- This article is about Fox's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee. For the character in other contexts, see Fox McCloud. For information about Fox's clone, see Falco.
|“||A wily fox that uses speed to keep enemies off balance.||”|
|—Description from Melee's manual.|
Announced at E3 2001, Fox (フォックス, Fox) is a playable starter character in Super Smash Bros. Melee. He is emblematic of speed, dominating foes with his rapid attacks, quick movement and overpowering offense in all areas of his game. He is placed 1st on the Melee tier list due to these advantages. He has no losing matchups on the character matchup list (as does Falco), with only three being considered even (Falco, Marth and Samus).
Despite all of these pros, Fox is by no means flawless. He is notorious for being an extremely difficult character to master. Almost all of his attributes reflect an unbridled speed, requiring quick fingers and reflexes to master. Players need most concentration to SHFFL aerials and Reflector combos with efficiency, if not done properly, Fox will get vulnerable to grabs by an opponent, which almost certainly means a painful chain throw or combo. Because of these struggles, Fox must remain slippery, unpredictable, and above all, faster than his opponent to win.
Fox is most notorious for his speed. He has the second fastest dash speed, tied with Marth for the fastest walking speed, the fastest normal falling speed, the third fastest fast falling speed, fast dash-dancing, and fast attacks. His fast fall and low, fast short hop contribute to an extremely quick SHFFL. Fox has high-damage and flexible combos, including several infinite combos (e.g. his famous waveshine infinite). When it comes to KOing, Fox has very powerful up-sending finishers (particularly his Up Smash and his Up Aerial), and his shine spikes are deadly against the majority of the cast. Projectiles are generally ineffective against Fox due to his Reflector, which comes out in one frame, making it tied for the fastest move in the series with Jigglypuff's Rest and Falco's own Reflector. Fox's Blaster can easily rack up damage because it is very quick and covers a great distance. However, it does not make opponents flinch. Thus, it can't be used to break approaches. Fox has highly variable approaches, including SHDL/SHDB approaches, SHFFL'd aerials, and a good wavedash. Fox also can Wall jump.
Although Fox has significant strengths, he also has major weaknesses. Fox is very easily KO'd due to a combination of being a lightweight, having the slowest air speed (along with Falco), and having the fastest falling speed. Additionally, his recovery can be caped and edgeguarded easily due to its linear nature unless it's timed correctly. His extremely fast falling speed makes him easy to combo and chaingrab (although he is difficult to shield grab because of his Reflector). A professional Fox player must do everything quickly to avoid getting nailed by his disadvantages.
Changes from Smash 64 to Melee
Fox received a mix of buffs and nerfs upon making the transition between games but was overall buffed, with an increase in K.O power, recovery, and movement options.
- Fox received a new taunt.
- Fox received new voice samples that sound more energetic.
- An increase in his initial dash frames makes his dash dance significantly better.
- Increased falling speed aids his approach due to his very strong SHFFL, and makes him harder to KO vertically.
- Air speed is much slower, going from among the fastest in Smash 64 to among the slowest in Melee.
- Fox is much lighter, making him generally easier to KO horizontally.
- Dash attack has more combo ability.
- Up tilt has a new animation that has stronger knockback and is better at comboing.
- Down tilt has less combo ability.
- Forward smash has a new animation which is slightly quicker.
- Up smash deals 2% more damage (16% → 18%).
- Down smash deals 1% more damage (14% → 15%).
- Down smash doesn't semi-spike as effectively due to its reduced knockback.
- Neutral aerial has stronger knockback and more overall utility.
- Forward aerial has a new animation that has more damage potential (12% → 17%).
- Back aerial has a bigger hitbox and deals more knockback. It also deals 3% more damage (12% → 15%).
- Up aerial deals 1% more damage (15% → 16%) and has increased knockback.
- Up aerial is more difficult to sweetspot, and is much less useful during aerial approaches due to Fox's lower air speed. The first hit's set knockback is also slightly lower, and has less ability to be followed up with other aerials.
- Down aerial has less landing lag.
Grabs and Throws
- Fox has been given an up and a down throw, providing him with more options after a grab.
