- This article is about Sheik's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee. For the character in other contexts, see Sheik; and for information about Sheik's alter-ego, see Princess Zelda.
|“||A mysterious warrior whose moves allow her to flow across battlefields.||”|
|—Description from Melee's manual.|
|Universe||The Legend of Zelda|
|Debut||The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)|
|Also appears in||Brawl|
|Number of Jumps||2|
|Can Wall Jump||Yes|
|Voiced by||Jun Mizusawa|
Announced at E3 2001, Sheik (シーク, Sheik) is a starter character in Super Smash Bros. Melee. She transforms from Zelda by using her down special move (Transform), and can transform back. By holding the "A" button at the stage loading screen, Zelda will automatically transform into Sheik at the start of a match.
She used to be first on the Melee tier list until the eighth version of it, where Fox took top spot, and has continued to hold it. Sheik now ranks fourth on the tier list, in the S tier primarily due to her chain throw, excellent combos, a great finisher in her forward aerial, a very good approach due to fast aerials and high jumps, and one of the best edge-guarding games in Melee. Sheik, however, suffers from a relatively short and predictable recovery, as well as a rather short but quick wavedash. Also, most of her moves are weak for an attack of their type.
Sheik is a very agile fighter, possessing a fast dash, high falling speed, good jumping prowess, and very quick, combo-friendly attacks. While only a portion of her moveset can reliably KO to compensate for her speed, such options are very reliable combo finishers at most percentages, greatly offsetting her power loss. Sheik, however, has poor air speed and a rather high short hop. As a result of having high traction and a high falling speed, Sheik has a rather short, but fast, wavedash.
Sheik's main strength is her edge-guarding ability, which is among the best in the game. While she lacks a spike like Marth, or even a meteor smash, Sheik's good jumping prowess and fast, powerful aerials give her amazing options off the edge. Sheik's forward aerial is among the most feared in the game, due to its fast startup, high knockback scaling, semi-spike angle, and its ability to autocancel itself if used correctly, and is her main pressuring and edge-guarding tool, while also being an outstanding combo finisher. Her back aerial is slightly weaker with a more diagonal angle, but has more reach and is safer to use, allowing for it to be used as a potent edge-guarding option as well. Sheik also has one of the best projectiles in the game, Needle Storm, which aids in her edge-guarding; the needles are quick to charge, can travel quickly when thrown, and can cut through or stop most other projectiles in the game, allowing Sheik to neutralize projectiles from characters who rely on them to cover their recovery, such as Samus. Needles also have high hitstun and low knockback, making them excellent for intercepting recoveries, especially more linear options such as Fire Fox. In addition, Needles travel in a diagonal downward path when thrown from the air, presenting the edge-guarder with more options. Sheik also has the means to force edge-guarding situations very easily, possessing a back throw that sets up edge-guards on fastfallers, and the speed to effectively corner opponents once they're close to the ledge.
Sheik is also notable for having among the best punishing abilities in the game. Her tilts, up smash, and dash attack all come out quickly and all send the opponents straight into the air, giving Sheik guaranteed aerial follow-up options, especially at lower percentages. Aside from the aforementioned forward and back aerials, Sheik's other aerials also possess amazing utility for punishing, despite her low air speed. Her neutral aerial is a quick sex kick that serves as a potent out-of-shield option that can dispel the opponent's shield pressure; her up aerial is a combo extender at lower percentages that can reliably KO at higher percentages, especially near the ceiling; her down aerial, while possessing the slowest startup out of all of her aerials, sends opponents upwards with a great deal of hitstun, allowing followups into her aforementioned up, back, or forward aerials, or even a sweetspotted up smash. Due to their low-lag and high power, most are of relatively low-risk to use off the edge. Sheik's aforementioned Needle Storm also aids in her punishing game; when used in midair, the needles travel diagonally downwards, allowing them to hit grounded opponents. Due to the fact that Needle Storm has no landing lag after being used in midair, Sheik can use the hitstun or shield stun from her needles to immediately grab or attack the opponent upon landing. This is further compounded (in NTSC only) with Sheik's excellent down throw, which boasts a chaingrab on many characters in the game at lower to mid-percentages, including Pikachu and Link, and sets up tech chasing situations on fastfallers such as Fox and Falco. Skilled Sheik players can convert a single down throw into potential stock losses for the foe by utilizing either chain-grabbing or tech-chasing until the opponent is at combo-friendly percentages, where they will use Sheik's launching options to begin nearly inescapable combos that result in a KO or a fatal edge-guarding situation.
