Dr. Mario (SSBM)

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This article is about Dr. Mario's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee. For the character in other contexts, see Dr. Mario; for information on the character of whom Dr. Mario is a clone, see Mario (SSBM).
Dr. Mario
in Super Smash Bros. Melee
Dr. Mario
MarioSymbol(preBrawl).svg
Universe Mario
Other Smash Bros. appearance in SSB4

Availability Unlockable
Tier D (11) (North America)
D (12) (Europe)
#default:
The differences between Dr. Mario and Mario are more pronounced in some areas than others, but basically they can be played in a similar fashion.
—Description from Dr. Mario's trophy.

Dr. Mario (Dr. マリオ, Dr. Mario) is an unlockable character in Super Smash Bros. Melee. This is his first 3D appearance as well as his first appearance in the Super Smash Bros. series, as he stems from a series of Mario puzzle games. As a clone of Mario, Dr. Mario and Mario have nearly identical movesets with obvious differences in attack physics.

Dr. Mario currently ranks 11th on the Melee tier list, at the top of the D tier, four places higher than Mario's rank. His relatively high mid-tier placement is a consequence of his combo ability with overall uniqueness as a fighter, such as an unusual-functioning reverse-sex kick. His approach options are also very good, with a long wavedash and a good air game, as well as a very good SHFFL. Dr. Mario also has a good projectile, which itself can be used to aid his approach. However, Dr. Mario's primary weakness is his abysmal recovery, which is one of the worst in the game, due to its predictability and few methods of increasing its distance. Dr. Mario also suffers from lack of range in his attacks, leaving him vulnerable against characters with disjointed hitboxes such as Donkey Kong and Marth, of which the latter serves as his worst matchup.

How to unlock[edit]

To unlock Dr. Mario, players need to complete either Classic or Adventure Mode as Mario without using any continues; alternatively, players can play 100 VS. matches.

Dr. Mario is fought on Princess Peach's Castle, with the track "Dr. Mario" playing.

Attributes[edit]

Dr. Mario is essentially a stronger version of Mario (that despite claims from his Smash trophies within the game, is not slower in any form except for his neutral ground attack). Both have the same dashing speed and falling speed, yet most of Dr. Mario's attacks deal greater damage and knockback than Mario's. Dr. Mario has a slightly faster air speed, rendering his combo potential and aerial approach superior. True to having relatively low traction and a slightly above average falling speed, Dr. Mario has a rather long wavedash. A low short hop, above average falling speed, and low lag aerials give Dr. Mario a good SHFFL, improving his air game. In addition, Dr. Mario has a good number of reliable finishers: a fast forward smash with no sourspots that can KO opponents under 100%, an up smash that is faster than Mario's and has low knockback to set up more combos, and forward aerial, sometimes referred to as "The Fist", which is a very powerful aerial with a large, lasting hitbox, that can KO opponents under 120%, and is relatively easy to combo into. Dr. Mario also has a great projectile, Megavitamins. Their bounciness and slow horizontal speed creates a temporary defensive wall that deters his enemy's approach. Although designed to be like Mario's fireballs, which are fast moving and weak, Megavitamins deal surprisingly high damage (8% each) and high hitstun, opening up far more opportunities for combos if Dr. Mario is quick to capitalize on them. Dr. Mario can strategically manipulate his jumping prowess while shooting Megavitamins to perform the Pill Rush technique, maintaining at least two Megavitamins on the stage for stage control and defensive purposes.

Dr. Mario also has some properties unique to him that make him a more capable fighter. His neutral aerial attack is a sex kick, but is the only one that increases in damage and knockback the longer it is held out, making it a good SHFFL and edge-guarding option, as well as a reliable horizontal finisher at high percentages. Dr. Mario's up tilt is a good juggling option, dealing decent damage and low knockback. His back aerial is one of Dr. Mario's best edge-guarding and approach options, semi-spiking with high base knockback and low ending lag. His down tilt sends opponents behind him and has more hitstun than Mario's, making it a moderately useful combo starter. Super Sheet, like Mario's cape, turns enemies around without dealing knockback, limiting the effectiveness of their recoveries and allowing for possible gimps and quick KO's.

