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Marth (SSBM)

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This article is about Marth's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee. For the character in other contexts, see Marth; for information about Marth's clone, see Roy.
Marth
Marthmeleeclear
FireEmblemSymbol
Universe Fire Emblem
Debut Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light Flag of Japan
Also appears in Brawl
SSBWU/3DS
Availability Unlockable
Tier S (3)
Character Statistics
Number of Jumps 2
Can Wall Jump No
Voice Actor
Voiced by Hikaru Midorikawa

Marth (マルス, Marth) debuted in the first game of the Fire Emblem series, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragons and the Blade of Light (Ankoku Ryuu to Hikari no Tsurugi). Marth was placed in Super Smash Bros. Melee due to heavy requests from Japanese players; as his games had never been released outside of Japan prior to Melee, his character was among the most obscure in the game in other regions. His popularity as a character, alongside Roy, eventually caused Nintendo to begin releasing the Fire Emblem games internationally; the first internationally released game came two years after Melee.

Marth currently ranks 3rd place on the tier list, in the S tier. This is due to fast overall startup in his attacks, long and disjointed range, large amounts of extra power when attacks hit at the tip of his blade, very potent juggling and combo ability with one of the largest non-disjointed grab ranges, and a great edge-guarding ability. Marth is also blessed with a multitude of good movement options to approach and pressure with. He has a long dash dance and a long wavedash, both of which compliment his large reach. Marth also has many options to KO enemies and close combos, such as his down aerial (a very potent spike when sweetspotted, and the closer to the notorious Ken Combo) and forward smash. Compared to other top-tier characters, Marth's learning curve is not very high as he does not require an extensive amount of tech skill to be used effectively, making him easy to pick up and play. On the downside, his ability to punish approaches are somewhat limited in comparison to other top tier characters due to the lack of a projectile and the short duration of his moves. Marth also suffers from a general lack of options when put on the defensive. His weight makes him very easy to combo and does not provide sufficient knockback resistance to survive heavy hits at high percents. Marth's out-of-shield game is also notoriously poor. His recovery is also problematic; while it is extendable with his side special and can end with a fast up special that covers decent distance, it is also rather predictable. Marth's main weakness though is that despite the fast startup of his moves, his moves have considerable endlag and are thus very whiff punishable. As such Marth is very susceptible to momentum shifts; a punished move puts Marth in a defensive position where he has little options. Regardless of these flaws, Marth has excellent matchups against many characters, including six that are nearly unloseable.

How to unlock

There are three ways to unlock him:

  • Clear Classic Mode mode with all fourteen starter characters.
  • Use all fourteen starter characters in VS. Mode.
  • Play 400 Vs. Mode matches.

Marth is fought on the Fountain of Dreams stage, with the track Fire Emblem playing.

Attributes

Marth SSBM

Marth falls under the character archetype of being fast, with the ability to easily outmaneuver most of his opponents; Marth has a very fast dashing speed, a long wavedash and rather good jumping speed, with average falling speed, contributing to a good SHFFL. With a good dash dance and a disjointed hitbox, Marth has good approach options in the game, both in the air and on the ground.

One of Marth's greatest strengths is his range in his normal attacks; Falchion grants Marth a disjointed hitbox that can allow him to safely attack from a distance. Additionally, the tip of Falchion, its sweetspot, is remarkably easy to land with, making Marth stronger when he's farther from his opponent. This long hitbox with a far away sweetspot also contributes to Marth's combo game.

In addition to his disjointed range, Marth has almost unparalleled combo ability; despite a slightly below-average air speed, with a combination of good jumping prowess, and an average falling speed, as well as quick, low lag, high ranged, easy-to-sweetspot aerials, Marth has among the best air games in Melee, and a great combo ability. Additionally, Marth's grab game is also good, due to a surprisingly good grab range (the best of the non-grapple grabs, thanks to it extending far past his hand). His throws possess low damage and knockback, allowing him to chain his throws into each other and combo into other attacks. In particular, his up throw can chain throw most fast fallers at low to mid percentages, and it can directly segue into an up tilt or an aerial. Marth's long dash dance also makes him a superb tech chaser. Despite the presence of this disjointed hitbox, however, Marth requires significant knowledge of spacing with his aerials in order to properly combo.

