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Artificial Stupidity / Fighting Games

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  • In the computer fighting game Big Bang Beat: 1st Impression, you have an energy meter which depletes as you attack, and disables most of your attacks when it drops low enough. You can recharge this meter using the classic SNK "stand still and hold down a button" method. The computer, which is also limited by this bar, tends to tap the button, meaning they charge with at best a tenth of the speed you do, and most of the time fail to charge at all. Thus, you can usually win any fight by turtling until the opponent's bar runs out, and then bashing him to pieces as he futilely tries to recharge.
  • WWE Video Games:
    • Several games exhibit problems during specialty matches, most notably the Elimination Chamber — rather than fight normally, computer-controlled opponents will instead spend much of the match climbing up and down the chain rigging and corner chambers. Sometimes, rather than climb down, opponents will instead hurl their bodies off the chambers with diving attacks that almost always miss, inflicting upon them damage more grievous than the player-controlled character can effectively dole out. However, they do make up for this somewhat by constantly breaking pin attempts — despite the fact that the Elimination Chamber is an elimination-style match and the computer, at least in theory, benefits from the elimination of other competitors just as much as the player does. Meanwhile, AI characters in the Royal Rumble mode have been known to eliminate themselves from the match by jumping onto an opponent outside the ring.
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    • These problems have been resolved - the Royal Rumble having been overhauled, while the Elimination Chamber was fixed in that regard (though still tends to have one major glitch a year) - but now there are others. Three in particular come to mind; first, computers will about 50% of the time go running after any ladder that's outside the ring immediately after it's put there, which in a Money in the Bank match can get you alone in the ring with another ladder to try and climb up — if you do start climbing they will come back, but it does give you some precious seconds to give it a shot. Second, computers love to throw you into the corner and turn you around over and over and over again until you recover, rather than actually attack. And third, in a Scramble match computers will always move to break up any pins, even though on paper the only person who would be affected by it would be whoever the current champion is.
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    • CPU-controlled wrestlers in WWE 2K14 have a tendency to turn and attack the referee out of nowhere. A common dirty tactic in the WWE, to be sure, but they'll still do it even if DQs are turned off, when there's nothing whatsoever to be gained from knocking out the ref. In this case, all it does is cause the wrestler to stupidly turn their back to the opponent and open themselves up to a thrashing.
    • WWE Raw 2 on the Xbox combined this with Obvious Beta. In almost every match, the AI would attempt to pin your character the first chance it got. As in, it would do a grapple to get you on the ground then attempt a pin 4 seconds into the match. Whilst this is occasionally Truth in Television, what would happen next is not. The player would mash the buttons to break the pin, and then before they could recover, the AI would attempt to pin them again. And again. And again. It was not uncommon to see matches reach the 20 minute time limit and end in a draw simply because the player was stuck in a cycle of infinite pin attempts.
  • Soul Series:
    • Despite being an SNK Boss on the last floor of the Tower of Souls, Algol in Soul Calibur IV has an exploitable AI: he tends to perform a low slash followed by a leaping low slash when he knocks your character down. If you happen to be lying on the edge of the arena, odds are he'll leap to his doom.
    • Soul Edge laid the framework with its titular final boss, who had a habit of spamming a charged-up bum rush attack that cleared most of the arena. Since the move is well-telegraphed, it's quite easy to either sidestep or jump over Soul Edge when he does this and send him clear out of the ring.
  • The Fighting Game Maker, M.U.G.E.N, being accessible to amateurs and highly popular, has AIs that fall everywhere on the scale. On the one hand, you have ones that make the official SNK Bosses look easy; on the other, somewhere out there, there's a Zero character with an AI so badly written, it will actually crash the game. In counterpart, there are some characters (and AI patches for SEVERAL characters) out there with an AI so well-coded that makes it almost look like you're playing against a pro, averting this trope.
  • Killer Instinct Gold features an odd version including Glacius's Liquidize move: On higher difficulty matches, most enemies read your moves and perform specific moves to keep you from starting combos. If you are all the way across the screen, Liquidize briefly, and simply remain still afterward. Almost all opponents will walk towards you until they are in range to do their specific counter-maneuver for Liquid Uppercut. No matter the opponent, their chosen move is always countered by Cold Shoulder, Rock-Paper-Scissors style. As long at it goes into a simple combo, they will rarely be able to do anything else. This actually gets EASIER to do the farther you go and the harder the setting.
