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This is the official art used in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and can be seen before fighting him in Boss Battles.
SSBU spirit Tabuu.png

A boss in Brawl
Universe Super Smash Bros.
Location The Great Maze

Tabuu (タブー, Tabuu) is the leader of the Subspace Army, the main antagonist and final boss of Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Adventure Mode: The Subspace Emissary. He is a powerful, supernatural entity who embodies the dimension of Subspace and rules it as a god. He uses the Subspace Bombs to send entire locations to his dimension, where he absorbs their power to increase his own, pursuing his plan to conquer and subjugate the universe. His name is a corruption of the word taboo, referring to something that is forbidden.

Aside from his appearance in Brawl, Tabuu appears in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a spirit.

Role in The Subspace Emissary[edit]

Close-up of Tabuu in The Subspace Emissary.

Tabuu is the true embodiment of Subspace. His plan was to cut World of Trophies into pieces and take them to Subspace for his world. However, he himself cannot leave Subspace, which is why he created the Subspace Army to act in his stead. Tabuu took over the Isle of the Ancients, the home of the R.O.B.s, and forced them to serve him under the threat of annihilation. Tabuu first discovered that Mr. Game & Watch had Shadow Bugs in him and captured him to harness the power, and thus the Subspace Army was born. Tabuu studied and took control of the master of the World of Trophies, Master Hand, binding him with chains of light. Tabuu used Master Hand to enlist the help of Ganondorf, Bowser and Wario. These three were sent to hunt down any fighters that would stand in the way of Tabuu's plans, while remaining unaware of Tabuu's existence. However, King Dedede learned the truth about Tabuu and began interfering with his plans.[1]

Later in the story, after the heroes destroy the Subspace Gunship and enter Subspace, Ganondorf betrays Bowser by using a Dark Cannon. Ganondorf then goes to greet Master Hand. Ganondorf then realizes that Tabuu was actually controlling Master Hand, and that he was not actually following Master Hand's orders but was being tricked by Tabuu. Enraged, he charges a futile attack at Tabuu who effortlessly knocks him back. Ganondorf's body hits the puppeteered Master Hand, thus breaking him free of his chains of light (and turning Ganondorf into a trophy in the process). Master Hand also charges at Tabuu, but to no avail. With Master Hand lying motionless on the ground, Tabuu uses his Off Waves to turn everyone into trophies as soon as they approach.

The chains of light on Master Hand.

However, thanks to the Dedede Brooches, two trophies who had been left behind - Luigi and Ness - were later revived, and they proceed to revive King Dedede himself after Ness realised that it was thanks to him that they were restored. King Dedede joins their team and they rescue everyone else by collecting their trophies in Subspace (Part I), including Bowser, who had a fight with Dedede, and joined the team because Tabuu is so powerful, and he killed Master Hand. Around the same time, Kirby was revived by the brooch the captured princess had when he swallowed it and went out to save the rest of the fighters in Subspace Part II, between the characters, there are Wario, and Link and Zelda, who revive Ganondorf, and suggest him to join them, he accepts, because he can not do anything to Tabuu, Wario does the same, because King Dedede, Luigi and Ness pointed him to where everybody is going, so all the characters enter to the adventure. Tabuu then creates a maze out of the worlds that have been consumed by Subspace and brings back the old enemies. He also creates dark clones of all of the heroes to slow them down. Once the player reaches Tabuu, he attempts to turn everyone back into trophies again, but is ambushed by Sonic the Hedgehog, who shatters his wings with a Spin Dash before he can do so. As a result, Tabuu's Off Waves are weakened, becoming "only" a one-hit KO attack instead of causing immediate trophification for any Smasher in reach.

A selection of characters from Sonic, Bowser, Kirby, Luigi's group and those revived by these two groups (first: Luigi, Ness and King Dedede; second: Kirby), then fight Tabuu, until he is defeated. After his defeat, the Subspace Army is gone, lands are restored, and the Isle of the Ancients disappears afterward because of the effect of so many Subspace Bombs going off at once (commanded by Ganondorf so Tabuu could get a Subspace Gunship into the World) making it impossible for the Isle to escape Subspace. A glowing X is left behind.