As such, Marth requires significant knowledge of hitbox spacing with his moves in order to properly combo; the non-tipper and tipper hitboxes of Marth's moves have very different knockback values and angles and in many cases a specific hitbox is needed to extend the punish.

Marth also has plenty of powerful attacks; some of these attacks are very fast and have high range, such as his up tilt, while others can KO at close ranges, such as the Reverse Dolphin Slash technique. Marth's forward smash is feared due to its high speed and power, and it can actually "break" through some projectiles found in the game; it also works well when wavesmashed, due to Marth's long wavedash. Marth's down tilt and Shield Breaker act as good edge-guarding options. Most notably, however, is his down aerial; it acts as a powerful spike in NTSC regions, and an equally powerful meteor smash in PAL regions; it can KO reliably even as low as 40%, and many of Marth's attacks can easily combo into his down aerial, most notably his forward aerial as part of the Ken Combo. Marth also has access to a grounded meteor, in his Dancing Blade. While its uses for KOing are somewhat situational, it can set up tech chases well as well as free jab resets.

Marth's primary flaw is his rather lackluster recovery. His up special, Dolphin Slash, grants little horizontal distance and decidedly average vertical distance; its ending lag also makes it very easy to punish. Marth's average air speed also prevents him from moving far after entering a helpless state. However, Marth can mitigate the lack of a true horizontal recovery by using Dancing Blade to give him some horizontal distance, though this grants no vertical recovery and must be timed well.

Additionally, Marth's ground-based approach is slightly held back by a lack of a projectile, limiting his approach in comparison with other high tier characters, such as Fox. Marth also has a large target for a character of his weight; Marth is also vulnerable to Fox's waveshine combos in the NTSC regions, though his lighter weight in the PAL regions makes multiple waveshines impossible, limiting Fox's only follow-up to a jump canceled grab. Players, however, can potentially avoid being waveashined with proper horizontal DI.

PAL differences

Like some other characters, Marth received some changes in the PAL version of Melee, which slightly nerfed him overall, as he lost the ability to reliably KO and edge-guard with his down aerial. However, because other top-tiered characters, such as Fox and Sheik, were noticeably nerfed, Marth has an easier time fighting against them, improving his matchups overall. As such, he is considered to be better relative to most of the top tier in PAL than in NTSC, which reflects in his PAL tier list placement, where he is ranked 2nd instead of his current 3rd place.

  • Nerf Down aerial is no longer a spike but a meteor smash, meaning it can be meteor cancelled, making it a less effective and reliable finisher.
  • Notice Weight has been lowered from 87 to 85. While this can be seen as a nerf by hindering his survivability, this change also makes him immune to Fox's waveshine combos; in the NTSC regions, his weight is just above the threshold to allow him to be waveshined.

Moveset

Note: For simplicity; if, for example, Marth's blade does 4% damage while the tip does 6%, and the attack has no other hitboxes, it is written as 4%/6%.

