Ness (SSBM)

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This article is about Ness's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee. For the character in other contexts, see Ness.
Ness
in Super Smash Bros. Melee
Ness
EarthboundSymbol(preBrawl).svg
Universe EarthBound
Other Smash Bros. appearances in SSB
in Brawl
in SSB4
in Ultimate
Availability Starter
Tier F (23) (North America)
H (23) (Europe)
NessHeadSSBM.png
A psychic boy with a distinct midair jump.
—Description from Melee's manual.

Ness (ネス, Ness) is a default character in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Announced at E3 2001, he was originally going to be replaced by Lucas from Mother 3; the ultimate cancellation of the game for the Nintendo 64, however, caused Masahiro Sakurai to retain Ness.

Makiko Ōmoto reprises her role as Ness in Melee with new voice clips.

Ness is currently ranked 23rd out of 26 on the tier list, placing within the F tier. This is a slight fall from his already very low placement in Smash 64, where he was 10th out of 12 characters in the NTSC Version, and his worst placement to date. While still possessing great throws and a great aerial game thanks to his double jump cancel, Ness has a poor approach on the ground due to significant range issues in most of his attacks; his recovery is also easy to intercept and edgeguard against, and he also has significant trouble KOing opponents, due to his surprisingly weak KO power and due to his aforementioned poor range. As a result of these significant weaknesses, Ness has very poor matchups, with six nearly unwinnable, and his favorable matchups being either too slow or having even worse range to combat his tools. As such, he is considered non-viable in competitive play, with matchups remaining overall poor and having near non-existent representation in the modern metagame.

Attributes[edit]

Ness is an unusual blend of character archetypes; many of his attributes are unique in comparison to other characters, such as his projectiles, his recovery and his midair jump. Ness has above average traction and a moderately low falling speed, giving him an above-average wavedash that is relatively quick. Ness is a projectile-heavy character, as he has 3 projectiles: PK Flash, PK Fire and PK Thunder, while also having a healing move in his PSI Magnet.

Arguably Ness's greatest strength is his combo game. Despite a poor SHFFL due to his high short hop and low falling speed, Ness has many ways to pressure and combo in the air thanks to his double jump cancel (often abbreviated DJC). By cancelling out of his midair jump with an aerial, Ness can quickly and efficiently use his multiple aerial attacks; this is especially important considering the utility of his aerial attacks. His neutral aerial and forward aerial attacks acting as potential combo starters (especially the latter) and his back, up and down air attacks serve as good KO moves. Due to this, his air approach is considered to be much better than his ground approach.

Although Ness has a poor ground approach, he still boasts two effective options: his grab game and the Yo-yo glitch. Ness' throws all have excellent utility; his forward throw has extremely high base knockback, making it ideal for starting edgeguards. His down throw is a decent combo starter, having potential to lead into his DJC'd aerials. His up throw is a decent chain grab and can be used in conjunction with PK Thunder to rack up damage or play mindgames. Finally, his back throw is the strongest throw in the game, making it a deadly KOing option. As for the Yo-yo glitch, Ness is the only character to have access to this technique. It is initiated through his up smash, and can be used to attack or grab with near limitless range or attach certain single-hitbox attacks to Ness's body. This can significantly increase Ness' range and options when performed properly.

Ness' greatest flaw, however, is his significant range problems. All of his attacks (especially his tilts) have little range or small hitboxes, making hitting an opponent very difficult. Although wavedashing can help out this problem somewhat, Ness' ground based options have too little utility overall to benefit noticeably. When combined with his somewhat slow movement, Ness has significant trouble approaching opponents. Thus, his dash attack is considered to be his only reliable ground approach option, due to its decent range unlike most of his other attacks. Also, Ness's grab has the second shortest range in all of the game (only to Pikachu), thus making it difficult for him to take advantage of his versatile throws, while his dash grab is extremely laggy and barely improves its range. Finally, against opponents with particularly good spacing games, most notoriously Marth, Ness can be easily overwhelmed in his attempts to approach opponents in the air despite the power of his DJC.

Assuming he can approach his opponents, Ness suffers from noticeable KOing problems, largely due to his poor power and range. He possesses arguably the worst set of smash attacks in the game: his up and down smashes are the weakest of their kind and his forward smash needs to be sweetspotted at the tip of the bat to KO effectively. His back, up and down aerials are powerful, but their poor reach make them difficult to land, while his down aerial is rather slow. Finally, Ness' back throw is his most powerful finisher, but it is held back by his aforementioned poor grab range.

