Master Hand glitch
The Master Hand glitch is a variant of the Name Entry glitch in Super Smash Bros. Melee that allows the player to use and control Master Hand on any stage. It is impossible to use any other non-playable characters through this glitch. Although any player is capable of being Master Hand, only the third player is capable of actually controlling him. Like any other character, Master Hand will appear with a damage percentage meter. Since he takes no knockback at all, he cannot be KO'd except in Stamina Mode. Any options that would affect knockback, such as handicap and damage ratio, will not affect Master Hand at all. If the match ends from the pause menu, he isn't seen on the No Contest screen, and the game depicts his name as Sheik. His stock icons are still seen, though. If he wins any battle (besides a Stamina battle), the game will freeze, requiring a reset. If Master Hand is played as in Adventure Mode, he will be stuck inside the level terrain. Using any of his attacks will freeze the game. If used in All-Star Mode, he can go through the first fight normally, as the CPU can't detect Master Hand, so they act like he is not there. However, when Master Hand goes to the All-Star Rest Area, using any of his attacks or trying to go through the portal causes the game to freeze. When attempting to do Classic Mode or Target Test, the game freezes on the Character Selection screen. The Target Test variant has Master Hand's evil laugh being heard on-screen. He works in every Event match, but events with Zelda and/or Sheik will freeze the game. He even works in the 50th event with Master Hand and Crazy Hand. You cannot do any co-op attacks with Crazy Hand, but since you are on percentage and they are on stamina, you cannot die, but the opposing hands do. Killing Master Hand can sometimes cause Crazy Hand to stop attacking you, but in event 50, he continues to target you. You can play as him in Home-Run Contest, but his intro animation takes up time. The game won't freeze if you get no distance. If you go a distance, the game will either freeze, give the distance to Mario (if you broke a record), or not count it at all. He even works on Multi-Man Melee. He is also used in Training Mode. When you exit the mode, the game doesn't freeze, but your Master Hand combos go to Mario. Resetting the mode will make him go in his opposite direction. Moves that go off-screen will make Master Hand come out from the opposite side of the screen. There is a subglitch that can be done called the Master Hand Laser glitch.
Performing the glitch
There are two ways to perform the glitch. One requires only one controller; the other requires two.
Method One (One controller)
This method works on all modes except Tournament, but many things freeze the game.
The player must have a controller in slot 3, or Master Hand cannot be controlled. It is much easier to do if there is only one name entered. Using this controller, place the cursor over the name field on the character selection screen. Now press the A and B buttons at the same time, and the player will come to the name selection. Hold the B button, but release the A button, then go down with the cursor until they are over the "name entry field". Then press the A button at the right time. The game should want to go back to the menu, because the player held the B button, but it should also want go to the name entry screen, because they pressed the A button over "name entry". If performed correctly, instead of going to either of these, the game should go to the stage selection screen (or, in Single Player, straight to the game). After selecting the stage, the player will be playing as Master Hand.
Method Two (Two controllers)
This method is much simpler, but only works in Melee or Special Melee mode. To perform it, simply have two controllers; one as P3 and the second one in any other port. Have the controller that's not player three select a character, and then hover over the back button, while the one in the third port goes to select a name, and have them hover over the new entry button. Both controllers must then hit A at the same time, as to select their option, and the stage select screen will appear (there is very little leeway between selection, less than a second). On whatever stage selected, player 3 will be Master Hand.
These move names are not official.
Note: Master Hand's moves are typed in on the d-pad, not the analog stick. Also, the player cannot move him. The player can only get around by doing moves.
Each character in the game has an ID number. When a character is selected on the character selection screen, the game loads that character's number. In this situation, Master Hand's ID number is 1A, and NONE's ID number is 21. When the player enters the character selection screen, it will default to loading each character's ID number as 1A. However, if the player hovers the character slots and generates a player chip, the character ID number will be changed to 21. This is most likely the explanation behind why the game may occasionally crash when this glitch is attempted. In order for the game to re-register that the character ID number is 1A (Master Hand) instead of 21 (NONE), the player must either 1. enter and exit the name entry screen while the chip for the intended Master Hand player is being held by the player's hand, or 2. exit then reenter the character selection screen. So if this glitch is preformed and then crashes the game upon entering a match, it is most likely because the chip of the Master Hand player was created and changed the player's character ID number to 21. Also, the reason a controller must be in socket 3 is because in Classic mode (or event match 50), Master Hand is always character 3; character one is the player, and character four is reserved for Crazy Hand.
In competitive play
The Master Hand glitch is not mentioned in most tournament rulesets. As such, the glitch is not banned and Master Hand is technically allowed in tournament matches (as long as no other rules such as game freezes are broken). Directly interpreting Melee's ruleset, if neither player has lost all their stocks after eight minutes, the player with more stocks wins, and if tied, the player with less damage wins.
Under this interpretation, Master Hand may at first appear to have a considerable advantage, as he cannot be KOed at all and thus the only way to win is to survive the full eight minutes while taking less damage than him and never losing a single stock. However, despite these advantages, Master Hand is considered worse than every regular character in the game. As typical of bosses, all of Master Hand's moves have both extremely long startup lag and ending lag, and he is unable to block or dodge opponents' attacks, allowing a skilled opponent to easily dodge all of Master Hand's telegraphed attacks, while using Master Hand's unavoidably large vulnerable periods to inflict damage, including slow high-damage attacks that would almost never successfully connect in a usual match.
Master Hand's playable viability was referenced in the tenth Melee tier list. Released shortly after the Master Hand glitch was discovered, he was placed in his own tier below all other characters, in a "Gengar" tier.
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