A staple of Fighting Games
, though not by any means uncommon in other genres, this character copies the moveset of the other characters. Generally, the Ditto Fighter comes in three variants:
- Mokujinner: The moveset is chosen randomly, sometimes per round. If the character is playable, the player may or may not be able to change between movesets.
- Dittomediate: The Ditto Fighter copies the moves of the opponent they're facing, sometimes copying their appearance if they're lucky.
- Tsungxpert: The moveset is non-random: the player has full control over what character they copy or the moveset is a predefined combination of moves from already-existing fighters.
In most cases, the moves tend to be less effective since they're built for the original character model's size/height, unless the Ditto Fighter is also the boss of the game
Named after the Pokémon
Ditto, who can transform into its opponents. See also the related Moveset Clone
, where two characters have the same moveset. Similar to, but distinct from Power Copying
, which involves being able to copy one power/skill that your opponent displays and accumulating them as you encounter more of them
; whereas the Ditto Fighter copies the whole power or skill set for one round or match and discards it to fashion a whole new skillset upon facing a different opponent
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Video Game Examples
- The "copycat" dolls from Mendel Palace, with the added bonus of only moving and attacking when you do (except when the alarm sounds).
- There's a Doppelganger boss in one of the final missions in Devil May Cry 3. The creature mainly assumes Dante's Rebellion Devil Trigger form, is much bigger than you and cannot be harmed at all unless you flash light at him by hitting the dials attached to the walls, forcing him into a weaker humanoid form. Although you'll have to be careful as he will attempt to shut them down with shadow orbs.
- Dracula's Curse has a Doppelganger boss, as did Castlevania Chronicles and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
- In Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, one of the main bosses that you fight can copy your every special move. However, he will always use whatever power you used on him last and can only copy them at lv1 strenght, so he is easily beaten by using either an easily avoided attack or one that's useless at lv1 on him, allowing you to kick his ass with little effort. If you aren't paying attention and don't realize this, he's a lot harder - his default attack is a pain.
- The Final Boss in the arcade version of Double Dragon II: The Revenge (who is the next-to-final boss in the NES version) is a Lee brother clone who uses the same basic moves, but can also throw energy beams and possess the player's body to drain their energy. If two players are playing, then both players must fight two clones, one for each.
- Black, the Final Boss of Final Fight 3, has personalized versions of Guy's Tooshi and Haggar's Double Lariat among his move set.
- The final confrontation in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is with Link's own shadow, who has all of his strengths and weaknesses.
- Shadow Link reappears in Ocarina of Time in the Water Temple, and in a few other games. He copies your regular attacks only. Your other weapons (Biggoron's Sword, Megaton Hammer, Din's Fire, etc.) are something only you have. Though he also gets a cheap-ass move where he pins your sword in place by jumping on it.
- Something unique about this Ditto Fight is that he also copies your health; however many Heart Containers you have is how many hits it takes to kill him.
- Similarly, in Exile, Sadler is forced to fight his own Shadow before his final battle with The Holy Roman Emperor.
- Kingdom of Loathing has the Doppelshifter familiar which will change into a random familiar at the beginning of every round.
- They also now have a Tiny Costume Wardrobe, which is familiar equipment, and allows the familiar to enter the wardrobe, and come out and act as a different familiar for that adventure. However, it's random.
- In A Boy and His Blob, one of the eponymous blob's transformations is a doppelganger who copies your moves exactly. In addition to this, there's an enemy who mirrors the boy's actions.
- In Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals, Dekar can equip almost any weapon. Since each character only uses one type of weapon, this essentially means that he can mimic any character's fighting style, except for two moves which are replaced with his own.
Eastern RP Gs
- The Mime class in Final Fantasy V (and Gogo, the designated Mime in Final Fantasy VI) can alter its command menu to include commands from almost any other class in the game, as well as using a Mimic command that copies the last action used in a fight.
- Mimes in Final Fantasy Tactics mimic the last action performed by a friendly unit, right down to the equipment used in the attack. Difficult to use since their mimicry is automatic and copies everything exactly. For example: if an Archer targets a square that is five spaces forward and two to the right, the Mime will also attack five spaces forward and two to the right using the same weapon.
