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    Bowser by me frog / Decadent One

    Version: 1.0 | Updated: 04/27/04 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    |                                                                             |
    |           %%%%%%%%%% - Super Smash Brothers Melee - %%%%%%%%%%              |
    |                  ----------Bowser Experts FAQ----------                     |
    |                                                                             |
    | Information by: Decadent One |
    | Formatting by : me frog      |
                                   | Version 1.0 | Gamecube   |
                                   | Last update: April 26, 04|
                    | Rated T for TEEN | E-mail: decadence@emailaccount.com |
                    | Character FAQ    | E-mail: cskull@frogdesign.com      |
    |                                                                             |
    |              %%%%%%%%%% -  Table of Contents - %%%%%%%%%%                   |
    |                                                                             |
    |Ch.#| Name of Chapter/Sub-Section |Search| Description                    |%%%|
    |----| VERSION HISTORY             | VER. | Updates to the game            |100|
    |(01)| INTRODUCTION                | INTR | Our intros to SSBM             |100|
    |(02)| BACKGROUND                  | BACK | Background about Bowser        |100|
    |(03)| GLOSSARY                    | GLOSS|Terms of different moves in SSBM|100|
    |(04)| BOWSER IN SSBM              | BOW01| Bowser's fighting style        |100|
    |(05)| BOWSER'S ATTRIBUTES         | BOW02| Bowser's different statistics  |100|
    |(06)| BOWSER IN THREE EASY STEPS  | BOW03| Bowser's most important tech.  |100|
    |(07)| BOWSER'S GOLDEN RULE        | BOW04|What to remember most about Bow.|100|
    |(08)| MOVES                       | BOW05| Bowser's different attack types|100|
    | -- | Ground Moves                |GROUND| Bowser's ground attacks        |100|
    | -- | Aerial Moves                |AERIAL| Bowser's aerial attacks        |100|
    | -- | Special Moves               |SPECIL| Bowser's special attacks       |100|
    | -- | Grabs and Throws            | GRABS| Different grabs/throws possible|100|
    | -- | Edge Moves                  | EDGES| Bowser on the edge             |100|
    | -- | Rising Moves                | RISE | Bowser's rising moves          |100|
    |(09)| THE TRICKS OF THE TRADE     | BOW06| Surviving in bad situations    |100|
    |(10)| MOVEMENT                    | BOW07| How Bowser maneuvers           |100|
    |(11)| RACKIN' UP DAMAGE           | BOW08| Damaging your enemies heavily  |100|
    | -- | Combos                      |COMBOS| Attacking with good combos     |100|
    | -- | Set Ups                     |SETUPS| How to know your enemy around  |100|
    |(12)| COUP DE GRACE?              | BOW09| How to easily KO an opponent   |100|
    |(13)| SHUFFLED FARES?             | BOW10| Quick, powerful combos         |100|
    |(14)| LOW-ALTITUDE JUGGLES        | BOW11| Juggling the enemy             |100|
    |(15)| SHELL-SHIFTING              | BOW12| Maneuver with Whirling Fortress|100|
    |(16)| BREAKING COMBOS             | BOW13| Good Bowser combos             |100|
    |(17)| LANDING THE FORWARD SMASH   | BOW14| Bowser's key KO move           |100|
    |(18)|HOW DO I STOP SHIELDGRABBERS?| BOW15| Stopping shielders who grab you|100|
    |(19)| STAGGER TACTICS             | BOW16| Fooling other players          |100|
    |(20)| EDGE GUARDING               | BOW17| Prevent an enemy from recovery |100|
    | -- | Can Bowser... Spike?        | SPIKE| Aiming at low angles           |100|
    |(21)| HELP ME I'M FALLING         | BOW18| Returning to a platform        |100|
    |(22)| NASTY TRICKS                | BOW19| Sneaky things to do with Bowser|100|
    |(23)| ITEM USE                    | BOW20| Using the different items      |100|
    |(24)| BOWSER VS...                | BOW21| Fighting other characters      |100|
    |(25)| THE VENUE                   | BOW22| All of the different stages    |100|
    |(26)| LEGAL INFO                  | LEGAL| Legal information              |100|
    |(27)| CONTACT                     |CONTAC| Our contact information        |100|
    |(28)| CREDITS/CLOSING             | CRCL | Credits and wrap-up to this FAQ|100|
    |                                                                             |
    |              %%%%%%%%%% -  Version History - %%%%%%%%%%                     |
    |                                                                             |
    Version 1.0 (04/26/04) - Technically the first version of the FAQ. Yes it's been in
    development for a while but this is the first time all format and crap got added.
    EVERYTHING in this FAQ has been completed. Don't expect an update from me (me frog)
    for a while. Decadent One might update the FAQ though.
    |                                                                             |
    |                %%%%%%%%%% -  Introductions - %%%%%%%%%%           INTR      |
    |                                                                             |
                            Decadent One's Intro
    I've been playing SSBM almost religiously since it's release, and have travelled
    great distances to compete in high-level tournament play. This guide is the result
    of many, many discussions with various parties on Bowser. I've always played as
    Bowser in SSBM, and I use him in any other game possible. However, when I came to
    GameFAQs and Smashboards looking for help and advice on using Bowser, and using him
    well, I was generally confronted with 'use Shiek', or 'he can't be used well, he's
    crap'. No matter how hard I looked, no useful information was forthcoming. The few
    tips I was given tended to be either incredibly basic or plain wrong. I persevered,
    and even brought my own tactics and techniques to the table.
    Although many disregarded my words, there were those who were interested. After a
    while, Bowser help requests were being directed towards me, and after many topics
    the effort of repeating the same words got to me. So, I decided to turn my hand
    towards writing an FAQ, and this is the result.
                               me frog's Intro
    Greetings mortal! I am me frog, superior being and ruler of everyone. Yeah, I wish.
    Anyway, you might've noticed that my introduction is second. Now, knowing everyone,
    you people will exclaim, "WHAT? Why isn't his intro first! He is obviously a god and
    he deserves to have the first intro!" You WEREN'T saying that? Well then you
    little... okay, anyway, I had nothing to do with the information in this guide. I
    had written a FAQ for Bowser in SSBM but it's gone now and this is in it's place.
    Why is it gone? 'CAUSE IT FREAKING SUCKED! "me frog has a sucky FAQ? IT'S NOT
    POSSIBLE!" 'Course it's possible are you on crack or something? Anyway, I'm just the
    formatter for this FAQ. For anyone who has seen my other FAQs, you might've noticed
    this is a totally new format.
    Correcto, and it's staying exclusive to this FAQ. I thought if I was gonna reformat
    an entire guide, it should at least be different than my usual crap. Anyway, how did
    I get to formatting this guide? Well, I noticed that people petitioned on having the
    SSBM character FAQs removed on the "Site Suggestions" board. I step in and volunteer
    to reformat any guide and get it posted. BAM! The topic instantly hits 500 posts
    with every person (every post was a different user) saying, "We love you me frog,
    PLEASE DO THIS! IT'D BE GODLY!" Well, actually, no... that's sorta NOT how it
    happened. I actually had to suffer through arguing, pointless debate, ridicule,
    critisizing, insanity, stupidity, and stubborness before we actually got to the
    point where I would reformat any SSBM FAQ that was sent to me.
    So I don't really have anything else to say. That was some awesome story wasn't it?
    I know you're thinking, "This guy has a **** sense of humor..." Yeah, I realize that
    I throw in pathetic attempts at comedy in my FAQs but what are you gonna do about
    it? That's what I thought.
    |                                                                             |
    |                 %%%%%%%%%% -  Background - %%%%%%%%%%             BACK      |
    |                                                                             |
    Right, before I get started, some background info for clarification. Bowser first
    appeared in the NES/Famicom game Super Mario Bros, as everybody knows. While known
    as Bowser over here in the west, he's known simply as Koopa over in Japan. However,
    just like Dr. Robotnik/Eggman, neither name is 'wrong'. His given name is Bowser,
    where Koopa is his family name. So his full name and title would be 'King Bowser
    Koopa', which follows on with his children, 'Iggy Koopa', 'Lemmy Koopa' (Shigeru
    Miyamoto is reprtedly a huge fan of western rock, hence these names, and also
    'Reznor'). Also, there seems to be some confusion as to what exactly Bowser 'is'.
    Firstly, he's NOT a dinosaur. That was a myth propagated by the film.
    Quite simply, he's a Koopa. Koopas are based on the Japanese fairy tales regarding
    'Kappa', which are turtle-demons with talent for black magic. Which is more-or-less
    what Bowser is. Also, just Like Peach, Bowser bears virtually no resemblance,
    whether visually or in personality, to his counterpart in the Mario cartoons. So
    it's best to just ignore them as far as Bowser is concerned.
    |                                                                             |
    |                  %%%%%%%%%% -  Glossary - %%%%%%%%%%             GLOSS      |
    |                                                                             |
    In case you're not 'up' on all the odd terms and ackronyms in SSBM, here's a brief
    list of those that pertain to Bowser....
    Aerials - A button moves used while off the ground. Occasionally abbriviated as AFA
    (air-forward A) or fair (forward air). So, ADA is aerial down A, and nair is neutral
    Bowser Train - A wavesmash method.
    Camping - Staying in one spot, and either waiting for the enemy to come to you, or
    shooting them. Originally coined from the first-person shooter Doom.
    CC - Crouch Cancelling. Hold down to crouch while being struck to greatly reduce
    knockback from certain moves. Also used to stop a characters movement, allowing a
    quick change of direction.
    Chain-throwing - Throwing a target, grabbing them again before they recover, then
    throwing them again. Bowser's not too good at this, but he's a prime target for it.
    Comboes - Combination attacks. Attacking an opponent repeatedly in a manner that
    does not give them enough time to defend themselves.
    Dashdancing - Repeatedly slamming left and right on the control stick to repeat the
    opening dash animation on the spot. This allows quick moevement in either direction,
    without the opening dash animation giving away your movement to the enemy.
    DI - Directional Influence. While prone and airborne, use the control stick to
    influence the direction your character flies in. Used to escape comboes and chain-
    Edge-guarding - Waiting at the edge of the arena as an enemy recovers, and knocking
    them back out again. Bowser is excellent at this.
    Edge-hogging - Grabbing the edge so that a recovering opponent cannot do the same,
    and falls off the bottom.
    Fast-falling - Holding down while airborne in order to increase the speed of the
    Foxtrotting - Repeatedly slamming the control stick forwards so that you repeatedly
    use the opening dash animation rather than going into a dash. Some characters move
    faster while doing this, but it makes little real difference with Bowser.
    JC - Jump Cancelling This is cancelling the lag after certain actions by jumping.
    Dashing and shielding are both good examples of actions which benefit from JC.
    Lag - Time spent recovering after performing certain actions. The Bowser Bomb has
    huge lag afterwards.
    Launch - Propelling an opponent into the air from the ground, generally in order to
    perform juggles or aerial strikes. Originally coined from Darkstalkers/Vampire.
    Lcancelling - Tapping L (or R) as fthe character lands after performing an aerial A
    button move. This reduces lag by speeding up the recovery animation. Particularly
    useful with Bowser's back aerial and Link's down aerial.
    Low-Altitude Juggles - Repeatedly striking the enemy into the air, but not high
    enough to allow recovery.
    Meteor Cancel - Using your double jump or up+B move to halt the downward motion
    caused by Meteor Smashes. Bowser is excellent at this.
    Meteor Smash - A move that send recovering opponents down of the bottom. Can be
    Opener - Any move used to start a combo or set up. Coined from Killer Instinct.
    Power Shielding - Tapping L/R to bring up the shield at the exact point of impact,
    completely negating the attack and reflecting projectile attacks. Cannot be broken.
    Priority - Normally, when two attacks collide, they cancel each other out. However,
    some attacks are so powerful that they carry on through the enemy's attack and
    strike them. These attacks are said to have a higher priority. Bowser's shell-based
    attacks in particular have amazingly high priority. Cartian attacks have what's
    known as a 'disjointed hit-box'. This means that the attack is capable of striking
    the enemy, but cannot itself be struck. This is generally because the attack is not
    part of the attacker's body. This means that these attacks can strike through others
    regardless of priority. Examples include Marth's tippers and the blast on Bowser's
    forward smash. The term priority was coined from Darkstalkers/Vampire.
