Masahiro Sakurai Reveals the Technique “Flipped Animation” Used After Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Published 01/12/2024, 7:40 AM EST

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Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. franchise has been quite a revolution in the crossover fighting genre. For over two decades now, the epic action saga has brought an ultimate fighting experience to gamers. Ever wondered what makes the Super Smash Bros. brand so unique? Well, of a lot of things, the gameplay animations and visuals are certainly the chart toppers. The ‘Flipped Animation’ technique used in the Nintendo epic is a classic example of Nintendo’s technological evolution.

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From Street Fighter to Tekken, there are plenty of fighting games that have cemented their place in the fighting genre. However, the Super Smash Bros. series appeals to the community like no other title can. The biggest reason attributed to the numbers behind the success of this series is the standout feature of the mirror gaming technique. The Super Smash Bros. creator has himself unveiled the secret. 

The credit for the rarest fighting technique in gaming goes to Street Fighter 2

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Masahiro Sakurai, the celebrated Nintendo veteran and creator of the Super Smash Bros. posted a video on his channel talking about the approach to ‘Flipped Animation’. For those wondering, Flipped Animation is a term coined by Sakurai’s team for the mirroring tech. The aim of the technology is basically to bring players an ideally symmetrical frame of the characters with a visually pleasing experience. This is done by making the opponents face each other in such a way that both faces are observed by the players. 

You won’t find a lot of games implementing this specific feature as it isn’t just time-consuming but also requires “quite a lot of work.” In the latest insight episode dropped by the Nintendo veteran, the latter briefly explained the challenges and perks of using the Flip animation/ mirroring technique.

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We didn’t start doing this until Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Since Super Smash Bros. is viewed from the side, this ends up creating a lot of stranger quirks. In Street Fighter 2, there’s a character named Dee Jay who wears pants with the words ‘MAXIMUM’ on them. The reason they chose this word is the letters still look good when mirrored horizontally. The Maxim Tomato from the Kirby games was also designed to be two mirror images stuck together. That’s why it has a ‘M’ on it,” Masahiro Sakurai stated in the explanation. 

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According to the Super Smash Bros. creator, Street Fighter 2 was actually the first big step in the evolution of mirror gaming technology. Of course, there are a lot of challenges that came along while adapting the symmetrical style of fighting. For instance, a right-handed straight punch would become a left-handed straight punch. Further, this technique is difficult to apply to characters lacking horizontal symmetry and even harder for sword-based fighters. 

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Certainly, there’s a lot to take away from this newly uploaded Sakurai masterclass. Did you know about the ‘Flipped Animation’ technique? Let us know all other games you can think of which use the same. 

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Written by:

Vaibhav Singh Tomar

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?A Supernova resistant to pressure.? Greetings, fellow seekers of the extraordinary! I'm Vaibhav Singh Tomar, your guide to the electrifying universe of eSports and storytelling at EssentiallySports. With a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and over 7+ years of crafting narratives, I don't just write about esports; I sculpt captivating tales within this digital arena.
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Edited by:

Rohan Karnad

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