Zelda (PM)

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PM Icon.png
in Project M
Zelda SSBB.jpg
Universe The Legend of Zelda
Base game appearance Brawl
Moveset inspiration Zelda (SSBM), Zelda (SSBB)
Alternate costume Ocarina of Time Zelda
Zelda's Ocarina of Time Costume in Project M 3.5

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 need of Sheik.

Zelda is placed 38th out 41 on the official tier list, toward the bottom of the D tier. This is a slight drop over her 22nd out of 26 placement in Melee and a marginal improvement over her 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[edit]

Zelda was immensely buffed from Brawl to Project M however, her buffs were not enough to keep up with most of the cast.


  • Change Most magic attacks were given additional sparkles, denoting their increased strength.
  • Change Spot dodge was given magical sparkling graphics.
  • Change Like Transform, down taunt now emits the characteristic "Puzzle Solved" jingle from Zelda games.

Ground Attacks[edit]

  • Buff Jab has improved hitboxes which hit lower and connects with multiple hits much more reliably. The last hit also deals more damage (2% → 3%).
  • Buff Forward and up smashes link much better; while the latter uses its superior Brawl format with reduced hitlag, the former has more favorable angles for the multiple hits, both hitting faster and with fewer freeze frames.
  • Nerf Up smash has smaller hitboxes, and can no longer hit some grounded characters.
  • Change Up smash has lower knockback, allowing it to combo better, but it does not kill as early.
  • Nerf Down smash has lower knockback for the front-facing kick.
    • Buff However, the kick behind Zelda has increased damage and knockback.
  • Buff Up tilt has much higher knockback, making it a very potent kill move. It now has a strong early hitbox and a weaker late hitbox, but the late hitbox is still very strong.
  • Buff Up tilt now renders Zelda's moving arm invulnerable during the attack.
  • Buff Forward tilt now has a hitbox behind Zelda when she swings her arm backwards.
  • Change Forward tilt now has a hitbox at the very tip that does slightly more damage (14%), but has reduced knockback.
  • Change Forward tilt no longer has transcendent priority on most of its hitboxes. The "tip" hitbox retains transcendent priority.
  • Nerf Forward tilt has reduced knockback on all hitboxes.
  • Buff Down tilt has increased damage (7% (leg), 8% (body) → 10/11%).
  • Nerf If Zelda uses Down tilt again after connecting with it, the second Down Tilt has fewer IASA frames (first actionable frame 25 → 30).
  • Change Zelda no longer has a unique voice clip when performing down smash.

Aerial Attacks[edit]

  • Buff Neutral aerial has larger hitboxes and does more damage if all hits connect.
  • Nerf Neutral aerial's linking hits can now be DI'd, making some Brawl combos that involved landing to interrupt the move no longer guaranteed.
  • Buff Up aerial has an early hitbox at the base of her fingertips which starts earlier and deals weak electric damage, linking into the explosion itself. The explosion also deals more damage if it hits at the center.
    • Nerf However, the rest of the explosion hitbox is weaker than the Brawl version in both damage and knockback. It still has more KO power than Melee's up aerial.
    • Nerf The linking hitbox can be DI'd, which may cause opponents to fall out of range of the explosion.
  • Buff Down aerial has also been made to sweetspot on grounded opponents in addition to aerial opponents, and does more damage. The sweetspot is a powerful KO move on a grounded opponent.
  • Buff Both forward and back Lightning Kick are based off their Melee design with larger sweetspots and have more active frames. The sourspots also deals more damage (4% → 8%).
  • Nerf Both forward and back Lightning Kick sweetspots are slightly weaker than in Melee and Brawl, and do less damage (20% → 19/16% (forward), 18/15% (back)). The sweetspot also decays with time, so only the first frame has the strongest hitbox although this is still an improvement over Brawl.

Grabs, throws, and other[edit]

  • Buff Grabs are faster (Frame 12 (standing), 11 (dash), 14 (pivot) → 8/10/13) and her dash and pivot grabs have slightly less end lag (FAF 40 (dash), 36 (pivot) → 39/35).
  • Nerf Forward throw deals less damage (12% → 10%).
  • Change Forward throw has reduced knockback but also has a much faster animation that can catch opponents off guard.
  • Buff Back throw has increased knockback, and now has significant KO potential.
  • Buff Due to universally increased fall speeds and the removal of hitstun canceling, up throw and down throw can now be used to chaingrab opponents.
  • Nerf Up throw deals less damage (11% → 8%).
  • Buff Down throw deals more damage (10% → 14%) and is drastically faster. The "zapping" hitbox will launch other opponents away with high base knockback, making it more useful in team battles/free-for-all/vs. Ice Climbers.
  • Buff Up taunt's magical swirl and side taunt's fireball now both have damaging hitboxes.

