The Hero's Bow (勇者の弓, Hero's Bow), known as the Bow (弓矢, Bow and Arrow) in Melee, is Link's and Toon Link's neutral special move in Super Smash Bros. Melee (Link only), Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Super Smash Bros. 4, and is only Toon Link’s in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. There are differences between Link and Toon Link's Hero Bows, though they both involve firing an arrow which is useful for stopping foes or camping, and holding the special button will greatly increase the range of the arrow fired.
As the name suggests, the move involves each Link incarnation staying in place and charging up an arrow. Once charged, the player can only hold the arrow in place or fire it; this may force stalemates if the opponent has a lasting reflector, such as Fox. The arrow gains power, range, and speed as it charges. A fully-charged arrow has great range and is thus useful for stopping approaches. However, all charge levels have passable knockback, though a fully-charged arrow is strong enough to KO a character in Sudden Death.
In Brawl, this move is notable for being used in the Quickdraw technique, allowing Link to fire an arrow with no startup lag.
Like most neutral special attacks, Link can turn around in midair if the backward direction is pressed right after the bow is taken out. However, if combined with the aforementioned Quickdraw technique, a glitch may occur in which Link points his bow in one direction, but the arrow is fired in the other direction. This can be avoided if the bow is initiated in the air just before Link touches the ground, instead of the same instant Link touches the ground.
Toon Link's arrows are slightly weaker and slower, but shoot at a very slight upward angle and are noticeably "floatier" than Link's. This causes them to travel further when uncharged and hang in the air for longer. The Hero's Bow in Brawl and SSB4 fire arrows that are faster than its Melee counterpart, even when uncharged.
Special Move customization was added in Super Smash Bros. 4. These are the variations:
The bow is one of Link's main weapons in The Legend of Zelda series. In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Link could use Fire Arrows, as well as Ice and Light Arrows. In Melee, Link's bow is based on the Fairy Bow from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. In Brawl and SSB4, Link's Hero's Bow is derived from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess while Toon Link's is from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. The Quickfire Bow is a reference to the Light Arrows, as well as the bow having a quicker firing rate in the Zelda series than in Smash Bros.