Link (SSB)

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SSB64 Icon.png
This article is about Link's appearance in Super Smash Bros.. For the character in other contexts, see Link.
Link
in Super Smash Bros.
Link
ZeldaSymbol.svg
Universe The Legend of Zelda
Other Smash Bros. appearances in Melee
in Brawl
in SSB4
Availability Starter
Tier C (11) (North America)
? (9) (Japan)
#default:
Link is the young fighter who protects the peace in the world of Hyrule. His skills with the sword are both varied and powerful.
—Super Smash Bros's instruction manual

Link (リンク, Link) appears as a starter character in Super Smash Bros. He is the sole representative of The Legend of Zelda series. Link is perhaps the most well-equipped character with either long ranged and melee options of attack, with two projectiles (which would become three in later iterations), his long-reaching Master Sword and his Hookshot. He is voiced by Nobuyuki Hiyama, who also voiced him in Ocarina of Time appearance.

Link is currently ranked 11th on the tier list, the second lowest ranked character, outranking only Luigi. Link is known in high level competitive play as a very defensive character, relying on bombs and Boomerangs to prevent gimps and using his up tilt and up and back aerials for combos, while using his forward and down smash, down aerial, and projectiles for edgeguarding. Having many disjointed melee attacks and his aforementioned two projectiles, Link can be a hassle to approach, while also having an average approach himself courtesy of his extremely high traction.

However, his lack of speed and maneuverability cause problems for Link in approaching the opponent. In fact, much of Link's strategy consists of standing back, throwing projectiles, and waiting for an opening. Due to his slow ground movement and attacks, it is imperative for Link players to be able to not only short hop but be able to input an attack immediately afterward. Link's recovery is awful, making offstage play very risky. He is also very easy to combo due to his weight and falling speed. Link's recovery and combo vulnerability make many of his matchups difficult. Link is slightly better in the PAL version due to having faster air speed (improving his recovery and some of his combo ability), and his forward smash dealing 4% more damage, and much better in the Japanese version where he is ranked 9th on the tier list, due to Link's up tilt having more reliable combo ability and sending opponents on a more favorable angle to combo, as well as his bombs being much easier to use in combos. Regardless, he has poor matchups on the NTSC version, and poor results due to his low playerbase.

Attributes[edit]

Link's ending picture in Super Smash Bros.
Link in the Smash 64 instruction booklet.

In general, Link's attacks are slow, long-ranged, and powerful. This gives him good KOing ability, with his down aerial and forward smash being especially powerful finishers. However, his moves are laggy and easy to punish if they aren't landed. His grab is also ranged, being one of the three tether grabs in the game, but it is also very slow and leaves Link very vulnerable if it misses. Link himself is also rather slow, with the second lowest dashing speed in the game and very short jumps. Despite this, his air speed and walking speed are above average. Link is also very stable in terms of gameplay.

Link has some powerful finishers as well. His forward tilt is among the strongest, but also slow for one. His forward smash is powerful but slow for a forward smash. Spin Attack is a powerful move both on the ground and the air.

Link is known for relying on his two projectiles (his Boomerang and bomb) to keep his opponents away and prevent them from approaching. His projectiles can which can lead to some combos. They can also be used to edgeguard. However, while Link can camp well himself, he has trouble dealing with projectile camping from some characters (especially Fox), due to his poor mobility and jumps.

Link is also heavy, which means he is harder to KO than normal, but it along with his size also makes him easier to combo. Link has some combo moves himself, including his up tilt, back aerial, and up aerial, as well as his aforementioned projectiles. His down aerial, forward smash, down smash, and projectiles are his main edgeguarding moves. He is one of the only two characters in the game (along with Pikachu) to not have a meteor smash, which can give him some minor trouble edgeguarding.

Link's biggest problem is his recovery, which is possibly the worst in the game, and one of the worst in the series. His very short jumps, fast falling speed (the second fastest in the game) and extremely poor distance given by Spin Attack (it even descends before the animation is over), with no options to extend it. Link is also edgeguarded and gimped easily.

Link is low on the tier list because he is very easy to combo and edgeguard, which allows many characters to get him offstage quickly and finish him off, if not zero-deathing him outright. Link relies solely on his projectile camping to avoid this. Link is not helped by the fact that Dream Land is the only legal stage in competitive play. When Hyrule Castle was legal, he could rely on projectile camping there far more than on any other legal stage.