- Forward throw has a new animation in which Fox punches the opponent forward.
- Back throw has a new animation that has much weaker knockback to the point where it cannot K.O. reliably.
- Blaster fires much faster, and has rapid-fire capabilities, improving his approach.
- Blaster no longer causes hitstun on opponents and deals less damage (6% → 3% per laser), making it less effective for stopping opponents' approaches. Laser follow-ups and setups are also no longer possible due to this.
- Fox Illusion, Fox's new side special move, gives him an additional recovery option, and also makes his horizontal recovery considerably quicker.
- Fire Fox can damage opponents while charging, and it travels further and faster. It can also be used near the edge when Fox is facing it to quickly grab the edge, allowing him to stall or setup edgehogs and shine spikes.
- Reflector can now be jump-cancelled, which, along with the introduction of waveshining, allows shine combos. This also means Fox can quickly followup a grounded shine without having to go through the normal short hop animation; it can be sped up using a wavedash or simply a wavedrop.
Like other characters, Fox has received some changes in the PAL version of Melee, which nerfed him overall, but it does not severely affect his tournament viability, as he is also ranked 1st on the PAL tier list.
- Weight reduced from 75 to 73, making Fox now lighter than Kirby.
- Decreased weight now makes it possible for him tech out of Falco's down throw.
- Up smash deals 1% less damage and has noticeably less base knockback and knockback scaling.
- Down smash deals 2% less damage and sends enemies on a slightly higher angle, making it easier to DI.
- Fire Fox's strong hitbox is slightly smaller, deals 2% less damage, and travels less distance.
|Neutral attack||4%||Two jab attacks that transitions into a flurry of rapid kicks.|
|Forward tilt||9%||Fox performs a front kick attack. This attack can be aimed up or down.|
|Up tilt||12% (foot grounded), 9% (leg & foot aerial)||Fox leans slightly forward and performs an upward back kick. Its speed, power, and hitbox make it a great attack for close-up spacing.|
|Down tilt||10%||Fox spins around while crouching, using his tail to sweep the opponent.|
|Dash attack||7% (clean), 5% (late)||Fox runs forward and performs a flying jump kick at the opponent.|
|Forward smash||15% (clean), 12% (late)||Fox leaps forward and performs a flying hook kick. Deals severely low knockback for a smash attack (10 base), but is fast and is actually quite reliable as a finishing move at higher percents (105 scaling).|
|Up smash||18% (clean), 13% (late)||Performs a flipkick attack that is very fast and deals strong vertical knockback when hit during the early part of the animation. It's the second most powerful up smash in the game behind Pikachu. In the early part of the animation, Fox's head has some invincibility.|
|Down smash||15% (feet), 12% (legs)||Fox performs the splits, striking simultaneously on both sides with his extended legs. Launches enemies at a semi-spike trajectory, being a useful move for edge-guarding. Both of Fox's legs are invincible the moment he attacks.|
|Neutral aerial||12% (clean), 9% (late)||Fox sticks one leg out while airborne, being a sex kick attack. This attack comes out quick and its immense power makes it a good edge-guarding move.|
|Forward aerial||7% (hit 1), 5% (hit 2), 6% (hit 3), 4% (hit 4), 3% (hit 5)||Fox performs multiple spinning kicks in midair. All hits are extremely hard to connect without a good setup, especially on lighter characters.|
|Back aerial||15% (clean right leg), 9% (clean left leg, late)||Fox does a quick no-look kick backwards, having sex kick properties. Great knockback when it first comes out, and one of Fox's best edge-guarding moves.|
|Up aerial||5% (hit 1), 13% (hit 2)||Fox whips his tail upwards and follows-up with an upwards kick. Deals high damage if both hits connect.|
|Down aerial||2-3% (hits 1-7)||Fox spins and stick one foot out to perform a spinning drill kick attack that hits multiple times. It is the weakest spike in the game, giving almost no knockback when used on an opponent, and the knockback being set.|
|Pummel||3%||Knees the opponent.|
