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When you lose all your life, you die. Simple Enough, Right? Not quite.
Every character has a different amount of hit points. These hit points (and damage bonus) are adjusted on a percentage basis by your ratio selection. Also, as the life bar is depleted, you gain bonus damage scaling, making the lifebar longer than it appears. Lastly, you gain health after defeating an opponent in a round.
The number reading corresponding to each character simply refers to the exact amount of life units that the character has. Zangief, Raiden and Chang have 15600 life, or about 10 Sagat standing fierces worth (a Sagat standing fierce does 1600 without counter hit).
Ratio Health Bonuses/Changes=
Ratio 1: Health: -20% Damage: -18% Ratio 2: Health: +0% Damage: +0% Ratio 3: Health: +17% Damage: +17% Ratio 4: Health: +40% Damage: +30%
Low Health Scaling
When a character has a life total that is between 16~30%, each hit they take from then on is scaled by -10%.
When a character has a life total that is 15% or lower, each hit they take from then on is scaled by -25%.
Tons of fighting games do this, They figure it makes rounds "more exciting"
Note: if a single hit does enough damage to lower a character's health from 31% to 0%, it will not be scaled at all.
Life Regeneration Formula
The amount of life you gain back between rounds is directly related to how fast you finished off the opponent.
life gained = ( (time left on the clock + 1) * 300 / (total time in a round + 1)) * 10
The resulting number is always rounded down to the nearest 100.
Walking, Jumping, Crouching, Attacking
Throws And Tech Hits
Choose the groove that's in your heart. Generally the overall viability of the grooves goes something like A>C=K>>N=P>>S
Inspiration: Street Fighter Alpha Series
Sub Systems: Roll, Counter Attack, Tactical Recovery, Dash
Unique Systems: Air Block, Lvl 2 super canceling
Meter Length: 168 units (56x3 levels)
Guard Bar Length: 48 units
Damage Bonuses: lv1: 101% lv2: 102% lv3: 105%
Strengths: Meter efficiency
Weaknesses: Rushing the opponent down
Play if you enjoy: Footsie based gameplay
Characters well suited for C groove: Sagat, Blanka, Hibiki, Honda, Guile, Ken, Chun-Li, Rolento, Yun, Kim, Eagle, Rugal, Yamazaki
Inspiration: Street Fighter Alpha Series
Sub Systems: Roll, Counter Attack, Safe Fall, Dash
Unique Systems: Custom Combos
Meter Length: 144 units (72x2 levels)
Guard Bar Length: 48 units
Damage Bonuses: none
Custom Combo Length: 72 units on the timer, roughly 7.2 seconds (442/60 secs)
Strengths: Meter flexibility, meter savings if hit, safe YOLO
Weaknesses: can be vulnerable without meter, not a great groove for Cammy or Sagat.
Play if you enjoy: Long displays of training mode execution, flexibility of meter, winning.
Characters well suited for A groove: Blanka, M.Bison, Sakura, Vega, Iori, Hibiki, Rolento, Eagle, Todo, Rugal, Haohmaru
Inspiration: Street Fighter 3 Series
Sub Systems: Low Jump, Delayed Wakeup, Dash
Unique Systems: Parry
Meter Length: 192 units
Guard Bar Length: 38 units
Damage Bonuses: none
Strengths: Parrying yields free openings
Weaknesses: No defensive options, slow meter gain
Play if you enjoy: Parrying FTW
Characters well suited for P groove: Sagat, Cammy, Kyo, Geese, Rugal, Iori, Hibiki, Chun Li, Yamazaki, Rock, Vega, Raiden
Inspiration: King of Fighters 94
Sub Systems: Counter Attack, Low Jump, Tactical Recovery, Run
Unique Systems: Dodge, Charge
Meter Length: 100 units
Guard Bar Length: 48 units
Damage Bonuses: Full Meter: 115% Red Life: 5% Full Meter Duration: 166 units on the timer (996/60 secs)
Strengths: Dodge attacks, infinite level 1's
Weaknesses: No reliable meter source
Play if you enjoy: An easier, worse version of P groove with an infinite super ability. A challenge.
Characters well suited for S groove: Sagat, Cammy, Ryu, Terry, Benimaru, Yuri, Todo, Ken, Sakura, Raiden, Chun-Li, Zangief
Inspiration: King of Fighters 98 Advanced Mode
Sub Systems: Roll, Counter Attack, Low Jump, Safe Fall, Run
Unique Systems: Counter Roll, Break Stock
Meter Length: 216 units (72x3 stocks)
Guard Bar Length: 48 units
Damage Bonuses: Power MAX: 120%
Power MAX Duration: 150 units on the timer (900/60 secs)
Strengths: Rushing the opponent down
Weaknesses: Getting huge damage from meter.
Play if you enjoy: Rushdown based gameplay, with a side of Roll Cancels.
Characters well suited for N groove: Sagat, Blanka, Iori, Chun-Li, Vice, Honda, Akuma, Morrigan, Joe, Kyo, Ken, Hibiki, Ryu
Inspiration: Garou Mark of the Wolves/ Samurai Showdown
Sub Systems: Low Jump, Safe Fall, Run
Unique Systems: Rage, Just Defense
Meter Length: 72 units
Guard Bar Length: 43 units
Damage Bonuses: Full Bar - Normal attacks : 135% Special attacks : 130% Super attacks : 110%
Full Meter Duration: 180 units on the timer (1080/60 secs)
(random note:) Just Defending gives you 6 units of meter and 100 units of life.
Strengths: Scare Factor, multiple level 3's.
Weaknesses: Defensive options, chip damage
Play if you enjoy: Rush down while glowing red. YOLO supers.
Characters well suited for K groove: Sagat, Cammy, Blanka, Geese, Kyo, Hibiki, Rock, Mai, Nakoruru, Ryo, Balrog,
Sub Systems & Groove specific systems
Character Technical Data
All times are in 1-star (normal) speed. Default game speed is 3-star, which skips 1 in 5 frames, which means the game is 125% faster, so to get a rough estimate of the actual frames in a standard match, multiply by 4/5. (e.g. for Ryu and Honda's roll times, the 3-star equivalent is 27F * (4/5) = 21F.
- 79 - Raiden
- 78 - Geese, Chang
- 77 - Zangief, Sagat
- 72 - Eagle
- 71 - Rugal, Yamazaki, Benimaru
- 70 - E.Honda
- 69 - Dhalsim, Terry
- 68 - Kyo, Joe
- 67 - Guile, Balrog
- 66 - Blanka, M.Bison, Kyosuke, Todo
- 65 - Ryo
- 64 - Ryu, Ken, Akuma, King, Dan, Rolento, Haohmaru
- 63 - Vega, Cammy
- 62 - Morrigan, Yun
- 61 - Chun Li, Sakura, Mai, Kim, Vice, Yuri, Nakoruru, Rock, Hibiki
- 60 - Maki, Iori, Athena
- 24F Iori , Kim , King , Benimaru , Yuri , Athena
- 25F Balrog , Sagat , Sakura , Terry , Mai , Yamazaki
- 26F M.Bison , Rolento , Kyosuke , Vice
- 27F Ryu , Ken , Chun-Li , Honda , Vega , Dan , Maki , Eagle , Yun , Goon , Ryo , Rugal , Nakoruru , Joe , Todo , Haohmaru
- 28F Guile , Blanka , Raiden , Geese
- 29F Zangief, Dhalsim , Morrigan , Kyo
- 30F Hibiki
- 31F Rock
- 32F Cammy
- 33F Chang
- 12F Rugal
- 15F Ryu , Ken , Akuma , Sagat , Rolento , Kyosuke , Dan , Terry , Geese , Rock , Joe , Hibiki , Haohmaru
- 16F Chun-Li , Guile , Raiden , Yamazaki
- 17F Blanka , Zangief , Dhalsim , Balrog , Vega , Sakura , Cammy , Eagle , Maki , Yun , Mai , Kim , Ryo , King , Benimari , Vice , Nakoruru , Athena , Todo , Chang
- 18F M.Bison , Iori
- 19F Honda , Morrigan , Kyo
- 10.1 -Vega
- 9.8 -Cammy
- 9.6 -Mai
- 9.2 -M.Bison, Nakoruru
- 9 -Chun Li, Maki, Yun, Rolento
- 8.8 -Balrog, Terry, Benimaru
- 8.5 -Ken, Kyosuke, Akuma, Kim, Rugal, Yuri, Athena, Rock
- 8.2 -Ryu, Eagle, Kyo
- 8 -Guile, Sakura, Morrigan*, Dan, Vice, King, Joe
- 7.4 -Iori, Ryo, Todo, Haohmaru
- 7.2 -Blanka, Sagat, Geese, Yamazaki, Hibiki
- 6.9 -E.Honda
- 6.4 -Dhalsim
- 5.6 -Zangief, Raiden, Chang
- 80 - Zangief, Honda, Raiden, Chang
- 70 - Ryu, Ken, Chun Li, Guile, Blanka, Balrog, Sagat, Bison, Dan, Eagle, Maki, Kyo, Iori, Terry, Ryo, Kim, Geese, Yamazaki, Rugal, Vice, King, Joe, Todo, Rock, Haohmaru
- 60 - Dhalsim, Vega, Sakura, Cammy, Morrigan, Kyosuke, Yun, Rolento, Akuma, Mai, Benimaru, Yuri, Nakoruru, Athena, Hibiki
Every time a character gets dizzy the base dizzy time is a randomized number that is either 2, 3, or 5 seconds. Mashing reduces time from the base dizzy time. Pressing a button removes 1/60th of a second (1 frame) from the base time, while hitting a direction on the joystick removes 2 frames from the base time.
Many characters in the game have a built-in modifier that adds/subtracts time from the base dizzy time. Here's a a list of modifiers and the characters that have them:
- -60/60 secs: Dhalsim, Dan, Geese
- -30/60 secs: Zangief, Joe, Chang
- 0/60 secs: Ryu, Ken, Chun Li, Guile, E.Honda, Blanka, Sagat, Sakura, Cammy, Eagle, Maki, Rolento, Akuma, Kyo, Terry, Mai, Yamazaki, Raiden,Rugal, Vice, Yuri, Todo, Athena, Rock, Haohmaru, Hibiki
- +30/60 secs: Balrog, Kyosuke, Yun, King
- +60/60 secs: Vega, M.Bison, Morrigan, Evil Ryu, Shin Akuma, Iori, Ryo, Kim, Benimaru, Nakoruru, Orochi Iori, God Rugal
Guard Bar Chart
Character 'getting up speed':
- Tier 1 (-4f): Hibiki
- Tier 2 (0f): Sagat = Guile = Bison = shotos = Rolento = Kyo = Yama = Rugal = Vice = Balrog = Maki = Eagle = Dhalsim = Kim = King = Yun = Haohmaru = Kyosuke = Joe = Nakoruru
- Tier 3 (+1f): Geese = Sakura = Iori = Morrigan = Yuri = Athena = Ryo = Raiden
- Tier 4 (+2f): Zangief = Terry = Mai
- Tier 5 (+4f): Vega = Honda = Todo = Rock
- Tier 6 (+6f): Chun = Cammy = Blanka = Benimaru
- Tier 7 (+8f): Chang
Hibiki gets up the fastest in the game, which has been known pretty much ever since the game first hit the beta tests. Chang gets up the slowest. Obviously, you want to find safe jump-in setups for tiers 2 and 6.
Delayed Wake-Up adds 15f to wakeup time.
In every Fighting Game, there are the basic, common factors that exist. Life Meters exist in just about every Fighting Game, as do Timers, for example. This section discusses these things, the factors that can affect the outcome of the battle that are not controllable by the player.
01) LIFE METER
We ALL know what the Life Meter is. It's that nice bar on the top of the screen that tells you how close you are to being defeated. Not too hard to figure out for even the most casual of Fighting Game fans. "Duh! We all know what the Life Meter is! So why bother talking about it?" you may want to ask me. Well, there are a few things worthy to note about Capcom Vs. SNK 2's Life Meters. There is a lot of good information that you can ascertain about the Life Meter thanks to the Training Mode in the home versions.
The first thing to note about the Life Meter is that there are 4 stages in a character's Life Meter. As your life drains in battle, the Life Meter's color changes from yellow to bright orange to dark orange to red. Your Life Meter turns Bright orange when you lose 25% of your energy, dark orange when you lose 50% of your energy, and red after you lose 75% of your energy. Right before you reach the dark orange stage (about after you lose 70% of your energy), your character will begin to take 10% less damage. And part way into the red zone, after you lose about 85% of your energy, you take 25% less damage. So the closer to being defeated you are, the more resilient you become. The other interesting thing to discover is that characters in CvS2 do NOT take "more damage" than others. It is a common way to express the endurance of characters. When people used to talk about CvS1, you'd often hear things like "Blanka takes very little damage for a Ratio 1 character!" or "Nakoruru takes the most damage out of all the Ratio 2 characters!" However, it is interesting to know that, in fact, every character takes the same amount of damage. The difference that makes it SEEM like they take more or less damage is actually the number of "HIT POINTS" the character has, to use a term for you RPG fans out there. Every character in CvS2 has a set number of Hit Points and some, obviously, have more than others. The amount of Hit Points you have is also dependent on which Ratio you are. But an average character, like Ryu (as a Ratio 2 character), has about 14,300 Hit Points. However, someone like Raiden, who has always been known to have far more stamina than other characters, has about 15,500 Hit Points. And a character like Nakoruru, who is a weaker character overall, has about 13,500 Hit Points. Then there are characters like Shin Gouki, who is designed to be FAR weaker than any other character. Shin Gouki, as a Ratio 2 character, has only about 6,400 Hit Points!!! A Level 3 Super by itself is enough to drain all of Shin Gouki's life.
Since writing that last paragraph, I was pointed to some information posted by Jotaro on www.shoryuken.com's Forums. He posted some information translated directly from a Hong Kong Gameplayers Magazine article, which got the exact vitality numbers for every character (as a Ratio 2 character) that appears in the arcade version. I was quite happy to see that the values I figured out on my own were VERY close to the actual numbers. ^_^ So below is the information that Jotaro translated for the benefit of all CvS2 players: (note: The vitality for the 4 extra characters on the home versions of CvS2 were calculated by me, so they may not be 100% accurate. But seeing as how my estimates given above were ALL 100 points too little, I just did what I normally did to calculate the Hit Points, and then added 100. ^_^ Also added is the vitality for every character at the different Ratios... Since they are all based off of Ratio 2's Hit Points, these are just the amount of Hit Points calculated using the known percentage change in number of Hit Points between Ratios. To see what those percentages are, please refer to the "Ratio System" section in the "CHARACTER SELECTION" chapter.)
The Ratio 2 Hit Points have been "highlighted" to an extent, because those are the values that all the other Hit Points were calculated off of. Thus, they would be the most accurate. Also, note how Ratio 3 Chang, Zangief, and Raiden have MORE HIT POINTS than a Ratio 4 Akuma!!! And why are they so mean to Morrigan?!? What's with this low Hit Point count for her?? But there you have the Hit Point chart. Thanks, Jotaro, for translating all of this!!
02) GUARD METER
If you end up Blocking too much in this game, eventually, your "Guard will break." What that means is that your character, after Blocking one too many attacks, will go into a short stun period in which they are vulnerable. The Guard Meter can be seen on the screen. It's the short, green meter under the bottom of your Life Meter. Blocking attacks will cause the Meter to drain. This is known as taking "Guard Damage." The amount of Guard Damage done is directly related to the strength of the move that is Blocked. Moves that do less damage do less Guard Damage. Moves that do more damage do more Guard Damage. Unfortunately, I haven't quite figured out the correlation between damage and Guard Damage in an exact formula. Right now, it makes very little sense. A 300 damage move will completely drain an average Guard Meter in 25 hits. But a 200 damage move will drain an average Guard Meter in 49 hits. You would expect a move that's 2/3 the strength to take 150% longer, no 200%. So the exact formula for damage to Guard Damage ratio hasn't been figured out, but it's safe to say that the more damage a move does, the more Guard Meter it drains. In some instances, characters can gain strength bonuses, such as in K-Groove when your Super Meter is full, giving you an extra 35% damage. And, yes, those strength increases do affect Guard Damage as well. (Note: Please note that I use the terms "Guard Damage" and "Block Damage" throughout this FAQ. They are two DIFFERENT THINGS. Guard Damage refers to Blocking an attack and losing some Guard Meter. Block Damage refers to Blocking a Special Move or a Super Combo and losing some of your LIFE Meter.)
As you Block attacks, the Guard Meter continues to drain. Once it is down to about 33% left, the Guard Meter and the border of your Life Meter will begin to flash wildly. Also, if you listen carefully, the Blocking sound changes from a solid sound to a weaker, more "paper-y" sound. If you continue to take Guard Damage and your Guard Meter becomes fully drained, this is what is known as having your Guard "broken." The game refers to this as "Guard Crush." Your character will suddenly go into a "dizzy"-like animation where your character reels backwards, arms raised in the air. You will then be vulnerable for that small period of time, and the enemy can easily take advantage of this and land a Level 3 Super, a Custom Combo, or just about anything else they want to for free. After your Guard is broken, your Guard Meter will refill to it's max and will be back to the same state that it was at the start of the round. Also, in C-Groove, Air Blocking moves also drains Guard Meter. If your Guard is broken while in the air, your character will go into the Guard Crush animation in the air but fall VERY QUICKLY onto the floor, where your vulnerability continues. You cannot shake out of the Guard Crush stun. It lasts for a fairly brief period, but you cannot make it last shorter by mashing on the joystick and buttons like you can when you fall Dizzy.
If you don't Block any attacks or take any hits for about 3 seconds of actual time, the Guard Meter begins to slowly refill. However, the instant you get hit or Block an attack, the Meter will stop refilling (and if you Blocked something, it will drain even further obviously). So in order to get your Guard Meter back, you have to keep yourself from Blocking or getting hit by anything. So if your Guard Meter is about to be drained, try to go on the offense to prevent your Guard from being broken. If you can string together a nice offensive sequence, you'll have your full Guard Meter back in no time.
