Items appear regularly in both the single-player and multiplayer modes of SSBM. Items, which fall from the sky and bounce onto the stage, either take the form of character powerups or offensive/defensive weapons. The items that will appear and the frequency in which they do can be adjusted in melee battles once the Item Switch section of the preferences is unlocked.
An item's basic function is preformed by pressing ; depending on the item, this will cause the character to use, throw, or attack with the item held. Items that are not thrown with can be thrown by pressing and smashing in the desired direction. Press just and your character will drop the item. Thrown items can be caught with a precise tap of , negating the item's damage and allowing the catcher to use the item.
There are 31 regular items in Super Smash Bros. Melee, and although you can't unlock any secret ones, they will still keep things interesting in the fight. Some items are more useful and rarer than others. Regular items appear by themselves and in containers, sometimes with other items. In most Vs. games, you can adjust what items appear and how often. There are three types of regular items: Attack, Status and Recovery.
- Fire Flower
A flower with light orange petals and a pair of eyes in the center of the bloom. It's from the Mario series, with an appearance closer to the first game, although instead of giving you fireball powers, this flower will shoot out flames. Pressing and holding while carrying this item causes the flower to spew fire for about 10 (not necessarily consecutive) seconds, after which it spews harmless smoke and is largely useless. When thrown, the Fire Flower burns whoever it hits for minor damage.
- Ray Gun
A futuristic looking gun, originally from the Nintendo 64 Super Smash Bros. game. It fires up to 16 bolts of green energy, which are each moderately painful. This weapon is great for getting a chain of hits, up to 16 in a row; the shots must be timed with the target's fall. The gun itself can be thrown at opponents and is useful as a "final shot" when its ammo is depleted.
- Super Scope
A small bazooka-like item that is a rendering of the SNES peripheral of the same name. Pressing repeatedly will cause it to fire small rapid balls of energy that can keep opponents trapped, stunned in a steady stream of bullets. Normal shots pass through obstacles and players, so he can trap multiple opponents at once. You can also hold to charge the gun and fire a ball of greater size and tremendous power. You cannot move while charging and the gun will automatically fire once fully charged. However, you can partially charge the gun for a partially charged shot. Charged shots of any strength cannot pass throw obstacles and opponents. The gun has the energy to fire about 20 small balls or 3 large ones, after which it's only use is to be thrown at an opponent.
- Beam Sword
A sword with a neon purple glow for a blade that lengthens and shortens during attacks. It is similar to the beam sword of the Nintendo 64 Super Smash Bros. It makes an electric humming sound when swung. The length of the blade changes based on the wielder and the strength of attack. While being held, it simply aids the player's , Dash+ and Forward-Smash attacks. As with all weapons of this type, it can be thrown to make a nifty projectile.
A paper fan, bound at one end with red paper, original to the Super Nintendo game EarthBound. It can be welded just like a Beam Sword, but strikes with this weapon are weak (dealing 1% per strike). However, you can rapidly to have a very rapid attack with a 'vacuum' effect; once the player hits, their opponent will be drawn closer to them, allowing for multiple hits. The Fan breaks shields more easily than other melee weapons, and when a player is hit with a thrown Fan, they tend to fly nearly straight upwards.
A large sledgehammer with a heavy black head, from the Donkey Kong arcade game. While holding one, the player is slowed and loses his or her second and third jumps. They also cannot throw it away and have to wait until it is used up. Anyone who comes in contact with the head of the hammer during its use is knocked high into the air; this is a very powerful weapon that easily KOs opponents. The head of the hammer may fly off shortly after the hammer is picked up, usually after its first strike, unlike in the original Super Smash Bros.; the player with the handle is still stuck in the motion of swinging the now-useless hammer stick. The head can be thrown like a normal weapon, and retains some of the incredible power it had while unbroken. If the character swinging the hammer is hit, it can be dropped prematurely; this gives a bonus at the end of the round.
- Home-Run Bat
A wooden baseball bat based on similar weapons from EarthBound. Can be swung just like a Beam Sword for moderate damage, but a horizontal smash attack with the homerun bat almost always results an instant KO. During the smash swing, the bat flashes blue and white and a loud sound is heard on impact. When thrown, the bat inflicts a heavy damage to other characters (sending them flying) and destructible elements. A Home-Run Bat is supplied at the beginning of the Home-Run Contest, where its true potential is unleashed.