Differences between game versions[edit]

Japan to NTSC[edit]

Link was severely nerfed in his transition to NTSC. Many of his combo starters were toned down or removed and his recovery is even worse, while his moves deal less damage. While the higher SDI presence makes it easier for him to escape combos, this doesn't really have an effect due to how easy he still is to combo. This makes him worse than in the Japanese version.

Aesthetics[edit]

  • Change The reflective metal visuals on Link's Master Sword have been removed, making his sword look more plastic and cartoonish.

Attributes[edit]

  • Nerf Link's Master Sword is slightly shorter, worsening his range.
  • Nerf Link walks slightly slower (0.4 → 0.37).
  • Nerf Link's jumps are shorter due to his higher gravity (3.2 → 3.4).
  • Buff Link's shield size is slightly larger (260 → 280).

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Nerf Up tilt deals 5% less damage (15% → 10%), making it much more punishable when shielded, and sends on a more horizontal angle, removing its ability to combo into itself at low percents for easy combos.
  • Nerf Up smash deals 2% less damage (24% → 22%).

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Buff Neutral aerial has more knockback and sends on a more diagonal angle.
  • Nerf Some of forward aerial's hitboxes deal 1% less damage.
  • Nerf Back aerial's first hit comes out 1 frame slower. The second hit has a more diagonal angle.
  • Nerf Down aerial deals 2% less damage (18% → 16%).

Special attacks[edit]

  • Nerf Boomerang covers less distance and only causes opponents to tumble past 100%, removing most of its usefulness in combos.
  • Nerf Spin Attack deals 1% less damage in spots and covers less distance in the air, worsening his recovery.
  • Nerf Bombs deal 1% less damage when thrown down and 2% less when thrown any other way.
  • Buff Bombs has more knockback at any percent which makes comboing easier.

NTSC to PAL[edit]

Link got a mix of buffs and nerfs in the transition to PAL. His higher air speed improves his recovery and his forward smash is a better finisher due to its higher damage, but his higher weight makes him even more the vulnerable to combos. Ultimately, Link did not significantly improve in the PAL version.

Attributes[edit]

  • Change Link is heavier (0.96 → 0.9).
  • Buff Link has higher air speed (91 → 97).

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Buff Forward smash deals 4% more damage.

Moveset[edit]