Like Mario, Dr. Mario has a good grab game; his up and forward throws can set up combos and chain throws, while the latter can also act as a potential KO move at very high percentages. Dr. Mario's back throw, like Mario and Luigi's, is a very powerful throw (more powerful than Mario's and Luigi's), being effective for setting up edge guards at high percentages, and acting as a reliable KO move at very high percentages.

Dr. Mario also has his flaws. While powerful, the majority of the sweetspots in Dr. Mario's attacks are short-ranged. His forward smash is a notable example, where its reach is among the worst for a forward smash attack, requiring Dr. Mario to be right next to the opponent to land it. Similarly, his up smash is also rather close ranged.

Yet his greatest weakness is his abysmal recovery. A combination of predictability, poor distance covered, and few options to extend it makes it one of the worst in Melee. Although he has above average air speed, he also has above average falling speed, lowering his horizontal air movement. Super Jump Punch grants below average vertical distance and poor horizontal distance. Button mashing Dr. Tornado is a decent stalling tactic and can mindgame edge-guarding opponents, but grants negligible net vertical and horizontal distance. His Super Sheet, being not as effective as Mario's cape, only grants minor vertical distance once in the air.

Overall, Dr. Mario is a solid character with fast, relatively powerful attacks with great edgeguarding ability and good approaching options. As long as players can stay on the stage during the battle and keep their opponents within arm's reach, there is little an opponent can do against him.

Differences with Mario[edit]

Since Dr. Mario is ranked higher than Mario, he performs better overall, as his attacks are much more powerful. He can also spike foes with his up smash, albeit only if they are on the ground, leading to greater combo potential, and high KO potential on aerial foes. He can KO earlier than Mario, especially due to his throws being much stronger, with his back throw being among the strongest throws in the game.

However, Dr. Mario's recovery is worse since he cannot wall jump, his Super Sheet (side special) only lifting him up once and gains minimal height on usage, and both his Super Jump Punch and Dr. Tornado specials don't gain as much distance in the air in comparison to Mario's up and down specials. Furthermore, even though Dr. Mario boasts much more damage and KO potential than Mario, his forward smash's hitbox has less horizontal reach, requiring him to be closer to his opponents to make efficient usage of it.

Despite this, the numerous advantages that he has over Mario makes him a solid choice in Melee, placing in the upper middle tier.

Aesthetics[edit]

  • Change Dr. Mario's taunt, idle animation, and two of his victory poses are different.

Attributes[edit]

  • Buff Dr. Mario is overall stronger than Mario in terms of damage and knockback.
  • Buff Dr. Mario's air speed is slightly faster (0.84 → 0.9), meaning that he combos more efficiently than Mario.
  • Nerf Dr. Mario cannot wall jump, making his recovery worse than Mario's.

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Nerf Neutral attack is slower and has more ending lag.
  • Buff Neutral attack is stronger than Mario's (the fifth most powerful neutral attack in the game).
  • Buff Forward smash deals more damage (18% → 19%) and has stronger knockback (25 (base)/95 (growth) → 30/97), making it the fifth most powerful forward smash in the game. Additionally, it also lacks a sourspot.
  • Nerf Forward smash has shorter reach than Mario's. It also lacks transcendent priority compared to Mario's sweetspot.
    • Buff The lack of transcendent priority allows it to cancel out projectiles better than Mario's.
  • Change Forward smash deals electric damage instead of flame damage.
  • Buff Up smash deals more damage (15% → 16%) and knockback overall (32 (base)/97 (growth) → 35/95). Additionally, it spikes grounded opponents, making it much more useful for combos, while being a reliable KO move under 130% on aerial opponents. It also has a slightly larger hitbox (3.2 → 3.6), having more reach than Mario's, but less than Luigi's (3.6 → 4).
  • Buff Down smash is much stronger (base 40 → 45) than Mario's and deals more damage (16% and 10%/12% → 18%/17% and 15%/13%).
  • Nerf Down smash has less reach (12u/6.8u (front) and -10.8u/-6u (back) → 10u/6u and -10u/-6u).
  • Buff Down smash's second hit has a longer duration than Mario's (14-15 → 14-16).
  • Buff Dr. Mario's down tilt sends opponents behind him, making it more useful to setup opponents for edge guarding.
  • Change Dr Mario's up tilt launches grounded opponents on a horizontal trajectory.
  • Buff Up tilt has a longer duration (Frames 4-12 → 4-13).
  • Buff Up and down tilts are stronger.
  • Nerf Dash attack has less knockback growth (50 → 30), making it weaker.
  • Nerf Forward tilt deals 1% less damage, along with slightly less knockback.
  • Buff Forward tilt starts up quicker, has a longer hitbox duration (Frames 5-7 → 4-8), and has less ending lag.

