Guide Pac Attack - Advanced Techniques and Strategy Guide

AGES

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Introduction

Sup fellow Pac-Man mains! The purpose of this thread is to be a continuation of ptrk83's Pac-Man guide, breaking away from general information and focusing on advanced tactics and strategy. This guide is likely far from completion and will be updated as time goes on. The aim of this thread is to be a community effort, with different Pac-Man players sharing and discussing different tactics and strategy they find effective to contribute to this guide, as well as the playstyle of other Pac-Man players.

Bonus Fruit

Bonus Fruit is Pac-Man's Neutral special, where he cycles through the original 8 fruits from the original Pac-Man. You can cancel charging at any time by shielding/air dodging, and will maintain that fruit until you lose a stock. All fruits can absorb most projectiles such as Mario's fireball and either drop to the ground to be grabbed, with the only exceptions being galaxian and key, which both keep their trajectories after hitting most basic projectiles. An interesting quirk to note about the fruits is the bouncy ones(Cherry, Strawberry, and Apple) will bounce longer when thrown upwards if they hit something, either a player or a hydrant.

Individual Fruit Overviews
Cherry - Not terrible, but not quite the most useful fruit. The cherry does beat important projectiles however as of recent patches, such as Lucario's aura spheres at all powers, making it a solid defensive option to throw out quickly.

Strawberry - At first glance this fruit might seem rather pointless, however upon further inspection it has more priority compared to cherry. This allows it to be used as a defensive option to combat some "spammy" projectiles, such as Link's boomerang, and even Sheik's needles if at the right height. If you are given enough time to charge it up opposed to instinctively spam cherry, this is essentially the superior fruit.

Orange - A strong option for a quick fireball-like projectile. Takes very little time to charge and flies at a fast horizontal line. Slightly outclassed by the apple in terms of speed and power but takes enough less time to charge to make it viable.

Apple - The trajectory is one of the best and most unique parts of it, it goes at a down-right angle and bounces on the ground from there on, which makes it quite a nice aerial fruit to throw out to snipe people below. It stays active for a long time going downwards making it a solid edgeguarding tool as well. It only does 9% in contrast to the Orange's 8%, but in return the apple has quite a large knockback buff that can seriously harass some characters like Little Mac, or open up some spaces to set up hydrants or charge more fruits. The charge time is also extremely convenient as the apple charges just as long as a non-fastfalled short hop, adding to its viability.

Melon - This fruit has many nicknames as it looks kinda weird, but it is supposed to be a melon. This fruit acts similarly to the orange, but travels much slower, has one very faint arc in its trajectory that will cause it to bounce after a long distance, and does more damage/knockback. Can be used as an approach as it moves slightly slower than Pac-Man's run speed. Also very valuable for Z-Dropping if grabbed, see Z-Dropped section for more info.

Galaxian - Ok, we're not eating fruits anymore. The galaxian is a rather useful weapon as it flies in such a pattern that can lead to many followups and combos. It flies in one of four directions after it does a loop: parallel to the ground, a slight angle upward, a bigger angle upward, and a large angle upward. It's arguably the easiest fruit to grab, see the Grabbing/Z-Dropped sections for more.

Bell - Pretty useful as if it hits, it can cause some serious stun on the opponent, especially at higher percents where you can follow up with a smash attack kill blow. Similarly to the apple it stays active for quite a long time going downwards, so you can use this move as an unorthodox edgeguard move to try to stun people trying to recover and retaliate with a bair. Don't bother charging for this at small percents however as the stun simply wont last long enough and you might as well go for a key. Doesn't fly far making it a solid fruit for grabbing, see the Grabbing/Z-Dropped sections for more.
You can also throw the bell underneath the stage. Makes for a good surprise attack on your opponent thinking they are safe away from the ledge. Video showcasing this tactic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdR_uI-BfLA

Key - The key to victory. Easily the strongest projectile in terms of damage and knockback, out-prioritizes and goes through many projectiles and obstacles, and flies VERY quickly making it a wonderful long-range punish. They key pierces through opponents and other obstacles and continues traveling when thrown, similar to the galaxian or bell. This means you can throw a key at a hydrant for example, and still have the key hit an opponent standing in its path.

Fruit Cancel
While charging fruit, by pressing shield/grab and immediately releasing it, you will cancel your charge without shielding/air dodging. It should be noted that this is much more difficult to do in air.

You can, however, cancel charging fruit into any other special moves in the air quite easily, while charging fruit press shield and then immediately press a new special move, such as a hydrant when your opponent is under you or trampoline when you're trying to recover.

Grabbing
All of Pac-Man's fruits can be grabbed, either in the air(which is more practical) or if dropped thanks to being hit while charging or in the throw animation. Grabbing the fruit is similar to R.O.B.'s gyros, and when thrown, instead of being thrown like an item similar to Diddy's bananas, they have their respective properties and actions as if they were thrown as a projectile. What's different is that the fruits can now be thrown up or down, only in the air in down's case.

This can lead to some interesting and surprising combos, or kill setups in the bell's case, demonstrated here:



The easiest fruits to grab that are worth it are the Galaxian and Bell. Melon can be fairly easily grabbed too if it was used as an approach since it will bounce off either the opponent or their shield so you can grab the fruit with a fair.

The key is a powerful weapon if you grab it. It does 15% when simply dropped, and can instantly launch a hydrant when dropped on. However methods for actually grabbing it are unconventional, and require some different setups depending on the stage. PEPESPAIN made a great video on this, shown here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vn4-amdC_g

Hydrant Trajectory Change
ItsRainingGravy posted a large analysis of how water spurts from the hydrant change each fruit's trajectory, and even included the custom variants. Note that this was written before the v1.04 patch.
You can use the Hydrant's water blasts to change the trajectory at which Bonus Fruit flies if you throw the fruit directly into it.

Here is a list of all of the trajectory changes. Green is useful, Yellow is decently useful, Red is bad. Plain colored text means that there's nothing too noteworthy about the move's changed trajectory or properties:


Bonus Fruit:
Cherry - Bounces up slightly and goes backwards instead of straight. Either way, you're probably not going to get much out of it. It is the Cherry, after all.
Strawberry - Bounces straight up slightly instead of going forward. Additionally, this could potentially set up the Strawberry for the second blast of water, which shoots it straight backwards. Doesn't bounce high enough and doesn't have a unique property to make it stand out as useful.
Orange - Flies at a diagonal angle, probably around 80 degrees, instead of straight.
Apple - Makes it completely stop on the ground instead of bouncing forward. Not useful.
Melon - Makes it go diagonally backwards and up at about an 80 degree angle instead of lobbing it forward. You're much better off using it for Z-Dropping shenanigans. (You can't catch the Melon using this method either)

Galaga - Makes it go up and do a circle instead of going forward and doing a circle. Pretty much changes it into an anti-air attack.
Bell - Makes it go straight up and then diagonally backwards and down instead of lobbing it at a forward arch. Can easily be caught again as it is flying back towards you. Great for covering yourself.

Key - Makes it go at a 40 degree angle diagonally upwards instead of straight. A pretty good mixup to catch opponents off-guard whom are expecting you to throw the key into the hydrant itself (which launches it immediately). Still, it's not a good idea to haphazardly use a key and potentially miss.

Freaky Fruit:
Cherry - Makes it bounce backwards first and bounce higher as opposed to the normal bounce. Hits the hydrant on the rebound if you are too close. Not particularly useful. Then again, it is the Cherry for a reason.
Strawberry - Makes it go straight up high into the air instead of bouncing forward. Additionally, this perfectly sets up the Strawberry for the second blast of water, which shoots it at a random angle (sometimes straight back up). Because this Strawberry is much more useful than the default Bonus Fruit Strawberry, this can be an excellent anti-air tool. It's also incredibly easy to regrab the Strawberry as well.
Orange - Makes it go at a 45 degree angle forward and up instead of straight forward. Pretty good for covering the air above the hydrant to the side you are throwing it to. Sometimes goes too fast for the water to push it and just hits the hydrant however.
Apple - Makes it bounce behind you instead of in front of you. Great for hilarious surprise attacks behind you. Can set up combos, and makes it easy to regrab the apple.
Melon - Makes it shoot off into outer space instead of lobbing it at a high arch forward. Um...yeah. Don't use this.
Galaga - Makes it go diagonally up and right (and then diagonally up and left) instead of the normal pattern. Could be useful? The normal pattern just seems better and much more practical however. Not bad but not great.
Bell - Makes it shoot off into outer space...at a slightly diagonal angle. And to top it off, it's even worse than the Melon + Hydrant combo. Why anyone would bother using this is beyond me.
Key - lol. Do I even have to say why this is a bad idea?

