- This article is about Marth's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee. For the character in other contexts, see Marth.
||Marth is a magnificent swordsman. While his swordplay is faster than that of Link, he lacks power, and his quickness is offset by a marginal endurance.
|—Description from Marth's trophy.
Marth (マルス, Marusu) debuted in the first game of the Fire Emblem series, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragons and the Blade of Light (Ankoku Ryuu to Hikari no Tsurugi). Marth was placed in Super Smash Bros. Melee due to heavy requests from Japanese players; as his games had never been released outside of Japan prior to Melee, his character was among the most obscure in the game in other regions. His popularity as a character, alongside Roy, eventually caused Nintendo to begin releasing the Fire Emblem games internationally; the first internationally released game came two years after Melee.
Marth currently ranks 4th place on the tier list in the S tier. This is due to his excellent overall speed in his attacks and movement, long and disjointed range, large amounts of extra power when attacks hit at the tip of his blade, very potent juggle and combo ability with one of the largest non-disjointed grab ranges, and a great edgeguard ability. Marth also has many options to KO enemies and close combos, such as his down aerial (a very potent spike when sweetspotted, and the closer to the notorious Ken Combo) and forward smash. Compared to other top-tier characters, Marth's learning curve is not very high as he does not require an extensive amount of tech skill to be used effectively, making him easy to pick up and play. On the downside, his approach options are limited in comparison to other top tier characters due to the lack of a projectile. His recovery is also problematic; while it is extendable with his side special and can end with a fast up special that covers decent distance, it is also rather predictable. Additionally, despite his low technical learning curve, many consider Marth to be one of the most difficult characters to play at high levels due to the intricate spacing ability required of top-level players to overcome difficult matchups. Regardless of these flaws, Marth has excellent match-ups against many characters, including six that are nearly unloseable.
 How to unlock
To unlock Marth, players have to use all fourteen starter characters in VS. matches, complete Classic mode with all fourteen starter characters, or play 400 VS. matches. Upon completing this, Marth will be fought on Fountain of Dreams, with the track "Fire Emblem" playing.
The majority of Marth's moveset is highly effective at edgeguarding.
Marth generally falls under the character archetype of being fast, with the ability to easily outmaneuver most of his opponents; Marth has a very fast dashing speed, a long wavedash and rather good jumping speed, with average falling speed, contributing to a good SHFFL. With a good dash dance and a disjointed hitbox, Marth has good approach options in the game, both in the air and on the ground.
One of Marth's greatest strengths is his range in his normal attacks; Falchion grants Marth a disjointed hitbox that can allow him to safely attack from a distance. Additionally, the tip of Falchion, its sweetspot, is remarkably easy to land with, making Marth stronger when he's farther from his opponent. This long hitbox with a far away sweetspot also contributes to Marth's combo game.
In addition to his disjointed range, Marth has almost unparalleled combo ability; despite a slightly below average air speed, with a combination of good jumping prowess, and an average falling speed, as well as quick, low lag, high ranged, easy to sweetspot aerials, Marth has among the best air games in Melee, and a great combo ability. Additionally, Marth's grab game is also good, due to a surpringly good grab range (the best for non-grapple grabs). His throws possess low damage and knockback, allowing him to chain his throws into each other and combo into other attacks. In particular, his up throw can chain throw most fast fallers at low to mid percentages, and it can directly segue into an up tilt or an aerial. Marth's long dash dance also makes him a superb tech chaser.
Marth also has plenty of powerful attacks; some of these attacks are very fast and have high range, such as his up tilt, while others can KO at close ranges, such as the Reverse Dolphin Slash technique. Marth's forward smash is feared due to its high speed and power, and it can actually "break" through some projectiles found in the game; it also works well when wavesmashed, due to Marth's long wavedash. Marth's down tilt and Shield Breaker act as good edgeguarding options. Most notably, however, is his down aerial; it acts as a powerful spike in NTSC regions, and an equally powerful meteor smash in PAL regions; it can KO reliably even as low as 40%, and many of Marth's attacks can easily combo into his dair, most notably his forward aerial as part of the Ken Combo. Marth also has access to a grounded meteor, in his Dancing Blade. While its uses for KOing are somewhat situational, it can set up tech chases well as well as free jab resets.
