How to Play as Kirby in Super Smash Bros. Brawl Part One: Defense

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Extended Summary:

With each new installment of the hit “Super Smash Bros.” series comes new characters, new strategies, and new battlefields. Some characters, such as Kirby, have been a part of the series since the original debuted on the Nintendo 64. Even in the 64-bit era, Kirby has exhibited speed in terms of running and attack execution, but the fact that he was so easy to launch from the stage even at a low damage percentage sent some players scurrying for another character. It’s important to understand though that any character, not just Kirby, can be played well if the player practices good strategies to minimize a character’s weaknesses while bringing to the surface the strengths. That’s what this guide is intended to do for players that play as or might be interested in playing as Kirby. One side note: controls aren’t mentioned too often in this How To because of the different controllers available. When mentioned however, the controls are for the Gamecube controller.


Minimize damage. Although this is sound advice for any character, it’s particularly important for light-weight characters like Kirby. This requires you to develop decent dodging capabilities. You can dodge in the air and on the ground. While on the ground, you can either dodge by sidestepping or by rolling out of the way. Rolling is safer, but sidestepping is quicker and it gives you a better opening to counterattack.

You can also use your defensive shield to block an attack, but the shield has limited strength and it weakens as it takes hits and time passes. It may break if the attack is too strong. The shield is weak against players wielding a fan and it’s useless if a player is using his or her final smash. The shield is less effective than sidestep dodging because you have less time to counterattack. A side note: once you stop using your shield, it will slowly regain its strength. You can tell how strong or weak it is by its size. A relatively large shield is nice and strong, but a small shield is generally ready to break. If it breaks, you’ll be stunned and defenseless for quite a few seconds. That is something you certainly don’t want to happen.

Kirby has an additional defensive move that should only be used in certain instances. While Kirby’s stone transformation is mainly an offensive move, it can serve as a wonderful defensive move as long as Kirby’s damage meter is low. The lower Kirby’s damage meter, the stronger the stone move is, and thus can absorb more attacks without failing. Keep in mind that the stone transformation is limited to just a short time, so even if your damage meter is very low, the stone transformation should only be used as an emergency measure. An example of when such a measure is needed is if a Lucas or Ness player unleashes a final smash attack. Turn into a stone just before the showering attacks hit the ground. If your damage meter is low enough, and if your timing is good, then Kirby can actually emerge with no damage. No other character in the game can do this. One final warning, even while the stone transformation is active, players can still grab you. Experiment in training mode to see just what kinds of items and final smashes can be effectively blocked by the stone transformation.

Kirby’s second additional defensive move can also be used an offensive move. Kirby’s final cutter can keep him safe from harm if another player is coming at him with a hammer, golden hammer, fire flower, explosive item, and so on. The final cutter produces a wave of energy upon landing that travels a short distance and can push other players away. Keep using the final cutter and your opponent may drop the hammer or golden hammer, giving you the opportunity to run and pick it up! Or the item may simply disappear. If your opponent is carrying an explosive item, it’ll explode and they’ll take the damage. Just remember, when you want to keep an opponent or opponents at bay, repeatedly use the final cutter move. It’s quick and reliable. Just be prepared if your opponent starts to jump over the energy waves.

One final defensive tip is know when and when not to crouch. Kirby’s small size allows him to practically become one with the ground. This means some attacks and items can literally fly overhead without hitting. For example, the uncharged super scope shots and the ray gun both will miss Kirby if he’s crouching, as will Pit’s arrows, Falco’s blaster shots, and Ganondorf’s warlock punch. Crouching can be an easy alternative to sidestepping, but only in some instances, and it’s safer as well if you’re concerned your shield will break. Once again, practice in training mode so that you know what attacks can be dodged by crouching. Better to find out there than on the actual battlefield!

Practice all forms of dodging, become comfortable with your shield, know when to crouch, and remain aware of the benefits and the weaknesses of both the stone transformation and final cutter move. If you do this, you can minimize Kirby’s primary weakness and you’ll lose fewer lives in battle because you’ll take a lot less damage. Learn how to play defensive with Kirby before you learn offensive, otherwise you’re going to lose more lives, and thus battles, than necessary.


Experiment, experiment, experiment! Spend time in training mode practicing your attacks and potential combo moves. See what fundamentally works and what doesn’t. Become comfortable with Kirby. Then, learn the basic attack patterns and defenses of the other characters so that you’ll know what to expect. Fighting against humans is very different from fighting against CPUs. Still, the moves and the physics are the same whether the character is being controlled by a human or computer. As long as you have a comfortable grasp of Kirby, general knowledge of your opponent, reliable strategies, and the ability to be flexible in a fight, you’ll win. You won’t always win, but you’ll win, and hopefully have a fun time too.

Talk with other players, learn how they play, and even face off against them. This will help you improve in more ways than one.

If you have high-speed Internet and your Wii is connected to it, try watching spectator mode to see how other real people play and what strategies they use.

You can also visit websites like YouTube and watch uploaded matches there.

Links of Interest:

Proceed to Part Two


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