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Link (SSBM)

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This article is about Link's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee. For the character in other contexts, see Link.
in Super Smash Bros. Melee
Link in Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Universe The Legend of Zelda
Other playable appearances in SSB
in Brawl
in SSB4
in Ultimate
Availability Starter
Tier C- (18) (North America)
F (16) (Europe)

Link (リンク, Link) is a starter character in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Announced at E3 2001, 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.

As in Super Smash Bros., Nobuyuki Hiyama's portrayal of Link from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was re-purposed in Melee, with the ones used in the previous Smash title returning alongside new ones.

Link is ranked 18th in the tier list, in the C- tier, which is much higher than his second to last current rank in the Smash 64 tier list (11th out of 12), and one place below his clone, Young Link. Link's placement is due to his low lag aerials (with his neutral and forward air), a good variety of projectiles, several kill confirms, multiple strong tech-chasing options and a very high air speed. His disjointed hitbox also gives him 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 like his notoriously active neutral air. Link, however, suffers from a rather high falling speed and a high weight, making him an easy target for chain grabbing and combos. Although his recovery can be extended, he is still vulnerable to being edgeguarded due to it being predictable.


Link generally falls under the "slow, but powerful" archetype of fighter, though many of his attacks are fairly versatile and long reaching. Link has a rather high weight, as well as an above average falling speed and high air speed, an unusual combination of physics for someone of his weight class.

Arguably Link's greatest asset is his range. 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 if he slashes them with his Spin Attack.

Another benefit are his variety of useful attacks in his arsenal; a majority of his grounded attacks have good KO potential, including his tilts, with his up tilt having rather decent speed and acting as an excellent combo starter that takes advantage of his above-average air game. Link's air game is solid; his fast, low-lag back, forward, and neutral aerials coupled with his low short hop and high falling and air speeds give Link among the best SHFFLs in the game. Link's boomerangs and bombs also give him excellent zoning abilities, with the former's modifiable trajectories potentially making it a good approach tool as well. In addition, Link has a variety of powerful finishers. All of his smashes have decent power with acceptable start-up and cool-down lag. His forward smash can be extended should the first hit fail to connect, and both his up and down aerials can be potent finishers, especially when combined with his aforementioned SHFFL. In the NTSC regions, Link's Spin Attack is also a deadly edgeguarding technique when used on the ground; its later hitboxes sharply semi-spike the opponent, and if Link can land this attack on recovering opponents, he can quickly and safely gimp opponents. While the attack lost its semi-spike properties in PAL regions, the attack's long range and high power still make it a decent edgeguarding technique.

Link's grab game has a variety of positive and negative attributes; 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. Common options include using his down-throw into his spin attack, giving Link a reliable kill confirm vs mid-fallers and fast fallers. His up throw is also useful in several matchups, allowing him to combo into up-tilt and sometimes down-smash vs fast-fallers, and into several aerials vs other characters and high percent fast-fallers. In general, Link's grab has reliably high reward, but is extremely committal and somewhat hard to hit with.

Link's recovery is also considered to be above-average. Link by himself is difficult to edgeguard, as his recovery has a wide variety of options; his wall-grapple can allow him to enter "safe-zones" underneath the ledge, and his spin attack covers the top of him, with his bombs also potentially allowing for some form of recovery if he slashes them with his spin attack. In addition, Link's high weight and falling speed make him rather resilient to the upper blast line, though these attributes impact his horizontal survivability.

A high falling speed and being a rather large target, however, reveals Link's primary flaw: Link is a particularly easy target for chain throwing and combos. Against fast characters, such as Fox or Sheik, Link players must read opponents very well as to avoid such techniques; 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. In addition, he is arguably the easiest character for Fox to waveshine, for Falco, shine to down air, as well as one of the easiest characters for Sheik to chaingrab. These major setbacks with three very common characters in tournaments is the main problem. In addition, Link boasts among the worst out of shield options in the game; Spin Attack is relatively slow compared to other up-b's out of shield like Bowser's or Samus's, neutral-air is large and fairly fast but limited by Link's long jump-squat animation, and whilst Link's up-smash out of shield is very fast, it is easy for opponents to SDI out of and only covers above him. Combined with his grab not being able to hit airborne opponents, Link has some of the worst tools for dealing with shield pressure in the game, especially against Fox and Falco.

