The Rhythm Heaven series is slowly climbing Nintendo’s ranks to be one of its major IPs alongside the likes of Pikmin and Tomodachi Life yet its relationship with the Super Smash Bros series is an unusual one. The series didn’t make its Smash debut until the latest title on Nintendo 3DS and Wii U where it ultimately received two songs on the Miiverse stage, one enemy in Smash Run (the Sneaky Spirit) and five trophies. This seems rather underwhelming, especially in the song department, but it becomes even more disappointing after the infamous Gematsu rumour that stated the Rhythm Heaven series would be receiving a character in the form of the Chorus Kids from Rhythm Heaven on the DS.
In the end this never happened; however our very own PushDustIn discovered evidence in the files for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U that there was indeed a possible Rhythm Heaven character planned for the game. For whatever reason the character was dropped but it does raise an interesting question. Who is the best rep for the Rhythm Heaven series? The Chorus Kids were the rumoured characters but many across the Internet hoped for Matthew, the Wii titles’ tutorial character instead. Then there is the ever popular Wrestler from Ringside or the recurring Karate Joe character who has been in every game. The problem of a mascot for the series plagued fans but in 2015 Nintendo finally gave them an answer by introducing a story mode to the series for the first time. The star of this story was a little guardian named Tibby and for the first time ever, the Rhythm Heaven series got a main protagonist and a likely contender for the next Super Smash Bros. title.
Who is Tibby?
Tibby is the young prince of Heaven World, a land of clouds that exists even beyond the reaches of space. One day Tibby accidentally falls off of Heaven World and comes crashing head-first into Earth. Here he meets and befriends the player who agrees to help Tibby find a way home. While Tibby starts off as a bit of a crybaby, his adventures on Earth and the people he meets down there help to give him the resolve and confidence he will need to become a good ruler one day. On Tibby’s journey he must master the ‘flow’ by playing lots of rhythm games that somehow help the people out of their problems. The Tibby in Super Smash Bros. would be the more confident version who has already mastered his flow and now wields it to attack in various ways.
Importance to Nintendo/Series?
Tibby has a quite a few advantages to him appearing in the Super Smash Bros. series. Not only is he the only real protagonist of the series, but also his game came out recently making him the most relevant character. The series has been getting bigger and better over the years, becoming a major Nintendo series. With evidence that this series was planned to have a playable character already it seems plausible that if this idea ever gets revisited Tibby would be the first choice. If he ever comes back for a new Rhythm Heaven title then I would feel even more confident about his position as the series’ new mascot but only time will tell.
How will he play?
Tibby’s default color is his pink outfit and the rest of his colored alts are all based on the colors of the rainbow as it is the power of the rainbow that Tibby must harness in order to get home. Plus, each area and character in game is based around one of these seven colors, so it fits Tibby even more.
Now for some statistics:
- Can they crawl: No
- Can they wall jump: No
- How many jumps do they have: 2
- Is there any exclusive abilities they have*: No
- Weight Class: D
- Height Class: C
- Speed Class: D
- Are they mirrored when they faces left: No
*i.e. Peach’s float
(for a more detailed look at the stats check this link here)
Tibby is just a fraction taller than Mario although this is largely due to his big afro. This makes all of Tibby’s hitboxes lower down than normal. He is a fairly light character and is about as fast as Ness is.
As the only character from the Rhythm Heaven series, Tibby holds the role of representing his entire series and the only way he can do that successfully is by being a character who is all about the ‘flow’. The flow is a major component of the Rhythm Heaven series; the magical energy that people can harness by following the beat of the music. As someone who becomes a master of the flow by the end of the game, Tibby can use it to harness the powers of all those Rhythm games and convert it into energy to beat his opponents with it. The only way this can be done, however, is by following his internal beat and this is where Tibby’s main gimmick comes into play.
Tibby follows a ‘dum-dum-dum-dum’ beat that starts as soon as you press the attack button. Pressing the buttons again to this beat allows Tibby to pull off stronger or slightly altered attacks that are more effective as they utilize the flow. For some attacks it involves pressing the same button again while some, like his aerials, can be comboed into one another as long as the beat is followed. A good example of what this move takes is his standard Jab combo which is based on the recurring Karate Man game. Here, Tibby punches forward with the arm furthest away from the screen. If players spam the button with no sense of rhythm then Tibby will throw weak jabs at his opponents, but if you time it right, then the attacks become much stronger and will allow Tibby to deal a finishing blow with his other hand.
