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Skullgirls#BasicsSkullgirls/Game ElementsSkullgirls#CastSkullgirls/Game SystemsSkullgirls#Fun StuffSkullgirls/Strategy TacticsMvC3HeaderButtons.png
SG BigBand portrait.jpg
Big Band
Voiced by: Rich Brown
Age:  ???
Birthday:  ???
Bloodtype:  ???
Height:  ???
Weight:  ???
Measurements:  ???
Likes:  ???
Dislikes:  ???

Big Band

Ben Birdland has seen a lot in his time, including the worst of the Grand War. But nothing was worse than what he saw as a beat cop in New Meridian. When he ran afoul of his crooked unit he was given a violent early retirement, and his broken body was left to spend the rest of its days in an iron lung.

That would have been the end of Ben’s story if it hadn't drawn the ears of the Anti-Skullgirl Labs. With little left to lose, he agreed to be rebuilt with their experimental procedures. Melded with the machinery that allows him to breathe and a powerful an array of pneumatic weaponry, he was reborn as “Big Band.”

Now a senior member of Lab 8, he’s become a father figure of sort to the younger ASG soldiers. A firm believer in their cause, he has stayed with the project through its controversies and still sees his place on the front lines against the Skullgirl. His technology may be dated, but he more than makes up for it with experience and fortissimo.

In a nutshell
Big Band's augmented body is a heavy burden, forcing him to work relatively hard to catch his smaller opponents. Fortunately, his variety of woodwind, brass, and percussion weaponry can covert even the smallest hit into a short, damaging combo. His sound based powers also give him unique stuns, powerful armored Ensembles, and a taunt that further boots his damage. Can he carry all that weight and the low-tier precedent set by Q, Mr. Heart, and Tager? At minimum, his solo play as a jazz musician should be more pleasant than those obnoxious giant robots from TVC.


Walk: Big Band as a fast walk speed with an uneven stride.
Jump: Double jump
Dash or Run: A slow forward run and slow back dash.
Air Dash: No air dash
Standing: 4 Buttons: Lp.png ---.png Lk.png ---.png Mp.png OR Mk.png ---.png Hp.png OR Hk.png
Crouching: 4 Buttons: Lp.png ---.png Lk.png ---.png Mp.png OR Mk.png ---.png Hp.png OR Hk.png
Air: 5 Buttons: Lp.png ---.png Lk.png ---.png Mp.png ---.png Mk.png ---.png Hp.png OR Hk.png

Signature Techniques

  • Big Band has "big" right in his name. His hurt boxes are the largest in the cast, he ties with Double for the heaviest character weight, and he can't get around very quickly with his normal jumps and slow run. Fortunately, his massive damage makes up for the apparent disadvantages of being huge. Not only does Big Band have several of the hardest hitting normals in the game, many of his attacks will bring the opponent closer to him on hit to counter obvious run away tactics. His Bagpipe Blues taunt will power up his next level 1 Blockbuster, adding TUBA TUBA! to his Super Sonic Jazz or a Death Toll to his Tympani Drive. An augmented level 1 from Big Band can deal more damage than a level 3 Blockbuster from some smaller characters. If an opponent finds it difficult to manage Big Band's mass in an air combo, size isn't a disadvantage at all!
  • The Noise Cancel command normal is a powerful defensive technique that allows Big Band to parry incoming attacks. Both the high/mid parry input (tap →) and the low parry input (tap ↓) require precise timing. Big Band takes a risk when attempting this technique because he cannot parry and block at the same time. After a successful Noise Cancel, Big Band recovers and can counter attack much faster than after a block or a push block. It's fairly easy to defend against a predictable attack using Noise Cancel. Parrying everything requires a mixture of luck and skill, often intimidates the opponent, and always impresses the audience.
  • Many of Big Band's attacks cause a unique Sound Stun on hit. This hit effect has a distinctive musical hit spark and can cause a longer hit stun, additional hit stop for the opponent, or a knockdown depending on the attack. Attacks that end in a Sound Stun all lead to damaging combos for Big Band. Because Big Band can cause only one Sound Stun per combo, the property acts as a character exclusive version of Stagger.png . Additional Sound Stun attacks in the same combo have their diminished, normal properties.

