Just as a general FYI, the Mizuumi hub has gotten an overhaul and is currently in great shape.

My entire experience with IaMP, and lately other games, has been based around my years spent with Mizuumi. I'm glad to see it changing, improving, and expanding. I highly recommend checking it out of if you're into netplay and/or poverty, and certainly for IaMP.

- Copyright © Xenozip.

Simultaneous Fapping

FelineKI, Dammit, and MZK bringing that goodness. And the script just keeps getting better and better with more games and emulators supported.
Pleased to be enjoying Super Turbo.

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- Copyright © Xenozip.

Fighting Game Mechanics

FYI: "dammit" mentions that "omni" had a post regarding Combat Systems.

- Blocking
- Airblocking
- Hitstop/Blockstop
- Hitstun/Blockstun
- Counter hits
- Ground recovery (bounces/rolls/slides)
- Air techs (air recovery)
- Launchers
- Juggles
- Gravity scaling
- Knockback scaling (hit/block)
- Hitstun/blockstun scaling
- Damage scaling
- Damage proration
- Damage reduction (self-input/mashing to reduce)
- Off the ground hits
- Off the ground limitation
- Wall bounce
- Wall bounce limitation
- Super jump
- Short jump
- Double jump
- Super short jump
- Neutral jump air control
- Run
- Dash/Backdash (sometimes with inv-frames)
- Airdash
- Rolling
- Dodging
- Guard meter (blocking gauge)
- Pushblock (advancing guard)
- Guard reversal
- Guard counter
- EX block (faultless defense/fortress defense)
- Timed block (Just defend/EX Guard)
- Reversals
- Throw invulnerability (after hitstun, blockstun, wakeup, reset/tech).
- Specials
- EX Specials
- Supers
- Revenge (rage/ultra)
- Special cancel
- Super cancel
- EX cancel (roman cancel/rapid cancel/focus attack cancel)
- Normals (stand/crouch/neutral-diagonal-jump)
- Command Normals
- Dashing normals
- Overheads / lows
- Sweeps (knockdown attacks)
- Standing knockdown attacks
- Airborne knockdown attacks
- Throws
- Holds (throws that drain life)
- Command throws/holds
- Comboable throws
- Normal chains
- Normal chain cancel limitation
- Gatling chain (target combos)
- Rekka (normal/special sequence)
- Renda
- Kara cancel
- Negative edge (button up specials)
- Teching throws (breaking/softening)
- Parrying
- Catch-counters (geese/karin)
- Absorbing (focus attack/ultimate guard)
- Bursts/Bombs (hitstun cancel stocks)
- Critical-Life bonus (damage/supers/defense)
- Custom combos (Cancels/speed/shadows/helpers)
- Power up moves (meter stocks/power/armor)
- Meter charging (generally a bad idea)
- Command throws
- Command supers (sequence inputs / sequence breakers)
- Super command throws
- Assists (calling characters with lifebars)
- Helpers (moves that become autonomous of the player, no life bar)
- Partner (tagging/controlling a second character)
- Stances (modes/weapons)
- Teams (pick more than one character
- Life regeneration (heal)
- Life steal (leech)
- Life drain (poison)
- Status effects (dizzy/freeze/locked-moves/slippery/slow/weak/vulnerable)
- Guard point (armor frames)
- Super armor (1-hit absorb, can be thrown)
- Hyper armor (all hit absorb, can't be thrown)
- Suction/Repulsion (wind/magnetism/ropes/grapples/ice/oil)
- Partial invulnerability (high/low/projectile/melee/throw)
- Activation/declaring (stocks/moves)
- Overheads/lows
- Unblockables
- Charge moves
- Button hold moves
- Held and released moves
- Timer-based moves (countdown)
- Timed moves (just frames)
- Move limits (gauge/stocks)
- Projectiles
- Projectile reflection/absorption/neutralization/push
- Character level (warzard/red-earth)
- Items (food/bombs -- samurai shodown)
- Meter items (gems -- Marvel/BBB/pocket fighter)

- Arcade
- Story
- Survival
- Challenge
- Time trial
- Training
- Lesson/tutorial
- Hitbox/Frame display
- Random select (holds character between rounds / randoms between rounds / picks opponents character between rounds)

- Copyright © Xenozip.

The Game

In the past, fighting game players dumped tons of money and time into fighting games at the arcade. Even if they are usually winning every day, they are still putting money into the machine each day that they play. Plus the cost of travel.

That weeded out a lot of players because those that lost would be sticking quarters into a machine and losing, and eventually realizing they are paying just to get steamrolled.

But for those that won, the important thing to remember is that they do not earn anything back either, they put money in with the full knowledge that they will not earn it back.

Even with tournaments, you must take into account that you (or they) would need to assume the player has a realistic chance at placing top three to earn anything. If they do not have a chance at top three then they're really just paying for the entry fee, and playing for no other reason than themselves. Thus, it's easy to say most players are not competing to earn money.

The reason to keep doing it is because of competition and growth. It's a hobby, and an addictive one. Since the beginning of competitive fighting games it's always been about learning to counter the opponent. If you fight a player abusing [x] tactic it becomes a fun and interesting challenge to learn to beat it. What is the [y] the player needs to do in order to counter the opponent's [x] tactic. When you see it in videos it might not be entertaining, but so what -- those players aren't there to entertain you, they are there to entertain themselves. What that "cheap tactic" is doing is helping the community by forcing everyone to level up and fight harder. It's all about setting a bar and having your opponent beat it, or finding some one else who raised the bar even higher so that you could try and beat it.

One might think it's an asshole move to pick top tiers or run the clock for wins, but nothing says "step up your game" better than a loss, because that was your quarter that just went down the drain. It gets the point across, because next time you don't want to lose. If you don't like watching it then don't watch it, if you don't like fighting it then don't fight it, you're only forced to do so if you actually want to win a tournament; in which case you must deal with it in order to face the reality of competition. That's just how it is. A "cheap" tactic is an invitation to counter it, it's an invitation for competition.

These days, in the era of console gaming, online play, and boundless recorded match videos at everyone's fingertips it's easy to get disillusioned. You may not feel like playing a particular game or against a particular person just because something rubs you the wrong way and you think it's "cheap". It is truly a convenient privilege to be able to pick and choose from dozens of opponents at a whim any time of the day, where as without online you'd be stuck with only a handful of players that live in your immediate area and only at specific times when you and they are available.

A lot of tactics that average players would have gotten destroyed by if they never encountered it before are in videos now for all to see. A lot of combos they never would have figured out on your own are recorded both in TACVs and match videos. But it is not just there to entertain you, it is also there to educate you. Information flows in large quantities very quickly, so the game evolves extremely fast. It raises the bar that much higher, that much faster. A lot of those would-be players that, back in the day, lost too many quarters and quit before they began can now see where they went wrong. A lot of players that couldn't figure it out on their own now have a helping hand. A big one.

So let's face reality: tournaments for fighting games, even today, do not rely on spectators because there are none. The spectators are the players. Tournament prizes consist pretty much entirely from entry fees from the tournament. We support our own community, the players themselves, no one else. The videos that people put out aren't there for entertainment, the players are playing for themselves and sharing it with the world to bring others in. Casual online play is there to branch out and bring more players in. Games with easy execution and simple game mechanics and simple combos are there to bring more players in. It might all be seen as spoonfeeding and a disconnection from the days when we were shoulder to shoulder and shoving quarters into a machine, but it's all there to help, not hurt.

No one is forcing anyone, and no one is playing for the sake of anyone else. It's all for the love of the game(s) and ourselves.

