Palutena's Guidance is Pit's Smash Taunt, performed on Palutena's Temple in Super Smash Bros. 4 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. When it is activated, a conversation is initiated about an opponent Pit is facing, in the same fashion as Snake's Codec Conversations in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Palutena's Guidance is based upon the conversations Pit would have with other characters throughout Kid Icarus: Uprising. The dialogue appears on the bottom screen during gameplay, which is featured on the top screen. The conversations primarily involve Palutena or Viridi informing Pit about the task at hand. Other characters (both friend and foe) can also participate in them, though many conversations end up going on tangents, or don't even relate to the task at all. Some conversations show up randomly and are dependent on what chapter and segment are being played, or even Pit's selected weapon.
The Smash Taunt can be activated by Pit on Palutena's Temple. During the match, the player must press the down taunt button for one frame. When this is done successfully, Pit will perform a crouching animation for five seconds, during which time he is immobile. As long as this animation completes without interruption, a conversation will begin. The Smash Taunt can only be done once per match, even if it was unsuccessful due to the animation's interruption. It also cannot be performed on the Ω form nor Battlefield form of Palutena's Temple.
Pit's Smash Taunt references the various conversations that he could have with Palutena throughout Kid Icarus: Uprising; in addition to reusing the same artwork for the conversation boxes, the conversations feature the game's light-hearted, comical tone, complete with occasional points where the topic becomes irrelevant or the two break the fourth wall.
In addition to Palutena and Pit, Kid Icarus character Viridi appears in several of the conversations, also utilizing her artwork from Kid Icarus Uprising. In a handful of conversations, namely the one about him, the Ice Climbers, and Wolf, Dark Pit also joins in. In Wii U, Chrom joins in on the conversation regarding Robin, using his portrait from Fire Emblem Awakening. In Ultimate, Alucard makes a cameo during Richter’s conversation, using his portrait from Symphony of the Night, and having an echo effect on his voice similar to the one heard in the same game.
Palutena's Guidance returns in Ultimate, with new conversations for returning veterans that were not present in Smash 4, Smash 4's downloadable fighters, and Ultimate newcomers, including the DLC character, Piranha Plant. The majority of conversations for returning characters that were present in Smash 4 are recycled, but six receive new conversations: Link, Zelda, Sheik, Ganondorf (all which are based on different incarnations of the characters), Ike (in his Path of Radiance costumes) and Robin (because Chrom is now a separate playable character, and the previous conversation alluded to the fact that he had no such status). All of Viridi's voice lines for the recycled conversations in the English versions are also re-recorded, as she is now voiced by Dayci Brookshire instead of Hynden Walch. If Stage Morph is on, the morph will be delayed until the conversation ends.
Conversations (Super Smash Bros. for Wii U)
Regional differences: In the Japanese version, Viridi comments "growing bigger seems like a trend for [Bowser]", reflecting how Bowser frequently transform into Super Bowser in recent Mario games.
Note: Pit and Palutena mentioning Charizard being "short in the flight department" references the removal of the gliding mechanic previously present in Brawl. It also may refer to how Charizard was originally incapable of learning the move Fly in Pokémon Red and Green.
Note: While Dark Pit and the Lightning Chariot are new recruits for Viridi, Phosphora was already aligned with the Forces of Nature in Kid Icarus: Uprising. This is likely a mistranslation from the Japanese script, where Viridi mentions that the Lightning Chariot was confiscated by Phosphora.
Note: Viridi's statement that there are many different Ganons is only partially correct. While there have been various different Links and Zeldas throughout the series, there have only been two different Ganons: one that has remained the same individual across the series' diverging timelines while appearing in either his Gerudo form or his demonic form, and another that appears exclusively in The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures hundreds of years after the previous Ganon's death in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. It may implicitly be referring to the individual versions of Ganon from said diverging timelines, whose characters differ based on the events that occur in their respective timelines. Regardless, this inaccuracy is addressed in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate version of the conversation; Viridi mentions that Ganondorf is the same individual reincarnated over time.
Regional differences: In the Japanese version, Pit says that Ike "still looks young" rather than "hasn't aged well". Additionally, Pit and Viridi mimic Ike's yells when performing Aether at the end.
Regional differences: The entire conversation is heavily altered from the Japanese version: when Pit and Palutena see King Dedede, Palutena utters "Dehh dehh dehh dehh dehh," much to Pit's confusion. At the end, Pit enthusiastically comments that he will attempt to deflect the Gordos, rather than questioning what a KO is.