Tabuu's true fate is unknown - he is last seen contorting in pain shortly before the Great Maze was restored to its original places and forms - though it is likely he was destroyed.


As the final boss of The Subspace Emissary, Tabuu possesses a wide variety of dangerous attacks, which increase in power and speed on higher difficulties. Nearly all of his moves are guaranteed OHKOs at least on Intense difficulty (14 out of 16 or 88%). Additionally, Tabuu's attacks are faster and stronger in The Subspace Emissary than in Boss Battles at comparable difficulty ratings - as usual. Notice that his moves' knockback in Boss Battles is usually the same of the previous difficulty in the Subspace Emissary, thus KOing at about the same percentual of that difficulty, while damage can be severely reduced. The gap is wider on the lower difficulties (Easy overall) than on the highest ones (Intense in particular).

Tabuu's attacks are considered to be extremely powerful but predictable. Even on Easy difficulty in Boss Battles, almost all his moves will KO middleweights not over 70% (usually below), and some will even OHKO if properly executed (with the exception of Eye Lasers, which KOs below 110%). However, dodging most of his attacks can be very easy if the player knows what is coming; this doesn't apply to Off Waves, which are very hard to avoid, cover the entire screen and required the use of very well-timed dodges. Without the Off Waves, many people consider Tabuu to be an easy boss due to his predictable moves and how he needs to wait until he can attack again, although some OHKO attacks are very difficult to prevent or avoid (such as Golden Bracket, Ghost Projection and Explosive Teleport).

Some of Tabuu's moves share a unique property: they could potentially OHKO the same players twice in a row, on the proper difficulty, if they are hit at the beginning and then immediately after they respawn. These moves include: Shuriken Boomerang, Ghost Projection, Electrical Shield and Explosive Teleport. Off Waves are usually too fast to fulfil the required conditions but, if the players intentionally jump into the third ring, they can suffer a second OHKO. Notice that all the listed attacks require a very strict timing to OHKO twice in a row, and are not guaranteed to do so.

The names of the attacks are sourced from the book Dairantō Smash Bros. X: The Complete Guide, save for "Teleport", which is not given a name.

First moves[edit]

  • Blade Charge (ブレードチャージ) - Tabuu transforms into a wide, somewhat shark-shaped blade, which flies horizontally across the stage with very high speed. Touching Tabuu during the transformation has the same effect of the hit itself, dealing enormous vertical knockback and very high damage (reaching 66% on Intense). It is dodgeable by performing an air dodge or, if at ground level, ducking (unless playing as Meta Knight). A perfectly timed sidestep dodge may also work. It is possible to perfect shield the attack, but a miss will result in the shield breaking, stunning the character in the process and leaving it vulnerable to further attacks. It is an OHKO on Intense against airborne opponents. On Easy difficulty in Boss Battles, it is oddly one of Tabuu's strongest attacks. Since Tabuu frequently uses this move in midair, it is possible to avoid it simply by crouching or even without moving.
  • Tabuu Charge (タブーチャージ) - Tabuu teleports high above one side of the stage, turns his arm into a blade of energy, and then dives at the player in a set curved arc while glowing in a golden and pearl aura. Because he will always go near the ground, it can be dodged by jumping over his attack in the middle of the stage or going on the edge of the stage. On higher difficulties Tabuu's body can KO middleweights at very low percentages (20%) it also acts very swift and is quite difficult to predict. Tabuu can be damaged by projectiles while performing this move, but touching it deals high knockback and damage (up to 42%). The sweetspot deals a maximum of 49%.
Tabuu's Movement Throw attack.
  • Movement Throw (移動投げ) - Tabuu transforms into an energy cage (resembling two glowing yellow brackets or butterfly wings) and flies across the stage, grabbing the character and slamming it into the floor for a semi-spike of immense power. This attack has low horizontal knockback on every difficulty, and can deal enormous damage on Intense: a huge 85%. If played on high difficulties, it becomes an invariable one-hit KO under any situation. Characters with a grab aerial can survive by DI'ing downwards and attaching to the edge of the stage as they pass by, but this technique requires very strict timing, especially on Intense difficulty.

