Kirby using Inhale in Ultimate.
|Article on WiKirby||Inhaling|
When the special move button is pressed, Kirby will inhale and create a vortex of wind in front of him. Kirby will not stop inhaling until the button is released. Characters near the vortex will be sucked inside Kirby, who will bloat up with the character inside of him (which thereby increases his weight). In the original Super Smash Bros., he is immobile in this state, but in all following games, he can walk extremely slowly and even jump a short height. At this point, Kirby can swallow the victim by pressing down or the special move button, copying their neutral special move and popping the victim out of himself. Kirby can also spit them out as a star without copying their ability by pressing the attack button. Spitting deals set knockback to the victim while sending them forward, and those hit by the star will take damage and moderate vertical knockback (much more in Super Smash Bros. 4). Swallowing the enemy does more damage than spitting them out, but spitting is more easily repeatable.
In all games prior to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Kirby is unable to inhale projectiles. In Ultimate, Kirby can inhale certain projectiles; upon doing so, Kirby can either swallow it to regain health, or spit it back out as a star.
After inhaling a character, pressing down or the special attack button will make Kirby swallow them and receive a corresponding Copy Ability, which is the enemy's neutral special move. Kirby receives a unique hat, wig, or even appearance depending on the Copy Ability received, such as Mario's hat if he swallows Mario. After a short period of time, Kirby may lose his Copy Ability by being attacked, and he will also lose it upon being KO'd. He can also manually discard it by taunting. If a Kirby attempts to copy another Kirby that has no Copy Ability, the swallowed Kirby will pop out normally, though a different sound will play (which plays in the Kirby games when he copies an enemy with no ability). If a Kirby swallows a Kirby with a Copy Ability, he will steal it away from them.
When Kirby inhales an opponent, he can hold them in his mouth for a certain amount of frames, after which they are automatically released. In Smash 64 only, the opponent instead flinches briefly when released, while Kirby is sent tumbling away with moderate knockback. Up until Brawl, the initial amount of inhale frames is unaffected by Kirby or the opponent's damage percent, and can only be influenced by button mashing from the opponent's part. However, from Smash 4 onward, both characters' percents are taken into account as well, with the opponent's accumulated damage increasing the initial inhale time, and Kirby's accumulated damage reducing it. In all games, directional input from the opponent while inhaled also allows them to slightly nudge Kirby around, disrupting his own movement and giving them a slight positional advantage.
The maximum amount of time opponents can be held in Kirby's mouth is 480 frames in Smash 64, and 250 frames in Melee and Brawl, with button mashing reducing this time by 10, 12, and 10 frames per input, respectively. In Melee only, an additional factor playing into this is the inhaled opponent's current rank disadvantage over Kirby, much like with standard grabs, reducing the initial duration by 15, 30, or 45 frames if the opponent is one, two, or three places behind (respectively). In Smash 4 and Ultimate, inhale frames are determined by the formula
180 + 1.1t - k, where t and k are the target and Kirby's respective percents when the target was inhaled; button mashing reduces this time by 12 frames per stick input, and 21.6 frames per button input, though the latter cannot be registered as quickly. In Ultimate, when Kirby is airborne with an inhaled opponent, button mashing reduces inhale frames by 16 per stick input instead (28.8 per button input), making it less effective for gimping. However, in both games, Kirby always has a minimum of 14 frames to swallow or spit the opponent, preventing the move from being rendered completely ineffective by button mashing or Kirby's percent.
Copy Ability loss
After Kirby has obtained a Copy Ability, he can manually discard it by taunting, but he also has a random chance of losing it whenever he takes damage, forcing him to swallow the opponent again to regain it. In Smash 64, Melee, and Brawl, this chance is always equal to 1/32, or 3.125%. In Smash 4, it is equal to 0.3× of the damage dealt by the attack, making it lower than in previous games if it deals less than 10.41%, and higher otherwise, with a guaranteed Copy Ability loss if the attack deals 333.4% damage (which can be achieved via equipment).