- Copyright © Xenozip.

More Boxes (Alpha)

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- Copyright © Xenozip.

RE: Vampire Boxes

Things are looking more on the up and up for older 2D fighting games.

Fortunately, SFA3, another 2D Fighting Game by Capcom, has been implemented into the Lua script that runs in FBA-RR and Mame-RR for displaying hitboxes.

There's also a chance that Jojo's, yet another 2D Fighting Game by Capcom, might also be implemented.

For me it's amazing to see the inner-workings of these games that people have played for years and years. The major intricacies of footsies becoming actually visible right before you.

It's shocking and exciting because the visual sprites don't always match up with the game's hitboxes. A great example is what we see in the thumbnail on this blog; Lilith MK has her leg no where near the actual hitbox. The real hitbox that interacts with the opponent is drastically lower than her sprite's leg appears. Just glancing at the image to the right, you can very clearly see that the attack-box (red) is quite a bit lower than Lilith's extended leg. Imagine for a moment that you can not see her hitbox and only her sprite (like normal gameplay) for round one, but the second round you could only see her hitboxes and not her sprite. I'm certain it would put things in perspective.

While many players can learn the game through trial and error, actually seeing what is really going on can drastically change the way we think, and therefor play.

Personally I always get blown away by how cross-ups appear in-game with hitboxes overlayed onto the sprites. It also gets me giddy to see basic anti-airs used at a pixel's distance.
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- Copyright © Xenozip.

Vampire Boxes

The 2D fighting game Vampire Savior has had very little organized documentation for quite some time, but that is quickly changing.

Bellreisa has been kind enough to host a VSav wiki over at Mizuumi which has been collecting a good amount of information as time goes on. There's still some missing data that has yet to be transcribed, but it's coming along quickly. In the meantime there's GameFAQs for character movelists, and for framedata there's a mirror in Japanese and a mirror translated in English of the shu180sx data site.

Additionally, Felineki over at the RandomSelect forum has discovered the memory addresses for hitboxes in the arcade emulation of the game. Because of that data, MZ over at TASVideos was able to implement a Lua script into their build of Mame-RR and FBA-RR (which was updated by MZ to be able to run Lua scripts) that allowed us to see the hitboxes while playing the game. More information about what the boxes are and where to get the emulators and script can be found: here.

Naturally, I encourage anyone to help transcribe data onto the wiki, as help is appreciated. If you know anything about a particular character, that's cool, but if not then anything would help: move list, frame data, hitbox screen captures, whatever.

In the mean time, please enjoy some videos.

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- Copyright © Xenozip.

Samurai Throdown

The subject of throws, and how to avoid them, in SS5Sp has been the topic of some discussion lately. Throws in 5Sp are a little awkward compared to other Fighting Games, since there are a number of eccentricities about 5Sp that make it unique relative to other Fighters.

First of all, most fighting games have either throw teching or throw softening, while Samurai Shodown has neither. Second, in Samurai Shodown if the opponent was not in a throwable state when the throw was input it results in a passive action (a hop) rather than a throw whiff. That generally makes throws quite valuable, especially since all normal throws have 3F startup and even auto-guard during the startup. However, there's quite a few ways to avoid being thrown in the first place. I'll go over the specifics of each one after this little quick-list:

- Jump
- Ducking: 2D
- Hopping: 4D, 6D
- Backdash
- Throw-invulnerable move
- *Rolls: 1D, 3D
- *UOH: BC
- *Airborne Normal

But first, 5Sp has 17F throw invulnerability after blocking, being hit, or waking up off the ground (from being knocked down). That means during that time you have about a quarter of a second real-time before you become vulnerable to throws.

Most fighting games grant a period of throw-invulnerability status after hitstun, blockstun, and on wakeup: as seen here. But if you notice though, Samurai Shodown grants significantly more than any other game listed.

It also does not have any throw invulnerability off a reset. A reset meaning: knocked out of the air by a non-knockdown move. Such as being anti-aired or air-to-aired with a normal that hits you but places you back on your feet rather than knocking you down. This is important because both landing recovery and reset recovery are mostly identical, and therefor vulnerable to throws if left uncanceled.

Now for the explanations:
- Jumping. Jumps have zero startup animation. You transition from the ground to the air on the first frame of a jump. Therefor you are invulnerable to throws from the first frame of a jump input. However, not all jumps are created equal, some jumps are more floaty and more punishable than others, and they all have a cancelable landing recovery.

- Rejumps and Landing Recovery. This is important because while there is no jump startup, there is a cancelable recovery state on landing from a jump or from being reset. The amount of recovery time varies from character to character, however this can be canceled into any action including another jump. But, you can not simply hold up in order to cancel the recovery into a rejump. You must press the input once you have landed rather than before. If timed right this can avoid normal throws and even meaty command throws.

- Ducking. The 2D action has upperbody invulnerability (ducks under mids and highs) and is invulnerable to throws for 21F, starting instantly. After that window there is a special-cancelable window and a recovery window (4F and 7F respectively) where you can be thrown. This is generally the most ideal throw-bait, because your character is stationary during it. Thus, if the opponent attempts to throw during your laying-down state they will whiff a grab instead of a hop, which has a rather long punishable whiff animation. Other anti-throws (hops/jumps/etc) usually cause the opponent to whiff a hop (6D) instead of whiffing a throw, but 2D has a large throw invulnerability period that can bait out an actual throw whiff.

- Hopping. The 4D and 6D movements have lower body invulnerability (dodge lows), are instantly throw invulnerable, and remain throw-invulnerable until landing. They are also special-cancelable on landing. This is less ideal than the 2D action for baiting throws because you are instantly airborne during these hops, which means if the opponent attempts a throw after you've left the ground they will not whiff a grab, instead they will whiff their own hop (either 4D or 6D). They will only whiff a grab if you were on the ground when they input it, but you hopped during their 3F throw startup window. However, this action is still valuable in the sense that hops avoid lows (but vulnerable to mids/highs), while the 2D action is vulnerable to lows (but avoids mids/highs).

- Backdash. The 44 action is bufferable and instantly throw invulnerable. It also has about 3F of full-body invulnerability on startup. It is also air-special cancelable while airborn and ground-special cancelable on landing. However, it should be noted that despite being bufferable there is always a 1-2F suki on landing from a jump or reset before a backdash will begin. This is unique only to backdashes and only on landing from a jump or reset. It also means that backdashes when buffered correctly will always avoid normal throws, but they can be grabbed by meaty command throws due to the backdash suki. Backdashes are quite valuable for avoiding normals throws in general due to the prebuffer window. But it suffers the same issue as hops in the sense that it won't bait out a throw whiff as well as a duck (2D).

- Throw-invulnerable moves. Some special moves gain the property of being throw-invulnerable. This is entirely character specific and may or may not have anything to do with other forms of invulnerability or ground/air-state. A good example would be Yoshitora's 236B (Mid-Nadeshiko) which is not hit/projectile invulnerable or airborn, but it is throw invulnerable on startup. Likewise Yoshitora's 623AB (Heavy-Shirayuri) is hit-invulnerable on startup but not throw invulnerable.

- Rolls. The 1D and 3D actions are 3F full invulnerability on startup. During this time they can avoid throws by virtue of total-invincibility. However, the forward roll is quite vulnerable to throws any time after the startup invulnerability wears off. On the other hand, the backwards roll is slightly better at avoiding throws by virtue of it moving away from the opponent, potentially outside of throw range. Still, forward rolls are probably the least ideal method of avoiding throws while backwards rolls are decent due to the early special-cancel-ability.

