Falcon Dive in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Captain Falcon leaps in the air, fist extended. The color of his fist changes in each game: it is green in Smash 64 and Melee, orange in Brawl, and engulfed in flames in Smash 4 and Ultimate. While still ascending, he will automatically grab a single foe if they come in contact with his body. Once grabbed, he will launch the opponent with a fiery explosion, recoiling upwards in a flip while doing so. A successful attack will cause Captain Falcon to let out a triumphant cry of "YES!".
As with most recovery moves, Captain Falcon becomes helpless after using Falcon Dive. However, if a hit is scored, the move can be used a second time, and can repeat until Captain Falcon misses. When used on the ground or in the air, it can be reversed.
Falcon Dive can easily stage spike opponents while allowing Falcon to recover, although the fixed duration between the grab and explosion also makes it relatively easy for the opponent to tech and punish the move's ending animation, a maneuver known as the Tech Check.
In Super Smash Bros., this move was Falcon's main recovery move, other than the Falcon Punch angled upwards (which gave him a slight vertical and horizontal boost).
When the move connects with foes, it will strongly launch them at a 45° angle. It does a solid 20% damage upon connection with high knockback (average KO is around 130%). As with all of Falcon's special moves, it had 2D rendered sprites as special effects. The move also has a very fast start-up hitbox making it useful for grabbing shielding opponents, characters on platforms, and especially Yoshi's recovery.
Perhaps to compensate for its KO potential, Falcon Dive is one of the worst recovery moves in the game. In addition to the mediocre vertical boost it offers, Falcon Dive has high end lag upon hit and while ending, making it susceptible to edge-hogging if Falcon is forced to Up B at low percents. Fox, for example, can shine Falcon if he connects an Up B below 30% or Kirby can Down Air leading to low percent gimps. Multiple moves per character can also easily outspace the hitbox while recovering. Top level Falcon mains, however, have mitigated these issues by fading in and out and by mixing fall speeds with immediate up Bs, making the move much less predictable.
A string of multiple up aerial attacks from Captain Falcon followed by a Falcon Dive, throughout all of the games in the Smash Bros. series, is commonly referred to as an "SSB64 Combo", as this was a very common combo in said game. In Smash 64, this string is also referred to as the Stairway to Heaven.
Aside from better voice quality and better special effects, Falcon Dive travels farther than in Smash 64, though the hitbox has a shorter active duration. It is also much weaker and cannot be reliably comboed into due to Melee's lowered hitstun modifier. Thus, it has very little offensive utility; while it can still be used in attempts to stage spike an opponent, the opponent can tech the incoming explosion and even counter with an aerial.
In Brawl, timing and landing the move seems to be improved due to the floatiness and the slower falling speed of characters in Brawl. However, doing it in the opposite direction Falcon is facing drastically decreases the horizontal distance, unlike Melee. Also, Captain Falcon is vulnerable to hits during the start-up and to moves that hit directly above him, though less vulnerable than in Melee, due to its grabbox having increased vertical reach, making it easier to grab opponents above him.
A number of things were changed from its Melee function to Brawl's. It no longer restores a foe's midair jump, though Falcon can still use the move afterwards. This move cannot break Smash Balls, but it is capable of destroying targets in Target Smash!! when the body comes in contact with the target.
Perhaps the biggest change and buff of the move from Melee to Brawl is the ability to grab and effectively stage spike foes that hang on the ledge much more efficiently; Falcon Dive in Brawl is capable of grabbing foes hanging onto the ledge and function as it normally would airborne, making Captain Falcon harder to edgehog than ever before, though it's still vulnerable to edge hogging if the edge hog is timed early enough. It is excellent at punishing foes who camp on ledges, as the incoming explosion after they get grabbed will immediately stage spike them if they do not anticipate and tech it in time. Since techs are considerably more difficult to perform in Brawl, this is considered one of Captain Falcon's few buffs from Melee to Brawl.
