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Bowser FAQ

by bebopdabebop

Bowser FAQ, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Nintendo Wii

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Ahhh, Glass Giant, the quick and easy, lazy-man's way to ASCII art awesomeness.
It probably doesn't look as good as if I had gone through all the time and 
effort of doing it myself, but, wait... no, it probably IS much better than if
I did it myself. Laziness is sometimes just intelligence of one's own limits...

~~ ~ ~ Table of Contents ~ ~ ~~

I) Who am I/Who Are You?
II) Introduction & Biography
III) Pros/Cons
IV) Moves
V) Analysis
VI) General Strategies
VII) Character-Specific Strategies
VIII) Conclusion

~~ I) Who am I/Who Are You? ~~

Who am I? Who are YOU Mr. Inhospitality Pants? How rude! You barge yourself on
in here without so much as a 'Howdy Partner' or even a timid 'hi' and you're
already asking for my name? How dare you sir! I have half a mind to challenge
you to a duel! I say pistols at dawn and--how's that?

*Incoherrent whispering*

Ahh, yes, that's right, I'm writing an FAQ here, so they can't introduce
themselves, they can only read what I write.

Dear Internets,

I apologize for losing my tempor because you did not introduce yourselves
because that is impossible. I didn't mean to go all pissy-pants on you.
Sometimes my mind goes crazy and I write innane things and burn things. It

Some Jerk-Face

Have all the uber-serious ultra-gaming competitors left yet? Good, because this
FAQ is not for them.

This FAQ is for all of us out there who just want to have a good time with our
gaming. Sure, we may not win all the time, but if we WANTED to win all the time
not only would that eliminate much of the fun of simply playing, it would also
eliminate our favorite characters... such as Bowser.

I'm not that serious a competitor, so if you are, then take my advice for what
it's worth. I'm looking more to inform newbies and medium-skilled players than
to find techiques that will work in serious competitive arenas. It's more about
impressing friends than making a profession out of it.

As for more about me, well, I've been playing the Smash Bros. series since
Melee, which I played well more than any other GC game I had (I also briefly
played the original here and there, after falling for Melee). My favorite was
Bowser, even though he wasn't very good. I played as him anyway, just because
of his raw power and the fact that I hated Ganondorf (stupid Captain Falcon

When Brawl was released, I was quite happy that Bowser was improved, Besides
Bowser, I also like playing as King Dedede, Ness, Mr. Game & Watch, Donkey
Kong, Diddy Kong, R.O.B., and Wario. I also pick random quite frequently, so
I've at least gotten a feel for every character. I tend to play with
characters that I like, though, not characters that I know are good. It's a
curse. It happens to me in every game.

I realized GameFAQs doesn't have an FAQ for Bowser yet. I thought that was a
crying shame, so I decided to dedicate myself to him and write up an FAQ so he
can feel special, just like all the other (probably much better) characters.

I've never written one before because I was always too lazy. But for some
reason, titanic demon-turtles with fire-breathing powers are inspiring to me.
So this will be my first GameFAQ.

I hope you all enjoy!

~~ II) Introduction & Biography ~~

Ever since Mario began traversing horizontal worlds instead of vertical ones,
Bowser has stood in his way with fire and spikes and hordes (flocks?) of
turtle-shelled soldiers. 

In any of the Mario games, whether they are the main adventure Marios or all
the spin-off sports and mini-game packages, Bowser is always the big guy with
huge power and a nasty attitude. He's the Princess Peach-stealing baddie; 
number one Mario nemesis.

Bowser was always depicted as a spiny turtle-like creature with some variation
of fire-breathing powers, but over the years, he's become more and more demonic
and dragon-like in appearance. He also seems to get bigger and bigger, and in
Smash Bros. Brawl he's not only the largest character, he can also transform
into his much larger and much more demonic form: Giga Bowser. 

Speaking of Smash Bros., Bowser's first appearance was in Super Smash Bros.
Melee for the Gamecube. While DK was an admirable opponent for Mario and the
gang, Bowser is a much more imposing bad guy. And now, perhaps even more
satisfying, the tables could be turned and you could play as Bowser and smack
around the goodie-two-shoes plumber-boy.

Unfortunately though, while Bowser had immense power and strength, he was so
slow and clunky and large that it was more likely you'd get constantly pummeled
and juggled than KO anyone. Once in a while you'd score a lucky smash, but most
of the time it was just frustrating to play as Bowser, especially after
unlocking the much more powerful Ganondorf.

Thankfully, all that's changed for Brawl. While Ganondorf receieved a huge
decrease in power and overall effectiveness, Bowser got better. Many of his
moves attack much quicker than before, and while they still have terrible lag
afterwards, leaving him open to be counter attacked, he is at least a more
serious contender. This makes him less frustrating to fight with, and overall,
makes him much more fun.

The sheer power of Bowser has not been lost since Melee. It's still unlikely
that he'll be winning any serious tournies, but rocketing light, fluffy
characters (Heeellooooo Jigglypuff) into the horizon is more fun than ever

~~ III) Pros/Cons ~~

+ Huge power = huge KO potential
+ Capable of dealing big damage fast 
+ Good Special (B) attacks
+ He's heavy, so he's harder to KO
+ Surprisingly mobile and quick-hitting while airborn 
+ He's underestimated and can take opponents by surprise 
+ He looks menacing
+ He stomps when he walks, how cool is that?

- Big power = Big risk
- Attack lag: leaves Bowser open if he misses
- Slow (stomp, stomp, stomp) walking speed
- Lacks range: prone to be a projectile-punching bag
- Difficult to approach and close the distance
- Weak vertical recovery
- Big target = easier to get hit
- Being predictable is easily exploitable

Not only is Bowser a big target, he's also a slow-moving one. He's easy to
juggle around which can make it a frustrating mess trying to even get an attack
in sometimes. 

Projectiles are perhaps the biggest pain. Bowser has probably the slowest
walking speed in the game (or close, at least) and his dash attack is
borderline useless for being slow, lacking range, and suffering from big lag
afterwards. In other words, he can have a difficult time closing the distance,
and projectiles makes things even more complicated and can rip up the damage
in no time. 

Bowser is a difficult character to play, because his strengths are so obvious,
and his weaknesses are even more obvious and rather easy to exploit, especially
for expert players. If you're looking to play as Bowser even for fun, it's
important to realize his strengths and weaknesses and, even more important, to
realize that your enemies probably know them too.

~~ IV) Moves ~~

A is your standard attack button. It's different with each control setup, but 
I'm going under the assumption that most people use a Gamecube controller.
B is the special attack button. Instead of performing standard wacking attacks,
your character will do something 'special' instead.
~~Tilt <, >, V, or ^: 
Tilt means to hold a direction in one way or another (left, right, down, or
up). Tilting performs different attacks (usually quicker but weaker) with the A
button than Smashing.
~~Smash <, >, V, or ^: 
Smashes are performed by tapping in a direction and hitting the button at the
same time. If not timed properly, you'll perform a tilt attack instead. It's
possible to "charge" a smash attack by holding the A button to give the smash a
significant boost in damage. But while the smash is charging you cannot move.

A-A-A, etc.
Bowser stands in one place and swipes both claws side to side, over and over,
as long as you keep pressing A. The claw swipes are relatively fast for
Bowser's standards. The attacks have a slight knockback.
Due to the speed of the swipes and the lack of significant lag, they're
surprisingly useful. The damage is relatively weak, but that's expected. My
favorite use for this attack is when charging. Run forward at your enemy and
instead of hitting A right away, take a brief pause first. Instead of doing
Bowser's ridiculously slow and laggy dash attack, Bowser will instead run
forward and start swiping. It's a much safer way to get in close. 
Even Bowser's quick attacks have decent knockback. In smaller levels, it's
possible to get KOs by swinging your claws maniacally at enemies too close to
the edge of the screen.

Tilt < or > A
Bowser quickly punches to the left or right. This is one of Bowser's quickest
attacks, and it hits hard too. Note: If tilted slightly up or down, Bowser will
punch at an angle upwards or downwards. 
This punch has quite a bit of range to it, and is surprisingly quick to boot
and hits heavy! However, due to the lag afterwards it's not possible to use
several times in succession so it's best used every once in a while as a
surprise hit, especially when your opponent is at high percentages.
Sometimes you can get in a few good punches by bouncing your opponent against a
wall. Even if you only get a few in, the damage racks up fast!

Tilt V A
Bowser performs two quick claw swipes while ducking.
These two quick claw swipes attack a bit faster than Bowser's standing claw
swipes. At low percentages, the attack will likely hit twice for good damage,
and at higher percentages, it's usable as a KO move. It's not as effective as
Bowser's Tilt > A punch, but it's dual usage means it can come in handy for
virtually any situation. However, it is easily hopped over, so make sure your
opponent is dedicated to the ground. 
Occassionally, the swipes will cause your enemy to stumble over. It's a bit
silly though, because the attack usually knocks the enemy too far back for 
Bowser's fat behind to run in and capitalize on it.

Tilt ^ A
Bowser slashes above himself in a "rainbow" arc. 
The slash comes out quick, but has bad lag. In addition, while the arc is
fairly wide, it really only hits opponents who are above Bowser and directly
behind him. The claw doesn't hit even if your opponent is right in front of
you. So it's mostly just useful for when your opponent tries to come at you
with a quick jump on the top of your large skull. 
Since Bowser is so absurdly large, this move can oftentimes hit through a
platform if you're directly underneathe it. It's a pretty sneaky move for a
giant, fire-breathing turtle. 

Smash < or > A
Bowser cocks his head backwards, takes a slight step forward, and whips his
head directly in front of himself to produce a devastating headbutt attack.
While a bit slow to come out, this move has a surprising range to it. It's
because Bowser takes a slight step forward while attacking. The move can hit
1-2 times, and just one hit causes about 20% damage without any charge put
into it. When fully charged, this attack can kill lighter characters at 0%
damage on smaller levels. It's truly one of Bowser's most devastating attacks,
but you don't want to overuse it, because then your opponent(s) will see it
coming and dodge/counter attack. Save it for the right opportunity, and make
your enemies feel the pain of Bowser's massive skull and spikey horns. Note:
NEVER use this move if Bowser is too close, the step forward he takes will make
him completely whiff his opponent! 
Charging this attack up and actually hitting someone with it. It not only deals
an absurd amount of damage (almost 50%!), it can send lighter characters flying
sky high and crying to their mommies. Take that Jigglypuff!

Smash V A
Bowser hides in his shell and spins around on the ground. The attack is multi-
sided and multi-hitting. The spin covers the area around Bowser and maybe a
little more than that in the front and back. 
As with most down smashes, this move is primarily defensive. Use it when you're
surrounded, or when you expect your opponent to dodge or block or jump in at
you. The attack can hit multiple times, and has a nice "pop" to it if the last
hit connects (usually it does). It's also a good move to use for smaller
characters that have to get in very close to attack Bowser, such as Jigglypuff
and Kirby. 
Since this move can "trap" opponents until the last hit, it can be oh so fun to
break apart groups of three brawlers with this smash. It's rare and hard to
pull off, but watching all three opponents fly in all directions is quite a fun

Smash ^ A
Bowser ducks low to the ground, and then hops up, attempting to stab any
opponents directly above him with his spiney backside. 
This move hits fairly fast and hits very hard. The range is actually better
than his upward slash, and it seems to have less lag too, so in almost all
cases, this attack is better to use than his Tilt ^ A. And since it hits your
opponent straight into the air, it's a great finisher. It's really only useful
when your opponent is directly above you, however. It does hit just a bit if
your opponent is right in your face, but it doesn't hit nearly as well. Use
when your opponent is right above Bowser. 
Just like Bowser's Tilt ^, this move can hit through platforms. This is
especially effective if there's a group battling it out directly above you.
Smash up and watch them fly sky-high! And, to get there faster, dash forward,
stop briefly, and then up-smash while he's still sliding. 

