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Tabuu

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(Redirected from Off Waves)
Tabuu
TabuuOfficial.png
Tabuu Spirit.png

SubspaceSymbol.svg
A boss in The Subspace Emissary
Universe Subspace

Tabuu (タブー, Tabuu) is the leader of the Subspace Army, the main antagonist and final boss of Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Adventure Mode: The Subspace Emissary. He is a powerful, supernatural entity who embodies the dimension of Subspace and rules it as a god. He uses the Subspace Bombs to send entire locations to his dimension, where he absorbs their power to increase his own, pursuing his plan to conquer and subjugate the universe. His name is a corruption of the word taboo, referring to something that is forbidden.

Aside from his appearance in Brawl, Tabuu appears in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a spirit.

Role in The Subspace Emissary[edit]

Close-up of Tabuu in The Subspace Emissary.

Tabuu is the true embodiment of Subspace. His plan was to cut World of Trophies into pieces and take them to Subspace for his world. However, he himself cannot leave Subspace, which is why he created the Subspace Army to act in his stead. Tabuu took over the Isle of the Ancients, the home of the R.O.B.s, and forced them to serve him under the threat of annihilation. Tabuu first discovered that Mr. Game & Watch had Shadow Bugs in him and captured him to harness the power, and thus the Subspace Army was born. Tabuu studied and took control of the master of the World of Trophies, Master Hand, binding him with chains of light. Tabuu used Master Hand to enlist the help of Ganondorf, Bowser and Wario. These three were sent to hunt down any fighters that would stand in the way of Tabuu's plans, while remaining unaware of Tabuu's existence. However, King Dedede learned the truth about Tabuu and began interfering with his plans.[1]

Later in the story, after the heroes destroy the Subspace Gunship and enter Subspace, Ganondorf betrays Bowser by using a Dark Cannon. Ganondorf then goes to greet Master Hand. Ganondorf then realizes that Tabuu was actually controlling Master Hand, and that he was not actually following Master Hand's orders but was being tricked by Tabuu. Enraged, he charges a futile attack at Tabuu who effortlessly knocks him back. Ganondorf's body hits the puppeteered Master Hand, thus breaking him free of his chains of light (and turning Ganondorf into a trophy in the process). Master Hand also charges at Tabuu, but to no avail. With Master Hand lying motionless on the ground, Tabuu uses his Off Waves to turn everyone into trophies as soon as they approach.

The chains of light on Master Hand.

However, thanks to the Dedede Brooches, two trophies who had been left behind - Luigi and Ness - were later revived, and they proceed to revive King Dedede himself after Ness realised that it was thanks to him that they were restored. King Dedede joins their team and they rescue everyone else by collecting their trophies in Subspace (Part I), including Bowser, who had a fight with Dedede, and joined the team because Tabuu is so powerful, and he killed Master Hand. Around the same time, Kirby was revived by the brooch the captured princess had when he swallowed it and went out to save the rest of the fighters in Subspace Part II, between the characters, there are Wario, and Link and Zelda, who revive Ganondorf, and suggest him to join them, he accepts, because he can not do anything to Tabuu, Wario does the same, because King Dedede, Luigi and Ness pointed him where are going everyone, so all the characters enter to the adventure. Tabuu then creates a maze out of the worlds that have been consumed by Subspace and brings back the old enemies. He also creates dark clones of all of the heroes to slow them down. Once the player reaches Tabuu, he attempts to turn everyone back into trophies again, but is ambushed by Sonic the Hedgehog, who shatters his wings with a Spin Dash before he can do so. As a result, Tabuu's Off Waves are weakened, becoming "only" a one-hit KO attack instead of causing immediate trophification for any Smasher in reach.

A selection of characters from Sonic, Bowser, Kirby, Luigi's group and those revived by these two groups (first: Luigi, Ness and King Dedede; second: Kirby), then fight Tabuu, until he is defeated. After his defeat, the Subspace Army is gone, lands are restored, and the Isle of the Ancients disappears afterward because of the effect of so many Subspace Bombs going off at once (commanded by Ganondorf so Tabuu could get a Subspace Gunship into the World) making it impossible for the Isle to escape Subspace. A glowing X is left behind.

Tabuu's true fate is unknown - he is last seen contorting in pain shortly before the Great Maze was restored to its original places and forms - though it is likely he was destroyed.

Attacks[edit]

As the final boss of The Subspace Emissary, Tabuu possesses a wide variety of dangerous attacks, which increase in power and speed on higher difficulties. Nearly all of his moves are guaranteed OHKOs at least on Intense difficulty (14 out of 16 or 88%). Additionally, Tabuu's attacks are faster and stronger in The Subspace Emissary than in Boss Battles at comparable difficulty ratings - as usual. Notice that his moves' knockback in Boss Battles is usually the same of the previous difficulty in the Subspace Emissary, thus KOing at about the same percentual of that difficulty, while damage can be severely reduced. The gap is wider on the lower difficulties (Easy overall) than on the highest ones (Intense in particular).

