Tabuu SSE

Tabuu close up in the SSE


The Chains of Light on Master Hand


Tabuu with his wings.

Tabuu Fight

Tabuu using Bullet Rain on Captain Falcon.


Tabuu's Golden Bracket attack.

Tabuu (タブー, Tabuu) is the leader of the Subspace Army, the main antagonist and final boss of Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Adventure Mode: The Subspace Emissary. He is a powerful, supernatural entity who resides in Subspace. He uses the Subspace Bombs to send entire locations to his dimension, where he absorbs their power to increase his own.

Role in the Subspace EmissaryEdit

Tabuu is actually the embodiment of Subspace. His plan was to cut World of Trophies into pieces and take them to Subspace for his world. However, he himself cannot leave Subspace, which is why he created the Subspace Army to act in his stead. According to the Ancient Minister trophy, Tabuu took over the Isle of the Ancients, the home of the R.O.B.s, and forced them to serve him under the threat of annihilation. Tabuu first discovered that Super Smash Bros. Brawl had Shadow Bugs in him and captured him to harness the power, and thus the Subspace Army was born. Tabuu studied and took control of the master of the World of Trophies, Master Hand, who he in turn used to enlist the help of Ganondorf, Bowser and Wario. These three were sent to hunt down any fighters that would stand in the way of Tabuu's plans.

Later in the story, after the heroes destroy the Subspace Gunship and enter Subspace, Ganondorf betrays Bowser by using a Dark Cannon. Ganondorf then goes to greet Master Hand. Ganondorf realizes that Tabuu was actually controlling Master Hand and that he was not actually following Master Hand's orders, but was being tricked by Tabuu. Enraged, he charges a futile attack at Tabuu who effortlessly knocks him back. Ganondorf's body hits the puppeteered Master Hand, thus breaking him free of his Chains of Light (and turning Ganondorf into a trophy in the process). Master Hand also charges at Tabuu, but to no avail. With Master Hand lying, unmoving, on the ground, Tabuu uses his Off Waves to turn everyone into a trophy as soon as they approach. However, thanks to Dedede Brooches, three trophies who had been left behind - Luigi, Kirby, and Ness - were later revived, and they in turn revived King Dedede himself after Ness realised that it was thanks to him that they were restored. King Dedede joins their team and they rescue everyone else by collecting their trophies in Subspace (Part I) and Subspace Part II. Tabuu then creates a maze out of the worlds that have been consumed by Subspace and brings back the old enemies. He also creates dark clones of all the heroes to slow them down. Once the player reaches Tabuu, he attempts to turn everyone back into trophies again, but is ambushed by Sonic the Hedgehog, who breaks his wings with a Spin Dash before he can do so. As a result, Tabuu's Off Waves were damaged, simply turning them into a powerful attack rather than a method of immediate trophification for any Smasher in reach.

A selection of characters from Luigi's group and those revived by it then fight Tabuu, until in the end Tabuu is defeated. After his defeat, the Subspace Army is gone, lands are restored, and the Isle of the Ancients disappears afterward because of the effect of so many Subspace Bombs going off at once (commanded by Ganondorf so Tabuu could get a Subspace Gunship into the World) making it impossible for the Isle to escape Subspace. A glowing x is left behind.

Tabuu's true fate is unknown - he is last seen contorting in pain shortly before the Great Maze was restored to its original places and forms - though it is likely he was destroyed.


Tabuu's main trophy is unlocked by using a Trophy Stand on Tabuu - ways of doing this include dodging Tabuu's attacks, wait until he teleports & throwing the stand; or throwing it when he is doing Electrical Shield, Rapid Chop, or Bullet Rain. The Tabuu (Wings) trophy is obtained by beating Boss Battles mode with all characters.

Tabuu - Brawl Trophy

The Tabuu trophy in Brawl

The ruler of Subspace and master of operations. Tabuu controls Master Hand with chains of light to excise this world and build up his great maze. He used Shadow Bugs to form Subspace and manipulates the servants of Master Hand to his heart's content. Born in a vastly foreign realm, he also possesses great leadership powers. Tabuu...No name is more suitable.

Tabuu (Wings) - Brawl Trophy

Tabuu with wings trophy in Brawl.

Tabuu (Wings)
Tabuu with wings extended. The dreadful energy surges cast from these wings instantly turn all fighters back into trophies. Knowing this, King Dedede assembles all able-bodied troops and sets a timed device on each of them. This device is a brooch that, after the designated time runs out, revives all fighters wiped out by Tabuu.

