DATE: 09/25/03 VERSION: 1.9 AUTHOR: Daniel Anderson EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org GAMEFAQ: Princess Peach Survival Guide ----------------------------------------------------------------------- SUPER SMASH BROS. MELEE - PRINCESS PEACH SURVIVAL GUIDE Disclaimer - This guide assumes players are already familiar with the basics of the game. People who do not understand such fundamental techniques as smashing opponents, dodging attacks and recovering from falls should seek out a more general-information/walkthrough FAQ that will explain these issues in greater depth. Furthermore, this guide, although containing information relevant to the single-payer modes, is intended primarily to aid players in multi-player, versus battles. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- INTRODUCTION - A PEACH FAQ? WHY? Many will inevitably ask why, of all the great characters in Hal Laboratory's excellent Super Smash Brothers Melee, I chose to spend my time writing up a FAQ on the fair and innocent Princess Peach. Beyond the beginner who chooses the Princess for her helpful recovery abilities, most so-called "serious" players ignore Peach for other, more foreboding, manly, and easier to use (read: cheap) characters. Being a former resident of a university dormitory, I experienced this reality first hand when, during long afternoon and nightly droughts of Smash Brothers, my college friends would regularly annihilate my poor Peach with their brutal and frustratingly powerful Links, Marths, and Captain Falcons. Hence this FAQ, which should help Smash Brother fans play better as the hopeful Princess, especially when going up against the maiden's most dangerous opponents. And for those who scoff at even considering playing as the delicate damsel, I encourage these players to give her a try nevertheless, as with practice, she can prove herself as one of the best characters in the game (and her frilly, delicate appearance can actually cause opponents to underestimate her abilities). ----------------------------------------------------------------------- TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Princess Peach (Toadstool) - A Brief Biography and Character Analysis 2. Peach - A Woman of Great Strengths. . .And a Few Weaknesses -Primary Strengths -Primary Weaknesses 3. That Pesky Princess - Attack List -'A' Attacks -'A' Smashes -'B' Attacks -Grabs and Throws 4. Princess Power - Tips, Strategies, and Warnings -Juggling -Choosing an Arena -Brawl vs. Hit-and-Run -Multiple Smashes -Against the Computer -Defending Against Edge-Guarding Opponents -Edge-Guarding as Peach -Block and Grab Rules -Practicing as Other Characters -Frightening Flying 5. Peach in Peril - The Poor Princess' Most Dangerous Opponents -Link -Marth and Roy -Captain Falcon -Ganondorf -Fox McCloud and Falco Lombardi -Zelda (Sheik) 6. Just Peachy - Miscellaneous Tips and Tricks 7. Playing Peach to Perfection - Alternative Strategies 8. Conclusion - Final Advice, Hopes, Rants, and Credits ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. PRINCESS PEACH (TOADSTOOL) - A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY AND CHARACTER ANALYSIS Princess Peach's first appearance was in the original Super Mario Brothers game, during which the villainous Bowser, a giant turtle-dragon (known as "Koopa" in Japan), is holding her captive in his fortress. Bowser, through black magic, has transformed much of the denizens of the Mushroom Kingdom into bricks and stones, and only Princess Peach has the power to reverse the spell. Thanks to the plucky Mario Brothers, Bowser is ultimately defeated, Princess Peach is rescued, and the Kingdom is saved. Peach has reprised her role of damsel-in-distress in numerous other Mario games. In fact, Peach has been captured and rescued so many times over the years, she has become the basic archetype for all damsel-in-distress type characters (in video games or otherwise). Despite her reputation, however, the Princess has appeared as a playable character in several games, including Super Mario Brothers 2, the three versions of Mario Kart (with a fourth one coming), Mario Golf and Mario Tennis, Super Mario RPG, Paper Mario, Mario and Wario (Japan release only), Game and Watch Gallery 2 and 4, the Mario Party games, and, obviously, Super Smash Brothers Melee. Aesthetically, Peach has changed little over the years, although her flaming red hair first seen in the original Super Mario Brothers (and on the old Super Mario Super Show television program) has been gradually lightened over time, transforming her into the pristine blonde familiar to gamers today. Likewise, her original American name, Toadstool, has been replaced with "Peach" in recent years to correspond with the Japanese version of her name, although "Toadstool" can still be considered her unofficial last name. Otherwise, Princess Peach is almost indistinguishable from her original design conceived over fifteen years ago. A symbol of virtue, grace and purity, Peach has little in common with most modern video game women, who are generally portrayed as tough, violent, sensual, and full of attitude. Perhaps this is the key to the Princess' enduring popularity - unlike most contemporary female characters, who are little more than men with huge breasts, Peach is very much a true woman, and plays as such in the games she appears in. Even in Super Smash Brothers Melee, where her presence often seems inappropriate and contrary to her typically gentle nature, Peach still plays and feels like a woman, from her dainty run and graceful flying to her slap attacks and parasol glides across the playing field. With her cheerful attitude and bright spirit, Peach represents traditional femininity, in which grace and innocence are valued over aggression and self-advancement. This fact, as mentioned earlier, makes her presence in the rough and tough world of Smash Brothers a peculiar one, but a good player can have much fun experimenting with the character, mastering her moves, and then embarrassing opponents by smashing their more "manly" characters into oblivion. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 2. PEACH - A WOMAN OF GREAT STRENGTHS. . .AND A FEW WEAKNESSES Before I provide an in-depth analysis of Peach's large assortment of moves and abilities, another disclaimer must be made - Peach is not necessarily the best character in the game! No matter how proficient one becomes with her, the sad truth is that a Peach player will always be at a disadvantage playing against certain other characters; Peach has natural weaknesses against weapon-wielding types, extremely fast types, and large, powerful types - but more on this later. The damsel appeals primarily to the beginning Melee player who has not yet mastered the basic skills of the game, such as recovering from falls or evading attacks. Likewise, expert players also find her attractive (and I mean other than physically), as her potent smashes and flying techniques make her one of the top characters in the game. So why doesn't everyone play as the cute damsel, then? Because Peach requires much patience and practice to master successfully - a fact any Peach player who has been annihilated for the hundreth time by Sheik can attest to. In other words, perfecting one's game as the Princess can be very rewarding, but one has to be willing to work for it. And why is she so challenging to master? Put simply, Peach is unique in that nearly all her strong, effective moves and abilities are counter-balanced by several weak, ineffectual ones. The listing below is a basic run-down of her primary strengths and weaknesses. A more in-depth look at her individual moves will follow thereafter. Note: A couple of readers have sent me emails complaining about my criticisms concerning some of Peach's attacks. This is understandable, as playing Smash Brothers is a very subjective experience, and players are bound to disagree at times on which tactics and maneuvers they think work best. In other words, there really is not a "correct" way to play the game. My job as a FAQ writer is to simply offer advice and tips concerning how I think the game is best played when using the comely lass. Furthermore, I recommend that serious players read the ENTIRE FAQ before determining its usefulness, as even when I criticise aspects of Peach's abilities, I always mention her attributes as well (either in the same section, or elsewhere in the document). Lastly, readers should remember that practice makes perfect, and thus, Princess experts can use even her worst attacks and abilities to their advantage. For example, Peach's notorious "Peach Bomber" maneuver is rather mediocre, but this does not mean that an experienced player cannot find ways to use it effectively. That being said, because this FAQ is primarily targeted towards readers wanting a quick reference to the damsel's best attacks and tricks, and also to beginners who may be having a hard time fighting effectively, her weaker attacks (like the Peach Bomber) are inevitably overshadowed by these more potent moves. However, should anyone feel a specific attack or tactic was neglected, misrepresented, or incorrectly documented, he or she may submit their own strategies to me via email. If I like what I see, I'll add it to the "alternate strategies" section of the FAQ. (And this way, I don't have to spend the extra time writing up the new strategies myself in other sections of the FAQ). PRIMARY STRENGTHS Unparalleled Flight, Glide and Hover Abilities - Obviously, Peach's amazing recovery abilities are what first attract people to the