Redesigning/Rebalancing Bowser (Plus some meta about designing fighting game characters)

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Mini-Redesign/Rebalance Threads

:ultmario: Mario

:ultdk: Donkey Kong

:ultkirby: Kirby

:ultbrawler: Mii Brawler
So this was the heavyweight I had in mind in my Roy thread. For the three people who cared and the four Bowser mains who care to see this thread, I give you my ideas for Bowser. They aren't going to be Project M amounts of crazy crap, and they are definitely not going to be any amount as crazy as my Samus and Dedede ideas, but I will be going over some more meta things in this one for how I think a heavyweight character, and really any fighting game character, should be made and designed.

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Like with all of my "rebalancing" exercises, I will showcase what I believe the character's purposes should be overall, as well as the strengths and weaknesses they should have.

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Bowser :ultbowser:

Purpose: Overbearing neutral/Grappler/Close range stage controller/Very poor disadvantage

Strengths should be:

Fast movement speed
Good range
Threatening grab
High damage per hit
High priority and some armor
High kill potential
High shield pressure

Weaknesses should be:

High endlag
Terrible frame data
Lackluster recovery
Easy to combo

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Like always, general stats and junk that is mostly about other general things for all characters and will only mention Bowser in terms of relative terms.

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General Statistics::ultbowser:

  • Super heavy weight
  • Average walk speed
  • High run speed
    • (Walk speed and run speed would be more compacted for the slowest and fastest characters)
  • Above average horizontal airspeed
  • Standardized first jump
    • (All first jumps for all characters will be the same height: around 80% the height of the top platform in Battlefield)
  • Below average double jump height
    • (Baseline for double jump will be lower than it is now, but varied between characters: Bowsers's new jump height would be about 75% of his current double jump height in Smash 4)
  • Above average fall speed
  • High fast fall speed
  • Wall Jump (All characters will be able to wall jump, but not all can wall cling)
  • Average roll distance
    • (All characters will have the same frame data on rolls, with the only real variance between them being distance)
  • Very high shield health
    • (Shield health would now differ between characters, with the baseline being 100 shield health. Bowser's would have 160)
  • Can crawl
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Not much changes from how Bowser is in Smash 4 because he already has the general stats to be what he needs. It's mostly his moves that need tweaking. So other than the mention of wall jump and the super high shield health making him better at turnarounds with perfect shielding as well as not having his shield broken nearly as easily by shield pressure, not much changes about him.

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META: ABOUT UNIVERSAL OPTIONS

So before I get to the moves proper, I need to share my philosophy on how to make a fighting game balanced with itself very well. Most of it stems from this really good article from David Sirlin, a fighting game director who worked on stuff like Street Fighter. It's called "Designing Defensively" and it involves a look at the Guilty Gear series and how they are able to create a sort of "self balancing" system.

While he goes through a bunch of special tools in detail, he glosses over the importance of having basic tools in the movesets of the characters. This is something I think Smash Bros does well, but only sometimes. However, in this series, I have made a point to have every character I talk about have basic tools that makes sure they can at least defend themselves thoroughly from everything the game could potential throw at them, at least adequately. Now you can make weaknesses in these universal tools, but the point is that they need to do what they should to work defensively for those situations. But what would these universal tools be in Smash Bros? Here's my general idea for these moves, regardless of character strengths and weaknesses:

  1. At least three undeniably safe on shield options, at least one of them an aerial
  2. At least two good anti-air options
  3. At least two get-off-me tools, at least one of them an aerial
  4. By extension, at least one solid landing option
  5. By extension, at least two good OOS options
  6. An approach option
  7. An anti-approach option
  8. At least three kill moves that kill at relatively standard percents
  9. At least two kill moves that kill at higher percents but are safer
  10. A combo throw
  11. The ability to true combo at lower percents or at least start them
  12. At least three forms of basic stage control/edgeguarding potential
  13. At least one safe to land with aerial
  14. At least two ways to deal with rolls
  15. At least two ways to deal with spotdodge/airdodge

I'm sure I'm missing a few, and feel free to tell me what else a character might require, but those are my general guidelines for what every character needs at base. Now again, some can have more than this, but none can have less. Heck, some of these things can have caveats, like the approach option being a bit weaker in frame data or kill power, but the point is that it can be used as an approach option just fine. This is why I give all of the dash attacks projectile immunity in order to have a shortcut to this minimum standard, which is also what Guilty Gear does as shown in that article.