In Ultimate, this mechanic is tweaked further; upon getting a Copy Ability, Kirby has a grace period of 20 seconds during which he cannot lose it, but afterwards, the loss chance is directly equal to damage taken, considerably higher than in Smash 4. While having both their pros and cons, these changes are overall beneficial to Kirby, as while he can be punished harder for misusing the Copy Ability or improperly approaching opponents later on, he can take much better advantage of it for a reasonable amount of time after having just obtained it, instead of risking its immediate loss due to poor luck. Prior to updates, this worked considerably less in Kirby's favor, with the higher loss chance overall outweighing the grace period; before version 3.0.0, the grace period lasted only 5 seconds, while the loss chance was equal to (130/70)× of damage taken, and before 6.0.0, the grace period lasted 10 seconds, while the loss chance was equal to (100/70)× of damage taken.
In game modes where opponents are only temporarily loaded, such as All-Star Mode, Kirby loses his Copy Ability if the character he obtained it from is unloaded from memory.
Copy Ability differences
Because Kirby is smaller than most of the characters he inhales, his copied moves are sometimes inferior versions to theirs due to his lower reach and smaller hitboxes. This is typically applicable for physical neutral special attacks, as exemplified by moves such as the Giant Punch, as well as certain projectiles; for example, Kirby's lower release point causes Mario's Fireballs to bounce faster and therefore travel a shorter distance. On the other hand, his small size and unique moveset can allow for more advantageous setups with some copied moves. For example, Kirby's relatively lower height prevents some characters from ducking under shots fired from projectiles such as Blaster and Bullet Climax. He can also laser lock more characters than Falco can for similar reasons. Some abilities are also modified from the original copied character, simply because they require a part of a moveset that Kirby doesn't have; some examples include Olimar's Pikmin Pluck, where Kirby plucks a Pikmin and immediately throws it as a projectile before they disappear, or Rosalina and Luma's Luma Shot, where Kirby shoots out a Luma to hit the opponent before the Luma immediately disappears.
Up until Brawl, a majority of Kirby's Copy Abilities are identical or at least extremely similar to their original counterparts, but some have direct differences to their original counterparts (outside of Kirby's different dimensions/attributes). This is because Copy Abilities all have their own animation and hitbox data found within Kirby's character files, so if a character's neutral special were to be changed, Kirby's versions would also have to be changed separately. In some cases, Kirby's versions did not see these changes, with Falcon Punch being an example. In Smash 64, Kirby's Falcon Punch sweetspot deals 1% more than Captain Falcon's, making it slightly stronger (although Kirby's aerial version does not deal extra shield damage). In Melee, Kirby's Falcon Punch does not have a mid hit, and its sweetspot and sourspot are positioned differently from Falcon's (with Falcon's sweetspot being closer to him while Kirby's is further away from him). Lastly, in Brawl, Kirby's Falcon Punch has smaller hitboxes than Falcon's, but has higher knockback scaling (keeping its values from Melee), making it stronger.
Beginning in Smash 4, the hitbox data for Kirby's Copy Abilities is now loaded from the original fighter, rather than Kirby having his own hitbox data for them. This allow any changes in other characters' neutral specials to be automatically done to Kirby's versions, making it considerably easier for them to remain identical whenever a character's neutral special is changed in updates. Because of this, most Copy Abilities are identical to their original counterparts, although some hitbox and neutral special data can still be specifically coded within the original character's files to be different for Kirby. For example, Shulk's Buster and Smash Monado Arts are coded to give Kirby slightly less of an increase to damage or knockback dealt (respectively), and several neutral specials such as Giant Punch, Eruption, and Dragon Fang Shot have different hitbox sizes or offsets to better match Kirby's dimensions. Additionally, some attributes such as animation length (outside of frame speed multipliers), interruptibility, and intangibility are still tied to Kirby, so his Copy Abilities could still have a differing amount of ending lag or intangibility to their original counterparts; an example could be seen with Lightning Buster, which had slightly more ending lag for Kirby prior to version 13.0.1.
In Ultimate, in addition to the aforementioned properties, Kirby's Copy Abilities have a 1.2× damage multiplier applied to all their hitboxes, giving them greater offensive power than their original counterparts. However, only the difference in the resulting damage percentage is accounted for in knockback calculation, and not the damage increase itself, so Copy Abilities can KO only slightly earlier than the original moves; for example, Kirby's standard Falcon Punch deals 30% compared to Falcon's 25%, so with no other damage or knockback modifiers, it will KO 5% earlier.
