- This article is about Falco's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. For other uses, see Falco Lombardi.
|Also appears in||Melee|
|Number of Jumps||2|
|Can Wall Jump||Yes|
|Can Wall Cling||No|
|Has a Tether||No|
|Voiced by (English)||Dex Manley|
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Hisao Egawa|
Falco (ファルコ Faruko?) is a character appearing in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. He reprises his role from Super Smash Bros. Melee, although his moveset has been somewhat altered. Hailing from the Star Fox universe, Falco serves as one of the group of mercenaries captained by Fox McCloud.
Falco currently clocks in at the 7th position on the tier list, at the bottom of the A- Tier. This is due to his great metagame, follow-up ability (which includes a Chain Spike, Boost Smash, and, to a lesser extent, Laser Lock), great projectile, long range in his Reflector, and camping abilities. But the reason Falco got lower is because of his mediocre speed, slow attacks, his weight (Falco is a lightweight character) and his predictable recovery.
How to unlock
- Play 50 matches.
- Beat 100-Man Brawl.
- Have Falco join the party in the Subspace Emissary.
In the first two cases, the player must defeat Falco on Lylat Cruise after meeting the required criteria to unlock him.
Falco is gifted with a diverse moveset featuring quick attacks, great follow-up ability, capable finishers, the ability to wall jump, the highest initial jump in the game, and a fantastic projectile. Outside of his Forward Aerial, all of his aerials cancel quickly upon landing, including his spike and the ending lag on aerial Blaster shots. This gives Falco an incredible ability to approach or shutdown approaches, as short-hopped Blaster cancels can be immediately chained into many of Falco's other attacks at close or mid range. Along with a great camping game, he also has a very good close-range game. He has a very fast jab, which is safe on shields, with all hits of his jab having large, slightly disjointed hitboxes with good vertical coverage and the first two jabs can be canceled into other attacks.
His Tilts, Up Smash, and most of his aerials are also very fast, and have good vertical coverage if somewhat short-ranged. He also has one of the best spotdodges in the game, which is very hard to punish. With proper Directional Influence and partial Momentum Cancelling, he can be hard to KO, despite being a middle-light weight. Falco can also bolster his approach with his high-priority Dash Attack, a quick, strong move that is difficult to defend against. Falco has a chance to forcibly trip opponents with his quick Down Special Move, Reflector, to further harass their approach due its great range, although it is unsafe on shields and spot dodges due to its fairly long ending lag and low amount of shield stun. Reflector can go through walls, and also has the ability to reflect uncommon projectiles, such as Pikachu's Thunder. Falco's Reflector has great range, transcendent priority, and decent speed. In addition, he has a notable glide toss and boost grab.
One of Falco's most potent moves is his Down Throw. Although completely incapable of KOing, it instead provides Falco with an excellent and easy to use chain-throw, chaining into itself up to percents as high as 50% on most characters, setting up a Down Aerial finish, and it affects more characters than King Dedede's Down Throw chain. When Falco gets to the edge during the chain-throw, he can unavoidably spike opponents to their doom; should they be able to recover, he can simply edgehog at the right time to prevent their return on some characters. This attack chain is particularly fatal to all the Star Fox characters, including himself, due to the delay and movement limitations in their Up Special Moves, Fire Fox, Fire Bird and Fire Wolf. Falco's Down Throw also combines well into Down Aerial and Dash Attack, and a popular alternative finish to the chain-throw is to hit with Dash Attack before instantly canceling into an Up Smash. As for characters on which he cannot initiate his chaingrab, he can follow his Down Throw up with a wide range of attacks from his arsenal, such as his Neutral Aerial, Down Aerial, Side Smash, DACUS, Blaster, Reflector, Dash Attack Cancel, Jab, and Forward Tilt, some of which have high enough priority to stop certain attacks fast enough to prevent his Down Throw follow-ups. In essence, when playing against Falco, opponents can generally consider their first 50% of any stock forfeit should they get grabbed with rare exception. Most of his other throws are quick and capable of damaging more than one opponent.