    Rising Moves - Moves performed while the character is prone. They differ depending
    on whether they are face down or face up. They are always accompanied by a brief
    flash of invulnerability. Coined from Tekken.
    Reverse Bowser Train - A wavesmash counter method.
    Set-ups - Attacking the enemy in such a manner that it allows an opening for
    another, often harder to land, move to be used. Though not a combo, and thus
    escapable, set ups often allow highre damage moves to be used.
    Shell-shifting - Bowser's use of the Whirling Fortress (up+B) to move quickly,
    instead of dodging.
    Shield-grabbing - Grabbing an attacking target while shielding. Hold L/R, block an
    incoming attack, then press A to grab. Simple. The beauty of this is that it allows
    a quick dodge by tapping a direction.
    Shine/Shine Combo - Fox/Falco's Reflector, in particular using them as close combat
    Short-hopping - Tapping the jump button lightly to perform a much lower jump than
    normal. This reduces time spent airborne and thus makes the attack faster.
    Originally coined in Street Fighter.
    Spamming - Using a certain technique or move frequently or repeatedly. Originally
    coined in Street Fighter.
    Spike/Intercept - While the target is recovering, hitting them with a downward-
    striking move that sends them off the bottom. A good example is Mario's forward
    aerial, demonstrated in the 'How to Play' in the game's menu. Bowser has no obvious
    spike moves.
    Stagger Tactics - Using the slow speed of certain moves to your advantage, generally
    by faking out the enemy's defences.
    Sweet Spot - Striking with a certain part of the attack in order to inflict greater
    damage and knockback. For instance, hitting with the centre of Roy's blade, or the
    middle of Mewtwo's tail.
    Teching - Tapping L/R as you are hurled into a solid surface, in order to quickly
    spring back to your feet. Can be done off walls and ceilings, too. The term was
    originally coined in Street Fighter.
    Tilt - Also known as 'power attacks'. Tilt the pad slightly in any direction while
    on the ground, then press A. Tapping the pad quickly all the way results in Smash
    Attacks instead.
    Tipper - Using the very tip of certain moves to inflict increased damage and
    knockback. Marth's sword and Mewtwo's psychic blasts are tippers.
    Wavedancing - Wavedashing back and forth. Like dashdancing, this allows quick
    movement in either direction without your movements being revealed to your opponent.
    Wavedashing - Air dodging into the ground at an angle in order to slide forward
    quickly. Generally done immediately after jumping. Often abbreviated as WD.
    Waveshielding - Holding down the L/R button as you wavedash, so that you slide
    forward while  shielding. Often used to shield-grab, or advance on attacking
    Wavesmashing - Wavedashing while smash-attacking. Use the Cstick to smash, as use of
    the Control Stick will stop the wavedash.
    |                                                                             |
    |              %%%%%%%%%% -  Bowser in SSBM - %%%%%%%%%%           BOW01      |
    |                                                                             |
    In SSBM, Bowser doesn't seem too fearful compared to his status as Nintendo's top
    bad guy. This is due to a few factors. First off, he's not using his full arsenal
    here. In the games, he's never relied solely on his immense physical capabilities.
    He's a potent black-magician. In SMB, he turned the Mushroom People into bricks and
    horse-hair plants. He's also shown various talents such as teleportation, levitation
    and homing-fireballs, as well as his cloned 'Koopalings'. He's also the creator of a
    large array of weapons, including his Koopa Clown Car, Mechakoopas, and the flying
    Doomships of SMB3. He's shown himself to be adept in the use of various weapons,
    like thrown hammers and spiked balls.
    As the Lord of the Koopas, he's a master of every discipline his subordinates show.
    However, in SSBM he utilises none of these things. As well as making him over-
    complicated, the inclusion of so many abilities would serve to make him unbalanced.
    In addition, his very status of top bad-guy has been a factor in his diminished
    abilities. As such an individual, it's only right that he's unmatched in his areas
    of speciality. In Bowser's case, it's his power and mass. However, unless he's
    weakened in some way, he's just better. So, his other capabilities were reduced, and
    his weaknesses exaggerated. Unfortunately, there's a fine line between under-powered
    and broken. If it was even slightly easier to bring his phenomenal power to bear, or
    if he had less lag on his moves, he may quickly become too good.
    Mewtwo, and his immense psychic capabilities, suffer from the same problem, again
    because of his status as major bad-guy. Ganondorf side-stepped this problem by being
    a 'clone', and although his speed and agility are rock-bottom, his A button moves
    weren't affected by this speed reduction, leaving Ganon laughing at his two rivals.
    All this leaves Bowser to be regarded as bottom tier by many. However, while he may
    have exaggerated weaknesses, he also has exaggerated strengths........
    |                                                                             |
    |             %%%%%%%%%% - Bowser's Attributes - %%%%%%%%%%        BOW02      |
    |                                                                             |
    There are many misconceptions about Bowser's statistics, so let's clarify these
    first. Obviously, his strength is immense. His strikes cause high damage, and hurl
    the target back with incredible force. He can KO well on low damage, and racks up
    high damage very quickly. Then there's his weight. He's heavy. Very heavy. He needs
    to be on relatively high damage to be sent flying easily, and can always rely on
    needing less damage to KO than his opponent. His priority's good, too. His shell-
    based strikes in particular have a high chance of going straight through just about
    anything short of fire and explosions. He can even cancel out Marth's tipper
    attacks. So, as you can see, where he's good, he's excellent.
    But where he's bad...... The first thing anybody ever says to rag on Bowser, is
    about his speed. This is generally wrong. His movement speed is actually very good.
    And his attack speed is generally no worse than many characters. The likes of his
    forward smash may be slow, but he also has very fast attacks, like his up-tilt and
    the Whirling Fortress. So, overall, his speed is more-or-less average. It's the lag
    AFTER attacks that gives him problems. After most attacks, Bowser is left quite
    open, and can't follow up easily, meaning combo-ing with him is difficult at best.
    This is far and away Bowser's biggest problem, and the one that should be reduced as
    much as possible when playing as Bowser. But it's not his only failing.
    His grab range is appaling. It's also very slow, to the point where shield-grabbing
    is relatively easily escaped. And if you do grab the enemy? His throws are average.
    Average damage, average force. Which is a bad thing; average just isn't good enough
    for Bowser. Then there's his dodge. It's slow, has lag afterwards, and doesn't go
    very far. Dodging can actually leave him more vulnerable than not dodging at all.
    Combined with his high traction, this makes for a poor wavedash. The rest of his
    stats are generally good for some things and bad for others. His size is definetely
    a factor in his game. On one hand, it gives his attacks a wider range. He can attack
    fairly indiscriminately, without as much need for precise aim as many characters.
    The enemy must move away completely to evade his full-body attacks. His size also
    tricks unassuming targets into thinking his range is poor. His reach may be small
    compared to his size, especially compared to DK's massive reach, but he still
    outranges most targets. However, the knife cuts both ways. His size allows him to
    strike targets with ease, but also makes him an easy target. Strikes that would
    otherwise miss smaller targets and render a gap in comboes will strike home against
    Bowser. Projectile attacks are also easy to land home against him, and spikes don't
    need as much precision as normal. Lastly, there's his recovery. The 'Fortress allows
    excellent horizontal recovery, but poor vertical recovery. Overall, Bowser is a
    character of extremes, and must endeavor to ram his strengths home while keeping his
    weaknesses out of the equation.
    This means Bowser should keep the match on his terms, which is easier said than
    |                                                                             |
    |         %%%%%%%%%% -  Bowser in Three Easy Steps... - %%%%%%%%%%   BOW03    |
    |                                                                             |
    To highlight Bowser's most important techniques (and for all those lazy sods who
    can't be bothered to read the rest), here's the Bowser Player's mantra...
    1- Lcancelling. A barrage of Lcancelled, shorthopped forward aerials is one of
    Bowser's most effective strategies. Besides, it reduces lag, and that can only be a
    good thing.
    2- Low-Altitude Juggles. Launching the enemy, then striking them again while they
    travel up, and can't yet recover. Their only option is to DI, but the area covered
    by Bowser's strikes is too great to allow escape. Fox and Falco are particularly
    vulnerable to this.
    3- Shell Shifting. Use the Whirling Fortress in lue of dodging. It's faster, less
    vulnerable, and has less lag afterwards. It can allow Bowser to shift around
    quickly, break comboes, launch targets, cancel incoming strikes, and a second
    'Fortress can be performed afterwards with reduced lag!
    |                                                                             |
    |             %%%%%%%%%% - Bowser's Golden Rule - %%%%%%%%%%      BOW04       |
    |                                                                             |
    HIT HIM BACK. The biggest mistake new Bowser players make is to play defensively.
    This doesn't work. Bowser just isn't good at it. He'll spend too much time dodging
    ineffectually, and he'll lose. If the enemy attacks you, attack him back. If he gets
    a few hits in, hit him right back. Make sure that you always get a few licks in, and
    use Bowser's biggest advantage - attrition. The combination of his power and weight
    means that trading hits is ALWAYS a good idea. Look at him. Does he look subtle to
    you? Defence by offence. Bowser's priority will allow him to cancel many incoming
    hits, and his weight means little knockback. Bowser's power will almost always put
    him ahead on damage, and his weight means that even equal damage will mean he's
    Hell, most characters will need double damage to be on the same footing. Bowser
    always needs less damage to KO than his opponent.
    |                                                                             |
    |                  %%%%%%%%%% - Moves - %%%%%%%%%%                 BOW05      |
    |                                                                             |
    Before any strategies, it's a good idea to understand how each of his moves work,
    and where they are best used.
                               Ground Moves                              GROUND
    Neutral A, A - Fast and functional. The reach may not be great, but it's primary
    purpose should be to get in quick and knock the opponent back a bit. It can set the
    enemy up nicely for a forward tilt or a forward aerial.
    Dash A - Very Good. Fast, strong, good reach and good priority. It knocks back
    exceptionally well, and sets up nicely for further attacks. Bowser may fall down
    after doing it, but the lag is deceptively short. It's the sheer speed of the lunge
    that makes this move good, and as always, a 'Fortress can be performed almost
    immediately afterwards to remove lag and reposition!
    Forward Tilt A - A quick straight punch. This move is fast, and does decent damage.
    It's best function, however, is it's knockback. It sends the enemy back a great
    distance, especially on high damage, and sends them out straight. It can be used to
    give Bowser breathing room, or as an edge-guarding move. Used to rebound a target
    off a wall, it sets up nicely for smashes. It can be quickly utilised after many
    moves, and is one of Bowser's best options in a pinch.
    Down Tilt A - Good reach, but few other advantages. It causes relatively little
    damage, and has little knockback. It's also near useless as a setup move.
    However, it hits low, which allows it to attack people who are hanging from the
    ledge. Against certain opponents, it can be used to repeatedly knock back targets
    who are aiming to grab the ledge. However, this requires good timing, and Bowser
    often has better alternatives.
    Up Tilt A - Fast, and powerful. A staple of low altitude juggles. At low damage, it
    allows Bowser to strike the enemy into the air several times quickly, until finished
    with a smash. At high damage, it proves an excellent KO move on as little as 80%
    damage, dependant on stage and opponent. It's only real weakness is it's short
    range, but Bowser can wavedash into it, or perform it quickly after an Lcancelled
    forward aerial.
    Smash Hits - Performed by slamming the stick all the way, rather than tilting it
    slightly. It is also possible to perform smash hits with the C Stick, although not
    in any of the 1 player modes. However since smash hits cannot be charged with the C
    stick, it's best for Bowser to use the normal method.
    Forward Smash A - Insanely powerful. Insane knockback. Insane priority.
    Unfortunately, it's slow and has little reach. However, it's power is too great to
    ignore, so learning to hit with this move is important. First of all, you don't have
    to be too precise. It hits a wide area around Bowser, including below and above him
    (it can strike targets hanging off the edge), and it's impact actually lasts about
    half a second. This is because there is actually a blast that occurs after the
    initial lunge. This blasy cannot generally be seen, but since it is a disjointed
    hit-box, it will pierce any move. If anything, strike early and let the enemy travel
    into it.
    It is an excellent edge-guarding move, and done this way, you may even be able to
    fully charge it! Otherwise, you'll need a set-up, or use mind-games.
