- This article is about Captain Falcon's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee. For the clone of Captain Falcon, see Ganondorf; and for the character in other contexts, see Captain Falcon.
|“||A bounty hunter who boasts speed and power.||”|
|—Description from Melee's manual.|
Captain Falcon currently ranks 8th place 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.
Captain Falcon is well known for his extreme speed and combo ability. His dash speed is the fastest in the game, his air speed is fast, and his falling speed is very fast. His fast falling speed allows him to SHFFL very well, and it gives him resistance to vertical KOs. However, it also shortens his recovery and makes him easy to combo and chaingrab, especially since he is heavy and large. His running speed and high lateral air speed give him the game's longest and fastest long jump, allowing him to close great distances with short hop aerials and edgeguard faraway enemies. He also has the best dash dance and moonwalk in the game. He has one of the fastest backward rolls in the game and a good forward roll, but his techrolls are slow. The trajectory of Captain Falcon's low lag aerials complement his speed, allowing him to effectively combo all characters. Captain Falcon has one of the best out-of-grab games available, as well as the ability to wall jump.
Captain Falcon does have his drawbacks, however. Captain Falcon has some powerful attacks, but these moves are slow, especially for some of his grounded moves. Captain Falcon's Forward Aerial is a powerful, low-trajectory finisher, but he is reliant on it to gain early KOs. Many of his moves have very small hitboxes, meaning that it can sometimes be hard to hit opponents, especially small characters, due to their lack of lower hitboxes. Captain Falcon also lacks projectiles and a reliable way to deal with opponents' projectiles. In recovery, Falcon Dive can't grab edgehoggers, leaving him extremely vulnerable to them. To help this problem, Falcon Kick lets Captain Falcon regain his second jump. While a Captain Falcon player must be cautious of his weaknesses, he can use his power, speed and combo ability to overcome them.
Changes from Super Smash Bros
In the transition from Super Smash Bros., Captain Falcon gained multiple buffs and nerfs, but was buffed overall, such as in recovery and the introduction to his famous Knee Smash.
- Captain Falcon walks and dashes faster.
- Captain Falcon now has the 4th-fastest air speed.
- Captain Falcon has better dash-dancing ability plus the addition of moonwalking and wavedashing, giving him more movement options.
- Many of his attacks are stronger and faster in terms of ending lag due to decreased IASA frames.
- Vertical endurance improved to becoming the best in Melee, ousting Donkey Kong (who has the second highest vertical endurance).
- Added chaingrabs and faster air speed give him even more combo options, despite the significantly lowered hitstun in Melee.
- Most of his attacks have generally slower startup.
- The third hit of his neutral attack is better at tech-chasing and has improved ability to follow-up with other moves, as it now sends opponents on a more favourable angle, dealing much more knockback and has much less ending lag.
- Up tilt only hits once and does 10% less damage.
- Down tilt has a new animation which has more combo ability.
- Forward smash has a new animation which is stronger, going from being tied with Pikachu and Ness as the fifth most powerful smash attack in Smash 64, to being the third most powerful in Melee.
- Up smash has a new animation which has significantly more knockback and is no longer the weakest up smash, now being the 7th most powerful up smash in Melee if both kicks connect.
- Down smash has a new animation which has much more knockback and much higher vertical range.
- Down smash can no longer hit characters on the edge.
- Neutral aerial's animation has been changed to be based off his forward aerial animation in Smash 64, except that he now kicks with his right leg first and then his left leg all while turning to his right. It is also angled more diagonally upwards.
- Forward aerial has a new animation, commonly known as the Knee Smash, which is drastically more powerful (if sweetspotted), and is still a useful combo move (usually used as a combo finisher).
- Back aerial is less powerful, though still a good edge-guarder and can still KO under 150%.
- Up aerial has less combo ability, lower versatility, and less vertical range. It is generally much harder to combo into moves such as other aerials due to the higher falling speeds in Melee and the move sending opponents on a less favourable angle to follow-up with other moves, plus the semi-spike part of the move is much less powerful and provides much less hitstun.
- Down aerial has a larger hitbox, along with more range and power, dealing 2% more damage and being the fourth most powerful meteor smash in Melee, the upper hitbox of the move spikes (commonly referred to as the Nipple spike).
