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EH | Saiblade's Comprehensive Guide to Falco [WIP]

EH | Saiblade's Comprehensive Guide to Falco [WIP]

Table of Contents
1. Overview
  • Pros and Cons
  • Who is Falco?
  • Why should you play Falco?
2. Tech
  • Beginner Level
    • Applications
  • Intermediate Level
    • Applications
  • Advanced Level
    • Applications
3. Lasers
  • Applications
  • Spacing
  • Heights
4. Movement
  • Wavesurfing
  • Dash Dancing
  • Wave landing
  • Knowing the stages
5. Bread and Butter Falco Fundamentals
  • Basic Combos
  • Knowing your options
  • Intermediate Combos
  • Advanced Combos
  • Frame Perfect Combos
6. Neutral
  • What is the "Neutral Game"?
  • Tools

Chapter 1: Overview
Let's begin, shall we? As the second best character in the game, Falco has a plethora of options, both in the neutral, and during heated encounters. Whether you're fighting a fast faller, a heavy character, or even a floaty, in this guide you'll learn how to deal with them, while writing this, I am assuming you're a total beginner with no experience of the game. Approaching the end of the guide, you'll know all the terminology, tech, and anything else you need to know. For the more experienced people, I highly recommend you read this whole thread, but if you're struggling in certain parts of your game, go ahead and just read what I have on that section.

Arguably has the best projectile in the game.
Fantastic aerials.
Amazing jump heights.
Incredible combo potential.
Great at walling out certain opponents.
Overall, positive matchups.
Great at putting on pressure and restricting options.
As stylish as it gets.
Amazing shield pressure.
Lots of moves that come out early.
Fast Faller.

Not the greatest of recoveries.
Fast Faller.
Does require a lot of tech, and therefore fast hands.

Who is Falco? Falco Lombardi is an ace pilot of the Star Fox team. He's a good friend and friendly rival of Fox. He has appeared in every Star Fox game to date, and will make a return in the upcoming game Star Fox Zero. In the games, he usually acts cool, and collected, although he's also known to be cocky. His homeworld is known to be Corneria, and he's 30 years of age. Melee was Falco's debut to the Smash games, and he has since been in every entry in the series.
Why should you play Falco? Simple, a great character, with great options, beautiful tech, combos, and more. You'll also be exposed to a beautiful new series of games.

Chapter 2: Tech
Beginner Level Tech:
When starting out, there are a few simple techs every beginner Falco NEEDS to know. Take your time learning these, and grind them out, as these few techs are the building blocks of your Falco, and will branch out into more advanced techs.

  • (SH) Short Hopping
    • A crucial tech for almost all characters, something you NEED to know. Done by releasing the jump button before the end of your jumpsquat, which for Falco is on frame 5. Pretty easy, shouldn't take too long to do consistently.

  • (FF) Fast Falling
    • Just like short hopping, this is another incredibly crucial thing to be able to do, ties into a lot of other tech you'll have to learn in the future to make full use of your character. Done by pressing down after the peak of your jump. Earliest FF on Falco's SH is frame 14, Full Hop however, is 27.

  • (WD) Wave Dash
    • One of the main movement options for many characters, incredibly useful, and used in a few other techs that are soon to come. Done by jumping, and quickly air dodging into the ground.

  • (JC) Jump Cancel
    • Jump Cancelling your shine, is when you cancel the animation of your shine (down b) by jumping out of it. Shine comes out on frame one, and is jump cancellable on frame 4, add in your jump squat of 5 frames, and you're in the air on frame 10. It's what a lot of combos are started with, and how you follow up after a shine.
    • Jump Cancelling your grab, is when you cancel your run animation with a jump, and then cancelling that jump with a grab. Instead of making you use your running grab, which is slower, it makes you use your standing grab, which is faster. The inputs to make this happen would be while running, jump, and grab.

  • L-Canceling
    • This is preformed by pressing L, R, or Z up to 7 frames before landing. This cuts the aerial's landing lag in half. This is one of the most used techniques in competitive play, and one that I recommend you learn very early, as it is incredibly crucial and useful. Not learning/using this technique would be extremely detrimental to your play. While L-Canceling can take a pretty long time to get used to, and implemented, it is definitely worth grinding out as much as you possibly can.

