Ness (ネス Nesu) is a character who has appeared in every installment of the Super Smash Bros. series to date. He originally appeared in EarthBound, the second title of the Mother series. His voice actor in all four Super Smash Bros. games has been Makiko Ōmoto, who also voices Kirby.
Ness was, in part, a surprise addition to the roster for the original Super Smash Bros. game. Many overseas players had never expected such an obscure character to turn up in the game, which seems to be reflected in-game as he is a secret character who must be unlocked in order to be played as. However, the success of MOTHER2 in Japan, coupled with the original intention for Super Smash Bros. to be Japan-only, can justify Ness's inclusion. Strangely, none of Ness's Special Moves are canon to EarthBound; PSI Magnet, PK Fire and PK Thunder were originally used by his partner Paula Polestar in the game. A possible explanation for this discrepancy is offered in the sequel to this game, Super Smash Bros. Melee, which states that Paula may have taught him these techniques.
Ness is ranked tenth in the Smash World Forums competitive tier list for Super Smash Bros. He is distinguished from the other characters due to his unique second and third jumps and, along with Yoshi, the ability to double jump cancel, allowing him to use aerials very close to the ground.It should be noted that interestingly, while there is no EarthBound-themed stage in Super Smash Bros., Ness is fought in the Kirby-themed Dream Land stage when he appears as a challenger.
"Ness was a seemingly-average kid from Onett, but in truth, he was destined for much more. When a strange meteorite landed near his hometown, the little boy with psychic powers set out to save the world. Little has been said of Ness's character, and much remains hidden."
To unlock Ness, the player must clear 1P Game on normal difficulty with a stock of three lives, without using a Continue. Succeeding in doing so will challenge the player to defeat Ness, where victory will result in unlocking the character. He can also be unlocked by simply earning a score above 600,000 on normal difficulty or higher, regardless of the amount of deaths, or even continues (although continuing will cut the score in half).
- One-hit – Jab, 2%
- Two-hit – One-two punch, 4%
- Three-hit – One-two punch and side kick, 8%
- Side Tilt – Roundhouse kick, 10%
- Up Tilt – Two-handed open-palm uppercut, 7%
- Down Tilt – Low kick, 7%
- Down Tilt – Rapid low kick, 3% per kick
- Side Smash Attack – Homerun swing,7-18%
- Up Smash Attack – Yo-yo semicircle, 7-17%
- Down Smash Attack – Yo-yo back and forth, 8-19%
- Standard Air Attack – Split kick, 14%
- Forward Air Attack – Two-handed open-palm lunge, 12%
- Up Air Attack – Headbutt, 15%
- Back Air Attack – Back kick, 16%
- Down Air Attack – Meteor smash kick, 15%
- Forward Throw – 16%
- Back Throw – 16%
- Dash Attack – 12%
- Side Special – PK Fire
- Up Special – PK Thunder
- Down Special – PSI Magnet
Combos, tricks, and tactics
- Ness's double jump cancels allow him to do a wide range of tricks, such as a double jump canceled down air attack shield break, double jump canceled forward air attack chains, and double jump canceled spikes on the edge. Though double jump canceling is extremely effective and powerful in its own right, relying only on it is not very efficient. For a great Ness, one must utilize both his ground attacks and air attacks to their full potential.
- When Ness hits himself with PK Thunder, he will rocket in the opposite direction from which he was hit. This is both his triple jump and an incredibly powerful move - when Ness collides into someone with this move, the opponent takes high damage and suffers critical knockback. It can also be used as a shield break combo move.
- The PK Fire attack can be used repeatedly to trap opponents in a vortex of fire. Since the fire lasts for a while you can zoom in for a smash attack.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Ness is a default character, and is currently ranked twenty-third in the Melee Back Room's competitive tier list. He can make use of all of his Special Moves from the previous game and, as all other Smash veterans, gains a fourth one: PK Flash, which is assigned as his Standard Special move. PK Flash is Ness's first "true" special attack, as his other two offensive moves were not used by him in EarthBound. PK Fire was changed to Ness's Side Special move. His home stages in the game are Onett and Fourside.
