Guest Article: 13 Years of Melee and Still Going On

13 years of Melee and still going on?
An article about expectations on Smash 4, hope and fear about the future of Melee
– by Tero @TeroLawliet

About the author:

Tero’s first contact with the competitive smash scene was in 2006, watching MTV True Lifes “I’m a professional gamer” featuring KillaOR. He is the founder of the German Smash Boards, former Melee and Brawl Back Room member on smashboards, and founding member of Salty Playground (until July 2014). Over the years, he has hosted several tournaments (Smash Royale) and has been a TO at most German events. Currently, he lives in Sweden in the Uppsala/Stockholm area.


A few days ago I stumbled across this article called “Melee the masterpiece, Melee the demon” and I was fascinated by its last paragraph:

For him, Melee was more than a sequel, more than a game even. It was his idée fixe, his impossible ambition to create something infinitely deep and comfortably shallow at the same time. Now Melee has become his Pinkerton: A revitalized cult masterpiece, a bolt of lightning caught in a bottle, and the one puzzle piece that could fix everything… if it didn’t already belong to another era.- Joshus Calixto



I’d like to talk about this. Smash 4 has been receiving lots of hate from many Melee players lately. A lot of this hate is directed towards the series creator, Masahiro Sakurai, who has stated more than once that he does not want the Smash Bros. series to be directed towards the competitive audience, but rather towards casual gamers who wants to play Smash with their family and friends.

Famous community member Wife even stated that we should let go of Melee and focus on Smash 4 in the future. With this article I’d like to discuss what I do not like about this statement and what MY opinion is on this matter. While not as well known as Wife or Sakurai, I have been around the scene for a while to build a substantiated opinion.

More than an Accident


Reading social media coverage about Melee, we often find the statement that Melee was just not intended to be a competitive game. I agree; It wasn’t intended to be one, but it was built as one! Taking a closer look at the engine mechanics makes us realize that Melee was given this enormous depth on purpose and not on accident

Every Game is Different

For Brawl and now for Smash 4, the development decisions were different from the start; These games were not intended to be built in the way that Melee was. If you are reading this article up to this point, you may think that all I’m trying to say is that Melee is awesome and we should not play the other games. However, this is not the case.

I want us to play and accept the Smash games for what they are. Sakurai slaved so much over Melee to give us the perfect game that we have today. We honestly can’t expect him to do this for every Smash game to come. Instead, I tell you to play all games, host tournaments, play in tournaments. Enjoy whatever game you like more, but don’t complain about future games to not be like Melee is. If people want to have Melee gameplay there will always be Melee to get back to.  That’s the reason why we are still playing this piece of art after 13 long years, why we have reached the Platinum Age and why we will still be around in 5 years or, perhaps, even more.

Enjoy the Game You Like

If there is one takeaway I want you to remember, it is this one statement: Play the game that you enjoy the most whether it be Smash 64, Melee, Brawl, or Smash 4. Do not follow the trend and play any game just because it’s “the game to play” at the moment. People’s passion and dedication towards the game they love the most is what keeps that game’s community alive. Don’t hate on people who play other games. Let them life their passion like you live yours.

I was lucky to grow up with Melee.  I have been playing Melee non-stop since its 2002 release in Europe and I won’t be stopping anytime soon. Personally I am not interested in Smash 4 because I already have what I want. I don’t care if Smash 4 will be “good” or “bad”, “competitive” or not. There will be people who like and play it anyway, just like there will be people who like and play Melee. Or Brawl. Or Smash 64. Or Project M. For everyone who likes Melee as much as I do: Let’s not let this game and community die because another game in the series is going to be released.



And just like Melee was more than a game for Sakurai when he created it, it is more than a game for us now. Melee is Sakurai’s legacy. Even if he did not intend it to be that way, he knew that it had exactly that potential. I am sure that somewhere in his mind that he considered that something like this could happen.

It happened and I’d like to thank Sakurai for giving us the option to make it happen. He may never read this, but maybe my #ThanksForMelee will reach him at his twitter @Sora_Sakurai to show him that his pain during the development wasn’t in vain and that we do realize what he did for us.

8 thoughts on “Guest Article: 13 Years of Melee and Still Going On

  1. Not thanking sakurai for anything if you liked melees gameplay you were left hanging and got shoved some slop called brawl. He says melee was the sharpest in the series yet the series continues to get more dull each installment..

  2. Good read. As much as we criticize Brawl, we have to remember that Sakurai gave us Melee. It’s almost unfathomable to look back and think that Melee was “intended to be a casual game” like so much of the media proclaims.

  3. As I like to say, I’m not a Melee fan (or Project M fan, since it’s the game I play the most), I’m a Smash fan. If suddenly there’s a Smash 64-fest event I’d definitely go, the same for Brawl or any other.
    Not because I have mastered those games (I’m just an mediocre/ok ProjectM Lucas), but for the love of Smash. The concept is unique, the community is great and the passion if the players is incredible.

    I’d tweet to Sakurai #ThanksForSmash, because I appreciate his work on the series, not on only one game. He made Brawl “with less movement options”, added tripping?, yes. Does that makes it less fun? no, why? because of the community. You don’t like it? well that’s different, and a respectable opinion.
    Smash 4 sure receives hate from the Melee purists, because the love of their one game, not for the love of Smash. Even if Smash 4 is closer to Brawl, I’m thankful for a new game that, without any doubt, will expand the Smash community.

  4. This is exactly what I have been thinking and saying! Like it could not be closer to what I think. Smash 4 is not a replacement, all the smash games are their own games and their scenes do not have to suffer because of each other and smash 4. Play the game you like.

  5. I like melee, I’ll play Melee, I just wish Brawl, and now Brawl2 weren’t being shoved down my throat just because I like Melee. As much as the fans of the other games want to be left to play those games, as would I like to be left to play my game. I’ve heard now, on several different occasions, that I should give this new game a shot, or I should focus on this new game, etc. etc.

    No, why should I? I like melee, I want to play melee, why does this new game REQUIRE my support? Let me play Melee and leave me alone about these new games, because they are not anything like Melee.

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