Captain Falcon (SSBM)
- This article is about Captain Falcon in Super Smash Bros. Melee. For the clone counterpart of Captain Falcon, see Ganondorf (SSBM). For other uses, see Captain Falcon.
| Captain Falcon|
in Super Smash Bros. Melee
|Other Smash Bros. appearances||in SSB|
|“||A bounty hunter who boasts speed and power.||”|
|—Melee's instruction manual|
Falcon currently ranks 7th place on the Melee tier list. He still ranks rather high like in the SSB tier list because he retains his incredible comboing abilities; he has a fast falling speed and air speed, and the fastest dash in the game, giving him one of the best SHFFLs in the game. His high weight and fast falling speed also make him the character most resistant to vertical KOs. His speed and fast roll-dodges enable an excellent dodging game. Falcon also has multiple quick KO moves, most notably his Knee Smash, forward smash, and his Nipple spike, all of which can be combo finishers. Against high-tiered opponents, however, Falcon is susceptible to chaingrabs and combos due to his high falling speed. He is also prone to edgeguarding, since he has a predictable recovery that, like in SSB, cannot grab ledge-hanging enemies. Falcon lacks a projectile, impairing his approach in some matchups, while most of his attacks have long start-up. Regardless of his weaknesses, Captain Falcon still has an impressive number of matchups, including six that are near-unloseable.
Captain Falcon is one of the fastest characters in the game. He has the highest dash speed, the second fastest falling speed (behind Falco), and one of the fastest lateral air speeds in the game. These traits, coupled with his high traction, good jumping prowess, the ability to wall jump, and the longest dash dance (because of his many dash initiation frames) gives Captain Falcon great approach options, a short but quick wavedash, and the best moonwalk in the game.
Despite lacking a projectile, Captain Falcon's attacks and great speed enable great approach options to KO and combo reliably and efficiently. Many of Falcon`s attacks have fairly long start-up lag, but deal incredible damage and knockback, have great range, and have little ending lag. The strength of Captain Falcon's superb comboing ability lies in his excellent SHFFL, enhanced by a short short-hop, a very fast falling speed, and a number of attacks that reliably chain into one another, giving him a great damage rate and a multitude of approaches and combo finishers.
All of Captain Falcon's smash attacks can be powerful combo starters and finishers with high KO-ing potential. Captain Falcon's forward smash, despite its fairly long start-up lag, is the third most powerful forward smash in the game in terms of damage and knockback and is an excellent combo finisher. His down smash is his fastest, dealing great horizontal knockback, and his up-smash can flexibly act as a combo starter and finisher.
Captain Falcon's great aerial game enhances his excellent SHUFFL; his aerials are fast and powerful and allows for many approach and KO options. The second hit of his n-air has sex kick properties and can be SHFFLed very easily. His forward aerial, the (Knee Smash), arguably Captain Falcon's best move, can chain into one another through a series of well-timed sweetspots and sourspots, dealing high damage with little start-up lag and KO-ing at damage percentages as low as 60%. It can be a combo starter and finisher. His back aerial is a quick and powerful backhand punch that is useful for edgeguarding. His up aerial is a long-ranged, strong bicycle kick with very fast-start up (5 frames), and can be used for edgeguarding or as an out-of-shield option. His down aerial is the fourth most powerful meteor smash in the game, has minor start-up, very low ending lag, high hit-stun, and can chain itself into another dair by SHFFLing. If the down-aerial hits above Captain Falcon's waist, then it acts as a spike.
A combo notoriously difficult to execute is the infamous Sacred Combo, a two-hit combo involving a high knockback move followed by a mid-air Falcon punch, before the hitstun of the previous attack wears off. If executed correctly, the opponent is likely to be KO'd. However, there are severe consequences if Falcon makes a mistake while performing this technique; there is a chance he`ll miss and if he jumps too far while performing this, he will SD which may see him down a stock or two.
Despite having a poor grab range (the sixth shortest in the game), Falcon's grab game is among the most flexible and devastating in Melee; his forward and back throws can set up combos and his up and down throws can set up combos and chain-throws.