Exacerbating Link's ease to be comboed is his poor overall mobility. While still rather fast for a character of his strength, weight and range, Link still has a rather slow, inflexible approach on the ground, due to his slow dash speed, poor dashdance, and short wavedash. Additionally, Link has multiple high-lag attacks, notably his down and up aerial attacks; 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 also struggles to quickly cover space immediately in front of him on the ground, as his grab and down-tilt are both very laggy and his short hop aerials are a little too slow to come out. He also can struggle against crouch-cancelling and ASDI down, as his fastest aerials like back air and neutral air are easily beaten by crouch-cancelling and counterattacking, and some of his strongest combo starters are poor against grounded opponents SDI'ing down, such as his otherwise very good dash attack.

Changes from Super Smash Bros.[edit]

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 compared to the previous installment. One of his largest weaknesses, his awful recovery, has been greatly improved as his Spin Attack covers more distance and he now has a grab aerial. When combined with the addition of air dodging, his recovery options now remain fairly diverse. His lighter weight allows him to be more difficult to combo, though he is still one of the easiest characters in the game to combo. Many of his attacks also have decreased ending lag, while some of his other attacks have decreased startup lag. These changes grant him a safer neutral and advantage state, granting him more opportunities to approach while being more flexible to recover from disadvantage states.

However, Link has also received some nerfs: some of his attacks, such as his back aerial, forward aerial, and throws, are weaker, while others are even slower, such as his down aerial, which also heavily suffers from the changes to L-canceling. While his grabs are significantly faster, they also have less range, he cannot grab aerial opponents unless he is right in front of them, giving him less room to fend off opponents.

Nevertheless, he is overall a stronger character than in Smash 64. However, he still heavily struggles against most high and top-tiers competitive play due to the faster mechanics of the game offsetting some of the buffs he gained in the transition.


  • Change The graphical upgrades of the Nintendo GameCube give Link a more proportionate build. He now has an added belt going over his shoulder and around his waist and has more detailed gloves and boots. His face is also more proportionate and has bigger eyes.
  • Change Link has a new taunt.
  • Change Link's helpless animation has changed.
  • Change Link has a different dash animation.


  • Buff Link walks faster (0.9867 (29.6) → 1.2).
  • Nerf Link dashes slower (1.4 (42) → 1.3).
    • Nerf Link's initial dash is drastically slower (2.267 (68) → 1.3) and covers a fraction of the distance. This hinders Link's ability to run away and keep up with opponents despite his higher maximum dashing speed.
  • Buff Link's traction is much higher (0.0667 (2) → 0.1), now being the highest in the game. This makes it easier for him to punish out of shield.
  • Buff Link's jumpsquat is shorter (7 frames → 6).
  • Change Link's air speed is faster than his Australian Smash 64 counterpart, but slower than his European Smash 64 counterpart (1.033 (31, JPN/NA) / 0.9 (27, AUS) / 1.233 (37, EUR) → 1).
  • Nerf Link's air acceleration is significantly lower, especially significant compared to his European Smash 64 counterpart (0.1067 (3.2, JPN/NA/AUS) / 0.133 (4, EUR) → 0.06).
  • Nerf Link jumps drastically lower (39.96 (1198.8) → 29.67), hindering his vertical recovery and ability to chase opponents above him.
    • Change Link's short hop is also drastically lower (24.99 (749.7) → 10.99), improves his ability to hit opponents low on the ground with short hop aerials, as well as his ability to quickly land and continue aerial pressure, but also hinders his ability to auto-cancel his aerials.
    • Nerf Link's double jump also retains its lower multiplier from the European version of Smash 64 (0.9 → 0.88).
  • Change Link's gravity is slightly higher (0.1067 (3.2) → 0.11).
  • Nerf Link's fast falling speed is much slower, especially significant compared to his Australian and European Smash 64 counterparts (3.4 (102, JPN/NA) / 3.667 (110, AUS/EUR) → 3). The difference between his falling speed and fast falling speed is much lower (increase: 59.4% (JPN/NA) / 71.7% (AUS/EUR) → 40.8%), which makes it more predictable when landing and gives him fewer options in the air.
  • Nerf Link is lighter, especially drastic compared to his European Smash 64 counterpart (108.333333 (0.96, JPN/NA/AUS) / 122.222222 (0.9, EUR) → 104), hindering his endurance.
  • Buff Link's Hylian Shield now has a special hurtbox if Link is standing still, which nullifies any projectile which touches it.
  • Buff Link benefits from the addition of air dodging as while he has a poor wavedash due to his long jumpsquat and high traction, it improves his landing options, it gives him a defensive aerial option and most notably, it grants him an additional recovery option when combined with his new aerial hookshot.