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Nerf Dr. Mario's aerials have longer landing lag (16 frames → 18 (neutral); 21 frames → 25 (forward); 15 frames → 18 (back and up); 23 frames → 24 (down).
  • Buff Dr. Mario's forward aerial deals 1-2% more damage (15% → 17%/16%) and sends opponents at a different angle (280° → 60°) that can reliably KO at 80-100% (30 (base)/70 (growth) → 50 and 40/100). Although it doesn't possess meteor smash capabilities, it's less risky to use than Mario's since Dr. Mario does not need to knock opponents off stage. Its power, when sweetspotted, is on par with Bowser's up aerial. Otherwise, when sourspotted, its power is on par with Captain Falcon's down aerial.
  • Change Dr. Mario's neutral aerial does more damage and knockback the longer it's out, while it does less damage and knockback when it first comes out. Overall, Mario's sweetspotted neutral is in between Dr. Mario's neutral aerial's sweet and sour spots. Also, when it first comes out, it has a larger hitbox than Mario's, but afterwards it gets smaller than Mario's neutral aerial. Lastly, it has a slightly altered animation where Dr. Mario sticks his leg completely out, while Mario's is at an angle.
  • Buff Sweetspotted Neutral aerial does more damage than Mario's (12% → 14%).
  • Nerf Neutral aerial has a shorter duration (3-32 → 3-31).
  • Buff Back aerial can semi spike in which Mario cannot (361° → 28°). It also has much higher base knockback than Mario's (10 → 43).
  • Nerf Back aerial has much lower knockback at higher percentages due to lower knockback scaling (100 → 65) and damage (11% → 8%), it also has a slightly shorter duration (6-17 → 6-16).
  • Nerf Up aerial deals 1% less damage (11% → 10%), making it slightly weaker.
  • Buff Down aerial's maximum damage output is much higher.
  • Change Down aerial has a different launch angle (94° → 80°).

Grab and throws[edit]

  • Change All throws deal higher knockback, especially his back throw, which is the second most powerful back throw in the game (whereas Mario's is the fourth).
    • Buff Forward and back throw knockback growth: 65 → 72.
    • Change Up throw knockback growth: 72 → 80. While this improves its KO ability, this also limits its follow-up potential at higher percentages, though its still very effective and fast-fallers, especially the lighter ones.
    • Nerf Down throw knockback growth: 30 → 40. Like the up throw, except it can never KO under realistic circumstances, and as a result, it has less follow-up potential overall than Mario's.

Special moves[edit]

  • Buff Megavitamins do slightly more damage and range than Mario's Fireball.
  • Change Megavitamins travel slower.
  • Change Megavitamins uses the normal and virus line clear sound effects from the NES release of Dr. Mario.
  • Buff Super Sheet deals more damage and has a longer range than Mario's Cape.
  • Nerf Super Sheet only keeps Dr. Mario once in the air and it does not lift him up unlike Mario, making it less useful for recovering.
  • Buff Super Jump Punch is more powerful and can be cancelled, which can be use to setup combo moves.
  • Nerf Super Jump Punch does 1% less damage than Mario's (14% → 13%)
  • Nerf Super Jump Punch has less invincibility frames (Frames 3-6 → 3).
  • Change Super Jump Punch does not make a coin sound effect.
  • Nerf Dr. Mario can't Super Jump Punch wall jump since he can't wall jump.
  • Buff Dr. Tornado does more damage than the Mario Tornado.
  • Change Dr. Tornado hits 5 times instead of 7, and the last hit launches opponents in a random direction rather than straight up. Dr. Mario also lacks a voiceclip when performing the move, unlike Mario.

