Zelda (ゼルダ, Zelda) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. She was confirmed as a playable character on June 12, 2018. Zelda is classified as fighter #17.
Zelda is voiced in-game by Ayumi Fujimura, who previously voiced the character in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. She speaks a single line in the Adventure Mode: World of Light opening, voiced by Fujimura in Japanese and dubbed in English by Brandy Kopp.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
Zelda must then be defeated on Temple for all three methods.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
In addition to a visual redesign (being based off her appearance in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and A Link Between Worlds), Zelda has been greatly buffed overall in the transition to Ultimate, having been ranked as a bottom tier character in Brawl and Smash 4, and considered unviable in all previous games. Her most noteworthy buffs come from the universal changes; despite still having below-average mobility relative to the rest of the cast, the universal 3-frame jumpsquats and reduced landing lag greatly supplement her neutral game, previously one of her main weaknesses, allowing her to approach more reliably with her powerful Lightning Kicks. These changes also improve her combo potential, giving her more consistent and durable followups from moves such as up tilt, neutral aerial, up throw, and down throw, which can dish out large amounts of damage.
Many of her moves have either reduced lag, better KO potential, or other improvements. Her neutral attack, previously the slowest in the game, comes out significantly faster, and has been reworked to possess an infinite portion with better damage racking ability and knockback. Back throw and up throw are much stronger, while down throw deals more damage, and back Lightning Kick has a larger sweetspot while the forward version becomes active as fast as the backward version, increasing their potency for followups and especially out of shield. This allows Zelda to secure KOs more easily, with the Lightning Kicks in particular possessing more reliable KO setups. Lastly, her special moves have seen various improvements. Nayru's Love has faster startup and longer intangibility, and preserves Zelda's momentum, strengthening its already remarkable defensive ability and allowing for edgeguarding applications. Din's Fire no longer causes helplessness, giving it utility as an anti-edgeguarding option. Farore's Wind has faster startup, making it a more effective out of shield option. It also has more precise angles for reappearance, allowing her to land its second hit even if the enemy DIs the first hit, making "elevator" combos much more consistent. Most importantly, however, Phantom Slash has been reworked to possess several more stages that can be unleashed faster, and the last stage allows Zelda to move around before it is unleashed, allowing for trap setups when edgeguarding and approaching, while the Phantom no longer has any cooldown if destroyed. Since the Phantom is formed behind Zelda, it is better used in her advantage state, though it is also a strong tool in neutral with sufficient spacing. With precise input, Zelda can also short hop behind the Phantom while charging it, allowing it to block incoming projectiles while charging.
However, Zelda has received some nerfs as well. Due to the changes to her neutral attack, is it no longer a nearly unpunishable option against shields, and none of her other attacks has had their ending lag reduced enough to compensate. Forward tilt has increased startup and decreased KO potential, reducing its utility, and neutral aerial notoriously fails to connect its hits reliably, due to no longer using the autolink angle nor set knockback, although the first hit can combo if SHFFld. Zelda's dash and pivot grabs, already below-average in speed, have received even more startup, although her pivot grab has the longest range for a non-tether grab. Both forward throw and Farore's Wind are weaker, most significantly the former, no longer setting up edgeguards as effectively. In addition to these nerfs, Zelda keeps some weaknesses from previous games that can be exploited despite the improvements she has received, mainly her slow movement speed, light weight, and extremely weak sourspots on her Lightning Kicks, which are otherwise her strongest KO moves.
Overall, Zelda's moveset has been considerably enhanced from previous installments, making her Ultimate iteration the strongest, although she still faces competition from several returning characters that have been likewise buffed. Her perception in the competitive metagame, while still relatively average, has been more positive than in Smash 4, with solid tournament representation and moderately good results both regionally and nationally from top players such as ven and Mystearica, and others such as ZeRo, Samsora, and VoiD considering her a mid tier character.
Throws and other attacks
Zelda has been barely affected by updates, having only Phantom Slash deal less shield damage, and some minor animation touch ups.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
Classic Mode: Wisdom Prevails
All of Zelda's battles are on The Legend of Zelda themed stages, and her opponents are all villains, with Wario being the sole exception since he's often viewed as an anti-hero.
Role in World of Light
Zelda was among the fighters that were summoned to fight the army of Master Hands.
During the opening cutscene, Zelda tried to rally the other fighters to fight the army of Master Hands by saying, "Stow your fear; it's now or never!", and was present when Galeem unleashed his beams of light. She and Mewtwo attempted to reflect the beams using Nayru's Love and Confusion, respectively, but this attempt failed, and both of them were vaporized and placed under Galeem's imprisonment along with the rest of the fighters (excluding Kirby).
Zelda was one of the many fighters that fell under Dharkon's control upon Galeem's first defeat. She is unlocked in the the Dark Realm at Sacred Land, on the bottom left corner of the land which makes up the Triforce of Wisdom. The player must defeat the Spirit of Impa (which is revealed by solving a clock-based puzzle) to clear a boulder that's blocking the path to her unlock battle and then the Spirit of Uxie, Mesprit & Azelf. Unlocking her reveals the Triforce of Wisdom in the center of the map. If Young Link is unlocked, the boulders leading to Cloud's unlock battle and the Master Sword clear out.
Zelda is later seen among several other fighters, making their last stand against Galeem and Dharkon. She is also seen in the bad ending where Galeem emerges victorious against Dharkon, witnessing Galeem engulf the world in light.
Zelda's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Zelda in World of Light allows the player to preview the first spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As a Fighter Spirit, it cannot be used in Spirit Battles and is purely aesthetic. Each Fighter Spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.
Additionally, different incarnations of Zelda make an appearance in various Primary and Support Spirits.
In Spirit Battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
As an ally
Character Showcase Video