Super Smash Bros. Melee/Captain Falcon

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Captain Falcon, from the F-Zero series, currently ranks 7th place (A tier) on the tier list. He ranks high due to a superb punishing game and combo ability, in addition to the powerful Knee Smash. However, he is a fast faller and one of the heavier characters of Melee, making him vulnerable to various combos and chaingrabs.

"A" Moves Analysis

Ground moves

  • Neutral attack - Jabs twice then knees opponent, followed by several fast jabs. First two jabs do around 2-3% each, the "gentlemen" kneeing does 8%, and each jab after does 1% each. A fast and somewhat short-ranged jab-attack, this move is good for stopping close-up opponent's approach.
  • Dash attack - Shoulder tackle. Strongest when it comes out, weaker afterward. Pretty fast, this move is good for knocking the foe away from the ledge to follow with an aerial attack or edgeguard, with proper mindgaming/prediction. 10%
  • Down tilt - Does a quick round kick. The down tilt is a great launcher, if difficult to land. It has a long lag and therefore is not one of C.F.'s preferred setups. However, it can combo at most percentages and almost every DI into a SHFFLed neutral aerial, which can further combo. Fox and Falco can often be regrabbed from a down tilt at medium damage percentages, and their side special moves can be intercepted by Falcon's down tilt if they try to sweetspot the ledge. The down tilt can also combo into a Knee Smash and the up aerial, depending on knockback and DI. 12% damage.
  • Forward tilt - Kicks his foot out in front of him. Fast with decent range. There are not a significant amount of combo options from an forward tilt because of its horizontal hit trajectory, low knockback and stun time, and wind-down lag. One can try to follow up with a up aerial or a Jump-canceled grab, and even a dash-canceled down tilt or Raptor Boost, but they are not true combos and can be countered by every character. It may be a good idea to wavedash slightly forward to maintain pressure, and enter a defensive stance or used after a pivot as a surprise attack to keep enemies away. An forward tilt, angled upward, can stun enemies long enough from an up/down throw that it can lead to a Knee Smash. 11% damage
  • Up tilt - Brings his leg up and brings it down in an axe-like way. His up tilt has horizontal knockback as well, and, like the forward tilt, is difficult to combo from. Due to its low trajectory, one can often follow off the edge of a platform or stage with a falling neutral aerial or non-sweetspotted forward aerial edgeguard, but this is not a true combo. It may be a good idea to wavedash slightly forward to maintain pressure, and enter a defensive stance. Most players use up tilts as an edgeguard technique since the heel can extend below the platform. 11% damage.
Smash attacks
  • Side smash - Reels his elbow back and thrusts it forward. Excellent knockback even when uncharged with good horizontal and vertical launching power, making it hard to DI. Somewhat fast as well. Uncharged usually kills around 100%+. 20% uncharged, 27% fully.
  • Up smash - Quickly thrusts both his feet upward in circular motions. A fast and powerful move, though short range. The second hit sometimes has difficulty connecting, as with Ganon's. When both hits connect, 19% uncharged, 27% fully charged. This is Falcon's most powerful move damage-wise (When fully charged).
  • Down smash - Kicks in front then back of him. Small noticeable startup, but good speed and knockback. 18% front, 16% back uncharged, 24% front and 21% back fully charged.
Other attacks
  • Ledge attack - Picks himself up and kicks. 10% damage.
  • 100% ledge attack- Somewhat slowly gets up and punches in front of him. 8% damage.
  • Floor attack - Gets up and flips while kicking. 6% damage.

Aerial attacks

  • Forward aerial (Knee Smash) - Captain Falcon sticks out his knee. If sweetspotted (located anywhere on his body at the first frames of execution), the victim is electrocuted and is sent in a difficult-to-DI-out-of semi-spike trajectory. If sourspotted, the move is very weak with little knockback, though it can be chained into another Knee. An extremely powerful move when sweetspotted, it is often regarded as one of the most powerful and useful moves in the game, and undoubtedly the most powerful forward aerial of Melee. This move is the usual end to most of Falcon's aerial combos, or even to use against grounded foes in an aerial assault. Easily KOs at damage percentages as low as 60% off the edge. Impressive 18% when sweetspotted, and does 5-6% otherwise with terrible knockback.
  • Neutral aerial - His forward aerial from SSB, kicks twice in front of him. A good two-hit combo starter or ender, though the second hit is difficult to land. This move can infamously lead into a Sacred Combo. First hit does 6%, second hit 7% damage. Total 13%.
  • Back aerial - A quick punch behind him. Good power and speed, often used as an edgeguarding move. Weak if the opponent is hit late in the attack. 14% damage.
  • Down aerial - Stomps below him for good downward knockback. Minor startup and ending lag. Can nipple spike if hit within the torso region, making it even more powerful. 16%.
  • Up aerial - Does a midair bicycle kick and sticks his feet out. Knockback direction depends on what angle the move hits the foe, though strong nonetheless. Also good for juggling, and edgeguarding if hit near the end of the attack. 13% damage.

Grabs & throws

  • Pummel - Knees opponent in the torso region. 2-3% damage per pummel.
  • Forward throw - Punches foe forward. Oddly, has two hits, the first hit doing 5% damage, second 4%.
  • Back throw - Kicks foe behind. Also has two very small and hardly noticeable hits. Knockback is usually hard to follow-up or combo with unless over a ledge. Throw does 5% first, 4% second.
  • Up throw - Punches foe upward. Yet another mysterious throw where Falcon supposedly only hits the foe once, although has two separate hitboxes. Foes usually fall straight down afterward, at lower damage percentages can lead into his side special and aerial follow-ups. 4% then 3%.
  • Down throw - Crushes foe to the floor. Only one hitbox unlike his other throws. This knocks the foe to the floor, and this can easily lead into his side special. At lower damage percentages, following his down throw and side special, an up smash or tilt is possible. At higher damage percentages, follow with an neutral aerial or whatever, depending on the foe's DI reaction. Throw does a single-hitting 7% damage.

"B" Moves List

  • "up B" Falcon Dive- Captain Falcon boost upwards and forwards, grabs his opponent, and explodes them.
  • "B neutral" Falcon Punch- Most famous move, does a powerful punch.
  • "down B" Falcon Kick- Falcon boost forward for a flame kick.
  • " forward B" Raptor Boost- Falcon dashes forward for a flame upper-cut.

Move Analysis

  • Up B

Captain Falcon is given a quick boost upwards and forwards, and anything within his target area is pulled to him, given a blast of fiery energy, and launched away. If it connects, it sends Falcon backwards, but also removes the helplessness state, allowing him to perform the move again. This move acts as a grab, so it can hit enemies that are shielding. The range at which the enemy is latched on to Captain Falcon is much greater in SSB than in Melee or Brawl. Very useful end of combo move in smash 64 (such as after up airs) and moderately useful Oos move.

  • Down B


Frame Data




Character Specific

Additional Note


Serious Advantage Match-ups

Mewtwo, Yoshi, G&W, Ness, Bowser, Kirby, Pichu

Advantage Match-ups

Peach, Doc, Ganondorf, Samus, Pikachu, Mario, Luigi, DK, Link, Y.Link, Zelda, Roy

Fair Match-ups

Marth, Ice Climbers

Disadvantage Match-ups

Fox, Falco, Puff, Sheik

Serious Disadvantage Match-ups