When new players are first introduced to competitive Melee they’re often told that their first priority ought to be getting their tech skill down. Unfortunately, new players often misinterpret this advice and choose to learn how to multishine and cancel their Side-B’s on Battlefield’s platforms while they’re blindfolded and wearing oven mitts rather than learning how to wavedash, L-Cancel, or SHFFL their aerials.
Keep in mind though that this isn’t a spacie-specific phenomenon. Nowadays you can find first year Marth players that can consistently shield drop up-air the space on the platform you were obviously never going to occupy, new Sheik players that can throw out short hop needle turnaround AC Fairs out of a dash that will always get shield grabbed, and Ganon novices that can do jabs from a no-impact land off the ledge with frame perfect invincibility but have yet to realize that Ganon is bad.
The tech-grinders that main Samus, however, are perhaps the most damaged and sad individuals of the bunch. These are the folks who exclusively Super Wavedash during button checks, study the frame data of the extender, and sacrifice baby animals and/or virgins to an effigy of Phanna. Once the Samus main has gotten to the point that they define themselves by their technicality, then there is no more hope; they’re lost souls. What they exemplify is the competitive gaming equivalent of the If You Give A Mouse A Cookie book series. You start off with giving them a cookie, they read up on SWD’ing a little bit and then decide to try to get just one. Then they decide they want to start hitting them consistently as well as picking-up techchasing with the extender. Before you know it you a terminal case of “Technical Samus Syndrome” on your hands, with technicality tumors that have metastasized to the brain, kidneys, and colon. It’s quite a sad disease, really.
The high of executing obscure and essentially useless Samus tech feeds these obsessive junkies until they get put down permanently. The best method of euthanasia is usually a needle heavy Sheik, a well-spaced and methodical Jigglypuff, or parents that demand they get a job. In extremely rare circumstances, a select few of these individuals slip through the cracks due to the negligence of our society and community and become visible to players and viewers alike.
Because one of the symptoms of this debilitating illness is a compulsive need to shove useless Samus information into people’s faces, and the fact that this article is co-authored by the preeminent technical Samus of 2016, Goomy, we are pleased to bring you five essential advanced techs for Samus. Take the time to learn and master these and you’ll be well on your way to being your local community’s resident bath salt addict.
5) Load Cancelling
To perform this technique, all one needs to do is charge a charge shot to exactly 148/149ths full, SuperWavedash, and then frame-perfectly release the charge shot to coincide with sliding off the stage. If you’re in a position where you can SuperWavedash-chargeshot someone offstage and they see it coming, you can simply perform this fake-out maneuver and they will erroneously think you used your charge shot when you actually didn’t! As if that weren’t enough, you’re also halfway to the blastzone and your opponent is back on stage, meaning you’ll have dozens of seconds to think of the next useless 50/50 you can set up for next as you bomb jump back to stage. West Coast may play the player, but with this technique you can take your opponent’s entire worldview and brutally facefuck it with the amount of pressure your mindgames exert.
4) Grab Cancelling, AKA “ZEOOrnn ZEOOrnn ZEOOrnn ZEOOrnn”
This technique is simple. On any stage that has a wall, such as Pokemon Stadium’s rock transformation, simply stand directly in front of and facing the wall. From there, all you need to do is mash the Z-Button as though your life depends on it. If done correctly, you will cancel the start of the grab animation and no grab boxes will come out but the noise will still come out, allowing you to make the grapple noise very quickly. It is our humble opinion that this is the next frontier for Samus tech, as the utility of the grab cancel would allow for Pokemon Stadium to be a de facto counterpick for Samus players. Think about this— if HugS mastered this technique and could use it with a 100% success rate then he could utilize the obnoxious and seemingly unending droning of ‘ZEEOOrnn ZEEOOrnn” to put his competitors into a trance-like state, giving him the time to line up his charge shot and actually hit one for once.
3) Screw Cancelling
Watch out Fox, there’s a new best character in town. Screw cancelling is an essential technique for any high-level Samus main, as it answers the age-old question of “What happens if I go up while going down?” The technique, while ostensibly simple, is a classic bait-and-switch. The way it works is that when the platform disappears below you, like on Randall or the PS Windmill, you up-B the frame before transitioning from platform to air, leaving behind a rotating yellow circle on your intrepid bounty hunter’s character model.
To show the strength of this tech, let’s imagine you’re on the windmill and a Falco, let’s say PPMD, is threatening to attack you from above. PP will be expecting the typical Samus maneuver in this situation, an ordinary Up-B, but the player who has practiced this exact same scenario at least twice in their bedroom will have the situational awareness to screw cancel instead. Flabbergasted by the fact that Samus looks like a stationary spinning Sonic the Hedgehog after collecting all the Chaos Emeralds whilst gaining no vertical momentum nor putting out a hitbox, PPMD will drop his controller and return to the mountains of North Carolina for the next five months to try to wrap his head around what he just saw. Meanwhile, you’ve already charged your charge shot to 148/149ths full and have flown off stage for no discernible reason.
What is SuperDoodleManSuperDaughterDashSuperWaveDash-Dancing you ask? It’s really quite elementary. It’s simply Samus daughter dashing while transitioning from a grounded state to an airborne state using the (minimal) back-drift from the bomb animation to retain momentum from the initial daughter dash, all while staying in the bomb animation and landing on the frame her ECB is shifted upwards, which is done in order to get enough of a vertical shift to fly to the other platform, where all subsequent SDMSDDSWD-dances must be initiated on that same ECB-warping frame so that Samus can move rapidly between two platforms or ledges.
As you can see it’s a very intuitive technique, and is one that can easily be used to outmaneuver your opponents. It does require about 15 frame-perfect inputs and transitions on the control stick over the course of 30 frames so you’ll need to practice it for an hour or two, but if the Melee community allowed difficulty to get in the way of progress then we wouldn’t have multishining Fox mains and everyone would have given up and died in the Apex 2015 venue, or something. Be the change that you want to see in the world Samus mains, and let it start with this technique.
1.) Stock Cancelling
The end-all-be-all of not just Samus techniques, but of all Melee tech. To the untrained eye this may just appear to be a glitch involving the terrible physics of the fire transformation’s tree, but it’s so much more than that. This is a glitch involving the terrible physics of the fire transformation’s tree that is used purposefully to make your opponent feel bad. Fuck Ganon’s up-tilt, fuck moonwalk knees, and fuck going Samus game 1 of losers finals, THIS is the alpha and omega of *in D1 voice* DIS-RE-SPECT in the 20xx era.
More to the point however, stock canceling is essentially what triggers the end of days for Melee. In the year 20ZEOOrnnZEOOrnn, everyone plays Samus. What started as a few players learning how to SuperDoodleManSuperDaughterDashSuperWaveDash-Dance turned into a mass exodus of overly-technical players from their previous characters to Samus. With their combined might and influence behind the scenes, the new-age Samuses changed the stage list to be Pokemon Stadium only, and what followed was the systematic purging of any and all non-Samus mains through banning of headphones, a max volume mandate for CRTs, and an endless chorus of “ZEOOrnn ZEOOrnn ZEOOrnn ZEOOrnn” throughout venues that led to one “Henderson, Kalindi” being checked into a mental institution. After everyone had either conformed or left, the remaining players collectively
shot cancelled their load and instituted the final new rule— Melee tournaments are now speedrunning tournaments. Every set is based around who can cancel all 4 of their stocks on the Pokemon Stadium tree the fastest. Fuzzyness becomes the undisputed best player in the world.
If you are like Goomy and are infected/fascinated by the illness that is Technical Samus Syndrome, check out his tech skill video below:
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