Ness (ネス, Ness) is a secret character in Super Smash Bros., who is well known for his unique second and third jumps. He, along with Yoshi, can double jump cancel, allowing them to use quick aerials and specials.
Ness currently ranks 10th on the tier list for a predictable and at times unreliable recovery, which many foes abuse to their advantage, as well as some range issues. However, he does have a decent amount of combos.
How to unlock
- Beat 1P Game on normal difficulty or higher with three stocks or less without continuing, then defeat Ness in a 1-on-1 match. He is fought in Dream Land.
Ness is a fairly small, medium-lightweight character with very high damage attacks. His greatest metagame comes from his air game, although his air speed is among the slowest. He has the game's lowest double jump cancel, which can be used to perform devastating combos, and a quick meteor smash in his down aerial as a finisher to many of them (example here). Ness's special moves serve a variety of purposes; his neutral and up specials (PK Fire and PK Thunder respectively) are projectiles, and his down special (Psychic-Magnet) can absorb energy projectiles such as Fireballs or Charge Shots and recover some of his damage. This can be used to his advantage in doubles - when the opponents are unable to do anything (usually during the time they are KO'd), a partner Pikachu, Fox, Mario, or Samus can repeatedly fire projectiles at PSI Magnet to recover Ness's damage. In addition, Ness possesses some of the most powerful throws in the game, and if followed up with edge-guarding, it can be extremely difficult for characters with poor recoveries such as Link and Samus to recover. However, his special moves are slow to execute. Ness himself is somewhat slow normally, but his fast roll and certain advanced techniques can help this problem. Perhaps his greatest disadvantage is his overall poor range, which can severely limit his otherwise excellent combo ability.
Ness's recovery, distance-wise, is one of the greatest in the game due to PK Thunder 2's sending him a very far distance, coupled with his large double jump (second only to Yoshi), with its maneuverability also making it difficult to attack Ness out of it. However, he is disadvantaged by PK Thunder 2 being easy to gimp, due to taking some time to complete and having to go in a semicircle around Ness - if anyone touches the thunderbolt, Ness will become helpless. Even projectiles such as Pikachu's Thunder Jolt and Fox's Blaster or Reflector can gimp the move easily. A "solution" to this, used by many Ness players, is to use the double jump away from the stage, and then use PK Thunder. At this distance, it is difficult for most of the cast to follow up with an edge-guard, as it will likely be too far for them to recover, resulting in a SD for them. However, even then, there are a few characters who can recover from that distance, such as Kirby, Pikachu, or another Ness.
On a competitive level, Ness was originally rather dominant, being ranked 3rd in the S tier on the first well-known international Super Smash Bros. tier list. In the second tier list, he dropped to 8th place, and dropped again on the third list. Theoretically, this is the largest tier drop of any character in the series. Ness's strong point are his excellent combos and air game, but his poor range gives him big problems facing excessive range such as Captain Falcon's up smash, or Kirby or Pikachu's up tilt. Ness's approach is also easily read, with his two projectiles being slow and predictable. Ness overall has below average international (except Japan) matchups, with an especially terrible matchup against Pikachu, and only two advantageous matchups (against two bottom tier characters). Ness has better matchups (being 5th) in the Japanese version compared to the international versions. This is mainly because Ness is stronger in the Japanese version and was nerfed in the international versions.
|Neutral attack||2%||Ness jabs forward twice then kicks the opponent away.|
|Forward tilt||↗||9-11%||Ness kicks forward horizontally. This attack can be angled up or down.|
|Up tilt||6-7%||Ness performs a two-handed open-palm uppercut. A great move for setting up aerial, especially because of its good speed and decent power.|
|Down tilt||3%||While crouching, Ness sticks one foot out at the opponent's feet. This attack can either can chain into itself, or a grab.|
|Dash attack||9-12% (clean), 7-9% (late)||Ness rushes toward the opponent, attacking with both arms outstretched. Usually launches foes in front of him.|
|Forward smash||14-18%||Ness swings a baseball bat horizontally forward. The baseball bat deals great power and has good range along with being able to reflect projectiles.|
|Up smash||13-17% (front), 12-15% (back)||Does a variation on the "around-the-world" yo-yo trick, swinging his yo-yo above his head. Has good range, speed and knockback. The yo-yo has a strange hitbox that does not hit short characters on ground. A good anti-air move.|
|Down smash||15-19%||Sends his yo-yo backwards and "walks-the-dog" with it before pulling the yo-yo back. The yo-yo has an extremely low hitbox though with extremely long range; having the longest horizontal range of all down smashes.|