- UOH. The B+C action is usually airborne after the third frame, except for some characters like Haohmaru/Charlotte/Gaira/etc. Though, if your character does leave the ground within 3F then it can be useful for avoiding throws in some situations while still granting the potential of hitting the opponent as a nice option select.

- Airborne Normal. There are character specific moves that become airborne rather quickly. For example, 5C for Amakusa, Sogetsu, Suija, etc. They are usually not throw invulnerable on the first few frames, but after the startup occurs they have the same benefit of UOH's in that they become airborne and attack at the same time.

Mina is special in that her jumping arrow attacks incur a 7F uncancelable recovery on landing. This is a true-uncancelable period for Mina's air arrows, however she can block during this uncancelable time (EG. she can perform no action other than blocking). This only effects her air arrows, not her jumping kicks or unarmed attacks or empty jumps.


Bottom line (tl;dr version):
2D is your best bet for baiting throws. Perfectly timed rejumps is your best bet for avoiding meaty command grabs on landing. Backdashes are bufferable and therefor your best bet for avoiding normal throws in most situations (but not for avoiding meaty command throws). To avoid getting hit out of anti-throws it's important to vary what you do, for example ducks and hops have upperbody and lowerbody invulnerability respectively.

On landing: Backdashing always has a 1-2F suki on landing, regardless of anything. The D actions and anything other action have a 0-1F suki randomly. Rejumps never have any suki period.

- Copyright © Xenozip.

Evo 2010 Stream

Top 8 for all games. Live! Let's go!
- http://www.ustream.tv/channel/leveluplive/v3

- Copyright © Xenozip.

Evolution 2010

Evo Championship Series, World Finals 2010 in Las Vegas NV.

- http://g4tv.com/evo
- http://evo2k.com/live/
- http://www.stickam.com/evo2k

Stickam Popout: http://bit.ly/asEufe

I hope everyone has fun, and I wish my friends good luck.

- Copyright © Xenozip.

Diablo One

This post won't be about Fighting Games.

Well, I admit I have fond memories of Diablo 1 and 2. But, in retrospect, I actually liked Diablo 1 more. I'll also admit they were sad times, but special times.

The music: Town, Catacombs, Caves, Hell.

Well I don't think I need to elaborate. Can anyone even remember the D2 music right now? D1 music was amazing. The Cats and Caves alone practically make me giddy. IMO D1 did everything right in terms of atmosphere and aesthetics and tactical gameplay.

All the monster were cool in D1. They all had personality and it was really noir, twisted, and awesome. Some monsters were carried over to D2 like Balrogs and Goatmen and Skeleton/Zombie. But what happened to Cave Vipers, Hidden, Bats, Lightning Demons, Succubus, Hell Knight, Winged Demons, etc etc etc. The Harlots in D2 are a poor excuse for Succubi.

I have seriously always wanted D2 to have another act that brought back all the D1 monsters and maps, just one act with everything from D1. Even if we say D2 improved gameplay, I can only say I liked D1 more due to the environment it created. Some one out there really needs to make an add-on or hack or something that brings this dream to a reality.

So anyway, I'll reminisce a bit about some of the finer points.

I remember that you'd get to a point where collecting and selling items was more or less worthless. You'd do a hell/hell run, pick up relevant armor and weapons, then after identifying it you'd just drop it in town. It really didn't matter what it was or what it was worth, money was useless because even just a couple of the armors you just dropped was worth more than your inventory could hold, and the items were worthless unless they had better stats what what you had on.

There was one time that Griswold rolled the absolute best possible armor, perfect stats. Of course it was not difficult to flood my inventory with the maximum about of 5k gold stacks possible. And, I could not buy the armor, because it cost more than I could hold. Actually, more accurately, It was worth a stack or two less but because the armor is a 2x3 space I couldn't buy it anyway. So the best armor in the game had to drop, it couldn't actually be bought at Griswold even though it could spawn there.

Eventually the speedrunners figured out the RNG in the game, because of that they could get anything they wanted to drop, and they could get any type of map/monster they wanted to spawn. It basically had to do with your system's clock, so at the right time (or by modifying your date/time) you could kill a monster and have the desired item.

D2 is easy. I'm sorry but it is. With D1 there was something extremely exhilarating about walking down into the Cats or Caves and having to pay attention to your every footstep, as you might very well die at any given moment. Who can count how many times my heart skipped a beat when I saw a Storm Rider or Pit Viper pack coming towards me and my back was pinned. I never really liked the "difficulty" in D2 where the monsters gained more health and resistances as time went on, which did not make them harder at all, it just made them take longer to kill. But I'm more use to the difficulty in Fighters and RTS where increasing the difficulty made the AI play smarter (hello ST AI), not just increase life/defense/damage.

I remember one time where in hell/hell myself and another Rogue player somehow spawned four types of Succubi monsters. We had Soul Burners, Hell Spawn, Snow Witches, and the generic Succubus. Not really sure how it was possible, but I can tell you it was ridiculously rare. The significance of this was not only did we have to strategically place ourselves around every corner in order to do projectile-on-projectile battle with map coverage, but when we entered a large open space there were multi-colored sparkly Bloodstars and blood and tits and ass and moans EVERYWHERE. It was awesome.

I think I may have had one of the first level 40 Rogues on battle.net, though that doesn't really mean anything other than /sadlife.

Duping and hacking and massive amounts of playing eventually led to the best possible items in the game being easily accessible. Ironically, many of the popularized items weren't actually the best possible items.

Duping and hacking also gave rise to the decay of public games. But that also gave rise to cliques where a player would become friends with like-minded players and play with only them on a regular basis.

D1 was the first game that made me appreciate not actually playing the game, for several reasons.

First, when you get to hell/caves and hell/hell you run into monsters that are immune to all three elements, so as a Mage your only option for killing them was to Stone Curse them and summon a Golem. That led you you just standing there watching your Golem punch away at a group of frozen monsters, and if they ever became unfrozen you'd zip around with teleport to avoid being gang banged. Prolly sounds boring as hell, but I came to appreciate it.

Second, regarding the aforementioned cliques, it was a lot more fun at the end of D1's lifespan to just sit around chatting on b.net. For me, it was also to the point of meeting up with people offline. Though times changed and people either went back to IRC or on to other social networking gizmos (heh, I remember when ICQ was popularized during the D1 days).

Third, replaying the Mage made me love Hydra for the same reason of cast-it-and-leave-it. As much as I was/am thoroughly obsessed with D2 Assassins there will always be a special place in my heart for skeleton-Necromancers (or summoners in general) and anything anywhere that lets me cast a minion and let it rock house while I sit around doing nothing. Hydra eventually became my favorite spell in any game, next to Chain Lighting (in any game).

This was also the first game that made me appreciate patches. The company may or may not have known they would get the game absolutely right on the first try. But, with thousands or millions or w/e of players scrutinizing and criticizing every single imaginable aspect of the game, patches really helped. Any one who has ever complained about anything in a game at all better not complain about patches, ever. Something that stands out to me was how the yellow zombies called Black Death could permanently reduce your maximum health, and how scrolls use to cause the spell to occur instantly and in multiplayer yet the effects were not seen by other players (which meant you could spam Chain Lighting scrolls and no one could see you cast or the lightning that came from it, things would just suddenly start dying).

When you play D1 you break your mouse. I broke several. I'm not exaggerating. Every action required a click, so unlike D2 where you could hold the mouse button, you had to click for every single attack in D1.