Things that do not affect the length of your Guard Meter: All characters have the same Guard Meter length. In other words, Chang Guard Breaks as easily as Yun. Ratios don't affect Guard Meter. The Guard Damage done is always based off of the base damage a character does (the base damage being that of a Ratio 2 character). Also, how much energy your opponent has in their Life Meter OR their Super Meter does not ever increase their resistance to taking Guard Damage. Guard Damage is consistent through and through. The only thing that actually affects how long your Guard Meter is is your Groove. K-Groove and P-Groove have shorter Guard Meters than the other 4 Grooves. The other four Grooves have the same Guard Meter length. To get a good idea of how the lengths of the Guard Meters compare to each other, I can assign the average Guard Meter of C-Groove, A-Grove, S-Groove, and N-Groove a value of 100 points in length. K-Groove, then, has about 90 points of Guard Meter and P-Groove has about 80 points of Guard Meter. The Meters, on the screen, will look exactly the same in length, but the amount of Guard Damage each Meter can take is actually different. (Note: Last version of this FAQ had a chart showing how many hits it took for one Groove to Guard Crush another Groove provided by Kris Grytebust. It was taken out because the damage, as it turned out, was not affected by the attacking Groove but only by damage given. Still, though, all the research Kris provided is still greatly appreciated!)
03) STUN METER
The concept of Stun, or "falling dizzy" as it is commonly referred to as, has existed since Street Fighter II Classic. Basically, if your character is struck too many times in a row, your character will fall dizzy. As soon as this occurs, even in the middle of a Combo or if the move that knocks you dizzy is just a Normal Move, your character be knocked over and fall down onto the ground. Stars will begin rotating around your head the INSTANT they are knocked dizzy, so you will see the stars while they are falling over. When you get up, your character will be in Stun, and you cannot perform ANY actions. Your character is thus susceptible to anything the opponent chooses. To put it more bluntly, the instant you become Stunned, the enemy gets a free Combo. Once your character falls dizzy, he/she won't stay dizzy forever. After a certain amount of time your character will recover and return back to a normal condition, but it takes a while. While you are dizzy, however, you can try to come out of dizzy faster by shaking your controller and mashing on the buttons as fast as you can. Doing this will make your character recover quicker than normal, but be careful not to go overboard with the shaking... If your character DOES shake out, and you are still wiggling the joystick, you may eat the Combo your opponent is going for anyhow. So shake as much as possible, but right before your enemy strikes you, just hold Block. If you shook out, you'll Block their attack and be safe. If you didn't shake out, wiggling the controller right before the enemy hits you won't make a difference anyhow.
The Stun Meter cannot be seen anywhere on the screen, but is kept track of "internally". In other words, you can't see it anywhere on the screen (outside of Training Mode in the home versions). Basically, the Stun Meter is just a counter with a max value, and every time you get struck, the counter increases. I will refer to this concept as taking "Stun Damage". And once the counter reaches the max, your character will fall dizzy.
The amount of Stun Damage you take depends on the strength of the move that hit you. The normal damage done and the amount of Stun Damage you take is almost a direct 100 to 1 relationship. A move that does 1400 damage does about 14 points of Stun Damage. A Combo that does 2600 damage will do about 25 points of Stun Damage. So it's not a DIRECT relationship, but a good indication of how it'll work. Some moves will not have this relationship, though. For example, performing a full Poison Gnawfest (the Fireball + Fierce (HP) into Reverse Half-circle + Fierce (HP) into Towards + Fierce (HP) sequence) chain will do about 2500 but only do 8 amount of Stun Damage. And it is good to note: Super Combos and Custom Combos do absolutely NO STUN DAMAGE. So you will never have to worry about your opponent falling dizzy in the middle of a Custom Combo or a Super Combo. There is the exception, though, of Ryo's Heaven Glaze Punch (Level 3 Stun Super) and Evil Ryu's Metsu Hadouken (unblockable Level 3 only Super Fireball). Those moves are DESIGNED to knock people dizzy, so they WILL add to the Stun Meter, even though they are Super Combos.
The Stun Meter does reset after a fixed amount of time. Basically, if your character is not hit for that length of time, your character's Stun Meter will reset to zero regardless of how much Stun Damage you've incurred up to that point. But if you DO get hit during that period of time, you'll have to wait the full length of time after being struck again to have it drain all the way. So if you aren't hit for 90% of that length of time and then are hit by even a Jab or a Short, you'll have to wait that full length of time again before the Stun Meter drains to zero. Do note that Blocking does NOT count as being hit. So if you Block a bunch of attacks, you can still have your Stun Meter reset.
As soon as you are knocked dizzy, your Stun Meter drains to zero. Then, any further hit in the Combo (falling dizzy does not reset the Combometer) will NOT ADD ANY STUN DAMAGE. So after the enemy finishes Comboing you from a Stun, you will start up with zero Stun Damage. Also, when you are knocked dizzy, your Stun Meter increases it's max by 3 points. So after getting dizzy once, it becomes harder to get dizzy again. However, the next Round, things reset to their defaults, so the fact that your Stun Meter increases rarely makes any impact on the game at all.
Almost every character falls into one of two groups when it comes to the Stun Meter. There is the standard group, which has the Stun Meter length of 70. Then, there is the weaker group of which the Stun Meter length is only 60. There is a third group of privileged characters who have a Stun Meter length of 80, but only four characters fall into this category. Below are the groups listed, and which character falls into which group: :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Stun Meter of 60: Akuma, Athena, Benimaru, Blood Iori, Cammy, Dhalsim, Evil Ryu, God Rugal, Hibiki, Kyosuke, Mai, Morrigan, Nakoruru, Rolento, Sakura, Shin Gouki, Vega, Yun, Yuri Stun Meter of 70: Balrog, Blanka, Chun Li, Dan, Eagle, Geese, Guile, Haohmaru, Iori, Joe, Ken, Kim, King, Kyo, Maki, M. Bison, Rock, Rugal, Ryo, Ryu, Sagat, Terry, Todo, Vice, Yamazaki Stun Meter of 80: Chang, E.Honda, Raiden, Zangief
There are some weird choices that Capcom made, in my opinion. Rolento is part of the 60 group and Dan is part of the 70 group? You'd think that Capcom would've loved to put Dan in the lower group. Guess they really are being nice to Dan in this game. ^_^ And Capcom has something against the women, it seems, as all of them, save four, are in the 60 group. And of the four in the 70 group, it's Chun Li, Maki, King, and Vice? I would think that Morrigan and Mai would be more likely to be in the 70 group in place of Maki and Vice. Oh well. Just my opinion...
There is not much to discuss on the Timer. The Timer is the same thing that you know from practically every Fighting Game in existence. The Timer starts at 99.9 at the beginning of a Round and quickly counts down to 00.0. Once the Timer reaches zero, whichever character has more Life Meter left over wins the Round, and if both characters have the exact same amount of Life left, the Round is considered a draw. If that happens to be the final round of the game, both characters lose. There is no sudden death, and the game ends for both players.
05) COUNTER HITS
Counter Hits occur when you strike the enemy during the "start-up" animation of their move. Basically, whenever you perform a move, there are about three parts to a move: initiation, hitting, and recovery. Let's look at Ken's Towards + Roundhouse (HK) as an example. When you perform this move, Ken first goes into the animation where he begins to swing his leg around. These Animation Frames do not hit, not yet. He's just bringing his leg out in front to kick you. That's the initiation phase. Then, his leg becomes fully extended, and in that one frame, Ken's kick can hit you. That's the hitting phase. After that frame passes, Ken moves back to a normal standing position. His kick can't hit anymore, and he's just slowly getting back to the normal Neutral State. During this period, Ken cannot attack, move, or do anything because he is in the recovery phase. A Counter Hit occurs when you are struck out of the first two phases: initiation and hitting. Anytime you are hit during these frames, your character will flash white when they are struck and the words "Counter Hit" appear on the screen under your Life Meter and Guard Meter. Some moves bypass certain phases (Uppercut-type moves, for example, generally do not have any initiation phases). Also, Projectiles (like Ryu's Hadouken, Guile's Sonic Boom, Rugal's Wind Slice (The Reppuken ground Projectile), and Terry's Power Wave do NOT COUNT as having recovery. If you strike the enemy during their delay from throwing a Projectile, you will be rewarded with a Counter Hit. You can also be rewarded with a Counter Hit for hitting people out of the air. As long as you hit the enemy during the initiation or hitting phase, you get a Counter Hit.
So what are the implications of a Counter Hit? A Counter Hit rewards the person landing the hit two things: 1) Increased damage. 2) Slightly longer Reel Stun. Regarding the increased damage, a Counter Hit will reward you with 20% extra damage. So a move that does, normally, 1000 Hit Points of damage will now do 1200. The second effect makes it so that moves will cause longer Reel Stun. This allows for certain moves that never Comboed before to actually Combo! However, there is a lot of details regarding this, and to learn more about it, please read up on the "Counter Hits" section in the second half of this FAQ (the Combo FAQ half). Otherwise, it is enough to know, for now, that Reel Stun lasts longer.
As far as I know, if you Counter Hit someone out of the air, the only added benefit you get is the extra damage. Since there is no Reel Stun in the air, there isn't any Reels Stuns to increase.
Counter Hits definitely do NOT play as big of a role in this game as they did in Street Fighter Alpha 3. In Alpha 3, Counter Hits affected gameplay all over the place. In Capcom Vs. SNK 2, more than likely, you will barely notice the affects of Counter Hits.
Chapter 03 UNIVERSAL ABILITIES
By referring to Universal Abilities, I am referring to abilities that are shared among ALL characters and Grooves in CvS. Regardless of which Groove you pick or which character you pick, you will have these abilities. These range from your most basic of abilities, such as Walking, Blocking, Crouching, Jumping, Buffering, Taunting, and Throwing.
01. WALKING, JUMPING, CROUCHING, ATTACKING
If you've ever played a Fighting Game before, Capcom or SNK, just skip this paragraph, trust me. But I'll be brief about it, in case you read it anyhow. The four basic actions that are given to a character in almost every fighting game created are the ability to Walk forward or backwards (by hitting Towards or Back), to Crouch (by hitting any of the three Down positions on the joystick), to Jump in any of three directions (Up for a straight up Jump, Back Flip to Jump backwards, or Forward Flip to Jump forward), and to Attack (by hitting a button with or without the combination of a joystick motion). These are the four absolute most basic actions given to a character.
Although this can be considered a fifth basic action, I will give this it's own section just to clarify one thing. Unlike the original SF games, CvS2 takes the stance of Blocking similar to more recent Street Fighter games. Your character will only Block if the enemy is attacking you and the attack is NEAR you. In other words, if your character is a screen away from the opponent, and your opponent throws out a bunch of Crouching Shorts (LK), your character will not go into Block stance. The attack has to be near you in order for it to cause you to Block. Everyone knows this: hold Back to block high, mid, and Jumping Attacks, as well as Overheads. Hold Defensive Crouch to Block mid and low attacks (Sweeps). Once you Block an attack, you are rendered "stuck" in Block Stun. If another attack connects on your character before you end your Block Stun, you will again be put into Block Stun and forced to Block again. In fact, since you are stuck in Block Stun during an attack, you can let go of the controller altogether and still block the next attack if you have not recovered from the first Block Stun. So for example, if Ryu performs a Shinkuu Tatsumaki Senpuukyaku (Super Hurricane Kick) next to you and you block the first attack, you can pretty much let go of the controller at this point, because you will automatically block every other attack from that move. However, if you are Blocking in the wrong height (in terms of high/low attacks), you will still be hit. So, let's say the enemy does a Jumping Roundhouse (HK) and you high Block it. If the enemy does a Crouching Roundhouse (HK) while you are still in your Block Stun and you don't low Block it, just because you are in Block Stun doesn't mean you will automatically Crouch to Block the Crouch Roundhouse (HK). You still have to adjust high or low for Blocking, even during Block Stun.
03. SPECIAL MOVES
Every character in Capcom Vs. SNK 2 (and in almost EVERY 2-D Fighting Game for that matter) have what are called Special Moves. A Special Move is an attack that requires a specific joystick motion or a combination of buttons to perform. Examples of Special Moves are Ryu's Hadouken (which requires a Down, Offensive Crouch, Towards joystick motion before pressing Punch), Zangief's Double Lariat (which requires you to hit two Punch buttons simultaneously), Chang's Spinning Iron Ball (which requires you to tap Punch as fast as possible), and Raiden's Super Drop Kick (which requires you to hold two Kicks for a period of time before letting go of the Kicks). There are two main things about Special Moves that make them significant besides the alternate methods required to perform them. The first property of a Special Move is that they do damage even if the attack is Blocked. This Block Damage is by far less than the normal amount of damage that it would deal if it connected. However, if you have no energy left and you Block a Special Move, you will be defeated. Another property of a Special Move is the ability to be canceled into from a "Bufferable" Normal Move. This technique is invaluable to many characters as a form of attack and for performing Combos. Please view the sections on Buffering later in this chapter and also in the Combo FAQ half of this FAQ for more details on what Buffering means and how it affects things.
04. SUPER COMBOS
Regardless of which Groove you select in Capcom Vs. SNK 2, you have the ability to perform Super Combos. Just like Special Moves, these require joystick motions to perform. The motions needed are generally far more complex than that of a Special Move. The thing that sets them apart from Special Moves is that they require (in most cases) the use of the Super Meter. Regardless of your Groove, you can do a Super Combo, but how much Meter a Super Combo takes up is dependent on which Groove you are in and what Level you use. Every Super Combo has three different levels that can be performed: a Level 1 Super, a Level 2 Super, and a Level 3 Super. The Level 3 version of a Super Combo always does more damage than the Level 2 Super Combo which always does more damage than a Level 1 Super Combo. There are also certain Supers that can ONLY be performed as a Level 3.
- Certain Grooves can only perform certain Leveled Supers. A-Groove, for example, can only perform Level 1 Supers. S-Groove can perform Level 1 or Level 3 Supers, but the conditions needed for a Level 3 Super are very specific. Please see the Grooves chapter for specifics on which Supers can be performed and how.
Extremely useful, highly practical, never dropped, and always mimicked, Buffering has been around since the original Street Fighter II. This technique is also known as "Two-in-ones" in some circles. It has been adapted into almost every fighting game you can think of, from popular arcade games like King of the Fighters, Samurai Shodown II, Mortal Kombat 4, Killer Instinct, and Guilty Gear X to even small time and relatively unknown console-only fighting games like TMNT: Tournament Fighters, Critical Blow, and Dynasty Warriors.
- The concept of Buffering is the ability for a character to cancel the animation of a Normal Move into one of their Special Moves or Super Combos. Normally, the Normal Move causes the enemy to reel long enough for the Special Move to hit them while they are still in their Reel Stun, rewarding the attacker with a Combo. An example of this is the ability for Ryu to cancel Crouching Forward (MK) into a Hadouken for the 2-Hit Combo that we've seen since the dawn of Street Fighter.
Buffering can only be done with certain Normal Moves, and this isn't consistent between characters, not by a long shot. Only certain Normal Moves for every character is "Bufferable". That means they have the ability to be canceled into a Special Move or Super Combo. Even though some characters may have three or four times as many Bufferable Moves as a different character, you can be guaranteed that EVERY character has at least one Bufferable move. Also, Bufferable Normal Moves generally can only be Buffered on certain Animation Frames. For example, a Kyo Crouching Fierce (HP), if performed right next to an enemy, can be Buffered the instant the move hits into any of his Special Moves or Super Combos. However, Kyo's Crouching Fierce (HP) can also connect later in it's animation. Let's say an enemy Jumps at you and you use Crouching Fierce (HP) and hit him/her out of the air with the frame where Kyo has his arm almost fully extended. If you try to Buffer Crouch Fierce (HP) at this time, it won't work. That is because only certain frames of moves are Bufferable. Kyo's Crouching Fierce (HP) is only Bufferable on it's first hitting Animation Frame.
To Buffer a Bufferable Normal Move, simply do the code for the Special Move or Super Combo and make sure you have hit the button to activate the Special Move the instant the Bufferable Move connects with the enemy. Remember, only Bufferable frames work with this technique.
Also, some Normal Moves can ONLY be Buffered into Super Combos. For example, Benimaru's Crouching Forward (MK) cannot be Buffered into the Lightning Fist (the Raikouken spark) or his Shinkuu Katategoma or any of his other Special Moves. However, he CAN Buffer it into his Heaven Blast Flash (the Taikuu Raikouken spark Super) or his Discharge Spark. Many Normal Moves are like this. In fact, I'd dare say that more Normal Moves in this game can be Buffered into a Super than cannot. That could be an exaggeration, but I do know that MANY moves can be Buffered into Supers.
Buffering becomes very useful for attack patterns. But they are ESPECIALLY useful for Combos. Moves that are normally not safe to use by themselves can be turned VERY useful thanks to the ability to Buffer Normal Moves. For example, Yamazaki's Fierce (HP) Serpent Slash, while having good recovery, can be relatively dangerous to use against opponents who move around constantly. If you use it too often, the enemy can easily Jump over it or Roll through it and punish you. However, if you learn that you can Buffer Yamazaki's Standing Fierce (HP), the Serpent Slash becomes vastly more useful. Since the Standing Fierce (HP) hits so much more quickly that a Serpent Slash, you can tag enemies with the Standing Fierce (HP) first, and then Buffer it into the Fierce (HP) Serpent Slash, which allows you to safely dish out Block Damage. And you end up safe afterwards as well! Thus, you can see how Buffering is very useful in creating attack sequences.
This describes the ability for a character to go from a "non-hittable" state straight into a Special Move instantly with nothing happening in between. Whenever you successfully perform a Reversal, the message "Reversal" will actually appear on the screen under your character's Life Meter and Guard Meter.
- There are four situations that a player is able to perform a Reversal attack:
- 1) Going straight from getting up off the floor (during which you are invincible) into a Special Move (the INSTANT you are done getting up, the first Animation Frame you go into is your Special Move)
- 2) Going straight from Block Stun into a Special Move (the INSTANT your Block Stun ends, the first Animation Frame you go into is your Special Move)
- 3) If you are hit out of the air by a non-Knock-Down move and can no longer be Juggled, you can go straight from your landing animation (during which you are invincible) into a Special Move (right when you land, the first Animation Frame you will go into will be your Special Move)
- 4) The instant you come out of a Stun, you can do a Special Move that will count as a Reversal (this one is the only situation where you don't go from invincible to the Special Move, so I'm not sure why they included this scenario...).
