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Guide The Marvellous Guide on Falco Lombardi - by bornfidelity.com v4.2


Smash Master
May 27, 2005
Dutchland. ^^
The Marvellous Guide on Falco Lombardi - by bornfidelity.com (aka BadInfluence aka QF) v4.2
All the stuff contained in this guide is copyrighted by me (BF/BadInfluence), not to be copied, or whatever. This guide is only to appear on smashboards.com & ssbbrawl.com.
If you found this guide somewhere else, email me at bornfidelity1@gmail.com, that's the same place your suggestions/feedback should go.
Oh, and if some other site is hosting this, also tell them they are lame n00bs for not deleting/rewriting this part ^_^

Note: for information about pillaring, use your browser's search function on this page. Pillaring is not taken up in the index of this guide.
Another Note: I'm currently updating everything but slowly. Expect the definitive Falco Melee Guide to be finished in a few weeks.
Update v4.2, 13-01-08:
- Revised Common Terms section

Update v4.1, 12-01-08:
- Came Back! ^^
- Replaced US/J@P Tier list
- Added PAL Tier List

Update v3.3, 15-03-06:
- Added Falco = teh_spiker to Char. Matchups-section

Update v3.2, 6-03-06:
- Edited section III, How the bird moves!
- Elaborated on teching
- Elaborated on throws
- Elaborated on comboing
- Added lasertricks to How the bird plays!-section
- Edited Marth Matchup
- Edited Fox Matchup
- Edited Peach Matchup
- Edited Jigglypuff Matchup
- Added Bowser = teh_fortresser to Char. Matchups-section

Update v3.1, 2-11-05:
- Added Peach = teh_dsmasher to Char. Matchups-section
- Added Jigglypuff = teh_***** to Char. Matchups-section
- Added Tier list

Update v3.0, 24-10-05:
- Edited the entire guide on all sorts of errors, lackings, and indepthfulness.
- That's a LOT of editing. ^_^

Update v2.1, 20-09-05:
- Added section VII, Character Matchups
- Added Marth = teh_edgeguarder to Char. Matchups-section
- Added Fox = teh_lightning to Char. Matchups-section

Update v2.0, 8-09-05:
- Added section VI, How the bird plays!
- Added section VIII, Closure

Update v1.6, 5-09-05:
- Added to Pillaring section
- Added to SHL section
- Corrected some more spelling errors >_>
- Added added aerial-dash to TSI-Section

Update v1.5, 19-08-05:
- Added notes to Falco vs Fox-section
- Clarified Pros and Cons-section
- Corrected comments on some moves
- Added to Edgeguarding-section

Update v1.4, 14-08-05:
- Added note to Falco Technique section
- Added to SHL
- Corrected Grabbing
- Corrected minor spelling errors ^_^

Update v1.3, 11-08-05:
- Corrected pillaring
- Corrected Aerial Moves-section
- Corrected Smash attack-section
- Added Shinecombos-subsection

Update v1.2, 11-08-05:
- Added section V - The Falco Technique
- Corrected Common Terms-section
- Corrected Ground Moves-section
- Corrected Falco vs Fox-section

Update v1.1, 10-08-05:
- Finished the TSII section.

This guide yet exists of seven sections:

- Who is Falco Lombardi?
.....- About Falco
.....- Falco vs Fox
.....- Pros/Cons

- Technical Stuff I:
.....- Common Terms
- How the bird moves!
.....- Groundplay
.....- Aerial play

- Technical Stuff II:
.....- Shuffling
.....- The SHL
.....- Teching
.....- Grabbing
.....- Edgeguarding
.....- Wavedashing
.....- Final notes on the C-stick

- The Falco Technique
.....-The setup
.....-Aerial comboing

- How the bird plays!
.....-Other tricks

- Character Matchups
.....Marth = teh_edgeguarder
.....Fox = teh_lightning
.....Falco = teh_spiker
.....Peach = teh_dsmasher
.....Jigglypuff = teh_*****
.....Bowser = teh_fortresser

- Closure
.....-Final words

I - Considering you are anywhere near the level of a total n00b, I'll start with the basics. Who is Falco Lombardi?

About Falco - If you clear the 100 Man Melee, and beat your approacher, Falco is yours to play. This will be the first thing to do next time your savedata is lost. Usual tactics are using Fox's shine or even DK's down B move.
Falco Lombardi, member of the Star Fox team, like Fox is (together with Peppy Hare and Slippy Toad). Apart from the Starfox games on SNES and N64, and more recently, Starfox Assault on NGC, he appeared for a short moment in Starfox Adventures (he helps Fox out for a bit, at the end of the game). He's also supposed to play a major part in the later Starfox game for the Gamecube.

Falco is a bird. Obviously. But he can't fly - at least in this game he can't - and he's averagely fast, but it's his jump that really makes us love him. Press the X or Y button, whatever makes you feel comfortable - I wouldn't recommend using the control stick for jumping - and watch him soar through the air! Lovely sight, innit?
Falco is really way up high in the tiers but that's not because he's that good, just because he's awesome.

The official US/J@P Tier list:

Top Tier

High Tier

Middle Tier
Captain Falco
Ice Climbers
Doctor Mario

Low Tier
Donkey Kong
Young Link

Bottom Tier
Mr. Game and Watch

The PAL version of the game has it's own tier list.

1st Tier:

2nd Tier:
Captain Falcon
Ice Climbers
Dr. Mario

3rd Tier:
Donkey Kong

4th Tier:
Young Link
Mr. Game & Watch

Falco has been compared to Fox ever since Starfox on SNES, and once again, Fox appears to be the best of the two - or at least that's what the tiers say. But let's look a bit more into these two, now, shall we?

Falco vs Fox - Fox is obviously faster than Falco is. In everything. And this makes him a lot harder to handle. Try shorthopping with Fox, for instance, you have only two frames - that's one 30th of a second, to push the button. After that, it's another two frames until you're airborne, making a total of four frames - Falco's is six.
Falco jumps a lot higher. Sure, he jumps higher than ANY char, but Fox's jump really isn't much.To make up for this, Fox's Firefox (upB) and Illusion (sideB) go a bit further.
Their A moves differ a bit. Fox's utilt (that would be, upA on the ground) is a good KO move, as are his upsmash, and his uair (his upA aerial). Falco doesn't like these as much except for comboing and maybe killing Peaches/Jigglypuffs. On the ground, his downtilt is a lot more effective (it's a KO move, actually!), and his uair doesn't pack anywhere the knockback Fox's does (it's still a good move, though). Falco's down-aerial spikes (though not always in PAL), Fox's doesn't.
One of the most important differences is the shine (their downB, the reflector). Falco's sends it's foes upwards, Fox's sends them downwards and to the side (or horizontally when on flat ground).
Falco's laser (blaster) packs some knockback, Fox's doesn't - although the latter has beautiful rapid fire. Thus, Falco's blaster you can approach with (using the SHL, for instance, stunning the opponent althewhile), Fox's blaster forces the opponent somewhat to approach you. Considering the offensive nature of both Falco and Fox, the first one is by many preferred.
Fox's waveshine is considered more useful than Falco's (a waveshine is basically wavedashing out of shine) because Fox's can be chained, resulting in an infinite, but pthers favour Falco's waveshine because of insane comboing (especially on fastfallers).
So Fox is faster, has less of a jump, is harder to handle, and some moves differ.
Falco and Fox are two very different characters - they may be clones, they feel almost nothing alike. You should decide for yourself who you want to play with, and - ofcourse - I recommend Falco. I've played them both, quite a bit, and Falco was the best for me. But that's all a matter of taste, and of your style.
Oh, and Falco >>>> all. ^__^


Falco is a fastfaller, so he is comboed easily, his recovery is really bad, and he's easily chainthrown (that would be the cons).
He's a good jumper though , his blaster gives him a good projectile, his aerial play is fantastic, his groundplay is ok - he's got a great spike, great sexkicks, a set of good smashes, the pillar technique, he's relatively easy to use, he's got the shine, and he's the perfect character to show off with. So if you play the guitar you might as well play Falco. And he's just awesome. Yeah, these are his pros.

Assuming you really want to go and kick some butt using Falco, I'll take you on a journey into the world of a true bird of prey.
But first, we should look at some technical stuff.

II - Technical Stuff I
There are some terms you need to understand, in order to comprehend what the heck I'm talking about. If this is your first time with 'em, I suggest you copy/paste into notepad, or whatever, for referral.
A more (over)complete list can be found in the stickies in the Melee Discussion room (here on smashboards.com).