Special Moves[edit]

  • Buff Nayru's Love is land cancelable after the attack frames end, and while the ground version has no such cancel, it possesses improved invulnerability. The invulnerability of the ground version overlaps with the first attacking frame, reducing the likelihood of unfavorable trades.
  • Change Nayru's Love no longer sends opponents based on the direction Zelda is facing.
    • Buff The linking hits now draw opponents in from both sides.
  • Nerf The aerial version of Nayru's Love has no invulnerability.
  • Nerf The Love Jump AT (jumping and using Nayru's Love immediately after getting hit with enough knockback, making Zelda rise while reflecting projectiles) from Brawl no longer works. Instead, Zelda will be sent sideways, which is far less useful for recovery.
  • Buff Din's Fire functions significantly differently, loosely based on Viola's magical orb from Soul Calibur V.[1] Upon releasing a fireball, instead of quickly exploding it stops and hangs in the air for ~3.5 seconds before exploding and returning to Zelda. Both the standing "mine" and the returning "wisp" will inflict damage upon making contact with a foe. If a foe runs into or hits the "standing mine" with a hitbox, it will return to Zelda without exploding. In addition to these changes, the control of fireballs is massively increased. Using Transform will also force it to explode. Zelda can manually detonate a traveling or standing Din's Fire by inputting side-special again. This explosion is significantly weaker than the timed explosion or the transform explosion, but is excellent for comboing. It also no longer puts Zelda into free fall if used in the air.
  • Buff Zelda can input B at any time in the middle of the "invisible" portion of Farore's Wind to cancel the move early, giving Zelda the ability to shorten her teleport, similar to Fox Illusion and Falco Phantasm. Interrupting the teleport removes the reappearance hitbox. If canceled on the ground, the move has significantly less endlag, giving Zelda a much-needed tool both in neutral and to chase down far away opponents.
  • Buff Zelda can now grab ledges behind her when she is spinning during Farore's Wind. (during the startup, and just after reappearing.)
  • Buff The beginning hitbox of Farore's Wind, when used in the air, sends foes at 40 degrees, instead of straight up, which is much more useful for edgeguarding.
  • Nerf Farore's Wind's reappearance hitbox comes out on frame 2 of reappearance, rather than frame 1.
  • Nerf Reappearance hitbox of Farore's Wind deals weaker damage.
  • Buff Can act out of Transform sooner, like Sheik.
  • Buff Transform now switches Zelda with Sheik much faster due to their files no longer being loaded from the Brawl disc.



