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Super Smash Bros.

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Something's gone wrong in the happy-go-lucky world of Nintendo!
—North American commercial
For the articles about the series and universe respectively, see Super Smash Bros. (series) and Super Smash Bros. (universe).
Super Smash Bros.
NTSC box art of Super Smash Bros.. From Super Mario Wiki.
Box ssb pal.jpg
Box ssb j.jpg
Developer(s) HAL Laboratory, Inc.
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Designer(s) Masahiro Sakurai
Released Nintendo 64:
Japan January 21, 1999
North America April 26, 1999
Europe November 19, 1999

iQue Player:
China November 15, 2005

Virtual Console:
Japan January 20, 2009
Europe June 12, 2009
North America December 21, 2009
Genre(s) Fighting game
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer (2-4)
Ratings ESRB: E
Platform(s) Nintendo 64
iQue Player
Virtual Console
Media 128 megabit cartridge
256 megabit cartridge (Europe)
Flash Card (China)

Super Smash Bros. (ニンテンドウオールスター! 大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズ, Nintendo All-Star! Great Fray Smash Brothers), also called Super Smash Bros. 64, often shortened to SSB or Smash 64, is the first game of the Super Smash Bros. series.

The game released in Japan on January 21st, 1999, in North America on April 26th, 1999 and in Europe on November 19th, 1999 for the Nintendo 64. Subsequently, it released on the iQue Player in China on November 15th, 2005. It was re-released on the Wii Virtual Console on January 20th, 2009 in Japan, a day before its 10-year anniversary, and later that year in Europe and North America, before becoming unavailable after the Wii Shop Channel shut down on January 30th, 2019.

Super Smash Bros. received positive reviews, with most praise going to its multiplayer mode, while its single-player mode received some criticism. The game has sold 5 million units worldwide as of 2001, making it the fifth best-selling Nintendo 64 game of all time.

Opening movie[edit]

The opening movie in Super Smash Bros., unlike later games in the Super Smash Bros. series, completely lacks pre-rendered footage. It instead opts to use the game engine to render everything in real-time.

When the opening movie starts, two random starter characters are placed by Master Hand on top of a desk, which shortly transitions to a scene resembling Peach's Castle. This process is repeated every time the opening movie is played.

As the opening movie concludes, the figures of the four unlockable characters are flashed against a white background. If a character hasn't been unlocked, they will simply be shown as a silhouette; conversely, they will be revealed once unlocked.

Finally, the opening movie segues into the title screen, a trend which would be followed by future installments, along with the announcer calling out the game's title.


Official artwork of the default cast of Smash 64.
The character-selection screen of Super Smash Bros. (all characters unlocked).

There are twelve playable characters in Super Smash Bros., eight of which are available from the start and four of which are unlockable.

The highest amount of character slots are given to the Super Mario and Pokémon universes with each receiving two fighters: Mario alongside his brother Luigi, and Pikachu and Jigglypuff respectively, with the latter characters in both universes being unlockable.

Two more slots are given to reoccurring Mario characters Donkey Kong and Yoshi as starting fighters from their sub-universes of the same names, Donkey Kong and Yoshi.

The other starter characters are Link, Samus, Kirby and Fox from The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Kirby and Star Fox universes, respectively. The final remaining characters, as with Luigi and Jigglypuff, are unlockable: Ness of EarthBound and Captain Falcon of F-Zero.

Starters (8)
Mario SSB.png
Yoshi SSB.png
Donkey Kong SSB.png
Donkey Kong
Symbol of the DK series, pre-Brawl.
Link SSB.png
Samus SSB.png
Kirby SSB.png
Fox SSB.png
Pikachu SSB.png
Unlockables (4)
Luigi SSB.png
Jigglypuff SSB.png
Captain Falcon SSB.png
Captain Falcon
Ness SSB.png


The stage select screen of Super Smash Bros.

