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Mechanically Unusual Fighter
While Fighting Game characters often have different attacks and playstyles, they usually still share the same basic commands. Pressing A results in a light melee attack, back results in blocking, double forward results in a dash, and so on...Except this character. This character has bizarre mechanics going on compared to other fighters. Maybe this character cannot jump but instead can float around. Maybe this character's crouching actually makes her taller. Whatever it is, playing this character won't be anything like playing the others. Mastering these gimmicks is a major part of this character.

The result of this weird control scheme can vary. Sometimes it makes the character a difficult to learn but very satisfying to master one, and sometimes it makes the character nigh-impossible to play instead.

This character often uses variations of Confusion Fu. May invoke Damn You, Muscle Memory if one is too used to other characters.

A good way to determine if a character fits this trope is to ask "If the character lost his gimmick, would he still play similarly or very differently?" If the answer is the latter then it is this trope.

Different from Fighting Clown, which is about the character's wacky appearance rather than the actual mechanics (although the two may overlap). Different from Joke Character, Lethal Joke Character or not, as this character is intended to be a viable option without resorting to an obscure tactic. Also compare Mechanically Unusual Class, the more RPG-like sister.


Examples:

  • A number of original characters for M.U.G.E.N can be like this. An example is Omega Tiger Woods, who could deal heavy damage and attack the foe with a crosshair that dropped missiles (and a claw arm) on them, in compensation for being unable to block at all.
  • Some of the Touhou fighting games:
    • Suwako Moriya from Hisoutensoku. Her standing is actually crouching, and her crouching is conjuring a lily pad underneath her, making her taller. Her regular walking is slowly hopping like a frog (and while hopping she counts as being in the air), and her ground dash is swimming underground, making her invincible to all attacks. Her air movement is her flapping her arms around, and is limited to several directions. Her attacks are relatively normal, though.
    • Koishi Komeiji is the whacky fighter of Hopeless Masquerade. To start, like Suwako, her dash is her prancing around while invisible, making her immune to all attacks. Unlike Suwako, her main whackiness is in her attacks. For most of her attacks, she doesn't instantly perform them when you input the commands. Instead, she "stocks" them and use it automatically when certain conditions are met. For example, her 8B is performed only when she's under the opponent, and Catch and Rose is activated only after you hit the opponent with another attack. Also, she needs about 1-2 seconds before the moves are ready to activate, so you really need to predict the situations beforehand.
    • To a lesser extent, Byakuren, who needs to charge her specials first before being able to actually use it.
  • Shadow Labrys from Persona 4 Arena. Other characters' Personas only appear for a short while to perform attacks, and then disappear. Shabrys' "Persona" Asterius however, stays on screen the entire time, follows Shabrys around, and can attack concurrently with her. To compensate for being around all the time, Asterius has armor so it can't be broken easily, and Shabrys' heavy Persona attack is actually telling Asterius to block. Playing Shadow Labrys is effectively controlling both her and Asterius at the same time.
    • Ultimax has two versions of new character Sho Minazuki. One version does not have a Persona, unlike the rest of the cast, and instead fights more like a character from BlazBlue in terms of normal attacks. Because of this, not only is he immune to Persona Breaks, he is also not heavily affected by the Silence status effect (the only thing it disables is his ability to Burst).
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 3:
    • Frank West has a Magikarp Power system - his moves aren't so impressive at first, but he can rack up "EXP" by comboing the enemy with enough hits and then takes a snapshot with his camera, in order to "level up." He has 5 levels; higher level means improved moves as well as unlocking certain moves to use.
    • Phoenix Wright plays entirely around "evidence" and Stance System: Investigation Mode (his weakest form) is mainly to find evidence, the Trial Mode is used to use the evidence as weapons. When he has 3 pieces of evidence ready, during this mode he can pull off an OBJECTION! which, if it hits, will allow him to go to Turnabout Mode, with improved normal and special attacks, as well as his Lv 3 hyper that's the second-strongest in the game.
  • Guilty Gear: Robo-Ky has to manage two different meters: A thermostat, which builds up as he fights and can only be vented via a certain command or risk a damaging explosion. He also has a power gauge which, unlike everyone else, cannot be charged conventionally and can only be charged via a laid-out power mat. His special and Overdrive attacks drain from this power gauge.
  • BlazBlue: Just as Robo-Ky lacks a Tension Gauge, Hakumen replaces his Heat Gauge with a Magatama Gauge which automatically fills and can store up to 8 stocks. While other characters can perform their specials at will, each of Hakumen's specials uses a certain number of magatama stocks, but as a compensation, they do large amounts of damage and can be cancelled into each other.
