SONIC AND TAILS IN SMASH MELEE! It’s gotta be true right, it was in an April issue of EGM and… Wait, April issue?! PGC puts the code to the test & the rumors to rest.
Electronic Gaming Monthly’s April issue ran a code “revealing” that Sonic the Hedgehog and his pal Tails are both playable in SSBM! EGM lets it be known that if you can get 20 KOs in Cruel Melee, both Sonic & Knuckles appear at once to challenge you. If you can beat them, they will be playable.
Although we’d like to trust our readers to have enough common sense not to believe just anything, we’ve gotten a staggering amount of email about & can no longer ignore it. For all of you still wondering: it is not true. It is a joke, an APRIL FOOL’S joke in fact. It's just now March as we post this, but the code did appear in the April issue of the magazine…
EGM is pretty notorious with their April Fool’s jokes. In fact, several years ago, they nearly succeeded in tricking the world that Shen Long was a secret character in Street Fighter 2. You can read all about this prank here. Here again, EGM have made up something silly for an April Fool’s joke and ended up fooling just about everyone once more. We’ve got the email to prove it (though GameFAQs looks like it was hit worse).
Even if you’re still not convinced that this is a hoax, we’ve actually been able to CONFIRM that nothing happens when you get 20+ knockouts in Cruel Melee. We’ve consulted a group of hardcore SSBM acolytes, who have achieved this impossible task (and even gotten many more than 20 KOs) and let us know that nothing special happens -except being able to take pride in being a good player! If you want to try for yourself, these players recommend a good way to get a lot of KOs in Cruel Melee is to use Jigglypuff and his all powerful falling asleep move.
So no, Sonic & Tails are not in SSBM. Now stop emailing us. Sonic fans can take heart however; Miyamoto recently hinted Sega’s famous blue hedgehog could appear in the new Mario Kart. The crossover we’ve dreamed of could be happening someday after all.
Happy early April Fool’s, SUCKERS!
Last updated: 11/27/2001 by Max Lake
Super Smash Brothers Melee, has been released in Japan where it is known as Super Smash Brothers DX. As expected, the game was a big hit in Japan and released alongside two new hues of GameCube, ”Spice” Orange and Jet Black and these systems were snapped up alongside copies of the game.
One of the biggest questions surrounding Smash Melee are how many secret characters there will be and who they are. Because the game is out, we can confirm the long-speculated identities of the secret characters, but we’d like to issue a SPOILER ALERT here and now – proceed at your own risk.
There will be 11 playable secret characters. Sadly, there will be no Sonic the Hedgehog (although Yuji Naka was quoted in a recent issue of EGM saying he’d love for his creation to be in SSBM), Joanna Dark or even Kid Icarus.
Returning secret characters are Luigi and Jigglypuff. Everyone else is new. However, six of these eleven hidden characters will be variations on six of the main characters, with exactly the same moves. These six “doppelgangers” will possess exactly the same moves as their counterparts though differ in size and appearance. The doppelgangers are:
Dr. Mario has one difference: instead of throwing fireballs he throws multi-colored pills. This makes the same noise as the fireball. Time to take your medicine baby, Dr. Mario has a prescription for whoop-ass!
PGC has long suspected that Link’s arch-nemesis would be included and Gannondorf has indeed made the cut. Gannondorf does not use his sword apparently and is similar to Captain Falcon. However, his move similar to the “Falcon Punch” is much, much stronger than Captain F’s signature move. Another Pokemon joins the ranks too - Mewtwo.
The remaining 3 secret characters will come as a surprise, as they are completely out of left field. In fact, even the most hardcore Nintendophiles may not recognize them—unless they live in Japan, that is! Roy and Prince Marth are two characters from Intelligent Systems’ mature SRPG series Fire Emblem. This should come as very good news to those hoping the FE series might make its way to the West…
The final secret character is as old school as they come. He actually pre-dates every Nintendo system, yet is still a video game character. This character is Mr. Game & Watch, who looks exactly like the simple stick-figure characters that appeared in the original Nintendo handhelds. Mr. Game & Watch is actually in 2D and has his own 2D level. Reportedly, this character looks almost like a drawing because he is so archaic.
At this point, it’s no secret that one of the characters, Shiek, can transform into Princess Zelda. PGC has learned that different attacks and magic are available, depending on which form she takes.
There will be “nearly 30” stages too. Many of the characters will have more than one stage. Mario has the most stages out of anyone, including a classic Mushroom Kingdom stage (similar to the first SSB), a Mario World stage and Subcon, the land of dreams from SMB2. Expect all sorts of surprises in the new stages.
25 total characters and almost 30 stages; pretty impressive for any fighting game, especially Smash Brothers! For those disappointed that their favorite Nintendo characters didn’t make the playable cut, take comfort in the fact that the trophy mode will showcase just about any Nintendo character imaginable. In fact, there are more trophies than you can shake a stick at! The trophy mode is more of a bonus history mode than anything that affects the actual game.
Incidentally, Nintendo has begun posting screenshots of the screenshots at its Smash Brothers Website, starting with screens of Luigi in action. For bandwidth purposes, we’ll leave them at Nintendo’s Japanese site, but be sure to check them out!
It’s only a matter of days before Super Smash Brothers Melee hits North America. Many stores are reportedly sold out of pre-orders for this hot title. Hang on tight –one of the biggest games for Nintendo fans is nearly here at last. Look for more details and impressions coming up soon on PGC!
Last updated: 11/05/2001 by Max Lake
Super Smash Bros. Melee is one of the big draws of SpaceWorld 2001, where several Japanese gamers are getting to play the game for the first time.
The NCL Japanese SSBM website has put up a page to commemorate the occasion, showing pictures of the Smash presentation at SpaceWorld, the playing units all lined up before the show and then during the show, with several folks playing. There are even some industry cameos, including a picture of Sonic Team president Yuji Naka smashing away!
