Echo fighters, here to stay?

Grie

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Nov 30, 2018
Messages
91
#1
At E3 2018 during smash ultimate’s announcement, Sakurai revealed the concept of echo fighters. While at first glance it is a very nice idea, I believe it was poorly executed and I wish to talk about there future in the next installment of the series.

Now you probably know the concept of echoes, they are direct clone of a specific fighter but with small differences that give a different gameplay experience. But the idea fails miserably because the vast majority of echoes do not differentiate themselves from there base enough to make a good difference. There is only one echo who as been done in a way that seems to be what echoes should all aspire to be, Ken. He an obvious base from Ryu and shares the overall same playstyle of being a shoto type character based around footsies, but they then distance themselves from each other significantly. Ken’s superior mobility and different command inputs makes im a rushdown character based around a large high damage combo tree, while Ryu’s better projectile make im more adequate for long to midrange spacing that leads into is smaller combo game. They have there own strengths and weaknesses and it makes so playing one or the other isn’t a question as they are not quite comparable enough. The same cannot be said about the others.

Daisy, Richter, Dark Pit and Dark Samus play the exact same from there original template, it’s literally « pick whoever you want » because they have no nuances what so ever. While Chrom and Lucina have a large difference from there base, a consistent blade, and Chrom even as a completely different move, there gameplan is identical to there template to the point that Lucina is simply more practical than Marth because the differences are not significant enough to make Marth appealing to people outside of character loyalists.

So what should be done, what is the most practical thing to do in a situation like this? My answer is quite simple, clean it up. But how are we going to go about doing this? Here is what I believe should be done. First change: Lucina, Dark Pit, Daisy and Richter will all become alternate costumes. While echoes are cheaper and might not warrant such a fate, Sakurai actually said that they take more time than we may think, and he is not wrong. Victory animations, taunt animations, damage multipliers on move, it’s all time that ads up over the course of developing the game, time that they could use to polish a veteran significantly. Another reason I believe this is a good choice is with the arrival of the newest newcomer, the hero from Dragon Quest proves that alternate costumes can simply expand a roster while taking minimal time to develop. Imagine the reception if say, solo, the dragon quest 4 variant of the hero was is own echo fighter, the reception would have been extremely different and would have most likely tipped on the negative side, just like the reception to Lucina and Dark Pit in sm4sh. And while they have different abilities in canon that could warrant there own moveset, the heroes probably have unique abilities as well. If a character as similar abilities to a fighter in the roster, making them a costume can simply enhance the representation of a franchise while not generating as much if not any hate whatsoever. Second change: Dark Samus will be decloned. Unlike the other echoes, her wide selection of subtle animations can cause a massive change that makes the character incompatible to transfer into a palet swap. If a random person that never heard of Metroid was told to examine the two characters and tell what was inside the suit if it isn’t a human, they would probably say Samus is a robot, while Dark Samus is a corpse. In that sense Dark Samus will be decloned to give her more phazon like attribute to make her more similar to her in game appearance. And to differentiate herself from her counterpart, Samus herself will gain a completely new and different moveset to replace her old, generic moveset. This will allow Dark Samus to live as her own entity from Samus within smash as well as keeping metroid solid representation in terms of character selection. Final change: kill the spare. For the record, I like Chrom, I believe he is one of the best designed character in the whole game. Is personality is on point, is moveset is on point to is original appearance in awakening, he is simply perfect. But I do not know what to do with im. He ends up a bit repetitive in terms of fe’s cast, can’t really become a costume of Roy due to changes that would make zero sense (like falchion lighting itself in fire, Chrom using a reverse grip for is sword it simply makes no sense) so if he is not in a situation where the roster benefits from is inclusion, he is highly dependable. Ken would also get the boot but ONLY if Ryu is axed because cutting someone like him would be somewhat pointless.

So this is what I have to say about this subject. If I sounded overly negative it’s simply because Sakurai’s recent decisions make me lose faith in these characters getting improved for the better and It think it is for the better that such changes be made to not needlessly cut a character that can still be playable without taking up anything sort of developement time as small as it can be and for the characters themselves to not get hated for existing.
 

Prince Altoid

Smash Rookie
Joined
Nov 12, 2018
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24
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South Carolina, USA
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#2
The only real thing that bothers me is when two echo fighters are the exact same in terms of how they play. I don't mind differences, big or small, as long as there ARE differences and they aren't completely different characters enough to stand on their own. I can understand Simon and Richter being different because they're third-party and it's clear Sakurai wanted both of them to be their own entity, and while it would've been nice to see them have SOME differences, I can accept them being the same the way they are.

Then you have Peach/Daisy, Samus/Dark Samus, and Pit/Dark Pit that had no reason to not just be palette swaps. Those bother me quite badly.

