- This article is about Falco's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. For the character in other contexts, see Falco Lombardi.
in Super Smash Bros. Brawl
|Other Smash Bros. appearance||in Melee|
Falco (ファルコ, Faruko) is a character appearing in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. He reprises his role from Super Smash Bros. Melee, although his moveset has been somewhat altered. Hailing from the Star Fox universe, Falco serves as one of the group of mercenaries captained by Fox McCloud.
Falco currently clocks in at 7th position out of 38 on the tier list, at the lowest position of the A- Tier and top tier. He is very high on the list due to his great metagame, follow-up ability (which includes a chain meteor, boost smash, and, to a lesser extent, laser lock), great projectile, long range in his reflector, strong camping abilities, and a useful DACUS. All this leads to very good matchups and excellent tournament results overall; but he has a few disadvantageous ones with the Ice Climbers and Pikachu. Similar to Marth, however, Falco still has problems from Melee; his recovery, while buffed, is still not particularly effective, and he can have difficulty landing his best finishing attacks. Regardless of the disadvantages, Falco still has an amazing amount of favorable matchups, with two being close to unloseable (against Link and Ganondorf).
 How to unlock
In the first two cases, the player must defeat Falco on Lylat Cruise.
Falco is gifted with a diverse moveset featuring quick attacks, great follow-up ability, capable finishers, the ability to wall jump, the highest initial jump in the game, and a fantastic projectile. Outside of his forward aerial, all of his aerials cancel quickly upon landing, including his down aerial. Falco's blaster has great range, transcendent priority, and decent speed. The ending lag of aerial blaster shots also cancel quickly upon landing. This gives him an incredible ability to approach or shutdown approaches, as short-hopped Blaster cancels can be immediately chained into many of Falco's other attacks at close or mid range. Although he has a great camping game, he also has a very good close-range game. He has a very fast jab which is can be used to rack up damage or set up for a grab, and his spot dodge is one of the fastest in the game. Falco can also bolster his approach with his dash attack, a quick, strong move that is difficult to defend against. Falco has a chance to forcibly trip opponents with his quick down special, Reflector to further harass their approach due its great range, although it is unsafe on shields and spot dodges due its fairly long ending lag and low amount of shield stun. Reflector can go through walls and also has the ability to reflect uncommon projectiles, such as Pikachu's Thunder. It can also be used in conjunction with his blaster to safely disrupt recovering opponents from a distance.
One of Falco's most potent moves is his down throw. Although impractical for KOs, it instead provides Falco with an excellent and easy to use chain-throw, chaining into itself up to damage percentages as high as 50% on most characters including the down aerial finish, and it affects more characters than King Dedede's down throw chain. When Falco gets to the edge during the chain-throw, he can unavoidably meteor smash opponents to their doom; should they be able to recover, he can simply edge-hog at the right time to prevent their return (on some characters, it doesn't work against most characters). This attack chain is particularly fatal to all the space animals, including himself, due to the delay and movement limitations in their up specials, though Fox can still recover thanks to his buffed up midair jump in the form of Rising Fair. Falco's down throw also combines well into down aerial and dash attack, and a popular alternative finish to the chain-throw is the Gatling Combo where Falco will hit with dash attack before instantly canceling into an up smash. As for characters on which he cannot initiate his chaingrab, his down throw still makes for a good setup move as he can follow the throw up with a wide range of attacks from his arsenal, such as his neutral & down aerials, side smash, DACUS, Blaster, Reflector, jab, and forward tilt. However, while chain throwing with Falco's down throw is easy, actually grabbing opponents is not. Falco's grab range is sub-par at best and as such, he can have trouble grabbing nimble characters who can potentially out-camp him such as Meta Knight or Fox, who would otherwise be helpless against Falco's chain grab. It should be noted though that if Falco lands close to his opponents after successfully connecting a Short Hopped Double Laser, he is almost guaranteed a free grab.
