Super Smash Bros. Melee/Link
- 1 Introduction
- 2 "A" Moves Analysis
- 3 "B" Moves List
- 4 Combos
- 5 Frame Data
- 6 Strategies
- 7 Match-ups
Hailing from the very popular Legend of Zelda series, Link is a low tier character that is very popular among newer players of the game, and non-tournament players. While low tier, Link can be used very well in tournaments, providing a threat to the top tier players
Link is ranked 16th in the tier list, in the E tier, and just one place above his clone. Link's placement is due to a very good approach due to some low lag aerials (with his neutral and forward air), a good variety of projectiles and a very high air speed. A disjointed hitbox also gives Link a slight advantage against others, as well as a fully functional shield that can block a wide variety of projectiles. Link also has a decent grab game, with a long range and decent combo potential in his up and down throws. Link is also a potent edgeguarder in the NTSC versions of the game; his Spin Attack is possibly the best semi-spike in the game, though he still has many other options. Link, however, suffers from a rather high falling speed and a high weight, making him an easy target for chain grabbing and combos. His recovery is also predictable, though he can extend it slightly. Additionally, his grab game is hampered by a high lag grab animation when he misses.
"A" Moves Analysis
- Neutral attack- His combo from SSB, three quick swipes followed by a sudden flurry of even faster sword stabs. First hit does 4-5%, second 2-3%, then 6%, followed by 1% per strike.
- Dash attack- Brings sword down in front of him. Somewhat fast. At higher damages it'll knock a grounded foe into the air, often leading into an aerial follow up, though it doesn't have much KO power. 12% damage
- Down tilt- Swipes down in front of him. As with his dash attack, this often directly leads into an aerial combo, though the move itself is pretty predictable. This move can also strongly meteor smash a ledge-grabbing foe when Link's sword (except for the outermost hitbox) makes contact with the hanging foe, although it is very hard to manage. 11% damage.
- Forward tilt- raises sword and brings it down in front of him. Has an upwards hitbox, which can substitute for other anti-air moves in a few cases, and has above-average knockback. 13-15% damage.
- Up tilt- A quick arced slash above him. Very useful for many reasons; it sets up for aerial combos, pretty fast, high knockback, overall good startup and ending lag. 9% damage
- Up smash- Slashes in an arch very similar to his up tilt three consecutive times. This attack was taken from SSB, but with changes to the hitbox. All hits now have a noticeable arch above him with good range, instead of just the first hit being an arch and two smaller stabs upwards as in SSB. Good for racking up damage and setting up for air combos due to below average knockback for an up smash. Up to three separate hits, uncharged inflicts 15%. Fully charged will do 20%.
- Forward smash- Swings sword once in front for good knockback by itself, and if "A" is pressed again, does an even stronger one after. It is impossible that the second hit will land at damages above 30% or so due to knockback growth of the first hit. The first hit is still strong, though, not as much as the second one. Link players should practice timing the move so they purposely miss the first strike and end up hitting the foe with the stronger second strike. 7-32% uncharged, 10-37% fully.
- Down smash- Swings sword on both sides of him on the ground. First hit comes out fast, though second hit has some lag. This move has decent range, and since the hitbox is on the floor, it makes this move good for spacing, and has some KO power. It can be unreliable however. 13-16% front, 11-14% back uncharged; 17-21% front, 15-19% back fully charged.
- Ledge attack- Climbs up and stabs in front of him. 8% damage.
- 100% ledge attack- slowly gets up and quickly thrusts his sword. Only the sword has a hitbox; foes close to the end of ledge Link was on can avoid the attack completely. 8% damage.
- Floor attack- Quickly gets up and slashes on both sides. 6% damage.
- Neutral aerial- A generic sex kick. 11% max, 5% minimum
- Back aerial- Two short-ranged kicks to his back. Second hit can sometimes be hard to land. This move, unlike most back aerials, isn't always considered Link's best viable choice for edgeguarding due to awkward hitboxes and duration. First hit 7%, next 6%.