  • In the old Ranma ½ fighting game Super Hard Battle, final boss Herb invariably responds to projectiles by jumping over them and towards the opponent. Therefore, defeating him is as simple as using a projectile, hitting him with an anti-air attack (knocking him back to almost the exact spot where he started), and repeating.
  • Jump! Ultimate Stars:
    • The AI is so bad that most players recommend that people DO NOT BUY THE GAME if they don't have access to Wi-Fi. The AI will kill itself more often than you can kill it! The AI in JUS will jump to their death repeatedly in just about any stage with a pit in it, even after they've just respawned!
    • Status effects. Auto-Run and Burn will cause the AI to do nothing but run straight ahead (even into a pit or wall) and Confusion makes them do the same thing but in reverse. Blind, Guard Seal and Movement Seal (which only seals your directional movement and jumping, not attacking or blocking) will cause the AI to do nothing but stand still, not even blocking.
    • Then there's their attacks. In a game with 50+ playable characters and over 200 Support characters, it seems that the best strategy the AI can come up with on any difficulty is to randomly mash the "touch" attack, launch Support characters at random intervals (even where it would be completely stupid to do so, like setting down a healing support when they're standing right next to you, and not picking it up) and repeatedly throw out projectiles and Specials with no regard to distance or actual effectiveness.
    • The game can also fall into The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard territory on Hard mode, where the AI will automatically block the second you touch any attack buttons. It still can't kill you, and still kills itself repeatedly, though.
  • Your partner AI in the Super Smash Bros. series has the intelligence of a garden slug on rhino feces while the enemy AI are vicious tigers/wolves/bears.
    • In Melee:
      • There is something called the "flipper dance": when fighting a single computer opponent, pick a stage with a decent-sized flat base and no movement-affecting gimmicks, such as Final Destination, take a flipper and just throw it straight so that it lands at walking height between you and the opponent and just stand still a few feet behind it. The enemy will slowly walk towards you, then, right before hitting the flipper, will dodge roll backwards, then start walking towards you again, rinse and repeat until the flipper expires. It never gets old to watch the computer completely forget it can jump. They're similarly unable to comprehend bumpers in Brawl and SSB4.
      • Some characters like Captain Falcon and Ganondorf will randomly throw out their strongest, but slowest attacks while you're nowhere near them, presumably hoping you'll just stumble into them. A player using Roy can have a field day with them thanks to his Counter special.
      • Some characters, like Mr. Game and Watch and Yoshi, are particularly dumb, as they'll invariably approach you by performing a dashing attack or grab that will whiff if you just stand still, leaving themselves wide open for an attack. Therefore, it's possible to beat them without even moving.
      • Also, characters with an ascending Up B attack, like Captain Falcon and Mario, will almost always use that move if you jump directly above them from a distance. This will either leave them wide open for a retaliatory attack, or if they're standing at the edge of the level, potentially send them flying to their doom.
      • Luigi's infamous glitch where he uses his side special (which propels him horizontally as a missile) whenever he falls off the stage and usually fails. If he had used his up special (a big vertical jump) he would have survived, but the programming doesn't let him do so. The problem is that Luigi has two recovery moves, but the AI can only be taught one per character. This was fixed in Brawl.
      • The AI is completely unable to comprehend Jungle Japes, even on Level 9 difficulty. It will often completely fail to jump onto a platform, try to use its recovery move but fail and then get swept away, losing a life in the process and then repeating the same mistake on a loop. See Fox and Roy demonstrating. Even Ness and Marth get in on the act. Brawl fixed this.
      • If you play on Hyrule Temple and select any number of Kirbys as your opponent, you can effortlessly trick them into turning to rocks directly above the hole that goes down to the lower levels of the stage, in which case they'll slide all the way down the slopes and into the pit.
      • Some giant characters you go up against in one-player mode (specifically Yoshi) may start the match off by leaping off the edge of their platform into a Bottomless Pit, ending the fight in less than 5 seconds. It happens in Brawl too, but less often and usually a little later into the fight. Metal characters also suffer sometimes; they drop faster but the AI doesn't always acknowledge that. Donkey Kong is particularly bad with this in Adventure Mode. Giant DK is likely to stumble and fall into the water or trap himself under the stage when using his up special in Jungle Japes; if you simply stand still, he usually won't make it across. Similarly, Kongo Jungle has two tiny Donkey Kongs who will often jump down towards you from the upper platforms of the stage at the same time, and you can eliminate them simultaneously in seconds with a well-timed up smash.
      • There is a spot on Battlefield where, if the player stands perfectly still, the AI just gives up entirely and refuses to move unless very explicitly provoked. Famously, this allowed a player to score a whopping ten thousand KOs in Cruel Melee, a mode where earning just 10 KOs without AI-breaking is a mark of serious skill.