Fortunately my brother created a hack on request to make actions auto-fire. Thus, I played the game again as you can see in this playlist. Years had gone by since I played D1 last, and absolutely countless amounts of D2 hours have come in between, and I still fell in love with D1 all over again. Auto-fire helped though, I surely wouldn't have played it if not for that, so special thanks goes out to my bro'.

- Copyright © Xenozip.


I would like for some one to explain to me the stigma and decline regarding fighting game FAQs on GameFAQs.

I'm aware that their forums are polluted with casual scrubs and youtube-level idiocy. However, what I'd like to know is why this effects anything. Lots of places have scrubby and retarded comments (hi YouTube and EventHubs), but why does this get in the way of content? It's free access and a fairly well moderated knowledge base.

Whenever I try out a new fighting game I'd at least like an accurate and comprehensive move list before I play. Honestly I sometimes won't play if I don't have at least that. In the past, Wiki's were not the places to go because they were often defunct and neglected, but I could always count on a FAQ. What baffled me was that lately I've been noticing FAQs getting rather skimpy or non-existent, and this is for games that I figured were ancient enough to have tons of FAQs with ridiculously comprehensive information.

Fighters aren't the only ones by the way, FPS/RTS/Diablo communities treated GameFAQs similarly and although I was deeply involved in each of the aforementioned communities I never understood the stigma regarding GameFAQs. I just don't see why the users or forums have anything to do with sharing information to literally anyone with an internet connection.

Again this isn't about newer games like SF4 mind you, these players have been around since the dawn of fighters and have played the games that have zero content on GameFAQs. But I will daresay it's slightly hypocritical for the fighting game community to be desperately reaching out to the SF4+ scrubs in an attempt to boost the genre, meanwhile turning a cold shoulder to GameFAQs and just about any other game (hi MeltyBlood haters).

- Copyright © Xenozip.

Hitbox Stuff

Ibuki: http://bit.ly/a0N8ze

So apparently some one has been working on a hack for Mame to display hitboxes in SF3:3S.

Well I'm all over that. It may be that I've spent the most time playing 3S than any other Fighting Game, so it's rather exciting to me.

Also, I created a playlist for all my hitbox videos: Hitbox Viewer Videos. You may or may not care for the games therein, but I think the videos provide a few things to relish in, even if you don't care for the games: disillusioning visuals, proof of concept, cool music.

Let us reflect on my personal favorite Alice Margatroid. The visuals, the concept, the music -- and keep in mind, she's not even top tier.

We've seen hitboxes for SF2, SFA3, and VHunter, among other oldschool fighting games. Now we're looking at a game that's over a decade old yet is still considered staple, Third Strike. With the advent of hitbox data revealed for SSF4 things were set aflutter. I hope more people can appreciate this sort of thing these days, and hopefully reflect on what those rectangles actually mean in the grand scheme of things, past and present.


- Copyright © Xenozip.

Juri Math

You can pretty much ignore this post.

Considering -4 or worse to be unsafe:

O n.LP
X n.MP
X n.HP
O n.LK
X n.MK
X n.HK
O c.LP
O c.MP
X c.HP
O c.LK
X c.MK
X c.HK
O f+MK

10/19 (52.63%)

O Fuhajin
O Fuhajin (store)
O Fuhajin (release)
O Fuhajin EX 1
O Fuhajin EX 2
O Fuhajin EX 3
O Shikusen LK
O Shikusen MK
X Shikusen HK
X Senpusha LK
X Senpusha MK
X Senpusha HK
X Senpusha EX

5/13 (38.46%) [15/32 (46.87%)]

X Super
N Ultra 1
X Ultra 2

17/34 (50%)

Not 90%.

If we consider -4 or better to be safe it becomes 10/32 (31.25%) or 12/34 (35.29%)

Though I still stand by the argument that a character can still be brainless if all of their moves were unsafe except for their one or two overpowered and mashable moves, because that's all you need. For example, if a character had nothing safe except c.LK and an overhead then you'd spend the match looking for ways to land short short super or overhead mixups. If nothing Storm had was safe except j.HP and Hail you could still mash j.HP for meter and spam hails or simply use her as a battery for other characters, not exactly rocket science. If nothing SFA2 Rose had was safe except c.MP you could still mash the hell out of that move, again it's not complicated. Same goes for a lot of characters, like Claw's c.MP. IMO

- Copyright © Xenozip.

Low Tier

You can't change who you are so easily, so you might as well get comfortable with it.

That's not an easy philosophy to maintain, but it's an easy one to respect. IMO it also applies to gaming. In the past, people have argued about tiers, and the question of why people pick high/low tier characters arises from time to time. Even with a competitive nature, not everyone will make it a point to pick the best character. It seems that most people choose characters based on what interests them on a personal level.

That's probably a good thing. I think it's better that you should devote time and effort into getting good with a character that meshes well with you, rather than wasting your time trying to force yourself to get good with a character that just doesn't suit you.

Why? Well because if everyone played Sagat, the ones who aren't comfortable with Sagat are going to lose to people who are comfortable with him, when these same people losing might have won with a character that fits them better. It's easy for some one like me to say "I suck with Sagat", because I do, and that's why I don't pick him.

The characters that I naturally gravitate towards have changed from when I was younger, so it's not as though people can't or don't change. But I think change is best left up to time.

Still, it's impossible to deny the fact that bad matchups exist in most games. And being at a severe handicap against an opponent who's about as good as you are is really no fun. That's why having more than one character to choose from can make things go more smoothly than they would if you limit yourself to a single character.

- Copyright © Xenozip.

Thinking Ahead

Sometimes one should question how well you are able see yourself when you play.

There's an aspect of most competitive games that involves looking through the opponent's eyes. Not literally, but preemptively examining the situation from their point of view and "see" what the opponent is looking for in your game. This isn't a mind game, nor is this a mixup, it is simply an aspect of competition that I can only refer to as "thinking ahead".

For example, if you notice that the opponent has a blind-spot or weakness in their midrange game then you might start specifically looking for it in the future, in order to take advantage of it. To elaborate, let's say you notice an opponent's fireball leaves a huge gap in their game, so you might wait for them to toss out a fireball or perhaps wait for a situation where they might toss out a fireball in order to jump in at them. Another example would be; you might notice the opponent has a blind spot or weakness from the knees down, so you do low pokes as much as possible to both take advantage of that weakness and to bait them into jumping which you can anti-air.

Now look at it on the flipside. Did the person with a weak fireball/leg really realize that their fireball/leg left them at such a huge disadvantage, one has to question. Because that person is you. You need to consider your own potential weaknesses because everyone has them.

Everyone gets hit by something eventually, in all of fighting game history there is no one that gets double perfects 100% of the time against everyone. We all get hit. Those moments that you do get hit, you have to analyze why you got hit. A lot of the time it's a wrong guess in a mixup situation. Sometimes it's a bad play in a mindgame situation. But I believe that most of the time: your own damage comes from your own lack of foresight about yourself.

This is, in fact, why I actually even bother recording match videos and posting them on my youtube channel. Clearly it's not for the views/comments/ratings/fame/whatever because I don't get any of that and I don't give a shitdick about that either. It's more because I always watch them. Every last one. And I pay close attention. The first time I did it I only watched myself and only paid attention to what I was doing. But shortly thereafter I realized how tunnel visioned that was, and why I was the one getting hit. It was blatantly obvious that I was not looking at things from the opponent's point of view. In retrospect I could very obviously see that my opponent was waiting for or fishing for a certain situation that would lead to me getting hit. I actually started rooting for the bad guy, to fuck that shit up.

