Ness (ネス, Nesu) is the main character of the cult classic SNES RPG EarthBound, the most popular and successful game in the Mother franchise. He appears as the sole representative of both the game and the series in Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee. He appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl alongside fellow Mother representative, Lucas, who hails from Mother 3.
In EarthBound, Ness is a courageous boy from the fictional town of Onett located in north-western Eagleland. His favorite food is Salsbury steak and his favorite thing is Rockin' or Kiai (Fighting Spirit) (hence the name of his special move in EarthBound, PSI Rockin' or PK Kiai). He possesses strong psychic powers called Psychokinesis (hence the abbreviation PK, called PSI in the American adaption), and in the year 199X, utilizes his abilities to defeat a vengeful alien known as Giygas (although Giygas's motivation for revenge is only known from playing MOTHER). He is the successor of Ninten, the star of the original MOTHER (often called "EarthBound Zero"), the game in the Mother series before EarthBound and the first out of the trilogy. Some say Ninten and Ness are identical; however, the games take place in different settings, and there are several differences between the two boys. (Ninten knows no offensive PSI attacks, for example.)
On a dark night in 199X, Ness gets woken up by a meteorite crash. His natural curiosity leads him to investigate the crash site, where he meets his neighbor Porky Minch and an alien named Buzz Buzz. Buzz Buzz tells him that he is the boy who will save the world, and sends him on a mission to collect eight melodies that tie together the Earth's power. He eventually meets Paula, a talented girl learned in PK attacks; the brilliant but shy boy scientist Jeff Andonuts; and Poo, a mysterious prince. By recording and collecting the eight melodies using his Sound Stone, Ness draws the energy of the earth into himself and achieves the strength needed for the four of them to prevail with all their courage, wisdom and friendship. Five years after the release of EarthBound, Ness would make a surprise appearance in Super Smash Bros. and continue to be playable in the series, carrying his legacy.
Among many weapons, Ness wields slingshots, yo-yos, and most famous of all, Ness' signature baseball bat. Ness also is master of the psychic powers called PSI, and knows attacks like PK Flash, PK Rockin', PK Shield, Lifeup, Healing, Hypnosis, Paralysis and Teleport. Paula and Poo's moves PK Fire, PK Thunder PSI Magnet, and PK Starstorm would be borrowed by Ness for combat in the Super Smash Bros. series.
In Super Smash Bros.
- Main article: Ness (SSB)
Ness was a bit of surprise addition to the roster for the original Super Smash Bros.. Many players had never expected such an obscure character to turn up in the game, which seems to be reflected in-game as he is a secret character, unlocked by completing the 1P Game on a difficulty of Normal or higher, with three lives or less and using no continues. Strangely, none of Ness' special moves are his own; his special attacks, the PSI Magnet, PK Fire and PK Thunder, (B + Down, B and B + Up, respectively), were originally used by ally Paula in EarthBound. A possible explanation for this discrepancy is offered in the sequel to this game, Super Smash Bros. Melee, which states that Paula may have taught him these techniques.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee
- Main article: Ness (SSBM)
Ness returns in Super Smash Bros. Melee as a default character. He keeps all of his special moves and, as all other veterans, gains a fourth one: PK Flash, which is assigned as his B attack. PK Flash is Ness' first "true" special attack, as his other two offensive moves were not used by him in EarthBound. PK Fire was also changed to Ness' B + Forward.
Unlike Captain Falcon, who also made the transition from unlockable to default without being affected much, Ness appears to have been "nerfed"; that is, his fighting ability has been decreased, making him a much lower-quality character, much to the dismay of Ness fans.
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl
- Main article: Ness (SSBB)
On January 20, 2008, Edible, a GameFAQs member, made a topic on the site's Brawl message board about an official trailer on the Japanese Wii website that apparently confirmed Ness (as well as Lucario and Jigglypuff) as playable characters in the game. In this screenshot taken of the video, a Ness icon can clearly be seen in the lower right hand corner when the Claus sticker is selected, suggesting that Ness is returning in playable form. The video in question can be viewed here.
The intro for Brawl features Ness, reaffirming the fact that he is playable. Ness was revealed to be a confirmed playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl on Febuary 1st, 2008, the day after Brawl came out in Japan.
An average boy whose life changed when he found a meteor and an alien on a nearby mountain. The alien warned him of a future threat, and adventure ensued. He can use energy known as PSI and also wields a bat and yo-yo. This brave youth gives his all to defeat the evil Giygas.
- Ness' name may be an anagram of SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System), or it could also be a play on words of NES (Nintendo Entertainment System).
- Ness' trophy in Brawl has Super Smash Bros listed as one of the games he appears in.
- Ness is the only secret character to appear in the opening of every Super Smash Bros. game.
- The blush circles on Ness' face have been slightly faded in Brawl.
- Although Ness's specials are called "PK (Name)" in the Super Smash Bros. series, they are called "PSI (Name)" in EarthBound. The Japanese MOTHER 2 however refers to attack names as "PK (Name)" whereas healing moves are called "PSI (Name)". For example, PSI Rockin' in EarthBound is PK Kiai in MOTHER 2, but PSI Magnet is the same in both.
- PK Thunder and PK Fire aren't actually his own attacks in EarthBound/MOTHER 2 but rather, Paula's (both) and Poo's (Thunder).
- In Brawl, his yo-yo has the words "Super Nintendo 2008, Mother" printed on it.