- This article is about Mario's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee. For the clones of Mario, see Luigi (SSBM) and Dr. Mario (SSBM); and for the character in other contexts, see Mario.
||A well-rounded hero who boasts a balance between offense and defence.
|—Description from Melee's manual.
Mario (マリオ, Mario) is a starter character who has appeared in all three games in the Super Smash Bros. franchise. His appearance in Melee was announced at E3 2001. Mario debuted in the arcade game Donkey Kong in 1981, and has been the mascot for Nintendo since he rose to fame in Super Mario Bros..
Mario is ranked 14th on the current tier list in the A tier, placing him in the center, along with his brother Luigi and five places below his clone, Dr. Mario. Mario acts as a well-rounded character, with average weight, falling speed and other such attributes. Mario has above-average comboing ability, and a very versatile grab game; his powerful back throw can gimp and his down throw can chain-grab. Mario also has decent edge-guarding, with Fireball (a solid projectile), and his Cape which can easily and efficiently gimp almost every other character's recovery. Mario, however, lacks a reliable finisher, and his recovery is predictable and short, though he can extend it.
Mario using his various recovery options to recovery onto the stage.
As a character, Mario falls under the archetype of being of an average character, with no particularly strong or weak traits; Indeed, in terms of weight, falling speed, air speed, size, and dash speed, Mario tends to fall in the middle of these attributes.
One of Mario's strengths is his rather good combo ability. While not having an extremely high air or falling speed, Mario can easily and efficiently combo most other characters in the air; Mario has plenty of low-lag, low-knockback aerials, and the addition of a long wavedash and fast ground attacks give Mario plenty of combo potential. Mario also has a good SHFFL.
Mario also has an above average approach. Despite an only average air speed and dashing speed, Mario still has good options for getting closer to opponents. His Fireballs have good range and can disrupt opponents at a distance; differing terrains such as slopes and platforms can also give the Fireball many options. Mario, due to his average attributes in traction and falling speed, has a rather long and floaty wavedash; coupled with decently ranged smash attacks, Mario has good wavesmashing abilities.
Mario is also a surprisingly good edgeguarder. He has a meteor smash in his forward aerial, albeit it having high startup and ending lag and not being too powerful, and his back aerial sends opponents on a decent angle for edgeguarding. Mario's Fireballs can also gimp recoveries; its low knockback makes it effective in the regard. Most notably, however, Mario has what is likely the absolute best edgeguarding weapon in all the game: his Cape. When used, it can effectively and quickly gimp almost every recovery in the game; it's especially useful against linear recoveries, such as Fox's Fire Fox or Luigi's Green Missile.
Mario also has a surprisingly good grab game. Despite a rather poor grab range, Mario's throws are notable for their versatility; his forward and backward throws can easily set up gimp KOs, especially the latter, while his up and down throws can act as combo starters.
Mario, however, suffers from some KOing problems. As he is designed to be a beginner character, Mario lacks particularly powerful or reliable finishers; while his forward smash has good range, coupled with a very visible and easy to land sweetspot, his other smashes are rather short ranged. Additionally, while Mario's back throw is strong, it requires grabbing the opponent first; this can be a challenge, due to Mario's poor grab range. Mario's single meteor smash is also rather unwieldy and risky to use.
Mario also suffers from a below average recovery. Super Jump Punch only grants average to slightly below average horizontal and vertical distance, while Mario Tornado can only grant vertical distance if the B button is tapped quickly. Mario, however, does have some options to improve his recovery; Mario's Cape can allow him to recovery from the sides, and he has the ability to wall-jump, which can act as a help on stages such as Final Destination.
For a gallery of Mario's hitboxes, see here.