Since PGC is at the show, our Away Team has played the game and we’ve gotten some new details. Unfortunately, Billy reports that the line for entry into the SSBM SpaceWorld Tournament is 3 hours long, so our gang wisely decided to skip trying to compete.
Joe Fletcher’s recent impressions indicate the SW build runs much faster than the E3 version and sports two “new” playable characters, the Ice Climbers and Peach. The Ice Climbers Nala & Popo are controlled together; both can be hit but only one can be hurt making them somewhat confusing opponents. Joe also confirmed for us that Peach does use Toad as a “Chemical Weapon” and also has a frying pan swing as one of her attacks.
There’s another new detail to emerge from the show at Makuhari, namely that SSBM will include the option to select languages, either Japanese or English. As many Smash Bros characters’ voices don’t need/use actual words, this probably pertains to the menus only. Still, SSBM hits Japan on November 21st, just a hair earlier than the release date for the North American version. Although there will be a territorial lock-out on the Cube, the language mode will definitely be a plus to those importing Cubes, who will want to get Smash Melee just as quickly as possible. Whether or not the North American release will include this feature is uncertain, but it seems like there's a good chance.
Billy shared this information with us after the first day of SpaceWorld, but thanks to readers John Cudney and Torrey Clark for the reminder (and to Torrey for sending in a pic of the option)!
And in regards to our last update, it turns out that the Camp Hyrule counselors mentioning Kid Icarus and Perfect Dark levels in the game were just joking around. Not that it completely rules out the possibility but it’s probably a long shot at best…
Last updated: 08/14/2001 by Mike Sklens
In today's Camp Hyrule chat session, some staff from Nintendo Power stopped by to take questions for an hour. There is one important thing you have to know about Camp Hyrule first though. Lots of the time the NOA people that are there like to screw around. So currently, this is all un-confirmed and is pretty much rumor. One of the questions asked was "What is your favorite level in Super Smash Bros." Some writers answered with their favorite levels from Smash Bros Melee. And, two of their answers revealed secret levels that we had not heard about until today. One of the 2 levels mentioned in the chat session was the "Kid Icarus level". So, is there a Kid Icarus level? This also raises the chances for Pit being a playable character. The other level that was mentioned was a Perfect Dark level, so does this mean that Jo or Elvis will be a playable character? Exciting possibilities no doubt, but don't get your hopes up too much -this may very well be a Camp Hyrule prank!
Last updated: 08/13/2001 by Jonathan Metts
In the newest "Galloping Gaijin" article at Tendo Box, there's an interview translated from Famitsu with Masahiro Sakurai, director of Melee. Here's a juicy excerpt that caught our eye:
Famitsu: Have you had any interesting episodes recently while developing the game?
Sakurai: One day, the character profile screens went askew, with the Metroid's profile saying he carried a harp and had a beautiful singing voice whilst the Balloon Fighter's said he had a great jump. If anything else happens, I'll be in touch.
If "character profiles" are for playable characters, this pretty much confirms Balloon Fighter as a playable character. However, if it refers to the little descriptions for trophies...probably not. This programming glitch anecdote offers nothing definitive, but this at least raises the possibility.
Thanks to reader qwerty for the tip!
Last updated: 08/10/2001 by Michael "TYP" Cole
To prepare gamers going to Space World for SSBM, Nintendo and HAL have previously released information on characters' moves and the basics. But now they have touched on a topic that many are quite curious about: the Coin Mode, and with this new information it looks to be a new favorite!
The basic premise is quite simple: hit your enemies and collect the coins that come out of them. The more the inflicted damage, the more the loot. The small, bronze coins are worth 1 coin, silver ones are equivalent to 5, and the giant gold ones are a whopping 10 coins apiece! Coins are not depleted from the victim's hoard when attacked, but that hardly means you don't have to worry about dying! When knocked out, a player will lose half of his stock or 100 coins--whichever is less. This wouldn't be too bad, except the lost money becomes up for grabs for the remaining character(s)! Oh yeah, and it appears that blocking will have the number of coins generated. (Thanks to Babelfish and Dragona for translations!) Coin Mode will certainly have frantic gameplay.
Lots of strategy will be involved in this version of Smash Bros. The coins go in different directions, depending on how a character is hit and in what direction. Also, character choice will be key: small, agile fighters will be able to get to the coins faster, but will also be easier to KO. Meanwhile, large, strong characters will be harder to finish and create more coins, but they may have difficulty retrieving them.
Coin Mode should be quite a blast, and it's only one style of play! There are even more modes that have yet to be fully unveiled!
Last updated: 08/02/2001 by Max Lake
We can’t seem to stop updating this preview, but that’s cool—we are really excited about this game!
Along with a few new screens of Smash Melee, NCL’s page has also put up a questionnaire of sorts. Although we can’t speak Japanese, we have used Babelfish to decipher this page. Apparently you can submit your name, favorite SSB character & your favorite beverage (WTF???) and then leave some comments below. Already, the page is full of entries.
We also got an email from PGC reader David Hannah explaining one of the items we mentioned recently:
I read you recent SSBM preview and you spoke of certain items in the game. I noticed there was one you referred to as being a metal rod with balls on each end. Well how you spoke of it, it seems that you do not know that this is the bumper from the classic Balloon Fight for the NES. I decided to try to inform you to this since it seemed you were unaware of it...
I have included a picture of the item in the classic NES game.
That’s the item we were talking about all right! (It is in the center of the picture.) Thanks a lot David! This thing can really wreck havoc on the playing field for Balloon Fighters and Smash Brothers!
Last updated: 07/31/2001 by Max Lake
Last time, we covered several of the items that will appear in the game, including the parasol. falsely speculated that it was the parasol item from the original Donkey Kong, an item where you simply got extra points after collecting it. It wasn’t a bad guess, though “SquirrelsRevolt” wrote in to set us straight.