- Gau from Final Fantasy VI could copy movesets and even elemental resistances from monsters you had previously encountered, although he's somewhat unique in the fact that he has to be in a specific area of the world in order to do so, but once he learns them, he keeps them.
- Relm, also from Final Fantasy VI, can use her Sketch command to use an enemy's attack against them. Since it also duplicates the enemy's stats, it's a Useless Useful Spell in all but a handful of cases.
- The Duplighosts of Paper Mario 64 transform into your partners in battle. The Duplighost of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Doopliss, transforms into a shadowy facsimile of Mario partway through your battle with him. Then he secretly pulls a Grand Theft Me on Mario, leaving the latter in the shadow body and later fighting the real Mario with all his partners.
- Poo from EarthBound has his Mirror skill, which nobody ever uses because you're already stronger than most enemies and you can't copy bosses.
- The monkey Salsa from the sequel can mimic the target's moves, even something like a tank firing a shell. It's also pretty much the only way he can cause any significant damage to bosses due to how miserably low his offense is, coupled with the fact it uses the enemy's stats for the attack instead.
- The Trope Namer, Ditto, from Pokémon can does with its move Transform, which turns it into a near perfect copy of the opponent; HP being the only thing that isn't imitated. Unfortunately, the fact that Ditto is slow, on top of having terrible defense stats means it'll likely take a heavy hit before it gets to copy its more competent opponent.
- As of the fifth generation, it's now possible for a Ditto to have the Imposter ability, which transforms it automatically instead of needing to waste a turn to do it, which can turn it into a Lethal Joke Character. The standard tactic is to give it a Choice Scarf, then have it switch in after a Pokemon is KO'd by an enemy Pokemon that's boosted its stats to turn those boosts against them (And potentially the rest of the opponent's team) using the speed boost from the scarf.
- Mew and Smeargle also can learn Transform, though the former is strong enough that transforming tends to make it weaker, while the latter is better off using its Power Copying for other purposes.
- Rue from Threads of Fate has this ability; you can take the form of a defeated monster and, of course, use it's powers. There's a catch, of course: you can't become boss monsters, and you can only store up to five monster forms at a time, after acquiring a new form, the oldest one will be discarded.
- My World My Way has Pinky the slime, who can copy up to four body parts from defeated monsters. Pinky can gain the special attack of a monster if he copies the right part and what's more, the only way he can learn a spell is by copying from a monster that already knew it.
- Suffice to say that Namco loves these:
- Mokujin/Tetsujin/Kinjin, and Combot, from the Tekken series change movesets per round (Mokujin) or per match (Combot). To a lesser degree, "Unknown", the boss from Tekken Tag Tournament, who can change styles within the round but only copies the movesets of small-framed fighters (being a slight female herself, some of the moves used by large fighters such as the Jacks or Kuma/Panda would look ridiculous if used by her) and always starts each fight using the moveset of Jun Kazama.
- In Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Mokujin, Unknown and Combot appear, so things obviously had to be changed around. Unknown no longer copies the other characters' fighting styles, and instead has her own moveset based on Jun's, with a few exclusive moves. Mokujin keeps the same playing style as usual, occasionally borrowing props like swords, wings and tails to mimick the other fighters, and Combot becomes an Emerl-like Tsungxpert: His fighting style borrows moves from other fighters, which can be unlocked and equipped through the Fight Lab mode (Though Combot isn't exclusive to that mode). When said mode is cleared, (Aside from online, in which he's unplayable), you can even create several movesets from him.
- Edge Master and Inferno from SoulCalibur; the latter is notable for being the final boss. This is also a subversion, as both have exclusive special moves.
- Charade (and Inferno again) from Soul Calibur 2. Necrid uses a fixed moveset made of attacks from other characters, complete with an Energy Weapon that changed shape to suit the move in progress.
- Olcadan from Soul Calibur 3. Somewhat underwhelming considering his cosmetic originality - he's got an owl's head. Though to be fair, it was his punishment for defeating a god.
