Kirby (SSB)

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SSB64 Icon.png
This article is about Kirby's appearance in Super Smash Bros.. For the character in other contexts, see Kirby.
Kirby
in Super Smash Bros.
Kirby
KirbySymbol.svg
Universe Kirby
Other Smash Bros. appearances in Melee
in Brawl
in SSB4
Availability Starter
Tier S (2)
#default:
An 8-inch high creature from a distant star. He may look harmless, but using his Copy ability, Kirby becomes a formidable opponent.
—Super Smash Bros's instruction manual

Kirby (カービィ, Kirby) is a starter character in Super Smash Bros.. He is known for being a small, light character with quick and often surprisingly long ranged attacks, as well as surprisingly strong moves and a great recovery. He is voiced by Makiko Ohmoto, which would go on to keep voicing him in all subsequent video game appearances to date.

Kirby ranks 2nd on the current tier list. His attacks are quick and strong, with a few moves capable of KOing under 100% such as his forward smash, and powerful edgeguarders, such as his down aerial (which is also a meteor smash). His back aerial, forward aerial, and up tilt are great ways to space against the opponent, especially the latter — Kirby's up tilt is considered one of the best attacks in the game and maybe even the series due to its huge disjointed range, very quick speed, good combo ability, and ability to easily break shields if used repeatedly. Kirby can also go offstage pretty safely, with his recovery granting a large distance (on par with Pikachu's).

Kirby, however, does have some flaws. His recovery, while long distanced, is a bit on the predictable side, along with it not being able to be utilized quickly. Kirby additionally has somewhat limited combo ability outside of up tilt and forward aerial on some characters, with his moves outside those two not stringing into each other too reliably. Kirby's main problem is his light weight and being moderately floaty, making him vulnerable to juggling and vertical KOs from characters with powerful vertical finishers, such as Fox. Regardless of these flaws, Kirby's strengths outweigh his weaknesses by a considerable margin, resulting in very strong matchups -losing only to Pikachu (and Fox in the Japanese version)- and very strong tournament results despite his only above average tournament representation.

Attributes[edit]

Kirby's ending picture in Super Smash Bros.

Kirby is a small, light, and somewhat floaty character. He is relatively difficult to combo horizontally and offstage, though is vulnerable to juggling and many vertical KO techniques (as well as not being too hard to KO horizontally either). His "signature move" is Swallow, which allows him to use an opponent's neutral special move and copy their apperance.

In general, Kirby possesses quick yet powerful moves. Some of his moves are infamous for possessing high range and being able to space well, most notably his up tilt (which covers the range of more than one Kirby both horizontally behind him and vertically), as well as his forward and back aerials. This makes a Kirby playing defensively correctly rather difficult to punish. However, Kirby's defensive ability is hindered slightly by his average to below average movement speed, with average dashing and walking speeds, low air speed, and below average falling speed. Kirby's smashes are powerful, especially his forward smash, which is by far the best forward smash in the game due to being the most powerful, having quick startup (though it has a bit of ending lag), and being an excellent punish or panic option. Kirby's throws are also fairly powerful, with his good grab allowing him to utilize them efficiently.

Kirby's up tilt and forward aerial are especially useful combo moves. The former can easily chain into itself at lower percentages and lead into aerials, a forward smash, or a up smash, while the latter is a great damage racker, being a very fast multi-hit move with the first few hits having set knockback, allowing them to lead into the final hit easily. The move can deal over 20% damage, and if the final hit isn't landed, it sets up a jab that can jab cancel into a grab to rack up further damage.

Kirby has an excellent recovery and offstage game. He has five midair jumps, and his Final Cutter not only extends his vertical recovery even more, but allows Kirby to also move to the side while using it by tilting the control stick. While his recovery travels a spectacular distance (only rivaled by Pikachu's recovery), it is somewhat predictable, due to being on the slow side and Kirby's slow air speed. His aerials can be used to edgeguard or guard break easily, especially his down aerial, which is a strong meteor smash that can also drag opponents down at lower percentages due to being a drill attack. With Kirby's aforementioned excellent vertical recovery, it is also easy to recover from.