Aerial: aerial attacks are written as nair, fair, dair, bair, and uair - that would be neutral aerial, forward aerial, downwards, backwards, and upwards. Performed by pressing A + direction on the control stick while airborne.
(N)(F)(B)(U)(D)air Dash: Basically dashing to any shffld aerial. Chaining these pack some serious damage in some situations. If you dash to shffld nair to dash to shffld nair, you are nairdashing. If you chain dashed shffld dairs, you're dairdashing etc.
Air Dodge: When airborne, press either L or R to airdodge. You dive into the third dimension for a short while, allowing anything - attacks, projectiles - to get past you without getting hit. After using this, you'll be unable to do anything until you reach the floor. Use wisely. Note: You can airdodge in all directions by using the control stick.
Chain Throwing: some characters are able to throw their opponent, and catch it again, and throw it again, and so on. Falco can't, so I'll let it be. Also known as chaingrabbing, although supposedly minor differences exist between the two (involving whether or not the opponent touches the ground or not).
CC or Crouch Cancel: If you crouch while getting hit, you'll receive way less knockback, allowing you to counterattack. Don't use it against Peach, her downsmash will kill you.
Dash Cancel: If you dash, and press down on the control stick, you'll stop dashing. Because you're crouching, if you did it right, you can even do perform a downtilt. Neat, eh?
Dash-dance: by tapping the control stick back and forth, you can continuously turn on the spot. What's actually happening: You keep performing a dash to the other side. the startup animation of the dash allows you to turn. Used mainly as a fakeout tactic; some people taunt with it. A lot of Fox players use it to make the opponent sidestep so they can grab you afterwards, for instance. Counter this with jab, it's got more range than you might think and it stopts the Fox in his tracks.
DI: Let's say you're up against Bowser. You hop in there with a shffld nair, and an upsmash, and another upsmash.. If done correctly you will have done a lot of damage. That is, if you're fighting a n00b (his chin would be on the floor and he would be all like ''dude you r teh pownz0rs' and stuff like that). But if you were fighting a pro, you'd be dead by now. Because of DI (directional influence). By pressing either left or right on the control stick, you drift that way while airborne. If you get hit by an attack, DI from the moment you get hit, that way, the DI is the strongest. Great way to escape combos (we'll get to shffling, don't worry).
Dodge: There are two sorts of dodges, the sidestep (spotdodge) and the roll. The sidestep is performed by shielding and pressing down on the control stick. For a moment, you'll dodge into the third dimension. It's kinda like airdodging, but on the ground.
To do a rolling dodge, you should shield (L/R) and press either left or right on the control stick.Note that when performing a rolling dodge, you're still vulnerable to attacks at some points.
Edgeguarding: When you've succeeded in getting your opponent off the edge of the stage, you want to keep him there. Any attempt to do so falls under edgeguarding.
Edgehogging: A form of edgeguarding. Only one character is allowed to hang on an edge at the same time. Thus, if your opponent is off the edge, and he's pretty far from it, you could shorthop backwards, of wavedash backwards (both will be handled later..) in order to grab the ledge. When the opponent comes, and tries to grab the ledge, he'll fall to his doom. Note, that when your opponent's third jump is an offensive one - which is most likely - they can hit you while you're hanging on the edge, and they'll still be able to grab it. To prevent this, press L or R just when you are about to get hit. You'll roll back on the stage, while your enemy still won't grab on to the ledge. Neat!
Fast Falling: When you are at the peak of your jump, pressing downwards will result in falling to the ground faster (in fact this is possible anywhere áfter the peak, but the sonner the faster). With Falco, it's rather important to master this - as it is with most chars - because it really packs some speed in his play.
Grab: If you press Z while standing, or dashing, you will attempt to grab your opponent (pretty confident you have done this before). When grabbed, you can throw your opponent away. Note, that while shielding (holding L or R) you can press A to grab your opponents out of the shield. This is extremely handy, for example against people who like to attack you with an aerial. Just shield it, and press A. You have just turned his attack into one of yours.
Juggling: If you keep attacking your opponent, in such way that he doesn't hit the ground, you're juggling him. Pretty obvious, innit?
Lag: The startup or windup time of an attack. The Falcon punch is an obvious example of startup lag, Link's dair is one of windup lag. 'Lag' refers to the windup lag most of the time.
L-Cancelling: If you perform an aerial, and hit the ground while the animation of the attack isn't done yet (with Falco, that's really often going to happen!) you'll experience a lot of lag (depending on what move you used). By pressing L when you hit the ground, you'll reduce the lag by 1/2. I'll cover this more indepth at Technical Stuff 2.
Powershielding: If you shield exactly when a projectile (or attack) is within the range of your shield, but not yet hitting you, regular shielding will result in a powershield. The projectile will be reflected and sent back where it came from (especially nice on Samus' charged shots!). It's one of the most difficult things to do in the game - if you're able to master it, congrats, you're probably the first one.
Priority: When two attacks hit each other the same time, two things can happen. Either you hear a 'clank' noise, or one of the attacks overpowers the other. In the first case, the priority of the attacks is the same, in the second case, the overpowering attack has higher priority than the other one. Consider the Warlock Punch to have higher priority than a normal A attack.
Sex kick: A sex kick is an attack that lasts for some time, hitting the opponent for as long as it's out. Most characters' nair is one (Falco's is). The sex kicks decreases in strength the longer it is out (except for Dr. Mario's which actually gets stronger).
Shielding: Pressing L or R while on the ground. Z is also possible, but not recommended because of resulting grabbing difficulties.
Shine: The reflector Falco's and Fox's downB holds, is often referred to as the Shine.
Short Hop (SH): If you tap X or Y lightly, you'll jump significantly less high. With some chars this is extremely difficult, Falco's isn't, though. More in the Technical Stuff 2 section. You can also flip the contrl stick up briefly but don't. ^^
Short Hopped Laser (SHL): With Falco, you can short hop, fire your blaster, and fastfall - the fastfall eliminates the lag of the blaster animation when hitting the ground. More in TSII section..
Shffl: A Short hopped, Fast Falled, L-Cancel Aerial attack. Shffling (or shuffling) is a tricky technique, that requires practice. It's basically a way to perform aerial attacks just above the ground and with few lag. More in the TSII section.
Spamming: Using an attack repeatedly, for maximum effect an annoying one. Falco for instance, could really spam his blaster on Final Destination ^_^
Spike: an attack that sends the opponent downwards, basically. Falco's dair is an obvious example, as are Marth's down aerial in NTSC/J@P versions of the game. Not to be confused with Meteor attacks such as Capt. Falcon's down air (dair).
Teching: Pressing L or R when you hit the ground for instant recovery. If you got hit by an attack, and you're tumbling through the air, unable to do anything (except for DI), press L or R right as you hit the ground. You'll jump to you feet instantly. Holding either left or right on the control stick while doing so, will result in a techroll in that direction. Note that if you press L or R too early, you can't use it again for another set amount of frames (hence, when combo'd, sometimes it's better not to attempt to tech the first blow so you can tech the second one.
You can also do this on a wall (wallteching): if you're tumbling through the air, and you hit a wall, press L or R.
Ledgeteching is another form of teching, this will be dealt with later.
Walljumping: Not all characters can do it, but Falco can. Jump towards the wall, and upon contact, hit the control stick away from the wall. You'll jump away without using up a jump. It's neat for recovery (Fourside, anyone?) and mindgames, among other things.
Wavedashing: One of the less easily performed tactics, wavedashing is sidewards airdodging into the ground, resulting in a slide over the ground, with no lag -meaning you could attack whenever you want (except for the first 17 frames, the initial WDing animation). I'll see to this in TSII section.

Got that? Good. Let's get to the real thing.


Smash Master
May 27, 2005
Dutchland. ^^
III - How the bird moves!

Falco's got a neat moveset. His aerial play is fantastic - and his ground play is good, too. He's just awesome.
Let's cover his ground play first.

Normal Attacks

A - Jab.

It does 2-4% damage, the knockback is merely nonexistent, and the range isn't mindboggling either (although more than you'd expect). It's coming out speed is great though, which makes it a comfortable move to cancel coming attacks. Note that it gets weaker when used alot. You could also use this to prevent shieldgrabbing, or to combo into something nice like downtilt.

A + A - Double Jab.

Wow! It's like the Jab, but twice. The second punch does 3-4% damage. Note that Falco moves a bit forward between the two, consistently pulling them off without going into a rapid kick, might trap your opponent for a while.
It's merely a way to chip in some more damage after a jab, or to set up even more nicely for a combo.

A + A + A - Rapid kick.

If the Double Jab is finished, and you're still hitting that A button, Falco will follow the jabs up with a rapid kick. One that good players can easily DI out to. Maybe you could use it against a wall - but no, just don't ^_^
Although, if you're feeling lucky, you could try following it up with a dtilt or grab.

Side Tilt + A - Forward Kick (yeah, I don't know the official name)

It does 5-9% damage, it's knockback isn't that great, but the damage done is considerable for a move that comes out this fast.
The range is considerable as well, it keeps the opponent away for a while, providing with some space to think about what to do next. Also great at annoying people by ftilting them a few times as they keep approaching you.
It's a meaning of defense against Jigglypuff's Wall of Pain as well. And that's always nice innit ^^

Up Tilt + A - Up Kick (yeah, no official name, either)

Like the Side Tilt, it does 5-9%. The knockback isn't that great either, but at low percentages, this is good - you could do it consequently for a few times, if you can land 'em all, to add in some damage. At higher percentages, it's a nice setup for comboing, and nice to combo with. It has very good priority as well, so you can use it to stop foes coming from above.
Note, that it hits mostly at your back, so it's useful for getting your foe up in the air if he's behind you.

