Echoes of Madness are weird to me because elite echoes are my favorite enemy in the game: You're given nowhere to run; you have to Pguard; and they're just a good challenge overall. But regular echoes bring a large amount of unenjoyable inconsistency to the game -- causing major problems in arcade runs and a few parts of story mode as well.

The major problem with echoes of madness lies in their inconsistent windup and their inconsistent attack direction. The inconsistent wind up makes it incredibly difficult to pguard attacks. In some instances, it can cause the player to lower their guard too early and get hit. (On the other end, it can cause them to hold their shield for too long in one direction and get hit by some other oncoming attack.) The inconsistent direction is what causes most of the problem for players. On multiple occasions an echo of madness has approached, appearing to attack me from the right, and at literally the last second he suddenly turns and immediately attacks from the other side. The reason this is an issue is that echoes have a peculiar hitbox. It hits in ways you'd never expect to the point that guarding up or down is almost entirely unviable... If your shield is facing to the right, an echo that is facing the right can hit you (behind your shield) by swinging rightwards (but fail to harm you if they swing leftwards) . There is currently no reliable indication to the player whatsoever of how long the windup will be or from what direction the enemy will attack. With how strange the echo's hitbox is (and I don't think the hitbox needs a change), it generates some very unfair situations for players.'s my proposition.

Give echoes a fixed startup time. This solves the major issue of inconsistent wind up. Players will be able to know when to shield to pguard consistently. Also, give echoes teleportation abilities similar to an elite echo. Since we're talking regular echoes, they should be easier than their elite counterparts. Regular echoes should only be permitted to teleport from the side they're on to the corresponding side of the player. (If they're far on the left side of the player, they should only be allowed to teleport to the left side of the player, not to the right.) I've seen how fast echoes move in the game when a player is far away, and it's evident that they take much longer to attack when they're far away. I imagine this is to prevent players from "escaping" from the echo of madness. He's the only enemy that is virtually impossible to avoid damage from [in close quarters] without blinking or clever, synchronized juking. Teleportation allows the echo to still be unavoidable, but removes the unfair, inconsistent factors that current make up a regular echo of madness. Echoes should teleport to the player by default if a certain gap between the enemy and the player is perceived (eg., too far for a swipe to hit). Since the echo is not an elite, he should not home in on the player (like elite echoes) during teleportation. The echo should only teleport once to the player's location and then attack. This allows the player to blink away or strategically move to avoid an attack from the echo (whereas this is basically impossible during the elite echo's teleportation). Finally, make echoes attack only from the side they're standing on -- like all enemies and bosses in the game. I feel like this is fair since, as stated, pretty much all enemies attack from the side they're on...and this makes sense. (If this final idea is unfavorable, see the last portion.) As a final but quite unnecessary add-on, allow regular echoes to phase through through walls, like elite echoes of madness. The main reason I want this to be a thing is that sometimes echoes can hit you behind walls. However, forcing echoes to hit you only from one side fixes this problem...that's why I said this final add-on is not necessary.

What This Changes: 1) No more mega jank hitboxes (though technically they might still be slightly jank). With this design, echoes won’t be able to hit you while your back is to a wall because they’ll always attack from the side they’re on. Similarly, shield confusion won’t occur. (When I say “shield confusion”, I mean the common scenario where an echo wants to attack leftwards, but you’re on his right. Since you’re on the right, you shield left. But somehow the echo still hits you because of how he wanted to attack.) 2) No more jank echo-statue-elite statue problems for melee. Because the echo will teleport to you, you’ll be able to drag him away from the statues. This means you can manage the echo before the statues. AND you keep the option of using stasis to desync/force-sync the enemies. This may not fix the problem entirely (I’d have to test it to know), but it will help the problem significantly. 3) Less shield rape. Now I know that one sounds weird. But echoes are pretty much made to be Pguarded. Problem is: They currently attack with different windup depending on how far away you are. With this new idea, the windup will be fixed. So you’ll always know the right time to Pguard (instead of get-shield-rekt-guard).

What This Doesn’t Change: 1) The echo will still be a noticeable threat. In fact, he’ll be a greater threat now because he’ll be able to reach you immediately even if you’re on the other side of the room. 2) You’ll still be able to run like a wimp. The regular echo will not have the high-speed homing ability of elites. So blinking during wind up (but after teleportation) will not harm you. You can decide whether or not to allow players to run out of reach during windup. I think it’s 100% fair and balanced to allow it. However, it isn't necessary if the entire idea gets implemented. And that certainly won’t be necessary if Pguard shield damage is made friendly enough. 3) Elite echoes will still be a larger threat. Elite echoes will have the mystery of which side they’ll attack on. They’ll still be stronger and faster with virtually no vulnerability to debuffs (because they always drop debuffs). They’ll still be able to home in on the player, meaning blinking during windup is not an option for an elite echo (though technically blinking right before the attack is). Finally, they’ll have their annoying inconsistent attack directions with high speed when they aren’t teleporting. While their inconsistency is annoying, elite echoes attack so quickly that the inconsistency is nearly imperceptible. Besides, they can be baited into teleporting so it isn’t a big deal.

Resolving the Removal of Echo-Crossovers:
I think Pydoyks was fairly upset with the idea of echoes only attacking from one side. Personally, I don't think it's that big of a deal. Most enemies attack from one side in this game. And with the echo having teleportation capabilities, he'll be a sufficient threat. (New players would probably feel this change being harder, but players like Em0 would probably find this change easier.) The problem with crossovers is that you have to program a way for the echo to crossover and attack without having unfair inconsistencies...but that's incredibly difficult to do. I am absolutely 155,000% opposed to allowing echoes to keep inconsistent attack patterns just for the sake of maintain crossover attacks. However, if echoes must be allowed to have crossovers, force them to do it through teleportation. That is, if an echo of madness decides it wants to attack from an opposite side, force it to teleport to that side to attack. In this way, echoes are still prevented from jank inconsistencies. I should point out, however, that allowing crossovers makes multiple echoes problematic in story mode and in multiplayer arcade mode. This is a problem whether echoes are allowed to teleport to attack from the opposite side or not. Honestly, crossovers are cool. But they bring a whole lot of other issues into play when multiple echoes of madness are present and when attack patterns are inconsistent. In my opinion, crossovers just need to leave...completely.

You can see how desperate I am to get rid of the inconsistency in their attack patterns. They're a serious problem that I and several others strongly dislike. It's to the point where with the current AI, I'd rather have an elite echo of madness replace the regular echo of madness every time I encounter him in an arcade room (and that's with the other elite enemy that the game randomly placed in the room).