Ness

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For fighter info, see Ness (SSB), Ness (SSBM), Ness (SSBB), Ness (SSB4), and Ness (SSBU).
Ness
NessSpirit.png
EarthboundSymbol.svg

Official clay model of Ness from Mother 2.

Universe EarthBound
Debut EarthBound (1994)
Smash Bros. appearances SSB
Melee
Brawl
SSB4
Ultimate
Most recent non-Smash appearance Mother 3 (2006) Japan
Console/platform of origin Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Species Human
Gender Male
Place of origin Onett, Eagleland
Created by Shigesato Itoi
Voice actor Makiko Ōmoto
Article on WikiBound Ness

Ness (ネス, Ness) is the main character of the cult classic SNES RPG EarthBound, the most successful game in the Mother/EarthBound franchise. As a member of the "perfect-attendance crew", Ness has been featured as a playable character throughout the entire Super Smash Bros. series. He appears as the sole representative of both the game and the series in Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee. He appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. 4, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate alongside fellow EarthBound representative Lucas, who hails from Mother 3. In all five games, Makiko Ōmoto voices Ness in English with a false American accent.

Origin[edit]

The in-game sprite of Ness from EarthBound, his design in the original Super Smash Bros. is based off of this design.

In EarthBound, Ness is a courageous, kind, and helpful boy from the fictional town of Onett, located in north-western Eagleland. His favorite food is steak and his signature PSI move, named for his favorite thing, is PSI Rockin. He possesses strong psychic powers, and in the year 199X, utilizes his abilities to defeat an alien invasion by the forces of Giygas, the villain of EarthBound Beginnings. Ness is the successor to Ninten, the hero of EarthBound Beginnings, sharing a very similar design and some abilities; however, the two are distinct characters.

On a dark night in the year 199X, Ness gets woken up by a meteorite crash. He investigates the crash site, where he meets his neighbor Porky Minch and an alien named Buzz Buzz. Buzz Buzz tells him that he is the boy who will save the world, and sends him on a mission to collect the Eight Melodies that tie together the Earth's power. He is joined in this quest by Paula, Jeff, and Poo. By recording and collecting the Eight Melodies using his Sound Stone, Ness gains access to the realm of Magicant within his mind and unlocks the power necessary to defeat Giygas. Five years after the release of EarthBound, Ness would make a surprise appearance in Super Smash Bros. and continue to be playable in the series, carrying his legacy.

Although capable of wielding several types of weapons, such as slingshots and yo-yos, Ness's signature weapon is a baseball bat. Ness's PSI powers include PK Flash, PSI Rockin, Lifeup, and a variety of status moves. Several PSI techniques used by Paula and Poo (PK Fire, PK Thunder, PSI Magnet, and PK Starstorm) would be borrowed by Ness for combat in the Super Smash Bros. series.

Ness's appearances in the Super Smash Bros. series have considerably boosted his public image. His appearance in the very first Super Smash Bros. took fans by surprise, but his inclusion was massively applauded; thus, he's been in every Smash installment since. Through the Super Smash Bros. series, Ness became more or less a mainstream character in gaming culture rather than remaining a curious cult character of Nintendo's '90s days who would be known only to the highly devoted Nintendo fandom.

In Super Smash Bros.[edit]

As a playable character[edit]

Main article: Ness (SSB)
Ness's official artwork for Super Smash Bros.

Ness was a bit of surprise addition to the roster for the original Super Smash Bros. Many players had never expected such an obscure character to turn up in the game, which seems to be reflected in-game; he is a secret character, unlocked by completing the 1P Game on a difficulty of Normal or higher, using three lives or less and no continues. Strangely, none of Ness's special moves are his own; his special attacks, the PSI Magnet, PK Fire and PK Thunder, (B + Down, B and B + Up, respectively), were originally used by one of his party allies, Paula in EarthBound. A possible explanation for this discrepancy is offered in the sequel to this game, Super Smash Bros. Melee, which states that Paula may have taught him these techniques. Ness is ranked 10th out of 12 on the current tier list.

In-game description:

Ness was a seemingly-average kid from Onett, but in truth, he was destined for much more. When a strange meteorite landed near his hometown, the little boy with psychic powers set out to save the world. Little has been said of Ness' character, and much remains hidden.
Works:

In Super Smash Bros. Melee[edit]

As a playable character[edit]

Main article: Ness (SSBM)
Ness as he appears in Super Smash Bros. Melee.

Ness returns in Super Smash Bros. Melee, though this time as a default character. He keeps all of his special moves and, as all other veterans, gains a fourth one: PK Flash, which is assigned as his neutral special move. PK Flash is Ness's first "true" special attack, as his other special moves were not used by him in EarthBound. PK Fire was also changed to Ness's side special.

