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Super Smash Bros. Melee is a fighting game for the Nintendo GameCube. It is the second game in the Super Smash Bros. series, a fighting game series focused on major Nintendo characters fighting one another. It is the sequel to Super Smash Bros., released for the Nintendo 64 in 1999, and was succeeded by Super Smash Bros. Brawl, released for the Nintendo Wii in 2008. It was released on November 21, 2001 in Japan, on December 2, 2001 in North America, and on May 24, 2002 in Europe. It was a launch title for the GameCube in North America and Europe. HAL Laboratory developed the game, with Masahiro Sakurai as head of production.
Playable characters from the Legend of Zelda series include Link, Zelda, Ganondorf, Sheik, and Young Link. Link, Zelda, and Sheik are starter characters, while players have to unlock Ganondorf and Young Link to be able to play as them.
Ganondorf makes his debut in the fighting series in this game. He fights using powerful punches and kicks embedded with dark magic. He is shown using a sword in one of his victory poses but does not use one in battle. He can be unlocked by either playing 600 vs mode matches or clearing Event 29: Triforce Gathering.
Link returns as a playable from the original game, Super Smash Bros. Like in the first game, he uses the Master Sword in battle along with a Boomerang and a set of Bombs. He also now uses the Fairy Bow and can now use his Longshot in mid-air. Like in the first game he can use techniques like the Spin Attack, Jump Thrust and Downthrust.
Zelda can also transform into Sheik. Sheik fights using a chain and needles, neither of which are featured in any canon Zelda games.
The player can also unlock Young Link (Link as portrayed in the beginning of Ocarina of Time and throughout Majora's Mask) who fights almost identically to Link, only he is slightly faster, has shorter reach, and uses Fire Arrows, as well as the Hookshot. He can be unlocked by beating Classic or Adventure mode with 10 characters (two of which must be Zelda series characters, i.e. Zelda, Link, or Ganondorf) or by playing 500 VS. Mode matches.
The game has two The Legend of Zelda-related stages to fight on. The first is Termina: Great Bay from Majora's Mask, with cameo appearances from Tingle, the Moon and the Four Giants. The other stage is Hyrule: Temple, a stage seemingly based on the various temples and dungeons in the Zelda games, but directly based off of the Great Palace from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. The series' main theme is heard when in the Great Bay Termina stage, as is a reinstrumentalized "Saria's Song", if the L or R buttons are held down by all human players while selecting the stage. Hyrule Temple's music is the Palace music from The Adventure of Link. When playing in Adventure Mode, there is also a dungeon-like Zelda stage named the Underground Maze, where the player needs to find the Triforce within a time limit. In Event Match Mode, Majora's Mask is a playable stage. The stage can not be played outside of Event Match.
In Adventure Mode, players can transverse twelve stages, the first ten of which are based on Nintendo games. Stage Three is based on The Legend of Zelda series and consists of two parts. The first features the player wandering through the Underground Maze stage searching for the Triforce. The Triforce will be located on one of the six pedestals, while the other five contain the Master Sword, which engages a battle with Link if approached. The second section of the stage is a straightforward battle with Zelda on the Hyrule Temple Stage.
In All Star Mode, players must battle every playable character in the game. The player must fight four characters in straight-forward battles, then four battles against two opponents at once, then four battles against three opponents at once, and finally a battle against 25 Mr. Game and Watches. Every character has a stage associated with them in this mode. Link's stage is Great Bay, Zelda's stage is Hyrule Temple, Ganondorf's stage is Brinstar Depths and Young Link's stage is Jungle Japes. In-between battles, players have the option to heal their characters using Heart Containers; however, this can only be done three times.
Event Match Mode consists of 51 battles, most themed around Nintendo aspects or characters. Most events allow the player to select their character but some events make the player use a certain character.
Event 9: Hide 'n' Sheik, involves the player fighting two Zeldas on the Great Bay Stage. However, the score is only calculated when KO'ing Zelda while she is transformed into Sheik.
Event 18: Link's Adventure, involves the player fighting Dark Link as Link. The battle is supposedly meant to mirror the final battle from Zelda II. The event's title nearly identical and is played on the Hyrule Temple Stage which is heavily based of the temples from Zelda II. Link also wears a red tunic meant to represent the Shield Spell which is usually used when fighting Dark Link in Zelda II.
Event 29: Triforce Gathering, involves the player fighting Ganondorf as Link with the help of Zelda. Both Link and Zelda have one stock while Ganondorf has two. If either Link or Zelda are defeated at any point during the battle the event is failed. If the player manages to successfully complete the event they will fight Ganondorf a third time for a chance to unlock him provided they have not done so already.
Event 34: Seven Years, involves the player fighting Link as Young Link on the Termina Great Bay Stage. The Event is a reference to the seven years that pass in Ocarina of Time and Link's transition from childhood to adulthood.
Event 47: Trophy Tussle 3 features Majora's Mask as a stage. Completing the event rewards the player with a trophy depicting Majora's Mask.
Various music tracks from the Legend of Zelda series are used in Melee. They are
- Great Bay: Despite its name, this track is actually the "The Legend of Zelda Theme". It is played on the Termina: Great Bay stage.
- Temple: A remix of dungeon music heard in Zelda II for the NES. It is heard as the primary track of Hyrule: Temple, and also in the Underground Maze area of the Adventure mode.
- Saria's Theme: A simple flute-based remix of "Saria's Song" from Ocarina of Time. It is an alternate sound track for the Termina: Great Bay stage and is played when fighting Young Link in All Star Mode
- Zelda Team Victory: This track plays whenever Link, Zelda, Sheik, Young Link or Ganondorf win a match. It is a short remix of part of the "The Legend of Zelda Theme".
The game also has "trophies", 3D models of various Nintendo characters and items with a small description that can be unlocked as interesting bonuses.
Playable Character Trophies
- Link (Smash Red)
- Link (Smash Blue)
- Zelda (Smash Red)
- Zelda (Smash Blue)
- Sheik (Smash Red)
- Sheik (Smash Blue)
- Ganondorf (Smash Red)
- Ganondorf (Smash Blue)
- Young Link
- Young Link (Smash Red)
- Young Link (Smash Blue)