    • In Brawl:
      • The AI can navigate custom stages fairly well...unless it has spikes. CPUs don't quite seem to get the idea that spikes are bad, and it's not uncommon to see a CPU work his damage up hundreds higher than normal just bouncing on spikes. They only get the hint when they're about one inch away from them and unable to do anything about it.
      • Trampolines also. If you're on one side of a wall and the CPU is on the other, it will spend tons of time trying to jump over the wall, even if it's too high, despite there being a spring behind it which it could use to jump over the wall.
      • It has trouble with the falling blocks, too - it doesn't seem to have any foresight, so it will often remain standing on a block until it's too low to reach the rest of the stage.
      • The AI will constantly approach dangerous items only to roll away from them just before they get hurt.
      • In general, they have trouble with the idea that stages aren't always completely static. If the bottom of the stage is occupied by horizontally moving platforms, the computer-controlled characters will miss the platforms by a mile every single time.
      • The AI will always perform an air dodge immediately after being struck in air, or being hit into the air, oblivious to there being a brief window of vulnerability as one ends. It's quite easy to juggle them to death by simply timing your attacks.
      • Fox, Falco and Wolf have a habit of driving off the stage to their deaths when using their Final Smash. This is particularly common on Lylat Cruise, but can happen in a wide variety of other places as well.
    • Throughout the series, no matter how high you set the computer's skill level at, they always make the mistake of walking onto motion sensor bombs no matter how visible they are. Made funnier in Brawl as they'll briefly hesitate before doing so, as if contemplating whether it's a good idea or not.
    • In Smash 4:
      • Jungle Japes still gives the CPU problems.
      • Without the 1.0.5 patch for 3DS (which implements the Wii U AI), if you face Giant King Dedede in Classic mode on his Kirby's Dream Land Game Boy stage, he might decide to roll away from you the instant the match starts, putting himself outside the blast line and resulting in a KO before the announcer is finished saying "Go".
      • Also in 3DS, while in All-Star Mode set on normal and facing Ganondorf on Magicant, it's possible to kill him by getting him to stand on the Dungeon Man that walks across the bottom of the stage. You do this by waiting for Dungeon Man to go underneath the left most platform, jumping onto Dungeon Man, waiting for Ganondorf to follow you, and then you jump off back to the platform. Ganondorf will remain on Dungeon Man as he slowly walks off-screen.
      • This video shows just how "competent" the Level 9 CPU AI is when the player does absolutely nothing.
      • Despite the learning functionality of amiibo, Donkey Kong's amiibo is notorious for never retaining anything you try to teach it. The most glaring problem is that he'll spam aerials, fail to land most of them, get punished for it, and continuing to spam and whiff them. This is how every other amiibo learns not to spam ineffective attacks, but not Donkey Kong for some reason.
    • In Ultimate:
      • The Fairy Bottle is an item that will heal you by 100, but only when you reach a certain point of damage (100% damage in normal Smash matches, or if your health drops to 0 in a Stamina match) and will function as an ordinary throwable item until then. The problem is, the AI doesn't seem to realize this and will, for instance, grab a Fairy Bottle while only one hit away from the threshold, but then throw it like any other item, when it would be much better off holding onto it.
      • Otherwise smart computer players will repeatedly use absorbable energy projectiles against faraway fighters that can absorb them to their advantage, such as Ness, Lucas, or Mr. Game & Watch. This is especially noticeable with items, as computer players will not hesitate to use them when in range of an opponent.
  • Street Fighter:
    • In one game, the AI character of Balrog would react to many moves by trying to jump over them and punch you. E. Honda's hundred hand slap would cause him to keep jumping into it until he was dead. In every iteration of SFII prior to Super SFII, Balrog/M. Bison would routinely perform his array of dash punches and hardly anything else. This would lead to him being easily countered by a sweep attack or projectile attack. Similarly, Zangief could be defeated by simply backing into a corner and repeatedly jump kicking him in the head.
    • Some enemy AI is sufficiently designed to be ridiculously exploitable. For instance, against Ken in Street Fighter Alpha 3 or the Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000 games, jump backward and attack. If he has enough meter, he will do his Shoryureppa and miss completely. Similarly, the final form of Bison in Alpha 3 can be easily baited with a jab, against which he will either teleport behind you (easy to combo or super) or crouch for a few seconds and throw a fireball (easily jumped and comboed).