Moveset[edit]

Dr. Mario (SSBM)/Up aerialDr. Mario (SSBM)/Back aerialDr. Mario (SSBM)/Neutral aerialDr. Mario (SSBM)/Forward aerialDr. Mario (SSBM)/Down aerial
Dr. Mario's aerial attacks. Click on one of them to see their respective subpage.

For a gallery of Dr. Mario's hitboxes, see here.

  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   4% A weak punch forward, then a second weak punch, then a strong kick forward.
3%
6%
Forward tilt   9% Kick straight forward. Is stronger than Mario's and has less ending lag.
8%
7%
Up tilt   10% (clean), 8% (late) Punches upwards. Slightly more knockback than Mario's with a different trajectory based on where it hits. If hit from the front, the opponent gets launched diagonally forward, and if hit from above, the opponent will be launched upwards. When sent on the former trajectory, it can set up edgeguards, while on the latter trajectory, it's easy to combo into an aerial.
Down tilt   9% Kneels down and sweeps his leg low to the ground. Sends foes behind him, unlike Mario's.
Dash attack   9% (clean), 8% (late) Slides on the ground feet first, has slightly more range than Mario's. Launches foes in a different trajectory compared to Mario's.
Forward smash   20% Launches a somewhat short-ranged electrical shock from his palm, in a very similar fashion to his clone. In comparison with Mario's, it has no sourspot, and is quite stronger, being able to reliably KO under 100%.
19%
18%
Up smash   16% (clean), 13% (late) Headbutts upwards. Slightly faster, but a little weaker than Mario's (if hit on an aerial foe, it will be stronger than Mario`s). Unusually, the hitboxes has spike properties, though it only work on grounded opponents. Just like Mario, Dr. Mario's head is intangible while the hitboxes are out.
Down smash   18%/17% (front), 15%/13% (back) Does a breakdancing sweep kick. Deals more damage if the opponents hits Dr. Mario's feet. Considered to be his best KO move.
Neutral aerial   10% (clean), 14% (late) Does an inverted "sex kick". Oddly, the move's power increases the longer it's out, unlike other sex kicks.
Forward aerial   17% (sweetspot), 16% (sourspot) Winds up and punches in a downwards angle, though unlike Mario's, it does not have a meteor smash hitbox; instead, it has high vertical knockback being capable of KOing at 120%. Has a slightly weaker sourspot on Dr. Mario's hand. While it a very powerful KO option (in fact, it is his most powerful attack), it is rather sluggish (hits on frames 18-22 and its IASA is on frame 60), being hard to land on its own. While Dr. Mario has setups for the move in his throws, they are not fully reliable and require successful reading of the opponent's DI for landing the fair.
Back aerial   8% (clean), 7% (late) Kicks backwards. Very good for edgeguarding, with very fast start-up and ending lag, having high base knockback (43), and hitting opponents in a semi-spike trajectory (28 degrees).
Up aerial   10% Does a flip kick upward. A good move for juggling fast-fallers.
Down aerial   3% (hits 1-7) Does a downwards drill kick. The attack has set knockback and does not contain a landing hitbox, unlike Mario's.
Grab
Pummel   3% Headbutts opponent. Relatively slow.
Forward throw   9% Spins opponent once, and tosses them forward with decent knockback. Good for an edgeguarding follow-up attack.
Back throw   12% (throw), 8% (collateral) Spins around three times and tosses the foe behind him, with impressive knockback, being stronger than Mewtwo's back throw and the second strongest back throw in the game, only behind Ness's back throw.
Up throw   8% Heaves his opponent upwards. Can lead into a combo against fast fallers, notably into a fair for a KO.
Down throw   6% Slams opponent to ground. Good for a short-hopped nair follow up.
Floor attack (front) 6% Gets up and punches behind him, then in front of him.
Floor attack (back) 6% Swirls around in a similar fashion to his down smash.
Edge attack (fast) 6% (body), 8% (legs) Does a somersault and then kicks upward onto the stage.
Edge attack (slow) 10% Gets up then does an attack similar to his f-tilt.
Neutral special Megavitamins 8% Throws pills forward, similar to Mario's fireballs. However, they have a unique bounce arc, fall faster, do more damage, are randomly colored, and have distinctive sounds used from the original Dr. Mario game.
Side special Super Sheet 10%/12% Flicks a white cape forward very similar to Mario's Cape, which reverse opponents (causes them to face in the opposite direction) and can reflect projectiles. The differences are that the Super Sheet is longer and deals more damage, but has less lag and moves Dr. Mario up only once, making it less useful for recovery. The attack can also be used to shift the direction of an opponent who is trying to recover, such as Fox using his Fire Fox. In this case, they will be turned around, and will instead jump backwards, missing the ledge. Has transcendental priority.
Up special Super Jump Punch 5% (hit 1), 2% (hits 2-4), 3% (hit 5) Performs a jumping uppercut diagonally upward. It is very similar to Mario's, but does less damage and has fewer hits. Also, the sound effect is different than the usual sound made when Mario grabs a coin. Mainly a recovery move.
Down special Dr. Tornado 3% (hit 1), 2% (hits 2-3), 3% (hit 4 ground), 1% (hit 4 air), 4% (hit 5) A spinning tornado attack, similar to Mario's, but is a little stronger and deals less hits. The move traps the opponent in a tornado, hitting them constantly, before knocks them back. While Mario's knocks opponents into the air, Dr. Mario's knocks them in a random direction. Dr. Mario can hover in the air using this move by repeatedly pressing the B button while using it, but it only works once without landing. Has transcendent priority on all but the last hit.