The game features nine stages derived from each character's universe, exceptions being EarthBound and F-Zero. While most universes receive a single stage, Mario uniquely has two instead: Peach's Castle and the only unlockable stage in the game, Mushroom Kingdom. The other stages consist of Congo Jungle, Hyrule Castle, Planet Zebes, Yoshi's Island, Dream Land, Sector Z, and Saffron City from Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Yoshi, Kirby, Star Fox, and Pokémon respectively.

Versus mode stages[edit]

Versus mode (9)
Peach's Castle
Mushroom Kingdom
Yoshi's Island
Congo Jungle
Symbol of the DK series, pre-Brawl.
Hyrule Castle
Planet Zebes
Dream Land in Super Smash Bros..
Dream Land
Sector Z
Saffron City

Shown in bold, Mushroom Kingdom is the only unlockable stage in Super Smash Bros.

1P Game-only stages[edit]

1P Game-only
Mario Target Smash SSB.png
Break the Targets
Symbol of the Smash Bros. series.
Mario Board the Platforms.png
Board the Platforms
Symbol of the Smash Bros. series.
Race to the Finish
Symbol of the Smash Bros. series.
Yoshi's Island*
Meta Crystal
MetalMarioSymbol.svgSymbol of the Smash Bros. series.
Battlefield 64.png
Duel Zone
Symbol of the Smash Bros. series.
Final Destination as seen in SSB.
Final Destination
Symbol of the Smash Bros. series.

These stages only appear in the 1P Game.
*The 1P Game-only Yoshi's Island lacks clouds and has closer blast zones.

Non-playable stages[edit]

KirbySymbol.svgSymbol of the Smash Bros. series.
KirbySymbol.svgSymbol of the Smash Bros. series.
The Tutorial Stage of Super Smash Bros.
Tutorial Stage
KirbySymbol.svgSymbol of the Smash Bros. series.

These stages cannot normally be unlocked or played on in any way without hacking.




Tournament play[edit]

Unlike its successors, Super Smash Bros. did not initially enjoy a large professional competitive scene in North America. However, interest in the game has been renewed in recent years with the popularity of its sequels. Players can play Super Smash Bros. online through Kaillera using the Project64k emulator, and every year there are more and more in-person Super Smash Bros. tournaments due to an influx of new players. Tournaments are often paired with Melee and Ultimate events at large multi-game majors, or at smaller 64-only events. Unlike other Smash games, the most common tournament structure is a waterfall bracket, featuring multiple levels of round-robin pools feeding into a final double elimination bracket.

The most common standard tournament rules are as follows[1]:

  • Tournament matches are best of 3 or 5 games, with best of 5 usually reserved for the final bracket.
  • Games are 4 stock with an 8-minute time limit. The original game does not support time limits on stock matches, but modded games and emulators can implement one. When playing on original hardware, an external timer is used at either player's request.
  • Items are disabled.
  • Handicaps are off.
  • Dream Land is the only legal stage.
  • Pausing is forbidden, and results in forfeiting the game.
  • For the first game, characters are chosen double-blind - at the same time, so that neither player knows their opponent's character when picking.
  • Players may re-select characters after each match. However, the loser of each match picks last (known as counterpicking).


After development on Kirby Super Star wrapped in 1996, creator Masahiro Sakurai wanted to create another property. He developed two different prototypes concurrently: a stealth and exploration based RC robot adventure game, and a four player free-for-all fighting game with no health bars. A long-time fan of fighting games, particularly games developed by SNK, he was interested in making a beginner friendly fighting game for four players. A specific inspiration for such an idea came from an experience at a local arcade where he had a winning streak on King of Fighters '95 and felt pleased with himself, only to feel guilty upon realizing his opponent was a beginner and their partner. This inspired Sakurai to design a game that would be fun regardless of skill level.[2] He also was concerned about combos pervading the fighting game genre and felt they invalidated the skills of those subjected to them. Command-input moves were also becoming increasingly complex, and Sakurai wanted controls that tested speed and reflexes instead of muscle memory, which culminated in tilt attacks and smash attacks that can be performable with a wide range of skill levels while still having a level of depth and strategy.[3]