character, as no other character in the game (even Kirby or Jigglypuff) can quite match the Princess' prowess of returning to the arena after being smashed long distances away. Also useful, Her Highness can use her powers of flight to fake out opponents as she flies and falls through the air, often providing herself with the opportunity to score a surprise hit. Impressive Juggling Abilities - Although not immediately apparent, many of Peach's stronger moves have the tendency to propel opponents upward in the air, allowing for some effective combos. An accomplished Peach player can be devastating to an airborne adversary. Good Horizontal Air Attacks - Peach's mid-air crown slap, along with her butt bounce and twirl maneuvers, are great for knocking enemies away in various directions. Effective Upward and Downward Smashes - Surprisingly, Peach's upward smash in incredibly powerful, and is often the only practical way of ejecting an opponent from the arena quickly. Likewise, Peach's downward smash is also impressive, as it can instantly damage enemies on all sides of her, and better, can sometimes score multiple hits with only a single use. Useful Upward and Downward B attacks - The Princess' upward B attack allows her to spear enemies with her parasol, and thus is an effective way to counter opponents' downward air attacks. Her downward B move provides her with an unlimited amount of vegetables to hurl at her opponents, and is a useful way to keep aggressive enemies at bay. Satisfactory Upward and Long-Distance Throw - Peach's upward throw is great for setting up an opponent for an upward smash or series of combos. Likewise, she can throw high-damaged opponents long-distances to the left or right of her. Just remember, do not throw a low-damage opponent forward horizontally! He/she will rise and most likely hit Peach in return before she can react. Average Speed - Whether running or jumping, Peach is not exactly a swift player to control. This, however, can be an advantage, as her modest speed allows her to aim and adjust her attacks more accurately than other, quicker characters, especially when moving through the air. PRIMARY WEAKNESSES Vulnerable While Flying - While Peach's flying ability can be a lifesaver, it also makes her extremely vulnerable to other characters' air and upward B attacks. Worse yet, the poor Princess cannot air-dodge while in flight. With practice, however, players can use many of her potent aerial attacks to ward off relentless attackers. Poor Vertical Air Attacks - The Princess' up + A attack, an awkward jump-kick of sorts, is often difficult to time and aim correctly, while her downward rapid air-kick technique is weak and easily countered. Ineffective Horizontal Smashes - Being the gentle, delicate flower that she is, Peach has a difficult time expelling opponents out of the arena with her left and right smashes. Put simply, her smashes simply do not knock opponents very far away, forcing Peach players to devise alternative strategies to ensure victory. On the plus side, however, her weaker smashes often allow her to score multiple hits on her pursuers (and thus rack-up a lot of damage). Mostly Useless Horizontal B Attacks - Disappointingly, Peach's basic B attack, the infamous Toad Counter, requires much practice to be used successfully, and can be considered a contender for the worst basic B attacks in the game (Ness' basic B attack is also pretty awful). Similarly, the Princess' Peach Bomber technique is slow, lacks range, has awful recovery, and is easily preempted by opponents. Unsatisfactory Horizontal Throws (low-damage opponents) - Peach's grab and throw moves (primarily her forward toss) are not particularly effective on low-damage opponents, who, after being thrown, will still be close enough to respond with an attack of their own. Fortunately, Peach can actually throw an opponent clear across the arena if his/her damage is great enough. Limited Long-Range Attacks - As nonsensical as it may seem, Peach is mostly an offensive fighter is Super Smash Brothers Melee, meaning that she has to get in close to her enemies in order to effectively attack them. This, of course, means she has greater vulnerability than characters who can attack from afar (think Link or Samus). Her vegetables help balance this weakness somewhat, but to deal serious damage, players will have to attack their opponents directly. Average Speed - In most fighting games, the women are generally the weaker but faster characters, but in Melee, all the females are rather slow (with the exception of Sheik, the male form of Zelda). Peach is no exception, as, at best, she moves at average speed, both on foot and when jumping through the air. Her flying abilities compensate for this a little, but Peach is still extremely vulnerable against quick opponents, namely Sheik, Fox, Marth, Roy and Captain Falcon. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 3. THAT PESKY PRINCESS - ATTACK LIST Peach has an eclectic repertoire of moves, some good and some bad, with the worst being nearly useless. The following list is divided between her A and B attacks, respectively. 'A' ATTACKS - Peach players will rely primarily on the maiden's 'A' button techniques. Basic Slap Two-Hit Combo - Press A repeatedly - Like most characters, Peach boasts a quick, basic attack good for setting up enemies for a stronger blow, and also for preventing enemies from attacking immediately in return. Beware, however, that Peach will regularly be overpowered in "basic A" battles against characters armed with swords (Link, Marth and Roy), and those with extremely rapid basic attacks, such as Fox, Kirby, and Captain Falcon. Also notable, Peach's slap can be used to deflect or counter a number of enemy attacks, from Mario's fireballs to Sheik's lightning-fast dash attack. Crouching Slap - Down + A - One of Peach's better moves, this easy to execute maneuver can really rack up the damage on opponents if used in quick succession. It is also a good move to use immediately after emerging from a dodge, as the alternative, using Peach's grab, is not always effective on quick-witted opponents. Upwards Head Butt - Up + A - Peach's head butt is a decent, quick way to attack an opponent approaching her from above, as it can propel an opponent directly back into the air. Unfortunately, a good opponent might strike at the same time Peach does, causing damage to both characters. Worse still, an opponent might attack an instant sooner, thus out-prioritizing the Princess' attack and causing her serious damage. In other words, the head butt is a risky maneuver that is often best discarded for another attack, such as Peach's upward parasol or upward smash technique. High Kick - Left/Right + A - On low-damage opponents, Peach's high-kick is not particularly effective, but as their damage level rises, the kick will propel them increasingly higher into the air, thus making them vulnerable to other attacks. The maneuver is especially effective at setting up combos. Dash Attack - Dash(run) Left/Right + A - Surprisingly, Peach has one of the best dash attacks in the game, as she possesses the uncanny ability of sending opponents skyward upon landing a strong, direct hit. In fact, Peach is one of the few characters who can actually juggle opponents by simply dashing into them repeatedly as they fall towards the ground. The dash is one of Peach's best, most important moves, and should be practiced and experimented with often. Mid-air Twirl - Jump + A - Peach's basic jump attack has decent power, and can knock an unwary foe a substantial distance away if used properly. The maneuver does not require the precise timing as Peach's crown slap, but conversely, it is a slower, less aggressive move that can be countered by an alert opponent. Air Crown Slap - Jump + Left/Right(forward) + A - Peach has some good horizontal air attacks, and her forward slap is no exception; although it takes practice to master the timing of the technique, a successful hit can send an opponent flying across the screen. Why is it so powerful? Many players never notice it, but Peach actually uses her crown before delivering the blow. Playing the game in slow motion (choose one/fouth speed in training mode, and select the zoom camera option) will reveal the clever maiden pulling the crown off the top of her head. Air Butt-Bounce Attack - Jump + Left/Right(backwards) + A - In many ways, Peach's air-butt attack is a weaker, but more easily timed, version of her crown slap. Peach players will often choose to hit an opponent with a butt bounce if the circumstances do not allow for a more powerful type of blow. Unfortunately, a skilled opponent will often counter or block it. Upwards Jump Kick - Jump + Up + A - Peach's jump kick, although relatively powerful, is difficult to use effectively, and many opt to use her other air attacks instead. Nevertheless, a successfully delivered jump kick can be a satisfying blow, and it can be a serviceable way of defending Peach as she floats in the air. Keep in mind, however, that using the control stick is the best way to perform the maneuver, rather than with the normally preferred X or Y buttons (the primary, and best, means to jump). A word of caution, however - Peach's upward kick can often be countered by an opponent's downward aerial attack, so players should use it only on clearly incapacitated opponents. Downwards Rapid Kick - Jump + Down + A - Probably one of the Princess' most lackluster moves, Peach players should think seriously before using this attack, especially against experienced opponents. The move is weak and easily countered by most enemies' up + B attacks and smashes, and a direct hit will not even knock an opponent away as Her Highness lands, leaving her vulnerable to a returning blow. 