Falco, the pilot from Star Fox, makes his debut in Super Smash Bros. Melee. He boasts a versatile shine as well as a plethora of useful moves. He has a very devastating punish game, capable of comboing and tech chasing characters until their stock is taken. He also is incredibly dominating in the neutral game because of his powerful aerials, and lasers able to cause hitstun. With these, he stands second on the current tier list.
How to unlock
There are two ways to unlock Falco:
- Defeat 100-Man Melee with any character within any time limit.
- Play 300 VS. matches
Falco's play style is said to be very similar to Fox's in Super Smash Bros in that he has a high technical skill ceiling. He is also known to have the second fastest normal falling speed and the fastest fast falling speed. This means he is hard to hit in the air, and has a very fast SHFFL. On the downside, he has a poor recovery, and he is vulnerable to combos and chaingrabs that work on Fast fallers.
Falco's excellent short hop is critical for his use of short hop lasers. His short hop lasers prevent most characters from approaching and can pressure the opponent. His shine not only reflects projectiles, but is also one of his strongest tools for starting combos. Falco also has the highest initial jump, the ability to wall jump, and a very effective Down Aerial spike. He also has the odd property of having a walk speed that is almost as fast as his full run speed.
Like Fox, Falco is lightweight and has a linear recovery. Not only does he have the aforementioned fast-falling problem, but also the slowest air speed, along with Fox. This means that not only does Falco fall much further while in hitstun, but he gets launched far by strong attacks. This along with his short, linear recovery makes him very easily gimped if he can even reach the ledge at all. Falco's Up Special Move, Fire Bird is very easy to edgeguard, due to its long start-up lag, linear travel, and short length. Additionally, it also lacks the active hitbox during the charge up that Fox's Up special has. His Side Special Move, Falco Phantasm, is shorter than Fox's Illusion, but has a faster startup, which, when combined with its meteor smash effect make it much more difficult, and risky to edge guard against.
Falco's combo game relies heavily on the use of his shine, his up tilt (Utilt), and his Down air (Dair). A common technique among Falco's is something known as pillaring. Pillaring involves launching the opponent upwards, usually with a shine or uptilt; jumping, and hitting them back down into the stage for a tech chase (or at low percents a true combo into another shine). This causes the opponent to repeatedly travel up and down, which looks a lot like a row of pillars, hence the name. This is possible because his shine and uptilt launch the opponent vertically, whereas the Dair is a spike and launches the opponent downward into the ground. DI and teching make follow-ups more difficult, but with good reads and reactions is still an extremely strong tactic for tech chasing. His most common kill moves are his Dair(spike), Bair, Fsmash, Dsmash. He can also kill floaty character such as Jigglypuff and Peach with his Up air, Dtilt, and Up smash, and even combo into a shine off of the top.
Falco has some common techniques that are used often:
- Dair -> Shine
- Dair -> Shine -> Dair -> Shine etc. Also known as pillaring
- Nair -> Shine
- Dthrow -> Utilt (No tech)
- Dthrow -> Dtilt (No tech)
- Dair -> Fsmash
- Short hop laser reset -> Fsmash
- Short hop laser -> Shine
- Short hop laser -> Grab
- Short hop laser -> Aerial
- Aerial Shine (Single Hop) -> Immediate Bair (or Dair)
- Calle W
- Larry Lurr
- Falco Frame Data
- PP's Falco thoughts - A lot of pieced together info covering everything from proper laser usage to what sort of mindset you should have in game.
- Multishining guide
- Falco Matchup guide
- Alternate Falco Matchup guide
- bornfidelity's Falco Guide
- Mogwai's Falco guide
- Hell's Falco Tech Trials - Useful for learning some advanced movement and combos for Falco