Kirby's main weaknesses are his light weight and floatiness, somewhat lack of reliable combo options outside the basic up tilt and forward aerial, and a lack of ways to KO onstage outside forward smash. He is additionally easy to juggle, being vulnerable to vertical combos from Fox, Captain Falcon, and others to a lesser extent.

Differences between game versions[edit]

Kirby was noticeably nerfed in his transition to NTSC-U. Despite his smaller size resulting on him being harder to hit (while not compromising his moves' huge range), his moves deal less damage and forward throw sends at a lower angle, worsening his KO ability. His recovery distance is shorter, due to Final Cutter covering less horizontal distance. Lastly, the higher presence of SDI makes Kirby's moves easier to escape, while the removal of momentum sliding hurts Kirby's approach, enforcing a slightly more defensive playstyle. Nevertheless, due to Kirby's immense strengths not being immensely toned down, he is still one of the most viable characters in the game despite the nerfs.

Attributes[edit]

  • Buff Kirby is about 3% smaller (0.94 → 0.91).
  • Nerf Rolls are shorter.
  • Nerf The removal of momentum sliding slightly hurts Kirby's approach.

Ground moves[edit]

  • Nerf Up and down smash both deal 2% less damage (up: 18% → 16%; down: 20% → 18%).

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Nerf Up aerial deals less damage on the clean and mid hits (12% clean/9% mid → 10%/8%).

Throws[edit]

  • Nerf Forward throw sends at a lower, more diagonal angle, removing most of its vertical KO ability.

Special attacks[edit]

  • Nerf Final Cutter covers less horizontal distance.
  • Nerf Stone deals 2% less damage (22% → 20%).

Moveset[edit]

For a gallery of Kirby's hitboxes, see here.

SSB64 Kirby.gif
Kirby's up tilt, showing its huge disjointed hitbox.
Comparing Kirby's up tilt change in hitbox caused by an aerial up-B.
Kirby's hitboxes while ducking.
Kirby's aerial attacks
Kirby in the Smash 64 instruction booklet.
  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   3% Two quick jabs, followed by a series of very fast, very weak punches. The two jabs have short range, though the second has better range than most neutral attacks. The attack is based on the Vulcan Jab from the Fighter ability.
4%
1% per punch
Forward tilt   11% Rather short range, but fast. Can be angled for a 1% change in damage either way.
10%
9%
Up tilt   14% (clean), 10% (late) Kicks vertically upwards, slightly behind himself. If up tilt is done after an up special, Kirby's hitbox reach is raised by about 9%.
Down tilt   9% Puts his foot out with a slightly longer duration compared to most down tilts in the game.
Dash attack   10% (clean), 8% (late) Crashes into his opponents. This move is fast and good for comboing use, though shielding proves otherwise.
Forward smash   17% (clean), 12% (late) Advances forward with a strong kick. This attack is based on the Spin Kick from the Fighter ability. In terms of KO power, this is the strongest forward smash in Smash 64, KOing as early as 80%.
Up smash   16% (clean), 12% (late) A fast flip kick that is very similar to Fox's and Pikachu's, but with slower start-up and slightly less knockback.
Down smash   18% (clean), 10% (late) Spins with his feet flat on the ground with decent duration, this move knocks the opponent horizontally with power.
Neutral aerial   15% (clean), 10% (late), 3% (landing) Extends body with feet out and arms out, making Kirby's whole body a hitbox. Sex kick properties. Useful OoS move, good finisher.
Forward aerial   20% if all hits connect, 3% (landing) Does a drill with his feet in front of him. 8 hits, 2%/hit, 5-6% on the 8th.
Back aerial   16% (clean), 12% (late) Puts both of his feet behind him, making a viable move for edgeguarding.
Up aerial   10% (clean), 8% (mid), 6% (late), 3% (landing) Spins around. This move would be his nair in later Super Smash Bros. games.
Down aerial   Up to 30%, 3% (landing) Does a drill attack with his two feet below him. 3% per hit, up to 10 hits. The move can be used as a meteor smash, and can drag opponents down, as well as being easy to recover from.
Grab
Forward throw   13% (throw), 10% (collateral) Jumps high in the air and brings the target with him, similar to Ninja Kirby's Air Drop in Kirby Super Star, and slams them down from an explosive drop. One of the few f-throws to launch foes upward. Has very high base knockback, but low knockback scaling, meaning that it does not KO until 120% for most characters. Sends the opponent to the side in the Japanese version.
Back throw   16% Performs a backwards suplex, slamming the opponent behind him. Sends the foe upwards and behind Kirby at an angle. The attack is based on the Backdrop ability from Kirby's Adventure.
Floor attack (front) 6% Kicks on both sides and gets up.
Floor attack (back) 6% Kicks on both sides and gets up.
Edge attack (fast) 4% Flips whilst getting back on stage.
Edge attack (slow) 4% Slowly picks himself up and slides forward, like his dash attack.
Neutral special Vacuum 6% (Copy ability), 10% (spit out), 17% (spit out characters to bystanders) If Kirby inhales an opponent, he can either copy their ability (gains their neutral special move and a hat resembling them by pressing the B button; see here for a list of Copy Abilities) or spit the opponent out as a projectile by pressing the A button, dealing damage to bystanders.
Up special Final Cutter 8% (initial upswing), 2% (falling), 3% (landing), 6% (shockwave) Swings upward with his Final Cutter and falls down. The cutter can deal damage, and it also emits a shockwave when it lands. Used for recovery, along with Kirby's five midair jumps. Meteor smashes anyone below it with set knockback. If an aerial up special is performed by Kirby, it's original body size multiplier goes from 0.91 and it becomes 1.0.
Down special Stone 20% Transforms into a stone. If used in the air, he falls down until he reaches the ground.

