Bombsoldier (ボムソルジャー) is a semi-retired SSBM Falco player from Japan, who was most active during the Golden Age of Melee. He was notable for his aggressive, flashier playstyle, atypical of Falco play at the time, and is renowned for being one of the most influential Falco players of all time.
Prior to the Jack Garden Tournament, Bombsoldier was seen as an up-and-coming player and innovator in his usual region, but it wasn't until that tournament where he gained national prominence. After losing to RAIN in the winners' bracket, Bombsoldier tore through the losers' bracket defeating almost every top Japanese player at the time, including Captain Jack, Korius, and the then-#1 seed Masashi to reach Grand Finals against Ken, who he lost against to place 2nd overall.
After the American players in attendance brought their recordings back to the United States and uploaded them onto YouTube, Bombsoldier also gained international prominence for his performance. His innovative style of play and incredible punish game immediately made him a crowd favorite, and inspired American Falco mains to incorporate elements of his style into their gameplay. These players included PC Chris, Zhu, and DaShizWiz, who would all be recognized in their own eras as some of the greatest Falco players to play Melee.
After the Jack Garden Tournament, Bombsoldier's tournament attendance was not well-documented, although it can be assumed he continued playing the game in some capacity, remaining a strong threat in the Japanese scene. His only noted appearance outside of Japan was at Zero Challenge 3, where he placed 17th out of 228 entrants, being eliminated by Forward in the losers' bracket.
Other games and recent activity
Bombsoldier is known to have played both Brawl and the earlier versions of Project M competitively, though he was only active for a short time in both. He did not show any interest in competing in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U when it was the most recent Smash game. Bombsoldier seemed to fade out of the scene over these years, though he remained semi-active on Twitter, talking mostly about other video games instead of Smash.
However, he has returned to the scene for Ultimate, where he plays Lucas to moderate tournament success. He exclusively attends tournaments in Japan. Bombsoldier has also reappeared in the Melee scene, most notably having occasional guest appearances on aMSa's Twitch stream.
Bombsoldier was the first true aggressive Falco player, using Falco's tools not to defensively wall the opponent out, but to pressure the opponent heavily until they concede an opening. Once this happens, he would immediately initiate lengthy shine pillar combos which, at the time, very few players knew defensive counterplay for, and often extended his combos with aerial lasers to tack on even more damage. He often ended combos with a back aerial or smash attack that sent his opponent off-stage, where he showed his surprising edgeguarding prowess, being able to execute complex edgeguarding maneuvers such as Fire Bird stalling at ledge to cover low recoveries. Bombsoldier also frequently utilized off-stage down aerials to finish off opponents, or to maintain a lead. His frequent usage caused down aerials used in this fashion to be referred to as "the Bombsoldier".
However, Bombsoldier's nearly exclusive focus on the punish game lends itself to a slew of exploitable weaknesses. Bombsoldier's main advantage was his then-unmatched combo game that could overwhelm opponents, both in-game and mentally. However, players from his region such as RAIN, who knew how to combat his style, were mostly unfazed by his abilities. As more Falcos adopted Bombsoldier's combo game, players around the world became more accustomed to fighting aggressive Falcos in general, which also impaired his success. Bombsoldier's technical focus also came at the cost of his neutral game development, to the point where modern players who have the rare chance to play him (such as Toph) report that he feels like a "new-school player, who if anything didn't have old-school fundamentals."