Captain Falcon (SSB)

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This article is about Captain Falcon's appearance in Super Smash Bros.. For the character in other contexts, see Captain Falcon.
Captain Falcon
in Super Smash Bros.
Captain Falcon
FZeroSymbol.svg
Universe F-Zero
Other Smash Bros. appearances in Melee
in Brawl
in SSB4
Availability Unlockable
Tier A (3) (North America)
? (4) (Japan)
#default:

Captain Falcon (キャプテン・ファルコン, Captain Falcon) is the main character from the F-Zero franchise, and appears in Super Smash Bros. as one of the four unlockable characters. His appearance is based on his incarnation from F-Zero X for the Nintendo 64. He is voiced by Ryo Horikawa, who would go on to voice him in later iterations.

Captain Falcon is currently ranked 3rd overall on the tier list for his overall very quick movement speed (despite a slow walking speed, he has the fastest dashing and falling speeds in the game, and an average air speed) and very strong combo ability, with his up aerial being an especially useful move that can combo in a huge variety of ways, including being able to lead into another up aerial or a forward aerial for aerial combos, as well as a Falcon Dive or down aerial as a combo finisher. Along with powerful edgeguarders in his back aerial and up aerial semi-spike, and an effective meteor smash with a very long duration in his down aerial, this gives Falcon a strong aerial game. His combo game isn't limited to the air, thanks to his up smash and forward throw that can easily setup other moves due to their low knockback. His combos involving aerials, up smash, and forward throw are able to 0-death many characters without much difficulty. Captain Falcon also has strong vertical endurance and is overall fairly difficult to KO onstage.

Captain Falcon's primary weaknesses include his vulnerability to combos from many characters due to his very fast falling speed and high weight and size. His ground game is also much more limited than his air game, due to him lacking options on the ground outside up smash, forward smash, grab, and neutral attack, as well as having somewhat limited out of shield options. He is also highly vulnerable to edgeguarding, due to his large size and subpar recovery, due to it being predictable, as his primary recovery move, Falcon Dive, gives short horizontal and vertical distance, while also being unable to grab edgehoggers, and his very fast falling speed hindering it further. Additionally, Captain Falcon lacks a projectile and a reliable way to deal with them, making characters like Fox difficult to deal with.

Regardless, Captain Falcon's strengths outweigh his flaws by a noticeable margin, resulting in strong matchups, and he has some of the highest representation and results of any character. He ranks higher in the NTSC than in the Japanese version due to him being buffed, whereas in the Japanese version he ranks 4th on the tier list.

How to unlock[edit]

Complete 1P Game in under 20 minutes and with no continues. Captain Falcon then must be defeated on Planet Zebes.

Attributes[edit]

Captain Falcon's ending picture in Super Smash Bros.

Captain Falcon is a character who focuses on speed and power. His most notorious attributes are his incredible speed (the fastest dashing and falling speed) and combo ability. He also has the best dash-dance in the game, and a very strong aerial game. His up aerial is his most versatile move, being on par with Pikachu's up aerial for the best aerial in the game. Depending on where it hits, it can send the opponent in different directions. The most notable use of the move is to hit opponents straight up by hitting with the heel - this allows Captain Falcon to chain the move into multiple up aerials, and finish with a Falcon Dive for a KO, or a down air when his midair jump is available. If the opponent is too high for a single Falcon Dive to reach, a midair jump is often enough to allow the Falcon Dive to reach them. This is made more effective by the Falcon Dive sending opponent on a difficult-to-DI angle. Another notable use of the up aerial is its ability to hit opponents back on a semi-spike trajectory (by hitting with the mid-section of the leg while it's moving backwards) - this is very useful and effective for edgeguarding. He has a powerful meteor smash in his down aerial, which can be combo'd into in a variety of ways, including up aerial (as mentioned above), forward aerial, or back aerial at lower percentages. Either of these combos could be considered a Ken Combo variation, with Ken even saying the Ken Combo was initially developed using Captain Falcon's up aerial→down aerial combo in Smash 64. Additionally, his down aerial is a very effective edgeguarder, being a meteor smash that can KO aerial opponents somewhat early, as well as having a very long duration, meaning it can be used along with an edge drop or midair jump around the edge to prevent the opponent from edge sweetspotting.