Ness' special moveset also has some problems: it is rather situational overall. PK Flash boasts extreme power when fully charged and is great for punishing poorly positioned opponents offstage, but it is limited to edgeguarding due to it being very slow and difficult to land. PK Fire can trap opponents and leave them open for follow-ups, and can even gimp fast-fallers. However, it has short reach for a projectile and is very easy to SDI out of, making it easy to punish. PK Thunder is Ness' most useful special move; it is unique for controlling a thunder ball which can be moved in any direction, allowing for mindgames, offstage gimps, and even a powerful KOing option in PK Thunder 2. However it has one critical flaw: the player loses control of Ness during the move, leaving him open to extremely powerful attacks if he can't hit the opponent quick enough. Finally, PSI Magnet can heal Ness and put him in a better position defensively, but it is rather slow and completely dependent on the opposing character, as it only absorbs energy-based projectiles.

Outside of his poor approach, Ness also suffers from an easily gimpable recovery. Ness's recovery has its merits; he has the second highest midair jump in the game (second to only Yoshi) and his midair jump has unusual properties in its trajectory; PK Thunder 2 also grants a rather long distance, with a moderately large sweetspot and a long period of invincibility frames. The move is also very risky to block due to possessing KO power that reliably KOs at 90%. Despite these benefits, however, Ness's recovery still is cited as arguably the worst in the game, in spite of its long length, due to possessing many notable flaws. If Ness uses an aerial to fend off edgeguarders, his double jump is cancelled and can prevent him from recovering if unable to act soon enough. PK Thunder's projectile instantly disappears upon hitting opponents, and this is very easily abusable by edgeguarders, further worsened by PK Thunder 2's slow startup. In the process of having to start PK Thunder 2, characters with good recoveries (such as Jigglypuff or Samus) can merely jump into the projectile and take minor knockback and damage, immediately sending Ness into a state of helplessness, though this is a risky strategy. Projectiles such as Link's Boomerangs and the Ice Climbers' Ice Shot can easily disrupt the projectile as well, and in these cases, damage is not even inflicted to the opponent. PK Thunder 2 also suffers from a number of problems. Notably, it is difficult to angle correctly, and it can easily curve under lips of stages, most notably on Battlefield. Its linear nature can also make it easy to read and edgeguard for many characters, despite the invincibility frames found within it, and attacks like Mario's Cape or Link's Spin Attack can easily intercept the attack as Ness charges to the stage. Finally, PK Thunder 2 has significant ending lag, and if Ness recovers directly onto the stage after using it, opponents can easily capitalize on this ending lag by landing a powerful hit on Ness that he cannot hope to counter.

Changes from Smash 64 to Melee[edit]

While Ness is considered to be a low tier in Smash 64 owing to his poor range, mobility and most notably; his terrible recovery, he was initially considered to be top tier character in the game's early meta due to the strength of his double jump cancel which gave him a powerful combo game as well as giving him excellent shield pressuring potential. Likely as a result of this, Ness received a mix of buffs and nerfs in his transition from Smash 64 to Melee but was ultimately nerfed overall.

Ness received a number of helpful buffs; his range was increased as a whole to help alleviate one of his main flaws from the previous game. This can most notably be seen with his altered dash attack and forward aerial which have now become disjointed multi hitting moves. The former has become a decent combo starter and an edgeguarding tool while the latter in particular has now become a solid spacing move with good combo potential (something he sorely lacked in the previous game).

Ness' mobility has been drastically improved, possessing a much faster dashing speed and air speed, making it much easier for him to approach, run away and chase opponents. Ness also benefits from the introduction of air dodging for two reasons; it gives him a much needed additional recovery and it gives him access to wavedashing. Ness overall has a solid wavedash due to his average traction and short jumpsquat giving him a useful movement option. Ness overall has a better recovery outside of PK Thunder due to his afforementioned increased air speed and ability to air dodge meaning that Ness does not have to rely on PK Thunder to recover as much.

Ness is also significantly heavier which considerably improves his endurance along with his higher falling speed although these factors also make him more vulnerable to combos. Ness has also gained a useful up throw and down throw with both throws being decent combo starters. Lastly, Ness now has access the Yo-yo glitch if he charges his up smash and releases it at the right time. When performed correctly, Ness has access to much greater range, as well as having hitboxes attached to him and new mindgames giving him a unique and unpredictable option.

However, Ness has received a much greater quantity of nerfs which along with universal changes, have significantly harmed him overall. Ness' damage output has been reduced which has also hindered the KO potential of many of his moves. Some moves such as up aerial and back throw simply KO later than in the previous game while moves such as up smash, down smash, forward aerial and forward throw are now practically useless moves for KOing. This naturally hinders Ness' damage racking capabilities as well as his ability to close out stocks and as a result of these changes, Ness' ability to KO opponents has gone from being disproportionately high to rather low.

