Tabuu (タブー, Tabuu) is the leader of the Subspace Army, and the main antagonist and final boss of Super Smash Bros. BrawlTemplate:'s Adventure Mode: The Subspace Emissary. He is a powerful, supernatural entity who resides in Subspace. He uses the Subspace Bombs to send entire locations to his dimension, where he absorbs their power to increase his own. His name is a corruption of the word taboo, referring to something that is forbidden.

Aside from his appearance in Brawl, Tabuu appears in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a spirit.

Role in The Subspace Emissary

File:Tabuu SSE.jpg

Tabuu is the true embodiment of Subspace. His plan was to cut World of Trophies into pieces and take them to Subspace for his world. However, he himself cannot leave Subspace, which is why he created the Subspace Army to act in his stead. According to the Ancient Minister trophy, Tabuu took over the Isle of the Ancients, the home of the R.O.B.s, and forced them to serve him under the threat of annihilation. Tabuu first discovered that Mr. Game & Watch had Shadow Bugs in him and captured him to harness the power, and thus the Subspace Army was born. Tabuu studied and took control of the master of the World of Trophies, Master Hand, who he in turn used to enlist the help of Ganondorf, Bowser and Wario. These three were sent to hunt down any fighters that would stand in the way of Tabuu's plans.

Later in the story, after the heroes destroy the Subspace Gunship and enter Subspace, Ganondorf betrays Bowser by using a Dark Cannon. Ganondorf then goes to greet Master Hand. Ganondorf then realizes that Tabuu was actually controlling Master Hand, and that he was not actually following Master Hand's orders but was being tricked by Tabuu. Enraged, he charges a futile attack at Tabuu who effortlessly knocks him back. Ganondorf's body hits the puppeteered Master Hand, thus breaking him free of his chains of light (and turning Ganondorf into a trophy in the process). Master Hand also charges at Tabuu, but to no avail. With Master Hand lying motionless on the ground, Tabuu uses his Off Waves to turn everyone into trophies as soon as they approach.


The chains of light on Master Hand.

However, thanks to the Dedede Brooches, two trophies who had been left behind - Luigi and Ness - were later revived, and they proceed to revive King Dedede himself after Ness realised that it was thanks to him that they were restored. King Dedede joins their team and they rescue everyone else by collecting their trophies in Subspace (Part I), including Bowser, who had a fight with Dedede, and joined the team because Tabuu is so powerful, and he killed Master Hand. Around the same time, Kirby was revived by the brooch the captured princess had when he swallowed it and went out to save the rest of the fighters in Subspace Part II, between the characters, there are Wario, and Link and Zelda, who revive Ganondorf, and suggest him to join them, he accepts, because he can not do anything to Tabuu, Wario does the same, because King Dedede, Luigi and Ness pointed him where are going everyone, so all the characters enter to the adventure. Tabuu then creates a maze out of the worlds that have been consumed by Subspace and brings back the old enemies. He also creates dark clones of all of the heroes to slow them down. Once the player reaches Tabuu, he attempts to turn everyone back into trophies again, but is ambushed by Sonic the Hedgehog, who shatters his wings with a Spin Dash before he can do so. As a result, Tabuu's Off Waves are weakened, becoming "only" a one-hit KO attack instead of causing immediate trophification for any Smasher in reach.

A selection of characters from Sonic, Bowser, Kirby, Luigi's group and those revived by these two groups (first: Luigi, Ness and King Dedede; second: Kirby), then fight Tabuu, until he is defeated. After his defeat, the Subspace Army is gone, lands are restored, and the Isle of the Ancients disappears afterward because of the effect of so many Subspace Bombs going off at once (commanded by Ganondorf so Tabuu could get a Subspace Gunship into the World) making it impossible for the Isle to escape Subspace. A glowing X is left behind.

Tabuu's true fate is unknown - he is last seen contorting in pain shortly before the Great Maze was restored to its original places and forms - though it is likely he was destroyed.


As the last boss of The Subspace Emissary, Tabuu possesses a wide variety of dangerous attacks, which increase in power and speed at higher difficulties. Most of his moves are guaranteed OHKOs at least on Intense difficulty. Additionally, Tabuu's attacks are faster and stronger in The Subspace Emissary than in Boss Battles at comparable difficulty ratings.

Tabuu's attacks are considered to be extremely powerful but predictable. Dodging most of his attacks can be very easy if the player knows what is coming, but Tabuu's Off Waves are very hard to avoid and are also Tabuu's strongest attack. Without the Off Waves, many people consider Tabuu to be an easy boss due to his predictable moves and how he needs to wait until he can attack again.

Note that the attack names are not official, except for Off Waves and the Chain of Light, whose names were announced on the Dojo.