His initial design for the game was called Kakuto-Geemu Ryuoh (Dragon King: The Fighting Game),[4] which featured simple characters. After presenting the game to co-worker Satoru Iwata, he helped Sakurai continue on with the project. Realizing that the RC game would take much longer to develop, he shelved the concept and went all in on this fighting game. Understanding that many fighting games did not sell well, Sakurai strove to make his game original.[4] After presenting a pre-alpha demo to HAL Laboratory, he was approached by a fellow employee who suggested the game should include famous Nintendo characters as a way to market the game.[4] Initially hesitant about the idea, he was later convinced and began retooling his demo. Sakurai has since claimed that filling a game with preexisting characters is more welcoming to new players instead of bombarding them with many original characters they are unfamiliar with. Knowing full well that he would not receive permission to include their characters, Sakurai created a prototype of the game without sanction from Nintendo and did not inform them until he was sure the game was well-balanced.[4] The prototype he presented featured Mario, Donkey Kong, Samus Aran, and Fox McCloud as playable characters. The idea was later approved.[4][5] Although never acknowledged by Sakurai or any developers behind Super Smash Bros., third party sources have identified Namco's 1995 fighting game The Outfoxies as a possible inspiration.[6][7]

HAL Laboratory was assigned as primary developers, as Sakurai was employed by them at the time. While Sakurai and Iwata were initially the only developers, as other projects in HAL Laboratory either were finished or fell through, more employees were brought on the project to assist them. Multiple characters, including Marth, King Dedede, Bowser, and Mewtwo were planned to be playable at one point, but were all cut for various reasons.

Super Smash Bros. features music from Nintendo's most popular gaming franchises. While many tracks are new arrangements for the game, some songs attempt to directly emulate their sources. The music for Super Smash Bros. was composed by Hirokazu Ando, who later returned as sound and music director for Super Smash Bros. Melee. A complete soundtrack was released on CD in Japan through Teichiku Records in 2001.[8]

Marketing teams and wholesalers were initially skeptical on the market viability of Super Smash Bros., as they were unsure how the public would respond to Nintendo characters fighting each other. Resistance from fighting game players were also met during the launch period, as they had many preconceptions of what a fighting game is and were uncomfortable with a wildly different product labeling itself as a fighting game. To alleviate this tension, Sakurai created the Sumabura-Ken website that delved into the game's different concepts.

To promote the game's launch, Nintendo of America staged an event called Super Smash Bros. Slamfest '99, held at the MGM Grand Adventures Theme Park in Las Vegas, Nevada, on April 24th, 1999. The event featured a real-life wrestling match between costumed performers dressed as Mario, Yoshi, Pikachu, and Donkey Kong, as well as stations set up for attendees to preview the game. The wrestling match was live-streamed on the web via RealPlayer, and was available to be re-watched for several months afterward via a downloadable file from the event's official website. Despite this, no video footage of Slamfest '99 is known to survive, and the broadcast is currently considered lost media.


SSB reviews
Publication Score
Famitsu 31 of 40[9]
GameSpot 7.5 of 10[10]
IGN 8.5 of 10[11]
Nintendo Power 7.7 of 10[12]
Compilations of multiple reviews
Metacritic 79 of 100[13]
Game Rankings 78.81%[12]
IGN "Best Fighting Game"

Super Smash Bros. was a commercial success, selling 5 million copies worldwide with 2.93 million sold in the United States and 1.97 million copies sold in Japan. It was the 5th best selling game for the Nintendo 64. Reviews were mostly positive, with many critics praising the game's addictive and fun multiplayer gameplay and simple controls, but it was criticized as well, mainly due to the game's lower amount of content and somewhat limited single-player mode.