So why do I bring this up six "rebalance" threads in? Well, I think Bowser's moveset, while not in need of new moves per se, is definitely in need of a rebalance. This is very apparent in how the only reason he was halfway decent is the use of one consistent tool in Smash 4, but the rest of his moveset was kinda lacking in some areas. This is because these principles I have gone over were not followed in his design, nor his design in any Smash game really. And note his weakness of "Terrible frame data" that I mentioned in the strengths and weaknesses section; this descriptor is mostly relative, and will usually be subtle. For an example of another fighting game, look at Suicune from Pokken Tournament, who has bad relative frame data, yet still has universal tools to work with anything the game can throw at him. This is where I think Bowser should be.

So unlike the other rebalance threads, I will explicitly list these universal standards in my descriptors of these moves in order to have all bases covered.

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:GCA::GCA: Jab:

  • A quick palm strike, followed by a quick forward punch after. Arms are intangible during the strikes
  • Fast startup for both hits
  • Very low endlag
  • Below average shield damage
  • Safe on shield for both hits
  • Knockback is at the Sakurai angle for both hits
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Jab 1: 5.0%
    • Jab 2: 6.5%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Jab 2: 200%

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Bowser's first out of shield option
Bowser's first safe on shield option
Bowser's first get-off-me option

Not much change to this move at all. It's already pretty good at its job. Can be used to fake out opponents for a grab, is completely safe on shield, and does quite a bit of damage. A great out of shield option and overall a great multipurpose move for Bowser. I would sacrifice some kill potential though.

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:GCR::GCA: FTilt:

  • A backhanded punch. Has intangibility on the arm for the hitbox duration
  • Below average startup
  • Above average endlag
  • Average shield damage
  • Barely unsafe on shield
  • Causes pushback to shielded opponents
  • Knockback is at the Sakurai angle
  • Approximate damage numbers: 11.0%
  • Approximate kill time: 155%

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Bowser's second safe on shield option
Bowser's first secondary kill option for later percents


Bowser's well ranged neutral tool for shields as well as a good pivot option. It gives pushback to shielded opponents, so despite being unsafe, it actually brings neutral back quickly. However, whiffing this is punishable, so Bowser still needs to be at least a little tactical with this option. Still, this actually has kill potential on the edge, making it a nice secondary kill move if you can't kill them early enough.

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:GCU::GCA: UTilt:

  • An overhead arcing swipe going behind his head. Has an early and late hitbox
    • Late hitbox is on Bowser's claw at the end of the swipe while on the ground
    • Has a blindspot in front of Bowser
  • Very high priority
  • Above average startup
  • Below average endlag
  • Base knockback on late hitbox is low to allow for combos
  • Knockback on early hitbox and late hitbox is upwards behind Bowser at 100 degrees
  • Unsafe on shield for early hitbox
    • Safe on shield for late hitbox
  • Below average shield damage
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Early: 9.5%
    • Late: 8.2%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Early: 170%
    • Late: 230%

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Bowser's first combo starter
Bowser's first anti-air
Bowser's first roll counter

So this move is a bit more complicated. First off, it's still an amazing anti-air option because of the claws having such high priority that barely anything will challenge them. But second, it has a hitbox on the claw that lingers while it is on the ground behind Bowser, giving it the ability to hit shield safely AND true combo into a few things. This gives Bowser a few more options for combos he usually wouldn't have. As an added bonus, the lingering hitbox makes this good for catching incessant rolling to try and crossup Bowser, again showing how he is good in neutral. However, it regains the blindspot in front of Bowser, and is unsafe on shield if someone actually happens to hit his claw while it is swiping the air.

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:GCD::GCA::GCA: DTilt:

  • New sequence: Will do a one two swipe across the ground. Can control both swipes independently. Can cause tripping
    • Second swipe has more range than the first
    • Second swipe can be delayed a bit
  • Low startup
  • Below average endlag without second hit
    • Average endlag with second hit
  • Safe on shield with first hit
    • Barely unsafe with second hit
  • Low shield damage
  • Knockback is at the Sakurai angle
  • First hit has set knockback
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • First hit: 5.0%
    • Second hit: 5.5%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Second hit: 160%
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Bowser's first anti-approach option
Bowser's second out of shield option
Bowser's third safe on shield option
Bowser's first spotdodge/airdodge counter


Making this into a two stage move can make it quite tricky for the enemy, especially if approaching Bowser, because the second hit has more range and actual kill potential too. It also still is safe on shield for both hits, but the first hit only is heavily in Bowser's favor, and I think the frames would be fixed where the enemy can perfect shield the second hit easily if they get hit with the first hit, allowing Bowser to trick them into lowering their shield to counterattack and simply smashing them to oblivion.