    Down Smash A - Good duration, high power, multiple hits, and a powerful knockback
    strike at the end. Quite slow to wind up, but little lag afterwards. Again, use set-
    ups or mind games to hit. Also useable as an edge-guarder to targets seeking to grab
    the edge. Bowser is relatively safe while performing this move, and any enemies
    nearby will be dragged in. It requires a bit of practice to land the devastating
    final hit every time, however. The wind up for this move looks very similar to the
    wind up for his forward smash, so it can be used to fake out, as it's quicker and
    hits all around. It's also impossible for the enemy to dodge past Bowser while he's
    using this, due to this moves duration and area of effect.
    At lower damage, it is also possible to hit with this move repeatdly while next to a
    wall. Under the fin of the Great Fox in Corneria is a good place.
    Up Smash A - Bowser's fastest smash, and probably best. It hits once on the way up,
    and will strike again as Bowser lands, hitting those who dodge or block the initial
    hit. It hits primarily upwards, but strikes to both sides as well, making it a good
    edge-guarder against those recovering from high places, and is also excellent for
    low-altitude juggles. Timed right, only Kirby's Stone can pierce it from above.
                               Aerial Moves                              AERIAL
    Neutral Aerial A - Fast and safe, with good priority and decent knockback. Low
    range, however, hampers it. Lcancelled, it has virtually no lag on landing. Useful
    if Bowser is being knocked about at close quarters while airborne, as it's quick
    enough to pierce most attacks, and knocks the enemy back a good distance even at low
    damage, allowing Bowser to recover. A particularly annoying tactic is to short hop
    it at the edge as the enemy tries to recover.
    Forward Aerial A - Bowser's best aerial. It's strong, excellent knockback, good
    reach, and comes off fast. Lcancelling, again, removes almost all lag, and allows
    more attacks quickly. It strikes in front and above, and works well to repel
    opponents attempting to recover. There are very few situations where short-hopped,
    Lcancelled foraward aerials will not be of use.
    Backward Aerial A - Good reach, good speed, good priority, good power, good
    knockback. Horrible lag. This is probably the most notable move to Lcancel. Even
    Lcancelled, it's lag can render Bowser vulnerable. It's best used at great height,
    where Bowser has time to flip round completely so as to land on his feet. Can be
    quite useful in many situations, but Bowser's vulnerability after performing it
    means you'll have to choose your time well. It should also be noted that this move
    has a sweet spot. Aim to have the enemy hit by the very tip of Bowser's shell at the
    point where he thrusts out backwards. If done properly, the enemy will recieve much
    greater knockback, and without the same high trajectory of the forward aerial.
    Note that it's also possible to hit an opponent who is not behind Bowser, by making
    contact at the point where Bowser thrusts backwards. Hits done in this way are
    almost always sweet-spot hits, but lack the priority and protection of the shell
    Down Aerial A - Not a great deal of damage, and low reach. However, it knocks the
    enemy away on impact with the ground, and Lcancelling allows Bowser to react very
    quickly. It's also relatively safe, and won't leave Bowser as vulnerable as the
    Bowser Bomb will.
    Up Aerial A - Similar to the forward smash in that it's very powerful, and a great
    KO move, but slow. It has so much wind up that it takes practice to short hop while
    using it. It also alters the way Bowser moves while airborne, meaning it requires
    practice to hit with at all. Again, though, it's just too powerful to ignore. It has
    enough priority and power to completely negate just about any move coming down onto
    it. It's best used as a finisher to a series of low-altitude juggles, when it can't
    be dodged.
                              Special Moves                              SPECIL
    Neutral B - Fire Breath - Bowser's trademark move, and sadly, his worst special. It
    inflicts a painfully small amount of damage, is slow to perform, and has a lot of
    lag afterwards. It's main uses are novelty, disruption, and mine-clearing. Torching
    the enemy can sometimes put them off their rythym, but requires good mind-games to
    prove effective. Mine-clearing is much more fun. As well as the obvious (Bob-ombs,
    Proximity mines), it can also be used to set off the powerful bombs on Green Greens,
    which most opponents don't expect. It's also slightly quicker while airborne. One
    useful trait, however, is that it will stop many attacks. The few attacks that will
    go through it include Samus' Charge Beam, Mewtwo's Shadow Ball, Fox/Falco's Blaster
    and Kirby's Stone.
    Forward B - Koopa Klaw - Multiple uses, and a cool sound effect. The powerful slash
    itself is a good KO move, with nearly unassailable priority. However, it's slow, and
    Bowser lags after it. The grab is much more useful. Best performed during short-
    hopping (a nasty surprise for shield grabbers), and can even be used to grab while
    either (or both) characters are airborne. The bites on B button do more damage than
    other strikes while grabbing. It only has two throws, but both are good. The forward
    has set knockback, so works well to set up a juggle or forward aerial. The back has
    incredible force, and makes an excellent KO move, almost as good as Mewtwo's back
    throw. Try short-hopping OVER a target, or using the back throw to bounce them off a
    wall into an up or down smash. Nasty.
    Down B - Bowser Bomb - This move represents Bowser well. It's powerful, has huge
    knockback and excellent priority, but is slow to hit and is highly vulnerable
    afterwards. However, it does have it's uses. If Bowser uses it and falls past the
    edge, he'll grab on, removing all lag. Because of the moves huge power and priority,
    it's an excellent edge-guarding technique. Also, if used during high airborne
    combat, Bowser won't be left vulnerable near the enemy, it can't be blocked, only
    air-dodged (which leaves the enemy vulnerable as they fall), and it's huge knockback
    has high chance of KO'ing if it connects at such high altitudes.
    Up B - Whirling Fortress - Never actually used by Bowser prior to SSBM, it was first
    used by his eldest son Ludwig Von Koopa way back in SMW. Whatever the source, it is
    undoubtedly Bowser's greatest move, and definetely a contender for best move in the
    game. It is fast to perform, multiple hits, high impact, high damage, highly
    maneuverable, high priority, and little lag. It is incredibly versatile - it's used
    to recover, inflict damage (up to 40% in one go!), KO, launch for juggles, dodge,
    block attacks, break comboes, move quickly, and it makes a really cool noise!
    Mastering all the applications of this move is key to mastering Bowser. It can be
    used immediately following many of Bowser's moves, which reduces lag, meaning it
    will often repel attackers who mistakenly believe Bowser to be helpless after
    Bowser should use it to skid away from trouble, before diving straight back in with
    a short-hopped, Lcancelled forward aerial, or something else appropriately nasty.
    This move can be used to get Bowser out of almost any trouble, and inflicts high
    damage in the process! On addition, holding down to fast fall while it descends
    allows Bowser to pass through platforms, unlike other recovery moves like Link's
    Spin Attack. One import difference to bear in mind is that it knocks opponents away
    while grounded, and drags them in while airborne.
                              Grabs and Throws                              GRABS
    Grab - Slow, and short-reached. Nine times out of ten, the 'Klaw is better. Grab by
    pushing Z, or press A while shielding. Push A to headbutt and a direction to throw.
    Headbutt - Press A while grabbing opponent. Exactly the same as every other
    character's grab strike. And therefore too average to be noteworthy to Bowser.
    Biting is stronger.
    Forward Throw - Low damage, very low knockback. Good only for positioning the enemy.
    Back Throw - Low damage, but better knockback. Unfortunately, still inferior to the
    'Klaw's back throw.
    Down Throw - Decent Damage, but pretty much no knockback. Possible to use it for a
    set-up, though. Funny as hell, particularly for the way the enemy waves their hands
    about in desperation.....
    Up Throw - The best of the four. Good damage, and a good set-up move. It's even
    possible to chain throw Fox and Falco with this, by grabbing them again as they
                               Edge Moves                                EDGES
    Roll Over Edge - Excellent. Fast, invincible, and excellent knockback. It even
    pushes the enemy away then retreats quickly to allow Bowser room. Brilliant to
    punish edge-guarders. Performed by presing A or B while Bowser is hanging on the
    ledge and under 100% damage.
    Slap Over the Edge - Good power and knockback, but not as much reach as the roll.
    Performed by presing A or B while Bowser is hanging on the ledge and on 100% damage
    or more. Usually a forward aerial is superior.
    Dodge Over Edge - As with Bowser's other dodges, a bit rubbish, especially when
    there are violent alternatives. Performed by presing L/R while Bowser is hanging on
    the ledge.
    Jump Over Edge - Slow and vulnerable, Bowser acn't even attack duriong this
    effectively. It's always better to either Roll or forward aerial over the edge.
    Performed by pressing Y/X while Bowser is hanging on the ledge.
                              Rising Moves                               RISE
    Donkey Kick - Done by attacking while Bowser is prone and face-down. Excellent
    reach, power and knockback, and invincible to boot.
    Giant Slap - Done by attacking while Bowser is prone and face-up. Not quite as long
    reached as the donkey kick, but good nevertheless. With moves like this, it's often
    worth NOT teching.......
                              Utility Moves                              UTILTY
    Blocking Attacks - Good. Bowser's shield lasts a relatively long time, and can
    easily withstand even powerful hits. Obviously, don't abuse it, or it'll break, but
    it's generally a better alternative to dodging. Shield by simply holding L or R.
    Power Shielding - Shield at the exact point of impact. The biggest problem with
    Bowser's power shield is his own size. Unless you've rarely used his shield, the
    power shield will come out at reduced size, and won't necessarily cover his whole
    body. This means that even if your timing's spot-on, the hit may still get through.
    You could tilt the shield towards the attack, but doing this well during power
    shielding, in addition to timing it right, is exceptionally difficult. So reflecting
    projectile attacks isn't generally an option for Bowser. Becoming proficient at it,
    though, makes for an exceptionally nasty surprise. A much better use for Power
    Shielding, is up close. Power shield an enemy's initial attack, and they'll lag from
    their blocked attack, but Bowser recovers instantly.
    This trick works with every character, but is particularly useful to Bowser, as it
    allows him to bypass an opponent's speed advantage up close. Don't try it to stop
    comboes, though, as Bowser has better alternatives.
    Dodging - Press left or right while shielding. As said before, a bit crap. Slow and
    short, it'll rarely leave Bowser in a beneficial position. It's almost always better
    to use something else. At close quarters, use the 'Fortress, and at larger ranges,
    just move out of the way or block.
    Sidestep/Spot Dodge - Press down while shielding. Awful. It's slow to pull off, and
    lags afterwards. The enemy will likely just launch another attack after the first is
    dodged, and Bowser can't react quickly enough after spot-dodging to stop them. Also,
    don't use it dodge large projectiles, like Shadow Balls or Charge Beams. Bowser's so
    wide, it'll probably still be travelling through him when he stops dodging. Best not
    to use this move.........
    Air Dodging - Press L or R in the air. Add a direction for a mobile dodge. Not
    particularly bad, but Bowser is generally better off taking the hit then coming in
    afterwards for a forwad aerial. However, there are moves that the air-dodge is good
    for - projectiles and many forward aerials. Warp Stars, too. Just don't air-dodge
    too high, as Bowser's vulnerable 'till he touches down.
    Crouch Cancelling - Good and bad. Crouching while being struck renders Bowser near
    immovable. Even high knockback attacks at high damage might not shift him.
    Unfortunately, his attack options are limited while doing it. His down tilt is too
    slow to strike through most combos, and won't achieve much anyway. A better
    alternative is to crouch cancel a combo, then quickly 'Fortress through their
    attacks. Either get good enough at this that it can be done quickly enough, or use
    the Cstick to remain crouched while you rev up. This is an excellent tactic against
    characters who use many tilt combos, like Shiek and Link.
    |                                                                             |
    |           %%%%%%%%%% - The Tricks of the Trade - %%%%%%%%%%      BOW06      |
    |                                                                             |
    Now that all of Bowser's moves have been covered, on to what exactly to do with
    them. What follows is a break-down of the various situations that arise in SSBM, and
    how Bowser copes with 'em. Of course, being SSBM, these are not set in stone. They
    will not guarantee victory, nor will they work every time. SSBM is an incredibly
    open game, and there are ways through everything. But that goes for your opponent's
    strategies, too. No character or method is invincible, and you should never NEED to
    switch characters specifically to deal with something. If you're a real Bowser fan,
    then you'll realise he doesn't give up, no matter how many times he's defeated by
    Mario, Luigi, or pure happenstance. Learn what you did wrong, or what your opponent
    did right, and find a way round it.