So all I can really say is that I highly recommend the practice of reviewing yourself whenever possible. Nothing feels more liberating -- at least to me -- than visually seeing and realizing "oh, that's why I lost, I didn't look at it that way.". And strengthening up for the future.

Admittedly, doing this in the heat of battle can lead to further tunnelvision, but I believe that in the long run it helps tremendously.

- Copyright © Xenozip.

SFA3 Movies

A random assortment of thoughts on the subject:
  • SFAA's version of SFA3 can be arcade perfect if the dipswitches are set correctly. This is good because no one cares about the patched/inaccurate versions. This can be used in lieu of emulators if preferred.
  • All other versions, arcade inaccurate, should be avoided unless specifically to showcase differences between that specific version and the arcade version.
  • The advantage of using SFAA's incarnation is the training mode dummy has auto-teching, among other things, which can help avoid invalid combos.
  • Invalid combos (where the opponent can airtech) should be avoided at all costs.
  • The only exception to using an invalid should be to show a valid tech-trap. If the tech trap is valid but escapable then focus on this combo should be limited to just the tech trap itself and the fact that it's escapable.
  • Common mistakes include Zangief's vertical jumping HP, Gen's kick stance j.HK j.HK target combo, and R.Mika's Paradise Hold which can all be air-teched from before the attacker even lands/recovers (despite normal juggle rules).
  • But other common mistakes also include midscreen invalids where there's no juggle limit midscreen, or sweeps like Guy's c.MK which allow the opponent to tech.

With the above in mind, some things that should probably be covered:
  • Meterless BnBs.
  • Possible guard crush strings and tick setups.
  • X-ism and A-ism standard combos.
  • Air to air counterhit and crouch cancel combos.
  • Situational counterhit and major counterhit combos.
  • Utilization of untechable moves (Ryu's hurricane super, Guy's kick super/bushin chain/backflip, etc).
  • Utilization of glitches to extend combos (chain cancelling, Gen's jakouha juggle limit breaker, Rose's unblockable friends super, etc).
  • V-ism standard combos.
  • V-ism tech traps and crouch cancels.
  • V-ism possible guard crush.
  • V-ism unblockables (high/low and cmd throw).
  • V-ism shenanigan/mixup/reset (left/right/high/low/shadow mixups).
  • V-ism post-dizzy activations.
  • V-ism post-dizzy valid juggle setups.

- Copyright © Xenozip.

Fuzzy Numbers

A lot of people are rather apprehensive about framedata. But, framedata doesn't have to be scary or confusing or even misleading if you don't take it too seriously or literal. There are general rules of thumb when looking at framedata that can really help in a lot of ways.

Skeptics seem to argue that you don't need to know framedata to play the game. This is true. But by playing the game for hours and hours and hours you are achieving the same fundamental knowledge about frames that you could get by very briefly glancing at some framedata tables: fuzzy numbers.

For example, we would say a small number like 3 is "a little", a larger number like 10 is "several" and a big number like 20 is "a lot". After looking at framedata, you don't need to memorize every number and figure out how each number applies to every situation, because that's just absurd/silly. Rather, you could say that jabs have "a little" startup. This overhead has "a lot" of active frames. And this uppercut has "a lot" of punishable recovery.

So again, you might have come to those conclusions after playtesting the game for hours, but a simple quick glance at frame tables would have also revealed the same thing without memorization required. Really, I daresay it's been my experience that you may even discover much more about the character just by skimming a table for a few minutes than you would after playing for days.

Personally what I look at when I see framedata tables is exceptional numbers, rather than giving a crap about what they mean. I don't have to know everything right away either, just things like "this is more, this is less". For example, out of standing and crouching jabs and shorts, plus close variations of them (so let's say six different light attacks): the crouching short is the fastest. I don't care what the numbers are, I just know crouching short is faster than my other options and is therefor that's what button I want to press when I need a fast light attack.

I also look for really big active frames and really large numbers on block, whether they be plus or minus. If it looks like "most characters" mid-strength attacks are 6F startup then I know any move that I have that's -6 or more is "punishable by most characters". And then I immediately forget the actual numbers because they are replaced by fuzzy numbers and rules of thumb like "punishable on block".

This is also why I take a good look at active hitframes. Because let's say a move is -10 on block, and is therefor really easily punishable by just about anything. But let's also say this move has 15 active hitframes. If I hit an opponent out in the open then obviously I'm going to get punished, so I know not to do that move out in the open. But if I do that move after a knockdown and it hits meaty, let's say after 5 active frames have passed, then it becomes -5 which is not so punishable anymore. If I hit on the last possible active frame it could even be +5 instead of -10, which is great for practical applications. An opponent blocking that move might instinctively stick out an attack thinking it's free damage, or at least free initiative because their attack would force a block, but if it's meaty like that then I recover much faster so I can DP being getting hit and hit them out of their attempted retaliation. And once again, the numbers leave my head after I discover this, I just know "this move has no active frames, useless as a meaty" or "this move has a lot of active frames, it can be safe if meaty" and so on.

Looking at numbers doesn't have to be a puzzle or math. The only time you ever really want to crunch some numbers is when you're trying to find link combos. Aside from that, basic rules of thumb like "this move is plus frames, so it's safe and can be used as a tick throw" or "this move is minus frames, unsafe, but it's got a lot of active frames so it's safe when really meaty" or even just "this is my fastest attack" can go a long way.

- Copyright © Xenozip.

Fuzzy Guard

FuzzyGuard is an unfortunately ambiguous and inauspicious term used by both the 2D and 3D fighting game communities. Unfortunately the definition between the two communities is quite a bit different. But, whatever, I'm going by the 2D definition.

Basically it's when you use a while-rising attack after putting your opponent into a standing blockstun. The reason this is important is shown in the above video.

But more importantly, let's take a look at SF4 Chun-Li as a better example. Chun normally can't do a while-rising j.HK on a crouchinging opponent, she can only hit with j.HK on the way down, not on the way up unless they were standing. However, if she first makes the opponent block a j.HK on the way down she can then do an immediate while-rising j.HK on the way up and it will connect even if the opponent is attempting to block low. The reason this works is even if they are pressing down+back to block low their character is still stand blocking. And when they are hit by the second j.HK they immediately enter crouching hitstun.

Incidentally this is kind of useless for her because she can get punished for doing it, but it's kind of nice to know how the mechanic works so it can be applied in other situations. For example, Gouken can do the same thing with his air Tatsu.

So I was looking at the games it's in, and here's what I've tested:

ST: No
SFA3: No
Garou: No
VSav: Yes/Special
SF3: Yes
Jojo's: Yes
MB: Yes
GG: Yes
IaMP: Yes
SS5sp: Yes/Special

In the case of VSav you can not switch your guard during blockstop, but you can during blockstun. That means if you were caught in blockstop high and an attack hits you low the low attack is unblockable, or the revere (caught in low block stop then hit high, the high is unblockable).

In Samurai Shodown it works essentially like other games, however if you block incorrectly you will then enter hitstun based on the direction you were caught during block, rather than switching to whatever position you were holding.

- Copyright © Xenozip.

Twitch Baits

A twitch response is what happens when the opponent baits you into doing something. This technique in general is usually referred to just as a "bait", but since that's such a broad blanket term the actual mechanics of the technique tend to get lost. It's sort of like reverse tunnel vision, or simply exploiting anticipation or panic reactions. It's almost so simple that it feels a little ridiculous explaining it. But let's start with an example:

- c.LP walk forward throw (classic tick throw).
- c.LP walk forward -pause- c.LP

This is one of the most basic twitch-response exploits. The reason it works is because the defender is sitting there afraid to get hit, so they keep blocking and end up getting thrown a bit. After getting thrown enough they start looking for the throw so that they can tech/jump out. The problem is, most good players will just walk right up in a blatantly obvious/telegraphed manner, knowing damn well that the defender is afraid of the grab now, and then instead of grabbing they punch them in the nuts.