On top of that, the low startup and endlag again allows an anti-approach tool, but also gives it a good utility as an out of shield option.

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:GCR::GCR::GCA: Dash Attack:

  • A lunging side kick. Has an early sweetspot and late sourspot. Destroys projectiles throughout the move
    • (Projectile destruction is a universal aspect of all dash attacks)
  • Long lasting hitbox
  • Above average startup
  • Above average endlag
  • Barely unsafe on shield
  • Average shield damage
  • Knockback is upwards at 60 degrees for both hitboxes
  • High priority
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Early: 12.0%
    • Late: 9.0%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Early: 135%
    • Late: 160%

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Bowser's approach option
Bowser's second roll counter


So this move helps Bowser approach, which he should have considering he is supposed to have monstrous neutral game. However, the move is high on startup, so it can really only be used as a reaction instead of defensively. But I would make the hitbox linger for a bit longer to emphasize a sort of walling pressure of sorts in his approach. Other than the basics, it is actually barely unsafe on shield, meaning Bowser can't really followup smoothly, but neither can the enemy on him, giving it a 50/50 style on shield and allowing Bowser to use his good speed and high priority to his advantage in both retreat and offense.

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:GCCR: FSmash:

  • A long range drop kick. Has early and late hitboxes on the body and legs
  • Extremely high priority
  • Above average shield damage
  • Unsafe on shield for all hitboxes
  • High startup
  • High endlag
  • Knockback is at the Sakurai angle
  • High hitstun
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Early: 24.2%-33.9%
    • Late: 17.0%-23.8%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Early: 60%-35%
    • Late: 70%-40%

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Bowser's first standard percent kill move

The iconic drop kick. Not much I would change about this other than a small damage buff and kill power buff. It also has higher hitstun, making it able to followup smoother if you happen to hit it on grounded opponents early on. The shield damage would be pretty average for a move of this power, so don't see this as a shield breaker.

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:GCCU: USmash:

  • Squats down and then jumps up shell first before crashing down. Has sweetspot in the center of the shell and sourspots on the sides of Bowser. Shell is completely invincible and destroys projectiles. Shockwave is created during the landing
    • Shockwave width is about 3x Bowser's width
    • Shockwave pushes back shielded opponents
  • Above average startup
  • High endlag
  • Above average shield damage
    • Low shield damage on shockwave
  • Unsafe on shield
    • Barely unsafe on shield for the shockwave
  • Knockback is exactly upwards at 90 degrees
    • Knockback on shockwave is at the Sakurai angle
  • Shockwave has set knockback
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Sweetspot: 20.0%-28.0%
    • Sourspots: 18.0%-25.2%
    • Shockwave: 7.0%-9.8%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Sweetspot: 110%-80%
    • Sourspots: 130%-100%

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Bowser's second anti-air option
Bowser's second standard percent kill move
Bowser's first stage controlling option

Not much to change for this move other than a defensive shockwave around it that is about a Bowser width across for both sides, making it a good area control since it can push shielded opponents. However, the kill power is lessened to compensate for this safety added to the move. Otherwise, nothing else changes. Actually, I would definitely have the side hitboxes be a bit further out so Bowser doesn't have to be super close to hit, but again, not much change here.

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:GCCD: DSmash:

  • Rakes the ground in front, then behind him in quick succession
  • Very high priority
  • Below average startup
  • Average endlag
  • Knockback is sideways at 40 degrees
  • Pushes back shielded opponents
  • Unsafe on shield
  • Average shield damage
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • First hit: 14.8%-20.7%
    • Second hit: 16.5%-23.1%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • First hit: 125%-95%
    • Second hit: 100%-70%

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Bowser's third roll counter
Bowser's third standard percent kill move


The new Down smash from Ultimate looks much better from what I can tell, even though it's the average down smash really. In this case, it is actually good at catching rolls, but also pushes back shielded opponents a bit, giving it some relative safety, at least from kill moves that come out a bit slow. Overall, an unremarkable move that is mostly there to give Bowser some roll countering in both directions unlike his UTilt with its one direction. However, it's pretty fast for how well it kills at the edge.

