Falco (SSBU)

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This article is about Falco's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. For the character in other contexts, see Falco Lombardi.
Falco
in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Falco SSBU.png
StarFoxSymbol.svg
Universe Star Fox
Other Smash Bros. appearances in Melee
in Brawl
in SSB4
Availability Unlockable
Final Smash Team Star Fox
FalcoHeadSSBU.png
He's a talented aerial fighter with amazing jumping ability, but Falco is a bit slower on the ground. His final smash is an all-out attack using an unorthodox formation of Arwings!
Super Smash Blog, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Official Site

Falco (ファルコ, Falco) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Falco is classified as fighter #20.

Mark Lund and Kōsuke Takaguchi, Falco's voice actors from Star Fox 64 3D, Star Fox Zero, and, for the former, Starlink: Battle for Atlas reprise their roles with new voice clips.

How to unlock[edit]

Complete one of the following:

  • Play VS. matches, with Falco being the 32nd character to be unlocked.
  • Clear Classic Mode with Fox or any character in his unlock tree, being the fourth character unlocked after Peach.
  • Have Falco join the player's party in World of Light.

With the exception of the third method, Falco must then be defeated on Corneria.

Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

In spite of his low-tier placement in SSB4, Falco has received a mix of buffs and nerfs in the transition to Ultimate. His buffs mainly address his weakened tools that affected his previous transition from Brawl to Smash 4, notably to his notoriously nerfed Blaster and down aerial: Blaster is now significantly faster when firing and has much lower ending lag, drastically improving one of his staple moves and making it less punishable (Falco now only experiences 8 frames of ending lag if used in a short hop). Additionally, down aerial is much faster (now being half as fast as in Brawl) and has regained its ability to autocancel from a short hop. These changes allow both to function as tools for approaching or walling once again, instead of being limited to edgeguarding and hard reads.

Many of his other moves have been made more usable as well: Falco's renowned back aerial now has sex kick properties, allow it to space and making it function close to the Brawl version (though it lasts slightly shorter than in said game). His neutral attack's first two hits can lock, and the final hit connects more consistently. Down tilt, forward smash and up smash deals more damage, while forward tilt, up tilt and forward aerial now start faster. Finally, Falco's grounded movement is now slightly faster, and the universal frame-3 jumpsquat and reduction to landing lag improve Falco's strong aerial game, allowing him to easily juggle aerial foes while leaving him less vulnerable when landing; this also makes his short hop combos more effective. As a result, Falco's neutral game is more consistent.

However, Falco has received significant nerfs as well, which worsen some of his weakest traits, including his recovery. Falco Phantasm has more ending lag (but less startup lag), travels less distance, and stops on shield, making it even easier to intercept and more exploitable. The changes to air dodges also affects him; while he can use directional air dodges to mix up his recovery, he can now only perform one air dodge until landing, making him prone to juggling more than before.

Additionally, while many of his combo-centric moves were made more effective through reduced lag, they have also been weakened (forward tilt, up tilt, up aerial), requiring him to deal more hits. This ties in with Falco's KO ability, which has also been toned down: moves such as forward aerial and up aerial do less knockback, while his strongest attacks have higher startup lag (down smash, down tilt, back aerial), making it even harder for him to close a stock. Moves such as forward smash and neutral attack no longer move him forward, reducing their range, while up smash's hitbox was altered to such an extent that it will completely miss against grounded opponents unless they are right in front of Falco. Finally, Blaster retains its slow consecutive firing speed (both grounded and aerial) and projectile speed despite its buffs, making it pale in comparison to the move in Melee and Brawl, and preventing it from functioning as a disproportionately powerful camping tool. As a result, while Falco may have more effective combos and spacing abilities than before, his weaknesses are even more defined.

Overall, Falco has regained some of his most useful tools from previous games, but at the cost of his combo and KO potential being even weaker. As of now, it is arguable how his buffs and nerfs weigh against each other, and how he fares in comparison to the rest of the cast.