- Down aerial has a much shorter duration.
Grabs and Throws
- Like all Super Smash Bros. veterans, Captain Falcon has been given an up throw and a down throw, significantly improving his attack options.
- Forward throw from Smash 64 is now his down throw in Melee. Captain Falcon also keeps both his feet on the ground as opposed to leaning forward enough to bring his following foot off the ground like in Smash 64.
- Falcon Punch has stronger knockback and more range.
- Falcon Punch has much slower startup and has lost almost all of its combo finishing ability. It also cannot angled up or down in midair, hindering one of his recovery options.
- Falcon Punch now has a flame effect.
- Captain Falcon now has a side special move known as Raptor Boost, which can act as a great tech-chaser and combo-starter.
- Falcon Dive grants more recovery distance, both horizontally and vertically. Also, on the first and only frame of activation (frame 13), the move grants disjointedness (unlike Smash 64, where the move didn't reach a rather far distance from Captain Falcon), making it a useful surprise move to utilize. However, this only works against grounded opponents.
- Grounded Falcon Kick travels further. Falcon Kick also restores his double jump when used in midair.
Like some other characters, Captain Falcon was slightly changed in the PAL version of Melee.
- The third hit of his neutral attack can be performed without the jab infinite by simply pressing the A button three times.
- The soft hit of Knee Smash is weaker.
|Neutral attack||2%||Captain Falcon performs two short-ranged jabs, followed by a knee strike, which then transitions into a flurry of rapid punches.|
|8% (clean), 6% (late)|
|Forward tilt||↗||12% (leg), 11% (body)||Captain Falcon kicks horizontally forward. This attack can be aimed up or down.|
|↘||10% (leg), 11% (body)|
|Up tilt||13%||Captain Falcon brings his leg up and brings it down in an axe-like fashion. Deals good horizontal knockback for an up tilt.|
|Down tilt||12%||Captain Falcon does a quick sweep kick while crouching. A great vertical launcher, but is difficult to land.|
|Dash attack||10% (clean), 7% (late)||Captain Falcon does a running shoulder tackle. This attack comes out pretty fast and is good for knocking the foe away from the ledge to follow with an aerial attack or an edge-guard, with proper mindgaming/prediction.|
|Forward smash||↗||21%||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. This attack can be aimed up or down.|
|Up smash||8%/14% (hit 1), 13%/12% (hit 2)||Captain Falcon jumps into the air and performs a spinning double kick. A fast and powerful move, though is short ranged.|
|Down smash||18% (front), 16% (back)||Quickly kicks forward then backward. Has small noticeable startup, but good speed and knockback.|
|Neutral aerial||5-6% (hit 1), 7% (hit 2)||Captain Falcon performs two spinning kick attacks in midair. A good two-hit combo starter or finisher, though the second hit is difficult to land.|
|Forward aerial||Knee Smash||18% (clean), 6% (late)||Captain Falcon sticks out his knee, which, when sweetspotted, will electrocute the foe with strong knockback—otherwise, there is little knockback later in the move.|
|Back aerial||14% (clean), 8% (late)||Does a quick backhand punch from behind. Good power and speed, often used as an edge-guarding move.|
|Up aerial||13%/12% (clean), 12%/10% (late)||Does a midair flipkick. Knockback direction depends on what angle the move hits the foe, though strong nonetheless.|
|Down aerial||16%||Stomps downward with both feet, meteor smashing any opponent he comes in contact with. When hit at the torso region, this attack becomes an extremely powerful spike, known as the Nipple Spike.|
|Pummel||3%||Knees the opponent in the torso region.|
|Forward throw||5% (hit 1), 4% (throw)||Punches foe forward. Oddly, this throw contains two hits.|
|Back throw||5% (hit 1), 4% (throw)||Kicks the 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.|
|Up throw||4% (hit 1), 3% (throw)||Punches the foe upward. Yet another mysterious throw where Falcon supposedly only hits the foe once, although has two separate hitboxes.|
|Down throw||7%||Slams the foe onto the floor. Only contains one hitbox, unlike his other throws.|
|Floor attack (front)||6%||Gets up and flips while kicking.|
|Floor attack (back)||6%||Stands on both hands and does a spinning double kick.|
|Edge attack (fast)||10%||Pulls himself back up then attacks with a quick kick.|
|Edge attack (slow)||8%||Slowly climbs up and delivers a short-ranged punch.|