- Lip's Stick
A long stick with a reddish flower at the end, from Panel de Pon (predecessor to Tetris Attack), and named after the Pon main character Lip, whom Yoshi stepped in for in Tetris Attack. It is wielded exactly like a beam sword, although slightly weaker. When a player is hit with this weapon a flower sprouts from his or her head, causing slow but steady damage while it remains there. Further hits with the stick while the flower is still planted on the opponent's head makes the flower grow and cause more damage. Quick movement of the Control Stick shakes the flower off, although it will fall off by itself if you wait long enough. The stick actually has a certain amount of dust it throws when used in a Forward+ or Smash+ attack, and when that dust runs out, the stick can only create very small flowers, and only through physical contact with the stick.
A red and white umbrella from the Kirby series. It can be swung like a beam sword, and it'll open up when used, causing whoever gets hit to fly upwards. Usually any player holding the Parasol will open it up automatically when falling, greatly reducing his falling speed and enabling easier returns to the stage, however holding the control stick downwards while falling will allow the user to fall at a normal speed. When thrown, the Parasol will open, reducing the distance it can be thrown horizontally, but increasing it's time in the air, making it one of the easier items to catch in mid-air.
- Star Rod
A pink and white striped rod with a yellow star at the end, from the Kirby series. The rod can be swung as a normal weapon; more powerful swings, especially the Forward-Smash attack, will launch a large projectile star from the tip which will fly forward and can hurt opponents. When Captain Falcon uses the Star Rod, a Smash Attack will unleash three smaller sized stars; when Sheik does, it launches two stars. When hit by a thrown Star Rod, the player flies diagonally downward, making it difficult to return to the stage. The Star Rod contains approximately 20 stars.
The black, walking bombs from the Mario series with lit fuses. When they are first released, they sit still, during which they can be picked up by opponents. Attacking them in this stage, or any time for that matter, will cause them to explode. Their explosions are large and rather potent. If you leave them alone for about five seconds, the Bob-omb will get up and walk back and forth along the platform it's on and explode on contact with any player, rendering it unable to be picked up any more. After about 10 seconds of walking, the Bob-omb will pulsate for several seconds before exploding all by itself. A bonus is available if a player can grab the Bob-omb while pulsating and throw it away before it explodes. When in a player's hands, the Bob-omb can be carried indefinitely until thrown away, after which it'll explode on contact. The following explosion can hurt the one who threw it if he is close enough. Also, it is possible to catch a thrown Bob-omb by pressing as right before it makes contact.
A piece of jagged ice with a face that slides around the ground, seen in the Mario Bros. arcade game. When thrown at a player, that player is frozen on contact, launched into the air, and immobile inside a large piece of ice for a sizeable amount of time. The more damaged the frozen player is, the longer he'll stay frozen, although players can struggle by pressing buttons to break free faster. When a player is encased in ice, a fire-based attack will immediately thaw the ice, while other attacks will harm the player while keeping him frozen. Freezies are fragile and can be broken by the slightest attack before they are picked up.
- Green Shell
A green Koopa Troopa shell from the Mario series. When thrown or hit, it'll continue in the direction sent until it hits a wall or falls off the stage. It can be stopped by jumping on it, like in the original Super Mario Bros. game. You can also hit it to stop it or to reverse its direction, but don't get hit by it or you'll be sent flying back, even if it's moving slowly. It is different from the Red Shell.
- Mr. Saturn
A short alien being from EarthBound with large whiskers, nose and bow. After a short delay, it walks around on the platform it's on, much like a slow Bob-omb. It can slowly push other items around. It can be picked up like a Bob-omb, and if thrown, any damage done to it during its presence on the battlefield will be dealt to whoever it hits. A muted trumpet plays on contact, and after hitting three players, it'll disappear. Also useful for breaking shields.
- Poké Ball
Each Poké Ball contains a random Pokémon, which is released when the ball lands on the stage. A Pokémon will almost never damage the character who threw it. See the Poké Balls section below for detailed information on the Pokémon available. All Pokémon remain on the stage for between five and thirty seconds before disappearing. Computer players swarm to Poké Balls as soon as they appear on a stage, largely because of the high-power attacks many Pokémon possess.
- Red Shell
A red Koopa Troopa shell from the Mario series. The red shells are the same as their green counterparts except for their ability to chase players. On first contact or after being thrown, the red shell travels back and forth on the platform it lands on, homing in on the nearest player. It disappears after about 15 seconds, and cannot be stopped. If it is attacked while moving back and forth, it will absorb the damage and last longer, all the while inflicting even more damage to whoever is unfortunate enough to touch it. Some reflecting moves such as Mario's Side Smash ( or + ) Cape safely send the Koopa shell away, turning it into a complicated weapon. Note that it can only be reflected up to 5 times.
