- This article is about Link's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee. For the younger playable Link in Melee, see Young Link (SSBM), and for the character in other contexts, see Link.
||A sword-wielding hero who also boasts long-range attacks.
|—Description from Melee's manual.
Announced at E3 2001, Link (リンク, Rinku) is a starter character in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Link returns as a veteran character from the previous game, acting mostly the same as before, as a swordsman with powerful short range attacks and a wide variety of long range attacks. Link, however, has received some large buffs, making him a considerably better fighter in Melee.
Link is ranked 16th in the tier list, in the B tier, which is much higher than his current rank in the Smash 64 tier list (10/11th out of 12), and just one below his clone, Young Link. Link's placement is due to a very good approach due to some low lag aerials (with his neutral and forward air), a good variety of projectiles and a very high air speed. A disjointed hitbox also gives Link a slight advantage against others, as well as a fully functional shield that can block a wide variety of projectiles. Link is also a potent edgeguarder in the NTSC versions of the game; his Spin Attack is possibly the best semi-spike in the game, though he still has many other options. Link, however, suffers from a rather high falling speed and a high weight, making him an easy target for chain grabbing and combos. His recovery is also predictable, though he can extend it slightly.
Link generally falls under the "slow, but powerful" archetype of fighting games, though many of his attacks are fairly versatile and long reaching. Link has a rather high weight, as well as a fast falling speed and air speed, all of which give him an unusual combination for someone of his weight class.
Link has many good attacks in his arsenal; a majority of his grounded attacks have good KO potential, including his tilts. Link's air game is also surprisingly good; with a combination of a low power back aerial,high power up and down aerials, and a good air speed and fast falling speed. This gives Link good use of SHFFL and making Link a potent comboer, as well as have many options to KO opponents; Link's down air is one of the most powerful in the game, and his forward smash is relatively powerful and fast, with the ability to be extended, faster or slower.
Link's range is also among the best in the game. His sword has a large, disjointed hitbox (though not as large and disjointed as Marth's sword), allowing him to attack safely from a distance; unlike the duo of Marth and Roy, Link only has one hitbox on his sword, allowing his approach to be considerably less "specific" than either. Additionally, Link has a multitude of projectiles on his Special moves; while the Bow is decidedly situational due to its low range, speed, and power, Link's boomerang and bombs allow him to start combos, continue them, or simply deal damage; the latter also can extend Link's recovery.
Link's projectiles also lend themselves to give Link a good edgeguarding game. While he lacks an effective meteor smash and a spike (his down tilt, while a meteor, is highly situational), Link has multiple options for his edgeguarding game; his low lag aerials (in his neutral and back air) can potentially allow him to jump off stage and disrupt recoveries. The low knockback of his bow can also aggravate recoveries. The NTSC versions of the game, however, give Link what is possibly one of the best semi-spikes in the game: his Spin Attack. With its large range and power, Link can easily gimp recoveries, especially against linear recoveries. While PAL regions remove the semi-spike, its power and range still makes it a valuable edgeguarding technique.
Link's grab game is a mixed bag; while his grab has a long range, it also has high ending lag. Link's grab also cannot grab opponents in the air, limiting his chaingrab potential. Link's throws, however, have low knockback and relatively high hitstun, as well as low ending lag, allowing Link to potentially string in a few hits against his opponent.
Link's primary flaw, however, is his high falling speed and rather large target; while not suffering from extremely large periods of hitstun, this makes Link a particularly easy target for chain throwing and combos. Against particularly fast characters, such as Fox or Sheik, Link players must read opponents very well as to avoid these; unlike most others, however, Link's only fast move that can potentially break combos is his neutral air, causing him to be rather predictable in these cases.
Another one of Link's flaws is his poor mobility. While still speedy for a character of his strength, weight and range, Link still has a slow (but not poor) approach on the ground, due to his slow dash speed. Link also, due to his high traction and high falling speed, has a short, situational wavedash, to the point where most professional players simply don't use it (such as Aniki). Additionally, Link has multiple high-lag attacks, notably his forward, down and up air; while this can be alleviated with L-cancelling, they can still be punished, requiring Link players to carefully set up combos and KO moves.
Link's recovery is also mixed. Link by himself is difficult to edgeguard; his wall-grapple can allow him to enter "safe-zones" underneath the ledge, and his spin attack covers the top of him. However, while his Spin Attack has been heavily buffed from the previous game, it gives only decent vertical distance, and the horizontal distance is lacking (though his high air speed can allow him to move to either side when helpless). Additionally, Link's high falling speed can cause him to fall far before he can use the move. Link's recovery, however, has multiple options to allow for some extension; his bombs can be slashed with a spin attack to allow him to return to the stage, and his hookshot can allow him to wall-grapple on some stages, potentially saving him.
For a gallery of Link's hitboxes, see here.
- Neutral attack- His combo from Smash 64. It can consist of two types of attacks; one is done by tapping A three times, which makes Link do two slashes and one stab, while tapping A constantly makes him follow this with a flurry of even faster sword stabs. First hit does 4-5%, second 2-3%, then 6%, followed by 1% per strike.