Mid-Air A
Bowser ducks into his shell and spins wildly in all directions. If he lands on
the ground while the move is in motion, he spins a bit on the ground, not
unlike a spinning top.
This move comes out quick, and if you land during the attack, there isn't much
lag before you can move again. This makes it useful for some quick hits, but it
doesn't do enough damage or knockback to be truly effective. Only use it when
you need the speed and range isn't a priority, such as sudden death or vs.
short-ranged characters.  
Landing the move. It's just fun to watch him spin around. There are only a few
moments where Bowser actually looks "cute"--this is one of them. 

Mid-Air > A
Bowser slashes his claws forward while in mid-air.
Bowser is surprisingly quick and maneuverable in the air, and this attack comes
out quick and hits hard. Use this attack frequently. It's one of Bowser's best.
If your opponent is on a platform above you at a bit of a diagonal, do a quick
jump and slash forward. The attack is surprisingly quick for the giant Mushroom
Kingdom Menace, and will likely take your opponent off guard. You can also do a
quick jump and slash if your opponent is directly in front of you, but it can
be hard to hit smaller opponents like Olimar and Squirtle. 

Mid-Air < A
This move is a bit funny-looking. While mid-air, Bowser pushes himself
backwards in an attempt to spine enemies with his backside. When he lands on
the ground, he falls on his back and lays helplessly for a split second before
rolling himself back up. 
This move isn't quite as quick as Bowser's forward air attack, but covers a
wider range. Take note: a WIDER range, not a longer range, for length it might
actually be a teency bit shorter. You're generally better off jumping forward
to attack, but if your opponent is behind you in mid-air, there's not much of a
choice, is there? And take note of the split second it takes for Bowser to
recover after landing. That split second can be a real pain sometimes.
While your opponent is attempting to get back on the stage, jump backwards off
the platform and attempt to spine them. The wider range makes it easier to hit
them than with the forward slash. Warning: this strategy is extremely risky!
Especially considering Bowser's poor vertical recovery. 

Mid-Air V A
Flipping himself upside-down while hiding inside his shell, Bowser falls on his
backside, spining anyone caught underneathe for multiple hits. The very last
hit has very slight knockback. 
If I'm not mistaken, this attack is the only move in Bowser's arsenal that has
set knockback, as in, the knockback won't increase no matter what, even if your
opponent is at 300+%. If it didn't have such lag afterwards, it could've been
used to set up for another attack. The little push can take opponents off guard
though, because when getting hit by Bowser you're expecting to fly far, and if
it does catch them off guard, you can follow it up with another attack. But
overall, I don't find it very useful.
There's practically no killing power so there's not much fun, comparitively
speaking. However, it is fun to do a quick, surprise hop forward and land right
on top of your enemy with massive spinies. 

Mid-Air ^ A
Bowser performs a violent arc-slash directly above himself. It takes a second
or so for Bowser to wind up, but after the wind-up, the slash comes out fast.
This move was nearly useless in Melee. It was so slow that Bowser had to double
jump and use it at the peak of the jump, otherwise he didn't have enough time
to pull off the move. Thankfully, in Brawl, the move attacks about twice as
fast--still, it's pretty slow by comparison to most other characters. However,
the arc covers a decent range and the move hits hard and straight into the air.
Once you get the timing down, it's great at finishing off opponents, just so
long as you can get them in the air. 
This move seems to be even more devastating than his Smash ^, and since it's a
mid-air attack, it's even more wicked because if your opponent is too high in
the air, this attack can send them flying even at low %. Also, if you can't
reach with Smash ^ or Tilt ^ at the opponents on a platform above you, do a
short hop and hit with this move. 

Running A
Bowser "runs" (more like skids across the floor) and bucks his head forward
like a bull, attempting to shove his horns into anyone directly in front of
It's a bad idea to overuse Bowser's dash attack. It's rather slow with weak
range and a bad lag afterwards. The range in particular is the kill point for
this move, because it looks like it has longer range than it does, which can
really throw you off. The best time to use this move is when an opponent is
falling helplessly (such as Diddy after performing his rocket barrel attack).
Because of Bowser's slow movement, this may be the only attack that can get to
your opponent fast enough. Other than that, it's much better to dash forward,
take an extremely brief pause, and use Bowser's standing A-A (his swipes) or
his B-^ (spin attack) because they both attack much faster and have no
significant lag afterwards. 
As I already mentioned, this move is great fun when used to spine enemies that
are falling helplessly to the ground. It's also good for enemies that are
stunned, caught in the ground, or stumbling around. Whipping one of Diddy's
banana peals back at him and then bucking your horns into his face is very fun

Grab A, A, A, etc.
While holding his enemy tightly with his claws, Bowser smacks them in the face
with his hard head.
Bowser's grab attacks aren't that useful because he has a much better grab
attack with his B-> special. This move is used entirely for dealing damage.
After grabbing, you can usually get 1-3 hits in (depending on how damaged the
opponent already is, the higher the percentage the more hits you can get in).
It's best used to grab, get a headbutt or two in, and then throw in a
direction. Still, I don't use this very much, if at all, in actual fights.
Wacking an enemy in the head with your head is always fun, but better amusement
can be found elsewhere...

Grab >
After grabbing his opponent, Bowser puts his head down and throws them at a
diagonal forward. It almost looks like he hits them with his head, but I don't
think he does.
As I already mentioned, Bowser's B-> is much better for a throw. This throw
does a measly 10% of damage, and barely has any extra knockback when the
opponent is at higher percentages. Only use this move by accident.
This throw can screw over opponents that are too close to a walk-off edge. But
then again, so can many other characters' throws.

Grab <
Bowser lifts his opponent over his head and throws the enemy behind him.
Just like the forward throw, Bowser's backwards throw does a measly 10% of
damage with very little knockback. It only really has kill potential at the
sudden-death level of damage (300%). Well, it can probably kill a little
earlier than that, but as I've said before, there are better ways to attack
with Bowser.
Bowser's throws are all meh by comparison to his wonderfully amusing Body Slam
throw (B->).

Grab V
This move looks wrong. Bowser places his opponent on the ground; while lying
helplessly and pushing his/her arms forward in a very 'Oh-NO!' fashion, Bowser
stands tall, lifts his arms over his head, and falls right on top of the his
poor, poor victim.
Since this move does 12% damage instead of the normal 10, it's preferred over
the other two throws, but not preferred over his up throw or his B-> throw.
Taking pictures of this move after a replay is oh so fun and oh so wrong,
especially on female characters (Peach especially). The looks on their faces
and the postures look so much like they're saying "Oh God! Please don't... DO
things to me!" I'm surprised this move made it back into Brawl I really am.
Shame on you Nintendo! :-)

Grab ^
Bowser grabs his opponent, places him/her on top of himself, reverts into his
shell and spins around, hitting his opponent multiple times with his spiney
This throw is Bowser's best (besides the B->). It's still a mere 10% damage,
but since it hits your opponent into the air, it's likely that you can get a 
jumping forward slash off while your opponent is falling to the ground. I still
prefer Bowser's Body Slam attack, but since this move is a good setup for
another attack, it's not bad. 
Spining your opponents is fun, but spining and slashing? Good times.

After cocking his head back, Bowser throws his head forward--mouth agape--
spewing forth a burst of flames. The longer Bowser shoots flames, the shorter
the flame burst becomes until eventually there's little more than little spits
of fire coming from his mouth. After using the attack, it takes Bowser a few
seconds to recover and be capable of using the fire at full force again.
As can be expected, fire is a pretty effective means of dealing damage. While
it takes Bowser a second to charge the attack, and another to recover from it,
the fire deals big damage over a pretty fair distance. It's best to capture
your opponent in the middle of the flames--that way it's harder to escape one
way or the other. And, speaking of which, if you notice your opponent getting
close to either edge of the flame, stop immediately, otherwise your opponent
will likely escape and hit you before you can recover. Also, be careful at
using Bowser's fire-breath on characters with projectiles such as Link's Bow
and Zelda's Fireball, though, for some reason it stops certain projectiles like
Pit's arrows and Link's boomerang, but don't count on that too much.
Aside from dealing direct-damage, Bowser's fire-breath is excellent at lighting
up Bombs and explosives without actually hitting Bowser. So keep that in mind.
Also, when your opponent is attempting to jump back on the platform, shooting a
burst of flames can make recovery incredibly difficult and complicated.

B-> or <
This move looks a lot like Bowser's mid-air > attack, but instead of actually
hitting with his claws, Bowser attempts to grab his opponent instead. If
successful, Bowser jumps into the air with the opponent in hand, moves to the
left or right, spins him/her around, and slams to the ground.
Bowser's B-> is a very quick attack that deals decent damage (18%) and great
knockback, which increases signficantly when the opponent is at higher damage.
This attack is much preferred to Bowser's normal throws. It can also be
performed in the air, which just makes the attack all the better. One downside,
though, is that the move has very short range. So either jump in close or dash
forward before attacking, otherwise it's likely that you'll miss. It's range is
even less than Bowser's standing slash attacks (A,A), so keep that in mind.
Also, as a final note, both you and your opponent can control where you two fly
in mid-air. Whoever has the lowest percentage can control the flight the most,
I believe. 
When close to an edge, it's possible to grab your opponent and jump over the
edge, plummeting both of you into the chasm. Aside from being hilarious, this
tactic isn't too useful in Time matches, because it doesn't count as a KO
(counts as a suicide on both you and your opponent, though sometimes it gets
confused and you give your opponent a KO). But in stock matches you can do this
and win, since technically your opponent dies before you. It's a bit of a cheap
manuever, but it gives Bowser the edge against faster opponents that can knock
him silly. I'll leave it to you to decide if you want to kamikaze or not. But
kamikaze or not, controlling where to slam your opponent down can be great fun,
and quite useful to boot. Slam them on a higher platform for an easier kill;
slam them near a walk-off edge for a very easy kill. This is one of Bowser's
best and most amusing moves, so use it well and use it frequently.

In the air, Bowser squats and falls incredibly fast, directly below. After
landing, he struggles a bit to get up. When used on the ground, Bowser takes a
slight hop forward before dropping down.  
Okay so what are we talking here, one-on-one or 4-player Brawls? In one-on-one
matches, this move is a bit obvious to foresee. If you're directly above your
opponent, it's pretty easy to know what you're going to do. Smart players will
learn to avoid your fat ass. To avoid predictability, it's best not to use this
move until you're pretty close to the ground already, but not too close of
course because then you'll leave yourself open to attack. You can also use it
sometimes when you're on the ground, as the quick hop forward and down butt-
stomp can take your opponent(s) off guard. If your opponent(s) are paying
attention, it's probably best NOT to use this move. But if not, then the sheer
speed of Bowser's falling body will likely lead you to a KO. In 4-player Brawls
and online matches, this my favorite move for Bowser. Just be careful not to
use it too much or you'll get predictable. 
When using this move from the ground, the jump up Bowser does can actually hit
your opponent for minimal damage. While this in and of itself isn't that
fantastic, the hit should knock your opponent into the air and leave him/her
vulnerable for Bowser's butt stomp. This makes it easier to hit opponents with
Bowser's booty when using it from the ground.  

If on the ground, Bowser simply retreats into his shell and spins around,
attempting to slash his opponents for multiple hits (note: Bowser can move a
bit to the left or right while spinning). In the air, Bowser spins slightly
upwards, but can go a large horizontal distance at a quick pace.
This attack has several uses. The most obvious use is for recovery, and there's
not much to say about that, except that the horizontal recovery far exceeds its
vertical capacity. Another good use is to pop the smash ball. If you hit the
smash ball dead-on, it's likely you can get it even if it was undamaged. And
the final use for this move is defensive tactics. Since it's one of Bowser's
only instant attacks, you can block and then use this attack for a quick
counter. You can also use it to do a quick shift on the ground to the left or
right. It blocks some projectiles, so it's good to use as an approach against
projectile-happy players. As a warning though, the attack has some lag to it
afterwards if you were airborn while using it, which means, when using it to
recover you usually want to shoot for the ledge.
Using this attack to nullify certain projectiles (sorry, don't have a list of
all of them, though generally speaking, the larger they are the less likely it
will block them). It can really take projectile-happy players off guard.