For finishing moves, one of Falco's few weaker sides, Falco can use his Forward and Up Smashes to good effect. His Forward Smash has a fast charge release, has fairly long range and the hitbox lasts some frames, with the weak hitbox being during the last frames, but it is slow and weak in the tip. His Up Smash has strong, purely vertical knockback if it hits during the upswing of his kick, and can be used as a DACUS to gain the jump on opponents further away, even while charging, though it has poor range. Falco is also armed with a fast and powerful spike from his Down Aerial that can kill at damages as low as 50%. However, this move has little range, with a slight horizontal disjoint, a small sweetspot (only the very start on the move which isn't the head hitbox spikes, and sourspotting the attack knocks back horizontally with fairly low knockback) and lasts a long time while in the air, which makes it dangerous to use off the edge, given Falco's fast falling speed. Falco's Down Aerial excels at spikes near the edge and at spiking opponents above the stage, setting them up for a different finisher as they get up from the floor. Around 150%, his Up Aerial, Down Smash, Back Aerial and Up Tilt become viable kill moves. However, his Up Aerial is awkward to use outside of full hops, his Down Smash has very poor range and is exceedingly weak unless the opponent is grounded, his Back Aerial is likely to be stale, and Up Tilt will rarely KO anyone but the floatiest characters. The aerial Falco Phantasm can potentially KO those with poor vertical recoveries at 100% or less, though it is easy to avoid.
Falco's weaknesses lie in his recovery and overall range. Although Falco Phantasm is a decent but predictable horizontal recovery, Fire Bird yields very short distance and is easily edgeguarded, making its only use a last ditch vertical recovery. He lacks a reliable Forward Aerial, and all of his other aerials have long durations and do not extend far in front of him. This makes him vulnerable to edgeguards since he rarely has an opportunity to attack while recovering - his options typically consist of a single laser, which serves little purpose other than disruption, and the recovery move itself. In addition, while his air speed is just somewhat below average, his lateral acceleration is particularly slow, especially when contrasted to his falling acceleration, making recoveries without his second jump even more difficult. His falling speed has some additional hindrances, such as making him a candidate for Pikachu's 0%-100% chain-grab. On the flipside, he has resistance against chain-grabs that are ineffective against lightweights, such as King Dedede's. Although planking can pose a problem for Falco, this issue is ameliorated in the tournament scene, where it is usually limited or banned altogether. His Forward Smash has noteworthy range and power, but the sweetspot does not cover the entire hitbox, and the start up/cool down of the attack make it avoidable under most circumstances.
Other than his recovery, Falco has no critical problems. Experienced Falco players can overcome these setbacks with his defense and adaptability.
Changes from Melee to Brawl
Falco exhibits some of the most significant changes from Melee to Brawl, with his moveset being changed so that he is only a semi-clone of Fox, rather than a clone. He has a new Up Tilt, a new, faster Neutral Combo, a new Forward Smash, a new Forward Aerial, and a new Neutral Aerial. Falco also received both buffs and nerfs from Melee to Brawl. While his Up Smash and Up Aerial are stronger, his Down Tilt is weaker, to the point of it no longer being a reliable KOing move. His Down Throw can now chain-grab, and can no longer spike through platforms or tech chase, but it is no longer easy to tech out of. His Down Aerial can now only spike at the start, from the middle to lower hitboxes. His Blaster now has a faster start-up time. Combining the increased fire rate and decreased falling speed, he can now SHDL/SHDB. His Falco Phantasm has an increased distance, which, combined with an increased air speed and aforementioned decreased falling speed, means an overall better horizontal recovery. However, it should be noted that his falling speed did not change much, though his air speed increased from the worst in the game to only somewhat below average.
On the downside, his vertical recovery is worse because of Fire Bird's decreased distance, but it can now hit during the charging period, and scores more hits, but has slightly more lag at the end. His Reflector is used differently, with Falco kicking it rather than holding it. Due to its new boomerang-like property, it is stronger and has better range, but it is harder to time, it can no longer be jump-canceled, and it is no longer useful for recovery. His dashing speed was reduced slightly, now being a bit slower than Mario, but his walking acceleration was increased, and he has several new techniques for increasing his ground speed, such as Glide Tossing and DACUS.
In purely cosmetic terms, he has a new dash animation and voice actor for the NTSC and PAL versions. His Blaster now fires blue lasers and have electric effects. He also has a different design based on Star Fox Command.