|Neutral aerial||11-14% (clean), 9-11% (late)||Does a falling split kick in the air, having sex kick properties. The hitbox is Ness's entire body. A good spacing move.|
|Forward aerial||9-12% (clean), 8-10% (late)||Ness thrusts both arms forward to attack opponents. A quick attacking move, though the range is restricted to his small opened hands.|
|Back aerial||12-16% (clean), 8-10% (late)||Ness performs a reverse dropkick attack with tremendous KO power.|
|Up aerial||12-15%||Ness performs a upwards headbutt before flipping in the air. A useful move for juggling.|
|Down aerial||12-15%||Ness quickly kicks downward with one leg. The attack is a powerful spike that comes out extremy quick but has short range.|
|Forward throw||12-16% (throw), 8-10% (collateral)||Takes the foe and twirls them around via PSI before launching them forward for great power and high knockback.|
|Back throw||12-16% (throw), 8-10% (collateral)||Lifts the foe over his head and twirls them around via PSI before launching them away. Similar to the forward throw on both its function and power.|
|Floor attack (front)||5-6%||Gets up does a headbutt on both sides.|
|Floor attack (back)||5-6%||Attacks with a sweepkick that hits on both sides.|
|Edge attack (fast)||5-6%||Ness pulls himself up from the edge and performs a double-legged kick attack aimed upwards.|
|Edge attack (slow)||5-6%||Slowly gets up and delivers a low kick at the opponent's feet.|
|Neutral special||PK Fire||3-4% (bolt), 3% (pillars loop)||Ness throws a lightning bolt that explodes into a pillar of flames once it connects with an opponent. When Ness is grounded, he throws the lightning bolt horizontally, but when he’s airborne, he throws the lightning bolt downward at an angle.|
|Up special||PK Thunder||5-6% (bolt), 23-30% (PK Thunder 2)||Ness releases a ball of lightning that can be directed with the control stick. Aiming the head into Ness himself will launch him in a trajectory opposite to the side he was hit on, which is referred to as PK Thunder 2. While guiding the bolt, Ness will be completely defenseless, and the bolt will vanish upon hitting a wall, ground, or after a certain amount of time has passed.|
|Down special||Psychic-Magnet||0%, restores damage if hit by energy-based projectiles||Ness surrounds himself in a small green bubble that absorbs energy-based projectiles to heal his damage.|
- Says "Okay!" while turning to his right, then nods his head while putting hands on hips.
- Uses Teleport and crashes onto the stage.
Ness used to rank very high at 3rd place on the first SSB64 tier list, just only below Pikachu and Kirby. With double jump cancelling, Ness was a dominant force in the SSB64 metagame, as his double jump cancelled aerials can rack up a huge amount of damage, and can also be used to perform deadly zero-to-death combos. However, Ness became less effective as the metagame progressed. His short range in his attacks made his aerial combos lose their recognition and effectiveness, and Ness's recovery, despite covering a long distance, can be exploitable due to it being predictable. This caused Ness to drop from a top tier 3rd place to a low mid tier 8th place on the second tier list and then dropping again to 9th on the third list.
Combos, tricks, and tactics
Ness's DJCs allow him to do a wide range of tricks, such as a DJC'd Down Aerial Shield Break, DJC'd Forward Aerial chains, Shield Break Jump, and DJC'd spikes on the edge. Though double jump canceling is extremely effective and powerful in its own right, relying only on it is not very efficient. For a great Ness, one must utilize both his Ground Attacks and Aerial Attacks to their full potential.
When Ness hits himself with PK Thunder, he will rocket in the opposite direction from which he was hit. This is both his recovery and an incredibly powerful move - when Ness collides into someone with this move, the opponent takes high damage (30%) and suffers critical knockback. This move is more powerful in the Japanese version of Super Smash Bros., where it inflicts 35% damage, and has even more power than DK's fully-charged Giant Punch.
Home Run Bat Reflector
Ness' Forward Smash (his Bat) has the ability to reflect projectiles from other characters, such as Pikachu's Thunder Jolt, or Mario's Fireball. However, this technique requires precise timing and skill to pull off, otherwise resulting in Ness taking damage.
- Ness was a seemingly-average kid from Onett, but in truth, he was destined for much more. When a strange meteorite landed near his hometown, the little boy with psychic powers set out to save the world. Little has been said of Ness' character, and much remains hidden.
- EarthBound (SNES)
- Ness, along with Captain Falcon, are the only characters in the original Super Smash Bros. to not have a stage originating from their franchise.
- Ness is the youngest character in Super Smash Bros, being only 13 years old. This does not count Pikachu, Jigglypuff and Kirby, because their age isn't clear.
- This is Ness's only appearance on the Nintendo 64. The only other playable character to share this distinction is Samus.
- This also marks the first appearance of Ness in three-dimensional format. As with the above trivia, this distinction is shared only with Samus.
- Ness voice actor also voices Kirby in Smash 64 to Smash (3DS/WiiU)