Reversals are most useful in conjunction will moves that are invincible when they start. They don't even have to be invincible, but just have high priority. Most "Dragon Punch" or "Uppercut" type moves are good for Reversals, moves like Ryu or Ken's Shoryuken, Cammy's Cannon Spike, Kim's Flying Slice, etc. Also, Level 3 Supers (or any other level Super that has good priority) can be used, as can Custom Combos. Even Dodges and Rolls can be used as Reversals. The Level 3 Supers and Uppercut-like moves will beat any attack or Throw that is attempted on you at that first instant when you become vulnerable again while the Customs, Dodges, and Rolls will just avoid them.
Also a common term that is used in conjunction with Reversals is the "Meaty Attack". A Meaty Attack is an attack that is timed so that the enemy will get up into it after being knocked down. In other words, if the enemy tries to perform a move when they get up against your Meaty Attack and he/she mistimes it so that they do not perform a Reversal, they will get hit the instant they get up. An example of a Meaty attack would be Bison's Crouching Roundhouse (HK). If you knock the enemy over, and then do Bison's long-lasting slide attack and time it so that the enemy gets up into it, that is considered a Meaty Attack.
However, keep in mind that a Reversal that has invincibility will ALWAYS beat a Meaty Attack. Also, performing a Reversal to properly beat a Meaty Attack requires VERY good timing. In fact, the window during which you can perform a Reversal is very small. Thus, if you are hit by Meaty Attacks and fail your Reversal, do not worry. This is a common occurrence: no one, I don't think, can perform a Reversal 100% of the time.
- Note: through out this Guide, I will also refer to Reversals as "Wake-ups". Wake-ups are Reversals, but they are pretty much ONLY referring to Reversals that are performed when getting up off of the ground. So if I say something like, "Ryu can perform a Wake-Up Shoryuken...", I'm referring to Ryu performing a Reversal Shoryuken when getting up off of the ground.
07. HIGH JUMPING
If you are a fan of the Versus Games, like Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, make sure to note that, although performed the same way, High Jumping is NOTHING like Super Jumping. No, in Capcom Vs. SNK 2, High Jumping is more similar to the High Jumping from the King of the Fighters or the Street Fighter Three Series. A High Jump is simply that: a High Jump. It's higher and longer than your standard Jump. To do a High Jump, simply hit Down right before you hit any of the three Up positions on the joystick. You cannot just hold Down, then Jump and get a High Jump. You MUST tap Down before hitting any of the three Up positions. Doing so will result in your character doing a higher, longer Jump. You'll know if it's a High Jump because your character will leave behind a "shadow trail". This is good for attacking enemies across the screen, or getting an advantage on air to air attacks. Otherwise, there are no special properties of a High Jump. A High Jump is simply just that: a higher version of your regular Jump.
Cross-ups really were an "accident" on Capcom's part. They existed in the very first Street Fighter II Classic, and somehow I don't think they were an intentional thing. But strangely, they have worked their way so strongly into gameplay that possessing a Cross-up can make or break a character. I can't possibly express how much I wish someone like King had a reliable Cross-up. If she did, I swear she'd be SO MUCH better than she is right now. And I also can think to myself that a character like Blanka just didn't NEED a Cross-up. He's good enough of a character without one, and having one only makes him much better than he needs to be. So born out of an accident, Capcom now purposely tries to give characters "Cross-ups". They seem to be pretty random with their decisions to reward some characters with Cross-ups. Some characters have Cross-Ups that work like a charm, other characters don't have ANY Cross-ups. And then some characters have Cross-ups that require precise distancing that, after practicing it enough and getting accustomed to it, become like clockw0rk... er... clockwork. And THEN some characters, if you land their Cross-ups, you probably would have been better off going to Las Vegas and using that luck on a slot machine!
- So what exactly is a Cross-up?
A Cross-up is a move that you perform while Jumping that has a "Hit Box" slightly behind the Jumping character. Basically, what this means is that you can strike your opponent when Jumping OVER them, because your move hits far enough back to catch the enemy that's still under you.
This is a VERY important thing to possess. It allows for you to attack characters, whether they are getting up or whether you just managed to get close enough to Jump or High Jump over them, from the air with relative safety. Jumping at, for example, Kyo from the front is a fairly risky thing to do. If he's ready for you, he's gonna Fire Ball (Kyo's uppercut) you out of the air. However, if you distance it right and manage to jump just barely over him, his Fire Ball (Kyo's uppercut) will miss, and you can punish him from behind. If he doesn't do the Fire Ball (Kyo's uppercut), you'll force him to Block your Cross-up, and you can end up right next to him with total Frame Advantage. From there, go for a nice poke sequence, a good Block Combo, or even a Throw attempt from one of the various Throw set-ups you can try. But best yet, because you Jump so that you hit them after you barely pass over them, Blocking sometimes becomes ambiguous for the enemy, and they might end up Blocking the wrong way! If that happens, you can easily HIT the enemy, and then go for a Combo right there and then! And after Cross-ups, you end up RIGHT next to the enemy, which usually means you can go for a nice, long, damaging Combo.
Every character, as I said, has different levels of effectiveness for their Cross-ups. Also, some characters have more than one Cross-up! In a future version of this FAQ, I may include a "Cross-up" chart, indicating what the characters' best Cross-ups are. But for now, you'll just have to experiment and figure it out on your own.
9. THROWS AND TECH HITS
Throws have been reverted back to their original style of only needing one button to Throw for those of you from the Capcom side of things (especially the Third Strike and Alpha 3 players). For you SNK players out there, Throws are pretty much done the same as in King of the Fighters.
To perform a Throw, simply walk right up to the opponent, hold Toward or Back, and Press Fierce (HP) or Roundhouse (HK). Every character in this game has two Throws, so either one will work. And unlike older Capcom Fighting Games, two Throws is ALL you get. You CANNOT Throw with Strong (MP) or Forward (MK) in this game.
- Obviously, the use for a Throw is that the enemy cannot Block a Throw.
Contrary to popular belief, this does NOT make Throws cheap. Actually, because Throws have such little range in this game, Throws are everything BUT cheap. They are a necessity to gameplay. After all, everything in a Fighting Game needs a counter. In your traditional 2-D Fighting Game, Throws are a counter to Blocking. Pure and simple. So if you think the enemy will Block, Throw. And if you're wrong, you'll wind up eating anything from a single hit to a small Combo to a Level 3 Super. So Throws aren't cheap by any means. Don't complain about them, learn to play with them. Apologies with regards to my little editorial there about Throws and the common misconception that they are cheap... ^_^
- Characters cannot be Thrown out of Hit Stun or Block Stun.
If you intend on performing a "Tick" or a "Cheap Shot" (which is what some people refer to as the act of making someone Block an attack like a Crouch Short (LK) and then following up that with a Throw. It's NOT cheap, regardless of the name people give it, I'm telling you...), you MUST wait for the character to come out of their Stun (whether it's a Hit Stun or Block Stun) before you can Throw. So for example, you can land a Cross-up Forward (MK) with Ryu. The instant you land, you are RIGHT next to the enemy and in range for a Throw. But if you try to Throw with, say, Fierce (HP), you'll end up punching instead. Why? The enemy is still in Block Stun, so the pressing of Fierce (HP) will check to see if you can Throw the enemy or not. Since you cannot, it will then make the Standing Fierce (HP) come out instead. So if you WANT to Throw the enemy after a Cross-up, you must wait half a second for the enemy to come out of Block Stun, and THEN hit Fierce (HP) to Throw.
Some characters also have Air Throws. They are done pretty much the same. If you Jump and your opponent is near you in the air, hold any direction except up and press Fierce (HP) or Roundhouse (HK), depending on which button your Air Throw is. Not every character has an Air Throw (more don't than do) and those that have Air Throws may only have one, unlike ground Throws where everyone has two Throws.
They also have implemented Counter Throws (their official name is a "Tech Hit") in this game. If you get Thrown by the enemy, but anticipated it and tried Throw them before they Throw you, you will "deflect" their Throw attempt. Both of your characters will push each other away (a big, bright light flashes between you, and you two slide away from each others with arms in the air...) and no one will take damage.
The way to perform a Tech Hit is to simply hit Fierce (HP) or Roundhouse (HK) when you are Thrown. If you timed it correctly, your character will deflect your opponent's Throw, and both characters will come away unscathed.
One VERY important thing about Teching Throws in Capcom Vs. SNK 2: you cannot Tech Hit a Throw 100% of the time. There are many situations where, if Thrown, you simply are not allowed to Tech Hit, such as during a Roll. In Capcom Vs. SNK 1, you were even allowed to Tech Hit during a Roll! But now, you aren't allowed to, so punishing Rolls with a Throw is 100% guaranteed. Please see the Throw Technical Data below for situations on when you cannot Tech Hit. Also, you cannot Tech Hit Air Throws, even if your character has an Air Throw too.
- Throws are NOT instant in Capcom Vs. SNK 2. This is a VERY significant thing to note, as you can see how it'll affect gameplay. In games like Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Throws were instantaneous and could even be used as a Wake-up! A Wake-up Throw would beat a Meaty attack in Super Turbo. But in Capcom Vs. SNK 2, Throws CANNOT be used as a Wake-up, because they are not instant. They take a few frames to register and, by then, you've already been hit.
In general, Punch Throws come out faster than Kick Throws. However Punch Throws, however, do a little bit less damage than Kick Throws and have a larger window to be Teched. So while they are faster, they can be escaped much easier and do less damage for the most part. See the Technical Throw Data below for the exact frame numbers for the Throw.
Sometimes, when an opponent Throws you and you hit your button at the EXACT same time, you do not Tech Hit the Throw. This usually generates the steady supply of "Why didn't I Tech that Throw?!?" complaint. Well, there's actually a reason for this. Let's say your opponent comes up to you and tries to Throw you and you hit your button at almost exactly the same time as your opponent hit his/her button. If you and your opponent try to Throw each other with Punch Throws (it takes 3 frames for a Punch Throw to officially come out and connect) and you hit your button one frame after he/she hits his/her button, you will get Thrown because your opponent hit the button first. However, even though you hit your button practically at the exact same as your opponent, you do not Tech Hit the Throw! What's going on?
Well, as it turns out, in order to Tech Hit properly you actually have to hit the button slightly AFTER they Throw you. The reason for this is that you hit your button before their Throw actually registers as connecting against you: during the 3 frames of start-up time for the opponent's Throw. So your button press is registering as a Throw, not a Tech Hit! Since you pressed your button a little too early, you aren't getting a Tech Hit. Plus, even if you tap the button twice in a row really quickly, you STILL won't Tech the Throw. This is because the first time you tapped the button makes it so that you are trying to Throw... which means you AREN'T IN A NEUTRAL STATE. And remember I said you cannot Tech a Throw unless you are in a Neutral State. So hitting a button to Tech too quickly CAN result in a guaranteed Throw for your opponent. VERY frustrating...
- Note, you cannot Tech Hit Special Move Throws. So if Zangief, Raiden, Benimaru, Vice, Todo, Morrigan, Rock, Yun, Athena, or Chang catch you with any of their Special Move Throws, you will be Thrown. There is no way to Tech Hit those. Also, though I've said this already, you cannot Tech Hit Air Throws.
- One fun and trivial thing to note about Throws: they implemented the DarkStalkers missed Throw animation system!! If you try and Throw an opponent and the opponent leaves your Throw range RIGHT before you hit the Throw button, your character will actually execute a missed Throw animation! The best, so far, is Terry, who utters a "WHAT?!?" when he misses his Throw. ^_^ Of course, as Majestros was quick to point out to me, Rolento is less shocked and more pissed. Take a listen to Rolento. ^_^
9a. TECHNICAL THROW DATA
On the www.shoryuken.com Forums, hyt posted a lot of details regarding Throws in CvS2 taken from the Capcom Vs. SNK 2 Millionaire Fighting 2001 Official Guidebook by Famitsu. Below is this exact same information, but heavily edited by me for presentation's sake. I also added a few more bits of info here and there, but otherwise all information below was taken from that post. Thus, the real credit goes to hyt for taking the time and effort to transcribe all of this information down. Thanks, hyt!! This is great stuff.
===== Throw Rules =====
Remember I stated that you cannot Tech Hit a Throw in certain situations. Below are these rules.
You cannot tech a throw when you are: 1) in the execution or delay frames of a Special Move or Super Move. 2) in a Roll. 3) Running. 4) Dodging. 5) Dizzy. 6) Guard Crushed. 7) Charging your S-Groove Meter. 8) Breaking a Power Stock in N-Groove.
I remember, back in the Capcom Vs. SNK days, many of the SNK fans were griping about the lack of patented King of the Fighter type aspects to certain characters. One of the bigger complaints was the removal of any presence of Autoguard. In KOF, many characters had Autoguard: the ability for a move to "absorb" a hit and continue on. Kyo had it on a couple of moves. Shingo had it on a number of moves as well. Goro even had it on one of his Super Throws! It was present in various characters. If you struck these moves in certain frames of their animation, you would see a hit spark but the character would continue their moves regardless. This feature didn't exist anywhere in Capcom Vs. SNK, and many SNK fans were not happy about this. Well, it seems that Capcom decided that the SNK fans were right... to an extent. They decided to put Autoguard in the game, but as far as I can tell, only three characters have it... and one of them isn't even an SNK character!!! Kyo has Autoguard on the Poison Gnawfest, Chang has it on the Breaking Iron Ball, and Eagle has it with the Canterbury Blue. Kyo's Autoguard is VERY brief. It falls just about on the two Animation Frames of where his back is facing the screen during the punch... about halfway between when you start the move and when you actually land the punch. It's very, very short and is very difficult to actually use to your advantage intentionally. Kyo can Autoguard all Normal Moves and Special Moves that are not Sweeps. Sweeps will get under Kyo's Autoguard and hit him. Chang's is much more practical and it lasts for a while. His Autoguard frames take place when Chang's back is turned away from the opponent while performing the Breaking Iron Ball. It lasts much longer than Kyo's and can easily be used in strategic places without needing the incredible precision timing that Kyo requires. But just like Kyo, Chang's Autoguard can Autoguard everything except Sweeps. So if it hits low, it will get past Chang. Eagle's is by far the most practical, because you can choose how long the Autoguard lasts and choose WHERE the Autoguard protects you. When you perform the Canterbury Blue, you can hold the button to keep the move going. And as long as Eagle holds the stick out, Eagle is in the midst of Autoguard frames. So the timing required is far less precise. And since you can hold it out for so long, you can Autoguard multiple hit moves! If Rugal, for example, charges up the Kaiser Wave to its full strength, Eagle can easily hold the Strong (MP) Canterbury Blue out and Autoguard ALL THREE HITS (Chang's Autoguard frames do last long enough to absorb more than one hit, but not much more than two hits in a row. He can't Autoguard all three hits of a fully charged up Kaiser Wave, for example). Not only can Eagle hold the Canterbury Blue, but he can aim where it Autoguards as well. Whereas Kyo and Chang can always be swept, Eagle can choose where his Autoguards will cover. Fierce (HP) covers everything low, Strong (MP) covers everything mid, and Jab (LP) covers everything high. So if you think the enemy will Sweep you, the Fierce (HP) one will Autoguard it. Plus, since it's an Autoguard and not a Counter, you don't have to be perfectly precise with "aiming" it to have it work. Geese, for example, can only Counter Jump Attacks with the High Counter. Eagle, however, can do a Strong (MP) Canterbury Blue (which covers mid attacks) and if the enemy Jumping at you Kicks low enough in his or her Jump, you'll Autoguard it anyhow! Basically, the move just has to hit the area the Canterbury Blue covers, and it'll Autoguard. That makes it far more versatile. So striking the enemy during any of those above Animation Frames will not cause the move to stop. Autoguard has the ability to absorb any Normal or Special Move that hits the Autoguard area. One thing to mention, though, is that Autoguards do not work against Supers at all. Supers will blast through any Autoguard you try. Otherwise, Autoguard can catch anything, including Projectiles (except for ground-based Projectiles, if you are Kyo or Chang, since they count as Sweeps). So Autoguard, essentially, is similar to gaining sections of "invincibility", in the way that the enemy can't hit you (like how Zangief becomes invincible along his waste when he does the Double Lariat, allowing him to pass through most air-based Projectiles). However, there is a very subtle difference between having invincibility and having Autoguard. This difference mainly comes from the fact that when a move strikes you during Autoguard, the enemy actually freezes with Hit Stun, but you keep animating as if nothing hit you at all. To see this difference, let's compare Chang and Raiden. Chang's Breaking Iron Ball and Raiden's Giant Bomb are similar type moves... they both can be used as Anti-Air to bypass a Jump attack. Let's say Ryu Jumps at Raiden and does a Jumping Roundhouse (HK). Raiden does the Giant Bomb as Anti-Air and, because of the Giant Bomb's invincibility, Ryu's Jumping Roundhouse (HK) will pass right through Raiden. BUT RYU DOESN'T PAUSE IN THE AIR because the Kick just misses. So he will miss Raiden but can potentially land and Block before the Giant Bomb actually hits Ryu. Then, since the Giant Bomb has delay, Ryu can punish you with the Combo of his choice. Now, with Chang, if Ryu kicks at Chang and he did the Breaking Iron Ball, Ryu connects with the Kick during Chang's Autoguard. However, Ryu will FREEZE IN THE AIR with Hit Stun as if he hit Chang, but Chang will continue to animate as if nothing happened. So the Breaking Iron Ball has a better chance of catching Ryu out of the air because the mock Hit Stun will keep Ryu in the air for a brief second longer. Thus, Autoguard as Anti-Air (mostly with Chang and Eagle) can be very practical. Sad, though, that it in the end, SNK fans got their Autoguard, but a Capcom character has the best and most useful Autoguard move in the game...
11. TRIP GUARD
Trip Guard is a concept that has existed since the beginning of Street Fighter... except that what made Trip Guard so prominent in the original Street Fighter was that it didn't exist!
Trip Guard is the ability for your character to Low Block attacks when landing from a Jump.
In the old days, back in the entire original Street Fighter series, if you Jumped at the enemy and they threw an attack that needed to be Blocked Low the instant you landed, you could not Block. They just simply wouldn't let you Block Low when you landed from the Jump. And because, in the old Street Fighter games, most Sweeps had better range than most Jump Attacks, using concept this along with Projectiles was particularly deadly (just ask any Honda player who's fighting a Ryu). In later versions of Street Fighter, like in the Alpha series, this was taken out and you were given the ability to Block Low the instant you land from a Jump: Trip Guard. Trip Guard (along with Jump Attacks that reached farther than Sweeps) all but eliminated the problem from above.