If played on co-op mode, Tabuu will try to smash the caught player into the other, with even more power. This results in a guaranteed OHKO on every difficulty in the Subspace Emissary and on Normal and above in Boss Battles. The same happens if two players are caught by the attack and smashed together; like Chain of Light, damage drastically increases if both players are hit, reaching a huge 100% on Intense. There is no predetermined way the brackets fly, and when the player is not able to make a jump, they should try an air-dodge. It is one of the least predictable attacks of Tabuu and the second more powerful behind Off Waves (at least in knockback terms), making it really dangerous. On Very Hard difficulty and above, its power is more than enough to one-hit KO even metal or giant characters, making survival nearly impossible. This move resembles Tabuu's wings as seen in the background of the Portal in The Great Maze.

Second moves[edit]

  • Chain Throw (鎖で投げ) - Tabuu produces a Chain of Light (軽鎖) and throws it in front of him in an attempt to catch the player. Despite its range, it cannot catch those too close to him. If he succeeds, he will swing the player around before smashing them into the ground, with high knockback and considerable damage (up to 47%). If played in Co-op mode, he smashes the player he caught into the other player.

If Tabuu is defeated while grabbing a character with the Chain of Light, the Tabuu Whip glitch will occur. Additionally, if one uses a heavyweight fighter with a strong flinch resistance sticker, and uses a Super Mushroom or a Metal Box, at very low percentages on Easy difficulty the attack will not cause the player to flinch, and they will remain stuck on the chain in the T-pose until Tabuu teleports. This move is very swift and unpredictable: on higher difficulties, it requires less than a second to land, making it one of the most dangerous.

  • Discharge Attack (放電攻撃) - Tabuu teleports right next to the player. The purple sphere inside his torso splits into several fragments, which fly in circles around him for a short time while emitting electricity. This attack has a decent range that changes over time (rapidly increasing until it reaches its maximum for around five seconds, and then slowly decreasing), but leaves Tabuu wide open for projectile weapons. It somewhat resembles an atom, with Tabuu being the nucleus and his fragmented energy core being electrons; in fact, the spark rings attract the player with a very strong vacuum. Touching the sparkles or Tabuu's body deals a single powerful hit. Poor recovery characters will be KOed at 0%, since its knockback is perfectly horizontal or spiked (depending on how the hitboxes land). Even on Easy difficulty it KOs early in the Subspace Emissary, while in Boss Battles it is weakened. It is possible for the player to be damaged by the sparks without taking knockback or being sucked into Tabuu's body, but only if they are far enough from Tabuu; in this case, they will take up to 36% per hit instead of the direct damage, which can result in a huge combined damage output (over 200% on Intense).

If the player is on the exact endpoint of the move's range, they will probably suffer multiple hits by the sparks before flinching and getting sucked by the vacuum, which always results in a guaranteed OHKO regardless of difficulty, due to the immense damage output (surpassing 250% on Intense). However, this is really unlikely unless they are on the precise endpoint. Since the attack has a very powerful vacuum effect, it is possible for the same player to be sucked again repeatedly until they is KOed; it usually works on Easy difficulty or up to Normal difficulty in Boss Battles (where it doesn't OHKO). It is only possible if the player is close enough to the sparkling rings, which have a decent range (seemingly increasing a bit for every difficulty). Another dangerous property of this move is that it has a very fast beginning, and also Tabuu's body will continue to have KO power even when the last sparks fades: this means that Tabuu can be directly attacked only after he uses Teleport. Eventually, if the player is offstage before the attack begins, Tabuu himself will probably appear offstage while executing the move, in some cases cancelling every possibility to harm the player.