For finishing moves, one of Falco's lackluster areas, Falco can use his forward and up smashes to good effect, though his forward smash is slow and is weak in the tip (although it has a fast charge release, has fairly long range and the hitbox lasts some frames with the weak hitbox being during the last frames). His up smash has strong, purely vertical knockback if it hits during the upswing of his kick, and can be used as a DACUS to gain the jump on opponents further away (while charging, even), though it's hitboxes have poor range. The hitboxes of the latter portion of Falco's up smash have little knockback and cannot KO below 200%. However, at high percentages, it acts as a somewhat effective semispike, which can prove fatal to opponents with poor recoveries. Falco is also armed with a fast and powerful meteor smash in his down aerial that can KO at percentages as low as 50%. However, this move has little range (although a slight horizontal disjoint) with a small sweetspot (only the very start on the move which isn't the head hitbox spikes, and sourspotting the attack knocks back horizontally with fairly low knockback) and lasts a long time while in the air, which makes it dangerous to use off the edge given Falco's fast falling speed. Falco's down aerial excels at spikes near the edge and at spiking opponents above the stage, setting them up for punishment or even a different finisher as they get up from the floor. Falco also has an infinite in the form of his laser lock which can be set up up somewhat easily with his down aerial or down throw followed by a buffered jab (See the Tricks section below for a more thorough explanation). It can also potentially set up KOs from his BDACUS.
Falco's major weaknesses lie in recovery and finish ability. Although Falco Phantasm (side special) is a decent horizontal recovery, Fire Bird (up special) has very short range and is easily edgeguarded, and its only real use is recovering from below or diagonally. His falling speed has some hindrances, such as making him a candidate for Pikachu's 0%-100% chain-grab (although he has resistance against chain-grabs that are ineffective against lightweights such as King Dedede's down throw chain-grab). Although planking can pose a problem for Falco, this issue is ameliorated in the tournament scene where it's usually limited or banned altogether. The main causes of Falco's poor finish ability stem not from a lack of KO moves, but rather his difficulty in landing them, particularly against quick, mobile characters, due to the fact that some of his moves used for racking up damage also happen to be his only KO moves, have poor range, and stale when his foes get within KO percentages, and his forward smash has its aforementioned power though slow start-up and ending lag.
Other than his recovery and poor finishing ability, Falco has no critical problems. Smart, experienced Falco players can easily overcome these setbacks with his defense and adaptability.
 Changes from Melee to Brawl
Falco exhibits some of the most significant changes from Melee to Brawl, with his moveset being changed so that he is only a semi-clone of Fox, rather than a clone. Overall, Falco has lost considerable combo ability and KOing power. However, many of his moves have been given better range giving Falco superb camping abilities. He has a new up tilt (slashes arms upward twice) that is much more powerful but less comboable. His has a new neutral attack (spins in a circle in front of him, slashing with his arms). His also has a new forward smash (chops forward with his arms), which has more reach, but is slower, has slightly less knockback, and now needs to sweetspot to be a good KO move). His new forward aerial (spins around in front of him, slashing with his feathers and beak) allows for all his of its hits to connect, but given its high ending lag, it is still nowhere near an effective move. His new neutral aerial (spins around, slashing with his arms) is no longer an effect KO move but instead serves as an excellent follow up move and setup attack. Falco also received both buffs and nerfs from Melee to Brawl. While his up smash and aerial are stronger, his down tilt is weaker to the point of it no longer being a reliable KO move (could KO at 100% in Melee but can't KO at 170% in Brawl). His down throw can now chain grab, but can no longer meteor smash through platforms or tech chase (although it is no longer easy to tech out of). His down aerial can now only meteor smash at the start, from the middle to lower hitboxes, whereas it was a spike for its whole duration in NTSC versions of Melee. His blaster now has less start-up time. Combining his blaster's increased fire rate and decreased falling speed, he can now fire two blaster shots in one short hop compared to one in Melee. His Falco Phantasm has an increased distance, which, combined with an increased air speed and aforementioned decreased falling speed, means an overall better horizontal recovery, but its meteor smash is weaker. However, it should be noted that his falling speed and air speed did not change much. On the downside, Fire Bird does not travel as far, is much weaker (is now incapable of KOing), and is now a multi-hit attack, but it now has a hitbox during the startup time. His reflector is used differently, with Falco kicking it rather than holding it like Fox. Due to its new boomerang-like property, it has better range; although, it is harder to time, it can no longer jump-cancel, no longer held, it is no longer useful for recovery, and shine combos no longer exist. He has a slower dash speed, which slightly adds to his nerfed finishing ability.