Regional differences: In the Japanese version, Viridi derisively comments Kirby has "a simple shape as always" at the beginning.
Note: This conversation references the fact that both Kid Icarus and The Legend of Zelda were released in 1986 in Japan. Pit's confusion with Viridi's remarks references Kid Icarus: Uprising, where she openly expresses distaste for the human race due to their destructive effect on the ecosystems around them.
Regional differences: In the Japanese version, Viridi has an additional line of dialogue where she dreamily calls out Link's name, calling him "Link-sama".
Note: The tone of Viridi's last line suggests sarcasm; she may be referencing how Lucina demonstrates a strange sense of humor in Fire Emblem Awakening, with other characters commenting on the contrast with her stern personality. On a related note, her official profile states that she is "the least likely to get a joke".
Note: This conversation references The Year of Luigi, a promotional advertising campaign in 2013 where Nintendo celebrated Luigi's 30th anniversary since his debut in Mario Bros.
Note: Palutena's remarks about Mario being Pit's first ally is a reference to Brawl's Subspace Emissary. Upon being sent out by Palutena to take down the Subspace Army, Pit encounters Mario's trophy in the clouds. Additionally, the earlier half of this taunt bears a striking similarity to that of Snake's codec conversation regarding Mario in the previous game. Furthermore, the Japanese version's entire conversation is nearly identical to Snake's conversation, with Palutena commenting having a match with Mario is a "once-in-a-lifetime chance" and telling Pit to not to regret it, much like Colonel Roy Campbell in said conversation.
Note: Unlike most other conversations, Mega Man's guidance directly lists out the majority of his moveset in Smash Bros., which are all special weapons gained from the Robot Masters in the original Mega Man games.
Note: The conversation references how Meta Knight strongly resembles Kirby underneath his mask, which is only revealed when it shatters upon his defeat.
Note: Pit references the Shadow Bugs from Brawl's Subspace Emissary as a nod to Mr. Game & Watch's role in the mode; according to Masahiro Sakurai, the Shadow Bugs are a mysterious substance that can be extracted from Mr. Game & Watch, which allowed Tabuu to create a majority of the members of the Subspace Army. Despite what Viridi says, a Judge with 9 does not actually cause a true one-hit KO, but its knockback and damage are still high enough to KO reliably at around 10%.
Note: The conversations about Olimar and Alph are identical, hence Pit not referring to them by name. Alph is the only alternate character (that isn't a simple gender swap) whose Guidance conversation isn't different from the main character's.
Note: Pit's initial comment is a reference to the sound Pac-Man makes while eating dots, which is commonly associated with the character. Palutena's talk about Pit's wings is an allusion to Chapter 2 of Kid Icarus: Uprising, in which Palutena speculates on the tastiness of barbecued angel wings while he flies through a lightning storm.
Regional differences: In the Japanese version, Pit comments on Pac-Man's similarity to Kirby at the beginning, rather than mimicking his chomping.
Note: Pit saying that he has fought Palutena before references Chapter 20 of Kid Icarus: Uprising, where he is tasked with defeating Palutena after she is possessed by the Chaos Kin. The ending of the conversation references not only Pit's Smash Taunt, but also Palutena's role in Brawl; as part of Pit's previous Final Smash, Palutena's Army, Palutena would summon multiple centurions to attack Pit's opponents. Interestingly, Pit can still use the Power of Flight despite that being granted by Palutena.
Note: Pit pronounces R.O.B. as three separate letters, unlike how Palutena and the announcer pronounce it as a full name. Pit's nickname for R.O.B., "Mr. HVC-012", is a reference to the product number of R.O.B. in Japan.
Regional differences: At the beginning of the Japanese conversation, Palutena calls Rosalina a witch, to which Viridi replies "If Rosalina is an witch, then you or Zelda are also witches!" This references how Rosalina is often referred to as a witch within the Super Mario Galaxy games. Pit also refers to the Luma directly as a "star child" rather than mistaking it for a pillow.
Note: This conversation references confusion that sometimes occurs among players who frequently call the protagonists by the series' name, particularly with some referring to Link as "Zelda". The confusion between Pit and the series title of Kid Icarus is also referenced within the tutorial of Uprising, where Pit asks Palutena, "Who is this 'Icarus' character this game is named after?" Additionally, the Japanese version has Viridi comment on Pit's name not being "Palutena" per the franchise's Japanese name (パルテナの鏡, Mirror of Palutena).