Tabuu's attacks are considered to be extremely powerful but predictable. Even on Easy difficulty in Boss Battles, almost all his moves will KO middleweights not over 70% (usually below), and some will even OHKO if properly executed (with the exception of Eye Lasers, which KOs below 110%). However, dodging most of his attacks can be very easy if the player knows what is coming; this doesn't apply to Off Waves, which are very hard to avoid, cover the entire screen and required the use of very well-timed dodges. Without the Off Waves, many people consider Tabuu to be an easy boss due to his predictable moves and how he needs to wait until he can attack again, although some OHKO attacks are very difficult to prevent or avoid (such as Golden Bracket, Ghost Projection and Explosive Teleport).

Some of Tabuu's moves share a unique property: they could potentially OHKO the same players twice in a row, on the proper difficulty, if they are hit at the beginning and then immediately after they respawn. These moves include: Shuriken Boomerang, Ghost Projection, Electrical Shield and Explosive Teleport. Off Waves are usually too fast to fulfill the required conditions but, if the players intentionally jump into the third ring, they can suffer a second OHKO. Notice that all the listed attacks require a very strict timing to OHKO twice in a row, and are not guaranteed to do so.

Note that the attack names are not official, except for Off Waves and the Chain of Light, whose names were announced on the Dojo.

First moves[edit]

  • Shark Blade - Tabuu transforms into a wide, somewhat shark-shaped blade, which flies horizontally across the stage with very high speed. Touching Tabuu during the transformation has the same effect of the hit itself, dealing enormous vertical knockback and very high damage (reaching 66% on Intense). It is dodgeable by performing an air dodge or, if at ground level, ducking (unless playing as Meta Knight). A perfectly timed sidestep dodge may also work. It is possible to perfect shield the attack, but a miss will result in the shield breaking, stunning the character in the process and leaving it vulnerable to further attacks. It is a guaranteed OHKO on Hard or higher difficulty and on Very Hard to Intense in Boss Battles. On Easy difficulty in Boss Battles it still KOs at low percentuals (below 60%), but being hit in midair greatly increases the odds of a KO, being closer to the upper blast line. Since Tabuu frequently uses this move in midair, it is possible to avoid it simply by crouching or even without moving.
  • Diving Slash - Tabuu teleports high above one side of the stage, turns his arm into a blade of energy, and then dives at the player in a set curved arc while glowing in a golden and pearl aura. Because he will always go near the ground, it can be dodged by jumping over his attack in the middle of the stage or going on the edge of the stage. On higher difficulties Tabuu's body can KO middleweights at very low percentages (20%), even OHKOing on its sweet spot (the blade's tip) on Intense; it also acts very swift and is quite difficult to predict. Tabuu can be damaged by projectiles while performing this move, but touching it deals high knockback and damage (up to 42%). The sweetspot deals a maximum of 49%.
Tabuu's Golden Bracket attack.
  • Golden Bracket - Tabuu transforms into an energy cage (resembling two glowing yellow brackets or butterfly wings) and flies across the stage, grabbing the character and slamming it into the floor for a semi-spike of immense power. This attack has perfectly horizontal knockback on every difficulty, and can deal enormous damage on Intense: a huge 85%. If played on Normal or higher difficulties (on Hard and above in Boss Battles), it becomes an invariable one-hit KO under any situation. Characters with a grab aerial can survive by DI'ing downwards and attaching to the edge of the stage as they pass by, but this tecnique requires very strict timing, especially on Intense difficulty. For characters with low recovery, this move will be a one-hit KO even on Easy difficulty (same for Boss Battles), due to its massive horizontal knockback which can launch them far away from the stage. Even on Easy difficulty, middleweights with good recovery are KOed as low as 20%, while light characters are usually KOed at even lower percentuals.

If played on co-op mode, Tabuu will try to smash the caught player into the other, with even more power. This results in a guaranteed OHKO on every difficulty in the Subspace Emissary and on Normal and above in Boss Battles. The same happens if two players are caught by the attack and smashed together; like Chain of Light, damage drastically increases if both players are hit, reaching a huge 100% on Intense. There is no predetermined way the brackets fly, and when the player is not able to make a jump, he should try an air-dodge. It is one of the least predictable attacks of Tabuu and the second more powerful behind Off Waves (at least in knockback terms), making it really dangerous. On Very Hard difficulty and above, its power is more than enough to one-hit KO even metal or giant characters, making survival nearly impossible. This move resembles Tabuu's wings as seen in the background of the Portal in The Great Maze.

Second moves[edit]

  • Chain of Light (軽鎖, Light String) (also known as Golden Chain by fans) - Tabuu produces a golden chain (similar to what he used to bind and subjugate Master Hand) and throws it in front of him in an attempt to catch the player. Despite its range, it cannot catch those too close to him. If he succeeds, he will swing the player around before smashing them into the ground, with massive spike knockback and considerable damage (up to 47%). It is a guaranteed OHKO on Hard difficulty and above in the Subspace Emissary, and on Very Hard and above in Boss Battles. If played in Co-op mode, he smashes the player he caught into the other player. On Normal or higher difficulty in the Subspace Emissary, when he smashes the player he catches into the other one with the "Chain of Light" move, it's a guaranteed one-hit KO on both players, with even more knockback and damage (up to 62%) than being smashed to the ground. In Boss Battles, both players can be OHKOed starting from Hard difficulty. This is the only Tabuu's move other than Off Waves with an official name.

