Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Character Profiles: Link

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is set to release this Friday! And since 'everybody is here,' Shacknews is taking some time to break down each of the game's characters individually, continuing with another original cast member, who's undergone some serious changes.

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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...

Uh...

*checks notes*

Oh! It's this Friday! Because many aspects of the game are subject to change, especially as people go hands-on with non-pirated copies of this game, 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
#49 - Little Mac
#61 - Cloud
#62 - Corrin
#64 - Inkling
#65 - Ridley

Today, we look at another of the core eight, but one who has undergone some serious changes.

Who is Link?

This answer always depends on which Link we're talking about.

Regardless of which Link is being discussed, he's the great hero of Hyrule. He's the holder of the Triforce of Courage, wielder of the Master Sword, and the scourge of evil. Generations of Links, going all the way back to the original Legend of Zelda (though I guess if we're going by the always-complicated Zelda timeline, we could say "all the way back to Ocarina of Time") have picked up a sword and thwarted the evil Ganon, who has returned again and again to attempt to take over the world.

The Link featured in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the amnesiac Link of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. And yes, the version of Link being featured does indeed matter. In this game, it matters more than ever.

Link's Moves and Fighter Overview

The switch to the Breath of the Wild version of Link means some of his signature moves have been overhauled significantly. We'll touch on some of those in the special moves section. As for Link himself, he's noticeably faster, can jump higher, and gets a better range with his Master Sword strikes. Overall, he feels like a better Link.

Here are Link's special moves:

  • Traveler's Bow (Neutral B): Link doesn't use the Hero's Bow anymore, which means a couple of changes. Because it's the Traveler's Bow, the arrows move much slower. It also means that if Link misses, his arrows fall to the ground and can be picked up, like in Breath of the Wild. That means if you miss, your own arrows can be tossed back at you for minor damage. But to Link's advantage, picking up an arrow and firing off another shot results in Link firing double arrows.
  • Spin Attack (Up B): This hasn't changed from generations of Smash games. Link will rise in the air, swinging his sword around him horizontally. It does low-to-moderate damage and gets decent recovery distance.
  • Boomerang (Side B): The Switch to Breath of the Wild Link means that Skyward Sword Link has taken his Gale Boomerang and gone home. The standard Boomerang acts as a blunt object, so while it loses its wind properties, it does a little more damage. But be careful. The Boomerang can be reflected back at Link (similar to King Dedede's Gordos) and can now inflict self-damage if that happens.
  • Remote Bomb (Down B): This is one of the biggest changes to Link from the previous games. Link's Bombs now behave like they do in Breath of the Wild, meaning they must now be detonated remotely. They'll go off automatically after 30 seconds, but that leaves time to make sure it goes off on the right target. Like in Breath of the Wild, the Remote Bomb is wildly effective, dealing greater damage and hitting for a wider radius. It even has KO potential, which makes it the best of Link's Bombs to hit the Super Smash Bros. series.
  • Ancient Bow and Arrow (Final Smash): Link busts out his more powerful Bow for this new Final Smash, hitting one target for massive damage, which can spread to nearby opponents.

Link's other big change is that he no longer wields the Hookshot. Those who played Breath of the Wild know there's no Hookshot in that game, so there's no Hookshot here either. That takes away one of Link's most critical recovery tools, as the previous versions of the character were able to Hookshot the edge of the stage for greater recovery distance.

It also means Link loses his greatest grappling tool, since he now has to manually run up and grab opponents. Losing that reach is a major loss for this character.

Fortunately, just about everything else is an improvement. Remote Bombs, in particular, now make Link more of a thinking man's character, since success can hinge on where he places his Bombs and when he chooses to detonate them. He also has to make sure that opponents don't just grab the Bombs and toss them right back in his face before they explode. And no, you can't detonate the Bomb if it's being held by an opponent.

Link's Bow and Boomerang are arguably a downgrade from the last Smash Bros. game, so he's going to rely on his newly improved stats to carry him through the day. As always, his down-air is as reliable as ever. And with the addition of Ultimate's new short hop mechanic, a bouncy Link can be a pest to deal with for the opponent.

Esports Observations

Outside of a few standouts, like Japan's Isami "T" Ikeda, there weren't a lot of Link mains in Smash 4. But this has the potential to change now that Link looks so drastically different. Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios did a deep dive on the character over the weekend, noting many of his differences. He also points out that the Remote Bombs can assist in Link's recovery, giving him replacement shenanigans for the lost Hookshot.

Nairoby "Nairo" Quezada speaks highly of Link's Remote Bombs, but does point out that there are some mental gymnastics to overcome to maximize their recovery potential. He addressed the recovery issue in one of his recent "Ask Nairo" segments.

Griffin "Fatality" Miller also wants to discuss Link. He teases picking up Link competitively, noting that Smash Ultimate Link feels like a whole new character compared to previous versions of the character. He also talks some more about Remote Bombs and the combo potential that it has.

Lastly, let's get some demo footage in there. We go back to E3 2018, where 2017 Smash 4 EVO World Champion Saleem "Salem" Young gets his hands on the new-look Link, facing off against Nairo and the new-look Ganondorf.


Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is set to arrive this Friday, December 7 on Nintendo Switch. It should be obvious by now that we won't get to everyone before the big release date, but we'll continue our analyses well beyond the game's release date. And in an effort to expedite things, this will now become a daily feature for the next couple of weeks.

Also, if you want an idea of what to expect before Friday, 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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