Trevor Williams, a 24-year-old Smash player, discovered an exploit that could have some far-reaching implications for the Super Smash Bros. for Wii U tournament scene. "PikAmp," as he calls the , is tough to trigger, but when done properly, can make one of the game’s least-used characters, Captain Olimar, an unstoppable killing machine.
Another Smash player on the Smashboards forum described how to use the exploit:
Step 1. Throw Pikmin, preferably onto someone, or make sure the reflector is in between you and Pikmin (in this case, make sure they can walk to the reflector).
Step 2. Have player 2 reflect it so the Pikmin touches the reflector by walking by, or latching.
Step 3. Using the Order Tackle custom move, bring the Pikmin back. If they are done at the right timing, you can get almost 100% on your opponent.
Step 4. Note this Pikmin. it is now busted until it dies, is thrown, or used in a smash attack.
Completing these steps give Olimar several Pikmin that he can trow to instantly kill any other fighter. Earlier this week Williams posted a YouTube video demonstrating the technique, and its discovery has left some professional players upset. Because Smash Bros. aims for both casual and competitive players, it has a lot of options and rules to modify and toggle for those looking to make matches more or less balanced.
Since release, tournament organizers have been sifting through some of the new rules to figure out which ones would be okay to use in competitive matches. One of the more controversial options is "Custom Moves." When turned on, it lets players swap out special techniques for any of Smash Bros.’ four dozen characters. While it has taken some time, the professional community has generally come to accept customizing character attacks.
That acceptance, however, has been tenuous. And there's fear that discovering this kind of exploit – one that makes one character essentially unstoppable – could herald a stream of exploits yet to be discovered. With Nintendo announcing that they won’t be doing any more "balance" patches, this is something Smash Bros. might be stuck with – severely limiting its potential for play future tournaments.
While the GameCube’s Super Smash Bros. Melee has been a consistent part of the fighting game scene for almost 15 years, its sequel, Brawl, was largelyleftout of competitive play. Brawl introduced mechanics like tripping that fans were not fond of. Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS has faced some skepticism from fans, with a lot of debate surrounding which events will host the game and how tournament organizers will establish standardized rules. Smash Wii U has generally favorable reception from the competitive community, but this exploit could hamper that.
"PikAmp," may simply be the first of many problems yet to be discovered. If there are more some in the community may continue to demand banning certain features or rules. If that happens too often, then its entirely possible that the competitive community will settle back into melee instead of staying with the Smash Bros. for Wii U.
Forums for Smash players like Smashboards and the Smash subreddit have been buzzing with players complaining about what this could mean for tournaments, asking for bans on certain rules that make the exploit easier or that Nintendo patch the bug out entirely. We reached out to Nintendo for comment, but at time of writing they have not responded.