- Neutral Attack - Falco does a jab, another jab, and then tilts diagonally and spins very quickly with his arms out. This move can trap an opponent if they're in a corner. Good for racking up damage. If this is used on a character that is in the metal status it will constantly spin them around, as Mario's Cape does, but a lot faster. 1st jab is very fast and has high priority, can lead into a grab to start his chain grab. It is possible to Lock a grounded opponent by canceling the 2nd jab. While the foe is trapped in the last part, Falco can lead into a powerful Forward Smash. Even the natural infinite has fast cool down, and can lead into an Up Tilt, Forward Tilt, or another jab depending on the opponent's DI. It is considered by many to be one of the best jabs in the game, due to its speed and its safety on shields. Hits on frame 2. 4% damage on first hit, 2% damage on second, 1% damage on the rest.
- Dash Attack - Leaps and sticks his foot out. Vertical knockback allows to set up an Up Smash from 0% until mid percents, as it can be Dash Canceled into it. Good knockback. At very high percents, like 200%, it's a KO move. 9% damage.
- Forward Tilt - Kicks his leg out. Very fast. Can be angled up or down with the control stick. Below-average knockback. This is Falco's longest horizontally ranged attack, with only the sourspot of his Forward Smash having greater distance. 10% damage.
- Up Tilt - Swings both of his wings above his head. Hits twice. Quick start up and long duration. A good move for juggling or as an anti-air attack. At very high percents, it can KO. 4% damage on first hit, 5% damage on second.
- Down Tilt - Tail swipe. Identical to its Melee version, except now an unreliable KO move. Average knockback. 12% damage when close, 9% on tip.
- Forward Smash - Falco swings his wings in an overhead powerful swipe, slashing anyone who is caught in it. Best for killing enemies, though it is slow and must be sweetspotted to be powerful. If hit on the tip, it does very little knockback, though Falco is usually far enough to prevent a counterattack, but if arms hit opponent, there is high knockback. It's the strongest Side Smash out of all 3 Star Fox characters, similar to how Fox possesses the strongest Up Smash of the three and how Wolf possesses the strongest Down Smash of the three. 10%-14% damage if tipped, 15%-21% damage if non tipped.
- Up Smash - Flip kick. While weaker than Fox's, this move can be used to cancel his Dash Attack for a swift combo, or for a far-reaching, sliding Forward Smash. Has a stronger sourspot and slightly less end lag than Fox's. The knockback is entirely dependent on where it hits; stronger in the front, fairly low in the rear. Moderately high knockback. It is also possible to combo a silent laser (see below) into either a normal or boosted Up Smash for a kill, provided the laser is close enough. 13% damage uncharged, 19% damage fully charged.
- Down Smash - Split kick. Fast start up and medium end lag. Less range than his Melee Down Smash. Has primarily horizontal knockback, but its minimal range and relative weakness limit its kill potential. Though weak at percentages like 100%, it is an effective killer at damages like 150%, especially against horizontal recovery challenged opponents. But it is difficult to utilize unless out of shield with the opponent right next to Falco, since it has the smallest hitbox of any of his attacks, even his Up Tilt and Up Aerial outrange it horizontally. Interestingly, the kick opposite the direction Falco is facing has slightly better reach. Hits simultaneously on both sides, and will send opponents vertically very weakly should they descend upon the attack's hitbox from the air. 14% damage uncharged, 19% damage fully charged.
- Ledge Attack - Drop kicks onto the stage whilst holding onto the edge. Quick with good range, and returns Falco closer to the edge upon completion. 8% damage.
- 100% Ledge Attack - Climbs up over the edge and does a forward flip kick while holding the edge. 10% damage.
- Floor Attack - Punches in front of and then kicks in back of himself. If recumbent, kicks behind and then in front of himself. 6% damage.
- Neutral Aerial - Falco does a series of windmill swipes with his wings, hitting four times. Last strike has medium knockback. High-priority wing strikes makes this an excellent close-range setup move, as well as for hitting from beneath platforms. It is possible to fast fall this to make it so the first 3 hits hit to combo it into other moves. 3% damage on the first two hits, 2% damage on the third hit, and 4% damage on the fourth hit.