The parasol in SSB Melee is most likely from the classic game Kirby's Adventure on NES. Here are two screenshots showing Kirby floating down using the parasol, and getting the power of the parasol.
Doesn’t look like much room for arguing this one. Thanks for pix & info, “SquirrelsRevolt!” That's not all though! Another Kirby fan wrote us to let us know the pink gallot’s morphing-into several-heavy-objects move (also mentioned last preview update) has appeared in Kirby games before. From “ECWN64MAN” comes this:
In Kirby Superstar and the follow up Kirby's Dreamland 3 Kirby can get the power to become stone like in original Smash Bros. But, in the SNES ones, whenever Kirby turned into stone it'd change between various items such as, a thwomp, round spike ball, a 100 ton weight, a statue, etc. That is most likely what is shown with Kirby. Trust me, the reason I got Gameboy was for
Kirby's Dreamland and have played all Kirby games, I'm a Kirby fan.
We can tell! Thanks for sharing the knowledge! (These would make great trivia questions, no doubt!)
The first Smash Brothers paid great attention to detail in paying tribute to the games that serve as the source material. It looks like Melee continues the tradition, and then some. We can’t wait to see how everything comes together and what all is referenced & included in the final product.
We also have one final, non-Kirby bit of info too… It looks like Super Smash Bros. Melee has debuted in the Top 20 “Most Wanted” console games in Japan, according to Magic Box. We believe this Top 20 is taken from Famitsu, which would make SSBM the first GameCube game to debut in the charts. We’re sure that other NGC games will be joining this list as SpaceWorld hits.
At the rate we’re updating this preview, we'll likely have additional details on the game before then. Stay tuned!
Last updated: 07/29/2001 by Max Lake
Our E3 Video is almost complete and in getting it finished, I’ve had to review a great deal of Smash Bros. Melee footage—the video will have LOTS of it. Although PGC has worked to have as much info & screens as possible for our ongoing coverage of Smash Melee, some excited readers have wrote in asking for even more!
Watching closely, I’ve been able to discern a few more details for our preview & dig up other stuff. Here we go, in no particular order…
Lucky for us, Nintendo has continued to release screenshots regularly. Most recently shots show several items in action. The Beam Sword works similarly to how it did in the first game, though its length can change depending on the circumstance. It also looks even less like a lightsaber from Star Wars. The Superscope (modeled after the actual SNES peripheral) shoots rapidly, though has low battery power. Various types of food are obviously used to recover strength & are surprisingly detailed! Hearts & Maxim Tomatoes also give health. The Parasol (apparently representing the item from the original Donkey Kong?) is not a Peach-specific item & can be used by characters to float slowly down, though can also be thrown into the air, where it spins and hits opponents. The parasol can also be used to whack people too. Finally, there is the Magic Mushroom item which will power up your character and cause them to grow to super size. (In the screenshot we have, Peach has just eaten the shroom & become a 50 Foot Woman!) Another new item (which we do not currently have a screen of) is a metal rod with a large ball on each end. Once this rod is touched, it begins spinning & anyone who touches it from then on is sent flying.
One thing it seems this preview has failed to mention before is that Smash Melee will have a dedicated taunt button, just like every good fighting game should have. For example, for Donkey Kong’s taunt, he looks at the camera and shrugs & shakes in a very ape-like manner.
There will be more levels than the original Smash, and there were about 10 stages playable at E3. There were several other stages, marked with “?” boxes. The total number of stages looks to be 18.
The Planet Zebes level has unstable gel like material similar to the kind seen in the Metroid games. This is the kind of stuff Samus would bomb through in the games. Although it was oddly difficult to do in the E3 demo, this regenerating floor will eventually give way under intense damage. When that happens, the two floating platforms it once joined will drift apart, effectively reshaping a large portion of the Zebes level!
There is a level that takes place on a beautiful looking airship. It doesn’t quite look like Bowser’s airship either…
In Donkey Kong’s Congo level, there is a waterfall in the background. Occasionally, little crocodile creatures, similar to ones seen in Donkey Kong Country & Donkey Kong Jr., go falling over the waterfall. Whether or not they can hurt you and affect gameplay (like the moving barrels in the DK Stage can) is unknown.
One level is taken from Zelda: Majora’s Mask and is set in the Great Bay, with the giant sea turtle outside Zora Hall as part of the level.
In addition using to throwing needles as a projectile move, Shiek has a whip that can be used as a weapon and block other fighters’ projectiles. Footage of the whip in action shows Shiek waving it, as Samus and Mario fire missiles and fireballs to no avail—the whip detonates and deflects them. Shiek also apparently has a teleport move that can be used to get the drop on opponents. Shiek’s combat style is very acrobatic and slick looking.
Shiek isn’t the only one showing off martial arts skills. One of Fox McCloud’s moves is a string of jumping axe kicks. This move sends Fox twirling across the screen with a chain of kicks. Fox can also jump straight into the air and do a similar barrage of kicks.
Ness has a headbutt move; it may be part of his throw move.
Along with turning into a rock, Kirby has a move (combo?) where he turns into a Thwomp block, a large pink rectangle (too flowery to be a brick), a 100-ton weight and a round spike ball.
Last time we mentioned some of the Pokemon trophies. There are many more Pokemon in Melee that appear thru the Poke-ball item & newer critters from Pokemon Gold & Silver, including Celebi, are in the game. Lots of Pokemon are shown in the opening movie, though whether or not they’ll be included is anyone’s guess.
Whether or not they are playable, Koopa Troopa and Goomba are definitely in the game besides in trophy form. They are found within the one-player Mario level. Similarly, Re-Dead zombies and Octorocks have been seen in the one-player Zelda level; screenshots of which have caused some (including FGN Online) to mistakenly think they are seeing the GC Zelda in action. There are also seals & ice drops in the Ice Climber level and Metroids in the Planet Zebes level.