'A' SMASHES Although Peach's four basic smash techniques are fun to use, they often lack the sheer strength to fulfill their very purpose - to send adversaries flying from the arena. Left/Right Smashes - If nothing else, Peach at least has among the most entertaining horizontal smashes in the game, as she will randomly pull out three different instruments - a tennis racquet, golf club and frying pan - with which to bludgeon her attackers. Of the three tools, the tennis racquet knocks opponents the farthest away, the golf club sends opponents into the air at a more or less forty-five degree angle, and the frying pan inflicts the most damage while generally sending enemies skyward. Of course, the more an opponent is damaged, the further away a clean hit will send him. Unfortunately, as fun as it is to clunk an opponent on the head with a frying pan, the sad truth is that Peach's horizontal smashes are among the weakest in the game, and heavier opponents often have to be beyond 150% damage before they can be easily expunged from the screen. On the flipside, her smashes do not require exact accuracy to be effective attacks, can be useful in keeping aggressors at bay, and can sometimes be used to score multiple hits, thus inflicting massive damage. Upward and Downward Smashes - While Peach's regular smashes might be lacking, her excellent vertical smashes largely compensate for this. Her upward smash is especially potent, as it can sometimes expel even relatively low-damage opponents from the arena. Thus, it serves as a great follow-up move on opponents tumbling downward in midair. Peach's downward smash is also a fantastic maneuver, as it can instantly clear away opponents on either side of her, and sometimes, even score multiple hits. On rare occasions, a Peach player can inflict over forty-percent of damage on unfortunate rivals. The downward smash is also useful against opponents attacking from below, often knocking them away effortlessly, and it can be especially brutal against unfortunate rivals who happen to be crouching. 'B' ATTACKS - Disappointingly, half of Peach's 'B' attacks are more entertaining to watch than to use, but her parasol and vegetable techniques are indeed useful. Toad Counter - Press B - Put bluntly, Peach's Toad attack is among the most useless, and difficult to master, basic B attacks in the game. Unlike Mario's fireballs or Zelda's Nayru's Love technique, which are more intuitive and dependable moves, the Toad attack cannot even damage an opponent unless he/she strikes first. Once an enemy strikes the hapless guardian, he will immediately retaliate with a spray of spores, incurring multiple hits on Peach's attacker. The problem, however, is the move must be perfectly timed, is slow, has little range, and is only effective against direct, close-range physical attacks. In other words, Peach players using the technique to block projectiles are wasting their time, as Toad's counteractive spore spray does not extend far enough to damage long-range attackers. Peculiarly, the move is also defenseless against grabs and throws, and even more frustrating, opponents actually hit by the attack often recover before Peach can return Toad to her pocket, leaving her open for a free hit! Players should use the Toad Counter sparingly - primarily against dashing attacks and airborne, horizontal blows. Peach Bomber - Left/Right + B - The usually graceful and mild-mannered Peach has a not-so-dignified maneuver in the Peach Bomber, where she literally thrusts her hind-end into opponents, setting them afire in a flurry of flames. The move, by Peach standards, is rather powerful, but it is also slow and easily pre-empted by alert and aggressive foes. In fact, even a basic A attack can cancel the maneuver. Peach players should use the technique sparingly - particularly to surprise unwary opponents or those distracted by other fighters. Peach Parasol - Up + B - One of Peach's most useful moves, the parasol allows Peach to skewer enemies lurking above her, and is a great way to counter normally-devastating downward attacks, such as Bowser's and Yoshi's super butt-stomps. Better yet, the Her Grace can use the umbrella to glide daintily around the arena, making it a terrific recovery move. On the downside, Peach is extremely vulnerable while gliding, so players not needing or wanting the extra airtime should land quickly by pulling down sharply on the control stick. Vegetable Toss - Down + B + B, or Down + B + A - The vegetable is an invaluable move in Peach's repertoire, as it is her only long-distance attack. Peach can pluck these handy foodstuffs from any surface and immediately hurl them at her opponents, often knocking them off-guard and keeping them at bay. In fact, because the vegetables are throwable in four directions, their uses are almost limitless; smart Peach players will use them for everything, from countering air-attacks and blocking projectiles to frustrating opponents' attempts to return to the playing field after a fall or smash. Peach can even fly over a group of fighters and drop a vegetable on them as she passes by, contributing to the chaos below without any risk to herself. Also noteworthy, vegetables do different levels of damage depending on their expressions, with the rare, sickly looking ones being the most powerful (capable of 34% damage). Smart players should attempt to recatch and reuse these valuable veggies once they bounce off unfortunate rivals. The Princess is not limited to just produce, however, as she will occasionally pull a bomb, Mr. Saturn or beamsword from the ground as well, allowing her an element of surprise to execute on her enemy. The bomb and beamsword, obviously, are especially handy (especially on no-item melees), and can occasionally change the tide of battle. Despite its advantages, however, the vegetable also has some weaknesses - Peach throws the item rather slowly, making it an easy object for advanced opponents to catch and use themselves. Thus, Peach players over-using the veggies will soon find their enemies adapting to, and overcoming, the technique. Update: For more elaborate information on vegetables and their eclectic uses, check-out Sanzang's tip list in the "Alternative Strategies" section of this FAQ. GRABS AND THROWS Many regard Peach as having among the more ineffective grab and throw techniques in the game. That said, an expert player can be brutal with Her Highness' throwing abilities, especially on already high-damage opponents. Forward/Backward Throws - At first blush, Peach's forward throw might seem rather worthless, as she cannot toss low-damage opponents more than a few feet away - a weakness that leaves her vulnerable to a return blow. Fortunately, high-damage opponents are extremely vulnerable to Her Highness' throws, and can be sent literally soaring from the arena if their damage is high enough. Once an opponent moves beyond 75% damage, Peach players should try to throw whenever the opportunity presents itself, while enemies below 50% are best attacked with simpler, more reliable moves. Should a player grab a low-damage opponent (below 50%), choosing to do a backwards throw - the one in which Peach bumps her aggressor away with her hip - is often a wiser choice than the former, as the foe will be knocked farther away, and thus, less likely to hit the damsel with a return strike. Downward Throw - Peach's down toss is little more than her sitting herself down forcibly on her poor opponent's backside. Unfortunately, the maneuver is not particularly strong, so players should simply reserve this technique for embarrassing opponents. Update: Thanks to a tip submitted by Mister Boo, it seems Peach's downward throw is not as worthless as it first appears. Upon executing the maneuver, players should immediately attempt a high-kick, which will often send incapacitated opponents skyward for a handy juggle. Upward Throw - A potentially devastating throw, Peach will actually hurl an opponent upwards, leaving him/her vulnerable to a follow-up blow. In other words, the move is great for combos, but is most effective against opponents above 50% damage (as they will be tossed higher and thus juggled more easily). ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 4. PRINCESS POWER - TIPS, STRATEGIES, AND WARNINGS Despite her surprisingly impressive abilities in Super Smash Brothers Melee, Peach is still very much the damsel-in-distress against certain opponents, and within certain arenas. The following is a listing of tips and tactics that will help the determined Peach player win, even if the odds are against her. Juggling - Probably the greatest tactic a Peach player can use, the effective juggling of opponents is sometimes the only hope the damsel has in surviving a battle. In fact, Peach is one of the best jugglers in the game, and the number of combo chains a player can execute as the damsel is only limited by his/her imagination. There are three basic combos, however, that should always be remembered: A. Dash Attack Combo - Although the computer does not consider this type of technique a true combo, the truth is that players can repeatedly hit an opponent simply by dashing back and forth as he/she falls from the sky. This move is especially potent against high-damage victims, as they will remain stunned longer after every hit, and thus be less likely to defend themselves. Despite its simplicity, however, the maneuver still takes practice to master, as properly timing the dashes, especially on opponents who are weaving through the air at odd angles, can be tricky. Also, players should strive to hit their enemies as directly as possible with their dashes, as doing so propels foes higher, and more vertically, into the air. B. Air-Assault Combos - After sending an opponent soaring into the air, often with a dash, smash, or high-kick, players can keep their opponents airborne with a mix of jump-kicks, mid-air twirls, butt- bounces, parasol attacks, and the aforementioned dash and high-kick. After banging an enemy around a few times, an upward smash, if possible, is always a satisfying way to end the chain. C. Crouching Slap Magic - Once Peach sends an opponent airborne with her mighty crouch-slap, the aggressor often can be kept aloft with a series of high-kicks. After a few hits, players can opt to finish the juggle with a smash of some kind, or simply choose to grab their opponent and toss him away. In the event that the chain is broken accidentally by a misplaced kick, a downward smash or another crouching slap can compensate nicely. Note: For more information on combos, check out Lazy Teens Club's excellent Peach FAQ on www.gamefaqs.com. Choosing an Arena - Peach's flying abilities, coupled by her relatively slow speed, makes her a better choice for large environments where she has room to float around and calculate attacks. Hyrule Temple, Peach's Castle, and Corneria are among her better arenas. Obviously, her powers of flight also make her ideal for Poke Floats, Big Blue, and Rainbow Cruise. If possible, players should avoid small levels and those with short KO horizons (instant off-screen deaths), especially Icy Peaks, Final Destination, Brinstar and Mute City. Note: Remember, level size is relative to the number of opponents playing. For example, a one-on-one fight in Final Destination does not pose nearly as large of a problem for Her Highness as a four-player free-for-all would. In other words, bigger arenas are best for multiple opponents. Brawl Versus Hit-and-Run - Although one might think Peach would be best suited for hit-and-run style tactics, Peach is actually more of a close-range fighter. Fortunately, on one-on-one battles, Peach can usually hold her own at the hands of an experienced player, but in multi-player free-for-alls, players should attack more conservatively if they expect to survive. Players should attack only one opponent at a time, or else find themselves battered mercilessly like a ping-pong ball between their attackers. This is due to Peach's lack of sheer bullying power. Multiple Smashes - Peach's weak horizontal smashes have one advantage in that she can sometimes smash an opponent two or three consecutive times with proper timing. Although difficult to do with her racquet attack (as it knocks opponents too far away), both her golf club and frying pan smashes can send an opponent flying just over the Princess' head, rendering them vulnerable to a second, and on certain occasions, even a third hit (should they be bludgeoned upwards again). Against the Computer - Computer controlled opponents are relatively easy to defeat until they are played on CPU level seven or higher - then they become tough. The key to the computer's success is that it plays cheap, plain and simple, for it will relentlessly follow players around the arena like a hound after a rabbit. In addition, it has an advantage over human players in that it immediately recognizes every move a player has initiated before it even appears on the screen (making tricking the computer absurdly difficult), and it can also detect the appearance of off-screen items. Thankfully, the computer also has a few faults in its AI programming that players can use to their advantage. First, computer adversaries will always drop through a platform to attack a player waiting directly below, making them extremely vulnerable to upward smashes. Second, AI opponents will often jump blindly towards the platform a player is perched on, leaving themselves susceptible to repeated horizontal smashes. Lastly, computer opponents will almost never use certain items, such as the motion-sensor mine or bob-omb, but will regularly allow themselves to be KOed by such objects. A Word of Warning: Players must remember to use caution when blocking against a high-level computer opponent, as activating one's shield will immediately cause the computer to attempt a grab on poor Peach. Defending Against Edge-Guarding Opponents - Proficient edge-guarders can be especially dangerous on one-on-one battles, as they can concentrate solely on preventing their opponent from returning to the arena without worry of another player attacking them from behind. Either way, Peach is quite vulnerable to edge-guarders, especially sword-wielding types who can simply swing their weapons repeatedly at the edge of a level to swat their enemies effortlessly away. So what can a cute princess do about this problem? Obviously, Peach's flight abilities are a great help, and often times players can simply fly over their enemies as they return to the battlefield. If players cannot gain enough height over their persecutors, Peach's Parasol maneuver will often provide the necessary lift to return safely. Of course, a high-damage Princess will not always be able to return so easily, as opponents will often send Peach soaring off the stage in a helpless air-tumble of sorts. Peach can be revived from this predicament by pressing A, but by this time she is often already near the bottom-half of the screen. Once this occurs, several options are available: First, players can intentionally guide Peach to the side of the playing field where she will automatically grab the ledge. Players can then press R (shield button) to allow Peach to pull herself up and roll past her opponent to safety (presuming the enemy is near the edge), or press A and have Peach pull herself up and immediately hit her opponent (again, presuming her opponent is near the edge). If her attacker is farther away, simply hitting up on the control stick to allow Peach to pull herself straight up is often the best tactic to take (but expect to be attacked immediately upon doing so). Second, those who are feeling lucky can guide Peach just below the edge of the arena, where they can then perform a parasol attack, skewering the foe above. Those who choose this maneuver - and succeed - should expect a return strike from the enemy. Third, in another risky maneuver, a player can fall towards their opponent and use the Peach bomber just before they come within their foe's striking range, ideally surprising the hapless adversary with a great hit. Likewise, players can perform a similar technique with the Toad Counter, but one should only do this if an immediate attack is expected. Fifth, skilled players can attempt a crown slap, which sometimes works well on weaponless opponents (those without swords). Lastly, Peach players can simply opt to use an air- dodge to return to the playing field. Caution: Unfortunately, once an air-dodge or upward B attack is performed, a player cannot attack or jump again until he/she lands. Edge-Guarding as Peach - Her Highness' best edge-guarding tactics involve her horizontal smashes, downward smash, and those pesky veggies of hers. As an opponent struggles to return to the playing field, Peach players should be waiting near the edge to swat them away with a powered smash. If the enemy manages to land outside the range of a frontal smash, a dash or downward smash can compensate. Adversaries still a distance from the arena can be knocked back repeatedly by a continuous stream of the Princess' prized vegetables, which players can pluck and toss quickly by holding down and rapidly pressing B. If the opponent still manages to near the playing field, players should quickly change tactics and execute a smash. Update: According to Cahphoenix, a downward smash is effective against opponents jumping back to a ledge after falling. Furthermore, the damsel's mid-air twirl can be an effective means to launch returning opponents (victims?) back into oblivion. Block and Grab Rules - Although this is true when playing as any character, Peach cannot simultaneously generate her shield and grab an opponent while said enemy is striking her shield. Attempting to do so will only leave the poor Princess susceptible to being grabbed and thrown herself. Practice With Other Characters - Remember, one of the best ways to improve one's skills is to play as the other characters, learn their moves, and then use that knowledge in constructing a potent strategy for Peach. Frightening Flying - Peach's flying ability can be used for more than just recovering from falls. Smart players will use her abilities to move irregularly in the air, faking out adversaries by her erratic movements. By doing this, the damsel can often score extra hits on her aggressors. Experimentation is the key. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 5. PEACH IN PERIL - THE POOR PRINCESS' MOST DANGEROUS OPPONENTS A good Peach player can handle over half the contestants in Super Smash Brothers Melee with little trouble, but several will give all but the best players a hard time. This is due to the game's sometimes unbalanced, over-powered or quick characters. Fortunately, these difficulties can be (mostly) overcome with some determination and effort. The following is a list of the characters the fair damsel is generally most vulnerable to, with tips on how to defeat them nonetheless. Link - Link can be a struggle to defeat, especially for the beginner. Why? Here's a brief list of his strengths: He is fairly powerful, has cheap attacks (beware his dreaded sword spin), has a number of long-range moves, has good reach with his "short-range" moves (thanks to his sword), has a long-range throw (that can even penetrate shields), has overly powerful downward and upward A attacks (his down-thrust is a killer), and he can even block projectiles without generating his shield, as his Hyrulian shield is capable of blocking most long-range attacks. Perhaps his only weakness is that his upward and downward smashes are not particularly effective, but such is little consolation. So what is a princess to do against such might? Pray for good items, for starters, as an expert Link player may trounce the poor Princess otherwise. But if decent items are not at hand, or worse, are being used by the competition, players will have to play craftily to win. -If Link is approaching from a distance, toss a vegetable or two in his direction to slow him down. -Be extremely careful when blocking and dodging, as his annoying hook- shot throw can unfairly penetrate a shield. Fortunately, should Peach avoid the weapon, players will have a second of opportunity to strike back as the elf reels in his weapon. Using a dash in these situations is generally best, as it is easy to pull off and sets Link up for a juggle. Knowing this, Peach players would be wise to intentionally lure a Link opponent into using his hook-shot so that he can be left vulnerable for a quick counterattack. -Be careful when using air-attacks, as Link, thanks to his sword, has an easier time countering such maneuvers than most other characters. -On the larger levels, fly Peach around often to entice Link into chasing her. By forcing Link to pursue her, Peach has a greater chance of countering his attacks. -Link's downward sword thrust is among the most powerful downward A moves in the game, and can be likened to a smash attack. If Link attempts this maneuver on Peach, block it and grab him immediately as he lands. At this point, one can either throw him upwards (good for double hits) or to the side (sometimes a safer choice). His downward sword attack can also be countered with an upward smash, but the timing must be perfect. Many players prefer using Peach's Parasol to preempt the attack, and some simply dodge the move, and then hit Link with a dash or smash as he recovers from the miss. -Link is left vulnerable after completing his sword-spin technique, allowing Peach a good opportunity for an air, dash or smash attack. -Do not stand on a platform directly above Link, as a good player will immediately use a jump spin, or worse, an upward sword thrust. -Link, amazingly, also has a rapid sword attack to compliment all his other overly powerful moves. In other words, do not take him head on with basic attacks, as Peach's dainty hands with be no match for the elfin warrior's Master Sword. -Some Peach players simply rush in on Link, sometimes hopping around as they do so, hoping to eventually land a good hit and propel him upwards for a devastating juggle. This strategy does indeed work - sometimes - but, for obvious reasons, it also puts Peach at great risk. -As with most opponents, Peach players should focus on smashing Link upward out of the arena more so than towards the left or right. Marth and Roy - Although they lack Link's variety of short and long- range moves, their sword attacks are quick and powerful enough to instill dread in many a Peach player. -As with Link, Peach's dainty slap-attack is no match for Marth's and Roy's longer-ranged, more powerful sword swipes. Generally, only quick, more powerful direct attacks, such as Peach's high kick or dash moves, should be used (however, the risk of being beaten away by their swords, or grabbed, is still a possibility). -Marth and Roy are superb edge-guarders due to their over-arching sword blows. A Marth player, for instance, can stand at the edge of the playing field and simply swipe repeatedly with his sword, continuously knocking even the most determined opponents back into the void. To survive this injustice, players should try returning by flying over their opponents, using, if needed, Peach's parasol for added lift, for both characters sport strong upward B attacks. Refer to the previous "Princess Power" section for further instruction. -As with any opponent, juggle tactics are crucial for victory. Once an enemy is rendered helpless and airborne, try to juggle him as many times as possible, for once he lands or revives in the air, he will be ready for revenge. Dash combos are often the most effective, and safest, tactic to use against the two swordsmen. -Interestingly, Marth's and Roy's sword-based attacks make them more vulnerable to Peach's Toad Counter than most, especially when they are running towards the Princess in preparation for a dashing blow. Keep in mind, however, that even after being blasted by Toad, both characters are often able to recover fast enough for a return strike, for Peach is a tad slow when returning her mushroom companion back into her pocket. -Peach players can often keep the swordsmen at bay by well-placed smashes, especially when they are jumping towards her on a ledge. Likewise, downward smashes can be effective against opponents jumping to reach her from below. -The effective use of vegetables can sometimes unnerve a persistent Marth or Roy player enough to allow Peach a safe retreat, or serve as the means for setting-up a more powerful attack. -The Peach Bomber, although easily countered by the pair, can nevertheless be effective if used sparingly and wisely. Marth/Roy players just recovering from a fall or jump are especially vulnerable to the move (if timed properly). Captain Falcon - The muscle-bound bounty hunter is both heinously powerful and an extraordinarily fast runner, making him a lethal adversary to the slower, weaker Peach. -The Captain might be fast on foot, but many of his moves are slow, making him one of the easier opponents to employ the Toad Counter on. If he is nearby, and shouts "Falcon Punch," be sure to introduce him to the little guy. -Captain Falcon's Falcon Kick can be devastating, for, unlike some of his other moves, the attack provides no warning before its execution. To avoid being trampled repeatedly, never stand idle in front of the vigilante for more than an instant. -Players should try to use the Captain's moves against him. If he charges, block the attack and grab him, use the Toad Counter, or smash him (this, however, takes good timing). Vegetables are another good way to preempt his attacks, but beware, the veggies will not always stop him during his most powerful techniques. Anticipating his moves is the best way to ensure victory. -Fly, fly, fly. Flight is often Peach's only recourse in avoiding being beat-down by the barbarian's ruthless tactics. Use it often to annoy Falcon players, and to set them up for particular moves. -Using air attacks is risky against Falcon, as most of his moves can counter or preempt any blow the poor Princess can deliver. Worst, good Captain players will grab Peach, throw her into the air, and then hit her with his upward B attack - a very frustrating combo to be ensnared by. Of course, against Falcon, using any close-ranged attack is risky without planning a tactic beforehand. -The Captain has a Peach-paralyzing rapid-kick that often traps unwitting princesses within a fury of blows. If caught on the ground with this attack, try dodging away, or, if up close, try to use a basic slap, or a crouching slap, to disable the attack. If caught in the air, try air-dodging away. None of the strategies is foolproof, however, and it is simply best to avoid being ensnared by the attack in the first place. -Because many of Falcon's moves are slow, Peach will occasionally have an opening to attack right as he finishes a technique. Dare to execute a dash attack or something that will propel him upwards, as successful juggling is again the primary means to win. Even the boldest Peach players who prefer to take Falcon on directly still spend much of their time dodging, blocking, and evading his attacks until he makes himself vulnerable to a counterblow. Only then can the best combo chains be initiated. -Remember, grabs and throws can be an effective tactic to use on Falcon opponents who are inaccurate with their attacks, but players are cautioned against using throws until their opponent has surpassed 50% damage. -According to contributor Rong Li, Peach's downward smash is the perfect attack against "fast-falling" characters such as Falcon, as his rapid descent makes him much more vulnerable to the maneuver. Ganondorf - An unlikely clone of Captain Falcon (a good thing, actually, as Peach would have a difficult time if Ganon used that sword of his), most of the techniques that work against Falcon also work against the Gerudo thief. Because of his slower speed, however, a few other tactics are useful. -Believe it or not, Ganon is one of the few characters Peach can outrun, so players should definitely use this to their advantage. If Ganon is brutalizing Peach with his absurdly powerful attacks, a swift retreat is probably in order. -Not only is he slow, Ganondorf is also not particularly agile, allowing Peach many opportunities for escape, thanks to her recovery powers. Smart players will use the stages' environments in order to escape, throw vegetables, and use items. Smashes can also work well if used precisely at the moment Ganon comes within range. -Because of his increased strength, Ganondorf