SSB64 Link.gif
Link's aerial attacks
  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   5% A vertical slash, a horizontal slash, and a stab. If Link is close to an opponent, the third hit will be replaced by a series of rapid jabs that can angle diagonally upwards, straight, and diagonally downwards.
3%
4%
1% per jab
Forward tilt   17% (hilt), 18% (blade) Brings his sword up and slashes down. Somewhat slow but above average damage and knockback for a forward tilt.
Up tilt   10% Quickly swings his sword in a small arc above him. Can be chained together and good for leading into combos, usually forward tilt or neutral aerial. There is the slighted arch in the foe's upward trajectory; When facing right, there's a slight right angle, and vice versa. This move can usually KO a foe reliably above very high damages such as 200%. Changes heavily in Japanese version of Smash 64, doing 14% damage and being able to shield break and a better angle for combos.
Down tilt   12% He slashes his sword sluggishly below him. Usually knocks foes upwards. At lower percentages, this can be followed by a forward smash, a forward tilt, or even a grab. At higher damages, in most cases, it knocks the foe far enough such that there's no way to quickly follow it up.
Dash attack   16% (clean body), 11% (late body), 14% (clean blade), 10% (late blade) He sticks his sword straight out mid-dash and stops. Good range and speed, and can KO usually around 150%. Great for combo finishers. There is, however, some ending lag.
Forward smash   12% (tip), 20% (non-tip) He quickly twirls his sword twice and then slashes forward in a similar fashion to his foward tilt, but has a bigger blue effect if it hits. Good finisher.
Up smash   22% if all hits connect Good move for damage racking, as long as the foe doesn't DI out of it. Best suited for heavier characters. This move is somewhat weak for KOing, however, at lower percentages it can lead into itself, and aerial follow up, or a Spin Attack. In most other cases, though, an up aerial or simply some other juggling plan (usually a Bomb readied before the move) is recommended or used. The range of the move itself isn't particularly far.
Down smash   16% Swiftly slashes in front of him and then back. The move is a good close up defensive move but also has a good KOing property. This move is one of Link's few moves that come out near-instantaneously, and the ending lag is also rather low. Assuming the Link player is facing right, when the foe is hit on either side while being closest to Link, they will be sent upwards at a slightly angled trajectory. When hit at the end of Link's blade, it'll knock the foe in a 45° angle in the direction depending on what side they were hit on.
Neutral aerial   10% (clean), 8% (late) Sex kick. Link's neutral aerial is best used as a defensive move, seeing how even when it first comes out, there is not much KO power unless used in the air for an edgeguard. Moderately good combo move.
Forward aerial   20% (clean), 12% (late) Slashes once in front of him, swirls in a complete circle and sticks out his sword again (best viewed on 1/4 speed in training). The first hit does 20% damage with a good amount of knockback, whereas the second doing 60% of that amount, but still with strength. It is not possible that the two hits will combine into each other. It is used competitively to end combos, because of the knockback.
Back aerial   20% if both hits connect Two kicks behind. They both combine into each other for a good amount of knockback, though the second hit can be DI'd out of. In addition, it is risky going for a Link player to use this move near a ledge due to the length of this move, as Link's recovery may not always be good enough to make it back to the stage. Very useful for combos.
Up aerial   16% Decent KO power, can also juggle. The hitbox of this move is Link's blade, which is directly aimed up. Useful on platforms due to combos.
Down aerial   16% Aims his sword directly below him for a long duration. This has great horizontal knockback. It is possible to hit the same enemy twice to have this move inflict 32% altogether. This move can be used to KO recovering foes by jumping directly at them, but this is only safe if the bounce of the connected hit allows Link to return to the stage. It should be noted that this move's downwards descent can be hastened by fast falling, although doing so is unwise near ledges. Also has substantial landing lag when the player lands on the ground while using the move if not Z-cancelled. Usually considered to be Link's best aerial for shield pressure when Z-cancelled. Used competitively to end combos due to the knockback.
Grab Hookshot Link, along with Samus and Yoshi, has an "extended grab". He uses the Hookshot while standing. This allows him to grab opponents from a distance, but the grab is very laggy if it misses. This can lead to various unique combos due to the large grab range.
Forward throw   14% (throw), 8% (collateral) Violently kicks his foe forward with good power. Often throws the foe far enough to set up a quick boomerang or bomb-based edgeguard, or simply one of Link's aerials.
Back throw   16% (throw), 8% (collateral) Takes the foe and kicks them directly behind him. Somewhat better KO power than his forward throw.
Floor attack (front) 6% Slashes on both sides and gets up.
Floor attack (back) 6% Slashes on both sides and gets up.
Edge attack (fast) 4% Flips over and slashes outwards. Decent range.
Edge attack (slow) 4% Slowly picks himself up and stabs at a slight upward angle.
Neutral special Boomerang 9% (throw), 8% (return) One of Link's two projectiles. Doing a "smash throw" (smash the Control Stick forward while pressing B; similar to performing a smash attack) increases the distance the boomerang can travel. The Control Stick can be tilted up or down to aim the boomerang's trajectory. Can edgeguard, and can be used during combos if Link is a distance away from the opponent, as the hitstun caused by it allows Link to continue his combo.
Up special Spin Attack Ground: 21% if both hits connect (clean), 13% if both hits connect (late) Air: 16% (clean), 8% (late) Though generally not good for recovery (though it is usually Link's only recovery option), Spin Attack is a powerful attack, especially on the ground. It covers a very short distance while recovering, which gives Link an predictable recovery, which is often cited as the main reason why he is in bottom tier, as he can very easily be edgeguarded by most characters, especially Pikachu and Kirby.
Down special Bomb 5-17% (see here for full details) Link's second projectile, it functions as an item. There are many techniques that can be performed with bombs, which can be read about here.

On-screen appearance[edit]

  • Descends from a column of light, similar to the end-of-dungeon teleports in Ocarina of Time, before unsheathing his sword as he hits the ground.
LinkOnScreenAppearanceSSB.gif

Taunt[edit]

  • Lowers his right leg and raises his left arm (his sword arm), then pulls his right leg up, pushes his right knee out to his left, points his foot downwards so that the end of his left boot comes to about halfway up his left shinguard.
Taunts-SSB-Link.png

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Cheer
Link Cheer NTSC SSB.ogg
Link Cheer JP SSB.ogg
Description Go Link *claps 3 times* Link-Link
Pitch Group chant Group chant

Victory poses[edit]

A cover of a portion of the main theme from The Legend of Zelda series.
  • Kneels while sheathing the Master Sword.
  • Swings the Master Sword twice before him, before spinning and stopping with his back turned to the screen (also his character selection animation).
  • Holds the Master Sword before his face, then hoists it upwards.
LinkPose1SSB.gif LinkPose2SSB.gif LinkPose3SSB.gif

In Competitive play[edit]

Matchups[edit]

