|“||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's Trophy description.|
Tabuu is the main antagonist in the "Subspace Emissary" adventure mode of Super Smash Bros. Brawl. He is the entity who resides in the Subspace that wishes to tear the Super Smash Bros. world into pieces and drag it into his.
Tabuu is a humanoid blue figure made of energy with a red eye in his chest. He also has large golden wings that that can appear and disappear from his back, and can be uses to unleash powerful shockwaves that are strong enough to turn his foes into trophies.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Although Tabuu does not appear until late in the story mode, Tabuu's unseen presence is apparent while he is controlling Master Hand behind the scenes. After Ganondorf turns Bowser into a trophy, he discovers that Master Hand is being controlled by Tabuu. Tabuu turns Ganondorf into a trophy and easily defeats Master Hand.
Once Mario, Link, Kirby, Pit, Yoshi, Peach, Zelda, the Ice Climbers, Lucas, Captain Falcon, Captain Olimar, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Samus, Fox, Falco, Meta Knight, Lucario, Mr. Game & Watch, Pikachu, Pokemon Trainer, Ike, Marth, R.O.B., and Snake confront him, he turns all them into trophies easily, seemingly leaving no one to stand against him. However, King Dedede's medallions turn Kirby, Ness, and Luigi back to normal, and they turn him back in return (since he was turned into a trophy by Bowser). They track down everyone else in Subspace and restore them. Bowser, Ganondorf, and Wario join their team and eventually they reach Tabuu again. He is about to use his wings to turn them into trophies again when suddenly Sonic appears and destroys Tabuu's wings in four seconds flat. He joins their team, and together they fight against Tabuu. Finally, after much effort, Tabuu is finally defeated, and upon his defeat, he shrieks and disintegrates as light energy erupts from him and the Subspace fades into non-existence.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Tabuu returns in the "World of Light" adventure mode in Ultimate as a Legend Spirit (the most powerful spirit type), having presumably been destroyed by Galeem and stolen by Dharkon, forced into doing the latter's bidding, implying they are both more powerful than even he is. He is one of the spirits the fighters must defeat in order to advance through the rest of the game. Tabuu is found in the Mysterious Dimension possessing a metal clone of Bayonetta, and must have his stamina depleted in order to obtain him. Periodically, the player's stamina will drop suddenly as a reference to Tabuu's off-waves. After defeating him, the fighters will engage in a boss fight against Marx.
It is unknown if Tabuu had regenerated only to be killed in one shot by Galeem or if he still possessed no physical form at the time.
- 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.
- Diving Slash - Tabuu appears mid-air on one side of the stage, and dives, using a spiraling slash with a blade of energy. Because he will always go down on the ground it is 'simply' dodgeable by jumping over his attack.
- Golden Bracket - Tabuu transforms into two brackets and flies across the stage, grabbing the character if not dodged and slamming him/her onto the stage. If played on Intense difficulty, this becomes a One-hit KO. There is no predefined way the brackets fly and when you are not able to make a jump, you should make an air-dodge.
- Chain of Light - Tabuu takes out a golden chain and swings it around in an attempt to catch the player. If he succeeds, he will swing the player around before smashing them into the ground. If played in two-player mode, he will smash the player he caught into the other player.
- Electrical Shield - Tabuu teleports to a random area. The object inside him splits into several balls, which fly in circles around him while emitting electricity. If the player manages to stay out of the attack, Tabuu is a sitting duck for projectiles.
- Rapid Chop - Tabuu teleports behind the character rapidly and repeatedly karate chops the area near the character. This move is easy to get caught and juggled in. The attack has less range than the visible shockwaves would indicate.
- Pinpoint Explosion - Tabuu points at five locations which will blink. Those locations will explode after a second. Avoided by staying away from the red spots before they explode.
- Tabuu-Projection - Tabuu shoots out lots of images of himself in all directions. Characters will take damage if they make contact with a projection. You can dodge the projections, but take note that the projections leave a purple cloud behind when they hit a surface, so you can still receive damage sidestepping the projection itself.
- Dragon Laser - Tabuu appears on the side of the stage and manifests a cannon shaped like a dragon's head, which fires a powerful laser horizontally across the stage.