Down Tilt + A - Sweep (the worst name for the attack ever, but w/e)

Falco's greatest tilts, one of his best ground moves - it's vertical knockback is even greater dan his upsmash's. It comes out pretty fast, too, and it's bound to reach under shields every once in a while. This is your main vertical KO move! Oh, right, it packs 7-11% damage. Nice!

Dash + A - Dash attack

It experiences terrible lag afterwards, it's not that strong, there is really no reason you wouldn't use a shffld nair instead but because it's more easy to do, except when comboing, because it has less knockback then nair - you keep the enemy close enough for another attack.

Smash attacks

Forward Smash - I'm not even going to bother naming it. Aye! ^_^

Non-charged, this does from 9 to 17% damage. It gets weaker when used often, like every other move - but you probably won't get to use it THAT much! ^_^ It's got good horizontal knockback, the range is absolutely great, it comes out rather quick, there's no really terrible lag involved - there's really nothing wrong with it, except for certainly getting grabbed if you fsmash a shield. The fact that you actually move forward, helps, too.
Hitting C-stick to the side continuously works wonders when fighting n00bs of FD ^^

Down Smash - Forget about the names..

9-15% damage, good range, good horizontal knockback, and - the best part - it hits on both sides. As with all smash attacks, the lag prevents it from being effective at low percentages. It's great for edgeguarding purposes, too, as it can reach over the edge and actually send your opponent downwards (altho it's techable). It's useful after a dthrow, if the opponent doesn't tech, as well.

Up Smash - Up Smash >_>

Of the 19% (yay!) damage it does at starters, only 7% remains after a few times. But heck, your opponent should be dead by that time. It's not that great of an attack, though. The knockback is nice, but it can't kill Bowser at 120%, while Falco's downtilt can, so I prefer the latter to make KOs. The 19% does make it a worthwile attack to C-stick out of a CC'd dash (although it'd be just as useful to jumpcancel an usmash out of a dash, whatever suits you).
It's also nice to finish combos with, a bit charged maybe ^_^
Note that, because your foot actually hits above you, it's great for hitting/KOing for instance approaching Peaches/Jigglypuffs. They think you can't hit them and BOOM upsmash. With a bit of luck they even forget to DI it. ^^

Special Attacks

B - Blaster

Falco's blaster is his only projectile, and it's not a bad one. It can be spammed, packs at least certain knockback, and travels fast. When short hopped and fast-falled, a great time staller, and even better, a nice way of approachal (or retreat ^^) The SHL is explained more indepth later.

Side B - Falco Phantasm

Falco's horizontal recovery move (in addition to the Firebird) travels a good distance. But it can be intercepted rather easily, and it's got some startup lag, too. You could use this as an attack, rarely, because it does set up nicely for followups sometimes.
Note, that if you hit your opponent with it, it meteors (it sends them straight down, but the difference with the spike is that a meteor (aka meteorsmash) can be cancelled by double jumping or upB-ing right after the hit, whilst you can't cancel a spike).
Also, trying to sweetspot the ledge helps your chance of survival.
Ohh, I haven't explained that yet. Just wait a bit for the TSII section, ok? ^_^
It's very commonly used to use Phantasm from the ledge after a legdedropped walljump, as to recover back on stage.

Up B - Firebird

Falco's other recovery move, and his only way of recovering vertically (although his jumps usually cover most of the distance). It's startup lag is really really terrible, and I'm only going to say this once - do NOT use this an attack, EVER (never say never, right, but really, avoid using this at all costs, except maybe for an occasional mindgame).
Once again, you want to be able to sweetspot the ledge (later, later...).

Down B - Reflector (Shine! ^_^)

This is where things really get interesting. This is Falco's secret weapon (well, not so secret, but heck) - it reflects any projectile, sends opponents straight upwards, comes out incredible fast, and the best part: it can be cancelled. Shine-cancelling is not that hard, it just takes some practice (and reflexes). Once you shine, you should hit X or Y as fast as possible (or, if you truly must, push up on the control stick..). You'll jump out of the shine, instantly, able to do anything in the air you could normally. Hit an opponent with the Shine, Shine-cancel it, and spike him down to the ground. Maybe, if you're feeling lucky, you could shine him again ^_^
And because you can jump out of the shine, you can also wavedash out of shine - which really comes in handy when comboing. More on that one later.
The shine even prevents camping to certain extent, because your opponent can't spam projectiles at you (everyone fighting a Falco or Fox will know not to), altho when you reflect a projectile you're stuck in the shine for a while, so don't use this when the opponent is close, because he will **** you in your lag (obviously).

Falco's aerial play is fantastic - once you get everything down, you'll probably agree with me. ^^
You should L-cancel these aerials whenever possible. So, always :p
Note: instead of using the A-button, you could also use the Z-button. Except for the nair, the aerials can also be performed with the C-stick, which provides you with the ability to DI in a direction if you do an aerial (let's say you're DIing forwards, and you want to perform a bair, while still DIing forwards - use the C-Stick there).

A - Nair

Dealing 6-12% damage it's nice move. It comes out fast, packs some good knockback, and recovers pretty quickly. This is really a move you want to shffl. It's a sexkick, and it's the strongest when you hit with it when it first comes out. The longer it stays out, the weaker it gets.
Since it's a sexkick, it's also a great way to eat through, for instance, Doc's pills. You cancel the pill and still hit the mustache man in the face.
It's a fairly good KO move as well.

Forward + A - Fair

Each hit packs 5 to 8% damage. Which makes the Nair a better option (which even has greater knockback) unless you can make multiple hits. Use wisely.

Back + A - Bair

It's basically his Nair, but, err, backwards. It's a bit slower, causes a bit more lag, but it's also a lot stronger. This KOs rather good if hit with correctly. Heck, this is even your main aerial KO move! That is, if you don't consider spiking in this ^^

Up + A - Uair

Not as awesomely strong as Fox's, but still a nice move. If you can hit it twice, it packs a nice bit of damage, and good knockback if you hit with both hits. If you just hit with one, the knockback is so small that you can shine then often directly after. Looks pretty nice ^^
It's very nice to combo with, as well, especially when shffled, as a more powerful substitute for the uptilt. If you shffl a dashed uair, the momentum carrying you forwards, combined with the above hitbox of uair, sort of creates a large horizontal hitbox above you, which makes it fairly easy to use in combos.

Down + A - Dair

The great dair of Falco. All your enemies should fear this move - if they don't, make sure they will after you're done with them. This is especially nice for edgeguarding. When your opponent tries to reach the edge, there are a lot of options just short-hop the dair - if it hits correctly, you've just KOd him, unless he sweetspotted (or teched).
Or you could jump offstage, use your second jump and use the spike while rising and DI back on stage while you're spiking. This practically creates a spiking wall at the edge of the stage.
Another sweet option is walljumped rising spike from edgehog, and recover with upB - but I'll discuss that later.
This is another great shffl-move. It packs far less knockback than the nair - at low percentages, your opponent may not move away from you at all - and this makes it a really nice one to start a combo with. And to follow-up with a shine.
Which is a rather good defense; even if they shield your dair, if you're fast enough, the shine will hit them when they try to shieldgrab you. More later ^^
It's good as well to jump after someone and just hit down on C-stick. Because dair is like a great hitbox, there's a good chance you'll hit your foe.
Upthrow is a sweet setup for dair as well, especially when near the edge for a fast KO.
Note: it might be a little awkward at first to get the timing of the L-Cancel down. Just practice alot ^_^

There, you know what Falco is able to do. I suggest you get familiar with every single one of these attacks, including their knockback, range, and lag.
Next up, let's take a look at some of the more - advanced - techniques.


Smash Master
May 27, 2005
Dutchland. ^^
IV - Technical Stuff II

Yeah, you've been waiting for this. This is where you are going to learn about almost anything Falco can do in the game.
Let's begin with one of the most important one.

The shffld aerial. Falco's groundplay really depends on 'em. Mastering these is more important than having breakfast.
I suggest you practive each step one by one.

- the short hop. Short hopping with Falco isn't extremely hard, if you compare it to others - but it can be difficult to get down at first. Just press the X or Y button down for as short a time as you can. You may want to tap the button lightly, you may want to just slip you finger off the edge of the button, whatever suits you best. You may also want to first try it in training mode, on 2/3 speed at first.
You should be able to short-hop while standing still, as well as out of dash. Once you get 'em down, try using an aerial out of them (that shouldn't be that hard). Practice with nair, first - shorthop, press A. That's it ^_^

- the fastfall. Do a normal jump. And then, do nothing, just watch yourself return to the ground.
Then do the normal jump again, only this time, press down on your control stick when you're at the peak of your jump. You'll notice you have reached the ground considerably faster than the first time.
Now try doing this with the short hop. That's not suposed to be that hard, either.
Next, once again perform a short-hopped aerial, but this time fastfall it. The nair is probably best choice to practice this with at first. This, too, you might want to try on 2/3 speed first.

Got that down? Then you're already doing some pretty wild stuff over there. But let's make it even more interesting.

