Tabuu (タブー, Tabuu) is the leader of the Subspace Army, and the main antagonist and final boss of Super Smash Bros. Brawls 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, in the attempt to fulfill his desire to conquer and subjugate the universe. His name is a corruption of the word taboo, referring to something that is forbidden.
Role in The Subspace Emissary
Tabuu is the true embodiment and ruler of Subspace, a separate dimension described as a “vastly foreign kingdom”. His plan is to cut the World of Trophies into pieces and take it to Subspace to create a new dominion. It is unknown how many worlds he conquered before the main plot, but he is strongly determined to extend his empire to dominate the universe. He has been watching the World of Trophies for a long time, planning for a new conquest. However, he himself cannot leave Subspace, so 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, the symbol of creative power. Ganondorf then realizes that Tabuu was actually controlling Master Hand with its Chain of Light, 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 instantly turn everyone into a trophy.
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, including all the seven bosses. 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.
Although only little is known about his personality, Tabuu shows to be a great strategist, observing the World of Trophies for a long time and studying its weaknesses before attacking it. As stated in the trophy Winged Tabuu, he has great leadership skills and is an excellent military commander, manoeuvring his army from the Subspace and using it to conquer as many worlds as possible in order to subjugate the universe.
Tabuu is also an able manipulator, using Master Hand as the fake commander of the Subspace Army and controlling it with his Chain of Light. He is also determined to do anything to fulfill his goals: creating the Great Maze, absorbing the power of other dimensions and ensuring the universe is his new dominion.
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. Nearly all of his moves are guaranteed OHKOs at least on Intense difficulty (14 out of 16). 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.
- Shark Blade - Tabuu transforms into a wide, somewhat shark-shaped blade, which flies horizontally across the stage with considerable speed. Touching Tabuu during the transformation has the same effect of the hit itself, dealing enormous vertical knockback and high damage. 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 and leaving it unharmed to further attacks. It is a guaranteed OHKO on Hard or higher difficulty and on Very Hard to Intense in Boss Battles. On Easy difficulty is still KOs at low percentuals, often below 50%. Since Tabuu frequently uses this move in midair, it is possible to avoid it simply by crouching or even without moving.
- 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 Tabuu's body can KO middleweights at very low percentages (20%), even OHKOing on its sweet spot (the blade's tip); also it acts very swift and is quite difficult to predict. Tabuu can be damaged by projectiles while performing this move.
- Golden Bracket - Tabuu transforms into an energy cage (resembling two glowing yellow brackets or butterfly wings) and flies across the stage, grabbing the character and slamming it into the floor for a semi-spike of immensely powerful knockback. This attack has a perfectly horizontal knockback on every difficulty. If played on Normal or higher difficulty, it becomes a one-hit KO (on Hard or higher in Boss Battles), though characters with a grab aerial can survive by DI'ing downwards and attaching to the edge as they pass by with strict timing. Damage can surpass 80% in a single hit. For characters with low recovery, this move can be a one-hit KO even on Easy difficulty (same for Boss Battles), due to its massive horizontal knockback which can launch them far away from the stage. Even on Easy difficulty, middleweights with good recovery are KOed as low as 20%, but light characters are usually KOed at lower percentuals. 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. It is one of the least predictable attacks of Tabuu and the second more powerful behind Off Waves. This attack also resembles Tabuu's wings seen in the background of the Portal in the Great Maze.
- 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, with massive knockback. If played in Co-op mode, he smashes the player he caught into the other player. It is a guaranteed OHKO on Normal difficulty and higher in SSE and on Hard and above in Boss Battles. On Normal and higher, when he smashes the player he catches into the other player with the "Chain of Light" move, it's a guaranteed 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 very low percentages on Easy difficulty the attack will not cause the player to flinch, and they will remain stuck on the chain in the T-pose until Tabuu teleports. This attacks is very swift and unpredictable: on higher difficulties, it requires less than a second to land, making it one of the most dangerous.
- 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 that changes over time (increasing for some seconds and then decreasing), 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; in fact, the sparkles attract the player as a very strong vacuum. Touching the sparkles or Tabuu’s body is a OHKO on Normal or higher difficulty in the SSE, and on Hard and above even in Boss Battles. Poor recovery characters may be KOed at 0% even on lower difficulties, since its enormous knockback is perfectly horizontal. Even on Easy difficulty it KOs below 20% in the SSE, while in Boss Battles it is slightly weakened at the same difficulty. Since this attack has a very powerful vacuum effect, it is possible for the same player to be sucked again repeatedly before being KOed on Easy and Normal difficulty in Boss Battles.
- 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 he can be hit, although it is dangerous because the player can be trapped in the attack. Certain melee attacks are also viable. Deals extremely high damage if all hits connect (over 300% on Intense in the Subspace Emissary) and can OHKO on nearly every difficulty, but only if the last slash lands (otherwise it always fails to KO). Even on Easy difficulty in Boss Battles, where Tabuu is weakened, it can inflict more than 120%. It can be easily SDI'd out of, also it is slow and very easy to prevent, except for the highest difficulties.