The reason this is so effective in games like SF4 and CvS2 is because jabs link to strongs which combo to specials and supers. Even better, if you attempt to tech the throw high you'll whiff a throw attempt, and if you tech it low you'll do a jab which gets stuffed by their jab which results in a counterhit.

It was made more effective in SF3:3S because this pattern could include down parry, as in c.LP walk forward down parry attempt c.LP/throw, where if the defender is hitting buttons to defend themselves aggressively/panicky they'll get parried and eat heavy confirmable damage, or again if they try to optionselect tech the throw by teching while crouching the defender would stick out a low jab and get parried.

It was also pretty effective in SFA2 and SFA3, and can be found in most fighting games where throws aren't instant and either counterhits or jabs/shorts are really powerful.

This is just the basic foundation of getting in your opponent's head and baiting out reactions that you want though. Pressuring people in the corner while whiffing obvious pokes or throwing fireballs tends to bait people to jump, which gives you free anti-airs. Doing a move with frame disadvantage tends to bait people into attempting an attack even if they know they can't punish it, which gives you an opportunity to beat their attack with an invulnerable or partially invulnerable move. Wiggling just within sweep range can bait people into trying a sweep despite most sweeps being incredibly risky and punishable.

Because you're getting into the opponent's head and getting a read on people, players will often mistakenly call this a "mind game" when it's not. It really is just a simple mixup. This mixup with the first example is a two option mixup, like flipping a coin. Either it will be a jab, which is melee and you prevent damage by blocking. or it will be a throw which is a grab and you prevent damage by avoiding it or teching it. In other words:

Melee/Grab == c.LP/throw --> block/tech (or jump or backdash or walk back or whatever).

Something Azrael said a while back made me realize SF4 was teaching a legion of MB and GG/BB players what the basic twitch-response mixup is in most "classic fighters". At first I thought it was the other way around, I thought SF4 was teaching SF/GG/BB players what staggers were. But that's mostly because I don't actually play the game, so it wasn't until I thought about it more that it became apparent that it was indeed teaching GG/BB players the twitch.

I'd say MB players already sort of know the twitch and the stagger, because it works like KoF or run-grooves in CvS2, but honestly I think a lot of players get wrapped up in what they are doing that they don't bother thinking about the opponent or what they want the opponent to do (other than lose) to really get a grasp on it. For example, it's easy to just go into auto-pilot mode and fall into the habit of running tick throws or block strings without actually even giving your opponent room to twitch or panic.

I daresay a player who is too focused on doing only tick throws and/or block-strings is missing about half the actual game, even when utilizing both ticks and strings. I also daresay the scariest pressure is the one that has holes, usually intentional holes designed to bait the twitch.

- Copyright © Xenozip.

SFA3 Rose Sucked

A few people I know play Rose in SF4. And Rose is pretty much the only SF4 character that I care about, so I tend to get into Rose-related discussions from time to time (despite not playing SF4 at all). These conversations naturally lead to how bad she is and wishlists for SSF4, and all I can say is "at least she ain't A3 Rose". This more or less escapes a lot of people because: while A3 players are rare these days, A3-Rose players are even more rare.

Well let's examine how bad she really was in A3 (in comparison to SF4):
- Jabs and shorts did not combo into any special move (unless on CH).
- No links at all, her only link worth mentioning was c.MP into c.LP at point blank which only comboed into Lv.3 super. Or meaty c.MP into c.MP.
- Her crossup j.MK was really tiny and difficult to space.
- Her jumping HP lost to most anti-airs since the hitbox wasn't particularly good. So for the most part she couldn't jump.
- All versions of Sparks were -F on block.
- The LP and MP Sparks were very punishable on block/hit (which would reward with CH).
- All Sparks had a very long animation which were really easy to jump over and punish.
- Sparks pushed Rose/Opponent back depending on strength used so HP version was useless in blockstrings (since it's -F on block anyway) though it was technically the only one "safe" on block due to pushback range.
- All versions of Spiral were punishable on block. You could only really make the LK Spiral "safe" but landing it from max range and hoping your opponent couldn't reach you.
- Her MK Spiral and HK Spiral were slow startup and only comboed from close HP or c.HP (you couldn't make them airtight on block).
- Spirals knocked the opponent too far back for a meaty crossup j.MK.
- Both LP and MP Reflects were punishable on block which rewarded CH.
- Her HP Reflect was safe on block but all reflects were only comboable from point blank close MP or c.MP or c.MK and none of those into HP Reflect were airtight on block (opponent could hit Rose before the HP Reflect hit).
- Slide (df.MK) was unsafe on hit/block from most ranges except absolute max range.
- Slide (df.MK) did not go under fireballs at any point.
- Her close HK was actually her f+HK except it didn't move forward after the kick, and was not cancelable.
- Her close MK wasn't cancelable either.
- Her anti air options sucked: c.HP, MP-Reflect, f+HK, Soul Throw, and Slide were all garbage.
- Her forward/back throw was a mashable hold both ground/air, which meant it didn't do much damage, especially when teched.

Don't get me wrong, not hating on the character, we all have our low-tier love. But thinking about it, the one thing that A3 Rose had over SF4 Rose, IMO, was her supers, which weren't all that great. The Soul Throw super would throw the opponent behind her, so doing it against a cornered opponent put you in the corner, plus you could mash down the damage fairly easily (cutting the damage down by 50%) since it was so few hits and very rhythmic/telegraphed. Her Spark super wasn't bad at all, generic fireball super at level 1, autocombo that moved forward at level 2, and a super-reflect into fireball at level 3. And her friends super was good, kind of like Yang's friends super in SF3 except hers was glitched too giving her unblockables. I'd say it was the only thing that kept her out of the bottom tier.

I would also say that A3 Rose could combo anti-air c.HP into Soul Throw but the fact that c.HP wasn't a particularly good anti-air makes that kind of trivial/worthless. Her MP Reflect was her better anti-air option and yet it lost to so much mundane shit like Shoto j.MK that it didn't really matter.

Overall Rose was low tier in A3, just barely escaping bottom tier. Although that's still her status in SF4, she was improved upon by leaps and bounds compared to her A3 incarnation. Her A2 and CFJ versions are a different matter altogether. Though thinking about it, they didn't really change much about Rose from A2 to A3 except speeds and hitboxes, which just goes to show how frames and rectangles (the shit we don't really see) can make or break a character (turning a top tier Rose into a low tier Rose while changing "nothing" about the character).

Though, SF4-Rose can combo Spirals and Reflects from c.LP. And she can link to c.MP from c.LK in SF4 which let her combo Sparks and stuff. Not only that, at least HK Spiral and HP Spark were safe (HP Spark is actually advantageous in SF4). The main things I like about SF4 Rose is her jab into Spiral or c.lk into c.mp into spiral which sets up a crossup, her HP Spark being advantageous, and her really good j.HP and j.MK (all things her A3 version didn't have). But there's other little things that were nice too, like her close MK being cancelable and her slide going under fireballs (even under low tiger shots!), among other things. So personally my SSF4 wishlist for Rose is that they change nothing but numbers.

Oh and if you were wondering, she was one of the chars that had an infinite in V-ism. Meanwhile four of the top five characters did not have infinites. Which also goes to show that infinites don't automatically make a character broken (or even good).