- Forward aerial- Swings twice in front of him. The first hit is usually hard to follow into the second hit. This is somewhat like his f-smash, where the second hit has more power than the first, so the first hit is usually purposely missed in favor for the second. Has some ending lag, should be very carefully used due to Link's bad recovery. 13% for the first, 7% on the second.
- Down aerial- His famous aerial from Zelda II where he takes his sword and keeps it aimed downward, falling fast while doing so. This move is a move of extremes: huge knockback, huge ending lag, huge priority, and huge hitbox. It is possible to hit more than once with this move on the same foe. If the move's still in action when Link lands, he'll have to pull it out from the ground, with ending lag, and it is recommend to L-cancel it in such cases. It is one of his primary KO moves, dealing 22% at outset.
- Up aerial- Stabs sword above him. Good for juggling or Star KO-ing at higher damages ~120%. Has some sex kick properties. 16% damage, 12% afterwards.
- Pummel- Bashes foe in the head with his sword hand (left fist). 2-3% damage.
- Forward throw- Kicks foe a short distance in front of him. Pretty weak knockback. One apparent kick, but two mysterious hitboxes. 4% first hitbox, 3% second
- Up throw- Brings foe up and slashes above. Two mysterious hitboxes, 3% first, 2% second
- Down throw- Brings foe down and tackles. Leaves foes wide open for a combo, such as a forward Tilt, up tilt, or even a quick smash attack. Two hits, first does 2%, then 4%
- Back throw- Brings foe behind and kicks in a similar fashion to his forward throw. 2% then 3%
"B" Moves List
- Up B - Link does a spinning attack, where his sword takes up a huge area around him
- Forward/Back B - Link tosses his boomerang in the direction selected
- Down B - Link pulls a bomb out of his backpack
- Neutral B - Link shoots an arrow out of his bow, B can be held to charge the shot, making it head in a much straighter angle
- Up B
- This move has a great amount of knock back
- If you are shielding an attack, you can preform an Up B right out of the shield to punish
- If a recovering opponent hits the bottom or tip of the Up B, they will be knocked back farther, and sent downward, most of this time they will not be able to recover from this, especially if after you edgehog (grab onto the edge of the map so your opponent cannot)
- When using this move to recover, it does not matter what direction you are looking, you will grab the edge if you sweet spot
- If missed, you will create a huge amount of lag that will be easily punished
- If your opponent shields once at any time against any hit in the attack, it will no longer damage them for the rest of the attack
- Best used when comboed into, to punish, from shield or to finish a recovering opponent
- Forward/Backward B
- The boomerang will almost always return, use this to your advantage
- The move has a bit of a wind up time before Link throws his boomerang, during this time you can press a direction such as up or down to angle your boomerang in a significantly different angle
- A very spammable move, use it to tack on damage, stun your opponent or force them to dodge
- Down B
- After a bomb is in your hands you can toss it by pressing A and a direction. To give the bomb length press the direction you'd like to throw the bomb in and A at the same time. To drop the bomb in air, press Z without moving
- If an opponent shield a boomerang, or is hit by one, you normally have enough time to pull a bomb
- Bombs can be used to Bomb Tech for extra recovery, more on that later
- Neutral B
- Not a very useful move, only for hampering the recovery of an opponent, and then only at the tap of the B button, nothing more
Note: A Fast Faller would be Fox, Falco, Captain Falcon, Ganondorf
While there are barely any guaranteed combos in Melee, some of the biggest ones belongs to Link. Link is very grab oriented for his combos, they perfectly set him up for high damage, high knock back attacks. Still, some characters recover very quickly from the throw part of the combos (Marth, Samus, others), use caution against them as they can counter with their own air attacks
Bold means required, Italic means optional
- Grab -> A (while opponent is grabbed) -> Down Throw -> Up B
