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Mario (SSBM)

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This article is about Mario's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee. For the character in other contexts, see Mario.
in Super Smash Bros. Melee
Mario in Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Universe Mario
Other playable appearances in SSB
in Brawl
in SSB4
in Ultimate
Availability Starter
Tier C+ (15) (North America)
E (15) (Europe)

Mario (マリオ, Mario) returns as a starter character in Super Smash Bros. Melee. He was announced at E3 2001. He also has a clone, Dr. Mario, with whom he shares a lot of attributes and special moves.

Charles Martinet reprises his role as Mario, albeit via recycled voice clips from Super Mario 64.

Mario is ranked 15th out of 26 on the current tier list, placing him in the C+ tier. This is very similar to his previous ranking in Smash 64, where he is ranked 7th out of 12. It also puts him three places lower than his younger brother Luigi at 12th place and two places lower than his clone Dr. Mario. Like in Smash 64, Mario acts as a well-rounded character, with average attributes across the board. He has above average comboing ability due to the somewhat low knockback and the angles at which his moves tend to send on, and a very versatile grab game: his powerful back throw can KO most opponents with ease and gimp some recoveries, while his up and down throws can chain-grab. Mario also has a solid edge-guarding game, with a solid projectile in his Fireball, and his Cape which can easily and efficiently gimp almost every other character's recovery. Mario, however, lacks a reliable finisher, with many moves with aforementioned low knockback with the exception of his forward and down smash. His recovery is also predictable and short, though he can extend it, which leaves him vulnerable to being gimped by characters such as Jigglypuff. His mediocre range also leaves him with trouble against characters with disjointed hitboxes such as Marth.

Overall, Mario has average matchups in tournament play, with favorable matchups against most lower tiered characters though having disadvantageous matchups against higher tiered characters, especially against those who can either gimp or outrange him.


Mario using his various recovery options to recover onto the edge. Taken from the video Perfect Control.
Mario using his various recovery options to recover onto the stage. This is a TAS clip from Perfect Control.

As a character, Mario falls under the archetype of being of an all-rounder character, with no particularly strong or weak traits; indeed, in terms of weight, falling speed, air speed, size, and dash speed, Mario tends to fall in the middle of these attributes.

One of Mario's strengths is his rather good combo ability. While not having an extremely high air or falling speed, Mario can easily and efficiently combo most other characters in the air; Mario has plenty of low lag and low knockback aerials, and the addition of a long wavedash and fast ground attacks give Mario plenty of combo potential. Mario also has a good SHFFL.

Mario also has an above average approach. Despite an only average air speed and dashing speed, Mario still has good options for getting closer to opponents. His Fireballs have good range and can disrupt opponents at a distance; differing terrains such as slopes and platforms can also give the Fireball many options. Mario, due to his average attributes in traction and falling speed, has a rather long and floaty wavedash; coupled with decently ranged smash attacks, Mario has good wavesmashing abilities.

Mario is also a surprisingly good edgeguarder. He has a meteor smash in his forward aerial, albeit it having high startup and ending lag and not being too powerful, and his back aerial sends opponents on a decent angle for edgeguarding. Mario's Fireballs can also gimp recoveries; its low knockback makes it effective in the regard. Most notably, however, Mario has what is likely the absolute best edgeguarding weapon in all the game: his Cape. When used, it can effectively and quickly gimp almost every recovery in the game; it's especially useful against linear recoveries, such as Fox's Fire Fox or Luigi's Green Missile.

Mario also has a surprisingly good grab game. Despite a rather poor grab range, Mario's throws are notable for their versatility; his forward and back throws can easily set up gimp KOs, especially the latter, while his up and down throws can act as combo starters, as well as very effective chain grabs: Mario's up throw can chain grab fast fallers such as Fox, Falco, and Captain Falcon, while his down throw can chain grab heavy characters, as well as being able to chain grab Pikachu and Pichu up to high percents, if not to a KO.

However, Mario suffers from some KOing problems. He lacks particularly powerful or reliable finishers; while his forward smash has good range, coupled with a very visible and easy to land sweetspot, his other smashes are rather short ranged. Additionally, while Mario's back throw is strong, it requires grabbing the opponent first; this can be a challenge, due to Mario's poor grab range. Mario's single meteor smash is also rather unwieldy and risky to use.

Mario also suffers from a below average recovery. Super Jump Punch only grants average to slightly below average horizontal and vertical distance, while Mario Tornado can only grant vertical distance if the B button is tapped quickly. Mario, however, does have some options to improve his recovery; Mario's Cape can allow him to recover from the sides, and he has the ability to wall-jump, which can act as a help on stages such as Final Destination.

Overall, Mario could be considered a poor-man's version of Marth. While both characters have great combo ability and a similar recovery, Marth has a much easier time finishing off opponents as well as having longer range in his attacks and his grab range making it much easier for Marth to chain-grab fast-fallers compared to Mario.

