Ever since Ganondorf was copy-pasted from Captain Falcon, Super Smash Bros. fans have been upset about “clones.”
And rightfully so. It feels like an offense when your favorite character is apparently mishandled in their representation (just like when a book you love is adapted poorly to film).
Sakurai seems to be calling for a truce this time around, no longer introducing “clone” characters as new fighters, but labeling them officially as “Echo Fighters.” They don’t even take up a number in the sequential count of characters.
Echo Fighters include Dark Samus, Daisy, Lucina, Chrom, Dark Pit, Ken, and Richter. (No, Isabelle is not an Echo Fighter—this is common misinformation.)
I gotta say, the one that hurts the most is Dark Samus. The rest of the lineup, I think you’ll agree, is easy to understand how their moves would be similar to the characters they are based off of. If you tried to make an argument for Ken, as an example, I’d wish you good luck!
Dark Samus had so much potential to have a unique moveset. The designers even had a handful of special moves that Dark Samus used as an Assist Trophy in Smash 4, but those are stripped away to keep her in line with basic, boring Samus.
What’s changed the most in Metroid Prime’s embodiment is her animations, which admittedly look stunning and appropriately creepy. I just wish that an equally impressive set of moves could have accompanied this addition to the roster, which could have involved Phazon and more acrobatics.
So, what is the plight of an Echo Fighter? The desire for more!
In past games, you can watch the progression as Falco, Ganondorf, Luigi, Roy, and others each become further set-apart from their source material. That progression simply felt like justice done to characters who had previously received the short end of the stick.
But now that these 7 characters are sitting comfortably under the banner of “Echo Fighters,” will there not be an incentive for developers to make them more unique in subsequent games?
I hope so, because if a character being an Echo Fighter means they’ll never be unique, I almost wish they weren’t added to the roster at all.