Sheik, however, has a mediocre neutral game, especially compared to other top tiers. Due to her high short hop, Sheik suffers from a poor SHFFL, which impairs some elements of her aerial approach. Sheik also possesses a short dash dance, forcing her to rely on her short wavedash to adjust her spacing. While Needle Storm has no landing lag when used in midair, it does have significant ending lag when used on the ground; however, Sheik's needles will only travel straight if she throws them while grounded, impairing her ability to approach with her projectile from afar. Sheik also lacks universal disjoint, causing her to have a very small and concentrated "threat zone" where she can create openings by threatening the opponent with a forward aerial, her tilts, or an aerial Needle Storm into a grab. As such, high-level Sheik players will often look for openings to close distance and go into that "threat zone," a spacing where Sheik can threaten the opponent with her outstanding punish game. This is easier to do against characters with even worse neutral games, particularly bottom-tiered characters, as they lack the means to zone Sheik out of that ideal area. However, other top-tiered characters have the tools to keep Sheik out, whether it be through projectiles or disjoint, and can similarly harshly punish Sheik if she unsafely attempts to close this distance.
One of Sheik's more universal weaknesses is her poor, predictable recovery. Despite her high midair jump and fast aerial attacks that can aggravate edge-guarders, Vanish does not give significant vertical or horizontal distance, and when she reappears, there is no offensive hitbox, allowing easy edge-guarding. Additionally, Sheik is horizontally locked after performing Vanish, disallowing her from drifting back to the stage from afar. In some situations where Sheik cannot recover at all, Sheik may be forced to transform and use Zelda's superior recovery, this is not without its risks however, as Zelda is much less viable in top level play, which is where Sheik performs. A common strategy is to DI upwards and use Zelda's superior air speed and lower falling speed to drift back to stage, or in worst case scenarios, use Farore's Wind to recover. Further compounding these recovery flaws are Sheik's fast falling speed and low air speed. Sheik can wall jump, but its use is situational, dependent on the stage, and is shorter than most others' due to Sheik's fast falling speed. Sheik's low air speed compounded with her fast falling speed also makes her very easy to combo herself, especially against characters with reliable launching throws or attacks such as Marth, Falco, and Jigglypuff.
Overall, Sheik is a solid character with the tools to combat every other fighter in Melee. She is a very punish-and-control based character, relying on her excellent comboing abilities to rack up damage and force edge-guarding situations where she can intercept the foe for quick gimp KOs. Against characters ranked lower than her, Sheik usually has free reign over the match and can easily close distance and convert a single opening into a clear advantage. However, against most other top tiers, Sheik must play with the utmost caution and precision to create those same openings and succeed.
Like other characters, Sheik has received some changes in the PAL version of Melee, which nerfed her overall. This is due primarily to the changes to her down throw, which caused Sheik to lose her chaingrab, some tech-chasing options, and several KO setups. Along with the nerfs to her finishers, Sheik generally has a much harder time KOing characters that she had no trouble KOing in the NTSC version, such as Peach and Marth, resulting in much poorer matchups against them.
- Sweetspotted up smash deals 1% less damage.
- Up aerial no longer has KO potential; it deals 2% less damage and is much weaker, making it more of a juggling/comboing-orientated move, rather than finisher.
- Up aerial is a much better combo attack.
- Down throw loses its practicality as a potential chaingrabbing or tech chasing option as the move sends foes at a horizontal trajectory instead of a vertical trajectory.As a result, Sheik can no longer followup with a smash attack or an aerial. The only possible option is a dash attack.
|Neutral attack||4%||Sheik quickly strikes forward twice then transitions into a flurry a rapid jabs.|
|Forward tilt||7%||Sheik deliver a quick spin kick forward. This attack launches the enemy upwards, leaving them open for a follow-up attack.|
|Up tilt||8% (hit 1), 4% (hit 2)||Sheik kicks one leg upwards, then swings the same down forward.|
|Down tilt||8%||Sheik does a spinkick while crouching.|
|Dash attack||10% (clean), 7% (late)||Sheik dashes forward and swings her arms apart while coming to a stop.|
|Forward smash||5% (hit 1), 10% (hit 2)||Sheik kicks forward twice. The first kick doesn't contain much knockback, which usually makes it easier to connect with the second kick.|
|Up smash||17% (sweetspot), 13% (sourspot)||Sheik lifts up both hands over hear head before striking down on both sides. This attack can hit twice, with the first hit dealing more damage than the second. Sheik's head and both her arms are invulnerable during the attack.|
|Down smash||13% (clean), 10% (late)||Sheik gets on her back and does a break-dance style rotation. This attack can hit up to three times.|
|Neutral aerial||14%/10% (clean leg/knee), 9% (late)||Sheik extends one foot in midair. A typical sex kick that gets weaker the longer it's out.|
|Forward aerial||13%||Sheik attacks with a downward swipe. An excellent finishing move that semi-spikes the enemy with high knockback, which can be deadly for characters with poor recovery.|
|Back aerial||Clean: 14%/10% (right foot/leg), 8% (left leg)|
Late: 10%/9% (right foot/leg), 6% (hip), 7% (left leg)
|Sheik does a reserve jump kick that deals more damage at her extended foot and less damage at the leg.|
