The Ice Climbers

Remember, kids: the free market has lifted almost half the globe out of poverty since the beginning of the 20th century!

I made a few interesting and unusual observations when training the Ice Climber amiibo. I wasn’t able to train them twice as I normally do for an observation post, so instead I’m going to post bullet point observations as a starting point for future research.

  • The AI handles both characters separately. Technically Popo and Nana are different, being classified as follower and leader internally, but the AI handles them the same. This results in one of them parrying while the other shields sometimes.
  • Character-wise, Nana takes more damage but moves faster (assuming the default palette). The game AI sometimes has Nana self-destruct, which is true even for human players. There doesn’t seem to be a way that this can be trained out of the amiibo.
  • Because the AI handles both characters the same, but separately, the amiibo will sometimes desync. This can’t be used in the same way that humans use it due to the intelligence not being smart enough. When they desync, they’ll still behave normally but beat up on their opponent even more effectively than usual. It looks similar to human player’s desyncs in that a hit from one leads directly to a hit from the other.
  • They sometimes use Belay on-stage, leaving them completely vulnerable. Similar to other amiibo’s issues where they will try to recover while already on stage.
  • Teach them to use Iceberg against opponents offstage – small glacier will often hit the opponent once ledge invincibility runs out. This is also helpful because when they try to gimp, Nana can sometimes suicide. We don’t want them offstage.
  • Sometimes uses short hop-down air in very quick succession. Doesn’t appear to be any way to prevent this, as he started doing it at level 5. The longest chain of attacks I’ve seen in that matter was five successive short hop-down airs. The attack does combo into itself, but a frame-perfect amiibo opponent might be able to dodge or jump out of it, so I don’t recommend allowing them to learn to use down air.
  • Seems to understand momentum canceling? Uses up air to cancel vertical momentum, and easily survived a hit that should’ve killed. I scanned in my amiibo and replicated the percentages in training mode, and it appears he did indeed cancel his momentum. Further testing required.

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