First moves

  • Shark Blade - Tabuu transforms into a wide, somewhat shark-shaped blade, which flies horizontally across the stage. It is dodgeable by performing an air dodge or, if at ground level, ducking (unless playing as Meta Knight). A perfectly timed sidestep dodge may also work. It is possible to perfect shield the attack, but a miss will result in the shield breaking, stunning the character in the process. It is a guaranteed OHKO on Very Hard or Intense difficulty and Boss Battles.
  • Diving Slash - Tabuu teleports high above one side of the stage, turns his arm into a blade of energy, and then dives at the player in a set curved arc. Because he will always go near the ground, it can be dodged by jumping over his attack in the middle of the stage or going on the edge of the stage. On higher difficulties it can KO at very low percentages (20%) and acts very swift.

Tabuu's Golden Bracket attack.

  • Golden Bracket - Tabuu transforms into an energy cage (resembling two glowing yellow brackets) and flies across the stage, grabbing the character and slamming him/her/it into the floor for a semi-spike. This attack has horizontal knockback depending on any difficulties. If played on Hard to Intense difficulty, this becomes a one-hit KO (even in Boss Battle), though characters with a grab aerial can survive by DI'ing downwards and attaching to the edge as they pass by with strict timing. For characters with low recovery, this move can be a one-hit KO even in the Easy difficulty, due to its massive horizontal knockback. There is no predetermined way the brackets fly, and when the player is not able to make a jump, they should make an air-dodge.

Second moves

  • Chain of Light - Tabuu produces a golden chain (similar to what he used to bind Master Hand) and throws it in front of him in an attempt to catch the player. Despite its range, it cannot catch those too close to him. If he succeeds, he will swing the player around before smashing them into the ground. If played in Co-op mode, he smashes the player he caught into the other player. On Intense, when he smashes the player he catches into the other player with the "Chain of Light" move, it's a one-hit KO on both players. This is the only move Tabuu has other than Off Waves with an official name. If a character air dodges or techs into the Chain of Light, or if Tabuu is defeated while grabbing a character with the Chain of Light, the Tabuu Whip glitch will occur. Additionally, if one uses a heavyweight fighter with a strong flinch resistance sticker, and uses a Super Mushroom, at low percentages the attack will not cause the player to flinch, and they will remain stuck on the chain in the T-pose until Tabuu teleports. It is a guaranteed OHKO on Hard to Intense difficulty in SSE and on Very Hard in Boss Battle.
  • Electrical Shield - Tabuu teleports right next to the player. The purple sphere inside his torso splits into several fragments, which fly in circles around him for a short time while emitting electricity. This attack has a decent range, but leaves Tabuu wide open for projectile weapons. It somewhat resembles an atom, with Tabuu being the nucleus and his fragmented energy core being electrons. Touching the sparkles or Tabuu’s body is a OHKO on Hard Intense difficulty, and on Very Hard even in Boss Battle.
  • Rapid Chop - Tabuu teleports behind the player and repeatedly slashes the area in front of him, creating visible purple slashes. This move can easily catch and juggle players, but it has less range than the visible slashes would indicate. Again, Tabuu leaves himself wide open to projectiles, and if the player gets behind him; certain melee attacks are also viable. Deals very high damage if all hits connect (even over 250%) and can OHKO nearly on every difficulty, but only if the last slash lands (otherwise it always fails to KO). It can be easily SDI'd out of.
  • Pinpoint Explosion - From one side of the stage, Tabuu makes a pointing gesture. Five locations along a line leading to the player's current location will flash once and explode after about two seconds. Can easily be avoided by noting and staying away from the flashes. It is a guaranteed OHKO on Very Hard and Intense difficulty, even in Boss Battle on Intense.
  • Ghost Projection - Tabuu splits himself in half and shoots out many ghost images of himself in all directions, which explode after achieving a certain distance. The player can dodge the projections, but take note that they explode when they make contact with the ground, so combatants can still receive damage while sidestepping the projection itself. They can also be destroyed (preferably by projectiles). It is a OHKO on Intense difficulty.

Third moves

  • Dragon Laser - Tabuu appears on the side of the stage and manifests a dragon head (also bearing similarities to the Dark Cannons), which floats beneath Tabuu as it spits out a powerful laser horizontally across the stage. Jumping is advisable, although some characters may have a harder time dodging it this way. Is a One-hit KO on Hard to Intense difficulty and on Very Hard to Intense in Boss Battle.
Tabuu Fight

Tabuu using Bullet Rain on Captain Falcon.