    • Rachel and Arakune, from the same game, also have interesting mechanics. Rachel has a wind gauge, which allows her to push things, including Rachel herself, in whatever direction you choose for a tiny period of time, with lighter things being blown farther. Arakune has a gauge where, when full, causes attack inputs to summon bugs that follow patterns and deal Collision Damage whenever they hit until the gauge empties. However, the only way to increase it is to hit with certain attacks.
  • In Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, Gold Lightan and PTX-40A are very massive fighters (who are about 3 times the average height of other characters) and so they fight alone, as opposed to fighting in duets. They also move slowly and have to crouch often to attack and they're subject to being dizzied if hit repeatedly, but they also have a ton of range and damage on most of their attacks and only special throws can interrupt their attacks.
  • In Dissidia: Final Fantasy, most characters fight using Bravery attacks to build up Bravery, HP attacks to deal HP damage, and landing attacks generates EX Force that fills an EX Gauge, when filled the character can enter EX Mode for a temporary power boost. With Gabranth however, his Bravery attacks are slow and weak and his HP attack automatically charges up his EX Gauge. When it fills and he enters EX Mode, his entire moveset changes, turning him into a Lightning Bruiser with powerful attacks and high movement speed, but only until the gauge depletes, at which point he goes back to normal and has to charge it up again.
  • In the Bleach DS fighting games, Don Kanon'ji has a "Ratings Meter", befitting his TV personality, where certain attacks do more damage the better he is performing. Missing attacks or calling for certain attacks when he does not have the energy decrease his ratings, while doing damage gains ratings. Taunting significantly increases his ratings.
    • Hanataro Yamada has a weapon that heals instead of cuts, then, when enough wounds are healed, it deals damage in one attack equal to the damage healed.
  • Nariko in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale fights using a "key pose" system that momentarily places her in different stances based on how she uses her Square attacks, made for opening up unique combo-trees. What makes her odd is that the game has a number of conventions tied to the Square attacks, and this in turn influences the button-placement for other common mappings: Up Square is generally a Launcher Move (hers is Up Triangle, which is usually used for Anti-Air attacks), Grounded Down Square tends to be a sweep/tripping attack (hers is a weird ground bounce) and Neutral Circle is a Counter Attack (hers is Neutral Triangle).
  • Dracula in Castlevania Judgment has little-to-no mobility and cannot be knocked down. His dash/sidestep moves are all changed to teleports, including a variant where he teleports directly behind the opponent. Rather than jump, he teleports into the air and can stay up there for as long as his super meter holds out. The majority of his attacks, including normal ones, are projectiles and ranging moves. Basically, he utilizes a variant of his standard Castlevania moveset, in contrast to other boss characters who are given more traditional fighter designs.
  • Shang Tsung from Mortal Kombat is capable of turning into other characters. In some games he can turn into any character at will, in others he can only turn into his opponent (at least, when used by a human player). In later games, he can also heal himself by taking energy from his opponent.
  • Super Smash Bros.: All games in the series add characters with at least one quirk that makes them different for the standard character template:
    • In the first installment: Yoshi's command for third jump was instead a projectile, but he gained armor during his extended double jump; he also lacked an ordinary shield, instead covering himself in a shell, preventing him from jumping while shielding, an attribute he kept in later games to his detriment. Ness' third jump was a remote control projectile that you had to hit yourself with to get an aerial boost; and Jigglypuff had no "third jump" at all, instead a combination of her neutral special and 4 "double jumps" were used for recovery.
    • Melee added the Ice Climbers, where one player would control two characters simultaneously; Zelda, who could transform into Shiek (and viceversa) mid battle; and Pichu, many of whose attacks damaged itself.
    • Brawl made Samus unusual in that her Final Smash triggered a transformation into Zero Suit Samus. It also introduced Olimar, a Minion Master whose majority of attacks are tied to his Pikmin; Pokémon Trainer, who not only can rotate between three transformations, but if he stays in any for too long, they actually start to get weaker; and Snake, who has unusual attacks with unusual timing to them, including the ability to plant a mine instead of a downsmash, an extremely high recovery but very vulnerable triple jump, and numerous odd projectile attacks which don't attack instantly or which control strangely (such as grenades and fly-by-wire rockets).
