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Falcon Punch

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Falcon Punch is Captain Falcon's Neutral Special Move in the Super Smash Bros. series. The move consists of Captain Falcon throwing a powerful punch, with his fist engulfed in a Falcon-shaped flame.

Overview

It is one of the most powerful moves in all three Super Smash Bros. games, with the highest knockback of any of Falcon's attacks (including charged Smash Attacks), and is his highest Priority move in each game. This move is one of the few attacks in the game that is more powerful than the Home-run Bat at high damages (and since Captain Falcon's home-run attack has an upward trajectory in Melee, it is always more useful), and thus, players use it in Captain Falcon's world record Home-run Contest strategies. The Falcon Punch is very slow, with a start-up time of fifty-two frames[1]. It is also very loud and noisy, especially since Captain Falcon has to announce it every time he uses it, making it even more predictable.

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Captain Falcon gained the ability to turn his punch around during the start-up, increasing its damage. This is a Reverse Falcon Punch. It also has forty-two frames in this game. The Reverse Falcon Punch does slightly more damage than a standard one, but has slightly more start-up time.


Origin

While the move is unique to the Super Smash Bros. series, Captain Falcon famously performed a Falcon Punch in the F-Zero animated series, F-Zero: GP Legend, where he uses it to defeat Black Shadow. It has become quite memetic, as the clip makes it appear that the Falcon Punch causes an explosion that can be seen from space, when in reality, the blast is from Black Shadow's self-destructing base, and Captain Falcon is merely using the Falcon Punch to prevent Black Shadow from escaping said explosion. This is reinforced in a Subspace Emissary cutscene, when Captain Falcon performs a Falcon Punch on a giant R.O.B. in a very similar fashion to the clip from the animated series.

As a testament to the move's popularity, it seems to have come full circle and crossed back over into F-Zero canon: it is mentioned in F-Zero GX's ending song, specifically in the line "When a mighty illusion threatens your lunch, Falcon will be unleashing the Falcon Punch."

General Strategies

In Super Smash Bros.

The Falcon Punch in Super Smash Bros. is more likely to become a combo than in Melee and Brawl due to it only having Smash DI, and being much quicker. Common tactics include throws to Falcon Punch and Down/Up Aerial 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.

In Super Smash Bros. Melee

In Super Smash Bros. Melee, the Falcon Punch was made slower, though the punch itself seems to be stronger, and now has a full 3-D model, complete with better fire effects. Due to C. Falcon's Down Aerial being much slower than in Super Smash Bros, that combo was made more unreliable, but with L-Canceling, it is still possible. On the other hand, the Sacred Combo was first discovered and is considered its easiest to use in this game.

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl

The punch was made slightly faster than in Melee, though it appears to be weaker along with most of Captain Falcon's moves, and nowhere still as fast as the original counterpart. But thanks to the inclusion of reversing the attack, new tactics are in hand.

Double-jump facing away from the opponent and right before he falls, Reverse Falcon Punch. Captain Falcon can then tilt the motion towards the opponent to reduce the time it takes to charge on the ground, strengthen the punch by reversing it, and use the attack just as he hits the ground. Best to use it on off-guard opponents that are expecting the player to flee.

Captain Falcon can also use it while running, then RAR the Falcon Punch. In order to this, Captain Falcon must run and tilt the control stick back and jump at the same time. Captain Falcon jumps while keeping his/her momentum forward, during this time, usually at the start of the jump, Captain Falcon must start the Falcon Punch and reverse it. Right when Captain Falcon lands, he becomes able punch anything in front of him. This technique also allows for more control over the distance traveled with the Punch. For instance, when a normal Falcon Punch is done from a jump, the distance traveled depends on how high the jump was. In contrast the "RAR'd" Falcon Punch allows one to basically, move either further (because of the forward momentum made if the forward direction is held) or even slightly behind (if the stick is tilted backwards after the punch is reversed in the air, the momentum pulls Captain Falcon slightly backwards).

The above method can also be applied when Captain Falcon hangs on an edge, albeit much more dangerous because of the likelihood of an SD. When he hangs from the edge, the other brawler must jump, tilt away from the edge (this will not visibly make Captain Falcon turn, but he is likely to be turned around in the game's registering), reversing Falcon Punch. When done at the tip of the edge jump, the punch is thrown a little bit off the ground, so if one wants the punch to activate on the ground, then he must start the Reverse Falcon Punch a little after the tip of the jump. Captain Falcon must make sure he faces away when performing the reverse, and also making sure one has stopped tilting away from the edge when starting the Reverse Falcon Punch. This method is slightly more difficult when done incorrectly than the normal "RAR'd" Falcon Punch, but it can catch potential edgeguarders off guard.

Combos into Falcon Punch

Despite the slowness of Falcon Punch, there are a few situations where a launcher (namely, down aerial) can combo into Falcon Punch.

Tapion Punch Combo

Named after Tapion, this two-hit combo leads into Falcon Punch after an l-canceled down aerial. It works on Fox as low as 75% damage, Falco as low as 78%, and C. Falcon as low as 80%. It can be avoided with Directional Influence.

G-Regulate's Falcon Punch 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.

Sacred Combo

A combo that uses Captain Falcon's Forward Aerial and the Falcon Punch. Very hard to perform.

The combo itself is performed by knocking an opponent off the stage with Captain Falcon's forward aerial (the Knee Smash) and then jumping off the edge of the stage before striking the opponent with Captain Falcon's neutral B, the Falcon Punch, in mid-air. If performed successfully, this combo results in a KO in almost all cases, although by performing this combo, Captain Falcon may fail to recover back to the stage in Melee if he jumps too far off the edge to perform his Falcon Punch. In either cases, KOing an opponent with the Sacred Combo is widely regarded as being one of the most satisfying ways to remove an opponent's stock.

Trivia

  • If used correctly, the Falcon Punch can knock off all the bases of a Gamyga.
  • There is a glitch where if a player uses a Reverse Falcon Punch on Pit, and Pit pulls out the Mirror Shield at the correct moment, Captain Falcon will be sent backwards a long way, longer than many stages, but not all of them, so he won't necessarily die. The same can be done with Mario's Cape.
  • If Kirby uses the Falcon Punch immediately after a jump, he gets a large boost upward. This is most noticeable with his Footstool Jump, which goes nearly twice as high as normal. This is sometimes known as a "Footstool Punch".
  • Falcon Punch has become a quite popular internet meme. However, in such cases, it is normally spelled Falcon PAWNCH.
  • In melee, the bird sound effect used for the Falcon Punch is present in Ganondorf's sound test.

See Also

External links

References

  1. http://www.angelfire.com/games5/superdoodleman/Captain_Falcon_frames_11.6.05.txt SuperDoodleMan's frame data

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