S A M U S   A R A N    S T R A T E G Y   G U I D E

Version 1.0
Completed November 6, 2000

Written by Asaic
Exclusively for the Metroid Database

This guide may not be copied, reproduced, or distributed by any means
or distributed on any websites except the Metroid Database at

Text © MDb


In the world of Smash Brothers, the fighters come in all shapes, sizes and strengths.
 But there has to be one who rises above the rest.  Her name is Samus Aran.

Simply put, Samus rocks.  She's got the power, the speed and the skills to put any
other player to shame.  If domination is your goal, Samus is your fighter.  If you want
to beat your enemies so bad that they'll wet their pants, choose her.  If you just want to 
play to have fun, pick the best character available, Samus.  Do you get the point yet?

Samus has a wide range of attacks, but her best ones are her arial moves.  They have 
the best range and are faster than most, and she can make a long distance kill with a 
well placed flying kick.  Her projectile is slow and awkward, but when fully charged it 
can deal death like a deck of cards.  Ground moves are more limited, but with her 
speed and a great smash hit she can hold her own.  And nothing gets you out of a 
bind like the over-powering Screw Attack.

Samus' strength lies mainly in the air, she can rifle off arial hits for some excellent 
combos.  With speed and manueverability on her side, she is a menace above ground. 
If you're fighting with Samus, try to stay airborne and keep the enemy above or beside you. 
If you're fighting against her, try to keep her above you where she is most vulnerable.  
Just watch out for her downward attack.

 Moves List

 A button
On the ground:
 Analog position
	-neutral: quick punch, press A again for a follow-up chop
	-pressed forward: straight spinning kick
	-pressed down: roundhouse sweep-kick
	-pressed up: overhead crescent kick
	-tapped forward: fierce punch with her gun arm
	-tapped down: heavy roundhouse sweep-kick
	-tapped up: overhead blast of fire
 NOTE: When holding an item, the A button will throw/swing that item.

In the air:
 Analog position
	-neutral: kick
	-forward: arc-shaped blast of fire
	-down: heavy downward swipe with her gun arm
	-up: upward drill kick

 B button
Moves are the same on the ground and in the air except the beam charging, which cannot 
be done in the air.  B button moves are not affected by the item you are holding.
Analog position
	-neutral or forward: begin charging her beam, press B again to fire
	-down: drop a Bomb
	-up: Screw Attack

 R button
On the ground it uses the Grappling Beam to throw opponents, or throws the item you are holding.
In the air it mimics the A button or throws the item you are holding.

 Z button (trigger)
Used to block, if pressed when holding A it mimics the R button.

 One-on-One Tactics

Samus' best method of attack is vertical, so if you get to pick the stage try to choose places 
like Mario's, Kirby's, Yoshi's and Samus' stages.  When playing on a vertical stage like these, 
keep below your opponent and don't be shy to use Screw Attack.  It won't kill anyone, but it will 
absorb some types of hits and will deal out a lot of damage, plus it just annoys the hell out of the 
victim.  When their percentage starts getting high, replace the Screw Attack with a jump and 
backward kick.  This is Samus' most powerful attack next to the Charged Beam, and is much faster.

Once you've kicked someone towards the outside of the stage, keep right after them and 
don't let up on your attack.  Use flying kicks and defend with the overhead fire blast.  Samus 
has great control in mid-air, so whenever you get the chance you should jump out over the 
gap so that your opponent is below you as they're trying to get back onto land.  Hit down and 
A to send them straight down into the pit for an easy kill.  Percentage doesn't matter for this 
one.  Just make sure that you do it in a way that you can still get back onto land yourself, 
otherwise you just wasted a beautiful kill.

Another great technique, although cheap, is to get your opponent away from the stage, and 
stand at the edge of the stage and wait for them to try to get back.  Depending on their position, 
you can shoot them from afar, reach out with the Grappling Beam and throw them back out 
even farther (almost always kills them), or just do a smash hit.  If they still have a lot of health 
and they are higher up in the air, just turn your back to them, jump up and kick backwards to 
send them to a galaxy far, far away.

Samus isn't good in a close-quarters fight, so try to keep your distance.  Also avoid projectile 
fights.  Samus' beam is the slowest projectile in the game, so don't think you can win by just 
standing there and shooting repeatedly.  On the other hand, if your opponent is far away and 
horizontal from your position, constant beam blasts will keep them on their toes.  Just stop 
before they get within jumping distance.