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:GCX::GCA: NAir:

  • A full body cartwheel in the air. Has four different hitboxes on the arms and legs, with the arm hitboxes coming out faster than the legs
    • First arm hitbox comes from above Bowser
  • Lingering hitboxes
  • Below average priority
  • Average startup
  • Average endlag
  • Average landing lag
  • Very high hitstun
  • Barely safe on shield
  • Average shield damage
  • Knockback is above Bowser at 75 degrees for all hitboxes
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Arms: 5.5%
    • Legs: 6.5%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Arms: 180%
    • Legs: 175%

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Bowser's second combo starter
Bowser's first landing option
Bowser's second spotdodge/airdodge counter

While I like this move, I would revamp it a tiny bit. First off, the startup increased a bit to make it slightly worse at straight disadvantage, along with making the priority lower than Bowser's other moves. However, it would gain a lot of hitstun making this a good move for general followups, especially if catching the opponent in all hits, probably by getting right on top of them. But even without that, by landing with this move, the high hitstun makes the average landing lag negligible, allowing for some true combos. And even if landing on a shield, it deals with them fine, putting Bowser back into the neutral. Still a slow move, but now with some more utility.

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:GCX::GCR::GCA: FAir:

  • A strong downward strike with his claws
  • High startup
  • Average endlag
  • Average landing lag
  • Below average shield damage
  • Safe on shield
  • Knockback is at the Sakurai angle
  • Above average priority
  • Approximate damage numbers: 13.4%
  • Approximate kill time: 145%

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Bowser's fourth safe on shield option
Bowser's first edgeguarding option
Bowser's second secondary kill move for later percents

A pretty simple aerial move for denying the ledge as well as an aerial approach due to it being safe on shield even when landing due to a decreased landing lag. Doesn't kill very early, but is an emergency kill move that is a bit more reliable. Also has an above average priority, making it tough to stuff out when Bowser has an advantage, fitting his strength of "close range stage controller". I would definitely remove the needless damage decrease throughout the hitboxes too.

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:GCX::GCL::GCA: BAir:

  • An aerial dropkick
  • Above average priority
  • Low startup
  • High endlag
  • High landing lag
  • Above average shield damage
  • Unsafe on shield
  • Knockback is upwards at 45 degrees
  • Approximate damage numbers: 17.0%
  • Approximate kill time: 90%

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Bowser's fourth standard percent kill move

Pretty simple back air kill move. Wouldn't change much on it other than making it very strong in kill power but weaker in damage. It also would be pretty spammable, but definitely not a neutral tool to use often due to high endlag even while in the air. Will probably have the ability to combo into things early on.

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:GCX::GCU::GCA: UAir:

  • An upwards headbutt. Has invincibility on Bowser's head throughout the move
  • Above average priority
  • Fast startup
  • High endlag
  • Average landing lag
  • Knockback is exactly upwards at 90 degrees
  • Low base knockback to allow for early combos
  • High hitstun
  • Barely safe on shield
  • High shield damage
  • Approximate damage numbers: 16.7%
  • Approximate kill time: 160%

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Bowser's third combo starter
Bowser's third anti-air option


The infamous ding dong move. While I think Ultimate did a good thing making it not a guaranteed kill combo, I think it can still have some versatility as an early combo starter move, whether it be through landing towards the ground with its lingering hitbox by fast falling, or simply comboing into itself. In addition, despite its landing lag, it is safe on shield if you somehow manage to hit his head on them while landing. But it's also good for platform pressure.

I think this is a good use for this tool, and it is even better since Bowser needs at least SOME combos to work with. And while it's still a risky move to miss with, that's par for the course when you have as much damage as Bowser does.