Ness' aerial game has also been considerably toned down both due to nerfs to his key aerials in the previous game as well as various universal changes. All of Ness' aerials have increased landing lag and (with the exception of neutral aerial) worse auto-cancel windows. Due to the weakening of L-canceling, these changes do impact Ness hindering his aerial combo game when combined with the reduction of hitstun and the introduction of DI as well as making his aerials easier to punish. Ness is also one of the characters who was the most affected by the changes to shields. With shields having more HP, taking less damage from attacks and with shieldstun being significantly lower; this combined with the afforementioned weakening of L-canceling has greatly hindered Ness' shield pressuring potential with his DJC completely removing his ability to perform shield break combos. Ness' own out of shield options are also worse due to his longer jumpsquat, slower grab and his slower down aerial.

Ness' down aerial in particular has seen rather drastic nerfs. Previously, it was an extremely fast and powerful meteor smash which was a good combo starter as well as an excellent combo ender, edgeguarding tool and shield pressuring tool. In Melee, the move has about 5x as much startup lag and 3x as much ending lag and the move no longer auto-cancels while its hitboxes are out now having decently high landing lag (although it still has one of the most lenient auto-cancel windows in the game). Being a meteor smash, it also suffers from the addition of meteor cancelling making it significantly easier to survive against despite its much higher base knockback. When combined with the afforementioned changes to shields and L-canceling, this removes most of its KO potential and completely removes its use in shield break combos and DJC combos in general, significantly hurting its damage racking ability.

Despite already being an exploitable recovery move, PK Thunder has been made even worse. PK Thunder itself travels faster but has received angling issues due to this change and Ness can no longer auto-snap the ledge while using it making it completely useless to use at the ledge if Ness does not hit himself. PK Thunder 2 travels a much shorter distance and has increased ending lag making it even easier to exploit than it already was. PK Thunder 2 is also much weaker as a KO move and has received a weaker late hit reducing its utility outside of recovering. This makes Ness' recovery arguably the worst in the game.

Lastly, Ness' weakenesses from the previous game were not properly addressed. While the range in some of his attacks has increased, his range is still among the absolute shortest in the game and his mobility is still mediocre even though its not quite as poor as it previous was. As a result, Ness still has a difficult time approaching opponents and winning the neutral as he can still easily be outspaced. His recovery also remains among the absolute worse as while he has better aerial mobility and he can airdodge to avoid having to use PK Thunder, PK Thunder retains all of the issues it had in the previous game and has even become a worse move/recovery option overall.

Overall, Ness still retains the weaknesses he had in the previous game while the strengths he had were either toned down or removed. As a result of these changes, Ness is one of the characters who was nerfed the most severely alongside Yoshi, Pikachu, and Kirby and he remains one of the worst characters in the game.

Aesthetics[edit]

  • Change Ness's grounded jump is no longer psychokinetic.
  • Change Ness has new voice samples.
  • Change Ness's cap is turned right.
  • Change Ness's backpack is two strapped.
  • Change Ness now has a blue hue in his eyes.
  • Change Ness's default costume have been slightly changed (red cap has blue instead of purple, beige and blue striped shirt and blue shorts instead of yellow/purple and purple, blue cap has purple instead of violet, tan and purple striped shirt and purple shorts instead of yellow/violet and violet, and orange and brown striped shirt and green shorts instead of light green/orange and orange like Mario's team battle costume.)
  • Change Ness now faces the screen if he uses his taunt while facing left. It also has a new voice clip.

Attributes[edit]

  • Nerf Ness' walking speed is slightly slower (0.28 → 0.84).
  • Buff Ness' dash speed is faster (40 → 1.4) no longer being the slowest.
  • Change Ness is significantly heavier (81.818 → 94).
    • Buff This significantly improves his endurance.
    • Nerf However, this also makes him much more vulnerable to combos and makes him susceptible to Fox's waveshine combos.
  • Buff Ness' air speed is faster (28 → 0.93) going from the 11th highest out of 12 characters to the 11th highest out of 26.
  • Change Ness' falling speed is higher (55 → 1.83), improving his vertical endurance, but making him more susceptible to combos.
  • Change Ness' gravity is higher (2.7 → 0.09).
  • Nerf Ness' fast falling speed is significantly lower (88.5 → 2.2).
  • Nerf Ness' Jumpsquat is longer (3 frames → 4).
  • Buff The introduction of air dodging benefits Ness as it gives him a much needed additional recovery option as well as an additional movement option in the form of wavedashing.

