Balance is important in fighting games. The point of a fighting game is to offer a competitive experience, usually in a 1-on-1 context. Developers need to provide a host of characters for players to choose from, with the acknowledgement that a player needs to feel confident in any choice. It doesn't always work out, as fighting games always have tier lists that outline which characters are better in the competitive scene, but a developer is always trying to keep the gap between the top and bottom tiers as small as possible.
Occasionally though, you'll run into a character in a fighting game that completely breaks everything. There's the concept of the SNK Boss, where a character will tear apart the competitive meta, usually in the form of a computer-controlled end boss. These characters are generally not meant to be controlled by players, so they have amazingly strong offensive and defensive attacks, or timing far faster than a human opponent.
If an SNK Boss is playable, the character will be significantly toned-down from their computer-controlled counterpart. Sometimes though, developers just say screw it and give players the full monster.
That's what happened with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Fighting Edition, a game developed by Natsume and published by Bandai on Super Nintendo in 1995. This was the same year that Saban Entertainment and 20th Century Fox released Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, a big-budget adaptation of the hit kids television show. As a tie-in to the film, MMPR: The Fighting Edition featured film villain Ivan Ooze as the last boss. If players beat the Story Mode on the hard difficulty, they'd gain a cheat code to use Ivan Ooze in the game's versus mode.
Natsume did not tune the playable Ivan Ooze at all. As such, Ivan Ooze is one of the most broken fighting game characters ever. He's total nonsense.
Right from the beginning, Ivan Ooze ignores the basic movement rules that everybody else has to abide by. Every character is mostly ground-based, using jumps for attacks in the air, like most 2D fighting games. Ivan flies though. All the time. You can move him around the screen to wherever you want to go, even to the top corners where most other fighters can't hit you. His floating nature also means he can't be hit by low attacks or be thrown by other fighters.
Let's look at Ivan's basic attacks. Spark Punch is his standard attack and the least broken of his abilities, offering unrecoverable knockdown on hit. You can hit him while he's using the move, so it's not invincible. Small graces. Energy Ball is Ivan's other basic attack. It homes in on opponents and eats any other projectile in the game. Energy Ball hits multiple times too, meaning it stuns long enough to lead to a combo. This is not a command fireball, so you can just sit in the back corner spamming this to shut down many opponents.
His two weapon attacks summon giant columns of fire, either in near or far versions. These projectiles also eat other fireballs, covering the entire height of the screen, and move forward. Utterly savage. Ivan can use these three moves to dominate most fights and we haven't even gotten to command moves yet!
Homing Fireballs is the least painful command move. With a quarter-circle forward motion and a non-weapon attack button, Ivan can summon a barrage of Homing Fireballs. On the bright side, the move has some start up time, so you can ponder the deep despair of letting your friend or family member choose Ivan Ooze in the first place. It can't be performed in mid-air, meaning you have to touch down at least once. Oh, unless you cancel into it out of a mid-air Spark Punch.
Finally, there's the most vicious attack I've seen in any fighting game. Invulnerable Strike - seriously, Natsume, you didn't have to be so on-the-nose with that - is performed by using a dragon-punch with either non-weapon attack button. Invulnerable Strike covers Ivan in a powerful field that damages his opponent and launches a barrage of homing fireballs.
There's no startup animation on this move at all. Worse, Invulnerable Strike can be done on hit! If you are hit at all with Ivan Ooze, you're doing something wrong, but if you do get hit, using this move will immediately counter anything your opponent is doing. Anything. Hit stun means nothing, so there's no way to punish Ivan.
Ivan's only drawback is the fact that he can't block, but with all the moves at his disposal, he doesn't need to. The best defense is an overwhelming offense. Overkill is the best kill.
How Ivan survived as a playable character is beyond me. If you enjoy self-flagellation, spend a few rounds trying to fight him. I'm shuddering just thinking about it.
Enjoy Power Rangers this weekend!