Super Smash Bros. Brawl features a never-before-seen roster size of 35 characters, including some that you would have least expected to see show up. Join us for a brief look at each of the characters and find out about some of the ones that didn't make the cut. Make sure to skip the two Secret Characters pages if you don't want to see spoilers!
Here are a couple definitions to keep in mind during the character discussions: Weight directly affects how easy it is to be KO'd (the heavier you are, the more damage you can take), and a third jump is an up special that can be used after your jump and double jump for some extra lift. Charged attacks are special moves, like Mario's F.L.U.D.D., that you need to charge up over time to really be effective, and a character's strength directly affects their ability to KO their enemies. Finally, please note that this is meant to be a primer for beginners and intermediate players, and is by no means a comprehensive guide. Visit our Super Smash Bros. Brawl forum or our sister site GameFAQs for more in-depth character analysis.
Strengths: Most balanced character
Weaknesses: Doesn't stand out in any category
F.L.U.D.D.: No longer a D.U.D.D.
Nintendo's mascot character Mario is back for his third foray in the world of Smash Bros. He sets the standard as the most balanced character in the game, but while he doesn't excel in any particular area, he has an attack for every situation. The most noticeable change to his arsenal is his new down special, F.L.U.D.D., which comes from Super Mario Sunshine. F.L.U.D.D. is a charged attack that deals absolutely no damage, but comes with a heavy knockback if it connects. Use it to knock your foes straight off an edge!
Strengths: Huge double jump (highest in the game)
Weaknesses: Doesn't exactly have a third jump
Fun fact: Yoshi in English means "Yes!"
Yoshi still has the highest double jump in the game, and this is still countered by his lack of a true third jump. This time around, though, his up special actually does sort of function as a third jump by slowing his rate of fall and moving him a bit horizontally, and it can be used like this twice for that extra recovery range. His Egg Lay special is as embarrassing as ever--and as dangerous as ever near an edge. Finally, watch out when using his side special, as it's easy to roll off a cliff.
Strengths: Can float with her double jump
Weaknesses: Some of her moves are unpredictable
Weight: None of your business!
As in Super Mario Bros. 2, Peach is able to float during her jumps, which when combined with her parasol glide can make recovering from a seemingly fatal knockout a cinch. She also never leaves home without Toad, whom she can magically produce on demand and who is always ready to take a bullet for her. Perhaps her greatest weakness is her unpredictability. Her side smash randomly retrieves one of the sports instruments she's used over the years--each of which produces a different type of hit--and when she pulls out a vegetable to toss, she'll
occasionally find a dangerous bob-omb!
Strengths: Heaviest contender
Weaknesses: Slow; huge size means he's easy to hit; no projectile attack
Most played by: Dennis Hopper
King Bowser is the biggest, heaviest competitor, which makes him the most difficult one to knock out. Unfortunately, he pays for this, as usual, in the speed category. His fire breath will stun anyone caught in its path, but it loses effectiveness over time and leaves him open from behind. His down special is powerful and great for clearing a group, but it's easy to dodge and leaves him stunned for a moment upon landing. His nastiest move, however, is his side special, the Flying Slam. Watch out for
it in a stock match, because he can take you off an edge with him for the win!
Strengths: Powerful stench overwhelms enemies
Weaknesses: Slow; if used incorrectly his specials will stun him; no projectile attack
Tip: Don't use Wario's gas attack against girls unless you're already going out with them
Mario's bizarro-world clone Wario has entered the battle and brings with him his amazing power of flatulence. His down special, the Wario Waft, is a fart joke in and of itself; over time, Wario will automatically charge this special and your patience will be rewarded by an explosive release that deals huge damage to anyone around him. But if you use it without a charge, it doesn't do much besides leave you wide open with an embarrassing grin. Likewise,
if you lose your motorcycle and try to pull another one out too soon, Wario will be stunned momentarily while he looks around for his ride.
Strengths: Very strong; heavy
Weaknesses: Easy to hit because of his size; slow to jump; no projectile attack
Tie: But no pants...
The king of the jungle returns and is more powerful than ever. Donkey Kong is not only much faster than he used to be, but his Giant Punch special takes much less time to fully charge (it's also super powerful, so keep one ready at all times). His down special is great when multiple enemies are around, as it hits on all sides and tears through shields as if they were paper. Pretty much all of DK's smash attacks are deadly, and of course, he can still lift his opponents with ease and carry them to an edge
for a good toss!
Strengths: Fast; banana peels are very useful
Weaknesses: Not too strong; very light; Peanut Popgun special can backfire
Bonus: One of the most embarrassing characters to lose to
Donkey Kong's lil' buddy Diddy has entered the fray and augments his low strength with some intriguing jungle technology. His down special, which causes him to casually toss a banana peel behind him, is perhaps his most useful, strategic attack. Up to two peels can be active at once, and any enemies that walk over one will slip and fall, leaving them wide open for attack. These peels don't affect you, and can also be picked up (even midrun!) and tossed for repositioning or damage.
Favorite saying: Eggs.
Or, as the Super Mario Bros. 2 instruction booklet says, "He thinks he is a girl and spits eggs from his mouth." While it's true that in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, he'll show up in the Mushroom Kingdom stage and spit some eggs here and there, we can't wait for the day Birdo steps onto the main stage and wins glory for transgendered egg-spitting dinosaurs everywhere.