can be even more deadly than Captain Falcon. Conversely, because of his reduced speed, the thief is often easier to send airborne than his F-Zero counterpart. Put simply, hit-and-run tactics work well within reason, put Peach players will ultimately have to attack the villain directly. Remember, expert juggling can quickly incapacitate him. -Beware his upward B attack, which is even more brutal than Captain Falcon's version (it is so powerful, in fact, it can even counter Kirby's Falling Rock attack). Fox McCloud and Falco Lombardi - The Star Fox duo is much alike, but Fox is the faster of the two. Either way, both characters are adept at running down hapless princesses with their cheap, hit-and-run attacks. -The duo is quick, but like Peach, they are semi-lightweight types who lack any over-powered, brutal attack. This is good news for Her Highness, who can thus charge into the fray without the worry of possibly being annihilated off the screen (still watch out for smash attacks, however). As always, Peach players should try to propel Fox/Falco skyward in attempt to start a combo chain of attacks. -Fox (and Falco to a lesser extent) can easily outrun Peach, but wise use of her flying abilities should allow the Princess to avoid her pursuers with minimal trouble. -The duo's Fox/Falco Illusion technique is a frustrating attack to detect and avoid, as neither character provides much warning when executing the maneuver. Worse, shrewd souls often use the attacks to trample their disoriented opponents back and forth repeatedly. If caught in this attack, try generating Peach's shield to block the next hit, and then fight back or run away. -Peach can actually bully Fox and Falco around in close quarters if she strikes first, as her dash attack, crouching-slap and high-kick can be temporarily incapacitating on opponents. Unfortunately, should Fox or Falco strike first, the pair's annoying rapid kick often ensnares and renders players helpless. Breaking free is not always easy, but if a Peach player realizes the move is about to be executed, a good crouching slap can often prevent the maneuver from continuing. If not, however, one can try dodging away, or fighting back with Peach's basic slap. -Vegetables are not as effective against the Star Fox team as it is against other opponents, for their speed makes them difficult opponents to hit (especially Fox). Furthermore, each character has a secondary, deflective shield used to block enemy projectiles. Peach players should rely more on direct, physical attacks when facing the them. -Fox/Falco players enjoy retreating from opponents and then blasting them from afar with their rapid-fire blasters. Peach players can often use this to their advantage, however, by flying over the stream of fire and coming down on their persecutors with a well-placed crown-slap. Of course, cowardly opponents may simply flee to the other side of the arena and resume fire. If this happens, find better friends to play against. -Fox and Falco are vulnerable immediately after completing their Fire Fox (rocket) maneuver, and thus, should be grabbed, smashed, dashed, shaken but not stirred. -Again, according to contributor Rong Li, the maiden's downward smash is a great attack to use against the duo when they are falling or jumping down towards her, as the rapid descent of their falls make them extra susceptible to damage. Zelda(Sheik) - As the other fair maiden in Nintendo mythology, the refined and becoming Princess Zelda's presence in a chaotic game like Super Smash Brothers Melee is as peculiar as, well, the sweet and gentle Princess Peach's presence in the game. In any case, Zelda is a mostly a defensive character, who, frankly, is not much of a match for an experienced Peach player. Once she transforms into Sheik, however, her composed and melancholy disposition suddenly gives way to that of a feisty and zealous young man armed with a blinding repertoire of moves - putting Peach players at a significant disadvantage. -Sheik's main advantage is his awesome speed. Even beginners can choose Sheik, and by hammering the A button, send opponents reeling. Peach has an especially difficult time against the She-Man, as her slow speed makes her an easy target for Sheik's rampages. Fortunately, Sheik is a lightweight opponent who can be battered around effectively with strong hits. Peach players may want to risk some damage and attempt to dash attack Sheik into the air for a combo. Alternatively, players can bait Sheik into dashing towards them, block his attack, grab and throw him upward, and then start a combo chain. -Although Sheik is generally too quick to be hit accurately by vegetables, the projectiles can be useful in slowing him down during his sprints across the screen. -If Sheik is lunging towards Peach, an occasional, well-timed Peach Bomber attack can send the Princess' shocked pursuer promptly flying in the other direction. -Like Link, Fox, and Falcon, Sheik as a rapid attack that can paralyze Peach within a flurry of jabs. Escape is not always immediate, but players can try dodging away, crouch slapping or basic slapping their attacker to break free. -Should Sheik return to her female body, Peach players should increase the aggressiveness of their attacks to prevent Zelda from returning to her Sheikan form. Beware, however, that the seemingly passive princess is hardly defenseless; indeed, Zelda's horizontal smashes can knock an opponent quite far when timed correctly. Also, watch out for her jump kicks, as they can deal up to 20% damage with a single hit. -Some players have a difficult time dealing with Sheik's devastating dash attack which, like Peach's, can send opponents flying straight into the air. The only difference is that it is far faster than Peach's version of the move. Fortunately, the situation is not as bad as it seems. First, Peach can counter the move by merely slapping in the scoundrel's direction. Second, effective blocking, grabbing and throwing can upset the Sheikan's relentless attacks. Lastly, the frequent tossing of vegetables will often discourage his advances - so carry them often. See? It's as easy as getting a pedicure. . .well, maybe not. Note: Other characters to watch out for are Bowser, Mr. Game and Watch and the Ice Climbers. Peach is not as naturally weak against these opponents as the aforementioned ones, but they can still prove to be extremely dangerous at the hands of skilled players. Bowser is often difficult to approach without being smacked away by his powerful blows, the Ice Climbers employ devastating bully tactics, and Mr. Game and Watch has a variety of surprisingly powerful, and easy to perform, attacks. In other words - play smart! ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 6. JUST PEACHY - MISCELLANEOUS TIPS AND TRICKS - The following is a quick list of other tricks players can use with their favorite Princess in Pink. Giant Vegetable - Upon enlarging with a Super Mushroom, Peach can begin unearthing sheep-size vegetables to hurl at her pursuers. Should she shrink while carrying one of these monstrosities, the giant vegetable will nevertheless remain in her hand, and still be usable. Quick Float - By holding down + X or Y at the same time, Peach can float across the ground without actually having to jump. To attack, players can hit the Z (grab) button to crown-slap their opponents while moving forward. Ultimately, this maneuver is not always helpful, but it occasionally allows for a good blow if executed correctly; Peach masters have been known to use this maneuver for some satisfying victories. Valuable Veggies - Once Peach plucks a vegetable from the ground, she does not necessarily have to throw it immediately - Peach can execute any of her B attacks and remain holding the projectile. Players can use this technique to conserve uncommonly powerful veggies, or fake out opponents by plucking one from the ground and then using a different attack (and then, perhaps, throw the veggie afterward). Update: Thanks to a tip contributed by Blissless Serenity, Peach can also execute her aerial A attacks while remaining hold of her vegetable. To do this, all players have to do is tap the Z button while Peach is hovering or flying in the air. The catch is that Her Highness must be FLOATING - hitting Z while she is simply jumping will merely cause her to toss the veggie as she normally would. Crouch Steady - Interestingly, powerful moves that would normally send Peach reeling backwards are not as potent when she is crouching. For example, many of Captain Falcon moves bowl Peach right over, but if it connects while she is crouching, a low-damage Princess will not be knocked as far, if at all. Of course, she will still take the full amount of damage, but she will at least be in the position to immediately counterattack. Hammer Neutralizer - Looking for any redeemable qualities in Peach's Toad Counter move? Try using it against an opponent armed with a big hammer and laugh at the result. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 7. PLAYING PEACH TO PERFECTION - ALTERNATIVE STRATEGIES - The following is a list of tips and tactics submitted to me by other Peach aficionados. I do not necessarily endorse these "bonus" strategies, but many have merit and have the potential to really improve one's game. Mister Boo has several interesting tips to share. He writes: -Peach's aerial down-A is good if you do the insta-hover, and just float towards your opponent, then do either a neutral-A or a backward-A attack to get them away from you. Also, just doing a simple jump, the a down-A attack can put a little hurt on a foe, and when it's done, you'll be back on the ground. -Marth and Roy are no problem either, you just have to get in their faces. There are two types of Marth/Roy players--those who just use their side smashes (no problem) and those who use Marth's speed, and Roy's power. I've never played a good Marth player (I'm pretty good with Marth myself) but Roy's never a problem for me when my brother plays as him. Keep him at bay with the veggies, then roll around him when he tries to smash/dancing blade you. -Watch out for that stupid electric knee of Falcon. I hate that thing. -Ganondorf is dangerous usually only when the computer is playing him. Most human players don't have his timing right to outclass other moves with his more powerful ones. (I'm also pretty good with Ganondorf) -Fox is sort of a pain. I was getting killed by my friend's upward smash all the time, until I just realized that I could float right before I got into range, he would do the kick, then I'd come down while he was recovering and whip him good. Falco's just a slower fox to me. -Sheik is the biggest pain to me, but certianly not unbeatable. The biggest thing here is to STAY OUT OF THE AIR! Calmly advance toward Sheik, blocking the 10000 needles that most Sheik players will throw at you, and simply out power Zelda's counterpart. Sheik's strongest attacks are her upward smash, and her forward aerial-A. If you can avoid those two moves, you should be fine. -If a player likes to get in close and use a lot of down-A attacks, have Peach's downward smash ready. When a character is ducking and gets hit by Peach's downward smash, they get sucked in and can't escape. This caused around 75% of damage to Fox fully charged. Blissless Serenity also has a few techniques to recommend. He writes: -I think only the characters' mobility/moves/recovery time from moves/power really distinguishes any of them. Rolling/dodging/throwing is basically universal. Only Fox/Samus have significantly different rolling speeds than everyone else. For example, I can out-roll/out-grab someone with Ganondorf just as well as with Sheik. -In a typical game, I dash/hit/smash a lot if I see someone approaching me, and if I fail to hit them, I block/roll immediately after the move, unless I know there's no chance in hell they'll hit me. My opponent would have to predict exactly what move I was going to make in order to grab me before I roll away or do another move. -I also found the up-A aerial to be very useful for KOs against people that like to avoid you at high damage. Therefore, I don't use it to juggle, but to finish high-flying opponents. For instance if they're at 130+% and you've sent them up higher than a jump distance but it isn't lethal, jump up, float, and if they try to land away from you, float after them and catch them with the up-A, even if they try to jump away. That takes timing/practice but it's very satisfying to know they can't escape you in the air. If they air-dodge, immediately land and throw/dash attack. -A final note about aerials: neutral aerial is your savior against speedsters. It's like Mario's neutral A: it is THE anti-juggler, especially against Falcon dives and Fox's rising aerials. Ruffy Zarookian has a tip to offer. He writes: -. . .the power behind the side and b attack. . . is predictable and unwieldy but it is quite powerful and can easily knock opponents off the screen. Cahphoenix has developed some useful strategies: -Peach's ability to float can be used to limit almost every characters' standing attacks and smashes. The exception being taller characters like Samus. Make Peach float just above the horizontal plane of an enemy's attacks. This will allow Peach to float in and use her neutral A attack or butt attack if facing backwards. The enemy almost always thinks they can hit Peach, but if done correctly the side attacks and dashes will miss--giving a free hit to Peach. This can also be used to get away from projectiles from Sheik, Samus, etc... Just hover above the plane of the projectile and your shield will stay fully charged. The enemy may start using their up attacks, but this can be easily avoided when floating as you should never be directly over the other player. It is especially useful when opponents are getting up from the ground. You can hover over their recovery attack and get a free hit in, and if the opponent rolls away you can usually float over to them before they get up to score a free hit. -As already expressed in the alternative strats, Peach's Down A smash is a very effective move. It is basically the cheapest move in the game because it can deal an insane amount of damage if a) the other player is pressing down; or b) the smash is used to counter another player's move. I spam the move every chance I get as the move has an area of effect and lasts a good amount of time. So dodging and rolling is virtually useless against Peach. Also, it has almost no recovery time and can be followed up with a dash or dodge if it missed. Try using it to counter dash attacks and a clever enemy's attempts to get back on. -Peach is probably the best edge guarder in the game. The down A smash can hit unsuspecting characters trying to reach the edge from a horizontal or downward position as it can counter many attacks used to get back on. Her floating ability can also be used here. She can float just to the side of the edge. If the other player uses a jump to get back on Peach is right in the way and can neutral A them off. A roll will result in a back butt attack and any attack when getting back on will miss resulting in a hit for Peach. She can also just float out away from the stage to get a last hit on the opponent, then float back using her parasol. -As you stated, she is not particularly fast, but her dash attack will propel her much faster for the last couple feet to the enemy, so the opponent has a hard time figuring out when to block or counter the attack. If they block too early just do a run grab instead of the attack. -Peach is one of the hardest characters to hit if used properly. Very few characters can perform combos on her due to her floating ability. Of everyone, I have only found Samus to be able to effectively combo her. Use her block+down dodge, not the side dodge, continuously as she has one of the fastest recovery times for it. This is probably her best attribute as she can perform combos while others can't. -Her turnips can be used as an effective stunning weapon. You can throw the turnip while in the air or on the ground and quickly follow up with a neutral air attack or a dash. If opponent tries to catch the turnip, which most do, then the quick attack will get them right after they catch the turnip or after they miss the catch and hit the turnip away. The only danger to this is the quick block grab. -Her neutral air move is an attack that can out prioritize many moves while also being a very quick attack that can do good damage and knock opponents away. This is also true of her back air move, though it doesn't hit for as much power or distance. Galaxysong 9 has an interesting strategy: If you are fighting in a place where there is a lower level that isn't a platform you can go through (such as Corneria), stand below the wing but not under it. Dig up a turnip and when your opponent comes down, hurl it up at them. If they know how, (CPU level 7 is what I usually play at) they will air dodge it, leaving them vulnerable for a fairly charged up A Smash or a parasol. If they don't air dodge it, they at least get hit by the turnip. Sometimes, if you can hit them up high enough, they'll get hit with the turnip anyway! It's a win-win situation. I have also recaught the turnip occasionally. It stops Bowser's/Yoshi's Down B's, or Link's Down A, and it's got a very high accuracy too! If they have a high enough damage, you can also catch them, and forward throw them off the stage! Also, in this position (or even closer in, directly under the wing), you have to have about 200% damage before they can knock you off. You bounce off the wing, wall-kick off, and land perfectly with a Crown Slap. And I have also been hit straight up, had Peach scream like she was knocked out like a star, and just had her bounce off the over-hanging wing. Corneria+Peach=Death to opponents! Sanzang Hoshi Sama has a lot of tips and opinions to share: Her [Peach's] downward rapid kick is only remotely useful when using the down+jump trick on a flat stage and the upwards aerial kick is easy to land on someone, that is if you time it right. Peach Bomber is an ok move that doesn't have any real advantage to it but in some instances its good just to catch someone off guard with it (since you probably rarely use it). Toad Counter is almost completely useless in my opinion - the recovery after it is as pathetic as you say, and a simple dodge then counter-attack beats using Toad any day as it won't leave you open. The one use for that move is if you are in the air and someone attacks you from the front. The Turnips are awesome. There are 4 outcomes of you throwing a turnip at someone and because they have to react in one of these ways it means you can always catch them - IT DOESN'T HAVE TO ACTUALLY HIT FOR IT TO BE EFFECTIVE - hardly anyone gets hit by the turnips unless you are using them as a edge guarding tool. She can attack almost immediately attack after throwing a turnip so.... 1. They get hit by it = you dash attack them (they'll be stunned so it's a 100% hit). 