Some of Captain Falcon's attacks also have great range, most notably his up aerial and forward smash. The latter is additionally a powerful KO move, and a semi-spacing tool, being a reliable KO option without having to get too far in the opponent's reach. Captain Falcon additionally has among the best short hops in the game, being able to approach incredibly quickly using short hopped Z-cancelled aerials. He also has amazing vertical endurance due to his very high falling speed and high weight, and while he isn't particularly vulnerable to juggling anyway, his Falcon Kick can prevent juggling easily due to traveling downward quickly.

Captain Falcon, however, has limited effective ground options. His up smash is another one of his especially effective combo moves, being able to chain into itself up to three times depending on the falling speed of the opponent, and easily being to able to lead into aerials. Additionally, his forward throw is a very useful combo tool, being able to combo into forward aerial, up aerial, and up smash out of a dash, as well as a Falcon Punch on fastfallers or heavyweights at moderately high percentages. He also lacks a projectile and reliable ways to avoid them, which can give him trouble against characters like Fox on larger stages. Simply put, he is among the most vulnerable characters to constant projectile camping and ground-based camping. The banning of Hyrule Castle has helped Captain Falcon's metagame as he is less susceptible to projectile camping. Captain Falcon's two most major weaknesses are his recovery and how vulnerable he is to combos. His high weight, moderately large hurtbox, and very fast falling speed makes it easy to combo him offstage, where his large size, very fast falling speed, and short and predictable recovery make him one of the easiest characters to edgeguard. Captain Falcon is known on a competitive level as being one of the top characters on Dream Land and having one of the best matchups (45-55) against Pikachu. However, Captain Falcon struggles with Kirby.

In doubles[edit]

Captain Falcon is considered to be one of the best characters in doubles due to his incredibly easy to utilize combos and movement speed. Thanks to his speed, he is one of the best characters at helping teammates to evade and get out of edgeguarding and combos from opponents. His throws can lead into partner combos as well. A notable team wobble is that two Captain Falcons can re-grab into another grab with correct timing. Captain Falcon's main issue is his recovery, so in competitive play, he is usually paired with someone who is on a much safer position offstage and can help him with combos, usually Pikachu or Mario.

Differences between game versions[edit]

Captain Falcon was buffed overall in his transition to NTSC. His faster dashing and falling speeds give him an even better approach, and the higher presence of SDI makes him less vulnerable to combos. However, he jumps slightly lower and Falcon Dive covers less distance, making him easier to edgeguard. Overall, however, Falcon is slightly better than in the Japanese version.

Attributes[edit]

  • Buff Captain Falcon dashes slightly faster (70 → 75).
  • Nerf Captain Falcon keeps less horizontal momentum from jumps.
  • Nerf Captain Falcon has reduced jump power (grounded: 25 → 24; midair: 0.95 → 0.9).
  • Change Captain Falcon has higher falling speed (60 → 66).

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Nerf Forward tilt deals 1% less damage (16%/14%/13% → 15%/13%/12%).

