Nintendo Player's Guide
The Nintendo Player's Guide was a line of strategy guides written and distributed by the department of Nintendo that also ran Nintendo Power. Originally starting in 1988 along with the magazine, the Player's Guides are dedicated pieces of literature that goes further in-depth of aspects of the game than the magazine typically went into. While the most current guide was typically sent to new subscribers for free along with their first issue, a Player's Guide being sent to every subscriber was a rare exception. the guides were most often sold seperately, with the ability to mail-order and find one at book and video game stores. While each guide initially covered several games in brief, this eventually evolved into each guide providing extensive coverage on a single game or topic. The guides were discontinued in 2007 after 110 guides. The main reasons for the discontinuation were the rise of independant guides like Prima Games and the the World Wide Web made the guides redundant.
Relevance to the Super Smash Bros. series
An official guide for Super Smash Bros. Melee was published alongside the release of the game. The guide is 124 full color pages in length. The guide is divided into five broad sections:
Goes through how to play the game. This includes the commands tied to each button on the GameCube controller and the various universal mechanics shared by all fighters.
Next is a page dedicated to each individual fighter. At the top is a blurb that briefly explains the history of the fighter. To the right is an "Attributes" chart. The chart has six categories: Size, Weight, Power, Speed, Jump, and Usage. Each category is rated out of five units. Next is a list of all attacks, including names and damage ranges. Red lettering means the move has a meteor smash effect. Special moves are given a special section with a blurb and screenshot. The special move designated as a recovery move are given a ! symbol.
There is a final page that explains the custom battle option. It gives a few examples of custom battles and explains how the outcome will permanently be reflected on the save file.
Goes through single player content. Every portion is given a "Melee Time" which is the average amount of time that portion should last.
First is classic mode. It explains that there are eleven stages in this order: Normal, Team, Bonus, Normal, Giant, Bonus, Normal, Multi-Man, Bonus, Metal, and Vs. Master Hand. Every opponent in Normal Battle is randomly selected and falls under three broad categories: Light, Balanced, and Heavy. The guide recommends letting the teammate do some of the work in a team battle and prioritize going after items instead. The guide gives the full layout of every map of Break the Targets and the intended route for each. The game recommends letting the teammates do the heavy lifting in a Giant Battle while the player takes their time and waits for the right moment to strike. The guide also says that grabs and throws are particularly useful against giant opponents. While the guide mentions that Snag the Trophies is the main way of collecting trophies without going through the lottery, it also mentions that they can randomly show up in adventure mode and in other stages in classic mode. The guide recommends spamming strong, fast moves to quickly handle all the opponents in Multi-Man smash. The guide gives a full map of race to the finish, including the branching paths and the average completion time for each character. The guide gives the health of Master Hand at every difficulty, an explanation of every attack, the fact that Crazy Hand shows up at higher difficulties, and the rewards for completion.
Next is Adventure Mode. Stage 1 is the Mushroom Kingdom level, complete with a battle against Mario and Peach at the end. Stage 2 is a battle against 2 small Donkey Kong opponents followed by a giant Donkey Kong. Stage 3 is the underground maze, complete with a battle against Zelda (and Sheik) at the end. Stage 4 is in two parts. The first part is a battle against Samus. The second part is an escape to the finish. Stage 5 is in two parts. The first part is a battle against Kirby. The second part is an onslaught of Kirbys with different copy abilities, finishing with a giant kirby. Stage 6 is a two-round battle against Fox, with arwings entering the stage and firing in the second round. Stage 7 is an onslaught of Pikachus and an occasional Pichu and Jigglypuff. In Stage 8, race to the end of the F-Zero track while dodging vehicles. The stage ends with a fight against Captain Falcon. Stage 9 is a battle against several Nesses. Stage 10 is a battle against both Ice Climbers and the vertical scrolling level itself. Stage 11 is a battle against an onslaught of wire frame opponents followed by Metal Mario and Metal Luigi. Stage 12 is a battle against Bowser who transforms into Giga Bowser.
Next is All-Star mode. The guide explains the mode is 13 battles in a row with a rest are in between all of them. Battles 1-4 has one opponent. Battle 5-8 has two opponents. Battle 9-12 has three opponents. Battle 13 has 25 Mr. Game & Watches. There are 3 heart containers in the rest area that can be used at any point but do not respawn, so use them wisely.
Next is Event Match. The guide explains all 51 events and the recommended strategy to win each of them. The guide also shows the requirements to unlock the 41 events not available at the start.
Next is Stadium mode and all the sub-modes within it. Target test is the same stages as the one found in classic mode, but there is no time limit and instead counts fastest time. The guide give recommended strategies for Home Run Contest, including the best move every fighter has to deal damage. The guide gives a brief explanation of all the different types of Multi-Man Melee. The guide explains how training mode works and the ways it can be customized to the player's specifications.
Goes through mulitplayer content. The first is Melee. There are four major modes: Time, Stock, Coin and Bonus. Each mode has a 1v1 and team version, and the rules can be adjust the the wanted specifications. The guide goes into the various fighter archetypes and how best to deal with them. The guide also explains some strategies for teams, including fighter specific tactics.
Next is Tourney. Up to 64 players can play in a variety of bracket types. The rules of the tourney can be specified, and the guide recommend chasing down the weakest opponent when given the chance.
Next is Special Melee. The camera can be moved to a multitude of angles, creating various scenes. Pictures of those scenes can be saved to the Memory Card. The game can be changed to stamina, and elements like super sudden death, giant, tiny, invisible, fixed camera, single button, lightning and slow-mo can be added.
A list of every trophy and how to get them. A Smash icon indicates the trophy is of a fighter. Red means default costume. Blue means alternate costume. Each trophy is categorized by role in the game, then series. The trophies can also be won at the lottery and all will be displayed on a special table.
Miscellaneous topics that do not fit into any other category. First is a brief explanation of all items. Next is a brief explanation of all Pokémon found in Poké Balls. Next is a brief explanation of every available stage. The guide explains that some stages need to be unlocked and there are stages that are only accessible in specific game modes. Next is a list of requirements to unlock every hidden fighter, stage, item, and trophy in the game. Lastly is a list of all bonus rewards, how to achieve them, and the amount of points they are worth, the rewards are categorized in alphabetical order and by similar achievement method.