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On the Legality of Lylat and a Recommendation for a New Stage List

Blank - May 15, 2017

Lylat, as many people probably know, is one of the stages most commonly brought up when talking about stage list alterations. Many people simply do not like this stage due to its buggy nature or because of the way it affects the way neutral is played compared to every other legal stage. Lylat is the only stage in the game with its unique layout which is a positive. The thing that does cause problems however, are its ledges, its tilts, and its slants. The other problem the stage has, is that the turbines on the stage where the slant begins are extremely buggy.

Before I go into Lylat’s issues and bugs I wish to clarify why I’m even bothering to do this in the first place. The first reason is that I deeply care about the game and want it to do well. Part of this is having a stage list that promotes a consistent and enjoyable experience for players. If Lylat is buggy and affects the results of a major tournament, the game runs the risk of being considered a joke in the competitive community and that is the last thing I want to see happen to the game.  The second, is that many arguments that I have seen for keeping Lylat legal have involved logical fallacies. Mainly normalcy bias, where players argue that since it hasn’t happened to them it’s a non-issue. Hopefully this post will help educate people about Lylat and will convince the community that Lylat has no place in a competitive environment.

First, I want to explain where I’m coming from. I am of the philosophy that a legal stage is a stage in which there are minimal, or preferably no factors, that are outside either players control that affect the outcome of a game and that any factors that do affect the outcome can be reasonably played around by both players. Legal stages should also not be too polarizing, or degenerative to the game, by providing an advantage to certain characters that is either extremely strong or that certain characters cannot be reasonably expected to play around. An example of a legal stage that meets these criteria is Battlefield where as Pyro sphere would not meet these criteria. This is the subjective part of deciding which stages should be legal or not. What can be reasonably played around? What is considered degenerative? What is too strong of an advantage? A good case study for this is Duck Hunt. Many people disliked the Dog and while it could be played around, it was very obnoxious to do so. Many argued that it hurt the way neutral was played and ruined set ups, but due to this arguments general subjectivity and the ability to reasonably play around the Dog, the stage was not banned for that reason. What did get the stage banned however, was that a large portion of the community felt that camping the tree was degenerative and provided too strong of an advantage for certain characters. Thus, the stage was no longer considered legal and removed from the stage list.

I am also of the philosophy that stage lists should be not picked to provide artificial balance to the game. Balance should be decided solely by developers and it is not for the players to decide. Players serve to make suggestions but ultimately balance decisions should only be taken by players in extreme circumstances or when developers no longer are willing to balance a game. This means not advocating for certain stages to be legal for the sole reason of helping lower tier characters succeed or to nerf higher tier ones, but rather the act of deciding legal stages based solely on the stages merits in a vacuum and its ability to provide a consistent tournament experience that limits factors other than player skill from affecting the outcome of a game.

Finally, I wish to clarify that I find that even certain legal stages are more polarizing than others and therefore should not all be treated equally simply because they are classified as legal stages. These more polarizing legal stages should be naturally be counter picks and the less polarizing ones should be starters.

When it comes to Lylat, the stages layout, slants, and tilts provide something that no other stage does. Besides the unique layout, it provides a change in neutral dynamic as the slants and tilts allow for vertical spacing to change constantly. This, and the tilts preventing jab locks and trips make me dislike the stage, as it removes certain combos from characters. Removing options that are available to a character on any other stage is something I find pretty polarizing and at least classifies it as a counter pick in my eyes. If Lylat did not have all its bugs and glitches I would advocate for it to be considered a counter pick stage.

Due to Lylat’s numerous glitches and bugs however, I do think the stage should be banned due to many of these bugs having the potential to affect the outcome of a game in a way that cannot reasonably played around. I’m going to be breaking this up into sections and going over each bug and then highlighting footage of it. The only thing I will not be covering is the ledges being impossible to ride upon when the stage is tilting down as this is widely known and has very reasonable counter play in just going for the sweet spot. The stage however does have many other problems which I will be addressing such as.

Ledges not being grabbable/Phasing through the stage:

Bayonetta literally teleporting offstage:

Luma getting stuck underneath the stage:

Turbines causing random tripping/ruining shield breaks:

Turbines messing with teleport recoveries:

Items being active forever:

Pushing Fox/Falco side B at a downwards angle:


Some more info on Lylat:

After looking at all these examples you’re probably thinking something along the lines of “Wow Lylat is really buggy and has interactions that are in no way suitable for a consistent competitive experience”. Perhaps though you thought that these interactions were somehow suitable for tournament play because “lol bayo can kill you at 2% this isn’t that bad compared to all the other wack stuff in smash 4” and thought something along the lines of “So what it’s not consistent or easy to replicate and it doesn’t even happen that often. Besides if you just got good you could learn to avoid it” to which I would like to remind you of the normalcy bias logical fallacy and point out that in admitting that these bugs are not consistent you are admitting that you can’t tell exactly when they are going to occur, which in turn invalidates your point about just learning the stage. If somehow you can tell exactly when all these bugs will occur, I invite you to share it with the community so we can all learn from you, but until someone goes out and does this and explains how to tell when these glitches will occur solely by observing the stage with their eyes and not in a frame by frame manner, as eyes are all players will be able to use to determine if something will occur in game, I’m going to stick with my assertion that Lylat and all of its glitches are not reasonably avoidable in a tournament setting and therefore Lylat is not worthy of being a legal stage. While yes, I must admit that some of Lylat’s core issues are avoidable and predictable and without bugs the stage is fine. It’s not without its glitches and they are what makes this stage unsuitable for competitive play.