Final Smash - GIGA BOWSER
After breaking the smash ball and hitting B, Bowser transforms into Giga
Bowser, a form that is roughly 3-4 times larger and significantly more
frightening. Many of his attacks are imbued with elemental properties, such as
fire, ice, and shadow. After a short amount of time pounding opponents' brains
in, Giga Bowser reverts back to his much smaller, though still imposing,
regular size.
~~Cool Changes:
Much of the elemental properties are just for show but one interesting
difference is Bowser's Tilt V A attack, which can cause enemies to be smashed
into the ground (similar to the pitfall item or DK's skull bash), which stuns
them long enough to setup another attack. However, sometimes the second hit
will knock the enemy out of it. Another good one to note is Bowser's Smash V A,
which can cause freezing, allowing Giga Bowser to jump into the air and finish
off helplessly falling icecubed enemies. 
~~Usage (Getting the Smash Ball):
As I already mentioned, Bowser's B-^ spin attack can smash the ball in one dead
-on hit. Another good attack to use, but only if you find yourself above the
smash ball, is Bowser's butt smash (B-V). If the ball is already damaged,
pretty much any attack of Bowser's should pop it, so use whatever is the
quickiest if it's already damaged. 
~~Usage (After the Smash Ball)
Once you pop it, you'll want to use Bowser's final smash as soon as possible.
Bowser is such a big target so it's easy to knock that ball out of him. The
most useful moves I've found when transformed are Bowser's down smash, and his
up smash. On smaller levels, just use fully-charged down smashes and you should
rack up KOs with ease. On larger levels, move close to your enemies and do a
quick down smash, followed by an up smash (charge as long as you can, depending
on how high your opponents flew from the down smash). If your opponent(s) are
at low damage, try using Bowser's tilt V A to dig them a hole, and then charge
a smash attack to blast them out of it. Don't bother using any of Bowser's
special (B) attacks, they're all fairly worthless as Giga compared to his
smashes. Giga's aerials are effective as well, but (duh), your opponents have
to be airborn for you to hit them, so setting them up with a down smash works
Playing as Giga Bowser is fun in and of itself, but what's most fun, and most
hilarious, is suiciding yourself with Bowser's Body Slam manuever. Yep, Giga 
Bowser can suicide dive too. It's a bit silly, but it actually works well in
stock matches if you're high on damage and about to revert to normal form.

~~ V) Analysis ~~

The worst use of Bowser is to abuse his smashes. While they are indeed
powerful, when your opponent(s) are at low percentages, you're not killing them
with a single smash (not likely, anyway). Not only that, but doing nothing but
smashes all the time is going to be predictable, and since his smashes are
rather slow and typically suffer from bad lag afterwards, they're easily
punishable if overused. It's more likely that you can abuse smashes in 4-player
brawls as opposed to one-on-one, but even in multiplayer fights, your opponents
will likely catch on and watch out for your smashes. So learn to be

For dealing damage, the best moves to use are the following: 
~ A-A
~ Tilt > A (use sparingly)
~ Tilt V A (use sparingly)
~ Mid-Air > A
~ Smash V A
~ B (Fire)
~ B-> (Body Slam)
His standing slash attacks are fairly quick, and when you dash forward first,
can be unexpected. The Tilt V A double-swipe attack comes out quick and works
well to poke once in a while. His Tilt > attack, similarly, is good for a jab
here and there. Bowser's Mid-Air > A slash attacks fast and can be unexpected.
The Smash V A spin attack traps and does good damage, particularly against roll
-happy opponents. Bowser's (B) fire attack is good for damage in most
situations, and hopping in with it can make it more difficult to avoid. And
finally, Bowser's B-> Body Slam attack is a quick hit for opponents that are
too close for comfort. 

Depending, of course, on the weight of your opponent, you should be looking for
a hard-hitting finisher as early as 40% for lighties like Jigglypuff, and
around 80% for heavies like Ganondorf. The following are all great finishers:
~ Smash < or > A (chargable)
~ Smash ^ A (chargable)
~ Smash V A (chargable)
~ Mid-Air ^ A
~ B-V (Butt Stomp)
In most cases, these attacks will have you covered when your opponent(s) are
at medium %. However, if these can't cut it and you end up dealing more damage
over time, a few of Bowser's quicker attacks might be preferred to avoid
getting knocked out of them, or if you too are at high damage alert. The
following are good for opponents at higher percentages, always 100% and above
(again, depending on the character's weight and their abilities to recover,
and the level's size):
~ Tilt > A
~ Tilt V A
~ Mid-Air > A
~ Mid-Air < A
~ B-> (Body Slam) 
~ B-^
The Body Slam in particular is good for finishing off lighter opponents at
higher %s. Because the attack is quick, it can catch an opponent off guard. The
Tilt > A punch does good knockback and comes out fast, as does the Tilt V (but 
with shorter range) but neither can be used quickly in sucession, so use them
wisely. Bowser's left and right mid-air attacks are very quick and can KO
significantly weakened opponents. Even Bowser's B-^ spin attack can kill
opponents at high percentages. This is especially useful as a counter-attack.
If your opponent dashes towards you, block, then B-^ and send 'em flying.

Bowser's greatest strength is being capable of KOing at lower percentages than
most other characters, but that skill only really comes from his slower
attacks, which leave him open. So, if you're highly damaged, you'll want to use
Bowser's quicker attacks. Charging up smash attacks can result in some very
fun, very lucky KOs, but luck is not always on your side.

Speaking of luck, Bowser's big hits are always big risk = big reward. At
lower %s, you shouldn't worry too much about getting KOed, so you might as well
throw some heavy hits out there to not only frighten your enemy, but to score
some big damage if they connect. Of course, even if you're ahead, you should
never let your guard down and do something stupid like charge a forward smash
from across the entire level. 

Don't be too smash-happy, flame-happy, butt-smash-happy, or any kind of trigger
-happy with Bowser. He works best when he's unpredictable, as almost all of his
moves will leave you open to attack. So don't spam any move and keep things
interesting. Use his whole aresenal of attacks (despite a few relatively
useless moves like his normal throws and his mid-air down attack).

Keep your opponent guessing and you'll have the edge. That's true for all
characters, but especially in regards to Bowser. 

~~ VI) General Strategies ~~

~~~~~ Recovering
Bowser certainly doesn't have the best recovery in the game, but it's not the
worst either. His jumps don't go too high and his B-^ spinning move doesn't
have much verticality (is that even a word?) to it. What's worse is his
recovery can be rather predictable, so here's a few hints on how to switch it
up a bit to avoid being knocked out before getting back into the game. 

~~Recovering from above
When knocked up sky high, you have a couple of options. You can either attempt
to fall fast and air dodge (shield button) right before you get hit by your 
opponent, or you can butt stomp to the ground. The Butt Stomp (B-V) is a bit
predictable, and easy to dodge sometimes, so you may just be cruisin for a
bruisin if you take that route. Falling fast and air dodging will only work if
you know how your opponent plans to attack. The only other option is to butt
stomp straight down onto the ledge. If you do it right, Bowser will grab onto
the ledge, then you can recover by pulling yourself up with an attack or
jumping over your opponent. This move is risky, as you can imagine, because if
you miss you'll fall straight into the hole. But if you do it right, you'll
totally impress your friends! (or they'll just cry and say "you got lucky!"
when you beat them, either way it's fun though). 

~~Recovering from the sides
There's not much option here. Unless you get hit really high, you won't be able
to butt stomp onto the ledge, which is the quickest and most surprising
recovery tactic for Bowser. So instead, you'll have to use your B-^ spin
recovery move. Either use it to grab onto the ledge, or you can use it to just
barely get back on without grabbing onto the ledge. If you do it just right,
you'll likely hit any opponent waiting to knock you off. (warning, if you miss,
you'll lag a bit when landing). Whether you want to grab on the ledge or not
oftentimes depends on the character you're fighting. But also, you'll want to
switch it up a bit just to make sure you stay unpredictable.

~~Recovering with B->
What's that you just said? Yes, it IS possible to recover with your Body Slam
attack. It's incredibly rare that an enemy will be right next to you while
you're trying to recover, but if that is indeed the case, you can grab them
with Bowser's Body Slam which will give you both a quick jump up. As a bonus,
if you fail at flying high enough to recover, at least you can take someone
down with you :-)

~~~~~ Flameguarding
I made this up as far as I know. Flameguarding is when you stand near the edge
of the ledge, and shoot flames down at anyone trying to recover. Sometimes,
this will cancel out their recovery moves and make them fall to their deaths.
Other times, it won't, but if you keep them in the flame long enough it will
burn huge damage on your opponents, making it easier to smash them away after
they've recovered. It's a bit of a sinister tactic, but hey, you are playing as
a villian, remember? 

~~Who to Flameguard
Those with crappy recovery moves that are fairly predictable are easily
susceptible to flameguarding. Captain Falcon is easily flameguarded; while
trying to get back on he'll get torched like crazy, and probably won't be able
to get onto the ledge. Other good candidates are Ness/Lucas if they're too
close to the ledge (since it takes a few seconds for them to aim their PK
Cannonball attack), Ganondorf is an obviously easy victim of flaming, Pit when
he's using his wings (when they're blue) and he's too close to the edge. That's
not all, but those are some of the most obvious and easiest victims.

~~Who NOT to Flameguard
Poor losers. Haha, kidding, they're the most fun. In all seriousness,
characters with tether recoveries and teleports are almost impossible to hit
with the flames. Zelda will just teleport behind you and hurt you plenty while
you're still flaming. Samus's throw-tether recovery well outranges your
flamethrower, same with Olimar when he has all his pikmin. However, Ivysuar's
isn't that long, so you might be able to hit him with it, and Olimar if he
doesn't have very many pikmin. Zero Suit Samus's tether recovery is absurdly 
large, so don't even bother trying to trap her. This might surprise you, but DK
is very hard to flame, because his B-^ recovery spin move will fly right
through the fire. 