- the L-Cancel. L-cancelling requires awesome timing, especially in a shffl, and you should really practive alot on it. Once you start using it, you'll actually get worse at first - but this effect'll reverse after a while ^_^
Basically, L-cancelling an aerial: if the animation of your aerial attack is still playing when you hit the ground, pressing L or R just when the dustclouds appear to cut 1/2 of your lagtime, allowing you to continue playing very soon after you land. This is a great way to incorporate more speed into your play.
When first seeing exactly what it is, try it with Links dair. If done correctly, he'll pull his sword out of the ground twice as quickly. Try that a few times, and once you get the picture, return to Falco's aerials. Especially his dair might give you some trouble at first - but once you are really getting this down, you'll notice yourself jumping in with an L-cancelled aerial followed immediatly by a downtilt, or a shine, or whatever you wish to do next.
Pretty neat, eh?
But here's the tricky part. Try doing a shorthopped fastfalled aerial, just like you did before, but this time L-cancel it, and follow it up by a downtilt or a shine, or simply a jump, to check if you really got that L-cancel. The attack should come out close to immediatly after you land.

Wow. You have just taken a huge step to playing Falco the way it's ment to be. Note, that when using these shffled aerials in play, you are most likely to get worse at first, especially when fighting human players. It's really important, though, that you do so, 'cause it's in battle where you really learn to use the technique.

As we have already covered the shorthop and the fastfall, we might as well talk a bit about the SHL - Falco's Short Hopped Laser.

The SHL - Basically, if you shorthop his blaster, and fastfall, the animation of the blaster will end abruptly upon connection with the ground, eliminating all lag, allowing you to continue playing immediatly. Considering the knockback of the blaster, this is a nice way to set up for a combo - if you SHL your opponent, and it hits, he'll be stunned for a little while, and since you are experiencing no lag, you could attack him with a setup-move if you're fast enough.
If he shields it, you could try to grab him, or SHL him again - use your imagination.

First of all, do note, and do note carefully, that whenever I tell you to let go of the control stick, I want you to return the control stick to central position by hand. Just letting go of it might damage your controller in the long run, and it might backfire just a bit so you shoot in the wrong direction. And that's not good.

There are a lot of variations on the SHL, the easiest of which is obviously the one in place. If you SHL out of a dash, the SHL will carry you forward. That not too hard either, is it (if you do consider you should not be pressing forwards anymore, or you will use Phantasm)?
But you can do the same out of a standing position.
First, you have to tap the control stick, like you were to dash. You shorthop immediatly and continue with the SHL. Since you can do this from standing position, you can chain SHLs (since you'll be standing after a SHL, duh ^_^).

But there are more tricks involved.
You can also SHL while moving just a bit further - this comes in handy if the opponent is just out of reach for that dtilt or shine (or whatever). This is how it goes down:
First you jump, and then you DI forwards, up to the peak of your jump, then you let go of the controlstick, and B + fastfall. Presto, you've moved forward just about the length of a shoe.

You can also move backwards while shooting backwards. For the shoe-distance, just jump, but DI backwards, and then let go and B at the peak of your jump. For more distance, just dash backwards and SHL normally.

But wait, there's more! You can also move backwards while shooting forwards. For the shoe-distance, tap backwards as turning around, short hop, tap forwards, let go and B + fastfall. The turning around gives you very small momentum backwards. You could als do a short WD backwards to normal SHL for this.

This can also be done while covering the greater distance: tap the controlstick backwards, as if you were to dash backwards, then jump, tap the stick back forward (if you don't you'll also shoot backwards), and B + fastfall.

You actually turn around, and then turn back again in the air to shoot in the right direction.
You should take some time to master all of these. Especially the last one - dashing backwards but still shooting forward - is a real pain to learn at first. You'll probably be faulting it into Phantasm a lot. But this is one of Falco's essentials - if you ever want to kick real *** with our feathered friend, master this, and master this GOOD.

Using this method, you can also shoot backwards while moving forwards - this is actually the long SHL backwards, but reversed.
You tap forwards, as if you were to dash forwards, then you tap backwards, let go, B and fastfall. You'll move forward while shooting behind you! Nifty little trick, eh? Very useful for, say, reatreat.

Another note: Since the SHL is really important to Falco's game, you want to be able to chain the SHLs very well, leaving the opponent with (almost) no time to do anything. Remember that there's not lag involved, so you can do another one rightafter. Also remember to press B as quickly as possible; if you press B a bit late, and you fastfall, then you'll hear the blaster's clicking sound, but no laser will erupt.

Teching is another great way of improving your overall play. Like I explained before, teching is basically hitting L or R when you are hit the ground (or a wall), if you are stunned. You'll recover immediatly, on the spot, or sideways, if you held the controlstick to the left or to the right (the last thing only applies to ground teching, obviously).
Teching should really become a reflex - it's the same as reflecting a projectile with your shine. You see a projectile, you shine. You hit the ground, you tech.
Play some matches focussing on teching entirely. Kill yourself if you miss a tech. Seriously. Teching is very important and you should master it, no matter what.

A way to practice wall-teching I've found is using the Onett stage. Just hang around a bit in between the two houses, and wait for a car to come by and hit you. Quickly try to see when you're hitting a wall, and tech it. Might help you out.

A harder aspect of wallteching is edgeteching. Basically, say you are recovering with firebird from below the edge, and your edgeguarding opponent hits you out of your recovery with a move that smacks you away from the edge, so you are sent into oblivion. This is where you tech, because the moment you get hit, you're still against the edge/wall so you can tech off of it and keep living. The reason that edgeteching is so much harder than normal teching: it happens REALLY fast, so you either have to have predicted it, or have insane reflexes (you can gain those by practicing alot, don't worry ^_^)

Some moves you can walltech are, for instance, Falco's dsmash and Marth's Fsmash. Note: you can't always tech them; if the move hits you while you are not close to the edge enough, you can't tech them.
After being hit by some moves, like Falco's dair, you can try to DI towards the edge and then try to tech it.

Grabbing is an art. It's one of the best ways you've got to annoy your opponent, since he can't do anything for a short while when grabbed, but wait for you to give him hell. Let's cover Falco's throws briefly. Pressing Z while standing or dashing will result in an attempt to grab (you want to jumpcancel the grab if you're dashing), as will pressing A while shielding.

His upthrow is probably one of his best ones. It's a nice setup for a combo, if you can pursuit your opponent while he's drifing through the air. But this takes practice. It does some nice damage, too.

His downthrow is awesome too, sometimes, if the opponent doesn't tech, you could follow it up with a shine, or a tilt, or downsmash, or downtilt - but experienced players *might* tech out of it - if they tech roll away, you could try chasing the tech - and if they tech in place, a dsmash often works wonders, as does grabbing and downthrowing again ^^
Because a lot of players techchase after a downthrow these days, a lot of people just like to tech in place. If they do, punish them by grabbing & dthrowing them again, or dsmashing etc.

The forward throw deals an OK amount of damage, and basically throws the opponent forwards (yay!), it's nice for getting him off the edge for a bit, after which you should try to edgeguard him. You could also chain this one nicely, with the help of some nicely done wavedashes.
It's very funny to fthrow a Bowser - because of his weight, you can immediatly run after him and JC grab -> fthrow him again. And again. Until he dodges etc. If you can predict such behaviour, you can **** Bowsers with this.

The backward throw packs a bit more damage, especially if the blaster hits, but at high percentages, it won't. It's still nice to chain, though, using the wavedash, adding some nice damage.
Note: The forward throw actually carries your foe further horizontally than the backwards throw does.
Against n00bs, it's loads of fun to backthrow -> dair, resulting in fast KO ^^

If you've grabbed someone, you could press A a few times before throwing him, chipping in some 2-3% upon every hit. Don't use more than two, or your opponent will be bound to escape your grab. And that'd be a waste ^_^

Learn how to shieldgrab. This is great to counter people that really like to use dash-attacks, or aerials. Just shield, and shieldgrab them, turning the hunter into the prey. ^_^.
Note, that people could be faking out. They could dash towards you, but instead of using a dashattack, they could crouch cancel, or WD backwards, and really punish you when you try to grab them. The same thing applies to the aerial - if someone keeps jumping towards you with aerials, doesn't mean he will next time. This is really a mindgame. Will your opponent do the same thing again? Is he faking you out? Should you dodge, or shield, or shine, or wavedash away?
The best way to practice mindgames is to fight a lot against other human players. Obviously, CPUs won't use them ^_^

Edgeguarding is something basically everyone uses, one in a more sophisticated way than the other. It's very important, because it allows you to KO at low percentages, really.
We've already had an example of edgeguarding, the short hopped dair. If someone's aiming to get back onto the edge at once, you could shffl a nair in his face. If you're feeling lucky, you could jump out and use the Phantasm to get back onto the stage, and meteor your recovering opponent while at it (takes a lot of practice!). The downsmash works wonders, too, because it reaches over the edge, hitting anyone that apporoaches from below - and it also deals with sweetspotters.
If you are already edgehogging, you could ledgedrop, immediatly double jump with bair, to hit a recovering opponent. If done quickly enough, you are able to grab the edge again without using a third jump (UpB, for instance), but this takes alot of practice and perfection. You could also just use this and recover with upB - who cares about lag if the opponent is dead? ^_^
Another option from edgehog is ledgedrop, immediatly doublejump into the wall, immediatly wall jump, IMMEDIATLY use dair, spike your opponent to oblivion, and use upB fast enough to recover. This, also, takes a lot of practice but is extremely neat to pull off.

