Zelda is a playable character in the Brawl mod Project M. She was one of the most buffed characters from Melee and Brawl, going from being a bottom tier character in both Melee and Brawl to a formidable fighter that can be played without the need of Sheik.
Zelda is placed 38th out 41 on the official tier list, toward the bottom of the D tier. This is a marginal improvement over her 24th out of 26 placement in Melee and Brawl standing as 37th out of 38. Her tools are strong enough to make her a competent fighter, and numerous top placings by Zhime have shown her great potential.
In both Melee and Brawl, Zelda was plagued for being tall, floaty, and slow on the ground and in the air. Additionally, she was hampered by poor approach options. In Project M, these weaknesses are addressed by significantly buffing Zelda overall.
Zelda excels at defensive gameplay, being able to reflect projectiles with Nayru's Love, her neutral special. This move can also be used for spacing. Zelda's side special, Din's Fire, is a fiery, guided projectile that explodes after a few seconds or on contact. This move can be used to force opponents to move closer to Zelda or as a combo finisher. Din's Fire does not enforce helplessness like it did in Melee and Brawl, meaning the move can be safely used in the air. Other moves that Zelda can use for spacing include her jab, which has disjointed hitboxes, and her neutral aerial, which is good for aerial spacing. Her recovery, Farore's Wind, is versatile in that it sends Zelda a good distance in any direction.
Despite being good for defense, Zelda is also a good offensive character, able to utilize combos and possessing many powerful finishers as well. Zelda's most notable finishers, her Lightning Kicks, cause high damage and knockback when sweetspotted. Although difficult to sweetspot, Zelda's down aerial is an effective meteor smash. Her up tilt, up aerial, and back throw are also KO moves at high percentages.
Although she is much better character than either her Melee or Brawl iterations, Zelda still has many weaknesses. Her recovery can be easily prevented by proper edgehogging. Zelda's light weight causes her to be very vulnerable to many finishing moves. Lastly, while the return of Melee's physics make Zelda faster, she is still slower than the majority of the roster. In earlier version of Project M, Zelda was considered by many to be a powerhouse due to her capability to use three quickly-moving Din's Fire projectiles at once. In Project M Version 3.5 and onward, Din's Fire was nerfed so that only one projectile can be used at a time.
Changes from Brawl to PM
Zelda was immensely buffed from Brawl to Project M. Her mobility has been improved and many of her attacks are faster. Many of her moves also have improved KO potential such as back throw and the back hit of her down smash. The changes to PM's mechanics also greatly benefit her as they improve her combo potential and her overall endurance is higher. Lastly, Transform is much faster and Sheik much like in Melee is a more effective character.
She did she a few nerfs however. Her down tilt has more ending lag and can no longer trip opponents. Some of her KO moves such as down smash's front hit and her Lightning Kicks were weakened while some of her moves such as up smash, up aerial and neutral aerial are less reliable.
Overall, she is much more effective and viable than she has ever been however, her buffs were not enough to keep up with most of the cast resulting in her remaining one of the weaker characters in the game.
Grabs, throws, and other
Up to date as of version 3.6.
In competitive play
Zelda now has an alternate costume that is more closely based off her appearance in Melee, which itself was based off her appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Oddly, the Brawl color palette which references the design featured in the alternate costume stays, despite Ganondorf's Ocarina Of Time based palette swap being replaced with the default color for his alternate costume, which is again based off of his Ocarina design.
Z-Secret Costume: Young Zelda clothing
R-Secret Costume: Hyrule Warriors Zelda