~~Quick chart of how effective Flameguarding is on every character. (O) means
it works well; (-) means it's about nuetral; (X) means don't bother trying.
(It's assumed that each character would be trying to recover from underneathe
the platform, which is the best time to use flaming)

Captain Falcon____(O)
Captain Olimar____(-)
Diddy Kong________(-)
Donkey Kong_______(X)
Ice Climbers______(-)
King Dedede_______(X)
Meta Knight_______(O)
Mr. Game & Watch__(-)
Princess Peach____(O)
Princess Zelda____(X)
Samus Aran________(-)
Solid Snake_______(X)
Toon Link_________(-)
Zero Suit Samus___(X)

~~~~~ Edge Guarding/Hogging
I know I didn't make this one up, because this tactic as been around for a
while. Guarding the edge simply means that while your opponent is trying
recover, you stand at the edge and try to stop them. With hogging, the idea is
to "hog" the ledge by jumping onto it and hanging from it. If you're hanging
from the ledge, your opponent cannot grab on. This tactic is doubly-devilish
against characters such as Olimar who cannot recover except through tethering
onto the ledge and grabbing on. 

~~How to Edge Guard
This tactic is pretty much the same as the flameguarding technique I just
mentioned. Use whatever means you think will be most effective. If flaming will
work, use that. If not, then charge up a smash attack, or use whatever you
think will work. A lot of this is prediction. If your opponent grabs onto the
ledge, do you think (s)he will get up with an attack? If so, you can stand a
few steps back and charge up the forward smash, which will likely be far enough
away to avoid the get-up attack, but will be close enough to hit with the
forward smash. On the other hand, will your opponent try and jump from the
ledge? If so, a charged up-smash might work, or you could just stand there and
jump and attack when you see your opponent airborn. It's part luck, part skill,
but mostly prediction. If you know what your opponent will do, you can lay down
some punishment. 

~~How to Edge Hog
Edge hogging is surprisingly easy for Bowser. If you're close to the edge (but
not so close that Bowser's feet are at the very end), then you can use Bowser's
butt stomp (B-V). Bowser will take a short hop, fall down with his booty first,
and automatically grab onto the ledge. You can also just jump off and try and
grab on that way, but the booty bomb is quicker and much easier.

~~Who to Edge Guard/Edge Hog
Anyone that you can't successfully Flameguard. Flaming recovering opponents is
the most effective means of screwing them over, but if that doesn't work, you
can still guard or hog and possibly prevent them from getting back on. Players
who use tether recoveries are the most likely candidates for hogging. Many
characters have tether recoveries, but only two (Ivysaur and Olimar) can ONLY
recover through tether-means (Note: Zero Suit Samus CAN recover without tether,
her B-V is a backflip that can work as a recovery manuever). Hogging works
wonders on them, but as for all the other characters, hogging is risky, as
your opponent may knock you off while trying their recovery moves, so edge
guarding is generally a safer option. Also, it's possible to "edge guard" by
actually jumping off the edge with an attack to send your opponent flying when
they're trying to recover. As you can imagine, this is very risky. 

~~I'm SO confused!
Don't worry if you're confused, the above tactics are fairly advanced and are
mostly just for one-on-one matches. If they're too much for you, don't bother
using them. But they will make your Bowser-playing much better overall, so
practicing might be worth it if you really want to get good.

~~~~~ Defensive Flaming
The firebreath can be used defensively. It's not always reliable, but it can
come in handy when it does work. It can block certain characters' projectiles,
and it can ignite bomb-ombs running in your direction, or explosive boxes, and
if you're far enough away, the explosion won't hurt you. Two notable
projectiles that are usually stopped by Bowser's flames is Link's boomerang and
Pit's arrows. However, Link's bombs and arrows still make it through. I haven't
tested all the projectiles, but generally speaking, the bigger they are, the
less likely Bowser's flames will put them out. Another defensive tactic is
simply flaming enemies either to delay time, or to keep them busy for a while.
If you're at high damage, you might want to just flame your opponent as long as
possible. You're leaving yourself open to attack, but at the same time, you'll
weaken your opponent and make them ripe for a smashing for your next life.
Firebreath also works wonders for team matches. When smashing our way through
All-Star mode, my Bowser flamed our enemies while his Luigi uppercutted them
into oblivion! Now that's teamwork!

~~~~~ Approaching
Approaching means to, well, approach. For Bowser, and any character without a
decent-ranged projectile (or a projectile at all) approaching is of absolute
importance if you want to win. With Bowser, approaching is unfortunately rather
difficult, but here are a few techniques I've found to be most effective.

~~Dash N Slash
I mentioned this in the moves section, but in case ya missed it here it is.
Bowser's standard dash attack is terrible. It's slow, short ranged, and has
terrible, terrible lag afterwards. So instead, dash forward and before hitting
A, take a very slight pause. Instead of doing Bowser's dash attack, he'll stop
in place and start slashing. The slashes come out faster and don't leave you
open to attack afterwards. And if you hit your opponent with it, it will knock
them back and you can follow it up with another Dash N Slash!

~~Dash N Spin
This is essentiall the same tactic, but instead of slashing you use Bowser's
B-^ attack. The spin is a good defensive move because it can block some
projectiles and knock enemies out of their attacks. However, it does less
damage and since it has no significant knockback, you might be vulnerable to an
attack afterwards. It's probably better used against longer-ranged characters

~~Quick Jump and A or > A
Hopping towards the enemy is a decent tactic for Bowser because he moves
surprisingly speedy in the air. The forward slash attack covers more distance,
but seems to be more risky, as the neutral A air attack of Bowser's has less
lag at the end. However, it also has less range. But Bowser's forward slash is
easier to roll out of. Just try them both and get a feel for which attack you
like better. 

~~Quick Jump and Flame
The good ole' hop n' flame. Just do a slight jump and let those flames rip.
This isn't as effective an approach as the others, because it tends to keep
characters more at a distance, and if they want to escape from the flames they
can go backwards and still keep their distance. But it can work okay as an
approach tactic for fellow melee-only brawlers such as Captain Falcon and

You already have to be fairly close to use Bowser's butt bomb attack for it to
be an approach tactic. Or, you can try to dash forward and use it as a
surprise. You have to have the length of the move perfect in your head, though,
otherwise you're just setting yourself up for some hurt. Also, keep in mind
that Bowser can hit opponents on the way up too.

~~~~~ Directing the Body Slam (B->)
If you want to use the kamikaze tactic, the best bet is to charge an opponent
that is nearby a ledge, grab with B->, and immediately push in the direction of
the chasm. Bowser seems to move forward more easily during the slam than moving
backward, so it can be difficult to sit by the ledge and hope to spin backwards
enough to suicide-dive the both of you. It's also more difficult to maneuver
the higher your damage, so keep that in mind. If you're not going for the
kamikaze dive, directing is still important. On levels with platforms above,
try and grab an opponent below and direct them on a platform above--forcing
your opponent higher will make it all the more likely you'll score a KO. On
levels with walk-off deaths (when you can walk off the screen and die),
directing towards the edge of the screen can result in a very easy KO. And
finally, if you're playing multiplayer brawls, if you grab an opponent with the
body slam, you'll want to direct the attack AWAY from any other opponents,
otherwise it's possible you'll get knocked out of it before your opponent gets

~~~~~ One-on-One
When fighting one-on-one, you are always the focus of your opponent (unless
he's very easily distracted, in which case you don't need strategies). So when
fighting against just one opponent, you should avoid doing anything that might
be predictable. Charging smash attacks and Bowser's butt stomp are both obvious
and will likely be dodged and leave you open for attack. Fast attacks are good
to use (Bowser's Body Slam), as are long-ranged ones. Each character, of
course, requires different strategies, but overall, fighting one-on-one is much
different than group brawls. Just stay on your opponent and only use Bowser's
stronger, slower attacks when you have an opening.

~~~~~ 3-4 Player Brawls
Try, as much as possible, to avoid being the monkey in the middle. Bowser is
big and slow and can really take some severe punishment when attacked from both
sides. If you notice several players brawling it out, interrupt it with a smash
attack or Bowser's butt stomp. When recovering, if a player is busy, make sure
to stomp on top with a butt smash. It's really one of Bowser's best moves for
multi-person brawls. Avoid using the firebreath against multiple people at
once, as you'll become a target of attention for them all. Instead, only use
the firebreath when you're seperated and fighting one person at a time. If
you're caught in the middle of several brawlers, Bowser's down smash can be
good for knocking them off you. Only use Bowser's other smashes when you're on
either side of the main action. If you're caught in the middle, trying to use
Bowser's slow Smash > A headbutt will not work. The B-^ spin attack can also be
good for getting opponents away from you. When that smash ball comes, if you're
too far away, just sit still and hope it meanders on over. If it's close and
no one is nearby, jump up to it and use B-^; if hit dead-on, that smash ball is
yours. If caught in the middle with everyone nearby trying to smash it, wait a
second, then jump up and use ^ A to score that smash ball and possibly send a
brawler or two flying in the process. If you need to knock a ball out of
someone, a dead-on B-^ will likely do the job. 

~~ VII) Character-Specific Strategies ~~

~~Table of Contents~~

Mario Bros.
~~ Mario, Luigi, Peach, Bowser, Yoshi, Wario,

Legend of Zelda
~~ Link, Zelda, Sheik, Ganondorf, Toon Link

~~ Pikachu, Lucario, Pokemon Trainer, Jigglypuff

Kirby Series
~~ Kirby, Meta Knight, King Dedede

~~ Fox, Falco, Wolf

Donkey Kong Country
~~~ Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong

~~ Samus, Zero Suit Samus

Fire Emblem
~~ Marth, Ike

~~ Ness, Lucas

~~ Pit, Ice Climbers, R.O.B., Olimar, Captain Falcon, Mr. Game & Watch, Snake,
~~ Sonic

~~~~~ Mario Bros.

~~ Mario ~~
Difficulty: **--
Mario is average in pretty much every aspect. So, even though he doesn't have
any obvious strengths, he doesn't have any obvious weaknesses to exploit
either. You have him beat on range, and keeping some distance is usually a good
idea, otherwise the plump plumber can really pummel the heck out of you. Watch
out for being juggled. His cape is the trickiest move in his arsenal. When
recovering, watch out! Mario can flip you around with his cape and really screw
you over. Also, avoid charging smashes near an edge, because his water gun can
push you off and cause a very embarassing KO!
~~Final Smash: 
Mario shoots a massive fireball which grows bigger the farther it travels. It
looks kind of like this: M< As you can tell, the weak point of the attack is
directly in front of Mario, so if you time it just right, you can jump over the
fire-fury without a single scorch mark. The best way to do this is simply to
stay close in after he gets the smash ball. Then when he uses it, jump over him
as quickly as possible. 

~~ Luigi ~~
Difficulty: **--
Luigi is a unique character. He's slippery on the ground and floaty in the air.
He has a number of strong air attacks, so watch out for those, and his
uppercut is especially dangerous to you because it's easier to hit on larger
characters. If he misses, make sure to charge a smash while he's helplessly
falling to the ground. Avoid getting into an air battle at all costs. Instead,
try to stay underneathe Luigi, but watch out for his tornado attack; good Luigi
players usually use it to get back on the ground fast. Bowser's mid-air up
attack is devastating on the floaty green plumber (if you can hit him fast
enough). Bowser's tilt forward A punch is also quite effective, since it out-
ranges most of Luigi's moves and comes out fast. For the most part, he's
tougher than his brother, but he's also a floater (ha) with a bad recovery, so
once you send him flying, he'll have a hard time getting back on. 
~~Final Smash: 
Luigi's dances... weirdly, producing a very... weird aura, which is hard to
avoid, and inside the aura bubble, many bad things can happen, the worst of
which is falling asleep. Try to escape the bubble by jumping out of it. If you
can't escape, there's not much you can do but watch Luigi uppercut you good.

~~ Peach ~~
Difficulty: *---
Peach used to be the death of Bowser, but she's been toned down quite a bit for
Brawl. Her attacks are even weaker than before, and her recovery is much worse.
Even still, she has some tricks up her sleave. She can pummel you with turnips
from afar, smash you with quick attacks while up close, and counter your big
smashes with her handy 'shroom. Avoid falling on top of Peach, as her up smash
is probably her most powerful attack. Either butt stomp on her or try to fall
away from her to the left or right. She's fast and a bit tricky, but she's also
a lightweight. Your massive smashes can crush her good, just don't charge them,
otherwise you're just giving her enough time to counter you and deal big
~~Final Smash:
Peach dances cutely, mysterious peaches fall from the sky, and her enemies fall
asleep. Huh? Whatever. Peach's final is practically impossible to avoid. The
only good thing is that some Peach-users don't realize that the farther away
you are from her, the shorter you sleep. So try to stay far away, or use the
opposite approach and try and beat it out of her. Thankfully, you're heavy and
she may have a difficult time smashing you out even if you do fall asleep.

