Frozen is a state which characters enter when they are hit by a freezing attack of enough knockback. When characters are frozen, their in-game appearance is being trapped in a block of ice. In this state, characters are unable to do anything. Characters thaw out naturally over time, although button mashing helps to break out faster. Being hit with a fire attack will immediately thaw a character and deal minimal knockback. How long a character stays frozen depends on how much knockback the freezing hit did; if the knockback is too weak, the character will not be frozen at all. As a result, it is rather difficult to freeze giant or metal opponents.
Frozen characters cannot be affected by other status effects (such as being asleep, buried, or stunned), take quartered knockback, and cannot be grabbed. The ice also halves the damage of all incoming attacks while altering the shape of the character's hurtbox.
Usually, the hit that causes freezing will send a character upwards (while also seeming to drastically decrease their vertical endurance). This has the effect of making it difficult to push a frozen character off an edge, as well as making most freeze-based KOs occur off the top. This is solely based on the angle of the attack and is not a property of the freezing effect itself; it is simply a convention.
In Melee and Brawl, Screen KO'd and Star KO'd characters will remain in their ice block until they respawn, but in SSB4 and Ultimate opponents will thaw immediately before crossing the upper blast line.
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