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Zelda (SSBB)

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This article is about Zelda's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. For other uses, see Princess Zelda.
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Zelda

ZeldaBrawlclear
ZeldaSymbol
Universe The Legend of Zelda
Appears in Super Smash Bros. Melee
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Debut The Legend of Zelda (1986)
Availability Starter
Tier F (37)

Zelda (ゼルダ Zeruda?) is a character for Super Smash Bros. Brawl. She looks nearly identical to her appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess but her hair is slightly darker. From The Legend of Zelda universe, Zelda reappears in Brawl as a graceful character utilizing strong magical attacks.

Zelda is currently 37th in the tier list. Despite having several positive attributes (very strong attacks, favorable hitboxes, transcendent priority in almost all of her ground attacks), her unfavorable combination of being slow, light, tall, and floaty, an abysmal approach, no way to force most opponents to approach her, and many of her moves being not reliable, she is left with only a few safe options to use.

Attributes

Zelda is a floaty, lightweight character with poor momentum canceling (making her very easy to KO but difficult to chain throw) and strong, graceful attacks, usually augmented with magic. Many of her moves hit multiple times before causing knockback. This allows her to easily deal large damage to multiple targets, but it also means that these attacks can be DI'd out of fairly easily. She has good defensive options, with her up and side smashes having fast start-up and multiple hitboxes, her down smash having almost no start-up lag, and locking opponents with her down tilt. She can juggle at lower percentages thanks to her up smash's fast, multiple hitboxes.

Her directional aerials are single, powerful blows that cause a lot of damage and knockback if landed properly, but her attacks are extremely weak and have low stun when sourspotted. Her aerial game is very mediocre due to how precise she has to be to land the sweetspots. Many of her moves make powerful finishers, including her smash attacks, her up tilt, and aerials. Her strong defense is counterbalanced by her generally poor mobility (very slow dash speed, mediocre air speed). Her grab is long ranged, but very slow (especially for a non-tether grab) making it hard to land without set ups, and it cannot be used out of shield in most cases like a normal grab. Zelda can be described as a glass cannon: she can pump out a lot of damage if the opponent approaches her, but she won't survive long once she starts getting hit.

Her special attacks are also assets to Zelda, granting her a projectile, reflector, a teleport with large range and many invincibility frames, and the ability to transform into her alter ego, Sheik. Din's Fire is slow, long ranged, has a large hitbox, deals high damage when fully charged, KOs at high percents, cannot be properly reflected, can be controlled, and be used for edgeguarding. However, it is still one of the worst projectiles in the game, due to being extremely predictable and avoidable against skilled players (easy to spot dodge or air dodge), and being impossible to camp with against most characters (except very few exceptions, like Ice Climbers). Nayru's Love is a decent duration reflector attack and spacing tool but suffers from high ending lag making it very punishable.

Despite her defensive game, it's easy to force her to play offensively because of her abysmal approach options, her difficulty approaching with aerials, very slow dash speed, and a grab that leaves her open if dodged. As mentioned before, she can't camp with her Din's Fire either. This means despite her defensive game, she gets very few chances to use it and instead is forced to play with her horrible offensive game due to her very limited approach. Farore's Wind is a long distance recovery/attack, but her linear recovery is below average (falls almost straight down after it, and she has a small ledge sweetspot range) among cast members because of its low reliability as it's also easy to hit her before she disappears due to its slow start-up.

In the end, Zelda relies on her strong defensive game and potential power to overcome her weaknesses, which is usually hard to do. Zelda is a character that has hard time approaching her opponents and landing her attacks on them, but once she does, she can be a devastating character. Transform can also shore up some of Zelda's weaknesses by turning into Sheik, and vice-versa.