Ground Attacks[edit]

  • Neutral attack:
    • Buff Neutral attack's first hit deals more damage (2% → 3%).
    • Buff Neutral attack transitions sooner into the later hits (frame 10 → 5 (hit 1), frame 8 → 7 (hit 2)).
    • Buff The third hit has increased base knockback (10 → 16).
    • Nerf All three hits of neutral attack have more startup lag with the second and third hits also having a shorter duration (frames 2-3 (hit 1)/3-5 (hit 2)/6-11 (hit 3) → 3-4/4-5/7-10).
    • Nerf All three hits have more ending lag (FAF 18 (hit 1)/20 (hit 2)/ 25 (frame 3) → 20/21/31).
    • Nerf Ness can no longer cancel the first hit into grab.
  • Forward tilt:
    • Buff Forward tilt deals more damage (9%/10%/11% → 10%/11%/12%) and has increased base knockback (10 → 12).
  • Up tilt:
    • Buff Up tilt has less ending lag (FAF 35 → 32).
    • Change Up tilt's angle has been altered (100° → 96°).
    • Change Up tilt deals more knockback (80 (base), 40 (scaling) → 42/126).
      • Buff This improves its KO potential (though it still cannot reliably KO).
      • Nerf However, this along with the reduction of hitstun and the introduction of DI significantly hinders its combo potential.
    • Nerf Up tilt has a much shorter duration (frames 5-19 → 5-9) hindering its use as an anti air and giving it more cooldown.
    • Nerf Ness' head has less intangibility (frames 5-19 → 5-6) further hindering up tilt's use as an anti-air.
  • Down tilt:
    • Buff Down tilt has less startup lag (frame 4 → 3) and Ness can perform another down tilt sooner (frame 11 → 8).
    • Change Down tilt deals more knockback (2 (base), 20 (scaling) → 4/50).
      • Buff This make it safer on hit and chain into itself more reliably at lower percents.
      • Nerf However, this makes it chain into itself less reliably at higher percents.
    • Nerf Down tilt has a shorter duration (frames 4-8 → 3-5).
  • Dash attack:
    • Change Dash attack is now a multi-hitting move where Ness produces three PSI rings in front of him.
    • Buff Dash attack deals slightly more damage if all hits connect (12% (clean)/9% (late) → 5% (hit 1)/4% (hits 2 & 3)/12.28% (total)) and has significantly more range and overall utility.
    • Change The final hit of dash attack has higher base knockback (16 → 70) and launches opponents vertically (361° → 100°) improving its combo potential but hindering its KO and edgeguarding potential when combined with its lower damage.
    • Nerf Dash attack has a shorter duration (frames 8-11 (clean)/12-25 (late) → 8/15/22) and each hit has high base knockback making it extremely difficult to connect properly.
    • Nerf Dash attack has more ending lag (FAF 38 → 40).
  • Forward smash:
    • Buff Forward smash has increased horizontal range.
    • Buff Forward smash has less startup lag (frame 18 → 16).
    • Buff Forward smash no longer deals consistent damage with the tipper of the bat being the strongest (18% → 18%/20%/22%/24%).
    • Nerf Forward smash deals less knockback (70 (base), 65 (scaling) → 50/62) hindering the sourspots' KO potential.
    • Nerf Forward smash has a shorter duration (frames 18-21 → 16-17).
  • Up smash:
    • Buff Up smash has less startup lag with a longer duration (frames 13-25 → 12-31).
    • Buff Ness can use up smash to perform the Yo-yo glitch improving its utility.
    • Change Up smash no longer has a mid hit.
    • Buff The late hit launches opponents at a slightly higher angle compared to the previous mid hit (78° → 80°).
    • Nerf Up smash has less range.
    • Nerf The clean hit has a shorter duration (frames 13-17 → 12-14).
    • Nerf The clean hit no longer launches opponents towards Ness (110° → 70°).
    • Nerf Up smash deals significantly less damage (17% → 9% (clean), 15%/13% → 6% (late)). The clean hit's knockback was not fully compensated (20 (base), 100 (scaling) → 80/80) while the late hit deals less knockback (0 (base), 100 (scaling) → 60/45).
    • Nerf Up smash has more ending lag (FAF 40 → 50).
  • Down smash:
    • Buff Down smash has less startup lag (frame 13 → 12).
    • Change Down smash now launches opponents vertically (361° → 70°).
    • Nerf Down smash has less range.
    • Nerf Down smash has a much shorter duration (frames 13-52 → 12 (clean), 13-31 (late)) and now has a weaker late hit.
    • Nerf Down smash deals drastically less damage (19% → 11%/7%) and its knockback was not fully compensated (0 (base), 100 (scaling) → 70/80 (clean), 70/60 (late)) significantly hindering its KO potential.
    • Nerf Down smash has more ending lag (FAF 55 → 59).