Mario's aerial attacks. Click on one of them to see their respective subpage.
|Neutral attack 1
||Weak punch forward.
|Neutral attack 2
||Second weak punch forward.
|Neutral attack 3
||Kick forward, does actual knockback, unlike the first two jabs. This entire combo originates from Mario's standard combo in Super Mario 64.
||Kick straight forward, good speed, though it has short range and is lacking in power.
||Punches upwards. Good juggling move, as well as a rather good combo starter. Looks similar to the second hit of Mario's Mega Glove combo in Super Mario RPG.
||Kneels down and sweeps his leg low to the ground. Very low knockback. At percentages below 100%, this move is very weak and barely stuns the foe. Above 100%, however, this move can be easily followed with a forward smash for a quick KO, though the move's short range makes this unreliable.
||9% clean, 6% late
||Slides on the ground feet first. Knocks the opponent diagonally behind him. Very similar animation to Mario's dashing attack from Super Mario 64.
||18% uncharged, 23% fully charged (sweetspot); 11% uncharged, 15% fully charged (sourspot)
||Launches a blast of fire from his palm. The move is relatively quick and has decent knockback (13th most powerful forward smash in the game, KO percentage wise). Note that hitting the opponent with Mario's arm instead of the blast of fire is the sourspot, and is weaker.
||15% uncharged, 20% fully charged
||Headbutts upward. A fast move with more range behind Mario than in front.
||16% front, 10% back (uncharged); 21% front, 12% back (fully charged)
||Does a breakdancing kick. Extremely fast, one of Mario's stronger moves. Is Mario's crouching attack from Super Mario 64.
||A sex kick. Mario sticks his foot out in front of him. As with other sex kicks, it does weaker damage and knockback the later it hits. 9th most powerful neutral aerial in Melee and is overall the 7th most powerful sex kick.
||Punches in front of him with an enlarged fist. Slow, predictable and has high ending lag, but it is a meteor smash, with no sourspot. Still, it's relatively weak and not very reliable to use for an edgeguard, but can be used to send opponents into his Forward Smash.
||Kicks backward. Fast, good for spacing and edgeguarding.
||Does a flip kick upward. Good move for juggling and comboing, but has low knockback.
||10% if all hits connect
||Mario spins around in the air repeatedly, a multi-hit drill attack.
||2-3% per pummel
||Headbutts opponent. Relatively slow.
||Spins around once, and throws his opponent forward, with decent knockback.
||Spins around three times and throws his opponent backward. Surprisingly high knockback, can hit enemies mid swing. One of the strongest throws in the game, also being the fourth most powerful back throw. It can KO under 150% near the edge.
||Throws his opponent upward. Good for leading into an up tilt, or starting combos at higher percentages. Can chaingrab fastfallers.
||Down the Drain
||Throws his opponent on the ground. At lower to mid percentages, it can chaingrab characters with moderate falling speeds (such as Pikachu), and at high to very high percentages, it can chaingrab fastfallers.
|Floor attack (front)
||Gets up and punches behind him, then in front.
|Floor attack (back)
||Gets up and punches behind him, then in front.
|Edge attack (fast)
||Does a somersault and then kicks upward onto the stage.
|Edge attack (slow)
||Slowly gets up then does a kick attack, looking similar to his forward tilt angled down.
||Throws a fireball as a projectile, which travels forward and loses momentum with each bounce. Because of this, they are best used in the air, and at higher locations. They can be spammed, though with some difficulty, and are a decent way to approach. The move can be more efficient when used in the air, falling to meet the enemy at ground level, while still moving, and negating lag.
||Flicks his Cape from Super Mario World forward, hitting opponents with the reverse effect, as well as being able to reflect projectiles. Very useful for gimping certain recoveries. Slightly aids Mario's horizontal recovery.
||Super Jump Punch
||Does a jumping uppercut diagonally upward, being a multi-hit attack that causes coins to fly out of the opponent. Mainly a recovery move. Additionally, if used while Mario is directly next to a wall and the control stick is flicked backward at the apex of the jump, the move will be cancelled into a wall jump without making Mario helpless, like the move normally does.
||Does a multi-hit spinning attack, very similar to the Spin Jump from Super Mario World. The final hit knocks the opponent straight up, and the move can rack damage, though it has some ending lag. It can be used for recovery by rapidly tapping the B button, though this requires fast reflexes.