Changes from Super Smash Bros.[edit]

When making the transition from Smash 64 to Melee, Mario got a mix of buffs and nerfs, but was neither strongly buffed or nerfed. Mario is faster on the ground and he greatly benefits from the introduction of air dodging giving him a solid wavedash which makes his grounded movement much more solid overall. The speed of Mario's attacks has been considerably improved as most of his attacks have decreased ending lag and a decent amount of them have decreased startup lag as well, and his new forward smash, a palm thrust that emits a fiery blast, has more range and is more reliable due to the addition of a sweetspot located on the explosion. His edgeguarding has also considerably improved as his back aerial is considerably faster and his up aerial has been retooled to give it more edgeguarding potential. His new side special Cape also gives him a new powerful edgeguarding tool as well as an extra tool for recovering.

As for his nerfs, Mario's damage output has been decreased and his KO power has been considerably decreased as many of his previous KO moves have been greatly weakened making it far more difficult for Mario to KO his opponents. In particular, his new forward aerial, while now capable of meteor smashing and losing its sourspot, is much slower and weaker and has less range. His strongest KO moves (his forward and down smashes) while faster now have sourspots making them more difficult to use effectively. While Mario has a few new options to recover such as his cape and wall jump, his recovery is overall worse (especially when relative to the cast) as his air speed is slower, he falls faster, his fireballs are smaller making them a worse option to wall out opponents while recovering and his Super Jump Punch travels less distance making him easier to edgeguard.

Overall, Mario is largely a much weaker character as his damage output is lower, his combo game is weaker in some aspects and many of his previous KO moves can no longer KO under 90-120%. In exchange, his attacks are much faster and his grounded movement has been improved especially due to the introduction of wavedashing. Mario remains in a similar spot on Melee's tier list and he overall struggles against higher tiered characters limiting his success in competitive play.


  • Change The graphical upgrades of the Nintendo GameCube allow for a more detailed appearance of Mario. His physique looks much more similar to its official art, while his red cap and shirt are slightly darker and the seams on his overalls are more accentuated. He also has a slightly darker skin tone, and his hair and shoes are a much darker brown color.
  • Change Mario's green alternate costume from Smash 64 is now accessible through normal battles instead of just Team Battles.
  • Change Mario gains a new victory pose: he makes a fire and when the fire disappears, Mario strikes a pose. It replaces his hopping victory pose in Smash 64.


  • Buff Mario walks much faster (0.8 (24) → 1.1).
  • Buff Mario dashes slightly faster (1.467 (44) → 1.5).
    • Nerf However, Mario's initial dash is much slower (1.8 (54) → 1.5) and covers less distance.
  • Buff Mario's traction is slightly higher (0.0533 (1.6) → 0.06), making it easier for him to punish out of shield.
  • Nerf Mario's jumpsquat is longer (3 frames → 4).
  • Nerf Mario's air speed is slower (1 (30) → 0.86 (NTSC) / 0.83 (PAL)).
  • Nerf Mario's air acceleration is lower (0.0667 (2) → 0.045), though it's no longer the slowest in the game.
  • Nerf Mario's jump height is extremely lower (45.33 (1360) → 29), going from the 6th highest out of 12 characters to the 4th lowest out of 26.
    • Change Mario's short hop is also drastically lower (26.6067 (798.2) → 11.025). This 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 and performing two aerials in a short hop.
  • Change Mario's gravity is higher (0.08 (2.4) → 0.095).
  • Change Mario falls faster (1.467 (44) → 1.7), improving his vertical endurance but making him more susceptible to combos.
    • Nerf However, Mario's fast falling speed is slightly slower (2.333 (70) → 2.3). The difference between his falling speed and fast falling speed is much lower (increase: 59.1% → 39.3%), which makes it more predictable when landing and gives him fewer options in the air.
  • Nerf Exclusively to the PAL version, Mario's weight is lower (100 (1) → 98).
  • Buff Mario now has the ability to wall jump, improving his recovery.
  • Buff The introduction of air dodging benefits Mario overall as he can now wavedash. His wavedash is overall solid due to his short jumpsquat/average traction; improving his movement options.

