Luigi (ルイージ, Luigi) appears in Super Smash Bros. as one of the four unlockable characters. He is a clone of Mario, keeping most of his moves and animations, though differing in terms of attributes. Like him, Luigi is voiced by Charles Martinet, albeit his voice clips' are merely higher pitched versions of Mario's voice clips.
Luigi ranks 12th on the tier list, making him the lowest ranked out of all characters in the original Super Smash Bros. Luigi's combo ability is varied and versatile, and they can be followed by his most devastating finisher, the Super Jump Punch. He also has a long distanced recovery. However, his weaknesses are extremely overwhelming: he has very slow movement speed, with the slowest traction and dashing and air speeds, along with the third lowest falling speed and gravity. Despite the latter attribute giving him great jump prowess, it also gives him a high short hop. Like Mario, his reach is poor, giving him trouble at hitting opponents. Altogether, these attributes result in very weak and almost complete lack of offensive options in the neutral game, despite having Fireball as a projectile. While being a clone in terms of attacks, some of his attacks are much weaker, an exception to it being Super Jump Punch, which is hard to land without confirming a combo into it. Lastly, his recovery is predictable despite being long distanced, and he is easier to gimp because of his lower air speed. As a result of these attributes, he has almost no dedicated players in competitive play, and suffers from terrible tournament results.
How to unlock
Luigi is notable for being the only full clone in Smash 64. Many of his attacks are similar to Mario's, although there are differences. Luigi's main problem is his terrible physics - a combination of slow dashing speed, very slow air speed, low traction, and low falling speed gives him very poor mobility and big trouble approaching, even with a projectile in his Fireballs. He also has a high short hop and short range.
Luigi has a relatively good recovery - despite being on the more predictable side, his jumps are high and Super Jump Punch travels a fairly high distance, with Luigi Cyclone being an additional recovery option (though it requires very fast button mashing to give distance). Luigi's Fire Jump Punch is a very powerful KO move, and it can be combo'd into with a down aerial or forward aerial. Despite this, however, Luigi generally cannot combo well due to his very low air speed. His down aerial is his main combo move, but being a drill, it can be SDI'd out of, hindering its effectiveness. The Luigi Cyclone (his down special move) can pseudo-spike most characters as an edgeguarding technique, but this is ineffective against characters who can recover from it quickly, including Pikachu, Mario, and other Luigis. Luigi has the highest initial jump in the game, which can be a good thing on stages like Hyrule, but it gives him a high short hop, which further hinders his combo ability, especially since it's also rather slow. Luigi lacks a particularly powerful KO move outside his Fire Jump Punch, limiting his KO options.
Luigi overall has poor matchups, being heavily countered by Pikachu and having a 40-60 matchup against six characters in the game. He does however have an even matchup against Yoshi and Donkey Kong, and he also does well against Samus and Jigglypuff, hard countering the latter due to his Fire Jump Punch.
Overall, Luigi is considered a decent mid-tier in doubles. With a teammate to distract opponents, Luigi gains several opportunities for devastating Fire Jump Punch combos, and his poor approach can be covered by a fast teammate like Fox. Luigi's primary weaknesses are his poor range and poor air speed, which is why he is usually partnered with a character who can cover those disadvantages (like Captain Falcon or Pikachu). He is considered a great combo with Mario due to their combo and KOing options being nearly identical, allowing them to combo extensively.
Differences from Mario
Differences between game versions
In his transition to NTSC, Luigi overgone many changes, both positive and negative, which makes him slightly less of a clone than Mario. However, he was untimately nerfed due to his lower mobility and the higher SDI presence. Despite this, he ironically has better matchups in the NTSC version, due to the changes to SDI also nerfing several character's combo options. Altogether, he is a worse character than in the Japanese version, but fares better due to the different gameplay mechanics, though not by much.
In Competitive play
In 1P Game
In the game's single-player mode, a player and a randomly chosen ally fight against Mario and Luigi in a team battle on Peach's Castle making him the only unlockable character who can be fought in the 1P game.
Though often hidden in his older brother Mario's shadow, Luigi is, in reality, very popular. Taller than Mario, Luigi also jumps higher. Although he didn't appear in Super Mario 64, in Mario Kart 64 he performed to the best of his ability. For one who seems to always seems to be in the background, he has many fans who eagerly await his appearance.
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