Sweetspotting is basically recovering in such way, that you ultimately grab the edge at once - with the Phantasm, it's not that extremely hard, but predictable. If you use the Firebird, you have several options (at least sometimes you have..): you could try and sweetspot the ledge, by aiming it right; you could try to hit anyone that is edgeguarding you (not the Marios, they'll cape your attack and you'll die!), or you could try to aim it as to get right on the edge.
I wouldn't recommand the latter. If your opponent is edgeguarding you, you're bound to get hit off stage again.
Hitting your opponent will most likely result in some sort of counter by the edgeguarder, considering the Firebird's lack of speed.
No, sweetspotting is the best chance you have.
Once you're actually hanging on the ledge, you have - once again - several options; you could press A or B, in order to hop on with an attack, you could press up on the controlstick to simply step back onto the ledge, you could press L or R, to roll onto the edge (the same move as if you tech sidewards), and finally, you could press down on the controlstick, in order to drop from the edge and jump back on using whatever attack you use - you could even airdodge past the edgeguarder if he's planning on attacking you, and punish him while he's suffering from his lag. Note that a lot of attacks hit at both sides, thus you could get hit even if you land behind your opponent.
An option for the more advanced players is ledgedropping, immediatly doublejumping in the wall and immediatly walljumping to Phantasm on stage.

I mentioned that Falco's shine didn't spike as Fox's did. But as a substitute, you could jump offstage, hit with the shine, shinecancel immediatly and spike your foe to death - and DI back on, or use your third jump.
It's rather tricky, and most of the time there are better options - but heck, it looks nice. That's reason enough to use it, right ^_^
You can shinespike Yoshi though; if he's using his second jump, and you shine him, his weight multiplies and he falls to his doom. It's hard to do though. ^^

You should really take your time to study every character's recovery - only then will you be able to counter each and every one of them.
For an example, Falco can pull some pretty neat stuff while recovering - while drifting to the air, you could shine, cancel it and right after use the phantasm - it'll look as if you somehow DId the shine upwards and used the Phantasm out of it. Your n00bcake opponent would be all like 'w00t that is like teh_impossbellll0' and while he is saying that, you own him ^_^
My point is, there are a lot of tricks, and the more you learn, the less you'll get surprised in battle. Watching vids of ALL characters helps in this, too.

Note: some characters benefit from offstage edgeguarding - jumping off the stage in order to hit your opponent while he's still recovering. With Falco, this is not alltogether a great option. You've got rising spike, you got bair from ledgehog, and dair from ledgedropped walljumped edgehog, and you've got Phantasm-meteoring. Other than those, Falco's bad recovery makes it unprofitable to use off-stage KO-ing attempts.
Note: especially vs Falcos and Foxes, dropping from the ledge and bair-ing the startup of Firebirf/Firefox is worth it. You can do stuff like that to lots of other characters as well.

You might've heard people talk about this. Here is basically what happens:
You airdodge sidewards just a tiny bit above the ground, resulting in a slide across the ground. That's not so special, now, is it? But here is the wonderful part. At any moment during this slide, you can perform any groundattack, without extra lag. Which makes wavedashing a really really great alternative to dashing. You could, for instance, wavedash forwards and upsmash immediatly after. Very nice. You could also wavedash backwards to dodge an incoming attack, and make a comeback with a nice forward smash, punishing the opponent's lag time. There are a lot of uses for wavedashing, I could spend days on covering them. But that'd be a waste of my time, considering you are hopefully creative enough to come up with your own tactics.

Here's how it's done: basically, you could jump, and airdodge sidewards just when you are about to hit the ground, but this is pretty tricky, so let's learn to do this the common (and most useful) way.

First, crouch, holding the controlstick either to the downleft of the downright. Then, jump, and immediatly after, press L or R. It is REALLY recommended that you try this at first in training mode, on 1/2 or even 1/4 speed, and at first, you should try it with Luigi, of the Ice Climbers, their wavedashes go pretty far.
If you can manage that, try it out of standing position. Hit jump, downleft/downright, and very fast L/R... yeah, I know it's hard to do. Your fingers might even get sore as much as you get frustrated if you can't work it out. But we've all been there. practice is the key. Practice a lot.
If you can do this consequently, move the speed up a bit (considering you're still playing 1/4 speed). Finally, you'll be able to wavedash all across Final Destination.
That's when you start experimenting with how to attack out of them, and how to dodge with them. Good luck.
Some find wavedashing extremely useful (like myself), some few others rarely use it - find out what suits your way of playing. Just don't dismiss it because it's too hard to do, or whatever.
Do note, that Falco's wavedash is one of the hardest in the game - you can't immediatly airdodge after the jump, because he has some frames delay if he jumps, because he crouches a bit into the ground first. Practice practice practice. You should be able to do this consistently before moving to waveshining, which will be covered later. ^_^
Some final notes on the C-stick: it's commonly used to perform aerials, since it's got two benefits over using the Control stick + A button.
First, you can perform a fair or a bair, without DI-ing that way; if you DI forwards and want to use a bair, the C-stick is what you should use.
Second, you can perform a dair or uair without risking fastfalling or using your second jump. Personally, I prefer using the control stick with these two, since you have to master the same technique to use your downtilt without falling through platforms and using your uptilt without jumping anyway. Once again, use whatever suits you best.

The C-stick is also a necissity to downsmash out of a crouch, upsmash out of a dash, or just getting out that quick smash overall.

V - The Falco Technique

Falco's speed and jumps, and his shine and spike, are mainly what makes him so good at comboing. Here, we'll discuss several ways to combo your opponent, as well as setups and approaches.

Note: don't practice combos on CPUs a lot. CPUs do not DI in many different ways, therefor it could destroy your comboing game when facing humans.

Approachal - Naturally, the easiest way of approachal is dashing towards your opponent. But unless you fake them out, most enemies will shield whatever attack you use and attempt to grab you. So use it sparingly as a way of attacking - but use it mostly as a setup for mindgames. Apart from attacking, you could CC to downtilt, you could wavedash back, and par example fsmash, you could even shorthop back, or you could jump, and land behind the opponent and poke his back with an ftilt.
But you've got more options than that. You could approach spamming the SHL, and dive in with a shine or shffld aerial when close enough, or a fsmash (don't overuse because of lag).
You could chain some wavedashes for a neat approachal, and maybe wavedash back at the last moment to confuse your opponent.
You could even longjump in there, if you're feeling lucky (don't overuse because of, well, how it sucks). Note that you are likely to get shieldgrabbed if you attack with an aerial out of longjump, if you land before the shield - so if you do longjump an aerial, try to land behind him, so you can't get shieldgrabbed.

Mindgames are very, very important - you really want to intimidate your opponent, and stress him out. You want his mind to worry about whether you will dashgrab, or wavedash back - and then come in with a shffld aerial.
One fears the unknown, and fear weakens the mind, so you really want to be unpredictable. Once the opponent doesn't have a clue what you are about to do next, there's less of a chance he'll counter your next move.

The setup - if you have succesfully approached your opponent, it's time to launch him into the air for some nice comboing. Some of Falco's best setup-moves include his upthrow, uptilt, downtilt, his shine, and even his dash-attack.
Which one to use depends a lot on your position; the downtilt has some range in front of you, the uptilt some behind you. The shine lacks this range, so you really want to be sure you are close enough when using it.
You can grab out of your shield, to upthrow - you can grab your opponent if he's shielding, to upthrow.

Each setup has got his own advantages. Below 70%, the shine packs the greatest vertical knockback, but above, the downtilt does. The uptilt lacks certain knockback, but at low percentages you could just chain a few together against fastfallers, accumulating easy damage.
The shine-cancel allows for the fastest followup.
A great use of the shine-cancel is the shinespike. Basically, you shine your opponent, immediatly shinecancel, spike your opponent with your dair, fastfall to the ground, and shine him again. Nice infinite, if you can manage it. But at high percentages, it gets harder to do, and your opponent will most likely DI out of it, too.

Another use of shinecancelling is the pillar technique. Against shielders, you shffl a dair, shinecanel a shllfd dair in to a shinecancelled shffld dair.. you get the idea.
You shine, shorthop out of the shine, dair, fastfall, and L-cancel - then you shine again. It's not meant to rack up damage or anything, just a way to eat the foe's shield and forcing him to roll away.
The shine prevents your opponent from shieldgrabbing you, if done correctly, so this can eat a shield up real bad.

Note: Some confuse this one with the shine-to-spike combo, which is actually hitting your opponent with the shine, shinecancel to a longjump, dair, fastfall, and shine again. This doesn't work to well against pros, so don't spam it, or you'll get punished.

Another note: if you shffl a dair on a shield, the timing is slightly different then normally. Something Ruler_of_Melee came up with, is using Starmans instead. Put them on very high in VS mode, or just spam them in training mode, and once your opponent is invulnerable, practice the pillar. The invincibility simulates a shield.