  • Bullet Rain - Tabuu appears in a random area in the air and fires a barrage of small bullets, finishing with a huge energy sphere. Easily avoided by keeping a safe distance from him. This seems to be the least frequently used attack on the Third Move, but punishes overzealous jumping that would be done to avoid the other two attacks. Still, pattern memorization will give his location away if he's about to use this attack; namely, if Tabuu appears anywhere not off the edge of the stage, he will use Bullet Rain. It is a guaranteed OHKO on Very Hard to Intense difficulty, even in Boss Battle.
  • Shuriken Boomerang - Tabuu appears on one side of the stage and throws a huge, circular, three-bladed shuriken, which flies across the stage like a boomerang before he catches it. Avoided by jumping and using the up special move (depending on character) to avoid the second swing. The boomerang only has three blades, but the speed of its spin makes it look like it has about nine. Note: At higher levels, the player may need to dodge both the throw and the return in one jump. It is a OHKO on Very Hard or Intense difficulty and on Intense in Boss Battle if sweetspotted.

Fourth moves

Unlike the other three sets, where the moves are picked at random, Tabuu will always alternate between Off Waves and Eye Lasers for his fourth set (i.e. Off Waves on 4th and 12th move, Eye Lasers on 8th and 16th move), making him even easier to predict.


Tabuu with his wings.

  • Off Waves (also called Winged Tabuu) - Tabuu appears in the background and unfolds his wings (resembling a butterfly's in shape, but made of intricate curving symbols). He then charges energy and proceeds to release three red circular shockwaves that encompass the whole stage. If any one of these hit, they will cause extreme damage and knockback with no possibility to survive on the higher difficulties. In The Subspace Emissary, even on Easy difficulty a single wave will deal from 74% to 78% gamage with massive knockback, more than sufficient to OHKO if sweetspotted; while on Normal or higher it will deal over 100% to 200% damage (with enough knockback for a guaranteed one-hit KO) all the time. If the player is far away from Tabuu (sourspot), they will cause less damage, however being a one-hit KO this is unlikely to cause much difference.

The attack is not easy to dodge but is most straightforwardly possible by either sidestepping or rolling three times in a row with accurate timing. If playing as Pokémon Trainer or Zelda/Sheik, the temporary invulnerability granted by using the down special transformation at the right time (the instant Tabuu extends his wings) also works. It can also be avoided by using perfect shielding or by using moves with armor, but the timing involved with these techniques is extremely difficult. With characters like Kirby and Jigglypuff, the player may also air dodge if they jump high enough. It is possible to actually survive being hit by a wave if the player is in the air under the stage, where she or he can DI and ceiling tech, but this requires a considerably good reaction time and tech skills to pull off and the character must also have a good recovery to make it back. When faced in Boss Battles, Tabuu's Off Waves are made much weaker, to compensate that the player has only one stock instead of six and also has no continues. On Easy difficulty one wave will deal 22% damage with high knockback (KOing Mario around 50%), with both damage and knockback rapidly increasing with the difficulty until they regain their one-hit KO status on Hard or difficulty (on Normal difficulty, they are usually a one-hit KO for light characters only or if sweetspotted). Simply touching Winged Tabuu on the background has the same effect of the Waves itself.

  • Eye Lasers - Tabuu grows to a size so large that only his head appears on the side of the screen. He then fires a red laser from each eye, and only the lasers' endpoints do damage. Can be very easily avoided by hiding right at the end of the stage, literally under Tabuu's chin, allowing the player to easily damage him, mainly by using up tilts or up smashes (though some moves that push the fighter backwards may move the player into the beams). Unlike Master Hand and Crazy Hand's lasers, Tabuu's lasers do not drift off the stage, so one will be hit as long as they are in front of him.


  • Teleport - Tabuu teleports around the stage and appears at a set spawn which is randomly decided from the large amount of spawns available. He also sometimes teleports behind the character and attacks with one of the available attacks. Tabuu makes a distinctive sound on his final teleport.
  • Explosive Teleport - Tabuu teleports around, leaving a red explosion everywhere he teleports from. On higher difficulties, this can KO a player at low percentages, meaning that one must not be too eager to attack Tabuu during his teleports. It has guaranteed one-hit KO power on Intense difficulty in the Subspace Emissary, while it KOs below 20% on Boss Battles and on lower difficulties.

HP and damage taken

Template:EnemyHPTable Template:EnemyHPRow Template:EnemyHPRow |}

Damage taken×1.0×1.0×1.0×1.0×1.0×1.0×1.0×1.0×1.0×1.0×1.0

Like all bosses in Brawl, Tabuu gains an additional ×0.6 damage resistance modifier when fought in co-op mode, effectively gaining 67% more health. This modifier is applied whenever the second player is in-game, and is no longer applied if the second player loses all their stocks.