Changes from Melee to Brawl

Zelda has been buffed from Melee to Brawl, as most moves generally improved in speed and/or power. For example, her standard attack has increased damage and knockback. Nayru's Love's reflect duration is slightly longer, and it reflects projectiles faster. Din's Fire's hitbox now increases as it travels further, detonates quicker, deals more damage, has less lag, deals more knockback, and is faster to use, but in high level play it's still a situational move because of its easy to dodge and it's predictable. If Zelda is hit while performing Din's Fire, the fire will travel its full distance and explode (as opposed to traveling the full distance and disappearing as it did in Melee). Farore's Wind has an explosive hitbox when it reappears, but it gives slightly less recovery distance. If Zelda is tagged before Farore's Wind is used, the tag vanishes until Zelda reappears, thus not giving away her location to where she is warping. Transformation is Zelda's only special move that didn't improve, as the transformation time is longer. Zelda's non sweetspotted aerials are weaker, but her sweetspotted aerials are stronger. Her forward and backward aerials have smaller sweet spots, making them more difficult to land. Her up aerial is now a much better KOing move, and her down aerial has lightning kick style damage and knockback on its sweetspot. Both Zelda's dash speed and grab speed have slightly increased (though both are still very slow).

Zelda also had a few cosmetic changes. Her fighter design is now based on the Princess Zelda from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, whereas Melee's was based on the one from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which is now an alternative costume for Zelda in Brawl. Her dashing animation and "toppling" animation are both new.

Moveset

Ground Attacks

Normal

  • Dash attack - Zelda extends her arms, palms out. Any enemy caught in her path is electrocuted and knocked upwards. Does 12% when close and less damage (about 9%) when at the tip of her hands.
  • Standard attack - Zelda extends one arm. A circular magical spark appears at the end of it, hitting up to three times. Disjointed with decent range. Does 2% per hit for a total of 6%.
  • Forward Tilt - Zelda steps forward and slashes one arm in front of her, with a trail of sparkles. The attack has moderate knockback. Depending on how the opponent is hit, they may end up slightly behind Zelda. This can be directed slightly up or down. Does 11%-13%.
  • Up Tilt - Zelda waves her hand above her head in an arc, starting in front of her to behind her, trailing sparkles like her forward tilt. This move has very high vertical knockback, and makes an excellent finisher. Although it is less reliable and slower than her up smash and requires set ups, her u-tilt is stronger than her u-smash is knockback wise. Does 11%.
  • Down Tilt - Zelda crouches and stabs one foot forward. This attack can meteor smash an airborne opponent. It also usually trips people on the ground, and easily combos with Zelda's quick down smash. This move can also combo into itself. Does 7%-8%. This is one of the very few reliable ways for Zelda to land a grab.

Smash

  • Forward Smash - Zelda extends her hands with a thrust, and a burst of sparkles appears. If an enemy is hit by this, it expands its animation, shocking them multiple times and then launching them away with high knockback. Quick, with large range. Is very easy to SDI out of. Does 17% (23% when fully charged).
  • Up Smash - Zelda waves her hand back and forth over her head once quickly, trailing a stream of light. If an enemy is caught in this, the animation expands in to more back and forth, hitting and shocking multiple times before launching them away. At low percentages, especially against heavy characters, this can combo several times with itself, and is also easily followed by an up tilt. Fast, with large range. Does 15% (20% when fully charged).
  • Down Smash - Zelda kicks along the ground in front of her and then behind her, appearing to sweep forward and back with her dress. This smash comes out very quickly (the fastest down smash in Brawl start-up lag wise, tied with R.O.B.'s), and powerfully knocks almost entirely horizontally. Semi-spike with decent range. Zelda is able to hit a bomb in front of her with this move without taking any damage, due to the disjointed hitbox. Does 12-16% damage in front, 10-14% at back. If the first hit takes you into the second one, it will deal 22-30%.

Other

  • Ledge attack- Zelda climbs up and swings her legs in a circular motion, while pulling her self up. Does 6%.
  • 100% ledge attack- Zelda raises up slowly, and after gaining some strength, smacks the enemy with the back of her hand. Does 10%.
  • Floor attack- Zelda swings her legs around, hitting enemies on both sides of herself. Does 6%.