Unlike Captain Falcon, who also made the transition from unlockable to default character with little difference, Ness's fighting ability was vastly decreased at a competitive level, much to the dismay of his fans. Though Ness retains his double-jump cancel technique, the decreased amount of hitstun as well as his recovery being (comparatively) worse than much of the cast, as well as being an easily-comboed character himself, makes him a far less viable character than in Super Smash Bros.
"Ness is a young boy who's mastered the psychic power known as PSI. Ness was living a normal life in the suburbs of Onett until a meteor crashed into a nearby mountain and sent him on a wild adventure. Believing in the ultimate powers of wisdom, courage, and friendship, Ness proves that some heroes come in small packages."
- A – Hook, 1-3%
- AA – Straight, 1-2%
- Rapid A – Kick, 2-4%
- Forward A – Short kick, 6-11%
- Up A – Push up, 3-7%
- Down A – Squat kick, 1-3%
- Forward smash – Home Run Swing, 9-32%
- Up smash – Around the World, 3-25%
- Down smash – Walk the Dog, 3-22%
- Neutral aerial – Ness's spin, 4-11%
- Forward aerial – PSI-energy, 1-15%
- Up aerial – Jumping Headbutt, 7-13%
- Back aerial – PK Drop Kick, 5-16%
- Down aerial – Meteor Kick, 6-12%
- Pummel – Captive Headbutt, 1-3%
- Forward throw – PK Throw, 6-11%
- Backward throw – Reverse PK Throw, 6-11%
- Up throw – Cowboy PK Throw, 5-10%
- Down throw – PK Inferno, 1-8%
- Dash attack – PK Shove, 2-12%
- Neutral B – PK Flash
- Smash B – PK Fire
- Up B – PK Thunder
- Down B – PSI Magnet
Ness returned in the 2008 installment of the Super Smash Bros. series, Super Smash Bros. Brawl where, like the first game, he appears as an unlockable character. He is currently ranked 26th out of on the Brawl tier list (four places higher than Lucas) due in no small part to grab-release quirks which allow him and Lucas to be grabbed, released, and regrabbed indefinitely. His home stage in the game is Onett, which appears as a "Melee Stage".
Ness plays a relatively large part in The Subspace Emissary, where he first appears saving Lucas who appears to be chased by the Pig King Statue. Ness and Lucas proceed to fight Pokey Minch, whom Ness has a history with; upon his defeat, however, Ness is turned into a trophy by Wario, leaving Lucas alone. Exactly what Ness was doing at the zoo in the first place is unknown, whether he was chasing Pokey, just happened to be in the area at the time, or recieved a forged letter claiming to be from Paula to meet her at the zoo.
Ness later allies himself with King Dedede and Luigi, to save all characters turned into trophies, and later the rest of the Super Smash Bros. Brawl cast in defeating Tabuu at the game's end.
Ness has a sticker in Super Smash Bros. Brawl based off his MOTHER 2 clay model. Attaching this sticker to the bottom of Ness or Lucas's trophies in The Subspace Emissary increases their PK attack by 33.
An average boy whose life changed when he found a meteor and an alien on a nearby mountain. The alien warned him of a future threat, and adventure ensued. He can use psychic energy known as PSI and also wields a baseball bat and yo-yo. This brave youth gives his all to defeat the evil Giygas.
To unlock Ness, the player must get Ness to join their party in The Subspace Emissary, play five Brawl matches or reflect 10 projectiles. Succeeding in doing either of the latter will challenge the player to defeat Ness, where victory will result in unlocking the character. Succeeding in doing the former will automatically unlock Ness.