Don't be afraid to charge your beam.  If someone attacks with a projectile, just block, then 
continue charging.  If they keep it up, charge a little, block, charge more, block, and when 
you're fully charged, let the blast go.  It will nullify the opponent's projectile and will probably 
hit them at the same time.  If they run up and try to attack you while you're charging, simply 
pressing to one side will make Samus roll out of the way, and you can continue charging or 
you can fire when you stand up after the roll.

Once you've sent an opponent packing, make sure to use the time to get yourself a good 
defensive position and charge up the beam to full before they get back onto the stage with 
their new life.  Also try to stay as far away from their starting position as possible, thus 
giving time for their initial invincibility to wear off before they can get to you.

As much as you try to avoid it, you'll always have situations where the opponent is directly 
below you.  When they're above you, you can deal out the damage, but it's hard to kill them.  
As a direct contrast, being above the opponent leaves Samus much more vulnerable, but 
will allow her to more easily set up for kills.  When the enemy is below you and you're airborne, 
your best choice is to use the downward attack (down + A).  If the opponent is far below you, 
start dropping bombs to soften them up, and then prepare to do the downward attack when 
you've fallen closer to their position.  Most other characters have strong upward attacks, so
the timing of your downward attack is crucial.  This is especially true when you're on a ledge 
where the opponent is below you.  You basically have two choices in this situation - get the hell 
out of there or drop down through the ledge and use the downward attack.  Timing it to hit them 
is difficult, since  upward moves are more overpowering in comparison to downward attacks.  
In one-on-one battles, it's usually best to just avoid this type of situation and get out of there, 
looking for a better position.  With multiple opponents their attention may be diverted, but not 
with a single opponent.

Don't be afraid to run.  Samus is one of the fastest runners (only beaten by Falcon and Fox), 
and she has great jumping ability.  You can basically just play the waiting game.  Just dodge 
and avoid all of your opponent's attacks until they leave themselves open.  Make a big hit, then 
get out of there and repeat.  Once you've got good positioning, turn your tactics 180 degrees 
and start attacking relentlessly.  When a well-practiced fighter goes on the warpath with Samus, 
there's little stopping her.  It's all about your timing and the attacks you use.  Shoulder dashes 
and smash hits are great to repeatedly bash an opponent and keep them moving towards the 
edge of the stage.  If you find that the enemy has managed to break your offense by rolling back 
and forth to each side of you, just hold to one side and keep hitting A to do the forward kick.  It's 
not powerful, but they'll only roll once or twice before they get hit by it.  Another way is to just 
stand there and keep hitting A for the double punches, but Samus is left open for a moment 
after the second punch.

Try to avoid extensive blocking with Samus.  Her blocking bubble isn't any larger than anyone 
else's, however she is taller than the bubble, meaning there is always a spot she can be hit when 
she is blocking.  Plus her block tends to wear out more quickly than most others.  Since Samus' 
speed and manueverability are high, it's best to evade than to block.  Don't forget her roll!  It's 
quick and invulnerable.

Lastly, don't be afraid to use patterns.  Just make sure that the character you're fighting against 
doesn't have a defense that'll get through it once your opponent catches on.  For example, you 
don't want to use Screw Attack repeatedly on Kirby since he can just turn into a rock and you 
take the hit, often soaring off into the distance as a result.  And after using Screw Attack you 
can hold down to fall right through ledges.  This is a great help in getting below your enemies, 
because as they fall after being hit they have no choice but to land on the ledge.  Use this 
chance to fall through the ledge and get below them, thus allowing for another Screw Attack 
or a jumping kick.

 Multi-Player Tactics

This is were things change.  Samus is far less effective dealing with a group than with an 
individual.  Other than the Screw Attack, her moves don't tend to hit more than one opponent 
at a time.  One of the best strategies is to avoid the big fights and let the others wear themselves 
down, then go in for individual kills.  Let your opponents group together, then repeatedly blast
them with your beam, or stand within range and send out the Grappling Beam.  Chances are 
that you'll grab someone out of the mess.  This is where your choice comes in.  You can chuck 
them behind you and then go after them one-on-one, or you can chuck them forward over the
other two.  This will cause them to have to go through the other two to get to you, and they'll 
usually just give up and hop back into the brawl with the others.  By letting the others wear each 
other out, you are free to charge your beam and pick up items (and get rid of items you don't 
want others to get their grubby little hands on).  If you get the hammer, it's party time.  You've 
never seen the brawl between players break up so fast as when that little hammer tune starts 
to play.  That's when they head in all directions and you follow.  Just don't be in a spot that leaves 
you surrounded when the hammer wears off, because everyone will be going for you when 
hammer-time comes to an end.

