Princess Zelda (Super Smash Bros.: Melee - Smash 4)

From Atrocious Gameplay Wiki

Who thought it was a wise idea for Zelda to be bad in Melee?
Making her worse in Brawl wasn't any wiser.
Not as bad as in Brawl, but still, not wise enough to not make her any better than before.

NOTE: This page is discussing on how she had a bad start from Melee to Smash for Wii U and 3DS, not to mention that this page is only judging her on her moveset and playstyle, not her as a character.

Zelda, Princess of Hyrule, best known simply as Princess Zelda (ゼルダ姫 Zeruda-hime?) is the name for several female Hylians, usually members of the Royal Family of Hyrule, who often play an integral role in the The Legend of Zelda series.

Princess Zelda has appeared in the Super Smash Bros. series as a playable character ever since Melee. Unfortunately, most of her Smash history has seen her as one of the worst fighters in smash history, from Melee to Smash 4.

Why She Lacks Wisdom

  1. She was often regarded to be bottom tier in most games, like being the 3rd worst in Melee, bottom of D tier (only above others like Kirby, Pichu and Bowser, who were at absolute bottom tier).
  2. She has poor mobility, as she is slow, light, tall and floaty, making it hard to approach opponents or get away, on the ground and in the air, and with her terrible/below average traction.
  3. Her being tall, light, and floaty also means it’s easier to KO her, especially due to her poor mobility.
  4. Despite her recovery being a long-distanced teleport, it is predictable and unreliable, and allows her to be easily edge-guarded, especially due to her poor jumps and air speed.
  5. Farore's Wind has other problems as well:
    • It’s slow and has high end-lag and landing lag.
    • It suffers from major angular issues.
    • While it is a very strong out of shield option, it is a frame 8 option and it has limited range. In fact, the first (and only in Melee only) hit can be DIed, which Zelda has to predict and follow where the opponent will go, and she’s left wide open for a large punish if she misses the second hit (Brawl and Smash 4 only).
  6. Her approach options are almost non-existent and risky, due to having poorly-placed hitboxes on unreliable finishers on almost all of her moves, making her neutral game very poor and her combo game almost non-existent.
  7. Her projectile, Din’s Fire, is terrible for being very slow, easy to avoid, and cannot force approaches.
  8. Her grab game was very poor in Melee and Brawl, having terrible throws. Even after being improved in Smash 4 with decent range and better throws, her grab is still very slow like the previous games, for example, her shield grab is frame 10.
  9. She also has inconsistent KO potential, as lots of startup and ending punishable lag, sourspots that are drastically weaker, and durations that are short are all applied to her strongest attacks.
  10. Her out of shield game isn’t really effective:
    • Her above mentioned Farore's Wind and shield grab for example.
    • As for her other options, her up smash is useless out of shield since it has abysmal range and is frame 9.
    • She has difficulty landing her aerials, and, especially against characters that are shorter, are impossible in some cases.
    • While down smash and down tilt are solid options, especially for power shield punishes, they both come out on frame 12.
    • This makes her struggle with shield pressure overall, since punishing moves spaced well or fairly negative on shield is very difficult or even impossible.
  11. Her moveset was barely changed in Brawl and Sm4sh (aside from making her more powerful) and many of the flaws she had in the previous game (Melee) were not improved.
    • This led to her becoming bottom tier again, being an absolute bottom tiered character twice (although she was placed slightly higher than one person, who was in the absolute bottom tier too in both games; Brawl being Ganondorf, and Sm4sh being Jigglypuff).

Redeeming Qualities

  1. She has very powerful attacks in all games she’s appeared in, such as most of her aerials: Lightning Kicks (sweetspotted), up aerial, and sweetspotted down aerial; her forward smash and up smash, being great KO moves.
    • By extension, since Smash 4, Farore's Wind reliably KOs anyone below 100% near the upper last line, making it a powerful and very potent KO move, which when applied, makes it a potent out of shield option.
    • Her KO power has been buffed in future games.
  2. Her powerful attacks also possess transcendent priority, and fast speed (the latter in Brawl). Her attacks are also strong out of shield options (particularly, down smash and down tilt if they hit, especially for power shield punishes), and they can set up into other moves.
  3. She has a great defensive game and a solid combo game, and can rack up a solid amount of damage respectively fast with her overall damage output being high.
  4. In Smash 4, her grab game became solid, having a decent grab range, a potent combo throw with her down throw (even at higher percents), and having a near the ledge solid KO option with her back throw.
  5. Her recovery is long distanced.
  6. In Brawl, although rarely used at tournaments, her few advantages combined with Shiek’s moveset and playstyle would make for an average mixed playstyle of the two characters, placing 24th on the current tier list in D tier, slightly above solo Sheik and way above solo Zelda.
  7. She was better in Flash than her Melee then Smash 4. Also in Flash 2 was also better.
  8. After 17 years of being a terrible fighter, she has finally improved in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, including her physical appearance, as her weaknesses have finally been lowered to an average level and her strengths now shine more.


  • Oddly, in Melee, a CPU Zelda in Training mode set to the "Stand" CPU mode will still occasionally transform into Sheik.
  • In Brawl, the amount of transformation lag can be shortened by pausing the game during the transformation; doing this, however, causes a replay of the match to lag at the point of where the player transformed.
  • Originally, Zelda was still going to turn into Sheik in Smash 4 and vice versa, but the two characters were split apart instead due to the limitations of the Nintendo 3DS. A similar issue was also the case for Samus and Zero Suit Samus when their Final Smash was concerned, and Pokémon Trainer, who was dropped in favor of his Charizard operating on its own. When the fighters retuned in Ultimate, only the Pokémon Trainer was reunited all together, while Zelda and Sheik, as well as Samus and Zero Suit Samus, remained separate fighters.
    • Pyra and Mythra also appears in Ultimate, but they are DLCs unlike the Pokemon Trainer, where they can change Pokemon.
    • Min Min as well, but to a lesser extent, since she can only change ARMS, not herself.
  • Her Star-KO voice clip from Melee is infamous for being bloodcurdlingly creepy, similar to Roy's in SSBU. But at least her Star-KO clip was toned down in Brawl onwards.


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