Aerial Attacks[edit]

  • Nerf All aerials have increased landing lag (14 frames → 22 (neutral), 16 frames → 18 (forward), 15 frames → 18 (back), 4 frames → 18 (up), 4 frames → 28 (down)).
  • Nerf All aerials except neutral aerial auto-cancel later (frame 27 → 30 (forward), frame 20 → 25 (back), frame 1 → 27 (up), frame 1 → 29 (down)).
  • Nerf The weakening of L-canceling has hindered Ness' combo game with landing aerials as well as their safety with the increasing landing lag and worse auto-cancel windows on his aerials only further exacerbating this.
    • Nerf This combined with the changes to shields has severely harmed Ness' shield pressuring potential making his aerials much less safe against shield and completely removing his ability to perform shield break combos.
  • Neutral aerial:
    • Change Ness has a new neutral aerial: a spin with his arms outward.
    • Buff Neutral aerial has less ending lag (FAF 40 → 36).
    • Buff Neutral aerial auto-cancels earlier (frame 40 → 27).
    • Nerf Neutral aerial deals less damage (14% → 11% (clean), 11% → 8% (late)) hindering its KO potential.
      • Buff However this combined with Ness' superior aerial mobility improves its combo potential.
    • Nerf Neutral aerial has a shorter duration (frames 5-39 → 5-23).
  • Forward aerial:
    • Change Forward aerial has been altered: Ness now produces four PSI rings in front of him with the move being a multi hit.
    • Buff Forward aerial has less startup (frame 10 → 8) and ending lag (FAF 42 → 40).
    • Buff Forward aerial deals more damage if all hits connect (12% (clean)/10% (late) → 3%/2% (hits 1-4)/5% (hit 5)/15.74% (total)).
    • Buff Forward aerial has considerably more range.
    • Buff Forward has much better combo potential due to its multi-hit properties as it can now chain into itself or other aerials.
    • Nerf Forward aerial is less reliable due to being a multi-hit.
    • Nerf The knockback on the final hit was not fully compensated (16 (base), 100 (scaling) → 24/135) hindering forward aerial's KO potential.
  • Back aerial:
    • Buff Back aerial has less ending lag (FAF 40 → 36).
    • Buff The sweetspot has increased base knockback (10 → 16).
    • Nerf The sweetspot has a shorter duration (frames 10-13 → 10-11) with the late hit's duration being compensated (frames 14-19 → 12-19).
    • Nerf The sweetspot now has an electric effect giving it more hitlag (1x → 1.5x) and making it easier to DI.
  • Up aerial:
    • Buff Up aerial has a bigger hitbox.
    • Nerf Ness's head is no longer intangible while performing up aerial.
    • Nerf Up aerial deals less damage (15% → 13%) and its knockback was not fully compensated (10 (base), 110 (scaling) → 13/109).
    • Nerf Up aerial has a shorter duration (frames 8-16 → 8-11).
    • Nerf Up aerial no longer auto-cancels for its entire duration now having 18 frames of landing lag (9 if L-cancelled).
  • Down aerial:
    • Buff Down aerial has much higher base knockback (10/0 → 90), improving its edgeguarding potential at lower percents.
    • Nerf Down aerial has drastically increased start-up lag with a shorter duration (frames 4-20 → 20-28).
    • Nerf Down aerial has twice the amount of ending lag (FAF 30 → 60) no longer being possible to perform twice in a short hop or even out of a full height double jump.
    • Nerf Down aerial deals 3% less damage (15% → 12%) and has much lower knockback scaling (120 → 70).
    • Nerf Down aerial no longer auto-cancels while the hitbox is out now having 28 frames of landing lag (14 if L-cancelled).
    • Nerf The addition of meteor canceling, when combined with down aerial's new angle (-90° → 280°) allows it to be meteor cancelled.
      • Nerf Altogether, these changes drastically worsens the move's utility and reliability, hindering its use in combos and in shield pressure while being much more unreliable as a KO move.

Throws/other attacks[edit]

  • Grabs:
    • Buff Ness has been given an pummel, up throw, and a down throw, improving his grab's utility. Both of these new throws can be used as combo starters.
    • Nerf Ness' grabs have more startup lag (frame 6 → 8 (standing), 10 (dash)) and ending lag (FAF 16 → 31 (standing), 41 (dash)).
  • Forward throw:
    • Nerf Forward throw deals less damage (16% → 11%) and while it has increased base knockback (90 → 120), it also has drastically lower knockback scaling (70 → 10) drastically hindering its KO potential (no longer being the strongest forward throw).
    • Nerf Forward throw has more ending lag (FAF 45 → 53).
  • Back throw:
    • Nerf Back throw deals less damage (16% → 11%) and its knockback was not fully compensated (90 (base), 70 (scaling) → 15/130) hindering its KO potential although it still remains one of the most powerful throws in the game.
    • Nerf Back throw has more ending lag (FAF 45 → 53).