    • Wii U/3DS adds Mega Man, who has projectiles for several basic attacks; Wii Fit Trainer, who has a Status Buff move that increases her attack power; Rosalina, who fights alongside a Luma Puppet Fighter style; Little Mac, whose power meter and focus on ground combat make him closer to a traditional fighting game character; Robin, whose Levin Sword and large variety of spellbooks have limited uses before they have to recharge; and Shulk, who has a Stance System composed of 5 sets of different combinations of buffs and debuffs. On the flipside, it eliminated all transformation characters, turning Pokemon Trainer's Charizard and both forms of Zelda and Samus into more standard fighters.
  • Both Voldo and Dampierre's from Soulcalibur main attacks largely involve being unable to block due to their stances, be they facing away from the enemy or being downed on the ground.
  • Tekken: Dr. Bosconovitch (only in the third game) spends his time prone to the ground and (at his best) crouching; he never jumps or indeed stand still. It's tricky both to play and fight him.
    • As any fighting game boxer of note, Steve Fox is an Extremity Extremist, only opting to use his fists. To that end, the kick buttons don't attack. Instead they let him bob and weave, which gives him additional punching moves. He has a select few foot attacks but you will be doing all your work with your fists while deftly dodging and evading enemy strikes.
  • Killer Instinct 2013 gives us Fulgore, who does not have a Shadow Meter. Instead, he has a Reactor meter, which is divided in 10 parts unlike the aforementioned Shadow Meter, which is divided in 2. The Reactor meter determines how much energy Fulgore can spend on special attack cancels and shadow moves. The meter can either be charged manually with an special move, or by doing auto-doubles. It also makes Fulgore move faster. His Instinct Mode charges the meter automatically, and also allows Fulgore to spend the fully charged meter by firing a powerful beam that can take up to 40% of damage to the opponent.
    • In all his appearances Spinal has had the unusual property of his floating skulls, which are earned by absorption and consumed by performing special moves. He is less effective if he doesn't have any skulls to cash in.
    • For Maya in Season 2, her daggers enable her different special moves and can be leveled up each time a successful attack is made with them. As a result, if you lose a dagger, your moves become temporarily cut off (to the point that even tapping the punch button that would normally invoke a dagger attack will give you the kick of that strength instead; she has no hand attacks that can be done if she's not holding a dagger in that hand).
  • Gundam Extreme Vs. has the Crossbone Gundam Full Cloth, which only really has two weapons (a beam crossbow and a BFS), but also has two temporary super modes. One grants the crossbow's projectiles homing properties, turns its spread shot into a barrel-rolling Beam Spam attack, and grants protection from enemy beams that come at it from either the left or right. The other makes its melee attacks stronger, faster, and able to cancel into one another almost freely. A player able to carefully manage these two modes (along with their cooldown times) can rip through just about any opponent.
    • Also worth mentioning is Gundam Epyon; in a game built around ranged combat, it has absolutely no guns, instead fighting with a segmented whip and giant beam sword. However, its melee is very fast, damaging, and can be cancelled freely, and the rest of its moveset includes a mobility move that lets it dodge enemy attacks or quickly rush into melee range, and a move that empowers its sword even further at the cost of draining its boost gauge more quickly. Even though it's generally ranked low in the Character Tiers, in the hands of a skilled player Epyon can be an unholy menace.
  • Decapre, the newcomer in Ultra Street Fighter IV is an interesting example. On the surface, she's definitely a aggressive rushdown character. Her excellent mobility and mix-up and terrific Ultras make her viable threat. However, she's also a charge character, which contrasts her playstyle as charge character in just about any fighting game typically leans toward the defensive side. The biggest draw with Decapre being a rushdown charge character is that while her tools are effective, they're not readily available, especially if you want to walk up to your opponent.
  • The tabletop fighting game Burn Legend - which is basically "Exalted Mortal Kombat" and is in Shards of the Exalted Dream - has the Okami and Tennin as entire splats of mechanically odd fighters. The Okami gimmick is that they can shift between human form to use their martial arts moves and beast form to use their native techniques with a minor bonus to one stat; under normal circumstances, Okami generally shift to beast form and stay that way until the end of the fight, not even bothering with martial arts, but it was a decent effort even so. The Tennin, meanwhile, have powerful moves but have to use them sequentially - apart from martial arts styles, their Overdrive and Prayer Strip, their moves are divided into "Terrestrial", "Celestial" and "Sidereal" tier, with Celestial only working the turn after you successfully use a Terrestrial and Sidereal only working the turn after Celestial.
Mechanically Unusual ClassVideo Game CharactersMighty Glacier
Mechanically Unusual ClassAdverbly Adjective NounObliquely Obfuscated Occupation
Life MeterFighting GameMirror Match

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