  • Tabuu Smash (タブースマッシュ) - Tabuu teleports behind the player and repeatedly slashes the area in front of him with extremely swift karate chops, creating visible purple slashes. This move can easily catch and juggle players, but it has less range than the large visible slashes would indicate. Again, Tabuu leaves himself wide open to projectiles, and if the player gets behind him he can be hit - although it is dangerous, as the player can be trapped in the attack or hit by the chops with higher range. Certain melee attacks are also viable. It deals extremely high damage if all hits connect (quite over 300% in a less than three seconds on Intense). Even on Easy difficulty this attack can inflict up to 121% if all hits chain. Although Tabuu slashes a total of 13 times, the maximum number of hits is only 11, due to the rehit rate of the hitboxes. It can be easily SDI'd out of, also its activation is slow and very easy to prevent, except for the higher difficulties. However, if the player is hit and survives (avoiding the last slash), they will be left unharmed to further attacks, due to suffering a ludicrous damage output.
  • Tabuu Fire (タブーファイヤー) - From one side of the stage, Tabuu makes a pointing gesture. Five locations along a line leading to the player's current location will flash once and explode after about two seconds, creating huge fiery bursts in a very brief time (less than half a second for the whole sequence). The line is not straight and varies in height, also the explosions last for around a second. This move can easily be avoided by noting and staying away from the flashes, or crouching if the pointing line is high. Can also be shielded with perfect timing. It can potentially OHKO on Intense. Since its knockback is perfectly horizontal or a semi-spike, poor recovery characters are very likely to get a guaranteed KO even on the lower difficulties. This attack is very predictable, but its speed and extremely large hitbox can make it difficult to avoid in time, considering that it covers the entire length of Tabuu's Residence and the bursts will always hit at different heights.
  • Clone Attack (分身攻撃) - Tabuu creates for an instant an explosion all around himself, then splits his body in half and shoots out many ghost images of himself in all directions, which burst after achieving a certain distance. The player can dodge the projections, but take note that they explode when they make contact with the ground, so combatants can still receive damage while sidestepping the projection itself (although severely reducing their knockback and damage). They can also be destroyed, preferably by projectiles. The number of projections is not constant, although it tends to increase with the difficulty and is usually set between ten and seventeen. Clones' knockback also varies, and can be either angled, vertical, spiked or horizontal; if perfectly horizontal or semi-spiked, it drastically increases the chances of a KO or even an OHKO for poor recovery characters. The distance they cover can also vary, slightly increasing with difficulty: on Easy, they cover more than half the lenght of Tabuu's Residence, while on Intense they almost cover the entire stage. Notice that each projection has a different direction, seemingly not always related to the player's position, and that Tabuu can shoot a maximum of two clones at the same time (up to four clones in a second on Intense). When the clones' explode touching the ground, their burst has a little hitbox and is much less dangerous than contact with the projection itself; however, it can still deal up to 24% damage and KO well below 40% on Intense. Tabuu can be attacked with projectiles while performing this move, but not touched: contact with his sparkling body during the attack deals the same massive knockback of the initial explosion. This move is considered one of Tabuu's most dangerous attacks, and its swift, unpredictable beginning forces the player to pay attention before attacking Tabuu.

A glitch can occur in the Subspace Emissary if Tabuu is hit by a Green Shell while performing this attack. The Shell will remain stuck into Tabuu's body, which completely nullifies and blocks the move, instantly destroying every projection he shoots until the attack ends (regardless of clones' direction). This allows the player to stay still without taking any damage or knockback by the attack, preventing its ludicrous damage and very high KO (or OHKO) power. An interesting fact of this glitch is that the Green Shell doesn't get destroyed, but remains freezed for some seconds, until Tabuu uses Teleport and vanishes.