Lazy Fruit:
Chery - Makes it bounce at a high arch instead of lazily forward. You can even face the other direction and do this due to how slow the fruit moves. Could be situationally useful. However, as always, don't expect to get much out of a thrown Cherry.
Strawberry - Makes it bounce at a high arch backwards instead of lazily forward. Decent at covering space above you. Easy to regrab Strawberry. If it is already bouncing, it will make it bounce forward instead.
Orange - Makes it go diagonally backwards and up at a pretty decent pace instead of going slowly forward. Could be useful? Not really practical however.
Apple - Makes it shoot straight up into the air instead of arching forward. Great as both an anti-air and as a trap, and it is incredibly easy to regrab. First bounce is much higher than other bounces. If you space yourself at just the right distance from the hydrant, the second blast of water will make it launch again. This time at a high backwards arch which is also great at controlling space above you. An apple a day will keep Doctor Mario's aerials away!
Melon - Functions just like the apple only it goes MUCH higher and does more damage. Like the apple, this makes it easy to regrab. And this is really good news, and this could lead to Z-Dropping shenanigans with the Hydrant. For once, a Melon doesn't suck in combination with the Hydrant's water blasts.

Galaga - Makes it move slightly up more...and continue to do it's usual spinning business. Um...yay?
Bell - If you throw the Bell straight into the water blast, it will just shoot off into space like the Freaky Fruit Bell. Which is not useful. HOWEVER, if you put your back against the Hydrant and throw the bell as soon as the water blast comes out, you throw the Bell at a much better angle. This makes it go at a diagonal and forward angle instead of going straight up. This can be useful as an anti-air or edgeguarding projectile, and it does a fair amount of damage and knockback. Plus it stuns for combo setups. However, because of hard it is time time, let alone landing the attack, I wouldn't really recommend this for serious matches. However, if you are a gambling man, then this one is for you.
Key - This one is really fun. You can either throw the key directly at the water blast, or face away from the water blast and then throw it. Once hit by a water blast, the key will fly off at a decent pace diagonally up and in the direction the water blast is going, instead of slowly moving forward. This is great as an anti-air projectile. Furthermore, because the key has piercing properties, you can throw it through the hydrant itself, and make it shoot forward upwards and diagonally out of the other side...kind of like loading a canon. Only instead of a canon, a hydrant. And the key being a canonball. Lastly, because of how easy it is to grab the key naturally because it likes to hang in place, you canregrab the key and then Z-Drop it onto a water blast from the hydrant. This makes the key "surf" on top of the water blast and go very very fast. Which can be useful as an edgeguarding projectile with great knockback or for just straight up surprising opponents. Fun stuff all-around.

Also, breaking a hydrant with different types of Bonus Fruit will make the hydrant bounce at a variety of different angles. I may cover this in the future as well. Until then, have fun experimenting. Pac-Man has a lot of goofy tactics at his disposal, and it promotes a lot of player creativity with him. The best thing to do is to try out everything he has and see what suits you the best, as I can imagine Pac-Man being a character in which no two players will be alike in how they play him.

Glide Toss
Similarly to most characters that have items they can grab, Pac-Man can utilize his glide toss when holding his fruits.

In case you are unaware of what Glide Tossing is, check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3_vOtY5kCc

While his is not quite as useful as characters like Diddy Kong, Pac can still use his glide toss for various things. Probably the most useful application is glide tossing the bell, since you can use it to be closer to your opponent when they are stunned and more easily follow up with a smash attack.

DITCIT/Super Glide Toss
DITCIT is an extension of sorts to glide tossing where you move incredibly far throwing a grabbed item. The inputs are much more strict and different for this technique, and if you are having trouble user abit_rusty compiled a good chunk of info that may help you.
Okay, after 2+ hours of training this godforsaken technique, I think I got it. I am not at 100% (hell I'm more like 40%) but I can consciously choose to perform the inputs and know what happens on screen is the exact product of my hand movements. Let us clear up all the ambiguities in this thread:

First, the only consistent sequence that I used which was even able to get the DITCIT to come up was:

Holding fruit, facing right:
:GCR::GCDR::GCR::GCUR: >> :GCA:(hold)>>:GCB:(hold)

Facing left, just reverse direction:
:GCL::GCDL::GCL::GCUL:>>:GCA:(hold)>>:GCB:(hold)

That sequence should result in Pacman doing a glide-toss movement forward (gaining a reasonable distance) while staying in a standing item-throw animation. If you see Pac sort of trip and throw, you did not do it right. If you see him up-throw and only barely move, you did not do it right. It is a fairly significant dash movement.

Key points:
- Quickly roll the control stick movements. Start with the dash forward, then roll from diagonal-down-forward to forward to diagonal-up-forward.
- You do not need to "maintain the dash", and by that I mean you don't need to start off running. You can do a standing DITCIT just fine. Or one right out of a foxtrot.
- Pressing the A button comes almost simultaneously (nearly immediately) after the diagonal-up-forward movement
- Pressing the B button comes after A just as fast (and I mean a fraction of a second after). When you get the muscle memory down, it almost feels like you are pressing both simultaneously.
- I am not sure if you have to hold A, but from experience holding it doesn't interrupt the technique and it's just one less thing to think about. (Just think roll stick -> Hold A>>Hold B immediately)
- The entire sequence of inputs must be performed VERY quickly. And I do mean quickly. To give you an idea of how quick, do a fox trot. (Flick the analog once in a direction). In that span of time, you need to have completed the entire input sequence above.

Tips:
- Go to training mode, set up 2 cpu's on each side of you on the far ends of an omega stage, and spam bananas. This serves 2 reasons.
1) You save yourself the time of having the pull out fruit since training with the banana item has the same effect. The more times you can practice in a row, the quicker your muscle memory should develop.
2) Having a cpu on each side makes the camera zoom out instead of onto you, so you can see your movement completely to tell if you're DITCIT-ing correctly.​
- When I first started out, I found it was much easier/consistent if I did one or two fox trots before doing the DITCIT input above. I'm not sure why, but I think it has to do with getting a feel for the timing and speed required (hence my foxtrot example above).
- Sometimes you will up-throw DITCIT. This is likely due to you rolling the control stick all the way up before pressing A>B
- Make sure you are consciously finishing the control stick movements before even hitting A>B. This was difficult for me at first because it requires such a fast input speed, but with practice I got the feel for it.
- On that note, practice, practice, practice. It took me over 2 hours (your mileage may vary) until I could even hit a respectable consistent performance. I do find that I am much more consistent with the fox-trot method. So try that first before you do a standing DITCIT.
- Seriously, you have to do this all REALLY quickly. I can not emphasize that enough. If you are frustrated because you can't get it to come out, try putting the inputs in faster.

Good luck guys. The inputs on this feel really strict so I'm still trying to get this down pat. I'll be doing DITCIT motions in my sleep.
There are many potential uses indeed, you can DITCIT a melon upwards into going for a back throw to toss your opponent into the melon, or, as PEPESPAIN pointed out, throw an Apple upwards away from your opponent, set up a hydrant, and have the hydrant water push the apple. There is lots of room for creativity with this, so feel free to experiment with different ideas.

Z-Drop
Z-Dropping, for those who are unaware, is where you let go of an item you're holding in midair with the grab button, hence the name Z-Dropping. Like all items in the game that can be held, all of Pac's fruits can be Z-Dropped, but in a very unique matter compared to other "character items", as well as specific properties for each fruit.

