Posted by: masterwarlord | July 31, 2014

Rocket Grunt without nostalgia goggles

While just about nothing from the era of MYM 7 is redeemable, Rool’s later sets don’t exactly do much to show they were made in different eras. While Tutankoopa or Flat Top may not be notable in how bad they are, they’re still mediocre and Rool’s philosophy shows. Regardless, they are not as catastrophically bad as Rocket Grunt, and a list of Rool’s “worst sets” would largely be dedicated to such forgettable movesets as the Eeveelutions. When Rool makes complaints of unsmashness, he is actually complaining about “unreadability”, which he would apply to just about any moveset made in modern day. This appears to be one of the things that has prevented Rool from showcasing any interest in modern day MYM, along with the newer emphasis on numbers and general balance.

Without going into detail about how this affects how Rool views other movesets, it’s very apparent in his own. It doesn’t matter if the given move does nothing of any note, so long as a block of text can be inserted under the description. This block of text is typically an interaction of some kind, but could be inserted at absolutely any point in the moveset and make zero difference. He will talk about the “interaction” going into this move specifically, but they could largely apply to any move and is there to fill space. This is most directly seen in this specific set in Houndour’s aerials, though it’s rare for Houndour to go for a single move without mentioning Zubat. These sorts of fake interactions were enough to wow people back in the day, and say that the moveset was an “interlocked web”.

There is also, of course, the times when Rool uses a move as a way to introduce a mechanic because he doesn’t want to have a section for one. Zubat’s dashing attack is hardly an ideal way to inflict the Grunt’s poison, but it gets the description of the mechanic in order for there to be a more sizable amount of text listed under the input’s label. More infamous examples of this include Father Time and Zant as they waste an entire special for the reading experience at the cost of the player’s gameplay.

One of the things that this moveset actually was attacked for at the time was the ability of the standard poison status effect from Pokemon to kill people for instant deaths – much less poison from baby Pokemon or poison from a Fire/Dark typed Pokemon. Aside from biting people with “poison jaw”, Houndour’s pummel burns the foe. . .Which can also kill them instantly like poison. While this was brought up a handful of times, it was dismissed, and the moveset declared in-smash because of Rool’s careful pacing enabling the feebler minds of the time to finish reading the set.

Regardless, this is all commonly known information. The real meat and potatoes of the moveset found on rereading is still to come. While Houndour and Grimer are also bad, Zubat is the real star of the moveset. If you want proof as to just how little reading comprehension people had in MYM 7, you only need to look into the very first move of the set beyond the switching mechanic. Rool’s interpretation of Zubat’s Supersonic is even slightly creative, but gives Zubat godlike powers in both gameplay and flavor. While it would already be questionable in FFA with a good implantation of Zubat making the foe see illusions, Zubat does not even have to hit the foe to spawn them.

Zubat’s illusions are more than just that, though. Right within the first move, Zubat can create brief duplications of the other two Pokemon with hitboxes in-tact, and if he creates a duplication of the foe he can beat on it as a punching bag to do very real damage to the enemy. The illusions don’t stop there as the fsmash and dsmash come along, which enable Zubat to make fake things real and real things fake. The way it is written, Zubat can literally phase the foe straight out of existence with these moves if his poison wasn’t enough, as well as make fully real duplicates of both the foe, himself, and his two partners.

The special pummel creates a nearly infinite amount of Zubats. Based off the description Rool gives, they “cover almost every corner of the map and overlap each other”. This sounds like enough playable characters to outright crash the game, if phasing the foe out of existence wasn’t enough. Regardless, Zubat can make each and every single one of these nightmares into a real Zubat through his godlike power. It’s as if Rool is making a moveset for an entire cave of Zubats rather than one owned by a Grunt. This godly pummel more than makes up for the lack of throws, which are here just in case Zubat wasn’t cemented as the worst moveset Rool’s made.

While far lesser of a use of Supersonic, a token use of the move to prevent dodging is thrown into the moveset. This is used as a basis for flow very regularly, with very interesting capitalization upon it by badly damaging shields and otherwise stunlocking the foe. Zubat also has superhuman strength and durability, being able to cancel his momentum on nair for survivability on par with Game & Watch’s bucket, and gaining the ability to carry anything with his glide attack.