Marth's primary flaw is his rather lackluster recovery. His up special, Dolphin Slash, grants little horizontal distance and decidedly average vertical distance; its ending lag also makes it very easy to punish. Marth's average air speed also prevents him from moving far after entering a helpless state. However, Marth can mitigate the lack of a true horizontal recovery by using Dancing Blade to give him some horizontal distance, though this grants no vertical recovery and must be timed well.
Additionally, Marth has a slight weakness of lacking a projectile; while its effect on Marth is debatable, this limits his approach in comparison with other high tier characters, such as Fox. Marth is a large target for a character of his weight. Additionally, while he is vulnerable to Fox's waveshine combos in NTSC regions, his light weight makes multiple waveshines impossible in other regions and limits Fox's only follow up to a jump canceled grab. It should be noted however if good horizontal DI is used upon being waveshined, Marth can avoid being combo'd completely.
For a gallery of Marth's hitboxes, see here.
|Neutral attack 1
||4% (base), 6% (tip)
||Swings upward, resembling his up-tilt. Useful for both offensive and defensive spacing, especially when used with wavedashing, due to the move's non-commital nature with regards to movement. Due to its speed and disjoint and relative power for a jab, the move is also highly useful for edgeguarding linear reoveries.
|Neutral attack 2
||4% (base), 6% (tip)
||A second upward swing from the other side of Marth's body. While not as useful as the first jab, the fact that one can chain the 2 jab hits continuously can be used to cover many unorthodox recovery options (such as the shortened Fox Illusion or Falco Phantasm).
||9% (base), 13% (tip)
||A fast forward sword swipe, much like the dash attack with less lag and a higher angle.
||8%, 9%, 10%, 12%, or 13% depending on time and position
||Swings his sword in a large arc above his head, with a large hitbox that can peg opponents behind him. This move has many varied uses; most notably it can juggle and trap opponents in conjunction with a forward smash, a nair, or an up air, on top of platforms. It can also set up aerial combos. At high percentages, it is an extremely effective KO move, KOing reliably at 130% and above.
||8% (base), 9% (middle), 10% (tip)
||A quick crouching sword poke. As it pokes out and is a semi-spike, it makes a very useful edgeguard. It is also a staple in Marth's neutral game as it can safely be used to interupt dash dancing and wavedashing approaches. It also often times nets a grab follow up at percents below 100.
||9% (base), 11% (middle), 12% (tip)
||A quick upward diagonal slash with medium lag with high range and relatively high damage. Depending if it's tipped or not, it can either send opponents behind him or above him.
||14% (base), 20% (tip)
||Rotates body counter-clockwise with a strong arc-like swing from his head to the ground, similar to the animation of his neutral special. Very fast and long ranged. The knockback of the move is strongest on the tip of the sword, aptly called the tipper hitbox.
||8% (sides), 15% (sword), 18% (tip)
||A powerful upward thrust. While effective on aerial opponents, the move has very weak sourspots next to Marth if used on the ground.
||11% (base), 16% (tip)
||Sweeps his sword on the ground toward the front then toward the back. If tipped it sends opponents upward with high vertical knockback, star KOing opponents at high percentage, and its one of the strongest down smash in the game. If hit at the base, it sends opponents with low horizontal knockback, but it can still KO at high percentage. Despite its power, it is rather laggy.
||4% (hit 1), 10% (hit 2)
||Two horizontal slashes around himself. Both hits connect easily, can follow up into each other, with the second having decent knockback if sweetspotted. Oddly enough, both the tipper hitbox and the non-tipper hitbox deal the same damage and knockback; the only difference between the 2 hitboxes is the sound effect.
||9% (base), 10% (middle), 13% (tip)
||Marth does a forward vertical slash (up to down).
||9% (base), 10% (middle), 13% (tip)
||Bottom to top sword slash behind him. The attack has the unusual property of turning Marth around when used in the air; in this regard, his back aerial can be used to potentially set up a Ken Combo.
||9% (base), 10% (middle), 13% (tip)
||A forward to back upward sword slash. It is not particularly powerful, tippered or non-tippered, but conversely it shows no mercy juggling opponents when combined with forward smash, up tilt, and other aerials.
