Super Smash Bros. Melee, known in Japan as Dairantou* Smash Brothers DX** (大乱闘 スマッシュ ブラザーズDX, Dairantō Sumasshu Burazāzu Dī Ekkusu), and often shortened to "SSBM" or "Melee", is a 3-D on a 2-D plane fighting game for the Nintendo GameCube. It was released in late 2001 in America and Japan, shortly after GameCube's launch, and early 2002 in Europe.
Like Super Smash Bros., its predecessor, Melee features gameplay unique from that of other fighting games. Compared to characters in other fighting games, Melee characters have simple movesets, lack complicated button inputs and lengthy natural combos. In contrast, however, Melee greatly emphasizes movement and ringouts. Indeed, edge-guarding in Melee takes on much more significance than it does in most other games due to copious mid-air jumps and other methods of reaching the edge unfettered.
* Dairantou = Great Fray
**DX = Deluxe
There are 25 characters in the entire game: fourteen starter characters and eleven more which can be unlocked. All twelve characters have returned from Super Smash Bros., however ten characters from the previous game are available from the start and the other two are the same as the previous game.
- Captain Falcon
- Donkey Kong
- Zelda/diddy kong
There are eighteen starter stages and eleven more which can be unlocked.
- Fountain of Dreams
- Great Bay
- Green Greens**
- Icicle Mountain
- Jungle Japes**
- Kongo Jungle
- Mute City
- Pokémon Stadium**
- Princess Peach's Castle
- Rainbow Cruise**
- Yoshi's Island**
- Yoshi's Story
- Big Blue**
- Brinstar Depths
- Dream Land (N64)
- Final Destination
- Flat Zone
- Kingdom II
- Kongo Jungle (N64)
- Poké Floats
- Yoshi's Island (N64)
** stages return in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
These stages cannot be unlocked, and can only be played under certain circumstances.
- Target Test Stages
- Trophy Collector
- Race to the Finish
- Mushroom Kingdom Adventure
- Underground Maze
- Brinstar Escape Shaft
- F-Zero Grand Prix
- Rest Station
- Home-Run Stadium
- Majora's Mask
These stages can only be used when the game is hacked. Some are functional, most are not.
* Can be activated with other hacks, but not Debug Mode.
Changes from the original
While Melee mainly follows the same formula introduced in the original game by retaining most elements, several differences exist between the two games. The following list, while not all-inclusive, addresses several of the changes. Please note that this list does not include obvious changes, such as a different button scheme/controller and Melee-only characters and items.
- All characters have four special moves; veterans now have a new Side B move. In some cases (such as Link), the character's old Neutral B got moved to their Side B, with the newly added move becoming the Neutral B.
- The number of throws each character can perform has also been increased to four; all veterans now have an up throw and a down throw.
- Characters can escape grabs (depending on damage), while the grabber can now pummel.
- The pacing of the game has been increased drastically.
- The game has slightly less of a focus on comboing.
- Most grabs have been decreased significantly in power and knockback.
- The single-player Board the Platforms bonus game does not return.
- Air dodging and sidestep dodging have been implemented.
- All characters can move while carrying a heavy item (albeit very slowly); in the original, this ability was exclusive to Donkey Kong.
- Wall jumping has been implemented.
- Certain characters can now wall grapple. Ex. Link, Samus, etc.
- Items can now be grabbed before coming to a complete stop; they can also be grabbed by a midair character.
- Smash attacks can now be charged by holding the A button.
- The Heart Container's healing power has been reduced to simply healing 100%, while the Maxim Tomato's effect was also reduced to 50%.
- On-Screen Appearances have been removed.
- If you end a game early, the statistics won't be saved.
- The angle at which the menus are seen can be tilted with the C-stick. Also, the player can press L or R to view another fighter when the game is paused.
SSBM is widely known for its large and intricate tournament scene, which is the second largest video game tournament community in the world (Behind Halo 2 for the Xbox). The generally accepted birth of the tournament scene was caused by the creation of the TG series. Recently, the tournament scene has been bolstered by grand-scale tournaments such as the MLG series.
The community has constructed a set of standard tournament rules to regulate tournament play. All matches are played with timed stock (usually four lives and eight minutes), with items turned off and restrictions on legal stages. These regulations are enacted to ensure that gameplay at the highest level remains fair and interesting.