by Doc – Owner, Founder, Still Giggles When He Remembers That “Dracula” Is Now Part of the Collective Smash Canon Because It’s In Castlevania
I’ve been scripting out future videos for the Youtube channel, and part of that scripting has been to research Echo Fighters and the similarities between their amiibo AI. Echo Fighters are pretty interesting, because they (usually) have minor differences that play a role in how the character is played, and amiibo is no different.
I ran into a bit of a roadblock with the Belmonts. I was going to write the video with the angle that every amiibo is different from the Echo Fighter, but the conventional thinking on the Belmonts was that they had exactly identical AI in every way. The only discernible difference between them was the slightly different properties of Down Special, or so I was told. So, being the cantankerous old goat that I am, I decided to do my best to find any difference at all between their amiibo.
Training the Belmonts
I trained a Richter amiibo, focusing on Forward Tilt and Side Special, transplanted him over to my Belmont figure, and put the two of them against each other for several dozen matches. The conventional wisdom was right: they seemed to behave exactly the same way in the same situations. They had the same built-in behaviors with throws, and the same built-in behaviors with Neutral Air into Up Special, and all kinds of other things in identical proportions. I was just about to give up hope.
Then I noticed something.
The Belmonts have a built-in behavior that determines when to use Down Special regardless of their training. The grounded version of this behavior simply throws Down Special and follows it up with Forward Smash if it connects. In the air, the behavior is much more complicated. See the below graphic:
I found that while both Belmonts will use this behavior, Richter will use it more on Omega stages, and Simon will use it more on non-Omega stages. Mind you, I didn’t teach them to use Holy Water at all, so any uses can be attributed to their built-in behaviors. You could make the argument that the increased Holy Water usage would be caused simply by more time spent in the air, but these are otherwise-identical amiibo with a neutral spawn: they would be knocking the other in the air just as often as they’d be knocked into the air.
This isn’t the first time it’s seemed that the type of stage impacted the behavior of the amiibo. We know that Custom Stages heavily impact amiibo AI, to the point where they are universally banned, but it also appears that the Steve amiibo’s Minecart usage is affected by whether the stage is an Omega stage or not.
I’m not completely sold on this idea, because it’s quite easy to put your own biases forward when research amiibo, but it seems like a reasonable observation, and a small enough one that nobody would’ve noticed it before. It also stands to reason that if Nintendo were to make Holy Water a slightly different move between the two characters, they may reflect that change in the AI of the amiibo.
You can actually teach her up air drag-down into Uptilt or Downtilt into another Arial, but it has a chance of Missing. And sometimes when it does miss, Sheik will continue the combo anyway. I do recommend using a ton of Bouncing fish, and Side special near the ledge whenever not going for gimps with nair to give her more killing capabilities.
Oops, didn’t mean to post here. LOL