Winged TabuuEdit

Tabuu reveals his wings (resembling a butterfly's in shape, but made of intricate curving symbols) only when he is about to unleash his strongest attack: the Off Waves. With wings extended, he charges energy, then releases a powerful explosion of crimson shock waves that annihilate all in their path. This attack is not easy but possible to dodge by sidestepping 3 times in a row on time. Right before the final battle, Sonic appears and shatters Tabuu's wings, severely weakening their power.


Tabuu is playable by hacking the game in Boss Battles Mode and in other modes where Tabuu is fought. After hacking the game, the controller used must be a GameCube Controller and must be plugged into the player 3 slot.

Move Name
A^ Eye Lasers
A Shark Blade
Av Diving Slash
A> Electrical Shield
A< Rapid Chop
B^ Bullet Rain
B Pinpoint Explosion
Bv Shuriken Boomerang
B> Ghost Projection
B< Dragon Laser
R Golden Bracket
L Chain of Light
X Off Waves
Start Explosion Teleports


As the last boss of Subspace Emissary, Tabuu possesses a wide variety of dangerous attacks, which increase in power and speed at higher difficulties. Additionally, Tabuu's attacks are faster and stronger in The Subspace Emissary than in Boss Battles at comparable difficulty ratings.

Note that the names are not official, except Off Waves and the Chain of Light which were announced on the Dojo.

First Set of MovesEdit

  • Shark Blade - Tabuu transforms into a wide, vaguely shark-shaped blade, which flies horizontally across the stage. It is dodgeable by air-dodging or, if at ground-level, ducking (unless playing as Super Smash Bros. Brawl). A perfectly timed sidestep dodge may also work. It is possible to perfect shield the attack, but a miss will result in the shield breaking, stunning the character in the process.
  • Diving Slash - Tabuu appears high above one side of the stage and dives, turning his arm into a blade of energy. Because he will always go near the ground, it can be dodged by jumping over his attack in the middle of the stage or going on the edge of the stage.
  • Golden Bracket - Tabuu transforms into an energy cage (resembling two glowing yellow brackets) and flies across the stage, grabbing the character and slamming him/her/it into the floor. This attack has horizontal knockback depending on any difficulties. If played on Intense difficulty, this becomes a One-hit KO. There is no predetermined way the brackets fly, and when the player is not able to make a jump, they should make an air-dodge.

Second Set of MovesEdit

  • Chain of Light - Tabuu produces a golden chain (similar to what he used to bind Master Hand) and throws it in front of him in an attempt to catch the player. Despite its range, it cannot catch those too close to him. If he succeeds, he will swing the player around before smashing them into the ground. If played in 2-Player mode, he will smash the player he caught into the other player. This is the only move Tabuu has other than Off Waves that has an official name. If a character air dodges or techs into the Chain of Light or if Tabuu is defeated while grabbing a character with the Chain of Light, the Tabuu Whip glitch will occur.
  • Electrical Shield - Tabuu teleports right next to the player. The purple sphere inside his torso splits into several fragments, which fly in circles around him for a short time while emitting electricity. This attack has a decent range, but leaves Tabuu wide open for projectile weapons. It somewhat resembles an atom, with Tabuu being the nucleus and his fragmented energy core being electrons.
  • Rapid Chop - Tabuu teleports behind the player and repeatedly slashes the area in front of him, creating visible purple slashes. This move can easily catch and juggle players, but it has less range than the visible slashes would indicate. Again, Tabuu leaves himself wide open to projectiles-and if the player gets behind him, melee attacks are also viable.
  • Pinpoint Explosion - From one side of the stage, Tabuu makes a pointing gesture. Five locations along a line leading to the player's current location will flash once and explode after about two seconds. Avoided by taking note of and staying away from the flashes before they explode.
  • Ghost Projection - Tabuu splits himself in half and shoots out many ghost images of himself in all directions, which explode after achieving a certain distance. The player can dodge the projections, but take note that they explode when they make contact with the ground, so combatants can still receive damage sidestepping the projection itself. They can also be destroyed (preferably by projectiles).