If a character air dodges or techs into the Chain of Light, or if Tabuu is defeated while grabbing a character with the Chain of Light, the Tabuu Whip glitch will occur. Additionally, if one uses a heavyweight fighter with a strong flinch resistance sticker, and uses a Super Mushroom or a Metal Box, at very low percentages on Easy difficulty the attack will not cause the player to flinch, and they will remain stuck on the chain in the T-pose until Tabuu teleports. Tabuu Whip glitch can potentially occur on Easy difficulty in Boss Battles if the player tries to tech into the attack at 0%. This move is very swift and unpredictable: on higher difficulties, it requires less than a second to land, making it one of the most dangerous.

  • Electrical Shield - Tabuu teleports right next to the player. The purple sphere inside his torso splits into several fragments, which fly in circles around him for a short time while emitting electricity. This attack has a decent range that changes over time (rapidly increasing until it reaches its maximum for around five seconds, and then slowly decreasing), but leaves Tabuu wide open for projectile weapons. It somewhat resembles an atom, with Tabuu being the nucleus and his fragmented energy core being electrons; in fact, the spark rings attract the player with a very strong vacuum. Touching the sparkles or Tabuu’s body deals up to 64% and is a OHKO on Normal or higher difficulty in the Subspace Emissary, and on Hard and above even in Boss Battles. Poor recovery characters will be KOed at 0% even on the lower difficulties, since its enormous knockback is perfectly horizontal or spiked (depending on how the hitboxes land). Even on Easy difficulty it KOs below 20% in the Subspace Emissary, while in Boss Battles it is slightly weakened at the same difficulty, although KOing well below 50%. It is possible for the player to be damaged by the sparks without taking knockback or being sucked into Tabuu's body, but only if he is far enough from Tabuu; in this case, he will take up to 36% per hit instead of the direct damage, which can result in a huge combined damage output (over 200% on Intense).

If the player is on the exact endpoint of the move's range, he will probably suffer multiple hits by the sparks before flinching and getting sucked by the vacuum, which Always results in a guaranteed OHKO regardless of difficulty, due to the immense damage output (surpassing 250% on Intense). However, this is really unlikely unless he is on the precise endpoint. Anyway, since the attack has a very powerful vacuum effect, it is possible for the same player to be sucked again repeatedly until he is KOed; it usually works on Easy difficulty or up to Normal difficulty in Boss Battles (where it doesn't OHKO). It is only possible if the player is close enough to the sparkling rings, which have a decent range (seemingly increasing a bit for every difficulty). Another dangerous property of this move is that it has a very fast beginning, and also Tabuu's body will continue to have KO (or likely OHKO) power even when the last sparks fades: this means that Tabuu can be directly attacked only after he uses Teleport. Eventually, if the player is offstage before the attack begins, Tabuu himself will probably appear offstage while executing the move, in some cases cancelling every possibility to harm the player.

The following list shows the maximum damage inflicted by this move for every difficulty, both for each spark and combined (assuming the player is far enough from Tabuu to suffer multiple hits before being sucked into the "core" or his body, which may happen more times in a row on the lower difficulties; notice that a complete damage output is unlikely, since the player usually sustains a single hit):

  • Easy: 16% per spark, 128% for sparks + direct discharge (Subspace Emissary); 10% per spark, 84% for sparks + direct discharge (Boss Battles).
  • Normal: 20% per spark, 162% for sparks + direct discharge (Subspace Emissary); 14% per spark, 112% for sparks + direct discharge (Boss Battles).
  • Hard: 25% per spark, 199% for sparks + direct discharge (Subspace Emissary); 18% per spark, 140% for sparks + direct discharge (Boss Battles).
  • Very Hard: 31% per spark, 241% for sparks + direct discharge (Subspace Emissary); 22% per spark, 171% for sparks + direct discharge (Boss Battles).
  • Intense: 36% per spark, 271% for sparks + direct discharge (Subspace Emissary); 24% per spark, 189% for sparks + direct discharge (Boss Battles).
  • Rapid Chop - Tabuu teleports behind the player and repeatedly slashes the area in front of him with extremely swift karate chops, creating visible purple slashes. The last slash blows the player away. This move can easily catch and juggle players, but it has less range than the large visible slashes would indicate. Again, Tabuu leaves himself wide open to projectiles, and if the player gets behind him he can be hit - although it is dangerous, as the player can be trapped in the attack or hit by the chops with higher range. Certain melee attacks are also viable. It deals extremely high damage if all hits connect (quite over 300% in a less than three seconds on Intense) and can OHKO on nearly every difficulty, but only if the last slash lands (otherwise it always fails to KO). The last blowing slash alone could KO around 30% on Intense and deals semi-spiked or angled knockback, with a very large hitbox. Even on Easy difficulty in Boss Battles, where Tabuu is weakened, this attack can inflict up to 121% if all hits chain. It always lasts for slightly less than three seconds and deals 11 hits. It can be easily SDI'd out of, also its activation is slow and very easy to prevent, except for the higher difficulties. However, if the player is hit and survives (avoiding the last slash) he will be left unharmed to further attacks, due to suffering a ludicrous damage output.