Special Moves[edit]

  • PK Flash:
    • Change Ness now has a new neutral special: PK Flash. A chargeable green ball of light that increases in power and moves downward the longer the button is held. Once it reaches full power, it explodes, dealing huge knockback.
    • Buff PK Flash grants Ness a new powerful (albeit slow) KO and edgeguarding option.
  • PK Fire:
    • Change As a result of PK Flash now being Ness' neutral special, PK Fire is now Ness' side special.
    • Buff PK Fire has less ending lag (FAF 72 → 70).
    • Nerf PK Fire travels a shorter distance.
    • Nerf PK Fire deals less damage (4% (fire)/3% (pillar hits 1-7) → 2% (fire)/3% (pillar hit 1)/2% (pillar hits 2-7)), and it is now considerably easier to SDI out of.
  • PK Thunder:
    • Buff PK Thunder now auto-cancels once Ness enters free fall significantly reducing its landing lag.
    • Buff PK Thunder travels faster and deals 2% more damage (6% → 8%).
    • Nerf Ness will no longer auto-snap the ledge when using PK Thunder near a ledge.
    • Nerf Ness will not auto-snap the ledge after PK Thunder despawns until he has performed an aerial somersault.
      • Nerf Altogether, these changes make it much riskier to use PK Thunder near the ledge.
    • Buff PK Thunder 2 has a longer duration (frames 1-18 → 1-32) and has increased intangibility (frames 1-9 → 1-10).
    • Change The crowd no longer gasps when Ness hits himself with PK Thunder.
    • Nerf PK Thunder 2 travels a much shorter distance.
    • Nerf PK Thunder 2 deals less damage when hitting an opponent (30% → 25%) and knockback (40 (base), 84 (scaling) → 60/70) significantly hindering its KO potential.
    • Nerf PK Thunder 2 now has a drastically weaker late hitbox which deals less damage (30% → 20%) and knockback (40 (base), 84 (scaling) → 45/65).
    • Nerf PK Thunder 2's clean hit has a shorter duration (frames 1-18 → 1-10).
    • Nerf PK Thunder 2 has much more ending lag (FAF 43 → 100 (ground)/70 (air)) especially if Ness ends PK Thunder 2 on the ground or if he lands while in the middle of the animation of PK Thunder 2 and before he transitions into free fall.
  • PSI Magnet:
    • Buff PSI Magnet has less startup lag (frame 15 → 10).
    • Change The color of PSI Magnet is now blue instead of green.
    • Change The crowd no longer cheers when Ness absorbs a projectile with PSI Magnet.
    • Nerf PSI Magnet has 10 frames extra frames of ending lag when Ness drops the magnet.
    • Nerf Ness can no longer auto-snap the ledge while using PSI Magnet.

Moveset[edit]