I still think the one thing that I miss about A3 Rose is her airthrow (everyone in A3 had an airthrow). And that's about it. Well, that and fool card winpose.

- Copyright © Xenozip.

RE: SF4 Unblocks / Seth

So I did further testing with Seth. He has a couple setups actually that work differently.

He can SPD into LP-Boom then Ultra. This setup works exactly like Sagat's, basically. If Ryu is blocking pre-flash he will be hit, and if Ryu does not block pre-flash he can block post-flash.

His other setup is backthrow into MP-Boom then ultra. This one works exactly like Rose's but better. Ryu can't block pre-flash or post-flash (meaning he can't block at all), he also can't backdash AFAIK. In fact the only way to escape it with Ryu is EX-DP. But Seth is safe if Ryu does EX-DP since they recover at about the same time. Seth is also able to just not do his Ultra and that lets him bait escape attempts for free. Regardless, if Ryu has no meter he's fucked since there's no way to avoid it.

Now I need to test some Ken stuff. And keep in mind this sort of thing MAY or MAY NOT be possible with Sakura, Dan, Dhalsim, and Gouken. It's definitely not doable with Ryu because he can not perform an Ultra while there's a fireball already on the screen, so he's out, and it's basically useless for Akuma because his ultra can't grab people out of hitstun so he's out. I would have suspected Chun and Guile not to be able to do this, but weirder shit has happened so maybe they can (I dunno).

- Copyright © Xenozip.

SF4 Unblockables

Ok, so a "glitch" was recently discovered in SF4 that allows you to force an unblockable projectile hit during ultra flash, which naturally combos into ultra for a lot of characters.

- Sagat
- Rose
- Seth
- Ken
- Sagat again

- Rose again
- Sagat again

On further inspection here's what I've learned about Sagat's. With the LK-TigerShot setup seen in my video, Ryu can crouch. He'll still get hit, but the Ultra will whiff. Testing a MK-TigerShot setup reveals that Ryu will get hit standing if he attempts to block at all before the flash which lets the ultra hit too. If he does not block before the flash in either setup he can block after the flash. I don't really know why, it doesn't make sense, but it's true AFAIK.

This isn't inescapable though, Ryu can EX-DP or HP-DP and both characters will whiff each other. Ryu can also MP-DP and Ryu will beat Sagat out of his Ultra.

With Rose there is no option of blocking either before or after the flash, Ryu simply gets hit during the flash regardless if he is blocking beforehand or not. However he can backdash pre-flash and he will be hit out of the air by the LP-Spark which causes the Ultra to fail.

I tested a bit more with MP-Spark setups and against Ryu-sized characters this setup is only unblockable if Ryu attempts to block low, however if he blocks high the MP-Spark completely whiffs him. Though with this MP-Spark setup Ryu could not backdash because the Spark whiffed entirely which let the ultra grab him out of backdash. Thus Rose's only legit setup (against Ryu-sized characters anyway) LP-Spark.

Personally I haven't gotten around to testing Ken or Seth much, but I can tell you that Seth's is definitely the best out of all of them. Reason: he doesn't need to FADC.

In the case of Rose, if you see the FADC you can react accordingly and avoid the unblockable (backdash preflash). But with Seth there's nothing to react to. That allows Seth to bait escape attempts for free any time he has Ultra. If you attempt to escape when he doesn't do his Ultra he can punish your escape attempt. With Rose and Sagat they are kind of committed after the FADC so they are wasting two bars of super-meter (and ultra if they attempt the ultra).

I'll probably do some more testing with Ken and Seth, but for now I'm posting this before my thoughts get all jumbled and I forget everything.

Jinrai compiled a list of escapes and such for Seth's unblockable here. And there's a discussion thread here.

[Edit]: Made a post about Seth.

- Copyright © Xenozip.

RE: Samurai / Amakusa notes

Re: Samurai Shodown Five Special. Amakusa in Samurai Shodown 5Sp seemed like a weaker version of Dhalsim to me; ridiculously floaty jumps and really long range pokes and a teleport. A Dhalsim-lite, for an SNK Fighting Game. But lately I've been tinkering with him and I've come to realize that he's not really a Dhalsim clone. Though he does have certain features that are similar in some ways, the features that are different are what really defines him. Either way, he's an interestingly gimmicky yet solid lower/mid-tier character despite how he looks at a glance.

One really cool thing about him is that his 66S is an overhead, but it's -7F on block which makes it basically safe (in SS, that's technically safe). And a safe overhead is quite a commodity. It's also part of a gimmicky midsreen 4-way mixup out of dash. His 66K is low, and his 66H will hit from behind if it passes through the opponent, and you can throw out of a dash -- that gives you high-left/low-left/right melee 3-way plus dashing throw for a 4-way. Unfortunately all of his dash attacks are unsafe on block except the 66S overhead or throw, so it's not really that scary of a mixup, especially since most of those options do basically very little damage anyway.

His 5S is also an overhead on the way down, though it becomes a mid attack when he calls it back to him. The interesting thing about 5S being an overhead is that it's about the same range that you can pester the opponent with 2P or 5P which are both lows. That gives him "outside of sweep range" high/low mixups, though (un)fortunately 5S isn't safe on block and the hitbox for it is a very thin vertical point. On the other hand, 5S does not knock down, so in Mu no kyochi (timeslow mode) 5S allows you to combo into his Issen (runpast) or basically anything else, which is kind of scary if you don't Rage Explode because of his 5P/2P/5S being low/high mixups from outside of throw range, all of which will combo into whatever.

Speaking of combos, his n.2H combos to 214H or to his WFT, which does absurd amounts of damage. Mostly a punish type of technique though, but on the other hand n.2H allows you to teleport cancel on recoil/block which essentially makes it safe, but if you hit with it you can combo to the portal for stupid heavy damage. At point blank his n.2S also combos to 623K for a bit of damage, plus small pursuit if near corner. His 66A also links into 623K.

Speaking of his teleport, it does have a few frames of recovery, but these frames can be canceled by anything (much like jump/dash/wakeup recovery) including another teleport or a throw or jump (literally anything). This teleport is really what makes Amakusa so interesting. It's a great movement option, but it also makes a lot of his otherwise-unsafe moves safe by virtue of recoil canceling. For example 5H would be ridiculously unsafe, but if blocked you can cancel the recoil into a teleport and you're fine. This makes his c.5S, c.2S, f.5H and c.2H all safe to use whether you confirm them or not because you can just teleport cancel them on recoil.

The one thing he lacks is anti-air, IMO. His 623K grabs limbs so it can work as an anti-air. His 5K can also hit anti-air and has the benefit of being OTG which minimizes punishment if he's hit out of it (namely against multi-hitters like Yoshi j.S or j.H). Despite how they look 66P and 66S are NOT anti-airs, they have really low hitboxes and suck etc. Though 66H can work as an anti-air by virtue of being invulnerable once he starts to teleport and hitting from behind with a relatively high hitbox. The problem with 66H is the somewhat slow 19F startup, and ridiculously punishable recovery if it fails. Alternately a preemptive j.S or j.H can be used as anti-air, but in both cases it's a bit risky since the opponent is likely to land before you do. His 5S would seem like a good anti-air but it doesn't have a large hitbox so it's actually kind of garbage. Instead, 5H actually does the same thing you'd think 5S would do but better. In fact, as long as you're sure you're out of range of the opponent's attack then 5H is actually fairly easy to use as an anti-air and does loads of damage. But if they are within range to attack you then you're limited to some pretty risky options. The only attack that he has that hits ridiculously high into the air his n.5H which is not something you'd use very often, probably just if the opponent happens to jump vertically right in front of you or something. But personally, I teleport.