Special attacks[edit]

Moveset[edit]

SSB64 Falcon.gif
Captain Falcon's aerial attacks
The three u-air hitboxes, the arrows demonstrate where the smallest hitbox (near the elbow) would send an opponent
  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   3% Two quick jabs, a knee, and a series of rapid jabs. The second hit can be jab cancelled into a grab and then a throw. The rapid punches are fast, though a little awkward for combos.
3%
4%
1% per punch
Forward tilt   15% Kicks to his side. Like most forward tilts, this one can be angled. A half-decent spacing move, but rarely used in combos.
13%
12%
Up tilt   23% if both hits connect An axe kick, doing 9%, then 14%. This attack is unique because it can hit from behind, and at the start of the move, above Captain Falcon. The move in general has somewhat high lag, though. This move is often used with his wall combos because of its range and damage (such as back throw, up tilt, regrab, etc.). It's additionally a way to edgeguard characters hanging on the edge, due to its hitbox extending below the platform. The hitbox is also high enough to hit someone on a Dream Land platform. The attack is the most damaging up tilt in the game.
Down tilt   11% Does a quick kick while crouching. Slightly disjointed hitbox but has a high amount of ending lag. This attack sends the opponent at a low trajectory, and can be used against opponents hanging on the edge or to gimp opponents recovering from below such as Fox, Kirby, or Jigglypuff. Not fully recommended for this purpose against people who are able to SDI into the edge. Has generally little combo ability.
Dash attack   12% (clean), 9% (late) Does a shoulder tackle. Decent knockback, can combo into itself on heavy characters or potentially lead into grabs. Heavy lag and generally is highly punishable however, meaning it isn't very reliable. Is punishable on hit at low percents. Considered to be Captain Falcon's worst move.
Forward smash   19% Does a flaming forward kick. Somewhat resembles his Falcon Kick in terms of special effects. Good KO move, but has some startup and ending lag; not considered a fast KO move. Is a somewhat reliable spacing tool, especially when pivoted.
18%
17%
Up smash   17% An upwards elbow swing-launcher in a single turn. This is Captain Falcon's main combo starter outside of forward throw or aerials though the later are more common at higher level play. The attack sends the opponent straight up, but with low knockback and high hitstun. It is, however, trifled with unusually short range, for an up smash. It is the weakest up smash in the game, but one of Captain Falcon's most useful moves for its combo potential. This move is easily punished if not spaced by upper level players. Hits through platforms.
Down smash   16% (front), 14% (back) A "down spin kick". If the attack connects closer to the body, the opponent will be sent upwards. If it connects with the tip, the opponent will be sent in a more horizontal direction. Somewhat short duration, for a move of this criteria, but an awkward move for one of Captain Falcon's. Does not combo well as is generally not recommended too much. Computers oddly use this move much more commonly than humans. It can catch rolls but grabs are preferred.
Neutral aerial   16% (clean), 13% (late) A sex kick. Like most sex kicks, this attack loses power with time. Very powerful when it first comes out and a good defensive move. Not exactly the most useful combo move but is sometimes thrown out as a KO move or a finisher vs. lighter opponents after a fair. A weak n-air is a moderately strong combo move but it is quite hard to hit with outside of when falling. Not a bad move per-say but more less used than his other aerials as they have a better hitbox. Is also less safe on shield compared to other aerials.
Forward aerial   22% if both hits connect Does two kicks in front for him. This attack is similar to Captain Falcon's Melee and Brawl neutral aerial, though without the horizontal movement, sends opponents on more of a horizontal angle, and is better at chasing opponents and KOing. It is also possible to link only one of these aerials into a down aerial, up aerial, or a grab, leading to further combos, a neutral aerial for KOs, or at certain percentages a down aerial to meteor smash. The two hits can lead into a Falcon Kick offstage or close to offstage as well as another forward aerial or grab depending on the opponent's weight and percentage. Very useful against more floaty characters for comboing as up air isn't as useful. Excellent spacing tool. At max horizontal spacing, this is one of the only aerial moves that is safe on shield. Captain Falcon's best aerial along with up air.