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Neutral attack:
    • Buff Both the first and third hits deal more damage (2% (hit 1)/4% (hit 3) → 3%/5%).
    • Buff The first two hits now have set knockback (8 (base), 50 (scaling) → 20 (set)/100), and their angles have been altered (361° (hit 1)/70° (hit 2) → 83°/85° (both)), allowing them to connect more reliably.
    • Buff The first two hits transition into the later hits sooner (frame 10 (hit 1)/8 (hit 2) → 6 (both)).
    • Buff All hits have less ending lag (FAF 18 (hit 1)/20 (hit 2)/26 (hit 3) → 16/19/23).
    • Nerf Mario can no longer cancel the first hit into grab.
    • Nerf The second hit has a shorter duration (frames 3-5 → 3-4)
    • Nerf The third hit has more startup lag (frame 3 → 5).
    • Change The third hit no longer has anti-rebounding priority.
  • Forward tilt:
    • Buff Forward tilt has less startup (frame 8 → 5) and ending lag (FAF 43 → 33).
    • Nerf It has a much shorter duration (frames 8-17 → 5-7).
    • Nerf It deals less damage (14% (up)/13% (side)/12% (down) → 10%/9%/8%) and has decreased base knockback (10 → 6), significantly hindering its KO potential.
      • Nerf Additionally, the down angled variant now has very weak set knockback (1), making it extremely punishable on hit at any percentage.
  • Up tilt:
    • Buff Up tilt has less startup (frame 5 → 4) and ending lag (FAF 42 → 30).
    • Buff It now launches opponents towards Mario (86° → 96°).
    • Nerf It has a shorter duration (frames 5-16 → 4-12).
    • Nerf It deals less damage (10% → 8%).
    • Change It has more base knockback but lower knockback scaling (0 (base), 150 (scaling) → 26/125).
      • Buff This along with its lower ending lag makes it much safer on hit at lower percents.
      • Nerf However, this along with its lower damage also hinders its KO potential.
  • Down tilt:
    • Buff Down tilt has less ending lag (FAF 40 → 35).
    • Nerf It deals less damage (12% → 8%/9%) and knockback (0 (base), 100 (scaling) → 10/80).
    • Nerf It has a shorter duration (frames 5-11 → 5-8).
    • Nerf Mario no longer moves forward while using it, giving it much less range.
    • Nerf It now launches opponents vertically (361° → 80°). This hinders its spacing potential while not granting it combo potential due to its low power and high ending lag.
  • Dash attack:
    • Buff Dash attack has less startup (frame 8 → 6) and ending lag (FAF 41 → 38).
    • Nerf The late hit has a shorter duration (frames 12-28 → 10-25).
    • Nerf It deals less damage (12% (clean), 10% (late) → 9%/7%).
    • Nerf It has more base knockback but lower knockback scaling (16 (base), 100 (scaling) → 70/50 (clean), 10/100 → 45/30 (late)), hindering its KO potential.
    • Change It now launches opponents behind Mario (361° → 110° (clean)/120° (late)).
  • Forward smash:
    • Change Mario has a new forward smash: he leans forward and thrusts his hand in front of him, emitting a small fiery explosion from his palm.
    • Buff It has less startup (frame 16 → 12) and ending lag (FAF 54 → 42); now matching Luigi's version.
    • Buff The fire hitbox deals more damage (18% (up)/17 (side)%/16% (down) → 19%/18%/17%).
      • Nerf However, it deals less knockback (30 (base), 100 (scaling) → 25/95), hindering its KO potential despite its higher damage.
    • Nerf The non fire hitboxes deal less damage (18% (up)/17 (side)%/16% (down) → 15%/(11%/10%)/13%) and knockback (30 (base), 100 (scaling) → 25/96).
  • Up smash:
    • Change Up smash's animation has been altered with Mario now taking a massive step forward as he leans for the headbutt.
      • Buff The animation change gives the move more horizontal range than before.
      • Buff It also gives the move significantly less ending lag (FAF 60 → 40) than before.
      • Nerf However, Mario no longer performs a small jump, reducing its vertical range.
    • Nerf It has more startup lag with a shorter duration (frames 7-15 → 9-11).
    • Nerf It grants less intangibility to Mario's head (frames 7-10 → 9-11).
    • Nerf It deals much less damage (19% → 15%), knockback (26 (base), 120 (scaling) → 32/97), and launches at a slightly lower angle (85° → 83°). This greatly hinders its KO potential; no longer being one of the strongest up smashes.
  • Down smash:
    • Buff Down smash has less startup lag (frame 8 → 5) and a shorter total duration (FAF 45 → 38).
    • Nerf It has a much shorter duration due to now possessing a front hit and a back hit rather than a constantly active hitbox (frames 8-29 → 5-6 (front), 14 (back)).
      • Nerf This also gives the move more ending lag as its total duration was not fully compensated (now having 23 frames of cooldown as opposed to 15).
      • Buff However, this also allows the move to hit twice.
    • Nerf The front hit deals less damage (17% → 16%) and knockback (20 (base), 100 (scaling) → 40/75), significantly hindering its KO potential.
    • Nerf The back hit deals much less damage (17% → 10%/12%) and knockback (20 (base), 100 (scaling) → 35/75), drastically hindering its KO potential.