Along with these minor baddies, we recently mentioned some of the villains that might make it into the game based on hints in the intro & trophies glimpsed. We’ve mentioned before that Star Wolf & Samurai Goroh both appear briefly in the opening movie… could they be playable characters? Star Wolf could almost be a palette swap of Fox, with some extra moves; likewise with Goroh & Captain Falcon. Having these two characters would go along with the theory of the main characters’ adversaries being included.
Finally, the plot thickens on Sonic as a hidden character in Smash Melee… Or not. If you caught this news story, you’ll know what Sega president, Peter Moore had to say:
"Wouldn't surprise me at all of Sonic were to show up in Super Smash Bros. Melee," Moore noted. " It wouldn't surprise me at all if two of the greatest videogame development talents in the world sat down and said, 'Hey, we've got to do something together.'" But it's just a rumor at this point. There is nothing definitive. And I'm not holding anything back. But with that said, I've got to believe that conversations are being had."
It’s still a dim glimmer of hope I suppose, but don’t hold your breath…
Last updated: 07/23/2001 by Jonathan Metts
PGC has some new info on SSB Melee, especially the Trophy Mode. A lot has been said about this mode and what it may or may not have to do with secret characters, etc. What many people haven't considered is that the trophy mode may be something in between a simple picture album and a way to unlock playable characters.
According to our sources at NOA, you earn trophies one at a time from the slot machine, and you can only have one trophy at a time. Coins are won throughout the game and 1 coin is the cost for a pull at the slots. Then, you are randomly awarded the figure.
Apparently you can view the whole collection all you want (even rotate the 3D models with the C-stick), so it seems odd to say that you can only have one at a time. That suggests that you equip one trophy out of your collection, which subsequently suggests that equipping a trophy creates some effect.
One possibility is that trophies are like permanent power-ups. For instance, perhaps equipping the ducks from Duck Hunt will make you jump higher, while equipping Zero-One from Pokemon Snap will add new features to the pause-view and/or replay modes. This theory explains a lot of the more unusual trophies we've seen, and it also adds some functionality to them beyond just something to look at.
If this theory is correct, and perhaps even if not, the trophies have nothing to do with unlockable characters. Thus, HAL doesn't have to worry about making the dozens and dozens and dozens of trophies into playable characters or anything like that, and trophies like Luigi (who is very likely a playable character) make more sense. In fact, it means that there are probably trophies of all the playable characters too, and we just haven't seen them yet.
Hopefully HAL and Nintendo will fully explain Melee's trophy mode by Spaceworld, but this new theory is one of the few we've seen that answers more questions than it raises.
We also have new info about the Ice Climbers. Nintendo's Japanese website has a big page full of Melee info, and it includes an interesting picture of one of their moves, called the "rubber jump". Thanks to a translation by BabelFish, it looks like the two Ice Climbers are controlled by the same player simultaneously, and yet they have separate damage meters! The page also suggests that Nana, the female Ice Climber, generally follows around her male partner, although she can attack on her own to some unknown degree. Weird! (Thanks to reader Jakob Bornecrantz for bringing this Ice Climbers stuff to our attention.)
The same NCL webpage also talks about a really cool move for Princess Toadstool: floating! Peach originally exhibited this strange power back in Super Mario Bros. 2 (USA), which was of course just re-released as Super Mario Advance. The ol' gal hasn't lost her style in Melee, and sure enough, you can keep holding down the jump button to float for some time. In addition, you can also do another move to make Peach pull out her parasol (that's umbrella for you uncultured heathens...) and slowly drift back down to the ground.
Last updated: 07/21/2001 by Max Lake
I realize it’s far past time that this preview fully addressed the issue of secret characters, especially in regard to the mysterious “trophy mode.” But before we get to the good stuff, let’s address the fake real quick. Although recently, NCL has kept official screens coming fast & furious on its Japanese website, earlier this month there was a bunk screen that caused many Smash fans to groan in unison. Someone created a fake Smash Melee character select screen, featuring Sonic, Joanna Dark and others. Magic Box fell for it & PGC almost did. Within hours of posting a story with “exciting news,” we had fully dissected and de-bunked this faked screenshot, among others.
Although there are rumors that Nintendo & Sega are in negotiations for Sonic to appear in SSBM, these screenshots don’t help the case. The screenshot evolved as a project in this IGN forum thread. The creator of the shots never intended to fool anyone & was just doing it for fun.
So what about real secret characters we might expect? Fortunately, there are quite a few promising leads here… Obviously, Smash Melee itself was an insane amount of fun and enough to make any fan salivate well into November. Still, Nintendo saw fit to tease its fans with a notorious roll of footage that has become known as “trophy mode” where several figurines of Nintendo classic characters, items & vehicles were seen. What could this be?
Part of the footage displayed a slot machine & a figurine of a Goomba is won. The words “GET - New Figure!" flash across the screen. This was followed by several figurines flashing across the screen, seemingly being profiled with info on each character. Unfortunately, the text was in Japanese and each figure was not on the screen long.
Not wanting to jump to conclusions or mislead our readers, we still hoped & believed this could very well translate to getting a sneak peek at some of the hidden characters in the game. Yet, considering the variety & number of figurines shown, there was no way they could all be playable—was there? Then there were vehicles like a Mario Kart rolling by or a scanning view of the Zero-One from Pokemon Snap possibly couldn’t be a characters but could be in-game items somehow.
Visualizing such possibilities made the already-chaotic Smash Melee seem unbelievable. We didn’t get our hopes up too much... However, since the figurines are unlocked, it definitely suggests there is something special with them. More likely, these figurines could be on display in some sort of art gallery mode, with information on the characters and the games they appeared in. Sort of a “History of Nintendo Franchises” included as a bonus, commemorating years of excellent game characters.