    And don't abuse your best tactics. The more you do, the more chances you're giving
    away for your opponent to test your defences and render your best methods void. Also
    remember that just 'cos your rival knows a way through some methods, doesn't mean
    everyone does. Don't forget strategies just because the guy you play every day has
    seen it so many times he can counter it in his sleep, as your next tournament
    opponent may have never seen it before........
    |                                                                             |
    |                   %%%%%%%%%% - Movement - %%%%%%%%%%            BOW07       |
    |                                                                             |
    Moving around well is pivotal to all smashers except the most dedicated campers.
    Bowser's movement is a mixed bag. On one hand, he dashes quite quickly, but on the
    other, his jump is slow to leave the ground. Just remember to pay attention to your
    position in comparison to your enemy, and always lead with your fists flying. While
    dashing, Bowser covers ground quickly, but loses many attack options (although the
    Whirling Fortress, as always, comes off instantly). There is a remedy, however, in
    CC. While dashing, crouch. Bowser stops INSTANTLY. No skid, no lag. This can be used
    for many purposes. After the crouch, slam the other direction and he changes
    direction instantly, and doesn't become vulnerable.
    He can also grab and attack to his full ability after doing this. How about dashing
    into an up tilt? Or even a down smash? All possible, and more than that, viable.
    Then there's foxtrotting and dashdancing. Foxtrotting isn't really useful to Bowser,
    as his speed doesn't really increase. Dashdancing, however, remains useful. By
    dashing back and forth on the spot, Bowser conceals his intended direction. He can
    quickly choose which direction to move in, and the enemy won't be able to watch for
    the starting animation of his dash to give him away. He can also JC from a
    dashdance, allowing a quick swipe on approaching opponents. Wavedashing is another
    good movement technique. By air-dodging at an angle into the ground, Bowser slides
    forward quickly.
    It should be noted, however, that the timing to wavedash is different for Bowser
    than for anyone else. Due to Bowser's longer jump animation, there has to be a
    slight delay between pushing jump and dodging, to allow him to actually leave the
    ground first. While many characters use wavedashing to move quickly, Bowser cannot,
    due to it's slower starting speed. Instead, Bowser uses it to approach the enemy for
    certain approaches. Wavedashing into an opponent while shielding is an excellent way
    to close the distance without being hit away. From this 'waveshield', Bowser can
    shield grab, or use the 'Fortress. An especially good trick is to JC out of the
    shield and immediately 'Fortress. Done properly, the enemy will be dragged up too,
    and recieve collosal damage.
    The tilts can also be used while wavedashing, alleviating the up tilt's poor reach,
    allowing an alternate opener for Low-Altitude Juggles. Also, remember that Bowser
    can JC out of the wavedash at any time, which can work effectively as part of mind-
    games. A good defensive tactic is to wavedash backwards. This allows Bowser to move
    backwards while still facing the enemy, and even allowing him to strike while doing
    so! The forward tilt is particularly useful. Also useful are the Bowser Train
    wavesmash methods, which are covered in the Dirty Tricks section. Also worth noting
    is jumping. In SSBM, jumping can be achieved by either slamming the Control Stick
    up, or by pushing the Y or X button. Using the buttons rather than the stick to jump
    is definetely superior, as it allows much more precise control. It also allows
    better distance on jumps, by pushing Y/X and holding the stick all the way forward,
    which is impossible if used to jump.
    |                                                                             |
    |              %%%%%%%%%% - Rackin' Up Damage - %%%%%%%%%%        BOW08       |
    |                                                                             |
    Not only is Bowser unparallelled for damage-dealing, but he doesn't even need to
    attain high damage! A basic combo can take your opponent to the stage where they can
    be KO'd without fuss. Bowser's combos tend to be short and simple, but they do the
    job. However, set-ups are much more useful. Set ups differ from combos in that
    they're escapable. The hits do not come immediately after the last. Rather, the idea
    is to put the enemy in a position where they can be struck again, often with moves
    that you simply cannot combo into. Bowser excels at set ups, as many of his hits
    force the enemy off their feet, and his impact easily allows him to rebound targets
    off walls and floors. Another bonus is that Bowser doesn't have to specifically
    attempt a set up, as many of his methods lead to them.
    Combos, counters and throws can all lead into a string of attacks where the enemy
    has to concentrate on defending himself.
                                   Combos                              COMBOS
    Combos aren't really Bowser's forte, as many of moves are unusable due to either
    slow speed, lag afterwards, or even excessive knockback. This generally means that
    most of Bowser's combos are only two moves long. In general, use knockback moves at
    the end to allow set ups. The forward tilt is excellent for this, as it's fast
    enough to link easily and hurls the enemy straight back rather than upwards. The up
    tilt is also an excellent combo finisher, as it sets up well for low-altitude
    juggles. Use faster moves as openers, such as his neutral A,A, or his up tilt at
    lower damage. As you see, Bowser's combos are somewhat limited and rather
    simplistic. Luckily, set ups really are his speciality.....
                                   Setups                              SETUPS
    The idea here is to take your opponent of their feet, forcing some sort of recovery.
    This gives the initiative to Bowser, who should follow up with another strike. Since
    the enemy must react to your attacks, he will not be able to fight back as
    effectively as otherwise. There are pretty much three set up situations; knocked to
    the ground, bounced off a wall, and hurled into the air.
    When knocked to the ground, the enemy has 2 options. Either tech, or not. Due to the
    force and speed of their impact, teching may not be an option. Get ready to attack
    again, with either another set up, or possibly even a high impact KO move which
    would normally be difficult to strike with, like the forward smash. If they tech,
    make sure they tech straight into it.
    No character can react immediately after teching, so they will be completely
    defenceless. Perfect. If they don't tech, then attack at the appropriate moment. As
    they bounce, there is a certain point when they will be invincible. However, with a
    bit of practice, it should be easily avoided. Just strike them again, and again, and
    again. Keep them in motion, and don't let them do anything other than struggle for
    their own footing. If they land prone, then they may be able to attack while
    invincible. However, they can't do this immediately, which gives you a window to
    attack first. Bowser's dash A is good for this, as it covers distance fast, and will
    set up for aerial strikes. However, due to the scope of Bowser's attacks, most set
    ups will still be viable.
    If they get time to pull off a rising move, don't just rush in. They're invincible
    while performing this, and attack all around. However, unlike Bowser, most
    characters can't defend against airborne assaults with these moves. Jump in with an
    aerial (forward can set up again), and time it so that you strike just after they
    cease to be invincible, but haven't regained control. Bouncing people off walls is
    brilliant. Not only does it rack up damage, but it's very difficult to escape if
    done properly, and is immensely enjoyable. Let's face it; it's this kind of pure
    violence and power that people play as Bowser for. But first of all, you need a
    wall. Corneria and Peach's Castle are the best options for this. Options for
    actually bouncing the target are thankfully much larger!
    Forward aerial, forward tilt, back throw, and the Koopa Klaw's back throw are all
    excellent choices. Once bounced off the wall, the target won't be able to react
    properly, as they'll be stunned by their forced collision. However, watch out for
    players good enough to tech off the wall at such short notice. This becomes more
    likely the more times you ricochet them, so after 3 or 4 bounces, it might be a good
    idea to launch or KO. If they DO manage to tech, close quickly to attack while
    they're not ready. Another good option while next to a wall, aprticularly the one in
    Corneria, is repeatedly using the down smash. The enemy should have problems
    escaping, as the wall means that they aren't spun sround quite so wide, so they stay
    close longer.
    Just keep smashing downwards, and once enough damage has been inflicted, a forward
    smash should be easy to insert! Try smashing away from the wall, as this is likely
    where the enemy will attempt to DI to! Incidently, once your opponent realises how
    much damage Bowser's capable of doing in such a situation, they will be hesitant
    about getting in between Bowser and a wall. Rightly so. But you'll just need to
    ignore their wishes (and best interests), and position them yourself. This is one of
    the few situations where Bowser's throws can be useful. Simply shield grab (or even
    wavedash to grab), and put them where you like. Alternatively, short hop to Koopa
    Klaw, and hurl them backwards. The latter is probably the better option, as the
    force is so much greater, they won't just be able to jump away afterwards.
    Another good method (and fake out, for that matter), is to jump over them, and
    strike their back as you descend. Use either Bowser's back aerial (rememeber to
    Lcancel), or else, jump backwards and use the forward aerial instead. Incidently, a
    really nasty set up is to Koopa Klaw, back throw off a wall, then have them bounce
    straight into a down smash or up smash. You should even have time to charge them a
    bit, and with practice a Forward smash can be landed (point away from the wall, and
    let loose as they pass through you). On Corneria, it's almost a guaranteed KO!!
    Lastly, we have 'hurled into the air'. This is generally achieved via the up throw,
    the Koopa Klaw's forward throw, and the up tilt.
    It also occurs frequently against recoveries from a higher position, but I'll cover
    edge-guarding later. The up tilt can be slotted in from combos and set ups, and also
    wavedashed into if you feel the need. It's also fast enough to fit in after a
    blocked forward aerial, even before shield grabs. Once the enemy is airborne, their
    damage will affect their altitude, and therefore what an appropriate follow up
    should be. If they're barely leaving the ground, then just up tilt 'till you've got
    a bit more height. Alternatively, jump up too, and 'Fortress as you ascend the
    moment you touch them. They'll be dragged up, too, and could take as much as 40%
    damage! Once they're higher, it really depends on what you want to do with them.
    If you want to rack up high damage, use low-altitude juggles, or the 'Fortress
    trick. If you're near an edge, use a forward aerial to knock them out and move to
    edge-guarding. If they're at high damage, use an upwards move to KO; smash, tilt or
    aerial, depending on the situation. It's also worth noting that it's possible to
    Forward Smash here and have your opponent fall into it. The key is in mix ups.
    |                                                                             |
    |              %%%%%%%%%% - Coup De Grace? - %%%%%%%%%%           BOW09       |
    |                                                                             |
    Ah, yes, French for 'cut the grass'. Bad puns aside, KO'ing shouldn't be a problem
    for Bowser. In fact, you probably won't need to specifically change your approach
    due to the fact that Bowser can KO with a wide variety of moves. He KO's at such low
    damage that a KO is almost always on the cards. Simply aim for a finishing strike
    anytime you can land it. If they're high and prone, up aerial. Anytime possible,
    land the forward smash. Get them off the edge whenever possible and they're often
    utterly screwed.Remember, Bowser can often get them to an appropriately high amount
    of damage with his finishing strike anyway.......
    |                                                                             |
    |              %%%%%%%%%% - Shuffled Fares? - %%%%%%%%%%          BOW10       |
    |                                                                             |
    One of Bowser's best tactics is to use a barrage of shuffled fairs. That's 'short-
    hopped, fast-falling, l-cancel'd forward air-attacks' to you and me. Although to be
    honest, fast falling isn't really necessary with Bowser. Anyway, tap jump lightly,
    holding forward, tap A to attack, then tap L/R as you land to take away lag. This is
    quite fast, very powerful, has virtually no lag, and has great reach and priority.
    Most people don't seem to realise just how far away this move hits from, and it'll
    go through just about anything put in it's way. Good for gaining ground and pushing
    the enemy back. It'll KO, too. If the enemy blocks or spot dodges, a quick up tilt
    or 'Fortress will punish them. If they dodge away, a forward tilt (in either
    direction) works well, or simply 'Fortress into them.
    Also worth noting is that the early animation of this move strikes above Bowser. If
    the enemy is likely to go for an aerial as well, then tap A as soon as you leave the
    ground, allowing Bowser to pre-emptively strike targets in higher positions. This is
    especially useful against characters with long-reaching aerials, such as Marth and
    |                                                                             |
    |             %%%%%%%%%% - Low-Altitude Juggles - %%%%%%%%%%      BOW11       |
    |                                                                             |
    A method of striking the enemy into the air repeatedly without giving the enemy a
    chance to fight back. When struck into the air, the enemy cannot recovery 'till they
    lose momentum. This means that you can strike them again before they reach that
    point and they can't dodge. As long as you keep the enemy low enough that you can
    always reach them in time, their only option is to DI. However, due to the area
    covered by Bowser's strikes, DI'ing won't take them far enough away. Good. The moves
    used for low-altitude juggles are the 'Fortress, up tilt, up smash, and up aerial.
    Strike repeatedly to put them to an appropriate amount of damage, or until they're
    about to go high enough to escape, then finish it with an up aerial, or a slightly
    charged up smash.