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Nerf Due to his lower short hop, Mario can no longer auto-cancel neutral, forward or down aerials in a short hop, nor can he perform two aerials in a short hop.
    • Nerf When combined with the weakening of L-canceling and the reduction to shieldstun, this hinders the combo potential, shield pressuring potential and safety of Mario's aerials.
  • Neutral aerial:
    • Buff Neutral aerial has less ending lag (FAF 50 → 46).
    • Buff It auto-cancels slightly earlier (frame 37 → 36).
      • Nerf However, it no longer auto-cancels as soon as its hitboxes are no longer active.
    • Nerf It deals less damage (14% (clean)/11% (late) → 12%/8%) without full compensation on its base knockback (15 (clean)/0 (late) → 20/15).
    • Nerf It has a shorter duration (frames 3-10 (clean)/11-36 (late) → 3-6/7-32).
    • Nerf It has more landing lag (14 frames → 16).
  • Forward aerial:
    • Change Mario has a new forward aerial: an overhanded downward swing with an enlarged fist; officially referred to as "Meteor Knuckle".
    • Change It is now a meteor smash (361° → 280°).
      • Buff This significantly improves its combo potential against grounded opponents.
      • Nerf However when combined with the introduction of meteor cancelling, this significantly hinders its reliability.
    • Buff It has less landing lag (30 frames → 21).
    • Nerf It has noticeably increased startup lag with a shorter duration (frames 11-26 → 18-22).
    • Nerf It has much more ending lag (FAF 40 → 60).
    • Nerf It has a much longer animation (39 frames → 74).
    • Nerf It auto-cancels later (frame 27 → 43).
    • Nerf It deals less damage (16% → 15%) and knockback (10 (base), 100 (scaling) → 30/70), significantly hindering its KO potential.
    • Nerf It has less range.
  • Back aerial:
    • Change Back aerial has a new animation where Mario kicks more sideways with his right side facing up, instead of kicking backward face-down. Mario also recovers differently without curling up into a flip.
      • Buff This new animation is much shorter (39 frames → 28), decreasing its ending lag (FAF 40 → 29), as well as the amount of time Mario cannot grab the ledge after using the move.
    • Buff It has less startup lag with a longer duration (frames 10-19 → 6-17).
      • Buff When combined with its decreased ending lag, this makes it a more effective tool for edgeguarding and wall of pains.
      • Nerf However, the clean hit has a shorter duration (frames 10-13 → 6-8).
    • Buff It auto-cancels slightly earlier (frame 20 → 19).
    • Nerf It deals less damage (16% (clean)/10% (late) → 11%/9%), greatly hindering the clean hit's KO potential.
      • Buff The late hit has increased base knockback (0 → 7) although this does not fully compensate for its reduced damage.
  • Up aerial:
    • Buff Up aerial has less ending lag (FAF 40 → 30).
    • Buff It has much less landing lag (40 frames → 15).
    • Change Its angle has been altered (80° (clean)/70° (late) → 55°).
      • Buff This grants the move edgeguarding potential.
      • Nerf However, this significantly hinders its combo and juggling potential removing one of Mario's most powerful combo tools.
    • Nerf It deals less damage (12% → 11%) and has decreased knockback scaling (120 → 100).
    • Nerf It has more startup lag with a shorter duration due to no longer having a late hit (frames 2-4 (clean)/5-11 (late) → 4-9). It is no longer the fastest aerial in the game in terms of startup lag.
    • Nerf It auto-cancels later (frame 12 → 16).
  • Down aerial:
    • Buff Down aerial has a shorter total duration (FAF 39 → 38).
    • Buff It has less landing lag (36 frames → 23).
    • Buff It now has a landing hitbox.
    • Nerf Each hit deals less damage (3% → 2%), greatly reducing the move's maximum damage potential (24% → 12%).
    • Nerf Due to hitting seven times instead of eight:
      • Nerf It has a shorter duration (frames 10-11, 13-14, 16-17, 19-20, 22-23, 25-26, 28-29, 31-32 → 10-11, 13-14, 16-17, 19-20, 22-23, 25-26, 28-29), increasing its ending lag.
      • Nerf It no longer auto-cancels as soon as its hitboxes are no longer active.
    • Nerf It is no longer a meteor smash (-70° → 94°), removing its edgeguarding potential and making it connect less reliably.
    • Nerf The weakening of L-cancelling combined with the move losing its ability to auto-cancel in a short hop and with it gaining a landing hitbox has significantly hindered down aerial's followup potential.
      • Nerf These changes combined with the changes to shieldstun and its lower damage have drastically hindered down aerial's shield pressuring potential; no longer being able to lead into shield break combos.

Throws/other attacks[edit]

  • Grabs:
    • Buff Mario now has a pummel, up throw and a down throw, increasing his options out of a grab. He can also chaingrab characters with said throws.
    • Nerf Grabs have more startup lag (frame 6 → 7 (standing), 11 (dash)) and ending lag (FAF 16 → 31 (standing), 41 (dash)).
    • Change Mario's throws are now weight dependant.
  • Forward throw:
    • Buff Mario releases opponents from forward throw earlier (frame 14 → 12) and it has less ending lag (FAF 31 → 28).
    • Nerf It deals less damage (12% → 9%) and knockback (80 (base), 70 (scaling) → 60/65).
  • Back throw:
    • Buff Back throw's collateral hit has much less startup lag with a longer duration (frames 18-44 → 1-43).
    • Change Mario releases opponents from back throw slightly earlier (frame 45 → 44).
    • Nerf It deals less damage (16% → 12%) and knockback (70 (base), 70 (scaling) → 80/65), making it much weaker.
    • Nerf The collateral hit deals less damage (12% → 10%).
    • Nerf It has slightly more ending lag (FAF 66 → 67).
    • Nerf It has been hindered greatly by the introduction of DI, as opponents now have ample time to correctly DI the throw and survive it for even longer.