Aesthetics[edit]

  • Change As with all veterans returning from SSB4, Falco's model features a more subdued color scheme. His feathers feature simple detailing, similar to Brawl.
  • Change While Falco retains some design elements from SSB4, he now wears his flight suit and headset from Star Fox Zero.
  • Change Falco has altered sidestep and rolling animations.
  • Change Falco now says "Come on!" during his side taunt instead of "Get some!".
  • Change Falco now does a different pose in his jumping in the air victory animation.
  • Change Falco has a new victory pose. He walks up to the camera, shrugs, and says "Sorry! Gotta jet!" while crossing his arms. This line replaces his "You aren't worth the trouble." line from previous games.

Attributes[edit]

  • Buff Like all characters, Falco's jumpsquat animation now takes three frames to complete (down from 6).
  • Buff Falco dashes much faster (1.472 → 1.619).
  • Buff Falco walks slightly faster (1.28 → 1.344).
  • Buff Falco's air speed is slightly higher (0.93 → 0.977).
    • Nerf However, his air speed is slower overall compared to the cast, as he now has the 59th highest air speed, compared to 45th in Smash 4.

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Neutral attack:
    • Change Neutral infinite has a much larger "wind" particle around Falco while he spins.
    • Change Neutral infinite now finishes with a spinning downwards kick instead of a knifehand strike. Falco also now does a backflip upon finishing the attack.
    • Buff Like majority of neutral attacks, the first two hits can now lock.
    • Buff Neutral infinite's final hit has less ending lag (frame 41 → 40). The final hit also connects better due to its hitbox change, as it was prone to missing in Smash 4.
    • Nerf Falco no longer inches forward when performing each hit of neutral attack, decreasing its range. Additionally, the first two hits have a shorter duration (Hit 1: frames 2-4 → 2, Hit 2: frames 3-5 → 3-4) and all hits except the final hit deal less damage (3/2% (hits 1/2) → 1.5% (both)).
  • Forward tilt:
    • Buff Forward tilt has less ending lag (frame 28 → 25).
    • Nerf Forward tilt deals less damage (9% → 6%).
  • Up tilt:
    • Buff Up tilt has much less ending lag (frame 37 → 30) and a larger hitbox, hitting grounded opponents more easily and improving its combo potential.
    • Nerf Up tilt does less total damage (9% → 7.5%).
    • Nerf Up tilt's first hit now has a weak late hitbox that deals 2.7% and set knockback that keeps foes grounded. Unlike the main hit, this hitbox will not lead into the second hit.
  • Down tilt:
    • Buff All of down tilt's hitboxes deal more damage (12/11/9% (near/mid/far) → 13/12/10.5%), slightly improving its damage racking ability. The weaker hitboxes also have higher knockback growth, making down tilt's overall KO potential more consistent.
    • Nerf Down tilt has more startup (frame 7 → 10) and ending lag (frame 29 → 32). These changes hinder its combo potential.
    • Dash attack:
    • Buff Dash attack deals more knockback.
  • Forward smash:
    • Buff Forward smash deals more damage (15% (clean), 10% (late) → 16%/12%).
    • Nerf Forward smash has an altered animation where Falco doesn't move as far forward, hindering its range.
  • Up smash:
    • Buff The second hit of up smash does slightly more damage (12% → 13%), although its knockback was compensated.
    • Change Up smash has an altered animation, two overhead kicks while facing the camera.
    • Nerf Up smash's animation change lifts its hitboxes much higher from the ground. This now causes it to miss opponents touching his back, and reduces its horizontal reach in the front, with up tilt's first hit having more range. The second hit also has a shorter duration (frames 13-20 → 13-18). This significantly reduces up smash's utility.
  • Down smash:
    • Change Falco's torso now faces the camera while performing down smash. Falco also spreads his palms out towards the camera, with one arm on the ground.
    • Nerf Down smash has more startup lag (frame 7 → 8).
    • Buff Down smash has one extra frame of intangibility.