2. They dodge it = you dash attack them (you should time dash so you can see which way they are dodging, and then it's pretty easy to hit them. 3. They catch it = you dash attack them (turnips should be used in close-ish range to an opponent which is why it doesn't matter so much about them not having range, because if they grab it your dash attack will hit 100% ... yes that is how fast you can attack after throwing a turnip). 4. They use an attack to knock it away = you dash attack them (basically if they have to move or block to stop the turnip you can hit them, that is why the turnips are peach's ultimate trump card and i love them so much). Yeah, yeah i love the turnips :D As for Marth and Roy, most of Peach's attacks can stop the sword swipes from happening, you know, cancel them out, and then Peach can use a faster move like just tapping A to hit them. A Flat stage means you can use her aerial moves on the ground (on Final Destination press jump while holding down and you'll understand) and the aerial back attack is great for hitting them, the front one is good for knocking them out but is difficult to connect if your opponent is good. Either way, because of Peach's turnips and hovering ability she can run these 2 into the ground in seconds. (Especially if you can hit them properly with the highly damaging down smash, it deals 40% damage.) Rong Li also has a few (somewhat critical) words to share: 1. You said that Fox and Falco were some of Peach's most dangerous opponents. This is completely untrue. Peach actually counters the space animals because (a)their fastfall makes them take huge damage from Peach's down smash and (b)many of Peach's attacks send the space animals at a downward angle due to their fast falling rates. Same for Captain Falcon and just about anyone that falls fast. Currently, Marth and Sheik are probably the only characters that have considered to counter Peach. [Author's note: I still hold that Fox and Falco (especially Fox) are among Peach's tougher adversaries. While advanced players will perhaps have the necessary experience to properly handle these two, novice and intermediate players will likely have a difficult time.] 2. You underestimated the power of Peach's down smash. If the opponent is crouching while you do the down smash on them, that's 66% damage right there when uncharged. When Peach is standing on a slope like in Yoshi's island and does down smash to an opponent below her, that's 30-66% damage, and it doesn't even require the opponent to crouch. And if you're standing on a platform and you're opponent is under it, you can do 3 or so hits with the down smash in that position. Note: This is the most significant of the information I have received from Melee players thus far. However, this section may continue to grow if Peach supporters continue emailing me their strategies. Also, for you nitpickers out there, one of the reasons for this section is for me to have a quick and convenient way of receiving and listing new, important tactics without having to go through the trouble of researching and writing up the strategies myself. So don't complain if what is listed in this section cannot be found in the rest of the FAQ. . .if it's listed here, that should be good enough. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 8. CONCLUSION - FINAL ADVICE, HOPES, RANTS, AND CREDITS I hope this FAQ will help Peach players perform more formidably on the battlefield, but remember, the Princess was not designed to be the best character in Smash Brothers Melee (nor should she be, considering who she is), and so will always be at a disadvantage against certain notorious opponents. The most any Peach player can do is practice regularly against both human and high-level computer opponents. With skill, strategy, and some luck, Peach can be a scary woman indeed at the hands of an accomplished player. Many will probably note that I excluded information concerning the single player modes of the game. Even so, much of the strategies listed herein are relevant to those modes as well, and thus, listing strategies for the single-player experience would have been redundant. Besides, Peach is not exactly the best choice for the single-player modes, particularly on the higher difficulties. Remember, she lacks strong horizontal smashes and is susceptible to bully tactics, making her an easy target in team and multi-battle stages. The Adventure and All-Star modes can be especially brutal to even the most ardent of Peach fans. Nonetheless, players determined to beat these modes on the higher difficulties should learn the AI's style of fighting, and use this knowledge to their advantage. Peach's Parasol Attack can be handy in multi-battles, as are certain items, especially beamswords and pokeballs. Succeeding in these modes is certainly not impossible, but again, practice and persistence is the key. In the next Smash Brothers game, I hope for a few improvements. For Peach, one can only hope Hal Laboratory improves her Toad Counter, or replaces it altogether with a better defensive move. A slight upgrade in speed would do the Princess wonders as well. As for the game itself, I hope Hal Laboratory will improve the balance of the characters. Yes, the fact that some characters have advantages over others makes sense, for Peach surely would be no match against Link or Marth in a real-world setting, but some characters simply have too many overpowered and cheap attacks. I also hope the camera is improved in the next edition, for the camera in Melee does not always pan and zoom properly when obstacles and dangerous items appear on- screen. For instance, I have been KOed several times by the giant Bullet Bills on Peach's Castle stage simply because the camera did not zoom out, even a little, to show me that it was coming. Other improvements would include a better, less redundant Adventure Mode, bigger arenas (strategic four-player battles are impossible on some stages), more characters (where's Wario, Toad and Pitt?), on-line play (oh please!), a tag-team mode (a la MvsC), and finally, less emphasis on items. The last is a major pet peeve of mine, as items, especially the explosive kind, are too powerful, making quick and cheap deaths far too common. Oh, and one more thing: How about a story mode for each of the characters? Each character could have his/her own quest and reason for being in the game, with their own respective endings. That would be cool, would it not? And here's my thoughts on the tier debate: Yes, they do exist, as some characters have obvious advantages over others. However, the wise should remember that tiering is a largely subjective exercise and, at best, is a mere approximation of each character's overall potential. Also misleading is that, while certain characters such as Fox and Sheik are usually ranked near the top, they are also among the most difficult to master. Casual gamers may be better off choosing more user-friendly characters such as Mario or Samus, whom, while rarely placed in the top tier, are still very potent and flexible characters to master. And where does our favorite princess place in the ranks? It depends on who's doing the ranking, of course; at best, Peach is rated as high as third place (meaning she's more or less the third best character in the game). At worse, she places in the second tier, around seventh or eighth. For practical reasons, however, players can assume Peach falls along the threshold between the first and second tiers (around the fourth or fifth position). For gamers looking for more information on Princess Peach, www.gamefaqs.com has two other useful FAQs, with Lazy Teens Club's being the more comprehensive of the two. In fact, I gleaned a couple of tips myself from this particular one, and I thank the FAQ's author Mr. Thomas Hostetler for the help. I also thank Ruffy Zarookian, Blissless Serenity, Mister Boo, Cahphoenix, Galaxysong9, Sanzang Hoshi Sama and Rong Li for their feedback, and, of course, GameFAQs for publishing this work. Anyone interested in using this FAQ on his or her web site should ask for my permission first. I can be reached at email@example.com. Also, I've been considering adding more sections to this FAQ--primarily a level strategy section. But, considering that this work is already rather extensive, and due to limited time on my part, I have been hesitant to include such a feature. However, if there are any readers who would like me to continue updating this FAQ, let me know and I probably will. I will gladly accept reader submissions as well (if they're good enough, of course). In conclusion, the characters in Super Smash Brothers Melee are best divided into three categories - those who are innately great fighters, those who are not so formidable, but are fun to play as, and those who are neither fun nor particularly effective. Peach falls best somewhere in-between the first and middle categories--even a kitten has its bite. Again, unlike Lara Croft, Joanna Dark, and numerous other tough video game femmes fatales', Peach is a truly feminine woman who fights and acts as such; and in the end, that is the beauty of her character. Final Note: Those interested in other games with a more traditional, less masculine take on female game characters may want to check out the PSX game RPG Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure and the GBC action-platformer Shantae (GBC). Both games feature spunky, warm, and well-meaning female characters who lack the cocky, combative, and cold exteriors that define most game-women today. Likewise, some of the Final Fantasy games depict women in a more traditional manner (despite the absurd, Lara Croftian update given to Yuna in the upcoming Final Fantasy X-2).