  Image Name Damage Description
Neutral attack Marth Neutral attack SSBM 4%/6%Marth slashes upward twice with his sword.
4%/6%
Forward tilt Marth Forward tilt SSBM 9%/13%Marth swings his sword diagonally forward.
Up tilt Marth Up tilt SSBM Clean: 9% (blade), 12% (tip), 8% (body)
Late: 10% (blade), 13% (tip), 9% (body)
Marth does an overhead swing with his sword. This attack can be used in combos.
Down tilt Marth Down tilt SSBM 9% (blade), 10% (tip), 8% (body)Marth stabs his sword forward while crouching. This attack semi-spikes the opponent, which is useful for edge-guarding.
Dash attack Marth Dash attack SSBM 11% (blade), 12% (tip), 9% (body)Marth dashes forward and does a horizontal slash with his sword.
Forward smash Marth Forward smash SSBM 14%/20%Marth swings his sword overhead forward towards the ground. This attack is stronger at the tip of the sword.
Up smash Marth Up smash SSBMJustice Sword8% (sides), 15% (blade), 18% (tip)Marth thrusts his sword upward. This attack can hit twice on a grounded enemy.
Down smash Marth Down smash SSBM 11%/16%Marth swings his sword across the ground towards the front and then toward the back.
Neutral aerial Marth Neutral aerial SSBM 4% (hit 1), 10% (hit 2)Marth performs two quick horizontal slashes in the air. Oddly enough, both the tipper hitbox and the non-tipper hitbox deal the same damage and knockback; the only difference between the two hitboxes is the sound effect.
Forward aerial Marth Forward aerial SSBM 10% (blade), 13% (tip), 9% (body)Marth performs a downward strike with his sword directly forward.
Back aerial Marth Back aerial SSBM 10% (blade), 13% (tip), 9% (body)Marth turns around in the air and swings his sword in an upward arc in front of him. This attack will turn Marth around in the air.
Up aerial Marth Up aerial SSBM 10% (blade), 13% (tip), 9% (body)Marth swings his sword upward before doing a backflip.
Down aerial Marth Down aerial SSBM 10% (blade), 13% (tip), 9% (body)Marth swings his sword in a downward arc below. Hitting at the tip of the blade will spike the opponent (meteor smash in PAL version).
Grab Marth Grab SSBM  
Pummel Marth Pummel SSBM 3%Marth knees the opponent.
Forward throw Marth Forward throw SSBM 4%Marth pushes the opponent forward, tripping them with his leg.
Back throw Marth Back throw SSBM 4%Marth tosses the opponent behind him.
Up throw Marth Up throw SSBM 4%Marth performs an upward throw with one arm.
Down throw Marth Down throw SSBM 5%Marth throws the opponent onto the ground.
Floor attack (front) Marth Floor attack (front) SSBM 6%Marth sweeps his sword across the ground.
Floor attack (back) Marth Floor attack (back) SSBM 6%Marth does a quick sword stab behind him followed by a horizontal sword slash forward.
Edge attack (fast) Marth Edge attack (fast) SSBM 8% (sword), 6% (hilt)Marth climbs onto the stage and does a downward sword slash.
Edge attack (slow) Marth Edge attack (slow) SSBM 8% (sword), 6% (hilt)Marth slowly climbs onto the stage and slashes upward with his sword.
Neutral special Shield Breaker (SSBM)Shield Breaker7-27%, 28% (fully charged)Marth holds his sword over his head before doing a powerful overhead downward slash forward. This move can charged to increase its power and will break a shield in one hit when fully charged.
Side special Dancing Blade (SSBM)Dancing BladeVariesMarth performs a multi-hit sword combo that can be altered by holding up or down on the control stick. Before attack, Marth will flash three of the different colors that reflects the attack’s height. Blue is high, red is middle, and green is low.
Up special Dolphin Slash (SSBM)Dolphin Slash10% (startup blade & body), 13% (startup tip), 7% (leap blade & tip), 6% (leap body)Marth performs a quick upward sword strike while jumping. This move deals the most damage when it first comes out.
Down special Counter Marth (SSBM)Counter7%Marth holds his sword in reverse grip and assumes a defensive stance to counter his opponent’s attacks. The damage and knockback the the attack will always be the same, regardless on what attack is being countered.
Dancing Blade Damage Data
Hit Damage Description
First Hit (Medium) 4% A downward slash forward that deals little knockback.
Second Hit (High) 5% An upward slash forward that deals small vertical knockback.
Second Hit (Medium) 5% Stabs his sword forward that pops the opponent into the air.
Third Hit (High) 6% Another downward slash that deals weak knockback.
Third Hit (Medium) 10% Does a horizontal slash forward. Deals moderate knockback.
Third Hit (Low) 10% Spins and stabs his sword towards the ground. This attack can meteor smash opponents.
Fourth Hit (High) 10% Leaps and performs a downwards slash with his sword.
Fourth Hit (Medium) 14% Spins and performs a powerful downward sword slash forward.
Fourth Hit (Low) 3% (hit 1-4), 5% (hit 5) Crouches and performs four quick sword strikes forward.

Taunt

  • Twirls his sword, then raises it in front of him, saying, "みんな、見ていてくれ!" ("Everyone, look at me!")

Idle pose

  • Brushes hair out of his face.