Though not playable, Tabuu is controllable by hacking the game in Boss Battles Mode. After hacking the game, the controller used must be a GameCube Controller and must be plugged into the player 3 slot. The start button will, like all other bosses, self-destruct him.

Move Name Description
A Shark blade Tabuu turns into a shark shape and flies across the stage.
A^ Eye lasers Tabuu shoots lasers from his eyes.
Av Diving slash Tabuu swoops down onto the stage holding a blade.
A< Rapid chop Tabuu rapidly does karate chops.
A> Electric shield Electricity swirls around Tabuu.
B Pinpoint explosion Tabuu points and causes explosions.
B^ Bullet rain Tabuu shoots bullets, followed by a fireball.
Bv Shuriken boomerang Tabuu throws a boomerang.
B< Dragon laser Tabuu shoots a laser across the stage.
B> Ghost projection Tabuu shoots multiple projections of himself. The amount of projections is not always the same.
X Off Waves Tabuu blasts 3 red rings outward.
L Chain of light Tabuu uses his chain. If he grabs the player with it, he will slam them into the ground. If two players are playing, he will slam the caught player into the other player.
R Golden brackets Tabuu turns into golden brackets. If he grabs the player, he will slam them into the ground.
Unusable move 1 Explosion teleports Tabuu teleports and explosions occur wherever he teleports.
Unusable move 2 Teleport Tabuu teleports around the stage.


See Also... Tabuu's main trophy is unlocked by using a Trophy Stand on Tabuu - ways of doing this include dodging Tabuu's attacks; waiting until he teleports and throwing the stand; or throwing it when he is doing Electrical Shield, Rapid Chop, or Bullet Rain. The Tabuu (Wings) trophy is obtained by beating Boss Battles mode with all characters.


File:Tabuu - Brawl Trophy.png

The ruler of Subspace and master of operations. Tabuu controls Master Hand with chains of light to excise this world and build up his great maze. He used Shadow Bugs to form Subspace and manipulates the servants of Master Hand to his heart's content. Born in a vastly foreign realm, he also possesses great leadership powers. Tabuu...No name is more suitable. Template:Trophy games

Tabuu (Wings)

File:Tabuu (Wings) - Brawl Trophy.png

Tabuu (Wings)
Tabuu with wings extended. The dreadful energy surges cast from these wings instantly turn all fighters back into trophies. Knowing this, King Dedede assembles all able-bodied troops and sets a timed device on each of them. This device is a brooch that, after the designated time runs out, revives all fighters wiped out by Tabuu. Template:Trophy games


No. Image Name Type Class Slot Ability Series
1,100 Tabuu
★★★★ 3 PSI Attack ↑ Super Smash Bros. Series

Moveset gallery


  • Tabuu on Intense Difficulty in the SSE has more OHKOs than every other boss or enemy in all the Smash games: even 13, beating Galleom's 7 and Master Hand - Crazy Hand's 5 + 2 in Melee and Brawl. They are reduced to 11 in Boss Battle. In particular, Explosive Teleport and Ghost Projection can't OHKO anymore.
    • Only three moves are not OHKOs on Intense: Teleport (which doesn’t inflict damage), Diving Slash (KOing at 20%) and Eye Lasers (KOing below 50%).
  • A glitch can also occur when the character defeats Tabuu when he's using Eye Lasers. When the battle shows him flying off into the subspace background, his head will be covered in the same red colored light that shot out from his eyes.
  • Some of Tabuu's attacks are similar to those of other bosses; his Eye Laser is similar to Master and Crazy Hand's Finger Laser and his teleportation resembles the abilities of final bosses in the Kirby series, such as Nightmare and Marx. Additionally, Tabuu's Off Waves are somewhat similar to the animation of Giygas's Inexplicable Attack from EarthBound.
  • The dragon head summoned during the "Dragon Laser" attack resembles a Dark Cannon. Its attack is also somewhat like Marx's mouth laser.
  • Tabuu is the only boss in Brawl to not have an official artwork.
  • Off Waves is the only attack to become weaker when the game is played with 2 players, most likely due to its ability to affect the whole stage, and it being difficult to avoid.
  • In Boss Battles mode or via the use of stickers and items, it is possible to take very little knockback from the Off Waves, allowing Tabuu to hit the player more than once with the move.
  • In Super Smash Bros. 4, if the final transformation of Master Core isn't defeated after 45 seconds, it will begin to spin rapidly and rise to the center of the screen, then charge up and unleash five red waves. These waves work similarly to Tabuu's Off Waves and will one-hit KO the player if they make contact.
  • In the Mysterious Dimension of World of Light, Tabuu's spirit guards Marx's boss fight. This references how Marx and Tabuu share several attacks, such as their tendency to rapidly teleport and fire laser beams.

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