Reflector (リフレクター, Reflector), informally known as Shine (primarily its Melee incarnation), is Fox's down special move. When used, Fox surrounds himself in a blue hexagonal energy field that reflects any projectile that touches it. It can also be used to damage enemies in close proximity to Fox when activated. If this shield deflects too many projectiles in one use, or if its user attempts to reflect a projectile of sufficient power (such as a constantly reflected Red or Green Shell), it will shatter, like a normal shield, and leave the user stunned. In Brawl, the Reflector does not shatter. Rather, it simply ceases reflecting projectiles. It was revealed that the shield originates from a small device the user carries. How it is used and its effects depends on the user.
Fox's Reflector creates a blue hexagonal shield around himself. Fox can keep the Reflector active for as long as he wants, and using it in midair slows his falling speed (this works by reducing his air speed and resetting his downwards acceleration).
In Super Smash Bros., the Reflector cannot be jumped out of, and is instead canceled instantly upon landing on the ground. Since the reflector cancels all momentum, it is quickest to immediately use the reflector after jumping; Fox will then instantly use the reflector and land-cancel the move. Additionally, while it will reflect most thrown items, it cannot reflect or protect against explosions. Aside from these two aspects, the Reflector is functionally the same as in Melee.
In Melee, Fox can also jump out of his reflector, like with regular shields, which is what allows waveshine combos. The reflector multiplies a projectile's damage and knockback by 1.5 when reflected. If the projectile is reflected several times, his reflector may break, similar to a shield breaking, though this is not the case in future installments, where the projectile just passes through the reflector and damages Fox normally. When used near a foe during its first few frames, it deals 6% damage with a slightly downward-angled horizontal angle (being a semi-spike), set knockback and a sparkling effect. The Reflector is often used for shine spikes in edgeguarding, which involve using the Reflector's damaging hitbox to knock recovering enemies downward. It is also extremely useful against bosses, considering as most of their attacks are projectiles. Fox's Reflector also grants him one frame of intangibility when used at the beginning; this was increased to four frames in Brawl.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee, the Reflector uses the sound effect used for picking up items. This was also used in Super Smash Bros., except that items do not make the same sound in this game, and Fox still made a slightly different sound from other characters when picking up items. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the Reflector's sound effect was changed, and it was changed again in SSB4.
While the reflector is active, Fox's falling speed is altered: Fox falls and accelerates more slowly; this is the reason that the Chillin dash works. In Brawl, the move's ending lag was decreased, so Fox can effectively hover and stall in the air by repeatedly using his reflector. The slowed falling speed, mixed with the damaging aspect of the Reflector, can prevent Fox being juggled. Fox can also turn in midair when repeatedly activating the reflector. However, shine-spiking in Brawl is much less useful due to a combination of the reflector's damage affected knockback, longer recoveries, and floatiness, though it can be used immediately while hanging on a ledge.
When Fox reflects a projectile on the ground from Brawl onward, he can cancel the move into a roll, spot dodge or jump by making the appropriate directional input during the reflector's animation change. As a result, when pulling out the reflector on the same frame that a projectile reaches it, it will almost always result in Fox spot dodge-canceling it, due to the player having to push down on the control stick to activate the move.
In Super Smash Bros. 4, Fox's Reflector was given much more ending lag, comparable to his Reflector in Melee, to prevent stalling in the air. It also no longer semi-spikes aerial opponents, practically eliminating all of the move's offensive capability in Fox's edgeguarding. Additionally, the move's startup lag has been doubled, and it no longer gives Fox intangibility on startup, limiting its use as a combo breaker.
In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the move's startup has been reverted to that of its Brawl iteration, and it once again grants Fox intangibility on startup during frames 2 and 3, improving its utility as a combo breaker or for shine spiking. However, it now only stalls Fox once in midair.
Special Move customization was added in Super Smash Bros. 4. These are the variations:
Fox can perform a technique referred to as Chillin dashing, named after Chillindude829, in Super Smash Bros. Melee. It is performed by running off the edge, and at the moment the character is going to fall off, the character must use the Reflector and perform a jump shine. Covering a decent distance, it is useful for edgeguarding. It is generally followed up by a jump canceled back aerial. A pseudo-Chillin dashing can be performed in Super Smash Bros.; however, since Fox cannot jump out of his shine, it would only work to edgeguard against recoveries.
Similar to shield platform dropping, this technique is done by performing a shine while on a soft platform, and then dropping through it by pressing down on the control stick. This technique is the trigger to activate Shine Mines.
Fox can also perform a technique referred to as Shine Mining, a term coined and discovered by Darktooth, in Super Smash Bros. Melee. It is performed by first shining in the location the player wishes to leave the shine mine. Then, when the player wishes to activate the mine, he/she must perform a shine drop through a platform anywhere on stage, and the mine will become an active reflector for exactly two frames starting from the 2nd frame after activation. It is important to note that the mine does not have the knockback and damage properties of the initial frames of a normal reflector - it can only reflect projectiles. The limited uses and difficult input timing make this technique extremely situational, but it can be used in various ways for edge-guarding.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee Fox (along with Falco) can grab immediately out of a shine. This is possible because shine is interruptible with a jump which from there the player can perform a jump-canceled grab. The resulting animation shows a shine immediately followed by a grab. This is useful because when performed on an opponent's shield, if the shine doesn't hit then the grab will due to the grab's property of beating shields. This technique isn't unbeatable however. If one can predict a shine grab or other techniques, he can roll away before the grab is performed. This particular situation plays into the role of mindgames.
Like most of Fox's moves, the Reflector is unique to the Super Smash Bros. series, but may have been inspired by the Arwing's ability to deflect enemy fire by doing a Barrel Roll. The Barrel Roll may also reference Fox's ability to cancel the Reflector with a roll when successfully reflecting a projectile, starting in Brawl.
As revealed in Brawl, Slippy is the Reflector's original designer, and provided Fox and Falco with this special equipment for the occasion of fighting. Fox's energy shield shape as a hexagon might also reference the shape of the Supply rings in Star Fox 64. Up until Brawl, there was no sign of how Fox activated his Reflectors, as he simply held a stance and the energy shield simply "appeared" around them. However, Subspace Emissary and the Star Fox cast's redesigns in Brawl revealed that their reflectors were miniature devices that activated on a swipe of their hands. These devices would later make their first canonical appearance in Star Fox Zero, once again attached to Fox and Falco's belts but serving no purpose in gameplay.