    At the lowest heights, use the point blank 'Fortress (it causes a smash hit
    initially) or up tilts to start off. The initial 'Fortress can be from many sources
    - combos, counters, or even shell shifting. Slide into the target, 'Fortress again
    for height, up tilt or up smash a couple of times, then a short-hopped up aerial to
    finish. If the up aerial doesn't finish them, go up after them with another. If they
    air dodge, they're utterly prone. Fast fall down, and start again, or be waiting
    with a forward smash. If they move away normally, they're probably more concerned
    with getting back on solid ground than offence. Fast fall down with them, then veer
    in and forward or back aerial to set up or push them off the edge.
    |                                                                             |
    |               %%%%%%%%%% - Shell Shifting - %%%%%%%%%%          BOW12       |
    |                                                                             |
    Shell shifting is using the Whirling Fortress to move about. Simply tap up+B, then
    push either way to slide about. It allows Bowser to move about quickly, and with
    less vulnerability than dashing or jumping. Any enemy that gets in your way will
    simply be mowed down, taking damage. Useful to spin away from the enemy, then
    immediately retaliate. Dive back in again with a shuffled fare, um, shfflc'd fair.
    If the 'Fortress bounces them, then 'Fortress under them again. At lower damage, you
    can spin through them several times before they're bouncing high enough to get away.
    You can also spin backwards off the stage in order to grab the edge, like any other
    character wavedashing. Just remember not to get carried away - the only move that
    can be done immediately after a 'Fortress is another 'Fortress, so make sure you
    spin to an appropriate position.
    However, the 'Fortress can be utilised quickly after pretty much any move, including
    the forward smash, so spinning away is always an option. It's also possible to rev
    up, dash in to strike, then retreat with the same 'Fortress. Just make sure to hit
    with the very tip of the spin, to avoid shield grabbers. Just remember to stay
    mobile while shifting. Spinning on the spot is better done with the down smash, as
    it's near invincible.
    |                                                                             |
    |              %%%%%%%%%% - Breaking Combos - %%%%%%%%%%          BOW13       |
    |                                                                             |
    The 'Fortress is one of Bowser's fastest moves. It also hits all around
    indiscrimanately, and has excellent power and priority. This means it's his best bet
    for escaping danger. And that includes comboes. If you're getting pummeled up close
    by a fast attacker, break out with the 'Fortress. Not only does it have a very high
    chance of escape, but it'll inflict severe damage on your opponent. It can also be
    done from CC'ing. After the initial spin, a second spin can offer a tad more
    breathing room and be used to shell shift back. Alternatively, DI into an
    appropriate spot during the combo, to allow better positioning for the move to burst
    through. Bowser can easily afford to take a little extra damage if it puts him in a
    favourable position.
    As the enemy is reeling from the counter attack, it'll give Bowser room and time to
    launch his own attack. Your opponent will soon become wary after finding that combo
    attempts often result in him taking higher damage than you, and ending up on the
    recieving end of an assault. Of course, if they persist in attempting comboes, by
    all means keep punishing them for it........ One problem is opponents who have fast,
    high priority strikes, like Marth and Link. You'll often find that their attacks are
    hitting just as fast as the 'Fortress, and they are just as high priority. This will
    result in the two attacks clashing off one another, and staggering both parties.
    Since the 'Fortress was cancelled, you can't just spin away.
    Your best option is to attack back. Another 'Fortress could work, but an up tilt
    could be better at close range, and you're probably holding up anyway. Shielding
    could also work, as could DI'ing or jumping back out. These will give you time and
    space to attack anew. The best option, however, is to CC into another 'Fortress,
    timed to go just after their strike, so they can't cancel your counter again. This
    method also works if you just can't get the 'Fortress in in-time, as the enemy's
    strikes won't cancel it done this way. Remember too, that the 'Fortress can be done
    quickly after almost any missed attack, and this is often the time Bowser's opponent
    will choose to attack. If you miss, and are in danger of retaliation, spin away.
    The enemy will likely be repelled by the spin, and this method will soon deter these
    approaches. Also, if you become airborne, aim to connect with the enemy when the
    spin starts, in order to drag them up inflicting massive damage. As you end the
    spin, fast fall down again and end with a forward tilt, or even a smash. The same
    techniques can be applied to chain throw comboes, depending on the attacker. DI'ing
    occasionally works, as can a quick neutral aerial. However, sometimes you just won't
    be able to escape a chain throw until you reach a ceratin damage potential,
    depending on how good your opponent is and what character is used. Just make sure
    you really nail 'em when it's over to make up for it.
    |                                                                             |
    |         %%%%%%%%%% - Landing the Forward Smash - %%%%%%%%%%      BOW14      |
    |                                                                             |
    The forward headbutt is Bowser's most potent KO move. It also happens to be his
    hardest move to successfully land. However, there are a few factes of this move that
    remain unknown to the average smasher. Namely, immediately after the initial lunge,
    there is a massive blast. This blast extends across Bowser's entire body, and also
    about punch distance in front of his head! The blast also works to give the smash a
    duration of about half a second. The blast is also a disjointed hit box, which means
    it's priority is utterly unstoppable. The easiest way to land it is to set up for
    it. Edge guarding should also prove easy. But there are other ways. It's possible to
    land the smash as a stand alone hit.
    Even against good players. Obviously, if they open themselves by screwing up -
    shield breaks, missed Rest, or even just long wind ups at the wrong time. But it's
    also useable as long as you use it's range and priority to full. When Bowser winds
    up, he leans right back. Normally, he's leaning forward. This means that he can use
    the move's wind up to dodge attacks. Generally, the best range for this tactic is
    about 2-3 steps. Likewise, the move doesn't have anywhere near the lag people say it
    has. It's quite fast enough to strike an incoming attacker, and has such high
    priority that almost no moves can pierce it. Throw it into the mix every so often.
    You might get struck and have it cancelled, but it WILL hit on occasion.
    And the pay-off is definitely worth it! If you miss, and the enemy comes in for an
    attack, use the 'Fortress to repel them and spin away quickly.
    |                                                                             |
    |        %%%%%%%%%% - How Do I Stop Shield Grabbers? - %%%%%%%%%%   BOW15     |
    |                                                                             |
    What do you do when you leap in to forward aerial your opponent, only to be blocked
    and grabbed? Simple. Bowser has a nasty trick that people don't expect, largely
    because no other character can do it! Bowser can grab from the air using the Koop
    Klaw, and this move can't be shield grabbed! Short hop in, as if forward aerial'ing,
    and Koopa Klaw once close instead. Bite 'em a few times for good measure, then
    throw. DO NOT spam this, as the enemy will catch on. As long as you're mixing it up
    between forward aerials and Koopa Klaws, the enemy will have to be on edge, and
    that's a portion of his brain that's distracted.
    Another good method is to use the utmost reach of the forward aerial. Most
    characters don't have a grab that can reach past the tip of Bowser's swing.
    After landing (hopefully just out of grab reach), press the attack. Try wavedashing
    into your own grab, or an up tilt. Alternatively, launch yourself again, and forward
    aerial on the way up, striking the target as you leap over them. With good timing,
    you can Koopa Klaw backwards once you've cleared them to snatch them up and start
    some REAL punishment with set ups. If the enemy attempts to dodge past you, use a
    down smash. As they dodge, you can even charge it a tad. Unleash it as the dodge
    ends, and they'll be utterly unable to avoid getting struck and dragged in.
    |                                                                             |
    |               %%%%%%%%%% - Stagger Tactics - %%%%%%%%%%         BOW16       |
    |                                                                             |
    This section is on how to live up to people's expectations of a slow Bowser, and
    benefit from doing so. Matches between skilled players is often lightning fast, with
    moves being dodged and reflected in the blink of an eye. Strikes that would
    otherwise decimate the intended victim are anticipated and dodged fluidly and
    efficiently. So what do they do when some idiot deliberately attacks at a slower
    pace, causing their well-timed dodges and counters to miss the move and leave them
    open? They get confused, and lose their rhythym, that's what.
    By simply attacking slightly late, many defences are completely negated. The spot-
    dodge quickly becomes useless when stagger tactics are used, as the strike comes in
    after the dodge has been completed.
    Marth and Roy's Counter is similarly affected. Another method of staggering a strike
    is to charge smash hits. Simply hold the button when you attack, let them perform
    whatever defence they wish, then release. The forward and down smashes work
    particularly well from this. Of course, don't spam stagger tactics, as the enemy
    will simply time his defences according to the new timing. Mixing up lightning fast
    forward aerials with slightly delayed Koopa Klaws will allow any defence to be
    pierced, and your opponent will have no definite defence. Done well, this is
    incredibly unnerving, as defence suddenly becomes MUCH harder. Combined with
    'Klawing through shield grabs, and Lcancelling to tilts and the 'Fortress, there is
    no defence that Bowser cannot make a mockery of.
    |                                                                             |
    |                %%%%%%%%%% - Edge Guarding - %%%%%%%%%%          BOW17       |
    |                                                                             |
    Once the enemy goes off the edge, they're in a lot of trouble. Their options are now
    severely limited, as there's only so much they can do and still be able to recover.
    Depending on the character, they can't maneuvre well, they can't attack well, they
    can't air dodge, and they can't block. All they can do is try to get past Bowser to
    safety. Who, I might add, still has full access to his entire repetoire. How to go
    about finishing them off is dependant on the target, how high they are, and how far
    out they are. If they're recovering at a roughly even level to the stage, then
    you've got the most options. The forward smash is an excellent edge-guarder.  It has
    enough power to drive them completely off the screen, or at least too far out to
    It also has such high priority that it'll go through any recovery move. Just let it
    loose slightly earlier, and let the enemy fly into it. Since it hit's beneath
    Bowser's position as well, it'll eliminate recoveries aimed at grabbing the edge.
    Just remember to get them BEFORE they grab the egde, as they will be briefly
    invulnerable as they grab on. Incidently, edge guarding is probably the only time
    you'll ever be able to land a fully charged forward smash, so make the most of it.
    If they try to just clear Bowser, use an Up Smash, or hop backwards and forward
    aerial. If they're not far enough out to give time to smash, use the forward tilt.
    Hell, use the forward tilt sometimes anyway. It knocks the target straight out away
    from the stage without gaining much height (good against Peach, who will maintain
    any height given).
    If the target is lower than the stage, the forward smash is generally still
    effective. If the enemy is seeking to come up past the stage's lip, use a charged
    down smash, and unleash it early. It'll repel the enemy almost straight down. This
    is utterly evil against Fox and Falco, who often have no choice other than to blast
    past the lip. They even give you plenty of time to charge it fully. How considerate!
    The down tilt can be useful, but is awkward to time and doesn't have the sheer kick
    of other moves. Of course, if they're far out and only just gonna make it to the
    edge, edge hog them. That is, drop out onto the edge yourself so they can't do the
    same. Either short hop, wavedash or 'Fortress backwards off the edge.
    Against most characters, you can just get there early. However, watch for those
    that'll be attacking as they rise, like Mario and Marth. In these cases, drop off
    JUST BEFORE they grab the edge, making the most of the brief moment of
    invincibility. If they're coming in high, either go for an up aerial or up smash. If
    they're gonna clear you by a large distance (very likely in the case of Jigglypuff),
    move back and aim to use the forward aerial to bat them back out. The forward aerial
    deserves special consideration when edge-guarding. It can be used to repeatedly
    smash the enemy out, and it's range and power stop attacks getting through. Don't be
    afraid to bound out, strike them, then double jump back.
    A forward aerial done off the edge is often enough to push the enemy out to the
    point where they can no longer muster the distance needed to recover. This also
    avoids their up+B recovery move, as they need to keep it 'till they are within
    distance of the stage. DO NOT use this tactic against Falco if he's level with the
    stage. He'll Phantasm forward, recovering and spiking you into the depths. So just
    smash him out from the safe confines of the stage. If he's gonna phantasm (Fox too,
    for that matter), use the forward tilt, or a short hopped neutral aerial. Also,
    remember to use the overhead swing of the forward aerial to push them out again if
    they're recovring high. This allows Bowser to send a target that's above him off the
    edge again.