This mode wouldn’t just provide nostalgia & fun facts either, it’d actually be marketing too. Remember Diddy Kong Racing? It actually started as a sequel to RC Pro Am but then was used to capitalize off the DK franchise & introduce Banjo & Conker lonnnng before they were stars of their own games. It seems that Smash Melee looks to do something similar with its Trophy Mode. What better way to establish, strengthen and flex all of its franchises simultaneously than re-introduce them all via one of the most popular games ever? Nintendo / HAL are doing this simply by including the characters at all; by making them playable, it would help endear them to players everywhere. Even if they are just “trophies,” they still serve as an appetizer of things to come, as Nintendo and its second-parties create new games based on many of these strong brands.
Still, there is evidence suggesting that the trophy figures may serve a playable role. The intro to SSBM begins with a Mario figurines being thrown from far away and landing up close to the camera. Then the small toy trophy glows with magic and comes to life. Other playable characters are shown in figurine mode too during the opening demo. This is very similar to the intro of the first Smash Bros., though the Nintendo characters were more dolls than figurines. What’s more, when you lose a game, your character is shown dropping to the floor as a figurine, and then the game asks if you’d like to Continue. So, if the core roster of playable characters start as figurines, what’s to say that the figurines you unlock won’t be used as playable characters?
Whether or not they are represent in-game characters or items, the trophies are apparently unlocked one at a time. Indeed, another point to ponder is how these characters will be unlocked.
We consulted Smash Bros. fanatic Bryan Dawson, who played heaps & heaps of Smash Melee at E3. For this preview update, Bryan contributed an interesting theory on collecting secrets in the new SSB. In the first Smash, you got a hidden character by beating the arcade mode under certain circumstances, then defeating the person to unlock them… In Melee, the one player mode is completely different. You now go through standard side-scrolling stages just like playing Legend of Zelda, or Mario Brothers, or whatever... So how would you find secrets in Zelda? How do you find hidden items in Mario Brothers? You break open a wall with a bomb… You hit the hidden ”?” block, respectively… This could easily follow into Melee and its one player “adventure” mode. The secrets that you do uncover then are likely “chances” for the slot machine in which you are awarded the trophies.
What all could be unlocked by the slot machine? Characters, weapons, items in the form of trophies... How about new levels, perhaps even new modes of play? There may very well be a variety of ways to unlock stuff, because it seems like there is so much stuff that could be unlocked.
After discussing the ins and outs of what the trophies could be & how they might be unlocked, we’re sure you want to know who some of the trophies represent! A recent screenshot displayed many trophies grouped together...
Some of the characters are: Luigi, Kinopio (AKA Toad) the ducks from Duck Hunt, the wandering musical dog Totakeke from Animal Forest, Naspi, a Metroid, Paper Mario, a Paper Mario Raven, Ridley from Metroid, Misty from Pokémon, Metaknight from Kirby, Stanley from DK3, Tamagon from Devil World, School girl Ayumi, Donkey Kong Junior, Marin from Zelda, Excitebike, Disk-kun the Famicom Disk System Mascot, Wadoldy from Kirby, Andross (both SNES & N64 incarnations!), Mach Rider, Paper Mario, Koopa, Dixie Kong, Pitt, Plumb from Mario Golf, Eggplant Man from Wrecking Crew, the balloon thingy from Clu Clu Land, King Dedede from Kirby as well as characters and vehicles from Balloon Fight, F-Zero, Mario Kart, Mach Rider, DK Country, Mario Golf, Kirby and lots more—including characters we didn’t recognize!
The appearance of the Luigi trophy gives hope that he’s in the game, and is another good sign that trophy characters have a playable role. (Nintendo wouldn’t leave Luigi out, would they?) With Luigi’s Mansion a launch title, we’re pretty sure Mario’s younger bro will be in there… Perhaps he’ll have a special attack with a vacuum?
Will Rare characters be in the game? Yes. No sign of Jo Dark or Banjo yet, but there were trophies of King K. Rool and Dixie Kong seen (though these are more tied to DK than Rare), so others are possible. K. Rool, King of Kremlings is a perfect addition because it gives DK his adversary & adds another villain to the ranks.
Yes, there might be a handful of playable Nintendo villains! Bowser, Ridley, Ganondorf, King K. Rool, Eggplant Man, a Metroid, Andross... These baddies would certainly round out the cast!
Ridley’s appearance was a bit more animated, as his trophy “flew” across the screen & he is one character we are crossing our fingers for.
What’s this about Ganondorf in the game? Back in May, we suggested the possibility in this story. To save you the digging, we'll re-print the clue:
“In the pre-show FMV, Ganon's hand was very discreetly shown for a small amount of time. We know it was Ganon's hand, because there were three hands with tri-forces emblazoned upon them, and the other two belonged to Link and Zelda. Does this mean Ganon is in? Maybe, but you have to admit that the huge sword he sports in the SpaceWorld videos would make him a force to be reckoned with.”
Now recently, as part of its GameCube dossier, GameSpot names Ganondorf as being a playable character in Smash Melee. Have they heard something we haven’t?
Kinopio/Toad (AKA “Toadstool Retainer,” the ‘shroom head guy) is in the game somehow; a Toad trophy has been seen, though apparently he is used as an item. This screenshot shows Princess Peach swinging Toad, almost like a club. Could he be a character specific item, or could he be a character and an item? (Pokemon kinda held both roles in Smash Bros…) Peach has also been seen pulling and throwing vegetables, as she does in SMB2/Mario Advance, her only playable role in a Mario Bros. game. The veggies are likely a type of projectile for her and not an in game item.
Numerous Pokemon trophies (Chansey, Charzard, Blastoise) are seen. It is possible they could be either playable characters, or be unlock-able Pokemon types for the Pokeball item. We definitely suspect Jigglypuff is a playable character as in the first Smash Bros. Jigglypuff appeared prominently in the opening demo, though no Jigglypuff trophy has been seen yet.