In multiplayer fights, try to be a pest.  Stay away from the action, but don't let them relax.  
When they're far away, keep shooting your beam.  When they're above you, Screw Attack 
and try to get as many of them as possible.  When they're below you, go nuts with the bombs. 
Toss items at them and grab and throw them with your grappling beam whenever you can. 
Just avoid getting in the middle of that mess, because you'll be overpowered very quickly.
If someone does come after you, run away until you're far enough from the others than you
can take this guy one-on-one.  When it's just you and him/her, they don't stand a chance if
you know what you're doing.  At this point just refer to the one-on-one strategies above.

If you find that others are teaming up on you and you don't have any help, this is when you're
in serious trouble.  Samus can be ganged up on from the sides and from below, or from a
combination.  The only defense she has is Screw Attack, and it only goes upwards.  Just try
to keep your opponents all on one side of you, and just consentrate on the one that is closest
to you.  If they switch positions, just keep on the closest one.  The less you have to move, the
less your chances of being surrounded.  I find it best to stand at the edge of a stage, no matter
how many opponents I'm fighting.  Samus is manueverable enough that she can stay on the 
stage or get back to it quite easily, and this guarantees that you won't be surrounded.  All you 
need to do is throw them behind you and they're into the abyss.  Hop up above them over the 
pit and do a downward attack to make sure they find out just how bottomless the pit it really is.

And the most important multiplayer tip is to stay mobile.  Don't sit around, not even when your 
opponents are too busy bashing each other's head in to notice you.  Be a pest, get some attacks
in there.  If you're playing a timed game, you simply can't afford not to fight.  And if it's a stock 
game, you'll be labled as being extremely cheap if you just sit around letting everyone else do
the work.  Just don't go headlong into the fray and expect to come out a winner.  Fight wisely,
multiplayer is where Samus' true challenge lies.

 Item Strategies

I'm not a fan of using items, personally.  Usually I'll just ditch them.  If there's an item, unless
it's for immediate use (heart container, pokeball, etc.) you should grab it and throw it off the
stage so that no one else can have it.  If there is an item capsule, grab it and throw it straight
down onto the ground to reveal what's inside.  Being right at your feet, you have dibs on it. 
If it's something like a fireflower or the ray gun, just throw it off the stage.  If it's something like
a bomb or a pokeball, throw it at an opponent.  If it's a health refill, use it.  If it's the hammer,
kick some ass.  The only gamble is that one out of ten times the item capsule will explode, 
so don't do this if your percentage is high.

When throwing items at your opponents, doing a smash hit (tap forward + A) will throw it
really far, allowing you to hit enemies at a distance.  If they're in closer and are slightly below 
you, by leaving the stick neutral and hitting A you'll only throw it a short distance and it will 
curve downward.  This is great when the opponent thinks he/she has a safe position on a 
ledge in front of and below your position.

In the case of barrels and crates, never pick them up.  This leaves you extremely vulnerable, 
and it doesn't do much damage to your opponent to hit them with one.  They work better as 
bait.  If you absolutely must see what's inside, do a flying kick or a smash hit to break it open. 
Just beware - crates and barrels explode more often than item capsules do.  But for as much 
as picking up and throwing the crate leaves you open, it's usually better to take chances 
breaking it.

Psycology is very much a part of Smash Brothers as well.  Probably the most useful thing 
about items is that they tend to be attractive to both human and computer players alike.  
Unless you've realized that most of the time they're good for nothing, you probably spend a 
good portion of your health just trying to get that one item before anyone else does.  In the 
case of a health refill it's best not to let anyone else have it, but for anything else you can 
use it to your advantage.  Unlike the computer players, human players may catch on to the 
following strategy after a while.

If you see a barrel or crate, leave it alone!  Stand near it, preferably below it and wait.  Let 
your opponent pick it up, then let them have it with everything you've got.  Screw Attack is 
perfect for this.  Likewise for any other items, everyone and their dog will be trying to grab 
the item, so don't stand in their way.  Just know that they are vulnerable as they pick it up, 
so be prepared to unload on the item-happy player.  This is best in the case of a hammer.  
Seeing the hammer on the screen does something to players, it hypnotises them and makes
them drop everything else and go for the weapon.  Don't fall into that trap though, it's in your 
best interest to avoid picking up the hammer unless you're right on top of it.  Let the other 
players go for it knowing they'll be leaving themselves open to attack, and burn them when 
they try to make a grab for it.  I've had instances (against human players even) where there 
was a hammer on the screen and all I did was defend it without actually picking it up.  I killed
them all by simply wasting them every time they tried to get the hammer.  Afterwards I just
picked up the hammer and wasted them all again.  This just proves that you don't have to
actually be holding the hammer to make it an effective weapon.