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Neutral attack:
    • Buff The third hit of his neutral attack deals more damage (4% → 6%) and all hits except the multi-hits have less ending lag (FAF 24 → 20 (hit 1), frame 22 → 18 (hit 2), frame 40 → 33 (hit 3)). The multi-hits also have less startup lag (frame 11 → 10).
    • Nerf The second and third hits of neutral attack have more startup lag and the first and third hits have a shorter duration (frames 6-9 → 6-8 (hit 1), frames 6-7 → 7-8 (hit 2), frames 6-11 → 7-11 (hit 3)). The multi-hits also have more ending lag (FAF 54 → 58).
  • Forward tilt:
    • Nerf Forward tilt has more startup lag, a shorter duration (frames 15-20 → 16-19) and it deals less damage (17%/18% → 13%/14%/15%) and knockback (0 (base), 100 (scaling) → (5/2)/90) significantly hindering its KO potential.
  • Up tilt:
    • Buff Up tilt sends opponents at a higher angle (79° → 95°/85°) improving its combo potential.
    • Nerf Up tilt has more startup lag with a shorter duration (frames 8-16 → 9-15) and deals less damage (10% → 9%).
    • Change Up tilt deals more knockback (20 (base), 100 (scaling) → 30/(122/123/124/130). This improves its KO potential but hinders its juggling potential at higher percents.
  • Down tilt:
    • Buff Most of down tilt's hitboxes are now meteor smashes (80° → 280°) granting it edgeguarding potential especially with its altered knockback (35 (base), 80 (scaling) → 80/50). Down tilt also has less ending lag (FAF 40 → 32).
    • Nerf Down tilt has more startup lag and a shorter duration (frames 12-19 → 14-16) and deals less damage (12% → 11%). The introduction of meteor canceling also hinders the new meteor smash hitbox's reliability.
  • Dash attack:
    • Buff New dash attack: a slash rather than a stab. It has less startup (frame 9 → 7) and ending lag (FAF 47 → 40) and has slightly better combo ability due to sending opponents at a more vertical angle (361° → 90°/80°°/70°/60°).
    • Nerf New dash attack deals less damage (16%/14%/11%/10% → 12%/11%/9%), hindering the sweetspot's KO potential although the sourspots have increased base knockback (5/0 → 10). It also has a much shorter duration (frames 9-34 → 7-12).
  • Forward smash:
    • Buff New Forward smash: Link’s new forward smash is considerably stronger, dealing more damage if both hits connect (20% → 30%) and covers more space than his old forward smash. It also has less startup (frame 16 → 15) and ending lag if the first hit is used only (frame 58 → 50). The second hit's sourspot deals more damage (12% → 18%) and has higher base knockback (20 → 30) than the sourspot of his previous forward smash.
    • Nerf The first hit of the new forward smash deals less damage (20%/12% → 14%/13%) and has lower knockback scaling (100 → 85/83). The second hit launches opponents at a less favorable angle (361° → 65°) hindering its sweetspot's KO potential. Forward smash is significantly less reliable than the old forward smash as the first hit deals fairly high knockback making it not possible to connect both hits beyond lower percents. Also despite the introduction of smash charging, the second hit is not affected by it.
  • Up smash:
    • Buff Up smash has less ending lag (FAF 58 → 52) and covers more horizontal range.
    • Nerf Up smash deals less damage (7% (hit 1), 3% (hit 2), 12% (hit 3), 20% (total) → 4%/2%/10%/14% (total)) although the final hit's knockback was compensated (30 (base), 90 (scaling) → 90/80). Its consecutive hits are slower (frame 21 (hit 2), frame 31 (hit 3) → 26 (hit 2), 41 (hit 3), and has less vertical range and smaller hitboxes making it much easier to escape.
  • Down smash:
    • Buff Down smash has less ending lag (FAF 50 → 42) and it now has sweetspots which deal 17%.
    • Nerf Down smash's first hit has a shorter duration (frames 9-13 → 9-11) and the move now has weaker sourspots which deal less damage (16% → 13%/11%). All hits deal less knockback (35 (base), 100 (scaling) → 20/90) and launch opponents vertically (75°/40° → 75°) hindering its KO and edgeguarding potential as well as its reliability.