Special moves[edit]

  • Fireball:
    • Buff Fireball has less startup (frame 16 → 14) and ending lag (FAF 46 → 44).
    • Buff Fireballs travel faster.
    • Change Fireballs can only bounce two times instead of three although it still covers the same amount of distance when used on the ground.
    • Nerf Fireballs are smaller, reducing their hitbox.
    • Nerf Fireballs have a much shorter maximum duration (frames 16-154 → 14-88).
      • Nerf These changes combined with Mario's faster falling speed greatly hinders the moves use as an offensive recovery tool.
    • Nerf Fireballs deal less damage (7% → 6%) and have decreased base knockback (10 → 5).
  • Cape:
    • Change As with all returning veterans, Mario now has a side special; Cape. It is based on the cape feather power-up in Super Mario World. It can reflect projectiles as well as reverse an opponent's direction if it hits them. It also gives Mario a slight boost when used in the air. This gives Mario an option to deal with projectiles; as well as an additional edgeguarding and recovery option.
  • Super Jump Punch:
    • Buff Super Jump Punch can now be cancelled with a wall jump near the apex of the move, aiding Mario's recovery if he is close to a wall.
    • Nerf It deals slightly less damage (16% → 15%).
    • Nerf It has more startup lag (frame 2 → 3).
      • Nerf Its intangibility also has more startup lag (frame 2 → 3).
    • Nerf It has more landing lag (25 frames → 30).
    • Nerf It grants Mario noticeably less distance, worsening its recovery potential.
    • Change The first hit has increased set knockback (110 → 130).
    • Change Hits 2-5 have increased set knockback (100 → 110/150).
    • Change Hits 6-9 no longer have consistent set knockback (100 → 90/120).
    • Change The final hit has altered knockback (0 (base), 170 (scaling) → 40/140).
  • Mario Tornado:
    • Buff Mario Tornado has less ending lag (FAF 87 → 80).
    • Buff Mario travels slightly faster when using it on the ground.
    • Buff The first and final hit deal more damage (1% (both) → 2% (hit 1)/5% (hit 8 ground)/3% (hit 3 air)).
    • Buff The last hit no longer has set knockback (120 (base), 1 (set), 0 (scaling) → 60/0/115 (ground), 70/120 (air)), allowing it to KO at high (albeit unrealistic) percentages.
      • Nerf However, this hinders its safety at lower percents.
    • Buff The loop hits have longer durations (1 frame → 2).
    • Change The first hit's angle has been altered (180°/90° → 140°).
    • Change The loop hits have decreased base knockback (70 → 40).
    • Change The 7th hit's angle has been altered (180° → 100°).
    • Change The final hit's angle has been altered (90° → 80°).
    • Nerf It has significantly more startup lag (frame 1 → 8), greatly hindering its utility.
      • Nerf In addition to this, the first hit has altered knockback (70 (base), 1 (set) → 0/40). As a result, it prevents it from causing hitstun.
    • Nerf Due to hitting up to only 8 times instead of 14:
      • Nerf Its maximum damage potential is slightly lower (14% → 13% (ground)/11% (air)).
      • Nerf It has a much shorter duration (frames 1-4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34, 37, 40, 43-44 → 8-9, 12-13, 15-16, 18-19, 21-22, 24-25, 27-28, 38-39).
    • Nerf The aerial version's final hit can no longer meteor smash opponents, significantly hindering its edgeguarding potential.
    • Nerf There is now a small delay before the last hit, allowing foes to escape the attack more easily.
    • Nerf Mario's faster falling speed and gravity makes the move less effective as a recovery tool.
      • Nerf Due to these changes, the move is now considered to be nearly useless besides for recovering, and as a situational vertical launcher.

Version history[edit]

Mario was nerfed in the PAL version of Melee although due to many characters ranked above him being nerfed, his viability remains similar overall.

NTSC 1.01

  • Nerf Fireball no longer increase speed when used off slopes at certain angles.


  • Nerf Mario is slightly lighter (100 → 98).
  • Nerf Mario's air speed was reduced even further (0.86 → 0.83).


