Jack Garden, Super Smash Bros. Melee's History

CaptainJack tells Melee's early time and his revenge

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The dawn of Melee. Led by 2 Nintendo official tournament series in entire 2002

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Picture from ゲームキューブイベントチラシ 【大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズDX大会】 - 自転車 - Yahoo!ブログ


Eh Yo, CaptainJack! Hey everyone, this is CaptainJack (@CaptainJackSSB4) here! 

Today, I'd like to introduce the Nintendo official tournament series in the early time to you. It's been a long time since Nintendo's last official Melee event, but we still miss it as they were amazing tournament events run all across Japan. :) 



Official contribution to Melee's dawn

As I told earlier in another article, Japanese Smash scene has smoothly switched from 64 to the new game since its release, Super Smash Bros. Melee. (Beginning of Melee in Japan)

Now that we think back to the period of Melee's dawn, we recall 2 huge tournament series in 2002, officially held by Nintendo.


Super Smash Bros. Melee Fighting Road in 2002

picture from 第15回次世代ワールドホビーフェア開幕! - ITmedia


Super Smash Bros. Melee Fighting Road in 2002 (大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズ ファイティングロード in 2002) was an official Melee tournament held by Nintendo, from January 20th to March 3rd 2002 all across Japan.

The event was fabulous overall, however, it's a shame almost no pictures remain even on the Internet, as no smartphone existed then, digital camera was the only option but expensive, especially for us who were still teenager in high school or junior high school, or even in primary school in 2002.

The system of this event was similar to MLG. The winners of local tournaments will be gathered and play at the championship. However, as it was an official party event, the ruleset was of course 4-man melee, 2 minutes, items on.

The dates and places of each tournament are as follows: 

January 20th: Osaka
January 26th: Tokyo
February 3rd: Nagoya
February 10th: Fukuoka
February 17th: Shizuoka
February 24th: Sendai
March 3rd: Hiroshima (local and championship)

Information sauce:  





As a result, the famed player Keropi- won the crown of victory. The 2nd was MIF. Keropi-'s victory was not unexpected. On the other hand, that was the first time we heard of this player named MIF. He never appeared in competitive scene before his achievement in this event. However, despite his formidable record, he will not be attending any of competitive tournaments held by amateurs, and his name will be disappearing behind smash history little by little. As a dedication to his achievement in quite an old-school official event, I'd like to note his name here to be recorded in the Smash history. 


Information sauce:

  • 2002年1月~3月 スマッシュブラザーズDXファイティングロード2002 開催
    • 優勝 けろぴー 準優勝 MIF 

スマブラの歴史 - スマブラwiki


Keropi- in March 2003


Related article to Keropi-:


Super Smash Bros. Melee Toys"R"Us National Tournament in 2002

Picture from ゲームキューブイベントチラシ 【大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズDX大会】

Once the previously mentioned huge official tournament event ends with great success, Nintendo officially announced the next nationwide tournament, Super Smash Bros. Melee Toys"R"Us National Tournament (「大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズDX」全国大会 in トイザらス). All smasher was so exited about the publication of the event and enthusiasm of Nintendo toward Melee. 

Just like Fighting Road, this event was quite a nationwide, but even more. Even though the ruleset remained the same, the size of event greatly increased. Qualifying tournaments in Toys"R"Us in your hometown. That was such a surprise, we were more than excited to make it to the victory in an official gigantic tournament.

The dates of qualifying tournaments were on August 17th, 18th, 24th, 25th and 31st 2002 respectively, then championship on October 13th. 


As a result, the winner was Rid (or Lid, リッド in Japanese). Unfortunately, no one knows of him nowadays. However, the 2nd place was taken by Shu, one of the most powerful Melee, Brawl and Smash 4 players. It must be surprising to most of you westerners when you come to know the results of official tournaments in 2002 in Japan, as even I just learned now the fact that he got 2nd place at this event to be honest. 


Shu's picture from Ketsubato 2 in 2007. From left, Shu, hiko, CaptainJack and Machdash.


Information sauce:

ゲームキューブイベントチラシ 【大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズDX大会】


  • 2002年8月~10月 大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズDX全国大会 in トイザらス 開催
    • 優勝 リッド 準優勝シュウ

 スマブラの歴史 - スマブラwiki



Beside these 2 official tournaments, we amateurs hold an revolutionary event in March 2002. It was about gathering passionate smashers from every part of Japan, deciding the best playing by a round-robin while staying in a ryokan (Japanese traditional hotel) for 3 days straight. The tournament's name is "Japan United Smash Festa Round-Robin". This historical round-robin tournament has held 4 times. 1 for 64, 2, 3 and 4 for Melee.

Japan United Smash Festa Round-Robin 2 was held at the same period of Fighting Road, and then Japan United Smash Festa Round-Robin 3 will follow in March 2003 after a 6-month silence since the end of Super Smash Bros. Melee Toys"R"Us National Tournament in October 13th 2002. I'm going to talk about them soon in upcoming articles. :) 


Related article:



  • Of course all other competitive smasher tried to conquer the official tournaments to the victory, but their ambition was shattered in front of the 4-man 2-min item-on official ruleset. 
  • Masashi and me stupidly entered the same qualifying tournament in Toys"R"Us in Kyoto, and his Marth beat my Ganondorf in Temple. So that I couldn't make it to the championship.
  • These 2 tournaments were the only official event of Melee in Japan until nowadays.