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Super Smash Bros. Brawl (often abbreviated as SSBB or Brawl) is a fighting game for the Nintendo Wii. It is the third entry in the Super Smash Bros. series, following Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64 and Super Smash Bros. Melee on the Nintendo GameCube. It was released on January 31, 2008 in Japan, on March 9, 2008 in North America, and on June 27, 2008 in Europe.
The Subspace Emissary is the storyline of Super Smash Bros. Brawl. In it, all of the Nintendo characters live in a single world, which is one day attacked by an army of robots (known as R.O.B.s) and shadow creatures from an alternate dimension known as Subspace. Another aspect of this world is that when a character "dies," they are transformed into a trophy until someone else touches the base of the trophy to revive them.
Note: The player has the ability to reverse the roles of Princess Zelda and Princess Peach within the story, although this has little effect on the overall course of events. This summary follows only the stories of Link, Zelda and Ganondorf.
The story begins with Princess Zelda and Princess Peach watching a battle between Mario and Kirby in a large arena. However, the stadium is invaded by the Subspace army, and Zelda and Peach are trapped in cages by Petey Piranha. Kirby survives the attack, defeats Petey, and manages to save Zelda/Peach by flying away with her before being forced to crash land. The other princess is turned into a trophy and captured by Wario.
Meanwhile, Link has claimed the Master Sword from a pedestal in a forest, when he and Yoshi are attacked by the Subspace Army. They follow the army's ship, the Halberd, to a nearby lake. At the lake, Kirby and Zelda/Peach are attacked by the villain Bowser, who turns the princess into a trophy while creating an evil clone of her using Subspace matter. The clone then battles the nearby heroes Mario and Pit/Link and Yoshi while Bowser absconds with Zelda/Peach's trophy. Link and Yoshi/Mario and Pit arrive just in time to see Mario and Pit/Link and Yoshi dispatch the Zelda/Peach clone, and proceed to attack the duo, mistaking the clone for the real Zelda/Peach. Link and Yoshi/Mario and Pit are defeated and turned into trophies, but when King Dedede appears with Peach/Zelda's trophy, the heroes form an alliance and chase after him. Before they are able to rescue her, however, Bowser defeats King Dedede and takes Peach/Zelda to the Halberd.
At this point, Ganondorf enters the story, as it is revealed that he was commanding Bowser and the Subspace Army. He, in turn, is working for the primary villain of the Super Smash Bros. series, a giant disembodied hand known as Master Hand. Soon after, Meta Knight, Lucario, and Solid Snake board the Halberd, freeing both Peach and Zelda from their prisons. Zelda then transforms into Sheik to hide from Snake and help Peach reach the deck of the Halberd, while Lucario and Snake follow Meta Knight to the bridge, defeating w:c:super-smash-bros:Duon in the process. After Meta Knight reclaims the Halberd from the Subspace Army, they use the ship to gather the remaining heroes, including Link, and head into the Subspace dimension. During the assault on the Subspace Gunship, the Halberd was destroyed, but Link and Zelda managed to get to Subspace via the Falcon Flyer.
Upon their arrival, Ganondorf betrays Bowser, turning him into a trophy. He then summons Master Hand, possibly intending to betray it as well, but it is revealed that Master Hand is itself being controlled by a mysterious and powerful entity known as Tabuu. Tabuu uses his power (Off Waves) to turn every single character into a trophy. However, King Dedede had placed timed restoration devices on Luigi and Ness previously, which conveniently revive them after Tabuu departs. Kirby, who had swallowed a restoration device, is also restored, and the three proceed through Subspace, restoring other characters along the way. If both Link and Zelda are revived, they will restore Ganondorf, who aids the rest of the characters in a final battle against Tabuu. The heroes are victorious, both defeating the evil Tabuu and saving their world from Subspace.