Ensemble Selection

  • Brass Knuckles! Armor is annoying!
  • A Train! Also annoying?
  • Beat Extend! Stupid invulnerability that drops the opponent for an easy combo!
  • Giant Step! Fight zoning by playing chicken at full screen!
  • Taunt! Waste everyone's time, why don't ya?

Move List


Command Name / Quote Properties (glossary)
Lp.png Honky Tonk Chains Twice

Mp.png Free Form Rpdfire.png
Big Band pulls out a trumpet, which will act as any other single hit normal if chained into a stronger (HP or HK) attack. If chained into itself or a weaker attack (LP or LK), any additional button presses will play additional notes as long as Big Band holds the trumpet. Only the first 6 notes can actually hit, and these attacks will all contribute to Drama as individual MP normals. Holding ← or → during Free Form will cause the next button input to put away the trumpet in favor of the button's actual attack, assuming that button can chain out of a s.MP. Mashing buttons and accidentally going Free Form will leave Big Band defenseless, while careful use can lead to his level 5 Blockbuster.
Hp.png Air Mail Special Launch.png

Lk.png Hot Socks Low.png
Big Band attacks with a 2 hit kick pedal for a standing normal that must be blocked low.
Mk.png Pneumatic Slide Chains Twice Launch.png
Bee's knees!
A 2 part trombone kick. Big Band can jump cancel after the second hit to use this as a standard launcher. Jump canceling after the first hit leaves the opponent at a lower height.
Hk.png Kick Stand Wallbounce.png
Two boots!
Big Band's side kick brings him completely off the ground during the attack's active frames. With proper timing, the move can evade incoming low attacks.
D.png + Lp.png Ring-a-Ding Chains Twice
A 2 part attack with a single hit on the first button press. The second rings the triangle for 5 additional hits.
D.png + Mp.png Glissando Chains Twice
Big Band extends two trombone slides. On hit, this attack draws the opponent forward.
D.png + Hp.png Overblow Sound Stun Knockdown.png
A slow blast from a massive tuba. On hit, the Sound Stun causes an extended hit stop on the opponent. The knockdown without a Sound Stun allows the opponent to use ground recovery as soon as they touch the ground, similar to a sweep.
D.png + Lk.png Sharp Note Low.png

D.png + Mk.png Bass Drop
Get hot!
Big Band drops to the ground, attacking above and around himself with horns. The low profile hurt boxes and large hit box make the attack a useful anti-air and make the tall Big Band less susceptible to instant overheads. Oh hit, the blasts draw defending characters closer to Big Band instead of pushing them away.
D.png + Hk.png Low Rank Low.png Sweep.png
A basic sweep with surprising vertical range, making it effective for stopping air dashes and other low height air attacks.
(air) Lp.png Tenor Blast High.png
A single blast from Big Band's lowest side valve. j.MP and j.HP attack using the other valves and combine for a basic 3 hit air chain, which Big Band has a hard time doing with his jumping kicks.
(air) Mp.png Baritone Blast High.png

(air) Hp.png Bass Blast High.png

(air) Lk.png Jelly Roll High.png
Shake shake!

(air) Mk.png Sweet Clarinet High.png Chains Twice
Swing it!
A 2 part attack with a low-angled clarinet, first hitting directly below Big Band and the spinning for additional hits after a second button press. Big Band isn't very agile in the air, but this attack can be used at the start of a jump for a quick overhead that cancels to Cymbal Clash for a combo.
(air) Hk.png 5000lb Slam High.png Wallbounce.png
Lay back...
Big Band attacks with a clumsy drop kick, forcing himself to land on his back and use a ground recovery. When used air to air the high wall bounce will leave the opponent flying across the screen while Big Band slowly gets himself together. The ground recovery is no different than any other, so careful placement will let Big Band use it's invulnerable frames to get across the screen.