||9% (base), 10% (middle), 13% (tip)
||A forward to back downward sword slash. The attack, when sweetspotted, sends opponents flying downward. In NTSC regions, the attack is a spike, while PAL regions, it's a meteor smash. Due to its high ending lag and Marth's lackluster recovery, the attack is of moderate risk if used low offstage. Regardless, the move is extremely useful on or off stage. It's long horizontal reach makes it a great tech chase option (for reading rolls) as well as an out of shield option.
||Grabs and pushes forward, tripping with the leg.
||Pulls and extends leg simultaneously.
||Powerful upward throw with one arm. Can chain throw fast fallers at low percentages, and is the third strongest up throw in the game.
||Hooks arm and drags to the floor sending the opponent backward. Set ups tipper forward smash at low percentages.
|Floor attack (front)
||Sweeps the tip of his sword on the ground front to back. Less range than floor attack from back.
|Floor attack (back)
||Quick stab to the left followed by horizontal slash to the right.
|Edge attack (fast)
||8% (sword), 6% (base)
||Flips onto ledge with a quick downward diagonal slash from left to right.
|Edge attack (slow)
||8% (sword), 6% (base)
||Quick, low, horizontal slash with medium lag. Less range than normal ledge attack.
||7% (uncharged) to 28% (fully charged)
||An overhead slash similar to the forward smash, but can be charged for longer with more powerful results.
||3%, 4%, 5%, 6%, 10%, 12%, or 14% depending on hit
||A sequence of sword maneuvers with several variations.
||10% (grounded base), 13% (grounded tip), 7% (aerial sword), 6% (aerial base)
||A super-quick jumping slash that can be reversed before frame 6. Dolphin Slash has many uses, but is very risky to use due to the large degree of vulnerability Marth receives if the move is whiffed. The move is easily comboed into (though DI must be correctly read); it can be used as an alternative (instead of a down air) to finish a Ken Combo. It is also Marth's fastest option to punish rolls (provided he is close enough) as well as his fastest out of shield option.
||Blocks and retaliates against incoming attacks.
Swings his sword around and declares "Everyone, look at me!" in Japanese (Minna, miteite kure!).
 PAL differences
Like other characters, Marth has received some changes in the PAL version of Melee.
- Down aerial is no longer a spike but a meteor smash, meaning it can be meteor cancelled, making it a less effective and reliable finisher. Despite this, it still sends opponents at a slight angle.
- Lower weight, which while normally worse, makes his immune to Fox's waveshine combos; in the NTSC regions, his weight is just above the threshold to allow him to be waveshined.
Marth has among the most positive matchup spreads in the game, being soft countered by two characters, having four even matchups, soft countering three characters, countering ten, and hard countering six. He tends to have an advantage against characters with poor range, such as Dr. Mario, and Pikachu (who he can easily outspace on the ground and in the air alike), and characters with poor mobility on the ground, such as Peach. He is also one of the three characters in the game to have an even matchup against Fox. However, his recovery is pretty poor, as characters such as Jigglypuff, Sheik, and Fox can edgeguard or gimp him pretty easily in most offstage situations. Additionally, he is vulnerable to combos and dash-dancing from characters such as Captain Falcon. Overall however, Marth is one of the more difficult matchups for most of the characters in the game.
 Notable players
- See also: Category:Marth professionals (SSBM)
 Tier placement and history
Very early in the Melee metagame, Marth was seen as a character that relied too much on rolling and C-stick spamming, traits that led to a negative low-level image of him despite his high tier placement. Shortly before the third tier list (June 2003), Ken won Tournament Go 4 with Marth, introducing the uses of dash-dancing, chain throwing, wavedashing, and a higher focus on aerial combat, including the creation of the infamous Ken Combo. Because of this, Ken is credited for largely improving Marth's metagame and single-handedly moving him up to top tier for years to come, usually remaining around the second to fourth highest spot on the list. Marth's first drop into the high tier since then was in the eighth tier list (July 2006), where he dropped to fourth place. However, in the ninth tier list (October 2008), he again moved up to second place, before dropping to fifth place in the tenth list (September 2010), and rising to fourth in the eleventh (current) tier list as of July 2013. In addition, as of February 19, 2012, Marth is considered the most popular Melee character.
 In single-player modes
In Classic Mode, Marth can appear in one-on-one matches, team battles alongside Link, and as a metal opponent in the mode's penultimate stage. In his appearances, bar his metal match, Marth appears on Great Bay. In all such instances, the track "Fire Emblem" plays on the stage, which does not occur in any other mode.