            Now hopefully at this point you agree that a buggy, unreasonably hard to predict stage like Lylat is not suitable for competitive play as it could affect the outcome of games and are now of the opinion that we should probably ban Lylat. But maybe you’re worried about how this will affect the stage list. Well I’m going to go over that and explain a lot of common misconceptions about the stage list.

            The first being that if the game only had 3 starters instead of 5 winning rock paper scissors would have more weight. This is simply false, as if both characters win on an equal amount of stages that they lose on they will always start on their most neutral stage. As instead of just banning the two you lose on and your opponent banning the two you win on, both players just ban one stage instead. The other argument against banning Lylat is that now we’ll see significantly less stage variety in tournament sets. Currently, if both characters win and lose on the same amount of stages we should be seeing 3 different stages in a set where as in a 4 stage list you see 2 different stages per set. Personally, I feel this isn’t as big of an issue as people make it out to be nor does it in any way makes sets more predictable as players should be going to the same stages in a predictable order anyways. Seeing sets played on 2 stages instead 3 is a small price to play to not have to worry about Lylat glitching possibly changing the outcome of a set.

            Now I know many people still don’t want to go back to that conservative ruleset we had tried with Lylat gone but I do think I get why it wasn’t that successful. Personally, I think the issue was that Final Destination was a starter when it is one of the more polarizing legal stages if not the most polarizing. Most characters have to ban Final Destination in many of their match ups due to poor landing options being exploited or not being able to break zones well due to the lack of platforms. While I do think it may be a bit weird to not have For Glory’s poster child as a starter, many character’s best or worst stages are Final Destination rather than Town and City and therefore I feel a stage list where Final Destination is a counter pick with Town and City, Battlefield, and Smashville as starters would be healthier for the game as a whole.

P.S. If you actually went through all this and watched all the clips and you think Lylat is fine you’re probably the same type of person who thinks Pacman’s grab is good (Don’t hate me :3)

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Nothing but respect. +1
WulfSight - May 15, 2017
To be fair some of these glitches i've never seen. There are 2 parts though that I kinda can't agree on- like yes, glitches are a problem w. the stage- i feel like if the game is nearing 3 years old and there's maybe 35 instances that were found as evidence, seems like the risk that something goes wrong is minuscule.

Other issue is that I don't think removal is healthy- you say it doesn't matter- but it kind of does depending on the character. For example, maybe 2-3 chars do poorly on lylat because they lose vital portions of their needed gameplay (Peach, Corrin, Ryu, Rosa maybe some others) but for the most part characters gain something from the stage. The problem is certain chars who may not need lylat as anything but a decent stage, or at least to give us 5 to where there is a smaller chance that the legal stage options uniquely make a MU unwinnable between evenly based players because for example, if we had only DL/BF/SV/Town/FD, chars who would want flatter stages usually would get banned out/have issues with DSR. And if DSR isn't going away, we already have stage problems in BO5's where people have to CP themselves and i feel it only gets worse in a world w/o lylat.

Independently, one thing that turns me off on the arguments is the dismissal of pro-lylat people, i get you hate the stage but just makes it less persuasive if you assume all pro-lylat players are not knowledgeable about the game.
Firewater - May 15, 2017
Really well written, I completely agree with this. I play some characters that are awful on this stage and some that are broken, but either way I hate playing on this stage. It should never be legal, never should've been.
Zyvon - May 15, 2017
Extremely well written and insightful, and after reading your arguments I do agree that FD should be a counterpick. Certain characters like Little Mac have a much larger advantage with a lack of platforms and although Town and City has a lower ceiling and benefits characters that can kill off the top, it is a less polarizing stage overall than FD.
Vantablack - May 15, 2017
Very well written, as much as I disagree with the premise. The fact remains that a five-stage ruleset simply cannot work. There's a reason that, despite it having many glitches of its own, Pokemon Stadium is still legal in Melee.
CTQ - May 16, 2017
Very good list of everything troubling with Lylat. I can argue that with dedication, reason for each glitch can be found and avoided, but not avoided with the naked eye. Engines would be constant 'glitch zones' in a competitive setting since the randomness will be due to tilting, or a constant glitch that can effect several characters if they stand on it. (I have a hunch the issue is moves that take a step forward, at a certain point when the stage tilts.)
No one should claim that because the glitch is rare, we shouldn't worry. engine and no clip have the ability to change a stock. No one would feel that a grand finals win due to this glitch deserved it. (btw, chance, like Judge, is an understood ability within a tool kit and taking the risk is deserving of a win)

Tweet 1: Should be removed, as this is likely a Diddy issue rather a Lylat one. (marth also cannot grab ledge at the start of his up-special, and when Diddy's barrels pop he is a special hit-stun where he cannot get stage-spiked or tech floors.)
Tweet 7: is for confirmed followers only. I cannot view it.
Luma Glitch/Tweet: Meh. Rare and recognizable. Don't have Luma spawn while hanging on ledge.
(Also, I'd bet Omega lylat, and a couple other Omegas could do that, not that they're legal.)
I enjoy Lylat, It gives Bowser jr a slant to bounce Mecha Koopas before they start walking, and Jr can cover the tiny platforms well. I like having a legal stage that has slants, since the meta gets so little of it. I cannot claim the stage is competitive with mutliple glitches that with one occurrence, can add more than a say 25% difference in one match (much less than an entire stock).
Divade011 - May 17, 2017
Don't forget getup attack glitches.
- August 3, 2017

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