During the development of Melee, Ness was intended to be removed and replaced by Lucas; the eventual delay and cancellation of EarthBound 64, however, caused Ness to stay in the game.

Ness was mostly nerfed from Smash 64 to Melee, similar to Kirby and Pikachu. One major reason is his very weak grab range. Though his nerfs were not as drastic as Kirby's, his tournament representation is weak and his viability is still poor. He is ranked 23rd out of 26 on the tier list in F tier, similar to his placement in the original Super Smash Bros.

Trophies[edit]

Ness
Ness is a young boy who's mastered the psychic power known as PSI. Ness was living a normal life in the suburbs of Onett until a meteor crashed into a nearby mountain and sent him on a wild adventure. Believing in the ultimate powers of wisdom, courage, and friendship, Ness proves that some heroes come in small packages.
EarthBound
06/95
(SNES)
Ness [Smash]
The key to mastering Ness is controlling his unique midair jump, which makes up for what he lacks in speed. His PK Flash attack may seem weak at first glance, but it grows more powerful the longer you hold down the B Button. To do a lot of damage with PK Fire, try to burn your opponent as many times as possible.
  • B: PK Flash
  • Smash B: PK Fire
Ness [Smash]
Ness' mind is his best weapon. PK Thunder is a PSI missile weapon that can be guided using the Control Stick, and if Ness hits himself with it, he turns into a living missile capable of doing massive damage. This move can also be used for recovery. PSI Magnet turns energy missile attacks into health; try out certain Pokémon for stamina replenishment.
  • Up & B: PK Thunder
  • Down & B: PSI Magnet

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]

As a playable character[edit]

Main article: Ness (SSBB)
Ness as he appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

On January 20, 2008, Edible, a GameFAQs member, made a topic in the site's Brawl message board about an official trailer on the Japanese Wii website that leaked Ness (as well as Lucario and Jigglypuff) being playable characters in the game. In this screenshot taken of the video, a Ness icon can clearly be seen in the lower right hand corner when the Claus sticker is selected, confirming Ness's return as a playable character. The video in question can be viewed here.

Ness returns as an unlockable fighter in Brawl after a brief stint as a starter character in Melee. Ness was officially revealed to be a playable character in Brawl on February 1st, 2008, the day after Brawl came out in Japan.

Ness is currently ranked 26th on the tier list in D tier, being buffed from Melee, with a general increase in the power and speed of his attacks and a vastly superior grab. However, he gained a major flaw in the additional 10 frames of lag he gets when grab released, making him very vulnerable to grab release combos, most infamously the zero-to-death grab releases from Marth and Donkey Kong.

Trophy[edit]

The Ness trophy in Brawl.
Ness
An average boy whose life changed when he found a meteor and an alien on a nearby mountain. The alien warned him of a future threat, and adventure ensued. He can use energy known as PSI and also wields a bat and yo-yo. This brave youth gives his all to defeat the evil Giygas.
SNES: EarthBound (Japan and US Only)
N64: Super Smash Bros.

Sticker[edit]

Name Game Effect Character(s)
Ness EarthBound TypeIcon(PK).png Attack +33 NessHeadSSBB.pngLucasHeadSSBB.png
Brawl Sticker Ness (EarthBound).png
Ness
(EarthBound)

In Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

As a playable character[edit]

Main article: Ness (SSB4)
Ness as he appears in Super Smash Bros. 4.

Ness was leaked as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4 via the ESRB leak, and later through twitch.tv streams. He remains an unlockable character in the 3DS game, but is part of the starting roster on Wii U, making it the first game since Super Smash Bros. Melee where Ness appears as a starter character. He also sports an updated appearance and all new voice clips.

Ness currently ranks 28th out of 55 on the tier list (being tied with Lucas), making this his highest tier placement to date. He has been heavily buffed from his Brawl incarnation, with not only his extra grab release frames removed, but also the general changes brought about by SSB4, such as the removal of hitstun cancelling and edge-hogging, proving beneficial to him as well, as now he possesses an efficient and strong aerial combo game, and he can more easily recover with PK Thunder, since he can grab hold of an edge regardless of whether or not an opponent is hanging from it. Slamming into a wall during PK Thunder 2 no longer leaves Ness immediately helpless, as he is now capable of initiating PK Thunder a second time, and PK Thunder's projectile now goes through opponents until its "tail" leaves Ness' body, improving his overall recovery further. Yet, his reliance on using PK Thunder to recover is still susceptible to being intercepted and foiled, especially by newcomers Rosalina and Villager. Nonetheless, as a result of his vast improvement from the three previous games, Ness has gained decent results in tournaments.