Unlike items such as Peach's turnips and Diddy's bananas, Pac's fruits can fall to the ground for an infinite number of times without disappearing, as long as they are quickly grabbed afterwards and not left on the ground too long. Even if they hit an opponent, they wont disappear and continue their way to the ground.

Pac's fruits can also be grabbed in the air during their descent, either by you or by your opponent. Keep this in mind.

The key is likely the best fruit to Z-Drop, as mentioned earlier it sends a hydrant flying on its own. No other fruit can do this and it makes launching hydrants much easier, faster, and dangerous. More on the hydrant in the Launching the Hydrant section.

Here is a video demonstrating Z-Drop techniques with the Galaxian and Bell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HkPymr-mhA

Super Z-Drop
Picking up a fruit by air-dodging and immediately pressing a grab button will have Pac-Man pick up the fruit and z-drop it on the same frame while performing an air dodge. This is cleverly named the Super Z-Drop (SZD). This can also be done while holding a fruit; you will simply drop the fruit while air-dodging. It should be noted that this is the only way to z-drop a fruit immediately after throwing a hydrant mid-air. What's interesting about this tactic is how when Pac-Man uses SZD, the fruit jumps over to his hand highest in the air and falls from there, meaning by using this trick repeatedly you can put out a constant hitbox behind you. This can prove to be rather effective pressure using fruits like the Key or Melon that deal a lot of damage.

Buffered Ledge Drop

Every item-spawning character can buffer an item drop when jumping from the ledge. However, when Pac-Man performs this he drops the fruit right in front of him on the stage, placing an active hitbox in front of him to help make his jump back onto stage safer. You can also regrab the fruit immediately during your jump by pressing Z at the right time or airdodging.

TheReflexWonder made a video showcasing all this in action, seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGbrjSkgzuM

The Hydrant

The Hydrant is Pac's Down Special and arguably the most important weapon in Pac-Man's arsenal, thanks to its multiple uses. You can also drop the hydrant in the air, it will drop at a high speed downwards until it hits the ground or a platform, dealing 9% to any opponents in the way and decent knockback. This is a strong option for landing with Pac-Man.

Hydrant Cancel
This is a simple trick that, while minor, can still prove to be effective and is a good habit to get into. Using Down Special to spawn a hydrant mid air has 5 frames less endlag than using it on the ground. When you are going to use the hydrant on the ground, just press jump right before inputting down special.

Comparison gfy courtesy of Zage: https://gfycat.com/LivelyKeenAllensbigearedbat

Launching the Hydrant

One of the most bread and butter ways to use the hydrant is by launching it towards your opponent. When flying, the hydrant will always do 13%, no matter how long its been out or what angle its launched at. It has some strong knockback, and can kill lighter opponents at higher percents.

The hydrant can take a total of about 13% before being launched at whatever angle the last hit onto it may cause. The most simple and common way to launch a hydrant is by hitting it with a dropped back air, and following it up with an forward tilt.

Always keep in mind how much HP the hydrant has, as your opponent can launch the hydrant against you. Keep these in mind to better control how and where your hydrant is launched, and don't be too reckless with this tactic; only try launching if you have some breathing space or know your opponent cannot launch it themselves too easily.

Here is a video showcasing most ways to launch a hydrant, including utilizing the bonus fruit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jdo320ZiL7U

Feel free to be creative with how you launch your hydrant! As shown in the video you usually you want to use a back air to get most damage on it as possible, giving you more options for types of launches. You can even bait weaker projectiles and/or attacks on the hydrant to loosen it, leading you to punish by bairing a hydrant into their face.

Z-Dropping fruit can also be an effective tactic to launch the hydrant, especially when utilizing the melon and galaxian. The melon, when Z-Dropped will still knock the hydrant away with one hit, making it a much safer and quicker way to launch a hydrant when holding a melon. The galaxian can also launch a hydrant on its own, but it needs to be from a high point so it can bounce. For more, see the Z-Dropping section under Bonus Fruit, including a video of Z-Dropping galaxian on the hydrant.

User kyoskue made a nice analysis of many types of hydrant launches. Keep in mind that whenever he mentions FD, he is specifically referring to the omega form of Pac-Maze on the 3DS version.
(NOTE: This was written before any patches.)
The hydrant can be launched in numerous different ways, depending chiefly on the attack that sends it flying.

The most common is the Ground Bounce.
F-tilt, f-smash, d-tilt, d-smash, bair, fair, jab3, most Bonus Fruit (everything besides Apple), and the dash attack all send the hydrant careening across the stage.
The first bounce's apex will be roughly 2 hydrants high and touch ground just shy of 1/2 the length of Final Destination away (in reality it's about one character length premature). Second and third bounce are roughly 1/4 of FD. The 4th touchdown results in the hydrant vanishing a full FD away.

Then we have High Bounce.
The only attack that I've found that does this specific bounce is the ledge attack.
The first bounce goes 3/4 of FD, and at its highest point (just shy of half of FD) is about 3 stacked hydrants high.

Next up is Super Bounce.
This can be done with up smash, a thrown Apple Bonus Fruit, or the final hit of dair.
Super Bounce is about 5 hydrants high, and touches down a tad past 1/2 FD. The second bounce is roughly equivalent to High Bounce's first bounce in both height and distance.
Something to take note of: In order to Super Bounce in the proper direction with up smash, you must be on the side of the hydrant that you want the attack to go; i.e., to Super Bounce right you must initiate an up smash on the right side of the hydrant.
Can alternatively be done via the final hit of Pac-Man's dair, timing it so that the dair is started at the apex of a short hop. Two of these dairs will send the hydrant on its way. In order to send it in the proper direction with dair you must hit it on the OPPOSITE side of where you want to send it, unlike when up smashing it.
Apple is obvious, throw from the opposite direction.

And then there's Anti-Stomp Bounce.
Finishing off the hydrant with u-tilt will send it hurtling over Pac-Man, about 4 hydrants high.
It moves an incredibly small horizontal distance, reaching its apex directly above Pac-Man and landing its first bounce directly behind him. Seems to only bounce 3 times, vanishes slightly less than 1/4 FD away.
Again; like the Super Bounce, it is initiated from the direction you wish the bounce to travel.

Finally, there is the Tumble Bounce.
This can be started with jab1 or jab 2.
The hydrant bounces directly in front of Pac-Man. Its apex is about 2 hydrants tall and the distance it covers is about 3 character lengths, making it the shortest horizontally, or possibly tied with Anti-Stomp Bounce.
This one is primarily for creating a lingering hit box next to Pac-Man and for edge guarding purposes.

Hydrant Dashing
Hydrant Dashing is a relatively simple tactic, and involves being pushed by the hydrant water while doing something you would be stationary doing otherwise, such as charging a smash attack or fruit. This can lead to some surprise KO's as your opponent most likely won't be expecting you to glide towards them charging a down smash.

Keep in mind however, in the case of charging a smash attack you're still charging a smash attack, and thus are wide open suspect to punishment. Use this tactic wisely.

Here's a video of Hydrant Dashing in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWTIEvgx4S0


Pac-Jump

Another extremely valuable asset to Pac-Man's wide array of tools is his Up-Special, which creates a trampoline from the Mappy arcade game, sound effects included. Pac-Man can bounce on the trampoline 3 times including the initial leap, dealing damage on the way up but being in free-fall on the way down. Hit it when it's red, and you will enter free-fall. Opponents can bounce off it and will enter free-fall when hitting the red trampoline as well. While it's most obvious use is as a high distance vertical recovery move, the move sees plenty of different uses, as a trap setup and more.

Unblockable
Because when opponents hit your trampoline, they bounce up, the hitbox from the inital leap of Pac-Jump is unblockable and can be used to hit through shields if you're close enough. There are many situations where this is useful. Because it is an up-special, this is a great OoS option for when you and your opponent are next to each other in shield.

An example of this being used as an unblockable is below:


Trampoline Combo Breaker
The trampoline can be used as a "combo breaker" as it has low start up frames. It can get you out trapping moves as well like Ness's PK Fire.



Stuck in a move or combo? Just press Up B!