Note: Pit and Palutena commenting on Sheik's true identity and Viridi not taking them seriously could be a subtle reference to the legacy of Ocarina of Time. While it is common knowledge in modern times that Sheik is actually Zelda — partially due to their playability in the Smash Bros. series itself — Sheik's identity is technically one of Ocarina of Time's biggest spoilers, revealed late in the game between the second-last and last dungeons.
Regional differences: In the Japanese version, instead of mentioning Mr. Resetti, Viridi references how the Villager's name is the first one in Smash Bros. to be written entirely in hiragana, much to Pit's surprise.
Note: Palutena is referencing Wario's appearance as Wario-Man in WarioWare: Touched! — however, Wario-Man's first appearance was actually WarioWare: Twisted!. Twisted! was released before Touched! in Japan, but afterwards internationally. Also, TMI is an abbreviation for "too much information".
Note: Pit saying that "angels are messengers of the gods" and Viridi's retort that "angels are nothing more than divine interns" are references to a conversation from Uprising, where Pit asks Palutena if all gods have angels and Viridi replies with a similar comment.
Note: The Wii Fit Trainer is the only fighter who has two completely unique conversations depending on the subject's gender.
Note: This conversation is similar to Snake's codec conversation regarding Yoshi, as in both conversations, the characters question how Yoshi lays eggs even though he is male.
Note: Palutena's comment about dark magic references Spirit Tracks, where Zelda had the ability to control Phantoms. It may also be referencing Phantom Hourglass, where the Phantoms were creations of the antagonist, Bellum.
Conversations (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)
Note: Palutena calling Bayonetta a "wearer of questionable outfits" is likely based on her default clothes being made entirely of her own hair, which also exposes parts of her body when using the Wicked Weaves (an aspect which is heavily censored in Smash Bros.). Viridi's advice telling Pit to "just wiggle around" out of her combos may jokingly reference the derisive "Just SDI" meme that appeared in response to complaints about Bayonetta in Smash 4, as SDI is one of the most effective methods to escape Bayonetta's aerial strings.
Note: Palutena referring to Chrom's sword as simply "Falchion" (as opposed to Marth's Exalted Falchion and Lucina's Parallel Falchion) was originally "Sealed Sword Falchion" in the Japanese version, which is what Chrom's sword prior to its upgrade is called in Awakening. The localization of Awakening changed it to simply Falchion, and Ultimate followed suit with this.
Note: Pit's last line will change depending on whether or not the player is currently in a Stamina match. Also, contrary to Palutena's claim, Cloud never made it into SOLDIER; due to a traumatic event, he adopted the memories from Zack Fair, a friend of his who was an actual SOLDIER 1st Class.
Note: The beginning of this Guidance directly breaks the fourth wall, referring to the three story paths of Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright, Conquest, and Revelation.
Note: Pit mistaking Daisy for Peach may be referencing how Daisy's color palette was an alternate costume for Peach prior to Ultimate. It may also reference how Daisy herself used to more closely resemble Peach in the Mario series prior to Mario Party 4.
Regional differences: In the Japanese version, Pit remarks that Tatanga does not kidnap Daisy as much as Bowser does; he also becomes jealous of Daisy for having a symbol that is also her name, with Palutena replying that his symbol would be a "pitfall".
Note: Viridi's line about how "the monkeys never should have messed with the stuff", and how it "blew up in their faces" is misleading: she might be referring to the Galactic Federation (which is made up of humans, or "monkeys" as Viridi calls them) and their production of Phazon Enhancement Devices, but the non-human Space Pirates were actually the first to experiment with Phazon. The former's use of Phazon, however, did not have as negative an impact as the latter. Viridi could also be referring to the terminal corruption state experienced by the Federation-hired bounty hunters Rundas, Ghor, and Gandrayda due to overuse of their Phazon Enhancement Devices, a miscalculation the Federation failed to foresee, thus unknowingly putting their lives in danger.
Note: Though Ganondorf's appearance in Ultimate is based on his incarnation in Ocarina of Time, Pit calls him "the Calamity, the ultimate evil that can't be killed". This refers to Calamity Ganon, a primal form of Ganondorf which acts as the main antagonistic force in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, who can only be sealed away with the divine power of the Goddess.