As much fun as it is to spin our wheels, we really don’t know how or what Nintendo is planning for Super Smash Melee. Although we don’t know exactly how trophy mode works, or how many extra characters we might get, we DO know that Smash fans can expect some secret characters to appear in the game. Just after E3, IGNCube interviewed Satoru Iwata and asked if there would be other characers. Iwata-san replied: “Yeah, we will have additional characters, but they're secret for now [laughs].”
Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 and its unbelievable roster of 56 characters seemed to set a precedent that would not be surpassed by any fighting game’s line-up for some time—let alone by the Smash Brothers sequel. Still, with all the trophies shown off, it looks like there may very well be more characters (in one form or another) packed into Smash Melee than we ever imagined.
Again, we don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up… But looking at all the trophy mode characters displayed thus far, if even half of the characters shown in trophy form represent playable characters, we’re in for the fight of our lives!
Last updated: 07/01/2001 by Max Lake
Earlier today we reported on the odd lil’ purple character from Wrecking Crew (and not the Eggplant Wizard) being seen in the Smash Bros Melee “trophy mode” footage. Although we provided a picture, I was unable to provide a name and so put out a call for anyone who had preserved their Wrecking Crew instruction book. PGC reader, John Manfreda came to our aid & quickly sent us this email:
I happen to have the instruction book to Wrecking Crew. The characters name
is "Eggplant Man." Guess they had a thing with eggplant back then. I'm impressed that Nintendo would use characters from such an obscure title. It'd be cool if they used the other characters from Wrecking Crew as well (Gotchawrench and Foreman Spike).
Now one obscure character I'd really like to see is the guy from Gumshoe. His name escapes me....
Eggplant Man, eh? No wonder I got confused! Thanks John! At least we know some eggplant action will be hitting Smash Melee.
Last updated: 07/01/2001 by Max Lake
OK, so I excitedly told the world that the classic Kid Icarus foe, the Eggplant Wizard, was seen in the Super Smash Brothers Melee “trophy mode” footage. Upon reviewing the footage recently, it turns out I was dead wrong and a gosh darn fool. It seems that it wasn’t the Eggplant Wizard I saw at all, but another one eyed, purple old school NES badguy.
That’s right, it was one of these critters, who originally appeared in the Nintendo 8-bit classic Wrecking Crew, which featured Mario in a hardhat with a sledgehammer smashing blocks. These characters (I have no clue on their name, maybe someone has the instruction book?) were one of a few enemy types that would try to prevent Mario from completing each board.
As with all other characters and items glimpsed in the “trophy mode” of Smash Melee, we really can’t say for sure whether or not this means the character will be playable. It is at least included in the game. I definitely apologize for getting fans of the Eggplant Wizard disappointed with my momentary old-school ignorance… Let’s hope that maybe Nintendo will put that old favorite in there too. Still, an enemy from Wrecking Crew may be just as (if not more) obscure, and of interest to Nintendo fans.
Last updated: 06/09/2001 by Max Lake
David (AKA Rize) Trammell made a discovery and then elected me(!) to update the preview with information found in NOA's E3 press materials. It's funny, I'm the Editor-in-Chief. I'm the one who should be telling people what to do! (Seriously, we all work together here PGC. Also, David has been FIRED!) The info can also be found at Nintendo.com
Super Smash Bros., the smash hit for the N64 from Nintendo, returns in a
new dazzling form for Nintendo GameCube called Super Smash Bros. Melee. Up
to four players can enter the brawl, commanding their favorite Nintendo
characters and using lots of new moves. The E3 version of Super Smash Bros.
Melee features the return of many familiar fighters, such as Mario, DK,
Link, Yoshi, Ness, and Pikachu, and introduces new characters, too. There
are new powerful items, new modes for rookies and veterans, tournaments for
up to 64 players, new fight stages, new camera controls and an option to
take snapshots that you can review.
Players will feast on cinematic introductions, a new one-player mode, rules
that can be bent, battered and broken and even several mystery modes, such
as the Homerun Contest. Lucky show attendees have been able to experience
the fun of Super Smash Bros. Melee the best way possible: by bringing along
a friend and going head-to-head. It's crazy and challenging at the same
time -- and that's the Smash Bros. difference.
What's this about a Homerun Contest?? (Maybe it involves hitting characters with a bat? WHOOOOPEE!) Snapshots that you can review?? (AKA "Evidence of assault & battery") We believe that this information has been here since E3 began practically and we've overlooked it all this time. Shame on us, eh?
Stay tuned for more on this "must have" launch title!
Last updated: 06/08/2001 by Max Lake
OK, so we were going to have a big long preview update talking about all the potential characters that might be in the game and we WILL update the preview with this soon. We already did a story shortly after E3 which mentioned many of the characters & trophies we saw... but one of these rumored "secret characters" reported to be in the game is one we can't resist talking about; none other than Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog.
During E3, one of the big rumors floating around was that Sonic would be in Smash Melee. It wasn't a new rumor either, as ever since Sega's multi-platform strategy was announced, the idea of Sonic in Smash Brothers didn't seem like such a fantasy any more.
Now, the most recent issue of Electronic Game Monthly has a rumor report that mentions talks are actually underway between Nintendo & Sega. Like, whoa, man.
We got the head's up from "a Fan:"
In the current issue of EGM (July 2001), in the Quarterman's rumors section,
it states that Sega and Nintendo are in talks to bring Sonic to SSB Melee,
and that the talks are progressing nicely. I'm inclined to believe this one
because, right after this bit, it mentions a Miyamoto secret project named
"Piki", which can be none other than Pikmin (the issue was written before
E3). Just thought this info could be useful.
This information should definitely be considered a RUMOR but here's more fuel for the fire. Just after E3, Sonic Team President & Sonic creator Yuji Naka declared that fans of Sonic Team should buy GameCubes. Shrugging off questions about specifics on PSO for NGC would go online, Naka-san told Famitsu, "What I want you to know for now is how passionate we are about GameCube."
