- 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.
||A bounty hunter who boasts speed and power.
|—Melee's instruction manual
Captain Falcon (キャプテン・ファルコン, Kyaputen Farukon), announced at E3 2001, is a starter character in Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Falcon currently ranks 7th place on the Melee tier list. He still ranks rather high like in the Smash 64 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, fast rolls, and Raptor Boost enable an excellent dodging and tech-chasing 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 Smash 64, 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 winning 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 SHFFL; 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.
Captain Falcon's aerial attacks
For a gallery of Captain Falcon's hitboxes, see here.
|Neutral attack 1
||Two jabs. A fast and somewhat short-ranged jab-attack, this move is good for disrupting an enemy's approach.
|Neutral attack 2
||The "Gentleman" hit; a knee attack.
|Neutral attack 3
||1% per punch
||A series of fast, weak punches.
||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 uair or a jump-canceled grab, and even a dash-canceled d-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 u-throw/d-throw that it can lead to a Knee Smash.
||Brings his leg up and brings it down in an axe-like way. His u-tilt has horizontal knockback as well, and, like the f-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 nair or non-sweetspotted fair 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 u-tilts as an edgeguard technique since the heel can extend below the platform.
||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.
||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.
||20% uncharged, 27% fully charged
||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.
||If both hits connect: 19% uncharged, 27% fully charged
||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 Ganondorf's. This is Falcon's most powerful move damage-wise (when fully charged).
||Front: 18% uncharged, 24% fully charged; Back: 16% uncharged, 21% fully charged
||Kicks in front then back of him. Small noticeable startup, but good speed and knockback.
||13% if both hits connect
||His fair from SSB64, 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.
||18% (sweetspot), 5-6% (sourspot)
||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 fair 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 knockback when sweetspotted, and terrible knockback when sourspotted.
||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.
||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.
||Step on It
||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 a spike and even more powerful (the most powerful spike in the game). 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.
||2-3% per pummel
||Knees opponent in the torso region.
||Punches foe forward. Oddly, has two hits, the first hit doing 5% damage, second 4%.
||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.
||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%.
||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. Can chaingrab more floaty characters (such as Ganondorf.
|Floor attack (front)
||Gets up and flips while kicking.
|Floor attack (back)
||Gets up and flips while kicking.
|Edge attack (fast)
||Picks himself up and kicks.
|Edge attack (slow)
||Somewhat slowly gets up and punches in front of him.
||Throws a powerful punch, with his fists engulfed in a falcon-shaped flame. Deals very high damage and knockback, and is the finisher move after an fair in the Sacred Combo. However, it is much slower than in SSB64 and is extremely predictable and punishable (the charging can also be cancelled by most attacks).
||Dashes forward. If he doesn't hit an opponent, he falls over. If he hits an opponent, he launches a fiery uppercut, knocking them into the air. Meteor smashes airborne opponents, however the move always makes him helpless, so it is very risky to use offstage.
||Leaps upwards, a recovery move that can also grab the ledge even if Falcon if facing the opposite direction. Normally makes him helpless, but if he grabs an opponent, he releases them with a fiery blow and will be able to use the move again.
||Rushes forward while performing a fiery kick. If he goes off a ledge, he continues dashing forward. If started in midair, he kicks down at a diagonal angle. Restores his midair jump, making it a useful move for horizontal recovery at long distances.
Faces the camera, salutes and exclaims "Show me your moves!" Has two different animations, depending on which direction Falcon is facing. If facing left, the taunt ends quicker.
 Notable players
- See also: Category:Captain Falcon professionals (SSBM)
 Tier placement and history
Ironically, Captain Falcon was considered a low tier character on the first tier list. This could probably be attributed to many players disliking Captain Falcon's new incarnation in Melee, feeling it was inferior to his Super Smash Bros. counterpart, and failing to adapt to his high learning curve and fast reflex requirements. Captain Falcon then moved up to the middle tier, but was not recognized as being a solid character until one year after Melee began being played competitively. Dedicated Falcon mains such as Isai showed how powerful his comboing abilities were, and how well he could KO out of a combo with the deadly Knee Smash. Falcon mains began placing very high in tournaments, inching him up the list into the high tier as old high tier characters, such as Mario and Luigi, began falling. Today, although Captain Falcon does not often win tournaments, he is one of the most common characters that place within the top rankings, resulting in him being at a solid 7th place on the current tier list.
 Changes from Smash 64 to Melee
In the transition from Smash 64 to Melee, Captain Falcon gained multiple buffs and nerfs, but was buffed overall.