Third Set of MovesEdit

  • Dragon Laser - Tabuu appears on the side of the stage and manifests a cannon shaped like a dragon's head (also bearing similarities to the Dark Cannons), which floats beneath Tabuu as it fires a powerful laser horizontally across the stage. Jumping is advisable, although some characters may have a harder time of it.
  • Bullet Rain - Tabuu appears in a random area in the air and fires a barrage of small bullets, finishing with a huge energy sphere. Easily avoided by staying a good distance away from him. This seems to be the least frequently used attack on the Third Move, but punishes overzealous jumping that would be done to avoid the other two attacks. Still, pattern memorization will give his location away if he's about to use this attack; namely, if Tabuu appears anywhere not off the edge of the stage, he's going to use Bullet Rain.
  • Shuriken Boomerang - Tabuu appears on one side of the stage and throws a huge, circular, three-bladed shuriken, which flies across the stage like a boomerang before he catches it. Avoided by jumping and using the up special move (depending on character) to avoid the second swing. The boomerang only has three blades, but the speed of its spin makes it look like it has about nine. Note: At higher levels, the player may need to dodge both the throw and the return in one jump.

Fourth Set of MovesEdit

  • Off Waves - Tabuu appears in the background and unfolds his wings. He then proceeds to unleash three massive circular shockwaves that encompass the whole stage. If these hit, they will cause massive damage (73% or above in SSE, 22% or above in Boss Battles) and knockback (very high knockback on easy, extremely high knockback on normal and higher difficulties on SSE. Decent knockback on lower difficulties, high knockback on hard difficulty, extremely high knockback on very hard and intense difficulty on Boss Battles), enough to one-hit KO on Normal or higher difficulty in Adventure: The Subspace Emissary and on Very Hard and Intense difficulties of Boss Battles. However if the player is far away from Tabuu, they will cause less damage. The best option to avoid these shock waves is that the player's character must either roll or sidestep with accurate timing. If playing as Pokémon Trainer or Zelda/Sheik, using down special the instant Tabuu extends his wings also works. It can also be avoided by using perfect shielding or by using moves with Super Armor, but the timing is extremely difficult. The player may also air dodge if the they jump high enough with characters like Kirby and Jigglypuff. This is used as the first 4th move and every 8 moves after that.
  • Eye Lasers - Tabuu grows to an enormous size, so giant that only his head appears on the side of the screen. He then fires a red laser from each eye. This attack is used every 8 moves. Can be very easily avoided by hiding right at the end of the stage, literally under Tabuu's chin, allowing the player to easily damage him, mainly, by using up tilts or up smashes. (some moves that push the fighter backwards may move the player into the beams, though). Unlike Master Hand and Crazy Hand's lasers, Tabuu's lasers do not drift off the stage, so one will be hit as long as they are in front of him. Only the endpoints do damage.


  • Teleport - Tabuu teleports around the stage and appears at a set spawn which is randomly decided from the large amount of spawns available. He also sometimes teleports behind the character and attacks with one of the available attacks. Tabuu makes a distinctive sound on his final teleport.
  • Explosive Teleport - Tabuu teleports around, leaving a red explosion everywhere he teleports. On higher difficulties, this can KO a player at low percentages, meaning that one must not be too eager to attack Tabuu during his teleports.

Moveset galleryEdit


  • Some of Tabuu's attacks may be based on those of other bosses; his Eye Laser is similar to Master and Crazy Hand's Finger Laser and his teleportation resembles the abilities of final bosses in the Kirby series, such as Nightmare and Marx. Additionally, Tabuu's Off Waves are also somewhat similar to the animation of Giygas's Inexplicable Attack from Earthbound.
  • Tabuu's attacks are considered to be predictable but extremely powerful. Dodging most of his attacks can be very easy, but Tabuu's Off Waves are very hard to avoid and are also Tabuu's strongest attack. Without the Off Waves, many people consider Tabuu to be easy due to his predictable moves and how he needs to wait until he can attack again.
  • Unlike what would be expected of a one-hit KO, Tabuu's Off Waves have minimal hitstun.
  • The dragon head summoned during the "Dragon Laser" attack resembles a Dark Cannon. Its attack is also somewhat like Marx's mouth laser.
  • A glitch can also occur when the character defeats Tabuu when he's using Eye Lasers. When the battle shows him flying off into the subspace background, his head will be covered in the same red colored light that shot out from his eyes.
  • Tabuu's wings are almost completely destroyed by Sonic in the pre-battle cutscene, but they are shown full in the battle. Afterwards, they go back to being shattered.
  • Tabuu is one of four bosses in the series who can grab characters. The others are Giga Bowser, Master Hand, and Crazy Hand.
  • Tabuu is one of three NPC's that is introduced in the SSE. The other ones are Master Hand and Ancient Minister.

External linksEdit