  • (DI) Directional Influence
    • The control you have over the trajectory that a move sends you at. All attacks send the player being hit in a certain direction, depending on the attack, the target's weight and falling speed, it can be used to modify, but not completely change the standard trajectory of the move.
    • Survival DI is making yourself go the farthest possible distance to the blast zone. Generally, you want to DI perpendicular to the way you are being launched. as to get to the corner of the blast zone, and possibly survive, instead of hitting the side or top.
    • Combo DI is used to escape combos, generally it's as easy as just holding left-down or right-down in the direction of knockback. While you can escape the next hit in a combo using this, it could also cost you the stock, by being reckless and using it at times where you should be using survival DI.
    • (SDI) Smash DI is a mechanic that lets you slightly shift your position during the hitstun of an attack. Tapping the control stick in any direction during the frames of hitstun, will slightly shift your character into that direction, allowing you to potentially escape multi-hit moves, combos, and KOs.
    • (ASDI) Automatic Smash DI is SDI, but with the c-stick, which moves you around half the length of SDI. ASDI applies on the last hit of hitstun.

  • Teching
    • This is when you make your character do a fast get-up by pressing the shield button 20 frames or fewer before hitting a ground, wall, or ceiling. After that, the user can't tech for another 40 frames. Holding left or right will cause a roll, which luckily, Falco has the fastest in the game.
Applications of beginner level tech:
Now that you know all of this tech, here comes the hardest part, applying it. This might take anywhere from a day, to a week, to a month, depending on how fast you learn and apply things, so don't give up if it takes you rather long. Although, as these are very easy techniques, there aren't many applications for them until you reach the more intermediate level tech, because most of these are just tiny parts of a technique.
  • Short Hopping: Short hopping will be the basis of most of your approaches, walls, and early combos. Short hopping is also the first part of learning how to SHFFL (Short Hop Fast Fall L Cancel) your aerials, which I will go over in the intermediate level tech section. Short hopping can also be used for some pretty cool mind games. This is also what will make you or break you, with lasers.
  • Fast Falling: Fast Falling, is again, part of SHFFLing your aerials, this is often used to help you get to the ground faster. and to help you string combos together.
  • Wavedashing: Wavedashing is one of THE most crucial techniques you will ever learn. It has a plethora of valuable uses. It also leads into waveshining and ledgedashing. Wavedashing will help your movement immensely, if used correctly. Some practical applications include but are not limited to: wavedashing back near ledge to grab and edgehog, wavedashing and using a grounded attack, running in, wavedash back, is a great mind game, but don't overuse it. I'll go over all of this later on, of course.
  • Jump Cancelling: JC Shine is literally the most used tech you'll see at a lower level, after shining someone, always do this to follow up, whether it be a dair, bair, nair, or even uair, this is always crucial. JC Grab however, doesn't see much use as Falco, but can be an interesting mix up, which is always nice.
  • L-Canceling: Always L-Cancel your aerials, you definitely want as little lag as possible, and doing this will guarantee that. L-Canceling will help you string together combos and moves.
  • DI: I basically went over this in when I told you what it was, definitely always use it.
  • Teching: Now this one is tricky, always mix up your techs, sometimes don't tech, most of the time do, but in different directions. As you experience more scenarios, you'll see how this plays out and how to effectively use it.
Intermediate Level Tech:
As your Falco becomes better and better, you'll eventually hit a brick wall of limitation due to not knowing enough tech. Use the techniques below once you feel you are ready enough to further develop your Falco.
20YY SS | Saiblade
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Latest reviews

Very in depth, look forward to reading the rest!
wonderful intro, canit wait to see the finished project!!
really nice so far my dood
WIP, it looks good.
Man I just want to see the combo section, it looks really helpful. Guess I'll have to wait till 2017
Great so far. Also if you could explain moonwalking with falco in this guide, that would be amazing. I have been confused about that for a while now and im sure many others have as well.
You need to finish this
Finish it
Please keep going
I know you are working on this still. cant wait to see it done
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