In purely cosmetic terms, he has a new dash animation and voice actor for the NTSC and PAL versions. His blaster now fires blue lasers. He also has a different design based on Star Fox Command.
 Ground attacks
- Neutral attack - Falco does a jab, another jab, and then tilts diagonally and spins very quickly with his arms out. This move can trap an opponent if they're in a corner. Good for racking up damage. If this is used on a character that is in the metal status it will constantly spin them around, as Mario's Cape does, but a lot faster. 1st jab is very fast and can set up for a grab. It is considered by many to be one of the best jabs in the game due to how quick it is and its safety on shields. It is possible to lock a grounded opponent by canceling the 2nd jab. While the foe is trapped in the last part, Falco can lead into a powerful forward smash. Hits on frame 2. Does 4% on first hit, 2% on second, 1% on the rest.
- Dash attack - Falco jumps slightly off the ground while running and performs a kick. Vertical knockback allows to set-up an up smash from 0% until mid damage percentages, as it can be dash canceled into his up smash. Good knockback, at very high damage percentages like 200% it's a KO move. 9% damage. Hits on frame 4.
- Down tilt - Tail swipe. It lost KO power from Melee and cannot KO reliably until around 170%. Average knockback. 12% damage when close, 9% on tip. Hitbox out on frame 7.
- Forward tilt - Kicks his leg out. Can be angled up or down with the control stick. Below-average knockback. Best used for spacing purposes, counter another move due to its high speed, or edgeguard planking opponents. Does 9% damage. Hits on frame 6.
- Up tilt - Swings both of his wings above his head. Hits twice. A good move for juggling to rack up damage, or as an anti-aerial attack. Average knockback but doesn't KO until very high percentages. Does 4% on first hit, 5% on second. First hit on frame 4, second hit on frame 12.
- Forward smash - Falco swings his wings in an overhead powerful swipe, slashing anyone who is caught in it. Is Falco's strongest finisher in terms of knockback, but is weak if it connects at the sourspot at the tip of Falco's wings instead of on the sweetspot on his arms. It's the strongest side smash out of all 3 Star Fox characters, similar to how Fox possesses the strongest up smash of the three and how Wolf possesses the strongest down smash of the three. Does 10%-14% if tipped, 15%-21% non tipped. Hitbox out on frame 16-18.
- Down smash - Split kick. Less range than in Melee. Has primarily horizontal knockback, but its minimal range and relative weakness limit its KO potential. Although it has minimal knockback at percentages like 100%, at higher percentage its large horizontal knockback is key in fights against horizontal-recovery challenged opponents, and its fast start-up (frame 6-7) makes it a viable out of shield option. Hits simultaneously on both sides, and will send opponents vertically should they descend upon the attack's hitbox from the air. Does 15%-21%.
- Up smash - A flip kick. While weaker and having a smaller sweetspot than Fox's, this move can be used to cancel his dash attack for a swift combo, or for a far-reaching, sliding up smash (DACUS). The knockback is entirely dependent on where it hits; stronger in the front, fairly low in the rear. Moderately high knockback. It is also possible to combo a silent laser (see below) into either a normal or boosted up smash for a KO provided the laser is close enough. 14%-19%. Hits on frame 8.
- Ledge attack - Drop kicks onto the stage whilst holding onto the edge. Quick with good range, and returns Falco closer to the edge upon completion. 8%
- 100% ledge attack - Climbs up over the edge and does a forward flip kick while holding the edge. 10%
- Floor attack - (on belly) Punches in front of and then kicks in back of himself. (on back) Kicks behind and then in front of himself. 6%
 Aerial attacks
- Neutral aerial - Falco does a series of windmill swipes with his wings, hitting five times. Last strike has medium knockback. It is an excellent close-range setup move, as well as for hitting from beneath platforms. It's possible to fast fall this to make it the first 3 swipes hit to combo into other moves. 3% damage on the first two hits, 2% damage on the third hit, and 4% damage on the fourth hit. Total 12%. Has a start-up of 3 frames.