~~ Bowser ~~
Difficulty: ????
Fighting a clone of yourself is always tricky. There's not much to say because
it's really all about who has more skill. I guess I have a few things to say
though. For Bowser-users who fire-breathe a lot, use your butt stomp. Just jump
over the fire and stomp. For Bowser-users who smash a lot, hoping to get lucky,
use Bowser's quicker attacks. Most Bowser-users use him simply for his raw
power, so just try to play against that by using quicker attacks, and save the
big hits for just the right moment. 
~~Final Smash:
As you well know, Bowser transforms into the enormous Giga Bowser. While he
cannot be flinched or smashed during the transformation, he can still take
damage. So if you're healthy, you can try and live dangerously and battle Giga
Bowser to weaken him for when he transforms back into regular Bowser. If not,
then just try and roll and dodge the attacks. If I'm not mistaken, the only way
to stop Bowser during his transformation is to throw one of those giant-
explosion bombs, it will flinch him during the whole explosion (that sucks hard
when it happens to you). The only other way to escape torment is to try and
grab onto the ledge, but this is a tricky, dangerous tactic too, since it
leaves you so close to the chasm.

~~ Yoshi ~~
Difficulty: ***-
With quick hits and annoying attacks, Yoshi can be a real pain. He's not used
as often as he should be, so that's a plus, but when and if you fight him it
should be a pretty challenging fight. Watch out for quick jump attacks. Yoshi
has a move I like to call "Twinkle Toes" that hits many, many, many times and
deals A LOT of damage, particularly against biggies like yourself. Try and stop
him with Bowser's smash ^ attack, and just try and juggle him a bit. Attack
quick though, otherwise he will slam you with his own butt stomp. You can smash
him out at pretty low percentages, but you will have to deal some damage first.
Bowser's firebreathing is unfortunately rather ineffective, because Yoshi can
jump right out of it, so just stick to quick hits. Yoshi should have a
difficult time actaully finishing Bowser off, so just avoid getting juggled
around in the air, and watch out for charged smash attacks (particularly his
up smash and forward smash).
~~Final Smash:
After growing wings, Yoshi can fly around and shoot fireballs and breathe fire.
The firebreath isn't a big deal, but the fireballs hit hard, and Yoshi can hit
you over and over in the air since he can fly. Just try and dodge in the air
and roll around on the ground. His final lasts a while though, so hopefully
you're good at dodging. 

~~ Wario ~~
Difficulty: **--
Wario is a beast in the air, so avoid fighting in the air at all costs. He has
a difficult time approaching on the ground, and his range is very short there.
So firebreath him like crazy and keep slapping him around with Bowser's longer
range tilt attacks until he's ready for a good smashing. If Wario tries to
short jump at you, hit him hard with Bowser's up smash. If Wario knocks you
into the air, try and get down as soon as possible with Bowser's butt stomp, or
by simply tilting down and dodging in the air. If you're both in the air and
he's approaching from the left or right, he's not quite as dangerous, so you
can try to grab him with the body slam or slap him away with a mid-air attack.
Wario's bike shouldn't be much of a problem, just do a quick jump and smack him
off of it. Wario's fart bomb can be devastating. Just remember that he can only
use it once every two minutes or so, so when he's flashing just watch out.
Just use your reach and power advantages to send this mustachioed madman to his
~~Final Smash:
When Wario transforms, he's much faster and some of his moves do crazy, crazy
things. His down attack, while in the air, shoots him down fast, his shoulder
smash attack has a ridiculous boost in range, and he has an infinite amount of
mid-air attacks to devastate you. As per normal, avoid the air at all costs.
Just try and block and dodge his attacks.

~~~~~ Legend of Zelda

~~ Link ~~
Difficulty: **--
If it weren't for Link's many ranged attacks, he wouldn't be nearly as
difficult. His bomb, boomerang, and bow all outrange you significantly and Link
can deal a huge ammount of damage while staying safely away from your
devastating power. So (duh) try and get in close, and stay in close as much as
possible. Remember Link's super-powerful down attack from mid-air. That attack
hurts bad. Just stay in close and wack him with quick-tilt attacks and smash
him silly when he's weak. His speed isn't much better than yours, so his
biggest advantage over you is his ranged attacks. His air game isn't that good
either, despite the down attack I just mentioned. So attacking him at the sides
in the air can be a decent strategy. Just stay in close and smack him good.
~~Final Smash:
Link has to be in reaaally close to hit you with his final smash, which will
produce a very flashy set of tri-force-sword-slashes if it hits you.
Unfortunately, you have to stay in close to be able to do any damage to him.
Your best bet is to simply try and knock the ball out of him. His final smash
is about the same range as your firebreath, so don't even think about using
that (especially since it's slow to start). Just try and break that ball out of
him, that's your best bet. And, if you're playing 4-player, just run away and
hope he targets someone else. 

~~ Zelda ~~
Difficulty: ***- 
Zelda is one tough cookie. She was mostly useless in melee, but she's been
significantly powered up for Brawl. Many of her attacks hit multiple times and
can trap you in. This is especially deadly against Bowser, since he traps
easily. Her long range fireball attack is especially deadly from a distance.
She can reflect your firebreath, and her air attacks, for the most part, are
hugely powerful. Despite all this, she has two huge weaknesses. One, she's a
lightweight. Your smashes will send her a loooong distance. And number two,
once knocked into the air, Zelda has a difficult time getting back down. Her
best bet is to teleport, but if you're fast enough you might be able to juggle
her before she can pull it off. You also should be ok when fighting on the
ground at the perfect distance for firebreath (works in short bursts) and
Bowser's Tilt > A punch, which can really send Zelda flying far. 
~~Final Smash:
Zelda shoots an arrow straight ahead. If it connects, it deals a ridiculous
amount of damage. Even your bulky body may not be able to take a direct shot.
Avoid staying on the ground in a horizontal line with Zelda. Most users seem to
hesitate jumping and using it in the air (which I believe is possible),
probably because they're afraid of missing. So stay as high as possible and, if
one-on-one, try and smash the ball out of her. If playing 4-player, just hope
she targets someone else.  

~~ Sheik ~~
Difficulty: *---
The very manish version of Zelda was significantly toned down for Brawl. She
was never a heavy-hitter, but her smashes are even weaker now and she suffers
from it. Her speed, however, is still a big issue for Bowser. But even after
smacking you around a lot, Sheik will have a difficult time finishing you off.
Avoid being vertical with her. Her up smash is still a hard hitter and her mid-
air up attack can hurt you bad when you're damaged. Watch out for her knives;
they can be a pain. Just get in close and overwhelm her with your heavy-hitting
attacks. Sheik shouldn't give you too much trouble, as long as you can avoid
being juggled and overwhelmed by her sheer speed. If she tries to switch back
to Zelda to finish you off, try and get in and charge a smash attack and wack
her like crazy when Zelda pops in. 
~~Final Smash:
Pretty much identical to Zelda's, just try and avoid it by jumping up and down
like crazy, or by smashing it out of her. And, she may get to that smash ball
first, but she'll likely only damage it, leaving it weakened for you to jump in
and steal it.

~~ Ganondorf ~~
Difficulty: ----
G-dorf is probably Bowser's easiest fight. The only big thing to watch out for
when fighting G-dorf is that massive charged punch of his, so if you hear
EERRRAAAARRROOORRRRRR! then just get out of the way, or hit from a distance
with firebreath. You should have a slight speed and, for the most part, slight
reach advantage, so capitalize on those. If anyone has a worse recovery than
Bowser's, it's G-dorf's, so just try and smash him off and firebreathe when
he's trying to get back on. G-dorf isn't nearly as powerful as he was in Melee,
while Bowser actually got quite a bit MORE powerful. So this should be an easy
fight. Just don't underestimate him. Once you let your guard down, Ganondorf
will smash you good and make you cry.
~~Final Smash:
Ganondorf's final smash is ridiculously powerful, which suits him quite well.
It's practically impossible to avoid if you're in the direct-line of attack. So
once Ganondorf gets the smash ball, just stay as close as possible, and right
when he uses it, try and jump over him. That's really the only good way of
dodging the attack, unless Ganondorf was stupid and left you some room to dodge

~~ Toon Link ~~
Difficulty: ***-
Toon Link is more difficult than his older counterpart; his speed can be a real
pain to Bowser. You'll have the reach advantage, but when Toon Link gets in
close you'll have a hard time getting him off you. Not only that, but just like
his older version, Toon Link has a variety of ranged attacks. So he has the
advantage both from afar and up really close, so the best bet is to keep up at
the ideal distance for Bowser's tilt attacks and his firebreath. Again, watch
out for Toon Link's mid-air down attack, it's even faster (and thus more
deadly) than regular Link.
~~Final Smash:
Same as Link's. Just try and avoid it and smash it out of him. This is even
more difficult since Toon Link is more mobile, but, well, I said this was going
to be a hard fight. 

~~~~~ Pokemon

~~ Pikachu ~~
Difficulty: ***-
Of all the pokemons, Pikachu will probably be the most troublesome. AT ALL
COSTS: avoid staying above Pikachu. His lightening bolt attack can finish you
off even at low percentages if you're too high in the air. This means your butt
stomp is pretty much a no-no in this matchup (unless you use it to recover onto
a ledge). Pikachu's bouncy electric jolt is a pain when you're on the ground,
so try and dodge by jumping and firebreathing on him. When up close, Pikachu's
down smash can trap you and do tremendous damage/knockback, so watch out for
that. Despite all this, though, Pikachu is fairly easy to KO, especially if you
can predict his recovery. It teleports in certain directions and most players
use it predictably when recovering, so stay at the right distance and smack him
good if he teleports next to you. Overall, just keep a bit of distance from
Pikachu, but not too much, otherwise you'll get harassed by that electric
~~Final Smash:
Pikachu transforms into a giant ball of electricity and flies around wildly.
His final is impossible to predict because it's so difficult to control, so
just jump around and dodge wildly. A lot of it is luck, so just get lucky.
It's as simple as that, get lucky. Ha! If only life were so easy right? Well,
on the plus side, his final isn't really too much a threat, even if it does hit

~~ Lucario ~~
Difficulty: **--
~~Warning, it's Diversion Time~~
What happened to Mewtwo? Yes, he tied with Pichu as the worst character in
Melee, but he had plenty of potential, he was just too weak. Lucario is a lame
replacement if you ask me, especially since the style of play still feels like
you're playing a psychic type when you're really playing a Fighting/Steal. Why
does a Fighting/Steal type fall so slowly to the ground? Because he stole a
moveset from a psychic type, that's why. There were so many cooler Pokemon that
could have been used. Oh well...
~~Back to the Stratgies~~
If it weren't for the "aura" of Lucario's smashes, he wouldn't be that
challenging. But because his smashes have an extra boost in range because of
the aura, Lucario can be quite a challenge to Bowser. His ranged attack
(shadow ball?) can be deadly when charged, and his counter can be a real pain.
For the record, though, if you hold block right after Lucario teleports with
his counter, you can usually block his counter-attack. Your firebreath
outranges most of his attacks, so it can come in handy. Perhaps Lucario's most
annoying aspect is the fact that he gets more powerful at higher %s, so it's
best to try and muscle him off the stage as quickly as possible, otherwise
you're just making him more powerful. 
~~Final Smash:
Lucario jumps high into the air and unleashes a huge beam of energy (hyper
beam?) down below. The attack begins shooting directly downwards, but Lucario
can tilt it to the left or right. In levels with long horizontal platforms,
it's possible to avoid this attack in it's entirety by simply running away from
it. On shorter levels, try and move as far away from the beam as possible and
jump away if it's getting too close. Note: Like his normal moves, Lucario's
final smash does even more damage the higher his %. 

~~ Pokemon Trainer ~~
The Pokemon Trainer is usually more of a pain to play than it's worth. Why play
as three mediocre characters in one? Well, whatever. The Pokemon Trainer is
indeed three pokemon in one, but you can only have one out at a time, and if
that one pokemon has been out for too long (usually around the 2-min mark),
that pokemon gets tired and has to switch out. The final smash is exactly the
same no matter which Pokemon is out (lame) so here's the final smash.
~~Final Smash:
All three Pokemon come together and shoot powerful fire, water, and leaf
attacks! Oh nos! In all seriousness, this move does hurt pretty bad if you get
hit by it, so just try to dodge by jumping over when it attacks. If you don't
jump over in time and get hit by the full frontal assualt, it's fairly likely
that you'll be KOed, unless you were at low damage before the attack. 

