Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Character Profiles: Zelda

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate set to release in December. And since 'everybody is here,' Shacknews is taking some time to break down each of the game's characters individually, continuing with one of the most improved fighters. No, seriously!


Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the latest entry in Nintendo's ongoing premier platform fighter series. It's also slated to be the company's biggest release of the holiday season. After almost 20 years of battle between top characters of some of gaming's biggest franchises, Ultimate will bring together every single fighter from every Smash Bros. game to date (along with a few more) in one single game.

With so many characters to choose from, Shacknews is taking a look at each and every one of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate characters individually, leading up to the game's big release on December 7. Because many aspects of the game are subject to change, including character damage and special move properties, these profiles should not be considered final and can be updated at any time. Any guide that has been updated will be clearly marked.

Here's what we have up so far:
#01 - Mario
#02 - Donkey Kong
#06 - Kirby (Updated 9/8/18)
#07 - Fox
#08 - Pikachu
#15 - Ice Climbers
#21 - Marth
#23 - Ganondorf
#31 - Snake
#33, #34, #35 - Pokemon Trainer
#38 - Sonic (Updated 9/3/18)
#46 - Mega Man
#61 - Cloud
#62 - Corrin
#64 - Inkling
#65 - Ridley

Today, we look at another returning fight who is getting a new lease on life.

Who is Zelda?

While Princess Peach is most known for getting herself kidnapped, her counterpart in The Legend of Zelda universe, Princess Zelda, is... welll... okay, she also started out known for getting kidnapped. But Zelda has grown to be a powerful character in her own right. As the keeper of the Triforce of Wisdom, Zelda grew into a powerful magic wielder, one able to hold her own in most situations. She went from a passive princess waiting for Link to rescue her to a strong heroine who fought alongside Link to banish the evil Ganon from Hyrule.

In the Super Smash Bros. series, Zelda has always been one of the weakest characters. It's not just that her moves weren't particularly great. It's also that she had a much, much better alter ego. Perhaps you've heard of Sheik.

Sheik as a Smash Bros. character is a topic for another day. For the sake of this conversation, know that Sheik was always the go-to pick for most Smash Bros. players. But for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the ultimate version of Zelda is putting her best foot forward.

Zelda's Moves and Fighter Overview

Like Ganondorf, Zelda has received a complete overhaul. It's more than visual, though she's now being represented by the version seen in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Zelda is entering Ultimate as one of the most improved characters. She's much faster, can jump higher, and the majority of her attacks are improved.

Here are Zelda's special moves:

  • Naryu's Love (Neutral B): Zelda creates a barrier around herself, which can deal damage and also reflect projectiles. That sounds great, but it was a considerably slow move in Smash 4. Not only is it faster in Ultimate, but now allows for better aerial movement while it's being used.
  • Farore's Wind (Up B): Zelda warps to a given direction, dealing moderate damage at both the points where she disappears and reappears. This move is significantly faster in Ultimate and no longer disrupts momentum. The downside is that it doesn't go as far as it used to, so it's a moderate recovery move, at best.
  • Din's Fire (Side B): Zelda stands in place and sends out a fireball, which explodes as soon as the B button is released. This move is greatly improved, in that it can travel farther, works faster, and no longer leaves Zelda motionless when activated in mid-air. In fact, it's now one of her best mid-air options.
  • Phantom Slash (Down B): A Phantom (inspired by The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks) charges forward and slices with its sword. At full charge, it deals heavy damage. In Ultimate, the Phantom now forms behind Zelda before charging forward, covering her from both sides. It has six different charge levels, which allow for multiple attacks. Zelda is no longer motionless when charging this move, which means she can potentially set it as a trap. While the Phantom can be defeated, the cooldown for a new Phantom is much less than it was in Smash 4. In other words, this is another heavily buffed move.
  • Triforce of Wisdom (Final Smash): Zelda can suck her opponents into the Triforce of Wisdom. If an opponent is above 100% and they're stuck inside the Triforce as it closes, it's an instant KO.

Zelda's increased speed makes her a much more formidable fighter. Her ground game is now on par with other characters, but her dash attack now deals additional knockback. Her Up Smash is also greatly improved, hitting harder and offering a greater range.

Zelda's throw game is also much better than it's ever been. In fact, her Up-throw not only has KO potential, but it's also one of the best KO throws in the game. Yes, Zelda now has one of the most reliable finishers in the game.

Combine this with her quicker aerial game, which still includes that brutal Lightning Kick forward-air, and it makes Zelda a top-tier character. I'm not joking. ZELDA is one of the best characters in the game so far.

Esports Observations

Fine, then! Don't believe me when I say Zelda's top-tier. Let's check in with some of the Smash pros. What does Smash 4 legend Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios have to say about Zelda?

Prior to maining with Zero Suit Samus, Nairoby "Nairo" Quezada has gone back and forth with Zelda. He was happy to see some of her biggest improvements.

Nairo also got plenty of practice with Zelda, dating back to CEO and E3.

Samuel "Dabuz" Buzby isn't quite as impressed with Zelda's aerials, but he does make sure to note her other major improvements in his analysis piece from earlier in the year. Even if he's not necessarily putting her at a top-tier level, he does note that she's come a long way from being "a character that was non functional."

Top Zelda player Danny "ven" Salas had a few observations about Zelda, dating back to E3. Not only has he seen the potential effectiveness of the new Din's Fire, but he also saw just how much damage her forward-smash is capable of doing.

Lastly, we look at Indiana Smasher Mystearica. A former Bayonetta main, she was very impressed by Zelda's edgeguarding options, the improved Phantom, and her kill confirms. Here she is holding her own against top player Gavin "Tweek" Dempsey and his Donkey Kong.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is set to arrive in December on Nintendo Switch. Shacknews will continue looking into each of the game's characters from now through beyond the game's launch, so be sure to come back for more breakdowns over the coming weeks. For more information concerning Nintendo's latest Switch brawler in general, be sure to head over to Shacknews' Super Smash Bros. Ultimate walkthrough and guide.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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