The following list shows the maximum damage inflicted by this move for every difficulty, both for each hit and combined (assuming all slashes land):

  • Easy: 15% per hit, 165% combined (Subspace Emissary); 11% per hit, 121% combined (Boss Battles).
  • Normal: 19% per hit, 209% combined (Subspace Emissary); 15% per hit, 165% combined (Boss Battles).
  • Hard: 23% per hit, 253% combined (Subspace Emissary); 19% per hit, 209% combined (Boss Battles).
  • Very Hard: 27% per hit, 297% combined (Subspace Emissary); 21% per hit, 231% combined (Boss Battles).
  • Intense: 29% per hit, 319% combined (Subspace Emissary); 23% per hit, 253% combined (Boss Battles).
  • Pinpoint Explosion - From one side of the stage, Tabuu makes a pointing gesture. Five locations along a line leading to the player's current location will flash once and explode after about two seconds, creating huge fiery bursts in a very brief time (less than half a second for the whole sequence). The line is not straight and varies in height, also the explosions last for around a second. This move can easily be avoided by noting and staying away from the flashes, or crouching if the pointing line is high. Can also be shielded with perfect timing. It is a guaranteed OHKO on Hard or higher difficulty, and on Very Hard to Intense in Boss Battles; damage can reach a massive 72%. Since its knockback is perfectly horizontal or a semi-spike, poor recovery characters are very likely to get a guaranteed KO even on the lower difficulties. This attack is very predictable, but its speed and extremely large hitbox can make it difficult to avoid in time, considering that it covers the entire lenght of Tabuu's Residence and the bursts will always hit at different heights.
  • Ghost Projection - Tabuu creates for an instant an explosion all around himself, then splits his body in half and shoots out many ghost images of himself in all directions, which burst after achieving a certain distance. The player can dodge the projections, but take note that they explode when they make contact with the ground, so combatants can still receive damage while sidestepping the projection itself (although severely reducing their knockback and damage). They can also be destroyed, preferably by projectiles. The initial burst (which hitbox almost coincides with Tabuu's body) and contact with Tabuu's body are a guaranteed OHKO on Very Hard difficulty and above (or Intense in Boss Battles). They deal huge vertical knockback, and up to 56% damage. Contact with each explosive clone is an OHKO on Intense difficulty, and can KO below 20% on the same difficulty in Boss Battles, also inflicting considerable damage (reaching 43% on Intense). The number of projections is not constant, although it tends to increase with the difficulty and is usually set between ten and seventeen. Clones' knockback also varies, and can be either angled, vertical, spiked or horizontal; if perfectly horizontal or semi-spiked, it drastically increases the chances of a KO or even an OHKO for poor recovery characters. The distance they cover can also vary, slightly increasing with difficulty: on Easy, they cover more than half the lenght of Tabuu's Residence, while on Intense they almost cover the entire stage. Notice that each projection has a different direction, seemingly not always related to the player's position, and that Tabuu can shoot a maximum of two clones at the same time (up to four clones in a second on Intense). When the clones' explode touching the ground, their burst has a little hitbox and is much less dangerous than contact with the projection itself; however, it can still deal up to 24% damage and KO well below 40% on Intense. Tabuu can be attacked with projectiles while performing this move, but not touched: contact with his sparkling body during the attack deals the same massive knockback of the initial explosion. This move is considered one of Tabuu’s most dangerous attacks, and its swift, unpredictable beginning forces the player to pay attention before attacking Tabuu.

A glitch can occur in the Subspace Emissary if Tabuu is hit by a Green Shell while performing this attack. The Shell will remain stuck into Tabuu's body, which completely nullifies and blocks the move, instantly destroying every projection he shoots until the attack ends (regardless of clones' direction). This allows the player to stay still without taking any damage or knockback by the attack, preventing its ludicrous damage and very high KO (or OHKO) power. An interesting fact of this glitch is that the Green Shell doesn't get destroyed, but remains freezed for some seconds, until Tabuu uses Teleport and vanishes.

Third moves[edit]