~~ Squirtle ~~
Difficulty: *---
Squirtle is the fastest of the trio, but also the weakest as far as power and
range is concerned. His specials shouldn't give you too much worry; his
spinning turtleshell move is probably the most annoying of the bunch (hint: if
he comes at you with it, try and time an attack and hit him, it can cause his
shell to spin in the opposite direction and knock him off the level for an easy
KO). His Smash ^ A attack covers a good distance and is probably his most
effective attack. Other than that, most of his smashes have weak range and
aren't too threatening. Squirtle is also a bit of a lightweight, so your power
will send him flying far. Just use that reach advantage of yours and power him
into oblivion. His tiny size can be a slight annoyance, but since Bowser's
attacks typically cover a decent distance, it shouldn't be a big issue.

~~ Ivysaur ~~
Difficulry: **--
Of the three, Ivysaur is probably the most challenging for Bowser. He has
decent range with his attacks, and some of his attacks have devastating power.
His Smash ^ attack creates a huge explosion right above him, and is probably
the most powerful up smash in the game. Don't underestimate it, it WILL murder
you if you're close enough. In general, it's just a bad idea to stay anywhere
near the area directly above Ivysaur, because even if he doesn't use that
particular move, he also has a special attack that shoots bullet seeds directly
above and can deal big damage really fast, especially to larger characters such
as Bowser. So attacking vertically is out, so the best bet is either horizontal
attacks or attacking from a diagonal. Firebreathing works pretty well, just so
long as you hit him and don't let him launch those pesky razor leafs at you.
Ivysaur is actually kind of slow, and despite a few powerful attacks, most of
his moves are rather weak. So use your power to your advantage and mash him
good. Just watch out for that smash up explosion attack. Hoo boy, that one is a

~~ Charizard ~~
Difficulty: *---
~~Warning, it's diversion time~~
Rock Smash in the Pokemon series was a useless HM move that you had to give to
one of your Pokemon to advance in the game. There were literally dozens of
these tiny rocks with huge cracks in them that blocked certain pathways, and
even if your Pokemon were obscenely large with ridiculous strength and
possessed moves such as BRICK BREAK, it was absolutely impossible to crush
those tiny rocks without ROCK SMASH. It was annoying, to say the least--made
much worse is the fact that ROCK SMASH is one of the LEAST powerful moves in
the game! Apparently there's some kind of trick to breaking tiny cracked rocks,
because it certainly wasn't the move's power that knocked them away. With all
of this knowledge at Smash Bros. game designer Sakurai's disposal, he decided
to give Charizard ROCK SMASH and make it one of the most powerful moves in the
game. Huh?
~~Back to the strategies~~
Yes, ROCK SMASH is a hugely powerful move and you'll want to avoid it at all
costs. Thankfully, it has to be hit dead-on for it to really hurt, and it has
short range and takes a second for Charizard to whip that rock out. So even 
though it hits big, it's fairly easy to see coming and requires great precision
to hit. That's really Charizard's most threatening move. Overall, compared to
Bowser, Chary isn't as powerful and has less range, with about the same speed
(maybe even a tad slower). Chary has some strong smashes and some decent
mid-air attacks, but your range advantage on the ground and speed advantage in
the air should, well, give you the advantage. Charizard has a pretty decent
recovery, which definitely out-shines yours, but you should have the advantage
in pretty much every other aspect, so the difference in recovery shouldn't
matter much. You should watch out whenever recovering though. There's not much
to do to stay unpredictable, but try as hard as you can because Charizard can
punish you when you're off stage, such as using his own firebreath in your

~~ Jigglypuff ~~
Difficulty: ---- to **--
Jiggles really shouldn't give Bowser great difficulty. If she gets on top of
you, though, things can become troublesome as her quick aerial attacks just
don't stop. Make sure that doesn't happen by using your reach advantage. Don't
bother using firebreath, since she'll likely just float right over it. Even
jumping first and shooting the flames doesn't work well, because she'll float
right out of it and punish you. One of the best Bowser attacks to fight Jiggly
is, oddly enough, his Smash V A attack. Since the Jiggster has to get in so
close to attack, the spin should trap her in and deal some good damage and
knockback. Her rest attack is her most powerful move, but it's likely suicide
to use it on you: if she misses, just charge a smash and send her flying, but
even if she hits, even if it kills you, you'll likely have enough time to come
back and get your revenge with a deadly butt stomp. Jigglypuff shouldn't be too
challenging, but if you let her get too close, you'll see the potential power
of that powderpuff puffball. 
~~Final Smash: 
Jigglypuff gets big, REALLY big, and then screams at her maximum bulk, which
can deal big knockback. Let her push you around before then, it doesn't matter,
just run like crazy when she screams. 

~~~~~ Kirby

~~ Kirby ~~
Difficulty: **--
Kirby is another 'gotten better since Melee' character, especially his hammer
attack, which is now faster and more smashy. Even still, Kirby has rather weak
range compared to Bowser. I find firebreathing to be particularly effective
against Kirby, especially while he's trying to recover, because it can nullify
some of his many jumps. Kirby's jumps are weaker than Jiggly's, so it's less 
likely that he can just float right out of it. Watch out for being juggled, as
Kirby can float far with many jumps to attack you in the air. His B-^ attack
can hit on the ground from a good range. The best bet to avoid it is to jump
when you see it coming and shoot out some flames as punishment. Kirby will fly
very, very far if you hit him with a well-placed smash. So get in some good
ones and he'll be feeling the pain. Avoid using your forward smash attack
(headbutt), because his small size makes it difficult to hit dead-on. Besides,
Kirby's light, fluffyness is easy to KO and such a beast of an attack shouldn't
be necessary. And one last thing, watch out for Kirby's own (B-V) attack. It's
about the same as yours, except Kirby is practically invincible when using it.
If you manage to avoid it, punish him with your B-> body slam or a charged
smash attack.
~~Final Smash:
Kirby cooks you in a pot. Lame. This smash is not very powerful. If he's close
to you, it's difficult to avoid, but it will only KO you when you're heavily
damaged. Don't worry too much about it. 

~~ Meta Knight ~~
Difficulty: ***-
MK's tornado attack is probably the most irritating move in the entire game.
Try to avoid cramped, close-quarters combat with Meta Knight because he can
just keep spamming that move over and over for big damage. Also watch out for
MK's A-A-A attack, where he'll stand in one place and swing his sword
everywhere--it can trap you and deal big damage in a short time. If you can get
out of it, use firebreath to deal some damage back. MK's speed is not quite as
much a problem to Bowser as his many multi-hitting attacks. These attacks will
deal big damage to Bowser with ease, which will set him up for an easy KO. Even
though you're a biggie, MK can follow you into the air and punish you while
you're airborn. To avoid this, butt stomp (B-V) onto a ledge for a quick
recovery. Keep MK at a decent distance and watch out for that annoying tornado
move. Most of Meta's special attacks will leave him open to attack after they
finish if he's still in the air (such as his tornado and drill-spin) so
capitalize on him whenever you see an opening. Your aerial attacks usually have
better range and should beat him to the punch if you've got good timing, so try
fighting in the air. Just watch yourself and watch your damage. His ability to
KO is rather low, so as long as you stay at a healthy %, you're safe. 
~~Final Smash:
Meta Knight whips out a cape and if he hits anyone, the screen turns dark and
huge sword slash(es) swipe through the entire screen. Compared to the likes of
the Links and Fire Emblem guys, Meta's final is fairly weak. But it still can
KO you fairly easily at medium to high percentages. So watch out. If you see
him coming for you, just move irradically and try to dodge out of the way.

~~ King Dedede ~~
Difficulty: **--
It's your giant head vs. his giant hammer. Dedede and Bowser are evenly
matched. Overall, Bowser has more power, but Dedede has more range and better
recovery (but is also lighter). Your big hits should affect him more than his
will affect you, but his have more range. Watch out in particular for Dedede's
forward smash. While it's probably the slowest smash in the game, it likely has
even your deadly headbutt beat as far as power is concerned. Firebreath works
well at the perfect distance, but too far away and you'll get harasssed by
thrown Dees, Doos, and Gordos. Dedede's dash attack is a hard-hitter too, but
it's easy to avoid (he trips and doesn't actually hit for damage until he falls
on the ground). Dedede's charged hammer attack can deal ridiculous damage, but
it also has horrid range, so just wack him with a punch (tilt > A) if you see
it coming in time. Charging Dedede with the A-A slash should work well; don't
even bother using Bowser's normal dash attack, because it's far too slow and
you might be setting yourself up for a hammer in the face. Avoid fighting in
the air, because Dedede's multi-hitting hammer spin attacks can hurt your fat
can for big damage. Try to get to the ground fast with Bowser's butt stomp.
~~Final Smash:
King Dedede dances around cutely while a horde of Waddle Dees, Waddle Doos, and
Gordos jump and fly around all over the place. The worst place to be, it seems,
is underneathe Dedede. Much of his army seems to spawn vertically and fall
down, and then fly to the left or right. So try and stay at a diagonal up and
away from him (up up and away!). Even though Bowser is a biggie, this final
rarely finishes the job. Just watch out for getting knocked off the platform
and pushed away. Stay out of the full flurry of Dedede's army and you should be

~~~~~ Starfox

~~ Fox ~~
Difficulty: *---
Of the Starfox trio, Fox is the least of your worries. It's strange that Fox is
weaker than the other two, considering they're all characters of HIS game, but
whatever. Fox's speed is indeed a pain, as are is multi-hitting attacks that
easily trap Bowser. His smashes, though, are fairly weak, as are his aerial
attacks, and even his special attacks. Fox can do damage to Bowser, but he'll
have a hard time finishing you off. Try to keep a medium-range distance and you
should be fine. From afar, Fox can rack up the damage with his laser, and in
close, he can rack up the damage with his quick kicks. So stay at a decent
range and firebreath (his reflector doesn't work well against your breath) and
wack him with your tilt-attacks and Bowser's A-A swipes. Bowser's down-smash
can be good when Fox is up-close. Only use smashes when you're sure it will
hit, otherwise you're just setting yourself up for punishment. 
~~Final Smash:
Fox flies into the air and returns to the ground in a giant tank! Avoid the
line-of-sight with his cannon blast, as that's his most powerful attack. Just
jump around and dodge. In simplier stages, such as Final Destination, it's
difficult to avoid without some scars, but in levels with a lot of walls and
platforms, just keep running around and jumping in-between them and Fox will
have a difficult time hitting you with his clunky contraption. 

~~ Falco ~~
Difficulty: ****
By far the most difficult of the three for Bowser to deal with. By comparison
to Fox, Falco is a bit slower, but his smashes are more deadly, his aerial game
is much more lethal, and his specials are more painful. Falco's blaster, in
particular, can hit Bowser over and over again and it can prevent you from
getting in close while racking up the damage. Try and avoid it by dodging or
blocking at just the right moment. Don't even bother with firebreath, as
Falco's reflector is thrown at such a distance that it can blast the fire back
at you and probably even hit you with his reflector. Recovery can be a huge
pain when fighting Falco, because his mid-air down attack comes out quick and
can rocket you into the abyss, and sometimes his blaster can stop your
recovery. The best way to fight Falco is the same as for Fox, just try and keep
a medium distance and attack with the quickest moves in your arsenal. It's
going to be a much tougher fight though, because Falco can deal damage just as
fast as Fox, but has much more KO potential. And that blaster is such a pain
~~Final Smash:
All the Starfox guys have practically the same final smashes, and the
difficulty of avoiding them is entirely based on the level. As I said before,
there's no real good way of avoiding a few hits on a level like Final
Destination. You can try to jump and grab onto the ledge, but that's a pretty
risky trick that could land you in a world of hurt. On more complicated levels,
just dodge in-between walls and platforms to take advantage of the tanks'
clunky controls. 