Aerial Attacks

  • Neutral Aerial - Zelda spins in place, slowly trailing sparkles from her hands. This hits 5 times and sucks people in, dealing a decent amount of damage. The first few hits of this move cannot be DI'd or SDI's whatsoever. Does 13% if all hits connect.
  • Forward Aerial - Known as the Lightning Kick, Zelda kicks to one side, with a spark at her foot. In the first few frames, if you hit directly with the foot, this attack pauses the opponent in place for a second dramatically, before dealing heavy lightning damage and launching them away with huge knockback. If any other part of this attack hits, or if it hits after the first few frames, it deals only a small amount of damage, with very little knockback. Larger foes tend to be more vulnerable to falling victim to a sweet-spotted hit. Does 20% when sweet-spotted, does 4% when sourspotted.
  • Back Aerial - Identical to Zelda's forward Aerial, except the opposite direction and faster. Slightly higher knock back than the forward lightning kick. Does 20% when sweet spotted, does 4% when sourspotted.
  • Down Aerial - Zelda sticks one foot out beneath her. Like her Forward and Back aerials, if this hits within the first frame with the foot, it causes a dramatic pause in the opponent's movement, then deals high damage and meteor smashes the opponent straight downwards very fast. If it hits with any other part or outside this window, it does a very small amount of damage and still knocks downwards, but much slower. If it hits a non-airborne opponent, the sweet spot cannot hit, and it is always the weak hit. The sweet spot itself is slightly smaller than the weak hit and does not actually cover the tip of her foot. Does 16% when sweet-spotted, otherwise 5%.
  • Up Aerial - Zelda holds one hand up, and a small trail of sparkles extends to a point above her where it shortly explodes and launching the enemy upward. This explosion has a smaller hitbox than "Melee Zelda's" uair, but it is significantly faster and stronger, with great vertical knockback. This is the most powerful uair in the game, knockback wise. Does 15%.

Grabs and Throws

Note: She has by far the slowest arms in the game causing her to poorly non-tether grab, but the range is the third longest of the non-tether grabs.

  • Pummel: Discharges magic into them. A very slow pummel. Does 3%.
  • Forward Throw: Telekinetically twirls opponent and throws them forward. Does 12%.
  • Back Throw: Telekinetically twirls opponent behind herself and tosses them. Does 11%. Strongest knockback of all her throws, mediocre KO potential.
  • Up Throw: Telekinetically twirls opponent above her head, then releases them upward. Does 11%.
  • Down Throw: Throws opponent on ground while she shocks them repeatedly with magical bursts. The enemy will end up behind Zelda though it is easily DIed away preventing any follow-ups though it has very good follow-ups if the opponent doesn't. Does 10%.

Special Moves

Special Movements

Taunts

  • Up: Jabs her arm upwards, creating sparkles above her palm.
  • Side: Claps her hands. When she does, a ball of fire appears between her hands, a remodel of one of her victory poses from SSBM.
  • Down: Leans forward and waves, as if to be waving "good bye".

On-Screen Appearance

  • Teleports in using Farore's Wind with Din's Fire in her hand.

In competitive play

Super Smash Bros. Brawl Character Matchups
 MetaKnightHeadSnakeHeadDiddyHeadFalcoHeadIceClimbersHeadMarthHeadWarioHeadDededeHeadPikachuHeadOlimarHeadLucarioHeadGWHeadPitHeadToonLinkHeadZSSHeadKirbyHeadROBHeadDKHeadPeachHeadFoxHeadLuigiHeadWolfHeadSheikHeadPTHeadSquirtleHeadIvysaurHeadCharizardHeadSonicHeadNessHeadBowserHeadLucasHeadIkeHeadYoshiHeadMarioHeadCFalconHeadSamusHeadJigglypuffHeadZeldaHeadLinkHeadGanondorfHeadAvg. 
ZeldaHeadMatchup20Matchup30Matchup40Matchup35Matchup50Matchup35Matchup40Matchup55Matchup45Matchup25Matchup40Matchup25Matchup40Matchup50Matchup40Matchup60Matchup40Matchup50Matchup40Matchup60Matchup50Matchup45Matchup55Matchup55Matchup50Matchup55Matchup60Matchup45Matchup50Matchup60Matchup50Matchup45Matchup55Matchup52.5Matchup70Matchup60Matchup65MatchupMirrorMatchup50Matchup65Matchup50ZeldaHead

Role in the Subspace Emissary

In the Subspace Emissary Zelda and Peach have two different storylines, depending on which one you save from Petey Piranha.