- Also from 3, the Class job "Swordmaster" allows a custom character to use every single one of the custom movesets. There are also non-playable characters in Tales of Souls with this skill, including "Shadow Master" (uses all Custom class randomly) and "Will-o-The-Wisp" (uses only character styles who have an unlockable Soul Edge).
- While absent in 4, the ditto fighter returns in 5 in three variations: Edge Master (mimics all styles), Kilik (mimics only males) and Elysium (mimics only females also a subversion, as she has exclusive special moves).
- In general, in all of these games, the ditto fighter tends to be inferior to the characters he's copying because he usually uses his own limb length, speed, etc
- Dural from the Virtua Fighter series uses a single moveset taken from a number of characters but Dural's version is usually faster and more damaging than the original move.
- Metal Sonic from Sonic the Fighters, like Dural in Virtua Fighter, uses a moveset that is an amalgam of the other fighers' moves, plus a few moves all his own, like a devastating Chest Blaster. The once Dummied Out Honey the Cat, now featured in the Updated Re-release, also takes moves from other characters.
- Speaking of Sonic fighting games, Sonic Battle has Emerl, one of the main characters of the game. His moveset is copied from other fighters', and customized via Skill Cards that represent the characters' moves. Skill Cards are obtained during battle, but a select powerful few are unlocked via passwords entered at the Sonic Team building during the last chapter. Not only can Emerl's moves be customized this way, but also his jumps, running style, dashing style, fighting stance, and even color. There's, however, a limit to how the skills Emerl can equip, represented by points (The stronger the move, the more points it costs to equip), to prevent him from being a complete Game Breaker (Though players can still use a cheating device to bypass the limit).
- Shang Tsung from the Mortal Kombat series had the power to shapeshift into any other character at will, via various special commands. In the first Mortal Kombat, he was the final boss. In the console ports this ability was toned down due to memory issues, and in the 3D games the ability was taken out entirely.
- Also, in Mortal Kombat Trilogy, the characters Khameleon (female) in the N64 version and Chameleon (male) in the PS version would randomly switch their moves and looks between the female (for Khameleon) or male (for Chameleon) ninjas. In Mortal Kombat Armageddon, both characters still retain a few special moves from their fellow ninjas.
- In Mortal Kombat 4, the character Meat was essentially a 'skin' over whichever character you chose, acquiring all their moves. The playable boss character Shinnok could also switch between the other characters' moves with different commands.
- Finally, in Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance, while they didn't share any special moves with anyone else, Blaze and Mokap stole all three of their fighting styles from the other characters in the game.
- Shujinko, the protagonist of its immediate sequel, Mortal Kombat Deception, has specials either reminiscent of or direct copies of moves used by other fighters; this is justified because in most cases those fighters taught him those moves over the course of Konquest mode.
- In Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, Shang Tsung's shapeshifting has been swapped out for a "Freaky Friday" Flip. However, one of his fatalities has him transforming into his victim for the hell of it as he absorbs their soul.
- In Mortal Kombat 9, there's an interesting take on this. Being a remake with classic mechanics you'd expect Shang Tsung to be able to have multiple commands again, right? Not exactly; if he did, the sheer number of commands necessary would be impossible to memorize, let alone the amount of memory it would consume. The playable version of Shang Tsung now has a universal move that not only morphs him, but also damages and stuns the opponent momentarily. Boss Shang Tsung, however, has not only this move to morph but can also do it at will, during any animation frame, even during fireballs.
- Clonus, the midboss of Bio FREAKS, morphed into a monochrome gel-like version of whomever the player is using, complete with a color change for each form. He has the same moves as the original, but greater stamina.
- In Naruto, Kakashi is able to mimic the movements of his opponent thanks to the Sharingan. In various games based on the manga, he can imitate to a certain point the fighting style of his opponent. As can Sasuke. This leads to many funny techniques: Sexy Jutsu Kakashi? Inner Sasuke? Yeah.
- In some of the Naruto: Clash of Ninja games Kakashi can activate his Sharingan in place of his special move. This changes his counter move such that if he is hit with another players special he will dodge it and then send it right back. Some special moves involving equipment or bloodline traits are not copied and he will simply dodge. But watching him copy Sakura's Inner Sakura beatdown and unleash Inner Kakashi is hilarious.
