- This article is about Falco's appearance in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. For other uses, see Falco Lombardi.
Falco (ファルコ Faruko?) is an unlockable character representing the Star Fox universe in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. He was confirmed on October 3rd, 2014, alongside Ness and Wario, coinciding with the North American and European release of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS.
Falco currently ranks 47th on the tier list, which is a huge drop considering his tier position in Brawl. He has a strong grab and combo game, great aerials and some good kill moves. On the other hand, the change in physics, as well as the removal of certain techniques, severely hindered Falco's neutral game. Combining this with his poor survivability and lackluster recovery has led him to be overshadowed by other characters, and having poor matchups overall.
How to Unlock
Complete the following:
- Complete Classic Mode once without continues.
- Play 20 matches.
After completing either option, Falco must be defeated on Corneria.
- Beat Classic Mode once,, regardless if continues are used.
- Play 10 matches.
Afterwards, Falco must be defeated on Orbital Gate Assault.
- Highest jump and double jump heights in the game, followed by Greninja.
- Can wall jump.
- Very fast attacks overall.
- Excellent combo ability.
- Fifth highest falling speed, tied with Roy, Mega Man and Little Mac. In this case, this helps Falco due to his proficiency in the air.
- Many attacks have multi-hit properties, increasing his combo potential, as most of these can be ground cancelled, allowing Falco to string attacks together without knocking the opponent away with the final hit.
- Many of his attacks can auto-cancel in short hops.
- Great horizontal and vertical recoveries, with Falco Phantasm and Fire Bird, respectively.
- Falco Phantasm can be used twice in the air, greatly increasing his horizontal recovery.
- Has a projectile, Blaster, which inflicts considerable hit-stun, having a great poke potential.
- Falco Phantasm can be used to quickly get in and out of combat.
- It also can Meteor Smash airborne opponents.
- Reflector has good range when kicked and has very low startup lag, being very useful as a surprise attack.
- Reflector can also trip opponents.
- Has three Meteor Smashes: Forward Aerial ("landing" hitbox), Down Aerial (when sweetspotted) and Falco Phantasm (if hits enemies in the air).
- Lightweight, being tied with Little Mac and slightly heavier than Sheik.
- Considerable slow running speed, which hinders direct approaches.
- Many of his best attacks have sweetspots close to his body, which forces Falco to get closer to his opponents when finishing them off.
- Predictable recovery.
- Falco Phantasm has no hitbox in Falco himself; rather in the after-image after him.
- Fire Bird is quite slow and easy to intercept as a recovery.
- It also has very low priority, not being reliable enough to be used offensively.
- Falco's Reflector can be reflected, since it is considered a projectile.
Falco is a Mix-Up type of character, with a good variety of tools to fight on both ground and air that can exploit many of his opponents' weaknesses, while having good spacing/zoning tools to keep him in the defensive when needed. He has a combination of unusual stats that often plays in his favor. He is has the highest jumps in the game, fast falling speed and high aerial acceleration, however has a somewhat slow running speed, below average aerial speed and one of the highest gravities. This gives Falco a polarized movement speed: slow horizontally, but very proficient vertically.
Falco's greatest asset is the flexibility of his moveset: he has a good variety of multi-hit and single hit moves, many of them capable of stringing together into deadly combos. He can efficiently juggle all kinds of opponents thanks to his high jumps, and can also zone opponents very well with his Blaster and Reflector, allowing him to combat his poor horizontal speed when approaching.
Falco's ground game is solid and quite fast, with all his Tilts being excellent poking and/or combo tools. Neutral Attack is fast, with the first two hits pushing Falco slightly forward, while also allowing him to frame cancel into grabs. Forward Tilt is great for poking, while Down Tilt can set up for juggles and even KO opponents at high percentages when sweetspotted. Up Tilt can combo with itself at low to mid percentages, and is also an excellent setup for juggling. His Dash Attack, while punishable, is quite fast and covers good range.
His Smash Attacks have considerable lag, but are nonetheless useful. Forward Smash covers good range, and is his strongest Smash Attack and finisher, specially if sweetspotted at the tip of his hands. Up Smash is a two hit move that deals considerable knockback, and has transcending priority during the first hit. Down Smash covers a decent range, while dealing horizontal knockback, making it useful for edge-guarding and punishing rolls; it also has transcending priority during a short time right before the attack is finished.
The utility of his Aerials is complemented by his ground moveset. His Neutral Aerial is a quick four hit move that can be auto-cancelled in short hops, allowing Falco to disrupt opponents attacks, as well to start or end combos, giving him many options for follow ups, such as grabs and all his Tilts. Forward Aerial multi-hit capacities can be used to pull down opponents and lead into useful gimping and footstool setups; and is also a very powerful gimping tool due it's power. Landing while using this move also causes a small shockwave that pushes opponents away, making it considerably safe on shield. Back Aerial is a potent finisher, mostly to its safety when auto-cancelling. Up Aerial is excellent for juggling and can be auto-cancelled, allowing for fast fall Up Aerials into another Up Aerial. Finally, Down Aerial is a powerful and versatile move on both ground and air; it can be frame cancelled into the ground and lead to jab resets, and can Meteor Smash opponents when connecting with Falco's boots.