Regional differences: Viridi's reference to Ike as a "mercenary" was "ranger" in the Japanese version, which was Ike's base class in Path of Radiance (Hero being Ike's base class in Radiant Dawn). Mercenary is a similar class in most other Fire Emblem games that usually promotes to Hero, but does not exist in Path of Radiance or Radiant Dawn.
Note: Pit's enunciation of the first line emulates that of a wrestling announcer. While Pit says "That tiger's on fire!", the in-game text erroneously says "That's tiger's on fire!" Regional difference: In the Japanese version, Viridi's last line instead has her saying she "wonder[s] what happens if [Incineroar] fights with Little Mac", possibly referencing its reveal trailer.
Note: "BOOYAH" is one of the signals usable by Inklings to call out to teammates, and a popular phrase within the Splatoon fanbase.
Note: When Palutena introduces Isabelle, she says "she Isabelle" rather than "she's Isabelle", making a pun on her name. In Japanese, the joke is instead related to the fact that she is a Shih Tzu; "シーズー犬だから、しずえ。"
Note: Contrary to Palutena's statement, Ken has never possessed the Dark Hado. However she may be referring to his brainwashed transformation known as Violent Ken, which actually uses M. Bison's Psycho Power instead of the Dark Hado.
Note: According to Leigh Loveday (writer of the Donkey Kong Country series) on Rareware.com's former "scribes" column, K. Rool's motivation for stealing the banana hoard is either that he wants Donkey Kong to starve to death so that he can occupy his "cosy treehouse pad," or perhaps that he simply likes bananas. The latter explanation is supported in the Donkey Kong Country manual, which states the Kremlings coveted the Bananas for their nutritional value, and contradicted in DK: Jungle Climber where K. Rool states that he despises bananas.
Regional differences: In the Japanese version, Pit thinks that the tropics sound nice because there are a lot of foods (in the place of his replies that he like bananas), which leads Viridi to comment on his simple-mindedness.
Note: "OP" is a common slang word in gaming that means "overpowered". In this case, the Master Sword powers up in the presence of Calamity Ganon in Breath of the Wild. However, Palutena notes that Ultimate's Ganondorf is from a different game (Ocarina of Time), and thus this mechanic would not work. Regardless, Ganondorf's weakness to the Master Sword is a common story mechanic, and traditionally deals the final blow to Ganondorf throughout the Legend of Zelda series.
Note: Though the dialogue was originally unchanged, due to the Mii Gunner's redesigned outfit, the two references to backpacks were later removed through a patch.
Note: When Viridi starts naming off the different species of Piranha Plants, her dialogue humorously speeds up. Her list is the single longest line of dialogue in any Palutena's Guidance conversation.
Regional differences: The entire conversation is heavily altered in the Japanese version. Palutena expresses surprise that Piranha Plant is a fighter (instead of warning Pit about Viridi); Viridi mentions a boss Piranha Plant character from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (Killer Pakkun) and Fire Nipper Plant in her list, while the generic Piranha Plant is moved to middle of the list rather than the beginning; lastly, Palutena asks Pit, "how many times was Pakkun (Piranha) said during this conversation?", to Pit's disbelief (rather than both of them getting annoyed at Viridi).
Note: Whether this conversation or a conversation that applies to the Pokémon themselves comes up when the taunt is triggered is chosen depending on the Pokémon that is present: if the current Pokémon is the one that is first sent out (which can be chosen when picking Pokémon Trainer), the conversation will revolve around said Pokémon. If the current Pokémon isn't the first one (for example, Ivysaur or Charizard if Squirtle was chosen first), then the conversation will revolve around the Pokémon Trainer instead.
Note: Pit calling the Pokémon Trainer a "twerp" is most likely a reference to how Team Rocket refers to Ash and his friends in the Pokémon anime. Palutena's somewhat morbid reference to the Pokémon playing together at a "farm upstate" is a common phrase used to delicately tell children that their animal has passed away or had to be put down. On a lighter note, the "farm" Palutena mentions could be instead referring to My Pokémon Ranch, or even the Poké Pelago, although the pelago is not really a "farm". "PikaPit" is a reference to the ability to name captured Pokémon.
Regional difference: In the Japanese version, Pit refers to Alucard as "one of the big guys of the industry" in place of mentioning Alucard's fangs, with Viridi asking about what "industry" Pit is referring to. Pit also asked Alucard if he is "hostile towards [Dracula]" (instead of bloodsucking).