On-screen appearance[edit]

  • Crash-lands a Warp Star into the ground, the warp star explodes, and Kirby does multiple 360° flips backwards and lands on his feet.
KirbyOnScreenAppearanceSSB.gif

Taunt[edit]

  • Turns to his right, stands on tiptoes, inflates, and says "Hi!" while waving his arms three times in the air. If Kirby has an ability from an opponent while using this move, it gets discarded.
Taunts-SSB-Kirby.png

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Cheer
Kirby Cheer NTSC SSB.ogg
Kirby Cheer JP SSB.ogg
Description Kir-by *claps 3 times* *clap* Kir- *clap* -by
Pitch Group chant Group chant

Victory poses[edit]

A cover of the "Stage Complete" music that originated in Kirby's Dream Land.
  • Does several handstands across screen.
  • Slides and dances across screen (a reference to his end-of-level dances in Kirby's Adventure).
KirbyPose1SSB.gif KirbyPose2SSB.gif

In Competitive play[edit]

Matchups[edit]

International versions[edit]

Super Smash Bros. (N64) Character Matchups
  PikachuIcon(SSB).png KirbyIcon(SSB).png CaptainFalconIcon(SSB).png FoxIcon(SSB).png YoshiIcon(SSB).png JigglypuffIcon(SSB).png MarioIcon(SSB).png SamusIcon(SSB).png DonkeyKongIcon(SSB).png NessIcon(SSB).png LinkIcon(SSB).png LuigiIcon(SSB).png Avg.
KirbyIcon(SSB).png 40:60 Mirror match 60:40 60:40 60:40 60:40 50:50 60:40 60:40 60:40 60:40 60:40 55:45

Kirby has a great matchup spread overall, with his only disadvantageous matchup being against Pikachu. Kirby has favourable matchups against characters such as Fox and Captain Falcon due to his ability to gimp them easily, and he has great tools to get them offstage, such as his down tilt, forward smash, or forward/down aerials. The massive range of Kirby's up tilt also makes him a counter to characters who lack reliable approach options that can outrange it, most notably Yoshi. He is also able to escape combos from characters such as Captain Falcon due to his floatiness and multiple midair jumps. On the downside, Kirby is vulnerable to edgeguarding from characters such as Pikachu and Mario, and he is rather easy to KO vertically, making him less of a threat to characters such as Pikachu and Fox.

