Peach and Zelda are the princesses of Nintendo and gaming in general. They have a lot in common, including both being Super Smash Bros Ultimate fighters. The main differences between these two fighters are in their style of play and the powers they employ. While Peach is a quick, well-rounded fighter, Zelda is slow but packs a punch. Is there a clear advantage to choosing either Princess and who would win if they faced off? Only a closer look at these two royal ladies will determine whose power will prevail.
While neither of these generally kind and well-liked rulers is known for their violence, they both can fight when it comes time to throw down. Peach and Zelda essentially play the same role in their respective games and universes. They are both Princesses who rule over a kingdom where they are frequently attacked and kidnapped by a villain and rescued by a hero. Each have also both evolved over time and are now not only more independent but have also starred in their own adventures. They both appear in multiple Super Smash Bros. games, with the latest and the focus of this comparison and debate being 2018’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. In Ultimate, both Princesses are unlockable fighters from time spent playing the game rather than being available from the start.
Princess Showdown: Zelda vs. Peach- Origins
Princess Zelda first appeared as a nonplayable damsel in distress in 1986’s The Legend of Zelda. The protagonist, Link, rescues her from the evil Ganon. Zelda is a Hylian and the wise ruler of Hyrule. Her name comes from Zelda, the first who appears in the origin story for the Zelda universe, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, released in 2011. All royal women of Hyrule have been named Zelda since the first Zelda. Continuation of the traditional name means that multiple Princess Zeldas have existed.
In the first Zelda game, she wears a primarily red or pink dress. She always has the pointed ears of a Hylian and has blonde hair in The Legend of Zelda. Throughout her other games, her appearance changes, including different colored dresses and hair. In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, her main look is a white dress with gold details and a pink shirt and sash with the Hyrule crest and Triforce symbol. She can switch to various color combos, including blue, purple, green, and black.
Zelda is first playable as a character in Super Smash Bros. Melee, released in 2001. Her version there is the adult form of Zelda from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and wears a similar outfit to her Ultimate look. She has been in every Super Smash Game since Melee and in 17 Zelda games as herself. In Smash games, her character is considered medium to tall. She has appeared in even more as alter ego’s, including Tetra and Sheik. Her alter ego Sheik played a big role in other Super Smash Games, as Zelda could transform into Sheik during gameplay. Sheik is an alter ego Zelda takes on in Ocarina of Time to hide from the now Ganondorf and help Link. In Smash games, Sheik’s style differs from Zelda’s, offering the Princess a unique and powerful option. In Super Smash Ultimate, though, Sheik is a separate character from Zelda, and Zelda cannot transform.
Princess Peach, also known as Peach or Princess Toadstool, first appears in Super Mario Bros. in 1985. While Mario appears earlier in Donkey Kong, where he saves a damsel, it’s Pauline, not Princess Peach. Princess Peach debuted as the damsel captured by Bowser and his Koopa Troop and the love interest of Mario, her hero. Peach is almost certainly in more games than any other female character in the world of video games, as she’s since been in 187 games. As she still appears in games today, the character is now over 37 years old.
In her first appearance, she has red hair and wears a white dress with red trim and a crown. In her next appearance a few years later, she adopts the pink dress and crown look but has brown hair. Since then, she has kept the pink look but her accompanying hair is now always a strawberry blonde.
Peach is the ruler of the Mushroom Kingdom and lives in a castle where the Toads, or humanoid mushrooms, are her subjects and servants. She has a sweet, compassionate, and optimistic personality and is well-liked by her subjects. Though her personality remains relatively consistent, she’s become more adventurous and diverse.
She is first playable in Super Mario Bros. 2 from 1988. In the game, she can float using her dress and can pluck turnips and other objects from the ground to use as projectiles. These traits are important as they carry over to Smash. She is first playable as a fighter in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Her character is considered medium height in the Smash universe.
Princess Showdown: Super Smash Ultimate Facts
- Peach uses a well-rounded style while Zelda is high risk-high reward
- Peach summons Toad, while Zelda summons a Phantom
- Peach uses turnip projectiles, while Zelda uses a teleportation attack
Princess Showdown: Style
Peach is an easy-to-learn character with a variety of move options. She is a fast, close-range fighter but has some ranged surprises. She also is a combo specialist with easy-to-initiate and continue-combos from many situations and angles. Her attacks can deal heavy damage and are used in combos. She combines her fast movement and floating ability to whisk around the stage and surprise opponents from angles and areas they don’t suspect.
Peach’s main jab is weak but is also not the preferred method of attacking if using her abilities properly. Her main weakness is her side special, where she lunges at the opponent with her backside. If this move misses, not only does it do no damage, but it leaves her wide open to attacks and combos.
She can float just above the ground or at full jump height for about 5 seconds. From these positions, she can initiate or speed up the initiation of aerial combos and drop down on opponents, including using her fast fall, which speeds up her descent. Her floating ability also allows her to recover very well and smoothly avoid falling off the stage.
Zelda is a slightly taller, lightweight, and somewhat slow fighter. Her style takes some practice to hone as she is range based. To be successful, she focuses on spacing judgments, controlling the level, and predicting where the enemy will go. Her attacks can do heavy damage but must be judged and timed right to execute. When these moves miss, she does no damage and leaves herself open in various compromised positions.