Third moves[edit]

  • Shadow Laser (シャドーレーザー) - Tabuu appears on the side of the stage and manifests a dragon head (also bearing similarities to the Dark Cannons), which floats beneath Tabuu as it spits out a powerful, bright azure laser horizontally across the stage. The beam has a huge hitbox and lasts for about three seconds, although only dealing a single hit when the player touches it. Jumping is advisable, although some characters may have a harder time dodging it this way, especially in the Subspace Emissary where gravity and falling speed are considerably higher. This move is a One-hit KO on higher difficulties, damage is enormous and reaches 75% on Intense. It is usually a semi-spike, but angled and not horizontal. Tabuu can be attacked while performing this move, although it is very dangerous; hitting the cannon will also damage Tabuu himself. The attack is predictable, but the laser can be really swift, and characters with low jump or recovery are quite more likely to get caught by the blast.
Tabuu using Tabuu Shot on Captain Falcon.
  • Tabuu Shot (タブーショット) - Tabuu appears in a random area in the air and fires a barrage of small bullets, finishing with a huge energy sphere. Easily avoided by keeping a safe distance from him; the bullet chain always lasts for less than three seconds, with a brief additional time for the huge energy sphere (about one second on Intense). It seems to be the least frequently used attack of the Third Moves, but punishes overzealous jumping that would be done to avoid the other two attacks. Still, pattern memorization will give his location away if he's about to use this attack; namely, if Tabuu appears anywhere not off the edge of the stage, he will use Bullet Rain. All hitboxes landing is an invariable OHKO on every difficulty, and on Intense, a player fully hit by all hitboxes can sustain almost 400% damage before being invariably KOed. It is impossible to survive this situation even on lower difficulties, since the huge energy sphere KOs below 60% even on Easy in Boss Battles, and the bullets always deal enough damage to reach a sufficient percentage. The energy sphere alone inflicts up to 68% and immense vertical knockback, being a guaranteed OHKO on Intense, however, despite being enormous in size (much larger than Zelda's Din's Fire), its hitbox has roughly the same dimension of the sphere itself, not more - even though it explodes on the ground. The bullets inflict small set knockback but deal extremely high damage (quite over 300% on Intense if all hits connect); they are also very dangerous, since the player gets trapped and suffers multiple hits before being released. Apparently, their maximum combined damage increases by 44% per difficulty, except for Very Hard to Intense in the Subspace Emissary (where the gap is reduced to 29%). Tabuu can be attacked while performing this move, but it becomes very dangerous when the first hitbox ends, since touching the electrical sphere on his hand (noticed due to a red flash) can KO early on every difficulty (because Tabuu is high and closer to the upper blast line, and this move's knockback is almost straight up).
  • Tabuu Boomerang (タブーブーメラン) - Tabuu appears on one side of the stage and throws a huge, circular, three-bladed shuriken, which flies across the stage like a boomerang before he catches it. Avoided by jumping and using the up special move (depending on character) to avoid the second swing. The boomerang only has three blades, but the speed of its spin makes it look like it has about nine. At higher levels, the player may need to dodge both the throw and the return in one jump, due to its very high speed (it could cover the entire length of Tabuu's Residence in roughly three seconds, including throw and catch phases). Players with poor recovery or low jump will have much more difficulty in dodging, especially in the Subspace Emissary where falling speed and gravity are both considerably higher. The first swing deals massive angled or semi-spiked knockback. The first swing also inflicts slightly more damage than the second (48% against 44% on Intense). Tabuu can be attacked while performing this move, with some risks.

Fourth moves[edit]

Unlike the other three sets, where the moves are picked at random, Tabuu will always alternate between Off Waves and Eye Lasers for his fourth set (i.e. Off Waves on 4th and 12th move, Eye Lasers on 8th and 16th move), making him even easier to predict. Due to this repeated scheme, it seems that Tabuu needs to charge his power for a while before unleashing his Wings to release Off Waves.

