Super Smash Bros. series

Star KO

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Not to be confused with KO Stars.

This article is about the KO that launches opponents into space. For the KO that launches opponents toward the screen, see Screen KO.

Characters fly away from the main stage as they are turning into a star, demonstrated in Lylat Cruise.

A star knock-out or star finish (星バースト, Star Burst), abbreviated as star KO, internally known as Hoshikie in Smash 4 and Twinkle in Ultimate, is a type of KO that can occur beyond the upper Blast line. They often last about 2 seconds and are the longest type of KO, often leaving their perpetrator safe from the victim.


When characters are knocked beyond the upper blast line (save for a few exceptions), they fly through the background and away from the stage while usually screaming or shouting, and eventually disappear as a star. In Melee and Brawl, this has the longest duration out of any KOs. Along with Star KOs, there is a chance of a Screen KO happening instead, where characters slam into the camera.

Most conditions on the characters, such as the invincibility of the Super Star or standby mode after breaking the Smash Ball, are still visible on the characters while they are Star KO'd. Exceptions include metal characters in Melee and Brawl (unless while playing in Super Smash Bros. Melee's single-player modes), giant or tiny characters due to Super or Poison Mushrooms in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and frozen characters in Super Smash Bros. 4. In Flat Zone 2 and Hanenbow, conditions are not aligned with the character (i.e. the frozen block and character fly off separately).

In Super Smash Bros. 4, Star KOs are no longer a certainty; the upper blast line will cause either a Blast KO, a Star KO, or a Screen KO at random. Players launched at extremely high speeds, however, are not Star KO'd or Screen KO'd. In addition, presumably as to solve balance issues, Star KOs no longer occur when there's only five seconds remaining in a timed match and in Sudden Death (unless an unknown glitch occurs or in Trophy Rush); Screen KOs were increased in length, and as a result, Star KOs actually last shorter than Screen KOs. In Smash 64 and Melee, all playable characters have a voice clip for being Star KO'd (including Samus), while Olimar lacks one in Brawl; SSB4 later introduces more characters that remain completely silent when Star KO'd, with these being Mega Man, the Mii Fighters, Pac-Man, Villager, and the wireframe version of Little Mac. Ultimate adds Isabelle and Piranha Plant.

SSBU Snake Star KO.jpegSSBU Corrin Star KO.jpegSSBU Zelda Star KO.jpeg
Snake is seen tumbling away from the screen, as demonstrated in Shadow Moses Island, while female Corrin using her normal tumbling animation like how she did in SSB4, as seen in Castle Siege. However, the Boss Galaga always makes their tumbling animation identical to the latter, as demonstrated by Zelda in Hyrule Castle.

In Ultimate, the characters now tumble away from the screen, similar to Screen KOs in Smash 64, Melee and Brawl, and seemingly go a much further distance away from the stage (though this is an illusion, since the characters actually start shrinking the further they fly away, as easily seen in the King of Fighters Stadium). Most characters also now use a sideways version of their tumbling animations, with the exceptions of Cloud, Corrin, Incineroar, Inkling, Shulk, and Joker, who spin forwards like their normal tumbling animation, and by extension, similarly to the previous games, alongside Mr. Game & Watch (due to his 2D nature). The star is also now a purple color. Additionally, the Boss Galaga will always cause a Star KO and cause the character to go into their normal Star KO animation seen in the previous games.


The Team Rocket trio "blasting off again" in the Pokémon anime.

It is a recurring trope, especially in Eastern media[citation needed], for characters and objects to be sent flying into the sky, leaving behind a twinkling star when they vanished from sight. Since Star KO'ing an entire team in Melee yields the Rocket KO bonus, the Star KOs in Smash may be intended as a reference specifically to the trope's use as a running gag in the Pokémon anime, where the Team Rocket trio would often be sent "blasting off again" whenever they were defeated.


Unless otherwise noted, all of these exceptions also apply to Screen KOs.

In Super Smash Bros. Melee[edit]

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]

In Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]


In Smash 64[edit]

  • Comet Mystic (10000 points): Finished the match while in the middle of a Star KO.
  • Star Finish (10000 points): Cleared the stage via a Star KO.
  • Trickster (11000 points): Star KO'd every member of a team.

In Melee[edit]

  • Rocket KO (5000 points): Star KO'd every member of a team.
  • Shooting Star (1500 points): Finished the match while getting Star KO'd.
  • Solar Being (800 points): All KOs experienced were Star KOs.
  • Star KO (300 points per opponent): Star KO an opponent.


  • In the original Super Smash Bros., Kirby's various Copy Ability hats remain on when he is Star KO'd.
  • Super Smash Bros. is the only game in the series where a player can Star KO themselves without breaking Jigglypuff's shield.
    • This can be best seen if Ness uses his jumps and PK Thunder straight up on either Hyrule Castle, or his Break the Targets/Board the Platforms stages.
  • In the Camera mode in Super Smash Bros. Melee, by maneuvering the camera into a certain position, the "trick" of the Star KOs is revealed: once the defeated character hits the upper blast line, they get shifted toward the background as their tumble animation starts, before reappearing onscreen for the KO animation. This trick can also be revealed in Ultimate using the camera's frame-by-frame controls.
  • If the cage the Mii resides inside on the Find Mii stage sustains sufficient damage, the Mii and the cage will be Star KO'd, though no sound effects play when this occurs.
  • The echo effect on the Star KO voice clips in Melee onwards are actually added by the game rather than their sound files being echoed, albeit still fading out at the end. This is also true for the announcer voice clips (though most games except Brawl still feature a small reverbrathing effect) and Final Smash voice clips.
  • In SSB4:
    • King Dedede and Cloud's voice clips for being Star KO'd are longer than the time allotted for the Star KO animation.
    • If a character is way beyond the upper blast line and gets Star KO'd, the character will fall into the background faster than usual, but the Star KO length will still be the same. The same result can also be executed in Melee by going into the debug menu, selecting the Home-Run Contest stage and getting Star KO'd there.
    • Jigglypuff's mouth animates with its Star KO voice clip (though it can sometimes be seen smiling). If by any way Jigglypuff is Star KO'd without its voice clip playing (like being frozen), its mouth will not animate.
  • In Ultimate:
    • If a character gets Star KO'd by Snake's Final Smash while a missile is still locked on to them, the missiles will chase them throughout the Star KO animation.
    • The onscreen radar will track a Star KO'd character, but will not track a character who has been Screen KO'd.
    • Pit has a unique Star KO line, where he yells "I never learned how to read...!". This is a reference to Chapter 17 in Kid Icarus: Uprising, where he yells the same line after his Power of Flight is cut en-route to the Aurum Fortress.
    • Byleth speaks during a Star KO, shouting "My battle ends here...!", a reference to one of their defeat lines from Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Both characters also do not speak in the Japanese version.
    • Min Min is the third character to speak during a Star KO, shouting "哎呀!" (Oh no!).
    • Both Young Link and Ivysaur's Star KO voice clip seem to have an error at the beginning, as it starts with a noticeable pause.
    • Ken's Star KO voice clip doesn't appear in his voice gallery, making him the only character in the series with this distinction.

See also[edit]