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Predicting Amiibo Functionality In Nintendo’s 2015 Games

by Justin Mikos on Feb 10, 2015 at 12:14 PM

Nintendo’s Amiibos already have plenty of functions in many of Nintendo’s games. While the Smash Bros. line can only use the read and write capabilities of their Amiibos in Smash Bros., we have already gotten some interesting rewards for scanning the figures to our gamepads. In the future, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (already out for the Wii U), and Code Name S.T.E.A.M. are some of the games that will receive Amiibo support.

I correctly guessed that the Amiibo functionality in Mario Kart 8 would be for Nintendo costumes for the Mii characters before it released, so I thought it would be fun to try and guess what Amiibos could do in Nintendo’s 2015 game line up as well as one of its legacy franchises.

Xenoblade Chronicles X – Mech Paint Jobs and Shulk Gear

Xenoblade 3DS has Amiibo functionality that serves as an alternate way to unlock the soundtrack. If there is a soundtrack gallery in Xenoblade Chronicles X (and there really should be given its known quality) I’d hope it would unlock more naturally. I hope Xenoblade Chronicles X has the ability to unlock alternate paint jobs for the Dolls similar to Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy Plus. It would be neat to deck out your robot with Zelda or Metroid symbols, especially due to all the attention to detail with the animation and movement of the mechs. I also expect the Shulk Amiibo will work with Xenoblade Chronicles X; unlocking a Shulk outfit and a Monado weapon for the main character. 

Yoshi’s Wooly World - Stat Boosts and an Epic Yarn Team Up

We know Yoshi’s Wooly World will have Amiibo support, but we don’t know how yet. For Wooly World, I think we should look to Kirby and the Rainbow Curse to get an idea of how it could play out. In Kirby’s latest adventure you unlock special power ups for scanning in Kirby, King Dedede, and Meta Knight Amiibos. Perhaps scanning in some of the Mario characters will grant Yoshi different stat boosts. Scanning in a Mario Amiibo could grant Yoshi double health or perhaps scanning in a Luigi Amiibo will grant him extra jump height. A cool idea would be if you scan in a Kirby Amiibo, the Epic Yarn version of Kirby assists Yoshi in co-op instead of the red Yoshi.

The Legend of Zelda Wii U – Unlocking a Dungeon!?

Andrew Reiner proposed the idea that an Amiibo could unlock an extra dungeon in The Legend of Zelda. I don’t think this idea is as crazy as it sounds. Nintendo has been locking content in Zelda games behind extra investments for years now. For example, the epilogue to the two Zelda Oracle games was locked if you didn’t have both versions of the game. Also, the GBA port of A Link to the Past included new abilities that you only could unlock if you teamed up with your friends to conquer Four Swords.

I could see two variations on an Amiibo-themed dungeon. The basic version of the idea is that a small dungeon is locked behind a one-time use of an Amiibo. In this model, maybe there would be a Mario-themed dungeon if you had the Mario Amiibo. A more interesting idea is that perhaps you need multiple Amiibos to enter the dungeon and then must use those Amiibos when you are in there to solve puzzles. If you had a Link, a Zelda, and a Ganondorf Amiibo, at various points you would need to call in the right Amiibo to open doors or move objects based off clues in the environment. Amiibos could be far more fun to move around a room and solve puzzles with than the classic box and switch puzzles because you carry all of them with you at once. They also could grant special powers that function only in that dungeon, and you could toggle between them by scanning in different Amiibos.

The Hypothetical Animal Crossing Wii U – Nintendo Heroes Visit You, Easy Access to Nintendo Items

Animal Crossing is likely to have its own line of Amiibos if recent Amiibo retail kiosks are any indication, but I’ll focus on what the Smash Bros. line of Amiibos could do in the game. My favorite idea for Amiibos in Animal Crossing is by scanning them into Animal Crossing those Nintendo characters will visit you at your house and give you a gift. It would be way cooler to be given a Blue Falcon shirt by Captain Falcon himself rather than just unlocking one by scanning in the Amiibo. However, the latter, while still appreciated, is the more likely function of Amiibos in Animal Crossing.

Star Fox Wii U – New Ships and Pilots

Star Fox is another game we know will have Amiibo functionality, but its implementation is completely unknown. The most obvious idea would be to have ship skins unlock with Amiibos, but I don’t think that would be very special considering you view the ship from behind all the time. To really make it worthwhile, I think you would have to unlock different ships entirely. In Star Fox Command for the DS, each character in the game had their own ship with different stats. I hope this feature returns in Star Fox Wii U and is expanded upon by allowing us to swap ships between different pilots. Under this model, it’d make perfect sense to unlock ships and new pilots with Amiibos. It would be ludicrous in the best way imaginable to see Mario piloting an Arwing to take down Link riding in a Land Master.

Up next: Splatoon, Fire Emblem IF, and more...

Splatoon – Nintendo Outfits

This is a safe bet, but for this game the most likely use for Amiibos is to unlock Nintendo outfits. Character customization appears to be a big feature in Splatoon, so you’ll probably be dressing up your Inkling with Nintendo gear. I don’t think there will be Splatoon Amiibos anytime soon, so this kind of bare-bones Amiibo support might be the most to expect.

Fire Emblem – Making Crossover DLC Characters Free

I don’t think Fire Emblem IF (as it’s known in Japan) will be quite as crossover-heavy as Fire Emblem Awakening was. I think the best we can hope for in regards to Amiibo support would be the ability to recruit Marth, Ike, Robin, and Lucina without the need to purchase the DLC. In this scenario, DLC recruitment missions would become free to download if you have the right Amiibo. There isn’t a precedent of Amiibos functioning as an equivalent of a DLC purchase yet, but it would be a good way to add value to your Amiibo purchases without creating content exclusively for them.

Puzzle and Dragons Z + Super Mario Edition – New Characters and Dungeons

The Puzzle and Dragons series frequently uses crossovers to boost its appeal. Popular anime like Hunter X Hunter and Dragon Ball Z, Batman, Angry Birds, Hello Kitty, and even Baskin Robbins (yes the ice cream chain) have been tapped already, so it isn’t much of a surprise that there is a Super Mario Edition on the way. If Amiibos are introduced to the mix, I don’t think the crossover elements need to be contained to the Super Mario Edition. New Nintendo characters could be added into the main game as guest characters and franchises are already being added to the mix. In the Super Mario Edition, there is the potential to add new dungeon levels to the game especially from the Zelda series.

The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask 3D – Nintendo Masks

Majora’s Mask 3D is finished at this point, but that doesn’t mean Amiibo support won’t be added down the line as DLC to keep the title fresh. The main thing I’d like to see is the addition of Nintendo Masks to the game. They could be purely cosmetic and I’d be happy, but it would be neat to see the reactions from townspeople or the addition of certain stats or classic sound effects added during gameplay.

Mario Maker – New Tile Sets and Character Sprites

Mario Maker features a lot of the classic art styles from Mario’s platforming history. I’m not sure how much the development team would want to dilute the experience, but it would be cool to see new tile sets unlocked if you have the proper Amiibos. The NES Remix series really sparks this idea, and it would be surreal to see Mario platform across a Metroid-themed Mario course. If nothing else, new color schemes and outfits could be unlocked for Mario if you have the proper Amiibo, and it would be interesting to see how they evolve across the four revealed art styles.

These are my predictions for Amiibo functionality in Nintendo's upcoming line up. What do you want to see from Amiibos in the future?