Tabuu with his wings.
  • Off Waves (OFF波動) (also called Winged Tabuu) - Tabuu appears in the background and unfolds his wings (resembling a butterfly's in shape, but made of intricate curving symbols). He then charges energy and proceeds to release, from the purple jewel inside his chest, three red circular shockwaves (similar to energy rings) that encompass the whole stage. If any one of these hit, they will cause extreme damage and knockback with little possibility to survive, even for heavy characters. In The Subspace Emissary, even on Easy difficulty a single wave will deal 73% damage with massive knockback, enough to OHKO lightweights, while on Normal and above it deals massive damage, with enough knockback for a guaranteed one-hit KO all the time. As he is in the background, Tabuu can't take damage in his Winged form. Off Waves are so powerful that even metal or giant characters will be OHKOed, usually starting from Hard difficulty.

This infamous attack is not easy to dodge but is most straightforwardly possible by either sidestepping, rolling three times in a row with accurate timing, or quick air dodges (such as air dodging into Sonic's Spring Jump spring). If playing as Pokémon Trainer or Zelda/Sheik, the temporary invulnerability granted by using the down special transformation at the right time (the instant Tabuu extends his wings) also works. It can also be survived by using moves with armor, but the timing required is extremely difficult. It is possible to actually survive being hit by a wave if the player is in the air under the stage, where they can DI and ceiling tech, but this requires very high precision to pull off, and the character must also have a good recovery to make it back.

When faced in Boss Battles, Tabuu's Off Waves are made much weaker, to compensate for the player only having one stock instead of six, and no continues, items or stickers. On Easy difficulty, one wave will deal 29% damage with moderate knockback, no longer being Tabuu's strongest attack, knockback-wise. On higher difficulties, both damage and knockback rapidly increase, becoming Tabuu's strongest attack again on Hard difficulty, and regaining the ability to one-hit KO on Intense difficulty. This makes it the only move that can be a guaranteed OHKO in Boss Battles.

  • Eye Laser (アイレーザー) - Tabuu grows to a size so large that only his head appears on the side of the screen (either left or right). He then fires a red laser from each eye, and only the lasers' hitboxes inflict damage. On Intense it can KO well below 50%, even around 32% for lighter characters (but on Easy difficulty in Boss Battles it KOs slightly over 100% from the center of the stage). However, being hit while midair can drastically increase the chances of an early KO, due to the beams' perfectly vertical knockback, also it is a very good combo, easily hitting a character twice in a row after launching them in midair. For these reasons, airborne characters are much more likely to be KOed at low percentages. Each hit can also deal massive damage: up to 48% on Intense (reduced to 32% on the same difficulty in Boss Battles). It can be very easily avoided by hiding right at the end of the stage, literally under Tabuu's chin, allowing the player to easily damage him, mainly by using up tilts or up smashes (though some moves that push the fighter backwards may move the player into the beams). Every damage Tabuu takes in this status is halved. Unlike Master Hand and Crazy Hand's lasers, Tabuu's ones do not drift off the stage, so one will be hit as long as they are in front of him. They have also a much larger hitbox, and can reach almost three quarters of Tabuu's Residence's height.

A glitch can occur if the character defeats Tabuu when he's using Eye Lasers. When the battle shows him flying off into the Subspace background, in pain, his head will be covered in the same red colored light that shot out from his eyes. This results in a sort of crimson "aura" surrounding his head. This effect lasts until the screen fades to black.


  • Teleport - Tabuu teleports around the stage and appears at a set spawn which is randomly decided from the large amount of spawns available. He can spawn at different heights, up to around three quarters of Tabuu's Residence's height. This move can be randomly used once or multiple times in a row (up to five). He also sometimes teleports behind the character and attacks with one of the available attacks. Tabuu makes a distinctive sound on his final teleport.
  • Explosion Attack (爆発攻撃) - Tabuu teleports around, leaving a red explosion everywhere he teleports from. Touching the burst deals perfectly vertical knockback, with enormous KO potential and high damage (up to 45% on Intense). Since it KOs at very low percentages even on average difficulties, the player must not be too eager to attack Tabuu during his teleports and must always pay attention before attacking him. Crouching or simply staying still is the best way to avoid every hit, since this move cannot harm grounded players. Due to being extremely unpredictable and powerful, this attack is usually considered one of the most dangerous of Tabuu's moveset. The only weakness is that the bursts last for a brief time and have a very small hitbox but, since they can appear at different heights, attention must always be payed. Notice that this Teleport is always used five times in a row, and that the final teleport lacks the usual distinctive sound.