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Nerf Neutral, forward and back aerials auto-cancel later (frame 30 → 32 (neutral), frame 35 → 51 (forward), frame 27 → 29 (back), frame 64 → 65 (down)). Forward aerial can no longer auto-cancel in a short hop or even a full hop, while back and especially neutral aerial are now harder to auto-cancel in a short hop.
  • Nerf The weakening of L-canceling hinders up aerial's combo potential (combined with the general reduction to hitstun and the introduction of DI), and significantly hinders down aerial's safety if Link lands with it.
  • Neutral aerial:
    • Buff Neutral aerial has a longer duration (frames 4-29 → 4-39), less ending lag (FAF 40 → 36), its clean hit deals more damage (10% → 11%/9%/7%) and is easier to land.
    • Nerf Neutral aerial's late hit deals less damage (8% → 7%).
  • Forward aerial:
    • Buff Forward aerial has less startup lag (frame 15 → 14) and it now consists of two hits instead of a front hit and a back hit.
    • Nerf Forward aerial deals considerably less damage (20%/12% → 13%/8%) and the second hit has less knockback scaling (100 → 90) greatly hindering its KO potential.
  • Back aerial:
    • Nerf Back aerial deals less damage (10% → 7% for each hit) hindering its KO potential. Despite this, it does not connect anymore reliably. Both hits also have a shorter duration (frames 6-13 → 6-9 (hit 1), frames 18-26 → 18-23 (hit 2)).
  • Up aerial:
    • Buff Up aerial auto-cancels earlier (frame 58 → 56).
    • Buff Up aerial has a slightly longer duration (frames 5-48 → 5-49) and has less ending lag (FAF 70 → 60). It also launches opponents at a higher angle (70° → 80°).
    • Nerf Up aerial now has a late hit that deals less damage (16% → 12%).
    • Change Up aerial has altered knockback (5 (base), 100 (scaling) → 25/85).
  • Down aerial:
    • Buff Down aerial is considerably stronger (16% → 22%/20% (clean), 19% (late)), and is now the 3rd strongest down aerial in the game (only surpassed by Ganondorf's and Young Link's (sweetspotted and clean) down aerials, but since Link's is not a meteor smash, it is a significantly more reliable KO move). It also has less ending lag (FAF 90 → 80).
    • Nerf Down aerial has much more startup lag with a shorter duration (frames 5-64 → 13-64).
    • Change Down aerial now launches vertically instead of horizontally (361° → 65°). This improves its combo ability, but worsens its edgeguarding ability. It also has altered knockback (25 (base), 100 (scaling) → (50/40)/80).
  • Grab aerial:
    • Buff Link now has a grab aerial, giving him another attack. This also gives him a new versatile recovery option, greatly aiding his recovery.

Grabs and throws[edit]

  • Buff As with all returning veterans, Link has been given a pummel, an up throw and a down throw, providing him with more options during a grab.
  • Buff The Hookshot now has considerably less startup lag (frame 17 → 11 (standing), 12 (dash)).
  • Nerf Link has lower grab range, and the grab hitbox has a shorter duration (frames 17-28 → 11-17 (standing), 12-17 (dash)), along with Link no longer being able to grab aerial opponents unless he's at point blank range. His new dash grab also has more ending lag (FAF 85 → 95).
  • Nerf Forward and back throws deal considerably less damage (14% (forward), 16% (back) → 6% (both)) and knockback (80 (forward base), 70 (back base), 70 (scaling) → (24/25)/110) making them completely unviable kill options.

Special moves[edit]

  • Bow:
    • Change New neutral special move: Bow. This projectile's power and distance can be increased by charging the move before releasing the B button.
  • Boomerang:
    • Change Due to the addition of the Bow, Boomerang is now Link's side special move.
    • Buff Boomerang travels faster and have less startup lag, as well as having a higher chance of returning to Link.
    • Buff The Boomerang throw now also has a close-range hitbox with good damage.
      • Nerf Despite this, Boomerangs deal less damage overall and cannot travel as far.
  • Spin Attack:
    • Buff Grounded Spin Attack has a longer duration (frames 8-39 → 8-41) and less ending lag (FAF 99 → 80) and is now an even better edgeguarding option as its late hit is now a semi-spike in NTSC versions (361° → 0°) and has increased base knockback (10 → 60).
    • Buff Spin Attack grants significantly more distance in the air, and now has multiple hits, being a safer and more reliable recovery move.
    • Nerf Aerial Spin Attack, due to now being a multi-hit attack, can no longer KO reliably unless the last hit is landed which can easily be avoided, and even then, it has less power than in Smash 64 as the final hit deals less damage (16% → 4%) and its knockback was not fully compensated (30 (base), 100 (scaling) → 40/160). The grounded version also deals less damage (16% → 15% (clean), 8% → 5% (late) and the sweetspot deals less knockback (30 (base), 100 (scaling) → 32/95).