    The Bowser Bomb is also useful here. Face away from the edge, and hop backwards to
    the Bomb. You're aiming to JUST miss the edge, so that Bowser plummets and grabs the
    edge as he goes by. The force of this coming down is utterly unstoppable to recovery
    moves, and will inflict huge damage and knockback. The only problem is that if you
    miss the edge, or the enemy gets to it first, you're dead. You cannot recover in any
    way. Screw up and die. Special consideration also goes to the Fire Breath as an
    edge-guarder. I've been told loads of times to use this, as it's a 'great' edge-
    guarding move. This is crap. It is an appalling edge-guarder. Not only will it's
    constant stream of hits allow the enemy to repeatedly utilise their up+B, but it
    will give them the perfect opportunity to do so while Bowser lags after the fire has
    been stopped or finished.
    Compared to his other edge-guarding options, it's not really that appealing, is it?
    On an extra note, never throw weak items to edge-guard. The likes of Mr. Saturn, and
    Link's Bombs will only serve to give the enemy another up+B. If the enemy DOES make
    it to the edge, get back. Whether they use an edge-borne attack, or something nasty
    like dropping off, jumping up and attacking quickly, it'd be best not to stand in
    the way. Also, if they dodge or jump, they may get straight past you. As they grab
    the edge, jump backward (not short hop, get some height), but at the peak of your
    jump, get ready to judge their position and come down on them with a forward aerial
    ready to send them back out again.
                           Can Bowser... Spike?                          SPIKE
    Strictly speaking, no he can't. But he does have a few methods of  aiming the enemy
    down at such a low angle that recovery is pretty much screwed.  Striking with the
    forward aerial from above, so that Bowser's main mass is above the enemy, will
    result in a low trajectory. The neutral aerial can also hurl the enemy down, if used
    on its descent and from above. It's best to short hop just above the edge and strike
    from slightly above and to-the-side, to strike down at an angle. Very good to repel
    opponents who are using their double jump to recover. Simply short hop a tad early
    and come down onto them each time they try to recover. Also worth noting is Bowser's
    forward smash. This move sends the enemy out directly away from the centre of the
    blast, which is pretty much on his head.
    This is why the move usually has such a high trajectory normally - Bowser's head is
    low at the point of impact. This is also why it will occasionally result in the
    enemy flying backwards rather than forward when hit.Aim to hit them as they come up
    into it, and they'll fly staright back down. Likewise, opponent's who are CC'ing are
    in for a nasty surprise, as the resulting trajectory is horribly low! CC may
    sometimes reduce the knockback, but this move has knockback to spare.
    |                                                                             |
    |              %%%%%%%%%% - Help Me I'm Falling - %%%%%%%%%%      BOW18       |
    |                                                                             |
    So, you've been sent off the edge yourself, and the enemy doesn't want to let you
    come back. Damn unsporting. He's got two options - edge-guarding, and spiking. If
    you're high, use the 'Fortress's huge distance to clear them. If you're level, then
    it might be a good idea to drop low and aim for the edge. Grab it, then quickly roll
    over. Some opponent's may aim to use an aerial move, either to hurl you out again
    (Shiek, Bowser!), or to spike you (Mario, Yoshi). Against these, wait 'till you're
    close enough to make them leap out, then fast fall down under their attack and
    quickly get to the edge before they can back to you. If you're close enough, it
    might be safer to airdodge to the edge, maybe even through the attacker to drop down
    to the edge.
    Once Bowser is on the edge, he can attack over it. However, while his Rolling move
    is excellent, his Slap move is not. Once Bowser's on 100% damage or greater, he'll
    no longer be able to use the Roll. The Slap actually ceases to be invincible before
    he actually strkes his opponent, so he can be hit out of it! Not good. So here's a
    better alternative. As Bowser hangs on the edge, drop off, double jump up and use
    the forward aerial over the edge. This is done by tapping down slightly, then
    immediately pushing forward, jump and A together. With practice, it's even possible
    to land an up or down aerial, as well as a sweet-spot hit from the back aerial.
    Spikes can sometimes prove a problem. They're generally done so low that dropping
    lower may leave Bowser too far down to recover.
    However, most characters only spike VERY close to the edge, or on the edge itself,
    due to low recovery afterwards. In such circumstances, it may be worth air-dodging
    to the edge. Falcon is another matter. He spikes quickly and efficiently, with no
    recovery problems. He's also quite capable of spiking quite some distance out, even
    off screen! There's very little you can do about this, other than trying your best
    to move out of the way. Best to get him off before he does it to you...... Also
    worth noting is Ganondorf. Normally, Bowser can 'Fortress through spikes as soon as
    the enemy has missed, or else just cancel it with the initial strike. Not so against
    Ganondorf. He spikes if you touch any part of his body, and with huge priority.
    Even the 'Fortress cannot get through it. Although Bowser DOES have moves that
    outrank it, he can't use any of them in this situation. Just like Falcon, it's a
    much better idea to edge-guard him before he edge-guards you. Luckily, just like
    Falcon, Ganondorf is easily edge-guarded.
    |                                                                             |
    |                %%%%%%%%%% - Nasty Tricks - %%%%%%%%%%           BOW19       |
    |                                                                             |
    Being a bad guy, Bowser has a few dirty tricks available to him. Under tounament
    settings, Stock matches are used. This means that if you can get a life ahead of the
    enemy, then you're free to use suicide attacks to take both of you out! For
    instance, grabbing the enemy with the Koopa Klaw while above a gap and letting you
    both fall. Only attempt this when the enemy is on mid to high damage, to stop them
    breaking out of the hold. Well worth doing when you're on high damage youreslf and
    likely to be KO'd soon anyway, but I can't recommend this tactic if you're healthy.
    A modification of this is a reverse-spike trick. Jump over the enemy while they are
    standing by the edge, and snatch them up with the 'Klaw as you fall past them.
    Remember that the 'Klaw moves forward slightly, so compensate. Forward Throw as you
    fall past the underside of the lip. The enemy will be propelled upwards by the move,
    ricochet off the underside of the stage, and fall off the screen, leaving Bowser to
    recover. This is unbeleievably hard to do, although easiest to practice on Dreamland
    64, due to the wind blowing you out, reducing the chance of Bowser pushing onto the
    ledge during the move. Once you're proficient with it,  Battlefield is the best
    stage to attempt this risky move, as it has a nice, thin, overhanging lip. Then
    there's explosions, taking attrition to it's ultimate level. Don't be afraid to get
    hit by a blast if it'll ensure the enemy gets hit, too.
    Bowser's weight mean that he can better afford damage than his opponent. 40% damage,
    or whatever the blast inflicts, is a whole lot less to Bowser than anyone else. On
    Green Greens, set off the bombs at every opportunity, either by flaming them (slow
    but safe), or even by colliding bodily with the blast. If fighting on the side
    platforms, just strike out at the bombs. The blast will blow the enemy further out
    than you, and might even KO. You can even use edge-moves and 'get up' moves to
    detonate them, and you won't be harmed at all! Likewise,try grabbing the enemy and
    holding them near an Electrode, or some other explosive source. At low damage,
    Bowser can easily survive such attacks, but few opponent can say the same.
    Another pair of dirty tricks are the Bowser Train and Reverse Bowser Train. The
    Bowser Train is simply performing a forward smash while wavedashing towards the
    enemy. This allows Bowser immense reach with the move, and is excellent for
    advancing on the enemy. Since any directional movement will generally halt the
    wavedash, the smash should be performed by pushing the C Stick forwards. Note that
    since this requires great personal dexterity, the Bowser Train is not for the
    beginning Bowser player! This should probably be one of the last techniques
    mastered. An impressively useful variant is the Reverse Bowser Train. This is
    performed by smashing forward while wavedashing backwards. Like the Bowser Train,
    this can be exceptionally difficult to pull off successfully, so should be mastered
    after most other things.
    However, it's use is well worth the effort. As Bowser smashes, he rears back, as
    said earlier, allowing him to evade attacks. Combined with wavedashing back, Bowser
    moves out of the way completely, before suddenly striking forward. Best used as an
    opponent attacks, Bowser will dodge, then immediately retaliate while the enemy is
    still in the process of missing. Any follow-ups they may attempt will simply be
    squashed by the forward smash's immense power. Even Marth and DK's immense reach can
    be foiled by this trick.
    |                                                                             |
    |                   %%%%%%%%%% - Item Use - %%%%%%%%%%            BOW20       |
    |                                                                             |
    Regardless of the fact that items are switched off in many tournaments, and many
    people whine endlessly about them being 'too random', items are an integral part of
    SSBM. Banning items because of being random would be like banning G&W because he
    might get a one-hit KO with Judgement, or banning Peach because she might get a Bob-
    bomb. The truth is, items require no less skill to weild effectively than the
    characters themselves, and it's only the really unbalancing items that should be
    turned off tournaments. Anyway, Bowser's quite good with items. He's big, so can
    reach items easily (remember that you can press Z to grab  items while airborne,
    whether falling or thrown). He also hurls items with tremendous force, meaning high
    damage, high speed, and excellent distance.
    Generally, it's best to pick up items while jumping, as it's faster. Due to Bowser's
    huge size, he excels at bouncing a weapon off the enemy repeatedly at close
    quarters, as whichever way it bounces back, Bowser should be in reach to grab it.
    Just remember to use Z to catch it while jumping and then throw again quickly.
    Starmen, Heart Containers, Maxim Tomatoes, Cloaking Devices, Party Balls, Bob-ombs,
    Proximity Mines, Super Mushrooms and Poison Mushrooms are generally switched off in
    Competition, and their applications are simple enough, although it's worth
    remembering a few things. Bob-ombs and mines can be detonated safely while near the
    enemy with Fire Breath. Super Mushroom's allow Bowser to hit from a great distance
    with a suped-up Forward Smash.
    Food is food, and should be picked up at every opportunity. Due to Bowser's size, he
    can often scoff an entire Party Ball's worth of food without needing to move around!
    Capsule's make good projectiles, due to their relatively high chance of explosion.
    Just beware Shell Shifting over them! A safe way to open them is to simply short hop
    and throw them down, and tap Z to catch the item as it flies out. Crates make decent
    weapons, as Bowser's strength allow him to throw them a good distance. However, he's
    oddly slow to pick them up, and can't move very fast while carrying them. Barrels
    are much better. Quicker to pick up, and they roll. Bowser's strength gives them a
    lot of momentum, and they travel at a good speed. Same goes for Barrel Cannons.
    Pokeballs are easy, just set 'em off in a good position. DO NOT throw them at
    characters with reflectors (Fox, Falco, Mario, Dr Mario, Zelda, etc), as they will
    gain master-status of the released Pokemon. And don't forgot to attack while your
    minion is active. The enemy will have a much harder time defending against both of
    you. Use air dodging to avoid enemy attacks that are large in scope, and NEVER, EVER
    go near a Koffing with Mewtwo nearby. He can KO any character from zero damage with
    one of these. Hanging off the edge can help to avoid certain attacks, such as
    Blastoise's Hydro Pump. Get up high if trailed by a Starmie, so that when it fires
    Swift it will cease miving, and Bowser will fall back to the ground without the
    shots getting in the way.
    For most attacks, full evasion is the best option, other than the ritual killing of
    Chansey. And if Togepi let's loose with Nightshade (the screen goes black), don't
    jump around to much. The Hammer is best left for the enemy to pick up. If the head
    comes off, you're screwed, as you loose all recovery while using it. However, this
    goes for the enemy, too. Knock them over the edge while they're singing it, and
    they'll just fall off. Good tricks for hitting through the hammer include the Bowser
    Bomb, and edge-hogging to a roll. Timed well, the forward aerial will outrange most
    hammers (depending on who's swinging it. Mewtwo probably has the longest reach), and
    the Forward Smash can even outprioritise the Hammer!
    The Homerun Bat is an excellent weapon, although often banned in tournaments. As
    many others, Mewtwo is particularly lethal with it, due to excellent range, and his
    Diasble move. If this connects, you're utterly helpless to avoid the intsant KO that
    follows! If Bowser gets it, it is better as a projectile than a melee weapon, due to
    Bowser's small swing. However, when smashed, it also hits behind Bowser with the
    backswing. Try deliberately swinging in the wrong direction, and watch the enemy
    rush up to your 'exposed' back, only to be KO'd by the backswing! Of course, if you
    can land Bowser's Forward Smash well, landing a homerun shouldn't be too hard....
    The Beam Sword may be a good melee weapon to many characters, but it just isn't as
    strong as Bowser's own moves.