Back aerial   16% Extends his fist behind him. A basic edgeguarding move with good power and no sweetspot. Strongest back aerial in the game. Can combo into another back aerial, a reverse back aerial, or potentially a reverse up aerial. The reverse back air is quite useful for edgeguards but due to its odd hitbox, a pivot up air or Up B is usually used. Has just enough stun to be safe on block, but only when Captain Falcon is lower to the ground before performing it.
Up aerial   16% Flips in the air. Many consider this attack to be Captain Falcon's most versatile attack as well the best up aerial (along with Pikachu's). Depending on what part of the hitbox connects with the opponent, it can send the opponent in various directions. A view of the hitboxes can be seen in one of the images to the right. Part of the Stairway to Heaven combo. For edgeguards, a pivot up air has extremely high hitstun making it a very useful edgeguard after a forward throw near the edge. Safe on shield and can lead to a shield break combo if the opponent is stuck on a platform.
Down aerial   14% Stomps below him, though has a hitbox above his feet. A very long duration. 14% damage. This attack is a meteor smash. The hitbox exists on the legs and chest, and if the opponent connects with the chest, he/she will be sent down at a slight angle. If the opponent is already on the ground, it will, depending on their damage percentage, keep the opponent in place or bounce them up at a very slight angle, leading into another aerial such as a second dair to spike offstage, a Falcon Punch for a KO, a grab, or a quick up smash (depending on the percentage and opponent's reaction). The inspiration for the Ken Combo is based on this spiking after an up air. Is safe on block (when z-cancelled.)
Grab
Forward throw   12% Slams the opponent down in front of him. Having very low knockback for a grab, this can be used to start aerial chains, easily leading into a forward or up aerial. This throw would become his down throw in Melee and Brawl. His other main combo starter on the ground along with up smash and aerials. One of the fastest grabs and the possible 2nd best after Pikachu.
Back throw   16% (throw), 10% (collateral) He kicks the opponent back, causing 16%. This throw has much more knockback than his forward throw but is generally not used for combos. The most common use is to edgeguard after a quick ledge snap, especially vs Yoshi and Pikachu at higher percents though at lower percents, forward throw is better as it leads to better edgeguard scenarios. The other use is to back throw someone onto a platform leading to a free up smash.
Floor attack (front) 6% Similar to Samus's floor attack, kicks on both sides at the same time and gets up. A bit quicker and safer than most. Unsafe on block.
Floor attack (back) 6% Similar to Samus's floor attack, kicks on both sides at the same time and gets up. A bit quicker and safer than most. Unsafe on block however.
Edge attack (fast) 6% Gets up and kicks in a similar fashion to his down tilt. Unsafe on block. Can be used to edgeguard due to a reverse hitbox but this is uncommon.
Edge attack (slow) 4% Slowly rises and swats. Low range and damage. Not recommended due to its low range so a fall into an aerial over the ledge is generally preferred.
Neutral special Falcon Punch 24% Throws a powerful punch, with his fists engulfed in a flaming falcon shape. It is much faster than in future games. Can be a finisher in combos, and can be comboed into from moves such as up aerial, forward throw, or down aerial on a grounded opponent. Gives him some horizontal distance when recovering. Can be angled slightly for further recovery similar to Jigglypuff's rising pound.
Up special Falcon Dive 20% Does a leap into the air. If he grabs an opponent, he launches them diagonally upwards powerfully. It is impossible to Smash DI this move as it is considered to be a grab. If it hits the opponent, it lets Captain Falcon use the move again, otherwise he will become helpless. Recovery move, but it cannot grab onto edgehoggers (outside of right up close), making Captain Falcon easy to edgeguard. A string of multiple up aerials into a Falcon Dive is commonly referred to as an Stairway to Heaven or Windmill combo, as it is a very common combo in Smash 64 competitive play. Can be done out of shield or against a shielding opponent or one caught on a ledge, known as and named after King Funk.
Down special Falcon Kick 15% Performs a blazing kick while rushing forward. If used in midair, he moves at a diagonal angle down fairly quickly, being usable to counter juggling. This does not happen if he does it off a platform so it is more commonly used here. In the air, it sends him diagonally down. Unlike Melee, he does not gain a jump back so this move is not used to recover. Is unsafe on block.

