation to Mario's dashing attack from Super Mario 64.
Forward smashMario Forward smash SSBM 19% (fire), 15% (arm)Mario steps forward and launches a blast of fire from his palm. The move is relatively quick and powerful. Note that hitting the opponent with Mario's arm instead of the blast of fire is the sourspot, and is weaker. This attack can be angled up or down.
18% (fire), 11% (left arm), 10% (right arm)
17% (fire), 13% (arm)
Up smash Mario Up smash SSBM 15%Mario headbutts upward. A fast, strong move with more range behind Mario than in front. Mario's head is invulnerable during the attack.
Down smash Mario Down smash SSBM 16% (front), 10% (back feet), 12% (back legs)Performs a break-dancing sweep kick. Extremely fast, one of Mario's stronger moves. This is based off Mario's crouching attack from Super Mario 64.
Neutral aerial Mario Neutral aerial SSBM 12% (clean), 8% (late)Mario sticks one foot out in midair. It is a sex kick, meaning it gets weaker the longer it stays out.
Forward aerial Mario Forward aerial SSBM 15%Punches in a downward arc with an enlarged fist. This attack is a meteor smash.
Back aerial Mario Back aerial SSBM 11% (clean), 9% (late)Performs a reverse dropkick in midair. This attack comes out fast and is good for both spacing and edge-guarding.
Up aerial Mario Up aerial SSBM 11%Performs a midair flip kick. This attack deals low knockback, making it a good move for juggling.
Down aerial Mario Down aerial SSBM 2% (hits 1-7 & landing)Mario spins rapidly and performs a downwards drill kick. This attack hits multiple times and has a landing hitbox deals weak knockback. All hits can deal up to ≈12.92% when used fresh.
Grab Mario Grab SSBM  
Pummel Mario Pummel SSBM 3%Headbutts opponent. Relatively slow.
Forward throw Mario Forward throw SSBM 9%Mario spins around once, and throws the opponent forward with decent knockback.
Back throw Mario Back throw SSBM 12% (throw), 8% (collateral)Grabs opponent by the legs and swings them around three times before tossing them behind him. This attack has surprisingly high knockback and can hit nearby enemies during mid-swing.
Up throw Mario Up throw SSBM 8%Throws his opponent upward. Good for leading into an up tilt, or starting combos at higher percentages. Can chaingrab fastfallers.
Down throw Mario Down throw SSBM 6%Slams his opponent onto the ground. At lower to mid percentages, it can chaingrab characters with moderate falling speeds (such as Pikachu), and at high to very high percentages, it can chaingrab fastfallers.
Floor attack (front) Mario Floor attack (front) SSBM 6%Gets up and punches behind him, then in front.
Floor attack (back) Mario Floor attack (back) SSBM 6%Attacks with a sweepkick that hits on both sides.
Edge attack (fast) Mario Edge attack (fast) SSBM 6% (body), 8% (legs)Mario pulls himself up from the edge and performs a double-legged kick attack aimed upwards.
Edge attack (slow) Mario Edge attack (slow) SSBM 10%Slowly gets up and delivers a low kick at the opponent's feet.
Neutral special Fireball Mario (SSBM)Fireball6%Mario shoots a fireball as a projectile, which travels forward and loses momentum with each bounce.
Side special Cape (SSBM)CapeGround: 10% (close), 8% (far)
Air: 9% (close), 7% (far)
Mario swings his cape to attack the opponent and spin them around. The cape can reflect projectiles. The cape can be used in midair to aid Mario in horizontal recovery.
Up special Super Jump Punch Mario (SSBM)Super Jump Punch5% (hit 1), 1% (hits 2-8), 3% (hit 9)Mario does a jumping uppercut diagonally upward, being a multi-hitting attack that causes coins to fly out of the opponent. If this move is used while Mario is directly next to a wall and the control stick is flicked backward at the apex of the jump, the move will be cancelled into a wall jump and won't make Mario helpless, meaning he can perform the same move again without landing. Mario's main recovery move. Deals up to ≈12.92% if all hits connect.
Down special Mario Tornado (SSBM)Mario Tornado2% (hit 1), 1% (hits 2-7), 5% (hit 8 ground), 3% (hit 8 air)Mario spins around with both arms outstretched. It can be used for recovery by rapidly tapping the B button, though this requires fast reflexes. Deals up to ≈12.01% on the ground and ≈10.19% in the air if all hits connect.

Other animations


Mario grows to a super size, as if taking a Super Mushroom power-up, before shrinking again. It is the second longest taunt in Melee.

Idle pose

  • Adjusts his cap.

Character Matchups

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


  • Rising Tornado - If one mashes B rapidly while Mario is spinning, he'll get a slight lift. Hold the Control Stick towards the stage afterwards so the slight altitude gained is not wasted. This can also be used only once in the air to rise.
  • Full Jump to Down Aerial to Up Aerial - This move is a very good combo approach/start. Perform the drill early enough so the Up Aerial can be performed.
  • Up-B Wall Jump - On Yoshi's Story, if Mario is sent off, and he can't recover normally (Cape to Jump to Up-B), use the Up-B as a normal jump towards the wall and Wall Jump. This move takes a bit of practice and is both usable in the NTSC and PAL version of Melee.
  • Cape Edgeguard - When the opponent's recovery is easy to predict, use the Cape to turn them around, so that they don't return. This technique is not appropriate for some characters, such as Sheik, Marth, Yoshi, and Ness.

Trophy descriptions

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.

Known worldwide as Mr. Nintendo, Mario uses his incredible jumping ability to thwart the evil Bowser time after time. While he's best known as a hero, Mario has played many roles, including racer, doctor, golfer, and villain. His tastes have changed over 20 years of gaming; he long ago swapped the colors of his shirt and overalls.
  • Donkey Kong [1981]
Mario (Smash Red)
Mario is a character without any glaring weaknesses and plenty of strong attacks: he's even equipped with a Meteor Smash. He's a straightforward character who'll reflect the actual skills of the player. Mario's Cape will turn other characters in the opposite direction and can also reflect missile weapons.
Mario (Smash Blue)
Mass determines how easily a character can be sent flying, as well as a character's physical strength: Mario's mass is the standard upon which other Smash fighters are measured. His Super Jump Punch sends foes skyward in a shower of coins, while the Mario Tornado pulls in nearby foes, spins them silly, and scatters them every which way.

Alternate Costumes


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


  • A taunting Mario with a Super Mushroom in Giant Melee Mode is the largest possible character size that can be achieved without hacking.
  • Mario's taunt is the second longest taunt out of all the characters, the longest one being Young Link's.
  • Currently, Mario and Link are the only characters in Melee whose clones are ranked higher than they are.
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