Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Character Profiles: King K. Rool

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has arrived and everyone is here! Shacknews' Ultimate Character Profiles continue with one of the latest additions to the roster. And boy, he's a big one!

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The holidays are here and guess what! So is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate! This is the near two-decade culmination for Nintendo's flagship platform fighter. Everyone from every Super Smash Bros. game in the series has returned for another battle, joined by a handful of all-new additions to the series.

The game may be out in the wild, but with so many characters to choose from, Shacknews remains committed to taking a look at each and every one of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate characters individually. And we are continuing to do so beyond the game's arrival date.

The final version is in the consumer hands, but these profiles should still not be considered final and can be updated at any time. Any guide that has been updated will be clearly marked.

Here's what we have up so far:
#01 - Mario
#02 - Donkey Kong
#03 - Link
#04 - Samus
#06 - Kirby (Updated 9/8/18)
#07 - Fox
#08 - Pikachu
#10 - Ness
#11 - Captain Falcon
#15 - Ice Climbers
#16 - Sheik
#17 - Zelda
#21 - Marth
#23 - Ganondorf
#24 - Mewtwo
#28 - Pit
#31 - Snake
#32 - Ike
#33, #34, #35 - Pokemon Trainer
#38 - Sonic (Updated 9/3/18)
#45 - Villager
#46 - Mega Man
#49 - Little Mac
#55 - Pac-Man
#61 - Cloud
#62 - Corrin
#63 - Bayonetta
#64 - Inkling (Updated 12/15/18)
#65 - Ridley

Today, we look at one of the newest characters to hit the Smash Bros. roster.

Who is King K. Rool?

Hit the music!

King K. Rool is the leader of the Kremlings, a band of lizards that has vexed Donkey Kong through the entirety of the original Donkey Kong Trilogy and also across the much-forgotten Donkey Kong 64. K. Rool is a big, bad reptile, standing among the biggest and more fearsome of the Kremling gang, so much so that he can use his giant belly to his advantage.

K. Rool is mainly known as the Kremling King, but he's also slummed it in a few different roles. In Donkey Kong Country 2, he was a pirate. In Donkey Kong Country 3, he was a scientist. In Donkey Kong 64, he was a boxer. But even if he's wearing more costumes than Roger from "American Dad," K. Rool is no one to take lightly.

With original DKC developer Rare going off to Microsoft, it was assumed that the Kremlings would never be seen again. Donkey Kong Country Returns has mostly relied on different bands of baddies. But Super Smash Bros. Ultimate brought out Donkey Kong's arch-nemesis to play once more, marking his first appearance in a video game in over 15 years.

King K. Rool's Moves and Fighter Overview

King K. Rool is a super heavyweight, but don't let his size fool you. He can be deceptively quick and dazzle opponents with unorthodox movement. He isn't as slow as Bowser, nor is he as powerful as Ganondorf, but K. Rool has a distinct tool set of his own that can net him some quick KOs against unsuspecting foes.

Here are King K. Rool's special moves:

  • Blunderbuss (Neutral B): K. Rool pulls out his old pirate's hat and Blunderbuss from DKC 2 for one of the more interesting neutrals in the game. The Kannonball he fires off can do moderate damage. But like in the final DKC 2 boss battle, K. Rool can use the Blunderbuss as a vacuum. He can either re-absorb the Kannonball and fire it off for heavier damage or suck up an opponent and launch them. Both of the latter moves have KO potential against higher-percentage opponents.
  • Propellerpack (Up B): This is mainly for recovery, though the propellers can inflict minor damage. This gets great distance for K. Rool, but at the expense of serious landing lag that leaves him vulnerable. He's also helpless on the way down.
  • Crownerang (Side B): K. Rool pulls out this old chestnut from the original Donkey Kong Country, tossing his crown as a boomerang. It'll do moderate damage, but it'll also grant K. Rool a brief period of super armor as he throws the crown. He'll still have to catch it on the rebound or he'll go crown-less for 12 seconds. If the crown falls to the ground, opponents can grab it and use it as a throwable object.
  • Gut Check (Down B): K. Rool can use his giant belly as a counter. This can not only reflect physical blows, but it's also capable of reflecting projectiles. It's one of the most versatile counters in the game, but it only works if the contact is made on K. Rool's belly. His head and the rest of his body are still vulnerable, so watch those overheads!
  • Blast-O-Matic (Final Smash): K. Rool takes a seat on his throne and fires a death laser straight at Donkey Kong Island. The explosion will take out any opponents nearby for an almost-certain KO.

While K. Rool's large stature mostly makes him a big punching bag, his dash is unorthodox in that he runs on all-fours. This reduces his hurtbox, making him slightly harder to hit on the move. His dash attack will see him lunge with his belly and hit for heavy damage.

Take advantage of K. Rool's up-smash, which is a plank that not only hits opponents in front of him, but also bops any opponents above him. Try surprising fighters in stages like Battlefield by bopping them on the way up. His down-smash is slightly better for cases where he's surrounded, particularly as it can briefly shake the ground. The quakes themselves are weak, but the down-smash is nothing to sneeze at, capable of KO-ing early.

Be cautious when using K. Rool's forward-smash boxing glove. It can inflict heavy damage, especially when hitting with the glove itself. However, it gets limited range. If you're used to farther-reaching forward-smashes, you might get shocked when K. Rool whiffs with his big right hand.

Esports Observations

The crew at VGBootCamp once again lead off. And they don't waste any time, with Zek "Coney" Zeeks immediately saying, "K. Rool is bulls***." They make it clear that this is a gimmick character, mostly because of his armor. They also note that unlike most super heavyweights, he's difficult to juggle because of his neutral-air that can catch opponents on the way down.

Jacob "Alpharad" Rabon has been a pivotal member of the Smash 4 community, known for putting together YouTube tutorials on various characters. He has a lot of feelings about K. Rool's smash attacks, his armor, and his distinct properties that separate him from other super heavyweights. Watch him put K. Rool's back-air meteor smash to work.

And then there's Smash 4 legend Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios, who's also on board the K. Rool hype train. He points to the character's armor mechanic (particularly on his neutral air), his counter, and his strong vertical recovery as qualities that separate him from the likes of Bowser and Donkey Kong. While a lot of attention has been directed towards K. Rool's smash attacks, ZeRo points to his down-throw as a strong setup for these finishers.


Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is out now on Nintendo Switch. We're still going through every single character, so be sure to check back in often for more profiles. Find more information concerning Nintendo's latest Switch-based brawler by stopping by Shacknews' Super Smash Bros. Ultimate walkthrough and guide.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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