- The Darkstalkers series has the secret characters Shadow (mimics the last character you beat) and Marionette (mimics the character you're fighting against).
- In Super Smash Bros. Melee's Tournament Mode, to select a fighter randomly, you had to choose... you've guessed it, Ditto. For another example, look at Kirby.
- There was also originally a plan to make Ditto a Poke Ball Pokemon in Melee, with the ability to turn into the fighter who released it and then fighting alongside the person as a separate fighter. The idea was scrapped when it created lag problems. For example, a battle between four Ice Climbers already would have lag problems, but imagine if each of them got a Ditto at the same time. That would be SIXTEEN bodies on the field all at once.
- The first game had Clefairy, who would randomly imitate another pokemon. In Melee, this was changed to a set of random moves instead (though two were variations of Suicune and Electrode's moves).
- Black, in some versions of Archon, had a Shapeshifter unit that could be used to duplicate itself against White. Unfortunately, there was no way to capitalize on this, as White would have the same advantages as you.
- Except that, as all pieces have their health modified by the luminosity (color) of the square they're on, the Shapeshifter can trade blows and win on dark squares - and (unlike the other pieces) its wounds disappear at the end of the fight, making aggressive assassination of misplaced Light pieces practical.
- In Dissidia: Final Fantasy Bartz is a self-described Mime who uses an amalgamation of techniques from the other heroes to fight with. These techniques are customized by the player, making him a rather flexible Ditto Fighter.
- While his HP attacks are identical, his Brave attacks combine two different characters' brave attacks into one. For example, one of his brave attacks is Slidehazzard, a combination of part of Tidus's Slide Impulse, and Cloud's Climhazzard. There's also Solid Ascension, a combo of Squall's Solid Barrel and Warrior of Light's Ascension.
- In Duodecim, he's one of the few characters to have his entire move roster changed (thanks to the addition of new characters). He also now vocally imitates whoever he's copying when he calls his attacks.
- In the game Jump! Ultimate Stars, in Planet P, mission 1, players 2, 3, & 4 all use whatever koma deck you choose.
- In The Last Blade series, Akari can use enchanted paper dolls to briefly become her opponent. A cheat, similar to the Darkstalkers cheats described above, allows you to play as one of the dolls, meaning every fight is a mirror match.
- In Street Fighter III 3rd Strike, Twelve's "X COPY" Super Art allows him to mimic the fighting style of his opponent for a limited time, with the exception of their Super Arts and EX Specials.
- The Street Fighter EX series has the Cycloid robots, Beta and Gamma, who both use moves from other characters (one specializes in command-based moves, while the other uses charge-based ones).
- The Final Boss of Street Fighter IV, Seth, uses souped-up versions of many of the other fighters' special movies.
- The final boss of the original World Heroes, Geegus (whose name is clearly a mistranslation of "Gigas"), takes the form of a different character each combat round, only returning to his true form for his Victory Pose.
- An upgraded version of him known as Neo Geegus, later appeared in World Heroes 2 as the semi-final boss, which added, but mostly imitates the newly added characters of the game (excluding Neo Geegus and Dio). He now also switches forms within the same round instead of sticking to just one.
- In Magical Battle Arena, Sakura Kinomoto can use The Mirror to "shapeshift" into a character she's fighting against for a limited time not unlike Shang Tsung.
- In X-Men vs. Street Fighter, Rogue of the X-Men could get an opponent's special move ŕ la Kirby in Smash Bros. by kissing them. In Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age Of Heroes this was changed to a temporary augmentation of power, speed or defense depending on the kissee (To be fair, it has a 56 character roster).
- MUGEN-based versions of Rogue try to emulate this too, some better than others, but with limitation due to the same problem; the huge and expanding number of possible opponents.
- Ryu in Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of the Superheroes had a style-switching power that gave him Ken or Akuma's moveset, to compensate for their in-game absence.
- The fan-made Pokémon Fighting Game TYPE-WILD has an actual Ditto as its final boss.
- Rugal Bernstein was originally going to copy the moveset of the character you were playing as. Hardware limitations forced the idea to be abandoned. Rugal having Geese's Reppuken and Krauser's Kaiser Wave were pretty much the ashes of this.