- Bullet Rain - Tabuu appears in a random area in the air and fires a barrage of small bullets. Tabuu fires a large energy ball after his Bullet Rain. Easily avoided by staying behind him, or by distancing yourself and using all three of your jumps.
- Shuriken Boomerang - Tabuu appears on one side of the stage and throws a star-shaped blade which flies across the stage like a boomerang before he catches it. Avoided by jumping and using Up-special to avoid the second swing. Despite its appearance, the boomerang only has 3 blades, but the speed of it makes it look like it has more.
- Eye Lasers - Tabuu flies into the foreground and disappears. A massive version of his head appears on the side of the stage and he fires two continuous red lasers from his eyes.
- 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 instantly kill a player at low percentages.
- Off-waves - Tabuu's most powerful attack. It is a massive wave of energy that deals a One-Hit K.O. if used at a reasonable difficulty. In the storyline, Tabuu uses this attack to turn everyone present in the Great Maze into trophies, and when he prepares to use it again, Sonic the Hedgehog shatters one of his wings, weakening him a little, but he still manages to pose a serious threat. To avoid these shock waves, a character must either roll or sidestep with accurate timing, but it may vary according to the character used.
Tabuu directly controls Master Hand with chains he embedded in the back of his hand. Tabuu controls Bowser, Ganondorf, and Wario through the orders of Master Hand. After Ganondorf tries to hit Tabuu, he gets knocked back and destroys the chains holding the hand. Master Hand then attempts to attack and kill Tabuu, but gets killed (or knocked unconscious) with one blow.
Ganondorf, Bowser, and Wario
Bowser and Wario were hired as bounty hunters and given dark cannons by Master Hand and ordered to wipe out any talented fighters that might get in the way of Tabuu's plan. Ganondorf gives Bowser Master Hand's orders, but is secretly planning to usurp Master Hand's power. Wario doesn't care about any of this, just his own selfish ends. None of them knew about Tabuu.
R.O.B. is the minister to his people, the R.O.B.s, and lives on a large, floating island called the Island of the Ancients. Tabuu enslaves the R.O.B.'s, then uses this island to manufacture Subspace Bombs. For these bombs to work, at least two R.O.B.s must activate the bomb, are stuck there, and die. R.O.B. takes the guise of the Ancient Minister. In the end, R.O.B. is the last of his kind when the rest are forced to destroy the Island of Ancients.
Mr. Game & Watch
Tabuu had also noticed the peculiar qualities of Mr. Game & Watch. Inside Game & Watch's body resides millions of Shadow Bugs, tiny particles that can clone people, or form into any shape. Tabuu cloned Game and Watch four times, and from this produced a nearly infinite supply of Shadow Bugs. He set the Game and Watch clones to pilot the corrupted Halberd, the airship of Meta Knight, and use it to transport his army.
Tabuu had recognized the benevolent rulers of Hyrule, and the Mushroom Kingdom. He also oversaw their powers, so he wanted to use their powers against Zelda and Peach's allies. Following the storyline, Bowser was ordered by Master Hand to capture a Princess, and this order was fulfilled. Bowser managed to capture both Princesses, which were then both changed to False Princesses. They were primarily used as commanders and guards of specified areas. Both Princesses were equipped with Dark Cannons, and like the others, they did not know about Tabuu. But Tabuu's plan of using Princess Peach and Princess Zelda's powers failed when Snake, Meta Knight and Lucario freed the Princesses right after defeating their False forms.
- There are some people who believe Tabuu is a combination of the villains Dark Mind and Marx, because he has similar attacks. He also teleports in a similar style to Nightmare, and teleports to the center of the screen for his defeat scene.
- Tabuu's name is based of the English word "taboo", meaning "forbidden".
- His Off-Waves attack seems to be based off the Shadow Queen's ultimate attack.
- There is a theory that the Smash Bros. series is about a kid playing with toys that resemble Nintendo characters, and Tabuu symbolizes society not accepting that the kid is starting to become adult and is still playing with toys.
- Another theory is that Tabuu might be meant to represent adulthood and the loss of imagination, with the Smash Bros. characters being born from a child's imagination.