The carefully thought out animation for Zubat carrying any other playable character is. . .They’re sort of just magnetically attracted to his torso, because Zubat is physically incapable of grabbing. This would be one thing on a regular grab animation, but Rool specifically makes a new one for the glide attack (And dair), -and- sees fit for this Zubat to carry things around. It’s already ridiculous that he can carry anything, much less something the size of Bowser, or in the context of the moveset, carrying the liquid ooze that is Grimer through the air.

While Giant Bat may not be an especially memorable moveset, the title is rather self explanatory, and it is a moveset revolving around heavy use of wind hitboxes. The Giant Bat boss is easily outdone by the grunt’s single little Zubat, though, through the use of his uair. This uair creates a gigantic column of wind with infinite height, with most of the other aerials being dedicated to more bland wind hitboxes. Despite all Zubat can do, wind is the most commonly referred to part as Rool constantly references this moveset in the other two.

Before we get to Houndour, Grimer really has to be talked about next for one simple factor. It’s already cancerous that he is invincible on any stage with a wall and this is well known, though nobody cared enough to not super vote this moveset into second in the worst top 10 ever. What is far more of an issue than that, though, is that attacks that deal vertical knockback to Grimer don’t have their knockback translated to horizontal knockback. Grimer just doesn’t take that knockback, enabling him to easily be infinite’d by moves that do vertical knockback. The most obvious candidate for this are uthrows. On his own, Grimer struggles just about as much as Bubbles, though at least on characters without ways to infinite him he can kill them through his cancerous poison instant kill mechanic. While all of the poison is very strong, Grimer’s is largely the strongest as he can place actual traps in gas/goop with the poison instant kill effect on it, ticking down the rather disturbingly small timer.

While Zubat cheats on the grab, Grimer cheats on the aerials. While you might feel more open to forgiving this movest for the lack of aerials for the character(s), you have to keep in mind that this moveset already has presented several ways to get into the air regardless of no jumps. Zubat can magically carry Grimer up or leave lingering wind hitboxes to fan him up, and he can be generically released/spawned there by Houndour. . .You could potentially even have some aerial traps if you’re running with the godlike powers Zubat has. This is regularly suggested throughout the moveset for interactions, but just to use the Specials, not the other moves which he can’t use in the air, leaving the lack of aerials as nothing short of laziness and/or “readability”.

Houndour is largely the most forgettable one of the bunch, both then and now. The main trait he has is the ability to play through the other characters as Houndour. This makes Grimer playable to spawn a couple of his broken traps if nothing else, as Grimer’s hurtbox isn’t an issue as you use Houndour’s instead, rendering most of his gimmick pointless. Using him in combination with Zubat can create a legion of Houndours and Zubats very quickly to overwhelm enemies, to the point you may lose track of yourself.

When Houndour isn’t trying to play as a character other than himself, his moves are largely referencing Zubat just to fill up space, as described earlier, or are just trying to tie into the instant kill mechanic. Houndour can for some reason poison people despite the other two being more than enough for that, but his ability to burn them for an identical effect can stack, just in case it wasn’t powerful enough. One especially notable move is the usmash which has him literally bury his head in the sand in an imitation of Rool in order to create a lava pit – it makes a fat dragon falling from the sky as an excuse to create one look justified. Grimer has a similar move where he sticks his arms into the ground, which may sound less silly, until you realize that this causes him to randomly create eruptions. There’s no interaction with Houndour here being missed, Grimer just has fire power like Houndour has poison.

There’s little else that can be said, the moveset speaks for itself upon a reread. I did not really remember the set myself as anywhere near this bad, and choosing to keep a perfect and untainted image of the set is choosing to join Houndour in his usmash up there. Strangelove and Grunt were just considered the positives of the MYM 7 top 10 at the time, though the ones that were hated upon even back in the day haven’t exactly improved – Kamek the largest offender.

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Responses

  1. Very good article, this is a set that seriously needed to be deconstructed given it seems to still have any positive reputation in MYM, and Zubat is an absolute disaster.

    What’s fairly impressive though is that as it turns out Zubat isn’t even Rool’s worst moveset. That’d be Miracle Matter which aside from the obvious problem of 5 inputs at a time that are switched up against your will and have an arbitrarily confusing control scheme, frequently makes what few inputs it has into nigh unusable or extremely awkward gimmicks and at one point has an attack which has Miracle Matter stun himself for 5 seconds. You think I’m joking, look it up, its Spark Matter’s Fair.


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