- Grab -> A (while opponent is grabbed) -> Down Throw (on lower percent opponents) -> Down Smash -> Down Air(Recommended)/Neutral Air(Recommended)/Back Air/Up Air/Forward Air(Recommended)
- Grab -> A (while opponent is grabbed) -> Down Throw (on lighter characters)/Up Throw (on Fast Fallers) -> Up Tilt (slightly tilt the analog stick up without jumping and hit A) -> Down Air(Recommended)/Neutral Air(Recommended)/Back Air/Up Air/Forward Air(Recommended)
Link is also able to combo well with his Neutral Air and Back Air SHFFL. The Neutral Air SHFFL will knock characters back past the point of comboing at higher percents. His Up Tilt can juggle Fast Fallers very well. Once your opponent is at a high percent, Dash Attack is a great combo extender
Link is a very well rounded character for how low he is on the tier list. Many of his attacks are highly useful, he has a great air game, he can be constantly attacking his enemy from all over the screen with his items, does good damage once you get your combos in, yet he doesn't have that edge to him that the top tier characters have, like not having an easy to hit spike and not having too much priority. To do really well with him, you'll have to use your mindgames and technical skills to your fullest ability, and that means learning all that Link can do, which means learning Linkology
Since The Germ really only shows you the moves, I'll tell you how to do them and where they appear in the video, and how to use them
- Chapter 0: Pre-Linkology
- Short Hop ~ Jumping by pressing X or Y is nice, but it goes very high in the air. You can cut that down to about half by tapping X or Y very quickly. From this you open up fast air attacks
- Fast Fall ~ At the top of your jump hit down on your analog stick to fall much faster. Combine this with short hopping to hit crazy fast air attacks
- L/Lag cancel ~ When landing after doing an air attack, there is a lag animation. That animation can be incredibly shortened if you hit L, R or Z once you touch the ground after an air attack. This only works with A attacks. If you combine all three of these manuvers, you SHFFL
- SHFFL ~ Short Hop Fast Fall L cancel, combining all these techniques for insanely fast air attacks that are very possible of comboing a character, you can move in a direction while SHFFLing
- Teching ~ After being attacked, if you are going to slam into a wall or fall on the ground hit L or R to tech. Your character will flip himself back up to his feet and be ready to attack again
- Crouch Cancel ~ If hit with a move with high knock back while crouching, you will be knocked back significantly less
- Sweet Spot ~ Grabbing exactly the edge of the stage when recovering, to lessen your chances of being edge guarded against
- Edge Guard ~ Attacking a recovering opponent to stop his recover and make him fall off the stage
- Edge Hog ~ Grabbing onto the stage so when your opponent tries to grab on or sweet spot, they cannot (if they come to the edge with an Up B attack, hit L to roll, the game will believe you are still on the edge, you'll have to figure the timing for each character)
- Edge Recovery ~ When grabbing onto the edge you will notice you are blinking for a short time. This means you are invincible. You can use this to your advantage when getting back onto the stage. When you grab on, very quickly tap the analog stick away from the stage to let go, then jump and move toward the stage to recover. Combine with with an attack (Neutral Air is a good one for Link) and you can attack your opponent and stop them from knocking you off the edge again
Other terms and basic techniques can be learned here in All The Terms Thread of Smashboards.com
The video begins here
- Chapter 1: Linkology 101
- 0:15/Regular Wavedashing ~ Wavedashing is a way to make your character more mobile. By sliding across the ground, your character becomes much more mobile, able to quickly dodge attacks, close distance fast, or whatever you find it useful for. Jump/Short Hop with your character, then air dodge at an angle toward the stage, a bit back if you want to go backwards and vice versa, with the right timing you should slide across the floor
- 0:23/Perfect Wavedashing ~ This is just wavedashing, but tilting your analog stick at such an angle that you do the farthest possible wavedash