- Dash attack- Brings sword down in front of him. Somewhat fast, though it has some ending lag. At higher damages it'll knock a grounded foe into the air, often leading into an aerial follow up, though it doesn't have much KO power. 12% damage
- Down tilt- Swipes down in front of him. The move can lead into an aerial attack, though this is somewhat predictable. This move can also strongly meteor smash a ledge-grabbing foe when the middle and bottom of Link's sword makes contact, though this is highly situational. 11% damage.
- Forward tilt- raises sword and brings it down in front of him. Has an upwards hitbox, which can substitute for other anti-air moves in a few cases, and has above-average knockback. 13-15% damage.
- Up tilt- A quick arced slash above him. Among Link's most flexible moves on the ground; it has good combo potential, it's rather fast with minimal ending lag, and it has good knockback. 9% damage
- Up smash- Slashes in an arch very similar to his up tilt three consecutive times. This attack was taken from Smash 64, but with changes to the hitbox. All hits now have a noticeable arch above him with good range, instead of just the first hit being an arch and two smaller stabs upwards as in Smash 64. Good for racking up damage and setting up for air combos due to below average knockback for an up smash. Up to three separate hits, uncharged inflicts 15%. Fully charged will do 20%.
- Forward smash- Swings sword once in front for good knockback by itself, and if "A" is pressed again, does an even stronger one after. It is impossible that the second hit will land at damages above 30% or so due to knockback growth of the first hit. The first hit is still strong, though, not as much as the second one. Its possible to land a second hit without the first hit, but it requires perfect timing. 7-32% uncharged, 10-37% fully.
- Down smash- Swings sword on both sides of him on the ground. First hit comes out fast, though second hit has some lag. This move has decent range, and since the hitbox is on the floor, it makes this move good for spacing, and has some KO power. 13-16% front, 11-14% back uncharged; 17-21% front, 15-19% back fully charged.
 Other attacks
- Ledge attack- Climbs up and stabs in front of him. 8% damage.
- 100% ledge attack- slowly gets up and quickly thrusts his sword. Only the sword has a hitbox; foes close to the end of ledge Link was on can avoid the attack completely. 8% damage.
- Floor attack- Quickly gets up and slashes on both sides. 6% damage.
- Neutral aerial- A generic sex kick; very fast, with low ending and landing lag, making it a good SHFFL option. 11% max, 5% minimum
- Back aerial- Two short-ranged kicks to his back. The properties of the first hitbox make it difficult to directly segue into the second. This move, unlike most back aerials, isn't always considered Link's best viable choice for edgeguarding due to awkward hitboxes and duration. First hit 7%, next 6%.
- Forward aerial- Swings twice in front of him. The first hit is usually hard to follow into the second hit. This is somewhat like his f-smash, where the second hit has more power than the first, so the first hit is usually purposely missed in favor for the second. Due to its moderately high ending lag, it's rather situational for edgeguarding. 13% for the first, 7% on the second.
- Down aerial- His famous aerial from Zelda II where he takes his sword and keeps it aimed downward. This move is a move of extremes: huge knockback, huge ending lag, and huge hitbox. It is possible to hit more than once with this move on the same foe. If the move's still in action when Link lands, he'll have to pull it out from the ground, with among the highest ending lag in the game; as such, the move can be risky, though L-canceling substantially reduces its lag, giving it slightly as much cool-down time as an ordinary smash attack. It is one of his primary KO moves, dealing 22% at outset, and it can KO reliably starting at 80% to 90%.
- Up aerial- Stabs sword above him. Good for juggling, and it acts as a reliable vertical finisher at higher damages ~120%. Has some sex kick properties, though it has rather high ending lag. 16% damage, 12% afterwards.
- Wall grapple- Uses his hookshot in the air, dealing 10% of damage; the attack has the unusual property of not suffering from the Stale Move Negation. With low damage, knockback and hitstun, as well as long lag, the move has relatively little use outside of being used for recovery, though its long range can potentially catch opponents off-guard, and it benefits from Link's small short hop.
- Pummel- Bashes foe in the head with his sword hand (left fist). 2-3% damage.
- Forward throw- Kicks foe a short distance in front of him. Low knockback. One apparent kick, but two mysterious hitboxes. 4% first hitbox, 3% second
- Up throw- Brings foe up and slashes above, with below average knockback, allowing it to potentially combo into an up tilt or an up air. Two mysterious hitboxes, 3% first, 2% second
- Down throw- Brings foe down and tackles. Leaves foes wide open for a combo, such as his Spin Attack or up tilt. Two hits, first does 2%, then 4%
- Back throw- Brings foe behind and kicks in a similar fashion to his forward throw. 2% then 3%
 Special moves
 Notable players
- See also: Category:Link professionals (SSBM)
 Changes from Smash 64 to Melee
In his transition from Super Smash Bros. to Super Smash Bros. Melee, Link received numerous buffs, most of which made him a more potent fighter, going from bottom tier to mid-low tier.
- Is generally a faster character, with a higher air speed and faster aerials, improving his combo and aerial games.