  • Dragon Laser - Tabuu appears on the side of the stage and manifests a dragon head (also bearing similarities to the Dark Cannons), which floats beneath Tabuu as it spits out a powerful, bright azure laser horizontally across the stage. The beam has a huge hitbox and lasts for about three seconds, although only dealing a single hit when the player touches it. Jumping is advisable, although some characters may have a harder time dodging it this way, especially in the Subspace Emissary where gravity and falling speed are considerably higher. This move is a One-hit KO on Normal or higher difficulty, and on Hard and above in Boss Battles; damage is enormous and reaches 75% on Intense. It is usually a semi-spike, but angled and not horizontal. Tabuu can be attacked while performing this move, although it is very dangerous; hitting the cannon will also damage Tabuu himself. The attack is predictable, but the laser can be really swift, and characters with low jump or recovery are quite more likely to get caught by the blast.
Tabuu using Bullet Rain on Captain Falcon.
  • Bullet Rain - Tabuu appears in a random area in the air and fires a barrage of small bullets, finishing with a huge energy sphere. Easily avoided by keeping a safe distance from him; the bullet chain always lasts for less than three seconds, with a brief additional time for the huge energy sphere (about one second on Intense). It seems to be the least frequently used attack of the Third Moves, but punishes overzealous jumping that would be done to avoid the other two attacks. Still, pattern memorization will give his location away if he's about to use this attack; namely, if Tabuu appears anywhere not off the edge of the stage, he will use Bullet Rain. Both hitboxes landing is an invariable OHKO on every difficulty, even in Boss Battles; on Intense, a player fully hit by both hitboxes can sustain almost 400% damage before being invariably KOed. It is impossible to survive this situation even on lower difficulties, since the huge energy sphere KOs below 60% even on Easy in Boss Battles, and the bullets always deal enough damage to reach a sufficient percentage. The energy sphere alone inflicts up to 68% and immense vertical knockback, being a guaranteed OHKO on Hard or higher difficulty, and on Very Hard to Intense in Boss Battles; however, despite being enormous in size (much larger than Zelda’s Din's Fire), its hitbox has roughly the same dimension of the sphere itself, not more - even though it explodes on the ground. The bullets don't inflict any knockback but deal extremely high damage (quite over 300% on Intense if all hits connect); they are also very dangerous, since the player gets trapped and suffers multiple hits before being released. Apparently, their maximum combined damage increases by 44% per difficulty, except for Very Hard to Intense in the Subspace Emissary (where the gap is reduced to 29%). Tabuu can be attacked while performing this move, but it becomes very dangerous when the first hitbox ends, since touching the electrical sphere on his hand (noticed due to a red flash) is a guaranteed KO on every difficulty, even in Boss Battles (because Tabuu is high and closer to the upper blast line, and this move’s knockback is always perfectly vertical).

The following list shows the maximum damage inflicted by this move for every difficulty, respectively the first hitbox only and both hitboxes (assuming all hits connect):

  • Easy: 180% for bullets, 218% for bullets + sphere (Subspace Emissary); 92% for bullets, 119% for bullets + sphere (Boss Battles).
  • Normal: 224% for bullets, 269% for bullets + sphere (Subspace Emissary); 136% for bullets, 169% for bullets + sphere (Boss Battles).
  • Hard: 268% for bullets, 320% for bullets + sphere (Subspace Emissary); 180% for bullets, 217% for bullets + sphere (Boss Battles).
  • Very Hard: 297% for bullets, 355% for bullets + sphere (Subspace Emissary); 224% for bullets, 267% for bullets + sphere (Boss Battles).
  • Intense: 326% for bullets, 394% for bullets + sphere (Subspace Emissary); 268% for bullets, 318% for bullets + sphere (Boss Battles).

Being able to deal nearly 400% in less than four seconds, this attack is one of the most damaging moves in absolute, only surpassed by multiple Floows’ lament on Intense difficulty, Bucculus' kiss and Lugia’s Aeroblast.

  • Shuriken Boomerang - Tabuu appears on one side of the stage and throws a huge, circular, three-bladed shuriken, which flies across the stage like a boomerang before he catches it. Avoided by jumping and using the up special move (depending on character) to avoid the second swing. The boomerang only has three blades, but the speed of its spin makes it look like it has about nine. At higher levels, the player may need to dodge both the throw and the return in one jump, due to its very high speed (it could cover the entire length of Tabuu's Residence in roughly three seconds, including throw and catch phases). Players with poor recovery or low jump will have much more difficulty in dodging, especially in the Subspace Emissary where falling speed and gravity are both considerably higher. The first swing deals massive angled or semi-spiked knockback (though never horizontal), and can OHKO on Hard or higher difficulty (on Very Hard or above in Boss Battles). The second swing OHKOs starting from Very Hard and Intense respectively, due to dealing perfectly vertical knockback (the upper blast line is very high on Tabuu's Residence). The first swing also inflicts slightly more damage than the second (48% against 44% on Intense). Tabuu can be attacked while performing this move, with some risks.

Fourth moves[edit]

Unlike the other three sets, where the moves are picked at random, Tabuu will always alternate between Off Waves and Eye Lasers for his fourth set (i.e. Off Waves on 4th and 12th move, Eye Lasers on 8th and 16th move), making him even easier to predict. Due to this repeated scheme, it seems that Tabuu needs to charge his power for a while before unleashing his Wings to release Off Waves.

Tabuu with his wings.
  • Off Waves (オフウェーブ, Off Wave) (also called Winged Tabuu) - Tabuu appears in the background and unfolds his wings (resembling a butterfly's in shape, but made of intricate curving symbols). He then charges energy and proceeds to release, from the purple jewel inside his chest, three red circular shockwaves (similar to energy rings) that encompass the whole stage. If any one of these hit, they will cause extreme damage and knockback with no possibility to survive, even for heavy characters. In The Subspace Emissary, even on Easy difficulty a single wave will deal from 70% to 78% damage with massive knockback, more than enough to OHKO all characters, while on Normal and above it deals over 100% to 200% damage, with enough knockback for a guaranteed one-hit KO all the time. If the player is far away from Tabuu sourspot, they will cause less damage, however, being a one-hit KO this is unlikely to cause much difference.