- 0:33/Shield Dashing ~ After and before a wavedash, hold L or R to instantly shield. Great for approaching or retreating from enemies safely
- 0:41/Reverse Grabbing ~ As mentioned above in the combo section, do a Back Air then quickly turn and grab. Very practical for starting your grab combos, hard to dodge if the Back Air makes contact
- 0:59/Bomb Dashing ~ When you have a bomb, short hop and throw it, then you should have enough time to air dodge like you would to wavedash. Makes bombing more mobile and lets you avoid some attacks or gain more ground while doing it
- Chapter 2: Advanced Linkology
- 1:15/Bomb Drop Catching ~ Mostly for psyching out an opponent, pull out a bomb, short hop, press Z without moving to drop the bomb, fast fall, when you land press A to grab the bomb, and repeat
- 1:26/Platform Canceling ~ This will let any Air Attack almost instantly come out when standing on a platform. Press down on the analog stick to fall through the stage, then extremely quickly, do the air attack you'd like (works best with Nair)
- 1:32/Edge Sliding ~ Used for edge gaurding. Grab onto the edge, then press away from it on the analog stick, immediately followed by a jump, and move toward the stage. While still in the air, air dodge in a motion that is down and off the stage. If done correctly you will slide off and you can either attack, grab on again, or jump and repeat
- Chapter 3: The Art of the Bomb Tech
- 1:45/Bomb Tech ~ This is used to recover higher than Link normally should, and is very tricky to pull off. You'll want to have a bomb out and be touching the side of the stage. From there throw a bomb right into it, hurting yourself. The hardest part is then Teching (hitting L or R right after being hit and near a wall or the ground) off of the stage, giving Link an extra jump
- 2:22/Bomb Jump ~ Another more practical technique to recover farther than Link normally should. Have a bomb out and throw it upwards, then at the right time do an Up B, move a little foward, then backwards so the bomb hits Link in the head and explodes. From here you can do a jump (if you still have it), do another Up B or Hookshot Recover (if you still have it)
NOTE: Notice The Germ's percent when preforming this technique, real practical bomb jumping will not take you that high, but is still very useful
- Chapter 4: Dumb Link Sh**
- The only real useful things to know in this chapter is that on that exact part of Mute City and the UFO on Fourside, Link's wavedash is very long
The video ends here
- ExtraCurricular Activity ~ More Link Tricks
- Bomb Dropping ~ When you have a bomb and it is exactly level with a platform you can press Z to drop the bomb on it, and it will stay until time runs out and it explodes. You can always return and pick up your dropped bombs, or you can combo an opponent into them
- Rolling Bomb ~ An edge guard technique that will work against any character who tries to grab onto the stage using an Up B that does damage (such as Fox's Fire Fox), but will not work against some (such as C. Falcon's Up B). Grab onto the stage with a bomb in hand, then press away and jump onto the stage. When you reach the edge of the stage press Z without moving to drop the bomb. If done correctly, the bomb will stay on the edge and will explode on contact with certain characters, you can also always pick it up again
- Hookshot Recovery ~ When making your way back to the stage, you can press Z to have your hookshot shoot out and latch onto the stage. If it does you will hang from it until you press A, which will jump you up very high. You can also air dodge in any direction when recovering and then after the animation immediately press Z to hookshot. If you are too close to the stage, you will fail to shoot your hookshot and be unable to recover
Serious Advantage Match-ups
Yoshi, Bowser, Pichu
Samus, Ness, Roy, Mr. Game & Watch, Kirby, Pikachu, Zelda, Mewtwo
Luigi, Donkey Kong, Peach, Ice Climbers, Ganondorf
Falco, Mario, Marth, Captain Falcon, Jigglypuff, Dr. Mario, Young Link
Serious Disadvantage Match-ups
|General||Notation | Game Mechanics | Tiers | Strategy|
|The Characters||Bowser | Captain Falcon | Dr. Mario | Donkey Kong | Falco | Fox | Ganondorf | Ice Climbers | Jigglypuff | Kirby | Link | Luigi | Mario | Marth | Mewtwo | Mr. Game and Watch | Ness | Peach | Pichu | Pikachu | Roy | Samus | Sheik | Yoshi | Young Link | Zelda|