  • In Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3:
    • When repeatedly using Doctor Doom's Hidden Missiles special, CPU controlled opponents will only block, even if they are standing within striking distance of a totally defenseless Doctor Doom. The CPU opponent proceeds to take chip damage until KO-ed. This occurs on even the hardest difficulty setting.
    • The AI is easily confused by midair attacks. They'll always try to uppercut you when above, meaning any attack with high priority is virtually a guaranteed hit. What this means is you can simply spam Ghost Rider's midair chain attack and destroy entire teams on the highest difficulty because they will just sit there and take it.
    • The AI will not try and interrupt you in the middle of one of your supers, even if you completely wiffed it and are standing there open for several seconds.
  • Rise of the Robots was touted in a pre-release trailer for the game as the first fighting game where the enemy adapts to your fighting style and changes its tactics based on how you come at it. This, however, is a lie, as every single opponent, up to and including the final boss, can be defeated simply by moving forward and kicking it into a corner.
    • Making that promise in itself is a sign of Didn't Think This Through by the game developer - if adaptive AI worked, the result would be that the game would adapt to require the player to play it in a way they did not prefer (and may not enjoy) or lose. Adding Artificial Stupidity is usually necessary after that.
  • In the Fighting Game spinoffs of Touhou, the AI pretty clearly has no idea what it's doing. It tends to spend most of the match running around, launching random danmaku and special attacks. This actually works kind of okay for certain characters, but plenty of them have attacks with limited range or specific uses, which the AI just doesn't get. The AI mostly gets defense, but tends to drop block the instant it gets out of blockstun, which can screw it over when fighting characters with dial-A combos that include a pause. And it'll never use skill cards or system cards, and spell cards only rarely. Oh, and the only combos it will pull off by anything except accident are the aforementioned dial-A ones.
  • The computer opponents in Windy X Windam almost never block anything, even at the highest difficulty setting. In most cases, this allows characters with launcher attacks to lift the opponent into the air and juggle them until they die. Unless they're lying on the ground, they won't think to block or dodge multiple-hit ranged attacks (especially super moves, which activate after a two-second delay).
  • In the higher difficulty levels of Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3, AI opponents are much more likely to try and use ultimate moves on you, which are difficult to connect against a moving target and a huge drain of ki. If you go purely evasive once they activate hyper mode, you can usually wait for them to run out of ki, then utterly thrash on them while they recover. If you get good at this, the harder levels can be easier than the normal ones. Also, the strongest AI is programmed to attempt to out-teleport counter the player no matter what. Such a teleport consumes one energy bar, so a savvy player can get an energy advantage, then lure the AI into a teleport chain for the sole purpose of depleting their energy. Considering strong hits cause transformations to revert while under a minimum of energy bars, this was a huge issue.
  • In Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors, the AI seems awfully good at breaking the player's guard or countering, but once the player is stunned, they'll often stand still and do nothing. Although they sometimes do shoot a stream of ki bullets, they rarely finish the Z Combo with a strong attack.
  • In Umineko: Golden Fantasia, the easy mode AI puts up about as much of a fight as the training dummy for some reason.
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy:
    • The game has A.I. that is good in some things and hopeless in others. On one hand, the best A.I. can dodge your attacks perfectly; on the other, pathfinding tends to get screwed up. It's especially apparent with Gabranth, who can't really do much outside of EX-Mode. Instead of charging EX-Gauge like a madman when you're not close enough to punish it, he just jogs back and forth.
    • Also, Exdeath. His whole fighting style is centered around blocking and countering, to the point where the developers have gone on record saying that he's pretty much invincible in the hands of a player who knows how to use him properly. The A.I. doesn't seem to grasp that concept very well and instead of patiently waiting for you to make a mistake, just spams slow and predictable attacks. (Which is pretty much for the best, considering that, as previously mentioned, Exdeath is borderline-overpowered in the hands of an expert player — now imagine him being controlled by an entity with literally superhuman reaction times and the ability to know exactly what you're doing the instant you commit to doing it.)
    • The A.I. also seems to have problems with dodging certain attacks, like Yuna's Mega Flare (if the enemy is standing on the ground) and especially Feral Chaos's Via Dolorosa - dodging it is hard even for a human player, making it the sole reason for him being banned in tournaments.
    • It also ignores the effects of the equipment it randomly selects. Normally this wouldn't matter too much except for the fact that there exist secret items which sometimes have high baseline stats but extreme negative effects. Of particular note here is the Ensanguined Shield, which reduces your Initial Bravery by 100% and your Initial HP by 95% (and it doesn't give any more defense than the other top-end shields). While there is a use-case for it in very particular equipment setups, the AI will randomly decide to equip it without doing anything to back that decision up, turning them into a sitting duck.