- Guilty Gear Isuka featured Robo-Ky MKII, a version of Robo-Ky that by default, had Robo-Ky's standard movelist from Guilty Gear XX Reload. The player could customize it, replacing many of it's moves, with imitations of other characters' abilities. From GGX to the original GGXX, Robo-Ky itself was a sort of ditto fighter to the real Ky, imitating a number of his moves whilst having a few of its own unique moves only seen in them two games.
- In the extremely strange fighter 3D Ballz, any character can transform into any other one through special button combinations.
- Rogue in X-Men: Next Dimension can power-steal, similar to X-Men vs. Street Fighter, but the extra attack she produces can be a variant on one of the character's normal or special moves that they wouldn't possess on their own.
- Mildred Avallone and Parace L'Sia, two boss characters from the Arcana Heart series, are capable of using a mixture of attacks from all of the other Arcana.
- Double from Skullgirls is an interesting variation. While her normals mostly copy moves of other fighters, they often have different properties. In addition, while she morphs into other characters for her special moves, all of them are unique to her. Word of God states that many of Double's special moves were moves Dummied Out from other fighters.
- The secret character Nanami from Asura Buster, who morphs into her opponent before the fight begins. This is the only way you can actually play with the mid-boss Vebel.
- Subverted in the fight against the final boss, where Nanami morphs into the ninja Rokurouta. Justified, since the final boss is Apocalypse-sized and she fights Rokurouta shortly after.
- Kenny from Divekick imitates a different character's dive and kick, along with any associated traits (Baz's lighting, Jefailey's charge-kicking, Stream and S-Kill's double-dive, etc.) and Kick Factor bonuses, each round. His ground and air specials, however, stay consistent regardless of who is being imitated.
- In Hopeless Masquerade, one of Mamizou's special attacks allows her to transform into her opponent and copy the foe's special attack.
- Doc Robot of Mega Man 3 used the techniques of all the Robot masters from Mega Man 2.
- The Final Boss of Mega Man Zero 3 uses all of the attacks that Zero himself was known for in the Mega Man X series. Justified, the boss is Omega Zero, possessing Zero's original body.
- While the Mega Man games almost invariably center around Power Copying instead of this, the Mega Man ZX games discard it in favor of Ditto Fighter abilities. In the first ZX game, beating a boss either unlocks a new transformation or upgrades an existing one, and in ZX Advent, beating a boss simply unlocks that boss as a transformation.
- Many games in the Castlevania series include a boss called Doppelganger which at first glance appears to be an Evil Twin but is really closer to this. The boss is supposedly a demon that has taken the form of the hero to Beat Them at Their Own Game. If they were a true Evil Twin they would have more of a purpose in the plot but once you kill them they are never mentioned again.
- The only exception is in Lament of Innocence where you fight the doppelganger twice, but it still doesn't serve any purpose to the story aside from another Boss Fight.
- Xi Wang Mu from the 2014 Strider game can mimic any attack used by the three Wind sisters (her students), using an Energy Weapon that trnasforms into each one of the sisters' Weapon of Choice at random. She does possess exclusive moves, too.
- The hidden characters Petey Piranha and King Boo of Mario Kart: Double Dash can use all of the character-specific special items.
- In Sonic Rivals, Metal Sonic copies the special move of his current opponent. This is also the only way for both players to have the same one in multiplayer.
- Touhou's Satori Komeiji in Subterranean Animism uses spell cards pulled from your partner's boss appearance in previous games, also making her a pseudo-Nostalgia Boss. Her specific superpower is that she can "read hearts" to somehow absorb the use of innate superpowers, even ones that specifically depend on the species of youkai or specific bloodline to use. ZUN has a habit of not exactly thinking even the general limitations or potential applications, much less exact mechanics, of the superpowers he hands out.
- It's less copying their powers than copying the danmaku patterns they use. And before she can copy your partner's spell cards, she has to use her Recollection "Terrifying Hypnotism" spell card to take them out of your character's memory. It still doesn't explain how she can turn into mist if your partner is Suika, though, unless that's just an illusion.
