A *very* odd flaw in Ultimate’s CPUs that amiibo don’t have

by Doc – Owner, Founder, Really Wishes People Were More Interested in That 2D Fighter Thing He Talked About in That One Video

Last weekend, I put out this video, explaining that with a Heavy Smash ruleset and specific characters, you could have yourself a pretty-convincing 2D fighter a la Street Fighter. I recommended people use their amiibo as Raid Bosses in this gamemode, because it’s really an interesting adaptation of Smash and the amiibo opponents are quite difficult even in vanilla.

I’ve been playing with this gamemode for quite a long time, probably since a few months after Ultimate’s release when the idea first occurred to me. I always play as one of the six characters that I “legalized” for this gamemode:

  • Little Mac
  • Ryu
  • Ken
  • Terry
  • Kazuya
  • Mii Brawler

I’ll also scan in an amiibo of one of these characters, and have a go at it. Amiibo opponents who go off-stage typically recover a-okay despite being in Heavy Smash, unless you get them really far off-stage using a move like Ryu’s Final Smash. This is helped by the fact that the stages are all Omega stages, so the ledges are very recovery-friendly.

But CPUs sometimes fail their recovery, and for no reason. I’d go so far as to say that amiibo fail to recover in about one out of thirty recovery attempts, while CPUs fail to recover in about one out of six recovery attempts. I have no idea why this is the case – the stages are always the same, there’s no spirits involved, and I typically don’t bother to gimp the opponent. These ratios are roughly consistent no matter the character (although Little Mac AI never goes off-stage, so I’m not including him).

One of the most direct examples are when a Terry is using Powerdunk, and it takes him off-stage. The Terry CPU typically tries to jump too late and then Up Special, missing the ledge range by a few pixels. But the amiibo jumps much earlier to recover, and hits the ledge just fine. Let me illustrate my point:

Diagram of Smash Ultimate ledge.
The green line represents a programmed range at which the computer opponent can still recover. If a character’s recovery is really long-range like Villager’s, their line is much lower.

This is a conceptual map of how amiibo tend to recover – it’s not specific to any character or stage. When the Terry CPU would try to recover, he’d wait until he was below the green line to jump, and then use Up Special. The Terry amiibo didn’t – it would jump at its first chance, use Up Special, and often end up above the ledge as a result.

The recovery timing that the CPU uses would usually function just fine outside of Heavy Smash, but the amiibo adjusts its timing to account for the extra gravity. That’s odd.


1 Comment

  1. interesting stuff here. CPU´s are dumb.Ii also find it funny that we both had the idea of make a 2D fighting game in smash(only i did not legalize specific characters)me and my brother often play it yelling HADOKEN!!!. I named the rule set street fighter for obvious reasons


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