Capcom Vs. SNK 2 decides not to pick a side and go with it, but to do a mix between the two. Basically, your character is initially equipped with Trip Guard when you Jump. However, the instant you do a move in the air, your Trip Guard is gone. Thus, if you perform a Punch or Kick in the air, you will not be able to Crouch Block the instant you land. However, if you choose not to do anything while Jumping, your Trip Guard stays intact. The same thing goes for Low Jumps, too, except with Low Jumps, your delay is a LOT longer than from a normal Jump.
However, no matter what, regardless if you did an attack or not, you cannot perform a Special Move or a Super Combo the instant you land from a Jump. This is even if your Trip Guard is still active. There is, I'm guessing, a 1-frame delay upon landing that prevents you from doing a Special Move or Super Combo the instant you land.
Now, now... I know what you're going to say. "But I've baited people in trying to Sweep me when I land hundreds of times only to end up Supering them or Uppercutting them! You can cancel your delay!" As I said: ONE FRAME. One frame is hardly any time at all... 1/30th of a second. People who want to Sweep you when you land need to have unbelievable timing to land a Sweep on you with perfect accuracy 100% of the time.
Still don't believe me. Uh huh... I see... Well, let me put it this way: I tested it using the ultimate of Sweeps: Bison's Crouch Roundhouse. He slides for a VERY long time, and there's no issues with timing to make sure that you connect at the precise moment the opponent lands from a Jump. I tested it out in Training Mode of CvS2 and Jumped and had Bison slide and I tried to perform an Uppercut or a Super or Zangief's Screw Piledriver (which has zero frames startup) and I was NEVER able to pull it off. Does that mean that I'm 100% positive you can't do it? Well, more like 99% positive. But I will believe otherwise if someone can send me a video clip of someone Jumping and landing and beating Bison's slide when they land with a Special Move or a Super Combo. I'm pretty sure it can't be done, and positive that the only thing you can do when you land is Block. However, curiously, I HAVE done a Normal Move the instant I land if I don't do a move in the air. I land and hit buttons the precise moment I land and I get a "Counter Hit" message for Bison. So Bison ends up hitting me out of SOMETHING. And I am not moving the joystick anywhere, so it has to be a Normal Move. So strangely, it seems you CAN do a Normal Move the VERY instant you land, but not a Special Move. But if I did a move during my Jump, I was NEVER able to get the Counter Hit message to appear, so I'm guessing that if you do a move in the air, you cannot cancel the period of delay during which you cannot Block with a Normal Move.
One of the MOST important things in Capcom Vs. SNK 2 is the Taunts. Okay, so maybe they aren't important at all, but Taunts are still in the game and Taunts are still cool. ^_^ Basically, if you hit your Start button (in the PlayStation 2, you can choose a button to assign Taunts to. On Dreamcast, you have to hold Start and then press Short (LK)), your character will go into an animation where you leave yourself completely and utterly vulnerable to the enemy's attacks. They are exactly what their names imply: they are Taunts! So you can use them to egg on your opponent, or just to let your opponent know that something really bizarre just happened (like accidentally Parrying a move into a Super Combo... Taunt afterwards for a good laugh). Taunts DO count as Special Moves, so you can Buffer into Taunts or do Wake-up Taunts and such... Why you would EVER want to Buffer a Normal Move into a Taunt is beyond me, but it is possible. Also, Taunting builds up your opponent's Meter, so there's even MORE reason that Taunting is an insult. It's almost as if you are saying, "You know what? I'm so confident I'm gonna beat you... Here! I'm giving you free Meter!!!" Nothing in the game builds up a Meter faster that having your opponent Taunt. Of course, Taunts are for fun, in the end, more than anything. ^_^
Chapter 04 Groove Sub-Systems
The Groove Sub-Systems are abilities that affect various gameplay elements for your character. However, these Groove Sub-Systems can be shared among Grooves, so that they are not unique features of the Groove (although they can be unique to a Groove). Groove Sub-Systems are the features that are advertised, when selecting your Groove, in the blue diamonds that appear and disappear as you scroll between Grooves during the Groove selection screen. The Groove Sub-Systems are: Dash, Run, Rolling, Dodge, Air Guard, Small Jump, Counter Attack, Counter Movement, Tactical Recovery, and Safe Fall.
groove sub-systems |
GROOVES: C-Groove A-Groove P-Groove
Dashing allows you to make your character cover a fixed distance quickly, whether it be moving forward or moving backward. You perform a Dash by quickly tapping either Towards twice (to Dash forward) or Back twice (to Dash backwards). This will cause your character to move in that direction much more quickly than their normal walking speed. But do note that I did say it was a fixed distance, depending on your character. And once your character has begun a Dash, your character is committed to that Dash. In other words, you can no longer perform ANYTHING while Dashing.
This makes Dashing mostly useful for positioning and surprise attacks. For positioning, it can help you get closer to an enemy after you knock them over (if you just walk, you'll take longer to get there, and in case you wanted to try a Cross-up or something, you'd want to get there as quickly as possible). Or, it can help you retreat more quickly. If the enemy has a good pressure attack going against you, and you aren't in the corner, Dashing backwards can be a good way to regain your position, as well as maybe trying to switch the momentum of the battle.
As I hinted at, Dashes can also be used for surprise attacks. If you are able to poke and pressure your opponent enough to a point where they are afraid to try and poke you back (your moves have been winning in general), you are able to Dash in at the enemy without fear of getting hit by their move. Thus, you can sneak in a quick low attack (to catch them while they're standing and jockeying for position) or a quick Throw (your Dashing scares them into Blocking that potential low attack, so when they Crouch to Block it, you have a free walk-up Throw).
With your Dash, your character technically counts as if they are in the air. In other words, if you are struck out of a Dash by, say, a Standing Jab, your character will "fall" into the air in an Air Reel and land back on his/her feet. This is important to note because if you attack someone who Dashes at you and hit them with, say, a Crouching Forward (MK) while your opponent is still in the middle of his/her Dash, this will bounce him/her into the air. Thus, you cannot perform a Crouch Forward canceled into a Special Move and have it combo.
However, there is a very, very, VERY small delay period at the end of a Dash. In this slight delay, if you get hit, you WILL remain grounded, and thus you can be hit by any standard ground to ground combo. However, this delay period is very, very, VERY small, and probably lasts a whole one or two frames. In other words, chances are, you are NOT getting THAT punished for Dashing in. A few exceptions: If you do get hit out of a Dash by a Sweep, you will be sent to the floor as usual. You will not bounce into the air into an Air Reel. Also, if the enemy hits you out of your Dash with anything that Juggles, like Ryu's Shin Shoryuken, you will get hit by all hits of the Juggle anyhow.
There are some characters whose Dash causes them to hop much higher than most characters' Dashes. Examples of these characters are Nakoruru, Morrigan, and Blanka. For these characters, their Dashes make them hop so high that they can actually use this to avoid attacks. They can hop right over Sweeps and other low-to-the-ground attacks. For example, Blanka can even Dash right over Terry's Power Wave and other such Projectiles! This gives their Dash an extra dimension that other characters don't have. One of the best uses for this is the ability to Dash OVER characters as they get up from the floor. This is especially useful for confusing opponents as they get up. For example, Balrog can perform a Kick Throw that slams the opponent to the floor. Then, before the enemy starts to get up, Balrog can Dash over the opponent to attack from the other side, causing him/her to take a hit from Blocking the wrong way. Also, you can Dash to the other side, have the opponent Block the correct way by reaction, and then Throw the enemy instead. Basically, it allows for a lot of really effective mind games. Learn which characters have a high enough hop to get over floored people. Even though certain characters, like Terry Bogard, do look like they hop during their Dash, they can't use it to effectively go over any attacks. So even though Terry hops ever so slightly in his animation, it has the same ability to go over moves as Ken's Dash, which is a slide along the floor.
Once last thing: Regardless of how high any Dash hops, Dashes cannot go through Standing or Crouching enemies. So if you Dash right next to the enemy, you will not pass through them. You'll just push them with you.
GROOVES: S-Groove N-Groove K-Groove
Run is exactly what it sounds like it is. When you Run, your character sprints forward along the ground. You perform a Run in the same way you perform a Dash: tap Towards on the controller twice very quickly. Unlike a Dash, however, this is NOT a fixed distance method of movement. You can Run for as far as you want to. Basically, on the second tapping of Towards on the controller, if you hold Towards, your character will run until you actually make him/her stop. You can also hold Offensive Crouch, and your character will continue to Run.
Now, there are basically three ways a Run can be ended. The first is simply to just stop Running. This is performed by moving the joystick, while Running, to Neutral, Crouch, Defensive Crouch, Back, Back Flip, or Up. Your character will skid for just a short period of time, and then go into whatever your character does if holding that position on the joystick. Stopping a Run at any point during a Run is important because that means you can Run for very short distances if need be by Running and immediately hitting Back to stop Running.
The second way to stop a Run is to go into a High Jump. While holding Towards on the joystick, if you shift the controller to Forward Flip, your character will automatically perform a High Jump. There is no way to control this... if you go from Running into Forward Flip, you WILL do a High Jump. So even if you want to perform a normal Jump or a Small Jump OUT of a Run (see Small Jump section), you are NOT allowed to, unless you STOP your Run first, and THEN Small Jump. Otherwise, you can only High Jump out of a Run. The third way to stop a Run is to cancel it completely into any sort of move. This can be a Normal Move, a Special Move, or any other Groove Sub-System you can perform while on the ground (like Dodging, Rolling, Powering up your N-Groove Meter, or Charging up your S-Groove Meter). Basically, your character will immediately end his/her Run and go RIGHT into the move you performed (doing a Special Move usually requires you to hit at LEAST Down, which means your character WILL start going into the skidding animation, but that animation can be canceled into your Special Move). There are various things you CANNOT cancel your Run with. You cannot cancel the Run with a Just Defend (or a Parry, if you are fond of messing with Groove Edit Mode on the home version). You also cannot Run right next to the enemy and immediately Throw them (unless it's a Special Move Throw).
The reason it is VERY useful to know that moves will cancel the Run is because of that skidding animation I mentioned earlier. While you are skidding, you are COMPLETELY VULNERABLE to everything during that period of time. It's basically a Run delay. So while your skidding, even though it's not a very long skid, you are open to whatever the enemy decides to hit you with. So if you Run at the enemy and stop with the intention of immediately Blocking an attack, you are certain to get nailed because of that slight skidding delay. Thus, it is better to stop Runs with attacks. Even if you want to just stop Running, you're better off stopping it with a whiffed Jab (LP), since most Jabs last shorter than the Run delay. Attacking out of a Run also allows you to apply pressure, by repeatedly doing Dashing attacks that are quick. This keeps you near your opponent and constantly applying pressure.
Just remember one thing: no momentum is maintained if you attack during a Run. If you are used to the Versus Games, for example, and expect a Running Jab to make you continue to slide forward after Jabbing (LP), you will find Running in this game a bit uncomfortable. Doing a Normal Move during a Run immediately stops you, plants you where you are, and you do your move right from where you are as if you didn't Run at all. So remember, Normal Moves stop Runs instantly.
One very important thing to note about Runs: you are FULLY GROUNDED. That means you cannot Run over anything in a way similar to how some Dashes can hop high enough to avoid low hitting attacks. And more importantly, that means if you are ever tagged out of a Run by any move, it will act as if it hit you while you are Standing. Thus, if someone catches you out of your Run with a Crouch Forward, your character will remain Standing, and if the enemy cancels that move into a Special Move that Combos, you will get hit by that Special Move. This goes for that skidding period too. Getting hit out the skidding delay leaves you grounded, and susceptible to big Combos. So although Runs are more versatile, they do have their risks. There is no backwards Running, so what happens if you tap Back twice? You just do a Dash going backwards, exactly as if you had Dash. So all the same properties of a Back Dash apply to a character with Run. There is one character in the game who DOESN'T Run, however: Morrigan. Anytime you use Morrigan in any Groove that has the Run ability, Morrigan will perform her "Flying Dash" from the DarkStalkers series instead. Basically, the instant you start Running, Morrigan will start to fly at a upward angle of about 30 degrees or so. You can interrupt this "Run" at anytime, like the other Runs, but once you interrupt it, she'll officially be registered as Jumping. Thus, on your way down, you can still attack and all your attacks will be her Jumping attacks. Thus, if you do a very short "Run" with Morrigan, it's almost like doing a VERY short Jump.
During her flying, Morrigan can do any of her Normal Moves that she does while Jumping. However, she can also do Special Moves and Supers while flying!! So you can fly and do an immediate Air Soul Fist for example. However, while Flying, you are NOT allowed to Just Defend (or Parry, if you are fond of messing with Groove Edit Mode). If Morrigan flies behind the enemy, she'll automatically turn around and attack the opposite direction. That can crate a LOT of nice mind games for Morrigan against enemies who are getting up and cannot Safe Fall. You can keep them guessing as to which side you are planning to attack from by flying over their head with her "Run" and attacking from the other side. Morrigan can alter her flight path as well, just like she could in Vampire Savior. If you hit and hold Forward Flip after you start flying with Morrigan, she will change the angle of her flying to a more upwards angle. She'll basically do a slight turn in the air and start flying up, pretty much, at a 60 degree angle. All the same rules apply here as with her Regular Flying. This is just to help you gain some height advantage over enemies to throw an Air Soul Fist or to avoid other incoming attacks. Also, if you tap back twice with Morrigan in a Groove that makes her fly, she will Dash backwards. She has no ability to fly backwards just like no other character can Run backwards. And unlike a Normal Run, if Morrigan is struck out of her flying, she will NOT be grounded and susceptible to a Combo. She will in fact be hit out of the air as if she were just Jumping.
GROOVES: C-Groove A-Groove N-Groove Rolls come straight out of the Advanced Mode of the King of the Fighters series. To perform the Roll, hit Jab (LP) and Short (LK) at the same time. However, there is one major difference that KOF players will have to get used to: there is no more backwards Rolling. Regardless of what direction you are holding on your joystick, hitting Jab (LP) and Short (LK) will cause your character to Roll forward. This is great, especially for charge-up characters like Guile and Honda. Now they can remain charged up (holding Defensive Crouch) and still move forward at the same time! It's a nice way to move forward and still retain your charge.
There are three stages of a Roll. The first stage is pure invincibility. All Rolls start off being invincible immediately and that lasts for most of the roll. During this first stage, you cannot be struck by any move whatsoever. During the second stage, the character is no longer completely invincible. Anything that hits low enough will hit you out of the Roll during the second stage. That includes sweeps and grounded Fireballs (like Geese's Wind Slice (the Reppuken ground Projectile) or Iori's Dark Thrust (the ground Projectile)) and other moves like Vice's Crouching Strong (MP). Everything else that hits higher will miss. This second stage usually lasts VERY VERY VERY short, and some characters do not even possess this stage of a Roll at all.
The third stage is pure vulnerability. The vulnerability at the end of the Roll is fairly short, although it varies depending on your character. Some characters recover much quicker than others. During that vulnerable period at the end of your Roll, you can be hit by anything that would hit you normally had you been Standing. So even though the enemy did, say, Rugal's Standing Roundhouse (HK), it'll still strike you at the end of your Roll. This third stage of pure vulnerability doesn't make the Roll useless, though. This third stage is still short enough for effective surprise attacks and smart positioning. It keeps it, however, from being abused, which is perfect.
Below are two charts. They provide the EXACT same information, but the first one provides the actual numbers for each character, and the second one provides the information with a more visual presentation. Also, the first chart lists the characters in alphabetical order, and the second chart lists the characters in order of Roll quality. Keep in mind that the Roll's length (as in length of time) is based on the number of frames. There are 30 frames per second, so if a character's Roll is 24 frames long, the Roll lasts 4/5 of a second.
All of the information in the charts were taken from a post written by JackTheFob that he put up in www.shoryuken.com's Forums. He obtained the information by translating it from a Chinese Web-site that can be found at
Legend: ^^^^^^^ ROLL DIST - Rolling Distance, from a rating of 1 > to 4 >>>>
(1 being the shortest Roll, 4 being the longest) FRAME COUNT - Each frame is one symbol. The symbols are as follows:
'-' = First stage frames of pure invulnerability
'*' = Second stage frames of vulnerability to low
'X' = Third stage of total vulnerability TOTAL FRAMES - Total time-length of Roll in number of frames Extra Note:
- characters listed in order of the quality of their Roll.
The criteria by which I base "Roll Quality" are:
- 1) The less number of frames you have total, the better
- 2) The less number of vulnerable frames you have (second and third stages), the better
- 3) The less number of pure vulnerable frames you have (third stage only), the better
Thanks, Jack, for translating all of this. ^_^ "Xie xie! Xie xie! Tai Bang!" ^_^
It is very important to recall the fact that in the first Capcom Vs. SNK, there was a vulnerable period at the very beginning of a Roll. However, this vulnerable period has been completely removed. The main significance of this change is that, now, you can use Rolls as a Reversal. So if your timing is right, you can escape any Meaty Attack with a Roll (and a Reversal message will appear on the screen).
Rolls also have the ability to go through enemies. When you perform a Roll right next to the enemy, you will Roll right through them. This can be useful for confusing the enemy or used against characters getting up, waiting to nail you with their Wake-up attack. Roll through them and nail them from the other side when their attack misses.
Rolls still sound like they are a bit too useful and pretty safe. However, there is something you CAN do to Rolls in the middle of a Roll: you can Throw a character out of his/her Roll regardless of what stage of the Roll they are in. So if you predict someone is going to try and Roll through you after moving up close to you, let them Roll, and then Throw them as they try to pass through you. Special Move Throws qualify here as well. So a Zangief Spinning Pile Driver, a Honda Ooichou Nage, or Vice's Nail Bomb can all grab you out of a Roll. This goes for Super Throws as well. So if Zangief is trying to set up a FAB on you, and you try to avoid it by Rolling, you will get Thrown. Even something like a Raging Demon from Akuma will grab the Roll. Remember this tactic well. If someone tries to Roll behind you as you get up, like mentioned above, you can simply Throw right when you get up, which will pretty much Throw the enemy out of their Roll. Throwing enemies out of Rolls becomes a very good counter to remember. Sometimes it's hard to keep this in mind, but if you do, punishing a Roll can be easier than normal.