Taunt[edit]

  • Pulls out a randomly colored Megavitamin, rolls it down his arm, uses his shoulder to toss it into the air, then catches it.
Dr.Mario-Taunt-SSBM.gif

Idle pose[edit]

  • Exercises his neck by moving his head in circles.
Dr. Mario Idle Pose Melee.png

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Cheer
Dr. Mario Cheer NTSC Melee.ogg
Dr. Mario Cheer JP Melee.ogg
Description Gooooooo Doc! Doc-tor! *claps three times*
Pitch Male Male

Victory poses[edit]

An orchestrated cover of the iconic "Level Completed" music from Super Mario Bros..
  • Holds out his stethoscope and points it to his right, to his left, and finally towards the screen.
  • Throws two pills, dusts his hands off, and then pulls out the same pills he already threw while laughing triumphantly.
  • Does a short spin-jump and lands in a strong-man pose, shouting "Here we go!" Shared with Mario.
DrMario-Victory1-SSBM.gif DrMario-Victory2-SSBM.gif DrMario-Victory3-SSBM.gif

In Competitive play[edit]

Matchups[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Melee Character Matchups
  FoxHeadSSBM.png FalcoHeadSSBM.png MarthHeadSSBM.png SheikHeadSSBM.png JigglypuffHeadSSBM.png PeachHeadSSBM.png IceClimbersHeadSSBM.png CaptainFalconHeadSSBM.png PikachuHeadSSBM.png SamusHeadSSBM.png DrMarioHeadSSBM.png YoshiHeadSSBM.png LuigiHeadSSBM.png GanondorfHeadSSBM.png MarioHeadSSBM.png YoungLinkHeadSSBM.png DonkeyKongHeadSSBM.png LinkHeadSSBM.png MrGame&WatchHeadSSBM.png RoyHeadSSBM.png MewtwoHeadSSBM.png ZeldaHeadSSBM.png NessHeadSSBM.png PichuHeadSSBM.png BowserHeadSSBM.png KirbyHeadSSBM.png Avg.
DrMarioHeadSSBM.png -1 -1 -2 -1 ±0 -1 ±0 -1 +1 ±0 Mirror match +2 ±0 -1 ±0 +1 ±0 +1 +1 +2 +1 ±0 +1 +3 +2 +3 ±0

Notable players[edit]

See also: Category:Dr. Mario professionals (SSBM)

Active[edit]

Inactive[edit]

Tier placement and history[edit]

Initially, Dr. Mario was considered an inferior version of Mario due to his slower attacks and worse recovery, with Mario ranked higher than Dr. Mario in the tier list (usually one spot above Dr. Mario). Many smashers such as Captain Jack began to show Dr. Mario's better attributes, such as better punish options than Mario. In 2005, Dr. Mario was recognized as a better character than Mario, placing at least one spot higher than him in the tier lists to come. However, even with evolutions in Dr. Mario's game, representation of him at tournaments was not very notable, with rarely anyone placing high enough to win money just using Dr. Mario.