|Forward throw||4% (hit 1), 3% (throw)||Fox punches the opponent forward. Despite its generally poor combo ability, it can chain-grab on some heavy characters. It is best used for forcing opponents off-stage, setting up an edge-guard.|
|Back throw||2% (throw), 2% (shots)||Fox throws the enemy backwards and shoots them with his Blaster.|
|Up throw||2% (throw), 2% (shots)||Fox throws the enemy upwards and shoots them with his Blaster.|
|Down throw||2% (throw), 2% (shots)||Fox throws the opponent onto the ground and shoots them with his Blaster. This throw does not make opponents bounce off the ground like other down throws, because it sends opponents straight downward, meaning that it can meteor smash over the ledge only if Fox's body is partially overlapping it. Not a useful throw due to the opponent being able to tech out of it.|
|Floor attack (front)||6%||Gets up and kicks on both sides.|
|Floor attack (back)||6%||Punches forwards, then kicks backwards.|
|Edge attack (fast)||6% (body), 8% (legs)||Fox throws himself onto the stage and attacks with a spinning dropkick.|
|Edge attack (slow)||6% (body), 8% (legs)||Fox slowly climbs up and hammers one foot at the opponent.|
|Neutral special||Blaster||2-3%||Fox rapidly fires a laser from his Blaster. The laser do damage, but does not make the opponent flinch, making this move most useful from a distance. It is mainly used from long range in the short hop laser technique to camp.|
|Side special||Fox Illusion||7%||Fox dashes forward, leaving an afterimage behind him. Fox's quickest and safest horizontal recovery move. If the B button is quickly pressed again just after starting the move, it will be canceled and Fox will not dash forward. However, if this is done in midair, he keeps his momentum.|
|Up special||Fire Fox||2% (charge loop), 14% (dash)||Fox charges up in flames and blasts off in a direction, which can be controlled with the control stick. A good move for both vertical and horizontal recovery.|
|Down special||Reflector||5% (startup), 1.5x damage for reflected projectiles||Fox generates an energy field that reflects incoming projectiles back at the user with greater speed and power. The Reflector itself can damage nearby enemies upon activation. Informally known as the Shine in competitive play.|
- Fox crouches and says "Come on!", gesturing with an open hand for others to approach him. Switching the language to Japanese will cause him to say かかってこい！ (Come at me!)
- Fox can do a Star Fox conversation that can only be used on Corneria or Venom by quickly tapping Down on the control pad (for one frame). This taunt can only be used once per match.
- Slightly looks towards his right side and twitches his ears.
In addition to the normal trophy about Fox as a character, there are two trophies about him as a fighter, unlocked by completing the Adventure and All-Star modes respectively with Fox on any difficulty.
- Fox McCloud
- Fox McCloud is the leader of a band of adventurers-for-hire known as Star Fox. Fox and his fellow pilots Peppy, Slippy, and Falco patrol the Lylat system in their mother ship, the Great Fox. From the cockpit of his Arwing, Fox leads the ceaseless pursuit of the evil scientist Andross, who doomed Fox's father.
- Star Fox 3/93
- Fox McCloud (Smash Red)
- Fox is among the quickest and nimblest of the Smash Bros. characters. His speed is offset by low firepower, however, and he's better at one-on-one fights than melees with multiple foes. His Blaster is unique: it does damage but it doesn't make enemies flinch. His Fox illusion is best used as a surprise attack.
- Fox McCloud (Smash Blue)
- Fox falls quickly, so he's a tough target to strike from below; however, this advantage can work against him when he goes flying sideways. You can use the Control Stick to set the direction of the Fire Fox technique while it's charging up. On a side note, Fox is also much lighter than he was in the N64 Super Smash Bros. game.
- For all three victory poses, Fox is the only character in Melee who says exactly the same quote: "Mission Complete." However, he has two other victory phrases in the Japanese version of the game.
- Fox is the only character to have completely lost his forward and back throws from Super Smash Bros. to Melee.
- Fox is the only character in Melee with two soft-damage yells.
- Fox is one of two characters to ever be placed in their own tier over the rest of the cast, the other being Meta Knight in Brawl.