This gimmick is more complex than other characters in Smash and will require some slight tweaking to the Smash formula just for Tibby but we have seen this before with Ryu and Rosalina so we know Sakurai can be willing if he finds this concept appealing. Heck, it might’ve been why he considered a Rhythm Heaven character in the first place because the idea of a rhythm based fighter was unique. It would require lots of play-testing to get right but I feel this kind of moveset is possible in the Smash series and below is a moveset that shows you how.
Kirby hat: Kirby gets Tibby’s big pink afro although on Kirby it is hard to tell when the hair ends and the body begins!
Move Name & Action
|Entrance||Tibby falls from ‘Heaven World’ (i.e. the top of the screen)|
Tibby stands there, his arms swaying back and forth.
Tibby puts his hands behind his back and gives a look of distrust.
|Walking||Tibby’s walk cycle is a standard walk cycle.|
Tibby runs like the mice from Rat Race.
Tibby jumps like the guy from Night Walk.
His double jump has him wave his arms on the side like the microbes in Micro-row.
When Tibby falls he does the pose of the Bunny from Bunny Hop but more panicked.
When he is hurt he does his own pose that is used for hunger in the games.
Tibby’s jab is a reference to Karate Man. As explained above doing it to the beat will produce more powerful jabs and allow for a finishing blow.
Tibby’s forward tilt is a reference to Lockstep. It is similar to the Wii Fit Trainer’s side-smash but not as strong. When done to the beat it has a longer reach and a piercing effect on the point.
Tibby claps above his head like the Lion cubs from Clappy Trio. The attack is stronger when done to the beat.
With Tibby’s down-tilt he rolls on the ground like the Seals from Flipper-Flop. Unlike King Dedede, who also rolls with his down-tilt, Tibby will roll back and forth on the spot but must be done to the beat in order to keep this up otherwise he will flop and not flip.
With the help of the flow Tibby moves forward as if he was in the minigame Airboarders. This attack is one of the only ones that doesn’t require following the beat as it is a one-stage attack but pressing jump at the right time allows Tibby to jump into an aerial combo with no lag.
Using the flow Tibby swings an ethereal Sword in front of him. If you press the A button at the right time Tibby will follow it up with a swing behind him. References Samurai Slice.
Tibby holds a sign above his head. While charging he spins the sign and this can damage opponents. Letting go of the A button at the right time affects the success of this attack. Doing it correctly has Tibby hold a sign above his head with a random image on it. Messing it up causes Tibby to hold up the sign at an awkward angle and mess up the attack. References Cheer Readers.
For Tibby’s down smash, a piece of wood from LumBEARjack appears in front of Tibby and you have to time when to release the attack to swing down with your axe and cause damage.
Like the boars from Board Meeting Tibby will spin around in the air. Pressing the button to the beat will keep Tibby’s spin going.
Tibby swings forward with a badminton racket as if participating in Air Rally. Pressing this to the beat will allow for stronger follow-up swings.
Tibby turns around to face behind him and hits a Tambourine. Pressing this to the beat will allow for stronger follow-up attacks.
Tibby swings an ethereal knife from his right hand by using the flow. Press it again and he swings his left hand and can keep this up with the beat for stronger swings. This references Ninja Dog.
Tibby holds a pineapple downwards. Like the Villagers’ turnip attack but it is always one. Tibby holds it from the leaf end and it has a meteor effect but that only happens if you attack to the beat. This references Clappy Tune.
|Grab||Tibby’s grab has no reference. He does not have a very long reach.|
Tibby pummels like a Sumo Brother by slapping the opponent. The pummel keeps up based on how much the player keeps to the beat.
Tibby throws his opponent upward and then bunts them like the team from Bossa Nova.
|B-throw||Tibby spins around and throws his opponent upward, then bunts them like the team from Bossa Nova. This references how that game spins the player around.|
Tibby throws the opponent up in the air like the pillows from Pajama Party.