International versions[edit]

Super Smash Bros. (N64) Character Matchups
  PikachuIcon(SSB).png KirbyIcon(SSB).png CaptainFalconIcon(SSB).png FoxIcon(SSB).png YoshiIcon(SSB).png JigglypuffIcon(SSB).png MarioIcon(SSB).png SamusIcon(SSB).png DonkeyKongIcon(SSB).png NessIcon(SSB).png LinkIcon(SSB).png LuigiIcon(SSB).png Avg.
LinkIcon(SSB).png 25:75 40:60 40:60 30:70 40:60 50:50 40:60 60:40 50:50 50:50 Mirror match 60:40 45:55

Japanese version[edit]

Super Smash Bros. (N64) Character Matchups (JPN Version)
  PikachuIcon(SSB).png KirbyIcon(SSB).png CaptainFalconIcon(SSB).png FoxIcon(SSB).png NessIcon(SSB).png MarioIcon(SSB).png SamusIcon(SSB).png JigglypuffIcon(SSB).png LinkIcon(SSB).png YoshiIcon(SSB).png LuigiIcon(SSB).png DonkeyKongIcon(SSB).png Avg.
LinkIcon(SSB).png 30:70 30:70 30:70 40:60 30:70 40:60 60:40 60:40 Mirror match 60:40 60:40 70:30 45:55

Notable players[edit]

See also: Category:Link professionals (SSB)

In Single-player[edit]

  • In the game's single-player mode, Link is the first character the player battles, in which they must face him on Hyrule Castle.
  • If the player is against Link in Single Player Mode on Very Easy, he will not attack or move until the player makes the first few strikes or after a period of time.

Techniques[edit]

Extended Boomerang[edit]

Link's boomerang (neutral special attack) goes farther if it is treated as a smash attack. Quickly tap the control stick to the side while hitting B to extend the range.

Extended boomerang ledge boost[edit]

Link's extended boomerang, if used at the right distance from a ledge to allow Link to maintain momentum after dashing, results in Link going significantly further in midair during the boomerang throw animation. This is useful when performing a combo on an opponent who is slightly too far for the boomerang to hit.

Bomb gift[edit]

Lightly throwing a bomb so that it lands on a platform near a spawning opponent is a popular mindgame as the latter will often be tempted to pick the bomb up. This results in the player losing the invincibility frames granted by the spawn.

Invisibomb glitch[edit]

Main article: Invisibomb glitch

Link pulls out a bomb and places the bomb on the ground without having it explode. When the bomb will near the explosion point while being out of explosion range, Link will have just a few frames to grab the bomb (now invisible) after the explosion. All bombs thrown by Link will become invisible.

Off ledge Spin Attack[edit]

Performing a grounded Spin Attack right after Link's initial dash while running off a ledge will result in Link continuing his spin attack in midair without the animation changing to his aerial spin attack. This rarely has any uses outside top Link players using it to edgeguard or complete combos.

Bomb recovery[edit]

Main article: Bomb recovery

Like Samus, Link can use his bombs to aid his recovery. However, unlike Samus, Link must use a bit of technical skill and timing. While recovering, one should pull out a bomb and drop it slowly below Link, then continue to DI towards the stage, and use a back aerial. This will cause Link to explode toward the platform. One should then use his Up B and land back safely. Note that Link will not be able to grab the edge because the explosion causes him to face the other direction. To counter this, one must throw his boomerang before using his Up B. This technique is extremely situational and difficult to perform. Despite the difficulty of pulling off the technique, it does not greatly help Link's recovery.

Black-cat setup[edit]

A technique popularized by Kort involving a set up of positioning a bomb for a boomerang hit as an edgeguarding technique. The technique requires Link to throw a bomb on stage opposite to where the enemy is (preferably when the enemy is offstage), followed by a toss of a boomerang against the bomb, causing the boomerang to 1) ricochet flying in the opposite direction towards the enemy, 2) accelerate at a faster speed then the previous speed then initially thrown, and finally 3) will go through Link without causing Link to catch the boomerang, allowing for Link to reduce lag caused by the grab of a returning boomerang.[1]

Description[edit]

From the Game[edit]

Link is the valiant boy hero of "Legend of Zelda" series in which he fights against the evil Ganon to recover the Triforce. Though his tools may change with each adventure, his strength and righteousness remain constant. With his trusty sword and a variety of weapons, he takes his adventures head on!

Works:

Alternate costumes[edit]

Link's changeable clothing in SSB

Trivia[edit]

References[edit]

  1. [1]