- Forward Aerial - Falco turns horizontally and spins, hitting multiple times with his beak, similar to Pikachu's or Sonic's Forward Air. Knockback on all the hits, but is minimal regardless of damage. Last strike is the most powerful, providing a small amount of knockback, which isn't set, but has very low knockback scaling. Long aerial duration and landing lag makes this dangerous to use at any time. However, when used correctly this move can be very effective for KOing opponents before attempting their vertical recovery(Fox, Wolf, Link, and most characters) when they have used their second jump and are close to recovering at a position underneath or slightly angled to the edge, Falco can drop off the stage and hit the opponent with this attack as they both fall, the last hit will knock them back out of recovery range, or if still in recovery range, Falco with his second jump and Fire Bird can get to the edge first and edgeguard. This technique can be effective even at very low damage on the opponent. This technique does not work on foe's with multiple jumps or very quick and distant recoveries (Pit, Kirby, King Dedede, Meta Knight, Jigglypuff, Lucario). Using this technique against Lucario can cause death Falco due to Lucarios quick moving, Long Distance, and efficient edge grabbing recovery which can instead make Falco the victim of an edge guard. 2% damage on the first four hits, and 3% damage on the fifth hit.
- Back Aerial - Falco sticks his leg out horizontally behind him. Has Sex Kick properties. Very good knockback, high speed and long duration make it very useful. Can be followed by a midair-jumped second bair in some situations. Useful for aerial-intercept edgeguarding, and can be used effectively with the Reverse Aerial Rush. This attack also hits slightly in front of Falco, so it can be used as a surrogate Forward Aerial in some situations. Initial hit is 13% damage, otherwise it is 9% damage.
- Up Aerial - Moon kick. Exhibits different knockback properties depending on when and where Falco hit the foe. Best knockback directly above Falco when foot is furthest extended. The sourspot has no knockback at all, and has set knockback. Moderate speed and a moderately good KO move, great as a follow-up at higher percents after landing a Down Aerial on a grounded opponent due to his high jumps. 11% damage.
- Down Aerial - Falco turns diagonally and spins. At the start of his attack and hitbox from knee to lower body part, he can execute a spike at his spinning heel. It has extremely fast start-up, with a long-lasting normal hitbox, and only has 12 frames of landing lag upon hitting ground, making it good at initiating ground-based juggles such as Down Aerial->Down Throw, or Down Aerial->Tap Reset. If the opponent is hit with the spike towards the ground and doesn't guard upon impact to the ground, the opponent will bounce on the ground and Falco can combo into any Smash Attack or start his Laser Lock. Spike hit is 13% damage, otherwise 8% damage.
Grabs and Throws
Falco shares his throw techniques and animations with Fox.
- Pummel - Falco holds his opponent and knees them; a relatively fast pummel. Deals 2% damage.
- Forward Throw - Punches his opponent forward. 7% damage.
- Back Throw - Throws his opponent behind himself and into the air, and shoots them with his blaster. Like, Up Throw, the total damage is dependent on the number of laser shots that connect; the throw itself deals 2% damage, and the lasers deal a total of 6% damage if all connect, for a total of 8% damage.
- Up Throw - Throws opponent upward and shoots his blaster straight up. The throw deals 2% damage, and the lasers deal 6% damage, for a total of 8% damage if all shots hit. Nearly useless at higher percentages due to it being easy to DI out of, allowing the opponent to avoid all laser shots.
- Down Throw - Throws his opponent to the ground, hops up and shoots them with his blaster. Unlike Up Throw and Back Throw, the laser shots are guaranteed to hit unless Falco is interrupted. Falco can use Down Throw to chain grab most characters until they reach about 42%. He may finish with a Down Aerial spike over the edge of the stage, which can function as a KO, but most characters can survive the spike if they recover correctly. Falco can also finish chain grabs with a DACUS to deal as much as 60% damage in total. Down Throw is also an effective tech chase move once opponents are past chain-grab percentage. The chain-grab is less effective on floaty characters, but can still be used at low percentages and followed up with attacks. As such, Falco can deal at least 25% to any character if he initiates a chain grab when they are at 0%. A certain technique often used against floaty characters involves the use of a Down Throw, then a short hopped Down Aerial, and then another grab. The throw itself deals 3% damage, and the laser shots deal 1% damage for a total of 4% damage.
|Falco's Special Moves|
|Side Special||Falco Phantasm|
|Up Special||Fire Bird|
- Wii Remote selection sound: Falco says "Piece of cake."
- On-screen appearance: Ejects from an upside-down Arwing.
- Cheer: Crowd yells "Fal-co" a repeated number of times.
- Crosses arms, turns his head to the side, and says "You aren't worth the trouble".
- Jumps extremely high and lands kneeling. He then looks up at the camera.
- Rapidly kicks and says "Had enough already?". Then puts his foot down and crosses his body over to look at the camera.