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

Ness's aerial attacks
  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   3% Punches forward twice, then kicks.
2%
4%
Forward tilt   12% Does a roundhouse kick forward. Can be angled up or down.
11%
10%
Up tilt   7% Thrusts both his hands upward. Ness's head is intangible during the early part of the animation. Can combo into itself and DJC'd up aerials.
Down tilt   3% Thrusts his leg downward, then pivots his foot to hit the opponent. Can combo into itself by mashing the A button after the move is executed, and is an infinite against a wall.
Dash attack   5% (hit 1), 4% (hits 2-3) (≈12.28% total) Throws his hands forward, sending three sparks PSI energy in front of himself. Good, disjointed range. 1st hit powerfully semi-spikes opponents, 2nd hit does very weak vertical knockback and the last hit deals powerful vertical knockback.
Forward smash   18% (body), 20% (bat base), 22% (bat mid), 24% (bat tip) Swings his bat forward. Has high knockback and damage at the tip of the bat, but has very weak knockback for a smash attack when untipped and has a little bit of start-up lag. The bat can reflect projectiles.
Up smash   9% (startup), 4% (charging), 6% (attack) Does a variation on the "around-the-world" yo-yo trick, swinging his yo-yo above his head. Has good range and speed. Used to perform the extremely powerful Yo-yo Glitch, but doesn't have any utility outside of it. Like his down smash, this attack is incapable of K.O.ing unless his opponent is over 200%, and the swinging part even has almost non-existent knockback not K.O.ing until at least 500%. The attack has a hitbox while charging.
Down smash   11% (startup), 4% (charging), 7% (attack) Sends his yo-yo backwards and "walks-the-dog" with it before pulling the yo-yo back. Has good range and speed, however, this attack is incapable of K.O.ing unless his opponent is over 180%. More powerful than the up smash in terms of knockback, but still extremely weak. The attack has a hitbox while charging. The swinging part of the attack has barely any base knockback and can't K.O. until the 430% range.
Neutral aerial   11% (clean), 8% (late) Spins around, arms stretched out. Has good knockback and is very fast with high combo potential. Poor range.
Forward aerial   3% (hits 1-4), 5% (hit 5) (≈15.74% total) Throws both his hands forward, sending multiple sparks PSI energy in front of himself. Is a fast, multi-hitting move, with good range and high knockback on the last hit K.O.ing under 130% off-stage. Generally used as a spacing move and can chain into itself several times at low to high percents.
Back aerial   16% (clean), 10% (late) Thrusts both his feet backwards. If sweetspotted, it electrifies the opponent, dealing massive damage. Is fast with very high knockback albeit somewhat poor range. Can shield poke if fastfall'd out of a DJC. The fourth most powerful back aerial in the game.
Up aerial   13% Headbutts upward. Has amazing juggling potential when DJC'd and a good KO move with very low lag, but poor range. Unlike in Smash 64, Ness`s head is no longer intangible.
Down aerial   12% Pulls his legs to his body before stomping downwards. Is a meteor smash, and has a decent amount of start-up lag. Great range, extremely high knockback at 0% (most powerful meteor smash at 0% in Melee), but it also has very low knockback scaling, being unable to KO grounded opponents at even 200%, and is relatively easy to meteor cancel. It also has no IASA frames (being interrupted on the same frame as Mario's forward aerial, but Mario's seem slower compared to Ness's).
Grab
Pummel   3% Headbutts the opponent.
Forward throw   11% Psychically throws the opponent forward. Very strong base knockback, but very low knockback scaling.
Back throw   11% Psychically throws the opponent behind him. Has extremely low base knockback but very high knockback scaling. This is Ness's strongest throw and the second strongest throw in the game (second to Mewtwo's up throw), KOing reliably at 130% and above.
Up throw   10% Psychically spins the opponent above his head and throws them upwards. Can chaingrab Fox, Falco and Captain Falcon at low % and has a decent amount of followups. Good knockback.
Down throw   1% (hits 1-5), 4% (throw) Slams the opponent to the ground and hits them with fire. Low knockback but allows a decent amount of followups, including being able to lead into an up aerial to KO.
Floor attack (front)   6% Punches on both sides whilst getting up.
Floor attack (back)   6% Gets up and does a sweep kick with both feet.
Edge attack (fast)   8% Somersaults onto the stage, and kicks upwards with both feet.
Edge attack (slow)   10% Slowly picks himself up and does a jump kick.
Neutral special PK Flash 11-36% A sphere of green light appears above Ness. As the attack button is held, the sphere moves downwards and increases in power and size, until the attack button is released or until it is fully charged, it explodes. Has transcendent priority.
Side special PK Fire 2% (lightning), 3% (pillar hit 1), 2% (pillar hits 2-7) Fires a yellow, lightning-bolt shaped projectile that travels in a straight line until it hits an enemy or destructible portion of a stage, at which point it explodes into flames. The bolt has a hurtbox, which is what activates the pillar upon contact; the surrounding hitbox deals 2% and little vertical knockback, although only rarely does it ever actually hit. The spawned pillar also has a hurtbox which slowly shrinks in size.
Up special PK Thunder 8% (thunder head), 1% (thunder tail), 25% (PK Thunder 2 clean), 20% (PK Thunder 2 late) Creates a stream of lightning that can be aimed into opponents to deal damage with the head and stun with the tail. Aiming the head into Ness himself will launch him in a trajectory opposite to the side he was hit on, which is referred to as PK Thunder 2. PK Thunder 2 has intangibility frames during the first half of the move. PK Thunder has transcendent priority.
Down special PSI Magnet 0%, heals 2.0x the damage of absorbed projectiles Creates a blue energy field around him which allows him to absorb all energy-based projectiles. It can be held.

Taunt[edit]

  • Turns to the screen and nods his head while saying "Okay".
Ness-Taunt-SSBM.gif

Idle pose[edit]

  • Looks from side to side.
Ness Idle Pose Melee.gif

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Cheer
Description Ness Ness Ness! Ness Ness Ness!
Pitch Group chant Group chant

Victory poses[edit]

An orchestrated version of the final four Soundstone Melodies from EarthBound. They also play in the game's credits, Smiles and Tears.
  • Looks to the left and right of him, then places an arm on the back of his head in a bashful manner.
  • Swings around his bat four times, then poses with it.
  • Jumps up and down twice, places arms on waist, and says "Okay!"
Ness-Victory1-SSBM.gif Ness-Victory2-SSBM.gif Ness-Victory3-SSBM.gif

In Competitive play[edit]