Aerial Attacks[edit]

    • Buff All aerials have less landing lag (15 frames → 9 (neutral/up), 25 frames → 15 (forward), 15 frames → 13 (back), 23 frames → 14 (down)).
  • Neutral aerial:
    • Change Neutral aerial has a larger "wind" particle around Falco while he spins.
    • Change Neutral aerial's third and fourth hits have less startup lag (frame 14 → 10 (hit 3), frame 23 → 19 (hit 4)).
  • Forward aerial:
    • Buff Forward aerial has less startup lag (frame 10 → 7).
    • Nerf Forward aerial's finisher has less knockback, now having slightly higher knockback comparable to the landing hit.
  • Back aerial:
    • Change Back aerial has a slightly altered animation, with one of Falco's arms facing the camera while he looks back over his shoulder.
    • Nerf Back aerial has significantly increased startup lag (frame 4 → 9). This makes it harder to hit opponents out of a short hop, and it is no longer one of the fastest-starting back aerials in the game.
      • Change The duration is the same (frames 4-5 (Clean)/6-11 (Late) → 9-10/11-16).
      • Buff However, its interruptibility remains the same, thus reducing its ending lag compared to the hitbox, slightly improving its followup potential.
  • Up aerial:
    • Change Falco's body now faces the side of the screen more than in Smash 4. This makes the move's hitbox match the animation more closely.
    • Nerf Up aerial does less damage (10% → 9%).
  • Down aerial:
    • Buff Down aerial has significantly faster startup (frame 16 → 10), now having twice the startup of Falco's down aerial in Brawl. It has also regained its ability to auto-cancel from a short hop. This significantly improves its previously situational use, as it can now be used to wall out approaches and increases its safety.
    • Change Down aerial has more base knockback but less knockback growth, making it more effective at gimping, but less effective at KOing directly at higher percents.

Throws/other attacks[edit]

  • Buff All grabs have less startup lag (frame 8 → 6 (standing), frame 10 → 9 (dash), frame 11 → 10 (pivot).
  • Down throw:
    • Change Down throw has an altered animation. Falco now lies the opponent on the ground and fires a point blank Blaster shot without slamming the opponent downwards. [1]
  • Buff Edge attack deals more damage (7% → 9%).

Special Moves[edit]

  • Blaster:
    • Buff Blaster fires faster (frame 11 → 8), and has significantly lower ending lag (frame 59 → 42) on the ground.
    • Buff Aerial Blaster fires faster (frame 9 → 7), and drastically lowered ending lag (frame 50 → 39). As a result, short hop Blaster shots now cause Falco to experience only 8 frames of landing lag.
    • Change Blaster has different sound effects when fired and when hitting an opponent.
  • Falco Phantasm:
    • Buff Falco Phantasm has less ending lag (frame 61 → 56) when used on the ground.
    • Buff Grounded Falco Phantasm has more base knockback, and lowered knockback growth. When combined with the above change and the changes to airdodges, it grants the move mixup potential.
    • Nerf Falco Phantasm travels a shorter distance when used in the air. It also has more startup lag both on the ground and in the air (frame 18 → 19).
    • Nerf Falco Phantasm no longer travels through shields, making it extremely unsafe if blocked.
  • Fire Bird:
    • Buff Fire Bird's looping hits connects significantly more consistently, though it is still prone to opponents being launched out at high percents, or if the initial charging hits land.
  • Reflector:
    • Change Reflector's ending animation has been altered, with Falco standing upright to catch his Reflector while turned slightly.
    • Buff Reflector has reduced ending lag (frame 51 → 47), improving its safety both defensively and offensively.
  • Final Smash:
    • Change Falco has a new Final Smash, Team Star Fox, which involves him leading an Arwing strike in a similar manner to Fox's Final Smash, but with a more erratic and aggressive flight pattern. Unlike Fox's version, Falco's sends opponents almost vertically.
    • Change Upon activating, Falco yells, "Showtime!" If the Arwings successfully catch their target, Falco yells, "Time for a little payback!", one of Falco's famous quotes from Star Fox 64 with it captioned on screen during the cinematic. [2]
      • If the Final Smash hits multiple opponents, he will yell "We've got multiple bogies inbound!". [3]
    • Nerf Team Star Fox is much easier to avoid compared to Landmaster and is overall less versatile.
    • Buff Team Star Fox can potentially deal more damage than Landmaster (although it could also deal a lot less), and the single hit has increased KO power, making it more consistent.
    • Buff Due to being a cutscene Final Smash, Falco can no longer accidentally self-destruct like he could in the Landmaster.

