Tabuu (タブー, Tabuu) is the leader of the Subspace Army, and the main antagonist and final boss of Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Adventure Mode: The Subspace Emissary. He is a powerful, supernatural entity who resides in Subspace. He uses the Subspace Bombs to send entire locations to his dimension, where he absorbs their power to increase his own. His name is a corruption of the word taboo, referring to something that is forbidden.
Role 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. According to the Ancient Minister trophy, 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, who he in turn used 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.
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, unmoving, on the ground, Tabuu uses his Off Waves to turn everyone into trophies as soon as they approach.
However, thanks to the Dedede Brooches, two trophies who had been left behind - Luigi and Ness - were later revived, and they in turn revived 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). 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. 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 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 Luigi's group and those revived by it then fight Tabuu, until in the end Tabuu 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.
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; or throwing it when he is doing Electrical Shield, Rapid Chop, or Bullet Rain. The Tabuu (Wings) trophy is obtained by beating Boss Battles mode with all characters.
As the last boss of The Subspace Emissary, Tabuu possesses a wide variety of dangerous attacks, which increase in power and speed at higher difficulties. Additionally, Tabuu's attacks are faster and stronger in The Subspace Emissary than in Boss Battles at comparable difficulty ratings.
Tabuu's attacks are considered to be extremely powerful but predictable. Dodging most of his attacks can be very easy if the player knows what is coming, but Tabuu's Off Waves are very hard to avoid and are also Tabuu's strongest attack. 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.
Note that the attack names are not official, except for Off Waves and the Chain of Light, whose names were announced on the Dojo.
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.
HP and damage taken
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.
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, like all other bosses, self-destruct him.
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