    It makes a good projectile, though. Same goes for the Fan, Lip's Stick and Star Rod,
    although the extended range can be novel...... Another good point is that Bowser
    doesn't fall down during his Dash A while weilding these (and the Bat), so it allows
    quick Dash to Strike comboes. Mr Saturn is a distraction, nothing more. Pelt him at
    your opponent and attack immediately, hoping that even a brief hit from the little
    guy allows an opening. He also takes a fair chunk out of shields, and has been known
    to steal items from people, so watch out..... Nothing more annoying than attempting
    to throw an item, only to spot Mr Saturn making off with your Beamsword. The Ray Gun
    is arguably the most annoying weapon in the game.
    Awkward to fight back against, especially if your opponet is a good shot. Try Power
    Shielding a shot to stun the enemy long enough to close. If you get it, spam it, of
    course. Just remember to jump every so often. The Super Scope is excellent. Use the
    rapid fire function, as it traps the enemy and racks up damage until it runs out, so
    get ready to follow up. The charge shots should never be used against Fox, Mario,
    and others with reflectors. Quite good at edge guarding, though, although Mario is
    quite capable of caping it back and still recovering, even while off-screen. The
    Flipper is another annoyance. Put it over the edge to repel recoveries, or try
    sucking people through it with Fire Breath. The Metal Box is brilliant for Bowser,
    as it stops him being struck out of the wind up for his moves.
    He can Forward Smash with ease with this. To stop opponents using it (including
    Bowser himself), use grabs. These will stop the enemy's actions regardless of their
    |                                                                             |
    |                %%%%%%%%%% - Bowser Vs... - %%%%%%%%%%           BOW21       |
    |                                                                             |
    As Bowser is such an extreme character, he won't have to tailor his approach to
    different opponents greatly, as he'll always be bigger and stronger than them.
    However, different opponets come with different strategies, which bear keeping in
    Mario/Dr Mario - Mario is such a well balanced opponent that all the above
    strategies will apply. He can use almost any type of approach well, so he may change
    his tactics mid-battle. His Super Cape shouldn't be too much trouble. As long as
    you're holding a direction, it won't affect the 'Fortress, and it won't affect many
    of Bowser's moves due to hitting all around anyway. Be particualarly careful of his
    backwards throw. It's power allowed Mario to defeat Bowser in SM64, and is an
    excellent KO move here. His Coin Punch's speed, angle and priority make him an
    awkward target to edge-guard, so time you strikes to perfection. Remember that the
    forward smash can be set off early to allow opponents to fly into it.
    Dr Mario is nearly identical to fight, other than his lack of a wall jump, meaning
    he's less likely to recover from pits.
    Luigi - In the hands of an average player, Luigi tends to be a bit slow moving to
    put up much resistance. In the hands of a veteran Luigi, he becomes lightning fast,
    wavedashing around faster than many characters can dash. Luckily, he's still fairly
    dependant on his air game, where he's not as fast a target. In the air, watch out
    for his neutral and forward aerials, which are fast and powerful. Like Mario, his
    back throw is superb. Unlike Mario, his forward B leaves him very vulnerable. He's
    remarkably easy to edge-guard due to this move. If he's recovering low or level, use
    a forward aerial. If he's coming from beneath you (very likely, given his recovery
    method), use a down smash. If he's high, wait 'till he uses the Green Missile, and
    simply finish him with an upward aerial.
    There is no reason he should be able to avoid it.
    Peach - Very dangerous. She's fast to move, very fast to strike, and has bizarrely
    high power and priority. Although dangerous in the air, she can be outranged by many
    of Bowser's strikes. On the ground, don't CC, or she'll punish you with her down
    smash. She's exceptional difficult to edge-guard, due to her float ability. However,
    she's not too fast while doing this, so landing the final hit shouldn't be too hard.
    And she can only stay out there for so long. A common trick for her is to close,
    fast fall beneath you, and Parasol up through you. If she drops suddenly, jump
    backwards, and aim a forward aerial. Conveniently, she's not a great edge-guarder
    herself, and shouldn't pose and special problems.
    If you're coming in low, she'll probably try a down smash. Grab the ledge quickly,
    and then immediately roll over to go straight through her attack.
    Yoshi - On the stage, his fast and powerful attacks can be annoying, as are his
    grabs. However, his special moves are poor, and he'll be cautious in the air, for
    fear of being knocked off the edge without his double jump. He's the easiest
    character for Bowser to edge-guard, as most of Bowser's edge-guarding tactics will
    pierce his normally-resistant jump.
    DK - DK should pose no problems for Bowser. He beats you in reach, but loses on
    power, weight and priority. His attacks aren't as wide as Bowser's, and he's got few
    defences against opponents coming in from slightly above. He has a similar tactic to
    Bowser's short hopped forward aerial with his back aerial, but Bowser's forward
    aerial will win on reach and priority. His Spinning Kong has good priority, so
    you'll need to let the forward aerial off early. He's also remarkebly easy to garb
    with a short hopped Koopa Klaw.
    Bowser - If you're a good Bowser player, you'll know his weaknesses as well as his
    strengths. here's your chance to exploit them.
    Link - Link's reach and priority are excellent, and may cause some problems. Use the
    extreme range of the forward aerial here. His Hookshot can grab you as you shell
    shift towards him, but cannot grab an airborne opponent. Short hopping is a good
    approach. If he ever misses with the Hookshot, he's a prime target for a forward
    smash. His projectiles shouldn't cause too many problems,as they can be batted away
    with strikes, or simply blocked without fuss. Between the Hookshot and his Spin
    Attack, he's got good recovery, but there's an easy weakness. Move back and allow
    him to Spin over the edge, then strike him as he descends.
    Young Link - Young Link is much easier for Bowser to cope with, due to vastly
    decreased power, reach and priority. His Hookshot also has a smaller reach. His
    downward aerial is much more potent, though, so be careful of an airborne assault.
    Zelda - Zelda has few good moves. Her ace-in-the-hole is her Lightning Kick (forward
    or back aerial), and Bowser's an easy target for this. However, her special moves
    are awful, her recovery is easily exploitable, and she's pretty much screwed if you
    can keep her above you.
    Shiek - She may be the best character in SSBM, but Shiek doesn't present any
    additional probelms to Bowser. In fact, his CC to 'Fortress proves rather effective.
    She's still tough, but Bowser has fewer problems against her than many characters.
    Her Needle Storm is a real pain,as it inflicts large damage and is very hard to
    avoid, due to it's speed. Just try your hardest to keep her at arms reach, and keep
    using set ups. Her general edge-guarding method is her forward aerial. Fast fall
    under this as you close, and spin up through her. Luckily, Shiek's recovery is
    rather poor, and easily exploitable. At distance, she may switch to Zelda and
    attempt Farore's Wind, but this doesn't make her any less of a target.
    In fact, she'll have less maneuverability after the move. If this happens, make sure
    to press the advantage and don't let her switch back until you KO her.
    Ganondorf - One of Bowser's toughest opponents, due to being just as strong and
    heavy as he is. Ganondorf also has faster attacks, with greater reach. Nasty. CC
    works well, as this stops short hopped up aerials striking Bowser, and reduces
    Ganondorf's incredible knockback. It's also a good idea to be wary for short hopped
    down aerials, as these are strong enough to launch even Bowser off the top of the
    stage! However, Ganondorf has few ways out of comboes and set ups, so keep him off
    his feet. He's also easy to edge-guard and edge-hog, due to the low priority of his
    Dark Dive. His edge-guarding skills are good though, and he's got a spike. Item use
    is excellent, as he's very slow to move, and Bowser can outpace him easily.
    Captain Falcon - A very dangerous opponent, due to his ease of hitting Bowser with
    his forward aerial. His speed, however, is exploitable. He can often fly straight
    into a move before he realises he was in danger. Like Ganondorf, stick to using the
    reach and priority of the forward aerial, and floor him often. He's slightly harder
    to edge-guard than Ganondorf, but still nothing special. However, it's much harder
    to recover against him, due to his agility and his down aerial. There's little you
    can do about this, so it's best to pummel him as quickly as possible to avoid
    needing to recover often.
    Samus Aran - Samus' missile spamming can be difficult to counter. Her Charge Beam
    has immense power, but can be cancelled by many of Bowser's strikes, including his
    forward aerial and forward smash, and also the initial hit of the 'Fortress. This is
    risky, however, and simply blocking is often a better idea. Her missiles are a
    greater problem. Since they explode on impact, they will pierce any of Bowser's
    moves. Conveniently, Samus has few good defences against attacks from above, so this
    is the best option. Although Samus is reasonably strong, her combo ability isn't
    great, so Bowser shouldn't have too many problems against her at close quarters. Her
    grapple beam can't be followed up quite as well as Link's Hookshot, and she's just
    as vulnerable after missing.
    Her lack of speed and poor aerial game also work in Bowser's advantage. Only her
    neutral aerial is particularly good. However, her recovery can be awkward. Her bomb-
    jumping and grapple beam allow her to recover from vast distance, at a low altitude,
    which makes intercepting her difficult. However, during bomb-jumping she is
    relatively vulnerable, so a quick forward aerial can be useful. Just watch out for
    her spike.
    Fox - There are those who regard Bowser as a counter to Fox, and there's a fair bit
    of evidence to support this. Fox is very easily edgeguarded, he's very vulnerable to
    Bowser's low-altitude juggles, and his comboes can be broken by Bowser, leaving Fox
    on high damage. Even the Shine Combo can be broken, unless it's done absolutely
    flawlessly, which is incredibly unlikely. Attrition works easily against Fox, and
    he's easily KO'd on little damage. The shine spike is annoying, but Bowser can avoid
    it with a bit of foresight.
    Falco - Much harder to deal with than Fox. His Blaster can keep you back, and his
    attacks are more likely to floor you. If he does so, don't tech.
    Instead, use Bowser's 'get up' moves. Against the Blaster, power shielding one of
    his shots back at him to stun works well as a surprise. However, don't try it
    repeatedly. If your opponent sees you trying, he'll just mix up timings and you'll
    suffer. Falco also has an excellent spike, which is difficult to avoid. The best
    approach is to air dodge to the edge, and then roll over. Luckily, he's even easier
    to edge-guard than Fox. Like Fox, he's vulnerable to low-altitude juggles, and will
    take massive damage from the down smash.
    Kirby - Kirby shouldn't be too much trouble, due to his lack of reach and knockback.
    He simply can't brawl with Bowser. He has few good edge-guarding techniques, and
    he's easily edge-guarded due to his lack of speed and agility in the air. All he can
    steal with Swallow is Fire Breath, and he's welcome to it. His Stone move is
    invincible to strikes, but he's vulnerable when turning back. If he drops down from
    above, block it, then down smash.
    Ness - Just get stuck in against Ness. He doesn't cope well in a brawl. Watch  out
    for his bat (forward smash), as it's strong and has good knockback, but pales in
    comparison to Bowser's forward smash. His Yo-yo is poor, and his special moves are
    generally feeble. Don't use Fire Breath in case he absorbs it with Psi Magnet. His
    short hopped forward aerial can be annoying, but can be easily stopped by a forward
    tilt. His recovery is poor normally, and he can't use his PK Thunder to get out of
    holes, but if he manages to strike himself well, he's very dangerous. If he's
    attempting it, simply leap out and into the PK Thunder iteslf. You may take a minor
    hit, but he'll fall off the bottom. Just make sure you don't brush Ness with the
    'Fortress on your own recovery, as he'll then be able to recover.
    When recovering against Ness, don't come in level, or you'll just be batted out. Aim
    for the edge, or over his head.
    Ice Climbers - Individually, no problem. As a pair, a lot tougher. Using high
    priority attacks requires much better timing, as at any point, there's
    likely to be two attacks coming your way rather than one. The Koopa Klaw to grab is
    much harder, as the Ice Climber that is not grabbed will simply strike you, forcing
    you to let go. If you do get one in your claws, dispense with the biting and
    immediately throw. The back throw works to seperate the two, while the forward will
    strike both of them. Watch out for their grab tactics in particular. Your best bet
    is often to break quickly then DI away. Luckily, the immense knockback of Bowser's
    strikes works well here, as it can seperate them easily.
    Once reeling, go for the second (CPU controlled) Ice Climber, and eliminate it
    quickly before the other can intervene. This shouldn't be too hard, as the second
    Climber has no real sense of self-preservation. They won't block or dodge well, and
    they won't evade edge-guarding. This means that it's easier to defeat the second one
    and then take apart the lone Climber than it is to take on both of them. Edge-
    guarding is easy enough; just knock one or the other too far away from the other to
    use Belay.
