Earthbound Icon
First appearance EarthBound (1995)
Appears in Earthbound (SNES)

SSB ( N64)

SSBM (Gamecube)

SSBB (Wii)

Titles The Child Prodigy
Gender Male
Hometown Onett
Race Human
Age Unknown
Ness  (ネス, Nesu) is the main protagonist of Earthbound (known as Mother 2 in Japan)

In the Super Smash Bros. series

Ness's depiction from Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Universe of Origin Mother (universe)
Gender Male
Homeland Onett
Final Smash PK Starstorm
Ness (ネス, Nesu) is an unlockable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and has appeared in every installment of the Smash Bros. series thus far. Ness is currently ranked 28/29 on the tier list, having the same rank as his "semi-clone" Lucas. Ness does have quite a few powerful, high priority moves, as well as many useful special attacks, but his unsafe recovery, unusually long grab release animation, and below average tournament results have given him his low tier ranking.

How to unlock

  • Play five Brawls, then defeat Ness.
  • Reflect ten projectiles, then defeat Ness.
  • Get Ness to join your party in The Subspace Emissary.


Generalizing Ness is difficult. He generally runs a unique, versatile role, employing three different projectiles with differing purposes. Generally, the moves have modest lag and decent knockback, his PK Fire combos well into other attacks, and his PK Thunder can trap opponents and combo into PK Thunder 2, one of the strongest attacks in the game. The best for Ness, however, are his powerful throws, which are among the best in the game, and among the few with true KO potential. Combining these with proper projectile use and appropriate Smash timing, and Ness can be a powerful foe.

Ness' true game relies in his aerials. Ness is one of the very few characters in the game who can perform two aerials in one shorthop (Double Aerial Shuffle). This requires practice though because you need to do the aerial immediately when you jump off the ground. His ground game is decent but not great. With short range tilts, he suffers fighting people with disjointed hitboxes such as Ike or Marth. The only upside of his tilts are that they come out very quickly, can be used to continue or finish a combo, while having extremely high priority. His forward smash, although powerful, seems somewhat slow; though it really is only slightly slower than his counterpart's forward smash, Lucas. His up smash, though not very powerful in terms of knockback, is very versatile when used properly, being one of the only two smash attacks able to damage people while charging, both belonging to Ness. All of Ness's smashes also give Ness some much needed range in his ground game. Ness struggles a lot with grab releases in Brawl, because he and Lucas both suffer from having an extremely long grab release animation. Many characters have some sort of grab release on Ness, and/or Lucas, leading to chaingrabs, infinites, and other moderate to major problems. An example would be Marth's 0-death on Ness, and infinite on Lucas.

One of the most difficult problems with Ness is using PK Thunder 2 as recovery. Ness' PK Thunder, though faster than Lucas' PK Thunder, has a much wider turning axle, thus requiring more room for Ness to recover than Lucas. In addition, his PK Thunder will stop it's tracks when it hits most items, a wall, or a character. As such, many opponents may take a risk and jump in front of PK Thunder's path to intercept Ness' recovery, giving Ness little to no hope of making it back onstage. While this is a problem, Ness has a very large 2nd jump (Only beaten by Yoshi's in length), decent aerial speed, is slightly floaty, and has a huge ledge sweetspot range. Still, enterprising Ness players can make him highly dangerous despite his few, albeit large, flaws.


Ground Attacks

  • Neutral Attack - Jabs twice and kicks. 3% first hit, 2% second hit, and 4% third hit, Ness has the ability to jab lock.
  • Dash Attack - Sends three sparks out in front of him with the third spark knocking the opponent up into the air. 5% first hit, 4% second hit, and 4% third hit. Each hit sends the opponent in a different direction, with different knockback. Great, disjointed range.
  • Strong Side - Kicks out in front of him. Can be tilted upward or downward. Downward, 10%. Forward, 11%. Upward, 12%. Of extreme priority (clashing with even Marth's forward smash), but generally mediocre range.
  • Strong Up - Raises his hands, which grow large, up into the air. Of high priority, outprioritizing most attacks. Decent range. 7%.
  • Strong Down - Ness crouches and very quickly kicks out in front of him. The quickest Strong Down attack and one of the overall fastest attacks in the game (can be used multiple times in a row to rack up damage). 4% each hit. Has 50% chance of tripping opponent, but a 100% chance if sweetspotted. If it trips the opponent, it combos well into his Up Smash, Strong Side, Forward Smash, and Strong Down again. Has extremely low range, though good priority.
  • Side Smash - Ness swings his bat. The bat has a sweet-spot at the tip of it. Similar to Lucas' Forward Smash, but with a slightly slower start-up time, much more power, and slightly longer range. One of Ness' more average killing moves. Functions as a reflector when timed correctly. 18%-24% uncharged, 25%-33% fully charged.
  • Up Smash - Ness sends his yo-yo forward and performs "around-the-world" over himself, with the yo-yo ending behind him before he pulls it back. This is one of only two smash attacks in the game, along with Ness' down smash, that do damage while it charges, which actually isn't a charge at all. If connected properly, the opponent hit by the forward yo-yo will then be sent up to be hit by the swinging yo-yo and then sent up into the air. 4% while "charging", 9% on opponents in front on the ground, 13% on opponents in the air or behind Ness.
  • Down Smash - Ness sends his yo-yo backwards and "walks-the-dog" with it before pulling the yo-yo back. Works much like Ness' Up Smash. 4% while "charging", 13% during the actual attack. If connected properly (the first hit), the enemy will be hit twice. Certain characters like Link, Sonic, and a few others for some odd reason will only be hit by the weaker hitbox, and will be sent over the stronger hitbox, only doing 4%.
  • Ledge attack - Flips onto the stage and does a sweep kick, usually only 1 hit connects. Sends opponent behind Ness. 8%.
  • 100% ledge attack - Slowly pull himself up and delivers a powerful punch. 10%.
  • Floor Attack - Gets up and kicks backward, then spins around and kicks in front of him. Usually only 1 hit connects. Sends opponent behind Ness. 6%.
  • Trip attack - Gets up on his hands, kicks backwards, then brings his legs under him and kicks in front of him. 5%.