Classic Mode: Soar Above the Darkness[edit]

All of Falco's battles are against "dark" forms of main characters.

Round Opponent Stage Music Notes
1 Dark Samus Frigate Orpheon Multiplayer - Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
2 Dark Pit Reset Bomb Forest Dark Pit's Theme
3 Dark Link and Dark Toon Link Bridge of Eldin Dark World (for 3DS / Wii U) References Dark Link from various Legend of Zelda titles.
4 Grey Lucas New Pork City Porky's Theme References the Masked Man from Mother 3.
5 Red Captain Falcon Port Town Aero Dive Devil's Call in Your Heart References Blood Falcon.
6 Giant Mr. Game & Watch Find Mii Flat Zone
Bonus Stage
Final Crazy Hand Final Destination Crazy Hand On intensity 7.0 or higher, Master Hand teams up with Crazy Hand and Master Hand/Crazy Hand plays instead.

Role in World of Light[edit]

Falco was among the fighters summoned to the cliffside to fight an army of Master Hands.

During the opening cutscene, Falco was present when Galeem unleashed his beams of light. Falco attempted to flee the scene immediately, as he was already seated in his Arwing; however, Galeem destroyed his aircraft and vaporized him, placing him under Galeem's imprisonment along with the rest of the fighters, excluding Kirby.

Falco is unlocked in the space area of the World of Light on the planet resembling Titania, a callback to the Star Fox games where Fox rescues a teammate on said planet if they were shot down in certain levels. The player must have a Slippy Toad or ROB 64 spirit to ride the Great Fox to navigate this sector. Then, the player must defeat the Starship Mario and the Aparoid spirits to access his unlock stage.

Spirits[edit]

Falco's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Falco in World of Light allows the player to preview the spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As a Fighter Spirit, it cannot be used in Spirit Battles and is purely aesthetic. Each Fighter Spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.

Alternate costumes[edit]

Falco Palette (SSBU).png
FalcoHeadSSBU.png FalcoHeadOrangeSSBU.png FalcoHeadBlueSSBU.png FalcoHeadRedSSBU.png FalcoHeadGreenSSBU.png FalcoHeadBlackSSBU.png FalcoHeadWhiteSSBU.png FalcoHeadPinkSSBU.png

Gallery[edit]

Character Showcase Video[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • One of the pictures of Falco from his fighter page on the Ultimate website features him using Fire Bird above the Great Plateau Tower. This is a likely homage to Revali, a similar looking character from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Falco is used to represent Revali in Spirits mode.
  • A section of Falco's trailer pictures him showing frustration by charging Fire Bird once he notices a roast chicken food item on the ground. This is a recurring joke from Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, as Falco's clear movie shows him crouching near the roast chicken food item, as well as Roy's clear movie, where he is seen "turning" into a roast chicken item upon being hit by Flare Blade.
  • In Falco's character showcase video, frame-by-frame inspection reveals that the hitbox visualization of Falco's Blaster lasers and Falco Phantasm are visible while Falco fights Cloud. [4][5]. This is likely an error that went unnoticed during editing.
  • Falco's artwork was one of the three that have been updated on the official site, alongside Palutena and Shulk. In his case, he is covered with more feathers, his forehead appears slightly larger, and his body and beak have more saturated colors.
  • Due to an error on the American official site blog, Falco does not have his own Fighter tag nor the general "Fighter" tag on his blog entry, thus not being listed when sorting the "By Fighter" category. The former also applies to Incineroar.


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