Simply touching Winged Tabuu on the background deals the same knockback and damage of the Waves itself, usually the maximum possible since they coincide with the sweetspot. It is a guaranteed OHKO in every situation, regardless of difficulty and even in Boss Battles (although, in this mode, heavyweights could survive on Easy difficult only). Tabuu can't take damage in his Winged form.

This infamous attack is not easy to dodge but is most straightforwardly possible by either sidestepping or rolling three times in a row with accurate timing. If playing as Pokémon Trainer or Zelda/Sheik, the temporary invulnerability granted by using the down special transformation at the right time (the instant Tabuu extends his wings) also works. It can also be avoided by using perfect shielding or by using moves with armor, but the timing involved with these techniques is extremely difficult. With characters like Kirby and Jigglypuff, the player may also air dodge if they jump high enough (very close to the upper blast line). It is possible to actually survive being hit by a wave if the player is in the air under the stage, where she or he can DI and ceiling tech, but only on lower difficulties, also this requires a considerably good reaction time and tech skills to pull off, and the character must also have a good recovery to make it back. Off Waves' speed is very high and increases with the difficulty, with less than half a second of pause between each ring on Intense.

When faced in Boss Battles, Tabuu's Off Waves are made much slower and relatively weaker, to compensate that the player has only one stock instead of six and also has no continues, items or stickers. On Easy difficulty, one wave will deal 22% to 36% damage with very high knockback, OHKOing Mario only on its sweetspot or if he touches Winged Tabuu. The sourspot KOs around 35% instead. Normally, it is a guaranteed OHKO on characters not heavier than Lucas even if the player is far from Tabuu, but still onstage. DIing can help, but it will not prevent an OHKO for characters as heavy as Zelda. Ironically, on this difficult only, offstage characters will have higher odds to survive, which keep increasing if they are closer to the blast lines (but not too near). On higher difficulties, both damage and knockback rapidly increase, and regain their guaranteed one-hit KO status on Normal difficulty and above (where even the sourspot always OHKOs offstage characters). On Intense they can deal over 160% damage, like on Very Hard in the Subspace Emissary.

Off Waves are so powerful that even metal or giant characters will be OHKOed, usually starting from Hard difficulty (corresponding to Very Hard in Boss Battles, where items are not allowed though). When playing in co-op mode in the Subspace Emissary (but not in Boss Battles), Off Waves are made much slower to compensate the fact that they are Tabuu's strongest attack and cover the entire screen. This doesn't affect their power, though, also the difference is less evident on the higher difficulties (Intense overall).

The following list shows the maximum damage inflicted by Tabuu's Off Waves for every difficulty (calculated on the sweetspot or by direct contact with Winged Tabuu):

  • Easy: 78% (Subspace Emissary); 36% (Boss Battles).
  • Normal: 110% (Subspace Emissary); 66% (Boss Battles).
  • Hard: 139% (Subspace Emissary); 94% (Boss Battles).
  • Very Hard: 169% (Subspace Emissary); 127% (Boss Battles).
  • Intense: 200% (Subspace Emissary); 169% (Boss Battles).

Technically, the highest damage can be reached on Normal difficulty in the Subspace Emissary: if the player uses a Metal Box or a Super Mushroom, he could potentially survive at 0% and suffer a second hit before being KOed, leading to a maximum potential damage of 220%. However, this is unlikely and difficult to realise, also starting from Hard difficulty even these strong items can’t protect the player from an invariable OHKO.

  • Eye Lasers - Tabuu grows to a size so large that only his head appears on the side of the screen (either left or right). He then fires a red laser from each eye, and only the lasers' hitboxes inflict damage. On Intense it can KO well below 50%, even around 32% for lighter characters (but on Easy difficulty in Boss Battles it KOs slightly over 100% from the center of the stage). However, being hit while midair can drastically increase the chances of an early KO, due to the beams’ perfectly vertical knockback, also it is a very good combo, easily hitting a character twice in a row after launching him in midair. For these reasons, airborne characters are much more likely to be KOed at low percentages. Each hit can also deal massive damage: up to 48% on Intense (reduced to 32% on the same difficulty in Boss Battles). It can be very easily avoided by hiding right at the end of the stage, literally under Tabuu's chin, allowing the player to easily damage him, mainly by using up tilts or up smashes (though some moves that push the fighter backwards may move the player into the beams). Every damage Tabuu takes in this status is halved. Unlike Master Hand and Crazy Hand's lasers, Tabuu's ones do not drift off the stage, so one will be hit as long as they are in front of him. They have also a much larger hitbox, and can reach almost three quarters of Tabuu's Residence's height.

A glitch can occur if the character defeats Tabuu when he's using Eye Lasers. When the battle shows him flying off into the Subspace background, in pain, his head will be covered in the same red colored light that shot out from his eyes. This results in a sort of crimson "aura" surrounding his head. This effect lasts until the screen fades to black.