This Groove Sub-System comes straight out of King of the Fighter's Extra Mode. Dodging basically allows your character to become temporarily invincible, from head to toe. However, unlike a Roll, you do not move Forward. Instead, you stay in place. And Dodges generally last much shorter than a Roll, so you can Dodge attacks and then, after your Dodge ends, you can hit the enemy back while they are still in Delay. To perform a Dodge, simply hit Jab (LP) + Short (LK) at the same time. Your character will then go into some sort of pose (some Dodging poses are VERY cool looking... Check out Bison!!! ^_^) during which they cannot be hit by anything at all.
There are three phases of a Dodge. The first phase is the period of time that your character starts to lean back. The second phase is a small period of time when your character remains perfectly still, frozen in one Animation Frame. The third phase is basically the reverse of the first phase: the character goes from leaning back to a regular stance. You are invincible during all three of these phases. However, the significance of these phases is the ability for Dodges to perform a fixed Dodge Attack during a Dodge. While Dodging, if you hit any button during the second phase of a Dodge (the frozen Animation Frame phase), you will go straight from your Dodge right into an attack.
This attack is predetermined for each character: hit a Punch button during a Dodge, and your character will do one of his/her Punch attacks. Hit a Kick button during a Dodge, and your character will do a predetermined Kick. For example, Sakura's Punch Dodge Attack is her Close-up Standing Fierce, while her Kick Dodge Attack is her Far-away Standing Roundhouse. Dodge Attacks are all Normal Moves; no Dodge Attack is a Special Move. One thing is consistent about Dodge Attacks: one Dodge attack is always a long-ranged attack, and the other is always a short-ranged attack. The long-ranged attack will knock the enemy over and the short-ranged attack is Bufferable. This is true of ALL characters. Even if the character has a move that is not normally Bufferable, it WILL become Bufferable as a Dodge Attack if it's designated as the short-ranged attack. Zangief's Punch Dodge Attack is an example of this as it mimics his Standing Strong (MP), a move that is not normally Bufferable. However, as Zangief's Punch Dodge Attack, it is! These Bufferable Dodge Attacks thus allow you to really punish an opponent if you Dodge their attack. If you Dodge and are certain you are going to land your attack on your enemy, Buffer that Dodge Attack into a Super!! And heck, if your Super is unable to be punished and you are currently in Power Condition, feel free to Buffer that Dodge Attack every single time since you are in S-Groove and the Super is free! Remember that you can push this button during ANY point of the second phase of the Dodge. Thus, you don't have to attack from the same timing every time. If you need to remain Dodging for a bit longer than normal, wait a fraction of a second before you go into your Dodge Attack. This is suggested because the instant you do a Dodge Attack, the invincibility you have is gone. Thus, if a move is inside you when you hit a button, you are going to get hit by that attack. Also, you will do the same Dodge Attack regardless of where your joystick is held. Thus, if you want to Buffer your Dodge Attack into a Super Combo, do whatever is most comfortable. Hold the joystick wherever you want when you hit the button for the Dodge Attack to optimize your Buffering Ability.
One thing to note about the Bufferable Dodge attacks: the Dodge Attack doesn't need to actually connect in order to be canceled into a Special Move! You can actually miss with the attack and still cancel on that frame that it hits. So with Ryu, you can Dodge, and then do a Fireball motion and then press Kick and then Punch really quickly. What results is that Ryu will do his Kick Dodge Attack (the short-ranged Dodge Attack) but the Punch button will register as activating the Fireball command. So Ryu will actually perform his knee attack and then cancel that into a Hadouken even though the knee whiffed. So characters like Zangief can cancel his Punch Dodge Attack in its first frame into an SPD, even if it whiffs. This essentially lets him go from a Dodge straight into the SPD with VERY LITTLE vulnerability in between. You can even do this to Super Combos, so if Zangief is in Power Condition, he can go from a Dodge into his Final Atomic Buster (which grabs instantly) with barely any vulnerability in between. This can be a very useful tactic to learn.
The MOST important thing to know about Dodging is that they are completely, and utterly invincible. There is NO VULNERABLE PERIOD TO A DODGE. That means if someone sticks a long lasting move inside you while you are Dodging, you really have no fear. The instant your Dodge finishes, you can go immediately into Block, so there is no delay period to take advantage of. So Dodges are pretty safe because there just isn't any vulnerability to take advantage of. In fact, not ONLY is there no vulnerability to a Dodge, but a Dodge can be canceled into, you guessed it, ANOTHER DODGE. If you can time it just right and press Jab (LP) and Short (LK) anytime during the third phase of a Dodge, you'll go from a Dodge right into another Dodge! So what does that mean? Yes, you can Dodge forever. So if someone tries to nail you with a Level 3 Heaven Blast Flash (the Taikuu Raikouken spark Super) with Benimaru, for example, even though it sits out there for a LONG period of time, if you time your Dodges right, you can Dodge three times in a row and avoid the ENTIRE SUPER. What makes this even MORE potent is the fact that, yes, you can use Dodges as REVERSALS. So right when you get up, if you time the Dodge JUST RIGHT, you will get a Reversal message, and go from invincible on the ground right into an invincible Dodge. And if the enemy tried a long lasting Super to Block Damage you to death, you can literally do a Reversal Dodge, and Dodge the entire Super by continually Chaining Dodges until their Super ends. This is NOT easy, but it is very possible.
Now, since Dodges essentially mean your character is "no longer there" for a brief period, it means that enemies can also pass through you while you are Dodging. You act as if you aren't there any more so, technically, enemies can walk right passed you while you are Dodging. A Honda Super Zutsuki (the flying headbutt), for example, will just sail right through a Dodging character, as if that character isn't even there. Also, if the enemy passes through you, or Jumps over you, or in any other way passes you while you are Dodging, if you press a button to perform a Dodge Attack, you WILL turn around and attack in the direction of your enemy! So Dodge Attacks will turn around for you automatically. Very nice!
Of course, this all sounds a little TOO good, doesn't it?!? Dodge forever? Well, fortunately, Dodges have the same weakness as Rolls: they can be Thrown at ANY POINT in the Dodge. Thus, the Dodge does have a weakness. So you can't just sit there and Dodge forever. However, this does allow for some nice mind games, as to whether or not you will Dodge and Dodge again, or Dodge and come out with a Dodge Attack. Also, it is worthy to make clear that canceling a Dodge into another Dodge is fairly difficult. The window to cancel a Dodge into a Dodge is like half a second long. So your timing has to be spot on to properly Dodge twice in a row. It's not too hard that you can't get good at it, but there's definitely room for error. So a good trick, when trying to Dodge twice, is to make sure you are holding Defensive Crouch on the controller. That way, if you fail, you'll at least still Block. And there is one more weakness with a Dodge: you aren't going anywhere. You literally just sit there in one place. So it's not particularly conducive to attacking the enemy! Dodging is more of a defensive tactic. So if you are losing, energy-wise, and need to attack the enemy, Dodging will not be of a huge benefit to you. You can stand there, Dodging forever all you want! The enemy doesn't have to do anything except wait for the Timer to run out. So unless you are able to throw out Dodges in the middle of solid attack patterns, don't expect to win by basing offense around your Dodge.
GROOVES: C-Groove A-Groove S-Groove N-Groove
Counter Attacks existed in both Alpha and in KOF. Basically, a Counter attack is the ability for your character to go straight from Block Stun into a pre-determined move. Thus, you don't have to wait for your Block Stun to end before you can counter attack. However, performing a Counter Attack will cost you two things: 1) A portion of your Super Meter (how much depends on your Groove). 2) A good chunk of your Guard Meter. Basically, you need at least a "Level 1" Super equivalent of Super Meter full to do a Counter Attack. If you don't have a Level 1 built up, you cannot perform a Counter Attack. Regarding the Guard Meter, however, you can perform a Counter Attack even if your Guard Meter is empty. The chunk of Guard Meter lost is not something needed to do the Counter Attack, it's just a punishment for using it.
A Counter Attack is performed by pressing Towards on the joystick and hitting Strong (MP) and Forward (MK) at the same time while you are still in Block Stun. Your character will then go from Block Stun right into their move. That move is fixed for every character, which means you only have one Counter Attack (as opposed to two, for example, in Alpha 2). Counter Attacks are fairly fast, but they do not possess much invincibility at all. They do seem to posses a TINY bit, but nothing extensive, not even for Counter Attacks that emulate Uppercut-type moves that DO have invincibility. In fact, against multi-hit Supers, quite often, you can Counter Attack an early hit of the Super, but then you'll just end up trading hits with the enemy. You'll stop the enemy's super, but the damage you took from that one hit is probably equitable to the Block Damage you were trying to avoid. So if you were using it to prevent yourself from being Block Damaged to death, chances are, it won't help. So be wary when you use Counter Attacks. Again, Counter Attacks also do drain a part of your Guard Meter. But unlike Street Fighter Alpha 3, it doesn't decrease the max of a Guard Meter. Still, this prevents you from abusing Counter Attacks. Also, as mentioned above, you need an equivalent of a Level 1 Super in your SUPER METER. So even though in S-Groove you can do unlimited Level 1 Supers when your life bar is in red, that doesn't mean you can do unlimited Counter Attacks. You can only do a Counter Attack if you Super Meter is full.
Counter Attacks, in general, are very weak. They do VERY little damage to the opponent. Thus, they aren't really useful as a way to do damage, but merely a way to break momentum. If the enemy has really got you in a pinch, a Counter Attack may be just the thing needed to get you OUT of the pinch, reset the momentum of a battle, and regain the momentum in your favor. But using it as a primary source of energy draining is a mistake. One of the most important things to mention about Counter Attacks is the fact that a COUNTER ATTACK CANNOT DEFEAT AN OPPONENT. So if you are planning on using the Counter Attack to finish someone off because they had only a tiny bit of energy left... don't. A Counter Attack can ONLY drain the enemy to Zero Vital, but that's it. You will still need to do whatever you can to finish the enemy off afterwards. This is REALLY good, in my opinion, as it prevents Counter Attacks playing a major role in determine the outcome of a very close match. Before, in older games, it was hard to defeat an enemy with three Counter Attacks built up if you only had a tiny bit of energy left. Any bad attack could leave you fodder for a Counter Attack. But now that they can't defeat you, that makes attacking an enemy a bit easier, allowing for better comebacks.
Lastly, some characters have Counter Attacks with such short delays that you can actually Combo after a Counter Attack!!! If you have a Super that can Juggle coupled with a Counter Attack that has a short enough delay, you can actually turn a simple Counter Attack into 50% damage!! This is most practical in N-Groove, where you can break a Power Stock and have two Power Stocks leftover. Use another one for a Counter Attack and then use up the last one to perform a Level 3 Super! Characters like Raiden can, anywhere on the screen, perform a Counter Attack and then land the Level 3 Flame Breath. M.Bison can perform a Counter Attack and have enough time to charge up for a Mega Psycho Crusher. If the enemy is in the corner, Chun Li can do a Counter Attack into a Level 3 Kikoshou. Know which characters can do this so you can use this to your advantage... AND so you know which characters you need to be careful against when they can do this to you.
This Groove Sub-System comes straight out of KOF's Advanced Mode. Basically, it's like a Counter Attack, but instead of doing a fixed Counter Attack, you physically move yourself out of Block Stun. And with Counter Movement, you have a choice: you can either go forward or backwards.
To perform a forward Counter Movement, block an attack and then hold Towards and hit Jab (LP) and Short (LK) at the same time. To perform a backwards Counter Movement, block an attack and then hold Back and hit Jab (LP) and Short (LK) at the same time. Counter Movement, just like Counter Attack, is performed at the cost of a one "Ball" from the N-Groove Super Meter. Also, you do lose some Guard Meter, just like Counter Attacks.
When you perform a forward Counter Movement, you go into an instant Roll. Whatever your Roll animation is and whatever the Roll's distance is, that's exactly what you do with a forward Counter Movement. That means that if the enemy does a Super against you and you perform a Counter Movement going forward, you can escape everything they do because it is invincible at the beginning. You will just Roll forward safely through their attack. However, the vulnerability still exists at the end of the Counter Movement, and if you end up next to the opponent and they are recovered, they can easily punish you for trying to do a Counter Movement.
Backwards Counter Movements cause you to simply perform a backwards Dash. However, backwards Dashes have no invincibility normally. Backwards Counter Movements are almost the same. They DO have some invincibility, but only the SLIGHTEST fraction of a second of invincibility. But generally, trying to utilize the invincibility is pointless because that invincible period is SO short. So performing a backwards Counter Movement to avoid Supers is a bad idea. Chances are you'll get hit anyhow. This is mainly used to escape pressure tactics or for positioning. Don't bet on it being used to pass through attacks. But since it is a backwards Dash, if whatever hits you cannot Juggle afterwards, you're safe, because you'll be knocked into the air instead of remaining grounded.
Because Counter Attacks have little invincibility, sometimes performing a forward Counter Movement is the best way to avoid being defeated by Block Damage from a Level 3 super. For example, if Chun Li does a Level 3 Hoyokusen (the Thousand Burst Kick-like Super) and causes you to block it, chances are a Counter Attack will just end up eating the Super or trading with it because of little invincibility. But if you perform a Counter Movement, you can Roll right through Chun Li and then attack her from the other side.
Be careful: Counter Movement is performed with the same buttons as a Roll. Quite often, your intention is to Roll through an enemy's attack but the enemy attacked sooner than you thought. So you Block the enemy's attack, and then hit Jab (LP) and Short (LK) in an attempt to Roll. Instead, you end up performing a backwards Counter Movement because you don't need to TAP Back and hit the buttons. Just holding the joystick at Back works, so you end up all but wasting your Super Meter and drain a chunk of your own Guard Meter. This little "glitch" in the design of Counter Movement has even turned some people away from N-Groove.
Air Blocking, known as "Air Guard" in CvS2, has made a return. However, only one Groove gets the benefit of Air Blocking: C-Groove. If you are familiar with the Alpha Series, then Air Guard is nothing new to you. It's basically the ability to Block while Jumping. However, just like with Ground Blocking, Air Guard is not a guaranteed Block: there are certain moves that you cannot Air Guard. Generally, the rule of Air Guard is that if the move that hits you is still touching the ground, you cannot Block it. For example, if Ryu does Crouching Fierce, since his feet are still on the ground, you cannot Air Guard the move. However, since his Hop Kick (Towards + Forward) takes him into the air, you ARE able to Air Guard that.
Certain moves make the character LOOK like they are airborne, but they cannot be Air Guarded. Moves like Terry's Standing Roundhouse and Mai's Standing Forward hop over low limbs, but they still cannot be Air Guarded. So even though they look like and behave as though they are not touching the ground, they still ARE registered as grounded. The best way to tell what is grounded and what isn't is that if they get HIT out of a move that is grounded, they will still be on the ground. Moves like Ryu's Hop Kick, when struck out of it, he gets put into the air. Now, for something like Ryu and Ken's Shoryukens, if you do the Uppercut late enough, your feet are still on the floor when you strike the enemy, so the enemy cannot Air Guard your Shoryuken. However, if you do the Shoryuken too early, and end up swiping the enemy after already rising into the air, the enemy can then Air Guard it because you are no longer touching the ground.
So again, the general rule is that if you are touching the floor, the move cannot be Air Blocked. But if the move is off the ground, it can be Air Blocked without any problems. This goes for other Jumping Attacks, Ryu's Hop Kick, Projectiles that are airborne (like Guile's Sonic Boom, not ground projectiles like Terry's Power Wave), and any Special Move that is in the air. There are some exceptions to the rule, but overall, this is the best way to judge if a move is Air Guardable or not.
GROOVES: P-Groove S-Groove N-Groove K-Groove
Small Jump is just that: a small Jump. It's not really a faster Jump, though. Basically, it's just a much lower, shorter distanced Jump. And it's very useful for characters who have really good Jumping attacks, like Sagat's Jumping Roundhouse (HK) or Rock's Jumping Roundhouse (HK). This allows you to Jump in on enemies without being as predictable and punishable as a normal Jump. It also gives your opponent MUCH less of a chance to naturally react against your Jump. However, if you do ANY Jump Attack while in a Small Jump, your character will have a slight delay upon landing. This is to make sure that Comboing after a Small Jump is difficult. If it were easy to Combo after a Small Jump, Small Jump could potentially be too powerful and game-breaking. So by adding the delay, you can land a lot of sneak attacks against Crouching opponents with a Small Jump, but punishing them greatly for their mistake isn't too easy. You CAN cancel this delay with a Special Move or a Super Combo. This does allow you to combo an attack after a Small Jump easier if you have a very quick hitting Special Move or Super Combo. Or, if you have a good "getaway" move, you can cancel your delay with that. For example, Blanka can do a Small Jump Roundhouse (HK) and then immediately land with a Surprise Back (the Backwards Hop). That will cancel the delay of your Small Jump and leave you very safe, while the enemy stays in Block Stun from your Jump attack.
Lastly, if you do NOT do any attack during a Small Jump, there is NO delay when you land. It's just like landing from a normal Jump. Thus, you can do Small Jumps, do nothing, and land and Sweep right away, to catch a LOT of people off guard since they are trying to stand up and Block your Small Jump Attack.
During a Small Jump, your ability to perform certain actions may be removed. If your character has a Special Move or Super Combo that can be performed during a Jump, it cannot be performed during a Small Jump. So Special Moves (like Morrigan's Air Soul Fist) or Super Combos (like Kim's Heavenly Phoenix Kick) will not come out during a Small Jump. You CAN do Directional Moves, however, in a Small Jump (like Morrigan's Down + Roundhouse (HK) or Chun Li's Down + Forward (MK)). Another restriction occurs if you are in P-Groove or K-Groove: you are NOT allowed to perform a Parry or Just Defend during a Small Jump. Air Throws, on the other hand, are still possible in a Small Jump.