Spacing/Zoning Strategy

Combining Pac-Man's Up B(Trampoline) and hydrant can create some excellent space control and opportunities to charge up fruit. ptrk83's post sums up very nicely what I would post myself, so I'll have his quoted here.
The trampoline, when not being used as a recovery, can be a great spacing/zoning tool when used on stage. You literally force aggressive opponents to decide whether or not to jump on the trampoline, jump over it, or try to hit you with a projectile. When comboed with the hydrant, it makes for a dead trap and directs your opponent to go into the part of the stage that YOU want him to be in. You'd be surprised how quickly you can change your opponents strategies with a simple hydrant or trampoline placement.


A simple trampoline setup here greatly limits the space in where your opponent can reach you.


How about now? Now the opponent has to come from above or in the middle. Both options can lead to you punishing them.


Comboed with the hydrant severely limits the space in which your opponent can read you. From above? ..Upsmash.. Your opponent better wait until the hydrant or trampoline disappears.. But hey.. set it up your camp again and this time throw some fruit. Now they have to make a decision.


Maybe space it out this time? Gives you more wiggle room in your nicely set up campground.


Now where can your opponent go when they are recovering low.? Prepare for them to be jumping!


Force them into an ever smaller recovery space with this setup. Have some vitamin C.​

Combos and Followups

Pac-Man has actually quite a few followups and combos. Some are a rather simple string of 2-3 moves while some can really rack up the damage; however these may require some setup and therefore are much more difficult to pull off in a real match. All percent calculations are considering the moves are 100% fresh/stale.

Bread and Butter
Fair -> Fair/Nair -- Pac-Man's most basic and fundamental combo, the one you should be using most. Works at many percents on the entire cast and is very safe. You generally should use nair, but at higher percents you would rather just followup with another fair as nair will whiff. (10% with fair, 15% with nair)

Fair -> Hydrant -- Variation of the first combo, instead sets up a hydrant. You can follow-up with hitting the hydrant with a nair, which will guarantee that bairing the hydrant or throwing any fruit at it will send it flying.(14%)

Down Throw -> Dash Attack -- Very useful out of a grab. You can move almost immediately after the dash attack finishes, allowing you to set up a hydrant or try for a followup uair or fair. (19%)

A Bit More Interesting
Fair -> Fair -> Any tilt or Up smash -- Good punish on any character's shorthop. However, if this combo was started on the ground Up Smash will not connect, and you would rather use a tilt. This will not work at all at higher percents, around 100%. (27% with usmash) (18% with ftilt) (17% with utilt) (16% with dtilt)

Dash Attack -> Bell -- Also known as the "Bellhop." If you have a bell charged up you can throw it after a dash attack, and at slightly higher percents can lead to some great followups or a kill considering the Bell's stun.

(When holding key, and above opponent) Z-Drop key -> Hydrant -> Falling Nair -- Extremely powerful and quick combo. Due to the positioning and conditions it can be rather difficult to pull off against a real player but its still definitely not impractical. What happens here is they're actually being hit with 3-4 attacks at once: the dropped key, hydrant falling, and then the hydrant being launched by the key. At most percents you can hit them with a nair before the hydrant sends them flying for extra damage. (37% without nair, 47% with all four moves.)

Off Stage
Fair->Fair -> Double Jump -> Footstool Spike is also a bread-and-butter off-stage combo. Its Pac-Man's only "spike" option, and executes very easily off of Fair-Spam. At high percentages, only do Fair -> Double Jump -> Footstool Spike.

Off-stage kills can be accomplished with Fair-Fair->double jump -> Nair... Fair-Nair... Fair->double jump Nair, or some combination thereof depending on your opponent's positioning. After "carrying" the opponent closer to the edge with Fairs, the sweet-spot Nair KOs at surprisingly low %, due to your proximity to the edge of the stage. (~90% or so).

Others
Pac-Man has some very interesting combos possible through use of the hydrant and fruits. Generally these aren't practical but can be possibly used to an extent when the opportunity allows. Plus, they're entertaining at the very least.

Some combos by ぎんこ that utilize the Galaxian in creative ways:

Miscellaneous
U-Turn Pellet

An interesting trick exists with Side Special where you can go into a hydrant in one direction, then immediately pivot the opposite direction. This is done by inputting the opposite direction of your pellet trail as soon as the power pellet at the end is peaking out of the hydrant.

A more in-depth video which also shows uses was made by PEPESPAIN and can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAd_Yul51-o
Crazy Pellet Angles
An interesting glitch occurs when you Fruit Cancel into Side Special at the same time as hitting the floor or a platform. the pellets will begin to follow abnormally different paths instead of normal.

Another way to set this up is by trying to drop a hydrant after already having just spawned one, then immediately trying to use your side-special.

Here is a video showcasing the glitch in action, as well as further describing different effects: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VlaO_Lk7ck

Conclusion

Pac-Man is a pretty zany character with a lot of dirty tricks up his sleeve. This guide of course will not make you a Pac-Man expert immediately, but I hope you were able to take something away from this and are able to apply more to your gameplan. If there was something I have not added and you think deserves to be included, feel free to post in this thread or PM me on Smashboards. Good luck out there!

To Do List

- Add more things I might have missed
 
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OnFullTilt

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The hydrant can take a total of 12% before being launched at whatever angle the last hit onto it may cause. The most simple and common way to launch a hydrant is by hitting it with a dropped back air, and following it up with an forward tilt. However, sometimes the hydrant will only take a back air to launch. This is due to how Pac-Man's bair will on occasion deal 12% instead. A way to truly control this is currently unknown.
Unless I'm mistaken Mew2king explained this in one of Zero's videos. He said that 1)Moves in training mode do 100% damage while a perfectly fresh move during an actual battle does 105% (kind of odd but seems accurate as one hit bairing in training mode seems impossible) and 2) the back air needs to be perfectly fresh in order to launch the hydrant. If you hit the hydrant with a back air it doesn't stale the move at all for whatever reason but if your bair hits an opponent even once you can no longer instantly launch the hydrant with it. This is probably due to the fact that the hydrant doesn't have 12% health- it has some decimal amount between 12 and 13 according to Mew2king.

I think you're slightly underestimating the apple (EDIT: meant to say cherry) as a midrange poke when anything else would take too long to be safe, but I may just be mistaken. What I do think should be mentioned though is that the downward angle of the apple seems to make it great for edgeguarding.

Besides my random gripes I think you did a swell job gathering everything and providing your own input- hats off to you.

PS: Maybe a side B mindgame section could be added- between the quick movements, the differing lengths it can be charged, the multitude of paths it can take, and the armor it seems like mentioning how to catch people with it could be considered an advanced technique. You may also want to add a recovery section that talks about the merits of side B recovering, up B recovering, and midair stalling by down B'ing while trying to recover.
 
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Skymin50

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So in what situation is Z-Dropping good? I know it's an idea but I find myself not using it much. Is it just a mix-up of plans and throwing your opponent off guard?

Is Bell easy to grab anyway? I'd love to play with it a little more.
 

Gam3rALO

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Can't wait to contribute!......If i ever figure something out..:p

Also I really need to practice those Japanese combos!!!
 
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AGES

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Updated guide slightly with stale bair on hydrant and how apple/bell can be edgeguarding tools.

Unless I'm mistaken Mew2king explained this in one of Zero's videos. He said that 1)Moves in training mode do 100% damage while a perfectly fresh move during an actual battle does 105% (kind of odd but seems accurate as one hit bairing in training mode seems impossible) and 2) the back air needs to be perfectly fresh in order to launch the hydrant. If you hit the hydrant with a back air it doesn't stale the move at all for whatever reason but if your bair hits an opponent even once you can no longer instantly launch the hydrant with it. This is probably due to the fact that the hydrant doesn't have 12% health- it has some decimal amount between 12 and 13 according to Mew2king.

I think you're slightly underestimating the apple as a midrange poke when anything else would take too long to be safe, but I may just be mistaken. What I do think should be mentioned though is that the downward angle of the apple seems to make it great for edgeguarding.

Besides my random gripes I think you did a swell job gathering everything and providing your own input- hats off to you.