- Link's recovery was strongly buffed; it is considerably longer and more flexible, with Spin Attack granting a much higher vertical distance, and his higher air speed improving his horizontal recovery. He also has new options, with the wall grapple and bomb recovery.
- New dash attack that is a slash rather than a stab. It has slightly better combo ability and can be considered an improvement.
- Forward smash is considerably stronger.
- Aerials are generally better.
- Down aerial is stronger.
- The Hookshot now has considerably less startup and ending lag.
- Boomerangs travel faster and have less startup lag, as well as having a higher chance of returning to Link.
- Grounded Spin Attack is now a very powerful edgeguarding option.
- Up smash is slower, has less vertical range, and has smaller hitboxes.
- Lower grab range, along with Link no longer being able to grab aerial opponents.
- Boomerangs cannot travel as far.
- Aerial Spin Attack, due to now being a multi-hit attack, can no longer KO reliably unless the last hit is landed, and even then, it has less power than in Smash 64.
In terms of cosmetic changes, Link now has an added belt going over his shoulder and around his waist. He now has a new taunt, new helpless animation, and a new dashing animation. Link also received a new projectile, the Bow; his Boomerangs were moved to his side special move.
 PAL differences
Like other characters, Link has received some changes in the PAL version of Melee.
- Spin Attack has lost its semi-spike properties, making it slightly less useful for edgeguarding, though it still acts as a potent attack.
- The boomerang superjump and chain dance glitches were removed, though these were also removed in NTSC version 1.2 as well.
 In single-player modes
Link can appear in ordinary one-on-one matches, as an opponent or ally in team battles (paired up with either Luigi, Young Link, Zelda or Marth), as a giant-sized opponent, or as an opponent in the metal fight. In these cases, Link either appears on Great Bay, Temple, or Mushroom Kingdom with the exception of the metal battle.
Link's sole appearance in the Adventure Mode is in the Underground Maze stage. In the stage, the player must find the Triforce in one of six stages; however, five of these stages contain a Master Sword, where the player will fight a Link. While players have the option to skip these matches by merely jumping over the stage, the player receives the "Link Master" bonus if they KO all five Links in the stage.
In All-Star Mode, Link and his allies are fought on the stage Great Bay.
 In Event Matches
Link is featured in the following event matches:
- Event 3: Bomb-fest: This match pits the player's character against the team of Link and Samus with one stock each on the Princess Peach's Castle stage. Link and Samus only use their bomb special moves, but all the bomb (or likewise) items will appear on the stage.
- Event 18: Link's Adventure: The player uses Link as they face Dark Link on the Temple stage. Both have 2 stock each.
- Event 20: All-Star Match 2: Link is the second opponent the player must fight in this series of staged battles. Their character battles him on the Great Bay stage, and the player's character has 2 stock while Link has 1. With a timer of four minutes, the player must defeat him and the other four characters with the overall time and life they have: Samus, Zelda, Captain Falcon, and Fox.
- Event 29: Triforce Gathering: The player plays as Link with Zelda as their partner, both of whom have one stock. They face Ganondorf on the Temple stage, who has two stock. Clearing the event allows the player to unlock Ganondorf.
- Event 34: Seven Years: As Young Link, the player fights Link with 3 stock each on the Great Bay stage.
- Event 41: En Garde!: As Marth, the player faces Link in a 2 stock match on the Temple stage.
 Ending images
In addition to the normal trophy about Link as a character, there are two trophies about him as a fighter, unlocked by completing the Adventure and All-Star Modes respectively with Link on any difficulty:
Link (Classic Mode, Trophy #7)
Even in his youth, Link was already becoming the warrior who would carry the destiny of Hyrule (and many other lands) on his shoulders. His epic struggles against the forces of darkness are written in legend, and he is bound to the Princess Zelda and the archfiend Ganondorf by the awesome power of the Triforce.
Link (Smash Red, Adventure Mode, Trophy #8)
Burdened with a shield, a heavy sword, and plenty of equipment, Link is not a very mobile character. Nevertheless, he's skilled with the blade, and his varied supply of missile weapons makes him a powerful fighter. To master Link, you must control the pace by balancing your long-range attacks with head-to-head swordplay.
- B: Bow
- Smash B: Boomerang
Link (Smash Blue, All-Star Mode, Trophy #9)
Link's Bow, Boomerang, and Bombs all take time to wield, so you may want to try drawing them in midair to prevent your foes from attacking you while you're vulnerable. The Spin Attack can score consecutive midair hits, and the final slash is very powerful. Link's Bombs are his trump card, but he can't pull one out if he's carrying another item.
- Up & B: Spin Attack
- Down & B: Bomb
Link's changeable clothing in Melee
- Link and his clone, Young Link, both use the same model for the Hookshot. This makes Young Link's look rather large compared to Link's.
- Link, Bowser, Young Link, Yoshi and Luigi are the only characters in Melee to use their default costume when on the green team.
- Since the revision of the tier list as of July 26, 2013, Link and Mario are the only characters in Melee whose clones are ranked higher than they are.
 External links