Version history[edit]

Like other characters, Link received some changes in the PAL version of Melee which slightly nerfed him overall as his spin attack's late hit no longer semi-spikes making it worse for edgeguarding. Despite this, he has a slightly easier time against higher tiered characters due to them also being nerfed and he is currently ranked higher on the current PAL tier list at 16th.

NTSC 1.02


  • Nerf Spin Attack's late hit launches opponents at a much higher angle (0° → 361°), no longer being a semi-spike. This considerably hinders its edgeguarding potential.


For a gallery of Link's hitboxes, see here.

Link's aerial attacks.
  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack Slash (なぎ払い) / Counter Slash (返し) / Stab (突き) / Illusion Stab (幻影突き) 5% A diagonal sword slash followed by a horizontal slash, with a lunging stab finisher. If the player mashes the A button enough, Link will initiate a rapid stab attack that deals low knockback.
1% (loop)
Forward tilt Sword Chop (ソードチョップ) 13% (body), 14% (tip & hilt), 15% (base) Brings sword down, in an axe-like fashion. This attack has relatively high knockback for a forward tilt. Since the hitbox is high, Link can hit midair opponents with it.
Up tilt Half-Moon Swipe (半月スワイプ) 9% Swings his sword in an arc above himself. Among Link's most flexible moves on the ground, it has good combo potential; it is rather fast with minimal ending lag, and has good knockback.
Down tilt Grass Cutter (草薙ぎ) 11% Swipes sword across ground 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 inner part of Link's sword makes contact, though this is highly situational.
Dash attack Running Hack (ランニングハック) 9% (tip), 12% (base), 11% (body) Swings sword from head to toe while coming to a stop. Somewhat fast, though it has some ending lag. At higher damages it will knock a grounded foe into the air, often leading into an aerial follow up, though it doesn't have much KO power. At mid-percent it has high combo potential, often leading to another dash attack or an up-tilt, into potentially more moves.
Forward smash Sword Slice (スマッシュ斬り, Smash Slice) / Double Sword Slice (二段スマッシュ斬り, Double Smash Slice) 13% (tip), 14% (body) Swings sword once in front for good knockback by itself, and if the A button is pressed again, he will do a much more powerful slash to follow. The second hit deals more vertical knockback than the first. 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. Interestingly, the second slash does not increase in damage or knockback whenever it's "charging".
18% (tip), 20% (body)
Up smash Triple Sword Swipe (トリプルソードスワイプ) 4% (hit 1), 2% (hit 2), 9% (hit 3 body), 10% (hit 3 blade) Slashes in an upwards arc three consecutive times. This attack was taken from Smash 64, but with changes to the hitbox. All hits now have a noticeable arc 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. All three hits can deal up to ≈14.92% when used fresh (though is says 15% when first used in-game). It is also notably the fastest upsmash in the game, which makes it a situational anti-air and out of shield option.
Down smash Sword Sweep (ソードスイープ) 13% (front hit tip), 11% (back hit tip), 16% (blade & body), 17% (hilt) Sweeps with his sword in front of and then behind him. The first hit comes out fast, though the 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. It is often used to cover multiple options in tech chases, due to the two hits coming out on different sides.
Neutral aerial Hylian Kick (ハイリアキック) 11%/9%/8% (clean foot/back leg/hip) 7% (late) A generic sex kick; very fast, with low ending and landing lag, making it a good SHFFL option. Its long duration and moderate knockback also make it one of Link's best edgeguarding tools, especially coupled with his decent air-speed. The late hit is uniquely active for the rest of the animation length, even after Link retracts his legs.
Forward aerial Spinning Sword (スピニングソード) 13% (hit 1), 8% (hit 2) Swings his sword forward twice while spinning 360 degrees. The first hit is usually hard to follow into the second hit. The first hit is relatively safe on shield when well spaced, and done as low as possible in a short hop it is +/-0. Additionally, the first hit has reasonably high knockback that makes it a decent kill option. The second hit comes out very late and as a result is nearly impossible to have come out in a short hop, and has less knockback. Since it is rather laggy, it's rather situational for edgeguarding, but is commonly used after up throw vs fast-fallers as a kill option.
Back aerial Double Kick (二段蹴り) 7% (hits 1-2) Two short-ranged back kicks behind himself. The properties of the first hitbox make it difficult to directly segue into the second. This move, unlike most back aerials, is not always considered Link's best viable choice for edgeguarding due to awkward hitboxes and duration, along with relatively low knockback.