Trophies[edit]

Ness
North America Hailing from Onett, a small town in Eagleland, this young boy's ordinary looks hide his psychic powers. Ness fought against the evil Giygas in Earthbound, and in Smash Bros. he unleashes some of the same PSI moves. Watch out for PK Thunder, a guided attack that can also launch Ness like a rocket!
Europe From Onett in Eagleland comes this young lad. He may not look like much, but he has powerful psychic abilities, and they really come in handy in EarthBound. They come in handy in this game, too. Did you know you can control his PK Thunder bolt? Aim it at Ness himself to send him flying, absolutely clobbering anyone in his path!
Ness (Alt.)
North America Ness may have psychic powers, but that doesn't mean he shies away from getting physical. His side smash packs a real punch if you hit enemies with the end of his bat, and it can even deflect projectiles! His up and down smashes also have a lot of range-Ness can land his strikes with ease!
Europe Ness may have psychic powers, but that doesn't mean he shies away from getting physical. His side smash packs a real punch if you hit enemies with the end of his bat, and it can even reflect projectiles! His up and down smashes have a lot of range, meaning when you play as Ness, it's always easy to land hits on your foes!

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

As a playable character[edit]

Main article: Ness (SSBU)
Ness as he appears in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Ness returns as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Ness retains his status as an unlockable character like in SSB, Brawl and Smash 3DS. Many of his attacks now feature effects that are more reminiscent of the EarthBound games, such as PK Fire having diamond shaped PSI effects. Paula and Poo now accompany him for his Final Smash. As the first character in Kirby’s unlock tree, he can potentially be the first character to be unlocked.

Ness was greatly buffed in his transition to Ultimate, with his speed and power increased. The return of directional air dodges provides Ness with a reliable mixup in place of PK Thunder for a safer recovery. Not only do his up and down yo-yo smash attacks function the way they did prior to SSB4, but they now also hang off ledges providing him with a new powerful edge-guarding technique. His special moves have also been improved with PK Flash no longer making him helpless, PK Fire having less endlag, PK Thunder dealing more damage and knockback, and PSI Magnet recieving a damaging hitbox.

Overrall Ness has achieved very positive tournament results in the early metagame of Ultimate, with many professional players such as ESAMZeRo and Dabuz considering him to be a high tier character.

Spirits[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • Starting in Melee, the texture on Ness' yo-yo says the release year, with Melee's saying "HALLAB NINTENDO 2001 DOLPHIN LOOP". In Brawl, this was changed to "SUPER NINTENDO 2008 MOTHER"; in SSB4, the digits were changed to 2014, and in Ultimate, they were changed to 2018.
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the only Smash game where Ness was revealed to be an unlockable fighter, but not leaked prior to the game's launch.
  • The "PK" prefix in most of Ness's (as well as Lucas's) special moves originates from EarthBound Beginnings and Mother 3, where it is used to denote PSI moves that directly inflict damage on an enemy (thus, PSI Magnet is excluded due to being unable to do so, barring customization). All instances of "PK" were changed to "PSI" in EarthBound for unknown reasons.
    • However, in Ultimate, PSI Magnet gained a hitbox, making its name technically incorrect.
  • Ness is the only character that has been in all five Smash games, yet has only been playable in one game outside of the series.
    • Ness is also one of four characters whose three-dimensional appearances are only in Smash, the others being Lucas, the Ice Climbers, and Duck Hunt. Mr. Game & Watch does not count since there wasn't an actual character named Mr. Game & Watch in the Game & Watch series; additionally, Mr. Game & Watch is coded to be two-dimensional (though his actual model is three-dimensional).
  • While Ness' game (EarthBound) was released in North America and takes place in a stand-in for America, his in-game voice in Smash Bros. has a Japanese accent, whereas Lucas, whose game (Mother 3) was released only in Japan, speaks using an American one.
  • Ness's "OK!" taunt is based on a voice line in EarthBound, prompted once the player confirms a name given to something when creating a new save file, saying OKですか (Is it OK?). The line was provided by Shigesato Itoi during the game's development, after his voice was being unknowingly recorded. It also appears in Mother 3 with the exact same purpose.
  • Ness was considered being replaced by Lucas in Melee, and Jigglypuff was considered to be cut in Melee and Brawl[1], making them the only known members of the "Original 12" that were considered being cut at certain points in the development of subsequent games in the Super Smash Bros. series.
  • Ness and Captain Falcon were the first characters to debut as unlockable characters before becoming starters in the next game.
  • Prior to the addition of Terry Bogard in Ultimate, Ness and Captain Falcon were the only characters to be voiced by Japanese actors and speak English in all language tracks.
  • Whenever Ness is an unlockable character, he is always the first one to be unlocked from playing Vs. Mode.
  • Not counting Brawl's lineup, Ness is the only character to be unlockable in the first Smash game to appear in all the opening movies.

References[edit]