Now, instead of shinecancelling, you have often got an even better option: waveshining out of your shine. Basically, this is combining the jumpcancel with the wavedash. You shine, and WD out of it, basically. Note that, just as with WDing out of shield, you want to jump first, and THEN press the direction you want to WD to. If you do press the direction before jumping, with WD out of shield, you could sidestep or roll away by accident, and with waveshining you could turnaround in shine, kindof screwing your timing.
Try this on a CPU L1 Fox or Falco: Shine -> Waveshine -> shffld dair -> Shine -> Waveshine -> shffld dair -> shine -> waveshine -> shffld uair etc. Comboooooo!

Aerial Comboing
- so your opponent is launched up into the air. Now what?

Well, if you used the shine you could shine-cancel or waveshine into a nice aerial (maybe a spike, but preferably a bair or uair, because a spike sends your opponent to the ground, often basically ending the combo).

If you used an uptilt or downtilt (at low %), you could shffl in an uair, or basically any shffl - spike if you want your opponent back on the ground, maybe pull off a shine to spike combo. There are a lot of options. At high %, you could jump after your opponent and try to land both hits of the uair, you could bair him, fastfall and pursuit, you could grab your opponent as he falls to the ground, if he's still stunned, you could use approaching SHL on a falling foe to stall him just above the ground so he can't tech before you get a dash attack in - there are really a lot of options.
Dash in with a shffld nair, a shinecancel and a spike, perhaps another shinespike, then a nice bair maybe to finish him off to the side, if the percentage is high enough, or an uair to launch him even higher (though getting both hits in is a real pain, considering DI).
Or shffl a dair into a downtilt, followed by a wavedash into an upsmash. Just use your imagination, and you should be fine.
Also, when comboing, use dashed shffld uair alot. This basically creates a a hitbox above you a great horizontal distance (there's an hitbox out almost the entire uair animation, and since you are moveing horizontally during that animation, there's a great chance you hit your opponent).
If you want to see some real comboing, check out the BombSoldier vids. He might suck at DI and picking stages, but he certainly knows his combos.

Shinecombos: Abuse waveshine to every extent to become a comboing master. Or use shinecancel to get there just a bit faster. Shinecancel -> Shinecancel -> bair is a killer on some characters.

VI - How the bird plays!

After going through the former parts of this guide, you'll probably be very up-to-date with anything Falco can do. Since there is no better way to learn to use techniques than in battle, I will take you through several scenarios, providing you with information and ideas. Yeah, you'll have to put the pieces of the puzzle together yourself, eventually - I can't tell you exactly how to play. Be creative, watch some vids, and not the least important, practice much and gain immense tech-skill. Because, for instance, if you can't do a proper SHL, you have one option of approach too few.

Like said, I can't tell you how to play. But I can get you started.

Mindgames are very important in higher levels of play - so let's start with the approachal.
Just dashing up to an opponent with a dashattack won't work much. So let's start by faking your opponent out. If you dash towards him, he might shield, or sidestep, or jump out of the way, or WD backwards, or try to outprioritise your attack with one of his - yeah, he's got a lot of options.
Let's eliminate some ^_^.
Just WD backwards as soon as you come within his range. If he shields, WD forwards and grab him; if he sidesteps, WD forwards and shffl a nice little nair in his lagtime.
If he jumps towards you, you have to rely on your judgement. If he's a bad jumper, you might get an utilt in, or you could even shffl an uair. Or an upsmash, if you're feeling lucky. Or another WD backwards to see where he would land. You see, there are LOTS of options, all depending on what the opponent do. That's why playing humans is so important; so that you gain enough experience to deal with any kind of reaction to your actions.

Anyway, if he WDs backwards, you're just starting all over again, but this time he has to worry about whether you will fake him out again. Yeah, you've just pulled a mindgame. Now it's important not to give him enough time to think, get in there with some SHLs or shffld attack, or fake him out again, by a WD, or a jump, or whatever fits the situation.
This is your basic mindgame.

Dashdancing is often very important in mindgames. If your opponent is coming from above to use an aerial attack, start dashdancing - providing the foe with incertanity of where you are to go. And that's a good thing; once your opponent gets unsure of himself, his level of play drops like Kirby's downB.
However, if YOU are the one coming from above, with, say, a dair, you could try to start a pillar, but that's the predictable stuff. And you don't want to be predictable. So for once, just fastfall to the ground and grab his shield, or do a landing WD and follow it up with something nice.
Also, if your opponent is hanging on the edge, you could choose to start dashdancing - that way, his a-move (the ledgeattack) will miss you if you run the other way, and his attempt to simply climb on could get punished by you dashing towards him. He could ledgedrop and hop back on with an aerial attack; but, well, you could dodge and punish it.
That's the essence of mindgames, once again - to make your opponent unsure of what to do, and when to do it.

Also, I recommend you abuse invincibilty-frames. For example, if you're hanging on the edge, and climb back on, you're invincible for a number of frames, and if you can trick your opponent to attack you in those frames, you'll be able to punish him during his lagtime. That's why it's a wise thing to use jabs - if you hit with a jab in one's invicibilty, there's a chance you can get another attack in, before the foe can do an attack himself.

If you ledgedrop, you also become invincible for some frames - so you could, for instance, hanging on the edge, press away from the edge, as to ledgedrop, and use the Firebird immediatly - if done correctly, you'll grab back on the ledge right away - if you can consistently pull this of, you are merely invincible while hanging on the edge. Nice, eh? ^_^ (like BombSoldier does in his vids).

Another appearence of invincibility frames, is if you recover from the ground after getting hit (that is, if you don't tech). You're basically lying on the floor - if you press to the side, you'll roll there, if you press up, you'll get up (obviously) and if you press A you do a getting-up-attack.
Grand chance your opponent will go for the getting-up attack. But since he is provided with invincibility frames, there's not much you can do about it, because you'll get hit if you are too close, right?
Wrong! Speed to him, and shield just as he gets up from the floor - a simple shieldgrab will result in a nice throw. Once again, it's not given that this will work. Your opponent might as well roll away and leave you looking stupid with your shield up (in which case you should shieldcancel or WD out of shield and do something nasty to him).

Other tricks that can help you increase your options are listed below, because that is really the essence of learning anything new in the game - opening up more options for you, so your opponent will have to deal with more possibilities.

For instance, you could shorten the Phantasm - kudos to CunningKitsune for explaining the timing; anytime during the Phantasm, if you press B again, you'll stop it.
But since this timing is really hard to get down, and mashing B works fine, too, I only suggest practicing this if you've got nothing else left to improve ^_^.
If you sideB and keep pressing B for, say, three or four times, you'll notice that the Phantasm is shortened a lot. This is another fakeout; for instance, if you ledgedrop, jump, and Illusion, your opponent will hear the Phantasm's startup-sound, and he could dash somewhat to the middle of the stage, to wherever your sideB is supposed to land, in order to punish you. Instead, you land just on the edge and start spamming some SHL on him or whatever ^_^.

Off course, if you do this a lot, it will get predictable - sure, if your opponent is already going towards the edge, just use a long Phantasm this time, but if he is a bit of a pro, he'll be dashdancing, and trying to find out if you are about to shorten your sideB or not. That's really a rock-paper-scissors idea; you have to predict which way the foe is gonna go, and react to that.

Another neat trick is shielding to upsmash. It's a very simple thing actually, you're just shielding, and press up on the control stick and the c-stick at almost the exact same time. You'll jumpcancel the shield, and usmash right after - and with it's little windup-lag, it's a good surprise every now and then (not merely as useful as Fox's, because his usmash is simply better, but still something that you'll find useful one day).

There's another trick, one that involves the shine - or actually, there are two:
Infinite shining is possible in two ways - the fastest one, is basically shining, shinecancelling, and shining before you've even left the ground - this take INSANE timing and is close to impossible to do. If you hold down and mash B-Jump-B-Jump etc. in that order, you'll get the idea.
The other way is a lot more doable. You shine, waveshine downwards (spot-WD) and shine again. And, repeat ^_^.

Your laser provides some other tricks as well.
Such as the laser from the ledge; ledgedrop -> second jump -> B -> DI on stage with fastfall. If done correctly, you'll jump from hanging on the ledge and laser at correct height while getting on the stage.
A more sophisticated form is the DOUBLE laser from the ledge. It's the same idea like the single one, but with pressing B two times and without the fastfall. You have to wait a bit before using your second jump after the ledgedrop.
If you do this correctly, both lasers will be at the same height. It's very tricky tho.
Another laser trick is ledgecancelled laser. If you're fast enough, you can ledgedrop -> second jump -> B -> grab the ledge again. There's a REALLY small frame for this to work, but try it in 1/4th speed and you'll get the idea.

Just for the sake of making this all complete, I'd like to tell you that you can charge c-sticked smashes with the Z-button. Yeah, you are going to use that alot, now, are you? Lol! ^_^

VII - Character Matchups

All will be added over time - matchups take a good amount of effort, and I am kind of busy as of now. But I hope at least to do one a month ^_~
Also, note that none of these matchups are complete, and it is highly recommended that you play a lot against each character in order to develop your own strategies. Tournaments, anyone?


