Glitches and Intentionality

You’ve talked about how a lot of Melee’s advanced mechanics were intentional. So, how do you determine, in Melee or any game, whether or not a mechanic is intentional?

Only a couple are truly intentional honestly. Like L canceling is undeniably intentional. Edge canceling and teeter canceling are arguable but unlikely. Wavedashing was discovered and left in. Multishining is almost certainly unintended.

How do I judge? I look at how the mechanic works, what the developers definitely did implement that lead to the trick, how hard the trick is to perform, changes in the sequels.

Like L canceling, you look at that and it’s almost certainly intentional. There’s no other mechanic in any fighting game I know of or heard of that can increase the speed at which an animation plays. That’s the type of thing you’d need to specifically set up. Having a 7 frame window beforehand is even more unlikely. Having a buffer to speed up the next animation, that’s the type of thing that doesn’t appear by accident.

Wavedashing I largely argue is intentional because I’m stubborn and the sakurai interview. Wavedashing works because air momentum is inherited into ground momentum, and airdodging imparts momentum. Those are things the developers had to set up, but if this were any other game I wouldn’t argue wavedashing is intentional.

Jump canceling in Devil May Cry, that’s something else that can only be intentional, because it’s in every game in the series, and it’s too weird to allow the character to jump in midair without the normal midair jump effect (the magic circle beneath his feet) and reset all his air options.

Kick Glitching in Mirror’s Edge is weird, same with the other fall height resets. When the animation ends, you’re set to a grounded state. There’s no real purpose for this. One might presume that maybe this fixes weird collision issues with the floor, but it doesn’t. It’s there, and there’s no reason for it to be there. Maybe they just goofed in development and set the state to standing rather than falling after a kick, roll, or fence damage?

(description reads: “It would’ve been so easy to fix for the developers, it’s almost like they put it in the game on purpose.”)

Another one is Charge Partitioning in 3rd strike. It’s so weird, it’s hard to judge if it’s intentional. First they clearly build a timer that allows you to act while retaining charge, but it starts at an effectively random point. Maybe it’s there so you can do standing normals and cancel them into charge moves? Maybe it was improperly implemented? Who really knows? Since the timer meter exists, I’d point towards intentionality with bad implementation.

All the soul duping glitches in Dark Souls I’d argue are unintentional. They typically involve buffering actions, then replacing the item that’s used. The system is set up to perform the action associated with the animation, but decrement the counter of the item current slotted. Similarly, dropping the item before the counter can be decremented is an obvious abuse.

Intentionality doesn’t matter much to me though.

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