- Not to be confused with the first hit of Solid Snake's Forward Tilt.
The Knee Smash (also known as "The Knee" or "The Knee of Justice", or a variety of other nicknames involving the term "knee"), is Captain Falcon's Forward Aerial in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, as confirmed by one of his trophies. It is an extremely powerful low-trajectory KOing move, often used at the end of Falcon's combos and for edgeguarding.
Super Smash Bros. MeleeEdit
In Melee, this move is considered among the best in the game, due to its short lag time and powerful knockback ability. Many combos and strategies for Captain Falcon end with a Knee, which deals up to 18% in Melee and 19% in Brawl, under circumstances not influenced by items, stale-move negation, or stage effects. When the Knee is at full power, it makes an excellent Wall of Pain, and can be accompanied by Captain Falcon's Down aerial for a pseudo Ken Combo. In addition, if sweet-spotted at 60% or so, professional smashers can follow it up with an aerial Falcon Punch in the deadly Sacred Combo.
The Knee Smash has two main hitboxes. The initial hitbox, which lasts only a few frames, is Captain Falcon's primary killer and is accompanied by an electrical pulse. This hitbox is considered the attack's sweet spot, but it's actually closer to a Sex Kick. The second hitbox lasts much longer and lacks the damage and knockback of the sweet spot. This is often called a soft knee, or weak knee, which is also a semi-spike. Due to the Knee Smash's low lag, professional smashers can use it as a launcher into another aerial attack, often a sweetspotted Knee Smash.
Super Smash Bros. BrawlEdit
In Brawl, the knee has been nerfed because the sweetspot is much harder to land as his back hitbox is just a slightly stronger version of the sourspot while the sweetspot hitbox only lasts 1 frame and its knockback power has decreased slightly. Its hitlag lasts about a second, much longer than in Melee. A non-sweetspotted Knee Smash can trip a grounded opponent often and the sourspot is still useful for edgeguarding poor recoveries like Link's, and it can follow up an Up Aerial or a sweetspotted Knee if the opponent doesn't expect it. He can truly setup a sweetspot Knee if he uses it after grab releases on Wario and Ness.
Though Ganondorf is Captain Falcon's clone, his Forward Aerial is not a Knee, but instead an arcing downward punch resembling a faster version of Mario's Forward Aerial in both Melee and Brawl, nicknamed "Skull Crusher". In Melee, it has the same amount of start-up frames as Falcon's Knee, but has slightly less knockback, much longer end lag but only has one hitbox. In Brawl, it has 3 frames slower startup and 2 hitboxes (with the sweetspot being much easier to connect with) with less difference in damage and knockback compared to the 3 hitboxes of Captain Falcon's Knee (2 of them being much weaker than the sweetspot both in terms of damage and knockback). To some players, the attack is also nicknamed "The Punch".
- The Knee Smash is one of only three knee-based attacks that are not pummels (the other two being the third hit of Falcon's Neutral Attack combo and the first hit of Snake's Forward Tilt).
- Captain Falcon's wireframe and alloy counterparts variation of the knee does not have a sweetspot.