- Faster walking and dashing speeds.
- Faster air speed.
- Better dash-dancing ability, plus the addition of moonwalking and wavedashing, give him more movement options.
- Many of his attacks are stronger and faster in terms of ending lag due to added IASA frames.
- Vertical endurance improved to becoming the best in Melee.
- Added chaingrabs and faster air speed give him more combo options.
- New down tilt has more combo ability.
- New up smash has more knockback.
- New down smash has more knockback and much higher vertical range.
- New forward aerial, the Knee Smash, is drastically more powerful, but is still a useful combo move (usually used as a combo finisher).
- Down aerial has a larger hitbox, along with more range and power, dealing 2% more damage and being the fourth most powerful meteor smash in Melee.
- Falcon Punch has stronger knockback and more range.
- Falcon Dive grants more recovery distance, both horizontally and vertically.
- Grounded Falcon Kick travels further.
- Falcon Kick restores his double jump when used in midair.
- His attacks have generally slower startup.
- Up tilt only hits once, and does 10% less damage.
- New forward smash has slightly less range, and is a less reliable finisher.
- New up smash can no longer combo reliably, and has drastically less utility.
- New down smash can no longer hit characters on the edge.
- Back aerial is less powerful, though still a good edgeguarder.
- Up aerial has less combo ability, lower versatility, and less vertical range. It is generally much harder to combo into moves such as other aerials due to the higher falling speeds in Melee and the move sending opponents on a less favourable angle to followup with other moves, plus the semi-spike part of the move is much less powerful and provides much less hitstun.
- Down aerial has a much shorter duration.
- Falcon Punch has much slower startup, and has lost almost all of its combo finishing ability. It also cannot be used for recovery anymore.
- Falcon Kick is slightly slower and weaker.
- Forward aerial from Smash 64 is now his neutral aerial in Melee, and the knockback sends opponents on more of a vertical trajectory.
- Forward throw from Smash 64 is now his down throw in Melee.
In terms of cosmetics, Falcon is one out of two characters who was unlockable in Smash 64 but became a starter in Melee, the other being Ness. He has a new idle pose along with his one from Smash 64, which was also altered. His green and blue palette swaps from Smash 64 are now accessible through normal battle instead of just Team Battles. Like Pikachu and Kirby, he has new and higher quality voice samples, though his voice actor still remains the same.
 In Single Player Modes
Captain Falcon appears in a one-on-one, as an ally, on a team with Fox, Falco, or Samus, in a giant, multi-man, or metal battle. Captain Falcon appears in Mute City or Big Blue except in the metal battle where he appears on Battlefield.
Captain Falcon appears in the second portion of Stage 9: F-Zero Grand Prix.
Captain Falcon and his allies are fought on Mute City
Captain Falcon appears in the following events:
- Event 5: Spare Change: Ness must fight Captain Falcon in a coin battle. He must collect 200 coins within 80 seconds in order to clear the event.
- Event 12: Seconds, Anyone?: The player has 7 seconds to KO Captain Falcon in a 1 stock battle. Both players start with 100% damage.
- Event 17: Bounty Hunters: Captain Falcon appears as an ally in this event, however, the player,as Samus, must take credit in KOing Bowser. If Captain Falcon makes the kill or Bowser SDs, the event results in a failure.
- Event 20: All-Star Match 2: Captain Falcon is the Fourth opponent the player must fight in this series of staged battles. Their character battles him on the Mute City stage, and the player's character has 2 stock while Captain Falcon has 1. With a timer of four minutes, the player must defeat him and the other four characters with the overall time and life they have: Samus, Link, Zelda, and Fox.
- Event 33: Lethal Marathon: As Captain Falcon, the player must race to the finish of F-Zero Grand Prix similar to Adventure Mode. However, the gameplay is sped up and the F-Zero racers can deliver almost a one-hit KO.
- Event 36: Space Travelers: Captain Falcon is among the characters along with Samus, Kirby, Fox and Falco that Ness must defeat. Ness fights the first three on Fourside and the last two on Battlefield.
- Event 43: Birds of Prey: As Fox, the player must defeat Captain Falcon and Falco in a 2 stock battle.
 Ending images
 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.
Captain Falcon's changeable clothing in SSBM
- Captain Falcon is the only character to have every single smash attack changed from SSB to Melee.
- While Captain Falcon's normal airspeed is simply an above-average 1.12, by jumping while running he can start off with an airspeed of 2.1, notably faster than any other character's best airspeed and even almost all characters' running speeds (except Fox).
 External links