- If Falco wins a battle against Fox, he does this position, but his line is changed to: "You're off your game, Fox".
Falco is one of only four characters to speak in all three taunts in Brawl, the others being Zero Suit Samus, Peach and Pikachu (though Peach uses real words in only one of her taunts, and Pikachu, like most Pokémon, only ever says variations of its name). Additionally, in the English version, Falco speaks in his taunts with a Brooklynese Italian-American accent (his surname, Lombardi, is Italian).
- Up: Kicks his reflector around like a hackey sack, and says "Piece of cake."
- Side: Stands on one foot and raises a wing while saying "Don't try me."
- Down: Spins once and poses, and says "Hands off my prey".
Smash Taunt: When fighting as Falco on the Lylat Cruise stage or Corneria stage, quickly tap down on the directional pad once and he will kneel down and seem as though he's trying to communicate with someone through a device, and then stand back up, at which point a conversation will begin with another character from the Star Fox universe.
In competitive play
Role in the Subspace Emissary
Ejecting from his Arwing, Falco shows up in the nick of time to save Fox from trophy-ization at the hands of Bowser and a Shadow Bug clone of Diddy by flip-kicking the Dark Cannon from Bowser's hands and destroying it with dual lasergun fire, forcing Bowser to leave. He is shown to use two blasters, but only uses one when he is used in-game. This makes Falco the only character who destroys a Dark Cannon in the SSE regardless of the princess rescued. The Diddy clone begins to absorb more Shadow Bugs, becoming gigantic, and after Fox revives the real Diddy, the three fight the giant clone. Falco then turns to leave, but is dragged back by Diddy and reluctantly comes along. A stupefied Fox shrugs his shoulders and walks off after them, as he received the same treatment from Diddy earlier.
As Captain Falcon and Captain Olimar look down at the ship carrying Donkey Kong's trophy, Falco's Arwing shows up, ejecting Diddy Kong from the cockpit. Diddy then activates his Rocket Barrel Jet Pack and shoots the ship with his Peanut Popguns. Landing on the ship, he quickly de-trophifies DK, and after DK, Diddy, Captain Falcon, and Olimar defeat the Primids that board the ship, Falco gives Diddy and Donkey Kong a thumbs up as he leaves.
He makes his next appearance in the battle against Duon on the Halberd, where he teams up with Fox, Peach, Zelda, Snake, and Lucario. When it is defeated, Peach revives Mr. Game and Watch, just as Meta Knight takes back control of his ship. He uses his Arwing during the attack on the Subspace Gunship and maneuvers effectively to avoid the cannons. He enters Subspace and stands loftily, as if he is above this. When he is turned into a trophy, he is rescued by Kirby and Dedede, and joins them in the Great Maze. He aids them in the fight against Tabuu.
A Team Star Fox pilot whose real name is Falco Lombardi. He once roamed the starways as the head of a galactic gang, and his piloting skills are superb. He affects an air of cool disdain and is sometimes uncooperative, but in reality his passion for the Star Fox team is second to none. He once left the team to fly solo for a time.
- Star Fox (Super Nintendo)
- Star Fox: Command (Nintendo DS)
- Falco holds the world record for Level 2 Target Smash, by completing it in 3.95 seconds. He also holds the Co-op Target Smash world record for Level 1 with Toon Link (2.66 seconds), and holds the top two records in Level 2 (Co-op) with Pit (3.30 seconds) and R.O.B. (3.55 seconds).
- Falco is the highest character in the tiers for the Star Fox series (both Fox and Wolf are C+-tier).
- The lasers fired during Falco's Up, Down and Back Throws can be reflected if his opponent is wearing a Franklin Badge. Because of this, they can damage Falco instead.
- All of Falco's Smash Attacks can hit both sides.
- Falco is the same shade of blue in all his alternate color schemes (his uniform changes as opposed to his "skin") except for his final costume, in which he is known to some as "Black Falco".
- When shooting Falco's blaster in mid-air, Falco fires quicker than when using his blaster on the ground.
- In a cutscene during the Subspace Emissary, Falco is shown to have two blasters, but in-game he only uses one.
- Falco is the only character to keep one of the same prerequisites in order to unlock him from Super Smash Bros. Melee.
- People thought that he said "Hands off my bread," for his down taunt. This led to an online meme.
- Falco's page at Smash Bros. DOJO!!.
- Falco Character Guide at SWF
- Falco's hitbox size of each of his moves