Up aerial Stab-Up (上突き, Up Thrust) 16% (clean), 12% (late) Thrusts his sword upwards. Good for juggling, and it acts as a reliable vertical finisher at higher damages ~120%. It can directly combo from his up and down throws in several matchups, but rarely at the percent ranges at which the move is likely to KO. Has some sex kick properties, and extremely fast to come out, although also very laggy. Taken from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.
Down aerial Sword Plant (下突き, Downward Thrust) 22%/20% (clean), 19% (late), 6%/8% (after bounce) His famous aerial from Zelda II where he takes his sword and thrusts it 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 is still in action when Link lands, he must pull it 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, and it can KO reliably starting at 80% to 90%. It is generally not used much outside of a combo from Boomerangs, Bombs, or either up-throw or down-throw.
Grab aerial Hookshot (フックショット) 6% Uses his Hookshot. 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. This attack has transcendent priority.
Grab Hookshot (フックショット) Uses his Hookshot to grab at foes from afar. It's the second longest grab in the game, behind Samus. The hitbox at the end of the hookshot can not grab aerial opponents, but the hitbox on Link's hand can.
Pummel Hilt Strike (柄なぐり) 3% Hits opponent with the hilt of his sword.
Forward throw Kick Out (キックアウト) 3% (hit 1), 3% (throw) Kicks foe a short distance in front of him. Low knockback.
Back throw Reverse Kick Out (リバースキックアウト) 3% (hit 1), 3% (throw) Throws the opponent behind him and kicks them away.
Up throw Sword Launch (ソード・ランチ) 4% (hit 1), 2% (throw) Raises the opponent above him and slashes upward. Has below-average knockback, allowing it to potentially combo into an up-tilt, up-smash, down-smash, or several different aerials.
Down throw Flying Elbow (フライング肘) 2% (hit 1), 4% (throw) Takes the opponent onto the ground and elbow drops them. Leaves foes wide open for a combo, such as his Spin Attack or u-tilt. Generally Link's best kill confirm at high percents where it can easily combo into Spin Attack.
Floor attack (front)   6% Quickly gets up and slashes on both sides.
Floor attack (back)   6% Quickly gets up and slashes on both sides.
Edge attack (fast)   8% Pulls himself up into a front flip and slices downward.
Edge attack (slow)   8% Slowly gets up and quickly thrusts his sword. Only the sword has a hitbox; foes close to the end of the ledge Link was on can avoid the attack completely.
Neutral special Bow 1% (point blank) 5-18% (arrow) Link takes out his bow and shoots an arrow. Although a bit laggy and travels fairly slowly, Link can increase the speed and damage of the arrow by holding down the B button. Sticks in shields and the ground. Has its own hurtbox that can be hit by other attacks. Can shoot through opponents or hit twice if stale and used at point blank range.
Side special Boomerang 14% (throw), 16% (smash throw), 6% (far), 3% (return) Link throws a Boomerang. Deals fair knockback, Link's Boomerang's distance can be extended or have its trajectory altered with the control stick. Only one Boomerang can be on the field at a time unless it is reflected. It is a relatively strong combo starter.
Up special Spin Attack Ground: 15% (clean), 5% (late)
Air: 4%/6% (hit 1), 2% (hits 2-4), 4%/6% (hit 5)
Does a spinning attack swinging his sword around him, with different properties depending on if it's used on the ground or in the air. In the air, the initial hits have low knockback, but the last one has a much stronger knockback than the rest. Although an unspectacular recovery, the grounded variant can be dangerous as an offensive move, especially an edgeguarder. It deals high knockback and can send opponents in a lower diagonal trajectory, a semi-spike (not in PAL versions of the game). It is easily combo'd into using Link's down throw versus many different characters and is one of his best kill moves. Link can grab an edge backward with his Spin Attack, unlike most recovery moves, but only during the move. This attack has transcendent priority.
Down special Bomb 1~7.2% (contact), 4% (explosion) Link takes out a bomb. Then, he can throw it like any other item. The bomb eventually explodes on its own, even being able to damage Link himself. Oddly, anyone who comes in contact with the bomb will have an explosive effect on their bodies, despite the bomb not detonating. The explosion can grant Link an extra Spin Attack if used skillfully, along with several of his other kill moves link forward aerial, forward smash, or his risky down aerial.