- 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, creating around ten bursts in very brief time. Can easily be avoided by noting and staying away from the flashes, or crouching if the pointing line is high. Can also be shielded with perfect timing. It is a guaranteed OHKO on Hard or higher difficulty, and on Very Hard to Intense in Boss Battle on Intense. Knockback has not a fixed direction, and can be vertical, horizontal or angled depending on where the player hits the explosions.
- 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, although severely reducing their knockback. They can also be destroyed (preferably by projectiles). It is an OHKO on Intense difficulty, and can KO below 20% on Boss Battles. Tabuu can be attacked with projectiles while performing this move, but not touched (contact with his body deals the same massive knockback of the clones, still OHKOing on Intense). It is considered one of Tabuu’s most dangerous attacks when activated, and it forces the player to pay attention before attacking Tabuu.
- 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 Normal or higher difficulty and on Hard or higher in Boss Battles. Tabuu can be attacked while performing this move, although it is very dangerous; hitting the cannon will also damage Tabuu himself.
- 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. The energy sphere inflicts immense knockback, being a guaranteed OHKO on Hard or higher difficulty, and on Very Hard to Intense in Boss Battles; the bullets don't inflict knockback but deal very high damage (over 150% on higher difficulties if all hits connect). A player hit by both hitboxes can sustain quite over 220% damage before being KOed. Tabuu can be attacked while performing this move, but it is very dangerous when the firs hitbox ends, since touching the electrical sphere on his hand can easily OHKO.
- 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. At higher levels, the player may need to dodge both the throw and the return in one jump, due to its high speed. It is an OHKO on Very Hard or Intense difficulty and on Intense in Boss Battles. Both hits have exactly the same knockback, although the first one usually inflicts more damage (38% against 33% on Intense). Tabuu can be attacked while performing this attack.
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.
- 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 (similar to rings) that encompass the whole stage. If any one of these hit, they will cause extreme damage and knockback with nearly no possibility to survive, even for Metal characters. In The Subspace Emissary, even on Easy difficulty a single wave will deal from 74% to 78% damage with massive knockback, more than enough to OHKO most characters, while on Normal and above it deals 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 relatively 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 (OHKOing Mario only on its sweetspot or light characters), with both damage and knockback rapidly increasing and regaining their guaranteed one-hit KO status on Normal difficulty and above. On Intense, they can deal over 160% damage.
Simply touching Winged Tabuu on the background deals the same knockback and damage of the Waves itself, usually the maximum possible since they coincide with the sweetspot. This Tabuu’s attack is so powerful that even metal or giant characters will be OHKOed, usually starting from Hard difficulty (or Very Hard in Boss Battles).
The following list shows the maximum damage inflicted by Tabuu's Off Waves for every difficulty (calculated on the sweetspot or by direct contact with Winged Tabuu):
- Easy: 78% (Subspace Emissary); 22% (Boss Battles).
- Normal: 110% (Subspace Emissary); 64% (Boss Battles).
- Hard: 139% (Subspace Emissary); 92% (Boss Battles).
- Very Hard: 169% (Subspace Emissary); 110% (Boss Battles).
- Intense: 200% (Subspace Emissary); 169% (Boss Battles).
- 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. On Intense it can KO Mario slightly below 50% (but on Easy difficulty in Boss Battles it KOs quite over 100% from the center of the stage). However, being hit while midair can drastically increase the chances of an early KO, due to the beams’ perfectly vertical knockback. 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). Tabuu only takes half the damage in this status. 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. Touching the burst deals perfectly vertical knockback, with enormous KO potential. It is a guaranteed one-hit KO on Very Hard to Intense difficulty in the Subspace Emissary, and on Intense in Boss Battles. Since it KOs at very low percentages even on medium difficulties, the player must not be too eager to attack Tabuu during his teleports and must always pay attention before attacking him. Due to being extremely unpredictable and very powerful, this attack is usually considered one of the most dangerous of Tabuu's moveset.
HP and damage taken
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.
|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.
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 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
|1,100||Tabuu||★★★★||3||PSI Attack ↑||Super Smash Bros. Series|
- Tabuu on Intense Difficulty in the SSE has more OHKOs than every other boss or enemy in all the Smash games: even 14, beating Galleom's, Rayquaza's and and Duon's 8, as well as Master Hand's - Crazy Hand's 7 + 3 in Brawl. They are reduced to 12 in Boss Battle.
- Only two moves out of 16 (12%) are not OHKOs on Intense: Teleport (which doesn’t inflict damage) and Eye Lasers (KOing below 50%).
- In the Classic Mode of the same game (on Intense difficulty only), combined Master Hand and a Crazy Hand have access to even 17 potential OHKOs, although some of them need most hits to connect for an OHKO.
- Although his wings have been broken by Sonic, Tabuu's Off Waves on Intense are still the most powerful move in every Smash game for both knockback and damage (up to 200%), along with the Ultimate Chimera's bite in Brawl.
- 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.
- A YouTube video of playing as Tabuu by hacking
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mU6F6uHrQJs (most of OHKO moves)