As if Smash Melee wasn't a must have launch title to begin with (oh how am I going to afford 4 controllers and all the quality GameCube software at launch?) the notion of Sonic the Hedgehog interacting with Nintendo characters has been many a gamer's dream. It just might come true.
We'll be back soon with details on all the characters glimpsed & our theories on their involvement in the game. Still, we'll leave you with something cool. Some have been making a big deal outta Kid Icarus appearing in the game as a "character trophy" (and why not, it's great!) yet have failed to overlook another character trophy that will give Kid Icarus fans joy: the Eggplant Wizard!!!
Last updated: 06/04/2001 by Bryan Dawson
(NOTE: This originally ran as impressions, though covers the game info so well we decided it worked better as a preview update! We'll have more to add to our Smash Melee preview soon!)
Bryan Dawson has a long, intimate knowledge with fighting games. At the first N64 fan site, the N64HQ, he was the guy to talk to about fighting games. At the 64 Source, Bryan was “Fighting Editor” and went on to join Nintendojo after the Source closed where he wrote the excellent FAQ, Smash Bros. 101. Bryan later contributed to Segadojo before becoming Editor-in-Chief of SonySource. Although Bryan is currently too engaged running SonySource to become a full-time writer at Planet GameCube, we were all too happy to run his in-depth Smash Bros. Melee impressions. (After all, he played the game more than any other PS2 title at E3!)
One of the main gaming genres in which the Nintendo 64 lacked was fighting games. Killer Instinct Gold was a nice touch in the console's youth, but what followed was nothing in comparison to the PlayStation fighting game lineup. War Gods, Bio F.R.E.A.K.S., Mace: The Dark Ages, Fighter's Destiny, and Dual Heroes either had a PSX port, or something MUCH better on Sony's first born console. The one N64 fighting game that Sony still has yet to match was Super Smash Brothers. Pitting several of Nintendo's most memorable characters in an all out brawl was as much fun as it was ingenious. Now, we welcome the NINTENDO GAMECUBE, and with it, Super Smash Brothers Melee.
Making its GameCube debut at the 2001 Electronic Entertainment Exposition, Super Smash Brothers Melee has come to bring the pain. At first glance, the game is a carbon copy of the Nintendo 64 version with enhanced graphics. Every character from the first game is back for an encore with the exception of Jigglypuff and Luigi. Nearly all of your old combos and tactics will work exactly as they did on the N64 original. In fact, you could pick up Melee and play it exactly as you would play the first game with no problems at all.
While sticking with what works is great for fans of the original, it's not enough to make a quality sequel by simply upgrading the graphics. HAL Labs knows this, and they've come to the plate with a slew of new characters, special moves, weapons, stages, and gameplay techniques. Everything that you always wanted to add to the first installment has been included in the GameCube version.
HAL Labs has taken another trip into Nintendo's vault of classic characters and pulled out even more of your old favorites. New to the Smash Brothers universe you'll find Bowser, Shiek (from Zelda: TOoT), Peach, the Ice Climber brothers, and many more that have yet to be announced. As stated above, in addition to these newcomers, all of the characters from the original Smash return except for Luigi and Jigglypuff. With another four months until Melee releases in Japan, the character list could still see some additions.
Each of the returning characters has all of their featured moves from the original Smash Brothers, along with at least one new special move added to their arsenal. Link has acquired his bow and arrow, Mario has a new cape attack, Kirby has his mallet, etc. Not only will you have the opportunity to learn how to best use these new moves, but several moves will now cancel projectiles and certain close combat attacks. Instead of simply putting up your shield when someone shoots a laser at you, it will now be possible to cancel out their attack with an attack of your own. If you chose not to attack, you also have a new sidestep ability that will help you avoid incoming attacks. This can also be used in the air to minimize combo opportunities.
With nearly thirty weapons and items at your disposal, you'll need all the help you can get to avoid being attacked. HAL has gone the distance in terms of available weaponry. While not everything was in place for the E3 demo, you'll find a Super Scope 6, multiple food items that replenish a small amount of your health, new Pokemon, and a giant party ball filled with tons of goodies. Expect the final build of the game to feature all kinds of new weapons to use against your friends.
The stages have also undergone an overhaul. Each stage is now much more interactive than before. Captain Falcon has claimed Mute City as his home. Here, you'll have to keep on your toes as the battleground is continually moving, and hovercrafts race by. Get hit by one of the speeding hovercraft, and not only will you be starting fresh at the top of the screen, but the hovercraft will meet a deadly end as well. A similar interaction can be found in most of the stages. This also adds another level to the gameplay. Instead of watching your opponents, you now have to keep an eye on your surroundings as well. You can get attacked from almost any direction.
Another stage-related gameplay change comes in the way of size. In the original Smash Brothers several of the stages were massive in size. You could be high in damage and still survive getting knocked from one side of the stage to the other. This is no longer the case. Every stage has been drastically reduced in size. This makes it very difficult to stay within the confines of the stage at higher damage percentages. Add to that the fact that your opportunity to comeback after being slammed off the stage has been severely cut. Kirby cannot simply use his floating technique to get back to the stage and continue fighting. As soon as you get slightly out of the stage boundaries, your character will explode. You've got some room to comeback, but nowhere near the distance you had in the original.
Taking the intense action to an even higher level, Smash Brothers Melee features a renewed emphasis on combos. Every character can combine standard moves, special moves, throws, counters, air juggles, and weaponry to create devastating combinations. Unlike the original Smash, Melee was designed with combo abilities in mind. The key to winning will come more from combo techniques than single attack combat.
Keeping things fresh, HAL has also added several different playing rules to choose from. The original Smash featured Stock and Time. Melee adds Coin and Decision to the fray. In Coin mode, you battle to acquire the most coins. The person with highest number of coins at the end of the game wins. Decision makes you work for your win. Here, your objective is to use combos and special techniques to obtain the highest score. The better your combo, the more points you'll earn. Special moves will award you with more points than standard punches and kicks. If you thought Stock and Time were enough to keep you busy in the first Smash, you're in for a treat this time around.
