Nintendo have proven time and time again that they rather enjoy your money. Apologists may try to dismiss this concept, but ask anyone who ever bought the first version of a Nintendo handheld. After about a year, a better version is released, causing you to jettison the old one like it was a discarded tissue. A $250 tissue that your parents probably bought you for Christmas, no less.
Their latest foray into dollar gobbling comes in the form of the amiibos. For those unfamiliar, they are small, Skylanders-esque figurines that you can touch onto the Wii U gamepad/3DS screen/Nintendo Switch thingamees to interact with certain games. The most fleshed out example so far is their implementation in Smash Bros. Place your cute little Kirby amiibo onto the gamepad, and voila! He’s in the game, as an AI-controlled character that you get to train like a pet. You teach him, of course, by beating the everlasting crap out of him. In response, he grows meaner and more ruthless with each skirmish, while occasionally giving you presents and trophies. It’s the Nintendo cockfighting you’ve always longed for!
In the case of Smash, there will theoretically be an amiibo for every single playable character, so a small fortune is a necessity. Then, try and see if you will ever find a single other opportunity to use your Duck Hunt amiibo again. I suggest while on an actual hunting trip, brandishing it whenever your friend misses their target. Be warned, they might actually shoot you for this.
Some amiibos have also had interactivity with other games; Mario Kart allows certain figurines to provide your Mii characters with costumes, while the Zelda-related amiibos give you special items in Hyrule Warriors. And this is where things get interesting: how does one dictate which characters will be compatible with each game? The Mario cast were obvious locks for Mario Kart, but considering you can make your Mii cosplay as Fox McCloud, the alternative opportunities are limitless. And totemo kawaii, if you’re so inclined.
Here are some potential crossovers that would be undoubtedly awesome:
Mario in Wii Fit
For a man capable of doing backflips, springing onto roofs and literally jumping off of walls, Mario sure is a portly fellow. He must be doing some serious binge eating between each adventure. But we can help change things from ‘he fat’ to ‘Wii Fit’ by replacing the eerie monochrome trainers with Nintendo’s mascot.
Besides, we’ve known Mario all our lives, we love Mario, we trust Mario. “Let’s stretch-a our legs, wahoo!” Mario advises. And so, we stretch-a our legs. “Hoo! Take-a da deep breath.” He instructs. Da breath has never been deeper. “Try to keep-a your center of balance within da yellow area – OK?” …Actually, it’s hard to picture that in Mario’s voice. This coming from a guy who learnt how to play backgammon from Mario.
The only concern would be whether featuring the famous Jumpman would lead to people actually leaping on the balance board during mini-games. For the record, such a transgression leads to you being automatically booted from the game. That balance board sure doesn’t mess around.
Mega Man in Zelda
Link’s got all of the tools and the gadgets in the world, who else could have an arsenal wide enough to tackle the vast landscape of Hyrule? Why, Mega Man of course, a hero infamous for stealing the abilities of slain foes like Sylar from Heroes, or Jet Li in The One, or Zynga whenever they make a new game.
The point is, Mega Man has a tool for every situation. Need a melee weapon to mow through legions of minions? Equip the Flame Sword and lay hellfire in your wake. Can’t reach that elusive Heart Container? Climb aboard the Rush Jet and zip over with ease. Faced up with a particularly nasty enemy with no apparent weakness? Use the Top Spin, and spin at them like a maniac to cause massive, inexplicable damage. Seriously, Shadow Man, you disappoint me.
And just think of all of the Zelda bosses you’ve encountered over the years. Sure, completing their dungeon would score you a sweet new weapon in the process, but how much better would it be if you could steal the bosses’ own powers? From the Helmasaur King’s mighty shielded noggin to Barinade’s electrified jellyfish, the range of awesome tools you could have at your disposal is scintillating. Props to any person who activates Gyorg ability to turn into an angry fish. Because that’s not quite as cool, obviously.
Pikachu in Metroid
Since their appearance as allies in Smash Bros Brawl, the Internet has embraced the concept of Samus teaming up with Pikachu. Perhaps it’s because of Samus’ colourful past of enlisting the services of local animals, or something far more complex, but a quick search reveals that fans have fallen in love with the unlikely duo. It also leads you to drawings and fanfiction that take you down the darkest corridors of the human mind, so there’s that.
So far, amiibo implementation has never given you anything too hugely different from the typical gameplay experience, but introducing Pikachu as Samus’ little adventuring chum could change all that. Imagine if certain areas were only accessible after acquiring the electric mouse. If you could use his voltage to recharge certain weapons. If Pikachu could one-hit KO Ridley for no definable reason other than to bemuse us all. Would purists cry foul at the tie-in? Or did purists already bail out after Other M?
The juxtaposition of the dark, sinister world of Metroid and the cuddly little Pokémon is also an amusing image that could only be topped by the juxtaposition of Metroid with Wario. Would there have been as much fanart of a Samus/Wario crossover? I shudder to think.
Captain Falcon in Star Fox
The obvious route here is for the amiibo to provide aesthetic changes to the Arwing. And though it would no doubt be cool to travel the Lylat system in the Blue Falcon, they should take it further. Much, much further. I’m talking about replacing perennial wingman Falco with Captain Falcon himself.
Can you imagine it? The banter-heavy Star Fox universe improved drastically by Captain Falcon’s completely irrelevant one-liners.
Fox: “Just what I need to see. Star Wolf.”
Falcon: “Show me your moves!”
Fox: “Falco! Where you going?”
Falcon: “Falcon kiiiiiick!”
Fox: (upon crashing to his death) “Ahhhhhhhhh!!!”
Perhaps his inclusion could even make the game harder, as he occasionally rams into other ships, friend or foe, while screaming out “Falcon PAWNCH”. You’d hate it until he started targeting Slippy, be honest.
The Villager in Mortal Kombat
Okay, so this one strays from the realm of Nintendo IPs, but we all know that the true malice of Animal Crossing’s Villager is being limited by the games he’s confined to. In a world of hell-bound sorcerers, zombified Shaolin monks, and whatever Mokap’s deal was, the Villager would simply thrive. He collects bugs, he collects souls.
His shovel and axe make for obvious weapon choices, but the most exciting concept is trying to work out what his Fatalities would be. Whether he uses his fishing rod to tear a skeleton from its skin, or unleashes an army of angry tarantulas from his pockets upon hapless enemies, his visage would be remembered across the NetherRealm for generations to come.
Just… don’t ask me what fighting style he would use. Surely judo would suit his short stature, but he doesn’t appear to have great upper body strength. In actuality, he would probably only be able to punch people in the nads, and that technique remains the intellectual property of Johnny Cage.
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