After inhaling a character, Kirby can spit them out ahead of him as a star by pressing the attack button, dealing damage to the spat character and potential collateral damage to bystanders.
Prior to Smash 4, the star travels a fixed distance and lasts 30 frames (31 in Melee, around 0.5 seconds). Starting in Smash 4, the speed (and thus distance) of the star changes based on both Kirby's and the target's damage percent. In both Smash 4 and Ultimate the star follows two equations: a frame equation of
25 + 0.5t, and a speed equation (in units per frame) of
2.8 + 0.008(t - k), where t is the target's percent prior to being spat out and k is Kirby's percent. The star's speed will decrease by 0.05 per frame and will release the target when the speed is below 0.4 units per frame. The speed equation can be rewritten as
((2.4 + 0.008(t - k))/0.05) + 2 to estimate the number of frames—when paired with the frame equation, whichever is smaller will be the number of frames the star lasts. The star can last a maximum of 60 frames (1 second) before forcing the character out. The duration can be reduced by button mashing, decreasing by 10 frames per input; in Smash 4 and Ultimate, button inputs reduce it by 18 frames, but they cannot be registered as quickly as stick inputs. Due to the speed equation, targets with a lot of damage compared to Kirby will be sent at very high speeds, to the point they can be KO'd reliably, but if Kirby has more damage, then the target can escape much faster, reaching only 1 frame if Kirby has 300% more than the target.
In Smash 64, most characters spat via Inhale deal 17% damage to bystanders, although Yoshi and Donkey Kong deal much more damage than the rest of the cast. Starting in Melee, the damage dealt by a spat character is loosely based on their weight, though it remains a specifically coded value for each character, so it is the same between the NTSC and PAL versions of Melee, or between updates in Smash 4 and Ultimate, despite differences in some characters' weight. Both Kirby's and King Dedede's Inhales operate the same in this respect.
When Kirby swallows an opponent instead of spitting them, they are also briefly turned into a star as they get launched up, and can likewise damage bystanders. However, this only lasts for 10 frames, which cannot be influenced by mashing or damage percent.
|Banjo & Kazooie||—||—||—||—||16%|
|King K. Rool||—||—||—||—||20%|
|Mr. Game & Watch||—||13%||11%||11%||12%|
|Wii Fit Trainer||—||—||—||14%||15%|
|Zero Suit Samus||—||—||12%||12%||12%|
- Giant Donkey Kong in Smash 64 deals 50% when spat out, although he cannot hit other players in normal gameplay.
- All Fighting Alloys in Brawl deal 16%.
- Giga Bowser deals 17% in Melee, 62% in Brawl, 61% in Smash 4, and 23% in Ultimate. As he cannot be grabbed however, this cannot be achieved in normal gameplay.
- Wario-Man deals 20% in Brawl and 16% in Smash 4. As he cannot be grabbed however, this cannot be achieved in normal gameplay.
- Giga Mac deals 21%. As he cannot be grabbed however, this cannot be achieved in normal gameplay.
Just like King Dedede's Inhale and Wario's Chomp, Kirby can swallow items using Inhale, starting in Brawl. Inhaling certain items such as Food or Superspicy Curry will take effect promptly after being eaten. In addition, Kirby can inhale any item on the screen, automatically swallowing and keeping other characters from using it. In Super Smash Bros. 4, this heals Kirby by 1%. However, Poké Balls, Mr. Saturn, and other select items cannot be swallowed. Large items such as crates take a longer amount of time for Kirby to digest, and Kirby can neither move nor attack until they are fully swallowed. If Kirby inhales an explosive such as a Bob-omb, he will receive 5% damage while dealing damage and knockback to anyone close to him.
Starting with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Kirby is able to inhale certain projectiles. If the projectile's hitbox that Inhale detects has a radius of 5.0 or greater (for comparison, Kirby's shield has a radius of 9.12 at full HP), he can hold the projectile in his mouth, then either swallow it or spit it out as a star, while if it is smaller, he automatically swallows it. Swallowing the projectile always heals Kirby by 1%, regardless of its power. The following is a list of projectiles Kirby can inhale, and what state he is put into after inhaling them. He cannot inhale another Kirby's star, as it will go straight through the move and hit Kirby.