In competitive play[edit]

Smash 64 has always had a small, niche competitive scene relative to future entries. Unlike those entries, particularly Brawl and Smash 4, the scene has increased in popularity over the years instead of falling off when the next entry releases. This is mostly due to the scene embracing emulation and other unconventional methods of play quicker than the others, which allowed them to smoothly transition to online play, especially during the 2020 pandemic. The scene was also the first and currently most popular to run the Combo Contest due to the game engine allowing for great amounts of freedom in that department. The scene is also kept alive with mods such as Smash Remix, which expands on the game's content while keeping core elements intact.

The community has constructed a set of standard tournament rules to regulate tournament play. While rulesets may vary between different tournaments, generally universal gameplay rules include all matches being played via timed stock (four stocks and eight minutes), and restrictions on legal stages. These regulations are enacted to ensure that gameplay at the highest level remains fair and interesting.



Main article: List of staff (SSB)


  • This is the only Super Smash Bros. game to:
  • The starting eight characters are placed in the order of when they first appeared (as a whole) in their respective debut titles on the character selection screen, starting with the oldest, Mario and Donkey Kong, and ending with the most recent, Pikachu. This same order is used when listing the cast of the original Super Smash Bros. in later games, such as when organizing trophies and fighter numbers. This chronological ordering also applies to the four unlockable characters on the character selection screen, though this is only relative to each other and not the other characters.
  • Super Smash Bros. marks the first appearance of Samus, Kirby, and Ness in 3D.
    • Additionally, this game is both Samus and Ness's only appearance on the Nintendo 64.
  • This game has the fewest amount of unlockable characters with four.
  • This game is one of two that uses 2D illustrations on the box art, alongside Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  • This game is one of two Super Smash Bros. games to not feature Adventure Mode, the second being Super Smash Bros. 4.
  • This game is one of two Super Smash Bros. games to not feature All-Star Mode, the second being Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  • If the player achieves No Miss x11 at the end of Classic Mode with a score over “01000000”, the announcer will say "Incredible!" instead of "Congratulations!" on the victory screen.
  • Counting both versions of Super Smash Bros. 4 as one game, this is the only game in the series with more fighters than stages.
  • Despite Super Smash Bros. having its own Australian version, the European version was used for Australia's Virtual Console.
  • Although the iQue player has a built-in controller, a message, albeit in Chinese, exists dictating that the controller is not plugged in.[14]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Super Smash Con (2022-07-30). Super Smash Con Official Rulebook 2022. Retrieved 2023-07-06.
  2. ^ MacDonald, Keza (August 8, 2018). From Kong to Kirby: Smash Bros' Masahiro Sakurai on mashing up 35 years of gaming history. The Guardian.
  3. ^ Super Smash Bros.. YouTube (2022-10-20). Retrieved on 2022-10-20.
  4. ^ a b c d e Iwata Asks: Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Nintendo. Retrieved on 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ 社長が訊く『大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズX』 (Japanese). Nintendo. Retrieved on 2008-01-31.
  6. ^ Holmes, Jonathan. "Six Days to Smash Bros. Brawl: Top Five Smash Bros alternatives", Destructoid, March 3, 2008. 
  7. ^ Sullivan, Lucas (September 19, 2014). 15 Smash Bros. rip-offs that couldn't outdo Nintendo.
  8. ^ Nintendo All-Star! Dairanto Smash Brothers Original Soundtrack. Soundtrack Central (2002-01-17). Retrieved on 2008-04-16.
  9. ^ ニンテンドウ64 - ニンテンドウオールスター!大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズ. Weekly Famitsu. No.915 Pt.2. Pg.32. 30 June 2006.
  10. ^ Gerstmann, Jeff (1999-02-18). Super Smash Bros. Review. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2008-04-26.
  11. ^ Schneider, Peer (1999-04-27). Super Smash Bros. Review. IGN. Retrieved on 2008-04-26.
  12. ^ a b Super Smash Bros. Reviews. GameRankings. Retrieved on 2013-07-14.
  13. ^ Super Smash Bros. (n64: 1999): Reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2013-07-14.
  14. ^ No Controller.