Command Normals

Command Name / Quote Properties (glossary)
F.png OR D.png Noise Cancel

On the ground, a high ( ) Noise Cancel input will parry any incoming high or mid attack and low ( ) will parry any low attack. In the air, high ( ) parries any attack. Throws and throw on hit attacks can never get parried. Tapping and holding the direction input gives a 13f window to Noise Cancel an incoming attack, while tapping the direction and returning to neutral increased the window to 17f. Any Noise Cancel input triggers a 30f cooldown for that parry input. Alternating high and low inputs will cancel the active window for the first input as the second input becomes active. Any other inputs simply close the window for a Noise Cancel. Big Band can never parry both directions at the same time and there are no attacks that can be parried by either input while standing. Upon a successful Noise Cancel, Big Band takes the incoming attack's block damage as recoverable damage and replaces the attacks hit stop and stun with a standardized parry stop effect (1f/1f/1f for light/medium/heavy normals, 1f for specials, and 1f from Blockbuster hits).

  • Tap F or D on the ground, or F in the air to parry attacks.
  • High and Mid moves must be parried high, low moves must be parried low. There are no moves that can be parried both directions on the ground.
  • Tapping the stick gives you 6f of parry time, with a maximum 10f total time if the stick is released within that 6f.
    • Parry window 12f->17f, cooldown 24f->30f.
  • Cooldown after input is 22f, and you cannot input the same type of parry within that cooldown period.
  • Pressing any direction after inputting a parry cancels it, including inputting another type of parry.
  • Obviously you can’t parry throws or hit-grabs.
  • Parrying a move that does block damage takes the block damage as red-damage. Parrying a move that does not do block damage takes 1/3 the move’s regular damage. You cannot die from parrying, but it will reduce you to 1 HP.
  • Parrying an attack counts as it hitting you, so moves like EKG Flatliner or Double’s Lv3 will continue after being parried.
  • Attacks can be entered during parry-freeze and will come out after it, like normal.
  • You can’t parry during the forced hitstop after a superflash. If you want to parry a super you must do so before the flash.
  • YOU CANNOT MOVE, JUMP, OR BLOCK during the entirety of a successful parry animation. You’ve gotta either counterattack or continue to parry, Slick.
  • If buffered during hitstun/blockstun/wakeup, the maximum parry window is 7f instead of 10f. (I should probably make this 3f!)
  • If buffered during a successful parry, the parry window is 14f.
    • Parries have unified hitstop now, parry hitstop does not depend on the hitstop of the attack that was parried (strength yes, specific-opponent-attack no). See if this is more to your liking.
    • During a successful parry animation only, all mid attacks can be parried both high and low on the ground. For example, after the first correct parry (high) you can parry Death Crawl entirely low, and you can alternate for style like in 3s.

Normal Throws

Command Name / Quote Properties (glossary)
Lp.png + Lk.png Heavy Toll Throw.png
Same old song...
(air) Lp.png + Lk.png High Toll Airthrow.png
Lazy bird!

Special Moves

Command Name / Quote Properties (glossary)
Dp.png + P.png , then
B.png , F.png , B.png , F.png ...
Beat Extend Startupinv.png Knockdown.png
Qcb.png + K.png Giant Step Knockdown.png (HK?)
B.png (charge) F.png + P.png Brass Knuckles Armored.png Knockdown.png (HP?)
Hit me!
B.png (charge) F.png + P.png (hold) Take the 'A' Train Armored.png Throwonhit.png
Slow train rollin...
(air) Qcb.png + K.png Cymbal Clash Knockdown.png
Vein melter!

Team Moves

Command Name / Quote Properties (glossary)
Mp.png + Mk.png OR Hp.png + Hk.png 'A' Train Express Tag In
Roll out!
Qcf.png + Mp.png + Mk.png OR Hp.png + Hk.png Take Five Outtake
Hit the tracks!