Crowd cheer

English Japanese
Cheer
Marth Cheer NTSC SSBM
Marth Cheer Japanese SSBM
Description Marth! Marth! Marth! Ma-ru-su!
Voices Group chant Female


Victory poses

Template:Victory/SSBM

Matchups

Super Smash Bros. Melee Character Matchups
  Fox Head 01 (SSBM)Falco Head 01 (SSBM)Marth Head 01 (SSBM)Sheik Head 01 (SSBM)Jigglypuff Head 01 (SSBM)Peach Head 01 (SSBM)Ice Climbers Head 01 (SSBM)Captain Falcon Head 01 (SSBM)Pikachu Head 01 (SSBM)Samus Head 01 (SSBM)Dr. Mario Head 01 (SSBM)Yoshi Head 01 (SSBM)Luigi Head 01 (SSBM)Ganondorf Head 01 (SSBM)Mario Head 01 (SSBM)Young Link Head 01 (SSBM)Donkey Kong Head 01 (SSBM)Link Head 01 (SSBM)Mr. Game & Watch Head 01 (SSBM)Roy Head 01 (SSBM)Mewtwo Head 01 (SSBM)Zelda Head 01 (SSBM)Ness Head 01 (SSBM)Pichu Head 01 (SSBM)Bowser Head 01 (SSBM)Kirby Head 01 (SSBM)Avg.
MarthMatchup(0)7TMatchup(0)7TMatchup(M)7TMatchup(-1)7TMatchup(-1)7TMatchup(+1)7TMatchup(+1)7TMatchup(0)7TMatchup(+2)7TMatchup(+1)7TMatchup(+2)7TMatchup(+2)7TMatchup(+2)7TMatchup(0)7TMatchup(+2)7TMatchup(+2)7TMatchup(+2)7TMatchup(+2)7TMatchup(+3)7TMatchup(+2)7TMatchup(+3)7TMatchup(+2)7TMatchup(+3)7TMatchup(+3)7TMatchup(+3)7TMatchup(+3)7TMatchup(+2)7T

Techniques

Dancing Blade Meteor

When using Marth's Dancing Blade, after the initial strike, up to 3 more swings can be done in one sequence. There are multiple combinations of this attack after the initial swing: Up, Neutral/Forward, or Down. The third swing in the sequence is a very useful spike if the Down is pressed. It can be used to get kills at low percentages, by knocking the opponent off the ledge, or on the edge as opponents make their way back toward the ledge. Time it so by the time the opponent is right back at the ledge, the third swing comes out.

Reverse Dolphin Slash

By starting Marth's Dolphin Slash, and immediately pressing the opposite direction to which he is currently facing, Marth will begin the first frame of his attack normally, but will change directions to finish the attack as if facing the other way. This variation has significantly increased knockback, but must be done at close range. The reason for this is that when Marth does his Dolphin Slash, he holds his sword behind him for a second. Given that Marth's attack are more powerful at the tip of the sword, as well as earlier into the Dolphin Slash, turning around at the start allows him to hit when the conditions are the best. This technique is also commonly performed out of a shield, by jump-canceling.

Reverse Counter

Oddly enough, Marth's counterattack has a second hit box which is much more powerful than the first. This hitbox is located in the first few pixels behind him and even more behind and above him. The blow is about as powerful as his Untipped Forward Smash, and serves as a flashy kill move in Free For Alls or 2v2s. However, it may only be used when one enemy (or teammate) is attacking from the front while the other approached from behind, making the move extremely situational.

Ken Combo

The Ken Combo is probably the most famous Marth combo of all. If your opponent does not DI Marth's Forward Aerial correctly, it can connect into his Down Aerial's spike hitbox.

In 1-P Mode

Classic Mode

Once unlocked, Marth can appear as an ordinary opponent, as an opponent in team battles alongside Link and Zelda, as a metal opponent, and as an ally in team and giant battles. In all of his appearances, Marth will appear on Great Bay with the track Fire Emblem playing (though this doesn't play when on a team with Link), on Temple on a team with Zelda, and on Battlefield as a metal opponent.