- Forward aerial - Falco turns horizontally and spins, hitting multiple times with his beak, similar to Pikachu's or Sonic's forward aerial. Knockback on all the hits but the last is fixed, and is minimal regardless of damage. Last strike is the most powerful, providing a small amount of knockback, which has very low knockback scaling. Long aerial duration and landing lag makes this move dangerous to use in most situations. However, if used in a short hop it can knock Falco's opponent to the ground and set up perfectly for a laser lock. Does 2% damage on the first four hits and 3% damage on the fifth hit. Total 11%. Has a start-up of 6 frames.
- Back aerial - Falco sticks his leg out horizontally behind him in a sex kick. Very good knockback, high speed and long duration make it very useful. Can be followed by a midair-jumped second back aerial in some situations. Useful for aerial-intercept edge guarding, and can be used effectively with the reverse aerial rush. This attack also hits slightly in front of Falco, so it can be used as a surrogate forward aerial in some situations. Initial hit is 13%, otherwise does 9% with lower knockback. Hits on frame 4.
- Up aerial - Overhead vertical flip kick. Exhibits different knockback properties depending on when and where it hits the foe. Best knockback directly above Falco when foot is furthest extended. The sourspot has no knockback at all, and has set knockback. Moderate speed and a moderately good KO move, great as a follow up at higher damage percentages after landing a down aerial on a grounded opponent due his high jumps. 11% damage. Hitbox out on frame 10.
- Down aerial - Falco turns diagonally and spins. At the start of his attack and hitbox from knee to lower body part, he can execute a spike at his spinning heel. It has extremely fast start-up, with a long-lasting normal hitbox, and only has 12 frames of landing lag upon landing, making it good at initiating ground-based juggles (such as down aerial→down throw or down aerial→tap reset.) If the opponent is hit with the spike toward the ground and doesn't guard upon impact to the ground, the opponent will bounce on the ground and Falco can combo into any smash attack or start his laser lock. Spike hit is 13%, otherwise 8%. Hits on frame 5.
Falco shares his throw techniques and animations with Fox.
- Pummel - Falco holds his opponent and knees them; a relatively fast pummel. Deals 2% damage.
- Forward throw - Punches his opponent forward. 7% damage.
- Back throw - Throws his opponent behind himself and into the air, and shoots them with his blaster. The total damage is dependent on the number of laser shots that connect; the throw itself deals 2%, and the lasers deal a total of 6% if all connect, for a total of 8%.
- Up throw - Throws opponent upward and shoots his blaster straight up. The throw deals 2%, and the lasers deal 6% for a total of 8% if all shots hit. Nearly useless at higher percentages due to it being easy to DI out of, allowing the opponent to avoid all laser shots.
- Down throw - Throws his opponent to the ground, hops up and shoots them with his blaster. Unlike the up & back throws, the laser shots are guaranteed to hit unless Falco is interrupted. It can chain grab most characters at low percentages, and may be finished with a down aerial meteor smash at the edge of the stage (though it is possible to SDI the knockback back onto the stage). Falco can also finish chain grabs with a DACUS to deal as much as 60% damage in total. The down throw is also an effective tech chase move once opponents are past chain grab percentage. A certain technique often used against floaty characters involves the use of a down throw, then a short hopped down aerial, and then another grab. Another technique is the DFS. The throw itself deals 3%, and the laser shots deal 6% for a total of 9%. This attack does the most damage out of Falco's grabs and throws.
 Special moves
|Side special||Falco Phantasm|
|Up special||Fire Bird|
- Ejects from an upside-down Arwing.
- Silent Lasering: A silent laser refers to canceling the ending lag of a single blaster shot by short hopping and using his Blaster instead of using it in the ground. This allows Falco to SHDL and combo a laser into an up smash, DACUS, or BDACUS for a KO. Another interesting advantage to this technique is that a perfectly performed silent laser will cancel about 6 frames of the blaster's landing lag. This will allow Falco to land in front of his opponents and grab them before they can spot dodge. He can proceed to start his trade mark, deadly chain grab combos. It should be noted that this will not work if the blaster is stale, as a stale silent laser will only cancel 4 lag frames.