Subspace zelda peach

Zelda and Peach in the SSE

At the start, she and Peach are watching a friendly match between Mario and Kirby. After the Halberd appears, she and Peach rush from offstage after the stadium is attacked by the Primid. The player can choose out of the four to fight off the Primids. When the Ancient Minister appears and drops a Subspace bomb, Mario is blasted away by a cannonball when he tries to stop it. Zelda and Peach are captured by Petey Piranha. The player, as Kirby, must save either Peach or Zelda by destroying one of their cages.

Storyline 1

If Zelda is saved, she joins Kirby as they both escape from the stadium on a Warp Star. They are pursued by the Halberd, and land on top of it. Soon they fall off and reach the ground, fighting along through hordes of Subspace foes. Later on, Kirby leaves Zelda behind, and Bowser appears from the sky and turns her into a trophy.

The Shadowbugs (that came along with Bowser) make a clone of Zelda that proceeds to ambush Link and Yoshi with a Dark Cannon. However, Pit destroys the Dark Cannon and he and Mario fight and defeat her. When the clone is defeated, Link witnesses her trophy disintegrating into Shadowbugs and, believing it was the real Zelda, proceeds to attack both Mario and Pit with Yoshi’s help.

Storyline 2

If Zelda was not saved, Wario appears whilst she is trapped under her wrecked cage. He blasts her with a Dark Cannon and turns her into a trophy, before fleeing the stadium with her. She is later captured by King Dedede when he ambushes Wario and steals his Cargo along with Ness. As he passes Link and company, Link spots her on the back of the Cargo, and Pit shoots the Cargo, slowing it down so that they can pursue Dedede.

Dedede puts his own Dedede brooch on her, but when Bowser attacks his castle, he finds her trophy and takes it. However, he is pursued by Mario and Pit, and when Pit fires an arrow at Bowser, the Dedede brooch falls off and is found by Kirby. Bowser escapes in the Koopa Clown Car and takes her trophy up to the waiting Halberd.

Re-merge

  • After this point, the storylines are the same regardless of who was rescued.

At a later part of the story, Zelda and Peach are discovered by Lucario, Meta Knight, and Snake in cages aboard the Battleship Halberd, stuck in their trophy form. Shadowbugs of the princesses then fight the trio. After being freed, Snake tells both Zelda and Peach to stay in the room that they were being held captive in. Zelda transforms into Sheik, and both she and Peach make their way to the deck of the Halberd, against Snake's orders.

When Fox attacks the Halberd against and nearly hits Peach by accident, Sheik uses Vanish to appear on top of Fox's Arwing. She then breaks the cockpit and Fox ejects, and they both fall to the Halberd. Just as they begin to fight, Peach holds up a hand and yells, "Hi!" Both Fox and Sheik look over, and find Peach has just offered them both tea. Fox, looking confused, looks to Sheik, to find she has already begun to drink. Fox accepts the tea and they do not fight again.

As Sheik, Zelda helps Peach, Fox, Lucario, Snake and Falco defeat Duon. She is on the Halberd when Meta Knight lands it and meets up with the two other groups. Sometime between the defeat of Duon and the entrance to Subspace, she returns to Zelda's appearance.

During the fight against Tabuu, Zelda (along with all the other characters) gets turned into a trophy. If she is revived, she, along with Link, revives Ganondorf and points out what happened. She then aids the heroes in defeating Tabuu at the end of the story.

Trophy form

Zelda, like Luigi, doesn't have the trophy form pose of her collectable trophy. She instead has her arm in front of her instead of behind, like in her side-step animation.