PS: Maybe a side B mindgame section could be added- between the quick movements, the differing lengths it can be charged, the multitude of paths it can take, and the armor it seems like mentioning how to catch people with it could be considered an advanced technique. You may also want to add a recovery section that talks about the merits of side B recovering, up B recovering, and midair stalling by down B'ing while trying to recover.
Thanks for the info, just tested the stale moves in training vs a real match and yes, that is how it works, added to guide. Never heard of that before so thanks again for posting it lol

I do plan on adding a recovery section in the near future as well as potentially edgeguarding/kill sections which I think said Side B mechanics will fit in nicely into their respective sections.
So in what situation is Z-Dropping good? I know it's an idea but I find myself not using it much. Is it just a mix-up of plans and throwing your opponent off guard?

Is Bell easy to grab anyway? I'd love to play with it a little more.
Its mostly a mix-up of plans. When used right the melon and galaxian launch the hydrant much easier, and all fruits can be used to rack up damage quicker combined with pac-man's aerial attacks since it can be regrabbed with such aerials. Its not a fundamental part of pac's game atm and I personally am still messing with it so eh. Either way the galaxian makes that noise every single time you drop it which is dope

The bell is pretty easy to grab imo, just run for it quickly with a dash attack or fair.
 

Paper Maribro

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The Melons trajectory is actually a really small parabola. It actually bounces if left to be thrown far enough. Its subtle but worth noting. Also, Galaxians trajectory seems to be random. Sometimes it flies completely parallel to the ground after the loop and other times flies off at a steep angle and anything in between the two. I think we need to figure out what causes that.
 

OnFullTilt

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Bonus Fruit

Bonus Fruit is Pac-Man's Neutral special, where he cycles through the original 8 fruits from the original Pac-Man. You can cancel charging at any time by shielding/air dodging, and will maintain that fruit until you lose a stock.

Others
Pac-Man has some very interesting combos possible through use of the hydrant and fruits, as shown in this Japanese video: http://youtu.be/H62WUC2eHPo?t=5m3s
At some point in the video in that others section I saw the player charging fruit in the air and then immediately side B'ing without seeming to airdodge to keep the fruit he had charged. I tested it and found what he did- if you are charging fruit in midair you can press the shield/airdodge button and immediately do any of your four specials without having to go through with the airdodge. Using this you can charge fruit in midair without being obligated to airdodge. You can just down B out of fruit charge to make it pretty safe to charge fruit in midair (generally). I think you should add this to the part of the Bonus Fruit section that I quoted.
 

Firedemon0

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I would like to add that while charging fruit, I have found it blocks a very large number of attacks from above without losing its charge. I will try to make a few gifs of this when I have a good idea of what attacks are blocked.
 

~ Valkyrie ~

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Amazing analyses there, the Z-Dropping has proved immensely fun and useful. Having Y-Button as Grab seems to help a lot with Z-Dropping.
 

Gam3rALO

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mastering side B chasing off stage is important to go for KOs that are ealrier than key, hydrant, etc.

Try hitting them to top and side B and if they don't air dode or mis time to dodge, there is an easy kill
 

LittlePac

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mastering side B chasing off stage is important to go for KOs that are ealrier than key, hydrant, etc.

Try hitting them to top and side B and if they don't air dode or mis time to dodge, there is an easy kill
after finishing a combo that knocks them back, side B and predicting a second jump can yield early kills

but anyway, has anyone broken down how pacman's tether grab works?

Here's my analysis but I can't figure out exactly how it works -

the animation is worthless for deciding how this thing is gonna hit. The max range seems to be just inside of the animation's ending, but it is surprisingly far. There are a LOT of lingering frames in which this will still hit, I have accidentally thrown a grab out with a character still behind me, rolls in front of me, exits the roll animation, and gets nailed by the tether. This is hard to predict when it will happen, though, because there are times where I think the grab should work and it doesn't.
 

Firedemon0

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after finishing a combo that knocks them back, side B and predicting a second jump can yield early kills

but anyway, has anyone broken down how pacman's tether grab works?

Here's my analysis but I can't figure out exactly how it works -

the animation is worthless for deciding how this thing is gonna hit. The max range seems to be just inside of the animation's ending, but it is surprisingly far. There are a LOT of lingering frames in which this will still hit, I have accidentally thrown a grab out with a character still behind me, rolls in front of me, exits the roll animation, and gets nailed by the tether. This is hard to predict when it will happen, though, because there are times where I think the grab should work and it doesn't.
So far in my opinion, It seems to work very similar to Samus' tether on a smaller scale. Similar to this Gif. http://i.imgur.com/tilH2.gif It has an instant hit box, but then has a delay and lingers. It is worse however, as it is much slower. Depending on where they are standing seems to very much influence how Pac-man grabs.
 

LittlePac

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ah, that makes sense. I wouldn't call it worse, though. I think it's much slower, and the hitbox lingers longer - which may or may not be worse, but i find myself using his grab a lot.
 
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AGES

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At some point in the video in that others section I saw the player charging fruit in the air and then immediately side B'ing without seeming to airdodge to keep the fruit he had charged. I tested it and found what he did- if you are charging fruit in midair you can press the shield/airdodge button and immediately do any of your four specials without having to go through with the airdodge. Using this you can charge fruit in midair without being obligated to airdodge. You can just down B out of fruit charge to make it pretty safe to charge fruit in midair (generally). I think you should add this to the part of the Bonus Fruit section that I quoted.
Forgot to mention this in the guide lol. Hes actually just pressing shield/grab and then immediately letting go of it. Its a very small window and harder to do in the air though(at least in my opinion). Try switching grab and jump with Y/L if that helps as you can just rolll your thumb from B to Y
The Melons trajectory is actually a really small parabola. It actually bounces if left to be thrown far enough. Its subtle but worth noting. Also, Galaxians trajectory seems to be random. Sometimes it flies completely parallel to the ground after the loop and other times flies off at a steep angle and anything in between the two. I think we need to figure out what causes that.
Didn't think the melon bounce was significant enough to actually affect how its used so I didn't add it but eh I might as well for the sake of completion and what-not

Just tested it and yeah the galaxian will take either one of 4 randomly decided trajectories: either parallel to the ground like you said, a slight curve upward, a bigger curve upward, or a large curve upward. Don't think its a huge deal but will add for the sake of completion like the melon arc
 
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dragontamer

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Fair -> Fair -> Forward Smash needs to be a bread-and-butter combo. Basically, you short-hop fair to punish your opponent's shorthop approach. This often leads to a smash attack from ~50% to 110%. I don't think I get many kills with this (at high percentages, it is not an option).

Fair->Fair-> F-Tilt / Down-Tilt.
Tall opponents (Rob, Gannondorf, Bowser, Rosalina) can be hit with this combo on the ground. You don't need to predict their shorthop.

Opponents seem to have less hitstun if they're on the ground. I don't think you can follow up with a smash attack, so F-Tilt is your best option.

Fair->Fair -> Double Jump -> Footstool Spike is also a bread-and-butter off-stage combo. Its Pac-Man's only "spike" option, and executes very easily off of Fair-Spam. At high percentages, only do Fair -> Double Jump -> Footstool Spike.

Off-stage kills can be accomplished with Fair-Fair->double jump -> Nair... Fair-Nair... Fair->double jump Nair, or some combination thereof depending on your opponent's positioning. After "carrying" the opponent closer to the edge with Fairs, the sweet-spot Nair KOs at surprisingly low %, due to your proximity to the edge of the stage. (~90% or so).
 
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ItsRainingGravy

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You can use the Hydrant's water blasts to change the trajectory at which Bonus Fruit flies if you throw the fruit directly into it.

Here is a list of all of the trajectory changes. Green is useful, Yellow is decently useful, Red is bad. Plain colored text means that there's nothing too noteworthy about the move's changed trajectory or properties:


Bonus Fruit:
Cherry - Bounces up slightly and goes backwards instead of straight. Either way, you're probably not going to get much out of it. It is the Cherry, after all.
Strawberry - Bounces straight up slightly instead of going forward. Additionally, this could potentially set up the Strawberry for the second blast of water, which shoots it straight backwards. Doesn't bounce high enough and doesn't have a unique property to make it stand out as useful.
Orange - Flies at a diagonal angle, probably around 80 degrees, instead of straight.
Apple - Makes it completely stop on the ground instead of bouncing forward. Not useful.
Melon - Makes it go diagonally backwards and up at about an 80 degree angle instead of lobbing it forward. You're much better off using it for Z-Dropping shenanigans. (You can't catch the Melon using this method either)

Galaga - Makes it go up and do a circle instead of going forward and doing a circle. Pretty much changes it into an anti-air attack.
Bell - Makes it go straight up and then diagonally backwards and down instead of lobbing it at a forward arch. Can easily be caught again as it is flying back towards you. Great for covering yourself.