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:GCX::GCD::GCA: DAir:

  • Withdraws into the shell and plunges downward, spinning all the way. Creates a weak shockwave when landing. Has invincibility on the shell throughout the descent. Has early and late hitboxes
    • Can be angled
      • Angle would be much stronger than it is now
      • Fall speed would be higher too
    • Meteor smash properties removed
    • Shockwave width is about double Bowser's width
  • Above average startup
    • Invincibility starts much sooner
  • Low endlag
  • High landing lag
  • High shield damage
  • Barely unsafe on shield
  • Shockwave pushes back shielded opponents
  • Knockback is upwards at 60 degrees
    • Shockwave has set knockback
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Early: 16.0%
    • Late: 15.5%
    • Shockwave: 6.5%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Early: 190%
    • Late: 225%

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Bowser's second landing option
Bowser's second get-off-me option (aerial)
Bowser's third out of shield option (aerial)

Bowser's second stage controlling option

Oh hey, a landing tool that actually is good at its job? Blasphemy!

In all seriousness, this move now has multiple uses. Firstly, the armor below Bowser gives him an unchallenged descent, only really punishable by airdodging him and punishing the still high landing lag. However, this move is much faster and easier to control, making it also a better way to get back on stage, at least if recovering high. And even if they meet you on the ground, the move is overall safe on shield and has a shockwave that can catch even stale dodges. And the most important thing is that the armor comes quickly, making this Bowser's premier way to get out of juggling scenarios. I think these changes really breathe new life into this highly situational move and make it still situational, but at least usable in a lot more of them.


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:GCB: Neutral-B:

  • Fire Breath: Creates a flamethrower out of his mouth that travels a fair distance in front of him. Using it too much causes it to peter out to a slight flame right in front of Bowser's face, losing massive range and damage. Not using it will replenish the range and damage
    • Default range is about 3 Bowser widths in front
      • Minimum range is about 1/3 of a Bowser width in front
    • No longer has flinchless hitboxes
    • Peters out completely in about 6 seconds of continuous use
    • Replenishes fully in about 12 seconds of no use
  • High SDI
  • Low startup
  • Above average endlag
  • Average shield damage
  • Unsafe on shield
  • Knocks back shielded opponents
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Full charge: 1.7% per 0.25 seconds
    • Full DPS: 6.8% per second
    • Minimum charge: 1.2% per 0.25 seconds
    • Minimum DPS: 4.8% per second

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Bowser's third stage controller option
Bowser's second anti-approach option
Bowser's third spotdodge/airdodge counter


Not too much I would change about this move other than having much more damage over time as well as a much longer period of power. In addition, I would definitely lower the endlag by quite a bit. Not enough to be truly safe on shield, but considering it has higher shield damage, you can force the enemy into a corner if you push them back. Lastly, no flinchless hitboxes because that's dumb.

However, it would lose its damage as it peters out. This seems like a huge nerf until you get to the next move. But besides that, the move is meant for what it's supposed to be: Bowser's close range stage control. Fits with his purpose of close range stage controller well, along with all the shockwaves on his moves.

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:GCL::GCB::GCR: Side-B:

  • New move: Koopa Klench: Bowser will grab the opponent and hold them in place for a while. While holding an opponent, all special moves are possible to use, and the opponent will be kept next to Bowser throughout using those moves. If doing Side-B again, will commence the Flying Slam in that direction. Flying Slam can be controlled by both Bowser and the opponent, with Bowser getting slightly more priorit
    • Will hold the victim for up to 2.75 seconds, regardless of victim's button input or damage percent
    • Flying Slam suicide will kill Bowser first
    • Victim will take 20% less damage overall from all other special moves besides Flying Slam
  • Above average startup
  • High endlag on miss
  • High endlag on successful Flying Slam
  • Knockback is upwards at 45 degrees
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Flying Slam: 12.1%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Flying Slam: 130%

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Bowser's fifth standard percent kill move

So here's a strange combination of the Melee Koopa Klaw and the Flying Slam, with the added benefit of more options out of it. The Flying Slam portion is much weaker in terms of damage, but kills at a fair percent for how much power it has against shields. But honestly, that option is the most boring compared to the others and is mostly used to work with platforms better. The real power comes from the other special moves you can use

Fire Breath: Because the victim is staying close to Bowser throughout, even a petered out Fire Breath can still hit in the same vein as a constant damage pummel. Full blast however is devastating since the victim can't escape Bowser's clutches for a few seconds.

Whirling Fortress: You'll see I heavily buffed the damage of this move, especially on the first hit, making it the better damage racker of the group, as well as moving Bowser around with much more control than Bowser Bomb or Flying Slam, giving him more stage control.