~~ Wolf ~~
Difficulty: ***-
Wolf is slower than Falco, but has more punch. His blaster is much slower than
Falco's, and has shorter range, but does a bit more damage (Falco's is much
more dangerous overall though). Wolf's forward smash is one of the best in the
game, just because he dashes forward so far and smashes pretty well. So watch
out for Wolf horizontally. His aerial attacks can be deadly too, and he can
juggle you somewhat easily. Try and stick to the ground and wallop him with
your overwhelming power. Falco is the tougher fight for Bowser, but Wolf is
certainly no pushover either. Keep low and attack quick--only smash when you're
sure it will hit.
~~Final Smash: 
As I already said for Fox and Falco, simple levels are difficult to avoid
getting hit, but for more complicated levels just try and dodge in-between 
platforms and use the clunky controls of the tanks to your advantage. 

~~~~ Donkey Kong Country

~~ Donkey Kong ~~
Difficulty: ***-
In many ways, Donkey Kong has a similar amount of power and range as Bowser but
with greater speed. As you can imagine, this is quite problamatic. Try to stay
on top of him, otherwise he'll charge up his devastating punch attack. Watch
out for his ground-pound, and if DK starts using it, just try to get in with an
air attack, or jump in and flame him. Avoid cramped quarters at all costs,
because DK can really harass you against walls and hard ceilings. You don't
want to charge straight forward on the ground against DK, because his smashes
outrange you and his megapunch will hurt you bad. Keep distance with the fire
breath, try and get in with air attacks, and just hope for the best. DK is a
tough fight for Bowser.
~~Final Smash:
DK bangs his bongos. If the button presses aren't timed right, it's
ridiculously easy to dodge. But if timed just right, the attacks hit hard and
are difficult to dodge. Just try and stay away from DK's mad bongo skills,
especially when he claps (that's the strongest hit). 

~~ Diddy Kong ~~
Difficulty: ****
Diddy Kong is one of the hardest fights for Bowser. While he doesn't hit hard
like his buddy Donkey, he hits quick. His banana peals and peanuts will drive
you mad (or should I say... bananas?), and his running cartwheel attack is a
multihitter with huge combo potential. Fighting against a Diddy master is like
suicide for Bowser. As much as you may try, this will not be a fun fight. His
banana peals may make you think that fighting in the air is a good idea, but
trust me, it isn't. Diddy is even stronger in the air. Fortunately, his "kill"
moves are typically either aerials (so again, avoid the air, and watch out for
quick hops), or rather slow/weak ranged smashes. And a few of his moves,
particularly his rocket charge recovery move, will sometimes leave him open to
attack. If you see an opening, try and charge Diddy as if your life depended on
it. Because your life (as Bowser anyway) really does depend on knocking Diddy
senseless when he's open. As a final note: remember that it's possible to pick
up Diddy's banana peals and throw them back at him. Wreckless Diddy users will
leave banana peals lying around, allowing you to pick them up and give him a
dose of his own medicine. 
~~Final Smash:
Diddy flies wildly in the air and shoots exploding peanuts at you. The best way
to avoid this final smash is to jump up and down between the platforms. Always
try and keep a platform in-between you and Diddy, otherwise you'll get hit with
a barrage of exploding peanuts. Trust me, it's much worse than it sounds.

~~~~ Metroid

~~ Samus ~~
Difficulty: *---
Despite her many ranged attacks and her long-range grab, Samus isn't a huge
problem for Bowser. She's not that fast and her kill-moves are fairly weak in
range. Her charged-up, long-range blast attack will only kill you at very high
percentages. Just pummel the heck out of her and lay down some fire when she's
trying to recover by an edge (unless she uses her tether recovery, then don't).
She's a heavy too, so it's harder to knock her off than most, but because she
falls so slowly, you can juggle her like crazy and pound her away in mid-air,
assuming you can avoid those annoying little bombs she drops. 
~~Final Smash:
Samus shoots a ridiculously large beam of energy that's really hard to avoid,
the best bet is to take a similar strategy to Mario's, and stay in close when
she has the smash ball and try and jump over her when she uses it. Her's is
more difficult to avoid, however. 

~~ Zero Suit Samus ~~
Difficulty: **--
ZSS is a little more of a challenge for Bowser because of her speed, but while
she may have speed, and even decent reach with her smash attacks, she has very
little power. I'm not sure if ZSS is considered a light-weight or not, but if
not, she's at least in-between middle and light, so she's fairly easy to knock
out with powerful attacks. Firebreath is a good move to break her range
advantage. Her trickiest ability is being capable of stunning you with her
charging pistol blast and her down smash, but really, it's not as big a deal as
you might think. It can set you up for her B->, which is a curly-Q move that
hits really hard at the tip, and is slightly slow on startup. Watch out for it.
Also, watch out when falling down, as she has a ridiculously long-ranged up-
special that can juggle you around like mad. But overall, she shouldn't be
nearly as challenging as some of the other speedys out there. Just don't let
her speed overwhelm you and you should be okay.
~~Final Smash:
An aura slightly damages enemies while she puts her suit back on. Ooooo.
Despite being terribly lame, ZSS's final can score some easy KOs on highly
damaged opponents. It's fairly short-ranged though, but remember that it's a
circular aura. Just try and keep your distance. 

~~~~~ Fire Emblem

Difficulty: ***-
Marth could destroy Bowser back in the day, and while this is still a
challenging fight, it's not quite so one-sided anymore. Marth has good range
with his sword attacks, but Bowser has him matched in that regard, and is much
more powerful with his swings. Marth has a counter-attack, which can deal your
heavy power right back at you in full-force, so avoid charging smashes and
using moves too often that they become predictable. If he gets in really close,
try to use your throw. If you two clash at about his sword's length a distance,
throw quicker attacks at him such as Bowser's A,A, his Tilt > A, and his Tilt V
A. Quickly jumping and attacking can take him off guard. It's Marth's speed,
however, that will be the real pain in this fight. Since you two have about the
same range, his greater speed will likely mean you'll be hit more often.
Thankfully, your more powerful attacks means you don't have to hit as much and
can make up the damage. Also, try and close the gap with some firebreath. When
you see an opening, go for it. Just don't get greedy, otherwise you'll get
countered right in the face! 
~~Final Smash:
Marth charges straight forward with extreme speed and slashes for extreme
damage (pretty much a guarenteed KO if it hits). Avoid being directly in front
of Marth anywhere on the level, as his final shoots him a long distance
horizontaly. If you're successful at dodging, Marth will likely launch himself
straight off the stage! And yes, that IS as humorous as it sounds :-)

Difficulty: *---
Battle of the titans! Bowser and Ike both go toe to toe (or claw to sword) with
similar power, speed, and range, but with the favor slightly tilted in your
corner. You should outrange him with most of your A attacks, and his forward-B
dash attack can be nullified by your firebreath. When he puts his sword above
his head and flames begin shooting out--RUN! That attack is deadly and almost
impossible to stop, but thankfully has a rather short range. His counter attack
is a huge nuisance; avoid charging smash attacks or performing predictable
moves. Firebreath is good for racking up damage. As for mid-air, it's a toss-
up. Ike is more damaging and sometimes outranges you (such as his forward), but
Bowser has more manueverability in the air and his attacks come out quicker. If
you're good at air-striking go for it. Watch out for any of Ike's smashes,
especially when charged, you don't want to be wreckless because his smashes can
KO even a biggie like you. If you see him charging up, just blast some fire in
his face. Use your reach to your advantage, and muscle him out of the match. Be
careful when he's recovering. You CAN screw him over with firebreath, but if
you're not careful you might get hit by his whirling sword recovery move.
~~Final Smash:
Ike's attack comes out instantly and directly in front of him. Due to the
speed, unless your opponent has horrible aim, he'll likely hit you. So the best
way to avoid his smash is, right after he gets it, to attack furiously and hope
to knock him out of it. Ike's terrible speed will likely prevent him from
attacking right after he gets the smash ball, so attacking him right afterwards
is your best bet. 

~~~~~ Earthbound/Mother

~~ Ness ~~
Difficulty: **--
Ness is the psychic boy-trickster of the Smash Bros. roster. He can absorb your
fire and gain his life back. He can trap you with his own fire attack. He can
hit you from afar with powerful psychic blasts and lightening balls. He can hit
HIMSELF into you with his powerful psychic cannonball attack. He's just got a
lot of tricks up his little-boy-sleaves. Your advantage is power and range, but
Ness's quick multihitting attacks can be a real pain. His dash attack and his
jumping forward attack both shoot out psychic flashes that can interrupt your
attacks and do quick damage. His PK Fire can trap you and deal a huge amount of
damage in virtually no time. That's really Ness's biggest advantage, is being
cable of racking up huge damage in little time, and then knocking you out
effortlessly. Avoid wrecklessness, otherwise Ness will capitalize with numerous
hits. Ness's energy absorbtion move takes a second to start up, so an
unexpected firebreath can deal quick damage. Ness's greatest weakness is
recovery, so if you knock him off the ledge, shoot some fire down his way to
make recovery incredibly difficult. Watch your health and make sure Ness
doesn't damage you too much and it shouldn't be too difficult, since he'll
likely have a tough time finishing you off. 
~~Final Smash:
With all those stars falling down at you, Ness's final smash is a difficult one
to avoid indeed, but that's your best bet. Don't even try to knock the smash
ball out of him, because he can activate it as soon as he gets it. Just jump
and dodge and roll and hope for luck to be on your side. 