Changes from Melee to Brawl
- Back aerial is slightly weaker and has smaller sweet-spot compared to Melee version
- Back throw slightly more powerful
- Down spike is faster
- Dash grab has excellent range
- Forward throw sends foes at a higher angle
- Forward smash produces a crack sound, similar to a baseball bat hitting a baseball, when connecting with the opponent instead of the echoing ping sound from Melee
- Fully charged, PK Flash deals about 2% more damage than in Melee
- Ness's PSI Magnet can be canceled with an Up smash, jump, grab or spot dodge
- New yo-yo design
- Double jump cancel removed (except with special moves)
- No more lag in final of Human Missile
- PK Fire activates faster
- 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, doesn't activate automatically once it hits the ground, and hits in a smaller radius, therefore having to make a short jump into the air to have it activate close to where it was started
- PK Thunder travels tighter, making it easier to hit self
- PK Thunder is much deadlier, almost as powerful as in Super Smash Bros., but still has same range as in Melee
- PSI Magnet will shove opponents upon ending the move if they get too close
- Running grab animation no longer has Ness leaning forward hopping if missed
- No yo-yo glitch
- Up aerial now quite low-range, but much more powerful, and can be used as a finisher.
- 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's arsenal
- Victory theme changed from an orchestrated version of the second half of "Soundstone Melodies" (from EarthBound) to a sped-up section of the title screen theme in EarthBound Beginnings
- Neutral Attack - Jabs twice and kicks.
- Dash Attack - Sends three sparks out in front of him with the third spark knocking the opponent up into the air.
- Strong Side - Kicks out in front of him. Can be tilted upward or downward.
- Strong Up - Raises his hands, which grow large, up into the air.
- Strong Down - Ness crouches and very quickly kicks out in front of him. The quickest Strong Down attack and one of the quickest attacks in the game.
- Side Smash - Ness swings his bat. The bat has a sweet-spot at the tip of it. Similar to Lucas's Forward Smash, but with a slower start-up time, much more power, and a longer range. One of Ness's best killing moves. Also functions as a reflector when timed right.
- 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. 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.
- Down Smash - Ness sends his yo-yo backwards and "walks-the-dog" with it before pulling the yo-yo back.
- Neutral Air - Spins diagonally in the air with arms outstretched. A single hit with moderate knockback.
- Forward Air - Ness sticks out his palms in front sending a stream of PK sparks in front of him. Very similar to his dash attack and is an excellent at disrupting opponents.
- 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. One of Ness's killing moves.
- Up Air: Headbutts up into the air. High knockback and can Star KO at moderate percents, another of Ness's killing moves.
- Down Air - Ness pulls his legs to his body before stomping down into the air. This attack can meteor smash but has a lot of start-up lag.
Grabs and Throws
- Grabs - Ness's standing grab has fairly short range but little lag. His dash-grab has a large range without much increase in lag over the standing grab.
- Pummel - Ness pummels the opponent with headbutts that deal a max of 2%.
- 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's best throw to his worst as the enemy's damage increases. However this throw can score cheap KOs on walk off stages.
- Back Throw - Psycho-Kinetically swings the opponent over his head before sending them off backwards, in a diagonally upwards motion. The strongest throw in the game.
- Up Throw - Psycho-Kinetically spins the opponent above his head before sending them up.
- Down Throw - Throws his opponent down and psycho-kinetically shoots out fire onto his opponent.
- Neutral B – PK Flash
- Smash B – PK Fire
- Up B – PK Thunder
- Down B – PSI Magnet
- Final Smash – PK Starstorm
Snake's codec message
- Colonel: "That kid... isn't that Ness?"
- Snake: "Ness?"
- Colonel: "He may look like a mere boy, but don't let that fool you. He has PSI abilities that defy all scientific explanation."
- Snake: "Just like Psycho Mantis..."
- Colonel: "Exactly. He can use teleportation, levitation, pyrokinesis and psychokinesis."
- Snake: "Yeah, but the question is, can he read minds?"
- Colonel: "Not to my knowledge, no."
- Snake: "Good. Then I won't have to worry about him predicting my every move."
- Colonel: "Even if he had telepathic powers, I don't think he'd use them to mess with you like that. I hear he's a good kid."
Combos, tricks and tactics
- After hitting a target with PK Fire, you can often get a free forward smash on them as they are immobilized, dealing a total of 40 or more damage. It will not work if the opponent SDIs out of it.