Also, something I don't see enough people talking about: certain fighters that SHOULD have been echo fighters, but aren't. What reason other than some weird sense of loyalty to the source material does Sakurai have to make Mario and Dr. Mario two completely different fighters? Young Link/Toon Link? Hell maybe even Pikachu/Pichu. It's weird honestly.
 

Sebas22

Smash Apprentice
Joined
May 28, 2019
Messages
117
#3
It's not really hard to come up with an original moveset for Dark Pit and Daisy. In fact, it's extra weird that Sakurai didn't put more attention to Dark Pit moves, given all the weapons available in Uprising.
 

GhostMelee

Smash Apprentice
Joined
May 3, 2019
Messages
152
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Itogami Island
#4
Also, something I don't see enough people talking about: certain fighters that SHOULD have been echo fighters, but aren't. What reason other than some weird sense of loyalty to the source material does Sakurai have to make Mario and Dr. Mario two completely different fighters? Young Link/Toon Link? Hell maybe even Pikachu/Pichu. It's weird honestly.
I can see where you’re coming from since I too found it weird that these characters weren’t considered echo fighters, but I believe it’s because they were already introduced as full characters before. I assume if they decided to bring Dr. Mario, Pichu, and the rest of the characters into Ultimate for the first time (who are clones), then maybe they would’ve been introduced as echo fighters.
 

osby

Smash Legend
Joined
Apr 25, 2018
Messages
13,969
#5
I still don't get why people want more differences in clones and then want to turn them into costumes, erasing any differences they might have.

It's not really hard to come up with an original moveset for Dark Pit and Daisy. In fact, it's extra weird that Sakurai didn't put more attention to Dark Pit moves, given all the weapons available in Uprising.
It's not weird at all. "Coming up with a moveset" is infinitely easier than actually spending time and resources for actually realizing said moveset.

Dark Pit still uses his signature weapons in Smash.
 

Sebas22

Smash Apprentice
Joined
May 28, 2019
Messages
117
#7
It's not weird at all. "Coming up with a moveset" is infinitely easier than actually spending time and resources for actually realizing said moveset.

Dark Pit still uses his signature weapons in Smash.
His signature weapons act the same as Pit's. The only weapon that is different is the staff which is his Final Smash. There are no claws, no cannons, no palms, no attack orbitars to be seen. And I think I'm missing another type of weapon.. it was like a gun (Last time I played Uprising was like 7 years ago). I just hoped for something different, like what happened to Isabelle.
 

Mic_128

Team Order
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GRimer
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#8
I still don't get why people want more differences in clones and then want to turn them into costumes, erasing any differences they might have.
Not to mention that as costumes, they'd lose unique characteristics such as animations (Samus vs Dark Samus) or effect colours(Peach vs Daisy)

I don't see the need to remove what does make them unique and turn them into simple costumes. Would it have been awesome if they were all completely unique characters? sure. It may even happen in the next game (Look at Mario/Luigi/Doc, Marth/Roy) But I'm happy to get these few minor extras, when the alternative was simply not to get them at all.
 

Xelrog

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#9
It's not really hard to come up with an original moveset for Dark Pit and Daisy.
It's not about whether it could be done. It's whether it's worth the effort, and it really isn't. Echo characters are in the game because they're easy to make. The choice isn't between Daisy being an echo and Daisy being a fully original character. The choice is between her being an echo vs. not being in the game at all.
 

Ryu Myuutsu

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BahamurShin
#10
At E3 2018 during smash ultimate’s announcement, Sakurai revealed the concept of echo fighters. While at first glance it is a very nice idea, I believe it was poorly executed and I wish to talk about there future in the next installment of the series.

Now you probably know the concept of echoes, they are direct clone of a specific fighter but with small differences that give a different gameplay experience. But the idea fails miserably because the vast majority of echoes do not differentiate themselves from there base enough to make a good difference. There is only one echo who as been done in a way that seems to be what echoes should all aspire to be, Ken. He an obvious base from Ryu and shares the overall same playstyle of being a shoto type character based around footsies, but they then distance themselves from each other significantly. Ken’s superior mobility and different command inputs makes im a rushdown character based around a large high damage combo tree, while Ryu’s better projectile make im more adequate for long to midrange spacing that leads into is smaller combo game. They have there own strengths and weaknesses and it makes so playing one or the other isn’t a question as they are not quite comparable enough. The same cannot be said about the others.

Daisy, Richter, Dark Pit and Dark Samus play the exact same from there original template, it’s literally « pick whoever you want » because they have no nuances what so ever. While Chrom and Lucina have a large difference from there base, a consistent blade, and Chrom even as a completely different move, there gameplan is identical to there template to the point that Lucina is simply more practical than Marth because the differences are not significant enough to make Marth appealing to people outside of character loyalists.