~~ Lucas ~~
Difficulty: **--
Lucas isn't half as tricky as Ness and doesn't have the same damage-dealing
potential, but he has more power than his psychic buddy. His psychic attacks
aren't as dangerous as Ness's, so watch out more for Lucas's aerial attacks
and his smashes. In particular, watch out for Lucas's up smash. He shoots a
hexagonal (octagonal? Pentagonal? Pentacostal? Who cares?) blast of psychic
energy that deals HUGE damage. The only up-smash more powerful than Lucas's is
Ivysaur's spore explosion (or whatever it's called). So avoid being directly
above or directly in front of Lucas at all costs. He's a bit quicker than Ness
too, at least as far as manueverability is concerned. His PK Cannonball attack
also shoots much farther, but has almost zero KO potential, it just hurts for
damage. Try to keep Lucas grounded and at a distance where you can smash him
but he can't smash you. If you get too close, try and grab him with your Body
Slam, otherwise you may get a powerful psychic blast up your... alley. 
~~Final Smash:
Lucas's stars aren't quite as damaging as Ness's, but there are more of them,
so for the most part Lucas's is a bit more threatening. The real killer for
both of their finals is when you get bounced back and forth between the stars.
So again, same as Ness's, just try and dodge them as best as you can.

~~~~~ Misc.

~~ Pit ~~
Difficulty: ****
With speed, excellent recovery, quick smashes, annoyingly multihitting moves,
and the ability to reflect your fire, Pit is a royal pain in the arse. Avoid
the air at all costs, because Pit's attacks hit hard and some of them hit many
times, and since you're a big guy, it's likely you'll get hit with the full
force of those attacks. Pit's arrows are a pain, and his spin special cannot
only reflect your fire, even more worrisome, it can hit you many times before
you can get out of it. Try to nullify Pit's speed with your B-> Body Slam
attack, and use your reach to your advantage. If Pit is flying back to the
stage with his wings, try and shoot some fire his way, you may hit him out of
his recovery and get an easy kill. Pit is one of the most annoying characters
in the game, and he's even more frustrating when you're Bowser. If you KO this
jerkface, throw a taunt his way just for me.  
~~Final Smash:
Pit's final smash is kind of pathetic. Little angels fly everywhere, which can
be dodged and blocked. They're a pain when you're already damaged, and Pit can
attack you while they're flying around, so just try to roll around and block.
If you can dodge most of them the final smash shouldn't be too big a deal. 

~~ Ice Climbers ~~
Difficulty: *--- to ****
With your reach advantage and massive power, the Ice Climbers SHOULDN'T be a
big deal, but oh boy can these little ice clubbers screw you over big time.
They can deal big damage in no time and smash you hard. Human experts of the
Ice Climbers can harness infinite grab techniques (look up "ice climbers chain
throw" on Youtube) which will basically destroy you should you ever run into
such a thing. Thankfully, I haven't, but it's something to note (you probably
shouldn't be playing Ice Climbers experts with Bowser anyway). One thing to
note is that, while most characters have trouble throwing the Ice Climbers,
Bowser can usually pull it off with his Body Slam, which will likely seperate
them. Seperation is key against the Ice Climbers, because when alone, they
aren't even half as powerful. So take them out one at time and use that massive
power and reach to your advantage. They are also weak in the air, so whenever
possible, send them flying and capitalize on their terrible air game. 
~~Final Smash:
The Ice Climbers create a huge iceburg which deals a huge amount of damage over
time. It's pretty well impossible to avoid being damaged by this massive ice-
chunk, so just try and avoid getting smashed by the climbers while the final
smash is in effect. You can also attack the iceburg, which will cause it to
receed slightly, but whenever I try this I always end up getting even more
damaged. But it is an option.

~~ R.O.B. ~~
Difficulty: ***-
R.O.B. is a surprisingly difficult character to fight. When announced, most
thought he would be like Game & Watch from Melee; that is to say, mostly fan
service with little serious potential as a contender. Not true at all. R.O.B.
has two long-range attacks that, while they can't be used quickly and
repitiously, are still annoying. He's deadly in the air, and has a lot of quick
attacks on the ground. He has a few spinning attacks than can hit Bowser for
big damage, and he has quite possibly the best recovery in the game (he fights
with Pit for the top spot). Try and keep a fire-length distance and abuse him
with fire and quick-hitting tilt attacks. Firebreathing is fairly effective
when he's trying to recover, but since his recovery is so good, he may be able
to avoid it entirely. Still, it's worth a shot. The biggest thing to watch out
for is when you're recovering. R.O.B. can fly right at you and knock you out in
mid-air. To avoid this, use Bowser's butt stomp (B-V) above a ledge to quickly
fall and grab on as a recovery. It should avoid R.O.B. for the most part. 
~~Final Smash:
R.O.B.'s eyes shoot out short-ranged lasers and his smashes become  more
powerful. Similar to Wario's transformation, just try and avoid R.O.B. while he
is going crazy. Wario is more manueverable and difficult to avoid, but R.O.B.'s
lasers can trap you and do big damage. 

~~ Olimar ~~
Difficulty: ????
Olimar can be a real pain, or he can be cake. He's a wildcard, because it
depends on how he's used. On the one hand, Olimar is a lightweight and his
attacks aren't that powerful. On the other hand, he's fairly fast (running-
speed-wise anyway), and many of his attacks have decent range. His aerials are
short-ranged, but can come out quick. His up-smash is the most deadly move in
his arsenal and comes out quick, so watch out when you're vertical with him.
Olimar, especially on the ground, is very directionally-oriented. His forward
smash hits directly forward, and his up-smash goes straight up. The best bet to
get in close is to jump at him at a diagonal to avoid both smashes, and wack
him with a quick slash. At a distance, Olimar will likely whip his many pikmins
at you, so try and firebreath them to death and while he's picking more out of
the ground, charge in with either Bowser's A-A slashes, or his forward mid-air
slash. If many pikmin are attached to you, they can deal huge damage in no
time, so get them off ASAP with Bowser's down smash. Olimar's weakest weak
point is his recovery. When low on pikmin, firebreath him when he's trying to
get back on. If he has plenty of pikmin, use the butt stomp to jump off and
grab onto the ledge so he can't grab on himself. 
~~Final Smash: 
There is no avoiding Olimar's final smash (except for maybe Pit or R.O.B.
because of their flight). Olimar jumps in his rocket ship and while flying in
the air, everyone left behind gets mercilessly pummeled by monsters for decent
damage. Then, Olimar's rocket ship falls to the ground in a big explosion. To
avoid the explosion, take note of where your character is and where the rocket
ship is falling and just try and movve out of the way. 

~~ Captain Falcon ~~
Difficulty: *---
FALCON PUNCH! FALCON KICK! YES!... WHOOOSH!--Huh? Don't you think it's odd that
C. Falcon says something manly with every move except his uppercut attack? It
just makes this weird wooshing sound. Anyway, C.Falcon isn't a big worry for
the Mario-mashing Turtle. You have a huge power advantage, and a reach
advantage. He has to get in close to do damage to you, which means he'll be in
perfect range for your devastating smashes. Falcon's speed can be a pain, but
his speed mostly just comes in running, as he's clunky in the air (but has
quick and powerful aerials, so watch out) and his attacks aren't that fast on
the ground. He'll have to deal a decent amount of damage before sending you
flying. Watch out for his Falcon Punch though. Don't even bother trying to hit
him out of it; it's safer just to dodge out of the way. Flame him hard at a
distance to rack up damage, and flame him hardcore when he's trying to recover.
Even if he manages to get back on, you should  weaken him significantly. And
finally, Falcon's forward mid-air attack (knee) can be absolutely devastating
if it hits, so try and dodge or block it at all costs. 
~~Final Smash: 
Falcon salutes and his Big Blue hovercraft racer does a drive-by. If it hits
anyone, they're transported on to a racetrack with Falcon in his vehicle, and
he drives right into them, dealing big damage. Falcon's final isn't quite as
powerful as the Fire Emblem guys (Marth, Ike), or the Zeldas (Zelda/Shiek, the
Links), but it is pretty much a guarenteed KO if he hits you at medium/high %s.
Avoid it by keeping your distance and by trying to jump over him when he does
the attack. 

~~ Mr. Game & Watch ~~
Difficulty: ****
Now here comes trouble. G&W is monster of a fight for Bowser. This might be
surprising, considering he's a lightweight, but for all sorts of areas G&W can
cause big pain to Bowser. The least worry for Bowser is from a distance,
because G&W's frying pan, while hilarious, isn't exactly threatening. But that
doesn't matter because Bowser can't do much from a distance either. At mid-
range, G&W can jump in fast and throw out some strong aerial attacks. The
biggest problem with G&W's attacks is that, while he can hit you with them,
you can't hit him. Let me explain further. When G&W whips out his snapping
turtle for instance (his back aerial attack) the snapping turtle can hit you,
but for you to hit G&W out of that attack, you'll have to hit HIM and not his
snapping turtle. There's a similar problem when fighting characters with
swords, but with G&W the problem seems even more prevalent. As for really
close-quarters brawling, G&W's matchstick, helmet, and hammers are all strong
and quick attacks, and his Judgment Hammer is a sneaky luck-attack than can
kill you at really low %s. The only real way to counter G&W as Bowser is to try
and hit him hard if you find an opening, because his light weight will send him
flying. He can recover from a long distance, but he's vulnerable to firebreath
while he's floating along with his parachute. G&W received the biggest bump up
since Melee, so watch out!
~~Final Smash: 
The giant octopus is slow moving, but it's big and its tentacles reach far. If
your damage is high, it's difficult to avoid without dying, but if you're low,
G&W can hit you multiple times before it's even much of a worry. Just try and
jump over him, or dodge underneathe if he's above you. Stick to the edges of
the level, and if you're daring, avoid him entirely by hanging from the ledge.

~~ Snake ~~
Difficulty: ***-
Snake is a powerhouse. Personally, I think he's a bit too strong. I mean, it
really doesn't make much sense that a human can hit just as hard as a demonic
reptile at least three times his mass and weight. Even less sensical, Snake has
such power in his normal attacks that many Snake-users don't even use him for
his unique special moves. He smashes way hard and has some of the strongest
ranged attacks in the game. His grenades are mostly an annoyance (remember, you
can pick them up and throw them back at him), but his stinger missile can kill
you at medium-high percentages, same with his mine and C4. He can place the
latter two at any point on the level, and hit you into them for extra damage.
You can explode his mine with your firebreath, but I'm fairly certain that
trick doesn't work on his C4. Snake's mid-air game is also quite strong, and
with fairly long reach with those beefy man-legs as well. Snake is at his
weakest when recovering. His jumps aren't too high and while riding that
satellite thingie he can't attack. So if he's close to the ledge, jump off with
a quick forward slash or Bowser's backwards mid-air attack, and then jump back
on with your jump and his B-^ spin move. Snake isn't quite as tough for Bowser
to fight as the faster characters like Meta Knight or Falco, but he's
definitely a challenge. 
~~Final Smash:
Snake gets on a helicopter and shoots grenades at you with a launcher. Avoid
the air at all costs, as Snake can juggle you like crazy until you fly off the
top of the stage. Just stay on the ground and try to roll to avoid the
grenades. It's mostly luck if you avoid them all, so good luck. 

~~ Sonic ~~
Difficulty: **--
Sonic has speed, but that's about it. He's very weak when it comes to actually
KOing opponents, and his spin attacks, while annoying, aren't that powerful.
Firebreath can usually stop him in his tracks, but you have to attack first,
otherwise he'll be in your face before your face can fire the flames. His
recovery is ridiculous, so he can keep coming at you even after you smash him
big-time. I've heard of horror stories about Sonic, but quite frankly, I
haven't seen the potential unlocked yet. He's fast, sure, but other fast
characters can deal damage quicker (Pit, Meta Knight), and yet other fast
characters can KO much better (Falco, Mr. Game & Watch). Even still, that speed
can be a nuisance, so you'll have to predict attacks and try and counter them
with your huge power. 
~~Final Smash:
Sonic turns into what looks very much like a super-saiyan version of himself,
and flies around with ridiculous speed and power. Because it's so difficult to
control, it's almost impossible to predict where he's going to go, so just try
and jump around and dodge all over the place. 

~~ VIII) Conclusion ~~

Super Smash Brothers Brawl is a copyright of Nintendo, but this guide is
copyright of the guide writer, me, Bradley Kairis. Keep in mind that just
because I've given Game FAQs the right to publish my material for free does not
mean that I am giving everyone that same right. If you would like to use my
guide on your site, please contact me first.

Contact Information:

Please, for the LOVE OF JESUS, DO NOT spam me; I get enough crap in my inbox as
it is. Before I reveal my email address, please keep in mind some guidelines I
have for contacting me.

Do NOT contact me about...
...Wii friend codes. 
...Such and such strategy didn't work for me.
...Mudkipz iz da kewlest.
...Bowzer iz dah gay.

I don't have a huge amount of time to play with strangers online, and when I
do, I pretty much just connect and play with random people. I don't want anyone
to send me emails about how such-and-such strategy didn't work for them
because, well, strategies are rather subjective. The hints/tips/strategies I've
listed are all stuff that works for me. It may not work for you. If it doesn't,
then just pick a new strategy. And finally, I really don't care how cool
Mudkips is or how homosexual you imagine make-believe characters to be. So
don't send me emails about it.

DO contact me about...
...Information/Facts that are incorrect
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If you spot some kind of factual error, I'd be more than happy to fix it. And
if you'd like to add to my guide with your own strategies and information, then
send it my way. I'll credit any corrections and/or additions to my guide with
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With that in mind, when emailing me, make sure to put "Bowser FAQ" in the
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Email: [email protected]

Thanks to Nintendo for all the great characters over the years, and for Sakurai
for making yet another excellent iteration in the Smash Brothers series. Also,
to GameFAQs for being the best source of video-game-related help, and for all
of you out there who took the time to read my first FAQ. Happy gaming!