Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Character Profiles: Little Mac

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 the WVBA champion, Little Mac.

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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
#17 - Zelda
#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 one of the newer returning fighters, from the Smash 4 class, who is ready to throw hands again.

Who is Little Mac?

While Nintendo's early games centered around adventures and overthrowing a great evil, one of the company's earlier mascots was more focused on taking on a full lineup of lovable ethnic stereotypes. The Punch-Out series saw players take the role of a young boxing upstart named Little Mac, often called that because of his diminutive stature in comparison to his opponents.

Little Mac has faced many formidable opponents en route to the world championship. He's taken on the Bruiser Bros., Mr. Sandman, and even the mighty Mike Tyson himself. He's beaten them all, claming the World Video Boxing Association (WVBA) heavyweight championship in the process. And after besting Donkey Kong in a one-on-one bout, Little Mac proved he could go toe-to-toe with the best that Super Smash Bros. had to offer. He would start off life as an Assist Trophy in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and soon graduate into a full-fledged fighter in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS.

Little Mac's Moves and Fighter Overview

Little Mac is fleet of foot and carries a powerful fist. He's one of the strongest punchers in the game and has some of the best KO potential in the game. This makes him an ideal choice for beginners, especially in cases where the fight is set in a place like Final Destination with no items.

Here are Little Mac's special moves:

  • Straight Lunge (Neutral B): Mac charges up his fist and dashes forward with a powerful punch. When it's fully charged, it's one of the strongest special moves in the game. It has heavy KO potential. The problem is actually landing it, since this move doesn't come with armor. It also has a high ending lag, meaning if it whiffs, Little Mac is completely vulnerable to attack. If Mac's KO meter is filled all the way, this becomes the KO uppercut, which is significantly faster here than in the previous Smash Bros. game. While it won't KO at crazy early percentages anymore, it'll still pack a heavy wallop if it connects.
  • Rising Uppercut (Up B): Little Mac rises with a corkscrew uppercut for minor damage. It has a lot of knockback and has KO potential at high percentages. That's about all it has going for it. It's one of the worst recovery moves in the game, so don't get thrown too far.
  • Jolt Haymaker (Side B): Little Mac dashes forward and hits an overhead punch. It gets good distance in a short time and does moderate damage, with KO potential at higher percentages. In Smash 4, if Little Mac propelled himself off the edge of the stage with this move, he'd be cooked. This is no longer the case, as this move no longer leaves Little Mac in a helpless state.
  • Slip Counter (Down B): If opponents come at Little Mac with a physical move, he'll slip behind them and hit a powerful uppercut for a greater percentage of the damage that would have been dealt. Careless opponents can get themselves KO'd quickly with this move. It's one of the quickest counters in the game, making this a key move to practice and master.
  • Giga Mac (Final Smash): Giga Mac has changed from Smash 4. Instead of manually controlling the beefed-up Mac, he'll instead target opponents straight ahead of him. He'll connect with a flurry of punches, which are likely to KO.

Little Mac is among the many characters to benefit from some of the new Smash Ultimate mechanics. Short hopping and the refined air dodge make him a far quicker and more agile fighter than before. Many of his attacks are quicker than the last game and offer the bonus ability to cancel any of his dash attacks, making him better defensively and better able to keep his opponents on their toes.

Little Mac's grab is also greatly improved. It's got a much better range and is also able to strike quicker. Being the resident boxer, his grab and pummel move now operates faster. Doc Louis has had the man training hard, clearly.

Recovery is still a big problem for Little Mac. Rising Uppercut doesn't cut the mustard in this department, so try and stay grounded. This move's strength is slightly amplified, so try and mix it into your ground game and catch a player or two unaware.

Just like last time, Little Mac's KO Uppercut is something to watch for. The meter will increase as he takes damage and is still a potent move. Mac can snap this move off quicker, it gets a slightly better range, and there's less lag if it misses. It's a lower-risk move now, but the reward is just as high as ever.

Esports Observations

For the most part, the Little Mac mains seem to be enthused about their character. Long-time Shacknews readers will remember Jon "Sol" Lackey for his incredible Cuphead runs, but he's also recognized as one of the top Little Mac players in the world. He put together a comprehensive look at the character based on his time with Ultimate. He's mostly positive about some of his changes, including his new shielding options, but he's also noticing a lot of the character's nerfs from later in Smash 4's life cycle are still present.

Larry "LarryLurr" Holland is primarily known for his Fox, but after taking some time at the recent DreamHack Montreal to get his hands on Little Mac, he came away impressed. He gets particularly nasty with his neutral up-tilt juggle.

James "VoiD" Makekau-Tyson has broken down a lot of Little Mac's moves, including his fast-as-lightning tilts. He's also pointed out that while his recovery still isn't great, the ability to go from his Jolt Haymaker straight to his Rising Uppercut gives him a valuable tool to stay on stage.

Lastly, we end on Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios, who isn't particularly enthused about Little Mac's improvements just yet. The lack of recovery is too much of an obstacle to overcome, as ZeRo notes that he was able to overcome Little Mac players by simply keeping them off the stage.


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 the big day, so be sure to come back for more breakdowns over the coming weeks. And if you need an idea of what to expect before the big day, check out everything we know about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

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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