Okay, I'm missing something vital here... Oh yeah! How do you DO a Small Jump?!? Very simple: just tap any of the three Up directions. And since you can do any of the three directions, that means you can Small Jump in all three directions: forward Small Jump, backward Small Jump, and straight up Small Jump. Make sure you tap the Up position VERY quickly, however. Even the slightest lingering on the Up will cause you to perform a normal Jump. Many non-KOF players have been expressing a lot of problems getting Small Jump to work. This is natural, since Small Jumps never existed in any Capcom game before, and KOF players have had it for a while and are completely used to it already. The one advice I've heard that helps my Small Jumping ability a LOT is to think of doing Small Jumps like an upside-down High Jump. Instead of just tapping Up, tap Up, then pull the joystick Down right away. This forces you to pull the joystick away from Up quickly, and the Small Jump will come out more often than not. If you just try tapping Up carefully, you usually carefully try to hold the joystick and put it back into Neutral, but just that slight hesitation letting it linger near the Up positions will cause you to regular Jump. No, definitely, tapping Up then Down quickly works best for me. It may not help you, but it definitely improved my Small Jumping ability.
Small Jumps do add another weakness to your character, though it's very hard to detect. If your character has Small Jump, it WILL take longer for your character to actually LEAVE the floor for a Jump, even if you are doing a regular Jump! Every character has one animation frame right before they Jump, sort of like a "pre-jump" animation where the character bends their knees ready to leap into the air. Well, in order to give players more time to let go of the Up positions on the joystick before getting too high up in your Jump, they have actually made that pre-Jump animation frame slightly LONGER for characters in Grooves that have Small Jump! So characters with Small Jump actually have a slightly slower Jump. You can see this by getting two of the same characters, one in C-Groove and one in P-Groove, and have them Jump straight up and down. You'll notice, that even if you started them Jumping at the same time, they will slowly shift out of sync, with the P-Groove version lagging behind. This is caused by that slight delay.
The delay doesn't affect your character that much, truth be told. In fact, it's barely noticeable in gameplay at all. And if it ever affects the way a fight turns out in a noticeable fashion, I'd be surprised. But it does exist, and there are some "weaknesses" associated with it, so I've got to mention those here. For one thing, getting struck during this delay leaves you grounded. So if you tried to Jump to avoid, for example, a Crouch Forward (MK) from Ryu at the last second, you MIGHT have escaped the Kick if you were in C-Groove or A-Groove, but in any of the other four Grooves with Small Jump, you might get hit by the Crouch Forward (MK) and whatever Ryu Buffered that Crouch Forward (MK) into. Another thing that you may experience is trying to Jump over Projectiles at the last second and getting nailed on your way up. I don't know if the Small Jump delay can affect the timing that much, but I can imagine that even the SLIGHTEST delays can cause you to not make it over a Fireball properly every once in a while, whereas if you were in C-Groove or A-Groove, you would be able to make it over easily. But I seriously doubt that you'll really ever experience a great deficit for having this delay. I'll say this again, just in case anyone gets this wild idea that Small Jump delay is awful and terrible and ruins Small Jumping: the delay is so very slight, that it will most likely never affect gameplay to the point where the delay was the reason for your loss. Also, it doesn't seem to affect your ability to escape Throws. You'd think that because you're stuck on the ground for just that fraction of a second longer, that you could be Thrown a LOT easier. Well, I used this as a test: in Training Mode, get a C-Groove character and set him to Jump Straight up forever. Try to Throw this character. You'll find this is actually a VERY difficult thing to do (because Throws aren't instant, it's hard to grab the enemy for that short period of time they are on the ground). However, if I set the character to do the same in P-Groove, you would think the delay would make it so that they are MUCH easier to Throw. Actually, no. It's about the same as before. So really, the delay hardly effects gameplay, and you probably will NEVER notice it's affects in actual battle.
There is one very small and minor side-effect of Small Jumps, however. Certain characters who have Special Moves that can be performed in the air sometimes like to perform their move the instant they leave the floor. Athena is the best example, with her Phoenix Arrow. Basically, you can do this move the instant you leave the floor with the Roundhouse (HK) button and make it so that it seems like she's basically doing the kick from the end of the move right from the floor. To do this, people will utilize a "Tiger Knee" motion. They roll the joystick from Crouch to Defensive Crouch to Back to Back Flip and then hit Roundhouse. The Back Flip will make the character Jump, and since you passed the Reverse Fireball motion on your way up, the Roundhouse will register as the button activation for her Reverse Fireball + Kick motion. And since she's in the air, she'll immediately do her Phoenix Arrow the instant she leaves the floor. Now, I said before that you cannot do a Special Move in Small Jumps. This causes problems for the above technique. Basically, the computer registers you as Small Jumping the instant you leave the floor. If you are still holding any of the Up directions after a short period of time, the computer will then register you as regular Jumping, and allow you to perform Special Moves and what not. That means you are defaulted to Small Jumping FIRST. So if you try the above "Tiger Knee" motion technique, it will be a lot tougher to do in a Groove with Small Jump than in Grooves that DON'T have the Small Jump. The instant you leave the floor, you are in a Small Jump, and NO SPECIAL MOVES ARE ALLOWED. So you won't ever be able to do your move the instant you leave the floor. You can only do it slightly after you leave the floor. Thus, if you base your strategy on the "Tiger Knee" motion trick (which is really useful for a small selection of characters, including Athena, Kim, and Akuma) and you play a Groove with Small Jump, practice the timing and practice it well. It's a lot harder to do in the four Grooves with Small Jump than it is in the Grooves without it.
GROOVES: C-Groove P-Groove S-Groove
Once you are struck by a Knock-Down, whether it be a Special Move, a Normal Move that knocks down (like Hibiki's Standing Forward (MK)), a Throw, or a Super Combo, your character ends up falling to the ground and landing on his/her back (or front, as is the case of Yamazaki... ^_^). After landing on the ground, normally your character immediately gets back up only half a second after hitting the floor. With Tactical Recovery, you can actually lengthen the amount of time your character lies there on the ground by a little bit, to add a bit of confusion to the enemy's timing. This is very simple to do. Before your character starts to get up, hold at least two Punches (any two or all three will work). Your character will remain on the floor for about half a second longer and then get up. You'll know you did this correctly because your character, when getting up, with have the "shadow" effect. You don't end up staying on the floor very much longer at all, but it's enough of an increase to throw off Meaty Attack timing and Cross-up timing. Also, since the character generally gets up pretty quickly after being knocked over, you pretty much have to have decided to do the Tactical Recovery before you hit the floor. If you try to hold the two Punches after you hit the ground and are lying on your back, you'll usually start getting up by then and fail to do the Tactical Recovery. Just make sure that you are holding two Punches before your character first hits the ground after a Knock-Down. You'll see that right before they hit the ground the second time after the bounce that the shadows already start appearing, almost to act, it seems, as a signal to the enemy, if they are sharp, that the Tactical Recovery is being used. Learn when to use this tactic, and it can be effective enough to shift the Wake-up game to your advantage, as it will also add a small element of inconsistency to the timing of when your character gets up from off the floor. This could save you from a lot of damage that you could eat if the enemy lands a Cross-up.
GROOVES: A-Groove N-Groove K-Groove
Safe Fall is a way to prevent your character from even being on the ground at all after being struck by a Known-Down. Anytime you get hit by a Knock-Down, you can basically cause your character to roll backwards slightly the instant you hit the ground. This allows you to get farther away from your opponent and virtually eliminates the Wake-up game from your opponent's options. Whenever you get hit by a Knock-Down, your character will usually hit the ground once, bounce off the ground a little, and then hit the ground again and stay there. To perform a Safe Fall, hit at least two Punches the instant you hit the ground on that FIRST bounce (three Punches works too). If you wait any later than that, you will not be able to perform a Safe Fall.
However, you CANNOT perform a Safe Fall after you get hit by a Super Combo. Getting hit by a Super Combo prevents you from doing a Safe Fall at all, so you will have to deal with any sort of Wake-up games the opponent has planned for you.
Some people have asked, "Why on earth would you not do a Safe Fall? Is there ever any time you might NOT want to do a Safe Fall?" Well, Safe Falls DO have a weakness... There is a vulnerable period at the end of a Safe Fall where you can get hit by just about anything. Anything that would normally hit you if you were Standing will connect against you at the end of a Safe Roll. Not only that, but if something hits you, you are registered as grounded, so any normal combo against a grounded opponent will work! People can definitely take advantage of Safe Falls knowing this. For example, Benimaru can do a Super Lightning Kick with Short (LK) Kick. The instant his opponent lands, he can wait to see if you do a Safe Fall. If you do, he can do a Level 3 Discharge Spark and catch you out of your Safe Fall for free. Also, if you Safe Fall in the corner, chances are your opponent is close enough to take advantage of the Safe Fall and can really punish you.
Also, there are some moves you cannot Safe Fall after, even though they put you to the floor. Usually moves that just instantly floor you are impossible to Safe Fall from. This includes moves like Kyo's Jumping Down + Fierce (HP), either of Haohmaru's Throws, Kyo's Kick Throw, Haohmaru's Secret Earthquake Slice, Kyosuke's Shadow Breaker (the Overhead punch attack), and Ryo's Crazy Tiger Thunder Attack (the Overhead leaping chop attack).
Groove Sub-Systems Chart
|Groove||Dash||Run||Rolling||Dodge||Counter Attack||Counter Movement||Air Guard||Small Jump||Tactical Recovery||Safe Fall|
Chapter 06 ---| SUPER METER DATA |-----
Every Groove has a different Meter and each Groove's Meter has a different length. Also, the actions that build up the Meter vary from Groove to Groove. This section will tell you exactly how much it costs to build up each Meter in every Groove and which actions will add energy to the Meter. There are 11 "basic" actions that can add to the Meter in all Grooves. Parrying, a 12th action, only adds Meter for P-Groove. Just Defending is a 13th action that only adds Meter for K-Groove. Below is a chart listing the 13 actions that can build up meter and how many points each of these actions are worth:
( SUPER METER GAINED CHART)
Yes, I did say there are 13 actions, but listed 16 actions. That's because the ones in parentheses are the exact same actions as the ones listed above them. They are just the Multi-hitting formula with 'n' equaling 1. So they essentially count as the same action.
Performing and Landing moves are TWO separate events. So if you hit the enemy with a Fierce (HP), for example, you don't just build up 12 points. You build up 13, because you had to perform the Fierce (HP) and THEN land it, which is 1 + 12 = 13 points. You only gain Meter from performing a Middle (Strong (MP) or Forward (MK)) or Hard (Fierce (HP) or Roundhouse (HK)) Normal Move. In other words, you can build up Meter (albeit very slowly) whiffing attacks from those four buttons, but you cannot build up Meter by whiffing Jabs (LP) or Shorts (LK).
Multi-hitting moves build up Meter in a very specific fashion. They all have their default amount of Meter that they build. Jabs (LP) and Shorts (LK) build up 3 points, Strongs (MP) and Forwards (MK) build up 8 points, Fierces (HP) and Roundhouses (HK) build up 12 points, and Special Moves build up 8 points when they connect. However, if the move naturally hits more than once, every hit that occurs afterwards will build up 4 points. For example, Sagat's Stand Short (LK), when connecting with both hits, will build up 8 points total (4 for the first hit, and 4 for the next hit: 4 + 4 = 8). Rolento's Crouching Strong (MP), which hits 3 times, will build up 17 points (1 for performing the move, 8 for the first hit, and 4 for each of the two following hits: 1 + 8 + 4 + 4 = 17). Kyo's Offensive Crouching Roundhouse (HK) will also build up 17 points (1 for performing the move, 12 for the first hit, and 4 for the second hit: 1 + 12 + 4 = 17).
Now, the Meter builds up SPECIFICALLY in that order. The amount of Meter built up is not relegated to the specific hit. That probably doesn't make any sense at all, so let me try to elaborate: In the above Kyo example, Offensive Crouching Roundhouse (HK) builds up 17 points, right? Performing the move gives you 1 point, the first hit of the kick gives you 12, and the second hit gives you 4. However, those values aren't "tied" to those hits. If Kyo does the move and the first hit of the kick whiffs and only the second hit connects, that second hit will build up 12 points! So basically, a move's first hit will ALWAYS build up that default value, and any subsequent hits that happen to occur will build up 4. Hopefully, that makes sense...
Moves that are multiple commands but "one move" count as multi-hitting Special Moves. An example of this type of move is Kyo's Wicked Chew into Nine Scars Maker into Seven Hurting Combos (which is the Fireball + Jab (LP), Fireball + Jab (LP), and then Kick sequence). Let's say you do that whole Aragami chain. Even though you are performing three separate Special Move commands, the whole sequence counts as a 3-hit move rather than 3 separate Special Moves. Thus, it'll only build up 16 points on the Meter (use the formula: with 'n' equaling 3, 8 + 4(3-1) = 16).
Some multi-hitting moves will NOT count every hit as a separate action, though, and only register as a 1-hit Special Move in terms of gaining Super Meter. For example, Morrigan's Close-up Roundhouse (HK), which hits four times, and Ryo's Zanretsuken, which hits 14 times if done with the Fierce (HP) button, only counts as ONE hit. Thus, you'll only gain 12 points of your Super Meter for Morrigan and 8 points of your Super Meter for Ryo. Also, there are some Multi-hit moves that don't build up Meter in the manner described above. This usually falls under moves that hit multiple times from the air and don't really have a "set" number of hits. The two moves I know that behave this easy are Morrigan's Down + Roundhouse (HK) when done from the air and Kim's Flying Kick. Both of those two moves don't build up the default amount of points on their first hit (12 for Morrigan, 8 for Kim). Why they did this, I have no idea. Then, there are even some moves that fall somewhere in between those two moves listed above, like Rolento's Patriot Circle. That counts only as three actions (one for every Fireball Motion), so landing a Patriot Circle will gain you the meter of a 3-Hit special move (which again is 8 + 4(3-1) = 16) even though every Fireball motion gets you more than one hit.
Landing hits is different than taking hits. If you are on the RECEIVING end of a multi-hit move, you will actually gain meter for EVERY hit. So you WILL get 8 points (2 for each hit) if Morrigan's Close-up Roundhouse connects against you. Blocking moves is the same as getting hit. Blocking a multi-hit move, such as Rolento's Patriot Circle, will warrant you Meter for every hit you block. So for Blocking the 11 hits of a full Patriot Circle Combo, you'll gain 22 points of meter (2 for each block).
Getting Thrown counts as taking damage, and if the Throw hits more than once, you'll gain Meter for every hit. Kyo's Punch Throw, for example, only hits once. So you'll gain 2 points if you get Thrown by Kyo's Punch Throw. Kyo's Kick Throw, however, is a 2-hit Throw, so you'll gain 4 points for getting Thrown by it. And yes, you read right, whiffing a Throw does build up the same amount of Meter as landing a Throw.
In addition to the 13 actions listed above, S-Groove has it's own unique way to build Meter, as you've read in the S-Groove section: the Power Build.
Also, in K-Groove, you gain Super Meter from taking damage, just like the other Grooves, but not in simple 2 point increments per hit. In K-Groove, how much Meter you gain from taking damage is based on how much damage you've received. In other words, getting hit by Fierces (HP) will add more Meter than getting hit by Shorts (LK). However, the amount of Meter added is not a direct one-to-one relationship to the amount of damage received. Just because one Jab (LP) does twice as much damage as a Crouching Short (LK), that doesn't mean that it'll take half as many Jabs (LP) to fill up an entire Meter. In the case of Ryu, for example, every Close-Up Jab (LP) does 400 damage and every Crouch Short (LK) does 200 damage. But it takes 12 Standing Close-Up Jabs (LP) to build up a whole K-Groove Meter, and 18 Crouch Shorts (LK) to build up the K-Groove meter. And then there are moves like Ryu's Jab (LP) Shoryuken which takes only FOUR of these to connect to build up an entire K-Groove Meter!! Also, a Fierce (HP) by the enemy will add the same amount of Meter to your character regardless of what Ratio they are or you are. The amount of Meter gained is based on the base damage of the attack (the base damage being that of a Ratio 2 character).
(ACTIONS THAT BUILD METER CHART)
- - Amount gained in K-Groove is different. See paragraph above. + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
Each Groove has a different length for their Super Meters. Below is a chart indicating the lengths of each Groove's Super Meter:
( GROOVE SUPER METER LENGTHS CHART) C-Groove - 56 a Level, 168 total A-Groove - 72 a Level, 144 total P-Groove - 192 total S-Groove - 100 total N Groove - 72 a Level, 216 total K-Groove - 168 Total
As you can see, P-Groove has the longest Meter, by far, to gain any abilities. N-Groove's Meter is the longest in terms of the actual total, but it only takes 144 points to get access to a Level 3 Super and only 72 points to get to a Level 1. C-Groove, as noted earlier, requires by far the least amount of Meter to gain a Level 1: 56 points.
Although the length of K-Groove's Meter has been listed, it really doesn't matter much, since all of the ways you can build it up are not based on the point system listed in the first chart. The only way I figured this out is through Taunting, the only method that works consistently for every single Groove.
And lastly, though already discussed in each individual Grooves section, having your Meter full will increase your strength for most of the Grooves. Below is a chart indicating how much your damage increases depending on what state your Meter is (and in the case of S-Groove, what state your Life Meter is in as well).
( DAMAGE INCREASE FROM SUPER METER CHART)
Chapter 07 SYSTEM INFORMATION
Just the way the flow of the game goes seems to get more and more complex with each passing game. In Capcom Vs. SNK 2, picking your characters and just the way the Round System works is a bit complex. I mean, back in the old days, you picked your character, and that was it! Then, in Street Fighter III, they added choosing a Super Art. In Street Fighter Alpha 3, you suddenly had to pick "Isms". In Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, not only did you have to choose three characters, you also had to pick what TYPE of Helper they were!! And now, in the Capcom Vs. SNK series, things are just... well, things are just downright confusing if you aren't familiar with anything. So here, for you benefit, is all the information you need to know about how the game flows.
PICKING YOUR CHARACTERS
In Capcom Vs. SNK 2, you have to choose SO MANY THINGS just to get started! There are just so many steps: 1) Pick your Groove; 2) Pick your characters; 3) Select the Ratios for your characters; 4) Choose an order for your characters. Choices, choices, choices, decisions, decisions, decisions!!!