Mario grows to a super size, as if taking a Super Mushroom power-up, before shrinking again. This also increases the size of his hurtbox. The size increase stacks with special matches and actual super mushrooms. It is the second longest taunt in Melee.
 Changes from Smash 64 to Melee
When making the transition from Smash 64 to Melee, Mario was neither strongly buffed nor strongly nerfed.
- Wavedashing improves Mario's movement options.
- Neutral attack does more damage; hits 1 and 3 deal 1% more each. Hits 1 and 2 now
- Up tilt is faster and combos more reliably at low percentages.
- New forward smash is faster and deals a little more damage.
- Up smash has significantly less ending lag.
- Down smash is faster.
- Neutral aerial has much higher knockback scaling.
- New back aerial is more useful for edgeguarding.
- Mario can now chaingrab using up and down throws.
- All tilts deal less damage.
- Dash attack deals less damage.
- Up smash is weaker and deals less damage.
- Down smash damage output now consists of 16% in front and 10/12% behind Mario, instead of 17% regardless of what part of the attack hits.
- Back aerial deals less damage.
- Up aerial deals 1% less damage.
- Down aerial does much less damage and is no longer a meteor smash.
- Fireballs are smaller and deal a little less damage.
- Super Jump Punch gains much less recovery distance.
- Mario Tornado no longer meteor smashes.
- Neutral attack hit 3 can now clang.
- Down tilt now hits opponents vertically instead of horizontally.
- Dash attack now knocks opponents behind Mario.
- Down smash has higher base knockback but lower knockback scaling.
- Up aerial angle changed from 80/70 to 55.
 Notable players
- See also: Category:Mario professionals (SSBM)
 Tier placement and history
Very early in the Melee metagame, when few players knew the potential of now-top tier characters, Mario was considered one of the best characters in the game, ranking as high as 5th on the first tier list. This could be attributed to how easy Mario was to learn, given his simple but effective combo setups and lack of any outstanding drawbacks due to being well-rounded, as well as his extendable recovery. As the metagame advanced, however, Mario's problems with KOing and average statistics were magnified as the potentials for many other superior characters, such as Peach, Captain Falcon, and the Ice Climbers, were discovered. This caused Mario to slowly slip down the tier list as time progressed, as well as lose significant placing in large tournaments; eventually, Mango (under the alias "Scorpion Master") was the only person who placed anywhere significant with him, but even he rarely placed high enough to earn money from playing Mario, cashing in at 25th place at Apex 2010 instead of his usual top 8 placements when using better characters. On the current tier list, he ranks 14th place at the very bottom of the A tier; in an ironic twist of fate, his clone, Dr. Mario, and semi-clone, Luigi, who were once widely considered worse than Mario, have surpassed him in ranking.
 In single-player modes
In Classic Mode, Mario can appear as an ordinary opponent, as an ally or opponent in the team battles, alongside either Bowser or Peach, as a giant opponent, as a member of a multi-character battle, or as a metal character. In Mario's appearances, he either appears on Princess Peach's Castle or Rainbow Cruise. On a team with Bowser, he appears on Battlefield and with Peach, he appears on Mushroom Kingdom II.
Mario is one of only two characters who can appear twice in Adventure Mode, alongside his brother Luigi.
In the game's Adventure Mode, Mario teams up with Peach against the player in the second part of the first stage, taking place on Princess Peach's Castle. If the player finished the previous segment, Mushroom Kingdom, with the remaining time registering 2 in the seconds digit, Luigi will take his place in a cutscene that will trigger right before this battle.
Later on, in the second half of Stage 11, Metal Mario will fight the player's character on the Battlefield stage, where he functions as simply a Mario permanently under the influence of the Metal Box item. If the player unlocked Luigi, Metal Mario will be joined by Metal Luigi, and they both team up on the player, making for a harder fight.