Adventure Mode

Marth makes no appearances in the game's single-player Adventure Mode. Music associated with him, however, can play in the Underground Maze.

All-Star Mode

In All-Star Mode, Marth and his allies are fought on Fountain of Dreams, as Marth was not designated a specific home stage. When fought on the stage, the track Fire Emblem plays instead of the standard music.

In Event Matches

Marth is featured in the following event matches:

  • Event 40: All-Star Match 4: Marth is the first opponent fought in this series of staged battles. The player's character battles him on the Temple stage with a stock of two while Marth has one. With a timer of four minutes, the player must defeat him and the other four characters one-by-one with the overall time and damage: Luigi, Jigglypuff, Mewtwo, and Mr. Game & Watch.
  • Event 41: En Garde!: As Marth, the player must defeat Link in a two-stock, one-on-one match on the Temple stage.
  • Event 46: Fire Emblem Pride: The player chooses any character and must defeat Marth and Roy in a three-stock match on the Temple stage.

Japanese Translations

  • Marth's taunt in battle is "みんな、見ていてくれ!" "Minna, miteite kure!" which translates to "Everyone, please watch me!"
  • Marth's counter move is performed while saying "そこだ!" "Soko da!" or "させるものか!" "Saseru mono ka!" which roughly translates to "It's there!" and "Like I would let you!" respectively.
  • Marth's three possible victory statements are:
    • "今回は僕の勝ちだね。" "Konkai wa boku no kachi da ne", which translates to "This time, victory is mine [right?]."
    • "今日も生き延びることが出来た。" "Kyou mo ikinobiru koto ga dekita", which translates to "I was able to survive again today."
    • "僕は負ける訳には行かないんだ。" "Boku wa makeru wake ni wa ikanainda!" which translates to "There's no way I can lose!"
  • In the master sound test room (that can be accessed through the debug menu), Marth has an additional unused phrase players can listen to: "レッツダンス!" "Rettsu dansu!" which is a transcription into Japanese sounds of "Let's Dance!"

Trophy descriptions

In addition to the normal trophy about Marth as a character, there are two trophies about him as a fighter, unlocked by completing the Adventure and All-Star modes respectively with Marth on any difficulty.

Marth
The betrayed prince of the Kingdom of Altea, the blood of the hero Anri flows in Marth's veins. He was forced into exile when the kingdom of Dolua invaded Altea. Then, wielding his divine sword Falchion, he led a revolt and defeated the dark dragon Medeus. Afterwards, Altea was annihilated by King Hardin of Akanea.
  • Fire Emblem [Japan only]
Marth (Smash Red)
Marth is a magnificent swordsman. While his swordplay is faster than that of Link, he lacks power, and his quickness is offset by a marginal endurance. His Shield Breaker gains power the longer it's held. The Dancing Blade combination uses both the Control Stick and the B Button to produce a series of up to four attacks.
Marth (Smash Blue)
The tip of Marth's blade causes the most damage, so you should try to create adequate distance between you and your enemy to gracefully strike with that point. Marth's Dolphin Slash is fast and powerful, but it leaves him vulnerable upon landing. Marth uses Counter to block a foe's attack and deal a return strike. If you're fighting a Counter-happy Marth, grab him.

Alternate Costumes

MarthColorsMelee

Marth's alternate costumes in Super Smash Bros. Melee.

Trivia

  • Marth is the only newcomer and unlockable character to have a clone.
  • Marth and Roy are the only characters in Melee who can turn around in midair, by using their Back Aerial.
  • Marth and Roy are the only characters in Melee that speak Japanese regardless of language settings.
  • Marth and Roy both use their swords for every attack except their pummels and throws.
  • Marth and Roy are the only playable characters in Melee that don't have a stage representing their universe, though hacked data shows that one was planned. They do however have a music piece sometimes played at Temple.
  • Marth, Roy, and Peach are the only characters in Melee with a special move that can counter.
  • Along with Roy, Marth was originally going to be a Japanese-exclusive character in Super Smash Bros. Melee, but was kept in all versions on request of an employee at Nintendo of America. American fans became interested in Fire Emblem because of Super Smash Bros. Melee, which helped Fire Emblem to enter the countries where the games in the series had not been released.

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