He is teh_edgeguarder. If you've ever played a decent Marth, you know you don't want too much of aerial combat. Your aerial play is good and all that. but Marth's aerial proiority combined with his 'we-hate-it-all' disjointed hitbox AND insane range provides you with a good challenge. And you want to edgetech like teh_proz0rs. General tactics:

- Spam SHL. Yeah, you didn't expect that.
- Pay extra care to shielding. Don't get predictable, but if you shield his fsmash and WD out of it, you could get in a grab, or a dtilt easily. However, don't shield too much, because you will get grabbed continuously. Learn how to sidestep Marth's grabs.
- Airdodge more. Mentioned before, Marth's aerial game is a devastating combination of priority, range and disjointed hitboxes, sometimes airdodging can really save your feathery arse, When coming back from the ledge, airdodging past an Fsmash is wise as well sometimes.
- Play centre-stage, altho that's a really crappy advice, still keep it in mind. You don't want to get edgeguarded by Marth. Rule of thumb here; never try to get directly at him. Both the Firebird and the Phantasm suffer such windup lag that Marths fsmash can and will hit you out of them. If there's a platform you can land on, this is the best to go for, but make sure whether the platform is one that Marth can still fsmash through or not. 'Cause if it is, you'd probably best sidestep, or WD off of the platform or w/e.
If you manage to get hanging on the edge, however, don't stay there long, 'cause the dtilt will punish that... do whatever it takes to throw off his timing (things like ledgedrop to walljump to Phantasm, or ledgedrop to shine to shinecancel to airdodge on stage, be creative here ^_^).
HOWEVER the most important thing here is that recovering from below is most of the time better than from above the stage, so drop lower until you use firebird, tech the fsmash (sweetspot AND tech please!) and get back on the stage as fast as possible. Looks nice as well.
- Stay either far away or close to Marth. By any means, don't be at tipper range.
- Waveshine -> Dair -> fastfall -> utilt is a nice way to deal damage. Waveshine -> bair is good for finishing.


He is teh_lightning. If you've ever played a decent Fox, you know to avoid his shinespike offstage, that you want to be a waveshine ***** here, and that you want to stay out of Fox's fast grabbing. General tactics:

- Cut down a bit on the SHL. Fox's got a shine too, so he could reflect your lasers - BUT do keep in mind that the shine cannot be cancelled if a projectile hit it - so if you're fast enough, you could jump over your reflected laser and JC'd grab, or WD backwards to repeat. Or shine yourself, too ^_^
- Stay clear of him when offstage. Fox's shine spikes at a horrible angle, making it impossible for Falco to recover. Which means you have to use lots of mindgames while recovering. Alternate between shinecancels, shortened phantasms and unexpected Firebird angles.
Note, that sometimes you'll be able to tech the shinespike. DO SO
- Stay clear of his grabs. Fox grabs really really fast, and uthrow to usmash or uair kills your fastfallig arse. Running around and grabbing gets annoying, so just laser him silent when he's running around a lot ^^
- If he's any good, he will shine after a dair, so don't - I repeat don't - try to shieldgrab this in first instance. Off course, after this it becomes a mindgame, will he shine or just grab? Note that if you roll away, he'll prolly chase the roll and grab you out of it.
- Fox's blaster does get reflected by your shine, but often it's not long enough to hit Fox back, and it leaves you with bad lag on your shine, so it's better to shield (and shieldcancel) these. Or, since you experience no knockback, take the initial damage and just start SHL-ing. That oughtta make him stop.
- Beware of the utilt, uair, and usmash. These devastating moves all have amazing potential. Yeah, that's a lot different than with you, innit? ^_~ If you're high in the sky, and Fox is coming for you, about to pull an uair, you could avoid this with airdodging.
- Abuse his fastfalling. Falco's utilt can combo Fox from, say, 10% to 30% if done right (ok, DI may wreck this). uthrow to fsmash sometimes works wonders, too. But the greatest fastfall-abuse of all is waveshine-combos. Fox can me comboed from some 0-45% just by dair -> waveshine -> dair -> waveshine -> dair/uair (depending on what you think best) etc. Experiment ^^


He is teh_spiker. If you've every played a decent Falco, you know you want to watch out for laser approaches, to watch out for *random* fsmashes, to watch out for dair -> shine combos, to watch out for shinecombos overally, not to underestimate the dtilt and to PHEER the dair. General tactics:

- You've got SHL, he's got SHL. Now what? You could try spamming, but if the opponent tries this as well it's a tiring game. See who holds out the longest or attempt to approach otherwise.
- Shinecombo him to hell. Waveshine -> dair/uair combos **** Falco (the same way you can get ***** as well).
- You could sidestep his laser -> dair approach to throw off his L-Cancel timing. You could shine right after the sidestep and start a combo.
- Be creative when edgeguarding. Although Falco's recovery is very linear, it's fairly easy to mindgame with. Try hitting him in the startup of the Firebird and nair him out of Phantasm.
- Watch out for the spike; upthrow can set you up perfectly for a dair into oblivion if you DI crappy. Try to tech it.
- Exploit spike; upthrow can set the foe up perfectly for a dair into oblivion if he DIs crappy. Hope he doesn't tech.
- Bair is a very nice KO move here, considering Falco's short recovery.
- Be aware that all this information can be used against you. ^^


She is teh_dsmasher. If you've every played a decent Peach, you know you want to catch her turnips every now and then, watch out for groundfloated aerials, watch our for the Umbrella's priority and watch out for dsmash. General tactics:

- KO vertically as much as possible. Peach has insane horizontal recovery, so either dtilt (for up) or dair or dsmash (for down). Do note that you should not attempt offstage spikes randomly, her Umbrella's priority eats through everything including Falco's dair, so try and be unpredictable.
- Spam SHL (you didn't see that on coming). She's got turnips, you've got lasers. Spam SHL so much she doesn't get time enough to pull a turnip. ^_^
- Use uair. I won't say this often, but against Peach, Falco's uair is a great aid. Because you want to KO Peach vertically, and uair is a great followup to a waveshine. If it connects correctly, you'll be surprised how fast Peach dies of it.
- Use upsmash. Falco's upsmash is oftenly underrated. Many Peaches won't see it coming when they're approaching you from above.
- Beware of downsmash. Don't ever crouchcancel it. You should know and fear Peach's downsmash. It's able to deal insane amounts of damage (dozens of it) if you CC it, so, just don't. A dsmash-spamming Peach can be extremely annoying to get around. But if you trick her into dsmashing, i's a free dair for you. Don't sidestep the dsmash, because you'll get hit when you return from the sidestep, don't roll around a Peach because you'll get dsmashed.
- Beware of dashattack. Another annoying move. Most basic Peach combo ever: throw a turnip and run in with dashattack. It pops you up for juggling and it's mad strong. So beware.
- DI right. Peach can chainthrow Falco to some amounts if you don't DI right. So remember to do so. ^_^
- Watch out for bair, nair and fair. Bair comes out fast is a high-priority sex-move. Her fair is somewhat like Doc's, it takes a while but is mad strong, and nair has great priority. If you see a Peach floating just above the ground, beware of all of these.
- Dair is another story. Combos into nair quite well and you will probably get hit by it if the Peach is floating just above your lasers.

Jigglypuff (or Rondoudou, or Pummeluff... >_>').

He is teh_*****. Because whores are cheap and pink. If you've ever played a decent Jigglypuff, you know to DI his uthrow like anything, KO him vertically on stages with far blastlines, not to roll into him, not to upsmash him after a missed rest on low %, be aware of how he can float everywhere avoiding your moves due to his floatyness and watch out for Wall of Pain and Pound. General tactics:

- Tilt him. It's one of your few defenses against his annoying aerial play. Jpuff wants to attack your shield and float back out of grabbing range - a lot. So ftilt to keep him away. He's coming from above? Utilt. Utilt is sometimes highly underestimated and can eat through virtually anything, including a pink puffball coming from above.
Use dtilt lots. It's got good range, and KO's the way you should KO puff on most stages; up, up, and further up! Especially on stages like Dreamland 64 KO'ing puff is a real pain, because he can recover from about anywhere (five jumps + five (rising) pounds = insane). Dtilt could connect after you CC a bair or pound.
- Use SHL to force him higher into the air. If he's too high to hit you with bair, that's in your favor.
- Bair. Your bair is one of the best moves in the game and no balloon is changing that. Versus Jpuff, you bair is dominating the sky. Also remember, that although strong, puff's pound and bair are not disjointed, so you could trade hits with nair to throw him off.
- Avoid rest. Seriously. Fastfallers get ***** by rest-combos, the worst of which is uthrow to rest - you should really Smash DI puff's uthrow either to the left or right or you will die. Another thing puffs like to do is CC to rest. So watch out for it. Jiggly can also utilt you to rest if you are behind him. Or predict where you'll roll/techroll and rest you there. Or rest you after you tried to upsmash him after a missed rest on low % (DO NOT DO THIS). For more information, check this match. Laugh your *** of to my first match vs a Jigglypuff in six months :p
- Be warned for WoP. WD out of shield is important here; he hits your shield, floats backwards - if you WD backwards out of shield then, there's a fair distance created between the two of you and you are out of immediate danger. SHL anyone?