- In BlaZeon, a 1992 shmup by Atlus, the player's ship could only be powered up by disabling an enemy ship and merging with it.
- In both Meteos and Meteos Wars, you play as one of these during the story mode.
Non-Video Game Examples
Anime and Manga
- Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple:
- In his fight against the series' first Big Bad, Kenichi mimicks his masters' moves and personalities to throw off Odin, who had been reading his rhythm to counter his attacks.
- Kisara twice defeats an oponent by copying Miu's moves, because her usual fighting style wasn't enough to penetrate the oponent's defence: once fighting against Freya (because Freya was fighting with a staff), and once during the D of D Tournament (because her oponent Aysha's legs were longer than hers). During the fight with her next tournament oponent she realizes that copying someone else's style is not enough and it's then when she developes her own fighting style.
- Joey uses the Copycat and Graverobber card to replicate the opponent's cards for his own use. Pegasus uses Doppelganger to do the same.
- Marik has "Metal Reflect Slime", which assumes the form of whatever monster attacked him before he activated it, but with a 3/4 of its stats.
- Thematically done several times when a duelist faces an opponent that uses a similar or identical deck. The most prominent example is in GX when Jaden duels Aster in a clash of Elemental Hero cards.
- The Stellar Spirit Gemini from Fairy Tail has this ability. This logically resulted in a once-off gag in the Edolas arc, where Lucy meets her AU counterpart, and Gemini becomes a third Lucy.
- Mahou Sensei Negima!:
- Negi's Pactio gave him the ability to copy the artifacts of his own Ministras.
- Albireo Imma's artifact can turn him into anyone he met.
- Szayel from Bleach Resurrection's had this as one of his abilities.
- Kaede Kaburagi of Tiger & Bunny eventually develops the ability to copy the powers of the last NEXT she's touched.
- Envy in Fullmetal Alchemist can copy the appearance of any human being at will.
- In comic books, this is often dubbed "photographic memory" or "photographic reflexes", and it's a common power for B-list heroes and villains. These characters are always doomed to lose, either because the hero they're stealing the powers/moves from comes up with a new one on the spot, one that drops the mook down before he/she can copy it; or inversely because the hero refuses to fight at all - with no attack to copy, the mook can only rely on his own fighting skills, which of course suck because he's never needed them before. Taskmaster is one of the major examples in Marvel Comics. Tasky is also in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, though in that game he has a pre-defined move set borrowed from various characters including Captain America, Spider-Man, Hawkeye, Black Knight, and others.
- Also worth mentioning is Kl'rt the Super-Skrull, who has the powers of all of the Fantastic Four. There are several other Super-Skrulls including Criti Noll (with powers borrowed from several Avengers) and Rl'nnd (with powers from several X-Men). Kl'rt is, like Taskmaster, in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and serves duty as a representative of the Fantastic Four series.
- DC has Amazo, an android with the powers of the Justice League. In a Literal Genie moment, he was once defeated when Superman disbanded the League, leaving him powerless against a group of now indepentant superheroes.
- Ryner's Alpha Stigma does this extremely quicky.
- Duplex of the Whateley Universe has the mutant ability to touch another mutant and gain their powers, although she may not get a full-strength copy off someone.
Live Action TV
- Wrestling example: In late 2008, Charlie Haas has taken to dressing as various WWE stars (past and present) and attempting to mimic their fighting styles. Including Santa Claas (as a Holiday joke).
- Carlito was the first character Haas imitated.
- Many of Haas's matches with this gimmick were against John Bradshaw Layfield.
- Charlie Haas's impersonations got their own Slammy award category. His Beth Phoenix imitation won.
- Eugene started out as an Idiot Savant, with his mentally handicapped behavior hiding his Tsungxpert ability in that he could bust out any of his favorite's wrestlers moves at any time, from a Rock Bottom to a a Stone Cold Stunner.
- Both Shirou and Archer from Fate/stay night copy other people's weapons perfectly (well, one magic rank reduced, but that only really matters against Servants like Hercules). Perfectly in this case includes the history of the weapon, including the history of how it was wielded. Meaning Shirou and Archer copy the skill of the original owner. Pray they never copy Assassin's sword, wielded with his reality-bending skill.