The PK Thunder (Japanese: PKサンダー, PK Sandaa) is the Up Special Move for Ness and Lucas. When used, it creates a stream of lightning whose direction can be controlled using the control stick. It does around 8% or more damage and has the interesting effect of knocking the opponent in a direction opposite that of the lighting's direction; in other words, the thunder knocks the opponent in the direction that it was coming from. However, using the PK Thunder will result in Ness and Lucas not being able to move or defend, because the control stick is used to aim PK Thunder.
The PK Thunder has many interesting properties. If the tail, rather than the head, of the PK Thunder hits the opponent, it will deal less damage and stun the opponent a little less, but also will continue flying around. This is known as a tail whip. In Melee, if Ness is hit while using the PK Thunder, the thunder will cease to be in his control and will travel in a straight path until it expires. In Brawl, the PK Thunder disappears immediately when Ness or Lucas are hit.
Ness' PK Thunder hits once and disappears if it hits an enemy, while Lucas' PK Thunder goes through enemies and can score multiple hits. It is interesting to note however, that the tail of Ness' PK Thunder is longer, and deals much more damage and stun than the tail of Lucas' PK Thunder. Ness' PK Thunder is also considerably faster than Lucas.
Since Lucas' PK Thunder does not disappear after hitting an opponent, it can chase the enemy around the stage. The nature of its knockback, however, prevents it from being a successful Wall of Pain because the enemy is pulled towards the projectile. It is useful for gimping however.
In Melee, the uncontrolled thunder can hit anybody, not just Ness' opponents. This means that one can actually use the PK Thunder as a barrier, using the tail to intentionally block oneself from flying off the screen after being hit. This is called a PK Thunder Barrier.
The PK Thunder can also break Smash Balls, making it useful to acquire a Final Smash if the Smash Ball is far away.
If Ness or Lucas hits himself with the PK Thunder, he will be launched as a human projectile. This tactic is known as the PK Thunder 2.
While Ness and Lucas never learned PK Thunder in their games, it is learned by one of their party members; for Ness, his party member Paula could learn PK Thunder, while Lucas' party member, Kumatora, also learned PK Thunder.
PK Thunder 2
"PK Thunder 2" or "PK missle" is the term used for hitting Ness or Lucas with their own PK Thunder while it is still under their control. The Japanese developers called this move PK Jibaku (PK自爆). The word jibaku means 'self-destruct' or 'suicide bomb,' a fitting term for a tactic that turns Ness and Lucas into human missiles.
This technique can be used by Ness and Lucas. Doing so will transform Ness or Lucas into a human projectile, which will move in different directions depending on what part of the body is hit. If the Ness or Lucas makes contact with an enemy, he will deal a good amount of damage and knockback, although the SSB version is considerably stronger than the SSBM equivalent. Lucas's version of the attack hits multiple times, while Ness's deals one strong blow. Also if used up close, it can bring Ness to a short stop.
The PK Thunder 2 is also Ness and Lucas' main method of recovery, given that it launches them fairly far in a straight direction. It is interesting to note that Lucas' PK Thunder 2 covers more ground than Ness', so Lucas' is slightly more effective. In addition, while performing PK Thunder 2, Ness's PK Thunder curves in a larger arch than Lucas, thus Lucas requires less room to use PK Thunder 2 than Ness. While using the move, the user will fall much slower. Unfortunately, using this in a pit makes it more difficult to guide the PK Thunder without striking the walls of the pit.
If Ness' PK Thunder 2 hits an opponent, it does 25% damage with extremely high knockback, KOing lighter characters at 30% or less. If all of Lucas' hits connect when using PK Thunder 2, it will deal a massive 43% damage and has decent knockback, making it one of Lucas' strongest moves, with the exception on PK Starstorm and his Up Smash.
CPUs playing as either Ness or Lucas are also programmed to use this strategy, but they only use PK Thunder 2 vertically, even in situations where it would be more effective to use PK Thunder 2 diagonally or horizontally.
- In the official Super Smash Bros. Brawl Prima strategy guide, it is incorrectly stated that Lucas' PK Thunder hit opponents once, and sends them flying, while Ness' PK Thunder, on the other hand, is able to hit opponents multiple times.
- In Giant Brawl, if Ness picks up a Super Mushroom and the enemy picks up a Poison Mushroom and Ness uses PK Thunder 2, it can do about 100% damage from a single hit and is nearly always a One-hit KO.
- The speed of PK Thunder is not affected by a timer.
- While PK Thunder is a controlled projectile in Brawl, in Earthbound and Mother 3, PK Thunder hits randomly without control.
- In Melee, only a level 9 Ness will use PK Thunder to recover. Level 8 and below will not use PK Thunder to recover.
|Ness's Special Moves|
|Standard Special||PK Fire||PK Flash|
|Side Special||—||PK Fire|
|Up Special||PK Thunder|
|Down Special||PSI Magnet|
|Final Smash||—||PK Starstorm|
|Lucas's Special Moves|
|Standard Special||PK Freeze|
|Side Special||PK Fire|
|Up Special||PK Thunder|
|Down Special||PSI Magnet|
|Final Smash||PK Starstorm|