Random[edit]

  • Teleport - Tabuu teleports around the stage and appears at a set spawn which is randomly decided from the large amount of spawns available. He can spawn at different heights, up to around three quarters of Tabuu's Residence's height. This move can be randomly used once or multiple times in a row (up to five). He also sometimes teleports behind the character and attacks with one of the available attacks. Tabuu makes a distinctive sound on his final teleport.
  • Explosive Teleport - Tabuu teleports around, leaving a red explosion everywhere he teleports from. Touching the burst deals perfectly vertical knockback, with enormous KO potential and high damage (up to 45% on Intense). It is a guaranteed one-hit KO on Very Hard to Intense difficulty in the Subspace Emissary, and on Intense in Boss Battles. Since it KOs at very low percentages even on average difficulties, the player must not be too eager to attack Tabuu during his teleports and must always pay attention before attacking him. Crouching or simply staing still is the best way to avoid every hit, since this move cannot harm grounded players. Due to being extremely unpredictable and powerful, this attack is usually considered one of the most dangerous of Tabuu's moveset. The only weakness is that the bursts last for a brief time and have a very small hitbox but, since they can appear at different heights, attention must always be payed. Notice that this Teleport is always used five times in a row, and that the final teleport lacks the usual distinctive sound.

Moveset[edit]

Though not playable, Tabuu is controllable by hacking the game in Boss Battles Mode. After hacking the game, the controller used must be a GameCube Controller and must be plugged into the player 3 slot. The start button will cause him to self-destruct, as it does for all other bosses.

Move Name Description
A Shark blade Tabuu turns into a shark shape and flies across the stage.
A^ Eye lasers Tabuu shoots lasers from his eyes.
Av Diving slash Tabuu swoops down onto the stage holding a blade.
A< Rapid chop Tabuu rapidly slashes the air with karate chops.
A> Electric shield Electricity swirls around Tabuu in multiple rings.
B Pinpoint explosion Tabuu points and causes multiple explosions.
B^ Bullet rain Tabuu shoots a chain of bullets, followed by a huge fireball.
Bv Shuriken boomerang Tabuu throws a boomerang.
B< Dragon laser Tabuu summons a dark dragon that shoots a huge, azure horizontal laser across the stage.
B> Ghost projection Tabuu shoots multiple projections of himself. The amount of projections is not always the same.
X Off Waves Tabuu opens his wings and blasts three red rings outward from the background. It is always a one-hit KO.
L Chain of Light Tabuu uses his chain. If he grabs the player with it, he will slam them into the ground. If two players are playing, he will slam the caught player into the other player.
R Golden brackets Tabuu turns into golden brackets. If he grabs the player, he will slam them into the ground.
Unusable move 1 Explosion teleports Tabuu teleports and explosions suddenly occur wherever he teleports.
Unusable move 2 Teleport Tabuu teleports around the stage.

Moveset gallery[edit]

HP and damage taken[edit]

HP Values Lowest difficulty Below-middle difficulty Middle difficulty Above-middle difficulty Highest difficulty
The Great Maze 335 455 535 635 745
Boss Battles 111 160 212.5 265 405
  EffectIcon(Normal).png EffectIcon(Slash).png EffectIcon(Electric).png EffectIcon(Freezing).png EffectIcon(Flame).png EffectIcon(Grass).png EffectIcon(Water).png EffectIcon(Darkness).png EffectIcon(Aura).png Specials: Direct Specials: Indirect
Damage taken ×1.0 ×1.0 ×1.0 ×1.0 ×1.0 ×1.0 ×1.0 ×1.0 ×1.0 ×1.0 ×1.0

Like all bosses in Brawl, Tabuu gains an additional ×0.6 damage resistance modifier when fought in co-op mode, effectively gaining 67% more health. This modifier is applied whenever the second player is in-game, and is no longer applied if the second player loses all his stocks. In Boss Battles Mode, the same change is applied without any difference, but either player being KO'd results in a game over. Notice that the health gap between the Subspace Emissary and Boss Battles Mode is higher on lower difficulties (around two thirds on Easy) than on the higher ones (around 40% on Intense).

Trophies[edit]

Tabuu's main trophy is unlocked by using a Trophy Stand on Tabuu. Ways of doing this include:

  • Dodging Tabuu's attacks, waiting until he teleports and throwing the stand.
  • Throwing the stand when he is using "static" moves like Electrical Shield, Rapid Chop, Ghost Projection and Bullet Rain.
  • Notice that Winged Tabuu (the form he takes to unleash Off Waves) can never take damage and, thus, can't be turned into a trophy.

The Tabuu (Wings) trophy is obtained by beating Boss Battles Mode with all characters, and can't be unlocked with a hammer, except for the PAL version. In the original Japanese version and several translation, this trophy is called Winged Tabuu instead.

Tabuu[edit]

The Tabuu trophy in Brawl.

Tabuu
The ruler of Subspace and master of operations. Tabuu controls Master Hand with chains of light to excise this world and build up his great maze. He used Shadow Bugs to form Subspace and manipulates the servants of Master Hand to his heart's content. Born in a vastly foreign realm, he also possesses great leadership powers. Tabuu...No name is more suitable.

Wii: Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Tabuu (Wings)[edit]

Tabuu with wings trophy in Brawl.

Tabuu (Wings)
Tabuu with wings extended. The dreadful energy surges cast from these wings instantly turn all fighters back into trophies. Knowing this, King Dedede assembles all able-bodied troops and sets a timed device on each of them. This device is a brooch that, after the designated time runs out, revives all fighters wiped out by Tabuu.