Captain Falcon overall has a mediocre recovery. He has high air speed, but the distance that he can cover is drastically shortened by his fast falling speed. He is prone to edge-guarding because his recovery move cannot grab ledge-hangers. He can extend his recovery by gaining back his midair jump by performing an uninterrupted Falcon Kick in the air, at the cost of great vertical height. Using Raptor Boost is a decent horizontal recovery option, but it grants zero vertical height and prevents Captain Falcon from grabbing ledges.
Captain Falcon's fast falling speed is gives him great comboing ability and resistance to vertical KOs, but makes him easy for others to combo and chain-throw him.
Indeed, a good Captain Falcon player must utilize Captain Falcon's speed and power to deliver quick KO's and overwhelm his opponent.
 Ground moves
- Neutral attack - Jabs twice, then knees opponent, followed by several fast jabs. First two jabs do around 2-3% each, the "gentlemen" kneeing does 8%, and each jab after does 1% each. A fast and somewhat short-ranged jab-attack, this move is good for disrupting an enemy's approach.
- Dash attack - Shoulder tackle. Strongest when it comes out, weaker afterward. Fairly fast, good for knocking the foe away from the ledge to follow with an aerial attack or edgeguard, with proper mindgaming/prediction. 10%
- Down tilt - Does a quick round kick. Is a great vertical launcher, if difficult to land. Compared to Falcon's other launchers, it has relatively high ending lag. However, it can combo at most percentages into a SHFFLed neutral aerial, which can lead into other combos. Fox and Falco can often be regrabbed from a down tilt at medium percentages, and their side special moves can be intercepted by Falcon's down tilt if they try to sweetspot the ledge. The down tilt can also combo into a Knee Smash and the up aerial, depending on knockback and DI. 12% damage.
- Forward tilt - Kicks his foot out in front of him. Fast with decent range. There are not a significant amount of combo options from an forward tilt because of its horizontal hit trajectory, low knockback and stun time, and wind-down lag. One can try to follow up with a up aerial or a Jump-canceled grab, and even a dash-canceled down tilt or Raptor Boost, but they are not true combos and can be countered by every character. It may be a good idea to wavedash slightly forward to maintain pressure, and enter a defensive stance or used after a pivot as a surprise attack to keep enemies away. A forward tilt, angled upward, can stun enemies long enough from an up/down throw that it can lead to a Knee Smash. 11% damage
- Up tilt - Brings his leg up and brings it down in an axe-like way. His up tilt has horizontal knockback as well, and, like the forward tilt, is difficult to combo from. Due to its low trajectory, one can often follow off the edge of a platform or stage with a falling neutral aerial or non-sweetspotted forward aerial edgeguard, but this is not a true combo. It may be a good idea to wavedash slightly forward to maintain pressure, and enter a defensive stance. Most players use up tilts as an edgeguard technique since the heel can extend below the platform. 11% damage.
- Forward smash - Reels his elbow back and thrusts it forward. Excellent knockback even when uncharged with good horizontal and vertical launching power, making it hard to DI. Somewhat fast as well. Uncharged usually KOs around 100%+. This attack is the 3rd most powerful forward smash in the game. 20% uncharged, 27% fully.
- Up smash - Quickly thrusts both his feet upward in circular motions. A fast and powerful move, though short range. The second hit sometimes has difficulty connecting, as with Ganon's. When both hits connect, 19% uncharged, 27% fully charged. This is Falcon's most powerful move damage-wise (When fully charged).
- Down smash - Kicks in front then back of him. Small noticeable startup, but good speed and knockback. 18% front, 16% back uncharged, 24% front and 21% back fully charged.
 Other attacks
- Ledge attack - Picks himself up and kicks. 10% damage.
- 100% ledge attack- Somewhat slowly gets up and punches in front of him. 8% damage.
- Floor attack - Gets up and flips while kicking. 6% damage.