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

Mario's aerial attacks.
  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack Left Jab (左ジャブ) / Right Cross (右クロス) / Toe Kick (トーキック) 3% Punches twice, then kicks upward. Originates from Mario's standard combo in Super Mario 64.
Forward tilt Plumber Kick (配管工キック) 10% Does a back spinning kick with his right leg. It comes out fast and is useful for spacing, but has low knockback. Can be angled.
Up tilt Uppercut (アッパーカット) 8% Does a spinning uppercut. It's an effective juggler and combo starter at low percentages, and can KO at very high percentages. It is based on the Mega Glove combo in Super Mario RPG.
Down tilt Leg Sweep (レッグスイープ) 8% (foot), 9% (leg) Does a legsweep. The move itself deals very low knockback, and is only useful at high percentages.
Dash attack Slide (滑り台) 9% (clean), 7% (late) Does a baseball slide, which knocks the opponent behind Mario. Very similar animation to Mario's dashing attack from Super Mario 64.
Forward smash Fire Glove (ファイアーグローブ) 19% (fire), 15% (arm) Launches a blast of fire from his palm. Its sweetspot is the fire blast and has transcendental priority, and the sourspot is at Mario's arm. When sweetspotted, it has high knockback,KOing at around 70% when fully charged. Average strength compared to other forward smashes, being the 13th strongest in terms of knockback. Can be angled.
18% (fire), 11% (left arm), 10% (right arm)
17% (fire), 13% (arm)
Up smash Lead Headbutt (スマッシュヘッドバット, Smash Headbutt) 15% Headbutts upward. A fast, strong move with more range behind Mario than in front. Mario's head is intangible while the hitboxes are active.
Down smash Breakdance Sweep (ブレイクダンス スイープ) 16% (front), 10% (back feet), 12% (back legs) Performs a breakdancing sweep kick. Extremely fast, one of Mario's stronger moves. This is based off Mario's crouching attack from Super Mario 64.
Neutral aerial Plumber's Boot (配管工のブーツ) 12% (clean), 8% (late) A sex kick. Mario kicks forward. As with other sex kicks, it does weaker damage and knockback after a few frames.
Forward aerial Plunger (メテオナックル, Meteor Knuckle) 15% Throws an overhanded punch with an enlarged fist. Slow, predictable and has high ending lag, but it is a meteor smash, with no sourspot. Still, it is relatively weak and not very reliable to use for an edgeguard, but can be used to send opponents into his forward smash.
Back aerial Drop Kick (ドロップキック) 11% (clean), 9% (late) Does a dropkick. Has low startup, and can be good for spacing and edgeguarding.
Up aerial Bicycle Kick (バイシクルキック) 11% Does a bicycle kick. Good move for juggling and comboing, but has low knockback.
Down aerial Drill Kick (ドリルキック) 2% (hits 1-7 & landing) Performs a downwards drill kick. Hits multiple times and has a landing hitbox that deals weak knockback. All hits can deal up to ≈12.92% if they connect.
Grab Grab (つかみ)
Pummel Clutch Headbutt (クラッチ頭突き) 3% Headbutts opponent. Relatively slow.
Forward throw Heave-Ho (ヘーブホー) 9% Spins around once, and throws his opponent forward with decent knockback.
Back throw Airplane Swing (ジャイアントスイング, Giant Swing) 12% (throw), 8% (collateral) Similar to his throw against Bowser in Super Mario 64; spins around three times and throws his opponent backward. Surprisingly high knockback, can hit enemies mid-swing. One of the stronger back throws in the game, with KO potential under 150% near the edge.
Up throw Mario Launch (マリオローンチ) 8% Throws his opponent upward. Good for leading into an up tilt, or starting combos at higher percentages. Can chaingrab fastfallers.
Down throw Down the Drain (ダウン・ザ・ドレイン) 6% Throws his opponent on the ground. At lower to mid percentages, it can chaingrab characters with moderate falling speeds (such as Pikachu), and at high to very high percentages, it can chaingrab fast-fallers.
Floor attack (front)   6% Gets up and punches behind him, then in front.
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% Slowly gets up and kicks forward with one leg.
Neutral special Fireball 6% Shoots a fireball as a projectile, which travels forward and loses momentum with each bounce. Because of this, they are best used in the air, and at higher locations. They can be spammed, though with some difficulty, and are a decent way to approach. The move can be more efficient when used in the air, falling to meet the enemy at ground level, while still moving, and negating lag.
Side special Cape Ground: 10% (close), 8% (far)
Air: 9% (close), 7% (far)
Flicks his Cape from Super Mario World forward, hitting opponents with the reverse effect, as well as being able to reflect projectiles. Very useful for gimping certain recoveries. Slightly aids Mario's horizontal recovery. Has transcendent priority.
Up special Super Jump Punch 5% (hit 1), 1% (hits 2-8), 3% (hit 9) Does a jumping uppercut diagonally upward, being a multi-hit attack that causes coins to fly out of the opponent. Mainly a recovery move. Additionally, if used while Mario is directly next to a wall and the control stick is flicked backward at the apex of the jump, the move will be cancelled into a wall jump without making Mario helpless, like the move normally does. It is also a great out-of-shield option. Deals up to ≈14% if all hits connect.
Down special Mario Tornado 2% (hit 1), 1% (hits 2-7), 5% (hit 8 ground), 3% (hit 8 air) Does a multi-hit spinning attack, very similar to the Spin Jump from Super Mario World. The final hit knocks the opponent straight up, and the move can rack up damage, though it has some ending lag. It can be used for recovery by rapidly tapping the B button, though this requires fast reflexes. Has transcendent priority. Deals up to ≈12.01% on the ground and ≈10.19% in the air if all hits connect.



