Super Smash Bros. series


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The representation of SSBB bones in BrawlBox.

Bones (also called nodes, joints, and similar names) are the mechanism for animating characters and other complex objects. Characters are generally modelled in a T-pose or similar position, and then "rigged" with bones to allow movement of body parts.

In the Super Smash Bros. series, bones have a secondary important purpose: All hitboxes and hurtboxes are attached to a certain bone so they move and rotate alongside their owner's animation. For example, putting a hitbox on a character's elbow bone, and offsetting it so it aligns with the character's hand, means it will always be in the same place as the hand without having to manually place it every frame. That said, many attacks are designed with manual placement instead, often to get specific hitbox shapes when the animation is inconvenient. Such hitboxes are usually attached to a bone that never moves during animations.

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl and earlier games, bones are generally coded in a character-specific order. Beginning in Super Smash Bros. 4, all the basic bones (head, arms, legs, etc.) are the same for everyone, and any unique bones (hair, capes, etc.) come afterward. This allows Kirby's Copy Ability to simply copy the code of the original character, rather than Kirby having to have his own independent version of every move.

Moveset swaps tend to reveal unusual properties of bones, as they apply the wrong animations to a character.

While most of this article refers to characters, every gameplay object has at least one bone, and most that aren't simple projectiles have several. For example, the movement of the platforms on the Lylat Cruise and Smashville stages are controlled via bone animation.

Special bones[edit]

Certain bones are used for gameplay purposes in addition to animation.

  • The "top" or "root" bone is the top of the chain. It is the exact position of the character on the stage, and is the singular point that many interactions look at.
  • The "translation" or "trans" bone is used when a character is to move during an animation, such as walking or using an up special move. Every frame of an animation, the character moves based on the distance and direction it would animate.
  • The "have" bones are the attachment point of held items, and are generally in the character's hands.
  • The "throw" bone is the attachment point of characters to each other during grabs and throws. It also serves other utility functions, such as the position of shields, tether grabs and carried heavy items.

List of common bones (Smash 4 onward)[edit]

The following list shows the bones common to every character since Smash 4, with their numerical index and internal codenames.

Bone index Bone name Description
Decimal Hex
0 0x0 top Root point (described above)
1 0x1 trans Translation point (described above)
2 0x2 rot Similar to top bone, but follows the character's rotation
3 0x3 hip Hip
4, 8 0x4, 0x8 legl, legr Upper legs
5, 9 0x5, 0x9 kneel, kneer Lower legs
6, 10 0x6, 0xA footl, footr Feet
7, 11 0x7, 0xB toel, toer Toes
12 0xC waist Waist
13 0xD bust Bust
14, 20 0xE, 0x14 colonells, colonellm Shoulders
15, 21 0xF, 0x15 shoulderl, shoulderr Upper arms
16, 22 0x10, 0x16 arml, armr Lower arms
17, 23 0x11, 0x17 handl, handr Hands
18 0x12 neck Neck
19 0x13 head Head
24, 25 0x18, 0x19 havel, haver Hand attachment points (described above)
26 0x1A throw General attachment point (described above)