Matchups[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Melee Character Matchups
  FoxHeadSSBM.png FalcoHeadSSBM.png MarthHeadSSBM.png SheikHeadSSBM.png JigglypuffHeadSSBM.png PeachHeadSSBM.png IceClimbersHeadSSBM.png CaptainFalconHeadSSBM.png PikachuHeadSSBM.png SamusHeadSSBM.png DrMarioHeadSSBM.png YoshiHeadSSBM.png LuigiHeadSSBM.png GanondorfHeadSSBM.png MarioHeadSSBM.png YoungLinkHeadSSBM.png DonkeyKongHeadSSBM.png LinkHeadSSBM.png MrGame&WatchHeadSSBM.png RoyHeadSSBM.png MewtwoHeadSSBM.png ZeldaHeadSSBM.png NessHeadSSBM.png PichuHeadSSBM.png BowserHeadSSBM.png KirbyHeadSSBM.png Avg.
NessHeadSSBM.png -3 -3 -3 -3 -3 -2 -2 -3 -2 -2 -1 ±0 -2 -2 -2 -2 -2 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 Mirror match +1 +1 +1 -2

In the most recent revision of the character matchup chart, Ness has a very poor matchup spread. He only soft counters three characters and has only one even matchup, against Yoshi, while he is soft countered by six, countered by nine, and hard countered by six. His poor KOing power, range, approach, and recovery are all exploitable, leading to problematic matchups against characters who can abuse these weaknesses. Sheik can chaingrab him to KO percents and finish him off with edgeguarding, Jigglypuff can gimp Ness's recovery with low-risk aerials and easily carry him off-stage, and Fox and Captain Falcon simply run him over with their superior speed and offensive prowess. He only has favorable matchups against characters who have as poor range as he does or are too slow to take advantage of his lack of range. As a result of these shortcomings, Ness has one of the worst matchup spreads in all of Melee.

Current metagame[edit]

His matchups from the matchup chart remain more or less the same. Top and high-tier characters still give him significant problems, while Yoshi has developed vastly superior punish options to overwhelm Ness. As such, his already terrible matchups have arguably only worsened as metagame developments have progressed, while Ness’ metagame remains highly stagnant.

Notable players[edit]

See also: Category:Ness professionals (SSBM)

Active[edit]

Inactive[edit]

Tier placement and history[edit]

Ness was initially viewed as low-mid tier character in the metagame, with a peak of 15th place on the second tier list. Following this, however, Ness's standing on the tier list constantly fell down to the lower tiers, with most players noticing that his nerfs from Super Smash Bros. severely impaired his KO power and his already poor linear, predictable recovery; this was especially noted in the earlier Smash 64 metagame, as Ness was initially viewed as a top-tiered character.

On the current tier list, Ness places at 23rd, in the F tier, and he is considered non-viable for tournament play. Dedicated Ness players are rare in the current metagame, with most Ness players often using him as a situational counterpick; Hungrybox only used Ness once in all of Apex 2013, in an attempt to counter Armada's Young Link, and he mostly used Jigglypuff for the rest of the tournament. Other players of Ness are semi-active and generally do not place very well with him.

In 1-P Mode[edit]

Classic Mode[edit]

In Classic Mode, Ness can appear as an ordinary opponent, as an ally or opponent in the team battles, alongside Yoshi, Peach, or Mewtwo, as a member of a multi-character battle, or as a metal opponent. In Ness's appearance, he appears on either Onett or Fourside (if unlocked) as a regular opponent and on Battlefield as a metal opponent. When on a team with Yoshi, he appears on Yoshi's Island.

Adventure Mode[edit]

Ness's appearance in the Adventure Mode is in Stage 9: Onett. In the stage, the player must fight against three computer players, each one being Ness, on Onett; in the fight, the only item that appear is Mr. Saturn. The player must defeat all three opponents within five minutes to continue.

All-Star Mode[edit]

Ness and his allies are fought on Onett.

Event Matches[edit]

Ness is featured in the following event matches:

Ending images[edit]

Trophies[edit]

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

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
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's 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

Alternate costumes[edit]

Ness Palette (SSBM).png
NessHeadSSBM.png NessHeadYellowSSBM.png NessHeadBlueSSBM.png NessHeadGreenSSBM.png

Gallery[edit]

Trivia[edit]

The yoyo's texture.
The "Electric Ness" glitch being performed.
  • Ness is one of three characters whose neutral special changed during his jump to Melee, the others being Link and Jigglypuff. In the original Super Smash Bros., his neutral special was PK Fire; from Melee onward, he now uses PK Flash. As with the other two, his original neutral special remains in the game, having been transferred to the newly added side special move slot.
  • If one looks closely at Ness's Yoyo, he or she can see the words DOLPHIN LOOP, with it being made by HALLAB NINTENDO in 2001 (Melee’s release year). Dolphin being a reference to the Gamecube's codename, and the "makers" a reference to the developer and publisher of Melee respectively. His bat reads NETT SPORTS.
  • Hitting Ness as he's using PK Thunder can cause his body to constantly produce sparks afterward, though these sparks only provide a cosmetic effect. This glitch continues until he gets KOed, shields, or performs PK Thunder again.
  • Ness's amiibo description on the North American amiibo website is based on his trophy description from Melee.