Playable characters from the Legend of Zelda series include Link, Zelda, Ganondorf, Sheik, and the cel-shaded form of Link from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, named "Toon Link." Link, Zelda, and Sheik are starter characters, while players have to unlock Ganondorf and Toon Link to be able to play as them. Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf, whose physical appearances in Super Smash Bros. Melee were based on their designs from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, appear in this game in subtle variations of their designs from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
There are two non-playable characters featured in the game as well as the ones mentioned above. One of them is Tingle, who appears as an Assist Trophy, an item that summons a character to aid the user in battle. The other one is King Bulblin, who charges across the Bridge of Eldin stage atop his mount Lord Bullbo, sometimes dropping a large bomb that destroys the middle of the bridge for a period of time.
Ganondorf's appearance has been updated to resemble his depiction in Twilight Princess, although he features a slightly brighter color scheme and lacks his chest wound. He is a much slower and more powerful "clone" of Captain Falcon, with the exception of his Side Special move and a few of his regular A-button attacks. He uses a variety of powerful punch and kicking moves that do not originate from the Zelda series.
Link's appearance is based on his Twilight Princess iteration, and his moveset (while extremely similar to his moveset in Melee) includes the Clawshot and Gale Boomerang in lieu of the Longshot and Boomerang. Additionally, his bombs and bow are similar in design to those from Twilight Princess. Link also uses skills like the Jump Thrust, Downthrust, and the Spin Attack. One of Link's palette swaps resembles the Dark Links seen in a flashback sequence in Twilight Princess.
Zelda's appearance has been updated to correspond to her depiction in Twilight Princess. She again has the ability to transform into Sheik, whose moveset is the same as in Melee. Zelda retains many of her attacks from Melee as well, including the three spells of Ocarina of Time: Din's Fire, Farore's Wind, and Nayru's Love. A palette swap for Zelda's costume features a pink dress and blonde hair, similar to her appearance in Melee, which was in turn based on her Ocarina of Time iteration.
Despite Sheik not appearing in Twilight Princess, she nonetheless returns for Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Her appearance is based on early development concept art for Twilight Princess. With the exception of her Final Smash, her moveset remains unchanged from Melee, retaining the needle and chain attacks not featured in any game in the Zelda series. Her Up Special makes her vanish in a cloud of smoke, resembling her departures after teaching Link songs in Ocarina of Time. Sheik's Final Smash is the same as Zelda's, the Light Arrow.
Toon Link's appearance is based on the Link from The Wind Waker, but due to Brawl's lack of cel-shading graphics, the detail in his clothing and hair is considerably deeper. The design for many of Toon Link's weapons reflects their depictions in The Wind Waker as well. His moveset is much the same as Link's, featuring similar attacks, but faster and with less reach. His palette swaps include red, blue, and violet tunics, possibly representing the other three Links from the Four Swords games. Additionally, a Dark Link skin and a color scheme based on Link's earliest NES appearances (brown hair, sleeves, and leggings) are also selectable.
In Ganondorf's Final Smash, Beast Ganon, he temporarily transforms him into his boar-like Dark Beast Ganon form from Twilight Princess, temporarily immobilizing any characters in his immediate vicinity, and dashes across the screen. Any characters in the outer reaches of the attack's range will not be frozen but can still be knocked back and receive damage if they are unable to use the mid-air jump or dodge the oncoming attack. Any characters he comes into contact with suffer extreme damage and knockback, making this one of the most powerful Final Smashes in the game if it connects. At the end of this sequence, Ganondorf will warp back to where he was when he began the attack.
Link & Toon Link
Link and Toon Link's Final Smash is the Triforce Slash. Link and Toon Link project a beam of light from the Triforce marking on his hand (making it necessary for the opponent to be in front of Link, and not blocked by any obstacles), trapping his opponent inside a shimmering apparition of the Triforce. He then delivers a barrage of blows before shattering the Triforce with a final, powerful slash. Toon Link does the same, but with a more cartoon-like art style. Also, Toon Link's beam does not span as far as Link's.
Princess Zelda & Sheik
Zelda and Sheik's Final Smash is the Light Arrow. Zelda summons a large bow and shoots an oversized Light Arrow straight through the battlefield, damaging and knocking back anyone caught in its line of fire. Certain aspects of Sheik's Light Arrow differ from Zelda's, such as the direction in which struck players are launched. The bow used in this attack resembles that which Zelda uses to fire Light Arrows at Ganondorf in Twilight Princess.