On-screen appearance[edit]

CaptainFalconOnScreenAppearanceSSB.gif

Taunt[edit]

  • Turns to his right, keeping his left hand curled into a fist which he puts on his hip, he touches his forehead with his right fist then straightens his hand out to do a salute while saying "Show me your moves!".
Taunts-SSB-CaptainFalcon.png

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Cheer
Captain Falcon Cheer NTSC SSB.ogg
Captain Falcon Cheer JP SSB.ogg
Description Fal-con *claps 3 times* *clap* Fal- *clap* -con *clap x3*
Pitch Crowd chant Crowd chant

Victory poses[edit]

A cover of the music that plays when a character finishes a race in F-Zero X.
  • Gathers power, then performs a high roundhouse kick.
  • Kneels in a determined pose, screaming as if to release his energy.
  • Brings arm up then down confidently (also his character selection animation).
CFalconPose1SSB.gif CFalconPose2SSB.gif CFalconPose3SSB.gif

In Competitive play[edit]

Matchups[edit]

International versions[edit]

Super Smash Bros. (N64) Character Matchups
  PikachuIcon(SSB).png KirbyIcon(SSB).png CaptainFalconIcon(SSB).png FoxIcon(SSB).png YoshiIcon(SSB).png JigglypuffIcon(SSB).png MarioIcon(SSB).png SamusIcon(SSB).png DonkeyKongIcon(SSB).png NessIcon(SSB).png LinkIcon(SSB).png LuigiIcon(SSB).png Avg.
CaptainFalconIcon(SSB).png 45:55 40:60 Mirror match 55:45 60:40 50:50 50:50 60:40 60:40 60:40 60:40 60:40 55:45

Captain Falcon has an overall above average matchup spread. Captain Falcon is the only character with a virtually even matchup against Pikachu, due to his up aerial combo'ing and edgeguarding Pikachu notably well. His worst matchup is Kirby, who he has trouble approaching due to Kirby's up tilt outranging all of Captain Falcon's quick approaching methods. He also has slightly more trouble comboing Kirby than most characters, due to his floatiness limiting use of the basic up smash and making it slightly easier for him to escape up aerial juggles, and is also easily edgeguarded by Kirby. Jigglypuff is also known for doing very well against Captain Falcon, due to its forward throw, aerials, Pound, and Rest comboing Falcon rather easily.

Japanese version[edit]

Super Smash Bros. (N64) Character Matchups (JPN Version)
  PikachuIcon(SSB).png KirbyIcon(SSB).png CaptainFalconIcon(SSB).png FoxIcon(SSB).png NessIcon(SSB).png MarioIcon(SSB).png SamusIcon(SSB).png JigglypuffIcon(SSB).png LinkIcon(SSB).png YoshiIcon(SSB).png LuigiIcon(SSB).png DonkeyKongIcon(SSB).png Avg.
CaptainFalconIcon(SSB).png 60:40 40:60 Mirror match 60:40 40:60 60:40 70:30 50:50 70:30 70:30 60:40 80:20 60:40

Captain Falcon's matchups are more favorable in the Japanese version of the game. Due to his better jump height and Falcon Dive covering more distance, he is considerably harder to edgeguard, helping against characters such as Pikachu and Mario. The increased hitstun also improves the potential of his combos against characters such as Pikachu, whom he now has an advantageous matchup against (being the only character in the game to do so, as well as the only character in the series to have an advantageous matchup against a character ranked first on a tier list). However, the much less efficient SDI in the Japanese version makes it easier for characters with quick drills to rack up quick damage on Captain Falcon (most notably Kirby, whose forward and down aerials are significantly more useful for this reason).