Obviously, we've covered the Grooves, so pick the one you like the most. Then comes picking your characters. The way Capcom Vs. SNK 2 works is that you can have 1, 2, or 3 characters on your team. Now, the selection screen is a little weird at first, but is quite simple once you get used to it. I only say this because of Capcom's bad decision to make their selection screen this weird "diamond" motif. In the Beta version of this game I played at the E3 of 2001, it was incredibly confusing! Even though the cursor for selecting characters moved diagonally (along the diamond pattern), you moved the cursor with up, down, left, and right. It's like playing Q*Bert with a non-diagonal joystick! Needless to say, it sucked.
So they changed it to this "mouse-like" system where the joystick moves this arrow very slowly around the grid. Thus, up is up, down is down, etc. Just move the arrow to point to the character you want to use and hit any button to choose your character. There is also an "End" diamond near the top and the bottom of the selection grid. You can use this to stop picking characters, if you just want one or two characters. If you pick a third character, it automatically ends your character selection. Be careful and not too hasty when picking your characters... Quite often, I try to go to "END" with only two characters, and accidentally pick Dan just 'cause I'm in such a hurry and have gotten careless. ^_^ Not that there's anything WRONG with picking Dan, of course. ^_^
Heh, picking your color for your character is always a way to personalize yourself. You may simply like the way one character looks in one color over another, or you may simply just want to picked the ugliest colors because you're masochistic. ^_^ For example, you can pick the Dark Blue Mai because you like Mai, and blue is your favorite color. You can pick the pink Chang because, well frankly, he just looks completely silly that way. Or you may just enjoy picking Orange Rugal because the color peach is your thing. ^_^ Whatever your prerogative, you have a total of 8 colors to choose from. To select these colors, you choose your character with a different button. The way to access all eight colors is: Jab, Strong, Fierce, Short, Forward, Roundhouse, any two Punches, and any two Kicks. Two Kicks is usually reserved for the REALLY funky colors. ^_^ Also, ONLY ON THE HOME VERSIONS, you can create your own colors using Color Edit Mode. There, you can make them whatever color you want. You can come up with some really cool ideas!! Some of my favorites include my friend's idea of turning Rugal into the Joker with purple outfit and green hair, turning Geese African-American... which results in giving him corn rows (!!!) and makes him look completely bad-ass, and bringing back old favorite colors like Queequeg Dhalsim from Hyper Fighting (man, for any of you who know what Queequeg refers to, pretty good... ^_^ But it makes sense, right? Yellow skin, purple tattoos? Right? ^_^)). You can also just come up with some REALLY bizarre ideas. Most people who are lazy to try and make really good colors resort to the all-black "shadow" color of a character or the "acid trip" random colored character who just looks like a multi-colored blob. The coolest part about this is that you can also change the NAME of the character using Color Edit Mode. So for my Rugal color, his name actually IS the "Joker" during a fight. ^_^ It's pretty cool. I don't know, maybe I just get off on Color Edit Mode too much, but I REALLY have too much fun making up new colors for characters.
In Capcom Vs. SNK 2, Capcom decided to opt for a Free Ratio System, unlike the last game. In CvS1, every character was a fixed Ratio: King was a Ratio 1 character, Ken was a Ratio 2 character, Rugal was a Ratio 3 character, and Akuma was a Ratio 4 character. You didn't have any choice about this, that's what they were... In Capcom Vs. SNK 2, however, you are now free to choose characters at any Ratio you so desire.
As mentioned earlier, you are allowed to choose from 1 to 3 characters. After choosing your characters, then you need to determine the Ratios your characters are. Basically, you have 4 Ratio "slots", and the characters you pick must fit in these four slots. When you get to the Ratio selection screen, you can hit Left or Right on the Joystick to switch between the possible configurations you can have with your characters (and the nifty little "Ratio Diamond" display they have gives you a graphical representation of the Ration Selection you've made). Below are the possible Ratio Sets you are allowed to pick, depending on the number of characters you have chosen:
(RATIO OPTIONS CHART)
The Ratio that is selected affects how powerful the character is. A character with a lower Ratio will dish out less damage. Below is a chart signifying how much your offense is affected by your Ratio. We'll count Ratio 2 as the standard, so that Ratio 2 will do a normal 100% damage.
( DAMAGE DEALT BETWEEN RATIOS CHART )
So let's say you are using Ryu. His Crouching Short, if you are using a Ratio 2 Ryu, will do 200 damage. Now, because defense isn't adjusted with which Ratio you are, this Ryu will do 200 damage to the other character REGARDLESS OF WHAT RATIO they are. So the damage dealt is solely dependent on what Ratio the ATTACKER is. So as a Ratio 1, Ryu's Crouch Short does 164 damage to all other Ratios. As a Ratio 3 character, Ryu's Crouch Short does 234 damage regardless of the Ratio of the character receiving the damage. And with Ratio 4 Ryu, a Crouch Short will do 260 damage to ALL characters even if they are Ratio 1, Ratio 2, Ratio 3, or... ...Ratio 4? No. This is the ONLY EXCEPTION to this damage rule. For some reason, Ratio 4 versus Ratio 4 do not do normal damage. Even though Ratio 4 Ryu will do 260 damage to every other Ratio, Ratio 4 Ryu will only do 208 damage with a Crouch Short to another Ratio 4 character. A Ratio 4 character does 104% of the normal damage to another Ratio 4 character. I'm guessing that Capcom implemented this because they didn't want a Ratio 4 versus a Ratio 4 fight to go by so quickly. It's just one match, so they figured they'd extend it as much as possible by making a Ratio 4 do about normal damage to another Ratio 4 character.
Not only does the amount of damage change between Ratios, but so does the amount of Hit Points you have. This has already been mentioned earlier in this FAQ, under the "Life Meter" section under the "GAMEPLAY ELEMENTS" Chapter. All of the Hit Points were given out in that section, but the percentage differences were not given. Below is a chart indicating how many Hit Points your characters have in relation to your Ratio 2 character's Hit Points:
Ratio HP CHART
Again, this information has been confirmed by Jotaro's translation of text provided by the Hong Kong Gameplayers Magazine. However, I calculated these numbers myself and was surprised to find that I was right on the money with these percentages. ^_^ But still, I'm much happier that I have the backings of a magazine company to support my numbers. So an average Ratio 2 character (characters like Ryu count as average) has 14,400 Hit Points. At Ratio 1, Ryu has 11,520 Hit Points. At Ratio 3 it's 16,848 and at Ratio 4 it's 20,160.
In the last game, Ratio 4 characters were practically useless, and weren't really a feasible option for trying to win. Ratio 3 characters weren't much better, because they just simply weren't strong enough to win well. As a result, a team of 4 Ratio 1 characters or 2 Ratio 1 and 1 Ratio 2 characters was almost always your best choice. Thankfully, in Capcom Vs. SNK 2, the damage was balanced out a lot more. Now, Ratio 4 characters are far more plausible of a choice. Stronger characters tend to make better Ratio 4 characters, though, than characters based on speed. Blanka, for example, is a FAR better Ratio 4 character that Cammy. Both are great characters overall, but as a Ratio 4, Blanka is better, because he beats people faster and tends to gain more life back that way.
Some people may ask me which Ratio set is the best and most practical. I'll answer the question right here: it's hard to say. Every combination seems to work well, but it also depends on the characters you play. Weaker characters who are based on speed seem to do better as lower Ratio characters, and characters who are stronger and win by brute force seem to do better as a higher Ratio character. However, this really is a matter of opinion. Like I said, all Ratios seem to be practical, so it's really very hard for me to recommend a Ratio Set for you to use. You will just have to experiment with your team and figure out what is best for you.
Fortunately, Capcom decided to implement a "blind" pick when it comes to order. Because you now cannot see the order in which your opponent picks their characters, you cannot try to choose your order based on theirs. This prevents the "Musical Chairs" syndrome, as I like to call it, where one player has one character slated to go first, so the opponent chooses a counter character to go first. Then the first player switches to have a different character slated to go first, and then the opponent switches his/her order to counter the new first character. This then repeats over and over again until the timer runs out. Now, because you choose your order without letting the other person know the order, this won't happen... Picking the order of your characters is pretty simple. All your characters will be displayed on the screen with numbers next to them when you are told to choose your order. The first character you chose will be labeled "1" and the second character (if you have one) will be labeled "2" and the third character you've picked (if you have one) will be labeled "3". To pick your order, you basically have to press the button combination that applies to the character number. Jab (LP) + Short (LK) represent character number 1. Strong (MP) + Forward (MK) represent character number 2. And Fierce (HP) + Roundhouse (HK) represent character number 3. So let's say you picked Ryu, Ken, and Sakura on your team. However, Ryu is your Ratio 2 character, so you want Ken to go first, then Sakura, then Ryu. When the Order selection screen appears, just hit Strong + Forward first for Ken and then Fierce + Roundhouse for Sakura. Your third character, Ryu, will be chosen for you automatically since he's the only one left. You can also just press the Start button as a short cut, and the characters will be put in the order that you picked them.
There are various Round formats used in Capcom Vs. SNK 2, but the standard one is the Ratio Match format. This is the Round format you'll experience in the arcades and on the home versions by default.
Ratio Match works just about how you think it would... After both players have selected the order in which their characters will be used, the first character for both players go up against each other. When one is defeated, he/she is replaced by the next member of the team (based on the order you selected). The winner from the last Round fights the new character until another one of the two characters is defeated. Team members continue to replace fallen team members in their chosen order until one team finally has all of the characters on his/her team defeated. The other team then comes out victorious.
If the Timer runs out before a character is defeated, the character with more health wins the Round. If both characters trade hits that causes them both to have fully drained Life Meters, or if the Timer runs out when both characters have the same amount of life, the Round ends in a draw. In that case, both characters "lose" and the next characters from both sides come into the match with full health. If only one player has a character left (the other was on his/her last character), the person with the character left automatically wins. If neither player had a character left, the game ENDS and both players lose the fight, which means, in the arcade at least, both players need to pay again for their next game. The fight is declared a draw.
The only thing to mention is that, between Rounds, the character who won the Round does NOT get a full Life Meter at the start of the next Round. The character will only keep the energy they had left at the last Round. So if you are a Ratio 2 character and beat a Ratio 1 opponent with half of your life remaining, you'll start the next Round with half of your life remaining still.
You DO get a small portion of your life back, however. That's essentially the motivation to win the Round, otherwise it really doesn't make much of a difference who wins a Round. The amount of life you get back is dependent on how much Time is left on the Timer. The more time is left on the clock, the more life you get back. This can factor a lot into strategy, as well. For example, Ratio 4 characters have the best chance to kill characters quickly. Thus, the best way to defeat a Ratio 4 character is to try and damage the opponent and, at the same time, try to eat as much time off the clock as possible. That way, when your character inevitably gets defeated, the enemy will not be rewarded with much life in return. If you let the Ratio 4 opponent defeat you too quickly, chances are he/she will get back about as much life as he/she lost, which isn't good for you at all. A side note: if you are playing on the home version and you have it set to no Timer, the amount of life you gain back will always be the same.
The second format that can be played on the home systems is the 3 on 3 Match. This emulates a King of the Fighters style Round format. You have to pick 3 characters, and choose their order. Then the fight proceeds like a Ratio Match, with winner remaining, gaining back only a portion of his/her life. The only thing that makes it different from a Ratio Match is that you are forced to have three characters, and all characters behave like Ratio 1 characters. So every match is essentially a Ratio 1 vs. a Ratio 1 character. The third format is the Single Match format. This emulates your standard Street Fighter match. You choose only one character, and play a best of 3 Rounds. When one character is defeated, both character return for the next Round with a full Life Meter, and fight resumes. Whomever wins two Rounds first, wins the fight. In this mode, all characters behave like a Ratio 2 character, so every fight is basically a Ratio 2 vs. a Ratio 2 character.
PART III: GLITCHES
No game is without their share of glitches. Capcom Vs. SNK 2 has some glitches. One is just a nuisance, one can really hurt you if you don't know it exists, and the last one can potentially change the way the game is played.
Y'know? Just 'cause it baffles me, I have to say... to my knowledge, no Corner problems existed in the old Street Fighters... World Warrior, Hyper Fighting, Super Turbo... The Corner was just the Corner. So what happened? Capcom, recently, seems to have problems with programming the Corner logistics properly. I don't know why Capcom can't seem to get these Corners programmed correctly, but their recent games have had issues. Street Fighter Alpha 3 had issues. Capcom Vs. SNK had issues. And now, Capcom Vs. SNK 2 has it's own share of random happenings in the corner. Well, mainly just two: the "Vacuum Left Corner" and the "Player 2 Only Cross-up." I just don't understand why this keeps happening... ___
THE VACUUM LEFT CORNER
It's a stupid name to give something: the "Vacuum Left Corner." But I don't care because a stupid glitch deserves a stupid name. Basically, what the Vacuum Left Corner is is the tendency of having a character as far into the left Corner wall as possible to fall OUT of the Corner when knocked into the air by an opponent right next to them as if some magical force is sucking them out. Sound strange? Okay, this is much easier to understand when you see it for yourself. Get Chun Li. Use Chun Li. Move the enemy into the right Corner all the way up against the wall. Move Chun Li right next to the enemy. Now do her Offensive Crouch + Roundhouse (HK), which makes her hop into the air and come down on the opponent with her knee. What happens? The enemy gets knocked INTO the corner. Now switch corners. Get Chun Li. Use Chun Li. Move the enemy into the left Corner all the way up against the wall. Move Chun Li right next to the enemy. Now do her Offensive Crouch + Roundhouse (HK) kick. NOW what happens? The enemy gets knocked into the air and then proceeds to fly OUT of the corner for no discernable reason. There is your Vacuum Left Corner in effect. This doesn't happen too often, fortunately, but can still be frustrating for certain characters in certain situations. For example, in the right Corner, Chun Li can do the Offensive Crouch Roundhouse (HK) and if it hits the enemy, they stay in the Corner so you can still apply some good Corner traps. Plus, it's EASY to react to the enemy getting hit and following up the flipping kick with a Level 2 Kikoshou canceled into a Short Spinning Bird Kick followed by a Level 1 Kikoshou. Great Combo. Great damage. Simple to do. And the left Corner? If you connect the move, the enemy flies out of the Corner. And if you try to react to the enemy getting hit by the flipping kick, the enemy will most likely have passed over your head by the time you have reacted, spoiling your Combo. Plus, you aren't in proper position for keeping the enemy stuck in any Corner pressure tactics anymore.
Here's an example of this problem ruining a Custom Combo. Try the following Custom Combo with Terry with your opponent in the right Corner. Activate your Custom and do the sequence of Crouch Roundhouse (HK) canceled into a Short (LK) Crack Shoot 4 times. Then do a Fierce (HP) Rising Tackle followed by another Fierce (HP) Rising Tackle right away. Right before your Meter runs out, do the Buster Wolf. The enemy should bounce on both hits. Follow up with one last Fierce (HP) Rising Tackle. VERY good Combo, lots of damage, not too hard.
Now, let's try it in the LEFT Corner, shall we? Do the same Combo and what do we see happens? After the second Rising Tackle, you can't get the Buster Wolf off because the enemy starts to fly OUT of the corner. No Buster Wolf, no extra Rising Tackle at the end of the Combo, say good-bye to 2000 points of damage. Now granted, you CAN time everything right so that you can land the entire Combo in the left Corner (do the second Rising Tackle a bit later than normal, but that might not give you enough time to pull off the Buster Wolf before your time expires), but it's just an extra hassle that you really shouldn't need to worry about. A Corner is a Corner. There shouldn't be any inconsistencies between Corners. Of course, this really doesn't come up THAT often, so it's not that big of a deal. But I'm not sure how this glitch could have possibly escaped Capcom. It's just something that could have been avoided if your were just careful. ___
PLAYER 2 ONLY CORNER SWITCH
This glitch actually CAN factor into gameplay if you or your opponent is aware of it. In Capcom Vs. SNK, one of the biggest confusion tactics involved the Corner, especially for Nakoruru. There were ways for her to knock you down in the Corner and start playing mind games with you, Dashing in and out of the Corner and making you guess which side she ended up on. They tried to all but eliminate this problem in Capcom Vs. SNK 2. If the enemy is knocked into the Corner, they will REMAIN in the Corner and there isn't any way for the other player to work their way INTO the Corner and catch you Blocking the wrong way. Needless to say, they failed. Of course, it does require very specific set-ups to get this to work, so as long as you are aware of them, you should be able to be ready for them. But you need to know exactly when it can occur.
Basically, it works like this: ONLY PLAYER 2 can set it up so that, when knocking Player 1 into the Corner (either Corner), they can go over Player 1 and end up IN the Corner. However, the prerequisite for this to work is that the move that you use to knock Player 1 down must knock Player 1 into the Corner with his or her head sticking OUT of the corner (feet first). This actually severely hinders the number of set-ups available for this trick. But still, if you aren't ready for it, you can easily get caught by a player who gets over you and Combos you for 70% life from the other side (characters like Sagat can do this... not a pleasant thing to happen to you). For example, with Ryu, he can Throw you into the Corner with either button. When he Throws you into the Corner, you will fall into the Corner head out and feet first. Now, before you actually land and stop bouncing, Ryu can pass over you with an airborne move and end up in the Corner himself. So Ryu can Throw you into the corner, then perform a Hop Kick (Towards + Forward (MK)), a Short (LK) Tatsumaki Senpuukyaku, or a simple Jump. He'll end up in the Corner and can land a painful Combo on you while you are still expecting to be Blocking towards the Corner when in fact you need to be Blocking away from the Corner now. But all of Ryu's other Knock-downs (Crouch Roundhouse (HK), Tatsumaki Senpuukyakus, Shoryukens, and Shakunetsu Hadoukens) knock the enemy into the corner head first, so the trick doesn't work! Same goes for most other characters. Most characters only have one set-up if they have a set-up at all. Sagat can only do the trick with a Punch Throw (and then Tiger Knee or Jump over the fallen enemy to get to the other side) for example. So not many characters can actually use this trick at all. But if you run into a player who DOES know the trick, you'll have to become very aware of it and get ready to switch your Block if you see them go airborne after putting you into the corner feet first. ___
A new glitch has worked its way heavily into Japanese play and slowly into American play. It's effect on the gameplay of Capcom Vs. SNK 2 has yet to be fully felt, but at this point, it seems pretty much determined that it does not ruin the entire game. However, the affect of this glitch will be discussed towards the end of this section. For now it's sufficient to say this: learning this glitch can be very important, depending on which character you use. The glitch is known as "Roll Canceling." Basically, what Roll Canceling does is add a bit of invincibility to ANY character's Special Move... but there is one requirement: you have to have Rolls. Thus, only characters in C, A, and N Groove can perform Roll Canceling. But if you have the Rolls, you now have the ability to make Blanka perform a Rolling Attack right through Ryu's Hadouken! Iori can perform the Deadly Flower right through your Sweep. And Blanka can perform a Meaty Electric Thunder on a rising opponent, and stuff just about any Reversal... including Level 3 Supers!! * * * ------------------------------- | A History of Kara Canceling | ------------------------------- The way the Glitch works is by Capcom's allowance of what is known by the Japanese as "Kara Canceling." Kara is the Japanese word for "empty," and the ability to Kara Cancel moves has affected other Street Fighters before this one. In Street Fighter Alpha 3, Kara Cancels let Guy and Gen Buffer moves in Chain Combos that weren't normally Bufferable. In Street Fighter III: Third Strike, "Kara Throws" allowed a character to increase the range and speed of their Throw by a significant amount. And in ALL Street Fighters, you are able to cancel Normal Moves into Special Moves even if they don't connect. We are all familiar with Buffering, right? It's just canceling a Normal Move that connects into a Special Move, like Ryu's Crouching Forward into Hadouken Combo. Well, a Kara cancel is essentially the same thing, except you are canceling things that whiff... that hit nothing but air (thus, the term "empty"). It was put in to allow leniency on performing Special Moves. So you can actually perform a Crouching Forward and cancel it into the Hadouken even if the Crouching Forward doesn't hit, but you have to do it quickly. Capcom implemented this to allow players to perform Special Moves easier... hitting a button slightly too early won't produce the Normal Move and will let the Special Move come out.