- Forward aerial (Knee Smash) - Captain Falcon sticks out his knee. If sweetspotted (located anywhere on his body at the first frames of execution), the victim is electrocuted and is sent in a difficult-to-DI-out-of semi-spike trajectory. If sourspotted, the move is very weak with little knockback, though it can be chained into another Knee. An extremely powerful move when sweetspotted, it is often regarded as one of the most powerful and useful moves in the game, and undoubtedly the most powerful forward aerial of Melee. This move is the usual end to most of Falcon's aerial combos, or even to use against grounded foes in an aerial assault. Easily KOs at damage percentages as low as 60% off the edge. Impressive 18% when sweetspotted, and does 5-6% otherwise with terrible knockback.
- Neutral aerial - His forward aerial from SSB, kicks twice in front of him. A good two-hit combo starter or ender, though the second hit is difficult to land. This move can infamously lead into a Sacred Combo. First hit does 6%, second hit 7% damage. Total 13%.
- Back aerial - A quick punch behind him. Good power and speed, often used as an edgeguarding move. Weak if the opponent is hit late in the attack. 14% damage.
- Down aerial - A Stomp attack. Stomps below him for good downward knockback and high hitstun. Minor startup and ending lag. Can nipple spike if hit within the torso region, making it even more powerful. If used on a grounded opponent, this move is a great combo starter, and can KO at high percentages. One of the strongest meteor smashes in the game. 16%.
- Up aerial - Does a midair bicycle kick and sticks his feet out. Knockback direction depends on what angle the move hits the foe, though strong nonetheless. Also good for juggling, and edgeguarding if hit near the end of the attack. 13% damage.
 Grabs & throws
- Pummel - Knees opponent in the torso region. 2-3% damage per pummel.
- Forward throw - Punches foe forward. Oddly, has two hits, the first hit doing 5% damage, second 4%.
- Back throw - Kicks foe behind. Also has two very small and hardly noticeable hits. Knockback is usually hard to follow-up or combo with unless over a ledge. Throw does 5% first, 4% second.
- Up throw - Punches foe upward. Yet another mysterious throw where Falcon supposedly only hits the foe once, although has two separate hitboxes. Can lead into various moves or tech chases at low percentages, as the opponent usually falls straight down. At higher percentages, aerial followups are easier to land. Deals 4% then 3%.
- Down throw - Crushes foe to the floor. Only one hitbox unlike his other throws. Depending on opponent percentage, fall speed, and DI, can lead into aerial combos or tech chase regrabs. 7% damage.
 Special moves
|Neutral special||Falcon Punch|
|Side special||Raptor Boost|
|Up special||Falcon Dive|
|Down special||Falcon Kick|
 In Competitive play
 Notable players
- See also: Category:Captain Falcon professionals
 Changes from SSB to Melee
In the transition from SSB to Melee, Captain Falcon gained some buffs and nerfs, but was buffed overall.
In terms of buffs, all of Falcon's smash attacks were changed and made much more powerful (especially his up and down smashes and his forward smash to a slightly lesser extent). His new up smash has much higher knockback scaling and damage, making it less effective for starting combos. His forward aerial was changed to the Knee Smash, a very powerful horizontal finisher and one of the most damaging combo and finisher options in the game. His forward aerial in SSB is now his neutral aerial and hits at an upper angle. A general increase in his air speed (went from the 3rd slowest in SSB to the 3rd fastest in Melee) and the introduction of moonwalking, improvement of dashdancing, and wavedashing have significantly improved Falcon's movement options. The third hit of his neutral combo gives more knockback and can KO under 200%, unlike most neutral combos. His down aerial has more reach and power, though it now has significantly more startup and ending lag. Falcon Kick now restores Falcon's second jump, improving his recovery. Like most veterans, Falcon received a new side special move, Raptor Boost. Falcon Punch is stronger and has more range. Falcon Kick travels more distance. Since throws were weakened from SSB to Melee, he has more combo and chain throwing abilities with his new up and down throws (his forward throw in SSB was changed to his down throw in Melee).
