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Super Smash Bros. Melee is a 2d fighter game in essence, yet is much like a platformer, with more movement and jumping than a game such as Street Fighter. Up to 4 people or computers can fight using 25 different Nintendo characters on 29 different stages. SSBM differs from most fighters also in it's damage system.

SSBM's damage system relies on percentages, which are shown at the bottom of the screen. Attacks raise the damage percentage, which can go to 999%. The higher a character's damage percentage, the farther they fly when hit by an attack. All K.O's in SSBM's normal mode of play are essentially ring outs. When a character flies outside a boundary around the stage (just off the edge of the screen), a splash of light will indicate the knockout. If the character flies off the top of the screen, they will either fall into the distance, or bump against the screen front and fall down. In all cases, it counts as a knockout for the character.

Also in play are many items, which can be used to augment a character's abilities, or even heal damage in some cases.

SSBM is split up into two main sections. The 1P modes are structured matches at certain difficulty levels. The multiplayer modes have many match types and options, and can be played with people or against the CPU.

The "Getting Started" portion of this guide covers basic game play and controls. Later, the items and stages are detailed, as well as some more advanced techniques for higher level play.

  • Controls - Covers controls for the game's basic actions.
  • Battle Items - Details all the game's items.
  • Stages - Information on all the game's stages, including unlockable stages. Also describes strategies and spawn points.
  • Intermediate Techniques - Techniques that are fairly easy to learn and implement. These techniques are useful for higher level 1P mode games.
  • Advanced Techniques - Strategies often used in high level tournament play. Includes techniques such as the famous "Wavedash" and Directional Influence.