Japanese version[edit]

Super Smash Bros. (N64) Character Matchups (JPN Version)
  PikachuIcon(SSB).png KirbyIcon(SSB).png CaptainFalconIcon(SSB).png FoxIcon(SSB).png NessIcon(SSB).png MarioIcon(SSB).png SamusIcon(SSB).png JigglypuffIcon(SSB).png LinkIcon(SSB).png YoshiIcon(SSB).png LuigiIcon(SSB).png DonkeyKongIcon(SSB).png Avg.
KirbyIcon(SSB).png 30:70 Mirror match 60:40 40:60 60:40 50:50 60:40 60:40 70:30 70:30 70:30 90:10 60:40

Notable players[edit]

See also: Category:Kirby professionals (SSB)

Techniques[edit]

Kikoushi (Kirby) edgeguarding Isai (Pikachu) with the Final Cutter

Inhale Sacrificial KO[edit]

Kirby can use his Inhale move on opponents and fall to the map's bottom blastzone for a sacrificial KO. However, Kirby can "spit out" his opponent under the stage (particularly useful on Dream Land) and then recover. Yoshi is the only character who is practically guaranteed not to be able to recover from this.

Final Cutter spike[edit]

The Final Cutter can spike opponents on the way down during its initial frames (approximately until the same height from which the Final Cutter was initiated).

Kirby's Sliding Up B Glitch[edit]

Mainly affects only the Japanese version, there is also a glitch called Kirby's Sliding Up B done by: Dashing, wait for the dash to to finish which is about 14 frames, turning instantly, and then do an Up+B 20 frames after you decided to do so. This is similar to Teleporting but is harder and is generally limited to flashy play/TASing. This was discovered by DSGnoll, a Japanese smash 64 player. The video, as popularized by Jpheal, a well known TAS player. In the non-Japanese version, the a milder version of the up b slide travels less further and is not as useful.

In Single Player[edit]

Kirby appears as an opponent in the seventh stage of Single Player mode. The stage takes place in Dream Land and pits the player against a Kirby team of 8 Kirbys. Each of the eight Kirbys sports a unique hat (with the exception of one, which will be normal Kirby, or one of the four unlockable characters after they've been unlocked) corresponding to each of the eight starter characters in the game. Except for the average and unlockable character Kirbies, they all appear in the selection screen order of the respective character whose power they copied. Keeping this in mind, if the player manages to defeat them in the right order (Mario, DK, Link, Samus, Yoshi, Fox, Pikachu, regular/random unlockable), he will be awarded the 25,000-point bonus Kirby Ranks.

Description[edit]

From the Game[edit]

The 8-inch high Kirby hails from a distant, peaceful star. Like his simplistic appearance, he is an easily-understood character. True to his instincts, Kirby eats when he gets hungry and sleeps as soon as he grows tired. Nevertheless, Kirby remains a formidable opponent. In addition to his distinct flying and swallowing skills, he also has the ability to copy enemy attacks for ever-changing action.

Works:

  • Kirby's Dream Land (GB)
  • Kirby's Pinball Land (GB)
  • Kirby Super Star (SNES) (Kirby's Fun (misspelled as Fan) Pak in the PAL version)

Alternate costumes[edit]

Kirby's palette swaps in SSB

Trivia[edit]

  • Kirby's shield stance is similar to his block stance in Kirby Super Star. When it is done with Mirror Kirby, he uses the orb shield just like the shields in Smash Bros.
  • When Kirby hits a wall, lands on the ground, or does certain moves, small stars are emitted, similar to how they look in the Kirby games, thus giving authenticity to his origin.
  • Kirby shares many of his attack animations with Jigglypuff, such as the ducking animation, neutral aerial and tumbling animation.
  • While other characters perform a victory pose when selected on the character selection screen in Smash 64, Kirby uses an unique animation for this, being the only character to do so. This pose would also be used for one of his taunts in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
    • In addition, Kirby is the only character in Super Smash Bros. to have only two victory poses, as opposed to three.
  • Kirby's green color can only be accessed in a team battle. This also happens with Donkey Kong.


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