In All-Star Mode, Mario and his allies are fought on Rainbow Cruise.
 Event Matches
Mario is featured in the following event matches:
- Event 1: Trouble King: The player plays as Mario against Bowser on the Battlefield stage, with a 2-minute time limit and both players having 2 stock each.
- Event 10: All-Star Match 1: Mario is the first opponent the player must fight in this series of staged battles. Their character battles him on the Yoshi's Island stage, and the player's character has 2 stock while Mario has 1. With a timer of four minutes, the player must defeat him and the other four characters with the overall time and life the player has: Donkey Kong, Yoshi, Peach, and Bowser.
- Event 19: Peach's Peril: As Mario teamed up with Peach with 1 stock each, the player must ensure both of the characters survive the vicious assaults of the enemy Bowser on the Final Destination stage for one minute. Score is determined by how many times the player can KO Bowser in this time frame, as he has infinite stock.
- Event 22: Super Mario 128: This match pits the player's 1-stock character in a wild endurance match on the Mushroom Kingdom II stage, where they must battle 128 tiny Marios that rain down from the sky and come at the player five at a time. Each Mario is light in the extreme, so just about any attack from any character will KO a Mario.
- Event 31: Mario Bros. Madness: The player's character battles a team of Mario and Luigi in a 2-minute unlimited-stock match in the Mushroom Kingdom stage. Whoever gets the most KOs wins, much like in a standard time-match.
- Event 38: Super Mario Bros. 2: In this match, the player's character must battle against Mario, Luigi, and Peach in an unlimited-time 2-stock match on Mushroom: Kingdom II. The odds may seem especially stacked against the player, but the opponent team is subject to friendly fire. The character selection and stage are a direct throwback to the original Super Mario Bros. 2, an NES sequel to Super Mario Bros.
 Ending Images
 Trophy descriptions
In addition to the normal trophy about Mario as a character, there are two trophies about him as a fighter, unlocked by completing the Adventure and All-Star Modes respectively with Mario on any difficulty:
- Mario (Classic)
- "Known worldwide as Mr. Nintendo, Mario uses his incredible jumping ability to thwart the evil Bowser time after time. While he's best known as a hero, Mario has played many roles, including racer, doctor, golfer, and villain. His tastes have changed over 20 years of gaming; he long ago swapped the colors of his shirt and overalls.
- Mario (Adventure)
- Mario is a character without any glaring weaknesses and plenty of strong attacks: he's even equipped with a Meteor Smash. He's a straightforward character who'll reflect the actual skills of the player. Mario's Cape will turn other characters in the opposite direction and can also reflect missile weapons.
- B: Fireball
- Smash B: Cape
- Mario (All-Star)
- Mass determines how easily a character can be sent flying, as well as a character's physical strength: Mario's mass is the standard upon which other Smash fighters are measured. His Super Jump Punch sends foes skyward in a shower of coins, while the Mario Tornado pulls in nearby foes, spins them silly, and scatters them every which way.
- Up & B: Super Jump Punch
- Down & B: Mario Tornado
Mario's palette swaps in SSBM
For this subject's image gallery, see the gallery page.
- A taunting Mario with a Super Mushroom in Giant Melee Mode is the largest possible character size that can be achieved without hacking.
- Mario's taunt is the second longest taunt out of all the characters, the longest one being Young Link's.
- Currently, Mario and Link are the only characters in Melee whose clones are ranked higher than they are.
- If the Master Hand glitch is used in an event and sets a record, the score is shown on Mario.
- Mario's vocal for his down special move and back throw were used in Mario vs. Donkey Kong. This is the only time a vocal from any character in a Super Smash Bros. game was reused in a game outside the series.
- Mario, Ness, Peach, and Samus are the only characters in Melee to use their default costume when on the red team.