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PK Thunder

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PK Thunder PSI Thunder
PKサンダー PK Thunder
PK Thunder α in Mother 3
Ranks α (Alpha)
β (Beta)
γ (Gamma)
Ω (Omega)
Target Enemy
PSI category Attack
Appears in EarthBound Beginnings
Mother 3
Super Smash Bros.
For Nintendo 3DS and Wii U
Learned by Ana
Ness (Smash Bros. only)
Lucas (Smash Bros. only)

PK Thunder is a PSI attack, introduced in EarthBound Beginnings. It is a electricity-based attack that summons bolts of lightning to strike random targets, with more being called down at higher stages. PK Thunder can be reflected by the Franklin Badge in EarthBound and Mother 3. PK Thunder is learned by Ana in EarthBound Beginnings, Paula and Poo in EarthBound, and Kumatora in Mother 3.


The user causes a lightning bolt to strike an opponent for electrical damage. In EarthBound Beginnings characters with the Earth Pendant equipped will be resistant to it, while in EarthBound and Mother 3 the Franklin Badge will reflect the lightning back at the user.

In EarthBound Beginnings PK Thunder can be aimed at any chosen opponent, unlike in its successors. This is also the only game where the Franklin Badge will not reflect the attack, as instead it reflects the lethal PK Beam γ. Oddly PK Thunder does not have an Ω tier and only goes up to γ, the reason for this is unknown.

PK Thunder was completely overhauled in EarthBound and Mother 3: now the move no longer allows the user to choose a target, instead it targets a random opponent with a chance to miss, in Mother 3 its accuracy is noticeably higher than in EarthBound. The accuracy of PK Thunder is higher when more enemies are present. The number of times PK Thunder strikes increases with each tier: PK Thunder α strikes once, β strikes twice, γ strikes thrice, and Ω strikes four times. PK Thunder will also remove any PSI Shields that have been put up, and in Mother 3 it also has a chance of paralyzing a target.

The "Crashing Boom Bang" attack in EarthBound is functionally identical to PK Thunder and so can also be reflected by the Franklin Badge.

Learnset and damage output

In EarthBound Beginnings

Rank Effect PP Characters Level learned
α 10-12 points of damage to one enemy 3 Ana 2
β 48-55 points of damage to one enemy 6 Ana 9
γ 48-55 points of damage to all enemies 12 Ana 28

In EarthBound

Rank Effect PP Characters Level learned
α 60-180 points of damage to one random enemy 3 Paula
β 60-180 points of damage to two random enemies 7 Paula
γ 100-300 points of damage to three random enemies 16 Paula
Ω 100-300 points of damage to four random enemies 20 Poo 55
  • The probability of Thunder hitting an enemy is calculated as Number of foes/4, and the probability will not decrease if some enemies are defeated before the attack is finished. There is also no elemental resistance for thunder, meaning the damage will never decrease. In addition, PSI Thunder will also erase psychic shields or psychic power shields protecting any combatants it connects with.

In Mother 3

Rank Effect PP Characters Level learned
α 120-130 points of damage to one random enemy, 15% chance of paralysis 7 Kumatora 12
β 120-130 points of damage to two random enemies, 15% chance of paralysis 15 Kumatora 32
γ 170-230 points of damage to three random enemies 21 Kumatora 49
Ω 170-230 points of damage to four random enemies 32 Kumatora 57

In the Super Smash Bros. series

Ness's variant of PK Thunder in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Lucas's variant of PK Thunder in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

PK Thunder is Ness's up special move, available in all Super Smash Bros. games, and Lucas's Up special starting with his introduction in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. For both characters PK Thunder features a guidable ball of lightning that can move in any direction the player chooses, it will disappear after a while or if it touches a solid object. Both of their PK Thunder's are projectiles, and can be reflected with a move like Fox's Reflector

PK Rocket/PK Thunder 2

The player can redirect the ball of lightning to hit themselves and launch them like a missile. This attack has been dubbed by fans as PK Rocket or PK Thunder 2. PK Rocket is Ness and Lucas's main form of recovery in all of the Super Smash Bros. games, as the attack sends them a very long distance. However due to the startup, it can easily be intercepted.


PK Thunder functions slightly differently for both characters: For Ness it disappears upon hitting a character, however Lucas's doesn't. As a result Lucas's version is much safer as a recovery. Starting with Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U Ness's version will not disappear until the "tail" fully appears. For PK Rocket, Ness's variant does a single blow with powerful knockback for a useful KOing option, Lucas's instead is a multi hitting attack and sends him a much greater distance than Ness's.


Ness has two extra versions of PK Thunder as custom specials in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U:

  • Rolling PK Thunder: This version does not last as long and moves slower, PK Rocket also goes a shorter distance. However, it is a very powerful move with a high damage output and knockback, having strong KO potential.
  • Lasting PK Thunder: Instead of disappearing when hitting an opponent, the lightning ball goes through them. PK Rocket is also a multi hitting attack rather than a single blow. It is identical to Lucas's variant, however PK Rocket doesn'ttravel as far in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.

Because of Lucas's status as a downloadable character, he does not have custom variants of PK Thunder.


In EarthBound
Pk thunder alpha beta.gif
PK Thunder α and β in EarthBound
Pk thunder gamma omega.gif
PK Thunder γ and Ω in EarthBound
In Mother 3
Alpha, Beta
PK Thunder α and β in Mother 3
Gamma, Omega
PK Thunder γ and Ω in Mother 3
PSI in the Mother series
PK BeamPK FirePK FlashPK FreezePK GroundPK LovePSI RockinPK StarstormPK Thunder
LifeupHealingPSI MagnetRefresh
PSIShieldPowerShieldShieldPSI ShieldCounterPSI CounterOffense UpDefense UpQuickUpOffense DownDefense DownHypnosisParalysisBrainshockDarknessShield-OffPSI-Block
TelepathyTeleport4th-D Slip
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