Tibby throws the opponent onto the ground and then tap dances on them. Pressing the button to the beat will keep up the dance. This references Tap Troupe.
|Neutral Special 1: Glee Club||
Tibby’s neutral special has him join the Glee Club. This is a three button attack. Pressing it just once has Tibby make a small scream attack, damaging those close to him. Pressing it again to the beat makes it slightly stronger and once more makes it really loud and far reaching.
|Neutral Special 2: Explosive Club||With this custom the first two attacks are weak but the large one ends in a literal explosion of noise.|
|Neutral Special 3: Upwards Club||This custom functions like the first one but Tibby is facing upwards so all of his attacks are directed above him making it good for juggling but not stopping incoming enemies.|
|Side Special 1: Rhythm Rally||
This is Tibby’s lone projectile attack. Tibby hits a ping pong ball ahead of him the bounces along the ground. The ball is small and doesn’t do much damage but Tibby has no limit to the amount of times he can hit as long as he keeps the beat. This is based on the Rhythm Rally game.
|Side Special 2: Rhythm Rally Arc||For this custom the ball moves in a much higher and slower arc. This covers more area for the balls to hit opponents but they can also dodge it more easily due to its speed.|
|Side Special 3: Rhythm Shot||For this custom the ball doesn’t bounce on the ground and Tibby hits it as far as he can. Opponents can run under this one but it has a longer reach.|
|Up Special 1: See-Saw||
This move is the only special to not follow the beat. A See-Saw appears with one of the guys and he lands on the opposite end, launching Tibby skyward. The See-Saw stays there and other people can jump on it to launch the man upward and into air bound opponents. However he will disappear after this along with the See-Saw.
|Up Special 2: Close-Saw||Tibby will be closer to the center of the See-Saw when it spawns and so won’t be launched as high. However he hurts opponents who he collides with making it a good attack but a weaker recovery.|
|Up Special 3: Spiked-Saw||When the other guy lands on the See-Saw he will explode into spikes. The spikes act as a small attack around the base of the See-Saw and Tibby still gets launched upward; however the See-Saw disappears straight away.|
|Down Special 1: Karate Man Senior||
Tibby’s down special references Karate Man Senior’s signature combo. This move does not have much reach but when first pressed Tibby punches forward. Then as the button is held down Tibby goes into a combo attack. Once released on time it ends with an uppercut. Missing that timing though has devastating consequences as Tibby will mess up and be in a tripped over state, vulnerable to any attack.
|Down Special 2: Karate Man Kick||This combo and method is the same as above but rather than end in an uppercut it ends in a kick. The uppercut launches opponents upwards whereas this one knocks them away.|
|Down Special 3: Karate Man Suction||This attack does less damage but during the combo it sucks opponents in towards Tibby. This makes it easier to get the finishing blow but the consequences are higher if he messes it up.|
|Final Smash: Samurai Drummer||
Tibby’s final smash has Samurai Drummer’s drum kit appear and he hits on it to the beat of a tune. This Final Smash is basically the same as Donkey Kong’s. This is the first mini-game in the series so it fits for a final smash.
Tibby poses and roars while the Flow creates the form of the wrestler doing the same thing behind him. This references the game Ringside.
Tibby shows a shocked expression and holds his hands in the air.
Tibby puts his hands above his head like the monkeys in Tap Trail and taps his feet three times.
|Victory animation 1||
Tibby jumps around the victory screen cheering for himself.
|Victory animation 2||
Tibby pulls a pose as the silhouette of a bunch of reporters pop up and take pictures. This is another reference to Ringside.
|Victory animation 3||Tibby plays a beat on Samurai Drummer’s drums before stopping to wipe the sweat from his forehead.|
Tibby’s victory theme would be a remix of the beginning of the superb theme in Rhythm Heaven Fever.
With that you have a potential Rhythm Heaven fighter. But that is not all the series could offer the Super Smash Bros. games. Today, Rhythm Paradise Megamix launches in Europe and Australia making the game available in all of the world’s major territories. If you are interested in picking it up then make sure to check out our review of the game. Stay tuned to later today where we will be presenting a new entry in the Dream Arena series by presenting a possible stage for the Rhythm Heaven series. Until then make sure to keep your flow in check, your rhythm going and your day wonderful!