Notable players[edit]

See also: Category:Captain Falcon professionals (SSB)

Techniques[edit]

Dash pivot[edit]

This is an easy-to-perform technique that can be used effectively for mindgames. Essentially, it is a forward roll that is performed without using a roll. To utilize the technique, one begins with an initial dash and quickly taps the control stick in the opposite direction. If one holds it in the opposite direction, or even presses it, then Captain Falcon will dash-dance instead. What makes this technique very effective is that Captain Falcon has a long initial dash, and so one can use this to tech-chase an opponent depending on their position, or even perform a sort of pivot grab. One can also use the dash pivot to change one's position in battle, necessary for spacing: successive dash pivots in one direction after a hit can provide new approach options, lining up Captain Falcon for short hopped back/up aerials, while simultaneously performing a sort of pseudo-moonwalk, potentially throwing off the opponent's perception of Captain Falcon's movement. In addition to the aforementioned usages, one can use the dash pivot to edge-hog very effectively. With proper spacing, a well-timed dash pivot can thrust a player off a ledge into a ledge grab, allowing for many viable recovery blocking techniques (a taunt cancel implemented while flying off a ledge adds notable humour and dramatic flair as well). It can also be used to land an up aerial as a simple followup to a forward throw from the edge at mid-high percentages, as a great way to land the semi-spike portion of the move. Overall, the potential of this technique is quite significant, and it is an integral part of any decent Captain Falcon user's metagame.

Teeter canceled Falcon Kick[edit]

Falcon Kick is often used among advanced Captain Falcon users as the last hit of a combo (generally followed after a forward aerial) or as an edgeguarding move. If the player is dashing, he can teeter cancel and seemingly use a Falcon Kick out of a full sprint.

"Stairway to Heaven" combo[edit]

Main article: Stairway to Heaven

Captain Falcon's up aerial is notorious for its low and nearly purely vertical knockback as well as its high hitstun. This combo involves using up aerial chains to combo the opponent to near the top of the stage, where Falcon Dive can be used as a combo finisher to hopefully Star KO them. These up aerial chains are extremely common among Captain Falcon players.

Description[edit]

A regular pilot in the great galactic race F-ZERO Grand Prix, Captain Falcon is skilled at collecting prize money. Much about his past remains hidden in shadow, but it's clear that many a villain hold a powerful grudge against him.
Works:

Alternate costumes[edit]

Captain Falcon's alternate costumes in SSB

Trivia[edit]

  • Captain Falcon is the first playable character whose stock icon is not a small image of his head. Instead, his icon is a falcon, much like the one on his helmet and series symbol.
  • Captain Falcon has the most usable costumes in the game, with six. Most characters have four or five. Yoshi has six as well, but only four are usable outside of hacking (The dark blue and pink swaps only appear in the single player mode.)
  • Captain Falcon has a gun, but he never uses it as an attack.
  • Captain Falcon's "Congratulations!" screen is the only one to use a pre-existing image from an original game, in this case, the first unlockable title screen from F-Zero X. The image can also be seen in the back cover of the Japanese version of F-Zero X.
  • Captain Falcon's outfit in this game is purple as opposed to indigo.
  • Captain Falcon shares various attack animations with Samus; their up tilt, however her version has one hitbox and isn't as strong, their dash attacks, even having the same sound effects, but Captain Falcon makes a grunt when using it (Samus is silent, as she is throughout the game), and their down smash (where, again, Captain Falcon grunts and Samus is silent).
  • Captain Falcon, along with Samus, are the only characters to have blue costumes that are only usable while playing on the blue team in VS Mode. Similarly, his green/yellow costume is only available while playing on the green team, making him the only character to have two costumes that are only usable in Team Battle.
  • In released screenshots of Dragon King: The Fighting Game, the unnamed characters are seen using attacks that resemble Captain Falcon's moves. This is likely the inspiration for the moveset, since he has never been seen fighting in his own games.
  • On the Character selection screen, Captain Falcon's portrait greatly resembles his artwork from F-Zero X.