Command Name / Quote Properties (glossary)
Qcf.png + P.png + P.png Super-Sonic Jazz Startupinv.png Knockdown.png
Awww... Horncrush!
Big Band performs a 4 hit charging attack using a french horn, giving the attack a hit box that covers almost the entire height of the screen. On hit, the opponent is set flying backwards behind Big Band for the knockdown.
After Bagpipe Blues
and Super Sonic Jazz
TUBA TUBA! Knockdown.png
After charging up a taunt, Big Band adds several rapid punches after Super Sonic Jazz. Not only does this deal additional damage, it sends the opponent into a knockdown in front of Big Band for an easier Blockbuster Sequel.
(air) Qcf.png + K.png + K.png Tympani Drive Startupinv.png Knockdown.png
You're gonna get beat!
Level 1 air super.
After Bagpipe Blues
and Tympani Drive
Death Toll Knockdown.png
Follow up resembling a regular air throw, uses Sound Stun.
Qcb.png + P.png P.png Strike Up the Band Startupinv.png Proj.png Knockdown.png
Join the big band!
Level 3 super.
After Mp.png :
Lp.png , D.png + Lk.png , Lp.png , Lp.png + Mp.png
Satchmo Solo
After hitting s.MP, Big Band can play the first notes of the Skullgirls title theme. This just so happens to be the command for a level 5 Blockbuster, triggering an extended super freeze while Big Band's Tension gauge drains from 5 full levels to 0. With the opponent fully frozen, Big Band can play additional trumpet notes with impunity. The notes do no additional damage.
During Satchmo Solo:
Qcf.png + P.png P.png
Satchmo Death Blow Knockdown.png
This command will immediately end the Satchmo Solo, dealing real damage with an animation similar to TUBA TUBA!<b>


Command Name / Quote Properties (glossary)
F.png , Hp.png , Mp.png , Lp.png , F.png Bagpipe Blues
Successfully taunting will trigger a visual effect over Big Band similar to the <b>Sound Stun hit effect, signaling his next Super-Sonic Jazz or Tympani Drive Blockbuster will use the stored taunt for a follow up attack and additional damage. Big Band doesn't get the boost if he is interrupted before the visual effect. Holding the input will continue the taunt for no additional benefits.

Colors and Costumes

It don't mean a thing if it aint got that swing!

Wait a second, he's huge! How are pictures of his palettes even going to fit on the page?


s.MP Notes

After using Free Form (s.MP), chaining with additional button presses will cause Big Band to play additional trumpet notes. Individual buttons play the distinct notes as shown. Holding ↑ or ↓ while playing will move the notes up or down an octave. Thanks to the Skullheart Forum for listing the original scale.

Note Button Input
C Hp.png
C# OR D♭ Lp.png + Mp.png + Hp.png
D Lp.png + Hp.png
D# OR E♭ Mp.png + Hp.png
E Lp.png + Mp.png
F Lp.png
F# OR G♭ Mp.png
G Hk.png
G# OR A♭ Mk.png + Hk.png
A Lk.png + Mk.png
A# OR B♭ Lk.png
B Mk.png

Development History

  • April 23, 2014: Big Band is released to XBLA with the combined Skullgirls: Encore and ??? version update.[1]XBL release ???
  • April 22, 2014 The completed Big Band is released on PC and PSN versions with the ??? patch. [2]
  • Feburary 21, 2014: A weekly Salty Cupcakes update includes Big Band's final and fully implemented voice acting. [3]
  • November 9, 2013: Big Band, with a complete set of normals, becomes playable in the PC beta. [4]
  • August 29, 2013: Big Band's first playable, but very rough, version is shown at Salty Cupcakes.[5]
  • July 6, 2013: During their Anime Expo 2013 panel, the Lab Zero team shows Big Band test animations in the game for the first time.[6]
  • June 23, 2013: Lab Zero shows the first animation work for Big Band on their stream channel.[7]
  • March 13, 2013: The Skullgirls crowdfunding campaign collects enough donations to fully fund Big Band as a playable character.[8]
  • March 8, 2013: Big Band's voice actor is announced as Rich Brown.[9]
  • February 27, 2013: The Skullgirls crowdfunding campaign receives enough support to reveal Big Band's story and the general themes he would have as a complete playable character.[10]
  • February 21, 2013: Big Band is announced as the first official male character in Skullgirls, selected by sheer popularity. This bumped Umbrella out of her spot as #2 DLC candidate.[11]

Patch History

I'm gonna sit right down a write myself a letter...