Some framedata.
MoveHit Adv.Block Adv.CancelDmgBlock/Deflect
f.5P-10 ~ -5-15 ~ -10N/N6L/Y
f.5S-10 ~ +2-21 ~ -11N/N12H/M/Y
f.5H-4 ~ +4-21N/R31M/Y
f.2P-7 ~ -3-12 ~ -8N/N7L/N
f.2S-5 ~ +1-18 ~ -12N/N11M/Y
f.2HD-55 ~ -45N/N27L/N
5K-16 ~ -3-15 ~ +10N/N6M/N
3KD-28 ~ -21N/N7L/N

Some more framedata:
NameDamageStartupActiveTotalCancelTypeHit adv. f.Hit adv. r.Block advDeflectWeaponRecoil
c.5a457141~3(3)/5~14(10)Weak +1+1-4NNN
5a61211321~2(2)Weak Low -10-10-15Y (weak)Y11(1)
c.5b912133312~24(13)Medium -3+5-18Y (med)Y8~11(4)
5b122114491~2(2)Medium Overhead -10-2-21Y (med)YN
c.5ab281819531~4(4)Heavy +2+12-21Y (heavy)Y17(1)
5ab311711581~3(3)Heavy -4+6-21Y (heavy)YN
c.2a454161~3(3)/5~16(12)Weak -1-1-6NNN
2a7118281~5(5)Weak Low -7-7-12NYN
c.2b91673616~28(13)Medium -2+6-13Y (med)YN
2b1197321~5(5)Medium -5+3-18Y (med)YN
c.2ab261485322~23(2)Heavy -2+8-19Y (heavy)YN
2ab27151775xLow KnockdownKDKD-55NNN
5c6913291~6(6)Medium -16+6-15NNN
6c513143213~32(20)Medium Low -1+7-14NNN
2c26618xWeak Low -2-2-7NNN
3c778401~4(4)Low KnockdownKDKD-28NNN
u.5s463241~4(4)Weak -2-2-6NNN
u.2s473241~4(4)Weak -1-1-5NNN
u.5c8913291~6(6)Medium -16+6-15NNN
u.6c513143213~32(20)Medium Low -1+7-14NNN
u.2c26618xWeak Low -2-2-7NNN
u.3c778401~4(4)Low KnockdownKDKD-28NNN
j8.a781130xWeak Overhead ------Y (weak)YN
j8.b1142138xMedium Overhead ------Y (med)YN
j8.ab2412947xHeavy Overhead ------Y (heavy)YN
j7/9.a781130xWeak Overhead ------Y (weak)YN
j7/9.b1141937xMedium Overhead ------Y (med)YN
j7/9.ab2412947xHeavy Overhead ------Y (heavy)YN
ju.s88514xMedium Overhead ------NNN
j.c571529xHeavy Overhead ------NNN
ju.c571529xHeavy Overhead ------NNN
5bc1620341xMedium Overhead KnockdownKDKD-15NNN
u.5bc8221148xMedium Overhead KnockdownKDKD-20NNN
66a768331~5(5)Heavy +10+20-22NNN
66b13146261~4(4)/9~11(3)Medium Overhead KnockdownKDKD-7NNN
66c61012361~4(4)Low KnockdownKDKD-21NNN
u.66c61012361~4(4)Low KnockdownKDKD-21NNN
天照封鳳撃・小2633558xMedium Overhead KDKD-21NNN
天照封鳳撃・中2633558xMedium Overhead KDKD-21NNN
天照封鳳撃・大2629376xLow KDKD-21NNN

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SF4 Misc

Char6Throw4ThrowJ.ThrowStageStage Name
Abel0.90.9x airbaseSmall Airfield
Akuma 0.90.9xtemple moonDeserted Temple
Blanka 0.90.9xjungle dayInland Jungle
Boxer 0.90.9xdinerDrive-in at Night
Cammy 0.750.751.0wineryHistoric Distillery
Chun dayCrowded Downtown
Claw Distillery
Dan 1.00.95xjungle nightPitch-black Jungle
Dhalsim 0.90.9xboat dayBeautiful Bay
Dic 0.90.9xvolcanoVolcanic Rim
El.F Rim
Fei 0.850.85xchina dayCrowded Downtown
Gen 0.951.05xchina nightRun-down Back Alley
Gouken 0.90.9xtemple moonDeserted Temple
Guile Airfield
Honda 0.90.9xbridgeOverpass
Ken 0.90.9xdinerDrive-in at Night
Rose 1.01.0xtv stageCruise Ship Stern
Rufus 0.90.9xdinerDrive-in at Night
Ryu 0.90.9xhigh templeOld Temple
Sagat 0.90.9xboat nightMorning Mist Bay
Sakura 0.80.8xbrigeOverpass
Seth 0.90.9xlabSecret Laboratory
Viper 0.90.9xtv stageCruise Ship Stern
Zangief 0.90.9xtrain yardSnowy Rail Yard



- Rose Max Absorb
364 c.LK c.LK c.MP hcf+LP s
423 c.LK c.LK c.MP qcf+LK s
438 c.HP hcf+MP s
514 c.HP qcf+LK s
- Chip
12 Reflect
20 Spark
25 Spiral
32 EX Spark
73 A.S.Spark
98 Spiral xx A.S.Spark
- Absorb Chip
27 Spark
44 EX Spark
102 A.S.Spark
127 Spiral A.S.Spark

Here is a visual representation of how p-linking works.

In a nutshell: When you kara SF4 reinputs the previous input. So going from HP to MP results in HP on frame one then HP+MP on frame two. Frame two is important because the game treats the HP+MP as a new input, and since HP overrides MP what happens is you get a HP attempt on frame one and another immediate HP attempt on frame two (two rapid-fire HPs).

TL;DR: So with the above example the red star represents a 1F link, you must push HP on that red star frame (frame five) in order for the link to work, any time sooner and it will fail and any time later and it will also fail. Using a single input that means you must push HP on exactly that frame. But with P-Linking you can begin the process on frame four or on frame five and either will result in success. This doesn't actually make the link a "2F link" but it increases the window for execution by one frame which essentially makes it FEEL like a two frame link rather than a one frame link. However this only works with a single kara, double kara attempts result in failure so HP~MP~LP will not give the desired results at all. Also, due to the strength priority of attacks you can only go "backwards" in strength, meaning this is useless for linking LPs and LKs, since there's nothing weaker than a LP and kara'ing LK to LP results in a throw attempt. On a side note, light attacks are actually chainable into themselves and sometimes into other light attacks, meaning you cancel the first light attack rather than waiting for it to finish. This creates a couple complications unique to SF4: first if the light attack is chained you lose the ability to special/super cancel the chained light attack, so in order to do c.LP c.LP qcf+LK it must be a link and not a chain. Second, when attempting to p-link into a higher strength move from a light attack you must avoid using the same light attack, for example with Ryu doing c.LP into c.MK~LP can result in a chained c.LP rather than a linked c.MK, but since both of his lights are chainable it's difficult to avoid this making the link somewhat less "plinkable" than others. I honestly think most of this is very self explanatory and everyone should have gotten the jist of it by now, but for some reason when I first heard about it I had trouble wrapping my mind around it, so w/e.

PS. I don't really like the comments system on Blogger because I don't think anyone really notices people's comments and I doubt anyone checks back to see responses to comments made. Thus, I set up a chat box that I put over on the right side of the blog, which I think might work better than comments. I won't disable comments though, FYI.

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