Her moves are all magic based, many involving a wave of her hand and directing a phantom around the level to attack for her. Though her moves allow her to strike from a distance and control how opponents approach her, she doesn’t have great mobility overall. Aside from her phantom, she relies on the magic of her specials, providing her with unique abilities.
Princess Showdown: Summoning
Peach and Zelda both can summon assistance during battle. As royalty, it makes sense that someone comes to their aid out of loyalty or necessity. Peach calls forth Toad using her neutral special. When she does, Toad appears on screen for a few seconds to protect Peach. He takes any hit targeted at Peach and keeps her from taking damage during these few seconds. Toad responds to any damage dealt to him using his Spore Spray, which does proportional damage and knocks back as well.
In this comparison though, Zelda seems to have the advantage as her ally can do much more. She uses her magic to summon a powerful phantom. This phantom is the basis of her strategy to control the spacing and approach of opponents on the stage. Like Toad, the phantom can take and deal damage, but it serves as more of a weapon. It forces opponents to come at Zelda from the air or risk getting knocked offstage, leaving Zelda free to attack them as they descend. The phantom not only has some invincibility but can also knock opponents back, keeping them out of range of being able to easily attack Zelda. As a last resort, Zelda uses the phantom as a basic shield or distraction to recover from falling off ledges.
The phantom is chargeable, allowing it to take more hits and do more damage. The charging also allows for six stages that increase in power for the phantom to act out. The downside is the phantom dies when Zelda takes damage while charging it. Zelda then must wait at least 1.5 seconds to try and spawn the phantom again.
1)Low kick that stops dashes and deals knockback
2)Punch that pushes opponents away and briefly makes phantom invincible
3)Sword swipe with intense knockback that can kill opponents at high percentages. It stops opponents from approaching and can knock them off ledges
4) Up arc sword swipe for anti-air defense
5) Uppercut that can catch characters trying to land or press opponents from a distance. This grants brief invincibility at the start of the attack. The downside is that this attack is only for distance and doesn’t hit up close.
6) Phantom is entirely out, moving around with Zelda, and can team up for combos. This stage is best for keeping opponents from recovering and knocking them off stage.
Princess Showdown: Standout Specials
Both Peach and Zelda have different ways of controlling the level. Peach can move about the level using her unique floating ability. At the same time, Zelda stays at a distance and utilizes her weapons to force enemies where she wants them. They each also have a unique standout special ability that helps with level control.
Peach has the special ability to pluck an item from the ground at any time. When she does this, most of the time it’s a turnip, which is a throwback to her first appearance in Super Mario Bros 2. The turnip is a projectile thrown to hit opponents from a distance or to finish them off when trying to stay on the stage.
There is a chance for turnips to be three other rare versions that do more damage. The turnip with the winking face does double the normal, the dot eyes version does three times the usual, and the stitched face does even more. The twist with the turnip is that Peach can hold it while floating and fire it at the perfect time.
The vegetable ability will occasionally pluck a Bob-omb or Mr. Saturn from the ground instead of a turnip. Throwing the Bob-omb causes more significant damage and is a powerful range attack. Mr. Saturn walks onto the stage and breaks opponents’ shields, leaving them stunned. He can also be picked up and used again.
Zelda uses her magic to unleash Farore’s Wind, her up special. It is a powerful piece of her level of control, allowing her to teleport quickly in any direction. She becomes intangible for six frames and does damage when she first disappears and then again when she reappears. It begins quickly with a weak hit that launches characters in the air. A second, more powerful hit follows it as Zelda emerges across the screen to attack again. This move can be used for K.O.’s or recovery when falling off ledges.
Princess Showdown: Conclusion
Princess Peach and Princess Zelda have similar origins and backgrounds but are vastly different fighters. Each uses level control as their primary strategy for winning. Peach moves around the stage using unique movements, attacking characters with heavy damage and considerable combos. Zelda keeps her distance and manipulates opponents into attacking where she wants them to so she can counter with serious damage.
Both princesses have unique specials that further and compound their level control strategy but each in entirely different ways. Peach has a lot of options, whether moving across the level, launching a turnip, or swinging one of her multiple sports tools to knock opponents back and open to combos. Zelda is mostly a cannon with multidirectional attack options from a distance. She doesn’t move as well as Peach but doesn’t need to. Peach’s main downsides are her side special, which leaves her open, and her down aerial, which is tempting to use but hard to connect with. Zelda’s flaws are more general as she often leaves herself open such as when landing slowly and, therefore, predictably. Her moves are all high-risk, high-reward, and if they don’t connect, they suddenly become opportunities for opponents.
If the two were to face off, Peach would likely have difficulty trying to advance on the waiting Zelda. However, Zelda would probably mistime some of her own attacks, which Peach would capitalize on quickly with her movement abilities. There’s no clear favorite, though, as both princesses have their fans, and not every player can use Zelda or Peach properly. Peach is an easy choice for most beginners to wield, while Zelda comes with a dangerous learning curve that, once mastered, can be a stage-dominating menace.