Key - Makes it go at a 40 degree angle diagonally upwards instead of straight. A pretty good mixup to catch opponents off-guard whom are expecting you to throw the key into the hydrant itself (which launches it immediately). Still, it's not a good idea to haphazardly use a key and potentially miss.

Freaky Fruit:
Cherry - Makes it bounce backwards first and bounce higher as opposed to the normal bounce. Hits the hydrant on the rebound if you are too close. Not particularly useful. Then again, it is the Cherry for a reason.
Strawberry - Makes it go straight up high into the air instead of bouncing forward. Additionally, this perfectly sets up the Strawberry for the second blast of water, which shoots it at a random angle (sometimes straight back up). Because this Strawberry is much more useful than the default Bonus Fruit Strawberry, this can be an excellent anti-air tool. It's also incredibly easy to regrab the Strawberry as well.
Orange - Makes it go at a 45 degree angle forward and up instead of straight forward. Pretty good for covering the air above the hydrant to the side you are throwing it to. Sometimes goes too fast for the water to push it and just hits the hydrant however.
Apple - Makes it bounce behind you instead of in front of you. Great for hilarious surprise attacks behind you. Can set up combos, and makes it easy to regrab the apple.
Melon - Makes it shoot off into outer space instead of lobbing it at a high arch forward. Um...yeah. Don't use this.
Galaga - Makes it go diagonally up and right (and then diagonally up and left) instead of the normal pattern. Could be useful? The normal pattern just seems better and much more practical however. Not bad but not great.
Bell - Makes it shoot off into outer space...at a slightly diagonal angle. And to top it off, it's even worse than the Melon + Hydrant combo. Why anyone would bother using this is beyond me.
Key - lol. Do I even have to say why this is a bad idea?

Lazy Fruit:
Chery - Makes it bounce at a high arch instead of lazily forward. You can even face the other direction and do this due to how slow the fruit moves. Could be situationally useful. However, as always, don't expect to get much out of a thrown Cherry.
Strawberry - Makes it bounce at a high arch backwards instead of lazily forward. Decent at covering space above you. Easy to regrab Strawberry. If it is already bouncing, it will make it bounce forward instead.
Orange - Makes it go diagonally backwards and up at a pretty decent pace instead of going slowly forward. Could be useful? Not really practical however.
Apple - Makes it shoot straight up into the air instead of arching forward. Great as both an anti-air and as a trap, and it is incredibly easy to regrab. First bounce is much higher than other bounces. If you space yourself at just the right distance from the hydrant, the second blast of water will make it launch again. This time at a high backwards arch which is also great at controlling space above you. An apple a day will keep Doctor Mario's aerials away!
Melon - Functions just like the apple only it goes MUCH higher and does more damage. Like the apple, this makes it easy to regrab. And this is really good news, and this could lead to Z-Dropping shenanigans with the Hydrant. For once, a Melon doesn't suck in combination with the Hydrant's water blasts.

Galaga - Makes it move slightly up more...and continue to do it's usual spinning business. Um...yay?
Bell - If you throw the Bell straight into the water blast, it will just shoot off into space like the Freaky Fruit Bell. Which is not useful. HOWEVER, if you put your back against the Hydrant and throw the bell as soon as the water blast comes out, you throw the Bell at a much better angle. This makes it go at a diagonal and forward angle instead of going straight up. This can be useful as an anti-air or edgeguarding projectile, and it does a fair amount of damage and knockback. Plus it stuns for combo setups. However, because of hard it is time time, let alone landing the attack, I wouldn't really recommend this for serious matches. However, if you are a gambling man, then this one is for you.
Key - This one is really fun. You can either throw the key directly at the water blast, or face away from the water blast and then throw it. Once hit by a water blast, the key will fly off at a decent pace diagonally up and in the direction the water blast is going, instead of slowly moving forward. This is great as an anti-air projectile. Furthermore, because the key has piercing properties, you can throw it through the hydrant itself, and make it shoot forward upwards and diagonally out of the other side...kind of like loading a canon. Only instead of a canon, a hydrant. And the key being a canonball. Lastly, because of how easy it is to grab the key naturally because it likes to hang in place, you canregrab the key and then Z-Drop it onto a water blast from the hydrant. This makes the key "surf" on top of the water blast and go very very fast. Which can be useful as an edgeguarding projectile with great knockback or for just straight up surprising opponents. Fun stuff all-around.


Also, breaking a hydrant with different types of Bonus Fruit will make the hydrant bounce at a variety of different angles. I may cover this in the future as well. Until then, have fun experimenting. Pac-Man has a lot of goofy tactics at his disposal, and it promotes a lot of player creativity with him. The best thing to do is to try out everything he has and see what suits you the best, as I can imagine Pac-Man being a character in which no two players will be alike in how they play him.
 
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AGES

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You can use the Hydrant's water blasts to change the trajectory at which Bonus Fruit flies if you throw the fruit directly into it.

Here is a list of all of the trajectory changes. Green is useful, Yellow is decently useful, Red is bad. Plain colored text means that there's nothing too noteworthy about the move's changed trajectory or properties:


Bonus Fruit:
Cherry - Bounces up slightly and goes backwards instead of straight. Either way, you're probably not going to get much out of it. It is the Cherry, after all.
Strawberry - Bounces straight up slightly instead of going forward. Additionally, this could potentially set up the Strawberry for the second blast of water, which shoots it straight backwards. Doesn't bounce high enough and doesn't have a unique property to make it stand out as useful.
Orange - Flies at a diagonal angle, probably around 80 degrees, instead of straight.
Apple - Makes it completely stop on the ground instead of bouncing forward. Not useful.
Melon - Makes it go diagonally backwards and up at about an 80 degree angle instead of lobbing it forward. You're much better off using it for Z-Dropping shenanigans. (You can't catch the Melon using this method either)

Galaga - Makes it go up and do a circle instead of going forward and doing a circle. Pretty much changes it into an anti-air attack.
Bell - Makes it go straight up and then diagonally backwards and down instead of lobbing it at a forward arch. Can easily be caught again as it is flying back towards you. Great for covering yourself.

Key - Makes it go at a 40 degree angle diagonally upwards instead of straight. A pretty good mixup to catch opponents off-guard whom are expecting you to throw the key into the hydrant itself (which launches it immediately). Still, it's not a good idea to haphazardly use a key and potentially miss.

Freaky Fruit:
Cherry - Makes it bounce backwards first and bounce higher as opposed to the normal bounce. Hits the hydrant on the rebound if you are too close. Not particularly useful. Then again, it is the Cherry for a reason.
Strawberry - Makes it go straight up high into the air instead of bouncing forward. Additionally, this perfectly sets up the Strawberry for the second blast of water, which shoots it at a random angle (sometimes straight back up). Because this Strawberry is much more useful than the default Bonus Fruit Strawberry, this can be an excellent anti-air tool. It's also incredibly easy to regrab the Strawberry as well.
Orange - Makes it go at a 45 degree angle forward and up instead of straight forward. Pretty good for covering the air above the hydrant to the side you are throwing it to. Sometimes goes too fast for the water to push it and just hits the hydrant however.
Apple - Makes it bounce behind you instead of in front of you. Great for hilarious surprise attacks behind you. Can set up combos, and makes it easy to regrab the apple.
Melon - Makes it shoot off into outer space instead of lobbing it at a high arch forward. Um...yeah. Don't use this.
Galaga - Makes it go diagonally up and right (and then diagonally up and left) instead of the normal pattern. Could be useful? The normal pattern just seems better and much more practical however. Not bad but not great.
Bell - Makes it shoot off into outer space...at a slightly diagonal angle. And to top it off, it's even worse than the Melon + Hydrant combo. Why anyone would bother using this is beyond me.
Key - lol. Do I even have to say why this is a bad idea?