|Neutral special||Falcon Punch||27% (close), 25% (mid), 23% (far)||Captain Falcon charges up for a moment before unleashing a powerful, fiery punch. Deals very high damage and knockback,|
|Side special||Raptor Boost||7%||Captain Falcon dashes forward to launch his opponents with an uppercut. If he doesn’t make contact with anyone, he falls to the ground. If he hits an opponent while in midair, he punches downward, meteor smashing them. However, this move always makes him helpless, so it is very risky to use offstage.|
|Up special||Falcon Dive||5% (grab), 12% (release)||Leaps upwards. A recovery move that can also grab the ledge even if Captain Falcon if facing the opposite direction. Normally makes him helpless, but if he grabs an opponent, he releases them with a fiery blow and is free to use the same move again.|
|Down special||Falcon Kick||15%/13%/9% (ground), 15%/13%/11% (air), 9% (landing)||Captain Falcon rushes forward while performing a fiery kick. If he goes off a ledge, he continues dashing forward. If started in midair, he kicks downward at a diagonal angle. Restores Captain Falcon's midair jump when used while airborne, making it a useful move for horizontal recovery at long distances.|
Note: Captain Falcon and Pichu are the only characters in the game to have two different taunt animations.
- Left: Faces to his right, salutes and exclaims "Show me your moves!"
- Right: Faces the camera, salutes and exclaims "Show me your moves!"
- Makes a battle pose where he leans forward and thrusts his arm out.
- Makes another battle pose where he crouches slightly and thrusts his elbow out.
- Captain Falcon has the fastest dash speed in the game. Reaching an item before the opponent shouldn't be a problem unless he or she is significantly closer to the item. This, of course, is meaningless in tournament play, where items are turned off.
- Captain Falcon's aerial game is very fast, making performing combos fairly easy. His knee is a good KO move at medium-high damage. He also has one true spike. Use that as a follow-up in case the knee doesn't work, or to continue comboing.
- Because Falcon's Falling Speed and weight are so high, he is the character that is most resistant to vertical knockouts.
- Since he is a heavy character and a fast faller, attacks like Peach's Down Smash can be devastating against Falcon.
- Captain Falcon's ground attacks have some lag, but in return, they generally have good knockback and damage. Captain Falcon's Up Smash hits twice, but has little horizontal reach. His Side Smash is a little laggy, but has great range and knockback. His Down Smash is two kicks which hit both sides of Falcon, so opponents on either side of him will be hit so long as they are within range. In addition, it has a very good reach and priority.
- Falcon's tilts include his Forward Tilt, a long ranged kick with decent damage and knockback, his Down Tilt, a sweeping kick which sends opponents upwards, and his Up Tilt, where he lifts his leg in the air and smashes it down. It is frequently used for edgeguarding.
- Forward Aerial "The Knee" - Captain Falcon's Forward Aerial is a great, if not Falcon's best, finisher. Timed at the end of grab and aerial combos, it can KO opponents at about 60%. Although the move does require precise timing to land, since a non sweetspotted hit will be very weak, the sourspot can be used as a form of Wall of Pain that can combo into another knee.
- Back Aerial - A backhand hit with a fair amount of startup lag. Falcon's B-Air is excellent, especially for edgeguarding. While an opponent is off stage, it is common to hop backwards and intercept them with a Bair for the KO.
- Neutral Aerial - Two fast kicks. The Neutral aerial is good for racking up damage.
- Up Aerial - A quick back-flip kick. Good for attacking airborne opponents as it is fast and relatively strong, and has a long duration making it comparatively easy to land.
- Down Aerial - An airborne stomp. Falcon's D-Air has a considerable amount of startup lag. It is good for use on the ground, where it will send opponents upward, sometimes Star-KOing at high percentages or creating a setup for a Knee. Hitting opponents with the upper hitbox (above Falcon's waist) will result in a Nipple spike.
- Although Captain Falcon is good in the air and on the ground, he has no projectiles or ways to effectively deal with projectiles, which makes him vulnerable to campers with long range. Items like Ray Guns can help, but overreliance on items is not advised, because they will run out.