In Super Smash Bros. 4, Falcon Dive was buffed again; it covers more distance while losing less momentum, and deals slightly more damage. However, since regular hitboxes now outprioritize grabs, it is harder to land against more aggressive players. The move's animation after a connected grab's explosion is also modified, as Captain Falcon now does a flourishing backflip before righting himself.
In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Falcon Dive has once again seen several improvements. Among other changes, its range, frame data, and damage have all been improved, making it once again capable of KOs at high percents. and a successful grab now also deals knockback to bystanders (in addition to the damage it already did). The move has seen some aesthetic changes as well, and has a new animation. As of patch 11.0.0, the move has much less endlag on its throw, making it harder to punish Falcon's recovery out of a wall tech like in previous games.
Tokyo drift is an advanced technique in Ultimate involving Falcon Dive's start-up aerial animation. Up until frame 14, when the grabbox comes out, so long as Captain Falcon is airborne, it's possible to input forwards or backwards to dramatically improve Falcon Dive's horizontal reach. Additionally, this can be used with Falcon Dive's innate reversibility, giving the player a significant amount of control over the move.
While seemingly intended for improving Falcon Dive as a recovery tool, it's possible to use Tokyo drift for out of shield purposes as well, allowing Captain Falcon to check moves that aren't safe on shield which would otherwise be difficult to punish. It's also possible to buffer Tokyo drift through inputting a short hop up aerial, before immediately holding a forward/backward + B input during jumpsquat. This guarantees maximum drift when using the technique, making it consistent for punishing moves out of shield.
|instruction booklet||Grab an enemy then propel him or her into the air.|
|case foldout||Jump up, grab, and send foes flying with an explosion.|
|Move List||Jumps up to grab foes then explodes to send them flying.|
Special Move customization was added in Super Smash Bros. 4. These are the variations:
|1. Falcon Dive||2. Falcon Strike||3. Explosive Falcon Dive|
|"Jump up and grab foes. If you connect, you'll explode off of them."||"Jump higher than with the Falcon Dive, but you won't grab opponents."||"Doesn't jump as high as the Falcon Dive, but it's more explosive."|
- Falcon Dive: Default.
- Falcon Strike: Jumps higher with more vertical distance, while granting high aerial mobility during the move. Despite what the description suggests, the move can still be used offensively due to the jump delivering a single blue-tinted, moderately strong punch instead. However, the move has less horizontal mobility, and the removal of the grab makes Captain Falcon much easier to edgeguard while weakening the move's stage spike capabilities.
- Explosive Falcon Dive: Cloaks the Captain in flames before jumping, which launches grabbed opponents with a significantly stronger explosion. It is able to Star KO near the upper blast line at high percents much more easily. Heavily reduces Captain Falcon's recovery distance as a tradeoff, however, and has higher start-up lag.
- Goes higher than Ganondorf's Dark Dive, if it hits an opponent.
- Falls faster and is harder to sweetspot with.
- Deceptively large ledge sweetspot when facing backwards at the peak height.
- Falcon Dive releases the opponent earlier than Dark Dive.
- Falcon does an uppercut and somersaults airborne if it misses.
- Flame effects instead of electrical when hit.
- Two hits when connects, compared to Dark Dive's multi-hitting version.
- Lacks the hitbox at the move's peak.
- Overall weaker than the Dark Dive in Melee and Ultimate, but much stronger than Dark Dive in Brawl and Smash 4 and is impossible to punish for landing it.
- In Ultimate, its grabbox has significantly better grounded and horizontal range, making it a more effective out of shield option.
Falcon Dive in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
In other languages
- The way Captain Falcon yells "Yes!" during a successful connect has also become somewhat of an internet meme, in similar way to his Falcon Punch. The amount of enthusiasm Falcon uses when he shouts it makes it sound like "YESZ!" "YESH!" or "HYES!"; this too has become a popular meme on the internet. Some players such as the makers of Brawl- have gone on to connect the phrase to usages of his knee.