In 2001, Nintendo released Super Smash Bros. Melee for the Nintendo GameCube. A follow-up to 1999’s Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 64, the game expanded on the original in just about every conceivable way. With more characters, more stages, and Nintendo’s brand-new GameCube controller to play it with, Melee quickly became one of the most legendary fighting games of all-time. Hard as it might be to believe, nearly 19 years have passed since that title first released. In order to pay homage to the game, Nintendo has announced a new tournament for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, centered around the GameCube classic.
The “Melee is Life” tournament will exclusively feature fighters and stages that debuted in Super Smash Bros. Melee. That means players will have access to Bowser, Peach, Pichu, Mewtwo, Marth, Roy, Young Link, Falco, Dr. Mario, Ice Climbers, Mr. Game & Watch, Zelda, Sheik, and Ganondorf, but not the 12 fighters that debuted in the original Super Smash Bros. The weapons on-hand will also remain exclusive to those that were available in Melee, with the exception of the Smash Ball, which will also appear.
The tournament should draw a pretty decent amount of interest. After all, Melee remains a staple of fighting tournaments, and the game has shaped the franchise in a way that continues to this very day. Despite nearly two decades having passed since the game’s release, Nintendo has offered support for the original GameCube controllers in every subsequent Smash Bros. release, as a result. That’s pretty much unheard of in the video game industry.
Super Smash Bros. Melee‘s release in 2001 had a major impact on another franchise for Nintendo. Two of the game’s fighters, Marth and Roy, came from the Fire Emblem franchise, a series that had never left Japan, up to that point. In an interview with Nintendo Enthusiast, director Masahiro Sakurai revealed that he had considered removing Roy for the game’s release in other territories, but Nintendo of America argued in favor of leaving the character in. The presence of Marth and Roy generated interest in Fire Emblem outside of Japan, and the series has grown into a global success for Nintendo.
The “Melee is Life” tournament kicks off in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for Nintendo Switch on January 3rd and lasts through January 6th. Do you plan on participating? Who is your Melee main? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!