Lazy Fruit:
Chery - Makes it bounce at a high arch instead of lazily forward. You can even face the other direction and do this due to how slow the fruit moves. Could be situationally useful. However, as always, don't expect to get much out of a thrown Cherry.
Strawberry - Makes it bounce at a high arch backwards instead of lazily forward. Decent at covering space above you. Easy to regrab Strawberry. If it is already bouncing, it will make it bounce forward instead.
Orange - Makes it go diagonally backwards and up at a pretty decent pace instead of going slowly forward. Could be useful? Not really practical however.
Apple - Makes it shoot straight up into the air instead of arching forward. Great as both an anti-air and as a trap, and it is incredibly easy to regrab. First bounce is much higher than other bounces. If you space yourself at just the right distance from the hydrant, the second blast of water will make it launch again. This time at a high backwards arch which is also great at controlling space above you. An apple a day will keep Doctor Mario's aerials away!
Melon - Functions just like the apple only it goes MUCH higher and does more damage. Like the apple, this makes it easy to regrab. And this is really good news, and this could lead to Z-Dropping shenanigans with the Hydrant. For once, a Melon doesn't suck in combination with the Hydrant's water blasts.

Galaga - Makes it move slightly up more...and continue to do it's usual spinning business. Um...yay?
Bell - If you throw the Bell straight into the water blast, it will just shoot off into space like the Freaky Fruit Bell. Which is not useful. HOWEVER, if you put your back against the Hydrant and throw the bell as soon as the water blast comes out, you throw the Bell at a much better angle. This makes it go at a diagonal and forward angle instead of going straight up. This can be useful as an anti-air or edgeguarding projectile, and it does a fair amount of damage and knockback. Plus it stuns for combo setups. However, because of hard it is time time, let alone landing the attack, I wouldn't really recommend this for serious matches. However, if you are a gambling man, then this one is for you.
Key - This one is really fun. You can either throw the key directly at the water blast, or face away from the water blast and then throw it. Once hit by a water blast, the key will fly off at a decent pace diagonally up and in the direction the water blast is going, instead of slowly moving forward. This is great as an anti-air projectile. Furthermore, because the key has piercing properties, you can throw it through the hydrant itself, and make it shoot forward upwards and diagonally out of the other side...kind of like loading a canon. Only instead of a canon, a hydrant. And the key being a canonball. Lastly, because of how easy it is to grab the key naturally because it likes to hang in place, you canregrab the key and then Z-Drop it onto a water blast from the hydrant. This makes the key "surf" on top of the water blast and go very very fast. Which can be useful as an edgeguarding projectile with great knockback or for just straight up surprising opponents. Fun stuff all-around.

Also, breaking a hydrant with different types of Bonus Fruit will make the hydrant bounce at a variety of different angles. I may cover this in the future as well. Until then, have fun experimenting. Pac-Man has a lot of goofy tactics at his disposal, and it promotes a lot of player creativity with him. The best thing to do is to try out everything he has and see what suits you the best, as I can imagine Pac-Man being a character in which no two players will be alike in how they play him.
nice stuff, will add.
Fair -> Fair -> Forward Smash needs to be a bread-and-butter combo. Basically, you short-hop fair to punish your opponent's shorthop approach. This often leads to a smash attack from ~50% to 110%. I don't think I get many kills with this (at high percentages, it is not an option).

Fair->Fair-> F-Tilt / Down-Tilt.
Tall opponents (Rob, Gannondorf, Bowser, Rosalina) can be hit with this combo on the ground. You don't need to predict their shorthop.

Opponents seem to have less hitstun if they're on the ground. I don't think you can follow up with a smash attack, so F-Tilt is your best option.

Fair->Fair -> Double Jump -> Footstool Spike is also a bread-and-butter off-stage combo. Its Pac-Man's only "spike" option, and executes very easily off of Fair-Spam. At high percentages, only do Fair -> Double Jump -> Footstool Spike.

Off-stage kills can be accomplished with Fair-Fair->double jump -> Nair... Fair-Nair... Fair->double jump Nair, or some combination thereof depending on your opponent's positioning. After "carrying" the opponent closer to the edge with Fairs, the sweet-spot Nair KOs at surprisingly low %, due to your proximity to the edge of the stage. (~90% or so).
nice, would also like to add how fair -> fair -> jab works too in place of tilts.

Also want to point out that fsmash just seems a bit less reliable to me(first combo), but I've been getting some good results with Usmash.
 
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dragontamer

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Strawberry - Probably the most useless fruit, its basically just cherry with 4% extra damage. Just get an orange or apple
I've only played vs Sheik sometimes online, so I haven't tested this. But it seems like Strawberry shuts down Sheik's needles.

I agree though, Strawberry seems like the most useless. Its extended time out prevents you from using more useful fruit as well. (at least Cherry disappears quickly)

Orange - A strong option for a quick fireball-like projectile. Takes very little time to charge and flies at a fast horizontal line. Slightly outclassed by the apple in terms of speed and power but takes enough less time to charge to make it viable.
Orange is the superior "gimping" fruit. It knocks the opponents back at the lowest angle. Gannondorf and Little Mac can't deal with it, and if they air-dodge they waste precious recovery time and may die anyway.

Short characters like Pikachu are prone to ducking under Apple on their approach. Use Orange instead of Apple against these short characters.

Melon - This fruit has many nicknames as it looks kinda weird, but it is supposed to be a melon. This fruit acts similarly to the orange, but travels much slower, has one very faint arc in its trajectory that will cause it to bounce after a long distance, and does more damage/knockback. Can be used as an approach as it moves slightly slower than Pac-Man's run speed. Also very valuable for Z-Dropping if grabbed, see Z-Dropped section for more info.
For non-gimping purposes, the Melon is the best "off-stage" fruit. High damage, and it just "hangs around', making it very difficult for opponents to get back on stage. It knocks the opponent up, so it is more of a damage option as opposed to a gimping option like Orange.

Follow up the opponent's air dodge with fair-nair offstage KOs.
 
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CCCM89

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Man, I don't even know...
not sure if this belongs hear, or in the basic techniques, but I kind of like what i've found, so I'll post about it here.

You know how pac-man's dash attack has no ending lag and you can immediately chain into almost any other attack? Well, i've started chaining that into the bell, which seems to be pretty useful. dash into enemy then immediately throw the bell. it hits them and stuns them, I run forward and grab the bell with a short hop into a Bair. the Bair seems to usually hit the opponent while I grab the bell, which I can then use to stun again when they're closer to the ground for a smash attack. this usually gets them 60% damage or more, but only seems to work reliably at lower percentages, so it could be a good starter combo, or something to use after taking out a stock to really get your opponent trailing behind.

probably needs some work, but I think it's a decent start for a combo, right?
 
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dragontamer

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Landing "Checkmate" in this game is very easy if you have the Key.

When a player is trying to recover on the stage for some reason, wait until he is your height. There is a certain height where opponents effectively lose their air-dodge (very low to the ground), as they land and enter the air-dodge punish state.

Fast and straight projectiles are perfect for punishing this situation, especially the key at high percentages. If key is not ready, orange is next best, followed by apple.
 

OnFullTilt

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Landing "Checkmate" in this game is very easy if you have the Key.

When a player is trying to recover on the stage for some reason, wait until he is your height. There is a certain height where opponents effectively lose their air-dodge (very low to the ground), as they land and enter the air-dodge punish state.

Fast and straight projectiles are perfect for punishing this situation, especially the key at high percentages. If key is not ready, orange is next best, followed by apple.
I've noticed the same can happen with your side B actually. Since your side B can armor through things and is at least as good a KO move as the key (I think it's a little stronger when charged but I may be wrong) it can also be pretty much guaranteed to hit hard an opponent that has exhausted every jump.
 

LittlePac

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not sure if this belongs hear, or in the basic techniques, but I kind of like what i've found, so I'll post about it here.