Aerial Attacks

  • Neutral Air - Spins diagonally in the air with arms outstretched. Ness' fastest aerial. A single, long lasting, hit with moderate knockback. Has no landing lag. 11%.
  • Forward Air - Ness sticks out his palms sending a stream of PK sparks in front of him. Very similar to his dash attack and is an excellent at disrupting opponents with it's extremely high priority. 4 hits of 2%, then one hit of 3%. It's sourspot can sometimes trip opponents, leading into a jab lock. It's range changes depending on the direction Ness is traveling; having decent range while approaching, great range while not moving, and is possibly the game's longest ranged aerial attack while retreating.
  • Back Air - Kicks out backwards with both feet. Has a sweet-spot that could, if landed correctly, send the opponent a fair amount of horizontal distance while electrified. The sourspot, easily combos with many of Ness' aerials. One of Ness' killing moves. 8% normal, 15% sweetspotted. Like Ness' Fair, it's range expands as Ness is retreating.
  • Up Air - Headbutts up into the air. Great for juggling, as it starts out weak, but has a great knockback growth rate. High knockback at and can Star KO over 100%. Quite a few can be chained together at low %s. Another of Ness' killing moves. 13%.
  • Down Air - Ness pulls his legs to his body before stomping down into the air. This attack can spike but has a small bit of start-up lag. When timed right, it is one of the best spikes in the game. It guarantees a KO at on most characters at 0% offstage, only R.O.B. is capable of surviving it when far away from the edge offstage. It has huge disjointed range, almost the size of Ness' approaching Fair surrounding his whole body. If the sourspot connects, deals large horizontal knockback. 12%.

Grabs and Throws

  • Standing Grab - Very short range, making it very difficult for Ness to ever shieldgrab. Is quite fast.
  • Dash Grab - Very large range and extremely fast for a dash grab, going virtually unpunished most of the time. Possibly one of the game's best dash grabs.
  • Pivot Grab - Very large range and vertical height compared to Ness' size. One of the game's better pivot grabs. Is quite fast.
  • Pummel - Ness pummels the opponent with headbutts. Has an odd rhythm to it, and if timed right it is remarkably fast. 1% each hit.
  • Forward Throw - Ness psycho kinetically swings his opponent in a small circle in front of himself before sending them off forward. The knockback of this throw is not set, but does not increase with damage at an expected rate: it changes from Ness' best throw to his worst as the enemy's damage increases. Because of this nature this throw can score cheap KOs on walk off and low blast line stages, and setups for spikes. 11%.
  • Back Throw - Psycho kinetically swings the opponent over his head before sending them off backwards, in a diagonally upwards motion. The knockback (as well as angle) fluctuates from barely noticeable to significant depending on percent. At about 90-140% it can KO any character quite easily changing from the games worst throw to the best. Considered to be the strongest throw in the game. 11%.
  • Up Throw - Psycho kinetically spins the opponent above his head before sending them up. Leads into many PK Thunder tricks and juggles. Average Knockback, can KO at very high percents. 10%.
  • Down Throw - Throws his opponent down and shoots out fire onto his opponent. Combined with pummeling and PK Fire it can be used to rack up very high amount of damage quickly. Has little stun, making it easy for opponents to jump out of. 5 hits of 1%, then 4%.

Special Moves

Ness's Special Moves
Standard Special Move PK Flash
Side Special Move PK Fire
Up Special Move PK Thunder
Down Special Move PSI Magnet
Final Smash PK Starstorm


  • Up Taunt - Ness bows and says the word "Okay." It's believed to be a reference to the character naming screen in Earthbound.
  • Down Taunt - Ness creates PSI sparkles on his fingers while saying "Hah!"
  • Side Taunt - He pulls out his bat and says "Huah!"

