Super Smash Bros./Captain Falcon

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Super Smash Bros.SSB64.png


Introduction

SSB-Falcon-Face.gif
Captain Falcon is currently ranked 4th overall in the tier list for his high speed and combo ability. His infamous Falcon Punch is one of the most powerful moves in the game, and is deadly in the hands of a master. However, he is heavy and a fast faller, making him an easy target for combos and lacks a projectile. Falcon is known on a competitive level as being one of the top characters on Dreamland and the only character outside of Fox on Hyrule to have a virtually even matchup with Pikachu. However, Falcon struggles with Fox on Hyrule, and Kirby on any stage.



Normal Move Analysis

Ground Attacks

Normal
  • Neutral attack: Does a quick jab for 2-3%, followed by another fast punch for 3-4%, then the "Gentleman" hit for 2-4% damage before a series of rapid punches that do 1% each. This move is fast, though a little awkward for combos.
  • Forward tilt: Kicks to his side for 13%. Like most forward tilts, this one can be angled. A good defensive or punishing move.
  • Down tilt: Does a quick kick while crouching, doing 11% . This attack sends the opponent at a low trajectory, and can be used against foes hanging on a ledge.
  • Up tilt: Puts his leg high and drops it like an axe, doing 4-9%, 6-14% (two hits, total 23%). This attack is unique because it can hit from behind, and at the start of the move, above Captain Falcon. The move in general is somewhat long, though. This move is often thrown with his wall combos for it's range and damage.
  • Dash attack: Does a shoulder tackle. 12% damage. Decent knockback, can follow into itself on heavy characters.
Smash attacks
  • Side smash: Does a flaming forward kick. Somewhat resembles his Falcon Kick in terms of effects. Minor start-up and ending lag for this good finishing attack, though still not considered a fast KO move. 19%.
  • Down smash: A "down spin kick", does 16% .If the attack connects closer to the body, the opponent will be sent upwards. If it connects with the tip, the opponent will be sent in a more horizontal direction. Somewhat short duration, for a move of this criteria, but an awkward move for one of C. Falcon's.
  • Up smash: An upwards punch, 17%. This is Captain Falcon's main combo starter. The attack sends the opponent straight up, but with low knockback and high hitstun. It is also trifled with unusually short range, for an up smash. It is the weakest up smash in the game, but one of Falcon's most useful moves for its combo potential. The hitbox is Falcon's body and the small area above his raised fist.
Other attacks
  • Ledge attack- Gets up and kicks in a similar fashion to his down tilt. 6% damage.
  • 100% ledge attack- Slowly rises and swats. Low range and damage. 4% damage.
  • Floor attack- Similar to Samus's floor attack, kicks on both sides at the same time and gets up. 6% damage.

Aerial attacks

  • Neutral aerial: A sex kick, does 16% (at beginning). Like most sex kicks, this attack loses power with time. Very powerful when it first comes out and a good defensive move.
  • Forward aerial: Does two kicks in front for him, 4-22% if the two hits connect. This attack is similar to Captain Falcon's Super Smash Bros. Melee neutral aerial attack, though without the horizontal movement, and is better at chasing foes and KOing.
  • Back aerial: Captain Falcon extends his fist behind him. A basic edgeguarding move with good power. 16%
  • Up aerial: Flips in the air. 16%. Many consider this attack to be Captain Falcon's most versatile attack. Depending on what part of the hitbox connects with the opponent, it can send the opponent up, forward, or backwards, or in certain cases keep the opponent, for all practical purposes, in place (the spot where the most knockback occurs is at Captain Falcon's heel when a person is hit from Captain Falcon's back). A common use for this attack is to simply just chain up aerials together into one huge combo.
  • Down aerial: Stomps below him, though has a hitbox above his feet. 14% damage. This attack is a meteor smash. The hitbox exists on the legs and chest, and if the opponent connects with the chest, he/she will be sent down at a slight angle. If the opponent is already on the ground, it will, depending on their damage percentage, keep the opponent in place or send him/her up at a very slight angle, leading into another aerial or a quick up smash (depending on the % and foe's reaction).

Grabs & Throws

  • Forward throw: Falcon slams the opponent down in front of him. Having very low knockback for a grab, this can be used to start aerial chains. This throw would become his down throw in later Smash Bros. installments. 11%
  • Back throw: He kicks the opponent back, causing 16%. This throw has much more knockback than his forward throw.

Special Move Analysis

Neutral Special

Falcon Punch: The move consists of Captain Falcon throwing a powerful punch, with his fist engulfed in flames shaped like a falcon. The Falcon Punch in SSB is more comboable than in Melee and Brawl due to it only having smash DI and this move being much quicker in SSB. Common tactics include throws to Falcon Punch and down air/up air to Falcon Punch. Falcon Punch is also used by Falcon in this game to help him recover from far away as Falcon Punch causes Falcon to raise slightly vertically and also horizontally.

The Tapion Punch combo, named after player Tapion, is a two-hit combo that leads into Falcon Punch after an l-canceled down aerial. It works on Fox as low as 75% damage and another C. Falcon as low as 80%. It can be avoided with Directional Influence.