Stats Weight Dash speed Walk speed Traction Air friction Air speed Air acceleration Gravity Falling speed Jumpsquat Jump Height Double jump Height
Value 104 1.3 – Initial dash
1.3 – Run
1.2 0.1 0.005 1 0.02 – Base
0.04 – Additional
0.11 2.13 – Base
6 29.67 - Base
10.99 - Short hop


Stats Weight Dash speed Walk speed Traction Air friction Air speed Air acceleration Gravity Falling speed Jumpsquat Jump Height Double jump Height
Value 104 1.3 – Initial dash
1.3 – Run
1.2 0.1 0.005 0.9 0.02 – Base
0.04 – Additional
0.11 2.13 – Base
6 29.67 - Base
10.99 - Short hop

Announcer call[edit]


  • Sheathes his sword and shield, and lets out a chuckle while brushing back his hair, as if admiring his own handsomeness.

Idle pose[edit]

  • Moves torso from forward to back.
Link Idle Pose Melee.gif

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Description Go Link! *claps three times* Lin-k!
Pitch Male Male

Victory poses[edit]

An orchestrated portion of the main theme from The Legend of Zelda series.
  • Swings his sword three times and turns his back to the camera. This is his animation when he is chosen in Super Smash Bros. 64.
  • Puts his sword and shield together and then raises his sword high into the air.
  • Swings his sword once, spins his sword, and sheaths it.
Link-Victory1-SSBM.gif Link-Victory2-SSBM.gif Link-Victory3-SSBM.gif

In competitive play[edit]

Most historically significant players[edit]

See also: Category:Link players (SSBM)
  • Japan Aniki - One of the first notable Link players, and was the best Link in Japan. Placed 17th at Jack Garden Tournament, which still remains the best supermajor result seen for Link.
  • USA Aklo - The current best Link player in the world, although better known as a Fox main and uses Link as occasional counterpick. His placement of 18th on the MPGR Summer 2022 became the first time a Link player has been globally ranked since Lord HDL's rank in 2014. He notably won Redemption Rumble using Link to beat KoDoRiN and Swift in his bracket, becoming the best result and wins the character has seen in the post-Slippi era.
  • USA J666 - One of the best Link players in the world during the early 2010s, once peaking at 13th in SoCal during 2012. His placements of 33rd at EVO 2014 and 49th at EVO 2016 are some of the best solo Link results at Melee supermajors to this day.
  • USA Lord HDL - One of the best Link players in the world during the early 2010s. While he commonly used Marth as well and would eventually solo-main him, he used Link to place 17th at EVO East and 49th at Apex 2013. He became the first Link player to have been ranked on a global Melee top 100 power ranking list with 87th on the SSBMRank 2014.
  • USA Kuya - Co-mains Link with Mr. Game & Watch and is currently considered one of the best Link players in the world. He has shown a strong regional presence, ranking 5th in Central Florida in 2023 and placing 7th at Tampa Never Sleeps 8, 13th at CEO 2023, and 17th at DreamHack Atlanta 2019.
  • Germany Sixx - Considered the best Link player of all time before his hiatus in competitive play. He placed 9th at one of the biggest European tournaments for Melee with Heir 4 where he notably beat YungWaff. His best win with Link was with Amsah at Avalon M-VI and has taken sets over other top European players such as nebbii and Nicki.
  • Sweden Savestate - A Link player well known for advancing tech of the character, discovering many techniques such as Ghost Arrow and Bomb Launching. Considered the second best Link player in Europe with some respective placements of 4th at Midgard 2022, 17th at HFLAN 2022: Golden Melee Edition, and 25th at Fête. Eventually retired in 2023.