Stats Weight Dash speed Walk speed Traction Air friction Air speed Air acceleration Gravity Falling speed Jumpsquat Jump Height Double jump Height
Value 100 1.5 – Initial dash
1.5 – Run
1.1 0.06 0.016 0.86 0.02 – Base
0.025 – Additional
0.095 1.7 – Base
4 29 - Base
11.025 - 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 98 1.5 – Initial dash
1.5 – Run
1.1 0.06 0.016 0.83 0.02 – Base
0.025 – Additional
0.095 1.7 – Base
4 29 - Base
11.025 - Short hop

Announcer call[edit]


  • Grows to a super size, as if taking a Super Mushroom power-up, before shrinking again. This also increases the size of his hurtbox. The size increase stacks with special matches and actual super mushrooms. It is the second longest taunt in Melee.

Idle pose[edit]

  • Adjusts his cap.
Mario Idle Pose Melee.gif

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Description Ma-Ri-O! Ma-Ri-O!
Pitch Group chant Group chant

Victory poses[edit]

An orchestrated cover of the iconic "Level Completed" music from Super Mario Bros..
  • Winds up for a punch and steps forward while punching in front of the screen, shouting "Here we go!"
  • Makes fire explode from his palm and strikes a pose.
  • Does a short spin-jump and lands in a strong-man pose, shouting "Here we go!"
Mario-Victory1-SSBM.gif Mario-Victory2-SSBM.gif Mario-Victory3-SSBM.gif

In competitive play[edit]

Most historically significant players[edit]

See also: Category:Mario players (SSBM)

  • USA A Rookie - Widely considered to be the best Mario player in the world. While he almost exclusively plays in events located in Florida, he is the first to make multiple top 24s at majors with the character, placing 17th at Kings of Cali 4, Press Start, and Low Tier City 6. His 33rd place at Shine 2019 is also tied with Viva La Smashtaclysm as Mario's best supermajor placement.
  • USA Green Mario - A notable Mario player in the United States, residing in Georgia. His 17th place at Pound 2 marked the first time a Mario player reached top 24 at a major and his 33rd at Viva La Smashtaclysm became the first time a Mario player reached top 64 at a supermajor.
  • USA KoopaTroopa895 - One of the best Mario players in the United States before switching to Marth. His 25th place at Kings of Cali 4 is one of the best major results seen with Mario in the 2010s outside of A Rookie's results. He also amassed some of Mario's best wins in the modern era of Melee, beating top players such as Spark and Nintendude.
  • USA Mango - Once mained Mario under the tag "Scorpion Master" and occasionally used him in side events or online tournaments. While his Mario is known as a sort of sandbagging character, he has shown prominence with the character, placing 2nd at Good Shit German and garnering the character's best wins with HugS, SilentSpectre, and Westballz while under the alias.
  • USA Matt Deezie - One of the first tournament organizers seen in Melee and the best Mario player in the world in the game's first two years. Placed top 6 at a few Tournament Go events with his best being 3rd at Tournament Go 2. He eventually switched to playing Fox before retiring from competitive Melee altogether.
  • Germany SchlimmShady - Formerly the best Mario player in Europe prior to switching to Captain Falcon. He was previously ranked top 10 through several power rankings in Germany, peaking at 7th in April 2016. He placed well at many regionals such as 17th at Syndicate 2017 and 25th at B.E.A.S.T 6 and B.E.A.S.T 7.

Tier placement and history[edit]

Very early in the Melee metagame, when few players knew the potential of now-top tier characters, Mario was considered one of the best characters in the game, ranking as high as 5th on the first tier list. This could be attributed to Mario's simple but effective combo setups, strong attacks, low learning curve, and lack of any outstanding drawbacks due to being well-rounded, as well as his extendable recovery. As the metagame advanced, however, Mario's average statistics were magnified as the potentials for many other superior characters, such as Peach, Captain Falcon, and the Ice Climbers, were discovered. This caused Mario to slowly slip down the tier list as time progressed, as well as lose significant placing in large tournaments; eventually, Mango (under the alias "Scorpion Master") was the only person who placed anywhere significant with him, but even he rarely placed high enough to earn money from playing Mario, cashing in at 25th place at Apex 2010 instead of his usual top 8 placements when using better characters. On the current tier list, he ranks 15th place in the C+ tier; on the other hand, his clone Dr. Mario and semi-clone Luigi, who were once widely considered worse than Mario, have surpassed him in placements. Despite the tier differences, some players, such as Shroomed, believe Mario could potentially be better than Dr. Mario, due to his faster aerials, arguably better recovery, and longer reach and disjoint in some of his attacks, such as forward Smash and down Smash, supplemented with A Rookie’s respectable representation with the character. However, other Luigi and Dr. Mario mains have since achieved stronger competitive breakthroughs (exhibited with Luigi’s bigger player base and Franz’s rising success), which influenced most top players to view Mario’s standing otherwise.

In 1-P Mode[edit]

Classic Mode[edit]

In Classic Mode, Mario can appear as an ally in team and giant fights, a solo, team, giant, multi, and metal opponent. In Mario's appearances, he either appears on Princess Peach's Castle or Rainbow Cruise. On a team with Bowser, he appears on Battlefield and with Peach, he appears on Mushroom Kingdom II; during the battle against Mario + Bowser on Battlefield, the stage will play the Princess Peach's Castle track.