- Using Falcon's Raptor Boost is a good way to dodge oncoming projectiles like Samus's Missile or Mario's Fireball.
- Falcon is equipped with one of the best roll dodges in the game, as it is one of the fastest and longest. Both left and right roll dodges are quick and long.
- Falcon has the best dash-dance in the game, so if timed right, he can dash away from an attack and quickly dash back to retaliate.
Captain Falcon has some good grabs that are used to start chains and combos, most notably into his fair, which can allow for quick kills.
- Can chain-grab many characters with average falling speeds and weights at various percents. Simply down-throw, follow the opponent's DI with a dash, and use a Jump Cancelled Grab to grab again. If the opponent DIs towards the player, a re-grab in place or turning and re-grabbing may be possible.
- combos into N-air at most percents and DIs against non-fastfallers.
- Can combo into a F-Air at medium to high percents against non-fastfallers. This may be escapable at some percents with DI. This is also an option at very high percents against fast-fallers.
- Tech-chasing chain grabs are possible as well against fast-fallers. Additionally, one can Tech-chase with Raptor Boost. Down Smash is additionally useful, as it hits in front of and behind C.F., hitting 2/3 tech-rolls and hitting non-techs if properly timed.
- Combos into an N-Air, U-Air, and F-Air at various percents and DIs against virtually every character. The higher the percent, the more chance opponents have to break free.
- Combos into D-Tilt at low-medium percents against fast-fallers.
- Combos into F-Smash and D-Smash against fast-fallers at medium percents, depending on DI. Against fast fallers at low percents, does not combo directly but leads to Tech-chasing.
- Combos into a Up Smash against fast-fallers that do not DI to a side. Against large, heavy characters, can be wavedashed into at several DIs.
- Can combo into an angled F-Tilt depending on DI. Useful for catching awkward DIs and percents.
- If an opponent bounces, it is possible to hit them with any SHFFL'd aerial, a Down Smash, Raptor Boost, Falcon Kick, Falcon Punch, and any tilts out of the bounce.
- Raptor Boost is always an option, and directly combos against many characters at low percents and against most DIs, however is known to be very touchy and avoidable. Can be used to tech-chase as well.
- U-Throw can lead to a dashing, jump-cancelled re-grab against Fox at very high percents (approximately 110%) if the opponent DI's away. This is possible due to Fox's light weight and high downward acceleration.
- Captain Falcon
- Usually a relentless bounty hunter, Captain Falcon shifts gears to become a race pilot once the F-Zero Grand Prix begins. His beloved racer, the Blue Falcon, can exceed the speed of sound, and he knows how to drive it; he'll go down as one of the all time-greats. Now 36 years old, Captain Falcon wears his F-Zero X visor.
- F-Zero 08/91
- Captain Falcon (Smash Red)
- Falcon's style is a balanced combination of raw power and speed. His attacks are slow, but when combined with Falcon's high mobility, he's a formidable combat force. The Falcon Punch packs the highest degree of destructive power, while the explosive Raptor Boost can be used to smash airborne foes into the depths.
- Captain Falcon (Smash Blue)
- The Knee Smash, used in midair on foes in front of you, is slow and has a short reach, but if it connects, it'll send foes flying a long way on a low trajectory. Falcon uses his Falcon Dive to grab an enemy in midair and fling them away with an explosive blast. He can do this technique repeatedly without landing, so it can also be used as a recovery move.
- Captain Falcon is the only character to have every single smash attack changed from Smash 64 to Melee.
- Captain Falcon is one of the few characters to have a true spike in Melee, that being his Nipple Spike.
- Captain Falcon's Knee Smash has become very famous among the Smash community, for its incredible KO power and the fact that it can be easily comboed into. As such, it has gained many nicknames, including "The Knee", and "Knee of Justice".
- When using Captain Falcon's red costume (the costume resembling his evil clone, "Blood Falcon") the image on the back of his costume changes to that of a skull with bird wings and text that reads "BLOOD HAWK" (Blood Falcon's F-Zero machine).
- In an early development for Melee, the text that reads "BLOOD HAWK" in the final version of Melee was originally "HELL HAWK".
- Captain Falcon is one out of two characters who was unlockable in Smash 64 but became a starter in Melee, the other being Ness.