    Pikachu/Pichu - Pikachu's main problem is his lack of range, so make the most of
    this by playing keep away with the forward aerial, and using the forward smash as it
    attempts to close. Pikachu's electricity-based attacks can occasionaly pierce
    Bowser's attacks, but this relies on Pikachu bypassing Bowser's range. Pikachu is
    highly vulnerable while using Skull Bash or Thunder, as these moves have wind up and
    lag. Pikachu is a poor edge-guarder, but it's downward-tipping tail moves can be
    difficult to overcome. Luckily, the 'Fortress out-prioritises these moves. Simply go
    for the edge to avoid Thunder as an edge-guarder. When edge-guarding Pikachu, either
    hit early enough to catch Quick Attack as it passes through you; or, much easier,
    wait back a bit and get ready to up smash as it finishes the move and is vulnerable.
    Pichu is a slightly harder target due to it's small size, but it's glaring
    weaknesses make it an easy victim.
    Jigglypuff - Jigglypuff may be able to KO Bowser in two hits with Rest, but Bowser
    also has a really easy time KO'ing Jigglypuff. She's almost solely aerial based, so
    make sure to keep her away with forward aerials. The 'Wall of Pain' (spamming
    backward aerials) can be annoying, but Bowser's reach and priority should win
    through if timed well. Edge-guarding Jigglypuff should largely consist of forward
    aerials. Just try to keep knocking her out; as she uses her multiple jumps, she
    slows, and loses agility. Once she's ran out of steam, she's an easy target.
    Overall, it's best to keep her at range, to avoid the 'joys' of Rest and Pound.
    Concentrate on landing hits, as she's easily killed at very low damage.
    Mewtwo - Like Luigi, Mewtwo is easily beaten when used by most players, but becomes
    much more dangerous in the hands of those that favour him. His fast, long-reaching
    dodges make him elusive, and his Teleport allows him to get out of line-of-fire
    quickly. His grab range is huge, and his throws are exceptionally powerful. He
    wields items better than most of the cast, and can leave you stunned with Disable
    and Confusion. On the other hand, he's a large target, and his smashes have little
    knockback. Forward aerials are risky against him - he has arguably the best shield-
    grabbing abilities in the game. The Koopa Klaw still works well, and Mewtwo's
    upwards attacks are weak. Extreme close-quarters is the best place to fight him, as
    he doesn't react quickly.
    He's exceptionally difficult to edge-guard, due to his immense double jump and the
    ability to Teleport away from attacks. Like Pikachu and Zelda, it's usually best to
    strike him after recovering, when he's vulnerable. He's not a great edge-guarder, as
    his spike is short-reached and needs very precise aim, and knocking away with back
    aerials requires the enemy to be in a certain position. Many Mewtwo players will
    attempt to fight near the screen's edges if possible, where they can KO easily from
    a shield-grab. Jump over  Mewtwo, and Koopa Klaw him from behind, and immediately
    throw backwards yourself. This is a risky method, though, as Mewtwo can KO from 0%
    damage easily, completely negating Bowser's weight advantage.
    Marth - Marth doesn't use a wide variety of tactics, or complicated techniques.
    Instead, he relies on having a wall of pure stats on his side. He's almost as strong
    as Bowser, with just as much knockback and priority. He's also fast, agile, and has
    an incredibly long reach, with a wide arc. He'll aim to keep you at a distance, and
    he's very good at it. Try to use the range of the forward aerial, and jump over him
    to the 'Klaw. His grabs can cause problems, as they're fast, and have a much longer
    range than they appear to. He's capable of chain-throwing as well. However, the fact
    remains that he's got little variety, so he's predictable. Use mind games to open
    him up. If he camps, either use items or just flame him.
    He'll soon move. Counter is irritating, but the Koopa Klaw still goes through it on
    a grab. In addition, Bowser's wind up works well against it. Just wait slightly
    longer than normal to strike, and Marth's counter will have worn off by the time
    Bowser's hit strikes (Marth will only counter during the period he's flashing
    white). He's easily edge-guarded, as his recovery is poor. However, his edge-
    guarding rivals Bowser's! He'll either down tilt you repeatedly when low, or just
    use his forward smash. Like Falcon, it's best to do it to him before he does it to
    Roy - Like Marth, with none of the power or knockback. He's also lighter and slower,
    with a poor air game and few comboes. If you can beat                        Marth,
    Roy shouldn't be a problem.
    Mr Game & Watch - G&W has few strengths. He's not particularly strong, he's not
    particularly fast. His reach is average, and his throws are poor. His specials are
    arguably the worst in the game. His recovery is easily edge-guarded, and he's not a
    great edge-guarder himself. His most useful moves are his neutral aerial (parachute)
    and his down tilt (manhole cover), but Bowser has better. There really isn't
    anything G&W is likely to do that sets him apart in any way.
    |                                                                             |
    |                  %%%%%%%%%% - The Venue - %%%%%%%%%%            BOW22       |
    |                                                                             |
    The stage fought in can sometimes make as much of difference to the fight as the
    participants themselves. Certain levels work in Bowser's favour, others do not.
    Recovery is always an issue. Bowser has fairly good recovery, so playing on a stage
    with either small holes (Mushroom Kingdom), or no holes at all (Onett) will not
    allow Bowser to make the most of this trait. On the other hand, it means characters
    with good spikes (Falco and Falcon) won't be able to bring these strengths to bear
    easily either. Stages with close edges (Yoshi's Island) allow Bowser's knockback to
    KO all the easier, but also reduce Bowser's weight advantage. Stages with low
    ceilings (Green Greens) are good for Bowser, as his attacks generally have a high
    Beware of Jungle Japes, as this stage has an amazingly high ceiling! Scrolling
    stages (Rainbow Ride) are generally quite good for Bowser, as he's got good
    mobility, and it often brings the fight closer to the edge. On Big Blue, Falcon and
    Fox's immense speed can often lead to them hurling themselves off the edge before
    they've realised what's happened. Against opponents with good firepower (Samus,
    Falco), stages with intervening obstacles (Venom) work well to reduce their ranged
    game. Small stages (Battlefield) often favour Bowser, as a single forward aerial can
    reach the enemy wherever they are. Stages with walls (Corneria) also work well, as
    Bowser can set up excellently using a wall. Flatzone seems like a good stage for
    Bowser initially, but it generally isn't.
    Bowser's weight can be completely negated here, and the falling items will score
    numerous hits on his gigantic form, leaving him stunned. Green Greens is arguably
    Bowser's best stage, due to low ceiling, close side, numerous obstacles, explosives,
    and a ready supply of throwing items from the tree. Yoshi's Island is good, too.
    Jungle Japes is generally a bad stage for Bowser, as it's ceiling is very high, and
    there's no cover to evade projectiles. Ganondorf often favours similar stages to
    Bowser, as his knockback can also be brought to bear here. However, Bowser can gain
    an advantage on stages that punish Ganondorf's poor mobility, such as Big Blue and
    Pokefloats. Conversely, playing Peach, Mewtwo and Jigglypuff on stages without large
    holes (Subcon) can prove beneficial, as their excellent recovery isn't as important.
    In tournament play, the following stages are generally banned:
    Fourside - If Peach gets a life ahead, she can drop down a hole and repeatedly Peach
    Bomber off the wall, staying there until the timer runs out. Many opponents have no
    way of getting her out without falling off themselves.
    Yoshi's Island 64 - Missile spamming characters like Fox and Falco can stay on the
    left cloud and fire, leaving many characters who go to them unable to fight back
    without putting themselves in incredible danger of falling.
    Great Bay - Due to the solid central platform, Fox can repeatedly shoot the enemy
    with his Blaster, while staying away by running round the platform. Only Falcon is
    capable of keeping up with Fox, and Fox never has to try to get past his opponent as
    long as he keeps the platform in between. Mewtwo can also KO unbelievably easily by
    shield guarding under the right-hand edge of the central platform.
    Hyrule Temple - Fox can, again, just laser-spam the enemy until 300%+ damage, while
    running away in a manner where only Falcon can catch him.
    Also, many people believe Final Destination to be the fairest stage, which is wrong.
    Since there are no obstacles or platforms, the stage gives an
    unobstructed firing line to missile spammers like Samus and Falco. Pokemon Stadium
    is probably the fairest place to stage a fight. Picking this stage should ensure
    that the enemy doesn't gain any advantage due to the stage.
    |                                                                             |
    |                %%%%%%%%%% - Legal Info - %%%%%%%%%%             BOW04       |
    |                                                                             |
    |MAJOR NOTE: This FAQ will be hosted by ONLY GAMEFAQS.COM, IGN.COM,          |
    |NO! YOU CANNOT PUT THIS ON YOUR SITE! No matter how many times I say don't, |
    |WAY too many people take my FAQs without my permission. I have grown to     |
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    NOTE: This is my (me frog's) regular legal notice for all of my FAQs. However,
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    Note that if you DO steal this FAQ, you will regret it. Seriously regret it.
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    |                                                                             |
    |               %%%%%%%%%% - Contact Info - %%%%%%%%%%            BOW04       |
    |                                                                             |
    Well, Decadent One only wanted his e-mail listed: decadence@emailaccount.com
    Of cousre, me, being the bastard that I am, has a whole list of rules for you to
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    AIM Contact rules
    My AIM: me frog 12345
    PLEASE don't start whole conversations with me. Chances are, if I'm on, I'm
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    Well, that should be it then. Now on to e-mail...
    E-mail contact rules
    My e-mail address is cskull@frogdesign.com. There are a few things that
    you can e-mail me about, and few things that you can't. First the
    things that are okay.
    Praise mail. I used to be against this, but now I realize how rare praise really
    is. Just don't send me things like, "Yer faq is kewl, lol!!!"
    Suggestions for the FAQ. Something like, "Why don't you add such and
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    The things that you CAN'T e-mail me about are...
    Spam. This is the NUMBER 0NE thing that you must not send. I get at least twenty
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    Hate mail. No I don't appreciate it if you send me an e-mail saying, "Your FAQ is
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    And that wraps up the contact. Once again my e-mail is:
    |                                                                             |
    |              %%%%%%%%%% - Credits/Closing - %%%%%%%%%%          BOW04       |
    |                                                                             |
    |~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Decadent One would like to thank...~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~|
    Me Frog, for making this FAQ intelligable.
    Qwester, for hosting it and playing the part of my kid.
    TiersAreReal, for hosting it on a great site - visit it here -
    Helsing, for providing a great foil in my Bowser discussions.
    The_Doug, for introducing me to the wonderful world of tournament-level play. I
    learned more playing you than I had in the previous year.
    Drunkensideabeef, for being an excellent, if fickle, sparring partner.
    Warrior of Zarona, for kicking up a fuss about the current state of affairs.
    AllAlone05 and  ssbmon396 for managing my fan club.
    XiF and Homeless Hobo for managing my anti-fan club.
    Pictish Freak, for combining with my power to form Team Bottom Tier Forever.
    MistyIRC for 'biggin me up'. Whatever that means.
    And anyone else who's ever aided in any of my discussions on Bowser, which formed
    much of the inspiration for this guide.
    Capcom, for making Vampire Saviour/Darkstalkers 3, without which this guide would've
    been finished a lot sooner. SOUL FIST!!!!!!!!!
    ______                   _            _     _____
    |  _  \                 | |          | |   |  _  |
    | | | |___  ___ __ _  __| | ___ _ __ | |_  | | | |_ __   ___
    | | | / _ \/ __/ _` |/ _` |/ _ \ '_ \| __| | | | | '_ \ / _ \
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    |___/ \___|\___\__,_|\__,_|\___|_| |_|\__|  \___/|_| |_|\___|
    Err... Decadent doesn't have a contribution page that I'm currently aware of. Ah
    |~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~me frog would like to thank...~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~|
    First off, my good friends over at the FAQ Contributors board: SinirothX, Gbness,
    Yami Shuryou, Brian Sulphur, Psycho Penguin, Starfighter76, Jason Howell, ZoopSoul,
    peach freak, Matt, and Bijan Salari.
    CJayC - your site teh PWNS OMGWTFLOL! No really, thanks for having such a great site
    Decadent One - He supplied all the info to this FAQ. I'm just the lame loser
    formatter :(
    uh... no one else yet >_<
                       / _|
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    You can check out all of my other work at:
    This FAQ is copyright 2004 Decadenet One and Colin Scully

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