So what should be done, what is the most practical thing to do in a situation like this? My answer is quite simple, clean it up. But how are we going to go about doing this? Here is what I believe should be done. First change: Lucina, Dark Pit, Daisy and Richter will all become alternate costumes. While echoes are cheaper and might not warrant such a fate, Sakurai actually said that they take more time than we may think, and he is not wrong. Victory animations, taunt animations, damage multipliers on move, it’s all time that ads up over the course of developing the game, time that they could use to polish a veteran significantly. Another reason I believe this is a good choice is with the arrival of the newest newcomer, the hero from Dragon Quest proves that alternate costumes can simply expand a roster while taking minimal time to develop. Imagine the reception if say, solo, the dragon quest 4 variant of the hero was is own echo fighter, the reception would have been extremely different and would have most likely tipped on the negative side, just like the reception to Lucina and Dark Pit in sm4sh. And while they have different abilities in canon that could warrant there own moveset, the heroes probably have unique abilities as well. If a character as similar abilities to a fighter in the roster, making them a costume can simply enhance the representation of a franchise while not generating as much if not any hate whatsoever. Second change: Dark Samus will be decloned. Unlike the other echoes, her wide selection of subtle animations can cause a massive change that makes the character incompatible to transfer into a palet swap. If a random person that never heard of Metroid was told to examine the two characters and tell what was inside the suit if it isn’t a human, they would probably say Samus is a robot, while Dark Samus is a corpse. In that sense Dark Samus will be decloned to give her more phazon like attribute to make her more similar to her in game appearance. And to differentiate herself from her counterpart, Samus herself will gain a completely new and different moveset to replace her old, generic moveset. This will allow Dark Samus to live as her own entity from Samus within smash as well as keeping metroid solid representation in terms of character selection. Final change: kill the spare. For the record, I like Chrom, I believe he is one of the best designed character in the whole game. Is personality is on point, is moveset is on point to is original appearance in awakening, he is simply perfect. But I do not know what to do with im. He ends up a bit repetitive in terms of fe’s cast, can’t really become a costume of Roy due to changes that would make zero sense (like falchion lighting itself in fire, Chrom using a reverse grip for is sword it simply makes no sense) so if he is not in a situation where the roster benefits from is inclusion, he is highly dependable. Ken would also get the boot but ONLY if Ryu is axed because cutting someone like him would be somewhat pointless.

So this is what I have to say about this subject. If I sounded overly negative it’s simply because Sakurai’s recent decisions make me lose faith in these characters getting improved for the better and It think it is for the better that such changes be made to not needlessly cut a character that can still be playable without taking up anything sort of developement time as small as it can be and for the characters themselves to not get hated for existing.
How did the echo characters concept fail miserably?

The word echo means 'a reverberation after the original sound'. In japanese, they are called Dash Fighters and are marked by the ' symbol. In Math, that symbol is used to designate something that is derived from something else. Hence, Echo/Dash Fighters=copies or clones of an original fighter. Based on this, the concept works exactly as intended by the developers, so where did they fail exactly? It looks more like you projecting your personal wants on what an echo fighter should be and this caused you to mislead yourself on the meaning of the concept.

Secondly, echoes take less time than actual characters. They require more effort than alts for sure, but they still aren't significant to be considered a huge workload. So assuming that making them alts would magically translate into more quality control for existing characters is a fallacy. That's a very common coping mechanism that people come up with when they don't understand some of the game design nuances in Smash. Someone like Dark Pit or Lucina heavily derive from their originals that their only differences are in stats for certain moves, so they can easily be balanced side to side. So, sorry to break it you, but your favorite veteran isn't going to immediately favored just because you off a couple of echoes and make them alts.

Making them alts at this point is unnecessary as well because a partial solution already exists. Simply merge their portraits on the roster screen, that way they function more like alts of an existing character.

Also, you speak of the implementation of the Heroes from DQ as if it was a novel concept, when in actuality it has been done before. Bowser Jr. and the Koopalings and Olimar and Alph are notorious examples. In Jr.'s case it's probably because it would be silly to have 7 echoes of the same character, while in Alp's case it's probably because his mechanics didn't differ enough to warrant his own spot.

Some people speak of echoes/clones as if they were something that needs to be fixed, or a disease that must be cured, but they miss the whole point for the most part. They are meant to be an aesthetic alternative rather than a gameplay one. Whether I choose Dark Pit or Pit would up to my personal preference for the most part rather for a tactical one. And I think it's silly to care about what some random thinks of Samus and Dark Samus to the point of influencing a creative decision; most average joes probably don't even know that Samus is a woman.

Imagine if the dev team implemented all the changes to the clones that you suggested on the next iteration, then Sakurai is like "Oh hey, I'll use my spare time to add two more echo fighters". The game then releases and because people tend to focus on the negatives. they will ironically see those two characters as the devs being lazy. They will be mad but because of their ignorance. Then someone will suggest a way to "fix" the issue and comes up with a way to make those clones more unique that those lazy devs couldn't accomplish. Then everyone pats themselves on the back for a job well done, but not really.
 
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