restoring health

Super Smash Bros.

is a crossover fighting game developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64. It was released in Japan on January 21, 1999, in North America on April 26, 1999, and in Europe on November 19, 1999. Super Smash Bros. is the first game in the Super Smash Bros. series, and was followed by Super Smash Bros. Melee for the Nintendo GameCube in and Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii in .

The game is centered where players can play as and against characters from Nintendo's video gaming franchises such as Mario, Pokémon and The Legend of Zelda. The stages and gameplay modes make references to, or take their designs from, popular games released by Nintendo. The gameplay system offers an unorthodox approach to the fighting game genre as percentage counters measure the level of damage received, rather than the health bar traditionally seen in most fighting games.

Super Smash Bros. received mostly positive reviews from the media. It was commercially successful, selling over 4.9 million copies, with 2.93 million copies sold in the United States, and 1.97 million copies sold in Japan.


Super Smash Bros. differs from traditional fighting games in that inflicting the most damage does not guarantee victory. Instead, opposing players must force their opponents beyond the boundaries of the stage. Most attacks inflict damage and can, if enough damage is dealt, knock back the enemy. Each character's health is measured by a meter that represents the damage received as a percentage. The higher the percentage value, the farther the player gets knocked back, and the easier they are to knock off the stage. Unlike other games of the same genre, most moves can be accessed via one-button presses and a joystick direction.

During battles, items related to Nintendo games or merchandise fall onto the game field. These items have purposes ranging from inflicting damage on the opponent to restoring health to the player. Additionally, most stages have a theme relating to a Nintendo franchise or a specific Nintendo game and are interactive to the player. Although the stages are rendered in three dimensions, players can only move on a two-dimensional plane. Not all stages are available immediately; one stage must be "unlocked" by achieving particular requirements.


Although the player can choose from five difficulty levels, the game's single-player mode always follows the same series of opponents. This game mode is called Classic Mode in subsequent sequels. The player will choose one unlocked character, and fight against a series of characters in a specific order, attempting to defeat them with only a limited amount of lives.

There are three more modes of play. The "Break the Targets" minigame as well as the "Board the Platforms" minigame are two of the remaining single-player games. The objective of the mingames is to break each target or board each platform, respectively. The goal must be achieved without falling off each character-specific stage. The last one is the "Training Mode" section, where the player can choose any of the available characters and to choose the opponent, as well as any stage. When started, the game can be paused to gain almost any control, such as slowed game speed, spawning any item, and telling the opponent what to do.


Up to four people can play in multiplayer mode, which has specific rules predetermined by the players. Stock and timed matches are two of the multiplayer modes of play. This gives each player a certain amount of lives or a selected time limit, before beginning the match. A winner is declared once time runs out, or if all players except one loses each of their lives.

If there is a tie between two or more combatants, the contenders are returned to the fighting stage in a "Sudden Death" battle with 300% damage each. This means players are easily knocked out, so as to quickly determine the winner.

Playable characters

The promotional artwork is done in the style of a comic book, and the characters were portrayed as dolls that come to life to fight. This presentational style has since been omitted in the sequels, opting instead for a more serious art style–such as using in-game models for the characters in place of hand-drawn art–and replacing the dolls with figurines, or "trophies" as the game refers to them.


Super Smash Bros. was developed by HAL Laboratory, a Nintendo second-party developer, during . It began life as a prototype created by Masahiro Sakurai and Satoru Iwata in their spare time titled , and originally featured no Nintendo characters. However, Sakurai hit on the idea of including fighters from different Nintendo franchises in order to provide "atmosphere" which he felt was necessary for a home console fighting game, and his idea was approved. The game had a small budget and little promotion, and was originally a Japan-only release, but its huge success saw the game released worldwide.


Super Smash Bros. was commercially successful, and quickly became a Player's Choice title. In Japan, 1.97 million copies were sold, and 2.93 million have been sold in the United States as of 2008.

Super Smash Bros. received mostly positive reviews, with criticism mostly directed towards the game's single-player mode. GameSpot's Jeff Gerstmann noted the single-player game "won't exactly last a long time". Instead, he praised the multi-player portion of the game, saying that it is "extremely simple to learn". He also praised the game's music, calling it "amazing". IGN's Peer Schneider agreed, calling the multiplayer mode "the game's main selling point", while's Dale Weir described Super Smash Bros. as "the most original fighting game on the market and possibly the best multiplayer game on any system". Brad Penniment of Allgame said the game was designed for multiplayer battles, praising the simplicity of the controls and the fun element of the game.


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