Changes from Melee to Brawl

  • PK Flash activates faster and charges and travels further, but is less controllable in horizontal direction. Also, it goes further down than where it starts (it doesn't activate automatically once it hits the ground) and hits in a smaller radius.
  • Back Air is somwhat stronger and has a slightly bigger sweet-spot compared to Melee version. (And it's sourspot is much larger, greatly increasing the move's overall range.)
  • No double jump cancel. (except with special moves)
  • PK Thunder travels tighter, making it easier to hit self.
  • Up aerial now has a bit shorter range, but much more powerful at high percents, and can be used as a finisher.
  • Running Grab Animation no longer has Ness leaning forward hopping if missed.
  • Forward Smash produces a "CRAAAACK!!" sound, similar to a baseball bat hitting a baseball, when connecting with the opponent instead of the echoing "PIIIING!!" sound of the Home-Run Bat. Additionally, it's slightly slower than its Melee counterpart.
  • Up and Down Smashes are stronger, have greater knockback and are able to kill at high percentages. (Though they are still the weaker smashes in Ness' arsenal.)
  • So far, there is no known way to do the Yoyo Glitch, however, the SLAPAYO glitch is very similar.
  • Forward and Down throw sends foes at a higher angle.
  • Victory Theme changed from an orchestrated version of the second half of the "Soundstone Melodies" (from EarthBound) to a sped-up section of the Mother Title theme. Both Ness and Lucas share the same Victory Theme.
  • No longer a starter character.
  • New yo-yo design.
  • Ness' PSI Magnet can be canceled with Up Smash, Jump, Grab or Spot Dodge.
  • No more lag in final of Human Missile.
  • Down air meteor smash is faster, stronger, and has much better range.
  • Dash grab has good range, is faster, and has little ending lag.
  • Back throw slightly more powerful.
  • PK Fire activates faster.
  • PK Flash has a different animation.
  • New costumes, all of which, are not just recolors of his stripped shirt.
  • When Ness activates PK Fire, his voice sounds different.
  • PSI Magnet's color changed from blue to purple.
  • Has the same "toppling" animation as Lucas.
  • When PSI Magnet is deactivated, it blows close opponents away without doing damage.
  • All aerials can cause Ness to rise greatly after he cancels his second jump. (This is much different from Melee's double jump cancel.)

Role in the Subspace Emissary

File:Subspace ness.PNG

Ness shows up saving Lucas from the giant Pig King Statue, which is soon revealed to be his nemesis, Porky Minch. Both Lucas and Ness team up and defeat Porky and his machine. Afterwards, Wario attacks him with his Dark Cannon, but Ness successfully dodges each shot. Wario, however, then aims at Lucas, forcing Ness to push Lucas out of harm's way and take the trophy-izing arrow from the Dark Cannon. As Lucas is too scared to face Wario, he leaves Ness behind as Wario cackles in the rain. Most of Lucas's story in SSE involves getting revenge on Wario and trying to find Ness.

As Wario is driving his Cargo with Ness' and Peach/Zelda's trophies on board, he finds Luigi's trophy and prepares to take it until he's ambushed by an army of Waddle Dees, who throw Luigi's trophy into the cargo, which is stolen by King Dedede. At his hideout, Dedede puts a badge on Luigi's, Ness', and Peach/Zelda's trophies before the roof collapses on them and Bowser takes Peach/Zelda's trophy.

Later on, he and Luigi are revived, thanks to the Dedede Badges. Upon inspecting Luigi's badge, he notices that it looks like Dedede, and, assuming that Dedede made them, proceeds to revive him. Upon being revived, King Dedede gives both of them a hug before they team up and rescue most of the other characters to defeat Tabuu.

Costume Gallery


  • Ness cannot charge his down smash while on the edge of any platform.
  • Despite being one of the first characters unlocked by playing Brawls, Ness is one of the last characters unlocked by playing Subspace Emissary.
  • When in metal form, Ness' bat is also metal, but his yo-yo is not.
  • Ness' yo-yo says "Super Nintendo 2008" along the top, above "MOTHER."
  • Ness' Trophy is the only one that mentions "Super Smash Bros." as one of a character's works. Others only list games of their originating franchises.
  • Ironically, while Ness' game (EarthBound) was released in North America, his in-game voice in the Super Smash Bros. series speaks with a Japanese accent. Whereas Lucas, whose game (Mother 3) was released only in Japan, speaks using a North American accent.
  • Ness' up and down smashes don't show the usual display while charging.
  • Strangely, no matter what level a CPU Ness is at, when they recover by using PK Thunder, they always launch themselves vertically. This occurs even when they can only reach the stage by firing horizontally or diagonally, resulting in their SDs.
  • Ness' PSI Magnet changed color throughout all three games, from green, to blue, and finally purple.
  • Ness' Up taunt is a reference to the naming screen in Ness' game EarthBound. When you confirm the name you are giving a character, you hear a sound effect of the the game's creator, Shigesato Itoi, say "Ok desu ka." which means "Okay." in Japanese. The sound effect was never translated into the the English language, which is why it is Japanese in Earthbound.
  • Ness is one of the only four unlockable characters to appear in the opening cinematic of Brawl. The three others sharing this attribute are Marth, Snake, and Sonic.
  • Ness' Red and white outfit resembles the shirt of the character Fuel from Mother 3.

Also See

External links

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