He is teh_fortresser. If you've every played a decent Bowser, you know you want to grab alot, stay clear of pillaring because of Fortress out shield, hell, stay clear or Fortress out shield, and watch for his ledgeattack. General tactics:

- SHL is VERY important. It disable the big lug's ability to move.
- Don't approach with dair in his shield. Fortress out of shiel will **** you; framewise it's impossible for a Falco to connect the shine after a dair on a proper Bowser.
- Abuse his weight and size in comboing. Shine -> dair combos work extremely well. Fthrow -> fthrow -> fthrow is nice as well. :p
- Beware of the Klaw; this aerial grab can grab while your shielding Bowser's aerial approach.
- Beware of ftilt; it's a hell of an edgeguard move. Preferably, don't use phantasm for recovery, Bowser will EASILY hit you of it.
- Don't underestimate his speed; while his general movement/jumping etc. is rather slow, some of his moves are devastatingly fast. Such as the ftilt, the fair, the bair, the upB (fortress), etc.

VIII - Closure

Final words - Finally, I'd like you to note, that it's really important that you incorporate all the techniques and ideas in this guide into one game, your game, and yours alone. One should have it's own style of play; and you now know about everything you need to know in order to obtain yours. Go, and play, and then play some more - you'll have a blast.


Thanks to:.
- CunningKitsune, for feedback on the Phantasm.
- Doggalina, for feedback on ground moves.
- FalseFalco, for feedback on grabs.
- Qwester, for feedback on frames.
- Ruler_of_Melee, for a lot of feedback on the SHL and Pillaring.
The Marvellous Guide on Falco Lombardi by bornfidelity.com, V3.3


Smash Lord
Mar 22, 2004
Nice, but it's a little too general, throw in a few more things like pillaring and waveshine (which should be obvious but isn't). Also the rising spike wouldn't be half bad.

Pretty good overall, too much needless fluff though.
I'd help you out, but your probably a lot better than me to begin with.


Smash Master
May 27, 2005
Dutchland. ^^
Aye, this is still very basic. I'm working on an update, something on combos and stuff. I'll cover things as the waveshine there.
And I wouldn't be confident about that last thing ;)


Smash Master
May 27, 2005
Dutchland. ^^
Updated to v1.2.

What else should I add? I'd add a character countering section, if I knew enough for it. Maybe I'll just make some general notes about certain stages, and characters.

Btw, are there any differences between the PAL Falco (mine..) and the others?
And anyone is welcome to correct me on anything (even spelling errors ^_^).
Maybe I underrated the upsmash a bit, but I don't use it much. Suggentions are most welcome, naturally.


Nov 23, 2003
Scotland, UK
I just skimmed it, I'll get back to reading the full thing later and edit this post.

Comments so far:

Section I - Fox vs Falco
Fox's shorthop animation is 4 frames (Falco's is 6)

Frame 1. Press button down
Frame 2. Must release jump this frame or earlier
Frame 3. No inputs will be recongnised this frame
Frame 4. Airborne

So you're right with 2 frames if you're talking about duration you've to hold the button, but the animation itself is 4 frames.


Smash Master
Jan 1, 2005
Oh dear.

Ok the guide was good, I hope many people read this before making a topic.

My main criticism would be about your grabs section. Sure uthrow is great, and probably his best throw, but remember that every single one of his grabs can be chained. I know in PAL they allow light characters to tech the dthrow but that doesn't mean you can follow the tech! also on som light or floaty chars, fthrow can be done rapidly to throw someone off, bthrow is always good for chaining, and uthrow + fair also sets them for another grab. U throw is not his only useful grab.

Good job on most else, and I don't meanfor you to change this, but it's always a pet peeve of mine to see people put in their own combos. Cause I can just see a little noob putting hours of training mode into them and then getting them crushed by simple DI.


Smash Master
May 27, 2005
Dutchland. ^^
You're probably right about the grabs other than the uthrow, it's just that I rarely use the other ones, thus I didn't think I had worked enough on them to really say anything. For the sole purpose of this guide, I will study the grabs more intensively when I get the chance, it's just that the past few days I didn't have access to human players - since grabs work out differently on humans then do do on CPUs. I'll include that in the next update.

For the combos, that's exactly why I stressed to include the words 'maybe' and 'you could' alot. For the shinecombos, those are just some nifty tricks even n00bs could use to their advantage ^_^.
But generally, I only intended to explain the n00b what options he had to start a combo (maybe with some examples, ok... ;)). I'll just put in an extra note about creativity and that stuff.


Smash Master
Sep 1, 2004
Burnaby BC Canada
nice guide! Ill have to try some of the stuff i didnt know about :)

But couldnt the Up B be useful for killing someone upwards sometimes?
Like killing a floaty character in the air

Also using Up B for mindgames such as Up B to ground then Downsmash?


Smash Master
May 27, 2005
Dutchland. ^^
The lag afterwards really kills the uses on the ground - there's too much of a risk you miss. Same thing in the air - you never know exactly how long the foe will stay paralyzed - he might just recover fast enough to dodge, or even counter, your firebird, and you'll be lost. really.

Sure there are exceptions to everything - sometimes it's nicely done, say, Fox is using the Illusion to get back on stage, you jump, and firefox to where he is supposed to land - timed right, you'll hit him when he's lagging from the Illusion, and your Firebird lag will be gone before the Fox gets unparalyzed again..
Really just an exception, I don't use it normally. You could, if you like to, if you found anything really good, I'll be glad to hear about it.

Oh, and on hitting foes in the air, the uair seems like a better option, overally.
For the mindgames, you could do that. but following it up with a downsmash'd be silly, if you hit, the foe'll be too far away, and if you don't hit, you'll get punished. :ohwell:

The King

Smash Ace
Jun 6, 2005
If you're looking for stuff to add, character matchups are always welcome and appreciated.

Either way, very nice guide, you really put your time into it.


All the things
Jun 16, 2003
Boston, MA
*Presses the sticky button*

Keep it up.

Edit: Oops, pressed the wrong one ^_^; All fixed now.

Sideem Slingh

Smash Journeyman
Nov 10, 2004
Manhattan, KS
Thanks Omnigamer. Now I can look at that guide every time I come here and remember my Falco days...

:p Oh right, my Falco days aren't worth remembering. Maybe I'll start playing as him again.


Nov 26, 2004
bornfidelity.com said:
His downthrow is awesome against n00bs, you could follow it up with a shine, or a tilt - but experienced players will tech out of it (and you should, too). That really ruins it. Note: in V1.0, 1.1 and 1.2, some characters can't tech the dthrow - but they can still escape it, so use it wisely.
You might want to add that its fox that Cannot escape it until medium high percentages.

Emblem Lord

The Legendary Lord
Aug 11, 2005
Scotch Plains, NJ
Switch FC
Only thing I could think of that you should add would be the characters that Falco has trouble with.
And the stages he does well on. Otherwise this guide is awesome and I'm seriously considering mastering Falco.


Smash Apprentice
Mar 22, 2005
on the last part about the triple shine, you could add that it can kill floaty characters at low percents on small levels(samus can get triple shined off the top of yoshis story at pretty low percents, if you can get them on the top platform and triple shine itll kill a lot more characters) corneria top fin is the best, ive double shine -> uair fox off the top at 20%

just wanted to add this cause you said the triple shine is pretty worthless(which it kinda is), but it can KO in certain situations

also, you could add the walljump spike(fastfall off ledge, jump, walljump, spike, upB), its mainly just a flashy trick, but can be useful for edgeguarding as you can do it from an edgehog


Smash Rookie
Aug 27, 2005
(1'st post, woot) the thing i like to do for showing off is a double shine (somethimes triple) and then firebird 'em, usually does around 40% after the combos done, but its really only for showing off.


Smash Master
May 27, 2005
Dutchland. ^^
Yeah, getting punished for the Firebird's lag is really showing off ;)

'Nyway, 'elcome to the boards, aye.
Ha! I've got your posting virginity! LOL
(If I might, Angelo :chuckle:)

Tempest 01

Smash Journeyman
Jul 26, 2005
Black Comet, killing Black Arms.
great guide!! its not overly specific, but its not too general either. it reminds me of my Falco days, which were happy days.

Fidelity, do u mind if i use your general layout of ur guide to write my Marth guide?? its awsome.


Smash Rookie
Aug 27, 2005
(in reply to bornfidelitys post) yeah i meant its only showing off if u can pull it off without being punished


Smash Rookie
Aug 28, 2005
Yes, yes, this is great work and I say this on behalf of all the n00bs, many thanks we are forever in debt to you, if there is any way I can help you I will but i am but a n00b.


Smash Journeyman
May 2, 2005
Minneapolis, MN
I haven't read the guide since any of the updates, but...you should add in some of those bombsoldier techniques. Such as the double laser from the ledge (mainly because i have trouble with it) and that firebird thing on the ledge to regain invincibility...maybe both of these are in your guide...i don't know. Falco's nair is good.
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