These don't really fit into the other categories.
- Barrel Cannon
A barrel with a white arrow painted onto it from the Donkey Kong Country series. When thrown, it will move forward, spinning along the ground. If someone touches it, they will become trapped inside. The player who throws it cannot get trapped inside, however. Once inside the player can voluntarily shoot himself out in the direction the spinning arrow is facing. He has to be careful not to shoot himself off the edge of the stage or stay in the barrel too long, as it will often roll right off the edge of the stage. If the barrel doesn't reach the stage's edge in time, it will shoot out the player inside automatically. Players won't hurt opponents as they shoot out, but anyone who touches the occupied barrel will take a little damage. Barrel Cannons are rare and have the habit of disappearing quickly if left alone. A permanent, hovering Barrel Cannon can be found on both the old and new Kongo Jungle stages, although that of the old stage looks very different from the modern item.
A pair of large rubber balls connected by a styled arm on an unseen axis, borrowed from Balloon Fight. When thrown, the flipper will hover in place where it was thrown. Coming in contact with a flipper will stun the player for a short time and cause a small amount of damage, even to the player who threw it.
- Motion-Sensor Bomb
A gray land mine with green lights, thought by some to be from GoldenEye 007 or Perfect Dark, but this is unconfirmed. When thrown, it sticks to the first stage surface it comes in contact with. It can stick to any solid surface, be it floor, slant, wall or roof. It explodes on proximity to any player, item or weapon blast, even to the one who planted it.
- Screw Attack
A ball with a stylized S-like design from the Metroid series. It is technically both an Attack and Status item. Any player holding the Screw Attack will perform Samus Aran's Screw Attack with every jump. Throwing the item at an enemy will damage him cause him to spontaneously perform the attack, disabling him until he touches the ground. Be careful to not throw a Screw Attack at a very nearby opponent, as you will get caught in their spontaneous attack. A point bonus can be received by KOing the opponent with a throw of this item, usually done by hitting the opponent as they attempt to jump back to the main platform.
- Warp Star
A large yellow star from the Kirby series. Grabbing the Warp Star will cause the user to hover wildly around the spot it was grabbed causing no damage, rocket off the screen, and crash wildly to a spot determined by the player. The crash will cause a powerful explosion, and mid-air opponents can even be carried down to the ground during the Warp Star's descent. Moving the control stick left and right at various speeds while high above the stage can move the landing spot a few feet left and right from the place you grabbed the item, or you could not press anything and land exactly where you picked it up. This is the only Attack item to require only one button press to be fully used.
Containers are items that, obviously, contain other items. All containers can be broken by attacking them or by picking them up and tossing them at something. They usually contain one to three items each, any they can contain any variety of regular items except for Barrel Cannons and Party Balls, which can only appear by themselves. Occasionally, a container will be explosive and explode spontaneously upon breaking. So apart from these similarities, the characteristics of the containers are as follows.
A large wooden barrel with the SSBM logo on both ends, inspired by the Donkey Kong series and taken from the original Super Smash Bros. It's as heavy as the crate, and behaves basically the same way. You can pick it up and throw it, and if it hits an opponent, weapon blast or wall it'll pop open. If it hits ground however, it'll start to roll along the path until either it rolls off a cliff, hits an opponent and attacking item or reaches a long enough hill. The latter of the three will cause the rolling barrel to slow and then reverse direction. Do not physically touch a rolling barrel as you will cause the barrel to open and you'll take damage, even if it is rolling slowly. Attacking the barrel will cause it to fall over onto its side, where contact with a player or attack will cause it to open. Barrels sometimes contain adventure mode enemies like Goombas and ReDeads.
A small pill capsule that is half purple, half white and has a pink cone-shaped appendage on top. The word "Capsule" in written on it in tiny text, and it is from the Nintendo 64 Super Smash Bros. It can be picked up and is light enough to not handicap the holder in any way. When thrown or attacked, it'll open up and release its contact. A thrown capsule hurts whoever it hits, but not as much as the two heavier containers above do.