In terms of nerfs, his attacks are slower in terms of start-up. His forward smash has slightly less reach, his up smash has been made slower, has drastically reduced utility, and lower base knockback, and his down smash is much slower and can't hit crouching/small enemies as easily as before. Hitting with the semi-spike part of his up aerial is much weaker than hitting with the initial part, making semi-spiking much less effective (Despite this, it is still used as an effective edgeguarding move). up tilt hits only once and is weaker in terms of damage (10% less). Back aerial and down aerial's hitboxes last for a shorter time. Falcon Punch's use as a recovery move is hindered severely due to it being slower and can no longer has the effect to slow down Falcon's falling speed. In addition, it now has two weaker (in terms of damage) sourspots while the sweetspot is very close to his body. Falcon Dive and Falcon Kick received some nerfs (both having smaller hitboxes and less power, though both are still powerful for a special move). His forward aerial from SSB (now his Neutral Aerial) has slightly less horizontal reach and less power in terms of knockback and damage.
In terms of cosmetics, Falcon is one out of two characters who is now available as a starter from SSB (the other being Ness) and he had his stance altered from SSB with a new idle action included with his default one, which was also altered. His green and blue palette swaps from SSB are now accessible through normal battle instead of just Team Battles like Mario and Kirby. Like Pikachu and Kirby, he has new and higher quality voice samples, though his voice actor still remains the same.
 Trophy descriptions
In addition to his normal trophy, there are two trophies about him as a fighter, unlocked by completing the Adventure and All-Star modes respectively with Captain Falcon on any difficulty:
- Captain Falcon (Classic) (Trophy #28)
- Usually a relentless bounty hunter, Captain Falcon shifts gears to become a race pilot once the F-Zero Grand Prix begins. His beloved racer, the Blue Falcon, can exceed the speed of sound, and he knows how to drive it; he'll go down as one of the all time-greats. Now 36 years old, Captain Falcon wears his F-Zero X visor.
- Captain Falcon (Adventure) (Trophy #29)
- Falcon's style is a balanced combination of raw power and speed. His attacks are slow, but when combined with Falcon's high mobility, he's a formidable combat force. The Falcon Punch packs the highest degree of destructive power, while the explosive Raptor Boost can be used to smash airborne foes into the depths.
- Captain Falcon (All-Star) (Trophy #30)
- The Knee Smash, used in midair on foes in front of you, is slow and has a short reach, but if it connects, it'll send foes flying a long way on a low trajectory. Falcon uses his Falcon Dive to grab an enemy in midair and fling them away with an explosive blast. He can do this technique repeatedly without landing, so it can also be used as a recovery move.
 Ending images
- Captain Falcon is the only character to have every single smash attack changed from SSB to Melee.
Characters in Super Smash Bros. Melee
|Veterans||Captain Falcon · Donkey Kong · Fox · Jigglypuff · Kirby · Link · Luigi · Mario · Ness · Pikachu · Samus · Yoshi|
|Newcomers||Bowser · Dr. Mario · Falco · Ganondorf · Ice Climbers · Marth · Mewtwo · Mr. Game & Watch · Peach · Pichu · Roy · Young Link · Zelda (Sheik)|
Enemies in Adventure Mode (SSBM)
|Mushroom Kingdom||Goomba · Koopa Paratroopa · Koopa Troopa · Yoshi Team · Mario · Peach · Luigi|
|Kongo Jungle||Tiny Donkey Kongs · Giant DK|
|Underground Maze||Octorok · ReDead · Like Like · Links · Zelda/Sheik|
|Green Greens||Kirby · Kirby Team · Giant Kirby|
|Corneria||Fox · Falco|
|Pokémon Stadium||Pikachu · Jigglypuff · Pichu|
|F-Zero Grand Prix||Captain Falcon|
|Icicle Mountain||Topi · Polar Bear · Ice Climbers|
|Battlefield||Fighting Wire Frames · Metal Mario · Metal Luigi|
|Final Destination||Giant Bowser · Giga Bowser|