  • Buff Priority on hitboxes for jab altered to work better on heavyweights' hitstun animations.
  • Buff Linking jab hits use slightly negative angles, which prevents landing animations from being triggered on very slightly sloped areas which can cause the rest of the move to whiff.
  • Change Some animations and graphics for jab cleaned up.
  • Change Dash attack animation adjusted to be closer to Melee.
  • Change Angle on sweetspotted dash attack adjusted to be like other, similar attacks.
  • Buff Tipper hitbox on forward tilt adjusted in knockback and SDIability slightly to be more conducive to combos.
    • Buff Hitboxes adjusted to give proper spacing for tipper hitbox.
    • Change Hit sound effects adjusted for sweetspots.
  • Nerf Hit duration for up tilt reduced by 1 frame for visual corrections.
  • Change Graphical effects for up tilt edited to match the new timings.
  • Change Launch for up tilt has less base knockback but more growth, dealing less knockback at lower damages but more at higher damage.
  • Change Launch angle of first half of up tilt raised slightly.
  • Buff Linking hits of forward smash use slightly negative angles, which prevents landing animations from being triggered on very slightly sloped areas which can cause the rest of the move to whiff.
  • Buff Has a new linking hitbox in forward smash far inside her only intended to prevent whiff issues close-in on heavyweights.
  • Nerf Innermost hitboxes on linking hits of forward smash have reduced hitlag.
  • Change Launch hit of forward smash has less base knockback but more growth, dealing less knockback at lower damages but more at higher damage, also taking greater effect with smash charge.
  • Buff Final hit of up smash has slightly increased base knockback.
  • Buff Linking hits of up smash have slightly reduced SDI capacity, enough for opponents to control launch point when hit by the move but never enough to escape it in any normal circumstances.
  • Change Hit sound effects on linking hits of up smash altered to be softer.
  • Buff Melee sized sweetspots (first frame) for forward aerial regained a bit more of their old damage and knockback power.
  • Buff Melee sized electric flubs (later frames) for forward aerial now use average KO move values instead of the non-magical sourspot values.
  • Buff Back aerial's critical sweetspot deals slightly more knockback and shield damage.
  • Change Non-magical sourspots for forward and back aerials have more effectual damage and knockback growth values, but don't lead into the sweetspots as easily.
  • Buff Fire hitboxes for up air have slightly more base knockback.
  • Buff Up air has very slightly increased shield damage on large fire hitbox.
  • Change Hit sound effect of fire sweetspot for up air upgraded.
  • Buff Sweetspotted down aerial now deals extra shield damage.
  • Buff Down aerial's damage and knockback growth against grounded targets significantly increased.
  • Buff Down aerial's knockback growth against aerial targets slightly increased.
  • Buff Thigh flub hitbox on down aerial has slightly improved power and combo potential from ground bounces.
  • Nerf Sweetspot duration reduced for down aerial.
  • Change Graphics altered for down aerial to better match the presence of the sweetspot.
  • Change Down aerial animation adjusted for the hitboxes to be aligned with the axis for its hit duration.
  • Buff Aerial version of Nayru's Love has quicker intangibility startup, equal to ground version.
    • Nerf Size of the last hitbox on aerial version was reduced to be consistent with the linking hits.
    • Change Knockback on aerial Nayru's Love adjusted slightly; it has less base knockback but more growth to induce tumbling later.
  • Change Grounded Nayru's Love is visually larger, and aerial Nayru's Love visually smaller to better show their hitbox size difference.
  • Buff Travel speed of Din's Fire was slightly increased.
    • Nerf Has slightly lower maximum channel time.
  • Nerf Din's Fire starts out smaller, while ending size is unchanged.
  • Change Din's Fire damage growth with travel duration on explosion hitbox altered slightly, now does a minimum of 10% and a maximum of 20%.
  • Change Din's Fire explosion hitbox has slightly more base knockback and slightly less knockback growth for combo purposes.
  • Buff Farore's Wind landing lag reduced.
  • Buff Aerial reappearance transitions properly into helpless state.
  • Buff Pivot grab's hitbox size increased, now being able to grab very low crouching targets.
  • Nerf Forward throw slightly reduced in knockback growth.
  • Change Down throw graphical effects altered to look more similar to Melee.
  • Change Neutral aerial's graphical effects terminate earlier, closer to when the move stops hitting.
  • Change Zelda's Transform graphical effects adjusted to better match their timing.
  • Change Light Arrow uses a new Light element.


  • Buff Up tilt knockback increased very slightly.
  • Buff Up smash's lifting hitboxes fine tuned to not throw certain characters out of the move after several connected hits. The move also has another linking hit, dealing 1% more damage.
  • Buff Lightning Kicks' flub damage increased slightly to be closer to Melee's, along with adjusted knockback to compensate for this. Critical sweetspots were slightly increased in size to offer more consistency, while still being tiny (2/3 the size of Rest). Non-critical electric hits have increased damage/knockback, closer to their Melee iterations.
  • Buff Critical sweetspot of back aerial has slightly more base knockback. Non-critical forward aerial's hitboxes have slightly lower launch angle, similar to the critical hit, but not quite as potent.
  • Buff Up aerial's sweetspot size minutely increased, while the weak electric hit was slightly improved, and graphical effects/sound effects were edited for more accuracy.
  • Buff Down aerial has somewhat increased shield damage and a bigger sweetspot, and more knockback growth against grounded targets. Sourspot damage was also increased slightly.
  • Buff Forward and down throws' damage increased slightly.
  • Buff Din's Fire's flashing graphics loop one more time than previously. Minimum time to set is slowed down, and set animation has its lag increased to deter walling. The explosions are significantly larger and deadlier.
  • Nerf Up smash's IASA frames are no longer increased from those of Melee, but equal to them.
  • Change Neutral attack's launching hitbox has a higher angle, along with slightly higher base knockback and less knockback growth.
  • Change Neutral aerial inflicts a consistent damage output depending on number of hits rather than their placement.
  • Change Graphical effects on grabs adjusted.
  • Change Din's Fire's set fireballs have smaller hitboxes, but these activate sooner after setting the projectile.
  • Change Transform's startup is faster, and its intangibility was adjusted slightly, but its interruptibility also occurs slower.