When a projectile that can be spat out is inhaled, Kirby can hold it for up to 180 frames (3 seconds) before automatically spitting it. The resulting star always travels at an initial speed of 2.8 with a duration of 50 frames, and deals 0.8× of the projectile's original damage rounded down, with a minimum of 10%.
|Projectile||Automatically heals Kirby||Automatically damages Kirby||Can be exhaled||Notes|
|Link's forward smash||The projectile that appears when Link is at 0% damage.|
|Bow and Arrows|
|Charge Shot||Can be exhaled when mostly charged.|
|Missile||Both Homing Missiles and Super Missiles.|
|Samus' Bomb||Can be exhaled if inhaled during detonation.|
|PK Flash||Can be inhaled during detonation.|
|Young Link's and Toon Link's Bombs|
|Shadow Ball||Can be exhaled when mostly charged.|
|Wario Bike||Can be inhaled once dismounted. Longer eating animation.|
|Cypher||Can be inhaled once released.|
|PK Freeze||Can be inhaled during detonation.|
|Super Dedede Jump||The stars produced upon landing.|
|Olimar's forward smash||Regardless of Pikmin color.|
|Olimar's up smash||Regardless of Pikmin color.|
|Olimar's down smash||Regardless of Pikmin color. Either side.|
|Pikmin Throw||Only Yellow Pikmin can be exhaled.|
|Aura Sphere||Can be exhaled at large sizes, based on charge and Aura.|
|Villager's forward smash|
|Villager's dash attack|
|Villager's forward aerial and back aerial|
|Timber||Only the watering can and the wooden item that is sometimes spawned after the tree is felled.|
|Mega Man's neutral attack, forward tilt, and neutral aerial|
|Mega Man's forward smash||Can be exhaled when mostly charged.|
|Mega Man's up aerial|
|Mega Man's down aerial|
|Sun Salutation||Can be exhaled when mostly charged.|
|Hydro Pump||The water that is expelled can be inhaled.|
|Substitute||The log and Substitute Doll generated by this move can be inhaled.|
|Shuriken of Light|
|Mii Gunner's forward aerial|
|Charge Blast||Can be exhaled when mostly charged.|
|Flame Pillar||Can be exhaled if inhaled during detonation.|
|Bomb Drop||Can be exhaled if inhaled during detonation.|
|Grenade Launch||Can be exhaled if inhaled during detonation.|
|Gunner Missile||Both Homing Missiles and Super Missiles.|
|Bonus Fruit||All types of Bonus Fruit.|
|Power Pellet||Only the large pellet can be inhaled.|
|Fire Hydrant||The water can be inhaled, but not exhaled.|
The hydrant can be exhaled, but cannot be inhaled while expelling water.
|Robin's Thunder||Thunder, Elthunder, Arcthunder, and Thoron.|
|Robin's Tomes and Levin Sword||Once exhausted and discarded.|
|Hadoken||Standard, Input, and Shakunetsu variations.|
|Blade Beam||Limit Break variation can be exhaled.|
|Dragon Fang Shot||Can be exhaled when mostly charged.|
|Isabelle's dash attack|
|Isabelle's forward aerial and back aerial|
|Poison Breath||The projectile will be swallowed if inhaled before it forms the poison cloud, while the cloud itself can be exhaled.|
|Eiha||Both Eiha and Eiagon can be inhaled.|
|Frizz / Frizzle / Kafrizz||Only Kafrizz can be exhaled.|
|Woosh / Swoosh / Kaswoosh|
|Egg Firing / Breegull Blaster||Both Egg Firing and Breegull Blaster can be inhaled.|
|Shock Spring Jump||Only the midair Shock Spring Pad can be inhaled.|
|Power Wave||Both grounded and midair version can be inhaled.|
|Failnaught||Can’t be inhaled if traveling at too high of a speed or if fully charged.|
|Minecart||Only when empty.|
|Flare / Megaflare / Gigaflare||Gigaflare can't be inhaled.|
|Shadow Flare||Only the initial hit can be inhaled.|
|Ray of Punishment / Chroma Dust||Only Ray of Punishment can be exhaled.|
|Magic||Blizzaga can only be inhaled if invincible.|
Inhaling non-playable characters
Kirby cannot gain Copy Abilities from swallowing enemies, bosses, and thus all non-playable characters aside from Giant Donkey Kong and Melee's minor bosses. However, Kirby can still inhale and swallow members of the Multi-Man teams, Metal Mario in 1P Game, and the various enemies appearing in Smash Run and Master Fortress. Kirby can inhale and swallow whole enemies from Adventure Mode, as well as Waddle Dees and Doos thrown by King Dedede. In the Subspace Emissary, the vortex created by Inhale pulls in false characters and deals repeated damage to the Subspace Army.
