Tabuu (タブー, Tabuu) is the leader of the Subspace Army and the final boss of Subspace Emissary. He uses the Subspace Bombs to send entire locations to his dimension, where he absorbs their power to increase his own. His name is likely a pun on the English word "taboo", which is to be unacceptable or improper by society's terms. He is a cold hearted ruler and because of him, R.O.B. is the last of his kind.
Role in the Subspace Emissary
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 can not 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 Mr. Game & Watch 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 Smash Bros. world, Master Hand, who enlisted the help of Ganondorf, Bowser and Wario. These three would 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 quickly turns him into a trophy. Ganondorf's body hits the puppeteered Master Hand, thus breaking him free of his Chains of Light. Master Hand also charges at Tabuu, but to no avail. Tabuu uses his Off Waves to turn everyone into a trophy as soon as they approach.
However, Luigi, Kirby, and Ness are later revived thanks to the Dedede Badge, along with King Dedede himself and he joins the team of Luigi and Ness, and they rescue everyone. 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 has reached Tabuu, he will attempt to turn everyone back into trophies again. Before Tabuu can unleash his attack however, he is ambushed by Sonic the Hedgehog. Anyone can fight Tabuu, however the player must first pick up the trophies of the fallen comrades in order to do so. 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.
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 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.
- Trophy obtained by beating Boss Battles mode with all characters.
In one of its attacks, Tabuu extends his wings. During the attack, Tabuu goes into the background, extends his wings, and sends out three powerful shock waves known as "Off Waves" that cover the entire screen. In the game, it turns everyone into trophies. Technically it does the same thing a Dark Cannon would do, only that it can hit mutiple enemies at the same time. Being hit with the first or second shock wave guarantees you a knock-out. However, it is possible to survive if hit with the third shock wave like a Warp Star. The power of Tabuu's Off Waves are reduced to being capable of only KOing characters instead of turning them into trophies when Sonic destroys his wings.
As the last boss of Subspace Emissary, Tabuu is expected to have a wide variety of attacks available to him, which are dangerous and increase in 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 which was announced on the DOJO!!.
- 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 (With the exception of Meta Knight).
- Diving Slash (also called Energy Claw) - 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 2-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 (A.K.A. Dragon Cannon) - 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 (depending on character) 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.
- Off Waves (Also known as Winged Tabuu, Red Rings of Death, or Shockwaves of Doom) - 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 and knockback, which will very likely cause a 1-hit KO (mostly in harder difficulties). To avoid these shock waves, a character must either roll or dodge with accurate timing. If playing as Pokémon Trainer, or Zelda/Sheik using Down B the instant Tabuu extends his wings also works. You can Perfect Shield, which is much harder to pull off. Used as the first 4th move and every 8 moves after that.
- 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. Used every 8 moves. Can be very easily avoided by hiding right at the end of the stage under Tabuu's chin, allowing you to easily damage him, mainly, by using up-tilts (some moves that push your fighter backwards may move you into the beams, though.)
- 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 1-hit KO a player at low percentages.
- Some of Tabuu's attacks are taken from other bosses; his Eye Laser is similar to Master and Crazy Hand's Finger Laser and his teleportation from final bosses in the Kirby series such as Marx.
- A glitch occurs that if the character attempts to tech or air dodge Chain of Light, the character will get stuck beneath Tabuu's legs and unable to free him/herself until Tabuu kills the character. Two videos have been confirmed. It is also claimed that being Metal (possibly only during the deactivation frames of the Metal Box) can cause this glitch. Either way, the character is in a basic, no-animation 'T' Pose.
- Tabuu's attacks are considered to be extremely 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.
- On low difficulties of Boss Battles Mode, Tabuu's Off Waves do very little damage, because the player has only one life rather than six. On higher levels, however, the waves are still a One-hit KO.
- The dragon in the "Dragon Laser" attack resembles a Dark Cannon.