- Laser Cancelling: Using Falco's Blaster before touching the ground cancels landing lag and shortens response time upon landing. The optimal timing is noticeable because Falco will draw his laser, but not fire a shot. This is used for mind games, because of its look of Falco immediately becoming neutral. It is more useful for flail recovery than tapping the shield button upon landing because there are no frames on landing, and Falco is able to attack more quickly. In Melee, the response time reduction is more significant, but it lacks in flail recovery. In Brawl, the flail recovery is better, but the response time reduction is almost unnoticeable. They both cancel flail (assuming the player has control) equally.
- Laser Lock: Some of Falco's moves have enough hit stun to cause opponents to bounce on the ground. If one's reflexes allow it, Falco can use his lasers to trap opponents in the bouncing animation, effectively giving him a potent and inescapable lock. The lock sets up many true combos as Falco has many follow options, such as his BDACUS, to use upon locking his opponents. The most prudent and effective way to set up the laser lock is to land a down throw or grounded down aerial and follow it up with the first hit of Falco's jab (the jab must be buffered). Assuming the opponent doesn't tech, this ensures opponents are put into the bouncing animation. Falco is also on the ground at this point, allowing immediate use of his blaster. It should be noted that the lock is not infinite as the lasers will push opponents forward. Opponents will not bounce upon hitting the edge of the stage. There is also a limited number of blaster shots Falco will do before putting the blaster back into his holster to reload it. It should also be noted that the laser lock only works at percentages equal to or exceeding 80% as Falco's moves will not cause a tumbling animation until said percentage.
Falco is one of only four characters to speak in all three taunts in Brawl, the others being Zero Suit Samus, Peach and Pikachu (though Peach uses real words in only one of her taunts, and Pikachu, like most Pokémon, only ever says variations of its name). Additionally, in the English version, Falco speaks in his taunts with a Brooklynese Italian-American accent (his surname, Lombardi, is Italian).
- Up: Kicks his reflector around like a hackey sack, and says "Piece of cake."
- Side: Stands on one foot and raises a wing while saying "Don't try me."
- Down: Spins once and poses (same as in Melee), and says "Hands off my prey." (Note: because of his accent, many people believe that Falco actually says "Hands off my bread".)
- Smash Taunt: When fighting as Falco on the Lylat Cruise stage or Corneria stage, quickly tap down on the directional pad once and he will kneel down and seem as though he's trying to communicate with someone through a device, and then stand back up, at which point a conversation will begin with another character from the Star Fox universe.
 Victory Poses
- Crosses arms, turns his head to the side, and says "You aren't worth the trouble".
- Jumps extremely high and lands kneeling. He then looks up at the camera.
- Rapidly kicks and says "Had enough already?". Then puts his foot down and crosses his body over to look at the camera. If Falco wins a battle against Fox, he does this position, but his line is changed to: "You're off your game, Fox".
 Chain throw list
Here is a list of how much Falco can get with his chain throws with the whole cast, made by DEHF. This list goes by least chained character to greatest. It should be noted though, that this list likely does not factor in DI or escape techniques such as Marth's Dolphin Slash. However, if one can correctly buffer all of Falco's grabs, this issue is, for the most part, negligible.
|3||SamusW, PeachW, LucarioW||0-25|
|5||Mr. Game & WatchW, Squirtle||0-37|
|6||Diddy Kong, Meta Knight, Pit, Ice Climbers, R.O.B.W, Fox, Falco, Pikachu, Marth, ZeldaW, Sheik, Zero Suit SamusD, Ness, Lucas, Toon Link, Sonic||0-43|
|7||Ike, Ganondorf, Charizard, Ivysaur, Olimar, Wolf, Wario, Link, Yoshi, Mario, Luigi, King Dedede, Captain Falcon||0-48|
|8||Donkey Kong, Snake, Bowser||0-53|
W = must walk in order to get max chain grabs possible
D = must dash grab in order to get max chain grabs possible
 In Competitive play
 Notable players
- See also: Category:Falco professionals
 Role in The Subspace Emissary
Ejecting from his Arwing, Falco shows up in the nick of time to save Fox from trophyization at the hands of Bowser and a Shadow Bug clone of Diddy by flip-kicking the Dark Cannon from Bowser's hands and destroying it with dual lasergun fire, forcing Bowser to leave. He is shown to use two blasters, but only uses one when he is used in-game. This makes Falco the only character who destroys a Dark Cannon in SSE, no matter which princess the player rescues. The Diddy clone begins to absorb more Shadow Bugs, becoming gigantic, and after Fox revives the real Diddy, the three fight the giant clone. Falco then turns to leave, but is dragged back by Diddy and reluctantly comes along. A stupefied Fox shrugs his shoulders and walks off after them as he received the same treatment from Diddy earlier.