  • Buff Nayru's Love's final grounded hit has normalized SDI modifiers.
  • Buff Up taunt's hitboxes pull enemies in further towards Zelda.
  • Nerf Forward tilt's sweetspots have less knockback growth.
  • Nerf Forward air's critical sweetspot has slightly less knockback growth.
  • Nerf Back air's critical sweetspot has slightly less base knockback.
  • Nerf Nayru's Love's aerial land cancel has slightly more lag.
  • Nerf Din's Fire static hitboxes inflict less damage (6% as opposed to 8%).
  • Buff Transform now detonates all current fireballs on the screen.


  • Buff Up and down tilt deal more damage.
  • Buff Up smash endlag reduced by 1 to match Melee.
    • Nerf It deals less damage overall.
  • Nerf Both Lightning Kicks' critical sweetspots have been removed.
    • Buff Both their sweetspots deal more damage.
  • Buff Up aerial deals more knockback.
  • Nerf Standing and turn grabs have shorter duration.
  • Nerf Pummel's damage has gone from 4% to 3%.
    • Buff However, it is slightly faster.
  • Nerf All throws cause less damage.
  • Nerf No longer invincible when using Nayru's Love in the air.
  • Change Din's Fire functionality changed from 3 fireballs that explode after a time to 1 fireball that returns after explosion.
    • Change The fireball now decreases in speed as it increases in size, rather than the other way around. This property is maintained as it returns to Zelda.
    • Buff New function implemented. Pressing the side special button while a fireball is set stationary will allow it to return to Zelda. The time it takes for the fire to return and the amount of damage depends on how far Zelda launched it; if no action is taken after it is set, the fire will automatically return to her itself later.
    • Buff The minimum time it takes to place a fireball has been decreased.
    • Nerf The number of fireballs that can be on the screen at one time has been reduced from 3 to 1, and the total distance they can reach has been decreased


Up to date as of version 3.6.