Bowser Bomb: The standard killing option with Flying Slam being a secondary sort of. Or at least it would be if it wasn't for the damage reduction on the special moves that come from the clutch. In addition, this would create a guaranteed falling Bowser Bomb, but as you will see later, I would weaken the falling Bomb's killing power. Combine this with the further decrease that comes from the Klutch itself, and this is relegated to a more secondary kill option compared to Flying Slam. However, it does a lot more damage than Flying Slam, so potato potato.

You might be asking why use Bowser's natural grab instead of this all the time, especially since it can be used in the air. Well, like in Ultimate right now, I would remove the autocancel as well as increase the endlag by a bit, making it much more unsafe on whiff compared to his normal grab. I would also increase the startup to be only slightly longer than his normal grab, giving both a reason to be used.

But I think with all this power, these few nerfs are worth it to solidify Bowser's grappler status.

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:GCU::GCB: Up-B:

  • Whirling Fortress: Will quickly retreat into his shell, spinning around while doing so. Will drag opponents along with him. Can finely control his movement while on the ground and has full invincibility. In the air, invincibility is removed. Will cause a helpless state when used in the air
    • Aerial lift is about double Bowser's double jump height
    • High ledge grab radius
  • Extremely low startup
  • High endlag
  • High landing lag
  • Very low priority
  • Knockback is upwards at 80 degrees
  • Average shield damage
  • Unsafe on shield
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • First hit: 8.5%
    • Multihit: 1.2% * 7
    • Final hit: 5.3%
    • Total: 22.2%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Final hit (Grounded): 165%
    • Final hit (Aerial): 210%

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Bowser's third get-off-me tool
Bowser's fourth out of shield option

Bowser's fourth stage controlling option
Bowser's third secondary kill move for later percents
Bowser's fourth roll counter


So this is a bit upgraded, but the purpose remains the same. It is a fantastic out of shield option, especially now that the shell is intangible while sliding across the ground. In addition, I would add a HIGH amount of control to the shell, allowing for crossups and fake outs galore, so even with the high endlag, it might be hard to tell where Bowser will actually end up. But for changes, the first hit would have the highest amount of damage, furthering its use as the premier defensive tool in Bowser's arsenal. As an added bonus, the damage output of a full onslaught is heavily increased, making this a fantastic damage racking move. However, one catch in using this in neutral is that the low priority of the move means it can be stopped by many non-transcendent moves, so use it wisely.

If that wasn't enough, I think with the super low priority in the air and the lack of invincibility, it could do with a buff in height and ledge grab distance. I know Ultimate lowered ledge grab distance overall, and personally I love that, but I think some characters could do with more leeway, and considering how interceptible and vulnerable Bowser's is, these couple of buffs wouldn't hurt without getting rid of this weakness of his.

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:GCD::GCB: Down-B:

  • Bowser Bomb: Pauses in the air and does a powerful ground pound going downward. When on the ground, will be preceded by a claw swipe upwards leading into the trajectory of the ground pound afterwards. When landing, causes a high radius shockwave. Can cancel the descent after a certain amount of time. Has heavy armor on descent
    • Takes about 0.7 seconds of falling before cancelling is possible
    • Very high ledge grab radius
    • Shockwave is about 2.5 Bowser widths total
    • Heavy armor can withstand about 12% damage
  • High startup
    • Average startup for claw swipe on the ground
  • High endlag
  • Unsafe on shield
  • Shockwave will push back shielded opponents
  • Extremely high shield damage on landing
    • Average shield damage on shockwave
  • Knockback is upwards at 75 degrees
  • Knockback of shockwave is at the Sakurai angle
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Falling: 20.0%
    • Landing: 28.0%
    • Shockwave: 9.0%
  • Approximate kill times:
    • Falling: 140%
    • Landing: 55%

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Bowser's sixth standard percent kill move
Bowser's third landing option


Oh man this is heavily buffed in many ways. Let's start with the heavy armor on descent, which will stop most sharking tools and even some up smashes from weaker characters with low priority. Let's also start with the high ledge grab radius. I already went over it with Whirling Fortress, but this makes this an actually good landing option. Let's also mention the shockwave on landing giving it a bit of a radius for safety, if only a little. Let's also mention the fact it can be CANCELLED! This means landing with it is much more nuanced, especially if trying to kill Bowser from a vertical angle.

However, some weaknesses are intact, namely the high amount of lag on all fronts. In fact, the claw swipe on the ground is slower in order to not make this too good of an out of shield option. Otherwise, I think all of these additions give this move a much needed upgrade in usability.