Exclusive Stickers

The following stickers can only be used by Zelda or a few other characters including her:

  • Acro: [Magic] attack +15
  • Ashley: [Magic] attack +22
  • Boomerang: [Weapon] attack +4
  • Bow: [Magic] attack +8
  • Colin: [Specials: Direct] attack +4
  • Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule: [Electric] attack +31
  • Dark Samus: [Electric] attack +31
  • Darknut: [Slash] attack +13
  • Epona & Link: [Arm, Leg] attack +9
  • Fierce Deity Link: [Slash] attack +21
  • Girl [Animal Crossing]: [Magic] attack +21
  • Girl [Magical Vacation]: [Magic] attack +19
  • Happy Mask Salesman: [Leg] attack +9
  • Hylian Shield: [Slash] resistance +10
  • Kamek: [Magic] attack +11
  • Kyorusuke: [Magic] attack +8
  • Lantern: [Flame] resistance +7
  • Legend of Outset: [Arm] attack +26
  • Linebeck: [Throwing] attack +20
  • Link [Link to the Past]: [Electric] resistance +31
  • Link [Twilight Princess]: [Slash] resistance +27
  • Link [Wind Waker]: [Flame] attack +31
  • Link with Goron Mask: [Slash] attack +17
  • Link's Grandma: [Arm, Leg] attack +2
  • Lon Lon Milk: Launch power +18
  • Midna & Wolf Link: [Leg] attack +26
  • Moblin: [Slash] attack +15
  • Moon Fairy Seren: [Magic] attack +16
  • Myrrh: [Magic] attack +15
  • Naomi Hunter: [Leg] attack +5
  • Octorok: [Leg] attack +4
  • Peach & Daisy: [Leg] attack +27
  • Piece of Heart: Heart Container effect +50
  • Pinkle: [Magic] attack +15
  • Salvatore: [Electric] attack +9
  • Shahra: [Leg] attack +7
  • Sheik: [Body, Spin] attack +17
  • The Great Fairy: [Magic] attack +21
  • Tingle [Wind Waker]: [Flame] resistance +24
  • Toadette: [Magic] attack +7
  • Young Zelda [Minish Cap]: [Battering] resistance +16
  • Zelda [Link to the Past]: [Magic] attack +27
  • Zelda [Ocarina of Time]: [Flame] resistance +18

Costume Gallery

Alt-zelda2

Zelda and Sheik's alternate costumes

Trivia

  • In the Super Smash Bros. Brawl manual, Zelda is referred to as a queen, even though she is commonly referred to as "princess". This is because her Brawl appearance is based on her appearance from Twilight Princess, who is queen de-facto, only not officially bearing the title due to her official coronation being prevented by the events of the game.
  • If Zelda is shrunk or enlarged by someone else picking up a Lightning Bolt, and then, while small or big, transforms into Sheik, she will not naturally return to her normal size for the entirety of the match, even if she transforms back into Zelda.
  • All of Zelda's Special Moves (other than Transform and her Final Smash, Light Arrow) are spells used by Link in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
  • Though Zelda's Farore's Wind goes farther than Sheik's Vanish, Vanish can actually go higher vertically if used from the ground.
  • The amount of transformation lag can be shortened by pausing the game during the transformation; doing this, however, causes the replay of the match to lag at the point of where the player transformed.
  • Zelda's taunt in Melee appears as one of her victory poses in Brawl. This is similar to how Fox gained his taunt from SSB as a victory pose in Melee and Brawl.
  • Unlike in Melee, where completing Classic mode with either Zelda or Sheik one would get both Zelda and Sheik trophies, Brawl makes one play both characters separately at the end to retrieve their trophies.
  • During Zelda's Down Smash animation, there is a small rendering error where her arm twists the wrong way near the end of it. It only lasts for about one frame, however, and is nearly impossible to see in a normal match; in Training mode, where the player can set the game's speed at 1/4 and zoom in, the error "blinks" shortly.
  • Zelda is one of the only characters which all palette swaps are canon. Her Red one is from the NES games (The Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link), her blue one is from the Prologue of A Link to the Past, her green one is from the original Legend of Zelda (If the game was beaten without any ring), the pink one is from Ocarina of Time, and the Black one is based on her robe in Twilight Princess.

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