Though not playable, Tabuu is controllable by hacking the game in Boss Battles Mode. After hacking the game, the controller used must be a GameCube Controller and must be plugged into the player 3 slot. The start button will cause him to self-destruct, as it does for all other bosses.

Move Name Description
A Blade Charge Tabuu turns into a shark shape and flies across the stage.
A^ Eye Laser Tabuu shoots lasers from his eyes.
Av Tabuu Charge Tabuu swoops down onto the stage holding a blade.
A< Tabuu Smash Tabuu rapidly slashes the air with karate chops.
A> Discharge Attack Electricity swirls around Tabuu in multiple rings.
B Tabuu Fire Tabuu points and causes multiple explosions.
B^ Tabuu Shot Tabuu shoots a chain of bullets, followed by a huge fireball.
Bv Tabuu Boomerang Tabuu throws a boomerang.
B< Shadow Laser Tabuu summons a dark dragon that shoots a huge, azure horizontal laser across the stage.
B> Clone Attack Tabuu shoots multiple projections of himself. The amount of projections is not always the same.
X Off Waves Tabuu opens his wings and blasts three red rings outward from the background. It is always a one-hit KO.
L Chain Throw Tabuu uses his chain. If he grabs the player with it, he will slam them into the ground. If two players are playing, he will slam the caught player into the other player.
R Movement Throw Tabuu turns into golden brackets. If he grabs the player, he will slam them into the ground.
Unusable move 1 Explosion Attack Tabuu teleports and explosions suddenly occur wherever he teleports.
Unusable move 2 Teleport Tabuu teleports around the stage.

Moveset gallery[edit]

HP and damage taken[edit]

HP Values Lowest difficulty Below-middle difficulty Middle difficulty Above-middle difficulty Highest difficulty
The Great Maze 335 455 535 635 745
Boss Battles 111 160 212.5 265 405
  EffectIcon(Normal).png EffectIcon(Slash).png EffectIcon(Electric).png EffectIcon(Freezing).png EffectIcon(Flame).png The icon for the grass effect. EffectIcon(Water).png EffectIcon(Darkness).png EffectIcon(Aura).png Specials: Direct Specials: Indirect
Damage taken ×1.0 ×1.0 ×1.0 ×1.0 ×1.0 ×1.0 ×1.0 ×1.0 ×1.0 ×1.0 ×1.0

Like all bosses in Brawl, Tabuu gains an additional ×0.6 damage resistance modifier when fought in co-op mode, effectively gaining 67% more health. This modifier is applied whenever the second player is in-game, and is no longer applied if the second player loses all their stocks. In Boss Battles Mode, the same change is applied without any difference, but either player being KO'd results in a game over. Notice that the health gap between the Subspace Emissary and Boss Battles Mode is higher on lower difficulties (around two thirds on Easy) than on the higher ones (around 40% on Intense).


Tabuu's main trophy is unlocked by using a Trophy Stand on Tabuu. Ways of doing this include:

  • Dodging Tabuu's attacks, waiting until he teleports and throwing the stand.
  • Throwing the stand when he is using "static" moves like Electrical Shield, Rapid Chop, Ghost Projection and Bullet Rain.
  • Notice that Winged Tabuu (the form he takes to unleash Off Waves) can never take damage and, thus, can't be turned into a trophy.

The Tabuu (Wings) trophy is obtained by beating Boss Battles Mode with all characters, and can't be unlocked with a hammer, except for the PAL version. In the original Japanese version and several translation, this trophy is called Winged Tabuu instead.


The Tabuu trophy in Brawl.

The ruler of Subspace and master of operations. Tabuu controls Master Hand with chains of light to excise this world and build up his great maze. He used Shadow Bugs to form Subspace and manipulates the servants of Master Hand to his heart's content. Born in a vastly foreign realm, he also possesses great leadership powers. Tabuu...No name is more suitable.