A large wooden box with the SSBM logo on two opposite sides, originally from the first Super Smash Bros. It is heavy, and therefore greatly slows down whoever holds it. The only exception to this is Donkey Kong, who can carry anything and still walk and jump around normally. In spite of its weight, all characters seem to have no problem throwing it, and it can make a moderately powerful, yet short-range, projectile. Once it hits an opponent, platform or weapon blast it'll explode. A few normal attacks should break it too. Crates sometimes contain adventure mode enemies like Goombas and ReDeads.
A normal white egg. It is rarer than the other three containers but behaves identically as the Capsule. The only thing other than appearance that makes it unique is that sometimes it will just lightly heal the one who grabs it instantly. The Chancey produces a few of these whenever she appears, throwing them around the stage (Chancey also threw eggs on the Saffron City level in SSB64). They also replace capsules in the Yoshi's Story and Yoshi's Island stages.
- Party Ball
This is the only container to not be from the original game. More of a container than a Recovery Item, it appears in the item selection screen, making in a regular item. With a 75% chance of a food buffet upon opening, it is more of a Recovery item than any of the other two. It is a large, tan, plastic ball with a string, resembling a geodesic dome with a low-polygon texture to it. When thrown, or hit enough, it rises from the point of contact, and opens up with a fanfare about 6 seconds later. 75% percent of the time, it will spew out about 15 pieces of Food. During the other 25%, the Party Ball will either release 4 Bob-ombs or 3 or 4 random items (excluding Barrel Cannons and other Party Balls). It sometimes only contains specific items (such as three Super Mushrooms or Ray Guns). And on occasion it'll just explode upon impact.
These items aren't for directly attacking your enemies, instead, they effect your status to help you survive and attack.
- Bunny Hood
A pair of artificial bunny ears, originally appearing in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time but fully developed in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. When worn in Super Smash Bros. Melee, the wearer jumps, runs, attacks, and falls much faster than normal. The character's jumps are also higher. A player can wear this item and hold another item at the same time. You cannot throw this item away and it will stay on you until its time runs out or if it gets hit off your head by an attack and dropped onto the floor. Lasts for about 10 seconds.
- Cloaking Device
A futuristic pod-like object. It is thought by some to be borrowed from Perfect Dark, although this is unconfirmed. When equipped, the player is nearly invisible. A spontaneous rippling effect occurs, and when attacking, the player sporadically loses his or her invisibility for a short moment. While attacks can still knock a player out of the arena, no further damage can be acquired by a player when invisible, although he can still fight normally. A player can be cloaked and hold another item at the same time, although any held item remains visible. Like most Status items, you can't throw it away.
- Poison Mushroom
A red and white-capped mushroom with eyes on its stem; the Poison Mushroom is the only Status item that weakens the player who touches it. It originates from the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2. The Poison Mushroom causes the player to shrink to about one quarter his/her original size, making it easier to be knocked out of the arena and have significantly weaker attacks. The reason anyone would try to get this item is because it is very similar to the benevolent Super Mushroom, although a close look will reveal that the Poison Mushroom is more purple than the good type and has an angry face. Like the Super Mushroom, merely walking over this item will cause the player to grab it. A player can be small and hold other items.
- Metal Box
A green box with a white exclamation point on it from Super Mario 64. When a player grabs or physically attacks this box, the fighter becomes metallic. While metallic, the player falls faster, jumps shorter, runs slower, is moved and interrupted less by opponent attacks, and cannot speak, although Jigglypuff's song still works while she's mute. A player can be metallic and hold another item at the same time.
A flashing star with eyes from the Mario series. This thing will hop around until it is grabbed. This item renders the player who grabs it impervious to damage of any kind; the only thing a player under its power has to look out for are cliffs. Merely touching the Starman will cause the player to grab it. Computer players immediately run away from a player who is under the sparkly effects of a Starman.
- Super Mushroom
A red and white-capped mushroom with eyes on its stem, from the Mario series. This mushroom causes the player to grow to 4 times the original size, with increased attack power and defense to suit. When you go for one of these, you have to make sure it isn't a Poison Mushroom, which is a similar looking mushroom with opposite effects. Grabbing one of each kind of mushroom cancels out the effect of the first mushroom grabbed. Merely walking over this item will cause the player to grab it. A player can be large and hold other items.
The Poké Ball item can unleash one of several possible Pokémon onto the battlefield. Generally they'll inflict damage to everybody except for the person who releases them, but there are a few exceptions.
- Here is an alphabetical list of the Pokémon and what they do.
- Boldfaced Pokémon are legendary, which makes then very rare and usually extremely powerful.
