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The Super Smash Bros. Series: Melee

Angel Mireles, Desk Editor

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Super Smash Bros. Melee is a game developed by HAL Laboratory for the Nintendo Gamecube. Released December 3rd of 2001 in America, Melee attempted to break the standard of what a “true” fighting game was. In the ever-growing esports scene, melee along with its less technical counterparts share a place within competitive fighting games. What is so appealing about melee? Well, let me tell you.

The community that came to be the smash community, originated with grass roots melee. Grass roots melee is the name for when the popularity of melee was kept low and really only existed for small local communities to play at a basic level. People had tournaments in their basements or small venues. Players held closer friendships and often had housing for each other in their own homes. This was a great and not so great time for melee. During this time, melee also grew in popularity and although we started to see more and more of what seemed to be the end of grass roots melee, some things like housing and friendships did not change.

Melee was never intended to be played at this high of a level. With prize pools ranging from $10,000 to near a million, many players around the world compete against one another to prove their technical skills and prowess. This has attracted attention from various types of people including sponsors that are willing to sponsor pro players in order for them to continue competing as their job. Examples of these players are Mang0(JoMelee Godsseph Marquez) and Mew2king (Jason Zimmerman). Both are sponsored by their own team, Cloud9, and MVG/Echofox respectively.

Melee is considered to be the most technical of the 4 total games due to unintended features such as wavedashing and frame perfect inputs. Melee isn’t a typical fighting game in that the gameplay is referred to as being “too fast” at times and is more about understanding what is happening rather than having any skill. Which is certainly not the case. An example of this can be seen in any recording of high-level tournament gameplay. Controls being inputted can easily exceed past a hundred movements per minute. During these inputs, players have to make countless split-second decisions and whoever makes the smarter decisions determines the outcome of the match. To be good at melee means acquiring a lot of skill and knowledge of the game to further improve your neutral game. This separates melee from the rest of the Super Smash Bros. games greatly as the other games don’t necessarily have the same mindset and/or gameplay.

There is a constant growth to the beauty we call melee. With every new smash installment and major tournament, we see a vast number of players joining in on what is competitive melee. People love melee because of its long history and highly technical learning curve. Today, there is a huge fanbase and knowledge base for everyone to be a part of. It’s not for everyone to play but it’s certainly for everyone to watch. Whether you’re a player or spectator, melee has a special place in hearts all over the world.

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The Super Smash Bros. Series: Melee