In Super Smash Bros., Kirby can jump off the stage and inhale an opponent, then fall off the stage and force a KO. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. 4, Kirby is capable of slowly walking around the stage while carrying opponents in his mouth or swallowing a foe while slightly off-stage. This allows for some forms of Kirbycide, wherein Kirby jumps off the edge with someone in his mouth and releases them at a distance or position from which they are unable to recover and force a KO. One may Inhale at the last second for a K.O. (usually during Time Mode for an extra point) and may survive due to Kirby's tall recovery.
|instruction booklet||Press to swallow an enemy, then again to copy his or her power. Press to discard the copied power.|
|instruction booklet||Swallow your foes, then use their copied standard moves. Ditch the ability with the + Control Pad.|
|case foldout||Inhale foes, and copy their standard special moves.|
|Move List||Inhales opponents. Can then copy opponent's ability or spit them out as a star.|
Special Move customization was a feature exclusive to Super Smash Bros. 4. These are the variations:
|1. Inhale||2. Ice Breath||3. Jumping Inhale|
|"Inhale opponents. You can then copy one of their abilities or spit them out as a star."||"Breathe cold air to freeze nearby opponents."||"Leap forward and inhale an opponent. The star you can spit out won't do damage, though."|
- Inhale: Default.
- Ice Breath: Ice Kirby's attack. Breathes out cold air to deal damage with a freezing effect. The customization move itself is based on Kirby's Ice Copy Ability from the Kirby series.
- Jumping Inhale: Kirby jumps and moves a significant distance forwards as he inhales. It lacks the vacuum hitboxes outside of Kirby's mouth, and enemies that are spit out as stars don't deal damage to other enemies they hit - though they still cause knockback. Despite these downsides, the move has far better range than the default even without the suction, and spitting enemies into others is an extremely situational attack, respectively. It was initially considered much better than the default Inhale until the 1.1.0 patch, with the default Inhale now coming out faster and having less endlag by 4 frames.
Ice Breath in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
Jumping Inhale in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
Inhaling and spitting has been Kirby's trademark attack since Kirby's Dream Land, but it was not until Kirby's Adventure was he able to swallow an enemy to copy their ability. Kirby Super Star introduced unique hats indicating different Copy Abilities. A single attack from an enemy or damage incurred from the environment was usually enough to make Kirby lose his Copy Ability, though in later Kirby games (predominantly the ones with health bars), it's possible for him to occasionally keep his Copy Ability even after being damaged. After Kirby loses his Copy Ability, it takes form of a star bouncing around the screen. Kirby can inhale and swallow it to regain the ability before it disappears after it contacts a hazardous surface or enough time passes. Despite being able to inhale and spit out projectiles as stars since Kirby's Dream Land, Kirby lacked this ability naturally (without copying King Dedede) in Super Smash Bros. installments prior to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
One of Kirby's custom moves, Ice Breath, is based on a move of his Ice ability, which first appeared in Kirby's Adventure.
Inhale as shown by the Move List in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Names in other languages
- As with King Dedede, Kirby is unable to inhale enemies in Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Adventure Mode: The Subspace Emissary.
- If viewing a character while they are about to be sucked into Kirby's mouth, one can see that the character's head and torso are simply decreased in size. This can also be seen with King Dedede's Inhale, Wario's Chomp and the vacuum portion of King K. Rool's Blunderbuss.
- Kirby can't inhale another Kirby who already has someone in his mouth.