As Captain Falcon and Captain Olimar look down at the ship carrying Donkey Kong's trophy, Falco's Arwing shows up, ejecting Diddy Kong from the cockpit. Diddy then activates his Rocket Barrel Jet Pack and shoots the ship with his Peanut Popguns. Landing on the ship, he quickly detrophifies DK, and after DK, Diddy, Captain Falcon, and Olimar defeat the Primids that board the ship, Falco gives Diddy and Donkey Kong a thumbs up as he leaves.
He makes his next appearance in the battle against Duon on the Halberd, where he teams up with Fox, Peach, Sheik, Snake, and Lucario. When it's defeated, Peach revives Mr. Game and Watch as Meta Knight takes back control of his ship. He uses his Arwing during the attack on the Subspace Gunship and maneuvers effectively to avoid the cannons. He enters Subspace and stands loftily, as if he is above this. When he is turned into a trophy, he is rescued by Kirby and Dedede, and joins them in the Great Maze. He aids them in the fight against Tabuu.
A Team Star Fox pilot whose real name is Falco Lombardi. He once roamed the starways as the head of a galactic gang, and his piloting skills are superb. He affects an air of cool disdain and is sometimes uncooperative, but in reality his passion for the Star Fox team is second to none. He once left the team to fly solo for a time.
- Falco holds the world record for Level 2 Target Smash, by completing it in 3.95 seconds. He also holds the Co-op Target Smash world record for Level 1 with Toon Link (2.66 seconds), and holds the top two records in Level 2 (Co-op) with:
- Falco's up and down smashes have the lowest uncharged base knockback of all the uncharged up and down smashes.
- Strangely, the Prima game guide gives Falco a "10" ranking on speed, even though his dash speed is actually only average (although his walking, falling, and attack speed are among the fastest).
- The lasers fired during Falco's up, down and back throws can be reflected, and damage Falco instead, if his opponent is wearing a Franklin Badge.
- All of Falco's smash attacks can hit on both sides of him.
- Falco and Wolf run noticeably faster than Fox in Star Fox: Assault (they are, in fact, the two fastest characters in that game), but in Brawl, they are much slower. Falco's case is also true in Melee.
- Falco's page at Smash Bros. DOJO!!.
- Falco character guide at SWF
- Falco's hitbox size of each of his moves
Characters in Super Smash Bros. Brawl
|Veterans||Bowser · Captain Falcon · Donkey Kong · Falco · Fox · Ganondorf · Ice Climbers · Jigglypuff · Kirby · Link · Luigi · Mario · Marth · Mr. Game & Watch · Ness · Peach · Pikachu · Samus · Yoshi · Zelda (Sheik)|
|Newcomers||Diddy Kong · Ike · King Dedede · Lucario · Lucas · Meta Knight · Olimar · Pit · Pokémon Trainer (Charizard · Ivysaur · Squirtle) · R.O.B. · Snake · Sonic · Toon Link · Wario · Wolf · (Zero Suit Samus)|
Star Fox universe
|Characters||Fox McCloud (SSB · SSBM · SSBB · SSB4) · Falco Lombardi (SSBM · SSBB) · Wolf O'Donnell (SSBB)|
|Side characters||Assist trophies: Andross|
|Stages||SSB: Sector Z|
SSBM: Corneria · Venom
SSBB: Lylat Cruise · Melee Stages: Corneria
|Items||SSBB: Smart Bomb|
|Trophies & Stickers||Trophies in Melee · Trophies in Brawl · Stickers in Brawl|
|Music||Music in Brawl|