The Bridge of Eldin makes an appearance in the game. The stage is entirely flat, although King Bulblin occasionally appears atop Lord Bullbo and drops a bomb which destroys the middle section of the bridge. This mirrors the theft of the bridge's midsection via a Twilight Portal in Twilight Princess. After a short while, the bridge will be restored. Additionally, a Bulblin is sometimes seen running behind King Bulblin, and is consequently blasted off-screen by the bomb, unless it is delayed by an attack. Interestingly, the bomb used greatly resembles the Powder Keg from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.
Another stage is the Pirate Ship, which is based on Tetra's ship in The Wind Waker. As it sails the Great Sea, it will occasionally run aground on an island, encounter the King of Red Lions, be swept into the sky by an updraft, come under fire from Lookout Platforms, or even launch a character off its deck with a built-in catapult.
Additionally, the Hyrule: Temple stage from Melee returns virtually unchanged.
Items and Assist Trophies
Several items from the Legend of Zelda series are featured in Brawl, ranging from basic items to Assist Trophies, which are trophy stands capable of summoning allies onto the field.
The Heart Container is a support item which, when grabbed, will reduce the user's damage percentage by 100 points. During All-Star mode, however, it will zero the user's damage percentage. It appears in its crystalline form from Twilight Princess.
The Bunny Hood is a support item which allows the wearer to gain increased agility, making him/her run faster and jump higher. It may be removed only if the wearer dies or if it is knocked off by a powerful attack. The Bunny Hood appears in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, although its abilities in Brawl exist only in the latter.
The Deku Nut is an explosive item which the user may throw at an opponent to both injure and stun them in a flash of light. The Deku Nut may also be activated if it is attacked, and the blast radius may injure the user if he or she is too close to it when it explodes.
Tingle is the only assist trophy from the Legend of Zelda series featured in Brawl. He appears in his cel-shaded form from The Wind Waker, and summons several items before disappearing. These items vary from powerful hammers, to slippery banana peels, to useless balloons. Tingle also sometimes produces flowers, which causes the camera to zoom in on the character who summoned him.
Event Match mode consists of 41 battles, most themed around Nintendo aspects or characters. Many events force the player to be a preselected character, but some allow the player to select which character they wish to control. Below are the event matches which feature Zelda characters or locations.
Event 18, "Dark Link Duel", involves Link fighting Dark Link in Stamina Mode, on the Bridge of Eldin stage.
Event 33, "Advent of the Evil King", involves Ganondorf fighting Link, Zelda and Pit on the Hyrule: Temple stage.
Co-op Event 7, "Battle of the Dark Sides", involves both Link and Samus fighting their dark counterparts in Stamina Mode on the Bridge of Eldin stage.
Ganondorf, Link, Princess Zelda, Sheik, and Toon Link also appear as enemies in Events 2, 10, 25, 34, 35, and 40.
Various songs from the Legend of Zelda series are featured in Brawl. Some tracks are original versions straight from their respective games, while others have been re-arranged just for Brawl. Additionally, based on a file name found on the Brawl game disc, it appears that the "Ballad of the Wind Fish" from The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening was at one point included in the game, although it was removed from the final product for unknown reasons.
- "Dragon Roost Island"
- "Great Sea"
- "Gerudo Valley"
- "Molgera Battle"
- "Village of the Blue Maiden"
- "Termina Field"
- "Main Theme" (Twilight Princess)
- "The Hidden Village"
- "Midna's Lament"
- "Temple" (Melee)
- "Tal Tal Heights"
- "Song of Storms"
- "Main Theme" (The Legend of Zelda)
- "Ocarina of Time Medley"
- "Title" (The Legend of Zelda)
- "The Dark World"
- "Hidden Mountain & Forest"
- "Hyrule Field Theme"
- "Great Temple / Temple"
Additionally, whenever a Zelda character wins a multiplayer match, a victory fanfare plays. This is a remixed version of the fanfare that plays when Link acquires a piece of the Triforce in The Legend of Zelda.