Marth makes no appearances in the game's single-player Adventure Mode. Music associated with him, however, can play in the Underground Maze.
In All-Star Mode, Marth and his allies are fought on Fountain of Dreams, as Marth was not designated a specific home stage. When fought on the stage, the track "Fire Emblem" plays instead of the standard music.
Marth appears in multiple Event Matches:
- Event 40: All-Star Match 4: Marth is the first opponent fought in this series of staged battles. The selected character battles him on the Temple stage with a stock of 2 while Marth has 1. With a timer of four minutes, the player must defeat him and the other four characters one-by-one with the overall time and damage: Luigi, Jigglypuff, Mewtwo, and Mr. Game & Watch.
- Event 41: En Garde!: A one-on-one battle between the player as Marth and the enemy Link on the Temple stage, with the two characters having 2 stock each and unlimited time.
- Event 46: Fire Emblem Pride: The player battles and must defeat a team of Marth and Roy in an untimed match in the Hyrule Temple stage, with all three characters receiving 3 stock.
 Ending images
 Japanese translations
Marth is considerably more verbose than Roy in the games, speaking in the Results screen, in his taunt, down special move, and he also has one unused soundbite.
- Marth's taunt in battle is "皆、見ていてくれ！" "Minna, miteite kure!" which translates to "Everyone, please watch me!".
- Marth's counter move is performed while saying "そこだ！" "Soko da!" or "させるものか！" "Saseru mono ka!" which roughly translates to "There!" and "I won't let you!" respectively.
- Marth's three possible victory statements are:
- "今回は僕の勝ちだね。" "Konkai wa boku no kachi da ne?" which translates to "This time, victory is mine, right?"
- "今日も生き延びることが出来た。" "Kyou mo ikinobiru koto ga dekita", which translates to "Today, too, I managed to survive."
- "僕は負ける訳には行かないんだ。" "Boku wa makeru wake-ni wa ikanain'da!" which translates to "There's no way I can lose!"
- In the Debug Menu of the game, Marth has an additional phrase players can listen to that he does not say in the game: "レッツダンス！" "Rettsu dansu!", which loosely translates to "Let's Dance!"
 Trophy descriptions
In addition to the normal trophy about Marth as a character, there are two trophies about him as a fighter, unlocked by completing the Classic, Adventure and All-Star modes respectively with Marth on any difficulty:
- Marth (Classic Mode):
- The betrayed prince of the Kingdom of Altea, the blood of the hero Anri flows in Marth's veins. He was forced into exile when the kingdom of Dolua invaded Altea. Then, wielding his divine sword Falchion, he led a revolt and defeated the dark dragon Medeus. Afterwards, Altea was annihilated by King Hardin of Akanea.
- Marth (Adventure Mode):
- Marth is a magnificent swordsman. While his swordplay is faster than that of Link, he lacks power, and his quickness is offset by a marginal endurance. His Shield Breaker gains power the longer it's held. The Dancing Blade combination uses both the Control Stick and the B Button to produce a series of up to four attacks.
- Marth (All-Star Mode):
- The tip of Marth's blade causes the most damage, so you should try to create adequate distance between you and your enemy to gracefully strike with that point. Marth's Dolphin Slash is fast and powerful, but it leaves him vulnerable upon landing. Marth uses Counter to block a foe's attack and deal a return strike. If you're fighting a Counter-happy Marth, grab him.
Marth [Classic Mode] trophy
Marth [Smash, Adventure Mode] trophy
Marth [Smash, All-Star Mode] trophy
Marth's alternate costumes in Melee.
- Marth is the only unlockable character to have a clone.
- Marth and Roy are the only characters in Melee that speak Japanese even when English is turned on. To date, they are the only two fighters to speak solely in Japanese.
- Marth and Roy are the only playable characters in Melee that don't have a stage representing their universe, though hacked data shows that one was planned.
- Marth, Roy, and Peach are the only characters in Melee with a special move that can counter.
- Marth was originally only going to appear in the Japanese version of Super Smash Bros. Melee, but was kept in all versions on request of an employee at Nintendo of America. American fans became interested in Fire Emblem because of Super Smash Bros. Melee, which helped Fire Emblem to enter the countries where the games in the series had not been released.
- Marth and Ice Climbers are the only Melee characters who wear their default costumes when they're on the blue team.