Note: Pit's declaration of "Ridley confirmed!" may be a nod to Ridley's consistent popularity as a potential fighter since the first Smash Bros. Pit saying "Is that canon?" may be referring to the fact that Viridi's information (Ridley building Mecha Ridley) has been previously mentioned only in obscure online supplemental materials for Metroid: Zero Mission; alternatively, he may be questioning Viridi's claim that Ridley is "officially [...] a narcissist". Finally, Proteus Ridley, a version of Ridley where he was regenerating his organics during his Meta Ridley form, is the only incarnation of Ridley not mentioned in the conversation.
Regional differences: In the Japanese version, Pit does not recognize Ridley, instead saying "There's an alien here that looks like a demon!" at the beginning.
Note: Palutena and Viridi refer to Sheik using male pronouns, much to the confusion of Pit (who knows Sheik's true identity). Conversely, Ultimate refers to Sheik using female pronouns in her moveset and tips. Sheik's gender has been a longstanding dispute since the character's inception. Pit's last line refers to the branching timelines of the Zelda series, also mentioned in Young Link's conversation, which often diverge in continuity. Due to the differing nature of pronouns in Japanese, Sheik's gender is never brought into the conversation at all, with Pit's last remark simply being a comment on Viridi's advice.
Note: Pit recognizing Simon Belmont is a possible reference to how both of them were main characters in the promotional cartoon series Captain N: The Game Master and his explanation of "hitting the scene around the same time" refers to how both series debuted in 1986. Additionally, Pit's math is wrong — 1094 to 1999 AD is only 905 years, not a thousand (though Pit making such a mistake is still within character).
Note: Pit saying they should “bust out the cannons” is likely a reference to the Cannon weapon class from Kid Icarus: Uprising. He also comments on how he "never thought [he'd] get a chance to fight [Snake] again", referencing how both Pit and Snake debuted in Brawl, but Snake was cut from Smash 4. Also, Pit's contemplation about adding bombs to his arrows references the Bomb Arrows featured in several The Legend of Zelda games, hence Viridi's sarcastic reply.
Note: The conversation is largely unchanged from for Wii U, but the first "Nasty Garlic" has been changed to simply "garlic" to correct a minor mistake; in his Final Smash, Wario eats a regular piece of garlic, not Nasty Garlic. This correction is for consistency with the Japanese version of the conversation, which identifies the Nasty Garlic as a mandrake, as well as the Final Smash's trophy descriptions in Brawl and for Wii U.
Note: Viridi's comment about "glorified palette swaps" is likely a reference to how Wolf and Dark Pit are based on Fox and Pit respectively. However, while Dark Pit is a full clone and an Echo Fighter, Wolf is a pseudo-clone whose moveset barely resembles Fox’s.
Note: Palutena's mention of parallel worlds caused by the Hero of Time refers to how Ocarina of Time splits into three branches in the Zelda Timeline based on if Ganondorf's goal in the Era of Time were to succeed, was prevented, or if he got sealed away.
Note: The way Viridi calls out Pit's name is similar to how Zelda calls Link's name when talking to him telepathically in A Link to the Past and Breath of the Wild.
Regional differences: Viridi's lines are slightly different in the Japanese version, saying "Link... Link... Go buy me a melonpan," and "Link... Link... Make me rice with eggs," respectively. Pit's response is simple annoyance rather than mistaking her for Zelda.
Characters available as downloadable content use a generic Guidance conversation, presumably to avoid having to repeatedly bring in the characters' voice actors for new lines each time a new character is added. The generic conversation was discovered at Super Smash Bros. for Wii U's launch in the game's sound files. The conversation consists of Pit, Palutena, and Viridi briefly discussing an unknown fighter. Unused and inaccessible through normal play at first, it was confirmed to be a placeholder conversation for additional fighters on April 15th, 2015, with the release of the first DLC character, Mewtwo. Despite Bayonetta's reveal trailer involving new voice work of the characters, they did not voice a guidance conversation for her nor any of the previous DLC fighters (which, as DLC was now complete, would have filled in the roster and obviated the generic placeholder).
The same dialogue was also found in Ultimate, and was unused until the release of Joker. However, Piranha Plant has a unique conversation, presumably due to being developed at the same time as the main game.
Smash Taunt Portraits