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PK Flash

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PK Flash
Ness Neutral B SSBU.gif
Ness using PK Flash in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
User Ness
Universe EarthBound
Article on WikiBound PK Flash

PK Flash (PKフラッシュ, PK Flash) is Ness's neutral special move since Super Smash Bros. Melee. It is a chargeable attack.


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Ness lands a fully charged PK Flash on Captain Falcon in Melee

When the move is initiated, Ness enters a hunched-over pose and shouts "PK Flash!" A ball of green light then appears above him. As the special move button is held, the ball of light moves downwards in an arching motion and increases in power, until the special button is released or until it is fully charged, at which point it explodes.

PK Flash can be charged until it falls to the altitude from where Ness initiated the attack. It can be steered horizontally by a considerable amount and vertically to a much lesser extent by using the control stick. In Melee, Brawl, and Smash 4, if the attack falls upon a platform or a higher level of a stage before it is detonated, it will disappear harmlessly. This can be a problem, especially in Brawl, since it falls below Ness' height when fully charged (but nonetheless, it is still considered fully charged if the player lets go of the special button right before it hits the ground). The ball of light is easier to control in was relatively difficult to control in Melee, but was made easier to steer in future titles. In Ultimate, it can cover more vertical distance than all other games, but it has slightly less kill power.

In all games except Ultimate, when performed in the air, it puts Ness into a helpless falling animation. At no charge, it deals 11%Super Smash Bros. MeleeSuper Smash Bros. Ultimate/9%Super Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. 4 and when fully charged (without the influence of special conditions) it deals a maximum damage of 36%Super Smash Bros. Melee/37%Super Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. 4/27%Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with huge knockback. Of all projectiles, PK Flash has the highest knockback when fully or almost fully charged, and KOs as low as 60%. In SSB4, PK Flash covers more range behind Ness, whereas in previous games PK Flash has reduced range if shifted behind.

Due to the move's lag and the fact that it leaves Ness vulnerable, some players try to avoid using this attack. However, it does have some niche utility. For example, it can be used for low percentage Star KOs when used on an opponent that is landing. It can also be used for edgeguarding, attacking recovering opponents and/or gimping their recoveries. It is also a risky but effective burst option for a player trying to catch an opponent recklessly jumping in.

The move also has good uses in Team Battles. It can be absorbed three times (or once in SSB4) by Mr. Game and Watch's Oil Panic, giving him a OHKO. It can also be used for healing a Lucas, another Ness or a Mii Gunner by having them use PSI Magnet or Absorbing Vortex, on it. Finally, Ness' teammate can grab his opponent, allowing Ness to use his fully charged PK Flash.

Melee's PK Flash, used by both Ness and Kirby, can be subcharged due to a glitch that occurs when characters transition between ground and air.

Originally, in Melee, the attack is colored green, while in Brawl and SSB4, it is given more of a blueish tint.

Due to Ness's accent, many players mishear "PK Flash" as any of a variety of phrases, such as "PK Pulse" and "PK Cross", as the final "sh" sound is quieter than the rest of the yell. However, when Kirby copies Ness, he clearly says "PK Flash" when he uses it, despite both characters having the same voice actress. In Smash 4, due to Ness's new voice clips, PK Flash is now heard correctly.

Instructional quotes[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Melee instruction booklet NessHeadSSBM.png Hold B to charge this powerful psychic attack.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U instruction booklet Ness's stock icon in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Hold B and tilt left stick left and right to move the explosive ball of light.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Move List NessHeadSSBU.png Blasts opponents with electrical energy after reaching full charge. Can be used before full charge for a weaker attack.


Special Move customization was added in Super Smash Bros. 4. These are the variations:

1. PK Flash 2. Rising PK Flash 3. PK Freeze
"An electrical blast that explodes after a while or when you release the button." "A PK Flash that just keeps rising. Lower on power and sideways motion." "Like PK Flash, but freezes opponents when it hits."
  1. PK Flash: Default.
  2. Rising PK Flash: The attack moves upward with minimal control. It has a larger hitbox at the cost of damage. It is magenta in color instead of green.
  3. PK Freeze: Inflicts less damage, but freezes opponents. Works like Lucas's neutral special, except with the same inertia as PK Flash. It is sky blue in color instead of green. Falls slightly slower and starts higher up than PK Flash.

Glitches in Brawl[edit]

In Brawl, if PK Flash is spammed when Ness is directly on top of a orange or green spring within a custom stage, he can stall inside of the spring for short periods of time. After a short amount of time, however, he will bounce out of the spring as normal. This also works with PK Thunder.


PK Flash α in EarthBound.
Ness (named “Nass” by the player) using PSI Flash α in EarthBound.

PK Flash (localized as PSI Flash in EarthBound) first appeared in EarthBound and later appeared in Mother 3. In both games, the move involved using the character's psychic power to cause a strong flash of light that could affect all enemies. In EarthBound, Ness learns PK Flash. There are four levels to this power, which are: α (Alpha), β (Beta), γ (Gamma), and Ω (Omega). PK Flash α will only cause enemies to cry or feel strange. PK Flash β can also cause enemies to feel numb or be instantly destroyed. PK Flash γ and Ω each increase the chance of more powerful effects and decrease the chance of weaker ones. When Ness uses PK Flash in Smash, the player can either let PK Flash fully charge and "explode" or stop charging early for a less powerful explosion. PK Flash being weaker when less charged and most powerful when fully charged is likely a reference to the different levels of PK Flash in EarthBound, considering there are four different audio cues the detinating portion of the move can make depending on the charge starting in Smash 4.

In Mother 3, Lucas would learn PK Flash after he was shocked by an electrical discharge. The PK Flash in Mother 3 didn't have any levels, so PK Flash could deal minor status afflictions like crying or one-hit KOs at any point of the game.

The high damage and knockback this attack possesses in the Smash series is most likely a reference to the instant defeat chance it has in its home series.


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name
Japan Japanese PKフラッシュ, PK Flash
UK English PK Flash
France French PSY flash
Germany German PK-Blitz
Spain Spanish Destello PSI
Italy Italian PsicoFlash
China Chinese 意念之光
South Korea Korean PK 플래시, PK Flash
Netherlands Dutch PK-flits
Russia Russian ПК-вспышка


  • PK Flash is the only special move for Ness that he can also learn in EarthBound.
  • PK Flash is the only special move that Ness doesn't share with Lucas.
  • Despite effects such as Paralysis and instant defeat (in the case of Whack and Thwack) being purposefully implemented aspects of the Super Smash Bros. series, PK Flash has never had the capability to cause either of them, contrary to its canonical side effects in its home series.