Adventure Mode[edit]

Mario is one of only two characters who can appear twice in Adventure Mode, alongside his brother Luigi.

In the game's Adventure Mode, Mario teams up with Peach against the player in the second part of the first stage, taking place on Princess Peach's Castle. If the player finished the previous segment, Mushroom Kingdom, with the remaining time registering 2 in the seconds digit, his younger brother Luigi will take his place in a cutscene that will trigger right before this battle, which has Luigi stomping on Mario's head to get to the top of the castle.

Later on, in the second half of Stage 11, Metal Mario will fight the player's character on the Battlefield stage, where he functions as simply a Mario permanently under the influence of the Metal Box item. If the player unlocked Luigi, Metal Mario will be joined by Metal Luigi, and they both team up on the player, making for a harder fight.

All-Star Mode[edit]

In All-Star Mode, Mario and his allies are fought on Rainbow Cruise.

Event Matches[edit]

Mario is featured in the following event matches:

  • Event 1: Trouble King: The player plays as Mario and fights against Bowser on Battlefield.
  • Event 10: All-Star Match 1: Mario is the first opponent to be fought in this series of staged battles. The player battles him on Yoshi's Island, which will transition to the next stage if Mario gets defeated. With a timer of four minutes, the player must defeat him along with Donkey Kong, Yoshi, Peach, and Bowser.
  • Event 19: Peach's Peril: Mario must protect Peach from a slightly larger Bowser on Final Destination. Both Mario and Peach have 1 stock each while Bowser has infinite lives.
  • Event 22: Super Mario 128: The player chooses any character and must defeat a total of 128 tiny Marios on Mushroom Kingdom II.
  • Event 25: Gargantuans: A scenario designed as a homage to kaiju movies and their various tropes. On the Fourside stage, with unlimited time, the player plays as a giant-sized Bowser (as "Godzilla") with 1 stock against a giant-sized Donkey Kong (as "King Kong") with 2 stock. A tiny Mario and a tiny Peach are also present in this match, who usually gets KO'd in one hit.
  • Event 31: Mario Bros. Madness: The player chooses any character and must fight Mario and Luigi in a two-timed match on Mushroom Kingdom. The player must have the most points within the two minutes to clear this event.
  • Event 38: Super Mario Bros. 2: The player chooses any character and must defeat Mario, Luigi, and Peach in a two-stock match on Mushroom Kingdom II. Both the characters and the stage are a direct throwback to the original Super Mario Bros. 2, an NES sequel to Super Mario Bros.

Ending Images[edit]


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

Mario trophy from Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Classic Mode trophy
Known worldwide as Mr. Nintendo, Mario uses his incredible jumping ability to thwart the evil Bowser time after time. While he's best known as a hero, Mario has played many roles, including racer, doctor, golfer, and villain. His tastes have changed over 20 years of gaming; he long ago swapped the colors of his shirt and overalls.
Donkey Kong (Arcade 1981)
Mario trophy from Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Adventure Mode [Smash] trophy
Mario [Smash]
Mario is a character without any glaring weaknesses and plenty of strong attacks: he's even equipped with a Meteor Smash. He's a straightforward character who'll reflect the actual skills of the player. Mario's Cape will turn other characters in the opposite direction and can also reflect missile weapons.
B: Fireball
Smash B: Cape
Mario trophy from Super Smash Bros. Melee.
All-Star Mode [Smash] trophy
Mario [Smash]
Mass determines how easily a character can be sent flying, as well as a character's physical strength: Mario's mass is the standard upon which other Smash fighters are measured. His Super Jump Punch sends foes skyward in a shower of coins, while the Mario Tornado pulls in nearby foes, spins them silly, and scatters them every which way.
Up & B: Super Jump Punch
Down & B: Mario Tornado

Alternate costumes[edit]

Mario's palette swaps, with corresponding tournament mode colours.
MarioHeadSSBM.png MarioHeadYellowSSBM.png MarioHeadBlackSSBM.png MarioHeadBlueSSBM.png MarioHeadGreenSSBM.png



  • Mario's Up Special attack is the only Up Special move in Melee that allows the player to break out of their freefall.
  • A taunting Mario with a Super Mushroom in Giant Melee Mode is the largest possible character size that can be achieved without hacking.
  • Mario's taunt is the second longest taunt out of all the characters, the longest one being Young Link's.
  • If the Master Hand glitch is used in an event and sets a record, the score is shown on Mario.
  • In the PAL Version, Mario's weight was decreased from 100 to 98. This has been carried over into future installments.
  • Mario's taunt also expands his hitbox size. Getting hit during the taunt animation causes Mario to automatically transform to back to his normal size.
  • Mario, Peach, Yoshi, Young Link, Kirby, Falco, and Pikachu are the only characters whose portraits on the character select screen match their official artwork.
  • Mario, Peach, Luigi, Jigglypuff and Dr. Mario are the only fighters with English voice actors in Melee.
  • When Star KO'ing Giant Mario or Giant Dr. Mario, their voice will immediately fade out. This will not happen with any other character.

External links[edit]