Wii: Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Tabuu (Wings)[edit]

Tabuu with wings trophy in Brawl.

Tabuu (Wings)
Tabuu with wings extended. The dreadful energy surges cast from these wings instantly turn all fighters back into trophies. Knowing this, King Dedede assembles all able-bodied troops and sets a timed device on each of them. This device is a brooch that, after the designated time runs out, revives all fighters wiped out by Tabuu.

Wii: Super Smash Bros. Brawl


In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Tabuu appears as a spirit in Adventure Mode: World of Light. Presumably, he is one of countless spirits captured by Galeem during his takeover of the universe. Afterward, Dharkon takes control of Galeem's spirits, including Tabuu.

Tabuu is located in the Mysterious Dimension as the penultimate battle before Marx. Prior to his battle, the player is quizzed on which spirit is the creator of the Subspace Army. During his Spirit Battle, Tabuu uses a Metal Bayonetta puppet fighter, possibly due to her butterfly wings, and the player's fighter is occasionally inflicted with sudden damage.

No. Image Name Type Class Slots Base Power Max Power Base Attack Max Attack Base Defense Max Defense Ability Series
SSBU spirit Tabuu.png
★★★★ 3 4208 10522 2353 5883 1473 3683 PSI Attack ↑ Super Smash Bros. Series


At least three glitches can occur during the battle against Tabuu:

  • The Tabuu Whip glitch occurs when the player air techs or dodges into his Chain of Light. If properly done, they will get stuck beneath Tabuu's legs and be unable to free themself until Tabuu KOs the character. Being under the effects of a Metal Box, Super Mushroom or a strong flinch resistance sticker attacked will also cause this glitch; it can potentially occur on Easy difficulty in Boss Battles but it's very unlikely. A variation of the glitch can be performed in co-op mode by having one character land the final blow on Tabuu while the other is caught by the Chain of Light. Doing this, Tabuu will be defeated without releasing the character from his grab, resulting in that character being frozen in a tumbling pose in the center of the stage while Tabuu falls away, and disappearing at the same time the boss does if a loose explosive does not knock them out.
  • Another glitch can occur in the Subspace Emissary if Tabuu is hit by a Green Shell while performing Ghost Projection. The Shell will remain stuck and completely nullify Tabuu's move, instantly destroying every Projection he shoots until the attack ends. The glitch finishes when Tabuu teleports away.
  • A third glitch can occur if the player defeats Tabuu while he is using Eye Lasers. When the battle shows him flying off into the Subspace background, his head will be covered in the same red light that shot out from his eyes.

Two of these glitches are shown in the apposite "External links" section.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name
Japan Japanese タブー, Tabuu
UK English Tabuu
France French Tabbou
Germany German Tabuh
Spain Spanish Tabuu
Italy Italian Tabuu
China Chinese 禁忌
South Korea Korean 타부, Tabuu
Netherlands Dutch Tabuu
Russia Russian Табуу


A close up on Tabuu's shark blade attack, showing the circuit board pattern
  • Tabuu's wings, along with his body in the shark blade attack, have a circuit board pattern on them. Some sections even appear to have chips on them.
  • The dragon head summoned during the "Dragon Laser" attack resembles a Dark Cannon. Its attack is also somewhat like Marx's mouth laser.
  • Tabuu is the only boss in Brawl to lack an official artwork.
  • In Super Smash Bros. 4, if the final transformation of Master Core isn't defeated after 45 seconds, it will begin to spin rapidly and rise to the center of the screen, then charge up and unleash five red waves. These waves work similarly to Tabuu's Off Waves and will one-hit KO the player if they make contact, but only on 8.0 or higher difficulty.
  • In the Mysterious Dimension of World of Light, Tabuu's spirit guards Marx's boss fight. This references how Marx and Tabuu share several attacks, such as their tendency to rapidly teleport and fire laser beams.

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