Tier placement and history[edit]

Link ranks at 18th on the current tier list. Historically, Link has always been regarded as an average to below-average character in the competitive metagame, having most frequently appeared at the thirteenth spot on the tier list. While Link's spacing ability and his above-average air game have been noted, his poor mobility on the ground is widely seen as the reason for his low-mid tier ranking; even Aniki's impressive performance with Link in the Jack Garden Tournament could not move him up in the tier list, and Link's metagame has not become particularly powerful in Melee. In the eleventh tier list, Link was ranked lower than his clone, Young Link, for the first time, owing to Young Link's better mobility. There are very few dedicated Link mains in the present metagame.

As part of an April Fools' joke, Link has once ranked sixth on the tier list; in the two days that this version of the tier list was declared official, the Melee Back Room claimed that Link's high-tiered ranking was due to having untapped aerial prowess. While another prediction on the tier list involving Jigglypuff eventually came true in the post-Brawl metagame, opinions of Link have consistently been that he is still in the low-mid tier range.

The online Slippi era has notably reignited discussions about Link's viability. This has most notably been the case with Sixx's resounding first place finish in doubles alongside Ice at multiple European tournaments and Aklo's win over numerous other top-level players as solo Link (in addition to his wins over players such as lloD, Logan, Swift, KoDoRiN and Eddy Mexico while using Link as a counterpick). Although Link is still considered to be a mid-tier character, it is more commonly agreed that his strong projectile game and kill confirms off of them give him a competitive edge against many of the higher-tier characters on Final Destination.

In 1-P Mode[edit]

Classic Mode[edit]

Link can appear in Classic Mode as a solo opponent, an opponent or ally in team battles (paired up with either Luigi, Young Link, Zelda or Marth), a giant opponent, or a metal opponent. Link will always appear on either Great Bay or Temple with the exception of when on a team with Luigi, where they will be fought on Mushroom Kingdom, as well as the metal battle, where, like everybody else, he will be fought on Battlefield.

Adventure Mode[edit]

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.

All-Star Mode[edit]

In All-Star Mode, Link and his allies are fought on Great Bay.

Event Matches[edit]

Link is featured in the following event matches:

Ending Images[edit]


In addition to the normal trophy about Link as a character, there are two trophies about him as a fighter, unlocked by completing both Adventure and All-Star modes respectively with Link on any difficulty:

Link trophy from Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Classic Mode trophy
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.
The Legend of Zelda (7/87)
Link trophy from Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Adventure Mode [Smash] trophy
Link [Smash]
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 trophy from Super Smash Bros. Melee.
All-Star Mode [Smash] trophy
Link [Smash]
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

Alternate costumes[edit]

Link's palette swaps, with corresponding tournament mode colours.
LinkHeadSSBM.png LinkHeadRedSSBM.png LinkHeadBlueSSBM.png LinkHeadBlackSSBM.png LinkHeadWhiteSSBM.png



A comparison of Link and Young Link's respective Hookshots.
  • Link and Young Link both use the same model for the Hookshot; as a result, it looks larger when Young Link uses it.
  • Link is the only character in Melee to get only 33 frames of invincibility when grabbing a ledge. All other characters get 37 frames of invincibility when grabbing a ledge, however this is due to him being actionable on the ledge 4 frames faster than any other character.
  • Link is one of 3 Super Smash Bros. characters whose neutral special move changed during the transition from Super Smash Bros. 64 to Super Smash Bros. Melee, the others being Ness and Jigglypuff. In the first Super Smash Bros. game, Link's neutral special was the Boomerang; from Super Smash Bros. Melee and forth, he instead uses the Bow (or variants such as the Hero's Bow), with the Boomerang being reassigned as a side special move.
  • Melee is the only Smash game where Link is paired up with another version of him who is technically the same character: in this case, the adult form of the Hero of Time is paired up with his own child form, who is now portrayed here as being his own character. Both Brawl and SSB4 replace the two with the Twilight Princess and Wind Waker versions of Link, respectively, while Ultimate replaces the former with the Breath of the Wild version of Link, brings back the younger version of the Hero of Time, but keeps the latter from The Wind Waker.
  • Despite having his adult form from Ocarina of Time being retired after Melee, the Adult Hero of Time still makes a cameo appearance in Brawl as a sticker (while riding Epona), a trophy in 3DS, and as a spirit in Ultimate (once again riding on Epona).
    • Wii U is the only game where Adult Link does not make any appearance at all.
  • Link's neutral aerial is the only move in the game that lacks a flag for when the hitbox is supposed to end; because of this, the hitbox stays out for longer than it is supposed to.

External links[edit]