Name Damage Description
Neutral attack 2% (hits 1-2), 3% (hit 3) Zelda sticks her hand out in front of herself and shoots small magical sparks. Disjointed with decent range.
Forward tilt 14% (tip), 13% (hand), 9% (body) Zelda swipes her arm horizontally in front of herself with a boost of magic power. The attack has moderate knockback and sends enemies behind Zelda. Can be angled.
Up tilt 15% (clean), 13% (late) Zelda waves her arm above her head in an arc with a boost of magic power. Zelda's right arm is intangible while the hitboxes are out.
Down tilt 10% (leg), 11% (body) Zelda crouches and kicks her foot in front of her, hitting opponents low. This attack can meteor smash opponents who come in contact with Zelda's body and grounded opponents who come in contact with her foot.
Dash attack 13% (clean sweetspot), 9% (clean sourspot), 8% (late sweetspot), 7% (late sourspot) Zelda shoves her arms in front of her and pushes foes in front of her away with a boost of magic power. Sweetspot is located close to her body.
Forward smash 1% (hits 1-4), 13% (hit 5) Zelda charges magic energy in her right hand and flashes it in front of her, hitting opponents multiple times before knocking them away. Quick, with large range. However it can be escaped from with good SDI.
Up smash 1% (hits 1-11), 4% (hit 12) Zelda charges magic energy in her left hand and waves it above her head twice, hitting opponents multiple times before knocking them away. This move is powerful, but can be SDI'd out of.
Down smash 12% (front), 13% (back) Zelda quickly kicks on both sides of herself, knocking opponents away. This attack comes out very quickly and powerfully knocks enemies away horizontally. Zelda's leg is intangible while performing the move, making it a useful move for stopping projectiles.
Neutral aerial 2% (hits 1-5), 5% (hit 6), 3% (landing) Zelda waves her arms around her, hitting opponents multiple times around her before knocking them away.
Forward aerial Lightning Kick 19% (foot clean), 16% (foot late), 8% (body) Zelda quickly kicks in front of her, dealing great damage and knockback if the opponent is hit at the beginning of the move and just the tip of her boot strikes the opponent. Otherwise, it's extremely weak and doesn't KO until over 300% at the sourspot.
Back aerial Lightning Kick 18% (foot clean), 15% (foot late), 8% (body) Zelda quickly kicks behind herself, dealing great damage and knockback if the opponent is hit at the beginning of the move and just the tip of her boot strikes the opponent. Is slightly faster than her forward air but deals less damage at both the sweetspot and sourspot.
Up aerial 5% (hit 1), 17% (explosion center), 14% (explosion sides) Zelda brings her arm above her head and releases a fiery explosion above her head, dealing great knockback. Has a hitbox at startup that sends the enemy upward into the explosion afterward.
Down aerial 18% (clean ground), 20% (clean air), 8% (late foot), 9% (late leg) Zelda stomps her foot below herself. Like her forward & back aerials, if this hits within the first couple of frames with the foot, it causes a pause in the opponent's movement, then deals high damage and meteor smashes the opponent straight downwards very fast. If the opponent is grounded, it does slightly less damage and causes the enemy to bounce off the ground and into the air.
Pummel 3% Discharges magic into the enemy. A very slow pummel.
Forward throw 10% Magically twirls her opponent and throws them forward.
Back throw 11% Magically twirls her opponent behind herself and tosses them. Strongest knockback out of all her throws.
Up throw 8% Magically twirls her opponent above her head, then releases them upward.
Down throw 3% (hits 1-4), 2% (throw) Throws the opponent on the ground and shocks them repeatedly with magical bursts. The enemy will be launches upwards behind Zelda. While it is easily DI'd away to prevent any follow-ups, it has very good follow-ups if the opponent DIs wrong. At the edge of the stage, she can set up an early edgeguard.
Floor attack (front) 6% (hit 1), 8% (hit 2 leg), 6% (hit 2 body) Zelda kicks in front and then behind her.
Floor attack (back) 6% Zelda kicks in front and then behind her.
Floor attack (trip) 5% Essentially the same as her other two floor attacks.
Edge attack (fast) 7% Zelda climbs up and swings her legs in a circular motion, while pulling herself up.
Edge attack (slow) 8% (arm), 11% (tip) Zelda raises up slowly, and after a short pause, smacks the enemy with the back of her hand.
Neutral special Nayru's Love 1-2% (hits 1-5), 4% (hit 6 ground), 3% (hit 6 air) Creates a crystal that slashes enemies and reflects projectiles. Has a few frames of invincibility near the beginning of the move when used on the ground.
Side special Din's Fire 7-12% (fireball), 6-13% (set explosion), 10-25% (auto explosion), 4-9% (return) Casts a fireball that explodes in a few seconds. The longer the hitbox is out, the bigger the ending explosion will be. The fireball slows down the longer the the button is held.
Up special Farore's Wind 4% (warp & return) Teleports in a given direction, dealing damage at both ends
Down special Transform Transforms into Sheik, detonating any undetonated fireballs.
Final Smash Light Arrow 3% (trapping), 40% (Light Arrow 1st opponent), 30% (2nd opponent), 22% (3rd opponent) Draws a large bow and sets an arrow. During this time, any characters in her line of sight will flinch. A second later, the Light Arrow is released, dealing significant damage and likely KO'ing the struck characters. Goes through walls.

In competitive play[edit]

Notable players[edit]


Alternate costumes[edit]

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.

Zelda's alternate costumes in PM
ZeldaHeadSSBB.png ZeldaHeadRedSSBB.png ZeldaHeadBlueSSBB.png ZeldaHeadPinkSSBB.png ZeldaHeadGreenSSBB.png ZeldaHeadBlackSSBB.png ZeldaHeadOoTPM.png


  • Two players can use the same costume for Zelda (and Sheik) as long as one chooses Zelda and the other chooses Sheik with the corresponding palette swap (i.e. default costumes or team colors). This is likely an oversight as a result of being able to choose Zelda and Sheik separately. Upon exiting the results screen and going back to the character select screen, one of the character portraits will use a different alternate costume instead.


  1. http://soulcalibur.wikia.com/wiki/Viola

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