Amiibo Science: What could be possible with the Brain Transplant, and what we have done so far

In my last post, I detailed how to take the functional data of an amiibo and place it into a different character. Since then, I have taken some time to experiment with this method an uncovered some unusual results.

Before I dig into this, let me state something very clearly. Brain transplants are not a replacement for high-level training. If you didn’t train your amiibo properly before the transplant, it will still be a bad amiibo after the transplant. In fact, it could be a bad amiibo afterwards regardless of how well it’s trained! This is not a perfect science.

There are limits to brain transplants. Immediately after the transplant, the amiibo will use the same moves that it did as its old character: taking a Sheik (who almost exclusively jabs) and putting him into Mario will cause the Mario to use his jab incessantly. However, over time, the Mario will succumb to his new AI. The Sheik experiences will be diluted and over time will be replaced by the tendencies that a normal Mario would have (down-smashing very often). This is to say that brain transplants are not permanent.

If they’re not permanent, what use do they have?

Well, some of the previous tendencies of the amiibo will still be there. Even fifty matches later, Mario will still throw out jabs when it would be uncharacteristic for him to do so, just not as often as when he was a Sheik. (I’ve tested this, too. I stopped testing at fifty matches because the effects just wouldn’t go away.) Mario will still do what a Mario does and down-smash often, but he won’t only down-smash anymore.

If these tendencies remain in the amiibo after the transplant, then we could use them to make other amiibo better, too. I recently trained a heavy Mii Swordfighter, using a 3221 moveset. I taught him to use his neutral special and his forward smash. Being a Mii Swordfighter, he really wasn’t all that great. Swordfighters do well in vanilla, but they aren’t much compared to a human player.

When the Swordfighter hit level 50, I transplanted him into a Greninja. I didn’t expect much, if anything at all. Greninjas are obsessive about their up-smash and almost nothing else, so they have never been a useful amiibo in any capacity. The character itself lacks KO power, which leads to some particularly boring matches.

So after transplanting, I took the resulting Greninja and had him duke it out against progressively more difficult amiibo (a few of which I had trained, but most of which I had obtained from competitive amiibo trainers over the months that I was part of their little group). The transplanted Greninja is roughly a mid-tier amiibo now. This is compared to most naturally trained Greninjas, who are completely useless against other amiibo. Before this, Greninja was a strong contender for the worst vanilla amiibo possible.

(Granted, the transplanted Greninja still has the 3221 custom moveset for Greninja, but I don’t believe that has affected him much.)

Outside of the potential this has for vanilla training, there is also the possibility that this could rock the customs metagame as well. However, I have not been a part of that metagame for a while and am largely unfamiliar with the direction it has been going. Thus, I will leave it up to the readers to test out how this could play out.

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