|Up aerial||12% (clean), 9% (late)||Sheik spins and does a spiraling kick aimed upwards.|
|Down aerial||11%||Sheik thrusts one foot downward. Contains long ending lag.|
|Pummel||3%||Sheik hits the enemy with her elbow.|
|Forward throw||6% (hit 1), 2% (throw)||Sheik launches the enemy forward with low horizontal knockback and hitstun.|
|Back throw||5% (hit 1), 2% (throw)||Sheik throws the opponent behind and kicks them away.|
|Up throw||6% (hit 1), 2% (throw)||Sheik stands on both hands and launches the enemy upwards with a double-kick attack.|
|Down throw||5% (hit 1), 3% (throw)||Sheik places the opponent on the ground and performs an axe-kick, knocking the opponent up into the air.|
|Floor attack (front)||6%||Sheik gets up and kicks on both sides.|
|Floor attack (back)||6%||Sheik gets up and delivers a punch on both sides.|
|Edge attack (fast)||8%||Sheik returns to the stage and performs a long-range dropkick.|
|Edge attack (slow)||6% (body), 8% (arm)||Sheik slowly climbs up and jams her elbow at the opponent.|
|Neutral special||Needle Storm||3%||Sheik begins the charge up needles, which can be fired by releasing the B button. The charge can be saved by pressing the shield button, and resumed by pressing the B button. When Sheik is grounded, the needles fly forward. While she’s airborne, she throws the needles diagonally downward.|
|Side special||Chain||3% (chain), 5% (tip)||Sheik pulls out a long metal chain and whips it around. Does minor damage to opponents and has an electric effect at the tip of the chain.|
|Up special||Vanish||12%||Sheik throws a bomb to the ground and warps to a different direction which can be controlled with the control stick. When used in the air, Sheik will performs a small jump before disappearing.|
|Down special||Transform||0%||Sheik transforms into Zelda by using magic.|
- Performs a threatening pose with her right hand before her face.
- Shakes her hand in front of her face, then swings it to the side.
|Description||Gooooooooooo Sheik!||Shei-k! Shei-k!|
- Holds one arm around her waist while she holds her other hand to her chin, as if in deep thought.
- Kicks three times, then holds her left hand in front of her while exhaling loudly.
- Slashes towards the screen twice, then holds her right hand up to her mouth.
In 1-P Mode
Sheik herself can only be fought if the opponent is Zelda; animations left on the disc, however, suggest that she could have immediately began matches against the player, instead of having to wait for Zelda to transform.
Sheik's sole appearance in the Adventure Mode is in the second portion of Stage 3, the Underground Maze. The player has to fight against Zelda on the Temple stage; Sheik can be fought if Zelda transforms.
Sheik is featured in the following event matches:
- Event 9: Hide 'n' Sheik: The player chooses any character and is pitted against two Zeldas on Great Bay In order to clear this event, the player has to wait for Zelda to transform into Sheik and KO her before she transforms back into Zelda. KOing Sheik removes her from the match, while KOing Zelda causes her to respawn.
- Event 15: Girl Power: The player chooses any character and must defeat Samus, Peach, and Zelda in a two-stock match on Fountain of Dreams. The character the player chooses is tiny, while the female combatants are normal-sized. Friendly fire is turned on in the match, easing it slightly for the player.
- Event 20: All-Star Match 2: Zelda/Sheik is the third opponent the player must fight in this series of staged battles. The player's character battles her on the Temple stage, and the player's character has two stock while Zelda/Sheik have one. With a timer of four minutes, the player must defeat her and the other four characters with the overall time and life they have: Samus, Link, Captain Falcon, and Fox.
- Event 29: Triforce Gathering: The player plays as Link with Zelda as their partner and must work together to defeat Ganondorf on the Temple stage. Both Link and Zelda have one stock each while Ganondorf has two. Clearing this event allows the player to unlock Ganondorf.
- Event 44: Mewtwo Strikes!: The player chooses any character and first faces off against Zelda on the Battlefield stage. After fifteen seconds, Mewtwo appears and teams up with Zelda to fight the player. The player's main objective is to KO Mewtwo, while KOing Zelda by any means results in a failure.
In addition to the normal trophy about Sheik as a character, there are two trophies about her as a fighter, unlocked by completing the Adventure and All-Star modes respectively with Zelda/Sheik on any difficulty:
- This is Zelda's alter ego. Using a variation of the name of the ancient Sheikah tribe, she appears before Link and teaches him melodies instrumental to his success. It's believed that she's not just a quick-change artist, but rather that she is able to instantaneously alter her clothing and her eye and skin color by using her magical skills.
- Sheik (Smash Red)
- Strategically switching between Zelda and Sheik is key. Compared to her Zelda form, Sheik is nimble and has gorgeous moves, but she lacks a strong knockout attack. The number of needles thrown in Needle Storm is based on how long you hold the B Button before releasing it. Use the Control Stick to wave the Chain after brandishing it.
- Sheik (Smash Blue)
- The best strategy to use when playing as Sheik is to let her flow from one powerful attack into another, like a river of quicksilver. Zelda has some techniques with more punch, however, so in one-on-one battles, use Transform as needed. Sheik only travels a short way when using Vanish, but the move comes with a small explosion that damages foes around her.
- Sheik's appearance in Melee marked the first time the character was playable in any game.
- Sheik is the only playable character in Melee not to appear on the character selection screen.