It was not until 2011 when Shroomed showed Dr. Mario's powerful grab game and projectile game, placing consistently in top 8 at national tournaments such as Apex 2013 and EVO 2013. Although Shroomed no longer mains Dr. Mario exclusively and reserves him for specific matchups, Dr. Mario was still considered a solid high tiered character, sitting at 9th place at the top of the High tier almost making it into the top tier in the eleventh tier list. However, with the decline in results and notoriety from other Dr. Mario players in the current metagame, and even Shroomed himself claiming that he's not as viable now, Dr. Mario has fell to 11th place in the current tier list, at the top of the mid-tiers.

In Single Player modes[edit]

In Classic Mode[edit]

Upon being unlocked, Dr. Mario can appear in one on one battles, in a team with Luigi or as an ally, as a giant character or as a metal character. In all appearances, his stage is Mushroom Kingdom.

In Adventure Mode[edit]

Adventure Mode makes no concessions to Dr. Mario when he is unlocked. Unlike some other characters, the track Dr. Mario does not play on any stages.

In All-Star Mode[edit]

In All-Star Mode, Dr. Mario and his allies are fought on Mushroom Kingdom II. In these cases, the track Dr. Mario plays.

In Event Matches[edit]

Dr. Mario appears in the following event matches:

Ending Images[edit]

Trophies[edit]

The Dr. Mario trophy from Melee.

Dr Mario (Classic Mode, trophy #61)
Immaculate in his medical garb, Dr. Mario destroys killer viruses with his amazing vitamin capsules. With his dedicated nurse, Princess Peach, at his side, Dr. Mario spends day and night in his laboratory working on new miracle cures. Somehow he's managed to keep up with all the new viruses that have arisen over the years.

NES: Dr. Mario
The Dr. Mario (Smash Red) trophy from Melee.

Dr. Mario (Smash Red, Adventure Mode, trophy #62)
There's hardly any difference in the abilities of Mario and Dr. Mario, so choosing is largely a matter of taste. Dr. Mario is a tad slower due to his lack of exercise, but his Megavitamins pack a bit more punch than Mario's Fireballs. The capsules travel on a unique trajectory and make a distinct sound on impact.

The Dr. Mario (Smash Blue) trophy from Melee.

Dr. Mario (Smash Blue, All Star Mode, trophy #63)
The differences between Dr. Mario and Mario are more pronounced in some areas than others, but basically they can be played in a similar fashion. While it may be hard to spot the contrasts, they do exist. For example, Dr. Mario's Super Sheet is longer and narrower than Mario's cape, and any opponents hit by Dr. Tornado will fly off in diverse directions.


Alternate costumes[edit]

Dr. Mario's alternate costumes in Melee

Trivia[edit]

  • Dr. Mario is the only character in the series to have a sex kick that gets stronger the longer it is out.
  • Dr. Mario and Young Link are the only two characters in the game that can taunt cancel.
  • The trophy in Melee explains that Dr. Mario is slower due to his "lack of exercise". However, in Smash 4 the explanation given is "his doctor's coat is heavier".
  • Dr. Mario is actually not slower than Mario in any terms of mobility, making the trophy's description in Melee misleading.
  • Dr. Mario is the only clone to weigh the same as his original counterpart (100 units); Falco and Ganondorf are heavier than Fox and Captain Falcon, respectively, and Young Link, Pichu, and Roy are lighter than Link, Pikachu, and Marth, respectively.
    • Technically, Roy also counts towards this trait, as he weighs the same as Marth in PAL regions, where he is lighter in NTSC regions.


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