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 not possible 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.
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 explicitly banned or even mentioned in most tournament rulesets, and as such, some TOs have allowed players to use Master Hand in actual tournament matches. If a player elects to use Master Hand, the rules are slightly changed as to accommodate him: the Master Hand player automatically wins the match if the opponent is KOed once, or if the standard eight minute time limit is met and Master Hand has taken less damage than his opponent.
Under a direct interpretation of Melee's gameplay, Master Hand may at first appear to be at a considerable advantage, as he cannot be KOed and thus the only way to win against him in a tournament is to survive the full eight minutes while taking less damage than him and never lose a single stock. However, even with all of 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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