  • The first two Mortal Kombat games were bad for this. The computer, especially in the later levels, would 100% counter-throw any attempts to throw it, and barring a few special moves it would perfectly duck or block any special attack you can throw. However, it was terrible at reading jump kicks and footsweeps, so people in the arcade tended to resort to that. This led to long strings of spectacularly dull matches where the only attacks used were jump kicks and footsweeps. Even the juggle combos after jump kicks weren't used as it was simply easier to throw a jump kick, backflip to safety than to launch a specifically timed jump kick, and quickly throw out a special attack after you land.
  • Tekken also had a similar issue with bosses from Tekken 5 and 6. Jinpachi and Azazel are big beefy SNK Boss types, but both are pretty bad at reading jump kicks especially if the jump kick knocks them over so you can repeat the pattern.
  • Skullgirls on the whole has very clever and responsive AI, except for when it came to jumping. Even on the harder modes, the AI just doesn't seem to know what to do when the player is in the air (except Marie, who does what she always does) and very often responds by not doing anything or just wandering about a little bit. Normally this doesn't amount to much, because most jumps are very short, but repeated jumping and Painwheel's Flight mode can leave the computer uselessly futzing around for extensive periods of time (ironically making Painwheel a good counter for CPU Peacock). This was eventually patched.
  • Def Jam Series's Def Jam: Fight for NY has this in the Free For Alls that take place in 125 Street Station. Providing you stay out of the action, the computer players will likely take the fight to the train tracks. It is likely they will continue to fight on the tracks even though there is an audio cue of the metro train coming. Sometimes, one computer player will be smart and get to higher ground. However, it is possible for them to stay on the track, leading to them getting run over leading to a surprisingly Non-Lethal K.O.. In a 4-player battle, it's even possible for all three computer-controlled players to be run over by the train, instantly making you the winner. As such, it is possible to beat the AI in a Subway Free For All without even attacking once, even on Hard.
  • Dragon Ball Xenoverse plays this straight and averts it. Enemy AI, for the most part, is perfectly serviceable...unfortunately the same can't be said for your computer-controlled teammates. Good luck getting them to do anything other than stand around, fly in circles, or waltz into ultimate attacks. This can be particularly infuriating in story mode missions that require you to keep them alive.
    • The sequel is slightly better in this regard. Slightly. NPC teammates will fight somewhat competently, but if your character or another teammate is knocked out, they will drop everything to fly to their snoozing companion to revive them - even if the enemy is right next to them. A human player would simply knock the enemy away before trying to revive fallen teammates. An AI-controlled player will just take the beating and keep coming back for more until either they are knocked out or everyone is revived.
    • The AI in both games tends to be simple-minded when it comes to attacking and defending. If an NPC has enough stamina, they will spam Z-Vanishes and Evasive Skills until they can't defend against retribution, but have the right mind to guard against particularly strong or fast attacks. If they have enough ki, they will spam Ultimate Skills at every possible opportunity, which will often leave them vulnerable to having their guard broken during the charging animation, allowing the player to beat on them with impunity while they're defenseless. Champa and Fused Zamasu are easily the worst in this regard. It will even do this as Towa, whose only Ultimate is an AoE heal, or if they just had their guard broken and their ult animation can currently be interrupted by any regular hit.
  • Nidhogg's computer-controlled fencers in single player hardly acknowledge stage hazards, and will hardly change tactics if you figure out how to counter them.
  • Nitroplus Blasterz Heroines Infinite Duel has a final SNK Boss, Al Azif Ex Mortis, who would be unbeatable if not for artificial stupidity. Many of her particular foibles ending up looking hilarious: for example, she will casually allow herself to be hit over and over again by Ouka's dashing attack. Because she will always use aerial recovery when knocked down, Saya can repeatedly juggle her with her moves that create stalagmites, until she randomly thinks to use an air dash after recovering.
  • BlazBlue: Central Fiction:
    • Bang's Overdrive replaces his normal movement with rapid eight-way dashes. They're meant to help Bang with his offense, but the computer defaults to using this solely for Confusion Fu; they will dash around as much as possible and only really attack if you happen to be near them. Throwing out enough attacks that have decent reach can lead to Bang defeating himself by complete accident, and staying away will cause them to waste the Overdrive entirely.
    • If you get behind the computer while they're walking forwards, they sometimes won't register it and will continue walking for several seconds even if they're just rubbing their nose on the wall.

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