- Having a second Ness or Lucas as a teammate in Team Brawls will allow players to heal each other easily (using PK Freeze, PK Flash, PK Fire, PK Thunder or PSI Magnet) provided that Friendly Fire is on
- Since it is so slow, PK Flash is almost useless in regular combat, but can be used to cover Ness in case of enemies dropping from above. It is also very good for edgeguarding, but only in one-on-one matches (any more than one-on-one, and Ness may be attacked while vulnerable)
- Use PK Fire on an opponent when an they are over a pit or over the edge, making them sometimes (at lower damages or when playing larger characters) be unable to escape the pillar of flame as it falls and will fall to their death. If you have a chance, you can meteor smash your opponent as the flames slowly carry your opponent down.
- Use PK Fire to set off Blast Boxes and other ordinance from a safe distance, and try to get opponents caught in the blast
- Use PK Thunder to interrupt the recovery of characters like Pit, or to interrupt Lucas or another Ness while they steer PK Thunder into themselves to recover; they will be put in a helpless state and fall to their doom
- Use PK Thunder to break a Smash Ball at a distance where it would usually be out of range
- Ness's Down Throw can combo into a Forward Air or a Down Air Meteor Smash (Spike).
- Up – Turns to the screen, nods and says "Okay" (in all Super Smash Bros. games).
- Side – Poses with his bat, Babe Ruth style.
- Down – Waves PSI Rockin shots from his fingers in the air.
- Teleports and crashes into the stage, shaking off soot.
Wii Remote choice
- Says "Okay", similar to his taunt
- Jumps up and down twice, swinging his arms, before quickly nodding twice towards the screen with arms akimbo.
- Looks to his sides quickly before facing the screen, putting his hand on the back of his head.
- Swings his bat many times before holding the bat with his right hand, outstretched and pointing diagonally upwards.
Ness returns once again in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Like in Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Ness is an unlockable character in the 3DS version, but he became a starter character in the Wii U version. He has received many buffs, and is now a viable, powerful character in competitive play. With a potent grab game (a combo-starting down throw and an insanely powerful back throw), quick air attacks, versatile projectiles, and a far-reaching recovery, Ness is stronger than ever.
In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, Ness's home stage is Magicant. In the Wii U version, his home stage is the returning Onett stage.
- Play 10 VS matches
- Complete Classic mode on any difficulty
Ness appeared as an amiibo that is compatible with Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U. With amiibo, players can create and train their own FP (Figure Player) fighter. Players can customize their amiibo with any special moves they unlocked or by changing their stats by feeding them equipment.
- For strange reasons, Ness and Lucas are the only characters that have teeth during the cutscenes of the Subspace Emissary, when they usually don't show their teeth in the original gameplay.
- Ness cannot charge his down smash while on the edge of any platform.
- Ness closes one eye while performing his forward smash, while Lucas closes both eyes.
- Ness is one of the only five characters to have a speaking role in The Subspace Emissary, saying "PK Flash!" and "PK Thunder!".
- Ness relies on his PSI powers far less than Lucas, using them only for his specials, throws, dash attack, and forward aerial. His back aerial also seems PSI powered if it connects. Lucas uses his PSI powers for up and down smashes, all specials, all aerials, all throws, his dash attack and forward and up tilts.
- Ness was confirmed to reprise his appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl through a leaked sticker screenshot.
- Ness is shown to use one finger to use his PSI as shown in PK Fire,and to put one finger from both hands to his head when he's doing PK Thunder and PK Flash. Also, when he does PK Starstorm he points one finger up.
- In the Original Super Smash Bros. when Ness gets a K.O he says "Ouchie".
- None of the powers Ness use are powers he can learn in EarthBound, except PK Flash. His standard powers can only be learned by Paula, while his Final Smash, PK Starstorm, is Poo's signature move. The trophy descriptions for Paula and Poo, though, state that it is highly likely they taught these moves to Ness.
- In SSB4, When Ness uses PK Starstorm, the original sound effects for the move can be heard.