Smash Brothers (like any other fighting game) is meant to be played with more than one player. This is a commonly known fact. However, someone forgot to inform HAL of this ongoing trend. Super Smash Brothers Melee has been stocked full of one player goodness. The standard mode of play no longer has you work your through the multiplayer stages with a slight twist here and there. In Melee you fight your way through levels as if you were in that respective character's game. For example, Samus' stage has you racing against the clock to get out of Zebes before it explodes. Very similar to the end of the original Metroid on the Nintendo Entertainment System. The same goes for Mario's stage in which you work your way through what appears to be a level taken right out of Super Mario Brothers 3. Almost every stage in the one player mode has a similar feel.
If that weren't enough, Smash Brothers Melee lets you register your name to keep track of your statistics in various modes of play. You can save your win/loss record in the brand new tournament mode, or you can check out how many times you've knocked Donkey Kong into oblivion. HAL even went as far as to include a myriad of stats after each match. You'll find detailed statistics ranging from how much time you spent on the ground or in the air, to how much damage you inflicted on Pikachu, to your item of choice. The level of detail available here makes you feel as though Rare had a hand in Melee. You may be reminded of Golden Eye and Perfect Dark as you check out your post-game stats.
The bottom line is as follows. If you liked the original Super Smash Brothers, you'll absolutely love Super Smash Brothers Melee for the NINTENDO GAMECUBE. If you thought the original was a bit shallow in whatever way, you owe it to your Nintendo heritage to check out Melee. Everything the original was lacking has been more than made up for in the second installment. If you're a hardcore fighting game fan, you'll still want to check this one out when it launches with the GameCube this November. Once the final version hits, Melee should pack in almost as much technique and strategy as a four player brawl will allow. Super Smash Brothers Melee is shaping up to be one of the premiere GameCube titles this Fall. Look for a full review in just a few short months.
Last updated: 05/16/2001 by Jonathan Metts
SSB2 is here, and yes, it is the shiznit! The first game shown, and arguably the most graphically stunning game demo shown at Nintendo's E3/2001 press conference, Super Smash Brothers Melee, as the game is now titled, seems to feature the same gameplay as its predecessor, with several new character abilities, CG-quality graphics (NOT an exaggeration), and quite a few new scenarios other than straight fighting.
Mario, Samus, Link, Kirby, Yoshi, Pikachu, Ness, Fox McCloud, Donkey Kong, and Captain Falcon all return from the first SSB, and new characters include Princess Toadstool, Bowser, Sheik, and, to everyone's surprise, the extremely classic Ice Climber character from Nintendo's early arcade career.
New game modes include training and a tournament for up to 64 players. As you battle, you earn points that open character figures... something like toy figurines, we're guessing. There will also be unlockable characters (probably including Luigi), secret modes, and possible extra levels too.
"This game is a great way to bring our unique proprietary characters to create a huge smash hit," said Peter Main in a press release. "We combined more than a dozen lush backgrounds from the most popular frantic, frenzied romp that will leave players wanting more."
The game also includes a "side-scrolling one-player mode" - there appears to be many mini-games along these lines.
Of course, the famous four-player battles will be back, and the game is capable of displaying literally dozens of characters at once. SB Melee is a GameCube launch title and will be fully playable tomorrow on the floor. Stay tuned for extensive hands-on impressions.
Last updated: 05/03/2001 by Max Lake
What’s better than knowing Smash Brothers 2 will be coming to GameCube? The fact that we are going to see it—and soon! Smash Brothers 2 will reportedly be shown off during E3 in playable form! Whooo!
There’s every reason to expect this will be one of GameCube’s launch titles. Although this is tremendously exciting news, we can’t say we’re awfully surprised at this development.
To quote PGC’s webmaster, Justin Nation: “It makes total sense is the thing. It will take them no time to develop, it will immediately establish multi-player, and it will sell a shizload whenever it is released so launch is as good a time as any. Just like they should have Mario Party in some form within the first 6 months too I'd bet… ”
Despite all the good news, there are no details about the game yet. What new gameplay, which characters will be included, nothing has been revealed. E3 is coming at us like a break-neck speed and Smash Brothers 2 being there is just one more reason we can’t wait. There’s no doubt it will be cool but what will it be like? Will it measure up to the fans’ expectations? Can it? We hope to be able to answer these questions soon…
Meanwhile, we’ve added a preview to the rumored Smash Bros GBA title. Whether Smash Bros 2 will connect with this game remains to be seen but is something we’re crossing our fingers for.
Last updated: 03/07/2001 by Mike Sklens
Matt of IGN Cube has stated in an answer to a Q&A question that Super Smash Bros 2 is currently under development.
This is some fantastic news for today, the date of our re-launch as PGC & Planet’s 2nd anniversary!
Last updated: 01/15/2001
As any Nintendophile will remember, Super Smash Brothers was the unexpected Nintendo All-Star Mascot Fighting game developed by HAL Systems. It was incredibly simple yet featured gameplay that just adsorbs you—and a four-player mode that was unlike anything else. The game was an international phenomenon, being one of the few N64 games to do quite well in Japan.
Almost immediately came cries for a sequel… A sequel with more levels and more characters. Characters like more Pokemon, villains like Ganondorf and Bowser, Rare characters such as Banjo or Diddy Kong and forgotten favorites like Pit of Kid Icarus fame. Encouragingly enough, one of the lead developers of the game from HAL put a notice on Nintendo’s Japanese web site which asked which characters fans would like to see in a sequel. Shortly after, he posted a notice, saying that he was only curious and that there no plans for a sequel underway at the moment.
This was awhile ago and since then absolutely nothing has been heard about any Smash Bros. Sequel, save that millions of Nintendophiles around the world would love to see it happen.
The outlook is good and the time is almost right. Hopefully we’ll have some good news as the NGC launch nears.