Falco's grab game is quite potent, having a decent pummel with average speed and power. Forward Throw is great for setting up a Dash Attack, and is great for edge-guarding due it's more horizontal knockback. Back Throw has very high base knockback, and also has high knockback growth, being a powerful KO move near the ledge against opponents with 100% or more, Up Throw can set up for Up Aerials nearly any percentage thanks to Falco's high jumps, while Down Throw is more versatile, leading into various follow ups depending on the percentages, such as Dash Attack, Reflector and all his aerials at low percentages, or tech-chases at mid percentages and above.
His Special Attacks gives him a combination of offense and defense. Blaster gives Falco an impressive tool for poking, pressuring and gimping. Falco Phantasm is excellent for recovery as it can be used twice in the air, and also allows Falco to quickly engage (or disengage) on opponents, specially if used as soon as jumping (when activated right after the jump squat), which will allow Falco to do a "low-air" version of Falco Phantasm, negating most of its ending lag (as the landing lag is lower than the ending lag); this move can also Meteor Smash opponents in mid-air, being excellent to counter edge-guard or even go for a surprise, but risky, out of stage attack. Fire Bird is mostly useful as a mix-up for recovery, but is surprisingly strong if used offensively, capable of dealing over 30% damage if all hits connect. Finally, Reflector is an all-purpose move aside its obvious reflecting properties, can also be used as a mix-up for combos thanks to its range; this move has a 50% chance of tripping opponents if the Reflector itself hits the opponent.
Falco, however, his several weaknesses. Being light, his endurance is quite low, which allows for many characters to KO him before 100%. This, combined with his fast falling speed, makes him very susceptible to combos and juggles. His neutral game is very poor due his slow horizontal speed, which can give him problems when approaching opponents as his movement across the stage is limited. As Falco relies heavily on racking up damage, he might find himself in disadvantage against opponents with better KO options and higher survivability. Most of his combo oriented moves are multi-hit, which can SDI'ed, disrupting his potential chains of follow ups, preventing him to rack up damage effectively. Another heavy penalty for Falco is the lack of reliability in his KO moves; despite having many options that have high power, they tend to be predictable or requiring specific sweetspots, most of them near to Falco's body, in order to deal the maximum knockback. Lastly, his recovery, while high and versatile, is predictable and susceptible to gimping and Meteor Smashes.
Overall, Falco has a mixed perfomance, being a potent fighter thanks to his high jumps which allows for juggling or going deep for KOs, has fast attack speed, a strong combo game and decent finishers. However Falco players must be creative when approaching as he lacks proper mobility to engage horizontally.
Changes from Brawl
Much like Fox, Falco also received many nerfs with a few buffs. His KO potential has greatly improved, making his smash attacks stronger, allowing Falco to finish off opponents quicker. His down tilt regained the power it originally had in Melee. His forward, up, and back aerials have also been improved to pressure opponents more. Falco's grabs and throws have also been improved to allow him to combo effectively. Most importantly, the combination of using Falco Phantasm no longer placing him in a helpless state and the increased distance of Fire Bird has dramatically improved his recovery options.
Despite buffs being more prevalent than nerfs, the effects of the nerfs are far greater, resulting in Falco being a worse character overall. The removal of techniques such as DACUS, chaingrabbing, and Laser Lock have made Falco unable to use his regained attack power. His two most valuable assets from Melee and Brawl have also been severely weakened: Blaster being unable to auto-cancel and is significantly slower, and Down Aerial being significantly slower, making it impractical as a Meteor Smash. Overall, the changes Falco received were severe enough to cripple his character, and to drop from his high tier placements in the previous games.
Appearance-wise, Falco maintains his design from Star Fox Command, but is now significantly brighter (as part of 3DS and Wii U's new aesthetics), and has as smaller eye reticle. Falco is now voiced by Mark Lund, his voice actor from Star Fox 64 3D.
- The second hit of his Neutral Attack can transition between rapid jabs and a finisher.
- Down tilt is a KO move like in Melee.
- Forward Smash causes has more knockback but hits one frame later.
- Up Smash now has 2 hits.
- Neutral Aerial traps opponents better between hits. It also now has a windbox that pull opponents into the attack.
- Forward Aerial traps opponents better between hits, and deals more knockback enough to KO at high percentages. It has less ending and landing lag, but 6 more frames of startup lag. Additionally, the move has a landing hitbox no matter how used, even if cancelled in a short hop.
- Back Aerial has a differnet animation, now looking very similar to Wolf's Back Aerial.
- Down Aerial's Meteor Smash is weaker and also has higher lag in all terms (starting, ending and landing). Additionally, Falco now pulls back his leg and then extend both, as if charging the attack. However, it is possible to cancel the landing lag of the move entirely by hitting the opponent with the first frame of his Down Aerial against the ground opponent and then immediately fast falling.
Grabs and Throws
- Down Throw now causes a stronger, more vertical knockback, and no longer can be used for chain grabbing.
- Blaster no longer cancels when used on midair upon landing. It also has more lag between consecutive shots and fires slower.