WHY IT WORKS
So how does Kara Canceling factor into this glitch? Simple. Roll Canceling is the ability to Kara Cancel a Roll into a Special Move. But what makes this glitch work is that the invincibility from the Roll does not get "re-evaluated." In other words, it sticks. Thus, using this technique allows you to pass through all air-based Projectiles or to have 100% invincible Anti-Air Special Moves or to "out-invincible" Level 3 Supers!
So let's dissect the Roll as much as possible. What exactly happens when you press Jab (LP) + Short (LK)? It looks like just one thing: your character goes into a bunch of Animation Frames deemed invincible by the game. But that's not actually what's going on. When you press Jab (LP) + Short (LK), there are actually TWO events are occurring... or two "threads" as I will refer to them. These two threads coincide so well with each other, though, that it appears that only one event is occurring. The first and most obvious thread is the animation thread: your character goes into the animation where they move along the floor with the shadow affects. The second and equally obvious thread is the invincibility thread: you become invincible. But what is important to note is that, while these two threads occur in conjunction with each other to form one action (the Roll), they are in fact two separate entities being kept track of by the game. This is very important in understanding this glitch. The fact that these two things are actually independent allows us to cancel the Roll animation, yet retain the invincibility frames. When a Roll is Kara Canceled, only one thread is interrupted: the animation thread. Thus, the invincibility thread continues to live on. So the Special Move gains the benefit of these invincibility frames rather than the Roll. Thus, the Special Move begins to animate and does its thing, but gets the benefit of the Roll's invincibility! And already you can imagine how this can affect certain characters' game plans.
However, remember: Roll invincibility doesn't last forever. And since the invincibility thread is that of the Roll, that means the invincibility DOES run out. Every characters' Rolls have 21-22 frames of pure invincibility (except Chun Li, who happens to have 23, and Eagle and Maki, who have 20). Thus, only the first 21-22 frames of a Special Move will actually be invincible. So although Ryu can, for example, Roll Cancel his Hadouken, he'll still become vulnerable shortly after the Fireball leaves his hands. So if you predict Ryu's Fireball and Jump over it as he throws it, even if he Roll Cancels the Hadouken you'll still be able to nail him in his delay. Granted, you may hit him a little lower than you expected (throwing off your timing), but you can still hit them. More examples: if Blanka does a Roll Canceled Rolling Attack from across the screen, by the time he reaches you, you can still Jab (LP) him or Uppercut him out of the Rolling Attack. Also, if the move has natural delays, you can always nail the enemy out of their delay. If Cammy does a Roll Canceled Cannon Drill too close to you, you can still nail her during her delay if you Block it. If Bison does a Roll Canceled Psycho Crusher and you Block it, you can still nail him after he passes through you. If you Block a Roll Canceled Rolling Attack from Blanka, you can still nail him in his delay (if you can reach him, that is... ^_^). But that doesn't mean Roll Canceling turns out to be useless. Blanka can perform a Roll Canceled Rolling Attack or M.Bison can perform a Roll Canceled Psycho Crusher for 100% Anti-Air. If Iori does the first third of the Deadly Flower with a Roll Cancel and forces you to Block it, it's free! You can't hit him before he hits you, and he has no delay. And just having another way of avoiding Projectiles can never be a bad thing (Roll Cancel your own Projectile to go THROUGH the enemy's Projectile!).
HOW TO PERFORM
The biggest thing going against Roll Cancels is that it is HARD TO DO. So I will repeat it again: THIS IS NOT EASY TO DO. So if you have trouble pulling this off, don't be discouraged. It takes practice, so don't expect to perform these Roll Cancels at a 100% clip. If you can pull it off 70% to 80% during a normal match, that's already incredible enough. Any Special Move works with Kara-Roll Canceling, but you need to be fast. You can only cancel the first 3 frames of a Roll with a Special Move (and by frames, I mean refresh frames... so 3 frames is basically a fraction of a second). Thus, you have to perform the Roll and then the Special Move within microseconds of each other. In fact, it's best if you "blend" the Roll into the motions. Here are two examples: -Roll Canceled Fireball Special Move: -- Down, Down/Toward + Jab + Short, Toward + Punch Roll Canceled Sonic Boom Special Move: -- Back, Neutral + Jab + Short, Toward + Punch
This is the best way to perform a Roll Cancel. But it's still makes it very difficult. The window is 3 frames, remember, for the Roll Cancel. Thus, it's VERY easy to do the Roll too early or too late, both leading to results that may not be necessarily desirable. If you press Jab (LP) + Short (LK) too early, you'll most likely just Roll, which may put you right next to the enemy so they can Combo you with whatever they so feel. If you press Jab (LP) + Short (LK) too late, you will just end up doing the Special Move WITHOUT the invincibility you are trying to get (because the Jab (LP) or Short (LK) will activate the Special Move rather than making you Roll). But I would say that 90% of the time a failed Roll Cancel will results in the Special Move sans invincibility. If you are Rolling most of the time when you fail, you are more than likely pushing the Jab and Short buttons too early. The best way to do this is to try a "sweeping" motion of your fingers across the buttons. Place your index finger and thumb over the Jab (LP) and Short (LK) buttons respectively. Then put your ring or pinky finger over the button you plan to use to activate the Special Move. Then, when you do the joystick motion, roll your hand from left to right very quickly so that you press Jab (LP) and Short (LK) during the joystick motion. Time it so that you end the joystick motion at the same time you end rolling your hand. The rolling motion of you right hand essentially lets you hit all three buttons almost at the same time, bringing the index and thumb down only half a second earlier. That should allow you to Roll right before you activate the Special Move. For those of you who play cross-handed, I don't have a recommended way of doing this... You might have to try hitting the Jab and Short with your ring and pinky fingers instead, and hit the third button with the index finger or thumb. But I don't know how comfortable that really is, so you'll have to figure something out on your own.
When all is said and done, it takes precise timing to perform and it isn't easy. You have to practice to become good at it, but some players have already gotten to an 80% success rate. Some players claim a 95% success rate already on most Fireball motions, but they usually refer to Training Mode scenarios. Pulling it off in the midst of combat, when you need absolute precision and timing is another story. But it can be done with some consistency, no doubt. It just takes practice, so don't be discouraged.
Now that we know how to Kara-Roll Cancel a Special Move, we should mention certain special cases for certain types of Special Moves.
Characters that have a Counter, such as Geese or Rock, become invincible when they perform a Kara Counter. But, essentially, this makes the Counter pointless! If someone is attacking you, you should NOT perform a Roll Canceled Counter, or else the enemy cannot hit you. And if they cannot hit you, you can't Counter the move! Thus, you may only want to Roll Cancel, say, Geese's Counter just to go through Projectiles.
Projectile Reflects, such as Rugal's Dark Barrier or Athena's New Psycho Reflector, work mostly the same way whether Roll Canceled or not. The only difference is that you can't be hit for those first 21-22 frames if it. Otherwise, the Fireball will be reflected back as normal. However, there are two cases where the behavior is a little different: Yamazaki's Double Return and Eagle's Saint Andrews Green. In both of those cases, the character doesn't actually reflect your Projectile. Rather, what really happens is that they absorb it and fire back their "own" Projectile. Apparently, these moves work by "trading" with the Projectile. The moves hit the Projectile and erase it but the Projectile also "hits" the move. If the move is hit by the projectile, it'll register as catching a Projectile and will shoot back it's own. But if you Roll Cancel these two particular reflect moves, the projectile can't HIT the moves because they are invincible! So what happens is that the Projectile is hit by the move (and gets erased), but the Projectile doesn't hit the move... so nothing is shot back!! So if you are trying to reflect a Projectile back at the enemy with these two characters, don't perform a Roll Cancel.
- -Button Tapping Special Moves-
Button Tapping Special Moves behave like all other Roll Canceled Special Moves. However, the reason for this section is... how on earth do you purposely perform a Roll Canceled Special Move?!? Well, remember how earlier it was said that it only takes five button presses to activate a Button Tapping Special Move? Knowing this lets you perform a Roll Canceled Special Move. Basically, perform a controlled Button Tapping Special Move the same way you normally would, except use Jab + Short as on of the button sequences (preferably the second to last one). So with Honda, for example, you can do the following sequence: Jab, Strong, Fierce, Jab + Short, Fierce (LP, MP, HP, LP + LK, HP) The initial Jab (LP) will make you whiff the Punch. Right when the Jab (LP) ends, you'll have just finished pressing the first Fierce (HP). Then, quickly do the last two presses. The first will make you Roll, the second will make you come out with the Hyakuretsu Harite (the Hand Slap). It turns out that the most useful version of Roll Canceling a Button Tapping Special Move is with Blanka. Doing a Roll Canceled Fierce (HP) Electric Thunder to a person getting up from the ground means you have an invincible Meaty Attack. Even a Level 3 Tiger Raid from Sagat will lose out to such a Meaty Attack. It takes great timing to perform, but if you can pull it off consistently (as one player in Japan can), then it's worth it.
Yup. Taunts act as Special Moves. So you can Kara-Roll Cancel a Taunt!!! So yes, you can use Taunts to go through Projectiles as well! And to avoid Special Moves and Supers and such! So not only can you avoid these things, you can avoid them IN STYLE!! ^_^ The ultimate Kara-Roll Cancel insult!
| Q & A |
By now, many many many many MANY questions are probably popping into everyone's head. Most of you out there will probably start asking yourself many "Can you...?" questions.
Q. Can you Roll Cancel the Roll into another Roll?
A. No. Rolls, remember, cannot be Buffered into. Thus, they do not have the ability to cancel Normal Moves that hit or otherwise. Since Normal Moves and Rolls are the only things that can be Kara Canceled, you can apply the same logic to Rolls. Thus, Rolls cannot be used to Kara Cancel themselves. So no 100% invincible infinite Rolls.
Q. Can you Roll Cancel into Super Combos?!? A. Yes. However, Supers have their own "invincibility threads." Thus, whenever a Super is activated, the game will recalculate the intended invincibility thread of the Super Combo. So whatever invincibility thread was leftover from the Roll Cancel will be erased with the appropriate invincibility thread of the Super Combo. Thus, Level 1's and other weak Supers will not gain the invincibility of a Roll.
Q. Can you Roll Cancel a Roll into a Custom Combo in A Groove? A. No. And this is a moot point anyhow. By the same virtue as the Super Combos, a Custom Combo would recalculate it's own invincibility right upon start-up. So even if you could Cancel a Roll into a Custom, there really isn't much point to it.
Q. Can you Roll Cancel a Dodge in S Groove? A. No. Repeated attempts have been made to perform a Kara-Dodge Cancel, but so far to no avail. There are no solid theories as to why this is, but the best theory I can provide is this: Dodges are very "specific" in their properties and the three phases of a Dodge are handled very specifically. So there was no carelessness in accidentally allowing the Dodge to be Kara Canceled at the beginning. This reason doesn't make much sense, admittedly. ^_^ But there really is no clear reason why this doesn't work.
Q. Can you Roll Cancel a Counter Movement in N Groove? A. No. Even though Counter Movements ARE just Rolls, it appears that because they are done in a non-Neutral situation (during a Block), Capcom wasn't worried about Counter Movement commands and Special Move commands interfering with each other. Thus, you are not allowed to Roll Cancel a Counter Movement. At least, so far, I haven't been able to do it and haven't seen anyone do it.
Q. Can you use the Negative Edge to perform a Roll Cancel? A. Yes. But this isn't easy at all. It sounds like it should make performing a Roll Cancel MUCH easier... a breeze, even. But for some reason, it is MUCH easier to perform a Kara-Roll Cancel the "normal" way: by pressing a button. Normally, you would think that it would be more effective to do the motion, hit Jab + Short part way through the motion, and then activate the Special Move by releasing the Jab or Short that you pressed down (depending on what Move you are trying to do). However, after trying this repeatedly, it's pretty conclusive that this method is actually HARDER to do. Why is that? We're not sure why, but it may, in fact, be quicker to hit another button down by rolling your fingers across Jab (LP) and Short (LK) and the third button then it is to releasing Jab (LP) or Short (LK) after pressing them down.
Q. Can you Kara Cancel a Roll into a Jab (LP) or Short (LK) version of a Special Move? A. Yes, but, again, it's MUCH harder to do. This is because you have to tap Jab (LP) + Short (LK) VERY quickly. You have 3 frames to cancel a Roll, right? So in 3 frames, you have to have let go of the Jab (LP) and Short (LK) and have pressed Jab (LP) or Short (LK) again for your Special Move! 3 frames is a VERY short period of time, folks, so this is not gonna happen very often at all. You're better off sticking with the other four buttons for activating the Special Move (another limiting factor of Roll Canceling).
Q. Can you extend Zangief's SPD range with this, in a way that the Extended SPD Range in Alpha 3 worked?
A. By virtue that you move slightly forward because of the Roll before it's canceled, yes, by a tiny bit. But good luck Roll Canceling 360 motions. ^_^
Q. Hmmm... Speaking of Zangief's SPD... Since these are a Roll's invincibility, can you Throw the enemy during these invincible frames? A. Yes. All properties of the Roll are still there. So even if Iori does a Kara-Roll Canceled Deadly Flower and you do a Final Atomic Buster with Zangief, you're going to grab the enemy. Rolls do not have invincibility against Throws. However, if the Throw isn't instant or if it has less range than the attacking move or if it has no invincibility, you will probably get hit out of your Throw attempt rather than getting the Throw off. You can only be Thrown if you are within their range and they can grab you past (or through) your attack. And, of course, ONLY if the move you are doing is still on the ground. You still can't be grabbed if you do a Roll Cancel Blanka Rolling Attack, for example, unless it's an Air Throw of some sort (like Zangief's Aerial Russian Slam).
So just how much will this affect gameplay? After reading the description of this glitch, this glitch sounds VERY game breaking. Invincible Rolling Attacks from Blanka? Free Anti-Airs for just about every character? Have Projectiles now been rendered useless? This isn't good at all! So the question has arisen: should this be banned from tournaments? Is this one of those glitches that should just be disallowed?
This debate hasn't been resolved yet, and the following is an editorial from me. This is in no way fact-based or what you should follow. It is simply my opinion after trying to watch the effects of Roll Cancels... and that's ALL it is: an opinion. But my answer to this question is "No." It shouldn't be banned nor should it be considered "cheating" if someone can do it to you. Here are my reasons: 1) It's really difficult. If you can pull it off consistently, within the constraints of a REALLY tough and frantic match, then you deserve to pull it off. That's clutch. 2) Roll Cancels can only be that effective on moves that have absolutely no delay. A Roll Canceled Blanka Rolling Attack or Rugal God Press may sound pretty damn scary, but if you aren't attacking and simply Block them, you can punish them in your normal fashion! So let them try it, and then Combo them afterwards. And with moves like Iori's Deadly Flower that have no delay when Blocked, the range on that move is not that long. So if you play a smart game outside of the Deadly Flower's range, you can watch Iori whiff the first hit and then Sweep him in response. The invincibility doesn't last long enough to cover his recovery if he whiffs. 3) If all you are trying to do is Roll Cancel Special Moves to attack your opponent, your gameplay will suffer tremendously. Mastery of Capcom Vs. SNK 2 is SO MUCH MORE than just Special Moves. For example, experts in N-Groove with rush you down with repeated Running Normal Moves and Low Jumps. A-Groove players need to find a way to land their Custom Combo, otherwise why are they using A-Groove? And C-Groove is very highly Super Combo based, and I've already established that Roll Canceling Supers does nothing.
And if you fight someone who thinks they can beat you simply by throwing out Roll Canceled moves all day, they become obvious, predictable, and very easy to beat. Roll Canceling can only be useful when used sparsely and in situations that WARRANT a Roll Canceled Special Move. They ARE useful, but can't be relied on as your key to victory. 4) How can you enforce such a ban? You would either have to really just trust the integrity of those who entered to not try the glitch (if Bison hits you out of the air with a Psycho Crusher, he MAY have just hit you RIGHT before your kick came out...). Either that, or you have to have someone watching hands for the entire fight and having to have a judge stare at hands the entire game is plain ridiculous. So those are my reasons why they shouldn't be banned. The people of Japan are not planning to ban it and it is already integrated into normal gameplay. Yet we don't see it dominating any matches. They don't see it as something that can ruin CvS2 and so far it hasn't. So at this point, it's really up to you to decide for yourself whether it's cheap or not. Learn it and try to exploit it, and if you can make it "cheap" and "unfair" and "game breaking," then we'll talk. But for now, nothing has been proven, so there should be no ban.