You know how pac-man's dash attack has no ending lag and you can immediately chain into almost any other attack? Well, i've started chaining that into the bell, which seems to be pretty useful. dash into enemy then immediately throw the bell. it hits them and stuns them, I run forward and grab the bell with a short hop into a Bair. the Bair seems to usually hit the opponent while I grab the bell, which I can then use to stun again when they're closer to the ground for a smash attack. this usually gets them 60% damage or more, but only seems to work reliably at lower percentages, so it could be a good starter combo, or something to use after taking out a stock to really get your opponent trailing behind.

probably needs some work, but I think it's a decent start for a combo, right?
This seems really cool, could you post a video of it? Seems very difficult to pull off with consistency.
 

LittlePac

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while we're talking about fruits, my favorite campy strategy lately is to throw out a fruit at mid range, wait to see if they shield or short hop it, if they shield, dash and grab (I try to grab from out of their jab range), if they short hop, whack'em with a nair and rinse/repeat. Some people have a surprisingly hard time approaching. This doesn't work very well against really fast characters like sonic.

I've been getting a lot of kills on low recovering characters by throwing the apple into the stage and letting it bounce a few times. people freak out and try to recover too high and get side smashed.
 
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Charey

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Something I've found about using the hydrant with the default apple, if you use the hydrant to stop the apple then pick it at the apple you can z-drop the apple, however the apple has strange z-drop physics, I've had it zoom both forwards and backwards off of a z-drop at different speeds, standing on the hydrant and having the water push you upwards made it z-drop in an arc.

It seems like it will only do one strange z-drop unless you are pushed by the water again. I'm not sure how to control the strange drop at the moment, it seems to be something with remembering the water pushing it(Maybe also wind pushes?) but looks like it will be worth looking into.
 

Rakurai

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Something I've found about using the hydrant with the default apple, if you use the hydrant to stop the apple then pick it at the apple you can z-drop the apple, however the apple has strange z-drop physics, I've had it zoom both forwards and backwards off of a z-drop at different speeds, standing on the hydrant and having the water push you upwards made it z-drop in an arc.

It seems like it will only do one strange z-drop unless you are pushed by the water again. I'm not sure how to control the strange drop at the moment, it seems to be something with remembering the water pushing it(Maybe also wind pushes?) but looks like it will be worth looking into.
As far as I can tell, all variants of the Bonus Fruit are strangely affected by the pushing effects of the hydrant while Pac-Man is holding them still, and will apply the velocity they had been given once they're thrown or dropped. Meaning if you walk against the water coming from the left side of the hydrant for a little while, then throw the fruit to the left, it'll move much faster then before. Throwing it the other way will have the opposite effect and make it move much slower.

It'll keep storing velocity seemingly forever, to the point where the fruit literally teleports off-screen after walking against the current of three hydrants.
 
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Opana

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Dash Attack's momentum lets you slide and attack coming out of it.

Placing a trampoline onstage allows you to carry an opponent using a Dash Attack to it, and one you reach it it'l hit them with the trampoline bounce hit box.

Brother found these, no idea if they're new or not but thought they were pretty interesting.
 

Lord Cruxis

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Side B gimping is amazing. When the opponent tries to recover, hitting them with your side B blasts them into the stage and spikes them beyond return. Its such a fun kill lol
Is that what gimping means? Hitting them to the stage so they fall? Also i been using side b more often as well. freaking amazing. I been looking for a kill option that wasn't key or smashes and side b is it. Kills really early and especially on the heavy peeps.
 

CCCM89

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Man, I don't even know...
Side B gimping is amazing. When the opponent tries to recover, hitting them with your side B blasts them into the stage and spikes them beyond return. Its such a fun kill lol
do you mean standing on the edge and doing a u-turn pellet to hit them and carry them with you on the second hit so they hit the stage and spike while you fall prone into a trampoline? because that's what I've been doing and it is funny as hell. ^_^
 

CCCM89

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Man, I don't even know...
This seems really cool, could you post a video of it? Seems very difficult to pull off with consistency.
No capture card or even a camera, so I'm afraid no video, but really, it's easy. Just go to training in final destination, pick pretty much any character, then build up to the bell. After that, just try dashing into them to knock them towards the center of the stage and mash B during the attack(if you don't already know the timing for the end of his dash). this should send out the bell right as you end the attack, which will almost always hit the enemy at low percentages. from there, you have a few choices. either get your timing right and Uair them, or run under them and hop into a Bair. even a full jump is fine, as long as you start the attack right as you jump so that you grab the bell. with a full hop, even if you miss the Bair, you can get above them and drop the bell on them to follow up with a smash attack. if they managed to dodge, then just hydrant.

really, the idea is to just dash attack into throwing the bell. what you do after that is up to you. Though it should be mentioned that the bell's hitstun, I believe, is dependent on the damage on the enemy, so using this as an opening combo would limit the hit stun quite a bit, but conversely, i think only the heavier characters are going to stay in range of the bell past 60%.
 

dr_six

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I'm not sure if this is mentioned yet, but one of the biggest keys to winning with pacman is learning how to use the hydrant as a decoy. I cannot emphasize how important this is. If you can make your opponent focus on the hydrant rather than yourself, then you can use this to your advantage. A simple example of this is dashing towards the hydrant and shielding at the hydrant at the moment when your opponent does a smash attack on the hydrant (to rid of it), thus leaving your opponent open to be attacked.
 

Nu~

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I'm not sure if this is mentioned yet, but one of the biggest keys to winning with pacman is learning how to use the hydrant as a decoy. I cannot emphasize how important this is. If you can make your opponent focus on the hydrant rather than yourself, then you can use this to your advantage. A simple example of this is dashing towards the hydrant and shielding at the hydrant at the moment when your opponent does a smash attack on the hydrant (to rid of it), thus leaving your opponent open to be attacked.
Yes! I do this all the time. The opponent just loves to hammer away at the hydrant, and that is the perfect time to punish them
 

dragontamer

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Quick question everyone: What's your method for punishing planking?

After the 1st "ledge grab", any additional ledge grab doesn't have invincibility frames. (changed from previous games) I tested a few attacks out and I can't seem to find a decent option from Pacman to punish a planker (on the 2nd+ ledge grab). I guess Bell would be the appropriate option, but the ideal one would be a smash-attack of some kind.

Down Smash doesn't seem to hit low enough, nor does Forward Smash. :-( Is a down-aimed f-tilt the best we got?
 

Firedemon0

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Quick question everyone: What's your method for punishing planking?

After the 1st "ledge grab", any additional ledge grab doesn't have invincibility frames. (changed from previous games) I tested a few attacks out and I can't seem to find a decent option from Pacman to punish a planker (on the 2nd+ ledge grab). I guess Bell would be the appropriate option, but the ideal one would be a smash-attack of some kind.

Down Smash doesn't seem to hit low enough, nor does Forward Smash. :-( Is a down-aimed f-tilt the best we got?
Short hop hydrant, or apple are good options in my opinion.
 

dragontamer

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I guess I'm just jelly of Lucario.

Freaking Aura Sphere does everything.
 

Nu~

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Quick question everyone: What's your method for punishing planking?

After the 1st "ledge grab", any additional ledge grab doesn't have invincibility frames. (changed from previous games) I tested a few attacks out and I can't seem to find a decent option from Pacman to punish a planker (on the 2nd+ ledge grab). I guess Bell would be the appropriate option, but the ideal one would be a smash-attack of some kind.

Down Smash doesn't seem to hit low enough, nor does Forward Smash. :-( Is a down-aimed f-tilt the best we got?
Orange hits them off, and sends them at a low angle
 

CCCM89

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Man, I don't even know...
Quick question everyone: What's your method for punishing planking?

After the 1st "ledge grab", any additional ledge grab doesn't have invincibility frames. (changed from previous games) I tested a few attacks out and I can't seem to find a decent option from Pacman to punish a planker (on the 2nd+ ledge grab). I guess Bell would be the appropriate option, but the ideal one would be a smash-attack of some kind.

Down Smash doesn't seem to hit low enough, nor does Forward Smash. :-( Is a down-aimed f-tilt the best we got?
down tilt.
 
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