Another combo is the G-Regulate combo. Named after G-Regulate, this combo works similarly to the Tapion Punch Combo, but uses a platform. Captain Falcon must l-cancel a down aerial onto a platform so that it hits an enemy below him. Against some characters at some damages (notably Marth at 65%), Falcon can combo his down aerial into Falcon Punch. It can be avoided with Directional Influence.

Up Special

Falcon Dive: Contrary to the name, Falcon does a leap in the air, fist extended while glowing green. If Captain Falcon catches the foe while still ascending, he'll grab the foe and launch off with a cry of "Yes!". The attack cause an explosion and burns the opponent after Captain Falcon launches. If a hit is scored, the attack can be used again. When used on the ground or in the air, it can be reversed. Falcon Dive works similar to a meteor smash if used on an opponent near the bottom of a solid ledge, this is called a stage spike.

In Super Smash Bros., this move was Falcon's main recovery move, other than the Falcon Punch angled upwards (the F.P. gave him a slight vertical and horizontal boost). However, it was extremely easy to edgehog due to the fact that it could not grab foes hanging onto a ledge, thus making recovering with Falcon in some cases near impossible or hard. When the move connected with foes, it will strongly launch them at a 45° angle horizontally and vertically, thus making it hard to DI the knockback. It does a solid 20% damage upon connection with high knockback (average kill is around 130%). As with all of Falcon's special moves, it had 2-D rendered sprites as special effects. When contact is successful, it will restore a foe's midair jump and Falcon will be not be helpless, free to use the move again.

A string of multiple up aerial attacks from Captain Falcon followed by a Falcon Dive, throughout all of the games in the Smash Bros. trilogy is commonly referred to as an "SSB 64 Combo", as this was a very common combo in said game.

Down Special

Falcon Kick: Falcon bursts forward in a rush of fire a good distance forward, with reasonable start-up lag and wind-down lag. It has reasonable knockback and damage, and often hits characters in shorthops, but is difficult to pull off and avoid punishment. Blazing with a flaming kick forward, with arguably the biggest hitbox out of all of its appearances in front of Falcon, and the most KO power. It has good range, and can KO at very high percents, where it launches foes at a 45° angle above Falcon. This move comes out fast as well, and is great to approach or punish. Falcon Kick, as with Falcon Punch, has it's fire effects rendered as 2-D sprites. When Falcon hits a wall while uses it, forces him to bounce off and gain height, but very laggy. There is a glitch where the move will "bounce" when used close to any ledge while facing the opposite direction of it, which can be quite annoying.

Basics

Advanced Strategy

Basic and more advanced combos

Basic falcon combos are known for being to combine multiple up aerials into up b or down air for KOs. Usually the first move used into the combo is an up smash, forward throw, or short hop forward aerial. What progresses Falcon mostly is their spacing and use of tilts as Falcon's combos are overall some of the easiest to do in the game but Falcon is overall considered to be the easiest to combo outside of DK due to his weight and low floatiness. Spacing aerials is key.

Falcon Punch Combos

More advanced combos involve using the Falcon punch as finishers such as up air into falcon punch, a tech chase down air into falcon punch, or a forward throw into falcon punch. Combos into falcon punch are usually within the 50-70 range vs Fast Fallers or heavy weights using Forward throw, around 60-90 (some using a jump after using up air and some grounded) and around 110-120 using down aerial.

Spike Combo

Sometimes known as the "Ken Combo" of SSB, this combo consists of an up aerial followed by a jump and then a down aerial attack spike. The up aerial must connect at the right spot so that there is minimal knockback. Ken has said that the Marth ken combo of melee was inspired by the Ken combo of SSB.

Falcon Punch Recovery

Using a Falcon Punch while in the air gives Captain Falcon slight horizontal movement. Also, the attack can be "angled" by hitting up or down right after hitting B, which can be used to boost his vertical recovery slightly as well.

Dash Pivot

A really easy and effective mindgame technique. It's basically a frontwards roll, without the roll. One does an initial dash and quickly taps the stick the opposite direction. If one holds it the opposite direction, or even presses it, then Captain Falcon will dash dance instead. What makes this move very effective is that Falcon has a long initial dash, and so one can use this to tech chase one's opponent depending on his position. One can also use the dash pivot to change one's position in battle, necessary for spacing.

Dair-Dair Spike

When performed on a grounded foe, a down aerial ("dair") attack will send them upwards on a small angle. One can use this when Captain Falcon is close to an edge to perform a second down aerial, which will (after about 50% with most chars) send them to the bottom of the stage. In order to do this one will need to Short hop both attacks and Z-Cancel the first one as well. The first down aerial can also combine into a Falcon Punch.

Matchups

Matchups Pikachu Fox Kirby C.Falcon Mario Yoshi DK Ness Puff Luigi Link Samus Total
C.Falcon 4 5 4 - 5 6 6 6 5 6 6 6 59 C.Falcon
Pikachu Fox Kirby C.Falcon Mario Yoshi DK Ness Puff Luigi Link Samus Total