There’s something peculiar about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s Ver. 11.0.0 patch that wasn’t listed in the official notes. Projectiles now have a chance of going through character heads without harming them at all.
new bug in 11.0: projectiles sometimes completely ignore specifically head hurtboxes when moving forward (or going from dash to run, im not sure)— angie (@firubiii) March 7, 2021
i first saw this with byleth's arrow and jigglypuff's head, but it seems to affect any projectile in the game pic.twitter.com/fMVobjX5Sw
Twitter user “angie” tweeted a video showcasing the glitch. In this tweet she noted that projectiles have a chance to bypass hurtboxes on character heads. It’s currently unknown what exactly triggers this glitch. However, it seems to be related to when characters are running and facing the projectile.
Understandably, people are curious as to why this strange happening occurs. There’s quite a few possibilities as to what’s going on behind the scenes here. The first possibility is that this was an intentional change. The developers may have wanted to add a small chance for projectiles to miss head hurtboxes for whatever reason, and it isn’t exactly uncommon for fighting games to go through many small tweaks.
Another possibility is that it’s a mechanic accidentally added earlier than planned given the lack of any announcement for it. Many people have compared it to Grazing, a mechanic used in many Bullet Hell games, perhaps most notably the Touhou Project series. Some have suggested that this might be a sign that a future Smash character is from a game that uses said mechanic.
Thirdly, there’s a possibility this is related to Duck Hunt. Duck Hunt recently received shadow changes, which are changes that aren’t noted in the official changelist.
With new patches comes new Duck Hunt shadow fixes. Duck Hunt's Reticle Duplication glitch was fixed and they can no longer double hit smash attacks or reduce smash attack startups by 5 frames. Gunman grab invincibility was fixed, Duck Hunt can now be grabbed while inside gunman. pic.twitter.com/RB5ygK9jJY— White & Husky (@VVhiteHusky) March 5, 2021
These shadow changes caused them to lose the Reticle Duplication technique and the ability to use a downed gunman to prevent themselves from being grabbed. This isn’t the only time Duck Hunt’s obtained shadow changes though. In the Ver. 3.0.0 update, Duck Hunt lost a glitch that made it possible for Wild Gunman’s projectile to pass through characters. Sounds pretty similar to the current glitch, doesn't it? Coincidence? Perhaps, but it’s definitely interesting that we get a new glitch closely resembling an old one involving Wild Gunman the moment the move got patched again.
Of course though, it could also be unrelated to all of these options and be the fault of something else. The possibilities are endless!
Author’s Note: I was really curious, so I tried recreating the glitch myself by running into Link’s arrow like 100 times. Unfortunately though, I couldn’t find any difference between the times a projectile would go through my character and when they didn’t. It’s been fun thinking about what on earth causes this though, so I don’t regret that at all! Personally, I think it’s related to the Duck Hunt changes. What do you think though? Please let us know in the comments below!