Wii: Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Spirit[edit]

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Tabuu appears as a spirit in Adventure Mode: World of Light. Presumably, he is one of countless spirits captured by Galeem during his takeover of the universe. Afterward, Dharkon takes control of Galeem's spirits, including Tabuu.

Tabuu is located in the Mysterious Dimension as the penultimate battle before Marx. Prior to his battle, the player is quizzed on which spirit is the creator of the Subspace Army. During his Spirit Battle, Tabuu uses a Metal Bayonetta puppet fighter, possibly due to her butterfly wings, and the player's fighter is occasionally inflicted with sudden damage.

No. Image Name Type Class Slot Ability Series
1,100
Tabuu Spirit.png
Tabuu
Neutral
★★★★ 3 PSI Attack ↑ Super Smash Bros. Series

Glitches[edit]

At least three glitches can occur during the battle against Tabuu:

  • Tabuu Whip glitch happens when the player air techs or dodges into his Chain of Light. If properly done, he will get stuck beneath Tabuu's legs and be unable to free himself until Tabuu KOs the character. Being under the effects of a Metal Box, Super Mushroom or a strong flinch resistance sticker attacked will also cause this glitch; it could potentially occur on Easy difficulty in Boss Battles but it's very unlikely. A variation of the glitch can be performed in co-op mode by having one character land the final blow on Tabuu while the other is caught by the Chain of Light. Doing this, Tabuu will be defeated without releasing the character from his grab, resulting in that character being frozen in a tumbling pose in the center of the stage while Tabuu falls away, and disappearing at the same time the boss does if a loose explosive does not knock them out.
  • Another glitch can occur in the Subspace Emissary if Tabuu is hit by a Green Shell while performing Ghost Projection. The Shell will remain stuck and completely nullify Tabuu's move, instantly destroying every Projection he shoots until the attack ends. The glitch finishes when Tabuu teleports away.
  • A third glitch can occur if the character defeats Tabuu when he's using Eye Lasers. When the battle shows him flying off into the Subspace background, in pain, his head will be covered in the same red light that shot out from his eyes.

Two of these glitches are shown in the apposite "External links" section.

Trivia[edit]

  • Tabuu on Intense Difficulty in the Subspace Emissary has more OHKOs than any other boss or enemy in any of the Smash games: even 14, beating Galleom's and Rayquaza's 8 and Duon's 9, as well as Master Hand's - Crazy Hand's 7 + 3 in Brawl. They are reduced to 12 in Boss Battles.
    • In the Classic Mode of the same game (on Intense difficulty only), combined Master Hand and a Crazy Hand have access to even 17 potential OHKOs, although some of them need most hits to connect for an OHKO.
    • Some of his moves have the unique power to OHKO the same player twice in a row.
  • Although his wings have been injured and broken into shards by Sonic, Tabuu's Off Waves on Intense are still the most powerful move in every Smash game for both knockback and damage (up to 200%), along with the Ultimate Chimera's bite in Brawl itself.
    • Rapid Chop and Bullet Rain are also one of the most damaging moves in absolute, being able to inflict from roughly 300% to nearly 400%, only surpassed by multiple Floows’ lament on Intense difficulty, Bucculus' kiss and Lugia’s Aeroblast.
  • Some of Tabuu's attacks are similar to those of other bosses; his Eye Laser is similar to Master and Crazy Hand's Finger Laser and his teleportation resembles the abilities of final bosses in the Kirby series, such as Nightmare and Marx. Additionally, Tabuu's Off Waves are somewhat similar to the animation of Giygas's Inexplicable Attack from EarthBound.
  • The dragon head summoned during the "Dragon Laser" attack resembles a Dark Cannon. Its attack is also somewhat like Marx's mouth laser.
  • Tabuu is the only boss in Brawl to lack an official artwork.
  • Off Waves is the only attack to become slower when the game is played in co-op in the Subspace Emissary (but, strangely, not in Boss Battles), most likely due to their ability to affect the whole stage, and being very difficult to avoid.
  • Via the use of strong stickers and items, it is possible to take relatively little knockback from the Off Waves on Easy difficulty, allowing Tabuu to hit the player more than once with the move (in this case, the second hit is always a KO). However, it is also possible to be hit twice on Easy difficulty in Boss Battles, as long as the offstage player is hit by the sourspot at very low or no damage.
    • On Hard or higher difficulties, even a Super Mushroom or a Metal Box will not protect the player from being OHKOed by this immensely powerful attack.
  • In Super Smash Bros. 4, if the final transformation of Master Core isn't defeated after 45 seconds, it will begin to spin rapidly and rise to the center of the screen, then charge up and unleash five red waves. These waves work similarly to Tabuu's Off Waves and will one-hit KO the player if they make contact, but only on 8.0 or higher difficulty. Also their knockback and damage are severely weaker, despite being able to one-hit KO most or all characters regardless.
  • In the Mysterious Dimension of World of Light, Tabuu's spirit guards Marx's boss fight. This references how Marx and Tabuu share several attacks, such as their tendency to rapidly teleport and fire laser beams.

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]