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:GCZ: Grab and Pummel:

  • Above average range melee grab
  • Slow standardized grab frame data
    • (There would be three standardized frame data "rankings" for melee grabs)
      • (Fast: 6 frame standing grab, 8 frame dash grab, 9 frame pivot grab)
      • (Average: 9 frame standing grab, 11 frame dash grab, 12 frame pivot grab)
      • (Slow: 12 frame standing grab, 14 frame dash grab, 15 frame pivot grab)
  • Approximate pummel damage: 1.8%
  • Approximate pummel speed: 0.3 seconds

-----------------------------------

So this is the mainstay of Bowser's grappler identity, and it's the first character I have given a "slow" grab. Why? Well, it's firstly to not give him too much in terms of OOS options considering the power of his grabs, and secondly because of the power of his grabs lol. I would increase the range of his grab however to compensate a bit.

-----------------------------------

:GCZ::GCR: FThrow:

  • Clamps the opponent onto his horns and thrusts his head forward to throw them
  • Low endlag
  • Knockback is upwards at 50 degrees
  • Base knockback is very high allowing for far stage control
  • Approximate damage numbers: 16.6%
  • Approximate kill time: 240%

-----------------------------------

Bowser's fifth stage controlling option

A basic throw for stage control. However, I would give a slight damage buff as well as a higher angle to allow for more time Bowser can threaten them with his rather higher than average aerial movement and moves like FAir. It barely does any killing at all though, and is treated more like Ness' forward throw.

-----------------------------------

:GCZ::GCL: BThrow:

  • New move: Turns around and slams the opponent into the ground behind him, causing them to drag along the ground a set distance. Causes guaranteed prone status for the enemy. If near an edge, will instead throw the opponent downward similar to a spike
    • Cannot be teched
    • Edged throw is not a spike or meteor smash
  • High endlag
  • Knockback over the edge is downward at 315 degrees
  • Knockback over the edge is set as well
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Slam: 6.0%
    • Drag: 2.0%
    • Total: 8.0%

-----------------------------------

Bowser's second edgeguarding option

An admittedly crazy throw I came up with that allows for Bowser to create tech chases on demand if he's on the stage. Conversely, he can create an edgeguarding situation if he is say cornered at the edge or getting up from the ledge which causes the opponent to be forced to recover low. Now while Bowser doesn't have many downward hitting threats, it creates a ledgeguarding situation basically on demand as well making it a two in one move of sorts.

-----------------------------------

:GCZ::GCU: UThrow:

  • Sets the opponent on his shell and retreats into it, spinning them on top of his shell's spikes before launching them with a hop
  • Average endlag
  • High hitstun
  • Knockback is upwards at 85 degrees
  • Low base knockback to allow for combos
  • Approximate damage numbers:
    • Multihit: 1.0% * 7
    • Final hit: 3.8%
    • Total: 10.2%
  • Approximate kill time: 195%

-----------------------------------

Bowser's fourth combo starter
Bowser's combo throw


So with what Ultimate did with this move was a bit too harsh, at least from what I've been hearing, where it just can't combo anymore. However, I don't want this to be another ding-dong situation. So I think a good middle ground is buffing the damage a bit and allowing for combos at lower percents, but not at higher ones. It also doesn't kill as well as his other throws as a result.

-----------------------------------

:GCZ::GCD: DThrow:

  • Sets the opponent down and does a full body slam on top of them
  • High endlag
  • Knockback is sideways at 40 degrees
  • Approximate damage numbers
    • First hit: 8.0%
    • Second hit: 16.5%
    • Total: 24.5%
  • Approximate kill time: 165%

-----------------------------------

Bowser's fourth secondary kill move for later percents

Say hello to a not useless Down throw, because now it does the most damage out of any of his grabs AND it has a lower angle of launch leading to some great edgeguarding opportunities. And even besides that, it is a good damage racker at mid percents where Bowser can have trouble comboing and can kill at good percents should you be near the edges of the stage. I think this is a good way to go for this move.

-----------------------------------

Finally done. Sorry guys for taking so long, or at least the few that saw this as well as that one person who somehow liked this post (Bless you <3). Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate consumed me for an entire week. :p

However, in the next comment here, I will go over all of the moves by the criteria I put down in the beginning and see how Bowser's new design here fairs.
 