 Improving Your Game

Using the above strategies will help you dominate any battle with Samus, provided you 
keep a cool head and don't get discouraged too easily.  The one best tip I can give you 
is to practice.  Practice your one-on-one battles, master that first.  Set the game to Vs. Battle
and set it to stock, 5-10 lives, no items, choose a computer player to fight against and set the
difficulty to six or seven.  Pick a well-rounded stage like Mario's, then play.  Beat him/her/it,
then choose a different opponent and repeat.  Defeat all the characters, even Samus herself.
Then choose a new stage and start over.  When you feel that things are getting too easy, just 
increase the difficulty.  You won't be a master if you can't consistantly beat any computer 
opponent on any stage at level nine difficulty without dying.  This point is when you're ready 
to start practicing for multiplayer.

Randomly choose the three computer players and the stage, then go at it.  If you really want 
to test your skills, set it to a timed game with ten minutes or more, and all opponents at level 
nine on one team, and you on the other with team attack turned off.  Choose a random stage, 
or better yet choose a stage that Samus isn't particularily good in, like Fox's or Link's stages.  
Then go at it.  Play it will no items, then play it with lots of items.

Keep the rules, the players and the stage changing, and you'll learn to adapt to any situation.  
And just because you're at the point that you never seem to die against the computer no matter
what, that doesn't mean you should stop practicing.  Try giving yourself a handicap like trying to
beat the opponent without using the B button.  Just keep playing to keep your skills in top shape.
It'll all be worth it when you play against your friends and they never seem to be able to beat you.
The best is when you have three friends all on one team against you and you still kick their asses.
Never have you had a better reason to gloat.


	A = A button
	B = B button
	T = tap
	P = press (or hold)
	F = forward
	D = down
	U = up
	Bk = back
	R = run/dash (tap and hold forward)
	J = jump (tap up or press C button)
	% = opponent's current percentage
	> < = greater than or less than the listed percentage
	* = notes or comments
The individual moves of the combo are separated by commas, + means press the direction
and the button simultaneously.  For example, "A, TF+A" means to press and release the A
button then immediately tap forward and press A simultaneously.  Each combo is followed
by a description, and comments are designated by an asterisk(*).  Requirements of your
opponent are listed in parenthesis after the combo string.  If no percentage is listed, the
combo may be performed when your opponent is at any percentage.

 These combos are done on the ground:
- A, A
Simple two-punch combo
*Deals minimum damage and leaves you open

- A, TF+A
Jab and smash, gets'em every time
*Timing can be a little difficult at first

- A, U+B
Jab then Screw Attack

- R+A, TF+A (>60% <120%)
Shoulder dash and a smash hit
*Timing can be difficult

- TU+A, PU+A (>40%)
Overhead fire followed by an overhead kick

- TU+A, J, D+A (>40%)
Overhead fire, jump and smash them back down

 For these combos you must be in the air:
- U+A, D+A (opponent above you)
Upward drill and smash'em back down

- Bk+A, land, R+A (opponent on ground, >20% <90%)
Crossup kick followed by a chasing shoulder dash

- D+B, D+A, land, TF+A (opponent on ground)
Drop a Bomb, smash downward sending them up into the Bomb, smash punch to send them flying
*Timing is difficult, but it's quite impressive if you pull it off

- D+B, D+A, land, TU+A, J, Bk+A (opponent on ground)
Drop a Bomb, smash downward sending them up into the Bomb, overhead fire to juggle, flying kick to finish them off
*Timing is very difficult, but this drains a boat-load of energy from your opponent

- D+A, land, U+B (opponent on ground)
Smash downward sending opponent straight up, Screw Attack
*Great way to wear them down, works every time, use it often

- D+A, land, PU+A (opponent on ground, >40%)
Smash downward then an overhead kick

- D+A, land, TU+A, any move (opponent on ground, >40%)
Smash downward sends them straight up, overhead fire to juggle, finish with whatever you like
*If opponent has >120%, Bk+A should give you the kill

- D+A, land, J, Bk+A (opponent on ground, >120%)
Smash downward sending opponent straight up, jump and kick for serious mileage
*Great finisher, kills opponent 9 times out of 10