- In Event Match #37: Legendary Pokémon, the Poké Balls, which are the only available item, are rigged to only release Wobbuffet or one of the Legendary Pokémon: Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, Lugia, Ho-oh, Raikou, Suicune, Entei, and if unlocked, Mew or Celebi.
- Ditto was also to appear in this game, but the programmers took him out because it was full of glitches. It would transform into your character and aid you side by side in combat for a while. You can still see it, however, if you use the debug mode, via action replay.
- You can get some of the Pokémon to say their Japanese names in different voices by switching the language to Japanese.
- When an Electrode is released, he can be picked up just as if it were a Bob-omb and thrown right before he explodes.
These items will help you reduce damage. You should always go for these, as they are extremely useful.
Small pictures of various food items of many types. Each piece of food restores about 3 to 8% of the player's health. Although this may not seem like much, if you get a buffet from a Party Ball you can really recover damage. A player can grab any health item, such as food, while holding another item. Food is also carried by Shyguys in the Yoshi's Story stage. On a side note, the regular "mushroom" Food went on to be the Dried Shroom item in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.
- Heart Container
A translucent heart shape in a silver frame, from the Legend of Zelda series. Grabbing a Heart Container will remove up to 100% of damage from a player, which can turn the tides of a fight. This is actually less than how much it helped in the Nintendo 64 Super Smash Bros., where Heart Containers fully healed the player. In All-Star mode, where health items are only found between stages, Heart Containers are back at their prime, removing all your damage.
- Maxim Tomato
A large tomato with an "M" printed on it from the Kirby series. It is similar to the Heart Container, although weaker, restoring 50% of damage to the player who eats it. It was stronger in the original Nintendo 64 Super Smash Bros, where it healed the eater up to 100% of damage.
Spoiler warning: These are not unlockable items, but there are a few mentions of unlockable stages and characters below.
There are some items in the game that don't appear randomly with all the other items and can only be obtained special ways. For something to count as an item, it has to be usable/grabbable with . Here are a list of all special items and how to obtain them.
- Apple: Regular red apples from the Kirby series. They randomly do one of three things: Be normal weak projectiles, be explosive projectiles, or act like Food. Similar to Egg, except they do not hold items. To get apples, simply play Green Greens. After a while, Whispy Woods will shake his head, releasing a few Apples onto the playing field.
- Birdo Egg: These are flat, pixelated Birdo Eggs that are from the game Super Mario Bros. 2. Birdo shoots a few of them out occasionally in the Mushroom Kingdom 2 stage. They fly forward and will cause damage upon contact. By carefully timing an A press right before an egg hits a player, the character will grab the egg. A grabbed Birdo Egg has the same powers of a Capsule, including releasing items upon breaking.
- Bomb: These are the weak Bombs with lit fuses that Link and Young Link produce when pressing +. They will explode upon being thrown at an opponent, platform or item blast. Also, holding them too long will result in them bulging and blinking, followed by exploding. Their explosions are relatively weak. With a well-timed press, an opponent can grab a Bomb thrown at him and use it himself.
- Red/Green Koopa Troopa Shells: These red and green Koopa shells are different from the two regular Koopa shell items. They can only be found in Part 1 of the Mushroom Kingdom stage of Adventure Mode, or in regular melee should a Koopa Troopa appear from a crate/barrel. To get it, simply jump on a Koopa Troopa of either color. They look slightly different from the normal item versions, and they aren't as determined to move forward. While they both behave similar to the Green Shell item, but the red Koopa Troopa Shell will set opponents such as the Yoshi herd aflame. An unmoving shell of this type, left alone long enough, will reawaken into a Koopa Troopa.
- Turnip: These are the turnips with facial expressions that Peach produces whenever she uses her Down+B move on the ground. They can have several different expressions, each representing the strength of the Turnip. They can be thrown at opponents, causing a small amount of damage, and they vanish upon hitting the ground. A player can grab a thrown or deflected turnip to use it. Indeed, Peach can throw the turnip at an opponent, hit, and then grab the deflected turnip before it hits the ground to use it again, although this is sort of worthless as Peach can always produce another one at will. The strongest Turnip Peach can throw has a Zombie face (o_o with a stitched mouth) Because it is so easy to catch, the Turnip will actually disappear in mid air after a while.
- Yoshi Egg: In Event Match #13: Yoshi's Egg, there is a special Yoshi Egg item. It can be grabbed and carried around by all players, and can be used as a weak projectile. It can withstand damage from being attacked or thrown, but if it takes too much it'll break, causing you to lose the round.