- Falco Phantasm no longer leaves Falco helpless when used in midair. However, he can no longer dash over the edge when used on the ground, but this also avoids accidental suicides.
- Fire Bird now covers more range.
- Reflector has slightly less starting lag and ending lag, but has a shorter activation window and has a lower chance of tripping the opponent.
- Landmaster causes less damage and knockback.
◾Jab – Jabs with each arm once, then spins hitting the opponent several times. The combo is finished with a strong back hand. 5% first two hits, 10% damage full combo.
◾Up Tilt – Stands on one foot and performs a windmill using both his arms. Can hit twice. 4% first hit, 5% second hit; 9% combined.
◾Down Tilt – Performs a sweep with his tail feathers. This will knock back the opponent. The damage decreases with the distance Falco is to the opponent. 9% max range ~ 12% closest
◾Forward Tilt – Does a kick from the side. Can be tilted. 9%
◾Up Smash – Falco performs a double kick upwards. 4% and 12%; 16% combined; 5% and 16%; 21% combined.
◾Forward Smash – Falco performs a cross chop that knocks the opponent sideways. 15-21%.
◾Down Smash – Splits his legs quickly, striking from both sides. 15-21%
◾Dash Attack – Leaps at the opponent with a kick. This attack knocks up at around a 60º angle. 9%
◾Ledge Attack – Flips over and kicks with both legs across the ground.
◾Get-Up Attack – Stands up and kicks on both sides.
◾Up Aerial – Performs an upward kick. This attack will only land is the opponent is above you. 11%
◾Down Aerial – Falco charges for a short duration, then performs a spinning downward kick with both legs. Is a meteor smash. 13%
◾Neutral Aerial – Spins around, hitting opponents multiple times, up to four. 3% first two chops, 2% third, 4% fourth; 12% when all hits connect
◾Forward Aerial – Attacks with his beak and performs a barrel roll that hits up to 5 times. 1% on the first four hits, 4% on the last; 8% when all hits connect
◾Back Aerial – Throws a kick backwards. 13%
Grabs and Throws
◾Pummel – A quick knee to the stomach. Fairly quick. 2% each hit
◾Forward Throw – Headbutts the enemy forward. 7%
◾Back Throw – Throws the opponent backwards and shoots them once with his blaster. 9%
◾Down Throw – Slams opponent on the ground and shoots once with his blaster. 5%
◾Up Throw – Hurls enemy upwards and shoots them once with his blaster. 8%
|Falco's Special Moves|
|Side Special||Falco Phantasm|
|Up Special||Fire Bird|
|Final Smash||—||Landmaster||Team Star Fox|
|Falco's Custom Special Moves|
|Custom 1||Custom 2|
|Standard Special||Explosive Blaster||Burst Blaster|
|Side Special||Falco Phase||Falco Charge|
|Up Special||Fast Fire Bird||Distant Fire Bird|
|Down Special||Accele-Reflector||Reflector Void|
- Side: Falco stand on his right foot, points his left hand forward and slowly raises it. Quote: "Get some."
- Up: Falco takes out his reflector and plays hacky sack with it. Quote: "Piece of cake."
- Down: Falco performs a 360 spin and finishes with a flare of his arms. Quote: "Hands off my prey."
He and Fox are able to communicate with crew mates on the stage Corneria. By slightly pressing the down taunt, Fox and Falco will kneel down. Then Peppy and Slippy (and depending on who the player is controlling, Fox or Falco) will give the player tips or proceed to have comedic banter.
In competitive play
To be added
- A talented pilot and part of the Star Fox team, Falco can be a bit rough around the edges. He once led his own galactic gang before joining up with Fox. In Smash Bros., his ability to jump high and deal damage in the air makes him a powerful threat, and his thrown Reflector can catch foes by surprise.
- Star Fox (03/1993)
- Star Fox 64 (07/1997)
- Falco (Alt.)
- Falco's Blaster looks identical to Fox's at first, but actually it's quite different! The beams Falco fires deal more damage and cause the victim to flinch, but at a slower rate of fire. Considering Falco's lineage, it's not all that surprising that he can fire faster while airborne.
- Star Fox (03/1993)
- Star Fox 64 (07/1997)
- Landmaster (Falco)
- Falco jumps aboard his landmaster for his Final Smash, This powerful combat vehicle sports an explosive cannon and a heavily armored exterior. Falco can blast other fighters or simply drive into them with his tank. This landmaster also flies higher than Fox's, letting Falco give his rivals a pick-me-up...off the stage!
- Falco's method of being unlocked is different than in other games. While he was unlocked via 100 Man Smash in his previous two appearance, he is unlocked by beating Classic Mode.
- Like Fox, Falco actually has more than one voice actor in this installment. All his new audio is provided by Mark Lund, who voiced him in the remake Star Fox 64 3D. However, the audio provided by his Brawl voice actor, Dex Manley, for his Smash Taunt in Lylat Cruise is reused.
- Falco's tier position marks the first time a Star Fox character has placed lower than mid-tier (placement for Fox and Wolf in Brawl).
- Falco's page on the Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U website
- Falco's frame data at Kurogane Hammer