Link (リンク, Link) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He was suggested to appear in the then unnamed Ultimate in its first teaser trailer at the end of the March 8th, 2018 Nintendo Direct, and officially announced in Ultimate's E3 2018 trailer on June 12th. Link is classified as fighter #03.
Kengo Takanashi, Link’s voice actor from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, reprises his role in Ultimate with newly recorded voice clips, replacing Akira Sasanuma’s portrayal from Brawl and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
In Ultimate, Link's design is now based off his latest major game, Breath of the Wild. He now incorporates multiple elements from Breath of the Wild into his moveset, such as the Remote Bomb, the Ancient Bow & Ancient Arrow, and the Sword Beam. This has led to a much larger overhaul in his moveset than most other returning veterans, in which several of his attacks of been altered in knockback, range, lag, or have been completely reworked altogether. Most likely as a result, Link was granted a large number of buffs and nerfs in his transition to Ultimate, but has been buffed overall.
Compared to his previous iterations in Smash, Link has better close combat capabilities thanks to his faster movement speed, and the return of the Boomerang improves his ability to combo. Furthermore, Link's grab game has improved due to his now possessing a more standard grab; while the Hookshot and Clawshot in previous games granted Link a long-ranged grab, they were unsafe to use due to their starting and ending lag. Link gains benefit from the universal buffs, as he has improved combo potential due to the 3-frame jumpsquat buff, and the change to perform an attack out of any run helps Link quite well, which compliments his already above-average traction. The universal buffing of the landing lag of aerials in Ultimate have strengthened Link's close combat capabilities even further, with neutral aerial's weak hit allowing it to set-up for a grab at low percents, while back aerial's first hit now effectively serves as a KO setup at high percents.
Additionally, Link sports a longer Master Sword that matches its length in Breath of the Wild, noticeably increasing the range of Link's sword based attacks to a point that Link's range is now on par with other sword-based fighters such as Lucina or Ike; this, along with other adjustments made to these attacks, grant them new utility overall: Forward tilt is now much more effective at a ledge-trapping option due to its wider arc, up smash serves as a more threatening anti-air option, forward aerial is more effective as a spacing option while the first hit can now be used to start combos, up aerial catches airborne opponents from a father distance, and Spin Attack has increased reliability as an OoS option and KOing tool due to its faster start-up and larger sweet spot, and down tilt's reduced damage output allows the move to combo for much longer, even serving as a potential KO confirm at higher percents.
Link has gained a new down special in place of Bomb, known as the Remote Bomb from Breath of the Wild; with it, Link pulls out a Remote Bomb which he can then throw and later detonate using the Sheikah Slate, making it function more like Snake's C4 bombs. Compared to his old down special, the move has a much larger blast radius and greater KO power, significantly improving Link's edgeguarding and ledge trapping capabilities while also controlling a considerably larger amount of space in neutral. Not only that, but because the item can be thrown while only being detonated at command, Link now sports greater combo potential and pressuring with the bomb itself, utilizing it in various Z-drop set-ups. Lastly, the move possesses potential as a strong, albeit tough recovery option, as it can also be Z-dropped and detonated to launch Link a considerable distance forward.
However, Link is not without his fair share of nerfs. As a result of the several changes and alterations he received in his transition to Ultimate, he has inadvertently lost several key strengths that his previous incarnation possessed. While Link has a much faster grab than his precious incarnation, the loss of his Hookshot has effectively removed one of his more potent recovery options, and his overall grab range has been significantly worsened between games. The replacement of his down special has also hindered Link in a variety of ways: Link can no longer pull out bombs as a way to potentially break out of combos, his new bomb no longer explodes on impact, removing one of his effective KO set-ups, and compared to his old bombs, Link can only have one Remote Bomb out a time, resulting in it becoming a worse zoning option than his previous down special overall.
Link has also received hitbox reductions to several of his sword-based attacks, now mapping them strictly to the sword itself. While this does not necessarily affect the reach of his attacks that involve swinging his sword from the Y-Axis (i.e. forward tilt, up tilt, forward smash), it has reduced the vertical reach of his attacks that are swung from the Z-Axis (i.e. down tilt), while also hindering the horizontal range of his thrusting sword attacks (i.e. up aerial, down aerial), making them harder to land overall.
Lastly, despite improvements to his landing lag and Spin Attack, his already sluggish frame data as a whole has been further worsened: A considerable number of his attacks have either increased endlag (such as forward tilt or down tilt), or increased start-up lag (such as a down smash, forward smash, forward aerial, and neutral attack), making it even harder for him to defend himself up close against opponents with superior frame data, such as Mario or Fox. This requires Link players to be more wary when fighting opponents with such strong boxing capabilities, as his weaker frame data puts him at a greater risk of being thrown into a disadvantage state easier.
Overall, the changes to Link have repurposed his playstyle from that of a hard-hitting zoner, to one where he relies on his Remote Bomb and Boomerang for stage control and trapping in a similar manner to Snake, while also focusing on controlling the midrange playing field with his improved range. Because of this, Link has noticeably deviated from his counterparts in terms of his overall gameplan and how he enacts it. Though he had initially amassed very strong results in the early metagame of Ultimate, where he was represented by notable players such as Salem and Izaw, his results have somewhat diminished over time; as Ultimate's metagame would continue to progress, Salem would eventually drop him in favor of Snake, which has inadvertently led to a slowdown of noteworthy results. This has caused players who initially thought of him as a high/top tier character, such as Dabuz, Samsora and ESAM, to reassess their opinions of Link, as they now more or less view him as either a lower high tier character or an upper mid tier character. However, Link continues to see tournament success in Ultimate thanks to the efforts of Izaw and T, the latter of which has made noticeable placements at super-regionals and majors, including placing 17th at 2GG: Prime Saga, while also placing 2nd at Sumabato SP 5. This has lead to Link amassing an increasingly robust set of results that are arguably the strongest out of any of his previous incarnations overall, though how he fares compared to the rest of the cast is currently up for debate.
Throws and other attacks
Link has overall been slightly buffed in game updates.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
Glides in on his Paraglider, and unsheathes his sword.
In competitive play
Any number following the Smasher name indicates placement on the Spring 2019 PGRU, which recognizes the official top 50 players in the world in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from February 1st, 2019 to July 7th, 2019.
Classic Mode: A Quest to Seal the Darkness
Link's opponents are all affiliated with darkness, referencing the main goal of every game in his series: to destroy darkness.
Credits roll after completing Classic Mode. Completing it as Link has Title Theme - The Legend of Zelda accompany the credits.
Character unlock tree
Link's Classic Mode character unlock tree includes the following characters in order:
Each character can be unlocked by clearing Link's Classic Mode, or the Classic Mode of any preceding character, if all preceding characters have been unlocked. Once all the above characters are unlocked, clearing Classic Mode with any of them will default to Mario's character unlock tree, starting with Sonic.
Role in World of Light
Link was among the fighters summoned to the cliffside to fight the army of Master Hands.
Link was present on the cliffside when Galeem unleashed his beams of light. Link successfully deflected three beams of light with his Hylian Shield (staying true to the shield's unbreakable nature), but he lost his footing on the third blow, and was vaporized and placed under Galeem's imprisonment along with the rest of the fighters (excluding Kirby).
Link is unlocked near a Sheikah Tower when taking the Villager route. The player must defeat Don's spirit to access his unlock battle.
Link's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Link in World of Light allows the player to preview the second spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As a Fighter Spirit, it cannot be used in Spirit Battles and is purely aesthetic. Each Fighter Spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.
Additionally, various incarnations of Link make an appearance in various Primary and Support Spirits.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Character Showcase Video