Last edited:
Joined
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Messages
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#2
Now for a recap of what I said every character needs in the beginning of that long post: for a refresher for you guys (and myself), here they are:

  1. At least three undeniably safe on shield options, at least one of them an aerial
  2. At least two good anti-air options
  3. At least two get-off-me tools, at least one of them an aerial
  4. By extension, at least one solid landing option
  5. By extension, at least two good OOS options
  6. An approach option
  7. An anti-approach option
  8. At least three kill moves that kill at relatively standard percents
  9. At least two kill moves that kill at higher percents but are safer
  10. A combo throw
  11. The ability to true combo at lower percents or at least start them
  12. At least three forms of basic stage control/edgeguarding potential
  13. At least one safe to land with aerial
  14. At least two ways to deal with rolls
  15. At least two ways to deal with spotdodge/airdodge
Let us work through the list of reworked moves based around these concepts and see how they fair

  • At least three undeniably safe on shield options, at least one of them an aerial
    • Jab (Both Jab 1 and 2)
    • FTilt
    • DTilt (Only DTilt 1)
    • FAir (aerial)
  • At least two good anti-air options
    • UTilt
    • USmash
    • UAir
  • At least two get-off-me tools, at least one of them an aerial
    • Jab
    • DAir (aerial)
    • Whirling Fortress
  • By extension, at least one solid landing option
    • NAir
    • DAir
    • Bowser Bomb
  • By extension, at least two good OOS options
    • Jab
    • DTilt
    • DAir
    • Whirling Fortress
  • An approach option
    • Dash Attack
  • An anti-approach option
    • DTilt
    • Fire Breath
  • At least three kill moves that kill at relatively standard percents
    • FSmash
    • USmash
    • DSmash
    • BAir
    • Koopa Klench
    • Bowser Bomb
  • At least two kill moves that kill at higher percents but are safer
    • FTilt
    • FAir
    • Whirling Fortress
    • DThrow
  • A combo throw
    • UThrow
  • The ability to true combo at lower percents or at least start them
    • UTilt
    • NAir
    • UAir
    • UThrow
  • At least three forms of basic stage control/edgeguarding potential
    • USmash
    • FAir
    • DAir
    • Fire Breath
    • Whirling Fortress
    • FThrow
    • BThrow
  • At least one safe to land with aerial
    • NAir
  • At least two ways to deal with rolls
    • UTilt
    • Dash Attack
    • DSmash
    • Whirling Fortress
  • At least two ways to deal with spotdodge/airdodge
    • DTilt
    • NAir
    • Fire Breath
So as you can see, Bowser has plenty to work with for every situation, and as you can also see, he is lacking in some areas, but much better in others, namely the lack of landing aerials and high amount of kill moves respectively, which fits with his strengths and weaknesses just fine. In addition, he has a lot of stage controlling options that are more short range with one mid range one in Fire Breath, fitting with his specialty in stage control at closer ranges.

The point to be made here is that it is possible to design a heavy character (and really any character) with all the tools they need at a minimum without sacrificing uniqueness or speciality in playstyle/purpose. For the few who read this, I hope you guys get where I'm coming from.
 
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Luigifan18

Smash Master
Premium
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#3
Koopa Klench looks really cool, especially the point-blank fire breath idea. It makes one wonder why Bowser hasn't thought of doing this before. Well, aside from not wanting to burn his hands.
 

Semako

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#4
What about a new upB for Bowser? That would be the leap back to the stage from Mario 64. If he lands onstage,he creates a slowly expanding ring of eletricity, similar to how it worked in Mario 64.

For his sideB he could either get the quick dash from Mario 64 or the top hat from Odyssey.

Down B could be a shell spin then.
 
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Joined
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Messages
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#5
What about a new upB for Bowser? That would be the leap back to the stage from Mario 64. If he lands onstage,he creates a slowly expanding ring of eletricity, similar to how it worked in Mario 64.

For his sideB he could either get the quick dash from Mario 64 or the top hat from Odyssey.

Down B could be a shell spin then.
Firstly, glad you responded.

Secondly, I said in the summary that I wasn't thinking about new moves because I think Bowser's moves work well enough in canon that he doesn't need new ones. The Koopa Klench was a fun little idea to combine both of Bowser's Side-B moves throughout the series, but otherwise, I don't see the point.
 
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